Things your elf on the shelf can do that don’t require you to clean up
- Have them read a book
- Literally just sit them on a shelf
- Have them bring a note from Santa with a good deed your child should do
- Have them bring a small gift
- Have them sliding down the banister
- Have them sleeping in a doll bed
- Have them making your child’s lunch (I saw this on Facebook and thought it was genius)
- Sit them on top of a fan or chandelier
- Put them in your stockings (possibly with a little treat)
- Have them write on your whiteboard. (A lot less messy than a mirror)
Some of these may already exist and if they do please send me links.
- Drive thru grocery store. Not delivery. But an actual drive thru. Like when I run out of something and don’t want to get the kids out of the car.
- In Home nail/hair service. Okay I’m pretty sure this exists but probably only for people who can afford to spend a lot of money. I would love to get my hair cut in the comfort of my own home while my children run around like crazy people.
- In door play land. Alright I know these exist too. However there aren’t enough of them that aren’t attached to a fast food restaurant. It would even be nice to have them in actual restaurants.
- Baby swimming lessons where you don’t have to get in the water. Sure it’s great bonding time but sometimes I don’t feel like it. It would be nice if they had enough instructors to take them all in.
- Doctors who come to your home. I think a few of these still exist but it would be nice if a lot more doctors did this. (Oh and had more appointments after 3 for working parents).
- Places for foster children to have visits. I am not talking about a room in the DCFS office but a place that has age appropriate toys, cribs for babies, changing tables, toddler toilets, and maybe even a kitchen to cook. Throwing kids and parents in a room isn’t giving them real family time (and don’t even get me started about McDonald’s).
- Family restrooms with changing tables and toddler potty’s. EVERYWHERE. And not just one.
- A company that does a buy one donate one to a kid in foster care. I can’t figure out what we would sell yet. But there are a lot of companies that help out other countries what about kids in our own country?!?!
- 24/7 daycare The daycare director where all my kids have gone was telling me about how she would love to open a 24/7 daycare for parents who have night shifts.
- Childcare in hotels I would love if more places did this. Especially for single parents traveling alone.
Anyone have anymore?
I posted my favorite Holiday traditions but here are my favorite things to do with my kids at home during the holidays.
- Decorate my house together. I don’t care how long it takes. Decorating the house is a family activity.
- Decorate ginger bread house. I love decorating gingerbread houses. I enjoy making it look pretty and eating all the candy. However, we are doing pre-put together gingerbread houses this year that the kids just decorate.
- Taking lots of pictures. I take pictures of everything to begin with (it’s important for me to have something to look back at when the kids have left my house). However, I go a little obsessive over Christmas. I want lots of pictures.
- Having matching outfits/pajamas. Whether it’s to go see Santa or just sit around the house, my kids have an extreme amount of holiday outfits.
- Have the elves in the shelf visit us. However, we have pretty lazy elves on the shelf, they mostly just move to different spots in our house and possibly do a couple funny things. The elves do go all out for the elf on the shelf breakfast . My parents come over and we eat a big breakfast.
- Watch Christmas movies with popcorn and hot chocolate. This is always a fun time and it’s good family time.
- Drinking hot chocolate. Drinking hot chocolate is an activity alone in my house. We have marshmallows, sprinkles, whip cream, etc.
- Read stories together. We love to read together every night. However, there is something special about reading those special Christmas books.
- Play in the snow. I love the first snow and I love to go out with my kids and see their joy.
- Making Christmas cookies. We love baking and eating Christmas cookies. Sometimes we have a baking party. But other time we just make a mess in the kitchen and have fun.
I love Christmas! I always have enjoyed Christmas and decorating my whole house after Thanksgiving. Having two young children though I’m trying to keep all of the Christmas decorations to things they can easily play with and enjoy.
- Melissa and Doug count down to Christmas I have had this since Princess was little. It is so simple and I love it.
- Hot wheels advent calendar I am not a fan of the chocolate advent calendars. So I try to find one that relates to what the kids like. This is Bubba’s this year. Princess has a Lego one (she gets one of those every year). Bubba got a little people one last year. There are so many cool ones out there.
