Parenting

Learning Can Be Fun

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Do you have a hard time keeping the kids educated during the summer time?  I find it’s difficult to keep them in a learning mode when it’s all about play time and no school.  Above is a regular evening of sitting him down to do some math, not so happy face.  I can’t blame him, they work hard throughout the school year.  I remember how much fun our summers were as kids, but I also didn’t have such a hard time picking up things I’ve learned like my son seems to have.  So it’s something I struggle with.  I’ve started making it a part of our weeks.  At least every other day, which I believe is fair, we make sure to read, write and do math.  After all practice is what keeps us up to date on things.  Some days he fights this more than others, but parents can’t give in.  I have to be stern about it or he’ll always try to wiggle his way out of it.  The other day I said, let’s play school and this was such a hit.  We took about an hour and I had my son and daughter play the students.  I was Mrs. Studdlemuffin, but they didn’t like that name lol.  So I shortened it to mrs. Muffin. It was funny to me and they smiled at it.  We did some homework, had a pretend recess, had a fake trip to the zoo, had science class, did more homework, fake lunch, more homework and then it was time to go home.  Of course we shortened the time for everything, first homework page was about 10 minutes, fake recess was about 5 minutes, fake zoo trip was checking out our dogs who were pretend lions and tigers and then going outside and looking for lizards and beetles, 10 minutes.  You get the point, make it fun.  Lunch was a quick snack of grapes and strawberries and by the end of the hour, we had done some educational work and had fun along the way.

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Summer Camp Year 2

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This is week 2 of summer camp in year 2.  What does this mean?  Remember my post about my fear of summer camp and the anxiety I passed on to my son last year?  (Read that post here).  Well this is my son’s 2nd year and it’s been great!  Well, almost! He hasn’t cried once and he’s had a good time on the day trips.  But in the first week, he said that a girl told him and his friend about how she was naked in the pool with a boy kissing and how she made him promise her that he would marry her.  My son is 7 so why is a first/second grader talking about this?! So I asked him about this girl, what’s her name, how old is she, who did she kiss, is the boy in your school, was it during a trip, followed by trying to explain this to him.  I asked what he and his friend said, and the response was probably more age appropriate, he said his friend told the young girl that he was going to sabotage their wedding by throwing poop on them! Are you cracking up, oh my jeez, kids!

He claims that this young girl was supposed to be a fifth grader that stayed back to 1st grade, I did not believe him.  This is not funny, how is it even possible, can a kid stay back that long?  I asked him to show me who she was the next day and to my shock, she really did look like a 5th grader that stayed back to the 1st grade because she was HUGGEEE as in older looking, not chubby, and she was sitting at the 1st grade table.  I don’t get it!!!!  As you know parenting doesn’t come with a manual so I wasn’t sure how to address this and I’m sure many of you will disagree with me, but I just told him to avoid any conversations about topics like the one she shared and to always tell me and ask me anything.  No new stories so far, but let’s see how the rest of the week goes.

 

Love Our Children Unconditionally

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I saw the movie, August: Osage County, and really enjoyed the way they portrayed the complicated relationships between parents and children.  Relationships that unfold like a repeated story, as mothers and fathers parent the way we are taught by our parents and how we are raised, regardless of whether it was good or bad.  I won’t get into a movie review as you can find plenty of those online, but I will say that observing the matriarch of that family (actress Meryl Streep) along with her sister and the relationships they had with their children was enlightening.  We learn as we age, the older the wiser and I believe that more with every passing year.  But sometimes, someone helps us to see by opening our eyes, forcing us to look within.  There is still so much I do not know about parenting and yet so much I know now than I did a decade ago.  I don’t want to have a bad relationship with my children.  I do not want to encourage them by discouraging them.  I want to be different, I want to break the cycle.  I do not want to treat them the only way I know how, I want to be better.

In this technologically advanced time, we have internet and blogs that mothers can reference to cross reference what other moms are doing.  We compare ourselves and wonder if we are doing it right.  But each mother, is different, each child is different and we must all find our own right ways.  None of us are perfect, but we can certainly try to be the best for our kids.  As they grow, they will know, they will see, that we did what we had to do, even if they didn’t like it.  I am tough because I have to be and want them to learn the life lessons I try to teach them.  I am weak, because I am human and I may not always be right.  I want my kids to know that they can do anything, be anything but I will also let them know why something may not sound like a good idea, or why something may not turn out how they think it will.  Communication is key, let’s talk to our kids like we talk to one another.  Be open and let them feel your unconditional love.  Unconditional in the sense that it doesn’t matter if they fail, it matters if they get up again.  It doesn’t matter if they failed a test, as long as you know they did their best, it doesn’t matter that they lost a game, or missed a shot, what matters is that they try and try again.  Success will come, in different forms.  I love you Daniel and I love you Addison.  I want to be better for you, I want you to know that I am trying to evolve and be the best that I can be for you.

