Thursday, May 2, 2013
7:00 AM | Posted by Leslie Block | | Edit Post
Saturday, May 18, 2013, 11am-4pm
EnergyExplorium at McGuire Nuclear Station
13339 Hagers Ferry Rd., Huntersville
The Family Carnival, presented by LakeNormanMommies and the EnergyExplorium at McGuire Nuclear Station, is a family-friendly event featuring activities, food, games, performances, prizes, and more!
This event is FREE and open to the public!
Attractions include a magic show by Twist the Balloon Man, a live reptile show by Cold Blooded Reptile Encounters, science demonstrations by Rocket Ryan, and an opportunity to visit with characters from Carolina Renaissance Festival. DJ and MC services are provided by Little Dreamer Productions. Main stage performances by Cheer Explosion, Expression Dance Company, Grand Central Academy of the Performing Arts, and Rock University are ongoing throughout the day.
Don’t dress to impress. Dress to move! Burn Bootcamp is hosting field activities and games on the lawn and there is a bounce house to help kids burn off extra energy. Additional carnival games and activities are provided by more than a dozen vendors, including crafts with Pre-K Birthdays, photos by SnookySmiles, face painting by Bird Nest Boutique, and much, much more!
Attendees can get up close and personal with cars and trucks in the Touch-a-Truck area, which features the Coca-Cola Discovery Truck and vehicles from the Cornelius Police Department, Huntersville Police Department, Huntersville Fire Department, and North Mecklenburg Volunteer Rescue Squad. Stop by the Community Outreach and Awareness area to see car seat and baby proofing demonstrations by A Safe Child; enjoy a moment in the massage chair provided by Ballas Chiropratic; and visit with representatives from Earth Fare, Habitat for Humanity, and Novant Health.
Stop by the prize tent where you can enter to win a prize from a local business. Prizes represent a wide variety of products and services ranging from photography to house cleaning, personalized artwork to Carowinds tickets, and fitness memberships to auto detailing.
Need some refreshment? Ice cream, drinks, hot dogs, and more are available for purchase at the Bruster’s Ice Cream truck!
This event is made possible thanks to additional support from Burn Bootcamp, Cooke Rentals, Little Dreamer Productions, and Sweet Dream Mattress & Furniture.
Performances, Attractions, and Activities...
Cheer Xplosion AllStars
Expressions Dance Studio
Grand Central Academy of the Performing Arts
Activity FieldBurn Bootcamp - Field Activities for Children and Adults
Sweet Dreams Mattress & Furniture - Bounce House
Kandy's Chance Ranch - Pony Rides
Activity TentMeet the Mascot - Photo Op
Heather the Storyteller - Story Time
Cold Blooded Encounters - Reptile Show
Twist the Balloon Man - Magic Show
Touch-a-TruckCoca-Cola Discovery Truck
Cornelius Police Department
Huntersville Police Department
Huntersville Fire Department
North Mecklenburg Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Community Outreach & AwarenessBallas Chiropractic
Novant Health Hemby Children's Hospital
Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center
Novant Health Women's Health Education
A Safe Child - car seat safety & baby proofing demonstrations
Carnival Games and ActivitiesCarnival games and other activities are provided by our vendors.
Games include duck pond, wheel spin, knock 'em down, penny toss, fishbowl ping pong toss, and more. Each winner receives a ticket to be entered into a drawing for a prize in the prize tent.
Activities include crafts, face painting, carnival themed photo booth, and more.
VendorsBird Nest Boutique, Innovative Speed Shop, Jamberry Nails, Mary Kay, Origami Owl, Pampered Chef, Pink Zebra, Scentsy, Shaklee, SnookySmiles, Stella & Dot, Sunshine Borders, Thirty-One, Tupperstars, and WildTree
Prize TentDid you receive a ticket at one of the games or activities? Be sure to head to the Prize Tent to be entered into a drawing for the prize of your choosing!
PrizesPrizes include products and services from Ballas Chiropractic, Bird Nest Boutique, Burn Bootcamp, Carolina Women's Defense, Earth Fare, Grand Central Academy of the Performing Arts, Innovative Speed Shop, Insley Photography, Jamberry Nails, Jockey Person to Person, MM House and Office Cleaning, Origami Owl, Pampered Chef, Pink Zebra, SnookySmiles, Stella & Dot, Sunshine Borders, Sweet Dreams Mattress & Furniture, Tupperstars, Twist the Balloon Man, WildTree, and more!
Labels: #centralfoothillsmommies, #mommiesnetwork, about moms, Family fun, Free stuff, Iredell county, LakeNormanMommies, local moms groups in NC, Mcguire nuclear station | 1 comments |
Friday, April 26, 2013
9:08 AM | Posted by Amy @Consider Me Inspired | | Edit Post
Monday, October 3, 2011 by The Hippie Housewife
Ten alternatives to time-outs
As parents begin to seek a more gentle method of discipline, they often start by dropping the obviouspunishments, such as spanking or removal of unrelated privileges. Finding themselves without tools to enforce their instructions, they begin to rely heavily on traditional time-outs in place of their former punishments.
The traditional form of time-out involves sending a child to a particular spot (their bedroom, a "naughty chair", the corner, etc) for a particular length of time (often one minute per year of age) in order to "think about what they've done." For most children, however, the time is spent in anger, stewing over the apparent injustice of their punishment. When used arbitrarily or too often, it prevents the child from understanding the true consequences of their action and fails to get to the root of the behaviour. The overall message becomes one of rejection rather than teaching, causing the child to withdraw and damaging the parent/child relationship.
Sometimes a child does need time and space to be alone in order to cool off. In those instances, rather than setting a timer, it is preferable to allow the child to return when s/he is feeling in control once again. "You may not continue to hit/kick/speak rudely/etc. Go cool down in your room and return when you are able to treat your family kindly." This is followed with a calm discussion and reconnection. However, this method works best for an older child who has already been taught the skills needed to know how to calm themselves down, who has previously exhibited the need to be alone in order to do this, and for whom being alone is not a frightening event. Many other children and situations require a different response.
While there is no single answer to cover all circumstances, having a variety of tools will allow parents to best meet the needs of their unique child in their unique situation. Here we will explore ten alternatives to time-outs; as always, I welcome your additional gentle discipline tools in the comments below.
Children must be actively parented through their intense emotions in order to learn how to process and move past them in a healthy way. A time-in is a prime opportunity for this type of teaching, providing the child with vital skills that will serve them throughout their life.
Rather than depriving children of their parents' attention, a time-in is time together to build relationship, communication, and cooperation. It places the parent and child on the same side rather than pitting them against one another.
During a time-in, the parent and child can focus on working through the situation. It is a time of connection that includes both physical touch and eye contact. The parent can teach the child a variety of calming techniques (deep breathing, drawing, physical outlets, etc) and then move on to discussing the emotions behind the behaviour. What led up to it? What are better alternatives for next time?
A time-in can also be used proactively. In this sense, the parent ensures the child receives focused attention at regular intervals, thereby strengthening the parent/child relationship and meeting the child's emotional needs. This builds cooperation while reducing negative attention-seeking behaviour.
2. Comfort Corner
A comfort corner is an opportunity for the child to regroup in a calming environment, surrounded by things that bring them comfort. A comfort corner may include pillows, blankets, books, stuffed animals, water, snacks, amind jar, a notepad and pencil, music, or any other item that brings the child comfort or helps them to refocus. It should be private but not isolated; it may be located in a corner of the main living area, in a bedroom, in a small alcove, on a comfortable chair, or even tucked away in a tote bag to be pulled out when needed.
A comfort corner is often used, particularly with young children or when first introduced, in conjunction with a time-in. Again, this is an opportunity to assist the child in dealing with their intense emotions, teaching them the skills needed to regroup and refocus. A child must be taught how to calm down and regroup before you can request that they do so. The goal of the comfort corner is for the child to learn how to do these things for themself.
Rather than a punishment, the comfort corner should be a positive experience, a place of calm and comfort. When the child is in need of a quiet break, direct them to the comfort comfort. If they protest, guide them there for some cuddling. "I can see you are having trouble controlling yourself. Let's go to the comfort corner together and I will show you how you can help yourself to feel better." The child is free to leave the comfort corner when s/he feels they are ready.
Parents can model this practice when they are feeling frustrated or angry. "I am feeling ___. I am going to go sit somewhere quiet and listen to music for a few minutes until I feel more calm." This is modelling the essential life skill of recognizing when you need to remove yourself from a situation to calm down, regain your composure, and correct your attitude.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." A parent can set the child up for success by ensuring the child's physical needs (healthy diet, adequate sleep, physical activity, sensory outlets) and emotional needs (love, attention, security) are met. Consider the child's environment as well. Excess clutter or noise can negatively impact a child's behaviour; anger and tension will have negative effects as well.
4. Look Beyond the Behaviour
Look beyond the child's behaviour to its underlying cause or driving need. Is the child hungry? tired? hurt? lonely? Is the child teething? Does the child need a physical or sensorial outlet? Does a growing child need additional responsibilities to challenge and occupy their growing minds? A traditional time-out deals with only the symptom; move beyond that to deal with the root cause.
