Breakfast dilemmas: solved.

do you remember my previous post about the tantrums my oldest was having at dinnertime? thanks to Faye, it is still working like a charm. but as i mentioned in that post, my problems switched to breakfast time (i knew it was too good to be true). but my husband was able to put two and two together.

i didn’t realize that now that the dinner tantrums subsided the breakfast ones began. so he decided to take my oldest grocery shopping to pick out some cereal, and figured out what the problem was. my hubbie found that my son didn’t like that i have been buying cereal in bags.

because i have been trying to be on a better budget and saw that the cereal in bags are significantly cheaper than big-brand boxed cereal. and i used to think that they didn’t taste as good, until i recently tried them. i actually think they taste better! and for around $3 you get 28 oz. of cereal opposed to about 10 oz. of the boxed.
so, my son got a little lesson in comparison shopping thanks to my hubbie. he now knows that the cereal in bags cost only $.10 an oz. and the boxed cereal costs $ .37 an oz. wow…even i didn’t realized there was such a savings. and i guess that is all it took to make my breakfast tantrums disappear. tah dah!

btw, Earth Day is just around the corner, and is a reminder that by buying cereal in bags you are helping to reduce waste. the leading box brand cereals come in a bag inside of a box. (isn’t that a little redundant?) but bag cereals come with 75% less packaging to dispose of. good for you and good for the environment. recycling helps, but only 44% of the paper, corrugate and paperboard packaging consumed annually still ends up in landfills. if all cereal came in bags alone, instead of boxes with bags, U.S. households could reduce their paperboard use by 375 million pounds per year.

dinner dilemmas: solved.

one problem i have had with my boys for sometime now, one in particular, is with dinnertime. it doesn’t matter what i make, even if it is his very favorite food, he throws a tantrum. besides being that time of day when the kids just seem to get rambunktous and i can’t wait for the hubbie to come home an rescue me, i know that he is throwing these tantrums just to fight me. and lately these tantrums have turned into hour long screaming fits and throwing food up in the air. i had had it!

so when i have problems like these, and am not quite sure what to do, i always turn to my friend Faye. do you remember when she guest posted on my blog a while back? she is wonderful. and is now starting here own website. anyways, she told me to make a weekly dinner chart and write down what was for dinner every night of the week. that way there would be no surprises to the kiddies.

so i did, and posted it on the fridge. each kid gets to pick the menu for one night of the week, the hubbie and i get to pick the rest. i told the kids that if they complain about what we are having they would not get to pick the menu on their night the next week. seems so simple, but it totally worked. and now we are going on three weeks, tantrum free. now, why couldn’t i think of that! (i do have to tell you, that these tantrums then shifted to breakfast time. but they have quickly been resolved. and that will be another story.)

btw: i have loved these Food Face plates for the longest time. just had to post them. click here for where to get them.

back to school: questions answered part 3.

Q: My daughter is 4-1/2, and misses the Kindergarden cut off for this year. We can not afford preschool and I am wondering the best way to plan to help her not be bored at home. We are always having play dates etc, but are there specific work books, activities I should be doing to prepare her better for kindergarden? She does know all letters, numbers and is starting to learn sight words….what else should I be doing?

A: “In trying to select the best learning experiences for children, parents often forget that the best resource is self. With an infectious attitude of curiosity and adventure, just about any interaction with your child will prepare them to thrive in school. A defining characteristic of successful children is keen awareness. In addition to being aware of what is seen, heard, touched, smelt, and tasted , include the skill of being aware of what is emotionally felt.


• Going to the park provides a chance to imagine the world through listening. Ask your child to close their eyes and describe five things he/she hears. Ask which sounds are new from the week before. ( fire engines, parent shouting, baby crying).

• Cooking together means the chance to play a fun guessing game. Blindfold child to guess foods and spices by smell. (Oranges are easy, cinnamon and nutmeg is a bit harder). In time the child will be able to guess what is cooking for dinner solely through the fragrance in the air.

