Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kids' Screen Time: Tips and Resources {Plus Giveaway}

Kids and Screen time-tips and resources for teaching healthy habits and finding balance. A book giveaway is included for a limited time only!

Have your kids entered the age where technology use has become one more thing to think about each day? I recently read a statistic that said the average child in the US engages in 4-7 hours of screen time per day…per day! Think about how often we use technology for learning, then add entertainment, interaction as in phone calls and, bam, you have a lot of screen time!

I could not believe the stats of kids and cell phones that Krissy, of B-Inspired Mama, shared in a recent article she wrote on the subject. An interesting infographic regarding how much and how young children are using technology and getting their own cell phones amazed me!

What age is appropriate for a child to have their own phone? How is this monitored and protected by mom and dad? 

My husband and I have started to talk about what age we think will be appropriate for our kids to have their own phones. It is a security and safety issue in some homes. How did we manage in our childhood with no cell phones?

“Too often children are given screens to pacify and occupy them when it’s not an
emergency or special occasion. Instead of learning how to live in the real world of
communicating with people and occasionally feeling bored, they are given a screen world for
their entertainment pleasure. More and more studies demonstrate the adverse effects of screen
time on the brain and your child’s social and emotional development” 
(Growing Up Social, pg. 28).

How much is too much? Is giving the kids the smart phone in a doctor’s appointment harmful? How about on a trip in the car? How can I protect the safety of my children in a world without boundaries such as the internet and social media? 

There is a new resource to help answer these questions and more, and I have a freebie that you can win!

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure
I was not paid to offer the included giveaway.

The book Growing Up Social: Raising Rational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, by Dr. Gary Chapman, (author of the book The 5 Love Languages), and Arlene Pellicane, discusses this very topic and provides strategies for parents to find balance in this tech world with kids and screen time. 

“Parents are needed more than ever to provide instruction, correction, and positive
modeling to a child regarding screen time, even if this digital world seems like unfamiliar
territory. We live in a brand-new era when children are digital natives and many parents are
digital immigrants. In other words, many children know more technology than their parents, and
that is quite different from how the world worked hundreds of years ago”
(Growing Up Social, pg. 169).

My children have entered the ages where questions about screen time have to be answered.  It is not always easy to decide how much they can use the iPad, phone or TV.

Often I find myself wanting to be a “yes mom. ” My kids want to play with the educational phone apps and it is learning, but saying yes all the time to technology use is not good for my children. Sometimes no is necessary.

Monday, November 17, 2014

When Did Being A Good Mom Become A Bad Thing?

When did being a good mo become a bad thing? The trend to celebrate being a bad mom and why it is ridiculous.

Have you noticed this puzzling trend? In a time of anti-bullying legislation and overall intolerance for criticism of any kind, soft bullying of moms from other moms is taking place. I say soft bullying because it goes unnoticed by the one doing it; it is often masked in humor all at the expense of some moms.

I recently saw a meme on a blog that I really enjoy that called women with clean homes "dull" and women with messy homes "fascinating." I did not care for this meme even though I love the blog overall. I understand we moms need to laugh off the tough days-we want affirmation that if we can't keep our homes and lives in perfect order all the time, we are still valuable and successful. 

Let me tell you, my house is messy more than clean these days. It is not what I prefer, but I do have 4 kids and they can make some big messes faster than they and I can clean them up!

No, this is not about having the perfect, magazine-image home. This is about poking fun at moms who do motherhood well. 

Yep, we are actually teasing moms who appear successful, as if having life "together" is a bad thing. Poking fun at them as we teach our children to treat others as we wish to be treated.


Me too. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

8 Tips to Get Fit After Having A Baby {Guest Post}

I was 8 months pregnant with my first child, and packing my hospital bag, when a good friend told me she was able to wear her pre-pregnancy jeans home from the hospital.  I packed my pre-pregnancy jeans in my hospital bag, but also packed a pair of super comfy yoga pants.  Proudly, I wore my yoga pants out of the hospital, and around the house for many days to come!  Months after both of my girls were born, I continued wearing my maternity pants, and that was ok! 

