Family New Year’s Resolutions: Being Better Together

Almost everybody has made at least one New Year’s resolution in his or her life. It is not common to hear about family New Year’s resolutions probably because it is hard enough to seek improvement for one’s self. Imagine the effort in doing it together with all the other members of the family. One way to look at it positively is the possibility that one family can function better as a group through individual and common efforts to actually get better together.

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Posted on January 1, 2014 at by Teresa Martinez

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Guiding Children to Develop Their Own Fashion Sense

Parents need not have modeling dreams for their children to care about guiding their children about fashion. Each child will develop his or her own fashion sense, sooner or later. Parents can lead them towards that by providing sensible guidance towards that development. This guidance of course will have to be tempered by respect for a child’s individuality.

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Posted on December 27, 2013 at by Teresa Martinez

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Do We Tell Our Kids the Truth About Santa?

For many parents who have allowed their children to believe in Santa Claus from the time they were able to conceive his connection with Christmas, concerns about the truth may arise as children grow up. Growing up kids are equivalent to unending questions that would tend to test the veracity of the existence of the jolly man in red. The truth about Santa is not much of a concern for children who did not grow up with the belief but rather those who have treasured memories of the man who leaves gifts for children on Christmas Eve.

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The Accepted Truth

In the adult world, Santa Claus come in the form of dads or any male figure bearing gifts primarily for the benefit of children. Although there appears to be some historical connections of how such a character came to be, the Santa that we now know is not exactly a precise manifestation. Never the less, many parents allow and encourage belief in Santa Claus to continue a tradition that has been started a long time ago.

This perpetuates a belief that not all are in agreement with. With respect to all kinds of belief with regards to the existence of Santa, we have to acknowledge that Santa and what he represents bring cheers to many people, children and adults alike. So many of us, including myself, chose the path towards Santa with our kids, in spite of knowing the “truth”.

Telling the Kids

Do we tell our kids the truth about Santa Claus? When do we do it? Why will we do it?

Personally, I don’t see any reason to rock the boat and declare one Christmas Day to our kids that there is no Santa Claus. In time, they will discover for themselves what the truth is. Like us who have gone before them, they will discover and will take it matter-of-factly so there is no pressing reason to destroy the belief right now.

Now, parents should know when their children are going overboard with the belief in Santa Claus and guide them along the way. Santa may not be real but the joy he brings to children is real enough and that is good enough for me. Will I tell my youngest kid the truth about Santa? Not just yet. Let her enjoy her Christmas as a child as I did mine.

 

Posted on December 24, 2013 at by Teresa Martinez

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5 Steps To Building A Fast Pine Car — Without Breaking The Rules

Pinewood Derby Cars

The Pinewood Derby is an annual Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Cub Scout event in which kids build and race pine cars. Every year, Cub Scouts — with some help from their families — assemble pine cars from scratch. And though participating itself is fun, winning races earns them a trophy, bragging rights and a huge sense of accomplishment. Read more…

Posted on December 18, 2013 at by Harpermac

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Suspected Bullying Intervention:When Should Parents Step In?

Most of the time in the subject of suspected bullying, it is not as easy as parents just stepping in to intervene. For one, they most probably haven’t seen in their own eyes that their children is indeed being bullied. For another, a bullied child may hide the bullying himself in fear of incurring the ire of the bully and suffer even more or he actually thinks he can handle the situation by himself. Either way is dangerous and timely parental intervention may just be the one thing that could save a child from a life of misery.

boy beating up another boy Is it good to let your kids fight their own battles?

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Posted on December 17, 2013 at by Teresa Martinez

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Should Parents Risk Financial Stability to Rescue Adult Children from Financial Problems?

Should parents risk their own financial stability to rescue their adult children from financial problems? This is probably one of the most difficult questions many parents will have to face at some point. Adult children are more likely to make bad financial choices because they are the ones who will most likely find themselves in situations that will call for major financial decisions such as marriage, career, or business.

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Posted on December 12, 2013 at by Teresa Martinez

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Make This Christmas Memorable

As a parent, you shape how your children will remember Christmas. Will it be a time for hosting friends and throwing lavish parties? Will it be a family-only affair? Are there certain movies you’ll always watch? Activities that you’ll always do, and food you’ll always eat?

Before you answer those questions, you might want to examine what will make the holidays brighter for youngsters. Pick and choose from this list and include your own ideas for new traditions to give your kids the best holiday ever!

