Swimming and Water Tips for Safe Summer Fun

Swimming and Water Tips for Safe Summer Fun

Summer is in full swing, meaning time outdoors and by the pool or at the beach is part of the program. Families with kids of all ages love this time of year when the sun is shining brightly and everyone can cool off by taking a much-needed dip. That said, along with the glorious fun comes the need to be proactive and responsible when it comes to swimming and water safety. Here are some ways to help ensure a safe summer for your children. Swim Lessons Kids can learn the basics of swimming from a very early age. If you are able to, invest in some swimming lessons in your area. Many of these courses are inexpensive, yet the value is immeasurable. Children will learn how to float and swim and how to become comfortable and at ease in the water. They will learn what to do when it comes to being safe and careful in the pool or ocean and they will be more confident swimmers lesson by lesson. If you are not a good swimmer, take some classes as well. Heaven forbid you need to go into the water after your child in an emergency, at least you’ll have the basic skills to swim to their aid. Life Jacket or “Floaties” If you have a small child or one who isn’t an advanced swimmer, wearing a life vest or jacket or “floaties” can be useful and potentially life-saving in the case of an unforeseen emergency. This type of swim gear will keep your child afloat if they venture out of the shallow area of the pool. Even...
What Rules Do You Teach Your Child?

What Rules Do You Teach Your Child?

As parents, it is our job to lay down the law, so to speak, for our kids. As much as many parents want to be their kids’ “best friend” and not seem overly strict or tough, rules are important in order to teach children the basics of structure, respect, and the difference between right and wrong.   Without rules put in place, kids can become lost and misguided, or wind up misbehaving, being unkind to others, and may even get into serious trouble as they get older since they’ve never learned how to follow rules and regulations in an age-appropriate manner.   Each parent has their own “dos and don’ts” they want to instill in their child, and some are more conservative than others. But as the older and wiser role model to a child, the parent must provide clear guidelines to follow so the child can grow and develop to the best of their abilities.   Some adults may feel that imposing too many rules will give their child the desire to break away to find more freedom and independence. However, the opposite may be what the future holds. A kid who never had any rules to follow may never learn how to behave orderly or properly. This child may not have the inclination to respect authority, follow instructions, or obey laws as they grow older. This can lead to a downward spiral if not reeled in by the parent every step of the way.   From an early start, it is important to lay down the foundation for a child with rules they must follow. Young children...
Should You Seek Advice On Parenting From Others?

Should You Seek Advice On Parenting From Others?

We all want to raise our kids in the best way we can. As parents, it can be a task to do it all, let alone do it all well. We want to get everything right, have well-adjusted children, and make it through parenthood without too many battle scars. For the sake of our sanity and the benefit of our family, we strive to parent with kindness, intelligence, honor, wisdom, and ultimately, success. Lots of us want to do it all on our own without the input and advice from others. As much as many people would like to think so, there’s not a soul in the world who knows it all. They say “It takes a village,” and the sentiment is true. Asking for and accepting help from others who can provide insight and knowledge can aid a parent tremendously in their path through parenting, from infancy through the teenage years… and beyond. New parents have lots of firsts, and these moments, while miraculous and precious, can be nerve-wracking and often confusing. Talk to a new mom or dad who has recently been through these times to get new perspectives on what to do, confirmation that what you’re already doing is good for your baby, and get a glimpse into what’s to come next. As your child gets older, continue to seek help and advice from family members, friends, teachers, and mentors who have or know a good deal about raising children. There’s always more than one good way to do things, and these folks can open your eyes to new ways to parent. Especially if you’re having...
Morning Pick-Me-Ups for Tired Moms and Dads

