Sharing the Load with Kids: A list of chores by age

clothes-line-615962_640Back when we were deciding where to send our boys to pre-school I spent a considerable amount of time researching the several in our area – a stark contrast to how I chose their paediatrician.  I chose the paediatrician based on geographical proximity.  I chose the pre-school based on similar ideology.  The paediatrician and I broke up years ago but I am still going steady with the pre-school.  My youngest is in his final year and I am heartbroken at the thought of moving on for so many reasons but what I am going to miss most is the support they provide the parents.

The school is based in Adlerian psychology and I have raved about here and Nathalie reviewed a book on the subject here.

At the start of the school year they distributed a list of ways that children can participate and contribute to the family and in doing so, they feel Connected, Capable and Confident (pillars of the Adlerian approach).

Moms have a tendency to play the martyr (guilty!) and the busyness of the holidays just adds to already overwhelming to-do lists.  Don’t forget to include the little people of your family!  They can make a meaningful contribution.  “Take time for training” is what the teachers at the school recommend and remember it might not be perfect, but it will be done, leaving you more time to spend together, having fun!

Home Responsibilities for a 2 and 3 year old

1)   Tidy up the toys on the floor and return to the right bins.

2)   Put books/magazines on tables, shelves or racks.

3)   Sweep the floor.

4)   Place napkins, silverware and plates on the table.

5)   Tidy up place setting after eating.  Take dishes to the counter.

6)   Tidy up the floor after eating a meal.

7)   Make a choice between two things for breakfast. (This is empowering and encourages your child to make simple decisions.)

8)   Undress and dress with a little bit of help.

9)   Help to put away groceries (boxed, canned items on lower shelves), put away the grocery bags.

Home Responsibilities for a 4 year old

1)   Set the table.

2)   Put the groceries away.

3)   Help with the grocery shopping and compiling a grocery list.

4)   Follow a schedule for feeding pets.

5)   Help with yard and garden work.

6)   Help make the beds and vacuum.

7)   Help to do the dishes or fill dishwasher.

8)   Spreading butter on toast, making simple sandwiches.

9)   Pouring cereal (perhaps put it in a small container so they can pour more easily) and the milk (from a smaller pitcher).

10)  Help prepare the family meal – wash veggies, tear lettuce, etc.

11)  Help bake simple desserts (it’s okay if there’s a spill).

12) Getting the mail.

13) Allow them to play without constant supervision.

14) Sort laundry (with help) and match the clean socks.

15)  Put away own clean clothes.  Put dirty clothes in hamper for washing.

Home Responsibilities for a 5 and 6 year old

1)   Help with meal planning and grocery shopping (i.e. write list, retrieve items from the shelves).

2)   Make own simple sandwiches and breakfast.

3)   Clean up after meals.

4)   Pour own beverages from the fridge.

5)   Take a more active role in cooking and adding to the recipes.

6)   Make own bed and clean own room.

7)   Dress independently.

8)   Clean the bathroom sink (with child-safe products).

9)   Spray and clean mirrors and windows (at least the bottom half!)

10)   Separate their own laundry on laundry day.

11)   Fold clothes and put them away.

12)   Answer the phone and dial when making calls to family/friends.

13)   Yard work.

14)   Paying for small purchases at the check out.

15)   Taking out the garbage and bringing back the bins.

16)   Cleaning up after pets.

Home Responsibilities for a 7 year old

1)   Answer the phone and write down messages.

2)   Run basic errands for parents (i.e. take something to the next door neighbour)

3)   Water the lawn and shovel the snow.

4)   Train pets.

5)   Carry in the grocery bags.

6)   Get ready for school and bed with little involvement from parent.

7)   Take notes to and from the school.

8)   Leave the bathroom in neat order (hang up towels, change toilet paper roll, etc.)

Home Responsibilities for 8-11 year old

1)   Set the table completely and properly.

2)   Mop the floor.

3)   Responsible for own bathing and showering.

4)   Straighten out closet and store seasonal clothing.

5)   Shop for and select own clothing with the help (and money) of parents.

6)   Cook for the family once a month.

7)   Change sheets on the bed.

8)   Operate the washing machine and dryer (measure out the detergent).

9)   Help neighbours with their chores.

You May Drown – And It Will Be Your Own Fault!

swimming-pool-816394_640“Because I said so,” could be my favourite 4-word sentence.  That and “Sure, we will babysit.”

