Monday, January 28, 2013


Does your child have you wrapped around their little finger? Do they get what they want a lot of the time? NO! Of course not...right!?!?

"It was just easier to give them the toy at the store rather than listen to all the screaming and tantrums."

"I told them they could just watch one episode of their favorite show and then it was time for bed. They wanted to watch another episode and instead of dealing with a meltdown, I decided they could watch another one."

"We love eating at our favorite restaurant, but we can't go there anymore because our child doesn't want to."

"I used to be really into my hobby, but I don't have time for that anymore because it's all about our child."

Do any of these sound familiar to you? If they do, don't feel guilty. They happen to the best of us. Being a parent is the hardest thing you will ever do and there is no manual. We are all blindly walking through this journey together and are hoping we don't screw our kids' lives up. In the midst of being a parent, especially a mother, we often lose ourselves and who we used to be and become what feels like an empty shell just trying to make it through one day at a time. Kids are an absolute joy, but they can suck the life from you, too. So, if you find yourself reaching for that toy at the store or going against your original demands just to appease your child, think again. What we are teaching them is that if they whine long or loud enough, they will get what they want. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, right?!

In the real world, we rarely get what we want when we want it. In fact, as adults, we over work and sacrifice relationships and time just to get what we want. By giving into our kids' demands we are setting them up for failure and surprise when the world doesn't work that way. We all know entitled people who throw adult tantrums and it's not pretty. Children need to learn perspective from a young age. I know it's exhausting to deal with meltdowns at home or at the store, but it's important that your children know who's boss and that they have a leader. A place with no leader is ripe for anarchy and strife. No rules or direction leads to boredom and mischief.

Save coveted things as rewards. Allow your kids to feel like they've earned it. When they have cleaned up their toys, gone to the potty, done really well in school, worked really hard on a project, then they can have what they want. That's how the real world works. In order to get that car you always dreamed of you don't just go to the car dealer and throw a tantrum on the floor until he hands over the keys!! You work really hard and earn the money to pay for it. And as far as giving up all the things you want to do so you can focus solely on your child?... Well, I have an article coming this week that addresses that very thing. Stay tuned!

by Kristee Mays

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Hello everyone. We hope you are well.

We are launching a new series of "Dear Abby" type videos on our blog site and need your help. We have several already in the works but need the letters to keep rolling in. If you or anyone you know is dealing with child behavioral issues, please send us a email. There are no topics off limits. They can range from the average tantrum to children dealing with divorce to bullying and so on. Don't worry, if you want to remain anonymous, we will not mention any names. Please specify that in your email. To get answers to your concerns, please email us at and we will let you know when we have posted the video. Thanks so much for participating and please tell your friends and extended families. We love hearing from you.

Also, please let us know if there are any topics, activities, or anything else that you want to see on our site because we are here for you and want you to be able to get as much out of it as possible.

Thanks again and God Bless,

Forefront Families

Sunday, January 20, 2013


For most of us there is a huge desire to serve our children healthy alternatives to the junk we are bombarded with on a daily basis. If you have ever set out to buy only healthy foods and realized that you can't afford to eat Organic, then here is a great article on how you can achieve it on a budget.
Healthy kids are much more receptive to learning and growing and flourishing. The more chemicals they are fed, the more bogged down they get and can't concentrate. Their hormones and mood changes are heavily affected by what they eat. So if you can try to replace at least one junk item at a time with a healthy alternative, you will notice a dramatic difference in their behavior and attitude.

Healthy eating on budget

Friday, January 18, 2013


  I read a newspaper article the other day about some teenage boys who were shooting tin cans off a back yard fence using a bee bee gun.  One of the boys was putting the cans back on the fence when another boy told him to move.  Unfortunately, he moved in the opposite direction than they expected and was shot and later died.  Alcohol was found to be involved.  The father of one of the boys was reported to have said, "You can't pick your kids' friends."

That statement got me thinking!  Can we pick our kids' friends?  I don't think there is a simple answer to that, but what I would say is that we can certainly train our kids to make wise choices. 

When our kids are small, we do have influence over who they play with.  We can set behavioral expectations for our own homes and ensure that other kids playing there abide by those rules.  When our preteens' behavior is adversely affected by the friends they hang around, we do have a say as to whether those friendships continue.

We cannot dictate our teens' friends, although hopefully, by that time we will have given them enough skills to choose friends who have similar values to our own.  Kids need to know that alcohol does not mix with any kind of activity.  We can use examples such as the one above to explain to our kids that serious accidents can occur when we are not thinking about possible consequences.

We need to teach our kids what a good friend looks like and how to maintain that friendship. Good friends care, protect and stick up for each other.  They are encouraging and help keep each other out of trouble and danger. We can also encourage our kids to tell us when they feel afraid or bullied or pressured by certain friends. It is important for them to feel like they can come to us as a safe place. Sometimes kids just feel like they will get in trouble from their friends if they tell an adult about another child's behavior.

The best way to teach your children to pick good friends is to be a good role model in the friends you pick. When they see the value of good friendship, they will look for the same things in others. And, if you are your child's hero, they will want to pick friends that remind them of you.

