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.



Tips For HeaLthy EatinG...

Posted by: momzeebitz in

EAT SLOWLY. Chew food slowly and put the eating utensils down between bites. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register fullness.

FOLLOW THE 15-MINUTE RULE on cravings. Try drinking a glass of water first -- you might just be thirsty. If after 15 minutes the craving does not pass, settle for a small portion. Control your appetite, don't let it control you.

AVOID GRAZING and raiding the ref every so often. If you really want that bar of chocolate or piece of cake in the ref, sit down and eat it.

USE THE NON-DOMINANT HAND when eating finger foods to avoid overstuffing.

DON'T MIX EATING WITH OTHER ACTIVITIES. Mindless eating (like when watching TV) loads your body with excess calories -- and no real feeling of satisfaction.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER throughout the day. It will give you the feeling of being full but minus the calories. On hot days, have an extra glass every now and then.


Source: excerpt from Tip Sheet
by nutritionist Luchie Callanta.

Popeye's Secret

Posted by: momzeebitz in

“Popeye the sailor man,” was the cartoon character who magnified his strength by eating spinach. Even so, spinach never was, nor is now considered a delicacy.

It is virtually a forgotten vegetable, as mothers say to their children, “Eat your broccoli!” That’s fine, but other than the iron in spinach, just how valuable is it to our bodies? Is it in the iceberg lettuce category (low value) or in the powerhouse broccoli-cauliflower league?

It’s very, very valuable, according to new discoveries by teams of medical scientists at three university medical centers. One group, from the departments of Chemistry, Dietetics and Nutrition at Florida International University, of Miami, found that taking the nutrient lutein (found in spinach) significantly raised its level in the blood. This is important, for other scientists have found that a deficiency of lutein is a risk factor for the development of cataracts.

A second group, from the Department of Preventive Medicine at U.C.L.A. and the Atherosclerosis (hardening of the Arteries) Research Unit of U.S.C., both in Los Angeles, discovered that the lutein reduced the appearance of arthrosclerotic disease in animals.

And surprisingly, another group found that lutein inhibited tumor growth and even enhanced immunity against disease in general in animals.

Source: Popeye’s Secret by William A. Kent,
Health Bulletin: Using Foods Instead of Drugs for Health

"Honey, I Wanted Our Relationship To Work"

Posted by: momzeebitz in


Who wanted a failed marriage? Who dreamt for a miserable partnership?

From the very moment we decided to spend the rest of our lives with our partner, we committed ourselves to a life long journey... Of course, roads aren't always smooth. And there'll always be tough times. But being a wife (or a husband) and being a parent as well, we are not only living to benefit our own but twined our life for the ones we love.


So why not try the following ways to keep our partnership successful and harmonious.


  • Have a 5:1 ratio or five positive interactions to one negative moment.
  • Show interest in what your partner is saying; try out some of his/her interest though it may not be totally in your field.
  • Be affectionate. Have many moments of tenderness and physical affection.
  • Show you care. Show random acts of thoughtfulness.
  • Be appreciative. Think fondly of your partner and the positive moments in your past.
  • Show concern, especially when your partner is distressed or worried. Be there for her/him.
  • Be empathetic by genuinely matching your partner's feelings.
  • Be accepting. Respect your differences and disagreements.
  • Joke around. Having private jokes and being goofy with each other helps.
  • Share your joy. Let your partner know you are having a good time.

Are You Blocking Effective Communication?

Posted by: momzeebitz in

In our relationships within the family, strong feelings can make it difficult to keep steady, healthy communication. Strong emotion also makes it difficult for us to listen effectively and to stay on the course of understanding the other person. Strong emotion can aggravate the fight or flight response and make us become, at the moment, self-protective and self-centered.


Dr. Dale Simpson, a licensed psychologist practicing from Christian perspective, stated in his article "MOM & DAD, ARE YOU BLOCKING EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION?", that, there are a number of blocks to effective communication we must overcome.


ADVICE: Advice is best used when it is asked for and after showing understanding of the person. In fact, most people will not ask for advice if they do not feel understood. Many of us assume that when a person shares feelings, we are being asked for advice and that telling people what they need to do is the primary goal of the encounter. This is rarely the case and rarely what the other person needs.


CRITICISM/JUDGMENT: Criticism and judgment come from strong emotion that we are not managing effectively. Ask yourself what happens if you feel criticized by someone else. Defenses usually go up and openness to the information goes down.


USE OF ABSOLUTE WORDS: Words such as “never” and “always” exaggerate inflamed emotions. Absolute words often hide the truth since rarely is it the case that something ever happens or always happens. It is much better to say “frequently I feel ignored” rather than “you never listen to me.”


