Pretty Opinionated http://www.prettyopinionated.com Sun, 25 Jan 2015 20:34:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Set Them Up As Winners … Just Sayinghttp://www.prettyopinionated.com/2015/01/set-winners-just-saying/ http://www.prettyopinionated.com/2015/01/set-winners-just-saying/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.prettyopinionated.com/?p=40881 “The more you do, the more you can do,” my mother would say. Oh, there’s a breaking point somewhere. If your kid took on tennis lessons, joined the track team, got the lead in the spring musical, kept up with school work and found a full time job on the side, something would breakdown eventually. But statistics show — I know from sitting in school board meetings as a cub reporter — that the kids who take on sports and piano lessons or play the flute and join the boy scouts do as well in school or better than the […]

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“The more you do, the more you can do,” my mother would say.

Oh, there’s a breaking point somewhere. If your kid took on tennis lessons, joined the track team, got the lead in the spring musical, kept up with school work and found a full time job on the side, something would breakdown eventually.

Set them up as winners

But statistics show — I know from sitting in school board meetings as a cub reporter — that the kids who take on sports and piano lessons or play the flute and join the boy scouts do as well in school or better than the ones that don’t.

How does this make sense? It’s logical that someone with less time spent on distractions should do better in school. Why does it go the other way?

The basic theory is that kids with more on their plates learn how to manage their time. They do homework in the car on the way to soccer practice or in the wings of the auditorium during play rehearsals. They do it, in part, to protect their down time — their “chill” time. But they do it one way or another and their grades hold together nicely.

Another theory — one I happen to subscribe to, myself – is that kids who play on a sports team, play saxophone with jazz ensemble or join the debating team feel more like they are part of their school. And in school, even more than at home, the focus and motivation is centered on school work.

Without the extra-curricular activities, kids have too much time on their hands. They learn, essentially, how to procrastinate. There is no need to hurry, so they don’t. Pretty soon, homework isn’t done until after dinner and then until morning and then not at all.

Kids can structure their own time, but it is very helpful if they see the boundaries. If they have a half hour only to do a math assignment, they understand that. If they have two hours to do the same half hour worth of work, that half hour gets away from them.

It always knocks me aback when a parent says that they take activities away from a child who is not keeping up with their work. This just gives them more time to goof off.

I spoke to one mother at soccer practice just yesterday. “If they don’t get their homework done, they obviously can’t handle their lives. They aren’t taking responsibility. So, I take away some of their fun time. No more sports. No visiting friends. No movies. No going out.”

OK, this works to a point, but it doesn’t teach much, because the parent is still taking responsibility for the child’s behavior. But it does, in some instances, in the short term, help get the job done.

I would never take away my son’s script, his soccer ball, his softball glove, his guitar or his bicycle. In part, the reason for this is that you never want to send your child the message that you don’t trust them.

I hate to slice hairs, but when my child snuck out one night, I did not say “I do not trust you.” I said it was a trust issue and that he would have to work on trust, then I gave him something very small, even enjoyably, to do for two months — feed the dog.

You don’t restore trust in a week, so why do something dramatic, like ground a child for a week, to restore trust?

On the other hand, don’t give him or her something draconian to do, either. You don’t want to set up your child to lose. You want to set up your child to win. And part of setting your kids up to win means giving them the tools they need (or helping them develop the tools they’ll need) to do just that.

My son, to use one example, plays sports but I wouldn’t send him off to his soccer game without the proper cleats. I make sure that before he goes to his first softball practice that we’ve found the best softball gloves for fielders his age and found one in his size.

To that end, I wouldn’t take away his structure if the goal is to teach him better responsibility and time management. Kids need to learn to “chill” around their responsibilities. If they don’t learn those skills now they won’t do well in college and they’ll have a really hard time finding a job with any sort of security or a livable wage. Taking away their structure (aka grounding them) doesn’t teach them how to do that. It just teaches them that slacking gives them more time (albeit more boring and lonely time) to slack.

That’s the bottom line — set them up to win and you end up with winners. Set them up to lose or label them as untrustworthy or as losers and it will generally backfire.

