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6 Cheap But Fun Family Ideas

January 29, 2013 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children, Healthy Living, Just for Fun No Comments →

With the economy suffering, and most people finding it harder than ever to make ends meet, keeping the kids entertained isn’t always easy. Whether your kids are young or well into their teens, they’ll often turn to you for ways to be entertained. If you’re running out of ideas, here are 6 cheap but fun ideas to keep you going.

Family Games: Games are some of the best sources of fun for the whole family. Board games are an excellent example. If you’ve got any board games lying around, get them out and give them a whirl. Games like these encourage interaction between family members and help with bonding, which we often find ourselves doing too little of these days.

Apart from board games, other alternatives include card games (cards are readily available and cheap to get hold of. If you don’t know any good card games, it’s also easy to find the rules for some on the internet) and activities like charades. Family games are great for children of all ages – even teenagers will often take part (with a bit of resistance to begin with!)

Build Camps: For younger kids, something fun to do is building indoor camps. Get some clothes pegs, some strings, and some bed sheets and you can help your kids build their own bedroom camp. Once built, kids will often play in these for hours. Many kids also love to sleep over in their own home-built camp.

Arts And Crafts: This is a classic, but it’s a great option because arts and crafts can be really cheap. Why not go on a walk with your kids and get them to collect interesting sticks, stones, shells, feathers etc. Once home, you can get them to string them together to form hanging ornaments, or use them to decorate home-made picture frames and so on.

Playing Ball: Another classic, ball games are great when the weather is good. Balls are cheap, and generally provide a lot of entertainment, as well as giving kids (including teenagers) a chance to blow off steam, use up energy and get some exercise all at once.

Invite Friends Round: Let your kids invite a few friends over for the day. It’s true that sometimes a group of kids can end up causing a riot, but generally things don’t get out of hand and your kids will always have a lot of fun with a few friends around. The more friends there are, the more easily they come up with their own (usually free) entertainment. It’s a winning solution. And, if you really want to make the most of the opportunity, why not let your kids plan a feast and have their friends each bring something along to eat?

Get Cooking: Some kids will be more resilient to this idea than others, but many kids enjoy cooking once they get started. So why not try and teach your kids a bit about cooking? Make it fun for them in the process and they’ll love it. Pizzas are a great option as kids can decorate them any way they wish with the ingredients you’re using.

8 Healthy Habits

December 06, 2012 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Healthy Living No Comments →

Being sick is not pleasant. The headache, the cough, the chills and sneezing are tiresome and you can’t wait to get better. Well, if you’re careful to follow these habits to help keep you healthy, you may not need to get sick again. Check out these habits and see which ones you need to add so you don’t get sick this cold and flu season.

1  One of the easiest ways to stay healthy is to wash your hands often. When you’re out and about during the fall and winter, when germs seem to flourish, it isn’t difficult to pick up germs by touching door knobs, telephones and grocery carts. The trick is to keep those germs from moving from your hands to your nose, mouth or eyes, which are the typical areas where they invade your body.

Washing your hands often allows you to kill or remove the germs before they make you sick. If you can’t actually make it to a sink to wash your hands, be sure to keep hand sanitizer with you so you can kill germs that way.

2.  Drink plenty of fluids. Not only is staying hydrated essential for keeping your body working properly, it also helps to flush fats from your system.

3.  Covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze is another way to stay healthier. And, if you see people who aren’t following this rule, be sure to recommend that they start. Either cough into your elbow or sneeze into a tissue which keeps germs from getting onto your hands and spreading it to others.

4. Get plenty of rest during the months where illnesses prevail. Being overly active or burning the candle at both ends means your body’s defenses are weakened. A weakened immune system leaves you wide open for getting sick. Getting enough sleep helps you stay focused, as well, so you’re better able to protect yourself.  Here are some helpful sleep tips.

5. Stay active even in the cooler months. Even though it’s easy to snuggle under the covers and stay out of the cold, being active is a very good habit to keep healthy. Not only does physical activity help you burn calories and increase energy, it is also great for helping with mental health.

