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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Peace of Mind: Five Tips to Help Parents Relax



Being a parent can be quite stressful. In fact, the stress may seem to never end, as there are conflicts to resolve, tears to wipe away, homework to help and so on. 

Here are five tips to help parents relax:

Massage
To begin, go out and get a massage. A massage helps the human body rid itself of tension and stress. Many people begin to relax as the stress is pushed out of their body. A massage may be expensive, but it is worth every penny.

Date Night
Try going out on a date night and hire a sitter for their kids. It is necessary for all couples to get away from their kids for a select amount of time and reconnect with their significant other. The benefits of this are that the couple can focus on each other without any interruptions. They do not have to be concerned about the needs of their kids for a time and can relax. Reconnecting helps the couple feel safe and secure with each other and allows for them to regroup for when they go home with the kids.

Now the Locals

Another thing that can bring a peace of mind is being comfortable with where you live.  Be sure to get to know your neighbors well. Also get to know the people that come into your neighborhood like the mail man, school bus drivers. When you know the people around you it brings you peace of mind about where you live.

Get a Mentor

Try getting together with an older couple and be mentored by them. Older couples have wisdom and experience. They are great guides and have tips and suggestions as to what to do when kids become older and face certain challenges. They are a great support network and can be called in an emergency. In addition to this, the older couple is more than willing to baby-sit the kids for free at some point. 

Security System

Finally, get a home security system. Parents have peace of mind when they know that their house is safe when they are away or at night when everyone is asleep. A home security system is not very expensive and installation is quick and easy. A home security system is especially valuable to parents when there is a baby-sitter looking after the kids for an evening. 
While parenting can be stressful, there are opportunities for them to relax. At times, there may be cost, but it is worth it. These tips and more will enable them to have healthy, vibrant lives as parents. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tips on How To Get Your Child Excited About Swimming

Swimming is one of those life lessons that everyone wants to make sure that their child knows. In fact, between beach vacations, backyard pool parties and simple dips in a local lake; learning how to swim is an important lesson children need to learn. Though parents want children to learn to swim, many kids are apprehensive about swimming as they may have a fear of the water or be afraid that they may drown.

Baby Steps

One of the ways you can begin to prepare your child for swimming is to get them excited about water in general. This could be as simple as making bath time more playful, introducing showers to kids at an earlier age or getting your child out on the water by boating. This is an ideal way to start alleviating the fear of water that some kids may have.

Watch This

Kids tend to get excited when they watch things on television and when you show kids competitive swimming on television or through videos you can show them that the sport is one that truly is engaging and exciting. This gets kids revved up about learning to swim as they can see the sport in action and how fast faced swimming can be.

Learning the Basics

The way to truly get kids excited about swimming is by making sure they learn the proper technique from the very beginning. The best way to accomplish this is through the use of a swim instructor who understands how to best work with kids and get them engaged in the sport. This will give kids the confidence they need to learn how to swim and enjoy swimming at the same time.

Group Fun

One additional way that parents can get kids excited about swimming is by allowing those with basic swimming skills to join a swim club or league. This brings a social element to swimming and in no time kids will be anxiously awaiting lessons, practices and meets as they can spend time with their friends and participate in swimming at the same time.

Swimming is a great way to get kids active and is one of the top forms of exercise that one can use throughout life. The challenge with kids is getting them interested in the first place, however, once that hurdle has been crossed the sport takes over and the majority find it a thrilling, fun and enjoyable way to get in a good workout.



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Own the Remote: 5 Tips for Taking Charge of Your Kid's TV Time

Do your children morph into couch zombies after school? Does it take everything you have to wake them from their television trances? Are you battling the TV for your kids’ attention and affection Parents can teach their children healthy television viewing habits by following five tips for establishing the rules of the remote.

State the Standards

Children lack the maturity necessary to distinguish between age-appropriate content and that which is not. It’s up to mom and dad to lay down the law. Be clear about the rules regarding programming that is violent, sexually explicit or not in line with the family’s values. Most cable companies offer a channel blocking service to control what type of content or which channels an unsupervised child can access. Taking advantage of this feature where available is highly recommended.

Set Turn-off Times

Establish times during each day or each week that the television cannot be in use. For example, declare the dinner hour a TV-off time. Restrict television use on weekdays between four and six to allow for completion of homework. Proclaim every Monday to be a no-TV game night. Set a time, maybe 9 p.m., at which the TV is shut off for the remainder of the evening.

No Personal TV's

This amounts to eliminating televisions in bedrooms. It’s hard to monitor what and how much a child is watching if they are in their room with the door shut. Situating the television in an open, shared room of the house enables parents to exert more control and influence and discourages children from the temptation to view off-limit shows.

Watch Together

Set aside one evening a week for the family to view television together. Allow kids to share in the selection of programs under adult guidance. Later, spend some time discussing what was watched. Ask open-ended questions to determine your child’s understanding and interpretation of the content.

Cut the Background Noise

A television playing to an absent audience is at best noise pollution and at worst a drain on the pocket book. And the passing child who has no intention of turning it on may unwittingly get hooked and hypnotized. If no one is watching, turn it off. The silence inspires clearer thinking. Give your home and family some quiet time to share and talk together without the distractions of outside media.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Top 5 Gifts for the Aspiring Scientist

Parents and others who nurture the minds of children can be instrumental on setting the children in their lives on productive career paths. Although not every child will grow up to be a scientist, all children have a natural curiosity about the world around them and about how things work that will serve them well if they are encouraged to explore it no matter what career direction they decide on as adults. Many of us have fond childhood memories of long afternoons spent exploring our universe with student microscopes and other scientific types of learning tools. If you are looking for an appropriate gift for the aspiring scientist in your circle of family and friends, following are five suggestions that can provide you with inspiration.

