...Simple Steps to Successful Parenting
BEST PARENTING ADVICE
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Blog Posts (12)
- How to Make a Cheap Christmas Tree Look Expensive
When our kids were very young we only had a 30+ year old hand-me-down Christmas tree. But one year I saved up and bought a beautiful tree in the after Christmas sale, for 60% off. It cost $140 at the time, but I paid it because I expected it to last us for life. Ten years later I went to unpack the Christmas Tree from the garage, (where I'd safely stored it every other year) and inside the box was a descicated rat, stuck to one of the branches... Talk about the nastiest Christmas decoration ever. Seems it had crawled in from the Aussie bush, (which we live next door to,) looking for a warm place during winter. And because it was stored up high in the garage we didn't notice any smell. So I went out to buy another tree, two and a half weeks before Christmas. Anything nice in my price range had long gone. To get something equivalent to what I had was over $700. I settled for a medium sized $80 tree and hoped with time I would be able to replace it. But as it turns out I never did. And now I love my $80 tree just as much as my expensive 'old' tree. So what changed? 1. I found a friend who loves Christmas as much as I do and we decorate each other's Christmas trees. 2. Before we begin, I cover a large plastic crate with Christmas paper, which I put under the tree, making it appear taller. 3. And then we begin to decorate the tree with strips of ribbon (which I purchased on spools from the $2 Shop.) Here we've used three different Christmas coloured ribbons. But you can use any colours to match your decor. 4. We begin at the back of the top of the tree and wind our way down, attaching the ribbon to the tree at 12-15 inch intervals. You can either wind the wire branch over the ribbon to hold it in place, or use a 1/2 green pipe cleaner piece and twist them into place. We've chosen to go diagonally as it's easiest to wind it around the tree. And it makes nice spaces for decorations to fit into. 5. Then we add some holly and the Christmas ornaments in the spaces. N.B. Every year our children received a Christmas ornament from their Nan, and from me as well, so over years we have a collection. Some are super-cheap baubles, and dough figures, while others are unique and more expensive. I always space the most beautiful decorations in eye catching positions on the tree. With the most sentimental in areas of prominence. 6. Finally we add three rows of beads and a tree topper to complete the transformation. You could also add tinsel Now all we need to do, is to hang the Christmas stockings. May your Christmas be a kind one and may the new year be full of good health, loving family, great friendships and fantastic adventures. If you would like some other great ideas for living well on a budget you may be interested in the following link to tips that allowed us to pay our house off in just over half the time plus gave us back years of free time over our working lives. https://www.best-parenting-advice.com/time-savers-for-healthy-meals Regards, Deb
- Five Tips For Thriving At Home With Kids During Self-Isolation
Bored kids are rarely easy to manage. And if kids are attempting to run the place, self-isolation could be a nightmare, for both kids, and parents alike. But alternatively, self-isolating with kids at home, could be a time when you can build closer relationships and create great memories... If you're smart about it. It could be a bit like going camping and having weeks of wet weather. Not what you planned. But you can still make the best of it and have fun. During this pandemic, rarely being able to leave the house, limits what you can do to break the monotony for your kids. But some of us can relate. I can remember having 25 new preschoolers starting a new year during three weeks of rain. And I knew if I didn't keep them happy and engaged, those who were inclined to be challenging, would be all over me. Because those who tested their parents, were also inclined to test me. So why didn't they? Or if they did, why didn't they continue to do so. Simply put, children got less attention for being difficult. But more importantly, there was so much more in it for them to do the right thing. I always had heaps of interesting things to do, so it was fun to cooperate. I wanted kids to be positive about learning. So I focused on every positive I could about their efforts to learn. e.g. When teaching Year 1 I focused on the best sentence written on their page and explained why that was particularly good. That identified what quality work was. And as a result I got better quality work... For younger kids, it may be as simple as commenting on the best letter formation. E.g. straight backs on letters of equal size. But if you're stuck at home, and there are generally kids screaming and running around the place, it's likely they may not have enough to do. And it can increase the overall levels of stress in a household. But with a little planning, you can turn what is a difficult time, into a positive time. One where you build quality relationships with your family, rather than be saddened by them. Improvements can be made with the introduction of: Simple routines: Kids love predictability. They like to know things like after an activity we wash our hands. Then we have