Communication in the Home: An Important Family Topic

A big problem that can affect any family is communication difficulties. Whether it is parent to parent communication, parent to child communication, or child to parent communication if there is something hindering the effectiveness of communication abilities it will be problematic. There are a plethora of different reasons why communication might be a difficulty in any household. If there seems to be a road block in communication at your house, it should be addressed. It is important to not become hostile and offensive, but to still speak your mind.

A recent article from The Informed Parent addressed the topic of effective communication with your teen. The post gives advice about how to communicate better with a teenager, and I thought it was full of useful information. Teens are by far the most difficult age group to communicate with as a parent. If you have been having trouble at your home communicating with your teen I highly suggest their post.

Does your family have a method for keeping communication open at home?

Youth Sports: Don’t Be the Crazy Parent Who Embarrasses Their Family

If you have a child who participates in youth sports you can probably relate to this post. I feel like when I was a kid playing sports we never had the psychotic parent. Sure there may have been a few instances where a nut job ruined everybody else’s good time, but overall it seemed like a fun experience. More and more often today you see these enraged parents yelling at referees, coaches, or their own kid. It really is just sad to see a teenage, volunteer referee getting screamed at by a full grown adult. I don’t know what has caused this change, but it really needs to stop. These “adults” are embarrassing themselves and their families. They might be doing it because they care very much about their child and their success, but everything in life has boundaries. That type of behavior is definitely crossing the line, and borders on being highly inappropriate in a setting that should be family friendly.

A recent post at JBM Thinks talked about how youth sports have become more violent recently. The post talks about on field issues and also issues in the stands.

Have you come across a parent who harasses coaches, players, or referees? How did you handle the situation?

Parents are a Child’s First Teacher for So Many Things

Dads and moms everywhere have a lot of parenting responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is teaching which can be complex. Teaching typically means reading, writing, and arithmetic but in parenting it means everything. Parents are their child’s first teacher for many life skills. They teach a child everything from talking to different and more complex life skills.

A recent post on Summer Nannies titled, “10 Sports Every Dad Should Teach Their Son” hit on this topic. This article can apply to moms, dads, daughters, and sons everywhere and features a great list of games that parents should teach to their children! Sports are only one of the many things a child will learn from their parent.

Black Friday Shopping: How to Prepare for the Madness

With the Christmas season fast approaching many parents will be on the lookout to score good deals on gifts for their family and friends. This can be a hectic and crazy time to shop but many parents will still choose to go out on Black Friday. If you are an avid Black Friday shopper check out this posted titled, “Preparing for Black Friday”, from Shopaholic Mommy. The post gives a list of things to help you get ready for the big day.

Do you prefer shopping for Christmas gifts on Black Friday or just getting them all online?

Parent Athletes: When Games Interfere with Parenting

The birth of a child is one of the most special days in a person’s life. It is the day they stop being a person and become a parent. This is something that is life altering, exciting, and nerve-wracking all at the same time. For most parents it is not an issue to be there when their child is born, however for professional athletes there sometimes exists conflict

Playground Dad recently post about NFL players missing games for child birth. This post was provoked by the situation facing Charles Tillman of the Chicago Bears. Tillman’s wife is expecting their fourth child this weekend, and the Bears have a huge match up against the Houston Texans. Both teams are considered to be Super Bowl contenders at this point in the season, but as a parent Tillman feels obligated to see his child’s birth. I believe that he should be at his child’s birth regardless of whether it conflicts with the game or not.

Do you think Tillman should play or watch his child be born?

Sports Fandom: Setting an Example for Your Kids

What kind of sports fan are you? Do you like to relax in a favorite seat and calmly watch your favorite team play, or are you a loud, intense fan who finds it difficult to sit still during games at all? I am the latter of the two, and a recent post from Dad’s Round Table made me realize that this might not be a good thing.

While being a passionate sports fan is a great thing, what kind of example are you setting for your children? If they are around you while you yell at the TV and get angry over a sports game, what do you think they will do sooner or later? Kids learn a lot of behavior from watching their parents, and while you may want to freak out when the referee throws a flag late in the game to give the opposing team a first and goal; I’d advise against it. To read more about this topic check out this post “Sporting Excellence” from Dad’s Round Table.

What is your opinion on this topic? Will you continue the loud, passionate sports behavior during games with your children around?

Board Games: Valuable Lessons You Can Learn

Depending on where you live this past week might have been a little hectic. The east coast was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and many are still without electricity. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those whose families and homes were affected by the terrible storm. For those fortunate enough to still have their home and loved ones, it has certainly been a struggle to remain active at home. Times like these make you realize how much people today really do rely on electricity to perform simple, daily tasks. Many places of work have simply been closed in the New York/New Jersey area this week due to the power outages. This have left a lot of parents at home with their kids, whose schools have also likely been closed.

For a day or so it was probably easy to keep busy around the house. The day after Sandy hit you and your family probably went outside and checked out the damages to your area. Cleaning up and talking to neighbors probably turned out to take up most of the day, but once it was dark there was probably nothing to do. After the initial search around to see how everybody was fairing in the aftermath, things likely got boring. Kids and parents alike are susceptible to cabin fever, and without smart phones, television, or video games this syndrome was more likely to act fast.

A pretty awesome way to spend time, as long as you have daylight or a light source, is to play board games. Whether it be the “parent generation” games such as Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit, or the “kid generation” games like Apples to Apples or Trouble; board games can be an engaging source of entertainment for all ages.

A recent post on Mom Life Today mentioned playing board games with children and the lessons it can teach. Not only can you and your kids have a good time while competing in a board game, but you can learn valuable lessons like honesty and kindness. Playing a simple game like Monopoly with your kids can turn into a learning experience for everybody involved. Often when you teach children a lesson, you can also end up reminding yourself of a lesson your learned long ago that you have been neglecting of late.

So while the recent storm might have changed your week drastically, there have certainly been opportunities to spend quality time with your children. Playing a board game together is only one of many things you could have done this week to spend better time with your children.

A Problem Faced By Many Catholic Parents

So I was over on The Catholic Answers Forum today, and I saw this posting left by a mother who is having a lot of trouble bringing her kids to Mass. I have seen many others struggling with their children acting up at Mass and this is a prime example.

“I really need a lot of prayers with this. I really struggle with being at mass with my kids(especially the youngest two ages 1 and 2). In fact many days I just dread it. We last maybe 15 minutes in the pews before one of them wants to walk/crawl around or starts to get loud. I’m usually the only one who tries at all to keep the little ones quiet. We already have to separate the older two to keep them from goofing around. They in turn try to play with the babies and just make matters worse. We’ve tried sitting in the front, but that is always disastrous and I end up walking out anyway with both babies in front of the whole congregation.” – “I Dread Going to Mass Because of My Kids”

As you could probably expect, this is quite a common issue in the Catholic Church. As much as parents or guardians may not like to admit it, a church is not a very sensible place to bring children. However, it is something that does need to be done because you still need to attend Mass on a regular basis. Getting children acquainted with Mass early in life isn’t a bad thing either. With very young children such as the ones discussed above, it can be troublesome to find ways to keep them from causing disturbances during Mass. However, once children are older than one or two years old, you should be able to communicate a way to keep them from acting up during Mass. If you teach them that poor behavior during Mass has repercussions, while good behavior brings rewards it might lead to positive results to you and your family.