Parent-Teacher Relationships | Mom Minute

June 01, 2014

With five of our six children in full day school, we’ve definitely learned a thing or two about how important it is to have an effective parent-teacher relationship.

Parent-Teacher Relationships

Today’s question comes from Susah, who asks, “How do you approach a child’s teacher when you disagree about a grade or think they are being unfair? How involved should you be?”

Parent Teacher Conferences

My first response is to say that you should be as involved as you can be. But, be open in how you approach the teacher knowing that you simply cannot have all the facts.

I am happy to say that we’ve been blessed in nearly all of the individual 31 combined school years our children have gone through, to have had AMAZING teachers. {Some of them were so invested in the success of our children’s lives, that they even follow this blog to this today!}

That isn’t to say that along the way we have not had one or two conflicting stories from our child vs teacher about a missing assignment or failed exam. In these cases, it is so easy to pent up rage against a teacher while listening to our child recant how unfair or belligerent the teacher was while addressing the problem. Sometimes we just want to let the teacher have it via phone or email, or go over the teacher’s head and call up the principal to lecture them about how this educator does not belong at the school.

The best thing we can do in these cases is to never assume our child is 100% correct. In fact, a better practice would be to accept only 50% of what they say as possible fact… the rest is likely exaggeration.

Next, schedule a parent-teacher conference where you can discuss the problem with the teacher openly. {It may be helpful to bring the child with you, because in an open discussion, it will be much harder for your child to exaggerate circumstances. Please know, at this point, the teacher is likely spending more time with your child in the waking day than you are.}

I have found that 99.9% of the time the teacher is truly invested in the growth of our children. I find that they appreciate, even embrace, parents like you who take an active role in your child’s education.

I am convinced that the most ideal environment for the success of our child’s education is when parents and teachers have an open line of communication, meeting often, and working together to ensure the child is progressing. An easy way to do this is to volunteer, if you can, in the class room.

My opinion is shaped from my own experience, plus hundreds of discussions over the years with my mother-in-law, who has been an elementary school teacher for over 30 year.  Also, over the years, I am proud to say some of my closest friends have come from among my children’s teachers! Some follow up with my kids even today, often congratulating my girls via my Facebook page for their many accomplishments.

In today’s discussion, I invited Traci Demuth, a teacher and Ed.D candidate, on the #MomMinute show to discuss how to foster effective relationships between parents and teachers. Click below to view…

For any of our readers who have managed effective parent-teacher relationships, what advice to you have for Sarah for how you were best able to do so? Please free to leave your comments below…

Happy Parenting!

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School Bus Driver Teaches Kids a Lesson | Memorial Day Hero

May 27, 2014

I know this post has nothing to do with hairstyles, but this story shared by my twins Brooklyn and Bailey was simply so inspirational… I had to share!

My children had to make up a snow day at school yesterday, yes over Memorial Day, which didn’t sit super well with them, of course.

Yet we tried to stress to them the importance of remembering the purpose of Memorial Day, for family members and friends who have passed on and especially for those military men and women who died for our great country.

With the stresses of a few finals yesterday, we’re not sure anything we said sunk in.

On the way home from school, near the end of the bus route, it began to rain. Not a sprinkle of rain, nor a drizzle… but a huge DOWNPOUR!

Before our kids knew it, the bus rolled to a stop by the side of the road.

With everyone looking around to see what was the matter, the engine not running the bus driver set the emergency brake, quietly put on his hat, opened the door, and stepped out into the pouring rain. There was a collective groan from the remaining kids thinking that the bus had somehow broken down, right there on the side of the road.

It was a national holiday, and the kids had to go to school. Many of them had family visiting from out of town, and were so eager to get home and spend time with them. {I am sure there were plenty of BBQ’s, and cousins to play with.} A bus breakdown was the last thing they needed. Period.

As my girls turned to the window to see what the bus driver was working on, this is a snapshot of what what they saw…

Memorial Day Bus Driver

During the stormy downpour, one of the American flags posted along the sidewalk of a neighborhood {in commemoration of Memorial Day} had fallen to the ground.

This bus driver noticed it out of the corner of his eye, and acted in a way I am not sure many of us would.  He quickly, and without word, resolved to once again give this flag its opportunity to wave, in honor and love, to those who gave everything for its symbolic legacy.

As the bus driver, soaking wet, boarded the bus, he took off his hat. He sat down and once again continued the bus route. As he did so, one by one, the remaining few children began clapping for him. Some even stood.

My twins learned a great lesson yesterday, they said it was emotional for them, and that respect and national pride became contagious.

This was a simple act, for sure, but one that communicates much more than on face value. Perhaps this bus driver had a parent, grandparent, child or grandchild who served in the military. Maybe one of them had died in that service, we do not know. Quite possibly… maybe he himself is a veteran.

This dear school bus driver, in what is likely one of the most unappreciated and thankless part-time professions, taught my children the true meaning of patriotism and respect for those who had sacrificed all for the freedoms we enjoy.

On this Memorial Day, Mr. Bus Driver, you are our hero!

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How to Create a Laced Fishtail Braid

May 25, 2014

As you all know by now, we’ve loved Lace Braids in our home for years, and fishtail braids have been around for eons. What would a hairstyle look like if you combined the two into one?

Today, we will show you how to create a Laced Fishtail Braid!

Laced Fishtail Braid

Just over two weeks ago, a fan emailed me with photo screenshot of this inspired style, asking for us to create a tutorial. In all my efforts, I traced the photo to an Instagram account named PeinadosSweet on Instagram. {Be sure to check her out!}

Bailey is my Lace Braid lover, so she promptly volunteered to be my model today.  The entire hairstyle takes about 8-10 minutes to create, but if you are careful, it can last for up to two days!

Laced Fishtail Braid

If you have shorter hair, you can do the lace backs and then do a flip-under bun or a messy bun, and the hairstyle would be just as adorable!

Feel free to tag your own photos of this hairstyle with: #CGHLacedFishtail

We get asked a lot for sports hairstyles, or styles that can be worn at the beach or pool, etc. This hairstyle fits those categories perfectly, and is wonderful for Summer because it keeps the hair out your face and holds up fairly well, wet or dry.

Laced Fishtail Braid Laced Fishtail Braid

Laced Fishtail Braid

Laced Fishtail Braid

Laced Fishtail Braid 

Items Needed: Brush, rat-tail comb, spray bottle, 1 small hair elastic, hairspray {if desired}.

Time Requirement: 8-10 minutes

Skill Level: Hard

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Begin by parting the hair on one side of the head…
  2. On the heavy side of the part, begin a Lace Braid by only adding in hair to the bottom side of the braid…
  3. Continue the lace braid around the crown of the head {where a crown would sit}, stopping just a few inches above the ear, and continuing on with a simple braid…
  4. Temporarily secure with an elastic, or ask your daughter to hold onto the braid for a moment…
  5. Repeat another Lace Braid, in the same manner, on the other side of the head…
  6. Next, take both braids and cross the left braid over the right, with the rest of the hair hanging down underneath {your two braids will now act as your two strands for French fishtailing}…
  7. Now pick up a section of hair from the rest of the hanging hair, on the right side, and cross it over the right strand/braid, adding it into the left strand…
  8. Conversely, pick up a section of hair from the left side and cross it over the left strand, adding it to the right-most strand…
  9. This completes the first stitch of a French fishtail braid.
  10. Continue Steps #7-8, picking up hair and crossing it to the other strand, over and over again, until you run out of hair…
  11. When you run out of loose hair to add to the French fishtail, continue braiding with a simple fishtail and secure with an elastic…
  12. Add hairspray or accessory {as desired}.

Hope you enjoy the CuteGirlsHairstyles App, and more importantly, know how much we appreciate you being a part of this journey with us!

Happy Hairstyling!

The twins decided to be hilarious this week and film a “Not-My-Hands” Makeup Challenge on their BrooklynAndBailey YouTube channel! It seriously looks like Brooklyn gave Bailey a bloody nose! Simply click the video below to have a few laughs…

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Dealing with Divorce | Mom Minute

May 24, 2014

Todays #MomMinute topic is about dealing with divorce. While it hasn’t shown up often in my life, we do have a few cases of close family members or friends who have gone through a divorce.

Dealing with Divorce

Today’s question comes from Olivia who asks, “My parents just got divorced, and do not get along. I feel like they are making me pick sides. I do not want to lose either of them. What do I do?

Dealing with Divorce

I believe that in some cases divorce may be merited {such a physical, mental, and sexual abuse}, and in others it may not be {infidelity, mid-life crisis, pure selfishness, etc}. Every situation is different, and we really shouldn’t judge because not only is it wrong to do, but we may only know a sliver of what has really happened.

What I do know, is that in many cases the children are indirect victims who often impose the blame on themselves. This is where the heartache comes in for me. Worse yet, are situations where the parents politic the children to choose sides, which is such an unfair situation to place them in.

My counsel to anyone in this situation is to be honest with your parents about how you feel.

