Stranger Danger for Children-4 Ideas to Explain and Prepare.

Stranger Danger for Children-4 Ideas to Explain and Prepare.

This is my follow up to 6 Ways to Promote Free-Range Kids in 2018. One of those 6 is teaching them about Stranger Danger for children. Preparing our children for some of the darkness this world has to offer is not a very fun subject but an important one.

It’s our job to prepare them to be upstanding, independent people. I’m not talking about scaring them with our parental anxieties so they never try anything new or fun but, there is a certain level of awareness they should possess. That level will grow with their age and experience as well. The boundaries or rules we have for our children are for their safety and can be crossed from the outside!

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

1. Teaching strategies for what to do if they need an adult and you the parent are not around. Who is the right kind of person to approach for help?

There are many scenarios where a child could be put into this situation. Getting separated from a parent or other adult while shopping or on a field trip. Playing unsupervised in the yard or walking to a friend’s house or park. If they or another child is hurt or in a boundary crossing situation where can they go to look for help?


Emergency. Children should be made aware of our public service protectors and how to recognize them. A police officer and firefighters are good options in an emergency if they are available. We can also teach them how to dial 911 on a phone to ask for emergency help.

Stranger Danger for Children-4 Ideas to Explain and Prepare. Emergency Help

-Lost. I read somewhere once to share this little tidbit with your kiddo in case they get separated from you. Look for another mom with kiddos to ask for help. I know if a little lost kid came to me I would want to help them in a heartbeat. Following this plan, it’s always good to have your kiddo memorize your phone number, especially if they do not have a phone of their own. You could even write it on a bracelet for them to where in preparation for being in a scenario where separation could happen.


-Approached by a stranger when out in the neighborhood. Here is where growing the like-minded village comes in handy. Learn who your neighbors are and whom you may be most comfortable having your kids look to for help and support. Make your kids familiar with these wonderful people. Yes, not all are ready to play that role but if your child is allowed that freedom to be out on their own, you as the parent need to help make the connections to have as many safety options as possible.

2. Teaching kids how to respectfully and safely get out of an uncomfortable situation that does not coincide with their boundaries.

My mom always told me I could say anything to anyone if I said it respectfully. Kids are very smart. If you have the boundaries trained and ingrained, they will know when they are in an uncomfortable situation.

They should be taught they can say “no” if their boundaries are being crossed and it doesn’t matter by who!Stranger Danger for Children-4 Ideas to Explain and Prepare.

They should be taught they can say “no” if their boundaries are being crossed and it doesn’t matter by who! Sorry Grandma if she doesn’t want a kiss today, I’m not going to make her. Encourage them to know they can excuse themselves to home or seek out a trusted village member when they are uncomfortable or pushed outside of their boundaries.


It is also important to have a good open discussion relationship with your kiddos. We want them to feel comfortable sharing when a situation that is boundary crossing has occurred. This way you can help guide your child to prevent future uncomfortable situations.


Another idea I have read about, especially for older children is to have a code word. The child can text or call you with the word and you can call them home or go get them without the peer pressure of seeming uncool to leave a boundary crossing situation. The other part of this idea was to not pressure them to talk about it unless they are ready or want to. Just to trust that you have this relationship where they are following the boundaries and trusting you in return. I’m sure if you have that open discussion relationship details will be shared anyway.

3. Seeking out friends that fit. Who do they enjoy spending time with that have similar boundaries to their own?

We all want our children to seek out friendships, have healthy relationships, and safely enjoy the people whom they spend time with outside of the family. This starts when our children are young, and we have all control over who they spend time with.

Stranger Danger for Children- Seeking out Friends that Fit.

As I discussed in my free-range post, I gravitate to like-minded parents with similar boundaries for their children. Encouraging, participating and modeling interests can help guide your kiddos as they grow. I was in Girl Scouts and loved it. My Mom became a leader because they needed more volunteers to keep it going. I am sure she is part of the reason I continued to love it all the way to high school. She was able to further guide and encourage mine and my friends’ interests. We did A LOT of outdoors and camping. Way more than most city-based Girl Scout troops normally do. It was amazing. I remember one of my best friends’ fathers also joined as a leader! He added a lot of camp knowledge as well.

Remember to try your hardest to listen to your kids.


Even when they are young and it does not always seem as pressing or important. They will remember and react. Them sharing details of their life needs to be important from the beginning to build the base of that relationship. Don’t forget keeping up the good open discussion relationship grows in importance as the kiddos get older. You want them to have the independence but still the comfort in coming to you for guidance as they build their own boundaries and choose their own friends.

4.Learning to notice when a situation could be unsafe or boundary crossing. Are they being aware of their environment?

Kids often love to get lost in the moment. Swept up into the fun of something and not notice when a situation becomes an unsafe one. For example, a 4-year-old stopping to look at a dead squirrel in the middle of the road and not thinking about cars that could be speeding over a hill towards them. We all teach them to look both ways before crossing the street as well as walking on the correct side following the flow of traffic. When they are younger they may need constant reminders of this boundary. As they get older it should be ingrained into the back of their minds.

Exactly why the boundaries grow with age and experience.


The darker side of this topic is when a child needs to be aware of an adult crossing into their boundaries. We all see the stories of people “sweet” talking kids into cars, or even just trying to snatch them up. We can teach about not going with strangers- even ones with cute puppies and candy!

Remind kids that with the freedom of unattended play or traveling comes the boundaries of not talking to or going with strangers.


The topic gets even scarier when the boundary crossing adult is a familiar one to your child. Teach them they can say “no” when they are uncomfortable no matter who they are saying it to. Again. You can say anything to anyone if you say it respectfully.

 

Stranger Danger for Children- Modeling situational awareness as a parent.

Modeling situational awareness as a parent is another way to teach this to our children.

