June 25, 2012 12:00:00 PM MDT
Simplicity - It's the Key to Getting What You Want
By Tony Mase
It's not hard to feel overwhelmed. After all, the house is cluttered, work is stressful, the rush hour commute is long, and that cell phone never seems to stop ringing!
With all of that noise in your life, it's easy for your inner voice to be squashed. And when that happens, it leads to a whole host of other problems - like irritability, fatigue, extreme stress, and feeling like nothing ever goes your way.
So, how do you quiet all of the noise and get what you want out of life?
Keep it simple!
I know - simplicity seems like an out-of-reach dream when the kids need to be picked up, when the laundry needs to be done, and when your boss needs you to work overtime.
The key to making it work is baby steps. Don't try to give your life a complete overhaul right off the bat. Instead, do a few "little" things each day that can help you achieve inner peace - like shutting off the TV and curling up with a good book, silencing your cell phone and going to bed early, or visualizing a happy, more peaceful life the next time you're stuck in traffic. Things like this won't change your whole life, but they're a good start in the right direction.
So, what happens next?
It won't take long for you to feel more refreshed. And, once you do, it'll be easier to take bigger steps, like:
- Getting away from people who drag you down.
We all have that certain "someone" who brings out our negative side. Gradually remove that person from your life.
- Limit the frustration in your life by doing everything you can to avoid controversy and conflict.
This doesn't mean you can't stand up for yourself. It just means not arguing with a co-worker over something trivial or battling with your kids over what you want to eat for dinner.
- Don't give difficult things any more attention than necessary.
If the boss wants you to stay late on Friday night to finish a big project, it's OK to be mad you're missing "date night" with your husband. However, realize there's nothing you can do to change it. Don't let your anger consume you and ruin the rest of your weekend.
- Get rid of the clutter.
Be willing to throw away (or donate!) things you don't need anymore. Once your house, car, and workspace are less cluttered, you'll be amazed at how much better you feel!
Once you focus more on what you CAN control - rather than what you CAN'T control - it'll change your entire life. You'll start to be more aware of what's going on inside you and you'll feel a sense of balance. As a result, you'll inspire better behavior from others and you'll start to experience more positivity in your life.
Tony Mase is a serious student of the works of Wallace D. Wattles and the creator of an amazing website that'll take you by the hand and guide you step-by-step down Wallace D. Wattles' proven path to wealth, health, success, happiness, love, and more. Check it out now at: http://www.tonymasesinnercircle.com
May 19, 2012 9:58:09 PM MDT
Tips For Getting Your Baby Nursery Organized
By Jackie Kent
Planning what your baby nursery will look like is a big responsibility. Good time and money needs to be spent to make your child’s haven suit your taste and seem perfect. Remember the nursery is going to be your child’s playground and general living space for quite some time so it must have some utilitarian values as well. Keeping your nursery organized is of prime importance to make sure you make most of its functional benefits. Whether your room is as large as a football field or small enough to be a closet keeping it systematized is a priority.
Below we compile a few basic tips for keeping your child’s nursery tidy.
Primary tip: See that you have sufficient space in the room for storage. Enough space for storing things will allow you to keep the room neater. Let’s take one storage area after another for consideration.
- The Closet - Your child’s clothes will be smaller in size than yours or your spouse's so take full advantage of the reduced dimensions, push the closet rod down until it is just a few feet above the floor. Use the extra space you create above for more shelves. You can also consider using a closet organizer to make full use of the space.
- Spaces Under...- The crib or the changing table are fantastic storage areas for baby stuff like diapers, creams, powders, wipes etc.
- Wicker baskets and Plastic containers - work very well for storing Blankets, crib sheets, bedding, bibs etc.
- A dresser or an armoire - sounds far too fancy to be useful but is actually quite helpful for storing things. Consider putting one of these in the nursery while deciding your interiors and furniture.
- Shelves and bookcases - These will allow you to put your baby’s books, toys, teddies and other itsy bitsies in place. Improvise in case the area of the room is little; use taller bookcases instead of small, short ones if the space is cramped.
- A toy box - one of those bits of furniture you just MUST have in a baby’s room. Once the baby comes he will be getting new toys every passing week from you, your parents, your friends and pretty much everyone else who comes to know about his arrival. The growing toy collection can obviously prove a bit problematic to clear up. A toy box is the best answer to such toy trouble. Just shove them in the box and clear up your room.
When trying to organize your baby’s nursery be innovative and imaginative and you’ll soon find little nooks and cranny to store up those little baby details in. Remember, proper storage is the first step towards clearing up a room so don’t ignore it.
