This piece is offered by Cheryl Conklin, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moving to a different residence brings a whirlwind of emotions: it's exciting but also potentially stressful. The logistics alone can feel overwhelming, not to mention the emotional toll of leaving a familiar place behind. In this article, we aim to transform that chaos into a manageable task. Dr. Robinson presents eight must-know tips, covering everything from choosing the perfect moving company to making your new space feel like a true home.
The Right Crew Makes a Big Difference. It all starts with selecting the right team to handle your move, a decision that lays the foundation for how smoothly everything else will go. Conduct thorough research by perusing online reviews, asking friends and family for recommendations, and obtaining multiple price quotes from different companies. This multifaceted approach will help you gauge the affordability, reliability, and experience of potential movers.
Have a Master Plan. Your next action should be crafting a meticulous to-do list, serving as your beacon through the maze of relocation tasks. This list will cover everything from categorizing personal items to notifying relevant contacts of your address change. Proactive planning like this significantly reduces the typical anxieties associated with moving.
Ease Your Kids' Moving Anxiety. Addressing the emotional needs of children during a move is crucial, as the experience can be particularly stressful for them. Share with them why you are moving and what they can expect. Field all of their questions. Use active listening to calm their concerns. Use age-appropriate books or stories to help them understand the process. Involve them in small but meaningful ways, such as letting them pack a box of their favorite items.
The Power of a Pristine Canvas. Nobody wants to move into a messy home. For a fresh start, ensure you thoroughly spruce up your new dwelling before the move. For this endeavor, you may want to click here for both practical advice on cleaning and reviews on the best products to use.
Handle Home Repairs With Tech. Technology can be a real lifesaver when it comes to making minor repairs or updates in your fresh abode. Various home management apps can help you keep an eye on errands, expenditures, and schedules. To quickly find expert help for your home repairs, click for info.
A Fresh Start Demands Less Baggage. A move provides the perfect opportunity to sift through the clutter that has built up over time, allowing you to start fresh in your new home. Take advantage of this transitional phase by lightening your load; sell, donate, or discard items that no longer align with your needs or lifestyle. This purging process makes the physical move easier and helps you establish a more organized living space.
Don’t Overlook the Essentials. Imagine the inconvenience of arriving at your new home only to realize you've overlooked transferring essential utilities like electricity and water—that's a scenario best avoided. Prioritize the cancellation of utilities at your old residence and ensure they are activated at your new location. Taking these steps ahead of time is crucial for a seamless transition and immediate comfort in your new home.
More Than Just Unpacking Boxes. After the final box is unloaded, the journey isn’t over. Your new environment will become home only when you make it so. Take leisurely walks around your neighborhood, discover local amenities, and gradually set up your daily routines. The sooner you acclimate, the faster your new place will feel like home.
By adhering to these eight crucial recommendations, you can transform what often becomes a tumultuous ordeal into a well-coordinated and perhaps even pleasant experience. The journey from your old home to your new one doesn't have to be rife with stress and confusion. A carefully crafted plan is your most significant tool for making the transition as smooth as possible. Keep these tips in mind to ensure a move that is hassle-free and optimally organized.
Now here’s a concept we can sink our teeth into. Quality family time is (or should be) a goal of your family interaction. These are memory-makers, “Kodak moments,” a sigh for parents who feel like they are getting affirmation, who feel like they’ve finally gotten something right. But what makes quality family time?
There are three categories of quality family time. In healthy functioning families, all three categories exist. There are glimpses, moments, and planned time together.
Angie labored over the kitchen sink, making the fixin’s for a salad for dinner. She glanced into the family room and saw 5-year-old Allison reading to her 3-yr-old brother. She would read the page and then show him the pictures, pointing out how the words captured the pictures. Angie sighed and grinned as she continued making supper. She just witnessed a glimpse of quality family time.
Hank was playing catch with his son, Henry, in the back yard, after coming home from Henry’s Little League baseball game. Mandy was on the swing as their mom walked out to be with them.
“Push me, Mommy,” Mandy pleaded.
“All right, all right. I’m coming. Don’t get all in a tizzy.”
Mandy giggled and asked, “Mommy, what’s a tizzy?” as her mom started pushing her.
