School Lunch Boxes and Kids Chores

I wish I was the mom who let my kids have school lunches. I have seen the school lunches and I am glad they are there as an option for some kids but my kids will not be eating them. Maybe on a rare occasion I do let them have it, but not usually. I can’t let Aj have school lunch for he gets really stuck in a routine so if he has it one week he will want it that same day next week, and so on and so forth.

This means every night of the week I am to make a new lunch for my kids. I try to spruce things up but overall they end up with similar lunches each week. I usually try to sneak in a healthy option of cucumbers or sliced peppers or something for the little man because I am determined to get that kid to like more food options besides unhealthy ones.

Kids Can do Chores From age 2 and up

After a long day of work at home, picking up kids and dealing with homework. The last thing I want to do is pack up a lunch. Sure, I have been making uncrustables from home on the weekends. It helps alleviate some time. I also slice up green or red peppers to place in sandwich bags for quick toss into the lunch boxes but that doesn’t alleviate the time needed to clean each of the three kids lunch boxes out and pack it all up for the next day.

This is where chore ideas are coming in. I need my three kids to get back on track with chores. I think their new responsibility will be to empty and clean out their own lunch boxes. Why not? They are 5, 7 and 11 plenty old enough for that task and as I have sunk into this life I am currently living, I have started to lose some of myself and that includes making kids do some chores. We are a family and the kids have always had responsibilities but I got sucked into where I am now and they have fallen backwards along with me. It’s time to start assigning lunch box cleaning to the kids.

I think the best way to alleviate the chore list for mom is to encourage more involvement from the kids! At age 2 the kids are plenty old enough to start having small tasks to do around the house. I have always explained chores to my kids like this, “we are a family and as such, we are to each do a small part to help each other lead a funner day. If we each have a task to do, that alleviates it from Mom’s hands and in turn creates more time for us to spend together having fun!”

Wish me luck …. it’s never easy to get kids BACK into chores after slacking for over a year!

 

Back to School with Keen Footwear

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It’s that time of year, in a few weeks kids will be gearing up for early morning school drop offs and/or bus pick ups to get back into the game of school season. Late August my older two start school and first week in September my youngest is heading off for his first year of Kindergarten. It’s an exciting time of year for the kids but can also be a stressful time of year for the parents who are looking for products, clothing, footwear and more to ensure their child is ready for back to school. Today I am here to help share an amazing, high quality shoe line that even my little monster didn’t ruin within the first few months of school last year during Pre-K. This year, Monster K will be heading to school in style with his Jamison shoes from Keen Footwear and he wants to show his handsome footwear off to you all today!

Keen Fotwear for Back to School (2)

It’s wonderful having a camera ham and little actor in the family. Monster K loves his new shoes for school so much that he has snuck them out to wear them to soccer camp last week with his brother, wore them hiking with the family out on a nature trail in Newbury, NH and even wears them around the inside of the house. Monster K is convinced these Jamison line of shoes from Keen make him run faster.

Keen Fotwear for Back to School (3)

There are a few lines from Keen Footwear that will be perfect for your little girl or little boy this back to school season such as the Jamison (MSRP $50) shown in image below, as well as Sorrento lines (MSRP $55), Harvest MJ (MSRP $55), Coronado Print (MSRP $45), Luna Boot (MSRP $70) and last but not least the Maderas Lace line (MSRP $35).

Keen

Keen Footwear is having deals right now on all ages, shapes and sizes! Woman’s, men, toddler, kids, youth and more. Keen Footwear has socks and shoes for this Back to School season so that even the parents can head back to school meetings in style. I personally am a Soccer and Cheer mom so I know I want to make sure my kids are all taken care of with their back to school gear while I look good too. It’s been a fun Summer with my flip flops but Fall is approaching and with that comes shoe and boot season, why not let Keen Footwear help the whole family prepare for the back to school season together?

Keen Fotwear for Back to School (4)

Visit Keen Footwear online to see their full selection of footwear and to learn more about their options for the whole family!

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Thinking About Being Consistent and Chores

I keep thinking back to the day when my oldest was about 2 years old, she would help me with laundry and other household chores. My oldest grew up with responsibility and consequences for her actions in a consistent manner. My oldest learned how to help her Mama around the house without complaint, it had simply become a part of her everyday life without hesitation. Now, here I am a Mom of three with the youngest being four and I don’t believe either of my sons have ever really had any consistent chores in the house. Sure they pick up after themselves when asked, usually. Sure they take care of their dishes after dinner by placing them in the sink. They put their dirty clothes in the basket, usually, after getting dressed in the morning and evening. They do not have any consistent chores and that is part of what I am trying to change.

Chores for Kids

I used to have this cute magnetic chore chart that my oldest helped me make and it was used with enthusiasm, everyone did chores and they had a little magnet creation placed under the column for said chore. I don’t know why I stopped. Another part of that chore chart was if they didn’t listen or what not, they got a tally mark and were deducted “points” from an end of week reward.

