Me in a Tree

Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

30Aug

Get your family started on the path to better communication!

Building a stronger family can be challenging, even for the most dedicated parents.

• Create greater harmony with a weekly Family Huddle

• My Duties Calendar is a simple monthly overview of all the chores and responsibilities to be completed on any given day

• on the Family Calendar enter all the family’s activities, appointments and schedules

• Things to Do is full of fun activities, events, workshops and volunteer positions that are available in your community for you and your family to experience

Parent Support has a Parent Talk forum, resource center, blog, and Ask Eva column where parenting support and help is available at your fingertips

Me in a Tree: Where parents can get the help they need.

28Aug

Creating a  close family is the result of having clear plan, online parenting resourcesa commitment to each other and a willingness to work together to make it happen. It’s a choice: creating a close family is a conscious decision to tackle and master the hardest job on the planet: being a parent.

Raising compassionate and successful children to adulthood takes resources, tools and information:

  • Talking to and sharing with one another more
  • Managing your time more effectively
  • Creating more time for family
  • Reconnecting with your spouse
  • Understanding your family’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Restoring balance and peace in your family
  • Being more organized
  • Teaching your children the things they need to know as they grow up
  • Reducing stress
  • Teaching teamwork
  • Building self-esteem
  • Having more fun as a family

Me in a Tree creates close families through interactive games and activities your whole family will love.

22Aug

These days, we face a staggering fact: Me in a TreeThere are primary school aged children with – wait for it – cellphones! Unfortunately, the fact of our modern world is that we are becoming quite fast and furiously an “I want” society. A new phone is released on the market every few weeks; the next hottest toy hits shelves, and your child has to have it, or you become embroiled in the next big craze – like the Tamagotchi of the 90s or the Snuggie of 2012, remember those?

However, while preparing for this post, I came across a blog that listed 15 things that children should value more than possessions. Things like valuing honesty, hard work, justice, nature made the list. But so did the more tangible things like family members and friends. It was refreshing to read this blog post, and think about what we value now. Television, internet, e-readers, and cellphones would all make a top 10 list of things that we valued in our modern world.

But, what if families turned off the television and put away the cellphones for, say, a week? What would happen? I imagine houses smelling like chocolate chip cookies, children experiencing the joy of running through the sprinkler on a hot day, and families laughing together. This is oversimplifying things, but even if families set aside one day a week or every two weeks and spent time together as a family sans technological distractions, it is possible that children can learn to value things like friendship, honesty, family, and other things.

15Aug

“A day without laughter is a day wasted” Laughter

– Charlie Chaplin

The old adage says that laughter is the best medicine, and perhaps, it is. Welcoming, infectious, and healthy, a good laugh is an absolute must for families. It is important to learn to lighten up, and keep a sense of humour about yourself, your kids, and life in general.

Physically, laughter is a powerful relaxant. A hearty laugh relieves tension and soreness for up to 45 minutes. It boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins, and protects the heart.

Emotionally, laughter helps with the tough emotions by dissolving them. It also helps you recharge from a stressful or busy day, and it can also shift your perspective.

However, the importance for families is that a good laugh encourages unity. It allows families to be more spontaneous and expressive, and less defensive and cautious. A shared laugh adds joy, freshness, and vitality to your home, and it doesn’t take a large degree of effort to produce. Take the family out to see a comedian (an appropriate one, of course), read the newspaper comic strips in silly voices, or watch a funny movie. There is an endless list of options for your family – find something that makes you laugh, and do it often.

Laughing is something that we are all born to do; it is our innate ability, something we start doing in the very first weeks of our lives. So, smile, count your blessings, and laugh. And, remember, a family that laughs together, stays together.

14Aug

“Movement is so important. I like to go with the flow, be aggressive, keep the ball in, and go for it.”

– Roger Federer

Sure, in the quotation above, Federer is talking about tennis, Go With The Flowbut it might hold some inspiration for families. Life rarely, if at all, goes the way you planned. Sometimes the kids are grumpy when you need them to be on their best behaviour, or the weatherman was wrong (again!) and it’s raining instead of being hot and sunny. It’s important, however, to not get too stressed out when things don’t go quite as planned. Instead, learn to go with the flow. Now, you’re saying “Pssh! Go with the flow… preposterous idea!” Luckily for you, here are some tips to help you roll with the punches.

• The number one thing you need to do is realize that you can’t control everything. Realizing that things will inevitably happen will prepare you to deal with a curve-ball whenever life decides to throw it.
Breathe. Seriously. It doesn’t get easier than this. When things change suddenly, take a few deep breaths, and you will relax and calm down. You’ll then be ready to tackle life.
Get some perspective. Pan out to the big picture, and ask yourself if whatever is bothering you is going to matter in a day, a week, or a year. If not, then you shouldn’t worry about it.
Laugh. Yes, laugh. In stressful times, laughing or even simply smiling keeps your mood up, spirit light, and mind sharp. And, it burns calories, so you can cross that workout off your to-do list.

Here’s the deal, parents: life plays hardball; you’re going to get hit if you don’t move. Go with the flow. Move with life.

10Aug

Before you read any further, take a minute and take this quiz.What Kind of Parent Are You?

