Friday, 30 November 2012

Party before the party

The upcoming birthday Birthday Girl
(photo by Teacher Fransie)

Proof! I promised that I would take party packs to school (One month to the big 4).

The Toddler was more concerned about "letters" that I should give to her. I think she wants to hand out invitations to her "real" party.
It seems it doesn't help to explain that she will be having her birthday when all her friends are on holiday. (*Shame!*)

I hoped the special fuss at school helped a little bit.

We took cupcakes with a candle and party packs for all the children in her class.
The crowns were made in class. I think the other girls with crowns are also December birthday girls. There are quite a number of them in her class!

Tinkerbell party pack 
(Photo by Teacher Fransie)
Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Hooked on Ballet

I like to take the Toddler to a ballet concert at least once a year. She enjoys it soooo much, and I think she gets an idea of what it is all about!

This year we had tickets for a show, and the show got cancelled a week before the time.

Luckily a friend of mine told me about their children's end-of-year concert of the Dance School Hooked on Dance.

Leigh-Anne Gorrie, the Principal Dance Mistress, presented a whole show with her fledgling and more advanced dancers in different genres of dance styles.

The littlest ones were once again the stars of the show. These two twins (on the right) had us laughing smiling about their antics on stage.

We had a Toddler enthralled!
With a regular chirp-in: "Where's Cara?" and "There's Cara!" (one of the friends in the show)

It definitely inspired our Toddler, because she has been commanding us to sit down countlessly to watch our Toddler dance at home...

A tantrum because I did not watch 100%

Next year I will definitely make a more concerted effort to get us tickets for a ballet show.

Related posts:

A night at the ballet - Don Quixote

Taking a break and first ballet for the Toddler

The Sleeping Beauty - Ballet

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Tips for a safe road trip, via the AA

This is the way every parent wants to travel. With a sleeping toddler in the back. 
But it most definitely does not pan out this way... Even if we keep our fingers crossed! 

I am also of the opinion that a holiday at home does not feel like a holiday. I believe that we sometimes have to get away to blow off steam and rest completely!

I like the press release by the Automobile Association of South Africa with handy tips for travelling with the family. 

Are we there yet?
Keeping a focus on both safety and sanity on your family road trips

For families getting away on that much needed holiday, the road trip looms large as a key challenge, often preventing you from both starting and ending the break on a high note. For parents, the stress of making all the arrangements, packing the car, getting the kids out the door and hopefully getting ahead of the traffic means that many are exhausted before even starting the car.

The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) has compiled a list of tips that will not only ensure you leave the house feeling more prepared and relaxed, but will also make your journey safer and more enjoyable for your children, helping you get the holiday started off on the right foot.

Before the trip:

1.     Plan the length of your trip. Be honest about what you and your children can handle in the way of a road trip. While older children might be able to deal with 10 or more hours in the car, younger children can’t. Generally speaking, young children should not be subjected to confinement in a car for more than six hours a day. This is just as much for your sanity as it is for theirs. 
2.     Children are prone to car or motion sickness so be prepared for this. Consult your doctor or pharmacist ahead of time and get the right medication according to age and weight. Most of these will need to be administered prior to departure.
3.     To avoid frustration, confusion and last minute run-around on departure day, start packing a few days before you leave. Discuss with your children what they want to take with and if they are old enough let them pack their own bags; with some guidance of course.
4.     Get your car packed and ready the night before if you are planning to leave early in the morning. This includes getting snacks, drinks, a spare set of clothing, first aid kit and other essentials prepared. Toys, books and other key things to keep your child occupied should be stored in the car where it is easy for them to reach whilst not causing any safety concerns. Make sure the DVD player is charged and the screen set up where it won’t distract the driver – and remember to ensure the screen is securely fastened so that it won’t fall down and cause injury.
5.     Make sure your home is secured and you have made the necessary arrangements to ensure you can enjoy your holiday with peace of mind.

