The Good, The Bad, and The Hilarious of Parenting

Sneetches and Other Stories and Other Reasons to be Nice

March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’ birthday!!!  Who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss, and now we have a reason as adults to read Dr. Suess and eat birthday cake!!!  Life is good, and we should celebrate.

But besides that point, I had another point to make.  A few weeks ago, I wrote a post titled “Life Is Too Short To Have An Empty Bucket“, and now I would like to expound on that topic by discussing an amazing little book that one of my colleagues brought to my attention after discussing the above post.

Watch this amazing video of the book (which is appropriate to watch with your kiddies) and then run out and buy a copy for yourself and your kids or your grandkids and one to donate to a local school or daycare so that we can continue to spread a very important message.  We need to fill everyone’s bucket daily with a kind word or a warm smile.

The Sneetches and Other Stories is a collection of stories by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel). The four stories are:

  • The Sneetches
  • The Zax
  • Too Many Daves
  • What Was I Scared Of?

I am focusing on The Sneetches because it offers a very important lesson to love and care for people because of who they are not what they have or do.  Seems like a simple enough lesson, but all too often we fall into that trap of being human.  Yes, we can go in depth on how this book is an allegory for prejudice and discrimination, and also offers a lesson of materialism and entrepreneurship, but please for a moment focus on the great messge of loving each other simply because we can.

Interesting fact: The Sneetches and Other Stories, in 1998, was translated by NATO into Serbo-Croatian and distributed to 500,000 children in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of an information campaign to help encourage racial tolerance.



Dr. Seuss’ Birthday And Read Across America Activities

“You are never too old, too wacky, too wild to pick up a book and read to a child.”

Read Across America Day promotes reading, particularly for children and young adults.  Many schools, libraries, and community centers across the United States participate in the day by bringing people together to take part in reading books. Various reading activities and events are held across the country on this day. For example, some students take part in a Read Across America channel designed to showcase student and educator videos around the country. Others make reading pledges, organize book fairs, or read aloud to groups of people.  

Read Across America is an event sponsored by the National Education Association.  They purposefully paired it with Dr. Seuss’s birthday because Dr. Seuss, aka Dr. Theodor Geisel, one of the most loved author’s around the world, makes reading fun.

Reading is an amazing gift, and I would like to encourage everyone to take part in this great event.  Even if your child’s class has some fun events planned, help your child make a connection that reading just isn’t for school by reading at home as well. 

Here are some links to help you plan a reading party:

NEA Read Across America Day March 2, 2012

Dr. Seuss’s Birthday

Activities to Celebrate

Book Ideas

It is always nice to have a reason to party!!


Chardon High School Shooting In Ohio

Another school shooting with one dead and four other students wounded.

As a teacher and as a parent, this is a very scary situation.  Even if you don’t have kids, it should be a very scary situation because the frequency of such events should be a clear indication that we are not headed in a very positive direction.  I am not calling for more government intervention.  I don’t think the schools are responsible.  I am not asking for a new bullying program.  Simply, I think we as parents have to step up and parent our children.  All of us have to parent.  I am probably preaching to the choir at this point, but I don’t know who else to preach to.

We have become so reliant on the government to make rules and regulations to tell us how to live.  Well, it doesn’t work.  The schools can not raise our children – they shouldn’t teach our kids about sex; they shouldn’t provide drug education or gun safety education.  The schools need to teach our children to read and write; they should teach our children how to do math; they should educate our children about science and history, but we as parents should teach our children manners, integrity, and respect.  If you want your child to hunt or to know how to handle a gun then teach them.  If you want your children to avoid sex or practice safe sex then teach them.  Research shows over and over that parents are the biggest influence on a child!!

Research is great, but I know for a fact that parents are influential because I had parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that raised me.  Obesity — not a problem because when I was young, after breakfast out the door I went!!  I played!  Pregnancy — not a concern because my mother taught me to respect myself and provided me with the knowledge I needed to make good decisions.  Bullying — didn’t even know it existed because if peers were mean to me I removed myself from that situation, and I didn’t bully because my parents taught me to respect people.  I could go on and on, and no, I wasn’t raised in the 50’s either!!

My heart goes out to everyone involved in this tragedy!!  I am in no way saying that the innocent were in anyway responsible for such a horrible act.  Yes, there are lessons to be learned! I said it before and I will say it again — it all starts at home!


Has Dr. Seuss Impacted Your Life?

