How to Keep Your Cat Out of the Christmas Tree

One Christmas, we had a tree disaster. Thanks to a new kitten, our tree made Charlie Brown‘s puny specimen look like the Christmas tree in Rockefeller CenterContinue reading “How to Keep Your Cat Out of the Christmas Tree”

Why kids love pets

Cartoon of two girls looking at a hamster. One girl says, “This is my new hamster. She’s so neat, I notified all the news networks, Internet news sites and Grandma!”

It took a long time for me to allow a pet into our family. In fairness, we tried to own a dog once before and it went wrong quickly. We weren’t prepared, the kids were too young and we went on the first dog our son fell in love with.

The next pet came to our doorstep three years later. The kitten knew which house had the daughter in love with cats. He ended being one of the best cats I ever saw (once we learned how to keep him from destroying our Christmas tree!).

Why do kids love pets so much?

  • When they feel cared for, kids like to return the favor.
  • They want to be responsible. Everyone wants to feel like they can be depended on.
  • We all feel an attachment to nature. Even city dwellers like to know there is a wild, natural world out there.
  • We all want a companion

If you feel like it is time to own a pet, learn from our mistake and do your research first. I nearly kept my kids from a great experience because I wasn’t prepared the first time. Now we have a dog and a cat. And what do you know? Over the years, those two pets have taught everyone about conflict resolution. Dogs and cats can live in harmony!

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How to deal with picky eaters at Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving can be a real challenge for parents with picky eaters.

When I was growing up, my mother had two kids that would eat about anything and two that were extremely picky eaters. I won’t tell you which one I was, however the fact I was the first-born child may give you a hint. (we first-borns tend to be parent pleasers!)

Keeperofthehome.org has a great article on this subject. They mention this can be a problem of an affluent society where food is thrown away without a thought. This blog had some great tips for dealing with picky eaters.

  • Prepare real food as much as possible. The closest the finished form is from the farm to you the better.
  • Have the children help you prepare the food. We naturally take pride in something we’ve made.
  • Pray and thank God for your food. Just that simple act gives us a different outlook. It reminds us our food didn’t just come from a nameless farm factory.
  • If a child says he or she isn’t hungry, save the meal for the next time. It shows we don’t waste good food and reminds them food is valuable.

The Thanksgiving story is a great example to teach the kids why the Pilgrims were grateful for food. Here is a link of the first Thanksgiving for kids. Forty-six of the original one hundred-two pilgrims died before the next fall.

Find a way to encourage a child to try new things without shaming them. It can be tempting to use the old phrase, “There are people starving in… “ The goal is to teach your kids gratitude, not give them a guilt trip! And if a child gave a food an honest try and they still don’t like it, relax! We don’t have to like everything to be grateful.

Cartoon: Pet Fire Ants

cartoon of a boy complaining he can't find pet fire ants

Cartoon of a boy saying, “A big store like this and they don’t sell pet fire ants?”

The customer isn’t always right. I can’t imagine anyone wanting fire ants for pets. But stranger things have been claimed as pets, haven’t they?

I got this idea when my family drove by the Fire Ant Festival in Ashburn, Georgia. We were on our way to Florida, when we accidentally stumbled into this festival. I was relieved to find out pet fire ants weren’t for sale.