They’ll take your word for it and then they’ll behave like losers — just as you set it up. Or they’ll not take your word for it and they’ll resent you for saying it.

Set them up as winners every time.

 

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Say it With Me: No More Fad Diets! Take the Great Grains Pledge + Giveaway!http://www.prettyopinionated.com/2015/01/say-no-fad-diet-take-great-grains-pledge-giveaway/ http://www.prettyopinionated.com/2015/01/say-no-fad-diet-take-great-grains-pledge-giveaway/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.prettyopinionated.com/?p=40836 Ready? Repeat after me: “I will not succumb to the hype of any more fad diets. Instead, I pledge to try to change my overall eating habits to include more wholesome foods and enjoy a normal, balanced diet.” Doesn’t that feel good? Oh, and by “normal, balanced diet,” I mean one that factors in our evolution as a human species, not one designed for our ancestors that lived so long ago, they actually used their appendix for important things! You know what I’m talking about, don’t play coy! Today I’m sharing the Great Grains Fad-Free Pledge. I received some delicious granola treats from […]

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Ready? Repeat after me: “I will not succumb to the hype of any more fad diets. Instead, I pledge to try to change my overall eating habits to include more wholesome foods and enjoy a normal, balanced diet.” Doesn’t that feel good? Oh, and by “normal, balanced diet,” I mean one that factors in our evolution as a human species, not one designed for our ancestors that lived so long ago, they actually used their appendix for important things! You know what I’m talking about, don’t play coy!

Go Fad-Free in 2015 with the Great Grains Pledge to stop fad diets

Today I’m sharing the Great Grains Fad-Free Pledge. I received some delicious granola treats from Post Great Grains to try out and I will share my thoughts on them with you (bottom line= yummy), but the bulk of this post is about going fad-free in 2015.

Say Goodbye to Fad Diets with the Great Grain Fad-Free Pledge

First, let me tell you WHY I’m going fad-free. Over the years, you’ve seen me review more than my share of special diets, weight-loss supplements and restrictive shakes. While I really enjoyed working with those companies and think that they each have their place for certain types of people over short periods of time, I came to the conclusion that fad diets don’t work for me.

I also came to the decision that fad diets may be great for those times when you really need a boost to lose those last few pounds for a major event, they’re not realistic for long-term success. Brand-specific fad diets are expensive. Diets that eliminate entire food groups can be dangerous. Diets that insist we eat like people who lived a million years ago and communicated in a series of grunts? Don’t even get me going on that one! So I headed over to the Post Great Grains Fad-Free page and signed my digital name to the pledge.

Go Fad-Free in 2015 with the Great Grains Pledge to stop fad diets

Do you notice that  beautiful paragraph: For every pledge taken, Post Great Grains will donate $3 to AmpleHarvest.org, an organization dedicated to bringing more fresh fruits and wholesome veggies to food pantries across the nation. I LOVE this. As someone who had to use a food pantry in the past, I am a big supporter of companies who go the extra mile to help get nutritious food in the homes of those who are struggling financially. There are just too many hungry people in America right now.

Instead of trying this trend or that, I am pledging to just try to eat healthier in general. It’s hard when you’re as picky as I am, but I’m trying. My biggest problem is snacking. Which brings me to Post Great Grains Granolas and The Bar Undone Snack Mixes.

Go Fad-Free in 2015 with the Great Grains Pledge to stop fad diets

 Seriously Good Snacking without the Fads

Oh my gods, let me tell you, I am completely addicted to the Dark Chocolate Nut Granola Snack Mix from The Bar Undone line. It’s filled with little dark chocolate pieces, granola clusters, nut and seeds. They’re not skimpy either, they really pack in the goodness. One bag lasts me ten minutes of snacking during TV time. Plus, it leaves you feeling totally satisfied.

Go Fad-Free in 2015 with the Great Grains Pledge to stop fad diets

The Granola (pictured above: Super Nutty granola) is perfect for sprinkling on yogurt mixed with your favorite berries. I rarely eat plain old yogurt, even if it’s an awesome flavor. It’s a texture thing for me. I need something mixed in to give it a combination of smooth and crunchy. I love the Super Nutty Granola because it’s full of hearty clusters. This isn’t your average granola, which is great because I’m not your average girl!

