How To Raise Happy Kids

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Good-intentioned parents usually create happiness for their children by making pleasurable experiences. Jowever, what children really need is to learn how to create and sustain happiness on their own. Harvard Medical School in Boston has outlined 5 things kids need most to build life long happiness and elf esteem:

1. Connections–  Feeling ground gives children a sense of security. Kids need unconditional love from their parents and will benefit from having close ties to extended family members, being apart of school activities, and helping with household tasks. Let them help take care of pets!

2. Play– Make sure your kid’s free time isn’t all programmed and regimented. Open ended play, where kids create scenerios (play pretend) and solve problems by themselves help them discover talents and skills as well as use their own resources.

3. Practice– When children find out what they are good at, the want to do it again and again. Sometimes though you might have to do some gentle nudging in the right direction to ensure sticks to an activity and finishes to feel a sense of accomplishment.

4. Mastery–  With practice comes mastery. When kids learn a skill whtether it’s learning to tie shoes, dress themselves or play the piano, they are even more motivated to take on new challenges.  That will lead to a can-do attitude.

5. Recognition– Support and approval from parents, teachers, and peers from a job well done will reconnect kids to a wider world. When childen think what they do affects their family, classmates, or team, they are more likely to exhibit moral behavior and ultamately feel good about themselves.

Luckily one step leads to the next and the cycle is self perpetuated. As a parent, you can lay the ground work at an early age. Give your kids these 5 qualities and it will increase their chances of leading a happier, more satisfying life.

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Dr. Oz’s 100 Ways To Lose Weight

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I have to say, I’ve always been a fan of T’he Dr. Oz Show’. He gives great health advice and ways to become healthier. He also got brownie points for being brave enough to go against Monstano on his show and say Gmo’s are dangerous and unhealthy. I actually followed his tips after I had my 2nd daughter and I saw great results! Check out Dr. Oz’s 100 Ways To Lose Weight Here: Click

Carter’s 5 Piece Diaper Bag Set: Mommy Must Haves

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After I had my 1 month old, I found it increasingly harder to tote around everything I needed for my 1 year old and my newest little one. My regular diaper bag was large, but packing 2 babies things got so disorganized and chaotic. I would mash everything in there as tight as I could get it. At the end of the day, Everything would be everywhere at the bottom of the bag: bottles spilled out, diapers all crunched up, toys in smushed around against things. It was a nightmare! Luckily a mom friend showed me this set of diaper bags. I had to get it.

I realized that I had bought a savior bag! With all the pockets I was able to keep everything I needed for my daughter organized. No leaking bottles, no crunched up diapers, no smushed toys. There was so much room to put every thing! When I needed to be out longer than a couple hours around town, I would use the littlest bag to bring alll the bottles and burp cloths and the larger one for spare clothes in case of accidents, toys, snacks and more. I would recommend this set to any mother who finds her diaper bag as another world in its own- a messy one at that! It will de-stress your day by just enough!

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Making the Decision: Stay at Home Mom Vs. Working Mom

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There’s always been the huge controversy of which was better: The Working Mom or The Stay At Home Mom. some argue staying at home with your children teaches them more skills and helps them develop on a more fast paced road. Others say being a working mom is better because of the financial stability you are able to achieve and give to your kids. Well, in the end it’s simple to choose: Which path personally allows you to follow your hopes and dreams?

Let’s also break down the facts. Members of the Board of Directors for the Family and Home Network say that research has shown that early relationships between moms and infants/toddlers is the foundation of personality development. Yet, many psychologists have seen no statistics to support that statement. Children who are in quality day care can recieve the same personality development as those who are taken care of by Stay at home moms. Although this is true, Psychologically children do NOT do well with large seperations of time from a parent. It causes anxiety and emotional issues.

As a working mother it is extremely at the forefront of your mind to take care of your children financially. You want to provide and give your children what they need to prosper. This is a healthy idea, but going too far can be harmful. Nobody wants to work 12 hours a day and miss out on their family life. Understand that some women work this much to be ready for unseen circumstances such as divorce, job loss or an emergency. In defense of women who work, most working moms want to be a parent and have a successful career and can often become depressed when stuck on “parenting capacity”.

Even so, every mother is different and never settle with the mom stereotypes between the working mom and the parenting mom. You can nurture and still work. You can also nuture and stay home. Whichever makes you happy and is best for your family, you go for it. I’m not judging. After all, I went for a business woman to a stay at home literally over night. I’ve seen the pros and cons of both and honestly, it’s up to the individual mom. So choose on mommy freedom fighters.

A Lesson of Life From A Child

Sometimes as moms, we are so busy with what’s going on, we hurry up our children. Hurrying to get them ready for school, ready to go to the store, ready for their doctors appointments. We are always hurrying. It is a difficult task to get a child ready on time along with yourself. We forget where the socks are, the little one is missing a left shoe and we are determined to find it before we are late to go anywhere. The kids continue to play as if they are unaware of the urgency. It can be frustrating.

The other day though, I was getting my little one ready (or at least trying too) without success. She had a round of shots to get that day. If we didn’t hurry up, we would be late and god knows if you’re late to an appointment, you’ll be there forever! I was frustrated. More than frustrated. Why couldn’t I do this seamlessly? I planned this out 2 hours before hand, getting everything ready so it would be an easy “get-up-and-go”. Well obviously it wasn’t. My little one wouldn’t cooperate. She just wanted to play with her toys and listen to her sing along disk. My temper was dwindling. I wanted to cry.

