The 3 Pillars Of Healthy Development

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All parents are likely to agree that ensuring your children are raised as well as possible is vital for their adulthood. You want your children to develop in a way which is healthy and happy, and you need to know how you can ensure that that is all the more likely. As it happens, it’s pretty straightforward to do, as long as you follow some essential rules for doing so. In this post, we are going to take a look at three of the main pillars of ensuring healthy development in your children, and how to bring them into being in your child’s life.

Mindfulness

Although it is a practice aged at around three thousand years or so, mindfulness still receives mixed coverage in the media and in everyday conversations. This is ultimately down to a lack of understanding on most people’s part; before you have practised it a great deal, it is difficult to fully grasp the practice itself, and its many benefits. But it has not existed for so long for no reason at all; as it happens, it is one of the most psychologically beneficial practices out there, and the earlier you introduce it into your child’s life, the better. Encourage in your children the ability to be mindful, and they will grow up with a stronger resolve, a better grasp on their emotions, and with a more loving and kind outlook. What could be better than that?

Diet

Mindfulness is just one part of it, though – and it too is affected by many other factors, diet being a primary one. A good diet in your children’s lives will mean that you can expect to see them be healthier, happier and have much more energy. The best way to encourage this is to make it so from a very young age, as young as possible. You can use happy tot super foods to introduce great healthy foods into their diet very early on, and then continue this trend as they become older. They will then be more likely to continue this into adult life. With a great diet, it is often true that all else will more quickly fall into place.

Exercise

Most of us don’t really exercise as much as we should. There is probably not just one reason for that, but a significant influence is likely to be the way we approach it when we are young. If you want your child to grow up to exercise well and look after their body, then you should seriously consider encouraging them to exercise and to enjoy exercise. This might be easier than you think. Mostly, it is just a matter of getting them into the habit nice and young. If you make it just another ordinary part of their everyday life, then they will be much more likely to continue it on as they age. This, coupled with the previous two, is sure to guarantee a much healthier later life for your children – and that is exactly what you should be hoping for.

Grandparenting in a Camper

We grandparents have the spoiling vs guiding thing down. We can balance jumping in with standing back and letting the parent handle things We can pull something out of our proverbial hats that will entertain for just the right amount of time with little mess…but can we take the show on the road?

Last week, we accepted the challenge of keeping four adults and two children under six alive and happy in a fiberglass and plywood box in the woods for four days. There were no tv cameras present and no prize money at stake. We call this “camping,” because that term transforms it from self-inflicted confinement into a delightful vacation; and believe it or not, that strategy really works!

Grandparenting in a Camper

We have been campers for many years, partly because my husband worked in the industry, but mostly because there’s a sweet and simple magic that happens when changing the family rhythm from chaotic and plugged in to being connected to each other and disconnected from everyone else. We developed natural routines, formed subtle traditions that we were at the time unaware of, and it became a part of the year we all treasured.

As I have become aware however in this journey from Mom to Mimi, the extended family that includes your grown children’s’ significant others, their children and sometimes even their pets, can have a very different rhythm than your nuclear family of the past. And you do not want to mess with nuclear power in a little camping trailer!  It’s better to release Gumby power, which is my name for extreme flexibility.

Grandparenting in a Camper

We began the “camping with 2 grands” experience with preparation. What would this gang eat? My daughter passed our question to my 5-year-old grandson, and texted his list. We bought everything on it, no questions asked, including “big marshmallows, not the small ones.” Spoiling Meets Survival had begun. Who knew a 5-year-old can’t make a complete shopping list? When I proudly served the apples, cut into wedges to avoid the one-bite-and-to-the-trash-trick, I was met with the dry stare of the 4-year-old. “Where’s the peanut butter.”

I met her stare in high noon shootout swagger, and coolly replied, “Not on the list.”

We immediately noticed that the attention span of these little campers was much shorter than our children’s had been. (How did an expert of my caliber miss that one?) We at times jumped from activity to activity very quickly, and that seemed to work. To my relief, my daughter assumed my old role of activities director; keeping the kids fed, clean, bug sprayed and sun screened. At these times, I was to be the grandparent sitting in the camp chair smiling. Usually I rebel against stereotype behavior, but I was exhausted and discovered an untapped talent for holding down a chair. We did find out that when camping with 3 generations, interspersing planned activities was key. We enjoyed miniature golf and arcade trips, shorter than usual beach visits, and the mandatory ice cream stop.

