Who Is Raising Your Kids?

When I first started working with children as a preschool teacher, I was amazed at the different dynamics of parenting. I noticed that almost all of the parents who dropped off their children were teary-eyed and reluctant to leave their young kids for several hours a day. Then there were others who quickly pushed their child into the classroom and left with merely a simple “goodbye”.

In retrospect, I was a parent that fell into the first category as I dropped my son off at his kindergarten class with an instructor that was quick to reassure me everything will be fine. As a parent I was hesitant to leave my child with a stranger in a room full of other small strangers. But as an educator, I knew that I had to put my trust into the school and the instructors who were teaching my son.

Years later, I noticed that parenting has changed quite a lot. Whether it’s just a natural process of the changing of times or outside influences, it seems that parents have become incredibly reliant on schools and education systems to “raise” their children. Now, you might shake your head and raise a finger in disagreement. But through years of working with young children the dynamics of parenting certainly has changed. While parents still hold the responsibility of dropping their children off at school and picking them up after, do they really wonder what goes on while their kids are at school? Or do parents just trust that teachers and administrators are doing all they can to teach their children? After all, your kids are at school at least 6 hours a day, every day of the week so there has to be a lot of trust for the teachers right?

Well, right in a way, but wrong in the sense that your child’s teachers are not at school to raise your child. They are there to mostly educate them on basic skills necessary to succeed into higher learning. While most teachers are sort of a surrogate parent, it is not their responsibility to teach your child manners nor discipline them. Teachers do however, have the responsibility that your child learns all that they can in a manner that will help them succeed in the future. While discipline is a natural progression of a classroom setting and proper manners and behavior are expected while at school, many parents have left disciplining of their children solely onto the teachers.

While the past couple of years certainly hadn’t been easy for teachers or parents, some students across America are still struggling to get back “into the groove” of schoolwork. Parents became teachers in a sense while schools were shut down and later moved to a hybrid system. But as schools open up, teachers are back to a full or semi-full curriculum. That leaves most of these teachers trying to cram everything in for the next few weeks until end of school.

As parents, we can all do our part to make it smoother for educators, our children, and for ourselves. This can only happen when we have an open communication with our school and our kids. Below I’ve listed 5 Steps we can take to make the next few weeks safer, calmer, and easier.

Raising Our Kids:

1- Start with MOTIVATION at home. When parents motivate their kids to learn they are giving their children the encouragement to succeed, no matter what age, grade, or stage in learning. If you find motivating a bit difficult at times, even simple words such as, “you can do this”, “do the best you can,” or “we can learn from our mistakes” can help keep the spirits up for both child and parent.

2- Find STRENGTH in your child. Find an area in which your child excels and focus on it. Whether it’s an academic or casual setting, you can help build your child’s self-esteem by highlighting what they’re better at. From there, you can motivate them to try harder and further by expanding what they’ve learned.

3- COMMUNICATE with their teachers. You will hardly find an educator that doesn’t want their student to succeed. But when your child comes home telling you they’re not learning much in class, then that’s a red flag something else is happening. Schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher if your child is failing in school or having a lot of difficulties. If there are no learning disabilities, then your child’s teacher should be able to go over their lessons and expectations in class.

4- Resist PRESSURE. In a world where college degrees are highly sought after, it’s no wonder that students and parents feel a lot of pressure. Determine why you are pressuring your child to succeed if they are failing or having difficulties. It could be something personal or school related. Ease up a bit until things are smoother and try to work together on a system that works for them.

5- LEARN at home. Your child’s home should be their safest place to be. It’s also the best place to reinforce the love of learning. If children see that their parents and siblings love to learn (no matter the skill), then they too will see that as a positive influence in their lives.

For more information on guiding your kids through education, check out: https://www.greatschools.org/

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

*photos courtesy of Vecteezy.com and cartoonstock.com

Earth-Friendly Mother’s Day Ideas!

Repost Mother’s Day article.

