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.

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.

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.

Things to Remember about Kids with Anxiety

Loving and raising a child with anxiety could be very challenging but it is not impossible. You simply need to understand their traits and the way they think.  Read the following ideas if you still don’t know what makes your child tick or how to deal with her or him.

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Kids with anxiety need your full support. It may seem that your child doesn’t pay attention to the support you provide but you can be assured that your support doesn’t go unmissed. Kids with anxiety over think a lot. They over think about so many things and these include the support that they get from the people they love.

Kids with anxiety communicate their feelings clearly. They like to talk and speak for themselves. If your child is quiet and doesn’t tell you how she feels, it’s because she chooses not to and this is isn’t caused by her anxiety.

Kids with anxiety get tired easily. Anxiety could be exhausting and not many people can understand that. Be reminded that your kid’s mind is always alert. She’d be ready to fight or fly with lots of thoughts floating in her head. So, be on guard about your reactions and responses to her.

Kids with anxiety get overwhelmed easily. Your kid might not find it enjoyable to try new things or go to different places every week. Kids with anxiety want to be fully aware of what will happen around them. If you don’t want your kid to settle for the same thing or situation, encourage her to relax and let her defenses down a bit so she can enjoy a wonderful time with you.

Why Bike with Your Family Today?

Have you ever tried taking your family to places on a bike? If you have not, there are actually many reasons that encourage you to try this today. A few of them are stated below.

A family that bikes together, stays together.
A family that bikes together, stays together.

Healthy family – Cardiovascular diseases happen when the heart is not exercised as it fails to pump enough blood for all the organs in the body. Other diseases challenging the health of individuals today come from increased level of blood sugar and calories in the body. By using your entire body to get your bike on the road, you can toss the excess calories and sugar out of your body.

Heavy traffic immunity – Getting stuck in traffic makes you feel stressed early in the morning. If you bike, you can take the inside streets to your different places and not the main ones which motorists take.

Great savings – Saved money for not spending on gas, car insurance, registration and maintenance is one of the greatest benefits of bike riding. You can then use your savings to invest on more worthwhile things which can generate more income for you in the end.

Free workout – If you lack budget for expensive gym memberships, you can turn to riding bicycles to keep yourself in top shape. This can also save you from buying pieces of equipment for exercise which often end up dusty and unused in one corner of our homes. Studies show that consistent pedaling can trim your waistline in a much faster phase.

Younger mind and body – Biking puts all your muscles, joints and sense organs to work. As we all know, the more we exercise the more energetic we get. Furthermore, we think faster than ever. When you are on the road, all your senses must be awake to avoid accidents. Biking along beautiful sceneries can stir positive emotions and thoughts in you and your family. What a great way to make good memories together.

How to Celebrate the Season of Love with Your Whole Family

Valentine’s Day is not all about romantic love. In truth, it is about celebrating all kinds of love. Are you looking for ways to celebrate this special day with your family? Check out the following ideas.

Schedule a family day out. When you did not have kids yet, you probably spend this day on a cruise or  a simple dinner date.  Now that you cannot leave your kids behind you can plan to have a night stroll in the park. Drop by the nearest ice skating rink and spend a couple of hours or more there. Hold hands and skate with the kids. Have some  hot choco and donuts on your way home. Don’t forget to buy the kids heart-shaped balloons and teddy bears for remembrance.

Have a movie marathon at home.  Relax on the couch together with the kids. Flick the channels and see if there are must-see  family-oriented movies to be watched on this special day. If there are none, stick in the player the disc of your kids’ favorite movie. Don’t forget the pop corn. Cuddle each other as you watch.

Host a party at home. Many couples out there are spending Valentine’s Day with their kids too. Hosting a Valentine’s Day themed party at your house. Invite kids in your neighborhood to come together with their parents. Prepare craft materials that the kids will enjoy doing. You can ask their parents to bring some dishes enough to be shared among yourselves. While the kids are having, you can share meaningful conversations with other couples.

You can also watch this news video clip I stumbled upon. This is an example of a great activity that you can organize for your kids and family.