Emancipation and the Older Teen

Q: A little more than a year ago, our 18-year-old daughter moved to Nashville, Tenn., (completely at our expense) to be a member of a ballet company. After a year of that, she decided to go to school full time, but stay in Nashville at our expense (we pay the rent for her apartment). Then she wanted to move to a more expensive apartment, to which we said no. She ended up going to my brother-in-law for a co-signer (and we don’t have a good relationship with this person, which she well knows).

Topping it off, this past weekend when we were visiting her in Nashville, she said some very hurtful things (and this after we gave her a smartphone!). We ended the visit by giving her the option of coming home and going to school with our financial help or staying in Nashville on her own. She handed us our car keys and walked away. I feel we did the right thing, but it has almost literally broken my heart. How do we proceed?

Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A: I’m sorry you’re hurting because of her choices and words. Knowing you did the right thing is cold comfort but sometimes, that’s what we have to deal with when making tough parenting decisions. Unfortunately, kids of all ages aren’t known for saying, “Gee, thanks, Mom and Dad. You’re right.”

As to proceeding, she’s made it clear that she’s going to do what she’s going to do–without your assistance. So you’re left with two choices: continue financially supporting her (and taking her attitude as she bites the hand that feeds her) OR cut off financial assistance (and be prepared for her attitude to worsen). Either way, you are not going to change her heart attitude towards you. That’s only something she can do. All you can do is decide what you’re willing to pay (literally) for her choices.

If you do decide to slash the financial apron strings, tell her that you heard her loud and clear and that from now on, you will not be paying her bills. Inform her that she must figure out what to do about her smartphone because in 30 days, you will remove her from your plan and her phone will be due to you (unless she ponies up the cost of the phone. Ditto on car insurance and any other bill you are currently paying. If your brother-in-law chooses to help her out by co-signing her lease, that’s his affair–and you shouldn’t let that influence your relationship with him.

Then simply love her. Call her, text her, write her. Let her know you care without harping on her choices. She’s a grown woman now and wanting to live independently—and that’s a good thing. While you would rather she choose a less difficult path, she has picked her own way. It’s up to you as her parents to be available yet silent (for the most part) as she makes her way alone in the world. To me, that’s the hardest thing a parent does but it also can be the most rewarding at times, especially when we see our children rise to the occasion. She might just surprise you and turn out all right despite a rocky beginning.

Educating a Child’s Palate

For years, I thought I didn’t like salad or yellow squash in particular. Frankly, most vegetables left me cold, but since eating them was required, I ate them. Rarely did I ask for seconds of green beans, cauliflower or broccoli, though.

Fast forward to college, when I left my relatively small hometown and ventured to first Georgia and then Missouri—not exactly hotbeds of culinary delights, but each place boasted a unique introduction to new foods, along with vegetables prepared in different ways. The first salad I had that didn’t contain mostly iceberg lettuce smothered in Thousand Island dressing was an eye-opening experience. Hey, this green stuff tasted great!

Nothing against my mother’s cooking (when I reminiscence with anyone who grew up when I did, and our stories of vegetables cooked within an inch of its life are nearly identical), but there was a whole, wide world out there that prepared and ate vegetables much different than I had—and I liked it. A lot.

As parents, it can be a challenge to get kids to eat their vegetables—and sometimes, even like them. We know the importance of establishing healthy eating habits when they’re young because we want them to have good eating habits when they are on their own.

We can—and should—have a hand in helping our kids cultivate a wide palate when it comes to vegetables. Thankfully, we live in a day and age where we can offer a good variety of vegetables and can easily find many recipes incorporating those veggies.

Image courtesy of marin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of marin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For some concrete ways to help your child overcome her picky-eater tendencies, try these five ideas.

The one-bite rule. At dinner (as this is the most likely time a picky eater balks), give the child literally a tablespoon or less of each dish on the table. Once the child has eaten that, he may have seconds of anything on the table.