It’s a true balance of trying new things and learning about the world while trusting intuition and staying in the boundaries.
If you do your best to cover all the steps in both my free range post and this stranger danger for children post the chances of #4 being an issue grow very small. This does not mean to skip this lesson! Just don’t let the anxiety of it overtake you and your child especially.

As bad as this world can seem sometimes it is doubly good. Now for one of my favorite Dumbledore quotes, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. That can go for good or bad dreams.

Stranger Danger for Children-4 Ideas to Explain and Prepare.



I truly hope you enjoyed my post on Stranger Danger for Children. It is a very loaded topic and I am no expert but as a parent, I have put so much thought into it I wanted to share my ideas with others. 

Here are some good reads if you want more information on stranger danger for children.

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8 Frugal and Free Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day after the Kids go to Bed

8 Frugal and Free Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day after the Kids go to Bed (1)

Some of us parents are at that stage in life where parenting takes precedence. I’m not saying we cannot or should not treat ourselves to some adult time and situations but sometimes it’s just not in the cards. Read on for 8 Frugal and Free Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day after the Kids go to Bed.

Low funds, sickness, exhaustion, and stress make it hard to have that special time with your main man and partner.  

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

Here I have compiled a list of 8 of my favorite frugal and free ways to celebrate valentines day after the kids go to bed

1. Share a favorite treat together.

Brownies, ice-cream, cheese plate, a glass of wine etc. This is a “treat yo self” moment. Just use what you already have on hand at home. Everyone has a favorite snack. 

Share a favorite treat together. 8 Frugal and Free Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day after the Kids go to Bed

2. Snuggle by the fire or candlelight.

Grab a fresh blanket straight from the dryer. I just like being warm. Makes me feel wonderful. It’s even better to share that warm feeling with someone. 

3. Watch a favorite sentimental or even new movie/ TV show together.

I love to pick out new movies and shows to try out and these days its so easy with all the streaming right at our fingertips. Sometimes it can even be overwhelming to pick something new. So we go with our old favorite standbys that we know we both enjoy.  

4. Yes, back rubs are great and free but break up that old routine, try a foot or hand rub!

Easy to do when laying on the couch together. And do not underestimate the relaxing power of a good hand rub. 

Yes, back rubs are great and free but break up that old routine, try a foot or hand rub! 8 Frugal and Free Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day after the Kids go to Bed

5. If the sky is clear and you are somewhere you won’t freeze your butt off- go sit outside and look at the stars together.

Even better next to a fire. Stargazing is fun. My favorite is to look up some of the current constellations and search for them in the sky. Bonus points if you pick an evening with a possible meteor shower.

If the sky is clear and you are somewhere you won’t freeze your butt off- go sit outside and look at the stars together. 8 Frugal and Free Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day after the Kids go to Bed

6. Take a bath or shower together.

I’ll wash your back if you wash mine. Don’t act like you don’t enjoy having your hair washed. I don’t have to go into any detail here, I’m sure you know the possibility of where this one may lead.  

Take a Bath or Shower together. 8 Frugal and Free Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day after the Kids go to Bed

7. Do a puzzle together.

There is something calming about working together to a peaceful goal while listening to music. My kids even like doing this one with us but since they are going to be in bed for this, pick a harder puzzle!!!

Here is a very satisfying beautiful puzzle for sale on Amazon!

8. Look at old photos or family movies together.

Grab out the wedding albums or scrapbooks. Remember fun times past with each other and the kiddos. 

Look at old photos of family movies together. 8 Frugal and Free Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day after the Kids go to Bed.

I hoped you liked 8 Frugal and free ways to Celebrate Valentines Day after the Kids go to Bed. Please check out my other valentines day posts. 

10 Cute Hand and FootPrint Valentines. 

11 Valentines Day Books for Kids



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8 Fun Ways to Beat Cabin Fever with the Kids

We are now headed to the middle of winter. Cold, Cold, Cold! My motivation to be outside, for any reason, is at an all time low. 8 Fun ways to beat cabin fever with the kids will help on those frozen days when we are trapped inside with them.

Also, check out my past blog about Connecting on Days You Just Can’t. 

8 Fun Ways to Beat Cabin Fever with the Kids - Girl in Window

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

All of these ideas are not totally my own. I have borrowed them and tweaked them for my kiddos and my house rules. Please enjoy and I will link to my fellow bloggers where I can. 

1. Scavenger Hunt Games 

This is one can be played in so many ways! You can build it around any theme you can think of. All you will need are the objects to hide, time to hide them, and a way to list or show what they are searching for. Here are several example themes:

Lego Color Hunt for beating cabin fever with the kids.
Paint Chip Scavenger Hunt Beat cabin fever with the kids this winter.

2. Movement Die

Another game with endless possibilities. You can get this cube here on Amazon (also pictured below), create your own from tape and cardboard, or get the awesome one with dry erase spots on it that I found at Dollar Tree (also pictured below)! On each side of the die, write or draw a symbol for some movement. The kids roll and do the movement the die says! Pick a theme and there are 6 options for movements you can fit on the die. Here are some cool examples:

  • Super Hero Moves (Hulk Smash, Superman Fly, Spider Man Swing, Batman Kick, Wonder Woman Shield, Cat Woman Pounce, etc.)
  • Winter Moves (sled, snowball toss, snow angel, snowman build, drink hot coco, shovel snow, etc.) 
  • Animal Moves (stomp like an elephant, run like a cheetah, jump like a frog, hop like a bunny, swing like a monkey, swim like a dolphin, etc.)
Movement Die with Super Hero Moves for beating cabin fever with the kids.

3. Dance Game

I always keep some fun playlists on my Amazon Prime Music App. Its right on my phone and I can instantly play the kiddo favorites. Dancing is a great release of energy and an awesome way to reconnect with the kiddos when y’all have lost it to the cabin fever. 

