Tag Archive | kids

A Shout Out to All the Mamas

 

Hang in there, you’ve got this!  I am sure you have heard that before.  Seriously, I want to encourage you to be your best.  When you are exhausted and you feel like you can’t take one more step; pause, breathe and have confidence in yourself.  I know- easier said than done.  If I hadn’t been there before I would agree.  I have been to the end of my rope and thought, no more!  The 2 year old tantrums, the emotional 5 year old, the teenager with, well you fill in the blank here, the husband that wants something that you don’t think you have the energy for.  The time is precious with our family.  Does parenting get easier?  Well on some things, yes; but other things become more difficult.  So maybe you need to take 10 minutes to yourself, or let the house be a mess for tonight so you can get some extra rest.  We are all Super-Moms in our heads.  To be honest some days my cape looks great at the end of the day and other days I only have a thread hanging on.  When mustering up strength when it seems as though it’s not even worth it;  I can tell you it is, give it every last bit you have.  We need to show our kids we are stronger than they are and that we can muster up the strength when things look impossible. What I mean by this is we always have to show them we will win every battle that they come at us with.  This does not mean we can’t take a break and get our sanity/energy rebooted.  This means we are warriors and will always fight for what is right, this includes teaching our kids 100% of the time that they have rules, manners, and we are in charge.  

So again-hang in there, I know you can get through today and tomorrow you will wake up with more energy and power to accomplish another day.  

Stay Strong!

Heather

Zfam mama

Hello Everyone!

Thank you to all who are following me on Zfammama.com!  I’m excited to announce that I am now on Facebook and YouTube as Zfam Mama. So be sure and like and subscribe so you don’t miss anything!  I want to share a few things I will be blogging/vlogging about.  I want you to know that I am only sharing my knowledge and giving advice.  I never intend to hurt anyone’s feelings and don’t ever want you to feel as though you are not good enough.  Please know I am kind hearted and putting myself out there in a place I can be criticized- and that is scary for me.  We are all doing this life together and I hope I can be a virtual friend who is encouraging and helpful. Let’s live this life with joy and see all the blessings God has set up for us!

Here are just a few things I will be sharing my experience on:

Marriage:

How to stay in a honeymoon stage for your whole life

Arguments

Time for each other

Kids:

Discipline

Vitamins/probiotics

Lying

Cooking ideas:

Breakfast

Dinner

Have a blessed day and keep smiling!

 

-Heather

#Zfammama #hopealways #Vlogger #Blogger #livelifetogether

New School Year

Today my son started his 6th grade year. Last week my oldest son started his sophomore year of high school and my daughter started her 3rd grade year of homeschool.  What I want to talk about today is attitude.  I personally love summer and having my kids with me 24/7.  I am the parent crying when they go back to school.  That being said, I always have a positive outlook on the new school year.  While my kids are in Kindergarten-6th grade I write a little note to their teacher and give them a starbucks gift card.  The reason I do this is to let the teacher know she is appreciated and I care that she is spending 6 hours a day with my child.  I feel it is very important to be on the same team with your child’s teacher.  Education is very important to all of us as we want our children to succeed and follow their dreams.  I believe if we have a good attitude about school, homework, teachers, and other kids our children will also have this attitude and be able to cope better.  Let me hit on these for a minute.  

School-  I don’t like getting up early but I do it with a smile and focus on something good about each day, maybe it is a Tuesday and I say “Happy Tuesday I am looking forward to hearing what you learn about today.” or “Let’s take a walk after school today”.

Homework- the controversial one; I have an attitude of buckle down and get it done, this way there is time to play everyday after school. Also, sometimes it’s good to change the homework spot for the day; in the winter time I will start a fire in the fireplace and we will sit in the family room to do homework.  When the weather is good we will go sit outside to do homework.                                                                                                                 

Teachers- connect with your child’s teacher; you have your child in common so this is an easy one to work on.  

