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Kids are amazing aren’t they?  Such polite, well mannered, saying “thank you, Ma’am, Yes sir,” do what they are told…..what? Are you calling me crazy?  I know what you are thinking. Kids don’t act like that, right?  Is it impossible?  Well,I’m not saying It won’t be difficult, but if given the right discipline and instruction as young children, they are able to grow and develop into wonderful young men and women later on.

Happy kids start with a happy marriage: Do you enjoy listening to your kids fighting with eachother? Of course not! It makes your eardrums bleed and the hair on your skin stand up. The screaming, crying, name calling just makes you want to grab the nearest…ok, lets not get too dramatic, but kids feel the exact same way we do when they hear their parents fighting. They hate it! It makes them depressed and lonely. Kids really need a stable family life to feel secure and comfortable at home.

Sit at the dinner table: This is one of the best times to bond as a family. Kids get to talk about their day in school, how they are feeling and talk about whatever problems they are having. Take advantage of this opportunity to listen to your child, whether they are happy or upset.  They need to know that Mom and Dad care what they have to say and it makes them feel secure that they can confide in someone they trust. Kids love the attention, and dinner time is one of the best times for it!

Watch what they eat: If your kids just love gulping down those soft drinks, pouring  pounds of maple syrup on their pancakes and chowing three doughnuts in one sitting….nip it in the bud, now.  If you think I am exaggerating on what I just said, I have actually seen a few kids in my day literally eat like that on a daily basis. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup is very bad for your kids health and can cause them problems such as diabetes later on in life.  the younger you teach your kids good eating habits, the easier it will be on their health when they are adults.  A healthy kid is a happy kid!

Turn off the tube: Yes, that’s right…..turn it off. I know its hard to do when you need to get something done and plopping them in front the the big colorful machine would be  an easy thing to do.  Unfortunately, studies have shown that too much television can lead to learning and behavioral problems.  Bring out the coloring books and crayons instead and let their imaginations go wild!

Be wary of who they befriend:  Children, especially younger ones, are easily influenced by watching how other children act.  If your child is around rough-housing bad mouthed kids, your own child will think its OK to act that way.  Make sure when your young ones are around others, they are safe from bad influences and teach them early on that acting inappropriately is not right. Plus, teaching them on what types of kids to hang around with in their younger years will give them a better understanding on how to  choose the right friends when they get older.

Get them involved in extracurricular activities: My daughter is very exited to start soccer next year.  She is full of energy and very athletic so getting her involved in a sport would be ideal for her. Know you r child’s personality before getting them involved in something. If your little one loves instruction and seems patient when learning a new task, dance or music lessons would be a great starting point. If your child is hyper and loves to run around and can’t sit still, you may want to try a sport instead. either way, its a great way to make them feel like they can accomplish something.

Be a good role model:  Yep, your kids are watching you like a hawk,  and learning everything you do. They watch how you talk to people and treat others,  how you respond in certain stressful situations,  and yes, they even hear you on the phone gossiping to your friends about someone else. Little children have ears and eyes….  THEY ARE WATCHING YOU.  Be a good example, by showing them respect and patience. Even little things such as saying “thank you” to someone, or opening the door for that little old lady with a cane.  How your children behave is a reflection of how you raise them.

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My son became a certified one year old yesterday! So this year I decided to do something a little different than the traditional birthday cake. My three year old daughter wanted cupcakes, so I thought ok, thats sounds fun. It took a few tries getting the frosting to look like a soft serve ice cream cone but either way, my kids absolutly loved them…..and so did my husband (who didn’t even wait for me to frost them, he just ate them right from the oven lol!)

My son ate my delicious cupcakes without hesitation and of course made a complete but adorable mess!

Here is the recipe for anyone who wants to try out these ice cream cone cupcakes for yourself.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 sugar

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups milk

2 table spoons vegetable oil

1 stick butter (1/2 cup) softened

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

Directions:

Prepare cones:  Wrap each cone with aluminum foil and place in muffin pan. Set aside.

In large bowl mix well flour, sugar, baking powder and salt

add milk, vegetable oil, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture.  Beat with electric mixer on medium high for 2 minutes scraping sides of bowl.

Add eggs and contimue beating for another 2 minutes.

Pour batter into cones FILLING ONLY HALF WAY.  (If you fill too much, they will pour out of cones and deflate at the top.)

Place muffin pan in oven set at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until tops are golden.

Let stand and cool before frosting cones.

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