Teaching Your Kids How to be Responsible From a Young Age

Teaching Your Kids How to be Responsible From a Young Age

Parenting is a challenging chore for every parent, no matter your passion or commitment to giving all that you have for the best of your kids.  This is because the best may not always seem like the best to your kids and you have to stay committed to what you know is good for them even when they aren’t happy about it.  One of these things is teaching them responsibility.  However, we have a few fun suggestions for how you might teach your kids to incorporate responsibility from a young age without them realizing that you are gradually building upon this life-essential skill.

 

Taking Responsibility for Yourself

Picking Up Toys and Flushing the Toilet

The first responsibility that most of us learn in life is how to take care of ourselves.  This is something that you can start with your kids even before they walk or talk!  You may not do this every time, but engage your kids in the tasks of taking responsibility for themselves.  Pick just a few tasks while they are still under a year old, but you can incrementally add to the list as they grow older and more capable.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Picking up toys
  • Make their beds
  • Brush their teeth
  • Putting dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Learning to fold and put away clean clothes
  • Bringing dirty dishes to the sink
  • Wiping up spills and cleaning up messes

Taking Responsibility for Others

Understanding Family and Teamwork

The next task in responsibility is in learning to care for others, whether it is another family member, a friend or one of your pets.  Again, many of these suggestions can be started while your kids are still toddlers and beginning to grasp the concepts of others.  Not only that, but toddlers are quite eager to help with many chores and you may find that teaching them responsibility in these ways also conveniently combine with other learning goals such as colors, shapes, animals, and so on.  While they are still young they may only be helping with these tasks, but soon they will be able to do the whole task all by themselves!

  • Here are some ideas in this category:
    Empty small trashcans
  • Empty the dishwasher of non-breakables
  • Sort dirty laundry by darks and lights
  • Feed and water family pets
  • Water plants
  • Put groceries away

 

Responsibility for Choices

Understanding Destructive vs. Productive

Choices can be destructive and create more work or they can be productive and make good use of time, energy and resources!  Whether you are trying to teach your kids to take responsibility for fixing their destructive choices or you are trying to teach them how to make productive choices, you can still start teaching them these things at a very young age!  Teach them to learn from their mistakes, remember to praise them when they make good choices, and always lead by example!

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Great Lunches to Give Your Kids for School

Great Lunches to Give Your Kids for School

Although you may have had good reasons for doing it differently based on the circumstances, the simple reality is that you can pack a cheaper and healthier lunch for your kids to eat at school than most schools provide.  And believe it or not, there are lots of great lunches that you can give your kids for school that they will love and that will also not be too time-consuming for you to pack.  Here are some of our best ideas!

 

Healthy and Balanced

The Basics of What to Pack for a School Lunch

Think carbohydrates, protein, fruits and vegetables.  That’s it.  Those are the four basic essentials that your kid needs for a healthy and balanced school lunch and here is why: growing bodies and developing brains use a lot of energy and your kids need carbohydrates to keep their energy levels up.  Most active kids will appreciate some heavier energy-packed carbohydrates in the form of a sandwich, crackers or a granola bar.  The healthy part is balancing those carbohydrates with fruits and vegetables.

 

Keeping it Real

Tricks for Easy School Lunches

Kids are also not always reliable for bringing home the lunchbox, let alone any packing containers!  We recommend that you stay away from packing lunches in anything more than a plastic bag so that expensive storage containers don’t get lost or accidentally thrown away.  Because we know that there is a balance between healthy and practical, here are some easy items to stock in your pantry for adding to your kids’ school lunches that will help to make your job easier!

  • Rice cakes – inexpensive and they come in chocolate, caramel, apple cinnamon, sea salt, cheddar and more!
  • Pre-packaged, single serving, peanut butter crackers or other combinations
  • Box of crackers or bag of chips that you can portion out into a snack bag
  • Pre-packaged string cheese
  • Pre-packaged granola bars
  • Pre-packaged Go-gurt – it doesn’t need a spoon.

Of course, the less pre-packaged and the more you purchase in bulk, the more you will be able to make affordable school lunches for your kids.

