Sortafunnylady

My quirky views on life, love and parenthood!

Archive for the category “Parenting”

Summer Break… Are You Ready?


As the school year comes to a close I begin to think about the summer. Summer break always feels like it takes forever to get here and then when it does it goes by in a flash.

Between the sleep overs, picnics, BBQ’s, and camps some days it seems just as busy as the school year. So much for a break! So here are a few tips to keep you from going crazy and you kids from saying “I’m bored”.

Swap kids

As adults with kids if you don’t already, work at making friends with other adults that have children. This may be single parents or even other couples. But one thing as a parent is that we all need a break from time to time. So develop friendships (we all need those) and work with people who you trust to swap kids. This may be for an evening for a dinner out, or another family is just planning on having fun.

Free activities – local and regional activities

– Go for a hike

– Check out your local library

– Visit your local parks

– Go for a swim

– Play in your sprinkler

– Birdwatching

– Read

– Bike riding

– Take a tour – a variety of businesses have free tours that are fun

– Get involved in your church

– send your kids to vacation bible school in your area

– play board games or card games

– climb a tree

– go Geocaching

Low cost activities

– Go fishing

– Visit a museum

– Concerts in the park

– Work on art and craft projects

– Have a water balloon fight

– go to the beach

– paint ball

– visit a local university

– go roller skating or roller blading

– miniature golf

– go to a fair

– check out websites for your state

Coupons and Discounts

– check out Facebook for local businesses and activities

– visit websites for coupons

There are tons of things to do you just have to be proactive and get involved. So I encourage you to get into your community and start living this summer!

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Touchy Subjects


Premarital sex is a touchy subject. Especially when you are a Christian, a parent, a wife, and you deal with the youth. I know that many parents wholeheartedly believe in abstinence, I agree it is very important. Growing up in a Christian home it was taught that you waited until you got married before you had sex. Unfortunately, for many parents if sex is a touchy subject, your children will not come to you when they have questions. This lack of communication causes your children to go look for answers elsewhere, or not at all. Being naive is so dangerous for our kids and doesn’t solve any problems.

So, I have a few suggestions to the parents of teenagers, boys and girls alike. I know that my kids are not at that age yet but I have already been asked questions from teens.

 Get over Yourself

I think that parents hate talking about sex because it makes them uncomfortable. Get Over It! You are not going to do anyone any good if you can’t face the fact that your baby is growing up. This is part of being a parent and it is your job to be the go to person. This topic is not about you, but you need to be willing to answer your child’s questions. Take it slow but spell things out.

Be Honest

Please do not use the birds and the bees. You need to use actual body parts by their names such as a vagina or penis. This is not a Johnson or other crude words to describe your body. If you don’t know the answer be honest about that too. We all have horror stories about how our friends, family and even parents told us what sex was. Like “when you eat a watermelon seed it grows a baby in your tummy”. Whatever the story is make sure that it is not absurd. Your children don’t usually understand metaphors and will take you literally. So be careful what you say. If your child approaches you and says they have questions, you may need to take a few moments to compose yourself in what you are going to tell them. Don’t dismiss them or avoid the conversation, it needs to happen! And please don’t leave it to our school system to educate your kids on sex.

Fess up if You made Mistakes

We know we’re not saints! Most of us have made mistakes in one way or another. Don’t try to hide it, you will eventually be found out. When your children learn that you lied to them, then understand that your credibility is shot. So if you made a mistake that’s ok. You don’t have to go into detail; but, don’t think you are going to hide it from your kids. We all want to protect our children from making the same mistakes that we did. Understand that when you can face the fact that you made mistakes, then when your kids do it it’s not quite so hard to forgive them.

Answer questions using medical terminology

Again, use medical terminology that is easy to understand. One suggestion to parents is do your research ahead of time. There are many books and sites out there that can help you talk to your kids about sex.

Tactics

Don’t try to use fear or guilt to try to keep your kids from having sex. I think it is important to educate our kids. What is God’s purpose for sex? What is the importance of sex? What is the importance of finding the right person? What is love? Open communication is so important. Now, I know this is difficult. Our kids treat us like we know nothing and act like they are not listening. Even when they don’t act like they are listening they are. It is your job to educate and talk to them, even if you have to say it a 100 times.

Protection

How do we protect our kids? We arm them. We arm them with knowledge and with the skills to handle life situations. If we treat them like babies then we are setting them up for failure.  When you say the words “No matter what, you can talk to me” it is your actions not your words that will make that statement true. So when crap happens if you tend to get mad first and start yelling I will tell you that your child will not come to you when they really mess up. So be prepared and you may need to start working on your own issues before you deal with your children.

Dating

In each household the matter of dating is different. If you want them to wait I understand that; however, you might want to let your kids have some input. Talk about options such as group dates and having friends over at your house. Just because you tell them NO doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to like someone. If you don’t give them an opportunity to talk, without you judging then, you are just going to be left out of the loop. You are going to make keeping secrets a must. Now doesn’t that seem like a recipe for disaster?

Listen

I know that as parents we have strong feelings and ideas about lots of stuff. Make sure that before you start going off on your soap box, you pause. Listen to what your child has to say. I would recommend that you have a one on one conversation and not do this in public. I would also suggest that you not try to use humor to lighten the mood. Sometimes it can come off really bad. Give your child an opportunity to talk to you about whatever is on their mind and really listen. Each child is different so what worked on one will not necessarily work on the next. As we learned in school “you have two ears and one mouth, so you need to listen twice as hard as you talk”.

