What I wanted to do today is take a look at Mother's Day. Ask anyone what the most important day of the year is to them and you will get answers ranging from their birthday to Christmas to Election Day. How many will say Mother’s Day? Unfortunately, I would guess very few. For some reason Mother’s Day gets overlooked or down played a bit. Yes, there are commercials all over reminding you to send flowers or buy mom candy… but where is the real sentiment? It is so much more than a gift, or saying Happy Mother's day, it is about truly letting our moms and wives know how much they are appreciated and cared for.
Remember dads, Mothers day is just a few weeks away, and if you have young toddlers they will need your help in making Moms day extra special. On Mother's Day its the thought that counts and actions can express love much more than expensive gifts. For younger kids its a great lesson to teach kids that money and expensive gifts don't buy love, and that love comes from the heart or buying something that has meaning and feeling behind it. Unless your kids have been saving their allowance religiously, they may not be able to afford to buy an expensive gift for Mother’s Day. However, here are some ideas for inexpensive Mother’s Day gifts.
The other day I was sitting in traffic, a drizzling, chilly morning in rush hour traffic. Everyone with their own agenda, their own problems; but as I sat there, a truck pulled up beside another pickup that was laden with furniture. A guy got out of the passenger side, walked around to the back of the loaded pickup and grabbed a part of the plastic that was covering the load but had blown loose. He quickly tucked the plastic back over the load and re-secured it. Then he ran and jumped back into the truck, waved to the startled driver of the pickup and drove off. I sat there for a moment, smiling.
We've all heard the buzzword, "random acts of kindness," and we may even try to show kindness to others. But how do we as parents instill those values in our children? It is a self centered, materialistic world that we live in and teaching our children to step beyond that is not small task. However, it is possible to teach our kids these good values and it starts with giving them a role model. Children learn what they live, so if they live with you doing random acts of kindness, they are fairly certain to follow.
A random act of kindness does not have to be a major production. Kindness comes in many different shapes and sizes – and it is free. Teach your kids by doing, but also plan some actions with your child. Talk about nice things that you can do for others. Try some of these "random acts of kindness" with your teen.READ More on Random Acts of Kindness: Teaching Children to Pay it Forward
Most people have heard of Alyssa Milano, a household name for years. Starting out as a child actor, she has become well known as an incredible adult actress today, staring in a variety of television shows along the way. Although many people may be aware of her celebrity life, many are unaware of the other side to Alyssa Milano. You may be surprised to find out what an incredible ambassador for good this woman has been and is today! Using her fame to make a difference, she is involved in many foundations and charities, always working to help those less fortunate than herself. Here is a closer look at a side of this actress you may have never seen before.
Alyssa Milano – The Actress
First, let’s take a look at Alyssa Milano the actress. She started acting when she was a child, and has gone on to be on some very popular series’ on television. Most people know her for her performance as Phoebe Halliwell on the “Charmed” show, aired on the WB. This show has been popular around the world. Other shows that she has starred in include “My Name is Earl,” “Who’s the Boss,” and “Melrose Place.” She has also recently started a new role on television in “Romantically Challenged,” on ABC.
Beyond Acting – Milano the Philanthropist Although doing an incredible job as an actress, there is much more to Alyssa Milano than the glitz and glam that comes along with Hollywood. Beyond the acting that she does, she has become an avid advocate for those in need, a philanthropist, and a humanitarian in every sense of the word. To show you the other side of this actress, here is a closer look at some of the many things she has been involved in within the past few years.
Alyssa Milano – National Ambassador for UNICEF
Back in 2003, UNICEF invited Alyssa to become a National Ambassador for them. This was a result of all the charitable work she had already done for children. Since she became the National Goodwill Ambassador for this country, she has traveled to work in a variety of other countries, including Kosovo, Angola, India, and more. Alyssa has also been working on the “Trick or Treat” campaign to help raise money for children in other countries and has been a spokesperson for that cause, which is a UNICEF project. According to Milano, she plans to continue working on projects with UNICEF in the future as well. Please visit Unicef and learn more of the great work they do helping children and families: http://www.unicefusa.org/
Friendship is extremely important for kids and adults alike. After all, it's friends who share in our life and who challenge us to be our best selves. With friends we create memories that are happy and with friends we go through tough times as well. Unfortunately, some kids have more difficulties than others when it comes to making friends. While you'd probably like to get out there and make friends for your child so they aren't so disappointed, you can't. However, what you can do is help to equip your child with the tools needed to function socially and start making friends.
