Going Through Family Hardships | Mom Minute

June 08, 2014

Family hardships are a part of life, and they come in all shapes and sizes. With the economy as it has been for the past 5-6 years, there are more families going through it than we recognize.

Family Hardships

Today’s #MomMinute question comes from Cameron, who asks, “My dad lost his job for something he didn’t do, and my family is struggling with money. How does my family get through this time? I don’t want to tell my friends because I don’t want them to think of me differently.”

Family Hardships

Unfortunately, each of us will be affected {at one time or another} directly or indirectly by losing a job.

My parents have gone through it, and so has Shaun’s. Both sets of parents taught us to save money in the bank when times are good, just in case. That has come in handy a few times for us.

Family members relying on each other is very important, and as a child, doing what you can to support your parent in their job hunt. See what you can do to help polish up your parents’ resume, or help in practice interviews. Maybe even ask your friends if their parent’s work has open positions available.

Please know that you are not alone. I think your friends will be more understanding of your situation than you think. It may be that they are going through a different family hardship, and need support as well. Maybe choose one friend, the one you confide in the most. Know that they love you for you, and not for what you wear and what expensive after-school activities you participate in. I promise they will have your back.

Like a blacksmith refiner’s fire, hardships can really make us stronger as families. Although they are painful, and often seem so unfair, it is an opportunity for our families to bond together.

Facing the challenge head on will make you stronger, this I know. Love you all!

Happy Parenting,

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Live Mermaids in our Pool {and GIVEAWAY!}

June 06, 2014

Now that it is summertime, I am trying my hardest to keep my kids entertained while not having them waste time playing video games or watching TV.

Rylan, CGH#4, is my one child that has dreamt of being a princess or mermaid since she could barely talk. She had been begging so long for a mermaid swimming tail for her birthday, which was in March.

We searched around the internet and found an adorable family-run website who makes and sells them, Fin Fun Mermaid. {The other girls have since been playing with the fin so much that we had to get them each one of their own!}

Fin Fun Mermaid Tails

We posted a single photo on Instagram a few weeks ago of Brooklyn in her mermaid tail, and our viewers loved it so much… that we decided to film this bonus video for you all!

Who knows, this may finally be my opportunity to do an Ariel-inspired hairstyle from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid“!

These are the most realistic commercial mermaid suits I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen lots of “Little Mermaid” plays and even beautiful siren/mermaids in swim tanks in Las Vegas!

Mermaids Swimming Mermaid

OK, so they look awesome, and include tankini or bikini tops, but I was very surprised at how fast my girls picked up swimming in them, using the dolphin kick. I particularly love how it gave the girls a core and leg workout without them even knowing it!

Kamri definitely picked up swimming as a mermaid fast! {If you couldn’t already tell in the video!}

I love how Brooklyn and Bailey wanted to relax and “bask” in the sun, reading their books! I… just… couldn’t… hold… back! SQUIRT! Once they were wet, the twins joined right in on the fun!

Mermaids Diving Mermaids

Sweet Pea and Daxton are still not totally comfortable swimmers, so we settled with a “buoying” shark fin for Dax and an adorable mermaid suit only for Sweet Pea {without the tail fins, as seen in the first photo}. Can you tell that they were having a blast that day?

Shark Fin for Swimming Swimming Mermaid

We loved these so much, that we teamed up with Fin Fun to give a discount code for our readers. From now until June 30th, you can get 10% off by entering coupon code CGH10 at checkout! Yes, they do ship all over the world!

YouTube GIVEAWAY

As part of the fun, CGH & Fin Fun teamed up to give away a Mermaid Tail {including top} & Fin to 3 lucky winners! Details of the giveaway…

  • Contest ends at midnight CST, on Wednesday June 11th, 2014.
  • Winners will be announced in our video on Sunday, June 15th.
  • Open Internationally!

{We will not end this contest early, so please beware of scammers or fake winner emails. You can 100% verify that you are a winner if your name appears in our Sunday video on YouTube on June 15th.}

Entry Rules:

  • Go to FinFun.com, and choose which mermaid tail and color you would want.
  • Go to our Mermaid YouTube Video here and leave a comment telling us the name and color of the mermaid tail you want.
  • You may leave a comment there once per day until June 11th.
  • You must be age 18 or older, or have your parents’ permission to enter.

Feel free to tag any photos of you wearing a Mermaid Tail with: #CGHMermaids

Good luck everyone, and enjoy this fun family video!

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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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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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