Resolve to smile more in 2012.New Year's resolutions abound. Even if you don't make resolutions at the start of a new year, it's virtually impossible to not think about what you want to improve over the next 366 days. (Remember, it's a leap year!) If you're a parent, you might even be asking yourself what you'll do differently in the months ahead.
Do you resolve to be a better parent? I know I do. A few years ago I wrote about the "4 Ls" to being a better parent: Lighten up, Let it go, Listen, and Laugh. These tips still apply to my life as a person and a parent. But my kids are older now and as we've all grown a few years, I've learned a few more lessons along the way.
Here are five resolutions I've come up with to foster a happier family life summed up in one nice word: SMILE.
Let's break it down, shall we?
Smile. Smiles are beautiful. They feel good. And like laughter, smiles are contagious. Smiles may even make you healthier. (Watch this TED video on the Science of Smiling.) I'm not saying you should
Blog Posts by Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff
Resolve to smile more in 2012.New Year's resolutions abound. Even if you don't make resolutions at the start of a new year, it's virtually impossible to not think about what you want to improve over the next 366 days. (Remember, it's a leap year!) If you're a parent, you might even be asking yourself what you'll do differently in the months ahead.Read More »from 5 Simple Resolutions for a Happier Family
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Moments Of Motherhood – Sat, Dec 31, 2011 10:50 AM EST
My New Year's Eve celebrations took on a very different spin once I became a mom, especially when my boys' became old enough to ring in the New Year with us (read: they can stay up past 10pm for a special night). And now that the majority of our friends have children, any New Year's Eve gathering has a kid-friendly angle. Whether it's the games we play, the activities we create for the kids to play, or the food we're serving, we have our kids in mind. It's their celebration, too, after all.
Where can you have the most fun to your New Year's Eve menu? Kid-friendly desserts.
Check out these adorable and yummy sweet treats we're sure your kids will love to make AND eat.Read More »from New Year's Eve Treats the Kids Will Love (and Want to Help Make!)
Can't wait to clean up!The house is beautifully decorated and you're full of holiday cheer. It's also okay to admit that you're also thinking about what follows your upcoming celebrations: Holiday Cleanup. The oodles of wrapping paper you have to pick up, the plethora of boxes you need to get rid of, the ornaments and decorations to be boxed up and put away...you know the drill. My kids always love to help in the decorating process, but the taking down part? Not so interested. So we've come up with a few ways to turn post-holiday chores into a fun family activity:Read More »from How to Turn Holiday Cleanup from a Chore to Fun
-It's not a box! We love the book, Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis because it reminds us that our kids' imaginations are boundless with something as simple as a cardboard box. So save a few of the cardboard boxes you've received from holiday shipments and packaging and see what those boxes become in the eyes of your kids. Robots? Forts? Spaceships? Tugboats? Cars? (And when they're done, don't forget to recycle!)
-Play wrapping-paper hoops!
According to Yahoo! Shine's holiday confessions survey, moms and dads are the toughest people to shop for over the holidays. But for me, I have the most difficult time finding the right gift for my sons' school teachers. We contribute to a class gift, but my kids enjoy giving their teachers a present as well, and it's usually something the boys make at home. We try to keep it useful and inexpensive, keeping to the lesson that it's how much heart you put into the gift, not how much money you spend.
We pulled together some of our favorite DIY teacher's gifts from some of our favorite craft/DIY blogs and all of them can be made for less than ten bucks!
How do you decide what to give your child's teacher(s) for the holidays?
Share your holiday photos and any other fun, embarrassing or incredible moments that you have captured on the Moments of Motherhood Flickr Group. While you are here take part in discussions with other moms.Read More »from Perfect DIY Teacher Gifts for Less Than $10
No matter how elaborate and colorful the holiday decorations, there's one simple item that always fascinates kids: the snow globe. Guess what? Snow globes are super easy (and inexpensive!) to make at home with the kids. No craftiness required!
