What happens when your kids turn off the electronics | Placerville-Everyday-Children Photographer

“The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.” ~Plato

So yesterday I talked about the importance of getting your kids off that T.V and back to the important things. Natural learning at its best is to get your kids outside and let them experience the world. Nature has many lessons for kids. Let them learn some of them! What do you think is going to happen once you kids get outside into the thick of it?

1. They might just hold a bug

Yep. Sorry if this grosses you out but even those girlie-girls need this. Holding a small creature and treating it with care. Catch it and observe it for awhile but don’t hurt it! give it food and let it be. See how it behaves. Biology (the study of living things) is so important to our younger generations. You never know what they might come up with when they grow up. New inventions based off of how animals behave. Scientists and experimentalists all started somewhere. Let them get dirty. Let them see what the world is all about. Don’t let them watch. Let them touch.

What happens when your kids turn off the electronics | Placerville-Everyday-Children Photographer

2. They might just laugh

Laughter is the best medicine for sure. Laughter brings calmness. Laughter brings healthy relationships. Laughter brings happiness. Laughter equals less stress. What can go wrong here? Playing outside brings laughter and fond childhood memories. What are you waiting for? Join them!

What happens when your kids turn off the electronics | Placerville-Everyday-Children Photographer

3. They are guaranteed to use their imaginations

So nobody said this was going to be easy! Being outside forces you to actually use your imaginations! What do you want to do today? Climb a tree and pretend you are on a ship and you see land ahead of you! You must tell your crew! Or run and play tag pretending you are a bee trying to get to it’s food. Give them cardboard boxes and let them show you the biggest mansions you have ever seen. Obviously my imagination is not that great but I’m sure your kids could come up with better things to do! Test them!

4. They might get some exercise

Running around and climbing things and using muscles. Exercise is just what they need. Staying in front of the T.V. all day or sitting in their classroom chair, they get none of that! Smelling the outdoors and hearing the outdoors just gives you energy. Can you feel it?

What happens when your kids turn off the electronics | Placerville-Everyday-Children Photographer

5. They might get sunburned or rained on

Be careful. Too much time outside can give them sunburn and it might even just rain on them. These are good signs that your kids love the outdoors. Extreme play comes with extreme consequences. But of course you can prevent these things from being harmful. Sunscreen and rain boots anyone? Don’t let it stop them!

6. They might just have fun

Who is to say that they won’t have fun! Even kids that don’t get outdoors often will try and claim that they aren’t having fun. They just don’t know what kind of fun there is to be had. Leave them out there. Do not give in. They need their own memories and and they need to know what it is like to be that kid that has no responsibilities and carefree. When was the last time you actually felt carefree? Try and get your kids to see that it can be fun. uB don’t try too hard to help them achieve it. It is something they need to experience on their own.

What happens when your kids turn off the electronics | Placerville-Everyday-Children Photographer

7. They might just want to do it again

Heck, the T.V. and the video games may actually end up staying off! If they enjoy themselves too much (what is too much enjoyment anyways?) then they actually may not want to come in. Hey, you can’t say I didn’t warn you about it. No coming back to me saying that your kids don’t want to come in for dinner because they are having too much fun. I think that just means we are doing our jobs well if that occurs.

Have fun with this! Go back and read some of my other posts about how you can keep yourself off of social media and spend more time with your kids or why its important to get your kids off the T.V. These are topics that ring true to my every life and I love sharing my point of view with you. Thanks for listening!

If you would like to schedule a photography session with me then you may want to contact me soon! Spring is so fun for photos! Outdoor adventures are my specialty. What fun can we have at your family session?

Much love,

Heather

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

“Televison has changed the American child from an irresistible force to an immovable object.” ~Laurence J. Peter

I was talking to my friend the other day and the subject was all about T.V. How much T.V. did you watch as a child? Did you like it? Was it entertaining for you and did you crave more of it? Of course I watched a little too much T.V. This was before they realized that television was not something that was necessarily good for you in large amounts. Don’t sit too close or you can get cancer. Don’t stare at it too long or you will freeze that way! Ha! That’s a good one! I have to say that I am a true lover of television. I love my movies but I also love my T.V. What I don’t like is how much T.V I actually watch. I wish I could just get rid of it! I can’t seem to find the energy to stop. It takes a major effort to not watch my favorite shows. As my shows become older and they start to “go away” or get canceled I try really hard to not look for a new one in its place. If I remember to fast forward through the commercials (thanks to the invention of the DVR) I won’t see those previews for the new shows. Maybe eventually all my shows will go away and I won’t have any more to watch. Well, that is wishful thinking on my part. I am weak.

