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42 minutes | 3 days ago
Get Good with Money
For the longest time, I was a budget-resister. As a minimalist, I don't buy a lot of stuff so I didn't think I needed a budget. But I was wrong--moving towards a consistent, air-tight budget has been one of the most intentional changes that we have made in our family. Today I'm chatting with author and financial educator Tiffany Aliche, also known as The Budgetnista. She's sharing her tips and resources to 'Get Good with Money'. Tiffany's Resources New Book (for Grown Ups): Get Good with Money Kid's Book: Happy Birthday Mali Moore More Resources: GetGoodwithMoney.comThe post Get Good with Money appeared first on Simple Families.
19 minutes | 23 days ago
"It's just too much." My daughter, who is newly 5, said this to me for the first time this week. She asked me to come clean up her room with her and when I walked in she sighed and said, “it’s just too much”. We don’t have a lot of toys, but she manages to accumulate stuff. Although this was the first time she has put this into words, her behavior has been telling me this her entire life. Rarely will our kids be able to verbalize their overwhelm with stuff. More often, they will speak with their behavior. They will be able to feel the overwhelm, but they won’t be able to articulate or comprehend the solution. Which means we have to steer the ship. Episodes Mentioned: My Messiness Too Many Toys How to Use a Reward ChartThe post Clean Up appeared first on Simple Families.
48 minutes | a month ago
If you've been around the podcast for sometime, you will be happy to hear I'm bringing back the "Journey to Simplicity" series. In this series I chat with both friends and members of the Simple Families Community. We talk about what a simpler, lighter life looks like--and spoiler alert! It's always imperfect and a work-in-progress. Find Jillian on Instagram // Link from Jillian to learn more about TM Simple Families episodes on alcohol: Episode 128 (Thinking about giving it up)Episode 141 (New Year's Resolution to give it up)Episode 184 (Reflections a year later)The post Jillian appeared first on Simple Families.
16 minutes | a month ago
Sometimes the road to self-improvement can also lead us toward self-doubt. Things that we previously thought we were doing okay on, we suddenly start to think we aren't doing well enough. This especially happens in parenting. I hear from parents all the time that they want to "say the right thing"--but there is no clear wrong and right when it comes to parenting. You are doing better than you know. The post Self-Doubt appeared first on Simple Families.
20 minutes | 2 months ago
Saying ‘no’ can feel hard—especially to people we love. But if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, you might benefit from saying no more often. We have to take ownership over how we spend our time, money, and energy. If we don’t, we will end up burned out, exhausted, and broke. The post Saying No appeared first on Simple Families.
15 minutes | 2 months ago
We are nearly one-year into a global pandemic, therefore I’d say we are far overdue in talking about therapy. Therapy: Who needs it? How do you get started? Maybe you are interested in exploring therapy but you have decision fatigue—there are far too many options and you don’t even know where to begin. Today I’m going to try to simplify some of that for you. Resource for finding mental health support ASAP. The post Therapy appeared first on Simple Families.
52 minutes | 2 months ago
Bedwetting + Accidents
Bedwetting and accidents can be taboo to speak about as our kids get older. However, we've been challenged by these things in our home so I understand the importance of this topic first hand. I'll warn you, my guest Dr. Steve Hodges and I are going to talk about poop and pee a lot in this episode, but I think you will enjoy hearing a new perspective. Dr. Hodges Books: Bedwetting and Accidents Aren't Your Fault: Why Potty Accidents Happen and How to Make Them Stop (Kid's Book) It's No Accident: Breakthrough Solutions to Your Child's Wetting, Constipation, UTIs, and Other Potty Problems (Older book, the "Why") The M.O.P. Book: Anthology Edition: A Guide to the Only Proven Way to STOP Bedwetting and Accidents (Newer book, the "How") The post Bedwetting + Accidents appeared first on Simple Families.
12 minutes | 2 months ago
Maybe you don’t consider yourself an outdoorsy person. Maybe you have a kid who isn’t into nature. I totally get that. The truth is that nature can be uncomfortable. It’s often: Too bright. Too hot. Too cold. Too windy. Too loud. But we are all nature people, in fact—we need to spend time outdoors for our health and wellbeing. If you don't think you are an outdoors person, let’s talk about why. And how we can start to shift that perspective and get outside of our comfort zones. For our own good and the good of our families. The post Outdoorsy appeared first on Simple Families.
