How to Talk With Your Teen about Dating Violence #Teen #DatingViolence

Teen-Talk

Teen dating violence is not one of the topics that a lot of parents think to cover with their child. You cover stranger Danger, drugs, STD’s, having “the talk” about sex, and other topics that they need to be aware of. However, this is now more then ever a talk that you need to have with your teen. One in three teens are subjected to dating violence but are not making you aware that it’s going on. They believe that it will stop or it’s their fault it’s happening.

If you have a teen it’s time to have a talk with them about dating violence. You want to make sure that they are aware it does happen and what to do if they experience dating violence. You want to open that communication with your teen so they feel comfortable to come to you and discuss it if they are a victim of dating violence.

“I knew to talk with Jen about alcohol, drugs, sex and all those other parenting talks, but I never knew I had to teach her about dating violence,” said Drew Crecente, whose 18-year-old daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. “I did not realize that it was such a pervasive issue at such a young age.”

In fact, 81 percent of parents either do not believe that TDV is a problem – or do not know if it is a problem or not.

In an effort to combat this epidemic, Crecente founded Jennifer Ann’s Group to increase awareness about teen dating violence, as well as provide educational information to help teens, tweens, and young adults identify and avoid abusive relationships through free educational video games.

“Parents have a largely underrated influence in preventing TDV, and it begins with a sit-down conversation, but knowing what to say and how to say it is also important,” says Crecente.

1.Encourage open, honest, and thoughtful reflection. Talk openly with your teen about healthy relationships. Allow them to articulate his or her values and expectations for healthy relationships. Rather than dismissing ideas as wrong, encourage debate, which helps young people come to his or her own understanding.

2.Be sensitive and firm. Parenting a teen is not an easy task, especially when it comes to helping him or her navigate their way through relationships. To be effective, you will need to find the balance between being sensitive and firm. Try to adapt to the changes faced by your child. Be willing to talk openly and respect differences of opinion. Realize that the decisions you make will sometimes be unpopular with your teen – that’s okay.

3.Understand teen development. Adolescence is all about experimentation. From mood swings to risk taking, “normal teenage behavior” can appear anything-but-normal. New research, however, reveals that brain development during these formative years play a significant role in young teen’s personality and actions. Knowing what’s “normal” is critical to helping you better understand and guide young people.

4.Understand the pressure and the risk teen’s face. Preteens and young teens face new and increasing pressures about sex, substance abuse and dating. Time and time again, young teens express their desire to have parents/role models take the time to listen to them and help them think through the situations they face – be that person!

5.Take a clear stand. Make sure young teen knows how you feel about disrespect, use of abusive or inappropriate language, controlling behavior or any forms of violence.

6.Make the most of “teachable moments”. Use video games, TV episodes, movies, music lyrics, news, community events or the experiences of friends to discuss healthy and unhealthy relationships.

7.Discuss how to be an ‘upstander’. Teach teens how to stand-up for friends when he or she observes unhealthy treatment of his or her peers.

8.Accentuate the positive. Conversations about relationships do not need to focus solely on risky behavior or negative consequences. Conversations should also address factors that promote healthy adolescent development and relationships.

9.Be an active participant in your young teen’s life. Explore ways to know more about your teen’s friends and interests. Find activities you can do together.

10.Be prepared to make mistakes. You will make mistakes. Accept that you will make mistakes, but continue to help teens make responsible choices while trying to maintain that delicate balance of being sensitive, yet firm.

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Taco Soup Recipe #Recipe #EasyRecipe

Taco Soup ( We love this recipe it gets me in and out of the kitchen quickly!)

2 lbs Ground Beef (cooked & Drained)
2 cans of Cream style Corn
2 cans Stewed Tomatoes
1 Can of Golden Corn
1 Package of Ranch Dressing mix
1 Package of Taco Seasoning
1 bag of Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream
1 (8oz bag) Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Crockpot

After your Ground Beef is cooked and Drained add it to the Crockpot. Then Drain the juices from the Golden Corn and add to the meat. Add in the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the Sour Cream, Tortilla Chips and Cheese. Stir and put on high for 3 hours or you can put it on in the morning and put it on low till ready to eat. Put the Taco soup over the Tortilla Chips and top with cheese and Sour Cream.