As for my kids? We have strict rules in our house about how much T.V. and Wii time they are to have each day. To be honest, it wasn’t always like that though. I admit to having the television be a babysitter when I was cooking dinner or wanting to be by myself for a minute. It was helpful when my kids were really little. I don’t know what I would have done without it honestly! Then when my mom told me that we didn’t have a T.V. when I was a toddler I was totally shocked! How did she do it??!! Mind blown.

But how can we get our kids to watch less, do less and be less around all the electronics? Not just T.V.? Video games and anything else that keeps them from being active, being imaginative and being kids? Let’s explore some things.

1. Know why it’s bad for them

The first step to figuring out how you will take it all away is knowing why you need to take it away. T.V. can be entertaining, it can be educational and it can be pure fun! But you have to take it all in bits and pieces. Too much is not good. Too much has proven to be bad for your health as you exercise less and eat more and get less done! Who wants all of that? The first step to fixing the problem is to admit that you have a problem.

How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

2.  Put a time limit on it

In our house, we have so many activities going on that we hardly have time for television anymore. But on the days that we don’t have much going on, there is a tendency to let the kids watch a little too much T.V. Our rule is that you have to turn it off by 6:30pm. This is two hours before their bedtime. This allows us to have a more successful bedtime routine too because there is nothing distracting them from doing what they are supposed to be doing which is getting their PJs on or taking a shower. So bottom line is set a rule that you can follow and have a reason to back it up. Put a time limit on it and actually set the timer. Nothing is worse than giving a time limit and letting it slide. That does nobody any good.

3. Make them work for it

Nothing shows appreciation more than a good work ethic. Chores for T.V. time. So crucial. Really works well around here. You set the rules. For every chore they do you can give them minutes to spend watching T.V. or playing video games- whatever the vice. In our house it’s homework completed equals Wii time coupons. T.V. time is so seldom that it works itself out in the end. But long sortie short- make ’em work for it.

4. Cut it out completely

Some people need that complete cut off. Although it’s hard, you can do it. Even if it is for one day a week to start out, you are doing better than yesterday. One day, you will forget that you wanted to watch whatever it was or play whatever it was. Then maybe you can work your way to more days at a time. Baby steps.

How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

5. Fill your time wisely

If you fill your time with other things, you don’t have time for T.V. or games. Go on a hike or take your dog for a run. Get out and fly a kite. Read a book! Better yet, read an educational book! Shocking to think those are still out there. The possibilities are literally endless. Outdoor activities are great. Save T.V binge watching for rainy days. This is not the excuse you need to spend more time on the internet or social media. I said fill your time WISELY.

How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

Get my point? Take it away by a little bit or by a lot- you will be happier in the long run. Realize that it is not healthy for you and fix it. Keep it away. Pick and choose what is most important to you. Priorities are important. Let them be more about you and less about the things you have. Stay tuned for when I talk about what will actually happen to your kids once they watch less T.V.

Like what you hear? Take a look at some of my other posts on how important it is to be less busy and why they need you now- and not later. Contact me today to make some more memories and get those photos you have always wanted to decorate your home with. So fun and so necessary. Let me know what I can do for you!

Much love,

Heather

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” ― Lin Yutang

Wait, what? I’m not wise because I am too busy? I can’t believe it! No one told me being too busy would make me dumber. Unbelievable. Not really though right? The more busy I am the more I find myself being forgetful and careless and getting sidetracked. I’m sure it goes that way for everyone to some extent. There are really two kinds of people in the world, those that are good at multitasking and those that are not. Isn’t it so true! And I don’t mean to say that not everyone can multitask to some extent but it does take practice. Is that something you can be proud of? I would say that most people are proud of the fact that they can multitask, especially if they are super good at it. But is that something that one can really be proud about?