38 minutes | 3 months ago
Our family recently downsized in a big way. I've had many people ask why we sold our lovely home and the short answer is: It's complicated. My husband, David, is joining me in today's episode for a candid conversation about the perils of homeownership and moving towards simplicity. The post Downsizing appeared first on Simple Families.
31 minutes | 3 months ago
Let's talk about kids who hit. This behavior can be taboo as kids get older, so we are less likely to talk about it with friends. We can feel like we are the only ones who experience this challenge. The post Hitting appeared first on Simple Families.
13 minutes | 3 months ago
Know Better, Do Better Guilt
In today's world, we are inundated with information. Whether it be about parenting, cooking, art projects, gardening…the world is quite literally at our fingertips thanks to Google. The result is that we often feel like, if the information is available to us, we should consume it. And we should be able to put it into action. If you saw a meme online with 10 things you should say to your kids (I use this example because I have this list). Well, you read it, and it makes sense that you should go put it into practice. Right? The truth is, that's not always the case. When we learn new things and fail to put those new things into action, we can feel a lot of guilt. I call this "Know Better, Do Better guilt" And it's something we feel more and more in this age of information overload. Today we will talk about recognizing this guilt, appreciating when you're making baby steps, and knowing when you need to lay off on the "available resources." I distinctly remember when I first felt a tinge of know better, do better guilt. I was 21 years old, living in Washington, DC, just starting my Master's Degree. This was 15 years ago. I walked into the University library and looked up. I felt like the books were going to swallow me whole. It was sudden onset. All I could think was, "There is SO much that I don't know" At that time, we still went to the library to get books and information. Before the internet, we had to put in a lot of effort to locate new knowledge. Everything was not at our fingertips. There were no podcasts or and audiobooks weren't really a thing. We consumed less media, less content, and just less information in general. As a result, we also didn't feel like we were on the hook to learn everything, know everything, and do everything better. Fast forward to today. We often expect ourselves to be jacks of all trades. Let's talk about how this applies to parenting, specifically. There are thousands of "parent experts" dishing out information. I am no exception to this. If you go on Instagram, you can find no shortage of lists of "Do's and Don'ts," "What to say and what not to say," "How to stay calm." It's all there in plain English. It should be easy to apply. Right? The truth is, even though parenting is often considering to be "common sense" a lot of this stuff you see online is deeply rooted is psychology theories and educational perspectives. Things that are not common sense. These are disciplines that require years of study. Let's say I followed an accountant on Instagram and see a list of "10 Tips for Doing My Taxes Better." Should I read this list and then automatically be able to do my taxes better? No. Would I think to myself: Gosh, I read this list and I SHOULD be able to execute this. Why can't I figure this stuff out? Why am I so confused by my taxes? Why does this feel so hard? Would I have Know Better, Do Better guilt about taxes? No. Because I have zero training in tax law, accounting, or really anything number related. So I have to give myself lots of grace when I'm learning this stuff. Just ask my accountant. He has to explain things to me over AND over again. And sometimes, I still don't get it. And I often struggle to apply it in practice, even though I've been told what I'm supposed to do. Tips are useful and can be very helpful. But if you don't internalize everything and apply it exactly as told…you aren't lacking. You shouldn't have "Know Better, Do Better guilt". You are still learning. When it comes to learning about parenting, if you find yourself thinking: If only I was more disciplined. If only I tried harder. If only I was more patient. If only I could focus. Then you might have Know Better, Do Better Guilt. I see bits of this guilt in cooking and craft activities too. There are a bazillion cooking videos and recipes online; why can I just figure out how to make better, gourmet food every day? Or, there are thousands of easy crafts and activities for kids on Pinterest; why can't I ever get my act together and do them? I want you to let go of your guilt by better understanding your intuition bucket. What is intuition? Intuition is the ability to use knowledge without conscious reasoning. That means you often don't know where it came from or even that you are using it. So what is your intuition bucket? Imagine right now you have a bucket in front of you. In that bucket is all your life experiences, all the books you've ever read, all the podcasts you've ever listened too. It's all stirred up in there, so you can't see the contents clearly. But no doubt, it's there even if you don't remember it. So when you act, or make decisions, you constantly pull from this bucket. This is your intuition. Maybe you read a book 10 years ago and you completely forget what you read, chances are even though that book isn't in your conscious memory, there are pieces of it that you internalized and have become