Across the yard, Hank pretended that Henry was throwing the ball too fast and it was hurting his hand. Henry sighed, smiled, and commended, “Yeah, riiight.”
Here, everybody’s together. They’re having fun. It just happened, a moment of quality family time.
After their usual, Sunday afternoon, scheduled family planning meeting, the Wilsons finalized their upcoming family vacation. Everyone was heard and each got something they had lobbied for that was within their time and financial constraints. On Saturday morning, they had all pitched in with the weekly housecleaning. Working together, dividing up responsibilities according to age and ability, they got the whole house straightened in only two hours. Dad was actually right with his tired, old “more hands, less work” trope.
These two snapshots are examples of the category of quality family time that is planned time together.
Keep in mind several obstacles to quality family time. While each of your family members need their private space, holing up in their bedroom for long periods of time is an obstacle. As the parent, you might negotiate a block of time where they can be alone. Quality family time is where your children learn social interaction skills, emotional intimacy, sharing, and bonding, all of which will serve them well as adults.
Also, in our pervasive electronics, computers, and cyberspace, kids will gravitate to these activities if allowed. Establish family rules. For example, no more than 2 hours of electronic gaming and TV time per day, and that is only after chores and homework are completed. No electronics (such as Ipads and phones) during family meals. Oh, and eat dinner around the table together. My kids still tease me about promoting “pleasant conversation” during meals. Research shows that, back in the day, families gathered for 15 meals per week, out of a possible 21 meals. Nowadays, families gather on average for only 3 meals per week. Being too busy is not an excuse. Make the time. Eating together is a great time to nurture quality family time.
Achieving the goal of creating quality family time together will serve your family well. Blessings, Jon
Get in Sync with Your Child: The Four Stages of Parenting
Parenting is the toughest, most consequential job for which most of us never have any training. By practice and experience, as adults, we all tend to parent just like our parents, or just opposite our parents. That’s just shy of the ole trial and error method.
In my first book, Teachable Moments: Building Blocks of Christian Parenting, I provide such a source book for effective parenting. In this book, I go into greater length about active listening, when things are not going so well, and I elaborate on the four stages of parenting, when things are going well in your family. Okay, enough of plugging the product (Oh, you can find my book on amazonbooks.com, Okay, that’s all).
Mikey, age 7, came in from the back yard, slamming the screen door to the kitchen. He growled and stomped toward his bedroom. “I hate Devon,” he screamed as he fell across his bed.
“Uh oh, here we go again,” Amber thought, as she dried her hands on a kitchen towel. “What’s happened now?” She hurried to her son’s room.
Here is a choice point for Amber. She could be frustrated with Mikey’s behavior and fire back something like, “Now, you just hold on, young man. You don’t go slamming things in this house.” Accurate, but helpful?
She could have said, “You and Devon have been such good friends. Don’t you think you should go apologize to him for being mean?” Again, a potentially positive outcome, but timely at this point?
Amber chose to go into Mikey’s room, gently sit on his bed next to his curled position facing away from her, and softly rub his back. She waited, saying nothing for several minutes while Mikey cried and then settled.
“I’m so sorry, baby.” She soothed. “Things got out of hand, huh? And you got very upset.” Amber used her active listening to help her son sort out his feelings himself. She used a variety of feeling words with him and emphasized those with which he agreed. After he settled down, she asked, “So, what do you think you could do now?” If he is stumped, she gets his permission to share her thoughts on his upset.
Active listening is a parental superpower! All parents know how to help their child when they have a physical fever. Aspirin, cold compress, chicken soup, bedrest. Active listening is your go-to response when your child has an emotional fever. Also, most children are both stunned and impressed when, after they’ve settled, you ask permission to talk, saying something like “So, I have some thoughts about what we’ve been talking about. Wanna hear them?”
When all is well in the family, no fevers, physical or emotional, and everybody is trucking along, be aware of the parenting stage each of your children are in. There are four parenting stages. You will best connect and your words will have the most impact if they match the appropriate age of your child.
From birth to about age 5, parents want to use hands-on parenting. You can’t leave an infant to feed herself. You show a toddler how to put stuffed animals in his toy chest. You keep your hand on her bike seat, as she learns to balance and ride her bike.
