Parenting Essentials

10 Tips for a Less Stressful Holiday

Does your Christmas spirit get lost in the frenzy this time of year? Is your household so hectic during December that it could drive even Bob Cratchit to tear out his hair? Well, you might as well face the fact that not even the Grinch can stop Christmas from coming; so we must learn strategies for surviving the holidays with our sanity (and our...

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The Summer of Letting Go
The Summer of Letting Go

This fall my 18 year-old son, my first-born, my newly minted young adult, will be leaving home to start university.  I have never been an overly protective mother.  Over the years, he has often left home, even for extended times.  At 8 years old, he spent a week with members of our extended family whom he barely knew. After that there were...

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Should a Child’s Room be Awesome?
Should a Child's Room be Awesome?

When my children were first born, I did something radical. I didn't really decorate their room. Part of it was a money issue; we had so little cash, and we were trying to save for a down payment for a house. I thought putting our money into an apartment sized washing machine would be a far better use of our funds than buying cute little Noah's Ark...

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Sure Fire way To Teach Kids to Cook
Sure Fire way To Teach Kids to Cook

Teach your kids to cook so you don't have to! Here's my philosophy in a nutshell: Each year after age 10, they learn to make one meal per year. So at 11 they can make 1. At 12 they can make 2. At 13 they can make 3. And so on, and so on, and so on. That way, when they move out at 18, the goal is that they can make seven different meals well,...

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Teaching Kids to Share the Plenty
Teaching Kids to Share the Plenty

Here are some tips for helping your family live generously. Breaking down financial barriers to be free to live generously   1. Live within your means Save up for purchases and pay cash rather than buying on credit. If you do use credit, pay the whole monthly balance so that your resources aren’t drained away in interest. As...

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7 Facebook Essentials for Kids
7 Facebook Essentials for Kids

#1 Parents must have the password The password is the key to unlock the door for full access into your child’s Facebook profile. It must be shared with the parents and only with the parents! This is essential for accountability and building trust in the relationship as it allows parents to spot check the News Feed and Inbox from time to time....

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10 Great Reasons to Eat Dinner as a Family
10 Great Reasons to Eat Dinner as a Family

I have my meals planned this week. But rather than posting my plan (it's just pasta Monday, fish Tuesday, meatless on Wednesday, frozen leftovers on Thursday), I thought I'd post my rationale for eating together.  When I was out walking recently, my daughter Katie said to me, "You know what I like about our family, Mommy? We eat together. It's...

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When you Don’t Discipline the Same Way
When you Don't Discipline the Same Way

One of the most difficult parts of marriage is agreeing how to discipline. When one parent is more lenient, and one is more harsh, often parents fail to back each other up, and instead form emotional bonds with the kids. Here's a situation that happened in our family recently: One of our daughters, who had been very compliant, hit puberty, and...

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