17 Appropriate Consequences for Poor Behavior {and the Bible backs it up!}

It may not seem like it, but unfortunately, we are a family that yells.  Dave and I try to keep our cool, we try to “seek to understand” before losing said cool…but nine times out of ten, we end up yelling at the kiddos.  Hey, it happens right?  But our knee-jerk reaction to their mistakes is an automatic time-out, loss of privileges or the occasional spanking.  Very seldom do we take the time to stop and think about appropriate consequences that “fit the crime,” let alone scripture that backs it up.Crime LogoI find myself often searching online for creative, natural and appropriate consequences that can be backed up by scripture.  Not only do I want to correct the behavior, I want to give my kids the “why” as well.  So I found a couple of sites, in addition to some of the methods we use, to help create a little cheat for us parents.  Here are the other blogs that I found that had some good suggestions {please check them out!}:

House-wifery

Confessions of a Homeschooler

Raising Arrows

Meaningful Mama

I can’t promise that I will keep my cool or always remember these scriptures.  But I figure if I have a go-to place where I can find appropriate consequences {that’s also Biblical} for a common childhood behavior, then hopefully it will be a teaching lesson as well as correct the behavior.

 Destruction of Property:
{Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”}
Consequences: Clean up the mess, as well as doing chores for the person whose property was affected, earn money to pay for item

Arguing or Fighting with each other:
{2 Tim 2:24 “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”}
Consequence: Sitting face to face with each other, holding hands.  Apologize for harsh words, ask for forgiveness and come to a compromise on the argument.

Bragging:
{Proverbs 27:2Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth;
    an outsider, and not your own lips.”}
Consequence: Apologize, and list 5 things for which they are thankful

Whining and Complaining:
{Phillipians 2:14 “Do everything without grumbling or arguing,” or Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”}
Consequence: Loss of privilege, having to be last in an activity or do extra work {depending on what they were whining about}, or list 5 things they are grateful for

Mean or Disrespectful Words:
{Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Proverbs 21:23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”}
Consequence: Letter of apology, with kind words in it

Laziness:
{Deut 6:5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”}
Consequence: Start the task over again to complete

Lying or Deceit:
{1 Peter 3:10 Whoever would love life and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.”, Proverbs 17:4 A wicked person listens to deceitful lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.”}
Consequence: Letter of apology

Gossip:
{Proverbs 16:28 A perverse person stirs up conflict,
    and a gossip separates close friends.”}
Consequence: Apology and set things straight with people they gossiped to

Poor Manners/Decision Making:
{James 4:17 “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”}
Consequence:  extra work, do the right thing with an apology

Poor Self Control:
{Proverbs 16:32 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”}
Consequence: After calming down, apologize to those affected

Selfishness:
{Hebrews 13:16 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”}
Consequence: List things they are grateful for, find items to donate, community service

Stealing:
{Ephesians 4:28 “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.“}
Consequence: Return items, additional work, write Bible verse

Tattle Tailing:
{Matthew 18:15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”}
Consequence: Copy verse, they lose the item they were tattling about, apologize and use words to talk it out

Discontentment:
{1 Tim 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” }
Consequence: List of things they are grateful for, loss of 1st world privilege {tv, toy, iPad}

Dirty Words/Cursing:
{Ephesians 5:4 “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”}
Consequence: cleaning

Disobedience:
{Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”}
Consequence: Proximity to parents, extra work/mundane tasks to practice obedience

Hitting/Physical Behavior:
{Titus 3:2 “to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”}
Consequence: Hugging, holding hands, along with an apology

I hope some of these ideas help your children to correct their behaviors, while also learning the importance of their actions.  If you have any other creative ideas for appropriate consequences as discipline, please share them in the comments!  Remember that these are just some ideas that I’ve compiled…be sure to adjust consequences depending on the severity of behavior, age of the child, and appropriateness in general.  Not every situation fits into a mold!

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 I’m linkin’ up this week!

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A New Year’s Challenge!

Happy New Year!  Hope y’all had a wonderful holiday break.  We had a blast with a ton of family in town.  Then my parents took the kiddos for a few days so Dave and I could work on a few house projects.  And, I’m working on a special project this year that I’m really excited about….more on that later!

But, I just wanted to share with you that Dave and I are once again hosting a New Year’s Biggest Loser Challenge.  It’s open to EVERYONE!  And it’s only $25 to play.  There will be weekly challenges and motivation….I’d love for you to play along with us!  Here’s the link to sign up, we’ll be starting on January 9th!

