Sunday, November 25, 2012


Provide and label boxes for toys and other item storage:
If there are spaces or containers already allotted for toys, clothes, bikes etc, it is much more tempting to put them away.

Set rules:
When your kids have finished with one set of toys, they should put them away before setting up something else.  When they take their clothes off after school or at night they should put them away at the time.

Tell them AND show them what to do:
Model your expectations.  Be a tidy bunny yourself. From a very young age kids can be shown how to fold up their clothes and put them in a drawer. They can also put toys in designated places. You can show them which clothes should be hung on a hanger or placed in a drawer and then watch them do it.

Give them plenty of warning:
It is not reasonable to expect a child who is totally engrossed in something to suddenly stop and clean up. Instead say, “In 15 minutes it will be dinner time and I want you to have put your toys away before we eat.”  Do not plead.  State what you want done clearly and the timing in which you want it done.

Praise them for doing a good job:
Kids love to please you. Say, “Thank you for picking up all your toys when I asked and for doing it willingly.  I appreciate it and now we have time to...”  When you recognize their efforts by telling them they have done a great job they will want to keep pleasing you.

Create incentives to comply:
“When you have cleaned up your room you can ask Jennie over to play.”
“When you have picked up your toys we will make that cake I promised.”
Note: Do not offer your kids money to do chores around the house.  They should understand that we work together to make the house tidy and clean as part of being a family.

Reduce the distractions:
If they are being slow, turn off the TV or take away whatever else is distracting them.

Set consequences for non-compliance:
Tell them beforehand what the consequences will be e.g. “There will be no going out to play until your room is tidy/these toys are put away.” Stick to your guns.  Tell them once only.  Make sure they are listening.  Have them repeat what you just said if necessary.  Be consistent. The minute you weaken, you have lost. 

Don’t do the job for them:
It is easy to fall into the trap of doing your kids’ work for them because it is quicker and easier that way.  Don’t do it – or you will be doing it forever and they won’t have learned those vital life skills!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


We've been blessed with a child
The birth of a child is a miracle in itself.  When you look down at that precious life in front of you, so perfectly formed, and so innocent, you realize that this baby is a gift.  Whether your child is naturally born, or has been adopted or fostered, they are equally precious.  We can be thankful that they enrich our lives as much as we enrich theirs.

We have a young life to shape
What a privilege to have the ability, right and responsibility to shape a child's life! It’s exciting to see their personality, natural gifts and talents emerging. How amazing it is to be able to help our children find their purpose, to nurture and guide them into their full potential. Although sometimes difficult, it is still very rewarding. Children will be what we allow them to be, so here’s a salute to you in your endeavor to raise extraordinary kids.

We have a young life to be proud of
When our children do their very best in school or achieve an award, it is such a thrill. It gives us a great feeling of satisfaction knowing we have significantly contributed to their successes! When we go to a report card conference and our child’s teacher says, “I wish I had a classroom full of children like yours”, we can be justifiably proud. When our children are in a school play or a concert we feel like telling all the other parents around us, “That’s my child!” When our child graduates High School or College we want to shout it to the rooftops. When our children overcome difficulties and make a successful recovery after failure, we can be especially proud of them. Yes, be proud of your child, and be thankful too!

We have the possibility of having grandchildren
What a blessing grandchildren bring to our lives! As grandparents we can love on them and play with them.  We can enjoy them more because we are relaxed and have more time than we did with our own children (and they will tell you that!). We can have fun times with them and then send them home to their parents. You couldn’t do that with your own children! It’s wonderful to see the similarities of behavior being passed down through the generations.  Be thankful for grandchildren in your future.

We have the opportunity to leave a positive legacy
We look back, and we are thankful for the lives of our children and what they achieved through the years. We see our grandchildren grow and see them eventually become parents. We are grateful that major sickness or accident hasn’t taken them from us. Not everybody is so fortunate. In older age we sit, as it were, on the edge of our seats surveying the pageantry of our lives.

