veterans day prayer

No matter what our political affiliation is, or what we believe about the wars are troops are involved in, we need to make sure we keep our troops in our thoughts and prayers this holiday season and especially this Veterans Day. I received this picture from a friend and it really stuck me how alone they are. Fathers, sons, mothers and daughters will not see each other this year. Instead they will be doing their duty and helping to protect the United States and the freedom we have.READ More on Veterans Day: Remembering Our Troops and Their Families

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Mom and Son tugawar

Eliminating Power Struggles with Children – by Lori Ramsey

Busy families often meet strife when trying to get through the day. Even after planning and scheduling the daily events moments of power struggles often escalate into full-blown arguments. Parents lead the way through example and remaining calm and in control are paramount to keeping the power struggles at bay. Sometimes you simply must pick and choose your battles and understand when it’s right to go head-to-head and when to back down and compromise.

Empathy is a great place to start, and empathy requires patience with the parent. Empathy starts by respecting our children’s feelings. If an argument is about to ensue, pause a moment and try to place yourself in your child’s shoes. Is this happening for a reason other than the child is just being a brat? It’s easy for us to lose control and think our kid as being difficult when there may well be an underlying reason for the behavior. If you pause and place yourself in your child’s shoes you may understand why they show the need to argue.

Start with asking why the child won’t do as asked. Perhaps there’s discomfort. Example, if you ask your child to wash the dishes and they whine and say no, ask them why. Maybe they have a cut on their hand or extra dry skin. Or perhaps the child doesn’t want to wash the dishes or if the chore is so boring they don’t want to do it. But by asking them why not, or if they have a reason they shouldn’t (and say it in a way that shows true empathy.) Offer a solution why they should follow through without arguing or whining? But let them know you listen to their concerns. Direct with patience and calm. Offer solutions. “If you wash the dishes now, you’ll have more time to play on the game system.” “Wear this pair of gloves to protect your hands.”

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Teaching Tolerance and Compassion

The “Year of the Trump” is overdue for its end. The Republican Presidential candidate has gone out of his way to add profane expletives to campaign rhetoric. As a Dad, even in a 'locker room' I have never ever used that type of talk! He’s proudly displayed his lack of respect for individuals, groups, and beliefs, unless they happen to agree with his idea of right and privilege. Notable party members who censored his statements and actions hastily got back on board when it appeared that they were harming their own political careers, not Donald Trump’s.

A major issue of concern for parents, teachers, and leaders is the lack of tolerance in the actions and written and verbal tirades of the would-be President of the United States. Decades of careful paving over the highway of compassion has been blasted apart in the last 15 months. It seems that nothing is too sacred for the man to attack and condemn.

Demeanor During the Primaries

Compare the positive types of behavior you learned while growing up to that of Trump. Somehow he missed lessons about humility, compassion, and kindness. Amazingly, he appears to have excelled in honor classes stressing selfishness, judgmental discourse, and a condescending attitude. The wonder is that any person who believes in fairness, good manners, and truthfulness can stand to see the trail of trash he’s deposited on the campaign trail.

Educated leaders rarely include profanity in their speeches and debates to emphasize their statements and positions. There are enough socially acceptable words to get the message across without being vulgar. The presidential debates once were an excellent way for children to learn more about the political process. Now Trump has made it an example of the ugliness of hatred and intolerance of ethnic, racial, and social differences. The hostility and lack of compassion created among school-age children by this example has been named the “Trump Effect”.

Attacks on U.S. Veterans, Senator John McCain, and Others

Senator John McCain has been taunted by Trump. The Donald stated McCain, who spent more than five years as a POW in Viet Nam, is no war hero because he was captured. Trump later emphasized he “liked people that weren’t captured.” The attack on the senator, in addition to other American POWs from different wars, is an extreme insult coming from a man who requested student deferments and eventually was marked as 4-F.

