Teaching Kids About Sharing

Even from a very early age, teaching your children the importance of sharing is a valuable lifelong lesson. Sharing really is caring and shows friends, family and even strangers that you appreciate them and want to give what you are able to. Here are a few examples of how to show your kids to share and why it’s a wonderful lesson.


Kids can become possessive over their toys and want everything to be “mine”. Explain to your kids that by sharing, playing can be even more fun. Sharing with siblings or friends can be a great way for your child to learn more about their toys and different ways to use them. In return, their siblings and friends may share their toys with your kids, so everyone gets double (or more) the toys to play with! Encourage swapping toys your kids have grown tired of with toys their friends are no longer interested in. Another positive way to share is to donate a toy each holiday season or birthday to a shelter or toy drive for kids in need.


Hand-me-downs are one way to share clothing, but you can make your child part of the process too. Instead of buying every trendy piece of clothing, consider taking your child with another parent with a child of the same size to go shopping together. Agree upon sharing what you buy, so you only need to purchase half what you would have otherwise. Encourage tweens and teens to raid one another’s closets and try each other’s clothing. Be sure it’s cleaned before you return. Again, the most important way to share is with those less fortunate. Take your child to a clothing drive with some items she no longer wants or is willing to give up. Seeing the gratitude on other’s faces will enforce how powerful sharing can be.


Sharing food is sharing love. By sharing at mealtime, kids will learn patience and the importance of eating mindfully. Kids can share at restaurants by splitting a main dish (which is usually too big for kids anyhow). Sharing is also a good way to introduce new foods into your child’s usual diet. Kids can share snacks at lunchtime and snack time. It is fun for kids to trade ½ their sandwich so they can taste new foods. Sharing canned food with food pantries is a great lesson to teach kids about those in need and what they can do to make a difference in other’s lives.

How do you teach your child to share? Share with us. Now go ahead and share this article with someone! Read more info like this at All My Children.


By: Melissa A. Kay

Smarter Fast Food Choices

Although it may not always be our ideal meal choice, sometimes fast food is the way to go on a hectic day or for a special treat. Most fast food menu options are notoriously not too good for us, nutritionally speaking, but there are some options that are pretty healthful and can be part of a balanced diet. The next time you pull through the drive-thru, suggest one of the following items to your kids. They’ll be thrilled to get fast food and you’ll be happy to know they are eating something you can feel good about giving them.

Apple Slices

Lots of fast food places are offering apple slices in place of greasy French fries in their kids’ meal packs. Apples are a great source of vitamins and fiber and most kids like the fun shapes the fast food restaurants cut their apples into. They often come with a small container of dipping sauce that tastes great to kids. Teach your kids that it is OK to eat fries now and then, but apples are great for their bodies and are equally tasty. The apples make for a great dessert option as well. As they say… “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, and now you can find ‘em at your local fast food place!

Grilled Chicken

Many kids love chicken nuggets and fried chicken sandwiches, but all that extra oil used in frying is of little benefit to the body. The great taste of grilled chicken paired with its punch of protein is just as satisfying as fried chicken and is so much better for us. Nearly every fast food joint offers grilled chicken sandwich options and some even have grilled chicken strips and salads. Once you get your child used to the texture and flavor options of grilled chicken, they won’t even miss the fried variety. Explain that chicken, in general, is a nutritious food choice, but it all depends upon how it’s prepared. Go light on the sauce to make it even healthier.

Yogurt Parfaits

Sure, thick milkshakes, ice cream sundaes and mini pies are scrumptious, but all those calories and fat are no way to top off a fast food meal. Many fast food establishments have a healthy yogurt parfait option on their menu, chock full of low-fat yogurt, diced fruit and a bit of granola. This sweet treat is not only tasty, but it is a smart snack choice at the fast food restaurant. Teach your kids that treats are for special occasions and they can satisfy their sweet tooth with something that is actually good for them, like the parfait instead. Some fast food places also offer low-fat frozen yogurt as an alternative to milkshakes and ice cream as well. Bonus? The parfaits won’t melt!
*If you are keeping kosher, go for the parfait when you aren’t headed out for a meat-based meal.