Grandparenting in a Camper

Being Mimi not Mom,  I was much more relaxed and flexible in how card games were played, more patient in answering every question about the campsite, and less likely than my daughter to care what they ate or how dirty they got during those four days. This was the best part of the experience.

I have no real advice for sleeping six and a dog in a camper, other than remembering you love each other very much, and that it is temporary. Picture bodies everywhere, making body sounds. Those who want to sleep can’t, those who should want to sleep don’t. Trips to the bathroom are like those museum robbery scenes in movies where a leg moved inches the wrong way trips an alarm (the ugly underbelly of the “tiny house” movement?). Ironically, it was these nights, amid all the creaks and rumbles, that brought me to tears of joy; thankful for one more connection to my young family lost to time.

Love beats comfort, even for a grandparent on vacation.

About the Author – Diana Fox

Diana is a former early childhood educator who loves writing, all needlecrafts, playing the harp, and just being silly with her large family. She enjoys traveling, then returning to her country life in New Hampshire with her husband, collie, cat and chickens.

More From Diana Fox:

Life Skills Every Child Needs to Learn

Life skills are something we as parents need to take the time to teach our children! I have created a list of life skill that we need to teach them as they grow up and hit the appropriate ages to learn. Life skills are tools your child needs to know to be successful in life, they don’t teach all of these skills at school! Some of the skills is knowing how to do laundry, cooking, knowing who to call when there is an emergency, etc.

It is up to us as the parents to take the time and teach them the valuable life skills that will make their adult life a lot easier, when they decide to leave the nest. You want your child to be able to thrive on their own, and have success, and by teaching these life skills it will help prepare them!

Sometimes you might find it is easier to complete the task yourself, then to designate your child doing it. But by doing that, we are taking away valuable teaching moments. Don’t rob your child because it is quicker if you do it yourself. Make sure that as a parent we take the time to help teach our kids valuable life skills!

List of Life Skills to Teach Your Child

List of Life Skills to Teach Your Child

These life skills listed below range from around two years and up, so obviously your fifteen year old should be able to brush their own teeth. I wanted to create a nice list, so that it can benefit kids of all ages. This is a great way to look over the list and keep it in mind if a situation arises in the future! These truly skim the surface, but it will give you a good idea of where to start, if you are unsure.

  1. Groom themselves – brush teeth, comb hair, bath, etc.
  2. Play safely alone.
  3. Clean up room and do chores around the home.
  4. Minor yard work.
  5. Minor home improvements.
  6. Check oil on car, put gas in, air in tires, etc.
  7. Know how to manage money, and keep a budget.
  8. Go grocery shopping and clothes shopping on their own.
  9. Know who to call in case of an emergency.
  10. Be able to help or fully do laundry.
  11. Know how to take public transportation.
  12. Pay bills like insurance on car, rent, etc.
  13. Sit quietly when in class or other situations where it is required.
  14. Have manners to others.
  15. How to Vote.
  16. How to pick out ripe produce at grocery store.
  17. Know their full name, address, phone number, and other important details.
  18. How to communicate properly with others.
  19. Feed and water pets.
  20. Know how to ride a bike, roller skate, etc.
  21. Understands stranger danger.
  22. Simple mending and sewing if needed.
  23. Understands healthy and balanced meals and can plan one.
  24. Can follow rules and not break them.
  25. Can create a resume and apply for job on own.
  26. Can be dependable when it comes to work and showing up on time.
  27. Knows how to take care of themselves if they get sick.
  28. Will ask for help if they need it.
  29. Controls their temper if they are angry.
  30. Understands you have to work for your money to pay bills.

List of Life Skills to Teach Your Child

These are just skimming the surface of life skills you need to teach. We might overlook these simple tasks we do each day, but we have to teach them to our children. All too often we overlook teaching our children to cook, and then they are left eating out at fast food places, or tossing stuff in the microwave because they don’t know. Or they overdraft their bank account, and don’t get why they get charged. Take the time and teach your child from when they are young and even after they leave the nest, all these valuable life skills!

