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Family Tips

Part 4 – Divorce Is Not Chess and Children Are Not Pawns

In my last article I wrote about the teamwork that is needed to make sure we don’t treat a broken relationship like chess and use children as pawns. We have the parents, the friends, family, new partners and sadly the children emotions all tied up in this horrible game of tug of war. Have you ever seen a real tug of war? It only ends up one way wherein one side is stronger than the other and the losing side usually ends up being dragged over a line that has been placed on the ground that they don’t want to go. The losing side then fall over and the game is over, stronger side wins. The other interesting part of a tug of war are the players on each team. The players have to really dig their feet into the ground to make sure they get a good strong hold of their position to make sure that the other team is always struggling for grip which makes the potential of losing even higher.
Now, do you see the similarities of tug of war and a couple who broke up?
Line drawn in the sand, feet dug in, make life as difficult as possible for those on the “other” side and in the middle we have the child or children watching this horrible back and forth and positioning.
Well what if the tug of war was a different game? What if on one side of the rope was all those involved in a relationship breakdown and what if the other side had as its team members all the nasty things that get involved those being, Bitterness, Anger, Rage, Pay back, Abuse, Denial, and the team captain BLAME. What if all those team members got dragged across a line and ended up in a big huge hole those got covered in dirt and was never seen again? Wow that would be prefect wouldn’t it? Am I dreaming is it possible? Could all sides totally cast away all ill feelings for each other and focus on the major goal? Is that goal being for the Children not to end up as pawns in a game of chess?
I believe it is possible and I have done it and so have many others and it comes back to what I closed my last article with. What we need to look at is TEAMWORK, but I will give you the heads up, it’s not going to be easy but nothing worth having is ever easy. The plan for teamwork will take eating a bit of humble pie, it will involve meeting and discussing situations and circumstances with people you have most likely vowed you would not spit on if they were on fire, but sorry better get that spit ready!
So how do we arrange the team, well the major players and usually the biggest enemies that being the Boy and Girl involved in the relationship, and that means you’re going to have to sit down and put all the other stuff aside that has nothing to do with the kids and work out a structured plan of how the role as “parents” will not only survive this trauma but prosper. Let me remind you I say the role as “Parents” as it’s totally separate from “Partner” and the game of chess is fueled by the inability to separate those two roles, so are we clear? NO choice or option on this if we want to move forward to TEAMWORK we have to bite the bullet on separation of roles, OK now I have your buy in on that we can move forward.
In your team meeting you have to look at every activity that normal parenting has as part of its role. That will be school, sport, family events, discipline, love, birthdays, doctor, dentist the list can be long but all of it is part and parcel of “Parents” not “parent” and once the list is complete there must be total agreement that both of you are responsible for all of it, yes there may be actions that are done by an individual but the planning, discussion and follow up is a PARENTS responsibility not a PARENT.
The next step of this meeting is to discuss what events would create the environment for a tug of war to begin? Let me help you out and remind you of the McDonalds access children change, if you think that will involve trauma both of you better eat some humble and stick to easiest of Changing station that being HOME. OK so he left you or she left you well sorry get over it, the house may have bad memories with the partner but to kids its home so get sued to picking them up and roping …

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Balance Work and Family Tips

