11 Fall Fun Facts Worth Knowing

While spring and summer are my favorite seasons, Autumn isn't really that bad. After all, it's a time for football, chili cookouts, boots, cozy sweaters, hoodies and leggings and eleven other things you will never believe!  Keep reading for Autumn fun facts totally worth knowing...


1. Levels of testosterone in both men and women are at their highest in the fall. Scientists speculate the surge may be a result of ancient mating instincts (e.g., the fall “rutting season”) or that decreasing daylight somehow triggers it.

2. According to NASA, autumn is “aurora season” because geomagnetic storms are about twice as frequent as the annual average during the fall.

3. Cooler temperatures and less light during the autumn months signals the tree's leaves to stop producing chlorophyll, or the green pigment that helps capture sunlight to power photosynthesis. As the green fades, the leave’s other pigments shine through. 

4. Red and purple leaves are caused by the presence of sugars from sap that is trapped inside of the leaves. 

5. The word “harvest” comes from the Old Norse word, haust, which means “to gather or pluck.” As people moved to the cities, “harvest” fell out of use and city dwellers began to use “fall of the leaf,” which was shortened to “fall.

6. The shorter days and cooler nights tell the animals to begin storing food in their nest/dens and fat on their body, before winter's death freeze arrives.

7. Research suggests that low levels of vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) can lead to weight gain during autumn and winter. Lack of vitamin D reduces fat breakdown and triggers fat storage. Take a supplement before even consider sunbathing. It's safer, faster and healthier.

8. Autumn holidays include Labor Day, Grandparents Day, Patriot Day, Autumn Equinox, Columbus Day, Halloween, Veterans Day, Remembrance Day and Thanksgiving.

9. Each autumn, monarch butterflies migrate from the U.S. to Mexico and some parts of Southern California. They fly at speeds of 12 to 25 miles per hour. Monarchs are the only insect that migrates during the winter to a warmer climate...  2,500 miles away!

10. The autumn equinox, or the 'First Day Of Fall' signals the aurora borealis--the Northern Lights--geomagnetic storms are twice as likely to occur during the fall due to cool evening weather.

11. The pumpkin or should I say, Peponwhich means 'large melon', was first named by the Greeks,

FYI: How a Pumpkin grows!

What's your favorite thing about Autumn, Fall, Harvest?


Healthy Before School Breakfast Popsicles

 I know what you're thinking, Popsicles? Before school? Healthy?

Yep. I said it. And, I meant it. 

You can make superfood popsicles with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.

It's true.

If you have yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit/greens, and/or juice, you have AWESOME popsicles waiting to be made. Just pull out the Dixie cups and craft sticks, then pour and freeze.

It's seriously THAT simple!

In fact, not only do I save money by making my own popsicles, I waste less too! I open the produce drawer and start grabbing the things that need to be used; spinach, kale, apples, oranges, strawberries, bananas... Then throw them in the blender with yogurt, juice, or coconut water easy and healthy.

Or, buy bus stop-friendly popsicle molds. My favorite molds are mess-free and safe for kiddos. Silicone, food-grade popsicle molds with lids.

BONUS: They make great snack containers, too!

OK, now that the molds are covered, it's time to move on to the super-duper easy part, making the popsicles!

These Peanut Butter Banana Ice Pops are SO simple and great for breakfast on-the-go too! Add Peanut Butter, Bananas, honey, almond milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of Himalayan salt, then blend, pour, freeze, eat!

These Peach Smoothie Popsicles from Brit + Co are a summer staple for me. I LOVE peaches, and so does the kid. Sometimes I throw in chocolate shavings for an extra sweet treat!

These layered Berry + Yogurt popsicles are super healthy and festive for Memorial Day!

Tip: To make those fancy layers pour one or two layers in at a time, then freeze. Repeat.

Looking for the REAL breakfast of champions? Look no further than these Yogurt Parfait Popsicles.
Mix greek yogurt with a little honey, grab berries and granola, and start layering. Add smoothie mix-ins like protein powder or superfood powder for an extra kick.

