Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Tag: children (page 2 of 3)

How to Raise a Genius

Trying to bring up the next Einstein or Mozart? Check out this helpful graphic from OnlinePsychologyDegree.net.

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What I Wish I Would Have Known (Part 2): Kids

by Alissa Holm

My mom with her first child, circa 1978

We all have our own “What if’s” and “I wish’s” about past phases of life. In an attempt to learn from the past, I’ve come up with a series of blog posts based on this idea: Learning from other’s past experiences to enhance another’s future experiences. In part one, I discussed what married LDS women wish they would have known before they tied the knot. For this segment, I’d like to discuss what LDS women wish they would have known before they had kids.

Like I said in my last post, I am not married, nor do I have any children. However, I do have several connections in my life to wise women who do have children and know quite a bit on the subject. So, without further ado, I give you a list of ten “What I Wish I Would Have Known’s” in regards to having children.

1. Motherhood means sacrifice. Joseph Smith said, “Sacrifice is the first law of heaven.” From the moment you conceive your child, you will learn to sacrifice everything from your health, to your sleep, to your appear for them.
2. Kids won’t ever be happy when they are hungry or tired. Your kids need to be well fed and rested to be happy and perform well.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can discipline children all day long for what they’re doing wrong. Some of these things aren’t THAT big of a deal. Who cares if the kids rearrange your silverware drawer? Yes, it is annoying, but it isn’t worth making a big deal out of it.
4. Emotional scars are just as bad as physical scars. Be careful with your little ones’ hearts.
5. Be silly. Sometimes this is the best way to connect with your child.
6. Read a lot. Turn off the TV and teach your children to love books.
7. Kids are mirrors. Sometimes they may be slow to listen, but they are very quick to imitate. Be careful.
8. Traditions matter. The traditions your family establishes will shape your child’s memories for the rest of their lives.
9. You can’t spoil your kids with time, just money. Spending extra time with your kids can only make them better.
10. Be quick to forgive. Kids are so quick to forgive, so don’t feel too bad when you make a mistake. Just try harder the next day.

Halloween Pinterest Reviews!

In preparation for Halloween, the Stance for the Family blog staffers decided to have a holiday review night! Each staffer selected one or two crafts or recipes that had caught their eye on Pinterest and brought their creations along to share at our review night! Here are our thoughts below—complete with recipes, pictures, and our evaluations on how well they actually stack up against what’s advertised on Pinterest! (Be prepared—we had at least one massive fail!) If you’re looking for some fun Halloween recipes to try, you are bound to find something that interests you!

All the recipes and crafts we reviewed can be found on Stance for the Family‘s Pinterest account: http://pinterest.com/stanceforthefam/

Pumpkin Dump Cake (by Danielle Cronquist) 

If you are like me and are a firm believer that all recipes made in October should include pumpkin, then this is perfect. A delicious fall blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nuts, the different textures and yummy flavors make this dessert stand out as a divine treat.

  • 1 29-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup melted margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first six ingredients until well blended and pour batter into a 9×13 greased pan. Sprinkle cake mix on top and then cover with pecans. Pour melted margarine over top. Bake 50 minutes. If desired, top with cool whip or real whipping cream.

I’m not a whipped cream fan (call me crazy), so I opted out of that part and still think that it tastes delicious, but it is a great addition for whipped cream lovers. Pull together this easy recipe for a fall party, a hang out with friends, or for an FHE treat. It is sure to be a hit.

 

Cake Mix Cookies (by Jaden Anderson)

Cake Mix Cookies are a quick and easy treat great for any time of the year. Did we mention they’re also super delicious? In a large bowl, mix together one package of cake mix (any flavor will do, but chocolate and Funfetti are our favorites), 2 eggs, and 1/3 cup of oil. Feel free to experiment with M&Ms, ROLOs, chocolate chips, or raisins. Preheat the oven to 350°F while spooning out teaspoon size balls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Once the oven is ready, pop the sheet in for about 7–10 minutes, depending on how soft and doughy you want your cookies. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes, and then spread on cream cheese frosting if desired. Have fun with it and add on sprinkles, candy, or anything else you like!

Here’s what we had to say about these little gems:

  •  “Love these! You could make them themed for different seasons depending on what you put on top. I love the soft texture.”
  • “Cake cookies are always great. Super easy and super yummy.”
  • “Delish! Could eat a whole lot of them. Love.”
  • “These are so great because I don’t have to choose between cake and cookies. I can have both!”

