Making a Difference

I can’t believe my 2-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, already completed the 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge with our focus on toddler manners! We just started the challenge on Martin Luther King Day and worked on it when Zoey visited my house four or so afternoons each week. I have my daughter-in-law, Chea, to thank for Zoey’s awesome manners. I’m just glad I can help encourage Zoey to continue using them. I like the 100 Acts of Kindness to be something toddlers can easily be successful with, whether they need a lot of help

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Yes, it’s possible. Toddlers can have good manners! And the 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge in January and February (hosted by Toddler Approved and Coffee Cups and Crayons) is a great time to focus on toddler manners. My book Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy is designed to help parents and teachers feel comfortable teaching manners to children 2-12 years old. I was very pleasantly surprised when my toddler granddaughter, Zoey, spontaneously shook my hand and said, “Nice to meet you,” before she was even two. I

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My family is in love with Pete the Cat. We’re also having fun with the Kindness Elves this year. So, can we combine the two? Yes, we can … and we did! Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Why My Family Loves Pete the Cat Pete the Cat is just awesome. He’s silly, fun, has groovy songs (yes, that’s how Pete the Cat talks), and has good messages for kids (and adults) in his books. The Kindness Elves Meet Pete the Cat Pete the Cat

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Let’s talk about the elephant in the room …. I just couldn’t resist saying that. My 23-month-old granddaughter, Zoey, always picks the elephant as her favorite animal on the carousel. While that elephant is fun and cute, the one we’re fighting isn’t. “About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.” (Just one of the frightening statistics from BreastCancer.org) Even though that’s a U.S. statistic, we all have to look at the fact that we’ll be touched by breast cancer

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It’s scary to think that none of us are immune to breast cancer. And even if we don’t get it ourselves, someone close to us could get it. I shared this quote last year, and I’m sharing it again this year because it’s that important: “People used to say everyone knows someone who’s had breast cancer. In the past few weeks, I’ve learned something else: Everyone has someone close to them who has had breast cancer.” – Debbie Wasserman Schultz   October always makes me extra thankful for my

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The Lizzie Velasquez story breaks my heart … and makes it sing at the same time. I’m horrified at the way Lizzie was bullied. And I’m thankful that she was brave enough to overcome it. Her story is the focus of a new documentary opening at theaters today: A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story. The Lizzie Velasquez Story 26-year-old Lizzie Velasquez has always had a rare disorder that won’t allow her to gain weight. After being bullied in school, she was bullied even worse online. As a teenager, she

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September includes both Hunger Action Month and September 11’s National Day of Service and Remembrance. In honor of both, I want to share some ideas of hunger awareness activities for kids. For the last few years, I’ve enjoyed participating in Moms Fighting Hunger and No Kid Hungry activities during September. I’ve been amazed at all the creative ideas I’ve seen online for helping kids get involved. Hunger Awareness Activities for Kids “Sesame Street: Growing Hope Against Hunger Highlight Reel” “Every Can Counts” by the Children of Moms Fighting Hunger You’ll

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Happiness Happens Month is almost over, although I’d love to see happiness spread each month. I can’t help but think of one of the early posts I published in 2010. It was part of Project Smile, a fun blog hop designed to spread happiness each month. The post was “Project Smile – Validation.” The main focus of the post was the YouTube video “Validation.” This video is worth every minute you’ll spend watching it! “Validation” reminds me that the best kind of happiness is making others happy. I hope you’ve had

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Happiness Happens Month starts on August 1! During Happiness Happens Month, you’ll find lots of happiness inspiration and fun activities, including a 31 Day Challenge.   Secret Society of Happy People and Happiness Happens Month To learn more about The Secret Society of Happy People (yes, you can join!) and Happiness Happens Month, check out my first Happiness Happens post: August is Happiness Happens Month! Even though Happiness Happens Month sounds silly, it does have a very important purpose: “The month reminds us that happiness happens one small moment at

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There’s a very important petition online that I hope you’ll sign and help promote. It’s part of the Stop Shaming Kids (#StopShamingKids) campaign and is asking Facebook and other social media sites to make policies that prevent public shaming of children. Please Sign the Stop Shaming Kids Petition   Here’s what the Stop Shaming Kids petition says: “Child maltreatment constitutes all forms of physical and emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, or exploitation resulting in harm to the child’s health, survival, development, or dignity. Clearly, publicly shaming a minor is

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I’m so excited about an app I’ve started using with my iPhone recently. Called Charity Miles, it’s free and super simple to use! And it allows you to earn money for charity simply by walking, running, or riding your bike! Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Earn Money for Charities with Charity Miles Bikers earn 10¢ per mile. Walkers and runners earn 25¢ per mile. I think the app is for ages 13 and older. The money earned is all courtesy of corporate sponsors. So far,

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Kudos to fitness blogger Cassey Ho for taking a stand against body shaming and cyberbullying. It’s exciting that she’s made a powerful statement in a video that’s gone viral. Cassey Ho’s Stand Against Body Shaming and Cyberbullying Cassey Ho would like everyone to share her video to battle body shaming and cyber bullying. Here’s Cassey’s video: “Fitness Star Cassey Ho Takes on the ‘Perfect Body'” by Sara Bliss at Yahoo Beauty gives a good overview. What happens with Cassey’s follow-up photo is fascinating (and disturbing). Read Cassey’s blog posts about the video and

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Encouraging healthy body images is one of my causes. I have a number of posts about body image, which I’m gathering together today. You’ll find body-image resources here for children and adults, both male and female. Inspiration from Soul Surfer, Bethany Hamilton Help Our Daughters Have Healthy Body Images Helping a Daughters Self Esteem from False Media Images from A Daddy Blog Top 5 Tips for Raising Kids with Good Self Esteem Help Our Daughters Have Healthy Body Images: The Saga Continues Helping Mothers and Daughters Have Healthy Body

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The 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge ends on Valentine’s Day, but I hope you continue to focus on kindness. There’s another exciting event on February 20: 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. On that day, over 1000 bloggers, including me, will publish posts about compassion. Today, I have a word art freebie based on a beautiful quote that speaks of kindness and compassion: “A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free. For printing, feel free to download the

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My family has participated in the 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge since it started in 2011. We participated as an adult family until this year when we’re able to include 14-month-old Zoey. Even as adults, we used some Montessori principles during our challenge. This year, we’re using even more Montessori principles as we include a toddler. Using Montessori Principles with a Toddler or Preschooler in the 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge Montessori principles are probably most commonly associated with toddlers and preschoolers, so our 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge

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It’s almost time to begin the 5th annual 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge! Yay! 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge Kristina from Toddler Approved organizes 100 Acts of Kindness weekly challenges each year from Martin Luther King Day to Valentine’s Day. Megan from Coffee Cups and Crayons is co-hosting 100 Acts of Kindness again this year. You can get a free 100 Acts of Kindness for Kids printable at Coffee Cups and Crayons. You’ll find LOTS of great ideas on it! You can get a free 100 Acts of Kindness

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We think of breast cancer as it affects women. But many children are also affected in some way by breast cancer. Maybe their mother or another relative has breast cancer. Or maybe a child’s teacher has breast cancer. “People used to say everyone knows someone who’s had breast cancer. In the past few weeks, I’ve learned something else: Everyone has someone close to them who has had breast cancer.” – Debbie Wasserman Schultz Children can be involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month in a variety of ways. And involvement

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