Father

New Year, New Habits

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One question I always ask parents who start my Happy Family in 90 Days™ parenting program is to identify their child’s currency. What is it and how do we determine it? Your child’s currency is an everyday thing that they constantly ask for that isn’t food, love, or time and doesn’t cost any additional money. It must be something they can earn for a job well done just like money.
 
When my daughter was younger her currency was me turning the shower on for her. I had no idea why, but this was a big deal for her. Every day when she asked me to turn the shower on for her I would evaluate her behavior for the day and then determine whether or not she had earned her currency.
 
Similarly, I had a client whose 3-year-old son was saying “damn” all the time and she wanted to know how to get rid of it. The answer was simple, his currency was changing into his pajamas when he got home from school. Now this was no longer something that he could do for free, he had to earn that privilege. Magically, he stopped saying “damn”!

Other examples of currency that I have come across include: letting your child choose the song you play in the car, picking out what to eat for dinner etc. Every child is unique in what their currency is but with a little investigating I am confident you will find what it is!
 
Love,
Elise

Ultimate Gift Guide for Kids

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It is that time of year again when most of us are inundated with a long list of holiday errands, including buying gifts for our children. This can be a daunting task as our kids are constantly asking for different things and it becomes hard to keep track. Here are a list of tips that you can use to help you through the holiday season.
 
1.  Make your list, check it twice -  I suggest parents listen to what their kids mention they like throughout the year and jot it down. When I start to shop for presents I refer back to the note and use it as a guideline.

2.  Determine a theme - If you haven’t been able to jot down any ideas, think about their interests and come up with a theme. My daughter Payton, loves all things soft and fluffy so some of her gifts included: a new bath robe, stuffed animals, and socks. My son Spencer likes men’s fashion, so his gifts included: a sweater, a scarf, and a men’s shaving kit.
 
3.  Consider your child's needs, not just their wants - I consider what gift ideas on the list are a good fit for my child at the stage that they are currently in. For instance, if your child is having a difficult time adhering to screen time, don’t get them a new tablet or smart watch. My daughter who is almost 12 is obsessed with her screen time. This holiday season she asked for a smart watch. As much as I wanted to get it for her since it feels so good to give our children what they really want, I knew she was not mature enough to stay off of it. This was a gift that would distract her when she needed to spend time on more important things such as school work.
 
4.  Buy gifts with a purpose - Another approach to gift giving is to buy games which help with your child’s deficiencies. For example, if your child struggles socially, sign them up for a mother & child or kids yoga class. If your child struggles with fine motor skills, get them a puzzle or similar toy that helps refine these skills. One of my children struggled with reading so I got them books on topics I know they were really interested in.
 
5.  Don't forget to give back! - If you want to teach your children the gift of giving, I suggest going to a local charity event and have them volunteer with you. Teaching your children to help others and to give their time to those who are less fortunate is an invaluable skill.
 
6.  Money, money, money - Lastly, give yourself a budget and stick to it! My gift giving style is to buy one big present and a couple smaller ones but I make sure it is always within the budget I set in the beginning.
 
No matter your budget, or the number of gifts you buy, always remember the gift of love and time is what your kids want the most
 
Happy Holidays
Elise 

Enjoy the days of summer

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Summer is in full swing! 
 

Now is the time to soak in the joy of no homework or school projects. No deadlines or parent-teacher conferences. 

Take the opportunity to clean out closets and toys. Start with something small like a drawer or a shelf. You'd be amazed how fun cleaning can be when you blast fun music and relax a little. And what an awesome project to do with your kids. While cleaning, reminisce about all the fun times you had with a particular toy or a funny story about an experience with a certain outfit. Use this time to let your children know the importance of giving to those less fortunate than us. You can even turn it into a friendly competition: whoever has the biggest giveaway pile wins something fun. 

 

Enjoy the slower days of summer because before you know it, we will be back in the grind of alarm clocks and PTA meetings. 

 

Until then, soak up the sun and be present in the days you'll be day- dreaming about soon! 

Elise