Babywise Week: An Attitude of Adventure

We’re finishing Babywise Week with a post from Claire at My Devising. Claire’s son is only 2.5 so she hasn’t quite gotten into the years when we really deal with attitude, but she has some great advice. One thing I gather from her situation is that it’s important to think about potential parenting issues before you run into them. It’s always best to have a plan, a roadmap of sorts, to guide us in our parenting and help us aim for a goal. So it’s great that Claire has had thoughts about attitude. When her son starts displaying problems with attitude, she’ll be ready to deal with it.

Here’s an example of how Claire is thinking about attitude in parenting: “I want to create little humans that look at hardships and hurt as a challenge, an adventure, and an opportunity.”

It’s so true that attitude makes all the difference. When our kids face difficulties in life, we can help prepare them by teaching them how to face them with grace. I know of some people who face hardships by pointing fingers. It’s always the other person’s fault. It takes real character to point to ourselves and see hardships as an opportunity for self improvement.

Head on over to Claire’s blog to read her post in its entirety. And if you haven’t had a chance yet, check out everyone’s posts on attitude from this week. It’s a real treasure-trove of parenting advice!

Babywise Week: Teaching Appreciation in an Entitled World

It’s Babywise Week. Today, we hear from Emily at Journey of Parenthood. This week, we’re talking about attitude, and Emily offers tips on how we can teach our kids to be appreciative in our entitled world. Entitlement seems to be running rampant in kids these days. Whether it’s from excessive (and unwarranted) praise or the “every child gets a trophy” philosophy, kids are being taught that they deserve everything their little hearts desire.

As Emily says, “Our kids are constantly made to feel so special, so perfect, and are so accustomed to the our worlds revolving around them that they no longer appreciate any of it. They expect praise. They expect rewards. They expect to have us catering to their every whim.”

Emily offers specific tips on how to ensure our kids don’t grow up to be entitled. They include:

  • Remain the parent
  • Don’t always give what they want
  • You get what you get (and you don’t get upset)
  • Let them lose
  • Praise when appropriate
  • Limit rewards
  • Don’t be fair
  • Have honest talks about reality
  • Model appreciation
  • Keep the focus above

Emily does a great job explaining what each of these means. Head on over to Emily’s blog to read her post in its entirety. And be sure to follow us all week:

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Babywise Week: What Do We Mean by Attitude?

Yesterday, Valerie gave a great overview of why it’s important to encourage a good attitude from our children. It truly is a gift to teach our kids how to deal with their emotions. There’s very little in life that’s more important than handling difficulties with grace. It’s a skill that will serve them well for many years.

Let me get into the specifics of a few types of attitudes and emotions we want to cultivate in our kids.

Submission

Requiring our kids to submit to our authority is something we should teach from a very early age. Submission makes the difference between a child who will sit willingly for a timeout and one who will have you running around the house to get him to sit. The earlier you begin teaching submission, the better off you will both be.

I remember putting my kids in timeout in their cribs (as young as 15 or 16 months), and they would lie down in the crib rather than stand up and look me in the eye. It was a very subtle act of defiance. When I saw that happen, I told the child that I would come back when they were “happy.” Once they would stand up and look at me (while I explained what they did wrong), I knew they were submitting to my authority.

Any time you see an act of overt defiance, you’ll know that you’re not seeing a submissive attitude. And think about the ways submission will benefit your kids for years to come. If our kids can learn to submit to us, they will submit to teachers, bosses, coaches, and other authority figures.

Optimism

Valerie touched on this yesterday. Optimism will get our kids very far in life. I agree that optimism or pessimism is predetermined. Admittedly, I am more naturally pessimistic than optimistic. My husband is the opposite. And I have one of each in my kids.

I love seeing William’s optimism flourish as he grows older. He’s almost 10 now, and just last week, he was competing in a swim meet. He was literally smiling as he swam the breaststroke (his favorite). The swim team has been rigorous and very difficult for him. He’s often the slowest swimmer on the team. But not once has he complained about it.

Lucas (age 6), on the other hand, needs a little encouragement to find his hidden optimist. I think modeling positive attitude is best for him, as is explaining what it looks like and why it’s important.

Determination

When life gets tough, it can be so tempting to just give up. This is true with everything from school work to getting across the monkey bars. As you can imagine, determination is important for adults just as it is for kids.

I mentioned how determined William is with swim team, despite how difficult it’s been. When he tried out for the team, he hadn’t been in a pool in months, but he did well with the rigorous tryout.