I’m sure that you’re like me and will be full of thanks for all the blessings we’ve been given and for the lives we’ve been able to influence. I want to depart this world with immense gratitude, to leave behind a positive legacy that will change generations to come.

By Brian Burgess

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Some of my fondest memories growing up were the fun things we did as a family. Camping trips, singing together at various competitions and venues, playing on the farm, traveling around with my parents and their band. Such great times! Of course, because I grew up in New Zealand, we never celebrated Thanksgiving (The 'Mayflower' never made it that far south!), but we had wonderful family traditions nevertheless.

Not everyone is so enthused with family-based holidays. For some, it means they have to face the memory of the loss of a loved one. Perhaps they don't have a very good relationship, if any, with their family or loved ones. It could be a really lonely time. These are even greater reasons to make sure that the relationships and traditions you create with your own spouse and children are fun and full of the things you may have felt you missed out on growing up.

As a fairly new Mom of two children aged 29 months and 14 months, we have to start creating our own family traditions. For instance, where to spend Thanksgiving and what we will include on our table. Do we go to family out of town, or will we invite them to stay with us? Do we make a tradition of inviting others who may not have family nearby, or do we spend Thanksgiving feeding the homeless who don't have family instead of the usual family get together?

Whatever it is that you want to create as a tradition, ask your family members to come up with something that you are all happy with and start your own wonderful trail of happy memories. Your kids will always remember these times and treasure them growing up.

We are going to spend Thanksgiving out of town with my husband's family this year. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

  What are the family traditions that you love? Blog us.

Here are some links for fun activities for the family on Thanksgiving:

Monday, November 19, 2012


 1. Have a plan – think ahead about your child’s needs.
- Are they tired before you start shopping?  Do they need a nap?
- Are they hungry – have you got food and drink with you?
- Are they in pain? Are they unconfortable - too hot - too cold?
- Have you got things to distract them?
- If they get agitated what will you do - do you have an exit plan?

2. Discuss Expectations - If they are old enough to comprehend, before you set off for the store tell them where you are going
and what your expectations for their behavior will be.

3. Treat or no treat? - Let your child know beforehand that if they behave as you have asked, you will reward them. Rather than a treat at the store (which is costly and sets you up for potential future meltdowns at the store) you could exchange the reward for something good at home.  "Because you have done as I asked; you walked without running ahead, you didn't touch things on the shelves and you didn't ask for a treat at the store, I am going to let you choose what you want for dinner tonight. Or, I am going to let you have more time playing in the bath. Or, I am going to read you two stories at bedtime."

4. Watch for the signs of agitation -  If you've checked all the above scenarios and the meltdown is already starting, try distracting them with fun activities like, "Who can spot the first person wearing a hat?" Or, "What colors do you see?" etc...If nothing is working and they are now having a full-fledged meltdown, remove them as quickly as possible. Calm yourself – count to 20 slowly. When your child stops crying, explain your expectations again. Depending on their behavior, continue shopping or take them home. Be prepared that you may have to cut your shopping trip short and deal with their behavior. It's a pain, but worth it in the long run.

5. Praise good behavior - Kids love to please you. Verbal praise is often more meaningful and longer lasting than treats as a reward for meeting your expectations. There's nothing wrong with giving store treats every now and then, but kids will often learn to expect a treat every time, which in turn, becomes bribery. It's important to teach kids from an early age that life is not like that in the real world. We are shaping their own set of expectations from day one.

What are some of the ways you have successfully prevented or dealt with a public meltdown?

