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National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week – January 25 – 31, 2016

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of National Institute on Drug Abuse for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Did you know that it’s National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week?. It’s an annual, week long (January 25 – 31, 2016) observance that unites teenagers and scientific experts to help SHATTER THE MYTHS about substance abuse and addiction. The event is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health.

I was unaware that National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM (NDAFW) has been going on annually since 2010.

Since National Drug and Alcohol Facts WeekSM (NDAFW) began in 2010, its community based programs and events have increased dramatically with more than 1,500+ events held last January (2015) across the country. The events help to bring together teenagers and scientists to discuss the myths about drug and alcohol that teenagers hear about from their friends, social media, movie, television and music. These events are a safe place for teens to ask questions about drug and alcohol use, without judgment or lectures.

As a parent to two teenagers, I know first hand what types of thing they are hearing about drugs and alcohol from their friends, classmates and the worse culprit – social media. My daughter and I have conversations all the time about marijuana (specifically) and alcohol. Sadly she has friends who use (and abuse) marijuana and alcohol on a regular basis. She seems to feel that marijuana is perfectly harmless, and that it only gives you a feeling of euphoria for a little while, then it goes away. While that may be true in some cases, there ARE negative side effects to using pot. She’s only going by what she’s heard and what her pot smoking friends tell her.

This is a perfect example of one of the myths that need to be shattered. Alcohol is another “issue” we discuss on a regular basis. Most of my daughter’s friends drink when they go to parties, which is why we DON’T let her go to them. I don’t want her put in that kind of a situation. She knows about peer pressure, and she’s not as “strong” as she thinks and we (my husband and I) worry that in the wrong situation she will cave in and drink, even though she knows she’s not allowed to.

It scares me when I think about all the myths about drug and alcohol use that teenagers are bombarded with on a daily basis. They THINK they know the truth – but they don’t.

Take the IQ Challenge!
NIDA created the “National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge” for both teens and adults to test their knowledge about drugs. It’s a quick quiz with only 12 questions. Parents can also use the IQ Challenge to segue into a conversation with their teen about drugs and alcohol.
I would like to think that I am knowledgeable about drugs and alcohol, so I was surprised by how many answers on the IQ Challenge that I got wrong. I had my teenage daughter take the quiz too and she got more wrong answers than I did. There are also a few that she felt were inaccurate but I told her these answers are based on facts, so that really surprised her. Hopefully it’s an “eye opener” for her.
From one parent to another, I urge you to take the quiz for yourself and have your ‘tween and teen take it as well, then discuss the answers. There is no wrong time to discuss drug and alcohol with your children – except AFTER they are caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing.
You can also use the “Family Checkup” resource to help you with the skills you need to keep your children drug-free.
If you know a teen who is abusing drugs and need help please visit this resource – What to do if your teen has a problem with drugs.
Are you the parent of a teen or soon to be teen? Have you had talks with your child about drug and alcohol?
Kimberly

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Just 5 more minutes Mom…

 

Alarm Clock

Stall tactics… we’re all guilty of it. I know I certainly am – especially when it comes to cleaning. I love a clean house but hate to clean. I’m always finding other things to do instead of tackling the tasks I need to do.

Kids are the masters of stall tactics. Whether it’s doing chores, homework or going to bed… they are full of excuses which delay the inevitable.

Take my teenage daughter for example. She goes to college full time and works part time. She hangs out with friends on occasion and sees her boyfriend on Thursday afternoons and all day Saturday (when she’s not working). She uses these things as excuses as to why she can’t keep her room clean. She has laundry piled up on top of her dresser and clothes all over the floor and I have no idea what could be lurking under her bed. Whenever we ask her to clean the room she always finds some way to stall. Her usual reasons are she has homework or she’s too tired. Really? Right now, as I write this, she’s lying in her bed texting. She’s been up since 9:30 AM (EST) and she doesn’t leave for school today until 1:00 PM. Now is a perfect time to clean the room but I know if I insist she does she’ll say she has to take a shower, go to the gym, study, finish up homework or any other excuse she can come up with to stall having to clean the room. Ugh!