Share your holiday photos and any other fun, embarrassing or incredible moments that you have captured on the Moments of Motherhood Flickr Group. While you are here take part in discussions with other moms.Read More »from Get Crafty for the Holidays: DIY Snow Globe
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Healthy Living – Sun, Nov 20, 2011 10:19 AM EST
With Christmas decorations appearing two months before December and the onslaught of stores hyping up Black Friday shopping, it's easy to feel stressed out about the winter holidays long before they've even arrived.Read More »from Are the Holidays Already Stressing You Out? Survey Says.
You may not see it right away, but the holiday season can make dents in your life that go far beyond your bank account. What about your relationships, eating habits and even how you plan to change yourself in the year ahead?
It's no shock that relationships can definitely be strained over the holidays. According to a recent Yahoo! holiday survey, 51% of respondents said that money is the leading cause of conflict with their spouses during the holidays.
And as your extended family members plan their visits to see you over the winter break, you might want to keep these thoughts in mind:
-One-in-five respondents report having their sex life negatively affected by visiting relatives during the holidays.
-Fifty-one percent of respondents said they have lied to avoid
Halloween wasn't even 24 hours behind us when my youngest son started asking about Thanksgiving. His excitement for the day stems from knowing we'll be celebrating with two of his favorite people, his grandparents. That, and the fact that the day will involve assembling a train set.
But me? I'm using his newfound love of Thanksgiving as an opportunity to teach him about gratitude.
And make crafts.
If you're kids are in a crafty mood and want to create art for Thanksgiving Day, check out these adorable -- and easy -- projects for kids (some adult assistance required).Read More »from 6 Thanksgiving crafts to make with your kids
photo credit: lego.comSo I'm sifting through the boxes my parents periodically leave me and finding all things cute and odd from my childhood. Along with a thick Hello Kitty collection, I also found my childhood stash of character pencils and erasers. And a binder filled with unused stickers. Also? Strawberry Shortcake and her aromatic pals (yes, they still smell!) cruising in a Snail Cart.Read More »from Right Now: What are your kids collecting?
I'm so grateful my parents saved these collections for me. I'd forgotten how many phases I went through as a kid.
And now with two little guys of my own, I'm fascinated by what they choose to amass. For my littlest guy (he's six), it's all things LEGO, but specifically? LEGO minifigures. Star Wars minifigures get bonus points. He manages to incorporate the little yellow-headed dudes (and some dudettes) into any type of play. They'll be in a wooden block tower, in a cardboard box, on a toy ship, in the car, on the couch, and just about anywhere an adventure is to be had in the mind of a six-year-old boy.
I think his
My parents are in the process of cleaning out their basement and they've found a way to include their kids in the process. Every few weeks, I find a box in my house.Read More »from Do you write notes to your kids?
Sometimes it's a box filled with old clothes I'd worn when I was little and my mom wanted to save them for me for when I had my own kids. (Sound familiar?)
One box was filled with my favorite childhood books, like the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. And the Anastasia Krupnik series by Lois Lowry.
Most recently, I found a box filled with my Hello Kitty collection. I was ecstatic; some of these items were now vintage and I could even put them to use. (Yes, I'm wearing my Hello Kitty watch!).
But the best discovery was finding a Hello Kitty wallet that contained notes my dad had written. He'd sometimes leave the notes for me on the kitchen counter before he went off to work in the morning. They were simple: "Be good in school today! Don't talk too much in class! Love you." I didn't find notes every day, but when I did,
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Sat, Oct 15, 2011 6:14 PM EDT
We have a family rule in casa crazedparent: No talking about Christmas until after Halloween. No questions about what behavior Santa is watching. No official list making (the boys have notebooks where they do keep track on their own). We could try to push it until after Thanksgiving, but it would be near impossible since everywhere you look in November, it's Christmas-a-go-go.Read More »from Dear Diary: I bought a Christmas present...in October
My kids are doing a great job sticking to the rules this year. And so am I. I'm not talking about Christmas. But yes, I will admit to buying a Christmas present this week. It was a product I knew would be long gone had I waited until November.
I'm relieved that I won't have to do a frantic search for this particular LEGO set in a few weeks. It'll be safely tucked away in a certain holiday hiding spot. Yet there's a little piece of me that's disappointed because I fell prey to the trap of Christmas consumerism...in October.
Are you guilty of Christmas shopping already? When do you start?