Wednesday, June 27, 2012

25 Time Outs for SAHMs

There are often times when a Stay-at-home-Mom or Stay-at-home-Dad needs an adult form of a time out.  This usually happens after the third glass of spilled milk, a dog with a stomach virus and a stopped up kitchen sink.  During these times of stress, refer to this calm down list of ideas about how to cope...if even for the next few minutes:

  1. Take a walk
  2. Take a shower
  3. Take 100 slow breaths
  4. Listen to your favorite song
  5. Grab a piece of gum
  6. Splash cold water on your wrists or face
  7. Apply lotion to your hands or feet
  8. Scream into a pillow
  9. Call a friend
  10. Call your mom
  11. Pet your dog
  12. Play a game of solitaire
  13. Water your plants
  14. Eat a cookie (just one)
  15. Read for 5 minutes
  16. Surf the web
  17. Write an e-mail
  18. Write a thank you note
  19. Color a picture
  20. Bake something
  21. Clean out your refrigerator (you know it needs it)
  22. Think of a funny memory and laugh
  23. Say a Prayer
  24. Do some stretches 
  25. Go on Pinterest

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Precious Playtime

 Yesterday morning, while walking my dog, I headed to a neighborhood park.  Keep in mind, it was before 9:00 AM.  I saw that the tennis courts were crowded with little children wielding tennis racquets that were bigger than themselves!  These were little children (4 and 5 year olds).  The nannies and SAHParents were perched on the bleachers either watching their future Wimbledon Champions try heroically to hit the yellow orbs sailing in their direction, or studying their I-Phones.

The playground that sits at the other side of the park was virtually empty.  This scenario left me asking "Where has unscheduled play gone?  Where has imaginative, inventive, creative play gone?  Why are there no groups of children recklessly playing on the expensive playground equipment, but instead, seriously facing the challenge of developing their tennis game?"!

Please parents, hear my call.  Relax!  Let your kids be kids.  Let them giggle and be silly and hook them up with other children to JUST play.  The benefits are well documented.  

Read this article from Psychology Today if you doubt my opinion: 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Growing Up Too Fast...

Please like my Facebook page:

A few weeks ago, I found myself in line at the grocery store.  Ahead of me was an attractive blond in a black strapless tube dress.  She had either been tanning or had a fresh spray tan.  Her nails were manicured and pedicured.  Her hair had highlights and had recently been professionally styled.  Her makeup was flawless.  You get the picture...

To my utter shock, I overheard her tell the bagger that she was on her way to her MIDDLE SCHOOL GRADUATION!  This young lady looked like she belonged in a bar in downtown Chicago, sipping an appletini or the latest cocktail.  It made my heart sad.  The "girl" was with her (also tan and attractive) mother who was sporting designer jeans, a low cut top and blond hair extensions.  Ironically, mom was trying to look much younger than her years.

This incident illustrates CRAZY parenting that is rampant in our society.  We simply are unable to set limits with our youngsters.  And the result is that kids don't get to be kids anymore.  Childhood is fleeting and if we as parents, don't consciously act to protect and guard it, our children truly suffer.  Face it, this girl was 13 or 14 years old.  She should be in her "awkward" stage.  Painful as it may be, it serves the purpose of having adulthood to look forward to.  What does this young woman have to look forward to?  Not to mention the stress of always trying to be perfect.  The whole incident left me shaking my slightly gray haired head...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ten Commandments for Good Parenting



Don’t be your child’s friend 
He/She will make his/her own friends.  Your role is to be a mentor, teacher, and authority figure.  Friendship will come later.

Pay attention to what he/she eats
For some reason our culture acts as if childhood should be a carefree time filled with unmonitored sugar and fat consumption, but this has a terrible effect on the long-term health of your child and his/her ability to function in daily life.

Teach him/her how to sleep
Sleep is the most basic of needs and we cannot think clearly or maintain optimal performance without it.  Your child should sleep in his/her own bed and meet the guidelines set by pediatricians for daily rest based on his/her age.  If you are convinced your child is a “night owl”, you are in denial about your role as a parent.  Children need rest and teaching them to sooth themselves and get enough sleep is crucial to their healthy development.  A child lacking proper sleep is more likely to have mood swings, have difficulty in school, and be less than the person he/she was created to be.

Do not expose children to adult themed media
Would you take your five year old to a gentleman’s club?  Or buy a seven year old a few shots?  Then how do you justify letting him/her watch Family Guy as a youngster?  It is adult humor, created for adults.  Cherish the time your child is a child, and do what is in your power to protect that precious time.

No Electronics in a child’s bedroom
Have you watched TV lately?  Or surfed the internet?  No positive outcome occurs from allowing your child to have unmonitored access to electronics.

Teach your child basic manners
“Please” and “Thank-you” have not become obsolete and can go a long way to helping your child interact with others.  Take the time to teach the absolute basics of polite behavior.  Otherwise, you are raising a pig in gym shoes.

Teach the importance of extended family
It is uncomfortable to think about, but if anything ever happens to you, this is where your child will most likely be headed.  Doesn’t it make sense to develop these relationships?  And a warm and wonderful relationship with grandparents, aunts and uncles, can only be a treasure to your child.

Take an interest in who your child is…
In case you haven’t noticed, your child is not a replica of you.  He/ She has his/her own likes and dislikes.  Help him/her to develop talents and interests.  Support the natural curiosity of your child.  Expose him/her to your library, museums, parks, concerts, anything besides constant TV and video games.  It will help him/her develop into a more well rounded and interesting person.

Set limits
As a parent, you are responsible for the discipline of your child.  Do not give in to tantrums and whining when your child is young…because difficult little children grow up to be messed up teenagers.  Research shows that children want you to set limits and not allow them to be in control.  So get a backbone and act like the adult you are supposed to be.

Never give up!
Loving a child, often times means being exhausted.  But it is never too late to dig in and become a better parent for the benefit of your child.  Authoritative nurturing has been shown to be the “magic” of successful parenting.  So take a deep breath, give your child a hug and do some soul searching about what you can do to be a parent you know you could be, the one that has the future of your child as your top priority.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why Do Parents Need Parent Education?

My passion is helping parents find their strengths.  Parents today have many stresses and not much support.  In days past, parents could rely on their extended family, friends and neighbors to help them with their parenting issues.  Today, we are busier, farther from our extended families, and more removed from the parenting support that we all need.  Parents need to seek out the support from other areas because we all have times that we need some parenting advice.  Technology allows us to reach out to one another and find valuable information.  If you're struggling as a parent, please seek help.  Your children deserve a happy family and so do you.

My background for years as a stay at home mother of four very different children, and a preschool teacher give me the practical knowledge of what truly works with children.  I have authored a parenting handbook titled S.P.L.A.S.H. Parenting Principles and have taught parenting classes for the last 10 years.  If you have parenting issues and would like my input, please feel free to post a comment here on my blog.  Or you can follow me on Twitter @Dawnlantero for daily parenting tips.!/Dawnlantero