Archive of ‘Parent Advice’ category
With so many distractions these days, there are far too many things that can capture a child’s attention and keep them preoccupied for years. From things such as school activities to video games to friends and more, so much is competing for a child’s time and attention. Some receive little to no Godly influence as to how to establish a relationship with God, let alone be more faithful to Him. In a lot of cases, God is competing with other interests that a child has, which makes it tough for children to recognize Him.
Many parents who have established their own relationships with God want nothing more than to see their children have the same experience. Some parents have had life lessons that taught them to rely on God, and as a result, they developed a stronger bond with Him. Some things can’t be taught, such as what it feels like to have your prayers answered, or how it is to be lead in the right direction to avoid various perils. These things must be experienced, which further increases the faith. However, there are some things that parents can do to help their children be more faithful to God. Below are some tips that parents may find useful.
Allow Children to Establish Their Own Relationships with God
Children may find it difficult to be faithful to God if they don’t know Him. It’s important that parents find ways to get their children to know God for themselves and establish their own personal relationships with Him. That creates the bond that creates trust, which ultimately results in faithfulness.
When someone is especially kind to us and always has our best interest at heart, or has proven to be a faithful friend, then it becomes easier to be faithful to them. In other words, it’s easier to love someone who has first loved us, or to be faithful and loyal to someone who has been faithful and loyal to us. It’s the relationships that create the experience that leads to trust and faithfulness.
Parents Need to be Examples
Nothing is more influential to a child than for them to see their parents have some victories won as a result of God’s grace and mercy or His power and might. When children come to realize that God is behind all the blessings in their parents’ lives, it makes it easier for them to be believers too. Additionally, when children see how God comes through for their parents in so many ways and is always faithful, this can leave a lasting impact on the child’s heart and mind with respect to how relationships are established and how faith is built.
Children Need to Know God’s Voice
Another key tip is for parents to help children recognize God’s voice at an early age so that they will know when He’s speaking to them. This is a key component to establishing a relationship. Knowing God’s voice also allows children to respond to God when He speaks to them. It not only builds an awareness of His presence, but it also provides children with a Godly conscience.
Learning Lessons in Life
Basically, children need to be able to recognize God in various situations and see Him as God — their God. Not just their parents’ God, but the God that they’ve learned to know and trust for themselves. This, in and of itself, lends itself to both trusting in and being faithful to our mighty God.
Photo via Ginny Washburne
When you are a new mother, it can feel like you don’t know what to do. I should know. When I first had my kids, it was a massive learning curve. After all, nobody ever tells you what raising kids entails. You just assume that it will be easy when you get the hang of it. Well, the bad news is that it doesn’t get any easier than it is now. How you cope with your new responsibility changes, though, and you will find it manageable. It might feel as though you can’t cope just now, but you can. I wanted to share a few motherhood insights with you so here they are. Here are six essential things that you need to get.
#1 Weatherproofing gadgets
Pretty soon, you will want to take your baby out with you. The first time you take your kid out, you might feel that it is a massive effort. If it starts to rain, you might not know what to do. Having little things, like the Bugaboo Raincover could make a massive difference. That way, you can make sure that you are ready if the heavens open up and it starts raining. Don’t panic, you will get used to it before you know it.
#2 A diaper dispenser
When you start to change your kid’s diaper, it can feel like a bit of a rush. Yes, you have to do it all as fast as possible. That means that the best thing you can do is have somewhere clean to put your dirty diapers. You might think that a trash can will do the job, but a dispenser is much better than that. You can get one online or at the mall. Get one as soon as possible to save yourself trouble later on.
#3 Childproof locks
When your little one starts to crawl, you are going to have a nightmare. There are loads of dangers around your home, and so you need to childproof it as soon as you get a chance. You can get little child-proof locks that you can use to keep your drawers as safe as possible. That way, if your child tries to get into the knife drawer, you can make sure that they won’t succeed. Easy!
