by Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell, Write W.A.V.E. Media
It happened to be a free day at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, so we decided to take Aja and Amber there since we had the time. Amber hadn't been there in something like ten years, and it was the first field trip we have been able to take Aja to in awhile. While most of the special exhibits happened to be paid ones on this particular day, we were still able to see all of the free stuff.
To chronicle our time there, Lyn and Richard took many photos that document most of the major sections that we were able to visit.
At the beginning, there was a guy in a walking dinosaur that was out greeting people. It actually freaked out a few little kids, of which there were many on this day. Next, we visited one of the smaller first-floor exhibits which featured the life cycle of butterflies.
Then, we visited Space Odyssey at the Coors Visitor Center to the Universe. There were many interactive displays here, and we would have liked to spend more time here. However, we were trying to see everything in a limited span of time, so we only spent a few minutes here.
Outside of the Coors Hall of Gems and Minerals, there were a few service puppies on display! One of them looked a lot like our Shih-Tzu Bo-Bo! He/she did have a white patch on his head and is smaller than Bo-Bo, but the coloring was almost the same!
We decided to take the elevator to the third floor and work our way back down to the Gems and Minerals exhibit later. On the third floor, we first visited the Egyptian Mummies exhibit on the third floor, one of the older ones at the museum. Rich got a little carried away with the mummy silliness, but it’s a fun little experience.
Next, were the Wildlife Halls exhibits on both the second and the third floor. After that was the Prehistoric Journey exhibit.The large dinosaur models built to scale, which are pretty awesome to see.
The North American Indian Cultures exhibit (should be Native American Cultures, honestly) is one that we had missed on a previous trip since it’s located behind the Wildlife Halls on the second floor. It’s pretty cool. Rich learned about the Utes, and he thinks he knows how to say it properly now. Since Lyn and the kids have Native American ancestry (Rich does have a tiny bit, as well), this was a particularly interesting exhibit. We also were quite intrigued by the Navajo Hogan dwelling.
Our final stop on our tour around the museum was the Coors Hall of Gems and Minerals. It’s both dark and a bit awkward to take pictures in close quarters. So, we don't have many photos of that.
We were able to see pretty much everything in the course of about an hour and a half or so. There were a couple of exhibits that we missed, including Expedition Health which actually did not require a ticket although we thought it did. They had people waiting outside because there are certain items that they don’t want brought in there. We’ll have to check this out on a future visit.
We could have spent more time in individual exhibits, but we only had a limited amount of time to see everything, as was mentioned earlier. The other exhibits all required tickets, which would have added up quickly.
Here are some of the photos we took as well. Click the photos to see the full view, as well as to enlarge them.
(There's more to the story after the gallery)
All in all, this is one of the best museums to visit on a free day. So if you happen to be in the Denver area for whatever reason, see if they are having an SCFD free day. It’s quite conveniently located and while parking is often full, you can always park nearby at the zoo, which is right next door.
All Images © Lyn Lomasi; All Rights Reserved
All Videos © Richard Rowell; All Rights Reserved
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
You've seen it before. A child is running around the establishment and playing like he's at home while the parents do nothing. Perhaps that's your child or maybe you want some behavior tips to prevent it from ever happening to you. My four kids wouldn't even dream of trying this stunt. But I've witnessed it enough times in other children. While fast food restaurants are more lax than some, it doesn't mean your kids shouldn't behave themselves. As a side note, some kids have been diagnosed with mental, physical, and behavioral issues. These tips are for the average child who has knowledge and control of emotions and behaviors.
The restaurant is not a playground. On a recent visit to an area Chipotle, my kids and I were shocked at the behavior allowed by two kids. They ran past our table countless times and I was honestly afraid they were going to get hurt. Their mom only paid attention to the friend she was talking to. The scariest part was when they took their drinks along for the run. What would have happened if one of them had choked on the straw or dropped the drink and slipped on the floor? This mom should have made it clear from the beginning that the kids were to sit down. By sitting the kids down right away and intercepting when necessary, it teaches them that the table is where they belong.
Don't send mixed messages. Kids will be kids. But for a parent to not even try at all saddened me. It's probably the very reason they felt it was alright to run around. It was not until well into their time at Chipotle that this mother finally told the kids to sit down. However, the way she did it was not respectful at all. Once they ran around for at least thirty minutes, they were told to sit down and shutup. What? These poor kids were probably confused at that point. Why was there no problem with the running before? Nothing changed.