snack break. And after less stimulating activities there will be something more exciting to do. Providing interesting things to do: Kids love to be actively engaged learners. Go to: Things to Do With Kids While Self-Isolating At Home During Pandemic: https://www.best-parenting-advice.com/things-to-do-with-kids-during-pande Boundaries for behaviour: Kids need clear boundaries so they know how to behave. (e.g. using inside voices, using walking feet inside, saying please and thank you. Simple rules keeps the tone of the house calm. And family relationships are better as a result.) Expectations need to be discussed ahead of time. e.g If your child chooses to be difficult, and not complete school tasks, the natural consequences would be they'd miss out on privileges; having to use the time they should have used earlier, to complete work. Noticing the positive: Kids crave attention. You're wise to give it to them for doing the right thing. By noticing the good makes us feel good about ourselves, regardless of how old we are. Our children love to know we see the best in them. Consistent expectations. Kids need to know you're reliable. If you're happy and funny one day, yet losing it the next, it unnerves kids. It makes them more on edge, and the tone of the home overall is more stressful. There is an excellent article on this site called 6 Steps for Improving Behaviour that may help. Go to: https://www.best-parenting-advice.com/6-steps-for-managing-behaviour-well This pandemic can provide an opportunity to build positive relationships and happy memories with your children. And it's perfectly fine for you to still expect some time to yourself. The happier your children are, and the better they feel about themselves, the more likely they are to give it to you. Self-isolation at home, may provide you the time to lead your family into more cooperative ways of relating, so your home is a happy one. If you're home schooling remember: You're attempting to create a positive attitude to learning for life. Having your high pressure to complete an activity, may make your kids really negative about learning. And if your child is not behaving well it's okay to say to them. "I'm not being a good parent if I let you think it's okay to behave like that. We both know you're so much better than that... Are you having trouble with something? Can I help you?" There are over 20 articles on behaviour management on Best Parenting Advice.com that can help you if you're having trouble. Check them out. Fond regards, Deb Arthurs
- What I'd Do Differently
If I had my time over again, I'd spend more time dancing and singing. I'd dance while I did the housework. And I'd sing all sorts of songs for the pure joy of it: from Nessum Dorma to I'm Just a Love Machine. I'd spend less time worrying about all my past mistakes. It's my mistakes that helped make me who I am. I'd make peace with them, thank them for what they taught me... And I'd let them go. When I'm old, I'd know I'll still feel the same inside, as when I was young. It helps me see my innocence. I'd take more photos of how wonderful each day is. I'd spend more time living in 'this moment.' Life is important and simply living can be wonderful. I'd get out in nature every day. And if I was thinking about doing something new or different, I'd think why not today. I'd spend more time with people who raise me up. And I'd care less about what other people think. Because I'd know, they're likely not thinking of me much at all. I'd know I was replaceable to any employer. And that my kids will grow up too so I need my own passions in life I'd trust myself more and follow my instincts . I'd spend less time sitting on the edges of life and I'd give myself permission to jump in with both feet. I'd cultivate my ability to public speak, and engage in small talk. But I'd also take a breath before speaking, knowing I don't have to have an opinion on everything. Sometimes silence says it perfectly. With relationships I'd follow my heart. But I'd know to take my brain along for the ride. And while I'd still be kind, I wouldn't be a pushover. I'd create my own retirement plan independent of any partner. Looking out for me is my responsibility. I'd be comfortable to know that not everyone is going to like me and I'm okay with that. I'd spend much less energy on it. At last I'd make friends with my mirror. I'm so much more than how I look. And I wouldn't look into my rear view mirror again, except for the beautiful view. I'd worry less about getting old... Getting old is fine, it's getting boring that's the problem. For 6 Tips I use on Saving Money click on the photo link of the two women shopping. Good Luck to You, Deb
Other Pages (232)
- Consistency, Consistency, Consistency | Best Parenting Advice & Better Tips