Safety First: How To Protect Kids At Play Time

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Everyone is unique, but if there is one thing kids have in common it’s their desire to play. Whether it is on the internet or outside, they love to get stuck into a long, hard session. For parents, this is a godsend because keeping your kids active is one of the major parts of being a mom or dad. However, there is a problem: their safety. Unfortunately, play time isn’t always a secure pastime and accidents do happen. If you want to protect your children, you have to take action. Here is a couple of things that should help.

Reconsider Their Toys

Regular toys look harmless on the surface, but there may be issues going on underneath the hood. Simply put, there is no way for you to know what is in a toy, which is frightening. For example, the manufacturer may use paint that is dangerous in large quantities. Or, it may use chemicals that can seep into a baby’s skin and cause rashes. Thankfully, natural toymakers are on hand to help. With things like an organic playmat and a rattle, there is no reason to worry about their health. All you have to do is start buying organic alternatives. Sure, it is expensive, but it is worth it for the sake of your children.

Don’t Walk Before They Can Crawl

Every kid loves to do things like ride a bike, and parents love watching them do it for the first time. But, unless your child is the next Mat Hoffman, they will be a few scrapes. For the most part, they are small incidents which go away after a short cry. However, there is a real possibility of danger with a bike, which is why the safety equipment is imperative. Simply put, if you have the best, the odds of an accident reduce dramatically. Take training wheels as an example. By fitting a bike with stabilizers, no one should lose their balance and fall off. When they have it mastered, they can move onto the next level.

Parental Controls

As the intro eluded, playing outside isn’t the only way modern kids spend their time. Nowadays, children love to surf the internet and play video games online. On the face of it, there isn’t too much wrong with this as long as they play outside as well. But, when you delve deeper, there is a safety threat. Although it is a taboo subject, there are people online that prey on young kids. To keep them out, parental controls are essential. That way, your children won’t be able to access sites that are potentially dangerous when you are not watching.

Finally, the best thing you can do is try and watch them as much as possible. Okay, it isn’t easy or realistic, especially if you have more than one. However, it is the only way to ensure that they aren’t doing something hazardous. All it takes is a question or a quick glance in their direction to know if everything is okay.

Teaching Your Child About the Value of Money

Having children can be extremely expensive. In fact, it’s estimated that in the United States, the cost of raising a child till they are 17 is roughly $233,610. If that number isn’t enough to make you reconsider, then perhaps the sleepless nights, diaper changing and crying will make you think twice about having kids. However, it goes without saying that the parents that stick with it all the way find a new sense of purpose in life, and children can bring untold amounts of joy to your life. Sadly, the cost is still a problem and money is something that not everyone has copious amounts of spare.

These costs are unavoidable, but teaching your children about the value of money can be an extremely helpful way to cut down the costs of things such as entertainment and food. Adjusting your life to a baby can be difficult because you can’t exactly teach them much until they’re a little older, so wait until your children understand basic mathematics then apply these fun little events and activities in order to teach them how to manage money and how to be frugal.

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Search for coupons together 

With so many websites on the internet offering cheaper deals and big percentage-off signs, it’s easy to teach your children to be attracted to a bargain. Tell them all about how much money they save with deals, and browse websites like CouponSherpa.com together to not only find out about new deals and get some bargains, but to also inspire your family to save money. With some luck, your children will learn that everything comes on sale eventually, and it’s best to save money unless they absolutely need something (doesn’t happen often!).

Teach your children about budgeting 

Once your children are capable of simple mathematics, teach them the importance of budgeting. Start small by giving them a set allowance and telling them if they save the money, they can afford more things in the future. Tell them simple things, such as if they buy sweets every day, they’ll spend a set amount of money and they won’t have much money to carry over into the next week. Tell them it’ll take them x number of weeks to save up for a toy they want, and teach them to manage their allowance even if it’s just a bit.

Encourage your children to make money 

Your child might not become an entrepreneur at the age of 14 (although as seen at Entrepreneur.com it’s entirely possible!) but it’s a good idea to teach them how to actually make money and how the world works. A simple and rather cliche way of helping them make money is to set up a lemonade stand in the neighbourhood. This will teach them about what it costs to make the lemonade and the profit they make for selling them to other children and adults. This will teach them not just the value of money, but also time and how it directly translates into the money you make.

