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Choosing love over Criticism

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We’ve all heard this saying “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar” in other words as human beings and even animals we respond better to love. In the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) says And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. Everything we are is based on love, so why shouldn’t our discipline.

This week I read a quote that literally changed my life in regards to how to deal with people and I felt convicted in my relationships and mostly how I choose to raise my children.

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“Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.”

― Dave Willis

I read this quote over and again, I wrote it twice, once in my notebook, and once on a purple sticky note that to this day is still on my car console. Love is just that important, and I felt it was important and something I needed to be reminded of daily.

How many times do I choose love over criticism?

Do I criticize more than I compliment?

Do I acknowledge more of what people do the right way or give more life to what they do incorrectly?

Last week my Grandmother surprised us with a visit on her way back home to Chicago from visiting my Aunt and Cousin in Arizona. We went to Chick-fil-A for restaurant night to support my daughter’s school and as we sat across the table from one another eating chicken sandwiches and kids meals she blurted out…you’re a really good mother, you’re very patient and you don’t do a lot of fussing. It felt really good coming from a woman who raised 7 children, grandchildren and lived in an era that said you do as I say and not as I do and when I spank you I do it because I love you.

While the complement felt great, I still couldn’t help but think about that quote and how in more areas than one I could stand to be more of an encourager and less of a critic. As a parent, there are two areas that get under my skin, and I haven’t even made it to the teenage years yet…disrespect and ungratefulness. When my kid’s behaviors venture over into those two categories, you can forget it…criticism comes first and encouragement last.

What would happen if I chose encouragement over criticism? What would that teach my child about conflict? What would happen if in most situations I chose love over punishment…punishment, not discipline? I can think back to plenty of cases where I gave punishment when I should’ve given love. Does it mean that I won’t punish my children…Absolutely not! It just means I will be more conscious of the times I use punishment and the times I just need to show extra love and attention.

“Parenting is not about being the perfect parent, but finding the perfect method to raise your child.”

Choose Love Quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Listen. Sometimes children just want to be heard and understood. Whether they are 5 or 45, they just want to know that someone is this enormous and sometimes unfair world hears them.

2. Choose your words. Words have power. I can remember most of the negative words that have been said to me over time more than the positive ones. Alter your language and tone, many times it’s how you say something versus what you actually say.

3. Be open. Could it be that our kids lie to us because they are afraid of the criticism that comes along with telling the truth. Punishment creates fear and closes the door to future conversations.

Love is an open language, criticism closes the door and stops up our ears and clouds are hearts. Encouragement breathes life. What am I teaching my kids about love? How am I teaching them about love outside of what I say, but in my actions?

Choose love.

Choose to uplift.

Choose to see the best.

Choose to accept.

Choose to listen.

Choose to find the good.

Choose happiness.

Choose kindness.

Choose to speak life.

Choose to encourage.

Choose to love.

Love could be the difference maker in a parent-child relationship, it could be the difference maker in a broken marriage. It has the power to mend a friendship. Love could make someone’s day and cause them not to give up. There are enough critics, be an encourager.

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Planting Positive Seeds in our Children

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Raising daughters is complicated. There is so much at stake. The seeds you plant as children have direct effects on the woman they will become. During my 7 years of parenting, I’m still learning the difficult lesson of what I call “parenting by personality”. Each of my daughters has two individual personalities and these personalities need individual methods of discipline, tone of voice, and love. Lately I’ve noticed. my oldest daughter, who just turned 7 a few months ago has been seeking attention from me. If I compliment my 4 year old, she asks why didn’t I compliment her, if I lay down on the couch there is a constant battle of who will takeover the 80% or 20% of my small framed body. The other day my daughter yelled out words (I didn’t think I would have to hear until she was a teenager) “You don’t love me, as much as you love…”. I started to get angry and I blurted out “If I didn’t love you I would not…” Then I thought to myself, why am I trying to explain the infinite nature of a mother’s love to a 7 year old!

