Empowers parents with tools to be organized and in control

getkidstodrinkwaterAre your kids drinking enough water?

According to this recent study, kids and teens are becoming dangerously dehydrated because they are not drinking enough water. While the study says it is not an immediate life threat in most cases, it can still reduce your child's quality of life.

How do you get kids to drink water?

While we all know that getting your child to drink water is not easy there are a few things you can do to help increase your child's water intake:

Drink more water yourself.

Your child watches you and wants to eminate your behavior. Put down the soda or coffee and let them see you enjoy a wet glass of water.

Add flavor.

Don't add table sugar, but it is very easy to give your water a sweeter taste by adding clices of fruits or berrys. Get creative and see what your family enjoys the most. This doesn't need to be done per glass, you can add your flavor slices to a pitcher of water and leave it in the refrigerator. Watch as your child passes on the soda and grabs the great tasting water instead.

Keep it available.

When you are out and about, having water readily available makes it very attractive to thirsty mouths.

The bottom line is that kids are going to drink what is available and tastes good. What tricks do you have to getting your kids to drink?

Posted in blog, Parenting | Leave a comment

Children’s Author Lynda Raymond Tells About Her Latest Book

SPVegetable"I work with children all day long. Some of them are healthy and strong and others struggle. Often they eat junk food because it's fast and easy. I wanted to write a fun story to encourage them to put healthier food in their bodies. (And to give parents an entertaining way to get their kids to eat healthier!)" She has based many of the characters in her stories form relationships in her own life. "Being a writer is such a kick! You get to incorporate all sorts of fun characters and scenarios in your writing."
Vegetable Picnic is the 2nd in two part series featuring a highly clever boy named Silly Pants. The first is about Silly Pants getting a new baby sister and his worries about that! Soon to be published, is another story about Silly Pants making a friend. He wants to do the right thing but his silly pants make things interesting.


Silly Pants sat in the kitchen with his elbows on the table. He stared at the bowl of vegetables sitting in front of him. There were bright orange carrots, red bell peppers, and deep green broccoli. They looked so cheerful. But Silly Pants was not feeling cheerful at all. “Silly Pants, eat your vegetables,” Mommy said, as she picked up Baby Sister and set her down in her play pen. “I HATE vegetables,” replied Silly Pants.

You can find Silly Pants and the Vegetable Picnic on Amazon.


Posted in blog | Leave a comment

Is Your Child Lacking in Strength, Balance and Eye-hand co-ordination?

There’s a new book available for kids that’s getting a lot of interest right now Starting Strength with Bodyweight Exercises & Activities for Kids 4-8. I asked the Author Aaron J. Perry about how and why he wrote this book and he was kind enough to write this guest post...

Dear Reader,

My name is Aaron but friends call me AJ. I was born in 1972 with a hole in my heart and my parents were told to wrap me in cotton wool and not let me over exert myself as I grew up. Thankfully my parents didn’t do that to me. I was always active and had energy to burn, even now I hate sitting still for too long.

My parents always kept an eye on me but they encouraged me to run around, play sports at school and after school. I live near a beach and spent most weekends swimming, waterskiing, windsurfing or surfing. I never let my heart condition slow me down but when I was 17 I over did it free diving down to collect scallops. A couple of months later I had surgery to fix the hole in my heart. A few months later I was back playing sports and started at the gym to put some muscle back on.

So that was my childhood but right now I’m 41. About 10 years ago I helped start a new martial arts school and I was shocked at the level of physical skills and general fitness in the kids classes. They were great kids but most were lacking in strength, balance, eye-hand co-ordination, etc. These were all things I took for granted as a kid. I grew up before video games even really existed, there were only a couple of channels on TV. These days it seems most of the activities for kids involve sitting around and staring at a screen rather than riding a bike or throwing a ball around.

For the Martial Arts classes I created a collection of Games and Challenges to bring out the competitive nature of kids in a fun and friendly way. They worked better than I expected and the young kids showed almost instant improvement in all their physical skills. Initially I shared this information with other Instructors in our group & then with their encouragement opened it up to Martial Arts Instructors all around the world in different styles.

The bodyweight exercises and Games/Challenges have been successful for all of them and recently I was convinced that it shouldn’t just be for Martial Arts. Most of the games/challenges focus on building certain physical skills that are great for all variety of sports and general health. I hoping this book can help get all young kids excited about getting off the couch and actively playing with their friends and family the way I did as a kid. I never looked at anything I did as exercise when I was a kid, I was just busy having fun playing with and challenging friends.

