Category : Parenting children

Parenting children

Parenting Solutions:6 Tips to Creating a Great Family Culture

You hear a lot of talk about creating a great family culture these days. So much, in fact, that "family culture" seems to be either a political tool from the right or a hang-on from the great washout known as the '60s.

In reality, having a great family culture is an important factor in helping the members of your family stay strong and able to resist outside influences. It's about realizing that you are all on the same path, working towards the same goals, albeit in different ways.

Here are 7 tips you can use to help your family understand and appreciate the things that make your family special:

1. Spend time together doing fun things. It's easy to get lost in day to day tasks of running a household. Spending time together haing fun allows you to step out of the taskmaster role and see your children in a different light.

    Choose activities that not only entertain, but that offer an opportunity to work together, or to be challenged. You may be surprised by the   strengths that are revealed.

    2. Know what you stand for. Be clear about what is okay and not okay for your family. Even more importantly, make sure you spend time "talking the walk and walking the talk." Every member of your family should know what values are important to their family. Furthermore,these should be values that are lived by all members of the family - including you.

    3. Know where you're going to. An important part of growing as a family is having a set of goals that everyone is working towards. This can be range from knowing how cook for the family, to making sure to give back to the community.

    4. Be respectful to other family members. It's not uncommon to see family members speak respectfully to the next door neighbor, and then turn around and deride another family member. Make sure every family member learns how to speak and act respectfully towards each other.Establish a "zero tolerance" rule for physical or verbal abuse.

    5. Hang up your family's rules. Whether you sit together and decide the rules together as a family, or whether you as the parent (s) decide  and then present them to your children, actually hanging up the rules makes a tremendous difference.

    Not only are they a reminder of  what is important to the family, but it's a lot harder to argue "I didn't know" when it's right there up on the wall.

    6. Be an agent of change. Instead of blaming others for their lousy behavior, look and see what you can do to change the situation. Accept that you cannot change someone else's behavior. You can try to influence, persuade, or pressure, but ultimately you can only change your behavior.

    So the next time you have a problem with someone in your family (or anyone for that matter), ask yourself, "What can I do to improve the situation?"

    None of these 6 tips are a quick fix: they take time, effort, and a  willingness to carry things through until the end. The results, however, are changes that will be felt not only in your family, but your children's  families as well.

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    Parenting children

    Parenting Solutions: 7 Tips for New Moms

    Being a new mom with other small children in the house can be overwhelming at times. You not only need to recover physically from birth, but you need to deal with your children's reaction to the change in the family- and this is all on top of your regular responsibilities as a wife and mother.

    In order to help you get through this period as smoothly as you can, here are 7 tips you can use to help you not only survive, but thrive:

    1) One of the most important things to remember, is to take all the help you can get, right from the start. It's very common for women to try and do everything in the beginning, and then a month or two later conk out from over-exertion. This is not a great idea for many reasons, but it is especially not good because by then no one will be offering you any help.

    Even if this means you might need to pay for a teenage girl to take the kids out for two hours in the afternoon so you can have a nap, then do it. Cut back wherever you can, but this can make the difference between a functioning mommy and a mommy who is on the edge, barely hanging on.

    2)Try and be as organized as you can. Even if you have to make yourself a schedule, do it. That way you will at least be able to delegate to your husband or anyone else who offers help, because you will know exactly what is supposed to be done. Your husband could even look at the schedule and know how to help you without even asking you.

    3)Cook double recipes. It's not much harder (and even a little cheaper) to double a recipe when you're cooking. That way you can have a ready made meal for those days when you just don't have energy to even stay awake. Invest in quality storage containers, and label whatever it is you put in there, so you don't end up with a mystery container.

    4) Limit the amount of clothing your kids wear. It may sound strange, but I have found that having more clothing does not mean less laundry. Through some mysterious mechanism it happens that you end up doing the laundry just as often as you always did it, but now you have more to do. Better to stick with 5 outfits for everyone, and use your dryer. It may not be as ecologically sound as hanging up your laundry, but it gets the job done.

    5) Make a regular weekly time to get out of your house with your husband, alone- no kids allowed. You can do this even if you have a nursing baby; just go around the corner for a walk and an ice-cream, if you have to. It's easy to get lost in child care with so many little children, but you are a wife first and then a mother. You need to invest in your relationship with your husband in order to have a strong marriage.

    6) Make a regular time daily for yourself. Even if this means being able to take a 5 minute bath by yourself while your husband holds down the fort, do it. You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of your family.

    7) Give your children something special to do when you do a chore that really needs your attention. If you find dinner is burning because you keep having to deal with your children, or you find yourself averaging about 2 washed dishes every half hour, then consider pulling out a special toy to keep the family occupied.

    My favorite is playdough; I don't mind the mess, and I make my own batch so if it ends up in the garbage anyway it's not the end of the world. You could also let them join in helping you around the house; washing sliding doors, walls, or doors is a great one as long as you keep an eye out on water usage.

