eating out with young kids

We’ve all been afraid of being that table in a restaurant. Aidan is more interested in playing musical chairs than sitting still in his. Josie refuses to use her inside voice. Luke and Lauren keep exchanging mac and cheese torpedoes across the table. Eating out with young kids doesn’t have to be a stressful battle royale – with some planning and practice, your family can enjoy peaceful meals out.

1. Practice at home first. In calm moments at home, take time for training before you venture out to a restaurant. Practice proper dinner manners by inviting stuffed animals or friends to a tea party or snack. Role play good choices like sitting still, using utensils and waiting patiently. Don’t forget the importance of emphasizing manners at the dinner table every night – your kids will be better able to follow the rules when dining out when they know what’s expected of them at the table.
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Sportsmanlike Conduct

by Amy McCready

How to Teach Kids the Positive Rules of the Game

sportsmanlike conduct

As young athletes across the country and around the world tune in to watch their sports idols go for the Gold at the Olympic Games, it’s a great time to do some training on sportsmanship.

Here are my Top 10 Tips to foster a winning attitude on the field and off:
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Lying

by Amy McCready

Seven Steps to Encourage Honesty in our Kids and Put an End to Lying

lying

Perhaps your budding artist suddenly disowns the crayon mural in the hallway. Maybe your daughter, who has spent the last hour making mud pies in the backyard, tells you she’s already washed her hands, despite mud caked on her hands. Or your teen tells you he got home last night at curfew when you heard him come in a half-hour late. Whatever the lie, it’s a frustrating challenge for parents. But when we understand why kids lie, we can help our kids become more honest.
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dina rose

I bet you know what your children ought to eat. It’s no secret that kids should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and lots of variety, and that no one—not even the pickiest person—should subsist on crackers alone. Yes, carrots trump candy. But how do you get a child, whose loyalty to pasta knows no bounds, to even consider eating anything else? That’s the kind of question that trips parents up all the time.

The answer, you may be surprised to learn, is to stop thinking so much about nutrition. Nutrition puts your focus squarely on the food, and that’s not where the problem lies.

You also have to stop looking for the perfect recipe. Trust me, it doesn’t exist. Because even if you could find something your kids would love to eat today, there’s no guarantee that they’ll love—or even eat—it tomorrow. Kids are fickle that way, and that’s the problem.
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Why Do Kids Whine?

by Amy McCready

Why Do Kids Whine & How To Get Them To Stop

why do kids whine

Nails on a chalkboard – that’s what it sounds like to a parent when we hear our kids whine. So why do kids whine? In most cases, it’s because we let them.

Yes, kids whine sometimes because they’re overtired or hungry. In these cases, it’s best to comfort your child and tend to her most pressing needs. But otherwise? Walk away.

Why? When kids whine and we respond, we provide a payoff that makes the behavior continue. Kids whine not to be annoying or intentionally irritate us – they’re often just looking for attention.
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“Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities.” -Gary Smalley

Although it is not easy to admit, I used to criticize my children under the guise of “good intentions.” Whether it was poor posture, unmannerly eating habits, improper grooming, uncoordinated outfits, or a less-than-desired performance in sports or music, I felt the need to constantly correct. I justified the criticism by saying it would help them be more likable … or more successful … or more self-confident. But truthfully, it was all about me. I was concerned about how my children’s behavior or appearance was going to reflect on me. I pushed for perfection because I was overly concerned about what other people were going to think of me, not them.
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