To The Parent That Allows Their Child Too Much Screen Time:

I fell into this trap too. It is so easy. Don’t feel guilty that it happened. I have seen many articles lately about this subject which makes me feel guilty and a little berated. I give my kids screen time and probably more than I should have. With health issues that make many days a struggle, homeschooling two kids, a special needs child, and aging parents to care for daily it seems I never get anything done. So yes, I tell my kids, get some work done and you can go play.

They play with toys and they fight, “It is mine! No, it is mine! Don’t touch that! Mom, he stole my toy! Mom, he threw my toy! Mom, he broke my toy!” By the time that last sentence comes out I am usually running to get in between them because at this point they are no longer arguing but physically fighting. I have two boys, of course they fight. What does this mean for my sanity? My last attempt to keep my sanity is by unhappily giving in and saying, “Fine, go play with the electronics but stay away from each other.”

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I know, this is the wrong thing to do. I can already hear all the parenting articles echoing in my mind, “Don’t reward bad behavior with game time.”

I applaud the moms who can stay on the straight and narrow 24/7 with their kids, but I am going face it right here, right now, that isn’t me. My husband is a truck driver and gone 90% of the time. I am not complaining that he isn’t here, he does it to support our family so that I can stay home with our kids. I am mom and dad most of the month because he is gone working. I don’t have the physical, mental, and emotional strength it takes to deal with it all. I won’t hesitate to say I don’t think I am the only one that gives in more than they know they should. I am not a perfect parent, no one is. I would rather give my kids a little extra screen time so that I can take that much needed break for myself instead of keeping them off, having them fight, and I end up yelling at them. Does that make me a good parent?

I would venture to say I am not the only parent that has fallen into the too much screen time trap. What is the point of this mess? If you are like me, a normal parent, I want to remind you it is okay to not be perfect. Don’t let yourself feel badly for allowing too much screen time but instead try and do your best to get in a routine of other things for your kids. Find other things for them to do. Set down rules or ideas for making changes. Admit to your kids that yes, while it was happening for a while, rules are changing and maybe they will get days with extra screen time but don’t count on it being a regular thing in the house. I have given my kids a list of daily activities they must accomplish.

Do something creative. Read a book. Draw a picture. Color a picture. Be musical.

Do something educational. Find worksheets or an educational website to work on.

Do something spiritual. Read the bible, learn about someone in the bible, or ways to apply it to your life.

Do something helpful. Make sure to get household chores done.

Be social. Spend time talking to grandma, grandpa, or whoever else is in the home. Sit with them, ask them about their life, how they are feeling, or if they need help with anything.

This is our list. Every home will have their own list that fits their family and lifestyle more appropriately. While I do agree that too much screen time can be a pitfall for many, it doesn’t have to be a permanent one.

 

Copyright © 2015 Enjoying The Chaos.

Pixie Dusted Dreams

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Have you ever dreamed of pixie dust? If you are a blogger and a Disney fan you know exactly what I am talking about. Yep, I got it, the pixie dusted email.

I was hopeful but at the same time a little doubtful that I would receive one this year, but I did. Oh the joy! I couldn’t believe it! I have heard about them but never expected to get it myself, at least not yet.

Now that I have expressed my happiness let me say that I am honored to be the recipient of a Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On-The-Road invitation. If you were a recipient or hopeful, as was I, then you know that I didn’t exactly get my email today, it was actually just over a week ago but I am still glowing from it. Pixie dust has that effect!

With everything life throws at us it is not hard to get overwhelmed with the day to day goings on.

Even with all the things that weigh us down daily I can’t help but smile as I await my very first Disney OTR Event and my dream of Disney begins to come true.

days and dreams ETC

 

Copyright © 2015 Enjoying The Chaos.

MyPrintly and Moms

I recently attended a MyPrintly Mom Meet Up in Austin, Texas. I am not a social person but this event was so much fun! MyPrintly from HP has some wonderful new concepts out that all of us were able to try out.

One of my favorites was instantly being able to turn the pictures on my smartphone into personalized cards and printing them directly from my mobile device with a couple of great new apps.

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With HP Social Media Snapshots you can print from Facebook, Instagram, or  your phone. Check out your iTunes or Google Play store for the HP Social Media Snapshots and HP Cards apps!

Are you like me and either don’t like going to the store or simply don’t have time to do it? If the answer is yes then you should check out the HP Instant Ink program. You pick a monthly plan according to your general printing usage and your printer lets HP know when you need ink and they ship it to your door for a low monthly charge. Smart, easy, convenient.

Crafts and DIY projects come very easily to some people, me not so much. MyPrintly made it easy for me by showing me how to do these simple DIY projects that display family and friends memorable photos. Be sure to visit MyPrintly to find your inspiration on Creating Memories You Keep!

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As we sat and at chatted at our craft table all of us moms were in agreement, we needed this event. It gave us a some really nice memories. It is not about creating great memories but keeping them! Start using some of these great apps and create memories you keep!

Follow MyPrintly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and see what others have already done with #MyPrintly #CMYK.

 

Copyright © 2015 Enjoying The Chaos.

Moments To Treasure

It is 5:00am on a Sunday morning and the house is quiet, peaceful. Every possible sleeping spot in the house is occupied, filled with a body, from the beds to the couches, to an air mattress inflated in the living room. Family visiting.

We were never a family rich in money or material things but our father has already given us a legacy, a treasure, that no one can ever take away.

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My father gave us a legacy of love. My dad taught us the importance of family, loving, appreciating, and caring for them every day in every way. That is something that no amount of money can buy.