Biggest Loser 2017 Challenge {Facebook Group}New Year's Biggest Loser Challenge 2017!  Join the challenge and make a change!And in case you need some other motivation or ideas, here’s the link to one of my most popular posts from when I WON a Biggest Loser Competition and lost over 30lbs in 15 weeks.  There’s some worksheets on there, and some of my diet and exercise examples.

Let’s start the new year out right and start making some changes!

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Holiday Planning Guide with Free Printables

Happy December!  We are bustling around trying to finish the decorations and start planning for the holidays.  So far, I’m ahead of the game….my to-do list today includes sending out Christmas Cards!! {Yes! This year you’ll get them before Christmas!}  family-with-frameSo once again, I want to share with you the Holiday Planner that I created a couple of years ago.I’ve used it two years in a row so far and it has been a life saver.  I basically make the same food every year, but I always struggle to remember what I make, and fumble to find the recipes.  And when it came to Christmas cards, I needed a place to record who I’ve sent to in the past, and who I received from.  And, {don’t tell my family!} I also keep track of presents as I buy throughout the year too!Holiday Planning Guide with Free Printables to Keep Your Holiday Organized! Palmettos and Pigtails

****Disclaimer****

Because I’m making this for my own personal use, I’m gonna give you access to the files.  However, you won’t be able to edit them.  But feel free to print them out and use them for yourself!  I got all the little buttons as free downloads from the digital scrapbooking site, Shabby Princess.  And I got the fonts (Pea Carol) from Kevin & Amanda…also free.  So technically, you can make your own version of these as well!  And if you decide to pin any of these images, please remember link them back to this page!! Thanks!

I’m telling you, there are a lot of printables in this file, but it’s really everything you need for planning your whole Christmas week.  Here’s a sneak peek of the Table of Contents.  See below for the links to each document.Holiday Planning Guide from Palmettos and Pigtails: Free printables to keep you organized!Click on each link to get to the Google Drive Document.  You’ll be able to download, but not edit.  You’ll see some items have two pages…they are the same document, but with different graphics in case you want to print two different sets!

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page AND Table of Contents

December Calendar

Gift Planner

Christmas Card List

Party Planner 1

Party Planner 2

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 1

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 2

Event Planner

Christmas Eve Meal Planning

Christmas Day Meal Planning

Christmas Eve Shopping List

Christmas Day Shopping List

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 1

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 2

Thank You Note List

I’d love your feedback on this guide…did I miss anything?  What was the most helpful page for you?  Happy Planning!

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Mom Tricks: How to get out the Door On Time

One of the biggest challenges I personally face is tardiness.  I am almost always about 4-8 minutes late.  To everything.  Even when we are ready to walk out the door, someone {me} usually forgets something {my keys}, and bam! we are late again.  And it seems that no matter what, the last 10 minutes of trying to get my family out the door is pure chaos and stress.  Not a great way to start the day.Tips from a Mom on how to get your family out the door on time #punctual #momtricks #hacks #parenting #lateBut, we are doing a bit better lately.  We’ve perfected a few little tricks to prep for our mornings to help us get out the door on time.

Wake up purposefully.  This goes for me, as well as the kids.  I usually get up about 15 minutes before the older kids, allowing just enough time for me to grab a shower, start the coffee and get myself composed before going in to help them wake up.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not a morning person.  Neither are 2 out of 3 of my kids.  But allowing a slow, lazy, wake-up routine keeps the kids drowsy all morning and sets us behind almost immediately.   I’ve found that by getting them out of bed and into the bright bathroom immediately to brush teeth and whatnot, helps speed up the waking up process.Tips from a Mom on how to get your family out the door on time #punctual #momtricks #hacks #parenting #latePrep as much as you can the night before.  For me, this means restocking the baby bag, having backpacks zipped up with homework and projects already ready to go.  Having a designated spot for school supplies or sports equipment really helps to keep things corralled.  Having outfits already picked out and laid out helps my school aged girls have independence in getting dressed {as well as letting having a say in what they wear, but we can argue talk about appropriateness the night before, rather than in the morning!}

Tips from a Mom on how to get your family out the door on time #punctual #momtricks #hacks #parenting #late

The Organised Housewife has some fantastic ideas for corralling kids’ school stuff. This was my favorite!