Back to Top BEST STARTS FOR PARENTS Why Be Consistent? Step By Step Parenting Tips 10 Think about a decision prior to giving an answer. Discuss with the other parent and then stick to it While negotiation is a great skill to encourage, attempting to bully you, or intimidate you, is not negotiating Be consistent in what you allow, rather than let it be determined by your moods Back one another's decisions. If you disagree discuss it later & not in front of the children This page contains the following information: Consistency between parents matters Say yes to all you feel comfortable with Whining and bullying is not negotiation Children are quick to spot inconsistencies in their world. For example: Inconsistency can occur between home and school. Or between parents and grand parents, or in-laws. And it can also occur between the child's two parents, especially if parents no longer live together and the relationship is non-cooperative. If parents find new partners there can be a number of other people to factor in as well. Kids can quickly learn to play one parent against another, particularly if there's animus between them. It's most likely a child will make a request from the parent they think they'll have more chance of getting a 'Yes' from, first. But sometimes this parent doesn't have all the information to make a good decision and can inadvertently agree, causing a chink between the parents about what's acceptable. Anchor 1 Sometimes a child will get a 'No' first, so they'll go to the other parent hoping for a different outcome. This can be more common when parents live apart. One parent might agree a child can go to a party, while the other might not. And if both parents don't communicate effectively and resolve issues reasonably, the child can be the one who pays. The child learns to 'play the gap,' to get what they want. And if they get away with it, as they mature, boundaries can cease to exist. We see this between school and home as well. A child can say they don't have to do homework. And if the parent takes that as the truth, without checking, the child has created a chink. Or they may say they got into trouble because the teacher doesn't like them. I can recall a child making an allegation: That an experienced teacher, (who had never had a complaint made against them before,) had hit them with a book. Considering the teacher was on a school excursion when the alleged incident occurred, and didn't even have a book with them, it was impossible. The child eventually fessed up they'd made it all up. Now I'm not saying don't believe your children. But in this instance if the parent had believed the child without checking it out, it could have resulted in a vexatious allegation being made against a wonderful teacher. But the child may also have ended up will a negative outcome if they'd gotten away with it. It would have shown the child involved, you can say malicious things about anyone. The child would have created a gap between the parent and the school. And over time their education may suffer because the parent is uninformed or even hostile. But if they made an allegation about a teacher, what's to stop them doing something similar to someone else, including their parents. Consistency Can Take Different Forms. Consistency in child-rearing ideas, especially between parents (and ideally with extended family as well) helps kids develop a good idea of what acceptable behaviour is. You're setting your child up to challenge you if you are inconsistent with one another. If mum says 'No' and dad says 'Yes' the child may learn to play one of you against the other. A good strategy is: If you're not sure what the other parent thinks about an issue, postpone your decision until you've discussed it. But if the child pushes either one of you for an answer say 'Sorry, if you need to know right now it'll have to be a no but if you're prepared to wait until I chat with....' Making Family Life Easy 1: Next Consistency with rules and expectations, and between children helps kids see you're fair. Don't laugh at a child one day for doing something that you might frown upon another day. Acceptable behaviour for your children shouldn't be determined by your mood. Say 'Yes' to all you feel comfortable saying yes to. Use your value system to help determine what is acceptable and what isn't. Distract young children if necessary. Listen to and negotiate with children as they grow. But once you say 'No' it sets your child up to challenge you if you change your mind because they persist. Think before you answer. Don't say 'No' because you're in a bad mood. Explain why it's a 'No.' Anchor 2 Share this page with a friend The Value of Negotiation Negotiation is a wonderful skill to develop in a child. It teaches them to be logical, fair minded, conciliatory and to express themselves well. But challenging you, intimidating you, screaming at you, bullying you is not negotiation. And it can set up a pattern of behaviour that can continue over years. We likely all know some one who continues to bully their parents into adulthood. Anchor 3 You could ask if there's a compromise option or another choice that might be more acceptable to you if you think what they're asking for is unreasonable. But if your child persists and begins to try to intimidate or bully you, you may need to put natural consequences in place... like removing privileges. My 6-year-old son drew my attention to a mistake I made and I never forgot it. I asked him why was he continuing to push to get his way, once I'd said 'No'. I continued with, '...You know I think about things and we discuss it before I make up my mind. Have I ever changed my mind because you kept pushing it.' He looked up at me through his eyelashes, smiled and said, 'You did once...' For more Best Parenting Advice on behaviour, check the links below: Why Spend Postive Time Together? A father playing chess with his son can help create a positive relationship Managing Behaviour Well Managing Behaviour Well Clear Boundaries For Good