Last week we talked about parenting resolutions for 2011 so today we just wanted to share a few tips to keeping those resolutions.
- Choose an attainable goal and keep it simple. Avoid choosing a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful at achieving year after year. This will only set you up for failure, frustration and disappointment.
- Visualize how you will live out your resolution. Sometimes picturing success makes it more attainable.
- Make contingency plans: don’t assume sticking to your plan will be easy. Plan on hitting bumps along the resolution road and be prepared with specific ways to overcome them.
- Be patient & give it time: most experts agree that it takes about 21 days to create a habit and six months for it to actually become a part of your daily life.
- Reward yourself with each milestone. If you’ve stuck with your resolution for 2 months, treat yourself to something special.
- Ask friends and family members to help you so you have someone to be accountable to.
- Trying turning your resolution into one word that will inspire you. For example if you want to be more patient with your kids so they can experience how much you love them, then love can be your word. If you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, perhaps grow can be your word. Put that word on your refrigerator or someplace where it will remind you of your resolution.
What tips do you have for living your New Year’s resolution?
2010 is coming to a close and 2011 is right around the corner whether we are ready or not! With a New Year comes an opportunity to start anew, to get a fresh take on old habits and have a change for a good old fashion “do over.”
We asked the parents and grandparents at Kolcraft to let us know what their parenting resolutions are for 2011. We wanted to share them with you. Some of them are very creative and give a wonderful start to 2011.
- Family Traditions – My New Year’s resolution as a mom and grandma is to carry on more traditions and to document more events and family history. Simple traditions like decorating the family tree together or building a gingerbread house form memories that last forever. I often wish I had kept more photos and asked more questions of my dad, grandparents, and also my husband’s family, who have all passed on. As you get older, you get more curious about family history, and much of the information gets lost from generation to generation. I am going to keep more photos and journals for my family. -TH (editor’s note. We LOVED this resolution because it leaves a legacy for her whole family to enjoy!)
- Taking Time – My resolution is to be more patient with my kids by taking a few minutes each day to recharge my mommy battery. - MS
- Going High Tech - Our grandson lives 6 hours away and we don’t get to see him nearly as much as we want to. We are going to get a video camera and connect with our son via skype so we can see our grandson more often! -RB
- Date Nights - It’s easy to get caught up in the kid’s activities and schedules that my husband and I find it hard to spend time on our marriage. We are going to try to have date nights once a month. They don’t have to be expensive, it may even be having a glass of wine together after the kids go to bed, but it’s time for us to nurture our marriage. -NL
- Healthy Meals – I am going to try to plan our family menu out at the beginning of the week so I plan healthier meals. If I don’t plan, I end up relying on fast food. – PM
- Hugs - I will hug, smile, and tell my child I love them at least once a day. -CS
- Education – I will encourage my grandsons to study hard and work towards college. – CH
What parenting resolutions do you have?
Starting the year together as a family can be fun and doesn’t have to involve waiting around until midnight. You can have your very own ball dropping to ring in the New Year with a few kid-friendly activities.
- Set your clocks ahead a few hours so you can have a countdown to midnight without having your kids up past their bedtime.
- Make a New Year’s buffet made up of your children’s favorite finger foods.
- Have a board game challenge. Set up board game stations around your house. Play one round at each game and keep the night moving with everyone having a turn to play their favorite game.
- Spend some time sharing as a family your new year’s resolutions. You can make a special new year’s resolution jar where each member writes down their resolution and puts it in the jar. Throughout the year you can pull out the jar and remember the one thing you want to do that year to improve yourself.
- Create your own ball to drop from a stairway or have an adult stand on a chair and drop it. All you have to do is blow up a balloon and decorate it with glitter glue for a sparkly New Year’s Eve ball drop at “midnight”.
- Make your own noise makers (craft below) and crowns to wear at your countdown.
Her is a fun DIY New Year’s Eve noise maker for your family that you may remember from your kindergarten days.
Materials you will need:
- Empty plastic water bottle or dish soap bottle
- Beans, beads or other items to place inside (be sure these are not accessible to children under 3 years of age)
- 1 sheet white tissue paper
- Scraps of tissue paper in various colors, cut into small squares
- Non-toxic glue
- Scissors for adult use only
- Place a handful of beads or beans inside the clean, dry water/soap bottle. Run some glue around the mouth of the bottle and replace the cap.
- Make a mixture of 1/2 white craft glue and 1/2 water that will be enough to cover the bottle a few times over.
- Tear white tissue paper into large chunks, approximately 4”x2”.
- Paint a small section of the outside of the water bottle with the glue mixture. Place a torn piece of white tissue paper onto the glue mixture and paint over it with the glue mixture. Repeat this process, covering the entire bottle with 2-3 coats of white.
- Apply small colorful squares of tissue paper randomly over the white tissue paper to resemble confetti.
- Cut ribbon and carefully tie one of the pieces around the neck of the bottle. Repeat with other lengths of ribbon. Use scissors to cut each length to about 4” hanging length, and then cut upwards into thin strips. Allow to dry for several hours.
What ideas do you have to ring in the New Year with your children?
Last week Kolcraft celebrated the holidays with good food, sing-alongs, raffles and lots of laughs. We love to celebrate our Kolcraft family and all our wonderful customers who inspire us to put out must-have, quality baby products.
Here is a little glimpse into our celebration.
If you or your kids still believe in Santa, we thought you would like the NORAD Santa tracker. It’s a fun way to get your kids excited about the upcoming holiday(as if they need any help!).