Another music and dance idea is Go Noodle. It is a super cool online channel with song and dance moves. My Kindergarten Kiddo does it at school during brain breaks. He loves to show us some of his favorites here at home. I really like the Friday Night House Party Mix. It has songs and dances to get them moving with some goofy challenges mixed in for fun! It is free and you don’t have to give your email but if you do, your favorites and settings can be saved across devices. Dancing is a wonderful way to beat cabin fever with the kids! 

GoNoodle Image

4. Arts and Crafts Time

My kiddos always have access to crayons, markers, pencils and paper. They get more excited about using these things when I give them a purpose. For example, draw your favorite Star Wars character, draw the grocery list, draw the birds at our bird feeder, etc. 

Give the kids direction with their coloring and drawing to keep them engaged. Crayons, Marker and Pencils.

Play dough, slime and paint aren’t always up for grabs. They are messier and need more guidance. So it’s a special treat when I get these out!

Paper Air Planes. I have a really cool kit I have been saving for a rainy day. May have to break it out on a cold one. You can fold, decorate, and race these for entertainment. 

5. Tape Games 

It’s amazing the ideas people have created to keep kids moving and entertained with only tape and a few other supplies. Using masking or painter’s tape is the best, so that nothing is damaged when removing the tape after play. Here is a list of some great “Tape Games”:

  • Hop Scotch- Old fashion, easy to change up if you need to and safe inside if you have a good space. Here is where I found my hop scotch inspiration!
  • Car Race Track/Road- Map out a play area for toy cars and trucks to travel while your kiddos use their imaginations! Find my race track inspiration here!
  • Line Walking- Trace out some fun lines (squiggle, zig-zag, dotted, straight, wavy) and have the kids travel around the place following the lines. 
  • Alphabet Game- Trace out letters on the floor. Have the kiddos jump, hop, skip, or twist to each letter when you say a word matching its beginning sound. You can even do a scavenger hunt with these letters as well. Finding things in the house and placing them on the letter they begin with. 
  • Sticky Spider Web- Tape up and across a doorway to create a sticky tape spider web. Let the kiddos have fun tossing small toys or crumpled paper balls to see if they can make it through or get stuck in the web. Bonus points if you craft a scary spider to sit at the edge of your web. Sticky Spider Web inspiration is here. 

6. Balloon Games 

There are many ways to play this game. Any parent knows kids will be entertained with a balloon for a long time. They are just fun and attention grabbing. Here are some ideas to give that play direction: 

  • Don’t let it touch the ground. Oldie but a goody.
  • Balance the balloon. Use a foot or a hand and see who can do so the longest. 
  • Tape the balloon up high and have the kids jump to tap the balloon with hand or head. Count how many times they can do it in a row. 
  • Waddle with balloon between their legs pretending to be a penguin.
Balloon Games. Fun ways to beat cabin fever with the kids.

7. Sports Games

Everyone loves sports. They keep the kids moving all year round. Here are some that are controllable and safe to try out inside your house. Sports remind us of warmer times when we can be outside. So beat cabin fever with the kids and try out some inside!

  • Bowling. They make cute sets of pins and little plastic balls here. (Also pictured below.) If you want to be thrifty you can make your own using 2 litter soda bottles!
  • Mini Golf. Keep to putting only and be sure to have some plastic practice golf balls to use. Lat year on Fathers day I created a whole mini golf course for my husband to play with the kids. They playing it almost as much as they loved helping me create it (I promise a blog detailing how I created the course).
  • Soccer. Just set up a few cones like this or use whatever you have to pretend. Get a light ball and have each kid stand at the goal. 
  • Target Practice. Grab out those Nerf guns, set up some cups, stuffed animals, balls, or anything that can get shot at safely. You can even put numbers on different things for them to keep score like a shooting gallery. 
Mini Golf Game Ideas for beating cabin fever with the kids.

8. Act It Out Games

This last section is a combination of several games where you have to copy, mimic, or act it out. 

  • Fashion Show. Gather your kiddos favorite outfits, turn on some music and get them to strut their stuff.
  • Indoor Snowball fight. My mom has a great basket of white pompoms at her house. Every time we go to visit my kiddos love to pretend they are having an indoor snowball fight. I also have a fun blog about how to make a pretend snow ball fight inside be educational.
  • Mirror, Mirror. This is a copy game. You do one thing and get your kiddos to stand in front of you and match what you do. Another way to adapt this is playing it like Simon Says (less moving for mom!)

I hope you enjoyed all these wonderful ideas about how to beat cabin fever with the kids this winter. If you subscribe with your email I will send you all my content direct! No searching!



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Parents Feeling Guilty About Screen Time?

Parents Feeling Guilty About Screen Time?

Almost every parent uses it with their children. Some use it more than others. I bet at least 75% or more have some kind of GUILT over how much or how often we use it. Are you one of those parents feeling guilty about screen time? Read on for some reasons why I think we should not feel so guilty. Also, included at the bottom, some cool ways to moderate screen time. 

Kids hands on X box one controller.

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

I find myself longing for simpler times.

When people had more self sufficient life styles and looked to other humans around them for things like company and help. As much as I want and miss those times and ideas, in their pure form they are not realistic goals in this age of technology.

So many modern amenities I love to use take away the opportunities for the face to face interactions of those simpler times.

Some of my favorite examples of awesome technology include but are not limited to:

  1. Working online-from home.
  2. Searching Google instead of going to the library.
  3. Facebook communication instead of a good old telephone chat.
  4. Amazon prime instead of going anywhere to shop.

To throw it way back-

Most of us would choose a dishwasher instead of hand washing dishes wouldn’t we? This is why technology will keep moving, getting better and making simpler times seem further and further away.

Throw back to hand washing dishes and reading actual books.

I am sure that once upon a time, long ago there were parents telling their kiddos not to read! Thinking it would keep them from other important life pursuits. You would never catch a parent saying that this day and age! 

How do all my thoughts on technology connect with screen time for the kiddos?