Kids Setting Boundaries The True Value of Routines The True Value of Routines Choosing Gratitude Not Entitlement A girl kissing her dad Why Natural Consequences? The Value of Natural Consequences Back to Top Best Parenting Advice.com is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. It highlights what successful parents do differently to those who struggle. Best Parenting advice.com provides free online resources for busy parents who want the best practical advice on: how to give kids a best start in life, better tips for parenting toddlers, effective child rearing strategies, behaviour management tips, successful goal setting and organizational strategies for successful families, easy family dinner recipes, self-care tips for time-poor parents and free kids learning games. The aim of Best Parenting Advice.com is to provide quality practical parenting tips and advice to best help children and families succeed, using the convenience of a website. This website provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. Best Parenting Advice.com does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or with every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this website to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Similarly users of this website are advised to follow any recommendations for seeking professional advice as all information on this site is generic. Best Parenting Advice.com is an independent website and is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems. Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.
- WHAT SUCCESSFUL FAMILIES DO | Best Parenting Advice: Raising kids. What works?
back to top BEST STARTS FOR KIDS What Successful Families Do Parents who feel successful, have a parenting style consistent with their value systems. They build good parenting habits over time by noticing and building on their successes. They accept every parent makes mistakes. But successful parents let go of guilt quickly, committing to doing better next time. This page contains information about: How values inform good parenting How good habits and organization support successful parenting Practical Ideas Bank on how to implement positive organization The value of starting small What do successful parents do differently to those who struggle? Successful Parents have habits that reflect their values and principles and devote time to what is important to them. They usually: Have a lifetime-commitment to building & maintaining positive family relationships Lead by example Value and support health and education Interact honestly and respectfully Are trustworthy, capable and cooperative Have long-term goals for their children to attain success and independence Are understanding, tolerant and forgiving Model resilience Live within their means. Expect the best. Yet plan for the worst. Strategies of Success: 1. Successful parents work out what is most important to them linked to their value system 2. They organize th eir life so doing what is important is as easy as possible; and automatic where possible. They do the thinking and planning once. Then maintain and refine their r outines over time, making it as automatic as possible making family life easier, more productive and enjoyable . e.g. Are you more likely to do morning exercise if clothes and shoes are out ready; or if you have to go looking for them, running the risk of waking your kids? Why automation assists success Everyone in the family knows what's expected of them, even the children. This makes routines like getting ready each morning predictable. Homework routines can be linked to privileges e.g. screen time. This way kids learn there is something in it for them for being cooperative. And meal preparation is so much easier if parents know what is going to be cooked ahead of time. This is the area of your life that can make the biggest difference to your health, tim e and finances. Check out Timesavers for Healthy Meals for ideas In January 2023: I made 20 adult sized healthy meals for $57, in total, each with a 550 calorie content. And I froze them ready for a quick meal . Our values are personal. Yet as loving parents, it's interesting how many values we share. 3. Successful parents learn to acknowledge, and reward, themselves for sticking to what is most important in their lives. e.g. They keep a diary or a checklist to reinforce to themselves they did a lot of good things that week rather than focus on any negatives. E.g. A daily photo can help parents reconnect to their authentic self: playing soccer, reading, cooking with kids, etc Here are some values which commonly underpin family success. You may recognise many of them in your own parenting. Anchor 1 1. Successful parents have a sense of higher purpose related to their family. Family is a priority for them. Parents maintain a strong lifelong commitment to their children's success. They have a positive ongoing relationship with their partner (regardless of whether they live together or not.) They debrief, discuss and revise plans and routines where necessary. These parents balance the 'me' and 'we' aspects of family well, devoting time to both. They're willing to spend the time necessary to build quality relationships with their children. They plan and save for future goals They reward themselves, both individually and as a group, for a job well done 2. Parents lead by example and: Set