Consent is a huge issue in today’s climate. As we’ve started to realize, kids are never to young to start learning about what consent is, and how to receive and give it. That means you should already be teaching toddlers about consent. As parents, we are the front line in facilitating these discussions and teaching consent to kids. Perhaps more importantly, it’s also our jobs to model this behavior in our own lives. Here are 5 ways to model consent in your everyday lives.
Ah, one year olds. All the moxie of a full-grown toddler, but none of the interest in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. And while the real fun and games of toddlerhood seem to hit around two, our kids definitely grow out of the “baby” stage well before then. We’re left with this not-so-fun in between time where our kids are more active than babies, but cannot yet be bribed. Worse still, they often will refuse to sit through a 21 minute episode of something bright and cartoony so we can just make dinner already! It’s not like I don’t love sitting with my one year old and playing Pat-a-Cake until my hands are raw, but sometimes I just have to get something done. And if I could find a way to entertain my toddler while they’re sitting next to me also doing something she enjoys, then hurray for us both!
Here are some things I’ve found that actually entertain a one year old.
Ahhh, toddlers. That beautiful stage full of curiosity, enthusiasm, joy… And tantrums. And opinions. And energy. Allllll the energy.
If you’ve got a toddler, you know that it can be hard to keep them entertained. They want to do everything, but there’s still a lot of limitations to what they can do. Restaurants, road trips, flights, dinner parties at non-baby-proofed houses- it’s enough to strike fear into any parent’s heart.
But it doesn’t have to be that way (well, not ALL the time at least). We’re bringing you a collection of easy toddler busy bags and busy bags for babies for our Littlest Salties.
I don’t know how it happened, but my daughter somehow knew all of her colors by two years old. I don’t remember doing a lot of kids’ learning activities with her- she just picked them up the color names on her own, and I didn’t think much of it.
So when my son didn’t know his colors at a few months past two, I decided that A.) This was a problem and B.) That he is color blind.
Clearly- it’s not. And he’s not.
The average child should be able to name at least one color by age three. So the first step for us was accepting that we did not have a problem, by any stretch of the imagination. But it did also make realize that Abe may need a little more focused practice to learn his colors, and as a result, I’ve been making a greater effort to teach him.
So if you are ready to start teaching colors to your child, we’ve got some fun kids’ learning activities that will keep the process light and stress-free.
On a beautiful summer day, we were soaking up the sun while drawing in our backyard. My friend’s son, age 6, decided he was going to write a book. He casually asked Lila, age 5 and a recent TK graduate, if she knew how to spell the word “like.” “K….L…E…” she started, and then looked at me in a hot panic. “MOMMY!!! I don’t remember ANYTHING from TK!!”
I mean, she did, of course, and with some reminders to say the sounds in the word, her memory was jogged enough to produce the letters. But her fear of summer reading loss was real. And it reminded me that we can’t abandon school work completely without experiencing the dreaded summer learning loss.
So if you also find yourself with a child entering PreK, TK, Kindergarten, or First Grade, it’s worth putting just a little time into some fun summer learning activities to avoid the dreaded summer slide. Here are some fun ways to make it happen without stressing your kids (or you!) out.
There are two kinds of toddlers: the kind that are super picky eaters and the kind that aren’t. And there’s a ton of helpful information out there to help your picky eater. Which is awesome! But as much as having kids that won’t eat anything is a major PITA, I’m here to tell you that having kids that eat EVERYTHING isn’t that great either. So whether your kid is a human garbage disposal too, or you just want to feel better about your situation, here are five things that are major downsides to having kids that everyone considers to be “great” eaters.
Before having kids, I was hella spontaneous. Whether it was last minute dinner plans, answering a friends invite of “let’s go out!” or literally leaving brunch to hit the road and go to Vegas, I was up for it all and with very few questions. So you can only imagine the ton of bricks that hit me when I had this tiny little baby. A baby that needed bottles and diapers and wipes and extra outfits and binkys and a suitcase full of miscellaneous items for a quick trip to Target. I mean, how much stuff do I need to run errands with kids?
