With the writing of this post, this little blog of mine has reached an important milestone. 100 posts. To celebrate, I thought it would be nice to take a trip down memory lane. What follows are my top ten favorites from the first 100. If you’ve been here from the beginning you might recognize a few of these as your favorites too. If you’re new here, you’ll find out a lot about this blog (and me) by checking these out. Here’s to the next 100!
Do your kids follow your directions? Listen attentively when you ask them to do something? Obey all the commands you give them? Mine either!
Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself when I give them an instruction. But there are a lot of strategies we can use to get our children to comply with our requests. Try implementing a handful of these tips consistently, and you’ll see an improvement in no time:
Look your child in the eye when you’re giving them a direction. Just like us, our kids sometimes are so engrossed with the computer, a book, a video game, or a television show that they might not listen to us fully when we interrupt them. Call your child’s name and make sure that you have their attention when you issue your command. One of the best ways to guarantee that is to make eye contact. And by the way, this works with husbands too!
Ask your child to repeat the instruction back to you. If you want to make sure that they heard what you said to them, ask them to repeat it. If you said, “Take out the trash” and they repeat back to you “Give me some cash” then you’ve not communicated your message too well now have you? Also, just the act of saying the direction out loud will help them remember it (rather than getting distracted and forgetting along the way).
Break your instructions down into simple one-step actions. Instead of saying “Clean your room,” try saying “Make your bed” or “Put your toys in your toy box.” You might end up having to issue more commands by breaking your instructions down in this way, but your child will be more successful in accomplishing the goals you put forth for them. [Read more...]
These days it seems almost impossible to gather our family around the kitchen table for dinner. Between soccer practice, dance, work, and the rest that life throws at us, I’ll be the first to admit that dinner is often at the bottom of a very long to-do list at our house.
Despite that, our family makes an effort to eat together at least a few nights a week. The food may not always be homemade or perfect, but it’s the quality time that we share around the table that makes it all worthwhile.
Studies have found lots of compelling reasons why we should all make the family dinner hour a priority. Children of families who eat dinner together regularly are less likely to have problems with drugs and alcohol as teens. They are more likely to get better grades. They have improved scores in language and literacy. Even when the families themselves are “dysfunctional,” regular family meals with quality conversation and dialogue corresponds to positive outcomes in many important areas.
At my house, here’s how we try to make family dinners a success:
- All of us need to be there. That’s not always possible of course, but when we can, we try to all make it a priority to sit down and eat together.
- Everyone eats the same meal. I have a picky eater. I won’t name any names, but he knows who he is. He’s 14 and has food likes (and dislikes) that continue to astound me. But at dinner, everyone gets the same meal. This mom is not a short order cook. I did that for too many years and it didn’t help a thing. If they’re hungry, then they’ll eat what’s in front of them. There is no danger of any of my kids starving anytime soon, so don’t worry! [Read more...]