  1. Have the child help prepare at least one meal per week (planning it, shopping, cooking). Stipulations should be that it has to be a well-balanced meal (i.e., not pizza and hotdogs, but pizza and a fresh salad or hot dogs and two veggie dishes), but other than that, let the child guide the menu.
  1. Offer a “no-thank-you” clause. Once a year, let the child pick a vegetable that the child doesn’t have to eat that entire year. For example, New Year’s Day is the time when my kids choose their “no-thank-you” veggie (selections this year include potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes). When the chosen veggie is served, the child who picked it doesn’t have to eat that one food item. But the catch is that the child must eat at least a bite of any other veggie or food served—or the picked veggie is back on her menu.
  1. Connect to the source. Community supported agriculture (farm shares), farmer’s market, a vegetable garden out back—all of these ways bring veggies directly to the child from the ground level. Visit the farm, stop by the farmer’s market and rope the kids into planting their own “patch” of ground to get them interested in seeing how things grow. Vegetables grown this way are not as uniform or clean as the ones in the store, which can really spur interest. Also, when a child grows an eggplant from a tiny seed, he’s much more likely to want to taste the fruits of his labor.
  1. Fix each vegetable a few different ways. Your kid might not like steamed zucchini, but perhaps sautéed with a yogurt sauce might taste better. Remember, kids need more than one exposure to a new item before they start to consider whether they like it or not. They might say they don’t like X veggie, but served in a different way, they might just find they’ve acquired a taste for it after all.

While there’s no magic bullet for getting kids to like veggies, these ideas will help ensure they at least eat them most of the time.

Until next time,




Preschooler’s Behavior Deteriorates After Baby Brother’s Arrival

Q: My 3½-year-old gets resentful over attention to her 6-month-old brother, especially the attention I give the baby. She doesn’t like that he doesn’t “get into trouble” and that he can “get away” with things she can’t do, like yell, throw food, refuse to sleep, wet her pants, etc. She keeps repeating, “But brother can do it because he’s a baby.”

She’s also started scaring him by yelling “boo!” or sings/talks loudly to him. I’m not sure how to correct her behavior without encouraging sibling rivalry. When he first came home from the hospital, she loved on him so much. But now she’s been acting up, misbehaving and getting into more trouble. Honestly, she’s making it hard to act loving towards her! What can I do to ensure the two of them do not become rivals?

A: Take heart in that her behavior, while annoying, is perfectly normal. She’s been the queen bee in your home for three years, so naturally, she’s going to resent someone taking away your attention. But that doesn’t mean she gets a pass on bad behavior.

So what to do? First, make sure she has chores to do around the house, such as helping with trash, setting the table, wiping up spills, etc. The more things she can do to be a part of the family, the more she’ll feel a part of the family.

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Second, guide her in interactions with her baby brother. For example, ask her to help you feed her brother (maybe only a bite or two at the beginning). Ask her to hand him toys or bring you diapers. Say to her frequently, “Oh, look at how Baby smiles at you when you make that silly face!” and “Would you read to Baby one of your favorite books?”

Third, remind her of all the things she can do that Baby cannot, such as stay up later, not take as many naps, walk, read, etc. Mention her favorite things and make it sound as if Baby’s the one missing out (all in your tone of voice!), such as “Isn’t it too bad that Baby can’t do X and you can?” That will help remind her that being 3 has its advantages over being a baby.

Fourth, try not to over-correct her when she’s interacting with Baby. Saying “Boo!” and singing very loudly isn’t going to hurt the Baby, really. Redirect her by asking her to sing to the baby. Make it a game by asking her to sing very loudly, then very softly, and ask her to see which tone she thinks Baby likes better. Teach her how to watch his facial expressions to figure it out.

Fifth, don’t use the baby as an excuse to do or not do things. For example, don’t say, “When Baby wakes up, we’ll go to the park.” Instead, say, “We’ll go to the park at X time.” That helps her not to view Baby as the one who’s spoiling her fun.

Finally, remember that she’s adjusting too. When he was smaller, he didn’t seem quite so threatening but now that he’s bigger and probably beginning to move around more, she’s not so sure how to interact or handle his crying and outbursts, etc.


Six Things Reality TV Can Teach Us

Image courtesy of Ohmega1982/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ohmega1982/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Unless you live in a cave, you can’t avoid seeing one reality TV show or another. Whether it’s the antics of the Kardashians or the cut-throat world of Shark Tank, we have become avid viewers of “real life” as played out on our screens. And I readily admit to having watched my share of reality television, albeit in its early infancy.

