Real Life Solutions

Subscribe

Archive for September, 2009

Fall Activities

September 30, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children No Comments →

Fall is a great time to enjoy activities that you may not have had the opportunity to enjoy during the summer because of the oppressive heat.  Now would be a great time to plan a trip to enjoy the great outdoors.  Camping, hiking, backpacking, and geocaching are just a few of the activities that would be more enjoyable during the crispness of autumn.

While it’s true that you can go camping during the summer, unless you are able to travel to the mountains where it’s always cooler, it may have been too hot to enjoy the trip.  One of the benefits to camping in the fall over the summer is that bugs are less likely to be a problem.  You’re also less likely to come across snakes as they will be searching for dens in which to hibernate this winter.

Autumn camping gives you the best of both worlds – warm days to enjoy hiking and traipsing around nature, but cool enough to truly enjoy cuddling up around a campfire.  What is better than a crisp autumn evening, making S’mores around the campfire, and enjoying the aroma and sounds of the crackling fire?  When the leaves start to change colors and the air turns cool, this is the perfect time to pitch a tent and enjoy a weekend of camping.

You can enjoy a hike in the woods during the summer months, but you won’t get quite so hot during the fall.  In fact, one of the biggest reasons to wait until fall to go hiking is that you won’t have to fight with tons of other people as you travel along the trails.  Not having to deal with as many people is a great reason to wait until later in the year to hit the trails.  It would also be a perfect time to take someone on their first hike.  They won’t have to worry about carrying quite as much in their backpack and the scenery will be a joy to behold.

Backpacking, which is really a combination of hiking and camping, is another activity that can be enjoyed during the fall.  It’s a great way for you to take a day or two to get away from the daily grind, reconnect with nature, and refresh your spirit.  Be sure to take along plenty of water, even though the weather won’t be as hot, you’ll still need to keep yourself well hydrated.

A recent activity that people are enjoying is geocaching.  The best of hiking and backpacking, geocaching is a trip with a purpose – locating the cache that was hidden by another participant.  This activity, however, requires that you have a GPS unit to find the cache, but requires you to be prepared to climb, hike, and hit the trails. You are allowed to remove items from the cache you find, but you are also required to leave something for the next person to find.

All of these activities can be enjoyed during the spring and summer months, but they can be just as enjoyable, if not more so, during the fall months.  The weather is not going to be as hot, there will be less people to contend with, and the scenery will be beautiful.

Motivating your Child to Care about School

September 28, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

Wouldn’t we all love to hear an enthusiastic “Great!” when you child is asked how school is going?  Instead you might get an apathetic “It’s ok” response.  Or you may even get “it sucks!”  How do you motivate you child to care about school?

The fact is your child may never love school.  For some, academics come naturally, while others struggle throughout.  You can’t force the love of school, but you can encourage your child to care about his education.

I always knew growing up that I had to go to college.  It wasn’t an option in my family – I had to at least show up for the first day of college.  My parents said that they had an obligation to ensure I had a good education and I had an obligation to get good grades. 

When we’d see adult fast food workers or someone busting their hiney behind a deli counter, my parents would remind me the importance of career options.  I learned that while there was nothing wrong with working in a cashier position, some people didn’t have other options because they didn’t have a college education. 

I knew early on that I didn’t want to spend my adult life flipping burgers.  For me, that was motivation to care about school. For others, that motivation may not work.  Some people are motivated by money.

Show your child different salaries of various careers.  If she has aspirations of a six figure salary, she’ll need to start laying the ground work now.   Some children may not respond to any future aspirations.  They are only concerned about the present.

You may not be able to get your child to love school, but perhaps you can help him not hate school.  You know your child better than anyone.  You know his likes and dislikes (if you don’t, I strongly suggest you stop reading this article immediately and go hang out with your child!).

What is your child interested in?  Good grades?  Being able to participate in extra-curricular activities? Money? Future earnings? Find what makes your child tick and you’ll have a head start in helping your child care about school!

Self-Esteem Games: 300 Fun Activities That Make Children Feel Good About Themselves. 300 self-esteem-building game ideas that require no special preparation or equipment.