- Felt Christmas tree I know you can make these your self. However I don’t have time for that. I also got the boys a felt snow man.
- Christmas window clings We decorate with window clings for every season. Bubba puts them up and then moves them around where ever he wants.
- Little People Nativity Bubba loves this. It wouldn’t be Christmas without a nativity and here is one that I don’t mind the kids touching and playing with.
- Christmas Train Set This year I decided that every little boy needs a train to go around their Christmas tree.
- Christmas boxes What do kids love more than playing in boxes? Absolutely nothing. And now I have something to put next to my door.
- Christmas light projector As a single mom I don’t have time to hang lights. This makes my house look pretty and it only takes a couple minutes to put together.
- Live tree for outside I can’t have a live tree inside the house because of my allergies. So the kids and I got one outside and burlap ornaments to decorate. It’s nice to have something that smells like Christmas but isn’t making a mess in my house.
- Step2 My First Christmas Tree I don’t have this because they are sold out. But I want this for this boys. Maybe next year.
Yesterday I posted about the things foster parents say in Facebook groups that piss me off. However, there is a lot they do that I love.
- Give supportive advice. Whether it is about parenting or doing hair there are some people who are always supportive.
- Kindly disagree with you. We all aren’t going to agree but I appreciate it when people do it kindly instead of like an asshole.
- Offer to share clothing/supplies. Having a new placement is hard. Even though you tried to be prepared you can’t have everything you could possibly need in every situation. I love when others are willing to help each other out.
- Share discounts. Some people get upset that we are always looking for discounts on experiences and trips: however, a small discount could be the reason I could take my family to Disney world, so please share that stuff.
- Ask for advice from former foster youth. They are the experts. When you want to do know how a situation will effect your foster children or how you should handle something they are the ones to ask.
- Refer you to research/laws. I love when people include specific details/links so that i know what the law is or what research says is best practice.
- Refer you to professionals. Just because we have experience doesn’t mean we know the answers. Therapists, doctors, and social workers are always they people to ask.
- Send prayers. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but pray.
- Suggest books. Especially when it comes to parenting traumatized children.!
- Celebrate the small victories. Your foster kid didn’t swear at thanksgiving dinner? Yay! Your foster kid sat the whole time for time out and didn’t kick you? Yay! Your foster child let you brush their hair? Yay?
I am part of a lot of country wide foster parent group (with thousands of members) and some of the things people say on there make me wonder if people foster for the right reasons. I try to assume positive attention but sometimes it’s hard.
- They ignore what former foster youth have to say. This one makes me so furious. If they are saying something is offensive believe it.
- They talk bad about the biological parents. No just no! You don’t know what they have been through so save the judgement. Your role is to take care of the kids not judge the biological parents.
- They complain that they can’t hit foster children. If the only form of discipline you can think of is to hit a child then you shouldn’t be a parent to begin with:
- The celebrate termination of rights. I understand that this child has probably been with you a while and you want to adopt them. Go right ahead and celebrate the adoption. But the termination is a sad moment. A parents heart is breaking and we should never celebrate the breaking apart of a family even if it means your family gains a member.
- They call foster children brats. Nope!!! No child is brat. They just haven’t been properly taught.
- They act superior to the biological parents. You have no idea what their childhood was like or even their adult life. Don’t judge.
- They complain about visits on holidays . I get it. However the kids want to see their family on holidays too. Just have the caseworker pick up the kids where ever you were planning on being.
- They act like there bond is stronger then the biological parents bond. You both have a bond and there should be no comparison. Even if you have had he child since birth their parents have a special bond through dna and that should be nurtured.
- They complain about having to do extra for the parents. I get that you don’t want to go above and beyond constantly (I don’t either). But if it means your foster child will be happy, then do it.
- They don’t support other foster parents. I know I just complained about other foster parents. Though I hate when they say this I don’t yell or insult them. I try to educate and help them grow. We should all be there for each other.