Saturday, November 7, 2015

30 Ideas for Romantic Married Life

It's been a long time since I blogged. This year has been tougher than before and yet also the most hopeful and rewarding year. We lost our grandpa. My husband's father. My father in law. It was a long struggle health wise for him this year and he went in his sleep and peacefully without pain. We are grateful for his spirit in our lives over the years and he will be missed. He had many around him that loved him very much on his last days.

This all got me thinking about love and the importance of showing love. We all love people, some even love us back. Many of us have busy lives and it makes it harder for us to take the time to express our love. Ok I have a busy life and often will forget the small stuff. As I'm running the home and taking care of the children and working towards my degree, I have a difficult time with balance. Forgetting people's birthday cards, or not having time to make that special gift for the person who was weighing heavy on your mind. I find it especially hard to find time to be romantic with my husband. We are busy running the house and helping children, some days it feels like roommates and now so much lovers. So I decided to come up with a  nice easy list to find little ways to enhance your relationship.

Feel free to add your ideas on how to do slide in romance into your everyday life in-between.

1. Bring home flowers - easy, can be cheap if your in season.

2. Make coffee for the other, this is especially good if you don't drink it yourself

3. Leave a note on the laundry your other just folded - leave a flower, a thank you, anything.

4. Leave a note on bathroom mirror, nice foggy mirror or a post it with words of love. ex "your beautiful, your amazing, I know your going to have a great day!"

5. Text a funny face picture to them - or sexy pic, or send an email throughout the workday.

6. Plan a date night, organize a sitter and let them know so they can look forward to it.

7. Arrive home with their favourite take out

8. Plan a date night for them and their friends - let them have that night out without you.

9. Do the unexpected - fix that old broken door handle and tell them about it,

10. Serve dinner somewhere unexpected - the attic, outdoors, the living room - add candles for romance, even if the little kids are home - have them help. It will still be super special.

11. If possible, deliver a treat basket to their work or a coffee -drop it off yourself.

12. Fill a room with balloons or their car - cause ya awesome.

13. Pay attention to what they circle in a magazine and get it for them -surprise them.

14. Leave notes in their going away suitcase when they leave for business trips. Or a hot pic of yourself.

15. Pre-pay and preplan a dinner out. Pick the restaurant, the food, the wine etc. Arrange the sitter etc. They just show up and enjoy.

16. Go for a walk with your loved one and hold their hand. Say as little as possible, don't talk about bills, what needs fixing, the kids, just shuddup and hold your honey's hand.

17. Draw them a bath - not with a pencil, fill it candles, Epson salts, and their favourite music.

18. Make them a song, or play a DVD with their favourite song on it, let them know your dedicating the song to them.

19. A tender kiss -  Gently kiss the top of each closed eyelid of your beloved before planting a kiss on his/her mouth with the merest touch of your lips.

20. Breakfast in bed - get the kids to help

21. Cuddle in the morning, even if it's just throwing the snooze button. Be naked and cuddle

22. Send them something in the mail - a letter, a package, anything.

23. Take care of something your partner usually does - finish a chore they started, clean up before they wake up - if you don't normally do it - take some time off in morning to get the kids to school -your partner and your kids will be so excited about this little thing you do.

24. Change your morning alarm to a romantic song and let your lover know you did it for them.

25. Roll over in the morning and whisper something sweet in their ear like - I know you'll have a fantastic day - or I'll be thinking of your hands on me all day long.

26. Here is an idea that kids can help with and they will love it too. It is excellent as a romantic surprise idea too. Make a String Maze for your mate to find a small gift or token you have made or bought for them. You will need a ball of yarn or string. If the gift is small enough, start by winding the end of the string or yarn around it. Starting at the gift, unwind it all over your house (and yard, weather permitting) over and under and all around (Sh-h-h-h-h!) until it eventually leads to your sweetheart. They must follow the string (winding it up as they go) until they get to the end and the gift. This is especially fun in the morning before work.

