Why I Love Elf On The Shelf:
We love when December 1st hits and Elf On The Shelf comes back from the North Pole and here’s why:
- The magic of it all! They think it is real and I love the Christmas magic that happens when they believe.
- Let’s be real – it is a parenting too for the whole month of December. The kids definitely act better when “Jingles The Elf” is watching.
The day is almost here! The day that your children, if old enough to talk, have probably been going on about incessantly since school started: HALLOWEEN.
This day can cause a lot of stress for parents. There’s just so much excitement, sugar, sensory overload, sugar, late bedtime, sugar, excitement, sugar…. which, for most kids, means eventual overwhelm and meltdown. What I’ve learned in my 6 years as a “Halloween Parent” is that you gotta do you, mama. When I was a new mom there was a post by a mom blogger essentially shaming moms for not trick or treating around their own neighbourhoods…. Obviously that stuck with me because I still remember it. Guess what? Who cares! Forget about what others think you should be doing on Halloween and just do what you think is best for your kid(s) AND your sanity.
My daughter has seen her share of bullies and she’s only in Grade 2. From preschool on there’s always been that one child. She has been the child who runs to the teacher immediately so has been a “bully” target because of it. My initial reaction is Mama Bear but almost always secondary I wonder about the child. We know that kids who bully are sometimes modelling behavior they’ve seen or as the Have You Filled a Bucket book says, they have an empty bucket and don’t understand that hurting others won’t fill theirs.
Honestly, I’ve thrown my Judgy Jessie hat on more times than I care to admit when watching said children’s interaction with their parents. Saying to myself, “Ah, now it makes sense”. Does it though? Do I know the back ground of what’s going on with that family? No, I don’t and I hate judgment. I feel guilty every time I think back to any time I decided to do that to another human being.
Let me tell you why this has suddenly become so clear to me that it’s the wrong thing to do. Because recently, it was MY daughter that was the bully.
And I am sort of ashamed it came to that. I’m not going to get in to great detail but she made some bad choices, along with some other kids that were making bad choices. The only reason I know is because her little bro ended up being involved.
When she finally opened up and let me know what was going on I was in shock. It was like the first time you realize your parents aren’t perfect. MY DAUGHTER? The “tattle tale”, help everyone who’s in trouble, compassionate, smart, funny little girl had made the CHOICE to treat others badly. Needless to say it was a very long conversation. Followed by further conversations with her AMAZING teacher, and at least one apology letter being written.
In the end, I feel like the whole situation was one of the best things that could have happened to our family. They say kids teach you more than you teach them. Truth. I had to hold in my reactions and think a lot about how to make this a teachable time. I also took this as an opportunity to remind her that I’m here to help her get through mistakes like these. She learned from this, showed remorse and even now, weeks later, we discuss it as a cautionary tale.
Cause kids make mistakes. Our kids make them, other kids make them and we make them too. Our job as adults is to help them through, learn as we go and withhold the judgment against other adults who are maybe just doing the best they can.
I know that’s what I am hoping for the next time either of my kids decide to dabble in bad choices. I’d love to say they’ll never do anything like this again, but if I thought that, then this situation would have taught me nothing.
For as long as Finn has been able to put on his own shoes, he could care less about his shoes being on the wrong feet…that is until he started preschool and kissing dots were introduced. Now he’s obsessed.
I wish I could take the credit for kissing dots, but all of the credit goes to Finn’s preschool teacher Ms.Rebecca.
It’s not just HIS shoes though that he wants to put kissing dots on, it’s everyone’s. Recently he was super upset when his older brother absolutely refused to even entertain the idea – they aren’t cool when you’re 9! Nevermind that daddy has black shoes, his solution….coloured paint (I mean it’s actually a good idea).
It’s also expanded to strangers. When we were out at a local indoor playground recently a parent was telling their child to put their shoes on the right feet and Finn loudly said: “You should get some kissing dots”. I’m sure had he known that I keep a permanent marker in my purse he would have offered that as well.
How Do Kissing Dots Work?
- Get a permanent marker (or paint)
- Grab the shoes
- Put a dot on the two inner outsides of the shoe so that they can “kiss” when they are together
- That’s it
It is literally the most simple solution that I can’t believe I’ve never heard of before, but you know what? Finn has put his shoes on the right feet since then.
Christine Bruckmann is one of the founding members of Alberta Mamas and is known to everyone as the research ninja. You can also find her writing on her blog Just Another Edmonton Mommy.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we give you – Thankful for…..