Morning Pick-Me-Ups for Tired Moms and Dads

Being a mom or a dad, especially to young kids, can be taxing and tiring to say the least. As rewarding as it can be, having children takes a lot out of a parent, and getting up morning after morning as the week goes on can be a feat. From shuttling kids to and from school or camp to doing homework to playing to caring for the home to going to work to make money, parents have a ton on their plates and can become easily exhausted. That is why some morning pick-me-ups are perfect for those parents who need some pep in their step in the AM. The activities and workload won’t be going away anytime soon, so make the most of your mornings by adding some oomph to the program!   A Brisk Morning Walk Although you may be inclined to hit the snooze button for the third time, you’ll benefit far more by getting up and at ‘em and taking it to the pavement. Wake up a little earlier than usual and go for a 15-30 minute walk outdoors (or on the treadmill if you have one). Getting outside and breathing in the fresh air first thing in the morning will invigorate you, and the bright sunshine will wake you up instantly. You’ll get your blood flowing and your body moving. When you’re done with the walk, you’ll be wide awake and ready to take on the day’s numerous tasks.   Iced Lemon Water A nice cool glass of water with ice and fresh lemon is the perfect drink to start the day with a boost....
5 Family Game Night Ideas

5 Family Game Night Ideas

Family time is so important for bonding and creating memories with the ones closest to you. These days, as the evening approaches, family members often retreat to their own rooms and do their own thing. Sure, some time alone to relax and unwind is necessary, but don’t let that become the everyday norm. Set aside specific nights of the week for the family to come together for a good old-fashioned family game night! This doesn’t mean sitting around the TV and mindlessly munching on chips and popcorn. This is game night and it’s time to have a little fun! Here are 5 family game night ideas that the whole family will love, no matter the kids’ ages. Even if you can only get the whole group together just once a week, the fun will last for days until you can gather together again. Let the games begin! Charades When was the last time you played a game of charades? Make teams and let the guessing game have everyone using their imagination and laughing all the way. Pick topics from TV shows and movies, favorite characters, book titles, and kid-friendly activities. This classic game never goes out of style and the options for topics are endless. Keep score and see which team is best at guessing… although while having such a blast, everyone wins! “Cooking” Competition TV reality cooking shows are all the rage, so set up a mock competition at home. Perhaps you can ice cupcakes and vote on which family member came up with the best cupcake design. Or you can do a banana split creation contest. Go...
Summer Family Fun Ideas

Summer Family Fun Ideas

Summer is just about here, meaning extra time off with the family and the opportunity to enjoy the warm weather and sunny skies. Longer days means more time to create magical memories with the kids while they are still young and actually excited to spend time with mom and dad. Since the weather is perfectly pleasant and outdoor fun can be part of the agenda, consider these summer family fun ideas the kids will love, and you’ll relish in the blissful looks on their thrilled faces. Time with family cannot be replaced by anything else, so do all you can to spend as much time together as a unit as possible. Time flies and the summertime seems to fly faster than any other season. Make the most of the few summer months with family fun that can’t be beat.  Fishing   You need not be an experienced fisherman in order to enjoy a day of fishing dockside or by boat. Time by the pleasant water and striving for a common goal makes fishing an incredible bonding experience. Even if you don’t catch anything for dinner, the time spent taking in the great outdoors, talking, and laughing will be what the memories are made of. Take the bait and go for a day of fishing with the kids. You’ll be hooked! Hiking Get active and energized while taking your family excursions to new heights through hiking. Find a local trail or just take a hike around the neighborhood with the kids and they will learn about the importance of keeping fit and being alert and aware of their surroundings. Bring along...
How to Improve Children’s Behavior By Boosting Their Self-Esteem

How to Improve Children’s Behavior By Boosting Their Self-Esteem

Kids with a higher sense of self-esteem behave better and thrive more than kids with lower self-confidence. Here’s how to build your child’s sense of self worth.  As parents, we want our kids to feel they are important and to know how valuable they are as individuals. Self-esteem is something children need to have within themselves from a young age in order to develop with confidence and grow into successful adults. Without self-esteem and self-worth children may be more susceptible to develop behavioral issues at home and in school. Children with high self-esteem tend to be happier, better adjusted, and therefore less likely to act out in negative ways. As per Kids Health, “Kids who have healthy self-esteem tend to: feel valued and accepted feel confident that they can do what’s expected feel proud of a job well done think good things about themselves feel prepared for everyday challenges.” With these important attributes, these kids will behave better than kids who feel insecure, are critical of themselves, or exhibit self-doubt. When a child feels good about himself or herself, the confidence radiates from the inside out. Take the time to sit with your child each day for one-on-one conversations with age-appropriate topics and advice. Stay positive in order for your child to feel comfortable trusting you and opening up about even the most difficult subjects. If you give the child an outlet to communicate, the issues will not become bottled inside and then acted out on in a negative way. Encouragement and compassion are the keys to keeping your child on the up and up. No matter the issue, becoming angry...
How to Prepare Your Child for Summer Camp

