Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day 2018 is on Thursday, September 13, 2018: How do I manage 3 kids under 4 plus a happy household?

Thursday, September 13, 2018 is Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day 2018. Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day - September 13th Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day

How do I manage 3 kids under 4 plus a happy household?

I had four kids in five years and now my oldest is seven and I'm expecting baby number five. I think that one important thing to do is to get organized. Figure out a system that works--get the kids on a schedule and implement some routines into daily life. For example, we always eat breakfast together, at least the kids and I do. My husband does when he's able to, but usually he leaves for work earlier than we eat. In the morning, my kids have a routine, which I started before they even started school, and it helped tremendously when they started school because the only thing that changed was doing all the stuff earlier (getting up, getting dressed, making beds, putting dirty laundry in the hamper, eating, brushing teeth). We also have a similar routine at bedtime.

My kids helped with the cleaning at that age by keeping their beds made and their dirty laundry put in the appropriate hamper (I have one hamper for whites and one for colored) and their clean laundry put away. Now that they are a little older, they help with chores, and they earn tokens for doing those chores. They use the tokens to play the Wii and the PSP (15 minutes per token, limit of two tokens per day). The chores they help with are gathering the garbages throughout the house on garbage day (like the little bathroom garbages--they bring those to the kitchen garbage and empty them there). Even my four-year-old does this. They help set the table, clear out the dishwasher and sort the laundry. Just that little bit that they do helps me out tremendously.

I also try to keep up with certain tasks--like I do laundry twice a week, always on Monday and Thursday. On those days, I keep a light schedule so I can get it all done--washed, folded and put away (the kids put their own away) before dinner. I also try to do dishes as soon as meals are over. I've found that if I do that, they are done within five minutes of everybody finishing eating, whereas if I leave them, they often don't get done for a day or two.

I also plan all my meals in advance. Every week when I make the grocery list, I plan my meals for the following week, even down to the day. Now, I plan according to what is going on--harder meals I make on the days my husband has off so he can keep the kids occupied while I cook or, if I'm lucky, he'll help me with the cooking. If we have something that day, like Wednesdays are piano lessons, I usually do something like a crock pot meal. If my husband isn't going to be home to eat dinner (he works lots of late shifts), I'll plan something simple. This way, I buy the ingredients I need and all I have to do in the morning is check my list and see what we're having and make sure I have all that I need for it (like taking out the meat to thaw or whatever).

Just stuff like that. Really, being organized and staying on top of things as much as possible is how you do it. Letting the kids help you with all you have to do also helps you bond with them and teaches them responsibility and gives them autonomy and a good work ethic. You don't necessarily need to separate play and work because you can turn a lot of mundane household chores into fun games for you and the kids to do together.

And the shower thing--I always try to shower before my husband leaves for work. That means I have to get up when he does, usually around 6 or 6:30. That also means that I tend to go to bed earlier, too, like usually by 10 pm. But because my day is pretty organized, I get a lot done and still have time with my husband when the kids are in bed, which is usually by 7:30/8:00. I have found that if I include my kids in my cleaning or clean while they are busy doing something (like playing those earned minutes on the Wii), I have more time for myself and my husband when the kids are sleeping and it's just better for us to do it that way.

It is hard, but it is doable! I do it every day!

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What’s a kids life like in NYC?

What's a kids life like in NYC?

Okay, I'm the mom of two kids - ages 13 and 8.

I don't know exactly what you are looking for, you're question was a bit vague. And, also, some of the things about a kid's life here are the same as anywhere else. As another poster said, school, homework, etc.

Here are some differences:

Most children here live in apartments, sometimes very, very small apartments. That means that they might share a room and have very little storage space for their toys and clothes. They might have to do homework in the living room. Many homes do not have eat in kitchens or dining rooms. Our home has a dining room, but we only have a "galley kitchen (a thin kitchen with cabinets on either side with little space in between.) My older daughter always tells me that this is a "one person kitchen" and that I have to stay out when she is cooking in it - she loves to cook!

Also, most people do NOT have backyards. We do, but it's so small, you'd probably laugh if you saw it. Just room for a table and a few chairs, a big planter and a lounge chair, and a free standing grill. That's all. Postage stamp size!

School - elementary school is pretty much like everywhere else, except that most kids can walk to school, and of those that can't, most take the City buses and get a "bus pass" to permit them to ride the bus for free or half price. My younger daughter walks to school - it's only a couple of blocks away.