The site counts down the days until Santa comes, has a Google Santa tracker and has all sorts of fun SantaVillage games such as Holiday crosswords, mazes, etc.
Check out the site with your children and watch the magic and delight of Santa light up their faces.
What ways do you get your children exciting about Santa’s visit?
Holiday recipes often are passed on from family member to family member. We decided to do the same with our Kolcraft family. We hosted a holiday cookie exchange complete with cookies, cakes, hot chocolate, homemade apple cider and all sorts of delicious coffees.
Every bite was a delight to the taste-buds so we decided to not only share pictures from the event, but also a few recipes for you to try out with your family!
Butter Oatmeal Cookies
1 ¼ cups Flour
1 ½ cups Quick Oatmeal
1 cup Butter
¾ cup Sugar
Cream butter and sugar. Add flour and mix. Add oatmeal and mix well together. Make into small balls and press down with fork on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Magic Raspberry Cookie Bars
2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
1 can 14oz sweetened condensed milk
1 ¼ cups seedless red raspberry preserves
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
In a small bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar. Add margarine/butter. Toss until combined. Press onto bottom of 13x9x2 baking pan. Evenly drizzle sweetened condensed milk over crumbs. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Spoon preserves over top. Sprinkle with coconut and nuts. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes until light brown. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Yields 24.
Do you have a favorite cookie that you make at Holiday time?
Holiday time brings family, fun, food and some holiday hazards if you aren’t careful. A few tips to protect your baby from common holiday hazards.
- Those pretty trees with all their lights and shiny ornaments are eye catches for baby. She will want to pull up on the tree, grab the ornaments or lights which an lead to a toppled tree, burnt little hands (yes, those holiday lights get hot) or a fistful of ornament shrapnel. Be sure to supervise baby with extra care when she is around the tree.
- Who doesn’t love the beauty of candles and Menorahs? Be sure to set them up high even when they are not lit, because the wax can contain toxins that can be swallowed. Also remember to keep candy dishes and miniature nativity sets out of baby’s reach.
- All those bows and ribbons make gifts extra beautiful, but they can pose strangulation or choking hazards. Be sure to have a garbage bag nearby so you can throw away wrapping paper, bows and ribbons as soon as presents are opened.
What holiday safety tips do you have?
The holidays are a great time to have family date nights to see decorations, lights and more. Many cities have free events for people of all different cultures and faiths. We took a little tour around Chicago to find family date night events that were free. Here are some ideas for you to do in your city.
One of our favorite traditions in the Santa Express CTA. For the low price of a CTA fare (children ride free or reduced rate depending on age), you can hop aboard the Santa Express. Every car has an Elf who hands out candy canes, holiday music playing, holiday decorations and lights, special Santa seat coverings and Santa on his sleigh is hitched between cars. We Googled Santa trains and many cities have special Santa trains for families to ride.
Department stores have great decorations for the holidays. Macy’s and other department stores decorate their windows with a theme especially for children. If you have a Macy’s in your city, be sure to stop and write a letter to Santa (we did!) and watch the believe-o-meter rise!
Go for a family holiday scavenger hunt. Plan to go to a few department stores, the town square, etc. with a list of holiday themed items you need to find. You can just check them off the list or take a photo since you don’t want to take decorations from public places! The list of items to find can be: an elf, a snowman, Santa, a sparkly tree, a wooden soldier, etc. If your family is big enough you can divide into teams!
Google to see if different cultural centers or houses of worship will have special exhibits about their culture at holiday times. Learning how other people celebrate the holidays can help your children to appreciate other traditions as well as their own.
Pack some hot chocolate, pile into the car and put on some holiday music as you drive around the neighborhood and see the lights. If you Google “best places for lights in (insert name of your neighborhood)” you will find the hot spots for holiday lights in your neighborhood. You local holiday music radio station site will also have a calendar of holiday happenings in your town.
The options for a free family date night during the holidays are limitless. In the midst of all your holiday preparations, don’t forget to take the time to celebrate with family.
What inexpensive family holiday date night tips do you have?
It’s that time of year where we seem to be meeting ourselves coming and going. Holiday time is fun and magical, but it can also be very stressful. A few easy tips (or reminders) on keeping the holidays as stress-free as possible.
- Be realistic – No parent can do it all. We think that somehow we have to do every activity with our children while attending office parties, cooking every possible holiday dessert from scratch, wrapping presents and decking the halls with perfect boughs of holly. It’s ok not to do everything and honestly – most people won’t notice if you don’t do everything perfectly from scratch. If you are completely stressed, you won’t be able to be present to your children. Concentrate on a few things that are important to you and your family and let the rest go.
- Put on your kiddie googles – That’s right, see the holidays through your child’s eyes. You may want to hop from house to house and fit in as much as possible during the holidays, but that may be confusing to your children if you are changing homes late at night to go to the next party. It may be as simple as explaining to them why you are doing the activities you are doing or you may want to do something special as you travel from event to event such as let them pick out the holiday song you will sing, or perhpas cut down on how many events/parties you attend, etc.
- Explain, explain, explain – The holidays mean something different to every family. Be sure to explain to your children why your family celebrates the holidays. If the holidays are part of your religious tradition, explain the religious meaning to your children. If your holidays are about gathering to share love with family and friends, explain that to your children. Don’t rely on others to explain the meaning of the holidays to them.
Most of all have fun. The holidays don’t have to be perfect – they only need to be what you and your family want them to be.
What holiday stress-free tips do you have?
PS – Don’t forget our contest to win a humidifier from Crane Humidifiers! http://bit.ly/hLfHGM