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Archive for January, 2009

Organizing Your Kids’ Rooms

January 30, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

One of the biggest battles in any home is getting the kids to clean their rooms.  If you build in success, by providing them the tools, it’ll make it easier on everyone. 

When selecting the storage for your child’s room, be sure that it’s something that the child can use.  There are tons of options, from plastic storage bins, the fold up cardboard under-bed boxes and drawers and build-it-yourself furniture, and don’t forget garage sales.  Take your child with you when getting new storage, to make sure it will be user friendly.

Younger children have trouble opening heavy dresser drawers, so consider using cardboard box storage, or open stacking baskets.   Use the dressers for out of season clothes until they are older.  Put stickers on the drawers to show what goes in each one, so they can start learning to put away their own clothes. You can find a wide variety of stickers in scrap booking supplies.

Clear plastic bins are great for toys.  The lids are usually easy to work and the children can see what’s in the box.  It’s also fun to label the storage with bright pictures of what goes in each box.  Stuffed animals can multiply like rabbits, but storing them on a Velcro covered pole is fun and helps decorate the room.  A large decorative laundry basket can make good storage for the stuffed animals as well.

By sorting the toys into groups, and storing some in either the basement or garage, you can limit the amount of toys in their rooms at one time.  Rotate which toys they have once a month or so, helping limit boredom with the toys.  This is also a good time to sort out the things the kids no longer play with or have gotten too old for, and either pass things on or have a garage sale.

For more free information on getting organized – visit http://reallifesolutions.net/personal/getorganized.html

 

How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry

January 28, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Parenting No Comments →

Sibling rivalry is common among children. Many times when introducing a new baby into a family, the existing child will display feelings of jealousy. Even established families, with two or more children, frequently deal with rivalry between siblings.

As a parent dealing with this rivalry, you should not expect your children to overcome sibling rivalry and jealousy overnight. This is something that usually needs to be addressed on an ongoing basis, especially as your children grow older.

One way to help your children overcome their feelings of jealousy is to spend special time with each child individually. By sharing in quality time with each child on a one-on-one basis, you let them know that they are not in competition with each other.

When you a forced to referee, allow each child a turn to speak. Listen to their opinions and give each child time to speak. Many times sibling rivalries can be easily resolved by just offering an ear. Frustrated children may not always know how to express their frustrations without becoming irritated. Teach them to use their words to express their feelings to you and each other.

Above all, never take sides. The last thing you want to do is give one the idea that you are more partial to him than another. This will only lead to even more sibling jealousy and just escalate the situation even more.

Lastly, help your children by offering them a simple solution. Even better, offer them questions to make them think about the conflict and come up with their own solution. Don’t just focus on breaking apart a war of the words between your children. Make sure their conflict ends in a resolution with a plan to follow for the future.

Visit http://www.reallifesolutions.net/family/parenting.html for more tips on parenting.

Does your motivation need a kick in the pants?

January 26, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

Personal motivation is what gets most people up out of bed each morning and off to tackle the day.

In order to develop personal motivation, you have to feel good about yourself. Self motivation is something that is inside of you and sometimes when you feel down it is hard to get motivated, particularly if you have experienced a failure. Laughter is the best medicine and when you learn to laugh at your mistakes, you are also learning the first rule of personal motivation – Don’t accept failure, keep going.

For more tips on self motivation, visit http://reallifesolutions.net/personal/motivational.html

Take Care,
Aurelia Williams
P.S. I am offering a 20% discount on any of my coaching packages for you or a loved one. You can view the packages here http://www.reallifecoaching.net/packages.shtml Be sure to mention this special when you sign up! 

P.S. A Clear-Cut Step-by-Step Action Guide Is Here to Help You Claim the Happiness That You Deserve: http://www.reallifecoaching.net/journeytojoy.shtml

The Importance of “Family Time”

January 24, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Mommy Rambles, Parenting 1 Comment →

As a parent, you are familiar with the concept of “family time,” but have you ever sat down and thought about why it is important and the benefits it brings to both you and your children’s lives?

Many of today’s families are very busy. Most households need two incomes to survive. Some parents even hold down two or more jobs in order to make ends meet. Many parents feel out of balance when it comes to their working and family time.

These feelings can lead to stress and anxiety. As you know, stress and anxiety lead to other health problems, such as head aches, irritability, depression, high blood pressure, and other ailments.

