The Mom Connection is on summer break!
Every time I have traveled I have enlisted the help of friends and family for some tips and secrets. Here are a few things that have helped keep our sanity over the last 4 years when it comes to traveling with little ones.
Good luck when traveling this summer! Hopefully, these tips will elevate some of the stress that travel can bring. When all else fails, just remember it is only a phase and one day travel will be easier!
Every summer since Averie has been a baby we have always done swim lessons. This summer since our new home has a swimming pool, the girls will be doing Self Rescue Lessons. If you haven’t seen the Facebook video floating around, you should check it out here.; It is amazing! It was a real eye-opener to how fast a child can find themselves submerged into water. I am also excited that Averie is finally at an age to enroll on Vacation Bible School. VBS is a week long of bible stories, crafts, music and fun! We are so excited! So other than swim lessons and VBS we look forward to relaxing and enjoying the sun! Oh, and did I mention packing up and moving with two small children? IKES!
We are on a really tight budget, so our activities will be mostly limited to free, or mostly free activities. I have the kids already registered for two vacation Bible schools! My 6 and 3-year-old both really want to do gymnastics, so I will probably enroll them for the summer and see how that goes. That will give them a planned activity each week. We are lucky that we have a pool, so we’ll spend a good bit of time swimming. We also always take advantage of our zoo membership, and I’m sure there will be plenty of trips to the zoo, the park, and picnics with the other moms and children in the Moms club. We live about 40 minutes away from a large lake and two hours from the beach, so those are both feasible day trip options. This summer I also plan to take full advantage of the programs at the library. The summer will be over so fast!
Now, being a SAHM has it challenges so when those challenging times come and they come often with an almost 2-year-old and a strong-willed 4-year-old, I try to focus on the positives. I focus on watching my girls play and interact. They are forming sisterly bonds that will last a lifetime. I focus on them not being this small forever. That one day I will blink and they will be off to college and they won’t need their mommy to snuggle and love on them. I focus on their little brains absorbing so much and learning and growing daily. I focus on all the funny things that my girls say and do. I really love being a mom! It was what God has called me to do, and I feel so blessed to be able to do it day in and day out. So when their toys are everywhere , the kids are screaming in the grocery store, or they just dumped a bowl full of cereal on top of their heads, I just stop and focus on all the good before my eyes. There are so many things to love about being a mom. I am truly blessed.
Lately, I have been struggling with trying to teach Averie that not everyone likes to be touched and not everyone likes people in their faces. At times, I feel like a broken record. I even caught myself quoting the lines of Dirty Dancing (This is my dance space, This is your dance space…) to get my point across. Years ago, when I was in high school my mom and I were watching a show that had preschoolers walk the halls in hula hoops as a way to teach personal space and boundaries. Since, then my mom and I often giggle and joke when people are too close we say, “hula hoop!” Joking aside, I think playing games and using fun is a great tool to help model personal space. Preschoolers aren’t aware of the personal space of themselves or others. It is important as parents to model personal space and boundaries and to teach children how to interact with others. It is also important to praise, praise, praise when your child is respecting someone’s personal space. Positive reinforcement is a great tool! Click; here for more great suggestions and games to play with your preschoolers. I also found these great picture books to help children understand the importance of personal space. I just purchased Personal Space Camp Activity and Idea Book and Hands Are Not for Hitting .
To be honest I do not know if I have ever thought specifically of what I am doing to teach this to my children. I instill every day elements of respect and manners with the children. I try to correct on the spot behavior issues that are violations of personal space and boundaries, such as interrupting adults when they are talking, or climbing all over people. I think these are things that are taught by constant repetition and demonstration, and best taught in the moment. Since a preschooler has no general concept about personal space and boundaries, they have to be shown. And of course one of the best ways to do that is to make them think about how they feel when someone invades their personal space or breaks boundaries that make them uncomfortable.
Such an important topic to discuss and teach your children! What works for some may not work for others! Everyone deserves to have their own personal space and feel comfortable in it! But this is something that is so hard when you have two children almost five years apart! Isabella wants to do absolutely everything Christian does, play with everything he has and follow him around constantly. Talk about personal space and boundaries… Going through this the last few months has been an ongoing lesson for all of us. I enforce respect, space and effort.Respecting each other is important in any relationship you will have! When you’re talking about kids, they don’t see it the same way! It takes a lot of time and patience for them to get along and understand each other. Both of my kids are changing and growing so much that it’s going to be an ongoing task as they continue to grow!Everyone needs their own space. Believe me, this Mama understands the importance of S P A C E. Once the kids are in bed, household tasks are done, and lunches are packed, I thrive for alone time in my own little space doing whatever I want J I want to teach this to my kids as well! I encourage them playing together and interacting with other kids, but it’s also important that they know how to play by themselves and entertain themselves, and that’s okay!It takes an effort from Mommy, Daddy and siblings to maintain and respect each others personal space and boundaries. When kids are really young they don’t understand it, but it’s important to start teaching and making them aware at a young age so they develop this by school age.
I am amazed that grocery stores haven’t caught on for the need for an on site daycare or supervised play area. How nice would it be to drop your kids off in a safe environment while you grocery shop? I might actually be able to make it out of the store with everything from my list. Grocery shopping can be very stressful when the kids tag along. I try to avoid it at all costs. I plan my shopping times during preschool or weekends. I have also learned that shopping is more manageable with one child than both children. A year ago, I published a blog post suggesting ways kids can help mom at the store. These 5 tips seem to have helped reduce some stress while grocery shopping with my children. Click here to read more. The best advice is to make grocery shopping your alone time and enjoy your time away!
My preference is to leave the children at home, especially if I am trying to do coupons, because that can be so time-consuming. However, there are those times that I still have to take the kids. In those cases, I recommend the following actions:
If all else fails, bribery usually does the trick. I let them pick out one item – be it a type of cereal they want or a special treat that we don’t get often. That usually keeps them happy long enough for me to grab what I need and get out of the store!
It seems as though I’m constantly trailing behind the kids picking up after them, but at times it gets exhausting. We have a loft upstairs that is currently the kids playroom that is pack plum full of toys. I think Isabella’s favorite thing to do is to see just how many toys she can get out at once!! I always make it a-point to have the room cleaned up before we leave it. This helps not getting stressed out at the end of the day when you still have to pick it up! This is a great habit I started with Christian while he was little, and he’s really good about obeying it. I love it when he can set a good example for Isabella 🙂 When it’s time to clean up, I start singing “the clean-up song”.. It’s just a little song I made about cleaning up, and Isabella starts singing along with me and by the time you know it, we’re done! I think this teaches good organizational skills plus keeps them busy while doing something they would normally complain about, cleaning! I have all of the toys, somewhat, organized throughout the room. I have a bookshelf where the board games, books and puzzles are kept. And I have a shelf with cubbies for toys to be stored without seeing them! It makes a huge difference to me, walking into a room and not being completely bombarded by all the toys! But like I said, that room is to be cleaned up before we step foot out of it, every time 🙂 Makes this Mama happy!
Hi! I'm Fotini! Welcome to Farmhouse Chic Blog, it's such a pleasure to have you here!! Let's get to know each other... Read More…