Melanie Myatt

Melanie Myatt

Melanie has learned a lot about parenting over the course of the last 10 years as she is in the midst of raising four kids. Some day she ll put her M.A. in English to good use. Until that time, she spends her days trying to find the humor in the mundane events of every day life.
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12/6/2010

Education/Experience

M.A. in English; M. Div

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don t take anything i say too seriously...i m serious.

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Displaying Results 1 - 46 (of 46) for All Content
  • Parenting Guru: 5 Things I Wish My Parents Had Done for Me
    I think I had a fairly decent childhood. Looking back, I have come up with just a few things I wish they had done differently.
  • Parenting Guru: The Best Gift for My Kids This Valentine's Day
    With the blahs of winter setting in and affecting marriages, Valentine's Day provides the opportunity to bring a spark back to the relationship...and that spark may just be the best gift to give our kids.
  • Parenting Guru: My Teeny-Tiny New Year's Resolution
    I'm tired of failing at all my resolutions. This year, I'm picking something so tiny, anybody could do it.
  • Santa Claus: Friend or Foe?
    Santa is safe in theory, but kids lose confidence when they meet the man himself.
  • Parenting Guru: How we count down the days until Christmas
    Our family has started celebrating Advent by setting aside time each day to create a "Jesse tree."
  • Parenting Guru: 4 steps to a more thankful child
    As the "gimmes" of the holidays approach, how do we teach our kids to be grateful for what they have? Here are four tips.
  • Parenting Guru: 5 steps to a happier child (and a happier mom, too!)
    With four strong-willed children, I am learning how to watch for the warning signs and, hopefully, prevent a tantrum before it starts.
  • Parenting Guru: My own little rainbow
    My two-year-old brings sunshine to my cloudy days.
  • Parenting Guru: My own personal 'Psycho' experience
    Usually horror movies do not mimic real life, but in this instance my life mimicked a horror movie.
  • Parenting Guru: I nominate my husband... For getting his Ph.D
    I'm not sure who suffered more during my husband's dissertation defense, or who is happier now that's it's over!
  • Parenting Guru: What's the best way to handle little boys and guns?
    My son is inexplicably and irresistibly drawn to guns. How do I teach him appropriate behavior even when he's just playing pretend?
  • Parenting Guru: Keep it simple when it comes to family rules
    Rather than making my kids feel like they are under permanent lockdown, we try to focus on just one rule for each area of our lives.
  • Parenting Guru: I refuse to be a "frumpy mom"
    As a stay-at-home mom, it would be easy to stay in my "comfy" clothes all day. Instead, I choose to dress in a way that makes me feel better about myself.
  • Parenting Guru: A smooth start to a new school year
    How do you help your kids transition into a new school year? Here are some tips for helping kids stay relaxed and at ease for the first day.
  • Parenting Guru: How to keep your kids active without hardly trying
    We've heard that childhood obesity is on the rise. If kids aren't naturally active, what can we do to encourage them to exercise? Here are five tips.
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  • Parenting Guru: 5 steps to summer sanity
    How do moms stay sane in the summer while making summer fun for their kids? Here are five tips for finding a good balance of freedom and structure to keep everyone happy.
  • Parenting Guru: The 4 "deadly" sins of "mean moms"
    How do you know when to "unfriend" a mom who has crossed the line? This article details 4 inexcusable mom behaviors.
  • Parenting Guru: How to raise gracious winners and losers
    Too many family game nights ending in tears? Try these tips to keep everyone happy, whether winning or losing.
  • Parenting Guru: My first love (rewriting history)
    When it comes to thinking about your "first love," there's nothing wrong with rewriting history a little bit.
  • Parenting Guru: How to raise a reader
    Lessons I've learned on how to raise my kids to love reading books as much as I do.
  • Parenting Guru: Learning from My Mistakes in the Toy Room
    One mom shares her tips for getting kids to help with chores like cleaning the toy room.
  • Talking to Kids About Death
    It is hard enough to deal with our own grief over the loss of a loved one, here one parent describes her attempts to talk to her kids about their understanding of death.
  • Parenting Guru: 4 lessons I've learned from my toddler
    I have four kids, so it often feels like I rarely have time to focus on just one, or even myself for that matter. This fall, since my three oldest kids are now in school, I have a little extra time.Or so one would think.
  • Parenting Guru: At Halloween, I've given up doing it "my way"
    This is a picture from Halloween, 2010. What you see is the hodge-podge of costumes (or not) that my kids put together based on what they really wanted.My baby, of course, had no say in the matter. She got dressed as an elephant simply because that was the costume someone gave us that fit her at the
  • Help! My nine-year-old has a job...
    Throughout my daughter's nine years, we have tried different allowance policies. Somehow either we parents couldn't remember to follow through and pay her, or she couldn't follow through with her chores. We finally decided that, until she was older, we would just pay for her clothes and other needs,
  • Parenting Guru: My top five tips for surviving a week at the beach with kids
    As soon as the kids finished school back in June, we hopped in the car for a week-long vacation on the gulf coast. Now we are getting ready to spend another week on the shores of Lake Michigan, which we have done every summer for the past 4 years. Thankfully, since we have done this so often, planni
  • Parenting Guru: Chicago is our family's kind of town
    Our family just returned from a family vacation to the gulf coast in Alabama. We had such a wonderful and relaxing time with extended family. The weather was ideal and the swimming was wonderful; one would think that we would hate to leave.No matter how sad we feel about leaving family, every time w