5. Playful Parenting
Playful parenting can be an ideal way to diffuse tension and regain cooperation. Play can also be used to help a child work through their feelings. Rather than engaging in a power struggle, lighten the situation with silliness. Role-playing, task races, and exaggerated threats are some common playful parenting techniques.
6. Distraction and Redirection
Sometimes a simple distraction or redirection is sufficient to deal with the situation; not every incident requires a direct head-on approach. As with playful parenting, this is an ideal way to circumvent a power struggle, given the right circumstances. In the same vein, a change in the environment can shift everyone into a better mood: head outdoors, run a bath, go to the library, or put on some music.
Sometimes a child just wants to be heard. Take a moment to empathize with the child. Listen to, reflect back, and validate their feelings. When necessary, assist the child in expressing those feelings in a healthy, appropriate, and acceptable manner. "Try again" is a useful script for a child who has already been coached on appropriate expressions of feelings and just needs the reminder to use a proper tone.
8. Put the Ball in Their Court
Empower the child to take responsibility for rectifying the situation. Depending on the age and particular circumstances, this can take a variety of forms, including (but not limited to) the following:
- offer them a choice between two or three acceptable alternatives
- use the "when...then..." script ("when your room is clean, then we can go to the park")
- sit down and brainstorm solutions to a problem with them, allowing them to be a full participant in the process
- give them the responsibility for righting the wrong (cleaning up the mess, making amends to the hurt party, following through on given instructions, etc)
The goal is to empower them to accept responsibility for their actions, think for themselves, consider the alternatives, make a decision, and follow through with solving the situation.
9. Talk and Problem-Solve
In a quiet, calm voice, talk through the situation if the child is the right frame of mind for a discussion. Seek their perspective on the matter and offer your own. If emotions are running too high in the heat of the moment, talk through the situation later after both parent and child have had time to calm down and regroup. The purpose of our parenting should be problem-solving and teaching, not behaviour-training through consequences or punishments.
10. Shift Perspective
Sometimes we allow our own feelings and frustrations to erupt on our families. We overreact to innocent childish behaviour, wanting them out of our hair so we can have a few precious moments to be still and think. Sometimes it's us who need to take a time-out of sorts.
Regardless of the situation, a parent can begin by taking a deep calming breath. Walk away from the situation if you need to calm down, regain your composure, or gain perspective on the situation. Is the situation as urgent or important as your initial reaction would suggest? Are you able to separate the child's behaviour from the child themselves? What do you want to teach your child, going forward, through the way you handle this situation?Keep in mind that the goal is to find a solution, not a consequence or punishment.
Once you have regrouped, go back to your child and request a do-over. Be willing to apologize if your initial reaction warrants it. Get down on your child's level and reconnect with a hug. Take a moment to hear their point of view, and then seek a solution together.
A special note about aggressive behaviour: Most hitting can be prevented by consistent action when the child is very small. The first time a toddler swings with the intent to hit, catch their arm mid-swing and firmly say, "no hitting; hitting hurts". Then gently stroke your cheek with the child's hand while saying "gentle". Repeat consistently. This nips most hitting in the bud, with a simple "gentle" being sufficient to remind them to use their hands gently.
However, sometimes hitting behaviour will persist, appear at later stages, or simply occur in the heat of the moment. When a child hits another child, a logical consequence is removal from play with the other children."You hit, you sit." This gives you an opportunity to comfort the child who was hit. You can then attend to the child who did the hitting, reiterating that hitting is unacceptable and allowing them the opportunity to explain the situation (if they are old enough) and/or calm down with you until they are in control of themselves and ready to resume playing with the other children. This can be used in conjunction with the techniques listed above.
When a child hits a parent, the parent can state clearly and firmly that they will not allow the child to hurt them. This is an excellent opportunity to model strong boundaries. A particularly aggressive child may need to be restrained until they have regained control. Once the child is calm, teach the child what they can do to express their anger (drawing "angry pictures", writing out their feelings, talking through the situation, doing an "angry dance", etc). Anger is acceptable; hitting is not.
Positive Time-Out by Jane Nelsen
Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Monday, April 22, 2013
10:00 AM | Posted by Amy @Consider Me Inspired | | Edit Post
The Dirt on Composting
Composting involves mixing yard and household organic waste in a pile or bin and providing conditions that encourage decomposition. The decomposition process is fueled by millions of microscopic organisms (bacteria, fungi) that take up residence inside your compost pile, continuously devouring and recycling it to produce a rich organic fertilizer and valuable soil amendment (see Using Your Compost To Amend Soils).
