Stop Trying to Catch Your Kids Being Bad Instead Catch Them Being GOOD #Parentingwin

I have two beautiful, smart and full of life little girls!  They are always testing the waters and pushing the limits when it comes to the rules and doing things they know can get them in trouble.  Don’t get me wrong, they are very good and well behaved most of the time but they like to have fun and explore so that gets them in trouble.  Over the summer we had slipped into a very bad routine where we would have to ask them 5 times to brush their teeth before they would listen or repeat ourselves over and over again when it was time for them to do their chores.  They were not listening and doing whatever they wanted to do.  I was spending so much time trying to catch them doing something wrong or critiquing the “bad” behavior and was at a breaking point.  Something had to change, and it did, I tried something else and it is working much better for us!

praise your kids when they do good

Catch Them Being GOOD

I recently discovered the Boys Town Email Series which is several FREE ​emails to help you with your parenting challenges. Each series consists of weekly ​emails that run 4-6 weeks and discuss a specific parenting issue, include a teaching activity and​ a ​relevant ​social skill.  Boys Town is backed by 100 years of research and experience and their content is developed by psychiatrists, psychologists and parenting experts, so I felt confident in their information, tips and advice.  There are many topics to pick from so I picked the Parenting Principles series and the topics hit home right away with the first one being “Offering Effective Praise.”

boys town email series

Parenting Techniques that Work

This series taught me to look for and identify good behavior frequently and consistently.  Wow, I never thought of that!  I mean I did a little bit but not frequently and consistently.   I noticed when I told them “Thank you so much for helping Mommy put away the dishes, it really helps me” or “I like how you are being so nice to your sister, it makes me so happy” that they started going out of their way to do NICE and appropriate things to get more praise.  Boys Town suggests in their email series that you praise your child four times for every one time you correct him/her.

parenting tips for negative behavior

Boys Town Email Series

Parenting is hard and sometimes we just don’t have all the answers!  It is awesome to know that there is help out there when we need it!  Boys Town email series has a lot of tips at your fingertips on important topics such as potty training, toddler tantrum, teen disciple, success in school, sleep issues, kids and technology and so much more!  I am going to spend a lot more time trying to catch my girls being good from now on that’s for sure!

Check it out here and sign up for your free email series and build up your parenting tool box!  Let me know what you think of it!  It takes a village, that’s for sure! #Parentingwin






Raise them up Honest- 3 Must Know Tips

We all want honest kids!

Today my oldest and I were at the flea market!  Oh how we love to go to junk shopping!   I picked up several great pieces but the best find of the day was not in something I purchased but something I taught my daughter.

As we walked around the tiny isles, my 5-yr-old, who loves to touch everything; bumped into a table and caused a little ceramic squirrel to fall to the ground and break.  We were both immediately mortified.  My daughter because she thought she was going to be in trouble and me because I wondered how much this piece was going to cost me.  “Sorry mommy, sorry sorry sorry” she said over and over again almost in tears putting it back up on the table.

Squirrel ceramic figure

I quickly thought to myself, “what a great learning experience this will be.”  I explained to her that we needed to take the little squirrel up to the front and explain we broke it and pay for it.  She asked why since they would not know that it broke if we just put it back.  I let her know that it was an accident, we would not be in trouble, we had to take responsibility for our actions and be honest about what we did.   I explained that the little squirrel belonged to someone else who was trying to sell it and make a profit from selling it and it was now broken and we must pay for it or at least offer to.

talk to your kids about honesty

Sure, we could of just put it back on the shelf and walked away but kind of message would I of sent my daughter?  We walked up to the front and explained that “we” had accidentally broke it.  Luckily they only charged us $2 for the little squirrel and he got to come home with us.  My husband will fix him up and all will be well.  I hope my daughter will always remember that we chose to do the honest right thing today!

Raising honest kids is something that we should all strive to do.  Follow these 3 tips and you will be headed in the right direction!

