Available Balance
Let’s Start a Journaling Habit
March 21, 2017
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I just read a post in A Fine Parent blog, “A simple 10-minute routine that will make you a more mindful parent“. I agree with the author, writing does make me more mindful.

 

I did not realize the power of writing when I was young, but every time when I was feeling really upset, I would like to write. I either wrote in my journal or wrote a letter to a friend. While I was writing, I started to be clearer with my mind, and I could always find the solution to my questions. Besides this, writing really calms me down. I still write once in a while, not a letter to my friends, but on my blog or just Evernote (as my private journal). It always helps me to look at the picture much clearer and plan what to do next. Hence, I totally agree that it is good to have 10 minute writing session every morning.

 

So I decided to start building this habit tomorrow morning. Currently, I always just go straight to my mailbox, then a few online working sites in the early morning. I should really change this. I will first write in Evernote. I prefer not to write in on my blog, as it always takes more time for me to write a blog post, I would like to write more properly and think more carefully while writing to public. Since I would like to treat this as my daily journal, and keep it short and simple, writing privately would be a better choice for me. I will also set a timer at 10 minutes. I can easily spend one or two hours just in writing, and that’s why I do not keep the habit of journaling, I always spend too much time. Keeping it at 10 minutes is affordable.

 

I also like one of the simple tips the author of the article I mentioned at the beginning about writing, “Write Without Thinking“. That is the great thing about journaling, we write what we feel. It is not a professional paper, it is not a business proposal, it is just a recording of what is in our mind at the moment. It is a process to discover ourselves, our feeling and our inner self too. It is like a self talk to me.

 

After journaling, I think it would also be good to spend at least 3 minutes to meditate. This meditation time will help me to feel what I have written in my journal and bring everything down to the ground. It would be good if I can meditate for 10 minutes every morning too.

 

I believe with the morning routine of journaling and meditating, I will slowly become a more mindful mom. It would even be better if I add yoga practice to my morning routine, but I will slowly blend in the healthy habit instead of just work, work, work in the morning.

 

Do you have a habit of journaling? If not, perhaps it is a good time to start now. 

 

Image credit: Pixabay

 

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Building your Child’s Self Esteem: What our Words and Actions Can Do To Them
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Our children and whatever will become of them in the future is the greatest contribution we’ll ever have in society. And our roles as parents has everything do to with it.

Growing up in a society that accentuates family above everything else, I’ve learned that whatever my parents and other adults told or shown me before made an impact to who I am right now. And in this article, I will discuss the things we adults sometimes unwittingly do or say in front of children that have a huge effect on their outlook later on in life.

For all parents out there – this one’s for us.

1. Comparing Kids to Other Children Breeds Jealousy

Regardless of how your child behaves or acts, you have no right to compare them to other kids. A great percentage of parents tend to make this mistake. If you somehow find yourself in a situation where you want to blurt out “why can’t you be like your brother?” Stop! Breath deeply and make sure that the next words that will come out of your lips will be firm but not degrading words of comparison. Personality development happens in the early stages of life and to be compared with others can make them feel that being different is bad or unacceptable. The tendency is for them to become overly jealous of others – they’d, later on, feel they are never good enough.

In addition, this can also develop a personality where a child, once an adult, will often try to please everybody. If we want our children to be happy individuals, we have to make them feel that they are special and that being different is not a bad thing (teach them what’s right and wrong but never alienate them). You can do this by giving them credit and if they somehow make a mistake, reprimand right away but never compare.

2. Swearing (or cursing) Creates Disrespectful Children

I’ve read somewhere that the fastest way to lose the respect of your children is to either swear at them or to hear you swear at someone else (your partner). Children are great imitators. Their brains are like sponges and can soak up information faster than you think. That’s because they are at their stage of curiosity; the peak of learning. When kids are cursed at by any adult the tendency is for them to do the same thing to other children. And it could hurt them emotionally. And if you try to tell them off, they won’t listen because mom and dad are both doing it anyway.