Keeping your precious cargo safe:

1.     Ensure everyone in the car is safely secured. South African law states that all vehicle passengers should wear a seatbelt at all times and the onus is on the driver to ensure it happens.
·       A baby should be in an approved and preferably rear-facing child seat.
·       Older children (15-25kgs) should be secured in a booster seat with a seatbelt on, preferably in the rear of the vehicle.
·       Never place a child seat in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with airbags unless they have been deactivated.
·       Small children (less than 20kg) should not sit in the front passenger seat if the vehicle has a front passenger airbag that has not been deactivated.
2.     Never allow children to stand on seats or sit on other passengers’ laps.
3.     Ensure doors are locked and activate the child locks on rear doors to avoid children opening them while the vehicle is moving or in unsafe places.
4.     Make sure your baby is not exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time while in the vehicle –block the sun with a towel or shade screen.
5.     Never leave your baby, or pets, unattended in a vehicle - temperatures can easily reach over 40 degrees celsius within a very short period of time, and this can cause heat exhaustion and even prove fatal.
6.     When parking, make sure you have good access to the side of the vehicle that your child’s seat is fitted on.
7.     The trip home after the holiday has ended is always the least enjoyable part. Ensure not to rush home as this will put you and your family at risk. To ensure your safety all the way home, rather treat the trip home as part of your holiday – so keep your speed down and enjoy the scenery.
8.     For peace of mind, keep your AA Membership card and AA Emergency Call Centre number at hand 0861 000 234.

Keeping boredom at bay:

1.     Take regular breaks. Make sure to stop every one and a half to two hours or every 200km to give yourself a break and also give children the opportunity to run around and burn off energy. There are great child-friendly rest stops along all major routes that cater for both yours and your child’s needs.
2.     A great way to avoid the inevitable question - are we there yet? -  is to give children a map, or, even more fun, help them create their own before your leave. You can trace the route together and point out interesting landmarks so that they will have a sense of where they are going.
3.     Those ‘old school’ games of ‘I Spy’ and ‘Car cricket’ are great ways to keep children occupied and entertained on long trips. Use these along with sing-along-songs and CD stories to keep children entertained and create family traditions along the way.

Of all the above, the most important tip is to keep your sense of humour and wits about you. A long trip need not be stressful and can be a great opportunity for the whole family to reconnect and talk about plans for the upcoming holiday!

Enjoy your road trip!

Wordless Wednesday #157 - A dog's life!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Working mothers contemplating new studies

As I am contemplating to start studying again next year, this guest post had some valuable points to consider, especially when you are a working mother.


Moms are always looking to go back to school. [Or some of us...]

However, most of us also have either part-time or full-time jobs that they need to keep in order to support their growing families.

For what qualities should these dedicated and motivated parents search when looking for the best online degree programs?

Residency Requirements

While the term "online program" implies that all of the studies will take place over the computer, this is not always the case. Some schools will allow students to complete the majority of the program online, but they will need to attend the physical campus for a certain number of credits, specific programs or maybe even an entire semester. Parents must look into this component before enrolling. If they have a full-time job, they likely won't be able to take off for three months to go study on campus.

Class Meeting Requirements

When parents are working full-time and taking care of a household, it's best to look for programs that are as liberal and casual as possible in terms of strict time confines. Indeed, parents must complete their assignments by the date and time that they are due. However, they should look for programs that do not have online chat session meetings. For example, some classes might require that the entire group meet and chat every Monday and Wednesday night at 7. When the kids have gymnastics at 6:30 on Mondays and dance at 7:15 on Wednesdays, this arrangement does not work so well. A strict class schedule could be better for parents with older children.

Length of Study

It's unlikely that parents have the time to enroll in a program that could take them five to six years to complete, especially when they don't know what their children's schedules will be like that far down the road. The best degrees are usually the ones that take two to three years at most as that is generally in the foreseeable future for many families. Parents have somewhat of an idea of what their children's school and activities schedules will be like during that time frame.

A Beloved Discipline

Of course, one of the most important components of picking the best online degree program is for mothers to choose a path that they love. They're likely going back to school because they aren't happy with their current positions or because they want to advance themselves in their current field. Therefore, the best programs are the ones that will help parents truly accomplish their goals and to fulfill the dreams that they have had for themselves since they were children and teenagers. Furthermore, don't forget that school is stressful, and it's a lot easier to get through the day-to-day grind if you actually enjoy what you're learning about!!

The "best" online degrees are going to vary from person to person. A situation that works for one family may very well not work for another as all family dynamics are different. An MBA might be great for most people, but there will always be exceptions to the rule. Therefore, it's important for working parents to conduct research on a variety of different programs to find the one that is best suited for themselves, their families and their financial situation.

Kandi Trier writes about education, family and more. Her proudest piece is on the Top 20 Value Online MBA Programs.

Monday, 26 November 2012

We have a budding athlete in our midst

"Look at my medal!"

The Toddler had her first athletic event on Friday.
That was the first time we saw her in action on the field, competing against her fellow 4-year age group.

The excitement and the enthusiasm in which they all took part were infectious!

Our Toddler was not in the first bunch. More to the end of the pack...
At one stage I had to pull back the video to see where she was being hold up!
She was there. Part of the group in the back, but still running her very best!

It doesn't matter! She enjoyed it!

And I wish I can keep it that way for her! That exercise should be fun, and should not become a competition that only a few can win!

I had a discussion today about the fact that there should be made more of the winners!
Although the first three were put on a podium and they were handed medals.
Is that not sufficient highlighting of their accomplishments?

The rest of the children also got chocolate medals, which I think is a good way of handling it at pre-primary level!

I think we kill it for our children by only rewarding the ones that are in front.
I never liked competition, but I loved the exercise!

It should be about taking part, the exercise and being a whole person!

What are your thoughts on athletics and winning?

Friday, 23 November 2012

One month to the big 4

She is a month away from her fourth birthday.

This Mom has lost her budget mojo for party planning.
I don't think I ever had it, and day-dreaming (hers and mine) about kid's parties does not make it happen.
I think I will phone the teacher to take party packs to school before the end of the semester which happens within two weeks.
Watch this space! (Really!)

It does not make me feel better when I see all the blog posts about wonderful children's parties with wonderful themes...
My wish is to phone up a party person and say organise. I will pay! (I hope you hear me, Universe!!)

We are going to an athletics events at her school tonight, and we are looking forward to it! It seems it has generated a lot of excitement!

Some anecdotes of  recent times:

- I went to fetch the toddler the day before yesterday at school while they were busy reading a Christmas story to them. She was crying crocodile tears because she is "shy" for Christmas Father! (I have no idea what that means!)

- Last night we signed up at our local gym. I had the prerequisite that I would only sign up if she would be happy to stay in the kiddies section. She walked in there and did not want to go again! She loved it!
(So, no excuses for me!)

- We were at our local Dischem the other day, and Mieka told me that one of her friends at school has a roll-on, and she wanted one as well. As I don't like all the baddies in the roll-ones, I sold her on a spray which I hoped we could convince her to only spray on her clothes. But she is adamant that it should go on her "kieliebakke" (roughly translated: "tickle armpits"). It is also a word we do not use. So the next morning I had to help her lift up her clothes to spray it on, and when she got to school her father had to pray it on again! Luckily the novelty wore off after a day...

The weekend is upon us!
Off to the athletics!

Enjoy yours!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Timeout in Review


This week I downloaded  the third disciplining app of  10 iPhone apps that help with discipline, Timeout - Ultimate Discipline Tool.

This is a very simple and easy app to use.

As it is also not the ultimate disciplining route that we want to go, this won't be used very much in our household.

It is only as a very last last last resort!

Steps to use the disciplining app:

1. Select the time that time-out should last. Usually a minute for each year of age of the child. Press the button "Start". (I don't think it should be more than that?)

2. The next screen is the one on top of this post.
The time starts ticking off with the car going forward. The settings can be changed here, and the time added on. (Although, I don't think we should go that route!)

3. As soon as the car reaches the end, and the time has clicked off to 0:00, it goes to the third and final screen on the app.

4. A smiley face with the sound of cheers!

> I think this will help Mom and Dad, more than the children, to keep to the required time-out time, and not to keep the children in suspense.

>> It will help to redirect negative energy. The mere fact that we change the scenery for a few minutes with the help of an app that gives a "cheer" at the end!

>>> 4 minutes (the time I will use for my toddler of 4) is a very long time when you look at it.
It is more than enough time to break the spiralling negativeness.

>>> I paid $0.99 (R7,99) for this, which is very reasonable.

I give this app a rating of  6/10 for the cute car driving forward, and for the cheering when time-out has been completed!

Related post:

10 iPhone apps that help with discipline

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Cradle Restaurant

What do you do on a Sunday morning when you want to get outside and the blue sky is beckoning?
Especially when the urban dwelling feels a bit stuffy in this heat.

The one thing that is great about living in Johannesburg in South Africa: We do not have to drive very far to get to the outdoors...

The Cradle Restaurant - sitting on the deck

One of the places we wanted to check out for a long time is The Cradle Restaurant at The Cradle of Humankind near Lanseria.

View from the deck

She prefers her sister's hot chocolate
"Funny Bunny!"

Table overlooking the view 

Downstairs seating area, with stones on display
(see below)
Stones on display
The ride to and from the restaurant in a golf cart was a definite highlight as well!

Just one note of caution: The breakfast buffet is fantastic, but it is a bit expensive!
(Especially when the budget is a bit low this time of the month... Ouch!)

Next time we will go a bit earlier to still get an option for the A La Carte Menu and to visit The Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng, which is nearby.

Which places do you recommend in the Johannesburg area if you want to get a bit of fresh air?

Monday, 19 November 2012

The reluctant gymnast

For the past few weeks we have had a reluctant gymnast who does not want to take part in the gymnastic exercises anymore.

She tells us she does not want to go.

But she loves hanging and swinging and jumping on the trampoline. It's just when they are asked to stand in a group and doing the warm-up exercises, or having to do exercises on their own...

We are not supposed to help them anymore and have to look on from the side. She still wants us to stand with her and hold her hand...

I look at all the other children and they all get their uncooperative days.

But she has been doing it now for quite a while...

I don't know if it's worth forcing her! I would have loved for her to continue a little longer. I think the exercises are extremely good, and she gets to catch up on milestones she might have missed, such as not crawling (she only did a crab creep).

How long should I give her before we call it a day?

What do you do about extra activities and children suddenly deciding they do no want to go anymore?


Friday, 16 November 2012

The winner of the Kodak Inkjet printer

And the winner of the amazing Kodak Inkjet printer ESP 2170 is....


I waited until 9 to give everybody a chance....

TA-DA:      Marcelle


Please send me your email so that your prize could be arranged.

In December I am going to host a give-away for a Kodak canvas print.
Thanks Kodak!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

KidChart - disciplining app number 2 under investigation


I downloaded KidChart, the second of 10 iPhone apps that help with discipline.
I have to download the apps on my iPad, since I don't have an iPhone, but it seems to work just as well!

- KidChart is a very simple and easy app to use on the go!

- As a parent who like a more positive parenting approach, I would only try to focus on the smiley face, but the user could use it both ways.

- I like the fact that you can add behaviours as you go along.

- The app generated a very nice certificate which I like, attached with the specifics in a next view.

- You are able to share the accomplishments via email or Facebook.

- What I don't like is that you only get the wording when you share. Not the attached certificate. It would have given it an extra edge. It would also ensure that other people know where it is coming from. Now you only get an update with no explanation.

- You are also able to link it to DropBox, which helps to keep the accomplishments safe.

- It stores the "certificates" and "warnings" by date so that it is possible to reflect on it later. That gets a thumbs up from me!

I don't think I will use this app that much, but I will let you know in future when I change my mind.

I have send feedback to the developers about including the certificate with more information.

I give this app a rating of 5/10

Related posts:

- 10 iPhone apps that help with discipline

- Caught being Good - List

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

You know it is near the end of the year...


- The Student is back home, finished with writing her exams. I am exhaling with her! It has been a tough year!

- The Toddler is busy with assessments at pre-primary, and not so keen going every day.

- The concert is done and dusted.

- The ballet concert is a few movie clips on my phone!

- The tiny gymnastics end-of-year is happening on Saturday.

- We are seeing Christmas decorations everywhere, but I think I will leave our own Christmas decorations for December. (It feels like it has been put up very early this year?)

- We are all beginning to look forward to the holidays, especially since we now have our own holiday to look forward to. I usually feel that holidays at home does not feel like holidays.

