Child looking through binoculars

Purposeful Parenting – Part 2

Purposeful Parenting – Part 2

 

Hi, Parents!  In a world that craves constant stimulation and entertainment, I have some advice for you. Allow your children to be bored—yes, you heard that right. The next time your child comes to you with the “I’m bored” complaint, ask them to go explore and discover something they can teach to you.  Or you can ask them to create something with the talents and interests that are unique to them and their personality. Allow them to engage their creative minds.

In an article on PBS Kids for Parents site, the Kratt Brothers, Chris & Martin, who host the TV show, Wild Kratts, shared a portion of their childhood story.  They tell of camping in Vermont in a pop-up trailer in a wide open field.  They had nothing to entertain them, so they would explore and create their own adventures.  These explorations led them to study zoology and biology which launched them into what they love to do today.  Something great happened because the Kratt brothers were “bored.”  Here’s a quote from the article: “Boredom leads kids to flex their creative muscles. It gives them time to think a little bit, to breathe, explore, and figure out their own interests. It may be difficult at first, but if you give kids space to get bored, you’ll be amazed by the creative ways they’ll fill their time.”
 

 


 

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Purposeful Parenting – Part 1

Purposeful Parenting – Part 1

 

Parents, let’s face it—with all the routines and interruptions of each day, we can easily fall into a rut.  How about making a conscious effort to teach character traits to our children?  Choose one trait a week then determine what you can do and say to reinforce it.  Here are a few character traits with ideas to help your child remember. Kindness – Take your child to visit someone elderly; Volunteer for you and your children to deliver meals to the shut-ins once a week while they are out for the summer; Hold the door open for those behind you as you enter and exit stores; Be sure to say “thank you” to those who serve you. Generosity – Pay for the car behind you in a fast food drive-through; Take a meal to someone you know who has had a baby, come home from the hospital, or had a death in the family; Have the kids help bake cookies and take them to a neighbor or a fire department near you. Responsibility – Give children household chores—not to get paid for them, but because it is their responsibility.  They should work together as an important part of the” family team” to make a happier home.  When they do their part, have a “family team” outing to celebrate. These are just a few character traits and ideas.  The main thing to remember is to point the trait out to the children while doing the activities—make the character trait a talking point.  Include your children in knowing how to treat others and the world around them.  Make the most of your time to infuse greatness into them!


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Be Kind sign on wall

Kindness for Life!

Kindness for Life!

 

  • Kindness should be part of our everyday lives.  Here are several reasons to show kindness:

  • Kindness elevates levels of dopamine in your brain which gives you a “helper’s high”.
  • Kindness makes you feel joyful and happy, which then shows on your countenance.
  • Kindness reduces anxiety and depression by focusing on others creating calmness.
  • Kindness slows aging, improves relationships, and benefits heart health.
  • Doctor’s research has found that kindness shares the same neural space in the brain as empathy.  The sensation of empathy identifies needs of others, but it is kindness that translates that need to a spontaneous action to offer help.  This is proof that we are much stronger when we’re connected to each other than we are on our own.

    Kindness doesn’t have to be complicated, but can come from us thinking of others in simple ways.  I am reminded of the last day of my father-in-law’s life.  It was Christmas day of 2003.  My husband and his dad (Jim) made a quick run to the local 7-11 for some eggnog.  My 80-year-old father-in-law was bending down to the bottom shelf of the fridge in the store and pulling forward some milk containers—facing the shelf.  My husband said “Dad, we don’t need milk.” Jim said, “I know, but someone will need milk and this will make it easier for them to reach.” Kindness was such a part of his life that he thought of others way in advance. Later that day, after a family walk, Jim collapsed at the door and breathed his last breath.  My husband shared this simple story at his funeral.

    I am also reminded of something my Pastor shared one Sunday.  He was talking about people who apply for a position at the church.  He said that before someone is to arrive, he places trash on the grounds, then watches out his office window as the candidate arrives and walks on that path to come into the building.  Do they care enough to pick up the trash right in their pathway when no one is looking?  If so, this shows kindness and strength of character.  It gives them an edge when considering who will get the job.

    Plan a kind act today, practice kindness so it is a part of who you are everyday!  Your kindness will spread to others.  Kind acts affect 3—the doer (you), the recipient, and the witness.  All are inspired to keep kindness going, and that can be world-changing!

     

     


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Child coloring with Crayons

Back to School–Decrease the Stress

Back to School–Decrease the Stress

For most kids, school has begun, so let’s try to transition out of the lazy days of summer hangover. Here are a few tips:

  • Proper sleep is important for everyone. Set a reasonable bedtime then create an atmosphere of winding down. This will mean cutting out screen use during a specific time before bed. TV, gaming, and IPads are too stimulating for wind-down time. Bedtime stories and reading are great calming activities.
  • Pre-pack both the backpack and the lunchbox. This will ensure that all books, binders, permission slips, and homework get in the backpack. It will also eliminate having to think about lunch during your morning when you’re trying to get everyone out of the house on time.
  • Pre-plan your child’s clothing. Try having outfits (top, bottoms, socks and underwear) already matched and in an individual cubby. You can match everything right out of the laundry to place into the cubbies. This way, your child can have a choice of what to wear, and you can rest in the fact it will match. A great product to achieve this is Whitmore over the door shoe organizer. It has 26 cubbies. You could put pajamas on one side and outfits on the other or 2 children could easily share one with 13 cubbies each.

A good night’s rest and pre-planning the daily routine will set your children up for a productive school day! Less stress equals more success!

 


 

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