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All kids have potential {Mom of Many}

“He will never learn to tell time.” Parenting Tip #29


There is Always Hope

When you parent special needs kids and take them to doctors, psychologists and Neurologists, often you will hear discouraging news.

  • He will never learn to tell time because of his low IQ.
  • Get him velcro shoes because he’ll never learn to tie.
  • He will always be behind a year or two.
  • With his limited abilities you won’t be able to teach him like other kids.
  • He will never be capable of living on his own.
  • He will never hold down a job.
  • He will never see you as his parents, attach to you, or feel a part of your family.

I always accepted those statements as a challenge.

I walked out of evaluations with the attitude, “Bet me.” You guessed it – they did learn to do those things, and went on to learn all the basics.

All kids have potential {Mom of Many}

Be careful of IQ (It doesn’t mean I Quit)

Another one of my kids who was assigned a very low IQ during their younger years  has his own apartment and job at a grocery store. Others who had a rough start have jobs, drive cars, have relationships and speak intelligently – so much so that you need to get to know them before you know they have any disabilities.


A few years after a depressing evaluation, I took one child to be evaluated at a children’s health center because I wanted to know if there were any programs that would help me with some specific issues. They had a great reputation in our county.

All kids have potential {Mom of Many}

He was in in fourth grade and tested at a 6th grade level with a Kindergarten ability. They couldn’t explain how he knew more than he was “able to learn.” When I explained that I taught him at home, they told me that I had “over-educated” him and that there were no programs for a kids like him.

Hmm. So I took him home and continued teaching him until I knew he had all the basics.

Another one of my kids desired to live on his own when he turned 18. It was hard for him to watch his siblings go off to college and talk about their futures. Since I was concerned about him being out on his own, we found a supervised living program. After a few months he lost a lot of what I had taught him (personal care, housekeeping, etc.) so he moved into the dorms where he could be closely monitored.

He graduated from their college three years later and is doing fabulously.

FASD and Other Labels

Some who live with after shocks of maternal drugs and alcohol use (they are adopted, BTW) have learned to compensate using other skills to fill in the gaps.

  • Those who had trouble remembering information in subjects like grammar and history relied on memorization to get them through the tough subjects.
  • Homework folders and assignment pads helped with daily assignments and teacher communication.
  • The younger kids had older kids as partners to help with daily activities like chores and outside activities.
  • They used check lists, sticky notes and had accountability partners.
  • Our home was structured with a consistent schedule, rules and expectations.
  • We were always nearby and consistent in supervision and follow through.

We have taught our kids to live in spite of “labels”. FASD, OCD, ODD, ADHD, ADD, PTSD, TMI, EMI, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dyslexia, Asperger’s, APD, PCE, RAD, etc.

Never, ever give up on your kids, accept doomsday predictions on their future abilities, or let numbers set the bar. It is good to seek evaluations but use the information as a tool, not as fact that limits your reach.

Shoot for the moon, but be content if you only reach the stars. It’s an amazing place to live.

Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many community and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff.




Parenting Tips {Mom of Many}

When You are Criticized as a Parent – Parenting Tip #27

Have you ever been criticized as a parent?

This is a tough subject to deal with because I have all sorts of readers – some are mature and tested, others are inexperienced or clueless.  Everyone else is in-between – mostly just trying to figure out this parenting thing as they go along. We are all different with varying levels of expertise.

Criticism can be valid, but the way it’s delivered matters.

Some never really get a handle on parenting, feeling responsible for everything that goes wrong. Some judge other parents because they think they had all the answers and did everything perfectly when in reality they just had children who were easy to raise.

Others are supportive and compassionate knowing it’s a hard job and nobody is perfect or has all the answers. They just feel blessed when their kids enter adulthood ready and able in spite of all their parenting mistakes.

Some had easy children who respected their position as parents and complied throughout. Others had strong willed children who required patience and creative parenting.

Parental Criticism {Mom of Many}

Regardless of your parenting situation – we ALL had criticism.

