Discussing Bullying With Our Kids

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on October 26, 2013

As National Bullying Prevention Month comes to an end, discussion and awareness never should. Bullying has become more than pushing and shoving on the playground, and we can teach our kids to make a difference. Showing our kids, by example, how to treat others with kindness and respect, and to stand up for themselves and others is a daily occurance. Most times it is even happening without much thought or intention on our parts.

As parents, we must take a long hard look at what we are modeling to our children. We can only expect them to behave as we behave. We are their first teachers and the people they trust the most to steer them in the right direction.

Often I have to stop and ask myself the following questions –

  • How am I talking to others?
  • How am I talking about others?
  • Am I using innapropriate language or calling others names?
  • Am I “bullying” people in to doing things my way?
  • Do I intentionally intimidate those who are weaker, either with my words or my actions?
  • Am I allowing others to intimidate me or destroy my confidence?
  • How am I building my own confidence and the confidence of my children?

Having an open line of communication with our kiddos is also key to preventing bullying. Talk to your kiddos about what is going on at the park, at school, at church, and on social media. Discussing with them the differences between real bullying and typical immature behavior is also important. Too many times, these days, are normal kids being labeled as bullies. Of course, with kiddos of varying ages, it’s important to have age appropriate conversations. 

We can also use movies and television shows to help illustarte the importance of leadership, kindness, being a hero, and fighting back. Netflix has put together a list of age-appriate shows to help facilitate the discussion with your children –

netflix anti-bully

netflix anti-bully 2

Big Kids
1. Bully
2.The War
3.Billy Elliott
4.The Fat Boy Chronicles
5.Cyber Bully
Little Kids
1. Hercules
2.Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
3.Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
4.Spy Kids: All the Time in the World
5.Justice League Unlimited
6.Ben 10: Alien Force

How do you broach the topic of bulltying with your kids?
Do they know how to stand up to bullies?

Disclosure: I am a part of the Netflix Stream Team. I have received product and services in exchange for my participation. All opinions and thoughts are my own.


Raising Independent and Responsible Children

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on September 18, 2013

I recently saw a meme making it’s way through Facebook recently that basically illustrated how children are constantly asking for things to be done for them. Children who are capable, physically and mentally, to know where and how to dispose of their own garbage, and perform other simple tasks on their own.

I totally relate to the idea that our small children are very dependent on us, but it got me thinking – Are we raising a generation of dependence? Little people who, even now, have their own thoughts and emotions, and their own drive and will. People who will one day, sooner than I’d like to imagine, be on their own. Will they know what to do? Will they be responsible and independent adults?

Certainly, in early development, your children count on you. As infants, they rely on you for nourishment, cleaning, and mobility. As your children grow, they become more independent in these basic areas of living, but still depend on you for love, protection, guidance, and support. As your children reach adolescence and move toward adulthood, they become less reliant on you and gain greater independence in all aspects of their lives. This process of separation prepares your children for the demands of adulthood. But this progression toward adulthood is not inevitable.

We live in a time when so much is being handed to our children. We do everything for them, much to their detriment. Heck, we even try to think for our children and make their decisions for them. As we teach and train our children, I believe it is very important to teach them practical skills they are able to perform on their own – how to solve a problem and formulate opinions, how to create and expand on an idea, how to combat “boredom”, and how to get along with and serve others.

These precious little ones are only in our care for a short time before they must spread their wings and fly. It’s our job to teach them how to spread their wings, so they can fly on their own.

independent and responsible kids

Here are ten ways to encourage independence and responsibility in your children, from the simple to the more complex ::

  1. Allow your children pick out their clothes and dress themselves at an early age. For us this meant that we sometimes went out in public with mismatched and backward clothes, and shoes on the wrong feet. You know what? They don’t care and neither should you.
  2. Middle school age children are old enough to set their alarm and get out of bed on their own on school days. They should also make their own breakfast AND pack their own lunch. Oh, and do their homework without any reminders.
  3. Have a list of daily chores for each of your children, with clear guidelines. Ours receive an allowance for completing chores ,only if they are not reminded constantly to do said chores. Not only does this show the value of hard work, but it also is a good lesson in self government.
  4. Limit media time. Often do our kiddos tell us they are bored, but then they must find something to do to occupy their time, otherwise they are given extra chores to complete with no additional pay.
  5. Follow through on your word. We show by example that when one makes a promise one assumes the responsibilty to follow through on that promise. We make no promise we can not keep.
  6. Encourage questions. While none of children are allowed to argue with us, or ask why, when given a task, they are encouraged to come to us and discuss their thoughts on any situation after they display obedience. We feel this encourages open communication and an environment that allows for them to feel safe even when they disagree.
  7. Give opportunity for open discussion. We talk about an assortment of topics with our children. We share our thoughts and opinions and allow for our children’s opinions to be expressed, without shaming or the pressure to conform to our opinions. In our house there is a clear line between fact and opinion.
  8. Stress the importance of thinking through any ideas or decisions before action is taken. Are my thoughts and intentions pure? Will this be acceptable speech or behavior? There are certainly consequences for all of our decisions, whether good or bad.
  9. No punishment or discipline takes place without discussing the offense in question. Why did you make the decision to call your brother names? Why were you disobedient? 
  10.  Give your children age-appropriate freedom so they can make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes. I am no helicopter mom. I don’t hold my toddler’s hand as he climbs the steps to the slide. I let my older children ride their bikes to the basketball court, and my little guys play out back without me.

