Spending Time Being Relaxed with Children

I am all about spending time with my kids. I think it’s important for every parent to get down to your child’s level and just be one in the same with them. I am not talking about playing necessarily, even just sitting back on the couch with the kids letting them ramble nonsense and you ramble nonsense back if there is a pause in between your child’s ramblings. This is a great way to teach your child how to communicate too. In case you haven’t already realized, I am that tricky parent, I am all about everything I do with my kids from fun time to not so fun time, teaches some skill or life lesson that is going to be necessary for them to learn before adulthood.

That is my job as a parent – to prepare my children for adulthood but to also encourage a love of childhood.

Parenting your Child

My youngest son really does just enjoy it when he has full center stage attention. Little man enjoys being the spotlight of our family and we let him have it from time to time. Shown above, Little Man was chatting forever to me about his school day, about his toys, about stuff I couldn’t understand and so on. It was great! I had a smile upon my face and he was happy to just have his Mama’s attention for that short period of time. That evening was a great evening, he was well behaved.

I have noticed a trend in parenthood – if you give positive attention and focus on positive attention, you get positive children & behavior.

Daughter following me

My daughter isn’t always as easy to read because the older she gets the more complicated she can be. She is a girl and with that comes the complication of our hormones. Fun years I tell ya! I have noticed that even my tween daughter isn’t much different thatn her youngest brother; she thrives on having Mama’s undivided attention and while she doesn’t enjoy being the spotlight with a full audience, she does enjoy that one on one attention. We may often be found in the kitchen and as of late, she has started doing the dishes to help her Mama out.

In parenthood – if you show the children that they are important to you, they will learn to appreciate the value of people who are there for you.

Loving the Doggy

That little man of mine enjoys bugging our dog often, he honestly wishes for a kitty. I think once he’s old enough to clean a litter box then maybe he can have a kitty. Haha! For now, we have our Pug and we love her dearly. One thing I have learned is that a pet in the house such as a cat or dog, really does help calm children.

The simple act of petting a cat or dog can calm any child, because during that moment of petting or talking to an animal you are completely relaxed of all thoughts.

So there you have it, I firmly believe spending quality time with your children, even if just 10 minutes a day, will be the difference between having a bond and not having a bond the length of your child’s life!

 

 

5 Tips to Raising Positive Thinkers

Raising children is no piece of cake, each day you are forced to adapt to a new challenge. I firmly believe my two sons, specifically, were put on this planet to lighten me up and keep me on my toes. Little do my boys realize, I have zero balance on my toes. It’s a constant juggling act around here to keep things steady. The easiest way for me to explain my parenting techniques is to share with you my personal favorite 5 Tips to Raising Positive Thinkers. These are tried and true techniques that worked for me, but let it be known, these are techniques I have done since DAY ONE. If you are just coming into this and trying it for the first time, understand it won’t be something that works in a couple of days; keep on it Mama and Daddy, things do get better!

5 Tips to Raising Positive Children

ONE - The ever so obvious first step is to lead by example; start living your life in the positive. Bills have you hanging your head low? Kids stressing you out? Learn to find that happy place, the one thing you can do for just one minute that will allow you to breath and come back swinging with a smile! For me, it’s music. Each night I decompress in the kitchen while cooking dinner and doing dishes over music, Pandora app is the chosen musical player and the genre depends on what type of day I had.

TWO – Never underestimate the power of your words; if you want your children to be positive thinkers, then you must learn to be a positive thinker. Homework a challenge? Kids ready to run and toss that homework in the trash? Total meltdown central? Allow your children, through your example, to step back from their homework. Provide your children a way to evaluate their own reasons for a meltdown, think about it, know the emotion they feel and work towards a solution that will allow them to complete what they have to in a way that is less stressful. This teaches your child to use their mind and words to solve an emotional problem with a positive outlook.

THREE – One can never have too many hugs; a simple hug as often as possible through out your child’s day never hurt anyone. A 20 second hug has also been shown to release the happy hormones in every one; whether a child or adult. So take time to hug more often because that is one way to show love and affection to your child with minimal effort. A 20 second hug can do far more to teach your children to be positive thinkers than any words you speak. Remember, actions speak louder than words, correct?!

