Fast forward to the future: Your child is now a teenager and prefers to hang out with her friends… all the time. She scoffs at the idea of a family day trip and tunes everyone out the entire time. She doesn’t value time spent with family and would rather be with her peers.

Parent Child Connection: Why You Need to Be Your Child's Biggest InfluenceWhile this may seem like the typical teenage life, it’s not the kind I want my kids to have. I want kids who actually like their parents. I want a strong parent child connection.

It seems I’m not alone. In Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers, authors Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté say that kids need to value parental input over their peers. What does a healthy parent child connection look like?

Your child doesn’t place so much emphasis on peer approval.

Peer rejection and approval is normal, but your child shouldn’t place so much emphasis on whether her friends like her or not. Your child’s friends don’t have her best interest in mind the same way you do. Any influence they may have on your kids isn’t as well-thought out as yours.

You respect one another.

Imagine having a lifelong, close relationship with your kids, long into their adulthood. This can only come when both of you love and respect one another. Many adults still harbor resentment towards their parents, or would rather not be with them. Read more →

When I found out I was expecting twins, I worried about the challenges of raising them. How was I going to afford two babies? What madness would my body go through carrying twins? How will my then three-year-old react to welcoming two new siblings? And how in the world am I going to survive the newborn stage—times two? With all these worries, I had a difficult time convincing myself of anything positive about twins.

Fast forward two years later, and those challenges were well worth it. However difficult caring for twins may be, I love being a twin mom and the benefits of raising them.

But then I realized that not only was I benefiting from having twins, but so were they.

In many ways, my twins are learning important values because they’re twins. Sure, singleton kids can learn these as well, but twins face and own these values much sooner.

Here are five essential values my kids are learning because of being a twin:

I’d love it if you can come and see the rest at How Do You Do It?, a blog and community all about twins. See you there!

Fun Lacing Activity for Preschoolers KitSo I made a craft the other day.

It’s a lacing activity for preschoolers and kindergarteners. Kids learn to “sew” a long piece of yarn through hole punched cards of two sizes. They can sew the smaller piece onto the larger one. Or sew a whole quilt of them. Or criss-cross them through different holes however way they want.

And when they’re done, they can color them like my kid did.

This lacing craft for kids is a good introduction to fine motor skills. They also learn to focus and make their own  creations. They might even learn to lace their shoes.

The cool thing is this activity only requires a few materials:

  • Thick card stock (cut to any size but I sized mine to 5×7″ and 4×6″)
  • Yarn
  • Tape (to go on one end of the yarn as the ‘needle’)
  • 1/4″ hole puncher

Read more →

11 Unique End of the Year Teacher GiftsIf you’re like me, you rave about your child’s teacher. She has gone above and beyond to encourage your child’s learning and potential. Her patience in dealing with 20 kids (and those 20 kids’ parents) is admirable. And you see how much your child enjoys going to school every day.

And if you’re wondering what to get your child’s teacher, it only makes sense to pick a meaningful gift. You want unique gifts she’ll enjoy and that are reasonably priced.

I love these teacher gift ideas from Etsy. Few things are more special and unique than handmade, custom gifts. Plus, they support small businesses. And now is the perfect time to start looking for your gifts, especially if you plan to customize and order online.

Take a look at these 11 cute end of the year gifts for teachers, perfect for saying ‘thanks’ for everything they’ve done: Read more →

Some comments can drive parents crazy. These are the ones I've heard, whether about my kids or other parents'. See if you're guilty of saying these 4 things you definitely shouldn't say about other people's children. As parents, we get a ton of comments from others, whether loved ones or strangers, all about our kids. Sometimes we can laugh it off, while other times we need to address the issue. The rest just drive you crazy.

It’s amazing what people will say about your kids too. And I list these things understanding that they weren’t said with malice but rather as frank observation. People whom I love and cherish and who adore my kids say these things. Still, saying these four things about other people’s children can make anyone crazy.

#1: Pointing out how different a child’s skin color is.

One of my kids has darker skin than either of his brothers or me and my husband. Because of that, I hear a lot of comments about his skin color.

And here’s the thing: it’s not even said as if dark skin is bad. No one is saying or implying he doesn’t look cute because he’s dark. But my point is, why bring it up in the first place? Right now, I’m pretty sure he has no understanding of skin color or that he looks different from his brothers. But hearing how dark he is over and over throughout the years might make him think he isn’t the same as the other two.

Skin color, height, hair color, all that stuff—if a child’s feature stands out, don’t focus on it. I’d rather my kids not hear how different they are from the rest of their family. Especially for something they can’t do anything about. Read more →