Important Life Skills to Teach our Kids

Posted by: momzeebitz in


Life skills cannot be learned overnight, or even a year. These are life's essentials that we can teach our kids through experience, and as they grow each given day. As parents, we have to take advantage of learning opportunities through small moments and things.

According to Christine Field's book - Life Skills for Kids: Equipping Your Child for the Real World, here are the life skills that our tots need to learn:


DOING HOUSEHOLD CHORES
Key Lessons: ability to assume responsibility, coping/self management skills

  • don't simply tell them to clean their room, demonstrate them how to do it.
  • provide them with labeled or color coded storage bins so packing away and organizing toys can be made easy.
  • teaching kids to help with household isn't just about getting chores done but serves the greater purpose of letting them take charge, allowing them to feel that they contribute significantly to the household, and teaching them about responsibility along the way.

HANDLING PLAYTIME SQUABBLES
Key Lessons: communication, interpersonal relations, negotiating and refusal skills, empathy building

If you see your kids fighting over a toy, stand back. Reserve your mediating prowess and let them try to work things out on their own first. however, observing them to become too hostile or physical towards each other, means time to intervene and ask them to explain what the quarrel is all about ONE AT A TIME so that they'll see the effectiveness of taking one's turn and hearing the other person out.

PARTICIPATING IN GROUP PROJECTS
Key Lessons: cooperation, teamwork, communication, interpersonal skills
  • propose a family project to give your kids the opportunity to see home teamwork, cooperation, and harmony in diverse skills are needed to meet a common goal. For example, ask them to work on a family scrapbook and let them delegate tasks among themselves.
  • Acknowledge your kids with their participation and encourage them as well of ways to be pro-active.

SELF CARE
Key Lessons: coping/self management skills, ability to take on responsibility
  • teach them the importance of taking a bath, brushing their teeth, clipping their nails and cleaning their ears - especially on their own. Discuss the consequences of skipping these routines.
  • show them how to prepare simple snacks like sandwich or make themselves a glass of juice. Then, show them how to clean up after themselves when they have finished eating: putting back the bread in the bread basket, bringing the used dishes to the sink.

MAKING CHOICES

Key Lessons: decision making, critical thinking skills
  • brainstorm pros and cons with them in every possible situation and explain the consequences of their choices so they can reach a sound decision.
  • parents can ask questions that prompt their kids to think and decide autonomously. (Would you like to help mommy set the table or water the plants with daddy?)

BEING THE HANDY TYKE
Key Lessons: problem solving
  • showing your kids how to do some handy works teaches them that they can fix things on their own. Basic problem-solving skills are instilled as kids eventually learn to evaluate consequences of present actions and determine alternative solutions to the problem.
  • kids may be too young to handle basic carpentry or garden tools, but by showing them that you are willing to do some gardening or simple carpentry, you are already inspiring them to want to someday be the family "handy hyke", who can sew their own buttons, glue together broken robot parts, or do routine maintenance on their bicycle.

HOLDING THE PURSE STRINGS
Key Lessons: critical thinking, coping/self management skills
  • with proper guidance, kids learn to work out a budget, plan for savings, or stay out of debt by buying within their means.
  • give them little allowances and allow them to decide how to spend it.
  • when kids are empowered, it encourages a can-do attitude, which makes them strive to do things better.

MANAGING THEIR TIME AND SPACE
Key Lessons: coping/self management skills, stress management
  • educate your kids on how to use clocks and calendars, and how the changes in season affect everyday living can help them value time.
  • draw up daily schedule with your kids where they can clearly see how a day is broken down into hours. Ask them which activity should be done first, next, and last -- this serves as their first brush with the concept of prioritizing.

Raising Money-Smart Kids

Posted by: momzeebitz in ,

In order for kids to develop wise spending habits and to know the value of a day's wage later on as adults, it is important to teach them at an early age. Parents can start explaining money matters to their kids as soon as the little ones are able to speak.

So how can we teach and actually help them to be money-wise kids? Here are some tricks that I have read in Imelda Aznar's article "Money Smart Kids"


TEACH THEM TO SAVE ON ALL RESOURCES, NOT JUST MONEY.
Constant reminders to our kids to conserve water or to save electricity would impress upon them that saving on these things will also help mom and dad to save money for the household.