In our house, I try not to cringe too much when my tween daughters clamor to watch American Idol. We rarely watch television, and without cable or satellite, our options are more limited than many of their peers. But American Idol is fairly safe in terms of content, and by watching with our kids, we can talk about the show.

While viewing AI the other day with my daughters, I realized reality TV had some good lessons for parents and kids.

  1. Give honest, yet kind, feedback. If American Idol has taught us anything, it’s that parents need to be honest with their children about their talents. Telling a teen that she can sing when her notes usually veer off into outer space isn’t kind—it’s actually rather cruel. We shouldn’t puff up our teens with dreams of stardom, but instead encourage the hard work that goes along with becoming proficient and perhaps even excellent.
  1. Provide a reality check. Contestants on these reality TV shows aren’t really showing us their true selves—everything’s been edited for maximum drama and to fit into a preconceived “story arc” narrative. Reminding our kids that reality doesn’t mean real can help them to have a more balanced view of life in general. On shows with a “winner,” we often hear contestants who are cut saying things as if their world has ended. At those points, it’s good to talk with our kids about the fact that winning isn’t everything, and that there is a lot more to life than being number one. In other words, if they don’t win, it’s truly not the end of the world.
  1. Ground them in the things that really matter. Fame is a fickle mistress and money doesn’t buy happiness. The more we talk about what’s important in life—family, friends, faith, health—and put those words into action with our choices as a family, the more that message will override the one that reality TV all too often shows our kids: That pursuit of wealth and fame is a good thing to which one should aspire.
  1. Snarkiness might make good television, but it makes lousy friends. Sarcasm, cynicism, and snappy comebacks can become a reality TV show’s goldmine in terms of viewers, but in real life, having such an attitude won’t win you many friends. Pointing out to our children see the benefits to kindness, compassion and honesty is essential to their developing a good conscious and a positive outlook on life.
  1. Hard work has real rewards. The idea that we can get something for nothing is very tempting to many of us, but we shouldn’t cultivate that desire within ourselves. Unfortunately, these reality TV shows can create a feeling of discontentment in our hearts that make us want things for which we haven’t worked. We should instill in our children that working hard is good for us, and that a job well done is its own reward. One easy way to accomplish this is to assign chores to every child—but don’t pay them for their regular contributions to the family.
  1. Life isn’t fair. Things happen beyond our control and sometimes that means we don’t get our heart’s desire at that moment. But life is full of ups and downs, and the more we help our children handle the ups as well as the downs by allowing them to sink or swim on their own, the more we equip them to face life with purpose and equity. Life isn’t fair, but that doesn’t mean we have to despair. It just means we pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and start all over again.

So the next time you tune in a reality TV program, look for the hidden lessons—and be sure to pass those along to your children.

Until next time,

Book Review: A “Fail-Safe” Method for School Success

The teacher started off her presentation by having us participate in a game she did some mornings to get her pupils engaged in learning about each other. The teacher would say a fact, and those to whom the same fact applied, would stand up. She started with, “I have a child in fourth grade,” and everyone stood up and replied, “Just like me.”

She gave a few more statements before she said, “I help my child with homework,” to which every single parent stood up—except for us. Of course, all eyes swiveled around to see who the miscreants were who didn’t—gasp!—help their child with homework. It was a moment of clarity that showed just how we as parents have bought into the notion that helping our children with homework was a necessary part of their schooling experience.

But, as John Rosemond points out in his new book, John Rosemond’s Fail-Safe Formula For Helping Your Child Succeed in School, exactly who is that helping? The conclusion Rosemond draws is that it isn’t the child.

2-10-15He rightly points out that one underlying problem has infused all school-related troubles with an extra coating of confusion: “The average, middle-class American mom takes pretty much for granted that if her child fails to measure up to one standard or another—whether behavioral, social, or academic—that shortcoming is in some way indicative of a failing or inadequacy on her part” (emphasis his). Rosemond doesn’t belabor this point, one he’s made in other, more general parenting books, but it does bear repeating in this guidebook on school troubles, given that many times, our actions as parents compound the problem our children are having with schoolwork.

His chapter on homework is especially worth the price of the book, as he strips away the veneer of why we think homework is important (grades!) to reveal what he deems the Seven Hidden Values of Homework: Responsibility, autonomy, perseverance, time management, initiative, self-reliance and resourcefulness. Who knew a simple math worksheet could accomplish so much?

