Viewing category ‘children’

Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

Tips For Less Stressful Weekday Mornings

Categories: children, school

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Trying to get myself out of the door in the morning is a feat in and of itself. Over the past fourteen years it went from me, to me and him, to three of us, to four of us, and then to five of us. I now have one kid in middle school, and two kids in elementary school. Mornings can be chaotic on a good day, and that’s an understatement. Here’s how we make it less stressful:

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Are You Setting Social Media Boundaries?

Categories: children, discipline

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Last year, when my eldest child was ten, he told me that a number of his friends were on Facebook and he wanted an account. Hah. No.

The “legal” age for FB is 13, and we’ll wait until then. I did set him up an email account — which I have full access to — and last fall when he asked if he could have an Instagram account, I helped him set it up. He’s set to Private, so only people he’s approved can see his photos. If he gets a request from a name he doesn’t recognize, he’ll check with me, and it’s always one of my friends.


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How To Make Eating Out With Kids Enjoyable

Categories: children, discipline

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My kids are all school-aged, and we’ve gotten used to eating out with them every once in awhile – when the budget allows – and it’s a … nice experience. They sit in their seats, they wait for their dinner, and they don’t run loops around the restaurant while shrieking and touching everyone and everything they see.

Back when my kids were pre-school age, eating out caused a lot of stress. We avoided it at all costs, until we figured out how to make it a less torturous experience. Here’s how we made it bearable:


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Helping Your Middle Child Feel Included

Categories: children, parenting

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I have three children. Graham, my oldest, is the stereotypical first-born child. He’s cautious, responsible, and sometimes has to be reminded that he’s not the parent. Emily, my third child, is the stereotypical “baby” of the family. She’s used to being taken care of by her parents and her older brothers and sometimes needs to be encouraged to do things herself. Nathan, my middle child, fits the “middle child” description. He’s very much a “look at me!” kid, being sandwiched between the first born and the baby.

He’s a great kid who loves hugs — you will MAKE HIS DAY if you ask him for a hug — and is entirely different personality-wise from his siblings. He loves — and is great at — every sport, and prefers playing outside to reading a book. It could be easy for him to get lost in the shuffle, I suppose, but we make an effort of supporting him in everything he does. A few ways that we make sure he doesn’t feel like he got the short end of the stick when it comes to his birth position:


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Why You Should Get Away Without Your Kids

Categories: children, marriage

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I’m married to this guy that I like a whole lot, and he likes me too. We made three amazing kids together and we love to spend time together, just the five of us. We love to ski — we put all five of us in lessons two years ago — and spend our winters carving through fresh powder.

Last summer, our dream came true and we found ourselves owning a cabin at the hill we ski at. A few weeks ago, my brother offered to stay at our house with our kids so that my husband and I could spend two days and one night at our cabin, sans kids. It was just the two of us, without any little people needing anything.


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Teaching Kids Not To Lie

Categories: children, discipline

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When kids are little, they are (mostly) innocent, but even the most angelic child can decide to lie. In the case of my kids, it’s usually because they are scared that they will get in trouble if they admit to something. They will don their “lying face” — my kids will never win at poker — and omit/stretch/lie about the truth.

Lying is something that is simply not acceptable in our house. Our faith aside, lying breaks trust. We spend a lot of time together as a family and I want to trust these people who I spend all of my time with, because life is so much better when we can trust each other

Here’s how we teach our kids not to lie:


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How to Prep your Big Kid for a New Baby

Categories: children

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So, you had your very first baby and somehow survived being up 18 times per night and your baby is now a kid. Or a toddler who is pretty cute and sweet and you think, we should do this again.

(As for me, my firstborn cherub was so cute, that we started trying for child number two pretty quickly. We had a positive pregnancy test on said cherub’s first birthday. Happy Birthday, G! Soak up 100% of the attention while you can.)

G has always loved babies — he loves to volunteer in our church’s nursery  — but here are a few things we did when we was but a baby himself to prepare him for his baby brother, and then baby sister.


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Kids and Censorship: How Much is Too Much?

Categories: Uncategorized, children

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I have three kids, aged eleven, nine, and seven. My poor oldest child is the guinea pig when it comes to parenting (as were both his Dad and I). He’s the one who is on the front lines of growing up and we are charged with making sure everything he is exposed to is age-appropriate.

The flip-side of that coin is that he has two younger siblings who live in the same house that he does. He’s old enough to watch/play some things that they are not and how do we balance it? We balance it like it happens in every family (Or, most of them) since the beginning of time. The rules are rigid for the first born, they become a little less strict for the second-born, and the third child has free reign to everything.(We’re not that free with our second and third kids, but it’s definitely a little bit looser.)
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How To Talk To Your Kids About Cancer

Categories: children, communication

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We’ve been very (VERY) lucky that nobody in our family has had to battle cancer.

(*Knocks on every piece of wood in her house*)

There have been others we know — or know through others — who have been diagnosed with cancer. A good friend of mine has Thyroid cancer, but I haven’t shared that with my kids because (She’s kicking its ass, and) I don’t want to burden them unnecessarily. Others we know here in our small town have been battling cancer and one little boy lost his fight, which brought the conversation into the open.
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Teaching Your Kids Not To Be Quitters

Categories: children

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Being a parent is a balancing act on so many levels. One area that I struggle the most with is knowing when to push my kids to persevere, and when to let them quit. I want them to be committed when they sign up for something, but I also want them to be able to bow out if they are in above their head. How do we know what the best choice is? It depends on the circumstances, of course.

My husband and I decided a few years ago that we would take up skiing as a family. I skied sporadically with friends as a teenager, and he’d never been on skis a day in his life, but there’s a ski hill less than an hour away from our house and it seemed like a sport we could enjoy as a family. We enrolled the kids (and us) in lessons and made our way to the hill for said lessons.


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