Mind Blowing Science Kit

Children as young as four years old can begin to explore the realm of chemistry with this beginning science kit from Scientific Explorer. Kids can create underwater volcanoes and make grapes change colors, and parents can relax while their children are entertained for hours.

Why?

Children ask this question more than any other, and Katherine Ripley's "Why? The Best Ever Question and Answer Book About Nature, Science and the World Around You" answers many of the questions that children frequently ask. With colorful illustrations by Scot Ripley, this book belongs in every home library.

The Nature Treasury

Children born with a fascination for nature, and the "The Nature Treasury: A First Look at the Natural World" helps develop and nurture their interest. This is also a great gift for parents whose curious children constantly bombard them with questions about the natural world that they don't have ready answers to. The lush illustrations will entrance both children and adults.

Life in the Undergrowth

Older children will love Life in the Undergrowth by GreatSchools Staff. This five-part BBC series provides an in-depth and inspiring look into the world of insects. Aspiring entomologists as well as the simply curious will spend hours in front of their television screens exploring an entirely and enchanting world.

Perfect Perfume Laboratory

Children can explore their creative impulses by making their own scents using the Perfect Perfume Laboratory by Wild Science. The kit contains essential oils that can be processed and filtered into actual perfume and provides information about how to create other natural scents from vegetative materials such as flower petals and herbs. This gift combines art and science and is appropriate for children of all ages.

Author Bio




Hayley is an amateur scientist, author and blogger residing in Portland Oregon.  Interested in finding fun and interesting science projects for your children? Visit chemistry.about.com..

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

5 Ideas for Cheaper New Spring Clothes for Your Kids

We’ve all been there—you go to get your son or daughter dressed in the morning and suddenly they seem to have nothing to wear because they’ve outgrown everything. And it can get expensive trying to keep up with their constantly changing sizes! So when you find yourself in the market for some new children’s clothes, keep these options in mind while keeping your budget in check.

Consignment Shops

Consignment shops are great places to find high-quality, gently used (or new!) children’s clothes. Since most kids—especially babies—outgrow pieces quickly, you can often find clothes that have been worn less than a few times and still look brand new. And many times you’ll see brand new items too. An added bonus to shopping at a consignment store is that most buy their items in-season, which means when you are on the hunt for spring clothes, you won’t have to hunt through countless racks of ski wear or winter sweaters.

Trade with Friends

Trading with friends is always a great way to score some finds for FREE if you happen to know anyone with children who are around the same age as your own. Try hosting a party where you get together for some good company and good food and drinks, and everyone brings items they want to swap. Not only will you be able freshen up your kids wardrobes, but you’ll also be about to clean out a closet or two!

Garage Sales

The spring season goes hand in hand with one important thing—garage sales! Check out your neighborhood for postings on the latest sales and you’re sure to find at least one or two pieces to take home. But get there early, children’s items are the most popular and they go fast.

Online Retailers

Online retailers are becoming the saving grace of parents everywhere as both time and money savings are simply at the click of a mouse. Auction sites such as eBay have a huge selection of children’s clothes in all seasons and sizes, many brand new with tags still on them. You’ll score an even better deal by looking for sellers marked with free shipping.

Outlet Malls

If you don’t have any good local sources for gently used items, another option for purchasing new clothes at a discount is outlet malls. Most big-box retailers have outlets offering the same great clothes as their regular stores, but at a fraction of the price.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Teaching Kids to Clean Up: 7 Ways to Make It Fun



Cleaning up doesn't have to be an awful task. The key to getting kids to clean? Make it fun and easy to understand. By teaching your kids to clean up after themselves you'll be giving them good habits that will last a lifetime. The following six tips will help you engage your kids and teach them to pick up after themselves.

Set the Timer

Cleaning can seem like a never ending task, but you'll be amazed at what the kids can accomplish in just a few minutes. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes of dedicated "putting away" time, and watch them go! Or tell them to have a race to see who can clean up the fastest, and award them with TV time or a treat.

Get Prepared

Do your homework ahead of time and cleaning won't be a battle. Make sure you have a dedicated storage unit, like Tampa FL self storage, or space for the toys. Label boxes, baskets and bins clearly. It will be easier for everyone to put things away if they know where the items go.

Reward Good Behavior

Set up a prize box or similar system and offer rewards for cleaning. Your rewards don't have to be big— a sticker for a chart, a sparkly new pencil or a fun eraser for school are very inexpensive but a nice incentive for school-aged kids.

Start Early

Even toddlers can figure out (and will likely enjoy) sorting items and putting them away. Start early by building good cleaning and organizational habits, and it will make it easier to get the kids to clean up when they're older.

Bury Treasure

Hide some coins (interesting ones like 50 cent pieces work well) around the house before you clean— and let your kids know that treasure awaits. As they clean, they'll discover the prizes, if they're doing it right. Gradually they will learn the habits of cleaning for when they are older.

Let Them Help

Moms have a tendency to be perfectionists. Don't let your need to have things done perfectly interfere with cleanup time. A fun cleaning session can become a drag quickly if mom insists on refolding the towels or re-sorting the silverware.

Assign Jobs They Like

Each kids is different— if you have one that loves to mop the floor, then assign them to mop. By assigning tasks that are enjoyable instead of a chore, you'll see better results. Sometimes you'll have to give them the less fun chores, but give them the easy ones a times, too.

Author Bio

This article was written by Dixie Somers on behalf of extraspace.com. For more information on self storage, check out their website at: http://www.extraspace.com/Storage/Facilities/US/Arizona/Mesa/501625/Facility.aspx