 

Fall Pumpkin Dip (by Alissa Strong)

I wanted to try this recipe from the moment I saw it, simply because it was served in a pumpkin. What a great way to present food at a fall- or Halloween-themed party! This recipe is definitely a great addition to any fall table.

  • 1 15oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 5oz box of instant vanilla pudding (just the powder, don’t make the pudding)
  • 1 16oz container of cool whip  (low fat)
  • 1 small pumpkin
  • ½ tbspn pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tbspn cinnamon

Mix the pumpkin, pudding mix, cool whip, and pumpkin pie spice together (by hand) in a very large bowl. Chill for several hours before serving. Meanwhile, carve your pumpkin! Spoon the dip into the pumpkin, sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve with fresh apple slices, vanilla wafers, or ginger snaps.

This recipe was easy and quick to make—definitely an activity you could get the kids to help with. My biggest downfall was choosing a medium-sized pumpkin instead of a small one. The dip didn’t even fill the pumpkin halfway! So I ended up serving the dip in a bowl inside the pumpkin, which was nowhere near as pretty a presentation as I’d intended. But as for the taste… well, here’s what the reviewers had to say:

  • “Delicious. Would be great for a fall party.”
  • “Surprisingly sweet, but not too sweet. Seems simple to make.”
  • “LOVED IT!”

 

Candy Corn Pizza (by Alissa Strong)

I knew a lot of people would be making desserts, so I wanted to try a main course recipe. One recipe I’ve been eyeing for awhile is this recipe for candy corn pizza! Don’t be deceived—it’s not sweet at all, although it still looks delicious!

  • 1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust or your favorite homemade dough
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Spray a pizza pan with cooking spray and press pizza dough into the pan evenly. 
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese into a four-inch circle in the center of the pizza dough (the “white tip” of your candy corn!). 
Take 1 cup of shredded cheese and sprinkle it into a three-inch ring around the circle of mozzarella. 
Carefully spoon the pizza sauce over the ring of cheddar cheese (this will be your “red” layer). 
Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese in a ring around the outside of the pizza sauce ring (the “orange” layer). 
Bake for 12–15 minutes or until golden brown. 
Cut into slices to resemble candy corn.

This is another easy recipe—our reviewers all agreed that it would be great to make with the whole family. Kids can help sprinkle the cheese and sauce, and they will love eating pizza that looks like candy corn! One variation parents might like to try is doing mini-pizza versions of this recipe, so that it makes more “slices of corn” and more people can enjoy it!

 

Strawberry Ghosts (by Alissa Strong)

  • 30 fresh strawberries
  • 8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Wash and dry strawberries. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Stir in almond extract. Dip each strawberry in chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, allowing excess chocolate to form the ghosts’ tails. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze for five minutes. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each face.

I am a college student on a budget, so I modified this recipe slightly by eliminating the almond extract. The recipe worked just fine without it. (Seriously, Pinterest? You want me to buy a whole bottle of almond extract just to use 1/8 of a teaspoon? Not going to happen!) I had a lot of fun dipping the strawberries in the chocolate and making the “ghosts’ tails”—this recipe allows you to use the hull of the strawberry (the green leaves) for dipping, which is a lot easier than dipping cake balls or Oreo truffles.

It was after the chocolate dipping that my troubles started. The chocolate chips I had were way too big to use as eyes, especially for some of the smaller strawberries. So I just decided to draw the eyes on along with the mouths. The toothpick drawing took FOREVER! I’m definitely not an artist, so my ghosts’ faces looked far inferior to the ones in the Pinterest photos. But en masse, they actually looked presentable… and chocolate-covered strawberries always taste yummy! I’d probably put up with the longer preparation time for the festive end result.

 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars (by Amanda Ricks; recipe from http://tjstestkitchen.blogspot.com)

Ever needed to make a quick dessert, but didn’t have many ingredients or much time? These Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars may be perfect for you.

  • 1 box angel food cake mix (the one-step kind)
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 8oz pkg. reduced fat cream cheese
  • A few tablespoons of water, to be mixed with cream cheese

I let the cream cheese soften on the counter for a while then I added it to my stand mixer & beat it with a couple of tablespoons of water until smooth. I just wanted it to thin out a little bit.

In a separate bowl, mix the cake mix, pumpkin, water, & cinnamon together until it is smooth & well mixed.

In a 9×13 pyrex dish—sprayed with PAM—add HALF of the cake-pumpkin mix. Then smooth it out with a rubber spatula. Drizzle half of the cream cheese over the top of it and take a small spatula to smooth it over the top. Add remaining cake-pumpkin mix & also the remaining cream cheese just making layers.

