Monitor Your Child’s Mobile Phone Or Internet Usage! @WebSafetyInc #Ad

      As many of you know, my eleven-year old son just recently got his own mobile phone less than a year ago.  I really wasn't considering even getting him one until he started playing basketball for his school team.  Due to regular practices during the week and games on the weekends, it became important for his father and I to be able to communicate with him to find out when we should head out to pick him up.  Before we even purchased the phone, we had a long family meeting where we established the rules around him having a phone and asked him to commit to abiding by those rules at all times.     Although our son has done a pretty good job of using his new phone responsibly, there have been a few instances where I had to use the parental controls to limit the access to some of the websites that he was visiting.  Many of them weren't overtly inappropriate but I felt the humor or content wasn't a good fit for a boy his age.  As a parent and educator, I'm also worried about the threat … [Read more...]

Parenting Just Got A Little Easier With KidCash® #KidCash @KidCashParents #Giveaway #Ad

*This is part of a sponsored campaign with KidCash®. However, all opinions expressed are my own.      When I was a kid, my brother had a friend whose mother used to pay him for completing chores around the house.  She had a whole system in place for compensating him to each task and she would pay him what he earned at the end of each week.  I can recall thinking how lucky he was that he was getting paid to do the things that I was doing in my house for free.     What I didn't realize was that he was simultaneously learning how to be responsible with his finances.  You see, he actually had to work in order to earn his weekly allowance so the money meant much more to him because it came at a price.  As a result, he learned how to save and manage his money early on.     As an educator and a mom, I can't begin to describe to you how important it is to teach children how to be financially responsible early on and to encourage them to make their own decisions.  KidCash® makes … [Read more...]

How Can You Make Your Kids Read More This Summer?

    I'm sure that most of you struggle with coaxing your children to read during summer vacation.  Even though I am a teacher, my kids would much rather ride their bikes outside and play on their tablets than read any day.  Believe me, teachers' kids are just as good as at other kids at getting out of doing anything that is remotely related to school work.     The truth is that I don't even read as much as I used to because I am just so busy most of the time.  However, I can tell you that reading is the foundation of everything that your kids will every do in school and it is important to encourage them to read as much as they can.     Doing so will help them with their fluency, which is the ability to pronounce words properly when they are reading aloud.  Also, reading frequently helps kids with their comprehension and their ability to clearly understand what is taking place in the text.     So here is the million dollar question, just how can we all get our kids to read more when … [Read more...]

From The Mouths Of Babes… #YoureDoingOkMom #Ad

*This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with JOHNSON’S® Baby and Latina Bloggers Connect.   All opinions are 100% mine.       Ever since I found out that I was going to become a mother, I worried over whether I would be able to do a good job.  After all, being a mom could possibly be the most important role of a woman's life.  Unfortunately, however, parenting does not come with a handbook and children certainly don't come with instructions.     I love being a mom but, like most moms, I often wonder if I'm even doing this whole parenting thing right.  Luckily, my boys seem to think that I am the cat's pajamas and they remind me on a daily basis that I'm doing a great job after all.  I asked my eight year old son what I'm really great at and his response included, "Giving me hugs, taking care of me, scratching my back, and making sure my clothes are clean."     The old saying is so true, "From the mouths of babes…"  Who knew that scratching his back every … [Read more...]

Why Do Women Put Up With This?

    This evening I was watching a popular reality television show when I found myself sadly wondering why women put up with men who cheat.  In this particular episode, a man has three kids with three different women and they are all arguing with each other due to him.  The thing that troubled me the most about this whole situation is that the ones who lose out in this fiasco are the children.  As siblings, they should all be raised around each other or, at the very least, know each other.  Since the mothers can't seem to get along, it doesn't seem like this will ever be possible.     Even more galling is that, while these women argue with each other, this man is like a spectator who is watching a show being acted out on stage.  Some of you might argue that this just happens on television but I beg to differ.  Time after time, I see familial situations like this one where women are devaluing their worth for the "privilege" of being with a man.  It brings me back to my childhood when my … [Read more...]

