STOP the holiday CHAOS! Pt. 2

Are YOU caught up in the holiday CHAOS?
Holiday-stress

Last time, we focused on the holiday stress of Dinner and House Preparation. We talked about ways to minimize your holiday stress when it came to cooking and house cleaning for the holidays, if you are hosting a party.

Today we are going to focus on a stress that most people must handle during the holiday season.

The second category I want to talk about is

Presents and Gift Giving

0511-1005-0201-0025_Cartoon_of_a_Woman_Tired_Out_from_Christmas_Shopping_clipart_image

Throughout the year, you often have to buy gifts for birthdays, baby showers, weddings, etc. But nothing throughout the year compares to the lengths most people go to for the holidays. Gift giving can be stressful. There is the stress of picking out the right gift, then there is the stress of finding the right price. For Moms, who end up doing most if not all of the holiday gift buying for family members, it can be very difficult indeed. So let’s discuss some ideas and tips that can help to alleviate your gift-giving stress.

The biggest stress I have when it comes to gifts and presents is my budget. If you’re smart, you will budget throughout the entire year to allow a gift budget for the holiday season. I know a few people that do this, they allot an amount of money per month to be held just for this time of year. However, if you’re like me, it’s basically a mad scramble to collect gifts, just about as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is digested. Sometimes, I don’t get down to really buying things until the first or second week of December! So, obviously, our budget isn’t exactly prepared for a large subtraction! So, over the years I have developed a few things that allow me to get by with minimal spending!

My first suggestion: Budget all year

Now, I know I just got through talking about how horrible I am about budgeting and saving. But, if you can do it, I highly recommend it. One option would be to make a list of the all of the people for which you plan to buy gifts. Then, select a price range for each person. Add up the total amount needed and divide that number by 10. Each month from January to October, you set aside that much money in a different bank account, piggy bank or wherever you keep your savings! Then by the time you reach November, you can successfully shop for all of your gifts!

If you can’t manage to save money all year long, like me, you can still plan a short-term budget. All you have to do is set a spending limit a few months ahead. Then, you can collect larger increments for fewer months. However, with this style of budgeting the best idea would be to set a standard, that each person gets a certain amount. What I tend to do, is break it down into categories: Each niece/nephew gets the same amount, each sibling gets the same amount and each parent gets the same amount. This keeps me from over spending on each person and also keeping everybody from getting envious! lol

My second suggestion: Minimize Presents

Much like the idea of assigning a certain amount of money to each person, you can easily employ a few options for minimizing how many presents are given during this time. One option is to adopt a “Kids Gifts” only idea. Meaning, the only people who get multiple gifts would be the younger people within your group. Then, for the adults you have a few options for how to limit it. You can play a gift exchange game. This year, with the adults in my family, we are doing a “White Elephant” gift exchange. To learn more about this game and others visit: “28 Ideas for exchanging gifts”  from RealSimple.com. By playing these games, not only do you minimize the cost of buying 1 gift versus 10-15, but you also get to create a new holiday tradition. One that I know, personally, can be a lot of fun! Another option would be to do a “Secret Santa”. Where everyone buys one present for one person. Though this way would have to be done in advance, it has the perk of allowing people to get more expensive gifts than they would with the games.

My third suggestion: Make it, Don’t Break it (the bank, that is)

This suggestion happens to be one that I use personally just about, if not every, year. Making your own gifts can not only save you a ton of money, but some of the best gifts I’ve ever given or received were homemade. There are so many different projects and cute things you can make for any age, male or female. A good place to look for great ideas would be Pinterest. It’s free to sign up and you can collect ideas all year long for not only gifts, but decorations and meals! Another great suggestion is taking a family photo and distributing them in homemade frames. For Family Photos, there are many options. You can easily check out any of the major photography companies, but in my opinion the best way to go is with a local photographer. Using a local photographer allows you to incorporate familiar scenery, to have a wider variety of prints and ultimately, in my opinion, a more comfortable and cozy photo. You can easily look up local photographers online. If you are near my area (Dallas, Tx), I have two photographers that I personally recommend.

