Best Way To Survive Outings with Kids this Summer

It’s summer break and you want to be able to enjoy your children, I see so many parents counting down to the time school starts. Then when school starts, they count down to summer because the school schedule is a pain sometimes. It seems many parents are always counting down to the next whatever – be it summer or school. Stop. Enjoy the time you have with your kids, whether they are being totally awesome and getting along or having a case of sibling rivalry ALL DAY LONG, enjoy those moments. Time flies too quickly to not cherish every moment, yes even those patience testing times.

Here is how I survive summer (and other times of the year) with my three, very different children:

how to survive Summer outings with children

Always be proactive – you know how your kids work and what makes them tick. Planning ahead for things that will entertain them, allows the long drive to be more tolerable. For me, the middle child enjoys electronics as a means to keep himself occupied during a long trip, so I charge up the Nabi Tablet and encourage it being shut off when he’s not using it (as I don’t have a car charger for it at this time). For the other two, they bring along some small toys, coloring book and crayons or paper to play tic tac toe. Plan to have everything packed up and ready the night before to ensure you don’t forget anything!

Set Expectations – Let your kids know what you expect of them. If they are not acting properly in the car, I don’t care where you are, pull over and stop that vehicle. Do not yell and scream and get all stressed out because your children are not behaving, sure I get it, stopping and pulling over will make the trip take longer, but it’s worth it to teach the children that you will stop if they don’t behave properly in the car. Also let them know what you expect of them at the outing, such as not running off, staying a certain distance when walking with you, etc. One thing I do with my youngest, who is a bowl full of energy, is that he can run ahead a bit til I say STOP. He must stop when I say stop and not go again til I yell GO. This keeps him from having to restrain his energy, but also keeps him at a safe distance. If he doesn’t listen, I make him hold my hand, this involves him screaming, yelling and being pretty mad, but he learns that is the consequence and I don’t care if people “stare” at us, I am being the Mom.

Have Fun and Be Happy – Seriously, it’s as simple as that. Sure it can be stressful and overwhelming to be at a packed beach or facility, with kids, but get over it! If you set the expectations ahead of time, follow through with a matter-of-fact consequence things get easier. Do not allow yourself to think “well this kid knows better” or get all grumpy because your child isn’t listening. Kids will be kids. They will test limits; they will see what they can pull off, especially being out in public. Let your child know they have a consequence but have fun, don’t get all tense over having to “deal with your child”, it is going to happen, children will make the same mistake over and over sometimes too, it’s all about teaching them how to not keep making the same mistake. Get down at their level, have fun, be silly and let loose. Just because you are laughing, having fun and letting loose doesn’t mean your child won’t respect you as a parent, they actually will learn to listen to you more because they will trust you are able to get down on their level and enjoy this Summer outing.

I am sure I could go on and on with more tips, but these three have been the best for myself, what are your extra tips you may have that work for your family? Do share in a comment below…

 

{Inspiration} How to Lead a Happy Life #redefininghappiness

It took me a lot of years to get to a place where I realized happiness is more about a thought process than materialistic items or what you have in life. Happiness is an emotion derived from what you have going on inside of your body, mind and soul. Happiness is something that only you can bring to your life, no one else can control your happiness. Other people may be able to affect your happiness, if you let them, but ultimately my point is that it is up to you to lead a happy life and not allow anyone else to deter you from that goal of leading a happy life.

How to Lead a Happy Life

There are many steps to leading a happy life each step may need to be repeated for a lot of many years before your mind fully grasps the concept that happiness really is an attitude. I do need to remind you that leading a happy life doesn’t mean it’s going go give you a life full of sugar and spice and everything nice! Rather, leading a happy life has more to do with the mindset, remembering that even if you are having a bad day or a bad moment that you are ultimately “happy”. This is a concept that is easily confused by those with less experience in being truly 100% happy;

Being legitimately happy and leading a happy life has everything to do with a deep emotional connection within your own self.

