Search This Blog

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Keep The Home Fires Burning

As parents with a small child or children it can be difficult to find time to spend together the way that you could before the kids arrived. This often translates, in practical terms, in a definite plunge in your ability to find those romantic interludes that were just a part of life before kids.
However, staying strong as a couple by finding time keep that romance alive is not just important for your relationship, it is also important for your comfort and security as a couple. Couples that routinely find time to spend with each other and enjoying being together are happier, more secure in their relationships and more likely to feel important and valued in the eyes of their spouse.
To keep romance alive with young children in the home try the following:
  • Ask a family member you trust to take the kids for the weekend or a night and either plan a getaway or have a romantic stay-cation in your own home.
  • Do something special that you know your partner enjoys as a planned but surprise activity. Maybe this is going bowling or visiting a local park, but add a touch of romance by focusing on them and not on the kids or the bills.
  • Make it a point to enjoy each other’s company by holding hands when you walk, sit together to watch a movie and giving more than just a peck on the cheek as a greeting.
  • Add romance by sending a loving text message, putting a romantic note in a pocket, purse or briefcase or calling at a break to just say you were thinking of them.
  • Have fun. Laughing and sharing wonderful experiences, even funny little things at the grocery store, build up a relationship.

The more little things that you do to show you partner you are in love and you want to be with them the greater the response will be and the more romance you will enjoy throughout your life together. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Plan A Family Game Night On A Budget

Spending a fun night at home with the kids playing different games and having a family favorite meal is a wonderful way to stretch your entertainment dollar. Often cash strapped Moms and Dads can’t afford a night at the movies for the family or simply wish they could attend a major sporting event with the kids.
The reality is that yes, children would like to do those things, but spending time as a family is just as much fun. Once your kids are old enough encouraging them to get involved in helping you with planning a family game night is a great way to be very inclusive and ensure that you are doing things that everyone will enjoy.
Some low cost ideas for a family game night include:
  • Make snacks or meals at home that are favorites for the family. Kids will love a “make it yourself pizza night” or making their own treats and healthy snacks.
  • Use a spinner or numbered dice to allow each child to roll to choose a game. Each game is numbered to correspond with a number on the dice, which avoids issues about who gets to choose.
  • Consider a game swap night with the neighbors. You can swamp board games or other games that you have in your house with theirs, giving everyone a new set of games to play without the need to buy anything.
  • Go unplugged and limit games to those that don’t include technology. This avoids the additional costs of renting games and encourages interaction and conversation between the entire family.
  • Try playing old school games like jacks, marbles, charades, or even go outside and have a family game of soccer, basketball or football in the back yard. You can always make up your own game using different toys and items that you have around the house.

The biggest benefit to being on a budget is that you can really get creative. Encourage your kids to come up with ideas for family game nights; you may be surprised at what they enjoy. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teaching Kids To Be Organized

Although some children appear to be born with a natural inclination for routine and order, others are free spirits and need some assistance in order to discover ways to make their life run more smoothly. Teaching children organizational skills can make family life run a lot more efficiently and cut down friction when children have to keep their rooms clean and do homework and there are some good tips that can help with this learning process.
One smart idea is to track all of the family activities on a calendar that is accessible to everyone. Every night get together and discuss the activities that are scheduled for the following day and encourage kids to check the calendar before adding any other activity.

Daily checklists are also a good idea to help keep track of homework, instrument practice or household chores. This also teaches children how to prioritize. Teach children to prepare their clothes for the following day the night before and have everything laid out for the morning, including making lunches and packing their backpack.

Another way to teach children organization is to encourage them to have some kind of collection that can be classified, sorted and organized. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How To Encourage Your Kids to Apply Themselves

Parents often grow frustrating trying to convince their youngsters that applying themselves to chores, schoolwork, and other necessary tasks is important. You don’t have to resort to threats or bribery, though. Try some of these tips:

• Focus on progress, not perfection. Kids will shy away from chores if they feel they can never do a good enough job. Set reasonable standards, but don’t obsess about their getting everything perfect. Reward progress, not just results.

• Give them a choice. If kids feel they have a choice about what to do, or how to do it, they’ll try harder. Provide them with options, and be honest about what how they can do a good job.

• Give them lots of praise. Make them feel good about what they’re doing. They’ll want to do more if they feel good about their work. Point out their strengths, and make sure you’re sincere, honest, and specific in your praise.

• Talk about your own work. When you share your own achievements in your job or hobbies, kids may be motivated to work harder so they have their own successes to share with you.