This book “Starting Strength with Bodyweight Exercises & Activities for Kids 4-8 ” is written as a collection of quick physical challenges and games for kids. It’s easy to read with instructions and a lot of photos so parents and kids can follow along. It doesn’t have to be read in order, readers can pick out the games/challenges that they want to try. Initially it was written for parents to bond with their kids and help speed up their child’s development but I’m already getting feedback from coaches and teachers saying they will use it as a reference which is also very cool.

Another important issue is that young kids should not be doing any weight training with actual weights (dumbbells, barbells, etc) as it can put an un-natural stress on their growing bodies. Their bones are still growing and their tendons, muscles and ligaments are still stretching and developing.

The safest form of strength training for young kids is bodyweight exercises because their body is already accustomed to their own bodyweight. All of the games/challenges in the book can be played daily if they want to. As always parents should supervise the kids and they should always start easy and build up. There are modifications included in the book so that the challenges can be increased as the kids grow stronger.

“I hope that kids have a great time with this and that we can turn back the current trend of childhood obesity by simply making an active lifestyle the fun option.” – A.J.Perry

The book is available as an eBook or as a Paperback from Amazon.com

Posted in blog | Leave a comment

The Correct Way To Cough Or Sneeze

I just heard on the radio that Swine Flu is baaaaack. Let's do everything we can to prevent spreading germs! Use the inside of your elbow to cover both your mouth and your nose.  You don't handle anything with your elbow, so you won't be spreading germs. 😀

 Here is a demo from Andrea:

Posted in blog | Tagged | Leave a comment

Emergency information about Facebook

facebookhelpsstalkersWe are arming our children with cellphones to keep tabs on where they are and help us feel better about them being out in the world.  No matter where they go, we are only a phone call or text away. While the i-phone was once too expensive to give to our children, it is now a basic backpack item.  Along with the smartphones, comes social media and a whole slew of changing policies and algorithms that put our children at risk.

Social media is an ever growing tool for keeping in touch with friends and family and even marketing your business, but as technology increases, it becomes ever more difficult to understand its implications. Facebook has changed its privacy policy so many times that it is difficult to find an actual number, and it is not always obvious when it occurs.  While Facebook has deleted accounts of youngsters who are under the age of 13 (in order to comply with data collection laws in the US), it is now allowing the active targeting of youth by marketers. I'll explain that later, but first there is a very urgent matter  of which many parents are not aware.

When someone uses Facebook from the cellphone (over 90% of users do so) Facebook displays the location of the user.  I found this out quite by accident when I was making a thrifty purchase through a deals group.  The seller was taking precautions and meeting me in a public place, however she was completely unaware that Facebook told me almost exactly where she lived!

Facebook safety I pressed that little location button and it directed me to Bing Map which showed me the location she tested me from.  What was really scary is that it offered to give me driving directions!


I contacted Facebook directly and asked how to turn this feature off but they have not responded.  You can turn off location information from your phone but your children are not likely to do this because it keeps many of their favorite apps from working properly.


Your children can be contacted from anyone on Facebook, even if they are not a friend. Make sure your children:

Keep all photos  and posts available only to friends and not to friends of friends (under the who can see my stuff tab)

DO NOT RESPOND to any messages they receive from others they do not personally know. (even if they display a photo of another child)

Limit the posts they make and messages they send through Facebook from their cellphone.

Show you anything that looks a little weird or gives them a funny feeling when they see it. (Kids have great gut reactions)


In the mean-time, try contacting Facebook about adding a feature to turn this off. https://www.facebook.com/help/?ref=contextual

Posted in Articles, blog, Parenting | Tagged | Leave a comment

What is your goal in life? Does it make you feel guilty?

What is your goal in life? Would you recognize it if you were involved in a plane crash?  Take a peek at this video and see if it rings true for you.

Now if you just can't relate: I need to tell you a secret...IT'S OK!

Honestly, if wanting to be a better parent is not at the top of your list of goals in life..and you feel guilty about it...let it go.  It means that you define yourself outside of the tasks of parenting.  That means that you have even more to offer your child, because children learn by example.  In other words, if you don't put your children at the top of every list, and you actually have a desire to achieve things other than raising a child, you are teaching your child that the world has a lot to offer.

Now understand that some people DO put parenting at the top of the list.  They have wanted children all their lives..some will raise as many children as they can. Some parents read every parenting blog and parenting book they possibly can because their biggest desire in life is to be a parent.  The children they have are the biggest blessings in their lives.  Guess what?  Those parents get to live out their highest goal!

