10 Fun Games for Your Family Night

Planning a family night to occur once per week or twice per month is an easy way to reconnect with the whole family. You can have this night serve as a special dinner night full of board games and laughter. After board games, dinner and laughter has commenced, curl up in the living room with the kids over a good movie like Trolls to end your family night.

Fun Games for your Family Night by ParentINfluence Blog

While there are many ways each of us try to incorporate a family night into our households, today I wanted to share 10 fun games for your family night in case you need some game ideas.

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10 Fun Games for Your Family Night

Images courtesy Amazon website.

3 Tips for Shopping with Kids

The joys of shopping with kids, it’s such a wonderful experience! The kids walk behind you in two, happy to be bored for the next couple hours as you shop for whatever it is that you need. Oh wait, this only happens in dreamland or occasionally when the kids want something … here in the real world kids aren’t so fun to shop with all of the time.  Today I am going to share a few tips for those of you who are shopping with kids in tow.

3 Tips for Shopping with Kids Parent Influence Blog

Shop Online

You must have realized that I was going to advise against you going out into the store with the kids, right? In all reality shopping online has become widely popular. It’s easy to do and you can do this while the kids sleep. No more dragging the kids during their nap times to the store or requiring the whole family to hop into the vehicle to head to the store. You can even get online savings with Target coupons and more when you shop online! I advise you to shop online whenever you can to avoid the store with kids any chance you have.

Go During Good Time of Day

Every parent knows the best time of day to take their kids anywhere. The good times of day to take your kids shopping usually are earlier in the morning right after they are awake or right after a nap. All too often parents take their kids shopping at a horrible time of day for the kids and then get stressed because the kids are acting amuck! Learn to work around your kids schedule the best you can and go shopping during the good time of day.

Communicate Expectations

I am super famous for this third tip, communicate expectations. Prior to heading into any store to shop with kids, inform the kids of your expectations regarding behavior and what consequences will happen if they don’t behave. When you set clear expectations immediately before entering the store for your shopping trip with kids they are more apt to behave as you have initiated the conversation immediately before the shopping situation.

You Can Survive Shopping with Kids

It’s really easy to have a tolerable experience when you have to go shopping with kids; my number one tip of shopping online really goes a long way. In this day in age of technology, there’s no reason why you can’t start shopping online for a lot of your needs. If you must enter a store to shop with kids, then be certain to set the proper time to leave and communicate with the kids. When you follow these tips I have shared today, you will soon find that shopping with kids isn’t as bad as it used to be.

20 Summer Toys – Have Fun with Kids

Summer will be here before you know it! The weather will be warm and everyone will be trying to figure out what to do with those kiddos. Summer brings along the perfect weather to get out and enjoy those kids you are raising. Today I wanted to share a list of 20 Summer toys from Amazon that you can purchase now so that you are ready for the Summer season with kids.

20 Summer toys for Having fun with kids by parentinfluence

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Garden Wagon Tools

Bucket Set for Kids

Gazillion Hurricane Bubble Machine

Little Tikes First Slide

Bunch of Balloons

Sidewalk Mandala

Emoji Beach Balls

Little Tikes Spiralin Water Park

Spring Sprinkling Activity

Wet Head Game

Prime Time Toys Water Rocket

Turtle Target Action

Air Scoop Ball

Splash Tunnel Water

Rocket Balloons Pump

Dazzling Toys Catch Ball Game

Portable Booster for Infant

Huge Rainbow Kite for Kids

Splash Fire Hydrant

Banzai Blast Obstacle Course

*All images are property of Amazon associates platform and used within TOS of the affiliate platform/program. All links are affiliate links, I will earn a small commission if you purchase any of the products using these links, while this doesn’t cost you any extra, it does help support my household. Thank you in advance for your support.

Boys Should Never, Ever Hit Girls. Period.

I cannot believe the society I live in, the things I witness other parents, mostly moms, saying about their little boys. I have witnessed time and time again moms who condone a little boy hitting back a girl. I get it, yes there are girls who can hit as hard as boys and there are topics such as self-defense. I can comprehend on some level the argument that little boys should hit back a little girl, so at least with the type of society we live in today. The one where girls and boys are supposed to be on some level playing ground, but the old school lady in me feels a boy should never, ever hit a girl. Ever. I am entitled to feel that way, while I won’t tell you that you are wrong in condoning your little boy to hit a little girl; I will discuss why I personally feel I won’t condone that behavior ever from my sons.