 How do you encourage independence and responsibilty in your children as they grow and mature?


I was talking to my mom and she said she was doing a thing called #BlogEveryDayInMay. Today’s assignment is to “give your advice about anything” so I hacked her blog and want to give you advice on how to be a greater mom than you already are now!

1. Always listen to your kids. If you don’t, they think you don’t care. And they’ll most likely get upset.

2. Play with them. Go outside and explore with them.

3. Teach them things. Like how to bake a cake, or how to ride a bike. Basic things like that.

4. Talk to them. Ask them how their day was at school. ( They’ll tell you mostly everything, if they’re like me. )

5. Take them to fun places. Like the pool or the park. And do it often. They’ll enjoy it.

6. Let them go places by themselves. They won’t be a baby forever, you know!

7. Give your kids chores. They need to learn responsibility for their older years.

8. Tell your kids you love them. Say it often. And make sure they know that you do.

9. Let them know you trust them. If they know you do they will use that trust more carefully.

10. Give them ice cream!!!!! They’ll love you forever. I’m not even joking.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


What’s Your Mothering Style?

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on January 20, 2012

My good friend recently posted on her Facebook wall that she had taken a quiz that gave a bit of insight in to her mothering style. Of the sixteen possible styles, her answers showed her to be Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging - A ‘Responsibility’ Mother. As I read the description – adapted from the book MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengthit was very clear that the strengths described fit that of my sweet friend.

I was curious and couldn’t help but wonder in which style my answers would categorize me. Am I the ‘Action Adventure’ Mother? Or, maybe the ‘How To’ Mother?

After answering a series of questions in four separate sections, I was given my results. I am the classic ‘Independence’ Mother. Honestly, I never would have described myself as such, but as I read the list of strengths and struggles I had to admit that most of them were pretty spot on. In fact, I laughed out loud at a few of them!

The ‘Independence’ Mother

Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving


  • Energetic spontaneity. “Always” ready to drop what she’s doing for an outing or new experience,  she’s seldom bogged down with day-to-day “drudgery,” bringing a breath of fresh air and a new perspective to any situation.
  • Encouraging independence. She creates and supports opportunities for her children to be out on their own, mastering their independence.
  • Teaching. A wonderful teacher of “life,” she sees every activity and moment in the day as an opportunity for children to learn about life and expand their minds.
  • Tolerance and acceptance. She lets children do their own thing and refrains from pigeon-holing them. In action and words, she demonstrates respect for self and others.


  • Inactivity. With her need for action, variety, and independence, she finds it draining to be homebound. She may also find it difficult to adjust to children who are slower paced than she.
  • Clingy children. If she has a child who is physically clingy or emotionally needy, she may worry that he or she will never be independent or self-sufficient.
  • Household routines. Impatient with the details and schedules of day-to-day living, she may struggle to carry out daily routines. She may let mundane chores turn into mini-crises… and end up doing laundry at 2 A.M. when there’s no clean underwear.

What’s your mothering personality type?
Take the MotherStyles quiz at FamilyEducation.com
I’d love to hear about your results and whether or not you agree with the assessment!


The Five Languages of Love

February 8, 2010

When Ray and I were newlyweds, we studied a book called The Five Love Languages. In this book, Gary Chapman explains the different ways in which people react to others, based on actions and words, thus resulting in changes in our “love tanks.” Chapman spent an entire chapter in his book explaining how the love […]

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There is hope for me yet!

January 2, 2010

Tonight, while Daddy was snowboarding with our twins (yes, on in to the dark), I decided that I needed some air. Of course I had to bring my youngest four along on my quest for this new air, but I HAD to get out of the house. So, I did what any insane mom with […]

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My Big Family

December 10, 2009

Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man whose quiver is full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies […]

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YoungMommy knows she’s not an “expert”

January 23, 2009

I have never been to nursing school or had any formal training as a doula or midwife. I am not a child psychologist or family counselor. I’m not an expert in pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or raising kids. I have been pregnant 5 times, birthed 6 babies, breastfed all of them, and am now raising five […]

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Potty Training Success

February 20, 2008

The following is one of my potty training success stories, originally published at my other blog, Organized Chaos. This was almost exactly one year ago – Josh was 21-months-old, Ben was just beginning to walk, and I was pregnant with Noah. I always dread potty training and try to put it off as long as […]

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Big Helpers

February 15, 2008

I was just recently asked the following question, and decided to answer it here — “How do you manage to make older siblings feel included and loved when you welcome a new one so close in age?” All of my kiddos (with the exception of my twins, of course) are between 18 and 23 months […]

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Yet Another Benefit of Breastfeeding

January 25, 2008

I am currently nursing my sixth baby. Well, not technically. My twins were born 9 weeks early and were actually bottle-fed. But, they did consume only breast milk for the first year of their lives…. My body worked around the clock to make sure they had all the nutrients and benefits that only my milk […]

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