So how does this affect your child?

Hearing adults curse or swear creates an environment where kids become careless about being rude. They simply won’t care about being disrespectful and tactless and it will eventually affect their social skills later on in life.

3. Over-Protectiveness Can Enhance Laziness and Low Self – Esteem

How can a parent do this? By sheltering your child too much and by not letting them learn and explore on their own. Being strict is one thing but restricting your child because you are afraid they will get sick or get hurt is another thing. In most cases, this happens when a child has a history of illness, therefore, the parents may feel the need to always protect their child at all times by not letting him get involved in activities that other children are involved in. If a child’s tolerance can be adjusted then you need to make the adjustment yourself. Sooner or later the child will become an adult and will also carry on the habit of either limiting himself or making an excuse for not being able to do something because of his condition. This allows the child to always think that he “can’t” even if he “can”. It also will make the child question his ability that’s why it’s not best to always say “NO” or “Don’t” to your children.

4. Not Letting Them Choose Can Cause Mediocrity

When I was in high school I had the pleasure of meeting and making friends with different individuals who are so talented they can be famous for it! I have this one classmate who loves to draw and write (a perfect combination, right?). Her manga (Japanese style of drawing) is awesome! It’s as if she’s been studying all her life to perfect it. She would create comic books for the class and we’d all read them – with pleasure. Then she stopped doing it all together. When asked about it, she would just shake her head and say nothing at all. Years later, I learned that she worked as a Customer Service Representative and have been hopping from one company to another just to make a living. Upon hearing this, I remembered how popular manga is now and how great she is at it. She was in fact been put down by her parents and was forced to study accountancy, which she did not finish. All throughout high school all she talked about was getting into fine arts and publishing and making a name for herself.

This may be a solitary case, but it actually windows a lot of us.

We sometimes don’t like the idea of having our children do something else because we thought it will not be good for them and the child might face rejection. Being able to let your child choose independently can help them be confident in themselves even when others are not. We may be the ones who gave birth to them but they have their own ambition and dreams which we can only respect and support.

As parents, we are only here for our kids to guide and nurture their them. Good parenting springs forth from acceptance, respect, and love, which we can only provide if we are aware that simple actions can change our children’s course of life. As much as we want to smother then with care and protect them from the outside world – our fears will not help them at all. We’ve all been children before and we must never forget how our dreams made us feel so alive back then – it drives us to achieve more and be better. As adults now, we can only control ourselves but not others even if they are our children.

Do not destroy the life of your child.
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How often do you get to see the scenes when parents lose their patience in a public place, begin to shout at their child, even shake him twitch. I can never calm look to such scenes. Why such parents “knock out” all the happiness of their child? Why they do not evaluate the short time of child’s life, when can be everything for them? And then we wonder why kids grow up “broken”.

To love your child, nurture him, to play with him – these are tasks which can handle not only the super parents. This may to do all parents. Always, without exception. There is nothing special. I am a mother who loves his child and will do everything that my child always would feel good, safe, that he would be healthy. I’m far from being a perfect mother. But good enough that I would give my kid to understand that in any real life circumstances, he can feel well. Why? Therefore, that I realize what the influence makes a parents to the child’s life and to his self-confidence. I understand that everything what I do and what say, the child absorbs like a sponge – both positive and negative things. I do not understand only one – why so many parents are lost about nurturing and educating their children, why they do not give a right example for their children.

Your face brightens up when you see your child early morning, or when you return from work, even if you feel tired? Do you realize that your child’s moral values are based most on what they see on your face, on your actions, on your words to them? Do you understand that the child considers his self esteem very much based on in what the words you talk about him: never say you are stupid, you are silly, you are bawler, you are an idiot. People very often begin to comply with the given labels, and no one wants that his child would be stupid one.  How often do you say to your child that he has done the silliest thing, which could only come up with? This is the most stupid thing you could do to your child. Do you believe that your child is an idiot? But your child believes if you say it to him. Think about it.

