Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

In my house growing up there was a rule that you don’t talk back to your parents. If you did, you got your butt whipped.

In my son’s class at school there’s some kind of rule about using their white boards for writing words and practicing numbers. Not for drawing pictures.

“Because just drawing pictures doesn’t help our brain grow,” my son told me.

In our home now we have a rule where you don’t ride your bike in the street unless my husband or I is standing in the street with them.

There are rules about speed limits, no running around the pool, and drinking before a certain age. As kids, we may not have understood the why behind so many rules.

Growing up, if I responded to something my parents told me with a “Why?” I’d either get a butt whoopin for breaking rule #1 (don’t talk back) or receive one simple answer: Because I said so.

It’s an answer I swore up and down I’d never give my own children, but I’d be lying if I said those words have never slipped my mouth.

But some questions are too important to ignore.

“Why can’t I have a sip of your drink?”

Did you know by age 8, 37% of kids have had a sip of alcohol? Some parents thinks it’s safe to do at home, or takes away some of the allure. According to SAMHSA, by age 12, 66% of kids have had a sip. Kids ages 9 to 13 start to think underage drinking is ok and even start to experiment.

My kids are still at the age where they see it as something for adults (though they know we don’t drink it). But that could change (their perception, not my lack of drinking, ha!)

Last week at the movie theater Lil’ J asked me what the pretty knobs were near the fountain drinks. They were beer tap handles. And I explained that. She got so embarrassed and a little upset that she had asked about alcohol, but I made a point to tell her that it was a great question and I wanted her to know what that was.

I could have shrugged it off and said “It’s not for you, don’t worry about it,” but where would that have let her? Even more curious? Confused?

How many more firsts will I get with my kids?

Children have a heightened sense of justice. When kids ask us about something, teaching them rules that are based in safety can go a long way.

I’ve noticed a couple of examples with this in our home. One day we were stopped at a red light and I noticed Lil’ J’s seatbelt wasn’t on correctly. I asked her to fix it. When she asked why I explained how she could fly out my front windshield if we were in an accident. She’s stayed buckled correctly since then.

Same type thing with bike helmets.

So next time your kids ask you a serious “Why?” Resist the urge to say because you said so. Give them credit, sit down and have a grownup conversation about safety. Why they should wear a helmet. Why they shouldn’t run around a pool. And why alcohol has a legal age. Think of what a difference it can make in their lives as they grow up with a healthy understanding.

Responsibility.org has a program targeting tweens and parents of tweens called Ask Listen Learn, including resources on the developing brain. If you need help finding the words to explaining the why behind a legal alcohol age, this can help!

letting kids sip alcohol

Reponsibility.org is a Cherish 365 blog sponsor. Big thanks to them for being today’s blog sponsor.

I owe you an entire post on life with three kids. I feel like I’ve jumped on a high speed train and it hasn’t slowed down. But all of it in one word: Humbling.

My two older babies have been back in public school for nine weeks. NINE WEEKS? How is this possible? I’ve so enjoyed watching them grow but I miss them like crazy.

Remember how the first week of school was a bit dramatic? Well things have gotten better. Much better. My son is LOVING school. I seriously hit the jackpot with a kindergarten teacher. He loves her. She loves him. It’s a match made in heaven. It seriously seems like he’s a different person at school, which makes me a little envious. Though I’d rather he give the sass and attitude at home than in public, I’m not sure how or if homeschooling would work in our future.

Lil’ J is doing well. She’s reading more and more on her own versus asking me to read things to her. She always hops off the bus with a smile on her face and rattles on about her day. She talks about wanting to homeschool again now and then, but she’s still enjoying her time at her school.

It’s hard having them gone all day but I’ve enjoyed getting one on one time with Lee Lee and the quality time I get with the kids when they get home. Which leads me to what I want to share with you today…

Ways to surprise and delight your school kids when you’ve been missing them all day

Call me a dork, but sometimes when I’m missing them and feeling mopey, I’ll come up with a random little surprise for them that I hope will brighten their day. Here are some of my antics so far.

1. Lunch Notes

Write lunch notes to your kids

This is how it started. Little notes in their lunch boxes. I draw pictures with small words for my son, and write out notes for Lil’ J to read. She’s gotten so used to them that I don’t dare miss one.

