There are things that I loved doing that I felt like other parents hated. This episode is meant to help you play to your strengths!
Big thanks to our sponsor Family Routines when you have a routine in your life it helps you play to those strengths more in your free time.
In this episode
My Early Reading series
I THINK this is the book I used to teach reading (if not, it’s very similar)
Other things that might interest you
Producer: Drew Erickson
[00:00:00.250] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys. Welcome back to the pulling Curls Podcast. Today on episode 178, we are talking about the things that I loved to do as a young mom that everyone else seems to hate. So let’s untangle it.
[00:00:21.410] – Hilary Erickson
Hi, I’m Hilary Erickson, the curly head behind the Pulling Curls Podcast: pregnancy and parenting untangled. There’s no right answer for every family, but on this show, we hope to give you some ideas to make life simpler at your house. Life tangled just like my hair.
[00:00:43.310] – Hilary Erickson
First off, I want to say that this episode isn’t to shame anybody into doing anything, but I think it shows that we each have specific strengths with our kids, and you have to play to those strengths. I am not the mom that did dress ups. I’m not the mom that brought out glitter. I am absolutely not the mom who brought out glitter glue. But I played to my strengths.
[00:01:05.630] – Hilary Erickson
And so maybe this will give you an idea of looking for the strengths that you have in your life so that you can play to them as well. And I think it’s super obvious when you’re home with little kids versus with teenagers, you might have to find other strengths. Maybe it’s still not clear what those strengths are at this point in my life. But now, looking back at my life with little kids, here are a few things that I love to do that other moms seem to hate.
[00:01:34.270] – Hilary Erickson
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[00:02:11.210] – Hilary Erickson
The first one was flashcards. I loved doing Flashcards with my kids. We would sit down together. We would look at words. We would look at letters.We would look at, you know, flashcards have a lot of things that you can do with it. You can trace the letter with your hand. If it’s got a big letter, you can talk about the letter sound. You can talk about the picture on the card. I had one kid who was not a talker for a long time, and we loved doing Flashcards together, and it was an easy way to not get overwhelmed, like you can sometimes do in a book.
[00:02:42.820] – Hilary Erickson
You’re looking at just like Vs for violin, and you can just talk about that. What is a violin used for? Where have we seen violins before for me. I felt like flashcards. I mean, I read to my kids an awful lot, but I felt like Flashcards was an easy jumping off point because there wasn’t, like, all the extraneous of a story in a book, if that makes sense.
[00:03:02.640] – Hilary Erickson
Anyway, I loved Flashcards. Sue me. I put them on rings. We kept boxes in the car. I loved Flashcards.
[00:03:08.610] – Hilary Erickson
Take that. I loved practicing reading together. It was one of my favorite things. I got a book which I’ll try and link in the show notes. I don’t even know if they make it anymore.
[00:03:18.470] – Hilary Erickson
That really made reading fun. Like games we did with letter sounds and learning to put those letter sounds together. We just had so much fun doing. And I this is not a brag, because there’s lots of things my kids aren’t good at, but I had all of my kids reading by three. A lot of them by two and a little bit.
[00:03:36.920] – Hilary Erickson
Maybe three and a little bit, but definitely by four. They were reading probably first grade books, if not more. So it was just something that I really enjoyed doing. And I know that everyone says having an early reader doesn’t give them a step up, but I’m here to tell you that it does, because it makes everything in kindergarten so much easier. And then that continues for a while now.
[00:03:56.670] – Hilary Erickson
Will other kids catch up? Yes, maybe they do. But I’m saying creating early readers is a win in my book. Not scientifically proven at any point. I loved doing workbooks with my kids.
[00:04:08.270] – Hilary Erickson
I’m a freak, you guys. I’m not saying I’m not here to say this is what everybody should be doing, but I love doing workbooks. I loved finding the workbooks at Costco or the Learning Store or there’s so many great places for workbooks anymore. I especially loved the workbooks with Stickers because my kids loved them and we didn’t have to deal with drawing, which can sometimes be overwhelming for kids if they’re supposed to draw a specific thing. Anyway, loved the sticker books.
[00:04:34.680] – Hilary Erickson
Loved the workbooks. Huge fan. We even found some at the Dollar Store. So I would encourage you that if that’s something you want to just keep your eyes open. I think we probably even found them at garage sales where people had used one or two pages and we could use the rest of them.
[00:04:46.480] – Hilary Erickson
One thing I really loved was watching Mr. Rogers with my kids. Now I don’t even know if Mr. Rogers is on TV anymore. If he’s not, that’s probably why the world’s going to pot.
[00:04:56.620] – Hilary Erickson
But I learned so much about how to interact with my kids from Mr. Rogers, and my kids always were calmer after we watched it with him, and I just loved watching that program. Now, maybe it’s not Mr. Rogers for you, but maybe you can find a program where a parent and child are relating, where you can really remind yourself to slow down I think that’s mostly what I learned from Fred Rogers, although I learned so many good things. And finally, I really enjoyed cooking with my kids.
[00:05:22.620] – Hilary Erickson
And I know a lot of people find it overwhelming. Now, I enjoy cooking for small periods with small children, but there is so much that they can learn from cooking, and I really enjoyed doing that with them for small periods of time. So I had to be really mindful that even for them, they didn’t know kids like, yeah, I want to come into the kitchen and chop up vegetables for an hour with you mom, versus, hey, how about we chop up the zucchini together and we’re going to make a quarter cup of it. Now we’re going to make a full cup of it. I had to be really mindful that I was only having them in the kitchen with me for a short period of time because I knew that I would no longer enjoy it if it was going to be for a long period of time.
[00:05:57.940] – Hilary Erickson
Now, I had all my kids at home for a long period of time. I don’t know if you guys know this, but we suffered some infertility between child number two and child number three. They’re five years apart. Child number one and child number two are four years apart. So I had an extended period of time with each child, home alone with them.
[00:06:16.340] – Hilary Erickson
And so I kind of figured that that was God’s plan for me and that I should really take the time when they are at home to spend time with them excessively before they went to school. And so that was something that I really enjoyed and it’s something that I didn’t want. Five years between child number two and child number three. I really don’t want him now that I’m still in junior high and he’s in college, but that’s just how my life worked out. And so I really tried to play to that I was home with one kid for an extended period of time.
[00:06:45.090] – Hilary Erickson
So again, this episode is for you to ascertain what your strengths are, and I want you to come over, find us on Instagram. There will be a post about this podcast episode. Come tell us what your strengths are. Because as we each share our strengths, other moms might be able to find their strength or dads I’m not saying dads can’t find their strength too. My husband has lots of strengths with our kids, but that is a podcast that he can make on his own.
[00:07:08.150] – Hilary Erickson
So find those strengths and then play to them because there are going to be so many weaknesses in your life as a parent because it is such a vast job that you’re having to do. And there’s going to be things that you do, like bath time I hate bath time. That you just muddle through and then you move on, just like with any task. But sometimes there’s stuff you’re really good at. I want you to find that, come over and tell us on Instagram.
[00:07:30.360] – Hilary Erickson
Stay tuned. Next week, we are talking about four things to do if you are afraid of having a C section. And after that, the next week, we’re talking about three habits for healthy eaters. So stay tuned.
[00:07:40.790] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode. The Pulling Curls Podcast grows when you share us on social media or leave a review. If you do, please tag us so that we can share and send you a virtual hug, which, frankly, is my favorite kind of hugging. Until next time, we hope you have a tangle free day.