Strategies to Encourage Your Child to Confide in You

We all might fear the day our teens or tweens might not confide in us when things are going wrong in their life, or they are struggling. Some kids always talk to their parents, and have a very open relationship, while others distance themselves.

I want to do my very best that my children will have confidence in my relationship with them, that they can trust that no matter what, I will listen, love them unconditionally and be their to help them through the struggle!

Below are some strategies to help encourage your child to confide in you! These are not a guarantee, but it wouldn’t hurt trying in hopes to get them to stay open or open up to you in the future.

5 Tips for Communications Between Parent and Child

5 Tips for Communications Between Parent and Child

I think the tips below are great for starting as young as possible and then as they grow, they will learn to trust and lean on you! Granted you can’t have a deep conversation with a two year old, but you can build a strong foundation so that when the day comes, they can come to you for advice, an ear to listen, or support!

Loving and Calm

When your child, tween or teen gets in trouble, be loving and calm. Don’t just instantly get upset and begin yelling or saying how disappointed you are. Come to them in a loving and calm manner. Listen to what they are saying to you, and work through things in a calm way. The calmer you are, the more they will come to you for any situation. If they know you will get upset and yell, they will be less likely to confide in you.

Advice

Make sure that if your child comes to you to talk about any situation, feel free to give real advice. Don’t just give therapist style advice, but be a real person that they can connect with. If your child is struggling at school with a bully, don’t just rush to talk the principal. Hear out what your child is saying, and truly listen and give advice.

Be Open

Make sure your child/teen can talk to you about anything. No topic is ever off the table. Make sure they know that no matter what they can talk, even if it is embarrassing for them. Try to let them know that you always have an open door policy. That if they are struggling, get a bad grade in school, having a bad day and need to talk, you are always there. No judgement, just to listen and help them work through the issue.

Pay Attention

Make sure that you are watching their moods, and behavior. If you see they are acting off, make sure to reach out to them to see how they are. Just make sure that you are paying attention to the signs, so that if they are going through something, you ask, they might tell you.

One-On-One Time

Making sure that  you spend one-on-one time with your child. If you have multiple children, make sure to find time for each. It can be as simple as an ice cream date, just make sure they know you love and make time for them. Building an intimate relationship is a great foundation. Start this even at an early age, and continue it as they grow! Even older kids look for love and quality time from their parents.

These five simple steps can get you far in a relationship with your child. Start showing them love and support young and continue as they grow. Always tell them no matter what they can come to you, and make sure you stay calm and listen to what they are saying. Cool, calm and collected, when they do come to you, will make them feel more at ease to come to you in the future.

About the Author

Kelsey is a freelance writer for bloggers! A country girl from Kansas, who enjoys spending time with family! You can see what Kelsey has available for content in her Facebook Group.

6 Commitments of A Great Parent

When you take on having a child, your life gets put on the back burner. It is our duty as parents to raise our child the best way possible, to prepare them for the world! Parents sometimes sacrifice their own time, so you can spend it helping and teaching, and loving your little one! Below are commitments of great parents. These commitments are a choice, and you can choose to agree and follow them if you want.

Most parents agree, we want to be the best parents we can be, all the time. But sometimes a simple meltdown or 50th time being asked why in a day can be enough for us to begin to lose our minds. These commitments can help you to be the best parent possible!

Best Parenting Commitments

Best Parenting Commitments To Start Following

Be There

Just be there! It’s simple but too often we get distracted and are to busy. Stop what you are doing and spend time with them, make sure if they want to talk, you listen! Even if they are three and don’t make a lot of sense! Showing your interested makes them feel special and loved.

Best Parenting Commitments

Role Model

Be a role model in every area of your life! Be a good spouse, be kind to others, do good deeds, friendly to strangers, and so on. Be the person you are trying to teach your child to be.

Don’t Be Quick To Get Angry

Try and refrain from getting so mad. Just like the saying, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” Make sure to stay calm if your child makes a mess. Create every area as a learning possibility. If they see you getting mad five times a day, they might mimic that same trait. Step into a different room and breath if you find your getting upset. Count to 10, do what you have to, so you can cool down.

