Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category
You have gone through the huge process of moving to your new house – packing, scheduling, planning and the moving day itself. The hard part is over. The only thing left to do is unpacking all the boxes. This can be a very long process and will set the tone for living in your new house. Here are some tips from my experience.
My first suggestion is not to rush it. It is best to take time and consider where to put what, otherwise you will end up moving things back and forth from one place to another.
Another suggestion is do it yourself. Some years, I employed a packing and unpacking services. It worked well in some cases, but the unpacking was always a hassle. It seemed like a good idea but they put pressure on you to decide where to put things. It was never the right decision. Unpacking takes a bit of thought, and trial and error.
Postnatal depression and other mental health problems related to pregnancy and childbirth are recently getting a lot of attention.
Many mothers become very sensitive while going through the stressful period of pregnancy and childbirth. They are much more susceptible to mental health challenges such as postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
For many years, these disorders were linked to hormonal changes and the trauma of the birth itself. Recently, this view has begun to be criticized. It puts a lot of pressure on mothers and does not examine other reasons for the mental challenges women go though after pregnancy and giving birth.
A study done by researchers from North Carolina State University, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Colombia wanted to check the relationship between partner abuse and women’s postpartum mental health. They measured various types of abuse, including physical, psychological and sexual, and mental health disorders, including depression, stress, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. They discovered big correlations.
To work or not to work? Every mother faces this dilemma with every newborn baby. I had three kids, each born in a different place in the world and each in different circumstances, and I had the same dilemma each time.
When Eden, my 25 year old, was born, I could not really choose. I was still studying for my degree and working for a living. I had to go back to college and work a month after I had given birth to her. Fortunately for me, I could leave Eden with Gal, who was juggling his studies and his work to care for Eden. It ended up being the most wonderful experience both for Eden and for Gal.
When Tsoof, my 18 year old, was born, we lived in California, USA. This was far away from our families, after we had lost two kids. When he was 4 months old, we moved to Thailand. When he was about 10 months old, I felt like I was going nuts staying at home and we got a nanny. This allowed me to go to work, have adult conversations and keep my sanity.
When Noff, my 13 year old, was born, we lived in Melbourne, Australia. I started a business and she went to a family day care twice a week. This allowed me to fulfill my obligations to my clients.
Moving house is a very time-consuming activity. When things do not happen as you expect, they require even more time, which you probably cannot afford. That is why it is better to be as prepared as possible before you move. Arrange the move as if you are starting a new life in your new house. Here is a list of things to do to make life easy and help you start new.
Back up your computers, just in case. Make sure you have more than one copy.
Find all your warranties and put them in one place so you can use them in case something happens during the move.
Make a folder with all of your essential documents and information: dental records, doctors contact details, schools information, medical records, passports, insurances…
One of the biggest dilemmas in parenting is how to teach your kids to react to authority. The reason this is a dilemma is because you are the first authority figure they will meet and you want them to obey you because you have their best interests at heart. But not every authority in their lives will be the same. And if they obey you blindly, they will do the same for other authorities.
Kids are born completely helpless. They look up to their parents and their lives are highly dependent on them. Parents become authority figures. They have so much power during this time, a bit like Gods, deciding their children’s fate.
Whether you like it or not, as part of your job description as a parent, you must decide what your stance is on the question of authority.
After coaching so many parents, and raising my own kids, I have accumulated many essential parenting tips that I want to share with you. I hope you find them useful.
Take care of your happiness first. Just like they tell you on a plane, you should put the oxygen mask on your own face before helping your kids. If you want to raise happy kids, you must take care of your own happiness first. If you do not have oxygen, you are no good to your kids. Happy Parents Raise Happy Kids.
Be positive. It is very easy to notice what your kids are doing wrong but harder to pay attention to the great things they are doing. Parents tend to take the good things for granted. In life, you get what you focus on and parenting is exactly the same. If you focus on good thing, you will have more of them. If you focus on problems, conflicts, difficulties, bad manners, you will have more of them. If you notice your child doing something good, say it! Praise kids for being kind, congratulate them for making an effort, acknowledge their kindness and you will see more of it.