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My Amazing Monster Can Help With Being Bullied Or A Child Who is Sick Review #BulliedChildren #Cancer

monster-kit

When I saw Gobble, My Amazing Monster I knew I had to feature him in our Christmas gift guide! I knew that many parents would love to have him in their home to help their child if they are bullied or if they are a child that goes to the Dr’s or hospitals a lot. It’s such a comfort to the child and parents can find out how their child is feeling and help them to work through their fears, pain, or other emotions they are having. I will be using it with my son’s when we have Dr’s visits.

about-gobble-279x279

My Amazing Monster meets the bully will be available in the fall of 2015, your going to want to keep an eye out for it if your child is being bullied. It’s a great way for them to learn more about why people bully, that it is not their fault that the bully does this, and it will make them feel better. They will also be able to write down their worries and have Gobble the monster eat them up. Once they are inside of Gobble, you as a parent can unzip the back of Gobble and find out what their worries are or their fears and help them. It’s a great way for them to communicate with you without knowing that they are doing it. Gobble can open the lines of communication between you and your child and help them to feel safe and get their fears out in the open as well.

My Amazing Monster Gobble also helps children who are sick with Cancer, EDS, or other chronic illnesses. If they are not telling you about their fears then they can tell Gobble and then you can help them with their fears after you read them. Sometimes children think that they have to be brave and not say when they are in pain, something isn’t right, or whatever the case might be. Gobble can bridge the communication gap and help you to know what your child is feeling and they can get the things they need. My son is a trooper, he doesn’t like to complain or say he is in pain. So Gobble will be helping me to let the nurses and Dr’s know when he is in pain, something is hurting and he isn’t telling me or anything else that he wants to share.

My Amazing Monster comes with a book, a notepad, and a pen for your child to use to write notes to Gobble and share with him. Once Gobble eats them he will take away their worries, fears, and other feelings. It’s a great way for parents to know what is going on with their child and make sure that the communication is open for them to help. This monster is just so adorable, cuddly and soft that your child is just going to love them and so are you!

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Free Ice Cream Cone At Ben & Jerry’s On 4/10 #IceCream #FreeIceCream

ben and Jerry's free ice cream cone day

Whooo! Hooooo! Get your stomach ready for a sweet treat! That’s right you can get a free ice cream cone from Ben & Jerry’s today from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. today! So get the family ready to go to Ben & Jerry’s and choose their free ice cream cone. You need to RSVP for your free ice cream cone.

What is your favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor? It’s going to be a fun family day for everyone going to get their free ice cream cone. I have so many flavors that I love at Ben & Jerry’s so it’s going to be tough to choose! Let us know what flavors you ended up choosing with your family when you go for your free ice cream cone. There maybe some new flavors that we need to try!

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Planning Your Wedding? Dress First Has The Perfect Wedding Dress And Bridal Party Dresses #Bride #Wedding #WeddingDress #Ad

Bride wedding dresses dress first

Planning your wedding can be such an amazing experience from finding the perfect Wedding Dress to the tiny details so that your day is everything that you hoped it would be. Shouldn’t you have the dress that makes you feel like a princess on your special day??? dress first is sure to have the perfect dress for your big day from the Dress to the Veil to make you look beautiful on your day. Dress First offers many different styles, from making you look like a princess to more simple designs and lengths for the bride who wants to be beautiful and comfortable on her special day. Your wedding budget will also love their Wedding Dress Prices starting at $112 for beautiful dresses that are sure to make you a glowing bride.

Dress First Bridal party dresses

You will love the Bridal Party dresses that are available to choose from as well at dress first from Long flowing dresses, knee length, to Maternity Bridal Dresses. They have a beautiful selection to match your colors and theme you have chosen for your wedding. Dress First bridal party dresses are starting at $90, your bridal party will love the dresses that you choose as well as the savings for Dress for your beautiful day.

You are also able to purchase Mother Of The Bride Dresses, Bridal Accessories, Reception And Favor needs, and more for your special day to make it completely the way you have dreamed about. It’s your special day and with a budget or not your sure to find everything for your beautiful day at dress first.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dress First, all opinions in this post are my own.

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How To Make Crock Pot Apple Butter #Recipe #HomemadeGift #AppleButterRecipe

It’s that time of year where there are apples of every kind and everything from sweetness to tart. There are so many great things you can make with them but one of our family favorites is Apple Butter and . It is perfect for the winter season on toast, bagels, even your morning pancakes get a great flavor with apple butter. This is such a simple recipe to make but the delicious flavor will last and last when you can it to have it all winter long. You can also make it in the Spring to have all summer long for a wonderful treat.

It’s always great to have canned foods on hand for the family for when you get sick. There are always easy goodies that you can still make with ease. The family will love the effort that you put into making it for them. Don’t forget the holidays are coming up and they would also be great in a gift basket for family and friends. There are so many great ways that you can use this recipe to bring smiles to everyone’s faces.

If your going to make them for gifts, just add some fabric on top of the jar lids and a little bow to make them adorable. You could also make your own labels for them as well to add some more flair to them and make them look so cute!

