I wants…

So, last week I told you that we took Super F to see Marvel Universe Live as part of his birthday gift. Well, we splurged a little and got really good seats, so on the way in to see the show, I mentioned to him that we weren’t going to purchasing any souvenirs during the show, and that I didn’t want to hear any begging. He agreed. So, we walk in and are immediately inundated with souvenir stand after souvenir stand on the way to our seats.

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Super F immediately asks for a plastic sword. We tell him no. We walk past the next stand, same request. Repeat 5 more times as we make our way to our seats. I gently explain to him how much time I would have to spend at work to make enough to pay for the sword. That gets him thinking for a few minutes and he stops asking about it…until intermission, when the vendor walked past our seats selling the darn sword again!

How do you handle souvenirs and the “I wants” with your kids at events like this?

P.S. He did NOT get the sword…

image credit: http://www.examiner.com

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Birthday Experiences

This year Super F turned 7. We decided that he had plenty of stuff (i.e. toys) and wanted to do something a little different for his birthday this year. So, instead of toys, we got him experiences. He has had a passion for cheetahs for the last couple of years, and we found a program at a zoo that offered a behind the scenes tour of the cheetah exhibit. So, we jumped at the opportunity and bought tickets for the day after Super F’s birthday. We sent him on a treasure hunt for the tickets (another great way for kids to practice their reading/reasoning skills!) and took him the next day. He was excited to get so close to the cheetahs, find out their names, and then get to feed one (through the fence of course).

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Afterwards, he said it was a dream come true, and the experience was “phenomenal”. I’m sure it’s a day he will remember much longer than he would have remembered any toy we got him. We also surprised him with tickets to see Marvel Universe Live, since he is BIG superhero fan (more on that next week).

What are your ideas for a “stuff” free birthday?

Briana

 

Birthday Traditions

So, Super F recently turned 7! When he was first born, everyone told me how fast the time would go, that I’d blink and he would be all grown up. At the time, changing diapers, round the clock feedings, and typical parental exhaustion seemed never ending and I often thought those people were crazy. The days seemed like they dragged on and I couldn’t wait for Super F to reach each new milestone. I’m here to tell you, they were right!

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Anyway, I wanted to share our birthday tradition with you. I always take his birthday off work to spend with him and my husband. It’s a family day and we start out by going out to breakfast, followed by a trip to Toys R Us so Super F can get his birthday crown and balloon! He gets to pick out a new toy and then we head home so he can play. I’m sure this tradition will come to an end at some point – he’s not going to want to shop at Toys R Us forever!

Do you have any birthday traditions in your family? How do you celebrate your child’s special day?

Briana

image credit: businessinsider.com

Marble Jar Miracle!

I wrote before about my attempt at a reward chart for Super F and how it caused things to get worse rather than better, so we stopped using the chart. I had been looking for other ways to get him to take responsibility for himself, his behavior, and his things, and to encourage him to “go above and beyond” with what he does to help around the house.

The new idea came to me thanks to the former nanny and mom of a boy in Super F’s swim class. She said she had spent 15 years as a nanny, and in those years she learned that there is no single approach that works with all kids, and to just keep trying different things until I find what works with Super F. She suggested a marble jar, so I went home and googled the marble jar system, made sure Dean was on board with trying it out (because you have to have a united front on these things), and purchased this one from Amazon.

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We started it the day it arrived and explained to Super F that good behavior would help him earn marbles, but that not following directions would cause him to lose marbles. The most important part of this system is letting him put in and take out the marbles himself. We have been using the system for nearly three weeks now, and he is getting close to filling the jar for his first reward.

What I like about this system is that he is seeing tangible progress towards his reward as he watches the jar fill up. He is also involved in the system by putting in and taking out marbles so he instantly sees how his behavior impacts his goal in filling the jar. Also, it is easy to remind him to think about the marbles when he is struggling with making good choices. It’s also very easy to customize this system depending on the type of behaviors you want to see in your child. Whether you are potty training and your child gets a marble each time they make it to the potty, or trying to get your teenager to stop leaving dirty clothes on the floor by giving them a marble each day that they put it in the hamper, it’s easy to make it work for all ages.

Briana

image credit: http://www.amazon.com

Raise the Child You Have…

I learned this lesson the hard way. Super F loved playing ball with us at home in the backyard, or at the park, so the logical step was to sign him up for T-Ball, right? Wrong. He loves playing at SBC_pw-sl-tbhome, but put him on a field with 12 other 5/6 year olds? He didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped he would. I figured it was a right of passage for little boys to play T-ball, as all the boys in my extended family played, and so did my husband when he was little. So, even though he hadn’t expressed much interest in playing on a team, I signed him up anyway. The end result was that he played on the team, but he didn’t enjoy it, or fall in love with the game. T-ball just isn’t for him.

So, now I’m working on raising the child I have, not the one I thought I had. I am going to try harder to listen to him and what he wants to do, and not pressure him into an activity he isn’t interested in. We will keep up with the monthly drawing classes at the library that he LOVES and the weekly swimming lessons, where he is flourishing. We found an acting workshop he is excited to try out, and if he wants to pick up another sport, that will be fine with me, and if not, that will also be fine. The goal is to let him experience different things and find what he loves to do. T-Ball isn’t it. Lesson learned.

