Thursday

Trick or Treat Scavenger Hunt - Happy Halloween

Tonight is the night! The costumes are ready and the kids have laid them out at the foot of their beds. We will be trick-or-treating with Maleficent, Doc McStuffins, A French Artist, Steve Jobs, and a little 10 month old flower. The kids are excited, and I am still in awe that it is the end of October.

Twice a month I have the chance to post over at TheIdeaRoom.net. If you haven't stopped by, you MUST. Amy has the most amazing, fun, projects, Printables, holiday fun on the net. Plus, she is one of the most amazing women I have met.

This Week I shared a Family Halloween Scavenger Hunt with her readers. I know it is something your family will love to. Simply print it out and take it with you as you go trick or treating tonight. Your whole family will love it!

We are going to use it for our 3 year old, who will trick or treat, but likes to take her time, and will ask to get in the stroller after about an hour. It will be around that time that she is looking for something to do, and this Scavenger Hunt will be the perfect way to keep her occupied will her older siblings keep knocking doors.

I hope you and your family can use it tonight also.

Happy Haunting.

Tell me, who are you trick-or-treating with tonight?


Bed Wetting Help!

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There is hope that this sponsored post for GoodNites*TRU-FIT* machine washable underwear, will make life easier for families dealing with bedwetting.

When my husband and I started our family, we tried to consider many of the challenges we might face. Despite our preparation, bedwetting was not a challenge we anticipated. Only one of our children has dealt with bed wetting, but we quickly learned that it was not just physically draining, but emotionally draining too!

According to a GoodNites® brand study, it is estimated that 1 in 6 children between the ages of 4 and 12 (in the US) suffer from bedwetting. Also know as nocturnal enuresis. We might think that bedwetting doesn't affect other areas of our children's lives, but the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that psychologically, children who wet the bed do not want to participate in fun activities, such as sleepovers, because of their fear and embarrassment. And, before you think your child is the "only one", know that bedwetting is a fairly common condition.

Kids wet the bed for many different reasons. The first, and most important thing to remember if we have a child who wets the bed, is that we have to be patient. We should never punish our children if they wet the bed, or shame them if it happens. Threatening and demeaning is also out of the question. They are not doing it on purpose.

For me, the best way to avoid the negative thoughts and frustrations, especially amongst the extra laundry every single day, was to put myself in our child's shoes. Yep, I would constantly ask myself how they must feel. Cold, wet, stressed, tired, embarrassed, nervous about parental response, nervous about their friends finding out... the list goes on. These thoughts and understandings made it so much easier to be patient.

We also did the following....

  • Eliminated an excessive amount of liquid within two hours of bed. 
  • Woke our child up and took them to the bathroom right before WE went to bed.
  • Analyzed any physiological stresses they might be dealing with. Like a recent move, a new school, an unsettled family life, divorce...anything that might be taking an emotional toll.
  • Committed to spend more one-on-one time with our child, to strengthen our relationship and to make sure they weren't wetting the bed for attention.
  • Took our child to the doctor to make sure there wasn't a medical condition. 
  • Gave ourselves permission to use protective bedding and protective underwear. Giving myself permission was a big deal. It eliminated shame and blame. It also gave our child the power to "clean" themselves up if they wet the bed. 
If bedwetting is something you are dealing with at your house, don't wait to protect the bed or the pjs. The GoodNites*TRU-FIT* Underwear are a perfect solution.

They are real, machine washable underwear, you can purchase them at Target, and they wash and wear just like real underwear. They have a disposable liner that keeps pj's and sheets dry.


Don't forget to use the 2 dollar off coupon that is "on package."


 Make Bedwetting easier and less stressful on everyone.



This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of GoodNites* TRU-FIT*.

 




Friday

Studio 5 Today! 1pm MST



Hey Utah Friends, be sure you tune in to Studio 5 on KSL today at 1pm MST. I will be chatting with Brooke about what to do when we disagree with our spouse on parenting decisions.

Great tips to make parenting easier for you and your spouse.

See you at 1.

p.s. If you miss it, I will post the video on FamilyVolley as soon as it is available.

