CreativeChild RSS Feed 5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Give Your Child What He Needs Most <p>The number one need us humans have is to feel important. It&rsquo;s why we wear the latest trends, drive nice cars and why we talk about our brilliant children. It&rsquo;s why we work so hard to succeed and it&rsquo;s also the motive, unfortunately, behind some of the worst crimes. Everyone needs to feel important. Kids are no different. But when you&rsquo;re pint-sized, and you don&rsquo;t have much to offer in the area of expertise, yet receive constant correction, constructive though they may be, it&rsquo;s easy to feel undervalued, underestimated and smaller than you really are.</p> <p>So what would it take to meet our kids&rsquo; biggest need? A simple appeal to logic, really. Consider viewing your kids not as little people who need a lesson in obedience or beings who need to learn as much as possible so they can become important later, but as people with legitimate feelings and who need to, like you and me, feel important now. They want to shine too, and not just on stage, but in the very eyes of the people who mean the most to them on this earth. Those participation trophies don&rsquo;t mean nearly as much to our kids as our eye contact, and genuine interest in what they have to say and the things they like.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>If this sounds like a tall order, rest assured, it isn&rsquo;t. Making our kids feel important is much simpler than our trophy-happy culture has come to believe. In fact, these five simple New Year&rsquo;s resolutions we list below won&rsquo;t cost a single penny, yet will pay big dividends towards your kids&rsquo; outlook on their future and their value. Here are five simple New Year&rsquo;s resolutions worth keeping.</p> <p>1. Smile at your child when you see him in the morning, when you pick him up after school and before he goes to bed, no matter what has happened during the day. Even if you wake up to them whining or fighting, slap on a smile by thinking of something heartwarming. Smiling doesn&rsquo;t cost us much of anything, not money, time or energy. Yet something neurological happens when we smile. Once the smiling muscles in our face contract, there is a positive feedback loop that goes back to our brain and reinforces our feeling of joy. Smiling is the gift that keeps giving. So repeat the mantra if it will help: smile morning, noon and night.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Issue No. 4 <p>Finding the perfect gifts for the kids in your life can be daunting. With their constantly evolving interests and skill levels, you want to get them something they can really enjoy and appreciate. Check out our favorites in this year&rsquo;s <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank">Creative Child Gift Guide</a></strong></span> to help ease any holiday shopping anxiety you might be getting.</p> Tue, 05 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 The Wishlist 2017 Issue No. 4 <p><span style="color: #000000;">We all know about What to Expect When You're Expecting. But what do you <em>want</em> when you're expecting? In this years</span> <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank">Baby Maternity Wish List</a></strong></span>, <span style="color: #000000;">you'll find our favorite necessities and accessories for baby and nursery and a little something for mama, too!</span></p> Tue, 05 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 New Mom Wish List! <p>We all know about <strong><span style="color: #008080;"><a style="color: #008080;" title="What to Expect When You're Expecting" href="" target="_blank">What to Expect When You're Expecting</a></span></strong>. But what do you <em>want</em> when you're expecting? Here you'll find&nbsp;some of our favorite necessities and accessories for baby and nursery and a little something for mama, too!</p> <p><strong>The complete Baby Maternity Wish List is at the end, so be sure to check it out!</strong></p> Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Great Toys for Every Creative Kid! <p>Finding the perfect gifts for the kids in our lives can be tough. With their constantly evolving interests and skill levels, you want to get them something they can really enjoy and appreciate. Here you&rsquo;ll find a few of our favorites from this year&rsquo;s Creative Child Gift Guide.</p> <p><strong>The Complete Gift Guide is at the end, so be sure to check it out!</strong></p> Fri, 01 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Surviving Holiday Season as a Single Parent <p>If you&rsquo;re anything like me, you&rsquo;ve been handling this single parent life much better than you expected. You&rsquo;ve found your stride, figured out how to handle one, two, even three or more little ones with only two hands, and you&rsquo;re feeling pretty proud of yourself.</p> <p><em>Then reality smacks you in the face, and you&rsquo;re reminded that the holiday season</em>, <strong>your first holiday season as a single parent</strong>, <em>is just around the corner</em>.</p> <p>It sucks, for sure &ndash; there&rsquo;s just no way around that. If you would have told me last holiday season that I&rsquo;d be spending this one as a soon-to-be divorcee, I would not have believed it. The holidays are probably the only time of the year where you&rsquo;ll second guess your situation and feel a bit sorry for yourself. I get it, trust me, and I&rsquo;ll even allow you to RSVP &ldquo;yes&rdquo; to your own pity party for a moment or two.