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One of my good friends, Wendy, introduced me to Joel Osteen radio on Sirius XM radio (Channel 128 if you’re interested in checking it out). I spend almost 3 hours a day in the car on my commute to and from work, so a quality mix of music, talk, and inspiration is very valuable to me. As I listened on my way home a message “Seeds of Greatness” started to play. In the message Pastor Joel began to speak on planting seeds of greatness in other people and how this has a direct affect on how far they go, how they feel about themselves, and ultimately drowning out the negative voices within themselves and the negative words spoken over them by others.

That night on my drive home, I began to reflect and it constantly lead me back to love. Most times instead of scolding our children or attempting to correct their behavior, sometimes they just need our reassurance and love. I decided to send her a message on my way home.

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This year has been a year of change for my family, but especially our children. They moved away from their family and friends whom they have great relationships with, left the only school they have known and have had to adapt to a totally new environment. So a little crying is ok. The world is a scary and judgmental place even at the age of 7. So as parents it is our job, to plant and water positive seeds in our children to outweigh the negative seeds the world will attempt to plant in them. It’s funny how kids totally operate from instinct…as I planted seeds in her, she turned around and planted positive seeds right back into me. Thanks baby 🙂

As a child its natural to compliment and to build people up, somehow along the way as adults life tends to make us callous and afraid to be vulnerable to other people. Thus, it can be easier to name all of the things about people that we don’t like versus writing a list of what we do like.

Homework assignment: Identify 5 people in your life and practice planting positive seeds in there lives. Tell them what you love about them, share with them future potential, and encouragement. What do you have to lose?

Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below or send me an email to info@onehautemommi.com.

My hope for US on Mother’s Day

 

mothersdayNo one likes Sad Mommy, Mean Mommy, Scary Mommy, Distant Mommy, Withdrawn Mommy, Distracted Mommy, Overwhelmed Mommy, Angry Mommy, Resentful Mommy, and Anxious Mommy…Including YOU!

These are real emotions mothers like you and I feel everyday. It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand new mom, a professional mom of multiples, a mom of toddlers (or stair steps), a mom of teenagers, an empty nester mom, married mom, single mom or a teenage mom who got received her cape slightly early. All of us at some point in our parenting have felt or are feeling these same emotions. Many times we keep everything inside never sharing it with our spouses, family members, friends…. anyone. Why? I’m a Mom, I’m supposed to be strong, don’t let them see you sweat, do everything…. and look cute doing it! NOT!

If I can be very transparent, there are some days even I don’t feel so great, I’m still learning to be the best Mother I can be. I have my moments of frustration and impatience, hold my children to unfair standards of perfection, and some days I totally miss the mark.

“The two most powerful words when we’re in the struggle; me too” -Brene Brown

You are not alone in your feelings! Mother’s everywhere are waking up every morning putting on their Super Mom cape and attempting to juggle way more than we can handle. Since the beginning of time women have been known to be the picture of strength. We’ve all seen or used this quote “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water”-Eleanor Roosevelt

As I began reading this quote and thinking about the attributes of a tea bag, at our healthiest state we resemble a tea bag…resilient, giving, and productive. When we’re at a low mental state it’s difficult to be everything to everyone. Most of us play dominant and very active roles both in and out of our households and have a hard time saying no to everyone and yes to our needs and ourselves.

Here are five attributes of a tea bag I feel we as moms should seek to adapt as the beginning to saying goodbye to mean, stressed, depressed, and tired mommy.

1.  A tea bag is Transparent.

As a mom, being transparent is hard. We like to wear our “everything is ok face” 24/7 365 days a year. We don’t want to appear weak or if we aren’t worthy to wear our supermom cape. It’s alright to be transparent, to say I need help, I can’t answer that right now, I need a moment, a break, and 5 minutes alone in the bathroom.

2. A tea bag is Filled with leaves.

What kind of tea can an empty tea bag produce? Exactly, nothing. What can an empty Mom produce? Exactly, nothing. What am I being filled with? Am I fulfilling my purpose? As a mom when you pour out to your family, allow your family to pour back into you. It is very important to find ways to be filled whether it’s through a personal bible study, reading a book, prayer, or girl talk with a friend…you’ll be surprised how much better you feel.

3. A tea bag Preserves.

The tea bag is strong has the ability to protect its leaves against even the hottest water to produce the best tea.  Mothers have perfected taking care of everyone beside herself. If we want to be around to watch our children grow and to see their children and children’s children we have to preserve our health, both mentally and physically.

4. A tea bag is Strong, but only within its limits.

A tea bag is strong but not strong enough to withstand being run over by a car. Know your limitations! It’s ok if you can’t wash, clean up, cook, read, work, fly a plane, and heal the sick all in one day!! No one expects you too and if they do…check your circle!

5. A tea bag Alone can’t produce tea.

It would be nice if alone a tea bag could make you a bomb cup of tea after a long day. Wouldn’t that be nice! The tea bag needs the bag, the string, the tea, YOU, hot water, a nice cup, sugar, lemon, honey…you get the point. You alone are great, but what make us better is the people we surround ourselves with! Appreciate those people and allow them to make you better.

My hope for us on Mother’s Day is to be Happy Mommy, Patient Mommy, Fulfilled Mommy, Attentive Mommy, Present Mommy, Balanced Mommy, Loving Mommy, Understanding Mommy, Supportive Mommy, Relaxed Mommy, and Ambitious Mommy…. everybody likes her…. including YOU!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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How not to kill your child’s dream. What I Learned from The Gabby Douglas Story.

