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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Parenting: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Before your children are born you possibly have unrealistic ideas of what it means to be a parent. You are possibly envisioning theses beautiful children that can do no wrong.

After your children are born and the reality of parenting sets in. You may be open to all the parenting advice that you can get, because there is the reality that even though you love your children, you had no idea that it would be like this.


May I take you back just a little? Do you remember when your first baby was born? That moment in the hospital after giving birth can be a joyous occasion. Possibly even after you bring the baby home, your baby just takes a bottle and then goes right back to sleep. After a couple of months you are probably thinking, “I can hardly wait until my baby starts talking.”

parenting tips

Parenting Advice

It is good when you have family such as mother and mother-in-law to give you their expertise help from their own experiences of being a mother.

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Now this is not really bad unless you perceive it as that. I like to think of it stages of the baby growing up. You may have never considered that your baby will be cranky during teething time. You may have never considered you nor your husband would get very little sleep when your baby is colicky. You may have never known that two-year-olds would throw temper tantrums. Possibly you assumed your toddler would do everything that you asked. It never occurred to you that this little person has a mind of (his/her) own. Previously when your baby was born, you could not wait for your baby to talk, now you possibly feel guilty because you are thinking,” I do not want to hear the word “mama” or “mommy” any time soon because my ears need a rest.

You may feel bad when you have fed your baby, changed your baby's diaper, and to no avail your baby is continually crying for too long a period of time. After taking your baby to the doctor you discover the crying was for a reason, because the baby has an ear infection. Your baby could not talk, but instead cried as loud as (he or she could) to let you know something was not right. Do not beat yourself up about this, because you did make it to the doctor in time.  Remember parenting is trial and error whether you like it or not.

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Although this is not ugly at the time it may feel quite uncomfortable when you need to apply tough love as your child get's older. If you have been an enabler and you have not allowed your child to develop to become a productive part of society, you may feel guilty or sad about the outcome. Tough love is a choice. A question I have often asked myself is, “If this were not my child, would I allow this type of behavior?” Sometimes, we need to detach ourselves from the situation.

As I watched the TV program Supernanny, I was amazed at how this woman goes around and helps families where the children are basically taking over the house and running the lives of not one parent, but both parents. Basically you do not have to be mean to get your point across to your toddlers, children, or teens. You do however, need to be persistant. You do, however, need to be on the same page with your husband regarding your children. No you and your husband may not agree, but there needs to be a common ground.

I recall my one daughter was born sucking her finger on the delivery table. The doctor looked at me and told me, "She has probably been doing that while you carried her in the womb."  When we went home, my husband was adamant about pulling her finger out of her mouth. He did not want her sucking her thumb, he was afraid she would eventually have buck teeth. I, however, disagreed and I knew very little about babies, but I know everyone has some type of habit, this just happened to be hers. Needless to say, he allowed the thumb sucking. She grew up with beautiful straight, white teeth. When she was about 6 or 7 years old, she came home from school and told me the children were teasing her and she wanted me to put hot sauce on her thumb to help her stop sucking her finger. I did so. Needless to say she was determine to stop and she did.

Parenting is a stage in life. There will be some good days and some bad days, but inevitably you still love your children, hopefully, unconditionally.

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Do Your Children Chew on Their Clothes?

We all may have some type of habit. Some children may suck their fingers while others might bite their fingernails. What do you do when your children have developed the habit of chewing on their clothes?

Kids chewing on clothes

There is a reason why kids are chewing on their clothes. It is important for parents to find out why and then give children other healthier alternatives.


A few reasons according to Dr. Rene at are possibly some children need more oral stimulation, more physical movement, or it may calm children from negative emotions. She further suggests having your children practice deep breathing or counting backwards. As a child my biggest habit was biting my fingernails. I also had one child that sucked her finger. She came home from school one day and told me the other children were teasing her. She wanted me to put hot sauce on her finger so that she would stop sucking her finger. I also had another child that would carry a small blanket around with her around the house as a toddler. Looking back on this, I now see how this blanket was comforting to her. This is a new one for me to see children chewing on their clothes.