Hate throwing away leftover melon? First, puree it, then mix in a little coconut water, juice, or yogurt to give it a smoother texture.

Can't be bothered to blend? Slice the fruit, stick a stick in it and freeze. Chocolate optional. (As if.)

I'm sure you get the point, Homemade Superfood Popsicles are easy and yummy. Now, go dig in the fridge and make something magical!

Check out all of my superfood and not-so-healthy favorites, including boozy Pop-tails on my Homemade Popsicle Pinterest Board!



How Much Sleep Does Your Child Need For Their Age?

Now that school is back in session, it's time to get those sleep schedules nailed down. It's beyond essential! And not because I say so... Rachel Dawkins, M.D., with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, says so:

Kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity and even depression.

So how much sleep does a person need for their specific age?

I 100% get how friggin' hard it is t get kids on a scheduled sleep routine. My son is nine and I still prepare for bedtime-war EVERY SINGLE STUPID NIGHT! It's worth it. Here are some things that help get him in the sleep-spirit:

  • Start at the SAME TIME EVERY NIGHT!
  • NO electronics/screens at least an hour before bed
  • NO caffeine after 5pm
  • Warm shower/bath
  • Read before bed

  • Don't give into the BS about being hungry, thirsty, and every other crap excuse to prolong bedtime.

It takes about three weeks to fully nail down the bedtime routine, but once your child's arcadian rhythm gets with the flow, bedtime is actually not total brain damage. 


5 Tips For Back-To-School Sports Heat Relief #BackToSchool


I'm dedicating this post to the families sweating buckets during back-to-school sports practices and games. My heart goes out to little ones and their families enduring heatstroke and sunburns for 'the love of the game.' If 100 degree August afternoons on the football field are wearing down your family, below are five things I used to keep my family cool the weekend we braved 107-degree temps to win a cake and ride the rides at a church picnic. 

Prior to the picnic, I scoured the Internet, novelty stores, Target, and The Dollar Tree for anything that would promise to keep my family cool and protected from the sun's rays and stupid-hot summer temps. I bought many things, but most were a gimmick or complete crap, or both. Below are the top five things that kept us cool, hydrated, and protected from the sun's rays. 

The Hydro Flask ($30): First and foremost, if nothing else, hydrate your child. That being said, I wholly recommend the Hydro Flask for the job! A bestie sent it to me for my birthday and it's the water bottle I depend on to keep my water cold ALLLLLL DAAAAY!!!!!! It is the most indestructible, amazing liquid-holding contraption ever. It keeps ice water icy cold and hot soup super hot. You can seriously put a few ice cubes in this thing in the morning and fill it full of water, and by the end, the ice cubes will be intact. I've had my Hydro Flask for about five years now and it looks as good as the day I got it. How many water bottles can you say that about?

The Ultra Soft Cooling Towel ($9): If you bought one of the first cooling towels to hit the market, then you know while they worked like magic, once the towel dries, it's a stiff cardboard sheet. Thankfully, cooling towels have had an upgrade. The new ones stay soft, wet or dry.  Now, you can throw it in your handbag, and all you've got to do is just find a little bit of water, soak it, snap it a few times, and you instantly have a cold towel. This is a mom emergency heat stroke lifesaver. 

Every parent should have one handy. Seriously, they're so cheap, why not?

The Necklace Fan ($16 for Two or $10 for One): This thing is hysterical!!! But so friggin' great. All you do is pop in some batteries, slip the fan over your head and tighten it up around your neck, and BOOM, instant, hands-free air conditioning. Definitely not the most fashionable thing, but it works. Well. And it's totally worth the money! I gifted one to a girlfriend who runs her family's YUMMY ice cream food truck. She LOVED it! 

The handheld 5-speed fan ($15). This fan was a wild-card winner! I was floored when it arrived... There are 5-speeds, and it turns into a USB charger for your phone! We now own three. This fan is a Grandstand winner! 

