"Mama?" My preschooler tugged on my leg during last Saturday's house-cleaning frenzy. I turned off my vacuum to hear her better. "Are we having a playdate today?" she asked. "No, honey, not today," I told her. "Then why are we cleaning the house?" she wondered. Forget for a moment -- if you can -- what that says about my housekeeping abilities, so I can make my point: When is it OK for me to leave my child to play at someone's house without me present?
My old way of cleaning house and weeding out toys worked for me: I'd wait until the kids were at Grandma's, then grab a box marked "Goodwill" and head for their toy bin. But as they've gotten older, I've discovered something. When I weed, I like to keep the good-quality toys (with a leaning toward the educational stuff). My kids are more likely to have attached themselves to something less attractive. How do you get rid of your kids' old toys without them having a meltdown?
When my daughter recently turned 7, she wanted to invite her entire class to her birthday party. Is this a new thing, inviting everyone? Because I found myself totally overwhelmed -- not only at the potential cost, but also at the idea of 21 extra presents to put away.
How do you teach your kids to be generous individuals?
When I hand my kids their allowance each week, they know that it's not all theirs to keep. Like many parents, we use the give/save/spend system: They get their money, then they head right to their jars to divvy up their dollars.
Are today's kids getting a bit too sophisticated for their own good?
Smart cookies! The Girl Scouts of the USA are behind a new bill promoting positive images of girls and women in the media.
I don't know what it is about the tween-girl world, but my 4-year-old is drawn like a moth to a flame.
I found a new way to save cash and have less clutter: Get rid of the extra stuff!