Step One - Determine what hobbies or special interests you have that make you feel completely, utterly happy while doing them. The primary step to becoming a sincerely happy person is to ensure that you are partaking in your special interests as often as possible to ensure complete happiness is met each day. For Example: some play musical instruments, some write words, others listen to music or feel most happy curled up reading a good book. Take part in these activities as often as possible to ensure you are consistently working towards a fully happy life.

Step Two - Do onto others as you would have others do unto you. Give to others your time; a simple “have a good day” to the cashier waiting on you, a smile and nod to everyone you walk by or something as simple as kindly holding the door for the person behind you. Be sure to develop a daily routine of consistent acts of kindness to others. This creates a positive energy around you thus allowing you to lead a happy life more effortlessly. Positive energy around you equals being surrounded by happiness.

Step Three - Surround yourself with positive people, we all have those energy sucking negative people in our lives somewhere. While family members who tend to lean more negatively aren’t easily removed from your life, try to distance yourself as often as possible from anyone who feel it’s their mission in life to abide by the “misery loves company” mindset. Rather, enlighten your world with more happy people, those who feel they are blessed and are truly grateful for the life they lead. Happiness breeds more happiness, therefore positive people will bring more positive energy. Surrounding yourself with uplifting, inspirational people will allow you to lead a happy life almost effortlessly.

Step Four - Eat less fatty foods and drink less alcohol. While I am a fan of having a big piece {or two} of greasy pizza or the occasional fast food meal as well as enjoying an alcoholic beverage from time to time, ultimately filling your body with these bad foods or drinks too often, will affect your positive energy. Fill your diet with vegetables, home cooked meals and less fatty foods to allow for your body to feel energized, having more physical energy will release more positive energy.  Don’t believe me? Change your diet for just a few days and see how much better you feel inside and out.

Step Five - Exercise to release negative tension; anything from yoga to taking a brisk walk on a warm day can release a lot of negativity. Allowing your body and muscles time to breath, stretch and work out really does assist in creating a positive energy within your own self. You don’t have to over exert yourself on a daily basis, something as simple as parking further away from the entrance to a store will allow you a short walk and release any tension you may be feeling that day. Practice taking time everyday to stretch your muscles so that your mind is clear and body feels refreshed.

To be honest, the top five tips above are the best starting points to leading a happy life. Once you have mastered the top five tips above, you will find a happy life will manifest itself and others around you will feel that positive energy emanating from your aura. Others will have no choice but to automatically feel happy when they are around you, thus making the idea of leading a happy life an effortless task as time goes on.

Giving Kids Privacy, How Much is too Much

This post is an extension of my thoughts after reading Mail4Rosey: There’s a Fine Line blog post.

Giving your child privacy, what level is okay

Growing up I felt that I didn’t have much privacy, if any at all. I wasn’t allowed to have my door shut very often, I wasn’t allowed to have privacy on the phone, I basically felt as if I wasn’t ever allowed to think for myself and develop my own thoughts about who I am and what I want to be. I felt sheltered, too crowded and given too many expectations of who I should become and how I should behave. With that being said, I turned out just fine, sure there were some heavy bumps and road blocks along the path to adult hood, but I made it and am here today writing about children and privacy from a parents perspective.

I honestly think that no matter how much privacy you give your child, they will always seem to think that you do not give them enough. I am thankful more often than not that my oldest doesn’t seem to feel that way, however, I worked hard to be proactive in what type of boundaries I would set in my parental world to ensure that 1) my daughter and I would have respect for each other and 2) we would be close enough so that privacy wouldn’t really be a monumental issue as she grew older. Not all parents will have a child who feels that the privacy levels, if any set, are sufficient.

Personally I feel that you should give your child space to have privacy, a child needs to learn to think and make some decisions on their own. Setting boundaries between you and your child in regards to phone calls, journals, bedroom doors, going out with friends, being on the Internet and so forth, is really all about being consistent and upfront. Let your child know that they can have privacy and they will have privacy, however, at the end of the day YOU ARE THE PARENT and THEY ARE THE CHILD, this means that their privacy can be revoked at ANY GIVEN TIME if their behavior, attitude or any other similar situation arises that deems it necessary to snoop {the term most use for breaking privacy}.

My daughter understands that she can grab the house phone, text from her cell phone and surf the internet playing her games without me sitting over her shoulder 24/7 monitoring her every move and every word made. My daughter also knows that I respect her privacy with “girl talk”, that means when she has a sleep over, I don’t need to know every single little conversation that goes on privately with her girlfriends. It’s none of my business when it comes to the typical tween girl talk about school, boys and make up or whatever. It is my business when that conversation goes into topics that are just inappropriate; sex, drugs, alcohol, you know things like that.

Maybe because I have a really close relationship with my daughter where we can effectively communicate any concerns, issues and scares no matter what – it can be regarding me, my parenting style, a parenting decision I made or something as small as the latest tween drama at school. My daughter knows and trusts in me to 1) speak to her at a level, respectful tone in response to her feelings and 2) treat her as an individual, even if she is a child, she is still her own individual person.

Have there been times, as a parent, I want to snoop around and read her journal? Yes. Would I do that without telling her? No. At this time in her life there isn’t any red flags in her tween world regarding her friends, school and home life here that make me feel it necessary to break that trust we have worked hard to maintain. I honestly think that it depends on the parent and the child as to how much privacy you give in your household.

The decision to give a child various levels of privacy is dependent upon a few key scenarios:

  • What levels you are comfortable with as a parent; you are the parent to your child, it’s all about what your comfortable with.
  • How your child’s behavior is in general; are they a communicative, trusting child to begin with that normally makes good decisions?
  • How large your family is; the bigger the family, quite possibly, the less room you have for privacy.
  • What type of relationship you have with your child; if you have raised your child proactively to build a strong bond then giving more privacy would seem reasonable for you.
  • Are you willing to let your child make mistakes; part of maturing is learning from our mistakes, are you the parent who is willing to give some privacy in order to allow your child to make mistakes and learn from them while you are still guiding them.

There is a lot to think about when you are seeking to formulate a decision on what level of privacy you will give your children. I am curious what you all give your own children for privacy? What type of boundaries have been set in your household to encourage trust and privacy?

 

What This Blog is for Me and I want For You

As I enjoy the remainder of Summer break with my family, I am found thinking more and more about what this blog is for me and what I meant it to be for others. You see, every year I come up with ideas on how I am going to get my baby back on track {this blog is my baby}, but each year something goes on with the kids that leaves me just writing for therapy and income. While I love having this blog as a therapy outlet, my other blog Moms Vacation Land has become another outlet for me to rant like a fool. Here, on this blog, I want a few things to come from it.

 Yellow Day Lilly

What this blog is for me:

  • An outlet, therapy to get things off my mind. While writing my mind will almost automatically redirect to a positive outcome from a situation I may be writing out of frustration with.
  • A place to make money, since working from home 100% shortly before my middle child was born, that would be 2006, I have my online sites as income. Therefore writing daily and writing content for advertisers pays my family bills.
  • A fun community of amazing people. I have been blessed to meet so many other parents out there, not just moms either, that think like I do or are able to commend me for being so honest, outspoken and positive all at the same time no matter what I seem to have going on.
  • A support group. When times seem as if I can’t take one more moment, I have readers who can comment to remind me that I am doing my best, that they see how great of a Mom I am, how nice of a friend I am and sometimes, everyone needs a little reminder that they too are important and wonderful.

What I want For You:

  • A community; I want readers to be able to comment and utilize the threaded comment feature I implemented as a way to support, communicate and help each other be parents, individuals and get through with life every day.
  • A place where readers can come and learn that happiness truly is an attitude, that if you can train your brain to really believe you deserve and will get all that you wish in life, your heart will believe it and soon the universe will hand it to you. Okay, maybe not soon but when reading blog posts here readers will see that me sharing my power of thoughts turns into real experiences, items and such, maybe just maybe they will learn to think the same way to have their own piece of success and happiness.
  • A place to let readers have a chance to win items, great items, not just measly little items that have no real cost value. If I could host giveaways for high end items at least 2 times a year alongside my other giveaways, that would be fantastic!
  • A place to come together, not pass judgement, to know they are safe here speaking to me in comments or through email to find a way to cope with whatever they have going on. I love helping others. If this blog can help others in any positive way, I am all for it!

Truth be told, these are all things I have wanted this blog to be for me and for others, but with having my “baby” of the family home with the exception of a few hours for Pre-K last year and a couple days a week with his Dad, I have not been able to truly pursue my line of work in the way I meant to from day one. This school season I will have all three children in school full time, it’s a sad time but also a wonderful time for me, because for the first time since 2006 I will have time to dedicate to my online baby, because my other “babies” will be taken care of in school all day long.

I ask you this, do all of your kids go to school full time? How long have you not had little ones around? Was it a big change when they all went off to school?

I Feel Invisible

Well, not me.

My daughter. The tween.

Says she feels invisible at school.

While driving down the road my daughter and I have most of our random conversations.

It seems, as of late, that is the easiest place for her to open up with whatever may be on her mind.

She is 10 and will be 11 in October. The tween years.

That middle stage of childhood. The testing  years of trying to find yourself and who your real friends are.

Picsart App The Daughter

Apparently at this age, everyone is dating. So says the daughter.

Of course, she isn’t allowed to date per say. While it’s fine with me for her to crush on a boy in school and say maybe that they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Dating? Like actually spending time together outside of school that isn’t a birthday party or something, is not happening.

While I thought she would be fighting me on this. She isn’t. It seems Ki has learned to trust my rules and instinct, even if she isn’t 100% in agreement with me. The agree to disagree technique works well for us because she understands my logic with rules.

Back to the story of feeling invisible….

Beauitful Daughter

Ki has this one friend. Apparently no more than one. While this is okay with her most times, there are times where it bothers her.

The thing is that Ki is who she is. She has her faults, everyone does. Ki is an individual who does not fit into any particular clique at school.

Many girls are now forming these cliques. You have the girls who can do whatever, who have minimal if any parental guidance at home. You have the girls who are below their age in maturity and emotional aspects, while also have stricter rules than I have in my home. And then you have girls like Ki,she is encouraged to be herself, find who she is and what works for her and also has set rules. So Ki essentially has this Mom/Best Friend relationship with me and in turn the kids do not think that is so cool.

Ki wears clothes that may not be the hit style this year. Ki is super intelligent, a high honor roll student. Ki is goofy, silly and loves to read.

Upon our discussion of Ki feeling invisible, I knew I had to redirect that negative feeling into something positive. After all, that is how I roll. I took a moment to ask questions as a way to open Ki’s eyes to the fact that she isn’t invisible to her peers.

First, I asked if she gets picked on? Ki replied no. I also asked if she still has only “one” friend as she has told me in the past months. She confirmed, yes.

Okay then. My conclusion was this and is what I told my daughter,

If you have no one picking on you and yet no friends as you think, then maybe it’s not that you don’t have any friends. Sure you don’t hang out and talk a lot with these other girls, but they don’t pick on you. These are girls who are aware of who you are and I bet they have a respect for you. While you all don’t play or hang out like you used to, you all are not fighting and name calling either.  This, my daughter, is called respect. So while you feel invisible, you are not, in all reality you are respected. That is the correct word to give this situation. And you need to stand tall & proud that your peers respect you.

After I said this to Ki she started to take in just what I had said to her. Ki verbally, out loud, while riding in the car with me started processing her thoughts in response to my citing that she is respected, not invisible. And then I could see a beam of happiness across her face, she was lit up, it sunk in and she was like “Wow. Thanks Mom. You may be right!”

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