1. That two hours of sleep you got between feedings. Cause, you know, it could have been just one.
2. That silence you had for 20 min. It was great, until you find them “painting” with your Sephora make up.
3. That 5th time you said their name and they responded to you vs tuning you out.
4. Booking that dentist appointment once a year. 45 whole me time minutes.
5. That 5am Saturday morning wake up. Cause dragging them out of bed all week has been super fun.
6. All the extra room in your massive purse. Because you need a change of clothes for each kid when you go out, snacks – oh and your husbands wallet.
The other night as I frantically finished up the evening chores and sent the kids off too bad my daughter came up to me and asked me if I would cuddle with her in bed. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has answered this way but I told her “just let me finish up the dishes and what I am doing here and I will come cuddle with you.” I guess deep down my hope was that she would fall asleep and I could continue finishing up cleaning up the kitchen, putting away toys they had missed, hang up jackets, prep snacks and lunches. That I could finally sit down and throw on some Netflix or do something that I had been wanting to get done the whole day and needed my alone time to do it.
After about 3 minutes of silence I hear her say “mama are you still coming?” I instantly felt bad, she had actually been waiting. I had given her this hope that I was coming when I didn’t really have the intention of coming to cuddle with her. This mom guilt came over me and I dropped the sponge and went to her room. I invited our son to come and cuddle with us too. I mean was it going to take an extra two minutes of my time, five minutes even to lay in bed with them cuddle recite some Quran and make them feel like they are loved and cared about until the very last minute of the day. It’s about them going to sleep feeling like it was a good day no matter what happened at school or whatever fears or struggles they had at the end of the day it’s us against the world and no matter what mama is there. It was just a simple moment that she’d asked for but I was telling her without really telling her that I had other things that were more important than her.
Perhaps in my head I justify it as I had spent the day with them, running errands for them, rushing around for them, cooking for them taking them to the library, driving across the city with them and many other “mom duties”.
In our house I am not the fun one. I am the one telling them to get dressed, eat their food, stop farting at the table – The classic broken record of a Mom.
But I am working on it.
Part of this process is talking to my husband about it. I needed him to step in and say no sometimes. After hearing me out about it he has been trying to letting me be the one to say yes. I can tell it is hard for him sometimes but he knows what a difference it makes to me to be able to play “nice guy” every once in a while. He is naturally more easy going than I am for a lot of things and I learn so much watching him with the kids.
So here is my goal:
- More ice cream.
- More fort building in the living room.
- More rough play in the house.
- More nerf battles in their underwear.
- Less room cleaning (unless it gets REALLY gross because there’s only so much I can take).
- More painting and playdoh.
- More stopping everything to sit and really listen. No distractions.
- More playing with food and being silly at dinner time.
There’s more to work on but it’s a work in progress. And I can only handle my couch cushions being on the floor more than on the couch for so long.
Deanne Ferguson is the owner of Box Social Event Planning. When she is not planning fun, family, friendly events she is finding the yummiest food for the Edmonton Home and Garden Show Food Stage. She loves her #cocktailMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter.
Sometimes I look back on when my kids were really little and think to myself; What would I have done without the nurses at 811?
Of course as Canadians we are lucky in a lot of ways, but I’m specifically talking about our access to health advice.
Back then, I had 811 on speed dial. I don’t know how I would have got through those years without it. Even now I’ll call ahead of taking them directly to the hospital. Obviously if it was something really serious I would take them straight there but, thankfully I’ve almost always been able to use the advice I receive to help.
How long is too long for a fever to last?
How many times is too many times for my kid to have puked in 1 hr?
At what point is a cough not just a cough anymore?
What the heck is this bump on their toe?
What is 811?
811 is Health Link. By dialing 811 you gain access to quick and easy advice from a registered nurse 24/7.
There is also really great information at your fingertips on myhealth.alberta.ca
So, thank you. Thank you to all the medical staff that work tirelessly in our hospitals and on the phones.
We are grateful for you!
Remember, in a medical emergency, always call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department.
As we approach a new school year and the season of sports, extra-curriculars and clubs. I wanted to talk about something that is so important for both parents and kids as they begin to participate in new social settings. A conversation of healthy interactions and starting the year with a fresh mindset.
Inclusion: the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.
Why is the concept of including people, despite their differences something that we as a culture seem to have so much difficulty with? Global companies are spending millions on training and resources to create a culture shift within their own organizations. We weren’t born this way. In fact, I would argue, that for several years we don’t have any problem with this simple concept.