 

I Used To Be An Addict Of Minecraft

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My 7 year old used to be addicted to Minecraft. However, I found a way to break that addiction and mine as well. What do I mean? My name is Janeth and I am a recovering Minecraft addict. See, when my son first downloaded this game around New Years, I thought it was silly. He could build things out of blocks of grass, dirt, wood, glass, etc and he could make animals show up, like cows, pigs, ducks, sheep. “Big whoop deedo”, I thought, and “BORING!” Until one day I picked up his Ipad to figure out what this Minecraft was all about and boom, 2 hours later I had just made the first floor of my 3 story mansion! I made a farm, I made a house for my neighbors, I made a mini mall… Child, I had issues! In that month span of time, I really had no life! I spent hours on this thing for a few weeks, What da hell was wrong with me?! I knew I had a serious problem when I started to cry because my little girl made a hole so deep that animals fell into this hole and could not get out. I HAVE ISSUES, I KNOW!  It’s a freaking game for God’s sake.

Anywho my son would come home and ask to play this game, every day. This was affecting his grades and schoolwork and I was upset about this, things had to change!  I wanted to blame my husband for introducing him to games and electronics but here I was, a grown woman, addicted as well. One sad day, my son deleted my Minecraft world, by accident, and that was the day I regained my life back (lol). (You know I’m exaggerating right). We decided to try something drastic! We implemented a harsh punishment on my son, NO GAMES for 30 days! I admit I was afraid we would not be able to keep up our tough act and worried we’d give in to this new rule as we have given in on a few things in the past. But no, for the most part, we stuck to it. It’s day 27 and day 30 is only 3 days away and we are going to make it AND even better his grades have improved! YES in just one month! How do I know, because the school emails us weekly grades believe it or not (which is slightly annoying).

During this month, we’ve only allowed our son to play Minecraft a total of 2 times, both were at family dinners, because his cousin was also playing Minecraft and it would be unfair to say “no, you can only watch him.” Plus if we wanted to have a peaceful meal, this was the price we paid, not too bad in my opinion.  He didn’t whine for the game after, he didn’t cry and beg. He is asking when the month is going to be up but not in a tantrum kind of way, just curiosity. And when the month is over, we’ll only allow it on weekends and only for a few hours max. So we broke the spell and this means, you can do it too! Is anyone else addicted or was addicted to this game or another?  Do share 🙂

 

 

Teacher Conference & Okay Parenting

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Today was the 9th day of first grade for our son.  He’s had a surprisingly hard time adjusting to this new school year.  I understand it can be overwhelming for young ones however, i’m not quite sure that his daily tears are normal. He starts talking about not wanting to go to school hours before bedtime and then as soon as he opens his eyes in the mornings.  I don’t see any other kids crying when they are dropped off.  So I’m left wondering, what is going on?  We’ve talked to the teacher prior to this, I’ve called the school counselor who has met with our son, and the only thing my little one says is that he misses us. Wow!  We miss him too but not to the point that we are shedding daily tears 😦 .  It hurts me to see him sad, to leave him in tears and it sets the mood for my days on the wrong foot.

He has also shared an incident which occurred during last school year that makes him nervous.  And it’s all my fault.  What did I do?  In my okay parenting, I made a mistake and wrote the wrong thing in his school planner.  This is a planner that the teachers refer to daily to see if the child is going to go home as a car rider that day, or if they are staying in the after school program.  One day, I wrote down that he was a car rider incorrectly.  What happened was that he waited until the last child was picked up and then no one was there for him.  So a teacher, told him to go inside to the after school program and to wait for his parents.  When I picked him up, he immediately told me what happened and I felt horrible.  How could I have made such a careless mistake?  In my daily rush after work, and after picking up my two children, its a rush to get home, feed the dogs, walk them, start dinner, get the kids in the shower/bath, do homework, write in my son’s planner, fit in a gazillion other daily chores and then get them ready for bed, I goofed.  I’m human and sometimes I do Okay Parenting and its been a struggle not be down on myself about this.

How can I get my child to understand that this was a mistake that I will not let happen again? I think we are okay because he hasn’t mentioned this incident in the past few days, he is still stuck on his idea of missing us.  In trying to calm his anxiety, I’ve gone from calm and collected, understanding and full of patience to screaming banshee trying to make him strong but  n o t h i n g  has worked thus far. Today we had a teacher conference and he seemed perfectly fine with the teacher, smiling and looking comfortable so that was re assuring to us.  I asked if he was making friends and she said he seemed fine.  It’s still early on so we have hope that he will soon be more relaxed about this necessary part of life.  We tell him about the importance of education and that mommy will be taken to jail if he doesn’t go to school, lets see if this sinks in 🙂  Man i’m telling you we are trying everything.  Today Daddy took away his Nintendo DS and told him he will not get it back until he stops crying every day.  I am praying that on the tenth day, tomorrow there will finally be, no more tears.