6. If possible, get a bit of sunshine each day. Sunlight is important for the production of vitamin D in your body. It is also vital for helping to fight depression and seasonal affective disorder that can have an effect on so many during the months when the days are shorter.

7. Maintain a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible. If you can’t find fruits and vegetables in season, buy frozen ones instead. These will have more of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients necessary for good health.

8. If your diet is lacking in the nutrients your body needs, add a vitamin and mineral supplement. Supplements are a great way to get the nutrients you need when your diet isn’t the best it could be. It would be a good idea to speak with your doctor or a dietician to find the best supplements for your situation.

Obviously these are not the only habits you’ll want to follow that help to keep you healthy, but they’re a good place to start. Discuss these tips with your doctor, as well as how to cut back on processed foods, alcohol and giving up smoking if those things are a problem for you. Once you take these and other steps to get healthy, you’ll find that you’ll also stay healthy.

Click Here For More Free Healthy Living Tips

Five Strategies for Helping Siblings Get Along

December 03, 2012 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Parenting No Comments →

If you’re like most parents of more than one child, you are probably tired of hearing, “He touched me” or “She’s on my side of the car.” You may also be weary of the bickering and name-calling that are so prevalent with siblings.   Many parents look for totally free parenting tips to help them to resolve some concerns that they are having with their children.

Even though these ideas are not the only ones parents have come up with, these five strategies for helping siblings get along may be just what you need to get a little peace and quiet in your home.

1. Establish house rules about acceptable behavior and be prepared to follow through with agreed-upon discipline if they break the rules. When your children know what is expected of them and that you will dole out discipline when necessary, they may be more willing to adhere to the rules better.

2. When the bickering starts, separate the children so you have a chance to talk with each one on their own. Ask them to slowly explain, without calling names or blaming the other child, what caused the disagreement. Acknowledge their feelings and try to understand what is underneath them.

Explain to your children that even though you understand their feelings, the way they handled the situation isn’t acceptable. Are they jealous because their younger sibling gets to do something they weren’t able to do at their age? Are they angry because their older sibling took something away from them? Suggest that they think about what was said and done, how things could have been handled differently and how they can make amends.

Once you have determined the underlying cause, and the children have had a chance to think about things, you can help your children make peace and get along better – until the next time.

3. Try to focus on each child’s strengths rather than on their weaknesses. Try giving your child tasks that allow them to show their accomplishments. Give them a reason to feel good about themselves without having to compare themselves with the other children in the family. Celebrate their uniqueness and ask them to cooperate rather than compete.

4. Obviously you know that each child is an individual but sometimes it is important to verbalize it. While you may enjoy Mary’s singing voice, you also appreciate Todd’s willingness to help cook. Be sure you let them know that you love each of your children as much as the other and that you don’t have favorites; however, because each child is different you may appreciate different things about them. It may also be helpful to explain why you decided to let one child do something while the other one is told they may not.

5. Encourage them when you see them doing something nice for their sibling or when you catch them playing nicely together. Sometimes hearing “It was very good of you to let your brother play the game instead of continuing to play yourself” or “Thank you for reading to your sister while I was cooking dinner when you wanted to watch television instead.”

These five strategies for helping siblings get along are by no means exhaustive. You may find some strategies work better for your family than others. Remember to use what works and toss the things that don’t. When your children understand that you are serious about their behavior and their getting along, it may be easier for them to follow the house rules and finally get along with their siblings.

More free tips on how to deal with Sibling Rivalry

 

 

Keeping Your Kids Safe at School

August 28, 2012 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Healthy Living, Teenagers No Comments →

Now that the school year is up and in full swing, it is important that all parents use measures that result in keeping your kids safe at school.
(ARA) – The start of the school year is a time of great anticipation for parents and kids alike. New teachers. New classes. New and old friends. It’s a time for fun and learning.

