Author: Parent Cue

Unpacking

Our family is in the middle of an epic seven week Camp KidJam summer tour. With kids aged 4-9, that means Dan and I are doing most of the important packing for them. To ensure that they have enough underwear, sturdy shoes and a toothbrush rather than only stuffed animals, stickers or 13 pounds of Legos. Mid tour, we stopped for a mini vacation at my parents’ log cabin. We threw our giant duffle bags on the floor and sought out familiar couches, books, toys and cabin nooks. I was tempted to let everyone dig their own clothes out of the carryalls for the week, this was vacation, right? But after the first request for a bathing suit, I quickly realized that despite careful packing, our clothes had become a crazy, jumbled mess on the long, bumpy, road trip. Each time we had pulled into a new camp, we had burst out of the van eager to explore the grounds. But each week I had diligently taken the time to slow down, unpack everyone’s clothes, and organize them so they could easily see, choose, take, and use. And I’m glad I did, because in the frenzy of the camp week, it had been totally worth taking the prep time to set my kids up to successfully navigate quick changes of clothes between transitions in the camp “schedule” in an unfamiliar...

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Guilt-less Lessons of Love

We all want to teach our kids to put others before themselves and treat others the way they want to be treated. But how in the world do you do that? That is, how do you do it without using “that” voice: the condescending, “feel guilty, feel very guilty, and now do what I tell you to do out of robotic obligation” voice? Recently my husband brought me a gift. The box was white, rectangular, and had an apple on the top. I couldn’t have been more excited even if it had been a jewelry box. It was a new iPhone. We didn’t really have money to spare for it, but he knew I had been longing for a phone with a better camera for family pictures and also for a year-long volunteer project I had committed to that needed to be done with excellence. Four days later when I pulled my brand new phone out of my purse to check the time, there was a hair on it. But the hair didn’t move when I brushed it. I squinted my eyes and looked closer then felt something in the pit of my stomach. It was a top-to-bottom crack. I was so upset, especially when I found out there was no repairing or replacing the phone without incurring a substantial expense. I. Was. Devastated. Later that evening, my daughter...

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Love…No Matter What

LOVE: Choosing to give someone your time and friendship, no matter what. In a few days, my family is headed on 14 hour road trip. We’ll pack up the car with snacks, “goodie bags” filled with books and games for the kids, and lots and lots of music for me. Because I’m the music-fanatic in our house, I’m the designated DJ for these trips. Today, while we were all relaxing on the beach, I began making the playlist—one of my most enjoyable, downtime activities. While I’m in the middle of this, my seven-year-old daughter comes up to me: “Dad,...

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Father's Day Giveaway

With Father’s Day quickly approaching, Orange Parents would like to honor all the dads out there, and we’d like to treat one with a special gift! There’s a saying that a dad is his son’s hero and his daughter’s first love. That’s kind of a lot of pressure for a dad, but there’s no denying the importance of a father’s love and attention for his children. There are some great dads out there who really enjoy spending time with their kids and daily foster those crucial relationships, but sometimes busy schedules and lack of creativity get in the way. Here’s a great resource to help fathers with daughters : 88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates by Rob and Joanna Teigen. You’ll find practical ideas for fathers to spend quality time with their daughters. With supply lists and discussion starters, it’s perfectly designed for dads of girls ages 6-12. From this daughter’s perspective, fathers have an amazing opportunity to show girls how they should be treated and loved by others. One of my fondest memories growing up was how special I felt the night I got all dressed up in my peach flowered dress to go on a date with my dad. One lucky Orange Dad will receive a free copy of 88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates along with some other Orange goodies! All you have to do is leave a comment describing...

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Just Trust Me

Liam and I had hit the pool at the local YMCA for his first round of swim lessons. It was one of those parent/child swim classes, and it seemed like everyone else’s child had jumped to their parent’s open arms. Except mine. Liam just stood there with that “there is no chance I’m doing this” face. Seemed like no matter what I said, he wouldn’t budge. Finally, I just blurted out, “I will catch you! Just trust me!” I’m not sure if he finally summoned the courage or just tired of my pestering, but he jumped into the pool and into my arms. No worries. No fear. Just a huge smile on his face. I’ve found that so much of parenting can be summed up in those three little words: “Just trust me.” Trust me, eating that king size candy bar in one sitting will make you sick. Trust me, you really do want to put on the bug spray. Trust me, having a TV in your room really isn’t the wisest choice right now. We say those words all the time. But if we look at trust as putting your confidence in someone you can depend on, we can’t just say the words “just trust me” and expect our kids to jump into our arms. We must actually be trustworthy parents. Easier said than done. I knew I would catch Liam when...

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