1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children

Greetings, all!

In a recent seminar hosted by BFC, we had the privilege of listening in on Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D., author of 1-2-3 Magic Effective Discipline for Children 2-12. He taught us that 1-2-3 Magic is simple, but not always easy. The easy part is the basic structure of the program. The hard part is the fact that the first step in disciplining kids is to discipline yourself.

Below you will find further tips that we pulled away from the seminar.

Tip 1: Think of parenting as a three step process:

Step 1: Controlling Obnoxious (Stop) Behavior
Step 2: Encouraging Good (Start) Behavior
Step 3: Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Child

Tip 2: There are two basic kinds of behavior problems:

STOP BEHAVIOR: arguing, whining, fighting, teasing, tantrums, yelling, etc. For this minor obnoxious behavior you will use the 1-2-3, or “counting,” method.
START BEHAVIOR: eating, going to bed, getting up in the morning, homework, cleaning rooms, practicing, etc. To encourage good behavior you will have seven tactics. You may use one or more of them simultaneously.

Tip 3: Controlling Obnoxious (Stop) Behavior

The “counting” method: two brief warnings (“That’s 1,” “That’s 2″) followed by a “rest period” or time-out alternative if the child hits three. No talking, no emotion. No explanations afterwards unless absolutely necessary.
What to do in public? Get 1-2-3 rolling at home first, then use it in the grocery store the same as at home. Beware of the threat of public embarrassment!

Tip 4: Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Child

Try these four things: shared one-on-one fun, avoiding over-parenting, sympathetic listening, and solving problems together

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me – Lindsay Bell

Greetings, all!

To wrap our blog week special, we bring you 10 things you don’t know about, Lindsay Bell, our Founder & President of BFC! We hope you’ve all enjoyed this special week of blog posts featuring our BFC family, and enjoy the rest of your holidays with the family.

Here are 10 things you don’t know about Lindsay Bell.

1. I’m having the first boy this April in my family since 1953.
2. My four sisters and I have been entrepreneurs since we were little. We built towns, ran amusement parks, set up lemonade stands, sold corn…you name it.
3. I used to take pigs to the county fair (another side business).
4. I want to have four kids.
5. I wanted to move to NYC since I was in middle school. I got the idea from Glamour magazine.
6. I asked my husband on our second date if he would invest in my company. He said yes!
7. I’d rather be respected then loved.
8. I was a Kappa Kappa Gamma in college.
9. My favorite color is green.
10. I was a big tom boy 10-12 years old. I know how to cut wood, change oil in a car, and plow a field.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

 

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me – Taylor Bell

Greetings, all!

To continue our, “10 Things You Don’t Know About Me” blog week, I bring you me, Taylor Bell, BFC’s Marketing & Social Media Coordinator! Like Mama Bell, I have been apart of the BFC family from the beginning, starting as a design intern, and later returning to join the marketing team.

Here are 10 things you don’t know about Taylor Bell.

1. My name is Taylor, but no one in my family calls me that. I’m also known as Tay, Buddy, and T-bizz.
2. Pizza is my favorite food
3. My sister’s and I once put up a tent in our basement because my mom wouldn’t let me camp outside
4. I was a serious tomboy growing up – Lincoln Logs, Nike apparel, and playing football catch with my dad
5. Photography is one of my favorite hobbies
6. Black is my favorite color
7. I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 15
8. I’ve never broken a bone
9. My mom and four older sisters are the leading ladies in my life
10. I love traveling, but usually sweat every time I get on an airplane

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me – Momma Bell

Greetings, all!

We are continuing our, “10 Things You Don’t Know About Me” blog week with our very own, Chris (Momma) Bell! Momma Bell has been with BFC since the very beginning, helping with our recruiting and retention, and even writing her own blog with us back in our Lucky Lil’ Darlings days.

Here are 10 things you don’t know about Momma Bell.

1. I still have sleep over parties with my college roommate
2. My kids have a lasting joke for when they come home to find what I’ve newly decorated in the house
3. And with that, it may be clear that interior decorating is my passion
4. I’ve been a devoted General Hospital watcher since Luke and Laura
5. The only movies you’ll find in my collection are rom-coms (romantic comedies)
6. My dad was a professional singer, but no one in our family can sing – seriously don’t ask us
7. I could listen to Christmas music 24/7
8. I may be known as a Dancing with the Stars groupie
9. I’m known to stop at every Gap store when visiting my daughter in NYC
10. I love the heat and the beach, and my husband loves the cold and the snow – clearly opposites attract

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me – Meredith Hamler

Greetings, all!