What does Trump know about military service and the oath to serve this great nation? His choices eliminated the opportunity to understand bravery and patriotism. Members of the Republican Party have criticized Trump’s attacks on McCain as well as his intolerant statements about Mexican immigrants. He’s threatened and bullied people who don’t support him.

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Kids poetry

by Bonnie Doss-Knight 

Kids write the darnedest poetry. A child sees the world through their eye of imagination. They see ordinary things as the wonders they really are. He or she thinks in possibilities.

Introducing poetry to preschoolers' will encourage and nurture creative expression, while their unfettered imagination permits them to "be" their surroundings. Soon enough, some well-meaning person will enlighten your kid he can't be a mountain or purple.

Poetry is a process. You can't teach a child to write a poem in the same manner as teaching 2×2=4. Begin by reading children's poetry to them. Strangely, little kids prefer funny, rhyming poems.

We suggest:

  • Anything by Shel Silverstein, such as – "Falling Up", "Where the Sidewalk Ends"
  • Kenn Nesbitt – "Revenge of the Lunch Ladies", "My Hippo Has the Hiccups".
  • Marilyn Singer – "Nine O'clock Lullaby", "A Stick is an Excellent Thing".

And, the must-have, beloved – "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown!

Take a Poetry Field Trip in Nature

Once children can recognize poetry, it's time to take them to its source. The natural world is an ideal place for kids to catch poems. It is where she might find a flower and sit with it, talk to it, be the flower.

He may observe water – a river, ocean or lake. His river contains bubbles to ride into outer space. It talks in short splatters.

Kids do not need (or understand) elaborate rules about meter, syllables or rhyming schemes. The purpose of poetry field trips is to allow. Allow your child to unlock his creative potential; develop awareness through observation; enjoy big FUN. Kids cannot achieve greatness when confined by boundaries.

Allow them to write Free Verse. Give really simple instructions such as: today we are taking a field trip to explore the natural world. Find something interesting – a wildflower, a tree, an unusual stone.

What color is it? How does it feel to touch? What does it smell like? What do you think it would taste like? Collect words as they come to you.

Remind your child that poetry does not have to rhyme. Trying to find rhyming words can wreck the creative process. When they read their efforts to you, be prepared to be surprised.

Like did you ever realize a wild rose is velvety, like a chocolate cupcake? Or, that its thorns are like tiny stair steps fairies climb to their bed?

Take Note: It is easy and rewarding for homeschooling moms to add poetry field trips to their curriculum. However, working parents must find innovative ways/times to introduce kids to the art of poetry. Think Sunday afternoon, family night or following family dinner (which is regaining popularity).

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Dad and Daughters

10 Tips for Coping When Kids Favorite a Parent

Parenting is a challenging, but, highly rewarding endeavor. Most kids love their parents equally; however, there are situations in which a child will favor one parent over the other. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide 10 tips for coping when kids favorite a parent. Before delving into the content, though, we feel it is important – right up front – to inform you that love and the concept of favoritism are two very distinct things. If you find that your child favors either you more or they favor the other parent more than they do you, there is no need to worry. This is a very natural occurrence that has happened all throughout history and will continue to occur in generations to come. Now that you understand this very important point, it is time to learn how to cope with offspring favoritism.

1. Learn What Love Is as It Pertains to a Child’s Love for Their Parent

The first step to coping with a child that favors a parent is to learn what love is as it pertains to a child’s love for their parent. Love is the tender feelings associated with affection. When a child loves a parent, it indicates that they are loyal and devoted to that person.

2. Learn What Favoritism Is as It Pertains to Children and Parents

The next step to coping with a child’s favoritism towards a parent is to understand what that truly means. Essentially, it simply implies that a kid has a more intense pull towards one parent, rather than the other. While kids may recognize this, they are not usually very comfortable in acknowledging and/or expressing their feelings of favoritism. In most instances, a child may feel guilty for how they feel. In other instances, they may attempt to make others feel guilty.