From age 6 to 10, parents want to use directed parenting. You help her think through how she wants a playdate to go. You are in the room to answer questions and guide him as he does his homework. You show him how to weed the garden, prune the plants, and pick the veggies for the supper table.
From ages 11-17, parents want to use advice-based parenting. Tweenagers, ages 10-12, think they know everything but don’t. Give cautionary tales, fill in their knowledge gaps, tolerate the eye-rolls. Young teens, ages 13-17, know they know everything and you know nothing. Tolerate their collective attitude, give them room to fail but pick them up and help them re-calculate.
From age 18 to forever, parents want to use consultative parenting. You have knowledge and experience being an adult. You can be their role model, mentor, confidante. When you see them struggling, ask if you can help. Wait for permission and then give them what you know. Back off and let them do what they want/can with their new knowledge.
This progression of parenting stages helps you know where you and your children are in their development. Crossing stages can be at least confusing and possibly overwhelming to your child. Pace. Ask for feedback. Help them learn how to grow. Successful parenting is achieved when your child enters adulthood as an independent, responsible, socially conscious individual.
Most families have at least one character. You know, the one who occasionally does weird, funny stuff, just to get a laugh or attention. Think of the TV show, America’s Funniest Videos. The character in your home sets up pranks, makes funny faces, and enjoys the cohesiveness of family laughing together, even if they are laughing at/with him.
Eight-year-old Petey was the family jokester. Always finding stuff to get into or a prank to pull. He was a character for sure. Sometimes he would walk into the family room where others were watching TV. He’d move kind of slow, shuffling dramatically, with his stomach pooched out. He would get everybody’s attention and announce, “Look at me, I’m Big Pete.” When all were together, he and his dad would be referred to as Big Pete and Little Pete.
The darker side of being the family character has an unconscious purpose. In these cases, attention is drawn away from others in the family and to the character. It’s usually negative attention and its purpose is to get the family to focus away from anxious or problem-inducing behavior of others. The character’s effort is to save others in the family from dealing with important stuff.
Annie, at age 13, sulked about the house, rarely making eye contact with others, and seeming always to be in a bad mood. When approached, she was quick to say, “Go away,” or, “Leave me alone.” She stayed in her room a lot. Both parents were worried about her and didn’t know what to do.
It was in family therapy that they realized that Annie had been distancing herself in fear of her dad leaving her mom and her mom drinking to drown her marital sorrows. When her folks began dealing with their problems, Annie became more involved in the family. Her folks had assured her that divorce was not on the table. Annie didn’t feel the need to be the darker attention-seeking character any more.
Being the character in your family and the parenting goal of building character with your kids are two very different things. With attention to problems and issues as they come up, parents want to also help their kids build character, that is, be a good person. Effective parenting involves launching your children into adulthood as independent, responsible, socially engaged adults. So, how do you do that?
First, help them learn independence and social engagement by giving them chores. Such mundane, age-appropriate activities as emptying the dishwasher, doing their own laundry, keeping their rooms clean have the added benefit of teaching them responsibility and helping them see their activities as a part of the family dynamic.
To get started and to check in as to how things are going, develop the routine of having weekly family meetings. Sunday afternoon is a good, check-in time when it is likely that everyone is available.
Another tool for character-building is using a large, dry-erase, monthly calendar. Hang it in the common area, kitchen or family room, with the marker close at hand. Being in your family means you are responsible for keeping your activities up to date on the calendar. This activity teaches your kids both responsibility, accountability, and also give them credit for compliance
Giving your children a monetary allowance and contracting for specific, involved jobs outside of their chores helps them build character. They learn negotiating skills, money management, as well as independence. They learn how to save for stuff they want and, if it fits with your values, how to tithe, contributing to the greater good of those less fortunate.
Finally, make time for family fun activities as well as for one-on-one activities with each of your kids. When you are involved this way, you are teaching how to be kind, emotionally intimate, and loving.
Character-building is a fundamental precept of effective parenting. If I’ve reinforced what you are already doing, great! If you are working on it, implement these ideas into your daily family life.