May 19, 2012 9:56:51 PM MDT
Empower Your Kids - Organize Your Life
By Patti Keating
Are you robbing your children the opportunity to learn valuable life skills? Moms who do less, provide more learning opportunities and have children with higher self esteem. When the whole family is involved in creating and following a smooth routine, magic happens.
Imagine for a moment your child waking up, and making her bed. She quietly gets dressed, and packs her bag for school. She strolls to the kitchen and puts a lunch ticket in her bag. The cat greets her and she fills his bowl with food, then takes out the trash. You arrive in the kitchen, say good morning, as you both sit down together and eat breakfast. Sound too good to be true? This is the routine my 7 year old happily performs each school day morning. How? Last August wecreated a chart of responsibilities for all family members. Being recently separated from their father, we all needed to pitch in so I could run my coaching business, and the boys could be part of a nurturing family routine.
How to do it: List your child's responsibilities (i.e. make bed, sort laundry, pack lunch) List fun activities (i.e. computer time, bike riding) Divide the day into 3 parts, before school, after school, and nighttime. When the list of responsibilities is complete, its time for the fun activities.
Why does this work? First it empowers kids to make decisions that help them get what they want, a valuable life skill. Next, it is a clear plan, that is easy to understand and accomplish. It feels good for kids to contribute, to see the results. Their pride boosts their self esteem. It removes policing responsibility from you. The answer to the question “Can I ride my bike?” is on the chart. When the chart items are done, the fun activities begin. By mid school year we stopped posting the charts in their regular spot on the refrigerator. Why? The boys no longer needed them. The assigned duties had become well established routines, and the charts were no longer necessary. They knew what to do and when to do it.
Would you like to give it a try? I have posted Spencer and Avery's charts on my website for you. Modify them for your family, and watch the change it creates. Its a beautiful sight when my boys run in the door grab a snack and zoom off to get their homework done!
Copyright 2006 Patti Keating
About The Author
Patti Keating, is a Coach, Success Trainer, and Speaker. To learn more about her and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://www.IntentionsCoaching.com.
May 19, 2012 9:55:29 PM MDT
Sibling Rivalry: 5 Problem Solving Solutions When Kids Fight
Researchers tell us that 36 million acts of sibling rivalry occur every year. Some are severe. Most are normal. When your kids fight, they want you in the middle. They want you to be the judge and jury. They want you to take their side. I remember my own mother’s reaction.
When I was a kid, fights with my brother were constant. We kicked, we teased, we shoved, we called each other names, and we rolled over and over on the ground punching each other as hard as we could. Later, my mother said, “I knew you two would kill each other.”
Many of our fights started in our backyard. In my excitement to win, my yelling grew so loud that the whole neighborhood knew we were slugging it out. My mother, a rather shy person, used the common problem solving solutions of the day. She'd open up the nearest window and holler, “For Pete’s sake Jeanie, shut up!” Then she'd slam the window shut to emphasize her anger. The whole neighborhood heard her. Her shouts embarrassed me and hurt my feelings but they didn’t stop me. Fighting with brother continued almost every day. And almost everyday mom's problem solving solutions for our sibling rivalry echoed throughout the neighborhood.
Looking back, I can’t remember what my brother and I fought about. I can remember my mother’s words. How about you?
When your kids fight, do you have any problem solving solutions for their sibling rivalry? What will your kids remember?
5 Problem solving solutions for sibling rivalry that fail:
- Yell when your kids fight
- Swear when your kids fight
- Hit when your kids fight
- Lecture when your kids fight
- Let your kids fight until they're hurt each other
Knowing what to do in the heat of the moment isn’t easy. What is easy, is letting your own anger explode. If you do, what are you really teaching your kids?
5 Problem solving solutions for sibling rivalry that help:
- Talk the situation over with your partner or someone you trust.
- Come up with a logical plan for handling future fights.
- Tell your kids (when they're not fighting) what will happen the next time they fight.
- Determine to respond with your reason and not your emotion.
- Follow through with the plan.
If you react to their sibling rivalry with yelling, arguing and hitting, you can change.
3 questions to discover your best problem solving solutions:
- What will my kids remember about my reactions?
- What am I really teaching them?
- What do I want to teach them?
Here’s to your parenting success!
May 19, 2012 9:37:28 PM MDT
Goal Setting For Kids
By Linda Jones
You know setting goals is helpful in your life. But what about your kids?