Anyone will believe that you cannot back out for 20 minutes from your computer or TV, and to play with the child? It is time to realize that the level of children’s trust in parents depends entirely on the fact how much they are playing with them and how heavily involved in the game process? Do you understand the damage that is done to children, when you do not play with them every day?

Do you believe these stupid and cheap excuses that anger sometimes, maybe often, is necessary for the educational process? Do you understand that anger is an emotion practically always of those people who seek to control others, but cannot control themselves? Do you notice how quickly your child break down and become disobedient, when the anger reigns the family? What you want from your child? That he would absolutely obey you and would fear you?

Do you realize the power of the touch? Do you understand the relationship between you and child when you begin to caress him, hug him, and kiss him before the sleep? Your child is the unique and priceless soul entrusted to your concerns, and feels everything very sensitively. Everything what you say, will be reflected in their abilities, success, happiness and in all future life.

Understand that children make mistakes, many mistakes. Never upbraid of the child’s mistakes or failures. It is easy to humiliate a child. It’s time to tell the kids that you love them. And repeat it constantly. It’s time to enjoy their endless questions, sounding from morning till evening. And the inability to do everything as fast as you would like. Enjoy their facial expressions and incorrectly spoken words. It is time to celebrate everything that makes your children.

It is time to ask yourself what you can do that could become a good parent. Arrange priorities. And indeed become the best parent. It is time to show your sons the example of how to behave with a woman, and your daughters to show what behavior is to be expected from a man. It is time to show generosity, sympathy and compassion. It is time on your example to show children what is a healthy way of life, gender roles, and true social norms. It is time to realize that such label as milksop to the child – it’s insane. Children have their own opinions and do not shove stereotypes to them.

Do not be rude to your sons. Talk quietly with your daughters. What you wish to your child? That a child would have friends in the school and self confidence? Is it elected class president, and he will feel that it is worth more? We can give children tools for social survival.

You must understand what the impact you do to your children when it comes to one thing and doing another? You must help to choose, to teach openly share point of view and to live according to own principles. It is not your affair to tell our children what he should think. But you can help him to think correctly.

 

Picture by Pixabay.com

Baby Boy Gift Basket Do It Yourself Gift
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A few years ago, when I found out I was going to be an aunt to my nephew – I went on tons of shopping trips throughout my sisters pregnancy. I accumulated a half full closet of clothes for my nephew. I thought a fun way of presenting some of the gifts were in a gift basket personalized for my nephew along with miscellaneous items like: scrapbook paper, stuff animals, books, and toys. The fun part about gift baskets is there is no right or wrong way of personalizing the basket/gift!

Instead of making a diaper cake which is a cute idea, I do not think my sister would want the diaper exposed to dust and rolled up – so I made this baby boy gift basket instead. Plus the gift basket looked nice on the gifts table at the baby shower.

Where I purchased everything?

  • Blue Basket with Stripe Lining from Michael’s
  • It’s a Boy Ribbon with cute words from Michael’s
  • Plastic Bag Wrap to fit the Basket from Michael’s
  • Scrapbook Paper Set from Michael’s

Tip with shopping at any craft stores like Michael’s, JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby and so forth is to look for coupons. They usually have 25% off your entire purchase, 40 to 60 % off one regular priced item and on going sales so you will save a lot of money with those coupons!

  • Clothes – mainly from Macy’s, Carter’s, and Babies R Us – I accumulated the clothes throughout the months and shopped for good deals and used coupons
  • Books – I purchased on Amazon from the registry my sister created
  • Stuff Animals/Toys – I purchased on Amazon

How I filled the gift basket?

I folded a bunch of the clothes at the bottom and then for the back, I put scrapbook paper set, books for a sturdy stand. Then I hung some clothes in front and just decorated so the basket can be presentable. Then lay the plastic wrap down and tied a bow. Whats nice about the basket is that it will be useable for his room. My sister ended up using the basket for storage in his room.

