How to Get Your Boys to Do Chores

The idea of their son volunteering and pitching in with chores may cause some parents to weep for joy, but getting your son to contribute to the household should not be a horrible chore in itself.  In fact, chores can really help boost your son’s confidence, fulfill their need to be needed, and teach them to respect their own, as well as other people’s, time and effort.

One key to get everyone to help (as happily as possible) is how you present the idea of chores.  If you, as parents, complain and grumble, your son will follow suit with this same attitude.  Instead, try and maintain an upbeat attitude and use music or games to make chores as enjoyable as possible.  It’s also a good idea to start at a young age.  Let your son follow you around while you do chores – maybe even let him fold/play with a towel while you do laundry, and it would be a fun time for him to imitate and interact with you.  Seeing you do chores will also instill in him the understanding that chores are not impositions, but necessary in maintaining a comfortable home.

Getting started: Nobody likes to be taken for granted, so if your family decides to assign chores make sure there is a reward.  Rewards can be anything from a praise to allowances and chore charts*, this has to be determined by what works for your family and how old your son is. [Read more…]

How to Make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

My neighbor thinks I’m crazy for making chicken noodle soup from scratch! Why, she says? You could buy it in a can.

I know. But my kids ordered it at Noodles & Co. last week and said how much they liked it. I tasted it and thought it tasted easy to make. I asked them, “You would eat that if I made it?” Yeah!!!!

My mom would be proud of me for my newfound ability to “wing it” in the kitchen. This is what I did:

I poached a couple of chicken breasts. For those of you who don’t know what that means… that’s okay, I didn’t either until my friend Sharon taught me how to make the now famous Chicken Pot Pie. You put the chicken in a pot of water with a stick of celery, an onion, salt and pepper, a cup of chicken broth (optional), and a couple of dashes of ginger powder (my addition) and bring to a boil. Then simmer on low for awhile (30-45 min).
When the chicken was done, I put them aside and once it cooled, sliced them into thin strips.
I strained out the broth to get all the gunk out.
I cooked the egg noodles.
I put the noodles, chicken, and carrots into a pot and added some of the broth. And added water until it tasted right. Cooked in on medium/low heat covered until the carrots were soft. Voila! [Read more…]

How to Manage Household Chores

Out of the blue, my 8 year-old declares, “I’m into chores now!” in that that slightly amusing way that only a tween girl can declare. So at our next outing to Target, she went in search of a chore chart. Then at home, she and her 6 year old brother went about the serious business of filling it out. (No sarcasm here. Really.)

This is serious. They are taking it seriously and so am I. After all, the more buy-in from Team Sharon, the more cooperation I’m going to have, right?

I heard a friend of mine say once, “You can’t get mad at your teen for not doing any chores if they’ve never had to do it before.” Good point.

Them: What should we put down?

Me: You could put down the chores you are good at and like to do.
(How’s that for Yoga Parenting?!)

Them: So how much do we get when we get all our stars?

Me: Huh?

Son: How many dollars?

Me: You don’t get paid for chores! You get a clean room, dishes to eat off of, and happy dogs.

(crickets)

Me: …and an extra 30 minutes of screen time, IF you each earn 3 stars a week.

Over the next two days, the boy vacuumed and put everything in the playroom away. The girl made the bed and fed the dogs. Together, they emptied the dishwasher. Wow!

I’m going to call this a successful lesson learned from Ann Jordan on responsibility. They took ownership of the whole thing and so far, it’s working.

I’d love to hear from YOU on how you manage chores in your house. But don’t say you do them all yourself!!! 🙂 Leave me some pointers, will ya? … in the event that this is just a blissful “phase.”

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How to Make Quick Fried Rice

I really detest cooking in the summer. Did I mention it’s 100 degrees in the shade these days? And frankly, my kids and I have more fun things to do that take too much time in front of the stove. Like last night, we were on a mission to squeeze in a few more episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender. But the mom in me said chips and twizzlers just was not going to cut it for dinner. So while the girl was in the bath, the boy and I whipped this up in 10 minutes!

And the best part was they loooooved it. Both my 8 yo and 6 yo asked for seconds. We finished the whole thing, which meant I didn’t even have leftovers to put away!

So here’s the recipe, which Rachael Ray-style, is not very exact. My 6 yo sous chef and I kinda made it up as we went along.

• aidell’s cooked chicken and apple sausage,chopped

• 1/2 zucchini, chopped

• handful of button mushrooms, chopped

• 2 eggs

• pre-cooked white/brown rice. It’s better if it is made at least 1 day prior. Ours happened to be a week old.

• salt to taste

• 1 tbs of vegetable oil

Heat vegetable oil on medium high in frying pan or wok. Add EVERYTHING, one by one in order of how long it takes to cook. I added the chicken sausage first until brown. Then, the mushrooms. Then, the zucchinis. Then cleared a spot in the middle. Dropped in the two eggs. Mixed it all together.

We added the salt in each serving bowl to taste.

By the way, this recipe so in the spirit of traditional fried rice. Really, put anything in there you want. Leftover steak is especially good.

Do you have any go-to quick dinners? I’m always looking for more ideas!

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yoga Parenting course. Are you ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful?

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Ever since a trip to Italy years ago, I’ve been in search of the perfect Pomodoro. It’s a fabulous summer recipe, light and healthy. After many years, I’m proud and happy to say, I just made it up myself! Thus, it is super easy!

8 roma tomatoes
2 tbs. of olive oil
basil (fresh or freeze dried)
olive oil spray
1/2 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese
mozarella (optional)
salt to taste

First, place the tomatoes in the broiler, sprayed with olive oil, and sprinkled with a bit of salt and basil. Broil until tender (10-15 minutes).

Cool.
Mash.
Add parmesan cheese.
Add 2 tbs. of olive oil
Mix.

That’s it! Pour on pasta and top with fresh mozarella!

I’ve already made it twice this week and my 6 year old loved it. Here’s another tip: make a whole pot of it and keep adding stuff. Great options: roasted vegetables like zucchinis and mushrooms, meat, eggplant, bacon. The possibilities are endless.

I also used it to make bruschettas for lunch one day. How’s that for practical.
The secret was the cheese — which I didn’t realize until I re-created my grandmother’s famous bolognese sauce.

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yoga Parenting course. Are you ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful?

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