Me in a Tree

Archive for October, 2013

30Oct

Me in a Tree

It’s no secret that children are often a little picky when it comes to food. It can be a challenge to introduce new foods that they not only not fling at you, but actually eat them. Here are just a few tips to get your children to eat new foods.

1. Start at their comfort zone. Instead of introducing a full meal, introduce only portions. For example, if you normally eat rice, just add a new sauce.
2. Eat the food yourself. If you won’t eat new foods, your child is going to think that you are being serious about expanding their palette. You have to walk the talk – try new foods and they will likely follow suit.
3. Travel. If your budget permits you to fly your children across the world for a vacation, then go for it. Try the food from a new country or ethnic region. However, you don’t need to travel to the ends of the earth. You are probably able to travel to the ends of your street. Try the Indian restaurant downtown or the Japanese sushi house in city close-by. Going to new places, including new restaurants, can be a great and easy way to introduce new foods.
4. Make new friends. Host a relaxed dinner party, and invite some people from different cultures. Ask them to bring a dish from their own culture, and encourage all the children to try something from each ethnic region.
5. Try new recipes. Involve your children in making new foods. Children are more likely to eat something if they were involved in the process of making it.

28Oct

Pumpkin vase

Pumpkins wear many hats this time of year, appearing in pies and soups as well as in centerpieces. Here’s another use: Transform one into a colorful homemade vase.

What you’ll need:

Oasis floral foam

Pumpkin

Any plastic container

Seasonal flowers, dried leaves, and berries

How to make it:

 

Take a small pumpkin and cut a wide opening in order for your plastic container to fit inside

Scope out the seeds and flesh

Place a cube of Oasis floral foam inside the plastic container, thinning it to fit. Drench the foam in with water (enough so that a small pool collects at the bottom of the container).

Arrange seasonal flowers, dried leaves, and berries into the floral foam. Place the container into the pumpkin.

26Oct

wicked good halloween
Ingredients
• 1 1/2 cups chocolate frosting
• 1 4 3/4ounce package chocolate cones (Nabisco Oreo Cones)
• Orange nonpareils
• 1 16 ounce can vanilla frosting, divided
• Neon-green food coloring
• 12 cupcakes, removed from paper liners
• Chocolate chips
• Green tube icing
• Red tube icing
• Mike and Ike Tangy Twister candies
• Chocolate Jimmies
Make It
1. Place chocolate frosting in a freezer-weight zip-top bag and snip off a small corner. Pipe base of cones, dip in orange nonpareils, and set aside.
2. Place 1/2 cup vanilla frosting in a another zip-top bag and snip off a small corner. Tint remaining frosting green and frost cupcakes.
3. Turn cupcakes on sides, then place decorated cones on top. Using vanilla frosting, pipe eyes on cupcakes. Attach chocolate chips for pupils and pipe a dot onto chips. Use red icing for mouths, green icing for warts; shape candies into noses. Pipe chocolate icing onto cupcakes for hair and sprinkle with chocolate jimmies

wicked good halloween

22Oct

Me in a Tree

For children, curiosity is just something that comes naturally. Parents have the responsibility to nurture that curiosity because, for children, it is essential to discovering the foreign around them. Parents should encourage their children to develop an interest in life, develop passions, and conquer the unknown, among other things.

Curiosity also broadens a child’s mind, which fosters a positive learning environment and enhances a child’s ability to learn. A curious child always asks questions, which can unlock some of life’s mysteries. In light of these benefits, here are a few tips for parents to cultivate their child’s natural curiosity.

·         Encourage your children to be aware of their natural surroundings. Take a walk and let your child explore nature.

·         Teach your children to think about and do things. This is to remind children that there is more than one way of doing things, and there is something to be discovered

·         Teach them to get to know people. We live in a society that is prone to making snap judgements about people, but getting to know someone before making a judgement opens children up to a differing array of personalities.

·         Support their independence. Children are more able to cultivate their own curiosity when they are doing so in a supportive environment. Allow your children to identify their interests and encourage them to develop those.

·         Schedule time for curiosity. Schedule activities that are more challenging or are completely new. When something is new, the brain pays attention, and this allows your child to be more creative and develop their own unique sense of curiosity.

Eva Macyszyn B.S.W., R.S.W.

20Oct

Me in a Tree  

Contrary to popular opinion, arguing with your kids is not detrimental to their development. Instead, it may encourage them to consider various points of view surrounding an issue. Parents and children can get caught up in a power struggle that is often a battle of the personalities, rather than an argument about anything useful. Arguing with your kids in a constructive way teaches them to consider other opinions, and be critical thinkers. Parents, here are a few tips to help you constructively control an argument with your child.

·         Don’t become overly emotional. If you are angry or extremely emotional, it is best to take a few minutes, breathe, and clear your head before you talk. Controlling your emotions will also control the argument. Your child will respect you and your authority more.

·         Be the grown-up. As many arguments between parents and children are power struggles, it may be tempting to mirror your child’s argument tactics. For instance, if they yell at you, you might be tempted to yell back. This confirms that yelling is an acceptable form of communication. Behave in a calm, controlled way and your child may follow suit.

