Monday, October 28, 2013

7 Tips to Having Happier Kids

Thank you Jodi Hutchings Photography for this Happy Picture!
Aside from tempting my children with Oodles of Candy (which I don't believe in...okay some days I do believe in it), it's hard to help my kids be happy. There is a long list of why this is so. School is too long, too much homework, they have to have assigned seats on the bus, they never get to play with their friends, there siblings ruin all their stuff, they hate what is for dinner, they are never appreciated enough, they always need more stuff, etc. You get the picture? I wonder to myself, why does their happiness have to depend on what they feel they are entitled to. What is wrong here?What am I doing wrong? Sometimes I wonder if my children are ever happy.

We spend a lot of time-with our kids-problem solving, cheering up, helping them learn to say sorry, and basically teaching our kids that you can be happy doing almost anything. Which I believe is true, but I think there are specific things that as parents we can do to inspire that happiness. What is it that makes our kids happy?

Teach them to work and work with them-Once my kids come to terms with the unfairness of having to clean out the dishwasher or vacuum the floor, the real problem comes when they feel like they are doing it alone. I'm more of a divide and conquer person myself, that is until I'm the only one who is dividing and conquering. At which point I start mumbling under my breath about how unappreciated I am, I have to do everything, everyone else is just so selfish, or I'm just too tired to manage this on my own. This is often how our kids feel. Having to work alone makes the job seem overwhelming, but when someone is helping, suddenly things are manageable and the work can become fun.

Give them attention- I like to compare this one to how I feel when I get my husband's attention. When I feel like I have my husband's attention, I feel like I'm important to him, worth his time, and loved, which in turn makes me feel happier. Our children feel the same way. Giving them our attention gives them reassurance that they are important and it helps them be happier.

Encourage them to try new things, hard things- This is important because when children do new things or hard things and succeed they gain confidence in themselves, and that confidence brings them happiness. If they fail and sometimes they will, teach them, and encourage them to try again.

Get rid of stuff- Teach them now that happiness is not due to an accumulation of stuff. In fact often having too many things to care for can impede their happiness. Why? Because they cannot have the peace of cleanliness, they have to spend so much of their time cleaning, and because things cannot give love or lasting happiness.

Teach them the importance of being Honest- Anytime our children live in or with a lie of any sort it will eat at them. It will munch at their happiness, day and night until they rectify their wrong. Even if they try to burry it inside, it will affect them. Any time someone goes against what they know is right, it's hard for them to exist happily in their own skin.

Help them find opportunities to serve- People who give tend to have a happier and grand perspective on life. Serving others teaches people to look outside their own struggles in life and their own problems and it innately brings with it happiness.

Be the example- When you hang out with happy people it's easier to be happy. Obviously none of us are happy at every moment, but when the tough times come, show your children happiness is not a fleeting moment but a way of life. It is found in the choices you make, the people you love, and the attitude you choose. There is always hope and when there is hope there can be happiness.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Halloween fun!

I apologize for posting so late in the day, but our little activity took a little longer than I thought. We are still happily in the throws of Halloween decorations and we thought we would share again. Tonights pumpkins and cats were especially fun! My husband really got into it! He is a crafty dude!

Supplies needed:

-Lots of orange and black construction paper and whatever other colors you have or want to use for accessorizing. If you want a medium cat or pumpkin you will need 6 papers; for a large you will need 11 sheets of paper.


-Glue (we used glue sticks and Elmer's glue for minor things and the hot glue gun for the bigger stuff)

1. If you want a medium sized circle, accordion fold six pieces of paper vertically (refer to the first picture); for large sizes accordion fold 11 papers horizontally (refer to  second picture )

2. Glue all of your papers together in one long row.

3. Connect the two ends to form a circle.

4. To close and cover the center hole cut out a large circle and glue it over the hole on the back. On the front use the nose to cover the hole.

5. Add whatever facial features you would like.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A little SPOOKY fun!

We love Holidays at our house and we love to decorate with our homemade crafts! Making our silly ghosts has turned into a family tradition.

To make a ghost you will need:

-white construction paper or plain computer paper
-googley eyes (you can just color the eyes on if you want)
-accesories such as ribbon, cotton balls (for hair), stickers or whatever else you want to decorate with.

Simply trace your child's foot (or have them trace it) or your foot. Cut out the shape and you have your ghost.
Where the heel of your foot was, becomes the head of your ghost and your toes are the bottom of their swaying and frightful bodies. Stick your googly eyes on, glue on some hair, and a bow, and you have your Ghost. Sometimes we hang them at different heights from the ceiling, tape them to the windows, or tape them to construction paper or string and make a banner to to hang across our walkways.

SO easy and SO fun! Happy Ghosting!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Be The Man You Want Her To Marry

As parents we have the power to influence our children's lives more than we know. Our children will acclimate to people they are comfortable with. They will hang out with, entertain, and fall in love with what they know. Do they know loving parents who are patient and kind? Do they know parents who listen and treat them with respect? Do they know parents who cry with them and love them no matter what? Do they know parents who forgive, who serve, and who are willing to sacrifice a bit of themselves for someone they love? Be the parent you want your child to become. Be the man or woman you want your child to become. Be the man you want her to marry or the woman you want him to marry. Just a sweet thought. Not sure where this picture originated but I love it!