Other kids- we all raise our children differently so rules vary by family.  Bullying is such a hot topic these days and I think the main problem is that we are teaching our kids to fight back, instead of defending themselves and having empathy.  When we teach our kids to look at others lives and try to understand what they are going through our kids can deal with conflict and mean words a lot easier.  

I’m not saying there won’t be bad or emotional days, we just need to have an attitude of gratitude whenever possible.  Being a parent never stops and we shape our kids throughout life.  I know I would rather have my child smiling and looking forward to the next day rather than dreading tomorrow.

Homeschool or Public School?

You have to do what works for you and each of your children. You know your kids personality and needs.  Follow your gut, not people’s opinions.  Right now I have 2 kids in public school and one I homeschool.  My high schooler is a social bug and academics come easy for him.  To homeschool him would not work well with his personality.  He lives for being with different people and talking to them.  He likes having a variety of teachers even when some of them bug him.  I consider my 5th grader to be a genius.  I homeschooled him for Kindergarten and then he went to public school.  He was extremely easy to homeschool because he is self driven and has a desire to learn and gain knowledge. I homeschool my 2nd grade daughter who is opposite of her brothers, academically.  She struggles and would rather talk to someone about how their day is going instead of read a book. The nice thing about homeschooling is that I can modify the curriculum to fit my daughter’s needs (this is picking and choosing what works, not writing curriculum).  Another benefit for her is that I can teach to her learning style; for instance, she is a visual learner and I can use manipulatives and hands on tools to help her learn.  For her, she learns differently than the average kid and would be more likely to slip through the cracks in public school.  

When deciding to homeschool, make sure you have the patience to work with your child.  The first few years are literally teaching the basics.  Know you are setting the school foundation for your child.  Your child is relying on you to show them the world of education.  For me, first grade was the hardest.  I can tell you after completing Kindergarten through 2nd grade.  I am very excited for the years to come.   Another thing to be aware of is learning disabilities.  You know your child, so you will be able to tell if something is “off”.  I discovered this year that my daughter has vision issues and she shows some signs of dyslexia.  She wears glasses for her sight, and on top of that she has vision impairments.  After having her tested, I have modified her school work a lot.  I want her to feel great about her ability to learn and I don’t believe that learning disabilities define who she is, just how she learns.  

If you send your kids to school, be involved.  Walk your child to class, give him a hug, kiss.  Make your presence known as a parent who cares about their child’s day and education.  Be supportive of your child’s teacher and helpful when homework comes home.  On homework, I am sure most of us agree we don’t care for it.  When my daughters were in 5th grade they both struggled in math.  When they came home I would ‘re-teach” them math; they went from not understanding it to fully grasping concepts. Remember that no matter what- you are a teacher in your child’s life.   Whether you choose to homeschool or put your kids in public school; go for it knowing everything will work out.  Your decision can be a yearly choice.  

Walk confident and be Blessed!

Dealing with the Death of a Grandparent

400682_467210426689596_1441140039_nSo my mom passed away suddenly in February of 2015.  She was a very healthy woman with lots of energy.  She got pneumonia that turned septic and was gone in a day.  I have 5 children, ages 8-21 years old.  I know everyone handles grief differently.  I just want to share a few things I have learned, and give a few tips that may be helpful.

*I was in shock and mourning the loss of my mom; I wanted my kids with me 24/7.  So I kept them out of school until after the funeral.

My 2 oldest girls cried and shared what they were feeling.  They continue to talk, cry and laugh with me and each other.  We talk about memories, what we would miss in the future, and how to handle what people say to you during this time.  We rejoice knowing she is in Heaven.  My 8 year old will start crying and feel sad at all different times.  She is homeschooled, so some of her memories were with Grammie helping her with school work; which meant school work was an automatic reminder that her Grammie was gone. She is very open to talk and share what she is thinking and feeling.  I always acknowledge that this is a hard situation but we have to keep going; this is what Grammie would want and she wouldn’t want us to stop living or be sad all the time.