What’s the overall character of your home? Is it a waystation for weary travelers, where family gathers after a hard day’s work, play, or school? Do each of you have your room and your things, leave me alone? Do you have personal force fields, television, ipad, gaming controls, that others have to penetrate before getting to interact with you? If any of these questions represent the character of your home, guess what? Kindness doesn’t live there.
Kindness is a quality of social interaction that can be an intentional part of any relationship. It’s doing for someone else without being directed or asked. It’s being with someone because you cherish that time together. For parents, it fills your interaction with your child with teachable moments of direction, instruction, encouragement, and cheer-leading. It eases drama, makes conflict more manageable, and takes all into account where family planning activities are concerned. How about inviting kindness into your home and your family?
Twelve-year-old Travis got home from school early. After retrieving a plate of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies from the kitchen, he plopped in front of the television and got lost in the music video he found.
He glanced out the window to see his ten-year-old sister, Heather, getting off the school bus and coming into the house. Instinctively, Travis pulled the plate of cookies closer to him.
“Hey, Weirdo, ‘sup?” he muttered through a mouthful of cookie.
“Yummy,” Heather eyed the cookies. “Can I have one?” she reached for a cookie on the plate.
Travis pulled the plate closer to him and protested, “Hey, get your own!”
“Travis, you have eight cookies here. I just want one. Come on, please.”
Travis pulled the plate even closer. “Nope. I don’t want you to spoil your appetite. Mom’s bringing dinner home when she gets off of work. That will only be in two hours,” he smirked.
“Do you always have to be such a jerk?” Heather muttered as she turned to dump her book bag in her room.
Any kindness in this exchange? Not in the least. In fact, it rather typifies the cruelty some siblings endure at home in their growing up years.
There are three axioms I want to share with you to encourage more kindness in your home. First, parents “pay for their raisin’” That is, our go-to, reflexive parenting tactic is a duplicate of what was used by our parents on us when we were growing up. Sometimes that’s a blessing, sometimes a curse. Talk with your spouse about your early days and identify the behavior of your parents that you want to keep, and that which you want to scrap.
Second, you can draw more flies with honey than with vinegar. Praise wins over criticism. When helping your child to grow in quality character, use the oreo effect. Just like the cookie, start with a positive comment, followed by the correction or criticism, and then finish with another positive comment. Your child then makes the necessary changes within the context of praise and encouragement.
Finally, what you pay attention to grows. Your children will not practice kindness unless they see it from you, both to your spouse and to them. Pay attention to the good stuff, and it grows. Pay attention to the bad stuff and, sadly, it grows.
Our children are the emotional barometer for their parents’ feelings. They know and express what you are feeling before you even feel it. Bad stuff as well as good stuff. So, show them the good stuff. Be kind to them.
Find something to compliment your child on every day. Show appreciation when they are themselves kind, either to you, but especially when they are kind to their sibling. Correct them when you need to, but seek context. After stopping the behavior, say something like, “Whoa, Travis. This isn’t like you. What else is going on?” Acting out is a product of their “stuff.” Through active listening and full attention, address the stuff, so that your child feels heard, and the acting out will subside.
Make time for family activities, even identify an electronics-free zone at home, such as mealtime together with everybody’s devices turned off. Be kind and you provide the soil from which kindness will grow.
You are in the kitchen preparing supper when you hear a crash from the playroom. You gasp and then think, “uh oh, what now?” as you wipe your hands on your apron and rush out of the kitchen. You find your 9-year-old son, Caleb, covered in finger paint, with his painting upside down on the floor in front of him. He looks at you sheepishly and adds, “Uh…hi, mom.”
You follow with an exchange about the events that led up to this disaster. Caleb tears up as he concludes, “I didn’t mean to. It just happened.”
The two of you clean up his mess as best you can. You sigh, thinking about how much it will cost to clean and/or replace the carpet. After the playroom is back in order, you send Caleb to his room.
Has something like this happened in your home? It’s an all-too-familiar scenario. What gets into kids that they so go off the rails? I have answers to this question, from the obvious to more severe.
Little Caleb is by himself, bored, and not careful about his activity. Most acting out behavior is solo. Kids are just finding trouble. They may not be old enough or mature enough to take in the likely consequences of their actions. When they play with one another, someone is more likely to ask, “Are you sure that’s what you want to do?”
