‘Tis the season to be jolly.  Home sure is more fun when kids (of all ages) act their best.

Speaking respectfully.

Seeking solutions (vs. blame).

Giving a helping hand…

ABC’s – Before getting to the gifts

Each of these gifts stand on their own right.

You’ll be able to gleen their FULL advantage with some parenting context.  We love the Positive Discipline approach to building respectful and cooperative relationships.  It’s One. Great. Recipe for helping parents be the best they can be.  Find out here what it is and why it’s so great.

Any excellent recipe benefits from a mixing bowl and a stove.  Below you’ll find parenting versions of pots & pans (basic tools) and presents that spice up relationships and warm the heart and hearth.

Happy gift giving and receiving.

Baker’s Dozen Character-Building Gifts

1. Gift Certificate – My Time, Your Way

T.I.M.E. is one kids’ favorite ways to spell love.  It’s the gift that often misses the list.  Give them YOUR time and THEIR way to spend it.  Download the gift certificates here.

Enjoy togetherness!

2. Gift of Respect – Parent & Child Stop Signs

Gift of respect
Pause…then it’s easier to speak with respect.

What will respect look (and sound) like in your home?  For the kids, it could be freedom from long-winded (!) parental lectures.  Many moms and dads seek obedience without negotiation…or insisting on having the last word…or.  Respect could be spelled S.T.O.P.

Read more & get the free download.

3. Emotions Faces Printouts

Your usually-cheerful child comes home in a bad mood.  What is he feeling?  He might not even be able to put words to it!

Help him decompress by helping him identify his feelings.  Little tykes relate well to these colorful and expressive emotions faces from Sunflower Storytime.  Print them out and place them in an accessible place.  When your child stomps/slouches/jumps/slumps in, steer him towards the emotions faces and begin a healing time for all.

4. Gift of Contribution – Cooking Lessons

Boys cooking
Small hands making big delicacies!

One activity most people do on a daily basis is to eat. That means lots of cooking for parents…and a great opportunity for children to contribute to the well-being of family life.  Kids THRIVE on having a role and significance.

Make this cooking occasion one where the goal is the process (fun & learning) as much as the result (dinner).  Download a cooking class gift certificate here.

These original cooking techniques turn lessons into lovely memories:

 5. Mom’s Family Calendar

Boynton mom family calendar
Follow who-does-what-and-when with Mom’s Family Calendar.
Encourage kids’ responsibility – THEY write their activities on the calendar!

When we have a full plate (and we all do), things can fall through the cracks. Encourage your kids to help you. Planning ahead is a skill they need to develop to excel in school. You cannot and should not always do the organization for them. Teach them to write down important dates on the calendar and to remind you. (Younger children can use stickers or draw pictures.)

“Look! Cassandra’s birthday is soon.  When are we shopping for the present?”

A calendar gives the children opportunities to see and hear about positive moments with parents. “Mom & Dad date night” “Quentin & Dad to tennis” “Isabella & Mom’s special surprise.”

We love Boyton’s Mom’s Family Calendar because it’s fun, charming, and every family member has his devoted space.

5.5  SoSooper Mobile App

Screenshots SoSooper App
Your personali parenting coach in your pocket

Coming soooooon, so this is a gift-in-the-becoming.

In your ideal world, you would know how to handle a tense moment with your child and you would both grow individually and together.  Home Sweet Home.

Only right now, you have to remember what you learned from that book (Positive Discipline!) or that class, or read on that blog….

SoSooper App brings you parenting tips for Your. Need. NOW.

SoSooper App also connects you with trained Positive Discipline coaches and with other parents so that you can be the best parent you can be.

Sign up to get the coming-soon personalizable parenting coach in your pocket.

6. Frame of Fame

Every parent wants to admire his child’s art and accomplishments…sometimes for several weeks, not years.

That’s the role of the Frame of Fame: a picture frame that allows for easy and super quick changes.  We found Lil Davinci’s model to be the best quality-price-ease of use mix.