2. Surprise Visits/ Lunch Dates

The one day I didn’t put one in her lunch I surprised her and brought one with me while I ate with her. I’ve also eaten with Big T once and my husband has gone to eat with him several times. Almost once a week when he has weekdays off.

3. After School Snack Bar

When they come home they’re starving. My son usually grabs and eats the rest of his lunch at the table. But sometimes, if I have extra time, I’ll make a little snack bar for them. One day I set up these new Stonyfield Organic Snack Packs out. I opened one of each flavor so they could dip and try them all and decide on their favorites. Lil’ J loves the strawberry graham cracker and Big T likes the chocolate pretzel. I’ve also done this with trail mix and other assorted things to get them to try new things. These snack packs are delicious and you can click here too see if they’re available at a store near you. January they’re adding new flavors and launching nationwide!

4. Movie Night

We’ve always had unofficial movie nights, but we just made it official and now take turns choosing the movie we’ll watch when it’s your week (we used to all vote on one). It cut down on arguing on a movie, and it’s something the kids have started to look forward to all week. We have popcorn, snacks, dim the lights. The whole nine yards. And everyone has to sit and watch together. No running off to watch your own thing.

5. Breakfast in Bed

Ok, so this isn’t something I’ve done on a school day yet because they have to wake up at 6am to catch the bus at 6:40, but it’s something I’ve done occasionally on weekends when I beat them out of bed. The idea is simple, set up a tray and bring them in their favorite breakfast to enjoy before starting the day. Although it’s early I think I’ll give this a try soon and see how they react.

Do you ever do things like this? Or does this seem strange? What other ideas do you have?

I may add more to this list as the year goes on and I try more things.My son told me he wants to do another poetry tea party so I think I’ll set the table for one that’s waiting for them when they get off the bus Friday.

This high speed train is just flying by and I wish I could pump the breaks. I may not be able to slow it down, but I can try my best to make it one fun ride.

To this day some people still remember me as that mom who had rollers in her hair when she went to the hospital to give birth eight years ago. My oh my how things have changed.

As a first-time mom I was so extra. My daughter always wore boutique clothing and tutus with lots of frills. I was working 40 hours a week, pumping like a cow, and cloth diapering while making my own baby food. That mom was awesome, and I’m high fiving who I once was, but two kids later I’ve seen the light.

My time is stretched between three kids, a husband and a business. So understandably some of my priorities have changed. I still prefer high-quality stuff, but I prefer choices that also offer comfort and convenience.

Breastfeeding is still a commonality between all my kids. And despite a bout with thrush a couple of months ago, it’s still convenient to have her food with me everywhere I go. We are halfway through our exclusive breastfeeding journey. And halfway to starting solid foods. But instead of buying another baby food processor I’m stocking up the pantry with some items and brands I love. And items that will make meal time quick and easy.

Beechnut baby food easy and like homemade

When I made my own baby food one of my faults was freezing a couple flavors then feeding Lil’ J the same ones over and over. She got bored and so did I. Now I’m collecting a rainbow of Beech-Nut® Naturals™ baby food for Lee Lee to try, making sure I get a variety of vitamins, minerals and flavors.

Bananas, apples, sweet potatoes and green beans are some of the staples I remember my babies loving before, and I can’t wait to see what Lee Lee likes most. The main thing I want to try to do is make sure I’m switching the flavors up and giving her a big assortment of real fruits and veggies.

Beechnut baby food easy and like homemade

Beech-Nut® Naturals™ is inspired by homemade. So even though I’m not steaming and chopping it up myself, the food inside each jar is made with real fruits and vegetables, just like I would use at home. It’s 100% natural, nothing artificial. And there are organic versions as well.

Beechnut baby food easy and like homemade

I was totally ok being the mom I was when I had Lil’ J. I was doing the most. And trying what I thought was best. As a third time mom I have no guilt using disposable diapers, comfortable onesies over tutus, and going straight to the jarred purees, especially when I know what’s in them still meets my standards.

Did your priorities change from the first kid, second kid, third kid, and so on?

Big thanks to Beech-Nut® for sponsoring today’s blog post. You can find Beech-Nut® Naturals™ in the baby food section of your local grocery store. Just look for the honeypot shaped jars with the green lids!

