You Are Here : Home Friday, December 19, 2014
 Shopping with Your Children

Anyone who has shopped at a grocery store or mall with children, especially young children, knows that the experience can be trying, and sometimes, stressful! Here are some tips that may prove useful on your next shopping trip:


Before You Go...

How is everyone feeling? Is your child too tired or hungry to shop? Are YOU? It's best to for when you are rested, don't wait until the end of the tiring day. If possible, postpone your trip or arrange for a sitter.


Have a talk with your child before you go shopping. Let your child know that it is a special outing to go shopping with you. You can go shopping and have fun, as long as you both understand your family's shopping rules.


Make your expectations clear. For instance, "Stay close to me", "Use your quiet voice", "When we leave you can select a special treat if you remember the rules"!


One last thing before you go: wear comfortable shoes and clothes (you and your child) . If the climate calls for a winter coat, you may want to remove outerwear once in the store so that no one overheats.


Now you're ready to shop.Just a reminder, keep your children within sight in the store. Hold hands. Put them in the basket or let them hold onto the cart with you.


At the Store...

Give your child some choices. When possible, allow your child to make some decisions. "Do you want red apples or green apples?"


Give your child a responsibility."Can you help me pick out the hardest apples?" Or let your child steer the cart.


Never leave your child unattended in a shopping cart!


Reinforce good behavior. Say things like, "You are being so helpful!" Talk and play with your child. A hug can be reassuring and say more than words sometimes!










 Making Mealtimes

  Don’t run a restaurant.


Make one meal, but offer options as to how to have it served.

[Do you want your hamburger on a bun, or on your plate?]  When most of us were kids we ate what was put in front of us.

There was never any ambivalence from our parents about any other options; therefore, we ate.



 Make dinner conversation enjoyable.


This is not the time to admonish a child about her late homework assignment or to question her current choice of friends. This is the time to share ideas and tell stories. This is an opportunity to have that quality time we hear so much about but often don't have time to pursue.



Teach good table manners at home, and miraculously, your children will use good manners in public.


If you wouldn't think it funny to have your child display his mouthful of food to your hosts at a dinner party, I suggest not letting him get away with it at home.



              Relax your attitude about food.


The more focus and attention you place on eating habits, the more of a battleground food will become. Keep a few important points in mind: Kids need to eat more often than three square meals. Kids can thrive eating the same foods over and over and avoiding anything new and different. Kids are hungry when they walk in the door after school - the routine of a healthy after-school snack can ward off all kinds of battles. When healthy options are all that's available, kids will eat healthy food. Mealtime can be enjoyable when you serve the food, then simply take the time to enjoy it, without monitoring everyone else’s eating habits.



Encourage your children to become involved in the meal planning and preparation.


It will motivate them to eat what's served, and it will teach them valuable skills that will enrich their lives. You will probably be pleased to see that they actually enjoy helping in the kitchen.



By Elizabeth Pantley, author of “Kid Cooperation and Perfect Parenting.”

© 2002 Elizabeth Pantley


 USCCB - Faith and Safety


There is a new website from USCCB for helping keep 

children and families safe online:


The website is a partnership  with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

and it is designed to be a place where families  learn to see technology through the eyes of  faith and stay safe online.

The site offers guidance how to use the Internet, cell phones and video games safely,

as well as protecting children’s privacy.


We encourage you to:

* Share the site with your networks
* Identify areas of the site that you believe could be expanded.




The site is less than a year old and the developers welcome input.
You can send comments to Dominic Perri,
consultant to the USCCB Communications Department, at




20 Ways to De-Stress Your Holidays 



It has been said and it has even been sung, that the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year! While that may be true, no matter what holiday your family celebrates, this time of year can also be one of the most stressful. Here are 20 ways to help de-stress your holidays. Many of these suggestions can help you and your family survive not only the holidays but everyday!
 1. Stay organized. Make a list or create a calendar of things to do or things that need to be done.

2. Simplify! Simplify decorations, simplify gifts, and simplify gatherings.


3. Teach children that the holidays are about giving from the heart and not about giving from your wallet or their piggy bank.


4. Be creative. Creativity helps reduce stress. Personalize holiday gifts by making something or offering a service such as babysittng, house cleaning or yard work.


5. Create and stick to a budget so you can feel good about the amount of money you end up spending.


6. Laugh more, laugh often and build memories!


7. Repeat something you did last year that everyone enjoyed so you can start to build a family tradition.


8. Make sure to practice good nutrition, for you and your children, and get plenty of sleep.


9. Begin a family tradition this year of giving back to your community. Donate toys or other items, visit a nursing home,volunteer at an animal shelter, food pantry, local charity or other worthwhile organization.


10. Change your expectations about the holidays such as finding the perfect gift, planning the perfect family get together or serving the perfect holiday meal. Ask for and accept help from others. Have fun and let go of “perfect.”


11. Baking as a family activity can be very fun and rewarding. When baking with children pre measure ingredients and put everything at their level. Covering the area with newspaper or a sheet can make for easy, fast clean up.


12. It can be stressful to think about all of the things you want to give your family but can’t. Practice gratitude by being thankful for what you do have. Make a list of 10 things for which you are truly grateful.


13. Be realistic with your time and energy and say “no” where you can.


14. Establish a special place you can go if you feel overwhelmed or out of control.


15. Make sure to give yourself time to relax. Expect stores and restaurants to be crowded and have long lines. Use the time you spend waiting to practice deep breathing and letting go of stress.


16. Recognize and help your children cope with stress. Do not expect too much or more from
children during the holidays. No matter what age, excitement and stress can leave you tired and cranky.
17. Spend quiet time with your children talking about your beliefs, your memories and traditions
growing up, and your values.
18. Remember, all things in moderation, doing too much, buying too much, eating and drinking too much will add to your stress.
19. Dealing with difficult relatives at holiday time can be very stressful. Don’t expect they’ve
changed. Plan ahead, know what to expect, and limit your time with them. Changing your attitude can help you cope.
20. Most importantly, be able to recognize the signs of stress, know how to reduce stress and do something about it.










