Authors Posts by Callie Helm

Callie Helm

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Summers can be chaotic and busy with the kids home from school, and by the end of it most moms are pretty ready for them to go back.  However, every time that first day of school rolls around,  I am hit with that little twinge of sadness that we don’t get to share those long days together anymore! I really do love my kids, and I miss them when they go back to school. (I think most moms do, right??) So, sometimes I have to give myself a pep talk and remind myself of the things that I am “really” missing *insert sarcastic voice* about Summer…

 

Disclaimer: I know there are perfect moms out there who manage a strict schedule during the Summer, who have children who do all their chores, and who have wonderful manners. I am not a perfect mom, and my kids are not perfect. I try. They try. The examples below are memories of some of the harder days of Summer…

 

The Noise

Oh, how I miss that noise! The constant bickering, the constant pleas of “I’m bored!” and “I’m hungry” (5 minutes after lunch). The chasing each other around the house, and then the subsequent never ending screams of torture because they just ran into a wall. The cheers from the basement during particularly riveting sessions of Minecraft. The teenagers competing over music selections in the car. Yep, I miss that. So much.

My grocery bill

I don’t know about you, but I really miss those thoughts of considering taking out a second mortgage on the house to feed my three kids during the summer. Oh my word!  They all develop chronic hollow legs, and complain about starvation almost every waking moment of the day. Never do I ever spend as much on groceries during the year as I do those few months my kids are out of school.  Totally miss that strain on my budget!

The messes

Tripping over flips flops 187 times a day is my favorite. Wet bathing suits, wet towels, milk left out on the counter, juice stains on the couch (despite no juice on the couch rules), double the laundry because my kids insisted on wearing a minimum of 5 outfits a day in the summer time. Crumbs EVERYWHERE from the 10 snacks a day they stole from the kitchen. Yep, I totally miss getting after them all day long about cleaning up their messes and then doing it myself anyway…because, motherhood.

Being interrupted

I still have to work from home during the Summer, so I really miss trying to focus while being interrupted every 5 minutes to drive one kid here or there, to chase a dog down the street because a kid let it out (again), or to stop another argument while I am on the phone. I miss hearing “mom!!” every 45 seconds while I am in the bathroom too. Those are my favorite moments of Summer.

Having random kids in my house

Most of my kids “play dates” are planned, but I will never get used to extra kids running around my house, drinking my juice boxes and terrorizing my pets. It’s even more loud, more food gets eaten, someone almost always ends up crying and going home early, and something is always left behind which becomes an emergency to their parent.

“Omg, Chris left his broken Happy Meal toy from 3 years ago at your house, when can we come back to get it?!!”

I am trying to teach my kids that friendships are overrated, but they’re having none of it.  Sigh…

And so, despite missing my kids while they’re back at school, there are definitely some parts of Summer I won’t particularly miss! That is, until they’re off to College one day, and every single horrifying memory of Summer vacation magically turns sweet…

What do you “miss” about Summer time, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Having two teenage daughters in high school, there is no shortage of drama at our house! My girls are full of stories of peer pressure, bullying, and all the other normal (but emotionally draining) experiences that come with on again/off again friendships. One day they have a best friend of 3 years, and the next week they don’t. High school is full of friendship changes and feelings of belonging and then suddenly not belonging. And “belonging” at any stage of life is an important need, so for a teen who suddenly doesn’t have anyone to sit with at lunch, it can feel like a very lonely and isolating existence. Thankfully technology is catching up with this reality, and a teenager herself created a new app called “Sit With Us”. Her goal is to end those feelings of isolation and loneliness by helping teens find other teens who are willing to hang out with them and be their friend. It’s an amazing tool that will hopefully help so many youth feel like they have someone they can go to when they are feeling lonely or excluded.

 

The creator of the “Sit With Us” App is 16-year-old Natalie Hampton from Sherman Oaks, California. The app launched on September 9, and she says she was inspired to create it after she ate alone her entire seventh grade year, she told LA Daily News. The experience left Hampton feeling humiliated and vulnerable and also made her a target for bullying.

