Don’t Over-Schedule Your Family This Holiday Season

The holidays are a really stressful time, especially when you factor young kids into the picture. You are probably expected to visit all sorts of family, or have them visit your house. The kids will likely get overly rambunctious out of the excitement of Christmas, and because of all the sugar they will consume through Christmas treats. Sounds like the makings for a parental meltdown at any moment. Don’t let holiday stress get the best of you though, stay cool my friend.

A post called, “8 Parenting Tips for Happier Holidays with Young Children” features some great advice. First off, having realistic expectations for your family is the right way to go. If you think the day is going to be perfect and your kids will behave like perfect little robots, you are doomed to be disappointed. Chances are something minor will go wrong and one of them might get upset. Be ready to deal with this and don’t get angry. If you lose your cool it will only negatively affect your children. My favorite bit of advice was to not over-schedule. You know what your family is capable of doing in one day, so know your limits.

Celebrating Advent: How to Get the Whole Family Involved

I think the best way to get your family on board with the celebration of Advent is to get an Advent wreath and Advent calendar for your home. Having the calendar in your house is a great way to get kids excited for Advent. Each day a child can open a new window on the calendar and receive a piece of chocolate. The wreath is the more religious of the two, and hopefully if your kids get excited for the calendar you can carry that over for the wreath as well.

If you want to learn about everything involved in having a nice Advent wreath at your house check out this post called, “Reviving Advent” that I found recently. The article goes into how to make your Advent wreath, blessing the Advent wreath, lighting the Advent wreath, and even gives you some ideas for daily Scripture readings that you can use.

How do you celebrate Advent at your home?

Parenting Tip: The Benefits of Organizing Your Family

As a parent most of your day likely consists of 8 or so hours of work. This leaves you with limited time to do important things like feeding your kids, cleaning the house, exercising, and having a little relaxation time. This is why it is crucial to keep your family organized. If your family is organized and working as a team, much more will be accomplished and daily life will be a lot easier. If your children are old enough to take on some responsibility you can delegate some simple tasks to them. If your children can do their own laundry it could potentially save you a really nice amount of time. Also it teaches them responsibility because if they don’t have their favorite shirt to wear to school, it is their own fault for not cleaning it. Laundry is a big deal, but even simple stuff like putting dirty dishes into the dishwasher instead of leaving them in the sink can make a difference.

A post “3 Tips for Balancing Family and Work” gave me the idea for this post. They talked about ways to make your family more organized. They suggested a weekly family meeting where you create a schedule for the week. I thought that idea could be really useful too.

Parenting Tip: How to Save Money During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is here again, and for many families out there it can be a struggle. The commercialized monster that Christmas has become presents a big issue for parents who have difficulties making ends meet. Let’s not forget what Christmas is really about this year, and remember that a thoughtful gift is the best gift. It might not be the easiest to convey that message to your children, but it is a lost concept that I think should be ingrained into society more.

I recently read a post on JBM Thinks titled, “Money Saving Holiday Tips for Parents”. The article might be able to give you some good ideas about how to make it all come together this holiday season!

What methods do you use at home to save money around this time of year?

Increasing Your Child’s Confidence: Listening and Encouraging

Children thrive when they believe they are succeeding. No matter how small an accomplishment is, it is really important to encourage them and praise them for doing well. If they helped you out around the house, thank them for their help. Make them know that you appreciate them and that they did a great job.

A recent post on Positive Parenting Solutions titled, “4 Phrases Kids Need to Hear” talks about ways to increase your child’s confidence. Their tips include listening, encouraging, and praising.

How do you encourage your child’s behavior?

Thanksgiving Traditions: How Does Your Family Spend the Holiday?

With it being Monday of a holiday week I figured that I would post about the Thanksgiving traditions of my family. A recent post titled, “Holiday Traditions” from Dad’s Round Table sparked my creativity on this one. One Thanksgiving tradition in my family is the post-meal Thanksgiving touch football game. Getting up and moving around after you eat is a great way to stop that food hangover that often kicks in during the second NFL game on Thanksgiving. We always divide up the teams as parents vs. kids to make it interesting and exciting. The kids get so hyped up for this game it is great!

Another Thanksgiving family tradition we have is the post-dessert bingo game with grandma. She shops for little prizes to give the kids and everybody gathers around for a half hour or forty five minutes to play. Both of these traditions have been going on for years in my family and I hope they never stop. In my opinion, no matter what your tradition is, if it helps your family to spend more time together its a win!

What are your family’s Thanksgiving traditions?

God Can Reveal Himself Through Our Friends and Family

It is possible to find God in all aspects of your daily life. He will always be there affecting your day in one way or another. I recently read a post from Catholic Mom titled, “God in Our Friends”. The author of the post Tanya Weitzel make a lot of sense to me when she describes how she feels separated from God when she doesn’t see her good friends for a long time. This was a terrific post about friendship and how it can bring you closer to God so check it out.

Keeping the Saints in Mind Throughout November: Ideas for Your Family

All Saints Day was November 1, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop thinking about the saints. In fact, if you have kids I would even encourage you to keep the saint in mind all month long. A recent post on Catholic Family Fun gave me this idea. The post was titled, “Fun for the Month”, and was about ways to keep your family involved and learning about the saints all through November. The author Sarah has some awesome ideas which include having your kids trade saint cards, designing their own saint place mats, feast day cards, family litanies, and other great ideas as well!

What ways will you utilize to teach your children about the saints?

Teaching Your Children to Read: What Methods Have You Used?

Parents teach their children to do a lot of things throughout life, some of them intentionally and other unintentionally. It is safe to say that young children are always watching, taking things in, and learning from life’s experiences. Teaching your child to read is a very big deal. Getting them even a small head start before they attend school can make a huge difference in their development and learning process. In my opinion, giving your child a head start can be as simple as reading them stories every night before bed. Instead of letting them watch TV getting into the habit of reading a book can be a really great thing. It not only teaches them words and sounds, but also reinforces a positive habit they will hopefully continue doing on their own some day.

A recent post on Playground Dad talked about teaching your baby to read. It goes over the methods of two individuals who teach very young children to read. I felt the methods discussed in the article were somewhat interesting, and would be curious to see them in action.

How did you teach your children to read and at what age?

Comparing Your Family to Others: Something You Should Never Do

“Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged”. This quote from Helen Keller is a beautiful thought to consider. Why must people constantly compare themselves to others who they deem have it “better than them”? Parents are often amongst the people that do this the most. They look at the family down the street and wonder why their own kids can’t behave as well as their children do? The main issue with this is that all families have their own internal problems, and whether or not that family is openly revealing that is irrelevant. Parenting is not something that you should be comparative about because no two children are exactly the same. Even children in the same family can be very different individuals.

A recent post on Empowering Parents titled, “The Myth of the ‘Lucky’ Parent: Do You Compare Your Family to Others?” echoes this sentiment. The article talks about parenting and how often parents will be quick to judge other families and compare their own to them. This is truly an unrealistic action to perform that will not bring you happiness.

Do have a problem with comparing your family with others? How does it make you feel?