All posts by MelaninTaught

About MelaninTaught

Fun loving, Christian, wife, mom, and educator.

Amy’s Farm Review

This month we took a field trip to Amy’s farm in Ontario, CA. At first sight, I was unsure whether to drive in or park outside. I took a chance unsure and drove in. With cows on either side of me, I pulled right into a small parking lot.

As we looked around for a few minutes we were met by Farmer Stephanie our tour guide for the day. She gave us the ground rules, then we headed for the garden. This garden is the stuff dreams are made of! I aspire to have a garden this fruitful one day and seeing this really encouraged me to keep trying to grow my family food.

Look at this beautiful kale!

The kids got to pick a leafy snack for the piglets.

Until now I didn’t know okra flowers were so beautiful. 

Once we left the garden we went to feed the piglets and see the goats. We learned that these goats only had bottom teeth so their nibbles wouldn’t cause any damage.

The chickens shook their tail feathers and the goats competed for the dino kale.

Then it was off to meet a Jersey Cow named Donut. She made 5 gallons of rich creamy milk a day.

The kids brushed Rocky.

Then we were off the milk Martha.

I don’t eat pork at all (or generally allow my family to due to environmental racism) but K loves bacon and since this farm offers organic, responsibly sourced meats, he splurged and got a few packs.

This was a great outing for the kids! Amy’s farm is open to the public most days of the week and it’s free unless you are paying for a tour. If you are in SoCal and looking for something educational to do with the kids stop here and check it out. I would even splurge on the tour.

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How to Teach Your Kids Emotional Intelligence

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Kids feel so much and have such a limited vocabulary. Teaching children Emotional Intelligence techniques allows them to better handle stress while helping you as a parent stress less. It may seem like a big task but once broken down it’s really easy. Make these tasks habits and you will see a big change in the way your child communicates with you.

1. Quiet time – Some days my kids are extra whiny. This is so annoying to me, they get whiny I get frustrated, they whine, I’m irritated it is a vicious cycle, and next thing you know we all need a time out. Taking time out in the morning for no reason at all works wonders. I have my kids pick a square and for 3 to 5 minutes we all sit and are still. Teaching children to pause is a very important thing in a society that values speed over quality.

2. How do you feel? This may be simple but many parents, especially of young children, don’t ask their kids how they feel. These conversations equip children with the proper vocabulary to express their feelings. For example, one can be frustrated but not angry, to children those lines may blur. Having these conversations also fosters empathy.

“Mommy, are you mad?”

“No, I am frustrated.”

“Can I help?”

“Yes, can you hand me that.”

Our vocabulary may determine if or even how our feelings have or can be changed.

3. Share how you feel. Simply sharing how you feel teaches your children how to share what they are feeling. “I feel ….. when…”

Equipping children with tools for effective communication makes them more confident and allows you to teach them how to appropriately manage their emotions.

If you enjoyed this check out How to be an Emotionally Intelligent Parent. Also, be sure to pick up a copy of my book How to Lead With Emotional Intelligence for practical application of EI in your daily life.

 

5 Ways to Be An Emotionally Intelligent Parent

Have you heard of Emotional Intelligence? It’s a buzzword that has been going around the past few years. Heres the scoop. It basically means the ability to control one’s emotions and even the emotions of others. So the higher your Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ) the better you are at keeping a grip on life. Pretty cool right!

So here are some tips on how to use Emotional Intelligence to thrive as a parent.

  1. Be Aware: Wake up, feed kids, brush teeth, clean, school time, snack time, clean, homework, dinner, clean….repeat. If you are like me throw in some breastfeeding sessions, diaper changes, errands, phone calls and meds (for grandma). Wait! What about “me time”? Sometimes we can get so into the routine of the daily grind that we forget to check in with ourselves. It is so important to take out at least a few minutes alone to see how we are feeling and most importantly why?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  2.  Be Real: When you don’t know how you feel its easy to speak with more or less force than may be required when communicating with your kids. Good news is you can always stop and ask yourself, “Is your response really the best response”? If not simply apologize. Our kids are learning how to adult by what they see us do more than what they hear us say. So take time to slow down and self-correct.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  3. Be Honest: Why do you feel the way you do? Is your child really doing something harmful or are they simply being a child? Are you frustrated, tired, or overworked? Ha! That last one is not a real question. Of course, you are! This means you may be acting out of your feelings rather than your child’s actions. I once heard it said that kids get in more trouble at the end of the day not because the kids are worse but because the parents are tired. Try to make it a habit to give more grace as the day goes on.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  4. Be A Kid: Take out some time to play. Seriously! Taking time to play with kids makes it easier to think like one. When you try to see the world through a child’s eyes you open up the door for grace. One of my favorite things to do is to have my kids take pictures with my camera. As I scroll through I am able to see things from their perspective and it really helps me appreciate their worldview. In fact, all but the first and last picture in this post were pictures taken by my kids. Even AR (18 mos)  got in on the fun.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  5. Be Realistic: There is no such thing as a perfect kid, and there is no such thing as a perfect parent. However, in order for you to have the best relationship with your child you need to be able to look inside yourself and understand your behavior so you can better shape the behavior of your child.

I hope this helps! Click here to find out How To Teach Your Kids Emotional Intelligence. You can also pick up a copy of my book How to Lead With Emotional Intelligence for practical ways to apply EI to your daily life.

Skinny Girl Secrets

*I am not a medical professional this is not health advice. In fact skinny isn’t even the standard. I use that term because that’s what people call me. Genetics also has a lot to do with it. My mom is skinny, so is my grandmother ect. You can do all this and still rock beautiful curves. I don’t even own a scale. These are just my food habits. So here we go! 

