Our Kids’ Back-To-School Routines

This post was brought to you by Jefferson Dental. All opinions are mine.

Parenting small children in the summer is tough! But there are moments when you feel like you're winning. And I love it when those moments happen! My favorite parenting win moments are when you see a child adopt a routine that you've been trying to get them to take on. When your child does something you remind them to do every day, without you haven't to remind them, you just swell up with pride. One of the hardest routines to get a child to do, is to establish a back-to-school routine after summer. Eating breakfast, is one of those routines.  Sleeping 9 hours a night is another one. But those routines pay immediate dividends in the mind of a child, beacuse they can feel the results, from good food, and good sleep.

One thing kids don't typically do daily without reminders, is brushing their teeth. Why? Because it's can be a boring task, that doesn't give immediate results. In fact, sometimes the results can be temporary discomfort if your gums aren't healthy, or you're brushing too hard. But, brushing teeth twice daily offers incredible long term results! Unfortunately kids won't acknowledge these results until they start feeling tooth pain, or see the dentist for reasons they could have avoided. I remember the pains of tooth cavities as a kid. But now, we do our best to try and instill in our kids a daily routine of teeth-brushing. My friends over at Jefferson Dental put together this great info. graphic that helps parents realize just how easy and crucial establishing a back-to-school routine is:

 

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Parenting: “It Takes A Village”…Should It?

Have you ever been told that parenting a child, "takes a village" to raise them? Stop and think…who is in your village? Do you want your village raising your child? Are you willing to take the bad with the good? I struggle with this regularly.

We raise our young boys, 3 of them, in a bedroom community full of other young families.  I work in a church full of young families, with many children. I would be hard pressed to count how many times I've heard the phrase "it takes a village" when referring to raising a child. The old adage "it takes a village" assumes your child is being raised by a large number of people, that have your child's best interest in mind.  I'm fortunate to have neighbors in their 70's who raised kids 45 years ago. They look out for our kids when they are playing outside, and they even watch out for my wife and chickens when I'm not around. I hear story after story, from my Vietnam veteran neighbor, of the days of old, when kids acted right, because everyone held everyone else's kids accountable. I can see where the village-raising mentality came from.  It's a nice theory. With the "it takes a village approach" raising another child is just as important as raising your own. "Things have changed," he says. 

He's right. Things have changed. Even in my community, a pretty close-knit one, I have a hard time relying on anyone else to help raise my children. My generation of parents really confuses me. It seems that the overwhelming majority are very protective of their child's spirit, which is a good thing. But that comes with a heavy price-tag; the spirit of the other children they are around.  I've noticed that I'm living in a dog-eat-dog world of competitive child-rearing. This type of parenting isn't conducive to the "it takes a village" approach. The conflict takes place when there's an incident between two kids from two different families, and both sets of parents don't witness it first hand. Since they aren't both there to witness the "incident" all they have to go by is a one-sided, 2nd hand account, from their own child and maybe a sibling. Most parents aren't interested in getting an unbiased, neutral witnesses' version of the story, so they take their child's account as a flawless one. This is why it's so common to see disagreements break out between kids, parents, and other authorities.

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Disney Movies Make Dads Cry

A plague on both your houses, Disney! I'm a hot mess with your "kids cartoon movies." You've been pumping out the tear jerkers for the last 5 years.  I mean there's Frozen, Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, The (new) Jungle Book, Moana, and now, Cars 3. My kids compare me to Iron Man, Superman, and Batman, while you break me down into a puddle of tears veiled behind machismo.  How long can I hide this? I've got 3 sons for crying out loud! Well, not out loud….I can't actually do that. laugh

Disney movies

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Build A Pizza At THE Family Friendly DFW Hotspot – Skinny Pizza

This post was brought to you by Skinny Pizza.  All opinions are mine.

Sometimes being a family of five can make picking a restaurant and ordering a disaster.  I'm a full time youth worker, so I work with many large families on a regular basis. One thing just about every parent and child can agree on is PIZZA. The only person who may not agree with having another pizza night, is the parent who is on a diet. SKINNY PIZZA offers a great compromise for kids and parents.  For kids, they have the small personal customized pies, in a very fun creative pizza-building process. And for the adult they offer the same fun process, with very healthy options for all diets. For my wife, Gena, she needed the gluten-free crust for her gluten sensitivity. For my grandmother, she wanted a salad, and had 4 awesome choices.  For me, I was able to find my favorite meats and cheeses.  And for my picky middle son, he got his pasta, and loved it.  You can't get a much more family-friendly menu than SKINNY PIZZA's. When looking for the nearest location, I was pleased to find one on Addison Circle. It was a very private circle drive, nestled in the heart of DFW. The modern, urban, neighborhood feel, gave us a unique experience for dining. This location has a very appealing storefront with patio dining that stretches across the whole store front.