In the early days of being a parent, I struggled with what camp I wanted to embed my feet.  Attachment parenting seemed too out there for me but being overly authoritarian didn’t sit well with me either.  After all, I had learned something in Intro to Psych all those years ago.

When my first-born was 18 months old, we decided that he needed to socialize with other children of his own age . . . and I was going crazy with a toddler and a newborn in the house.  After much careful thought my husband and I chose the school at the end of our street as the institution for our son.  Admittedly, the “research” was Googling pre-schools in our neighbourhood and selecting the closest in geography to our house.

This method of selection proved much more effective in choosing a pre-school than it did a pediatrician and within a few months I had “drank the kool-aid”.  I became a devotee of Adlerian philosophy.

I consulted Alyson Schafer’s books and interrogated the teachers at the school when faced with any parenting challenge and when my children entered new “phases”.

I made sure that I was following the 4 C’s.  I wanted my boys to know that they count, are capable, have courage and feel connected.  I was cautious about over-praising and learned how to encourage (although I am still a beginner with this concept) and most importantly I tried to limit the number of times that I said NO.

I would grit my teeth and rephrase.

“How about we try that another time?”

“Is that helpful or hurtful?”

“Not right now.”

“Maybe later.”

“In our house, we don’t jump on the couch.”

I opened myself to negotiations with the boys.  I would listen to their point of view and work with them to find solutions that benefitted both of us.  I wanted them to feel connected!  Capable!  Counted!

But it’s 6 years later and I am tired.  There are only so many ways to say no.  And while I love that my boys feel connected, capable and that they count and have courage, I have to admit that I have raised some very effective future boardroom negotiators!

I am conscious that I need to balance all of that goodness.  In the real world not everyone is encouraging and not everything is a compromise.  In the real world you will run across people with more authority and many who feel a great deal more superiority and they will say Because I said so! and my boys best have the skills to deal with that too.

And so, like a good mother, I am sure to provide balance and I freely dole out conventional wisdoms knowing full well that they lack merit.

  • Don’t eat the cookie dough!  They say it will make you sick. 

Translation:  Paws off.  It’s mine.  I share enough with you moochers.

  • They say wear your toque to the car after swimming or else you will catch a cold.

Translation:  I am sick of listening to you whine about how your head is cold when we leave swimming. I know that I should let you make your own mistakes, but it’s 5:30 pm and I need to make dinner with this pounding headache.  Put the fucking hat on.

  • They say don’t read in the dark with a flashlight!  You’ll ruin your eyes!

Translation:  Go the fuck to sleep!!!!!!

  • They say you can’t go swimming right now.  You have to wait an hour to let your food digest or else you’ll get cramp and drown.

Translation:  It’s unlikely anyone has ever drowned after scarfing down a few tacos and then jumping in the pool.  I know this and the good folks at Snopes.com confirm this, suggesting the origin of this myth is from a 1908 Scouting for Boys handbook exalting the dangers of swimming:

First, there is the danger of cramp.  If you bathe within one and one half hour of taking a meal, that is, before your food is digested, you are very likely to get cramp.  Cramp doubles you up in extreme pain so that you cannot move your arms or legs – and down you go.  You may drown – and it will be your own fault. (Snopes.com)

But am I wrong for citing this to my boys?  Am I wrong for wanting to finishing chewing my butter-drenched corn on the cob before lake water is splashed up my nose?

Let’s be clear.  I am still a card-carrying member of the Alyson Schafer fan club but sometimes I need to revert to parenting “old-school” by preaching empty threats and blaming the powers of “they”.

There will come a time when my boys will ask me who exactly “they” are and I will have to cop the truth, giving them further fodder for their future therapist but in the meantime I choose to live in the present.  I focus on what play my game has and I use every weapon in my arsenal to get through the challenging days.  There are some times that you need to channel your inner Alfred Adler and some times that you lie.  And that’s ok.

Because I said so.

A Pocket Guide to kids are worth it!

Someone once told me that they read parenting books looking for experts who support their child rearing beliefs and when they find the one that does just that, all the rest are garbage.

I have my fair share of parenting books.  Some have been given to me, like Trees Make The Best Mobiles and others I bought in a panic hoping to get a handle on a particularly trying situation, I Brake For Meltdowns: How to handle the most exasperating behavior of your 2-5 year old.

