Entries by Jana

Should I Apologize To My Kids?

Forgiveness is more than sayin’ sorry.
One of my husband’s favorite movies is Just Friends. The main character’s crazy girlfriend is famous pop star with a terrible voice. Although her music wouldn’t be a hit today, there is some truth to her catchy lyrics: “Forgiveness is more than sayin’ sorry.”

Asking for forgiveness and apologizing is an art form. By definition, an apology acknowledges that the person was involved in a previous act that violated a social norm and was considered offensive. Usually words of repentance are included in the apology, like “I’m sorry,” “I regret,” “excuse me,” “pardon me,” or “forgive me.”

The Science Behind Spanking

Spanking is commonly known as an “an open-handed hit on the bottom or extremities.” Most of the time spanking is used to reduce undesirable behaviors by associating that behavior with the physical consequence of discomfort or pain (but not physical injury). According to a study by UNICEF in 2014 nearly 80% of parents around the world spank their children. But what does research have to say about spanking?

Do You Have Mumnesia?

80% of women say that they experience symptoms of “mumnesia,” often characterized by forgetfulness, attention deficit, and an impairment in spatial memory (remembering where things are located). Maybe you’ve heard of it called “preg head” or “pregnancy” or “baby brain.” Take this short quiz and guess whether these examples are facts or myths. (Or, recall if you experienced these symptoms during your pregnancy!)

My Child Has An Imaginary Friend…Should I Be Worried?

“Will your husband be here for dinner tonight? I’d like to meet him.”
“No, he’s working in Nashville. But you met him at our wedding!”
“Oh, I don’t remember that.”
“Yeah, you were there, but my mom was sick and couldn’t come. We had yummy green cake and a dance party, too.”

That is the conversation I had with one of my nieces last Thanksgiving. She had an imaginary husband for a few months and I enjoyed hearing her tales about him. I learned that he fixes motorcycles, works a lot, misses out on every family dinner, and is quite funny. It’s cute and honest while she’s three and designs crafty stories about him. But beyond the adorableness, should I be worried that she is creating imaginary friends?

Intentional Date Nights With Your Kids!

Have you ever considered dating your kids? Just like you go on a date with your spouse to spend one-on-one time together, you can (and I propose, you should) do the same with your children! A study from the Journal of Marriage and Family showed that kids who spend more time with their parents are less likely to abuse alcohol or drugs; are less likely to engage in risky, delinquent, or illegal behaviors; and achieve better math scores.

I am so inspired at how my sister-in-law, Shannon, makes this a priority. As a Mama to three young girls, she has come up with a crafty and creative way to intentionally “date” each of her daughters every month.

Holidays in Reverse

As parents, we all desire for our children to be kind, honest, motivated, generous, and joyful. But it seems like culture imposes selfishness, discontent, materialism, and a “need” for the latest trends. How can you combat those tendencies in your children? Can you step aside from the status quo? Would you evidence your beliefs through your actions and words? I challenge you to begin this movement by implementing holidays in reverse.

How to Prep for a Babysitter

When I was a teenager, it seemed like every Friday night I was babysitting, and I often squeezed in one night during the week as well. Honestly though, I loved it! There is something special about bonding with kids who looked up to me; I was their role model and special treat. I let them stay up 5 minutes late or read one extra book. I brought along a special “toy box” of trinkets to reward their good behavior. I would play imaginative games and elaborate scavenger hunts. Oh, the sweet memories I have!

But, aside from the fun and games (literally), I had great relationships with the parents as well. From my experience with multiple families, there are a few things you can do as a parent to help prep for you babysitter.

Dear Mum and Dad, A Letter From Your 6 Month Old

Dear Mum and Dad,

Guess what? I just discovered who that cute baby is in the mirror…it’s me! I like to look at myself and admire how some of my features look like Mum and other elements resemble Dad. I sure am cute! Keep letting me look in the mirror after my bath, and don’t take away that mirror by my car seat, or the one hanging on my toy gym. It’s so fun to smile at my beautiful reflection!

Dear Mum and Dad, A Letter From Your 4 Month Old

Dear Mum and Dad,

With my 4 months of life experience I have come to 2 main conclusions:
1. You guys are expert parents. Seriously, you know just how to love me well!
And 2. Being a baby is a lot of work. It’s a full time job for me, but thankfully your support and encouragement makes it feel less like work and more like play!

You see, I have been a detective this month. There are these things called hands, and I can’t figure them out. They wiggle and squeeze and sometimes even scratch. But every once in a while I can wrangle them up and hold them captive in my mouth. I am not too worried about those hands though; they can’t be dangerous if you touch them and hold them. Mum has even named them “Piggie” and sings me a silly song about them. “This little piggie went to the market, this little piggie went home…”

Dear Mum and Dad, A Letter From Your 2 Month Old

Dear Mum and Dad,

You’re so good at this parenting thing! Your overflowing love has been evident through our snuggles, playtime, and conversations over these past 2 months.

Have you noticed some of my latest tricks? One is that I can smile at you! Good thing Dad is an expert at silly faces and Mom gives the best baby tickles. Another trick is that I can open up my hands! Instead of keeping them clenched, I have begun to to relax them more, which will help me grasp your fingers even better.