 

Five Lunch Combos

Ideas You Can Work With

  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple slices, carrot sticks
  • Deli meat sandwich, mandarin orange and cucumber slices
  • Crackers, pepperoni slices, cheese stick, bell pepper slices and grapes
  • “Ants on a log” (celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins), rice cake, pear slices
  • Tortilla wrap with cheese and refried bean spread, avocado slices, peach slices

 

Some of these foods may be new tastes to your kids so feel free to add a fun snack to the meal such as a granola bar or those beloved gummies here and there as both a surprise and incentive for your kids as they explore some new healthy food choices.  These are just a few ideas, but we hope these suggestions will inspire you in creating terrific school lunches for your kids that are healthy, affordable, and enjoyable for your kids!

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Easy Kid’s Party Ideas

Group Of Happy Kids Roasting Marshmallows On Campfire

Planning a spectacular birthday party is on every mom's agenda, but sometimes a busy mom needs some help to fit party planning into her schedule. If you need easy party ideas for your kids, look no further. This article will discuss several easy ideas for three different age groups.

3-5 Years Old: Movie Magic

To plan the perfect birthday extravaganza for 3-5 year old kids, use their favorite children's movie as an easy theme. Choosing from movies such as Cinderella, The Lion King or Cars will immerse kids in their favorite story and will surround them with favorite characters. This theme can be incorporated into decorations, the cake theme and party favors. Since many 3-5 year olds are very visual, make sure that they can see their favorite characters at every turn!

6-8 Years Old: Mad Scientist Theme

When children are between 6-8 years old, you can create a fun birthday party that also incorporates some learning. With a science themed party, you could plan several fun science experiments for kids to participate in (such as making slime). This would not only add to the excitement of the party, but would provide kids with instant party favors as well!

9-12 Years Old: Backyard Campout

Finally, for children ages 9-12, a backyard campout is the perfect solution for a summer extravaganza. Borrow tents from neighbors or relatives and set them around a fire pit. Have guests plan on a sleepover and bring their own sleeping bags. Party activities could include telling ghost stories, making s'mores or roasting hot dogs for dinner. When it is time to turn in for the night, kids can sleep under the stars in the safety of your backyard. Just make sure to have an indoor option available in case of rain!

Planning a great party does not have to take a lot of time or money. As a busy mom, you can plan an entertaining event with limited time and on a budget. Depending on the age of your kids, a movie theme, science theme, or backyard campout might be the perfect party solution. Whatever you decide, your kids will love you for the effort you put into their special day.

 

Party Drinks for Kids

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Holiday parties are a time for family and friends to get together to celebrate. Hosting a party is fun and rewarding, but it takes a little extra consideration to make sure that everyone feels included. Non-alcoholic party drinks for kids will let them feel like a part of the grown up crowd.

Tropical, Fruity Drinks

Children are attracted to bright colors, which makes tropical fruity drink variations a sure hit at any gathering. Sweet punches are easy to make and can be modified in ways that appeal to the younger taste, and also fit the theme of the holidays.

Lime Sherbet Punch

  • 2 Quarts of Lime Sherbet
  • 2 Liters of Ginger Ale or Sprite
  • 1 Can of Pineapple Juice
  • Assorted Fruit (orange slices, Maraschino cherries)

Mix all of the ingredients into a big bowl. This punch is a bright, festive green color. The additional fruit and floating sherbet dress up the presentation, intriguing kids to take a taste. If they're old enough, let them stir up the punch. You can also make ice cubes in advance using the juice instead of water.

Mocktails

Non-alcoholic versions of popular drinks are perfect for teenagers who want to taste classic recipes but are not yet old enough for liquor. Consider having a signature cocktail for the night, one for adults and one suitable for the kids to drink. A Pina Colada is simple to make, and can be dressed up for a holiday party with creative garnishes.

Virgin Pina Colada

  • 1/4 Cup of Ice
  • 1 Cup of Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Cup of Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup of Pineapple Chunks

Blend all of these ingredients for up to 4 servings at a time. To make a few batches ahead of time, repeat the recipe and add the finished product into a punch bowl.

