PArenting

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 

How to succeed in an argument.

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Is it even possible to succeed in argument?  Absolutely. 

Have you ever been in an argument and yell the same thing over and over again only to not be heard? Do you wonder: ”How can you not agree with me when my point is so valid?” I will tell you why. Your delivery sucks! That’s right. your delivery sucks and therefore you didn’t communicate effectively. You lost your audience when you started screaming. If you want to learn how to argue effectively, follow these simple steps.

  1. Stop yelling. And if you need to yell because you are so mad, leave the room and yell by yourself. Yell whatever damaging insults you want to yell at your spouse or child to the wall instead. If you are still mad quickly watch a funny video to shift your mindset.

  2. Once you have calmed down think about what you want your end result to be. Is nagging going to accomplish this? No. Is screaming going to accomplish this? No. Is calmly stating facts and feelings going to accomplish this. Yes.

  3. Always give an example of how this may effect the other person if the roles were reversed. If your feelings are hurt because you were called a name, ask them how they would feel. And if it wouldn’t hurt their feelings think of something that would and how they would like it. Then you have made your point.



So the next time you feel your blood boil and want to scream like a lunatic follow these simple steps to get your point across.