I have what I refer to as my parenting handbooks.  Books by Alyson Schafer, Michelle Nicholasen, Barbara O’Neal and Barbara Coloroso are always kept close at hand for when I need guidance, a quick how-to, or a solid suggestion – something to ground me and keep me from tipping over the edge.  These books empower me and give me confidence because let’s face it, being a parent can be a lonely job, fraught with insecurity and unknowns.

Some times I find the answers that I am seeking and other times I just roll my eyes and put it back on the shelf.  Whatever the outcome, when I flip through the pages of these books, I instantly feel a connection to a community of parents, and my situation doesn’t seem so unmanageable.

Alongside my handbooks sit my theory books.  Leonard Sax reigns over the shelf with a few titles by other experts thrown in for good measure.  I read these when I am reflecting on what kind of parent I want to be, to check of my own behaviour and when I want substantial answers that a Google search cannot provide.

There is one parenting book that has yet to be usurped from its place of prominence on my bedside table, A Pocket Guide to kids are worth it! by Barbara Coloroso.

This tiny, pocket-sized book is a compilation of highlights from my all-time favourite book, kids are worth it!  Each night before going to bed I read a few pages and like an affirmation, I feel equipped to handle the next day’s challenges.

On page 19 Coloroso outlines the four steps of discipline:

  1. Shows kids what they have done.
  2. Gives them ownership of the problem.
  3. Gives them options for solving the problem.
  4. Leaves their dignity intact.

The principles seem so simple, but parenting is emotionally charged and easily influenced by stressors like lack of sleep, financial worry, feeling overwhelmed, etc.  By reviewing a page or two nightly, it’s like rehearsing for a fire drill.  The more times something is practiced, the more ingrained it becomes and the more like second nature it feels mitigating those pesky external stressors.

I am definitely not winning any Mother Of The Year awards but when I do make mistakes (which is daily) I want to know how I can do better and Barbara Coloroso always shows me how I can be better.

Image credit: http://www.amazon.ca

 

Branded With A Scarlet S

When Carol initially suggested the topic of how we spoil our kids for this month’s At Issue, I rebuffed.  I don’t spoil my kids!  The 4 and 5 year-olds make their own beds every morning, sort their dirty laundry every Friday afternoon (after all, if you want something clean you’d better make sure it winds up in the washing machine) and put away their neatly folded clothes on Saturday.  They help to load and unload the dishwasher, put away groceries and collect the garbage from the washrooms.  I have even resigned from making my 5 year-old’s daily snack for school.

So what could I possibly be doing that other people might perceive as spoiling?

But before I could answer that question, I had to ask what is spoiling anyway?  Isn’t it like beauty, in the eye of the beholder?  One person’s trash is another’s treasure?  One person’s foot in the face is another’s restful slumber?

According to this website, to spoil means to do harm to the character, nature or attitude by over solicitude, overindulgence or excessive praise.

Uh-oh, excessive praise.

Does sounding the marching band and ticker tape parade for every successful use of the potty count as excessive praise?  What about the high-fives and the string of  “Good boy!” “Great job!” “ That’s awesome!” and “I am so proud of you!” that spill from my mouth several times a day?

If excessive praise counts as spoiling a child, I might as well pin a scarlet “S” to my chest and brand myself a spoiler.

There has been considerable attention paid to the pitfalls of excessive praise at my boys’ Adlerian preschool and at my local moms group.  Experts warn that over praise can actually have the opposite effect on a child’s self-esteem and encourage children to be too results focused.

Jim Taylor, Ph.D. wrote a celebrated article for Psychology Today about the possible psychological dangers of over praising.  In it he offers parents solid suggestions of ways to encourage our kids instead of praising them and by doing so he maintains our children will take more risks without worrying if they are doing a “good job”.

Initially some of the praise substitutes sounded scripted and unnatural but over time I find these words rolling off my tongue:

“I believed that you could do it!”

“It looks like you are having fun out there!”

“I like when you read me the stories,”

“Oh, I see you used your favourite colours.”

Let’s not forget that old habits die slowly and last week when my oldest son showed me his Degas inspired ballerina painting, I couldn’t help but blurt out, “Wow!  That’s awesome!  Good job, buddy! I am so proud of you!!!”

I am pretty sure that Alyson Schafer would have passed out on the spot.

image credit

How Not to Be Late for School

On the boys’ last report card, we were reminded of our family’s dismal record at getting to school on time.