UPF 50+ Bucket Sun Hat UV Sun Protection with Mesh Rim ($10-$15): 

I'm so in love with the hats. I bought a hat for all of us. All three were inexpensive and have been LIFESAVERS since day one. The mesh rim lets the air blow through. Most of all, the UPF material actually blocks some of those seriously harmful sun rays.  

What's your Summer Heat Lifesaver?



5 Star Chili Recipes: Vegetarian to Meat Lovers to 8-Alarm

Happy Fall Y'All! 

Waking up to crisp mornings, leaves falling at my feet and flocks of birds flying south, I can't help but be ready to get my chili-on! Just in case you were feeling the same, I thought I would share a few of the championship 5-star chili recipes I've saved to make this season. From vegetarian to meat lovers to eight-alarm, here are the best of the best.

30-Minute Chili. Yes, 30-minutes, total! With 5-minutes of prep and 25-minutes cook-time, this 30-minute chili from Southern Living had the reviewers swearing by it as their go-to for quick dinners and potlucks. Kid-approved, too!

This Blue Ribbon Chili recipe has over 2,200 reviews 95% are 5stars and ZERO one star. That means even the shittiest of chefs can pull this one off! Of course, it helps there's a video walkthrough. I'm totally giving this one a try. It's smooth chili, as opposed to the ultra-bean-y chili. (see above)

This 5-star 5-step chili recipe from, Betty Crocker, is super easy and ready in less than 2 hours!

This Vegetarian Chili with Avocado cream from Martha Stewert had the reviewers going wild.  One reviewer said, "I was so skeptical of this recipe - fennel and all that CELERY??? I was wrong. This is one of the best vegetarian chilis we've ever made."

Did you know there's an International Chili Society? Every year, ICS holds the world championship Chili-cookoff. Whether you like Texas Chili or 5-alarm, the ICS has a complete list of winner's and their championship Chili recipes. To see them all, click here

This Creamy White Chili from Taste of Home, makes it to the table in under an hour, has 552 5-star reviews and had one reviewer, a college student, singing it's praises. "I got this wonderful chili recipe from my sister-in-law, who made a big batch and served a crowd one night. It was a hit. Plus, it's easy and quick, which is helpful since I'm a college student. In all my years of 4-H cooking, I've never had another dish get so many compliments."

Why stop at 5-alarm? Epicurious is bringing out the fire department for their, Ding Dong 8-Alarm chili. Yes, EIGHT! How you wouldn't have to ice down your mouth and ass for 24 hours after a spoonful I don't know, but if this is your thing, or you hate someone and are going to their potluck, have a go at this insanity.

I remember my first turkey chili. When I found out it was made with turkey instead of beef, I was floored. I HAD NO IDEA! Truth be told, I pretty much only use turkey in my chili now. It's low-fat, heart healthy and NO ONE knows the difference. This 5-star turkey recipe is the clear winner with thousands of 5-star recipes. 

This weekend I'm making the turkey chili. Which is your favorite? 

These Childhood Development Facts Will Shock + Amaze

1. If babies’ bodies grew at the same rapid pace as their brains, they would weigh 170 pounds by one month of age.

2. 60% of all the energy a baby expends is concentrated in the brain. Birth-to-three is the fastest rate of brain development across the entire human lifespan.

3. The average child will grow in their baby teeth by three and lose them before turning thirteen.

Primary Teeth Development Chart
Upper TeethWhen tooth emergesWhen tooth falls out
Central incisor8 to 12 months6 to 7 years
Lateral incisor9 to 13 months7 to 8 years
Canine (cuspid)16 to 22 months10 to 12 years
First molar13 to 19 months9 to 11 years
Second molar25 to 33 months10 to 12 years
Lower Teeth
Second molar23 to 31 months10 to 12 years
First molar14 to 18 months9 to 11 years
Canine (cuspid)17 to 23 months9 to 12 years
Lateral incisor10 to 16 months7 to 8 years
Central incisor6 to 10 months6 to 7 years

Food for thought: According to Truedent Family Dentistry, in Miami, FL, “Dental decay usually traces back to a high amounts of sugar in the diet and improper brushing habits. By teaching your child to brush regularly and limiting his intake of sugar, cavities can become a thing of the past." Your kids' health is an investment in their future. Not only that but teaching your child good health habits will save you large medical bills in the future.