While it’s not all of our job to entertain and be with our kids all the time, during their time-out we can question their understanding of the consequences of their actions and hold them accountable. Natural consequences are much preferred outcomes, rather than mere punishment. Natural consequences yield learning the impact of their actions, while punishment, both corporal and loss of privilege, yield bitterness and resentment.
More troubling is that kids act out when they are fearful and/or anxious. Their behavior becomes code because they don’t know the words, or feel they have the right, to express their feelings. This type of acting out test the boundaries of their actions. Hyper kids continually test the boundaries. Their impulse control is neurochemically limited, so they test the boundaries to be sure that they are there.
Here, repeatedly clarify the boundaries you are setting with your child, and then have him repeat your words after you. Make sure he understands the limits you have placed on his behavior.
For example, oftentimes with pre-schoolers parents tell their child that they can’t have a fresh-baked cookie “because they are for dessert after dinner. The child will sidle up to the cookie sheet, where the cookies are cooling, constantly looking back at her mother. She’s checking the limits her mom has put on her to see if mom really means it. When mom reinforces her limits with a firm “I said no!”, the child reluctantly conforms. Setting and repeatedly confirming boundaries goes a long way toward reining in a child’s hyperactive, impulsive behavior.
Finally, the more extreme rationale for a child acting out involves doing something to draw extreme attention to himself. This seems counter-intuitive. It’s typically a sub-conscious process, borne out of the child’s worry that something bad is about to happen in his world.
For example, 12-year-old Alex is studying in his room, but hears his folks using loud words in the kitchen. He remembers the time that his dad stormed out of the house and didn’t come home for days. He slams his book shut and lets out a curdling scream. Both mom and dad come running to see if he is okay.
Our kids 24/7/365 are measuring what’s happening in their world. If something seems off kilter, they worry. If they don’t understand the dynamics, they act out. Parents can circumvent this outcome by bringing their kids into a conversation about what’s happening in their lives. Address the worry directly, get an understanding, and they will be less likely to act out. Unconsciously they are concluding, “Mom and dad have got this. I don’t need to make a fuss to draw attention away from their upset.”
When I was 12 years old, my then 17-year-old brother had a gymnastics accident. He fell on his head and broke his neck. He lived his life thereafter in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. At my very formative age, I could have gone off the rails. My brother needed and got 90% of the attention from my folks. I could have been very jealous and acted out to get my folks attention. I didn’t do that, in part, because they sat me down very early and laid it all out for me. They heard my feelings and we talked about how I could be helpful. My fears and worries subsided and I felt a part of the process. That early experience probably contributed to my decision to eventually become a clinical psychologist.
Why does your kid act out? Because he can, because he’s testing the limits, because he’s got issues that he can’t find the words to get out. Be there for him. Be clear about your expectations. Hold them accountable in ways that can be a teachable moment for them.
This is a guest post by Emily Graham, the original "mompreneur." You can reach her at mightymoms.net. Her email is emilygraham @mightymoms.net.
As a stay-at-home mom, you may find yourself wishing you had a hobby that wasn’t just enjoyable, but also lucrative and allowed for your continued full-time parenting. It can be done! Becoming a “mompreneur” (or a mom entrepreneur) is simpler than you may think. Here are a few tips on getting started and overcoming the obstacles of playing both mom and entrepreneur.
As a mother, you likely already have organization and planning down pat. These skills are vital when it comes to becoming a mompreneur.
---Get Excited! Network in your community or check online for inspiration from moms who have already found success with a home business. Get excited!
---Set Goals. They can be as small or large as you see fit but be realistic.
---Use a Monthly Planner. It helps you stay organized by providing a broad view of your goals. Search for something that can be customized: sticky notes, graphics, and videos are all helpful tools.
---Dress for Success. Many people consider it a dream to work in PJs, but according to one expert, “People feel more competent while wearing business clothes.” A full suit isn’t necessary, just throw on some jeans.
Creating a Business Model
Whether you’re starting a new hobby or choosing something new, it’s important to have a clear plan. This means having a strong business model to keep you focused and on-track.