Here are a few that we heard throughout the years:

  • You are too easy on them.
  • You are too hard on them.
  • You need to trust them more – they will never learn responsibility if you don’t let them go.
  • You should never trust them – they are little wicked sinners looking for trouble.
  • Give them space to make mistakes – they learn from their mistakes.
  • Don’t give them an inch – they will take a mile.
  • You should never treat them all the same – they are individuals.
  • You should treat them all the same – parenting favoritism will cause bitterness.
  • You should spank them.
  • Never spank them.
  • Establish your authority early on through rules and consequences.
  • Authoritarian parental figures cause children to rebel.
  • Always address rebellion from the git-go or you will have trouble when they are teens.
  • Teenage rebellion is natural – don’t stress over it, they will grow out of it.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – pick your battles.
  • Don’t let anything go – be consistent and address everything.

Parental Criticism {Mom of Many}I could go on, but you get the picture. You will never find anyone who agrees 100% with your parenting. Goodness, there are a lot of parents who don’t agree with each other.

One word of caution here: if you and your spouse don’t agree on parenting issues, you still need to present a united front. ALWAYS support each other. That doesn’t mean you cover up or encourage abuse, that “ALWAYS support each other” comes with an asterisk.

YOU GOT THIS! {Mom of Many}

So what do you do when you or your parenting are criticized?

I have a couple of come backs that you need to memorize and apply at the proper time (or you can just smile and walk away):

  • Thanks for your suggestion – I will consider it.
  • I appreciate that you want to help, I’ll take it from here.
  • I will deal with it at home, but thanks for your concern.
  • I’m sure you mean to be helpful but your comments sound critical.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

I have a couple of snarky responses that I got from my survey today.

Sometimes people step in and don’t handle your kids correctly. A well placed few words can drive home a point where a generic response would just leave you looking incompetent. Some people just don’t get it and will continue to pick at you and your kids unless you make it clear they are to back off.

  • How’s that working out for you?
  • Was that for your benefit or theirs?
  • And you have experience in this area how?
  • Your point is?
  • Aaaannnnndddd???? (This puts them in the hot seat) Just keep saying it till they walk away.

Before you judge me to be insensitive or  accuse me of not having a Christ-like attitude, realize this: The kids are more important than the adults and sometimes people can abuse you and your children with their words. Some just don’t understand a polite, “Thank you I’ve got this covered.”

If you’ve never experienced someone lashing you with their parenting advice tongue, then I’m glad for you. But I have and it ain’t pretty. Often I let them verbally abuse me because I never gave myself permission to go into a verbal battle for my kids.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I don’t agree thaParental Criticism {Mom of Many}t you must always be polite, though that should be our first rule of Christian conduct. When raising my kids, my rule was “always be polite no matter what” and I think that was a mistake. Sometimes the mama bear needs to come out!

I was quite beat up by the time all my kids were raised – and I’m not referring to my kids. Adults who thought they knew everything (but were very deceived in their own minds) caused a lot of bitterness and anger in my kids and left me feeling defeated.

I did get some funny responses to my survey – please don’t use these, but read them anyway. They will give you a laugh:

  • If I throw a stick will you go chase it?
  • Look at them and smile and start waving at them. And then mutter (so they can hear) “Smile and wave boys, smile and wave.” (From the Penguins of Madagascar)
  • I’m busy now, can I ignore you later?
  • Shush, the adults are talking.
  • How very Ghandi of you…

These comments came from friends of mine who has raised special needs kids:

  • Most times I am pleasant and say thank you and walk away. If the people are persistent I tell them they have no clue and depending on the situation I might explain. I have told people if they think they can do better, go adopt a child with baggage and special needs and do a better job then me. I wonder if anyone ever has. If they have I would like to see them today and see if they are now more understanding or on the psych ward recovering.
  • There are those that truly think they are being helpful and then you have inconsiderate clods that probably should mind their own business. To the latter, I would be respectful but firm in my response. Don’t be bullied by rude people.

I will leave you with this one thought.

If you are criticized, listen to what they say and if what they say is true, then change. If it isn’t, then ignore it and move on. Only you can know for sure what your kids need. Trust your instincts and if you have any questions, find someone you trust and is wise and ask for help. Read parenting books, but don’t raise your kids by them. Godly friends and God’s Word were our most trusted sources back when we couldn’t find any one with answers.