The time your children spend with you gives them many benefits. Spending time as a family provides your children with feelings of love, support, security and safety.

The various activities you engage in during family time provide your children with opportunities to learn new behaviors and skills. For example, teach younger children the alphabet by making a game out of it. If your elementary age child is learning about pollination, go for a walk and point out the many types of flowers you find.

Spending time with your middle school and high school aged children allows you to stay connected with them and to help them ward off peer pressure. When your child feels a connection to you and the morals you have taught them, they won’t have a high need for acceptance from peers. Your teen will be able to take pride in themselves and stand up for their own convictions.

Spending time together as a family can also be beneficial to your marriage. It’s no secret that the nation’s divorce rate is quite high. Family time isn’t just about a parent spending time with their children; it’s also about spouses spending time together. When both partners are actively making time for one another, the marriage will be stronger and less likely to fold.

While the importance of family time is clear; it isn’t always easy to find the time needed to enjoy family time. There are resources to help you, such as the report “Real Life Guidance: <a target=”_blank” href=”http://reallifeguidance.com/family-time.html”><strong>Finding More Family Time</strong></a>.” This report goes over many ways to help you find more family time and it also provides some fun (and inexpensive) ideas for how to spend your time together

Quick & Easy Dinner Ideas

January 22, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

I know 1st hand how frustrating it is return home after a busy day then slave over the stove or to rummage through the cabinets when you have hungry, impatient tummys waiting.  Visit http://reallifesolutions.net/personal/quick-dinner-ideas.html for your quick and easy dinner ideas.

A nice tie into this is learning how to do a little meal planning so that you actually spend less time cooking and more time really enjoying yourself and your familly. I am an avid meal planner and wrote this easy to follow article on how you too can plan your meals and free up your precious time: http://reallifesolutions.net/personal/meal-planning.html

As you know, I love hearing your feedback. Do you have any of your own personal tips that you’d like to share with me?  If so, just e-mail me and I am all ears :)

Here is a great resource – The Healthy Express Cookbook: 101 Fresh, Light & Quick Dinners.  Offers you healthy, home-cooked meals that are super fast to prepare — visit http://reallifesolutions.net/Cookbook.HTML to learn more

Here’s How To Boost Your Teens Self Esteem

January 20, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Teenagers 1 Comment →

Many people suffer from self-esteem issues.  Teens are often more effected by esteem issues. They are going through changes, both physically and mentally. This can radically effect how they view them selves and their capabilities – and your ability to understand what they’re going through can help a lot.

Self-esteem is more than how a teen views their appearance.  It is how they view themselves as a whole. It could be how they see themselves in academics, sports or performance based activities. Doing well in these areas can build self-esteem, but may not be the case.  Many teens that are outstanding in these fields and are judged good looking by their peers can suffer from self-esteem issues.  It is in how they view themselves and their performance.

Help a teen improve their self-esteem gradually.  Radical highs and lows can result in depression or other problems. Show them that they can feel good about themselves as a whole.

Self-esteem issues may be reflections of how adults around them behave.  Think of your own behaviors. If you are constantly brow beating yourself your teen sees this.  They notice that you only seem to point out your negatives.  They will emulate this learned behavior.  Start by having a healthier self-esteem level yourself.

Show them that body image isn’t the key to everything.  A teen that has low self-esteem due to looks, weight or other physical features may be resistant to these.  The teenage years are one of adjustment.  They are learning to be comfortable in their own skins.  We live in a society that endorses beauty and thinness as the things to be.  Teens, even those that fit this model, struggle with this.  Teach teens that difference is what makes the world a more enjoyable place. Show them we don’t all need to look like we belong on the cover of a magazine to be beautiful.  It comes from within. This is an issue we all need to get comfortable with, not just today’s youth.

Help them to celebrate their success and forgive their shortcomings.  If they do well on a test give them praise. If they don’t do well show them that is ok too, that they can forgive themselves and move on.  Consider all areas, not just academic, sports, clubs and other activities, no matter how small should be included.  Encourage them to try new things as well. Even if they fail, they are better for trying.

Learning to deal with criticism is part of growing up.  Teach your child that constructive criticism is good, but always balance criticism with praise.  A growing youth needs to know they do things well.  This will help balance out the negative they may be getting.

Most of all be there for your teenager.  A teenager with the love and support of family and friends often has higher self-esteem.  If they are secure in this area, they are often more secure in other areas. Knowing that you are unconditionally accepted does a lot for a teenager.

