kids making Christmas cards with momMost kids love to make stuff and they love to give gifts – why not combine these two interests and let them make Christmas gifts? Think of the advantages of making Christmas gifts with your kids this year:
  • It will probably take less time than a shopping trip to the crowded mall.
  • It will save on your budget.
  • It will give you fun bonding time with your children and good holiday memories.
  • People love to receive items kids have made.
Here are some ideas for simple and easy gifts kids can make. Most will require at least some participation from you, although older children may be able to make some of these items on their own.READ More on Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make

by Stacey Schifferdecker

 


"Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day"
Robert Caspar Lintner
Giving thanks and saying grace before Thanksgiving mealWhen people ask me what my favorite holiday is, I always say Thanksgiving. I don’t know that deep down Thanksgiving is really my favorite holiday, but I feel sorry for it. There it is, sandwiched between the candy, costumes, and trick-or-treat of Halloween and the gifts, glitz, and glamour of Christmas. How is a simple, mostly non-commercialized holiday like Thanksgiving supposed to compete?READ More on Teaching Children The Meaning of Thanksgiving

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There are many ways to make Thansgiving fun and special and there are many Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids you can work with on with your child. If you are a parent, teacher, Sunday School teacher, or work around children in any other type of profession, you will be interested to discover that there are a large number of crafts available for all holidays – especially Thanksgiving! You can discover ideas for toddlers, school age children, and even teenagers if you find the right resources. In this helpful and informative guide, you will be introduced to many Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids that both you, and the child or children that you work with will find very entertaining.

Tree of Thanks

One of the most favored Thanksgiving craft ideas of today is creating the ever-popular “Tree of Thanks”. This is a tree that is actually composed of foam. This craft project typically comes in the form of a kit that includes several different colored “fall” leaves, and a tree base. This makes a great craft for children as young as preschool age. All you have to do is provide some markers that the children can use to write down certain things that they are thankful for, or what they considered to be “blessings” in their lives. In most cases, this kit comes with many additional pieces so that more than one project can be completed. This means that there are plenty of pieces for small classes, or groups!

click here to learn how to buy this craft kit READ More on Thanksgiving Craft Ideas for Kids

Words That Empower Our Children

Words That Empower Our Children

Often as parents, words slip out of our mouths before we even think about them. I am no exception and will be the first to admit it. Sometimes we may quickly tell our kids things like "you should be ashamed of yourself" or "I'm going to leave you right here if you don't stop" and don't realize how this actually affects our children in the future. The way that we communicate with our children is so important to their emotional health, their self esteem, and even their personal empowerment. The outcomes and attitudes our kids have are linked to the words that we use as parents. The words that you use can either wound, shame, and bring down or they can nurture, encourage, and empower your child.

So, now that you know how important the things are that you say to your kids, you may be wondering what you shouldn't say and what things you should say. If you're not sure what words to use to help build up and empower your child, here is a look at some of the words that empower and some words that tear down your children. Learn the difference and start changing the way that you speak to your children. You'll be surprised at the difference.

Negative and Dis-empowering Words vs. Positive Empowering Words

"You should"  instead you can say "You could or you can"

"I can't" instead you can say "I'll do my very best"

"Try" instead you can say "Do your very best"

"You must" instead you can say "I'd like for you to"

"Don't forget to" instead you can say "Please make sure you remember"

"Don't drop it" instead you can say "Make sure you carefully hold it"

"That was a bad shot" instead you can say "You can do much better"

"I'm too busy to…"  instead you can say "I'll find some time"

"You're a real pain" instead you can say "You could take better actions"

"You have to" instead you can say "I would like you to"

"It's too hard" instead you can say "Practice will make it easier"

"I'm not good at" instead you can say "I can do better"

"You're being selfish" instead you can say "Try to work on sharing more"

"You're being irritable"  instead you can say "You're a bit sensitive"

"I'm not good…" instead you can say "I need some more practice"

"No one likes me" instead you can say "Making friends takes some time"

"You're naught" instead you can say "You can behave in a better way"READ More on Parenting: Words That Empower

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Fathers Day: Dad and SonFather's Day is a time to celebrate dads, and for fathers, it is a great time to reflect on the relationship you have with your children. Maybe you have a great relationship with your children or maybe you would like to be more involved in your child's life. The role of a father is an important one, and many studies show that having a father that is involved is beneficial to the entire family. Of course, not only will your children benefit from you being involved in their lives, but you'll enjoy great benefits too. This Father's Day, consider the benefits of being an involved dad and consider a few of these tips for bonding and becoming more involved with your children. It will definitely pay off big time.

Being Involved – The Benefits for Your Children

First, let's take a look at some of the benefits your children will enjoy when you are an involved dad. Being involved in your child's life is going to include getting involved in all aspects of their lives. As you do this, here are a few benefits your children will enjoy.

Benefit #1 – Greater Success – Studies have shown that children who have fathers who are involved in their lives enjoy greater success in life. They are more successful in their career pursuits, which leads to financial stability.

Benefit #2 – Fewer Problems – Another benefit of being involved with your children is they usually have fewer problems in life. They are less likely to be delinquent, get involved in violence, or have other behavioral problems.

Benefit #3 – Better Cognitive Abilities – Interestingly enough, spending more time bonding with your kids can increase their cognitive abilities. Regardless of your own education level, being involved with your kids can increase cognitive test scores and the likelihood that they graduate high school and even pursue higher education.

READ More on Father's Day 2014: The Benefits for the Involved Dad

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by Claire Thurston
The daddie difference - father playing with his sonEven though more and more fathers are prioritizing time with their families, many may not know how they specifically impact their children in different ways from mothers.[1] This article spotlights fathers’ contributions because those long term research results have not yet reached a mainstream audience. By highlighting father’s importance to his child, The Dad Difference does not seek to disparage mothers, especially single mothers, or to condone male or paternal violence. There will be those who fear that scientific data demonstrating father’s impact would resurrect patriarchy and erase the hard-won gains of women in the twentieth century, but this is not a zero-sum game. When fathers know more concretely what they contribute to their children: men, women, families and society will benefit.READ More on Parenting and The Dad Difference

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I found this poem which touched an emotion I would like to share. You see, I was adopted. As the poem points out, a mom is much more than simply 'blood'. The love a mom gives to her adopted or foster child is truely a love from the heart. It takes a very special, loving person to adopt or foster a child. To all those special Moms I hope you have the best mothers day or all.  Happy Mother's Day!

~ For All That You Have Given Me ~
For all that you have given me,
I can return but love. For you
Bound up the wounds I did not see
And gave me hopes and passions new.
I can return but love for you,
Whose unmoved faith my heart did move,
And gave me hopes and passions new,
And loved me till I turned to love.

Whose unmoved faith did my heart move?
The mother of my heart, not blood,
Who loved me till I turned to love.
And I became the soul I would.

The mother of my heart, not blood,
Bound up the wounds I did not see.
And I became the soul I would
For all that you have given me.
copyright by Nicholas Gordon
www.poemsforfree.com

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