Finally take a butter knife, stick it into the mix, and go back & forth over the top of the cake making figure “8’s” – to blend it a bit.

Preparation of these was not too difficult. I didn’t have a stand mixer, so I used a whisk instead. I also didn’t have a Pyrex dish, so I used a different kind of 9×13 and it turned out just fine. This recipe requires only a few ingredients, which was good for my pocketbook. In addition, the ingredients of this dish aren’t those that you would naturally sneak before you had the time to make the dessert (like chocolate chips or toffee chips.) Relatively healthy as far as desserts go, they were easy and delicious. As one of our Stance reviewers said, “I liked that these were pumpkin-y without being too sweet. And let’s be real—cream cheese makes everything better!”

 

Marbled Nails (by Amanda Ricks)

Pinterest has long fascinated me with the concept of “Marbled Nails.” According to Pinterest, if you put some water in a bowl and add in your nail polish, swirl the polish, dip your finger in, and remove, you will have a perfectly marbled nail.

Perhaps I’m reading the instructions wrong.

I got the room temperature tap water that was required. I put in some fun colors and swirled it around. I dipped someone’s finger in. The moment I’d been anticipating had arrived, and the results? Well, let’s just say they were a little different than I’d imagined. See for yourself in the accompanying pictures.

 

Adaptive Aquatics: A Fun Way to Serve

by Jaden Anderson 

Looking for a new and unique way to serve right here on the BYU campus? How does splashing around in the pool and singing Disney music with goggle-eyed kids sound? Well, that’s what you’ll find every Thursday and Friday morning from 11am to 11:45am at the Richards Building pool. Here, student volunteers can come spend some quality time with local special education children in an interactive program called Adaptive Aquatics.

Adaptive Aquatics is a chance for disabled children in nearby schools to swim and receive some much-needed one-on-one time with volunteer BYU students each week. Students can help children develop their cognitive, motor, and social skills. There are also gym activities available for those kids who cannot swim or would rather not. The children come from Alpine, Orem, and other elementary schools throughout Utah County. They each have disabilities ranging from learning and speech impediments to Cerebral Palsy and Down syndrome.

Many BYU students have become involved with the program through Y Serve and report that they love the time they’re able to spend with the kids. According to the directors of the program, an average of 80 students with disabilities and 70 BYU students come to swim each Thursday and Friday. The directors estimate that around 300 or 400 volunteers come throughout the semester.

If this sounds like something you’d love to participate in for just one hour every Thursday or Friday for a semester, email adaptiveaquatics@byu.edu with your name and student ID for an Honor Code check. To get a glimpse of what Adaptive Aquatics is like, check out the video below or visit https://yserve.byu.edu/aquatics.

 

Cornbelly’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Fest—A Traditional Fall Activity for Everyone!

by Danielle Cronquist

Enjoy classic fall activities and head up to Thanksgiving Point’s Cornbelly’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Fest, open from October 5th to November 3rd. A perfect outing for families, couples, or even a group of friends. You can get lost in the corn maze, let the little ones navigate their way through the kiddie maze, or for thrill seekers, venture into the haunted maze (age 12+). But you don’t have to spend your whole time wandering through mazes; there are tons of other fall activities to enjoy when there. . .

-pick out the perfect pumpkin for carving

-hang out around one of the campfires

-take a ride on the cow train

-leap around on the “jumping pillow”

-watch some pig races

-slide down “Cornbelly Mountain”

-and so many more!

Here are a few tips and tricks for having the best time possible when there:

1. Buy your tickets ahead of time or go on a weekday to save some money!

2. Check out the “activity age gauge” on the website beforehand to find out which activities would be best for you and your group.

3. Bring your camera for some fun picture opportunities with face-cutouts, in the pumpkin patches, and in the mazes.

4. Wear closed-toed shoes and bring a jacket. The walkways there are not paved, and we are moving into some chillier weather this month, so you want to be comfortable.

5. Some of the activities like the zip-line and rock climbing wall will cost you a little, so bring some extra cash if you want to try these out.

6. Bring snacks if you don’t want to shell out the extra money for food once you are there. Maybe even bring some s’mores supplies for the campfires!

7. The haunted festivities begin at 8 p.m. so if you think you or your kids will get a little freaked out, plan accordingly.

 

Taking a visit to Cornbelly’s is a perfect way to ring in the fall! Open from October 5th to November 3rd. Monday–Thursday 4–10 p.m.; Friday–Saturday 10 a.m.–11 p.m.; closed Sundays and Halloween.

