5 Quick And Easy Ways To Protect Your Home From Intruders

Inside: 5 things you can do now to protect your home from intruders and keep your family safe.

I never thought I’d have to write this. I wasn’t even sure if I should, but after how our neighbors reacted when I shared what happened to my family I realized I had to tell everyone.

On Sunday morning at 4 a.m., my family was violated in the worst way. We were robbed.

My husband and I had enjoyed a nice dinner out for Valentine’s Day and we got home late. We had a great time and went to bed feeling like we were on top of the world.

My mother-in-law was babysitting and she was spending the night. We don’t have an actual guest bedroom right now, so she was sleeping in the kids’ bed and they were sleeping on the couch downstairs. They love to “camp out” downstairs, so we usually let them on the weekends anyway.

The kids were literally a foot from where the intruder came in.

My husband and I woke up to our 5-year-old screaming that the burglar alarm was going off. We didn’t even hear it!

Luckily our alarm company responded right away. My husband ran downstairs and found the door to our back deck wide open. He shouted, “The police need to come!”

I’ll never forget hearing those words come out of his mouth. The alarm company dispatched the authorities and stayed on the phone with me while we waited for them to come.

My husband checked the garage and realized the garage door was open, so they must have left that way once the alarm went off.

When the police came, they asked for our IDs. We realized we couldn’t find our wallets anywhere and then we knew that they had been stolen.

We’re so lucky that’s all they took. We’re lucky they didn’t see our kids sleeping on the couch and freak out. They entered and exited our home so quickly, the kids didn’t even see them. We’re lucky for that too.

I’m angry more than anything.

It doesn’t even make sense why someone would go through all the trouble of breaking into someone’s home to steal a wallet. They used one of our credit cards to spend $87 at a gas station. What did they even buy for $87 at a gas station?

Luckily our bank recognized the transaction as potential fraud and alerted us right away. We canceled all of our credit cards before they could spend any more money. I hope that whatever they bought with that $87 was worth it!

I hope it was worth a family losing sleep because they don’t feel safe in their own home anymore.

Hopefully it was worth putting an anxious mom on edge so that she is constantly looking out the window at every car passing by.

I hope it was worth causing a dad to feel like he has to sleep downstairs with a crow bar to protect his family.

Clearly they have no heart for how it feels to have this happen to you.

I’d heard it before. That you feel violated. I’m not naive. I know that break-ins happen every day. According to Safeatlast.com, there are 10,000 burglaries in the U.S. every day.

Intruder breaking into a home

Here are a few other facts about break-ins that might surprise you:

10 Statistics About Burglaries

  • There are 2.5 Million burglaries per year, 66% of which are home break-ins
  • A burglary occurs every 13 seconds
  • According to the FBI, 65% of burglaries happen between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Homes without a security system have a 300% more chance of getting broken into
  • 65% of burglars know their victims!
  • 85% of burglaries are committed by non-professionals
  • 65% of burglaries occur during the day to reduce the chance of someone being home
  • An average break-in lasts between 8 and 10 minutes
  • According to the FBI, the average loss per burglary is $2,416
  • Only 17% of US homes have a security system

Something good has to come out of all of this though. I’m not the only one that felt like it would never happen to me. That’s why I’m sharing our story.

So many of our neighbors have gotten security cameras and alarm systems over the past 4 days. If they haven’t, they are seriously considering it.

We had let our guard down. Having our home broken into, made us realize all the things we needed to do to put it back up. Learn from our mistakes and do everything you can to make sure your home isn’t an easy target for intruders.

I’m not saying that by doing these things, your house will never be broken in to. But there was less than 1 minute and from the time our door was broken, to the time these people peeled out of our driveway. Once the burglar alarm went off, they were gone in less than 40 seconds.



You can get a security system for as little as $9.99 a month. That’s the price of 2 coffees from Starbucks. Your home is 300% more likely to get broken into without it!

a security system that could be used to protect your home from intruders


We had ours set to delay for 30 seconds once the door was open when we were home, because we were always forgetting it was on and opening the garage door.

Chances are if it had gone off immediately, the burglar would have never come in our home. 30 seconds might not seem like long, but count for 30 seconds now. Think of all the things you could grab in your home with 30 seconds.


You might think that your things are safe in your home. But we had left our wallets laying on the table with the blinds open right where the burglar broke into our home.

It only took 5 seconds for them to grab our wallets, probably even less than that. Who knows, but we think they probably shined a flashlight into the window and saw the wallets, making our home an easy target.