- I have compiled my list: What I want for Christmas. It is the first time I had drawn up a list so far in advance, thanks to Blogger Secret Santa by Stiletto Mum.

- I am beginning to contemplate my goals for next year. One of the main goals is looking at studying again. A lecturer told me to contemplate doing a longitudal study with my Masters that I did not finish. As I hate not completing it, it is something really worth considering!

- It is great weather for swimming here! (Sorry, Northern Hemisphere!)


I love this time of the year!


What are you planning for December?

Do you also like this time of the year?


Monday, 12 November 2012

Movie Clip Monday #29 - Ballet Concert

The Toddler had her end-of-year ballet concert, after she had been going to ballet classes for the entire year!

It was the first time we got a glimpse of what they had been doing...

We've seen some steps and moves at home, but it was eye-opening to see what the ballet teacher Jacqui has done with them.

They were all very cute!

Friday, 9 November 2012

A Kodak Inkjet give-away for all those memories

What I want for Christmas: A Kodak Inkjet printer!

I would love to get my hands on such a printer. I have been walking around with memory sticks and CDs full of photos that I plan to print at a photo shop, and never get around doing it...

It is nearly the end of the year, and I haven't printed the photos for calenders that I bought at the end of last year. (*sigh*)

A working printer, with full colour cartridges, would have been nice!

The things I could do with a printer while we still have a toddler in the house:

- Print photo books;
- Print photos for grandmothers and -fathers.
- Print photos to put up at the office;
- Make memory albums;
- Make photo calenders for Christmas presents; and
- Finally replace those old photos in the photo frames that are filling up the cupboards;

One lucky person will receive the Kodak Inkjet printer ESP 2170 (at a price of R1499) by doing the following:

1. Like Kodak SA on Facebook
2. Like MomAgain@40 on Facebook.
3. Comment below.
(Unfortunately only for South African readers of this blog)

The winner will be announced next Friday, 16 November.

The really-really nice about the Kodak Inkjet range of printers:
  • This innovative line of printing technology incorporates Kodak’s cutting edge pigment-based inks and printing technology, which produce long-lasting, high-quality printing at a fraction of the cost of other leading cartridge replacements.
  • These revolutionary printers will allow users to print crisp, sharp documents and lab-quality photographs, which are smudge-proof, water-resistant and last a lifetime, at home or in the office, at market-changing low costs.
  • These features mean a total of 48% average savings on replacement inks and the lowest average cost per page, with Kodak Inkjet printers also offering very low power consumption that uses 71% less power in stand-by mode.
  • Compatible with both Windows and Mac, the premium all-in-one products in this range of intelligent printers are packed with nifty features like the automatic duplexer: Home Centre software that enables the user to edit and add effects to images, as well as memory card slots for loading images directly off your camera.
  • Premium printers are also equipped with wi-fi capability that requires only 7 minutes to set up, making it possible to send documents and images directly from your smartphone or iPad  to your printer, using the easily downloadable Kodak Pic Flick. Now you can print what you want, when you want - for a whole lot less.
Good luck!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Caught being Good - List

Caught being Good
Following on last week's post 10 iPhone apps that help with discipline, I am going to look into each app separately.
I want to investigate to see if it's really helpful towards a more positive parenting approach towards discipline.

I have downloaded the Caught being Good app already, and "tested" it for the week.

I realised immediately that it needs a list of "Good" behaviour before we can use this app. I cannot just spin it every time we feel like it. The Toddler also loves the action of spinning, and she would happily press the button to spin continuously...

List of Good Behaviour for a Toddler:

- Allowing adults to talk without interruptions;

- Speaking nicely in the car driving to and from school (no screaming or whining):

- Going to the toilet on her own (including the washing of hands);

- Eating her food on her own (she does not have to finish it, but there must be some indication that she made an effort to tasting everything on her plate);

- Listening to her Teacher;

- Finishing an extra-mural class without asking Mom/Dad to hold her hand (we are looking on);

- Any feedback we get that she has been good!;

- Dressing herself;

- Well-mannered behaviour with friends, for example giving others a turn as well;

- A "Please" and "Thank you" without prompting;

- Saying "Hello" and "Goodbye" to people;

- "Good" age-related behaviour at venues/restaurants/shows - I do not expect the toddler to sit quietly for hours on end.

