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    Blog Posts (17)
    • 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 dessicated 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 high up 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

    • 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, just being together. During this pandemic, rarely being able to leave the house limits what you can do to break up the monotony for your kids. But some of us can relate. I can remember having 25 new preschoolers starting a new year with me 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. Those who were likely to test 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 and 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 more fun to cooperate. I wanted them to be positive about learning so I focused on every positive I could find 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. So 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 the household. But with a little planning you could turn what is currently a difficult time into a positive time with your kids. One where you build quality relationships 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 is completed there will hygiene then a snack break. After less stimulating activities there will be something more exciting. the provision of 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 all keeps the tone of the house calm and relationships smooth.) Expectations need to be discussed ahead of time so kids know exactly what's expected. e.g If they choose 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 are wise to give it to them for doing the right thing. By noticing the good in any of us, it 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 more stressful. There is an excellent article on this site called 6 Steps for Improving Behaviour that may assist you. 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 time to lead your family into more cooperative, calmer ways of relating so that 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 high pressure to complete an activity, to an adult standard, may not be conducive to a positive attitude. 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 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

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    • Managing Tantrums | Best Parenting Advice: practical tips in overcoming tantrums

      BEST STARTS FOR KIDS Managing Tantrums Tantrums are a natural response for young children expressing an emotion they can't convey in words ​ Tantrums can be best managed if you remain calm ​ By validating your child's experience, it helps them know you understand. Modelling self-regulation strategies, helps kids learn things they can do to feel better Supply a new script for a child so they see themselves as maturing. Efforts to use words to solve problems should be encouraged ​ Be forgiving. Children are trialing what works for them and dealing with big emotions ​ The less rewarding tantrums become, the more likely children will trial using other strategies ​ Tantrums may persist, especially if at some time in the child's life, they've worked for them Tantrums and screaming can be best managed if you don't escalate the drama and remain calm. 1. Try either/or options. S peak calmly. Use phrases that offer choice like: ​ 'You seem upset. Would you like ... ( ) or ... ( )? ( ) this that Offer a choice they can point to. ​ Suggest appropriate behaviour If they're already able to talk try something like 'You may need to take a big breath to help you feel a bit better. We can breathe in together. Count to 4. You may need to repeat this for a few rotations. If they're sad give them a cuddly toy to hold. Do you want to show me with an emoji how you're feeling... And let your child pick an emoji that's appropriate. You can then say 'How can I help you so you don't feel sad/ angry/ lonely, etc?' ​ Build relationship 'I'd really like to help you but I don't know how. Maybe rub their back. Provide an either or option. Was it ... or ... that you wanted? You can point if you like or you can tell me.' ( Even a single word gives you a clue whereas screaming/crying doesn't.) Again try encouraging them to take a breath, then tell you. ​ 4. Reward for doing the right thing. If your child makes an effort to communicate with you, say something like: Try moving on 'That's fantastic. Now I know what you want because you used your words. Let's go and get it now.' Reward for doing the right thing. Problem solved. If your child learns using language to solve problems works for them, they're more likely to use language to solve problems. ​​ ​ 5. Move on quickly. Forgive. ​ Be positive. Let your child realize being cooperative pays off for them. Don't be angry with a child having a tantrum. They're simply learning how to manage big emotions. Imagine for a moment you've just had a huge disappointment and someone said to you 'I don't want to know. Go to your room.' Having tantrums is a natural part of maturing. It helps if parents get over the issue as quickly as possible. Then children don't get locked into having tantrums for attention. ​ The best tip for managing a tantrum is to avoid it. We all know particular issues that are likely to be upsetting, so it makes sense to try to distract our child before it becomes an issue. ​ Scenario Example: ​ Think of ways of changing a difficult routine ​ For example: It's time to leave Nana's. Your child has had a really great day and they'd like it to continue. So, distract them. (Pack the car ahead of time.) Distract: Ask a fun question. 