How to teach your kids to express emotions

September 23, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Parenting No Comments →

Most parents will agree that a child’s emotional well-being is just as important as their physical health. Kids who learn to communicate feelings have a better sense of self awareness. This benefits their relationships with parents and with their peers.

How can you teach your child to manage both positive and negative moods in an emotionally intelligent manner? Here are some ideas for ways to get your kids to express what they are feeling in a healthy way:

1. Talk it out — The first thing that every parent should try is talking to their children about what they are feeling, especially when they are dealing with negative feelings. Try to figure out the origin of the emotion. It helps to encourage them to use the word “I” when they explain their feelings. For example, “I feel sad when” or “I feel excited because.”

2. Utilize visuals — If verbalizing emotions isn’t an easy thing for your child to do, start by sitting down and coloring pictures together. Some children will open up instantly when they have a creative outlet for expression. Ask your child to explain their drawing. Don’t let them do all the work, parents should draw and explain the feelings involved in their picture as well. This exercise just might be the perfect ice-breaker.

3. Choose emotionally intelligent toys –  With a little research, parents can find toys for their kids that help them learn and express their emotions. One great example is the Super Special Friend Kai-lan doll. Based on the character Kai-lan from Nickelodeon’s hit animated preschool series, Ni Hao, Kai-lan, this interactive doll invites the child to hold Kai-lan’s hand as her heart will light up in one of six different colors, each corresponding to a different emotion. The doll also moves her head, eyes and arms in response to how she’s feeling, and asks girls and boys to interact with her. When she’s sad, she asks for a hug; when she’s happy she sings the “Friends Make Me Super Happy” song from the show; and when she’s feeling giggly, she makes a silly face. This toy is an easy way to help your child learn about their emotions and how to express them.

4. Lead by example –   Your child is in constant observation of your behavior. So when you’re feeling happy or sad, talk about it with your child. After a tough day at work, have a short conversation over dinner about how you are tired because work today was hard and how you hope tomorrow is better. If you’re excited for an upcoming event, let your child know what you think about the event and why you are looking forward to it. Talking about life and demonstrating how to properly handle both positive and negative emotions are good ways to lead by example.

Try one or more of these ideas to help your child learn about emotions and feelings. If one doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to try another one. With time and patience, every child can learn about feelings and how to properly manage their moods.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

What to Do When Kids Start Cursing

September 21, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

Some parents carefully watch every word that comes out of their mouths. Others let a curse word slip from time to time.  But no matter which category you fall into, hearing your child curse isn’t a pleasant experience.

Whether you find it amusing or appalling, the last thing you want is for your child to say a swear-word at the wrong time.  And most parents agree that swearing is a horrible and offensive habit that they don’t want their kids to develop. 

So what do you do when your child starts cursing?  Here are a few tips.

1. Don’t overreact. If you make a big scene when your child utters a dirty word, there’s a good chance that it will reinforce the behavior. He could use the word again when he craves attention, or he might decide that it’s a good word to use when he wants to get under your skin.

2. Do your best not to laugh. Whether you truly find it amusing or just giggle nervously, this could also cause a repeat occurrence. Your child will see that he made you laugh, and he might use the same word again when he wants to be funny.

3. Avoid confronting your child about swearing when he does it when angry or upset. This will only add fuel to the fire in most cases. Work through the problem at hand, and discuss the bad language at a calmer time.

4. Watch your own language a little more closely. Kids often pick up curse words at home, and if you use them frequently, they are more likely to think it’s acceptable to do so themselves.

5. Take your child’s age into consideration. Children who are just learning to talk usually do not realize that swear words are bad. So scolding them when they use them serves little purpose. In many cases, if you just ignore it, they won’t say it again.

6. Explain it.  If your child has more developed language skills, a calm and simple explanation of why they shouldn’t swear will often solve the problem. If you tell them that a word is not nice, there’s a good chance that they will cease to use it.

7.  Use discipline. Older children who know that swear-words are bad may need to be disciplined when they use them. Depending on their age and the circumstances, time out, suspension of certain privileges or grounding may be appropriate.

8. Consider the context of the swear-word. Calling someone a bad name is much more hurtful than swearing because you tripped and fell. Both should be discouraged, but make sure the punishment fits the crime.