 Forgive

When they make mistakes forgive them, and yourself. Our children will make decisions even after we have given them all the tools. I am not saying that I condone premarital sex, but I do realize that everyone makes mistakes and no matter how hurt we are our child is responsible to God for their decisions. We don’t have to understand why but they are still our children and it is our job to love them.

Communicate

Above all, keep the communication alive and flowing between you and your children. Do not be so set in your ways that they can’t come to you. Educate your child not only about sex, pregnancy and STD’s but also about people. Many young people do not fully understand that others will take advantage of their need for approval and love. They do not understand that there are those out there who know all the right things to say just to get them into bed. This is not only for the girls out there but also our boys.  You have to pick your battles but it is so important that we keep arming our kids so they can make good decisions even when we are not there.

Now I know that there are those out there who will disagree with my statements and that is OK. I still look forward to you comments.

Manners…Are they a dying art?


I understand that we live in a technology driven age; however, does that mean that Excuse me, Please, and Thank You have become null and void?

I think not. If anything they are more important! They can set you apart from others  too busy to say anything with their ear clued to their cell phone, talking to the air or texting. Some act as though it is us, the public, that has so rudely interrupted them and not the other way around.  We have to remember to not only live with friends and business contacts in the virtual world but also to live with the live versions, right in front of you.

So now that I am off my soap box about manners in the world let’s talk about manners with our kids and in our homes. Which translates to the manners we will use in public.

Do you have rules regarding manners in your home or do you leave that to our wonderful educational system like sex education? I know that my kids pick things up that I do not like such as dance moves, fashion advice, snotty noses, and lice. Do we really want to leave manners up to the outside world as well? So, it is our job as parents to set the standard, teach them and reward them for using their  manners.

Begin with picking out  few manners to focus on maybe please, thank you and excuse me. Or other items that irritate you to no end like putting the toilet seat down, shutting the bathroom door when you go to the bathroom or not picking your nose. Explain it to your kids, be an example to them, remind them, and reward them when they do use their manners!

My second step was setting the standard in my house and getting my husband on board as well. I have found that when I say Please and Thank You my kids pick up on it, it encourages them to use them as well. Before I enter their room I try to remember to  knock. These are little things that can demonstrate the importance of manners. This can also show your children how important they are to you. Manners are more likely to be used when you use them in your own daily life.  For example to all you Dad’s out there (Mom’s to) when you are in your sweatpants on a Saturday morning watching football and lazing around… Do you scratch your balls (ladies I know you don’t), or let one rip? If so do you even say excuse me or laugh and look for an atta boy?

If we are not being examples by using manners then we are instead demonstrating to our kids that manners are not important and how we treat each other is not important either. What kind of example are you? I know I fail but I pick myself backup and apologize and try again. Don’t forget to reward for manners used.

You don’t have to give them something like candy or a prize! Use positive reinforcement. Say “Good job son, I love hearing when you use good manners”. or “I’m impressed that you have started blowing your nose in the bathroom and not been picking it and wiping it on your clothes”.

I will say that manners like anything else takes time to ingrain on the brain. Don’t stop, have patience (I know that is difficult), and above all keep working on new manners and expand your arsenal of etiquette.

I would love to have you share what  your struggles, suggestions and questions are…

I look forward to reading your comments below.

Parenting: Parent or Friend?


In the picture above are my three amazing kids. My son has a big heart, big mouth and thinks he is incredibly funny! My daughter in the middle is a drama queen, funny, witty, charmer, and scared of so many things and is the baby.  My daughter on the end is outspoken, a daredevil, tomboy, aspiring chef, and a little darling.

Over the past five years I have been thrown into the deep-end of parenting and have had triumphs and failures. Along the way I have learned to pick my battles, not take things personally, relax and enjoy the ride!

I have the joy of being a parent! This is a blessing that I have waited along time for. Unfortunately I only get to be a part-time parent. This definitely has its struggles. I have had to learn that I do not control what goes on outside of home. This is a very difficult lesson to learn and many parents do not have to experience til much later in the parenting process. I have learned to enjoy the kids when we have them, work to be a good example and instill the kids with skills and knowledge that they will use the rest of their lives. I also have learned that no matter what happens good, bad or other wise  I am there so they can talk to me and we can work to solve problems and find solutions.

One of my statements to the kids and a reminder to myself “I realize that at some point you will hate me. I am ok with that. I will still be therefore you. However, it is not my job to be your friend but be your parent!

What is my job as a parent???

– To teach you skills you will use in life

– To set boundaries

– To make you accountable

– To follow through with consequences when you break the rules

– To listen

– To be an example

– Spend time one on one

– To Love You No Matter What You Do!

My job is not to be your friend.  Kids will have friends that they will tell their secrets to, talk about boys, sex, fashion, and all that other stuff! Gossip, giggle, and cry with.

A friend is there to listen and to encourage. Unfortunately when we are younger we tend to encourage to the point of stupidity. As kids we have a different perspective, and we make mistakes. That’s what you are supposed to do! However, as a parent it is my job to encourage but also be there to help pick up the pieces when friends let them down and their world seems to be in ruble at their feet.

I am constantly learning that parenting has its ups and its downs. But I have to remember that being a friend is like being on a roller coaster ride and being a parent is being stable in the midst of chaos.

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