mixed into your bucket. That time you spent on the book is not lost; you just filed away a few things VERY deep. And those things you file away may impact that way you act and make decisions today even if you don't realize it. So if you feel guilty that you learn all this stuff and struggle to put it into practice, know that you are making more progress than you know. Your intuition is pulling relevant pieces and filing them away for you. As a result, you do know a little bit better, and you are doing a little bit better all the time. But it will rarely be so crystal clear. You will rarely high-five yourself and say "Oh I used that tip I learned on Instagram, I'm totally nailing this parenting thing" Change and progress are gradual. And often you need repeated exposure. I have this list of "10 Simple Things I Say to My Kids." I will guarantee that 90% of the people that have read this don't use a single thing. But the other 10% follow me closely on Instagram and on the podcast. They will hear me using these ten expressions over and over again. And these people do message me telling me how helpful that they were and what a difference they are making. Why is this? Repetition. Practice. Hearing multiple examples of the same concept. So my advice to you is to find a few parenting concepts things that resonate with you and you really connect to and practice them over and over again. Hearing something once will rarely sink in. So don't try to read and learn everything, instead focus on taking in a few simple concepts and really mastering them. This might mean unfollowing parenting experts (maybe even me) who you feel inundated you with information and inadvertently make you feel like you are failing. Lastly, recognize that sometimes your brain just needs a break. Sometimes you don't need to acquire new knowledge; you just need to sit with what you already have and contemplate. Perhaps, revisiting old resources. Listening to podcast episodes that you connected with in the past, re-reading books you thought were great. Give yourself grace. I know I have taken months and months off podcasts and audiobooks for this reason. I felt like my brain needed some quiet. Not every second of my day...washing dishes, folding laundry, etc...needs to be filled with new information. We are allowed to rest our bodies AND brains. Not only are we allowed, but we should. The post Know Better, Do Better Guilt appeared first on Simple Families.
13 minutes | 4 months ago
We are knee-deep in the holiday season, so let's take a moment to talk about over-gifters—these are people in your life, or especially your kid's life, that give more gifts than you'd like. Generally speaking, these are good, well-intentioned, loving people. The last thing you want is for them to walk away, feeling hurt, alienated, or confused. Yet, you may also wish to see change, especially if you are moving towards a simpler life with less stuff. Particularly if you are raising your children with simplicity as a core family value. The Love Language of Over-Gifting On the path toward simplicity, I frequently hear from parents that they are inundated with gifts from other family members. Especially toys. Sometimes it's little trinkets from the dollar store—they just want to show up with something in hand to bring a smile to your kid's face. Other times it's higher ticket sought-after toys that your kid has been begging for, but you prefer not to have in your home. Either way, the "offender" I hear called out the most often is the grandparents. The grandparents may want to give a lot of gifts, but you might want your kids to focus on the real gifts: the relationship and connection between grandchild and grandparent. If the grandparents (or anyone, really) in your life has the love language of overgifting it can feel frustrating. Maybe you've made multiple attempts to shift their buying habits, and it all seems to fall on deaf ears. The Role of Maternal Gatekeeping Overgifting can be related to intimacy. I want to start by talking about maternal gatekeeping. Maternal gatekeeping is when a mother acts as a gatekeeper. That means she decides what to let in and out, literally and figuratively. It may be actual stuff or it may be values, beliefs, and relationships. Maternal gatekeeping is a well-researched phenomenon. Although it often begins as a means to keep our children safe, it can actually contribute to overwhelm as it leads women to take on the vast majority of child-related tasks in an effort to control the environment. If you have a need to control the environment, you aren't alone, especially in a year like 2020 where things feel very much out of our control. I knew about maternal gatekeeping long before I had kids and vowed to avoid it. But I haven't. I absolutely engage in it even though I don't want to. You probably do too. And if you are like the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace, you may be a little worn down because you don't get to switch out with a clone every few hours. In some form, female mammals all across the animal kingdom engage in forms of maternal gatekeeping. It's rooted in safety and protection but can quickly become a slippery slope that begins to cause harm along with the good. Because of maternal gatekeeping, maternal grandparents often have a closer relationship with grandchildren than paternal grandparents. Mothers often feel more connected to their own parents and have an easier, more comfortable time facilitating that connection with their kids. Now, if you are raising children in a same-sex relationship, you may