Entries by Jana

What Kind of Lifestyle Am I Modeling To My Children?

When my children are “grown up” as adults, I hope they are wise beyond their years, successful in every endeavor, and a leader in their community. I hope they are kind to others, joyful always, overflowing with compassion, and generous to all. I hope they find the love of their life and the passions of their heart, and never stop pursuing them. I hope they stand up for the weak, encourage the strong, and make ethical decisions. I hope my children are glowing with health physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Tips for Communicating With Your Nanny

Whether you employ a live-in au pair, in-home nanny, babysitter, or daycare provider, you should be talking with your child’s caregiver on a regular basis. It may feel awkward having an employer-employee relationship in your home surrounding your precious children. But, communication will prevent so many future nuances and resolve any previous ones. Take the phrase, “It’s only awkward if you make it awkward,” and begin talking with your nanny today. From my experience as a nanny, here are the best tips for discussions that you should be having on a regular (weekly) basis! (*Note: I will use the term “nanny” and “she” for simplicity, but it can be interchanged with any childcare provider, babysitter, au pair, etc.! To best help you apply these principles, I suggest you insert your childcare provider’s name directly into the questions below!)

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!