It’s embarrassing.

After a humiliating recent meeting with the school principal, who wanted to discuss strategies for combating lateness, we decided that come hell or high water, we’d start getting them there before the first bell.  Except for one morning when we were truly late for reasons beyond our control (can you say TTC breakdown?) we’ve been pretty good at being on time. But mornings in our house are, in a word, stressful. Too much yelling! Cajoling! Threats!

And that’s just what the kids say to each other.

We’re looking for a better way. There’s no worse start to the day than one where everyone feels pushed around (children AND adults!) and grumpy because of it.  In our defence, we have a morning plan and a system which has the potential to work well. We’re rarely held up by something so simple as a missed trip permission form or a lack of recess snacks. We have that all figured out.  We’re late usually for one of two reasons:

(a) someone’s slow to move, easily distracted from the task of getting ready, and just plain uncooperative; or

(b) something big pops up and needs to be tended to, like the need to use the washroom. Or test anxiety. Or an existential crisis.

Usually, it’s the former that trips us up, though you’d be surprised how often it’s column (b).

Enter Alyson Shafer’s book, Ain’t Misbehavin. She suggests that morning dawdling is just a form of passive power struggle. The more parents dig in our heels, the more kids resist, so we all need to stop digging. She provides a three step plan and some quick hints on how to put that plan into practice. Unlike some of the other strategies, this one’s meant to be implemented over the course of a week or so, which would have been fine, except the primary dawdler of the family was home sick all week, which meant our morning routine this week was totally different than usual.  So using Shafer’s plan, I’ve been looking at how we can make our current routine less stressful:

  • step one: make a morning plan WITH the kids.

Shafer suggests holding a family meeting to discuss that mornings are not working well, and to ask for input as to how mornings can be better. We’ve done that. And re-done it. I don’t think this is our problem. The boys understand that it’s their responsibility to get themselves ready in the morning. Ask them, and they will tell you the order that things are to be accomplished in the morning, based on a list they themselves made. It’s just that somewhere between step two (get dressed) and step four (brush teeth) is a gaping chasm of distractabilty into which both of them fall on a regular basis.

  • step two: Take Time for Training (TTFT).

Allowing children to do those things they can do for themselves leads to autonomy and mastery. Though she doesn’t specifically say it, consistent with Adler philosophy, I’m assuming that taking a hands-off approach respects the child’s authority to control their own actions. . Here, we could probably make some progress. The eldest is quite capable of getting himself dressed, making his breakfast, brushing his teeth and, assuming he doesn’t pick a fight with the youngest somewhere along the way, is pretty quick about it. The youngest? Not so much. He knows what to do, but I’m convinced he just. Chooses. Not. To. (Hmm. Power struggle, anyone?) So we nag and plead, until out of frustration we end up doing everything from putting toothpaste on his toothbrush to pouring his milk. I think we can change that.

  • step three: Plan to be late.

Oh oh. Since it takes a while to get a plan underway, she suggest building in a buffer to allow for the inevitable bumps along the road to a new way of doing things. Except, I think we’ve exhausted all our good will. There’s no leeway on time, so I guess this means we’re getting up even earlier to make this come to pass.

With this plan in mind, Shafer reminds us that to be successful, we need to resist “urging, insisting and micromanaging”. Instead, she suggests that we go about our own business, stepping in to offer help when and where it is needed, holding the child accountable for getting their own stuff done. If they’re flailing around on the floor, assume they don’t need your help and get on with your own routine. This works apparently for things like brushing teeth and getting dressed. Doing less, and doing it without anger or manipulation, is meant to encourage confidence and self-autonomy in your child.

So that’s the plan. And other than the fact that I think we do an awful lot of nagging, and we truly are lousy when it comes to doing things for the youngest, I’m not sure that we haven’t implemented this plan on our own in the past. So I’m thinking of specific situations where we can apply her principles:

  1. breakfast. I’m a stickler for breakfast, and happen to have two children who (like their mother) lose all ability to reason (read also: become more stubborn and less likely to be cooperative) when they’re hungry. Success in the morning hinges on getting breakfast in to bellies, stat. But it takes forever for them from upstairs to the kitchen. Shafer suggests that we set out breakfast, call “breakfast time!” and go about eating our own. A parent’s job is to put food on the table; it’s a child’s job to eat it. If need be, set a timer, and clear away breakfast when time’s up. Hunger will ultimately win out over whatever else is motivating them to dawdle. As Shafer says “You have to prove you’re not invested in what choices or decisions they make for themselves regarding breakfast”. While I like this idea in theory, I’m dreading it in practice. One missed breakfast won’t hurt either of them, but did I ever tell you about the time in kindergarten that Daniel ended up in the principal’s office sobbing because he was just so hungry? And this was AFTER he ate breakfast…
  2. the getting on of coats. I’m convinced there’s a black hole in our front hall which sucks up all available extra time in the morning. Shafer’s advice is simple: once YOUR coat is on, announce that you’re ready to go. Then go. Get in the car. Wait outside. Keep moving without fighting. It may take them some time, but ultimately they’ll come along. By leaving the scene, you’re no longer providing them with an audience for whatever display of stubbornness they’re intent on demonstrating.

Right. I tried this once, inadvertently. I went out to shovel snow after asking them to get their coats on and meet me outside. Ten minutes later I found them having a light-sabre duel on the living room couch.

Needless to say, we were late that day.

So will it work? I think the key is recognizing that children have as much responsibility as do adults  in getting themselves ready. If I’m taking anything from this, it’s the idea that by NOT micromanaging, we might have better success than we’re having now. And if we can do that without anger or validating the power struggle, we’ll be better off. I’ll try it, and we’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ve got to get to bed. I need to be up early.

If you would like the chance to win a copy of the book, please leave us a comment any day this week letting us know. The competition ends at midnight on Friday, April 22. We will draw for and announce the winner on Saturday, April 23, and Mom Central will mail out a copy of the book to the winner after April 30th.

Disclosure – We are participating in the Ain’t Misbehavin’ program by Mom Central on behalf of Wiley Publishing. We received a copy of the book to review and gift card as a thank you for our participation. The opinions on this blog are our own.

Freak-out-meltdowns (and other fun stuff you get to deal with as a parent)

Deep breath.  Inhale, exhale.  Try not to lose it.  Try not to cry.  You are the parent.  You are in control here.  1, 2, 3, 4 . . .

How is that someone who has been on the planet for less than three years and has a limited vocabulary can well up such a storm of emotions within me in a matter of seconds?  Like a rapidly swinging pendulum I go from feeling overwhelming love and affection to having to talk myself down from losing my shit like a crazy person.

According to Alyson Shafer’s new book, Ain’t Misbehavin, toddlers are among the most violent people on earth demonstrating an act of violence every three minutes.  If this statistic is true than certainly I have an overachiever on my hands.

With my eldest son, tantrums were fairly uncommon and when they did occur it was relatively easy to distract him and offer a consoling hug.  When he turned three, I was pretty proud of myself.  We escaped the “terrible twos”, unscathed save for a few epic meltdowns and one early departure from Nana’s house.  I had thought that I figured it all out.  Now, I could sit back and enjoy my middle child’s second year, because I had the secret weapon to diffusing explosive situations.  Stay calm, distract and offer a hug. 

Somewhere in the universe someone was having a chuckle at my expense because the day my middle son turned eighteen months, the world, as I knew it came crashing down on me.  He is that child – the one where everything is a battle.  It starts in the morning: what to wear, what to eat, getting in the car, getting out of the car, leaving school, eating lunch, having a bath, going to bed . . . which car is his, what colour the plate is, what colour the cup is, etc., etc.

Sometimes the days stretched on and on.  The tantrums bleeding together into what seemed like a never-ending fit.

Literally at a breaking point, I consulted experts (three to be exact) and read numerous parenting books (twelve to be exact).

He’s a spirited child.  He’s determined.  He’s smart.  He’s driven.  He’s alpha male. 

We tried it all.  Every strategy.  We picked clothes the night before, we limited all the choices to two, and we had a schedule printed on the whiteboard in the kitchen and timers to announce warnings for transitions.  We tried EVERYTHING!

Our boys attend a pre-school that is based on Adlerian principles that is in-line with Alyson Shafer’s approach.  The main points are as follows:

–       Everyone must feel connected

–       Everyone must feel that they are an integral part of the team

–       Everyone must feel that they matter

–       Everyone must feel that they are supported

I have had the opportunity to attend Alyson’s lectures on numerous occasions and have read her two previous books, Breaking the Good Mom Mythand Honey, I Wrecked The Kids, and so I was familiar with the foundation of this teaching.

