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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – 6 Relief Strategies For Stress

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – 6 Relief Strategies For Stress | By Kay Fontana

Are you a grandparent raising grandchildren? If you are, or know someone who fits this description, then you are aware of the stress associated with change and being a second-time-around parent. It is not the grandchildren who are causing the stress, because you know what a blessing it is to have them around.

Stress comes from changes in your financial status, changes in the family structure and schedules, and the reason you needed to take in your grandchildren. Any time you experience sudden or drastic change in your life, you experience stress.

Stress can cause some very common health-related problems including fatigue, insomnia, high blood pressure, cancer, stroke, heart attacks and other illnesses. Unless you take control and learn how to manage the stress, it may lead to chronic illness and sudden death if not managed properly. Your grandchildren need you, so it is important to take care of yourself.

The 6 Steps of Stress RELIEF can help you gain control of what is causing you stress and help you lead a more peaceful life.


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RELAX
Yes, I know. It is easier said than done. With a few quick strategies to do during the day, you will start feeling more relaxed.

Start by writing down what is causing you stress; then, write down possible solutions. Sometimes writing it down can help inspire solutions.

Keep a gratitude journal. Daily gratitude helps keep you focused on what is good: raising your grandchildren and having them close to you. When you focus on the positive things, more come your way.

EAT RIGHT and EXERCISE
The food that we eat has a profound affect on our attitude and well-being. Eating natural, whole foods will help you feel better, have more energy and reduce the stress that accompanies poor eating habits.

Of course it is a well known fact that exercise is good for you. It helps reduce the stress hormones in your body that create health problems. Enjoy a nature walk with your grandchildren. Whether you go out in the back yard or go to the park, this will keep you all healthy and happy.

Exercising your mind can also reduce stress. Books, puzzles, brain teasers and games are tools to keep your brain active, and can also be incorporated into activities with your grandchildren.

LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH
Enjoy the special moments with your grandchildren. Playing games, baking cookies, having a tea party or watch funny movies together will help build that special bond between you and your grandchildren while helping you relieve your stress.

INNER PEACE
Inner peace can be found through meditation, faith and spirituality. This is a more personal area of which you need to determine how to address this. It may involve prayer, going to church or having a few moments alone to meditate.

ENVIRONMENT
Additional family members living in your home can lead to clutter and limited space. Making room for your grandchildren so that they have a place to store their toys, clothes and personal possessions, can help you all feel more relaxed. If space is an issue, consider getting rid of thing in your home that you do not need any longer.

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FAMILY and FRIENDS, or Other Support Systems
Your grandchildren are true blessings. Building communications with them, involving them in conversations and sharing experiences, are excellent ways of building that bond between you and reducing stress. Other family members, whether inside or outside the home, or close friends, can be a source of comfort during stressful times.

If stress becomes too overwhelming, or you do not have people close for a source of support, you may want to consider hiring a coach or seeking counseling before the stress becomes too great.

To begin your stress relief journey, make a list of those strategies you are going to implement and put them into action. By doing so, you are inviting gratitude, balance and tranquility into your life.

Kay Fontana, “The Grandcoach,” helps baby boomers overcome the challenges of raising grandchildren. A grandmother for 12 years, Kay and her husband have been sharing responsibilities of raising their 6-year-old grandson. She is a certified coach with a bachelor’s and a master’s in education, and has dedicated over 20 years to teaching, training, mentoring and coaching.

Kay’s passion and purpose is helping others overcome challenges and reach their goals. Her coaching and training programs focus on helping grandparents who are raising grandchildren, by facilitating breakthroughs to life’s obstacles. She specializes in the areas of managing change and transition, reducing stress and conflict, understanding personality types and achieving goals.

To find out more about stress relief and Kay’s programs and services, please go to http://www.GotStressGetReliefNow.com or http://www.CoachingForQuality.com.

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Kitsch Luxe Shower Cap Black & White Stripe

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Girltalk / Godtalk: Why Faith Matters to Teenage Girls--And Their Parents (Paper

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Pet Parents Washable Dog Diapers (3pack) of Doggie Diapers, Color: Princess,

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Parenting Your Teenager: Self-Decorating or Self-Harm – How to Tell the Difference

Parenting Your Teenager: Self-Decorating or Self-Harm – How to Tell the Difference | By Jeff Herring

Q. I need your help with a question about my teen-age daughter. Getting her ears pierced was no big deal, but then she wanted to get a belly button ring and a tongue ring. We let her get the belly button one but not the tongue one.