Salad sounds like a healthy option, but not all fast food restaurant salads are all that good for you. Many places pile on creamy, high-fat dressings, fried chicken, loads of cheese, fried tortilla strips and other high-fat and calorie options that don’t make for a healthy salad. When choosing a salad for yourself or the kids, ask for a low-fat dressing or dressing on the side so you can use just a little. Select grilled chicken vs. fried. Keep the crouton count to just a few. Make sure the salad is full of greens and other colorful veggies and not just a big container of iceberg lettuce. This way, you can show your child what a healthy salad looks like and that all salads aren’t created equal.

Now, go ahead and enjoy your next fast food meal without the guilt!

What are your favorite healthier fast food meals? For more info like this, please visit All My Children blogs.


By: Melissa A. Kay


Money Mistakes New Parents Make And What To Do About Them

Money Mistakes New Parents Make And What To Do About Them

There’s a lot to learn when you’re new to the parenting game and one aspect that’s often

overlooked is the adjustment that must be made to your family budget when that little

bundle of joy comes along. Remember, as rookie parents you need to pay attention to

your finances like never before because even the smallest misstep can compound and cost

you in the long run.


Ignoring A Drop In Income

First and foremost, you need to be practical which is hard when you’ve just brought that

new baby home and want make sure they have everything. Still, there’s bound to be a

drop in income even temporarily and you just can’t afford to ignore that hard fact. There

will almost certainly be a cash-flow pinch because maternity leave doesn’t often cover

100% of your previous income. While many new parents have a ‘spend now and pay

later’ mentality, it’s important to stay frugal so you’ll be used to penny pinching later on.

Take a look at your existing budget to see where you can cut down on things you enjoyed

before baby came along like movies and perhaps even charitable donations.


Over Fitting the Nursery

Overzealousness can be a big issue when it comes to new parents trying to find their

financial footing. Often parents wind up with a nursery full of the things that want and

that list doesn’t necessarily coincide with the items they need. Here you need to be a little

discerning and make sure you can distinguish between the wish and need categories.

That’s not to say you can’t splurge on one or two big ticket items, but most of the items

that will fill that special room can be bought on the cheap, or better yet, even borrowed.


Ignoring the pratfalls of credit

Credit cards in particular can be very enticing for new parents that don’t want to wait for

what they consider to be the essentials like a new running stroller, but they should really

understand the deal they are making with the credit card companies before they satisfy

their immediate desires with plastic.


Cycle of Debt

There’s a shocking number of Americans (up to 48% according to some research) that

only pay the minimum amount on their credit card balances. By using their credit cards

irresponsibly, these people can get trapped in a never-ending cycle of debt where it

takes years to pay off what you owe. Remember, carrying a balance on these cards is

in effect mortgaging part of the control of your family’s financial future to the credit

card companies. The solution isn’t to do away with the cards altogether, but have a plan

to bring the balance down by making more than just the minimum payments over a

reasonable amount of time.

Overall, new parents that want to be financially responsible should adopt a budgeting

process and be frugal money managers.


For more interesting articles like this, visit All My Children Daycare.

Author: Rob Starr

Different Parenting Styles And How They Affect Your Child

Different Parenting Styles And How They Affect Your Child

Quite often because they’ve been raised by different parents themselves who had

different styles of raising children , today’s new parents often disagree on how to bring

their offspring up. This is nothing new to experts in the field, who have long been

suggesting there are three general categories parenting styles fall under.


• Permissive: Where there are few guidelines or hard and fast rules since parents

don’t want their children upset.

• Authoritarian: Here the parent sets down a definite set of benchmarks the child

needs to be obedient to.

• Authoritative parenting which is more or less a hybrid that blends a gentle tone

with a set of clear limits on behavior.


Psychologist Diana Baumrind is considered a pioneer on the subject and it was her

studies on 100 preschool-age children in 1967 that laid the groundwork for the modern

templates used today. Along with the three categories of parenting, Baumrind furthered

there were dimensions that were blended in. These included various disciplinary

strategies, communication styles, warmth and nurturance capabilities and finally the

expectations of maturity and control parents had of their children.

Baumrind’s studies were the foundation for numerous others and today parents have a

body of research to look to when deciding which parenting styles best suit their children.

Research over the years has found that:


• Permissive parenting creates children that are unhappy and don’t have a lot of

the self regulation that’s needed to do well in school. These children often have

ongoing problems with authority.


