Parenting Tip: Keeping Your Kids Busy This Month

As Christmas approaches the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. That means your kids will be inside a lot more, and with extra excitement as well due to the holiday season. Certainly it is a wonderful thing to see your kids excited for Advent and Christmas, but parents have a lot of things to accomplish around this time of year. Having your kids inside with tons of stored up energy is not totally ideal. Keeping your kids busy with small activities might be the best way to ensure that you still have some time alone to accomplish what you need to.

A recent post on The Mommy Mess talked about 25 Christmas Activities for Kids. A lot of these activities would be great solutions for your children’s excitement this month.

Youth Sports: Teaching Your Kids to Have a Positive Attitude

Youth sports are a great opportunity for your child to grow as an individual, while also learning lessons and making friends. As a parent, you hope that your child will be successful in youth sports. This isn’t always the case though, and this is part the lessons they will learn being an athlete. Keeping a positive attitude even when things don’t go your way in key, and parents should help to remind their children of this when they struggle. You need to encourage your child to keep trying, and also make clear to them that having a negative attitude will only make things worse.

I read a post on JBM Thinks today that asked an important sports parent question. Do you cheer when your child comes in last place? The post was about a young boy with autism who came in last place at a school race recently. Everybody cheered the loudest for him and he had an awesome time. I felt this story was inspiring and it also coincided with what I talked about above. Having a positive attitude is so key in sports and many other things in life. This is a lesson you should be instilling into your children; and don’t forget to cheer them on regardless of what place they come in!

Giving Presence This Year for Christmas Might Mean the Most

Finding the right toys, electronics, sports gear, or other gifts may not be your strong suit come Christmas time. The holiday itself has become so commercialized and bogged down from its true meaning. I know I’m not the first person to realize this, but I still like to remind people of it. Everybody was just so caught up in Black Friday and Cyber Monday a few days ago, and it made me think about what I should get for family members this year. In some cases I feel like it might just be nice to spend more quality time with some of them.

I was given this idea by a post on Playground Dad about giving gifts of presence not presents. This post was titled so well, and it made me realize that some of my family members might appreciate the “presence” more than some “presents”. The post also gave some ideas about how to give “presence” as a gift that can be spread out over a year.

How would you feel about receiving some “presence” for Christmas this year from a family member?

Living in the Moment: Everything Up Until Right Now Was Just Practice

Something all parents figure out is that kids know how to make a mess. Starting at an early age kids spill drinks, color on the walls, and track mud through the house; some parents choose to get upset about things like this. In reality these messes result in a little bit of time spent cleaning and lesson learned for your kids. While the mess is being made or immediately after parents tend to overreact due to stress or whatever else is occupying their mind. It can be really tough to take a step back and think about the situation in the grand scheme of things. If you can conquer doing this as a parent, I can guarantee you will lead a much happier life. The messes aren’t going to stop, they just change and evolve in nature. Adults make messes too, its more how you cope with the messes than what the messes actually are.

A recent blog post I read titled, “Don’t Become A Wreck Over Your Kids’ Mess” kind of inspired the idea for this post. It got me thinking about things in the bigger picture. Little kids do make messes and that’s okay; adults make bigger messes and that’s okay too. If it becomes a learning experience and you can keep your cool then I chalk that up as a win. Everything up to today was just practice for what’s happening now, so don’t get too caught up in your daily messes.

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?

Showcasing Your Child’s Art: Displaying Their Work Promotes Confidence

Do you remember the feeling you used to get as a kid when you brought home an art project and your parents displayed it? Pure joy basically sums it up for me. It made me feel appreciated and accomplished. Keep this in mind when your children bring home different projects they have made at school. Making a designated area at your house or office for your child’s projects can make them so happy.

A recent post on Boy Mama Teacher Mama titled “Displaying Children’s Work” talks about ways to make a space for displaying your child’s work. If you are pressed for space or worried about using tape on your walls their tips can help you!

Where do you have a spot to showcase your child’s art or projects at home?

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?

Parenting Tip: Instilling Respectful Habits into Your Children

People form habits throughout their life and often habits shape who people are. If somebody makes a habit of running every day then they will likely be thin and fit. If somebody makes a habit of reading every day then they will likely be well spoken and a good writer. This is a concept that parents should keep in mind when they are raising young kids. Children are too young to form their own daily habits so parents tend to do this for them. This is as simple as reminding them to brush their teeth or make their bed in the morning. If it works for simple tasks like that then enforcing some more important life habits can be done too.

A recent post on Parenting Boys…Raising Men titled, “How Do You Ask Nicely?” talks about how a family has raised their children to always say please and thank you. This is such an important quality that goes overlooked a lot in today’s world. Instilling respectful habits into your children at a young age can make them grow into an adult that you will be proud of.

What sorts of habits have you been instilling into your children?

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?