And speaking of picking out appropriate outfits, the “three outfit” system works for us.  The girls and I pick out three complete outfits {including socks and underwear} that match, are school/activity appropriate, and are separate from the rest of their cloths.  We have a spare drawer under each of their beds in which we keep these three outfits.  And when they are choosing their outfit for each day, they are allowed to choose any of those three.  It gives them some say in what they wear day to day, but I can make sure they match and are dressed for the weather ahead of time.  That way I’m not having to supervise every minute of the dressing routine.  And it’s nice to have those few extra minutes in the morning to actually throw on some mascara or straighten my hair drink some coffee while they are doing their thing.

Tips from a Mom on how to get your family out the door on time #punctual #momtricks #hacks #parenting #late

Dave made the girls custom beds with storage underneath…perfect for ready-made outfits! Click here to see the rest of the room.

Make lunches ahead of time!  I’m not talking about soggy sandwiches, I’m thinking out of the box.  Like macaroni and cheese bites, mini muffin pizzas and little pot pies.  Things you can make in bigger batches and then freeze…they’ll thaw out in their lunchbox!  If you can’t pack the kids’ lunches ahead of time, do it while multitasking in the morning.  In our house we get completely ready before coming to the breakfast table.  I figure I can send a granola bar to school if we run out of time to eat, but they can’t get dressed on the bus!

Tips to get your family out the door on time: Make large batches of freezable lunches..they can thaw in the lunch box #punctual #momtricks #hacks #parenting #late

This school lunch roundup post I did a couple of years ago is my MOST POPULAR post…check out some of the ideas!

So while I am fixing their breakfast, they are picking out items for their lunches {fruit, chips, etc.}.  I keep everything accessible to them so they can get it themselves.  One of our crisper drawers in the fridge has a constant stash of pre-bagged baby carrots, grapes, peppers, etc.  And I either buy individually bagged dry snacks, or I pre-bag every fishie and pretzel stick that comes into the house into snack bags.  In fact, we specifically rearranged our pantry to accommodate for little ones helping themselves!  Then, while they are eating breakfast, I’m double checking lunch boxes and backpacks.

Tips to get your family out the door on time: separate snacks and lunch items into individual, ready-to-grab bags to speed up lunch prep

Go check out this post by Sweet Tea & Stilettos…they have a TON of fantastic, healthy ideas for pre-made snacks.

Set your clocks.  Our clocks in the house are all about 5 minutes fast….allowing for a pleasant {and on time!} surprise when we get into the car to see the actual time!  I also set lots of alerts on my phone to keep us on track.  I have alarms for wake-up times, alarms for breakfast time, alarms for leaving time.

So, I’m not promising that we will be early, or even on time to whatever it was that you invited us to, but instead of being 8 minutes late, we’ll only be 4 minutes late! Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

KidloLand App Review and Giveaway

*I was given a free subscription to this App in order to review it for my readers.  All opinions are my own*

We don’t do a ton of screen time at our house, especially playing on the iPad.  The screen time the kids do have is closely monitored, both quality and quantity.  We keep track of how much they get during the week with popsicle sticks….one stick equals one show or 20 minutes of iPad time, and they get 10 sticks for the entire week.

As for quality, I’m picky.  My basic feeling about apps is that, in this day and age, there is absolutely no reason why they can’t be engaging and entertaining while still being educational.  Just like TV shows, if I don’t feel like my kid is walking away a smarter or better person, the app is a waste of time and brain space…what I call junk.  And unfortunately, there are a lot of junky apps and tv shows out there that contribute nothing of value to my children.

