Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Tip: Inspire Independent Children

For today's "Tuesday Tip", I thought I'd share some thoughts that I first published on The Huffington Post on empowering our five kids to be more independent.  With summer upon us, the mere notion of spending the next few months lugging beach towels, beach toys, water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, hats, swim shirts and so on made my (admittedly aging!) back started to ache.  So, I decided that this will be the "summer of independence" -- the summer that the kids take on more so I can (in the most literal sense!) take on less.  Here's how we plan to do it -- think of this as a three-part memo to the little people of the "Lyons Den."
  1. We've dabbled in the past in the genius of the National Parks "Carry In/Carry Out" policy. This summer, we are not dabbling; we are adopting and enforcing it. "Carry In/Carry Out" will apply to any item (think of all the aforementioned items plus baseball cards, Legos, dolls, books, etc.) transported to the minivan, backyard, front porch and all other locales. Should you "carry in" and neglect to "carry out", you will lose the object/s in question indefinitely and be subject to a fine. For real. And not just a penny -- this could be up to a quarter, my dear little people!
  2. You want it? You get it! This mom is a waitress no more! This ground-breaking rule will apply to glasses of water, apples and other approved snack items and beverages. Of note, it will not apply to cookies, chips and ice-cream; they will still require approval (and potentially assistance, since we don't want to lose a kid in the freezer!) and must be approved by management (a.k.a. Mom or Dad).
  3. You need it? You carry it. This just might change the subtle curvature in my spine that has resulted from not only carrying triplets, but carrying their associated stuff and siblings! This summer, if you need a beach towel, it will go in your backpack. If you need to return a library book, you can take it in your book bag. You get the idea. This is about you doing some of the heavy lifting so this mom literally has a lighter load. 
With these tips in mind, I hope you have a lighter summer, in every sense of the word!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday Tip: Meet the Food Yenta

The Food Yenta's new tote bag is awesome - just like her.
I mentioned earlier in the year that I might be doing less blogging in an effort to be spending more time with my family.  If you noticed I've been MIA the past few weeks, that's probably why -- although, it's also been a busy few weeks at work and I recently had the privilege of writing for the Huffington Post so, needless to say, there hasn't been a lot of spare time!  

In the midst of it all the working, writing and wrangling of wily children, I had the good fortune to enjoy a fun night out with some local bloggers and, as always, I was so impressed and flattered to be in their company.  I'm going to start routinely sharing some of these gal pals with you because, frankly, if you don't know them, you should.  The first is The Food Yenta. She is funny, she is awesome and she is just like you and me -- well, depending on your cooking skills, she may be more like you!  In any case, she is incredible and she shares tasty, quick, easy, family-friendly recipes on her site several days a week.  If I wanted to keep this Tuesday's Tip really short and sweet, I'd simply say "Follow The Food Yenta!" But, since she has some great parenting tips of her own, I thought I'd share them with you here... 
  1. Have patience. When it comes to food or just playing games, we all lose it sometimes and kids really know how to push all of our buttons. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I try to remember that that my kids are newbies at life and everything comes in time.
  2. My mother-in-law gave me very good advice when I was pregnant with my son and freaked out about being a “mom”. Firm, fair and consistent. It’s a rule I live by and gets us through hard times.
  3. Let your kids get dirty. Whether it be a mud puddle or flour, it’s fun. After all, that’s why we have washing machines.
  4. Enjoy your kids, even during the worst of times because they grow up quick. It feels like yesterday my son was born and I was holding him in the hospital. Now…now, he’s graduating kindergarten and entering first grade!
  5. Coconut oil is great for cooking but it is also great for dry skin and eczema.
For more about The Food Yenta, check out her full interview at Mommy Page.  As for me, I aspire to be a better cook... and a better mom... one day at a time.  If I'm here less often, that will be why and, you can always visit me over at Facebook if you want a quick peek at the latest from the Lyons Den!