Just the other night, we walked into her room and she was scratching on her leg with a pair of scissors. She was drawing a little blood, but she says it’s no big deal and no different from getting her belly button pierced and that her best friend does it, too. Continue reading Parenting Your Teenager: Self-Decorating or Self-Harm – How to Tell the Difference

How to Start to Help Teach Your Child to Read

How to Start to Help Teach Your Child to Read | By Lynne Hunt

There is an art to teaching your child to read. You need a combination of patience, encouragement and intelligence as well as a good grasp of the concepts involved in teaching phonics, using sight words and finding a method that engages your children without overwhelming them.

In order to be a good teacher or a helper of the schoolteacher, you need to be able to keep a variety in the lessons that you give to the child and this needs to be done in preschoolers, kindergarten or nursery school teaching and beyond. I hope that you are one of the parents that realizes and recognizes the huge amounts of help that can be found both on and offline in their efforts to help teach your child to read.


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Preschool

The job in preschool is “phonemic awareness” to start making your child aware of the differences between sounds. Just by listening to a plane flying overhead you can ask your child what it is. To you it seems natural to know what that sound is but a child might not yet have made that connection. Cars, lorries and helicopters make different sounds and when your child can recognize these sounds then they may be ready to start differentiating between sounds in words.

They may also not yet know the cause and effect principle and until you teach them that hitting a fence with a stick results in a noise like a drum they might not appreciate it. Once you tell them they will not forget.

A good guide to see if your child is ready is to do the What does “Word” start with game. For example if your child is called David you can ask, What does David start with emphasizing the first D sound in David. Children love doing this for a few minutes a day.

Reading Letters

The recognition of letters and sounds of those letters is a similar process. The child needs to recognise the letter visually to be able to guess at the pronunciation. Once that recognition is achieved then your child is ready to move onto combining letters. There are many online resources to give you phonics games, phonics activities and sight word lists that you can use to help you to teach your child to read. Check out the resource box at the bottom of this article for links to many places where you can find great activities to do with your child.

Sight Words Lists

Once your child can recognize quite a few letters you start confusing him or her by adding in sight words! Sight words are words that are not pronounced phonetically. Therefore they need to be learned on sight rather than by using the individual letter sounds to spell them out. There are many sight words lists available online and off and they are an essential part of any program that helps to teach your child to read.

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All of these methods for helping to teach children reading can be combined and enjoyed by both parent and child. Applying these teachings along with the resources you can find on and offline so as to give your child a richer learning experience is an excellent way of moving forward in your plan for teaching children reading.

Lynne Hunt is a primary teacher and mother of three children: Maria aged 17, Daniel aged nearly 5 and Anita aged 3. She has taught now for 17 years, with experience teaching children from 3 years-old to 7 years-old and also teaching English as a second language to children aged from 2 up to adults. She lives in Spain, in Valencia, where she has lived now for 10 years and she has been working in a British School there with great success in developing reading skills among both learners of English as a foreign language and native speakers.

Lynne has recently developed a website to help parents to teach their children to read which you can find at http://www.teachyourchildtoread.net. There are many other articles about Teaching Your Child To Read there.
The links page for all of the online resources that Lynne recommends can be found within the website at http://teachyourchildtoread.net/links-to-useful-resourcesArticle Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lynne_Hunt
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ISRAEL SHEET SCOTT# 1238/40, CHILDREN'S BOOKS, MINT NH

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The Witches, UKRAINIAN, Roald Dahl, Illustrations, Children Kids book

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Child Development: An Introduction Santrock, John W. Hardcover Book Acceptable

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Defiant Child Behavior – Tips For Defiant Child Behavior

Tips For Defiant Child Behavior

Defiant Child Behavior – Tips For Defiant Child Behavior | By Charlene Rhodes

Extremely Clever Children

Defiant child behavior youngsters can be extraordinarily clever, devising various ways to overcome any of your arguments. A defiant young one can be very well organized, as well as methodical, deliberate and purposeful. The main challenge for parents as well as teachers in aiding this defiant child behavior is in using various assets in constructive ways, so as this youngster gets older they can use their natural talents in pursuits such as philosophy, a law career, science, or even mathematics where a sense of organizational skills and persistence are an asset to these professions.


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Working Mother supports and empowers today's working moms in their pursuit of sucess - however they define it. We celebrate the complexity, humor and richness inherent in being a real working mom. And we salute the joys of getting it right (most of the time) in the greatest balancing act of all.