Finding Your Niche in Life – How to Be a Better You

The concept of finding our niche in life is not a new one. As a child we start to think about what we want to be when we grow up. Some of us actually grow up and become what we dreamed about. This group is the lucky one. Unfortunately, too many people go through life with their activities governed not by their abilities, but by their circumstances. They take the first job offered and that becomes their career. If it turns out to be the wrong decision, it becomes an albatross hanging around their neck and weighs them down emotionally and financially. They do not decide what they want and go after it, but live “under” their circumstances.
When twenty percent of the individuals in a group provides 80% of the value or does 80% of the work, it is obvious that only a small percentage of individuals truly find their niche in life. How do we go about becoming one of those producers? There are a few points that can help us all determine what we should be doing. Whether we are talking about being part of a functional, happy family; being the top producer in our company; or being highly proficient in a sport; finding what our gifts and abilities are is the first step toward achievement.
The process of finding and utilizing our talents requires: (1) believing we have talents; (2) finding out what those talents are; and (3) selecting those talents that we enjoy using the most to use and improve upon. After that, the rest is easy. We do what we enjoy the most and have the talent for. As Mark Twain once said and I paraphrase; “A man who does what he enjoys never has to work”. So, lets take the process of finding our niche one step at a time.
We have to believe we have gifts, talents, & abilities. It has been said by some psychologists that each of us has thousands of abilities. Admittedly, some of these abilities may be small ones and may seem insignificant to a lot of people, but they are talents and abilities nevertheless. Some abilities are obvious to us. Some are only obvious to others. We can make use of our abilities the best when we are aware of what they are. Unless we realize that we have abilities that can be significant in life, our successes and failures for the most part will be accidental occurrences.
What are we good at doing? Sometimes we are blinded to our own abilities. Most of us do not give ourselves proper credit. We cannot see the value of our abilities in the same way an outsider does. Making a list of what we think are our abilities is a good start. A better way is to ask those who know us the best what they think we are good at. We may be surprised at the answers. Add both lists together. Once we have the combined list, the next step is easy.
We do what we enjoy. It we like to travel and write, we become a travel writer. If we are highly proficient in a sport, we may become a professional at it or become a teacher of others who are interested in the sport. If we like nothing better than making a presentation before a large crowd, we may become a professional speaker or trainer. The key is doing what we like within the parameters of our individual talents. There is nothing worse than spending our lives doing activities that we hate.
If we really want to find our niche in life, we can’t depend on other to decide what our niche is. We must actively search out our talents and abilities, decide which ones we enjoy the most, and build our family life, our careers, and our recreation around those abilities. When we find our true niche, we become a better person, and one that others want to be around.…

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Happy Family Tips

Co-Parenting With a Partner – The First Year

If you’re like me, I really thought that, despite my decision to breastfeed, my husband was so gung ho about being a Dad that we would share the parenting responsibilities pretty equally once our first child was born. I was in for a rude awakening. Breastfeeding meant that much of the time I was literally attached to my new baby, and when I was not, I had an easier time calming him than my husband did. And even when I didn’t, I couldn’t stand to have my husband trying to comfort our fussy baby without stepping in and trying to help. Whether due to biology or psychology, I was so attached to my new baby that I couldn’t tear myself away long enough to really get a break. As a result, I became more comfortable in the baby care role, and he became less.
There are many reasons why fathers often take a backseat in the early days with a new baby. Whether because of a hormonally-afflicted “helicopter” Mom, an inexperienced Dad, a baby who is more easily calmed by the mother, or gender-related attitudes about who does what, newborn care often falls disproportionately to the mother. And since Mom is generally recovering from childbirth, likely adjusting to breastfeeding, undoubtedly sleep deprived, and in the throes of huge hormonal changes, this disproportionate share can become a BIG PROBLEM. You know that saying that “if Mom isn’t happy, nobody is happy?” I think the truth of that statement is widely underestimated.
So, we’ve got a Mom who can’t let go to allow her partner to care for the baby, a Dad who is either mildly incompetent or feels he is (or is being treated like he is), a baby who’s getting used to being cared for by Mom, and a Mom who is at the end of her rope and feels like she just can’t get a break (and is not sure she would take one if she could). Not a recipe for a happy family.
Negotiating who does what, recognizing the barriers to fairly allocating parenting and household responsibility and actually making and carrying out a plan to address those barriers and create a cooperative, supportive and fair allocation of workload is one of the major tasks of the first year of parenthood. Working out a plan for who does what, figuring out how to set goals for change if change is needed, and implementing those changes, can make a world of difference.
I once read a study (and I don’t have a citation, but I like to believe that it is true) that claimed that of all the factors that might predict the well-being of children as they grow up (e.g. praise, affection, discipline, structure, etc.), the one variable that is most predictive of a child’s future well-being is the degree to which his or her parents have a cooperative relationship around parenting. So, if that is true, it matters less who does what (or if it is done correctly), and it matters more that parents are supportive of each other as parents and partners.…

