Healthy School Routine

Summer is a great time of year where kids can spend hours outside running free, playing and being little. We spend our summers at the pool, playing in the backyard, eating ice cream and going on bike rides. Our schedules are a little less packed, which gives some breathing room for extra time outside and later bedtimes which hopefully leads to sleeping in, but not always though.

Now, however, we’re back in school and my mind has switched gears to having a more set schedule. I strongly believe that our family needs routine and functions best when everybody knows what is expected of them. My children are in first grade and preschool, and I think it’s good to show them the balance of school work and play. For example, if my first grader comes home with a project, we need to get that done first before heading outside or to her sport’s practice. This seems like an easy and obvious thing, but for kids, all they want to do is play. If I make it a routine where we come home and get our necessary things done, they can feel a sense of accomplishment and then enjoy the reward of playing. I have a master degree in psychiatric nursing, and I can say that helping kids develop responsibility is a positive thing, as long as it’s being done in a gentle and kind way. It’s not easy, but if you stick to the routine, when they get older they’ll already have good study habits which will only help them to succeed in the future.

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Friday Faves

Happy Friday everyone! I have a wonderful book to share with you today. The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down by Margaret Wild is a delightful book about a girl who brings home a sloth to her family, who just happen to be the fastest family in the world. The sloth takes its slow time doing everything, forcing the family to also slow down, and thus, begin to appreciate all that is around them, including each other. It is beautifully illustrated by Vivienne To and is my pick for the week.

Stormy Sea of Parenting

Self forgiveness is the hardest part of being a parent. I try to start each day with the right mindset – to be my best, kindest, most loving self. My feet hit my bedroom floor and as my morning sleepiness wears off, so does my patience. It hangs on through the first batch of “nos” and sibling disputes. But as the parental waters start to experience storm waves and sea squalls of disobedience, I find it harder and harder to navigate. To quote a friend, I’m “treading water” in a sea of uncertainty and the waves start to knock me down. Instead of being my best self, it’s every man (or woman, in this case) for themselves! My mantra meets the reality of time outs, cool downs in rooms and loss of privileges. Raising kids is hard! Some days are just harder than others, and if you’re a parent, you’ve been there and know what I mean. Bad days can really ruin our self image and parenting morale. The secret though, is forgiving yourself. This is also hard to do because if you’re like me, you have high expectations for yourself. But we must learn to be gentler and kinder to OURSELVES! So, if you’ve had one of those days, take a deep breathe and try to forgive yourself. Know that I’m right there with you, and will be back at sea tomorrow, hopefully better equipped to handle whatever weather finds me.

Morning craft

Cute little piggie created by my daughter

My 6 year old woke up this morning and asked for an empty milk carton. She came up with the idea to craft this pretty pink piggie. We already had all the supplies (an empty milk carton, 2 sheets pink construction paper, cupcake liners, and ribbon) and worked together taping and cutting. We even added a curly ribbon for the tail. It was something fun and easy to do together. Plus, she felt a real sense of accomplishment! Great way to start my Friday!

Easy as riding a bike

Today will remain quite a memorable day; for my sweet first born rode her bike all by herself! What a feeling! Watching her pedaling, wobbling but holding on, steering back to the sidewalk to keep on her path. A new path for her that is exciting, one all her own. She now rides without training wheels, bringing her a sense of pride, accomplishment, and freedom. I start my journey today as well; a little wobbly, a little unsure, but have never felt more on the right path.