Sound complicated? It's really not. All you need to know about composting is a basic understanding of a few simple principles, and a little bit of elbow grease. Nature does the rest.
Note: Decomposition, or the composting process, occurs constantly and gradually around us everyday. The dark, rich soil covering the forest floor is an excellent example of this. When we compost, all we're really doing is speeding up Mother Nature.
Location & Appearance
First you'll need to select your location for composting. Where you put it depends on function and aesthetics.
In terms of appearances and good relations with your neighbors, you probably don't want to place your bin on your front lawn next to the mail box. (Your neighbors, and not to mention your mail man, will also appreciate a more behind-the-scenes location.)
Instead, opt for the backyard, or, if you don't have one, then a
Ensure composting success with a home compost bin available at Planet Natural.
Want to build your own? Here's one simple solution: convert old
You can also skip the bin (a structure isn't essential) and just have a compost pile or heap. In terms of appearances -- and if your homeowners association is fussy -- you may want to screen the pile from view by
From a functional standpoint, you'll need a place with good air circulation. Don't place it next to your home or other wooden buildings as the decomposing scraps and resulting compost may cause the wood to rot. Partial shade is a good idea so the compost doesn't get overheated. Also make sure the spot of land where you place your heap gets good drainage.
Close to the garden and to a water source are both good places for building your compost pile since it will be easier to move the materials to and from the garden and easier to water it. Another idea may be to place it near your kitchen to make it convenient to place table scraps on the pile or in the bin.
Make your pile no smaller than 3' x 3' x 3'. In fact, this is probably the perfect size. It's sufficient enough to "cook" your waste and transform it into compost, but not so large that it will become unmanageable and hard to turn.
The microbes that do your dirty work in the compost pile require water for survival, but it can be hard to judge how much water to add and when. Too much water means your organic waste won't decompose and you'll get a slimy and smelly pile that could well answer to the name "swamp thing." Too little water and you'll kill the bacteria and you won't get your compost (seeMonitoring Moisture).
One rule of thumb: the more green material (cut grass, weeds, leaves) you put in, the less water you'll need to add. In fact, if you need to add dry ingredients such as straw or hay, soak the material first in water so it won't dry out your compost pile. In general your compost should be moist, but not sopping wet.
If you are backyard composting and you get a lot of rain, build a roof over the pile. This can be as simple as a tarp. The reason you want to give your compost pile more shelter is because nutrients, or leachates, leak out when it rains. That's not such a problem in a place where rainfall isn't heavy, but if you get a lot of rain where you live, it can make a big difference. Too much water in the pile will slow down the process and can also make it slimy and icky.
Oxygen is also required by many of the microorganisms responsible for successful composting. Give them adequate ventilation and they will take care of the rest (see Aerobic Decomposition). You can make sure that the bacteria in your compost gets sufficient air by turning the pile often and well. Use a pitch fork, spade or compost aerator to mix your pile. If you've got a compost tumbler, you've got it easy. Just crank that lever. Don't aerate your compost and it will break down slowly, resulting in a slimy, dense, stinky pile. It's also a good idea to turn the contents since it rearranges the decaying material. With a little care, you can move the less decomposed material on the edges to the middle of the pile to heat up.
As they eat, the organisms responsible for composting generate large amounts of heat, which raise the temperature of the pile or compost bin and speeds up decomposition. A compost pile that is working well will produce temperatures of 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit. At these temperatures almost all weed seeds and plant diseases are killed. A "very hot" compost pile will generate temperatures of up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit for up to a week or more. Use a compost thermometer to measure the exact temperature at different locations inside the pile.
Note: As organic material in a compost pile heats up it breaks down and takes up less space. A compost pile can shrink up to 70% as it "cooks."
When adding organic waste to your compost, don't squash the materials down to make more space. Squashing the contents will squeeze out the air that microbes in the compost pile need to turn your garbage into gold. (Instead you'll be promoting the anaerobic microbes, which also do a good job converting carrot peels and other organic matter into compost but tend to be a lot smellier.)
Also be strategic about filling your bin. Include a mixture of brown fibrous ingredients and greens. A well-balanced "diet" will ensure that composting doesn't take too long and that you don't end up with a slimy, smelly heap. Also shred, dice or otherwise make scraps smaller, which will help the resident bacteria do a good job in converting the garbage into compost.
Finally, after you've added kitchen vegetable waste, throw some leaves or grass clippings on top of it. This will help keep things balanced, reduce smells and make your com
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