Family Resolutions for the New Year




We as a family resolve to:


1. Set aside one night per week as family night.


2. Spend at least 20 minutes each day talking as a family.


3. Work together on household chores.


4. Read together as a family at least once a week – even if your kids are older.


5. Eat dinner together at least one night a week.


6. Laugh together as a family every day.


7. Practice good money management skills helping children learn to save and spend wisely.


8. Work together on a special family project.


9. Look at family photos regularly.


10. Visit with and listen to older family members tell stories about our family’s history.


11. Volunteer time, resources, or both to a charity that serves children and families.


12. Learn about a new culture as a family.


13. Deal with any unsettled family business to promote peace in our lives.


14. Connect with other families around us to build friendships and positive support systems.


15. Encourage each other with praise rather than being critical.


16. Let children make appropriate decisions for themselves to promote responsibility.


17. Hold family meetings to solve problems, share good news and plan fun family events.


18. Discipline with love, patience and understanding.


19. Make it OK to talk about feelings (even the bad ones).


20. Think of 20 ways that your family can connect over the next year.






 5 things to know about girls in STEM fields

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics



 March 2014

1. To combat grim statistics which indicate that women only
make up 24% of jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields,
more and more opportunities are popping up for girls in these areas than ever before.

2. Some toy companies, like Goldie Blox and Roominate, are steering away
from gender-based marketing and selling building
toys designed to stimulate innovation and creativity.

3. Historic organizations, such as the YWCA and Girl Scouts of America, which offers over 30 badges for
STEM-related activities, are actively encouraging girls’ interest in STEM fields.

4. Camps like Girlstart and Camp Reach make STEM learning fun by giving girls creative,
hands-on experience with scientific experiments and engineering concepts.

5. Check out the NSTeens video Attitude Overdrive to meet Becks, the ultimate gamer girl.
Video games are a great way to introduce more girls to STEM.


Articles and comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Any products or websites mentioned are not necessarily affiliate with, endorsed or licensed by NCMEC.

This email was sent by: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children,
699 Prince Street Alexandria, VA, 22314, USA




 About Advent Wreaths


 Traditionally, Advent wreaths are constructed of a circle of evergreen branchesinto which four candles are inserted, representing the four weeks of Advent. Ideally,three candles are purple and one is rose, but white candles can also be used.


The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory
sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday,
Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is
the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their
preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas.


The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of his second coming to judge the living and the dead.





Advent Family Calendar:


 Advent Resources:




 The Power of Choice

Would you like to get your kids

to willingly cooperate?


Stop the daily battles? 

Teach your kids valuable life skills?


 If your answer is Yes, Yes, Yes, read on:


Do you sound like a drill sergeant?

There are so many things we must get our children to do and so many things we must stop them from doing!  Get up. Get dressed. Don't dawdle.  Do your homework..Eat. Don't hit your brother. It goes on and on.And to make matters worse - our  kids resist our orders and demands.



There is an effective solution!

We can get our kids to cooperate and at the same time allow them to learn self-discipline and develop good decision making skills. How?


Offer choices

Children love having the privilege of choice. It takes the pressure out of your request and allows a child to  feel in control, and thus be more willing to comply. This is a powerful tool that can be used with toddlers through teens.


How many choices?

Younger children can handle two choices: Milk or juice? Sneakers or shoes? You do it or me? Walk or run? As children get older we can offer more choices: Before dinner, after dinner, or in the morning? Wear your coat, carry it, or put on a sweatshirt? Teens can be given general guidelines and rules.


Be specific.

If you ask, "What do you want for breakfast?" and your child answers "pizza" you've set yourself up for a battle. Instead offer choices or options that are all good for her, "Do you want toast and fruit, cereal or waffles?"


Use time as a choice.

Often there really is only ONE acceptable choice. You wouldn't say, "Do you want to go to bed tonight or tomorrow?"  You could say, "Do you want to  watch 5 more minutes of TV or 10?" "What do you want to do first, brush your teeth or put on your pajamas?"


If your child won’t choose?

Offer a choice! (!?What??) Yes! It still works! "Do you want to choose, or shall I choose for you?" If your child gets stubborn, you can say, "I see you want me to choose".Then follow through! For example, what if you ask your child if she wants to do her homework before dinner, after dinner or in the morning and she "decides"  to go to bed without doing her homework. Just wake her [cheerfully] at 6:00 am with a gentle reminder that it was her choice to do it this way.


Giving choices ends struggles.

Offering choices is a peaceful way to encourage cooperation while avoiding the power struggles that so often erupt when a parent gives an order. When a child chooses his own plan of action he is more likely to follow through with a pleasant attitude, and learn decision-making skills that he will carry with him to adulthood. So, do you want to start offering choices today or tomorrow?

By Elizabeth Pantley, author of “Kid Cooperation and Perfect Parenting.”
© 2002 Elizabeth Pantley


 House Bill 5990


Amendments to the Children’s Advocacy Center Act



HB 5990 updates the Children’s Advocacy Center Act to accurately reflect how
Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) in Illinois operate and should be created today.
This bill benefits Chicago CAC by helping solidify its role in responding to abuse,
and the role of all child advocacy centers throughout the state.
The bill is currently waiting its third reading on the senate floor.

Show your support for HB5990

Help show your support for CACs by thanking the
senate co-sponsors of HB5990.


Click the button below to email them our customizable template email.

 Take Action

If you have questions or would like more information,
contact Trevor Peterson:
or 312-492-3728



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