#4 Loads of baby clothes
Okay, here is the truth of the matter – babies are messy all the time. Not a day goes by when a baby doesn’t soil their clothes. The more baby clothes you have, the easier you will find it to stay on top of things. That way, you will find that it is super easy to keep your baby as clean as possible. Remember, babies have low immunity, which means that you need to keep them away from germs.
#5 A secure cot
There are loads of cots on the market. You might not know how to choose the right cot for your baby so let me help you along the way. You need to make sure that the cot you choose has high barriers. That way, you should have no trouble when it comes to keeping your baby safe. The best material for cots has to be wood as it is safe and won’t hurt them.
#6 Entertainment for your baby
You might think that newborns don’t need entertainment, but they do. You need to make sure that you have little toys and things for your child to enjoy. For example, you could get a mobile to go above your baby’s cot. These little touches will make a world of difference to your child, and so they are well worth getting.
The most important thing you need to remember is not to panic. Perfecting your parenting skills will come with time, and so you needn’t worry. Take it from me – you can do it!
If the world is to improve then we need strong female role models to help guide the way. It is especially important for young girls to see that they have the potential to achieve their hopes and dreams if they work hard and show compassion for others. Seeing others achieve their goals can go a long way towards them believing they can as well. Here are a few of the inspirational role models that children should be aware of during the crucial formative years, where they need the strongest of role models:
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
In Ethiopia, economic opportunities are rarer than they should be. Bethlehem started out making handmade shoes and has since expanded her business to include many skilled workers from the area where she grew up. This is a great example of a powerful female entrepreneur creating improved opportunity for those around her. Her company is fair trade certified and continues to grow and create opportunity for those who were formerly in a disadvantaged position
Jennifer Atiku has achieved success on many levels and was recently called to the bar. She will no doubt use her new expertise in law to achieve great things for the Gede Foundation. The Gede Foundation is working hard to eradicate and treat the HIV virus in Nigeria. They care for patients and family members on all levels. Unfortunately, in Africa there is great shame associated with disease, so those who are suffering often do not seek treatment quickly when they have the greatest chance at recovery. Gede offers counselling to those afflicted so that they realize that they have value. Clinical services offer the latest in testing and effective treatment. Education efforts ensure that disadvantaged people understand how the disease is spread and how best to prevent it. With consistent treatment, Gede is confident that they can continue to make large strides in reducing the spread of the debilitating disease and improve understanding.
Khanyi is the powerhouse behind the magazines Destiny and Destiny Man. In these magazines there is a lot of information to help entrepreneurs get good advice and find resources to achieve their dreams. Her magazines help aspiring business start-ups connect with one another and think about their long-term goals so they can better plan their business endeavours. Having guidance throughout the start-up of a business is truly crucial to quick success.
Helping children establish their own goals
Goals are important to have because they give a sense of accomplishment when achieved. This encourages children to strive for even higher goals. Determination such as this creates true change and improvement in the world. If children speak to you about someone they look up to, it is important to ask them why and help them recognize the characteristics that make this person worthy of their admiration. When children realize what it takes to achieve goals then they can set their own in good faith.
You don’t need to buy expensive toys, or splash out on home gadgets to keep your kids entertained on a rainy day. Just because you’re all stuck indoors doesn’t mean anyone has to be bored – from cooking and karaoke, to indoor tents and tips on how to make paper mache – here are five fab ideas to keep you and your kids entertained, come rain or shine.
1. Crafts for Kids
Children love to be creative, and the internet is full of simple crafting ideas for parents and kids to make and create together. You don’t even need to be armed with a load of tools and techniques to get started – you could rescue and reuse all your waste cardboard, kitchen jars and clean trash for a junk modelling session, or why not learn how to make paper mache or playdough? Made using common kitchen ingredients, play dough is easy and quick to make (and cheaper than the shop-bought version), while learning how to make paper mache will help you transform some old newspaper into something any child would be proud of.
2. Fun in the Kitchen
Cooking with your children is a brilliant way to develop their interest in food and not only teaches them essential life skills but offers a low cost, fun activity for all involved. A good place to start is baking. Cookies, cakes, and biscuits are all easy to make and there are loads of other child-friendly recipes for you to choose from. Always consider your child’s age, ability, and tastes, and be sure to involve them in the whole process – from picking out the recipe, to shopping for ingredients and eating it together afterwards. For older children, opt for more complicated dishes or recipes that will either challenge their taste buds or educate them on regional or local foods to your area.
