What NOT to Do During A Temper Tantrum

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July already? Where is the summer going? Heather here, from FamilyVolley.com, and today I am sharing a few “what not to do’s” when it comes to temper tantrums. Because even though school might be out for the summer, our parenting gig never gets a summer break.

Temper tantrums are a normal part of childhood. For a complete step by step guide on how to prevent and deal with temper tantrums, check out these posts. Temper Tantrums Part 1 and Part 2.

In the heat of the tantrum, there are few things most parents try, that just don’t work. Here is a quick reference guide of 4 things you should NOT DO when the tantrum breaks out.

First, Don’t Ask Questions. Ugh, I find myself guilty of this one. In the middle of a tantrum I want to ask “why are you throwing a fit”, “what happened”, “talk to me and tell me what is wrong.” But, small children don’t have the mental development or language skills to express what they are feeling. So asking them questions in the heat of the fit, will most likely add frustration and prolong the tantrum.

Second, Loose the Empty Threats. Don’t threaten to take away the treat, or put them in their room, or take them to sit in the car, if you are not going to follow through. Just don’t do it. Empty threats actually teach kids to misbehave. Plus, not following through sets us up to loose our position of authority with our children. If we are going to threaten, we have to follow through. Quickly and without emotion. The key is to be consistent. If you can’t follow through with the threat, don’t threaten.

Third, Don’t Use Reason. In the middle of a temper tantrum is not the time to explain to your two year old that eating a 6th piece of licorice is not a great idea because of the red die in the candy. Or that the weather man says it is going to rain and she is going to need to wear the coat she is refusing to put on. There will be time for reasoning and explaining later on. During the tantrum, our children can’t access their rationalizing and reasoning skills. Tantrums are about emotion, not reason, so trying to use reason won’t help us.

Fourth, Don’t Yell. Our kids are looking for attention when they throw a tantrum. They want a reaction and it doesn’t matter if it comes from positive behavior, or negative behavior. Yelling gives them the attention they are looking for, so we can’t do it. Instead we need to take a deep breath, count to ten in our head, and remember that we are the adult, and then act like one. Solid research shows that parents who yell and get angry, have children who demonstrate the same behavior. So when we yell, we are actually teaching our children to yell and be angry too. Teaching them to do exactly what we say we don’t want them to do.

Tantrums are challenging. Instead of yelling and throwing out empty threats, give your child a hug, or stay close to them and assure them you are going to stay with them until “they are done”. Remember, Compassion is always more powerful than anger.

Have a question, or just want to say hello? You can find me at FamilyVolley.com. On PinterestFacebook, and Twitter. Or send me an email. I love making new friends.



The Handbuilt Home—Book contributor

I am soooo excited to be able to FINALLY spill the beans on a project that I have been involved in for almost a year now.  It has been killing me not to share it, but now I can!  Last fall I was contacted by Ana White from Ana White.com who asked if I would like to be involved in contributing to her new book…The Handbuilt Home.

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The Handbuilt Home

Ummm…hello! YES!

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Ana White

I was able to pick from a few of her projects/building plans, which are being featured in the book, and I chose to build and photograph this Kids Table and Chair Set.  The table and chair set is now being used almost daily by my kids and I need to make a couple more chairs so they have room for their friends.

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I discovered Ana’s site, a few years ago, when she was first starting out and was blown away by the amazing things she was building.  I wanted to grow up and be like her.  Apparently, so did a LOT of other people and Ana’s site has become the go to site for anyone who loves afforable, easy to build, expensive looking and most importantly, high quality furniture.  You know…people like me who want a designer house without the designer prices.  Who wouldn’t want that?

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But let me back up at bit…a couple of years ago…my daughter needed a new bed.  We have three girls and only two beds which wasn’t a problem until our youngest outgrew her crib.  Our search for beds was frustrating to say the least.  It’s not that I couldn’t find any beds that I liked…it’s that I couldn’t stomach the ticket prices.  So one day I got up the nerve to actually build Ana’s Farmhouse Bed which I had been long been obsessing over.