Yet even those parents who put their children above everything else often carry with them a huge burden of guilt.  As they read each parenting blog, magazine, and book,  they start to second guess themselves and often feel guilt about trivial things.

In order to be the best parent your child can have, you need to take care of yourself.  Understand who YOU are and what makes YOU happy.  Then you will have a gut feeling about what the best decisions are for your family and your child.

Posted in blog, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nearly Half Of Parents Monitor Their Children’s Lives On Facebook

Study: Nearly Half Of Parents Monitor Their Children’s Lives On Facebook « CBS DC.

Why do only half of parents do this? Facebook connections are a wonderful way to share what is happening in your child's life with relatives that don't live down the street. Post the solo they did, post the ribbons they've won..and see what your child is liking and and viewing.

Being your child's friend also lets you see what time of day your child is on the app (Is it too late at night? Is it during school hours?)

If you allow your child to be active on social media...make sure you are their friend!

Posted in blog, News, Parenting | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Children read in the company of dogs at Berkeley Library | Berkeleyside

Children read in the company of dogs at Berkeley Library | Berkeleyside.

This is a brilliant program that every teacher would want to implement but can't. The class pet is a dying breed, but this library is taking over in one area. They allow Children to come in and read to a therapy dog which anxiously listens to a child practice fluency skills by reading aloud to the animals.

If you are a teacher, or your child is allergic to dogs, you can also have a teddy bear tea day and have your child(ren) read to Teddy bears.

Posted in blog | Leave a comment

Parenting today is more stressful than the 1950’s-Shut Up Mr. Psychologist!

I'm pretty sure if you are alive right now you would agree with the title. I'm a little worked up with this entry so I may have to delete it later. I just read an "article" by a psychologist (I should have known) who claims..well here:

Like you, lots of parents are beginning to realize that with rare exception, the advice dispensed by so-called parenting experts over the past 50 years has been useless, counterproductive and even harmful. During that time, parenting has mutated from something people went about casually and confidently into a highly stressful endeavor (especially for women), and the mental health of America’s kids has plummeted. To top it off, today’s kids are misbehaving in ways that would have been unimaginable to a parent who raised children in the 1950s and before.

Seriously? First off, since this psychologist lists himself as a parenting expert on his own website, I guess he must be the "rare exception" to which he is referring.

Second, I agree with him that for many, parenting is stressful..but Mr. psychologist guy...this isn't the 50's! Woman are doing more today than they were in the 50's. They are contributing, sometimes the only income source of the family, acting as taxi driver because schools don't bus kids to activities anymore and trying to figure out what kind of food offered at the grocery store is going to be the least harmful to their kids. To make matters worse, PEOPLE LIKE YOU judge them and tell them they are doing things all wrong. I'm really angry here, can you tell? I think I'm actually going to use the "s" word here.

Yes, Mr.Psychologist guy. Stop making matters worse. Let parents trust their guts. Stop judging them and Shut Up!

Posted in blog | 2 Comments

How to make your children feel safe when you fear for them yourself (after tragedy in CT)

How to talk to kidsThere is a slew of informaiton out there about how to speak to your child about the tragedy that the world is morning openly on television and the radio.  This is one of those moments that makes us feel a whirl of emotion. As parents we might question the whole of humanity. We might be angry at our government or our school system, and we might be worried about our own children's safety.

Our children look to us for comfort and safety, but how can you be "the rock" when you feel unglued yourself?

HelpGuide.org has a great list of steps you can take to help yourself and your child throught this tramatic event.  Remember it is ok for your child to know that you are human and that you have emotions.

  • Some schools actually called home asking that parents do not speak to their children about this tragedy.

  •  Don't underestimate your child no matter how young. Be highly alert of thier questions and let them talk about whatever feelings they may have.
  • Don't wait for your older child to ask you questions.  Ask them their comments about all angles of any story you may see on television, the radio, or their friends. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t be afraid to admit it. You might jeopardize your child’s trust in you by making something up.

The traumatic event or disaster may trigger or bring up unrelated fears and issues for you or your kids. Acknowledge and validate these concerns, even if they don’t seem relevant to you. When your child says they are afraid, acknowledge the fear and move on, don't be tempted to tell them there is nothing to be afraid of and don't ask them to elaborate on the fear.

Monitor television watching. Limit you and child’s exposure to graphic images and videos but realise that watching news reports of the tragedy with your children will give you a good opportunity to talk and answer questions.

Watch for physical signs of stress in both you and your child. The symptoms of traumatic stress may appear as physical complaints such as headaches, stomach pains, or sleep disturbances.

