Dear Parents, It’s Not Our Fault!

My kids tell me all the time when I embarrass them. I’ve got news for them – while I love them with everything I’ve got, they’ve also found ways to embarrass me, too!With reflection, it’s not my fault, and I don’t blame my kids either. The times we live in now are much different than when the parents of today were kids themselves. Digital technology has taken over nearly every facet of our lives, for us and our kids. Lost in the shuffle is the development of social skills and manners. Yet, these capabilities are still just as important as ever (ask any college recruiter, employer or someone new to your neighborhood)!Maybe that’s what drove me to write The SMART Playbook. It took years of researching and drafting, but I did it. I’m not an expert, I’m just a Mom – that is a Mom with … [Read more...]

5 DIY Chore Charts for Kids

Every year I feel the need to re-assess the current chore assignments, or the chore charts, in our home. With five kids, if done correctly, our family could have a tidy home on a daily basis.  Of course, I keep all of our chores age appropriate. My twelve-year-old does things like cleaning the bathrooms and starting laundry, where as my seven-year-old works on his bedroom or sweeping off the back porch. I also don't want to overwhelm them. Each child has 1-2 chores per day.In the last couple of weeks, I've been on the lookout for a chore chart that would be both easy to follow AND fun for the kids. I've come across a few that I think are both practical and fun. I think you'll agree./1/ Family Photo Magnetic Chore Chart - Create magnet tags with chores and place them on or near the … [Read more...]

10 Back to School Social Skills Lessons

Is your child ready to make a great first impression at school this year?Don’t let technology take over your child’s social skills and manners. These vital life skills are the foundation of kindness and respect and making others feel comfortable. We all want our child to be THAT child – noticed for all the right reasons!Here are ten important lessons to prep your kids to get an "A" in social skills this year! Inspire social skills learning through play and doing. Don’t just tell your kids how to behave, challenge them and encourage them to practice! These simple lessons will lead you and your child in a collaborative effort to bring back a little civility to a new generation.Lesson #1: Make a Great First Impression – Handle yourself with good manners and you will leave a … [Read more...]

A Bully-Free Childhood!

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. This is an important time to remind your children to not judge or act mean to anyone and to always appreciate differences. How do we prepare our children for a diverse world and teach them to celebrate differences? We can raise children to respect and value people regardless of the differences between us. Teaching acceptance may be easier than you think!Model Acceptance and Tolerance – Be the first person or family to try to help someone who looks like they feel out of place. Encourage your child to have many different friends from different cultures and interests.Walk the Walk- Create opportunities for your children to interact and make friends with people who are different than them. A powerful lesson is to ask them to imagine … [Read more...]

20 Amazing School Lunches for Kids

We all would love to impress our children with elaborate Bento boxes, but in reality, most parents are incredibly busy, especially in the mornings, and are after lunches that are still fun, but also quick to make.I've rounded up 20 amazing school lunches for kids that are not only fun, but they are also fairly quick to make, and kids will love them.Teddy Bear Lunch.  My kids especially love this Nutella teddy bear sandwich, surrounded by a corn sun, blueberry sky, and grape and lettuce grass. The ground is made of Tiny Teddy biscuits, fruit strips, and Cheerios.Holiday Lunches.  Take a look at these 5 themed Bento boxes for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, and Birthday's. Source: 5 Most Adorable Themed Bento Lunches.Turkey Lunch.   Perfect for … [Read more...]

Ultimate College Shopping List!

303fc7c2950e2a00896d7c4d0e4c9a3fc4df3fbe0a6dd14202Last year I sent my eldest off to school & so I reached out to some current college students to ask them what items they couldn’t live without. This comprehensive list is a great start to the process & it should hopefully make the task a little easier (maybe even a little fun), enjoy!Click here to download & printAs you can see it is packed full of goodies from Lilly Pulitzer & kate spade new york to items you can find at Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Kmart, HomeGoods, etc. I love the “move in day essentials” which include a rubber mallet for pounding your bed together (or the futon you bought for your common room) as well as the tape measure & screw driver. I know that a few of the girls I spoke too … [Read more...]