My husband worked in a cabinet shop building cabinets while he was in high school…I know…pretty handy right?!  So we sized her plans down and made a twin sized bed and added a few of our own personal changes.  Some of you may remember when I shared it here: DIY Headboard and Bed Frame.

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Imagine my surprise when Ana White came over to MY SITE and commented on on it!!  I was a little bit excited.  Okay…a whole LOT excited.  She was/is someone that I really looked up too.

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Hehe! So I got to know Ana a bit because of that and we emailed back and forth here and there and one thing lead to another!

Anyways, I digress!  The Handbuilt Home is scheduled for release on October 9, 2012!  You can even pre-order The Handbuilt Home on Amazon if you are interested.  I am waiting *patiently* for my copy to arrive any day now!

So what is The Handbuilt Home all about?  Here is an excerpt from Amazon.

• Plans for 34 versatile furniture projects for every room in your house—from beginner-friendly home accessories to sturdy tables, a media center, kids’ items, and storage solutions
• Comprehensive information on using off-the-shelf lumber and basic equipment—almost every project can be made with a drill, a saw, and some hand tools
• Easy-to-follow instructions, costs, and time estimates to guide even the most amateur of carpenters through any project

You don’t need to be physically tough or superstrong to make your own furniture, and it’s okay if you don’t know that a 2×4 doesn’t actually measure 2 by 4 inches. All you need is the determination to create a better home for yourself or your family and the confidence to say, “I can build that.”

I am excited to have been a part of this.  I am also excited to have collaborated with some of my favorite DIY bloggers as well and to see the projects they contributed!  To see what Kirsten from The Crafting Chicks contributed to the book you can check out her post here.  I will be sure to update you with any additional information as it comes along for those of you who may be interested.

Potato race cars

I just recently spent several hours with some of my very favorite people at a family reunion.  I feel like I must mention how lucky I am to belong to such an amazing family.  We grew up going on trips to Lake Powell and St. George together every summer.  And we just generally have a great time hanging out together.

And even now, as we have all gotten older and had families of our own, we still really enjoy getting together at our annual family reunion. My husband and kids also really enjoy these reunions. I ran my half marathon the morning of the reunion this year and my kids made me promise that we wouldn’t miss the reunion.

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We always have a BBQ or some yummy lunch.  We also always have a big water fight with the younger kids, while the older folks compete in friendly basketball, horse shoe, and sometimes a volleyball tournament.  Most of the time we are able to have the reunion at a great location by a lake which we later get to play in together.

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And we always have some other fun activities for the kids to participate in. This year my cousin Angie showed us all how to make a race car out of a potato and arranged for the kids to make some fun Potato Race Cars. Then they raced them down a Pinewood Derby race track.

They are really easy to make.

You will need the following for each Potato Race Car:

  • Potato
  • 4 Pinewood Derby Car Wheels (can be purchased online or at a local Scouting store)
  • 4 large nails
  • 4 small washers that fit onto your nails
  • potato/cheese grater
  • decorations for your cars

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You may need to shave your potato so that the wheels fit on nicely and roll without rubbing on the potato.  You can also shave some from the bottom of the potato so that it will roll down the track easily.

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Stick the nails though the washers and wheels and then stick them into the sides of the potato.  Be sure to place them so that the car rides evenly.

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Then bling out your car with your favorite accessories.  This can be difficult to get it just right…haha!  I love how serious she is about getting her car just right.  Isn’t she adorable?!

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Then when you have all the cars made…line them up and let them go!

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We had some great cars.  But wouldn’t you know it…one of the youngest competitors won the whole race.  And this was his winning Potato Racer!

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And this is the grand prize!

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Such a fun activity that got all the kids old and young involved.  It is similar to a Pinewood Derby activity I shared with you in an older post…Banana Pinewood Derby Cars.

Do you have any fun ideas that your family does to make your family reunions special?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Watermelon Pops

Has it been as hot at your house as it has been here? We have been in the 90′s and actually hit 100 degrees today! Whew! We have been craving some cool treats…hence the numerous popsicle posts. But who doesn’t love a great popsicle?  Especially watermelon popsicles.

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The kids and I whipped up these yummy watermelon popsicles the other day. They were pretty easy. We found the recipe from Kraft Foods here.