I have implemented several of her strategies and found this approach to “work”.  Let me clarify:  The tantrums don’t magically stop but changing how I deal with them decreases their frequency, makes them more tolerable and greatly reduces the stress level in the house (most of the time).

Let me explain.  Ain’t Misbehavin’, is not simply a parenting book but an actual parenting tool.  It is designed to be a consultant of sorts.  Having trouble breaking bad habits?  Turn to chapter 9 and read over the scripts.  Having trouble catching some zzz’s?  Turn to chapter 3 for a sleep solution.  Since I am having trouble with tantrums, I turned to “the classics” chapter – conveniently located at the very front of the book.  (If I were to be completely honest, I need to turn to every chapter!).

After suggesting the root cause of the behaviour, Alyson encourages parents to be supportive and re-route.    Chapter two provides caregivers with scripts to use when children are “about to blow”.

It is suggested that the adult recognize the cause of the behaviour and verbally validate it:  “I see you are upset that we are out of chocolate milk.  I like chocolate milk too and it’s disappointing/sad that we finished it.  Wasn’t it yummy?  We will have to add it our grocery list for next time.  Come on, let’s add it together.”

If that doesn’t diffuse the situation and the tantrum develops into a full on flail and wail fest that won’t let up, Alyson suggests moving YOU not the child.  Once the tantrum has run its course, it’s best to carry-on as normal but make the child accountable for their actions.

It may have taken a few (hundred) tries but we’re seeing results!

–       Flailing/hitting/biting“I don’t feel safe around you.  May you please calm your body or do you need to leave?”  (Keeps flailing/hitting/biting)  “Okay, I see you need some help leaving the room.”  (Pick up child without emotion and move him/her to a safe place away from others).  “You can join us when you are calm.”

–       Leaving the “safe place” and not being calm:  “I am still not feeling safe, so I am going to move myself.”  (Go into washroom, bedroom, etc. and lock self in or go with other children to another room).  When they follow (which they usually do), “I would like for you to join us and be calm.  But I need to feel safe.  Am I safe with you?” (Usually this is met with a nod and a gulp – a nice hug helps to diffuse the situation).

–       Throwing things in a fit of anger:  As difficult as it is, I try not to react and follow the first script.  Once they are calm, I tell them:  “It looks like you have a job to do”.  They are much less likely to trash a room when they are responsible for the clean up.  If this persists, follow Alyson’s advice and give their toys a “time-out”.  Follow the logic:  when you throw your toys it tells me that you don’t respect them and no longer want them.  I have only had to donate one toy in two years.

I would be remiss if I did not point out some of the challenges that I experienced:

  • It’s difficult to be diplomatic when you’re completely exhausted and at your wits end.  On four hours sleep, I find most parenting strategies a challenge to implement but keeping neutral after the third screaming, meltdown of the day can test even the most patient of folks.
  • Removing all emotion from your tone and body language is a challenge but when I do this, I am often amazed by the reaction from my kids.  When I am calm and not engaging them in a battle and my attention is not focused on them and so the battle is no “fun”.  That old adage, what you feed grows and what you neglect dies couldn’t be more true.
  • Adlerian philosophy is a mind-shift, and it can seem stilted and awkward until you become comfortable with the principles.
  • It is difficult for parents to relinquish some of the control and the power.

What makes the investment in this framework so rewarding for me is seeing my children be capable, valued, and supported members of our family who demonstrate more independence, problem solving skills and emotional “maturity” than I feel they would if we did not subscribe to the Adlerian philosophy.   It works for us – maybe not everyone.

As a side note, Sam has grown-up.  He got tubes put in his ears and experienced instant relief from painful pressure.  His vocabulary has blossomed and the temper tantrums, while not eradicated, are much less frequent and in addition to what the experts had to say he is loving, extremely funny, charismatic and actually quite sensitive.  Who knew when he was whipping plates across the room?

If you would like the chance to win a copy of the book, please leave us a comment any day this week letting us know.  The competition ends at midnight on Friday, April 22.  We will draw for and announce the winner on Saturday, April 23, and Mom Central will mail out a copy of the book to the winner after April 30th.

Disclosure – We are participating in the Ain’t Misbehavin’ program by Mom Central on behalf of Wiley Publishing.  We received a copy of the book to review and gift card as a thank you for our participation.  The opinions on this blog are our own.

photo credit: http://www.anoagibson.blogspot.com