How I Keep Organization in My House with Kids

How I Keep Organization in My House with Kids

How I Keep Organization in My House with Kids - PreparaMom

Some of us parents were born with serious Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder that we have to put on hold when it comes to raising kids. 

I have no idea how or exactly when I became so “anal” about having an organized home, but I am a firm believer that everything HAS to be in its given place. And I don’t mean that it just has to be in its given place. Everything that comes into the house HAS to have a designated “home.” If for some reason it doesn’t, it becomes an eyesore for me and it will bug me until it does find a proper place.

 

My Organization Begins when Anything Is Brought into the Home

 

I read a book about 4 to 5 years ago that gave me a great motto for living as someone who craves organization: “Like with like. One home for everything.” (You’re going to have to forgive me, but right now the title of the book totally escapes me, but I have never forgotten the concept.) Over the years, I’ve tried to implement this philosophy in pieces, but now I noted that I’m more “intense” about it (for lack of a better term). 

Basically, instead of just leaving stuff randomly placed anywhere and everywhere, identify a home for it. It can be a corner of the house, a drawer, a closet, a cabinet or even an entire room. Just designate that as the “official area” for whatever you’re adding to your household. 

 

Everything Has A Home Within the Home 

 

When you do this, the most important thing for you to remember is that everyone in the house must know where the homes are and what goes there. This way, you don’t have to have those monotonous conversations about putting things back where they belong. You need total buy-in on this for it to work. 

When my kids or my husband bring something home with them, I’m always on their case about where that item will live. They need to know exactly where to go to when they need that item and they need to know where to put it back when they’re finished.

 

My Office Supplies Provides a Great Example

 

So, let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. We now have dedicated office cabinets where nothing but office type supplies live. 

When I say “like with like,” I mean that all the writing tools, paper, binders, rulers, and note pads go here. Items of similar categories that make sense go together. And there’s only one home for it. So now there are no more questions of “Where’s a pen” or “Where’s this” or Where’s that”. Instead, my family knows if they need an office supply item, look in the “office cabinet/drawer” and be sure to put it back when they’re done.

Another great grouping that I know would help lots of people is my home for all things electronic. This is where we put everything like wires, cables, batteries, spare chargers, or anything else that is gadget related. (Wires are one of my pet peeves. If they are everywhere, it drives me nuts!)

This system has helped me to get my house organized and stay that way. Studies now prove what I thought about organization! Keeping your home organized relieves stress. Who can’t use a little less stress in their life?

 

Be Organized AND Prepared for Accidents!

 

Enjoy knowing that no matter what happens at the park or playing ball – you know EXACTLY where your first aid kit supplies are. Designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

3 Reasons to Keep Child Rear Facing for as Long as You Can

3 Reasons to Keep Child Rear Facing for as Long as You Can

3 Reasons to Keep Child Rear Facing For As Long As You Can - PreparaMom

There are a lot of milestones that parents look forward to—first steps, first words, first day of school. But one of the things I’ve found many anticipate is the day they can turn their kid around in their car seat. I know I was! 

 

Children one-year-old and under should always be placed in a rear-facing car seat. 

 

In some states, including California, it’s required that they have to be at least two years old before they can be turned around. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that children stay in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible.

I was recently talking to someone who kept her kid in a rear-facing seat until she was four-years-old. Granted, her daughter was a bit on the smaller side, but still, this is amazing to me. Big kudos and props to her. 

 

Parents Get Excited to Turn Their Kids Child Seat Around 

 

There are a lot of reasons why parents want to turn their kids around sooner rather than later. For one, the kids are really fussy during car rides and you want to be able to see them easier. 

Another is that it’s easier to reach back and hand them something if they’re facing forward. Still others talk about kids getting more car sick because they’re riding backward. 

 

Here are the reasons why keeping kids rear-facing for as long as possible is the safer option:

 

1. Positioning

First, rear-facing is the safest position for a child in the event of a car crash. Research studies state, “[Children] in [the] second year of life are 5 times less likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash if restrained rear-facing.” This alone should encourage you to choose rear-facing for as long as possible despite the convenience front-facing seats may provide.

 

2. Head Protection

A rear-facing seat is specifically designed to protect a child’s head. Young kids have a disproportionately larger and heavier head compared to the rest of their bodies. In a crash with a front-facing seat, the head moves abruptly forward, increasing the force on the neck. (Think of how bad whiplash can be for adults and then multiply that several times for children.) But with a rear-facing seat, the head moves with the seat, reducing the chances for neck and spinal injuries.

