Being a parent is hard work, often stressful even in the midst of joy. And if you’re not careful, the pressure and pace can drain you of energy (and patience) when you need it most.
For stay-at-home moms and dads trying to keep it all together, here are tips for conserving your health, energy, and sanity:
• Always eat breakfast. A cup of coffee isn’t a meal. Eat a solid, nutritious breakfast to give you the energy you need to face the day.
• Follow a routine. Don’t reinvent the wheel every morning. Have a regular plan for your days with the family so you don’t stress out trying to think of something new to do. Just don’t chain yourself to the schedule—be flexible when problems and opportunities arise.
• Drink lots of water. You can get dehydrated without realizing it, and suffer from headaches and fatigue as a result. Keep a bottle of water handy and drink from it throughout the day without waiting until you feel really thirsty.
• Get fresh air and exercise. Try to get out of the house for a walk once a day. If the weather is too cold or rainy, at least open a window to get the air circulating in your house and in your body.
• Eat healthy snacks. Don’t run yourself down by starving between meals. Some fruit or a few nuts can help keep you going.
• Connect with people. Get together with some other parents for a playdate. Even a quick session on Facebook can help you feel like an adult again. You need mature conversation to stay centered.
• Take a break. Give yourself permission to let the kids watch a video for a half-hour. You’re not a bad parent for taking time for yourself.
• Get your rest. Have a regular bedtime for yourself, not just your kids. Getting the sleep you need will help you stay healthy and calm
Schools may well teach your children how to add and subtract, but learning the value of money is one lesson that has to come from home. Unless you teach them otherwise, they will continue to think that money grows on trees and that banks just give away cash – until they have to make their own way in the world. While financially indulging your children might feel like kindness at the time, you could be doing them a grave disservice by not teaching them valuable lessons for life. Here are a few ideas on how to teach youngsters the value of money.
- Children are not born understanding how paid employment and banks work. Explain these things to them simply as soon as they are old enough to understand.
- Help your children to distinguish between needs and wants.
- Teach your children the principles of spending and saving money as well as those of making money grow.
- As soon as they are old enough, give them an allowance of their own to permit them to put principles into practice and learn from their own mistakes.
- Open an interest-bearing account for your children so that they can watch their money grow.
- Put aside an allowance for essentials such as clothes to help teach your children how to budget and save for more expensive items.
- Explain how credit cards and loans work; otherwise your children could grow up thinking that these are “free” money.
Tips for Buying a New Laptop
It can be a challenging experience to purchase a new laptop computer given the number of options and choices that are available on the market. The way to make sure that you get the best laptop for your budget and needs is to identify and focus on the most important features and requirements.
One of the main factors to take into consideration when you want to buy a new laptop computer is exactly what you intend to use it for. Deciding this can help to clarify precisely what you need in terms of size, storage capacity, battery life, performance and weight.
Points to think about include whether you intend to use the computer away from home, in which case screen size and weight will be important factors, if you are likely to have to run various different programs simultaneously, in which case having another computing horsepower will be vital, and how frequently you will make use of the laptop when it is running solely on battery power.
Taking the time to really think about these factors can be of great assistance with making sure that you get the right laptop for you for the best price.
Convincing children to apply themselves to tasks like schoolwork and household chores can be frustrating for both of you. Without resorting to bribes or threats, try these simple tips:
• Focus on progress, not perfection. Keep your expectations realistic. If you push your child to be the best quarterback, or demand that your lawn look as if a professional gardener tends to it, the pressure can get in the way of a strong effort. Focus on self-improvement and steady progress.
• Give them a choice. If kids feel they have a choice about what to do and how to do it, they’ll try harder. Point out what talents you think they may have, provide options and opportunities, and be honest about what it would take to excel in any chosen activity.
• Make them feel good. Give lots of praise. They’ll want to do more if they feel good about what they’re doing. But make sure you’re sincere, honest, and specific in your praise. Point out their strengths.
• Use rewards wisely. Sometimes a reward helps children get started in an activity or motivates them to continue when they’re losing interest. But offer rewards only to give them a jump start. After that, replace the reward with verbal encouragement.
• Talk about your own work. When you share your own sense of accomplishment in your work or hobbies, kids may be motivated to work harder so they have their own successes to share with you.
Did you make New Year’s resolutions for yourself? How about some as a family? A new year represents a fresh start, an opportunity to set goals and reset your priorities. Don’t just make New Year’s resolutions for yourself—get your whole family involved. Consider collaborating on these resolutions for the year:
• Eat dinner as a family. Families seem to be busier than ever these days, so making room for consistent togetherness time is even more important. Think about cutting back on meetings (you and your spouse) and extracurricular activities (your kids) so everyone can eat dinner together most nights.
• Build confidence in children’s strengths. Don’t spend all your time pointing out your kids’ mistakes and weaknesses. Children grow up to be successful and self-reliant because they’re sure of their strengths. Give them the confidence to tackle anything.
• Hold regular family meetings. These times should be used to discuss schedules, goals, and even grievances. Family meetings can help everyone in the family reconnect and communicate.
• Make personal resolutions a family affair. If you’ve decided you want to do more charitable work, consider making your personal goal a family goal. Volunteering as a family is a powerful way to build self-esteem and build a sense of community in yourself and your kids.
We know times around the end of the year are tight. Want to stretch that budget? The reality is that children are expensive. They like eating, drinking, living indoors and indulging in recreational sporting activities, all of which cost money and the costs add up for parents especially if they have more than one child. The good news however is there are methods of stretching that family budget.
Write out a list of your monthly expenses in relation to incoming cash so that you know exactly what you can and cannot afford. Another good tip is to stop paying fees. Little fees all add up into big fees, so cutting out using ATMs too often and avoiding late fees can end up saving you a surprising amount of money. Coupons are an old fashioned but still highly effective way to save money, with many websites offering Internet coupons for stores, and other sites such as Groupon offering product, restaurant and travel deals. There are other ways to make every dollar count, such as sharing an adult meal between two children when eating out rather than buying separate kids meals.
The holiday season is upon us! Christmas music is playing all around town and holiday decorations and lights have taken over front lawns, trees, and house tops. The staff and children at Kids First are getting in the holiday spirit too! The hallways, windows, and classrooms are decorated with our favorites being those made by the children of course! Teachers are working with their classes to make ornaments for our lobby tree. And to top is all off… Santa himself is coming to visit Kids First! He’ll be here Friday, December 13 from 10am-12pm. He will visit each classroom to sing songs and read books to the children. He might even being each of them a little surprise…
Check out our Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/KidsFirstLV to see pictures of Santa’s visit and more!
From all of us at Kids First Neighborhood Childcare, have a safe and happy holiday season!
(After visiting all the classrooms, Santa will be available to take pictures with individual children and sibling s. Pictures are $6 each.)
At Kids First! we hold ourselves to an incredibly high standard for childcare in Las Vegas. Our number one priority is the well-being of the children, and we go to great lengths to make sure they love to be here as much as we love having them.