Five Ways to Show Your Love to Your Kids

It takes a conscious effort, day in and day out, to make sure that your little ones know just how much you love them. It’s not easy work, but it’s oh, so rewarding. I’m already imagining our future; a future where all our kids and grandkids come for dinner every Sunday night, roadtrip caravans to the beach and summer barbecues, filled with laughter and love. Here are five ways you can show your kids how you REALLY love them.

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1. Tell them you love them and praise them often. This sounds obvious. But you can never tell someone you love them too often. All people love to hear that they are important, and that they are doing things that make you happy. Think about the last time you praised your child for doing something right instead of scolded him for doing something wrong. That praise reinforces to your child that they are loved.

2. Really listen to your children. When you’re having a conversation, make eye contact and listen to what your child is telling you. You will make her feel important and loved by focusing on her completely while she is telling you a story or asking for advice.

3. Be physically and mentally there for your kids as much as possible. When you’re watching your son play soccer, watch the game and cheer him on. When you’re playing Go Fish with your daughter, put your cell phone away and just focus on the game. Kids intuitively know when your attention is elsewhere and that makes them feel less important to you. Put the focus on your kids and watch them soak it up!

4. Create habits and traditions that encourage family togetherness. We’re getting busier and busier, which translates into less and less family time. Even with less time to spend together, you can still create a strong family bond that will extend through childhood into your kids’ adult years. Establish routines that will make up the culture of your family. Some of ours include our nightly snuggle chats—exactly what it sounds it like: a little bit of snuggling and a little bit of chatting—and our family dance parties in the kitchen. Family traditions are also great for strengthening the bond. We take our kids apple-picking every fall, we have a huge Halloween party, and we make a summer bucket list. All of these things help create memorable family experiences. And any time your kids are remembering a fun time you had together, it reinforces the idea that you love and adore them.

5. Encourage their dreams. It’s really easy to get caught up in our own ideas of how our kids should live their lives. I know because I’m guilty of it. Instead of pushing your kids to do things you want them to do, give them the space and the encouragement to pursue their own passions and dreams. Talk to them about things they are interested in, and find ways to help them learn more about whatever makes their hearts sing. You’ll instill self-confidence as well as an overwhelming feeling of love.

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Five Ways to Be a Better Parent This Year

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about being a parent it’s that there’s always room for improvement. Here are some ideas of 5 things you could add to your parenting approach for the benefit of your whole family.

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Eat Together As A Family – My family always ate dinner on trays in front of the television. As a kid I loved it, but I vowed not to do it as a parent. We started family meals when my eldest daughter turned two. It has helped make all of us much more mindful eaters, and it’s a time when she cracks out some very funny stories! Busy schedules often mean that families aren’t able to sit down at the same time, but resolve to share a nutritious meal at home together at least once a week. Your kids will acquire better eating habits and you’ll have the chance to have new conversations as a family. You could even use this time to talk about family goals, like what you want to do on the weekend or what would make your child’s next birthday most special.

Talk Less, Listen More – Of course you’ve got lots of life lessons to teach your kids. But don’t make the mistake of shutting them down while you’re doing so. Kids need to feel heard if you want them to share more with you. And when they’re young, they need to be able to express their emotions in order to learn how to regulate them. Be a calm parent and actively listen to what they’re trying to tell you, without putting words in their mouth, and see how it impacts your relationship.

Catch Your Kids Being Good – It’s so easy to call out your kid on something you want them to stop. But how often to do you praise them for doing something good? You don’t have to make a big deal out of it, but letting them know that you’re watching and are proud of them will want them to repeat that act. Pay particular attention to the virtue they’re expressing, like “I saw how determined you were to finish that puzzle by yourself – that’s awesome.”

Be Positive – I dare you to try to go 24 hours without complaining. I did it earlier this week and I promise you, it’s hard! Being positive means that you’ll look for the positive things in people, circumstances, and all things. If negative words come out of your mouth, try to stop mid-sentence and turn it into a positive one. Being positive means that negative thoughts and words will begin to fall away. You’ll start to feel happier and happier each day.