9. When you slip and say a curse word, apologize. Doing so will set a good example for your child.

10. Offer more acceptable alternatives to swearing. There are plenty of words in the English language that are not so offensive. You could even encourage your child to make up his own silly expressions to use instead of curse words.

These days, few kids get through childhood without saying a single curse word. When your child swears, don’t take it too hard. As long as you make it clear that such words are unacceptable, the chances of your little angel developing an incurable potty mouth are very slim.

Additional Resources

Better Behavior Wheel  – An upbeat, fun, and totally unique approach to child behavior management.

Parenting An Only Child  - The Joys And Challenges Of Raising Your One And Only: Looks at the advantages and disadvantages of the single-child family, and offers tips on raising an only child.

Teach Your Kids to Save Money

September 18, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

A lot of children nowadays do not understand the value of earning and spending money. They were not oriented that investing is necessary even if they are still students. As parents, you play a crucial role in this area.

You should be able to teach your kids on how to save money. They should be able to understand the concept of money and investment as early as childhood. This will prepare them to learn money management, as they grow old.

Here are some tips on how you can teach your children how to save money:

1. Your children should be educated of the meaning of money. Once your children have learned how to count, that is the perfect time for you teach them the real meaning of money. You should be consistent and explain to them in simple ways and do this frequently so that they may be able to remember what you taught them.

2. Always explain to them the value of saving money. Make them understand its importance and how it will impact their life. It is important that you entertain questions from them about money and you should be able to answer them right away.

3. When giving them their allowances. You need to give them their allowances in denominations. Then you can encourage them that they should keep a certain bill for the future. You can motivate them to do this by telling them that the money can be saved and they can buy new pair of shoes or the toys they want once they are able to save.

4. You can also teach them to work for money. You can start this at your own home. You can pay them fifty cents to one dollar every time they clean their rooms, do the dishes or feed their pets. This concept of earning little money will make them think that money is something they have worked for and should be spent wisely.

5. You can teach them to save money by giving them piggy banks where they can put coins and wait until they get full. You can also open bank accounts for them and let them deposit money from their allowance. You should always show them how much they have earned to keep them motivated.

Money and saving is not something that is learned by children in one sitting. You should be patient in teaching them and relating the value of money in all of their activities. Children will learn this easily if you are patient and consistent in guiding them and encouraging them in this endeavor.

To grab your copy of ‘Mom’s Talk eBooks Guide to Family Budgeting’ click here.

The Mom Juggling Act – It Stops Here

September 16, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

If you’re like most moms, there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. Whether you work outside the home or at home, it’s tough to balance all your work and family responsibilities.

If you’re ready to put an end to being frazzled and exhausted – it’s NOT good for you OR your family – I recommend checking out the very helpful “Real Life Guidance to Balancing Work & Family” report.

Put together by Aurelia Williams, Certified Life Coach and mother of 3, it’s a life saver for moms who need a little hand finding that elusive balance in life.

In the report she covers:

- How to analyze your time in order to use it more wisely
- Saying no WITHOUT the guilt
- Negotiating with your boss for the optimal work situation for you and your family
- Working at home – finally draw the line between work and home responsibilities

The report is instantly downloadable (no need to wait when you need help NOW) and a concise 18-pages, you can read through it and start making important changes to your life and relieving all that built up stress.

If you’re feeling like you’re burning the candle at both ends, you really aren’t alone. Learn more and grab your copy at http://reallifeguidance.com/balancing-work-and-family.htm

Five Ways to Deal with Anger in Children

September 14, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

Every adult gets angry sometimes. It’s a fact of life. Sometimes we’re just in a bad mood and something that’s not really a big deal sets us off. Other times, our anger is completely justifiable. Some of us have a short fuse, while others rarely lose their temper.

Children aren’t immune to anger, either. Anger is, after all, a completely natural emotion. Our job as parents is not to prevent our children from ever getting angry. In order to do that, we would have to cater to their every whim, and that would be doing them a disservice. Our job is to teach them how to properly manage their anger. Here are five ways we can do that.