 

Great Grains Giveaway

I do love alliteration! Want to win a selection of Great Grains Granolas and The Bar Undone Snack Mixes? Trust me, you do! Enter below for your chance! Giveaway is open to US residents and ends 2/13.
Great Grains Giveaway

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Absolutely Darling Free Valentine’s Day Printableshttp://www.prettyopinionated.com/2015/01/valentines-day-printables/ http://www.prettyopinionated.com/2015/01/valentines-day-printables/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.prettyopinionated.com/?p=40669 Looking for some adorable free Valentine’s Day printables for cards, activities and other projects? Check out a few of my favorites from some of the most talented bloggers around. These printables are perfect for your kids’ classroom V-Day card exchanges, your own gifts and pretty much anything else you can think of. Best of all, they’re free! Yay! Darling Free Valentine’s Day  Printables First, my absolutely favorite, the Be MINEcraft Valentine Printable from Club Chica Circle! My son will go nuts when he sees this one! I love the idea of taping this cute Maze Valentine Card Printable to a little […]

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Looking for some adorable free Valentine’s Day printables for cards, activities and other projects? Check out a few of my favorites from some of the most talented bloggers around.

Check out these absolutely darling free Valentine's Day printables for handmade cards, activities and other crafting fun!

These printables are perfect for your kids’ classroom V-Day card exchanges, your own gifts and pretty much anything else you can think of. Best of all, they’re free! Yay!

Darling Free Valentine’s Day  Printables

BE-MINEcraft-Valentines-candy-printable -Absolutely Darling Free Valentine's Day  Printables

First, my absolutely favorite, the Be MINEcraft Valentine Printable from Club Chica Circle! My son will go nuts when he sees this one!

Absolutely Darling Free Valentine's Day  Printables

I love the idea of taping this cute Maze Valentine Card Printable to a little maze! You can pick a bunch up at a party store for less than a quarter a piece. Perfect for classroom cards!

Card-Collage Absolutely Darling Free Valentine's Day  Printables

 

These free printable cards from Practical Mommy feature darling little birdies and sayings like “Tweethearts.” I think they’re just adorable.

Absolutely Darling Free Valentine's Day  Printables

Keeping with the punny theme, Mom Endeavors has a sweet bee Valentine’s printable that’s just right for showing your friend how much she means to you!

mustache_you_to_be_my_valen

Mustaches are all the rage, so of course they found their way onto Valentine’s Day cards. The Joys of Boys created these punny mustache Valentine printables to celebrate ‘stach love!

13Jan26_valentine-craft_50

Let your little monsters show off their wild side with these fun monster Valentine printables from Better in Bulk! I love that she includes so many different options!

SimplyKellyDesigns_ValentinesDayWordSearch

Add this pretty Valentine’s Day word search puzzle from Simply Kelly Designs to the inside of your store-bought card for your kids to give it a special touch, or print it out for a fun rainy day activity.

melinda-tomasello-love-survival-kit

Looking for something a little different? Check out this Valentine Survival Kit printable from Today’s Creative Blog. This is perfect for your friend who’s suffering from a broken heart.

Looking for more great Valentine’s Day posts? Check out:

 

Which of these free Valentine’s Day printables are your favorites? Tell me in the comments!

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Save 15% off Cherry Moon Farms Gift Baskets for Valentine’s Day!http://www.prettyopinionated.com/2015/01/save-15-off-cherry-moon-farms-gift-baskets-valentines-day/ http://www.prettyopinionated.com/2015/01/save-15-off-cherry-moon-farms-gift-baskets-valentines-day/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.prettyopinionated.com/?p=40815 This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Looking for an indulgent gourmet gift basket for Valentine’s Day, birthdays or other special occasions? Cherry Moon Farms has you covered! They offer everything from rich cheeses to delicious chocolate! Check out a few gourmet goodies on my wish list!    

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This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Looking for an indulgent gourmet gift basket for Valentine’s Day, birthdays or other special occasions? Cherry Moon Farms has you covered! They offer everything from rich cheeses to delicious chocolate! Check out a few gourmet goodies on my wish list!

 


 

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