Man Pleasing Chicken...

 I discovered this recipe from a fellow blogger Britton of bigbeautifullife84
You can also find this recipe on my Board entitled FOOD on Pinterest
It actually turned out pretty good. After it was done cooking, I glazed the top and added some fresh Rosemary.
With the Man Pleasing Chicken, I added some Yellow Rice by Zataran's, and a vegetable blend (steamed) from Costco.

I must admit, my man was pleased and so were the girls!

BLMeet Up Recap

Leslie of Fashion du Jour shared a very nice recap of our actual meeting between the group I belong to known as BLMGirls. Enjoy!

Shame on You, or Shame on Me?

In my last couple posts, we tackled the discussion of spanking vs non spanking and which discipline methods worked and did not work. My friend, Marcus Morgan (who reads my blog) shared a link with me regarding scolding children in public. The article discussed a couple different scenarios of children being humiliated in public by their parents. After reading the article, I could see the author's point of view and much of what I read made sense to me from a psychological viewpoint. However, as a mother, my mother senses went haywire! I have had to scold my children in public before because they did was unacceptable and some behaviors should not be "left alone until we get home"; they should be addressed right when they happen to discourage this type of behavior.

Is there a proper way to scold a child in public? Of course there is. We don't want to humiliate them but we do want them to understand that if you misbehave in public and embarrass me, then you will in turn be embarrassed. As humans, we are innately built to learn from our experiences and we experience things that don't make us feel 100% comfortable, we avoid the behavior which caused this effect (Cause and Effect). As I mentioned in a previous post, we don't want our children fearful to the point of being afraid of us physically, but afraid to disappoint us; a healthy fear.

If there are certain "agreements" you have with your children regarding their behavior before you leave the home, and they wait until they get in front of others to "challenge" this agreement, you have to act on it. As a mother and educator I have both experienced and witnessed children test their parents because they are in front of someone else. As a parent, I needed my children to understand that just because we're in front of strangers or in front of their grandparents, I'm still in control and what I say goes. Respect comes from a mutual understanding between us to respect one another's roles as parent and child without going back on that with disruptive behavior.

When a child challenges their parent in a negative way, it demonstrates a level of disrespect. As a parent, my children are able to voice their opinions and we talk about how they feel and if there is room for improvement or an apology on my part, I give them what is warranted. However, if you choose to go against me in a defiant manner, we no longer have a respectful agreement. All bets are off and I need to remind you who's in charge.

At the end of the day, when you experience something firsthand and it is not a good feeling, you no longer have a desire to feel that way again. As a parent, it's not a good feeling to be embarrassed by your child in public and for a child, it's not a good feeling to be embarrassed by their parents in public. Solution: Have ground rules for your children. Healthy disciplining and setting boundaries as well as realistic expectation and goals will eliminate a great deal of this type of unwanted behavior. Children who are raised with boundaries and language to express their feelings blossom into productive individuals who can clearly state what their needs are without being disrespectful.

For your reference, the Article

I want to thank Marcus for sharing this insightful article with me and i would love to hear your thought as parents regarding disciplining and scolding in public.

Until we chat again...

Say Cheese...

This time of year, the kids are getting settled in and Picture Day arrives before you know it! Haley took her pictures a couple weeks ago and they arrived home with her in her backpack yesterday. She looks like such a big girl; she's the baby of our family and I wish I could keep her small forever! She's in 3rd grade and she looks like such a big girl in her photos, I can't get over it.

Today, Jaedyn will be taking School Pics. She's 12. Boy was this morning a tad bit stressful as she decided and changed her mind about her hair and which skirt looked the best. By the time I dropped her off at school, I pulled about 30 hairs out!! Just kidding. I can't wait to see her pictures and I will definitely have to post them.

Is it Picture Day in your households? How is it going? Do you tell your children how to smile, or do you enjoy being surprised when you get the photos?

I "suggest" how they may want to smile but I am always surprised when I get the photos. I LOVE taking pictures and ordering them for my children. Pictures are a quiet story; they're worth so much and they speak to me!

Until we chat again...

Don't Just Sit There...READ!