Parents Lead by example

This is by far the most important thing you can do as a parent to teach your kids to be honest.  Your kids are always watching you and taking cues from you.  Just like the ceramic squirrel from above, if I would of just put it back, that would of taught my daughter, that was okay behavior when it’s not.  Be honest in all your doings whether it be at work, school, social settings, etc.  Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)

Surround your kids in Truth

Similar to the above tip, if they are surrounded in truth, then that is all they know.  Make your home a truthful place.  As adults, we understand the concept of a “little white lie” but kids do not. If someone calls and you don’t want to come to the phone, don’t tell you child to lie and say you are not home.  Simply have them say, “Mom, can’t come to the phone right now.”   If you want your child to miss school one day, don’t tell them that you are telling the teacher that they are sick. Simply let the school know your child will just be out for family reasons.  If you don’t like apples, tell your kids the real reason, don’t make up a reason.  Kids are smart, especially the older they get and if you are constantly surrounding them with “little white lies” they will think this is normal and okay and soon you will be at the receiving end of their “little white lies.”

Reward honest behavior

I am not saying go out and buy them a new toy when they are honest but lets face it, sometimes it is hard as heck to be honest.  You can reward them verbally!  “Did you leave the water running in the bathroom?”  “Did you get in trouble at school today?”  Sometimes it is really hard for our kids to answer yes to questions they know they are going to get in trouble for and they should be rewarded for telling the truth.  This will help teach them to be honest.  Next time instead of yelling or scolding them, try something like this, “Thank you so much for being honest, it helps me trust you!”  or  “I am glad you told me about getting in trouble at school, I know its not easy to tell me the truth sometimes but I am always so happy when you do.”  This will help encourage your child to tell you the truth even when they think they might get in trouble.  Give them a big hug next time for being honest, even if it comes with a punishment for whatever the crime was.

Good luck Mom!  Look for lessons in everyday life, they are there!  All the time!  In the meantime, go junk shopping!  You can find some great items!  Here’s mine from the squirrel day!


shabby chic home decor

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A Mothers Love for her Son: Why I will love him too much!

Since I have two daughters and much of my site is focused on raising girls, I wanted to feature a story about a Mother and Son!  Make sure you check out Cathy on A Boy and His Mom to read more about her!  Thanks for Sharing Cathy!

Why I will love him too much!

By Cathy Goodwin

Each day it seems I turn on the TV and there is yet another story of innocent lives lost. As I drive by the municipal buildings the flags are at half mast again, another reminder, that people don’t always love one another.  I then turn to Facebook and read an article about a young Mom who lost her young son that rocked me to my core.  Even weeks later it still has had a profound affect on me.

Since my son was born and especially since my divorce, I have often been criticized for doing too much for my son.  Buying him too many things, giving in to his wishes too often….for actually loving him too much.  First of all, any mother that has to share custody of their children will understand my need to want to make up for the lost time when he is at his father’s.  Any mother that has lost a child, I am sure would support me in my need to ensure every short moment we have together is not wasted.

I lost my twin sister when we were just about to turn 8 years old, so just getting my son to that age was very weighing on me.  In my mind, I just needed to get him to 8, and then I could breathe a sigh of relief; if just for a moment.

I know that Moms are supposed to support each other but I know that there is often a lot of criticism if your parenting ways are not the same as others.   However, I am willing to face the criticism to love my son too much.

I will:

Let him sleep with me at night if he wants.  Soon he will be old enough to not want to sleep with his Mom and those cuddles will be a thing of the past.

Let him have treats after dinner (obviously in moderation.) What’s the old saying “Life is too short, eat dessert first?”

mothers love for her son

Let him stay up late once and a while watching TV together.  Soon Mom won’t be cool enough to hang out with so I will let him enjoy these moments as much as I do.

Let him act overly silly and boisterous when he needs to and lett him be the kid he wants to be.

Take him on little trips and activities as often as I can.  I can’t afford week long vacations to Disney or the islands, so let’s enjoy what I can afford.


Attend every extracurricular, every practice, every school event because soon enough college/university will call and there won’t be any of these events.

Let him have some extra screen time and stay in his pajamas all day when  he just wants to have a lazy day.  As adults, we all know that life can move too fast and we all want some down time every one and a while.

let your kids play more

Keep all his art work (rivaling a hoarder) so that when he’s older I can look back and enjoy.

Buy him toys and little gifts when it’s not his birthday or Christmas or any holiday.  Just because I want to.

Smother him with hugs and kisses until he tells me to stop.  I don’t see him every day, so this Mom has to make up for lost time.

i love my son

And I will love him too much any way I know how because I am reminded day in and day out how short life can be and I don’t ever want to have that “if I only I showed him I loved him more” moment.

Want more parenting tips and articles?  Check out our Life as Mom page HERE!