I woke up this morning and realized it was still night. I couldn’t help but smile looking at my boys tucked under their covers with smiles that told me whatever it was they were dreaming of were happy thoughts. As I sit at my chosen writing spot, I am so grateful to look over to a living room filled with my nieces and nephew. This happened because of my sister and brother in law who made that drive, whom I could never thank enough because now, with all their grandchildren together I see a glow of joy in my parents’ eyes unmatched by anything else I have ever seen. This one gesture, the overly exhausting drive for such a short visit to see everyone means the most to my father, who is getting too far up in his age with his chronic and debilitating health to now travel, brings his grandchildren to him.

Why did this happen? The legacy of love that we were taught and given by our parents who gave everything they had for their children, we pass that on to ours. It is this strong appreciation of family that gives me these moments that allow me to overlook everything else and see the good. I got the chance to see the kids playing at the park yesterday enjoying their cousins’ company. I get to wake up and see the sight of my nieces and nephews playing with my kids that I don’t get to see often enough. I get to look at my father and for now see past the pain he suffers every day. I get to see a glow of joy in my father’s eyes.

As morning light comes to break the dark of night I know the children will soon be waking. I am thankful because today we will make more memories and find more moments to treasure.

 

Copyright © 2015 Enjoying The Chaos.

Styles of Homeschooling

six-books-1184809-mHow many different styles of homeschooling could there possibly be? You would be surprised. Until I started homeschooling I thought kids were either sent to public/private school or homeschooled. I could not have been more wrong! The world isn’t black or white and neither is homeschooling. When students attend a brick and mortar school there are options such as public, private, or college prep. Homeschooling is the same way; there are so many different paths on the journey of homeschooling. I will give you a brief overview of just a few of the different types of homeschooling.

Virtual Academy – A virtual academy is basically a public school available online. Attendance is required and monitored, assignments are completed and submitted to teachers, and school books are supplied.laptop-in-the-computer-lab-421814-m

Traditional – Traditional homeschoolers tend to use a curriculum, boxed or online, and keep a stricter schedule. This can sometimes feel similar to public schooling at home, simply choosing the method yourself (Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, etc.).776536_85651335

Relaxed – Relaxed homeschoolers take their time. Children who attend public school attend for 180 days a year for 12 years, which comes to 2,160 days. Homeschooled children are in their learning environment 365 days a year. According to this, homeschoolers must accomplish 5.9 years of education from birth to age 18. It is okay to take your time.girl-drawing-back-to-school-1239803-m

Eclectic – Eclectic, meaning, to collect A LOT of stuff! Eclectic homeschoolers collect their homeschool references from everywhere, online, boxed curriculum, books, workbooks, movies or videos, you name it, and they probably collect it. They use whatever means necessary to find a way to reach and engage their learners. Literally, whatever works.stack of notebooks

Unschooling – Unschoolers consider the idea of not using curriculum. To some it may even be considered to be no tests, grades, curriculum, or assignments. There is no typical form of academic work. Parents are the guides, constantly teaching their children what they need to know and learning through everyday life.trolling-380235-m

In my home we take a relaxed and eclectic approach to homeschooling. This is the best fit for us. Whichever path you choose remember that we are all on different journeys, no two children are the same and neither will their learning styles be. It can be easy to compare yourself to other homeschoolers, don’t. I take an undoubtedly different approach than many of the homeschoolers I have met in my area but that is okay, that is how we homeschool.

How do you homeschool?

 

Copyright © 2015 Enjoying The Chaos.

A World Without Compassion

This post is dedicated to the special needs mothers all over the world.

The world does not see our pain because we will not allow it to break us but it does not mean that we do not hurt.

earth ETC 1While sifting through medical documentation I heard a family member who noticed one doctor he was referred to was listed as providing psychiatric care say, “They didn’t send me for psychiatric care, I don’t need that, I am not a nut.”

Nut. Mental Case. Schizoid. Freak. Then the worst one of all, we all know it is the one most offensive, the R word.

All of these words are used too commonly, jokingly, by the world, like it is not a big deal and people with mental health disabilities are not given the same respect or support as those with perhaps a physical disability or illness. While it may not seem like a big deal or like it should be to most people, to those suffering or caregivers to someone suffering with a mental health condition those words can be hurtful.

My heart sank, I wanted to throw up or cry, I wasn’t sure which. All I knew was my heart was in my stomach and throat all at the same time. I could not believe what I had heard, from my father, from my son’s grandfather. I walked away as quickly as I could and shut the door behind me. I wanted to turn around and scream at him but I held back knowing that would do nothing. So I came here, to my computer, my sanctuary. This is my safe place, where I can speak my mind and no one in the world can stop me. My thoughts still raced.

Excuse me?‏

My child receives that type of care; how dare anyone refer to him or anyone with a mental health condition like that.‏

That hurts, its ugly and offensive.‏

No, its not the R word but it still hurts.‏

I know I shouldn’t let that bother me, it is the small minded mentality, even within family but it still ticks me off to no end. Yes, family, sometimes, many times we must deal with pain and hurtful words and comments coming from parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, not to mention stares and ignorant murmurings from strangers. Having a large family does not mean that we have a large support within our family, there are families that are supportive, but sadly there are also those that are not.‏

Because society is small minded, because society tells us we have to fit a mold, because society makes rules they want to enforce, we must compromise who we are, to fit closer to that mold or people stare and murmur because our children don’t fit their mold.‏

That’s why they need psychiatric care, because they have to find a way to act and react to a world without compassion.‏

We are the warriors of this world, fighting not a physical fight but fighting to break the mold of society, so that our children will grow up not seeing themselves as different but simply, people.

 

Copyright © 2015 Enjoying The Chaos.