Wednesday, July 21, 2010

5 Tips to Raising Your Friends Teen

As those who read this blog often know we add Mr. Man to our family full time four months ago. Life has been hard for all of us. The is so much to learn as we go through this time. We are all new to each other. Life in our home is very different than life back with his mom and sisters. I would not say I have it figured out how to be a mom to a teen with a life that has been so hard but I have started to learn a few things. I had a hard time find things out there to help me when I decide to take Mr. Man in because of that I want to share what I learn a long the way. Here are my tips to other fostering or adopting or raising a friends teenager.
  • find a good church that the child will fit in at - We did do this. Sweet dude and I prayed and talk about it before Mr. Man even came. We didn't feel the church we went too would be a place that Mr. Man could fit in at. We knew the church Girlygirl went to AWANA at had a loving and accepting way about them. The kids and I go to church there now.(with Sweet dude being Deaf he stayed at our old church)
  • let others help- I have a hard time with this. I feel while they feel they have to or they don't know what they are getting into with this kid. But if others want to love him I need to let the happen. I pray God will teach me to allow more help.
  • know it cost a lot of money- teens cost a lot of money. Mr. Man came to me with shoes with holes in them and there was still some snow on the ground. His underwear he brought from home would fit a six year old. So that first week we went out and got him new clothing all he would need. Then there is the meds and the therapy. We did get him on our insurance but still the co-pays add up to a lot each month. 
  • read about being a parent to a teen- I have not found a good book about how to parent a teen that did not grow up with you. I have been reading Love and Logic for teens. I would say before a teen came to to to read both the first Love and Logic and the teen one. It has been the best way to parent Mr. Man.
  • it is not about today- I tell Mr. Man, Sweet Dude and even me "It is not that we are trying to change him as a teenager but that it is our job to make sure he will be the best adult he can be." What I mean is today it maybe hard for all of us but if when he moves out into the world he can make it and understand out the world works then what we did now will have been right. 
  • pray and pray and pray- it is hard you need to let go and let God. So pray pray pray.
If you have a teen that did not grow up in our home what were somethings you learned about adding a child that age into your home? If have parented any teen what is you best tip for those who are trying to find there way thought it now?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pray with them and play with them

Mr. Man littlest sister stayed with us for the past week. She is with my older sister for the summer. Littlest Sister told me over and over she know my sister and her husband are her friends and loved her because they pray with her and play with her. This is something we needed to remember with our own kids. They just want to be loved and they know they are loved if we pray with them and play with them. Make sure that your kids feel loved by you. Take lots of time to play and pray.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Leaving Home with a Plan

When we are out and doing things it is hard for Mr. Man to stay still and not make noises no one wants to hear. I have learned a few things in the last few months about that have worked good for us.
  • silly putty- yes you know the stuff. If you where like me you loved it as a kid. It is great it fits in even the smalls purse and both Mr. Man and Girlygirl love to play with it. (maybe even me)
  • talk about what he needs to do where we are going. Like if we are going to church he needs to sit and listen. If he wants to do something then take notes, do the children's bulletin or play with putty.
  • Give him away out if we out. Sometimes things are too hard for him to do that day. Before going in I let him know what he can do if he can't do what I have asked of him. In church if you can't sit still and be quite he can go to the cry room or walk home (we live very close to church).
  • Helping him remember what was asked of him. It is fine if he needs a few reminders of what was asked of him. 
  • Be ready to reward good behavior. We do Scobbies. I keep them with me at all times anytime he is good at a place or for sometime he gets one.
  • Don't over plan and if you do have a long day plan breaks in it. Even too much fun stuff can make it hard to behave.
Some kids take more planning even for a little day to day stuff in life. Knowing you kid will help you to know how much you need to be ready for. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Postive Parenting / Discipline without punishment: Scoobies

      Getting the wanted behavior out of any child is hard. I harder to get a child who has learned the only bad thing you can do is make others mad. Mr. Man had learned many co-oping skills to help him not make others mad most of which are not that great. This has cause Mr. Man to not understand that doing things wrong is what make others mad. We get in trouble at my house not based on how mad I am but what you did wrong. The more things you do in an acceptable manner the more fun you get to have. If you don't do your home work or good in school then life is not very fun. Mr. Man has I hard time understanding that. So when he told me about Scoobies I jump at trying to use them with him. It is a great idea that a counselor he and his mom saw back home tried to start with them a few years ago. Now living here we are using it.
      What are Scoobies? The name is made up by Mr. Man. They are just Nylon Weaving Loops  (used for crafts) giving to Mr. Man for good behavior. They are used to show Mr. Man good behavior earns him more fun. They work as a visual way to say when I like when you do this now you can do what you like too. We do this as a positive why to teach. You could use anything or call it anything you want. This is what works for us.
    Why it works great? By naming it Mr. Man feels he owns it. He is proud of it and tells everyone he meets about them. I like it because they are easy to carry with me. I often keep some on my arm.
   How does he earn them? I talked to the school his first week here and they give him a chance to earn them for each class. Mr. Man has a paper that his teacher each circle yes or no on and sign. It has made him want to behave at school to get them. At home he gets them for doing all his morning and bed time stuff on his own without whining or having to be told. Also for things like behaving like a 14 year old in the store, helping with Girlygirl when asked, doing chores or anytime he is caught being good.
   What does he do with all the Scoobies he earns? Sweetdude and I came up with a plan of things he can do with them. From TV time to outing with us or friends. I will post soon a list of all we do.