Hampton is now a junior, and thriving socially at a new school, however the memories of having to sit alone and being bullied as a consequence still haunt her, and she knows many other students face this battle on a daily basis.

“Hampton told Audie Cornish on NPR’s “All Things Considered” that the reason why she felt an app like this was necessary is because it prevents kids from being publicly rejected and being considered social outcasts by their peers.”

It’s a private app managed through a phone, so no one needs to know. There is also a sense of relief for the user knowing that once they get to the lunch table they won’t be rejected.

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The app allows any student to designate themselves as an “ambassador,” which enables them to invite others to join them for lunch. Ambassadors can post “open lunch” events, which invite anyone seeking a friend to sit with that they’re invited to join the ambassadors’ table.

As a mom, I really hope this app takes off and that students embrace it with open arms. This can be a saving grace for so many struggling teens who just need a friendly face to sit with at lunch! It can help eliminate so many feelings of isolation, prevent bullying, and create community within schools across the country. Please share this with others so they can be aware of the Sit With Us too!

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I have a confession. I really want my kids to help around the house, I really do! The problem for me has always been allowing and trusting them to do it! In the past I was such a perfectionist, that I became my own worst enemy in some ways. For example, I was the mom that would allow the kids to decorate the Christmas tree, and then when they were asleep I would fix all the ornaments so the tree looked pretty again. I would let my kids help fold towels, and then secretly refold them because they did it wrong. I would let my kids bake cookies, but insist on taking over when the batter wasn’t stirred correctly.

 

Sigh…

and the truth is many moms fall into this pattern. We have become a generation of “it’s ok, I’ll do it” moms, and our families are suffering.  It not only effects our kids and their own independence, but it typically extends to our spouse as well. How many times have you given your partner directions to do something, and after having to explain it for too long just gave in and said “never mind, I will do it”?

We think we can do it all, and honestly we probably can do it all, because let’s face it, we are superwomen! Unfortunately, doing it all does not teach our families to do things for themselves, and it can lead to resentment in our children and spouses because it tends to send the message that we don’t trust them to get the job done, or we don’t think they’re smart enough. Obviously we want to avoid those assumptions!

Here some signs you may be doing too much for your family…

You’re focused on doing things “right” all the time

If you’re obsessed with the dishes being stacked in the dishwasher right, and find yourself saying things like “nevermind, I will do it” out of exasperation…you’re doing too much for your family. It’s time to let go, and let your children (or partner) complete the task. There is nothing wrong with giving some guidance as to how it’s done properly, but doing it all yourself is not only adding to your own plate of chores, but taking responsibility away from other family members. Something everyone in the home should feel like they have.

You’re constantly questioning your family’s decisions and choices

Maybe your husband comes home with groceries after you’ve given him a list, and he buys the wrong brands. Do you say something or do you let it go? If you say something like “I usually get this brand of toilet paper instead” or “I really don’t like this brand of barbecue sauce”, guess what? After a while your husband is going to say “You know what? Do the shopping yourself!” Now that’s one less thing he’ll be helping with around the house. Learn to bite your tongue and choose your battles. Learn to allow your family to do things their way sometimes.

Picking fights

If you’re so bent on being right or doing things the “right” away around your house, this can lead to more than just resentment on your families behalf. This can start to change the entire tone of your household, with more arguments and fights over silly things. If you’re doing everything, there’s no doubt you will become resentful too and start blaming it on the fact that no one knows how to do anything right. This is a very dangerous pride cycle, and there needs to be balance. A family that’s united is much more important than how the beds are made or how dinner is prepared.

