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How to make your child feel powerful and heard

Our kids don't really need just one more of this or that. What they do need is their sense of power and attention.

How to make your child feel powerful and heard

As parents, we often find ourselves on a merry-go-round ride with our kids. We jump from one thing to the next hoping we can solve at least one problem before the next one presents itself.

As we circle on this merry-go-round, getting dizzier and dizzier, trying to win these battles ourselves, more often than not we hear these three words… "just one more!." Just one more minute to play at the park. Just one more drink of water. Just one more kiss and hug before bed. Just one more cookie. The just one more never seems to end. The trouble is there are so many of them it's impossible to keep up.

In actuality, our kids don't really need all of these just one more's. What they do need is their sense of power and attention.

Kids often feel a lack of power and attention due to certain parenting styles. Think of your kids' power and attention as two large cups of water. If these cups start to lose water and empty, your kids' attention and power will feel empty. When this happens the negative behaviors, tantrums, back talking and more will come at you full throttle. When parents fill up their kid's attention and power cups, their kids will feel at ease.

So, how do I fill up my kid's cups and keep them full? Here are simple, easy to implement solutions so that you can start today.

Keep in mind that simple and easy doesn't mean a quick fix. Once you consistently begin implementing these new steps into your daily routine, within one week, you will begin to see positive changes appear right before your eyes.

How to make your child feel powerful

1. Try not to do anything for them they can almost do themselves.

When we do things for our kids that they are capable of doing on their own, we are telling them that we don't feel they are capable just yet. In turn, this decreases their self-worth and confidence and leads them to lash out and search for more power. Our actions speak louder than words.

2. Establish daily routines and charts that your kids can follow and complete independently.

Work together with your kids to create morning and bedtime charts that they can follow on their own. When you do this, the chart becomes the boss and leaves you free of reminding. They'll feel powerful knowing that they completed tasks on the chart on their own.

3. Give them room and space to succeed and fail.

If you are constantly reminding your kids to complete their charts, pack their homework and brush their teeth, how will they ever learn to remember on their own? Kids who forget often have parents who always remind. Try encouraging them to learn on their own. For example, if they forget their lunch or homework one day, don't drive it to school if they could get by without it. If you do step in often, it can show them that you will always be there as back up—and that's okay! But, letting them forget and learn from natural consequences will help them to be more apt to remember the next time. This is where the true learning and responsibility begins to grow. These are life lessons we need our kids to learn.

4. Offer opportunities to do more chores and help out around the house.

Working together to complete household duties gives our kids a sense of power, as it makes them feel needed. Kids as young as 2 years old can have age-appropriate tasks. Start small.

Have your kids put all their clothes in the hamper and participate in rounding up toys. As they grow, so will the list of duties. Soon you will have kids as young as 4 or 5-years-old vacuuming, folding laundry and taking out the garbage. The best part is they will be happy helping out. It won't be a battle and you will have all hands on deck! Chores make you kids feel needed and a part of the family, which directly gives them power.

5. Create golden time.

This is the secret sauce to parenting. It is the simplest way to keep your kid's attention cups full and will result in happy kids and happy parents. Follow the specific formula below and within one week you will see results.

Golden Time Formula:

  1. Two times per day for 10 minutes (morning and evening)
  2. One–on–one
  3. Uninterrupted (no cell phones)
  4. Doing something your child wants to do
  5. Label it (let them know you are wanting Golden Time with them)

I dare you to commit one week to consistent Golden Time and your life as a parent will change, I have no doubt!

You now have the inside scoop to put a stop to all the battles and the "just one mores." It's time to hop off that crazy merry-go-round and start enjoying parenting while helping your kiddos feel like they're heard and seen.

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Create a school-ready capsule wardrobe for your kids

Dress for success whether virtual learning or in the classroom!

Tina Meeks

Going "back to school" this year may be less of a literal statement than in years past—but there is just as much reason for your kids to celebrate moving on to new grades. Just like in every new school year, a big part of the fun is refreshing your kids' wardrobe with clothes that allow them to express themselves.

