Archive for Kids

Coping with a new reality: Advice for single parents

Mothers and fathers coming out of a divorce or separation are still dealing with the emotional effects of one of the most wrenching and emotionally exacting experiences of their lives. They’re trying to come to terms with an extremely disorienting situation at the same time they’re trying to comfort and reassure traumatized children. The healing process may take quite a while, and it complicates an already difficult role for the parent. Along the way, single moms and dads have to deal with hectic weekly routines, a new set of financial responsibilities, keeping pace with demands at work … and they have to do it all by themselves. It’s a situation that could overwhelm anyone.

A new reality

Single parenthood is a stark new reality for people who are accustomed to having a partner to rely on when things get tough. Figuring out how to do it on your own is a difficult adjustment, particularly if your children are young. If you’re having an “off day” as a parent, you can’t just hand things over to someone else. You have to develop coping skills and learn how to take a deep breath when the kids get out of control or if you’ve had an awful day at work. It’s especially important to develop those skills if you don’t have a friend or family member who can provide support.

Self-doubt

Now that you’re a single parent, you’re making all the decisions for your family. If your ex-spouse or partner was the primary decision-maker, you may need to find the self-confidence to make important decisions that directly impact you financially and affect your children’s wellbeing. It can be a liberating and self-empowering moment for many single parents, who no longer have to compromise or negotiate with a spouse they don’t get along with and with whom they have fundamental disagreements about raising a family. Many single parents find that co-workers, friends, teachers and others with a connection to their family can be helpful when it comes to advice and sharing experiences. Remember, decision-making is an important skill, one you want your children to develop, so seeking advice and outside help in making good decisions is well worth the time and effort.

Getting organized

As the head of your family, you can do yourself and your children a major favor by organizing everyone’s weekly schedules. It’ll help you get a handle on your new life and make things easier when it comes to work, school, homework, the kids’ extracurricular activities, and more. Organize each day as much as possible so you and your children aren’t scrambling every morning. It can help your kids’ performance at school and may even give you a little extra time to exercise, meditate, or sneak in a little extra sleep. Children respond better to well-organized plans because it provides a sense of reliability and normalcy, which they may need badly in the wake of a divorce.

Find help

Some of the most successful single parents know when to ask for help, whether from someone who’s close to the family or from a support group with individuals who have been through the same situation. Spending a little time on the internet looking for local support groups may pay off handsomely for an overwrought single mom or dad. Sometimes, just having someone to share your frustrations with can make a tremendous difference.

Try seeing your new situation as an opportunity to strengthen relationships between you and your kids. Spend some time together playing educational games and interacting in ways that everyone can enjoy and learn from. It’ll bring you closer together as a family and forge a strong emotional bond that benefits everyone.

Courtesy of Pexels.com.

30 Day Challenges for Kids

Setting goals and working on consistency is not only important for adults, but great for young children, too. A 30 day challenge can help foster a new positive habit or just learn something new. Below are 10 challenge suggestions for young kids.

  1. 30 Day Bed Challenge: Make your bed every morning for 30 days. If your child hasn’t been involved in
    making his/her bed, adult help will be needed. This challenge is great for developing independence and a positive start to the day.
  2. 30 Day State Challenge: Learn 2-3 new facts about a state per day. Start with your state and its border states.   Write the facts in a journal for a cool way to document the challenge and remember learned facts.
  3. 30 Day Poetry Challenge: As a family, read 1-2 poems together.  After listening to each poem, take time to discuss your thoughts. Did you like it? How did it make you feel? Did it remind you of anything?
  4. 30 Day Landmark Challenge: Pick one significant landmark per day to learn about. Check out facts and videos about the landmark. You and your child can draw a picture of each landmark for a challenge keepsake.
  5. 30 Day Know Your ‘Digits’ Challenge: Practice memorizing your phone number and address. Repeating these important numbers every day for 30 days is a great method for ensuring your child knows his/her ‘digits’. You can write the focus phone number &/or address on a card to read daily, until your child seems ready to recall the numbers. Put a sticker on the back of the card each day as a method to support the daily challenge.
  6. 30 Day Country Challenge: Learn 2-3 new facts about a different country per day.   Write the facts in a journal as a challenge keepsake.
  7. 30 Day Storytelling Challenge: As a family, work together to make-up a story. Each day, have the characters embark on a new adventure. Then, you or your child can write a sentence or two about the day’s story.
  8. 30 Day Drawing Challenge: Take 10-20 minutes a day to draw or paint with your child.
  9. 30 Day City Challenge: Learn 2-3 new facts about a major city per day. You can choose cities within the U.S.A. or all around the world. Write the facts in a journal as a way to document the challenge and remember facts.
  10. 30 Day Cooking Challenge: Have your child help with preparing a family meal. Working with a parent, share ideas for the family meal, go shopping for ingredients, and work together in preparing the meal.

Comment below on which challenge looks interesting for your family.

Please let us know how your challenge turns out. Sharing our experiences can be a positive motivator for others to start a challenge,too.

Stocking stuffer ideas that encourage outdoor play

Here are a few suggestions to fill your stockings that get your kids outside during the winter break.

*A new pair of warm and fuzzy socks

*Hand and feet warmers for outside play

*A blow up snow tube for sledding

*Ear muffs, scarf, new mittens or hat

*Snow paints or snow markers for colorful fun

*Snow-Lights to decorate a snow fort or igloo

*Tickets to a local snow tubing or tobogganing chute

 

5 Tips for Creating Holiday Traditions

Here are 5 simple tips for creating meaningful traditions with your family.

  1. Write an annual letter to your children and loved ones. Highlight observations from the year, as well as things you are grateful for, or love about them, and place the letters in the stockings. For example: “I love how you wake up each morning with a smile, and the determination to tackle the day.
  2. Select a special ornament that signifies an important event in your child’s life that year. Maybe a bicycle to represent learning to ride a bike that year, or a nutcracker to remind your child of seeing his/her first performance.”
  3. Shop together for a Secret Santa gift for a charity, or volunteer locally to serve others.
  4. Start a Gratitude Jar for your family. Throughout the month of December, have family members record what each person is grateful for on strips of paper. Beginning on New Years day, pull 2-3 strips to share aloud at dinner.
  5. Purchase new Pajamas to be opened on Christmas Eve, and watch a favorite family movie together. Top off the night with reading a favorite Holiday classic!

Holiday Jokes for Kids

Happy Holidays from K-3 Climbers,

Below you will find a few of Timber’s favorite holiday jokes. Please enjoy sharing them with your little ones.  Jokes are a great way to promote reading fluency, reading aloud with emotion and memory skills. Just print out the cards, cut them out and you are all ready for spreading some holiday cheer. Share one in the morning together and/or tuck one in his/her lunch for your child to share. Work on memory skills by sharing jokes without a card, such as in the car sometime.  Encourage your child to hide a joke for a parent to find during his/her day at work.
***Please comment about which joke was a family favorite or share a new joke to add to the list.
timbers-favorite-jokes

Printable

Just clink on the joke sheet for a link to a printable PDF version. 

 Like and Share on Facebook to spread a little cheer.

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