Begins Manifesting At An Early Age

In a youngster, this defiant child behavior can begin manifesting often as early as the first year. Very often as soon as your youngster begins intentionally communicating. These children may often cry, pout and whine a good amount of time and vigorously reject any comforting from the parents. Parents have a very difficult time pleasing their child with defiant child behavior, all attempts with food, toys or even cuddling the young one may prove fruitless.

This youngster, as a toddler will often take natural negativism to new levels at this age. Most often this youngster will choose an activity in total opposition to what you desire your youngster to do.

Parents Become Overly Frustrated

Most parents with a youngster with defiant child behavior will become very frustrated, not knowing any better, parents may resort to harsh punishment of the youngster, but nothing seems to work. While in the parents mind, harsh consequences may seem justified, the outcome of the punishment has much to do with the immediacy of your delivery of this punishment. Consequences to small infractions of the rules should be dealt with immediately and not wait for several minutes or even several hours for action.

Consistent And Timely Correction Is Key

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It is imperative to be as consistent as possible in meting out the consequences of your child’s inappropriate actions with defiant child behavior. Many parents will tolerate their child’s bad attitude until it becomes intolerable. Ultimately, this will cause an overreaction in the parent and punishment becomes harsh and severe for a seemingly minor infraction of the rules. We’ve all heard our parent say “I’m fed up to here”, here usually being the top of the head. This is why the problem needs to be nipped in the bud by responding to your young ones defiant child behavior as soon as it happens. Learning to deal with your young one more effectively is very important especially if what you’ve doing up to this point is not working.

Recommendation

If your child is showing signs of Defiant Child Behavior and you would like to know what you can do about it, Click Here for “A Parents Guide To Childrens Behavior” to find what you can do today to make a better life for you, your child, and the rest of your family.
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Hard Time Focusing on Homework

How to Help a Child Who Has a Hard Time Focusing on His Or Her Homework | By Jay Marie P

As a former nanny, I thought I’d share a couple of tips for children who have a difficult time focusing on their homework. This can be helpful for children with ADD or ADHD.

Tip #1: Homework should be done in a place that is comfortable but has the least amount of simulation, visually and audibly. A bedroom where toys are can be a distraction. I suggest you pick the barest room possible where no one is talking and where the radio, computer and television are all completely turned off. If you have two children, put them in different rooms. I’ve found that children find dining rooms generally boring, and therefore are less likely to look about so much and get up to touch things. If you have knick-knacks around, move them.


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Working Mother supports and empowers today's working moms in their pursuit of sucess - however they define it. We celebrate the complexity, humor and richness inherent in being a real working mom. And we salute the joys of getting it right (most of the time) in the greatest balancing act of all.



Tip #2: Limit the time your child spends on a homework task. If the math they brought home would normally take half hour for a child who can concentrate well, your child might need three 15 minute time periods. Use an oven or egg timer to count down the time. After 15 minutes, let your child take a short break. They can stretch, do jumping jacks, eat a snack or some other small respite. Do not encourage a board game or watching T.V. This break is only meant to be a breather. So they can learn to refocus. Do not get frustrated if your child has trouble with any of the 15 minute intervals. If need be cut down to ten minutes. It is far better to get something done in ten minutes, than for him or her get almost nothing done in forty-five minutes. It’s not worth the aggravation. To either of you.

Remember if you’re getting frustrated about the homework situation you’re not adding anything positive to it. If need be go to another room, count to ten or twenty and calmly come back in and check on your child. If they’re daydreaming, playing with their pencil, flipping on and off the light switch… gently remind your child to stay on task. (You can always tape the cover of your light switch shut.) If you would like, you can at another time though not a hectic one (you’re running late for school), talk to your child about small rewards for staying on task. You can have a bag of marbles and every time your child focuses on their homework for 15 minutes they get to put a marble in a jar (5 marbles can equal a special game with you or 15 minutes of computer time). This means even if your child doesn’t stay on task for all three 15 minute time periods, they’re still rewarded for the one or two times they do. It gives them motivation and a positive outlook they can indeed focus. Do not reinforce that they can’t focus. Most children can focus in varying degrees.

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If your child is seriously struggling to get their homework done and can’t, please talk to their teacher about shortening their homework. Maybe instead of doing 30 math problems, your child can do 10. I believe if your child is having a really difficult time focusing on their homework, there’s a strong likelihood they’re also having a difficult time focusing on their schoolwork as well. A conscientious teacher will pick up on this and want to work with you. If you don’t have a teacher who will work with you I encourage you to meet with your principle. You’re your child’s voice.