ESTABLISH A PESO-TO-PESO SAVINGS PROGRAM.
Match your child's savings for peso (or 50 centavos for every peso saved). It doesn't only help your child's savings to grow quickly, it's also a powerful incentive to encourage them to save regularly.

SET UP FAMILY PIGGY BANK.
Have a goal and save it as a family - say, a summer trip to the beach.

WHEN GIVING THEM MONEY, GIVE IT IN DENOMINATIONS THAT ENCOURAGE SAVING.
For example, if you are giving them P100, give 5 P20 bills and encourage them to save at least P20

DISSUADE THEM FROM BORROWING MONEY FROM FRIENDS.
Teach them instead to buy only the necessary things. If they are old enough to understand the concept of paying interest, charge interest on small loans you give them so they can quickly learn how expensive it is to "rent" someone else's money.

USE BOOKS, GAMES, AND MUSIC.
These are products in the market today that teach little children about money and saving. Such books include as Lucky The Golden Goose by John Wren or Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. There are also board games, like Junior Monopoly, Moneywise Kids, Payday and the Allowance Game, and simulation toys like cash registers and ATM machines.

ENCOURAGE THEM TO GIVE TO CHARITY.
Teach your kids to set aside a portion of their money for charity. It's a great way to teach them about sharing and compassion towards others.

KEEP A MONEY JOURNAL.
You can encourage your kids to keep a journal that features all her goals (with pictures), savings plan, or expense summary.

"I Won Mom!"

Posted by: momzeebitz in ,

It has been 2 weeks since my eldest received a game board from his grandpa. It was the Snakes And Ladders that I and my 2 brothers used to play with when we were younger. Although the colors on board were bit faded, Lolo Tatay (that's how my eldest call his grandpa) preferred to simply purchase new tokens and dice for replacements rather than buying a new one. He wanted to instill the value of "valuing valuable possessions" by example to my eldest that's why.

Simple as it was, my boy's so excited to learn the game and play with daddy and I (well, with my youngest on my lap) for practice. Knowing that Lolo Tatay would drop by next weekend (or us to his place), he wanted to show him that he already mastered the game rules when they play together.

On their first game, my kid was so confident to win. He seem befriended with the dice! He took advantage of the ladders for about three times and Lolo Tatay never landed on any ladder through out the game. Unfortunately, on my son's supposedly "for the win" turn, he landed on the 98th square -- where he was "bitten" by the snake, and went back on the 78th space. So upset, my 4 year old did not finish the game and cried.

Lolo Tatay pacified him, and patiently explained that it was just a game. That sometimes, he may win, sometimes he wont. The important thing was that he played fair, and enjoyed as well. Lolo Tatay added that if he would agree to play again with him and this time with daddy, each win will enable him a "ticket" to choose between an "arcade pass" for a play in an arcade on next weekend, or a "toy store pass" for a chance to choose a toy he wanted on next weekend, provided it's a hundred pesos or less. If he lose but manage to stay on the game and reach the end of the board, he would still be allowed for a "food pass " -- a chance to choose ice cream or chocolate bar or chips to eat for merienda.

While I was in the kitchen preparing our meryenda, I heard him shouting with joy while heading my way.

"I won mom!"

I excitedly asked him, "So what did you choose son, the arcade or the toy store pass?"

"I won a food pass mom! I want a chocolate bar! Can I have 2? One's for baby brother. If he can already play, I'll tell him to finish the game first before I will give him his food pass."

I saw the happiness in my son's eyes. And truly, that glimpse brought so much joy to my heart as well. I knew, more than the "pass", he learned a very valuable lesson of life and living. He may not know the deeper price he had gained from the game for now, but in time, he would.

Before going home, I hugged my father a little tighter than I used to. Just to convey my warm thank you for being a wonderful dad to me and my brothers, and a loving Lolo Tatay to my kids. And of course, a kiss on the chicks to end the precious day...

I love you Tatay... We Love you so dearly...




My 360 Degree Turn...

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Yes, I was into a lot of things lately -- so much that I needed time to think, to pause, to heal.

So as much as I wanted to visit and "sit" with you my fellow moms -- here in our little hub, I decided not to -- until I could.

I wanted to remain truthful in every single word I keyed in. And being in a stressful situation then, I decided to face the inevitable, then I'll get back in time to share my lessons and recollections. And here I am now! So so sooo happy to be back.

Here are some that I wanted to share...

  • I realize how our life has been beautifully crafted by our Almightly. He has given us so much joy -- enough not to dwell on the gray ones.
  • I realize that truly there is sunshine after the rain. Our family is our most valuable and most effecient umbrella, and their love and care are our blanket.
  • Every problem has a lot of solutions. Every person has his own way and pace. Let him/her solve it his/her own way. What matters is facing any trial with positive outlook, solve it and not dwell on it, then move forward.
  • We are the drivers of our own cars. Our Dear Lord entrusted to us our own vehicle, and He gave us the gift of wisdom on how to take good care of it. So once in a while, we have to re-fuel our car, constantly check its engine to ensure its efficiency, clean it (or even detail it if necessary), and ensure that it maintains its great shape so we can be in our destination on time.

I hope, I am still welcome in our little sacred hub, my fellow moms. For you are all my treasures and you simply touch my heart in different ways.

Looking forward to share with you again. Take good care of you!

with much love,
momzeebitz

P.S.

My special thanks to my fellow moms who continuously touched my heart by sharing their thoughts despite my "absence"...

Mom of Four (oneprettymother.blogspot.com)

Tey (mydaysinmymind.blogspot.com)

Farrah (wifeandmomeof3.net)

blessedmom (noahandkaeden.blogspot.com)

Spaceofgrace (homemakerslibrary.blogspot.com/)

How Much Do I Love Thee...

Posted by: momzeebitz in ,

I wrote this poem straight from my heart -- just a written expression of my love for my two wonderful boys. Someday, i wish they will have a glimpse of this post, so they would know how much I love them and how much happiness and color they have brought in my life…


The first time I saw you,
my heart was filled with so much joy.
I felt so blessed that God gave you to me.
You were His very special Gift that completed me...
When I held you close to mine,
It seemed that your heart beats with mine...
From that very moment,
I committed myself to love you,
to take care of you,
to protect you -- until my last breath...

Remember when you had your first step?
I guided you until you gained your balance.
At times that you fell but I didn't pick you up,
I wanted you to learn standing by your own.
I wanted you to grow up strong, dependable, and responsible...
But remember –-
when you stumbled so hard and couldn't stand by yourself,
I never wasted any second to carry you back home.
Because I love you... I love you... I love you...

Remember when you had your first day in school?
I took you to your second home but only stayed for awhile.
I wanted you to learn adopting new things by your own.
I wanted you to grow up with confidence,
To create friendships, to discover new things...
But remember –-
when you had hard times to comprehend with these things,
I never wasted any moment to explore each with you.
I will never, ever get tired to guide and guard you.
Because I love you... I love you... I love you...

Time will pass and you’ll see a wider world.
Yes, I will let you fall in love.
I'll let you shed a tear too...
I want you to learn from life.
For feeling pain will teach you giving more importance to laughter.
I want you to discover God's wonders to deepen your faith...
But remember –-
If there’ll be times that you can't hold your tears back,
I will wipe each drop for you.
I will embrace you so tight
To let you feel how special you are.

And if at some point, you’ll be in your deepest hour,
And you’ll need me to be with you…
Just to stay by you...
I'll never ever hesitate…

Just like when you’re still a baby,
I'll hold you next to mine,
I'll embrace you with all my love,
I'll let you feel how happy I am to have you
Because you are God's gift to me,
And that you completed me...

And I will kiss your forehead and tell you,
how very proud I am to have you...

I'll never leave your side –-
Until my last breathe...
Even beyond…

Because I love you…I love you... I love you...



Our Little "Helpers" on Housework

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Getting the entire family to help with housework can be quite challenging. But teaching our kids the importance of cooperation and the effects of doing or not doing his/her own tasks is essential because in this way, we can inculcate to them the sense of self-responsibility.

Here are some tips on making our little "helpers" work more organized.


MAKE A LIST OR CHART OF TO-DOS.
Either assign or ask volunteers for different tasks. You may also create job charts that kids can check out for their respective tasks. Color-code your charts just like teachers do in school. Organize tasks and prioritize what to accomplish daily, weekly, or monthly. Set a time frame.

SET UP A FAMILY COUNCIL ON WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE, AND WHY.
Point out why everybody benefits from doing chores together. Give pep talks on why everyone needs to help out. Find out what interests each family member. If one enjoys cooking, then assign it to that child.

GIVE AGE-APPROPRIATE TASKS.
Chores should increase in difficulty as the child gets older. Younger children have poor fine motor skills, so don't assign tasks requiring small-muscle coordination. A toddler could be trained to pack away toys, and older kids to wash the rice for dinner.

PUT FUN INTO HOUSE CHORES.
Play a game of cleaning up. You may have two baskets ready for kids to separate the white and colored clothes into. Ask children to pair socks off in a same/different game while singing. Try color-coding hangers, letting kids categorize the clothing to be hung.

GIVE PRAISE AND REWARD.
Recognize the effort of everyone who helps out. This builds self-esteem and motivates them to do their best. Provide a family day-off treat if they manage to keep th house spic and span.


Truly, teaching values to our kids is best when started off young. At the end of the day, let's just remember that our housework "helpers" are still "little" so set realistic expectations for what has to be accomplished by each member. Perfection takes practice and practice takes time.


Source: an excerpt from "Cinderella Moms", written by Alice Bustos Orosa of Smart Parenting

Teaching Our Kids To Buy Their Needs, Not Their Wants

Posted by: momzeebitz in

With more purchasing power given to children nowadays, parents need to inculcate the correct consumer habit to their kids during their formative years. Otherwise, it will be hard to correct misguided consumer behavior later on. Parents should not underestimate their kids. Kids nowadays respond surprisingly well to financial boundaries and rules if these are introduced early. If parents can explain clearly to their kids why they cannot have a certain item, they can understand why.

Parents can do a lot of ways to teach their kids become responsible consumers and buyers -- buying only things that they need, not what they want.


HELP YOUR CHILD DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT SHE REALLY NEEDS THE TOY OR ITEM.
Explain to your child that shopping is not a hobby. It is something we do when we need something important. Remind her of the times she went ballistic over a certain item then simply did not want to play with it anymore one day.


ACKNOWLEDGE THE DESIRE.
In children's minds, a fancy dancing doll or a pair of cool new sneakers is a way for them to fit in with their friends or impress their classmates. Try not to be flippant when you say no, yet careful in acknowledging their desire for an object. Say "Yes, that does look like a good pair of shoes," while preparing them for possible disappointment, "But your sneakers now haven't worn out yet. We need to spend on things that you really need. Maybe next time, when we have extra cash."


STAY FIRM.
Sometimes, it is hard to say no, but parents have to stay firm. If your child finds that a particular tactic works, he'll do it again and again, and you will get stuck with a whining child every time you set foot in a mall. He has to learn the value of waiting or working for something he wants.


HELP THEM EARN THE ITEM THEY WANT TO BUY.
Giving a few extra pesos for doing simple chores like cleaning their room or helping groom the dog trains them to work for something they want. With kids who are not in school yet, you have to set a specific goal -- like when their money reaches a certain amount, they can buy the toy they want. That way, children see where the money they have earned is going.


SHOW THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE.
Bring your child to places such as an orphanage where kids don't have the privilege of owning toys. Let her share her old toys to help her appreciate what she has.


TALK TO YOUR CHILD'S TEACHER ABOUT HER NEW TOY CRAVING.
Your child's teacher can help reinforce the lesson you are trying to teach. If the child thinks that it is not allowed by mommy, and is not also allowed by teacher, then, it is not really allowed.