 

3. Bodily Protection

The protection for the head is probably the most obvious, but the rear-facing car seat also is designed to protect the whole body. Rear-facing only seats are engineered to absorb and distribute the impact of a crash throughout the shell of the seat. Essentially, the seat acts like a protective cradle or cocoon for the child. Since it’s not practical to keep them in a protective bubble all the time, this is the next best thing.

 

The Decision Is Up to You. Now You Know the Facts.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, everyone’s situation is different and it’s up to the individual parent to make the call as to when to place their child in a forward-facing seat. My goal here has been to share some of the things I’ve learned recently so that parents can make a more informed choice. 

 

Be Prepared Wherever You Are!

 

At the park or playing ball – be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Signs Your Child is Ready to Learn About Money

Signs Your Child is Ready to Learn About Money

Signs Your Child is Ready to Learn About Money - PreparaMom

One skill so many parents wish they’d taught their kids is money management. I think it’s never too soon to talk to your kids about this. That doesn’t mean they will comprehend everything right away. 

No kid is going to understand escrow or compound interest. (Many adults don’t even know what this is about.) But kids are smart these days. 

 

Kids Learn About Money Management First by Observing Your Day to Day Purchases

Children hear and see things, absorbing everything like a sponge. But the fact is, almost 80% of Americans are living in debt, so I want to make sure my kid doesn’t grow up to be part of that statistic.

I’ve heard from quite a few parents about why they haven’t talked to their kids about money. Their reasoning is that they don’t know how or when to bring it up. 

 

Opportunities to Teach Your Kids About Money Are All Around You

The thing is, kids know a lot more than you might think. For instance, they already know that mommy and/or daddy has to leave the house most days to go to work. 

They know that we go to the store and come back home with new things. They see that we have these cards and bills in our purses and wallets that we give to people at the store. So, they’re already picking up on most of the realities of money without having it spelled out for them.

 

Three signs that your children are ready for the “money talk” include:

 

1. They can count. 

 

Counting numbers abstractly and counting money are two different concepts. But once they begin to understand numbers and how to count things, it’s a good sign they can understand money. That means you might want to let them do simple tasks like count out money when you are at the cash register or counting back your change.

 

2. They’re asking to buy toys. 

 

When you go to the store, it can be really annoying when your kids start asking you to buy them things. (On a side note, does anyone else dread going to the store with their kids because all they want is for you to buy them stuff?) But this is also a great time to talk with your kids about the difference between something you need, something you want and how to delay gratification by saving up for your purchases.

 

3. They’re paying attention to purchases and how you handle money at the store. 

 

This would be a great time to just talk about the general concept of money and debit cards. You might also want to explain to them about credit cards and how it can be dangerous to buy lots of stuff using these.

 

Discussing Money with Your Kids Is So Important

Talking to your kids about money is one of the most important talks you’ll have. But it’s a big step that will put them on the right path for financial literacy and independence. There’s so many tools and resources that can help you with this topic we’ve included a few links that may help:

Resource Links

https://www.parents.com/parenting/money/family-finances/teaching-kids-about-money-an-age-by-age-guide/

https://howtoadult.com/kids-developmentally-ready-count-money-4591.html

https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/01/16/what-your-child-should-know-about-money-by-key-ages

Teach Your Kids the Healthy Habit of Being Prepared!

Bumps, bruises and owies – oh my! Parenthood is never boring. Childhood isn’t without its accidents. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Parent Communication: Get Out of Jail Free Card

Parent Communication: Get Out of Jail Free Card

Parent Communication: Get Out of Jail Free Card - PreparaMom

When you were growing up and you did something wrong, did you feel like you could go to your parents and fess up?  Or did you end up hiding your misdeeds from them? 

It was always the latter for me because I was really “scared” of my dad. That’s not to say that I was always up to no good, but like any kid, I had my fair share of doing something I knew I shouldn’t. 

But part of growing up and becoming a parent is trying to do things differently than when you were a kid. That’s why I would never want my kids to feel like they couldn’t come to me for any reason. That’s especially true if they really got themselves into trouble.

We all believe that open communication is key, right? 

As parents, we talk about that all the time, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. Most people claim to want to be able to talk openly, but they just don’t know how. That’s where this “Get Out of Jail Free” card comes into play.