Parents expect schools to be safe havens, but the reality is that children face a host of dangers all day long. Bullying, taunting and teasing are only some of the hazards that kids must deal with it every day at even the best schools in America.

About 30 percent of middle and high school students say they’ve been bullied. Among high school students, one out of nine teens reported they had been pushed, shoved, tripped or spit upon during the last school year, according to a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development research study.

FindLaw.com, the nation’s leading website for free legal information, offers the following tips on keeping your kids safe at school:

* Talk to your kids about school safety. Talk about bullying and make sure your child understands what is and is not acceptable behavior. Also discuss when and how to report bullying.

* Go to the bus stop. If your schedule allows, go to the bus stop with your child and get to know the other kids and parents, along with the bus driver.

* Get to know your kids’ teachers. Send your child’s teacher an email to introduce yourself and regularly check in on your child’s academic and social progress. Learn how his or her teacher approaches bullying and other issues that may distract from the school’s learning environment, such as the use of cell phones and iPods.

* Read the school’s policy on bullying.  Become familiar with school policies about bullying – particularly the protocols for identifying and reporting bullying behavior. Pay careful attention to policies regarding cyberbullying, which can take place outside of school.

Download your Free Parent Guide To Battling The Bullying Epidemic

* Watch and listen for the cues. Many kids don’t want to reveal to their parents that they’re being bullied, taunted or teased by other kids. If your child is withdrawn, not doing homework, sick more often than normal or demonstrating other out-of-the-ordinary behavior, talk about what seems to be bothering him or her.

* Know where your kids are at. Sometimes bullying and other unsafe situations take place outside of school grounds, such as at other students’ houses. Telling your kids that you want to know where they are and that they need permission to visit a friend’s house shows them you care. It also reassures them that they can contact you if they need help.

* Monitor Internet use and texting. Put the home computer in a public place and don’t allow your kids to use a computer in their bedroom by themselves.

* Talk to other parents. You may learn that their children also have been bullied or have been involved in activities on and off school grounds that you should be concerned about. You stand a much better chance of obtaining changes and creating a safer environment for your student by acting together rather than alone.

* Put it in writing. If you suspect your child is being bullied or sexually harassed by another student (or a teacher or staff member), ask for a face-to-face meeting with the school’s principal. If the principal does not act, hire an attorney and escalate your complaint to the superintendent and school board. Putting your complaint in writing about the specific types of negative behavior affecting your child is necessary if you need to litigate the complaint in court.

* Take appropriate action when bullying becomes assault. If your child is physically assaulted on the bus, in school or on school grounds, contact the local police department, particularly if there is a school liaison officer assigned to the school, about whether a police report or assault charges should be filed. Do not wait to let the school handle the situation.

For more information on keeping your kids safe at school, visit FindLaw.com.  Also be sure to Download your Free Parent Guide To Battling The Bullying Epidemic

 

Low Cost Summer Camp Options

June 25, 2012 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children No Comments →

Most parents and child development experts agree that going to camp is great for kids. They get to participate in new and challenging activities, learn new skills, make new friends and boost their confidence. But all of these wonderful experiences come at a price.  Findid a low cost summer camp option is often hard for parents.

In a poor economy, many parents cannot afford summer camp. No matter how they adjust their budget, they simply cannot find a way to fit summer camp expenses into their budgets. What these parents may not realize is that there are numerous low cost summer camp options available. Even if you can’t scrape up the money to send your child to his top camp choice, you can probably find a suitable alternative that is less expensive and just as fun.

Here are some low cost summer camp options to consider for your child.

- 4-H Camp – Every state in the United States runs an independent 4-H camping program. Since the organization operates as a non-profit, camp fees are generally quite low. The types of 4-H camps offered vary from state to state, but most host a variety of activities that children will enjoy. Some states offer camps for children with special needs as well so if your child has a special need, they too can attend camp. Check with your local 4-H chapter for camp locations, dates and fees.