However, I’ve found a new app that thoroughly entertains Lincoln {and even Millie}, while teaching him some basic toddler concepts.  It’s called KidloLand.KidloLand Toddler App: A review and giveaway #toddlerapp #giveaway #ad @KidloLandWhen I opened the app for the first time, I was amazed at the main menu….so many options that cover all the pre-school concepts {numbers, letters, shapes, colors, animals, vehicles, phonics, nursery rhymes, etc.}.  And in each section of the menu, there are on average 10 different activities or stories to do.  Many with more!KidloLand Toddler App: A review and giveaway #toddlerapp #giveaway #ad @KidloLandAll of the activities are interactive, so even while a song or story is playing, the images on the screen can be tapped and manipulated.  Although some of the overlapping sounds and music are a bit much {for this mama’s ears anyway}, Lincoln loves the interaction.  For this kid who doesn’t get much touch-pad experience, it’s a fantastic app for cause and effect and basic tapping/dragging skills.KidloLand Toddler App: A review and giveaway #toddlerapp #giveaway #ad @KidloLandAnd while KidloLand is perfect for a toddler because of the songs and simple games, my 5 year old also has taken a liking to it after watching her brother play.  She prefers to “read” one of the 20 brand new stories, all with interactive characters.  I like the option of the narrator reading to her, so she can follow along with the words as she reads.  It also makes a great bedtime incentive….it’s amazing how fast teeth can get brushed when the bedtime story is literally an interactive book from the “Bedtime Stories” category.KidloLand Toddler App: A review and giveaway #toddlerapp #giveaway #ad @KidloLandMillie and Lincoln also use the app to practice their sharing skills. The “Games” and “Activities” categories flow from one right into another, and have varying difficulty.  This makes it easy for the kids to share, as Lincoln likes the “Tap-Tap” games and Millie likes the “Connect-the-Dots.”  It’s nice seeing them working together and taking turns.

Lincoln’s favorite game to play is “Chomping Monsters” in the Games category.  He has to click and drag puzzle pieces to complete a piece of fruit.  Then he has to drag the fruit into the monster’s mouth.  And of course the monster makes all sorts of chompy noises which makes Lincoln laugh.  I like that he is solving multi-piece puzzles and learning to identify new fruits….like guava and fig.KidloLand Toddler App: A review and giveaway #toddlerapp #giveaway #ad @KidloLandAlthough there is a limited free version of KidloLand, we are really enjoying the subscription with access to everything.  Categories like Vehicles, Fruits & Vegetables, Dinos, Animal Kingdom, Nursery Rhymes, Months & Days, Christmas Songs and Colors & Shapes provide more than enough new material to keep these kiddos entertained.  And because it doesn’t need wi-fi {just a lot of storage, which you can manage in Settings}, it will be a great entertainer in the car as well!

Today, I’m giving away FIVE winners a three-month subscription to this awesome app {a $39.99 value}.  The giveaway ends on Friday at midnight, so don’t miss out!  There are a ton of ways that you can win a 3-month subscription to KidloLand….check it out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want to bypass the giveaway and just download it now, here are the links you need to get it!

iOS (KidloLand) : 

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/kidloland-nursery-rhymes-songs/id533412119?mt=8

Google Play Store (Nursery Rhymes For Kids): 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.internetdesignzone.nurseryrhymes&hl=en

Amazon Appstore (KidloLand)

https://www.amazon.com/KidloLand-Nursery-Rhymes-Educational-Preschool/dp/B00HFQBCEU

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Back on the Weightloss Bandwagon

With our Vegas trip looming, I’ve buckled down and climbed back on the bandwagon of eating healthier and toning up.  I hadn’t realized that I had fallen off…but when I think back to the past couple of months, I realize that I’ve had more “cheat” days than “good” days thanks to happy hours, birthday parties, dinners out, etc.

So with a month to go before our trip, I started going to the gym {either the YMCA or bootcamp} at least 4 days a week, or at least working out in the house.  When I went to the Y, I did my treadmill routine and then either took a class or used the equipment for a half hour.  When I workout at home, I have been doing this quick workout {takes about 15 minutes}.  Add a toddler to the mix, and not only are you adding weight, but also agility {don’t land on him!}.  He also helps my form as he likes to sit on me during sit-ups and under me during planks!

Quick 15 minute at home whole-body workout #exercise #workout #weightloss #cardio

I’ve also gone back to eating my egg white omelets each morning.  It’s amazing what a difference they make.  I’d been eating about 400 calories worth of cereal, fruit and coffee {creamer/sugar} for breakfast each morning.  Again not really thinking anything of it, since it’s not like it was french toast or anything.  But when I switched over to a high protein 100 calorie meal and stopped adding sugar {still gotta have that creamer though….}….I was able to cut out 275 calories out of my diet by 8am each morning.

I’m feeling much better in general, and will definitely feel great for Vegas!

Want to read more about my weightloss?  Read this post on how I lost 30 lbs in 15 weeks.  Or, this post for tracking your weightloss {with free printables}.  Or even this post on my no-fail arm workout.

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12 Essential Manners that All Kids Need to Know

Is it me, or do kids these days seem socially awkward, discontent and downright rude?  Not all kids, of course, but it seems that on a daily basis I’m out somewhere and completely appalled at what a youngster is getting away with.

12 Essential Manners that every parent needs to make sure their kiddo knowsSo, in case you were wondering what essential manners to teach your children, or to expect from the kiddos in your life…here is my unsolicited opinion.

  • “Please” and “Thank you” are givens for all.  “Yes, ma’am, No sir” is polite {and essential!} in my Southern home.
  • When you receive something {a gift, a snack, a compliment, a ride, etc.}, you look at the person and give a sincere “thank you.”
  • When asked by an adult to do something, do it without grumbles or questioning.  Even if you aren’t asked to do something, if you can, offer to help.
  • Share what you have.  Offer a guest a snack, take turns with toys, buy lunch for someone hungry.
  • When someone is speaking to you, look at them…especially if it is an adult.
  • If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.  Only comment on the way someone looks if you are giving them a compliment.
  • Don’t interrupt anyone, but especially adults.  If you aren’t bleeding and no one is in danger, it can wait until I finish my sentence.  Then, you may say “Excuse me…”
  • Open doors for others.  In our house, the men open doors for the ladies {we’re even teaching our two year old son!}, but you should always hold the door open for the person coming in behind you, and offer to go ahead of and open doors for people using strollers, wheelchairs, or who just have their hands full.
  • Take what you want, but eat what you take.  Chew with your mouth closed and wait until you are done chewing before speaking.
  • Bodily noises should be avoided if possible, but if not, say “Excuse Me” and remove yourself quickly to the restroom if needed.
  • Inside voices inside buildings and vehicles.  For the safety and sanity of everyone!
  • Speak when someone speaks to you.  Even if it’s just a “Hello.”  or “I’m fine, thank you.”

What would you add to the list of essential manners?  Anything you’d take off because I’m being completely unreasonable?  Leave a comment!

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10 Ways to Tell if Your Neighborhood is Really a Village

 “It takes a village to raise a child.”

-African Proverb

It’s one of the most well-known quotes in the world.  The basic meaning is that child upbringing is a communal effort.  Everyone in the extended family, as well as in the wider physical community; is involved in the raising of the children, the tending of the land, and the overall health of the village.

Do you live in a “village?”  Many of us live in neighborhoods, but can we consider them our “village”?"It takes a village...." Everyone has good neighbors, but do you consider yours a village?Here are 10 ways to tell if the people in your neighborhood are really your village.

  1. They are the unofficial neighborhood watch.  They post on Facebook if there is a loose dog or a creepy truck hanging around.  They call and confirm with you when they see a random dude in a nondescript uniform walking around in the backyard.  They are keeping the whole village safe.
  2. They are your kids’ home away from home.  Your kids feel safe talking to and being around them.  You feel comfortable with your kids spending significant time in their homes.  Often they have similar rules to yours, and so you feel good about your kids being raised there for a couple of hours every day.
  3. Everyone’s alley, sidewalk, driveway and yard is fair game.  Because of #1 and #2, you know that someone always has eyes on the kids, and will have band aides or a bathroom available at any given moment.  And at the very least, they are willing to yell “CAR!!!!” as the children scramble to to sides of the alley, out of the way.
  4. They are your social life too!  Porch gatherings, block parties, game nights, pool days.  It’s nice to have other grown-ups to talk to…  We have even gone on vacation with some of our neighbors!!
  5. They take care of your “stuff.”  They bring you meals when you have a baby, mow your lawn when your hubby is out of town, chase after the trash that blew out of your overflowing trashcan, bring in your mail and water your garden when you are on vacation, and let your dog out when you are stuck in traffic.
  6. They are a portable grocery store.  Need a cup of sugar?  Next door.  Two aspirin?  Three doors down.  Three scoops of dog food?  Behind you.  An extra carseat for the day?  Across the street.  No sweat.
  7. They support you and your kids financially.  They are willing to take one for the team and buy 6 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies and 12 rolls of wrapping paper.  Not to mention, they will come to every.  single.  one.  of your Arbonne/Thirty-One Bags/Pampered Chef parties so you can get the free hostess gifts.  Provide mimosas and you’ll double the crowd!
  8. They yell at your kids.  They care about the well-being of your children enough to know when they need to be corrected.  And the relationship they have with you allows them to feel comfortable doing it.  And you are fine with it! {see #2}
  9. They don’t judge you.  They have seen you, your family, and your home, at your best and worst.  And they still love you.
  10. They trust you with their needs too.  You are more than willing to carpool, be an emergency contact or even an occasional babysitter, and you are happy to do #1-#7 for them too!  But just like them, you also are a shoulder to cry on and an ear to vent to.  After all, the health of the village is dependent on the health of the adults in it.

I am so very lucky to live and raise my kids in a fabulous village…how about you?

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Mom Hacks You’ve Never Seen Before

Parenting isn’t easy.  Between tantrums, gum in hair, back talk and lost homework, it can be a downright nightmare.  Luckily, we are all in the same boat, and willing to help each other out!  Here are some of the neatest Mom Hacks that I’ve seen in awhile.  Sure, there are a ton on Pinterest, but these are some ones even I haven’t seen before!Mom Hacks : A New Collection of Genius Ideas to Save Your SanityIf you have kids under the age of six, you know the love-hate relationship that us moms have with markers.  Sure, they make it easy for the little ones to color, but for some reason, more marks end up on their hands than on the paper!  And Heaven-forbid they get their little paws on permanent markers!  But if they do {and somehow bypass the walls for their skin…} here’s how to clean permanent marker off of skin courtesy of Kids Activity Blog .Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! How to clean permanent marker off of your kidAnd while we are talking about grubby little hands {and germy little mouths!}, let’s think about all of the plastic toys you have with intricate parts.  The crevices of Legos are impossible to wipe clean….so why not throw them in the washing machine?  Getting’ By tells you all the details on how to de-funk the millions of blocks that you’ve accumulated.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! How to clean mass quantities of small plastic toys.Whether its specific chores, their library book, or to brush their teeth, kids forget a lot.  I love this idea for reminder bracelets from Kids Activity Blog.  I think my kids would have bracelets up to their armpits….Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Reminder bracelets to get it done!There is nothing I dread more than the words “cup or cone” in front of my kids.  Inevitably, they’ll want the cone.  But thanks to the buffet of toppings that are now offered at most ice cream places, odd are that a marshmallow will be available to stuff down in the point to prevent drips and make ice cream a little less messy.  Thanks One Good Thing by Jillee!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Marshmallows are good on top of OR underneath ice cream!I’m not sure why broken crayons are so elusive, but they manage to avoid being cleaned up at all costs.  They somehow roll under tables, against baseboards and into piles of other toys, hiding out where no one can find them.  That is, until your TWO YEAR OLD enters the room and immediately spots the broken blue crayon and proceeds to color on every surface available.  There are lots of ideas out there for crayon removal, but The Prairie Homestead posted the first one that I had seen using essential oils.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! An all natural way to clean off crayon!I LOVE this idea for kids when they get in trouble.  And the combination of chores as well as kind actions is fantastic.  A new way to ground your kids from Lynette’s New Hobby.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Discipline your kids while cleaning your house!This tip is actually an oldie but goodie for our household.  Since we love going to Disneyworld, we have used this Liquid Band Aide Tattoo idea from The Paper Mama several times.  In fact, I need to add it to my all-inclusive Disney packing list for our next trip!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Use liquid band aide to protect an emergency phone number on your child.I feel like sparklers are not just a 4th of July or New Year’s Eve novelty here in the Lowcountry.  It seems like every backyard get-together, every beach bonfire, every block party that we’ve been to, have kids making their mamas nervous with sparklers {it’s not just me, right?!?!}.  I love this idea to protest little hands from sparks from I Love to Dream, Do You?Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Because kids love sparklers and moms don't need any more gray hair....I regularly soak and disinfect our bath toys.  The idea of the inside of them never really drying out totally grosses me out.  But We Love Being Moms hot glues the holes in her new toys closed, so that water doesn’t get inside in the first place!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! A no-brainer for keeping your bath toys safe!I have been lucky enough to have avoided splinters so far, but with three active kids, it will inevitably happen.  This tip from Pop Sugar‘s roundup is definitely one to save!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Getting splinters out without a fuss!I spotted this photo from @mcgaritydotme on Instagram , and was enthralled.  What a simple way to keep toddlers entertained while you cook dinner.  My almost two-year old loves sticking them through the holes, but is equally enthralled with the pipe-cleaners bending and staying in that shape.  Just keep an eye on the ends of the pipe-cleaners though, as the wire is a little sharp.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! How to keep your kid busy for more than three seconds.Have you ever wondered why there were folds around the necks of infant onesies?  Or did you just assume {like me} that they were to accommodate your big-headed kid?  This genius video from Tiaras and Prozac shows you exactly why they are there….and then you will wonder how you’ve survived every diaper blow out up to this point.  Mind. Blown.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! The Onesie trick you never knew about!So there you have it,  some new Mom Hacks to make life, just a little easier.  Got any other ideas?  I’d LOVE to share them, so leave a comment {or even a link to your post or picture}!