“Mommy, what does D-O-O-R spell?”

We were riding in the car and my daughter was reading the letters off of a button. It’s not exactly the question a mom wants to hear from her 8-year-old. By “normal” standards it’s one of those words someone her age would instantly see and know. The question sent a prick of sadness through me, another reminder of her ongoing struggles.

“It says door, baby.”

A year ago I would have just told her to figure it out, offering little help, assuming she was just being lazy. Then I would have made her sound out five other traffic signs on our way down the road, just for good measure.

I was extremely insecure about my daughter’s reading struggles. Partly because I was homeschooling and I felt responsible for her being behind, and partly because she was not living up to who I thought she could be. Every time a parent told me about their child reading chapter books, or finishing another Harry Potter book I’d question why my daughter wasn’t there.

Every other subject was enjoyable for us. She grasped math concepts and could retell me stories from early American history without a problem. But she couldn’t read a Dr. Seuss book.

A little more than a year ago I went to a little gathering that changed my life. One of my blog partners, Responsibility.org hosts their influencers once a year in Washington, D.C. for a #TalkEarly summit to discuss ways to have open and honest conversations with our children. And how we can encourage that in our own communities. We also hear from doctors and experts in the parenting realm and just have a good uplifting time. Well, last year one of our guest speakers was Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure. A book about allowing our children to learn from their own mistakes. Resisting the urge to help them through everything because that will inhibit their ability to feel frustrated and reap the thrill of solving a problem on their own.

The entire time I kept thinking about my daughter, and her struggles with reading. I thought about the ways I’d been teaching her and listened to Jessica’s suggestions for allowing our kids to figure it out. And most of all, I heard her call to love our  kids for who they are, not who we wish they were. I had to let go of the desire of having a Harry Potter-reading 7-year-old, and accept that this just wasn’t her. Maybe she would struggle with school. Would I love her any less?

I came home from that summit and took a new approach to how I worked with her. Instead of forcing so much practice, repeating steps, and insisting she wasn’t trying hard enough, I sat back and watched how she would dissect a word. I took some of the pressure off and paid attention to how she worked. I began to realize that my pride could be getting in the way of finding out if there was another underlying issue. What could it hurt to talk to a professional and see? Maybe even rule it out.

I already shared how that went down. And the realization that my daughter is dyslexic was  still not what I expected, nor easy to swallow. Even last week at her 504 meeting, listening to her dyslexia profile evaluation results and hearing that she’s below average on reading fluency, spelling, phonological awareness, etc etc etc… It’s not news to me but it’s still difficult to hear. Still, it’s been harder for me to accept than her.

At her 8th birthday party in front of all her friends she asked if I’d read the cards to her. I later asked if that was hard for her but she told me it was no big deal.

The first week of school I asked if she felt insecure about anything and she said just getting on the wrong bus.

I write her a note every day and stick it in her lunchbox and sometimes she asks a friend to help her decipher a word.

She knows reading is, and may always be, a bit of a struggle for her, but she embraces it as a piece of the puzzle that makes her up. She knows where she has weaknesses she also has strengths. And seriously, I can thank Rick Rodian for making her believe her dyslexia is tied to her being a demigod.

I never thought I’d have a child with a learning disability/difference/whatever you want to call it. But it’s just a part of who she is.

She’s also a great little cheerleader, who wants to go to Worlds some day. And compete in all-star cheerleading in the Olympics (not a thing yet but hopefully will be). She records her own gymnastics and workout videos, then imports and edits them herself in Final Cut Pro.

Art, science and engineering are some of her best and favorite subjects, and though she says she doesn’t like it, she’s great at math. She may even apply for a STEM program for 4th and 5th graders.

And most of all, she has an incredible ability to know who she is. To politely decline doing something everyone else is doing. Or swing on the swings even if her friends prefer to sit in the shade. To look at her own artwork with pride knowing it was the best she could do. Her confidence to ask a friend, or raise her hand and say “I can’t read this,” without feeling embarrassed.

She is completely and undoubtedly aware of who she is. And it’s my job to love every bit of it.