I saw one or two kids who got angry with themselves that they couldn’t get across the length of the pool. One little girl stopped midway and took her goggles off in anger. I’m not sure whether she made the team, but her actions proved a lack of determination.

There were a couple kids who were borderline, and the coaches allowed them on the team, commenting on the fact that they were “teachable.” They didn’t necessarily need to see perfection in ability. They needed to see that they would be able to teach the kids and that the kids were determined enough to work hard.

Encouraging determination in our kids is all about words of affirmation. Praise your kids when you see them work hard. Model determination for them. And give them strategies for the times when they feel like giving up. If homework seems a little too daunting, let the child have a snack and a break and get right back to it. But don’t let him give up. Then when it’s done, give him huge praise, not for getting the answers right, but for sticking with it when it got tough.

Striving for personal best

I’ve heard many times that a motivated child will get much farther in life than a smart child will. Intelligence doesn’t do us any good if we’re unwilling to do the work. But if we’re motivated, we can compensate for a lack of natural ability. At the heart of motivation is a willingness to strive for our best. And to be clear, we’re talking about internal motivation, not working for an external reward.

Notice that I didn’t say to strive for perfection. Perfection is a loaded word and gets many of us in trouble. William and I both struggle with perfectionism. But striving for our personal best is great.

If you see your kids doing homework or a coloring page with carelessness, do something about it. A friend once told me about a time when she would crumple up her daughter’s coloring page when she was intentionally scribbling or coloring outside the lines. Don’t do this if coloring outside the lines is their personal best. But if they are intentionally scribbling, that’s a different matter. It’s all about intent.

Confidence

Confidence is another attitude trait that will get us far in life. It’s particularly important to help our introverted, shy kids with confidence. My boys are both extroverts and have very little difficulty in standing up for themselves. But confidence is something I’ve struggled with. I have always been introverted and shy. I’d always rather let my work speak for itself than to have to speak or boast about it.

I’ve noticed that confidence plays a big role in the business world. You can compensate for a lack of ability with confidence. But even the most capable person won’t get very far if they can’t speak up for themselves.

But let me make a clear distinction. We don’t want false confidence. We want our kids to be proud and confident of the things that they have personally achieved. We don’t want confidence if it comes with lying.

Kindness

Let me finish with what’s possibly the most important attitude trait. Teach your kids that kindness should be at the heart of everything they do in life. There are some who say, “Nice guys finish last.” But I’ve found the opposite to be true. In the business world, I’ve gotten far with my consulting clients because of the willingness and kindness that I always express. It’s all about the relationship and establishing a friendship. Who wants to work with someone who’s cutthroat and only looks out for himself?

There are many ways to show our kids what kindness looks like. If you see an adult struggling to open a door, have your child open the door for them. If you see an elderly person drop something, have your child pick it up. If you see a friend struggling to get across the monkey bars, have your child offer words of encouragement to the friend.

By the same token, stop your kids if they’re ever unkind. Listen not only to what your kids say, but how they say it. And make sure you’re around to witness your child’s kindness (or lack thereof). When friends come over, don’t hover, but be sure you can see how your child treats friends.

As you can imagine, living a life of kindness is the best way to teach it to your kids. Model the behavior, but go beyond even that. Be on the lookout for ways that your child can express kindness. Kids are naturally self-absorbed, so they won’t always spot opportunities for kindness. But if you do it often enough, they will begin to see it for themselves.

BFBN Week

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Babywise Week: Should You Correct for Attitude?

It’s Babywise Week! All week, you’ll be hearing from the Babywise Friendly Blog Network (BFBN) with posts on a similar topic. This week, it’s all about attitude. We kick off the week with a post from Valerie. She asks the question, “Should you correct for attitude?”

There are many who would say that correcting for attitude runs the risk of stifling our kids’ emotions. But as Valerie explains, teaching our kids to deal with their emotions is a great gift. By instilling in our kids a sense of emotional maturity, they will be much better prepared for any difficulties life may throw their way.

Here’s a quick summary of the points she covers:

  • The value of a good attitude
  • The importance of self-control
  • Learning the right way to respond
  • Developing a habit of good attitude
  • Correcting for attitude

Head on over to Valerie’s blog to read her post in its entirety. And be sure to follow us all week:

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Raising Independent and Responsible Children

independentandresponsibleby Valerie Plowman

I have such a passion for helping children to be independent and personally responsible. I know that personally for me a huge part of my success as a person in my life can be attributed to the fact that I know I am responsible for myself. There are a lot of good reasons to be personally responsible–that isn’t the purpose of this post. The purpose is to discuss how you get there. Here are some ideas.