Middle school and high school are different. For middle school in most parts of the City you have to apply to get into the middle school you wish to attend that is in the district you are zoned for. For high school you have to apply to get into the school you most want to attend anywhere in the City. The list for middle school is shorter, as it's only in a certain area. But for high school, you could go anywhere (theoretically. I've told my daugher that she can't go anywhere that is more than an hour and 10 minutes by subway.) Also, for high school there are: specialized schools, selective schools, arts schools, small schools, comprehensive schools....tons of different types of schools. For some you must take this big test called the SHSAT (Specialized High Schools Acheivement Test). It's a big deal because doing well on that is your ticket to some of the most competative schools in the City, like Stuyvesant High School. Getting into Stuy is like getting into Harvard! It's that competative! Other schools might require an interview or an audition.

While high school admissions is particularly rough (and the kids applying are only 13 after all) there is competition for a LOT of things here! For one thing, many middle schools also require an interview or audition (and this is for 10 year olds!) And there is LOTS of competition for kids entering certain private pre-schools - particulary if they come from families who want their kids to eventually attend certain private elementary schools! (We didn't do any of that - we went public school all the way. Most New Yorkers do, no matter what you hear!)

But it's hard to get your kids into popular summer programs, swim classes, art classes! Everything is about knowing when and how to apply!

Okay, enough of this stuff. There's fun too. There are playgrounds everywhere. There are wonderful children's museums and hands on science museums. There are great ice cream places and chocolate shops! When kids go to school, they often meet kids from many different cultures who speak a variety of languages. Just walking around NYC is a learning experience for children.

And there are activities. My older daughter takes horseback riding lessons in Prospect Park and art classes in Dumbo. My younger daughter takes tennis in Prospect Park and piano at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Many kids take instruments or paricipate in organized sports (we have friends with children playing peewee football and little league baseball is big around this part of Brooklyn.)

I guess that's enough - probably more than you wanted to hear. Mostly, though, it's school and homework and chores. Just like everywhere else.

What kind of things around the house do kids get high with these days.?

What kind of things around the house do kids get high with these days.?

Are your kids getting high?

Your kids don't get high. How could they? You pay close attention and haven't noticed anything unusual. Yet, your kids could be getting high on things that are right under your nose.

By the eighth grade, one in five young people has gotten high ingesting or inhaling ordinary household items. These kids are at serious risk for organ damage or even death.

Products abused by either ingestion or inhalation include:

Decongestants, antihistamines, pain relievers or fever reducers.

Diet aids with Ephedra.

Butane, lighter fluid and kerosene.

Correction fluid, felt tip markers, glues and adhesives.

Hair sprays and nail preparations.

Aerosol sprays and spray paints.

Solvents, turpentine, paint and paint thinners.

Here's something I didn't know.

Nutmeg, cooking spray and vanilla extract look like ingredients to make cookies, but these are all things local kids are getting high from. And hundreds of Floridians are dying from these highs each year.

Utah's Teens Getting High on Household Products

Feb. 1, 2005

Kimberly Houk Reporting

Another form of drug abuse is gaining momentum in America. One study suggests Utah exceeds the national average in the practice of "huffing".

Huffing is a term used to describe the inhaling harmful vapors that are most commonly found in household cleaning supplies. Everything from Clorox to Scrubbing Bubbles can be used to get a high for just several minutes. It's an abuse that's easily hidden from parents.

Computer duster, a common business product, is also a common drug of choice for Utah's teens.

B.J. VanRoosendaal, Substance Abuse Counselor: “Parents need to be aware and always on the lookout for signs of substance abuse.”

But what if the signs are hard to detect? The high only lasts for minutes, but younger kids are giving it a try, sniffing everything from glue to cigarette lighter fluid.

B.J. VanRoosendaal, Substance Abuse Counselor: “Paint thinner, white out, whipped cream – the aerosol in whipped cream.”

While it's obvious to parents to not leave drugs lying around the house, what they might not know are the hidden dangers sitting in places where kids can easily get to -- cleaning supplies found under your kitchen sink are killing kids.

B.J. VanRoosendaal, Substance Abuse Counselor: "They can get it in their parents’ home, the neighbor's home, maybe grandma's house."

Easily available and cheap--kids as young as fourth graders start "huffing" as part of a popular fad.

Statistics show 20-percent of Utah's kids between the ages of 13 and 19 have experimented with inhaling chemical vapors. Chronic use can cause permanent changes in their brains that may one day lead to death.

B.J. VanRoosendaal, Substance Abuse Counselor: "Inhalants can cause death by suffocation. What happens is a substance you are inhaling replaces the oxygen in your system."

Several kids across the nation have recently died after inhaling, and while narcotic use is down in Utah, huffing is up.

B.J. VanRoosendaal, Substance Abuse Counselor: "We're below the national average in everything, except inhalants."

It's a problem parents seem to know little about. But one clue they can watch for is a strong chemical odor on their child's breath or clothing, or a constantly red and runny nose. And watch for hidden aerosol cans.

B.J. VanRoosendaal, Substance Abuse Counselor: "Unless they were heavy into it, you might not be aware."

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