by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Many parents know all too well the rush and frustration of preparing children to go out the door for school. Here are some easy and effective ways to help that time run much smoother. While no list can be truly complete of time-saving tips, here are the ones I have found to be most effective in getting my children out the door faster.
Prepare Supplies & Clothing Ahead Of Time
This one cannot be stressed enough. It helps to prepare everything the night before. If clothing, shoes, and backpacks are ready the night before, this will make for an easier morning. If a child is searching frantically for shoes in the morning, it will certainly take away precious time. If your child likes to pick his or her own clothing, be sure it is done the night before. Also, showers or baths can be taken right before bed to cut down on getting ready in the morning.
Make Quick Breakfasts On School Days
Quick breakfasts can still be healthy if you choose the right items and they will make for less stress and more time to get ready. For instance, a breakfast of toast, fruit, and yogurt is one healthy option that will only take a few moments to prepare.
Pack Lunches The Night Before
If your child brings lunches to school, consider packing lunches the night before. Choose items that will be okay through a night in the refrigerator or on the counter. If you pack sandwiches, pack the insides separately from each other and from the bread. This way, the bread doesn't get soggy.
Sign Papers The Night Before
This will go hand in hand with the following tip, but always be sure to check for and sign papers ahead of time. These should be placed in the backpack as soon as they are signed, so that they are where they need to be. This saves time hunting for them in the morning.
Be Sure Your Child's Backpack Is Checked Ahead Of Time
A backpack should always be checked right after your child gets home from school. However, if the parent getting the child ready in the morning is not the person who is there after school or if your children are in childcare after school, checking the backpack may slip your mind at times. You never know when there might be an important note or a forgotten homework paper. Be sure to check the backpack the night before, preferably as soon as possible, in case there is forgotten homework.
Use Quick Or Convenient Hairstyles
If possible, fix your child's hair the night before. Small French braids are a hairstyle that will stay in place for up to a week when done in your child's natural hair. It doesn't have to be in corn rows. It can be done in many different styles and designs. This works both for boys and girls. If your child has hair that will not stay in place or you just don't know how to do French braids, opt for quick hairstyles, such as putting it in a ponytail or just leaving it down. Mohawks are easy for kids to maintain themselves. A bun is another quick hairstyle that doesn't require much effort. Buns can be quite cute, especially if you have a couple extra minutes to make two to three, rather than just one. The quickest way to make a secure bun is to first make a ponytail with the section of the hair that the bun will be in. Then, twist the pony tailed hair around the ponytail holder that is holding it. Place another ponytail holder around the bun. That will hold it in place.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Green parenting has definitely become a trend. But, as a parent who has been committed to living green for quite some time, I'm here to tell you it's much more than just a trend. At least that's true for our family. I started down the path of living green not because of a trend, but because of a commitment to making the Earth a great place for my kids to be in the future and for generations to come.
I don't know the exact date I started our family on this journey and don't really recall there being any sort of epiphany. It seems that I've always instilled at least some green habits. As we discover new things, I add more and more to our lifestyle. I don't base our green living habits on what so-and-so is doing or on the latest fad green products. Instead, I make conscious choices on what's good for the environment and what is not. I consider the impact each time I make a purchase or commit an action. Being a green parent is less about special products and more about minimalism and reducing waste and chemical usage.
Believe it or not, everyday activities, like visiting the park with the kids, can make a huge negative impact on the environment. This is especially true if they are regular activities or a parent is not thinking green at the time. Of course, no one is perfect. Even I participate in activities that are not Earth-friendly. We all do both consciously and subconsciously. But if we can be green as much as possible, this beautiful planet will stay pretty even longer. Just because we may not be around to see its demise doesn't mean we should be careless. Our kids and their kids and so on need a healthy place to grow.
Try cleaning the house with homemade solutions that are both cost-effective and better for the environment. A bonus is that the kids can also help you clean and they and your pets will be safer. Use homemade shampoos and natural haircare alternatives for the family. Kids like to be messy, so let them join in making some of these items.