By Sally Burgess and Kristee Mays

Saturday, January 12, 2013


1. Create a positive attitude in your kids.
  • From their very early years, kids need to understand that learning is exciting and fun.  By reading them books and encouraging imaginative play - with boxes, plain paper, crayons, egg cartons, yarn, pipe cleaners, building blocks etc,  they get a real sense of accomplishment when they have invented something for themselves.
  • Let your kids see that you like to learn new things, too.  They love to see your excitement when you achieve a goal.
  • Kids who are constantly praised for positive steps in their learning will want to succeed.
2. Be involved in the kid's play and school work.
  • Kids love to please you.  They want you to be interested in what they are learning about at home and at school.   They need your enthusiasm and your guidance.
  • One-on-one time with your kids is priceless. 
3.  Establish study routines.
  • Allow kids time to wind down when they come home from school.  Don't plague them with questions about their day the minute they walk in the door unless you want one word answers.
  • Set a specific time for your kids to start homework each day, preferably before chores.
  • Make a minimum study period each day so that even if they say they do not have homework, this time is set aside for them to read, create or revise.
  • Where possible, be available to assist with homework especially in the preteen years.  As they advance through high school, they do need to become independent in their study, but it is still important for them to see that you are interested in what they are studying and give assistance where you can.
4. Provide conditions conducive to effective study.
  • If possible, provide a quiet atmosphere with a table or desk and good light.
  • Alleviate distractions such as phone, TV, radio, Ipods, MP3s or other people making noise around them.
5. Teach effective study skills.
  • Study skills can be readily found by searching the internet.  These skills will help them retain information and therefore improve their understanding and grades.

By Sally Burgess

Monday, January 7, 2013


I don't know why the word 'failure' is such a taboo word these days.  People do fail and therefore have to learn how to deal with it.  By not acknowledging failure we are ignoring the fact that it is real, that it hurts and that it causes loss of time, money, a job, a race or a game for example.  Most of all we lose self confidence.

How should we deal with failure?
    Acknowledge it - e.g. you had a goal and missed it; you tried to do something and it didn't work; you failed an exam; you didn't meet someone's expectations.

    Evaluate the situation - What happened? Why did it happen? - was I not well enough prepared? Did I just not do a good enough job? Was I trying to do do too many things at once and didn't give enough time to it? Did I make the wrong decision?

    Accept It - Acknowledge, accept and allow for feelings hurt and personal disappointment.

    Plan for it - Work out a plan to fix it or do better next time.
      Points to consider in helping ourselves and our kids deal with failure:
      a) If we find ourselves immediately blaming someone else for the failure, we are not being realistic about our part in the situation and are therefore not accepting responsibility.
      b) If we get stuck in the hurt and disappointment phase, we can easily wallow in the failure, never repair our self esteem and never experience the satisfaction of reaching the goal we first set off to achieve.
      c) We are not always in control of success.  We can be totally prepared to win a race but someone else just happens to be better than us.  We may apply for a job but someone else has more experience or qualifications than we do.We cannot always be THE best but we can always DO our best.
      d) We need to have realistic expectations of our children and not set the bar so high that the goals are impossible to achieve.
      c) It is a good idea to have a friend or mentor help us get back on track after failure.  That person will help us set goals, keep on task and be there to celebrate our subsequent successes.

      by Sally Burgess

      Tuesday, January 1, 2013


      It's that time of year again when we all reflect on last year's achievements or failures and try to make a plan to do it better this time around. The change might be eating healthier, exercising more, going for that promotion, taking that coveted vacation, having children or becoming a grandparent, graduating, getting married or doing that thing you've always been too scared to do.

      Whatever you want to achieve this year, make one of your goals to be the best parent, grandparent, son, daughter, brother or sister you can be. When I strive to continually improve as a person, I know that I positively affect everything and everyone else around me. Enthusiasm and drive are infectious and people want to be around those who push themselves to be better. It's also healthy to be around people who encourage us to want to do greater things.

      So, in saying that, if you're struggling with parenting and/or marriage, be the one who takes a step in the direction of positive change. If it's broken, it's obviously not working and needs to be healed. We are all inherently selfish and want others to change. However, we can only change ourselves, and in so doing, make our own lives and homes happier. Decide how to actively work on making changes. If you are not sure how to get there, look at someone you admire and ask them how they do it.

      My challenge to you is this. Wake up every morning and think how you can make other people's lives better today. When we do this, we create a safe and loving environment that has no room for negativity, breakdowns and strife. A person who feels loved will love others.

      These are my personal goals for this year:

      * To be a more patient and less frustrated parent. With two toddlers, it's easy to get agitated and reactive.
      * To teach my children about giving to others in need. I plan to help support several causes that will help children in impoverished nations and also widows in nations that don't take care of their own. If my children don't see me do it, they may never know what it means to think of anybody but themselves.
      * To wake up every morning and think how I can make my family and others feel more positive about themselves and how I can give them the tools to get there.

      Happy New Year everyone. I pray that this is a fantastic year for you. If it's a trying year, I pray that God will have mercy and give you the strength to stand strong through it all. You have us as a family to lean on and we love you very much.

      Lots of love,

      Kristee Mays (Forefront Families)