Best Parenting Commitments

Discipline

Make sure your child knows and understands rules. We live in a world with rules even as adults. Making sure they know if they don’t follow the rules of your household, they will have consequences! Stand firm and don’t give in, if you decide to ground them or take away electronics. Whatever discipline action you take, follow through!

Best Parenting Commitments

Be Open

Make sure you try to be understanding and open to your child at all times. Let them know that at any time they can come to you for support! If they get in trouble or start to struggle, they need to feel you are open to talking so they will come to you! Starting this out when they are young really helps instill that in them, so as they grow they know, no topics are off limits. Staying calm to any information they share is key! If you end up blowing up, they will begin to get fearful to tell you things, because of how you will react.

 

Love Them

Most importantly just love them! Give them hugs and kisses, speak words of affirmation to them, and just be there for them! We live in a world where all we want is love, so make sure to love on your child, tween and teen! No matter how old they will get, they will still want their mom and dad at times for love and support!

About the Author

Kelsey is a freelance writer for bloggers! A country girl from Kansas, who enjoys spending time with family! You can see what Kelsey has available for content in her Facebook Group.

Why Choose to Work at Home?

When I first became a mother, working from home really wasn’t anything I had heard of before. It was the year 2002 when I first became a mother and after a breakup, I had to figure out how to support a daughter without a job. You see, the plan was I would be a stay at home mom but that didn’t pan out. I found myself single, living in a subsidized housing unit and on state assistance. The only option I could think of in early 2003, was to get a job!

Ultimately I got a job and my daughter had some wonderful babysitters. Life was decent, I could eventually move out of that unit into a real apartment within one year and I felt great. Life was pretty easy with one child. Then it happened, pregnant with a second child and sick quite often I had to figure out what to do. I wanted a way to work because I truly enjoy making money, but I also needed to think about how sick I was with pregnancy nausea. Finding that I was unable to be a reliable worker, I gave notice to leave my awesome office job and stay home. At this point I had heard of working at home, it was the year 2006.

Many parents will tell me in passing that they wish they could work from home too. I always tell them that they can and sometimes I guide people in that direction through consultations. Overall I simply write blog posts to help parents make the best decision for their household. If you are thinking about working at home, there are some reasons why you may make that decision.

Why Work at Home?

Why Choose to Work at Home?

  • Set your Own Hours – as a new parent it’s difficult to maintain a schedule outside of the home, as I stated I was sick with my second pregnancy which made me call out of work often or be late. I didn’t feel reliable and in turn I needed to find a different option to make money. Working at home means you can work from the laptop in bed sick, at your office desk in your pajamas with a baby in your arms. You can work when your baby or child is sleeping and once you have established clients, you can easily make cash around taking care of your child.
  • Never Miss a Milestone – as a work at home parent you won’t miss that first word, that first step or even that first run. You are able to manage being a parent and helping to financially support the household. I firmly believe working at home is what helped me keep a deeper bond with my children, for I was always there when they needed to talk. I wasn’t exhausted from a long work day, rushing home to get that end of night routine done. It felt right for my household to work from home.
  • You have an Entrepreneurial Spirit – you have always wanted to have a business, perhaps you have always dreamed of running a family owned business. When you work at home you can easily become a success story. It’s easy to work at home when you have that entrepreneurial spirit because you will be passionate about this and naturally find a way to make money to support the household. While you may not need to have an entrepreneurial spirit, it helps to keep you motivated and passionate about working at home.
  • You Parent Your Child(ren) – when you make the decision to work at home there is less of a chance that you will have children influenced by outsiders. Often times parents get frustrated with the examples and morals taught to them simply by having the children in a daycare scenario. When you work at home, you get the be the main example to your children for a longer period of time than if you worked outside of the home and sent your children to a babysitter.

Working at home is a big decision and you shouldn’t go into it lightly. In all honesty it will take a lot of hard work to establish your online brand, presence and reputation. Some will go into working at home and immediately gain tons of clients while others have to work a bit harder at it. There’s no telling how successful you will be or not be, but if you truly want to work at home then you will find a way and be successful doing it!