Unspoken Truths About Parenthood…

    Last night, I took my family to the movies to see the new Captain America movie.  My husband and I had planned it all week and I waited with my boys for Hubby to get home from work so we could head out to the multiplex.  We were all looking forward to this outing and we chatted excitedly in the car on the way over there.  To add to our excitement, I had picked up my nephew that afternoon and he was accompanying us to see the film.     As usual, we were running a few minutes late and arrived at the theater just in time to quickly purchase our tickets and head to find some good seats while the coming attractions were playing on the screen.  About ten minutes into the movie a couple walked in with a stroller containing an infant and two toddlers in tow.  They proceeded to sit right near us and, I have to admit, I predicted that bringing such young children to the movies would not turn out well for them or for the rest of us who were trying to watch the movie.     Sure enough, one of … [Read more...]

I’m Done Trying-The Mother In Law Chronicles

    Since becoming a mother, my perspective on a lot of things has changed considerably.  I suppose bringing new life into the world has its ways of shuffling your priorities.  It's no secret that I have never had a close relationship with my Mother In Law.  I'm not going to get into the reasons why this is so, all you have to do is type "Mother In Law" into this blog's search and you will learn all about our rocky history.  The sad part is that my last post a few years ago was actually hopeful after a surprise visit where everyone got along...     Unfortunately, she has been an absentee grandmother in my sons' lives and the good feelings were short lived.  To be fair to her, she lives 12 hours away in another state and does not come to New York City very often.  On the other hand, as a mother, I cannot even fathom how maintaining contact with her grandsons is not more of a priority for her.  There really is no excuse with all of the technology that is available to keep in touch even … [Read more...]

Teach Your Kids To Go For The Gold! #NetflixKids #StreamTeam @Netflix #Ad

*I participated in a campaign on behalf of Netflix.  As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.     This winter, my family and I have been enjoying watching the Olympic Games at Sochi.  It has been very exciting to see my two boys observing the competition and supporting their favorite athletes.  These moments have opened the door to initiate important conversations with them about such topics as inspiration, teamwork and good sportsmanship.     Since both of our sons play basketball and other sports competitively, we are aware of the positive lessons that children learn through participating in organized sports.  Additionally, we appreciate the positive impact that playing sports has on their self-esteem and confidence. Here are some of the conversation starters that my husband and I used to elicit family discussions with our boys while watching the olympic action: What are some of the character traits that … [Read more...]

Prepare For Your New Bundle Of Joy And Save Some Money With Baby Value! #Ad

*I participated in this compensated campaign on behalf of BabyValue.com. I received a promotional item to facilitate this post and as a thank you item for participating.  All opinions are my own.     When my husband and I were expecting our oldest son, we were on a fixed budget and it was difficult to prepare financially for all of the items that we would need to welcome our little bundle of joy.  Most of you probably know how expensive baby clothing and products are and it is a blessing to be able to save a little money while getting everything you need to welcome your little miracle into the world.  It’s important to shop around for the best prices on these baby items and focus on what really matters, loving your new little angel!     Luckily, we had extended friends and family who stepped forward to help us purchase the products that we needed for our baby.  At our baby shower, we were very fortunate to receive most of the items that we had requested on our baby registry.  This … [Read more...]

The Return Of Working Mom Guilt

    This afternoon, I received an email from my 7 year-old's teacher stating that she had sent a memo home last Friday alerting me to the fact that he was talking excessively in class.  She went on to say that he had failed to copy down the homework assignment due to his socializing.  No sooner had I read the message that I began to feel the all too familiar pangs of Working Mom guilt.     You see, I asked him this weekend if he had finished his homework and he assured me that he had.  The responsible mommy thing to do would have been to check his folder and make sure that he had indeed finished all of his work.  Instead, I chose to give in to my exhaustion and take his word for it.  Now I feel terrible.  God knows what the teacher must be thinking of me.  In her mind, I probably don't care about my son's academic progress.  It's even more embarrassing because I am a teacher myself.     The truth is that I check every homework normally and I always take care of everything and I think … [Read more...]