Sleeping Child

My kids are teenagers now so they know the consequences of not getting a good night’s sleep. We used to insist on a 10:00 PM bedtime (ideally 9:00 but once they hit high school that didn’t work anymore). I tell them at 10:00 I’d like the TV off, phones put away, music turned off and lights out. Usually this all happens (finally) around 11:00 PM. They employ the usual stall tactics… they are thirsty, they need to finish up homework, there is something good on TV they can’t miss, they are not tired, or the use this time to tell us about something that happened when they were at school/college and/or work – stuff that could have been told to us at the dinner table. Oh yeah! I forgot about the infamous “I need something signed for school” tactic where they take a half hour to find it. Ugh!

They have been fighting their bedtime since they were little. I even used a system my mom set in place for me which didn’t work.

My mom had a rule that for every minute past my bedtime that I was not in bed with the lights out I would have to go to bed 5 minutes earlier the following day. That meant if I was in bed 5 minutes after my bedtime I’d have to go to bed 25 minutes earlier the following night. I learned my lesson real quick when I ended up having to go to bed about 40 minutes earlier because I stalled the night before. Oddly enough, this method didn’t work with my kids. They would continue to stall even when they were forced to go to bed earlier.

One idea I recently learned of is letting you kids do something for 5 minutes and then after that it’s lights out no matter what. This could be reading a book or maybe even watching a few minutes of television. I know what you are thinking – how can you stop a child watching TV after five minutes. That’s easy – let them watch a 5 minute show. There are some to be found on Netflix.

Netflix and DreamWorks Animation launched Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites, new episodes of the latest hit, all in a nice little 5-minute package.

5 More MInutes

I like the idea of 5 minutes of a fun television show then it’s lights out. Netflix has many other popular children’s shows and movies this could work with. Simply set up a timer and allow your child to watch only 5 minutes then the TV is turned off and it’s lights out. You can even sit and watch with your child to make sure the follow the rules.

I kind of like this idea because if it’s a show/movie your child really likes they will be anxious to get to bed just so they can watch five minutes of it. If I was a child and my mom did something like this with me I would look forward to bedtime just so I can watch a little bit of my favorite show/movie. This is an ingenious idea.

Netflix has so many great options like Disney favorites (the Disney Short Films Collection would be a great choice), Clone Wars, Penguins of Madagascar, Girl Meets World, King Julien, Popples, Callious, Super Why and Goosebumps – just to name a few.

Some new movies and shows are coming to Netflix which would make great options too.

New on Netflix

For more information about Netflix, or to check out what films and shows they have to offer, visit Netflix.com. You can also check them out on social media.

What tactics do you use to prevent your kids from stalling when it comes to going to bed at night? Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section of this post with what worked, or didn’t work, for you.

How do you feel about letting a child watch 5 minutes of their favorite show/movie every night in order to encourage them to get to bed at a specific time? Would you try that with your child/grandchild? What movie/show do you think they would be excited to watch?

To see what ideas others have check out the hashtag #5MoreMinutes on social media.

Netflix_Logo_Print_FourColorCMYK

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I receive a free membership and goodies in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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New School, New Nap Routine – Help everyone sleep well during the first few weeks back at school

 

Back to School

It’s hard to believe that some children have already started back to school. My youngest starts back the beginning of September. Any day now we’re going to have to insist that he start to go to bed earlier and earlier. Even though he’s a teen I still feel that it’s important that he gets enough sleep. His bus comes at 6:40 AM, so he has to get up early.

When it comes to gearing up to back to school time one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do is help our kids get their “biological clocks” back on track with their school schedules. When they were younger we simply had them go to bed the same time year round. As they got older it became harder to do that. Eventually we made it so two weeks before school starts the kids had to go to bed a 1/2 hour earlier each night until their desired bedtime was reached.