Start with Proper Expectations

The first place to start is to realize what your child is actually capable of. Chances are your child is capable of more than think. Whether you are working with chores, personal care, homework, practicing skills, or obedience, you want to have the proper expectations. Your child will rise to the occasion. You will likely often find yourself in the middle of a task you have always done realizing, “Hey, my kid could be doing this.” For everything you do for your child, the day will come that your child will be able to do it himself. That is the time to move on in our list of steps outlined below. An example from my life is last year when I realized Brayden, who was in second grade, could be making his own lunch in the morning. It was time to have him do it himself.

Explain and Teach

Just because your child is capable of something doesn’t mean he was born knowing how to do so. For whatever it is you want your child to be able to do, you will need to instruct. Have your child help you. Have your child observe. Talk through the process. Ask your child to explain the process. Let your child do it while you verbally instruct. Be patient with this process as it can take some time. Back to my lunch example, I decided that during the summer between second and third grade, I would have Brayden pack his lunch for park day to give him practice for packing it for school. I told him how, showed him how, and stood by his side as I handed the task over to him and helped him with questions that came up along the way.

Have Rules and Expectations

Once your child knows how to do something, it is time to set some rules and expectations. Explain when the task needs to be done. Explain if you will be giving reminders or not. Explain the consequences that will follow if the task is not done. Make sure your child is clear on these rules. Going with my lunch example, if Brayden doesn’t pack his lunch, he can eat the lunch the school provides.

You can have rules for the order things are done in–like maybe homework is done first thing after school. We have expectation that our children will clean up after themselves. We also have a rule that everyone cleans no matter who made the mess.

For help with appropriate chore expectations, see these posts:

Give an Instruction and Walk Away

A lot of times we impede our children’s progress by getting impatient and doing the task for our child. When you give your child an instruction, walk away so your child can do it. If you tell your child to get shoes on, walk away and do something else that needs to be done in order to leave. Don’t stand there for five seconds (or even five minutes) and then get impatient and start to do it for your child. A good strategy is to tell your child to do something much sooner than you need it done. Another good idea is to do something to busy yourself while your child works on it.

Always remember, doing things for your child might seem nice, but it can actually be harmful in the long run. It is such a benefit to your child to learn life skills and be able to take care of himself. I think it is fine to do some things for our children that they can do for themselves at times. My husband often helps Brayden with a portion of his lunch each day. There is nothing inherently wrong with making lunch for your child. It can be a display of love and service from you. Just be sure your child is learning the skills associated with the task you are doing in some other way (in our example, Brayden helps make dinner at other times).

Start by Helping with Charts/Cards/etc.

We all need reminders, and it is fun and helpful to give your child a way to keep track of what needs to be done. I find when starting a new responsibility, these things are necessary, but as the child gets use to it, it is no longer needed. When we started having Brayden make his own lunch, I made an instruction list he could refer to each day. Today, he doesn’t need to use it, but initially, it helped him make sure  he had everything he needed for his lunch. I have some posts on chore charts and such:

Have Consequences When The Child Doesn’t Follow Through

A concept I love from the Parenting with Love and Logic book is to keep in mind that stakes are low. This means that today, Brayden having to eat school lunch isn’t a huge deal. He might not like what is made that day, but he will surely survive. He will also likely not forget to make his lunch another day. He might be hungry, but life will go on. It is better to learn these lessons now while he is young and the consequences won’t have a long-term negative impact on his life than in 20 years when he is an adult and his stakes are higher.

Logical consequences are often effective for things your child is supposed to take care of himself. You can also remove privileges as a consequence. If you have a rule that there is no TV time until homework is done, if your child decides to watch TV first, you might take away TV time for a week.

Help Child Solve Own Problems

When your child comes to you with a problem that needs to be solved, don’t just solve it for him. Help him learn wisdom. Talk him through it. Ask him some ways he could fix it. Stay calm and help him think it through. Do a brainstorming session. Once you have talked about options, ask your child which option he wants to do. Doing this helps your child become self-sufficient. Your child will be able to do the process on his own before long.

Believe in Your Child

There is huge power in believing your child can do things. Have confidence in your child and trust your child to follow through.

For more on this topic, see:

Valerie is a mother to four children ages 1-8 and blogs at www.babywisemom.com.