find that one partner takes on the gatekeeping responsibilities. There's a chance that the gatekeeping partner's parents may have a more intimate relationship. Of course, this isn't a universal dynamic. And in fact, I don't think maternal gatekeeping is the sole motivator for this type of intimacy. I don't know the research on it, but personally I feel like there are physiological factors that drives the intimacy levels in this relationship too. My mother lives several states away and only sees my children every few months but from the early months of their lives, I saw that my children attached very easily to her. Which is likely related to pheromones, scents, or something else I don't fully understand—this isn't my area of expertise. Likewise, I had the same connection to my own maternal grandmother. What I'm saying is that for reasons both within and outside of our control, it's easier for some grandparents to establish intimacy with grandchildren. Grandparents who lack a truly intimate bond with grandchildren may be more susceptible to over-gifting. This lack of intimacy can come from physical distance; maybe you live far apart and don't visit or converse often. Or it can be from an emotional distance; perhaps the grandparent suffers from depression or a mood disorder that makes it more challenging to establish a connection. Or maybe your relationship with your own parent is strained, and in some ways, it prevents intimacy from developing between your parent and your child. In situations like this, gifting can shift into overdrive. Gifting can be a straightforward way of showing love from a distance—whether it be a physical distance or emotional distance. Of course, it can also be a result of group norms. Have Respect and Understanding of the Group Identity If you or your partner were raised in families that gave many gifts, it would feel natural for the grandparents to follow suit with your kids. This dynamic has become part of the group identity: "In our family, we do Christmas big!" "In our family, birthdays are a big deal!" If over-gifting is a part of the group identity within your family, it's just "part of who you are" then, when you announce they are you simplifying and requesting fewer gifts, these family members are likely to feel an immediate rejection. "Are you saying the way we raised you was wrong?". They may or may not explicitly say this or realize this, but this underlying sentiment can frequently be present, and it's helpful to talk about—it can become the elephant in the room. Anytime we go outside of the group identity it can be confusing and upsetting to the rest of the group, we talked more about this a few weeks ago in the Challenging Relationships series (PART I/PART II/PART III). Can you invite intimacy in? Whatever the driving factor, an over-gifter is a well-intentioned person, and I'd advise you not to attempt to end over-gifting today. It will take time. At its core, what you are asking is to give less stuff and give more of themselves. But remember, this isn't always possible due to emotional and physical distance. If you are the gatekeeper, you are in charge of keeping things out. But can you also be in charge of inviting things in? How can you help facilitate this necessary intimacy and connection that you want to replace the gift-giving? How can you help nurture the relationship between the gifter and the giftee? It's not your sole responsibility, but you may be able to help. How can you help to reassure the family group that even though you might be shifting some of your values and beliefs, you don't think they are "bad" and you don't regret the ways you were raised. Start here If we are moving towards having less and buying more intentionally, then we need to hold true to it ourselves. If you went overboard on your kids this year for the holidays, then it's confusing for the other family members who you have been urging to buy less. That means you have to talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk. Year-after-year. Have empathy for the gift-givers, especially this year, where intimacy has been lacking for all of us. Remember that moving towards less is a lifelong journey, and it usually takes several years for extended family to start seeing and appreciating the changes that you are making. Be patient. They will get on board. It just takes time, tact, modeling, and thoughtful discussion. You have to start the conversation early before the gift-giving seasons begin. I recommend both indirect and direct conversations about this. Be sure you speak generally about your efforts to simplify life so that they can see you living out simplicity in all aspects, not just gifts. These are more indirect conversations. But I also suggest you have kind, tactful, direct conversations. Here's a quote that you can use and modify to fit your family: “Our kids love spending time with you and I have enjoyed seeing your relationship grow. I fear that too many packages may distract them from appreciating all the wonderful gifts that you bring as a person. I want them to look forward to special time with you more than they do the gifts. How can we work together to keep them focused on the important stuff? (Remember, this conversation is too late to have for this holiday season. File this away for next year when the time is right!). Lastly, stay focused on the big picture. This isn't a problem you are going to fix today. This is a multi-year conversation and path towards change. Stay the course, you are doing great!The post Over-gifters appeared first on Simple Families.