Briana

image credit: http://www.scrapbook.com

I’m Addicted To…

I’ve been trying hard to instill a love of reading in Super F (and I think it’s working! He’s been spotted reading quietly on his own on multiple occasions now), and so I try to get him new books he will enjoy on a regular basis. I was raised around a lot of books. Both of my parents loved to read, and family excursions were often to book stores where we would spend a couple of hours looking at books and finding the ones we wanted to read. We would each come out with our own bag to tide us over until our next trip. Interspersed in there were trips to the library to check out an armful of books at a time. So, it’s no surprise that I’m following down this same path with Super F.

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Which leads me to the box of books I have purchased for his upcoming birthday over the last few months. I may have gone a little overboard…but I can’t help it. I think I might have a book addiction.

Is there something you have become addicted to buying for your kids? Maybe cute bows for your little girls curls, or shoes for your boy like a friend of mine, or maybe matchbox cars that remind you of your childhood? The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem, so share your addiction with me here…

Briana

image credit: comicbooksandcats.com

Kids Love Mail

Super F is always excited when there is something in the mail box for him. When he was 5, he had become a huge fan of the Gator Boys after watching their show and often said “this show has changed my life!” when talking to other people about it. He wanted to go as a Gator Boy for Halloween, but we couldn’t find an “official” Gator Boy shirt, so I had him write a letter requesting one.

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It took longer than expected to get a response (he got it around Christmas), but eventually a package arrived. He was sooo excited to get mail and to see that they had sent him a shirt and an autographed picture.

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Since then, he has started getting a couple magazines in the mail each month, and he is still so happy to receive mail. So, I’m thinking of starting to mail him random things so he can get mail more often. So far, my list of ideas includes coloring sheets, stickers and little notes. Do you mail things to your kiddos, and if so, what kinds of things do you send them?

Briana

Father’s Day Fun!

Father’s Day is approaching (this Sunday in case you forgot!) and I was hoping to have Super F make a handmade something or other for Dean. Instead, life happened and I’ve run out of time for one of the many Pinterest ideas I pinned for Father’s Day crafts, so I created this question and answer sheet for Super F to fill out for his dad.  (Feel free to click on the photo and print one for yourself!) I included a spot for the year so we can give Dean one each year and see how the answers (and handwriting) change over the years. An added bonus is that it makes Super F practice his spelling too!

My Daddy

 

Candy and Ice Cream

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What kid doesn’t like candy and ice cream?  The inspiration for this post came from my son, Junior.  I thought it would be a fun post to add on this Friday Fun Day.

See, what had happened was, Junior caught a glimpse of MommyWurk’s earlier post, Friday Fun Day, and asked what it was all about.  He then asked what MommyWurk was.  After explaining that it was a blog that Mommy had started with her former co-worker, I asked him if he wanted to blog.  He quickly responded, “No!”  Oh well, so much for that great idea…

So, then I asked if he could write about anything, what would he write about.  He immediately responded, “Candy and ice cream!”  Thus, the inspiration for this afternoon’s post AND my attempt to get Junior to “write” a blog post.  Here goes…

Why did you want to write about candy and ice cream?  Because I like candy and ice cream.  (He’s so insightful!)

What do you like about candy and ice cream?  The sweetness of it.  (Me too, Junior!)

Why do you like sweetness?  Because it tastes good in your mouth.  (Let’s go get some right now…)

How does “sweetness” taste?  Sweet. (I guess I asked for that one.)

Is there anything else you would like to “write” about candy and ice cream?  Noooooooo!

Why did you have to say it like that?  I mean, yes.  (Boys always want to please their mamas.)

What would you like to say?  I mean, no.  (I have to admit he gets his indecisiveness from his mama.)

Well, there you have it, Mommies.  One mom’s attempt to get her 8 year old son to contribute to her blog, while watching “Phineas and Ferb” on Netflix.  Bad idea?  I guess it wasn’t a total bust.  Kid Flash has decided that he would like to pen his own blog, “Kid Flash Adventures” on his I-Phone, no less (the one his Grandaddy gave him, after getting the I-Phone 6, against our wishes – that’s another post…).  Whoops, Kid Flash just read that.  His response – “Why you tellin’ all my business, about my phone.  You betta not tell them my password!”

 

Until next time-

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3 NIV)

 

God’s best-

Alexis

 

I Feel the Need, the Need to Read!

On Saturday I took Super F to the library to check out some new books and sign up for their summer reading program. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of summer when I was young, and think it’s a great way for kids to keep reading during summer vacation. I remember when I was young, my mom carefully looked at the books my sister and I were checking out to make sure they were age appropriate and on her “approved” list. She would encourage us to get books that would teach us something while we were reading them, but would allow us to get one “fluff” book on each trip. I’ve continued that tradition with Super F, who has a love of superheroes. He gets to choose one superhero book and then we choose books that he can read to himself, chapter books I read to him before bed every night, and then a couple of “learning” books. This week he chose to learn about spiders (I now know WAY more about spiders than I ever wanted to!).

I’ve tried hard to instill a love of reading in Super F, and once in a while he lets me know that it’s working. This weekend, I got one of those signs when he came downstairs and proclaimed “I FEEL THE NEED, THE NEED TO READ!”

Have you signed your child up for a summer reading program? What kinds of things do you do to encourage your child to read?

Briana