Browsing Category: Ask Away Thursday

Do I have to play with my kids?

play with my kids

Do you ever ask yourself, “Do I have to play with my kids?” The newest post in our Ask Away Thursday series begins with this mom-submitted question:
play with my kids


How much time should I spend playing with my kids? Sometimes it’s really hard for me to because I’m just not interested in playing.

I totally feel this momma! I have to admit, playing with my kids is not always my favorite thing to do. Chasing my kids around the house pretending to be a monster is only fun for about two minutes, if that. And I spend enough time kissing boo boos and breaking up fights- do I really have to sit on the floor and play with them, too?

At the same time, if you don’t bond with your kids now, when will you? When they’re teenagers?

Your babies will never love you this unabashedly again. If they’re still young, you’re still perfect in their eyes.

As much as I don’t want to take the time out of my day sometimes, playing with my kids is an important thing to do, to nurture our relationship.

But how much playtime is enough?

I try to do at least one play session a day. 

That doesn’t count:

when I am helping them with their play-dough,

when I am oohing and ahhing over their latest painting masterpieces,

helping them remove the sandbox lid,

helping them get out their bubbles and sitting outside to supervise,

taking walks with the stroller,

pushing them on their trike…

Don’t feel guilty if you hate doing puzzles and playing “HiHo! Cherry-O”! I do try to play with my kids at least once a day, maybe helping with an activity they can’t do on their own. But with little ones, you already spend so much of your day at their disposal! It is ok if you can’t find the time or sacrifice the small amount of sanity you have left!

There are more ways to interact with your child than just playing Barbies for hours on end!

I like to involve my older daughter in the kitchen. She is 4 now, but even when she was 1 or 2, I would give her a plastic bowl and whisk to let her pretend cook at the counter beside me. She stood on her ‘Learning Tower‘, an amazing yard sale find! It allowed her to safely stand at counter height, with no fear of falling- like with a kitchen chair. It has been invaluable and indispensable!

play with my kids
I may or may not have been having a little too much fun with this photo shoot here…


Now she is old enough to actually help me do some measuring and stirring! We can bond and she can learn while we work together! Plus, I get stuff done, so it is a total win all around!

Some other ideas to play/work with your kids:

  • If you have yard work to do, have your kids help you pick up sticks. See who can find the longest stick and Voila!, its a game! Playtime!
  • Clean up toys together- you know kids can’t resist playing with toys anyway while they pick up, so I’m pretty sure this counts!
  • Give your kid a rag to wash down the cabinets or clean the table. My kids, at least, think this is fun, and you can bond and chat while they clean!

And isn’t that what playtime is all about? Bonding and connecting? Teaching your child?

See what these other mamas had to say in response to our question-

Crystal at Love More Live Blessed

Monica at A Mother Loving Mess 

Marisa at Called to Mothering

If you have a momming question you’d like answered, or maybe need a second (as well as third or fourth!) opinion on something, send us an email here:

Your question will be answered with careful consideration and will be kept anonymous. We LOVE to dish out advice, so thanks in advance for floating our boat. 🙂


How do I make my toddler stop whining?

How do I make my child stop whining?

A new installment in:

Ask Away Thursday!


“How Do I Make My Toddler Stop Whining?”

How do I make my child stop whining?

Ah, toddlerhood. Meltdowns, tantrums, whining, sharing struggles…Oh, but you’ll miss these days, they say…

Unless you are blessed with the world’s most easygoing child, these trying times just come with the territory of raising a toddler. It is a difficult time for both mother and child! Your toddler is trying to learn and discover the world around him, and also testing his boundaries, to see what is acceptable and what is not. Toddlers are also learning how to manage their emotions- something I still struggle with myself! 🙂

So first off, I find it helpful to look at the world through my toddler’s eyes. I hate sharing. When the kids spot my chocolate during one of my numerous coffee breaks, do I extend a bite to them with a warm, loving heart? Usually not. (I may or may not have a serious addiction to sugar.) I have a tendency to whine, “Nooo, this is Mommy’s snack! You already have a snack!”. So try to understand where your toddler is coming from when he’s out of sorts…Our struggles in the #momlife and #toddlerlife are sometimes similar, yet different.

Work on ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. They can still say it in a whiny voice, but at least they sound polite, and you can coach the correct tone to use as you teach them to use their manners.

If things continue to escalate, and you find yourself at the end of your rope, here’s what I would recommend:

Stay calm. 

Easier said than done- no one knows that better than me, I’m afraid. But do your best.

Gently correct.

I always try reasoning with and explaining to my child first. Whether or not she understands, it is worth a try…

“No, you can’t have that toy, because it is your sister’s turn. Be patient.”

“Stop; I told you that you have to wait a few minutes!”


Honestly, that rarely works, but it’s good to give them a warning.

So next, we move on to the threats….

“I said, WAIT; Do you want to get in trouble?”

(It’s okay to put a little emphasis in there, just don’t yell!)

If I’m feeling like mom of the year, I might sympathize with my child in a compassionate voice:

“I know you want that toy, but you have to wait a minute, okay? It’s alright…”. *hug*…*pat, pat*…*kisses*

At this point, if the whining still continues, I usually send my kid to the steps. That is our designated time-out spot. It works surprisingly well! I don’t have whining and crying in my face, she sits and pouts for a few minutes, gets it out of her system, and she moves on.

Another idea: try to distract your child. Redirect them to another activity. Whining kids are sometimes just bored kids! Getting outdoors is usually a perfect cure for most toddler ailments!