“Who’s Your Dad?” “Tom, Dick, and Harry”

by Dustin Schwanger

California state senator Mark Leno (D) has introduced a bill, SB 1476, that would allow the state to recognize more than two parents for a child. According to Leno, “The bill brings California into the 21st century, recognizing that there are more than Ozzie and Harriet families today.” What sort of “families” has this bill been created for?

The reason for the bill stems from a case in which a lesbian couple were both legal parents of a child. One parent was sent to jail, and the other was hospitalized. When the biological father attempted to take custody of the child the state denied him because the state, by law, can only legally recognize two parents. The child was put into foster care.

This is, obviously, a tragedy, a tragedy that this bill would seek to rectify in the future. However, the problem with this bill is that it seeks to solve a legal issue through providing a solution that changes the framework of society. The foundation of society is the strong and stable family consisting of a father, mother, and children. Either tragedy or maleficence sometimes necessitates one parent to assume the roles of both or grandparents or other close relatives to care for the child.

Leno’s vision of the twenty-first-century family, however, seeks to include as parents many different people related and not related to the child, thus fundamentally changing the definition of family—that is, any Tom, Dick, and/or Harry will eventually be able to be a legal parent to a child.Family now, if this bill is passed, becomes whatever a judge wants it to be.

What are the consequences to such a move? In effect, this bill, if society as a whole follows after its lead, has the possibility of ending the institution of the family. If we allow society to redefine family as anything anyone wants it to be, then family effectively means nothing.

Although Leno may have good intentions in this bill (I’m sure he’s not singlehandedly trying to destroy the family), it must be stopped. The trajectory is set. If it is not changed, if there is not a line past which society refuses to move, then society will be unalterably damaged through the inevitable destruction of the family.

Same-Sex Parents: How Does It Affect Children?

Many people would have us believe that children raised by same-sex couples receive the same developmental benefits as children raised in a traditional two-parent marriage. Even a brief from the American Psycological Association asserted this view. But, a recently published article by Loren Marks, PhD, in the journal Social Science Research convincingly challenges that assertion.

Click here to read his article and click here to view a summary and commentary of Marks’s and another scholar’s article that provides further evidence against the claim that children raised by same-sex couples develop the same as children raised in traditional two-parent marriages.

Dear Mr. President: A Response to Same-Sex Marriage

from AmberLee Hansen 

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing this letter in response to your announcement of late stating your stand in support of same-sex marriage. I appreciate your attempt to be inclusive of all people, to help all people feel accepted. The Declaration of Independence speaks truth: all men are created equal. They have certain unalienable rights. But marriage between two people of the same gender is not one of them. That is not marriage, and it is not a right.

Marriage, as a religious institution, is between a man and a woman and should not be redefined by the state. I know there are some loud voices who, in the name of equality, would tell you otherwise. They would tell you marriage is a union of two people who are in love and is detached from religious practices—they are wrong. And they hold the minority opinion. Mr. President, the silent masses of our country stand for marriage, marriage between a man and a woman. After your recent announcement, I decided it is time for this silent voice to speak.

Marriage is a divinely established institution to ensure strong, healthy families. God united men and women so they could have children and raise families. Raising a family is a couple’s crowning joy. Mr. President, two men or two women were not made to have children. And yet you would redefine marriage to call both unions equal; you would call both types of union marriage. I’m sorry, Mr. President, but no matter how many supporters this viewpoint gets, marriage is between men and women—anything else is not marriage.

Mr. President, I stand for strong families. I stand for marriage as marriage has always been defined. People are free to make their own choices, Mr. President, and I am happy to let them. But their choices shouldn’t change how we as a country define marriage and how we as a country define family. Listen to the silent voices of America, Mr. President. Just because they aren’t speaking doesn’t mean they aren’t strong.

Motherhood: The Greatest Work

by Christy Hinkson

Christy is an author and a mother of ten. She recently released her new book Home Remedies for a Nation at Risk: What American Leaders could learn from American Families. Also, click here to view Christy’s blog Stand for the Truth.

The debate is back with some people questioning the value of the role of stay-at-home mothers. It is amazing that anyone would actually think that mothers who do not leave their homes to join the workforce are not working. As a mother of 10 children and the grandmother of 4, I would like to invite anyone who holds this belief to come to my house and follow me around for a day. Children enter this world through a process called “labor” and the work associated with motherhood is never done. Each mother in this world works and works hard.