You’re always bringing up past mistakes

Maybe your spouse was late paying the mortgage two years ago, or your child put laundry soap in the dishwasher that one time… do you still belittle them for it, or have a habit of bringing up their past mistakes? And do you use those past mistakes to justify why “you’ll just do it yourself”? If this is the case, you are taking away valuable lessons from your family. Mistakes are part of learning. Allow them more opportunities to learn and grow and they may surprise you with how much they can handle! And you may just start breathing a sigh of relief that you actually don’t have to do it all…

I realize not all moms struggle with this idea of “having to do it all”, and that many families have a very healthy balance when it comes to chores, responsibilities and contributions. But if you are a mom who struggles with any of the feelings above, there is hope (and you’re not alone). It’s ok to take a look within ourselves sometimes and figure out how we can do better. Sometimes it’s not our family who needs to “see the light”, sometimes it’s us…

Do you find yourself struggling with the “have to do it all” mentality? Or maybe you have found some good balance in your family and can share some more advice. We’d love to hear your thoughts either way!

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We live in a society that is plagued with debt, with 2015 statistics showing that the average family in America has $132,086 in debt, with $15,310 of it on credit cards.  Some debts are unavoidable for most, like mortgages and car loans, but we have definitely become a country with a “want it, need it now” mentality, and it’s showing. Many families are starting to realize the dangers and pitfalls associated with debt and managing to sacrifice, save, and be diligent with finances to become debt free. It’s always smart to become as self sufficient as possible, and it’s a lesson we can teach our children from a young age. Teaching them now can save them years of becoming a slave to debt in the future. Here are some important lessons we can teach our children now to help them become money wise.

 

It’s ok to wait to buy something you want

Saving up to buy something seems to be a lost art these days. With credit cards at our finger tips we buy what we want, when we want it, with little thought and whether or not we have the money. We are living on borrowed money, and it’s not a wise lesson to teach our children. Patience is a valuable virtue!

Next time your child has to wait in line for their turn on the swing, or a ride, or an ice cream cone…be sure to remind them that sometimes we have to be patient and wait for things we really want. And then when the experience is over ask them “wasn’t that worth waiting for?!” Most likely they will say yes. This is so important for raising children who don’t feel entitled…

From a young age, my children have had to earn money from simple household chores in order to save up for toys or experiences they wanted. This can be taught from as young as three-years-old. Children are always stating their wish lists, which I try not to blow off because I think it’s important to have goals and dreams, and we can nurture those goals and dreams in our kids by encouraging them to work for them. If there’s a specific toy your child would really love to have, make a chart showing how much it costs, and how they can earn that money. Maybe they can earn $1/day by pulling weeds or helping out with household chores. You decide on the jobs, but more importantly keep marking their progress on the chart. Help them to see that hard work and patience pays off!

 

Making choices on how to spend money

My daughter will be 18 next year, and I am realizing how very quickly these formative years pass by and questioning ALL THE TIME if I have taught her everything she needs to know to be on her own soon. She recently started her first “real” job this past year, and although that first paycheck was super tempting for her to spend on clothes and make up…she was (to my surprise) very wise about saving some, spending some, and giving some away.

These are three important lessons to teach from a young age.  Give each child three jars marked “Save. Spend. Share.” and whenever your child earns money or gets birthday money,  teach them how to divide up their money appropriately between the jars. Teaching children that earning money isn’t just for spending, but also for saving and sharing are important life lessons, and will serve them well as they get older.

 

Managing a budgeting and credit cards

As children grow older they should be well versed in budgeting before they leave the house for their college years. This is something I wish schools would help teach, but it falls on parents shoulders to make sure they understand the phrase “living within your means”… Planning the monthly family budget with your teens present can help them visually understand what is coming in, what goes out and how much is left. Teach them that credit is important to build for future purchases like a home or a car, but to build it responsibly. If they abuse their credit cards by paying them late, or racking them up, it can have devastating consequences on their future financial security. They should only have a credit card if they can pay it off monthly. Also be sure their first credit card is low interest and has a manageable balance.

 

 

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This recipe came on a King Soopers flyer in the mail, and it’s a winner! I love sweet and salty snack combinations, and if you do too, you will love this game-day-great! It’s super easy (so the kids can help make them) there’s no stove required, and it’s only 3 ingredients! Everyone will be cheering for more!