I want to argue today that while being good at multitasking is not necessarily bad, the need to do so is.  Why do we find the need to be such good multi tasking fools? I think it’s because we are too busy. Too busy with school activities, too busy with home activities and too busy with work activities and too busy with life in general. I say it all the time and I know so many other people that do too. “I’m so tired.” We all know this is code for: I run around too much. I need a break. I need one day to just sleep in until 12 noon. I need a vacation!

How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

Unfortunately a lot of us cannot do that. Besides those people out there that literally can’t stop working those three jobs so they can pay the bills or those college students that are working full time just to pay for college, there are a lot of people out there that make the choice to be busy. Me personally, I love to be busy. I don’t necessarily love being in the car all day long some days or labeling somedays “take-out only” days, But I enjoy being busy with my kids and their activities. Love seeing them do certain things and have fun. I’m sure that is why a lot of parents take their kids to soccer practice or dance class or piano lessons or karate class right? To see their kids succeed in things that they are never able to do themselves. And of course to see their kids have fun. Why can’t we just stop at one or two activities throughout the year? Why can’t we ever say no to the extra activities the PTA has asked us to accomplish. There is always something extra that can be done. Why do we have to do it and how can we say no to it? When does it get to the point of damaging our mental status where it will hinder our ability to do  every day jobs like loving our kids and just learning to watch them grow? Let’s explore some ways for you to be able to lead a less full life. It’s hard, but one eventually has to just say…

1. No

Just say no. If you have too much on your plate, then just say no. It’s not your responsibility to take care of everyone else’s needs all the time. Yeah it’s very sweet to think that you want to take care of everyone yourself. You can do it! I know you can. But do you need to? “Can you paint this for me tonight so it’s ready for the play tomorrow?” “Can you help me with my job?” “Can you do me a favor?” “Can you………” “Can you please…….” It’s never ending. I’m not saying cut out all volunteer work completely but man- pick and choose so you can leave not only a healthier life less busy, but a less complicated one. Just say no. It will be ok. Trust me. They will move on and get someone else – or not. Not much is life or death. You will know it when it is. ;)

2. Forget the extra curricular activities

Ok so not really ALL of them. But do you really need to be involved in baseball and piano and swimming lessons all at the same time? Let’s just try for one thing a season huh? Trim down the fat y’all. You will be glad you did. Your house may even see you more often. And it won’t get so lonely (or dirty). Why did you buy or rent your house- so you could spend as much time outside of it as possible?? Haha I doubt that. You have to realize that doing all these activities is a choice and not a necessity.

How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

3. Stop bragging about being busy

I know I do it. I don’t really do it to brag about myself really, but just to let people know I’m frustrated with my busy schedule. But I do it to myself which is silly. Learning how to not put people on a pedestal for being busy will help you in deciding that it’s not worth it to be that busy. Look at it as negative thing and you probably won’t want it as much. There will always be that mom that can do a tad better than you on things. Live with it. None of us have the same talents and strengths. It is what it is. We have to work together to stop this cycle.

4. Schedule your relaxation time

Make sure that throughout the day or the week that you are making time for yourself to relax. It’s crazy that we as a society are so busy that we need to schedule time to be un-busy on our schedule. What’s that all about? Andy Griffith sat on his front porch almost every night relaxing after his crazy days with Barney Fife. And he didn’t have to take Opie to baseball practice. I’m pretty sure he walked himself. Well isn’t that ideal. Around here, even if I did trust my kid to walk to practice, it would be impossible as it’s a 15 minute drive just to get there in a car! Sheesh! That’s not ok! But back to what I was talking about, take your time with things and make sure that you schedule your relaxation time!

5. Revisit your priorities (your kids)

You know that voice in your head that is telling you that you need to do this for your kids? I don’t know. There is some truth to it. They usually enjoy some activities but once it crosses that line of you doing this for you (and not them) then it’s time to stop! And these “priorities” will see a lot more of you if they weren’t so busy all the time. As for you being too busy? If you have a hard time with #1 then you need to rethink who you are doing those extra projects for and decide if it’s worth not spending time with your true priorities. Just sayin’

How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

If you want to read more of my rants about being around more for your kids then please go ahead and read some of these other articles.  Summer can’t wait and neither will I and How to be present for your kids and not social media I know it’s my opinion but I like them because I wrote them!

And don’t forget that you contact me really easily and schedule your next session! I can’t wait to talk with you about all of my opinions. It’s fun to talk shop too! Let me know what you want and I can work on it!