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**Spoiler alert** the post below contains information regarding the Gabby Douglas Story. I understand if you prefer to watch the movie before you read this post, but please come back and read it! Thanks 🙂
This past weekend I watched The Gabby Douglas story on The Lifetime network. It was a great depiction of Gabby and also gave us an inside look into her family life and the sacrifices that were made in order for her to get to the point of winning a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics in London. I would recommend this movie as a great one to watch with your family and especially young girls. It shows them sacrifice, handwork, how to be champion, and to never give up on their dreams.
I have to commend Gabby’s mom Natalie, without her sacrifice, selflessness, and her willingness to push her children to follow their dreams Gabby wouldn’t be the champion she is today. She is a great example of a parent not willing to kill their child’s dream even though it might not be the dream she envisioned for them or uncomfortable.
At one point in the movie Natalie (portrayed by actress Regina King) became angry when an excited Gabby came home and stated she wanted to be trained by Olympic Trainer Liang Chow which meant she would have to move to Iowa to train for the Olympics and be away from her family for two years. She had no family in Iowa and limited money and resources. In a conversation with her Mother, Natalie asked God why her daughter? Why was she blessed with this amazing gift and  dreams as big as the sky? Her mother then reminded her that she too had dreams at one point in her life to be a great lawyer, and once she began having children and the trials of life detoured her dream. Natalie’s mother then stated this powerful and oh so true quote.
“It’s nothing worse for a mother to see their child’s dream go unanswered.”
This movie was a great example of how to support and push your children to follow their dreams and as parents we have to do our part even though it might be tough at times to not kill the dream because our own limitations.
Here are my thoughts on how not to kill your child’s dream.
1. Cultivate the dream. At a young age Gabby was doing one-handed cartwheels, flipping, and tearing up her mother’s house! Her mother saw something special in her gymnastic skills before she had her first class. Once she realized this, she enrolled her into gymnastics classes and began cultivating her dream. What classes or workshops should your child no matter what age be taking to cultivate a gift you already recognize in them?
2. Exposure. I feel like it’s a parent’s duty to expose their children to what’s right and also to new areas of success. Many parents think their child’s only successful if they are a teacher, doctor, or lawyer, but success can be found in many different careers. It is up to us to make sure our children know all of their options.
3. Know they will face opposition. Opposition comes along with the dream. There will be peers who will find negative things to say about your child and family members who don’t agree or support the investment you’re making into your child’s future. While in gymnastics training many times Gabby was the only African-American girl, she was teased about her nose, hair, and height, but her mother had instilled into her at a young age to trust in what she knew about herself and not to listen to the criticism of others.
4. Your child’s dream could hurt. In the movie, Natalie continuously made hard sacrifices for Gabby to be in the best gymnastic classes which included traveling, uniform costs, and time away from school, but one of the hardest things for Gabby’s mom to do was to let her move to Iowa for two years to train. She didn’t know anyone there or have the means to support her, but she had to trust and believe this was the plan for her life and to do what she could to support them.
5. She didn’t let her quit. As driven as Gabby was she had a moment when she wanted to quit, she told her mother “Gymnastics is not my passion anymore”. Many time as parents we can allow our kids to quit too easily. If things become a little too difficult or problems arise, we give in to their sad faces and say that’s ok, you can stop. NO! If Natalie allowed Gabby to quit and come back home before the Olympics, her future would’ve been much different as it is today.
Want to quit, consider this.
Quitting is harder than trying.
Quitting is not an option.
Quitting affects not only you, but also your family and everyone who made sacrifices for you.
 Gabby stated she wanted to just be normal. How many times has an exceptional child said this to a parent? Her mother poured right back into her. “You weren’t made to be normal, everything you’ve done in your life has been exceptional. Why settle now? “
 6. Give encouragement. Regardless of the stage of dream your child is in, they need our encouragement. They need to know they can do it, they were made to be exceptional and above average, it’s ok to experience loss, and most of all they need to be encouraged to have fun and enjoy every moment.
7. Teach your child to speak things into existence. Another part of the movie that really stuck out to me is their family motto, “Today should always be better than yesterday”. They lived and formed their lives around this statement, even though things got really tough at times, they always knew that a new day was a new opportunity. What’s your family motto, quote, or scripture? What can you teach your child that will stick with them throughout their lives?
The real Gabrielle Douglas in the beginning of the movie stated this statement and I feel like this is key for anyone who wants to be a champion in any arena in his or her lives child or adults. Read it, print it out, post it, and let your child read it, or read it to them.
“You want to know how to become a champion? It’s easy. Turn your dream into your goal, plant it deep in your heart and then for the next ten years eat, sleep, breathe, laugh and cry without ever taking your eye off your goal not even for a second. You want to know how to stop becoming a champion? I actually tried that once. Believe it or not that was a lot harder. “–Gabrielle Douglas
Don’t let your fear as a parent, put fear into your child. Be their biggest cheerleader whether they are age 5 or 45. Their success depends on it.
Be encouraged.
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10 Things you to took for granted as a kid you wish you had as an adult

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Now that I’m an adult looking back on childhood, being a kid was much easier than I thought. My only responsibilities were to go to school, clean the bathroom, and play! Oh those were the days! As most kids, I couldn’t wait to grow up, that’s all we talked about, when I’m grown I’m going to do this, when I grow up I’m going to have! Can I go back? LOL!
So I compiled a quick list of things we took for granted as kids, we wish could do or have now that we are adults.
1.Naps. I didn’t fully want to take advantage of naps as a child. Maybe I thought I was going to miss something!
2. Falling asleep in the car or on the bus. There wasn’t a car/bus ride where I didn’t fall asleep! A car/bus ride for
me was an instant sleeping aid.
3. No Worries and stress.
4. Not having to pay for anything. You went everywhere and did everything thing and always wanted to spend those few dollars you had! Now that I’m an adult can we go back to the way it used to be!
5. Chores. I hated chores and got paid an allowance to do them! Now I get to clean the entire house for free!
6. An in-house cook. My mom prepared home cooked meals every night but of course liver and onions never sounded good and still don’t!
7. School was your job. I couldn’t wait to get my first job and have responsibility, now I wish all I had to do were to go to school.
8. Blissful ignorance. When I was growing up I thought everyone was middle class, grew up and found out, we were all struggling!
9. Creativity and Imagination. I made a car out of a couch, a stage out of a radiator, blankets into a house, and turned a closet into a bedroom. I wish creativity flowed so easily now.
10. What’s one thing you took for granted as a kid that you wished you had as an adult? Leave #10 in the comments.
Be encouraged.
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What goes in eventually comes out

