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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Some Life Skills to Teach Kids

Social Awareness and Manners

Impart social and conversational skills from a young age by letting kids join in on adult gatherings from time to time. Don’t make a habit of always segregating your children from the adults – they can learn a lot about etiquette, social cues and the art of conversation from watching grown-ups. These settings are also a good time to work on basic manners including the consistent use of “please,” “thank you,” “pardon me,” as well as proper dining etiquette.

Respect for Others

Children learn respect from their family and it starts with family members caring for each other’s physical space, thoughts, interests and needs. When kids feel that what’s important to them is held in high regard by others, they will be able to emulate the same respect for their family and peers.

All Things Nature

Instill a lifelong love of the outdoors and of nature by spending plenty of time in the fresh air, in all kinds of weather. Let your kids climb trees at the park, plant seedlings in the garden, feed the birds in your backyard and jump in rain puddles on the street. All ages love summer camping, day hiking and picnics by the lake. When you give your kids a lot of exposure to our beautiful planet, it will make them appreciate it more and want to protect it for future generations.

Good Hygiene

Start early to create good hygiene habits that will stay with your kids forever – from teaching proper hand washing and teeth brushing techniques to tots, to encouraging daily bathing for sweaty teens. Make learning daily habits fun for young kids by singing, using props and giving out reward stickers. Good hygiene sets them up for good health and well-being in later life.

Food Preparation

Get your kids in the kitchen early, helping to select meals, prep food and cook with you. My son learned to prepare snacks with his classmates in preschool and loved it. He’s been comfortable in our kitchen ever since and is not afraid to use a knife, stir a pot or get his hands dirty. Start by showing them how to make simple soups and pastas and work your way up to more complicated dishes.

Smart Shopping and Saving

Show your children the difference between whole foods and processed foods, how to eat in season and how to be savvy shoppers. Talk to them about brand versus non-brand, retail versus wholesale, and how to budget their money. Even young kids can save money in their piggy banks and learn how to bargain at a garage sale. Older children can open a bank account, start saving and help with shopping and errands.

Tips Raise Kids Right Way

1 – Put parenting first:

Once you’re a parent, you have to learn to put your priorities below your children’s, and to make the sacrifice to spending more of your day caring for them than you do caring for yourself.

2 – Don’t aim for perfection:

According to a study, new parents who believe society expects perfection from them are more stressed and less confident in their parenting skills.

3 – Be good to your sons, Mamas:

A warm, attached relationship with mom seems important in preventing behavior problems in sons, even more so than in girls, the research found.

A close relationship with their mothers can help keep boys from acting out.

4 – Eat dinner as a family:

The dinner table is not only a place of sustenance and family business but also a place for the teaching and passing on of our values.

5 – Tend to your mental health:

Research suggests that depressed moms struggle with parenting and even show muted responses to their babies’ cries compared with healthy moms.

According to researches, kids raised by these mothers are more easily stressed out by the preschool years.

6 – Give your child enough play time every day:

“Play time” does not mean having your child sit in front of the TV while you do the dishes.

It means letting your child sit in his room or play area and to actively engage with stimulating toys while you help him explore their possibilities

7 – Be positive:

Parents who express negative emotions toward their infants or handle them roughly are likely to find themselves with aggressive kindergartners.

Behavioral aggression at age 5 is linked to aggression later in life, even toward future romantic partners.

8 – Joking helps:

When parents joke and pretend, it gives young kids the tools to think creatively, make friends and manage stress.

Grateful Families

Grateful families spend quality time together. Children need to be held by a loving family in order to feel nurtured and supported, which in turn, will show them how to love and care for others. By spending quality time together, free of distractions, kids of all ages will bond more deeply with parents while learning empathy at the same time. Without empathy, there can be no gratitude.

Grateful families are generous. When people are fulfilled and thankful for all that they have, they are more giving. Their cup is full and they want to share their wealth of love and gratitude with others. The more often you give, the more often you will want to give again.

Grateful families practice gratitude daily. It’s not always innate, so parents need to teach children by practicing grateful behaviour in everyday interactions. It will become a habit for kids when they see it modelled by their parents. Encourage children to volunteer to help those less fortunate, to appreciate what they have, and to be giving and thoughtful to their friends. Teach them the concept of “pay it forward.”

Grateful families know the value of hard work and discipline. Kids must learn to work for their achievements, whether they’re doing chores around the house, taking care of a pet, or doing a school project. It will be easier to feel thankful for what they have, when they have put their own blood, sweat and tears into it. Parents must resist the urge to give their kids everything – material or physical – and always discipline them with love. Remember, you’re their parent and guardian, not their best friend, so be consistent with discipline to earn their respect.

Eating Out With Kids

Consider their ages and stages. If your kids are school-aged and have been taught table manners, by all means, take them to a nice place. If your kids are still little and learning, please take them to a fast food place or teach them some manners at home! Emily Post has great advice. Kids should be taught to sit quietly and eat or participate in conversation, but not everyone is like me and has dinner around the table just about every night. I think children need opportunities to behave in a restaurant, but start small and slow before taking them someplace they’ll embarrass you or cause a scene.

Consider your purpose. Why are you planning to go to a restaurant? Is there some family event or are you just trying to avoid cooking dinner? Family gatherings can be fun, but make sure kids are included in the invite. (Here’s where a flexible caregiver can help!) If you just don’t want to cook, think frozen food, or at least choose a restaurant that is family-oriented, which leads to my second piece of advice.

Consider your options. So you’re going out. Where to take the family? Choose family – friendly as opposed to fancy when you’re taking the kids. Most chain restaurants are very family friendly, as are many locally-owned places. Please think about your fellow-diners when choosing where to take your children. If your kids will need toys and videos to occupy them while they wait, stay away from upscale places! If my husband and I are having a date night at a fancy place, we definitely don’t want to be interrupted by your cuties or have to listen to the latest kids’ movie either.