Monthly Archives: April 2016

6 Steps to Make Mother’s Day Special – Episode 3

In this episode I give tips for parents looking to help your children make Mother’s Day special for their mom. These are simple things that you, as a parent, and your children can do together to make mom feel she is special, feel that she is loved, feel that she is important.  You can try all of the tips or just pick and choose the ones you think will help your children in making this family event special.  Thanks for watching.  Please ask questions in the comments section.  Also, if you know of other dads who might benefit from a video like this please share this video with them to help them in making their children’s Mother’s Day special.

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Terrible Two’s Times Two

As I said in my last post, I am going to commit to writing at least once a week.  I may write a blog entry every day in a week, but I will be posting at least once on Thursdays.  I plan to keep in the theme of our baby puzzle, talking about our journey as parents.  When we started, the story was about trying to become parents, for much of the last 2 and half years it has been about the system we are a part of, but with our impending conclusion of working in the system and with some of the changes in federal legislation I feel more confident talking and sharing on the day to day happenings.

Today I am going to be talking about the terrible twos

I have heard some say it is a myth.  Others say wait until age three.  And still others say it is a real thing.  No matter which camp you are in, you have to admit that at around the age of two it seems like there is a switch in personality.  Both Grace and Natalie will be two by the end of July.  In the last three months or so (and very heavily in the last month) I have seen their focus change.

Their new favorite words are, “no” and “mine”.  Since the start of January we have been focused on teaching and practicing manners.  Teaching the word “please”,  like “please help me” instead of grunting or pointing.  Also, teaching the words “thank you”.  Most of the time those words are solicited, but each of the children have begun offering them without being asked some of the time.

Hitting, Grace especially, has begun hitting any time she is mad.  Most of the time she does not hit anyone, rather she swings at the air to show her frustration.  We redirect and after a time ask all of the children for a “sorry”.  Grace has a hard time with a sorry, but will give hugs to show forgiveness.  Brandon will do both hugging and saying sorry.  Natalie hits most of the time for attention.  Testing momma to see if she can or cannot behave in that way.  Both expressions are trying to learn something and how we reinforce the behavior is what they will learn from us.

Sharing, “mine” rings out lots of time during play.  Natalie will try to get both Grace and Brandon’s “goat” by taking an unattended toy and run the front room with it.  Many things are “mine” objects for the girls.  It is a special moment when we get to see two or three of the kiddos sharing a single toy to play with.  Having the chance to learn that not everything is “mine” and that most everything is “ours” to share is invaluable.

The hardest thing for me has not been that the changes have happened, but that they kinda hit all of a sudden.  Cheryl and I have actually been with six of the seven children in our care during their “twos” (or almost twos) stage of life.  In Ariana’s case, we did not see an escalation of behaviors and we did not contribute our struggles to her age, perhaps we should have.  In Emmett and Elias situation, the boys did a pretty good job of getting along, sharing, and did not use the “mines” and “nos” anywhere to what we have today.  I think the differences really do speak volumes to the myth v reality argument.  Cheryl and I have not changed how we parent, but we see a difference in the children.

The bottom line for us is Grace and Natalie are testing their boundaries.  Learning what is ok and what is not.  Learning how to get attention and learning manners.  They will go through many stages in life together because of how close they are in age.  Even though they are not twins they will have many experiences like twins may have.

Well, I will sign off here.  Thanks for reading and have a great week.  If you have a chance, take a look at our video blogs.  I will do my best to keep the content different and still engaging.  Thanks for all of your support.

4 Steps to Take to be a Stay-at-Home Parent – Episode 2

In this episode I talk about the steps we have taken so far to being a single income family and for me to be a stay-at-home dad.  Cheryl and I are goal setters and planners.  Additionally we believe heavily in the family unit.  We are placing the value of family ahead of career in order to give our children more time for the things we think are important.  It has been a 10 month process.  If you are looking at having a parent stay at home.  Think about what you want it to look like.  What will change.  How will the family need to change.  How will the family benefit from this change.  What might be your stumbling blocks.  We concentrated a lot on budget and finances.  We are excited to be able to teach our children values, morals and responsibilities.