Famous Children? My Article On the Moms Magazine Blog

I have finally posted an article to the “Moms Magazine” blog. Below is a sneak preview. Click the link to my full post below to read the full article.

“What To Do When Your Child Informs You She Wants To Be Famous”

On Moms Magazine 

You are sitting on the couch watching your favorite T.V. show when your five- year- old daughter comes in and tells you that she wants to be a famous movie star when she grows up. You know that is unlikely, but you don’t want to just squash that dream as soon as she tells you about it, do you? Of course not! But there are a lot more career options than…

Read more of my article on Moms Magazine here. 

***Comment, like and share. Are there any tips you think I missed? Please let me know! Thanks. 🙂


More Updates? And Guest Blogging!

I have FINALLY gotten in the habit of remembering to post a blog every week. And now that I am doing that, I feel it is time to add yet another blogging challenge to my To- Do- List: guest blogging and Linky Parties!

Merissa Hatch Guest Blogs

Linky Party? What’s That?

A Linky Party is when a group of bloggers set up a time, place and subject to blog about and then they post what they have written all on one website. The goal is to network, meet new bloggers and encourage our own readers to read other similar blogs. This Friday, I plan to join my first party called “Five- Minute Friday.”

With the “Five- Minute Friday” Linky Party, one word will be posted on http://katemotaung.com/. Then I will have five minutes to write a short story inspired by that one word. I am meant to “free write,” so they may not be the best stories I have ever written. But the goal is to have fun and be a better writer.

So every Friday, for one month, I will be posting a short story I wrote in five minutes to my blog. Click on the button if you want to learn more about “Five- Minute Friday.”

Guest Blogging. Oh My!

One of the best ways to be a better writer is to read things that are written better than you write. That is exactly what I have been doing with websites like Parents and Mom Magazine. But now I think it is time to be confident enough to put my work out there more. So in the next two months, I am going to work on several guest blog posts for some my favorite blogs to read.

So stay tuned this Friday for my first “Five- Minute Friday” Post.

CHALLENGE: Join the “Five- Minute Friday” Party! Don’t have a blog? That’s fine, just post your writing on the FMF facebook page. I would love to see all of my readers try this challenge at least one Friday, this month. When you do, be sure to send me a link via Facebook or Twitter so I can feature it on my site. Happy writing! 😀

Schedule Tracker and Reward Ideas For Preschoolers

Lately I have been having a hard time staying totally “sane” because both M and C were asking about 30 questions an hour. M was always asking “what are we going to do, now?”

The constant questioning about what to do told me three things:

  • They both wanted some structure
  • M did not know how to entertain herself
  • I needed to help them want to play alone

The solution?  I put in place a reward system and a schedule. After testing out several different ways to help them know what’s coming next, I finally found something that works for both of them. (*Sigh* the convenience 😉 )

The Schedule ClockSchedule Clock For Preschoolers

M is here all day, but C doesn’t get here until after school about 315. So I made a clock and we call her “schedule clock.” she doesn’t read time, yet, so instead of numbers we have pictures of everything that we’re going to do, and  in which order. After we do one thing, she gets to move the red arrow under the item we’re doing next. The schedule clock is something that M just does, and C doesn’t.

The Popsicle Stick Rewards

I, also, strongly believe in positive reinforcement and motivation over negative reinforcement. So I found something that is affordable for me, and the kids really seemed to love. I colored about 40 Popsicle sticks and after they do certain things they get to put a Popsicle stick in their pocket. For example, they don’t seem to like their veggies (who does), so when they eat vegetables they get a stick.

Ways They Can Earn

Here are the ways that M&C can earn their sticks of course you can and should customize it so that it works best with your kids

  • Napping
  • Eating their vegetables
  • Cleaning up
  • Being respectful
  • Doing their school work (M has 30 minutes to an hour of school work here at home, C goes to elementary school)
  • C gets a stick if he doesn’t wake M while she naps
  • Asking questions only once

The Store

At the end of the week on every Friday they get to have the store with several different kinds of prices. I don’t have any pictures from last week, which was our first store, but they were each able to get two or three little prizes with their sticks.

The prizes

Prize Box For PReschoolers
Here is my current prize box.
  • Bouncy balls
  • Small toy cars
  • Bubble gum
  • Small pieces of candy
  • Little erasers
  • Bubbles
  • Miniature toys

You can usually fill up a small prize bin, enough for four or five kids for a couple of months of under ten dollars. I try to get to know the kids before buying the prizes so I know they will like their options. This month, I only had about five dollars for prizes, so I got some really “gender- neutral” toys. Next time, I plan to get some more “gender- specific” prizes, too.