- YMCA – The YMCA also operates camps throughout the country and at reasonable prices. You will find lots of residential camps that last a week or more on their website, and many local chapters offer day camps as well. YMCA camps include boys’, girls’, co-ed and family programs so there’s something to meet every family’s needs.

- Boys and Girls Clubs of America – Programs offered by the Boys and Girls club vary by location, but they usually include day camps and many other summer activities. Registration fees are low, but additional fees may apply for certain optional activities. Check with your local chapter to see what is available in your area, the dates, fees and locations.

- Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts – Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops usually offer camping opportunities to their members. These camps focus on teaching children new skills and of course, having a great time. The Girl Scout and Boy Scout opportunities may include weekend trips, day camps and residential camps. Membership and registration fees are very reasonable. Check with your local scout troops for details.

- Sports camps – Your child’s school may offer camps for baseball, basketball, soccer and other sports with low registration fees. Some universities also sponsor such sporting programs, and many of these are free to participants. If your child plays sports and they want to enhance their skills, sports camps are a great option for them. Check with your child’s coach or athletic director to find out what sports camps are available in your area.

- Religious camps – Churches often sponsor day and residential summer camp programs for members as well as non-members. These camps are often funded by donations, so registration is cheap or free. Talk to a clergy member or check the local paper to find camps available in your area. These are just a few of the most notable sources for affordable summer camps. Check with your local park service and non-profit organizations in your area for even more options.

While the ideas listed above are good low cost summer camp options options are inexpensive, you may still find yourself short on cash. Here are some more ways you can save money when sending your child to camp.

- Apply for scholarships. They’re not just for college students – scholarships are available to help parents send their children to camp. Some come from the camps themselves, while others are funded by outside organizations. Check online or ask the staff at your camp of choice to find out what’s available.

- Volunteer. Some organizations give discounts to campers whose parents agree to volunteer with them, either during camp or otherwise. Ask if this is an option when considering a camp. You might also ask other parents and even your local education PTA if they know of any volunteer options available.

- Consider a day camp. Fees for day camps are almost always cheaper than those for sleep away camps since they do not include room and board. Meal plans may also be optional – if so, consider sending a bag lunch with your child each day. It’s almost always to cheaper to send a lunch than it is to pay for prepared meals.

- Ask about payment options. Most overnight camps allow parents to pay registration fees in installments for easier budgeting. But if you pay in a lump sum or prior to a deadline, you may be eligible for a discount. Some day camps allow parents to pay by the week or month as long as the balance is paid in full before camp is over.   – Ask about discounts for multiple children from the same family. Multi-children discounts can save you a significant amount of money. If this option isn’t offered up front, make sure to inquire about them when you apply to send your children to camp. Some of the most exclusive summer camps cost thousands of dollars per session. Fortunately, there are lots of less expensive options available for families on a tight budget. And since the state of the economy has affected the camps as well, many are willing to work with parents to make camp possible for their children. So before you rule out summer camp this year, take time to look at all of your options.

 

 

Choosing a Summer Camp for Your Child

June 21, 2012 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children, Healthy Living, Mommy Rambles No Comments →

If you’re considering sending your child to summer camp, you’ll find that there is no shortage of camps to choose from. A lack of options is rarely an issue for parents. But choosing a camp that’s right for your child isn’t always easy.

There are lots of things to think about when deciding on a summer camp for your son or daughter. You want to find a place where they will have fun, learn new things and develop social skills. You want them to be safe and in the care of qualified counselors. Budget may also be a concern. Here are some things to think about when looking at your summer camp options.

Traditional or Specialized?

When most of us think of summer camp, we think of programs that offer a variety of activities, many of which take place outdoors. These traditional camps are readily available, but there are also other types of camps to choose from. There are sports camps that can help athletic types improve their game. Academic camps can help keep gifted children’s minds active during the summer or help those who are lagging behind in school catch up. There are also camps that focus on other interests such as drama or horseback riding, as well as camps designed for children with special needs.