  • Parenting Guru: How working at summer camp changed my life
    When (it seemed like) everyone else in college was working at summer camp, I was working hard to earn more money at one of the most boring jobs in the world. When I discovered I had a full scholarship to graduate school, I decided to take advantage of my financial freedom to participate in the (envi
  • I'd rather drive a MINI-Cooper...
    When we were expecting our first baby, we decided it was time to act like adults and actually purchase a new car, instead of waiting to get someone's cast-off. We researched and planned and shopped around before settling on a Mazda Protege.For three years, this was a great little car for a family of
  • User Post: "Mother" means "risk-taker"...(in 100 words or less)
    I looked at the positive sign on the pregnancy test feeling overwhelmed with awe. A human life had been placed into my hands for safekeeping on a journey beginning with total dependency and, if I do my job right, moving toward (relative) independence.Now I have four lives depending on me for psychol
  • Parenting Guru: Hindsight makes the best teacher...
    When we moved to Chicago, we knew it would be a challenge to figure out how to work the Chicago Public School system; we just had no idea how difficult it would be.After testing, tours and tearing out our hair, we managed to find a school for each one of our children. We started out the school year
  • User Post: How I stay on top of the laundry mountain
    I have four kids so you had better believe that laundry is one of those never-ending chores that is always threatening to overwhelm me. Even though i would like to just keep buying new clothes for the kids instead of washing their old ones, I recognize that this isn't the best solution to my problem
  • Parenting Guru: My 5 tips for traveling with kids
    We'll be making the long trek from Chicago to Tennessee in the next couple weeks for Spring Break. Even though this is a nine-hour trip, we feel pretty good about it. We used to live in Nebraska which required a twelve-hour trip whenever we wanted to visit family. Needless to say, we've learned a fe
  • User Post: Thank you to my two moms...
    We are in the midst of birthday celebrations for our family. We have four birthdays to celebrate over the course of three months. To help us celebrate, we had my parents over one weekend and my husband's parents over another weekend.Being with both of my "moms" reminded me again of what a fabulous h
  • Parenting Guru: My biggest parenting mistake
    To be honest: I do not want to write this post. One of the things I like about starting my posts with the title, "Parenting Guru," is thinking that I actually have some words of wisdom to share with people. I would rather not come face to face with the fact that I have really messed up when it comes
  • Playing catch-up: online safety
    All of my kids are eight and under, so if you had asked me a week ago, I would have said I didn't need to worry too much about online safety. Our kids have their own user account. Their internet browser is loaded with bookmarks for sites that are safe and appropriate for them. Most of all, they have
  • Parenting Guru: 10 little things I love about my baby girl
    Here's a little secret: when we went to have the ultrasound for our fourth child, I was really hoping for a boy. I have two girls and a boy already so it seemed like good symmetry to have another boy. The real reason, though, is that I just wasn't sure I was up for more girlish drama. My little boy
  • giving up my dream (for her)
    In my (after)life, as a parent, many people wouldn't now know me as an athlete. After (almost) eight consecutive years of being pregnant or nursing, I haven't had much time to pursue my prior love of anything sporty.In my past life, I may have been someone to be feared on the volleyball court or the
  • Parenting Guru: Five dreams for my city kids
    I grew up in a place with a big yard, cornfields behind the house and plenty of freedom to roam the neighborhood with the neighbor kids. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would be raising my own four kids (at least for another few years) in the big city.While I love where we liv
  • Our family's random acts of kindness...
    Just exactly what would you do (for others) with $100 to spend?I spent many days and nights, thinking about the different possibilities and ways to spend $100 that I received from Yahoo as part of their "How Good Grows" program. Our church hosts a warming shelter for homeless people on Friday aftern
  • Parenting Guru: In our house, Santa only brings each child one gift
    We've all heard the kids shouting in the toy aisle: "I want that Mommy! and that! and that!" No matter how hard we try, we can't get away with pretending those kids aren't ours. My kids immediately want every toy they see in commercials, every toy in the pages of the catalogs we get in the mail, and
  • Two families mean twice the fun for the holidays
    Before I got married, I knew that I would have to split the holidays between my family and my husband's family. I thought that it wouldn't be that big of a deal to me.I was wrong.
  • Parenting Guru: We give thanks for eviction...
    We recently got kicked out of our apartment.What could we possible have done to merit such treatment? We always paid our rent on time. We kept our apartment clean and in good condition. We were quiet. Well, as quiet as a family of six can be.
  • Election Question: to vote or not to vote?
    I don't think there is any way I could have missed the message when I was growing up: Voting isn't just a privilege it is a responsibility.I still remember my first "vote": in Mrs. Medema's second grade class, we all had an opportunity to vote for Jimmy Carter or Ronald Regan (too bad our votes didn
  • Parenting Guru: A fancy family feast becomes a new tradition
    Every summer I wonder how to help my four kids make a good transition from the relaxed pace of the summer to focusing on a positive and productive school year.This year we started a new family tradition that seemed to help everyone feel prepared for the change. The night before the new school year s

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