The key to uncovering these values—and allowing our children to reap the full benefits of those values—is to empower our children to do their homework entirely on their own, with minimal (read: hardly any) assistance from parents.

Lest you think the book is all about homework, it isn’t. Rosemond tackles other school troubles, including how to correct school performance and classroom behaviors and why retention can be a good thing. Also helpful is the question-and-answer sections in each chapter that provide real-life examples and solutions.

Overall, this is a welcome update to his earlier Ending the Homework Hassle. However, I would caution that this isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re serious about helping your child recover his own responsibility in the area of school, then Rosemond’s suggestions will provide a blueprint for accomplishing that. If you’re not, then you might be more alarmed than comforted by the no-nonsense and practical advice contained within these pages.

Personally, I hope more parents would find the courage to follow Rosemond’s advice and give the school work back to the child. After all, full ownership of a thing—be it homework or behavior—is the best way that a child learns to be resilient, self-confident and resourceful.

Loving the Unrepentant Child

Q: What do we do when our child refuses to be reconciled with you? In adult-to-adult relationships, each adult has the same responsibility to initiate reconciliation when conflict arises. But how does this apply to the parent-child relationship? For example, my teenage son has cursed at me, been outright rebellious, and has threatened to leave the house. Should the parent in such a situation take the initiative toward reconciliation, such as telling him I still love him despite his over-the-top misbehavior? Or do we wait for the child to humble himself and come to us?

A: This is a question as old as time itself. How do we as parents deal with a child who clearly has no desire to repair a relationship to which he has taken a sledge hammer?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

That said, we should try to model forgiveness and love as much as we can. That means, yes, we tell our children that we love them no matter what they do–because we do and we should. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t get annoyed, hurt, angered, or saddened by their behavior and choices, but it does mean that we love them as unconditionally as we can in our imperfect human state.Let’s remember that the parent-child relationship is fraught with mistakes and outright messiness. The parent makes mistakes, the child makes mistakes. Emotions get out of control and things can slide downhill fast.

In your example, you should take the initiative for two reasons. One because you’re the adult and he’s the child (even as he nears adulthood), and two, because you’re his father. This isn’t to say you condone the behavior, but we have to be the ones to hold out the olive branch of forgiveness in order to make it easier for our children to ask for it. We should be the ones who try to heal the breach first because we need to show our children how to do that.

Most of the time, children of all ages find it difficult to be the one to take the first step toward righting a wrong. It’s not easily to be humble and apologetic in the best of circumstances. Throw in a fight with a parent, and that step could morph into an insurmountable mountain for a child to climb.

Of course, we pray that our children will see the wrongness of their actions, but in the end, it’s not up to us to convict their hearts—that’s the province of God–so we tell them we love them, we levy appropriate consequences when necessary, and we make the way back “home” not steep or rocky, but paved with love and forgiveness.

Squelching the Wonder

I hurried my kids along, tugging on their hands and urging them to keep up. We had a lot of road to travel and not enough daylight to do it in. No matter that the youngest two (both boys) wanted to stop to see the construction vehicles moving dirt at a worksite. No matter that the two oldest (both girls) wanted to gaze at a new flower bursting out of a sidewalk crack. We had things to do, places to go, people to see, and it all had to be done right this very minute.

Image courtesy of sritangphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I took little comfort in the fact that I wasn’t alone. Many of us have bought into the notion that to be idle is to be unproductive. We can’t stand to have a “free” moment, so we over-pack our schedules and we stress ourselves to the max by constantly doing, doing, doing. Busyness has become a status symbol. Always rushing around from one task to another. Constantly busy. On the job 24/7. As Americans, we’re busier than ever, filling our lives with constant motion and tasks to be accomplished.The sad part is the above scenario wasn’t uncommon in my life. Like many of us, I packed as much into one day as possible, leaving little wiggle room for stopping to smell the roses or see the first robin of spring.

We don’t just do that for ourselves—we do that for our children too. Then everyone ends up all feeling so overwhelmed by our lengthy and never-ending to-do lists. We’ve fallen into the trap of over-scheduling, over-doing and over-committing our time and resources.

And in the midst of our extreme busyness, we forget that to be constantly busy means more than having no free time. It also means we pass through life as if on a fast train, everything outside of our small world a blur without form.

