Author - Fiona Royer

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Fiona Royer lives in Lincoln Park with her husband, Randall, and their twoyoung daughters. Originally from the U.K., she works in the philanthropic world and believes that manners are the key to living a fulfilling life.

Kids always making you late? Try these tips for on-time arrivals.

I hate the discourtesy of being late. I hate running from place to place. I hate to keep people waiting. With three little ones in tow (ages 2, 4 and 6), though, it kind of comes with the territory.

But does it have to? These are some of the tools I’ve tried in my endeavor to avoid tardies at school, hold down a full-time job, keep stress and tears at bay, and even enjoy going about our day together. (Full disclosure: We don’t have this subject mastered, but we are committed to keep tr...

Posted on August 28, 2019 at 1:03 PM by Fiona Royer

Encouraging a love of writing in a world of emojis

In a world dominated by likes and emojis, how do you encourage a love of writing in your kids? My traditional, British self has been pondering just this question.

Writing provides the means for children to communicate and to express themselves. There are many ways to help your child feel not only the empowerment that comes from writing but the fun that can come with it, too—at any age.

The very young

A child is never too young to embark upon their writing journey. To set the foun...

Posted on July 08, 2019 at 11:51 AM by Fiona Royer

Your little one can make a big difference for the planet

With 250 million tons of American waste going into landfill annually and 1.3 billion tons of food wasted worldwide each year, it’s important we teach our children the importance of being green. But how do you start a dialogue? Kids love to solve problems and take positive action, so how about engaging your little superhero’s special powers? Who could resist zooming to the rescue to save the planet?

Knowledge: educate
As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Helping your little heroes u...

Posted on March 27, 2019 at 11:42 AM by Fiona Royer

In the spirit of love: showing gratitude to your partner

I might pride myself on saying thank you and being thoughtful, but like many of us I probably don't show enough gratitude to the person who does the most for me: my partner. So in the spirit of love and committing to show my appreciation more, I enlisted my husband's input on ideas:

Send something to work

A no-brainer way to show gratitude is to add chocolate or a little something to a work bag. But organizing something to be delivered takes this one step further. While flowers are ...

Posted on February 14, 2019 at 7:00 AM by Fiona Royer

Purge alert! Enlist the kids in sorting and donating unwanted stuff

Chicagoans don’t need to wait for spring cleaning time to come around. With months of cold, inhospitable weather, there’s plenty of time to fit in a January purge beforehand. After the abundance of the holidays and the resolutions of the New Year, this is the perfect time to clear out the old.

I enjoy this enforced home time to reassess what our family has and needs, and to get organized. However, while clearing out can seem like a great idea when you start, it can quickly become overw...

Posted on January 07, 2019 at 1:54 PM by Fiona Royer

Help young kids see the getting season as the giving season, too

We all know how much kids like to receive. You only have to mention Santa, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy to understand how true that is. So how can we teach our children to appreciate that the holiday season is primarily about giving, not getting, and to understand how lucky they are?

Start early. Although giving and gratitude are hard concepts for really little ones to grasp, it’s never too early to start building a culture that embraces them. I’ve heard that by the age of 4 hab...

Posted on November 07, 2018 at 12:29 PM by Fiona Royer

A British expat mom on teaching kids manners

Photo credit: scribbletaylor/Flickr

With my British upbringing, I was surrounded by traditional etiquette. My sister and I were taught to listen without interrupting, learned how to eat with a cake fork, and always wrote formal thank-you notes.

In today’s busy, digital work it’s easy to forgo the handwritten approach and even to forget to show appreciation altogether. Now a mother myself, I want to be sure to teach my daughters, aged 2½ and 1 year, the value of being thankful. Like ...

Posted on June 17, 2016 at 1:05 PM by Fiona Royer