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One of the worst thing a parent can do is compare themselves to another parent, especially a celebrity parent. We see it more than ever now, celebrities toting their children—some biological, some adopted—as their latest accessory. It can be very easy for us ‘everyday’ parents to find ourselves wondering  just how they manage to have the glamorous lifestyle and still have the kids in bed by nine.

blogs.babble.com/famecrawler/tag/angelina-jolie-brad-pitt-and-kids/Let’s stop fooling ourselves. Many of these parents have way more help then we do. It’s unfair to compare ourselves with the rich and famous. They have round-the-clocknannies and the best that money can buy. Surely the pictures we see of them at the park strolling hand-in-hand with their well-behaved children are a far cry from the pictures we never see of them: frustrated, tearing their hair out with up-all-night babies and crazed teenagers. Even still, if we’re not peering into the lives of the onscreen June Cleavers we still may find ourselves a little curious as to how other parents handle the odds-and-ends of parenthood.

The truth:  It’s such a waste of time and effort to constantly try and follow the latest parenting trends. What works for one family doesn’t always work for another. Each family is different. Each child is different, and each parent—mom or dad—has a different idea of what’s best for their child. I remember feeling a little uncomfortable when other parents would talk about the awards their child was receiving at school when my child was struggling. I felt the heartache and self doubt when my methods of parenting wasn’t giving the results I was hoping for. I felt that pain. I felt as if I had let my child down and myself down. So I stopped and “got back to scratch” (i.e., made a fresh start). I developed these simple rules for “Getting Back to Scratch:”

  • Trust – Self doubt is a parent’s worst enemy. You have to trust in yourself and keep in mind you will make mistakes.
  • Keep an open mind – Holding on to generational parenting ideas can sometimes hinder a parent. Instilling culture is a must but it’s okay to accept some of today’s new modern approaches.
  • Forgive – When I say forgive I’m talking about forgiving YOURSELF. It’s easy to become overcritical of ourselves especially if we’re too busy comparing.
  • Stick to what works – Like I mentioned before, doing what works for your family is the essence ofgood parenting. Maybe you do homework right after school, maybe you do homework after everyone’s had dinner and settled down. Either way is right as long as it works for you.
  • Share – Don’t be a hero. Share the responsibility of parenting with trusted family or even friends. When you need a break, ask for one. Create a blog or web page where you can share ideas with other parents around the world, explore your similarities and just vent if you have to.
  • Divide and Conquer – If the problem is the kids won’t listen, the rooms aren’t getting clean, homework’s not getting done, etc., pick one thing and focus on that first. Then move on to the next issue.

There’s nothing glamorous about being up all night changing diapers and telling a teen twenty times to clean their room. But there is something to be said about a parent who listens to his/her family’s needs and creates a custom template for raising her/his child. In fact, it makes for a fabulous parent!

View original post @http://lenaweegreatstart.org/blog/2012/09/12/how-do-you-measure-up/

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Too young for stories.


I think my son is a writer. He’s definitely a storyteller. Last night while getting ready for bed he asked me for a story. And after unfolding the classic Golden book fairy-tales as best as I could, he chimed in with “I can tell a story. ”
Relieved and a bit curious I encouraged him to tell his story. “Once upon a time, there was a boy, he was 5 years old, his name was Feather.” Feather? I said questioning his choice. “Yea, Feather.” He went on. “Feather lived in a house in the woods with his brother.” Of course by now I’m thinking the obvious, where is this going? And Where is he getting this from? I felt the pull of his story from the ones I had recited, Red riding hood and Goldilocks were all forest based stories, at least the way I had retold them.
“What’s his brothers name?”
“Leaf” he answered almost upset I interrupted him.
“Leaf!” I laughed,
“Feather and Leaf.”
“Mom, you tell it.” He said. I was starting to make him feel insecure about his story and since I had felt this before, I surely didn’t want to put him through it. “No, you do it, what happened to Leaf and Feather?”
“They went in the woods and they we’re looking for their cat. But they didn’t know it was scary, the woods was scary.”
Ok, I thought, perfect place for a start off tomorrow night so once again I cut him off and at his disappointment he agreed we’d finished tomorrow. I have to admit I was/am a proud of my little storyteller. Who knows? Feather and Leaf may be on bookshelves one day.

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These children need our prayers.Through out the month of September I will be bringing you heartfelt stories all dedicated to these children. Click the link below to see how you can make a difference,send a prayer or even sponsor a child through Compassion Bloggers.
Thank You

http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm

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http://lenaweegreatstart.org/blog/2012/08/28/keep-looking-up/

Don’t forget to follow @ Lenawee Great Start Collaborative

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I was at my sisters one day and she had these huge cardboard boxes at the bottom of her stairs and I always just walked right pass them never really paying them any mind till one day curiosity got the best of me and I asked “hey sis, whats in those boxes?”  She started telling me how the boxes were full of books, way too many books and she had no place to put them all so they never left the box. So I asked her if I could take some of them home with me, she said sure, at first  I too had the same dilemma  of where and what to do with all the books till one day my youngest son Aiden got into them and I saw how fascinated he was with them, obviously to young to comprehend, I realized that the pictures with all the colors and the familiar faces of Mickey Mouse and Dora was what was captivating him. Right then I decided to incorporate them into my livingroom space. Not a big space, but just a small space where he could easily reach them and yet they were still outta of the way.

Being that my house is what I like to call “HQ-head quarters” to so many neighborhood kids and playmates I noticed how much the kids were drawn to the books when they first came over so then I had this idea, I would let the kids each upon leaving take one book with them that they could  read at home and could bring back and exchange for another on their next visit, like a mini library. Even the parents would pick out books,from Runaway Bunny to Charlotte’s Web, Junie B. Jones and Little Golden books, letting the kids pick the ones they want to take was so rewarding and its also nice being that the books are used if I didn’t get them back it was ok. I still had another huge box filled to the top and every so often I’d take the books and switch ’em around so kids could choose from something different over time.

Encouraging reading even at the earliest ages is always a start in the right direction, you can never go wrong, and with mother nature playing tricks on us with the weather its nice to just snuggle up on the couch turn the tv off and let your little one read to you, even if it’s just  for pretend.

                                                                                                                 🙂

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