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.

Issue with Invite the Whole Class to Birthday Party Rule

I recall having a conversation with one of my children awhile back; it was in regards to inviting the whole class to a birthday party. This concept that has become the rule at most schools, when you hand out birthday invitations you must invite the whole class has me frustrated. Here I am listening to my child who most certainly doesn’t want their non-friends at their birthday party leaves me with two options, stick to the rule of inviting the whole class or hunting down each parent of my child’s friend to invite that child to the birthday party. This whole rule of having to invite the whole class leaves parents stuck, because sometimes you can’t afford having the whole class showing up for a party and other times, you don’t believe in “life is fair”.

Issue with Inviting all to Birthday party Rule in Classrooms

Here’s my thoughts on the whole invite the whole class rule many classrooms now abide by; it is not setting children up for the real world. As your child grows into the teen years they will suffer more when that teen peer invites certain people to a party while they don’t invite others. These children will grow up to think that the norm is that everyone is always invited to a special event. The real world isn’t like that. We do not always get invited to the party our friends or peers are hosting. There have been many a gatherings I haven’t been invited to, and that’s okay, because I learned to deal with the feeling of being left out. I have learned to deal with the feeling and acceptance that not everyone likes me. Children should be learning this when they are young, so they can cope with this mentality as adults.

I firmly believe the world is fair to everyone mentality is hurting our future generation of adults; we see it with the millennials. Most millennials feel entitled and the work force even molds their rules to suit this generation of adults. It sickens me that society is making this an okay thing. When it comes to birthday parties, it should be all about the birthday child. The birthday child shouldn’t feel obligated to invite people who are either not their friends simply because they have nothing in common or not their friends because the child is mean. Who wants to have to invite the class bully over to a birthday party? That’s just insane, yet the school system requires that you hand out invites to the whole class or nobody.

Parent Influence Blog Stop Inviting All to Childrens Birthday Parties

I have for a long time struggled with this concept and often times have not hosted a birthday party for my sons, who have a true difficulty with this concept. They would much rather me take the extra effort in hunting down parents than have to hand an invitation to someone who isn’t their friend. How awkward it would be as adults, having a party and having to have people there who are not your friends celebrating your birthday. Why is it okay to require children to do this? When I was growing up we had mailboxes in our classroom, we dropped the invites in our friends mailboxes and were done with it. Some children felt left out, but that’s part of life.

I wish for the sake of helping children cope with feelings they will incur as teenagers and then adults that we stop making life fair across the board. The silliness has got to stop! As parents, it is our duty to teach our children to rise above differences, to accept that some people won’t like us and that is certainly okay. When you aren’t invited to a peer’s birthday party, it simply means that you two are not friends; it doesn’t mean you are less of a person nor does it mean you are enemies. It is simply a fact that not all human beings get along or have common interests that create that level of friendship versus just another peer in the classroom. Why do we, as parents, have to force this life is fair mentality upon our children? I for one don’t do it. I feel it’s much more important to teach my children that life isn’t fair. I teach my children that they are awesome, unique and just fantastic the way they are.

I teach my children to learn their flaws and work to be better tomorrow than they were today, without pressure to become what society pushes upon them.

My oldest is a great example of how this technique has worked, she has been in many scenarios where girls at another table in the lunch room were talking rudely about her. One of my daughter’s friends went over and informed her that these girls were being rude about her. My daughter’s reply made me proud, she said to her friend, “that’s okay, seriously it isn’t a big deal. I know people don’t like me and I am okay with that. No one has to like me, and they have a right to talk that way among themselves. It’s when they start harassing me, calling me names or being rude to me that they cross a line!” While that is paraphrased, as it happened awhile back, that is how we must raise our children.

This invite everyone to the birthday party, in my opinion, is setting our children up for failure as teenagers and adults for they will lack the experience of handling the emotions that come with being left out!

So how is it that we, as parents, handle this school rule? I am not entirely sure because the school rules apply when our children are at school. It doesn’t appear the school system will be changing this rule anytime soon. I guess all we can do, as parents, is to not force this rule upon our own children, find creative ways to invite only friends to the birthday party. Continue to teach our children to rise above our differences, to know that you can be kind to peer without having the pressure of ‘being friends’. There’s nothing wrong with children not liking other children; seriously, this concept goes well into adulthood. What a shock it will be to these children who are being raised with the “life is fair” mentality to find out that the real world isn’t so fair, that not everyone likes us. Even adult’s deal with those feelings of being left out, wondering why they aren’t good enough. It starts at a young age, these feelings of negativity. When children are raised by parents who encourage this “life is fair” mentality they struggle worse in adulthood. I firmly believe a lot of societal rules we have to deal with as parents, make parenting more difficult but we don’t have to conform to society standards.