This may seem like overkill, but we HAD a camera by our front door. From what we can tell, the burglar never went in the front yard. They likely didn’t even know that we had a security system, because they went straight to the back door.

We now have a camera by every door, so at least if someone tries to break in we will get an alert.


We actually had a motion light near the door that was broken into, but we aren’t 100% sure that it was on. Another lesson learned the hard way.

I hope that this never happens to you, but according to statistics, 87% of break-ins are preventable. So please at the very least, don’t be naive. Know that it can happen to you and do something to protect your home from intruders now.

Share in the comments if you have any other tips to prevent break-ins.

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How To Get Your Kids To Listen Without Yelling

For the past year and a half, we’ve been taking my 5 year old to different specialists trying to figure out how to deal with his sinus issues. Apparently he takes after me with eustachian tube issues, which causes fluid to build up in his ears.

When that happens he feels like he’s underwater and can have a hard time hearing people speak from far away. He’s a boy and he’s also only 5. So it’s hard to discern when he isn’t following directions because he can’t hear me or if he’s choosing not to.

Yesterday, I took him to the ENT because I thought maybe he couldn’t hear me again. BUT, that little stinker passed the hearing test with flying colors. The doctor said his ears looked better than they did the last time we were there a few months ago. The audiologist commented that it must be selective hearing and that she couldn’t help me with that. She said if she could figure out how to she would be a millionaire.

I walked away from the appointment feeling a little embarrassed. Especially when I had just finished having a conversation with the nurse practitioner about how I have a parenting blog. But I swallowed my pride and took it as an opportunity to step back and think about how to handle the fact that my children don’t listen to me.

I’ve actually been pretty frustrated recently with both of my kids, because when I ask them to do something they whine, complain, ask “WHY“?, and try to negotiate with me about what they should do instead. My mom even offered to give them $20 to use at their school’s upcoming holiday shop if they can go a week without arguing or trying to negotiate with me.

Getting Your Kids To Listen Using Positive Reinforcement

Behavior chart that helps with getting your kids to listen using positive reinforcement


It’s important to help your child see that you get them and that you aren’t totaling ignoring how they feel. Life is hard and if we teach our kids to learn how to express their feelings when they are young, we’ll help set them up for success later in life. It’s been my experience that if you ignore the fact that a 5 year old isn’t listening to you because they’re more interested in what they’re doing, it will only make things worse. He’ll just feel frustrated and will likely do one of two things:

1). He’ll stuff his feelings and end up resenting you.

2). He will have a meltdown trying to test if you’ll give in and let him do what he wants.

Instead, you can recognize the feeling and try to help your child deal with it. My 7 year old was getting really discouraged about having to restart the 7 day clock to earn the $20 my mom promised. He said that if he had to keep starting over, he’d rather just give up. So I reminded him that it’s hard to change a habit and that we could figure out a way for him to do it.

I saw that he was holding his breath and trying really hard not to argue with me when I reminded him about the deal. So I said, “That’s it! Do that, when you’re frustrated. You can put it in a bubble or hold it in your mouth instead of saying what you want to say out loud.” I also told him that he could count to 5 or count to 10 if he needed to.

When getting your kids to listen you should recognize which of these feelings they have


We also decided that I would give him a cue if I thought he might try to argue with me about something, but that I would only do this once a day. If I had to remind him more than once then he would have to start over.

So we decided that I would say, “poop” because….well he’s a boy and that’s what he wanted the cue to be. I had to bite my tongue and not interject that I thought that was the worst idea, because I knew it would also kind of make him laugh if he heard me say poop.

Getting your kids to listen makes moms feel happy


This morning when I was helping my 5 year old get dressed, I tried this strategy. I got a good night’s sleep last night so I think I was being a little more patient than normal. Plus, we weren’t in a huge rush to get out the door like we are on school mornings so that probably helped a bit.

When my son turned off his iPad when I asked without complaining I said, “I like the way you did that without complaining!” The more times I can catch him doing what I want and point it out to him, the more likely he is to continue doing it.

Using positive reinforcement, like praise can help you increase the behavior that you want (in this case listening to you). Your child’s brain will start to connect the action with the reward. Then they will hopefully start to do it more often on their own.

I hope this helps you get your kids to listen to you. If not then hopefully at least you can appreciate my parenting struggles and maybe get a laugh at my expense!

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The Best Positive Parenting Strategy For Getting Kids To Listen

Recently I polled my readers in my facebook group about what parenting topic they’d like to read about. Several moms responded with something to the tune of, “Help me with my stubborn child!” I had to laugh because I didn’t really have an answer. This is something I struggle with almost daily.

