My Top 10 parenting posts from 2013

Well it is the end of the year and I have been busy with holiday shopping and activities with the kids. So for my last parenting post of the year, I decided to highlight ten of my favorite posts about being a parent.

1. Explaining cancer and chemo to the kidsThis one was from Jan. 28, 2013. As the year progressed, the kids only had a few questions about Pat who had such a great, upbeat attitude through her whole ordeal. I am glad to say that as of this October, she is cancer free!

2. Why I choose not to have my kids birthday parties at home – This one is from March 4, 2013. It ran the day after we had Lexie’s party at Inflatable Wonderland. This coming year she wants to go to Chuck E Cheese for her birthday. As for Jase, I think we are going for a smaller party – and gasp, it probably will be at home. I am sure that will be a post this coming year!

3. Favoring one parent over the other – This one was from May 6, 2013. This topic may come up again as we are planning a trip to Disney World in 2014 and I will be explaining to the kids that there will be NO arguing on who gets to sit with Daddy on every ride!

4. Unique Anatomy: Situs Inversus and Interrupted IVC  &  Unique anatomy continued: Polysplenia – These two post ran May 20 and June 3 about my daughter Lexie. I was touched by the parents who contacted me thanking me for posting about her condition and sharing their stories of their children with either the same or similar conditions.

5. Should we lessen disappointment and rejection for our children? This post ran on May 27, 2013 and of course the answer should be “no” but it seems society doesn’t agree.

6. Establishing House Rules – This one is from June 24, 2013. Our posted house rules have helped somewhat and we have yet to have to add to them though we did change the last one to not interrupting anyone rather than just adults.

7. Building the kids a Lego table – This one if from Aug. 5, 2013. I had to share this one again since I think it was so worth building Jase a Lego table. He uses his all the time. Lexie is just now getting into Lego Friends so I think hers will get more use soon but until then I love that it is easy to store under her bed!

8. It’s a different age…kids growing up with computers – This post ran Sept. 30, 2013. It is amazing how much kids use and rely on computer these days. I am sure a few more posts will appear next year about kids and computers including one about bringing a tablet to school.

9. Planning a Trip to Disney World – part 1 – This post appeared Oct. 28, 2013 which is right after Pat and her family came back from Disney World where they celebrated Pat being cancer free (see post #1). We too are planning a trip in June 2014 so I expect there to be two or three more posts about planning our trip to appear in 2014.

10. Puppy Sadie Rose joins the family – This one is from Nov. 4, 2013 (my hubby’s birthday). For those of you who know about Lexie’s allergies, the fact that we brought a puppy into the house and she hasn’t had any issues with that is simply amazing. I am sure there will be at least one post about Sadie and the kids in 2014.

And as the year wraps up, I also wanted to thank all the other parents who take the time to read my blog and post their comments. I appreciate every one of you and hope to hear more from you in 2014!

Establishing House Rules

Last month after an afternoon of bickering by the kids which escalated into a screaming match, our House Rules were born. house rulesThat evening I sat down and wrote up a list of possible house rules – no hitting, no teasing, no yelling, no whining, no throwing things….It wasn’t hard to figure out which ones our house needed.

Now our kids are 5 and 8, and I didn’t want to overwhelm them with a huge list of rules so I began combining some of the rules.

The first rule became about how we should speak with one another. We asked them to speak nicely (which includes please and thank you though it isn’t listed on the actual rule.) Lexie can be quite demanding so that got addressed in this one as well.

Rule 1 – Speak Nicely – No yelling, whining or demanding

Our kids are usually quite good about not hitting or kicking each other though sometimes they do push each other’s feet off the couch. And I was shocked one day last month when Lexie actually bit Jase enough to remove some skin. She had never done that before and thus Rule 2 came about.

Rule 2 – No hitting, biting, kicking or throwing things

It is a constant battle to get the kids to pick up after themselves. My husband often says that they need to put one toy away before playing with another, but their play typically involves lots of toys at once. Also my kids seem to run around in their underwear at home a lot. This means that they take off their clothes within minutes of coming in the door. If we don’t clean up, then the house is overrun with toys and dirty clothes.

Rule 3 – Pick up your own toys, shoes and dirty clothes

It never fails that when my husband and I begin a conversation someone interrupts it either because they need something, or because they have something to say that obviously just can’t wait.

Rule 4 – No interrupting adults when they are speaking unless it is an emergency

house rules fullNow there are tons of other rules we could have written down, but we decided to start with these four. I printed them up on a sheet of paper and hung one on our refrigerator and one in our computer room. We sat the kids down and discussed the rules with them. We stressed that every family member was to follow them.

So far, it has worked out pretty well – though they still struggle with #3. The kids will even remind my husband and I if we are arguing that we are supposed to “speak nicely.” I am sure over the next few months we may need to adjust our House Rules, and we will probably add to the list but for now, these are working out great for our family. I really think having them written down and posted makes a big difference.