Simple Solutions for Stain Removal

laundry room

This Summer I’ll be re-running some of my favorite Simple Kids posts as Summer ReRuns. Today’s post is one of the first ones I ever bookmarked from SK, way back from 2009 before I was the editor here.  Megan shares some tips on stain removal that are timely during the Summer when there are so many wonderfully messy opportunities for fun. – Kara

Nature is inviting all of us to come outside and play.

No one wants to interrupt a glorious game of tag or bring a delicious and juicy dessert of fresh strawberries to a premature end for fear of stained clothing, but we also want to be good stewards of the material possessions we have by taking good care of them.  Yesterday, Asha at Parent Hacks shared her Almost Sure-Fire Clothing Stain Removal tip, and it reminded me that I have a few ideas of my own to share on summer stains.

1) Whenever possible, set aside some of the summer wardrobe for “play clothes” – for children and adults alike.  If everyone is playing outside in clothes that have been purposed for play, no one (not even the grown-ups) will give a second thought to rolling in the grass or indulging in a drippy, melt-y chocolate ice cream cone.

[Read more…]

An Uncomplicated Holiday: Resisting the Rush

The following post is by Megan Tietz and originally appeared in December 2009. With just a little less than two weeks until Christmas, I thought her words would serve as a good, gentle reminder to keep the holidays simple for our kids and for ourselves. Enjoy! – Kara

With just ten days left until Christmas Day, the pace is beginning to quicken in my home.

Does it feel that way for you?

It seems that no matter how devoted I am to the pursuit of an uncomplicated holiday, the days leading up to Christmas and New Years feel more and more frenzied.  I find myself doing frequent “tension checks” throughout the day – noticing the curt responses to my children, the nagging weight of gifts still not purchased, and the inner turmoil over the dwindling Christmas budget.

When I take a moment to step back and assess what helps me resist the rush in the countdown to Christmas, I’ve noticed three practices that inspire me to an enjoyment of the season rather than an attitude of “I must endure.”

1) Stay out of the stores.

We’ve thoughtfully planned out our children’s Christmas presents, using the “Something she wants, something she needs, something to wear, something to read” idea as we made our purchases.  Yet a simple dash into the discount store or a brisk walk through the mall leaves me feeling bombarded with all that my children will not be receiving this year.

My days are so much more simple and guilt-free when I can stay out of the stores (and curtail my internet browsing as well!).

[Read more…]

Simple As That: Journaling Big Feelings

childwriting

As parents, we know that the source of much frustration for children is an inability to communicate what they are feeling – particularly when those feelings are big and scary or upsetting.  A few months ago, we discussed some peaceful and positive solutions for anger and hitting.

Several weeks later, a friend of mine emailed me to share with me an unexpected and powerful outlet for these big feelings: journaling.

[Read more…]

6 Peaceful Solutions for Hitting and Anger

While this Spring cold continues to work its way through our house, I wanted to share with readers today one of my favorite posts from the archives.  Originally written by Megan Tietz in June of 2009, there are some great suggestions here for helping our kids control their anger.  I think you’ll find it an article worth bookmarking, as I did when it was originally published.  – Kara

I have noticed that with my oldest daughter, the “half-age” mark generally brings with it some negative behaviors that we have not yet encountered.  For example, she was delightful at two, but two-and-a-half brought new meaning to the term “terrible toddlerhood” – there were many meltdowns and days of frustration for both of us.  Three was exciting and fun, but three-and-a-half introduced transition troubles and sibling rivalry angst.

Dacey is exactly four-and-a-half today, and true to form, we have had a new issue come up that we have not had to deal with yet – hitting. She never went through a hitting stage as a toddler, so this is all uncharted parenting territory for me.  Because I believe in the power of parenting as a community, I’ve been asking around and taking notes on what others are doing in response to the problem of preschoolers who hit.

Here are six of the most helpful suggestions I have found for hitting and other negative angry behaviors:

1. Hand Claps

My friend Corey is educated and trained in early childhood development, and she offered me this suggestion: Sometimes kids don’t know what to do with their hands when they want to hit, so  teaching them to clap their hands when they are angry gives them an outlet for the need to act out with their hands.  This serves the double purpose of alerting me to the fact that intervention might be needed in an upsetting situation.  The angry hand clap has actually been one of our most effective solutions.

[Read more…]

Simple As That: The Emergency Hug

Thank you all for your comments on Monday’s post.  If you haven’t taken a peek at the discussion going on over there, you really should.  Following my own advice, I decided to take a few things off of my own plate this week and so I’m re-running one of my favorite Simple Kids posts, written by Megan Tietz of Sorta Crunchy.  I think we could all use an Emergency Hug from time to time. – Kara

As you may have guessed from the article I wrote earlier this year on how to be intentional with touch, one of the primary ways I give and receive love is through affection.

I wanted to share something with you today that my mother created when we were children.  It’s so simple yet so effective when you need a time-out from the moment to reconnect with your child.  My mother called it “an emergency hug.”

I can remember when we were kids, my mom would just call to one of the four of us and say, “I need an emergency hug!”  We would stop whatever we were doing and run to my mother’s open arms. It is one of the sweetest memories of my childhood, and it’s something I’ve started doing with my own daughters.

[Read more…]