---Work Your Passion. Decide what your business is going to be and give it some serious thought. Choose something you’re genuinely passionate about that also has real potential for monetization.
---Identify your customers. Who is your key demographic? Knowing your customer base is key.
---Reach Out. Once you know who your target audience is, it’s time to figure out the best way to reach them. Options include creating a new customer and/or refer-a-friend discount, fliers, and an effective website.
---Set a Good Foundation. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, when you’re ready to officially draw out your business model, you’ll need to choose between a traditional model and a lean startup. Lean startups are a simpler option that cover only a few topics like your infrastructure, finances, and customer information; this may be your best option in the startup phase of your business.
---Grow Yourself. Enhance your business acumen with an MBA degree. Enroll in an online program which allows you to learn at a pace that suits your schedule.
Working While Mom-ing
Family first; that goes without saying. Being a mother is a full-time job in itself, so it’s important to make time for all of your duties.
Family meetings are critical for getting and keeping all family members on board. Make your presentation and then switch to active listening to draw out any questions. Incorporate a large, dry erase monthly calendar that all can use to mark down all important events. Having your responsibilities written down in a single place can help keep everyone on-track. Family meetings work best on a weekly basis to update expectations and plans for the coming week.
Ask for help if you need it. If there’s a business task that can’t wait, ask your partner to watch the kids until you complete it. You may also want to consider hiring extra help. Learn how to delegate!
Concentrate on one task at a time. If you have a small child, for example, get as much work done as you can while they nap. Conversely, if your kids are dying for some mom playtime, set aside your work and focus on your family. Sometimes multitasking just isn’t realistic and everybody might lose. Everybody wins with empathy, active listening, and negotiation.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is something we should all strive for, especially when you’re a mompreneur. It’s important to not only schedule time with your family and business, but also for yourself.
Don’t let the idea of becoming a mompreneur intimidate you. With the right planning, creating your own business from scratch could be the best decision you ever make — for you and your family.
Submitted by guest columnist Leslie Campos,
You’ve noticed that your child is having trouble with certain subjects in school. Maybe they’re trailing behind their peers in reading, or perhaps they’re struggling in math class. No matter the subject, you can help your child move forward by making time for educational extracurriculars at home. If you don’t know where to begin, you can look to my colleague, Dr. Robinson, at www.thereformykids.com, for expert guidance! Here’s how to incorporate learning opportunities into your household schedule, polish your own teaching skills, and more.
If you want to include more educational activities in your child’s daily life, you need a plan. Planning starts best by calling a family meeting to identify items to be scheduled and then using a dry erase, large blocked wall calendar to put together the activity schedule. By creating a household routine with a clear structure, you’ll find it easier to make time for your children even when you’re busy.
This doesn’t mean that you have to plan out every moment of your child’s day, but make sure to block off time in your own schedule for working with your child on extracurricular activities. For example, you might want to include some time for reading to your kids in your evening routine or practicing music with them on the weekends.
Head Back to School
Maybe you want to help your child catch up on subjects that they struggle with, yet you don’t have much confidence in your own teaching abilities. This might be a sign that you need to earn an online bachelor of education degree!
By taking online classes in education, you’ll pick up all sorts of skills that you can use to teach your child at home. You’ll deepen your knowledge of different academic topics, and you’ll learn about different instructional approaches, as well as methods for encouraging student development. Online coursework will allow you to study without neglecting your job or family obligations.
Is your child having difficulty in their science classes? Try teaching them about the natural world by exploring the environment rather than sitting at a desk. Clean Choice Energy recommends going on “scavenger hunts” outdoors and showing your child how to identify local plants and animals, making your own terrarium at home, planting a garden together in your backyard, or going camping!
Maybe your child doesn’t have much interest in filling out worksheets - but they might have fun with a more hands-on approach to learning. If you want to help your child to get in touch with their creative side, roll up your sleeves and do art projects together at home! Artsy Craftsy Mom recommends finding age-appropriate activities, like drawing with crayons for younger kids or sculpting with porcelain clay for tweens and older kids and establishing a space in your home where your children can make a mess and let their imaginations run wild.