FOUR – Teach your child how to brainstorm; we live in a very technologically driven world, social media makes it so that we don’t have to use our brains as often, please do not underestimate the power of teaching your child to use their mind. A great way to teach your child to be a positive thinker is to teach them pros versus cons lists, written with a pencil and a piece of paper. You know that old school; make a column with pros on one side and cons on the other to help you  make a valid decision based on your scenario. This old school method will teach your child to focus on the pros vs cons and in turn will allow them to eventually realize more often than not the pros aka the positives of a situation may be more beneficial than the cons aka the negative.

FIVE -  Use your words effectively; your kids have you all stressed out, ready to scream! You want so badly just to run away because your “what I can handle” meter has reached a near overload. This is okay, it happens to the best of us. We are human, remember? It is how you handle that meter about to explode that can teach your child to be positive or negative. Knowing who we are as an individual can benefit your child in so many ways, learn to use your words, learn that it is okay to tell your child that you are at your limit and need a moment to go breath. This teaches your child to use their words when feeling overwhelmed with negativity and to be able to think wisely about the words they say next. Time can make a difference in the words we use.

Well there you have it, my five tips, of course I am sure you may have some more and I would love to hear them. Please leave one comment below with a tip of positive parenting that will enable children to be positive thinkers, I will be happy to hear your tips & suggestions!

Remember, it takes a village to raise a child!

 

Stop Explaining Yourself. Just Stop.

The real story of your life doesn’t need to be explained. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to explain nor get anyone else to understand the decisions you make in life. Sure people may shake their heads. Sure some may feel that you keep making the same mistakes. Who cares? I am sure every one of us makes similar mistakes over and over again in our lives, we are human.

You Make your Own ChoicesIt’s difficult for me, as a writer and avid talker, to not get caught up in explaining myself or my decisions. I have been raised in a way that I always felt the need to explain in detail why I have made decisions that I have made. Finally, one day it dawned on me that no matter how much I explain my scenario, no one else, aside from those walking in my shoes will fully comprehend the place I am coming from. The only people I take fully into consideration when I make decisions in life are my children.

That means when I have to move or spend money on something, or find more work; the ultimate goal is to ensure I am making a decision that benefits my children. I am not always perfect, occasionally I may make a decision that I feel isn’t bad for my children but may not be the best decision in the long run for my complete happiness. Yet, when faced with the scenario of having to make a choice again, I get caught up in the whole “what will people think” mindset. I need to just stop!

Those who are true to me, those who truly love me and care for me as a person will realize that they don’t need to accept, understand or comprehend my decisions; they simply need to be there to support me in all areas of my life. I have a few close people in my world and while I know full well they don’t always agree with my choices, they will support me and let me know that this is my life; at the end of the day I am the one who has to decide what’s best, not them. They respect that and I admire them for that choice they make, for those types of people are the ones I will go to time and time again for insight on my thoughts. 

Having my middle child recently diagnosed high functioning autistic, made me step back and realize even more so that I don’t need to explain anything. My son may look at people with a serious face that comes off as a glare, he isn’t trying to be mean; he is simply a very serious child who smiles at home in his comfort zone but overall doesn’t show emotions in the way everyone else expects him to. I want to raise all of my children through example that they, too, will never have to feel as though they must explain themselves to anyone!

So the next time you find yourself sitting down with someone and trying to explain to them why you made the decisions you made, remember that it doesn’t matter why to any outsiders. No one but you and maybe those who reside with you need to hear your reasoning, but even then, at the end of the day, you are your own person and must ensure that you are following your path in life. A happy person makes a happy environment.

Find that voice in your head that says “JUST STOP” each time you find yourself over analyzing, over explaining or feeling as if the world may shake their head at you. The world doesn’t matter, you matter most! Take care of you.