This year and last year were pretty difficult years for moms across the world. Moms were teachers, principals, nurses, fixers, lawyers, and of course, the main parent that every child comes to when they need something! So this Mother’s Day, let’s give moms and the mother figures in our lives some extra appreciation.

When we think of Mom, images of laughter in the sun, skipping hand in hand, and a kitchen filled with the most amazing aroma conjures in our heads. Nothing is as special as your mother or even being a mother. So this year for Mother’s Day, I’ve come up with some easy and earth-friendly ways of celebrating mom. Whether you’re celebrating your mother, grandmother, aunt, or a woman who raised you, there are some clever and innovative ways to honor her without breaking the bank or the planet. These are all simple to do with your kids and if you want to send these ideas to your spouse so they can craft these ideas to present to you, then go right along!

Aside from the common flowers and cards to give mom for Mother’s Day, let’s spice it up a bit by giving these gifts an extra sparkle while also helping out our other “mother” – Earth. Below are some fun and creative ideas to get the engine running, while also keeping it simple and classic.

MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS:

– Upcycle gifts. An easy, lovely, and eco-friendly way of giving back to your mom is by upcycling your everyday items. Your mom will appreciate your ingenuity and your talent for saving money! Find some gently-used craft paper, copy paper, or newspapers and turn them into handmade flowers. You can either make them into origami flowers or cut them into flower shapes. Some great ideas can be found here: https://www.origamiway.com/origami-flowers.shtmlhttps://www.marthastewart.com/274777/paper-flowers?slide=3427052, https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/paper-flower-craft/. Take old clothing and turn them into purses, book covers, or grocery bags. And upcycle bottles and cans into adorable and useful containers. You can find tons of ideas online, but here is one that has some super cute ideas for upcycling bottles: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/723038915155498106/.

– All-natural bath bombs. Bath bombs are one of those gifts that are easily enjoyed but people don’t tend to buy for themselves. I get them as gifts quite often but I also like to make them to give as gifts. Bath bombs don’t necessarily have to be used in the bath tub because you can toss them into the bottom of the shower floor and they will evaporate in the hot steam while you’re showering! Here’s a recipe for Lavender Bath Bomb but you can add any flowers/herbs or essential oils to your bath bomb. Find out what your mom likes and include them in the scents.

– Mini Herb Garden. Who doesn’t like fresh herbs, right? Especially when you have a tabletop version in the kitchen or on the windowsill outside. Start with some super easy and super useful herbs such as Sage, Thyme, Mint, Lemon Balm, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, and Oregano. All of these herbs can be used for culinary and medicinal purposes. You can either start with seeds and plant ahead of time (some grow into seedlings fairly quickly) or buy small plants and plant them into adorable planters (perhaps you can even use your upcycled planter!).

– Indoor plants. Studies have shown that certain indoor plants can improve air quality in your home. Certain plants such as Ferns, Bamboo, and Dracaena all have health benefits that can improve your mom’s mood and keep your home free of air pollutants and allergens. You can find these type of plants at your local nursery or online.

– Chore Wish. Ask your mom ahead of time or create your own chore list. Depending on the age of the child, pick chores that they can easily do, such as sweeping the yard, washing dishes, or folding clothes. Your mom will REALLY appreciate the effort you put in and be thankful for taking some extra chores off her hands. Create a wish list on a colorful chart and have your mom check it off as you go.

– Recycled materials. Give mom gifts made from recycled materials. You can find tons of useful and wonderful items such as pretty grocery bags (find sturdy and elegant ones from Whole Foods Market and online), journals made from recycled paper, and clothing made from recycled materials.

– Vegan and/or vegetarian brunch. Give mom the gift of good health and good taste. Vegan and vegetarian food are no longer just salads and crudites. Vegan options are food that are not made with animals or animal by products. Vegetarian food can include eggs and dairy, but just not animal meat or seafood. Check out some of these healthy and delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes: https://www.cookinglight.com/food/vegetarian/vegan-recipes

– Flowers from the garden. If your mom already has a beautiful and bountiful flower garden, then trim some of her favorite flowers to put into an elegant vase. If not, then buy organically grown flowers – organic flowers are not sprayed with toxic pesticides and are healthier for the earth. You can even put the flowers in one of your recycled containers to make it even more unique!