Parenting Inside the Funnel

By Emily Parker at The Journey Of Parenthood

funnelMy biggest struggle so far as a parent is resisting the tendency to parent outside the funnel with my children. Toddlerwise reiterates the importance of avoiding this on page 36: “By ‘outside the funnel’ we are referring to those times when parents allow behaviors that are neither age-appropriate nor in harmony with a child’s moral and intellectual capabilities. To allow a 15-month-old child freedoms appropriate for a 2-year-old, or a 2-year-old child freedoms suitable for his 5-year-old sister, is to parent outside the funnel. Such freedoms do not facilitate healthy learning patterns – they only contribute to confusion.”

When Kye, my now four-year-old son, was my only child I didn’t struggle as much with this issue. The only time I really found myself parenting outside of the funnel was when he first developed the ability to use language. As he was more and more able to express his wants and desires, I caught myself giving him more control and asking him what he wanted, thus putting him in a position of power over me. By giving him too many choices (freedoms) I caused confusion for him which lead to behavior issues. At meal time he’d say he wanted more raisins and I would give him more raisins. But then he’d ask for more raisins and I’d want him to eat his beans first and we’d end up in a power struggle because he was used to making the decision as to what he’d eat.

Thankfully, I realized early on that this was something I struggled with and I took back over the control of meal times as well as all other areas of decision making. There aren’t too many age-appropriate decisions for a toddler to make, right? ;)

Once I had Britt, my daughter, it became much, much harder to parent her within the funnel. Instead of just one funnel to worry about, I now have two. In every situation I have to think about what is age-appropriate for a four-year-old (Kye) and what is age-appropriate for a 20-month-old (Britt). My struggle typically becomes allowing her too much freedom and treating her older than she really is.

Recently Kye became old enough to handle eating whole grapes without me cutting them up into slices for him. Britt naturally wanted her grapes whole as well since that’s how her brother’s were, and she would fuss and fuss about it at lunch time. I gave in, thinking (as I often do with her) that it “wasn’t fair” for her to see him getting something different than she was. However, it’s not age-appropriate for a 20-month-old to eat whole grapes. It’s dangerous and not something I feel comfortable with. I had to have a reality check and remind myself that I am the parent and SHE is the child. Things won’t always be fair nor should they be and that it is okay for her to fuss about getting sliced grapes instead of the whole ones. I went back to cutting hers into quarters and she was FINE about it. Barely any fussing at all and I knew she was eating in a safer way.

I have to often remind myself of the funnel and literally stop what I’m doing and consider whether or not something is age-appropriate for each of my children. Kye being the older child I think I often tend to not allow him freedoms when he is ready for them whereas with Britt being the second child I think I allow her too many freedoms too soon.

DSC06416I also catch myself expecting more from Britt than I should. I have to remind myself of the funnel not only to make sure I have age-appropriate freedoms for Britt, but also age-appropriate expectations. We require Kye to always reply with either “yes ma’am” or “no ma’am” and naturally we expect Britt to respond the same way. Hearing her say “no” gets under my skin and I find myself irritated with her for not saying “no ma’am.” At her age she doesn’t have the language ability to say “no ma’am” so instead of expecting her to say it, I simply repeat “no ma’am” to her every time she says “no.” She has started to be able to say “no ma’am” and we are mindful to shower her with praise whenever she does! At four years old, Kye is expected to say it without any praise but at her age, she needs the praise to be encouraged to say it every time!

Whenever in doubt I refer back to page 36 in Toddlerwise and keep the following equations in mind:

1. Freedoms greater than self control = developmental confusion
2. Freedoms less than self-control = developmental frustration
3. Freedoms equal to self-control = developmental harmony

Thankfully, Kye is not yet at an age where us withholding certain freedoms from him is an issue. I typically will handle sibling issues by lowering Kye’s freedoms down to ones that are more age appropriate for Britt. Kye has a lot of board games he enjoys playing but many of them have small pieces and also require deeper understanding and patience that Britt just can’t handle yet. Kye knows we don’t play with those games while Britt is awake and instead Zach (my husband) and I will play a game of Kye’s choosing each night during the fifteen minutes between when Britt goes to bed and when Kye goes to bed. He is still able to enjoy his age-appropriate game but without it affecting Britt’s ability to stay within her appropriate limits.

I know that Kye does sacrifice for his younger sister in many areas and I’m always mindful of that. I make a special effort to always compliment him and to give him plenty of opportunities to enjoy his well earned four-year-old status freedoms. We go get ice cream just the two of us quite often, I allow him to have some quiet time in his room with his preschooler age toys before she wakes from her afternoon nap, and he attends a half-day preschool where he’s around other children his age every day!