Sometimes bad things happen and they are completely out of our control. If you are an action taker, find a a group of other concerned parents and take action against this type of tragedy.  Your older child might be compelled to do the same at her school.

While thousands of prayers are said for the families of those directly connected to this tragedy, I pray for every parent who fears for their child while trying to make them feel safe.


Posted in Articles, News, Parenting | Leave a comment

Books I’ve Written

RSS Parenting News

  • Trusting parents to make smart choices on student data - The Hill (blog) July 28, 2015
    Trusting parents to make smart choices on student dataThe Hill (blog)At tens of thousands of schools across the country, parents can now log in to a Web portal to see their child's attendance, grades, home assignments and other class information. School guidance counselors use digital tools to help students review ...
  • Split-up parents work together to raise daughter - Grand Forks Herald July 28, 2015
    Grand Forks HeraldSplit-up parents work together to raise daughterGrand Forks Herald"What we have learned is that having both parents involved—when it's safe to do so—is really beneficial, in whatever that situation may look like for the parent," said Ellie McCann, extension educator with the University of Minnesota Extension in ...
  • Friend's account about Canadian woman convicted of hiring hit on Asian ... - New York Daily News July 28, 2015
    New York Daily NewsFriend's account about Canadian woman convicted of hiring hit on Asian ...New York Daily NewsThe Canadian woman convicted in the murder of her mother and the attempted murder of her “classic tiger dad” secretly rebelled against the strict rules of her Vietnamese immigrant parents for years, according to a new account of […]
  • Parents of Halona Blowhole victim speak up - KITV Honolulu July 28, 2015
    KITV HonoluluParents of Halona Blowhole victim speak upKITV HonoluluOne of the heartbroken parents talk to KITV4 about the tragedy, saying that his final act was a selfless one. “He was an excellent soldier. Everybody loved him,” said Ernest Collins, Caleb's father. According to Caleb's family, he was the one who ...and more »
  • Parents of sex assault victim: There were signs nobody saw - Local 10 July 28, 2015
    Local 10Parents of sex assault victim: There were signs nobody sawLocal 10The parents of a child they claim was sexually assaulted by a Cooper City little league coach are speaking about their son's pain and the fear that his former coach will be released from jail. Show Transcript Hide Transcript. HE AMAZINGLY GOT OUT ON […]
  • Lonzie Barton's parents' hometown shows support for missing 21-month-old - ActionNewsJax.com July 27, 2015
    Lonzie Barton's parents' hometown shows support for missing 21-month-oldActionNewsJax.com“They were good parents. Chris took really good care of Lilly. Chris was a good daddy to them babies,” Reed said. Lilly is Lonzie's older sister who police say was with him before he was reported missing. Reed also spoke about how much Chris adored his ...and more »
  • Police: Son used hammers, tea pot to bludgeon parents - Detroit Free Press July 27, 2015
    Detroit Free PressPolice: Son used hammers, tea pot to bludgeon parentsDetroit Free PressStephanie Rupp was growing increasingly worried about her elderly parents, William and Gayle Maurer, that cold January weekend. She had spoken with her mother the previous Saturday night, making plans to meet at church the next morning. But they ...Trial of Rochester Hills man […]
  • Motherlode | Parents Know Pressure and Hovering Don't Help Children Succeed ... - New York Times (blog) July 27, 2015
    New York Times (blog)Motherlode | Parents Know Pressure and Hovering Don't Help Children Succeed ...New York Times (blog)Many students, she realized, had been pressured by their parents and their culture to define success in only a very narrow and specific way: not only do they need to be perfect in every academic, co-curricular and social […]
  • See These Adoptive Parents Meet Their Newborn Daughter - ABC News July 27, 2015
    ABC NewsSee These Adoptive Parents Meet Their Newborn DaughterABC NewsIf you ask 100 different parents about their journey to parenthood, there would be 100 different stories to share. In the case of the Olsons of Minnesota, the journey to becoming parents for the third time was not only a figurative one, but a literal ...and […]
  • 'Bachelorette': Shawn Asks Kaitlyn's Parents For Permission To Propose — Watch - Hollywood Life July 27, 2015
    Hollywood Life'Bachelorette': Shawn Asks Kaitlyn's Parents For Permission To Propose — WatchHollywood LifeKaitlyn Bristowe will choose between her final two suitors, Nick Viall and Shawn Booth on the July 27 finale of season 11 of The Bachelorette and in this sneak peek, Shawn makes his claim to Kaitlyn's parents, Leslie and Mike. He wants to […]