And it’s not just the stuff – the stuff is manageable, and you can tackle leaving the house with a bunch of kids. But you have to know where you’re going! And I’m not just talking how to get there fastest. There are a lot of things you never realized you need to consider before picking a location to take your kids. So now, I basically never leave the house without answering these six questions first.
Ohhh, Chuck E. Cheese. If you were a child in the 80s or 90s, you can likely remember the joy, the excitement, and the thrill of this place. They had pizza. They had tokens and games and tickets. And the prizes, good grief, THE PRIZES. It was like heaven for kids. And now that I am on the other side of it, I know the dark, seedy side of the Chuck. Namely, that parents hate it as much as their kids love it.
Not everything is awful about Chuck E. Cheese, of course. Their pizza has improved greatly, and the ball pits only exist in the nightmares of germaphobes everywhere. But as they have improved, we’ve noticed that their prices have crept slowly up. Which, if you’re trying to limit the amount of time you have to spend there, might be a good thing. But if you’re desperate to show your kids a good time, the cost of the place can be a problem.
Lucky for you, we’ve scoured the internet and our local CECs to find the best collection of Chuck E. Cheese hacks, money saving tips, and upgrades to help make your trip to Chuck E. Cheese a little more bearable- or at the very least, a little less expensive.
We live in a fast paced world where there are opportunities around every corner. And we’re supposed to say, “YES!.” I mean, it’s the age of #YOLO and #NoRegrets. It’s a time when we’re supposed to grab the bull by the horns and when Andy Cohen asks you if you regret anything you said or did this season you can proudly say “I don’t believe in regrets.” (I’m looking at you Luann). But me? I’m sitting over here being a medical test dummy for my 3 year old and thinking how I absolutely should not have let her get the Doc McStuffins kit for pooping in the potty. Sure, I could try to brush it off as a “learning experience” but we’d rather go back in time and prevent the thermometer wet willy I just got from ever happening. That, and these other 99 things.
- Not accepting WAY more help when it was offered in the first couple years of parenting.
- That one Halloween when I ate all the candy.
- Not getting more pedicures.
- Wearing white shirts when my kids were babies.
- The number of times I was too lazy to make myself a meal and had chips and salsa for dinner.
- That one trip to Reno with two kids under two and cramming four people in two airplane seats.
- The time I assumed my kids fussiness was due to teething and not to an ear infection.
- Not bringing an extra pair of pants.
- And underwear.
- Taking all three kids to the movies at the same time.
- Telling the kids about the super fun and exciting thing we’re not doing until next week.
- Beating myself up about not losing the baby weight.
- The time I peeked in on the kids at the YMCA and the baby saw me and started to cry.
- Buying so many tubs of low carb ice cream before deciding I don’t care about carbs.
- Not taking more pictures of myself with the kids when they were teeny tiny babies.
- Not making that drink a double.
- Waiting so long to give my son formula.
- The time we went to Chuck E Cheese at noon on a Saturday.
- Forgetting to grab the wipes.
- Not getting an epidural on that second baby (Jaymi).
- Not getting an epidural on that third baby (Christine).
- Pretty much all of 2004.
- Not giving all these people a piece of my mind in the moment.
- That seventh “blue drink” on the cruise.
- Not super sizing my fries when I had the chance.
- Parking my car on the street the night it got side swiped.
- Not taking my kid to the bathroom the first time they said they had to go.
- Asking my sister about how long she thought it would be until she had the baby. While she was in labor.
- Stopping for diapers on St. Patrick’s Day 2014, because during the time it to me to get them my daughter got bit by a dog.
- Not using my Chick-fil-A reward before it expired that one time.
- You know those letters your therapist tells you to write, but not send? I regret sending it.
- Waiting so long to buy LuLaRoe leggings.
- Letting my kids eat in the car.
- Keeping a Sharpie within arms reach of my children.
- Not teaching my kids that they have to wear underwear every single day.
- Everything about this situation.
- Letting my kid sleep in my room so long.
- Moving my kid out of their crib when I did.
- Watching Waterworld.
- Not noticing the Starbucks cup in the trash can before my 18 month old drank out of it.
- Almost every time I’ve answered an unknown number on my phone.
- Waiting so long to replace our old college furniture.