As you know, getting adequate sleep is vital to doing well in school. When you are tired it’s harder to focus and concentrate. You also don’t want your child dozing off at class.

KinderCare has some fantastic tips for helping your child get back on track with their sleeping schedule, including naptime.

I like the tips. I think they can be applied to both young children and even ‘tweens and teens.

New School, New Nap Routine – Help everyone sleep well during the first few weeks back at school

Is your child starting school at KinderCare or attending other childcare?

As he adjusts to a new naptime environment and new naptime routine, you are likely to see some changes to his sleep patterns. That can be an adjustment for parents as well as children.

During those first few weeks, he may stay awake later in the evening, or conk out on the car ride home! Here are a few tips to help you handle his sleep transitions. 

Give it a week or two.

  • In her 21 years with KinderCare, Millie Boychuk has helped a lot of children get a good sleep at school, and helped many parents adjust their sleep patterns at home, too. Boychuk says that for most children, getting the hang of napping at school takes one to two weeks.  So the first rule of transitions is to have patience!

Take note of her tired cues at home

  • During those early weeks at a new school, it’s especially important to watch for your child’s individual indications of tiredness, rather than relying solely on the clock. She may be tired earlier (or later) than her usual bedtime—if she rubs her eyes, leans against your legs, or succumbs to a fit of over-tired giggles—follow her cues to bedtime.
  • She should be back to a more typical napping and sleeping pattern within a few weeks.

Talk to teachers about the sleep routine

  • In our infant rooms, naps are not scheduled: Each child naps according to her individual cues and need for rest. Talk to your child’s classroom teachers about what her sleep schedule looks like at school and how she likes to be soothed at rest time.
  • Sharing what works at home, and learning what works at school, can help your baby find a good sleep rhythm in both places more quickly.

Adopt the class schedule

  • In our toddler, preschool, and prekindergarten classrooms, nap or rest time typically begins around noon. At least initially, it might be helpful to stick to that same rest schedule when your child is at home.

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Don’t have a napper?  Try resting quietly

  • If your child does not take naps, but is in a classroom with children who do, try taking 30-45 minutes midday to rest quietly. You could lie down together and talk calmly, read a book, cuddle, color, or do another relaxing activity.

Stock up on special blankies

  • You are always welcome to bring your child’s special bunny to school, but Boychuk recommends helping her to learn to sleep without it, in case bunny is forgotten one busy morning (it happens).
  • If your child sleeps with one careworn blanket or beloved stuffed animal, consider expanding her range. At home, try introducing other blankets or lovies at bedtime or naptime.  You might also consider buying a second (or third) of her loved object that can live in her classroom cubby.

Slowly change bed time

  • After a few weeks at school, if you might find that your child comes home consistently tuckered out, she might need an earlier bedtime. Children who are sensitive to changes in their sleep schedule or who are accustomed to rigorous routines will likely benefit from a gradual adjustment.  How do you do it?  Shift your child’s bedtime 10 to 15 minutes earlier and adjust her waking schedule accordingly.

…Or a little more quickly

  • For older children or kids without a strict bedtime, you can employ quicker time frame. Adjust bedtime by 20 to 30 minutes each night—or every few nights—until you’ve found a bedtime that leaves him better rested throughout the day.

Consider blackout curtains

  • If you don’t sew, you may not know there is actually fabric made specifically to block light. Adjusting to a new bedtime can be more difficult for children who are attuned to the sun in the sky.  Blackout curtains can help by blocking those streaks of light from sneaking through little gaps in the mini-blinds, making it easier for her to fall asleep and (maybe) stay asleep later.

Sleep and school transitions can be tiring for the whole family. 

  • Consider putting yourself to bed early, too.  Pick a favorite book and tuck yourself in.  No playing Candy Crush until midnight!

These are some fantastic tips.