Goal setting for kids is not an unattainable concept. It should happen both in schools and at home, as it helps children to develop self-esteem. If necessary, you should sit down with your children and help them set goals. Tell them that if they have a life without goals they will have a life without direction. Goals can give them the all-important power to find their own solutions to everyday problems.
The children should be encouraged to set goals in the different areas of their lives. These should include:
- Academic/Career. Children can be encouraged to seek higher grades in their studies and to participate in sports. They should be asked to set higher goals in the fields where they show potential to excel.
- Personal. The importance of character development should be explained, and personal growth and appearance. They should advised to adopt the best practices in life.
- Health. They must be taught the value of exercise and a balanced diet, and be encouraged to set goals to improve their fitness level.
- Community. You should instill a sense of social responsibility in your children by encouraging them to take on volunteer work.
- Financial. Setting goals in this field helps your children to understand the value of money and the importance of spending it wisely.
- Friends. Your children need to understand the influence of the company that they keep. Help them develop goals so that they always choose their friends wisely.
- Household needs. Encourage your children to participate in the running of the house and it will make them good householders one day. Goals should be set for managing the daily chores and making positive contributions to the work around the house.
- Recreation. Finally, make sure that your child does not grow up before his or her time. Goals should cover things like parties, movies and hobbies as well as the serious stuff.
You must remember, however, that goals can become counter-productive if they are imposed upon children without their cooperation. Goals should be woven into their lives.
May 19, 2012 9:36:10 PM MDT
Mommy Burnout - 6 Ways To Lose It
By Carrie Lauth
Feeling burnout as a Mom is very common. It does not mean that you are failing as a Mom.
It’s mostly due to the isolation that a lot of Moms face in our culture, as well as the overscheduling and overwork that a lot of us deal with.
Here are 6 things you can do to prevent burnout and treat it if it comes up.
- Find your tribe. Find a support group of like minded Moms. There are neighbors, people you worship with, family, Moms at storytime, the park, or anywhere else Moms hang out. It’s extremely important for Moms to have a social network. Talk about your feelings with someone who won’t judge you, and return the favor. Spend time with good friends, and don’t forget to nurture your relationship with your spouse.
- Set boundaries. Setting good boundaries isn’t just about limits with your kids. Boundaries are something that protect you from being overburdened with other people’s responsibilities. Learn to say no to things that don’t honor your values, and don’t overextend yourself.
- Lose the guilt. Don’t feel like you’re a bad Mom because you feel burnout from time to time. In fact, you are probably a very conscientious Mom who is neglecting her own needs! Be as forgiving and empathic with yourself as you are with your kids, and remember, when you take care of your own needs, you’re in better shape to care for your family. It’s kind of like when the flight attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask first in case of emergency!
- Take care of your body. Eating poorly leads to fatigue and stress. Nurture your body with healthy foods and avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, which only deplete you.
Exercise is also very important because it helps you deal with stress and floods your body with endorphins, the “feel good hormones”. Don’t make excuses! Get moving for 20 minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Walking is one of the best exercises you can do.
Exercise is also good for the kids because it helps them discharge excess energy that they may have from being inside too much.
Spending some time every day in the sun is also a good idea. Sunlight improves mood and helps you sleep better.
- Take a break. Nurture yourself every single day in small ways. Take a hot bath by yourself. Go outside for a few minutes and breathe deeply. Say your prayers, journal, pursue a hobby that you love.
Even if all you can do are 5 minute increments, take the time!
- Focus on what’s truly important. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself that the most important things on your to do list are your children, not the dishes or the dusty blinds. Put everything aside for 15 minutes and just play with your kids. Have fun, laugh together, spend time in nature together, and enjoy life.
The rest can wait. Kids have a way of growing up despite us. And keep hugging those babies!
May 19, 2012 9:35:07 PM MDT
How To Deal With Supermom Stress
By Kathy Wilson
One of the top stressors for women today is what many are calling the “supermom syndrome”. Many of us are led by society today to believe that in order to be successful Moms, we have to do it all, and give all. Nonsense. We all want to do our best as Moms, as we should. But at some point, for our own mental health, our best has got to be good enough. Here are some great ideas to reduce the syndrome at your house.
It’s ok not to be perfect. Let me say that again. It’s ok, not to be perfect. I think many of us hold ourselves up to a level of perfection that merely hurts our ability to be a good Mom. So what if the living room isn’t clean on Monday nights?...you had bedtime stories to read. Who cares if you had to choose a work presentation over your childs field trip...you’ll go next time. Not allowing ourselves any slack simply causes more stress in our lives, and prevents us from savoring every precious moment of being a Mom. Lighten up. It’s ok not to be perfect!
