Smoking is Injurious To Health – Of Smokers children!

Couple of days ago, I was sitting in a coffee house with a friend and I saw through the window 2 lovely children (baby of few months and the other about 3 years old), outside the coffee house sitting in the stroller with their Mum standing next to them.Within few minutes, she pulled out a cigarette and started smoking, the smoke was all over the children. Perhaps nobody told the mother, Smoking is injurious to health! I also noticed that the cigarette smoke was irritating the baby’s eyes but the mother was totally oblivious to the whole thing ! How selfish and inconsiderate!

Are smoking parents unaware of the danger or are they just plain selfish?

Should I mind my own business?

I know I should mind my own business and not tell parents not to smoke, as it is their life. But what about the budding life of their children ! Some doctors class passive smoking as child abuse. Why should babies and children be subjected to secondhand smoke? Shouldn’t there be some law for this?

We all know that cigarette smoke is cancerous

Second hand smoke causes a lot of damage to health, we all know that. So why should you subject your child to this danger? Cigarette smoke not only causes cancer but also causes health issues in children later in life. It can also cause asthma and pneumonia in children.

Smokers who claim that cigarette smoke is not dangerous

There are a lot of smokers who claim that everything the medical experts or government agencies say about the dangers of a cigarette smoke are just made up things, you are just trying to find excuses so that you don’t have to give up smoking. But at least don’t smoke for your children’s sake!

“Children of smokers are up to four times more likely to get heart disease later in life” 

source: Dailymail.co.uk

Parents are responsible for shaping the life of their children

If a child is always surrounded by smoke all the time, it is going to affect their mental and physical health. As per my previous post,Should parents be allowed to spank their children, parents are chosen by the universe to shape the lives of their children, they cannot not do this by harming their health .

I can sympathise with those smoking parents who have inherited this habit from their parents. But you cannot repeat the mistakes of your parents. You should be correcting them!

Children always copy their parents

Children always look upon their parents as their role models. They copy everything the parents do- good or bad. Therefore, children of smokers are most likely to be smokers, even if you limit their exposure to smoke! Smoking out of car window or outside the house is also not good enough! Smoke travels back in to the house or car ! It will also cling to your clothes and linger in your breath!

Mental health of the child

When parents smoke, they teach their children how to escape from all their fears and stresses by smoking rather than being brave and facing their fears! Smokers teach their children how to become a smoking addict ! This is not an ideal upbringing !

‘I do not smoke in front of my children’

If you say the above, then I would like to tell you that according to the experts, it best not to smoke at all, not even when your kids are not around, only then your children will be able to lead a healthy life.

Are you smoking because of peer pressure?

Did you start smoking because your parents smoke? or did a friend introduce you to smoking? Even if you did, it is never too late to stop. Think of your children now!

Cancer can strike anytime

Smokers , beware! Cancer doesn’t see what your age is or how many children you have  or how young your children are . If you want to see your children grow up, it is best to stop smoking . Smoking is cancerous and this is a proven fact!

How can you correct this situation

  • Accept that smoking is wrong thing to do as a parent.
  • If you are chain smoker or are unable to stop smoking, get professional help to stop smoking. Remember, the will to stop smoking has to come from within.
  • You have to remind yourself again and again that passive smoking is harmful to your children and that’s why you need to quit smoking.
  • If you have got relatives who smoke like grandparents, uncles or aunts- ask them not to smoke around your children. As a parent you are responsible for the safety and security of your child.

It is absolutely infuriating when you walk on the street with your child and cigarette smoke of all the smokers around envelopes you and your child! Smokers should have the moral and social responsibility of not smoking in public places which are frequented by families and kids! I also feel that smokers are selfish in nature that by smoking they put the lives of other people in danger ! If smokers are not worried about their own health, then that’s their business but they have no right to put others lives in danger especially young and innocent children and babies!

Are you a parent who smokes? Have you got any relatives who smoke around your children? Do you think that passive smoking is child abuse? Please comment via comment box below, I would love to hear from you .

Meanwhile, stay safe and away from cigarette smoke!

Regards

 

 

 

 

How to Afford to Be a Stay- At-Home Mom – Become Self-Employed

Many stay-at-home moms are often faced with the dilemma that how do you make ends meet with one salary(husband’s salary) and look after the children. If you decide to go to work, you will have to factor in the childcare costs. You would be hardly left with any money after taxes and childcare. Looking after children is especially hard during the school holidays. I tried to go back to work but nothing worked out – the job, the money, the homework ! So how to afford to be a stay-at-home mom and also be financially independent ?

Why is important for mothers to be financially independent?

  • Create your own identity after motherhood. Mothers always think of their children first. Mothers will be happier and able to look after their children, if they think of their own needs too.
  • Increases your confidence- if you are earning money you will be naturally more confident.
  • In case your spouse is unable to provide for you or your children due to any unforeseen circumstances – you are able to provide for the family.
  • Extra money always helps- we all know that.
  • Your children will not take you for granted and will respect you.

Part time jobs

Unfortunately, part-time jobs are not easily available and you would still have to think of childcare during the school holidays unless you can find a job where you can work from home which might or might not be of interest to you.

Have you got any hobbies?

In case you have got any hobbies or any skill that you are good at, why not turn that into your own business? You can run your business from home which would reduce your overheads. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, stay-at-home-mom business ideas -earn while you are at home, you can sell on a website called Etsy, if you have made the product yourself.

If you don’t have any hobbies

I fall under this category. Yes, that’s right – I am not a very creative person and I don’t have any hobbies with which I could earn money! Therefore, I decided to become an Affiliate Marketer and I started blogging and to my surprise, I really love my work. To become successful it is very important to enjoy the work you do!

The path to self -employment is not easy

The path to self employment is not easy but if you work hard the rewards can be more than double your salary. It is important that you are:

  • disciplined
  • dedicated
  • hardworking
  • have a goal or a plan in mind

As I mentioned above do something you enjoy !

During the school holidays

During the school holidays, if you struggle to do your work refer to my previous post on how to work from home with kids. Also tell your children about your work if they are old enough to understand. Explain to them that you are working from home so that you can look after them.

 

Start Early

Start early- preferably few months after birth of your child. You will have to give time to the business before it starts making money. I know it will be hard when you have a baby to take care of, you can work when your baby is asleep, and ask your partner to help look after the baby. Even if your child is older, it is never too late to become self-employed. Bear in mind the benefits of self-employment :

  • Work at your own convenience
  • No need to apply for annual leave during school holidays or when your child is sick.
  • Whatever you earn is yours
  • You are not answerable to anyone

In short,

You are your own boss!

Motivation

If you are planning to be self- employed or have just become self-employed, you would have to continuously motivate yourself to move further. Don’t be discouraged by failures. Treat failure as an experience. Believe in yourself and in your goals. I watch motivational videos on You Tube to motivate myself.

Training and Support

If you are doing something completely new, it would be a good idea to get some training and support. For example, I didn’t have a clue about affiliate marketing so I joined Wealthy Affiliate which not only provides excellent step-by-step training but also gives community support. Best of all, you work at your own convenience and at your own pace.

You are on your own

Some people do feel apprehensive about being self employed as you are on your own but being alone comes with the territory. If you feel lonely , then you can also go for some networking events where you can meet people who do similar work as you.

Have you had any experiences of being self employed? What are the positive things about self employment?  What are the aspects you do not like about self employment? Share via comment box below.

 

Regards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parents Arguing In Front of Children – What Are The Effects?

Have you ever argued in front of children? Are you feeling guilty about it ? Or has it become a habit now that you do not realise when you both start arguing in front of them ! You can always bring changes in your life and reduce the arguments. But before you do this, read below the effects of parents arguing in front of children.

Effects

  • According to the experts, children who witness their parents arguing on a regular basis, are at a risk of depression.
  • Children “copy” their parents. If they see their parents argue on a regular basis, they would do the same (not only during their childhood but also carry this habit into their adult life).
  • Children might lose faith in marriage.
  • Children might develop insecurity.
  • Children might develop rage, sulk and shout just like the parents.
  • Parents might not have a healthy, positive relationship with their child especially the father . Unfortunately, children always think that their mother is right and their father is wrong , even if that might not be the case.

Put yourself in your child’s shoes

If you and your parent are constantly arguing (doesn’t matter whose fault it is- I am no one to judge) , try thinking from your child’s perspective. The two people she/he loves the most in this world are constantly bickering, giving a lot of negativity, anger,fear and insecurity to her/him. Children do not have the perspective that adults have. They just accept things as seen, as understood, they do not think what is the reason behind these arguments.

Do you like to witness constant arguing, bickering?

If 2 people constantly argue in front of you would you like it? Even you would feel anger, rage and sadness at having to witness this very single day. If children or adults are sad every day, it ultimately leads to depression .

Do you actually like to bicker?

Every couple fights. But not constantly. There comes a point when you just don’t want to argue anymore. You can’t shout anymore.

How do you stop arguing in front of kids?

Only you can judge whether the reasons for your bickering with your partner are worth it. Is the reason important enough? More likely than not, it is nagging about everyday stuff! If the reason is not important for all the arguments, then you need to take control of your mind and tongue which can easily achieved:

  • LET IT GO- this is the price you have to pay to buy some peace. You need 2 people to argue. If you stop arguing your partner will stop as well. It doesn’t matter who is right and who isn’t!
  • Be the bigger person, think of the children and the impact it will have on them – be conscious of them around you . It doesn’t matter how old they are 6 months or 16 years. They will KNOW that something isn’t right between the parents.
  • While you are alone with your partner, try to talk things out (without raising your voices)- try to arrive at an understanding. Also remind him/her what effect it is having on the kids to witness you both arguing.
  • Try to form a habit of not arguing in front of kids by following the above, it won’t be easy to do in the beginning, but if your partner agrees and co-operates doing all the above , then the chances of this working will be ten- fold.
  • In case you fall off the wagon and argue in front of kids, hug each other and say sorry. Remember when your kids fight, you would be telling them to do the same thing!
  • Meditate- even if its for five minutes every day- This will bring inner peace, reduce your anger and most of all give you clarity of thought.

If you feel that reasons for your arguments are something very serious then, you would need to still talk to your partner in private (preferably when kids are not at home) and try to sort your differences out amicably and with maturity. Remember if you shout and scream you will be ruining your own peace as well.

Despite all the above, if you are not able to stop arguing then you should get help. For the sake of your children, you should do it rather than avoiding the issue or shoving it under the carpet. Longer you leave it, the worse it will get.

In my opinion, it is better to cut off a relationship and be at peace then to bear a burden of a bad relationship. Weigh the pros and cons of everything and the impact it will have on the children. Deal with it wisely and with maturity. Remember you as a parent are responsible for shaping the life of another being. Nobody, not even parents have the right to ruin their child’s life- emotionally or physically .

Parents will be able to walk away from their arguments or from each others’ life. But their children will have to bear the brunt of this for the rest of their lives!

 

 

Regards

 

 

 

 

 

Should Parents Be Allowed To Spank Their Children?-Is Spanking Right or Wrong?

“Parents should not be allowed to spank their children” is a headline I often see in the UK newspapers. Other countries in Europe have banned parents spanking their children, should UK do the same ? Should parents be allowed to spank their children? In case the Government decides to make this a law, will this effect parental rights? Are all parents being punished because of the wrongdoings of a few violent/abusive parents?

 

 

 

 

Please read the following before you decide if spanking is right or wrong.

Parents are the Legal Guardians /well-wishers of their children

Ask any parent how many pains they have gone through just by giving birth and even raising their child. Do parents like spanking their children? Here, by parents, I mean normal, happy parents not mentally disturbed or alcoholic or drug addict parents. Normal parents have always got the best intentions and good wishes for their children .

We all know that the amount of hardships a parent goes through, in bringing their children up, fulfilling their duties as a parent is enormous. Not to forget the financial pressures of raising them.

Parents are responsible for shaping the life of another living being

Parents can make or break their child’s life. Parenting is like walking on a tight rope, they are responsible for creating the foundation of a happy life for their child. Any or every action will have a psychological impact on the child’s mind.

Physical Abuse is different from Spanking

Surely physical abuse is different from spanking ! A tap on the bum is different from breaking your child’s bones or punching them on the face!

Does spanking help?

In my opinion , when a parent raises their hand or gets angry with the child, it means that they have lost control over the situation and in order to take charge, this seems to be the easiest option. Spanking is the way for a parent to release their frustration.

Reasons for spanking

Why would a parent spank a child ? If you decide to spank your child,you should ask yourself this question why do you want to spank your child? Has he/she done something so terrible ? If the answer is yes, then read my suggestion below on the alternatives to spanking. Whenever, my children misbehave, I always try to find out why are they behaving like this ? Is it an attention issue or something else. If they haven’t done anything so terrible, then you shouldn’t be spanking them.

Effects of Spanking

Spanking might have negative effects on the child like he/she will learn to hit others or they might hit the parent! A slap for a slap! As per my previous posts, children always “copy” their parents. From a spiritual point of view, spanking is a negative behaviour and therefore you will have negative effects of it.

If you believe in spanking, imagine this scenario. You are very angry with your child for doing something very very terrible, and you would like to spank them. Because you are very angry (out of control), you spank your child harder than you intended to … and you cause serious physical injuries to them. Then there will be only be a feeling of regret and nothing else. It is  better never to consider spanking .

Alternatives to spanking

Disciplining the child, teaching them what is right and wrong is a must. But spanking is not the answer. If the situation is very heated and the parent is feeling very frustrated and angry it is best to “take time out “. Either you leave the room or tell(not ask) your child to go to their room . After an hour or so when things have calmed down, explain to your child why you were asking them to do what you did before the situation got heated.

The kids of today are very clever, they need a reason behind everything you ask them to do. If you explain and make them understand in a nice,calm, friendly way, it will be more effective than spanking.

Another way is to take all the “goodies”(favourite toys, chocolates, birthday parties, television,computer games, play dates etc.) away from them. Tell them you have to earn them back by good behaviour.

When my son does tantrums, I just ignore him. After 5 minutes he calms down because he knows it is not going to do much for him ! When he is calm, I ask him ‘why did you do this?’ If he is wrong I explain to him why he shouldn’t have done this. He listens to me a lot more than if I try to put my point across to him in the middle of a tantrum. By doing this, parents also get some peace of mind! Win the battle mentally not physically!

Also, if your child talks to you, listen and understand their point of view. If you do that, the chances of tantrums and arguments with your child will be much reduced !

Conclusion

I feel that spanking is not the way to take control of the situation. As a parent, we need to be patient with our child’s behaviour however bad it may be. However, I also believe that to spank or not to spank is a parent’s decision. This right shouldn’t be taken away from them just because of few violent/abusive parents.

Spanking can be a tempting option but in that heated moment it is mind over matter. Parents have to develop that mental strength to resist that temptation.

Parents have been given, a responsibility of continuing humanity by the Universe or God, which is a great honour. We have to make sure that we teach the right things to our children. Our children are the future, and we have to teach them non -violence so that their generation and generations after can have a peaceful and a happy life.

Would like to share your opinion ? Do you believe in spanking your child and why? If not, then why not? Share via comment box below.

Regards

 

 

 

 

Teaching Kids Positive Thinking – Why is it Important?

My daughter is forever saying things like “I am rubbish at maths”, “I am bad at times table”, Maths being the subject she dislikes the most! Teaching kids positive thinking at a young age is very important. If they are taught how to think positively at a young age, they will also learn to think positively throughout their adult life too. This will help them deal with difficult situations in their adult life positively. If you think about it, positive thinking is a life skill. But why is positive thinking so important? I can think of a few reasons

Positive energy is source energy

If you believe in God or source energy, then positive energy is the energy of God. If we think positively, we are going with the flow of the universe. If we go against it, it will bring a lot of unhappiness, stress and frustration in our lives. By teaching children to think positively, we are in essence teaching them how to deal or face difficult situations which might come in their adult life, in case we parents are not around to comfort them!

 

Positive thinking keeps your mind clear

You are at peace if you think positively. If you are always thinking the worst your mind will be a mess! If kids are taught to think positively, they will be able to do their homework, assignments, tests with a much clearer mind. They will also be able to eliminate stress before tests or exams or before results.

Positive thinking leads to happiness

If you think positively, you will be stress free, your mind will be clearer. There will be no clutter in your mind. This will automatically make you more happy !

Positive thinking leads to a healthy life

By thinking negative things and feeling negative emotions of anger, frustration, fear etc, we invite a lot of stress and physical illnesses ranging from acne, eczema to heart problems. This can be prevented by always being positive in our thinking.

Also, negative thoughts can lead to mental illnesses like depression, anxiety. Therefore, positive thinking gives you the strength to deal with difficult situations and thereby prevent mental and physical ailments.

Positive thinking improves all aspects of your life

If you have always got a positive out look, your vibes will be positive. This will improve the atmosphere around you, give you better relations at home(which leads to happy family life) and at work .

Positive thinking and Law of Attraction

Your thoughts create your reality. If you think positive and therefore think good of yourself, it will reflect in your life and vice versa.

For all the above reasons (and many more) , parents must teach their children to think positively. But how do you make them do it? I have got a few suggestions:

Parents should practice positive thinking

As per several of my previous posts, children always copy their parents. Whatever parents do, children do the same. If parents want to teach their children to think positively, they must first start practicing positive thinking themselves.

Positive affirmations

I make my daughter say positive things when she gets upset about maths. I make her say “I am very good at Maths”,” I am very good at times table”. This exercise has brought better maths results for her. If possible make your child say positive affirmations in front of a mirror. No harm in parents do the same every morning! It might sound silly but don’t knock till you try it !

Writing

Make your child write all positive experience she/he had during the day in her/his journal. This will help your child remember the positive feeling she/he had. For example, my son enjoyed a lot playing with his best friend at school today. The memory of that joyful time will bring a lot of positively in him.

Meditation

Meditation is an excellent way to bring positivity. If you would like some tips on how to make your child meditate please refer to my previous post, Meditation Benefits for Children .

Teach your child to be grateful

If you teach your child to be grateful for everything he/she has, this will automatically bring positive thinking in them. Please refer to my previous post , Teaching Children To Be Grateful.

Love and Attention

Giving your child a lot of love and attention will bring a lot of happiness and positively in your child. In case your child is doing something you do not like, always try to understand why they are doing so. Explain rather than shout. Do not lie to your children. Do what you say you will do.

Surround yourself with positive people

It is important for families to always be surrounded by positive people. Positivity is infectious and this will help your child become more positive in their thinking.

Have you got any positivity to share? Please do so via comment box below. I would be happy to hear from you!

Regards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday Party Bag Ideas – How Do You Make Them Inexpensive?

Birthday parties can be very hard to organise and it’s even harder to fill up a party bag! If you are not watching the cost, party bags can become more expensive than the birthday cake especially if you have got 30 kids attending the party! Most of the parties that my kids have been invited to, the party bags have just been filled up with sweets and if they had eaten all the sweets then they would have lost all their teeth by now ! So I would like to suggest some birthday party bag ideas which are not only inexpensive but also sugar free!

To put sweets or not

All children like sweets. If children eat sweets in moderation, then it is fine. They should be allowed to enjoy their childhood as well. But parents shouldn’t fill the whole party bag with sweets just to make the party bag cost effective !

It’s not a competition

While organising their child’s birthday parties and party bags, parents should keep in mind that birthday parties or party bags are not a competition. They don’t need to compete with other parents or try to outdo other parents. Parents should only do what they can afford or what is appropriate according to them .

Party bags offered by the party entertainers/venue

Some party entertainers/venues provide birthday party bags at an additional cost to the parents which can be added to the party package. There are different party bag fillers available at different prices. So depending on your budget, you can choose the party bag package. Sometimes these party bag packages are cheaper than parents buying party bags and party bag fillers !

So if you are planning a party for your child, always ask the entertainer or the venue about the price of their party bag package !

Books

All parents are aware that books are very important part in the education and upbringing of a child. This applies to all ages (even babies). So including a book in the party bag instead of sweets would not be a bad idea at all ! Also, if you look around, you might be able find good deals on books. I am sure the parents of the children receiving the party bags will be pleased with this too !

What about a note pad and a pen

A personalised note pad and a pencil is also a very good party bag filler. It is very useful thing to have whenever you take your children to a restaurant or on a holiday. They can doodle or draw or write a few words or sentences! I am sure if this were given as a party bag filler it would be appreciated by both the parents and the child!

Party blowers, whistles, glow sticks, balloons etc

The ‘usual’ party bag fillers like party blowers, whistles,  glow sticks, balloons can be obtained at a low cost. Make sure you look around for a good price per piece. If you are buying online, you can check the reviews too !

Cupcakes

If you are good at baking, you can bake cupcakes and put them in the party bags! Kids love cupcakes! You can also ask your child to help you bake them. This will provide some good bonding time also! Your child also feel involved in his/her party preparations.

Theme parties

My daughter was invited to a craft party and instead of a party bag, she received a piggy bank which she had painted in the party! Another time she was invited to a salon party and she received a manicure/pedicure kit in her party bag! If you decide to have a theme party and party bag, make sure everything is child friendly and age appropriate.

I do know that some mothers feel that the party bags are waste of money as they are filled with cheap things. But children love party bags! They don’t care about the price of each item ! Party bags are just little bags of goodies that each child looks forward to receiving at the end of a party. But it all depends on the parents whether to spend unnecessarily on it or not. Also, it is not mandatory to fill the party bags with sweets. It is better to give a fewer things of value like books or a note pad and a pen then to fill party bags with cheap toys and sugary sweets.

After all, it is the thought that counts !

If the cost of party bags still comes higher than your budget, then maybe you could consider :

  • inviting fewer children
  • Getting a less expensive cake or
  • Getting a cheaper entertainer!

If you would like to share your experiences or ideas about birthday party bags, do so via the comment box. I would love to hear from you!

Regards

 

 

 

 

Limiting Screen Time For Children – How Much Screen Time Do you Give?

It is very easy as a parent to let our children watch television so that we can get a break from entertaining our children or let them play games on the phones or tablets. There are so many screens around us that we forget that children shouldn’t be given too much screen time. Limiting screen time for children is important so that it gives them time to play. Watching excessive television has an impact on their health and well-being too.

NHS Recommendation

The NHS (UK) recommends a screen time of 2 hours a day. According to the NHS website , if children over 2 years of age are allowed screen time of more than 2 hours, it affects their blood pressure which can affect their heart in later life. Children under 2 years of age should not be given any screen time at all.

Summer holidays and other holidays

Summer holidays are the most trying times for parents especially stay- at- home parents. It is very difficult to keep children entertained all the time. There will come a time when you literally “run out” of board games to play or parks to go to (if the weather holds up!) or have already overdone soft play areas. If you have got more than one child then you have to deal with non-stop sibling fights too.

Television and Computer games are a habit now

In the olden days when there were no televisions or computers, children used to entertain themselves by playing on the streets. Children were more creative at that time as they had more time on their hands. Children used to make their own kites and fly them! Now, every household has got a television, a desktop or a laptop and probably i pads and tablets and smart phones. If all the adults are using devices all the time, how do you keep children away from it?

