There is power in the spoken word. When someone speaks positive words over you it has an effect. Think of the last time you received praise from someone you respected, admired, or loved. Think of a time when someone recognized something about you: a talent, a quality, or an accomplishment. I remember hearing from a co-worker that I respected, “You are ready for a promotion it is only a matter a time.” The co-worker went on to explain some recent work and ideas I had implemented. I felt something grow inside of me. It was my confidence and belief in myself. All of a sudden I felt worthy and capable of doing even greater work. Positive words of affirmation spoken at the right time can ignite someone on a course for success.
Imagine raising children in an environment where positive words are spoken over them. Children do not know what they are good at, what their talents are, what success looks like, and the potential and worth they have. Speaking life -giving words over them will build their confidence, belief in their abilities, and make sure they know they have worth. Unfortunately, in today’s society our children will face a lot of negative words spoken to them at school by peers and posted about them on social media. As parents we have the ability to control whether our children will be shaped by positive or negative words.
Here are positive words every parent should speak to their child that they will understand.
We all know that reading is a good thing and we should encourage toddlers to read, but what are the benefits of reading to your child before they can read themselves?
It’s been a long day and you are exhausted. The kids have been fed, bathed, and now it’s time to finally put them down for bed. As you try to leave their room you hear a small voice asking for a story. Your mind goes straight to dirty dishes and laundry. Plus you worry if you slow down and read you may fall asleep. Despite wanting some quiet time to yourself and the chance to get the house in order you give in. Plus you don’t want to lose out on setting up your children for future academic success. Let me lay out 5 reasons why making the sacrifice to read to your little ones is totally worth it.
Reason # 1 – Sustained Focus
With the constant bombardment of visual media that progressively decreases our attention spans, it can be hard to have sustained focus. Our children will need that skill in school, work, and in problem solving. Reading to your children will develop and reinforce an ability to focus on a task. Additionally, children showing an interest in paper books in spite of all the attractive electronic devices should be reinforced. Books will be a part of their academic future.
Reason # 2 – Learning About Their World
Reading books exposes your child to parts of the world they may be unfamiliar with. Whether it’s animals, a different culture, or human behaviors you are exposing your children to new parts of our world that become teachable moments. Of course we would love to take our children out to experience the world, but without the time to do so, a book can act as that field trip to a part of the world they have never seen. View books as ways to expand your child’s knowledge of the world and stimulate their curiosity.
Reason # 3 – Develop Critical Thinking
If you think of reading books to your children as a task you have to do, that makes it one-sided. Learning is more effective when it is two-sided like conversation. Rather than just reading and telling your child what is in the book, try asking them. When you get to a page ask your child what they think is happening. Let them try to figure it out. You’ll be surprised at what they see and then you can guide their understanding. By allowing them to figure out the new knowledge you are developing their independent, critical thinking skills. Unfortunately our schools don’t always cultivate that, but we know in our economy those that can problem solve can make lots of money.
Reason # 4 – All the Academic Benefits
I don’t even have to cite all the studies that show when children are read to at an early age it improves their vocabulary, language acquisition, reading comprehension, etc. Of course all parents want their children to be successful in school. In the ever increasing competitive academic environments at Pre-K, private/charter/public school options, college scholarships, etc. any edge will help. What you may be seeing is that our schools are moving more and more towards individualized learning. With adaptive and responsive learning systems, A.I., and the like it is much more likely that our children will be learning faster at their pace. Early reading will get them equipped with those basic skills (language/comprehension/etc.) so they can progress even faster in those environments.
Reason # 5 – Nurturing Our Children’s Interests
I spoke to a mom who had identical triplets. She told me she read equally to all 3 of her sons early and reinforced the importance of reading. Two of her sons excelled academically, while the third struggled immensely. She couldn’t understand why her third son did not excel like the other two. As her sons grew up she realized her third son had a vastly different interests than his brothers. Her third son ended up in a career in mechanics. The other two thrived in the traditional learning environment. So although all 3 boys were reading the same books only two of them were deeply interested. Her third son who had a natural interest mechanics was rarely exposed to those topics as a child. She believed that had she provided more books on her third son’s interests his reading and academic skills would have been more advanced.
Children all have natural talents and interests. Books are an easy way to find and nurture those talents. Once you find those interests you can drive their cognitive growth through those topics.
Next time you hear that little voice asking you to read a book, remember you are not just reading a book . . . you are developing crucial life skills, unlocking interests, and building your child into an independent learner. Reading to your child each night is like investing money with compounding interest, the dividends are being built up and will eventually become very valuable.
Boynton Beach is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida. This small, family friendly town has something for everyone. Recently we decided to visit the Boynton Harbor Marina. This marina is located ½ mile south of the Boynton Inlet. Since our family enjoys anything water related, this made the perfect day trip.
We visited on a Sunday afternoon and to our surprise parking at the marina was a breeze. They do offer valet parking but you can easily find self parking. Everything at the Boynton Harbor Marina is walking distance. The marina also provides clean public bathroom for those visiting.
The Boynton Harbor Marina is not only beautiful and clean but they offer many different water activities. You can rent jet-ski or go on a fishing charters. They also offer scuba diving, boat rentals, and more.
Not looking to get in water? That’s totally fine because there are two waterfront restaurants nearby. (Banana Boat Restaurant and Two Georges Waterfront Restaurant). Both restaurants are located at the marina. Being that both are on the water, it is the perfect place to order a drink, sit back, relax, and watch the countless yachts and boats pass by.
