Kids are helped when asked to Help

Summer is here and with it are children around the house twenty-four seven. As much as we appreciate a change from the academic schedule we quickly begin to dread the clutter and mess that more bodies produce. 

If you are like most parents it is easier to pick up and do it yourself rather than listen to the complaints or look at the long faces of the kids when you ask them to put things away in the family room or empty the dishwasher.

Certainly we grow in the virtue of perseverance ourselves when we continue to elicit their help but more important is the consideration of their growth. Summer is not a time to put a halt to their education but actually an ideal time to add to it in practical ways that will prepare them for life and for their own future homes.

Pitching in and sharing the care is all part of a valuable education that is best nourished under the guidance and warmth of parents. Being part of a team that contributes to the comfort of home brings with it the growth of numerous human virtues not the least of which are industriousness, patience, understanding, and the engine of them all – love. 

Parents have always been and will always be the primary educators in things that are of lasting importance. Hang in there, it is all worthwhile!!!

Would love to hear your suggestions and secrets for motivating your children to pitch in and share the care.

Can a Tidy Home Exist with Children?

Is it possible to keep a tidy home with three or more children under the age of five or is more sane and realistic to accept the fact that it will be a mess?

Wouldn’t it be great if everything were black and white when it came to questions like this? I would love to be able to say:  ‘yes, you can keep a perfectly neat home with three or  four little ones running around and this is the magic formula’.  On the other hand wouldn’t it be nice to say ‘don’t worry about the house, put it on the back burner – it doesn’t matter; when  the children are grown you will have your dream home.’

Unfortunately (more…)

Manage your Inner Perfectionist

When asked if one is a perfectionist I think most of us reply “not me.” There are almost as many reasons for “not me” as there are individuals.  Some may not want to admit to being a perfectionist because of a kind of stigma attached to it that doesn’t fair well in our somewhat casual society. Others may truly feel that such a category is a distant cry when describing them.

Ever since my sophomore year in college I have thought about the concept of what constitutes a perfectionist and I have come to the conclusion (more…)

The Art of Making a House a Home

267064BRecently I was asked to address a group of relatively young homemakers. I say relatively young because anyone who has been around only thirty plus years is considered young to yours truly. Many in this age group are just beginning to experience the various shades and tones of life that will shape who they are. They may consider themselves in the throws of a somewhat ordinary lives but from my vantage point they have exciting and meaningful years ahead that will be influenced by their beautiful hidden lives of a wives, mothers and homemakers.

As I was pondering who these women were, that I had yet to meet, I began to focus on the topic of The Art of Making a House a Home. I was told that this topic had been suggested by (more…)

Hidden Gifts of the Season

homemade-christmas-decorations-kitchen-200X200With the approaching holidays most homemakers have mixed emotions. On one hand there is the desire and anticipation that everything will be peaceful and beautiful but on the other hand, the reality of the season can bring human and sometimes contradictory moments. We have all felt this tug unless we have had a magic wand that makes everything perfect.

We know that this is the season for giving but sometimes, if we are not careful, we can begin to think that we are the only ones concerned about giving. We have our lists of the many (more…)

Does it Really Matter to the Kids?

On a recent visit back to Chicago, my daughter-in-law shared a dear tale about our little four and a half year old grandson, Ben. On most days he is driven to pre-school by his mother or grandmother who also picks up a neighborhood child. One day the mother of the child offered to drive and when dropping Ben home asked how he liked her taking him to school. Without skipping a beat he quietly replied that he didn’t because her car was messy and dirty. Needless to say my daughter-in-law was mortified but the neighbor was dear as she apologized and acknowledged the condition of her car. What was so remarkable is that Ben is just an average four year old little boy who for all appearances seems to be more interested in (more…)

Was it about the Horse, “Secretariat”, or a Lady of Character?

I went to the opening night of “Secretariat” in early October not really knowing why I wanted to go but something aside from the promotional ads told me it was going to be a great family film; one that would leave me with a good feeling.

I am not into horse racing; as a matter of fact I know nothing of horses and as far as races are concerned, there is a winner and a loser, that’s it!

This was a film about something much deeper (more…)

Is Your Shopping PHUN?

The other day as I was shopping in one of the national chains specializing in home goods, it occurred to me just how easy it would be to leave with more than I intended to buy.  The pleasing displays shouted out “you just might need me”!

The truth be known, I am not a shopper. Just owning up to that little detail raises eyebrows; a woman not being a shopper is like a man not interested in sports.  It breaks the stereotype.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I dislike (more…)

"Housework" doesn’t have to be a "dirty" word!

In recent years, or actually in the past thirty years, which is not all that recent, “housework” has taken on an unpleasant connotation—-kind of a “dirty” one!!  There are a number of reasons for this rather negative outlook three of which are time, tools and technique.  This post takes a closer look at the first of these three “T’s”:  Time.

There never seems to be enough time, particularly with over 70% of women working part or full time outside of the home. I single out women because (more…)

A Trusty Household Helper

The other day as I noticed a slight odor permeating from the kitchen sink I quickly reached for my trusty baking soda. I say “trusty” because it has been my all around standby helper from the moment I set up housekeeping over 40 years ago.

I started to think about how often I use it and how I take it for granted. It is like that good friend you call on when you are in trouble or need help to make things right.  I don’t know how long it has been around but I imagine a good 100 years or more. It was helping us out way before all the modern day magic cleansers and household products arrived on the scene. And unlike most products its price tag is one we all can embrace:  cheap!

I remember my mother telling how she (more…)