A Communication System For the Family is Born

So, I came across this idea in a Child Behavior class I was taking for my nursing continuing education requirements and I thought it was a really good idea to implement with my own kids. Parent Communication: Get Out of Jail Free Card - PreparaMom

I had my daughter make up a bunch of “Get Out of Jail Free Cards” and put them into a jar. The instructions for this were that if they did something wrong, they could always grab a card to give to us. Then they could tell us what they did without “getting into trouble.”

Opening Communication Does Not Mean Forgive and Forget

Before you start thinking we’re just letting our kids get away with murder, there are a few things you should know about this system. The idea is not that we allow them to get away with things, but that they get used to being able to open up to us for anything. 

It doesn’t mean we will allow them to abuse the system. If they’re repeating the same offense multiple times, then we will have to resort to plan B, which will probably be traditional disciplinary measures.

If we begin this communication process now when they do something minor, then the lines of communication will be open when they get older and get themselves into trouble that can be much greater. 

This Method Has Been Used Before

This is actually very similar to something that started a few years ago with high school proms. Students agreed to let their parents know if they had been drinking so they could get a ride home. The idea wasn’t to condone student drinking. It was to prevent drunk driving. But the kids knew they wouldn’t be yelled at or “in trouble” if they called mom and dad to help them. 

How The Cards Are Working in Our Home

So now, when we get a card, our kids have to tell us what happened, and the kids aren’t busted for it. Then we can discuss their actions and we talk through what they could have done instead. And we leave it at that. This way, our kids feel comfortable talking to us without worrying about getting in trouble and we can hope that this will continue on into their teen years.

Be Prepared for the Unexpected!

Bumps, bruises and owies – oh my! Parenthood is never boring. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

How to Train Your Kids to Do Their Own Laundry

How to Train Your Kids to Do Their Own Laundry

How to Train Your Kids to Do Their Own Laundry - PreparaMom

Part of being a good parent is teaching your kids to be self-sufficient and responsible. And part of that means doing your own laundry. Getting my kids to do their own laundry has been a huge time saver for us! The earlier you can get this routine implemented with your own kids, the easier it will be for you and your family.

Don’t Push Your Kids – But Don’t Wait Too Long Either!

Please remember, every child is different and develops at a different pace. But that being said, overall, kids are more capable of doing things on their own than we give them credit for. (Let’s face it—if they can operate a smart phone or video game system, they can do their own laundry!) 

The problem is that we either subconsciously don’t want them to be independent or we think that it will just be quicker and easier if we do it ourselves instead of taking the time to teach them how to do it.How to Train Your Kids to Do Their Own Laundry - PreparaMom

The Best Way to Teach Laundry Responsibility To Your Kids

The best way to do all of this is to introduce laundry to them in phases. When they’re younger, get them involved in the laundry process with you. Let them see you sorting, washing, drying, folding, and putting the clothes away. Be sure to explain what you’re doing as you go so they can understand it.

Teach Kids in Phases All the Parts of Laundering

As your kids get older, you can let them join you in doing different parts of the laundry. This can include simple tasks like sorting their own clothes out into a pile to fold or have them fold something simple with you like shorts or small towels. 

The idea is that eventually, over time, they will become used to all the different processes and (with a little supervision in the beginning) you can let them do each part of the laundry process on their own.

The phases my kids went through when they were learning to do laundry:

  • Phase 1 — Put their folded clothes away
  • Phase 2 — Fold their own clothes + Phase 1
  • Phase 3 — Take their clothes out of the dryer + Phase 2 + Phase 1
  • Phase 4 — Take their clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer + Phase 3 + Phase 2 + Phase 1
  • Phase 5 — Put their dirty clothes into the washer + Phased 4 + Phase 3 + Phase 2 + Phase 1
  • Phase 6 — Put detergent and fabric softener in and start the washing machine + Phase 5 + Phase 4 + Phase 3 + Phase 2 + Phase 1

A Little Investment of Time, Pays Off Eventually

I think I started my kids on this process when they were 5 and 7, although I definitely could have involved them in it a lot earlier. Now they are 8 and 10 and they’re doing their entire laundry on their own. (Up until last week, my oldest was taking care of measuring out the detergent. But now, the 8-year-old wants to learn how to pour out the detergent, so he’s getting there!)

It is SOOOOO worth it to take that extra time and effort to train the kids on these processes. I know sometimes it’s much quicker to just do it yourself. But in the long run, your kids will learn how to be more self-sufficient and you won’t regret the decision to teach them when they are young.

Be Prepared All the Time!

At the park or playing ball – be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.