• The child that’s grown up under an authoritarian system has some advantages and

drawbacks. For example, they tend to be proficient and obedient but are lacking in

self esteem, social competence and happiness.


• Authoritative parenting often results in children that are the most well rounded

and capable according to research conducted by Maccoby in 1992.


So, parents that blend these styles don’t need to be at odds with each other. There are

ways to get around the different approaches that can actually lessen friction between

Mom and Dad. First and foremost, you need to keep any disagreements out of the little

one’s ear shot. All the professionals in the field agree that arguing in front of your

children over different parenting styles can be highly destructive and thwart the original

intentions of bettering their behavior.

Remember that counselling is a great way to arrive at a template that will be equitable for

everyone involved. This will help both parents to understand how their own upbringing

will drive their current parenting focus. Although authoritative parenting clearly has some

advantages that are of benefit, other factors like culture and a variety of social influences

can mix together to create a myriad of hybrid parenting styles. In the end, there is really

no universal style of parenting that has blanket approval from all the professionals in the

field so parents need to be flexible and willing to work with each other.


For more interesting articles like this, visit All My Children Daycare.

Author: Rob Starr

3 Ways to Teach Kids to Be Thankful

While we always instill the message of giving thanks around the holidays and Thanksgiving, it’s important to teach our kids to be thankful for what they have all the time. We all have those times when we focus on what we want or don’t have rather than being grateful for the blessings we already do. Kids will benefit from realizing this message at an early age. It helps them grow into compassionate adults and understand that we all have so very much to be thankful for.


Extended Family

Perhaps your child is always asking for a baby brother or sister or wonders why his friend has so many cousins but he only has two. Here’s a chance to teach your kids to be thankful for the family they do have in their life. Having tons of relatives is just as great as having only a few. The love shared is all the same in the end. Bigger can sometimes be better, but not necessarily. You can explain to your kids that with a small family, they get more time devoted to them. Closer bonds can be formed. If you have it the other way around, and your child feels he’s lost in the mix of dozens of cousins and many siblings, remind him that he’ll never be alone and will always have a family member to turn to in good times and in bad. The grass is green on both sides – it all depends on how you look at it. Any family is a family to be thankful for!



Friends are always a blessing. Whether your child is wildly popular and has dozens of pals or is more of a loner and only has one or two close companions, friendships are relationships to be thankful for. You can take this chance to explain to your child that a true friend doesn’t care what you look like, how much you have or where you come from. When kids learn that friendship can be found all around them, love is everywhere. Remind them that their family members are their friends too. Neighbors can be friends. Even pets can be wonderful companions. With all the chances your child will have to meet new people and form new friendships over the years, it’s truly something to look forward to and be thankful for. Remind your child to be a good friend too, and to treat his peers with respect and gratitude.


The next time your child complains about what you’ve served them for lunch or dinner (which he surely will) remind him that any food is nutrition to be thankful for. Many families around the world struggle every day to put food on the table. This isn’t a time to make your child feel badly, but a chance to teach him to be grateful for the food your family has. It’s also an opportunity to find ways to help those less fortunate, whether it’s by participating in a food drive or volunteering at a soup kitchen. Another way to teach your child to appreciate food is to grow vegetables together and cook meals as a family. It will help your child appreciate where food comes from and the effort it takes to make a meal. Preparing meals together is a great bonding experience too.


How do you teach your kids to be thankful? We’d love to hear about it! For more articles like this, please visit All My Children Daycare.

By: Melissa A. Kay

Teaching Young Kids to Start Helping With Chores

It’s important to teach kids, even at a very young age that helping out around the house is a necessary contribution. That said, chores don’t have to be a bore or something to dread. You can show your children that housework and working as a family team can be enjoyable and rewarding. Here are 3 ways to teach kids to participate in chores that will give them invaluable tools they’ll use for a lifetime.

