Monday, July 11, 2011
Are sibling fights and arguments just a normal part of family life?
Since school let out a few weeks ago, I have turned into a full-time referee. My children are constantly bickering and will not stop picking on each other. I am not sure if it is their ages, their boredom or both. Everything can escalate into bad attitudes, name-calling and someone running into his or her bedroom crying. Add to that the boys trying to out “man” each other with constant wrestling matches, and my home is complete chaos and not a very fun place to be. There are only so many bottles of wine to settle my nerves, and I am at a complete loss for how to stop the sibling smack-downs that are becoming part of my everyday life. I have never been one to try and make things even, because at some point one child always has different …
Monday, June 27, 2011
Keeping kids on a routine is a great way to avoid mid-day meltdowns.
The thing my children love most about summer is staying up late at night. We have very strict bedtimes during the school year, so staying up late is a very special treat at my house. I am not talking about midnight; anytime past 8:30 p.m. is late for us. I would not be strict about a summer bedtime, but between long days at the pool and with each other, everyone is tired and can get cranky. I made the mistake of letting my kids stay up as late as they wanted last week. The problem, I quickly discovered, was that they were completely grouchy and falling apart the next day. I was also under the illusion that allowing them to stay up late meant they would sleep in. Wrong! It is the law of children that no matter what time they go to bed, …
Monday, June 13, 2011
Entice your children to read over the summer and instill a life long love of books.
Summer vacation is one short week away and I am very ready for slow summer mornings, late nights with friends, and days at the pool. I am looking forward to no more homework assignments, school projects, or spelling lists. As ready as I am for school to be out, I will be pushing on thing in my house all summer: reading. Summer is a great time to get our kids hooked on books and excited about reading. During the school year, a lot of our reading is focused on school related materials. The summer is the perfect chance to let your kids read whatever they want or whatever interests them. There may be mandatory lists for advanced students for their fall classes, but most of our summer reading should be enjoyable. This can be the perfect …
Monday, January 17, 2011
It is never easy to discuss the inevitability of death with children
Maybe the most delicate subject parents have to discuss with their children isn’t about the “birds and the bees.” It is about death. The subject of dying is unknown and scary, which makes it a very difficult thing to explain to children. Wanting to protect our children from fear and sadness, we often avoid discussing this inevitable part of life. With the recent tragedy in Tucson, AZ, where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, many children saw death right there on television. It was almost unavoidable. Seeing such violence leaves them with questions about society, mental illness, and death. Knowing how to answer and deal with these questions is never easy. But, the distant deaths of people due to a crazed gunmen or war can be a way …
Monday, November 1, 2010
The germ-anic challenges of childhood
Monday, November 1, 2010
After a cold wreaked havoc on my family this weekend, I decided it was time to think about getting a flu shot. It is inevitable that kids get sick. With three children in two different schools, we will probably be twice as sick this winter. The only thing worse than having one sick child, is having four (my husband is the biggest baby of all). We have Tricare, and can receive flu shots on Fort Belvoir. I am not sure why I have been so unmotivated to get it taken care of. There are other places to receive a discounted flu shot. Almost all the local pharmacies have flu shots, along with the Health Department. The Health Department gives out free flu shots to people with qualifying incomes, and is one of the least expensive places to be …
Monday, October 25, 2010
Better safe than sorry
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love any occasion where I get to wear something weird and eat chocolate. My children have followed my passion for the occasion, and start talking about costumes in July. This year I have Iron Man, Super Mario, and Cinderella ready to rock out for days on a sugar high. I love that I can blame their erratic and crazy behavior on all the candy they have been eating instead of my poor parenting skills. Trick or Treating is always a blast, and I love seeing all our friends and their children dressed up as their favorite animal or characters. Along with all the fun that accompanies the ghostly and ghoulish Halloween, there are some precautions and safety things that should be taken into account. After…
Monday, October 18, 2010
But the extra time gives teachers a chance to plan.
Monday is always a dreaded, hectic, busy day. For parents of elementary school students in Fairfax County, it is also an irritating day. Every Monday, elementary schools have "Early Release" day, when students are dismissed between 12:45pm (Newington Forest) and 1:15pm (Lorton Station). Teachers use the time for planning and scheduling meetings, but for parents it's more a big inconvenience. Early release Mondays began back in the early 1970's to allow teachers planning time. Elementary school teachers do not receive a planning period during the day to take care of administrative tasks. Therefore, students began being dismissed 2.5 hours early on Mondays to allow the elementary level teachers the time to make lesson plans, have meetings, …