Memorial Day for children: Thank You Soldiers song

April 25, 2010

kids sing thank youMemorial Day for children: Thank You Soldiers song.

Check this out, click on the title above and listen to a beautiful song of thanks to our Military, sung by children. I know you will love it. offers the music free to teachers and parents who want to teach this to your little ones for the celebration!

Watch your kids cartoons…It’s not funny

April 23, 2010

Last night I spent some time watching cartoons with my two grandchildren. It was not fun. I ended up turning off the TV and insisting that a bath was a better use of time, making me the unpopular grandma for the evening. I think that parents think cartoons are like they used to be, cute, funny and a pleasant distraction that allows the grownups to get a few chores done while the kids are fairly safe for a moment. Not so anymore.

The show we were watching was called Back at the Barnyard, on Nickelodeon. I will pick on this one, but believe me, it is not alone. Many cartoons I have found are dark, with adult innuendos and blatant disrespect. Don’t try telling me that the kids don’t understand these innuendos. You would have been right years ago, but no more, our little ones are exposed to so much, that some are nearly adults before they learn to walk.

OK, here is what I saw last night. A cow that has pickup lines and tries to seduce another barnyard animal. A cow explaining that she has a date not because she wants to, but because the person buys her stuff (nice thing to teach) . Later on this date, with a nasty acting boy who is overweight with braces (talk about stereotype and encouraging kids to be mean ) she says she is feigning interest in her date and asks him about his parents. Then, the kid begins venomously spouting , that he hates his Dad (another nice moral value) the reason? because he is a clown (that is his job)…off went the TV . I have noticed that several cartoons that are pretty popular, have the theme that parents are stupid, and kids barely tolerate them.

I hope this little commentary will send you to the TV with your kids for an evaluation of your own. Kids are learning disrespect, lying, fabricating stories to get their own way, complaining, self centerdness, rudeness, partying, and unkind behaviors, all while we are doing the dishes, thinking they are safe and happy for the moment.

Are there good cartoons? Of course, but be careful, they are mainly the older ones reflecting a time when it was considered important to extend values and morals to kids. It seems the prevailing idea now is to give kids what their little hearts desire including plenty of gags that have to do with bathroom humor ( and yes all kids like that, and always have). The difference between then and now is, that kids were taught that those things are not best, and they were taught not only by parents but by the culture. The culture has switched gears in the opposite direction. Now it is up to parents to teach what they believe is right.

I can hear you saying, come on Kathleen, it is just cartoons, besides you are an old fashioned grandma. Maybe, but I bet if you really take a look at what the kids are looking at, you might not find it so funny.

Battle of the Books…and Graduation?

April 21, 2010

This post took on a life of it’s own. I started on one topic and came out with something else. I think I will leave it that way and see what you think.

I was invited today to my grandaughters elementary school for an event called battle of the books. The children were competeing in teams to answer questions about popular books they have read. Each team had posters to announce some very creative team names such as Bubble gum battle Readers, The Crazy flying monkeys, and my favorite (of course my granddaughter’s team) Fresh Focusing Sugar Candy Fire Flames! No kidding! How the kids got the words focus and sugar in the same sentence I will never know.

I bring this topic up because the battle actually was not what most adults might think of as exciting. A few questions, a few right answers and a few not so correct answers about books we haven’t read, is just not most peoples idea of stimulating. I remember as a mom going to a number of events that were like this. As a grandmother , I see them a bit differently.

Here’s the thing… being a witness to the life of a child is a gift you are giving. They are having fun competing on their level, and the fact that you are there to witness their success or even a failure is valuable .

You don’t have to, nor is it realistic to think you can attend every event your child is part of. Don’t feel guilty. When you can be there, really be there, so that it makes an impact. All people need a witness to their life. If you are unable to go, don’t beat yourself up over it, but ask them how it went. If you are away, such as during a deployment, ask you child what the best part of the event was, and what was the worst part. This can start a conversation between you. Children know when you are interested in their life.

These events go quickly, life passes by and children grow literally like the weeds in my backyard. Yesterday I had little ones, and now… I have little ones!…another generation and I get to be the grandma. I have to admit this still surprises me sometimes…how did I get old enough to be watching my grandaughter and grandson perform at school? One day ,if you are a young parent ,you too will find yourself thinking that same thing!

So, here it is…the event may not mean much to you, but it is something they are part of. If your spouse is deployed, try and let them know when one of these events are coming up. Coach them on what the child will be doing, does he have the part of a tooth in the school play? Are they trying for the green belt in karate? Do they have a piano recital?
Stifling yawns are part of parent hood. If you think about how quick time passes, you may be able to attend these with out the yawns.

As your little one steps up to the microphone, envision the day they get up there and give the college graduation speech. It will quickly get you attention focused on that sweet chubby cheek .

May 8th, I will be attending that college graduation. My daughter, will be on that stage. Gone is that chubby cheeked imp that I see in this picture. She is a beautiful and elegant woman.
Take it from me, the time from there to here, is only a moment!

New Idea for Military Kids connecting to a deployed parent!

April 10, 2010

Operation We Are Here has come up with a wonderful free download to make connecting fun for kids and their military parents!

At home, you can choose from many different pages, print and let the kids get creative! A garden page can tell all about what you are planting this spring. The sports page lets kids tell all about the soccer game or skating lesson. You can choose to make the front page news that your child got a good report card, helped the neighbors or sang in church.

There are endless possibilities for both parent and child to work together, and since it is a bit more structured, you eliminate the “I don’t know what to say” dilemma.
Created by a Military wife and mother, brat town is an inspired idea. Hope you take advantage of a fun project for your family!

April is Month of the Military Child!

April 5, 2010

This month the focus is on the kids! Here are some ideas of things you can do to celebrate!

Take those kids out for ice cream!

Take a spring walk or bike ride, and don’t forget to take pictures to share with a deployed parent.

A celebration picnic could be fun! go to this link for a free gift (while they last) of a bracelet of dog tags to those children who have a parent that has served in O.I. F. or O.E.F.

Send some We Serve Too! books to your local base as a gift for a class or FRG group of children, or give one to your local library.

Invite the military kids you know who have a deployed parent to a movie or other activity ( this actually makes it Military mom’s day)

Whatever you decide to do, with your own family or for a Military family, remember that the kids do serve too. They are making a sacrifice of missing a parent who defends this nation. To all you Military kids out there, thank you for your sacrifice , and Stay Brave!

Teaching kids about money

April 3, 2010

I found this poster on the web, and don’t know who to attribute it to, but it looks like sound advice, so I am passing it along. It is hard to teach children the value of money and our society, does not help us. We are used to more money than I think we will have in the future, and we are also used to giving our kids too much of the material things, not enough of good old fashioned human interaction and spiritual direction. . Take a look at this and see where you may be giving, but not teaching.

Please know I am not preaching, I wish I had done these things for my kids! I may even be ale to start some of it with our youngest who is 18, but if you have little ones, you have a great opportunity to set them on the path to wise spending!