13 minutes | 4 months ago
We have different expectations for our kids’ behavior based on the type of environment that we take them into. Perhaps you feel at ease when you pull into a playground, and your kids can jump out to just run, yell, and play. But what if you have to take them to a department store to make some returns? Or to an upscale restaurant for Grandma’s 90th Birthday dinner? Sometimes we have to take kids into environments that challenge both them and us. In these situations, I find it helpful to use what I call ‘Prep Talks’. Prep Talks are when you simply lay out your expectations for behavior before entering into a potentially challenging environment. Here’s an example: “We are going into the doctor’s office, and we have to sit in the chairs and wait. It might feel tough to wait, but I bet they will have some books or magazines that we can look at together. It’s important that you keep your bottom glued down to the chair. If you need to get up and stretch or take a walk outside, let me know!” A Prep Talk is a short talk that you give your kid in advance of a new environment or life circumstance. This is an example of being proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our children’s behavior. Here’s why Prep Talks are successful. They lay out the expectations for us as parents and for our kids. When you say the behavioral expectations aloud, you can assess if your expectations are really appropriate for your child. Notice I said for your child. Not for the typical age of your child. Just because your neighbor’s 5-year-old can sit quietly in the waiting room at the doctor’s office for 30 minutes doesn’t mean that your kid can. We have to set expectations for the child we have right in front of us. That also means just gauging your child at this moment—has your child ate, slept, and moved well today? Because this will impact their capacity to behave in the way you need them to. The truth is we often have arbitrary, vague expectations of our children’s behavior. We don’t really think about their behavior until they are doing something “bad”. We are often just “winging it” until things fall apart. Then when that happens, we get angry and start throwing around empty threats. “If you don’t sit down and be quiet, I’m going to take you to the car” “If you don’t behave, I’ll take away your screen time” This happened to me just last week. We’ve decided to teach our kids how to ski this year, being an outdoor activity that we can easily socially distance…it seems like good timing. Now let me tell you that I ski the same way I drive. I’m basically just trying to stay alive. I’m anxious, and my shoulders are tense. I’m hyperalert almost the whole time. So why teach my kids to ski? It’s my husband’s dream. My dream is to start bike touring and get family tandems, which I’ve talked about we just invested in recently. And my husband’s dream is to ski as a family. As many of you know, we sold our house this year, and part of downsizing and living smaller is to enable us to play bigger and do things like this. That means I’m doing this for my family. I’m praying I will have at least one child that will delight in the greens and blues and ski slow and careful with me. And I will send the other child with my husband. I digress. I’m telling you this because I had to take my kids into a ski shop last week to rent skis. And it was a train wreck, for lack of better words. It was like my skiing. I was basically just trying to stay alive; it’s was a fast, downward spiral out of control. I’m sure you’ve all felt like that at some point in time. I didn’t do a Prep Talk, and it showed. My kids had never been in a ski shop before, so they found it highly stimulating, crowded, and novel. This is a terrible combination in 2020 when you have to be hyper-vigilant about making sure kids aren’t touching things or getting into other people’s personal space. I wish I would have done things differently. I wish I would have brought my husband so that he could have taken the kids to the car after we had them measured, and I could have taken care of the rest. I wish I would have called ahead to get the paperwork to fill out emailed me, so I didn’t need to fill out a pile of forms while my kids rolled around on the floor and attempted to touch every.single.thing in the entire store. But most of all, I wish I would have given them a Prep Talk. This is what it would have looked like in the parking lot before going into the store: “Hey guys, we are going into a ski shop. They are going to measure your feet and height to see what size skis you need. There’s going to be A LOT of colorful, new things to look at and touch, but it’s important that you keep your bottom glued to your seat and your hands down by your sides. Because of the virus, we have to make sure we aren’t touching things that aren’t ours, and we have to make sure