1. Set a good example — When you find yourself getting angry, strive to handle your emotions in an appropriate manner. Yelling, screaming and getting violent aren’t things we want our children to do when they get mad, so it’s important that we don’t do them, either. Calm yourself down in a way that you would want your child to calm down when angry, and he will usually emulate your actions.

2. Talk to your child about his feelings – When you see that he is angry, ask him to explain why. Sometimes it might be such a silly reason that by the time he gets done explaining it, he will realize that there’s nothing to be angry about. If he does feel that he has a right to be angry, talking it out will help him calm down and find a solution to the problem.

3. Encourage your child to let his anger out in an acceptable manner – When we’re really mad, sometimes we just need to release some of that negative energy before we can move on. Your child could hit a pillow, run laps around the house, or pound on some Play Doh for a while.

4. For children who are old enough to write, a journal can be helpful — When they get mad, they can write about their feelings. Once they’re down on paper, it’s easier to work them out rationally and let them go.

5. Sing with your child — Singing might be the last thing he wants to do when he’s angry, but it can help diffuse the rage. Help him make up a song about being angry, and have him sing it when he’s upset. This provides an appropriate outlet for his feelings and lightens the mood a bit so that you can effectively work out the problem.

Seeing our children angry can be difficult. But it’s important not to give in just to calm them down. Teaching them how to deal with anger will serve them much better in the long run.

Additional Resources:

Better Behavior Wheel  – An upbeat, fun, and totally unique approach to child behavior management.

Parenting An Only Child  - The Joys And Challenges Of Raising Your One And Only: Looks at the advantages and disadvantages of the single-child family, and offers tips on raising an only child.

Money Saving Lunch Ideas for Back to School

September 11, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Organization No Comments →

Hot lunch at school can become quite expensive.   Figure on average, hot lunch costs $2.10 per day if you include milk with the meal.  If you have three children, $6.30 a day, multiplied by five days, that’s $31.50 a week… just for lunch!  Is it convenient for parents? You betcha.  Can it be expensive?  You betcha!

I’m going to give you some excellent money saving lunch ideas.  It’s important to remember that you must not embarrass your children with the lunch you force them to take (egg salad sandwiches aren’t real popular in school).  You need to come up with some fun, tasty meals that will make your child the envy of the lunch table.  The object here is to save money and ensure your well thought-out lunch doesn’t end up at the bottom of the trash barrel.

I remember a day when it was cool to bring a thermos to school.  Mine had My Little Ponies (the original ones) and my brother’s was Lost in Space.  Kid’s thermoses are quite adorable, however a word of caution: they don’t keep hot foods as hot as the trusty metal and glass thermoses.  Just be certain to preheat the thermos with boiling water, and then put the hot food directly into the thermos.  Your hot food should stay warm until lunch time, four hours later.

Leftovers make great thermos food.  Make sure you get a wide mouth, shorter thermos. You could fill it with soup, stew, mac and cheese, hamburger helper, chili, spaghetti and even hotdogs.   Another idea is to fill the thermos with taco meat with the cheese already added.  Then put a hard taco shell or a soft tortilla into the lunch bag and your bambino is ready for a fiesta!
 
Of course you could also serve cold lunches in the thermos.  How about tuna salad, macaroni salad, or spaghetti salad?  Or fill it with antipasto – variety of meats and cheeses.  Don’t forget about celery and peanut butter or crackers and cheese.  Roll-ups go over well, too.  There are a couple different variations:  Cream cheese spread on a slice of salami, with a sweet pickle inside; or instead of rolling up a slice of salami, roll up a tortilla that is stuffed with ham and shredded cheese.

Forget those pre-made lunches in a cardboard box.  Forget the standard PBJ.  Think out of the box. Economical can also be fun. Your child’s friends will try to trade their lunch for the fun meal you packed!

Honest Parenting: Honest Parenting is truly helpful information that is easy to understand and absolutely works to help you build (or RE-build) a positive, pleasant, and productive relationship with your child or teen.

Bully Proof Your Student

September 09, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children No Comments →

It probably started in preschool when your son was playing with the truck and a big mean four and a half year old just came over and stole that dump truck right out of your sweet innocent little man’s precious little hands.  How dare he?!