Once you walk in the front, you are presented with a organized menu broken down into simple steps, even my 6 year old understood. With a big family, and party of 7, it made ordering pretty pleasant, compared to your traditional sitdown restaurant.

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Awesome Dallas Blogs To Follow

dallas blogsBeing in the DFW area, there are many other great bloggers to follow!  Check out this awesome list and find some new blogs to follow!

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What Do You Do With Cracked Eggs? Cook An Egg-Burrito (omelet).

Chances are, you've heard of the fast-growing backyard chicken fad.  My wife caught that bug, as usual, before the trend really took off.  So, we get more then our fair share of eggs. Finding more than one or two ways to cook eggs has become important to me and my wife. Luckily, one thing I learned way back was how to make an omelet. Some people may think omelet's are reserved for IHOP and breakfast chefs. If you have just a few simple tools, and everyday ingredients, you can make a hearty omelet, fast and mess-free. That's right, I said mess-free! Most cooks don't think of eggs, as a mess-free ingredient. But if you cook it right, it leave little to 0 trace in the kitchen.

The key to a good omlelet is the correct egg-to-pan ratio. If you are really hungry, or want to split an omelet in half, then I suggest using 3 eggs, like I do in the video below (notice the pan I picked for a 3-egg omelet):  

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Ford Focus RS: When You Need A Family Car, But Want To Keep Your Man Card

We received this Ford Fusion RS to test drive for a week.  All opinions are mine.

Every little boy has dreams of driving a race car.  That dream finally came true, when I drove the Ford Focus RS.  I have fond memories of my dad teaching me how to drive on a little four speed stick shift.  It was so exciting.  I miss those days because driving has lost it's excitement.  Being a father is awesome, but sometimes driving the family minivan gets a little…boring.  The good news is, however, that you do not have to give up the stick shift to get the safety and durability that you need in a family car.

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Need Help With A Science Fair Project? S.O.S. Your Science Fair Helper

Have you ever helped your child with a science fair project? One of my friends with kids in 6th, 7th, and 10th grades posted just this morning on facebook about how science fair projects create major tension between parents and the kids doing the project. So, that scares me a bit to know that I have three school/pre-school aged children heading toward the innevitable vortex of science fair projects. 

If you're a bit scared of the above scenario unfolding at your house, check out my friends over at Science Fair S.O.S. Here's the gist of what they do:

"Starting around 4th grade, most kids enter the world of Science Fair projects, which can often lead to last minute scrambles and frustrations, and stress. To combat this, ArtSkills has launched Science Fair S.O.S. ™, an on-demand helpline launching today and featuring a wealth of tools, inspiration, and solutions to support families every step of the way as they create next-level poster project displays that will get noticed.

 

Consumers in need of poster project assistance, inspiration, and guidance can reach out to ArtSkills’ expert team of Poster Pros directly via phone, email, and social media in addition to the informative and access to simple tips, tricks, and guidance available on www.ScienceFairSOS.com website.

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ShiftCon 2016 Post-Conference Reflections

Gena and I had a blast in New Orleans, at the SHIFTCON eco-wellness influencer conference. I learned so much that I knew very little about: ECO-WELLNESS. More importantly, I got to meet companies that are making an impact, by SHIFTING to a more eco-friendly way of doing business.

A couple of dozen of us served as volunteers at the conference. Gena and I like serving people, so we had fun getting there early to get people registered as they came in.  It was an easy, and fun task, and came with some pretty sweet perks.

I want to share with you my top three favorite brands I had never considered, until I arrived at SHIFTCON. 

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Freshboys music video: Papaoutai by Pentatonix

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Watch the Freshboys (my sons) lipsync in their debut music video, performing Pentatonix' "Papaoutai," written by Stromae. Share this with your friends!

The owner of this blog, Ben, and his wife, Gena, are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.