TWENTY QUESTIONS: Some people confronted with an issue ask one question after another, trying to get to the facts or uncover who is to blame. This strategy does not work well and should be avoided. A question or two that follows the acknowledgment of the person’s emotion in order to sincerely try to understand is the best strategy. “You must be really upset with Mrs. Johnson, your Sunday School Teacher. What sort of thing happened today?” would be a well-placed question after the acceptance of the emotion.


TALKING TOO MUCH ABOUT OURSELVES: Often when someone shares something in a conversation, the other person says something like “Oh yeah, I felt that way back in 1990” and they tell you their experience. Taking the attention off the other person and drawing it onto us is a communication stoper if it is done right after an initial sharing.


USING “YOU” STATEMENTS: Starting a sentence with “you” unless it is said I an empathetic way like “you must really feel sad” tends to be a blame and marshals defensiveness. Avoid “you” statements and be sure you use “I feel” statements. These “I” statements are not selfish but offer information rather than blame.


BODY LANGUAGE: A closed or disinterested posture can communicate far more than one realizes. Be sure when you are listening or responding to someone that you square your shoulders to him and give him reasonable eye contact. Researchers say that far more is communicated through intonation and body language than through the actual words themselves.


MIND READING AND PLAYING PSYCHOLOGIST: It is important to think about why people say and feel what they do, but it is usually unwise to make interpretations of motive early in the conversation. “You’re just saying that to get back at me” or “You’ve been angry at men ever sine your dad left your mother” could possibly be true statements, but quite ineffective at communicating.


DEFENSIVE REACTIONS: The fear of failure and the natural tendency to blame others keeps us pursuing not the truth but what tickles our ears and pleases us. Often we just don’t want to face ourselves and this destroys ongoing communication when we need to face something.


“WHEN I WAS A KID, I WALKED 5 MILES THROUGH THE SNOW” STORIES: Every generation relates from their own perspective and explaining how it was in your generation will not necessarily solve a problem for this generation.

Take time now to commit to changing one thing in your communication to make it more person- oriented and less problem oriented. Tell someone in the family what you are working on and ask him/her to watch for changes. Mutual accountability will help you back up the desire to change. And besides, you need someone to cheer for you when you say it right.

A MotheR's LovE

Posted by: momzeebitz in ,


Before we even became moms to our own children, we were only once a child of our respective mothers.

Years back, have we, even just for a moment, ever thought of how much we have loved by our moms and how much they have done for us?!

Had we reminded ourselves then, that inside her womb, she carried us, she nourished us? That on the day she gave birth, she lay on deathbed, grimacing in pain and with superhuman courage and endurance, delivered us into this world?

And even though we were breathing on our own, somehow having the independence, we’re never really truly apart from her. She continued to pamper us with care, and encompassed us with her warmth and understanding.

Day in and day out, she toiled to help us be strong in all aspects of life and somehow attained the totality of being a righteous individual.

A mother’s love is a parasol in the pouring rain, a warm blanket on a cold, chilly night, or a soothing cool breeze in a hot and humid afternoon. A mother is always there to lend a helping hand.

When we soar to greater heights and take hold of our dreams, wouldn’t our mom be there to rejoice with us? But when we lose our grip and stumble, wouldn’t she be always ready to break our fall? And when we were down and sad, wouldn’t she be the first to shed a tear? All thru her life, she is there for us with her un-relentless counsel and support.

BUT,
AGAIN, have we ever stopped for a while, and looked her in the eye, and whisper to her, that we appreciate her love, and that we do LOVE her also?

If not, I guess it’s never too late…

In fact, we are even blessed that we can do a lot of ways to do so…

WE are MOMs now after all…

Disciplining Boo-Boos

Posted by: momzeebitz in

It's true that as parents, we only want the best for our kids. We want them to grow as better individuals and a disciplined person. But sometimes, our children's naughtiness push our buttons and we end up doing things we often later regret. By being aware of the dont's, we can try to omit them from future interactions with our children.


CRITICIZING OUR CHILD'S CHARACTER
It is ok to say "I get very angry when you do that", but never add, "Don't be so stupid!"


GIVING LENGTHY LECTURES
Keep your explanations of the guidelines or why their behavior is unacceptable short, simple, and to the point.


PLEADING
"Please clean up your toys. It would really make my day" doesn't cut it. Keep personal pronouns and your feelings out of your requests. "It's time to clean up. When you're done, come downstairs for snacks, please".


MISTAKING AN ACCIDENT FOR DELIBERATE BEHAVIOR
Know the difference between an accident and aggressive behavior, and discipline only the latter.


HAVING UNREASONABLE EXPECTATIONS
It is unfair to think that a two year old can sit quietly at the dinner table for an hour. Understanding your child's emotional development and what is developmentally appropriate will help you distinguish unbecoming behavior from a lack of social skills or simple curiosity.

What Love Means...

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"I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains -- but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned -- but if I have no love, this does me no good.

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear."

-- Apostle Paul, I Cor. 13:1-10, The Bible --


Is Your Child Disciplined? (Embracing Basic Guidelines)

Posted by: momzeebitz in

It may be true that disciplining a child nowadays is more difficult, but guiding and teaching our children to be disciplined individuals is our commitment as their parents. Perhaps, concentrating on the basic discipline guidelines is something essential to be more effective in teaching our kids.


SETTING LIMITS
Although kids of all ages naturally push the limits to see if they can get away with a bit more, they need to know where to stop. Whether it is a physical limit (like watching tv only for a certain period of time), or an action limit (not pushing, or hitting), setting limits is the first step to a disciplined child.


BEING CONSISTENT
Parents must be consistent in setting guidelines. Though it is really difficult to be perfectly consistent on rules, we should be reasonably consistent in maintaining limits in order to help children know what to expect. So if it is not alright to stand on furnitures in your house, then it is not also okay to stand on Grandma's furnitures. If it needs to impose punishments, a lighter and consistent one is more effective than waiting until anger builds and enacting an overwhelming penalty.


MODELING GOOD BEHAVIOR
As parents, we are very powerful in our kid's lives, more than we ever know. So it is important that parents become good models for good kinds of copying.


PARENTS PRESENTING A UNITED FRONT
Children are less likely to try and push and bend the rules when parents are united in their approach to discipline. Obviously one should never unite with an abusive parent. But if two reasonable parents have differences in how to raise their children, it's extremely important that they compromise and discuss their differences away from their children.

All We Really Needed To Know We Must Have Learned In The Kindergarten

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Most of what I really needed to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in the kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm Cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play every day.

Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for the traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plants goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic -- they all die. So do we.

And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK. Every thing you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living.

Think of what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole world -- had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or we had a basic policy in our nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old we are, when you go out into the world, it is better to hold hands and stick together.


-- Robert Fulghum --


More Than A Good Practice: Ethics and Etiquette

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As parents, we use every device at our disposal to encourage ‘polite’ behavior in our young children. Surely one of our objectives is to raise citizens whose behavior reflects basic respect for others. Attempting to ‘do the right thing’ while being singularly unable to treat others with consideration is likely to lead ethical decisions that reflect an inhuman approach.

If you take a walk through one of your local big-box bookstores, you might conclude that we are currently experiencing a veritable renaissance of etiquette consciousness. Business moguls have arisen to take up the battle cry. Good manners mean good business.

Do you consider yourself to be polite? Are you well-mannered? Are you respectful of others no matter what their place? Are you ethical? Perhaps we need to stop here. What is the relationship between ethics and etiquette?

If we examine the dictionary definitions of ethics and etiquette, we see striking similarities. Funk and Wagnall’s define etiquette as ‘rules conventionally established for behavior in polite society or official or professional life’. Removal of the words ‘polite society’ results in a definition of ethics that resembles those frequently seen in textbooks. Indeed, another dictionary provides one definition of etiquette as ‘…the code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other.’


HOW ARE YOUR MANNERS?


Since etiquette is concerned with correct or appropriate behavior in personal as well as business situations and has, at its root, respect for others, it seems that possessing good manners is a key part of being able to behave in an acceptable manner. And we certainly expect that individuals learn manners from direct instruction by parents and teachers, personal observation of others and trial and error.


TEST YOUR MANNERS

1. Do you always say please and thank you even when the person is ‘just doing his or her job?’

2. Are you always careful to especially acknowledge when someone goes out of his or her way for you? If you cannot do it at the time, do you remember to d it later?

3. Do you always seek privacy for unpleasant encounters?

4. Do you always control your temper?

5. Do you refrain from using profane or rude language even when under pressure and even in business e-mail?

6. Do you refrain from making sexist or ethnic remarks or forwarding jokes that contain either?

7. Do you refer to others with degree of formality that you expect to receive?


If you answered NO to any of these questions, you need to reexamine your basic manners and do something about it!

Perhaps, Fred Astaire was right when he said, ‘The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.’ If your manners are now what should be seen by children, you might want to do a bit of soul-searching before you even consider the next step in our staircase to respect: demonstrating professional respect for others.

Source: Ethics in Public Relations: A guide to Best Practice by Patricia Parsons.