4. Babies whose parents frequently talk to them know 300 more words by age 2 than babies whose parents rarely speak to them.

5. By age 1, a child typically understands about 70 words, but can only speak only a handful of them. At about 18 months, your toddler's spoken vocabulary starts to explode, adding new words at the astonishing rate of one every two waking hours.

6. When your toddler announces, "Mine!" while clinging to his truck in a playgroup, it's not so much a selfish refusal to share as it is a cognitive achievement. The declaration of "mine" is his way of saying he understands that you — and the other children — are separate from him.

7. Music boosts learning. Singing, listening to, and playing music improves spatial orientation and mathematical thinking.

8.  A baby has 300 separate bones at birth but by adulthood only 206. Why?
Because some bones, like the skull, fuse together later.

9. Until the age of six or seven months, a child can breathe and swallow at the same time. -

 75% of adults reading this will try to do it!

10. The average 4-year-old asks 437 questions a day!  (No big surprise there!)



6 Sanity Saving Survival Tips For New Moms

I have no doubt that every mother will agree with me when I say, during pregnancy, the only thing you get more of than stretch marks and bad gas, is parenting advice.  Between the always ready to share been-there-done-that mothers, parenting books, and online resources, the information available today for new mothers is overwhelming. What's more, you never know what to believe since one book will contradict the next, and what one mother swears by, another mother will insist did not work for her baby. Weeding through all of the advice can be daunting, to say the least.

Looking back, I wish I was given more advice on how to deal with becoming a mother, and less on the three million different ways to rock a baby to sleep. I needed to know about the self-doubt and the failures that came along with motherhood, or that having a baby would take a huge toll on my marriage and personal life if I let it. After talking with numerous other mothers, I realized we all struggled with the same issues; things it seemed no one bothered to warn us about in between lessons on feeding, changing and rocking our newborn to sleep.  I've put together a list of the top six things we all agree are so important for new mothers to know.  Things we wish we didn't have to learn the hard way.

Ollie and I at his 6-month well-baby checkup.

1Listen to your instincts, not Dr. Google. With so many parenting resources available, most contradicting the next, don't get caught up thinking these resources know your child better than you do.

For example: If you know your baby is hungry feed him. Who cares if it has only been two hours and the book says wait for three. Screw that! Feed your baby. There is no reason to let your baby get hysterical trying to follow the guidelines.

I cannot stress this enough, trust what your gut and heart are telling you, because 9.5 times out of 10, they are spot on right. Every minute you second-guess yourself you and your baby will suffer.  Go with your gut first. Always.

2. The decision between nursing or formula feeding should not become bigger than World War III. First of all, Breastfeeding is NOT "Plug and Chug!" Nursing is hard. Extremely hard. There is no plug in and feed feature to it. It takes time, a fair amount of discomfort and practice for both you and your baby to get the hang of it. (I mean weeks, not days) Ask for help. Find a lactation consultant. Be prepared for a possible battle that will take all of your inner strength to make it through...

Second, BREASTFEEDING MAY NOT BE FOR YOU. THAT IS OK! You, or your baby, may have a medical condition keeping you from being able to nurse. You may hate it. It may just not be right for you. This is VERY common, do not think you are a failure.

Plain and simple-You will either nurse or you will not. Regardless of what you do, your baby will be beautiful and wonderful and smart and articulate. Do what is best for you and your child. Do not let anyone make you feel otherwise. You are NOT! a failure. DO NOT LET THIS RUIN YOU!

