Parents want nothing more than to ensure their children are physically and mentally fit, and fully capable of handling social as well as personal situations. Having good self-esteem from childhood is key for growing into a successful and self-satisfied adult.
From a very young age, children are faced with situations that demand confidence, whether it is going to a new school or performing at a spelling competition. So how can you establish confidence in your child to allow them to believe in themselves and face the challenges of everyday life?
1-Give them plenty of chances at success
Children can acquire a great deal of self-confidence if they have achievements littered along their life, regardless of how big or small. Make them feel competent by enabling experiences that let them realize their own capabilities.
This can include encouraging them to sign up for an art competition if they have a natural talent for painting, or to perform at the school play if they particularly enjoy drama class. However, avoid pushing them to do something against their own will.
2-Vocalise your appreciation
As long as the compliments you give are genuine and not misleading, they can go a long way to making your children believe in themselves. Don’t make them believe something that isn’t true as this will only disappoint them upon realization.
3-Avoid using unwarranted labels
This especially applies to calling your child shy or nervous, regardless of how introverted he/she really is. Whether speaking to your child, or about your child to others, using a label such as ‘oh he’s really shy he doesn’t speak very much’, prevents him from doing any different and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The best approach is to rephrase his reluctant nature by a general statement such as ‘Thomas enjoys listening to other views before expressing his own opinion’.
4-Don’t step in on your child’s behalf
Often when children behave in a shy or hesitant manner, parents have a tendency to step in and perform on their behalf by, for example, answering a question directed at the child by another adult.
Try not to interfere as your child is always in a position to learn from new experiences and situations and could become too dependent on others when faced with something they cannot handle on their own.
5-Avoid coming across as dismissive
Always have a supportive response in situations where your child becomes upset or nervous. Your tone should be full of warmth and understanding. Stating a sentence of comfort such as ‘it looks as though you’re a bit scared around the neighbor’s dog, that’s understandable” as opposed to ‘stop being scared of the
neighbor’s dog, that’s ridiculous at your age’ can make a world of difference.
6-Make your child home-wise
Assigning household responsibilities to your child, which he/she can complete with good ability can also help improve confidence. Whether it is doing the laundry or the dishes, it gives them the chance to trust themselves after being trusted with new tasks, and this filters through to their confidence outside of the
By labeling these tasks as ‘special jobs’ you can entice children into feeling good about what they are doing, even if they are just household chores.
It can sometimes be frustrating watching your child struggle with everyday encounters or shy away from new experiences and responsibility. However, remember that confidence only comes after years of being faced by situations where our strengths and weaknesses are tested and we become familiar with navigating around our fears and reservations.
Try to let your children find their own strengths and then find success in these areas of strength, and support them in this process of trial and error.
About The Author
Every year, it seems as if school lunches are on the up and up. If you have two, three or even four or more kids, these paid lunches can add up so fast! Just like eating out at work, why throw all this money away, when you can do something about it.
If you don't think you have time to pack your child's lunch, it's time to think again! Packing a lunch can be done within a few minutes, if done right.
Offer a Variety
Don't stick with the same ole' peanut butter and jelly every day. If you do, your child is going to get sick of it pretty fast. Instead, try to offer a variety. While you don't have to have something different every single day, try to switch it up throughout the week.
For example, start with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, followed by a ham sandwich, etc. If you have leftover pizza, be sure to throw a pizza in to spice things up. The same can be said about the snacks, vegetables, pudding and fruits.
Your child doesn't want to open up their lunch and see a bunch of blah colors. Instead of sticking to the same old boring sandwich, try to liven up the lunch bag with colors. By adding vegetables and fruits, this is a fantastic way to add color and a lot of nutrition to your child's life.
When packing a lunch, you just have to remember that some fruits and vegetables won't last long in a locker. Try to stick with apples, bananas, tomatoes and berries.
Have Fun With It
This trick tends to work for children who are still in elementary. With their sandwiches, fruit and vegetables,
consider cutting it up into fun shapes and objects. For example, if it's Halloween, consider grabbing a cookie cutter and create a sandwich that looks like a pumpkin. This is a great way to motivate your child to look through most of the food in their bag.
Make it Easy
No child wants to eat something that is messy, like last night's lasagna. Kids, no matter what their age, are going to like easy-to-eat foods. Like what I've mentioned above, try to stick to the finger foods, such as sandwiches, fruits, vegetables and chips. If you're going to pack something, like a pizza, try to cut it up ahead of time, if you have the time.
Chances are you're going to talk with your child before they head out the door. If you do, be sure to take advantage of this. Ask your child what they want in their lunch, but instead of simply asking, give them options. So instead of saying, "Hey, what kind of fruit do you want?" you could say, "Do you want an
apple or banana?" Children love choices, and if you give them viable options, it should be easier to get an answer out of them.
Don't Forget the Treat
So many times, the parents often forget the treat inside of the bag. Yes, while it's great to focus on the great food, you don't want to forget about a sweet treat. Today, there are so many great options that you can choose as a sweet snack. This can include homemade muffins, Rice Krispie treats or a healthy chocolate granola bar.
Now that you know how to spice up your child's lunch, here are some tips to make packing a lot easier:
- Throw chips, cookies and anything else that can last in a pantry inside of a baggie. Store this inside of the pantry so that you can just pick them up and throw them in the bag.
- Set aside one day a week to whip up something fun, such as bread, muffins or cookies.
- Take the meat from last night's dinner and consider using it on sandwiches.
- Lastly, have motivation! Once you get into the habit of doing this, it will become a habit to you. Not only will your child thank you for it, you can save a lot of money by allowing your child to skip the hot lunch line.
Stephanie is from howmuchisit.org. Here, you can find thousands of cost helping guides. Whether you want to know something that is baby or health related, be sure to keep this resource in mind that next time you need to know the cost of something.
Cape Cod Mommies received samples of Ocean Spray's new juices in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are the author's own.
I am a fan of go-to, tried-and-true meals. As a mom of three, I don't have a lot of time to prepare and fuss with high maintenance dinners. Throw in a 16 year old who ALWAYS has to modify his version of the meal, a picky 4 year old who will NOT stray from her approved menu of acceptable foods, a 2 1/2 year old that tries to eat everyone's food but her own, and a husband that has been working overtime and rushes in the door ten minutes after food is on the table and you have a recipe for one mom who needs herself a refreshing cocktail. I kid.
I "shop" out of my pantry and freezer much of the time, because who really wants to load up two wiggly kids into the car to run to the market to find the exact ingredients a recipe calls for? Not this mama. Typically I marinate chicken in Italian salad dressing or sprinkle with seasonings before baking and serve with egg noodles or rice and some veggies. Nothing fancy.
I had the opportunity to try out some tasty Ocean Spray juice products and decided to try and make a new
version of one of our regular recipes using citrus flavors instead of the usual savory palette I gravitate towards. Would it work with my sometimes-high-maintenance crew??
I pulled some chicken breast out of the freezer the night before and tossed it into a container to marinate in some Ocean Spray Citrus Mango Pineapple 100% juice. The littles drank a bunch of it (I always mix their juice with a bit of water to cut down on sugar
intake as well as stretch our budget). When it was time to prepare dinner, I tossed the marinated chicken breasts onto a pan and added a few handfuls of some fresh pineapple the girls had been snacking on earlier in the day. Into the oven it went.
We love black beans at our house, well except for the picky 4 year old. As a side dish for the chicken, I sautéed a bit of diced onion and green pepper in a bit of olive oil then added a rinsed can of black beans, diced tomatoes and corn along with a dash of cumin and chili powder and a good splash of the citrus juice. In about 15 minutes the whole pan is sizzling and filling the kitchen with ridiculously mouth watering aromas. This is usually when I burn my tongue stealing spoonful's of steaming hot beans while hiding from the family.
As a last minute thought, I pulled a half full jar of corn and black bean salsa from the fridge and mixed in the rest of the pineapple. The chicken was topped with the salsa and the bean mixture was scooped onto a pile of rice. As a special mama treat, I added some pineapple rum to a glass of Ocean Spray Sparkling Citrus Tangerine juice drink. Um.... delicious!!!
The picky eater ate the chicken diced into cubes (after I scraped the pineapple off). The 16 year old made wraps out of his dinner fixings, and the 2 1/2 year old ate from my plate. Obviously. I was a huge fan of the citrus flavor the chicken soaked up from marinating in the juice, and the rest of the family seemed to approve as well. While my culinary skills might not be Top Chef quality, I enjoyed the new flavor profile and am encouraged by this success that didn't take any longer than my regular dinner prep does.
To celebrate the new flavors Ocean Spray has added, we are hosting a giveaway sponsored by Ocean Spray! One lucky Cape Cod Mommies fan/reader will receive: a sample of each of the products (100% Juice Citrus Mango Pineapple, 100% Juice Citrus Tangerine Orange and Sparkling Citrus Tangerine) plus recipes and a cocktail shaker. To enter, simply fill out the form below! Contest will run until November 11, 2013 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be announced on November 12, 2013. Ocean Spray will be responsible for shipment of the prize package. All entries will be validated, winner will be contacted via the email they provide on the form. Winner has 24 hours to respond otherwise another winner will be chosen.
By: Jennifer L. Long, RN, NCN
Do you have a love-hate relationship with your food? I hear it all the time, people’s love of food and eating become a burden. They try to restrict and deprive themselves from what they love, thus developing a hate for “healthy eating” and “dieting”. Well, I’m here to tell you can quit the dieting and go back to your love for food! It’s all about changing your relationship with food and learning how to make it work for YOU and your body!
Lets talk about the dreaded “diet” for a minute. What is a “diet” to most people? A hated word associated with “I can’t have” or “I shouldn’t eat that” and worse, “If I eat that, I have to work out for 2 vigorous hours to work it off!” This is madness! First of all we need to get back to basics. The word DIET means the foods that make up what we eat on a daily basis, not a period of time where you go without things your body actually needs. All too often people tend to go on a “diet” around or after the holidays out of guilt for enjoying the pies, potatoes and stuffing.
What if I told you that you no longer have to feel that way and can still have what you love from that dinner table at Thanksgiving and for the REST OF YOUR LIFE? Well, its true. It’s all about what I teach my clients, that stabilizing your blood sugar and learning how to eat will avoid spikes and crashes in your blood sugar, preventing fat storage and increase lean muscle. This in turn will ensure stored fat to be released and burned up in the muscle, increased metabolism and sustained energy throughout the day.
So how? The key is learning not to restrict or deprive your body from the key macronutrients it needs everyday. Your body is a fuel as it goes machine, it needs to be fueled every 3-4 hours with protein, fat and carbohydrates to sustain energy and brain function. If you deprive your body and brain of a key element in maintaining homeostasis (balance), your body will go into starvation mode and begin to store fat as a result.
Most “diets” require either a temporary or permanent avoidance of a particular macro and an increase most commonly in protein. Lets say your to restrict on carbohydrates (most common), you avoid these foods for a period of time, how do you feel? Usually, the first few weeks you can maintain, but shortly thereafter, your brain cannot take any more restriction of the one thing it needs most for function, glucose. The brain requires carbs for glucose to maintain focus and energy. So, you eventually think you cave and give into “temptation” and have a bagel or a cookie. So now you go back to eating how you were before, and gain everything you lost and maybe even more! Now you feel an unnecessary moment of FAILURE! Did YOU actually fail? NO! YOU did not fail the “diet”…the diet failed you! Dieting does NOT work because it is not designed to be a lifestyle change. Blood sugar stabilization WORKS because it is exactly how we were designed to eat since the moment we were born. It is something you can do for life. Ditch dieting and learn a better way! I can show you how to eat to live, how to enjoy living and make the most of your workouts, all while looking and feeling your absolute best!
“Transformation Begins With Nutrition”- Jennifer Long, RN,NCN.
There are lots of fun activities going on this weekend on Cape Cod and the surrounding communities in celebration of Halloween and the Harvest Season. If you haven't planned your weekend yet check out some fun ideas here! Getting in the spirit is Melissa, the new owner of Mommy & Me Children's Consignment Boutique in Falmouth! She is having a:
Halloween Trick-or-Treat Open House
(click above for more info)
from 12-5pm tomorrow October 26, 2013.
There will be organic candy for any age trick-or-treater in costume and a $5 off a $10 or more purchase for the big kids (mention Cape Cod Mommies and seeing this on Facebook).
Mommy & Me Children's Consignment Boutique is a great place to pick up clothes for the kids and in just in time for the holidays too! They have beautiful designer baby & children's clothing and accessories at great prices! Something new every day!
Clothing sizes from Newborn - Pre-teen/Juniors! Lots of great baby gear, books. Check out their Facebook page: http://facebook.com/MommyandMeCapeCod
Looking for an adult night out? How about a free night out with a guest where you get to participate in the longest running, albeit bizarre, show running?
Come join them as an audience member in Buzzard's Play Productions offering of:
"The Rocky Horror Show"!
Please check their Facebook Page or their Website for more information!
You can also check out their Facebook event page for show times and to buy tickets online.
Now I mentioned free tickets didn't I? Well enter our giveaway contest and follow the steps with the Promo Simple form below. A random winner will be chosen Wednesday, Oct 30th at 8pm and announced back here on this blog (winner will be contacted by email provided below). The winner can choose to see one of the five shows next weekend. They will also receive a free prop bag to fully participate in the "Rocky" Experience.
Welcome to Liz S., our latest Cape Cod Mom who has joined our blogging team! Read more below her blog for her bio!
By: Liz S
*My 9 year old daughter and I made this together. Kids of most ages could participate in some or all of the steps I.E. unwrapping crayons, gluing them on the pumpkin, holding blow dryer etc
Supplies needed- pumpkin, craft glue or hot glue gun, crayons, hair dryer, newspaper to put down under the pumpkin. We were outside to avoid a splatter catastrophe :)
1. Take the wrappers off of the crayons
2. Break crayons in half depending on size of pumpkin
3. Glue pumpkins around the top stem of your pumpkin
4. Once crayons are secured, use hair dryer on high.
5. Blow the hot air directly on the crayons one at a time, moving around a bit once you get a feel for it. Some crayons splatter, some pool along the stem- just play with it to get the look you want.
This takes some patience! About 30 min of blow drying. Once they melt, the crayon wax hardens and you can instantly move the pumpkin around.
Liz Smith is a wife and mother living in Harwich. After growing up in Scituate, MA she lived in Boston and Salem before meeting her husband and moving to Cape Cod in 2000. She is a licensed preschool teacher working as a nanny. She attends Bridgewater State University as a full time student studying Early Childhood Education and Psychology. Liz returned to school at age 40 after being laid off when her company downsized. After 20 years as a successful retail manager, she started at Cape Cod Community College focusing on a new career and graduated with high honors
Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
Please see www.tracylamperti.com for more information about family dynamics and helping your children to
thrive. If you would like 1:1 assistance, please contact Tracy Lamperti for a consultation.
Tracy Lamperti, LMHC,
BCETSPsychotherapist, Educator, Consultant
By: Brittany E
We love this recipe that one of our Cape Cod Mom readers (and hopefully soon to be regular contributor), Brittany has submitted to us! We love crock pot recipes and this one sure looks fantastic and tasty, perfect for the colder weather settling in! You can almost smell it! Nom Nom!
Take 1 package chicken tenderloins, 1 package sliced mushrooms, 1 package grape tomatoes sliced and put them all
in crock pot.
Add olive oil & chicken stock, enough to cover the ingredients. Add salt & pepper to taste. Also add 1 clove of elephant garlic.
Cook in a crock pot for 6 hours approximately.
Half a spaghetti squash, seed it & rub the inside with butter. Cover with tinfoil and place in cookie sheet with the open side up. Depending on the size of spaghetti squash, bake for a minimum of 1 hour or a Maximum of 1.5 hours - until you can easily scoop out the spaghetti like insides.
Put spaghetti squash on plate cover in chicken mushroom mixture from crock pot and enjoy!!!
By: Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
At work and at home with my daughter, I find that the iPad is a great tool for learning and fun. Technology is so motivating for children and I use my iPad as a therapy tool and as a reward. Often, the children don’t even realize they are targeting their therapy goals because they are having so much fun playing with the apps!
Here are some of my favorite apps for fun and for therapy.
My Play Home
Developer: Shimon Young
My Play Home is an interactive doll house that is entertaining for all ages! Choose your characters and move them to various rooms in the house to do some exploring. Your character can cook some food, jump on the trampoline or take a nap in the bed. There are always more hidden things to find throughout the house.
· Create sentences about what your characters are doing (He is eating. She is sleeping. They are jumping.
· Give your child verbal directions to follow using the app (“Take the milk out of the fridge, pour it in a glass and give it to the boy.”)
· Go on a scavenger hunt around the house looking for items that begin with your child’s target speech sounds (“lets find everything that starts with /p/”)
Developer: Smith Micro Software, Inc.
Choose your own sock puppet, scenery and props. Then, touch your puppet and speak into the iPad and watch your sock
puppet lip-synch to what you say.
You can create a short film where your sock puppet is the star!
· Create short social scripts and model them using the sock puppets. Watch the video and talk about the social interaction.
· Have your child practice words and sentences with his/her speech sounds using the sock puppets.
Then watch the video together and talk about how well your child produced the sounds.
Toca Boca Apps
Toca Hair Salon 2, Toca Band, Toca Train, Toca Kitchen, Toca House, Toca Store, Toca Birthday Party, Toca Tea Party.
Price: $2.99 each
Toca Boca creates colorful, engaging and easy to use apps for kids. Cut and style hair in the salon, have a jam session with the Toca band or cook up some food in the Toca kitchen. These apps provide hours of fun and learning for kids.
· Follow directions using Toca Kitchen (Find the red tomato, cook it on the stove, then feed it to the boy)
· Work on turn taking and manners using Toca Tea Party and Toca Birthday Part.
· Label all of the items you can find in the Toca Store and work on money skills/counting while you check out.
I hope you explore some of these apps and I look forward to sharing more of my favorite apps with you in some of my future blog posts!
Cape Cod Moms