I completely forgot about the black out curtains. We used to have them but replaced them when we had our home on the market. I think it might be time to invest in new curtains to not only help our kids get a better nights sleep, but also my husband and I. We live in a condo complex and there are street lights in the parking lot so it’s never truly dark in our home. Maybe the blackout curtains will help us all to get more rest.

If you would like to learn more, or explore other great tips and resource, visit adventureahead.kindercare.com. I work with little children and I found a lot of fabulous ideas (games, crafts, adventures…) on the site. This is a great resource for parents, grandparents, childcare providers and teachers.

You can also check out KinderCare on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website. They can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and so forth.

Do you have any special routines or tips to help get your child back on a regular sleeping routine?

Do you think your child is getting enough sleep (or not enough)?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kindercare Logo

Kimberly

*I have partnered with KinderCare to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in a any way. 

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It’s Prom & Graduation Season – How to talk to your teen about underage drinking

“I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking Program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

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In a little over two weeks two MAJOR events will take place – one right after the other. Our daughter will be attending her senior prom and the very next day she’ll be graduating from high school.

Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday we were putting her on the Kindergarten bus for the very first time, and in just two weeks we’ll be watching her walking across the stage to receive her high school graduation diploma. Sigh…

Heading off to school

Heading off to school

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Getting her senior prom gown altered

I wish she was looking at me, smiling, without the darn cellphone in her hand in the above photo. Oh well. I’ll make up for it on the day of the prom and at graduation the next day.

I have to laugh about prom. She was going to go with one of her friends since they were both single. One thing lead to another and my daughter ended up asking a male friend of her’s to go to promo with her (he graduated last year). It’s strictly a friend going with a friend sort of deal.

As luck would have it our daughter has a boyfriend (or so it would appear that way) who is also going to prom this year with a female friend of his. This should be interesting.

With all this running around looking for prom shoes, making appointments to get her hair, makeup and nails done, as well as looking for jewelry and getting her dress altered it has given me plenty of times to talk to our daughter about what we expect at prom and graduation.

We know what happens after prom is over. Most kids go back to someone’s house to party (or another location) and most likely there will be alcohol involved. I WISH that wasn’t something we had to worry about. I wish teens would know better.

I think the school purposely scheduled graduation the following day to hopefully prevent students from drinking and getting drunk after prom. They also had to sign documentation that in the event a student is caught drinking after prom they will NOT be allowed to graduate with their classmates the following day. Hopefully that is enough to scare most kids.

Teen Driver

My daughter and I have used all the car trips getting her ready for prom as a platform to discuss drinking and how she can avoid getting caught up in peer pressure to drink. When we are driving there are few distractions (except the cellphone which I make put away). I also think it helps her not to have to look me in the eyes and tell me about certain things. I think that puts her more at ease.

When we are driving around in the car she will open up to me about just about anything.

My daughter also feels more comfortable opening up to me about things then my husband. My husband tends to react FIRST then get involved in a conversation. Another words, if he finds out she did something to break the rules he’ll automatically ground her BEFORE discussing it with her. I do things the other way around. I discuss things first and foremost to make sure she fully understands what she did was wrong and why we have these rules in place. Then I ground her accordingly.

Underage drinking is not only something we are totally against, it’s also against the law. If she is found at a party where drinking is taking place – even if she’s not drinking – she can be found guilty by association. I don’t want anything to jeopardize her college life or future career.

As a parent I know how challenging it is to raise teens. Trust me, it’s hard. It’s really hard. It’s a million times more difficult than raising a toddler or child.

New-FT-Logo

If you need help talking to your teenager about underage drinking I have a great resource that could help. It’s called Family Talk About Drinking (FTAD). It’s a website created by Anheuser-Busch to help parents find ways to talk to their children (not just teens) about underage drinking.

The program has actually been around for 20+ years.

The program is broken up into the three main stages of parenting;

  • Being a Teacher (for children ages 1-7)
  • The Facilitator (for children ages 8-13)
  • The Coach (for children ages 14-21)

Yes! Believe it or not it’s never too early to talk to your child about drinking. Even young children can be taught that drinking alcohol is wrong until they are 21 years of age or older.