'Do you think Nan is strong enough to push our car? I wonder if you can beat me to the car and we'll find out. Come on Nan, you can't beat us...' Notice you haven't said 'we're leaving.' Nan can say something like 'Oh the car's not heavy enough.' Why don't you all get in to make it heavier.' Nan can then pretend to 'push' the front of the car as it reverses down the driveway (obviously away from her.) Your child will likely be laughing instead of crying. This can change a regular stressful event into a new fun routine way of leaving. ​ Parenting toddlers doesn't need to be tough. If you look at things through a child's eyes it can help you hijack potential problems. Can you adapt the strategy I used over years to help overcome another difficult situation in your life? ​ 2. Try moving your child away from attention. ​ N.B. (The way your child responds gives you a clue as to whether they want a resolution or to vent.) If they want to vent, you could try something like: ​ Diffusing tension 'You seem a bit over-tired at the moment. How about you have a lie down,' (rather than continue to escalate a situation with a child who has lost it.) And put them to bed in their room. Give them their favourite stuffed toy, encourage them to take in deep breaths while you rub their backs. (You might be surprised how often they really are tired and will fall asleep... Losing it takes a lot of energy.) ​ Building Relationship through Empathy If they're sad pat them and say something like 'I understand you're sad. Sometimes we don't get everything we want and it's natural to be disappointed. Even I get disappointed sometimes. Do you want to tell me about it?' Then listen. If you listen to where they're coming from, before you attempt to help them see another point of view, you build your relationship and your child learns they can rely on you. ​ 3. Make sure you and your partner present as a team. If you're at home, be supportive and attempt a resolution twice. Suggest self-regulation strategies. But don't engage if they choose to scream at you. You can either sit close by and pat them if they're sad, or ensure they're safe. Remove audience interaction (that may even be with you if they're violent.) Encourage any attempt they make to self-regulate or communicate using words. ​ If your child is at home and your child is throwing themselves around in a tantrum, get them a pillow for under their head to prevent them from hurting themselves. (and you've already tried a couple of times to find out what's wrong,) ​ 6. Tell children what you expect Assuming your child is around three-and-a-half or four years old, and in a safe environment, you could say something like: ​ Limit Setting 'I'm sorry I can't help you at the moment. If you want to show/tell me in a minute what you want, I can help you then. Try taking a deep breath to help you calm down a bit and then you can tell me.' And walk away. You can keep them within your view to ensure their safety. ​ 7. Avoid an audience If your out and can leave, bundle your child under your arm and get out of there. It's so much easier to manage a tantrum without an audience. I knew a child once who only threw tantrums when she was out, because her mother would be embarrassed and give in. If you're in a shopping centre the last thing you need is the stares of onlookers making you feel even worse. 8. With children four years old and above be consistent, every time, so they learn tantrums no longer work. Some children never grow out of tantrums, or screaming to get their way, because it works really well for them . And I've found there's one thing much worse than dealing with a four-year-old who continually loses it. It's having this same four-year-old, still losing it with you, at five, then eight, then fifteen... Because the size of the tantrums generally get bigger, along with their size. ​ Something to consider is: If you feel negligent by setting limits with a four-year-old child having a tantrum, by staying, you're giving them a pay off... That is: getting your attention, or getting what they want, by having a tantrum. ​ (after you've attempted twice to help them,) ​ Isn't it more loving to give your child the skills to express themselves and learn to function well within society, than to indulge and support bad choices of behaviour. Building a loving relationship and setting limits when there isn't an issue is a good place to start. 10. Praise your child for having greater self-control. ​ If children are rewarded for using language to solve their problems, and learn to express their needs in socially acceptable ways the new behaviour is more likely to continue. The ability to use words to resolve our problems is of great benefit to us in life. And I've found if children can express themselves clearly, they're often less inclined to have tantrums. ​ Being able to handle yourself in a crisis (even as a child,) builds your confidence. As parents we're wanting to raise children, who grow into adults that feel good about themselves. ​ Share this page with a friend I've seen 'major' behavioural issues turned around within weeks, time and time again, by consistently and calmly following some of the strategies I've suggested. ​ You can contact me via Instagram at #best_parenting_advice or contact@best-parenting-advice.com 9. Help your child learn to self-regulate. Model how to deal with big emotions. Take big breaths yourself. Say things like 'I need a moment to calm down...' Listen to calming music. Go for a walk outside. Find three things you can see, two things you can hear, one thing you can smell. Discuss that these are strategies you use to overcome sad/angry feelings. ​ Encourage your child to take in three deep breaths to feel better and 'try to use words' to express their feelings. Use encouraging words: You'll get over this, you can do better next time... ​ Some of the statements I successfully used over and over again with children from four years on (after a tantrum was over and they'd calmed down a bit) were: ​ Relationship building 'I know sometimes it's disappointing when our turn is over/ we don't get to do everything we want/ have to go home/etc. But there will be another time and we might get our turn then. Or maybe, we might even get something better.' ​ Where possible I made the alternative as good, or better, reinforcing to the child I always had their interests at heart. ​ Maintaining consistency & integrity 'If I let you think it's okay to behave like that, I'm not being a good mother/ teacher. And you know I want to be the best I can be for you... What do you think might have worked better for you? ​ Encourage communication skills 'Now that you're a big boy/girl you can use your words to help solve your problems. When you do that others know exactly what you want. And you know I'd give it to you, if I could... ' ​ ​ ​ Young children generally reduce tantrums as their language levels improve. For ideas to help improve your young child's language go to: 10 Tips to Develop Early Language If your child is four, or older, and they're still having tantrums, the boxes below identify different tips to help. Begin with All the topics have something different to offer. 'Why spend positive time together.' ​ Or check out Tool Kit: Managing Difficult Behaviour 1 Tool Kit: Managing Difficult Behaviour 1 ​​​​ ​ For more best parenting advice on behavioural strategies go to the following links or check out : Behaviour Strategies That Work Establishing Sleep Routines Establishing Sleep Routines 4 Ways to Develop Cooperative Kids 4 ways to develop cooperative kids. Child helping her mother do the shopping. Tool Kit 1: Curbing Disrespect Curbing Disrespect Tool Kit 2: How to Set Boundaries How to set boundaries for behaviour Sibling Rivalry Solutions Overcoming sibling rivalry Why Natural Consequences? The Value of Natural Consequences Show More Five Tips For Self Isolation With Kids Five Tips for self isolation with kids Blog: Raising Teenagers to Succeed Are You Scared of Your Teenager? Are you scared of your teenager? Show More 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.

    • When Bad Stuff Happens | Best Parenting Advice: what to do tips

      BEST IDEAS AND BETTER TIPS When Bad Stuff Happens Our life was destroyed in one moment. old And just like everybody else... We never thought it would happen to us. ​ We'd just returned from a wet camping holiday. Our tent was sprawled, drying across the driveway. I was making piles of dirty clothes from opened suitcases, across the floor, ready to wash. It was a mess. And we had no fresh food: not even bread or milk to eat. ​ Then in amongst the chaos, a mate brought my husband home from the surf. He'd been injured. When the ambulance took us, I had no idea we were beginning a terrifying life-journey and my husband and I would be tested to beyond what I ever thought possible. ​ We went from a double income... to no income at all. Me being taken out of the work force to care for him. ​ My husband was deemed legally blind and remained so for many years. ​ And then it got worse... At a time when our finances dwindled, our medical bills soared. Just the gap for one specialist-visit every week, was more than we were bringing in. And we visited him, every week, over months. We had private health insurance but the gap for just one specialist, for one surgery, was over $3000 (which was huge 19 years ago) and that didn't include anaesthetist fees. And I was told my husband was facing multiple surgeries over many, many months. We were financially haemorraging. I was afraid we'd lose our house, unless I could somehow, pull a golden rabbit, out of a non-existent hat. And like some of you are going through at the moment, for the first time, I lined up in the Centrelink queue. I still can't explain how desperate I felt. After being in phone cues for over an hour and a half, and then standing in line with other desperate people, I was told they couldn't help us. I recall weeks later, after numerous frustrating attempts to gain help, I stood at the counter late one afternoon and teared up. I asked 'Isn't there someone in this whole place that can help us?' ​ The girl looked at me, then at the clock, then back at me. She shrugged. "You can see the social worker if you like. There's an appointment available in three weeks." ​ 'I'll take it,' I said. Then going forward many months, we experienced cruelty, deception and bullying because of my husband's disability. It was a shock. And although I thought I'd been bullied a few times in my life, I'd never experienced prejudice before. real It's like someone put a clear dome over us, limiting what we could do. And it's so hard to break through it. e.g. I was told I was overlooked for a position because my husband was blind and it would be too hard for me to do it. They made the decision for me... And they really thought they were being kind. I was crushed by ignorance and unfairness. ​ But I reminded myself, life isn't fair. Sometimes you get a whammy you never ever expected, or deserved. And I'm sorry if that's what you're experiencing at the moment, because it hurts, a lot. ...And I get the fear. I was terrified. I was so scared that I might not be able to keep it all together. ​ But somewhere, in amongst it all, I learned to let my fear drive me... I never knew what I was really capable of achieving because I'd never given 100% before. But when I did, my life transformed. ​ And now it's my experience that I offer, because I've been there. I was a young mum with two young kids, a huge mortgage, no money and a newly-disabled husband. I simply didn't have the luxury to fall in a heap. But with time, not only did we survive, we learnt to thrive. And it was my own bad experiences that inspired this website; purely so others don't feel the same level of hopelessness, fear and abandonment that I felt. ​ And although I know it's hard trying to get a job when there's a pandemic and so many are unemployed, I get it. (It's a bit like trying to get a job at any time, if you're blind... Seriously!) ​ But what did I learn that worked for us? 1. Do at least one thing today to improve the situation ​ 2. Find what assets you can redeem ​ 3. Analyse your marketable skill set & follow up any leads ​ 4. Accept help ​ 5. Conserve energy by: planning together, being cooperative and supportive of one another ​ 6. Know... tough times pass ​ 7. Try to find an opportunity for growth ​ 8. Let adults deal with the adult issues and let kids be kids ​ 9. Live within your reduced means 10. Love one another I Learned I Still Had Choices. I chose to: ​ Act today to do at least one thing to improve the situation, rather than focus on the problem. E.g. What alternative income sources can be created when we live in a society obsessed with funny cats, our life's maddest edges, obscene levels of wealth, poverty and COVID 19. Be creative. What is skill set? your What did I have that I could immediately sell? (I sold my car for $2000 and our old caravan for $1000.) What do you have that others may want? ​ Look at what I could do to earn, or save money? e.g: mowing lawns, cleaning, stacking shelves, delivering groceries for older people, driving trucks to keep food supply chains working, technical positions testing for COVID 19 etc. I believed the situation I was experiencing would pass and with time we'd be back on our feet. And I did every thing I could, to ensure this happened. ​ My husband and I planned together and worked as a team. Disagreeing wasted our very valuable energy and we were already stretched. We needed all our strength to solve problems. ​ Being kind and thoughtful cost me nothing but made a huge difference to our world. We had one rule in our house and that was cooperate. It may sound cheezy but we genuinely worked together for the good of all of us. I tried as much as possible to filter what our children were privy to. It broke my youngest son's heart that his dad had been blinded. He began to read the same book to my husband as my husband had previously read to him... And it still makes me tear up as I remember it. ​ I began to use money very sparingly, living off between $40 to $70 a week to feed a family of four. And I used everything I already had in my pantry sparingly (Go to the recurrent menu planning section to see what strategies I put in place. This seriously saved us heaps and heaps of money over years which I later used to pay off our mortgage in half the time. But it helped free up time generally.) ​ Know s ome will advise you out of ignorance and some will be apathetic about your situation. You can either learn from your experience (what not to do to others in the future) or let it hurt you. Choose wisely what you focus on. If others haven't been through it, maybe they really don't know what it's like to be you. Now is the time to learn what you're really made of. It's possible adversity can build your character. Let adversity feed you. You can come through this as a kinder, yet stronger person. After this is over you'll likely have a greater depth of character. And I know in my case, I couldn't voluntarily go back to the levels of ignorance I operated at prior to my husband's accident. I now can't walk past people living on the street and not give them money, because I know how easy it is to get there. ​ Know you can get through this... Share this page with a friend Learn more: Click on any of the image links to learn more. I know this information could change your life because it changed mine: When Bad Stuff Happens 2: Next Finding Money During a Crisis Finding money during a crisis When More Bad Stuff Happens When More Bad Stuff Happens 6 Tips for Home Schooling Tips for Home Schooling Money Saving Tips During Pandemic Ways of Saving Money During Pandemic Best Free Links For Self-Isolating With Kids Free links while self isolating with kids Tips on Explaining COVID 19 to Kids Kids and Covid 19 Kids and Covid 19 Unusual Tips: Giving Up Smoking Giving up smoking to improve your child's life chances Tips: Timesavers for Healthy Meals Timesavers for Healthy Meals Show More 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?

      BEST STARTS FOR KIDS What Successful Families Do Step by Step Parenting Tips 1 Have you ever wondered why some families succeed, while others struggle? What is it that successful families, do differently? ​ 1. Successful parents usually have time prioritized according to what their values deem important. And they get those things done first. They know what's 'important' over what's 'urgent.' e.g. maintaining a daily reading routine with a child over checking an Instagram ping. 2. Successful parents usually develop routines, that back up their values. 3. Successful parents congratulate themselves when they stick to their value-determined goals. They don't beat themselves up, for what they don't get done. They congratulate themselves, for what they do right and they acknowledge what they do well. How good is it to feel great about your parenting... Right? ​ The fact you're reading an article on parenting success, indicates you're likely quite successful at parenting already. You may just be looking for a few ideas on how to tweak what's already working. E.g. making your behaviour consistent, improving time management and cooperation, or achieving family or health goals. And if you want to be a very successful parent, adding 'little' habits into what you're already doing well, will likely increase your success over time. And you will increase your success, if you immediately congratulate yourself, every time you do, what you believe you should do. This strategy works because it makes you feel good. And we like to do, what makes us feel good. When our actions reinforce who we believe our best selves to be, we usually feel great. But if you take the extra step of recording it, you'll realize just how great a parent you really are... Seriously. ​ ​ These habits could be simple things like: Praising specific aspects of children's behaviour, so your child learns exactly what makes a behaviour good. (e.g. aiming for a person's chest when passing a footy.) ​ Looking at your children when they speak to you; so you know when they're listening, and they know they're important to you ​ . 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. You're busy right... But could you possibly ease in just one new positive habit? Your habits will determine your future. quote by Jack Canfield ​ ...But your habits can also determine your children's futures. ​ Because words in stories are in context, your child will increase their vocabulary, improve their comprehension, their grammar, plus their ability to predict skills... because they already know what makes sense. ​ Below is an ideas bank that I've used successfully. You can use them as is. Or as a springboard to create your own ideas that suit you better. Notice how I've always tried to make doing the right thing easier for myself: ​ Parenting Put a routine chart on the fridge so kids know what they need to do in the morning Make chores into fun games. e.g. tidying up before the bomb goes off... Use egg timers for turn taking. You can buy sets in three, five, ten minute internals. Great for avoiding arguments 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.) Reward every improvement, & especially when they get it all right. 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 Put your phone in a drawer for 10% of each day between 5:30 and 8:10. That's family time. Add an opportunity for learning about mathematics incidentally e.g. while cooking, gardening, building 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 Make up a permanent shopping list of everything you buy. Fluoro the items linked to your menu Establish a fortnightly repeating menu based on your time schedule. e.g. On days you arrive home late use a pre-made frozen meal 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. Pack schoolbags the night before, ready for lunches to be added the next morning Values Support Habits ...And Habits Support Success Successful Parents are generally guided by their values/principles. They usually: ​ Have a lifetime-commitment to building 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. ​ 2. Parents lead by example and: Set high expectations Provide guiding feedback Respond to individual needs Ensure guide child behaviour clear boundaries Remain involved as their children grow These parents are: more willing to negotiate around rules factor in individual maturity levels and respond flexibly when the need arises ​ ​ The best thing you can spend on your kids, is time. quote by Arnold Glasgow ​ 5. It's expected that kids will make mistakes as a part of learning. Successful parents use it as an opportunity to help develop resilience. ​ Parents remain calm, look at opportunities to make amends when mistakes occur, and find ways to resolve any problems 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 ​ ​ ​ 7. Successful parents use positive expectation & routines to provide a safe framework to support children. They make time to have fun together. ​ as a family is planned for, and prioritised. e.g. playing family games together, going on holidays together, etc Quality time Time is ideally spent together on a daily basis: eating together, reading at night, etc provide clear expectations of daily and/or weekly responsibilities for children. This helps scaffold personal independence Routines Parent organization/routines helps support the effective running of the household Consequences for less desirable behaviour are usually natural ones. Go to to learn more. Why Use Natural Consequences? ​ Want to lose weight: Try flossing your teeth immediately after finishing your evening meal. ​ Over months doing this reduced my weight. (I've now taken my belt in three 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? Share this page with a friend But this is exactly what happened when I followed the practical tips below. It worked so well for us, I've been asked for this information by family, friends & parents over years. ​ ​ Just linking one new habit to an existing habit will stick, if you instantly reward it. If you make yourself feel really good for doing it, 'every' time and especially at the beginning, the new behaviour will continue. Give yourself that mental pat on the back you deserve... 'Yes. I did it. That's more like me... I stuck to my word.' ​ 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. Praise them when they remember, plus give them a reward (that you were going to give them anyway) like a healthy snack after school. Then immediately reward 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 This should make you feel really good about your parenting ability. ​ You could put a counter in a jar time you act consistently with your beliefs. Then you'll train yourself to notice the many positive things you're already doing really well, rather than the things you didn't get to. Get to ten counters... Reward. Get to one hundred... Bigger reward. every ​ Adding even one tiny positive habit can make a massive difference to your children's success because 'positive effects accumulate over time.' For example... Did you know? ​ That by spending five minutes a day, reading just one book to your child a day, (from 6 months to 6 years) your child will have been exposed to around a million more words than if you didn't. ​ 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 Healthy Lifestyle Put exercise clothes out ready for morning exercise Exercise first thing, that way despite how busy you are, every day has something in it for you Make up 2 or 3 salads at a time for lunches. That way if you need a snack, you have a salad ready If you want to watch the t.v. do a couple of minutes of stretching or balance as you first watch it Floss your teeth immediately after your evening meal (that way you don't eat after dinner.) Do pelvic floor exercises while you clean your teeth, have a shower, stop at traffic lights Have a bedtime routine: Healthy sleep habits for everyone Child Education Establish reading a book a day from when children are very young Practise phonics for two minutes every school day with developing readers. Check out the Fun Phonics Game . 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 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 Set up an afternoon routine: snack, homework, relaxation time after homework 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 Values are personal. Yet as loving parents, it's interesting how many values we share. You'll likely have a lot of these values already. But when you expand them out, they can often look like this: ​ ​ 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.) These parents balance the 'me' and 'we' aspects of family well, devoting time to both. They're willing to spend the time necessary to with their children. build quality relationships ​ They plan and save for future goals ​ ​ 3. Interactions are respectful. Dialogue is open, honest, age appropriate and supports understanding. Ge nuine 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 they're good role models for their children. healthy lifestyles They're also willing to accept, that different children may have different interests, and/or activity needs. ​ ​ ​ 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. ​ Any of us who have joined the parenting club know how hard it can be. Some days can be particularly challenging. ​ Automating my positive parenting habits, made it easier to maintain on those difficult days, that often bring us unstuck. And the better habits I had, the greater cumulative success I achieved... Time Savers for Healthy Meals If someone said to me, by following the free strategies on the link below, I'd be able to: save three years worth of free time eat healthier plus pay off my mortgage in just over half the time I wouldn't have believed them. ​ ​ For more strategies to support child & family success, the following articles may be useful: 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 Show More 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.

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by Multi-Award Winning Educator. Early Learning Expert. Author/Illustrator.

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