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Happy Family Tips

Relaxing Vacations In Ski Chalets

When one mentions the word chalet, often images of skiing in the Swiss Alps come to mind, but one does not have to go to Switzerland or be a pro-skier to experience a chalet vacation! Travelling to any ski resort, whether in the USA, Canada, or Europe, chalets can provide an excellent opportunity to relax, have a mug of hot chocolate by the fireplace, and unwind in the isolation of snowy mountains surrounded by loved ones or strangers about to become new friends.
The dictionary defines a chalet as a wooden home with a sloped roof and overhanging eaves, common in Switzerland and other areas in the Alps, but these days it’s not restricted to Switzerland at all. Most cottage or lodges built to resemble chalets in the Alps are called chalets. In some parts of Quebec, any vacation home built near a ski hill is called a chalet, whether or not its built in the traditional style.
Chalets were originally used by dairy farmers in Europe during the summer months. To prevent the milk from spoiling during transport, they would stay in the chalets and make milk or cheese. In the early years of the 20th century the idea came about to use these chalets as a holiday, an extension of the country house weekend. In the early sixties, chalets were accommodations that one would share with eight or ten guests to share. Sharing the one chalet also meant sharing one hot water tank so guests would race to be the first people back inside after the lifts stopped. Those that came after the first one back were rewarded with afternoon tea as a consolation prize. The warm tea became a staple of chalet-living and continues to this day with either tea, hot cocoa or good quality wine.
Guests visiting these rustic ski resorts can also partake in some obvious activities: skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or some indoor activities like board games or some friendly rounds of poker. If you do decide to partake in some sports activities, skiing is a fairly popular sport that people of all ages and ability levels can participate in. It can be a great idea for a family vacation, and a good opportunity to bond with your children as they learn to make it down the bunny slopes!
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you may want to try your hand (or foot?) at snowboarding. Snowboarding is much like skiing on one wide ski, but requires much more core strength and can challenge your balancing abilities. Those who have much experience with downhill skiing may want to try snowboarding for a more challenging experience.
Those considering a skiing trip should also consider the arrangements that need to be made about their equipment. Most chalets have the ability to provide ski/snowboard rental as well as boot rentals. You’ll also need to ensure you pack snow gear such as a ski jacket and ski pants, as well as snow goggles and of course hats and mitts.
Once you’re done your outdoor activities for the day, plan to take a dip in the warm jacuzzi or take a few moments to sweat out some toxins in the sauna. Or, feel free to grab a mug of something warm and curl up in front of the fire with a loved one. There’s plenty of peace and quiet to enjoy once you’ve made the time to vacation at a ski resort.
Whether you decide to go to a chalet in a secluded mountain cranny in the Swiss Alps, or find a luxury resort in the Canadian Rockies, once you’ve had a wonderful travel experience like this you’ll be coming back for more every year!…

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Family Tips for Saving Money

Ensure That Your Family Eats Healthy – Build a Healthy, Happy Family

Ensure that your family eats healthily this year by following these tips:
o Work to add fruits and vegetables into the daily routine. Aim for a goal of at least five servings a day.
o Keep fruits and vegetables on hand and ready to eat, therefore making it easy for your child to choose healthy snacks. Healthy and tasty snacks include low-fat yogurt, peanut butter and celery, or whole-grain crackers or bread and cheese.
o Serve them with lean meats and other good sources of protein at meal times, such as fish, eggs, beans, and nuts.
o For more fiber in their diets, choose to have whole-grain breads and cereals.
o Limit their unhealthy fat intake by avoiding deep-fried foods and choose to have healthier home-made cooking methods, such as boiling, grilling, roasting, and steaming. Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
o Limit your family’s fast food and other low-nutrient meals and snacks, such as fast food, chips and sweets.
o Limit sugary drinks, such as soda and fruit-flavored drinks. Serve water and low-fat milk instead.
o Establish a predictable set schedule of meals and snacks. It prevents nibbling as the family knows when to expect the next meal.
o Don’t force your children to clean their plates as it encourages them to overeat. Let them eat till they are full and let them leave whatever is left on the plate, at home and anywhere else you eat as well. This is a habit that can easily be carried through their entire life.
o Don’t bribe or reward kids with food or snacks.
o Don’t use food as a way of showing love. When you want to show love, give kids a hug, some of your time, or praises your attention and your unconditional love.
These are only a few tips on how to build a healthy happy family this year. Start today, love your family and give them the best you can give them.…

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Balance Work and Family Tips

Your 40 Week Journey: How To Best Manage Your Pregnancy

Finding out you are pregnant can be an exciting, but stressful time. It’s always a miracle, but you may have many questions floating around in your head. For instance, how often should you visit your physician, when should you tell the world, and just what physical changes should you expect? The following article will get you up to speed on all the basics you need to be aware of.