This is a special week for us — It is Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2nd, and we will also celebrate Read Across America.  I thought to kick the week off I would post videos of funny ways that Dr. Seuss impacts our life!

Seussain Wedding Vows —

Led Zeppelin Sings Dr. Seuss —

Dr. Seuss Pick Up Lines (ADULT) —

Hope they made you laugh and got you in the spirit to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America!


Sharing Sunday

Each Sunday, I would like to share with you some of the other amazing blogs that I have discovered.  These are the ones that I consider the most interesting for the week.  I will provide one post in the following areas: Delightfully Delicious which will provide a recipe or some other type of food post, Fabulously Funny which will be something to make you laugh, Nifty Notions which will be a new idea or concept that may inspire you in some way, and Radical Reflections which will look back at one of my most popular post of the week.  ENJOY!

Delightfully Delicious 

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits with Coffee Glaze — This blog, Homekeeping Adventure, has several delicious recipes.  This one in particular seems like a great way to start off the weekend.  Enjoy and let me know how it turns out for you.

Fabulously Funny

15 Of The Most Over Used Words  — Being an English teacher, I can like totally relate to this post; so, when I read this blog from Almost Naked Housework it made me laugh.  I have a feeling a few of you will be able to relate as well!

Nifty Notions

The Recipe For A Happy Life Is To Be Organized — Everyone that knows me, knows that I can not cook; however, I do try.  This blog, Full Of Great Ideas, is really full of great ideas like this one to organize your recipes!

Radical Reflections 

President’s Day: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln From The Perspective Of A 5 Year Old — I started this blog to connect with other mothers and to share stories about our amazing children.  Needless to say, I have learned a great deal about my children while blogging because the act of writing about them makes me reflect on them as real people.  This post about 2 great presidents is not only funny but educational as well!  I learned a very interesting fact about George Washington thanks to my FaFa.


The Next Lesson Big Lesson In My Life — Letting Go!

This week I have been focusing on manners and ways we can successfully teach manners to our children.  I even spent a little bit of time bragging about my daughter and her wonderful display of manners that made mommy proud.  However, let’s be honest.  Our kids do not always do what we want them to do.  Why is that? As parents, we work hard every day to provide a good life for them, read them the right books, shelter them from bad media, engage them in positive activities, and a slew of other things that the experts tell us that we should do.  So, why won’t our kids simply do as we have programed them to do?

Simple – they are their own person.  This is not easy for a control freak like myself to accept.  Of course, I “have been there and done that” (we won’t go into specifics), and they just need to listen to me and avoid all of the mistakes I made and their life will be so much easier.  But NOOOOO — they have to go off and think for themselves, make their own mistakes, and become their own person.  I just keep trying to explain to them that if they just follow my agenda all of their dreams will come true.

Then I think back to some of the best times in my life, and trust me – the majority of those times probably wouldn’t be activities that my parents would have selected for me to do.  I also think back to some of the worst times in my life, and I realize now that if I had of listened to my parents I wouldn’t have experienced those hardships.  Yet, when I take the whole picture, I wouldn’t be who I am today without all of those experiences.  I do believe that ultimately I am who my parents want me to be — a happy individual that has achieved many of their goals and has options for the future.

Even with that knowledge that it takes all the experiences of life to make you a great person, I still have a hard time letting my children step out into the world to create their own experiences.  I love them so much I want to protect them from any hurt.  I want each day to be full of smiles and happiness for them.  They rail against my desire to control them — for Fa it might be a tempter tantrum.  For K, it might be testing the rules.

I have acknowledge that my 2 girls are as different as day and night.  As they grow older, I have to also accept that I can only provide them with tools that will help them along the way, love them unconditionally, and let them become their own person.  I know I am on the right track because I see them putting into use what I taught them, and they are helping me learn the next important lesson in my life — letting go!


9 Guidelines To Help Teach Good Manners

Good manners are not something that we are born with or that we just discover.  Good manners begin at home and should be taught by parents.

