Monday

7 Things to Do with and for Children Before School Starts

It is never too early to consider what needs to be done concerning the children before they go back to school.  With budgets being limited, time and patience being few and far in between, a mother has to exercise those time management skills and also be somewhat of a prophetess.  Future predictions include:


1.  Your children will forget some of the important information they learned/struggled with in certain subjects and will need a refresher; otherwise, those headaches helping with homework will return.  Make time to pull out some worksheets (at least once a week) and get those minds going again.


2.  They will have outgrown many of their things.  Is there a budget in place to ensure that their back to school wardrobe is suitable?


3.  They most likely will not be able to tend to everything you want them to during the summer which will roll over into the school year.  Tackle the "To Do" lists that you both have.  Did your son/daughter get to do the main things that they wanted this summer?  Have you got them to help you with your chore list?


4.  Health issues that you put off concerning children will not go away and will only get worse.  Cut the chronic problems off as soon as possible.  Do you really want them to miss school and cause you to miss some work days too over issues that should have long ago been addressed?


5.  Have children visited with the people they really wanted to this summer?  Sometimes relatives/friends can be a big help, so why not make arrangements for the kids to see them.  Don't let an entire summer pass by and they don't get to see the people who mean so much to them (even if you don't care for those folks).


6.  Converse with older and younger ones about all sorts of things.  From how they dealt with past school challenges to what their plans might be for next summer.  It is better to outline goals now and work toward them, then be faced with issues throughout the year that could have been handled before school started.


7.  Put money aside for needed school supplies.  There are those that the stores put out and then there are supplies that accompany teacher's lesson plans.  Don't spend money buying a bunch of things now that may not be needed.  Focus on the essentials and if you can talk with someone who is familiar with the teacher or grade level, then do so and plan accordingly.


Hope this list helps someone out there.  The less you have to deal with prior to the school bell ringing, the better.


Nicholl McGuire author of When Mothers Cry and Tell Me Mother You're Sorry

Saturday

Cut Some of Those Tasks Down this Holiday

Find the short-cuts when it comes to preparing meals this holiday.  Fall back on some of those other things you typically do if they take up too much time and energy.  Avoid traveling with little ones if you have to.  Overall, make your day easy--you can do it!  So what you forgot to make a dish, missed an engagement, or have some people at home angry with you.  Relax.  You are not superwoman so don't try to be.  If people are disappointed, critical, or moody because of you, let them!  Apologize and keep it moving or say nothing and keep on smiling! 

America is not the only country that's independent, you are too even if you are married and have children!  You can think independently, make your own decisions and take care of yourself.  Your world doesn't revolve around family.  So if you don't feel like doing something, you prefer to take a break, and you really aren't in the mood to talk, well guess what?  Give yourself permission to be free!

No more crying, complaining or cursing today.  Be blessed in the land of the free!

Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual insight on YouTube channel: nmenterprise7

Wednesday

Summer Break with the Kiddos Gettin' to You Yet?

Oh the joy of summer!  Kids staying up late and sleeping in (sometimes).  "What are we going to do today?  Are we going to Toys R Us?  I want to go to the movies...Do you think we can go to...?"  Those requests to do everything that costs money (sigh).


The other day I looked at my sons, they grew again.  The pjs on one child was like Michael Jackson's skinny pants in the 80s.  The elder child's head seemed to get bigger along with his vocabulary.  He's 8 years old with an idea and a plan to crowdsource one of his projects.  Why do I get the feeling that his business will surpass mine by leaps and bounds when he gets started?  I think I might be working for him soon.


With long school breaks, a parent has to acquire more patience, strategies on keeping children busy (if you can't drop them off at a daycare or with relatives).  Funny, I bumped into one of the childcare specialists at the library who watched my children last year while I worked outside the home.  She was happy to see us and gave me a couple tips on getting them off to a good start this summer.  I was ready to pass them on to her like a track runner slapping a baton into his teammate's hand that day.  Instead, I smiled and told her, "Thanks for the tips."


So far we have summer weekdays that are made up of the following: time to eat, time to eat again, time to do chores, time to play, time to be quiet, time to go out and run, time to learn something new, time to go here and there, time to take care of business, time to eat again, time to eat again, time to...well you get the point.  I almost forgot, there are some things that I do to make life a little less stressful with the children.  They are as follows:


1.  No picking up the phone when I'm already busy with them and everything else.  I really don't like having to keep others entertained when I have much to do.  They can hear the stress in my voice, and for a few folks, they take that sort of thing personal.  Texting is okay, but I am careful with that too.  Sometimes the messages can come across like you are angry or something.  So if I know my children are not engrossed in something, I don't pick up the phone.  Also, I put me first during those tough times if you know what I mean. Kids don't have a clue what ladies' issues consist of, so some stuff they want to do is put on hold until I can get myself together.  "Hey kids you know women have some problems and sometimes they have to sit down, so go play quietly and if you do good we might do something on another day."  They have a look of concern and then they are gone--they know better.


2.  I have little patience for cooking large meals and I don't like going into the kitchen as often as they eat.  So I trained the 7 and 8 year old to get some snacks in between meals without my assistance. (FYI - Hide your knives.  You will also need to instruct them on what it is forbidden to touch.  I still watch them moving around in the kitchen even when they think I'm not looking).


3.  All computers and mobile devices are monitored with family safety tools.  So I don't have to stand over them like a drill sergeant.


4.  Television is limited to a certain time period.  FYI - check for the timer feature that will shut it off.  (Note: you can do the same using Internet safety products i.e.) Microsoft Family Safety.


5.  Take those kids out so that they can run around.  A wide open space is a blessing even if it doesn't have any playground equipment.


6.  Put a limit on children playing in the same room together.  They get tired of one another.  So if they share a room, separate them.  One can go in a different room with his favorite toys while the other can stay in the room for some time (set an alarm).  Stick to this for awhile and they will get used to it.  If you have other rooms, use those too.


7.  Make enough food so you have leftovers--cooking everyday?  Not me.  If you love it, good for you, but I prefer to do other things besides spending time in the kitchen while my kids are planning to wreck havoc elsewhere--I don't think so.  Watch those kids!


Well I wish nothing but the best for you and the family this remaining summer.  Don't forget to steal some time for yourself!
God bless.


Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual insight on YouTube channel: nmenterprise7.
So summer break with the kiddos is what it is, I'm doing the best I can.  What else can I say?
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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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