Growing up my dad used to let me take sips of his Screwdriver mixed drink, as well as Vodka Collins. My uncle used to let us take sips of beer. But times were different back then. Underage drinking wasn’t as prevalent as it is these days.

Family Talk About Drinking has tips and suggestions from a certified educator and parent coach named MJ Corcoran. Ms. Corcoran has some excellent tips that all families can put into place TODAY.

Find Windows of Opportunity to Talk – When you have a teenager, windows of opportunity to talk can open and close fast. Use prom and graduation to continue the conversation around underage drinking. Set clear boundaries and encourage good decision-making this prom and graduation season.

Connect with Your Teen – Two things you can do to connect with your teen: listen and respect their opinion. In turn, they’ll be much more likely to talk with you about the tough issues – like underage drinking.

Ask Open-Ended Questions – During prom and graduation season, be sure to ask open-ended questions to help your teen think through potential scenarios involving alcohol.

Encourage Accountability – In the busy time leading up to prom and graduation, a text is not enough. Encourage accountability and check in with a call.

I like the “Encourage Accountability” tip. I have already told our daughter that we would appreciate updates via text while AT prom, but once she leaves prom we expect phone calls to let us know where she is and who she is with. She’s supposed to go to her friend’s house to sleep over, but you never know. A last minute party invitation might come through. We NEED to know where she is at all times.

The next couple of weeks are going to be stressful and bittersweet at the same time with both prom and graduation happening one day after the other. At least once stress is alleviated and that is that our daughter knows how we feel about drinking before, during or after prom and graduation, and what the repercussions of breaking the rules will be.

If you would like to learn more about how to talk to your child or teen about underage drinking please visit FamilyTalkAboutDrinking.com. In addition you can also check out their Facebook page.

To see what others have to say about talking to children and teens about drinking, check out the hashtag #ABFamilyTalk.

Do you talk to your child or teen about drinking? How do you go about expressing your concerns? Did your parents talk to YOU about drinking? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Teens Drinking

Kimberly

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Talking to your teen about underage drinking (giveaway ends 5/31/15)

 

“I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking Program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

Underage Drinking

Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Babies do not come with instruction manuals. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Sure, there are plenty of books about parenting, and you can also seek advice from family and friends, but what it boils down to is you have to be the best parent that you can be. And let me tell you right now there is no such thing as a “perfect parent.”

Being a parent to a teen is a whole lot harder than parenting a child. I have two teens, a son and daughter. One is 18 and the other will be 16 in a few months.

Oh how I miss the child years! Raising teenagers is very stressful. Unlike children, teens are faced with bigger issues such as drugs, alcohol, smoking, dating, sex, graduating high school, college, getting their first job, learning to drive… the list goes on and on.

I have to admit that I was a bit of a “wild child” as a teenager. Nothing too crazy but I did attend keg parties starting when I was 15 years old – way under the drinking age. I thought I was so cool drinking when I was a minor. When I look back on it now I realize how foolish I was.

From a young age my husband and I tried to broach the subject of drinking, smoking and drugs (we save the sex stuff for a later age). My kids participated in the D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education ) program at school. They knew that I drank at a young age. In fact my daughter used that as part of her D.A.R.E essay. She won the essay contest and was asked to read her winning essay in front of the entire school, families and invited guests. That was a proud parent moment.

My daugther (left) after her D.A.R.E graduation.

My daugther (left) after her D.A.R.E graduation.

We have always been honest with our kids about things – like underage drinking – in hopes that they can learn from our mistakes. We also make it very clear what our expectations are from them in regards to things like drinking. They know we are totally against it and if they choose to make the wrong decision and engage in drinking there will be consequences.

These days it’s hard to have a deep, meaningful conversation with teens. There are so many distractions (especially from cellphones). I have found that the best conversations I have with my daughter is in the car. I pick her up from school, as well as take her to/from work and her friend’s houses. Right now she doesn’t have a car.

The trip to/from school is only a five minute drive. There have been days when it takes us an hour to get home because my daughter feels comfortable opening up to me in the car when it’s just the two of us. When she’s telling me about things, or wants to talk to me about something, I’ll just drive around while we chat. I also think she finds it more comfortable because we’re not looking at each other face to face since I’m looking at the road and my surroundings.

The talks we have in the car are by far the best, and deepest, talks we’ve ever had. Sometimes my daughter will even ask me to take her out some place just so we can have those talks.

Wine

One of our “car conversations” lead to my daughter confessing that she tried alcohol (beer) when she was hanging out with some friends in the woods by a stream. Some of the boys brought beer and everyone was grabbing one. So as not to feel awkward my daughter grabbed one too. She was going to pretend to drink some but curiosity got the best of her and she took a few sips just to try it out.

I appreciate that she felt comfortable enough telling me this. She knows how we feel about drinking and she knew she had to own up to what she did. Although she was honest and open about it (which she knows we appreciated), we had to ground her (the worst punishment of all – we took away her cellphone).

Our daughter hangs out with friends a lot and goes to a lot of parties. We know there is alcohol at these get togethers.

Senior prom and graduation are a month from now which means that there will be A LOT of alcohol readily available to these teens. Now it’s even more important than ever to make sure our daughter knows that  underage drinking is not only illegal, it’s also very dangerous. Being intoxicated can lead to other dangerous things (illegal drugs, sex, rape, drunk driving…).

We are confident that she is fully aware of what could happen if she were to get drunk. She also knows that if she goes to an after party where there is drinking involved that she needs to call us to pick her up rather than risk going home with a teen who has been drinking.

We also made it known that she’s “guilty by association.” If she’s putting herself in those kinds of situations and the Police get involved SHE is involved too whether she was drinking or not.

We are not fools. We KNOW most teens are curious about alcohol and will try it. The trick is to make it known that drinking is dangerous, unhealthy and illegal.

New-FT-Logo

Anheuser-Busch has a website to help parents bridge the subject of underage drinking with their teens (as well as younger children). Their Family Talk About Drinking (FTAD) program has been around for 2o+ years. I wish I knew about their site sooner.

Family Talk About Drinking offers parents tips on having an open conversation about drinking and alcohol with children of all ages.

Their program is broken up into the three main stages of parenting;

  • Being a Teacher (for children ages 1-7)
  • The Facilitator (for children ages 8-13)
  • The Coach (for children ages 14-21)

I’m in the “Coach” stage for both my kids.

I wish I had known about this site sooner, but none the less there are plenty of great tips to be found. I especially like the section on how to talk to your college bound student on how to be responsible when they move out. Thankfully our daughter will be going to school locally for a year, so that gives me more time with her to let know how about her responsibilities as an “adult” when she if finally out on her own.

Family Talk About Drinking has tips and suggestions from a certified educator and parent coach named MJ Corcoran. Ms. Corcoran has some excellent tips that all families can put into place TODAY.

Find Windows of Opportunity to Talk – When you have a teenager, windows of opportunity to talk can open and close fast. Use prom and graduation to continue the conversation around underage drinking. Set clear boundaries and encourage good decision-making this prom and graduation season.

Connect with Your Teen – Two things you can do to connect with your teen: listen and respect their opinion. In turn, they’ll be much more likely to talk with you about the tough issues – like underage drinking.

Ask Open-Ended Questions – During prom and graduation season, be sure to ask open-ended questions to help your teen think through potential scenarios involving alcohol.

Encourage Accountability – In the busy time leading up to prom and graduation, a text is not enough. Encourage accountability and check in with a call.

I strongly encourage all parents and guardians to check out the site and get involved in your child’s life. Even if you haven’t discussed drinking yet with your child you can start doing so TODAY.