·         Respect your child. A key ingredient to a proper argument is to respect the other person. Respect your child and his or her point of view. Acknowledge his or her opinion. This will teach them that respect is important in all communication.

·         Above all, stress the importance that your argument doesn’t mean that you don’t care for them or love them anymore. Disagreements don’t cancel out the incredible love you have for your children. Knowing that you love them even though you had a disagreement is important to establishing a life-long relationship.

Eva Macyszyn B.S.W., R.S.W.

 

18Oct

Chocolate-Cat-Cupcakes-47236
What You Need
1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
3 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate
3 Tbsp. butter
2 cups icing sugar
12 Marshmallows cut in half
2 pieces black licorice (8 inch), cut into thin strips
1/2 cup jelly beans
24 Miniature Marshmallows
Make It
HEAT oven to 350°F.
PREPARE cake batter and bake as directed on package for 24 cupcakes. Cool completely.
MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in microwaveable bowl on MEDIUM 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Gradually stir in sugar until well blended; spread onto cupcakes.
DECORATE with remaining ingredients to resemble cat faces as shown in photo.

16Oct

kid-watching-tv
By Judy Arnall
It can be difficult to impose rules on time spent in front of the TV, video machine,
DVD and handheld players, but it’s not impossible. Here are the top ten ways to
help your child manage screen time and not destroy your valuable parenting
relationship.
1. Redirect to other stimulation. Have board games set up, sports equipment
ready to go, or recipe ingredients laid out ready for a baking session.
2. Be involved and knowledgeable of where they travel on the Internet and whom
they play games with. Spend time building the parent-child relationship by
taking an interest in their on-line gaming and chatting pursuits. It’s easier to
direct them to your activities after you connect for a while in their playground.
3. Don’t punish – problem solve! It’s not a battle of you against them. It’s you
and your child against the problem. You are both on the same team! Work the
problem out together to everyone’s satisfaction and enjoy the new rules and
increased connection.
4. Model a balanced life. Invite your child to participate with you in your pursuit of a
balanced life. Many children will get active if the parents or the whole family is
involved.
5. Negotiate! Make good use of Family Conferences, “parent concern”
Consulting, and negotiation sessions to discuss time limits that meet everyone’s
needs.
6. Issue time tokens. Each hour of physical activity will garner a child an hour of
screen time.
7. Get it in writing. Draw up a daily schedule and discuss where screen time fits
in with the day’s already scheduled activities. Children can sign into time slots.
8. Contract. Draw up a weekly or monthly agreement that has limits decided by
both the parent and child together. Display in a prominent place. Point to it
when the complaining occurs. Discuss when the contract is up for renewal.
9. Change the environment. Sometimes, it’s easier to move around the setting
than to change the other person. Seriously consider whether adding more
equipment and hardware will add to the screen time and decide to not bring it
into the house. Move the computer and gaming systems into the main family
area. Having one unit for the children to share means more fighting over screen
time, but can also mean more time spent in learning the valuable skill of
negotiating and less individual screen time.
10. Teach your child the fine art of Haggling! “Hey, Eric, Wow, you made
another level! Good for you! Now, I need you to do the dishes. What time
would you like to get at them?” Insist they give you a time and haggle when they
give you an outrageous one. Choice from your child makes it easier for them to
abide by it.
Remember that you have the most power to negotiate rules and limits before
the power button goes on! Go for it!

14Oct

Can parents make a difference for their family?

be that person

Parenting is the hardest job on the planet. Unfortunately, kids don’t come with a “How to parent guide” to make the job easier. That’s where Me in a Tree can help.

Being a parent is about being there for your children. Do you want:

  • a closer family bond
  • to give your kids practical skills they can use to create fulfilling lives
  • children who listen to you
  • the best for your kids but aren’t sure how to help them realize their potential
  • to enjoy your family more

 

Be That Person

Children do not develop their values and character by being told how to think and act.

Rather it is through their desire to be like someone they value and respect.

As a parent you are in the best position to be that person.

Me in a Tree created The Family Huddle because a close family doesn’t just happen. It’s a result of having a clear plan, a commitment to each other and a willingness to work together to make it happen. The Family Huddle walks you through a fun game-like family meeting, getting the whole family talking, laughing and working together.

Because you don’t want to just be there: you want to be that person for your children.

14Oct

Crunchy-Apples-33736
What You Need
5 apples, washed, well dried
50 Caramel Candy
2 Tbsp. water
6 Chocolate bars, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Make It
INSERT wooden pop stick into stem end of each apple. Cover large plate with waxed paper.
MICROWAVE caramels and water in large glass microwaveable measuring cup on HIGH 2 to 2-1/2 min. or until caramels are melted and sauce is smooth when stirred; cool slightly.
DIP apples,1 at a time, into caramel sauce, turning until evenly coated. Let excess caramel drip off. Sprinkle chopped chocolate bars over apples; press gently into caramel to secure. Scrape excess caramel from bottoms of apples; place on prepared plate. Refrigerate 1 hour.