Transform Your Parenting With These 5 Great Habits

We all know there is so much information out there on different things you can do to win at the parenting game! So how do you sift through all of the info out there to make sure you’re following the right things? Believe it or not, maybe you’re over thinking it! The Better Mom has found that by changing just a few simple habits, you’ll be on your way to being a better parent in no time! Try it with your family with the great challenge that she put together now and Transform Your Parenting With These 5 Great Habits!

1. Smile

What a great way to show your child love and acceptance and it’s so EASY! When we smile, we ease our children’s worries and calms them. The Better Mom also talks about how it can break down those barriers and will help them open up to us more and more. So make it a challenge to start smiling every time your child makes eye contact! What an easy way to transform your relationship with your child.

2. Speak Softly

We know how it works. The more you raise your voice, suddenly the kiddos seem to get louder, as well! But what do you think would happen if you started to speak more softly to them? We shouldn’t have to always need to get louder in over to speak over them! So now, whatever the request of your child may be, approach him, lean in, and speak low and soft. Chances are after instilling this habit for a bit based on The Better Mom‘s work, your child will start to respond in the same and will follow your lead! What a wonderful world would that be to live in?!

3. Say Exactly What you Mean to Say

The Better Mom talks about how she’s known to be one who tends to “beat around the bush.” Instead of being direct when addressing her kids, she’ll be vague and do what she needs to do to not be as “pushy” as possible. Instead of saying “Please pick up all your toys in your room” she’ll ask “Who left this puzzle on the table?” But guess what she’s learned… it generally backfires! Suddenly her kids have realized that she isn’t serious about her request and things go unchanged. Instead, learn to give direct commands (which can still be polite) so nobody can question exactly what you are saying or if you really mean it. Start being as specific as possible and see what happens around your home!

4. Ask For Help

Parents, especially moms, are well-known to suffer in silence! Or… we may expect that if we look like we need help, someone will eventually offer to chip in. But why put ourselves through that? People are always in their own zones and we can’t read anyone else’s mind, so why would they be able to read ours? Instead, The Better Mom has found that askeping for specific help actually will work! Her example of saying to her child, “Please use this cleaner and towels and wipe down the table” is now so specific, they know exactly what you mean and can’t question you. Give your child a specific list of things that you need help with, so they can pitch in, too. Stop being a martyr!

5. Forget About Who Your Kids Should Be In Your Head

We’ve all had an expectation of what parenting would look like before our sweet children made their appearance in our lives! So what happens when your kids don’t fit the mold of what you thought they would be? The Better Mom says it perfect, when she says she now learns to embrace her children just as they are. By doing that, she’s able to better understand what each child needs, because of their unique personalities and traits! What great advice!

A great challenge would be to sit down and write out each of your kiddo’s strengths and weaknesses, than figuring out what you can do to help them develop what they love. And how can you help them overcome their weakness? What a wonderful exercise!

By implementing these super easy habits, you’ll notice how much parenting changes in your household and in your life. What a great thing to being to the table within your household!

Click on the following link for more details and to view the original article and image credit: 5 Super Simple Habits that Will Transform Your Parenting

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5 Ways to Talk to an Anxious Child

It can be hard for kids who are always anxious to be brave in today’s world. And as parents, we are the ones who need to reign in that anxious child and help them break out of that shell. But do you know the best ways to talk to your child if they’re anxious? Better yet, do you know what NOT to say to them? This great infographic over at Psych Central shares 5 Ways to Talk to an Anxious Child. It will help any parent who may need these extra steps as they brave their way through the unexpected land of parenthood!

It’s amazing what validating your child’s emotions and helping them to calm down may do for their long-term comfort and security! Letting them know that you understand and that you, too, as a parent have felt fear and anxiousness will help them know they aren’t alone. It can be a scary and lonely place to be, so what a wonderful lesson on helping our children know that they aren’t the only ones who are afraid and anxious at times!

