I have six boys who love Pokemon and were very excited about the release of Pokemon Go. My boys range in age from 6 to 15. They love their video games and we have always worked to help them play video games responsibly. The arrival of Pokemon Go by Niantic is yet another opportunity for us as parents to reinforce moderation and self-control.
I am often asked, “What are good chores for kids to be doing at this age?”
Amazingly, I’m asked this more often than, “How do I get my kids to do chores?” Both are very important questions and actually go hand in hand.
As a mom of six, I do have some ideas as to what chores are good for kids to be doing and how to get kids to do them.
I am surprised by the people who think it isn’t right for parents to leave their kids behind with their grandparents while their parents go on a vacation together. People are of the belief that once you have kids, you shouldn’t do anything away from your children, or at least don’t do anything big without them. But is that right?
We just went away on a 1 week vacation to Panama. It felt awkward for me to be away from my kids as we do pretty much everything with them, but we felt we needed some alone time as a couple. We had so much life change that has happened in our family in the last 2-5 years that we needed to take a timeout, create a vision for our family and then re-enter reality again. Because we knew we were going on a vacation without our kids, we wanted to make sure we did something that they wouldn’t necessarily want to do. A boring vacation for kids. That meant Disneyland was out, but that’s ok because we took them for a day at Disney this Summer (try affording more days with 6 kids) and we didn’t want to be around large crowds anyways.
On our trip we visited historical sites, went kayaking and hiking in the rainforest. Had we taken our children, then would have been whining about being bored or that the mosquitos were biting them. Rather than expose them to what they would perceive to be torture-like conditions, we let Grandma and Grandpa do what they do best with their Grandkids and the boys had a great time with them. The boys had fun spending quality time with their Grandparents and we had good quality connection time.
For us, we hadn’t been away without our kids on trips that weren’t work related for 12 years. This was our first child-free vacation where there wasn’t another agenda of fitting in free time between meetings. Anniversary weekends away were typically once every 5 years and that meant dropping the kids off with family late on a Friday evening and picking them up by noon on Sunday. One day to ourselves and it always felt rushed.
We need to take better care of ourselves as parents and if it means getting away with each other once in a while, then do it. As long as you also plan family trips, then why should people criticize you for spending time with your spouse? Make sure it’s balanced and that your kids are well cared for. You will be a better parent if you take care yourself and your other half.
Today I needed to gather a couple of pictures together for Dannan to take to kindergarten. His teacher had sent home a paper bag along with a note that read how his class was doing a project called “Uniquely Me” which required pictures of them as a baby, toddler and today.
I quickly realized that all my pictures of Dannan were online and I started to dig through my facebook photo album when I came across a photo that was actually from is passport. We had taken him to get his picture taken multiple times and each time, the passport office rejected it. They complained about his skin being too shiny, eyes weren’t open enough or he had a smile. Smiles are forbidden in passport photos. Finally, we were able to capture an image and this image was accepted by the passport office. His passport was issued and we were off on our family trip to Florida.
Imagine being the border patrol officer looking at this photo. Many weren’t able to keep a straight face when they saw this.
Our twin boys, Dayn and Lyan, are quickly approaching 3 years old and they are really interested in learning how to count. They are trying it out with toys, cows in the fields, trees outside and food on their plate. They don’t always get it right though.
After posting about putting the kids to bed early so parents can have some quiet time in the evening, I was approached about commenting on bedtime routines for kids. Well, here it is.
For the longest time, we as parents just let our kids dictate their bedtime or would put them to bed when we were tired. This meant bedtime for kids around 10pm every night and we were exhausted. It was taking a toll on us and a friend finally challenged us on the whole late bedtime routine.
It is guaranteed in our house that every day I will be asked a question. I have six boys and they are naturally curious. Because of their different ages, I will change how I answer their questions so they can better understand. That doesn’t mean I always get it right. I just try.
Today, I did an experiment with my boys. I had a theory that if a child is crying every 5 minutes for no reason what-so-ever, then they must be tired and in need of a nap. If said child has a nap, it can only be concluded that a well rested child will smile upon waking.
Sound like a good theory?
I thought so too.
Dayn found every little situation unbearable today and made sure that we all knew how miserable his morning had been. His feelings of negativity spread to his twin brother Lyan and soon they were both crying in unison. Why? They couldn’t tell me. It’s not because their language is still limited but rather, it was because they too had no idea what was triggering their states of unhappiness. And so, as Mommy, I came to the rescue and saved them from their misery.
They weren’t happy with my idea of putting them down for a nap. In fact, I think they would have preferred to continue on crying to each other about their sorrows than have a rest, but Mommy won. They were both tucked into bed, given a stuffy to cuddle and told to have a nice little nap.
How much rest they actually got is up for debate, but they at least got some quite time with a possible 10 minute nap mixed in. One thing I do know is, my theory was correct.
They are now smiling.
The weather has warmed up here (at least it is trying to), and the dandelions are starting to blossom on our front lawn. The bright yellow flowers stick out against the somewhat green grass and my boys are instantly drawn to them. Read more