Get prenatal vitamins from your doctor or over the counter and make sure you take them on a regular basis. A good prenatal vitamin will take care of the needs of both you and your new baby. Make sure that your vitamin contains 0.4 mgs of folic acid for optimum brain development.

If you experience any vaginal bleeding when you are pregnant, it is important that you go to your doctor or to the emergency room right away. Although it may be nothing, vaginal bleeding could be a sign that the baby is in distress, or worse, that you are having a miscarriage.

If you are pregnant, it is crucial that you take your prenatal vitamins every day. Even though you are feeding your unborn child when you eat, they require more vitamins and nutrients than what food gives. Also, unborn children take the vitamins from their mother, which means the mother is losing out on essential vitamins if she is not supplementing.

When planning your family, remember that it may take about a year for you to get pregnant. If you are still not pregnant after a year, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor is the one best able to determine if you have any medical problems getting in the way of pregnancy.

In late pregnancy, you should avoid sleeping on your back, if possible. If you find it difficult to stay off your back, try propping a pillow behind you so that you are not able to roll into a completely flat position. There is no need to panic if you do occasionally wake up on your back; generally, you will feel very uncomfortable in that position before causing any harm to yourself or your baby.

Baby-Sitting

It is important to learn how to take care of a newborn. Baby-sitting other people’s toddlers and newborns is a great way to learn this experience. Caring for other people’s newborns not only helps make some money on the side, but also gives you the life skills you need to take care of your own child.

Mom And Baby

Exercising in pregnancy is good for mom and baby. The benefits include decreased risk for gestational diabetes, less complaints of constipation and back pain and a quicker recovery from birth for mom. Stop exercising and see your doctor if you have signs, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fluid leaking, uterine contractions or vaginal bleeding.

You are to be congratulated for the amazing life experience you are about to enjoy in about 9 months. Get assistance from friends and family and use the medical advice in these tips to have better days ahead.…

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Family Tips for Saving Money

The ABCs Of Great Parenting Made Simple

Parenting can be extremely stressful, and at times can make you want to scream. It is important to learn how to quickly calm down when your children have pushed all of your buttons. This article will give you some great tips on how to calm down during the moments of little-kid crisis.

When you have a newborn in the house, be sure to split the parenting responsibilities between both Mom and Dad. Splitting up the responsibilities will keep both parents from becoming exhausted, and give each parent a little alone time once in awhile. It will also help to allow each parent to get some much needed sleep, especially through the night.

Preschoolers often do not handle transition easily. Switching from one activity to another can cause a child a great deal of duress and can result in temper tantrums.

If you have kids, have your home tested for lead. Young kids put just about everything in their mouth. When they accidentally ingest paint that has lead in it, they can become very sick and in some cases, they can even die. If you think your child may have ingested lead, bring them to the doctor to get a blood test.

Many children hate the bitter, chalky, or sour taste of commonly prescribed liquid antibiotic medications and vitamin and mineral supplements. Ask your pharmacist about medication flavoring options; some medicines can be prepared with a bitterness suppressor and sweetening agent. Popular flavors include cherry, banana, bubble gum, and even chocolate silk pie.

Do you want your child to value reading? Show them that you value it yourself by providing a number of age-appropriate books, and incorporate reading into your daily routine whenever possible. Read your child a bedtime story at night, and let them see you reading a favorite book just for fun.

Close Family

As a parent one should make sure to set time aside specifically for the family. This is important for maintaining a happy and close family, because with our busy lives it is easy to let other outside activities such as sports and work get in the way.

Good Relationship

As unfortunate an event it may be, divorces happen all of the time. In order for you, a divorced parent, to hold a good relationship with your college aged and older children you must never get them in the middle of your divorce. This will push them away for you and your ex-spouse.

Mom And Baby

Look into slings and baby carriers designed for twins. They do exist, and they are fabulous. There is a learning curve for getting two babies into a carrier, but the benefits to mom and baby are enormous. Wearing your babies will allow you to get things done with your hands free, and the twins get the emotional connection and intellectual stimulation from being right with you.

As stated at the beginning of this article, it is important for parents to learn techniques to calm themselves down. Hopefully this article has given you some great ideas to help you quickly calm down when your kids are pushing the limits of your patience. A less-stressed mommy, makes the world a better place!…