Click on the following link for more details and to view the original article and image credit: 5 Phrases to Avoid Saying to An Anxious Child

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5 Ways to Discourage Back Talk from Kids

How many times have your kids said “No” after you’ve asked them to do something? Over and over and over again? Yup! I think it’s something every parent experiences at one point or another! These 5 Ways to Discourage Back Talk from Kids will help to nip your child’s behavior in the bud to keep the family running as smooth as it possibly can!

It’s no surprise that back talk is the #1 complaint that parents have, based on Positive Parenting Solutions‘ information! It can be such a challenge to get children to listen to us without having them roll their eyes, whining, or going so far as just simply ignoring a request. How frustrating is it and how hard can it be to now snap back? So hard!

That being said, Positive Parenting Solutions talks about how it is a perfectly normal behavior while children grow and try to determine their level of independence. They’re working out how much power they actually have within the family and when they start lashing out, it can be a typical “fight or flight” instinct kicking in. They’re testing limits and seeing what we’ll do, as parents, because of it!

But it doesn’t have to be a constant fight! These great tips will help kids find the positive personal power they are looking for and will foster independence, within limits. What a great way to help them grow up, while limiting the negative behavior when kids don’t get their way!

1. Allow Kids To Have Some Power

Positive Parenting Solutions talks about how it is great to find opportunities to let kids gain a bit of control of their own world. Depending on their age, maybe that means something as simple as picking out their clothes for the day! Or perhaps they can plan an activity for the family to enjoy together. When you attempt to let your kids have some positive power, they will be less likely to seek it in negative ways!

2. Don’t Participate

That may sound odd, but many parents don’t even realize that they are playing a role in the power struggle that is taking place in their family with the kids! Do you find your kids talking back when you are bossing them around? Would you be able to hold your tongue if you were being bossed around all day? Do your best to put a limit on the ordering and directing that goes on and see if you can find an alternative to get the cooperation you’re looking for!

3. Pay Attention

Kids are looking for not only their parents’ attention, but also their approval! That means they need your undivided attention when they are looking for the reinforcement they need. If you aren’t paying attention to them, they will find a different way to get your attention… one that you probably won’t like very much! Positive Parenting Solutions recommends that you spend 10 minutes twice a day tuning into each of your children’s worlds with no interruptions. Before you know it, you are both going to be looking forward to this time every day and your child will stop being uncooperative, as well!

4. Use Rules

Make sure there are clear rules for your household, but more important, make sure it’s very clear what the consequences are for your child, should they choose to test them! While you don’t need to be overly strict when laying down the law, you definitely need to stick to the limits that you’ve set in place!

5. Keep Your Cool

It can be so HARD to not lose it when your child is talking back and trying to get you to engage in negative behavior with them. But don’t do it! By doing something as easy as saying, “I feel hurt by the way you’re talking to me. When I hear that tone of voice, I’m going to walk away. We can talk again when you can speak respectfully to me,” you’ll notice a big change in the future how your child responds. But you have to follow through! Walk away and the next time it happens, walk away, as well. You’ll be sending the message that you aren’t going to participate in a power struggle and your child will know it does not good to fight with you if you don’t react. What wonderful advice from Positive Parenting Solutions!

And just like that, by following these 5 steps, you’ll more than likely be able to shut down a lot of the back talk that you experience with your child. How wonderful would that be?!

Click on the following link for more details and to view the original article and image credit: 5 Steps to Put the Breaks on Back Talk

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Family Movie Night Success With These 5 Tips

Family Movie Night Success With These 5 Tips

One of our favorite things to do as a family is to watch movies together! The kids have so much fun and every once in awhile, they’ll let the adults pick a nice, old-school movie that we haven’t seen since we were kids! Make sure you always have Family Movie Night Success With These 5 Tips!

Story Of Five has great tips to make sure movie night is always fun with the family! What a great way to spend time together and wind down after a week of running around. It’s such a fun thing to look forward to and an easy way to spend some quality time together with little fuss!

Family Movie Night Success With These 5 Tips

There aren’t many more ways to spend time together as a family that are easier than arranging a family movie night!

1. Pick a family-friendly movie

You definitely want to make sure everyone will have fun watching the movie that you pick! It’s a great idea to let everyone pick a movie each week. That way, everyone gets a chance to choose and you will get to watch a wide variety of movies the kids will love!