Well, while I find comfort and importance in the simpler times of harder work and face to face interactions, times are a changing! I find it just as important for myself and my kiddos to learn and be aware of all the great technology out there. Even if it means making some of those simpler times harder to come by or harder to instill in my kiddos.

Parents Feeling Guilty About Screen Time?

Technology is especially important for the future of our kiddos, more than it will ever be for us.

Their future success will lean so heavily on technology and screens. I am going to say that screen time is IMPORTANT!

Now I am not a doctor or even a scientist but to me screen time should be treated the same as any other thing we give to our kiddos. We give it to them in MODERATION and with our guidance. 

Yes, I am sure there have been medical studies to research the negative implications of screen time on child development. Such as it being bad for fine motor skills like eyesight and finger dexterity or slowing social and emotional growth. Again I say- moderation. Screen time should not be your child’s only form of entertainment and education.

So everyone is worried about that magic number of how much, but really you should use your judgment. Trust you instincts and guide those kiddos to use it appropriately. It will be in their life now and forever.

Model, Teach and Practice what you preach!

Kid wearing Xbox head set.

If you are looking for some tips and tricks to help you moderate screen time for you kiddos here is a wonderful list of ideas and even a free printable tracker I created just for you!

If you like my throw back mentality please go check out my blog about Free Range Kids.

Screen Tine Allowed Check List



Screen Time Weekly Tracker
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4 Mindful and Resolution Worthy New Year Mom Goals

4 Mindful and Resolution Worthy New Year Mom Goals

New Year’s Resolutions are upon us. It is human nature to try to better ourselves. Pursuit of happiness is something we all have right to and a yearning for.  Setting goals or resolutions is one of the ways most people strive for that next level. Read on for 4 mindful and resolution worthy New Year Mom goals. Followed by a FREE printable Monthly Resolution Journal!!!

Us moms always have mom goals. Sometimes they don’t involve being a mom though. Either way, if it be fitness, parenting, personal or professional they are important even if only to ourselves. 

This post does contain affiliate links. See disclosure if you have any questions.

 

I am going to challenge you this year when creating your new resolutions to be mindful and not mind full. 

As you set your resolutions this year try to think more about how you will enjoy the road along the way and less about enjoying the end result. Of course you want those end goals but just like cheat day of a diet, enjoying the ride towards the goal will go a long way in helping you reach it!

Here are 4 Awesome Mom Goals for you to aim at this year!

  1.  Treat Yo Self
  2.  Always Try Your Best
  3.  Love your Babies
  4.  Practice Teamwork with your Partner

1. Treat Yo Self

Treat Yo Self- Mom Goals

Being a parent, partner and person can mean a lot of sacrifice and struggle. Again I am going to refer to that cheat day analogy. It is so mush easier to be successful in the pursuit of happiness if we take time along the way to enjoy. I’m not saying to ignore the struggle or push off the important bits that are hard, just remember to take a break and smell the roses every once in a while. 

There are so may options to consider when you are looking to treat yourself. Each person may need or want something different. Some examples could be running and exercise, mani and pedi, hot bath and a good book, vacation and dinner out, new video game to binge out with, working in your garden, wine, …. And the list could go on and on!

The challenge here is to choose your treat as something that truly brings you happiness in the now and can keep you on track for your future goal as well. 

2. Always Try Your Best 

This may seem like an odd open ended resolution but that makes it no less important. If you are working towards these goals and you know you tried your best it is easier to enjoy the building moments. 

It is most important to remember that you are not always going to be operating at peak performance every day and therefore your best will change in each moment. Some days, weeks or even months  at a time we struggle with things like sickness, sadness or worry.

Remember that circumstances matter. A marathon runner knows things will be more difficult in the rain. A mom knows things will change if she has the kids at home and a broken foot to heal.

To read more about how I dealt with a broke foot this past summer check it out here. 

Be mindful of the moment and always try your best. 

3. Love your Babies 

Some of you may be thinking “I already do this!” and I know you do! Me too! What I really mean is to be mindful about enjoying them and yourself while you are loving them.

Choose moments everyday to savor, record or to just be in!! Be mindful of how much you have the phone in your hand. Mindful of events and extra curricular activities you choose to participate in. Mindful of the company you keep, the language you use and the example you set. 

Here is a link to another post I wrote about the Benefits of Connecting with your kids. 

You want them to truly feel the love and not just you checking off that box in your to do list. 

4. Practicing Teamwork with your Partner

Working with your significant other to achieve joint family goals. Going after happiness with that person mindfully. A part of enjoying and loving life is having people around you to share it with. When those people are happy and loved it makes everything that much better. 

Remember we are focusing on enjoying the journey and not just the end goal here. Date nights, quality time, intentional listening and mindful responses can create good communication and a loving happy team!

Working together with another person is a great time to pull on each others strengths. It is awesome to have help when you try your best and are not 100 percent. 

These are great resolutions. I hope the inspire you to enjoy the journey as you are working to the amazing end goals and Mom resolutions. 

4 Mindful and Resolution Worthy New Year Mom Goals

I have created a downloadable monthly resolution tracking journal. Please use it this year to practice mindfulness while in pursuit of happiness. 

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6 Ways to Promote “Free Range” Kids in 2018

Free Range Kids means giving them the freedoms of earlier generations.

For example, walking down to a friend’s house, to a park, or even just out in the yard to play unaccompanied and on their own. The challenge comes in doing this without going crazy with worry. That worry is caused by social media pressures and many parent peers or other adults not accepting the free-range idea. Read on for 6 ways to promote “free range” kids in 2018!

It can be possible to have our children living this way but you can’t just kick them out and expect it all to be fine. Just like any stage of parenthood, we have to train them to live and play the free-range way.

I am writing this in hopes to help others and support this concept (or at least a variation of it). I have been struggling with how to give my kids these freedoms while meeting societal norms. Also, my kiddos are only 3 and 5, so we are in the training phase.

