Family Thursday ~ Sibling Rivalry

Are your kids constantly fighting?

Perhaps it’s over who gets to brush their teeth first, who gets to choose where to eat dinner or simply because one looked at the other one wrong?

Here are the top ten reasons siblings battle one another:

1. Too much time together. If you were with someone, anyone, that close to your own age all day, everyday, it probably would get ugly sooner rather than later. How long does it take for your spouse to drive you crazy?

2. Unfair distribution of beauty and talent. Kids have different strengths. It’s pretty obvious, especially to them. This creates a tug of balance between siblings more often than not.

3. Food shortages. Totally serious! There are never enough fruit snack packs, chocolate chip cookies, or string cheeses. Am I right?

4. Personality clashes. Enough said…..

5. Television. Unfortunately our t.v. cannot broadcast Spongebob Squarepants, Phineas and Ferb, and Pokemon simultaneously.

6. Bubbles. The child sitting in the front of the tub is always going to have more, no matter how many you push towards the back. It just isn’t fair……ever!

7. Chores. Regardless of what their list entails, a sibling’s chores are always easier. Always…..

8. Toys. No matter how many you have in one house, it is never enough.

9. Inequality. Plain and simple. Unequal number of hugs, pictures colored, punishments, friends, marshmallows in their hot chocolate. You name it, they are keeping score. For eternity….

10. You love one child better than the other(s). So they think. And then once your children have children, the cycle starts ALL over again……LOL!

Thursdays Top 10 ~ Top 10 Reasons To Become A Parent

  1. You have the ability to influence and shape another human beings life.
  2. No life experience can be compared to becoming a parent.
  3. Parenting is a responsibility that lasts forever & is a lifetime commitment.
  4. You’ll learn the true meaning of “love at first sight” and “unconditional love”.
  5. You have a choice as to what type of education you want for your children.
  6. Your life experiences grow when you become a parent.
  7. The birth of your child is forever engrained in your memory….priceless.
  8. Parenting is an investment that provides the biggest returns.
  9. Parenthood makes you stronger as a person.
  10. A child is a privilege that not everyone can experience; so appreciate each and every moment.

Monday Mayhem…Set schedules = Happy kids (and parents!)

Family schedules….got one? Can’t live without mine! If you don’t have one, maybe now is the time to start. You’ll be amazed at how much easier (and happier) life is for everyone.
Start with organization. Sit down and write out a list of the various activities that you do on a weekly basis. Homework, grocery shopping, meals, chores for the kids, laundry…etc. 
Now write out a list of the things you do often, but not necessarily every week. Sports activities for the kids, family game night, yard work…etc.
I have found that using a dry erase board is the easiest most efficient way for my family to know what we have planned, where, and what time. For young children, a sticker chart makes it easy and fun for them to participate in family chores and to remember to pick up their toys every evening before bed, brush their teeth in the mornings, etc.
Try to keep a set schedule for dinner and bedtime if at all possible. With sports activities, sometimes this can be difficult. Especially on weekends. As parents, we can’t do it all, nor should we be expected to. But, the more consistent you are with a set bedtime of say 8:30pm, your children will fall into this pattern naturally. My husband and I have found that if we get too far past bedtime our children will ask for bed! Routine is key. My children love it and my husband and I love it. 
It’s important that you and your spouse/significant other have time each week to visit, spend time together doing something you love (even if it’s catching up on TiVo), or enjoying a quiet late dinner (just the two of you) after you’ve put your kids down for bed.
Do you follow a set schedule, mom? If so, what do you do to keep the flow of life steady and happy for everyone?

MONDAY MYTH ~ Is Baby A Late Talker?

Is your little one not vocal? Does that mean that baby has learning or possible hearing problem? Not necessarily.

It’s important to look at the two aspects of language development. “Receptive vocabulary” refers to the words that a child can understand. Is your little one responding appropriately to your requests and following simple directions, like holding up his fingers to count to five?

“Expressive vocabulary” refers to the words that your child can say and use to communicate. Between ages 2 and 3, a child’s expressive vocabulary will typically increase to about 300 words. Children should be saying new words each month and using two-word sentences, such as “more milk.” Is your child doing this?

Use these benchmarks, to see if your child might be behind in his expressive language development. But don’t forget to factor in his ability to communicate with gestures. For example, while a child may not say with words “I’m hungry. I want a cookie,” he may take his mom’s hand, walk her to the kitchen, and point to a cookie.

You may want to contact your child’s doctor if you are concerned about a speech delay. It may very well be that an assessment concludes that your child is doing fine and will catch up on his own, but it’s good to check things out, if only for reassurance.

Our Favorite Holiday Movies of All Time

The holiday season is upon us once again. Time to break out the classics! There are so many fantastic holiday movies. It is so incredibly hard to choose a top ten list. Wouldn’t you agree?
Here are our top ten favorite holiday movies here at IntelliGender:
10) A Christmas Carol (1951)
9) The Santa Clause
8) Elf
7) A Charlie Brown Christmas
6) Miracle On 34th Street (1947)
5) A Christmas Story
4) How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
3) Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer
2) The Year Without A Santa Claus
1) It’s A Wonderful Life 
What’s your favorite holiday movie?

Five Fun Fall Activities To Do With Your Kids!

Fall is in the air…finally! By far one of my favorite times of year. Here are some fun activites to do with your children to celebrate the cooler weather that’s knocking on our door. Enjoy!

1) Rake up leaves in the backyard……only to run and jump in them over and over. Kids LOVE this…parents do to!

2) Pick up different types of leaves on a nature walk. Bring them home and press them in a heavy book, look up what types of leaves they are online or let your child create a piece of artwork using them. Let them use their imagination! That’s what kids do best.

3) Find a local pumpkin patch in your area. It’s easy to pick up a pumpkin at your local grocery store. But, you lose a little bit of the magic. Letting your child pick out the perfect, plump pumpkin at a pumpkin patch is not only fun, it turns into a wonderful photo opportunity for parents. What child isn’t precious in a patch full of pumpkins?

4) When you carve your pumpkin for Halloween, save the seeds. Bake them in the oven with a touch of salt. Delicious!

5) Fall is a great time to clear out toys that your child/children no longer play with. With the holidays just a few months away it’s great to clear the clutter beforehand. Drop off your box of toys at a local charity and take your child out for ice cream at the park as a special treat. Enjoy the crisp weather of autumn!

Monday Moments ~ Back To School…Where Is Your Child Going?

It’s that time again, mom! Time for papers, new backpacks and pencils as your little angels hit the books for another school year.

Whether it’s preschool, public school, private school or homeschool, education is not only expected but important. Watching your child blossom with new understandings of language and math skills amongst an array of other educational aspects is nothing short of amazing. Kids are like sponges…watch them soak up the environment around them. I see a new “spark” of learning in the eyes of my children every single day.

So where will your child(ren) be learning this school year? Share with us. We love that.