After the initial shock hit my boys, they cried, then they closed down.  They tried not to cry, acted like they didn’t care and then later came some other issues.

I started by letting my kids teachers know what had happened.  I believe in informing teachers  what is going on at home so they can help while they have my child for 6 hours a day.  If teachers are informed they can have a much better understanding of your child’s behavior.  For instance, my 10 year old started sucking his thumb again, something he hadn’t done since he was 4.  His teacher informed me he was doing at school and was able to help him while he was there. I reminded him to keep his hands out of his mouth while he was at school; although I allowed him to suck his thumb while he was at home.  This was the way he was comforting himself while he was  grieving.  I have to say there are still times he sucks his thumb and I know it helps him to feel better.  He also started having a hard time going to sleep at night.  I started using essential oils nightly on his pillow along with some Bach music playing until he falls asleep.  My 15 year old suddenly had a short fuse and no patience at school stating, “They shouldn’t mess with me, especially right now”.  He just expected everyone to know what he was going through.  He had so many different feelings and wasn’t sure what to say or share.  He is a strong, masculine boy who believed men need to be strong and hold it together no matter what.  Seeing his dad, uncle and Grampa cry helped him to see that crying was ok.  He believed there were tiers in grief and that he was on the bottom.  I let him know we all lost the same person, yes our relationships were different but he had a right to all his grief and sadness.  We have had a lot of short and long talks about feelings of grief. He is sharing a lot more with me, but this has been a long process and by no means do I believe all is well just yet.  My goal is to keep him sharing and healing.

I continue to talk to my kids and try to pull memories from them and ask how they are truly feeling at that moment.  I specifically ask “How are you feeling about Grammie’s death?”  This helps me teach the kids about emotional health and that their feelings are right for them to feel.  Sometimes my kids feel like they don’t have many memories with Grammie; I just talk about a few things to remind them and bring their memories back.

We will all have to deal with death at some point.  Remember  as long as someone has accepted Christ, they go to Heaven and we will see them again.

*Keep looking up to God and keep the faith.

Technology, the Big Debate

Tech for kids

So what is the right age for a tablet, computer, phone, maybe email, or social media? Well I believe this varies by parents. Once you introduce your kids to something new you need to be on top of it and in full communication with them about that item. Think about T.V. You don’t give your child a channel changer and leave them alone for hours to “explore”. I know all the things I listed above can be scary; being a parent is scary. You choose what your child gets and when. As well as how much time they get with each device. Remember all of these are privileges, not necessities. Always remember; you know what your child is ready for at what age. We have rules in our family of no cell phones till the end of 6th grade, and no social media accounts until Jr. High. They can only have family as friends/followers to start with until High School. Now let me share how we do social media. First of all, we know all user names and passwords. Second, we must pre approve friends before friend/follower request are sent or accepted. This continues until they graduate high school. You may ask “Well what about secret accounts?” Easy. We go on our kid’s phones, computers, social media pages- from their computers of course. They know if anything is questionable, their computer, phone, etc. is ours to take. Even if they received it as a gift. They live in our home, therefore, our rules. Let me tell you, it takes work to have all these electronics. We have 5 kids and that means we can’t be relaxed about it. We are constantly checking phones, computers, tablets, social media, etc. With everything we allow them to have, we have to check up on those things. We have well behaved children, but I make sure they are on the right track every day. So a few tips on all these electronics.

1. Make sure you have an open, honest relationship before giving them any of these gadgets.

2. Never allow computers/ tablets/phones in the bedroom especially with a closed door.

3. We plug in all phones in our family room area every night, no phones in the bedroom.

4. No phones at the dinner table.

5. Make sure to limit all electronics to your contentment.

6. Remember you are the parent; it is your job to teach your sweet babies about responsibility.

7. I use the line from Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

1 Timothy 3:4

He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.