3. Fancy Dress Fashion Show
Dressing up is always a fun activity; both boys and girls will love to strut their stuff down a makeshift runway in the weird, wacky and wonderful outfits they’ve put together themselves. Dig out any old or elaborate items from your own wardrobe and encourage them to create accessories out of household items such as lampshades, bed sheets and any craft materials you have. Lighting is important so turn off the overheads and angle any lamps you have onto the runway (a hallway is perfect), filming or photographing your child as they parade up and down to an upbeat soundtrack.
4. Movie Day
On a rainy day it’s all too easy to simply dump kids in front of the television. However, while it is worth limiting TV and computers to 1-2 hours a day, there’s certainly nothing wrong with sitting down with your children for a bit of shared screen time. A great idea for a lazy day indoors is a movie marathon. Let your kids help choose a couple of their favourite films, pop some popcorn, close the curtains and look forward to an afternoon snuggled up on the sofa.
5. Build a Den
Inspire your little one’s imagination by helping them to build their own indoor den. Gather up any extra bed sheets, pillows and boxes for building blocks, or throw a blanket over a kitchen or dining room table for an easy hideaway. Pile in lots of cushions, pillows and blankets then give them the privacy and freedom to transform their snug into their very own land of make-believe. Whether it be a fort, raft, tee-pee or teddy bears picnic, once the building work is done: that’s when the fun really starts.
It’s a well-known fact that friendships form in adversity and nothing promotes human bonding quite like danger. That’s just as true when it comes to strengthening existing relationships, like those between fathers and sons. So if you’re looking for an exciting challenge to help bring you closer together, what should you choose? This article outlines some of the best.
Conquer a mountain
You don’t need to go to Everest to become a mountaineer. If you’re on a modest budget there are some great options closer to home, with both Wales and Scotland possessing peaks that are thrilling to climb and offer stunning views from the summit. Make sure you have good gear, go at the right time of year and pick the right challenge for your ability level and general health. Climbing isn’t all about sheer rock faces; there are many paths to the peaks that require nothing more than honest toil and decent kit. Nothing beats the feeling when you’re standing together at the top.
The drive of your life
If you’re the kind of guys who have framed pictures of Ferraris on his wall and a shelf full of books by Max Mosley, a day at the races could be just the thing for you. Just as Moseley reinvented Formula 1 and made it one of the world’s most exciting spectator sports, Thruxton Racing have reinvented the driving experience for those who want to enjoy a few laps on the track themselves. Pick your vehicle from a range that includes the latest Lamborghinis and classic Aston Martins, then go for a lesson and test yourselves against the clock to see if you can beat each other’s times.
Take the plunge
Want to do something really daring together? Then reach for the skies – and come straight back down again without the plane. Skydiving might be more affordable than it used to be, but nothing makes the first step into nothingness more exciting than knowing that you’ve committed to the challenge together. You can go through your training as a team and meet up again after the big jump to go for some well deserved refreshment.
Mess about in boats
There’s always something fun to do on the water; from the electric buzz of tandem jet skiing to the rather less demanding but still exciting business of manning a dinghy together. Canoeing lessons can be great fun and Britain’s rivers offer some surprisingly tough challenges, whilst kayaking is a fantastic way to explore parts of the coast together. Boating makes a relatively inexpensive day out even if you’re hiring all your gear and it provides you with a lot of space to enjoy those all important father-son conversations that it can be hard to find time for elsewhere.
Whatever kind of challenge you choose to undertake, make sure you go properly equipped, with good sturdy footwear and suitably warm clothing. When the adrenaline rush is over, sharing some sandwiches and a flask of tea can be a great bonding experience too.
Your child’s birthday party is a milestone event that they’ll remember for years to come. Whether you decide to hold the party at your home or an outside venue, it’s important to research and plan fully, so the day goes off without a hitch. Here is a handy checklist you can use as a birthday party planning guide for your little one.