How to Prepare Your Child for Summer Camp

Summer is just around the corner and lots of parents are sending their kids to summer camp – either day camp or sleepaway camp. If your child is getting ready for a summer to remember with fun-filled days at camp this coming season, before shipping them off, there are a few things to plan for in advance to ensure things go smoothly, and fun is the #1 result. All your child is probably thinking about is getting outdoors and playing with friends at camp, but as a parent, some preparation is in order to make the summer as great as it can be. These 3 pre-camp tips will start the summer off on the right foot.   Get the Right Clothing and Gear Summer camp means getting down and dirty, so make sure you have plenty of comfortable (and easily-washable) T-shirts and shorts your child can frolic around in. Last year’s clothing may not fit anymore, so be sure to do a fit check if you think you have enough clothing already. Don’t forget about socks, baseball caps, headbands, swimsuits, and underwear. A new pair of sneakers and flip flops may be in order too. Some overnight camps will require you to pack toiletries, towels, sunblock, sports equipment, etc., and they will usually provide you with a list of items your kid will need for camp. If you don’t have such a list in hand, contact the camp office and inquire. Camps may also have clothing and other gear with the camp name and logo on it for purchase or given to your child as part of your camp...
Great End-of-the-Year Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Great End-of-the-Year Teacher Appreciation Gifts

The end of the school year is inching close, so be sure you don’t forget the special teacher in your child’s life when the bell rings for the final time this school year. With all the time and dedication he or she has spent with the children in your child’s class, a token of thanks for all their hard work and care will be appreciated wholeheartedly. If you’re not sure what to get your child’s teacher, here are 4 ideas any teacher would be sure to enjoy. With varied price points and interests covered, surely one or more of these ideas would be perfect as an end-of-the-year gift. Teachers are so important in the lives of their students, and a gift to express your gratitude will be gratefully accepted with a smile. A Gift Card to a Craft Supply Store Often times, school budgets don’t provide enough for teachers to have the classroom supplies on hand that would benefit their students and enhance their lesson plans. A gift certificate to a school supply or craft supply store would help relieve the teacher of using their own money for such items. No matter how much you’re able to afford, a little goes a long way when it comes to how teachers can utilize these items to make their classroom a better place. A Gift-of-the-Month Club Subscription A gift-of-the-month club membership is the gift that keeps on giving. Each month, the teacher will remember your thoughtfulness and generous gesture. If he or she is a foodie, opt for a steak-of-the-month club or a monthly wine club subscription. There are plenty of...
How to Get Your Kids to Appreciate the Value of Money

How to Get Your Kids to Appreciate the Value of Money

We all want our kids to have the best we can offer to them, and that often means spending money. Kids won’t automatically have an appreciation of the value of things at a very young age unless we teach them that the toys, food, trips, etc. they enjoy aren’t guaranteed. These things take hard work to earn and they don’t come free. It’s easy for kids to become spoiled if they are always handed everything they desire on a silver platter without giving thought or care to how they were able to get it. It’s time to start explaining to your kids that money has value, and appreciating it will allow them to give even more thanks for the gifts and special things they receive in the future and for what they already own.   Assign Chores Once your child is old enough to help out around the house with age-appropriate chores, assign some duties to teach your child about work and the results that follow. If your child is asking for a new toy, explain that he can get it once he completes X days of cleaning his room or X hours of helping you put away the groceries and caring for the pet. He will begin to understand that in order to get things, he must put in the effort to make it happen. Not only will you get some much needed assistance around the house, but your child will feel proud of his accomplishments and enjoy what he gets in return even more knowing his work helped him get it.   Explain How You Get Your...