What goes in eventually comes out! Literally and Figuratively! LOL

 As parents we do our best to teach our children what’s right and we only hope that one-day what we teach them they will exhibit or do on their own. Being a parent is what’s called a “Thankless Job” you do it day after day without a raise, reward, pat on the back, and even sometimes a thank you. Our greatest reward as a parent is to have raised a responsible, grateful, and respectful adult.
In our household we are not super religious, were not always praying aloud, holding hands, gospel music is not the only type of music we listen to, but we are raising our children to love God and one another, to pray, and to be grateful for everything they have. Last week the girls we’re playing in their room and writing. My youngest was giving my oldest names of family members to write and she took dictation, as a big sister should. My oldest that is six then asked “Can I write a letter to God?” I said “Sure!” She ran off to her room and a few minutes later she appeared with this letter to God.
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I listened as she read me the letter and tried not to let my eyes fill up with tear as I said “Good Job Baby!” I thought to myself, what you put into your child, eventually comes out. I hope letter brings you much joy and encourages you to write your own personal letter to God, not only that, but to parents of older children who may have lost their way despite you teaching them the right way. Don’t worry, what you put into your child eventually comes out. Sometimes it’s quick and other times it can take a while, but it will come out.
Be encouraged.
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Guest Post: Our Children & Christmas

This guest post is from The Ring Club! The Ring Club is a new generation of married couple’s raised up by God to change the view of marriage in popular culture. We we provide spaces of meaning for married & engaged couples in the form of book clubs, dance lessons, weekly prayer lines, and much more.

I’m so excited to share their awesome work and words on One Haute Mommi! Enjoy!

Our Children & Christmas

I found the most appropriate scripture for this Advent Season (Advent is a four-week season leading into the Christian celebration of the birth/nativity of Jesus Christ) we are in.

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)

In chapter one of the book of Luke, the birth of Jesus is being foretold. The Angel is telling Mary (Jesus’s mother), how her conception will happen. Two important things are explained in this scripture that shows us how we are to treat this time of year.

1.) “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you”-Mary is an important figure (Luke 1:45), but it wasn’t about her. Your child is an important figure in your life and his/hers happiness is important to you…but it’s not about them. It’s our job to explain that to them as best we can. We have to explain to them that they have been overshadowed, so that Jesus gets the attention, glory and honor during this time of year.

2.) So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God”- The most important aspect of this time of year, the person born is the Son God. Our children need to know who the Son of God is and what that means for their life. They need to know who he is more than they need to know how use Apple products, when the next (Retro) Jordan is releasing or how to ride a bike. Our job as parents is to teach them that it’s not about gifts; it’s about the Gift…who was born, died and resurrected for their sin, your sin, my sin and all of humanity.

If you’re reading this and think that I’m saying don’t celebrate Christmas, don’t buy your kids gifts…then I have been misunderstood. I’m saying, love on them through gifts and spending time but don’t ever forget to remember the Lord.

It’s pretty corny and over done, but “Jesus is the reason for the season”.

Merry Christmas!

Be sure to read other posts from The Ring Club!

Question: What ways do you use to show your children the real meaning of Christmas?

Feeling pretty crafty-creating Thanksgiving arts & crafts at home

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One thing I love to do with my girls at home are arts & crafts, it’s a great way to spend time together and brings out my inner childlike creativity. I can’t wait to do more with them!

Two nuggets I learned from my oldest daughter while doing our crafts.