On my Facebook Page I posted a link for really great books to read to your children for Fall (Autumn) as many of our children often notice the change in weather. In addition to posting the books, I would also like to give some advice regarding Interactive Reading. As an educator, this is something I practice with my students about 2-3 times per day. Interactive Reading is exactly what the title implies: interacting while reading. You want your children to be involved in the reading when you read with them daily, (for at least 20 min) at home. Here are a few tips to assist you with making sure reading time is pleasant, engaging, and educational for both you and your child:

  • Review the parts of a book before you read it: title, cover, spine, pages, text, author, illustrator, genre (fiction, non-fiction, comedy, fantasy, etc), and time (past or present)
  • Read the book BEFORE you share it with your child- background information is vital
  • Ask what they think the book may be about just from viewing the cover and the title
  • Introduce the main character of the book and tell a bit about what occurs in the story
  • Remember to pause and go with the flow of the writer (author) of the book. For example, if the book is serious, funny, adventurous, etc, use those tones and expressions to get the point across
  • Ask open-ended (allows for their own input and responses) questions before, during, and after the reading of the book
  • When children are responding to you, give them time to say what they need to say before interrupting them
  • Be very expressive when reading. Remember, YOU are MODELING for them how to read
  • Add props (if available) Lakeshore has so many great books with props (for an additional fee)
  • Have fun and let loose a little. Don't be so reserved when reading; children love animated reading
  • Try to read books that your children can relate to; books that carry meaning of prior knowledge and new knowledge are also vital
  • Be sure to record areas your child is strong in and areas needing improving so that you can share with their teacher. This ensures your child has the best learning experience at home and school and you are working closely with their teacher to ensure their academic needs are being met
I hope these tips were helpful. Also remember that we want our children to take something away with them when we read with them. We want them to increase skills they already possess as well as acquire new skills. We want them to learn to think critically, comprehend what it is they are reading, and develop a love of reading. Happy Parenting!

Until we chat again...

It Will Be Okay. I Promise!

They only cry for a little while and once they see the other children playing and running around, they want to do it as well. What am I talking about??? PRESCHOOL! This week some of you may have become Preschool Parents for the first time.
As a seasoned educator, I know first-hand that parents make it worse by standing around waiting for them to stop crying. It is natural to want to protect your child from any and everything including that "horrible Preschool Teacher"! LOL But seriously, I understand that it is very difficult as a parent to leave your child with staff all day while you have to work instead of being a parent. I have been both a parent and the receiving Preschool Teacher. The beauty of Preschool teachers is that we are trained in Early Education which is a specialized area in nurturing, caring, and encouraging young children. Preschool teachers want to encourage your children to be independent; they do this by providing a very nurturing and caring environment where your child can flourish and grow in a developmentally appropriate way. Simply stated, they know what they are doing, they are the experts. Don't stand around and give the staff the side eye because your baby is crying; crying is a method of communication for most toddlers, they cry to get your attention. Therefore, when they cry, acknowledge them and remind them that you love them and it time for school but you will be back. Sometimes, as parents, we cry as well. I know when I first left Preon at Preschool, I cried all the way to school myself. I had to visit the restroom and get myself together before going into class. It's okay to feel sad and unsure, but remember, you researched this school and you decided it would be the best fit for you and your family so allow the staff to show you that they "got it".
May I also suggest that children who have ONLY been in the care of their parents for the first few years should only attend Preschool for half day the first couple weeks. Usually, you can arrange this with the Principal (Administrator). If they are having too difficult of a time separating from their mom (separation anxiety) half days will make the transition a bit smoother. It allows them to experience preschool a bit slower and its not such a shock to them.
I will share a few tips with you regarding Preschool so that you and your child have the best experience:

  • Reassure your child that you will return at a certain time to get them and keep your word by arriving in a timely manner
  • Make sure you talk to them daily about what they did at school. Ask what they ate, which games they played, what they learned, and if they made any new friends
  • Don't rush in the mornings; make dropping them off stress-less. For example, go inside their classroom and ask them to show you around. Be excited about their classroom and all the wonderful things in it
  • Form a rapport with the staff. Know ALL their names, greet them daily and take time to ask how your child is adjusting. Let them know you are involved and you do know their names!
  • Meet the Principal and know their name as well
  • Volunteer in the classroom during the school year
  • Share milestone events that happen at home with the teacher so that they are able to make notes and properly assess the developmental growth of your child
  • Make sure the staff is aware of any allergies your child may have
  • Label jackets, coats, and sweaters with your child's name; they have a tendency to get legs and walk
  • Begin a regimen of daily vitamins for you and your preschooler as Preschoolers have cooties! (smile)
  • Attend Back-to-School Night and all Parent Conferences. Be involved in your child's education
  • Donate items needed in the classroom for special projects
  • Look for the posted lesson plan and Parent Communication Board for the latest Classroom News
  • Be kind to the staff every now and then with donuts and coffee or a $5.00 gift card just to say thanks. A little goes a long way; teachers are very under appreciated and sometimes they need to know someone cares
  • Read to your child EVERY night for at least 20 minutes
  • Prepare yourself for the wonderful changes that are in store for your little one as they become more confident, independent, and mature. Language is a huge part of their development so give them lots of it!
May you and your Toddler have the best school year possible. Remember, College Begins in Preschool!