My Kids Work For Incentives and I’m not Talking Bribes

Bribing is an emergency parental tool in my opinion. I am sure to use it when I need a quick outcome to something, but it’s not a parental strategy that should be used all of the time. The best way to gain your child’s respect and teach them responsibility is to setup some sort of incentive program to get them to be 1) more independent and 2) responsible. As a parent we must teach our child, rather guide them, into the world of adulthood by setting up healthy boundaries, sticking with clear cut consequences and giving a bit of responsibility to them. Teaching a lot of the normal skills in the way I am used to parenting doesn’t work for all of my children, the first born and last born take kindly to my normal parental approach but my middle child has been the challenge.

My middle child is unique and thinks differently, my normal parenting techniques haven’t ever really worked for him. This is why I am always trying to be creative in addressing any issues that come from his medication being off or his changes as he gets older. Incentives is the way to go and I’m talking incentives to do every day normal things that he is capable of doing but can prove to be extremely difficult to get him to do. My middle child is more sensitive, his mood disorder plays a toll on him and he is a very literal child who is routine driven. I, on the other hand, am a fly by the moment person who loves surprises and just “wings” it. I have to train my brain to properly react to my middle child to ensure the best growth for him as a person.

During the Summer we had a schedule, this schedule was written up on a poster board, if there were to be any changes to that routine I had to let my middle child know ahead of time to avoid any major frustrations. The schedule worked amazingly to keep him on track and make our Summer full of fun. When school went back into session, the schedule no longer applied and was taken down. As my middle child’s medication stopped working fully I watched him withdraw from doing every day normal tasks such as brushing teeth, getting dressed on his own, wanting to do anything on his own, constantly needing someone there by him. It was rough and that’s when I decided to nip it in the butt with an incentive chart.

Incentive Chart

I decided to choose some tasks that I knew my middle child had to work on being encouraged to do on his own, providing him with more confidence in his own self and giving an incentive for his tally mark on the chart. Since my youngest and middle child are 1) both boys and 2) only 2 years 6 days apart, the incentive chart was created for both of them to work off of.

On the chart are tasks I want them doing on a regular and on their own, such as reading a book, cleaning up after themselves and getting their own self dressed both in morning and after bath for bedtime. I also wanted to get them brushing their teeth on a regular, as they were really getting frustrated with the idea of teeth cleaning again.

Since I started this chart, where they put one tally mark for each time they complete a task, I have seen amazing changes. My sons get themselves dressed in the morning before school, they brush their teeth on their own without me even asking, they have a love for books again and they love feeling accomplished in doing these things on their own.

At end of week, each tally mark counts as ONE PENNY, yes, they work for ONE PENNY each without complaint. Last week my middle child earn 23 cents and since he followed the chart so well, I gave him a quarter instead of 23 cents. While you may see this as a small amount, even my daughter will work for such small amounts because for my three children it isn’t about the money they are getting, it’s about the positive response from me beaming with pride and hugging them telling them how pride I am of them.

So you see, my kids work for incentives but it’s more emotional incentives than it is money based.

GradSave’s Fallen Heroes Program – Helping Children of Fallen Hereos

KevinVGradSave wanted me to take a moment to share some information with you all about their Fallen Heroes program which is a program started in partnership with the Children of Fallen Soldiers Organization. GradSave wants to remind you all this 4th of July holiday season that it is important to them to help children who have lost a parent in the Armed Forces get a discount on college costs.

Here is how you can help:

  • Share this post on social media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Write an article of your own about this wonderful program to help children of Fallen Heroes.
  • Leave a comment in support of this great cause.
  • Donate money to the children of Fallen Heroes.

You can visit the Fallen Heroes website to see each child’s story as they have a few children featured right on the home page. Whether you choose to donate to all of the children or just some, you will be helping make a child’s future education a larger possibility and to me it would be an excellent thank you to the children of those who fought for our freedoms.  You can choose to donate one time, once every 3 months or once every 6 months even up to once every year. Every little bit helps, so even just visiting to learn more and sharing GradSave’s Fallen Heroes program with those you know will help spread the word all over.

Let’s give back to the children who lost their parent or parents who were serving their country to fight for our freedoms!

GradSave is a also great way to save for your child’s college by involving friends and family to contribute to their college fund. Check them out here and register today or give a gift card to someone you love.

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