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I Am! ~Dr. Seuss.

I couldn’t resist. If you know me at all then you know I am a great lover of Dr. Seuss. I collect his books for my kids and I just love reading them, even today. I think this quote is so important. For those of you that may be in the minority and maybe have never read this story (are there really any of you out there?), it’s about a guy named Sam trying to get this other guy to eat his green eggs and ham. He tells him to eat the meal in different places and in different fashions and the guy says no until finally he gives up and he actually likes the green eggs and ham! Go figure. I think most of the time our brain tells us we won’t like something based on looks alone and not by the actual fact that we may like the thing we are staring at. If only our minds would get out of the way. That being said, kids and often times adults will have issues with eating healthy things. Whether it is a fruit or a vegetable or something else that is healthy, sometimes it’s just not wanted. Sometimes it’s ok to have food items that you won’t eat as long as you are eating well otherwise. But in the case of some people (mostly kids), it’s hard to get them to eat anything that may resemble normal food. Chicken strips or fries anyone? Macaroni and Cheese? There are so many things I want my kids to eat that I just know they will enjoy but how do I get them to eat them? These are the things I try and hopefully they will be helpful for you too.

1. Ask them how they want it

This may seem a little bit obvious but I think this is something that most people will actually forget to do! Just ask them. What do they want? How do they want it cooked? Or not cooked? With sauce or without? Whatever gets them to eat it. If they give you an answer then go with it and make it work. Then hold them to it. If they wanted it that way, they have to eat it that way!

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

2. Give them choices

Ok this one is another obvious one for me but sometimes we don’t have the ability to give our kids choices. Especially when you don’t want to make two meals. In our house they have to eat what they get and they have to eat vegetables off the plate. We are not always successful but depending on the night it works well! If I ask them what they want before we start cooking and both options are a viable addition to the dinner I am making, then what do I care? They are now excited to eat it because they were given the power to choose.

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

3. Spread out the love throughout the day

Give them options of good foods all day long, not just dinner time. The more often they eat things throughout the day off of the healthy menu the less they have to eat in one sitting like dinner. Carrots and ranch in their lunch sack and strawberries for breakfast. Lots of options and lots of ways to make it count all day long.

4. Involve them in the cooking

Some kids get really excited at the prospect of cooking something that they made themselves. This does many things for them. It tells them that you value their services and it helps them learn to love cooking. Get really into it! Buy a chef’s hat and an apron for them to wear. My daughter will put her apron on just to get the chance to crack one egg at breakfast. Cooking becomes a chore when you are an adult but as a kid you think it’s fun! Explore cooking with your kids and get them to love it. They love the process and therefore are more willing to eat what you are making together. They see exactly what is going in and they know they will love it. Better yet- if you grow your own vegetables, have them help you pick them from the garden when they are ready. Teaching your kids these life lessons are so important at a young age. It might take a little longer but truly they do get faster as they get older.

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

5. Hide them

Last but not least, you can hide the veggies in the meal. I do this all the time. Especially when the meal is the same color as the vegetable! I have grated yellow squash finely into macaroni and cheese, or even added butternut squash that was cooked and pureed. I have added lots of different veggies to spaghetti sauce. The red overpowers almost everything you throw at it within reason!  I have even added veggies to the meat when we make sloppy joes or hamburgers. There are tons of options for this. If you can’t get them to eat it while knowing about it then you at least have to try to get them to eat it unknowingly. It’s not sneaky, it’s parenthood. Enough said.

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

I am a true lover of all things in the kitchen because I love to cook! Ya know what sounds like fun? Taking pictures of you and your family cooking together. It’s an awesome experience to do it as a family so why not document it? And what better photos to display inside your kitchen then those of you all cooking together? See? There are tons of ideas floating in my head. If you have an idea that you would like to throw at me for a photography session then contact me today! I am up for “almost” anything. ;)

If you want to see more of my stuff then go ahead and take a look around and stay awhile. I love documenting my own life as well as yours. When was the last time you had a family photography session? Is it time you scheduled one?

