February 26, 2015

How We Manage Our Kids' Screen Time

I pride myself on being one of those mommas who carefully monitor her kids' screen time, trying to nurture their passion for books and nature and people over video games. But the truth is, as my boys get older, electronics are creeping into our family in ways I didn't expect.

Last year we gave both boys iPad minis for Christmas. Which led to what - I know -  are first world problems. Namely, I have been doing a very sad job enforcing my kids' screen time. Pathetic, in fact!

So it was rather fortuitous that just as I was wading through a swamp of mommy-guilt for letting my kids play Dragon City for waaaaaaaaaaay too long (and kicking myself for letting them download it in the first place), I came across a solution. I'm sharing our story on BonBon Break:

Screen Time: Not Until I Say So

February 18, 2015

"BUT I DON'T WANNA!" How To Keep Your Preschooler Napping

My 5-year-old still naps. I know, right? Lucky me! 

I read one source that said about 25% of children stop napping before age 3 and half give up naps between ages 3 and 4. The other 25% nap up to age 5 or 6  - basically until they start school.

I often wonder how often kids stop napping because they are truly ready versus how many stop because their resistance to naps is taken by parents as a sign of readiness when they actually still need the extra rest. There's a difference there - not wanting to nap as opposed to not needing to nap.

Most preschoolers need a total of 10 to 14 hours of sleep each day, but the statistics only give us averages. There is a huge range and the numbers don't tell us what our kids - individuals that they are - need. The challenge for parents can be figuring out how much sleep your child needs and when your kiddo is ready to give up the nap.

So I thought I'd tackle this topic and share how I know my 5-year-old still needs to nap (and trust me, he does!) along with how I have gotten him to keep sleeping even when he assures me that he absolutely, positively is not tired and most definitely does not want to nap!

Check out the 3-minute video or read the post below for our strategy!

February 5, 2015

On the Inside {Just Write}

This morning I sat in the waiting area of the hospital with my 8-year-old. For the past few weeks he's been having trouble swallowing. The pediatrician sent us to Gastroenterology, and the gastroenterologist sent us for testing.

Mostly I haven't stressed about it because A) I seem to take after my mom, who downplays all physical ailments unless there is literally a bone sticking out of the body, and B) surely it is nothing. But this morning, waiting to be called back for the testing, I start to worry just a little. Because, what if?

I think about other parents who have sat side-by-side with their children, waiting for hospital appointments and testing, who have known, deep in their heart of hearts, that something is very wrong. And I think, There but for the grace of God...or the universe...or whatever higher power you choose to believe in....

So I reassure myself that it is nothing, but still, in that moment, I worry What if?

January 30, 2015

"I'm The Only Brown One" {Parenting Mixed Race Kids}

He pulls his basketball photos from the plastic sleeve they came home in, laying them on the counter in front of him. He inspects the team photo – eight 5- and 6-year olds flanked by their two coaches.

“I’m the darkest one on my team. I’m the only one with brown skin,” my little guy announces.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it is like for my youngest as he has started seeing his brownness. I mean, of course he has always been brown, has always known he is brown. But in the past year I’ve watched as he has started to see his color relative to the world around him, which is a different thing entirely.

It isn’t something I really expected yet.

It isn’t something I’ve read about (or written about). And I’m not quite sure how to put it into words, but I wanted to try so I’ll just give it my best shot.  (A long-winded shot. Bear with me.)

January 26, 2015

Conquering Preschoolers' Fear of the Dark & Monsters {Video}

After overcoming his toddler phobia of anything in a costume (e.g., the Easter bunny, Red Robin, the mascot at the high school football game), my littlest guy moved on to typical preschooler fears: the dark and monsters. When he wanted something from his bedroom, he'd insist I go upstairs with him, even in the middle of the day. When we talked more about why he didn't want to go alone, he admitted he was afraid there might be a monsters lurking upstairs.

I felt for the kid - these fears are so normal and real when you are four - but at times it was also really inconvenient to have to escort him around the house. I needed a way to empower him to manage his fear, and telling him monsters aren't real didn't cut it.

Then I came up with a solution that has worked out really well.

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