Parenting Tips

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The Epic Battle--Molly vs Bellatrix

There are many things I am greatly anticipating in the coming year, but the thing I am counting the days to see is an epic battle that has been seven books in the making.

Now, some of you may think I'm talking about Harry vs. Voldemort, the duel of good vs. evil, where we finally find out why He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has chased a kid who, even now, wasn't even old enough to purchase cigarettes or alcohol.

No, I'm talking about the ULTIMATE battle of good versus evil, where a lioness is released and we see just how intense a mother's love really is.

Ever since book one of the Harry Potter Series, I've loved the Weasleys and Molly Weasley has always reminded me of the wonderful traits of the perfect mom. She's slightly frazzled at times, maybe a bit unorganized. She's not the most glamorous nor is she ever going to be a size two, but her strength is her fierce love of her family and how intensely she'll fight to defend them. This makes her gorgeous beyong measure in my book.

Even though she makes crazy sweaters, has gnomes in her yard, and constantly has to hold her tongue when it comes to her very mischievious boys, she's a mother, wife, and defender of family.

This makes her the perfect mother in my book.

On the other end of the spectrum, is Bellatrix Lestrange. This woman who has no compassion for family much less anyone else in this world. This follower and second hand nasty of the Dark Lord isn't someone I'd have over for dinner nor would I trust her around any member of my family or people in the political arena I didn't particularly like.

Because of her true foul personality and what she does in the Battle at Hogwarts, I look forward these actions releasing the force that is Molly Weasley.

I expect Molly represents many of us parents who are exhausted, overwhelmed, may be a little unorganized, and probably need to exercise more, but when it counts, when her family needs her, she's there without question, without pause, without concern of failing, because she's a force of ultimate good.

She's a mom, a parent, a wife, a woman with fire.

No one is mroe fiernce than she when defending her family.

Go Molly Go! Team Molly all the way!

My children yell at my husband and talk back constantly. What can I do?

Teaching Children To Talk With Respectful

Children need to learn respect and one way they learn to be respectful is by watching how their parents interact with one another. If you and your spouse yell a lot, your children will also be yellers. If you constantly confront each other when you disagree, your children will learn to do the same. Teaching your children to respect your husband is going to take time. Start by giving them a time out every time they begin to yell at your husband. Once the time out is over, ask your children why they felt it was necessary to yell and talk back. Don't judge, but listen to their concerns and feelings. Then discuss the matter and come to a calm, rational solution. In time, your children will stop going to the time out area and begin speaking with respect.

Our son is one month old today, when can he start sleeping in his own room?

Baby's Own Room

Putting your baby in his own room is a comfort issue between you and your spouse/partner.

If your child has no heath issues, he can probably start sleeping in his/her own room when you are comfortable.

Many breastfeeding mothers choose to keep the baby in their room because it's a shorter journey in the middle of the night to feed the baby. Other choose to make the trip down the hall to wake up a bit and not disturb their significant others. Breastfeeding can a wonderful experience that you can share with your child and choosing to do so is no small task. Because of this, it can be a deciding factor when Junior is ready for his/her own room.

Still, others choose to move the child simply to get some assemblance of routine and privacy and bite the bullet to venture down the hall during the night.

When the move is made, it is strongly suggested that a baby monitor is put in place so the parent can hear when the child cries or simply to hear the comforting sound of your child breathing.

Also, keep in mind that if your child isn't sleeping through the night yet, you'll have to get up and walk to the other room before you can tend to him. The extra time it takes you to get to the other room could mean the difference between waking up your other children and spouse, and letting them sleep through the night.

Something else to consider: you might find feedings and diaper changes a lot easier on your personal sleep if you keep your son close by—at least until he sleeps through the night. Honestly, it's an individual decision when to move the child to their own room.

How do I tell my children no when they want something we cannot afford?

Telling Your Child No

Telling your child no is never easy. But there's no other way to say it. When your child wants something you cannot afford, say, "No, you cannot have that. We can't afford that right now." If you explain you cannot afford the item instead of simply saying, "No," you can put a stop to all the nagging. It won't happen over night, but in time, your children will come to understand and accept your answer.

Can you help me organize my son's room? What toys should I keep and what should I throw out?

Organizing Your Child's Toys

Organizing your son's room should not be something you dread. Make it fun by letting your son make a mess. Throw all your son's toys in the middle of the room, then take three boxes and label them: donate, trash, keep. One by one, go through the toys with your son and throw away any broken toys, donate any toys he no longer plays with, and keep all toys he's still attached to. Once all your son's toys have been picked through, it's time to organize. Place large toys in a toy box and small toys in small boxes on a bookshelf in your son's room.

My children constantly fight and bicker with each other, how can I stop the fighting?

Stop The Fighting With Bickering Children

Children often fight and bicker, but if it's getting out of hand, it may be time for a mini-vacation—from each other. Call up a few relatives, call in a few favors, and have each child spend the weekend at a different house. Then take a mini-vacation yourself and rekindle the romance in your relationship. The time apart will definitely be a welcome treat and your kids will come back with lots of fun stories to share with one another.

My daughter like her room to look like a mine field, how can I help her keep it clean?

Tidy Room Tricks : Keeping Your Child's Room Clean

You can help minimize the mess by boxing up all your children's toys, labeling the boxes, and storing them in the garage or basement. Then once a week, have your child box up his (or her) existing toys and take one new box to his (or her) room—to explore! The great thing about this method is that you haven't thrown out any favorite or expensive toys, and your child will feel as though he (or she) has received a new set of toys every week!