Be aware of the signs of low self-esteem in your teen.  Low self-esteem can lead to depression, eating disorders, alcoholism or other problems.  Making yourself aware will help you know when your teen may need professional help.

Developing a strong sense of self and healthy self-esteem will get a person far in life.  Helping your teen develop this is one of the best things that you can provide.  Lead by example, give plenty of praise and show them they are wonderful worthwhile person are good first steps.

Need More Help?
Teens don’t come with an instruction manual, but you can certainly find the guidance to help you understand your teen. Click here to find out more about the Real Life Guidance to Understanding Your Teen and get instant access to your practical guide.

Get Organized: Daily Routines

January 18, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization 3 Comments →

Apparently Americans are an unorganized lot because there’s a lot of talk, both online and offline, about how to get organized.  You’ll find magazines with featured articles about it and television shows devoted to nothing but organizing your home.  If you listen to many of these sources, you’ll find that one of the easiest ways to get organized is with a daily routine.

What is a daily routine and how can it help you get organized?  A routine is another word for a habit.  It’s something you’ve done much the same way for so long that you don’t even have to think about it anymore.  You can easily create a routine for getting organized.  Let’s look at the concept and see how it can be used to get your home organized.

Bedtime routine – Take 20 minutes to work in one area of the house:

1.  Kitchen – Waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes is enough to make anyone dread getting up in the morning.  Before you go to bed, make sure your dishes are done.  Either wash them by hand or start the dishwasher.
2.  Living room – Pick up anything that doesn’t belong in that room and take it where it goes. 
3.  Bathroom – Make sure all clothes and towels are picked up off the floor and put into the laundry.
4.  Bedroom – Put your clothes into the laundry and pick out your clothes for the next day.

Take some time to plan your day.  Think about what you have to do tomorrow and write down anything else you may remember.  This will give you a chance to clear your brain and allow you to sleep better.

Morning routine – This will help you get your day off to a good start.

1.  Empty the dishwasher.
2.  Make breakfast, washing dishes as you go.  When you’re done eating, put dishes into the dishwasher to start later.
3.  Check your calendar to make sure you’re aware of any appointments.
4.  Thaw a frozen dinner by putting it in the refrigerator.
5.  Start a load of laundry.

Afternoon routine – If you’re at home during the day, use the time to clean areas you may not have gotten to earlier.  Dry, fold, and put away the load of clothes you washed earlier.  You may want to take time to make a tentative schedule of when you’ll complete other weekly cleaning.

The more things you can create a routine for when cleaning and organizing your home, the better.  Routines, when they’re done often enough, become second nature to you and you don’t have to think about what to do next.  Take the time to create your own and then get organized with daily routines.

Free Download to Make Your Blogging a Whole Lot Easier

January 16, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Working From Home No Comments →

As many of you know, I love to blog.  The Real Life Solutions blog has been up and running for over 3 years.  Blogs can be used in marketing, to share information, and can even be a used as an online business opportunity.  If you’re a blogger (or want to be one) and are looking for ways to create more content, traffic and income opportunities for your blog – this free report is going to come in handy. 

It’s called: “Fire Up Your Blog with PLR Content”

It explains 6 attractive benefits to using PLR (private label rights) content with your blogging, 12 creative ideas for using PLR and more. It’s a quick, powerful and easy to follow 3 page report with plenty of ideas you can use right away.

Click here to download yours

*This is a PDF document and you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to view it. If you don’t have this software, you can get it here.  
 

Games For the Kids in All of Us

January 15, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Just for Fun 2 Comments →

Games For the Kids in All of Us
Do you remember playing games as a child that you absolutely loved to play?  You may still long to play your favorite game even though you’ve grown up.  There’s nothing that says you can’t still enjoy your childhood favorites.  If you’re looking for things to do on New Year’s Eve, here are some games for the kid in all of us.

Twister – Twister became popular in the late 1960s when Eva Gabor played the game on national television with Johnny Carson.  This is the first game that was created that used the human body as a part of the game.  While the game may be played with more than two people, it gets increasingly difficult when there are more than four.

Twister is played by placing your hands and feet on specific colored circles on the plastic playing mat.  If you’re planning on playing Twister for your New Year’s Eve party, you can either purchase more than one game so more people can play, or everyone can wait their turn.  Why not have a Twister tournament and get everyone involved?