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Written by Kristee Mays
When you are a parent to ANY children, be it biological or adopted, there are many times that you want to tear your hair out in frustration. Whether they are climbing everything in sight, pushing each other over, screaming and running through the house, painting the walls or pulling their diapers off for fun, it's enough to send any parent to a psychiatrist! With me, being a mother of both a biological child and an adopted child, I have found that it is difficult to correct behaviors equally. I suppose that's true in any type of family. For parents of adopted children especially, there is a different approach that either is intentionally or unintentionally made. This can cause your children to compare your love for them based on the way you treat them versus how you treat their sibling. There are so many underlying factors behind each adopted child's life story that need to be taken into account when considering discipline or correction, as well as love and affection. There are some great resources out there to help you achieve the best relationship with your child. Here are just a few:

**Please note that these books apply to different issues, country of adoption and age groups, so make sure you get the appropriate book for your needs. It's best to read the reviews to find the one that best suits you.

A Mother For Chocco by Keiko Kaska
In On It by Elisabeth O'Toole

Attaching in Adoption by Deborah D. Gray
The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis

Adoption Parenting by Jean MacLeod
The Family Of Adoption by Joyce Maguire

Parenting the Hurt Child by G. C. Keck and R. M. Kupecky
Raising Abel by Carolyn Nash

Thursday, November 15, 2012

COMPETITION!!!! Sign up NOW and receive prizes. See details below.

Welcome to our blog page.  We would love for you to participate in our

What are the prizes?
1st prize - Brian's book "Kids Don't Come With Manuals"
2nd prize - A bundled package of all 5 CD's about raising your kids
3rd prize - 1 free CD of your choice
**For an explanation of what each product is about, please visit the product page.

What do I have to do to win a prize?
Just be the first 3 people to register and ask a question or leave a comment on our new forum page. Click here to register. Once you have registered, just click on the Index button to start participating. Please be sure to include your email when registering so we can contact you. Good luck!

Kids Don't Come With Manuals

Who's In Charge. You Or The Kids?
Surviving The Storms: The Strong Willed Child and Child Anger
Family Values: The Glue That Holds Us 

Training Your Kids For Excellence
Successful Transition: Blended Families

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Wow, that is a big'n to realize isn't it!  What we sow into our children becomes what they sow into theirs!

Our attitudes become theirs; our values become theirs; our biases becomes theirs; our beliefs become theirs.  The way we deal with failure, the way we deal with anger, their decision making ability, the way they respond to others' needs - all stem from us. 

Hmmm.  Yes, I know that when they get to an age of making up their own minds, all this can change.  However, we have been their role models and we have been their teachers.  They say a nut doesn't fall too far from the tree.  Let's make sure we are good nuts!!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I was staying with a friend in Sydney when I saw something that really amazed me.  She gave her little 18 month old Josh a plastic bag of trash and asked him to go and put it in the trash can in the kitchen - and he did!  He lifted the lid and just threw it in like he had been doing it for years.

Sometimes we parents just do things because it is quicker, easier and less messy than getting our kids to do it. Just because they can't express themselves coherently doesn't mean they don't understand what we are saying.  We can give toddlers responsibilities.  They can put toys away, pick up their socks or pull the cover up on their bed. 

Every child loves to hear the praise of their parents so, when they do something you ask and they hear, "Good job, buddy" they want to keep doing it.  It is a win-win situation.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I heard this the other day from our Pastor and thought it was well worth passing on:

The four friends you most need are:
1. The DEVELOPER - the friend who brings out the best in you
2. The DESIGNER - the friend who mentors you as a personal hands on coach
3. The DISTURBER - the friend who challenges you, shakes up the status quo
4. The DISCERNER - the friend who brings spiritual insight into your life

Do you have friends in your life that could be described as developers, designers, disturbers and discerners? If not then it is a great idea to seek them out.

We need to be parents firstly to our children but, in the above sense, our role is also to bring out the best in our kids - help them reach their potential. We need to be their role models in showing them rather than merely telling them the way. We need to make sure our kids are not coasting along. We need to rattle their cages, and encourage them towards greater things. We need to be sensitive to their needs and respond when they are troubled. We need to create strong and healthy communication lines with our kids so they know they can always come to us for help and advice without fear of being chastised.