Respectful Children

Have you ever been in public and saw a child treating his or her parents – or god forbid, a complete stranger – like he or she simply didn’t see them as anything more than an annoyance? Like they had zero respect for the person in question? Does it make you sick in the stomach and think “oh no, the next generation is doomed”?

Have you ever watched your niece or nephew opening her or his birthday presents and say something like, “oh, this isn’t the toy I asked for”? Did it make you cringe a little and think, “just be grateful”?

Kids will say whatever is on their minds. When they’re younger, it’s kind of cute or even gives you a good chuckle when they say something surprising or with a bit of sass. However, if we don’t watch what we are encouraging or brushing off, it could allow the kids in our lives to turn into, dare I say it, ungrateful, disrespectful brats.

I recently read a great article by Huff Post: The Blog. Are we raising an ungrateful generation?

This article really made me think, and have a bit of fear, for the upcoming generations of this world.

What can we do about it? How can we prevent children from thinking this way?

After reading this article, I hopped on over to Pinterest to see if I could find some simple ways to teach the children in your lives how to respect others and respect what they have.

I found this great post on B-Inspired Mama! Blog that gives 15 tips for teaching kids to respect previous generations.

It’s easier to teach kids when they’re younger how to give respect and how to earn respect from others, so let’s be proactive.

 

Chore Charts

Okay, so, the kiddos in my life are getting to the age where they should start doing minor tasks around the house, or chores. If you start giving children responsibilities at a younger age, it can give them more respect for doing things for themselves and earning rewards for doing so. I, personally, like the idea of chore charts – they’re easy to manage and give the children a visual of their progress and achievements. You don’t have to reward your child with money after they’ve completed the tasks at hand – try an extra story at bedtime on a chosen night or allow them to arrange a play date with one of their friends as their reward. You can even try a prize basket or coupons – check out these great incentive ideas for When the Pigs Fly and Wondermom Wannabe.

Above is a great list of a bunch of different styles of chore charts – hopefully, you can find one that will suit the kids in your life! Thanks to Kids Activities Blog for the great ideas.

Little Swimmers

With the weather getting warmer, and summer right around the corner (well, hopefully, behind that icy, snowy corner that has been this year so far) it’s time to get ready for swim season! No, I’m not talking about getting your body in shape for swimsuit season, I’m talking about teaching the little ones to swim!

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My niece, Ireland, just took swim lessons the other day, which made me think: how many young children out there don’t know how to swim or are scared to swim alone – probably a decent amount. I was lucky enough to grow up with a swimming pool, and now my nieces and nephews have the same opportunity – my mom claims she just threw me in the pool one day with floaties on and hoped for the best (she wasn’t far away, obviously, in case I hated it). However, if you’d like to go about teaching your little ones to swim in a different manner, here is a great article from Junior Magazine that has tips and tricks for when you’re teaching the little ones to swim. If you start now, you could have them on Michael Phelps’ level by summer time.

Fun on a Snow Day

Oh boy, is it ever going to stop snowing? I don’t think so at this point, I’m pretty convinced it’s going to be winter forever! Now, I know my little nieces and nephew love being out in the snow, and I don’t know about all of you, but I’m sure you get a little exhausted after pulling them around on a sled and chasing after them for hours.

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Here’s an activity that can mix snow and art, and it doesn’t require you to trudge through the snow after the kids. Get a couple of spray bottles and fill them up with water and food coloring; kool aid works, too. That’s all you have to do, then let them create a masterpiece in your front yard. Join in the fun or relax on the porch with a cup of hot chocolate, you earned it.

I found this idea on Pink and Green Mama.

Repurpose Old Containers into New Fun

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I am all about saving money where you can and being creative. This post on The Activity Mom has a list of crafts and activities that you can create by using empty bottles and containers. It has a variety of learning activities, crafts, and small travel kits to keep kids entertained on long trips. Be an awesome aunt and make a jet pack for a teddy bear out of an old water bottle or a water run out of various shaped bottles. Click here to get the full list of fun.