      ***Remember to find what works for your family and do that until it is not working any more***

   Please feel free to ask questions if you want to know more or my opinion on anything. I will be a post about it soon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Raising a Friends Child

Well, I have had Mr. Man living with me for about a month. Wow time flies. We have good days and bad. What I have the hard time with is not fitting into any boxes. We are not foster care or an apoted parent. Nor have we raised him for the first fourteen years or are we his only parents. I am a glenner of inforamtion. I great at listen or reading what other people have to say and finding was to make it work for me and those around me. I have not been able to find any books on raising a friends kid. How do you blance the reltionship they have with you and with their parents? How do you reguide them at the same time teach them to love their real parents.  I all I can do is take this one day at a time. I learn more of what to do everyday.  So far I have learn Six things.
  1. Understand their past- Each child's past will be different but if you know their past you will know how to help them better.
  2. Don't think the parents will help- I have gotten little to no help with money, ideas on ways to help them, or with any questions you may have. I am on a island and I know there is information out there but I can't swim to it.
  3. Listen to hidden fears/answers- I have learned Mr. Man shuts down if someone is mad at him. Yelling at him or even raising your voice a little it is all over. He loses all control and everyone around will see it. I learn this by his words each time he does something wrong. Anytime he thinks someone is mad or may get mad at him; He say over and over "Please don't be at at me". It is important with all kids to look for the hiden  answers. Please remember each child will be different.
  4. They need time- They need time to heal and understand what is going on. They need you time to be a listening ear, guide, someone to play with, and most of all they need your time to parent them in a new way.
  5. If you can make room in your heart you can make room in your house.- My house without using the basement as living space is less than 1,000 square feet. With the basement that we now us for two bed rooms it is not much more than 1,000 square feet. 
  6. Reward Reward Reward-Each time Mr. Man does something good I make sure he know I a happy are reward them. Kids who come from a hard life often missed out on this.
I am blessed to have Mr. Man and I hope that God will use me for big things in this young man's life. If you are a guardian of you friends or family child remember more than anything they need love.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Monday, March 15, 2010

Movie Review: Gigi's Big Break

I joined Book Sneeze to review books and stuff. I wasn't sure I'd find anything I'd want to review but with in the first week I found a Gigi movie. I knew we loved to other Gigi movie we have as well as the book; so I look forward to getting Gigi's Big Break . It has two 2 stories in it. White Lies is about a lie Gigi told and how it grew and made her felt after each lie. This one was a little over Girlygirl's head and she didn't get that what Gigi was tell was a lie. The Pink Surprise talks about the good and bad parts of have a baby in your house. Girlygirl loved it she wants a baby bother or sister so bad.  When the movie was over she said "Again! Again! That my favorite."
You can find Gigi's Big Break on amazon for $13.49. If you have not heard of Gigi I would reccommand them. Though White Lies was over Girlygirl head I love how it shows a Christian family. So Gigi's Big Break get a 4 out of 5.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A New Blessing from God

God has blessed my family much. We have a house just big enough for my family. We fit in just perfect. All our bills our paid and we never go with out food. That is more to say than a lot of people. We also have a daughter who loves God at the tender age of three. She has more than she could ever what. More than that we have been able to take three kids great kids each summer. Now because of things I will not talk about right now. We are going to have Mr. Man the oldest of the three come stay with us for a year or two. We look forward to the joy and learning that will happen for our whole family as we add a fourteen year old boy to our family.  We are counting to the days until March 20th as this is the day he will come. I look forward to sharing what I learn from this great young man. Remember all God has given you and share what you can with others.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Christian Wife: It is all about them

There were days I felt lots in the craziness of being a wife and mom. I felt that I needed more. I needed someone to meet my wants. I want to sit around and do nothing after work. I wanted to be able to be worry free and tell some else to clean the house. I wanted to have Sweet Dude fix everything for me and make me happy. I wanted it to be all about me. Then I read Proverbs 14:1 A wise women strengthens her family but a foolish women destroys hers by what she does. Then it hit me. I need to be a women who cares for her family more than myself. I need to be a women who does things t o bring her family together. If that means I do the cleaning and being the one worrying and my wants don't always get meet; so be it. I need to trust God. He made me the wife the glue to keep my family together. I have seen families fall part because the women wasn't the glue. I don't want that to happen to family. So as I say I need to be the glue or as it is in Proverbs I need to strengthen my family everyday. What are some ways we can strengthen our families?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Goals Update for Feburary

This month I was sick and didn't do much of anything. First I puled a muscle which hurt so bad I went to the doctor. I was told to rest. That got better and then I went and got a cold. Yeah for me:(. Any how here is my update
  1. I want my house to be cleaner today than yesterday. I chose to word it this way because it will be easy to succeed. If I tell myself I need to clean a lot I do nothing but if I start small most often I will clean more. Most days my house was about the same as yesterday. Not much cleaner and some days much messier. I need to do some real cleaning now that I am feeling better.
  2. Join Bible Study. After moving from California I have gotten farther and farther away from God. So finding a good Bible study I thought would be a good step in getting close to God again. I love Coffee Break and though I missed this week I can't wait to go next week.
  3. Read though the Bible this year. I have a great book called the Life Journal that I am using. I started at the end of last year. What a blessing reading the Bible with a guide has been. This is one thing I keep up great with.
  4. Teach Girlygirl more. I do a lot with Girlygirl but after my summer kids left this last summer. I got very sad after hearing more of their story back home and not having a choice but to send them back there. Well, you can see I did no Tot School this month but Girlygirl did lots of learning. She loves to write letters (through hard for her), cutting and gluing. We read a lot because I didn't want to move around much. I hope to do much better on this in March.
  5. Help Mr. Man learn how to live a productive live. This is a new one. I will post soon about Mr. Man but he is coming to live with me. His home life has been hard for him. I got the paper to sign him up for school. I have also read some books about teens and how to help children in school. He will come here this month so the real work will begin.
Here is to a new month and doing better. Now time to get up and make it all happen.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Less Tv For Preschooler

The Ten Way to Watch Less Television
  1. No TV Before lunch This one is hard for me. On the days I do it works great.
  2. Listen to music The noise and fun of the songs has help Girlygirl not think about turning on the TV.
  3. Read When the TV is off and Girlygirl needs something to do I stop what I am doing and read a book. It takes but a few minutes and is great for her.
  4. Have your child help you It takes more time to have your child help you but they love it. Plus if they learn how to do it slowly when they are young and want to "they" say it is easier to get them to help later.
  5. Keep toys cleaned up This may be easier for others but I feel often why clean it for her to just take the same thing out again. What I have learned is Girlygirl plays a lot longer in a clean house.
  6. Have quite time for your child daily This gives you the time you need on your own.
  7. Move toys around There are a few ways you can do this. You can switch them from the play room to bed room or keep some up and bring them from time to time. I do both. Toys in a new place are like new toys
  8. Art and Crafts They break up the day and give the child something new to do. I do some planned but she has a book and now collage tray she can do whenever she wants.
  9. Play with your Child
  10. Teach your child to play on their own You can read my post on that here.
Let me know some ways you keep the TV from taking over your house.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Teaching Preschooler about the Bible

Teaching your preschooler about the Bible can be over whelming but we as Christians know we want your children to understand God's truth. Therefore teaching your preschooler about the Bible is important. There are a few things that I have done to teach Girlygirl about God's Word. Helping your preschool memorize Bible verses is easier than I thought. After joining Awana she has taken off. If you never heard Awana of it is a great program. I loved it as a child and now Girlygirl is having a great time in her first year. Girlygirl is doing great at remembering the verses. She even asked to do two in a week. I do few things to help her meet her goal. I have writen them on index cards and taped them on the door frame between our living room and dining room. This helps me see them easly to say them over and over through out the day. At first I say a word Girlygirl repets me. Then later in the week I say 2 to 4 words and Girlygirl repts me. I also turn the verse into a song and sing it with her (sometimes she loves it others she doesn't it.) By the end of the week I just say the first word and can say the whole thing on her own. I think she wouldn't try as hard if wasn't getting a patch for her Awana vest every few weeks. More about teaching your preschool about the Bible in the weeks to come. Today remember to help your child learn the word of God and hide it in their hearts.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Collage Tray

Girlygirl loves to glue. She often can be found sitting at her little table making a collage. It is great open end craft project and now is out and ready whenever she wants to do it. The great thing about collages is you can put to match a theme or just random things.
I just keep a store bought veggie. I just ask for it after the church potluck. Veggie tray are great for a few reasons. It is dived to keep the different things in there own place and has a lid. What I like best is if you get them from a potluck like it did it was free. Now here are some list I found of stuff to put in the Collage Tray. Earth Kids has a great list that can be found here. This list is almost the same but has a few different ideas.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Goals for the New Year

I have made four goals for the new year. I have never done it before but I have decide I need a plan to get out of the funk I have been in. So far it is working good. I was not going to share my goals but have decide to because I'd like to keep a record of how I do. More than that if I know if I need to tell someone (any one who is out there) how I am doing I will feel like I need to keep it up. So here are my goals and how the first month went.
  1. I want my house to be cleaner today than yesterday. I chose to word it this way because it will be easy to succeed. If I tell myself I need to clean a lot I do nothing but if I start small most often I will clean more. January was a great everyday but two my house was cleaner than the day before. Now at the end of the month my house is cleaner than it has been in a long time.
  2. Join Bible Study. After moving from California I have gotten farther and farther away from God. So finding a good Bible study I thought would be a good step in getting close to God again. My good friend has been asking me to go to Coffee Break with her for a long time. I had lots of reasons I couldn't go. But I started at the new year and love it. (thanks Amy for not giving up on my)
  3. Read though the Bible this year. I have a great book called the Life Journal that I am using. I started at the end of last year. I have read more days than not and I really love the look at the Bible.
  4. Teach Girlygirl more. I do a lot with Girlygirl but after my summer kids left this last summer. I got very sad after hearing more of their story back home and not having a choice but to send them back there. After do the first three things this has just happened. I will be posting in tot school again soon.
There are my goals for 2010. I look forward to sharing with you guys how I do and what happens.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Valentines Day: family love

Sweet Dude and I feel differently about what Girlygirl should get for Christmas. For a few reasons I believe that we should keep it small. I want us to focus on Jesus on Christmas not gifts. We have so many people who love her and get her stuff our gifts would be lost in it all. I also want her to be happy for each gift she gets. So many kids in her in America think they should have what they want when they wanted. I work hard to teach Girlygirl that she can't have everything she wants and that gifts are special no matter what they are. Sweet Dude loves to give Girlygirl lots of things. Though he understands my point still wants her to have the things that she wants and would make her happy. We needed to come up with away to make it work for both of us where Girlygirl could have a day other than her Birthday to get gifts from us. I came up with teaching our children that Christmas is for Jesus and give gifts they are small. When then will have Valentines Day be all about family love and daddy will give gifts to each person in the family a gift and we each get him a gift. This is our first year doing this. At Christmas time we where able talk about giving to others and how that Jesus came to earth as a baby. We then made list of things we want for Valentines Day and when we talked about gifts it was what we wanted for Valentines Day. Though it is our first year it has worked out great. We hope to make it a family tradition.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Towel Time

In my last posted about things I do to teach Girlygirl to play on her own. Now I wanted to share what towel time looks like in our house and give you some idea of toys to give during this time. Where does towel time happen? Towel happens most often near me, where ever that is that is the great thing about it. This helps me make sure Girlygirl stay there and helps me to get to her fast if she gets of. I do not always stay in the same room but if I am down stairs then she is too if I am up stairs she is too (my house is tiny so it works out good for us). I just tell her we are going to do towel time. She doesn't like it at first some days. The longer it has been the hard it is for her. Should I do towel time with my kids at the same time? This summer when we had my friend's kids living here. Both of the little girls (Girlygirl and Little Sister) like to do towel time. They would do it at the same time often in the same room but not close enough to touch each other. It gave them a break from having to share and deal nicely with other. It also gave me time to have one on one time with one of the big kids also. What does Girlygirl get at towel time? Like I said before she gets a few books, her blanket, and a toy or two (may be a group of toys) What are the toys Girlygirl gets at towel time? There are a lot a different toys I give her. Some I keep put up for this time only others are out all the time and I just think she will like to play them more than she does. When it comes to picking toy pick things you know your child can do on their own and will like to play with. Here is a list of the ones we us most.
  • Doll house
  • Little People- most often the farm but some time another ones
  • blocks-we a a few different kinds to choice from
  • Fast food toys- I keep them in a drawer with the other toys and just give her the drawer
  • Mr. Potato Head
  • puzzles
  • stacking cups
  • Elmo ( like Mr. Potato head)
  • Doodle Pro
  • lacing cards
  • doll with clothing, food ect.
Girlygirl is the only kid here with me right now and she has learned to play on her own because of this we don't do towel time much. Cheek out what Kimberly said in her post called Multi-level Homeschooling: Little Ones Part 2. It will be hard at first but remember your not in the entertainment business you are their mom and teaching them to depend on themselves from time to time will only help them as they get older. I'd love to hear how towel time or whatever you call it in your homes works so please share in the comments.