I really like the freedoms and development that comes with free-range, but in today’s world, it’s not the top parenting choice. I am not into letting my children completely run free in the streets, but rather creating a level of freedom that will encourage them to be independent.

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

6 Ways to Create "Free-Range" Kids in 2018

Here are the Basics for 6 Ways to Promote “Free Range” Kids in 2018:

1. Set Positive, Reasonable, and Age Appropriate Boundaries
2. Encourage Outside Play
3. Seek Out Like-minded Parents for your Village
4. Foster Independence
5. Teach Stranger Danger
6. Model Healthy Habits

All of these 6 Ways to Promote “Free Range” Kids in 2018 ideas are intertwined and build on each other. Some of the topics even heavily overlap in my discussion and descriptions. I encourage you to add more ideas about this topic in my comments. I’m always looking for new ideas and points of view.

1. First things first, set positive, reasonable and age-appropriate boundaries.

Set Age Appropriate Positive Boundaries  in 6 Ways to Create "Free-Range" Kids in 2018

Kids need boundaries. They test them regularly but they are a safety net for children. Boundaries are a part of making them feel and be safe inside and outside of your home. Boundaries should grow with the age and experience of your child. Examples of boundaries inside your home can include screen time, eating only in the kitchen, bedtimes, etc. Examples of outside boundaries can include staying in the yard to play, asking for permission to walk to a neighbor’s house, wearing protective gear when biking, etc.

Any rule you have set can be thought of as a boundary. The main goal is to provide a safe environment, but boundaries should also be used to help foster independence and grow your child into a good human. This is where things like teaching manners can be defined as a boundary as well.

There is such a thing as too many boundaries.

This is where I really like the idea of a more free-range parenting style. They should have just enough to keep them safe but still be able to push limits to do self-learning and discovery. I do like the idea of having my kids in a bubble. We all hate when our children get hurt physically or mentally, but avoiding pain is just not realistic. I want them to learn how to be in this world, and being in a bubble will not support that plan! There are plenty of moments where I cringe, close my eyes, or even walk away because they are trying something with the possibility of being hurt.

Kids are supersizing in their abilities to accomplish things and even to decide on the risk. 

I know my son functions far more confidently when I am not around. At Kindergarten orientation, he had to hold my hand the whole time. But on the first day, he walked confidently on the bus and through the halls of his new school.  Another example is this tricycle we have here at our house. One day this summer he took it to the top of our driveway (which is decently steep) and let it drift quickly down. He knew to put his feet down to stop and even to ride to the grass to help him stop. I was nervous but just let it happen. He LOVED it and got loads of energy running back up to ride again.

Letting kids go outside to play on their own, without direct supervision, has been shown to have many benefits for kids.

Concepts like confidence, problem-solving, decision making and even empathy, etc. My kiddos are not quite old enough for me to let them outside for long without supervision. Especially my 3-year-old. Her rational capabilities are still in heavy development, but my 5-year-old has more experience. He knows the boundaries I have set when I am outside with them, and MOST of the time he is ready and willing to follow them when I am not around. For example, stay out of the stream, stay in the yard, don’t climb certain trees, etc. We also practice walking to neighbors’ houses and to the bus stop. He is learning the boundaries of how to do that safely with my guidance so that with a little more age he can be free to go on his own.

Next is Encouraging Outside Play.

Outside Play

Nature seems endless, exciting, and full of adventure -, especially for kids. Helping foster an enjoyment of the outdoors totally and completely can push kiddos into the free-range play style. It is better than any video game, inside toy, and sometimes even better than a book!

Exploring the outdoors is still one of my favorite things to do.

Sunlight and fresh air can be some strong medicine. Ways to model and teach your children a love of being outside can include family hikes, camping, gardening together, outside sports, etc.

We all want our children to be healthy. One of the key factors to this is physical fitness.

The outdoors welcomes running, jumping, and movement of all kinds. Playing outside gives freedom and space to do all those things. Another benefit can be learning how to deal with certain discomforts (e.g. heat in summer, cold in winter) and how to dress appropriately. Bugs and allergies are other things all humans have to cope with at some time or another. More outside time means more learning about how to deal with those pests.

My 5-year-old loves figuring things out and asking questions. He is a science lover if I ever met one. Most kids his age fit that description. It’s important to me to put him out in the world to keep that curiosity growing. He asked me the last night if time travel is possible. I told him not right now but maybe one day. And maybe one day it will be him who helps figure it out!

Here are some of my favorite links to studies about the benefits of playing outside.

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/cool-schools-2018/when-canyons-are-classrooms-and-trees-teach-lessons

https://www.familycircle.com/teen/parenting/discipline/benefits-of-free-range-parenting/

3. Seeking out like-minded parents and other adults for your village.

Seek a Like-Minded Village in 6 Ways to Create "Free-Range" Kids in 2018

When other children are around your kiddos and they have close to the same boundaries and rules as your own children it is magical!

With family, friends, and neighbors around to help guide your children, it can be easier to give into promoting the free-range freedoms for kids.

Things, like walking down to a neighbor’s house, sleeping over at a friend’s home, playing outside, or even walking to a park unattended, are all things that will be easier with other supportive adults around. I’m talking specifically of peer parents we can in-trust our children to and neighbors and family who are trusting of how you are training your children to be respectful and aware of the world around them. This also means your kiddos friends will be like-minded as well.

We, humans, need others around us to make life so much more fulfilling.

Obviously, we want to be kind to all and impart that to our children. However, teaching them how to choose those people whom we become close to can help guide their later life experiences when we are giving in to those freedoms we want them to have.

As a parent of a teen, I would imagine it would be easier to trust them on outings if you are comfortable with their friends whom they will be going with. Sow the seeds early of how to choose to be around people who will be good for you!