high expectations Provide guiding feedback Respond to individual needs Ensure clear boundaries guide child behaviour Remain involved as their children grow Keep their word Are consistent These parents: are more willing to negotiate around rules factor in individual maturity levels respond flexibly when the need arises are responsible and accountable. They encourage increasing personal responsibility in children as they mature 3. Interactions are respectful. Dialogue is open, honest, age appropriate and supports understanding. Genuine trust and co-operation occurs between parents; and between children and parents. Parents model kindness, respect and co-operation in their every day interactions. Children are encouraged to have good social skills. These families often have regular extended family contact and involve in their community. Parents have fun with their kids and include them in socializing. Parents express appreciation and gratitude. Every individual is valued for what they contribute to the family. 4. Successful parents value their own health and well being, evidenced by: providing regular healthy meals, regular exercise and appropriate levels of sleep Because of the parent's own healthy lifestyles they're good role models for their children. They're also willing to accept, that different children may have different interests, and/or activity needs so organize for exposure to activities around these interests. 5. It's expected that kids will make mistakes as a part of learning. Successful parents use it as an opportunity to learn from and help develop resilience. Parents remain calm, look at opportunities to make amends when mistakes occur, and find ways to resolve any problems The most successful parenting style is largely authoritative: setting reasonable boundaries while being responsive to children's needs Successful parents model ways of overcoming difficulties or failures themselves... by adapting Parents show by example, that even large difficulties can be overcome with time and a plan 6. Successful parents maintain a big picture perspective. They plan ahead, aware they're trying to raise independent, responsible, capable, empathetic adults. Parents expose their children to different ideas, experiences and cultures, which encourages tolerance and acceptance Parents give children their own responsibilities and expect them to fulfill these commitments They consistently link privileges to age and maturity P arents increase the child's opportunities for autonomy as they mature. Parents model fiscal responsibility by living within their means. They set up savings plans linked to goals. And they teach their children about the difference between investing and spending. 7. Successful parents use positive expectation & routines to provide a safe framework to support children. They make time to have fun together. Quality time as a family is planned for, and prioritised. e.g. playing family games together, going on holidays together, etc Time is ideally spent together on a daily basis: eating together, reading at night, etc Routines provide clear expectations of daily and/or weekly responsibilities for children. This helps scaffold personal independence Parent organization/routines supports: effective running of the household, increased savings, catering to interests & positive family time Consequences for less desirable behaviour are usually natural ones. Go to Why Use Natural Consequences? to learn more. How Can You Successfully Implement Organization into Your Life? Anchor 2 The most effective way of implementing supportive organization into your family is to: 1. Work out just one area you would like to improve upon at a time. For example: improving fitness , improving home cleanliness, improving the ease of cooking family meals , saving more money, improving childrens' cooperation, having more positive time together , 2. Start small and build upon little successes rather than start too big and fail 3. Enlist family input to discuss how this could best be done, discuss the need for support, individual's responsibilities and rewards linked to implementing this new organization. We all usually prefer to do what feels good so can you make this new habit attractive or fun? If not can you link it to something that is fun e.g. exercising while watching a favourite tv show. Or can there be an acknowledgement/or reward immediately after completing the new habit. E.g. computer time after homework is completed. 4. Keep a record of your small improvements. It builds commitment and confidence. And acknowledging the positive in others helps build good relationships 5. Increasingly link newer habits to existing habits over time: e.g. You'd like the house to be cleaner. New habit: Shoes go off at the door 6. As each new habit is successfully incorporated into routines, over weeks, link in a small new one Success breeds success. Building incrementally is easier at the beginning. And because each success builds upon past successes, you compound your success over time. Below is my own practical ideas bank that I used with my own family. You can use as is, or as a springboard to help you automate your life. You'll notice I've made sticking to my values as easy as possible: Anchor 3 Parenting Put a routine chart on the fridge so kids know what they need to do in the morning: Independence Make chores into fun games. e.g. tidying up before the