Toys Away

Sure, kids love taking out their toys and leaving them wherever they wind up, but putting them away is another story. Even toddlers can learn to put away toys after they are done playing with them. Make tidying up fun by creating a toy chest that can become part of playtime. You can turn a small laundry basket into a “home” or “bed” for stuffed animals by placing a tiny pillow and blanket inside for the stuffed animals to snuggle with. You can even leave one larger stuffed animal inside the “home” and when it’s time to put the toys away, you can tell your child that the animals need to go back with their “mommy” (the larger stuffed toy). This way, your child will find the clean up to be part of playtime! This lesson will follow your child as they get older and need to keep their room mess-free.

Help with the Table and Dishes

Depending on your child’s age, there is always something to do when it comes time to set or clean the table or do the dishes. Little children can help set the table by handing out napkins and plates (if you are using paper plates). Older kids can set the entire table and help with loading the dishwasher or drying dishes. You can turn setting the table into a creative activity for the kids by allowing them to design seating cards to match your dining set. The kids will look forward to setting a pretty table. You can teach the kids teamwork by creating a dish “assembly line” where each person has a specific task, where the first child washes the items, one kid dries the plates, the next kid puts it into the cabinet, etc. Learning how to set a table and properly care for dishware are useful chores that the kids will need to use later in life. If they realize it can be fun, they’ll look forward to doing it on their own as they get older. One day, they’ll be inviting you to dinner!

Helping with Pets

Lots of kids beg their parents for a new cat or dog (or another family pet), but there’s more to owning a pet than the love your kids will readily supply. It takes a lot of discipline and care to have a furry, feathered or finned addition to the family. It’s a great opportunity to teach your kids how to care for a pet by assuring they help in the well-being, feeding, walking, grooming, etc. the pet will surely need. Depending upon your child’s age, there is definitely something they can do to help in the care of the pet. Small kids can help with scooping food into the pet’s bowl and making sure the water is fresh. Older kids can walk the pet. Kids can take turns cleaning up after the pet, grooming duties, etc. Caring for a pet is not only beneficial for the pet, but it will teach your child to have compassion and tenderness, and that pets are not playthings – they are living beings that need to be treated as well as they’d treat humans.

What chores do your kids do? How do you make it fun? Let us know what your household is like. For more information like this, please visit All My Children blogs.


By: Melissa A. Kay

Art-Themed Birthday Parties

Being creative and exploring the arts is a great way for kids to develop new skills and talents while having fun doing so. Break away from the same old birthday party themes and go for an art-themed party for your kid’s next birthday. The kids will have a blast doing something new and will have their very own creation to take home once the party’s over! Check out these three fun artsy ideas…
Painting Class

A painting class birthday party is great for almost any age since the level of difficulty can be geared toward the group. There are many businesses which cater to such parties, or you can host one yourself. The party/class leader will supply easels and paper to each child along with a variety brushes and non-toxic paint sets. It’s a good idea to have a main theme, a set-up to use as a model to base the painting off of, or the kids can paint whatever comes to mind. I suggest a theme that the birthday boy or girl picks, such as the circus, pets or music. Play some inspiring background tunes as the kids paint away. A clever goodie bag gift for a painting party is a frame for the kids to display their art or some colorful hooks to hang it up at home. Another giveaway idea is a set of watercolor paints and brushes so the kids can continue their painting fun when they get home.

Jewelry or Safety Box Decorating

Kids love to have their own special hideaway for their prized possessions. A box decorating party is a unique way for the kids to personalize jewelry boxes or special boxes for small toys, special mementos, and other things kids like to keep safely stowed away. Each child can get a small wooden box which comes with a small lock and key for keeping whatever they put inside safe and sound. Seat the kids around a few small tables and on each, place out dishes of shiny rhinestones, colored buttons, bows, small metal letters and other small trinkets the kids can glue to their boxes after they paint or stain the wood and it dries. Be sure to use non-toxic paints and glue for the party for safety. Give each kid a special keychain for their box key as a party takeaway. Their special creation will be treasured for a long time to come and will always remind them of your child’s special birthday party.

Sneaker Art

Before a sneaker art party, find out the size of each attendee’s foot and purchase low-priced canvas sneakers in their size. Give the kids a variety of puffy paints, sparkly markers, colorful laces and sequins and rhinestones to clue onto the sneakers. The kids can decorate their pair however they like and can even write their names on their sneakers. You can even suggest the parents collect the shoes their kid wears to the party so each child can head home proudly in their new sneaker creations. Hand out extra laces and spiffy socks as goody bag gifts. The kids will run home in original style and will look forward to showing off their new kicks at school or camp!

