Never Been Here Before

Patience The Mom with Moxie

A few months ago, when the hubs and I were having a particularly bad time with the kid‘s behavior, my dad said to me, “Be patient, he’s never been eight before, and you’ve never parented a eight year old before.” Now, while the statement may seem simple, it’s really not. To me, what it means is that it’s all new to all of us. We can’t approach parenting and discipline like the kid already knows what’s going on. We need to address each new challenge with a fresh perspective. Otherwise, we’ll get stressed out and find no resolution.

I’m trying to approach things, from this point of view, but it’s hard. Really hard. It’s easy to say, “You’re seven years old, act like it!” But, really, how would he know how a seven year old is supposed to act? Heck, how do we know how a eight year old I supposed to act? Because really, my eight year old is different than every other seven year old. I just have to learn to approach parenting from this P.O.V.

What about you? How do you approach parenting? What’s your technique?

What does the frog say?

Phew! It has been a busy few weeks. The culmination being the kid‘s music concert at school. They have one every year, for each year. The third graders’ concert was called “Swamped.” It was all about animals who live in the swamp. All the songs were about swamp life, there were skits about swamp animals and – best of all – the kids all dressed up like swamp animals.

Swamped

Here’s a shot of my little froggy.

the mom with moxie frog

There was also an art show, showcasing the artwork of all the third grade classes. I know I’m a bit bias, but I really think the kid has some artistic talent – although, he most definitely did not get it from me.

the mom with moxie artwork

It was such a cute show, and I’m glad everything went so well. However, I’m so glad it’s over because the kid practiced his songs so much, I knew them all by heart.

Because “do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work.

the kid

I come from the time where kids were raised in the way of “do as I say, not as I do.” And while that worked (kinda) for my parents, I don’t want that to be the way I parent. I mean, I know that sometimes the kid just have to do something, “because I said so,” however, if I want him to do something the “right way,” I feel I’d better be providing a good example of what the “right way” is.

Want him to eat his vegetables? I’d better be eating mine.

Want him to watch less TV and read more? I’d better have a book in my hand, more often than the remote.

Want him to do his chores, before playtime? Then the kitchen should be clean, before I logon to Facebook.

Want him to turn off the video games and go outside and play? I’d better be turning off the computer and getting some sort of physical activity in as well.

I could go on and on, with example after example – but I think you get what I’m trying to say.

You see, as easy as it is to say, “I’m the parent, and you do what I tell you to do,” It’s easier – in the long run – to provide a good example of what “doing the right thing is.” If you want kids to choose to do the right thing – you have to show them how, in addition to telling them.

Back to School: The Woe is Us Edition

Despite not falling asleep until darn near 11 p.m., even though he went to bed at 8:30 p.m., the kid woke up this morning bright eyed and bushy tailed.

The-Kid-3rd-Grade

Everything started off, great. He got up and he ate his breakfast, with very few complaints. Then, it happened…

“I don’t want to wear that outfit anymore.”

“I don’t want to wear this one either.”

“I don’t want to brush my teeth. You do it. Never mind, I’ll do it.”

10 minutes later, I found him playing in the bathroom. He still hadn’t brushed his teeth.

He finally finds the outfit he wants to wear. I iron it, and assume everything will be OK moving forward.

“Ugh! I hate these underwear. They’re too big.”

Changes into a new pair.

“Arrg! I hate these too. They’re too small.”

At this point, I’m wondering if Mr. Goldilocks will ever find the perfect pair that fit “just right.” Finally, finally, he found a pair he could live with – while only complaining a little bit.

He puts on his clothes, and I hold my breath hoping he doesn’t have any complaints – especially since it’s his third outfit.

Then, it’s time to put on his shoes (his new shoes he begged for) and get ready to go.

“I hate these shoes! The laces don’t tie right and the tongue moves to the side.”

Puts on a second pair. No complaints. Phew! I quickly kiss the hubs goodbye and usher the kid out the door.

As we’re walking to the car…

Wait for it…

“I hate these shoes! They’re too small!”

Seriously.