Make ornaments every yearChristmas Tree

You can obviously go the macaroni or construction paper route, but it’s also fun to have kids do a more lasting ornament. Buy clear bulbs, or simply bleach out the insides of a colored bulb that you no longer have a set for. Give kids their choice of photos of them from the year to put inside the ornament and let them pick ribbon colors. Roll up the photo, insert it inside the bulb with tweezers and then let it unfold naturally. Add a curled ribbon behind the photo to hold it upright. You’ll have a matching set of ornaments that will hold great memories.

Decorate the tree

So many families miss out on decorating the tree together. If your family tends to get frustrated at certain aspects, simply remove those obstacles. Fans of not having to string lights can look into pre-lit models, and those who hate the trek in the cold to find a tree can get an artificial Christmas tree. Let kids take turns picking out ornaments, and make sure they don’t try to put any glass ornaments too high above their heads!

Go on a Christmas lights tour

Your neighbors work hard to decorate their yards — it’s time to take an evening to appreciate that! Make hot chocolate in thermoses and pile in the car to get a sample of the local Christmas creativity. End the evening by driving to the center of town, or wherever the best lights in your area are. Kids will love listening to holiday music and pointing out the best lights.

Have a traditional dinner

Dinner is always too rushed. This year, set your family down for one nice meal where no one texts during the meal. Use the fancy china (you or your partner can serve the meal if you’re worried about the nice dishes!), and teach the kids which forks to use. The evening can be multicourse and have a dessert at the end, or you can just make your usual favorites and put it in a flashier package. Either way will be special!

Help the community

Teach kids the meaning of the season, whether it’s about love or a religious aspect. Your family can work in a soup kitchen or food pantry in the weeks before Christmas, or plan a visit to a nursing home to cheer up lonely residents. You can also participate in an “Adopt a Family” campaign, and assign one of your children the job of picking out and wrapping a child in need’s gift. This will help them learn the importance of giving and make them appreciate what they have. You can find a family to donate to through local organizations or your local United Way.

This holiday can stand out from the others, or begin a series of new traditions, with a little prep work. Make this holiday special for the kids and learn to enjoy it more yourself by picking activities that will be fun for your whole family.

Posted on December 9, 2013 at by Harpermac

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When to Delegate Work and Responsibility to Children?

Responsibility is something which we give to our children gradually and in accordance with their age. Giving them too little or too much is counterproductive. The nature of task should take into consideration the physical, mental, and emotional capacity of children.

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Posted on December 2, 2013 at by Teresa Martinez

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Three Ways You Might Unknowingly Be Overprotecting Your Kids

Protective actions carried out by parents to their children are normal and necessary. However, there are times that parents tend to overdo it, sometimes unknowingly hurting their children in the process. Here are three possible areas in which parents should consider backing out a little to provide their children more space to decide their fate.

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Protecting Children from the Consequences of Their Actions All the Time

The key words here are “all the time”. It is a natural reflex on the part of the parents to protect their children from painful consequences such as hurt feelings, physical injury, and facing punishment. If parents do this all the time, they are depriving their children of important opportunities for learning.

Of course, there is no doubt for the necessity of intervention for potentially life-threatening situations. Otherwise, parents should allow their children to discover the natural course of life, taking into consideration their ages. Shielding them from reality can be detrimental to their attainment of maturity.

Deciding Everything for the Children

At the start of life up until such time that a child attains a certain degree of physical and mental independence, parents are expected to decide everything for their children. As the child grows up however, parents should start releasing their full hold on their children and listening to their preferences becomes part of responsible parenting.

Deciding on such seemingly trivial matters such as what to wear or more important matters like choosing friends is something a child would like to have more freedom of as he or she grows up. Slowly attaining independence is a natural phase of growing up and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. It would be best for parents to opt for a happy compromise where both sides are able to accept agreed upon house rules rather than dictating on their children.

Doing Everything for the Children

Some parents are under the belief that they are the best parents if they make everything easy for their children. Not giving children any form of responsibility even if they can realistically be delegated some for their own good is counterproductive. Just imagine how children accustomed to doing nothing for themselves would fare in the outside world.

They would be practically helpless, unable to do anything without the assistance of other people. We all know that this is not always possible especially in the very hurried world we live in. Allowing children to exert effort on their own is part of raising up responsible kids.

Because of the love we have for our children, we parents sometimes forget that overprotecting is not the same as protecting them.

Posted on November 29, 2013 at by Teresa Martinez

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Things to Do Before Leaving Your Child With the Baby Sitter

Working parents have a constant and recurring need to hire baby sitters. Even stay-at-home moms will also encounter instances where they will need to get the services of one. Before I became a full-time stay-at-home mother myself, I had considerable experience with baby sitters and not all of them were good. Knowing these, here are my suggestions to parents before they leave their child/children with a baby sitter.

baby sitter

 

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Posted on November 25, 2013 at by Teresa Martinez

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