2. Popcorn!

How can you possibly have a movie night without popcorn?! Every family seems to have a favorite kind and style, so grab some and get busy! Our family loves to go the old-fashioned route and use an air-popper, but Story Of Five went with microwave popcorn, which is great, too!

Family Movie Night Success With These 5 Tips

3. Popcorn Toppings!

Plain popcorn is yummy, but how much more fun can it be to add some toppings to the mix, too?! Story of Five likes to add in pretzels, marshmallows, sprinkles and chocolate morsels, and the kids get to mix-and-match as they choose! Or, just choose simple butter and salt. Whatever the family likes!

4. Movie Sign

How fun would it be to create a little movie sign to make things even more “movie night perfect”! Have the kids help create a sign saying what the movie is going to be and what time the movie is starting. What a fun way to get the kids pumped up for a night with the family!

5. Invite Others

Every once in awhile, why not add more to the mix? The more the merrier, right?! Once in awhile, maybe the kids can invite a friend over and you can even have a pajama party. Or Grandma and Grandpa can come over for a night and enjoy the family event, too! Whatever you want, mix things up to keep them fun and exciting!

Click on the following link for more details and to view the original article and image credit: 5 Ways to Make Your Family Movie Night More Fun

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6 Tips To Help Older Siblings Deal With A New Baby

Like many parents, it can be a challenge to figure out how to help your older child adjust to your new addition! It’s such an exciting time for a family and you want to make sure everyone is doing well when baby makes their big debut. Hopefully, these 6 Tips To Help Older Siblings Deal With A New Baby will help children have a great experience when welcoming a new brother or sister to the family!

A Thrifty Mom came prepared with these 6 great tips:

1. Prepare

It’s a great idea to start doing things in your home to prepare your older child for the change they are about to experience! Start reading baby literature and even take a trip to your local library to see if your librarian can help you out with some great books to help! This is a great way for your child to know what to expect and give a voice to the emotions that may be bothering them!

It’s also a great idea to start preparing to shift some of your parenting duties to others. If you are always the one to put your child to bed or preparing different things for them, it’s the perfect time to encourage your significant other to the over some of those duties before the baby comes. It will help your child learn not to depend solely on you when the baby arrives and you’re hands are full with a newborn!

Another great way to prepare your older child for the baby is to let them pick out the outfit that the baby will be brought home in! We just love this tip from A Thrifty Mom! They can also help to decorate the nursery and pick out some baby supplies. What a great way to get them involved and excited from Day 1!

2. Baby Talk

We all know how simply adorable and irresistible a new baby is! All of the ooh’ing and ahh’ing and tons of face-to-face conversation are big things that every new baby will see from the second they are born! It’s also great because it will help your new baby recognize your face, read expressions and voice tone.

But how annoying might that get for an older sibling to sit through over and over and over again?! So A Thrifty Mom had another great tip: since you’re going to be doing all of the baby talk anyways, why not talk up their older sibling, as well?! Tell your newborn all of the great things the baby will learn from them and your older child is going to get a great boost of self-esteem, in addition to the verbal communication your baby needs!

3. One-on-One Time

We know you’re to be utterly exhausted from the lack of sleep and all of those night time feedings, but it’s important to take the extra time to snuggle with your older child, too. Make sure you build in some one-on-one time with them to read, sing, or to do any other activity that may be important to them! Make sure you tell them often how much you love them and when the day seems to get crazy, as it inevitably will, there will not be any doubt from your older child how much they are still loved.

4. Expect Acting Up

It can be quite a jolt to a child’s system to suddenly have a new baby around 24/7! As much as they may have seemed prepared for the change before the baby was born, there is bound to be a little regression once that little bundle actually shows up and stays for good!

You may see behavior such as sucking on a pacifier again, drinking from a bottle, or having accidents all of the sudden if they are potty trained. It is more than likely just a short-term coping method that they are using to process the big change that they are suddenly experiencing! This too, shall pass.