Whatever you decide to do this Mother’s Day, do it with all of your heart and kindness. Your mom after all, worked hard to raise you and teach you all the life lessons that you need to know.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

*photos courtesy of HGTV and CookingLight

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

What We Learn From Our Planet Loving Kids

*** Stay tuned as I’ll be announcing the winner of the Plaine Products Hand Sanitizer Set!

When it comes to caring about certain things in our universe, look to the children first. You can ask them what their favorite animal is, or their favorite color, or even their favorite food and they’ll immediately go into a lengthy diatribe of why they love that particular thing. But ask them if they love their planet, you’ll most likely get a quick head nod. Add in the fact that the planet is full of nature such as flowers, butterflies, and dolphins, and you’ll immediately get an enthusiastic smile.

Earth Day was on April 22 and many schools across the world celebrated and honored Mother Earth. Students from kindergarten to middle school were able to learn something about the planet and what we need to do to preserve it. I was talking to a couple of kindergarteners and one in particular came up to me and said with a toothy grin, “Happy Earth Day! You must reduce, reuse, recycle!.” How precious is that? All I could think of was wow, a child as young as 5 or 6 years old was so enthusiastic about saving the planet. Did she understand what those words meant? You bet I asked her and we got into a brief one-sided conversation – with her mostly telling me what she thought the words meant. I knew her classroom was learning about Earth Day, but for someone as young as her to really understand the meaning and to practically preach about protecting the environment was quite a delight!

Kids are pretty amazing and unique. Through all my years of working with children, there is rarely a day where I don’t meet an amazing student. And through all the difficulties of raising children or even teaching them, if you open your eyes and ears to what they say and do, you’d find that kids are truly the heart of our future.

But why are children more interested in helping the environment than adults? As an adult, I recall my childhood where I learned about the environment and the planet from mostly my parents and a few teachers. Children are like sponges and they’ll soak up whatever is around them, be it good or bad. When I talk to my Green Team students about the environment, most of them have a general knowledge of what they should do. And most of the time, they are interested to learn more and to do more. That is what amazes me the most – the fact that they actually want to do something progressive in helping the planet.

We can certainly learn a lot from kids. As an adult, we usually tend to just brush off their comments. But if we truly want to learn from what children can offer then we must listen to their words. Below I’ve listed some suggestions on how to talk kids about the environment and get the conversation going.

  • Teach by example. Children can learn by emulating what we do so it’s important to show them that we also care about the environment.

  • Ask open-ended questions. Start the conversation going on how they feel about their planet.

  • Make suggestions. Suggest to kids how to care about the planet. Examples would be to plant more trees or start their own garden at home, or pick up trash around their neighborhood, or make signs around their schools to raise awareness of climate changes.

  • Allow kids to use their own creativity on how they want to help the planet.  Kids can offer great ideas of their own that we can apply to.

  • Give them the right tools. Have age appropriate books about helping the planet as well as any authentic online resources. Companies such as The Environmental Working Group: www.ewg.org and Keep America Beautiful: https://kab.org/  are great sites to start with.

  • Volunteer with local or statewide environmental groups. Depending on the ages of your children, there are many great non-profit organizations they can volunteer for.

In the end, our children are our future and the future of what our world will be. Kindness to others and the planet is the overall achievement we should all try to reach for.

*photos courtesy of kidsgardening.org

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

Earth Month GIVEAWAY with Plaine Products!

All through Earth Month (April) I will be highlighting some wonderful brands that are doing good for the planet and people. With the rising awareness of climate change around the world now is a great time to support companies who are giving back to the planet. My own personal journey to switching out single-use plastic to more sustainable materials has truly opened my eyes to just how much single-use plastics we have gone through in my household. My family has also gone through the journey with me and I am constantly growing and learning new concepts, ideas, and companies that are helping the planet.