Each child is born with the desire to have relationships; however, every child goes about developing friendships in a different way. For many children, especially younger ones, they need a bit of help to develop important social skills along the way before they are able to make friends. Some of these skills include negotiation, communication, problem solving, empathy, and cooperation skills. There are things that you can do to help support your child as they work to make friends. Here are some tips and ideas to help your child to develop friends.
A recent study was published in the May issue of Pediatrics, that showed children who are spanked when they are 3 (or older) are more likely to be more aggressive in kindergarten and throughout life than those children who are not spanked. While many of us that are currently parents grew up getting spanked and turned out okay, a poll done on how parents feel about spanking showed that more ten 80% feel it is appropriate, the National Pediatric Association disagrees.
Personally, I think that there is a time for a child to be spanked, though it is only ever a last resort and it is in response to a child putting themselves or someone else in harm’s way. I also believe that there are better options that we as parents have to not only discipline our children but teach them as to why what they did was wrong.
Parenting Tip One: Remain Calm
If you are angry it is going to be difficult for you to remain calm to explain to your child what it is they did wrong and why they are in trouble. Believe it or not, children don’t always know or understand why they are in trouble. So you need to be calm enough to explain it to them.
Tip Two: Make Sure You Have “Me Time”
As silly as this sound, parents who don’t have the opportunity to take time for themselves tend to be quick to react to a tense situation by spanking your child. I know as a mother of 3 (ages 15 to 16 months, wife, and home based business owner) that life can sometimes get in the way of us taking time for ourselves. You don’t need a day… or even hours… one hour or 15 minutes where all you do are focus on you. Listen to music… drink a cup of coffee really slowly… take a hot shower. It will help you put things in perspective.
Tip Three: Kind… but Firm
Parents also tend to spank when their child hasn’t listened to them after repeatedly telling their child not to do a particular thing. Next time you are in this situation consider getting down to your child’s eye level, put your hand gently on his or her shoulder and tell him or her what it is you want them to do in a kind but firm tone. Look sometimes it isn’t that they aren’t listening to you, they don’t know what else to do. Dr. Michele Borba recommends teaching your child an alternative to the behavior you want them to stop.
It's a real privilege to share my Recipes for Busy Moms here at More4Kids. My auntie taught me to cook when I was five years old. My uncle built a little red step-stool for me to stand on so I could watch her chop, stir and knead.
Auntie was an inspirational cook she'd add a pinch of this, a dab of that and for good measure, a cup of sugar. All southern recipes called for lard or sugar and often both. Now we know lard and sugar are deadly, so I've tweaked them out of our recipes.
To kick-off Recipes for Busy Moms, we're doing spaghetti! Spaghetti is messy and slurp-worthy; two main kid criteria. I prefer whole grain spaghetti, but the nutritional difference is not worth the battle if your kids don't like it.
Texas Slow-Fast Spaghetti
Crock pot cooking may be slow, but they help busy moms get dinner on the table fast.
29oz can tomato sauce
28oz can diced tomatoes – drained
28oz can crushed tomatoes with basil and oregano
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped bell pepper
3 cloves garlic – smashed
1 T Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper as preferred
14.5oz can chickpeas – drained
1T fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ lb ground round or turkey
Place all ingredients excepting chickpeas, parmesan cheese and meat in your crock pot. Cover and cook on High.
After about an hour, cook meat in skillet until done. Drain. Pour meat and chickpeas into sauce mixture. Stir. Cook about 4-5 hours. About ½ hour before serving, stir in Parmesan cheese.
Serve with your choice of spaghetti.
The beauty of this recipe is you can prep it the night before and let the sauce simmer while you're crazy-busy the next day. Since the meat is cooked before adding to sauce, it's fine to put it in the crock pot an hour or so before serving.
Spotlighting: This week we're spotlighting chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Chickpeas provide: iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and folate. In addition, they are power-packed with protein. Sprinkle them in salad, add to soups or stews or just serve chickpeas as a side dish.
Now, let's create fried spaghetti salad. This may just solve challenges of persuading kids to "eat your salad". My son enjoys it so much he calls the dish "Seconds Please Spaghetti".
The behind-the-scenes story is that I don't advocate the Clean Plate Club. We're raising a nation of obese kids, who will become obese adults. It's better to get some smaller plates and serve littler portions. If they love it, your kids will ask for seconds please too!
Seconds Please Spaghetti Salad