You could create gift baskets not only for baby showers, but as gifts just personalize the gift to the recipient!

 

 

Stay at home moms it’s ok to take a break
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  1. Being a stay at home mom is very rewarding but challenging at times. With all the things in a day that us stay at home mom’s have to do clean staying fit kids school projects and being a good wife with all these things in a day it can be stressfull and very frustrating. I’m here to try and help I deal with alot in a day and for me to stay calm and staying positive is a must. Here’s some tips take breaks during the day and know that you don’t have to do everything like when it comes to laundry you dont have to fold and hang up everything or put all the socks with the matching pairs there’s little things that can make your days easier so there’s not as much. It might be easier for you if you clean the night before so there’s not as much to do the next day.make a list of what’s really important and just do those things it’s ok if you don’t get everything done in one day. My husband has always told me it’s ok if you take a day to yourself and not clean I can and that he will help but if you don’t have that help it’s ok you can still take a day to relax and know that it’s ok and your not a bad mom if the house is a little messy.stay positive and know that your a good mom and that us stay at home mom’s can take a break and it’s ok. Be you be positive and never give up. Even when you get frustrated at there the end of the day it’s worth it to see your kids and family happy. So never doubt yourself and know that you got this. My life has been very hard lately as my youngest daughter recently passed away from sids and it gets harder to go on in every day life but I’m not giving up I gotta keep going for my three other kids I know things get difficult but please never give up family is very important and for us single mom’s it’s our Life to make our kids happy. More ways to make it more simple is to not be afraid to ask for help and to maybe put some things aside and giving yourself some you time I know it seems impossible but it will help also try having some time away with your husband just to get away and reset will help alot with everything ready your mind maybe make a list of things to do in a day and make a schedule that you can do every day that way you can just get it done and be able to relax.
Teaching Your Children To Be Independent
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For most parents, the idea that their children don’t ‘need’ them is almost as horrifying as bereavement. Parents seems to want the kids to ask them what they should do, depend on them to make the world pretty, and always be there, no matter what.

Sometimes, this goes too far, and the child never really grows up.

I’ve written about the Mama’s Boy who virtually has is mother dress him when he’s in his forties, and there are women who share everything with their mothers as if her judgement is far beyond their abilities to reason.
Although this may feed the egos of the parents it is not healthy for the child.

One of the most terrifying images was being at a funeral for my friend, and his forty eight year old infant was bawling and unable to take care of himself.

This ‘infant’ having never had to stand on his own feet expected Daddy to look after him. He wanted Daddy to invest in his business, although he, this forty eight year old baby, couldn’t run a newspaper stand.

When Daddy died, that was it for the baby.

Having seen that I insured that my children began exercising judgement and taking responsibility as young as possible.

We would talk, they would tell me what happened, I would ask for their opinion, encourage them to think for themselves.

They all grew up quickly, all became independent early, and really don’t need me. They can want me, they can ask advice, they can discuss, but they can also come to their own decisions and take responsibility for the actions.

If ‘something happens’ they try to fix it on their own, as adults. They are happy to tell me how this happened to them, how they dealt with it.

It is so important to raise people and not children. There are too many over aged children walking about, unable to take responsibility for their actions, unable to perceive consequences, the population doesn’t need to increase.

Few ways to sterilize your little one’s milk bottles
March 7, 2017
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Milk bottles and accessories are some important thing to the little one if he/she is like to having milk via bottles.
The milk bottle will accumulate mold or stains easily if just wash and leave it there without drying. Thus, to sterilize the milk bottle and the accessories is a MUST step during the preparation of the clean milk bottle to the little one.
How to sterilize the milk bottles? There are few convenient ways can kill almost 99% of the germs, bacteria and virus. You may adopt either one which is you feel is the most convenient to you.