***Please read through to the end for details on how to enter and the official rules.

Today, I’d like to highlight one of the best eco-friendly company in the US: Plaine Products. Plaine Products is an all-natural, environmentally friendly, sustainably packaged beauty and health products brand. Founded by two sisters who personally experienced the devastation of plastics and waste, they decided to form a new eco-friendly brand focused entirely on reducing waste. At Plaine Products, you have the ability and control in how you use and dispose your products. With the opportunity for consumers to buy a refill bottle and send old bottles and caps back, this circular recycling opportunity ensures your products are always reusable by you.

PLAINE PRODUCTS ARE:

  • Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicone, and palm oil

  • Blended with whole essential oils (instead of synthetic fragrance)

  • Vegan and non GMO ingredients

  • Designed to biodegrade

  • Baby safe and hypoallergenic

  • Cruelty Free, Leaping Bunny certified

  • Free of single-use plastic

  • Carbon Neutral

In collaboration with Plaine Products, I am hosting a GIVEAWAY during Earth Month. The prize will be a Hand Sanitizer gift set (1- 16oz and 1- 2.5oz) sent to the winner. Please read through to the end for details on how to enter and the official rules.

OFFICIAL ENTRY:

1- Subscribe to my blog: www.happymomblogger.com (this is a must-do)

2- Follow me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/scgmama and Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/happymomblogger. (You can follow me on both or at least one platform.) In the Comments section (of this blog post), enter your social media handle (example: @happymomblogger, etc.)

3- Follow Plaine Products on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/PlaineProducts/  and Twitter: https://twitter.com/PlaineProducts (follow on both or at least one platform).

4- Like my Giveaway post on Instagram and/or Twitter.

5- Tell me what you can do to help the environment (on Instagram or Twitter). Be sure to tag me and Plaine Products.

EASY AND DONE! GOOD LUCK AND THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING!

Contest Disclosure:

Giveaway starts on Monday, April 12 and ends on Friday, April 23 (12 am PST). Contest is hosted by Happymomblogger and sponsored by Plaine Products. Contest is open to residents of US only. 18 years and older please. Only 1 contestant per household please. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of prize. Any violation of the rules will deem your entry as disqualified. Contest and prize is not associated with WordPress, Instagram, and Twitter and they are not held responsible. One winner will be chosen at random at random.org. Winner will be contacted via Instagram or Twitter, depending on your entry and winner has 48 hours to claim prize or another winner will be selected. Happymomblogger and Plaine Products are not held responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged products but will do everything possible to make it right. No purchase necessary to win. Void where prohibited by law.

***Be sure to check out my Ambassador Codes tab for an extra 20% off!

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

10 Easy Swaps for Earth Month

When I was a child and living at home, I’d see my mom save glass jars from food she brought back from the market. I didn’t really understand the need to save those glass jars but soon I’d see those cleaned out jars hold other unique stuff. She made pickled vegetables and stored them in the jars or turned them into drinking glasses or flower vases. I realized that there was an abundant uses for glass jars and that there are numerous ways to reuse something you already have.

Reducing or eliminating the need to buy something out of convenience is the best way in reducing waste and helping our planet. If we all do just one small act to help the environment, we are already going on a better path to cleaner air and less waste in our landfills.

Below I’ve listed 10 easy ways to make small changes to help the planet. Whether you believe in climate change or not, we can all agree that we want to live on a cleaner planet.

10 EASY SWAPS FOR EARTH MONTH:

1- Swap out single-use plastic bottles for reusable water bottles. Buying a reusable water bottle saves you money on buying single-use plastic water bottles. Plus you are eliminating unnecessary plastics in landfills.

2. Swap out single-use plastic sandwich bags for silicone or paper sandwich bags. These handy reusable bags last for many years and are compostable.

