Do you feel like you’re the only person in your home doing all the work? Getting your family on board in sharing the load is one of the keys to a successful family. It is proven that families that share the responsibilities are usually healthier and happier, than in families where one person does ALL the work. To watch a video on how Me In A Tree can help click here.
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Be a parent. Believe it or not children want and need limits, which helps them understand and manage their confusing world. Show your love by setting boundaries so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely, for example you may say “If you ride your bike without wearing a helmet you will lose riding your bike for the rest of the day”.
Don’t try to solve everything for your child. Give your kid a chance to find their own solutions. When you lovingly acknowledge a child’s frustrations without immediately rushing in to save them, you teach them to think for themselves which helps them become confident and more resilient. You meant say “how do you think you can fix this?’ and then let them try.
Pick your battles. Kids can’t absorb too many rules without turning off completely. Forget arguing about little stuff like eye rolling and fashion choices and give your attention to the things that matter to you the most.
Remember setting limits is really about teaching kids how to behave in the world and helping them to become responsible, caring, and in control of their own actions and thoughts.
One issue that can be a serious concern for families is a lack of positive communication. Nowadays most of us live in “the fast lane”. We are constantly in a hurry and we struggle to find quality time to spend with one another. Between work commitments, running a household, time consuming technology and a child participating in extra curriculum activities, there seems little time left for the family and sometimes that put everyone in a difficult position to function at their best. When time is tight, sometimes we communicate more about problems . . . annoyances and irritations that arise and are on our mind at that second in time. That means we tend to communicate in the heat of the moment when upset, frustrated and threatened.
One step to positive communication is holding regular family meetings. For many the term “family meeting” evokes images of parents going on about subjects kids don’t want to hear about, or trying to find out who did what and how the perpetuator will be punished. In general, family meetings should be fun, productive and bring families closer together.
For example, imagine running a company without developing a plan, identifying problems and then never meeting together to discuss the progress. The company would struggle. Holding regular meetings between partners is a crucial part of running a business. The same holds true for most families. Holding regular meetings when every family member is calm and relaxed provides an opportunity to plan, resolve problems and find workable solutions in a positive way so they do not fester and escalate into major problems.
However, holding family meetings can seem strangely awkward. The key is to remember that the family meeting is meant to be relaxed and fun. It is a time to catch up and find out what is going in everyone’s lives. Regularly weekly meetings might deal with daily decisions such as who will drive to activities and who will cook dinner. It may also cover major issues such as setting family goals or planning and budgeting for a family vacation and at other times a meeting may be called for minor issues, such as what the plans will be for the long weekend. Every meeting will be different for each family but with the same purpose to connect and to open the doors to positive communication.
When you first introduce the family meeting keep it positive and simple. I recommend 15 minutes maximum for a family meeting with small children while 30 to 45 minutes may work great for families with older kids. Other things you can consider are: take turns chairing the meeting, ask for topics to discuss and create an agenda. As for timing, meeting on a Saturday or Sunday after supper when everyone is relaxed, in a good mood and not rushing to activities may work well. You can also make your family meetings special! Serve a favourite dessert or watch a movie or go out for a treat when the meeting ends. That’s one way to ensure everyone looks forward to this activity!
Aside from the positive impacts on the relationships within your family, meetings teach how to cooperate, set goals, negotiate, plan time wisely and most importantly communicate freely and openly. Life lessons that are a positive addition to everyone!
Eva Macyszyn B.S.W., R.S.W
For many of us, the New Year means setting some personal resolution to better ourselves in some way or another. When we think resolutions, we often think along the lines of losing weight, exercising more or getting out of debt, but have you ever considered making a resolution to improve the lives of your whole family?
Making a family resolution means you can focus on “what really matters”. Not only will you improve your family, but your children will learn a lot about self discipline and the value of setting a goal.
Here are some tips on how to help your kids benefit from making resolutions:
1. In order for you and your family to set goals it might be a good idea to review what your family does well together and what you struggle with. By sitting down and identifying your strengths and weaknesses it will become easier to establish where you want to go. Meinatree.com has a 5 t0 10 minute assessment that will do this for you.
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season there are countless precious moments; quality time with family, fun family traditions, gift giving and also a time when people seem to be nicer and kinder to one another. It is also a perfect time to teach our children the art of gratitude.
Here are three easy ways to go about it:
We are all saddened by the shocking tragedy that happened in Newtown, Connecticut. Although, we may not fully understand the events or motives that led to this unthinkable crime, as parents we are left trying to make sense of it all and wonder how we help our kids through it.
A common feeling among parents is how do you talk to your children about the shooting? Here are three helpful tips.
SIBLING FIGHTING…did you know one of the best strategies to decrease sibling rivalry is to spend one on one time with each of your kids on a daily basis. Children are in constant competition for your attention. Just a few minutes a day with each child listening, talking and being fully present will reduce fighting and improve cooperation. Children are programmed to need individual attention from their parents. If we give them one on one attention regularly and positively, your child doesn’t have to compete to get it.
Did you know there might be as little as 200 face to face words spoken between family members in a 24 hour period and most of them are barks or orders like “finish what’s on your plate” or “hurry up and go to bed”. With our hyperactive life
We all know that for a healthy relationship to flourish and remain strong, we need to work on the negative aspects that pop up: removing the disrespect, improving communication, eliminating criticism, reducing the arguing and so on. But did you know one of the best ways to keep a strong relationship is not how well you fix all the negatives but how well you build the positives?
We spend too much time focusing on what we are doing wrong that we forget to build on what we are doing right! Every family has its own way of doing things and every family has its strengths but how often do we focus of that?
When was the last time your family spent time together, laughing, talking and having fun?
When was the last time you spent time thinking about what qualities you love most about your spouse or a really good moment you had with you children?
Oprah Winfrey once said “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” By focusing on the positives in the relationship, the relationships will become stronger and you will have a closer feeling of connection.
Next time you start to think of the things that bother you the most or you wish you could change, stop and focus on the positive. Schedule time to do this each day and then remember to share them with your partner and children what you appreciate most about them. You can also try using the gratitude journal in Meinatree.com. Let us know what you think!
Do you feel like you’re the only person in your home doing all the work? Getting your family on board in sharing the load is one of the keys to a successful family. It is proven that families that share the responsibilities are usually healthier and happier, than in families where one person does ALL the work.
Here is a video on how Me In A Tree can help.
Children can be quite happy with being disorganized, as they run around leaving a mess with no consequences, and your spouse may be perfectly happy with how things are, but it’s never too late to change that. By assigning chores and responsibilities you are actually doing your children a favour. Children who participate in the work load have a better self esteem; they learn the importance of completing an assignment and being part of the team, but the most favorable benefit is that the stress of doing it all yourself will be gone. This opportunity will allow you to have more time to spend as you wish and what Mom does not want that?
To start and to keep your children motivated, Me in a Tree has created a fun and easy to use tool. My Duties will help you delegate, keep track, assign points and send motivating notes. The children will know exactly what needs to done and when. On MeInATree.com, when tasks are completed they earn toozles, which they can plant and watch grow, how fun and motivating is that?