- Doing some small tasks such as the packing away of her toys.

- Helping out in the house, such as washing of dishes.

Do you have any more ideas for good behaviour?

Caught being Good -
rewards can be added or deleted
I like the fact that we can add rewards as we go along, and that we can change it accordingly.
I also like the fact that we can bank some of the rewards that are not possible to act on immediately, such as going to a movie!

I give this app a rating of  8/10.

Next week I will look at hAPPy family.

Related post:

10 iPhone apps that help with discipline

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

What I want for Christmas! #blogsecretsanta

The Christmas feeling is not here yet, and it seems that everybody feels a bit run-down at this point in time...

That's why I think that joining in with the following initiative is a great way to step into some festive spirit.

Especially since thinking about spoiling yourself are usually the last thing on your mind...

Charlotte at Stiletto Mum is linking all up for Blogger Secret Santa. She is aiming for 100 participants this year! Names should be in by 16 November and presents should be in the region of R100.

I am also in, as I have enjoyed Robin's blog book swop (The Book Club Blog) so much.

List of things I would love to get for Christmas:

  • Funky hats;
  • Kindle gift vouchers/ books;
  • Bath goodies, such as bubble bath and soaps;
  • Chocolate, the darker, the better;
  • Funky watch;
  • Scarves;
  • Hair accessories;
  • Red wine;
  • Cute notebooks;
  • iPad cover;
  • "Words", such as "Peace", "Love", "Dream", "Play", "Laugh", "Happy", etc.
(Oh, and no kitchen gadgets or anything kitchen related ;-))

Who is also joining at Stiletto Mum?

Monday, 5 November 2012

Movie Clip Monday #28 - Singing Miekanese

The promised Monday Movie Clip about the Toddler singing her own made-up language.

39 seconds of Miekanese!
The cuteness captured!

You cannot take enough of these for future memories.
I always look back at the photos and videos and think I should have taken more...

Do you also think you should have taken more photos and videos?

(I definitely think I should have had more photos of my first-born!)

Friday, 2 November 2012

Letter to my little girl

My dear little big girl,

I haven't done the 46 months post, and it is probably not necessary any more...
45 months was just yester-day!
When asked how old you are, we already say you are nearly four. You have been four all year in your class with the rest of the four-year old's.

You are a daily source of cute sayings and fantasy stories and keeping us on our toes!

You are also surprising us with the intensity of your outrage when things do not go your way.
(I think we can still can it tantrums?)

Outrage about us not looking to the back of the car when we are driving when you want to show us something; outrage about not getting to eat the whole packet of biscuits before dinner; outrage about the wrong choice of shoes by Mom; the list goes on...

On Tuesday morning you were just not impressed to be awake. As we are also not jump-up-and-go-morning-people, I gave you a lot of sympathy.
Apparently your hands were not washed correctly when I tried to help you, and your shoes were wrong for the day!
I left you on the stairs for a few minutes while you were whimpering: "Sussie!" (Sister!)
We could exchange the shoes, and had to wash the hands again.
You were off with a whine about not wanting the eat the chocolate oats. You wanted the normal "mince" porridge, as you like to call it! (It takes too long, and we have to be off before traffic gets bad!)
So you had Dad's toast and egg (which you never want to eat) for breakfast in the car!

You make our lives very interesting!

We went to a craft market this week, and you had so much fun looking at everything. Dad wanted you to be more quite, because everything came with a load exclamation! "Mom/Dad, look here!"
(I had to remind Dad that you just wanted to share your excitement, and that it is okay if you are a little bit loud!)

When you find something that really agrees with you, you tell us: "Ek LOVE roomys!" ("I love ice-cream" - The English mixed with the Afrikaans!)

You have also learned quite a lot about swearwords (we blame the school, of course!), and we are having a number of conversations about what is the allowed or not, and why not!
You even had a conversation with Dad about the use of middle fingers and other fingers...
You know where to use it, but I like the fact that we can discuss it with you and it seems that you take our words to heart!

You love your sister, and miss her during the time she is not at home. We have to answer your questions the whole week about her being at university!