 

 

 

Pringles Haystacks

Ingredients

1/2 tube (5.6 oz) Original Pringles Chips

1 bag (11.5 oz.) butterscotch baking chips (you can also substitute for chocolate or peanut butter chips if that’s your thing)

1 cup chow mein noodles

 

Directions

  1. Place the Pringles in a mixing bowl and break them up into large pieces with a spoon or fork. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butterscotch chips in a microwave on high, stopping the microwave and stirring every 20 seconds or so until they’re nearly melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave and continue stirring vigorously until it’s completely melted.
  3. Stir in the chow mein noodles and broken Pringles. Scoop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, working quickly before it cools and sets. You should have 20-30 “haystacks” depending on how large you make them.
  4. Leave the haystacks at room temperature until they set. Then, carefully pack them into a container and take them to your tailgate party!

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Dear selfie taking mom, I see you. I scroll through Instagram and Facebook on a daily basis and sometimes I see your selfies. Sometimes you post them once in a while, and since we’re friends, I smile. It’s nice to see how you’re doing and how you look after all these years. Sometimes you post them every single day. Sometimes you post them so much I question why I need to see your face every single day, or your new outfit every single day, or your abs every single day! And yes, sometimes I have allowed words like “narcissist” or “self obsessed” to creep into my head. But then I stop myself.

Because I don’t know your struggles, and I don’t know your needs, and I don’t know your heart.

I have been known to take a few selfies myself. I think most of us have… Once someone pointed it out to me…like it was a “bad” thing, and it was honestly hurtful. Hurtful because I don’t do it out of self-obsession or because I think I’m ridiculousy-good-looking that day! (cue Zoolander’s “Blue Steel”) I take the occasional selfie for much deeper reasons, and I will be totally honest here.

First, most of my family are in another country. My grandma and mom specifically ask me for regular pictures, of me, of my kids, and of our life. I happily oblige because, hey technology! It’s super easy these days to snap a photo and post it and make a family member’s day. So why not?

Second, one day I won’t be around, and pictures of me will be very important to my kids and future grandkids. I want them to remember what I looked like at every stage of life, because it brings back precious memories. I know I cherish old pictures of all my family members, and I love being able to pass them down to my kids.

Third, sometimes you DO look cute, or you’re having a good hair day, or on the other end of the spectrum, you’re having a bad day and could use the pick-me-up of a few nice compliments from loved ones. Whatever your reason for taking a selfie, they’re all valid, and it’s ok!

I am tired of living in a society where we are constantly judging one another’s motives or intentions in the most negative light, allowing feelings of jealousy and anger to taint our hearts. It’s sad, and it’s a waste of energy.

Advice to the friends that don’t like or appreciate seeing your selfies: just keep scrolling! It’s not hurting you, or anyone else! If it’s honestly bothering you that much, you might want to do some personal reflection. Why is it bothering you? Please remember that complimenting someone else on their beauty, talents or attributes does not take away from your own.

Even better, why not be the friend that likes and comments on it? Does it hurt to say, “You look beautiful, friend!” or “I love that new dress on you, it’s so flattering”. It doesn’t cost a dime to be kind, and I would rather know I have made someone’s day with a genuine compliment, than be angry or frustrated that someone posted another selfie! Let’s seek to build one another up instead of tearing eachother down.

And so, dear mom friend who takes selfies. I love you. It’s ok to be confident and seek approval from your friends on the good days, and it’s ok to have bad days where you crave validation and a confidence boost. We are complex human beings, and I promise not to judge you or your intentions, because I don’t know them, and it’s not my place. You are beautiful, and you are worthy, and you are loved. And I will be the friend that forever clicks “like” on your selfies.

Chances are your childhood memories include going to the drive-in movies with your family.  I have great memories of packing up the back of the car with lots of blankets, pillows, and snacks and watching movies with the trunk open, under the stars. There’s something so nostalgic about those experiences, and as a parent I hope for those kind of memories with my kids. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience a drive-in theater, or would like to take your kids to one, you’re in luck! Colorado is home to SIX drive-in theaters that are still alive and kicking and waiting for your next adventure! Check out our list below, and click on the the theater name for more info.

