Saturday, November 9, 2013

Practical Family Safety App

My handsome mansom and his princess lady
The world has changed. My generation often likes to reference the safer years where we spent our younger days. Now when I think about what my parents allowed me to do on my own, I cannot imagine allowing my children to do the same.

Fortunately, we live in an electronic age and there are options to help you protect your sweet babies. There is one app in particular that I have recently become aware of that is a simple, straightforward way to help keep you safe and give you peace of mind.

dun dun dun dun..... It's called React Mobile.
Yeah, this is totally my great-
something-grandpa Philo Dibble

It does two major things.

1- In Case of Emergencies
All you have to do is program a set of phone numbers and e-mail addresses of people you trust, and should you ever find yourself in trouble, a discreet push of a button will send out a panic text/e-mail to those you had selected, along with your GPS location! Then, it will prompt you to dial 911. Not in the US? This app will automatically prompt you to dial the 911 equivalent for whatever country you are in.

2- Everyday Peace of Mind
My dad is a runner. He likes to go in the early, black hours of the morning, and it makes my mom nervous. This app has a 'Follow Me' feature where someone can track you and see exactly where you are. Like if you are sending your kids to school- you set it up on 'Follow Me' and then can see EXACTLY where your kids are via GPS, so you'll know if they are in trouble, whether it is something serious or just them skipping school.

It can be a scary world out there, and much as we'd sometimes like, we can't protect ourselves or our children from everything. We can, however, be prepared and ready, should anything out of the ordinary occur.

So. There you have it. React Mobile. And you can see just why I'm a fan.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

5 Differences between a Good Mom and a Great Mom

I cannot profess to be a perfect mother. I strive, daily (sometimes hourly) to improve myself and be the best mama I can be, but I know that I have yet to learn all the ins-and-outs of what it takes to be a fabulous mother. I am grateful that it takes years for my children to grow up, as it gives me years of time to improve my parenting skills.

Knowing that, I also cannot pretend to give you all the advice you would need to be the world's best mom, so I have consulted with several other wonderful mothers to give you a list of five differences between a good mom and a great mom.

1. A good mom takes her kids to the park. A great mom plays with her kids at the park.
Your children may or may not be at a park-going age, but the principle is this. A good mother can and will take her children to different places to entertain them and teach them. A great mother engages with her children.

2. A good mom protects her children from falls. A great mom teaches her children how to pick themselves up. 
Again, this is a principle. No, I don't think you should stand by while your children hurt themselves. But I do believe that while it is important to protect your children from harm, a great mother will protect her children while also teaching them what to do when her children (inevitably) get into accidents and make mistakes. Help them learn mistakes and accidents are ok and that they happen to everyone.

3. A good mom keeps her home clean. A great mom teaches her children to clean. 
scrubbing and scrubbing
There are far too many children and young adults that have been raised to be babied. It is much easier to clean your home yourself than it is to teach your children to clean well. However. The extra time spent teaching your children to clean and pick up after themselves will not only help them be clean, but will teach them self discipline.

4. A good mom does her best to not make mistakes with her children. A great mom apologizes when she does.
What I mostly want to emphasize here is that moms need to apologize to their children when they've made a mistake. Your children will learn how to handle their own mistakes by watching you. The world needs more people who can acknowledge their weaknesses and say 'sorry!' when they've done wrong. Help your children become those kind of people.

5. A good mom talks to her children. A great mom talks with her children.
I get it. Your life is crazy, it's a miracle you get from one activity to another sometimes, so communication is sometimes more informative than anything else. When was the last time you spoke with your child and actually listened to what they had to say to you? You've raised your children since they were babies in diapers and sometimes it is hard to remember that they actually have a unique identity and viewpoint that they will share with you if you let them. Take time to listen. A favorite quote of mine by Catherine M. Wallace sums up the importance of listening.

A rare photo of me and my girl
Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you,
no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little
stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff
when they are big. Because to them, all of it has always been
big stuff.

Keep doing your best, loving your children, and trying. Remember. The biggest difference between a good mom and a great one is that a good mom has many great intentions while a great mom acts on them.