The first step is wash your hands with soap and warm water, you must make sure your hands are clean before proceeding with the milk bottle sterilization process.

Second, wash the milk bottle and clean it to make sure there is no more food or milk residues.

1. Sterilize with boiling water
This is the most traditional way and simplest way which is adopted by the mummy around the world since last century.
All you need is a pot with lid, make sure the pot is big enough for putting your milk bottles in. Put all the milk bottles and accessories into the pot and fill up with enough water. Adjust to high heat in order to boil the water. After the water boiled, continue boiling for another 5 minutes.

Off the heat, take out all the bottles with a forcep and put on the rack for drying.

Don’t do this with the glass bottle, the boiling water might make the glass bottle cracked.

2. Steaming sterilization
There is steamer in most of the modern family nowadays, you may steam the little one’s milk bottle for sterilization purpose.

Put some water at the bottom layer, and put the milk bottle at the steaming layer instead of food.

Steam for 5 minutes for sterilization. Once done, take them out with a forcep and put on the rack for drying.

If you don’t have a proper food steamer at home, you still can do it with a steamer that fit a pot size. Again, put some water in the pot, on high heat for steaming for 5 minutes.

And, you may do it via the microwave oven too, but have to make sure you follow the instruction guideline strictly to avoid any accident.

3. Chemical chips.
Some drug stores and pharmacies do sell the chemical chips for killing the bacteria or germ of the utensils including the milk bottles.

Dissolve the chip in the water, soak the milk bottle in the dissolved water for an hour. After sterilization, take out the bottles with a forcep. No need to wash the bottles because the manufacturers told, the chemical residua are safe to be edible.

4. Bottle dryer and sterilizer.
This is newly invented machine which cater the modern mummies’ need. Get an electrical bottle dryer and sterilizer. Putting the bottles into the sterilizer after cleaning them, the UV lights will help to kill all the germs and bacteria.

Another important feature of this kind of sterilizer is it can help to dry the bottle at the same time, so the bottle is ready to be used once the sterilization process is completed.

Again, all the ways are workable, just how’s your life style and budget when come towards to the sterilization issue.

Image via Pixabay

Let’s join Love Your Sibling Challenge
February 27, 2017
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Have you ever wondered how your kids can play well together and be nice to each other all the time? Before my second child was born, I used to think all my kids will get along with each other well, especially when I saw how my eldest wanted a younger sibling, and it looked like he would be a good big brother. Yes, he does love his younger sister, and takes good care of her sometimes, but not all the time. There are still times when I heard them quarreling and my little girl crying. Then I started to read more information about sibling rivalry, and how siblings can get along.
This is the first time I found a challenge about siblings. It is Love Your Sibling Challenge from Not Consumed. This is not only a challenge, but also a contest. It started on 14 February, and runs through 14 March. Once you have signed up to the challenge or contest, you will receive a sheet of activities which your kids can do to show love and kindness to each other. Each activity has a point value, such as giving a hug to the sibling will gain 1 point, making sibling’s bed will gain 2 points, giving 5 minute massage to sibling will gain 3 points, etc. I am not so much up for the contest, but I think it might be fun to have some activities or actions we can encourage our kids to do to the siblings, instead of just asking them to be nice or share with each other.
Though I do not encourage reward system for children, I think it can be fun to introduce the point system, not to compete with each other, but just to make the challenge a little bit more fun. Moreover, it can help my eldest son to practice his Math, and he will be happy to do that too.
Though the contest started on 14 February, and it is  already end of the month, I think we can still print out the activity sheet and have the challenge in our own family, but not to compete with others. I plan to start the challenge for my elder two kids who are 8 years old and 5 years old. I will print out the activity sheet, and have a point chart for each of them, and calculate the points at the end of the week, as the contest suggested. If it goes well, I will just continue to keep track of the points, just for fun, or we will have a small celebration after both have achieved a milestone.
Kim Sorgius, the founder of Not Consumed, also recommends her bible study book for sibling relationship, My Brother’s Keeper. You can visit the store and read more information about the book, though purchase of the book is not required for taking part in this challenge. By the way, you can also check out Not Consumed website for free printables, for homeschooling, family life and discipleship.
I hope my kids and I will enjoy the challenge, and this will help them to build better relationship too.
If you are interested, you can check out the challenge here: Love Your Sibling Challenge
Image credit: Not Consumed
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How to make your children fall in love with books?
February 26, 2017
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Knowledge is power and reading is a good habit, thus the parent should cultivate the reading habit among the children since childhood.

How to make it? Some parent found that their children do not like to read. Here with some tips to help the parent to make the children fall in love, and stick to books!

  1. Set a regular story telling time since young. The parent should set a story telling time be the children go to bed, say about 20 minutes to 30 minutes, this is good enough to attract the children to read by themselves later.

 

The parent would be surprised to see the children take up the story books and read one day after reading them stories for one or two years. All the efforts will turn into harvest!

 

  1. Place the books in the accessible places. Put the book in any accessible place at home but not only on the book shelves, so the children might able to grab and read anytime, anywhere when they are free.
  2. Bring them to book fair or library regularly. We able to provide the children with ample topics and titles of story books with going to book fair and grab the price discounted books and borrow from the library.
  3. Set up children book corner. Make the cosy reading corner for the children, where he/she will like to stay there for long hours and started to read the books there. Ask the children to participate and involve in decorating or painting the corner, and choose his/her own book shelves, this can make him/her has better belonging feeling toward that reading corner for sure.
  4. Book as gift. Always buy some good books as a gift and present it to the children, this will attract the children to read, and turn into their hobby one day.
  5. Provide some books with the theme he/she like. The parent need to provide the children with some story books that he/she like, with this we can attract the children to have patient to finish reading the book. Take for an example, we can buy a story book with the “car” theme if a boy love to play the car toys. This sure will help to attract him started to read and explore more into the reading world.

 

It’s never too late to start, cultivate the reading habit among the children can help them to learn faster in the future.

Image credit to : Pixabay

Tips on preparing a healthy lunch box for your children
February 26, 2017
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In my country, the canteen in the school sells more of carbohydrate concentrated food to the children to make sure they will not feel hungry, however this kind of diet might not be healthy or balanced enough for the growing requirement of a kid.

Hence, some of parent would prepare the lunch box for their children for recess time or lunch hour. However, how to prepare a healthy, balanced, varieties lunch box  is the headache of the parent.

I have list out a few tips to make a healthy lunch box:

  1. No junk food and processed food. Those sausage, ham, processed meat might contains too much fats, sugar and salt which is not suitable and good for the health of a kid, thus try to avoid these kind of food.
  2. Provide diary product in the lunch box. Children need calcium for growing fast, thus, diary, such as milk, yogurt, cheese in the lunch box. Soy bean milk is the alternative for those vegetarians.
  3. Do not provide packet drink. Again, the packet drinks are contains too much sugar but just little bit of real fruits, it’s better to squeeze the fresh orange juice or carrot juice for the children instead of buying those packet drinks from the supermarket.
  4. Provide with some fruits. The children need to consume some fruit everyday, so prepare some fruits in the lunch box, such as apple, oranges, grapes, banana, etc. This kind of fruits contain low calories but can make the children feel full easily. If no fresh fruits, some raisin will be good too.
  5. Fresh vegetables is a must. Vegetable is good for our children’s health, so it is a good opportunity to insert some vegetables in their lunch box too, such as mixed them with fried rice, or put some vegetables into the sandwiches.

 

Get the children involve in the discussion and preparation of lunch box, so they will love to have and finish their lunch in the school. And, let the children wash their lunch box after class, so they feel more responsible on his/ her own diet.

 

Image via Pixabay.