</p> <p>But guess what? <em>I can&rsquo;t change that fact that I am a single mom about to endure my first holiday season, and neither can you</em>.</p> <p>The only thing we can do now, my fellow single parent superstars, is make peace with what is and figure out a way to rock it with a smile on &ndash; because after all, our littles are watching us.</p> <p>I plan on getting through it the same way I managed to handle Mother&rsquo;s Day, only with a lot more strength, more time since the day my life changed forever, and a much better attitude.</p> <p>##adbig##&nbsp;</p> <p>Here is my <strong>Holiday Survival Guide for Single Parents:</strong></p> <p>1. Have your moment of sadness &ndash; but only a moment.</p> <p>Divorce really is like a death. The person you once loved and relied on to get through life with is no longer by your side. It&rsquo;s sad, so allow yourself to feel that sadness in your core, even though it sucks, otherwise you will never get over it. But in any difficult situation, you have two options &ndash; let it swallow you whole, or find a way to pull yourself out of it. When the sadness hits you this holiday season, embrace it, honor it, and then take a look at your children, followed by a good look in the mirror, and remember who you are &ndash; <em>a badass mom or dad who still has plenty to smile about</em>.</p> <p><span style="color: #333399;"><em><strong>Continued on the next page...&nbsp;</strong></em></span></p> Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Sugar-Free Holiday Classroom Gift Ideas That Are Sweet <p>Stay ahead of the holiday rush this season by checking off your child&rsquo;s holiday classroom gifts with these fun, festive and sugar-free ideas. We&rsquo;ve culled six of our favorite picks for their ease of executing as well as for their sweet side.</p> <p><strong>1. Play-Doh ornament gift cards.</strong> Unlike sugar, a child can never have enough Play-Doh. The pint-sized Play-Doh provides just the right dimension and embellishment to make your child&rsquo;s holiday card stand out from among a sea of cardboard. The frosting on this sugar-free cake? Repeat Crafter Me, provides FREE printables making this holiday stocking stuffer super simple and affordable to make.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><span style="color: #339966;"><a style="color: #339966;" href=""></a></span></p> <p><strong>2.&nbsp;String cheese snowmen</strong>. Underscoring the healthy element of this stocking stuffer is a slimmed down snowman. Snowmen don&rsquo;t have to be plump, especially when they&rsquo;re this adorable. Skip the unnecessary calories this holiday season and make a healthy delivery to your child&rsquo;s classmates with string cheese snowmen.</p> <p><span style="color: #339966;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong><a style="color: #339966;" href=""></a></span></p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><strong>3. DIY snow globes with pictures. </strong>You can always shake things up this holiday season by capturing a moment inside these DIY snow globes. The added memories these snow globes can create will certainly outlast the snow on your pavement.</p> <p><span style="color: #339966;"><a style="color: #339966;" href=""></a></span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;"><em><strong>Continued on the next page...</strong></em></span></p> Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Hygge through the Holidays <p>Would you like a cozier, happier holiday season in 2017? I think it would be a much needed ending to what could surely be described as a crazy year here in America. &ldquo;Hustle and bustle&rdquo; is the American way of holidays, but what if we looked to our happy friends in Denmark (the happiest country in the world in 2016 and second happiest in 2017 while the U.S. was ranked 13<sup>th</sup> and 14<sup>th</sup> respectively) to learn a fresh way to do the holidays?</p> <p>I spoke with my friend and author of <span style="color: #339966;"><a style="color: #339966;" href="">The Danish Way of Parenting</a>, <a style="color: #339966;" href="">Jessica Joelle Alexander</a>,</span> to discuss the popular Danish tradition of hygge and how it relates to the holiday season. Here are 5 very &ldquo;hygglige&rdquo; ideas to transform this usual stressful time into a satisfying, peaceful experience.</p> <ol> <li>Visit a tree farm and cut down your tree &ndash; as a family! Alexander tells me that Danes are very into real and natural products and that plastic is seen as quite an American thing. She says, &ldquo;Many families go to literally chop it down together from a farm! Some families grow it themselves each year and chop it down together. This is a team effort to chop it down. Otherwise they buy it from a market. It is extremely rare to have a plastic tree.&rdquo;&nbsp;</li> </ol> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>I can see how this annual tradition can add to the feel of togetherness and joy. Any time we honor a family tradition, we strengthen the family unit and connect heart to heart. If you prefer plastic trees, no problem! You can still create a hygglige tradition by putting on Christmas music, baking cookies, and decorating it together.