AprilPintoApril Pinto with April Pinto Photography

and

JenniferPritchettJennifer Pritchett with Jennifer Pritchett Photography

Both of these photographers are especially good with children. Capturing wonderful and magical moments in nicely edited photos that will amaze you, all at decent prices! Don’t forget to mention that Wild Mommy sent you!

Using family photos as a present can easily cut down on your total budget. If you decide to frame them, you can easily purchase bulk frames online. Or you can wait until a craft store like Michael’s or Garden Ridge (Which is now: At Home) is having one of their regular frame sales. And you have options with the frames as well. You can either get bulk frames, then purchase paints and paint each frame specifically for each person and/or family. Or you can buy different and specific frames for each person and/or family.

I hope you have found some of these tips and suggestions helpful to your holiday situation! Join me next time when we talk about the third and final category: Guests. Where we will discuss ways to help handle anything a guest throws at you before, during and/or after a holiday event!

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@WildMommyMC

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

STOP the holiday CHAOS!

Are YOU caught up in the holiday Chaos?

Holiday-stress

The holiday season comes but once a year and for most Moms out there, it’s a good thing. While the holidays are a wonderful time that bring family together in joyous celebration, if you’re anything like me, the holiday season also brings on enough stress to be crushed under! So, this season, instead of stressing, let’s focus on some tips to

STOP the holiday CHAOS!

As much as I’d like to deny it, most of the stress I experience during the holidays has nothing to do with outside sources. What I mean by that, is that most of it comes from my anxiety over wanting the occasions to be perfect. There have been very few time that another person is the source of my holiday madness. So, the easiest way to mange that stress is to plan ahead. If you tend to freak out during the holiday season, join me over the next 2 days to see if some of these tips can save your sanity this holiday season.

The first category I want to talk about is

Dinner and House Preparation.

woman cooking and cleaningIf your plans for the holidays are to travel to another person’s home or another location, then these tips may not be necessary for you. However, if you’re like my family, though we travel for the holiday season, we may also have a small gathering for our immediate family and/or friends. And, these tips are helpful when hosting ANY event in your own home as well!

In my case, the first stress I have when hosting in my own home is cleaning. Though your house may be clean (most days, if I’m lucky, lol) and well kept, there is a special kind of clean when hosting a party. I call it “Deep Cleaned”. For me it means scrubbing base boards, washing windows, dusting things I don’t usually dust and basically scrubbing every surface of my home. When it’s holiday season, however, you usually have a lot more on your plate and cleaning seems to be the biggest and most tedious task.

My first suggestion: Hire Someone.

Don’t be shamed into thinking that hiring a local maid service to deep clean your home is not an option. I know a lot of Moms out there who are hesitant to hire someone because of the stigma of

A) Not being able to do it yourself, B) That it must mean your house is disgusting

and/or C) That you are a snob or lazy.

For one, if I had the money to hire someone to clean my house ALL of the time, I would. There is nothing wrong or lazy about allowing someone to clean your house. Plus, there are many Moms out there who are in the business of cleaning houses. That makes it a Moms helping Moms situation! But especially hiring someone to deep clean your home before you host an event is just sensible. By taking that pretty big task off of your plate, you make room for doing the things that you can’t necessarily hire someone to do. Consider it an investment and breathe easy! To help find a maid service near you try Care.com

However, I know times are hard and money is tight already, not including the holiday extras, so if you need to cut the cost, hire a kid. It could be a friend’s kid, the baby sitter or a youth from Church or the neighborhood. By hiring a kid you cut your cost, but you also allow a kid to make money for their holiday season!

My second suggestion: Ask for help.

If you’re a Mom to a child basically 5 and up, you already have one volunteer for cleaning! lol But seriously, let your child(ren) help with the cleaning. Give them a task at a time and reward them with something they will enjoy for every task completed. You can even make certain tasks that may be harder or take longer worth a larger reward. And don’t be afraid to ask your family and/or friends to help you either. Find that friend, sister, brother or cousin that wouldn’t mind rolling their sleeves up for a nice dinner and/or movie. Then you get help, plus some bonding time with the person!

The next stress that I have is with the food. Good cook or bad cook, either way, most Moms out there do not have just a TON of experience organizing, preparing, cooking and serving LARGE meals. Sure, we may cook for our family of 5-8, we may make very intricate and detailed dishes and we may have served food plenty of times. But doing all of it from top to bottom for more like 10-20 people can be a daunting task.

My first suggestion: Keep it Simple.

If you’re like me, the holiday season is the reason for new recipes, as well as old favorites and traditions. For example, one tradition/old favorite I have developed over the last couple of years are cheese balls. I began doing it one year and have since perfected 3 recipes and thought of about 15 more. So for me, every year, it’s about making something that is better than the year before as well as bringing back the favorites collected over time. But when you’re hosting an entire meal, it’s a different story. Time won’t always permit you to do ALL things bigger and better. So, keep it simple with some of your dishes. You still have specialty dishes, but make them special. Not every side needs to be an intricate affair. It can be refreshing and exciting to have simple sides, with just a few specialty dishes.

My second suggestion: Plan Ahead.

Cooking several dishes, several additions and a large hunk of meat can be overwhelming. However, there are ways you can plan ahead that can help you keep your dinner running smoothly.

For instance, prepare your table ahead of time. Set out plates, bowls, cups, utensils, etc. Have it all done before you even begin to cook, that way even if you happen to need more time on your turkey or ham, you can allow guests to sit and begin on salad, rolls or even sides. For suggestions on easy holiday food, check out “25 Tips for an easy holiday” from www.Food.com.

Another tip is to prepare as many dishes as possible a day in advance. Many dishes that are served during holiday season can be made and stored over night. Then all you have to do is put them in the oven the next day for heating. For this, I suggest buying the disposable aluminum pans. They come in just about every shape and size, most often with lids for storing and they are obviously, oven safe. And, you don’t have to clean them afterwards!

aluminum_pans

My third suggestion: Ask for Help/Hire Someone.

Now, there are two ways you can ask for help with preparing the holiday meal. One way, is to just ask a friend or family member who will be attending the party to come early and help you with the food. If you don’t have anyone that can be available, try hiring someone to be your Sous Chef. Basically, a person that can do the more tedious aspects of the cooking, like stirring and mixing. You could, again, hire a teenager you know or you could place an ad on CraigsList. There are MANY chefs and/or caterer’s that would be willing to help for a few hours for extra cash.

Hopefully, you found at least one tip that can help you eliminate some of your holiday chaos!

Join me tomorrow when we talk about the second category: Presents and Gift Giving. Where we will discuss ways to minimize spending and eliminate gift-giving stress!

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@WildMommyMC

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

Boo’s Kingdom

Tonight, My daughter, Boo, and I created a neighborhood and a town with ALL of her doll house items. It ended up being pretty neat.

Pictured here in:

The Neighborhood is:

The Family:  Daddy, Mommy, 2 Strawberry Shortcake daughters, 1 Minnie daughter and 1 Mickey Baby Boy

The Workers: 3 Minions, 1 Plumber, Handy Smurf, GIJoe, 1 Scarecrow, Squirrel and the Worker Trucks

The Fairies: Beach Minnie, Smurfette, 2 Ballerinas, 1 Fairy, Unicorn, Boots, Pooh and all of the Sea Creatures

Princess Castle: Rapunzel, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, 1 Strawberry Shortcake and Woody

And in The City is:

The Doctor: Albert Einstein and his Minion Assistant

The Park: Alligators and Birds

Walmart/Gas Station/Airport: Pilot/Checker

The Farm/Zoo: Country Girl, Country Boy, 1 Scarecrow and all of the Animals

 

Needless to say, she was   quite happy And we had a REALLY   good time.

(Some of these photos aren’t too great, but I figured I might as well include them all,

Since I didn’t get to take too many before Boo told me to go away and let her play. lol

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Easy craft to do together…

craft-materials

Hey Wild Mommies!

