Posts Tagged: Mompreneur

Birthday Budget Learning Opportunities

Contextual learning is the new buzz word for education. Children learn concepts best when taught in context. So what better time than hosting a birthday party to teach some financial literacy skills to your children.

When my daughter described how she envisioned her 8th birthday party, she told me she wanted to invite all of her friends, have a big birthday cake with a princess on it, matching plates and streamers and to go to a movie. Rather than just flatly saying “no we can’t afford it”, and creating upset, I explained to her that we had to work within a birthday budget.

So I gave her an amount to work with and we priced out everything together. I had her see the numbers and choose for herself. Instead of me saying “you can only have 6 friends” – I said it doesn’t matter to me so long as you come in with a plan for a birthday party on a budget.

She compared the cost of bowling to movie tickets to games at home and how that price was impacted by the number of people invited.

She could buy the matching plates / cups / table clothes with the Disney characters, or get plain coloured ones from the dollar store to make the place look festive at half the price.

We compared a slab cake from the grocery store with a Disney princess to the cost of making one from a box and icing it ourselves. That would free up more money to invite more people bowling. Turns out – the grocery story bakery cake was very important to her and worth the sacrifice. Her party, her choices, her values – my budget. We were both happy. Had I made the decisions unilaterally, I would have been seen as the ‘meany’. Instead, I was a hero – she learned a lot and really took ownership of her party.

You might be surprised at just how creative and amazingly co-operative kids can be when they have a budget to work within!

About the Author:

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine.  Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”.  She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at

What you CAN say to a parent of a child with Autism.

There are often discussions about what NOT to say to parents about their children with autism. I wrote about it myself – how some innocent questions and comments can actually be painful for a mama raising a child with autism. Although well meaning, some comments have the opposite of the intended effect.

But please say something. Saying nothing can almost be worse. Someone recently asked me: what CAN someone say that is considered kind and helpful? That simple question stopped me in my tracks. Just asking it was a huge first step. I had a few simple suggestions that would go a long way with sensitive mamas. I’ve listed them below.

1) Ask the mother if there are any resources or books you can read to learn more about autism. That tells her you are interested in, and care about her child.

2) Ask the mother if a play date would be helpful and that you would be happy to host. Our guys need social interaction and an opportunity to practice their social skills. Sadly, they are often the last ones to get invited on a play date. Offering to host tells a mom that you’re not afraid of her child and that you are open to fostering a friendship between the child with autism and her own child. Feel free to step it up and make sure to invite the child to your kiddo’s birthday party. Those invitations can be rare occurrences as well.

3) Compliment her child. Mamas with kids on spectrum seem to only hear the negative stuff. Many dread what they’re going to read in the school agenda and worry that every time the phone rings it will be the school reporting yet another “incident”. Like every mother, we want to hear that our kids are awesome and it’s nice for someone to notice. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Here are some examples:

“I noticed your son’s language is really coming along.”
“Your daughter was really kind to my child today.”
“I was volunteering in the class today and noticed your son sat really well in circle!”
These are just a few simple suggestions that will make a tremendous difference in the life of moms of children with autism. Don’t be afraid to talk to us. We’re moms just like you, and like all moms, we love to talk about our kids – even the ones with autism.


About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six.

Join us for a Mompreneur Twitter Chat with Kyra Phillips & Julie Cole on Tuesday, April 30th

About the Chat & Your Hosts:

Join @KyraHLN, @Mabelhood & @JulieCole to discuss being a mompreneur, keys to success, tips for getting your biz off the ground and the myths behind running your own biz. Follow along on Tuesday, April 30th from 1 – 2 pm EST with our custom TweetGrid for the chat here:


About Kyra Phillips from HLN’s Raising America:

Kyra Phillips

Kyra Phillips

Kyra Phillips is the award-winning journalist who anchors Raising America with Kyra Phillips. This daytime interactive broadcast, focuses on news stories told through a parental lens and how they impact  the modern American family. Phillips joined CNN in 1999, moved to HLN in August 2012 and led the network’s 2012 election coverage. She is based at the network’s world headquarters in Atlanta.

Follow Kyra on Twitter:


About Julie Cole:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Veteran mother, Julie Cole has six very young children in her charge and is the co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc.

In her role as company spokesperson, Julie has developed a dynamic, multi-media presence. Julie has become a well-known personality amidst Canadian mom entrepreneurs. She and her business partners were recently awarded the coveted Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (Momentum) award. Julie’s willingness to share her entrepreneurial journey has led to various speaking engagements, from local moms groups to university level business classes.

Follow Julie at:


About Mabel’s Labels:

Mabel’s Labels, award-winning creators of high quality labels for the stuff kids lose! ® As four moms frustrated by our children’s belongings leaving home, never to return, we decided to create the very best personalized, waterproof name labels and tags possible. Since our start in 2003, we’ve continued to build on this commitment to excellence and our growing line now features child safety products, household labels and seasonal items. We sell worldwide through our website and across N. America via fundraisers at schools, daycares, camps and other organizations. Select products in our Write Away!™ line are available at Canadian Walmart stores and, in the US, at Target.

We’re passionate about who we are and what we do. Put simply, Mabel’s Labels is committed to providing the very best labels and customer service in the marketplace. We guarantee it!



Mabel's Labels

We will be giving away a Limited Edition Camp Combo, NEW! Scan & Store Labels & “Write-Away!” Labels to a few lucky winners throughout the chat so be sure to participate with the hashtag #RaisingAmerica for your chance to win!


Looking forward to having you join the chat on Tuesday, April 30th from 1 – 2 pm EST here: Be sure to leave a comment with your Twitter handle! 




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