With two children, parenting within the funnel is definitely a greater challenge than it ever was with just one child. I know as we add more children to our family eventually that I will have to readjust and always be mindful of what limits, freedoms and expectations are appropriate for each child at their given ages. I understand how important parenting inside the funnel is at any age and try to always have it at the front of my mind when making any parenting decisions.

Correct for Attitude: A Tip

It can be so easy to fall into the trap of correcting our kids’ outward signs of disobedience while ignoring attitude. We often focus on their actions without paying attention to what’s going on in their little hearts. I think attitude is just as important as actions, if not more so. By the same token, we may correct our kids for the words they speak but not correct facial expressions. Attitude is attitude. Whichever way our kids reveal their attitudes to us, our job as parents is to get to their little hearts and make sure they’re in the right place.

Here’s a tip on figuring out whether to correct for attitude, especially those little facial expressions that often go by unnoticed. The next time you see your child with a not-so-happy expression on her face, picture a little comic strip thought bubble over her head and fill in the words. Imagine what she would be saying if she were talking. And if she were saying those words, would you correct her?

Here are a couple examples:

  • Expression: Eye roll
  • Thought bubble: That’s so stupid.

  • Expression: Furrowed brow and tight lips
  • Thought bubble: I’m so angry I could hurt someone.

  • Expression: Lifted chin while looking away
  • Thought bubble: I’m better than you.

You would certainly correct if your child spoke these words, right? And aren’t these words an accurate expression of the attitude you see on her face? Again, attitude is attitude. Correct if it needs correction.

Now, perhaps assigning words to her expressions isn’t entirely fair. So you might not correct as harshly as you might if she actually spoke them. Nonetheless, the point is understanding what’s going on in her heart. If this little exercise helps you get a better feel for her attitude, give it a try. Keep in mind that we cannot forget attitude when correcting our kids. Correct for actions, speech, facial expressions, and any other expression of attitude, always making sure the child’s heart is in the right place.

Free Summer Planner Download!

Planner Cover image

Click to download

Homeschooling has changed me a bit, for the better, I think. It’s made me crafty! It has also encouraged the planner in me. So I created a free download for you!

Last Tuesday was our last day of school, and we had a very lazy week and tossed all routine out the window. I was feeling guilty about requiring “summer school” from my children, so I let them do pretty much whatever they wanted for three days as long as it wasn’t destructive. Well…it drove me nuts! There was a lot of TV and a LOT of asking for TV and devices (iPad, iPhone, etc.).

Well, it’s a new week! I set my guilt aside and decided to plan out our summer, school and all. As I think ahead to next school year, I want to teach William to be more independent with his studies, so I’m using this planner as a test. I plan to print it out and maybe have it spiral bound. Isn’t it cute?!

Included in the free download are the following:

  • Sample Schedule (Mon, Tues, Weds)
  • Sample Schedule (Thurs, Fri, Sat/Sun)
  • Weekly Schedule (Mon, Tues, Weds)
  • Weekly Schedule (Thurs, Fri, Sat/Sun)
  • Chore List
  • Virtue List
  • Allowance Checklist
  • Allowance Record

Sample schedule image

Click to download

Let me explain the two schedule types. At first, I created our schedule as you see in the Sample Schedule. Then I realized that I’m more likely to get him to follow it independently if he’s involved in the process of creating it. So I then made another version, the Weekly Schedule, which has many more blanks. I’ll go through it with him to fill it out.

You’ll see that the schedules are created for one week, and they have a virtue listed at the top. Again, I’m going to involve William in this. I’m going to have him decide which virtue he thinks he needs to work on for the week. He’ll then write it in at the top. He can refer to the Virtue List to decide.

And to motivate him in all of this, I’ve created a couple forms for allowance. We’ve done allowance in the past, but I’ve never been very consistent with it. This outlines exactly what needs to be done to receive an allowance, and it puts William in the driver’s seat. He’ll fill out the checklist all week long, and at the end of the week, he can come to me for his allowance if all of it has been completed.

There are a few other items I’m including in his planner (that aren’t in the download):

  • Monthly calendars for June, July, and August (just so he can see what we have planned). I created these in Word. Simple with the calendar template.
  • Library’s summer reading program sheet (yay!)
  • Year at a glance

If you have a child who you think might benefit from a planner like this, feel free to download. I’m giving you the PowerPoint file so you can modify it to suit your needs. Or if you don’t give it to your child to use, you might use it for yourself.