Even if finding back to school clothes this year doesn't include a trip to the mall, you can still make an event of it by shopping H&M's kids collection from your computer. Pull up another chair for your shopping buddy and get the cart started with these fave capsule wardrobe options we've already scouted.

Here are our favorite picks:

A t-shirt made for play

H&M t-shirt

Call them essentials, not basics. A graphic t-shirt aces the test when it comes to being perfect for school. And because your little student will probably want to wear something that expresses their personal style as often as possible, it's great to know the shirts can stand up to school time, playtime, downtime and everything in between!

$4.99

Dressed-up casual shorts for total comfort

H&M boy shorts

Whether pulling up a chair for a virtual meeting with the class or heading back to the school for in-person learning, some comfortable, yet stylish, shorts will help your kid focus on the real tasks at hand: learning—and having fun while doing it!

$19.99

Layers for when seasons change

H&M sweatshirt

When it comes to feeling comfortable at school, layers are the MVPs. Whether the AC is blasting or the day started off cool and is warming up quickly, having a unique sweatshirt to shed or add will help your kid look cool while staying warm.

$9.99

A bit of flair with distressed denim

H&M distressed jeans

A school staple for generations, denim is both classic and continually fashionable with updates like distressing and new wash colors. If you're shopping online for jeans this year, take note of H&M's generous return policy—your kids can try on the orders at home and return anything that doesn't fit without a trip to the store.

$24.99

A fashion statement piece

H&M girls skirt

What's better than expressing yourself through a stylish outfit when school is back in session? Still feeling perfectly comfortable and ready to tackle anything the day holds while looking so good. With so many fashion-forward looks available at budget-friendly prices, H&M's children's collection means every kid can find an outfit that speaks to them.

$14.99

Some comfy kicks

H&M boys shoes

A sure way to put a little pep in your child's step this year, cool and cozy shoes are a staple on all back-to-school shopping lists for good reason. (Plus, it's fun to compare them to last year's shoes to see how much your kid has grown!)

$19.99

Anything-but-basic blouses

H&M girls blouse

Whether in the classroom or showing up for a video call with the class, a styling blouse or button-down shirt is a great way for your student to comfortably dress up the day. Better yet? Style doesn't have to come at the expense of comfort with so many made-to-move tops designed just for kids.

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A shirt ready to go whatever the day holds

H&M boys shirt

With "going to school" meaning anything from showing up in the classroom to doing a virtual session, it's important to have clothes that are perfect for anything the day holds. A classic, cotton shirt with a fashion-forward design is a great way to keep your student feeling ready to start the year with an A+ attitude.

$9.99

This article was sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$189

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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The new top 100 American baby names, according to the Social Security office

Did you have a baby in 2018? Did your name make the top 10?

kasietannerphotography.com

[Editor's note: We know that being pregnant can be, well, a lot. And understanding what you really need versus what's just a nice-to-have takes time . With your needs in mind, we've selected the best products for pregnancy in The Motherly Shop. We've got you, mama.]

No one can beat Emma when it comes to naming babies in America. This week the Social Security Administration announced its annual list of the most popular baby names in America and Emma has the top spot on the girls' side for the fifth year in a row. On the boys' side Liam took the top spot for a second consecutive year.

According to the Social Security Administration, these were the top 20 baby names in America in 2018:

Girls: Emma, Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Sophia, Charlotte, Mia, Amelia, Harper and Evelyn

Boys: Liam, Noah, William, James, Oliver, Benjamin, Elijah, Lucas, Mason and Owen

How do those top 10 lists compare to the top baby names of 2017? Well, the girls' list is nearly the same except that Mia and Charlotte switched spots, and Harper (a name that fell out of the top ten the previous year) is back and has ousted Abigail. On the boys' side, Lucas kicked Jacob out of the top 10.

The real changes happened lower down in the data. Let's take a look at the popular baby names that were trending hard in 2018:

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