One idea I have for when we all move into this new place is to start being consistent as a parent as well as to set up specific chores for the kids. I want to ensure that each child has some chore, it will be every day help around the house as well as ensuring they pick up after their own self. I am no longer picking up toys or crayons because they didn’t pick them up their own self. It’s not my job, my job is to be Mom and ensure I teach them to be well rounded children who will turn out to be great adults who accept and understand consequences and have a sense of pride because they can pick up after their own self, take care of their own self, etc.

My idea is to have a chore chart up with simple chores for the youngest and work the chore ideas up to age appropriate levels. The older kids can have a month to accumulate “reward points” and the younger boys can have a chance to accumulate “reward points” each week. Reason being, the younger kids need a more immediate gratification feeling for their work while older kids can usually handle the waiting period of a month. At the end of each “waiting period” the children will be able to pull a “reward ticket” out of a hat or basket that is created by the parents. From there, each kid will earn a chance to pull out a “reward ticket” that has something written on it based on them getting either money for their chores, extra time with parent, or even extra time with their favorite thing to do such as laptop time or video game, etc. Each child shall pull only one “reward ticket” per month and as parents we may choose to put less “reward ticket” options in the basket if the children did not follow along with their list of chores as expected. Basically they may get some form of a reward but as they consistently do said chores their “earnings” could increase in time as they show us that they do their chores consistently.

This method sounds like it will be a rewarding experience and in turn allow the kids to feel some pride in being an important and responsible part of the household.

What are some ways you have instilled life lessons of picking up after yourself and doing chores with your kids?

 

The Best, Non Intrusive Way to Communicate with Tweens

In all honesty, the communication between your child and you should have been a long term, built over time relationship but let’s get real, some parents really do not see that need to build that communication from day one because the issues do not arise until those lovely children get closer to the you don’t get me tween ages. With that being said, if you are at a loss as to how to connect with your tween, here are some tips on how to open up communication without appearing too nosy or intruding.

three active children need to be safe

Tip One – No Topic is Off Limits or Considered Unimportant

Whether your child is rambling on and on about stubbing their toe on the chair in the hallway or about the kid who is mean to them at school,  no topic is to be considered unimportant. From time to time your child has or will start to vent about various small situations, these are times when you wonder what in the world is such the big deal. Do not ever take that “this is not a big deal” tone with your child or dismiss the importance they are placing behind what they are talking about. Make every one of their problems important in your eyes and give them the ear to listen, shoulder to cry on or person to laugh with and lend the advice they need if asked for.

Tip Two -  Be Compassionate, Considerate, Caring & Able to Relate

No matter what topic or problem has arisen in your child’s life, there must be one small way you can compare it to a situation you have been in or had to deal with yourself. Children enjoy seeing that Mom or Dad have gone through troubled times just like them and turned out just fine in the long haul. While the child only sees the now in most of their troubled situations, having a parent who they feel understands them and can relate to them opens the doors for much larger conversations in the future. Having that compassionate,  caring and relatable parent really pays off when your child is dealing with peer pressures along the journey to teenhood and adulthood, they will trust that they can come to you about anything.

teach our children self worth

Tip Three – Hold Occasional Family Meetings

Having your child(ren) play a key roll in small decision making in the household really helps your child to learn that they are a part of a team, a group, a family. Every so often it’s important to have a family meeting, get the snacks ready and sit back to enjoy conversations. Examples of topics that could be discussed during these family meetings could be anything from each family member saying a challenge they have within the family unit or their outside life. Each can discuss positives within the family and work together to setup a game plan to resolve any challenges or issues any of the family members may express during this meeting.

In all reality, parenting is a learning experience each and every day.  While these few tips are not going to solve everything, they are a wonderful start to the journey of opening communication with your tween.

 

One, Two, Tween

I have such a wonderful time with my kids, each moment they are home, they are my world. My one priority, all of my attention is put on the kids when they are home. Now that I have the most amazing man ever in my life, I have sort of taken in two more children. Now there are five. Mind you, my sons are the youngest which means they are their own little “team” together, while the big kids play with the boys and interact, they are still sort of in a little kid league of their own.

Tweens

Meet the tweens…. the one on my bed with his shoes on? That is E and he will be 13 this upcoming week. Yes, the dawn of a teenager. While I only have known E and his sister C for a short period of time, they have become a huge part of my kids and my lives. Kiara and C are super close and get along great. As you can see the three older children sort of tend to their own self while my boys are sort of running around being hyper (more often than not).

The tweens and soon to be teen are shown here just chilling so peacefully that I had to snap a picture.  I often try to snap pictures of my family life when no one is expecting it because then you end up with the most natural of pictures that really seem to capture the moment in real life.  There you have it, I am on a new journey in my life – raising tweens, teens, elementary and toddler. I can feel the grey hair growing in ….

 

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