These 10 questions are most definitely not the be-all-end-all of parenting quizzes. In fact, it probably tells you very little about what kind of parent you are (or will be). However, it is important to think about the kind of parent you want to be. I’m sure nearly every mom and dad out there has muttered the words, “I will never parent like my mom (or dad).” However, our images of parents and what parenting is all about form at a young age, and over time we develop a parenting philosophy, regardless of whether we become a parent or not.

Looking at your values and beliefs, you can start to determine where you want to go in the parenting sphere. If you are already a parent, your philosophy changes as your children grow older and their needs change. If you aren’t a parent, you are still developing your philosophy.

However, it is important to assess and reflect on where you want to be as a parent.

  • Do you want to be a firm parent?
  • A nurturing parent?
  • A relaxed parent?
  • A flexible parent?

Not one of these parenting styles are superior to the other – all are relevant and acceptable. It is up to you to decide where you want to be and how to raise your children.

You have to take time to decide how you want to raise your children based on your perceptions, values, and beliefs, and then you can take steps to achieve that parenting style.

1Aug

Seeking attention, power, or revenge are all ways that children mistake dealing with power hungry childrenas tactics of acceptance. The child who wants power is often characterized as the one who feels that if he defies authority, he will be noticed and praised for standing up for himself. These children tend to provoke arguments, throw tantrums, and become disrespectful toward his parents and peers. However, there are ways to deal with situations when your child fights for authority and power.

Remove yourself from the power struggle. Don’t engage in any argument with your child. Insist that the both of you will talk it out later, but refrain from exchanging verbal hostilities. When you exert your authority over your child through intimidation or force, the outcome is often negative. Either your children will lose the motivation to make decisions for themselves or they rebel even more. By disengaging from the power struggle, you can retain a positive balance of power.

It is important that you step back and look at the whole picture. What is the context surrounding your child’s defiance and insistence? It is up to you to set the course for cooperation and understanding in any relationship that your child encounters as they grow older.

As a final remark, remember that it is still important that you give your children space to make their own decisions. This fosters a cooperative attitude, and will increase their self-esteem. Remember, you can always ask for help. Check out our parent forum or Ask Eva for more support to specific situations.

31Jul

Children begin to develop a sense of self starting from infancy, watch yourselfand they see themselves through their parent’s eyes. Your tone of voice, body language, and expressions all contribute to how your child views him or herself as they develop.

Regardless of your child’s behaviour – positive or negative – your reactions will have an influence on how he or she continues to behave, so it becomes very important that you are aware of your responses.

You may find that you become more susceptible to your own reactions if you see the situation from your child’s point of view. This allows you to understand their perspective and adjust your reactions accordingly. For instance, if your child is behaving badly and is really pushing your buttons, do you launch into loud lecture, or step back and ask yourself if your reaction is one that you would be willing to observe in your own child. If you always react in an angry way when your child doesn’t behave like they should, he or she will think that this is a normal reaction and begin to model it back to you or his or her peers.

Remember this one thing: children watch you. They will constantly observe what you say, how you treat people, and how you react in different situations. If you want them to have calm, cool-headed, positive behaviour, you must model that yourself.

30Jul

Effective parenting requires patience, and patiencePatience and Parenting requires time and persistence.

Every parent loses his or her patience every once in a while, but like any habit, this can be cultivated and mastered, and is especially important when dealing with your children.

Has your child ever spilled something on the carpet or broken something valuable? Did you ever lose your cool? Of course you have! Children are some of the most curious and mischievous people. The way you react to your child’s behaviour is often proportional to how he or she behaves in the future, so it is important to react with patience.

Here are some tips on cultivating patience every day.

• If your child starts to get on your nerves, count to 10. This is a really effective method to cool down before you say anything that you might regret.
Deep breaths. This works very well with the tip above. Count to 10, take a few deep breaths, and repeat if you need to.
Ask yourself, “Does this help?” Often yelling and angry words are not productive ways to get your child’s attention or discipline effectively.
Take a break. Sometimes, the best immediate solution is to physically leave the situation. Go take a walk for 15 minutes to gather your thoughts before you talk to your child.
• Just laugh about it. Like said above, nobody is perfect, and parents need to be reminded of that. Parents should enjoy their children. This doesn’t always work, but it’s good to remind yourself of this.
React with love. Initial reactions tend to be angry, but it is more effective to react with love.

19Jul

As your children grow older, their development becomes more sophisticated, Teaching New Skillsand they learn new many important skills, from technical to social skills. And, you are the first teacher your child will have.

One of the best ways to effectively teach new skills is to model the skills yourself, and your child will automatically imitate your behaviour. For example, if you want to teach the skill or the value of being polite, start by speaking politely to each other. Encourage your child to speak politely, and then praise him or her when they do.

Teaching your child anything can be daunting and difficult, but employ these tips to help you demonstrate necessary skills to your child:

Get rid of distractions: when teaching a skill, focus on only that. Turn off the television, put away the phone, and concentrate on building the skill with your child.
Model the skill first. Children model their behaviour more after what you do, rather than what you say.
Help your child. They won’t get it right away, but with patience and careful assistance, they will master a new skill in no time.
Offer praise. When your child demonstrates the skill without being assisted, have a celebration.

The key thing to remember is to be mindful of your actions. For instance, if you are teaching your child the importance of being polite, but you do not exercise politeness in your own life, your child will assume that you aren’t serious, and will imitate your rude behaviours.