It's here! It's not even December yet but the holidays are officially here! The hustle and bustle of shoppers searching out the perfect gifts for their loved ones and grocery store runs gathering up every last holiday meal essential ingredient can quickly turn ugly. Instead of carol singing patrons you've got hurried and frantic people dashing not through the snow but to the check out stand as quick as St. Nick!
Here are 5 ways to avoid surviving the holidays so you can ENJOY them!
#1 - Make a list.
Schedule out the items on your list so you know exactly when you're checking them off.
#2 - Plan a budget.
Let's face it, the holidays can be expensive. Plan your budget and stick to it. It's amazing all the creativity that can come out when you need it to!
#3 - Schedule enough time.
Always plan extra time to get your tasks done. Crowds, traffic, parking - shopping nightmare right? Plan extra time and you'll be pleasantly surprised when you're off to your next stop ahead of schedule!
#4 - Pace your shopping.
Pick a mall or shopping area where you can get the most done in the amount of time you have planned. You'll accomplish more and save time too!
#5 - Stop and smell the candy canes.
You don't have to really smell candy canes but do take time for yourself. You deserve a moment to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the season too!
Happy Enjoying Everyone!
--Miss Amy :)
Recently while waiting in line, 2 of my boys were behind some young adults who were not using kid friendly language. Fortunately, one of my boys was totally unaware. The other one (the older brother) was very bothered by what he overheard.
Explicit language is not an option at our house - if you want to continue residing there. "Potty words" are looked down upon - severely! Words are just one way to demonstrate good manners. A polite compliment, a sincere "How are you?" both go a long way to making the person on the receiving end feel exceptional!
Having 6 boys in my house (my husband totally counts in this situation!), I take manners very seriously. My boys know when it comes to manners, I mean business - especially at mealtimes. I have been known to send a boy to bed without dinner due to gross negligence of mealtime manners. Don't worry, no one has starved and they are all now BIG believers in manners during dinner!
So why is it so hard to help manners make a comeback? Some kids gravitate to manners easily (my 16 year old who always opens the car door for me) and some do not ( my almost 8 year old who has discovered armpit noises - slight laugh, sigh and "ugh!") Manners demonstrate civility, an understanding of relationships and social connections and are good for us mentally and physically.
So the next time you say "Pardon me" or delightfully use the appropriate fork at your plate, remember - you're making the world a better and more fashionable place for everyone!
--Miss Amy :)
My four year old runs inside from playing outside.
"Mom! Can we have a fruit snack?"
"No, we're going to have spaghetti for dinner in a few minutes."
"We are!!! You buy it at the store??? THANK YOU Mom!!!"
How can that not melt your heart? The "Thank You" alone would win this kid just about anything he wanted in those 5 minutes - he happens to be a pretty cute 4 year old too! ;) And even though we have (to the best of our tired abilities) raised all 5 of our boys the same, the "Pleases" and "Thank Yous" are sometimes lost in translation. This is something we really want to instill in our kids. An Attitude of Gratitude.
In a world where we are given so much, expect so much in an instant, patience and thankfulness have almost become of thing of the past. When we took our kids to Disneyland in October my 10.5 year old started whining about the length of the line for the ride we were in. (Note: By the powers of Walt Disney himself probably, we were able to go into the park an hour early - before the park officially opens - even though our tickets did not include an extra hour that day. So the whining and ingratitude was not sitting well at all.) I quickly let this darling child know 2 things: 1) At Disneyland all lines are long. That is what we came for - to stand in long lines and enjoy it! 2) This was going to be a great opportunity for him to learn patience!
Try these 5 Tips for growing the gratitude at your house!
Tip #1: Set an example. Say those magic words and say them a lot! The repetitiveness of hearing those wonderful words will do - well, wonders!
Tip #2: Show your appreciation by letting them know you noticed real effort on their part when they clean up their room, put laundry away, make their bed etc.
Tip #3: For little ones, teach through role play with stuffed animals. Nothing says manners like a tea party!
Tip #4: Provide opportunities for them to give service to someone or some deserving organization. The more you serve others the bigger that gratitude grows inside you!
Tip #5: Make a Thankful List. It's amazing what pops up on a list when you sit down to list Every Single Thing you are grateful for. (This is a great Thanksgiving Family activity too!)
As we all pause this time of year to consider the things we are grateful for, take a minute to try these tips out on your kids. Hopefully, a few more "Pleases" and "Thank Yous" will come your way!
--Miss Amy :)
"Is my little dancer ready for dance class?" This is one of the most frequently asked questions parents consider. Most dancing divas show signs of readiness around age 2-3 years. These are all sure signs your little munchkin is ready for Dance Class:
While all of the above is true, if you have a pre-schooler who may need reassurance in one or more of those areas, the nurturing and encouragement she will get from our amazing staff will help her gain those skills plus more. She'll be ready for Pre-K or Kindergarten in no time! Our teachers are extensively trained in compassion, support, hugs when needed and they hand out the best stickers and smiles at the end of class!
Little ones all need a boost of confidence now and then - and so do Mom and Dad sometimes when dropping their cutie pie off for their first class away from parents or family! Support and understanding is not limited to the kiddos. Any questions, special concerns or considerations you feel we should know are always welcome. Our goal is to make you and your dancer right at home at Jeanne's!
--Miss Amy :)
Miss Amy: I love teaching kids and watching that "A-ha!" moment happen when all the dots connect and the light bulb goes on! There's nothing better!