The entire ride to school he fussed about these shoes. Ranting and raving about how much he hated them would be attending the first day, shoeless.

I park the car, and take a deep breath before telling him, calmly, that he would be wearing shoes – those shoes he’s currently glaring at. I told him that he was doing to have an awesome day, and learn lots of fun things. He (begrudgingly) agreed, although a bit peeved.

We get out of the car, and walk into the school. He’s still upset.

Then he sees his best friend. All of a sudden, his shoes don’t matter. He gives me a big old kiss, tells me he loves me and runs to play. All is right in his world.

I get the car, take another deep breath and wonder if 8 a.m. is too early to have a drink.

So, that was my morning. How did your kid(s) first day go?

It’s Back to School Time

School started to day, for the kid. This morning was definitely a test of my patience and I’ll be posting about it later today. However, to tide you over and overwhelm you with cuteness, here is a cute collage documenting his first days of school for the past four years.

the-mom-with-moxie-back-to-school

Childhood Adventures

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The other night, I was watching The Goonies (Best. Movie. Ever.) and it had me all nostalgic for the adventures of my childhood. When I was a kid, we used to trek all over the neighborhood. All was fair game, nowhere off limits – as long as we were home before the streetlights came on.

Unfortunately, these days, I feel like we can’t even let our kids out of our sights, for fear that they’ll be taken, or even killed. Watching the news lately, makes me feel like the bad guys have won. I hate that my son can’t have the same type of wonderful, adventure-filled childhood that I did. I hate it. And, I don’t know what to do about it. How can I let him have the space to grow, without compromising his safety? I don’t want to be a helicopter parent, but I don’t want him in danger either. What do I do? What do you do, to ensure your children’s safety, but still let them have “fun?”

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5 Tips for the Working Mom Looking for Work-Life Balance

It’s hard being a working mom. Millions of women, do it every day, but figuring out a way to balance work and home life, escapes most of us.

Between meeting deadlines for work, caring for their children, spouse and home – we certainly have a lot on our plates. So much so, that at times, it feels like we’re tying to keep all the plates spinning at the same time. It even seems like we’re working two, three or even four jobs at once!

Some days are better than others, when you may feel like you have everything smoothly, and other days you may feel like nothing is going right.

But with careful preparation and scheduling, working moms can make your days – and nights – run a bit more seamlessly.

Here are a few tips, to help you out:

  1. Try not to bring your work home with you. Keeping evenings and weekends somewhat “work-free,” will give you time to get those household tasks done and spend some time with your family, rather it’s watching a movie, playing a game, or going to the park or library.
  2. Prepare meals ahead of time. You can freeze them, and use them for meals during the work week.
  3. Pack lunches and lay out clothing, the night before. That will make your mornings a little more stress-free.
  4. Put essential items (car keys, purse, briefcase, book bags, etc.) in the same place, every evening. You’ll be able to locate them easier, during the morning frenzy.
  5. Be consistent with the bedtime schedule and routine. That way, your children know that it’s almost bedtime.

As working moms, we may never find the formula for a perfect work-life balance, but with a little practice and consistency, things should definitely become a little easier.

Have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments section!

Awesome Resource for Parents of Driving Teens

The weather here in Michigan has been rather wet and miserable lately. Yesterday, on my way home, I saw a teen driver almost get into an accident.  He was looking down at his cell phone when the light turned, and couldn’t stop in time, due to the wet roads.

Let me tell you, it scared me. In six short years, the kid will begin driving. Six. I just hope that’s enough time to instill in him the knowledge he needs to drive safely.

Car crashes are the number one killer of teens. Becoming a safe driver takes years of experience. By being actively involved in their teen’s driving, parents help increase their teen’s safety.

Currently, there is a campaign called the Checkpoints program, that educates parents on how to keep their teen drivers safe while, on the road. This program not only offers helpful tips and facts, but also a free online, interactive Parent/Teen Driving Agreement that can be customized specifically to each of your readers and their teens. Checkpoints has been tested and is effective in helping teens become safer drivers.

Help your teen become a safer independent driver. Create a parent-teen driving agreement today.