3. Listen to your baby's cues. While babies can only communicate through body language and crying, within the first week you will begin to notice behaviors and different tones of crying that are clearly trying to tell you something.  Babies will give you cues for hunger WAY before crying, including things like REM, finger sucking and reaching with arms and legs. When you notice any or all of those cues feed your baby pronto, or the blood-curdling screaming will be next! If your baby is tired some of his cues might be pulling at his ears, yawning and or quick jerky movements. 

Pay close attention to those different cues and within a week or so you will easily be able to decipher what it is your baby is trying to tell you, and most likely before he even starts crying uncontrollably.

4. Do not get caught up trying to be the perfect mother. There is no such thing! In order to be the best mother to your baby, all you have to do is try your best.  Parenting is filled with both triumphs and failures.  Do not be hard on yourself, or get discouraged if you fail.  Just like with everything else, practice makes perfect. If you fall down, stand up, dust yourself off and try something else.

Above all, do not be afraid to ask for help!  If someone wants to bring over dinner, let them.  If someone wants to come over while you take a nap and shower, let them.  Graciously accept all the help you can get, because chances are the person offering the help has been in your shoes before and knows a little help goes a long way during those first few months.

5Don't forget to take time for your partner. It is so easy to lose sight of your relationship with your partner during those first few weeks and months of parenthood.  Between the exhaustion from the sleepless nights, the demanding feeding schedule, and your normal household or work activities, it can be hard to find quality time to spend with your partner, however, it is crucial that you MAKE time.

For example, Every single day during those first few weeks, make it a point to be affectionate, say I love you if possible eat a meal together and then during that meal try to talk about anything but your baby.

The key is not to build a new life around your baby, but to blend your baby into your existing life together.

6. Don't forget to take time for yourself. It is absolutely crucial that you take time for yourself on a daily basis. Every day you need to make it a point to take a shower, put on clean clothes, and eat at least two wholesome meals. Then aim to leave the house for no less than 10 minutes, at least every other day. Even a walk around the block does wonders. Just get away from that baby to rejuvenate, or you will crash and burn.   

From one first-time mother to another... Motherhood is a journey filled with ups and down. In the wee hours of the morning, when you have survived for days on little to no sleep and you are sure you cannot survive one more minute... you can. You will. Just keep repeating, This Too Shall Pass, until it does... Hold on tight to every moment and enjoy the ride, because it really does go by so quickly.  And don't listen to the doctors and nurses about those first smiles being gas induced, your baby is stoked to see you. ~April

Motherhood is such an amazing blessing that is so incredibly rewarding.  


10 Things To Know Before Transitioning To A Toddler Bed

The decision to move my son out of his crib and into a toddler bed was the source of many heated debates. As usual, I wanted to keep my baby in his crib, and the Aussie wanted his big boy (2ys) to be in a big boy bed frame

My husband talked me into letting him set up the toddler bed just so Ollie could get used to seeing it. 

Much to my surprise, the little guy took one look at his 'big boy bed' and declared no more Crib. He wanted to sleep in his big-boy-bed. 

Later that night, he was in my bed. For the first time EVER. 

Y'all.... The day we moved the kid out of his crib was the day we essentially moved him into my bed. To keep you from the same crappy night sleep, below are 10 tips found while researching an article I thought I would share.

1. There is no set rule, date, age, time, magical number.

Pediatric sleep disorders expert, Deborah Lin-Dyken, says there's no set time to make a move. Studies show most children make the switch sometime between ages 1 1/2 and 3 1/2.

2. Climbing Is Not Key. 

Don't rush right out and buy a new bed the day your toddler climbs out of the crib. This IS NOT an indicator that he is ready. Lower the mattress all the way, and discourage climbing.

3. Keep the decor.  

The switch may freak your toddler out. Place the new bed in the EXACT same place the crib used to be. Use the same bedding, crib toys/stuffed animals. Change as little as possible. 


Don't just spring the new bed on your toddler.  Start talking it up at least a week in advance.  One expert says, "Throw a big party to celebrate the bed's arrival."

