no, No, NO! No chocolate before dinner!

how to play with kids dinner togetherHow many of you are fighting the eating habits of your kids?
Seemingly no discipline at the table.
I won’t eat this or that.
I want some chocolate instead.
I just want the ice cream.
Running around with food.
(and then a lot of exclamation marks on both sides of the argument πŸ˜‰ )

Well, the dining style has changed drastically over the last 30 years. The food has changed, the culture has changed, the TV shows have changed and the ads in TV are a lot more effective these days. And as the change was slow we did not notice and did not manage to properly react to the change. Most of us.

Yet, it would seem that the french kitchen which was already famous when I was a kid is not entirely only about the cooking. It is also about the culture at the table. And if you want to learn they have a few tricks to teach. No, don’t copy them all. The reaction from your kids (and your spouse πŸ˜‰ ) would be an utter and immediate rejection.
Instead pick just one rule and implement that one. If it works, move on to the next. And if you are lucky, in a few months, your dinners can turn into an outright pleasant experience.
Here are the tricks you can start from: 10 eating rules french children know

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The more people you include in a game the better

This is a hilarious example how to play with kids.
Copycat.
It’s that simple.
It’s so much fun.

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At the speed of light

True, kids grow up at the speed of light. Although they might see it differently and can’t wait until their favorite TV show. That’s called the Theory of relativity πŸ˜‰

Now seriously.
We have found it difficult to explain to the kids how huge is the universe or even the solar system.
And how fast is the light.
And they kept asking.

So here is some help. Somebody (Alphonse Swinehart) spent some time and devised a nice movie which gives some perspective.
With the patience of kids he might have made it 10 times faster but then it could not be at the speed of light. He has done it right. We could even say it’s the light which is traveling too slow for the kids πŸ˜‰

Originally found at iflscience.com.

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Are you a happy mom?

Are you a happy mom?
You better be.
Even more when you have a baby boy.
Why?

A study based on data from Germany suggests that the more happy the mother, the better her child’s verbal skills and the lower his (or her) socialization and emotional problems.
In other words, be happy and your toddlers will be better of. Or is it the other way around? Or both? πŸ˜‰

More at bakadesuyo.com

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Cannibalism? No! Soooo cute! ;-)

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Playing computer games for more than 3 hours has harmful effects

xbox
To play or not to play that’s the question.
A lot has been written about the effects of playing computer games on children.

They stay at home a lot more nowadays and when compared to the “pre-computer” age we hardly see any kids playing outside.
Violence in the games has become normal. Overlooked and largely accepted.
It is up to you as the parent to choose.
Is this game good for my child?
Is it safe?
Does it have any adverse effects?
Does it have any added value?

Because the child will always say, “yes I want that one”. Content is often not important. The TV add is.

Yet, an Oxford University study seems to suggest that it might actually be good for your kids if they play a computer game up to an hour a day. How’s that? Read the full article Playing video games for up to an hour-a-day is good for children.

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Changing your mindset is half of the work

Did you ever do the same thing twice with different results?
Like going to the grocery store?
One time to get potatoes the other time to score some chocolate?

I bet the second trip was a lot more attractive. And it was the same trip, the same distance, the same car, the same store. Yet something was different. You went to the store because you “had to” or because “you really looked forward to the sweet reward”.

It’s the mindset which changed the trip into something magical. It’s the way you look at some other things in your life that will change the world around you. Think about it and I am sure you can remember a few other examples when your expectations changed something ordinary or unpleasant into a pleasant experience.

Your child is not different. With the right mindset your morning rituals before kindergarten or school can go smoothly. With the wrong mindset it can be a nightmare.

So, if a different mindset can matter that much, how would the life of your children change if you succeeded in providing and teaching them to have the “right” mind set? I bet the change can be radical.
For more information read this article from success resources

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Ocean in a bottle

ocean in a bottleMost of us have been lucky and went to the beach at least once when we were kids. Is that also your case?
Do you remember the hot, salty and dry sand always making its way into the food your mom brought along. The feeling when your the waves reach just about to your ankles and when water steals the sand from under your feet…
The shells laying all around just waiting to be picked up and collected. Some of us still have some of the shells at home today. I know I do. Do you?

Imagine your kids could have an ocean of their own. Without the need to go to the beach. How would that be? πŸ˜‰

So let’s make one. You will need a bottle, water, blue food coloring and cooking oil.
You can make it even better if you add some small shells which can make it through the bottle neck or any kind of beads. The more it resembles a lost undersea treasure, the better!

A few more instructions how to make yours can be found at Ocean in a bottle (where we had the idea from when we tried this at home).

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You can grow together!

growing pineaple

Gardening with your kids can be a lot of fun. Especially when you let them do their own thing and don’t constantly remind them that there is a better way how to dig a hole or cut the grass.

They need to find out their way. In their own time. With their own hands.

Sure, they will return dirty and wet but they will also return happy. And that’s what counts, right?

We have had very good experience with growing date palms from seeds and pineapple (yes I know it does not look that good at the picture but yours will look very much the same before it sprouts new leafs a few weeks after planting).

If you want more inspiration and tips read the article 16 foods that will re-grow from kitchen scraps.
You will be pleasantly surprised how fulfilling and actually very cheap this fun can be!

Got your own experience in growing things together? Let us know!

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Hilarious! Please cover yourself when breastfeeding

Moms were asked to cover themselves when breastfeeding.
So they did.
And I just love how they did it πŸ˜‰

What do you think, did they do the right thing?

Read the article from huffingtonpost.com

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