I know I love when I have friends whom I feel comfortable setting boundaries for their children as well as them setting them for my own. Teamwork! It takes a village.

4. Fostering independence in your children.

Encourage Independence

This starts by having them ask for what they want as they begin talking, and moves to them going for what they want with their actions – on their own.

I have already touched on this topic in the other categories, but it’s so important that it needs to be mentioned in a stand-alone category. Independence and confidence come from setting those boundaries and they are all key to promote “Free Range”Kids.

As a parent, if you know your children are independent and confident enough to take care of themselves while following the necessary boundaries, it is much easier to give them more freedoms. 

I know I find it hard to be patient in many of the learning stages – potty training, tying shoes, buckling themselves in the car, cutting their own food, etc. These are all steps to becoming independent. Slowing down and giving our children the time and support to try these things on their own will give them, and us parents, confidence!

My story earlier about my son riding down the driveway on the trike was under the “outside play” category, but it also fits here. He independently came up with the idea of where to ride the trike. I feel like it gives him more confidence to be creative with his outside play. He can find ways inside his boundaries to play on his own when given the chance.

Here is a link about the positives of independent play:

https://modernalternativemama.com/2017/01/20/independent-play-necessary-childs-health/

5. Stranger Danger

Stranger Danger in 6 Ways to Create "Free-Range" Kids in 2018

It’s wonderful to teach kids how to be friendly, caring, and respectful. If we are sending them out on their own, it is also good to address the idea that there are some people out there who do not fit this mold.

As a parent, it is not our favorite topic but one that is forefront in our brains very regularly. We have to be ready to talk with our kids about the uncomfortable situations that could arise so they will be more ready to confront them.

I don’t know about you, but placing my trust in others with my children is a big deal.

All too often, we hear stories of abuse at the hands of people we trust. The world is a scary place. Here is where seeking the like-minded village is linked to teaching stranger danger. Kids have to learn their own boundaries and have the skills to recognize and react when someone else crosses them.

Stranger Danger points of discussion when Promoting “Free Range” Kids

1. Giving children strategies for what to do if they need an adult and you, the parents, are not around. Who is the right kind of person to approach for help?

2. Teaching them how to respectfully and safely get out of an uncomfortable situation that does not coincide with their boundaries. If they find themselves in a situation with a person or place that is not safe, how can they get out?

3. Seeking out friends that fit. Who do they enjoy spending most of their time with? Who has similar boundaries to their own?

4. Learning to notice when a situation could be unsafe or boundary crossing. Are they being aware of the environment around them (people and place)?

These are all concepts that touch on the darker side of letting our children out into the free-range world. I will be writing another article soon detailing these 4 ideas and examples on how to teach them.

6. Lastly is modeling healthy habits

Model Healthy Habits in 6 Ways to Create "Free-Range" Kids in 2018

For children to follow the boundaries, grow in confidence, and to become independent, they need their parents to show them the way. Model how to speak respectfully to others, take care of personal hygiene, eat well, enjoy the outdoors and physical activities, and show how to make and take care of friends and family.

Showing our kids how we master these skills and teaching how to accomplish them is the biggest way we can boost our confidence as well as their own to be out in the world. To be free-range!

6 Ways to Create “Free-Range” Kids in 2018

6 Ways the Create "Free-range" Kids in 2018

Here are some books about this topic if you are looking for more reading! Please follow my awesome affiliate links. 

I hope you enjoyed reading 6 Ways to Promote “Free Range” Kids in 2018. If you like this please check out another post about 8 Fun Ways to beat cabin fever with the Kids. 



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A Parents #1 Wish for their Children

Every Parent’s Wish things for children! What would you pick if you could only share one? What is the most important?

A Parents #1 Wish for their Children

Recently one of my cousins did a poll on Facebook for a class he is taking. One of the questions he asked of parents was “Name the ONE thing you as a Parent’s Wish for your children in life.” My immediate answer was happiness. I still stand by my answer but considering some recent worldly events it has gained an even deeper meaning for me.

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

 

All the political and human drama going on currently involving our borders and immigration laws has me feeling sad. Everyone has an opinion about it, but really no matter what side of the “Wall” you associate with, we can all agree that children are our future. Many are very passionate about what is going on but don’t have any ideas as to how to help change the situation.

I myself am mostly apathetic when it comes to politics. I do prefer to stay in my own world and focus on my own family. This does not mean, however, that I do not think about worldly problems or that I live in an “ignorance is bliss” state of mind. I wish all these people crossing our border and working to give that one big wish to their children felt they had a better way to go about it. My goal here is NOT to create a debate about who is at fault or even discuss why certain policies are good or bad. I am here to remind everyone of our common goals and us as parents wishing for our children.

Here is a list of the top 18 ONE wishes my cousins poll question generated. All are great wishes. Some may even be synonyms for others or even encompass others.

  1. Happiness
  2. Inner Peace
  3. Satisfaction
  4. Self Sufficiency
  5. Independence
  6. Employment
  7. Good Health
  8. Stress-Free
  9. Faith in God
  10. Love for Self and Others
  11. Wisdom
  12. Kindness
  13. Belonging
  14. Humility (Humbleness)
  15. Positivity
  16. Confidence
  17. Serenity
  18. Know Thyself

My answer is still Happiness!

I will explain why. Wishing for happiness for my kiddos means, as a mother, I will be working to teach them to find and keep said happiness. I can help guide them to choose what brings them happiness as well. I can show them the joy of being kind, helping others, working hard, loving, family, etc. This list could continue endlessly. We as parents need to focus on teaching our kiddos to seek happiness not only for themselves but also for others. Leading by example is the most important.

I am aware there are many people and kiddos out in this world that do not have this privilege, but I alone could never hope to change this. I can only hope that by sharing acts of kindness and love within my small reach, happiness will spread to others. At the very least it will spread to my children and have the ripple effect. All these wonderful 18 wishes can and will aid in creating future adults whom we will want in charge of this world in the future. We as parents just need to try our hardest to guide and encourage our kiddos down the right path.