Point to think about: I know of lawyers today who didn’t finish their homework back in grade school and junior high, who SOMEHOW managed to finish law school and pass the bar. The lesson here: Finishing grade school and junior high homework is not the be all and end all to your child’s future. So stop making it like it’s the end of world if they can’t finish it; especially if they’re trying to the best of THEIR ability. Please note how I wrote “their” ability and not “yours.”

Jay Marie P. is a Former Nanny to children with parents in the Entertainment Industry. She has a B.A. in Sociology. She believes in having Harmony in the Home To learn about ways to help your child with certain issues they might have and recommended programs visit http://www.Foundit-4u.com/Harmony-in-the-Home.htm
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Letting Go of Your Kids

Letting Go of Your Kids | By Cheryl Bryan

This parenting thing is not easy. Just when you think you may be getting it right and they’re on their way to becoming civilized adults, able to carry on an intelligent conversation, help around the house without supervision, and verbally acknowledge your worth in their lives — they leave!

No longer are you the most important person in their lives. They have needed you for so long, and you have needed them to need you. How do you overcome this Syndrome they call The Empty Nest? The following is certainly not an inclusive list, but maybe it’ll give you a new perspective.


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1. Realize that it started at birth. From the beginning, you nourished and protected them, urged them to talk, walk, make friends and study. You watched them try and fail so they would learn strength, taught them the difference between need and want and the rewards of hard work. You were preparing them to leave you, and you have succeeded.

2. Don’t take it personally. Did you leave your parents’ home because you didn’t love them? Did making an independent decision mean you didn’t value their opinion? Think about your own journey to financial and emotional independence. If your parents were your foundation but not your crutch, you’re probably grateful for their wisdom and the trust they placed in you.

3. Examine your motives. Have you been living vicariously through your children? Give an honest answer to the question, “Why am I feeling sad when my children are okay? What is it I really want?” When you can answer honestly, you’re ready to declare your own independence.

4. Keep in touch. Even when they seem to shove you away, they need you. It can be scary out there. As they make independent decisions, they need to know you love them unconditionally and are available to them as they make difficult adjustments. But know the difference between helping and hovering.

5. Enjoy your freedom! Remember what you promised yourself “when the kids are grown”? It’s time! Pursue your artistic interests, learn something new, or write a book. Volunteer at the school, hospital, or senior center, where your focused energy can make a difference. Appreciate the quiet, the privacy, and the freedom to come and go without having to consider your children’s schedules.

6. Support them when they fail. This is when you’ll be tempted to respond with “Come home, baby, and we’ll take care of you,” or “I knew this would not be a good move for you.” Help them know that though it’s difficult now, this will pass. Try to listen without judgment or correction. They need you to listen, not solve the problem.

7. Know they still need you. Your role has changed through the years, from First Responder to Last Resort. But no one will ever take your place; no one else heard their first cry or watched their first steps. No one knows them like you do.

8. Benefit from their independent experiences. Isn’t it nice to discuss topics unrelated to your relationship as parent and child, topics that relate more to shared interests? And more than that, your grown children bring to the discussion myriads of experiences different from yours, enabling you to explore the world through their eyes.

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9. Realize you’re not on your own. If you’re the mother, realize that though he may not admit it, your husband may also be feeling the loss. Give him the attention he lost when you began having kids. Turn your attention to your girl friends, and experience your own social life, uninterrupted by other people’s appointments or cries for help.

10. Rejoice in a job well done. Even if professional success causes them to move further away, know you have done what a parent is supposed to do. You birthed them, babied them, nurtured them, loved them, and brought them to a point of independence. You wouldn’t want any less for them than to be happy, independent productive adults.

In spite of the mistakes she might have made, Cheryl Bryan’s children are independent and well-adjusted adults. Three of the four live a thousand miles away; the other one lives 13,000 miles away with her (at present) only grandchild.

Cheryl was educated in business and music, but over the years, both as an employed and a freelance administrative assistant, has developed a reputation as a capable proofreader, copy editor and business writer. For three years she wrote weekly inspirational newspaper columns, and she recently launched a blog, http://www.aginginwonder.com, to encourage fellow baby-boomers as they reach the last trimester of their lives. She believes that aging well means you never cease to learn, to explore, or to be amazed at the wonder of it all.
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Outdoor Summer Activities For Kids

Discovering Cheap Outdoor Summer Activities For Kids | By Michelle Patelle

Having fun with your kids this summer should not be a hassle or expensive. You have many options in your own backyard or nearby parks or recreational areas. Make a summer of fun your kids will remember forever.