&nbsp;</p> <ol start="2"> <li>Light a candle. Alexander says, &ldquo;There are a lot of candles happening at Christmas everywhere from morning to night. This is really the quintessential look and feel of hygge at Christmas. They are literally burning them at all times of day in houses and cafes. Most families have a <span style="color: #339966;"><a style="color: #339966;" href="">calendar candle</a></span> or a big candle that burns down all day for one day and is measured on the side. The candle is typically blown out at breakfast by one of the kids to symbolize one day has passed closer to Christmas. This is really cozy.&rdquo;</li> </ol> <p><span style="color: #333399;"><em><strong>Continued on the next page...</strong></em></span></p> Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Handling Holiday Stress <p>Parties to attend, errands to run, gifts to wrap, cookies to bake, and trees to trim are just a small part of our holiday to-do list. For some, the most wonderful time of the year quickly turns into the most stressful time of the year. Many of us kick off the holiday season with plans to enjoy some quality time with family and friends, but as the to-do list grows we find ourselves quickly overwhelmed. How can parents handle the holiday stress while still enjoying the season?</p> <p>Get organized</p> <p>Get a jump on the holiday to do list by shopping early. &ldquo;I start shopping for holiday presents the week after Christmas.&rdquo; says Missouri mother of two, Rebekah Johnson. &ldquo;I have what I call, my &ldquo;magic present box&rdquo;, which I add to throughout the year. I buy gifts when they are on sale and by Black Friday, I am usually finished shopping.&rdquo; A little planning ahead makes holiday shopping easier when Christmas approaches. Amy Cameron, mother of three says &ldquo;I keep a Christmas binder with all the measurements, gift ideas, how much food to purchase and more. I even take photos of my decorated house so I don&rsquo;t have to reinvent the wheel. It helps me stay sane when I have a blueprint written by me, for me.&rdquo; A little extra work in advance can take off the stress when the holiday rush begins.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>Simplify</p> <p>If December has arrived and you realize you forgot to shop throughout the year, try simplifying the holidays. Choose the most important traditions to continue. Cut your menu down to the most beloved dishes. Only purchase the most meaningful gifts. Mother and grandmother Deb Madden says &ldquo;The key is to simplify and prioritize how you spend your time and money.&rdquo; By cutting out the things that are less important, your holidays will be more enjoyable and you will feel less stress.</p> <p>Delegate</p> <p>&ldquo;Delegate. This helps tremendously.&rdquo; says California mom, Sarah Brown. &ldquo;If we host a gathering at our home, we send out a list of what we will be providing and then people sign up to bring food, drinks and games.&rdquo; It can be hard to reach out and ask for help, especially when feeling overwhelmed, but a shared load is much lighter. Chrissy Rousell, Louisiana mom of six says, &ldquo;Last year was particularly crazy with sick kids, so I paid my babysitter to wrap presents for me. It sounds insane but it was the best money I ever spent.&rdquo; People love to help others, especially during the holidays. Ask for help in the areas most needed and you might be surprised at who jumps in to help. It is possible you will be able to return the favor in the future.</p> <p><span style="color: #333399;"><em><strong>Continued on the next page...</strong></em></span></p> Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How to Enjoy the School Break on a Budget! <p>With winter break around the corner, you&rsquo;re not alone if you&rsquo;ve already found yourself lost in thought over how you&rsquo;ll be attempting to entertain your children. Sure, the holidays are entertaining enough, but once the tinsel is cleaned up and the presents are unwrapped, filling these two weeks can feel pretty daunting, especially if you don&rsquo;t have plans to leave town or a huge budget, for that matter.</p> <p>As a single mom of one very active toddler daughter, I have had winter break on my mind since school started, and that is no exaggeration. With many of our friends heading out of town and a budget that simply won&rsquo;t allow us to tag along, I&rsquo;ve had to get creative. I&rsquo;m hoping these tips on how to spend your winter break with your children will be as helpful for you as they will be for me.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>Tips to enjoy Winter break on a budget with your children:</p> <p>1. Find a local play</p> <p>This time of year, performances are a plenty at local playhouses, town halls, and community theatres. With winter and holiday-themed shows, I guarantee there will be endless options to entertain your little ones and inspire the seasonal cheer while curing the boredom blues. The bonus? Tickets tend to be really affordable!</p> <p>2. Have a Pinterest party</p> <p>Every mom&rsquo;s best friend, when it comes to getting creative for your children, is Pinterest &ndash; whether we like it or not. Invite your child&rsquo;s classmates or neighborhood friends over to have a craft party, complete with creative snacks. I&rsquo;m not saying your creations have to look like the one&rsquo;s in the photo, but hey, at least you can give yourself an A for effort and your investment will be minimal!</p> Wed, 29 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800