One of the most natural places to connect with your family each day is at the dinner table. My experience and numerous studies show that eating meals together is one of the best things we can do for family—kids who eat dinner with their families more often do better in school, are healthier physically and emotionally, and develop better social skills.
But, we live in the real world and it’s not easy to juggle kids’ activities and work schedules and still have time to sit down to a real meal.
I asked my friend and meal planning guru, Aviva Goldfarb, for some easy to implement tips to save busy parents real time in the kitchen. Aviva is the creator of the family meal planning service, The Six O’Clock Scramble, and the author of a new best selling cookbook – so I trust her judgment!
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Empowering Your Child to be Capable & Self-Sufficient
Fellow parents… raise your hand if you ever feel the overwhelming sense of irritation when your child asks you (maybe for the fifteenth time) to do something he or she can totally do for themselves. Is your hand up in the air? Take comfort – you’re not alone!
All families deal with helplessness from time to time. If feigned helplessness is a once-in-a-blue moon occurrence at your house – no big deal. We all have our moments! However, if your child acts helpless on a daily basis for things he can and should be doing for himself, it’s time to put the brakes on that behavior!
The type of helplessness we need to reign in is when kids ask (demand, whine for) us to do things they are perfectly capable of doing for themselves. Depending on the age of your child, it might be something like, “Daaaaaad, I need you to ‘butter my bread’, ‘tie my shoe’, or ‘get me a juice box.’”
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We parents spend a LOT of time in the car…shuttling from this practice to that rehearsal, from school to home, from doctor or dentist and the list goes on. We long for a witty rapport, pleasant conversation – and sometimes peace and quiet. But, it’s the peace part that often seems elusive. Backseat bickering and sibling squabbles reverberate off windows making us wish for a way to teleport back to the house in a hurry!
What’s a parent to do? You’ve tried yelling. Making idle threats. Or grounding them forever – but to no avail, right? Even if you can get them to stop squabbling in the moment, you know those tactics don’t work in the long run and you’re likely to hear another round by the next stop sign.
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And Help Kids Make Healthy Choices!
For many families, EVERY meal feels less like a Norman Rockwell painting and more like a battle of epic proportions. Mealtime is one of the biggest stressors for parents, especially those with little ones. Why? Because kids are winning! Think about it – eating is one of the few things kids can legitimately control. Hard as we try – we can’t MAKE them eat. We can, however, help children make healthier, empowered choices – creating a WIN for parents AND kids.
Ready to “turn the tables” and put the mealtime melodrama to rest? Try these five strategies: Read More →
Tips for More Joyful Parenting This Season
For some parents, this season is merry and bright. For others, it’s like the “Santa gone wrong” photo with kids screaming and Santa looking like he needs a serious vacation. If your holiday is starting to look more like the second scenario, take heed; there are tips and tricks for keeping your wits about you and having lots of fun throughout the holiday season.
Here are a few tips to put HAPPY back into your holidays… Read More →
Guest Post by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD
Is there an “art of giving?” I believe there is. Much like the creative inspiration that flows through paint brushes and poetry, giving is an individual expression of caring for someone or something beyond ourselves.
Most of us learn the art of giving in our childhoods. I remember how my mother coordinated a neighborhood bake-off so we could take sweet holiday treats to our local nursing home. With several other families, we delivered trays of goodies and sang carols for the residents. I remember how I felt as I witnessed gratitude through the eyes of elderly patients, some of whom could not speak. Read More →