5. Keep Discipline Consistent

Your older child still needs to have the consistent discipline that you were using with them before the new baby arrived, so make sure you stick to your guns! Even if you’re too tired, A Thrifty Mom talks about how important it is to stick to the rules and consequences that have already been established in your home. It helps to keep life predictable and will also help your other child to feel more secure, knowing that not everything is changing in their life!

6. Create a Nursing Basket

We absolutely love this great tip from A Thrifty Mom! Have a small basket of new little toys or activities that you will be able to take with you whenever you need to nurse or do something for the baby. Make sure this is something that is only used when you are busy so the novelty of it will last. Your older child will be so excited about their “special treat” when your baby needs you, that it will help them get over any jealous or insecure feelings that they may have.

Bringing home a new addition to the family can be such a joyous and happy time. But it can also be stressful, for many different reasons! By using these great tips above, though, the transition that the baby’s older siblings are experiencing will  be smooth and make things a little easier. It is also going to help set the stage for great sibling relationships!

Click on the following link for more details and to view the original article and image credit: Sharing the Throne: 5 Ways to Help Older Siblings Deal With A New Baby

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5 Baby Hacks for New Dads

We all know there are hundreds of parenting books around that will help a new dad with all of the things that have to do with their new bundle of joy! From feeding, changing and caring for that new baby, you’re likely to find out everything you need in a book or online. But, Mens Health talks about the 5 Baby Hacks for New Dads that aren’t in the books, but they will definitely save your sanity!

If you’re hoping to find some last-ditch strategies that may help to calm your crying newborn, or your looking for some home hacks to do the trick, these tips may just help you out when you’re in a jam!

1. Flip Your Baby’s Socks

We all know it happens. Your baby  just WON’T. STOP. CRYING. and you can’t figure out why. You’ve fed him, you’ve changed him, you know he’s fully rested. So what could possibly be the problem?

Armin Brott, author of The New Father and founder of MrDad.com suggests checking out your little baby’s feet!

“Sometimes what you’ll find is the baby has little sock threads wrapped around his toes,” says Brott. “That can make him uncomfortable, or even hurt him.” Who knew?

That being said, make sure you always put your baby’s socks on inside out. That way the inside threads won’t be caught around his toes and it will be one less thing to check when your little bambino is inconsolable!

2. Find Yourself A Cheap Yoga Mat

What? A yoga mat? You’ll love this sweet hack that Mens Health has! Instead of spending $30 on a portable baby-changing mat, grab yourself a cheap yoga mat! Cut it into rectangles and you’ll have six spongy, easy-to-clean changing mat… all for about $10!

You’re going to find that baby gear can be super overpriced. If you focus on what you need and what the function is for the situation, you can get creative and save some money!

3. Save the Baby Nail Clippers… Use Your Teeth!

Newborns are born with fingernails, but those little things grow like weeds! Unfortunately, that means you have to be careful, because your child may unintentionally scratch their face if you don’t keep those nails at a short length.

The advice from Brott? Skip the nail clippers and use your teeth instead! Since baby nails are so soft, they are really easy to just bite off. That means you also won’t be accidentally nicking that little tiny finger with a clipper, which you are bound to do when you start cutting a baby’s nails!

4. Always Choose Zippers!

Dress your baby one time in an outfit that is full of snap buttons and you’ll quickly realize that squirming babies and buttons don’t mix! So how come it seems like all of those cute little newborn outfits are full of snaps?

If you’re afraid of catching your baby’s skin in the zipper, don’t be. The risk is pretty small. Compared to the hours it will take you to dress them in a snap button outfit, you soon be buying out every store of their zippered baby clothes moving forward!

5. Watch That Diaper Switch!

It may seem like second nature to just take off your baby’s diaper before you have the replacement diaper ready. Anything to get that wet diaper off their skin ASAP!

But… that isn’t the wisest decision! Cold air can trigger petting and before you know it, you’ll be getting peed on in a flash if you don’t have that new diaper ready and waiting as soon as you get that dirty diaper off!

Don’t worry. If you can’t remember this tip, you’ll remember it the first time your little guy pees right in your face or on the couch!

And just like that, the new dad in your life is going to be armored with some quick hacks to make life a little easier when mom isn’t around! We don’t give dads enough credit! They totally got this newborn thing!