You are still very much a little girl who wants to wear dresses the whole time. You do not like your hair being in hair bands, and you like your toes and nails being painted.
You spent many times doing Mom's hair.

You love singing to us, and usually it is in Miekanese. Words in languages and melodies that are all your own! (I will put it up in a post on Monday - Movie Clip Monday #28).
It's fantastic! I love that about you!

I hope you never lose this creativity, and that we would be able to channel it in the right direction.

Thanks for being in our lives, and giving us so much love!
We feel blessed every day by the wonderful being of you!

You make me happy!


Your Mom!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

10 iPhone apps that help with discipline

I was alerted by Maureen Denard of about her article on 10  iPhone apps that can be used for disciplining techniques.

As we are still struggling with the Terrible Tantrums, I always welcome positive parenting ideas for handling discipline.

I don't have an iPhone, but the Ipad can be used just as successfully to download the apps.

I haven't tried all the apps yet, but I am looking forward to try out each one of them.

The write-up against each app is by Maureen Denard.

10 iPhone apps that help with discipline:

Positive Parenting Practices – "This $3.99 app is geared towards parents who espouse a more lenient, gentle approach to discipline. Positive Parenting Practices is more than an app detailing disciplinary methods, offering valuable insights into the motivation behind kids’ problem behavior and real-life solutions."

KidChart – "Charts are great tools for tracking kids’ accomplishments, chores and behavior. Unfortunately, they’re also rather difficult to carry in your pocket. That’s where this $0.99 app comes in, putting the power of a full-sized paper chart at your fingertips. KidChart is also an effective way to monitor kids’ daily behavior for later discussion, when cooler heads allow for constructive conversation."

hAPPy Family – "Encouraging positive behavior on the go is easy with this powerful app, which rewards kids with collectible marbles, ocean animals, treasures, insects or candy when they make the right choices."

iGrounded – "Teenagers are notorious for pushing boundaries a bit too far in a bid to assert their burgeoning independence. A game of consequences that you’re able to edit and modify to suit your teen’s individual needs, iGrounded is available in the app store for $0.99."

iReward – "The customizable motivational charts provided by this $4.99 app are designed for use by parents, caregivers and educators to reward good behavior. Traditional rewards, like gold stars, are among the options offered by this simple but powerful application."

Timeout – Ultimate Discipline Tool – "Tracking the length of a timeout to provide kids a visual representation of how long they are sentenced to this punishment is a snap with this application. The app isn’t loaded with extra features, but it does deliver exactly what it promises."

Tymoot – "Designed by a parent for parents, Tymoot is a $0.99 app that helps you create and set timeout timers. However, there’s a bit more to this one than meets the eye due to the Wheel of Discipline feature that allows your children to spin the virtual wheel in order to be “sentenced” to one of eight customizable punishments."

Caught Being Good – "The free CAUGHT BEING GOOD app takes the spinning wheel of chance approach to rewarding kids for undirected good behavior. You can change, add or remove any reward, and also set the probability of a particular one appearing. Surprising your child with an unsought reward for good behavior that you have not requested or directed is an effective method of encouraging her to continue on the right path, even when she doesn’t think you’re there to see her."

Positive Discipline – "Rather than a traditional punishment and rewards systems, the Positive Discipline approach relies upon a motivational system that helps kids to develop strong moral fiber, character and a sense of self-reliance. Encourage a sense of connection with the respectful, encouraging tone that motivates kids to make the right decisions in their daily lives, autonomously."

Rich Kids – Behavior & Reward Contracts for Child Discipline – "This $2.99 app combines positive reinforcement parenting tactics with a method of teaching the fundamentals of financial responsibility that helps kids grow into the well-rounded, well-adjusted adults they were meant to become. Suggested for kids between the ages of three and 15, Rich Kids is an effective tracking and incentive tool."

I think all of these apps need to be tested in your own family environment, with the input from the child. The more buy-in from the child, the more successful it will be. Of course the buy-in should be from the parents as well!

I like the Caught being Good app for being able to customise the rewards and being able to "bank" some of them until possible to complete or buy the reward! I also like the fact that the focus is on catching out being good, and not focusing on the negative!

I will let you know how it works!

The article from Maureen Denard is here: 10 iPhone apps that help with discipline

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