This week will be a special one for our blog, as we will be bringing our readers a blog post every day! Since many of us will be spending time with family over the next few days, we wanted you to get the chance to better know our family here at BFC. Each day we will be presenting a different member of the BFC team, by doing a feature similar to US Weekly’s, “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me”.

To kick things off, we bring you “10 Things You Don’t Know About Meredith Hamler,” our Coordinator with Sitter Services.

1. I have been tap dancing since I could walk
2. Pickles are my favorite food
3. I love anything Hello Kitty
4. My mom is my best friend
5. I’m obsessed with books, I’ll read anything and everything
6. Harry Potter is my most favorite series of all time, I’ve read all the books twice
7. I started running in middle school and still do almost daily
8. Every year on my birthday I have a dairy queen ice cream cake, the crunchy middle is my favorite
9. My biggest dream is to visit every country
10. I have the best boss in the world

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Baby Shower Revival

Greetings, all!

Hosting a baby shower can be hard work. From the invites and theme, to finding a good location and food; there is a lot of planning that goes on behind the scenes. Then, it’s time for all of the action to take place, and the host is left to entertain the crowd. In efforts to keep the guests engaged, we’ve provided some fun activities to share with your crowd, because let’s face it, watching your friend open gifts for an hour starts to lose its thrill.
  • Activity 1: Gender Reveal
  • For those moms who have done a good job of keeping the gender of their baby a secret, how about revealing the gender at the shower? This gives the guests (and mom to be) something fun to look forward to at the shower. Some of our favorite gender reveal ideas:
  • Cakes: We love the work done by Jennifer Bunce, at The Hudson Cakery in Weekhawken, NJ!
  • Mustache or bow: Try out these pins on Etsy, and have your guests pin on their guess when they walk in. You can even give a small prize away to those who guess right!
  • Activity 2: He Said/She Said
  • Meredith, with Unoriginal Mom proves her name with this game. Get to know the mom and dad of the upcoming bundle. Have both mom and dad provide 5-10 facts about themselves and combine them onto one sheet. Have your guests circle either “he” or “she” to indicate who the fact belongs to. Try giving away a Hershey bar to the winner, shading either Hershey or Hershey.
  • Activity 3: M&M Bottle
  • Fill a baby bottle with M&Ms (or like candy) and have guests guess how many are in the bottle. Winner goes home with the bottle!
  • Activity 4: Word Scramble
  • Team up with the people at your table to unscramble all of the baby-related terms on your sheet of paper.
  • Activity 5: Price Is Right
  • From Frugal Fanatic, Adeline Ganley shows us how to create a Price Is Right themed game, by listing 10 baby-related items on a sheet of paper, and having the guests guess the price of each one. At the bottom, have them total up the cost of all items, and the person that’s closest to the actual total wins the showcase! You just need to decide what the showcase is.

Happy planning to all those baby shower goers out there! I know I’ll be caring these tips over into the upcoming showers for my two sisters this winter!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Make Travel Hassel-Free!

Greetings, all!

Unfortunately for parents, the word “travel” has become synonymous for “nightmare.” This blog post is dedicated to parents traveling with children this holiday season and a few easy tips on how to make the experience better.

Preparing for your trip:

1. It is important that your children are prepared for your trip physically and mentally. Make sure children know the vacation itinerary, how they are getting there, and how to behave in the airport, plane, train, or car. It’s also good to have an emergency plan in case they get separated from you in transit.

2. Get them excited for this adventure by enthusiastically introducing them to your vacation spot and method of traveling through photos, books, bedtime stories, and maps. Physically prepare them by stopping by the pediatrician for a check-up and verification that all vaccines are current before departing. If you are anxious about traveling with your child, talk to your pediatrician about your concerns.

3. If your family is flying, be sure to read up on your airline and airport prior to departure. Some airlines, such as JetBlue, offer pre-boarding for families with small children, making settling in for your trip easier. Familiarize yourself with the airport and TSA guidelines, while packing in order to avoid any confusion, frustration, or delays in your trip

4. Look into creative luggage options for kids such as the “trunki,” a carry-on sized suitcase that your child can sit on and be wheeled through the airport (great for tired or cranky children!).

The Day of:

1. With your introduction to the travel itinerary, emergency plan, and exciting adventures that await, your child should be eager for your vacation.