27. Tell them what you appreciate about them - do it often!

28. Ask them to share their passion with you. If they have a hobby ask to see what they are doing and then shuddup and listen, ask questions and stay focused.

30. Have a tech free day - no cell phones, no TV's, no computers, just family time. We have rule in our home, you can't touch your phone in the morning before you touch each other! Go swimming, go for walks, just have a picnic in the living room and plays some games. Being together is my favourite gift.

Even if you do one of theses a month, you will find your life will become a bit more romantic, a lot more fun. Feel free to share your ideas or if you tried one of these and how it turned out.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Think on these things

Questions I have for myself as a parent..

What do we need to teach our young ones besides the ABC's?

Some things to think on. Did your parents teach you some essential life skills to be able to be a functioning, healthy, happy adult?

Some things specialists believe all children need to learn and many are not learning...

Children need to:

1. Need to be aware. Awareness is the key to relationship, social, personal health, problem solving, and communication.

2. Spiritual curiosity and growth. What is their life purpose. They have special gifts and limitations. Are you encouraging their gifts and attributes.

3. Personality. What is your personality, how is composed. Who is your true self?

4. Learn how to earn and keep self respect. Learn self esteem.

5. Tolerance. To build tolerance despite differences.

6. Encourage to identify their emotions and see them all as useful. Be able to use their emotions as guide posts to measure what I need right now. Use it as a guidance system.

7. Make use of guilt. Learn the root of it and how to deal with it and what it means. Learn how to differentiate between anger and frustration. They are different. Help accepting emotions as useful and how to use them.

7. Need to learn how to communicate and problem solve personally and socially. There are about 7 communication skills.

8. Learn how to grieve. They need to learn the 3 levels of grief and the fases of grief. We need to be able to grieve to have an understanding and how to see the process of bonding.

These are just some questions I have read about and wondered, how can I teach my children these things on a daily basis? Feel free to add your comments and ideas on how you are accomplishing this with your kids.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Power Struggles with a 3 year old

Power Struggles with the 3 year old…

Not all the tips work all the time. Kids change, we change. Moods are altered based on our sleep, support system, eating habits and more. Nothing will work always all the time. Except one thing, your love and patience.That is why is it best for us to keep reading and finding new information and new ‘tools for our toolbelt’ to use when we need to use them.

I’ve heard the words, “avoid power struggles” and I think it is better to say that you can’t avoid them, you can, however, diffuse them. We are the adults and they are the children. When kids act like 3 year olds, we need to make sure we don’t act like 3 years old too. You won't avoid emotional breakdowns, that is their age appropriate response. What we CAN control is our reactions, our own atmosphere. That is where the power struggles can end, with us.We have the ability to change their moods based on how we react to them. Don’t let the little 3 year old change your mood based on how they act. You can be the atmosphere that helps create the environment of peace and joy.

I find validating feeling at this age is super important and helps a lot when they have their ‘moments.’ They are brand new to this world and are learning every day from us. From how we treat other and ourselves as well. Don’t allow them to manipulate you into a power struggle for sure. Everytime! There is time enough for reasoning, discussions and arguments when they are a bit older and start to develop reasoning skills.Discussions and disagreements can be healthy for sure. and sometimes it’s absolutely in a parents right to say NO! Especially when it’s a safety issue. Diffusing power struggles means not getting involved into an argument that makes no senses and gets everyone upset. It’s feeding their desire to engage with you in whatever way that is,even if you're mad.

For example if your child is wanting to climb something unsafe and they begin to argue or whine about it. Don’t engage with reasoning with them. They are too young to talk them out of it. That is the beginning of a power struggle. Instead you say simple statement that make sense. “It’s too high, we can play somewhere else.” “It’s dangerous, choose another activity.” If they don't’ listen, you are in your right as a parent to gently pick them up and move them to another location to play. If they continue to run back again and again. You simple say, “We need to leave the park if you continue to run back to here.” And then FOLLOW THROUGH!