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Why Is Good Co-Parenting So Important For Your Child? #CoParenting #Parenting

co parenting

Why is good co-parenting so important to your child? It doesn’t matter if your together or divorced, good co-parenting is always helpful to your child. There are so many reasons why it’s important. I’m not speaking to one parent or the other, I’m speaking to you both. There may be problems in your relationship together if your divorced, those issues need to be put to the side for your child. You should both have your child’s best interest at heart.

Divorced parents especially in the beginning have a lot of anger, frustration, and even loath the other parent at times. This of course is not always the case, but if it is in your case, those feelings need to be put to the side. You can discuss those feelings with your ex-spouse when your child is not around to hear your discussions. When your co-parenting it is always important to keep your feelings towards your ex-spouse out of the conversations about your child. Be civil and discuss the problems at hand, how they are doing in school, if they have received a punishment at one home or the other and so on. I can tell you that if your child sees there is a break in your communication, the way you work together, they will take full advantage of it and play you against each other. Your job as parents are to provide a united front in the best interest of your child.

What do I mean by a united front? Co-parenting no matter if your together or apart is still a rough job. In order to have a good co-parenting you must always have open dialogue between parents, so that both parents are understanding what is going on in there child’s life. If your not communicating between both parents to keep everyone on the same page, your dropping the ball on your co-parenting. Your not hurting yourself or the other parent by doing this your hurting your child. The lines of communication must always be open, and talk about all subjects that pertain to your child together.

I can tell you from experience that co-parenting is not always easy, and the co-parent does not always take as much interest in parenting. You should make an effort to include the other parent in every decision that is made as much as possible. If your co-parent is lacking, discuss it with them, do not accuse, but request their opinion on something that is going on. Discuss why their opinion is important to your child, and that you value their opinion as the co-parent, then it is up to them to take part in co-parenting. You can only do your part if the other co-parent is not willing to take part.

How is the to best work together when co-parenting? What are the most important co-parenting topics?

* Discipline ~ Discuss what proper punishment is for different things that your child does, Such as taking a toy/cell phone or other items away. If they should be grounded, how long should they be grounded for and it should be at both homes if your not together. Do not make one parent the “bad guy” to discipline all the time, it is not fair to that parent and your child realizes that you are a push over. Discipline together and provide a united front for your child, and teach them good parenting skills that they will use when they have children.

* School ~ Both parents should be sure to attend concerts, do homework help, fundraise, come up with crazy hair day, PJ day and other special events at school together. No, you do not have to sit together but both parents should be there to support your child. Attend conferences together so that everyone is on the same page with your child’s needs and how to help them improve or whatever is needed.

* When Your Child Is Upset ~ It doesn’t matter what your child is upset about, something that happened at school, a friend hurt their feelings, something that one of you did as a parent, or something else. You can discuss it with them and encourage them to call and discuss it with your co-parent as well so they have both of your opinions. If you choose to discuss it with them on your own, be sure to fill the other parent in that you talked to your child about this they were very upset and how you handled it.

It’s very important that your child sees you both co-parenting so that they can have a healthy relationship and your setting the ground work for them to know to co-parent in their own children’s lives when they have them. They learn by seeing what you as a parent does and how you handle things. If you want them to take an active roll then it is your job as parents to show them how you work together and how even though sometimes it’s not easy, you still come together for their best interest. A mother and father brought them into the world and both should make every attempt to protect, teach, and be there for this beautiful child that you created.

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DIY Birthday Party Pinata #DIYPinata #BirthdayParty #KidsBirthdayPartyIdeas

Tangled Pinata 2

It’s Party time! There are a lot of different piñata’s you can chose from at the stores, but they may not have the theme that your looking for. If you trying to keep a Birthday Party cost down, this is a great way to help keep them down. There are always so many reasons that we want to make our own projects. I wanted to show you how to make your own DIY pinata for any party or event that you have coming up. You could also make one of them for the holidays, and do more of a theme around.

Materials:

* 8 Purple Sheets Of Tissue Paper

* 8 Pink Sheets Of Tissue Paper

* 1 Cardboard Box with the dimensions that you would like, you don’t want the height of the box over 7″ for a birthday party, It’s the perfect height. The width you will want to measure with the object you will be using as the focal point. You do not want a really thick box or a really thin box, other wise the kids won’t be able to break it or it will break right away and crush the candy when hit. A regular cardboard box without double layers will work well. (No shiny sides as the glue doesn’t stick as well)

* Clear Packing Tape

* Elmers Glue

* For the character or theme of the party you can use a Matching Plate that you will use at the party or you can use a helium balloon with the character on it that is not blown up

Steps for making your Pinata:

Step 1: You will want to cut 4 sheets of each colored tissue paper for your pinata. You will unfold the 4 sheets, then take 2 sheets at a time, and cut them 1 1/2 to 2 inch strips. When you have cut all the strips, you will then cut half cuts into the strip to make the strips into the fringe like look for the pinata.

