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How to Prepare Your Child for a New Sibling

Posted on Jul 21, 2015 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

baby in basket

While the welcoming of a new baby into the household can be an exciting time for a family, it can also be a time of challenge and uncertainty for the new baby’s siblings.  Here are a few helpful hints to ease the transition and prepare your child for a new sibling:

Begin Well Before Your New Family Member Arrives.  

Be open and honest with your children from the start.  Taking into consideration the ages of your children, explain in age appropriate ways what they can expect in the months leading up to the arrival of your newest family member.  For example, answer questions about the pregnancy and discuss any other changes that may affect them, such as sleeping arrangements.

Involve Children in Preparation Activities.

Make preparing for the baby a family affair by including your children in activities such as setting up the nursery, helping you pack for the hospital, and picking out the baby’s coming home clothes.  

Make the Homecoming a Special Event for the Whole Family.

Have a special birthday celebration when you bring the new baby home and include treats your children enjoy.  Have your older children pick out gifts for the baby ahead of time and have gifts to give them “from the baby.”

Identify Ways Your Child Can Help With the New Baby.

Give your children the opportunity to feel involved and appreciated by allowing them to assist you with the baby.  Depending on their ages, they can help with activities such as diaper changes or bringing a diaper to you, pushing the stroller, or dressing and feeding the baby.

sister with baby

Schedule One-On-One Time.

Make it a point to schedule one-on-one time with each of your children and give them your undivided attention during this period.  In addition, when you need uninterrupted time with your newest addition, allow your other children to play with a special toy or participate in a special activity.  This will give you the time you need with your little one and help so that your other children do not feel left out.

Maintain a Sense of Normalcy.

Since keeping up normal routines is helpful for siblings, maintain as much consistency in your schedule as you are able.  This includes spending quality family time together.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open.

Children may struggle with a multitude of feelings and emotions during this time of adjustment.  Encourage your children to talk about their feelings with you or with another family member.  In addition, be sensitive to the fact that children who may not be able to verbalize these emotions might act out in other ways.  While it is important to acknowledge those feelings, help them to learn how to express them in appropriate ways.  

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Family Summer Survival Kit #1: Making the Most of Your Summer

Posted on May 30, 2015 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch

Looking for things to do with your family this summer?  If so, we’ve put together a few family summer survival kits to help you out.  Each themed kit includes links to some of our popular and informative blog posts related to the subject.


Kit #1: Making the Most of Your Summer

Here are some resources that can help you make the most of your time together during the summer months and create lasting family memories:

1. 5 Ways to Make Memories with Your Kids This Summer

This article identifies fun ways your family can spend time together while creating memories that will be remembered for years to come.

2. 7 Things You Wouldn’t Think To Pack for Your Family Vacation

Here is a list of things to consider including on your summer vacation packing list.  These items might just save the day in a pinch, allowing you to focus your time and energy on making family vacation memories.

3. 5 Cabin Fever Cures For Families

While cold weather and cabin fever might be the last thing on your mind during the summer months, this article may spark some ideas on things you can do together while the weather is still hot to make memories that will warm your heart and entertain you during the cold and confining days of winter.

Stay tuned for Kit #2: Preventing Summer Learning Loss and  Kit #3: Summer Boredom Busters, which will be released in the coming weeks...


Reverse New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Busy Families

Posted on Jan 10, 2015 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch

New Year's Resolutions list

Setting New Year’s resolutions can be well worth the effort when they are realistic and aligned with what matters most to you and your family.  But adding these items to your family’s “to-do” list can prove to be more of a hindrance than a help.

Instead of identifying more things to do this year, how about identifying things you might want to stop doing?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Stop Overscheduling.  Find the right balance for your family between structured and free time.  Give yourselves permission to cut back on scheduled activities to allow more breathing room in your schedule. 

  • Unplug.  Make an effort to disconnect from technology and reconnect with one another.  Eat a meal together at least once a week and talk to one another while doing so.

  • Learn to Say No.  When asked to do something, before giving your answer, really think about whether you have the time necessary to make the commitment.  If you don’t, just say “no.”  Even if you think you might have the time, rather than saying “yes” immediately, say ‘let me check my calendar and get back to you.” This will give you the time and space needed to make the best scheduling decision for you and your family.

  • Argue Less.  Focus on building one another up, not tearing each other down.  Each time you speak negatively to a family member, think of two positive things to say afterwards.  If nothing else, the effort it takes in coming up with the positive points might just deter you from making the negative statements.

  • Learn to Say Yes. To fun and spontaneity, that is.   I know, this is actually an addition to the list, but a valuable one that can have a positive and worthwhile impact.  When your son asks you to play a game, say “yes.”  When your daughter wants to bake cookies with you, say “yes.”  The time spent on these tasks will be well worth the effort in the long run.  


Bottom Line:  Our kids’ childhoods will be over before we know it.   If we are too caught up in the day-to-day we will miss out on the things that truly matter.  Taking the time to establish “reverse” resolutions can offer your family the means to simplify your lives, reduce stress, allow time for the things that matter most and help you to live life more intentionally.



Are New Year’s Resolutions Worth it for Busy Families?

Posted on Jan 6, 2015 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

Happy New Year

Let's face it.  Life is busy.  You wake up Monday morning faced with endless tasks and responsibilities.  By Monday evening you feel as though you’ve already completed three days worth of work.  Your main focus now is to simply make it through the week to just reach the weekend, hoping to find that elusive spare second to breathe.  But the weekend is so busy you blink and realize it’s Monday morning again and the cycle starts all over.  Next thing you know, the weeks turn into months and you wonder where the time has gone.

Now it’s the beginning of the year and there’s much talk of making New Year’s resolutions, but who has the time to add yet another item to the already impossibly long “to-do” list?  Is it even worth the effort?

What is a Resolution Anyway?

According to the online Macmillan Dictionary, a New Year’s resolution is a decision that you make on the first day of the year about the things you intend to do or stop doing during that year.

With the best of intentions, many set out to accomplish goals such as losing weight or getting organized, only to let these efforts fall by the wayside a few short weeks or even days after they are established.  In many cases, these resolutions were either unrealistic or ones in which the costs simply outweighed the benefits.

With the right attitude and approach, resolutions can be well worth the effort.  But what is the right approach?

to do list

Reflect before you Set 

If you are going to put forth the effort to add any resolutions to your “to-do” list, make sure they are going to work for you.  Before setting any new goals, however, think about where you’ve been, where you are and where you want to be.

  1. Take a look in the rearview mirror.  Take a look back over the past year. Acknowledge and celebrate your personal and family milestones.  Identify the highlights and lowlights of the year.

  2. Take stock of where you are.  Determine what is currently working for your family and what is not.

  3. Think about where you want to be.  Based on your review of the past and present, are there things you need to change?  Do you have any unrealized goals you’d like to accomplish?

Answering these questions will help you identify what matters most to you and your family and assist you in setting realistic resolutions that will help you live more intentionally. Take the steps you need to stop wandering aimlessly week to week and live with purpose.  Your family is worth it!