Category Archives: Parent Tips

Manner’s Party

Here is another post for a Girls Scouts Activity, but could be used anyone.  We had a Manner’s Dinner Party and taught the girls how to set the table, proper etiquette and other good manners.  It was really fun to see the girls trying their hardest to be polite, and I have seen a big difference in my own daughter’s manners since the Manner’s Party.

Part of the activity included a quiz that we gave to the girls.  I thought I would share the quiz, since I put a lot of time gathering the information from different websites.  I hope someone else can benefit from my time and effort.

http://mayhemmanaged.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/manner-quiz2.pdf

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Back to School Craziness

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.  ~Edgar W. Howe

Now that my oldest is in 6th grade, I feel very comfortable with our school routine.  Looking at my calendar for the next few months might be overwhelming to some, but to me, it just feels right.  I love my colorful calendar, even if there is little time to add any new events!  Maybe it makes me feel important, or perhaps makes me feel like I’m actually being productive, whatever it is, it just feels right.

My key to success is keeping my calendar up to date so I don’t over-schedule myself. With smart phones, it is very easy.  I love that it reminds me and can even sync with my husband’s phone to remind him where I’m at when I’m unavailable.  The one thing I haven’t quite figured out yet, is how to fit my blogging in, hence the huge gap in posts.  Perhaps I should add it to my calendar.  No need to worry, I got plenty of Mayhem Management ideas in the works.  Now if I could only find some extra time in my mayhemic life to implement those ideas into reality:)   Maybe it’s time for me to do some weeding.

Have you been able to get back in the swing of your school craziness?  What works for you?  Carpooling?  Limiting your children’s activities?  Please share, I’m sure others would greatly appreciate your input!

Attitude Makes All The Difference

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life. — Joel Osteen

I think we all need reminders once in a while that happiness is a choice.  We all have problems, no way around it.  It is our response to life’s situations that makes all the difference.

Some days, when I do the same thing for the umpteenth time, I wonder why I even bother, it will just need to be done again later.  Or when I am faced with the same problem again and again, I wonder if I can ever get past it.  Life can be overwhelming.  Very overwhelming at times.  But life can be great too!  It is the hard times that helps us to better appreciate the good times, and so both are needed.

I have often thought about my mom, raising seven children (eight when you count my dad).  She has definitely done her fair share mundane house chores.  I asked her once why I have never heard her complain about housework and she told me it’s because she has found that when you focus on what you appreciate in life, it makes life much sweeter.

So today, I am remembering the sweet things in my life.  I am grateful to have a wonderful family that I absolutely love to serve.  And even if I have to clean the toilet a million more times for them, I am grateful to have good health that gives me the ability to do so.  I am grateful to have freedom to choose if I want to clean that toilet today or not. And lastly, I am grateful to live in such a beautiful world, so when I am done cleaning toilets, I can go enjoy the beauty that surrounds me!

When I get into pessimistic slumps, I often remember Dr. Glenn Latham’s advice, “Today is not forever!”  When we are in the midst of problems, we have a hard time seeing beyond the issue at hand.  Forgetting that we will soon be past this brief moment in our life.  This thought can change my attitude in an instant.  Even when my child is throwing a tantrum, it helps me to remember that this tantrum doesn’t define me or my child.  Someday he/she will go on to do great things in life and that tantrum will be long forgotten.

Though life will surely throw some curve balls my way, I choose and will continue to choose to be happy.

Instilling Confidence

Action is the foundational key to all success –Pablo Picasso

I have been around children my whole life and have seen a wide spectrum of personalities and seen different parenting approaches.  I have discovered that though we all are born with unique personalities, most beliefs we develop about ourselves come from what we hear from those around us.

Do you remember the last time you really beat yourself up over something?  What was it over?  Generally we are hard on ourselves for making mistakes, or not being successful enough.  As a young child, these things would have not phased us, but as we have matured, we have learned that these things are unacceptable.  In some cases, our maturity is a form of respect and needed in society, but so many times we beat ourselves up over things that really don’t matter.

Parents have so much influence over their children, even when they are grown.  I still find satisfaction in making my dad proud, and to hear it from him is even more satisfying.  The success of our society depends greatly on the success of our families.  But how is success measured?  Is it because we have raised another Einstein or perhaps another Babe Ruth?  Do our children have to become some famous super stars to be successful?

We live in a competitive world, and it is in our nature to do the best or be the best in whatever we are doing.  Most parents start to unintentionally push their children at a young age to believe that their success depends on how well they do something.  The child’s self-esteem soon is wrapped up in their talents.  When they get to a point where the skill level required is more difficult, they start to believe that they are worthless, and don’t think they can ever overcome their struggles.  Most want to quit and find something that they are truly good at.  Some might say that it is all part of the learning curve, but what if there was a better way to help our children find success?

True success is not the final product, but rather the road that got you there.  If we teach our children while they are young that they succeed by putting in the effort, then when they get to a difficult crossing in building their skills, they will know that even if they struggle, all is not loss.  When we build confidence in how hard they work, and not how well they do something, we will help them to succeed.

When praising a child, let them know you are impressed with how hard they worked, or let them know that you can tell that they took their time.  All too soon they will learn how competitive the world is, but if we have built up their confidence, they will find success, Einstein or not.

Nagging Mom Solution

Children aren’t happy without something to ignore. And that’s what parents were created for. — Ogden Nash, The Parents

This post if for you parents out there.  Not too long ago, I was struggling because I had become Nagging Mom.  Something I had promised myself while young that I would never become.  But no matter what I tried, it seemed like anytime I wanted my kids to do something around the house, I had to become Nagging Mom.

Then I stumbled upon a simple solution that has helped cure my Nagging Mom problems.  The solution has had other added benefits for both child and parent alike.

I purchased a couple of small dry-ease boards, one for each child, positioned them in a central location in our home and when there are things to be done, I simply write down a list (my kids like to have check boxes to mark off).  Sometimes I make the list once a day, sometimes more.  For my beginning reader child, I draw pictures next to the words to help him determine what is on the list.  We usually go over their list during breakfast or after they get home from school and I give them a time frame that I want the chores done by.  Free-time always comes after they have completed all the chores.

Since I have started the chore list, I have found that my kids are a lot happier to help around the house.  Here are some of the other benefits I have found from using the chores list;

FOR THE KIDS

  • It makes them feel important and needed
  • Gives them clear expectations, no more “I didn’t know I had to do that”
  • It boost their self esteem, they really enjoy crossing off the chores and are always proud when their list is complete
  • Helped them become more organized
  • It has helped my beginning reader with his reading skills

FOR THE PARENT

  • Helps to cure Nagging Mom/Dad
  • The house seems to stay cleaner

FOR BOTH

  • We generally have more family time because the children stay focused while doing their chores and they don’t need constant reminders, saving us both time!

It can be done a variety of ways, but I like the flexibility I get with using the dry-ease board.  If I want my kids need to do their usual chores, I put that on the list.  If I want my kids pick up something they dropped on the floor, I put that on the list.  The possibilities are endless with this solution and it is easy to keep up on, but I know that we all have to find something that works for us.

Since I have found this solution, I wanted to spread the message to everyone I knew because I had brought so much peace of mind to our home.

If you have found any solution to helping you stay more organized, please share!

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