 

My favorite song I sing to my kids Have it All by Jason Mraz can be listened to and downloaded on Amazon Music (click the pic below):

Please, if you enjoyed reading this add a comment sharing and explaining your one biggest wish for your kiddos.

I would love to make the list longer. Testimonies on a time when you taught a great lesson providing your child with a stepping stone towards your wish for them! COMMENT Positivity!

A Parents #1 Wish for Their Kids

Another blog I have written about the benefits of connecting with your kids has some great ideas on building those stepping stones.

https://savorthemomlife.com/the-benefits-of-connecting-with-your-kids/

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5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard

This past year we bought a house, moved, I broke my foot, had two surgeries, and kept my two kiddos going and happy every day. It has been challenging but I have survived. Everyone has a hard day, week, month in their lifetime. Maybe even a year- although I hope not! When we are stuck in the hard, dragging our mom behinds through each day and barely making it I want us all to remember these strategies. 5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard. 

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

5 Ways to cope when life gets hard and cat sleeping.

1. Ask for help and accept help

This one was hard at first but I’m getting used to it. Feelings of being a burden and guilt come to mind. Sometimes it’s a really hard thing to do! People can be surprising with how ready and willing they are to help. They just need to be asked and directed with how they can be helpful. I know I will have chances to return the many favors that have been bestowed upon me in the past few weeks. Dealing with a broken foot or any other hardship while having two small kids truly requires help. You never know until you ask!

2. Prioritize needs over wants

Ask yourself “what is important to get me through this hardship?” and “what can I let slide, skip or wait to make life easier?” I love being a stay-at-home mom and homemaker. I am proud of my home, my sweet kiddos, and I enjoy doing a lot of the house chores to make hubby’s life away from work a little easier. Since we are currently in “survival mode”, I must choose what I can do and what I need to do. This is the hardest for me! I have high expectations for myself. For example, I love having the house tidy at midday nap time. It helps me focus more on writing and planning my blog. But right now, it doesn’t happen. Slowing down and focusing on the priorities helps me have more patience with my kiddos and, of course, more healing rest for my foot.

Knee Scooter With Kid Riding Along 5 Ways to Cope When Life Gets Hard

3. Always try your best

I am borrowing this from one of my favorite books. The 4 Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom   I LOVE this book and will probably talk about it in many posts to come! Right now, my best does not involve walking. Some days it may not even be getting my youngest down for a nap. One way I have found to achieve this for myself is to set little attainable goals each day. Accomplish those and celebrate with #4: Treat Yo-Self!

My current goal or to-do list is way shorter than it would be with two feet, but will I try my hardest and celebrate in the same way! Loading the dishwasher instead of cleaning the whole kitchen. Folding the laundry instead of doing all the washing, drying and putting away. And this last one I probably will make me happier in the future – getting the kids to put their own toys away instead of me doing most of it!

4. Treat Yo-Self

As mentioned above, when I try my hardest it’s always important to treat myself. Cookies and wine are my favorites, but I am cutting back since I can’t walk off the calories like I normally do. Now that school is done I get to treat myself to a morning sleep-in or a new Netflix show to binge. Reading a book,  a new citronella candle for sitting outside, and some fancy bath salts are my other picks! Moms are always taking care of everyone and we must remember to take care of ourselves too!

Here are some affiliate links to my current favorite “Treat Yo-Self” goodies! Remember Treat Yo-Self when doing 5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard. 

5.Have a Thankful Perspective

I know there have been many studies done about the benefits of practicing gratitude for your happiness. Lately, when I am having a hard moment, annoyed at my current state, I try for a quick thankful meditation or mantra to refocus myself onto a happier moment. It gets me back on track for trying my best. Life is so sweet, and my kids are growing so fast. Focusing on the good makes the hard stuff a little easier. I am also insanely thankful for my amazing family who has cooked, cleaned, babysat and more to help me out. Time to write some thank you notes!

Here is a video to show some of that scientific stuff on using gratitude to be happy! It’s one of my favorites and I hope it inspires you as it has for me. Remember to have a thankful perspective when using 5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard. 

Here is a quick reminder about my 5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard Please share and pin. Comments to share a personal way you have used one of these ideas when life challenges you are wanted and welcome!5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard

In case you didn’t get the back story on how I hurt my foot read this post to find out! Foot Injury Mom



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Foot Injury Mom- Things Learned Week 1 Using Only 1 Foot with 2 Kids

Case Foot with Ice on it.Foot Fracture Backstory

About a week ago I was moving some things into my basement. My daughter (almost 3) and dog were already down there and out of the way (Thankfully!!!). I am usually hyper aware of my footing on steps. I do not have a great track record and stairs are just dangerous. The last two steps into the basement evaded me! I went down, rolled, yelled some choice 4-letter words, screamed, and punched the floor. Kid was whimpering. Dog was whining. My foot hurt more then any other trip down the stairs before. I crawled up the stairs, kiddo walking next to me. The dog went ahead and licked my face a few times as I reached the top. I crawled to the freezer for some ice, and then to the sofa. Some tears and a few of those choice words later, I knew I needed to go get my foot looked over. Later my Doc confirmed what I feared. A fracture to my second metatarsal. With a big heavy boot, crutches, and orders to not bear any weight on that foot, I needed to survive the week before seeing my foot specialist and learning the rest of my fate. It’s Lefty so I can still drive thank GOD!

 

Things I did to prepare:

-Breakfast food prepped for me and the kiddos.
-3-year-old diapers and clothes downstairs for easy reaching.
-Get up before kids (I at least made it before the 3-year-old!).
-Boot, crutches, ice packs, and the computer wheelie chair for the kitchen.
-Bag for carrying all my crap when I moved from place to place.
-“Let it go” attitude about toy clean up and other things I don’t “need” to do (way harder than anticipated).

