Teaching My Child To Share!

Woah….

BIG topic!

For parents of only children, this is even more important.

One of the biggest lessons that can be learned before school starts that has to do with socialization is SHARING.

Toddlers are innately selfish. That’s just the way they are.

Think about animals…they have that survival instinct in them.

I sort of compare that to how toddlers are.

They are wrestling with their independence and getting what they want to survive. They want to be on their own…until they need something. 🙂

As a mom of an only child, I am always conscious of this. How do I insure that Anthony learns the idea of sharing at an early age so he is prepared when he goes to school?

Here are some ideas:

1. Taking turns playing with toys. Even if Mom and Dad don’t want to play with the xylaphone that Anthony is playing with, we can take turns with it, so he begins to understand that we all get a turn.

2. Making choices. It’s easy to let the “baby” in the family make all the choices as he/she is the “baby”. However, that makes life difficult in school! Let everyone have a turn making the choices.

3. Be a good example. If Anthony sees Mom and Dad sharing, then he will learn by example. This is so true. We pray before our meals. Always have, always will. Anthony has learned by WATCHING this…and now reminds us to say our prayers and says the prayer along with us. Don’t underestimate the power of observation!

4. Play time with other children his age. Whether it be playing with cousins, neighbors, friends, or being enrolled in a class at the park district, being around other children and learning by being in situations where he needs to share is a great way to learn!

How do you help your child learn how to share? Please comment below! I’m always looking for more ideas!

Reading Aloud to Children

Is it ever too early to start reading to your child?

Is it ever too late to start reading to your child?

Are these questions that you have contemplated?

Well, as a former teacher, and now stay at home mom, I can tell you from experience on both ends, the answer is “no” to both questions.

I started reading to Anthony when he was still in my womb.

Yes, I know..it sounds silly…and trust me, reading Curious George and the Bunny to him in an empty room sitting in a chair seemed quite silly to me too.

I know the studies show such great things from this, but honestly, studies don’t mean anything compared to a mom with experience.

We only have one child at this point in life, but are praying God blesses us with more some day!

Regardless, I can tell you, from the moment he was born, he has had a fascination with books.

I read to him as an infant…we’d both lay on the bed and I’d hold board books with bright colors up in the air so he could see the picutres as I read.

I continued to read to him as he has grown.

At an early age, they learn the beginning reading skills:

*Reading from left to right
*Pictures on the page correlate to the story
*Turning the pages continue the story

As your toddler reads more and more with you, they will begin to memorize the stories, which is another step in developing readers!

What can you do to make this even more beneficial to them as they grow?

Work on connections. Ask them questions that will connect something they see in the book to something they know in their life.

For example, “Anthony look at what Mickey’s putting in the pot. What do you see?” “Yes, onions! Who cooks with onions?” “Correct! Grandma uses the onions when she makes the salad!”

Your child we be prepared for kindergarten by doing these small things every day!

I read today that only 53% of kids at home are read to every day. Help make that statistic rise and help your child achieve more while developing a love for reading!

What are some of your child’s favorite books to read? Please post below!

Should I Eat Before An Early Morning Workout?

Downtown Chicago Hotel Room Workout

No excuses!

Hubby and I were away for our anniversary.

I like to eat.

I’m also in a routine.

I got up early and got some killer workouts in before he got up.

Perfect way to get my time in as well as enjoy the rest of the day with him!

Don’t make excuses for yourself. Get it on paper that you are going to do it, stick to it, and get it DONE!

5 Tips for Saving Money on a Vacation

We just returned from a week’s vacation downtown (Chicago).

I grew up in the city, and we live in the suburbs now.

We felt this was a good getaway for us while Anthony could stay with my parents in the city a few days, just minutes away.

Staying in a hotel COULD mean lots of money spent on activities and food.

Without having a place to house leftovers if you are in a standard room, what are you to do?

This is what we did:

1. Packed snacks for midmorning/midafternoon: baked chips, larabars, dried fruit, and raw almonds.

2. Brought our own breakfast. We both drink Shakeology, so simple to pack one box of almond milk, Magic Bullet, and the stash of shake powder in our bag. Ice at the hotel to blend with!

3. Eat one nice meal out each day. We chose to eat our bigger meal at lunch time most days so as to save on the dinner prices and portions.

4. Research where you are going! There are tons of free things to do all over the country! Get online and Google it! Museums, parks, movies in the parks, neighborhood festivals, free concerts, parades…you name it!

5. Set a budget. Decide what you will allow yourself to spend each day and stick to it. Don’t spend JUST to “spend” since you are on vacation.

Studying Sister

Last week flew by.

I have a lot on my plate and I’m not stopping. The study book is thick but I’m getting through it right on pace. Even with watching the kids, running a business, being president of the young alumni board, and preparing to teach this two week course at the end of the summer here at the university.

What’s my secret?

Definitely have found that going in a different location (study lounge at the end of the hall) and being away from all distractions in my house or a coffee shop/store has helped me make the most of the study time.

2 hours…twice a week. That’s what I’ve got. I finish what I have to do in that time.

Stick to your plan, keep your phone/iPad/tv/radio/pictures/Facebook/Twitter all locked up. Haha, well maybe not locked up, but out of plain sight.

Focus on the one task at hand.

What do you have to get done?

I have found success at doing one thing at a time in small increments helps me cross off items on my to-do list much quicker.

My First Shakeology Share!

This was me a year ago. Liz and I are both still drinking Shakeology today, along with a whole bunch of family and friends.

It’s curbed our cravings, given us energy to LIVE life with our toddler boys, and tastes great.

Talk about an easy way to get all your veggies for the day in one serving!

There are tons of recipes and a new flavor was just introduced at our coach summit this week.

Liz looks even more amazing now then she did then.

Send me a note if you have any questions!

Happy Friday! (As I enjoy my chocolate-y all natural breakfast today…)