Specialized camps are great if they address specific goals you have for your child or cater to their needs. But if you want to expose him or her to a variety of new experiences, a more general summer camp might be a better option. Traditional camps also tend to bring together a more diverse group of campers, allowing for more opportunities to learn from one another and develop social skills.

Does the Camp Have a Good Reputation?

Summer camps are not regulated by the government, so choosing a reputable camp requires some research. Camps accredited by the American Camp Association must meet a long list of stringent requirements regarding health, safety, facilities, staffing and more, so finding an accredited camp is a good starting point. But lack of accreditation isn’t necessarily a red flag, particularly for newer or smaller camps that may not yet have the resources to meet the requirements.

Whether or not a camp is accredited, it’s a good idea to seek out the opinions of those who have experience with the program. This includes parents, campers, counselors and staff. If you don’t know anyone who has first-hand experience with the camp, try asking the staff for references or checking online. And it’s always a good idea to visit the camp in person before making your final decision. There’s just no substitute for meeting with counselors and seeing the facilities and programs for yourself.

Day or Overnight Camp?

Daytime only programs are an increasingly popular summer camp option. They are usually less expensive than overnight camps, and parents don’t have to worry about getting a call to come pick up their homesick child in the middle of the night. But overnight camps still offer certain advantages, such as fostering independence and allowing campers to develop stronger bonds with counselors and fellow campers.

The most important factors in deciding between day or overnight camp are what you and your child are most comfortable with. Generally speaking, younger children tend to do better at day camps. Teens and tweens are often eager to go to overnight camps, and in most cases they do well there.

What Does Your Child Want?

When considering summer camps, it’s important not to forget to ask your child what he or she wants. Many a miserable camp experience could have been avoided by following this simple rule! While your opinions and requirements as a parent are important, it’s also important to make sure your child is ready and willing to participate in the program.

For instance, some parents send their children to sports camps in hopes that they will develop an interest in a particular sport. But if your child doesn’t already have some level of interest, it could backfire. Working out some sort of compromise will make for a much better summer camp experience for everyone involved.

To Camp or not to Camp?

In your quest to find the best summer camp for your child, you may find that none of the options are quite right. Maybe the camps within your budget aren’t a good fit for your child, or perhaps he’s just not ready for camp yet. In cases like these, it may be better to wait until next year than to take a chance on sending him off to the wrong camp.

Summer camp can be one of the most positive and memorable experiences in a young person’s life. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to choose the right camp for your child.

 Grab Some Free Summer Fun Ideas Here

 

The Benefits Of Swimming For Fitness

June 13, 2012 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Healthy Living No Comments →

Swimming is one of those exercises that’s hard to hate, since it’s gentle and yet fun at the same time. Most people enjoy a dip in the pool, so why not turn that dip into some laps as a form of exercise? There are many fitness benefits that one can get from swimming. If you’re not convinced, keep reading.

Swimming Is Great Cardio

Swimming requires a lot of energy and burns a lot of calories thanks to the fact that, when you swim, you need to move your whole body instead of just your legs or your arms. Swimming works your body and heart the same way any cardio workout, such as dancing or running, would. So if you take up swimming for your fitness, you will work your heart and boost your metabolism at the same time. To get the most out of swimming, it’s best to carry out interval training where you do high intensity sprint swimming alternated with easier workouts. This way you’ll push your body hard but will be able to do so for a longer period.

Swimming Is Great For Strength Training

Not only is swimming good for a cardio workout, swimming challenges the muscles all over your body and is great for increasing overall body strength. The water resistance you face while swimming forces your muscles to work harder – just like traditional forms of strength training. You’ll be able to gain some muscle and tone up your body at the same time. Swimming is also widely used as therapy to strengthen injured muscles in athletes, since the water resistance provides a good workout without giving stress to the injured body parts.

Swimming Is Great For Everybody!