2. If your flight, train, or bus is early, pack breakfast—this will allow them to wake up later, and give them something to do while waiting to leave.

3. On that note, make sure to wake children (and adults) up early enough to get dressed and out the door. Don’t cut it close—arrive at the airport or terminal at the recommended time or earlier to ensure you have plenty of time to make it through security with your rugrats as well as leisurely make it to the gate with all of your cargo.

4. Dress yourself and your children in comfy clothes, and most importantly, shoes!

Bottom Line: Travel doesn’t have to be frustrating! Prepare in advance, get excited, and just relax. Even if you have a long day of travel, just remember all of the relaxing days of vacation ahead! Bon voyage!

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Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell!

Christmas Butter Cookies

Greetings, all!

If there’s one thing the holiday season is good for, it’s family traditions. Every year my mom recruits my sisters and I to help bake Christmas cookies for our family gathering. Naturally, we have our classics that we make (Russian tea cakes, peanut butter blossoms, and magic cookie bars), but none of these have a hold on the infamous Christmas butter cookie recipe.

Luckily for my mom, she has helpers in the kitchen, which include all five of her daughters. Given that we are a small army, we tend to divide and conquer the cookie making. I somehow got to be the one who always makes the butter cookies, which I admit to getting a little too into decorating. I have to applaud my mom’s decorating efforts though, which usually includes blobbing a spoonful of icing onto the cookie. A for effort, right?

The butter cookie recipe originated with my great grandmother (don’t even get me started on her nut roll), and every year we carry on the tradition of whipping up a batch, or five, of these yummy cutouts. This year I wanted to share the recipe with our BFC family, in hopes you find the recipe as delicious as my family does. The recipe below typically makes one dozen cookies.

Ingredients:
3/4 c. butter (softened)
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour

Procedure:
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in flour until dough mix forms. We also make our icing from scratch by using powdered sugar and adding small amounts of water until the mixture becomes slightly runny (think the consistency of syrup). If you are feeling crafty, add a drop of red or green food coloring to the icing, and dash sprinkles on top.
Bake temperature – 350 | Bake time – 8-10 minutes

We recommend pairing this indulgence with a glass of milk (Santa stocking caps optional). Happy Holidays to all of our inspiring Betty Crocker’s out there!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Slopes for the Family

Greetings, all!

With the winter season creeping in, we all have fun snow activities on the brain. Everyone loves the traditional snowman building, toboggan shoot, and one of our personal favorites, skiing! We researched some ski resorts in the northeast, and found some that looked perfect for a fun family adventure. So grab the kids, and start practicing the act of wrapping them up in their outerwear, because nobody wants a Randy (from A Christmas Story) situation on their hands.

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Macaroni Kid got this one right with their post on New Hampshire ski resorts. One family wrote, “It’s like Vermont meets Colorado.” Its accolades include their uncrowded, unspoiled, and wide open spaces. Stay nearby at the Indian Head Resort, or go more upscale at the Omni Mount Washington.

Okemo, Vermont
Parenting.com provided a glimpse at this 20-year family owned resort. It offers a day care, ski school, a Kids’ Night Out (to keep them entertained while parents go play), and for the older kids, the Rampage Teen Center has an indoor skateboard park. Okemo also makes it easy on the wallet, too, with kids under 12 staying for free!

Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont
If you are all about those family activities, then this resort is a great fit for you! Whether you and your youngster sign up for a unique ‘Mom & Me’ lesson, or teaching your ‘Little Rascal’ to start skiing at age two, Smuggs’ has thought up the most innovative instruction in snow country. Parenting.com supported us with this one, too!

And to all of the Santa’s out there – it’s not too late to add a knit hat into all of the stockings this year!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Holiday Party Kid Zone

Greetings, all!

If you take a look at your schedule this month, there is most likely a  holiday party that you need to attend. You then face the struggle as to what to do with your child, in order for you to bust out that ugly holiday sweater.  With that, I introduce you to a great offering from the BFC team, a holiday party kid zone!

Members of the BFC team will get to the party early to set up the area (make sure it’s clean, safe for kids, etc.). While you and your friends are enjoying the eggnog, your kids will be partaking in fun craft activities, including popsicle stick snowmen, clothespin reindeer, and a take home bag to put all of their goodies in. We also have fun games on standby incase their attention span is not in our favor.

This is just one of the many things that the BFC team can help organize – so this year, make your holiday season a breeze! To book your kid zone, e-mail us at info@bellfamilycompany.com.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!