When we suck our children into our busyness, we do more than slash their playtime. We also severely limit their imaginations. In short, being overly busy with little downtime squelches the wonder.

The wonder to take a few minutes to watch the worm wiggle across the sidewalk. The wonder to watch the giant excavator scoop up a load of dirt and drop it into a dump truck. The wonder to gaze at the puffy clouds and see a unicorn or dragon. The wonder to lay back on the warm grass and trace the contrail streams left by airplanes high in the sky. The wonder to let a mind drift into that magical realm of what-if that allows children—and adults—to dream the dreams that sometimes change the world.

I’m thankful I realized sooner rather than later that my hurrying to the next thing wasn’t always in the best interest of myself or my children. Now, while some weeks are more packed than others, I deliberately try to work in extra time on a regular basis so that when opportunities arise that demand a moment of exploration or investigation, we can take that time. My kids won’t always want to examine a tree’s peeling bark or gaze at an interesting display in a store window, so while they still do, I will try to help them take advantage of the situation.

Until next time,



Chores, or How I’ve Stopped Cleaning the House

This summer, I revamped our household chores, realizing that it’s high time I stopped doing most of the cleaning around here. With four kids between the ages of 4 and 9, I had a ready and able army of helpers.
I sat down and wrote out all the chores I knew my kids were capable of handling. Then I wrote up specific instructions as to how those chores should be done, leaving nothing to the imagination. Finally, I mapped out who would do which chores on what days, putting in what time said chores must be accomplished. (It’s best to be as specific as possible to avoid “misunderstanding” when kids are involved.)
Reviewing the list, I realized nearly every household cleaning task could be assigned to the children, from washing the kitchen floor to vacuuming, from taking out the trash to doing the dishes. Once everything was in place, I called a family meeting and informed the children of the new chores.
While not exactly excited about the prospect—although my five-year-old did do a fist-pump upon being told his job would be setting the table for dinner—the kids have proved to be fairly proficient at cleaning. Not perfect, but with gentle instruction and encouragement, they will soon be doing it as well as any grownup.
Some parents balk at the thought of having their children “work” around the house. To that, I say, aren’t your children consumers in the family? Are they not part of the family? Then they should contribute to the upkeep of the family.
If you need more convincing, here are some positive benefits of chores.
Chores build confidence. Just listen to my oldest brag to her friend that she’s “old enough to do the dishes.” She has discovered that she’s capable of doing something without assistance, something that contributes to the family.
Chores build character, specifically a good work ethic. Being a good employee when they grow up is started by teaching them how to be a good member of the family through chores. Believe me, your child’s future employer will thank you.
Chores build responsibility. Giving your children the opportunity to serve within your family shapes their sense of responsibility.
One final note about chores and compensation: Well-meaning parents tie chores to allowances, and that can create a world of problems. To wit, if a child doesn’t want the money, then he doesn’t have to do the chore, right? Chores are service to the family—if you pay for the chore, the it’s no longer an act of service. So separate chores from allowances.
So start handing over more of the housework to your children and watch their character, confidence and responsibility grow.
Sarah Hamaker is a freelance writer and editor, and author of Hired@Home, a guide to unlocking women’s work-from-home potential now available on Kindle. Her stories have appeared in previous Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Sarah lives in Virginiawith her husband and four children. Visit her online at www.sarahhamaker.com, where she blogs about working from home.