Click on the following link for more details and to view the original article and image credit: 5 Parenting Hacks for New Dads That You Won’t Find In Baby Books

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10 Things Kids Will Never Forget

An amazing childhood… That elusive thing that some children don’t get to experience, but others do. These 10 Things Kids Will Never Forget are a great step to make sure that your child’s early memories are positive and sweet!

You don’t need a lot of money or tons of toys to make sure your child will have a positive childhood. Many of those things don’t last and it isn’t what people remember as they grow. Creating sweet memories are all about the simple things in life!

1. Read To Them

The 36th Avenue discussed how a magical thing happens when you read with your child. Books create an entirely new world for your kids and you all get to be a part of it together! No matter how old they are, make sure you read to them and build their imaginations!

2. Listen To Them

We all know how easy it is to ask your child to wait a second until you finish whatever it is that you’re working on. There never seems to be enough time! But sometimes you never can get that moment back. If it’s something important to them, let’s make it important to us!

Stop and know that whatever we are doing will be there when our child’s moment of triumph is over. Give our children the gift of knowing they can count on us whenever they may need it, no matter what we may be doing at the time!

3. Hug Them

We all need a hug once in awhile! The 36th Avenue talks about how it’s important to give our kids affection when they are looking for it. Even when our kids get older and it may seem like the biggest embarrassment!

Even if you have to tell them that YOU are the one that needs a hug, it’s a symbol of love, reassurance, happiness and protection!

4. Create Family Traditions

Family traditions are so much fun! Even if it’s something as easy a a family movie night. It creates time together as a family and everyone gets to incorporate their favorite treat, too! Who doesn’t love a fun movie with some homemade popcorn!

Sharing blankets and snuggling up together, figure out what can be your fun family tradition and start incorporating some fun time together as a family!

5. Share A Meal

Creating a safe space for meal with your family can be something that never will be forgotten as your child grows. It can be a treasured time, as discussed by The 36th Avenue.

Even if one of the members of your family is gone for the night, it doesn’t mean that everyone else should forgo the family meal! What a big blessing, even if there is always the rush of life and a lack of time. If it’s the one time your family can get together to decompress and share your life with the rest of your family.

It doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to be dinner! Even if you meet for breakfast before everyone goes off on their daily adventures, it’s a wonderful thing to do together!

6. You Are My Favorite

While we should never have a ‘favorite’ when it comes to our kids, it is important to make sure that you treat your children as your favorite, no matter what age they are! Every child should be made to feel special in an individual way.

The 36th Avenue talks about how with her own mom, she always knew that she was her mom’s favorite 10 year old, 15 year old, and even now, her favorite 37 year old. It’s not about picking a favorite between your children, it’s about letting them know that they are your favorite “age”, no matter what it is!

7. Celebrate

All kids are different and they succeed in many different ways. Some may be good at reading, while others excel in sports. The important thing, though, it to make sure that they all feel successful from their parents, no matter what that accomplishment is!

Believe in your child, be their biggest fan and always tell them how proud you are of them!

8. Play

Kids naturally love to play! Make sure you give them the chance to just be kids and enjoy the fun that they deserve!

Make sure you play with them, though! Give your child the gift of knowing that they will always have time to spend with their parents, playing! Whether it’s a game the entire family enjoys, or playing a sport in the backyard, get down and dirty with them and let them see how much you love spending time with them!

Have fun together!

9. Remember

No matter how little the event may seem to you, it is the highlight of your child’s day! Make sure you don’t let those little moments pass you by. All of the rehearsals, sports games, parent teacher conferences. Make sure your parents know that you were always there for them, no matter what!

Take pride in all of their little accomplishments. They are so excited and when we see their excitement, it’s contagious!

10. Love Them

For many, this is as easy as breathing. Loving our children comes naturally and wholly. But show your children you love them! Make sure they never doubt, not even for a second, that even if they need a bit of discipline, they are truly loved.

Build up your children and work hard not to break them down. Offer guidance and positive reassurance and make sure that love is freely given!

Click on the following link for more details and to view the original article and image credit: 10 Things Children will Always Remember

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