momstown Edmonton South owners Kristin and Janine provide a great perspective on why we all need to strive to be more empathetic parents and friends. It's easy to judge, and yep, we all do it. But when you're on the receiving end, things look a little different. Read what they have to say after years of watching moms and kids interact.
I had to write this post after a conversation recently with another mom, who said she rarely came out to events because she doesn't want to be the mom with "that kid." I understood what she meant and I do know "that kid."
"That kid" pushes, cries, takes toys, hits, throws tantrums, pulls hair, screams, runs away, and gets into everything. I'd be hard pressed to find one kid that does all of these things at a single event. But I've seen every momstown kid display at least one of these behaviors (including my own) at one time or another.
Guess what? We all have "that kid." No one has a perfect child and not one of us claims to be a perfect parent.
Moms. If your kid is driving you nuts—get him out of the house. Whether she misbehaves at a momstown event or at home, at least you get some sanity-saving conversation and a little bit of a break. I know it can be embarrassing to have "that kid." But at least you aren't at the grocery store getting glares from people who don't understand. You'll be surrounded by other moms that have "that kid" too and no one is judging you, your child or how you deal with it. momstown is about more than just entertaining your kids. We want to support you. We want you to connect with your community. We want you to know you are not alone. The best way to get the most out of momstown is to just jump in—even on the cranky days ; )
Have you ever felt like you had 'that kid'?
With the 2012 Summer Olympics behind us, many kids may be newly inspired by the champions they saw on TV. And back to school brings with it a big parks and rec guide in many towns and cities across Canada. As we peruse the guide (they are offering fencing in my town now!) we tend to think back to what inspired us as kids to take part in and try out new sports and activities. momstown Oakville owner Kelly has some great memories of her hockey career that just might inspire her own kids!
They say the odds of becoming an Olympian are 1 in a million. Wow! It really is a special group of people that have committed themselves to this journey and have the dedication to succeed. But I think that if you think about it, you'll find a time when you competed like an Olympian or at least competed in your version of the Olympics.
When you watch an athlete win a medal or have a personal best, you can see the excitement, the passion and the gratitude that passes over their face. It's heart warming and it brings tears to your eyes. You can feel their joy through the television screen! Have you ever been in a situation like that?
When I was in high school, I played on the girls hockey team. In grade 11 we were having an exceptional season and made it to the city finals. It was a best of five series. We got to game five. At the end of game five, it was a tie game. We went into overtime. First it was 30 minutes of regular play, still tied. Then it was 4-on-4, still tied. We went down to 3-or-3. I was lucky enough to be on the ice. I was physically exhausted but adrenaline had kicked in. We all had our hearts in our throat. Three minutes in to the 3-on-3 play...
GOAL! I had passed the puck to my team mate and she put the puck in the net!
The three of us on the ice were hugging and jumping up and down and what felt like only seconds later were being mobbed by the rest of our team mates. I had never felt so good! It was incredible to feel such a high after accomplishing something we had worked so hard for. It's still one of my best memories. That was my Olympic moment.
I trained and practiced for eight months for that win. The Olympic athletes train for years for their shot at a medal. I can only imagine the pressure, the anxiety and the nerves are a million times more than what I felt but that the flood of emotions that come after a good performance would be overwhelming and all consuming to a level that far surpasses what I felt. The whole country would be celebrating with you!
Whether it was an athletic performance, a business experience, a travelling experience or something else, have you had an Olympic type moment in your life? How will it inspire you to share the excitement of sports with your kids?
It's back-to-school time, and back to routines and schedules. It might be a good time to introduce (or re-introduce!) the concept of chores and responsibilities in your house, too! momstown Mississauga owner Sarah is the mom of twins, so she gets double the chores done at her house (right?... well, read on to find out!)
I grew up in a household where I had to do chores and it's a life lesson I really want to share with my kids. Helping around the house as well as having a positive attitude when you are asked to do something teaches responsibility. It's also part of creating a solid home environment where kids know what is expected of them and where they can learn the importance of working together with the rest of the family.
Now of course, the chores and expectations have to be age-appropriate (for a great list of ideas, click here). With toddlers, you can get them to help pick up their toys or throw items of clothing into the hamper. As your kids get older, you can introduce other helpful household activities like putting food in the garbage, sweeping or helping plant things in the garden. Patience is a must. If the chore is something new, it is important to teach your kids how to do it—and you might need to show them a few times. From making their own beds to starting the dishwasher, show the skills you want your children to learn. In the beginning their efforts might take a little longer and might not be enough to get the job done 100% (try to resist redoing it later!) but they are still learning valuable lessons and hopefully having some fun at the same time. It's the effort that counts!
There are varying opinions out there on how to reward kids for helping out around the house. Some parents opt to award stars or stickers on a helper chart. Others go the more traditional allowance route - which doesn't always work for small kids who have no real understanding of the value of money. Money however can be a great motivator for older children who might want to save for a new bike or toy. In our house, we have adopted what I call the "Marble Jar" system. A good friend shared this idea with me, so now I wanted to share with all of you!
Each of my twins has their own jar. They are rewarded for doing good; things such as sharing, being nice, doing what is asked the first time and helping in our daily lives, loading their dishes into the dishwasher, clearing the table, putting laundry in the basket unasked etc. I usually award one marble per good deed or specific chore. Once the jar is full, they can cash in for a treat! Something fun, like going for ice cream or a dollar store trip where they can pick out an item. It has been really a good way to motivate them to work together and teach them to appreciate how much work goes into our daily lives!
Some days the kids are going to be less enthusiastic about doing chores than others (I think we all have those days even as adults). I have found when that happens, if I offer a choice of 'age appropriate' activities where they can help, it can make all the difference. Make a list of everything that might need to be done (or write them out individually on little cards) and let them pick one or two that they would like to do (either randomly without seeing what is on the cards, or taking turns choosing based on preference). If you have more than one child, you can get them to work together on a chore. This can help them learn more about teamwork and that being part of a team can get things done faster! I wanted to add too that I do not ever take the marbles away. Removal of marbles is not used as a punishment -they are strictly to reinforce good behaviour and never feature in any accountabilities for mischief or misdeeds.
Do you have any fun things you do with your kids to reward good behaviour or being helpful around the house? What activities do your kids help with around your home?