 

 

88 Drive In Theater

8780 Rosemary St. Commerce City, CO 80022

Phone: 303-287-7717

Google Review: Great place for a family night out! Reasonable prices and great movie selection. Love getting three movies for the price of one, nice big screen, easy to connect to audio, yummy concessions. Our family visits all season long. – Stephanie B.

 

Mesa Drive In

2625 Santa Fe Drive, Pueblo CO, 81006

Phone: 719-542-3345

Google Review: Great night out! They show new movies, comfy atmosphere, and nice people. You also get 2 movies for the price of 1! – Amber C.

 

Tru Vu Drive In

1001 CO-92, Delta CO, 81416

Phone: 970-874-9556

Google Review: Great family adventure and the employees dress up like next weeks movie characters! – Mackenzie D.

 

Holiday Twin Drive In

2206 S. Overland Trail, Fort Collins CO 80526

Phone: 970-221-1244

Google Review: So amazing. They make sure everyone can see and cars aren’t blocking in front of you and people aren’t too loud. Buy concessions so they stay in business! We love going here! I grew up going here and now get to take my own kiddos here. LOVE IT! – Lindsay T.

 

The Star Drive In Theater

600 E. Miami Road Montrose CO 81401

Phone: 970-249-6170

Google Review: One of the best places to go for a date or take the whole family. A wonderful atmosphere and great people. Not to mention the BEST burgers and fries around. -Chris T.

 

Denver Mart Drive In

451 E 58th Ave, Denver, CO 80216

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If you drop-off or pick-up your child from school each day, you can relate to what I am about to say. It’s what nightmares are made of. Legit scary. While schools do their best to maintain an orderly car drop-off system (ours is called “Kiss-and-go”)… it only works if parents follow the rules, and let me tell you, I have seen more rule breakers in the drop-off line at school than at a WWF championship match, and unfortunately some parents act like they’re in one.  I have seen parents yell, scream, threaten, beep, flip-off and even get out of their cars in anger during drop-off or pick-up. The sad part is, it’s usually in front of their children, and others.

Their excuse might be that they’re in a hurry or they’re late…umm, pretty sure we ALL had chaotic mornings, and that we ALL have to be somewhere on time, and that we are ALL here to drop off our kids. How about let’s stop putting our needs above others and work together to make sure the drop-off lane is a safe and civil place to be?

In a recent study by British insurance company Allianz, over 1,000 parents were monitored for their levels of the stress hormone Cortisol, during their morning school drop-off routine. The study found that levels peaked just before leaving the house, so by the time parents actually reach the school they are already super stressed out! 25% of parents that participated also mentioned that school drop-off stress even sets their mood for the entire day!

We can do better! There are some simple rules we should all be following to ensure less stress during school drop-off/pick-up…

1. Put the cell phone down for a few minutes

Checking your email or text messages is a distraction, and although it’s tempting to do when you’ve stopped for a moment, it only takes a second for the car in front of you to move ahead. I’ve been guilty of this myself a couple times and I always feel stupid for holding up the line. Just put the phone down for the few minutes you’re in line. Besides, kids are darting in and out of cars everywhere, and you want to be completely alert at all times while in a school zone.

P.S. the drop-off lane is also not where you put on your mascara…

2. Don’t get out of your car!

Don’t get out of your car to wave to your child, or to straighten their coat, or to say hi to your girlfriend in the car behind you. You’re slowing down the line. Stay in your car, and when the car in front of you moves, you move.

3. Don’t cut in line

If you see a gap open up 10 cars in front of you because someone is on their phone or distracted and hasn’t moved up yet….don’t pull out, speed up and swerve into the spot. Not only is this super dangerous, it’s a super jerk move! We are all waiting our turn. No one else’s time is more important than another’s but everyone’s safety is!