Consider the Season
The time of year in which your child’s birthday falls is a big deciding factor for many parents. This main consideration could determine where to hold the party. A beautiful late spring day would make for a nice outdoor party at your home, but what if your child’s birthday falls in the dead of winter? Do you really want 10 screaming kids in your house, messing it all up? In this case, you may want to consider holding it at a venue location where all the prep work, activity and clean up are taken care of for you. An indoor playground is a perfect choice for little ones who need to work off some of that excess energy — even in the warmer months. These parties are led by a private party host who leads all activities, plus you get access to your own party room where all preparations, food distribution, and gift opening is supervised, according to Kid Junction. Included in the price are playtime, free tokens, cake, food, and decorations and clean up, with customized upgrades available if you so choose. These types of parties are ideal because you can choose a package that works for you, your child and your budget.
Choose a Theme
Especially when it comes to younger kids, incorporating a theme into the birthday party is a great way to engage the guests and tie the whole party together. You can match all your games and activities to the theme for a well-rounded, more enjoyable party. For instance, hold a hoop-shooting contest in the driveway for a sports-themed party or create a masterpiece for an arts and crafts party, suggests Better Homes and Gardens.
Serve Age-Appropriate Foods
When it comes to food, keep it simple and fun. First off, be mindful of any food allergies that your child or any of your guests may have. This will take a little research on your part but it is absolutely crucial. In addition to the main course, such as pizza, offer snacks throughout the party that fit with your theme, such as “mummies” in blankets for a Halloween theme or beach ball cookies for a summer theme. If you can, let the guests become the chefs and have them prep and decorate their own food. You can set up an ice cream sundae bar, cupcake decorating station or make-your-own-pizza area where kids can add whatever toppings they want.
When you send out the invitations, be sure to spell out specific times for the party. This will discourage hangers-on when you really need to get your kids in for naps or have to head out to an appointment. Speaking of naptime: for toddlers, it’s best to schedule parties around this all-important chunk of your day. Skipping a nap in favor of a party sounds like a good idea at the time but it’s only setting your child up for a meltdown.
Planning is a big part of any successful kids’ party but you can pull it off with a little forethought.
Eating healthy does take planning, but when you make good choices about your protein, you can feel good about what you eat. Here are some healthy options that you can add to your diet for better nutrition, lower fat, and fewer calories. Make sure to cook them in a healthy manner with less sodium and oils, but lots of flavor from herbs and spices.
Salmon is a versatile fish rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. It can be quickly broiled or grilled without extra oil for a fast meal. Cook extra to take for tomorrow’s lunch because it’s also very tasty when served cold on a salad. The American Heart Association states that shrimp and crayfish may have more cholesterol than other types of fish, but they are a good choice because they have less saturated fat than most meats or poultry.
Tuna offers high protein, vitamin B, and omega-3 fatty acids. Like salmon, it can be grilled or broiled. Tuna is often served raw, as in sushi, but make sure you get it from a reputable fishmonger who knows that you won’t be cooking it. Children and pregnant women are cautioned against eating a lot of tuna, because it may contain methylmercury, a neurotoxin that can be harmful to the brain and nervous system.
Red Meat Options
According to Berkel Sales and Service, just because you’re trying to eat healthier, doesn’t mean you have to give up red meat. A filet mignon is very lean cut of meat that is also very tender and contains nutrients like iron that you need. Buffalo is another red meat that is very lean. With only 84 calories and less than two grams of fat per three ounce serving, you can indulge without feeling guilty.
A pork tenderloin stacks in at 122 calories for a three ounce serving with only 3 grams of fat. If you’re looking for deli meat, go for lean roast beef. Check the sodium content on the package. It might be as high as 25% or more. Ostrich is the only red meat endorsed by the American Diabetes Association. It is lower in fat grams than even skinless white meat like chicken or turkey. A three ounce serving offers 97 calories, 22 grams of protein, and only three grams of fat. It’s high in iron, making it a delicious component of a healthy diet.