At a young age my daughter and I worked to write and publish a book that was geared towards building confidence in others, mainly tween girls. That book is available on Amazon and is called Positive Girl – The Power of Your Thoughts. While not everyone will agree with me in how to raise children, I just wish more parents would realize the negative impact you are placing upon your child when you teach them that they will always be included in everything.

Success Can Happen … The American Dream

As I look around the world we live in, from social media posts to everyday interactions with people in person, I am sad about society. Many people came to America all those years back for freedom, the ability to work hard and make a home for their family. Many desired to create success in America. America was the new world where hope was fueled. That all happened, jobs were created and laborers were able to make a decent living to support a family and times, albeit tough, were good. Today all I see is people complaining or asking for pity because they lost a job, they can’t find a job or that they want the rich to be taxed more because, “how dare they get away with making a fortune while the little guy is left not being able to feed their family.”

“We all have the power to rise above our circumstances, choose a more positive path and run with it.” – @brandyellen

I was That Single Mom

I was that little guy, the poor single mom living on pasta and barely able to make ends meet. I wasn’t able to buy my first born Christmas gifts, there was one Christmas that she had two gifts. Literally one gift from me, one from Toys for Tots and that was it. I was so upset, but being that she was a young toddler, maybe around one year of age, she had no idea. There was another Christmas year that her father gave me $45 to spend on her for gifts because he found me in tears over not being able to get her any gifts one year. Another year we were blessed to have a stranger’s family adopt us and there were a boat load of gifts on my office desk at the place I worked. I cried.

While I was lucky in that good things started happening to me, and one could argue that doesn’t happen for everyone. Regardless of the help or surprises that occurred for me as a single mom, I stood firm in wanting to create my own success. I had no desire to live on state assistance forever or get hand outs every holiday season. I wanted success, I wanted to create my own success story … and I did. More on that another day.

When you become humble, honest and okay with your scenario, great things start to happen. We don’t need to take from those who worked their butts off to create success, after all isn’t that why so many came to America in the first place? To have a place where they were free to create their own success story?

“We are all born of flesh, bones, thoughts and feelings which allows us to choose where you go from here.” – @brandyellen

Mom Influence Success Happens

Success is Different

Each of us has a different success story, mine is different than yours, my boyfriend’s is different than mine and that’s okay. Success has a similar definition for us all but the how we got there or how we view that definition is different across the board. I personally feel that changing who I was to be a better person as a mother to a daughter all those years back was my first taste of success. I also feel that the next portion of my life where I got married and then divorced after having two boys was a success. I once again felt success when I started to learn how to properly train my mind to be optimistic versus pessimistic. Armed with an optimistic attitude my life changed yet again when I met my current boyfriend.

Practice Mindfulness

There are little pieces of my life where I can see success, it’s not one large story, it’s many impactful moments built into one life – mine.  I have empathy and compassion for those who are struggling, for those who have divorced and are now broke and not certain what is going to come next. I feel sad for those struggling with illness and can’t seem to find their happy during these trying times. I get all of the feelings that consume one when enthralled in a bad scenario, I have been there. I have been in your shoes, with a different scenario, more often than not. With that being said, I also believe that I can feel empathy and compassion for you while still having this little thought in the back of my head that reminds me:

“We all are allowed to go downward or upward in life. We all have the free choice to learn from mistakes or just keep making the same ones again, without judgement from others.” – @brandyellen

I understand that you are all wrapped up inside of this difficult time and it’s not easy to see the light. Life was never meant to be easy, it was meant to be lived. We were all meant to have hardships, to have difficult times and in turn have beautiful moments as well. It’s all about how you look at the situation as to whether or not you choose to build your success story or not, today I invite you to think about your thoughts.

#mominfluence We all have the power to rise above our circumstances, choose a more positive path and run with it.

Ask Yourself Some Questions

  • Are you constantly focused on the problem versus the solution?
  • Do you spend more time dwelling on what occurred to create this hardship than focusing on how you can rise above it?

I now invite you to take a moment to jot down some ideas on how you can focus on a solution, focus on surviving today with a smile upon your face. Jot down some moments that you cherish among this madness of bad times. If you can start there, I promise you, life will start to look up and you will soon realize that the American dream is still very much alive within each of us. You, too, can have a little piece of success, if you only open your mind to view the situation slightly different.