I think that’s mainly due to the fact that I myself can be pretty stubborn. My husband and I butt heads, because we are both stubborn and neither one of us wants to give in even when we’re wrong. So unfortunately I think my children are doomed to inherit some of our stubborn traits.

Being stubborn or strong-willed as a child isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. It could even be an indicator of future success according to a research study published by the American Psychological Association. But as a parent it can be really frustrating. Approaching stubbornness using positive parenting solutions can help.

I’ll never forget a time years ago when a mom I was babysitting for asked her son if he wanted a spanking. I laughed to myself when he said yes. Then he continued to misbehave and she had backed herself into a corner.

The only way she could deal with his misbehavior in that moment was to spank him. The option for him to make a good choice and change his behavior was pretty slim, since she had already set him up to fail.

Granted, he could have said no and made the decision to stop throwing toys at his brother, but he didn’t. Sometimes the way we say things as parents can set our kids up to fail and we don’t even realize it.

Different Parenting Styles

Just like the world is full of different types of people, there are different styles for parenting kids. Depending on your personality and your upbringing you may lean towards one or the other.

I prefer to use logical consequences and positive parenting styles. Since I’m realizing my kids have sensitive personalities, I also try to avoid yelling as much as possible. (Although, let’s be real, I do lose my cool and yell sometimes, especially when I’m trying to get them out the door.)

I also don’t believe in spanking my children. I’m not going to get into too much detail about why now, but I don’t think it helps. I also don’t want my children to grow up to be afraid of me.

When I was working towards becoming a registered play therapist, I learned about child psychologist Garry Landreth. I quickly realized that the way he approached parenting and therapy with children aligned with me. He believes that if we can understand the way a child sees the world, then it will help us understand why they behave the way they do.

The Choices, Cookies, & Kids Method

Landreth developed the positive parenting solution Choices, Cookies, & Kids when his 3 year old daughter had her hand in the cookie jar. He realized that in order for her to become a successful adult later in life, she needed to learn how to make the right choice on her own.

So instead of blurting out his usual response, “No, you can’t eat all the cookies,” he decided to give her a choice. He told her that she could choose to eat 1 cookie or that she could choose to eat none of the cookies.

Choices, Cookies & Kids involves using statements that help your child learn how to control their own behavior. If we are always telling our children what they can and can’t do, they’ll never learn resposibility. And it will be harder for them to know how to react when we aren’t there to tell them what to do.


  1. Offer two choices. One of the choices will be the “right choice” and one will be the “wrong choice” that will result in a consequence.
  2. Follow through with the consequence. Make sure to do what you said you would if your child chooses the wrong choice.

For example: Instead of saying, “Do you want a spanking?” the mom I mentioned before could have said this:

“It’s not ok to throw toys at your brother. You have two choices:

1). You can either play nicely with your cars and choose to continue playing with them,


2) You can choose to keep throwing cars at your brother and choose to have them taken away.”

Notice, how many times I used the word choice or choose. This is key, because it reminds your child that you are putting the responsibility on them.


Now let’s say that your child is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store, because they want you to buy them a toy. If you wanted to use this method instead of simply saying no, you would say something like this:

“I can see that you really want a toy, but we’re not getting any toys today. If you choose to scream you will be choosing not to watch tv for the rest of the day. If you choose NOT to scream and yell, you will be choosing to watch TV when we get home.”

If your child continues to throw a fit, then you would respond with, “You’ve chosen to give up TV for the rest of the day.”

If your child stops crying and calms down, then you would say, “You’ve chosen not to yell and scream, and now you can watch TV today!”

** You can use whichever consequence will have the most affect on your child. I allow my kids 1 hour of “tech time” a day and they really look forward to it. So I use this consequence most of the time, because I know it will usually work.


Be sure to be consistent and follow through with the consequence. If you don’t do what you’ve said you are going to do and allow your child to watch tv later in the day, this won’t work.

This may be really hard at first. It may seem like it’s too much trouble and you might feel like it would be easier to revert back to your old way of handling misbehavior. Any change is hard and your child will need to see you follow through with this technique a few times before they learn how it works.


For me, the challenge to adjust my thinking is worth it. Using positive parenting strategies helps strengthen my relationship with my kids, because they feel heard and understood. When I’m using these positive strategies instead of reverting to yelling and threatening, everyone in my family is happier! Who doesn’t want that?

Let me know in the comments if you try this and how it works!


The Youngest Child Syndrome

Getting Yours Kids To Listen