that we aren’t getting too close to other people. I know it’s going to be hard. I think it would be a fun place to play I-Spy, and we can even take some photos of your favorite skis.” So what did I do there in this hypothetical Prep Talk? I explained what I needed them to do: Sit down and not touch a bunch of stuff. Notice I didn’t say “be good” or “behave”. I specifically told them how I needed them to keep their bodies. I gave myself a reality check: I mentally and verbally acknowledged that these behavior expectations would be challenging because there’s so much cool stuff in there. This was a BIG ASK of my kids. I quickly brainstormed some simple ideas: On the fly, I came up with some ideas I could initiate if/when things started to go south, and they were struggling with sitting. This also gave me a reality check that I would probably need to engage them more purposefully with I-Spy or pointing at our favorite products, rather than just telling them to sit down, hold still, and be quiet. That probably wouldn’t be enough in this situation. But in this situation, I didn’t do any of the sort. I just kind of panicked and filled out the paperwork a million miles and hour and ran out of there as fast as humanly possible after my kid bumped into the plexiglass for the 100th time. Being a kid isn’t easy because they have a natural curiosity that drives them to explore and learn. Usually, we love that, but sometimes it can make behavior feel difficult. Whenever we have to take our kids into a high-expectation kind of environment, it’s good to get them moving first. Definitely take them to a playground and run off some of the energy before asking them to sit down at grandma’s fancy 90th birthday party. That natural curiosity and need for movement make integrating small children into adult life tricky. But we also ask them to do a lot of code-switching. Code-switching is when we adjust our speech, language, behavior, and appearance based on the environment and the people we are surrounded by. Code-switching is a natural part of socialization that we do as adults without any thought. You talk and act differently with your brother than you do with your boss. As a kid, you spoke and carried yourself differently with the school principal than you did with your best friend. Some kids pick up on social cues very well, and they can pre-emptively adjust behaviors without a Prep Talk. They code-switch easily. But many (or maybe most) kids are still acquiring this skill. Therefore, Prep Talks can come in really handy. ESPECIALLY THIS YEAR. Because environments that we previously could relax in and let our guard down now demand a much more intense level of hypervigilance with our kids. Here’s an example of a conversation you may not have needed to have a year ago: “We are going into the grocery store to get some blueberries and cereal. I need you to stay right next to my side and you can’t touch anything. Remember because of the virus, it’s important that we keep our hands down by our sides while we are in the store, and we only get close to the people in our family.” Will Prep Talks work and make your kid behave perfectly every time? No. I’m not making that promise. But they will help both you and them.The post Prep Talks appeared first on Simple Families.
10 minutes | 4 months ago
Caroling at the holiday party The live stage performances In vivo religious gathering Shared Hanukkah meals Santa’s lap and festive parades Plane rides or Road trips People we love. There’s so much missing this year. There’s much empty space to fill. But humans have a way of filling those voids without pause. With so much missing, this holiday season may feel slower and more open than you intended. Today we will talk about embracing that white space. The post What's missing? appeared first on Simple Families.
19 minutes | 4 months ago
Let’s talk about Santa. I’ll start by saying this is not a kid-friendly episode, because we will be discussing Santa from the perspective of a parent. If you know what I mean. If you have a child present with you—press pause and come back to this. With the Holiday Season upon us, I know many parents have mixed feelings about how to integrate Santa Claus into their celebration in a way that feels authentic and approachable to your family. In this episode, we are going to start off by letting go of all your core beliefs about Santa and starting fresh. There are probably aspects of your childhood that you want to keep, and others you want to let go of. As the parent, you are steering the ship. You get to define the role of Santa and gift-giving in your home. If you are trying to focus on non-tangible gifts this holiday season—like relationships, religion, and family connection…then you might find it necessary to strike a new balance in your approach to Santa Claus. The post Santa appeared first on Simple Families.