You may also consider, is your toddler getting enough sleep? Has he recently transitioned from two naps to one? Or started getting up earlier, going to bed later?

Is your daily life hectic? Maybe your toddler needs more quiet time to decompress. I noticed recently that my four year old seemed out of sorts after a fun, yet busy, weekend and several busy weekdays. Try slowing the pace of daily life if you can, and see if that helps. Plan a quiet activity he can do alone or with you during those especially whiny times of day. My 4 year old was exhausted after our busy Easter weekend/week, and she got pretty rotten at that point….We all felt better after a quiet, uneventful ‘jammie day’ spent at home.


We are currently in the throes of the very same situation as this momma. If my advice does not help, she at least has my utmost sympathy!


For more advice, check out what these bloggers had to say on the topic of whining:


Monica from A Mother Loving Mess

Crystal from Love More Live Blessed

Jen from Heaven Not Harvard


Nikki at Healing Mama Remedies was unavailable for comment as her toddler was busy whining.


Marisa from Call To Mothering was experiencing technical difficulties.

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Ask Away Thursday: Which Job Is Right For Me?

Need Mom Advice?

Which job is right for you??

That is this week’s question!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Happy Thursday! It is time again for another installment of Ask Away Thursday. Whether you just want to know what kind of baby gear is really necessary, or how to calm your high strung toddler full of drama (wait a minute, I need that myself!!), let us offer you our thoughts on the matter! Please send us your questions (anonymously, if you wish!) to and we may feature you in a future installment!

The Bible says, “A wise man listens to counsel”!

(Proverbs 12:15)

Need Mom Advice?

This week’s question was from a mom conflicted about which job to take- full time, minimum wage, or an evening hour job with fewer hours and more pay- at the cost of less time with her children and husband.

I let my fellow blog tribe members take this question- I’ve never been a working mom, so I didn’t feel like I would be the best person to answer. You can read the answers from my more intelligent peers in the links provided below. 😉

Monica Riojas is the founder of A Mother Loving Mess, a mother of five trying to survive She writes about parenting, fun DIY’s, recipes, and more. A Mother Loving Mess – Which Job is Right?

Nikki Crump is military spouse and mommy of three who loves to blog about motherhood, mental health and fitness from Healing Mama Remedies – Healing Mama Remedies – Need Help Deciding Work

Marisa Boonstra from Called to Mothering is A New Jersey native transplanted to Oklahoma, Marisa writes about her homeschool experiences, motherhood, and raising children with a biblical worldview. Called To Mothering- Which Job Is Right For My Family

Crystal Mendez from Love More Live Blessed shares recipes, budgeting tips, crafts and fun kid stuff on her blog. She never knew blogging could be so much fun! Love More Live Blessed – Work outside the home

Every single one of these ladies came up with a great response, and I’m so happy to be a part of this great group of bloggers. Thanks so much for reading and following along with us!

Boys Will Be Boys

Boys will be boys

Ask Away thursday

I’ve teamed up with several other bloggers in my new “Ask Away Thursday” series! If you have a parenting question, be sure to send it our way, and it may be featured in a future installment! Here is today’s question, submitted by a reader:

“Boy o’ boy, boys will be boys! I have two sons very close in age, age 10 and age 8. They both have unconditional love for each other. One is very outgoing, talkative and gets along with pretty much everyone. The other one is more mellow, less talkative, and likes to have his own space more often. They have two different personalities and like to pick on each other, comparing who is better, quicker, and smarter. It doesn’t always end well. What are some ways to teach them to love one another, but at the same time, give each other space?”

I don’t have boys, and my children are younger, so I didn’t feel like I was the best person to answer this question. My personal motto is, “When in doubt, google it!”. So I did and I found lots of brilliant tips! The article I learned the most from was at Click the highlighted link to check it out yourself, and I’ll share below what I garnered from this article and others!

First, have a talk-

  1. Explain to your boys that they may have different interests and abilities, but that’s what makes them special and unique, not bigger and better. The world needs people of all kinds!
  2. Remind them that they don’t like to have their feelings hurt, and they shouldn’t purposefully hurt other’s feelings.
  3. Also remind them that they’re stuck with each other for life, so the sooner they learn how to get along, the better. 🙂

Second, take some practical measures-

  1. Implement a time each day where one boy spends time decompressing in his room, while your other son enjoys time with friends, or doing another activity he enjoys by himself.
  2. When one boy accomplishes a new level of expertise, whether it is a sports win, mastering a new piece of music, or whatever it may be, make sure to praise him and have his brother do the same. (I always talk my girls up to each other. I have to remind my oldest sometimes, that her sis is younger and therefore, these new achievements are a big deal for her!)
  3. Have them sit down and make a list of 5 things that the other boy is better at than them! This can also be used as a punishment for picking on each other, hahaha!
  4. I love the hug it out method. Another great punishment! This really did the trick when I babysat siblings that were fighting too too much! Somehow, before you knew it, they were falling down laughing. It’s worth a try.

And my favorite tip of all, I saw here, Check it out:

Task your children with working together instead of competing. This will help your children cooperate with each other in regards to working toward a particular goal. For example, state that both children will earn a treat if they help each other clean their rooms, instead of rewarding a particular child with a treat if they are the first one to finish cleaning their room.

I hope some of these ideas will help! I have similar issues with my daughters at times, but as they’re so young, they’re still relatively easy to redirect. 🙂 Good luck, mamas!

Head over to Healing Mama to see what she has to say on this subject!

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