5. Wait For Independence To Reign Supreme. 

Independence is an indicator that your child is ready to make the switch.  If your child takes pride in individual accomplishments, including feeding and dressing themselves, then it may be time. Kyle Pruett, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center, in New Haven, Connecticut, says a sign of readiness is when your child calls out in the night and can be reassured just be hearing your voice.

6. One Thing At A Time. 

Don't introduce the new bed during potty training or moving to a new house.  Too many changes can freak a familiarity loving toddler out. -Dr. Laura Markham.

7. Transition Before The Third Trimester.

If the transition is due to the arrival of a new baby, experts recommend the transition be made and well adjusted to at least TWO months before the baby arrives.

8. Remember Who Needs To Really Love It. 

Let your toddler be involved every step of the way; including if possible, picking out the bed, and the new sheets, blanket, and pillow if necessary. Make the new bed cozy and inviting.

9. Get the Routine Down. 

If you do not already have one, create a bedtime routine and stick to it leading up to the big night. Familiarity is key to this transition. One expert says to add white noise or music to the bedtime routine, if it is not already part of it, to help your child doze off.

10. Prepare Yourself For A long Bitter Battle. 

This could (most likely will) be very scary for your little one, and may take quite a few nights of both, getting to sleep AND staying in bed through the night, before things settle. Remember, this is ultimately your decision, you have to be comforting and understanding that this is very scary. Talk through your child's feelings and be reassuring that this is a wonderful thing.  'All big boys/girls sleep in a big bed.'

Unless this is your idea of a "toddler bed," 
then you better be sure your toddler is ready...

Parenting Words Of Wisdom: Toddler beds are dumb. Skip it and buy atlas a twin size bed. You'll be happy to have somewhere to sleep your child throws you out of your bed.

Good luck, it's not an easy transition, but with the right timing and attitude on both parties, this could be a good thing.


How to Survive Being Married... With Children.

I once heard the leading cause of divorce is marriage. I'm now convinced, it's children that lead the pack to divorce. It's so hard to stay connected mentally and physically to your partner when your children are physically stuck to you while mentally destroying you.

We have watched many happy couples during the first few years of becoming new parents struggle with balancing their relationship and being parents. Sadly, many of those couples are now divorced. Now, infidelity, abusers, liars and fu@kwits are one thing, but for the couples that just fell out of love, I get it. The Aussie and I have had many, many ups and downs in our relationship since becoming parents.

Today, we are celebrating seven gloriously years of marriage. (Think: War & Peace meets dirty porn. Kidding... maybe...) It's been amazing, hard, annoying, fulfilling and as much as I want to throat punch the fu*ker sometimes, I am so happy and blessed to call him my partner in life. In honor of our seventh wedding anniversary, we wanted to share a few tips we've learned the hard way about being married with children.

1. It takes so much friggin' work. During the days leading up to our wedding, we asked people about the secret to a long marriage, all of them answered almost word-for-word, It's not easy, it takes work. They were right. Marriage is anything but easy. Marriage takes loads of compromise, putting yourself second, but not all the time, accepting an opposing opinion, alternating weekend days so you both get a morning to sleep in... Basically, when times get tough, you have to work through the issue as a team. You know, the whole United We Stand, Divided We Fall, thing, it applies to marriage big time.

2. Talk to each other, not at each other.  Communication is Key. You have to talk to each other, and not just about the shit that annoys you about each other. Talk about your day, current events, the neighbors, whatever, just talk. A couple of years ago we fell into a nonverbal funk. We both knew we were drifting apart, so we agreed to spend at least 10-15 minutes each night after our son went to bed talking. We migrated out to the porch, sometimes walked around the house, sometimes had a beer. To this day, we go outside together at night regularly. It's really nice.

3. Affection is what sets you apart. Nothing beats hella good intimacy in a marriage. I once read that the fastest way for couples to reconnect is to have sex every day for 30 days straight.  I can definitely get down with that. The couples that stick together, well, stick together.

