How to Avoid Children’s Gift Overload This Year

And help them to appreciate what they've been given

One Christmas day back when we only had 3 children, we got up relatively early, dumped out stockings and opened a gift. Breakfast was next, a fancy pants one with bubbly orange juice in wine glasses. It took a while to get everyone dressed for church, and we loaded them into the car for our 1/2 hour drive to church for Christmas Mass at 12:30. Once we made it home at 2, everyone was sleepy, so naps commenced.

Naptime over, we opened up another gift but didn’t have time for anything else as we had been invited to some friends’ for dinner. As they lived 1/2 hour away, we all loaded up into the car and headed out again, with a busload of gifts still sitting under the tree.

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Fix Your Caveman’s Table Manners in 5 Days

The freebie you need if your kids embarrass you in restaurants

We finally finished our little project we’ve been working on, our free giveaway. It’s the “Fix Your Caveman’s Table Manners in 5 Days”.

Caveman freebieIn it, we talk about why it’s important to have good table manners both as children and as adults. Included also are 13 suggestions of simple table manner fixes that are most likely to embarrass you at Great Aunt Mille’s house when spaghetti is part of the meal.

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Scowling Kid vs. Parent Showdown

Who can make the meanest face?

There’s a tactic that we had to pull out of our bag of tricks today. Years ago, we discovered that when our kids were super grumpy, there was one sure fire way to get them to smile.

A mean face contest.

Oh yeah, as in, “Your mean face isn’t nearly as good as my mean face. Game on. Make the meanest face you can.” And we’d make horribly mean faces at each other. The kids would always burst out laughing.

How ridiculous is it for kids to have their parents tell them to make a grumpy face? We’d growl, “Come on, you can be nastier than that!” as we’d screw up our faces into the most disagreeable, cantankerous scowl we could envision.

The ensuing result was that, in the process of attempting to be crotchety, our faces would be so ridiculous that the child couldn’t help themselves, and the smirk would start.

“NO!” we’d holler. “NASTIER! Uglier!”

And they’d try but burst into laughter.

“Hold ON!” they’d laugh. “Let me concentrate!

Trying to be grumpy

And we’d discover a new, silly nasty face.

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Goldilocks Parenting–Permissive, Authoritative or Just Right

Which one works best in the long run?

If we can boil parenting styles down into just 3 categories, we would categorize them as Permissive, Authoritative, and Just Right.

Let’s imagine a scenario at a restaurant.

1. The Permissive parent reasons with their child, no matter what the age. Softly, “Now Taylor, don’t crush your crackers and smash them on the floor. You know we don’t like that.” And so Taylor proceeds to crush the crackers

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