Serving Tips

Let the kids use fancy cocktail glasses or holiday theme glasses for their drinks, but be sure they are easy to distinguish from the ones used by adults. Let them have fun decorating their drinks with an assortment of garnishes that can be set out buffet style. Demonstrate how to add a wedge of fruit to the side of the glass. Also create small skewers of cherries, grapes, and other small fruit to make non-alcoholic drinks as fun as real cocktails.

 

Holiday Help From the Kids

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The holidays are here and moms across the world are working way too hard to get everything prepared. If you haven't enlisted them already, it's time to let the kids do some of the work for you. Kids love helping in the kitchen and there are ways they can do so without being in the way or needing too much supervision. Teaching them to set a nice holiday table is not only a big help to you, but will give them something valuable to be proud of, too!

Dishes

While you are cooking, you build up a huge collection of dishes used for cooking. Measuring spoons, bowls and cups pile up quickly. Everything starts collecting in the sink. These are the kinds of things that kids can wash, or rinse off and put in the dishwasher. Even the youngest ones can get involved and help the older ones.

Cooking

One of the biggest duties of a cook is stirring and mixing. Children can help with that. The older ones can even do the stirring on the stove top. The little ones can help mix the ingredients for you. There are even recipes that are easy for kids. They can make puddings or fun colored gelatins. Or they can make some very easy peanut butter cookies:

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Directions:
Mix all ingredients until a large ball is formed. Break the ball into 16 similar sized balls. Mash with fork in two directions on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 16 minutes.

In this recipe, the younger kids can do everything but put the cookies in the oven.

General Cleaning

Young children love to clean more than you might think. Give them a broom and they will do the best impression of sweeping the floor that they can. As they get older, they tend to grow out of this, so take advantage of it while you can! Give them a broom. Give them a duster. When they are old enough, let them run the vacuum, especially if you have a smaller, lightweight type. They will feel all grown up. Make sure to let them set the table; they love that. Teaching them to set a nice holiday table is not only a big help to you, but will give them something valuable to be proud of, too!

Conclusion

Children love to feel needed. They love helping adults because it makes them feel important and useful. The holidays are a great time to help improve their confidence by letting them do a lot of the chores, and you can have more time to enjoy the festivities.

 

Get the Kids Outdoors

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For many mothers, summer break can feel like a prolonged vacation where there's simply not enough to do to keep the children entertained. Instead of resorting to days spent indoors in front of the television, there are plenty of old fashioned activities that are both fun and affordable.

Play in the Sprinklers

Let kids cool off from the heat by running through the sprinklers in the front yard. Some of the best childhood memories include simple ways where they can be loud and run through the water. Invite the neighborhood kids over for more fun and remember the sunscreen.

Sell Lemonade

Children can learn how to manage money and make a profit while selling lemonade with their siblings or friends with a homemade lemonade stand. Use addition and multiplication to decide how much water, sugar, and lemons to purchase, while calculating how much each cup should cost. Signs on poster board can be made to wave at passing cars or pedestrians, and kids can have fun counting the change at the end of the day.

Play Red Rover

Get the neighborhood together for a round of Red Rover in the backyard for a fast-paced and entertaining activity outside. You can be the referee and even play some music, while serving healthy veggies during break time.

Visit a Farmer's Market

Let your child have fun exploring locally grown produce at a nearby farmer's market once a week. Allow them to pick out fresh strawberries or plump peaches that look appetizing, while discussing recipes that can be made from the food at home.

Go on a Bike Ride

Not only are bike rides a fun and affordable way to spend time outside in the summer, but it's also a great form of exercise for the whole family. Plan a route in the neighborhood with the children and visit a fun place that they can look forward to cycling to. Try riding to a local ice cream parlor or public library. Pack plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated, while ensuring each rider wears a helmet.

Have a Picnic in the Park

Spending time at the park is the perfect way to enjoy the weather in the shade under the trees. Pack a picnic that the family can make together, while allowing your children to run in the grass and spend time on the playground.