If your children are anything like mine, I am sure that here are times when dinner is a struggle. One child loves spaghetti while other hates it and refuses to eat it. One child loves ice cream and the other will not touch the stuff (believe it or not my oldest will not eat ice cream). So how do you make everyone happy? You don’t! The rule in my house is, “If you don’t like what’s for dinner, dinner’s over.” Actually, I make my children try at least one bite of everything then choose one thing to finish. That way they have to at least taste it before they decide not to eat it. Some days it works better than others. Halloween is one of those days.
Potato Worms (Twice Baked Potatoes)
On Halloween my children love to eat anything that is ghoulish and gross. That is why I try to make it a point to give them something disgustingly healthy before we go trick or treating. Tonight it is cheese covered potato worms (twice baked potatoes), scabs and boogers (green bean casserole), and rotted wood planks (pork roast). My girls are just as excited about dinner as they are about all the candy they will be getting tonight.
Scabs & boogers (green bean casserole)
So how do you make dinner healthy, fun, and edible for your children? Leave a comment to share your tricks with treats.
Growing up, swear words were just another word in my house. In fact, it was so bad that my grandmother’s favorite word was the “F” bomb. She said that it was the perfect word because you could say it when you were shocked, when you were mad, and even when you were ready for bed. I remember one time we had a Super Bowl party at our house and my dad told all his friends to watch their language once his mother arrived. He told them, “No one is allowed to swear unless my mother does first.” As soon as she walked in the first word out of her mouth was the “F” bomb and laughter erupted throughout the room. So when I went out in public, I could not understand why parents would get so upset when I would swear around their children. I thought they were just words and people should not be so sensitive. Now that I am a mother, I understand their anger.
But understanding their anger and curving the language I grew up with are two completely different things. It is hard to curve a behavior that is so ingrained in you that you don’t notice when you are doing it. I find it even harder to refrain from swearing when I am angry. That is why we initiated a sweat jar in my house. Anytime my girls hear my say a swear word, they are able to put a rock in my jar. When the jar fills up, I have to take them out for a special (and expensive) excursion. I did this for a few reasons.
First, I made the reward for them to catch me swearing fun so that they were incented to catch me and they recognize that even I have problem behavior that needs correcting. I want them to know that no one is perfect and everyone has something that they can work to improve about themselves. The key is to improve 1% every day.
Second, I made the excursions expensive because I found that I tend to have a shorter fuse when I am stressed about money. So if I know swearing over something stupid like a glass of spilled milk is going to cost me big, I will be more aware of it myself and catch myself before it comes out of my mouth.
If you find yourself having difficulty changing a behavior within yourself that you want to change, the first thing to remember is that you should not give up. Dwelling on the problem can only increase the problem. After all, when you criticize yourself you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Rather than say, “you’re driving me crazy.” to your children; try saying, “I can stay calm.” Then log your victories each time you follow through with the positive reinforcing statements. Celebrating each small victory will boost your confidence and your ability to stay the course.
Charles Dickens said, “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
I am a huge fan of “Gone With The Wind”. I used to watch it all the time with my dad. He wanted me to love it because he loved anything to do with the Civil War and he wanted me to do the same. I originally fell in love with it because it is so romantic and I love the dresses that they used to wear during the Civil War. I always wanted to be a spoiled southern bell during the time period just before the war. To not have a care in the world except what you are going to wear to the barbeque on Saturday. Yes, that would be the life….
It seems like every time that I watch “Gone With The Wind” I find new meaning in it and new reasons to love it even more. I just watched it again last weekend with my girls after we spent the weekend in Heber, Utah watching a Civil War reenactment and going to a Civil War ball. Scarlett O’Hara has always been a character that I admired and wanted to be like. The first time I watched it I was only 13 and I wanted to be like Scarlett because of all the men that swooned over her. Her beauty and passion for life attracted men of all ages and I wanted to be like that. But as I sat there and watched it for the ten thousandth time, I realized that one thing that I love most about Scarlett O’Hara is her courage. No matter how bad things got or how scared she was, she did not show it. She was determined to come out on top no matter what. One scene that portrays this better than any other is when she runs to the garden and picks a radish to eat, then stands and says, “As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again.”
It is that type of courage that pulls so many people through the worst situations. It is that kind of courage that built this great nation. Where else in the world can someone go from the depths of poverty to being one of the wealthiest people in America?
Oprah Winfrey is one of those people. She was born to a poor unwed teenaged mother. She was raped at age nine and gave birth to a baby boy at age fourteen that died in infancy. Yet at the age of 32 she became a millionaire when her talk show went national. Today she is worth over $2.5 billion. She did not let the hardships of life get her down and neither should you.
If you have found yourself in a bad situation I implore you to have courage. I know that in times it is easier said than done so do what I did and find yourself a bit of inspiration that you can play over and over again. For me it was playing Rodney Atkins song, “If You’re Going Through Hell”. If you are not a country music fan then maybe you will like the Simple Truths link below. It features a poem by Paula Fox called, “Courage Doesn’t Always Roar.”
Whatever you do… just keep doing and don’t give up. The best things in life you have to work the hardest for.
“If you’re going through hell, keep on going, don’t slow down. If you’re scared don’t show it. You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there.” By Rodney Atkins
A single mother herself, has learned how to successfully raise strong, self reliant children that are sure to be assets to society.