I was officially introduced to goal setting for the first time in my life when I was 18. I was doing a course at university, and goal setting was a very small component in it. I never realized how significantly it would impact the rest of my life.
Research published in Psychological Science says that setting goals, at any age, can add years to your life. I like to think of it in the opposite way as well: goals add life to your years. The study followed 6,000 people aged 20 to 75 for 14 years. The researchers where looking at three components:
1. If participants were goal oriented
2. If participants had more positive or negative relationships
3. If participants had more positive or negative feelings
Throughout the study, 569 participants died (about 9%). The researchers found that those who still lived had more goals and better relationships than those who died. The most surprising thing about the study was that it found that this was true for young participants as much as the elderly. Having goals led to better outcomes. Goals were an advantage for people who worked as well as for those who were retired. So goals get added to the formula for long life.
One of the biggest challenges of moving to a new house is managing food. Even after everything else is done, in that last week of the move and your first week in the new place, eating becomes a bit problematic. You cleaned out your old fridge and pantry, so you do not have all of your food, and by the time you assembled the dining table and found your aluminum foil, 3-4 days have passed.
One of the first things I do when I know that we are going to move is try to use up everything in my refrigerator, freezer and pantry. That way, we travel lighter and do not have to throw away too many things. There is something liberating about cleaning out cupboards but it can also be challenging. Why? Because you don’t really get to eat what you want, you eat what have in the house. Luckily, you then pack less on the move and throw away less. It is a perfect opportunity to start new and healthy diet regimes. For all those last things in the refrigerator, I use a cooler with frozen ice in it too keep things cool or give away things from the freezer if I cannot take them with me.
The second thing I do is plan our meals for the last week in the old house, focusing on the last two days when most things are packed. If needed, I schedule meals at a restaurant as a celebration. To make it easier, I think of the house like a hotel: there is hot water in the kettle, so instant noodles are a great solution. There is an oven, so oven ready made food is easy, and there is a microwave so frozen meals are also a great solution. I do the same sort of plan for the first week in the new house.
Most parents dread taking their kids on long drives. Without some cool road trip games and activities, many children grow restless and fall into the “Are we there yet?” routine, which makes everybody go nuts.
We started having a taste of this ourselves when our eldest, Eden, was four and a half years old. We moved to Arlington, TX, where we spent most weekends touring Texas on long road trips with another family that had a boy a bit younger than Eden. We spent many hours in the car, but we did not seem to have a problem entertaining the kids.
When we lived in Thailand, entertainment in the car was a hot topic. At the time, traffic in Thailand was so bad we could spend up to 3 hours just going to the supermarket or to see friends. Our son, Tsoof, was a baby and we spent many car rides touring up and down Thailand. Typically, it was also hot and humid.
Through the years, we have traveled with our kids through the USA, China, New Zealand (twice), Korea, France and Australia. We traveled up the center of Australia and down the east coast when our youngest, Noff, was one year old, Tsoof was 7 and Eden was 13. The trip took us 6 weeks and we spent many hours in the car. People thought we were crazy. Taking 3 kids in one car on such a long road trip seemed to them like a suicide mission. But it worked well for us.
It all depends on how you spend the time in the car. So what did we do?
When you are moving to a new house, the hardest days are the last few days at the old place and the first few days at the new place. Most of your things are packed, but you still need to manage until you finish unpacking the necessities.
Pack a suitcase for a week
For the move, pack suitcases as if you were going for a one week holiday. I have found this tip to be very useful. The first week in a new house can be very challenging, because otherwise, you start opening boxes to find things and leave them half unpacked. The mess will drive you nuts.
If you treat the new house like a hotel room for a while, you won’t start panicking when you need something, because you’ve already put it aside. Like in any hotel room, the essentials will be there: the beds, the refrigerator, the tables, the chairs. All you need to do is pack the same things you would need if you went to a serviced apartment: