Teaching Our Kids Optimism


If you could take small steps now to point your child toward a life which would likely include lower stress, better health, more confidence and a more positive outlook, would you be interested?

There benefits of optimism are shown over and over again.  Researchers like Martin Seligman have been studying optimists and pessimists for years, and they have found that an optimistic world view carries certain advantages.  One example:

In a study of 99 Harvard University students, those who were optimists at age 25 were significantly healthier at ages 45 and 60 than those who were pessimists.

There is much to say about the whole nurture or nature philosophy, and one I am learning about with children from 3 different sets of parents all under the same roof.  It is interesting to see how you can influence your child’s tendency toward an optimistic outlook or pessimistic thinking – I do truly believe optimism can be a learned behavior. [Read more…]

Summer Job Ideas



Welcome to the 30 Days of Summer – Go-To Guide for Moms!

Day Eighteen

Summer is here and it’s the perfect time for your teen to get a job.  This will be good preparation for their future role in the workplace.  It also teaches responsibility outside the home and gives your teen the opportunity to venture outside and learn more about themselves – and of course earn some extra spending money!

There were some technical difficulties with this episode and it did not record – sorry!  Please find the job topics below for those that I feel would be great first time jobs for kids.

Nanny/Mother’s Helper/Babysitting

This is a great first job – especially as a mother’s helper.  A child can go into a home while a parent it still present, but learn some valuable skills that can be carried into the future to babysit and become a nanny with more skills.


If your child loves to swim, grab the opportunity to take the life guarding test and use their love of swimming to have a fun job over the summer.

Lawn Mower/Yard Work

A great self-starter job.  Get some business cards made from a site like Vistaprint and set out on gaining a few customers to mow and do yard work for.

Car Washing

Another great self-starter job – gather supplies and go door to door in your neighborhood washing cars.

Craft Maker

Making craft items to sell either at the local farmer’s market or on ebay is a fun way to make some extra money and learn to manage money and customers.


Is your child successful in a particular subject?  Allow them to use that in a positive way to help other children excel.

Local Shop Help

Do you live in a small community?  Perhaps a local shop could use some help during the summer months and your chidl is the perfect fit.

Sports Instructor

I shared about this one in the 10 Strategies for a Successful Summer Action Guide – if your child is particularly good at a sport, why not offer to teach kids and or families that sport.  Tennis is a great example of one that could be shared with others and you could earn some extra money.

Camp Counselor

Does your church offer a summer camp your child could help at?  Or perhaps your local YMCA has one?  Look locally for opportunities for your child to get a job helping with other kids.

House Cleaning

Great life skills here – if your child likes to clean, help them find opportunities to use those skills to make some extra money.  Finding local friends/neighbors who are interested in allowing your child to hone their skills will give them confidence.

What are other summer job ideas?


Weekly Household Quick Tip


Tackling this daily task in the Weekly Household Planner for Saturday:

Kids straighten bedrooms

What’s the one room in your home where you just want to close the door and not look? For most families with kids, the answer to that is definitely the kids’ bedrooms. They are catch-alls for toys, games, clothes, school work, musical instruments, and everything else that kids seem to collect, no matter what their age.

Since we about to add even MORE to their rooms here with the coming of Christmas, I thought it would be a great to clear out the clutter now!

Here are some solid organizing tips to put in place to get started:


Overflowing dresser drawers and jam-packed closets not only contribute to clutter, but they make getting ready for school in the morning a real challenge. Keeping all that clothing organized might seem impossible, but a simple schedule can turn a day-long job into a quick task. [Read more…]

Kids and Allowance + {Flash Giveaway/closed}


How do you want your kids to learn to manage money?  Do you want them to wait to make any mistakes until they are older, making decisions for them to avoid any mishaps?  Or perhaps you would like them to make some mistakes with their money when the stakes are not too high?

I share today my thoughts on allowance, what I feel works, what we’ve done in our home in different seasons and I hope you will get more information to help you make the right decision regarding allowance for your family.

Some questions to keep in mind while listening and determining your plan of action:

1) What am I trying to teach my child by giving allowance?
2) Do I think chores need to be tied into the allowance or is that separate?
3) What is a reasonable amount for their age? When do I start?
4) Will this make your life more complicated or less complicated?

Listen to internet radio with Susan Heid on Blog Talk Radio

Crystal Pain of Money Saving Mom has done it again!  I know, she is one busy lady, just releasing her “21 Days to a More Disciplined Life” only a few weeks ago – she now has released a Christmas eBook too.  I’ve had to joy of looking it over and reading a few of the topics, like – planning your budget, decorating on a dime, creative gifts, teaching children to be givers and of course, my favorite – giving yourself GRACE!  Get yours for only $.99 for 3 days only!   You can enter to win your own copy for FREE today – this is a FLASH giveaway – ending at midnight 11/13/12.  Leave a comment below and be entered to win!
Winner:  Jodi




What tips do you have for navigating allowance?

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The Art of Actively Listening


Communicating with our children can be a difficult task at times.  We feel like they’re not listening to us; they feel like we’re not listening to them – it is a crazy cycle.

Good listening and communications skills are essential to successful parenting.  Your child’s feelings, views and opinions have worth, and you should make sure you take the time to sit down and listen openly and discuss them honestly.

I shared a bit about the importance of open communication and finding the times during our busy days to connect with our kids in my Back 2 School Survival Guide.  We often miss opportunities which are right in front of our eyes just because we think we don’t have the time to stop or that it doesn’t matter.  Be intentional when it comes to grabbing those moments when your child wants to share with you.  This is even more critical as your children enter the tween/teen years!

You can learn a lot about our kids when we take the time to just ‘be’ with them and truly hear them, we just need to keep a few things in mind.

Respond – Not React

It seems to be a natural tendency to react rather than to respond.  This seems to be automatically how we are wired – especially for those of us who struggle with being inpatient and with the inability to pause in the midst of conflict. We pass judgment based on our own feelings and experiences.  However, responding means being receptive to our child’s feelings and emotions and allowing them to express themselves openly and honestly without fear of repercussion from us.  [Read more…]