Much love

Heather

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

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How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Ok so today I was thinking about why and how I have the motivation to take pictures of my kids every day. Well, almost everyday. People always ask me how I do it. What camera do I have and what lenses? But people seem to forget to ask me why I do it. Is it because they know the why behind my projects or that they can presume to know the why? Do I really talk about it all that much that people don’t even need to ask me because they already know why I do it? That is entirely possible! The “why” is almost the more important question isn’t it? Would you do it? Could you do it? First we must figure out the “why” behind taking pictures of your everyday life and then we must figure out the “how” to do it part next.

My life is a series of activities that are brought on mainly as a result of my work related activities and my kid related activities. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work. And as my work is something that is literally documenting everyday lives of other people, I find that I almost have a greater need to photograph the needs of my family even more. And I think I enjoy it more only for the obvious reason. It’s my own family and my loves! What can go wrong with that?

How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Why do I do it? Why is it important? And, why should you do it?

Well all of those questions are completely acceptable to ask but in all honesty they will be different for different people. I know for me, I want to take pictures of my everyday life so that we have a visual memory of our lives. I want my kids to know, when they get older and look back at these photos, that our lives are not perfect. Our lives are everyday messes and struggles and triumphs and joys. Documenting all the fun things with the not-so-fun things will help us remember that there are always going to be struggles in life and you will get through them eventually. When we leave these types of things up to our memory, sometimes our memory will fail. I don’t want to take that chance. I want my kids to know they were loved and cared for and appreciated to the best of our ability. Please don’t take this to mean that I think without this there is a loss in one’s life. But for me, I not only want to do this for my kids, I need to do this for my kids. It’s important to me.

So you decided that you want to do it too! How do you get started?

Ok so as I always tell the kids that take my beginning photography classes, it’s not about the fancy camera or the equipment, it’s about the ability to use that equipment to its fullest. Now, I won’t go much farther than this other than to say that yes, better equipment will bring sharper and possibly- I dare say- better images, however it’s all in the user and the ability and nothing else to make certain images great. But for the purposes of your own project, you could do whatever you like! Mobile smart phones now-a-days have really nice quality cameras in them and there are tons of places to edit those photos (pic-tap-go anyone?) and tons of places to display those photos (Instagram and Facebook?) There are tons of ways to get it done. It just takes dedication. And for heavens sakes please be forgiving of yourself if you miss a day. It’s ok. No one will tell on you. There are no cameras in the sky looking down on you telling someone that you are a failure. No one cares. Place your own rules on your own project.

I have to warn you though that photography can be quite addicting so please don’t blame me if you get sucked in! It’s just a matter of time. (Psst. Don’t forget that I teach adult beginners photography classes too!) For some basics you can go ahead and check out my series on how to take a better photos. There are some really great tips in there! Make sure to read all three posts so you get the full benefit.

Now, do your images have to be great to be worthy? Um, that is a big fat no. Take it from someone who has been doing a 365 project for a while now (taking a picture a day for an entire year) that you don’t need to be great to accomplish your goal.

How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Now what do you do with all those pictures?

Unbelievably most people love taking the photos but then they don’t do a thing with them. That just drives me crazy! Ok, so for full disclosure here I have dreams of doing things with my pictures too but I have a few excuses that are not the same as yours as to why it has not happened for me yet! But really, get those photos off your computer and into print. You won’t regret you did.

Print them at your local store and place them in a traditional photo album. This, although to me the most boring way, is still a great way to get your photos in print. It provides a way for them to be seen everyday if you wanted! Isn’t that the goal here anyways? You can always try printing an album, by month or my year or by week! It depends on what your dream for those photos are! Table top books make great discussion pieces when guests come over to visit. You can get these in so many places like Blurb.com or even Shutterfly.com. They may not be the most quality places to get your work printed but they get the job done and they are very inexpensive pending what you want included in that album. Put them on your walls!! Make collages of small prints and hang them proudly. All those embarrassing moments will never be forgotten if they are in print. Each time you walk by you can laugh or cry or just be sentimental. Photos tend to do that to people. Mushy mushy.

But what about those times you aren’t that confident and you want a professional to do the job for you? Well, duh! That’s where I come in to play! I can take professional portraits of your family that you will cherish for years to come. My clients never regret giving people quality portraits as a gift or having them hung up in their home.

How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

And don’t forget that from now until April 20th I am having a contest for free stuff so please don’t forget to take a look at that while you are here! I love doing this for people and I can’t wait to do this for you! Contact me today so we can schedule your complimentary consultation and talk about your dream session.

Much love

Heather

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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