Boo! Hosting a spoo-tacular Halloween Party

Boo! Hosting a spoo-tacular Halloween Party

It is that time of year! Fall leaves are blanketing the ground, pumpkins can be seen on most porches, stores are stocked with spooky costumes and more candy then any youngster could imagine. That's right; Halloween is just around the corner. This means fall parties at school and costume parties at home. Every little kid dreams of turning their house into the spookiest house on the block and having all their friends over for scary games and a huge junk food fest.  If you are feeling brave and want to host the best Halloween party but aren't sure of where to start read on.

The first thing to consider is the age of your children and their friends. The party games and themes are going to be different for older children, scary blood and gore really doesn't have a place at a party for 5 year olds. Then you are going to need to think about how many guests you are going to have your child invite, and for the younger kids you need to think about whether you want their parent(s) to stay with them.

You can buy invitations for your party, or you can get creative on the computer and create your own and then let your child color the invites. Remember this is their party, so letting them color with markers and glitter can be a lot of fun… and for the older kids stopping at WalMart and hitting the Halloween aisles where they can find fake blood, cob webs and other gross items they can even have fun making the invites. I recommend that on the invitation you put a start and end time this will help eliminate any confusion about how long the children are welcome to stay.READ More on Hosting the most Spoo-tacular Halloween Party!

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Little Girl Pretending She is a Fairy Princess

Little Girl Pretending She is a Fairy Princess

by Jennifer Shakeel

When you were little didn't you have an imaginary friend, or maybe your bedroom was a huge fortress where your bed was the castle surrounded by a moat and you battled the evil king from another castle… or maybe saved a princess… or maybe you were the princess. The point is that you played and you would use your imagination. Today, not as many children play as much or use their imagination as much as when we were kids… and that may cripple them in the long run.

I know that I am not the only parent that has said to their kids that "When I was little we didn't have cable… or the internet or Play Stations. We were thrown outside when we woke up and weren't allowed back in until dinner." I have said that very thing… more than once… and it is 100% true. We were expected to play, and play meant outside. When you played you were suppose to use your imagination because toys 30 and 40 years ago were nowhere near as animated as they are today. You had to make Barbie talk, and if Barbie had a baby chances are pretty good that you used a tiny little doll or a Play School toy to be the baby. GI Joe's didn't talk, they were tiny little figures, which again is different than when my dad was little and the GI Joe doll was as big (size wise) as Barbie. But to play you had to make it up.READ More on The Essentialness of Play and Make Believe

by Joy Burgess

Are there things you may not have said recently that your child may need to hear?

Are there things you may not have said recently that your child may need to hear?

We are generally aware of what we say to our teens.  We try to be positive, not use negative language, try to speak clearly so that there is no question about what you are trying to communicate to them.  But did you ever think about what you don't say to your teen?  Are there things that you aren't saying to your teen that they want or need to hear?  "What do you wish your parents would say to you?"  This was the provocative question posed on the website Words are Powerful: The Love Project.

The answers ranged from simple to complex, from funny to heartbreaking, but through it all, a pattern emerged.  There are some consistent things that children not only want, but need to hear from their parents.  Words are powerful, but the words we don't say can be just as powerful.  Just because you think it, does not mean that your child automatically knows it, or doesn't need to hear it.

Have you said these ten things to your child recently?

1) I love you

Of course you love your child, no doubt about it, but when was the last time you actually said it?  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we are doing in our jobs, in our personal lives, in our relationships that we forget to say the obvious but important things.  Don't take it for granted that your child knows that you love him or her.  Say it.  Sometimes they just need to hear the words.

2) I am proud of you

There are things about your child that make you proud.  Maybe they have a gentle, giving heart or maybe they have an exceptional artistic ability.  Find at least one thing in your child that you are proud of and let them know about it.  When you talk about your child to others, what do you say?  What elements about him or her do you mention, even brag about to others?  If you find that you are only seeing the negative, then it is a good time to find something positive, something good.  Then let them know about it.  You might be surprised in the attitude change that a simple "I am proud of you" can bring.

3) I support you in the things you want to do in your life

Your teen is not you.  They have different likes and dislikes, they have different interests.  To many teens, the feeling that they are not recognized as individuals is very real – and very frustrating.  Maybe they grew up in a family of lawyers, but they want to be a writer.  Maybe they feel drawn to a different religion or lifestyle.  Maybe they grew up in a large family with lots of kids, but have chosen to only have one or two children when they "grow up" and start a family.  Whatever the differences are, there is usually at least some anxiety involved when they tell you about it.  As a loving, supportive parent, just saying "I support you in the things you want to do in your life" can make all the difference.READ More on Ten Things your Teen would like to Hear you say to Them

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Cute Young Koala

Cute Young Koala

Happy Sunday. Many of us have gone to Church, and many of us are relaxing with our family. Today is a great day to sit back with our family and think about everything God has given us. It is a great day to think and be greatful about life, the wonders of nature, and the beauty all around us.

One way is to help our children understand life is to simply step back and look at nature all around us. Look at the trees,  the grass and flowers outside. As it gets colder in parts of our Country, talk about the cycle of nature and the rebirth to come in the spring. Sundays are also a great day for family field trips to a park, to an Aquarium or a Zoo if you are close to one. If not, see what is on your local PBS or the Discovery channel.

I recently found a video on Youtube of the cutest baby animals you will ever see. Watching it with your family and young kids can start a conversation about life and how dependent the creatures of the world are upon us. When we do things such as recycling it not only helps the environment but all that live on it. Try brainstorming ideas to help the creatures of the world. You never know what brilliant idea your child might come up with!

After all, all the creatures that share the Earth are Gods gift, and we need to protect and champion them. Together, one person, one family at a time, we can make a difference.

Now, enjoy this video from Youtube of some Cute Baby Animals

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Interview by Jennifer Shakeel

Parenting Tips for a happier healthier family

Parenting Tips for a happier healthier family

This week I had the absolute fortune of interviewing Dr. Sylvia Rimm. I am sure that many of you have heard of Dr. Rimm. She had a regular segment on the Today Show for nine years. She is also a best-selling author of books such as "See Jane Win," "How Jane Won,"  "Rescuing the Emotional Lives of Overweight Children," and "How to Parent So Children Will Learn" to name a few. Dr. Rimm is also a clinical professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and she is the director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, OH. I was very grateful that she was able to give me an interview.

Dr. Rimm has done extensive research on children that are gifted, children that are underachievers and overweight children and is considered among the top elite when it comes to many different parenting issues, families and issues that trouble tweens and teens. As you can imagine along with be grateful for her time I was overwhelmed with questions I wanted to ask. If you visit her website you will have access to more information then I could cover here, as well as you have the opportunity send Dr. Rimm your question about parenting and have her answer it.

For our talk what she and focused on were really ground rules for parenting.  The reason is because in her research she has found there are certain things that parents of happy, successful and achieving children do to help make sure that their children excel, that other parents aren't doing when it comes to parenting their children. After talking with Dr. Rimm, I was relieved to know that my husband and I were doing most of them… and that I found out the areas we need to tweak alittle to get better results.

The first "pillar" we will call it has to do with the words you use. The words that you use with your child to discuss that child, as well as the words you use about that child to other people are what helps to mold that child. Your words are actually the building blocks to the identity you child has. Dr. Rimm says that it is important that we are using positive words when we are talking to our children or when we are talking about them.READ More on Parenting Advice from the Best

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by Patricia Hughes

Teen Spending the Afternoon with her Dad

Teen Spending the Afternoon with her Dad

Most parents understand that their influence is important for their children, which is why so many parents spend time reading and thinking about parenting. Most of the research and news focuses on the importance of a stable family for children, but new studies have focused on the role Dad plays in his teenage daughter's life.

A study conducted at the University of Illinois was published in Child Development journal. This study looked at the correlation between sexual activity and parent-child relationships. Researchers interviewed over 3200 teens and their parents. The questions centered on interaction with parents.

Parents were asked questions regarding their knowledge of their kids' friends and how they spent their time. The answers were scored based on how much the parents knew about their teens and friends. Researchers compared this score with the rate of sexual activity in the teens.READ More on Importance of Dad for Teen Girls

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I heard about this girl this morning and really had to sit back and think. Kayleigh Crimmins, a 6 year old who loves dogs so much she wanted to help keep the dogs of the Newport News, VA K-9 unit safe. So do you know what this incredible little girl did? She sold her toys on craigslist to raise money to buy 5 bullet-proof vests for these dogs. Consider that these vests can run more than $600! Kayleigh has made similar donations for K-9 forces in North Carolina and Maryland.

This is just another example of how kids impact the world around us and can make a difference!! We are so proud of you Kayleigh!!

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