Be mindful of your own attitude and behavior. If you want your kids to behave themselves, you should do the same. Don't tell your kids to act one way, while you are doing the complete opposite. The kids weren't the only ones being disrespectful. Their mother spent time loudly talking to her friend, doing the same on the phone, and also walking around all over the establishment. No wonder the kids didn't know how to act in public. No matter how many people gave her 'the look' she just kept on about her business. She practically ignored her kids until the point at which her friend left. Obviously, they were both mimicking her behavior and also trying to get her attention. At not even two years of age, it was obvious one child had already learned these tactics well. The other was entirely too old to be going along with his baby sister on this mission.
Keep the kids fed and entertained. Perhaps the most disturbing thing to me about the whole Chipotle experience was the fact that the mother did not even buy the kids anything to eat or drink. Why bring your children to a fast food restaurant if you aren't going to feed them? They only got the drink because the Chipotle workers supplied them to these kids for free. No wonder they were restless. They were probably bored, hungry, and thirsty. Kids behave best when all their basic needs are met. This means they need to have some nourishment and they need something to do. Some coloring books and crayons or a couple books or small toys could have solved this mom's issue. Oh and she could have maybe fed them too, since they were at, you know, a restaurant...
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Positive discipline consists of more than disciplining your child in a calm manner. Positive discipline for children should consist of steps that lead to the child's well-being and development, teach a lesson about the issue at hand, and not be condescending in nature. In positive discipline for children, the action taken should lead to the child understanding why his or her behavior was wrong, as well as teach that child a life lesson that will help to prevent similar incidents in the future.
First, there are a few things to remember about positive discipline for children. Every family will not follow the exact same methods, as every family is different. Also, different methods should apply to different situations. A child who has hit another child should not be getting the same form of positive discipline as a child who forgot to make his bed before breakfast.
Different misbehaviors have different consequences and the discipline should fit accordingly. Also, remember to always follow through. Any form of positive discipline for children that is discussed, yet not carried out, will be ineffective. Not following through shows a child that he or she can do certain things without consequences and that isn't a good idea because that is not how the world works.
Daily Chore Add-Ons - One good form of positive discipline for children is to add on an extra daily chore for a week. Doing this can teach a child responsibility. At the same time, it also teaches a child that there are consequences for actions.
Misbehavior Journal - Another good form of positive discipline is to have a journal for each time a child misbehaves. The child should write down what his or her feelings were during the time of the act, as well as why he or she committed the misbehavior. This should be a private journal between parent and child. None of the children should ever see each other's journals. Once the child has written down the thoughts, the parent should in turn, respond to those thoughts with understanding, as well as a way for the child to resolve that type of situation in the future.
Behavior Money Jar - I also like to keep a jar for each kid in a place easily accessible by older children, but out of reach of younger children. In each kid's jar is any money they have that isn't for savings. Each time one of the kids does something that hurts another in some way, they have to take out a pre-determined amount (depending on what they've done) and place it into the child's jar who they've hurt or offended. Each time they do something good for someone, I might place a certain amount of money into their jar, but not always. This form of positive discipline for children reflects what may happen in adult life. In adult life, if we hurt someone, we are likely going to be paying for it in the long run. Likewise, if we do good deeds, eventually they will come back around. However, it doesn't work that way every single time, which is why I only give the money sometimes.
Volunteering - Volunteer work is also a great form of positive discipline. You never want to insinuate that the volunteering is a form of punishment because that sends the wrong message. You instead want to say something like, "I noticed that you were unhappy about some of the food choices we made in the grocery store. How about we go together and donate those foods to people who don't have the same type of choices we have?” Then, go from there with the volunteer work. This will likely trigger the child's thought process and let him or her realize that they cannot always have everything they want. It hopefully will also cause them to think twice about complaining when they know there are kids out there who don't have a fraction of what they do.
Good Deeds - Similar to the volunteer work, another great method is to elect the offending child as "Favor Giver of the Day." For one day, this person has to do at least one requested good deed for each member of the household. This form of positive discipline for children is good for when the child has disrespected one or more family members. This lesson usually teaches a child that it's more fun to help others than it is to mistreat them.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network