 

Today’s blog sponsor is TalkEarly but the story I’ve shared and all opinions are my own. For more resources on having open and honest conversations with your children please visit TalkEarly.org

 

Easy healthy lunch snacks for kids

My kids survived their first week of public school. But of course they did. It was I who nearly suffered a nervous breakdown. Though we stood outside and took some adorable first day of school photos, the truth of the matter is, it wasn’t all roses and sunshine.

Getting out the door is the first hurdle. We’re used to sleeping in past 8am and starting school leisurely during breakfast. The first week the kids got on the bus at 6:57am. Yea, you read that right. For a start time of 7:35. Talk about brutal. Then week three they changed it to a bus time of 6:39am!

Easy healthy lunch snacks for kids

I waited at the bus stop with them after the first day (we drove them) and more than once they were finishing their breakfast at the bus stop. We pack their lunches and get everything ready the night before but just getting moving in the morning is hard enough. We had to chase the bus down one day when it was a few minutes early. And another day Lil’ J was downing her Stonyfield Yogurt Kids Pouch a few seconds before she hopped on.

If you watched my Instagram stories last week you likely saw my tearful laments about dropping my kids off the first day. I wasn’t as worried about my son who was only slightly nervous about me leaving him all day at Kindergarten. I didn’t even cry. But when I went to my daughter’s third grade class and she sat down to a get to know you worksheet at her desk the mood shifted.

First day of school

She looked at the worksheet and asked me what it said. I read the first section to her asking about her hobbies and interests. Then she looked at me with her big bright eyes holding back tears telling me she didn’t know how to spell it.

My heart began to crumble in my chest. I told her to try her best to sound it out, or ask the teacher, though she likely wouldn’t penalize her for spelling. I glanced at the child next to her who looked to be writing paragraphs with perfect penmanship and I nearly lost it.

First day of school dyslexia

We took a few pictures then I did my best to kiss her quickly and run out of the room before I cried all over the kids. I barely made it out the door before I started sobbing. I had a chance to tell the teacher about her dyslexia and reading struggles but I wasn’t sure if I should have elaborated more, sent a detailed note, or whatever.

I doubted the entire situation and replayed those last few moments in my head over and over sobbing all the way home and the next six hours. I envisioned her crying at school then sitting alone at lunch. I worried she’d be called on to read something aloud and feel embarrassed. The last hour before we left I managed to compose myself and lift my spirits by lunging myself into advocating for her needs.

When I went to pick her up at school she skipped up to me and told me how amazing her day was. She loved her teacher and her class. School was fun! What a relief! Later that night I asked if she had any insecurities about school and she said she was worried she’d get on the wrong bus home.

That was it.

At meet the teacher night I ran into the assistant principal and asked her about setting up an IEP for my daughter for her dyslexia. She said they did 504s and we scheduled a meeting to talk about it on Wednesday.

I spent the next 48 hours researching the difference between 504s and IEPs, gathering Lil’ J’s previous work, confirming details with her tutor, and praying.

I was prepared to walk into the meeting with a list of demands including a written one that they begin a formal evaluation within 60 days and keep me informed on the progress. I was so nervous and the meeting went nothing like I expected.

The assistant principal greeted me politely and walked me to a conference room with the dyslexia tutor and my daughter’s teacher. I was able to tell them her backstory of how she’d been memorizing books in kinder, and it took me awhile to realize she wasn’t not trying… she was trying, very hard. But has a more serious issue. I told them about her tutor and where her reading level is currently. And I was able to tell them how smart she is, and how she loves learning, and school, and how her comprehension is incredible.

They all nodded in understanding and told me with my permission, they would start the evaluation the next day. There was no need for my formal letter or my list of demands. We’ll meet again after the evaluation is complete (very quickly) and talk about the recommendations for services and accommodations. The assistant principal even shared that her daughter is dyslexic and they had a similar experience in the beginning finding out about it.

I walked out of that meeting on cloud 9. Thrilled that it had gone so much better than I had envisioned and confidant that this year back in public school would be great for my kids.

Then, I got a message from my son’s teacher that changed my mind.

To be continued… Part 2 live tomorrow morning.

We had big smiles for our first week of school photos, but the truth of the matter is, I was hiding a mess of emotions and a bit of chaos. Big thanks to @Stonyfield, the makers of the easy and delicious on-the-go yogurts for kids for sponsoring my new post sharing how it really went went down the first week of school. This is part one. Grab some popcorn cause it’s a doozy.