3. Avoid Becoming Subjected to Manipulation as a Result of a Child’s Favoritism

We all want to be the “favorite” parent. Oftentimes, kids know and understand this fact. As a result, they may attempt to subject one parent or another to manipulation. The parent that is favored may have a desire to give into the child to keep them liking them the best. The same holds true for the parent that is not favored as much. They may give into their child more in order to earn that child’s favoritism. To effectively cope with favoritism, you should never allow it to manipulate you – whether through feelings, guilt, or through your child.

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Halloween ghost

Creating a memorable Halloween bash for children can be rather difficult. It is challenging due to the fact that there are a lot of Halloween party ideas out there, but very few that are considered to be “unique”. You have your standard Halloween party, with bobbing for apples and spooky music. Then, you have your average “haunted house”, or “haunted hayride”, “Spook walk” and more. The issue is not a lack of ideas for Halloween; it is a lack of “unique” ideas for this festive holiday. Here, I will provide some “not so common” ideas on how you can go about creating a memorable Halloween bash for children.

Halloween Idol

Halloween Idol is a relatively “new” concept when it comes to creating a “memorable” bash this holiday. This concept is based on the ever-popular “American Idol” that many of us, and our children, enjoy watching each year. Basically, this works by establishing three judges who either dress like, or act like, the famous “Paula, Randy, and Simon”. You must also have a person who represents “Ryan”. The children will take a number, and then sit in the “Audience”. Each child will be permitted a “turn” to either display their costume, play a small skit in their costume, or display whatever other talent that they choose to display.


The “judges” should act much like the ones on the show as far as choosing the best, and doing eliminations. However, they should not be as “harsh” as the real judges generally are. Eventually, the participants should be broken down to five, and they should then be “voted off” until there is a winner. All the children should get small prizes for their participation, and then there should be a larger prize for the main winner. Several individuals have put the idea of “Halloween Idol” into place and have found it to be highly entertaining and successful overall. If you are looking to create a “memorable” Halloween bash, this is a great idea to put into place!

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kids and politics

As we approach the 2016 presidential election, the question on everyone’s mind is who the next president will be. Your child may already have comments about some of the people they’ve seen on their television and are asking questions. It’s never too early to get your child invested in politics and to understand what is going on in the world.

Along the way, you’ll be asked some common questions about the campaign. It is best to be honest and open with your children about the process. The most common will be what is voting. You can explain to older children that voting is a process where people cast a ballot to decide the next president. With younger children, you can introduce them to voting by having the family sit down and make a decision together with everyone having a say.

When children ask if they can vote for the president, you can explain to them that the Constitution and the four amendments that deal with it, declare that U.S. Citizens who are 18 years or older are the only ones allowed to vote. While that means they cannot vote in the election for president, they still can have open discussion about politics.

As you talk to your children about voting, make sure they understand the importance of being heard. That when they turn 18, their vote and voice counts. After all, it was largely young voters who decided who won the 2004 presidential election. When the results become neck and neck on items, it could be their vote that ultimately helps to determine a position on a proposition or who holds a particular office.

You’ll also need to explain political parties to them. While it sounds exciting, it isn’t the same as a birthday party. Instead, this is a group of people who share interests that are banding together to help make decisions in the world. While there are similarities to their own parties like balloons and dancing, the focus is on making decisions. There are Democrats, Republicans, Progressives, Green Party, Libertarians, and others.

As your child learns more about being president, the next logical leap is wanting to be president. You’ll need to teach them what the constitution says about being president. The only way they can run for this office is:

  • Being a citizen who was born in the United States.
  • Have lived for the past fourteen years in the United States.
  • Be age 35 or older.

With this in mind, we need to look at the reasons why children should be involved. The first is the most obvious, freedom depends on everyone being part of the political process. When you don’t voice your opinion and allow others to make the decisions that direct your life and your rights, you give up something precious. Many laws are difficult to fight when they are put in place.

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