24 minutes | 5 months ago
2020 Holiday Gift Guide
This gift guide isn't meant to literally click and buy (although I've included links for ideas). Instead, it is intended to make you think differently about gifting. Our kids may grow out of their toys, but they won't grow out of spending quality time together as a family. If we want to stay focused on what matters most around the holidays, then we need to consider the way we are gifting. Our kids can easily be distracted by the piles of wrapped gifts. There’s a whole lot of dopamine and anticipation build up to those gifts. And that can be distracting if we are trying to focus on the real gifts of the season--family, community, and religion. Listen to it here. This post contains affiliate links, which means Simple Families may receive a portion of the proceeds from your orders. Kayak or Kayak Outing Snow Shoes Little Kid Snow Shoes/Big Kid Snow Shoes/Adult Snow Shoes High-Quality Base Layers (Smartwool) Kid Socks/Kid Tops/Kid Bottoms/Adult Socks/Adult Top/Adult Bottoms Bike gear Tag-a-long/Child-Adult Tandem /Bike Bag Birding Starter Kit Squirrel Buster/Seed Tray/Regional Bird Book Mochi-making Kit Tortilla Press (Handmade in Mexico) + Maseca (get at your local grocer) SnackCrate Mexican Hot Chocolate Kit (Handmade in Mexico) Fortune Cookie Kit Pucket HABA Orchard Game Wonder Women Bingo Family Scavenger Hunt Rollet Ricochet game Year Cheer (10% off) Worm Farm The Week Junior See-Through Compost Container Flower Press Rock Tumbler Masterclass The post 2020 Holiday Gift Guide appeared first on Simple Families.
12 minutes | 5 months ago
Organize vs. Minimize
Organization can feel like a false promise of more. If only you could be more organized, you could manage MORE stuff. You could handle MORE on your calendar. But the truth is, the sheer quantity of…everything…is inundating us. My efforts at organization mostly lead me to feel like a total failure. I can’t organize my dresser drawers, they end up a heap of mess. I can’t organize my purse, it ends up all thrown in the middle. I can’t organize multiple playdates and activities for my kids on a weekend, because I forget things. You don’t need more bins. More planners. You don’t need ombre’d markers. And you certainly don’t need more self-loathing about being unable to maintain complex systems. What you need is more practice saying no. Organization isn’t the answer. Minimalism or better yet, essentialism is the answer. The post Organize vs. Minimize appeared first on Simple Families.
29 minutes | 5 months ago
We all want our kids to eat well. We will try anything and everything to make it happen. But what if sometimes we try too hard and end up mucking it up in the process? There is plenty to be said about simplicity and feeding children--today we are exploring this topic more. The post Simplify Feeding appeared first on Simple Families.
22 minutes | 5 months ago
Today we are talking about upsetting our kids. Sometimes as parents, we have to make hard decisions for our kids. Decisions they don’t like. Decisions that upset them. We are talking about feeling that tension between what your child wants you to do versus what you actually need to do. This tension can quickly turn into fear. Fear that they will whine. Fear they will be disappointed. Fear that they will cry. Maybe even fear that they will be traumatized (I hear this one a lot from you all!). Here’s where I feel like it gets confusing. We are all striving to be responsive, respectful parents. We want to honor our children’s individuality. We want to honor their choices. We want to empower them to make important decisions in their own lives. BUT...our kids don’t have fully developed reasoning skills. They can’t fully see through the implications of their decisions. They can’t always understand our rationale. They often live in the moment. We are the adults with fully developed brains, decision-making skills, and credit cards. As they grow, we can and should include our kids in the decision-making process, but we have to ultimately be the “brain managers” who oversee the decisions. We have to set the values for our family and uphold those values. I’m going to talk you through a few recent situations recently I’ve had where I’ve felt that tension and how I’ve communicated these decisions to my kids. The post Hard Decisions appeared first on Simple Families.
18 minutes | 6 months ago
Challenging Relationships (Part III)
In today's episode, Part III, we're going to talk about how we can work to improve and better understand the challenging relationships that we have in our lives. We will cover setting boundaries, empathic listening, building connection, and communication patterns. Listen to: Part IPart IIThe post Challenging Relationships (Part III) appeared first on Simple Families.
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