Happy parents raise happy kids

Posts Tagged ‘parenting / parents’

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 4 in the series Moving House Made Easy

Moving House Made Easy: Telling the Kids

Snail with a house on its back saying: we are moving

One major challenge of moving houses is telling the kids about it. Most parents are afraid to do this. They wonder when the right time will be to share the information with the kids and how to do it.

If you have young kids, do not tell them about the move a long time in advance.

Children’s perception of time is not sophisticated enough yet and they will just be anxious. As soon as you tell your kids that the move is on, they begin to deal emotionally by saying goodbye to the people and things around them (this is a coping mechanism we all have to manage). As a result, kids who are about to move away are often not invited to parties. People around them do not invest in their relationships any more.

This happens to adults as well…

This post is part 3 of 4 in the series Moving House Made Easy

Self Esteem Mini Course (20): Boosting Kids’ Self Esteem

Woman looking full of self esteem

Every parent wants their child to have high self esteem. This mini course shares tips that help make that happen. In the last chapter of the mini course I shared 60 sentences parents say that kill kids’ self esteem.

The worst 4 things we, as parents, can do that compromises our kids’ self esteem are:

Telling them they are wrong
Expressing disappointment
Expressing shame
Expressing doubt in the kids’ attempts
Fortunately, we can also say the opposite things, which will boost their self esteem

This post is part 20 of 20 in the series Self Esteem Mini-Course

Depression: Not Good for Parenting

Black dog of depression holding a man back

In over 1,100 posts on this blog, I have covered a lot of topics that lead to happiness. Today, I want to talk a little bit about the flipside of happiness – depression, because depression is a big issue for many families these days.

There are many depressed couples, depressed parents and more and more depressed kids. The most concerning of these are parents who suffer from depression, because they often raise kids that cannot handle life very well.

Some say depression runs in families. That is not surprising because I think if you take a perfectly normal and healthy child and raise them in a house where one or both parents are depressed, they will definitely grow up to be troubled.

Depression is something people do not like talking about. I know many families in which the depressed parent is dragging the whole family down but no one says anything. It is very much like having a parent who is alcoholic or terminally ill. Everyone walks around on eggshells but tries not to say anything. Not always because they are afraid, but often because they have given up trying to speak up.

14 Ways of Developing Empathy in Kids

Elephant and young woman touching foreheads

Empathy plays a very important role in the interaction between human beings. I have been working with children for over 28 years and have found that although some kids are naturally empathic and others are not, empathy can be learned.

Empathy is just one of the elements of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). As teachers, we focus on 4 major components of EQ:

- Recognizing my feelings.
- Managing my feelings.
- Recognizing the feelings of others.
- Helping and supporting others to manage their feelings.

Empathy falls under component 3 (recognizing the feelings of others). Despite it being an element all on its own, we believe that it can contribute greatly to the development of the first two components. We believe that anyone who can understand the feelings of others is better at communicating, managing conflicts and generally has more successful relationships.

Proud Kids and Proud Mothers on Mother’s Day

Happy Mother

Mother’s Day was a few days ago and it always makes me think about my role as a parent. Over the years, I have written a lot about being a mother to my 3 wonderful children. As a life coach, specializing in families, parenting has been my calling. I believe we bring our kids into this world so we can learn love. When our first child is born, we discover just how much love we are capable of.

The greatest struggle of being a parent is the unrealistic desire to be superman and wonder woman so our kids can be proud of us. In this quest we are often too hard on ourselves. We focus too much on what we do not do well rather than what we do that is inspiring to our kids.

A while ago, I received this video from my daughter that shows how hard we are on ourselves as parents. I think it is very touching and inspiring.

Guilt-Free Mother’s Day

Happy Mother

It is Mother’s Day this week and all around the world, people take this opportunity to thank their moms for years of love and dedication.

I learned about the job of being a mother when I first had children. It was a mixture of joy and sadness to discover what it meant for my own mother to be my mom. I felt joy because I discovered how much she loved me and how much she was willing to do for me. At the same time, I felt sad that it took me so long to figure it out.

Imagine what kind of life your kids could have if they found out so much earlier just how much they meant to you?

My mum worked very hard to get me to understand how much she loved me. She used the only tool she had, which was guilt. In her time, this was the most commonly used parenting tool. Unfortunately, it does the exact opposite of what it is supposed to. Unfortunately, many parents still use this tool today.

Preparing for Mother’s Day

Heart filled with words about moms - great for Mother

Every year, when Mother’s Day approaches, I think of my role as a mother. It may not be easy to be a mom but it is highly rewarding. Many moms come to see me in my coaching practice. A lot of them experience many parenting struggles. Not all of them were ready to be a parent. This makes me wonder, how do we expect people to do something we do not prepare them for?!

The only preparation we get for being a parent is from our parents. This comes long before we even think of having children, and we need to keep these memories for over 20 to 25 years in order to use them with our own children. I think the saying “we are only as good as the quality of our teachers” is suitable here. Much like in school, you know your subjects well if your teacher was awesome. In the school of life, you know how to parent if your parents were awesome. Unfortunately, we cannot choose our teachers, not in school or in life.

The Beauty Inside

Blonde toddler, still with the belief of beauty inside

It is a fact that we cannot see ourselves the same way others can see us. Firstly because we usually see ourselves in the mirror which is not the same position others see us in. Secondly, because we see ourselves from the inside and the inside is cluttered by thoughts and feelings we have towards ourselves.

The beauty inside is developed by what others, who are very close or important to us, say about us. I have met many grownups who carry negative beliefs from childhood. For example, people who are critical of a facial feature like a long nose or big eyes that mom or dad mocked at the age of 6. They simply cannot shake this feeling in adulthood. I myself grew up in a culture that thought straight hair was an advantage and curly hair was not. As kids, we spent year looking for ways to straighten our hair. It was only when I grew up and met others who spent a fortune on curling their hair that I learned to appreciate what I have. This is a natural process.

Ronit Baras

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