The last two years we’ve been homeschooling and it has been an incredible experience. It’s something initially I never thought I’d do, but we fell into and in love with.

Now, this year my two big kids are going back to public school. If you’ve been following my Instagram stories you’ve most likely already seen me whining and crying about this change for weeks. But what I haven’t really gone into is why.

When we found out about Sneaky (Lee Lee these days) our world kinda turned upside down. Her pregnancy was confirmed the same day I had Lil’ J screened for dyslexia and got results I wasn’t expecting.

While that was good to confirm, it was a lot to process. We continued with her tutoring and I switched up the way we handled our lessons at home.

wrinkle in time homeschool unit study

A few months later we began to consider moving to a larger home. One thing led to the next and before we knew it we were under contract building a new home to be done sometime in the middle of the school year. Not only that, but I have a lofty goal to put 50% down on this dream home of ours. Which means I’m putting my all into my business and savings.

Though I’m one of those women who feels like I can do it all: Work full-time from home, while taking care of an infant and homeschooling my two other children, and driving my daughter to her tutoring lessons, while packing up our home and preparing for a move. My husband put the kibosh on all that. Saying it’s too much. And he doesn’t want me putting so much on myself. His argument is also that we’ve tried homeschooling for a couple years and now it would be good to give public school a try since our son is starting kinder.

It’s hard to argue with his logic, but I still do. School starts SO early, and they’re gone about eight hours a day to accomplish what we can do in three. And so much is focused on teaching for the sake of standardized testing. At home we can go at our own pace, getting ahead in subjects she excels at like math, science and history, and take our time with reading. We can focus on Greek Mythology or Shakespeare and other classics. We can study based on their interests and deep dive when necessary. Public school is totally fine, but not as flexible as the learning style I’ve grown to appreciate.

Obviously I lost the battle. And about a week ago I finally registered my kids for public school. Yesterday I opened three browser windows and shopped for all of their school supplies and last night we met their new teachers.

I did my research on the best teachers for their grades, totally prepared to email the school with requests but everyone seemed great. So I decided to pray that they’d be placed where they need to be.

I got the Class Dojo requests from their teachers and was excited to see the kinder teacher my son was assigned was one I thought I really liked at the kinder registration night. When we arrived I realized I totally had the names mixed up. But his teacher still seems super sweet.

Next we went to meet Lil’ J’s 3rd grade teacher who also seemed so nice and I’ve heard great things about. Lil’ J thumbed through the classroom books with me and was excited to see some we’d already read together: Charlotte’s Web, Wrinkle in Time, The Lightning Thief and Son of Neptune were some we noticed. I could tell she was a little uncomfortable as we looked them over. When her teacher asked her what kinds of books she liked, Lil’ J hesitated for a few moments before saying the Percy Jackson series. Later when I asked why she was shy about telling her teacher she said it was because she listened to the series, but didn’t read it herself. I told her that didn’t matter, I listen to audiobooks too and it still counts as finishing a book, same as when we read it together.

I asked her teacher about getting an IEP/504 plan set up for her and she said I’d do that through the assistant principal. She was right down the hall so I was able to talk with her about our situation and get some information about first steps for getting her the assistance she needs. At the moment this is where the brunt of my anxiety lies. All I want is for my kids to be their best selves, and I want to make sure they have the tools and resources to do so.

Even though I’m sad and stressed about Lil’ J going back, I’m actually excited to see how this school year pans out for Big T. He’s been home with me all of his life and hasn’t had a ton of interaction with other kids his age. A lot of my homeschool experience was tailored to my daughter, and I think watching him learn from afar may give me more ideas about his learning style. This will be helpful for when we’re ready to jump back in.

Yea, you read right. My kids haven’t even had their first day of public school yet and I’m already looking forward to homeschooling again. I’m not exactly sure when that will be. Our move will take the kids to a new school so if the house is ready mid-year we could switch middle of the year, or commute them back the second half, or maybe we’ll begin homeschool again. The school we’ll be zoned for has excellent ratings and a lot of people rave about it. Does that impress me? Not really, but I’d be willing to give it a chance if it felt right.