1. Perfect is boring. She told me this 5 times! My interpretation, don’t spend so much time on making sure the lines are straight, the real beauty is in the creativity.

2. Make it your own. After we finished making our turkeys, they wanted to draw on them and make the turkeys their own. The perfectionist in me said, “no leave them as they are”! My oldest daughter said in art it’s ok to make it your own. She gave her turkey a heart. (This made me smile)

I hope this craft fosters great family moment’s in your household this Thanksgiving!

Paper Plate Turkey

Supplies

2 Paper Plates

Scissors

Stapler

A pack of Construction paper (red, brown, green, orange, yellow, white)

Glue Stick

Crayons or Markers

Click here to download my turkey craft traceable

Directions

First, take one paper plate and measure a sheet of brown construction paper over it. Cut the construction paper in the shape of the plate. Then, staple the brown circle to the paper plate. Take the second paper plate (you can also use a small paper plate) measure it with a large can or circular object and cut the plate into a small circle for the turkey’s head. Take another piece of construction paper and cover the smaller plate as before. Staple the paper to the plate.

Next, (use the guide provided, if needed) cut six feathers using multiple colors. Use the glue stick and stick the feathers between the paper plate and the construction paper. Next cut out two small circles, beak, wattle (my oldest taught me that term), wings, and feet. Glue them all to the turkey.

Finally, let your child decorate the turkey or write things they are thankful for on the craft.

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Have fun!

OHM

Is summer really over?

Is it me or did summer really fly by? Or is it because my daughter Taylor never misses an opportunity to let me know all the things we didn’t do this summer. I feel like between the normal hustle and bustle of our ever so busy lives and special events like birthday parties and family gatherings our weekend schedules were packed. Not to mention in our household August is the busiest month of the year with our Wedding Anniversary, both of the girls Birthday’s, two college send offs, and back to school for the girls…I can’t keep up! Nevertheless, I feel like we had a pretty good summer…. and guess what summer isn’t technically over until September 21st. So we will continue to enjoy this beautiful weather for as long as it lasts and hopefully we will make it to the beach one of these days.

Leave me a comment! What did you do this summer with your family or share your most memorable summer moment?

Take a look into Adventure’s in Terryland summer edition!

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First day of School!
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Birthday Party! Royal Princess style!
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More Birthday Fun!
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Wisconsin State Fair. Yum!
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Labor day weekend. Enjoying downtown Chicago!

 

We love these smiles! Family fun!
We love these smiles! Family fun!

 

Little Miss question asker

photo(2)My almost six-year old is a human question asker! She has the ability to fire off questions left and right about any random subject, person, place, thing, or the well-known how do babies come out of the mommi’s tummy (out of the belly-button…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

I take most of the blame for all the questions; I’m pretty open with her about world events, disasters, and our local Chicago violence. I don’t want her to be afraid but aware of what’s going on in the world around her. Although it was my goal for her to be more aware than afraid, she has is very inquisitive especially when it comes to tornadoes.

This week alone I have been asked questions like:

What happens when it rains on a plane?

What if a tornado happens while you’re on a plane?

Can we have tornadoes in Chicago?

Are there tornadoes in Mexico?

It’s raining, will there be a tornado?

Pray for me……

I consider myself pretty curious…. well more curious than most (just ask my friends).  When I was a child there wasn’t Google where information is seconds away from our fingertips…we had a stack of encyclopedias! It was frowned upon when a kid asked to many questions to adults. I ran out of fingers and toes trying to count how many times I heard an adult tell a child “You don’t question grown folks”. Imagine if my curiosity was nurtured into adulthood. I would be more open-minded, handle challenges differently, and gain a different appreciation for our world.

So with that said…I’m ready for Little Miss Question asker and Miss Question asker # 2.  They can fire away all the questions they want (except where do babies come from…nope not ready to deal with that yet). I know these questions are building up her little brain, encouraging her to explore the world, and enhancing her imagination.

How do you encourage your child’s natural curiosity?

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