Category Archives: General

Manners: What’s Important to You as a Parent?

As parents, we have our make or break topics. One of mine is manners. My kid doesn’t have to be the smartest in his class, they don’t have to be the best player on their team, but by golly they better have the best manners wherever they go.

I try to model good behavior. So I say please, thank you, you’re welcome, etc. Also, I smile when I speak to someone. I try not to be mean to customer service people, and if I see someone in need of help (a door that could be opened, a hand that can be offered, I do my best). I want my children to do the same. The world is such a large and busy place, but with just a smile, and a little politeness it doesn’t seem quite so frightening. Now I am not expecting my children to help a stranger, they know there are limits because of safety. However, when they see a teacher at school struggling with their books opening the classroom door, or a fellow student unable to zip their backpack, I have noticed them helping. What warms my heart the most? When they help their siblings, without being prompted.

So what is so great about manners? They aren’t much when you think in the grand scheme of things. But we have all seen those commercials where one small good deed sets of a string of good deeds, that can eventually change someone’s entire day, or their entire life. It is the small things that make the big things happen. So I try very hard to incorporate manners in to my life, and my children’s lives.

Manners are simple little things to add in to our daily lives. So take a look at some of the ways KidsTime describes manners. Do you and your family practice any manners that you think should be added?

KidsTime Manners ChartGood Manners

Are your Kids: Spoiled? Unspoiled? Just Kids?

We all have heard it at least once as a parent. Your kid is spoiled. But what does that mean? Is our kid really spoiled? Or is someone witnessing your child on a bad day? We all have bad days. We all have moments where we can act entitled, privileged, and snobby. But does that mean we are spoiled?

My son was recently witnessed on a very bad day. He was with me in the store. We had been shopping all day. We did a LARGE Costco run, we ran to the Bank, we ran to the Dollar Store, we took his sister to school, we attended a meeting for the PTA, and we finished it all off at Toys R Us. Bad idea, I know. But it was my daughter’s birthday weekend. We were picking up last minute items for her party, including her brand new bike. While we were in the store my 1 1/2 year old son who was very tired, had not napped for longer than a car ride all day, had not eaten since lunch (nearly two hours prior) and was physically and emotionally spent with errand day, spotted a brand new truck. holding my hand as he followed along he reached out to grab the truck. Sorry little man, not today, I sadly explained. That was the last straw for my poor little guy. Meltdown central began.

He let go of my hand and threw himself flat on the tile floor in the middle of Toys R Us and proceeded to throw a tantrum that would make the Academy want to award him a little gold statue. An older woman walked by and smiled at me, the she frowned at my son. Who had begun kicking while spinning on the ground, crying out-loud “want, truck, want truck!” I was exhausted myself, ready to be done for the day so I could take my daughter to baseball practice and finally go home to bake for her party. I wanted to scream, I wanted to yell, but I didn’t. Instead I bent down, picked him up, hugged him, gave him a bug kiss, and said “you really want that truck don’t you?” He sobbed, nodded, and laid his little head on my shoulder. The lady warned me. Do not give in to him. He is spoiled, he should not be rewarded with a truck for throwing a tantrum. Listen to me I have three grown children.

I understood her advice. I listened. I smiled. But I knew that my son had also had a long day. He had not been difficult until that moment. He was sweet in the other stores. Quiet at the bank. And still had to go sit through his sisters 1 1/2 hour baseball practice in the cold wind before going home to eat dinner and get ready for bed. I knew he needed something to keep him distracted, entertained, and lets face it, keep me sane. I reached for the truck and took it right to the checkout.

I know! I must be insane. I am spoiling my kids. But really, am I? My son stopped crying. He followed me closely to the checkout. He didn’t cry or speak again until he was happily strapped in his carseat. I unwrapped he truck and handed it to him. His face lit up, “truck!” he happily uttered. And for the entire time at baseball he played happily. Now I do not routinely I’ve in to tantrums. But, I do not feel this tantrum was truly a tantrum. Kids are just like us. they feel fatigue, they feel overwhelmed, and they are not always able to regulate those emotions as well as adults. I knew my son was at his emotional wits end. He was overwhelmed with his long day. I got down to his level, affirmed his feelings, hugged him to let him know I understood and it was ok. Sometimes we all just need to know there is someone out there who gets it. It doesn’t mean we are spoiled. It just means we are human. and after all, some of us are just kids.

How Strong is Spaghetti?: A STEM Activity

Frugal Fun 4 Boys has always been one of our favorite blogs. If you still aren’t following Sarah, you are missing out. We have been highlighting Sarah’s amazing ideas for years, and once again, we just have to share her brilliance.

STEM is such an important part of our education system now, after all, STEM activities are jobs in the future. STEM doesn’t have to be difficult, frightening, or intimidating. It can be fun, exciting, and easy to do.

How strong is spaghetti

This fun spaghetti project helps kids to understand how engineers go about choosing material for building bridges and other structures. It shows how some material works well in one scenario, but does badly in another. Sarah says the experiment is meant for children 13+ but it works well with children younger than that as well as long as parents can read the article with their kids and make it more understandable according to the age group and level.

Make sure you check out some of Sarah’so the great ideas at Frugal Fun 4 Boys. We mean it, you do not want to miss out!

Now it is your family’s turn to find out: how strong is spaghetti? And we would love to hear what your discovered, so please leave us a comment below.