Thursday, March 31, 2011

{Creative Parenting} Finding your child's Currency


Will work for Jellybeans?!

I am wondering.....how do you reward yourself for a job well done?
Do you work hard now so you can play a little later? Say after all the laundry is done and you've done your chores that starbucks is a callin your name? Or maybe you reward yourself by watching a favorite tv show that you recorded on the DVR. Or maybe it's even just the self satisfaction that a task is done that makes you feel good about it.  I am sure the power of stickers and stamps have been long lost on you in adulthood.  I mean everyone loves a gold star, but compared to maybe a new pair of shoes, it just doesn't quite gather the same satisfying feeling of "I did a great job!" or "I deserve this".  

Now...how do you reward your children for a job well done?
treats, stickers, stamps, a trip to a favorite place, hugs, high fives?  I am sure the answer to this question is different for every parent. 

 As  teacher and Child Development educator I am constantly asked the question : "How do I get my child to (fill in the blank)? You want your kids to clean up their toys, stay in their own bed at night, eat all of their dinner, help around the house, be responsible, do homework without a struggle, contribute in a positive way....the list goes on and on.  I have discussed before some great options to implement in your everyday routines.  See my posts on Positive Reinforcement & Chore Charts.  These are great ways to encourage and keep your child on track with day to day responsibilities.  One of the greatest lessons I have come to learn through my experience as a teacher and Child Development major is that every child, every person, has a currency.  By currency I mean an object or reaction that drives you to complete a task.  For some it may be as simple as a high five, a hug, a pat on the back, or the words "well done" or "Good Job" that we attain at the end of a task or job.  For children it is usually much simpler in nature.  Such as stickers, or a privilege such as screen time, or maybe getting some special mommy or daddy time.  The trick to motivating your child to complete tasks and ordinary chores or behavior is finding what above all else they think is worth doing something for.  This currency also changes as a child gets older and experiences more things in the world around them.  You also need to change up the reward for different behaviors.  For example: My 4 year old daughter has recently decided that she does not like sleeping in her room by herself.  Several times a night she comes and wakes us wanting us to lay with her or vice versa.  It has become quite disruptive to say the least.  This is a big thing for her, something a sticker in the morning is not going to fix, so I had to get creative.  I know my daughter loves to ride the carousel at an outdoor shopping area near by.  We have not been in quite some time.  I told her if she could stay in her bed for one night we would go the next day.  Remember to pick a reward that is do-able for you and your family.  This motivated her extremely well and it worked she stayed in her bed, but the next night of course she assumed that if she stayed in her bed again we would go the next day as well.   Now, I don't want to be going to the carousel everyday! So I told her now that she would have to stay in her bed 2 nights, and I she knew she could do it because she had already done it once.  I told her she would get an extra gold star on her behavior chart as well.  This worked for her.  I continued to stretch out the days until what do you know...she is sleeping in her bed all night now!!  

So if the power of the sticker or stamp has lost it's effect on your child, try thinking creatively about what they enjoy or what really motivates them...they all have a currency- and it's different for every child!  I even suggest sitting down with your child and making a list of what he/she loves to do, eat, read etc, so that you have a list ready to pick from when trying to change or guide a new behavior! 

Check back tomorrow for pictures and post on my little ones First Cowgirl Birthday! Yeehaw!!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Muffin Monday- Lemon Blueberry Bliss

I love muffins...bouncy, light, full of flavor.  Sweet or savory, crumbly or smooth.  Making them is not too hard either, most ingredients are in your cupboard already.  I recently came across a recipe for Lemon Blueberry muffins that were so tasty I enhaled two within 5 minutes of them coming out of the oven.  Make sure you have some coffee or juice to wash these babies down with.


Lemon Blueberry Muffins

{recipe adapted from Kelsey Nixon of the cooking channel}

Ingredients

  • 3 cups, plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tsp. Almond extract  ** I added this to balance the tartness of the lemon and blueberries it turned out great!
  • 1 cup blueberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 12-well muffin tin with paper liners.
In a mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk until thoroughly combined.
In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and melted butter.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternating with the sour cream and mix just to combine. Avoid over mixing. Toss the blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour and fold into the batter.
Divide the batter evenly into each cup in the prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

**Tip: to get muffins to crown and round perfect on top use an ice-cream scoop to fill the muffin tins~

Friday, March 25, 2011

{Winner} Baked Cookbook!


Happy Happy Friday, The winner of the fantastic Baked cookbook is...


Deb who said, "I would love a copy b/c recenlty I have begun baking again, with my children. What a wonderful way to explore new recipes"

Yea!! Congratulations! Please contact me at sugarfootdesigns{at} gmail.com with your info!

Hope everyone has a great fun filled Spring Weekend!



Monday, March 21, 2011

{Giveaway} Baked Cookbook!

I am so excited to be writing this post! Baking is a passion of mine, it's cathartic, fun, creative, satisfying, and delicious.  I love baking things for friends, teachers, and neighbors. There is nothing like getting a plate of homemade goodies from someone else's kitchen.   I am so excited to say that I am hosting a giveaway, and the winner will receive their very own copy of "Baked"!!! Oprah loves the Brownie recipe, as do I! 
What is so special about this particular baking book?  Well, it is brimming with over 80 detailed Baked recipes (including recipes for: Breakfast, Cakes and Cupcakes, Pies and Tarts, Brownies and Bars, Cookies, Confections and Chocolates, and Drinks), 40 color photos, various tips, and a whole lot of love. If you haven't checked out their site, you should really give them a looksie here.


Love it, want it?!! Well, here's how you get one of your very own: 

1) Just leave a comment below on this post before Friday 3/25,  saying why you would like a copy of your own!  If you haven't "Liked"  SugarFoot Designs on Facebook, or are not a follower, please do so!

2) Post a link to this Giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a comment that you did so for an "extra" entry by Friday! 

I will select the winner Friday morning via random.org. Easy peesy!! Good luck!!

p.s. The winner must contact me within 24 hours of the announcement at: sugarfootdesigns@gmail.com or forfeit their prize. {Open to U.S. residents only.}

Goodluck, and Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Radient Day

I love capturing those moments when your little one is so fascinated with themselves.  You know the stage where they kiss themselves in the mirror, and babble at themselves when seeing their own refelction.  My little one is very into herself right now and we were messing around with my iphone, you can set it to reverse so you can see yourself and take a picture...this is what came of it


As you can see she is also teething big-time! 
I just love the sun flare that appeared in the picture, and it fits great with the I heart faces weekly photo challenge! 
www.iheartfaces.com



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

St. Paddy's Day Inspiration

I'm not really Irish....
I wish I could have that claim to fame, but I'm just a teeny tiny percent Irish...does that even count?  I usually leave the big St. Patricks Day fanfare and celebrating up to the pros...you know the people who are actually Irish. 
I will wear green on the day, and I love a good leprachaun hunt, I especially could go for a pot of gold or two.  I'm not a big fan of Corned beef...hmmm or green Eggs and Ham... Think maybe I'll stick with the rainbow cupcakes and Irish Coffees that day! 
I am harda t work planning my daughters First birthday party and can not wait to share all the details with you next week. In the meantime I rounded up some cute St. Paddy's day inspiration for you.  You know in case your actually Irish or just a wannabe like me!

Sweet Treats

Living Locurto created these super cute rainbow cupcakes!


Munchkin Munchies outdid herself with these beard cookies!

Follow this great tutorial at SweetSugarBelle to make these cute cookies!


Crafts:
This adorable banner by Rebecca Cooper is so easy to make, and you probably already have all the materials!


HowDoesShe.com has these great printables for free if you sign up with your email! This no pinching pin is the cutest!


Lil'Luna has this great free printable, and some good ideas of how to use it in your home :) ...Say what? You can't just print it out and stick it on your fridge..oh the horror...That's what I've been doing, I will for sure be taking a closure look at her post for some ideas!

Hope you got some inspiring ideas today!  I wil be back next week with my little ones Cowgirl First Birthday! Yee-haw!



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Just a moment


In just a moment these tiny hands will write her ABC's
In just a moment they will grab around my waist and squeeze me with all her might...
In just a moment his story filled hands will ruffle the top of her head and stroke her cheek, his excited voice telling her how he found this very special treasure while diving in the bluest pacific ocean today.


{photo credit: SugarFoot Designs }

In a moment this moment will be done, life will go on, and babies will get feed and bathed...
dinner will be made and bedtime stories told.
But the wonderment, the awe, the treasure will stay
from just this moment

*This photo has been entered in the i-heart faces weekly photo challenge






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