Happy parents raise happy kids

Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Ask Ronit: My Son is Very Clingy

Clingy child holding mother

Clingy kids can be very exhausting. We love them very much but we want to be able to do things without them from time to time. I have met many parents who are fighting this clinginess and they express a lot of frustration. I think the exhausting thing not necessary the clinginess itself. It is more from the fight, the feeling of failure and the expectation that it should be different.

This week, I received a question on my blog from a mother of a 9 year old boy. Mel wanted to know what I would suggest for dealing with a clingy child.

Here is what I wrote Mel. I hope you will find it encouraging. Most importantly, it is not as bad as it looks.

Happily Wealthy Family: Negative Beliefs About Money

Money tree - one of the most common beliefs about money

I was born in a poor family and I think the people in my family had poor beliefs about money. I made it my goal to raise my kids with rich and wealthy beliefs about money. I think I did. You see, poor people adopt beliefs to justify the fact that they do not have money. Because of their beliefs, they do not take certain opportunities to gain money and their situation remains the same. My job as a mother is to keep my kids away from those thoughts.

Most people think that in order to have money, you need to make, earn or win it. I think that in order to have money, we have to have good thoughts and beliefs about money, about making money, about finances and wealthy people. If you have these thoughts, the money will come to you rather than you trying to chase it.

The best way to become wealthy is to examine your beliefs about money, get rid of the bad ones and adopt good beliefs. My strategy of getting rid of negative beliefs is to find just one example where it is not true. For example, if I believe money only comes when I work hard, I think of a time when I sat on my butt doing nothing and still got paid.

This post is part 8 of 8 in the series Happily Wealthy Family

Anorexia: Fix the Broken Body Image Created by the Media

Body image ad: Your body. Your Rules.

Media is one of the major contributors to the damaged body images we have in our society. Once, it was only girls, but now we have more and more boys suffering from low body image.

Movies and magazines show celebrities who look tall and slim, with smooth skin at every pose. It is no wonder people spend money on products to try to “fix” themselves. What they do not know is that the photos they see are heavily photo-shopped and that the person they see in the magazine never looked like that.

It seems fitting that we should use the media to fix the damage done by the media. That way, our daughters and sons can see it. Yes, the photo-shopped images are beautiful, but they are not normal.

This post is part 8 of 8 in the series Anorexia

Handy Family Tips: Color Coded Keys

Three key chains joined together

If you ever see my key chain, you will probably be very shocked by the enormous number of keys on it. It looks very similar to this photo. I have so many keys on there, it has become a little ridiculous. I have 3 keys for my house (two for the door, and one for the screen door), two sets of car keys (one for each car), and the garage door key. When I worked a day job, I also had a collection of work keys, which were even less easy to identify.

While I manage to find which key is used for what (most of the time), I find that kids struggle a bit with it. I came up with a few solutions to make it a bit easier. I have used all of them at some point or another and hope you will find them as helpful as I did.

This post is part 19 of 19 in the series Handy Family Tips

Self Esteem Mini Course (19): Damaging Kids’ Self Esteem

Mom with child by the pool

Self esteem is a very important ingredient for success. I have written a lot about what parents can do to support their kids’ self esteem. Unfortunately, many parents do the exact opposite and do not recognize how damaging their words can be.

Generally, there are four main attitudes that destroy self esteem:

1. Telling kids they are wrong.
2. Expressing disappointment.
3. Expressing shame.
4. Expressing doubt in the kids’ attempts.

Kids can handle a lot of pain from their parents without carrying it into adulthood. However, the four attitudes mentioned above will be carved into their hearts and determine their self esteem and attitude towards themselves.

Below is a list of 60 phrases parents say that can harm their kid’s self esteem. If you use any of these sentences, try to replace them with positive sentences instead

This post is part 19 of 19 in the series Self Esteem Mini-Course

Sore Losers

Little kid on a winners podium who came third

Winning is easy and losing is not. Let’s face it, regardless their age, no one likes to lose. Even the word “losing” sounds devastating. It is no wonder most of us are such sore losers. Most of the time, parents who are sore losers raise sore loser kids. What can we do to make sure losing is not so devastating?

When I had my early childhood center, we stopped using the word “losing”. We replaced it with words like learning, opportunities, testing, growing and evolving. It does not sound like much but it worked well for the kids. It takes away a lot of the heartache and pain.

When we lose, we feel so terrible because we face feelings that we do not have tools to manage. Some feelings are: disappointment, inability, failure, missing out, inferiority, lack, disempowerment, helplessness, and fear.

Teacher Power

World

Today is the first school day in Australia and my 12-year-old daughter Noff is starting high school. That’s it, my little girl is in high school and I am very emotional.

Every year, on the first day of school, we get up very early. Most years, the kids could not sleep from too much excitement. If school starts at 8:45, but they were ready to go at 7:00. It is funny how many years you can drop kids off at school (my eldest is 25 years old now) and still have the same feeling every first day of the year. It is one of those things that time and practice do not change. I drop them off at school and feel I give the most precious thing for me to a group of teachers who will spend more time with him or her than I will. It is not a feeling of neglect, more like a bond we have between us, parents and teachers, that will last for as long as my child goes to that school.

Autistic Kids Recover

Child sitting on a ledge

The first time I heard about Autism was 29 years ago, when I was studying special education. It opened up a whole new world for me. The institute where I studied had amazing teachers who specialized in autism. The institute had a center for Autism but unfortunately, students were not allowed to do work experience there. Throughout my bachelor degree I did work experience anywhere between once to 3 times a week. But never in the autism center.

In my third year of studies, I had to choose a work experience placement again. Many organizations gave presentations in an attempt to convince us to join them for the year. Once again, work in the Autism Center was not on offer. I was disappointed because I felt a pull to work with autistic children, or at least to learn more about them. In a very bold move, I specified the Autism Center as my first, second and third preferences for placement.

Handy Family Tips: Wake Up With a Smile

Little girl in a hoodie

In every family, some mornings are harder than others. How the morning goes often sets the tone for the rest of the day, so the way all the family members wake up can determine whether the day will be easy and relaxed or stressed and chaotic.

Imagine a rushed morning. You find yourself saying things like, “Get ready”, “Get dressed”, “Come on, put your shoes on”, “We are going to be late”. The kids are late for school, you are late for work, you spill coffee in the car, the kids forget their lunch boxes and when you think it could not possibly get any worse, you find yourself stuck in traffic. You end up thinking if only you had those 5 minutes you wasted hurrying the kids, you would have been ready on time.

It is not always easy to wake up kids. If they went to sleep later than usual, or they stayed up late in front of a screen, it can be even harder. The best way to help them wake up in the morning is to give them time. I know it sounds funny but enough time to wake up at their own pace is all it takes. Regardless of their age, waking up at their own speed is essential for a good start to the day.

This post is part 18 of 19 in the series Handy Family Tips

School Holiday Activities for Your Kids

Little blonde and blue-eyed girl

In Australia, we are halfway through another school holiday season. I love school holidays, even though I finished school many years ago. For parents, the holidays can be a stressful time. Here is an A-to-Z guide of what you can do with your kids these school holidays to make the time a bit easier.

Acting is a very healthy and fun thing for kids to do. Give them opportunities to rehearse a play and present it to you. They can make puppets and use a table as a stage. Be a very supportive audience and encourage them to perfume for you.

Beach is a great place to be in the school holiday. Give the kids a ball and some boxes to build sand castles and they will be busy for hours.

This post is part 1 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

Ronit Baras

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