Sensory Seeking

According to Carina at children that chew on their clothes or pencils are adding extra feedback to the sensory system to get to a level for them to calm down and be alert with little effort; sensory children crave physical activity. She further suggests activities such as riding a bike, running,swimming, carrying a shopping bag from the car to the house, and for older children chewing gum, preferably sugar-free. These are a few very simple techniques. I have always made sure that I took my children and my grandchildren to parks and areas where they could run, jump, and ride their bikes often. Since this is a computer age, I definitely limit the amount of computer time while encouraging outdoor time with various activities. I have observed the difference in them for the good.



Have you ever considered your reaction to your children when you discovered them chewing on their shirts? Did you react negatively by showing anger or pulling their clothing from their mouth? According to, negative reactions can reinforce negative behaviors. They further add instead of responding negatively, try redirecting children by observing when the chewing is occurring. Possibly that is the time children may need to chew gum or just run and jump. I was so happy when Michelle Obama started the “Let's Move Program” in the schools. I believe it makes all the difference for children.


Child Chewing on Clothes, By Dr. Rene Hackney

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

How Music Influences Children's Learning (OMG)

Music is something that we sometimes take for granted. Sometimes we may not even be aware that we hear music. Music is good for us and is a vital part of our well-being. I love music and have learned to appreciate different forms of music.

Music in school

Babies in the Womb

I recall when my twin grand babies were born; they were in the hospital for about a week. I realized and new then that children learn through music. During that time I recall visiting them daily and talking and singing to them as well. Also, before the babies were born, my daughter would mention that whenever I was around her and started talking the babies would start kicking and moving. So I decided to make a tape that she could play for them while they were in the womb.

In fact, babies come here with natural rhythm. It is internally made within them. Have you watched when a baby moves to music. You will be able to see the enjoyment in their face and in their movement as well.

Music in the Schools

I have observed in the schools that many children are learning days of the weeks, months, and years by singing the information to jingles that they are able to remember. Singing makes it just so much easier, because it comes naturally and it does not feel as though they are learning even though they really are. I have also observed this in several musical programs that the children are singing about things that they can relate to such as “Yes Jesus Loves Me, Row row row your boat,  and my favorite, He Lives." "He lives" is one of the first songs that I learned in Sunday School.   They are also singing about colors, mathematical equations, and much more. 


My Family

My nephew started playing the drums at age 3. He then eventually played the piano and the organ.I am so proud of him.

Music and the Brain

According to Diana Lam at Wbur's CommonHealth Reform and Reality music addresses behaviors and skills necessary for academic success. I agree.

When I watched the movie, "Gifted Hands" with Cuba Gooding Jr., this was a great display of how music can be used. This movie was based on the life of Ben Carson. The surgeon and his patient's would listen to classical music while he operated on them.   

Classical Music

Although people may have various types of music they prefer to listen to, classical music has a distinct effect on the brain according to classical It is further stated that it affects the brains organization abilities for the good, and the brain receives the "fill-good feeling" after serotonin is released in the body. This occurs when listening to classical musical. Also, the rhythm of music can counteract the development of clinical depression. So I can clearly understand why children love music and are able to learn so quickly with music.

Music in the Bible

Ezekiel 28:13

Speaks about when Lucifer was created by God. Lucifer was an angel beautifully adorned with precious stones such as diamonds and sapphires and supposedly had pipes within his body, supposedly his lungs. It is said by some that when he sang the music sounded like beautiful flutes from a pipe organ.

I discovered that I do like listening to a variety of music including classical music, country music, as well as gospel. What types of music do you like to listen to? What music do your children like to listen to?

Music Binds

Did you know that a primary function of music is to bind people together? Did you know that music is powerful than any drug? I also, recall one of our musicians at out church would lead the congregation singing a song called “Bind us together Lord.” The song goes on to say “bind us with cords that cannot be broken.” The great thing about this song is that it does bind us together. Can you recall when you have seen music bind people together?

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wikimedia commons, Vladimir Vyatkin / Владимир Вяткин, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Personal Experience

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Does Your Toddler Have A Learning Disability?

The reality is that children many times will hide or attempt to compensate where they are lacking. Even though a child may have a slow learning disorder, that child still can be successful and productive in society. 

1. Famous People With Learning Disabilities

According to Increase Brainpower.Com Albert Einstein, Sylvester Stallone, John F. Kennedy, and Whoppi Goldberg had learning disabilities. They all overcame the disabilities and became productive people in society. Yes, productive famous people. These are just a few that I have named.

learning disabilities
Learning Disability

2. Learning

Just because a child has some type of disability, does not mean that child cannot learn. It just means that that child may learn differently than others or possibly might be somewhat slower. But the reality is that they can and do learn.

Helping Children with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities to Flourish: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

3. Not Right

When a parent feels something is not quite right with their child, they are probably right. When a learning disorder is involved, the child could be quite bright and quite creative, but still they are not learning as is expected.

4. Observation

Sometimes parents are just busy with life and their day to day tasks. The child with the learning problem, may just go unnoticed. Usually that child may be quite creative and will excel in other things to compensate where they are lacking. So parents just need to be as observant as possible, when possible. Learning disabilities in children can range from dyslexia, to speech delay, speech problems, ADHD, and much more.

5. Seek Professional Help

When you are concerned it does not hurt to seek professional help early for your child. A professional can take a look at the situation possibly from an unbiased approach.

6.Speech Problems

Sometimes parents may get concerned when their babies are not talking as soon as they think they should. Sometimes babies do not care to talk early and can have speech delay. Speech is not that important to them, but that is just for that particular child.

With speech problems these sometimes can be caught early in school, but parents need to be watchful. As children are learning to talk, children may not be hearing and sounding out the correct phonics and ultimately saying words incorrectly. If not caught early, it becomes a habit. So parents need to work with their children as soon as they start talking. Be sure that your toddler is enunciating properly. There may just be certain words and/or certain letter combinations that are giving your child trouble. For example, instead of saying think your children may be saying “tink” because that is what they think they hear. So they need to hear and see how the mouth sounds the word out. That is just one example. I once heard a child trying to tell the dog to “sit.” But it was not coming out of her mouth like that. I thought she was cursing at first, but that is the way it was coming out of her mouth.

What type of disabilities have you encountered with your child? Would you be willing to share this article with someone else?

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

How Organized are You?

Does your home have a look of clutter? When you need something, do you have to go through piles of papers, clothes, or even trash to find it? Are your children in the midst of all this clutter? Possibly you can organize just a little better.

Organize Your Home

Maybe you need to learn how to organize your home. I have heard some exclaim that they are just messy or their husband is just messy. Well being messy is a choice. You can choose to be messy or you can choose to organize it.

Toilet Tissue Holder

Have you finished using the toilet only to discover the toilet tissue was used up? There is no need to have this problem again with a tissue holder. The tissue holder shown above holds extra rolls of toilet tissue so when one runs out, you only need to refill it right then. I purchased this at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $39.95 with my coupons. I am very happy with it and I have no complaints.

Organizer Board and Calender

you can hang a calendar and hook rack for kids to hang their coats and backpacks when they walk in the door from school. The board may contain a note area for your child to write notes or for you to write a note to your child. This is an awesome idea.

Messy vs Cleany

I recalled I read a book by Sandra Felton called “Messy No More.” It really changed my life. She compared a messy to a cleany and explained how each of those type of people thought. In fact, there are those that will tell you leave their mess alone, because they know where everything is.  Do they really?  Anyway, I discovered I was a messy. As I read her book, I was nearly underlining everything she said, because I discovered she describe me fully. The great thing about this book she gave great examples of how to change. I also saw one of my relatives in this book. This particular relative was a cleany. Her floor and house was immaculate. I recalled she would iron her sheets and her husband's underwear. If you smoked, as soon as you put one ash in the ash tray, she would empty it. Who does that? I highly recommend her book.

Cleaning House

One thing that I learned, and found it works very well for me is to clean one new thing in a different room each day. By doing this the house gets clean and can stay clean. Now if you have not cleaned for awhile, it may take some time, but eventually you will see the difference.  There will be no need to rush and try and clean and pick up things before friends come over. Now the bathroom and kitchen are cleaned daily no matter what. That is just my personal preference. At first it seemed like a chore, but eventually I could see the difference.


Have you considered the example you are setting for your children when your are messy? Do you want them to think that it is okay? Granted when you have small children the house may not always stay organized no matter how hard you try, but at some point you have to start trying as children get older.

Natural Cleaning

I have discovered the many uses of vinegar. Besides the fact that I use vinegar to tenderize my meats, I also use it to clean my shower and bathroom sink. I like the way that it makes the faucets shine. That shine and cleanliness is the greatest reward for me.


Personal Experience

Zoee Forder

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

What is the Flat Stanley Project?

This is a project for 3rd graders and it teaches them about other cultures, states, and countries. It does not happen right away, but rather is over the course of several weeks. 

Flat Stanley Project

Originally the Flat Stanley children's book was written in 1964 by Jeff Brown. I have read this book and it is very good reading for children. From there came the Flat Stanley Project that was started in 1995 by a third grade teacher, Dale Hubert of London, Ontario, Canada.

Flat Stanley Project, Dale Hubert

The students are given a paper doll of a man they call Stanley. Students can dress him up in the colors that they want for him. Then they go a step further and write a letter explaining who flat Stanley is. They mail it to a student, relative or friend anywhere in the world. If they have relatives in another country or state, they will mail it there. Then the relative or friend is to take flat Stanley to a famous landmark in their city and take a picture with flat Stanley and mail it back to the child's school. It is amazing and interesting for the students to see how flat Stanley travels around the world.

One student's flat Stanley came back with his picture taken at the beach. Also, a souvenir was sent back with flat Stanley, it was a small mini-shark in a bottle. This was really nice.

According to Meghan Everette Flat Stanley traveled in France. She further adds that parents of the class donated the postage which helped with the mailing. They received pictures as well as postcards back with the flat Stanley project they did. They also went a step further and created a scrapbook of the travels of flat Stanley.

Photo Caption:, Llamabr,Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.



Making Connections With Flat Stanley: Framed in France, Meghan Everette

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Do You Know the Awesome Rewards of Hugging Your Children? (OMG)

Have you had your free hugs today? Are you a hugger? Some people will automatically hug those that they meet, while others may just shake hands or give a nod. Still there may be those that say it depends on the situation.

hug therapy

Did you know that there are free hugs? You can receive and give hugs freely. There are different types of hugs. Best of all hugs can make you feel really good.

How Many?

Dr. Mercola discusses hugging emphasizing we need 12 hugs a day for growth. He further adds that hugging makes you healthier by boosting your immune system and easing depression. I know after receiving a hug there is a great feeling that comes over me. Almost a type of calmness.

Feeling Good

Besides balancing our nervous system, hugs can increase oxytocin levels that heal feelings of isolation and anger according to I have observed that when someone is upset  a hug can just calm them right down. Someone once said that because hugs are free you do not even need a receipt. Hugging can be a win/win situation for parent and child.

Why Hug Your Baby?

There have been studies done that people who have trouble handling stress as adults may have not been hugged enough as babies according to Cnn.Health. They further add that babies development is controlled by nature and nurturing. I know personally that hugging your baby gives your baby a sense of comfort and reassurance. I also have observed that each child is unique and divine. Some children need more hugs than others. I have observed this with my grandchildren. I have one grandchild that may hug me several times a day and express so much gratitude, while my other grandchildren may hug me once that day. This also makes me aware that I need to give them and my daughter hugs as well. It does not mean that I love them or they love me any less, but shows their needs are different.

Good Behavior

Did you know that Hugging can reinforce good behavior while lowering blood pressure according to everydaylife It is never too late to hug your child. Have You hugged your child lately?

Do You Trust Me, Hug Me? Social Experiment- Free Hugs

Photo Caption:


Why Kids Need Hugs, by Christopher Michael,

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