The great thing about swimming is that everybody can do it and enjoy it. It’s suitable for every age group and fitness level; you can decide how hard to push yourself when you swim. Elderly people can benefit from swimming too, since the water gives good support to their body and they can stay fit without worrying about injuring their back or joints. It’s also a great activity for you to do with your family: you can have fun together and stay healthy at the same time. If you bring little kids along to the pool, though, be sure to always keep an eye on them to prevent any accidents.

Importance of Discipline for Toddlers and How it Affects Teenage Life

June 08, 2012 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Parenting No Comments →

Disciplining toddlers when they are at that age is essential to ensure that they grow up to be a well-rounded teenager as well as adult that knows how to follow rules and respect authority without any kind of rebellion. This is important because discipline means to teach, therefore, the earlier a parent starts to discipline her or his child properly, the better the child would turn out in the long run; to function in the world successfully.

Reactively (to reduce bad behavior through discipline), to discipline properly, it should be done by an adult in an effort to create a bond with the child and be directed to the behavior that needs to be adjusted, as soon as it happens so the toddler could make a connection between the discipline and the improper behavior. Toddlers learn from consistency so if they repeat a bad behavior, make sure to discipline them each time or they would begin to think that particular behavior is okay “sometimes” because they do not always get disciplined. When an adult or parent disciplines a toddler, she or he needs to make sure to do it in a way that it is appropriate for the child’s age because toddlers and children at different ages understand things at different levels. People that enforce disciplines need to keep in their minds that young children imitate what they see around them. So, in other words, if parents want their children to behave correctly, they should lead by example. In doing this, toddlers can start early in developing self-discipline by recognizing what is right and what is wrong and behave accordingly.

If parents are being consistent with their love and attention for their toddlers and be fair when it comes to disciplining the kids without any kind of mean tone, that can help strengthen the relationship between the parents and their children because, in turn, positive reinforcements are used when the younger kids seem to self-discipline themselves. By positive reinforcements, parents need to realize that disciplining their toddlers or children of any ages do not mean only reprimanding the kids for bad or negative behaviors. It also means providing a form of discipline by recognizing positive or good behaviors so the toddlers can differ what happens when they misbehave and when they behave, it is never too early to start disciplining a very young kid; this is a proactive method of discipline.

Starting to discipline a child when she or he is a toddler paves the way for her or him as life goes on and she or he becomes a teenager. Oftentimes, how a toddler is disciplined affects how she or he is as a teenager; one that was consistently and fairly disciplined may grow up to be a respectful and well-behaved child who eventually will become an adult that has no problems following rules and respecting authority. Whereas a toddler that did not get disciplined adequately or properly may become a rebellious teenager who feels that she or he does not have to follow rules because she or he never really has to do so when she or he was younger.

Parents should never feel bad or guilty when they have to reactively discipline their toddlers or children of any ages because they need to provide constant structure to the children. The kids may be temporarily upset but they will always love their parents unconditionally and essentially see why discipline is very important at every level and age, and practice self-discipline throughout their life.

Guest Post Author Bio: Briana Kelly has over 5 years experience of content writing in the area of preschool and early education. Website: http://www.giraffe.ie

 

 

Winter Breakfast Ideas

December 28, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children, Healthy Living No Comments →

People on the run often choose a cold breakfast or no breakfast at all because it’s the quickest. In the colder months, however, a cold breakfast simply won’t do. Why not try one or more of these nourishing winter breafast ideas  to help you prepare for your day.

Winter breafast idea #1 – A big bowl of hearty oatmeal is a great choice for a cold winter morning. Oatmeal doesn’t have to take a long time to prepare. Get it started before you get dressed and it should be ready to eat when you’re done. Soak dried fruit such as raisins, cherries or cranberries before stirring them into the bowl to add depth of flavor. Cinnamon or nutmeg would also be good as additions.

Winter breafast idea #2 - Whole wheat bread is better for you than bread made with refined flour. Use whole wheat bread to make French toast or whole wheat flour to make pancakes. Instead of syrup to top your French toast or pancakes, warm up apple sauce and spread it over them.