When the summer heat is getting to you, consider water fun on your own property. Set up a cheap kiddie pool, a slip and slide, or a sheet of plastic, or even a regular sprinkler and let the kids run through it. Invite their friends over to play and provide an easy-to-eat treat like popsicles. Decorate your driveway or sidewalk with wet footprints or handprints. Play with squirt guns or spray bottles. Have a water balloon fight. Blow bubbles. Make mud pies. Play in the rain. Wash the car and spray the kids with the hose. Let them get you wet, too.


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The definitive guide to pregnancy and parenting after age 35, PLUM is a unique blend of an insightful lifestyle magazine and an informative health journal. With topics ranging from entertaining, travel and fashion to prenatal testing, pregnancy myths, and mothering, PLUM gives the 35+ woman the know-how and support she needs before, during, and after pregnancy.



In the cool of morning, evening or on moderate weather days, have a day to enjoy nature. You could call it a nature hike. Visit a walking path at a local park or find a new trail to hike. A nature hike can be just a walk or it can be more than that. Think of off-roading a little bit. What kinds of rocks, leaves, plants and flowers can the kids find? Have them use a bag to store their favorites. When you get back home, go online and research the names of the plants you collected. Here are some more ideas for fun with nature: take pictures of nature with a camera. Take the kids to a scenic area with a set of watercolors and ask them to paint what they see. If you live close to the ocean or lake, pack a lunch, sunscreen, drinking water and some beach toys and go there. Spend the day digging in the sand, building sandcastles and searching for seashells. There are all kinds of ways of interacting with nature, like planting a vegetable or flower garden together. Visit a pick-your-own fruits farm. Instead of just having a picnic lunch at the brightest time of day, try having a sunset picnic at a park or beach. On the other hand, get up early, pack breakfast, and have a sunrise breakfast. Walk barefoot in the grass and pick the wildflowers, if it is allowed. Do some cooking outside on a grill or a campfire, or just toast marshmallows. Pitch a tent, perhaps even in your own backyard, and sleep outside. The moon, stars and planets are nature, too.

When thinking of summer activities for the kids there are always all kinds of games and sports. You do not have to join a team or class because they can get expensive, but if you have the resources and interest in pursuing that path, ask the kids if they would like to learn a new sport or activity. The summer is a great time to try something new without the commitment that often comes with starting it during the school year. Go for a bicycle ride around the neighborhood. Teach the kids some jump rope rhymes from your own childhood. There is hopscotch, too. Plan a scavenger hunt or a treasure hunt. For a scavenger hunt, all you need to do is create a list of twenty or so items that are frequently found outdoors in your area.

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Pass out the list to each of the kids. The first person or team to find everything, or the most items, and wins a small prize. For a treasure hunt leave clues around the house or yard, with each clue leading to the next clue, until they reach the treasure, maybe a snack or small prize. There are many more ideas for outdoor sports and games, like playing kickball with the neighborhood kids. Fly kites. Compete in a three-legged or other race. Create an obstacle course. Play freeze tag. Build paper airplanes and have a flying contest.

With some help from your kids, you may come up with many more ideas. Water, nature, and sports and games are great sources of cheap and healthy entertainment. The summer time is a great time to be outdoors, but please remember the sunscreen, hats and monitoring the amounts of sun exposure. Older kids with later bedtimes may even be able to enjoy many of these activities after the sun goes down.

Michelle Patelle, writer, mother and homemaker, invites you to visit cartooncoloringpages.org, and onlinecoloringpages.org. Coloring pages are great for when the kids are ready to play school with each other in the summertime.
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Most Common Mistakes Parents Make

Parenting Teenagers – Five Most Common Mistakes Parents Make | By Dolly Yeo

I have three teenagers and I have made all these mistakes. My eldest daughter does not want to tell me where she goes. I have to call her cell phone and drive around like a detective to figure out where she might have been. It was like a nightmare. I cannot get my son to stop playing computer even when his O-level examination is less than two months’ away. My relationship and communication is thrown out of the window.

These are the mistakes I made. Listening to other parents with teenagers I realised these are the most common mistakes many parents with teenagers made. I learnt the hard way.


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The Five Most Common Mistakes in Parenting Teenagers:

Mistake No. 1 – You don’t listen to your teenagers – I know it sounds silly, but many parents talk to their teenagers but they don’t listen to them. Either they are too busy and in a hurry or they don’t make time to listen.

Solution: Listen to your teenagers, make time just to listen to them, put your newspaper down or stop what you are doing. Putting aside time for them becomes a habit and each time they have something to share with you, they know you are willing to listen. They may just want someone to listen and not necessary want a solution.