4. Leave the PDA at home

A quick kiss or hug or high five is fine, but if your son or daughter isn’t ready to get out of the car, is having a bad morning, is throwing a tantrum, or needs extra attention…it’s best to park your car elsewhere and walk him/her to class. Don’t hold up the whole line because your child needs 5 hugs and 5 minutes of encouragement that morning. I’m not being insensitive, it’s just that there’s a time and a place for parenting, and it’s not the drop-off line!

5. Stay patient

This. We are adults. We can do this! We can drop off our kids at school without losing our cool, driving like maniacs and throwing evil death stares at one another. Take a deep breath…it will be ok. Be an example to your children. Things don’t always go the way we would like them to, but we control our own emotions, and we can teach them to handle stressful situations with dignity and grace.

Do you have any crazy car pool experiences, or any tips on how to handle the chaos? We’d love to hear them!!

 

 

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Can you feel it in the air? It’s that time of year! It’s time for everything pumpkin, Fall and festive! There are lots of fun pumpkin and apple picking farms in the Colorado Springs area, and it’s the perfect time of year for a visit. So grab the family and head out soon for some harvest adventures! Just make sure to contact the farms below before you go to make sure they are open that day.

 

 

Venetucci Farm

5210 South Highway 85
Colorado Springs, CO 80911
719.389.1251 (message only)
Email:  Susan Gordon

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Venetucci Farm has become famous for its large pumpkin patch and for the annual Pumpkins4Kids give-away program  – but they also proudly grow more than 100 different varieties of chemical-free vegetables and herbs!  Unfortunately there will be no pumpkins this year due to hail damage. Additionally, the farm is home to pastured heritage hogs, grass-finished cows, and a large flock of laying hens.

Register for the Great Pumpkin Run at Venetucci Farm HERE. 

 

Wishing Star Farms 

24024 Highway 94
Ellicott, Colorado

Tel: 719-244-7252

Email: info@wishingstarfarm.com

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Wishing Star Farms has a big pumpkin patch with pumpkins already gathered from the field, train rides, tractor-pulled hay rides, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, face painting, pony rides, farm animals, birthday parties, and school tours! Lots of fun for the whole family!

 

Colorado Pumpkin Patch
Jellystone Park Larkspur
650 Sky View Lane
Larkspur, CO 80118

Colorado-Pumpkin-Patch-and-Yogi-bear

There is a reason the Colorado Pumpkin Patch was voted 8th Best Place to take your Kid.  Come see why and climb on their straw bale pyramid, play in the rope maze, target shoot at gourds, visit the petting zoo, take a pony ride, enjoy a hay ride, play in the corn box, and don’t forget to pick out your own pumpkins!

They are located north of Larkspur right off I-25 at Jellystone Park and Resort Exit 174. 30 minutes south of downtown Denver and north of Colorado Springs.

 

Ferrara’s Happy Apple Farm

1190 1st St, Penrose, CO 81240
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Happy Apple Farm is one of Colorado’s most diversified pick your own fruit farms with Apples, Blackberries, Raspberries, and Pumpkins! They offer free hayrides and there is no admission! On the weekends they serve their apple wood smoked brisket or pulled pork along with Turkey legs and hot dogs for the kids. They also serve Panini Sandwiches, Apple pie, Apple Cider, Donuts and Blackberry cobbler along with other goodies in the Italian deli. In their Country Store they have a wonderful selection of Jams, Jellies, Marinades and great Apple Butter! They also roast Pueblo Chili’s!

 

Diana’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

1649 Poplar Ave, Cañon City, CO 81212
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From their website:

We are a family based business that originally started raising pumpkins to shield our nursery trees from a drought that was effecting our watersupply here in Canon about 14 years ago. Diana was allowed to keep the profits from the sell of these pumpkins for her band expenses and thus, the name Diana’s Pumpkin Patch was born. We soon realized that there was a need for pumpkins in our area and we started expanding. The corn maze was started 11 years ago to help families spend a little more “Family Time” on the farm. The Maze is really a big draw for our farm and it is a challenging part of the farm. The ability to raise such tall corn ever year on minimum space and very limited water is a genuine credit to Tim. He is the true farmer of this operation. Jimmy, our son, is his right hand when work needs to be done in the field. We are both proud of his equipment skills and willingness to help with the farm. I am Sue, the mom of this operation. I suppose the Maze ideas are mine and the love of variety in planting, when it comes to pumpkins. Once we realized the Maze and pumpkins went together well we expanded and Diana’s education was our goal. We have not been able to fund her entire education, but all of our efforts have helped support her dreams of a college education. We are proud of what she has accomplished. We have made your Fall Fun a very big part of our lives and we hope to do this for a very long time. Come out and see us, we would love to meet you!