I sat in the floor, practically giving up. Then I started to watch my daughter play. She was laughing, smiling, playing with her teddy bear. She gave him kisses and carried him around. She danced with him. Suddenly I felt better. I smiled and was uplifted by her child-like innocence. She was enjoying life. She didn’t know the hassle of having to get somewhere in a hurry. All she knew was she woke up this morning, mommy fed her a yummy breakfast and she had her toys. Life was good. It made me realize as adults (and mommies) we get so tied up in life and hassles that sometimes we forget to step back and appreciate what we have and enjoy our lives. We have beautiful children. We have a roof over our heads. We have food. Some of us have partners that care about us.

I then stood up, hugged my little one and she giggled. I told her all we needed to do was find her shoe. I had calmed down and she knew it. She handed me her shoe and it was off to the doctor, with the company of Mr. Bear as a tag along. Although we were almost half an hour late, I didn’t fret. Yes, we had to be there longer than expected, but that was okay. I would still come home, make lunch, clean the house. I learned to relax and smile. Not worry. All thanks to my 1 year old daughter.

My Decision to Become A Minimalist

Most of us grew up thinking that “rich” meant having alot of money, a ton of things in our homes, brand new cars, and all the luxury items. Everyone these days seems to idolize money, new things, buying the best brands out there. I mean, its the “American Dream”, right? I don’t want the American dream. I don’t want to work so hard just to rub it in other people’s faces. I don’t want my children to think money makes you happy and gets you places. Greed is the root of all evil.

After having a very serious talk with my partner, we decided to make the steps to become Minimalists. What is a minimalist? It’s only having what you need, and throwing out the excess; Living for quality instead of quantity. You declutter your home, save money for emergencies and live with the things you only need. Do you really need those 4 pairs of shoes that are all the same except in different colors? Will it help you be healthy, give you a good, quality life? No. Chuck em. My partner and I are starting to go through our things in our home. We’ve already donated so much to people from the things we didn’t need or made our lives better. We sold/donated/threw away  422 Items so far! We noticed already that the stress of having more is fading! You don’t have to keep up with all this stuff that you bought out of impulse!

Our next steps are to save money for serious emergencies, become healthier by eating right. You don’t need pop tarts, ravioli, frozen dinners when you can buy cheap onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes! There’s so much you can do with them! We are noticing a positive change in our lives and we couldn’t be happier. We have a long way to go, but so far, it’s the best thing we’ve done.

 

Keeping Up With Ourselves

     We remember those “Before-the-baby” days. We left the house with immaculate makeup, hair done up with anti-frizz serum, hair spray, shine serum. Our outfits were beautifully matching, equipped with our accessories and handbag.  Yeah, but now we have babies and with all the feedings, diaper changes, burpings, spit up and house messes, we let ourselves go. Their needs come first, that’s absolute. We run around the house in our PJ’s trying to get everything done on our checklists for the day and then some more. Being in our Jammies all day isn’t a bad thing. I mean, who doesn’t love to be comfy?

     The issue is when we start to neglect our self hygiene. Putting off our showers, not brushing our teeth, forgetting to put on our deodorant. When I first had my little one, I felt so overwhelmed even I did some of that. Then I realized that to be at the top of my game for my little one and my partner, I needed to take the time to keep up with myself. I had to create a routine for myself and the little ones so that way, I’d feel better about myself physically and mentally, and i’d be in a good mind set for my family. We feel how we look. If we look at ourselves in the mirror after a rough day, we see an overwhelmed, tired, dirty version of us that makes us feel like crap if we don’t keep up. If we take a little time for ourselves sometimes early in the day, we feel ready to take on anything! So here is what I decided to do.

My partner wakes up at 8 a.m. Which means my little one hears the alarm from her room, pops her head up and waits to see one of us come out the door. I’d get up, brush my teeth quickly, brush my hair. 2 done. I’d change into something simple, a new shirt and pants for the day. 3 done. Then I’d get the little one out of her crib, feed us all some breakfast and say good bye to my partner. Knowing I wouldn’t see him (if at all) until about midnight that night, I’d sit down and write out my to-do list. Cleaning the rooms, pick up trash, do laundry, do all the dishes, wipe down the counters, vacuum. Of course I wouldn’t do it all at once. I’d break it up into sections throughout the day.

The little one is unpredictable and is the variable. You never know when they want to sit in your lap and be loved, play in their room, get hungry or throw a fit that needs to be attended too. So when my little one would take a nap, I’d take a 15 minute shower to clean myself (sometimes I’d just nap). I’d put on deodorant, brush my hair and teeth again, slap some powder on my face, eyeliner and mascara- The Basics. Then I’d feel great about my self and be ready for the rest of the day, no matter what it threw at me. I would try to repeat this self routine everyday or as many days throughout the week as I could.

I started to feel better about myself and about getting up in the morning, knowing I had so much to get done during the day. My little one saw I felt good, which made her feel good as well. I felt decently presentable for my partner when he’d get home in the late hours. Once after I had sprawled into bed for the night, he came home and gave me some love. He said “You look good darling.” That made my night and made me realize my routine had worked.

I recommend for all our moms out there to come up with a self routine. I understand some of you are ALOT busier than I am, since I am a stay at home mom, and I applaud those of you who work to take care of your family and still have time to get everything done for the day when you get home from work. You guys are all stars.