Note: This is for personal use only. Please don’t reproduce multiple copies or (gasp!) sell it.

How Do Your Kids Act When You’re Not Around?

Source: blendedfamilymoments.com

Don’t we all wish we could be a fly on the wall when our kids are in social situations with their peers? The way that our kids react when we’re not around is so important to their moral fiber. It’s also indicative of how we parent. If we tend to control our kids rather than guide them and let them learn, we are more likely to end up with kids who are outwardly obedient, yet inwardly defiant.

The Ezzos offer this as a warning flag in Parenting the Middle Years, the book that comes after Growing Kids God’s Way and On Becoming Childwise. (It’s directed toward parents of kids ages 8-12.) This is what they say about this warning flag:

“Warning flag one: your child does not follow the family standard outside of your presence (or the presence of others who know and represent your family values) …. When your middle years child becomes characterized by not caring who sees him or what he is doing, especially when he is around people who are familiar with your family’s values, then the child’s problem is one of shame — the lack of it,” (Parenting the Middle Years, p. 75.)

Essentially, our kids — no matter their age — should care what people think. If we know we have done our job in teaching them the way we think they should act, we can expect that they will carry this with them wherever they go. Some indiscretions will happen for sure. But on the whole, we should be able to expect that our kids behave appropriately.

So I suppose the question becomes, How do we find out how our kids act when we’re not around? Our friends can be very helpful in this endeavor. But more than that, listen intently when anyone comments on your child’s behavior. Ask questions. A mom from our homeschool co-op came up to me recently and told me how polite my kids are. Of course, I was appreciative of the comment. But I had to ask more. I wondered what the scenario was that helped her come to this conclusion. We are working on “thank you” at home as my kids seem to have forgotten the value of this phrase. But they almost always say “please” when asking for something, especially from a near-stranger. She also commented on how patient they were when or before they were asking for something.

You might also call upon other people in your child’s life: teacher, coach, scouts leader, etc. Ask them to tell you honestly how your child acts when you’re not around. Then ultimately, if you hear anything negative, you can make that priority number one in what you teach the child.

What TV Do You Allow?

Little Bear!

I think we all know that we should limit the amount of time that our kids spend in front of the TV. But do you think twice about the quality of TV they watch? I don’t know about you, but my kids and their media habits seem to be maturing much faster than I’d like! They’d watch all of the Star Wars and Harry Potter movies if I allowed it! If I had it my way, they’d watch only Little Bear. It’s such a sweet little show with absolutely zero negativity. Even all Disney movies have some sort of villain. There’s no villain in Little Bear!

Despite the infatuation I have for Little Bear, I realize that my kids have graduated beyond the Little Bear age. There are times that I can get them to watch it still, but they would always choose something else. But it means there’s a job for me in this. My job is to watch the various shows they would want to watch and decide whether I should allow them. I’m fairly strict with what I allow my kids to watch, which I think is a good thing. It’s far better to be too strict than not strict enough.

Here’s what I don’t allow:

  • Harry Potter movies after the third. We require that the books be read before the movies can be watched.
  • Star Wars movies. They’ve only seen the first, and that was a special birthday treat.
  • Anything on Cartoon Network. I hate this channel. All of the cartoons available on this channel are dark and violent.
  • Any movie that I haven’t previously reviewed and approved
  • Spongebob Squarepants. Super annoying and mindless.

Here’s what I do allow:

  • Phineas and Ferb. This is their favorite show. I try to look past the tattling aspect of the big sister.
  • Johnny Test. I’ll admit that this isn’t my favorite, but it’s not violent, and they really do like it.
  • Anything educational. Think Super Why, or even documentaries/biographies on history topics like the Paul Revere one William once watched.

There are just two shows that we watch as a family:

  • The Amazing Race. We all LOVE this show and it’s pretty benign. Great for the whole family.
  • America’s Funniest Videos. We watch this on Hulu and Netflix.

And there are a few movies that we own, that I always approve of. (We wouldn’t have purchased them if I didn’t approve.) They are:

  • How to Train Your Dragon (great movie!)
  • Cars 1 and 2
  • Toy Story 1, 2 and 3
  • Horton Hears a Who
  • Curious George
  • Wall-E (a few scary elements, but okay overall)
  • A Bee Movie
  • Ratatouille
  • Up

I’d love to hear if you have any great (and innocent!) TV shows or movies you would recommend!