The fact is, kids can be mean. Shoot, adults can be mean too.  Why do you think someone created the bumper sticker, “Mean people suck”?  You can’t be with your child 24/7 to protect him from the school bully.  You can’t control what other children do; but you can control how your child reacts. Or at least hopefully you can bully proof your student.

For starters you want to ensure your precious baby isn’t on the giving end of the bullying.  Not only is it rude and wrong, it could land your assertive child a suspension. (Assertive sounds so much better than aggressive, don’t you agree?)

You would do well to explain the psychology of a school bully before your child is faced with a situation where he (or she) is the one being bullied.   The “do unto others rule’ is a good place to start.  You can also explain that often children act like a bully to mask other feelings (anger, disappointment etc.)  If your student isn’t doing anything intentional to egg on the rough and tough, the odds are in his favor he may not be a target.

Only you know whether or not your child is mature enough to understand what makes a bully act in a certain manner.  If you still have “a situation” even after you’ve thoroughly and repeatedly discussed how to play nice and how to avoid instigating any negative playground behavior, it’s time for Plan B.

Make sure that your child’s teacher is aware of the situation.  That’s not considered tattling; it’s your responsibility.  Often school can and should put an end to it once they become aware.  Ok, so you tried all that and it still didn’t stop?  Assuming you already had the discussions about defending, not offending; using words not violence, then as a last resort your child should feel free to defend himself.  While most parents teach their child that fighting is bad, getting the snot kicked out of you is bad too.

If you personally don’t have the knowledge to equip your child, then enroll him in a martial arts class.  There is absolutely no correlation between children becoming violent after attending a few self defense lessons.  Don’t you want to bully proof your student?

With all that said, remind your child that the easiest way to remedy the situation may be to befriend the bully.

Honest Parenting: Honest Parenting is truly helpful information that is easy to understand and absolutely works to help you build (or RE-build) a positive, pleasant, and productive relationship with your child or teen.

Healthy dieting

September 07, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living 2 Comments →

Dieting is a part of many people’s everyday lives. However, diet can sometimes be very unhealthy if you make poor decisions simply to lose weight. Dieting can be healthy and effective or bad for your body, so it is crucial that you learn the difference between dieting in a healthy way and dieting in an unhealthy way. The foods you choose should help your body not hurt it.

 

The first step to choosing a diet that works for you is to know your specific needs. What junk foods do you crave? What food groups do you not eat in high enough amounts? Are you trying to lose weight or gain muscle? All of these things play a factor when you are trying to pick the perfect diet for you.

 

What you can do is immediately disregard any diet that says you have to eat only a single certain food. This is not healthy for your body, as there is no one food that can provide all of the nutrients we need for daily life. Diets that ask you to cut out an entire food group are probably also not healthy. It’s ok, for example, to cut back on carbohydrates, but there are certain carbohydrates that are good for your body and that you need to stay healthy. The very best diets will require you to eat foods from all of the main food groups and stay away from processed foods and foods low in nutrients.

 

Another component to healthy dieting is your beverage intake. Any diet should include at least 8 glasses of water every day in your food and your drinks. Protein shakes and energy drinks can work well for a diet too, but remember that these should not be your sole form of ingesting nutrients. Again, look for balance. Remember too that on hot days you’ll need to drink more water, and beverages with alcohol can cause you to become dehydrated as well.

 

The Weight Loss Diet eBook – The Original Negative Calorie Foods eBook. Try negative calorie foods & diet to lose that extra fat to attain a slim & fit body. This will ensure a healthy, happy and long life.

 

Along with healthy dieting comes healthy amounts of exercise of course. Be wary of any diet that says you can lose weight quickly without exercising. Even with cardio workouts and weight lifting, it is unhealthy to lose weight too fast. In any case, exercise should be a supplement to your diet, and you need to be eating enough nutrients to sustain the amount of exercise you are doing. For example, if you are running or lifting more weights than normal, it is ok to have more meals, snacks, or larger portions. Also remember that this requires you to drink additional water.

 

Healthy diets can truly help you to burn fat and gain muscle. However, be careful that your dieting is always what is best for your body. See a doctor before beginning any new diet.