Now go out and be amazing.

Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many mailing list and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff. Support is important during times of criticism. (The servers are temporarily down, so if you are interested, try later.)

MomofMany.netImages courtesy of photostock, stockimages, David Castillo Dominici, and marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Steps to Keeping a Clear Head When Life Stinks – Parenting Tip #26

Keep a clear head in crisis {Mom of Many)Don’t dwell. Dwelling is bad.

There will be times where your days and nights will be consumed with the pain and disappointment of life.

I’ve seen many families torn apart because the pain was too great – that every waking moment dwelling on the bad stuff consumed them.

We all will experience serious trials in life. We must choose how we will respond and that choice will affect every area of our lives.

I have some advice for you – a practice that I have adopted has changed my way of dealing with the hard days.

I went to the Women Counseling Women week long training with Debi Pryde and in one of her sessions she dealt with dwelling on the bad stuff.

Her advice to us?

Don’t dwell. When you have a serious situation that you need to deal with, take 5 minutes, think about it, decide what you are going to do about it or plan your next step and then let it go and get on with your day.

The dwelling is what takes control of your life. We need to leave off the dwelling and choose to live our life – not defined by our pain but defined by who we are and who we serve.

God isn’t punishing us.

God doesn’t put pain and suffering in our life to hurt or punish us. He allows trials in our life to hone us, to grow and strengthen us…though it certainly doesn’t feel like it sometimes.

If we allow the pain and stressors in life to envelope us, we will  let the pain win. We are too valuable for that. We have a job to do and we can’t do it with our two hands tied behind our back. We must be free to move forward and accomplish life – to be there for our families.

5 steps to keeping a clear head when life stinks:

  • Think over your situation for 5 minutes.
  • Decide on your next move and then put the thoughts away.
  • Purposely think on something else.
  • Follow through on your decision and once you do – take another 5 minutes to consider it.
  • Then put it behind you again.

You will be amazed how your life will improve.

Your day to day activities will be easier. You will find hope again. You will have a clearer view of your situation and feel more in control of your life.

That one truth will set you free in a way you never expected.

You all have heard the expression “Give it to God.”Keep a clear head in crisis {Mom of Many)

This is the best way to do it. When you dwell, you keep it close to you. Not only is this not healthy, it throws you in the middle of the trees where you can’t see the forest. You need to see the forest.

Now go to the mirror and say:

Val @ Mom of Many

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici and stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Christmas Traditions {Mom of Many}

Christmas Traditions – Parenting Tip #25

Christmas Traditions {Mom of Many}

Some of my best memories of growing up are of our family Christmases.

Upon waking I ran to the top of our basement steps and could see the glow of our tree. I knew I would be the last one to go down because I was the youngest – the anticipation was overwhelming!

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

For my family we had many traditions that we stuck to every year – even when they were grown up.

  • The kids would decorate the tree – I’d hand them one bulb at a time so they could hang it. We played Christmas music. After they went to bed I would always straighten the bulbs (don’t tell them!). Putting on tinsel was the fun part.
  • Christmas Eve we had the kids open one gift while we sat around the Christmas tree.
  • My DH and I would get up first and I’d get ready for the day and get some coffee. We would exchange before the kids got up.
  • When ready, I turned on Christmas music. That was the kids’ cue to come sit around the Christmas tree.
  • We would go get G’ma and she would join us with her coffee and gifts.
  • We didn’t eat breakfast right away – we would open a few gifts, one at a time. No ripping into the gifts – I wanted to see each one opened!
  • Some time during the gifting we read the Christmas story in Luke 2.
  • In an hour or so we’d break and go eat breakfast. We would have a huge bowl filled with fruit and snacks that they could grab all through the day.
  • After b’fast, we’d go back to the gifts. We took hours opening since we had so many kids. But that OK. It was fun to see each face with each gift opening.
  • We didn’t have a formal dinner because we wanted the day to be a “no work” day. The kids would enjoy their gifts throughout the day as they had free reign on the snacks.
  • Later in the day the kids “opened” their stockings.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Christmas Traditions {Mom of Many}The whole day was devoted to family. It was the one day of the year that was relaxing with few hiccups (stressful moments). I have thousands of pictures of those days. The past few years I’ve made a Christmas photo book. It truly is the best time of the year – but you have to do some prep work to make it so.

If you haven’t yet, begin your own family traditions.

It is very worth it to give your kids great memories of their growing up years.

What are your family traditions?

Do you let your kids rip into the gifts or do you open the one at a time? Let me know in the comments.

Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many mailing list and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff.


Christmas gift image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Don't fear your kids' futures - God's God This {Mom of Many}

Are you afraid of failure? Parenting Tip #24

Don't fear your kids' futures - God's God This {Mom of Many}

It’s not what you think.

I’m not about to talk about parental failure. I’m talking about our kids and their choices in life.

They might turn your world upside down – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing…

Considering all the work we put into our kids, it’s natural to think that they might consider us when making their choices.

Six months before we were married, I considered moving out into an apartment that I found in the want ads. My dad found the ad and confronted me. He said that it would “kill Mom” if I moved out. I didn’t really understand, because to me it wasn’t a big deal. I just wanted to experience life out on my own before I committed to a forever home with my future DH.

But being the dutiful daughter that I was, I nixed my plan and stayed home until our wedding day, never to mention it again. To this day I don’t even know if my dad told my mom.

That was only one of many decisions that was influenced by my concern for my parents and their opinion of me.

Silly me. I thought all my kids would be the same way.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

I hate to burst your bubble.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

If you are like me, you have this pie in the sky expectations of what you think raising a family would be like.  Come on down from those clouds and visit the real world. I live there now and it’s not so bad.

To be happy and have peace as parents, realize:

  • Our happiness does not hinge on others.
  • Our adult children have their own minds – we can’t control them nor should we.
  • We should not take our kids choices personally.
  • The worst could happen and we (with the Lord’s help) will still be OK.

And…this is the biggest bullet I can give you:

  • God can use EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that happens to grow and mature our kids.

MomofMany.netDon’t be afraid of the future for your kids. Do your best to raise them properly and then when they go out on their own, give yourself permission to let go.

They may choose a completely out of the box path, pursuing a crazy life opposite of your dreams and goals, but don’t despair.

You’ve heard that saying, “Let go and let God?” It sounds so trite. But it is true in this case.

There is a time in your kids’ lives that they will step out and become their own person. There will be mistakes. They may disappoint you, hurt you, or even ditch you. They might turn your world upside down. But don’t lose hope.

I have seen the worst situations in my kids’ lives change them in a way that I never could. Real life can make such a huge impact – so don’t fear. Give yourself a break, sit back and watch God work.

As parents we think we know the road our children should travel, but God may have other plans. Trust Him.

Remember He loves your kids more than you do.

He’s got this.

God isn’t finished with them. Or you. And that’s the truth.

Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many mailing list and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff.


Advocate for the Children {Mom of Many}

Do you attend court proceedings of your foster kids? Parenting Tip #23

Navigating the Foster Care System

Someone asked me lately how involved we got in our foster kids’ court proceedings.

My answer? V.E.R.Y.

Little lying joyful girl with ponytails and risen foots on white background

Every three months there was a court hearing for the kids.

  • We attended ALL court hearings.
  • I wrote a letter to the judge a week before updating him on the kids.
  • We talked with their court appointed lawyer before every hearing.
  • We kept in contact with the social worker asking for all updates and plans.
  • We sat with the birth parent and talked with them while we waited.
  • We contacted the Guardian Ad Litem if needed

The judge always asked if we were present and read my letter during the proceedings. He often asked for our input to clarify some of the issues.

In addition, this shows the court that the kids are being properly cared for and fulfills one of the parental duties that are missing  if they are not with their birth parents. It is amazing how much you will learn about their birth family, the foster care system and the legal system.

Advocate for the Children {Mom of Many}The case worker needs support.

The case worker most likely has a heavy case load. By attending court you are showing the worker that you are willing to put in effort and support them. One of our workers was so burned out that he actually told us he wasn’t planning to do anything for our foster kids – that court was just a formality.

He had good reason to be discouraged. He had recently fought to terminate the parents rights of a boy in foster care because he knew the birth home was dangerous.  He lost the case and the boy returned home immediately – he died that same week by parental abuse.

When we talked, we told him we would support him and even hire a lawyer if he felt the kids needed one. He accepted right away and started being more proactive.

Though we did not agree with much of the methods of the foster care agency, we remained involved through out the 2.5 years our last set of kids were in foster care. Since we were so involved, the judge felt comfortable granting the termination of parental rights.

The worker needs a plan.

Judges often won’t grant termination of parental rights if the foster care worker has no plan. 

For the most part, the courts’ goal is to reunite families – which is the proper goal. But if that is not possible, judges need to know the child will have a forever family once termination is granted.

They don’t see the point of freeing a child that will only float around in the system. There are so many kids lost in the system, waiting for a family.

If you are a foster family that would be willing to adopt your foster child if they are ever in need, get involved in every area. It’s what parents do.

What do you find to be the greatest challenge in fostering? Is it the day-to-day caring for the child, or the emotional stress?

Let me know in the comments.

Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many mailing list and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff.



Positive Reinforcement - Is your child a super sleeper? {Mom of Many}

Positive Reinforcement – Parenting Tip #22

Positive Reinforcement - Is your child a super sleeper? {Mom of Many}

It is always advantageous if our kids’ obedience is a choice on their part:

4 year old Susie: “I don’t want to eat the rest of my sandwich.”

Mom: “OK. You can finish your sandwich or eat it later and go take you nap right now. Your choice.”

4 year old Susie: “But I wanted you to read to me before nap.”

Mom: “I want to read to you too. You decide. Sandwich or bed?”

4 year old Susie: “Yes, I want to finish my sandwich.”

We all make choices and we appreciate our lives so much more if the life we are living is by our choice. As parents, we can get submission by force or by their choice. It’s so much sweeter if our kids obey by choice. If we can encourage them to do so, the better.

Mom: “Get back in bed.”

6 year old Charlie: “I want a drink of water.”

Mom: “Go to sleep, you already had water.”

6 year old Charlie: “Mom, Johnny is snoooorrrring!”

Mom: “Be quiet or you will wake your brother!”

(Morning) 6 year old Charlie: “Mom, why does Johnny get to watch cartoons and I don’t?”

Mom: “Johnny is in the Super Sleeper club. He went to bed, stayed in bed and went to sleep last night like he was told. You didn’t.”

(Night) 6 year old Charlie: “Mom, I’m going to bed tonight and I will stay in bed and go to sleep so I can be in the Super Sleeper club.”

Get Creative.

Get to know your child. Consider their sleep schedule. Know how much sleep your child needs and keep a consistent bed time. Don’t use this to keep your kids in bed out of convenience. Use it to meet their needs, establish your authority, and teach them good habits of obedience.

Use Positive Reinforcement

To help you along, I’ve made a Super Sleeper Club poster for your fridge.

Click on the Super Sleeper poster below and I will send you a full resolution JPG that you can get printed and laminated. Use a wipe off marker to write your kids’ name on it when they are a super sleeper – when they choose to be obedient at bed time.

Positive Reinforcement - Is your child a super sleeper? {Mom of Many}

When Positive Reinforcement Doesn’t Work

Some parents whether by birth or adoption will have children who do not respond to positive reinforcement. There will be times you must allow consequences to teach them or use discipline to correct bad behaviors.

Difficulties ≠ Bad Parenting

I wish I could say I always got results with positive reinforcement. But the reality is all kids are different. Some have had past experiences that color their responses. Some have learning difficulties. Some are stubborn and difficult. There is a marked difference in children’s learning styles and abilities. Do your best to learn them and go from there.

God only expects us to be faithful – to do our best. He alone can change their hearts. It’s our job to present situations to our kids to help them choose correctly. Click here to download the FREE poster.

YOU GOT THIS! {Mom of Many}

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This month’s giveaway is two pair of earrings – one for you and one to give as a Christmas gift. To enter your name in the drawing, watch your inbox (if you have joined our M.O.M. group).

Val @ Mom of Many





How well do you supervise your older kids? {Mom of Many}

How well do you supervise your older kids? Parenting Tip #21


I hear comments occasionally from parents who think they are obligated to give their kids complete privacy…um no, I never did.


How well do you supervise your older kids? {Mom of Many}

They don’t:

  • look through their kids’ stuff.
  • check up on them to make sure they are where they are supposed to be.
  • find out who their friends are or who they hang with.
  • talk often with teachers and coaches.
  • require accountability with schoolwork, school and church activities or how they spend their free time.

Adding to that they:

  • give their kids phones without any accountability.
  • let them go to homes of people they don’t know.
  • allow dating at an early age.
  • allow unsupervised internet browsing.
  • allow unlimited gaming or other “fun” that could turn into time wasting or obsession.

Moms! One way we protect our kids is by supervision.

  • I knew all of my kids’ friends.
  • I knew where they were at all times (unless of course, they were sneaky about it – but I eventually found out).
  • We didn’t allow sleep overs at other homes (We learned that lesson quickly).
  • We didn’t allow them to own cell phones.
  • We often looked through their rooms.
  • There was never any Internet browsing and any computer time was limited and supervised (out in the open, never in their rooms).

Granted, I had some “interesting children” but I only went to extremes when necessary. Otherwise, we made it clear to all of our kids that as long as they were living under our roof during the years we are responsible for them, there was to be no expected privacy. (Except for obvious personal time).

We didn’t allow dating – at all.

Supervise your kids! {Mom of Many}

We did encourage good friendships. I told them you can’t necessarily control your feelings but you can control what you do about them.

One year we had a child in our home for a Christmas visit that would call our boys into the bathroom and shut the door to whisper ideas of badness. Oh boy did we had trouble with a capital “T”. It led to some pretty bad behavior and attitudes. We squelched the activity, but a little too late.

Don’t make the same mistake we did. By the time we knew something was up, it was too late.

Supervise. Supervise. S.U.P.E.R.V.I.S.E.

  1. Do your best to limit your kids’ exposure to troubled kids. Ever heard of “rebel radar?”
  2. Watch for whisperings and plotting if you have “interesting kids.”
  3. Keep a good line of communication open to get a feel for your kids’ attitude and experiences.
  4. You want your kids to know you are watching them – be ever present. Be around. Be present.
  5. Watch. See. Ponder. Ask. Be involved. Be present. Be wise. Be open and obvious.
  6. Listen to that small still inner voice – If you are a believer, it’s the Holy Spirit warning you!

This is what my DD said about our supervision during her growing up years: “Paying attention to who your kids hang out with… It annoyed me when I was younger – you paying attention to who I hung out with so much…(now she says) but good job!”

Do you supervise? Do you get criticized by others about how much you supervise? We were criticized by some saying we didn’t criticize enough (though I can’t imagine anyone supervising more than I did) and we were criticized that we supervised too much. Only you know your child best and only you can decide how much is needed. Each child is different and you have to parent differently for each child – yep, you guessed it. We were criticized for that too.

The thing is…I have complete confidence that I did all I could to bring them up right. I don’t stress over my part, don’t doubt or even look back and wish I had done more. You too can be that confident!

Until next time,

Val @ Mom of Many

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Grammie dates are the bomb! {Mom of Many}

Grammie dates are the bomb! Parenting Tip #20

I have four local grandkids and love love L.O.V.E. every minute I have with them. I find that I enjoy having them individually as well as in different combinations.

Grammie dates are the bomb! {Mom of Many}To have them separately helps me get to know them individually rather than how they are in a “group.”

It helps them get to know me better. The third and fourth, etc. don’t get the advantages of alone time with Grammie like the first and second did.

Here are some ideas for one-on-ones:

  • Invite just one to spend the night and have them keep track of who’s turn is next. It’s good time to watch an extra long movie, snuggle, and share munchies.
  • Plan a time to take them out on a date and let them choose where you go. Just dropping by without planning in advance (ask their mom first, secretly) and inviting them out is fun. I usually ask where they want to go eat and what stores or activities they want to do. A typical date is lunch at a restaurant, off to Walmart to pick out a dollar or two toy and then over to look at the pets at Petsmart.
  • Hire them to help you at your house do a job like landscaping or cleaning out the basement (with you). They learn to help Grammie (preparing for the older years) and can gain the satisfaction of earning some pocket change (don’t pay them a lot, just enough to give them a taste of earning $).
  • Have them over to learn to cook or work out in the garden.
  • Revive some of the lost arts like crocheting or sewing.
  • Do some DIY together. My grandson and I love to create. Our  next project is a fairy garden.
  • Take them out Christmas shopping for their mom and dad. How often do little ones have a gift for their parents that one of the parents didn’t have to plan? Our DD gives each of them a dollar or two and we go to the dollar store to pick out gifts. That way they can practice gift giving without much financial loss if their gifts are goofy! Let them choose what they want to give for a gift (with a little guidance).
  • If they are older, try movies, trips to the mall and even church or school activities. Take a granddaughter to get a manicure or change up her hairstyle.

You will be amazed how a little one-on-one will improve your relationship.

They feel special and you get to talk and interact with them alone. It creates a desire to be with you. This is the greatest benefit. To be loved is one thing. To be wanted is even better.

It’s the bomb.

Do you have any ideas to add? Leave me a comment!


Join the Mom of Many mailing list for tips on parenting and free stuff like word art and giveaways. You will also be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff.

Val @ Mom of Many


Dress Your Kids for Winter {Mom of Many}

Does cold weather make our kids sick? Parenting Tip #19

Dress Your Kids for Winter {Mom of Many}

My mom always told me that if my kids weren’t dressed warm enough they would catch a cold.

We would laugh at her because we know cold weather doesn’t produce a virus. But what does it do? Does it do anything?

We know that cold weather can affect a person with a weak immune system, but the cold in itself doesn’t cause a cold.

When my kids had some sort of lung or throat issues, I would bundle them up and have them go out in the cold and breathe deeply for a couple of minutes to let the cold attack the virus. It worked well. The coldness can kick our immune system up a notch. BUT, be careful they don’t get chilled or stay out long.

There are instances where being out in the dry cold air can open us up to illness if we breathe through our mouth.

Asthmatics can also have a bad reaction to the cold. We had to be careful to cover our asthmatic kids’ mouths when going out in the cold to help avoid the cold hitting their lungs.

Can the Cold Give You a Cold? is an interesting article that explains more. I liked it because it confirmed everything we did as parents – convenient, no?

Please follow these simple rules this winter:

  • Dress your kids like you would dress yourself. If you wear a sweater, then put one on your kids. If you wear a coat, put a coat on your kids.
  • If you have the kids wear a scarf, please tuck it into the coat. Too many strangle by getting the scarf caught!
  • If you use those cool little car seat covers for baby, make sure you don’t leave the top zipped up for long – some babies are having SIDs events.
  • If you don’t have a car seat cover, throw a blanket over your baby when going from the house to the car and from the car to the store. Rushes of cold air are upsetting to babies!
  • Consider your kids’ comfort. If it’s cold outside, have them wear hats and gloves.
  • If you have trouble getting boots over your kids’ shoes (you know, the type that are rubber and covers the shoe?), put a store bag over their foot with shoe on and it will slide right in, easy peasey. It will also help keep their feet dry if the boots leak!

Dress Your Kids for Winter {Mom of Many}Some moms say their kids object to wearing coats.

They are uncomfortable in the car or too much of a hassle to put on the coat, hat, scarf, gloves, boots, etc. Regardless of their complaints, have them dress appropriately. You can always let them take their coats off in the car, but then you’ll need to insist they put them back on when they get out of the car.

I even followed this with my teens – the boys tended to “forget” their coats. I made them crazy by insisting they go get them before we left. What can I say? I was persistent!

If you are consistent and persistent, eventually it will become habit.

They will know enough to put their stuff on when appropriate. Sometimes it’s work to be a parent, but your kids are worth it. Just do it.

I liked to follow the “better safe than sorry” approach. Go the extra mile. Put their needs ahead of their wants this winter.

Do you have anything to add to my list?


Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many mailing list for tips on parenting and free stuff like word art and giveaways. You will also be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff.


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