Let us know if we’re missing any farms! We would be happy to add them to the list!

 

 

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Mornings are a little crazy at my house. I have three kids to get off to two schools each day. This means waking up earlier than we would all like to, and making sure everyone is ready on time so that everyone arrives to school on time. In the past, my youngest was typically the one who struggled the most in the mornings, because honestly he didn’t care if his sisters were late to school or not. Nor did he care much if he was late! I have had to make a very active effort to teach the importance of punctuality and how it goes hand in hand with respect. It’s not whether or not you are late, it’s the fact that others are depending on you, and it’s respectful and courteous to be punctual. Habits need to be learned because they don’t always come naturally! Here are some tips that have helped my kids understand the importance of punctuality, and I am happy to say we are rarely late for anything anymore!

 

Lead by example

Are you organized and on time yourself? If you’re consistently  “scatterbrained mom” running late for appointments and meetings, your kids will pick up on it. And guess what? They can smell hypocrisy a mile away! Make sure you give yourself enough time when having to be somewhere so your children see you leading by example. They will naturally pick up on those habits, and understand that if it’s important to mom, it should be important to them too.

Attitude is everything

If you’re stressed out in the mornings, barking orders, getting frazzled and adding tension to the home because you’re running late, there’s no doubt the kids are going to want to stay in bed to avoid the uncomfortable morning rush. Be positive about being on time and don’t turn it into something you “have” to do. Instead of making it a chore, make it a goal. “Let’s see if we can make it to school 5 minutes early today!” instead of “If you don’t hurry up, you’re going to be late AGAIN!” Having a positive attitude in the morning will inspire your children instead of making them feel guilty and resentful.

Make sure everyone is getting enough sleep

We all know what mornings are like with tired and grumpy kids. Because we know how awful this can be, try not to compound it by being tired and grumpy yourself. Everyone should be going to bed at a decent hour on school nights. Including mom and dad.  I know if my kids know I am up after they’ve gone to bed, it makes it harder for them to fall asleep because they feel like they are missing out on something! They have admitted to laying in bed for 2 hours if they know I am up. Just go to bed with the clan and you’ll all wake up feeling a little more refreshed and ready to tackle the morning routine!

Be organized

Don’t underestimate the power of preparation! Completing simple tasks like making lunches and choosing outfits the night before can make all the difference in the morning. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been late in the past because shoes and jackets were misplaced, or homework wasn’t done. Taking the time each evening to make sure you have all your ducks in a row, will save so much time the next day!

Teach your kids time awareness

Using the actual time in your vocabulary will help teach your children time management. For example, when you’re waking them up, say “it’s 6:45, and you have 30 minutes to get ready” instead of “get up, you’re going to be late”. This teaches them what 30 minutes feels like, and what time they need to be up so they have enough time to complete their tasks. Continue saying things like “You have 10 minutes to eat your breakfast, or 5 more minutes and then you need to brush your teeth” keeps kids on task while teaching them how to manage time. It’s an important skill they will definitely need as they get older.

Emphasize manners and respect

We often think of manners including things like learning to say “please” and “thank you”, or saying “excuse me”, but punctuality should also be included when teaching our kids manners and respect for others. By being punctual for class they are showing respect for their teachers and peers. When we are punctual for appointments or meetings we are showing respect for those we are meeting with, and it’s a habit and skill that can definitely be instilled in our children with a little effort.

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you struggle with punctuality in your family? What tips or advice would you give other moms who struggle with it?