Correct Correctly – Here’s a bit of neuroscience fact for you: our brains visualise everything but can’t process negatives, which is why we’re more likely to do something we hear. “Don’t throw that” means your child will just visualise themselves throwing it. Try to be positive in your behaviour corrections and make statements that reflect what you want to see happening. Instead of “Don’t hit your sister”, try, “That didn’t look gentle to me. How could you be gentle with your sister instead?” Then give the child the immediate opportunity to action it out / show you what they mean.

Four Top Beauty Tips for Busy Moms

Busy mums who are juggling their career and family find it hard to put their best foot forward. Why? Because it involves looking good, which usually lands at the bottom of their priority list. They lack the extra time and effort to make intentional beauty choices with so much tasks to finish at work and at home. Do you find yourself in a similar situation? Observe these beauty tips to look gorgeous without needing to overhaul your priority list and daily routine.

1) Hydrate yourself. Drinking at least a liter of water a day provides many health and beauty benefits. Apart from giving your energy level a boost and flushing toxins out of your body, drinking a generous amount of water daily will make your skin glow and your eyes shine more brightly. For variety, you can add slices of lemon and cucumber so you can enjoy a healthy dose of Vitamin C without fuss.

2) Whiten your teeth. Okay, hold your horses! Let me just clarify that teeth whitening doesn’t always need regular appointments with a dentist. There are trusty teeth whitening strips you can get over the counter. Apply them before going to bed and remove them as soon as you get up in the morning. You’ll be able to see a significant difference even after a single try. But, you’ll need to use them consistently for a week or two to have pearly teeth.

3)  Get yourself an easy hair do. The best hair length for busy moms is somewhere in between the chin and the shoulders. It’s not that long to be unruly and not that short to be tied back in a pony. You can also ask your stylist to give your hair a sassy cut that you can leave to air-dry after combing. If you’re looking forward to styling a longer hair for a special event, you can simply wear halo hair extensions just like what most celebrities do. Contrary to what most mums think, these accessories are easy to wear and are styled especially for beginners. You’ll be able to find many tips and tutorials on wearing halo hair extensions online. Check out this detailed infographic to learn about the benefits of wearing halos.  4) Have a 10 minute make-up routine. Yes. You read that right. You simply need ten minutes to look polished and classy before you begin your busy day. A mineral powder, a mascara and a lip gloss are all you need to have a fresh look on your busy days. Mineral face powders are great for adding color to your face without clogging the pores. A few coats of mascara can brighten your eyes, while a few coats of gloss can keep your lips moisturized and shiny as you work your way through your daily duties.

Whether you’re a working mum or a stay at home mum, you’ll definitely be short of time. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t be an excuse for you not to take care of yourself and look good. Try the above-mentioned tips and see how it can impact your self-confidence and how your family’s and co-workers’ impression on you.

What to Do When a Family Member Gets Arrested

It’s past midnight, and the police calls to tell you that your loved one has been arrested. What are you going to do? First of all, don’t panic. Stay calm and observe the following guidelines on how to deal appropriately with such an unfortunate situation.

1) Keep yourself from getting arrested too. If you’re able to reach your loved one at the location or scene of the arrest, behave appropriately around the police officers. Control your emotions. Avoid cursing or speaking rudely to the police officers or to anyone who may also be involved at the crime scene.

2) Ask why your loved one is being arrested. Instead of stopping the arrest, ask the police officers politely about the charge or charges against your loved one. Look it up in your state’s penal code and check to see if everything that happened might have been caused simply by a misunderstanding.

3) Ask where your loved one will be taken. Ask the arresting officers where your family member will be jailed. Make a mental note of the things you might need to prepare so you can get him or her out of the jail right away. Read this detailed infographic from Bail Bonds DIRECT for some tips.

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4) Call another family member. Is there a lawyer in the family? You might have another family member or relative who is more well-versed about the law or knows a professional who can bail someone one out. Call him or her right away especially if you don’t have the capacity to get your jailed loved one out.

5) Remind your loved one that anything he says or does can be used against him or her. Your loved one’s every movement is monitored closely once he or she gets jailed. Remind your family member that any call he or she makes from the jail might be recorded. Therefore, discussion or sharing of any information that can be used against him or her must be avoided.