Here are some guidelines that you can use at home:

  • Be kind to others. Telling kids, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” doesn’t really mean anything to them. Instead, stress the importance of treating others the same way they’d like to be treated, especially when you see them doing something that you know they themselves don’t like. For example, if your son hates to be interrupted and yet he interrupts people, then remind him, “Jonah, you really don’t like it when people interrupt you, so please don’t do that to Jeremiah.”
  • Understand their actions. Help your children understand the harm they can cause by doing or saying thoughtless and unkind things. Ask them, “How would you feel if someone pointed at you, and started to laugh?” In the beginning, you may simply be doing damage control, but eventually you’ll be helping them to avoid harmful words or actions.
  • Show them the way. Children do whatever they have to do to express themselves. Sometimes that comes off looking and sounding pretty bad. Playing a role reversal game with your child can help show them how to handle situations. Let them ask the question or behave a certain way, and you respond by showing them how their behavior should appear.
  • Be a good role model. “Do as I say, but not as I do” is a joke. Your kids probably want to respond with, “Yeah, like you’d catch me playing bridge with a bunch of 50-year-old women!” When you want your child to show good manners and respect, you must also practice good manners and respect. Say please and thank you, admit your mistakes, apologize, and treat people, in general, with kindness and respect. The reward of this behavior is that your children will grow up having many friends and a family that loves being around her.
  • Share. Share with your children so they understand the importance of sharing with others. Compliment them when you see them sharing with others.
  • Keep kids healthy. Children tend to behave badly when they’re tired or hungry. Kids need sleep and nutritious foods to survive. It’s that simple.
  • Practice family politeness. Everyone in the family must practice “please” and “thank-you” policy in which, for example, no request is considered unless the person asking says “please.” When one of your children forgets, just give him or her a look that says, “I’m waiting.” They soon catch on. Use the same approach for saying “thank you.”
  • Thank-you notes. Teach your children the importance of thanking people for gifts. Show them how to write notes and make sure that they are sent promptly after receiving gifts.
  • Praise good behavior. Praise is a wonderful teacher. Tell your children how proud you are when you notice them being polite and following the “please” and “thank-you” guidelines that you’ve set
  • Practice, Practice, Practice. With all new skills we need to practice because practice makes perfect.

I wrote about a few books for various ages that can also be helpful in your efforts to raise well-mannered children which is not always an easy task with the obstacles that we battle daily as parents such as TV and popular music.  Needless to say, raising well-mannered children will pay off in the future for you and them.  Children desire structure and guidance as seen in these videos posted on youtube by young adults.  We have an obligation to provide that structure and guidance just as we have an obligation to provide food and shelter.


The Lost Art of Manners.

I watched my oldest daughter eagerly open a door for an elderly couple the other day.  It warmed my heart and made them smile.  I am sure it filled some buckets too.  I know my father was smiling because being respectful to your elders was a high priority to him. Well, for that matter demonstrating good manners in general was important to him!

My oldest daughter, K, definitely has embodied the importance of good manners, and she does this without concern as to who is watching or what her peers may say. I don’t even have to ask her to do the right thing; she just does it.  K has a warm, caring heart especially towards the young and the elderly.

This is not always the case with today’s children.  I could blame TV, music, or video games, but as I have said before, it begins and ends at home.  Not only should parents make their children use manners such as please and thank-you, parents should also teach their children to open the door, pull out chairs, offer to help, and in general display the every day common courtesies that seem to be vanishing.  Parents have to lead by example though.  It is through examples that our children learn the most.

Let your kids see dad open the door for mom; mom helping an elderly person with their bags, and both parents using polite respectful language to everyone.  Before you know it, without you asking, your children will be doing the same!


Top 10 Most Important Manners According To Parents

Top 10 Most Important Manners According to ParentsParents want their children to shine when they interact with others. According to a number of surveys, they say they most want their kids to:

  1. Always say “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.”
  2. Write thank you notes for gifts.
  3. Look people in the eye when speaking to them.
  4. Pick up clothes left on the floor; put dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
  5. Wait their turn to speak rather than interrupt.
  6. Use proper table manners.
  7. Be thoughtful and considerate of others – especially about opening doors and offering seats to older people.
  8. Listen when others speak and respond clearly when spoken to.
  9. Respect the privacy and property of others
  10. Have good phone manners.

None of the above is impossible to achieve and all are traits and practices that will stand your children in good stead when they are adults, too. With just a little persistence and role modeling, your kids will make you and themselves proud! (This was found on a web page — not my creation)


President’s Day: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln From The Perspective Of A 5 Year Old

To some, the observance of Presidents’ Day in the United States goes very much unnoticed. Local newspapers splash ads of “President’s Day Sales!” and many get the day off from work. But have you ever stopped to think about this important day of recognition?  FaFa has been learning a great deal about 2 important presidents.  Take a look and you might learn something new!!


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