Scavenger Hunt – Scavenger Hunt is another game that children have always loved playing.  If you’re hosting the party, you are the one who makes up the list of objects to find.  You don’t have to stay at your home to play.  Update the game by having enough video cameras or digital cameras available for the number of teams you’ll have. 

Get children and teens involved in this updated scavenger hunt game.  When planning the list, have the teams find specific items that are common to each age group.  Ask the groups to find the items on the list and take a photo or video of each one; that’s how they document what they’ve found on their list.  You may also want them to include some items that the teams actually have to bring back to your home in order to win.

Monopoly – Break out some of the older board games that you used to enjoy as a child.  Monopoly is one game that has been popular for many years.  There are updated versions of the game that are different from the classic game, but the premise is still the same.  This game can be played by several age groups at once so children can play with adults as long as the adults don’t mind. 

You don’t have to give up playing your favorite games from childhood when you get older.  Take the time on New Year’s Eve to reach back to your childhood and play one of these games for the kids in all of us.  You’ll have fun and may find that you’re still a bigger kid than you thought you were.

Family Budget

January 13, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Goals, Organization 1 Comment →

Family finances are an area that each family needs to examine each year without fail.  If there is no budget in place, a family can quickly find themselves going into debt.  Getting out of debt is a resolution individuals make each year, but as a family, this can be accomplished with more help.

Kids are not left out of the budget process.  Kids who aren’t old enough to have a job spend money, too.  They get allowance money.  In order to receive their allowance money, they need to complete their chores each week.  Uncompleted chores mean no allowance money at the end of the week. 

Set up a family budget at the end of the year.  Use a family meeting time to tackle this big job.  Each family member should come prepared to discuss their spending habits and ways to make changes in order to save money. 

It is never too early to expose children to fiscal responsibility.  Teaching them to manage money at a young age prepares them for life on their own. 

Budget guidelines

Make a list of the monthly family expenses.  This includes any expenses for the kids that occur each month like school lunches and clothing.  Estimate the monthly gas bill and allowances for the kids as well.  Now that you know the expenses you incur each month, you can look at the money coming in to cover those bills.

For a family, there needs to be a “rainy day” fund.  This money is set aside for car repairs, hospital bills, and other emergencies that cannot be predicted but usually happen.  The fund is equal to at least two months salary for the working moms and dads in the household. 

Preparing a better budget

Now that the family knows where they stand, they can move forward.  The first thing to do is to find ways to cut expenses.  Consider the utility bills.  Turning off lights when you leave a room and keeping the thermostat at a constant temperature make a difference in the electricity bill over time.  The summer and winter are the times when the electricity is most expensive.  Use ceiling fans, window fans, and gas log fireplaces to cut cooling and heating bills.

Carpooling is a way to lower the automobile gas bill.  Take turns shuttling the kids to sports practices with other parents in the neighborhood.  Try to make all of the necessary stops while you are already out in the car instead of making several trips in the same day. 

Families with children spend a lot of money on the grocery bill.  Get a list of what everyone’s favorite foods are and plan a trip to the grocery store.  Shop with coupons and buy items on special if you need them.  Purchase enough food for a month.  One trip may cost a few hundred dollars, but visiting the grocery store once or twice each week and the fast food restaurant adds up to more than that if you total the receipts.  Let the cost of the grocery trip be the amount that you budget for food each month to start.

The same tips for sticking to other family resolutions apply to the family budget as well.  Reward the family when they learn to save more money.  Take the family out for dinner and a movie.  No one said that a family couldn’t eat out every once in a while.  When it is earned, the food tastes so much better.  If every family member sacrifices a little, the entire family benefits.

What are Your Family’s Goals and Resolutions for the New Year?

Family resolutions not only keep the family together, but allow for a closer unit. Working, playing, and praying together increases the family bond and affords everyone in the family to have a voice, to look out for each other and to care for each other. No matter what the circumstance, having family goals is a cohesive effort than can truly be the catalyst that effects change.  In addition, when an entire family resolves to make those changes it serves to strengthen the family unit as well.

More importantly, families that commit to resolutions each year will experience a lifetime of memories. 

Visit Real Life Solutions Personal Finances Page – It is your resource for articles and information on managing your business and personal finances, saving money and living debt free. From Grocery Money Saving Tips to Saving for a College education, you will find many resources for your personal finances here financial resources here.