If you make statement about a choice you made, following through will build trust and a bond between you and your child. Let them cry as you gently pick them up and leave. It’s ok to follow through and be the adult. Trust your own parenting style and your own heart.

I tend to use a lot of humour with my youngest. I pretend I am a robot and tell him if he doesn’t comply, we will program our circuit to go home, Humour tends to make him laugh and forget about his mini power struggle he wanted to have. But I know my child and my own parenting style. Trust yourself and keep reading articles. Some work, some don’t and often only some of the time. SO change it up. It’s ok to change it up.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Another children' book idea.

Instead I Was a MOM

I could done a LOAD of laundry
but instead I dumped a LOAD of trucks.

I could have made stew from SCRATCH
but instead I made a playdough from SCRATCH.

I could have WASHED the dishes up
but instead I WASHED toy cars up.

I could have WIPED the walls and counters
but instead I WIPED the etch a sketch clean.

I could have CLEARED the cupboard out
but instead I CLEARED my child's eyes.

I could have MADE my bed
but instead I MADE the planet Venus.

I could have folded my LONG line of clothes
but instead I sprayed water from a LONG line of hose.

I could have TOOK the garbage out
but instead I TOOK my son out.

I could have PREPARED lunches for tomorrow
but instead I emotionally PREPARED my son for tomorrow.

Today I could have WORKED and kept up with the HOUSE.
I could have cleaned, tidied, scrubbed and washed.
But instead I PLAYED, laughed, SANG and DANCED.

I know in the FUTURE, he won't remember if the house was CLEAN
But he will REMEMBER how he FELT when MOM was AROUND.

-Amanda Biden

Monday, April 6, 2015

All about cars

Today is all about cars. Car tracks, race cars, large trucks, 4 by 4's. They play and play and play. And they are 3 and 5. They are both so smart and as a homeschooler I think, so maybe today I will homeschool. And then I watch them play with their cars and I say to myself. Good job, I'm done.

Because at our home, we value play. Playing is part of learning and growing. As we grow, the most important part of my job is to make sure they continue to play and learn and grow. I want to make sure I don't stifle their creativity by educating it out of them.

I find the hardest part of homeschooling is keeping the confidence that I am indeed creating the right path for my children. It's my confidence only that falters. It is never their's, they are always sure that what they are doing is indeed what they need to be doing!

Learning to trust and let go today.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Homeschoolers Struggle

Homeschooling isn't measured on paper:

Spent morning pretending to be sea turtles... digging our 17 inches down in the sand to bury our cardboard eggs Nash painted. Then the boys were being baby sea turtles, folded in half and finially growing tiny tooth on their beaks to break through the leathery shell of the egg, shedding the tooth and racing towards the moonlit sea for salvation. They loved running from the seagulls and creatures trying to eat them as they struggled to the sea. They swam around and found mates, made eggs and did it all again through pretend play. Now how do we 'record' that for the government to say my boys know their sea turtle life cycle? haha

Now they are building coral out of clay for their habitat for the sea turtle to live in.

Geran is making snakes and collecting information on where his Coba snake lives and what he will need for his habitat. At least we can take a picture of their boxed habitats for some 'proof' of learning. He's been into snake almost this entire year and last Jan he use to be afraid of snakes. It wonderful to see how he has learned that the more you know, the less afraid you will be. But I'm certainly done with snakes. I'm always tired of the projects before they are. I don't want to know anything more about snakes, but he's still into it, so here I am Utubing, book collecting, snake building, snake reading, and researching my butt off. "Oh how can I get back that important information on how to write a proper hyperbole when I'm busy learning about snakes"... sighs mom.

It's hard to find "proof of learning", when learning is subjective. How one processes and moves through their own personal growth and rewards of accomplishment can only be measured by that own person.

I am enjoying my boys excited about learning and asking so many questions that I can't even keep up.