Our children had the best time at the marina watching countless boat and yacht pass by. They were even lucky enough to see manatees and feed seagulls from scraps the fisherman were throwing away. The marina also provides many secret path ways and places with a view. We felt perfectly safe and even found a place where we could allow the kids to play freely.
This marina embodies everything we love about South Florida. And with palm tree and boats everywhere, its the perfect place to take family pictures. (For fashion tips on how to look great as a busy mom, checkout my article here.)
As a mother of two soon to be three, I know some days the last thing on our minds, as mothers, is fashion. With the daily pressures of motherhood and the constant tug of a needy toddler sometimes it’s hard to even think about getting dressed in anything fashionable. So we (myself included) opt for the over sized t-shirt and leggings, because it’s easy. However, taking these few steps can help you look and feel your best while crushing this thing called motherhood.
Tip 1: Prepare the Night before
Let’s face it. If we’re looking for the perfect outfit in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast, it’s not going to happen. If you’re anything like me, as soon as my children are up they demand one hundred percent of my attention. I’m lucky if I can break away for two minutes to get dressed and put something clean on. In those two minutes the last thing I’m thinking about is fashion.
All that can be solved with a little preparation. After the kids go down for bed schedule at least 10 minutes to put something cute together before you head to bed. You’ll find it’s much easier to mix and match colors and even set aside matching accessories at night than in the morning. You’ll be surprised what a little preparation will do for your fashion. After a few times you’ll find that early preparation is actually fun and even therapeutic.
Bonus Tip: If you’re finding it hard to stay up late to do this, schedule this step during your kids’ nap time. You can even dedicate one day in the week to “Fashion Prep” by putting together and labeling an outfit for each day of the week.
Tip 2: Wake up before the Kids
For the most part, toddlers will wake up the same time every morning no matter what time they go to bed. So I recommend waking up at least 30-45 minute before they’re up to shower, fix your hair and maybe, just maybe wear a little make up. Again once my children are up it’s impossible for me to even think about doing hair and makeup. Since you already chose your clothes the night before, that’s one less thing you have to worry about.
Bonus Tip: If you can prepare your hair routine the night before. Maybe put rollers in before you head to bed. If you can wash and condition your hair the night before, that’s another step cut out of your morning prep routine.
Tip 3: Donate all your Homely Clothes
This may not be a popular tip, but it helped me out big time. If you’re having a hard time staying up late or waking up early in the morning to dedicate time to anything fashion-related, eliminating the problem (over-sized t-shirts and leggings) will help. I know this is going to be hard, but set aside a day to go through your whole wardrobe and get rid of anything that’s in bad condition, too big, and outdated. Organize your clothes to where every article of clothing is fashionable, fits well, and in mint condition. Doing this will ensure that no matter how much time you have to get ready before you head out the door the clothing you choose will be in style.
Bonus Tip: For every old or outdated article of clothing you get rid of replace it with a new up-to-date item.
Pool area at Residence Inn Orlando lake buena vista
Traveling with Toddlers
Before marriage and children, as a single growing up in South Florida and living only three hours away from Orlando, I’ve had my fair share of travels and stays at various hotels and motels in Orlando.
From 5 star hotels to sketchy motels there is something for everyone and every price budget in the beautiful city of Orlando.
Traveling with two toddlers and finding the perfect hotel in Orlando that is comfortable, safe, and affordable can be a bit of task with so many options. Location is also a big deal, especially if your hotel doesn’t offer a shuttle to the theme park you are trying to visit.
Finding the Best Accommodations
On this trip we were visiting Sea World in Orlando, so hotel location was our number one priority. Equal to location was cleanliness, because if your toddlers are anything like mine, they’re still eating off the floor. A hot, free breakfast was also top on our list. When traveling with toddlers ones, you soon realize that the cost of things add up quickly in Orlando. Not having to worry about breakfast was one less expense to take off our plate (pun intended).
Luckily, we were able to find everything that fit all our needs for this trip at Residence Inn by Marriott.
Just 15 minutes from Sea World, our hotel was very easy to find and thankfully at 12 am we were able to easily find parking. Check-in was seamless and the front desk staff was extra friendly. The best part was they had freshly baked cookies waiting for us. (Parking was $10 a night.)
Our Hotel Room
It was super nice to find out our room was actually a suite with a full kitchen and living room. We had a bedroom with a king sized bed, which the kids almost enjoyed more than my husband and I 😉 Our room and the entire hotel was very clean and spacious, and the staff was very responsive to our housekeeping requests.
We can’t say enough about how much fun our kids had the hotel. Our son sprawled out on the pullout couch in the living room and was so happy he had a hug bed. My daughter slept in a pack and play provided by the hotel (no mattress), but brand new clean sheets were provided. My husband and I slept in our own bedroom in the comfy king sized bed.
Free Hotel Breakfast
Breakfast was super busy being a holiday weekend, and it was almost impossible to find a table. Although it was crazy it was so worth it! The food was actually really good. They had pretty much everything you could desire for a yummy breakfast, eggs, sausage, hash potatoes, waffles, you name it. My husband who has to eat gluten free and eats a lot found plenty of great options. For those on the go, there were a lot of continental options.
Relaxing by the Pool
The pool area was perfect to relax after getting worn out at Sea World or enough fun for a pool day for the kids. There were waterfalls and even a kiddie-sized pool that we could relax by and not worry about the kids’ safety.