Mistake No. 2 – Busy Parents -If you find yourself completing what your teenagers say because you assume you know what your teenagers want to say. They will feel that you are making a lot of assumptions. Hurried parents will experience hurried teenagers. Your teenagers will not feel listened to. They will end up bottling their feelings. You may not realised that you are raising angry children.

Solution: Let your teenagers complete their sentences. Become aware of whether you are thinking of giving them solutions or listening to them completely. When they feel listened to, they get the feeling that they are important to you. They feel respected.

Mistake No. 3 – Using the word ‘Should’ – ‘Should’ is a word that makes your teenagers feel that they have to do things that you like and may not be what they like. The obedient ones may end up doing it to please you. You may get obedient children but frustrated later in life, if that is not what they really want in their lives. Frustrated teenagers become angry adults.

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Mistake No. 4 – Protective Parents – If you find yourself cushioning your teenagers every move to protect them from being hurt, they learn fear. Fear stops them from making a choice to step up and make decisions.

Solution: Provide options – Allow your teenagers to make decisions. Talk to them about the various options and explain to them the possible consequences or outcome. They learn the way to make decisions in the future.

Mistake No. 5 – Criticising your Teenagers – That could also mean you don’t respect them and that could escalate into feelings that you don’t trust them. When they don’t feel trusted, they lose confidence in themselves. They may end up avoiding you.

Solution: Catch them doing things right and acknowledge them. What you focus expand. They feel respected, appreciated and will tend to behave even better to get more of your acknowledgments.

If you liked these solutions you will love my E-Book “Teenager Parenting 101” visit http://www.parentingwithdolly.com

Dolly Yeo, Mindset Coaching

Dolly Yeo is the chief coach and founder of Mindset Coaching that specialises in life coaching. She is a Results Certified Coach (Australia) and a member of the International Coach Federation, Singapore. She is also an Active Parenting Certified Leader as well as a Certified Parent Facilitator for Parenting Workshops. You can find out more about Dolly Yeo and Mindset Coaching at http://www.mindset-coaching.com or to subscribe to her free newsletters.
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Addicted to Video Games


Parenting Advice – Help! My Child is Addicted to Video Games | By Dr. Noel Swanson

Video gaming is an industry that is close to 35 years old and continuing to grow each and every year. The growth in purchases is being matched by the improvements in technology. What was state of the art just 2 years ago is being trashed by gamers for the newest and greatest gaming systems.

Video games are also becoming more realistic and exciting which makes them popular with children and youth. Surveys have determined that approximately 79% of American children now play computer or video games on a regular basis. And most of the games on the market today are aimed at the population of children between 7 and 17.


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In another study from the Netherlands based firm Junior Senior Research, video games are a part of the daily activity of nearly 61% of a population of boy and girls up to age 15. Interestingly though, in this study of nearly 4,000 children 65% preferred playing games on the computer and not a game console.

The growth of the gaming industry has not been without controversy. Although more research information appears to be available for television than gaming the initial results seem to bare out the theory that children who are involved in aggressive or hostile video games are more likely to become involved in physical aggression in real life.

Video games have a rating system that helps parents to understand the level of violence and sexual content in the game before it’s purchased. Most video games do have positive aspects to playing them. Children learn problem solving skills, improved concentration with distractions and the ability to strategize.

However, those games which belong to the subset that feature violence, gore and antisocial behaviors have raised concern with parents, educators, advocates and medical professionals. The result of this has been rounds of congressional hearings, policy debates and continued research into the outcomes for children and young adults.

In the past organizations such as the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all conducted research which shows scientific evidence that children who watch violent television are more likely to have aggressive behavior. Researchers theorize that those who play aggressive video games are even at higher risk because the games are interactive and not passive, each game is repetitive as children go through the same levels to reach the next achievement, and because rewards increase the ability of the person to learn and the video games give rewards to the participants.

In an analysis of 35 different studies, which looked at violence in video games and the behavior of those who played, researchers found several interesting correlations. When watching violent games the physiological response of the person was elevated. This means that the game triggered increased heart rates and blood pressure. The exposure to these violent games also increased the aggressive thoughts and emotions of the children in the short term. In a study of 8th and 9th graders students who played violent games were also more likely to see the world as a hostile place. They got into more arguments with teachers and were involved in more physical fights.


