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Helping Kids Be Bucket Fillers

Last year my daughter came home from school and told me one of her friends “locked her out” or wouldn’t let her play. It happened the next day and the next. I asked, “Do you really think she’s a good friend?”

“Yes,” she insisted.

Suddenly, my whole life flashed before me. How many times had that happened to me? I hated to see her play with girls who weren’t kind. I knew how that felt.

And then I stumbled upon a wonderful book called Have You Filled A Bucket Today? The book compares our happiness or discouragement with a full or empty bucket. It talks about how we can say nice things to others and that fills their bucket! If we say rude things, it dips out their bucket.

In turn, if others say nice things or rude things, our own buckets can be filled or emptied. It’s a sweet book with lovely examples of real life.

The book helped my daughter take responsibility for her own behavior, kind or unkind. It took the focus off of the other girl as the truth is that we can only be responsible for our own behavior.

She began hanging out with different kids. It helped to have a metaphor to discuss the way she or others acted.

I write this post thinking about going back to school, new friends, old friends and the issues that always arise. If you have preschool aged kids, Fill A Bucket is a version written especially for them.

have you filled a bucket

I hope this helps you as much as it did for our family. What has worked for you?

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Take a pretend trip

Take a pretend trip around your house. Find a suitcase your child can pack with all the very important essentials of travel — favorite toys, books, and valuables – obviously, no clothes required. Mom and dad can do that.

Use chairs to make your car since your child has just learned to drive.
Don’t forget to document this trip with digital (of course) pictures of each destination. When you arrive, write postcards home.

Of course, your young traveler will be collecting souvenirs along the way. Don’t forget about that!
Imagine all the possibilities.

Have a great vacation!

Ten family-friendly Denver restaurants you (and your kids) will love!

Families deserve a break from their own kitchens.

But eating out can be expensive — even out- of-reach — for those whose clans are a few kiddos short of a TLC reality show.

Not to fear: The following Denver-area restaurants offer either free or reduced-price meals for youngsters. Some even provide enough wholesome distractions to let parents eat in relative peace. And that can be priceless.

1. C.B. & Potts Restaurant & Brewery

Thursday is the day to check out this modest chain: Kids can choose from one of about 14 meals for only $1. Children with heartier appetites can opt for midsize meals, dubbed “Bigger Bites,” which are larger than the kids versions but not quite as big as what ma and pa wolf down. (These meals aren’t part of the Thursday dollar deal, though.)

Noelle Olesh, general manager of the Westminster location, says the restaurants’ kitchens are set up to handle requests regarding food allergies. There are several locations across the Front Range. The one mapped is at 1257 W. 120th Ave., Westminster, 303-451-5767. To find other locations:

2. El Jardin

Owner Ben Martinez says this restaurant was recently remodeled with families firmly in mind.

“Most families prefer booths . . . mainly so the kids can sit still without running around,” Martinez says.

So El Jardin now offers larger booths, as well as its regular Monday-night special, in which kids can eat free off the children’s menu. But Martinez isn’t under any delusion as to why families stop by his restaurant.

“Kids don’t come here to