Thanks for watching!


Thursday

Best Tips for Parenting Teenagers - Part 1

Teenagers! Agh, a stage that every parent worries about. It can be a huge challenge to navigate these critical years in our children's lives. Our son just turned 12 this summer, and although he isn't an official "teenager" yet, we can already see changes in the way he thinks and acts. Not bad, just different. He has more need to spread his wings, find himself, and is looking to establish his self esteem. 

The teenage years are a time of huge change for our kids. They are trying to figure out who they are, what they like, and where they are going. Plus, they want to be accepted by not just us, but by their peers also. It is a time of soul searching and identity building. 

We talk a lot about infants and toddlers, but our toddlers are growing up and it is time to talk tips for our teenagers. 



Today, let's start with our first 6 tips for parenting teenagers. 

1. Don’t survive the Adolescent years, THRIVE the Adolescents years.
Stop labeling and get rid of the stereotypes. We shouldn’t expect the worst during these years. Not all teenagers become monsters. Most teenagers are great. Give them a chance. We live in a universe of attraction and what we focus on and put our energy on is what will become our reality. Focus on how great it is that you have children who are learning who they are and developing their identity.

2. Love them from the inside out.
We respond to people, primarily by how THEY feel about us on the inside, not by their behavior. As parents, we can make right choices with our teenagers, but if on the inside, we are irritated, feel they are irresponsible, disappointed in them and their decisions, then that is what they will respond to. That is actually how they will behave. We will bring out in them, the exact behavior we say we don’t like, when we see them as objects that are making our lives miserable. Praise them, compliment them stop nitpicking them.

If they know we love them, above all other things, it allows us to discipline, communicate, be honest and open, and they will accept it.

3. Communicate. It is the Golden Rule of raising teenagers.
We have to keep the lines of communication open. We have too!
There are two times when teenagers want to talk.
  • When we are driving in the car with them. (Don’t have to look at one another, know there is an end so they are more likely to talk.
  • Before they go to bed. (They are tired and willing to let their guard down and chat)
Be available during these times to LISTEN, and instead of telling them things, ask questions so they can discover answers on their own.

ANOTHER GREAT PLACE TO COMMUNICATE is over common activities. Find something that you and your teenager can do together AND DO IT. It takes all the stress out and you will find that while you are sharing something enjoyable, they will want to talk and open up. They feel you understand them because you both share joy for the activity.

4. Understand teenage time zones.
We need to recognize that our teenagers naturally, work in a different time zone than we do. This is not bad, or wrong, just different. We don’t get mad at people in NY because they work in a different time zone! When we ask them to do something, and they say “sure, “in a bit” or “yeah, give me a while.” Instead of being irritated because they are not doing it immediately, or on our time zone, let’s be glad they have said YES. They said YES!!! If we respect that, they will not only actually do what we have asked, but they might even do it sooner. If we know this is how they work, we can ask sooner, explain better. Instead of insisting immediately.

5. Be a Consultant, not a Manager.
Up to this point in our children’s lives, we have been the manager of their lives. We manage all the aspects.  Then, our children hit the teenager years and they fire us as their managers. So parents usually do one of two things.
  • They either abandon their kids…"good luck with everything, hope you make it."
  • They become extra controlling and try to force their kids to do what they want.
Neither are the right way to go. (We are trying to relive our childhood, safeguard them from what we know is out there, etc…)

Being a consultant is more about influence and less about control. Consultants share their expertise and knowledge to help attain goals and solve problems.

One way we can do this is to…

ASK, don’t tell.
When we speak to our children we need to ask them for help, ask them for their ideas and opinions, rather than telling them what we believe they should think or do.

“What do you think about that.” “How do you think we could handle that.” Etc…

This can be really hard because we have been there, we know what the future holds if certain decisions are made, or not made, but it is their time to learn for themselves. That is our job, to help them do that.
  
6. Don’t get lost in the consequences
When we are parenting teenagers, it can be very easy for us to get caught up in the consequences when our children make mistakes. Now, there does need to be consequences. Absolutely, BUT…. A few things to consider.