I was out to lunch with friends and I ordered an appetizer.

“Is that going to get you full?” My friend asked.

“No, I don’t eat to get full I eat to keep from being hungry,” I replied.

“What? I never heard that!”

“Yeah, that’s what my mom used to say.”

“See you skinny people keep these secrets to yourselves!”

So this is for you, friend. You know who you are! Here are 8 Secrets From Your Skinny friend.

(1) Drink water first. Most of the time you think you are hungry you are likely just thirsty. Try water first if after 15 min you are still feeling hungry, grab a bite to eat.

(2) Eat to stop the hunger sensation not to get full. When you eat to get full the food in your stomach expands your stomach making it harder and harder to get full. Weight gain doesn’t happen all at once it happens one pound at a time. If you only eat to satisfy the hunger sensation your stomach will only hold so much. This will keep your stomach its current size it will not shrink it.

(3) Look at the serving size. Some nights I want to eat all 4 servings of Ben and Jerry’s Almond Brittle Dairy Free Dessert, other times one serving will do. Knowing how much makes up one serving makes you less likely to make a habit of eating all the servings at once.

(4) Small Servings. Speaking of servings. It is a lot easier to put more on your plate than it is to take what is on your plate off. This goes for both life’s proverbial and physical plate. My mom used to say, “Don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach.” Eat small servings then if you want more get more.

(5) Don’t eat or drink out of a container. There is something about eating directly out of a vessel that makes us want to empty the vessel. Take your chips, cookies, or caramel popcorn and put it in the smallest bowl you have. Use a cup for your soda even if it is in a can. Better yet don’t drink soda.

(6) Use smaller plates. Speaking of containers, bigger is not always better. Use small cups bowls or plates. I know there is only a .25 cent difference between the biggest and smallest size and I know you say you won’t drink that much but let’s face it. You WILL want to empty that container.

(7) Don’t eat right before bed. When you eat right before you go to sleep your body spends the night digesting food instead of being completely at rest. Our food cut off for the kids is 2 hours before bed. Their tummies are almost empty by then so they aren’t hungry or digesting food through the night. That time seems to be the sweet spot for us. Amazingly enough, they don’t wake up starving. Hungry but they can usually wait for their oatmeal or pancakes to be made without complaint.

Bonus

(8) Supper on Sundays. Growing up we ate twice on Sunday’s. Once before church and once after church. We usually went back to church in the evenings so when we got out of service it was too late to eat. This habit has been so ingrained in me I still follow the tradition of two meals on Sunday. If the kids get hungry they can eat all the fruit and veggies they want.

At the end of the day the goal is to be the best you at any size! I hope these tips help you on your health journey. Be well!

Waterbead Experiment

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Have you heard about water beads? These things grow about 20 times their size and they are seriously addictive. Well, I got some, for the kids, and turned it into a learning experience. The word of the day was “absorb” watch our video below then read through our critical thinking questions.

 

Questions

  1. What does absorb mean?
  2. What do you think will happen to the dry water bead once we add water?
  3. *Remove bead from water at 4, 6, and 8 hours
  4. Which bead is biggest? Why?
  5. Which bead is smallest? Why?
  6. Put the beads in order from the least amount of water held to the most amount of water held.
  7. Name three things that absorb.
  8. Name three things that do not absorb.

This is an experiment we will visit again as the kids get older it would be a great way to teach permeation! Let us know how it goes!

Primary Color Lab

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My kid’s favorite way to learn is through touch. They love to build, create, and destroy so this lab was a great way to teach them about primary colors and how they are used to create other colors. So I grabbed some red, yellow, and blue craft paint some paper and a brush. We headed outside and got to painting. You can watch the video below and get some critical thinking questions for your littles.

Questions

  1. What are primary colors?
  2. What do red and yellow make?
  3. Red and blue?
  4. Yellow and blue?
  5. What are secondary colors
  6. Create a secondary color formula ___+_____=

If you try this activity let us know below!

6 Steps to Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy

Every now and then I go through these spells where I feel completely inadequate. I feel my job as a mom is not enough and I get the itch to find gratification outside of my home. This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself except when it causes me to lose sleep, act grouchy and be an all-around buzz kill. I compare myself to the perfect mom in my dreams, I water my weeds as they choke the life out of me.

I’m human, I feel things but I don’t stay there. How do I get through this?

  1. Identify the Trigger – For me, the trigger usually changes or rather uncertainty. The anticipation of change but the uncertainty of time. Basically, planning something big but not knowing when it will happen and not being able to stop it. 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
  2. Honesty- I am honest with myself and at least one other person about how I feel. Usually, I have to talk through my feelings so I do it with someone that allows me to backtrack and overexplain all while asking probing questions. Ephesians 4:25 25 Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,”[a] for we are members of one another.
  3. Forgiveness – I have made decisions that I wish I’d hadn’t. Maybe I should have taken that class, maybe I shouldn’t have. Either way, I have to forgive myself realizing I made the best choice I could at the time. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
  4. Action- Forgiveness does not mean without consequence. There are natural consequences of our actions and we should handle them with grace. If there is something I can do I do it! Can I change the situation or make strides in the right direction? If so I do what I can. We can also remove ourselves from any temptations so we don’t repeat our mistakes. Matthew 5:29-30 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body is thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body goes into hell.
  5. Acceptance – I can’t fix it all. This means having to accept that some things are simply out of my control. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
  6. Gratitude- This is the most important one and it’s pretty easy to do. Look back at old pictures, make a list, take a walk, whatever it takes to remember all that was overcome. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Recognizing this pattern and following these steps helps me keep bad days, from becoming bad weeks. I hope this helps.