Teach kids to be green with lessons that will last a lifetime. Teach them by doing, but also explain what you are doing and why. Be creative in instilling the lessons. Play games, incorporate it into the chores, and just have fun! Green parenting is important, but it certainly does not need to be boring.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Shine
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Every time I see someone share another fighting video online, all I can think is why? Why is it entertaining to watch people hurt each other? It’s one thing to stick up for someone who is standing up for their rights or yours. It’s quite another to get entertainment value out of people beating each other up.
Why is it Entertainment to Hurt People?
Perhaps I’m different. But my goal has always been to spread love, not hate. Being entertained by people hurting each other only teaches more and more people that it’s okay to solve their problems with violence – and even that it’s fun. How sad is it that this is acceptable by so many people?
Not only is there boxing and other sports where people get paid to beat each other up, but there are more and more people sharing street fights as well. Oftentimes, it is kids in these videos and adults enjoying watching them. At least the subjects of the boxing (and other professional sports) get paid for it and are willing participants.
The street fights sadden me the most because it’s usually people who are actually fighting and intentionally hurting each other. Be it in self defense, arguments, or other reasons, why do people feel it is okay to not only expose these peoples’ business, but to get entertainment from it? Why is this considered “cool” or fun?
When is Fighting Okay?
The only “fights” that I feel should be spread are those where people are standing up for someone’s rights. For instance, talk about the people who have made a difference in our country, such as Martin Luther King, Jr and Malala Yousafzai. Talk about everyday people who go out of their way to help others in need or to stand up and fight for someone’s rights. Talk about the people who die or get injured fighting to protect their countries.
That’s the type of fighting that is noteworthy. It’s not a compliment or an attractive trait to beat someone up for no reason or for frivolous reasons. It’s one thing to defend yourself when attacked when you have no other choice. It’s quite another to hurt someone without cause or due to frivolous reasons – or to view and share such acts as entertainment.
I’m not a perfect person by any means (I know I make mistakes – plenty of them), but I do try to perpetuate love in all situations, while also standing up and “fighting” when it’s warranted.
How I Fought For What Was Right
For instance, one day, the city bus I was riding broke down and I had one of my kids and two others (who had just run a 5K marathon) along for the ride. The children indicated they needed to use the restroom and the bus driver wasn’t going to let us (or anyone else) get off the bus. He was also extremely rude about it, after hearing the kids’ needs. The kids were full of water and Gatorade, since they had just run a race that was over 3 miles long. My mama bear instinct kicked in at that point.
I simply walked up to the front of the bus with the kids in tow and said to the driver “My kids need to pee. I’m getting off,” and we did. That’s an example of fighting for what’s right. It also led to a few others sticking up for themselves and either getting off to go seek another form of transportation or doing whatever else they needed to do.
The wait was going to be about an hour for the next bus and then the kids would have also had to wait the ride on that bus before using the restroom, had I taken the driver’s instructions. I did what I knew was the right thing to do for the kids. That’s an example of fighting that is warranted.
Am I a hero? I doubt it. Many other parents do exactly what I did on a regular basis. I’m not telling our story for recognition. I don’t care whether anyone spreads our little bus ride story or not. What I do hope is that people read this and think twice before getting entertainment out of people hurting each other.
Fight for what’s right, not for entertainment.
*Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
**I originally published this on Bubblews.com (no longer published there).
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
We all have those little things we love that mean something to us, big or small. One of my favorite things is the sound of rushing water . It just does something to my soul every time I hear it.
Whether it’s coming from a waterfall , a soothing shower , the pouring rain , or a wave crashing over the shore, I love hearing the sound of rushing water. It’s like music to my soul. When my album comes out (yes, I sing), don’t be surprised if one or more songs feature or mention some form of rushing water.
Rushing water can energize me, as well as relax me. From wading among waves, to standing under Niagara Falls, to running in the rain, to picnicking on the shore of a rushing creek, to falling asleep to the sounds of a thunderstorm , water is always present in my life.
Do you love the sound of rushing water?
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).