According to Berkel Sales and Service (http://www.berkelsalesservice.com), turkey may be the national bird at Thanksgiving, but it can be part of a healthy diet year-round. A three ounce portion of white meat, no skin has only three grams of fat, 135 calories, and vitamins B3 and B6. Just like with red meat, if you’re purchasing pre-cooked meat, check the sodium content. White meat chicken has only a few more calories at 140 per three ounce serving.
Other Lean Protein Sources
Quinoa is sometimes referred to as a grain, but it’s actually a seed. It has 8 grams of protein per cup, with other essential amino acids that your body requires. Two cups of beans have around 25 grams of protein, without added fat or cholesterol. If you’re using canned beans, rinse them before heating them up and they’ll taste better. You’ll be adding fiber to your system. Tofu is another protein source that adds nutrients without piling on calories and fat. One slice of tofu has around 55 calories with only two grams of fat.
Visiting the dentist isn’t exactly fun for adults, and is often even less fun for kids. As parents, this can be a problem. Dragging your kids to the dentist may feel like quite the event, but it’s also a vital part of maintaining overall health.
Why Dental Hygiene is Important for Children
Sometimes, it can be easy to assume that dental hygiene isn’t important for young ones. After all, they have baby teeth, teeth that are made to fall out before adulthood. However, regular dental checkups are important, beginning in the first few years of childhood.
Per the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, taking care of baby teeth is vital for several reasons. To begin, baby teeth help children to speak clearly and chew correctly. According to Cashion Dental, a provider of affordable braces, baby teeth also act as placeholders for permanent teeth, serving as paths for the permanent teeth to follow. Regular dental care of these baby teeth helps prevent decay by removing plaque and bacteria. It can also help prevent dental problems and fix minor issues before they have a chance to turn into major ones.
Taking your child to the dentist also helps instill the importance of dental hygiene; it teaches them to brush, floss, and get checkups every six months. This importance becomes greater when kids get older as sub-par dental care has been linked to other ailments. One of the biggest concerns is the direct relationship between gum disease and heart disease.
When Your Child Should First Go
According to Cashion Dental, a clinic devoted to comprehensive and preventative patient care, there are differing opinions as to when your child should first be brought to a dentist. Some dentists suggest bringing them in as soon as their first tooth appears, while others suggest a visit before their second birthday. Still, others recommend bringing kids in at the age of three. In truth, there might not be much difference in whether or not a child is brought in at 12 months or 36 months. However, waiting too long can lead to dental problems that are not easily remedied. There is a huge difference between bringing a child in for their first visit at two years and bringing them in at eight years.
Making the Trip Easier
Some children may go to the dentist easily, others may kick and scream. You can increase your odds of getting your child in the chair with ease by taking a few proactive steps. Make an appointment at a pediatric dentist’s office rather than an adult one. Pediatric dentists are generally better trained at easing the minds of their young patients. Their offices are also more kid-friendly, replete with toys, games, and visual stimuli, that are sure to put your child at ease. In addition, practice with your child. A few days before their appointment, sit down and explain what will happen. You may even want to demonstrate on them or allow them to demonstrate on their favorite doll. It is also a good idea to consider scheduling an introductory visit before the actual appointment. This is a time that allows your child a chance to meet the dentist without having anything done to them.
Drug abuse is a far-reaching problem in this country, especially when it comes to teens during these tumultuous experimentation years. The good news is, the use of illicit drugs in teens has declined in the past 20 years, down to 27 percent in 2014 from 34 percent in 1997, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The same can be said for drugs like marijuana, alcohol and prescription pain killers. However, NIDA for Teens says drug overdoses account for more deaths each year than cars, guns and falls combined. As a parent, it’s imperative to talk to your kids frankly about drugs. The challenge is doing this in a way that doesn’t sound like a lecture.
According to Bay Area Recovery (http://www.bayarearecovery.com), choose a time and setting in which you and your teen are both relaxed with no interruptions. Be prepared in your mind to talk about your own experience with drug abuse, if any, to strengthen your case and appear more legitimate. Enlist the help of an older sibling or other trusted family member to provide an added layer to your conversation.