Step 2: You will want to figure out which way you would like your pinata to hang. Then put two holes for your thick twine or yarn to hold the rope that you will use to pull the pinata so that the children can hit it. You will put two holes on each side and string it through and tie it so that it’s strong enough to support the rope. Once you have your twine or yarn in place then use the Packing tape to close the flaps on your box.

Step 3: Cut a slit into the side of the box, you will want to make 2 more slits so that you have a part of the box that will lift up so you can stuff the candy inside. Just like is shown below. You will want to make the slit at the top of your cardboard box.
It will not matter if your going to make a square or triangle pinata. You will still go through the same steps and just put the pinata the way you want it when your finished. You will do the front and back of your pinata first.

box slit 1

Step 4: You will start with any corner that you want in the front of your Pinata. Take one of your strips, hold it up to the box and cut it where it will only over lap the sides a little bit then cut it there. You will add Elmer’s glue to the strip where the slits are not at. Then apply it to your box at the tip of the corner as shown. Then continue to rotate the colors till your 1/4 of the way down as shown.

corner of box for pinata

Step 5: Then move to the next corner and repeat till you have all the corners complete. Don’t worry if you go into the sides of the pinata we will fix those later. You can use your Plate or Balloon as a guide to see how far down you would like to go down for your corners. Once your corners are complete you will go to the open areas between your corners and again fill in the area rotating colors so that you cover all the areas. Leave the area where your Balloon or Plate will go blank for now.

pinata corners amomsparadise

Step 6: When you start on the back of your Pinata, you will start on the top and just keep rotating the colors all the way to the bottom of the pinata. The Longer areas you will need to use a strip and a 1/2 to 2 strips to cover the area using the same colors.

Step 7: You will now work on the sides of your pinata. If you have over lapped your strips on the side. They will be dry now. So you can lift them up a little and cut off the excess so that you can fill in the sides of the pinata and they will lay flat.

Step 8: You will want to start on the side where your slit is for the candy to go in the pinata. Start to rotate your strips on the side away from you. When you are to your slit you will use smaller strips in front of the slit then cut strips that will cover the opening and give it room to move up and down. so before you glue your first one on. Hold it tight onto the opening and make sure it won’t break when your opening and closing your opening. If it does break then use a little longer piece. To save you time use that piece as a template for the rest of your strips so you won’t have to measure each strip. Then glue the strips with rotating colors.

Step 9: You will now finish the other sides of your pinata in the same way that you did the side with the slit. Your pinata is now complete with all your strips.

Step 10: If your using a helium balloon you will cut the balloon to use in the middle of your pinata and just use the top character part of the balloon to add to your pinata. If your using a Plate that matches your theme you won’t need to cut it at all. You will now add glue around the outer edge and center of the object you are using. Then put it into place and smooth it out.

Tangled Pinata 2

Step 11: This is the last step for completing your pinata. If you have space around your balloon or plate that is showing your cardboard box then rotate strips to fill them in. Once this step is complete, you will want to take strips to cover the edges of your plate or balloon. Take your strip and measure around the outer edge. You can use smaller strips if it’s easier for you, and then go all the way around the outer edge. You will want to use the light color as the first layer around the edge and then cover the light color with a darker color so that the glue won’t show. Your pinata is now complete, it’s ready for your party! Just fill with candy once it is completely dry, use the packing tape to close the slit and your ready for the kids to have a great time with their pinata!

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Idahoan Potato: Chicken (Turkey) Shepherd’s Pie Recipe #recipe #PoormansCasserole

chicken shepards pie

We love Shepherd’s Pie recipes so we created a Chicken Shepherd’s Pie but you could also use Turkey in the recipe and it would come out great as well. The Turkey would be perfect to make after Thanksgiving with all the left overs. It’s so filling and a great comfort food on those cold winter or fall nights. It’s an easy go to on those nights when you have a lot going on and it can be made ahead and frozen as well. If your freezing it just leave out the milk and mix together the veggies, meat and Cream Of Mushroom soup. Then freeze, when you want to serve just defrost, place in a pan, make your mashed potatoes and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes then top with your cheese and bake another 5 minutes till cheese is melted.

Idahoan

3 cups of Chicken or Turkey
2 small bags of mixed frozen veggies or 1 large bag
2 cans of Cream Of Mushroom soup
1 can of milk (use soup can)
8 servings of Mashed Potatoes (As directed on box)
1 1/2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

* Baked 3 Chicken breasts at 350 degrees till cooked
* Cut the chicken into bite size pieces
* Make Potatoes
* Mix the meat and veggies together
* Mix the Cream Of Mushroom Soup and Milk
* Top with Buttery Homestyle Idahoan Potatoes
* Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
* Top with Cheese and bake for 5 minutes

Serves 8

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