Here’s an easy craft you can do with your kid and ways to make it bigger, better and more difficult!

Spy glass: Take Glue, a Marker, The cardboard roll from a toilet paper roll or paper towel roll, Paint (any kind will do!) and Any dime-sized “decorative” pieces (ex: pieces of jewelry you don’t wear), Alternative to paints include: nail polish, food coloring etc.

Paint and glue things to the roll, then write “_________’s Spyglass” on it!

Belt: Take a belt, scarf, sock or the like.

Tie/belt the item loosely, putting the knot/buckle at their hip!

Sword: Take paper, cardboard, glue, crayons and marker.

Outline a sword on paper and have your kiddo color it. (If you have any small items left from your “spyglass” use them too!)  Then, cut out the paper and glue it to cardboard and cut the cardboard out in line with the paper.

Combine those crafts with some pirate like clothes and you’ll have a top notch, one of a kind Pirate Costume!

Plus, once you have spent them time doing the craft, and you need to make it ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE, your kiddo won’t mind playing on their own! Just say “Okay, no go play treasure hunt”

Bonus: Include an actual treasure hunt with map and TREASURE while they color or WHATEVER and they will be occupied even longer, plus work on good skills!

Round… Set… FIGHT! – Wild Mommy Myth Buster

So, as I have mentioned before, being a “Wild Mommy” is about breaking societal “norms” about motherhood and parenting. So, I’d like to begin breaking down these walls with what I like to call a “Wild Mommy Myth Buster”. These posts will tackle topics that are common parenting misconceptions or misunderstandings, while giving advice on building a better alternative to the myth!

So, Wild Mommy Myth Buster #1- NO FIGHTING

I can already hear people in my head arguing with me. Before I have even begun to articulate my point, some parents will have already tuned out. See, the common misconception is that your child should NEVER FIGHT. Not you, their friends, their teachers, etc.  And to a certain degree, you are right! It is perfectly normal to teach your child to avoid fights. But, we must be careful, because we want to raise CIVIL, PEACEFUL children, but we also NEED FIGHTERS!

Ask yourself, where would the world be today if no one ever FOUGHT? There are so many important issues in today’s society that might not have ever been brought into light without these fighters. Because a black man stood up and fought, we have equal race rights. Because a woman stood up and fought, we have equal gender rights. And so on and so forth.  So many good things have come from people that fought for their beliefs. But the fact is, most parents are actually DISCOURAGING this trait in their children.

Now, obviously there are some forms of fighting that I do NOT CONDONE! I do not EVER condone physical fighting (unless in self-defense) or OFFENSIVE fighting. Offensive fighting is when someone is fighting strictly to be mean or offensive. Those 2 types, and any like them, that do NOT produce good results, should, for obvious reasons not be allowed! But, that leaves quite a BIT of gray area, where kids should find their ground.

Throughout my entire childhood I was allowed to fight. When I was punished or lectured, I was allowed to argue, so long as I kept it ABSOLUTELY RESPECTFUL! So many of my friends thought this was CRAZY! When my mom or dad would ask me to do something, if I was busy, I would ask if I could have 5 minutes and they’d usually oblige. Seriously, my friends thought I was NUTS to respond that way. But, I had 2 parents who weren’t afraid to let me speak my mind! Because they knew it was a mind based in RESPECT for THEM! That’s not to say I didn’t ever use my smart little mouth on them, but I did it FAR LESS than most of my friends and I managed to have a REALLY HEALTHY, FUNCTIONING relationship with my parents, which most of my friends didn’t have with theirs. As long as I followed the rules, outlined by my parents, I was allowed to discuss ANYTHING with them. And occasionally, I changed their minds!

This way of parenting helps children feel like their opinions matter. And quite frankly, parents aren’t showing kids that enough! A lot of parents are so STUCK on the idea of being right because they are the parent, they don’t see that sometimes we’re WRONG and our kiddos have it right!

But, the real issue, isn’t about who is right and who is wrong, it’s about their future.

If you raise a child who is never allowed to argue or fight back when they are truly passionate about something you will create that SAME TYPE of adult. But, as an adult, a lack of fight can translate into a lack of AMBITION! Allowing your child to argue their point creates an adult that won’t be RUN OVER by everyone! Think about it, if every time your child tries to argue you shut them down, they will eventually NOT ARGUE. And to some parents, this seems like the RIGHT thing. But, here’s the message you’re sending:

No matter WHAT you truly believe, if the acting authority over you disagrees, you must comply with their choice.

Which, don’t get me wrong, to some degree is a good lesson. Obviously, there is a level of respect given to ANY person of authority. But, what if a teacher begins to fail them for personal reasons? or if their boss hits on them for a promotion? When your child, as an adult, is faced with an authority that is WRONG, you will want them to be able to STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES! Well, it begins by standing up to YOU!

As their parent, you ARE the AUTHORITY. There is basically NO ONE above Mom and/or Dad to a child. So you must use YOUR relationship with your child to set an example for their future relationships with authorities.

So, how is it that you actually go about breaking this MYTH?

First, build a relationship based on respect and love that allows your child to speak freely with you. This will encourage them to talk to you and to be honest when they do.

Secondly, always encourage your child to question everything and make their own decisions. This will help your child find who they are and give them a strong sense of self.

And the third MOST IMPORTANT aspect is to set out RULES for arguments, and be STRICT about those rules/punishments. Decide what actions and attitudes will be “conversation enders”, set up a way to identify whose turn it is to speak, etc. Then, don’t ever WAIVER from the rules!

By utilizing those 3 tips you can allow your child the freedom to fight, without the loss of respect for those in charge. Therefore, creating an adult who stands for what they believe in and isn’t afraid to FIGHT against INJUSTICES!

Join me Wednesday as we continue to learn more about our children and ourselves, while BUSTING these Mommy Myths!

ALSO, If you need any TIPS for setting up your “Rules of Argumentation”, email me or check out the list that will be coming soon to http://www.WildMommyMC.com!

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@wildmommymc

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

Encourage your WILD child! The end of our walk…

So, over the past week, we’ve discussed the MANY ways to help you become a better, “WILDER” mommy. But as our walk comes to an end, it’s not YOU I want to discuss, but your kids! The final piece in being a Wild Mommy is encouraging a WILD CHILD!

Now, you may see “Wild Child” and think misbehavior or craziness, but much like being a “Wild Mommy”, it really is more about breaking down the societal norms.

It seems to me, that it would be a “no-brainer” to encourage your child to do whatever they desire in life. As parents, it’s our job to encourage our children to explore the world around them and make choices based on a good moral foundation. But, I have seen, too many times, parents making choices for their kids and the problem is that it doesn’t seem like they are doing that. There are 2 ways, that parents STUNT their children’s growth and REPLACE it with their own agenda.

#1- PUSHING- Making a child part of an activity which they did not choose.

#2- LIMITING/PROHIBITING Not allowing a child to be a part of an activity they choose due to societal “norms” or personal opinion.

Both of these are ways that you STUNT your child’s personal growth and replace it with your OWN agenda. Which, in my opinion, is completely and UTTERLY WRONG!

One of the most important thing we can do as parents, is to create a child who is comfortable being themselves. In a world, so full of insecurities, it drives me crazy to see kids, when generally interested in something, being shut down by their parents preconceived notions. The fact is, our children need the ability to discover life on their own. What parents are there for, is to give them a compass, or a map, something that can HELP them shape their decisions based on good moralities, but it doesn’t CHOOSE THEIR JOURNEY!

Let me ask you, reader, have you ever heard the terminology “Find Yourself”? MANY young adults use this phrase. It usually coincides with college or a trip or whatever, between about 18-25. This concept, didn’t come from nothing.

Children who are not allowed to explore themselves at young ages, feel compelled to do so when they are older. The problem with this, is when you raise a kid who isn’t secure in who they are, they either tend to ALTER who they are in order to “fit in”  or end up exploring NEGATIVE things, they perhaps would never have been interested in before, had they been allowed more freedom.