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How to Kid Proof Your iPhone

I’m not sure how, but my kids are better at working my iPhone than I am.  Even Lincoln, my one-year-old, knows how to swipe and tap enough to find my photo album on my home screen.  But with that seemingly built in ability, comes the ever-growing threat of accidental deletion of pictures or in-app purchases.  I just want my phone to entertain my kids so I don’t have to…is that too much to ask?  Ok, ok, I’m just kidding, as my kids get little to no screen time…but there has to be a way to kid proof your iPhone a little, right?

How to Kid Proof your iPhone on any screen or appImage courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So I did a little research and found the solution.  Did you know you can deactivate parts of your iPhone screen so that your kid can’t delete or go to a page he’s not supposed to?  I took some screen shots to show you exactly how to do it.  It’s a bit of a process at first, but I’ll show you how to  make it a shortcut so all you have to do is hit your “Home” button three times to activate the control.

Here’s what you will need to do JUST ONCE {to get it set up}:

1. From your home screen, click on your “Settings” button {it looks like a gear}
2. Scroll about halfway down and click on “General”
3.  Scroll about halfway down and click on “Accessibility”

4. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen.  Make sure that it says “Guided Access” next to “Accessibility Shortcut” {see at the bottom of the lefthand picture above}.  This is what makes the controls turn on when you hit the “Home” button three times….it’s a shortcut.

5. Just above “Accessibility Shortcut” you will see “Guided Access”.  It should say ON, but click on it anyway, and then make your screen look like the picture to the right above.  You’ll also want to click on “Passcode Settings” and set a password for yourself…I kept mine very simple and easy to remember.

Here’s what you will need to do before your child uses an App.

1. Open the App or screen that you are wanting to control.  For demonstration purposes, I chose my “Pictures” App and then chose a specific picture inside.  Lincoln likes to look at photos, and can scroll by himself, but often ends up deleting or editing by accident!

2. Click on your “Home button” 3 times in a row.  A little box will pop up quickly that says “Guided Access Started.”  Click on the “Home button” 3 more times and it will ask you for your password.  Put it in.

3.  The screen above will pop up.  Any areas that you want disabled on your screen, circle with your finger.  As soon as you circle it, it will turn into a gray box to show you the area that is disabled.  Use the X to delete the area if needed, and the white balls in the corners will adjust the size of the box {keep it as small as possible!}.  When you are done, click on “Resume” at the top.  Your app is now ready for your kid to use!

4. If you want to turn off the gray boxes {and make those areas clickable again}, hit your “Home button” 3 times again and enter your password.  Then click on “End” in the top left corner.  You are Ending Guided Access.  From now on, every time you open that particular App {in my case, My Photo Album App}, just click your Home button 3 times in a row to start Guided Access.  If you need to adjust your gray boxes, just click Home 3 more times to enter your password and edit.

DONE!

 Above is another example of the gray boxes on an actual game App.  Since the App has screens that change, I had to get a little creative…See the gray box on the left side of the screen?  It looks like there is nothing to control there, but in actuality, that is where the “In App Purchase” box pops up…so I disabled the BUY NOW area.  I also ended up making my gray boxes much smaller to just cover the icon…If you leave them too large, they may cover up a game option or answer on another screen.

Although I only have a couple of simple games on my phone for my kids, I went ahead and spent a couple of minutes setting up Guided Access for each app.  So now they are all ready for my kids to use {just hit HOME three times!}.

BRILLIANT.

 Hopefully this tutorial on how to kid-proof your phone helps save you money from inadvertant in-app purchases, and saves your precious photo memories from being deleted or edited!  Please click  below to share and pin!

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