Is your child’s teacher concerned about their progress as a reader? Perhaps your child isn’t reading at grade level, or maybe they rarely complete their reading assignments. Sometimes, this is simply because your child has not had an opportunity to read anything that interests them in school. If your child is young, make sure that you’re reading to them as a nightly habit. If your child is older, start looking up books that do reflect their interests and reading level. You might even want to head to the library together and explore the shelves - giving them autonomy in their reading choices is a great way to spark their interest!
When it comes to your child’s education, there is no substitute for parental involvement. If you’re worried about your child’s grades, you’ll need to go the extra mile to help them learn outside of school. With these tips, you’ll be ready to be their fun learning coach, guiding and supplementing their school work, creating and meeting their goals.
Looking for resources to help your child embrace learning? Both WellParents.com and Dr. Robinson have got you covered! Visit our websites today at www.wellparents.com and www.thereformykids.com for teaching and parenting tips. Also, check out Dr. Robinson’s podcast at https://thereformykids.podbean.com.
Photo via Pexels
Adapted from samndan.com/child-safety/ Kids. They are masters of chaos, and they are our everything. For parents, guardians, and caregivers, keeping them safe is a daunting task and our number one priority.
Unfortunately, accidents and injuries happen, and the most recent available statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are sobering.
By Cheryl Conklin, guest columnist
Remote working can be a blessing. Remote working with kids? Not so much. If you’re trying to balance a professional life with a newborn baby or toddler, you’ll need to get resourceful - here are a few of our best strategies to help.
1. Set Realistic Goals
When you’re dividing time between work and a baby/toddler, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to put in a (good) 8-hour shift. With this in mind, try to set more realistic targets so as not to invite feelings of disappointment and frustration. This could mean segmenting larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks and setting new, attainable standards of quality. With the right compartmentalization, you may even find you’re achieving more in the aggregate.
2. Be Comfortable
Considering the range and variety of tasks you’re spreading yourself over throughout the day, it pays to pick clothes in the morning that you know will be comfortable. For new moms, this could mean opting for a dress with soft, stretchable fabric and a nursing panel (this is useful for nursing and pumping away from home). Hoodies and tracksuits also make for warm, flexible choices, and you won’t worry about getting them messy. If you have meetings and need to jump on a video call, the ‘work mullet’ has proven effective ever since the beginning of the pandemic.
3. Toy Management
One of your best assets when it comes to juggling working and parenting are the toys your child can play with independently. It’s important, therefore, to think strategically about when you’re providing access and to which items. Having everything available all at once could quickly prompt distraction and stimulus overload, leading to trouble. Instead, try to stagger access throughout the week, with toys on a constant rotation.
On that same note, we have screens. Almost all parents in the 21st century utilize them at some point, but too many cartoons can create unhealthy dependency or problems of a different nature. Instead, save this past time for when it’s absolutely essential that your child stay occupied - during work meetings, for example. With tactical usage, you can avoid creating an addiction and still reap the greatest benefits of their being otherwise absorbed during critical work times.
5. Bring In Support
If you have friends, family, or significant others who can or want to help out, don’t be shy about reaching out - as they say, it takes a village to raise a child. When someone says, “If there’s anything that I can do, just let me know,” don’t be shy about bringing in support. Extra hands can be crucial if you want to keep your child stimulated without dropping your work performance. If you don’t have anyone available in your immediate social circle, it can sometimes be worth hiring extra hands (such as cleaners) to carry out the menial tasks and lighten the load.
Ultimately, your kids are the priority. If you’re overloaded with work, you may need to plan in advance when and how you’ll spend time with them. Use your active listening skills to understand their feelings and then problem-solve with them to come up with do-able options. This could mean reading bedtime stories, including them in chores, planning days out, or simply joining them for playtime. Priortizing and a spot of organizing are often the solution for a better work/life balance.
Parenting is full-time, whether you go out to work, but especially when you’re trying to earn a living at home simultaneously. If you want to manage both and stay sane in the process, you’ll need to think tactically about time and plan your routine well in advance.
Dr. Robinson is a Christian psychologist, author, radio personality, and speaker who provides biblical resources and practical tools for better mental health, family life, and parenting. Learn more about his work at: www.thereformykids.com