Until we chat again...

I Have Been Nominated...

I have been nominated by Southern Girl over at PecanPieandPincurls I want to thank her so much for this nomination as I am fairly new to the blogging world and this nomination will assist me in being recognized.

Here's what I have to do:

1. Thank the Blogger that nominated me.
2. Share 7 random facts about me.
3. Nominate 15 bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.
4. Let nominated bloggers know they have been nominated.

5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award to my post. 

Random Facts:
1. I'm obsessed with reality shows
2. I like the lines from vacuuming to show on my carpet
3. I love Sunflower Seeds (David's)
4. I can make a mean Martini
5. I can never keep the same hairstyle for more than 3 months
6. I'm obsessed with accessories
7. I REALLY love my Beetle. I nicknamed her "Cutie" (with JJ's help)

Bloggers I nominate: (Please check them out)

Are You Really Doing That?...TANTRUMS

As we continue to discuss the value of discipline, I would like to discuss children who have TANTRUMS. As a parent who personally experienced a tantrum, I remember thinking, "Are you really doing that???"
This two-part question was posed to me by a reader of my blog: "What do you do when you have children who have tantrums? What about a parent who allows a tantrum to happen while just looking at the child and letting the tantrum come to an end on its own?"

My response was: To answer your question, the parent who is experiencing this "tantrum type" behavior needs to stop it immediately.  (I asked the ages of the children which were 2 and 3.5 years) For both, have the mothers pick them up from the floor (firm grip on arm) look them in the eye and say "NO! get up". This needs to be repeated every single time. the 2 year old is still learning to express him/herself so they need the language. Mommy does not like that. No-No! The three year old could be imitating behavior. This child needs the firmer grip on the arm and major eye contact each and every time she does it. If she's in school, she could see another child doing it and she wants to test the waters at home. Because she's a bit older, the language could be more mature. For example: "This is not acceptable behavior, get up from the floor now! Use your words and tell Mommy what you need." Because this behavior has been occurring for some time, and there have not been any consequences, these methods should be followed BEFORE a pop on the behind. With words (language) should come the warning of a smack on the butt for the 3 year old. Preschool will bring about many bad habits and cooties. LOL  I would suggest  parents speak with the teacher in regards to what behavior modification plans are in place there at the Preschool. 

I know there are some of you who cringed at the thought of gripping your child's arm. Do not fret. This does not mean dig your nails in your child's' arm, rather it means to get a firm enough grip to let them know they are no longer in control of this situation and YOU ARE. You know how you grab your child's arm when you're at a friends home or in the store and they are embarrassing you? Right. That type of grip. It will get their attention and let them know, "This is not acceptable behavior". Waiting a tantrum out is not such a good idea; a child could injure themselves during a tantrum. Language mixed with a firm grip will let the child know that this will not be tolerated.

As I stated in my previous post, children want to express themselves and a tantrum is a way of showing pure displeasure for them. Therefore, you want to teach them to say, "I really want that, or I really want to ride that merry go round at the mall Mommy". In their head, they think, "If I scream and kick and yell, she will really hear me and know I mean business"; it is our job as parents to teach them that we do not respond to threats (tantrums), we respond to words.

I remember when my son, who is now 20, had a tantrum on me in the store. It was the most embarrassing thing I ever had happen to me. I had not had any of the Child Dev training I have now and I just snatched him up and popped that butt really good and I left the shopping cart and exited the store as quickly as possible. That was the wrong thing to do. Once you get control of the situation, you continue on with your plans. You want to send a clear message to your child that you are in control.

I have heard some say that you should just ignore this type of negative behavior and let it run its course. I do not agree. I am firm believer in the power of experience. Meaning, if you touch that fire, you'll get burned, right? If you don't wear knee pads, you fall and it hurts, right? Children need to know that for every action, there is a reaction. How you react to tantrums will determine how many your child will have. Have you or someone you know had to deal with Tantrums? What were the strategies used?

Until we chat again...