My toddler keeps waking up with nightmares and keeping me up all night, should she sleep in our bed?

Toddler Nightmares

In the beginning it may seem easy to let your toddler sleep in your bed, but you'll have a hard time getting her to sleep in her own bed when the nightmares stop. Instead, consider placing a sleeping bag on the floor next to your bed. When your child gets up in the evenings, she can simply walk into your room and lay down. In time, those nightmares should go away and your child will be able to sleep through the night in her own room.

How much money should I give my daughter for a weekly allowance?

Giving Your Child An Allowance

Allowances teach your children responsibility. How much money you give your daughter will depend on how old she is, how much money you have available in your budget, and how much work she does around the house. You can follow the time-out rule and give your daughter one dollar for every year of her age, you can pay her minimum wage, or you can give her a set fee. If you're looking for an exact amount, you could give her $5 per week to blow and then require her to do extra chores around the house for other "wants."

How can I use my time productively when I have to wait in a car line just to pick up my children?

Using Waisted Time Wisely

Use that time wisely. Balance checkbooks, write letters, catch up on your sewing, listen to a Bible study, or complete a project that can be done while sitting in the car. I pick my daughter up from school, travel over to junior high and wait a half hour to pick up my son. We use that time to get her homework done, including reading and vocabulary.

My teenage son asked that I not volunteer in his classroom, how can I volunteer in his school, but not classroom?

Volunteering In School With Teenagers

You can still be a part of his (or her) school life by volunteering for the school's extra-curricular activities. Be a chaperone at one of the school dances, be an assistant coach for your child's sports team, attend your child's award ceremony or band recital, and let your child know that any time he/she would like you to come to his (or her) classroom to watch one of his (or her) presentations or to simply take his (or her) to lunch, you'll be there. And you promise not to embarrass him/her.

I work a lot of hours and feel guilty when I tell my kids to let me work, how can I balance my time?

Give Me 5 Minutes And I'll Give You Quality Time

Whether you work from home, take your work home, or just have a BUSY lifestyle, finding ways to balance your life can be hard. You should never feel like a bad parent because you can't devote as much time as you'd like with your children. But you can feel better about your parenting skills by giving your children more of you. The next time your child comes to you asking for a little help, to watch a movie with him/her, or to watch him perform a new trick, ask your child to give you five minutes to save your work or finish your task. Then spend those precious moments with your child. Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, five minutes of devoted time is worth more than anything you could ever buy or give your child.

Should I let my 12 year old child start hanging out at the local park with his (or her) friends without supervision by "the dreaded parent"?

Going To Park Without Supervision

If the park in question is only a few blocks away, is not highly infested with crime, drugs, or other dangerous activity, and has some form of open area, consider letting your child walk to the park with the stipulation that he (or she) has to carry a two-way walkie-talkie and must keep it on at all times. If you beep or ask a question, he (or she) must answer or you will be down at that park faster than he (or she) can say boo!

My baby is teething, how can I ease the pain?

Comforting Teething Babies

Teething babies need your patience more than ever. Offer your teething baby comfort by cuddling her and giving her soft, teething toys. Massage her gums with your fingers. Use Ambisol to numb the teething area and ask your doctor about pain relievers. If your baby is old enough, let her suck on a popcycle.

What are iTwins or Irish Twins?

What Are iTwins?

These days, anything with an "i" in front of it seems popular. iPhones... iPads... iPods... What's next?

Ever heard of the term, iTwins? This new, technological play on words is actually short for "Irish Twins." This generally refers to two children born in the same family to the same mother within twelve months. Another variation of this term is iTriplets or Irish Triplets, with the meaning of three children born within three years.

Of course, these sayings started off as derogatory terms in the early to mid-1900s when Irish immigration to the United States was booming.

Today, a parent of "iTwins" usually just gets stared at in awe, asked how she does it with two so young, and often a reminiscing tale of growing up close in age to a sibling or raising children of their own the same way.


Time's Tickin' Away

Sorry for the Stevie Ray Vaughn reference, but it's applicable for this.

It seems like last week, I started seeing multiple advertisements for Camp Rock 2. My daughters were ending their school year and we were looking forward to a summer of great fun and adventure.

"Why in the world would they start advertising four months ahead of time for a Disney Channel show?" I thought. I know it's all marketing, but none the less, four months? Seemed like a huge amount of time.

Now, last night I sat here, minutes before Debi, Joe, Kevin and Nick took over my television for the next two hours.

Where did the time go?

Did we even have a summer? Are my children growing too fast or is time escaping me?

Early on as a mother, I found myself saying things like, "Boy I can't wait until you're old enough to walk so I don't have to carry you," or "I'm going to be thrilled when you are eating solid foods" or "I'll be so glad when you're potty trained"--okay that last one, I really did want for a long, long time. But I realized the more I pushed for them to be older, the more time I had been missing. So what they aren't old enough for scuba diving or rock climbing? They will be soon enough.

When I get frustrated because they want to climb into bed with me in the moring, 10 minutes before my alarm goes off, I tell myself they won't want to do that forever so enjoy it while they do. Time ticks by fast enough, don't push it forward. Try your best to enjoy every moment with your kids. I know there will be enough moments for you to want to forget, but believe me when I say the time with your children is far too valuable to rush through.

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Guru Spotlight
Patricia Walters-Fischer