In the professional world, the employee of the month gets recognized and her photo and contributions are posted as an inspiration for others. Create an “opportunity of the moment” to affirm a child and allow him to show off and others to admire.

This family used it to (temporarily) frame art, grades, & house rules!

Boy showing his school grades
“I am proud of myself!”
Older brother reading house rules to young boy
House rules: “Food stays in the kitchen…”

 7. Chain Reactions by Lego & Klutz

Reality teaches.  There is nothing like learning that snow is cold than making a snowball without wearing gloves.

Part of growing up is learning that choices have consequences.  Good and bad.  Of course we realize this through practice.  We can also discover it through play.

Chain Reactions presents oh-so-entertaining step-by-step instructions to build phenomenal contraptions.  Mastering Step 1 enables the child to move onto Step 2…just like in video games.  For families who want a break from the screens, here is a (literally) brick & mortar version.

8. “Kitchen” Timer

Kitchen timer great for kids
“Oh! it’s time!”

Why do Mom and Dad have to be the ones to say “Time’s up.” Let the timer bring the news instead. “That’s the bell for Shoes-on-time!” “The timer rang. Bath time is finished.” “Will you or should I put the timer to mark the end of computer time?”

We love this Cat & Mouse timer combo by Kikkerland.  They’re cute & fun.  Easy for small hands.  And if you misplace one, there is another!

 9. Great read – I love you the Purplest

Experienced peacemaker, Mama, shares her unique love for each of her rivaling boys.  Each wants to know who is most precious.  Mom’s response helps them realize that “who do you love more?” is an irrelevant question.  “I love YOU,” is what counts.

Bye bye competition.  Hello precious, unique, desired.  Discover.


10. Great read – Cappuccina Goes to Town

How to boost a discouraged child and help him see the qualities he already exhibits?

Cappuccina Goes to Town is a lively tale about a spunky cow who discovers who she is, after discovering who she is not.

This book is worth a snuggly read.  Try it with a middle child searching for her/his unique place within the family.  Or with your “challenge child” and get ready to learn something new and beautiful from him!



11. Signal Flags

Bode Miller Olypmpics 2010
Winning the race within the blue lines.

Have you noticed the blue lines on the snow during ski races (see photo from 2010 Olympics in Vancouver)? They’re guides for success. Those who ski within the lines maximize their chances to win. A skid outside the blue guides usually translates into tenth of seconds lost, or worse. That’s why champions train to purposefully master optimal positioning.

What are the guides for success in your home?  Blue lines throughout the living room might upset the décor, which is why we love these nautical flags.  Together, parents and kids, define their meaning and tag them.

Child: “This one is for ‘One more bedtime story.’”

Parent: “This one is for ‘I love you AND the answer is not tonight!’”

Nautical signs for kids
What’s your sign?!


12. Airplane messaging

Check out paper airplanes by Racepoint
So that your requests lands on fertile ground.

Repetition gets boooooooring for parents and for the kids.  When we talk AT the kids, amazingly, their ears turn off!  Try engaging them instead.  “Tell me and I forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I will learn.” (Xunzi, Chinese Confucian philosopher)

In our world where texts and messaging prime, it’s nice to introduce home-made airmail for a change.  We love these fun papers and amazing paper airplanes from Klutz and Race Point.  Write your message on the inside.  “What did you promise to do before dinner?” will secure a smiling response when your child receives it on a paper airplane that glides into his lap.  Read more.

12+1. (Baker’s Dozen) Welcome Doormat

Cheerful doormat with hello greeting
“Hello” before “Oh, oh!”

The kids come home from school and PLOP their stuff in the front hall.  You wanted to say a big, “Hello!” but “Pick up your stuff” flew out of your mouth instead!

In one fell drop, “Good afternoon” became less-good afternoon…for everyone.

Invest in a doormat that reminds you of the message you want to share first and foremost.  YOU ARE PRECIOUS.  Children LISTEN for those messages.  Once you have their attention (and when you are in a loving attitude) the reminder to tidy up falls on hearing ears.

Hello” before “Oh, oh!”


Cover photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.