The steps to preventing this are SUPER EASY, right?

All you have to do is let your kid be his or her self.

But, really, it can be harder than you think. So, let’s take a look at the 2 ways we stunt their growth.

#1- PUSHING

Now, there is a difference between pushing and encouraging. You should never force your child to be involved in an activity or group, that they did not express their OWN interest in. Some parents will argue, that their kid is too young to decide what activities to be involved in. I see it all the time, kids being put into little league or gymnastics, and the kid doesn’t really want to be there. If your child, is too young to tell you what they are interested in, then they are too young to be IN anything. If your child cannot express their interests, put them in educational classes or social play classes, and let them decide what they are interested in. Just present them with all options, and encourage them to at least choose ONE. But, let it be their choice. A good way to help your child figure it out is by showing them examples of sports and activities available and asking them what they LIKE about each one. Perhaps your kid doesn’t like football, but as he/she is watching they see a player take off running and decide, they like track! Or, you could be showing them a dance routine, and they could decide they really like making music! Just, expose them to everything, and let them CHOOSE. Don’t try to force them because you did that when you were young, or because you think they may be talented in a field. Because, the fact is, if you PUSH them to do something, and they don’t do it for themselves, then they really will never fully ENJOY the activity. It will always be something they are FORCED to do, not WANTING to do.

#2- LIMITING/PROHIBITING

Okay, so my biggest example of this is GENDER limiting. But, it also happens with age, race and social standing. And frankly, it just has to STOP! There is absolutely NO REASON why any child should not be allowed to do what makes them HAPPY. I mean, again, this seems like a no-brainer. Hey, cheer leading really makes your boy happy, so why would you want him to NOT be HAPPY? Now, the argument was made to me once, that the reason is to prevent your child from being ostracized. It was argued that if you allowed a boy to cheer or a girl to play ball they would receive negative attention and it could be potentially damaging. That my friends, is a big pile of bull! For one, there is NO guaranteeing that a child will be teased. I have known male cheerleaders and female players that were VERY popular. But seriously, I want you to consider the message it sends to a child.

The message is: If someone is going to make fun of you for your choice or passion, you should just NOT DO IT! Is that really what we want our future generations to be like? A bunch of conforming, look-alike, act-alike, insecure, LOST people? Of course not! I think every parent would agree that they want their child to be strong, independent and UNIQUE. Well, part of creating that, is allowing those kids to cross the stereotypical boundaries. Not limiting their hearts and minds, but allowing them to break down centuries of walls we have built up for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON!

 

If, as a parent, you can present your child with an environment that encourages them to be who they want to be and do what they love, you will create a WILD CHILD, who will grow into an adult that is STRONG in their moral compass and HAPPY with the life they choose to live.

So, let your boy wear PINK and let your girl play in the MUD! Then encourage them both to find what THEY LIKE, and let ’em go! You’ll never find a happier, more well-balanced child.

 

So, that concludes our WALK ON THE WILD SIDE!

If you missed any part of our journey, feel free to go back and check it out OR, tomorrow I will have a quick review, if you’d just like to catch up!

On a side note, I am kind of sad, to see it come to an end!

BUT, I look forward to MONDAY when I begin to give tips and ideas along with stories and lessons I have learned. The REAL adventure begins now, as we actually start APPLYING all the things I’ve talked about this past week!

 

I hope to continue to see everyone reading! It sure makes me happy to see people gaining interest in becoming the BEST PARENT they can be!

 

Until Next time,

Wild Mommy MC

@wildmommymc

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

Stay “WILD” while you WALK!

Hey everyone!

So, Monday we talked about how to stay TRUE to YOU. By doing so, you allow yourself to be a better Mom. 

And with this foundation, you can then begin to become an actual “WILD MOMMY”. 

You see, being a Wild Mommy is about BREAKING the STEREOTYPES and NORMS of motherhood.  It means, busting down walls of non-communication between parents and children, to create an involved and enriched relationship, which in turn leads to the creation of engaged, intelligent and caring children.