Many of you do not know this, but Shaun’s parents divorced just a few years ago. The kids were all grown, which certainly made it easier, but the process was still a little hard on them. Fortunately, the divorce is fairly amicable which took a lot of dedication from both parents. Shaun’s advice to both parents while they were going through the divorce process was, “It’s more important to do what’s right, than to be right.

{That’s actually advice we should all take and live by on a daily basis, eh?}

Along with being honest with your parents, etc, something I neglected to state in the video is to find someone else you can confide in. Whether it be a counselor, teacher, priest, extended family member, or a friend, find someone who can let you vent, cry, laugh, and love. Going through a divorce as a child is something very difficult to manage alone, and reaching out to a 3rd-party loved one may just give you the extra strength you need.

What I can say is that your parents love you dearly! They’re simply are at a point in their lives where they need to take a step back and identify who they are.

Keep your head up, try love them a little more, and honestly let them know that your relationship with them now no longer includes the other parent. If you tell them that lovingly, they should quickly understand and do their best to respect your wish.

What I hope you always remember though, is that you are NEVER alone! There are more people who love you than you likely recognize. I heard a quote once that testifies of that, saying “God works approximately 10,000 miracles in our daily lives… however we only recognize about three of them.

For any of our readers who have gone through divorce, what advice to you have for Olivia for how you were best able manage and overcome that process? Please free to leave your comments below…

Happy Parenting!

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The Knotted Ponytail | Hairstyles for Girls

May 18, 2014

Our Knotted Headband hairstyle from a few years ago was such a hit, we decided to give you a similar look but in a ponytail this time!

The Knotted Ponytail | Sports Hairstyles So today Kamri and I want to show you how to create The Knotted Ponytail

We started off with three simple flip-unders on top as an accent to the hairstyle, before pulling back into the high ponytail. If you do not know how to create these, you can see how to make flip-unders here.

The inspiration for this ponytail knotting technique came from a hair blog named Princess Piggies years ago, but we’ve never had the time to show you how to do this until now.

The Knotted Ponytail | Cute HairstylesThe Knotted Ponytail Essentially, if you can make the first “stitch” of tying your shoe, you can easily create this ponytail! Kamri volunteered to be my model, and I always have fun filming with her… can’t you tell??? After we were filming, she asked me if I ate too much chocolate!

The Knotted Ponytail The Knotted Ponytail Hairstyle The Knotted Ponytail | Hairstyles for Girls Feel free to tag your own photos of this hairstyle with: #CGHKnottedPonytail

We get asked for more and more sports hairstyles, and this one sure fits in… however the hairstyle would be simply adorable as wrapped up into a bun as well!  Accent the bun with a few small twist-in flowers, and you’d have a beautiful prom or wedding updo! Enjoy the tutorial, and prepare for compliments!

Items Needed: Brush, rat-tail comb, spray bottle, 1 ponytail holder, 1 hair elatic, 2 small claw hair clips, spray wax and hairspray {if desired}.

Time Requirement: 3-5 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

Step-by-Step Instructions: {Best done on wet hair}

  1. Begin by pulling the hair into a high ponytail, and secure with a ponytail holder…
  2. Reach to the under side of the ponytail and grab two thin strands of hair, and gently comb through them so they are uniform and with out kinks…
  3. Spray some dry wax or add Pomade to help the hair strands hold their shape…
  4. Then, create the first stitch of tying a shoe {take the left stand over and under the right strand, and pull tight}..
  5. Using two tiny claw hair clips, now clip each end of the strands to the sides of ponytail to keep them taught and out of the way…
  6. Now, again, reach back around to the underside of the ponytail and grab two more small strands of hair, comb them out, add any pomade or dry wax, and then tie them in another simple stitch in front of the ponytail {this should create a second knot about 1 inch lower then the first one}…
  7. Release the hair clips and move them down to hold onto the second knot ends…
  8. Continue Steps #2-7 until you run out of hair.
  9. At the end of the ponytail, when you are unable to create any more stitched without hair falling out, secure with a hair elastic…
  10. Go back and gently position the knots to the desired look, and add hairspray {if desired}.

Hope you enjoy the CuteGirlsHairstyles App, and more importantly, continue to share these Sunday evenings with our family!

Happy Hairstyling!

Want an absolutely hilarious family game that is sure to generate laughs and memories? BrooklynAndBailey uploaded a video last week of our kids playing Jelly Belly’s Bean Boozled, a roulette version of the Jelly Bean Challenge featuring flavors like Stinky Socks, Moldy Cheese, Barf, Rotten Egg mixed in with similar colored fruity jelly beans! Click below to get a few laughs…

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