SPEND MORE QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR CHILD.
This will dramatically lessen your child's demand for toys. Parents must try to spend more time with their kids, not more money with them. What kids really want and need is time with their parents, not more consumer goods


Source: Pester Power by Maan Pamaran of Smart Parenting

A Teary and Very Happy Mommy...

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Since I started posting, a lot made suggestions that I might as well consider changing my Profile Image. Yes, I know they just wanted it to be more appealing and personal. If I may share the story behind the picture, and express how important and personal it is to me...

My eldest is 4 years old and a preschooler. A lovable, smart, and "naughty" young boy, who sometimes drives me crazy yet inspires and energizes me every single moment of my life. For the first 2 months of his schooling, I would always ask him "How's school? What did you do in class?" and he would constantly respond "Nothing much mom?", "We just sang mom", "I can't remember mom", "Seat works mom", "Writing mom" and so on...

At times, I would ask his teachers how is he in school, and they would tell me that my son is doing well and always participates in recitations.

And then came their first quarter evaluation and grading card distribution. He was one of the Top 5 students. When his teacher handed in his grading card, she told me to open it for she had inserted something which my son has made during one of their art sessions...

There I saw a rose -- cut and pasted, and colored red by my son, with few words under it that says... "I love mom"

I love you much much more Son... more than you'll ever know and imagine...


Helping Our Children To Be Positive Despite Problems

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Just a year ago, one of the most tragic news reported in both print and broadcast media was the suicide of a 12-year old female child in one of our country's provinces. Allegedly, she ended her life by hanging herself in their home. It was also reported that she had a lot of scribbles in her school notebooks, telling mostly her feelings towards hardships and poor living thus wanting to end her life. Despite her young age, her awareness and experiences of life struggles, problems and pains, are the key points on why she allegedly committed suicide.

A good social support system in the family and an optimistic world-view are the two strongest weapons that we can equip our children to guide them in becoming a more positive individual despite problems, thus their weapon too against suicide (or even attempts). We can develop these through the following habits:

OFFER SUPPORT. Only in being present in your children's lives can you show that you are truly available for them. Make it known to them that you are there when they need you. For working parents, setting aside a reasonable and predictable time when you can be present for your children may be advisable.

BE ATTUNED. Attune yourself to the reactions and moods of your children. This will enable you to give emotional support when they most need it.

ENHANCE SELF-ESTEEM. Develop a positive self-esteem by praising your children and letting them know that you appreciate them. Show them that they have resources to solve simple problems, so that they are encouraged to try out more difficult ones.

THINK POSITIVE. Look at things from the bright side at all times. Instead of seeing the glass to be half-empty, think of it as being half-full. Model this way of thinking with your kids.

SEARCH FOR THE SILVER LINING. Constantly look for the silver lining to every dark cloud that comes your way. It could be a lesson learned or the presence of a good friend. Anything that makes the burden lighter is always good.

HOPE, FAITH AND TRANSCENDENCE. Nurture hope and transcendence in your child. Even the most terrible of tragedies can offer some glimmer of something better in the near future. This is where faith in something beyond us can be very helpful.



Great Fun, Less Cost

Posted by: momzeebitz in

Here are some tips and tricks from real moms on how to have a family fun time together on a budget.


FIND A CHEAP SPOT.

Lessen mall outings. If it has been a once a week malling for the whole family, you may just have it once a month and have some cheaper, but still fun alternatives. You may take the kids to a beach instead, where entrance fee is cheaper, bring your own food and drinks, and spend the whole morning till lunch at the beach.


DINE OUT.
You do not have to go to the restaurant to eat out. You can dine out -- al fresco! You may set up a table and chairs in the garden for dinner under the stars. To add up a little coziness, you may set up a gazebo in the garden and have dinner with the whole family.


ENJOY THE OUTDOORS.
Your family may also go to a vacant lot near a mall to play ball or badminton for free. Similarly, you may also go biking in a park with the kids.


PREMIUM ON STORYTELLING TIME.
Revive the tradition of storytelling -- it does not cost much and it enriches young minds. In addition to reading fairy tales and children's books, you can also share true stories of yourself, your partner, the kid's grandparents, and other close relatives.