The Importance of Teaching Kids to Be Independent

The Importance of Teaching Kids to Be Independent

Would you agree that kids tend to give up too easily?

My kids sure do.

Take my daughter and her homework for example. When she gets stuck on a problem, she gets really frustrated and whines about how she cannot figure it out.

She ends up sitting there, pouting…which leads to no homework being done.

So, what does mommy or daddy do? We come over and tell her how to do it. Which is all fine
and dandy because we do want her to know that we’re there for her when she needs help.

The problem was in how we, as her parents, were helping her.

Instead of guiding her into figuring out the solution to the problem herself, we were essentially giving her the answers.

Instead of having her attempt to talk out loud her thought process to figure out where she is
actually getting stuck and what exactly she doesn’t understand, we tend to jump in a little too early.

Anyone else guilty of jumping in too soon to help their kids?

She was not thinking for herself.  What kids these days are missing is that critical thinking component.  

Here are a few ways we take away from our kids’ independence:

  • Tell them the answer right away
  • Do it for them
  • Tell them how we think the task should be done

 

Ways we let kids think for themselevs and become more independent:

  • Ask your kids to explain what they’re stuck on
  • Give kids questions to think about as a way to guide them on what they need to ask themselves next to figure the problem out

 

One thing I’m working on with my kids is how to manage their time, especially in the morning.

Now this didn’t happen overnight, but we’ve gotten them on a morning routine that they are now used to.

They wake up, brush their teeth, get dressed, make their beds, come downstairs, get their backpacks ready to go, unload the dishwasher and eat breakfast.

My daughter does not like being tardy but she’s probably the one that drags her feet the most.

Most days she is good about getting her list done.  Some days, like today, we’re twenty minutes from needing to leave the house and she has barely walked down the stairs.  

Normally, I would jump in and remind them of the time and how they’ll be late if they don’t hurry up.

Nope!

This time, I just let them be.  

Eventually one of them noticed what time it was, and they got their act together.

We made it to school with 1 minute to spare but the entire time during the car ride there, they were quite nervous.  Especially when we had to stop at each red light.

But the lesson here is that if I don’t let them figure things out for themselves and learn things the hard way, then I am not doing them any favors.

The quicker I let them fail and learn from their mistakes, the better it is for them in the long run.

An excellent example I got from another mom that I’m starting to implement with my own kids now is what I call, the Power of 3.

If they have a problem, they need to figure out for themselves three different ways they can solve that problem before coming to an adult to get help.  

This could be anything.  The key is that when they come asking for help, they need to list out the three things they did to figure it out for themselves.

This promotes independence, self-reliance, critical thinking, problem solving skills, and confidence while preventing co-dependency, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. And who doesn’t want that for our kids?

Help Your Kids Be Prepared for Accidents!

At the park or playing ball – your kids can 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.

Tick Removal Done Right

Tick Removal Done Right

Tick Removal Done Right - PreparaMom

Although summer is coming to an end, let’s face it, our kids are going to be as active as possible during the fall and winter months. 

A lot of people seem to be of the opinion that spring and summer are the only times you have to worry about ticks. The reality is that many species of ticks stay alive and somewhat active even into the fall and winter (as long as the temperatures manage to stay above freezing). 

Because of this, it’s important to keep an eye on your kids (and pets) to make sure they stay tick-free. If you do find one of the little bugs on you or a loved one, there’s a proper way to remove it quickly. You don’t want to develop Lyme Disease or end up with an infection.

 

Tick Check

The first thing you need to do when you come in from walking or playing outside is to do a quick tick check. Ticks What to Look For - PreparaMom

Inspect your legs, arms, and have someone else check the areas you can’t see yourself, specifically your scalp, neck, ears, your eyebrows and underarms. (Yes, they can and do dig in and hide themselves in the hair. Since most ticks are smaller than a centimeter, it’s easy for them to hide.) 

If you’re going into a wooded area or an open area with really tall grass (higher than your shoes), be sure to wear knee-length socks, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. You can also consider tucking your pants into your socks for extra protection. (It may look weird, but it’s a lot better than Lyme Disease.) Take a shower to wash off any loose ticks and immediately throw your clothes into the dryer for ten minutes to kill any ticks with heat before you wash them.

 

Tick Removal

If you find a tick on yourself, child, or a pet, there’s a method to removing it. When a tick bites you, it drives its head under the skin. If you just yank the tick off or scratch it off, you may leave the bug’s head inside you. 

This alone won’t cause Lyme Disease, but it will often lead to a really nasty infection. Instead, use tweezers (or a specially designed tick removal tool) to grab the tick firmly as close to the skin as possible. Pull the tick straight up and out. Don’t twist it or move it back and forth. Just pull straight until the tick lets go. 

Tick Removal - PreparaMom

Aftercare for Tick Removal

After you do this, be sure to wash the bite (and your hands) with anti-bacterial soap. You can also use a medicinal ointment like Neosporin. If the bite area develops a red ring, red bumps or if the person develops aches and a fever, consult your doctor as soon as possible.

 

Take Time to Check  

The great outdoors can be a fun place to walk, play, and explore. However, you need to respect these areas by paying attention to the hidden dangers lurking out there such as ticks. Even though they can be some of the tiniest bugs in the wilderness, they can cause really severe problems if you don’t handle them properly.

 

Be Prepared for the Great Outdoors!

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.

Kids Are Off to School – Get Your Sanity Back

Kids Are Off to School – Get Your Sanity Back

Kids Are Off to School – Get Your Sanity Back - PreparaMom

Whether you’re a stay at home mom or a working mom, we all face similar challenges each and every day. 

Ultimately, all moms have the same goal — to ensure our kids are safe by creating an optimal learning and growing environment as best we can. It can seem crushing at times. Between juggling school work, extra-curricular activities, household chores, and events with family and friends, it feels like every single minute of the day is booked up. 

That doesn’t leave room for personal time for yourself. We do our best, but most days it all boils down to being able to do whatever we can to survive. Even though a lot of us are glad when the kids go back to school in the fall, that’s when the real business of being a mom kicks into high gear with all of the activities. 

 

So, how’s a mom to keep from losing her sanity when school starts back? 

One of the best ways you can gain order in your house is to set routines early. I know that a lot of people hate routines and talk about how stifling they are. Trust me when I say that routines will be your saving grace and will help you keep your sanity most days. 

And the earlier you can do this, the better off you will be. Sure, there will be a lot of days when the routine may be thrown off track. Add flexibility to your routine as deviations in routines can cause upset otherwise. You need to be able to roll with the changes. Kids Are Off to School - PreparaMom

 

Why have a routine in the first place? 

Because it will be that pattern of stability you can go back to when you need it. If the routine is already ingrained, it will be a lot easier to adhere to overall.

One of the biggest issues with scheduling time is from sports or extra-curricular activities. As parents who did not have these opportunities growing up, we work very hard to make sure our kids have the chance to take part in them. As they grow up, these activities allow them to explore what’s around them so they can figure out for themselves what they do and don’t enjoy.

 

Providing Stable Routines Help Children Grow in Their Independence

Besides expanding the boundaries of their world to include school, sports, and clubs, this is also the time when they are really settling into their own opinions and personalities. They’re not only looking outwardly, but also inwardly to assert their independence. Establishing a stable routine helps children confidently begin the process of taking on and increasing responsibilities.

It’s important to establish rules, boundaries, responsibilities, and discuss good and bad choices early on. We do this with the understanding they’ll take these life lessons to heart later on when their decisions will have greater consequences. We let them do as much for themselves as possible. I’m a firm believer in promoting their independence as a life skill so they don’t need to rely on others as they get older. 

Of course, things aren’t always going to be perfect because nothing goes as planned every single day. Some days will be better than others, but one thing is certain—different challenges will come and go. All that we can really do if we want to be successful parents is to give our kids tools so they can tackle the challenges that will come their way in the next phase of their lives.

 

Be 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.

Top 3 Meds Every Parent Should Have on Hand

Top 3 Meds Every Parent Should Have on Hand

Top 3 Meds Every Parent Should Have on Hand - PreparaMom

There’s something about seeing our kids looking so small and helpless when they’re ill that kicks in the “mom” instinct making us want to kiss it and make it all better. 

But if mom’s kisses don’t cure the problem, then you’re going to have to turn to the first aid kit or the medicine cabinet. When that happens, there are a few medicines you absolutely MUST have on hand for just such an emergency. If you don’t, Murphy’s Law dictates you’ll need the item at the least convenient time (such as in the middle of the night or when your spouse isn’t home and you’ll have to load all the kids into the car for a trip to the drugstore). 

 

Here are three meds you need to have on hand in your medicine cabinet:

Top 3 Meds Every Parent Should Have on Hand - PreparaMom

Motrin

 

This is a nice one to have on hand as a painkiller and fever-reducer. The generic form of Motrin is ibuprofen and you can get this in pill form for your older kids or as a liquid suspension for the little ones. 

It’s an NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) that works by blocking inflammation to reduce pain. Because of its anti-inflammatory nature, it makes Motrin an ideal choice if your child gets banged up a bit playing sports. 

As a fever-reducer, it can really help. 

 

Tylenol

 

When you’re using Motrin for a fever reducer, it may not work right away to bring the fever down but the problem is that you can’t give too many doses in a short period of time. 

For example, when I give my kids motrin, I usually can’t give the next dose for another 6 hours. But if their fever is still up, I can’t wait six hours. I need to get that fever down. So in this case, I would give them some Tylenol at the mid way point, which is at the 3 hour mark. Then in another 3 hours, if they still have the fever, I can give them the next dose of Motrin because it has been 6 hours since the last time they got it. Same concept with the Tylenol. I would alternate with these 2 meds until the fever came down.

The generic name for Tylenol is acetaminophen, so be sure you look for this if you aren’t getting the name brand. Also, as with any medicine, check the weight chart for the right dosage so you know you’re giving your little one the correct amount.

 

Benadryl

 

The third med you really need to keep on hand is Benadryl. This is an antihistamine, so it can help with allergy relief symptoms like a runny nose or sneezing. It’s also been linked to alleviating nausea from car sickness. But what you really want this medicine for is if your child has an allergic reaction to something. 

If your child starts breaking out in hives or a mild rash, you want a quick response. If your child is showing signs of swelling particularly around the tongue and mouth or is wheezing, whatever caused the reaction could lead to anaphylactic shock and time is of the essence.  A dose of Benadryl will help alleviate the symptoms. It’s important you follow up with getting your child help at an emergency room as Benadryl is only intended to be a temporary measure to give you more time to get help. 

 

How Medicines Have Changed Since We Were Kids!

Mary Poppins famously sang that a “spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Thankfully, a lot of these new medicines come in flavors that aren’t as awful tasting as when we were kids. But for the everyday aches, pains, and ailments your kid is most likely to develop, these are the three over-the-counter medicines you need to always have on tap at home. 

 

Be Prepared for Illness!

Knowing no matter what happens at home, the park or playing ball, you know EXACTLY where your first aid kit supplies are – PRICELESS! 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.

 

Is It Ok to Let Our Kids Fail?

Is It Ok to Let Our Kids Fail?

Is It Ok To Let Our Kids Fail? - PreparaMom

Will Smith has become famous almost as much for his parenting and relationships with his children as he has with his music and films. And Will has offered this advice: “Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward.” 

 

The Difficulty in Watching Your Child Fail

 

As much as we may hate to fail, you have to admit that it’s one of the best ways to learn. This makes total sense to anyone, but to a parent, it can be one of the hardest pieces of advice to take. That’s because it is so hard to see your child fail. 

I’m still trying to figure it all out. What I do agree with, though, is that it’s one of the best life lessons that we can give to our kids. Learning at a young age that part of life is to live and learn will be invaluable to them later on.

 

Failing in a Safe Environment

 

If you’re still hesitant about letting your child fail, here’s something else to think about: By allowing them to make mistakes now and fail at things while they’re young, you’re letting them do all of this in a “controlled environment.” 

You will have them under direct supervision so you can intervene before anything gets out of hand. It also gives you an opportunity after they fail to talk with them about the experience. They need to see this as a learning opportunity, and the best way to do that is to talk with them.

 

There Are Limits to What You Can Allow Your Kids to Fail

 

I’m not talking about letting them do anything crazy like allowing them to carry on with activities that will cause them injury. You aren’t going to watch your kid, about to touch a hot stove, and let him do it just to prove a point. I’m talking about things where it’s not critical to rush to their side to save them from having to experience the consequences of their choices.

Let me explain this a little better with an example with my daughter. She had a bad habit of forgetting her school lunch. It used to be that I would always come to her rescue and “save her” by bringing her lunch to her. 

 

My Personal Example of Allowing My Child to Fail

 

I eventually got really fed up with doing this ALL THE TIME. So, I told her that I was no longer going to bring lunch to her. Now, if she forgets her lunch at home, she will have to eat the school’s “Emergency Lunch” and pay the $6-$7 for the lunch out of her own money. 

One day, on the way out, I saw her lunch bag on the counter. I had to resist the urge to just tell her about it. But let’s just say that after she had to pay for her own lunch that day, she has not forgotten her lunch again.

 

The Lesson Learned from Failure Stays With Your Child

 

This may be more on the trivial side when you compare it to other things they will ultimately be faced with. But one thing is certain: they’re learning and are aware they have to deal with the consequences of their actions. The results of their choices (both those they make and those they fail to make) have costs they have to pay. 

Part of growing up is experiencing things for yourself, both the good and the bad. If you keep them in a bubble and protect them from the realities of the world, it’s going to be much harder on them when they have to face reality later in life. They have to develop the skills to cope with this now, so they’ll be ready later on.

 

Help Your Kids Be Prepared For Accidents!

At the park or playing ball – your kids can 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.