See you on the other side of snakes, one day I hope.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Active listening for angry kids

As adults it may be easy to discount the emotions of children. After all our problems are much larger and more complex than theirs. But to a child, not getting their favourite toy, going to bed early or losing a board game can be devastating. Too often we find ourselves responding to their problems with "adultisms" like,

"When will you ever?
"Don't be silly.
"I keep telling you.
"You know better than
"When will you grow up?
When will you learn?..." And others.

Responding like the above will leave a child feeling sad, confused, frustrated, shamed, or with thoughts of low self worth. This kind of talk can cause an argument or power struggle with you. Sometimes kids don't need to be fixed, rescued, lectured or saved. Sometimes they just need you to listen without judgement. They need to be an active listener.

What is does an active listener sound like?

Active listening may sound like this:

"You sound really angry right now,"
"You look very frustrated that you have to wait."
"Sometimes I'm afraid to go the dentist too.
"Sounds like your feeling left out?
"Are wanting to plan some special time with me today?"

Or a simple, "How can help you right now?"

Guessing at their feelings and thoughts may help direct the child misbehavior to deeper understanding of themselves.
Sometimes they are still too angry to hear your words and a "cool off time" may be needed for them or you or both before you can have this active listening talk.

Like adults children sometimes just need you to listen and understand. This kind of active listening will help your child learn about their feelings and help focus in what is important.

Some cool off ideas:

An angry box - a box they stand on where they are allowed to yell, cry jump or rant.
(Parents can use it too)

A large pillow or bed to scream in

Bop bag or punching clown

Playdough or clay can help release aggression too

Teaching yoga, meditation or just deep breathing exercises

Feeling charts to point to when words fail them.

Books like "hands are not for hurting"

Create an anger wheel when they are feeling good and discuss what options they want for cool off time.

My favourite cool off is a bath. When my oldest was angry he would take a bath and wash off his angry thoughts feelings emotions and see them go down the drain and dry off with a chance to start over in new skin. It worked a lot. Mostly bubbles and toys worked. :)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cooperation Without Fear

We all want our kids to do it, but do we know the true sense of what it feels like to cooperate? We say we know how to do this as adults, but do we?

To cooperate means to do things together, to build together, to feel together and to have something in common to freely work together. But people don't usually feel inclined to cooperate. People have agenda's, beliefs, morals, ideas, passions and we usually want those around us to share that with us. So it becomes a matter of people trying to force each other wills and desires on each other and we call this cooperation? It's common practice in our world to use cooperation in different ways. Tyrannical governments force people to work together, if you don't cooperate" you are liquidated or sent to a concentration camp. In so called civilized nations you are induced to work together through the concept of "my country." Or companies use the word cooperate to motivate through fear or reward of something withing that company which ignites competitive natures, not cooperation.

So the plan, idea, the authority which induced people to work together is called cooperation, and in it there is always a reward or punishment, behind the meaning. Which means behind cooperation is fear of something given or taken away. You are always working for something, for peace, for Master, for reward or fear. Saying it's cooperation is a falsehood. It is merely putting your force and ideals on another. There is always someone who is supposed to know what the right thing to do is, and therefore you say, "we must cooperate to carry this out." That is not cooperation.

Nor is it cooperation when you and I work towards a common goal because it ends up in us working together for a product or a final decision, not in the working together but for the end result. Also, not cooperation. Behind projects there is always fear of arguments, disagreements, approval and other fears.

Cooperation is entirely different. Children understand cooperation and the do it naturally, flawlessly and without fear. Cooperation is the FUN of being and doing together. Not necessarily doing something for a result or end in mind at all. Children have this feeling of being and doing together. They will cooperate in anything. There is no question of agreement or disagreement, reward or punishment, they just want to be help and be involved. They have a spontaneous, natural spirit of cooperation.