Find out What They Think
Instead of a long lecture with no feedback from your teen, ask him about his views on drugs. If he knows he can talk freely, you’ll get more out of the conversation than you would if it was one-sided. No one wants a boring lecture. Instead, ask questions such as, “What’s your point of view?”, “How do you feel about drugs?”, “Do you see this happening at school?” Check out the nonverbal cues you are getting from your teen and explore those with pointed questions.
Discuss Risk Factors
From genetics to a history of traumatic events, drug use can be more prevalent in some than others. Teens with a family history of drug abuse, those who have gone through traumatic past events, kids with feelings of social isolation, and those who are depressed are more likely to abuse drugs, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Why are Drugs Bad?
Rather than use scare tactics, make sure you discuss in rational terms why drugs can be deadly. Use statistics, true stories and even personal history to emphasize your points. Tell your teen why he should avoid drugs, which can affect anything from driving ability and personal appearance to academic life and health.
Use Opportunities as they Happen
When watching TV shows and movies or listening to songs on the radio that involve drug use, whether in a good or bad light, use those as opportunities to open up a discussion. This often works better than a staged talk on the harmful effects of drug abuse because it’s spontaneous and relevant, making it more likely your teen will open up.
Troubleshoot Peer Pressure Situations
Often times, teens may know in their heads that drugs are bad but they do it anyway because they’re pressured by their friends and don’t want to appear uncool. Brainstorm with your child exact wording or phrases they can say when confronted by friends looking to do drugs. Simple phrases like, “No thanks,” or, “I’m all set,” work well. You could also teach them to provide an excuse or diversion such as “My parents would ground me for years if they knew I was doing this,” or “No thanks, wanna go play ball instead?” Your teen should also avoid the places, times and situations when the likelihood for pressure is highest. These scenarios are great in theory, but in reality they may not play out the way you intend. That’s why it’s important to role play with your teen on a regular basis on how to develop strategies for turning down drugs, advises KidsHealth.
Starting these conversations early is key. If your teen is having trouble with drug or alcohol addiction, there are accessible treatment options to help your family.
If you make a bucket list for you and your kids this year, you’re bound to get lots done together. Spending quality time together is crucial, and by creating a bucket list you make sure that time is the best it can possibly be! Let’s take a look at some of the things you can include on your list, and how to make your list:
If you’ve never been hiking with your kids, you’re definitely missing out on a special experience. Hiking helps you all to get a little exercise, while take in the beauty of nature. You can teach them about flowers, plants, creepy crawlies and more. Buy a book of walks or find a walk online that you can all take. There are even games you can play along the way.
Even if you just camp out in your back garden, camping out is a great experience for your kids to have. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, go away as a family for the weekend to a camping site. You’ll all be able to bond much better as a family, mainly because you’re in the wild with no distractions. There’s nothing quite like getting back to nature!
Go to a Theme Park
Theme parks are one of the most fun days out for the family you can have. Each one has their own unique rides and attractions, so do your research first and see what’s appropriate for all of you. You could put multiple parks on the list if you really wanted!
Take a Vacation
No bucket list would be complete without the goal to take a vacation, would it? You could even have a ‘staycation’ if you don’t want to spend too much on going away. There’s no reason you can’t have a great time close to home! No need to blow your budget.
Have a Picnic
A picnic is a simple yet perfect way to spend some quality time together. Pick a nice day and have your picnic with plenty of healthy snacks and a few treats too. Bring magazines, games, and anything else you think you could do on your picnic.
Try Out a Hobby
Why not try out a hobby together as a family? You could develop an interest in photography, flower pressing, or something completely different. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you do it as a family and enjoy it!
Making Your Bucket List Together
It helps to get everybody excited if you make your bucket list together. You can make it and decorate it in any way you like. You could use colored card, make a collage, or even use a real bucket with pretty notes inside! You can then write the date next to activities you’ve completed. There’s nothing stopping you from doing those things twice either!
I hope you have a ton of fun doing these activities with your kids. Even creating the bucket list can be an activity where you spend quality time together! Make the most of it!