Happy parents raise happy kids

Posts Tagged ‘Kids / Children’

Postnatal Depression Related to Domestic Abuse

Pregnant woman - does postnatal depression await?

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? A Mother’s Dilemma

Child playing peek-a-boo

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.

Obedience: Should You Teach it to Your Kids?

Child

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.

Parenting 101: Top Parenting Essentials

Happy parenting creates a happy family

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.

Goal Setting and Long Life

A target - the symbol for goal setting

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.

Moving House Made Easy: Food

Healthy food and snacks - better when you are moving than junk

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.

This post is part 7 of 12 in the series Moving House Made Easy

Handy Family Tips: Road Trip Games

License Plate - makes for great road trip games

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?

This post is part 20 of 20 in the series Handy Family Tips

Save Your Marriage: The King and His Servants

Crown

Being in a marriage or a close relationship is the secret to a long life. But it requires effort. If you want to save your marriage, it helps to learn about communication.

On our wedding days and during our honeymoon periods, we tend to be very accepting and flexible. Communication flows, even if we say nothing at all. It is the life that begins later, which tests the strength of our relationship. Slowly, day after day, the conversations, experiences together, arguments and stress create holes in our communication.

This can lead to the destruction of the relationship. In a happy relationship, time is a healer. In an unhappy relationship, time is a prison.

Some researchers claim they can listen to a married couple’s conversation and predict the success of their relationship about 90% of the time. 90%! That is a lot! With the couples that come to do my relationship coaching program, I can often tell from the way they talk to each other or about each other if their relationship is still as sweet as honey or whether they are feeling the bitter taste of separation.

This post is part 22 of 22 in the series Save Your Marriage

Social Media Reality: Look Up! What Are You Missing?

Mobile phones, the vehicle for social media

Technology and social media have become a significant part of our life. Recently, I learned some valuable lessons about just how they affect us and the opportunities they make us miss.

My 13-year-old daughter, Noff, is the youngest in our family. Lately, she has been struggling with not having a mobile phone to take to school. To her, mobile phones are very cool. Some kids need them to coordinate pick-up times or for safety on the bus.

Unfortunately for her, she does not need it for any of those things. She so much wants to be part of the mobile phone in-crowd that she uses our old phones to play games. She struggles with not being like everyone else and I struggle with my parenting.

I have some beliefs and rules about social media and I know I need to adjust them to suit the times. I have three kids and I cannot apply the same parenting rules regarding media with Noff that I did with my first two.

Moving House Made Easy: The New Place

2 cartoon men moving a house

Moving to a new place is very exciting and a great opportunity to start fresh. A helpful tip to make the move smoother for everyone is to prepare them for what it is going to be like ahead of time.

How to prepare

When we move, we are usually concerned with the change in our basic needs and services. Being used to the old place, it can be hard to imagine what life in the new place is going to be like.

If you can, check out the new place. Checking out the new place ahead of time makes it easier to prepare yourself and your family for the new environment. If you get a chance to do that, take note of the surrounding area as well. This will make it easier for the entire family to prepare emotionally.

Visit those places physically with your kids, if possible, to make sure they have something to look forward to.

This post is part 4 of 12 in the series Moving House Made Easy

Ronit Baras

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