3. Swap out grocery store bags with reusable bags. Store grocery bags are usually made from a material that is not recyclable. It’s best to invest in a better quality reusable grocery bag or tote.

4. Swap out store-bought herbs and plant your own herb garden. Planting your own garden helps you have fresh herbs on hand and it reduces your carbon footprint by buying in stores.

5. Swap out polyester materials with eco-friendly materials. Materials made from organic cotton, repurposed cotton, and TENCEL are great alternatives, plus they wear well!

6. Swap out driving a short distance to get groceries to walking to the stores. If you’re within walking distance to a store, then try walking there to reduce carbon dioxide made by cars.

7. Swap out packaged produce to picking your own produce at a farmer’s market or a free-standing produce rack. The plastic packaging wrapped around produce is truly unnecessary.

8. Swap out plastic utensils and use reusable stainless steel or bamboo utensils. Just say “NO” when you’re offered plastic utensils. It’s easy to bring your own or use your own utensils.

9. Swap out new books with used books. Yes, that new book smell is quite delightful! But gently used books keep the circular recycling effective.

10. Swap out the need to recycle by reducing and reusing. Follow the 5 “R’s” and you’re on the path to reduce plastic use! Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.

We can all do our part to make our planet healthier and cleaner. We all wish to breathe cleaner air and let nature reset itself so that our planet can stay healthy for many generations. Try doing at least one of these swaps and you’ll soon see a difference.

***Be sure to check out my Ambassador Codes tab for some great discounts! And stay tuned for next week’s posts for an AWESOME Eco-friendly prize!

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

Get Ready for Earth Month! – Giveaways and Actions

It’s been over 50 years since the first Earth Day movement began. April 22 marks the official Earth Day, but people around the world are starting early in the month of April, and so can you.

What’s so special about Earth Day and Earth Month? It is an especially important movement where we must do all that we can to protect and preserve our precious planet. Think of Earth as your body. You do what you can to protect your body and your health. The same should be for our planet.

Whether you believe in science or just figuring things out yourself, it’s pretty evident with the drastic climate changes happening throughout the years. We live in the world of convenience and the need to have things conveniently at our fingertips threaten the future of a healthy environment.

But how do we help the planet? First, by acknowledging that we all live on Earth and it’s not a “someone else can save the environment”. Yes, other people certainly can, but if you do just one small step to help the environment, what harm can that cause you?

During Earth Month, please join me with activities that we can do to better understand the environment crisis. I’ll also showcase brands and companies that are doing good for the environment and offer some great giveaways! Today, let’s start with how you can learn more about earth-friendly activities.

EASY EARTH-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS:

  • Join or host a local cleanup. This is one of the easiest way to help the environment and your community. You can do it by yourself or with some friends. Make sure you do it safely by wearing personal protection equipment such as gloves and masks. Visit earthday.org for cleanup activities in your area: https://cleanup.earthday.org/

  • Plant an edible garden. Being in nature connects us to a feeling of serenity and peace. When you give your children their own little spot in the yard to grow some food, you’re giving them lifelong skills. Try planting carrots, strawberries, herbs, and anything that are in season. Try to buy organic or Non-GMO seeds/plants when possible.

  • Plant a pollinator garden. Pollinators such as bees and butterflies help pollinate our food. More than 35% of our food are provided by bees. And flowering plants are a delightful treat for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

  • Show your love and support for our planet by coloring in the Earth template below. Place your colored Earth on your windows and show the world how much you care about our planet.

  • Donate to charity. Gather your kids and decide on what you want to donate.  Donating your gently used items such as clothing and toys help keep the circular recycling going. You can donate either to a local donation center, church, or a school clothing program.

  • Nature walk. If you’re fortunate to live near forests and parks, then take your kids out on a nature walk. Appreciate the natural air, the voluminous trees, and the beautiful plants around you.

Follow me along this Earth Month journey this year! My next post will be a fabulous eco-friendly gift prize! Be sure to subscribe and stay tuned!

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm