Tips for Raising an Anxious Toddler

Having an anxious toddler is no easy feat in parenthood. Your child will feel worried for what seems like no reason at all. Your anxious toddler probably fears new situations, new foods and anything that comes into their life unexpectedly. Having an anxious toddler can be parenthood difficult because you simply want to help your toddler be less anxious but aren’t sure the best way to go about that.

Today I’m sharing tips for raising an anxious toddler to help you survive the anxious toddler years with ease.

Tips for Raising an Anxious Toddler

Tips for Raising an Anxious Toddler

Do not Avoid

The worst thing you can do for an anxious toddler is to create a world where you avoid anything that makes them anxious. While you should adapt life to make anxiety be easier to manage at a toddler age, avoiding every situation that makes your toddler anxious won’t help them overcome their anxiety.

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Teach Emotional Words

Start teaching your anxious child an emotional vocabulary. These will be words that define how they’re feeling. An anxious toddler is going to need to be more equipped with emotional words than the average toddler. Teaching your anxious toddler how to recognize their emotion and verbalize it will help make anxious moments easier.

Teach Management Skills

Chances are that if your toddler is already showing signs of anxiety then they’ll tend to be a nervous person in general. Start teaching your anxious child management skills to recognize how they feel,  express it verbally and then work through the anxious feeling. These skills must be taught as early as possible.

Tread Lightly

Lastly, you will want to tread lightly when it comes to having an anxious toddler. Be sure to tread lightly into a new situation or experience. Take the time to explain to your anxious toddler where you’ll be going, who will be there, and what will be expected. Doing these steps to tread lightly will help keep anxious toddler meltdowns minimal.

Anxious toddlers are just like you and me, we all get a little nervous when something new is about to happen or a big change occurs. Working to implement each of the tips I shared today for raising an anxious toddler will help make life a bit easier for you and your toddler.

 

Switching my Teenager from Public School to Online Charter School

I think it was around November 2017 when my teenager had finally had enough. The public school was creating such issues and no matter what we tried, the situation just got worse. My past high and regular honor roll student was now at risk of failing and in some cases, actually failing courses. I was so confused as to what to do.

Obviously, we had some counseling, we had some evaluations with health and yes, my teenager has some health issues. Whether my teenager had health issues or not, I knew that public school just wasn’t working for her. I don’t think it went much deeper than that. Public school was no longer working for her. Here was a teenager who wanted to advance, had advanced academic goals, and she was hitting a roadblock anytime she tried to advance. I can imagine that would make you shut down, especially as a teenager.

Going Public School to Online Charter School

Finally, I had a conversation with my teen’s father, we had been trying to figure out what to do. Obviously, neither of us wanted her to fail school. As a test we allowed our teen to take 1 or 2 online courses with VLACS, this is a completely free online charter school for NH residents but outsiders are able to attend VLACS {Virtual Learning Academy Charter School} for a tuition fee {Don’t quote me on that, but I think that’s how it works}.

We are obviously residents of NH so VLACS was our option and my teenager decided to try a couple of courses. The deal was I wanted to see how well she did with self-motivation, taking charge of her classwork and submitting work in an online environment. I took three years of college online, so I knew how it worked but I had no idea how a charter school online would work.

Finally, we were able to pull my teen right out of high school, we had pretty much had enough. Life for my teenager was spiraling downward and I refuse to let my kids spiral downward when they are other, more open-minded, positive options. Her father and I agreed to pull her from public school and place her into online charter school. It took nearly 2-3 months before we finally had all of the data ready to put her in enrollment for full-time VLACS.

 

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They do not mess around with this online charter school, while my teenager is getting all A’s now and is taking courses like Latin, World Religions, Algebra 2, etc etc; she has a strict routine and schedule to follow with VLACS, this online charter school keeps a close eye on their students.

Here are the basics with how we started the process to switch to online charter school:

  • Received permission from the public school to have teen take a couple of courses with the online charter school.
  • Realized that the teenager wasn’t doing so well in public school, literally spending hours in the hall or art room not actually attending classes.
  • Admitted/accepted that there an issue and public school there was no longer working for my teenager, finally talked to her Dad, switched to “homeschool status”.
  • VLACS aka an online charter school, at least here in NH, wouldn’t take my teenager in as full time right away, she had to earn that position.
  • Within a few months of figuring out how I had to get her enrolled and ready for full-time online charter school – we had our advisory meeting.
  • My teenager blew the advisor/account lady for online charter school out of the water, needless to say, they were impressed.
  • My teenager was accepted as a full-time online charter student in March 2018 and even has her own high school charter student ID for VLACS.

The process wasn’t easy and even today I have many phone calls per week and I have to log into my VLACS parent portal to keep track of grades and data. So far though, my teenager is the firstborn of three kids and has a really great head on her shoulders. A leader by nature with her own academic goals in mind that she doesn’t need a huge shove to handle her online charter school classes.

I am proud of my teenager and this whole situation proved that sometimes you have to make a change in order for your teenager to grow to their full potential.

If you’re thinking about homeschooling your teenager or having them attend online charter school, here are my top 3 tips for you:

  1. Do not ask the public school for full info on “how to do the switch”, contact your state’s Dept of Education or do your own local research on how to.
  2. Make sure to test your child and evaluate if they’ll be able to handle the work commitment of an online school, it’s hard!
  3. Be confident in your child’s ability to attend their online charter school on time and use your parental logins to review their status on a regular basis.

 

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Be confident in your decision! Homeschool or attending an online charter school is becoming more popular and accepted but some people in the world will still say that it’s not how schooling should be. My teenager may choose to graduate a year early because she CAN using the online charter school. My teen is taking ADVANCED courses in areas that SHE LOVES because of her online charter school. Attending the type of school that makes you feel supported, encouraged and appreciated can be the difference between a depressed teenager and a confident teenager.

Do what is best for your teenager, always.

The journey of switching from public school to online charter school

It’s April Vacation Here and This is How I’m Balancing

How does a work at home mom who has many hats survive April vacation week? Ask me in about four days.

No, seriously though, this isn’t my first school break week trying to figure out how to juggle the trio while working the multiple tasks I do from home. If you’re a work at home parent like me who needs to keep that work flowing even during school break, here are some ways I have learned to juggle the parent vs work at home life when school is out.

Tips to Juggle School Break and Work at Home

Tips to Juggle School Break and Work at Home

Remain Calm

The first tip I can give any parent who’s trying to get their client work done or blog writing completed with kids running around in the background is to remain calm. One day your kids will be grown up, out of the house and living their own life. Do not take one moment for granted and don’t let the busyness of work keep you from enjoying this happy chaos. Breath before speaking if you’re trying to get work done and the kids are simply loud as loud can be. At this moment, once you’ve remained calm, you may speak up in a kind voice to let the kids know they can be loud in a little while but you have work to do so could they either go outside or just be a bit quieter for a bit longer.

Set Expectations

I totally bombed it this April vacation and didn’t do what I usually do in the summer break season – set up a poster board with a timeline of the day. I usually set expectations for my younger two kids because one is on the autism spectrum so he does well with a visual list of times for his day to day tasks. Since I didn’t prepare, I am winging it but with expectations verbally told. I let the kids know if they give me the morning to do my work that in the late afternoon they will have me to interact with and enjoy life. Let your kids know that you expect them to have certain boundaries respected while you’re getting work done and express those in a calm, respectful manner.

Enjoy Little Moments

The trio and I have a really great relationship, while things were rocky for a bit due to a situation here, the bond is growing back like it was before all of that bad stuff happened. Currently, the trio and I are back to having a mutual respect and trust for each other. The trio knows that when I say this will happen, it will happen which wasn’t the case for the past couple of years. I remind myself to take a break come afternoon to go for a walk, sit and interact with the trio as they enjoy a YouTube video, show or game of their own. I listen to them and laugh with them. These little moments actually make it easier for me to work around their vacation days.

Be Realistic

Lastly, I have learned to be realistic with what I can accomplish during April vacation or even summer break. I have learned where my limits are, what hours of the day are best for me to get work done without the youngest needing some Mama attention and so forth. When I start setting realistic expectations my stress levels reduce and I’m able to successfully juggle both work and parenthood. The only way I could start being realistic was to stop thinking that I had to do it all and do it all in the same day. I learned that I have limits and need limits to remain happy and healthy.

Juggling your kids during any school vacation while working at home isn’t easy. As your kids get older, the juggling may be easier but not always. My kids are age 9 and up yet still that little man needs his Mama’s attention sometimes more than he did when he was a toddler. Remember that while you’re busy making a successful business online, your kids are growing up. Be certain that you maintain a proper balance between parenthood and work so that your kids don’t grow up feeling as if you put making money before them. There will always be time to make money, especially when you work from home but this moment with your kiddos won’t be around forever.

Cheers to your success and ability to remain calm, set expectations while being realistic and enjoying those little moments of childhood while they last.

 

Building Your Brood: How To Prepare For Your Second Child

Adjusting to parenthood can be a tough task, but the challenge becomes even more difficult when you introduce a new addition to the mix. Going from one child to two brings a series of changes, and it’s important for you as a parent to adapt to having two kids as well as being there to help your first-born get used to life as a big brother or sister. If you have a child and you’re thinking about adding to your brood, or you’re already expecting, hopefully, you’ll find this guide useful.

Adjusting to parenthood can be a tough task, but the challenge becomes even more difficult when you introduce a new addition to the mix. Going from one child to two brings a series of changes

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Choosing the right time

If you have one child and you’d love to have more children in the future, it can be tricky to find the perfect time to expand your family. Do you want a small gap between the kids or can you not even contemplate trying to survive those sleepless nights again now that you have a toddler settled into a routine? There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing the right time to start trying for another baby, but there may be factors you’d like to consider. If you were unable to conceive naturally the first time around, you might have difficulties this time too, and it may take a long time to get pregnant. Even if you didn’t have any issues the first time, there’s nothing to say that everything will be straightforward this time. We tend to take our ability to conceive for granted and assume that it will just happen. The reality is that every couple is different. If you’ve had tests like semen analysis and fertility treatment in the past, it’s wise to set up a meeting with your doctor and discuss the options if you decide that you’d like to try for another baby. If you’ve not had treatment before, but you’ve been trying for a while without any success, it’s worth seeking expert advice. In your head, you may have it all planned out, but unfortunately, things don’t always pan out how you’d like them to.

If you’re celebrating happy news and you’re expecting again, one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is telling the people you love.

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Telling your child

If you’re celebrating happy news and you’re expecting again, one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is telling the people you love. If you have a child already, you may be approaching revealing this news with a mixture of emotions. Of course, it’s an exciting time, but you may also be apprehensive or anxious about the reaction. If your child is still very young, they may struggle to understand, but an older child could display a range of emotions. They may be thrilled that they’re going to be a big brother or sister, but they might also be worried about what this will mean in terms of having to share their parents. If you are looking forward to telling your child, it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve had scans and made sure that everything is fine and the baby is healthy and developing well. It may also be a good idea to take your child along to any scans you have later in the pregnancy so that they feel like they are part of the journey.

You may think that life is hectic enough with one child, but wait until another little person joins the fold. Life with one child is very different to life with two, so it’s best to be prepared for long days and nights and to try and get ready as best you can.

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Prepping for life as a father of two

You may think that life is hectic enough with one child, but wait until another little person joins the fold. Life with one child is very different to life with two, so it’s best to be prepared for long days and nights and to try and get ready as best you can. Tick off practical jobs like getting the nursery sorted and arranging childcare at short notice if your partner goes into labor. Have your parents or best friends on standby so that they can take care of your child while you’re in hospital. Pack a bag, make sure you’ve got all the essentials you need and think about changes you need to make to cope better once your new baby arrives. Do you need more space at home? Is your car too small for two kids and all the stuff they have? Do you need to speak to your boss about flexible working options? Whatever tasks you have on your list, try and tick them off before you approach those final few weeks to make sure you’re ready and alleviate any additional stress.

When you’ve had your parents all to yourself for your whole life, it must be very strange to suddenly see a new baby stealing the limelight. When you bring your new baby home, go out of your way to make a fuss of your older child and let them get involved with helping out.

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Helping your child adjust to life as the big sibling

When you’ve had your parents all to yourself for your whole life, it must be very strange to suddenly see a new baby stealing the limelight. When you bring your new baby home, go out of your way to make a fuss of your older child and let them get involved with helping out. Encourage them to hold the baby while you supervise and try and build that bond from the early days. As a father, you’ll probably find that you have to take on a more influential role if your partner is feeding and tending to the baby. Be there for your first-born, spend time together, have fun and make sure they know that they’re as valuable now as they were before that little bundle of joy arrived. Ask friends and family members to make a fuss of both children when they come and visit for the first time and make the older child feel special. You could buy a small gift from the baby such as a teddy bear, a toy car or even a personalized big brother or big sister t-shirt they can show off with pride.

Are you thinking of adding to your family or are you counting down the days until baby number two arrives? Adjusting to being a parent of two children can be tough, but it can also be an incredibly exciting and rewarding challenge

Picture courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/little-girl-blonde-baby-kids-282750/

Are you thinking of adding to your family or are you counting down the days until baby number two arrives? Adjusting to being a parent of two children can be tough, but it can also be an incredibly exciting and rewarding challenge. It’s wise to plan ahead and focus on how you’re going to adapt to life with a new child, as well as how your first-born is going to cope with a new brother or sister. Think carefully about when you want to try and add to the family, prepare for the new arrival as best you can by ticking off practical jobs and getting your home ready and make sure your older child is involved in the journey with you.

What To Teach Your Kids About Money

teach kids about money

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There comes a time in each child’s life when they start to want to buy their own things themselves. This might be through the money they have earnt in a part-time job or from their pocket money. You should use this time to teach your children about money. They need to know when to spend and when to save and the importance of using money smartly. With that in mind, here is what you should teach your kids about money.

Teach Them About Spending

You should also teach your children about spending. They need to understand that money is a limited resource and that once it is gone, it is gone. This can be taught having a money pouch on a day out with your child, and as you buy things throughout the day, this will steadily run out of money. At the end of the day, when all the money is gone they can see that there is no more money even if they want to buy more things. Obviously, this is simplified for a very young child and won’t be appropriate for teenagers.

Children need to learn that eventually, they will need to be able to manage their own finances. A good way of teaching this is through setting a set allowance or pocket money and sticking to that figure. If they spend it all, then it is all gone. They need to learn the consequences of their actions and understand that the bank of Mom and Dad won’t always be there to catch them. If they don’t have money, then they might need to do things like take out a small loan if they desperately need money and you don’t necessarily want this to be the case when they grow up.

Teach Them About Saving

You should teach your children the value of saving money as early as possible. The sooner they understand the benefits of saving money for later, the better it will serve them through their lives. This will help them understand that they need to save money in order to purchase expensive items and that it is worth having some money set aside for times when they want it. A good example of this is if your child wants an expensive video games console, then encouraging them to save their pocket money and once they reach a certain amount you will also make a contribution will help them see the value in saving. Another example would be encouraging them to have a savings fund for when they go holiday so that they can enjoy more ice cream, activities and other treats. These are great ways to show your children how important saving can be and the rewards of doing so.

When they get older, this will also apply to understanding how savings accounts work. If they understand that interest means that their money will steadily grow without them needing to touch it and that the more they save, the more money they will have, then they are more likely to have good saving habits in the future. This will help them to save money for a house, education or anything else that they want to save money for. Teaching them that the sooner they start saving, the better is also worth doing.

Saving Money with Kids: Is It Possible?

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If you have children, saving money can seem impossible. How are you supposed to save cash when you have extra mouths to feed and extra demands to meet? Well, while it may be difficult, it can be done. Read on to discover some great tips on saving money as a family.

  • Focus on paying off your debts – Paying off debts can be a challenge when you have children. It takes the back seat because you have so many other expenses to tackle. However, being in debt results in further expenses because you’re going to be paying interest. So, the best thing to do is put a plan together to pay off your debts. Use a debt consolidation calculator to determine whether this would be the best solution. Otherwise, put together a structured plan so you can work out how much you can afford to comfortably put towards your debts every month.
  • Take advantage of cheap family travel – Make sure you explore your travel options carefully. If you use public transport a lot, buying a railcard may be a wise idea. You could save 1/3 off family train travel by investing in a railcard.
  • Shop better – Most families will agree that a large chunk of their monthly spending goes on groceries. So, now is the perfect time to learn how to shop more effectively. Take advantage of the value ranges that are offered by supermarkets. Also, buy in bulk and make a shopping list before you go to the supermarket. A few small changes can go a very long way when trying to save money.
  • Make the most of vouchers and coupons – Nowadays, there seems to be a voucher and coupon for everything, so make the most of them. You can also use special childcare vouchers to save money in terms of tax. Make sure you explore all of your options carefully. A lot of parents are missing out on savings without even realising it.
  • Opt for free family fun – There are plenty of ways for you and your family to have fun without spending money. If you do a quick browse on the Internet, you will see that there are many free attractions, or venues where children go free, which will make your days out a lot more cost effective.
  • Make sure you’re not paying too much for council tax – There are many homes that are in the wrong council tax In fact, this has been the way since 1993. This means you could be paying way too much money for your home’s valuations. Not only this, you may also be owned a significant amount of money too, and so this is definitely something that is worth exploring future.

So there you have it: some of the best ways to save money if you have children. While it can be incredibly difficult, it is not impossible. Follow the advice that has been mentioned above, and you will soon notice that your money starts to build-up.

 

Strategies To Teach Your Child Responsibility

As a parent, we are always working at teaching our children how to be the best versions of themselves. From being thoughtful, listening when people talk, being respectful, and of course learning responsibility. Being responsible is learning to take care of their belongings, get their homework done and on time, learning to take care of themselves and others, and much more. Below are some strategies to teach your child responsibility.

When your child learns about responsibility you also want them to have a positive attitude as they complete the task at hand. You don’t want them to do the task because they have to, you want them to be proud they are doing it and to the best of their ability. Raising helpful, strong, responsible kids is our goals as parents. These tips below can help you nurture and teach your child to be responsible.

5 Tips for Teaching Your Child Responsibility

Strategies To Teach Your Child Responsibility

Be A Role Model

First and foremost you want to act the way you want your child to act. Parents have so many responsibilities that we can demonstrate each day how to handle them. Be on time, finish tasks doing the best you can do, and if you promise or agree to help out with something, follow through.

Start Teaching At A Young Age

If your child is still young, that is the best time to teach. Teach them to pick up their toys, put the dishes up when they are finished eating, and the list goes on. As they get older, they will be engrained with those simple responsibilities you had them do when they are young. Let them help make a sandwich at lunch, and help fold laundry. It may take longer and not be done perfectly, but allowing your child to help when they ask to, will slowly teach them simple responsibilities for later in life.

Expectations

This is something we need to work on as parents. We have to expect that if your 3-year old helps fold laundry or makes their bed it won’t be perfect. But you still allow them to help, because that is how they will learn. You have to look at your child’s age and then base what they can do and to what standard.

Demonstrate Tasks

Demonstrate how to do small tasks so your child can begin to learn. If your child has a laundry basket in their room, teach them that is where they toss dirty clothes. Or that if they want a snack, create a bin that has approved snacks that they can grab and eat by themselves if you say they can. A simple task like that will teach them how to be responsible for themselves, respect rules of the household, and grow.

Praise

Kids love to help out, and in that make sure to offer positive praise when they do. Tell them you are proud of them, thank them for helping take the trash out or dust. Children will learn that when they help it makes mom and dad proud and they will work hard to keep doing this for you.

Routine

Kids need and love structure and routines. You can slowly begin to tell your son to pick up their room each night or put the laundry in the basket. It will then become a routine. Just like with older kids, that when they get home they have to sit down and work on homework, instead of waiting till later at night. Over time it will become a routine to them, instead of winging it when they want.

 

5 Mistakes Every Parent Makes

I am for the first time raising a teenager stage of parenthood and boy is it rough. I keep being reminded that she is only 15 and there’s more to come, but seriously, how much harder can it get? I say the wrong things. I make too many things a life lesson and I can easily get my teen to shut down in 2.2 seconds. I seriously feel some days like a failure to parenthood, but I realize this feeling is not something I have to be alone in.

Many parents feel the same way. Be it, mom or dad, we all get that parenting guilt trap going on where we feel like our teen is going to hate us forever, be scarred for life or worse. REality is, our teens are much more resilient than we give them credit for. Teens have this inept ability to forgive and move on from our mishaps as parents. Teens are built to be the same child you raised, just with a new set of thoughts.

While I venture towards this year of raising a 15-year-old, I am found realizing that these 5 mistakes every parent makes throughout the days of child rearing and it’s okay.

5 Mistakes Every Parent Makes

5 Mistakes Every Parent Makes

Making Everything a Life Lesson

If I had a quarter for everytime I open my mouth in response to something my oldest says to make it into some lesson, I would be rich! I know better than to do this, but my mama brain always goes towards making my reply something that teaches something. You know, a life lesson that my teen already knows?! I swear, sometimes her reply of, “Mom I know. I am not dumb!” just is a kick in the gut because I know she knows but still, the Mama in me must reply with some lesson versus just listening to her.

I am too Busy

This has been something I have been getting pretty bad at lately. With the higher workload, trying to make up for back due to bills and really figure out a balance between work at home, school, raising three kids, having a boyfriend and weekly appointments, I am too busy. Reality is, I am not too busy. I should never reply that I am too busy because that’s the one time your teen may actually open up to you and a reply of “I’m too busy” will shut them down in 2.2 seconds without a chance to hear them later on about the same thing.

Your Sibling is Younger and Doesn’t do This

Another mistake I make and many other parents who are raising more than one child make. It’s a reply that is meant to drive your older child to be better, do better and realize that their teen brain isn’t thinking clearly. In reality, this reply makes your teen feel like an idiot, less than and annoyed with you to the point that they don’t care and will continue doing worse than their sibling just to make you more frustrated because they can.

Your Friend isn’t a Good Person

While you may have every right to believe and feel that your teen’s friend isn’t a good person, telling your teenager that information is probably going to drive them to hang out with the said person even more. I have always been that parent who gives every child a chance, but it seems once my first born turned 14, I have been more guarded of her friendships than I ever was before. Learn to trust that your teen will make the right decisions in friendships, listen to them about EVERY friend (even the ones you think are bad) and try to hear what they are saying. This friend may not be “bad” but dealing with troubles far beyond anything you can imagine.

Can’t you Just Stop Talking

Since I am blessed with the talking gene, as I call it, from my father’s side of the family so are my children. My teen can go days without uttering many words and then have a really awesome day where she will talk and talk, meaning her brothers can’t even get a word in edgewise. This drives me bonkers sometimes because I want all three kiddos to share their thoughts, so I respond to STOP TALKING PLEASE and well that just fires back at me with a teen who shuts down 100%. Teens are dramatic about their responses, try not be the dramatic parent and think through what you say.

Teens are Dramatic. Period.

Teens are dramatic about their responses, try not be the dramatic parent and think through what you say. It doesn’t matter if you have the most intelligent human being on Earth as your teen child, those teenager years make brains work differently. It doesn’t matter how many times you try to get through to them about a bad person, a bad event or a life lesson you feel they need to hear again, your teen will not care what you have to say in that moment. Surely you can take time, as I do, to spend 15-30 minutes with your teen at the end of each day so that they have that time to open up but there’s no guarantee you will stop making these mistakes listed above.

Let’s Try to Avoid These Mistakes

We are imperfect human beings raising children who are near adults. As parents, we have to learn to let go and trust that mistakes will be made, friendships will be broken and bad things may happen, but it will work out in the end and your teen will be just as fine as you were as a teenager. If we worry less and listen more, our teens will make better decisions overall.