The above-mentioned guidelines intend to provide an overview of what you must do in case a family member or loved one gets arrested. They can help you remain calm and organized in such a situation. However, they should not be considered as a replacement for legal advice or service from a lawyer.

Cleaning Tips for Those Who Love To Cook

If you love to cook, you probably have a messy kitchen. This is quite a challenge to many people who do home cooking all the time. While this might seem like a very difficult challenge to overcome, there are many things you can do to achieve a clean and organized kitchen. Read up.

Clean your counter top right away. Remove the chaff and other peelings from your counter tops as soon as you’re done slicing. This is the best way to keep trash from piling up and from making your cooking area a total mess. you need to be intentional in keeping your kitchen clean all the time.

Clean the sink. Cleaning the sink is one of the many things you can do while waiting for your dishes to be ready for serving. Rinse your sink as soon as you’re done using it as acid and salt from food can easily damage your sink. You can avoid grime and bacteria build-ups through regular scrubbing of your sink.

Clean your kitchen appliances smartly. It’s tempting to leave blenders, food processors and ovens unclean because they can be hard to clean sometimes. Instead of scrubbing the blades of your blenders and food processors, fill it warm water and a drop of dish washing liquid in it and turn it to high. Afterwards, rinse it with water. This will keep the food residues from caking inside your food processor. As for your oven, you must consider cleaning it right away as well. Soak the wire racks in soapy water. Create a cleansing paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste on the insides of your oven and leave it that way overnight. Wipe it off the next day. Then, sprinkle vinegar on the insides of the oven. This will remove traces of bad odor left in your oven. Finally, wipe all the areas clean with damp cloth.

Best Ways to Be on Top of Your Mail Mess

Do you feel overwhelmed by the constant overflow of letters, bills, and junk mail in your mailbox? Yes? Don’t feel defeated though. Be ready to be triumphant over your mail mess by following these tips.

Get rid of junk mail right away. Junk mail is usually comprised of printed ads which are inserted directly into your mailbox or handed to you when you’re outdoors. Instead of bringing your junk mail home, toss it into the first trash bin you’ll pass by.

Check on your mailbox  regularly. It is best to set a time for this than wait for the time when your mailbox or mail holder is full. Make sure that your mail holder is accessible and easily seen so that you can’t forget about tidying it up.

Sort your mail. Divide your mail into three sections – ‘things that require action’, ‘things to file’ and ‘things to trash’. Open  each mail and classify it according to the three labels you created. Prioritize your action items. Pay your bills right,  respond to letters and call or meet whomever you need to call or meet. By taking immediate action, you lessen the possibility of accumulating mail mess.

Go digital.  Consider going digital with your bills and subscriptions. Many engage in paperless payments as well; why don’t you try it?  This can eliminate a big part, if not half, of your mail. This will allow you to save time as well.mailbox overflow

Why Kids Need Friends or Frienships

kidsBelieve it or not, kids needs friends not only for fun or play. They need friends in order to grow up as well-rounded individuals. In fact, many studies in the field of child psychology have proven this. Here are some truths which have been derived from these studies.

1) Creating friendships develops life skills that will increase your child’s wisdom, confidence and self-esteem.

2) Children will learn the meaning of true friendship. They will learn that a good friend will have their best interests at heart and have their back. Someone who is not your friend will not have these qualities.

3) They will learn how to deal with conflict and adversity. Conflict does arise among friends and as parents you will find perfect opportunities to teach your children how to navigate through conflict.

4) They will have peers to communicate their concerns, dreams and fears which will make them feel less alone and isolated.

5) When they become older, they will have childhood memories to fall back on- remembering how joyful it was like to hang out with friends.

6) If you as parents sharply curtail your children’s use of video games, texting and other electronics; children playing together will learn to create interesting, collaborative activities.

7) The children will get a sense of building their own community when they establish new friendships.

8) The opportunity to develop leadership skills increases as children play with other children.

9) The ability to make decisions is increased when children play with peers without micromanaging from adults.

10) The opportunity of playing freely with other children helps them develop their imagination which is important for a child’s development.

11) Playing with a several children will allow them to know how other families operate and they won’t feel shocked when faced with a family situation that is somewhat different from their own.