Note: This type of party can be done with canvas baseball caps or T-Shirts too.

Is your kid a little artist in the making? Have you tried an art-themed birthday party? What did you choose to do with the kids? See more ideas like these at All My Children.

By: Melissa A. Kay

Day Trips in Your Own Hometown

A little time away with the family is important for your relationships and to show the kids what the world has to offer. Fancy vacations and long getaways are not necessary to have a fun time with your loved ones. You can take a simple day trip in your own community, making the most of what your town or nearby bigger city has going on. Here are four ideas for spending time with family on a day trip excursion. They are all great ways to give your kids an appreciation of culture, learning and they’ll see there’s more to fun than video games and television!


Bookstore Reading

Many local bookstores have reading groups for kids where the author comes to the store to make an appearance and reads their book aloud to young fans. What a nice way to incorporate the joy of reading into an educational and memorable day! Oftentimes, the author will sign autographs and take photos with the kids. Check out the events calendar at your local bookstores and libraries for upcoming appearances. Your kids will be even more eager to read when they get to meet the author and other book-loving families at the bookstore! Finish the day at the bookstore coffee shop for some hot cocoa and snacks.



There are many museums geared towards children or with special kid-friendly exhibits. A day at the museum is like a little getaway into a world of new findings and interesting things to learn about. Kids love “touch” museums where you are allowed to feel the exhibits and get hands-on with the pieces and sculptures. Art museums often have kids’ sections where the art is actually made by kids. See if there are any classes your kids can attend to create a masterpiece themselves! Natural history museums are always a hit with dinosaur bones, wild animal exhibits and pre-historic men and women. The kids will be having such a blast, they won’t even realize how much knowledge they’re absorbing!


Cooking Class

Kids love to participate in cooking and baking, and with a kids’ cooking class, they can do just that. Lots of community centers, religious institutions and cooking schools hold classes just for kids based on age and kitchen experience. Kids can learn to bake pies, create pasta specialties, broil a roasted chicken and decorate chocolate candies. Who knows what your mini-chef will learn to cook? Cooking and baking teach mathematics (for recipe amounts), patience, teamwork and nutrition. The bonus? A delicious treat to taste test at the end of the day. What a great mini-vacation as a day in the life of a chef!


Botanical Garden

Explore the beauty of nature with a day trip to a botanical garden. The kids will love seeing all the varieties of plants and flowers and will learn all about how they grow and where they thrive. It’s amazing to see little faces light up when they smell all the glorious scents and see flowers and plants they have never seen before from every country. A trip to a botanical garden is not only fun, but it gives kids an appreciation of the world around us and the care it takes to handle delicate plants and flowers. You may even have a future florist on your hands!

Have you taken a fun day trip with the kids? Where’d you go? We would love to hear more kid-friendly ideas. Read more info like this at All My Children Daycare.


By: Melissa A. Kay

Stuttering and Toddlers: What You Need To Know

Stuttering and Toddlers: What You Need To Know

You might not be surprised to learn that stuttering or stammering isn’t uncommon in

toddlers between the ages of two to five. In fact, these little blips that can take the form

of a repeated sound or a syllable at the beginning of a word (li-li-like) or a complete

break in speech coupled with fillers like ‘uh’ or ‘umm’, are thought to be your child’s

mental processing abilities racing ahead of their ability to make sentences in normally

developing children.


Boys are more likely to need to work through this often frustrating aspect of growing

up than girls and the prolongation of certain sounds like “ssssee” can be frustrating for

Mom and Dad as they watch their little ones struggle. Experts suggest you can listen for

a rise in pitch in your child’s voice that accompanies repetitions—it generally means

they’ve experienced a block where there’s no airflow for several seconds, and use that as

a springboard to get involved and foster the kind of slow and relaxed speech Mr. Rogers

was famous for. You’ll want to talk slowly around your child but not so much so that it

sounds forced and abnormal.


It’s also suggested you take some time each day to give your toddler your undivided

attention so you can listen to the way they talk. Their struggles may be evident in the

facial muscles around the mouth. When they ask you a question, remember to take a few

seconds before you answer so slow and unhurried speech becomes the template they get

used to.