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We followed the recipe pretty closely but used sugar-free Jell-O for both the lime and the strawberry Jell-O. Therefore we didn’t need to add any sugar. We also just used half the amount of cream cheese and added a bit more Cool Whip. We also used our popsicle molds we had purchased at Target. When we tried to get the popsicles out we had to be VERY careful when pulling them out. Be sure to run under hot water to help the popsicles slid out without separating the different popsicle layers. Better yet, next time I make them I think we will make them in paper cups so that we can just tear the paper cup away from the popsicle. We did accidently pull some popsicles apart leaving the red top in the popsicle mold.

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But all in all, the kids thoroughly enjoyed them. I actually did not taste one as I am not a big fan of Jell-O…not to mention FROZEN Jell-O. But just seeing the way my kids gobbled these up, they had to be fairly tasty! Happy Summer People!

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Olympic Cookie Gold Medals and Torch

I don’t know about you but here at our house we LOVE watching the Olympic Games.  So with the Summer Olympics just around the corner I thought it would be fun to share with you a simple idea to get your kids involved in the Olympics this year.  A couple of years ago for the Winter Olympics we rounded up the kids and had our own little Family Olympics.  You can read about that here.

For those Family Olympic Games, we made each of the kids their own gold medals.  Here is how we made them.

We took some cookies and wrapped them individually in plastic wrap. Then we cut out a square of vellum.

Then we cut lines into the vellum all around the and right up to the cookie. Then we folded up the cut sections taping them down as we went.

After you finish, we cut a length of ribbon and taped it onto the back of the cookie. Then to cover the ribbon, we taped a circle over the ribbon on the back of the medal. So easy!

We also made an Olympic torch.  We cut into a small paper plate and taped the insides into a paper towel roll. Then we folded some red and yellow tissue paper to look like flames and stuffed them into the top of the plate.

My kids are already planning races to do for our next family olympics. We will probably do them more frequently than every 2 years due to the fact that the kids had such a great time.


 

Family Olympic Games

Have you been enjoying the Olympics at your house? We have been. They are keeping us up too late at night!


This weekend we took the kids out and competed in our own Family Olympic Games. It was so much fun. We went to a local trail and had some different competions planned for the kids.

They each raced their scooters around the trail and we timed each of them individually.

They also ran around the track as fast as they could. Then we set up an obstacle course on the playground that they each ran through. I did not get pictures of that because I was off chasing the baby who decided to go exploring on her own.

If it is still snowy where you are you could set up a “luge” run or a bobsled run for your sled down the hill. Really…you could do anything and turn it into an “olympic sport.” We tried not to make it so that the kids were competing against one another (especially since they are all at different stages), but just encouraging them to see how fast they could do it themselves. I know a lot of you a from different countries. So of course you wouldn’t use an American flag, but you could taylor the games to your specific areas and help your kids celebrate their nation!

We had so much fun. But the best part was when they each earned their gold medals. You can learn how we made the Olympic gold medals and torch here.

Felt Play Food

 

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I realize all of my latest posts have been sugary treats! This cooler weather makes me want to bake. Even this post is food related, but at least these are calorie free.

Shhh! Don’t tell my daughter, but here is a sneak peek at what my girls are getting for Christmas this year. I have seen felt food all over the internet and as soon as I began to see them, I knew I had to make some for the girls.

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To make this stackable ham sandwich, I used this tutorial here. Then after I got the hang of it, I kind of winged it and came up with some of my own designs for the lettuce, pickles and tomatoes. They really are very easy and require minimal sewing skills. If you don’t have a machine, you can hand stitch them as well.

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I found a tutorial for the fried egg here and just made the bacon without any pattern. I also stumbled upon this site with a lot of different ideas for making felt food.

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The strawberry pattern I used can be found here and the fruit slices were made using the patterns here. Then, after making the fruit slices, I used the same process and mad a slice of watermelon by cutting my felt in the same shape, but just larger.

And since I know some of you are going to ask, I got this fun wooden food play set from Amazon.com.

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I am so excited for the girls to see them on Christmas morning! If you know of any other free felt food patterns, I would love to know where to find some more. But beware…making felt food is very addicting.

 

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