The purpose of Unplugged Week is to focus on our relationships and connection without those go-to distractions. In addition (for us) it seems that the more screen time our kids have the grumpier they are. As adults we can’t help but feel happiest when we’re helping others, and with our various projects over the years with Small Fry, the boys seem to be in the same boat. It just feels good! So, today our Unplugged Tip is to plan a project or outing that helps someone in need. For our project, we joined efforts with Earth’s Best and Ella’s Kitchen with the No Kid Hungry Campaign, an initiative that focuses on ending childhood hunger in America. Millions of kids go to school hungry everyday and that is heartbreaking. Two brands we love and use often, Ella’s Kitchen and Earth’s Best have already donated funds to help provide up to 1.5MM meals to kids in need and together we are encouraging our readership to donate whatever you can to the cause!First, we started by making a list of foods that benefit us, that are healthful and non-perishable. Earth’s Best and Ella’s Kitchen were so nice to help us fill up our baskets so we could donate such amazing snacks that we know the kids will love, find specially marked products exclusively at select Walmarts.Next, fill up your basket or box to donate to your local Food Pantry. You can source ways to help on their initiative page here. We sent off our basket and won’t lie, it was an emotional project to say the least. Talking with the boys about how kids in their own classrooms don’t have enough to eat was eye opening for them. We are always grateful for opportunities to open their (and our own!) eyes and reach outside of ourselves to help. So for today’s Unplugged activity, find a way to help someone. The time will fly and you can’t help but feel happy and grateful! Be sure to share if you make a similar basket or think of other ways to help end childhood hunger today using the #NoKidHungry and #FeedKidsinNeed hashtags and tag us on Instagram (@smallfryblog.) We’ll select a winner to donate on their behalf in addition to the donations we’ve made to No Kid Hungry with Ella’s Kitchen and Earth’s Best!
Tuesday’s tip: Schedule playdates for each day! Not just with friends, but acquaintances you’ve been meaning to reach out to, children your kids seem to hit it off with, but haven’t had too much time together, and old friends you haven’t seen in awhile. This Jenga DIY is a great game to play to help ease your kids into new friendships and of course get through the day unplugged.
Here’s what you’ll need: A plain wood block set like this one and oil-based paint pens to write on wood like this set from Sharpie.Then on each block write a getting to know you question down. Let it dry and then get ready to play!Set up the game as you would normally and then each kid picks a block out and gets to answer the question, or they all can too since usually kids MUST weigh in on all questions. 😉
Find all our posts from Unplugged Week right here and follow along and post your own ideas on any social network via #SFunplugged.
Welcome to Unplugged Week! Our second annual cleanse from devices, TV and video games. It is not easy, but it is a challenge worth tackling and if you’ve been wanting to try -let’s do it together! While we will also be doing our best to limit our screen time too, we’ll be sneaking on to post to the #SFunplugged hash tag and hope you will join in, we hope it will become a support system of sorts during the next several days. We promise your kids will thrive and they will also wear you out, ha!
First things first, let’s get a system in place to help keep the day filled! It’s usually when kids are tired and or bored that they’re wanting to veg out in front of a screen, so having lots of ideas on hand will keep you from that knee-jerk reaction to switch on a show. So first idea of the week: To Do Sticks! As always this is a great craft to do as a family, so you can spend time being creative making it and then use the ideas you come up with together all week long. Here’s how you’ll do it…
Grab craft paint, markers and large craft sticks: Cover the top third with the paint color of your choice and let it dry completely:Now pick the categories that appeal most to your family. We did Outside, Inside, Service, Food and Learning. Keep a key handy so that when you’re picking you can sort of guide them. (Need them to get out of your hair? Pick a yellow stick, kids!)Here are some of the ideas we came up with. Some ideas on a regular week might seem like a hassle, but Unplugged Week is such great opportunity to slow down and find excitement and fun in the processes of each activity. Fill up a jar in your kitchen or play room and grab a stick whenever you need it! We are loving ours and will be pulling them back out when school lets out for sure.
Day one, done! We’re excited to see how you’re all faring so be sure and tag the good, the bad and the ugly #SFunplugged so we can see.
Today we are teaming up with H&M to share our favorite pieces from their Spring line for kids! (Pinch us!) You already know we are lifelong H&M loyalists so this wasn’t hard in the slightest. Here’s what we’re digging:
First up is the botanical print of this denim shirt. Botanicals are a huge trend for Spring for women and we love seeing it interpreted for our little buddies. Their denim has such a luxe feel and cut to it, it washes so amazingly well, so we’re happy to add denim pieces on top, too! As you’re browsing their Spring line you’ll see not only botanicals, but food, bugs and florals too. Next up, H&M graphic tees (Pictured: Detroit Tee) are always cool. They still have that youthful appeal but not juvenile. We’ve seen loungewear translate to street wear over the last few years and we love letting our boys rock it too. With the right top and accessories (Pictured: high tops, beanie found in store) it still feels polished and not like pajamas.
For our littlest girlfriends, they are nailing it with easy bohemian pieces that easily layer for fickle Spring weather like this cotton dress with a denim button down on top. She won’t be slowed down with the stretch and ease, especially with these darling high tops for girls! Or this amazing coordinated top and skirt (perfect for Easter!) We love all the unexpected animal details like on this bunny sweater or kitty jeans and inexpensive accessories that our kids love to rock (like these sunnies!) but won’t hurt our souls when they get lost or stepped on.