Bad to the Bone

Babies exude innocence. After all, they are quite helpless, needing someone to feed, change, dress and do a host of other things for them.
But contrary to popular wisdom, babies are not all sweetness and light—they are, frankly, bad. They can’t help it because they—and everyone else—are born that way. It’s hard to look at your baby and think of him as a heathen in every since of the world.
Especially as mothers, we learn early on how to differentiate our baby’s cry, classifying it as hungry, sleepy, unhappy and angry. And boy, do babies get angry sometimes. They might not have words to express their angst, but they certainly have a good set of lungs and can fill the air with their angry cries.
I’ve always been amazed by parents who persist in viewing their children as angels who have to be taught to be disobedient, to steal, to lie, to cheat, to do bad things.
If you’re still not convinced, just think about your children when they were toddlers. Did you go around teaching them to scream and throw things when they didn’t get their way? Did you teach them to smack you in the face when they were angry? Did someone teach them to take toys away from other children and hit those kids over the head when they protested?
No one has to teach children to be bad—their sinful hearts can handle that task just fine. It’s our job as parents to teach them how to overcome their bad tendencies. In other words, to civilize them.
As parents, it’s much easier to get past our children’s misbehaviors and to the correction, or civilizing, if we cease to be shocked that they are behaving badly. Nothing our children do should ever surprise us—everything that’s in our own hearts are in theirs as well, and they generally lack the filters that we wear.
If we start every day reminding ourselves that our children are sinners just like we are, we will be able to react to misbehaviors in a more godly manner, and less feeling that we’re to blame for their badness.
Knowing that our children suffer from the same forms of heart sickness that we do goes a long way in helping us understand them. It also can help us stay the course in correcting their misbehaviors as we help them learn self control and to get along with others.
Our children might have been born bad to the bone, but the good news is they don’t have to stay that way.
Sarah Hamaker is a freelance writer and editor, and author of Hired@Home, a guide to unlocking women’s work-from-home potential now available on Kindle. Her stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soulbooks. Sarah lives in Virginiawith her husband and four children. Visit her online at www.sarahhamaker.com, where she blogs about working from home.

Summertime Blues

School is ending across the country, and with it, wails of distress from parents as they scramble for ways to fill their children’s time during the hot, sticky days of summer. I’ve heard numerous parents express dismay at the end of school, and have felt in the minority that I don’t feel as miserable as they do about having my children around all the time.
For families with both parents working, or for single parent households, I can well understand the need to find adequate childcare or camps in the summer. But for families that have one parent at home, summer is a wonderful opportunity for you and your children—and it doesn’t have to mean you are responsible for entertaining them day in and day out.
Fighting chants of “I’m bored,” or “I don’t know what to do,” or “I have nothing to do,” can be downright exhausting if you hear those or similar phrases as soon as your little darlings wake in the morning. But do not despair! I have a solution that, if followed to the letter, will ensure a summer filled with innovation and inspiration, all with just a little bit of work on your part.
First, draw up a list of things your child or children can do on their own. This can be as simple as play with a certain toy or read a book. Tailor it to the age of your child. Write down as many things as you can think of that require a minimum (read barely any) assistance from you. Type it up and label it “Things to Do When You’re Bored” or something equally catchy.
Note: Your summer will go smoother if you limit electronic screen time (TV and video/DVD watching, computer, and hand-held electronic games, etc.). Studies have shown—and, if you have ever interrupted a child involved in one of those activities—that screen time is highly addictive. Better to encourage your children in other pursuits in their leisure time. This is not a popular view, I know, but I think you’ll find it’s worth the hassle to get your kids disconnected for most of the summer.
Second, write down a list of extra chores not included in the daily or weekly list for your children. Cut into slips of paper with one chore on each slip, fold and place into a jar or other container and label “Chore Jar.”
Third, on the first day of summer vacation, sit down your kids after breakfast and hand them the “Things to Do When You’re Bored” list. Tell them that this is what they can do when they’re feeling bored or have nothing to do. Inform them that if anyone utters the words “I’m bored,” or “I have nothing to do,” or any variation thereof, that child picks a chore to do from the Chore Jar. That chore must be completed immediately to the parent’s satisfaction. Failure to do so will result in being confined to his or her room for the rest of the day and to bed after supper. This is called “making them an offer they can’t refuse.”
Fourth, follow through. When I introduced this last summer to my two older girls, they immediately said they were bored to see what kind of chores were in the Chore Jar. After completing a particular onerous task, I didn’t hear “I’m bored,” the entire summer.
For those of you who need ideas, my booklet Boredom Busters has dozens of ideas for children, as well as some chore ideas for the Chore Jar. Boredom Busters is available on Kindle and Smashwords (for the Nook, iPad, and other e-reader devices, as well as in a PDF) for only 99 cents. Leave a comment under this post for a chance to win a copy of the Boredom Busters.
Sarah Hamaker is a freelance writer and editor, and author of Hired@Home, a guide to unlocking women’s work-from-home potential now available on Kindle. Her stories have appeared in previous Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Sarah lives in Virginiawith her husband and four children. Visit her online at www.sarahhamaker.com, where she blogs about working from home.