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It has been suggested that video games aren’t the culprit in these situations. Instead children who are naturally more aggressive are drawn to video games and television shows that are more violent. While this factor may have some truth it isn’t the whole truth. In another study the researchers measured hostility traits, controlled for sex and hostility levels and the amount of video game playing and still found that students who played violent games were still more likely to be involved in aggressive behavior, no matter what their previous hostility trait level had been.

The last correlation found was that those children who were exposed on a consistent basis to violent video games had a decreased ability to have compassion for others as measured by their willingness to positively help others in need.

In the aftermath of Columbine High School shootings, then President Bill Clinton, asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the validity of accusations that manufacturers of video games that were rated “M” for violence were deliberately marketing to younger children. The report, which was released in 2000, found that 70% of the games at the time that were rated “M” were deliberately marketed to children under the age of 17. This confirmed that although the games warranted parental caution they were being marketed in an irresponsible manner.

But the vast majority of video games available today aren’t violent. Instead they are legitimately aimed at the youth and may even have some educational value in playing them. There are games that teach problem solving skills, eye hand coordination, strategy development and planning.

Parents of school age and teen age children are often faced with two dilemmas. The first relates to the violence of the games that are marketed to our children. The second relates to the amount of time that children sit in front of televisions and video games wiling away their time watching other people live theirs.

The vast majority of the research done on video games has been on the effects of watching and interacting with violent games but there has also been research done on children who watch television consistently and the results may be extrapolated to those who also sit for hours in front of a hand-held screen of flashing images. Researchers from the University of California link watching television from 2 to 4 hours per day to increased risks of high blood pressure and obesity.

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The results of this study should be self-evident. We are designed to be active and release energy. Sitting in front of a computer, hand-held gaming system or television only leads to decrease metabolism, poor food choices and weight gain. All of these things lead to poor overall health.

The question about whether or not children should play video games is a question that must be answered on an individual basis by the people who know them best, their parents. Some children exhibit characteristics of an addictive personality early and will find it difficult to get away from the games while others may only play while they’re on car trips or it’s raining outside. Parents should be intentional when they make their decision about getting computer games or a gaming system. Be prepared to make rules before the games are purchased and stick to those rules.

If you found this article helpful, Dr Noel Swanson’s specialized website on child behavior offers a free downloadable CD loaded with parenting techniques. To find out more and request the free downloadable CD just click here for some great expert parenting advice.
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Help Your Child Become Money Savvy

7 Lessons to Help Your Child Become Money Savvy | By Stuart Fish

As a young man I was taught the value of money by my father and before I was in my mid twenties, had built financial assets well beyond my age and the bank balances of my friends. So let me share the lessons I learned early on and since, that helped me to be financially independent throughout my life.

Lesson 1: Help your child learn the value of money

I had to earn my pocket money, by doing chores round the house that were within my capability. So teach your child that money has value and that it can be exchanged for something that the child has to offer. Simple chores, like helping with the dishes, vacuuming the house, cleaning the car, mowing the lawn are all things that a child can do to earn the weekly pocket money. I was also quite entrepreneurial and developed a vegetable garden at home and used to sell the veggies to my mother. I also built a chicken coop and sold my mom and grandmother the eggs. One can also learn the value of barter, so that by doing one thing, the child my get something in return. This will teach him or her, the value of personal effort.


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Lesson 2: Encourage your child to save

Encourage your child to save some of the pocket money earned for bigger purchases in the future. I started saving money from the age of 10 and found that I always had money in my savings account for things I wanted. My father had a belief that if I saved some money for, say a tape player (this was some years ago), he would chip in the balance once I reached a certain amount. Today, help your child to open a bank savings account. Most banks offer special savings accounts for children and have it linked to the internet, so the child can go online and see the balance growing from month to month. It is also a good idea to help your child understand that talking about money is not a bad thing and to feel proud of the way their savings grow.

Lesson 3: Set some savings goals for your child

I am of the belief that setting savings goals from an early age, say age 10, is a healthy way to view money. I would recommend 2 savings accounts. Into each, the goal should be to save 10% of whatever is earned in that week or month. Savings Account #1 will NEVER be touched other than to use the accumulated money for further investment. This is an ideal vehicle for building up a deposit on a first home for example. It should NOT be used to buy things with. Savings Account #2, which will also be fed with 10% of earnings, will be used for purchases of things that the child wants, such as iPods, CD’s, skateboards etc. It is a good idea to set a goal for the total of the two accounts and once the goal is reached, the child can take some money from Account #2 and buy something special. Put up a graph behind the bedroom door and get your child to plot each month how the total savings are growing. Another incentive is to say that when savings reach a certain level, a parent will add say $20 to Account #2 as a reward for achieving the goal.