The denim is so great all seasons, but we are especially loving it for Spring! If you’re looking for a place to start, we LOVE this pair on our boys and our friends with girls rave about these!The most lovable part of H&M of all is their price point. Being on the forefront of high quality on-trend apparel for the whole family, H&M could easily raise prices and still be competitive with other shops we frequent, but they maintain such an affordable collection and that is what makes us forever loyal! If you don’t have an H&M nearby shop online at HM.COM, and be sure to visit back often as they’ll be adding more Spring pieces often!We’ve been pinning more of our Spring favorites from H&M on our “WEAR” board, check it out!
Also one item of business! We are bringing back our Unplugged Week THIS Monday. We are nervous and excited, but know that if we do it together it will be amazing. We hope you’ll join us and share your Unplugged happenings with the #SFunplugged hash tag! We’ll be back Monday with ideas and support and solidarity. Have a great weekend!
We have an awesome opportunity today for your Small Fry Facebook friends with Chrissy Powers MA, LMFT 84340! This San Diego based licensed marriage and family therapist has been so helpful to us with three dilemmas we’ve been toiling over as parents and we love her advice so much. We’ve shared them below if you’re going through similar things, and Chrissy has so graciously offered to man our Facebook Page today to answer your own parenting questions today! Head over to peek in on the conversations.
My six year old has been struggling in school. Not because he isn’t smart, because he’s one of the top of his class, but because he’s too social. He’s consistently in trouble for talking too much and socializing with others during class time. What I love about Quinn is that he’s a friend to the friendless. He is comfortable and at ease with everybody instantly. He also is carefree enough that consequences don’t really affect him. Hey may get upset for a minute but eventually forgets how discipline made him feel & continues forward with bad behavior. How do I celebrate his spirit without crushing it? I understand that in a school setting he should be respectful of his teacher but how do I make school a more enjoyable experience?
Let’s reframe this for a second; just imagine his personality continuing to grow in this way. How do you dream that he might change the world with his personality and ability to love and be social with others? He’s going to do amazing things in this life!
What is his bad behavior after the discipline, is it just that he returns back to being social or does he start to act out? You don’t want to change his ability to be social and loving because this is such a wonderful trait and gift.
I believe any child that feels disciplined for being their “best self” would probably act out more and feel badly about themselves. It’s important for him not feel shamed for being who he is. It sounds like he might be fighting for who he is and standing up for what’s innately in him. Empower him by saying “this is the best part of you and I don’t want anyone to crush that in you”, but explain that there are contexts where he can be this way and other times when he needs to be quiet and listen because that is a strength too. Find areas where his socializing is valued and where his personality can flourish. Find a context for him to use his ability to be social and friendly that can be empowering for him. For example, could he get involved in acting in the school play or maybe choir, art or become a teacher’s helper? Be an advocate for him in school, talk to his teachers to teach them about your child. It’s challenging but work with teachings and authority figures to help them understand him more and collaborate ways he can flourish in the school setting. Often times teachers don’t want to change their style of teaching but the good ones will, so it’s not easy but we as parents can advocate for our children.
My five year old seems to have quite a bit of anxiety. About once daily he will go into a little panic mode. Clench his fists and grit his teeth. Always over different triggers. What are some things I can do to calm him in these moments?
What are you currently doing? I would stop the world when he has goes into panic mode; nothing else is important. Let your child have your complete attention when he is anxious. This parenting thing is so much more work than anything else because children don’t fit into our worlds naturally. Become a person who is peaceful for your child. Investigate and try to pinpoint the triggers to eliminate them or work through them for your child. For example if a trigger is that you child is afraid of dogs then start looking at pictures of dogs online and then move to going to a dog park to watch dogs play. Most of the time we as parents aren’t aware of how we are reacting to our children in these anxious moments so start becoming aware of how you are responding to him and then work on ways you can mirror peace and safety for him.
My three year old Cal is a conundrum to me. He is a true introvert, who gets tired from too much social interaction. He retreats and loves having time to himself, or time on my phone if he can’t find a quiet place. Even further, he is generally distrusting of people, I get the sense that he can’t be sure if they’re genuine. He gets his tender feelings hurt often and usually assumes that people (even me!) are laughing at him instead of with him, even when he does something so unbearably cute I can’t help myself. It breaks my heart because I feel like he’s too young to be feeling this way, especially when I can’t recall any situations where he would have been shown or taught that people are untrustworthy and to be wary of them. These two aspects of his personality create a lot of tension in our lives because he can be actually a pretty rude little dude. Giving our neighbor the stink-eye, yelling “don’t look at me” at a smiling stranger in the store. And then also, when he’s ready to retreat if I don’t allow him that it’s usually a fit. I just want him to feel happy and safe in his world and for people to get to see the amazing little boy that he is!
Kids are so smart and intuitive, they pick up on our anxieties as parents. Start by asking yourself “what’s happening in me when my child is anxious and rude to others”, “how am I reacting”? Emotions are contagious and children are no exception. Another question to ask yourself is “How can I model peace and calm to my child.” It’s difficult not to get angry and yell at our children when they seem rude and socially innapropriate, but this is a great indicator that something is off and they need more understanding from us. You can also help Cal though this by giving him choices that fit within appropriate boundaries while validating his feelings. You as the parent set the boundaries and teach him what is socially accetable within the framework of his feelings. Sometimes children behave this way because they don’t feel safe in the world or in control. Start investigating when Cal acts adversely to others and ask what is happening in this situation to make him react this way. From a parent standpoint realize that your child doesn’t necessarily want to be this way but that there is something going on and that you can be emphatic and loving with him through this. He may never be a social butterfly because his personality tends to be more introverted but you can help him feel more confident in social settings by modeling for him ways he can be friendly that aren’t too far out of his reach of capability.