By watching a mother at work you can witness what she does for her family physically, but it is impossible to witness the enormous impact that a mother has on the world now and forever. I dare anyone to find any job on earth that is more important and has a more lasting effect on humankind than mothers do. Governments rise and fall, companies come and go, celebrities leave superficial impressions, but no one can shape and influence another human like a mother can. Women do many kinds of work and make lasting contributions to the world, but any contribution pales in insignificance when compared to the impact of what she does as a good mother.

Sometimes mothers doubt their ability to impact because motherhood is available to so many. This responsibility is given by God to so many, because it is so important. Every hero that has entered this world came the same way, tiny, fragile and placed by God into the arms of a mother. Mothers teach and influence their children in a very personal way, who in turn teach and influence others, who teach and influence many others and on and on and on.  All that is good and right in this world can be traced back to the influence of somebody’s mother.

While I was in college, I wrote a simple song and now, 25 years later, I still believe every word of it. I will include the lyrics below. Our daughter, Heather, now the mother of two, recorded the song. A free download is available at this link:

http://www.heartrisemusic.com/Downloads/Music/07%20The%20Greatest%20Work.mp3

“The Greatest Work”

The Greatest Work that I will ever do, will be in my own Home
I want to live in a way that I can give and make my potential known.
The greatest thing that I will ever do, I know inside will be
To live my life as a mother and a wife and raise a family.
The greatest work, the greatest thing, now is clearly in my view
I may reach heights unknown, but I know that in my home,
Is the greatest work that I will ever do.

 

How to Get Your Kids to Listen without Reminding or Yelling

by Caitlin Schwanger

Amy McCready—Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions

I recently attended Amy McCready’s Positive Parenting Solutıons webinar “How to Get Your Kids to Listen without Reminding or Yelling.” During the meeting, McCready, parenting specialist and creator of Positive Parentıng Solutions, explained a few basic principles to guide parents in their discipline strategies. Everything got better, she explained, when she began using positive parenting solutions: her children’s behavior got better, and her attitude improved. McCready stated that her vision for parents is that they won’t be able to remember the last time they had to raise their voice to get their children to obey.

How is this possible? How can you get your children to listen the first time? How can you stop misbehavior in your home? In the webinar, McCready explained a few basic principles that will help you on your way to parenting peace.

First, we have to understand why children misbehave in the first place. Bad behavior is a symptom of a deeper problem. We have to understand the problem before we can correct the bad behavior. Children (and adults) have two basic needs: they need to feel like they belong and they need to feel significant.

Children need to feel like they belong, that they are important to you. Children need to feel emotionally connected to their parents, to their siblings, even to their teachers. Children need a lot of positive attention from you. If they aren’t getting enough of that attention, they may resort to negative behaviors to get your attention, even if it’s negative. If something they do gets you to give them the attention they need, they’ll keep repeating that behavior. So one solution to bad behavior is to make sure that your child’s “positive attention basket” is full.

Children need to feel significant, that they are capable, that they make a difference, that they contribute. Often, this translates to children having a need to feel power, that they are in control. So, find ways to help your children feel like they are contributing. Have them help around the house–let chores be a positive thing. Also, give your children age-appropriate positive power. When it is appropriate, let them feel like they have a choice, like they are in control.

In her book, If I Have to Tell You One More Time, McCready provides parents with a “toolbox” of strategies for disciplining children. One of the tools she explained during the webinar was the 5 Rs of Consequences.

 

The 5 Rs of Consequences
1. Respectful—you need to be respectful to your child and to yourself. If you can’t deal with the situation right away, wait until you can be calm, collected, and respectful.

2. Related to the misbehavior—Make sure the consequence is related to the behavior so the learning event can take place. For example, if your daughter back talks, you shouldn’t discipline her by grounding her from her sleepover.

3. Reasonable in duration—The discipline should be reasonable for the age of the child. McCready recommended taking a puzzle away from a three-year-old for a day and video game privileges away for a week for a teenager.

4. Revealed in advance—You must reveal the rule and the consequence in advance. This gives your child the opportunity to make the choice. This gives them power and control over the situation.

5. Repeat—Have the child repeat the rule back to you. You now know that your child understands the rule and the consequence, and you now have a verbal agreement.

 

Positive Parenting Solutions has over twenty-five other tools for parents to use with their children. Parents have access to these tools through Positive Parenting Solution’s parenting courses and through Amy McCready’s book. For more information, see Positive Parenting Solutions, or the book, If I Have to Tell You One More Time.

 

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