4. Date Nights Are Not Optional. Date nights are essential for staying connected. Especially, if you have children. You have to get out monthly and be human together. Not parents, humans. The people you are deep down inside underneath the baby spew, yoga pants, football games, practices, and recitals. Leave all that shit at the door and go out like two kids about to wreck the town. TIP: Can't afford a babysitter and dinner? (Who can anymore?) Order takeout and have a picnic in the yard, set the patio table with candles or make a carpet picnic and play music.

5. Be Independent. There is more to life than each other. It's unhealthy for one half of the partnership to live only through the other. Both of you need friends, events, and hobbies outside of your marriage. No one likes to be smothered. TIP: At least once a month go out independently with friends, retail therapy, a walk...

6. It's Not Supposed To Be Onesided. It's not fair for one half of the partnership to be in charge of dealing with all the crappy stuff. No friggin' way should only one person always cook, clean, change diapers, drop off, pickup, control the TV, wake up early with the kids on the weekend... Nothing brings on resentment faster. Write out everything it takes to keep the ship sailing smooth and work together to share the responsibilities. Both of you deserve to sit down at the end of the day.

7. Say, I love you and makeout, every day.  Love and affection are such an integral part of marriage. Every single day take at least a moment to appreciate each other and your relationship.  Tell your partner in life, I love you. Look into each others eyes and reconnect. Makeout. Be there in the moment with each other. Let everything else fades away. Because, in the end, that's one of the magical things about your partner, when you're together, the world melts away.

How do you keep the marriage fresh? Were you surprised about the huge amount of stress children put on the happiest of marriages? Me too. I've written many articles over the years about the ups and downs of marriage here.


Undivided Attention and Support Are Everything Kids Need Right Now


Here we are. Another school year starting with masks and social distancing. Our kids are by far the ones suffering the most. You gotta think, if COVID is too much for us as parents to wrap our head around, our children don't stand a chance of getting 'it'. Now, more than ever, we have to give them support, listen to them, and create as much normalcy as possible. 

Even teenagers still need their parents and guardians to guide them and be with them. When it comes to providing emotional stability to our children, there is no endpoint. Those traditions, family meals, one-on-one time, and stability are what soothes their soul and fears. 

One trick I use to embrace time together with my son is think of the times we created fun memories together. What we were doing? What warms his heart? Holiday traditions? Sporting events? Concocting yummy treats in the kitchen... 

Then I use those happy memories to inspire me to new happy memories! 

I try to build small moments into each day/week. I'll Google jokes, fun snacks, five-minute crafts... 

Here are a few other tips I've come across to help our children through this difficult time:

Responding to Changes Outside Your Control

Unforeseen challenges, like divorce, deaths, and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic can be difficult for all family members, including parents but you must stay stoic in the face of adversity. Thankfully, children are incredibly resilient, but they still need copious amounts of reassurance things are going to be OK. Even if you're not 100% sure when or how things will be better, be the guiding light that lets your children know there's no need to worry. 

Communication is Key

It is crucial you regularly talk to your children. Really listen to them. Ask them what they are feeling and thinking. DO NOT JUDGE OR BRUSH OFF THEIR CONCERNS. Communication is everything right now. Start by doing an activity together then ask simple questions about school, their day, their friends and foes and let the conversation be guided by your child. The more you let them talk, the more you will learn about how they are truly feeling.

Assure the children that it's okay to feel the way they do. For older kids, focus on facts and historical data to help them find their footing on shaky ground.

Prioritize well-being

To help the family remain mentally stable and healthy, BOTH parents and children should prioritize exercise, eating healthy, and solid sleep. As a family, join an online dance class, learn a Tik Tok dance, create a family band using pots and pans. Cook healthy meals together. Have a family game night. Use this time to bond and strengthen your family unit.

As the saying goes... This too shall pass. Until then, support and listen to your children. Be there for them, judgment-free.