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    Parenting children

    Parenting Solutions: Bribing vs. Rewards: How Are They Different?

    Rewards are a common form of reinforcing your child's behavior. Some parents, however, resist rewards, arguing that they feel too much like bribery. "Why should I give my kid a prize for behaving how he's supposed to act anyway?" some parents complain.

    The truth is that bribery and rewards are similar: both involve a promise of compensation to your child in exchange for good behavior. However, there is one fundamental difference that is key, and that is when the compensation is promised.

    Let's say you're trying to get your 8 year old to settle down and go to sleep. He has been delaying for the last hour and a half with drinks, bathroom stops, and a sudden desire to share new information with you. Finally, fed up, you promise him a chocolate bar with his lunch if he goes to sleep within the next few minutes.

    He happily agrees- and you've just bribed your 8 year old. Why is this? Look at what prompted the offer of compensation: was it his good behavior, or his unacceptable behavior? In this case, the reason you decided to offer him a chocolate behavior was to stop his bad behavior.

    On the other hand, let's say you sat down with your child and discussed the problem of late bedtimes. After discussing possible causes, and each side giving suggestions on how to solve the problem, you chose a chocolate bar as one of the rewards for going to sleep on time. That night, when your 8 year old chooses to go to sleep on time, he is being rewarded for his good behavior. The reward was a planned response to a desired behavior.

    To put it simply: bribes are promised while you're child is acting out, while rewards are promised before the behavior occurs. If you think about it, there isn't really anything so terrible about this. Could you picture yourself turning down your paycheck on payday, explaining to your boss that just being able to help other people is reward enough?

    Rewarding children for acceptable behavior can help children muster up the necessary motivation to tackle an otherwise difficult or unpleasant task. As parents we hope that in the long run, our children will eventually see the value of whatever it is we want from them.

    What do you think? Do you use rewards in your house? And what for? Do you use rewards as a short-term motivator, or do you use them on a more consistent basis? Leave a comment; I'd love to hear what you think!

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    Parenting children

    Parenting Solutions: Self-Esteem and the Learning Disabled Child


    One of the most important issues that parents worry about is maintaining their child's self-esteem. If your are the parent of a child with learning disabilities, then your worry is compounded by the knowledge of the very real challenges your child faces every day.

    Whether you look in a parenting magazine, an online forum, or read the newspaper, it seems that everyone is worrying about making sure their children have high self-esteem. Interestingly enough, however, high self-esteem seems to be a relatively modern phenomenon: there seems to be little reference to it in the popular literature as recently as pre-World War II.

    Why is this? Were parents less concerned about their offspring than they are now? Some would argue that "in those days" families were so busy surviving, they didn't have time to worry about the items higher up on Maslow's hierarchy. After all, if you're not sure whether you'll be able to feed your children, your'e unlikely to spend precious time (or money) on making sure they feel good about themselves.

    However, even if you look at the more well-to-do classes, there is still very little mention of making sure the progeny felt good about themselves. Correspondence, advertisements, and popular literature still show a paucity of references to self-esteem. Parents wanted their children to be happy, healthy, and to be able to provide for themselves. They expressed concern over passing valuable family traditions on to the next generation. But feeling good about themselves seems not to have been an issue.

    Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from this. The post-World War II generation was the start of a time period where the structure and function of each family member changed radically.

    For many families, fathers became the breadwinners. Women stayed mostly at home, raising their families. Children, whose bread-winning capabilities were no longer relied upon, were finally allowed to be children: they had time to play, read, pursue hobbies. School became accepted as a way of improving one's self; it was the gateway to prosperity and a better life.

    Suddenly even the average person had "leisure time," and enterprising businessmen rushed in to fill this heretofore unknown need. Perhaps it was then the pursuit of happiness changed from being a dream to an expectation. Even more importantly, happiness changed from being something you achieved on your own, through worthwhile accomplishments, to something others gave you.

    This is what is at the root of all of our troubles with self-esteem today. We say we want our children to be happy: to feel good about themselves, to be happy with who they are and what they can do. But if they must look to others to fulfill this for them, then they will never truly be happy. Not only will they want more "happiness," but they will feel entitled to it.

    Furthermore, we confuse happiness with other more appropriate terms such as "joy" or "satisfaction" or even "fulfillment." These are things that the most endowed webkinz site cannot give our children. Hard work, giving back to others, sacrificing for the good of a cause outside of themselves-these are difficult feats that cannot be bought at your local mall.

    However, it is precisely these opportunities that our children need to have  in order to have high self-esteem. If we can allow our children these opportunities, they will learn they can make a difference in the world, despite their various "handicaps." A report card full of low grades, a teacher's sarcastic words- all of these will pale eventually in comparison to the good they know they can give back to the world.

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