This whole post seems like a bunch of whining and I promise I’m not always like this. I’m really going to give it my all because it’s the decision we made. Since it’s the one we’re going with I’m going to make the most of it, and be an example to my kids. I think it’s important for them to know how to be flexible and roll with the punches. And while they’re in school I’m going to make the most of my time (almost) alone and really try to make some headway on my business goals.

We’re rounding out this season of homeschool with another poetry tea party and talks about the year ahead. More coming on that soon. And more coming about the homeschool curriculum we’ve used and loved for all of those who are looking at diving in for the first time.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new. Change quote

Lots and lots of prayers are going on over here. I’m praying we made the right decision, that our children don’t just survive but thrive in their new environment, and that I can continue to be the supportive mother I want to be through all these transitions. A lot can happen in a year. We’ll see how this goes.

“I don’t know if it’s normal…” One of my good friends confided in me.

A few years back one of my friends quietly confided in me saying her child was still experiencing bedwetting. I honestly didn’t know the answer to her question.

Our kids were the same age, but it wasn’t something my child had experienced. I tried to give her encouraging words. I assumed it was just a phase and something her little one would outgrow. That’s what I told her, but I honestly had no idea what she was going through or what I was talking about.

Fast forward a few years. Now I do have a child experiencing the same thing and I know exactly how she must have been feeling.

You doubt yourself and your parenting. And you wonder if your child is somehow behind the developmental curve. Add the fact that no one talks about it and it compounds all of these emotions.

I’ve recently shared a few Instagram posts opening up about nighttime wetting and almost instantly got private messages of solidarity and questions about it being “normal”.

I also got one comment asking why I was so willing to put my child’s embarrassing business out there for his future girlfriend to see. A few ideas for retorts crossed my mind. From “what girlfriend? I’m the only girl in his life!” And “oh, this is nothing!” But honestly, I think it’s an important conversation that we’re making worse by making it out to be a dirty little secret. I want to be an advocate to help others who may be feeling confused and alone.

I’ve collaborated with GoodNites NightTime Underwear to share some of our story and what I’ve learned. The team hooked me up with child development expert Dr. Heather Wittenberg and I got to chat with her and pour out all my concerns and what she told me was really reassuring. She also talked to me about how to have a productive, meaningful conversation with my child about nighttime wetting.

4 encouraging tips about nighttime wetting

1. Nighttime wetting is more common than we think. But we don’t hear about it much because there’s often a shame component attached to it. It’s characterized by unintentional urination during nighttime sleep, and it is caused by the brain and bladder not communicating correctly while a child is asleep. Again for the people in the back… It is developmental, and in nearly all cases, will go away in its own time.

2. Kids develop differently and bladder control while sleeping doesn’t happen at the same time for every child. Trust yourself and don’t put too much pressure on how you think it’s supposed to go. Every child is different, and they have a different developmental timeline too. If your little one is still wet at night, just know you are not alone and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about – they will grow out of it!

3. There’s no need to bribe your child or bring it to his/her attention because it’s a matter of biological control. So resist the urge for shaming/punishing or even rewarding. The best thing you can do for your child is to make them feel comfortable. Consider products like GoodNites, which can help ease the stress of bedwetting and provide a management solution so you and your child can rest easy. They come in an extra small size for little guys and gals who are recently potty trained but still experiencing some wetness at night.

4. It’s important to keep conversations positive and calm with your child. For me, my conversations with Big T focus on avoiding stress and anxiety, even when he experiences regression. Dr. Heather also taught me that some kids wet the bed every night, while others may only wet the bed a few times a month. This can be confusing for kids when they’re dry for a few weeks then one morning they wake up wet. If the subject comes up, I always stay positive and use calm language. Since Big T isn’t concerned about it, my only job if and when he is curious is to focus on more of what I learned from Dr. Heather: emphasizing that his body is still developing and he will grow out of it naturally.

Your conversation might look different though, so make sure to check out for GoodNites Guides with different tips and talking points for many different situations.

Parenting is hard enough. The comparison game is so real, even between our own children. But I’m glad to know this is one of those things I don’t need to stress about. And like my friend who reported later that her daughter outgrew that bedwetting stage, I know my little one will too.

This post is sponsored by GoodNites® Nighttime Underwear.