Things I learned now that the week is over:

-I do A LOT of stuff around this house every day, and go up and down the stairs way more than I thought!
-Rug burn hurts and happens fast (I need some knee pads!)
-Crutches are way harder to use than you would ever think! My arms and right leg are going to be jacked when this is over.
-Don’t lean on a soap-dish tile in the shower with your knee… yes it broke and fell and hit my bum foot.
-Not being able to carry and walk for my toddler has made her seem 10 times more irrational than normal.
-I must lower my daily expectations of myself.
-All about a Lisfranc injury and how it’s going to get me some bolts in my foot and 6-8 more weeks of this!!!!!

If you want to learn more about a Lisfranc injury check out this link.

Things I already knew but now am taking some extra time to be thankful for tonight:

-My hubby is amazing, supportive and sweet.
-I am surrounded by a bunch of family and friends ready to help.
-Surgery scares the hell out of me, but I know I can do it and will be better for it!
-My kiddos are resilient as hell and, if I’m lucky, the little one won’t remember the summer that Momma couldn’t walk. I’ll be singing “Let It Go” as I try to focus on what I need and can accomplish, instead of what I want to accomplish.

Follow me to see how the next weeks progress and I’ll share everything I learn about how to survive summer with small kiddos and only one working foot!

And here is a link to a previous blog of mine Connecting with the Kids on Days You “Just Can’t” Good reminders!

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How to “Catch” Your Mom Tribe- Mom Dating

 

How to "Catch" your Mom Tribe. The way to catch new tribe members can be broken down into 4 steps.

  1. Places to Fish (Extroverts/ Introverts)

  2. Ice Breakers

  3. Testing the Waters

  4. Hooking Them In

 

 

If you haven’t already read my first article My Tribe: An Introduction <—— Look here!

 

Places to Fish

When and where can you search for new ladies to be apart of your tribe? I tend to think this will be quite different depending on your personality type. Extrovert vs. Introvert. So, its broken down here into two categories.

*Extroverts-

Ya’ll are mostly easy. Really anywhere you go can be a possible pool of ladies to fish from. Your workplace, kids school events, bus stop moms, neighbors, the library, the family sitting next to you at the beach…you get the idea. Just be sure to extend your reach to the introverts quietly waiting to join in.

* Introverts-

It gets a little more complicated for you but still is totally possible. You can cast a line in all those same places, it may just take longer for you to find the right fit or have one of those extroverts reel you in.

One way that doesn’t involve the initial face to face contact include Facebook Mom groups or other similar interest Facebook groups. When I was a brand-new Army wife, at a new duty station, and three states away from home; these groups were amazing. They got me started. A lot of times they have group meet-ups in public places or you can even just take your time and chat through messenger. Another way to expand your tribe could be meeting a new person through a mutual friend or tribe mate. Sometimes it’s easier to start new when that lady has already been caught and vetted by a trusted tribe mate.

Here is another mom blog. She has some great tips for introvert moms!! <——————— Click to Read!

 

Ice Breakers

Once you have found a likely new tribe mate, start to chat about any common interest you can find in each other. Usually for us Moms the easiest and most available topic is our kids! Now that my oldest rides the bus I can chat with the other moms at the bus stop. Before then I had to break the ice with questions about where to send him for school, or what local activities would get us out of the house.

Other topics could be about your neighborhood or pets! One day, back in the army life, a girl called out to me as I was out walking my dog and son in our neighborhood. She was out walking her dog and needing to have that mom tribe connection. I grabbed her name, Facebook “friended” her and ta-da, our friendship began.

When I was a brand-new army wife, pregnant and knowing nothing and no one (could have called me Jon Snow hehe), I turned to the Facebook groups as I mentioned earlier. In one of the mom groups I had been chatting with someone and we got on well enough we decided to go have a pregnant pedicure date. Our babies were born less than a month apart and those boys were first friends!!

 

Testing the Waters

Sometimes you may know right away! “This lady is amazing, I want her in my life.” Sometimes we must scope out things or test the waters if you will. You want to see if she could be a good fit for your tribe. Finding if you have common interests is something I have already mentioned. Common parenting styles is another very important thing to look for. Someone capable of that give and take friendship dance in your tribe. Ways to test the waters could be: taking a nice walk and talk, invitations to play in outside common areas with the kiddos,  play groups, or truly anywhere you can experience each other.

For those introverts out there, Facebook messages and texting can be a great way to do this. I’m sure there is probably a mom dating app out there somewhere already. Maybe I’ll strike it big and create my own!

Sometimes you get the vibe that its not going to work out for the positive and being around this person might be more drama and heartache than its worth. That’s when you distance yourself and try again the next time with someone new. I always try to give people a chance but I am a strong believer in boundaries and keeping my life as positive as possible. It’s OK to say no to someone if they don’t jive with you or your kiddos for that matter.

 

Hooking Them In

Once you have made that contact, moved through the getting to know you phase, and decide they are worth it, just keep up to communication. Invite her to events like Wine Wednesday afternoons, kid’s birthday parties and other play dates. Being yourself is very important. You want these new tribe mates to feel comfortable and make you feel the same in return. The best way to do that is to be you! Plan some fun things around those common interests you have found or let your trust in your new tribe mate lead you on some new experiences and adventures! When “asked out” by one of these new ladies whom I want to learn about, life with its timing can sometimes be off putting and I have to say no. Even though I may not be able to make it to play group or morning walk I make sure to tell them to keep asking me! I’m not saying no because I don’t want you in my Tribe, its just bad timing.

 

 Here is my current and favorite planner for writing down my “To Do” list every day,  making all my play groups, and mom dates! It has lots of space on each weekly page and a large monthly calendar. Plus the design on the front is so pretty!!!

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