Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Visiting Friends and Family Who Do Not Have Children

Portrait of Four Young Mothers with Their Babies

When you go out with young children you have to make sure you have everything you need for them, such as the diaper bag with extra clothes and snacks.  My husband and I have three young children with one on the way.  When we go visit my parents and my in-laws it's great because they have gates, toys for the children to play with and a high chair for when it's time to eat.  Visiting friends with young children is great too.  Not only can the children play with each other, you don't have to worry about anything because they already have everything you need and it gives you a chance to interact with other adults.

It can be challenging when you have small children and visit people who do not have small children.  Not only do you have to pack almost your entire house with you, but you have to constantly run after them because of the lack of baby proofing, especially if they have a lot of stairs.  Obviously, it's understandable why people without small children don't want to baby proof their house because they don't need to.  It doesn't mean you're not going to visit them anymore, it just means you have to make sure you're prepared.  We went to a family dinner a couple of days ago and we had to leave early and miss dinner because we forgot to bring a portable high chair for our 18 month old.  When it was time to eat she wouldn't sit still and was constantly running around.  They have a big house with a lot of stairs so we had to block her from the stairs and we were afraid she would break something.  Let's just say it was a nightmare.  We decided we're going to leave a portable high chair in the minivan at all times so we're always prepared. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Magic of Christmas

Gifts in front of Christmas tree

Christmas is a special time of year.  The malls are packed with people buying Christmas presents and the streets are lined with houses decorated with Christmas lights.  My husband and I enjoy taking a drive with our children to admire all the Christmas decorations while listening to Christmas music.  Our children get excited when they see all the lights.  Christmas is about spending time with loved ones and being grateful for what you have.  It's great when your children wake up Christmas morning and their faces light up when they see all the presents under the Christmas tree.  Eating Christmas dinner with family and enjoying yummy treats. 

Christmas is about more than giving and receiving Christmas gifts.  It's about the birth of Jesus Christ.  Even though nobody really knows the actual day Jesus Christ was born, we celebrate it on Christmas day.  Some people like to go to church during the Christmas season.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours and many Blessings!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tobogganing With Your Children

Parents with their son and daughter sliding down a hill on a toboggan

Sunday afternoon we wanted to do something fun with our children, so we bought a couple of sleds and took our children tobogganing.  We found a toboggan hill that wasn't that big or steep, so it was perfect for our children.  There were a lot of people there. 

Tobogganing with our children brought back a lot of memories of when I was a child.  I used to love tobogganing.  I remember getting excited whenever it snowed.  Our six year old and four year old had a blast.  Our eighteen month old wanted to do what her older sisters were doing, but we didn't feel comfortable putting her on a sled.  My husband decided to go down one time with her and she loved it.  I'm six months pregnant, so I didn't go down the hill, but I had fun watching our children have a good time.  

Tobogganing is a great winter outdoor family activity.  It's a good way to keep your children active and it's fun.  To make it safer for your little ones, just avoid big or steep icy hills.  If you decide to go down a more challenging hill, it's a good idea to wear a helmet.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our Six Year Old Teenager

Girl Looking Glamorous

We have a six year old teenager.  She likes to wear jewellery and her clothes always have to match.  I pick out her clothes every morning, but sometimes it's a battle as she wants to wear a skirt with tights instead of pants.  She likes her hair done a certain way and she likes to wear lip gloss and do her nails.  I don't let her wear lip gloss that often though because our four year old likes to wear it too and she puts too much on, which can get messy.  Usually, they only wear nail polish for a special occasion like a birthday party or during the summer.  Some of the things our six year old says make her sound older.  For example, my sister and my niece were visiting on the weekend and our six year old was going to the basement.  My niece asked her where she was going and our six year old said "figure it out." We all started laughing.  She didn't say it in a rude way, but it sounded funny coming from her as she sounded like a teenager.  

Where do young children learn these things?  I think children are exposed to external influences such as the media, advertising and stereotypes.  I think our six year old sees a lot of the older girls at her school and wants to be cool like them.  In my opinion, children are growing up faster than they did when I was younger.  Our six year old has told me more than once that she wants to be older, and I always tell her to enjoy being a kid and not to worry about growing up too fast.

I think the best thing for parents to do is to always communicate with their children.  Protect them from bad influences, but at the same time don't shelter them too much and explain things to them as they get older.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Taking Your Children to the Movies

A family watching a movie

Usually, around the age of three or four, children are able to sit and watch a movie.  At that age most children have the patience to sit in one place for a decent amount of time, but of course each child is different.  If your children can sit through a movie or show at home, they'll most likely be okay at the movies.  However, if your children get bored fairly quickly and get up and down while watching television, they're probably not ready for the movies.  

My husband and I took our little ones to the movies yesterday to see "Frozen" and we had a great time.  It's a great movie for the family.  It contains a lot of age appropriate action, humour, and great animation for the little ones.  We have a six year old, a four year old and an 18 month old.  Our 18 month old just sat on my husband's lap and she was good.  When we're at home she has no problem watching cartoons or an animated movie with her older sisters, so we knew she would be okay at the movies. 

Going to the movies with your children is a fun thing to do as a family, especially if the weather isn't that good.  Just make sure it's an age appropriate movie so it's not too complex for your children to understand.  Also, avoid movies that contain disturbing images.