Don’t buy into societies hype that in order to be a good parent, you must offer your child every experience under the stars. Over and over again, psychologists talk about the dangers of over scheduling our kids, but it seems few are listening. It is not healthy for your child to learn to be so busy that he/she never learns to be with and like himself, to dream, use his imagination, or just be bored! Limiting your family to one extracurricular activity per child will help reduce family stress both in time and money. Do not let society guilt you into doing more...after all, this is the same society rules that say its ok for our children to starve themselves to look like movie stars, or to play Nintendo for 12 hours straight. Is that what you want for your kids?
Make time for yourself. Make a rule that you will take 10, 20, even 30 minutes a day and shut out the world. Close the bedroom door, take a bath, take a walk...just have that time to yourself. You deserve it, and your family owes you that much. Do not feel guilty asking for it either! Tell the kids Mom is not to be disturbed unless someone is bleeding or something is on fire...then enforce the rule! Oprah says it well...if your cup is empty, how will you fill up the ones you love?
That being said, it is important to recognize your family as an essential part of your life. Stopping to smell the roses when it comes to your family will help you to keep your life in perspective, and therefore, reduce your daily stress. Make sure you take time for yourself, but also take time to spend with your family outside of the daily chores and running around. Let your children help you cook dinner, play cards together in the evening, take a walk around your neighborhood with your kids. Make sure you read to those little ones every night, and make sure you do those great voices with the characters! Laugh with your family, choose your battles wisely, and savor every moment of their precious childhood...before you know it, they will be tending their own families! (And won’t you feel good knowing what an example you were, cherishing your family as you do!)
Finally, make sure you remember who you are as a person. Not as Mom, or wife, or business associate, but as who you are. Cultivate old pastimes, and expand your world by developing new ones! Learn to play piano, paint, or to speak a different language. Read. Celebrate your spiritual life, and let yourself grow in the world that has been gifted to you.
It is time Moms stood up and made a stand...we don’t have to do it all to be good Moms. We already are good Moms, because we do our best. And that’s good enough.
May 19, 2012 9:34:01 PM MDT
Parenting Tips That Build Character When Your Kids Are Driving You Crazy
By Jean Tracy, MSS
I remember counseling a second grade boy who was a ’Sammy the Slacker.’ One day his teacher confided, “When I tell my class, ’Children, please take out your readers,’ Sammy leans back in his chair, his arms hanging over its back, and calls out, ’I can’t find my book!’ Sure enough, a little girl scrambles over, looks in his messy desk, and finds it for him.”
Sammy irritated his teacher, lost the respect of his classmates, and had no friends. These are not the results most parents want for their children. To help Sammy, I worked with his parents. I found out that his mother and grandmother believed it their duty to be servants to their families. They were to pick up after everyone, do all the housework, and smile too.
Sammy’s mom felt her smiles turn to anger. She understood that she was spoiling Sammy, making him weak, dependent, and distasteful to others. She decided to build character in Sammy by changing the beliefs she inherited from her mother.
3 Parenting Tips That Build Character:
Sammy’s mom wrote out age-appropriate chores for Sammy.
She created a chart to help build his character.
She worked with Sammy to choose a goal for his chart.
The goals Sammy’s mother offered were clear, simple, and positive. At the top of Sammy’s chart Sammy chose this goal:
"My goal is to do my own work and then help others."
3 Parenting Tips That Motivate:
Sammy’s mom offered stickers for his chart.
She developed a fun activity list to share with him as a reward.
She gave Sammy the choice of which activity to share when he earned a certain number of stickers.
Once the chart was created, Sammy posted it on the refrigerator. Sammy’s mom knew she had to encourage his improvements.
3 Parenting Tips to Encourage Good Behavior:
Sammy’s mom rewarded him consistently.
She gave the stickers soon after he completed a task.
She scheduled his fun activity to do together soon after he earned enough stickers.
Because Sammy’s mom was positive and consistent in rewarding him, he went from being Sammy the Slacker to becoming Sammy the Helper. His teacher sent home reports of improvement and, slowly but surely, Sammy made friends.
Whether you have a Billy the Blamer, a Gretta the Greedy, or a child with some other problem behavior, consider using character building charts. You’ll be teaching your child responsibility, self-discipline, and teamwork. You’ll feel saner and happier. You’ll be building character too.