Positive Attitude

It’s also best if you don’t get annoyed when your toddler suffers with mild stuttering.

A calm and positive attitude will foster the same in your child and this is critical since

effortless, relaxed repetitions are the best way for any child to move through this phase.

However, there can come a time when parents might need to take their toddlers’ stuttering

more seriously and even consider getting some help from a specialist. Some general

benchmarks indicating this might be the case includes stuttering more than 10% of

the time, changing words completely to avoid stuttering, or an excessive amount of

frustration or tension when trying to get the words out.


Six Months

Statistics tell us that one in 20 children will develop a stutter that lasts for more than six

months and, although that’s not necessarily the timeframe where there’s an issue, parents

who are concerned can have their toddlers evaluated by a qualified speech-language

pathologist (SLP).


Stuttering has a few causes that need to be taken into account. A family history can be a

deciding factor in whether you want to pursue professional help and children who have

issues in other areas of speech development are more likely to have issues in this area as

well. Neurophysiology is another factor since for some children, language gets processed

in different parts of the brain and this might interfere in the necessary alignment with the

muscles controlling speech.

For more interesting articles like this, visit All My Children Daycare.

Author: Rob Starr

Breakfast and Snack Smoothies the Whole Family Will Love

Smoothies are a great way to start the day or to enjoy as a mid-day or evening snack. They are so easy to prepare and can help teach kids about the importance of adding fruit and other healthy ingredients into our diets and how to carefully chop and dice foods if they are old enough to do so. Working with kids in the kitchen is also a creative way to teach them about teamwork and patience. Plus, you’ll wind up with a tasty drink that makes the time together all the better. Check out these 4 smoothie ideas you won’t be able to resist!

Berry Protein Power Smoothie

We could all use more fruit in our diets with their array of important vitamins, fiber and nutrients, and protein keeps our bellies full and muscles powered up. As you make this smoothie, you can teach your kids which vitamins are in the fruits and why it’s important to eat an array of colors of the rainbow. A berry smoothie is a favorite and is very simple to whip up. Make 2 servings by combining 1 cup of blueberries, 1 cup of raspberries (both can be either fresh or frozen), 1 medium banana cut into small slices, ½ cup of milk, skim milk, soy milk, or almond milk, 1 cup of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt, and 4-5 ice cubes in a blender. Blend until the consistency is thick, but smooth. Pour into tall glasses and you’re ready to sip away!

Nut Butter Chocolate Smoothie

Note: If you or your child is allergic to peanuts, do not use peanut butter for this recipe. You can use sunflower butter, almond butter, soy butter, or another nut butter which your family enjoys. Teach your kids that nut butters can be a good source of protein for their growing bodies. For this yummy recipe which will also make 2 servings, combine 4 tablespoons of nut butter, 1 cup of any type of milk, 3 tablespoons of sweetened cocoa powder, 1 sliced up medium banana, 4-5 ice cubes, and 1/8 cup of chocolate syrup in a blender and blend until thick and smooth. Pour it up and enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Pie Smoothie

There’s nothing like that homey feeling of apples and cinnamon, and now you can get that sensation in a cool smoothie. Make 2 servings of this mouth-watering and healthy drink with the kids. Take 2 apples and peel and dice them. Let the kids peel the apples if they are old enough. In a blender, combine the diced apples, 1 cup of soy milk (or another type of milk if you do not use soy), 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, ½ cup applesauce, 4-5 ice cubes, and 4 crushed honey graham crackers. Blend until smooth and frothy. You’ll wonder why you haven’t been drinking your apple pie all along!

Creamsicle Smoothie

We all love that childhood favorite creamsicle ice pop, but you can make your own healthier version in the form of a smoothie. Be sure to teach the kids about the importance of the vitamin C in the oranges you’ll use in this recipe. To make 2 servings, combine 1 large peeled orange, all seeds removed and sectioned, ½ cup orange juice, one sliced banana, 1 cup whole milk (or another type of milk if you prefer not to use whole), 2 tablespoons honey, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and 4-5 ice cubes in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy and enjoy this citrus pleaser!

Have you created a delicious smoothie with the kids? What is your favorite kind? For more info like this, visit All My Children Daycare.

By: Melissa A. Kay