Eventually, the weight came off and my old clothes began to fit again.  As a former personal trainer-turned-stay-at-home mom, I believe healthy weight loss is more important than quick weight loss. Here are 8 tips to help you get fit in a healthy manner. 

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Skeleton Anatomy Activity for Kids

Exploring the anatomy of the skeleton using your child's own picture and free printable skeleton worksheets. Great for preschool and early elementary kids.

Children are often more eager to explore and learn when the learning is about them. This skeleton activity uses your child's own image and two free printables to help them understand how the skeletal system is constructed. Sounds complicated, but it is not.

Due to how simple this learning activity really is, it is easily adaptable to preschoolers aged 3-5 years and also elementary kids who are in Kindergarten and up.

Young children ask a lot of questions about their bodies-how they are constructed, why they do certain things, and how all the systems work together. It can be difficult to explain the inside of the human body to preschool and elementary-aged children, since they tend to have to see something to believe and understand it. There are ways to make the learning more hands on so that what can't be seen can be explored in fun ways.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Inspired Bloggers Network Thanksgiving Giveaway

It has been important to me to try my best to get great freebies and giveaways into your hands as a thank you for stopping by to read this blog, commenting on Facebook or plussing over on Google+. It means a lot to me that you read and share to spread the message that being a SAHM is so important!

Well, I have another big thank you to share with you-a big giveaway offered here! You can enter to win a Le Creuset Dutch Oven and a $100 WalMart gift card. Thank you for all you do for your families...and for reading along with this blog! Here are the details:

This post contains an affiliate link. Please view my disclosure.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Learning About Trees: Activities for Kids

An entire morning of simple activities for learning about trees for toddlers and preschoolers. We spent the morning reading, exploring, measuring, and talking about trees. Post contributed by Jaimi of The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide over at B-Inspired Mama.

Time playing outdoors does not have to be disconnected from the learning we do indoors. I think children naturally notice so many things about nature – plants, sounds, textures, light, shadow – that observing their discoveries and expanding on them is a nice way to keep the focus on our child’s interests. We can use what we find outdoors to create and learn with fun indoor nature activities for kids, too.

While at the playground recently, my children were talking about the trees. I took a few pictures thinking I could expand on what they were noticing at home on another day.  After playing, my children collected some sticks and poked around inside the base of a tree that contained an ant nest. This all turned into some nature exploration at home.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Working on a Successful Marriage-The 3 C's {Guest Post}

Lessons learned from 19 years of marriage-Wendy Woerner guest posts about the 3 Cs to a successful marriage between husband and wife united in Christ.

My husband and I have spent a significant amount of time as an 'island' isolated. Due to several moves across the country that took us away from family and friends, we were basically alone for several years. We had a growing family and were struggling with a major issue in our marriage. We had no one to talk to, no one to advise us, and we weren't sure we would make it.

My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We just celebrated our anniversary earlier this month. We're excited that we have made it this far with every intention to make it until the day we take our breaths in heaven. 

It saddens us that so many who enter into marriage today do so with the attitude that it's a try-it-and-see kind of thing. Or, that they will only stay married as long as life is easy. 

There have been times in our marriage when it was hard, when we weren't sure if there was a solution to our problems, when we had tried everything we could think of, and we had each thought of 'getting out'.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Books for School-Age Kids: Remote Control Adventures Series Review

A fun and interesting set of books for school age kids called the Remote Control Adventures series reviewed at The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide.

Do you have a child who likes adventure stories? Maybe your school aged child likes comic books but not real books? Getting some kids to read rather than watch an action-packed show on television can be a challenge. I have a son and husband who enjoy their television time. My oldest son does enjoy reading and he was very interested to read the Remote Control Adventures series. He likes action-packed television and movies, so this book series was a natural interest for him.

The Remote Control Adventures series combines adventure with comic-book-like action and illustrations to keep the interest of a school-age child. It is a great cross between a tv theme and a suspenseful story-you can 'see' it as you read. I was asked by author Lynne Silber to read and review her Remote Control Adventures series for elementary and middle school-aged kids. I was given a set of 6 signed books to give away as part of the blog anniversary gift giveaways too! You can win one book, so we will have 6 winners! The widget to enter the giveaway is at the end of this post.