• A fight with little brother is a chance to reflect and teach feeling words, “You are angry and disappointed that Billy took the last cookie.” ” How did it make you feel, when Billy gave you his last candy?


• A trip to the petting zoo is a chance to compare the feel of the goat’s fur with that of the sheep. Cleaning your child’s room together is a chance to touch and name things by how they feel. ” This table top is very smooth. This wood carving is rough. Your favorite toy is soft and furry.” ” What does this feel to you?”


Know your worth; take time and effort to invest in yourself (sleep, alone time, and date night) so that you can be fully present during selected interactions with your child. Rather than insisting to have more of your time, your child will most likely be quite content to work and play happily on their own after feeling heard, seen, and respected by his most important teacher- you. “


~ Faye Georgette Yee M.A. Education, M.S. Family Counseling
Have a back-to-school or school related question for Faye? Leave a comment below. Or, if you would like to learn more about Faye or have a question to ask her, click here.

back to school: questions answered part 2.

wow, we have received some great questions! keep them coming!

Q: my daughter (age 7 – Grade 3) is stronger in her math skills and weaker in reading/writing. This year she is supposed to read 20-30 minutes daily. While she enjoys math-related homework, it can be frustrating to try to get her to read a longer (chapter book) by herself. I’d love to hear your thoughts on motivation techniques or recommendations on a specific series of books that she might enjoy…”

A: By honoring how your daughter feels about reading, you allow her to move ahead at her own pace without guilt or stress. You are a wise parent to be concerned about beginning where she is, rather than to focus upon where she is supposed to be.

To establish a base line confidence level, begin by providing reading material below or slightly below her present grade level. Read along with your daughter daily for the first 15 minutes, concentrating on character development and story line rather than upon word recognition. Discuss what she predicts will happen or changes she would make if she could. Then give her the last 5 to 10 minutes to read alone. Use a timer to signal that reading time is over, lights out. Reading is a privilege not a chore or a task. Hopefully she will wish for more time and make good use of learning oportunities which would allow her to read far into the night all by herself.

Your daugther may enjoy reading and solving math story problems. Students who have a gift for numbers and pattern recognition, are able to enhance possible weaker reading and writing skills by creating and writing math story problems to share with instructor and classmates.

For a useful website on finding books perfect for your child, click here.
~ Faye Georgette Yee M.A. Education, M.S. Family Counseling

i personally loved the Ramona series of books by Beverly Cleary when i was little. i read them over, and over!

have a back-to-school or school related question for Faye? leave a comment below. if you would like to learn more about Faye or if you have a question to ask her, click here.

back to school: questions answered part 1.

with back-to-school around the corner, i thought it would be wonderful for Faye to answer some school related questions. i don’t know about you, but i am always trying to figure out the best way for my child to thrive in school. and i sometimes am not sure what is the best way to communicate with the teachers and principal. so, as part of my back-to-school series, Faye will be answering some questions that i feel are important to starting back to school.

Q: i want to make sure that my child is not “pre-labeled” with his new teacher. how much information about my child should i tell the teacher during the first few weeks of school?

A: school is a place for your child to safely explore, test, and identify new and exciting aspects of self. allow your child to decide what information about themselves they feel comfortable in sharing with the teacher and classmates. very young children convey information about themselves very effectively through body language. the information a teacher gains from being with your child during the first month of school is the foundation used to design academic and socialization techniques customized to best reach and teach your child. teachers are trained not to rely only upon first impressions, and fully understand that learning about your child is a wonderful year long adventure. if there are special needs, the school must be informed well in advance so that the teacher and room are prepared prior to your child’s first day at school.
~ Faye Georgette Yee M.A. Education, M.S. Family Counseling

have a back-to-school or school related question for Faye? leave a comment below. if you would like to learn more about Faye or if you have a question to ask her, click here.