bomb goes off... : Positive family relationships Use egg timers for turn taking. You can buy sets in three, five, ten minute internals. Great for avoiding arguments: Positive family relationships Make a chart of what goes in each child's school bag & get them to pack it (You'll need to check, especially at the beginning.) Acknowledge improvement: Encouraging Independence Have at least half a day a week when you do something fun together as a family. e.g. picnic, park, beach, zoo, walk, adventure, etc: Positive family relationships, Life is enjoyable Put your phone in a drawer for 10% of each day between 5:30 and 8:10. That's family time.: Positive family relationships, Quality family time together Add an opportunity for learning about mathematics incidentally e.g. while cooking, gardening, building: Education is important, Positive family relationships Healthy Lifestyle Put exercise clothes out ready for morning exercise: Health is important Exercise first thing, that way despite how busy you are, every day has something in it for you: Health is important, Life is enjoyable Make up 2 or 3 salads at a time for lunches. That way if you need a snack, you have a salad ready: Health is important, Saving money on takeaway If you want to watch the t.v. do a couple of minutes of stretching or balance as you first watch it: reward Health is important Floss your teeth immediately after your evening meal (that way you don't eat after dinner.) Health is important Do pelvic floor exercises while you clean your teeth, have a shower, stop at traffic lights: Health is important Have a bedtime routine: Healthy sleep habits for everyone: Sleep is important for health and health is important Have cut up fruit in fridge for snacks: Health is important Home Organisation If kid's sport is cancelled have a cooking day. Make heaps of meals and freeze them: curries, spaghetti, Mex, etc. Learn more: Timesavers for Healthy Meals Organization supports healthy eating, saves money Make up a permanent shopping list of everything you buy. Fluoro the items linked to your menu: Organization supports healthy eating, saves money Establish a fortnightly repeating menu based on your time schedule. e.g. On days you arrive home late use a pre-made frozen meal: Organization supports healthy eating, saves money Put frozen pre-made meals into the fridge to thaw before you leave for work, then you only need to cook rice or pasta. 15 minutes and a healthy dinner is ready. Organization supports healthy eating Pack schoolbags the night before, ready for lunches to be added the next morning: Organization supports healthy eating, saves money on takeaway Your habits will determine your future. quote by Jack Canfield Child Education Establish reading a book a day from when children are very young at bedtime: Education is important Practise phonics for two minutes every school day with 5 and 6 year-old developing readers. Check out the Fun Phonics Game to make it easier. It's free. Help your child learn the 100 Most Used Words. They make up 50% of everything your kids need to read or write. Education is important When children are in infants school have them read to you for ten minutes every school day. It's one of the greatest things you can do for them. Education is important Set up an afternoon routine: snack, homework, relaxation time after homework: Independence is built upon over time If you're buying your child a gift, buy a book on a subject your child is passionate about Play turn taking learning games like: Memory, Bingo, Yahtzee, Guess Who, Monopoly, Free Fun Maths Games Positive family relationships, Education is important, Life is enjoyable Adding even one tiny positive habit can make a massive difference to your child's success. Because 'positive effects accumulate over time.' Anchor 4 They'll learn reading and writing conventions which will help later with their own reading and writing. For example: reading from left to right, return sweeping to the next line, reading from the top to the bottom of a page, what a full stop is and means, what a question mark is and means, what an author is, what a title is Did you know? That by spending just five minutes a day, reading one book to your child, (from 6 months to 6 years) your child will have been exposed to around a million more words than if you didn't. There is an amazing article called 'The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap' which compares the amount and quality of language used within households and the cumulative impact upon children. Because words in stories are in context, your child will increase their vocabulary, improve their comprehension, their grammar, plus their ability to predict text because they already know what makes sense. The best thing you can spend on your kids, is time. quote by Arnold Glasgow For example: improving family cooperation , making your behaviour consistent , freeing up time achieving family health achieving financial goals and eventual wealth Adding 'little' habits to what you're already doing well, usually increases your success over time. If you immediately acknowledge when you stick to your goals, it helps increase your success... Because living an authentic life feels great. When our actions reinforce who we believe our best selves to be, we usually feel fantastic. And if you take the extra step of recording when you stick to your goals, you'll realize just how great a parent you really are... Seriously. A new positive parenting habit can be something simple like: Praising specific aspects of children's learning, or behaviour, so your child learns exactly what 'being good' is. (e.g. aiming for a person's chest when passing a footy, your child holding your hand in a car park, identifying letters with straight lines or uniform ellipses) Looking at your children when they speak to you; so you know when they're listening, they see how sounds are produced plus they know they're important enough to have your undivided attention Putting your phone in a drawer for 10% of the time each day. This supports uninterrupted family time . Say between 5:30 and 8:10 Any of us who have joined the parenting club know how hard it can be. Some days can be really tough. A utomating positive parenting habits, make them easier to maintain on those days, that often bring us unstuck. And the better habits I had, the greater cumulative success I achieved... Share this page with a friend For more ideas to support child, & family success, check out the following articles: You may be looking for a few ideas on how to tweak what's already working. Linking just one new positive habit to an existing habit will stick, if you instantly reward it, especially at the beginning. Give yourself that mental pat on the back you deserve... 'Yes. I did it. That's more like me... I can trust myself to stick to my word.' What is your biggest issue at the moment? Can you do something to improve it? Problem Example: Kids dump their school bags at the back door and rush in to play video games before homework or chores are done. Encourage kids to unpack their school bags as soon as they walk through the door, put their lunchboxes in the dishwasher and get out their homework; before screens are allowed on. Acknowledge when they remember, plus give them a reward (that you were going to give them anyway) like a healthy snack after school before they're able to play. Then acknowledge yourself for sticking to your values of: supplying healthy food for your family helping develop your child's independence and organizational skills having a routine that supports family cooperation noticing the good things your kids are doing If you train yourself to notice the many positive things you're doing well, rather than the things you didn't get to. You'll feel so much better about your parenting, relationship and life in general. Put a counter in a jar when you stick to your values. Get to ten counters... give yourself a simple reward (e.g. a cuppa, some guilt-free TV time, etc.) Get to one hundred... Bigger reward. (A catch up with friends, a guilt-free purchase, etc) Get to a thousand... (A weekend away, a special purchase, etc) Want to lose weight: Try cleaning and flossing your teeth immediately after finishing your evening meal. Over months, doing this reduced my weight. (I've now taken my belt in four holes.) A one-minute habit, transformed what was a problem time of day for me. What simple quick habit can you introduce that might help you overcome a problem? If someone said to me, by following the free strategies on the Organization For Succes s link below, I'd be able to: save three years worth of free time over my working life, while improving my quality of life eat healthier and more cheaply plus pay off my mortgage in just over half the time, allowing me to retire in my fifties ... I wouldn't have believed them. But this is exactly what happened when I followed them. I've been asked for this information by family, friends & parents, over years, because they saw the difference it made to our life. Organization For Success Creating Strength Based Kids Creating strength based kids Best Ways of Developing Language Best Ways of Developing Language Behaviour Strategies That Work Behaviour Strategies That Work What is Most Important in Life? What is most important in life Setting up a Repeating Menu Time savers for Healthy Meals Choosing Gratitude Not Entitlement A girl kissing her father Back to Top Best Parenting Advice.com is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. It highlights what successful parents do differently to those who struggle. Best Parenting advice.com provides free online resources for busy parents who want the best practical advice on: how to give kids a best start in life, better tips for parenting toddlers, effective child rearing strategies, behaviour management tips, successful goal setting and organizational strategies for successful families, easy family dinner recipes, self-care tips for time-poor parents and free kids learning games. The aim of Best Parenting Advice.com is to provide quality practical parenting tips and advice to best help children and families succeed, using the convenience of a website. This website provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. Best Parenting Advice.com does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or with every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this website to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Similarly users of this website are advised to follow any recommendations for seeking professional advice as all information on this site is generic. Best Parenting Advice.com is an independent website and is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems. Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.
- Planning for Quality Time | Best Parenting Advice & Better Tips: Priorities
Back to Top SELF CARE FOR PARENTS Planning For Quality Time We knew we wanted our children to have a great relationship with us so we made it a priority. And we knew the only way to have a quality relationship was to spend time with them. So we tried to spend some fun time with them everyday. Some days we spent hours playing in the pool or at the beach with them. On cooler days we played games like Guess Who, or Hungry Hippos, or the Pirate Game, or Lego or card games. Or we ran outside playing imaginative games, fighting dragons, or baddies, or playing hide and seek, or chasies. On wet days we made cubbys in the lounge room. Or we painted or made playdough or created things from pieces of cardboard and sticky tape, or wood and nails. Now obviously, there were weekends, and sometimes this routine was interrupted when we got home late. But our goal was to try to ensure lost evenings of reading were made up through the week. I've been told by a number of parents their lives are too busy and they don't have time to read to their children. And I'm sure that's how they really feel. They're both working long hours and there isn't enough time left over after feeding kids, bathing them and getting them to bed. And I get it. I did it too. But I wonder if it could be a question of priorities, or perhaps better organization. I recall a woman telling me of her son's difficulty with reading. I suggested her setting up a routine of reading with him for ten minutes a day. But she said she couldn't find the time to do that because she was renovating her house. The sad part is, if you don't make your children a priority, they know it. If you have positive relationships within your family, and you work together, there's less time wasted on things like: behavioural issues, remediating your children when they can't perform well at school, or repairing damaged relationships. There are some things you only get one go at, and there are no reruns. Raising your children well is one of them, so planning for quality time with them is important. And it's usually more important than the urgency of a phone call, or a routine task for work that you could complete later. Or even getting the housework done. One thing I learnt that has remained a constant throughout my adult life is... If I don't plan my time, someone else will often fill my time for me. It could be my children, my partner, my parents, my friends. My work alone was so open ended, it could have taken every minute of every day, if I let it. And at times, I had so many things going on, that until I prioritised for quality time, my life was too crisis driven. So how can you ensure, you and your family get quality experiences, when there are so many responsibilities in your life? I found planning ahead and having routines in place was the only way for us to consistently create quality experiences in our life. Basically we made ourselves available and they chose the activity. And we didn't skimp on the time with them. Sometimes we did it as a reward for great behaviour. For example: We have an extra large garden. Every weekend we'd spend a few hours in it. Sometimes the children would help us plant things, other times they'd play on the swings or dig in the sand pit. But every time they co-operated with us, we gave them a reward of our time. They learnt by co-operating they got more of what they wanted. And it was fun. Spending time playing with them was probably some of the happiest times of my life. We also wanted our children to be smart, and to become so, they needed to have a good vocabulary, so they could understand more of what was being said to them. And one of the most effective ways of creating a wide vocabulary for them, was through reading a variety of quality books on a regular (ideally daily) basis. After I read stories I even had stories that played as they went off to sleep. Reading was a great activity because it also contributed to the positive relationship we had with our children. To set this up, I planned for the children to go to bed at 7:30 whenever possible and we read a number of children's books. Sometimes we took turns. While one cleaned up the dinner dishes and repacked bags ready for the next day, the other read them stories. This Excerpt from A Fifth Child by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton says it perfectly 'Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow For babies grow up we've learnt to our sorrow So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.' Making Family Life Easy 1: Next Share this page with a friend For ideas about ranking your priorities and making better use of your time go to the following links: What is Most Important Timesavers for Healthy Meals Children's Routines Why Natural Consequences? The Value of Natural Consequences Boundaries Help Raise Good Kids Setting Boundaries Why Be Consistent? Consistency, Consistency, Consistency Back to Top Best Parenting Advice.com is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. It highlights what successful parents do differently to those who struggle. Best Parenting advice.com provides free online resources for busy parents who want the best practical advice on: how to give kids a best start in life, better tips for parenting toddlers, effective child rearing strategies, behaviour management tips, successful goal setting and organizational strategies for successful families, easy family dinner recipes, self-care tips for time-poor parents and free kids learning games. The aim of Best Parenting Advice.com is to provide quality practical parenting tips and advice to best help children and families succeed, using the convenience of a website. This website provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. Best Parenting Advice.com does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or with every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this website to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Similarly users of this website are advised to follow any recommendations for seeking professional advice as all information on this site is generic. Best Parenting Advice.com is an independent website and is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems. Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.