There are TWO aspects of being a Mom, that have become broken throughout the years.

#1- Communication

#2- Involvement

We have steadily allowed the lack of these 2 things to place a wedge between parents and children. And, we have all seen the future that is coming BECAUSE of the breakdown of them. Kids are getting into more trouble than we have before. More teenagers are becoming parents, dropping out of school and basically throwing their lives away. And if you do NOT think that there is a direct correlation between the way we raise our children and the choices they make in their futures, you’re wrong. That’s not to say there aren’t some exceptions, but on the whole, a good parent will raise a good kid, which will grow into a decent adult.

But this isn’t the first time a Mom has made a clarion call for better, more involved parenting. And yet, the state of our children continues to worsen And more and more parents are LESS AND LESS involved. It has become a SERIOUS EPIDEMIC. The raising of children without a strong moral compass, simply due to lack of communication or involvement from parents MUST END!!! So, since that IS the reason I am HERE, we can begin:

#1- Talk to your children!!!

It is a tragedy that so many parents just simply do not talk to their kids. There is absolutely no reason, either, other than selfishness. There are a few different levels of communication I am talking about here.

The first is BASIC communication. Communicating enough to fulfill their basic needs.

Second is PERSONAL communication. Communicating about their personal lives and decisions.

Third is DEEP communication. Communicating about deeper, more generalized topics that inspire DEEP thought in children.

The first type, BASIC COMMUNICATION, is something most parents do. The difference between WILD MOMMY BASIC and just basic, is that not only should we be able to talk to them and find out their needs, but your child should always feel like they can at least ask. So many parents, I see it all the time, get just plain ANNOYED by the questions their kids ask. By your annoyed response, you are teaching your child that it isn’t okay to ask questions. And that is awful! The best thing we can send our kids off with is a sense of curiosity, It inspires them, motivates them and keeps them interested in LIFE. So, why would we want to shut that down? But we do. We get tired of answering their endless questions. Then we begin either, just not answering, or answering in short, not really helpful answers. And that’s the other half of the problem. If you’re going to answer your child’s questions, don’t CAP THEIR INTELLIGENCE!! hah! Explain the REAL answer. Not a baby one. Since day 1, I have done this with Boo. She is always encouraged to ask me anything. and I am always willing to have, not just answers, but CONVERSATIONS. There is nothing more amazing, than just HEARING what your kid is curious about, either. My daughter, she knows things that some school aged kids don’t. Everyone who meets her, finds her intelligent and articulate. And it’s because of this. Anytime she asked me a question, I had a well-educated and intelligent response. Sometimes, it took a LOT of explaining. And it takes, using up your WHOLE vocabulary to explain BIG words with SMALL ones. But the outcome is tremendous. They will begin to actually search the world for questions. and that’s we want. We want our children out there, searching for answers and education! In addition, I will again mention discipline. In my previous blog, I explained how punishment should always exist, but explanation should as well. Again, I will reference my Boo. She can tell you WHY she is in trouble and will also tell you it is her fault. Because every time she is in trouble, I COMMUNICATE with her about why what she did was wrong. In doing so, you will have a well-behaved child who CHOOSES to be well behaved because they want to be good people, as opposed to being well behaved because their SCARED of punishment. Don’t get me wrong, they should fear punishment. But through communication, that fear will take a back seat to them simply wanting to be good, for their mommies.