- Not printing out more pictures of my kids.
- Leaving my kids lunchbox in the car overnight.
- Forgetting to call the YMCA and not getting a spot in the kids club.
- Introducing my kids to the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
- Not sleeping when the baby slept.
- Wearing cheap bras.
- Not checking under the carseats when I thought the car was clean.
- Not going to Applebee’s more often for $1 drink specials.
- Yelling at the girl at the McDonald’s drive through when I was having a rough day and my coupon wouldn’t scan.
- Drinking that coffee at 8pm. And yes, it’s probably the only time I’ve EVER regretted drinking a coffee.
- Every time I’ve ever refused pain medication.
- Not noticing until 8 at night, home alone, with all three kids, that we were COMPLETELY OUT of diapers.
- Wearing high heels to my kids’ baptisms.
- Forgetting it was street sweeping day.
- Buying generic cough drops.
- Forgetting to turn everything off and ruining my Ohm Hour streak.
- Not signing my kid up for the summer camp he really wanted before it sold out.
- Running into the baby’s room to make sure she’s alive only to have the running wake her up.
- Repeatedly running into the baby’s room, after not having learned my lesson the first time.
- Not getting a refill on my Cherry Coke before leaving Chick-fil-A.
- Choosing being on time over getting coffee on the way.
- The time I let my toddler take a nap at 5pm.
- Saying I didn’t need anything for Mother’s Day.
- Sleeping on the couch last night. My back is not in it’s 20’s anymore.
- Buying expensive sunglasses.
- Buying cheap bras.
- The time I will never get back trying to finish The Goldfinch.
- Teaching my kids how to use Alexa for their own personal gain.
- The time I wore white and then let my kids eat Cheetos near me.
- Basically any time I wore white post having kids.
- Not ordering dessert more often.
- Falling off the workout wagon.
- Forgetting my phone at the library.
- Forgetting my phone at the library right before it closes.
- Forgetting my phone at the library right before it closes on a Saturday night when they won’t be open again UNTIL TUESDAY!
- Thinking it was “just a rash” and ignoring it for a minute.
- Buying every toy we have that makes a ton of noise.
- Buying the Costco sized bag of raisins. When will I learn the kids will turn on anything I buy in bulk?
- Forgetting to restock toilet paper in the bathroom.
- Letting my kid take a nap at 4pm.
- Saying, “No I can do it myself” when I just should have said, “That would be great, thank you.”
- Leaving fake tanning lotion within reach of my two year old.
- Letting my kids own a cowbell.
- Not spending more of my kids’ formative years teaching them you don’t eat bananas out of the trash.
- Taking my fertility for granted.
- Getting the kids all excited to get Chick-fil-A and then remembering it’s Sunday.
- Anytime I ever took the kids with me when I had to try on clothes before buying them.
- Thinking I didn’t need a stroller anymore for a day at the aquarium with three kids.
- Forgetting to return the giant stack of kids’ library books on time.
- Letting my kid stay up WAY past his bedtime to watch “one more cool part” until the movie was over.
- Saying yes to Play-Doh.
- Not making it absolutely clear to my children that you HAVE to wear pants in public. All the time.
- Asking my son how I looked in my bathing suit. (Spoiler alert: “Squishy”)
- Not getting more pedicures.
- Not hiring a babysitter when I just needed a break.
- Believing my kid when he said he definitely had his shoes. (He did not).
- Anytime anyone ever made me feel bad about any of my parenting choices.
Because despite all these regrets, I love my kids, I (usually) love my life, and yes, I learned from allllllll those mistakes. Next time I’m super-sizing, signing my kid up for summer camp the day registration opens and getting that epidural dammit!
What do you regret?
Having kids is a big responsibility. You hold your tiny baby and think, “I’m going to teach you letters and numbers and colors, how to throw a ball and how to read” and it can feel overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. Kids are constantly learning and part of our job is to facilitate this amazing experience for them. And then they take off their pants in a Chick-fil-A and you realize you’ve been focusing on all the wrong things. And there’s a whole world out there of things you NEVER thought you’d actually have to teach your kids.
So here are seven things we learned the hard way that you absolutely MUST teach your kids.