It has taken a few weeks,  but I have finally found something that works well for these kids.

***How do you help your child know what’s next? Does he/she constantly ask you questions?  What did you do.***

Related Links:  




RE: “17 Habits Of Very Happy Moms”

Today, I read an article on the Parent Magazine Blog entitled “17 Habits Of Very Happy Moms.” In the article author Marion Winik gives ways to stay happy and energetic as a mother, or father for that matter. Every piece of advice came directly from those high- energy, never- stop- smiling parents we all envy to some degree. After reading the entire article it seems to me that these 17 habits to being a parent with a smile can be summed up into just five main points.

1. Make time for family

Make time for your kids together and separately. Make time to be alone with your husband, or wife. And make time for activities the whole family will enjoy. This family has some really great ideas.

2. Make time for just you

Being a parent seems like it should be all about your kids one- hundred percent of the time, but even psychologists agree that you cannot be the best parent you can be if you are not first the best you you can be. So don’t feel guilty about taking a little “just me” vacation to the bath or somewhere. You need to care for your children’s parent if you are going to care for your children.

3. Spend time with friends

Being a good parent doesn’t mean you never spend time with just the grown- ups. So go to the movies as a couple or with all of your friends. You will need someone to remind you that it is not appropriate to burst out singing the backpack song from “Dora the Explorer” in public.

4. Be healthy

Fitball Group Fitness Class.JPG
Fitball Group Fitness Class” by http://www.localfitness.com.auOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Yeah, yeah, we have all heard it said that staying fit, keeping active and eating a healthy diet is “the key to happiness.” But it turns out that is exactly what some of the happiest parents around believe.

5. Have fun!

It has been said that being a parent is the hardest job you can have, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the WORST job to have. Relax. Pick your battles. Plan great adventures. Make the most imperfect piece of art you can. Search for bugs in the mud. Whatever you do, have fun with it. Soon your kids will be all grown up and you will be able to look back and be happy with all the fun you had.

But really, all of this can probably be summed up into one main idea, JUST STAY HEALTHY! Healthy socially, psycologically, emotionally and physically. A well balanced parent will make for a well- balanced home, life and family.

What did you think of the article on parents.com? Is there anything you would like to add? Please leave a comment below with your opinions. Are there any other advice tidbits you’d like to mention?

Video In Reverse Directed With Help From Kids

In this tech- based, online world, I have found that it has become increasingly important for young children (4, 5, 6 and 7) to learn about computers. One fun way I like to teach kids about the computer is to let them direct their own films. This helps them:

  • learn to use the mouse better (fine motor skills)
  • be exposed to various computer terms
  • recognize certain words easily
  • teaches them how to problem solve

My church has a talent show and birthday party every year to celebrate everybody’s birthday. This year it was in mid- March. So I got some kids I babysit and my brother together to help me make a video to show at the talent show. I was not able to attend the show this year, but we finished the video anyway and decided to upload it here.

I also taught them each how to edit the video so it plays in reverse like that. Some of the clips are pretty cool!

Are your kids computer savvy? What do they like to do on the computer?

Post a link to a video that was created by your kids below, and you just might see it embedded on my site really soon!

A Few Announcements!

Spring Fling FREE Event

YOU'RE INVITED: Spring Fever
Spring Fever
April 24 4-6PM @
Father’s House Fellowship Church

When I was a teenager, I used to plan parties for the kids in my neighborhood. I called them “game days.” Finally, after more than six years, I am planning another one.

If you live in the Columbia Gorge (that’s The Dalles, Goldendale or Hood River) tickets for “Spring Fever” game day, Friday, April 24th from 4- 6 pm, are free to only the first twenty kids ages 5 to 11 to register (kids under 5 must be accompanied by an adult).

There will be games, (including a GIANT spring memory game), snacks and spring themed crafts. Just go to the event page on EventBrite and register for the FREE “Spring Fever” game day.

I plan to have some pictures taken for my website, but I will not be naming any of the kids.

Calling All Kids Who Draw, Write Or Make Videos

Okay, so it’s more of a “display” than a contest: I am looking for any work of art to display on my website created by kids under 12 about their dreams for the future. The project can be any medium (a video, drawing, painting, story, clay etc). If your child makes something such as a clay structure or a 3 dimensional project, please just take a picture.

The projects will be for an online event I will be hosting the second week of May, called “Dream Week.” The project can be about a dream for the future or a dream when they were sleeping (it is open to interpretation). Just make sure it is the work of your child.

Please send me a picture or a link to his or her project via Twitter, email or through my Facebook Page with your child’s first name, age, country and a short explanation of the piece. All projects must be sent to me by May 5th to be included on the Dream Week Page