Next we have PERSONAL COMMUNICATION. Now, this is the one that breaks my heart. How can we have so many teen pregnancies? So many drop outs? So many suicides? The breakdown of family, and personal communication, THAT is HOW. I have NO IDEA, where this came from, but somehow parents decided they would stop talking to their kids about sex. Yup, I’m going there. It always shocks me, to hear that no parent has had a sex talk with a kid. Why do we have so many sexual active and/or pregnant teens? Because we stopped telling them about how SEX is SPECIAL. I remember the conversation I had with my Mom, and that is where I get this ideology. I remember her telling me how special and IMPORTANT my body and virginity were. How, having sex would CHANGE ME. How, it would effect the way I felt about him, the world and even MYSELF. She also instilled in me, the idea of “waiting as long as you can” but “being safe when I make the decision”. A lot of parents have trouble with this. and religious beliefs come into play. But the basics of my opinion is this: You cannot STOP your child from doing it, if they want to. So, the best thing you can do, is let them know they can TALK TO YOU. If parents took them time to teach their kids the importance of WAITING AND PROTECTION, kids would be able to make better choices. (And, as a special note to those of you that have DAUGHTERS, my mom taught me, and I will teach my daughter, that it isn’t a MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY to have protection. It is a woman’s body and life that will take the most heat in this situation, and therefore they should be looking to protect themselves. Not looking for a guy to do it.) Okay, I’ll get off sex, now. But, this goes for dropping out, doing drugs, even who they date. As parents, we MUST talk to them. You should know everything about them. Who their friends are, what they do, how they act, who they date, etc. A good way to do this, I mentioned in a past blog, talk to them about YOUR LIFE. If you share with them, they will want to share with you. This not only gives parents a HUGE OPENING for teaching and growing their child, but it creates a DEEP BOND between the two, as well. But, you also need to be asking them. Prompting them to share, and encouraging them when they do. And, as a parent, you also have to learn to be a little laid back. You can’t try to CONTROL their life, you try to GUIDE them.  That’s another thing that can break down a relationship. If every time your kid talks to you, you give orders, or judge, or get MAD, you RUIN your teaching opportunity. Instead, realize, you were a kid too, and you did some of the same things. Be easy, tread lightly but still tread.

And lastly, we have DEEP COMMUNICATION. Now, I hate to say it, but I don’t hardly see this in any parents. I think it has a lot to do with that CAPPING I talk about. But this communication is important. It helps create a MORAL COMPASS in children that will guide them the rest of their lives. Also, it will get them to use their brains and make their own decisions. Talk to your kids about politics. religion. social stereotypes, whatever! Discuss the world around them, WITH THEM. You’ll be surprised how many YOUNG CHILDREN have FANTASTIC ideologies on the world. and, if you discuss and encourage them, they will become FAIR and JUST adults. But, the key here is to DISCUSS not LECTURE. Though it is important to pass your opinions on to your children, and to build their moralities upon your beliefs, it is also EQUALLY IMPORTANT that we allow them to make up their OWN MINDS. The only way a person can TRULY STAND behind their decisions is if they made those choices themselves! Encourage your kid to question even YOU!!! Because, we’re though we’re equal, we’re not the same, so some choices you make may not be their personal choice. And that diversity is what is great about the world.

So, now that we have learned to COMMUNICATE, it’s time we begin being INVOLVED.

#2-Be a PART not a PROP.

Many parents believe that by transporting and attending events they are involved. Wrong. That is only BASIC INVOLVEMENT. To actually be involved you must ENGAGE. This means, not only are you attending their baseball game or dance recital but you are practicing with them, encouraging, praising and communicating with them about their FEELINGS towards their chosen  outlet. This also means, not just knowing their friends names, but knowing their personalities, too. Not just knowing their schedules, but the details of every event as well. This BASIC INVOLVEMENT isn’t enough! Your child should feel like you are a piece in their puzzle. Not just a mom, but also a friend who listens and cares about them. In addition to this, you have to also INVOLVE them in YOUR LIFE. Tell them about your job or your passions. Let them help you with a project or a decision. By letting them be involved with you, they will desire to bring  you into their lives. Therefore, creating a deep bond based on love and respect mixed with desire to share.

As I previously stated, these 2 things, communication and involvement are really to blame for the breakdown of our society. And how crazy is it, that all we have to do is be INTERESTED in our children more than ourselves, and yet the world is still breaking down.

 

Join me FRIDAY, as we come to the end of our WALK ON THE WILD SIDE!

Our last topic, will be encouraging YOUR WILD CHILD. Where we will discuss how important it is that we help our kids break down these societal “norms” that are destroying the future…

Until next time,

Wild Mommy MC

@wildmommymc

wildmommymc@yahoo.com