Consequences should fit the crime and they should have kids DO SOMETHING, opposed to taking something away. Mow the lawn, opposed to loosing their phone.

BUT it is the follow up that we as parents usually forget. AFTER the consequence, sit down with your child and ask them “was there any part of you that thought you should call home when you were going to be late for curfew”? OR, did the thought ever cross your mind that maybe you should have left earlier so you were home on time”?

They will say yes! They will, and when they do, ask them…”WHAT DO YOU THINK STOPPED YOU FROM LISTENING TO YOURSELF?” “WHAT GOT IN THE WAY OF YOU LISTENTING AND TRUSTING YOUR THOUGHTS”?

They will come up with some sort of answer. When they do, go on to explain that “you know what is right, Listen to yourself. You have all you need to make right and good decisions. “

Then, move on, don’t’ lecture. And don’t get lost in the consequence. It is over and done.

Do the teenage years worry you?
What worries you the most?
What tips can you add for parenting teenagers?

Don't miss Part 2 of our Parenting Teenagers Series. By the time we are done, you will have all you need to tackle the stage in your child life. 



 

Monday

TEEN WEEK: Raising Teens- "Age of Opportunity"

It's TEEN WEEK here on Family Volley! All week we will be talking about those tough adolescent years, with tips and tricks to not only surviving, but THRIVING! You don't want to miss it!

Just when we think the "two's" are terrible, a parent will argue that it doesn't hold a candle to a 15 year old in the middle of puberty. And with adolescence lasting longer than ever before, it's time to give this stage of life more attention.

To kick off Teen Week I want to introduce you to the best book I have read on the subject. If you have a teen, know a teen, will have a teen one day, or work with teens, you need to read "Age of Opportunity" by Laurence Steinberg.


The book, filled with years of research and findings, clearly explains how the adolescent brain works, which is a necessary place to start if we want to know how to parent them during those years. Steinberg explains that most of our understanding about adolescents are incorrect and gives us the truth about this time in life. By the time you are done, you will have a wonderful understanding of teenagers, how they work, why they do the things they do, and what you need to do to help them become successful adults. Not to mention what we should do in the heat of raising them when we don't think we can survive one more day.

There are solid reasons to be concerned about our adolescents.

  • American adolescents continue to underperform teens from many industrialized countries that spend a lot less on schooling. 
  • The US once boasted one of the the world's highest college graduation rates. It now doesn't even make the top 10.
  • One in 5 American high-school seniors abuses alcohol at least twice a month. 
  • Nearly one third of young women in the US will get pregnant at least once by age twenty. The US leads the industrialized world in teen pregnancies and STD's and ranks near the top in adolescent abortions.
  • In 2011, nearly one-third of the women who gave birth had never been married.
  • Twenty percent of all high-school-aged boys in American take prescription medication for ADHD
  • Adolescent obesity is three times more common now than it was in the 1970's.
The findings go on and on. All leading to the understanding that American teenagers are among the world's most miserable. (Steinberg, 2014)

You will not only find solid research, but solutions.

As we head into Teen Week, here are a few understandings that you need to start with. Keep these as your foundation. The rest of the week will build on, and add to them. By the time we are done, you will have a game plan to use for your teenager.

First, adolescents is just as important as the early years in terms of the potential impact of experiences on the brain. A teenagers brain is plastic (Steinberg, 2014). It can be altered by experience. What happens during these crucial years will affect the rest of their lives.

Second, children are maturing earlier than ever before. As parents, we have to be prepared before they are.

Third, we want to be authoritative parents. Demonstrating a good mix of warmth, firmness, and support.

Forth, we can't love our children too much. There is no harm in telling them we love them EVERY day, in showing affection to them every day, in praising them every day.

Those four truths will be the foundation for all we do here during Teen Week. Get ready to take some notes so you can strengthen the relationship with your adolescent.

If you want to get your hands on the "Age of Opportunity" (and you do), you can find it on Amazon, IndieBound, and Barnes and Noble.

What is the hardest part about raising a teenager?










 
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