“If I was the parent making all the rules, I would probably say you could watch the iPad as long as you want and never have to do school!” My daughter proclaimed as we walked around the block. I’ll never get tired of hearing the thoughts that run through her little brain. My kids and I were taking turns answering a series of questions while we completed our workout.

Building a closer bond with your kids through exercise and conversation. Marathon Kids is a free program to help.

I don’t want to say that I hate working out. But it’s definitely not one of my favorite things. Exercising is my husband’s territory. A workout is one of his necessary tasks every day. I guess it’s endorphins and whatnot. I go in an out of spurts where I get in some physical fitness. Mostly out. But I was introduced to a fun summer program that I’m legitimately hooked on now. It’s called Walk and Talk and it’s a free program by Marathon Kids. I’ve partnered with this nonprofit to share a little more about this free program and how your family can get involved.

Like the title sounds, it’s about walking and talking with your children. A little every day adds up to a marathon–26.2 miles. I’d never dream of running an actual marathon, but completing one a little at a time is totally my speed.

Each day my kids and I have been going out to walk about a mile. While together I ask a series of questions for that day. Some are serious, some are silly. The conversation starters are different each day and all written out for you.

Building a closer bond with your kids through exercise and conversation. Marathon Kids is a free program to help.

Soon our walks will include pushing a stroller but we’re having so much fun, we’re planning to keep going and complete the marathon.

Here are 3 surprising things I’ve learned about my kids so far:

1. My daughter doesn’t think being invisible would be all that great.
“The good part would be my brother could stop following me. But the bad would be that any time I try to talk to someone they would be scared of me!”

2. My son knows we can’t stand when he gets on our bed.
When I asked him what he will tell his kids when he grows up he said “To get off my bed!” No idea where he learned that from.

3. My daughter is even more thoughtful than I realized. 

Her answers to questions like “What would you tell a friend who calls themselves fat?” blow me away. She brought up how one time one of her friends told her she was embarrassed by her hairy legs and though she didn’t really know the best thing to say she told her friend we are all animals and we have hair and that’s just normal.

Building a closer bond with your kids through exercise and conversation. Marathon Kids is a free program to help.

Building a closer bond with your kids through exercise and conversation. Marathon Kids is a free program to help.

I tend to vote for to quality over quantity time. Since we started homeschooling I’ve been with my kids 24/7, but there are days when I feel like we’ve hardly connected. Committing to go on a walk with them for just 15-20 minutes a day isn’t a huge time commitment but it feels so good both physically and emotionally.  It’s meant the world to my kids, and it means the world to me.

Visit MarthonKids.org/WalkandTalk to register and get going with your kids this summer. It’s free and a lot of fun! Once you get going come back and let me know some of the interesting answers you get from your kids. I’d love to read!

Marathon Kids is a Cherish 365 sponsor. All opinions are my own. 

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

My Photography Course

My Photography Course

Featured Posts

diy-onsie-cardigan-tutorial

adventures-in-homeschooling

30-things-my-kids-should-know-about-me

Aurora-tutu-dress-tutorial-3

kid-movie-reviews

disney-family-travel

photo-backup-tutorial



watch @jenniferborget on

Inspiring Moments Positive Parenting Spreading Joy
Moving During Christmas? Pro Tip: Don’t Do It!
Well Santa, That Escalated Quickly
from humble beginnings to dream home: interracial couple newlyweds
From Humble Beginnings to Dream Home: The Path That Led Us Here
Family Travel Food & Culture Homeschooling
Family advent calendar activities ideas
50+ Family Activity Ideas for Your Advent Calendar
Diverse children's books teaching life lessons.
Diverse Children’s Books to Help You Navigate Life’s Challenges
wrinkle in time homeschool unit study
Why We Aren’t Homeschooling This Year
Creating With Kids (DIY) Disney Motherhood Pregnancy & Baby
I Left My House With My 3 Kids, and I Survived
Why We Make Family Night a Priority
ralph breaks the internet kids review
An Honest 5 and 7 year olds’ Review of Ralph Breaks the Internet
Interracial Marriage Multiracial Parenting Our Family History Photography & Videos
Waiting for this House Feels Like Waiting for a Baby
from humble beginnings to dream home: interracial couple newlyweds
From Humble Beginnings to Dream Home: The Path That Led Us Here
Why We Make Family Night a Priority