Please visit FamilyTalkAboutDrinking.com to learn more. In addition you can also check out their Facebook page.

To see what others have to say about talking to children and teens about drinking, check out the hashtag #ABFamilyTalk.

To help you spend some quality time with your child/teen to open up the discussion about drinking and alcohol I have a $25 e-gift card (sent via email) to send to a lucky reader. Use the gift card to take your child out some place special (out for ice cream, dinner at a favorite restaurant…) and take the opportunity to discuss alcohol and drinking.

Please note: Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstake, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on May 31, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and share with me a tip about how you talk about drinking and alcohol with your child or teen?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify (I do check).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

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March is National Reading Month – Get some great tips from Olympic gold skater Kristi Yamaguchi (giveaway ends 3/29/15)

 

Child Reading

Did you know that March is National Reading Month?

Most people know that reading is necessary for a successful future. It’s important to encourage a love of reading, even at a very young age.

I love reading. I read all the time when I was a child and teenager. I loved reading so much that I kept most of my books from my youth. It was my plan to read my beloved books to my own children some day. I am happy to say that I did read my favorite books to my children. I still have them and plan on reading them to my grandchildren some day too.

I also kept my kid’s favorite books. I hope that one day when they are parents they will read their favorite books to their children too.

According to the US Department of Education, only about half of all young children who are three to five-years old are read to on a daily basis by a family member. That’s sad. I know that people lead very busy lives, but surely they can put aside 10-15 minutes once a day to read a story to their child or children.

It makes me sad when I go places, such as a doctor’s office, and see children as young as 3 years old totally immersed in a game on their parent’s cellphone when they should be reading a book.

Reading to a child

It’s up to parents, grandparents and care givers to help nurture a child’s love for reading. If you start when children are young they typically grow up to be active readers as young adults and adults.

I also took cues from my kids. When they showed interest in a book series or subject I would pick up books that would interest them from the library. In fact we used to make weekly trips to our local library. They used to love to pick out their own books to read.

For their birthday, Christmas and Easter they would get books from Santa and the Easter Bunny. Even the Tooth Fairy would bring them book every time they lost a tooth (and a quarter too).

I always made sure there were (and still are) ample books around for my kids. Even though they are teenagers now I still encourage them to read.

Some of my fondest memories with my children are reading them bedtime stories. I miss those days.

LeapFrog and the Always Dream Foundation have teamed up with Olympic gold skater Kristi Yamaguchi to help promote reading for National Reading Month.

Kristi is not only a mother, she is also a published author. She’s published two adorable children’s books – Dream Big, Little Pig! and It’s a Big World Little Pig! – as well as other books.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ask Kristi a few questions about encouraging reading in children and what parents can do to help children read. Kristi answered my questions in this exclusive video (below). I hope you will take a few moments to check out her replies.

I appreciate that Kristi took the time to answer my questions. I also want to thank LeapFrog and the Always Dream Foundation for making this possible.

To encourage families to read together, LeapFrog and the Always Dream Foundation have a special initiative called the 20/20 Challenge.

During the month of March, parents are encouraged to take the pledge to read to their child/children for at least 20 minutes a day, every day. For every pledge LeapFrog receives they will donate 20 LeapFrog readers to Kristi Yamaguchi’s non-profit Always Dream Foundation. The books will be donated to under-served classrooms. Through this campaign the goal is to donate over 350,000 books to children in need.

Please consider being a part of this wonderful #LeapFrogChallenge. To learn more, or to take the pledge, visit www.LeapFrog.com/Challenge. The challenge ends on March 31, 2015 so I hope you will take the challenge right away.

20/20 Pledge

To help encourage you to take the pledge, I have an AUTOGRAPHED copy of a Kristi Yamaguchi book (at this time the title is not known). It’s an actual autographed copy, not a photocopy of an autograph.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on March 29, 2015 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me how you help encourage a child to read – OR – what was your favorite book as a child?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I will received an autographed book in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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