Winter breafast idea #3 – Barley is a grain often used in vegetable soup but it can also be used to make a warm, nourishing breakfast. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and then add 3/4 cup pearl barley and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Turn the heat down and cover, allowing the barley to cook for 45 minutes. While the barley is cooking, mix together 1/4 cup honey and 1 cup chopped walnuts. Spread the walnut onto a baking sheet and bake them in an oven set at 350F for 10 minutes. When the barley is cooked, add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup currants. Spoon the walnuts over four bowls of cooked barley.

Winter breafast idea #4 – You can’t find a heartier breakfast than an omelet when it has beans, seeds or nuts added to it. Sauté some onions, then add some precooked black beans and chopped almonds. Beat enough eggs for the number of omelets you’re making and pour that into the onion and bean mixture. Sprinkle fresh herbs and cheese over the top and allow it to finish cooking.

Winter breafast idea #5 – Don’t be afraid to try foods that aren’t traditionally thought of as breakfast foods. A thick, warm rice pudding with fruit can be just the thing you need to fill you up and keep you toasty on the inside. You can also use leftover rice from the night before to make rice with cinnamon and raisins. Heat up the rice in a saucepan and add enough milk to moisten it. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins. Cook this over low heat until its warm and then enjoy it.

Winter breafast idea #6 – Prepare hot chocolate, tea or coffee to finish off your nourishing winter warming breakfast. If you start your winter days with hot food, you’ll provide your body with much needed warmth and give you energy you need for your day.

Using one or many of the great winter breakfast ideas above will be a great way to warm up your mornings and get you off to a great day.

Age Appropriate Responsibilities For Children

October 20, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children, Organization No Comments →

At time, figuring out  some age appropriate responsibilities for children can be hard.  Issuing out chores to your children is one way to help to instill responsibility into children and they can start chores at an early age. Many parents today are looking for ways to teach their kids to be responsible, and chores are a great place to start. Here are some suggestions for chores – and how to introduce them – that can be done by elementary school-age kids.

Rewards

You don’t have to pay your kid to make her bed, but psychologists agree that a reward system, or positive reinforcement, can go a long way toward motivating your child to do his or her chores. Rewards can take the form of privileges, such as television time, video games, time on the phone or internet, etc. Earning rewards for doing chores tends to work better than receiving punishment for not doing them, say psychologists.

Age Appropriate Responsibilities For Children

Elementary school spans Kindergarten to fifth grade. So, here are some ideas for those grades and ages. Of course, chores for younger kids will already be a part of the chore regimen by the time you get to older grades – the following lists of chores are intended to build on, not replace, each other.

Kindergarten (age 5-6)

This age tends to respond well to simple chores. You can also use this simple approach with older kids for whom this is a new concept. Some ideas include:
* Feeding pets
* Watering plants

First Grade (age 6-7)
* Sweeping the floor
* Emptying trash cans throughout the house into a garbage bag
* Washing bathroom or kitchen sink

Second and Third Grade (age 7-9)
* Vacuuming a small room
* Setting the table
* Clearing the table
* Loading dishwasher or washing/drying dishes

Fourth Grade (age 9-10)
* Taking out the garbage
* Walking the dog
* Making part of dinner (such as a salad or side dish)
* Washing the car

Fifth Grade (age 10-11)
* Making dinner
* Helping with laundry
* Vacuuming several rooms

Helping Them Out

While the list above gives many examples of age appropriate responsibilities for children, it is important to help your child get acclimated to the idea of chores, lists can help. If your child likes organization and takes satisfaction in completing tasks, lists with squares he can check off might help.

A competitive child might respond to timed chores. For example, time how long a certain chore takes him and then see if he can beat his time next time (while still doing a good job).

You can also elicit your child’s help in making a chart or list of chores and privileges, or just the chores. He or she can illustrate the list or decorate it with cut-outs from magazines. If your child participates in thinking up chores and creating the list, he might be more likely to be motivated to do the things on the list.

By using the tips and ideas above you will be well on your way to issue out age appropriate responsibilities for children in your home.