Real cooperation comes, not through merely agreeing to carry out a project together, but in the joy, the feeling of togetherness. If one may use that word, because in that feeling there is no obstinacy of person ideation or personal opinion.

It is important to try to awaken this inner child of cooperation, this feeling of being together and enjoying the moment, the process. Try watching children play, through play they are building and creating universes together without ego, without inhibitions. Let's try to NOT let the 'things to be done' be more important than the 'feeling of being and doing together without thought of punishment and reward. Set yourself free of trying to push your will onto other and enjoy just 'being' with others. Learn from our children.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Misguided behaviour may need positive attention

Many parents think of discipline as punishment. But the word “discipline” comes from the Latin word “disciplina,” which means “teaching, learning.” That’s the key to correcting our kids’ behaviors – giving them the tools they need to learn a better behavior.

Parent that go searching for easy quick answers tend to have a hard time implimenting new skills or learning a new way to parent. It takes practice and time. A lot of misguided discipline can be healed with more love and attention. But not the constant I got your back and what you need attention, but quality attention.

Kids need attention, plain and simple. They crave our love. Once they grow from babies to toddlers to preschoolers, they still need our attention. We mustn't get too busy to forget how little they still are. Taking them out the park is not attention. It's not the whole job. You can't go home and say there, I did something for you, now be happy. They need more than that.
Kids will seek out any attention they can get – even negative attention. They’ll push our buttons with negative behaviors because to a kid, even negative attention is better that no attention at all. This doesn't mean you have to be at your child’s side 24-7 – just taking a few minutes a day to spend one-on-one with your child, distraction-free and doing something they want to do, will reap immense rewards in their behavior.
Take 10 minutes out of your day. Twice a day is best. Have a jar full of activities they created that they LOVE to do with you. (Turn off your tv, cell phone, computer etc) Put a timer on even if your worried you'll go over and burn dinner.
Examples of activities for your "1 on 1 Jar of Fun!"
-Read a favourite book or poem
-Act out a poem or play
-Bake something
-Build a fort
-Sing songs
-Pretend play
-Build race track out of blocks
-Play dress up dollies
-Play with magnets/marbles 
-Play cards/board game together
-Take pictures of their toys and animals
-Outdoor games/sports
-Indoor balloon volleyball
-Hide and seek
-Teach them something you love to do
-Garden/plant flowers
-Create a treasure hunt
-Play simon says (copy me, copy you)
-Have a dance session
-Collage or paper art crafting
-Listen to them tell you stories or ask them how they feel about stuff
-Tell jokes (get a joke book)
-Do Busy Bag games (search pinterest)
-Water play outside
-Bathtime and play with toys
-Let them decide what is fun time with you.
When you spend 1 on 1 with your child positively and proactively, your kids will become more cooperative and less likely to seek out attention in negative ways. Life is busy for everyone, and finding extra time in the day may be daunting at first, but think of this as an investment in your relationship with your children and in improving their behavior. When it comes to knowing how to discipline your child, giving them what they need to avoid poor behaviors in the first place can have a great impact.

Here are some tips to get started:

  • First, tell your child, “We are going to have special time together.” Let them know when to expect it. (After you’ve finished a few chores, after school, or dinner, or perhaps at baby siblings nap time etc.)
  • Ask, “What are some things you would like to do for our special time here at home?” Give them some choices if they cannot think of anything. Write them down or get pic's off the internet and put them in a jar. Decorate the jar together!
  • Tell them when you will have the next special time. Buy a timer.
  • Tell them when you are having the special time. “This is my special time with you, {insert child name}.” Say something positive like, “I like doing things with you.”
  • Warn them before the time is up and say… “Soon it is going to be baby’s turn ….or Mommies turn.”
  • Tell them when the next special time will be. Remind them to be thinking about what they would like to do.
  • Later, remind them about the special time you had together, and that another special time is coming.
  • Do not take special time away as punishment for behavior earlier in the day. Being able to count on special time with you provides them support and sense of unconditional love and connection.