Category: Parenting

Do I favor one child over another?

When my kids wonder if I love one child more than another — or if they think I’m favoring one,  I remind them that I love each of them equally — “you’re like a box of fine, exquisite chocolates, and I don’t have just one favorite.” True, some days I may seem to favor the dark chocolate almonds, but then I want a butterscotch square, or a dark raspberry creme, or a bordeaux. Of course, there are those days when I have said to myself “– too many butterscotch squares today, I need a break.” I have raised kids...

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Silicone Teething Necklaces

I remember the day that my daughter-in-law, Arleene, showed me her idea for a business — now called Mama and Little. She had recently given birth to her first baby, and was looking at silicone teething necklaces. But she didn’t really like the bright red, yellow, and blue colors of the beads. The one style that was out there had beads going all the way around. Moms were saying that it got tangled in their hair. Arleene explains, After my son was born in July 2013, I soon realized I wasn’t going to be able to wear jewelry around...

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Why I teach my kids that Santa isn’t real

We never told our kids that Santa Claus was real. No north pole, reindeer flying through the air, he slides down the chimney and brings you presents. But we pretend. It was make-believe fun. It’s not that I’m against the nostalgic holiday. I love Christmas lights and participate fully with hanging ornaments and lights. But we hated to tell our kids to believe in something that was not true. They look up at you with those big believing eyes. We teach them to tell the truth. We hate it when they lie to us. Honesty is the best policy...

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10 ideas to keep the conversation nice at family gatherings

What will you be talking about at the holiday table? Some people find camaraderie by putting other people down. It happens in the best of families too. It happens at the workplace and school. But it’s especially damaging in the family. Sometimes it’s just a bad habit. When Uncle Joe is the only one missing at the holiday table — does the rest of the family talk about him in an unfavorable light? Sometimes we judge others harshly. And there may be legitimate reasons too. But, you know when the talk becomes derogatory. Or when it’s initiated to find...

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Pruning the Teenage Brain

The teenage brain is often a mystery to parents. In fact, I don’t think many us want to travel back to our own teenage brain — body, yes, brain, no. New research shows that brain development goes through two stages: growth spurts and pruning. It sounds a lot like a tree. These growth spurts begin in the womb to about 18 months old and then again between the ages of 10 to 13 — around puberty. After this brain overgrowth, there is some pruning and organizing of neural pathways. Your teenager is not yet thinking with the CEO part of...

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Teasing Isn’t Good

Some families, friends, and associates “tease” each other. They seem to make a sport of poking-fun at one another and become expert in the “put-down”. You know what I’m talking about. It seems fun and innocent, but really it’s sarcasm. It’s making fun of someone — which is not fun for the person who is the butt of the joke. I know some people do it so much they probably don’t even realize how it sounds and how it hurts another person. It’s so easy to join in too. Pretty soon, you’re chiming in. I know, we say “it’s all...

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The skill of self confidence in five steps

I try to instill self-confidence in my kids — without being a dragon mother. And you can’t be a phoney baloney when you praise your kids — they recognize it. While watching my children grow up, I tried to perceive their natural abilities and encourage them to develop those. I would say to them, “just give it a try, if you don’t like it, you can quit.” And that worked — giving them an option. But still, you want them to have success. And I understand how hard that can be when you are dealing with lots of different...

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Learning to Listen

I have often heard that women like to vent, talk about their problems, disclose what’s going on, that kind of thing. But, I have also heard that women don’t really want their man to “fix-it”. They just want to talk about it. And they want someone to listen and commiserate with them.   I think I might have something wrong with my female brain. I always want to fix-it. It’s the first thing that comes into my mind when someone begins to share a bad day. I think, “well, let’s see, maybe you should… or how about…” Sure, I...

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Benjamin Franklin contradictions

Oh boy, if I could only learn to do this better. Benjamin Franklin was always trying to improve his moral character. He said people accused him of being dogmatic and overly opinionated, to a fault. So he set out to improve. He had an interesting way to win an argument. I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbid myself… the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fix’d opinion, such as certainly, undoubtedly, etc., and I adopted,...

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The Big No Sleep

Motherhood is rewarding and exhausting. Some nights I would fall into bed and not even care that I was sleeping on the bare mattress — the mattress bare not me. My unfolded, clean sheets would be on the foot of the bed, where I dumped them from the dryer. I was just too tired to actually make the bed, so I would crawl under one of the loose sheets or comforters and go to sleep. I must confess, that it happened a number of times, and a number of nights in a row. I would whisper to myself, “my mother...

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5 dangerous things you should let your little kids do

My kids love this TED Talk:   5 dangerous things you should let your little kids do | Talk Video | TED I received an email from my son who’s at BYU, married with a new baby. He’s just getting his feet wet with regards to parenting — experiencing the beginnings of what it’s like to have a child. We will see how he feels about this list as his son gets older — say age 3. So when my son read the list, he proudly proclaimed,  “Pretty sure we did all of these growing up.” And it wasn’t all...

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The upside of dyslexia

“Dyslexia” — the word itself is difficult to read. But for all the bad things you hear about dyslexia, there are some good things. It’s categorized as a “learning disorder” but there’s an upside of dyslexia too. I have a son with dyslexia. I also have a husband with dyslexia. Researchers have discovered a “gifted side” for those with dyslexia. My husband has always claimed that he can see the big picture in difficult engineering tasks. This was never acknowledged in school. He suffered with reading as a child, especially since no one recognized it as dyslexia. He says he...

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Fairy Houses for kids to make

My grandkids love to make things. And whether you homeschool or not, it’s fun to make things with your kids. I’m fascintated with these fairy houses that my daughter made with her little girls. These are simple to make with your kids. You will see some extravagant fairy abodes on Pinterest, but these are easy to make with kids, ages 4 and 6. Even my mom, great granny, got involved and made a little walkway and stepping stones. I guess we never get too old for play and imagination. You might call these gnome homes! Take your kids for...

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Two reasons I told my kids that Santa isn’t real

OK, so some of you are going to be all mad at me and think I’m ridiculous. That’s fine. I really don’t care if you want to tell your kids Santa is real. Parents get to do whatever they want. I have no grudges, I’m just sharing what I did. I taught my kids that Santa was a fun pretend character — “There’s isnt a real Santa who lives at the north pole and comes down the chimney — but it’s fun to pretend — I’m really Santa” I don’t think they missed out on anything and I taught...

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5 steps to help your teen with ADD find success

  When your teenager with ADHD or ADD heads off to high school, both of you may feel anxious. School can be difficult for anyone, and most people have no desire to be back in high school. But for your kids with attention deficit disorder, back to school is stressful. Let’s look at the upside of ADHD and ADD: If you have kids with attention deficit disorder, it helps to remember the benefits. The Wall Street Journal reports that these kids are often more creative. They have talents and you can help them discover their talents. Dr. Hallowell, in...

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“Though matter is replaced through an endless cycle of creations and dissolution, only spirit retains conscious identity, so that strictly speaking “only progeny is immortal,” each “mounting up from world to world” acquiring ever more “treasure” while “progressing towards His perfection which awaits them all.” (Nibley, Treasures in the Heavens)