I guess I am slightly blessed to still have a lot of the old school mentality in me. I was also raised in a violent environment for at least the first ten years of my life. I have seen an abusive man and I have had my fair share of abusive men, I also used to be that abusive girl who would provoke men to get them angry. I have hit men, I have been hit. The things I have gone through are intense, insane and still I sit here saying I would never, ever be okay with my sons hitting a girl. Ever. I firmly feel that no matter how crazy a girl gets, no matter how mean a girl gets, that your little boy shouldn’t hit that little girl. Do whatever you can to work around it. I am a firm believer that violence returns violence and I much prefer to spread happiness, peace and amicable ways to resolve conflict without laying a hand upon another person. I have learned all of this in my experiences of a 35 year old woman.

Allowing a little boy to hit back a little girl, even if said girl is “as strong as a boy” is never a good idea because you are now creating this mentality that hitting back a girl is acceptable. Little boys who are encouraged to hit back a little girl, regardless of her size and strength, will soon start to develop into teenage boys who hit girls and then become that abusive adult man who hits his spouse. Studies have shown time and time again that a boy who is allowed to hit girls at a young age will morph into that as an adult. It’s sort of common sense in my opinion.

What happened to the days when girls were raised to be well behaved little girls? No they don’t have to be princesses all dressed girly, my first born daughter is far from a princess but she was raised to be respectful, courteous and use common sense while still being a strong, leadership type young woman. My sons are still a work in progress as they are much younger, but one thing is for certain you won’t ever hear me telling them to hit a girl back. Sure, I may say if a boy hits you and you need to hit them back, go ahead but be smart about it and use violence as a last resort.

Many say that’s a double standard, sure maybe it is but that’s the uniqueness about males vs females – we are different and there should be some double standards as you call them.

When confronted with a little girl who continuously bullies your little boy, I can also see why you would say hit her back. I get it, no other methods seem to be resolving this conflict and in your protective parental role you feel that your boy has a right to “stand up for himself”. Well I am here to tell you that may be a mistake, while again I won’t tell you that you are wrong, I do feel creating this reality that your son can hit a little girl is what may lead my daughter to be in an abusive relationship and after all I have lived through, that’s the last thing I ever want for my daughter and for my sons.

I will continue keeping my mouth shut in judging you for telling that little boy to hit another little girl, after all I respect that we all raise our children as we see fit. I will sit here worried that the little boy you are telling to hit a girl is going to grow up to be an abusive man, because that’s proven to happen. I will have heartache in hearing that a woman would actually condone a boy hitting a girl. After all, I have seen what an abusive relationship can do to their offspring. I spent many years being an angry child internally because of all the violence I witnessed as a young child. I just cannot ever imagine condoning that and raising little boys who think that hitting a girl is ever okay. Please, the next time you see a little girl picking on, hitting or bullying your little boy use words to uplift that little boy. Work hard to build his self-esteem to a point where he is unbreakable. That’s the method I much prefer because it teaches my children to be who they are and never, ever let anyone allow them to feel inferior.

We don’t need violence to feel empowered; it starts deep within our souls. As parents, it’s our job to instill this self-empowerment. I firmly believe in teaching my boys that they are strong, resilient and independent souls who do not ever need to hit another human being and hitting a little girl would have tremendous consequences because it simply is just not right.

Mom Influence: My Great Grandmother

A mom can be anyone, really. There are many people who will say their step mother or their grandmother, maybe even an aunt was more of a mom to them growing up than their biological mother. While the person who gave birth to you will always be your mom be definition, there are many other moms in your life who may have helped mold you into the adult you are today.

Mom Influence Can be Anyone

I have seen many people online talk about how their grandmother is the one who influenced them the most. You see, you can be super close to your mom while still having more of a relationship with a grandmother because of who you are internally. I personally love my mom and while I wasn’t too fond of my upbringing when it comes to both of my parents, the day I became a mom myself changed my thoughts and feelings on my upbringing tremendously. With that being said, if I had to choose who was the most influential mom in my life I would select my Great Grandmother, Grena as I refer to her.

In January 2015 my Grena passed away and boy did I blubber like a baby. I had no idea the impact this lady had upon my life until that day of passing. As I stood there, graveside with my daughter, mom and relatives beside me I listened to everyone speak of Charlotte Maxham. My Grena had touched so many souls. Grena was a wife, a mom, a sister,  she was a poet and so much more. She lived at the farm with her husband and built it into a pretty lucrative VT business that serviced cheese and maple syrup all over the place. While I don’t know 100% about the business end of their life, I do know a lot about the motherhood and wife journey my Grena took part in.