An idea that I used was to have a glass jar, where I would throw all my coins at the end of the day, or week. Then at the end of the month I would divide the coins in half, put half into Account #2 and spend the other half.

Lesson 4: Teach the Magic of Compound Interest

This can be technical for some people, but it is a very simple concept, and very powerful. In essence, money plus interest plus time builds up extra value.

To illustrate this, $5 invested each week from age 6 to age 18, with 8% interest, will build up to around $5,330 after 12 years. In comparison $10 invested from age 12 to age 18 will only build to $4,120. The same amount ($3,120) was invested in both examples, but in the second example the child waited 6 years before starting to save.

Lesson 5: Help your child develop a budget

Once your child reaches teenage years, it is a good idea to help them develop a budget and to manage their spending in this way. It only need be a simple budget with items for Clothes, Entertainment (movies, cds, etc), Food and Drink (eating out, sweets and cool drinks) and Mobile phone. Allocate the 80% of money earned that is available (remember 20% is being saved) into the four categories and again get the child to put a chart up behind the bedroom door, and enter how much is spent in each category. This will be one of the best money lessons learned in these early years.

Lesson 6: Teach about Credit and Debit Cards

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I would recommend that no child or young adult be given a credit card until they are independent and working for a few years- say around age 24 or 25. A maxed out credit card or two is one of the biggest problems young adults face today. Most of the banks are at fault as they are only too ready to hand out credit to anyone. Rather, issue your child with a debit card, at around age 15 or 16 so that they learn the convenience of a plastic card, but can only spend the money that they have budgeted for out of the 80% of their earnings.

Lesson 7: Teach the Law of Delayed Gratification

There are fundamental differences in the expectations of Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Generation Y as to what they want and when. The current generation wants everything now and is not prepared to wait. It is a good idea to help your child realize that by being patient, and saving towards a goal, that they will have an even greater reward in the future.

These 7 lessons, if taught to your children from an early age will equip them well for their future financially and they will thank you for your teaching when they are able to purchase their first home and car without your financial help. Good Luck.

Visit http://www.stufish7.wordpress.com to follow ongoing discussion on this important topic.

Passionate about helping people achieve the best life they can. Do you want to live a healthy life? Would you like to become more financially free? Would you like to enjoy better relationships? Visit me to discuss these issues at http://www.stufish7.wordpress.com . I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Stuart Fish

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The Family Guy – Parenting From a Single Dad’s Perspective

Parenting, the family guy

The Family Guy – Parenting From a Single Dad’s Perspective | By Jay Bartels

It was a hot summer day in august and The courthouse was without cold air. I wiped my brow as I entered the crowded courtroom. Several times I had appeared in family court, petitioning to get custody of my children. On each occasion I left the courtroom alone. The court had taken the girl’s mothers rights away, but fighting through all the red tape had dragged on for two years.


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I did all I could to keep my faith. Then came that magical day. The girls were coming home with me! Wait a minute; the girls were coming home with me! Do they mean today?

I fell to my knees,right there outside the courtroom. Fighting my tears of joy, I thanked god for the miracles he had blessed me with. I asked for his guidance. I asked him to help me be the best father I could be and told him I could not do it without him.

Soon we were in the car and heading home. I glanced at them in the mirror, as they smiled ear to ear. They were my angels and I felt overwhelmed with joy, smiling all the way home. Has a man ever been so blessed as I was on that magical day?

Now it was time to put my parenting skills into action. I put on the superdad cape and transformed into The Family Guy.

Right about this time Faith had just turned 8, and Elissa was 5. At first I let them eat what they want, bathe when they want, and go to sleep when they wanted. This wasn’t working for me, so nice daddy had to set som rules and bondaries.

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The girls were soon given chores to help out around the house. They put up quite a resistance at first, but after they lost some of their privelages they quietly surrendered.

Two years have passed and the three of us are very happy. I work from home so we get to spend alot of time together. I love my role as The Family Guy. I am blessed to have such amazing girls who are so loving and giving. Sometimes they call me Mister Mom. Sometimes they just call me daddy, but my greatest happiness comes each night, hearing their precious voices call me to tuck them into bed.

This Article was Written By: Jay Bartels.
Jay is a leader in the family benefits comunity. Faith and Elissa are Healthy,happy, and growing up a bit too fast for daddy. Please look for more from jay at the sites below, and his next article coming very soon.Please visit our “Jays Plan” Site for afun and inspiring experience.
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