Start em While They’re Young!! – Part 1

Some people (sometimes I would think most people in our society but I want to stay real and as positive as possible here) think that it’s irresponsible to have many children. I do understand the mindset behind this…”we are in an over population crisis! People are starving all over the world!…People use and wast so much energy in our country…There are landfills popping up everywhere..” and on and on it goes. I’m not saying these points are not valid, they certainly are! However I do not believe that the solution to these problems is making sure our communities have 1.5 children. I personally have seen landfills grow and even took a class in engineering school to learn how to design one to fill MORE garbage. I personally had a grandfather that said the meanest things about me wanting a large family. But here’s the thing, there is power in patiently educating without shoving points down people’s throats.

I do believe that we need to do better. Better in taking care of what has been given to us and being grateful for this earth that we live on. We need to show our kids that these are gifts given to us and to be good stewards of them. What will happen if I shove my believes into them without patiently teaching the HEART of the issue? They’ll flee from it all.

There are so many things that I am personally learning and I’m seeing how much grace I need in this as well. (Like when I’m just too lazy to rinse out the 12th yogurt container so that it can be recycled).

One thing I want to talk about today is instilling responsibility in my kids and teaching them that they need to take part in helping diligently and cheerfully. If I do everything for them, they will grow up believing that things should come to them on a silver platter. First they learn at home so that they can go out in society and apply it there.

Every morning my children are expected to do two chores laid out for them. We have a chore chart on the refrigerator that changes every season. I’m not saying that this is easy. Goodness there are many mornings that I want to run far far away from teaching this chore thing!

Along with these chores, my kids are learning about healthy living and how we keep our home safe from chemicals. They are able to do just about every task because we use Norwex and I don’t need to worry about toxic junk getting on their hands or being consumed.

 

Using Norwex in my home has effected my kids in ways that I don’t always realize. The other day I was trying to get some supplies together to do a craft with the kids. When I asked them if we had any paper towels, my 5 yr old responded by saying “what on earth is a paper towel??! It sounds like a towel made out of paper and that’s weird”. These simple things can have huge impacts for our world and communities. We can all take part in educating in some way!

How We Potty Train Around Here

We are already on round five with the potty training process! My husband came up with an idea to train our kids from kid #1 that has worked every.single.time. Every child is different mind you, but this lovely method has worked for all of them and it really isn’t that complicated.

We start by going to the chocolate store in Richmond, VA (called “for the love of chocolate”) and buying $30 worth of eye catching animal chocolates for the kid’s #2 reward and some Jelly Belly beans for the kid’s #1 reward.ย A little potty is set up in a good central location and the treats are dangled in a good place for all to see.ย 
When ready to begin, the kid is encouraged to sit on their little potty to become comfortable with it. Then they will run around for the next few days without a diaper, pants or underwear. This is important because it gives the child the realization as to what is happening when they need to pee or poop. Of course there will be some accidents! That’s why my Enviro Cloth is always handy! (it’s nice to have one Enviro Cloth designated just for the nastiest messes).

When they pee, a jelly bean is given. When they poop, they get to pick out a fancy animal chocolate from the hanging display. See?! Simple! Wish us luck as we embark on round #5 this weekend!

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Our Dinner Table – Cloth Napkins

attachment-1Kids get real messy at mealtime. Face, hands and sometimes more. If my kids don’t have something to use to wipe their hands throughout their meal, their shirt WILL become their cleaning tool. I don’t like buying paper towels and the throw-away-after-one-use type napkins. I would rather use the money for some tasty cheese or ice-cream and I’m not a fan of contributing to my local landfill for such things. Plus with messy kids they don’t work very well anyways. I tried the cloth napkin route and that worked for a season but it didn’t 100% suite my fancy. I became tired of laundering cloth napkins after a kid only used it once.

cloth-napkinsNow I have a system that I like. At meal times, each child receives a damp mini (travel size) Enviro Cloth. When mealtime is over, I simply rinse the cloths out, hang to dry, and allow the BacLock silver agent to clean the cloth between meals. I LOVE that I don’t
have to care/worry about who gets what cloth since I have peace of mind that there will be no cross contamination. If my Claire uses pink at breakfast, my Elliott can use the same pink at lunch.

I also like using the Travel Size Enviro Cloths in the car, while I’m out and about (shopping carts, kid’s hands, cell phone, etc.).

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The Body (Child) Wash Mitt

If you are a parent of a wee child, you would agree that an outside shower and wash down station would be quite lovely; especially during warmer months. I hate to pull my children back from getting good and dirty outside but the cleanup can be daunting!! This is a site that I regularly see throughout my days:

Body wash Mitt

The new Norwex Body Wash Mitt was released a couple weeks ago and I’m over the top excited!! Like the Body Cloths, the Body Wash Mitt has BacLock (antibacterial silver agent) in the soft microfiber on one side, a scrubbyish exfoliating material (for washing feet) on the other side, and is designed to clean your body with just water. Cleaning my kids between playtimes and my own self has been SO easy!

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A Birthday Sale!!

Goodness I love a good sale ๐Ÿ™‚

I personally LOVE the kids mop special ๐Ÿ˜‰ We have two of the kids mops and it makes chore time glorious when they have the Norwex tools to do a great job. Even the baby loves it!

This sale will be lasting just a month while supplies last!! (Click here to view the sale)

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R R & R

I do believe it is my responsibility to teach my kids how to be good stewards of this earth. I cannot help but cringe when I see trash littered all over the place because I am reminded of how some people just don’t care about taking care of our planet for future generations to come. Who wouldn’t want their kids and grandkids to enjoy clean lakes to swim in, clean hiking paths, clean drinking water, healthy air, and more and more.

I grew up in a stateย that values taking care of the environment so there were strict penalties for littering and pollution causing which is all fine and dandy BUT I think it is MY job as a parent to instill these values into my children. How?

*Model the behavior you want your kids to have by showing your kids how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We show them what is important to us with the choices that we make and the priorities that we have (car we purchase, house we buy, being creative with using things over for another purpose, etc.)

RRR*Talk with them! Talk about why we choose not to put everything in the trash and why we hang a Norwex grocery bag in the kitchen that continually overflows with recyclables. Talk about why we don’t take 20 minute showers. Talk about why we don’t leave our toys around for the dog to chew up (and possibly choke on). You get the picture.

* Involve your kids as much as possible. Plant a garden with them. Clean up dog poop in the yard with them to show the value of keeping things from getting nasty and how we all need to have some dad gum responsibility.

*Celebrate Earth Day or something like it. My kids LOVE any reason to party ๐Ÿ™‚ and they remember all the parties that we have no matter the reason. Many times we think of the nasty things happening on the planet (oil spills, plastic in the ocean, extinction of the whales) which is good to be aware of to learn from. But I want my kids to celebrate the beauty of what God created for us to be stewards of.

* Practice being more sustainable. We recently bought 6 backyard chickens to eat the ticks & other bugs without needing to use a chemical to do so. We will use our chickens for some winter dinners and then buy more chicks in the spring.

Being a good stewart is a big and sometimes hard job but the rewards that we reap from what we sow are more than worth it.