Mom Influence My Great Grandmother #mominfluence

Stories of Great Grammy

Ever since I was a young child, Grena and I would write as pen pals. Sure we didn’t see each other often and I must admit I wish I had seen her closer to her end of days for one last hug and story. I will forever have the moments of sitting with her and listening to her share her love of cats, her children and her husband. Grena was a farmer’s house wife, she cooked and cleaned and often spoke about having an allowance. I never got the feeling from Grena that her life was horrible. I recall discussing co-sleeping with Grena, so many say it’s wrong to do but I was in fact co-sleeping with my first born child. Miss Ki and I were all we had for a lot of her beginning years, as I was a single mother.  Grena would talk about how she always slept with her “babies” and since her and Great Gramps were old fashioned, they had their separate bedrooms which made co-sleeping with her babies an easy decision.

Grena loved her husband, her babies and her cats. She taught me that you hold on and stay strong because relationships always take adjustments.

What Grena Taught Me

Grena talked about her love of her husband, I could tell that they had a long road for their nearly 75 years of marriage but within that remained a deep bond and connection as husband and wife. Surely my Grena didn’t disclose all of her private details of the marriage, and one could most certainly say that they had been through quite a lot in their marriage.

Grena lit up when she talked about motherhood. This was a woman who I could fel love radiate from as she talked about being a mom to all of her babies. Grena always referred to her now adult children as her “babies”. A loving mother who had this connection that I feel is similar to how I am with my own children. Grena was an amazing old soul who saw life a bit differently from me. I always admired her stories and views of life, I was simply intrigued by this lady.

The reason I selected my Grena as one of the most influential moms in my life is because she was strong, clever, intelligent, poetic, and full of love.

Grena Was Trust

Mom Influence My Great Grandmother #mominfluenceAs I sit and review the letters from my Grena, she never sugar coated her thoughts and feelings, I trusted her to always remain honest, even at the cost of hurting my feelings. When my Grena passed she was 93 years old and I will forever cherish the moments we shared through our common love of the written word.  There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Grena’s stories of motherhood and marriage. This woman influenced me in so many ways and now that I am 35 years old, those memories impact my current life of being in a relationship and raising kids.

I am often found discussing my memories of this amazing woman who lived long enough to have nearly 75 years of marriage and enjoy not only the role of being a great-grandmother, but also a great-great grandmother. This woman who had a small allowance each week still found some way to send each my children a small gift for their birthday.

R.I.P Grena, in my heart you will forever remain.

To this day, I have at least one item for each of my three children that they can go on to cherish in the memory of their great-great grandmother.


Grena was truly an influential woman to many and to me; she was the most influential mom I have ever had the honor to have in my life.

Debbie Reynolds Dies One Day After Daughter Carrie Fisher

During December 2016 the world lost two beautiful ladies; Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher. What is so shocking about this mother daughter combo is that Debbie, the mother of Carrie Fisher died just one day after Carrie’s passing. I have always believed that husband and wife have a deep connection, in that one will pass within a couple of years after the other due to a broken heart but what I never dreamed of is that this can also happen for a mother and daughter so deeply bonded.

Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher in 1980
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher in 1980. Image Courtesy – AP

There are many stories surfacing about this mother and daughter combo, in fact HBO will be releasing a documentary about these two lovely woman in early January 2017 titled “Bright Lights”. Upon researching this duo, it seems Carrie grew up watching her mother perform and it was as if Carrie was just as mesmerized of her mother as the public was. Yet, just as it goes with most mother & daughter relations; their relationship was quite complicated. Truth be told a mother and daughter relationship is full of many ups and downs, it’s simply one of the bittersweet realities of being a mother to a daughter.

One could say that, although complicated, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds had a close enough bond that at age 84 just one day after Carrie’s passing, Debbie too passed away after suffering from a heart attack. Could the deep love Debbie held for her daughter be the cause of a heart attack? One couldn’t be too sure, but one thing is for sure these two beautiful woman were a huge part of history in the media and will forever be missed.

MTV Interviews Carrie Fisher About Her Mother

RIP Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, you were a huge part of history in the making and we are grateful to have known you through the spotlight. At MomInfluence we wish you peace and hope that you both are up in Heaven looking down below, keeping an eye on those you love who are still with us on Earth.