Sunday, February 27, 2011

Parenting Tip #68 Ode to my Kitchen Timer

Ode to my kitchen timer
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee for the many ways
I can use you in my busy days
I love the things I can control
From kids to dinner---hey, I’m on a roll!

Here are 16 ways you can use a timer to help you set limits:
1. Practice musical instrument
2. Time out chair/room
3. Chore you or child doesn’t want to do
4. Children’s cell phone conversations
5. Time till brothers/sisters/Dad get home from school/work
6. Homework time
7. Children do chores to beat the timer
8. Snore alarm (put by bed)
9. Help you get out the door on time
10. Take turns to play with toy
11. No fighting for this length of time
12. Time allowed on the computer, video games
13. Exercise time
14. Quiet time for mom
15. Quiet time for children
16. Bath time

Anymore ideas?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Parenting Tip #67 Courageous Parenting

Courageous Parenting”, that’s the title of a speech given by Elder Larry R. Lawrence at a past Church conference and he says it is a “good theme for parents.” The youth are a primary target to whom Satan is directing his attention and parents need to be courageous as they counsel and teach their children.

Parents need to be courageous as they teach their youth about modesty. Don’t be afraid to say, “No, you may not wear that blouse”, and “Yes, we’ll buy the more expensive swimming suit because it is modest.”

Parents need to be courageous in saying, “No, you may not sleepover at your friend’s house,” and “Yes, you may stay until 11:00 and then I’ll drive you back in time for breakfast.”

Parents need to be courageous in limiting the time their children play video games and what type they play. Parents need to be courageous on insisting everyone eats dinner together at the dinner table (with no t.v.). Parents need to be courageous in saying “No” to steady dating, and “Yes” to group dating at age 16.

Curfew, friends, activities, dress, school, the list goes on and on. Courageous parenting, indeed.

Our children are under a lot of peer pressure. But I felt more peer pressure from other parents when my kids were teens than I ever did as a teenager myself! Other parents would let their children do this and that, but we wouldn’t let ours. Talk about pressure!

Courage was our answer—courage to stay true to our beliefs. That, and wonderful children who trusted their parents and had courage to obey their counsel.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Music Tip #65 Piano Bingo

This week I played Piano Bingo with my students. I took the hearts off the bingo board and my students would choose one heart at a time, read the directions on the back, then match the number on the heart to the numbered square on the bingo board and do what the heart said to do. Some of the directions were: play your working song, play a review song with a steady beat, say the treble clef space names, etc. When all the hearts were put back on the board, a secret message was revealed (You Played Great Today!). Then I gave them some candy.

This is a fun way of giving piano lessons, both for me, the teacher, and the student. Life can get boring and it's fun to jazz things up a bit every once in a while. One year I did a baseball bingo during baseball season. The boys especially liked it.

Hummm, I should make a princess or fairy bingo, and maybe a take off on a movie like the Incredibles or Despicable Me. I've also made a Bingo game as a home practice gimmick. Just make a copy for each student on regular paper and write practice directions in each box. Then the child crosses out the squares each day as he practices.

Parenting Tip #66 Love Needs of Children

I used a valentine Bingo game for piano lessons this week. On the back of each heart it said what the student was to play. One of the hearts said to “kiss your mother” (my moms are always at the lesson since I teach Suzuki piano). It was very interesting and surprising to see the reaction this heart brought. Some girls jumped up and quickly went to the couch where their mother was sitting and gave her a kiss—which is what I expected to happen. Other girls made a face and didn’t want to. Most of the boys didn’t want to give their mother a kiss but one 10 year old boy said, “oh, that’s easy” and gave his mom a great big kiss.

How do you show love to your children? How do they show love to you? Are you a touchy-hugging sort of person or a business-like “do your homework, get your chores done, good night-now get in bed”sort of parent. Does your child cling or whine and hang around you constantly?

You probably have heard about the 5 love languages.
Children also have a love language.
Ask these questions to your child to find out what his/her primary love language is.

“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” Eva Burrows

“Whatever they grow up to be, they are still our children, and the one most important of all the things we can give to them is unconditional love. Not a love that depends on anything at all except that they are our children.” Rosaleen Dickson

Go show your child some love!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Parenting Tip #65 Your Baby is Always Right!

Good businesses and stores know that “the customer is always right.” That’s the attitude we need to take with newborns and babies (well, children too). “The baby is always right”—so if she is crying, then something needs to be done. Is the baby hungry, tired, has messy diapers, or getting sick? There’s always a reason why a baby (and child) cries. As adults we need to act like adults and find out the reason.

The baby is always right. His schedule is the one that fits his needs right now. Is he sleeping at inconvenient times for you (well, don’t they always?), or is he going through a growth spurt and not sleeping at all because he is so interested in taking everything in that is going on around him?

The baby is always right. Is she going through a fearful stage of being afraid of strangers? Is she clinging to you and want to be held a lot? Is he crying constantly and irritable, not his happy normal self? Stop and think of your schedule and the baby’s schedule. Are they out of whack? Are you causing stress to your baby?

As adults, we have lots of stress. Babies don’t need stress. They need a love, warm touching, caring environment where they can develop their little bodies, minds and emotions.

Your baby is always right!

Music Tip #64 Music and Math

This year in my monthly newsletter for school, I have to include a math page—helps for the parents to encourage them to use more math at home. Here are my math ideas for February:
Most of the music classes have been using play dough to help them visualize and understand rhythm. This is essential for playing music.
Mix up a batch of play dough (or buy some) and have your child divide his portion into 4 equal balls.
Clap and count the balls ( 1,2,3,4)
Now divide each ball into two equal smaller balls (8 total).
Count them as "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and".
This is a great way to introduce fractions.
Now have your child again divide each ball into two equal smaller balls (16 total).
Count them as "1 e and a , 2 e and a, 3 e and a, 4 e and a".
Count them as total balls together, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16.
Group them as units of 4 to see how 4 sets of 4 make 16 total.
Clap each time you count. Or pat. or snap. This helps keep your children’s interest!
Subdivide and clap away and learn fractions the fun way!
for recipes look here:
K-2 graders are singing the song,
I love you little
I love you lots
My love for you will fill 10 pots,
15 buckets, 16 cans, 3 teapots and 4 dishpans!
Change the numbers and have your child count how much he loves you!


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