Screen time for completing homework

Children might be required to use computer to complete their homework. For example, my daughter is required to do maths homework online, once every two weeks. Since she doesn’t ‘like’ maths much, I let her play ‘maths games’ on the computer to make her maths foundation stronger. Would this be included in the 2 hours screen time per day? I would think not as homework and maths provide her with mental stimulation.

So why do children have so much screen time?

There are a few reasons why children have so much screen time as compared to children in olden days:

  • Children in olden days used to be allowed to move around freely in their locality without any fears. Parents didn’t fear anything untoward happening to their child on the streets unlike now. So in order to keep our children busy especially when the weather is not good, television/computer games seems to be the best option after all board games have been played countless number of times!
  • There are so many devices per household. Parents are using devices all the time. Children always do what parents do. When they see parents using their phones or laptops, they are tempted to use them too.
  • Easy availability of children’s tablets like Amazon’s Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet and unlimited games which come with it!
  • Unlimited children’s programs and channels on television. When I was child we just had 1-2 cartoon programs coming on television once or twice a week of 20 minutes each. But now we have got 20 different channels for kids. Kids have got so much variety and choice!
  • Families are getting smaller- nuclear families live under one roof rather than extended families. So the responsibility of looking after children solely falls on parents. When parents need time cook or need break from entertaining their children, television or computer games is the only option whereby the kids can entertain themselves.

You cannot avoid screen time but you can reduce it

  • Try not to give any screen time if your child is under 2 years. They will not know any better at that age.
  • Some experts are of the opinion that touch screen devices are not good for a child’s motor skills. But some believe that there is no correlation between touchscreens and a child’s motor skills. Finally, it is the decision of the parent whether to give a tablet to the child or not and at what age. Even if you do let them use, you can always control the usage time .
  • Let children watch television or use devices only at certain times of the day. Do not give them devices just before bedtime as it will affect their sleep. Do not leave any devices in their bedroom. Let children have a goodnight’s sleep without any phones beeping or lights flashing.
  • If I feel the screen time of my kids on a particular day is going to exceed two hours, I try to space it out so that they do some physical activity in between these “screen sessions”.
  • I do not allow kids to watch all the programs. If I feel that certain programs are not ‘good’ that is they use words I don’t like or they don’t “teach” the right things to kids then those programs are not allowed. It’s better they watch quality stuff .

Finally, it all depends on what the parents’ own belief is on screen time. However, I do notice that when I restrict the screen time for my kids, their “pretend play” gets more imaginative. Devices do not encourage imaginative or creative play. I am not in the favour of watching my children becoming zombies in front of the television. But is necessary for children to have a little exposure to tablets and limited television time for their relaxation as well as for some educational cartoons at an appropriate age.

Do you feel that children should not be given a screen time of more than 2 hours? or do you believe that in this digital age, children should be exposed to devices so that they can move with the times?

Share your opinion via the comment box below. I would be happy to hear from you!

Regards

 

 

 

 

The Price of Motherhood – Is It Wrong for Mothers to be So Selfless?

In the past few months, I feel that I am thinking of my children all the time. I don’t think enough for myself. I am facing this dilemma, am I doing it right? Is my selfless nature towards my children making my children ungrateful? Are they taking me for granted ? Is this the price of motherhood?

Is It wrong to be a Stay at home mum?

I am a stay at home mum. Though I work from home, I am always ‘available’ for my children, at their beck and call. My husband works full time and therefore I do most of the care giving to my children. If you are stay at home mum like me, you would know that this is not a 9-5 job. There is no finish time. Every minute, every second throughout the day and night you are a mum. There is no pay, no leave. Do our children appreciate this? Probably not. 

Do children of stay at home mums take their mother for granted?

Yes. They do especially during the summer holidays. ‘Mummy has to play with me, take me to the beach, park etc’. Stay at mom homes do not get any time to themselves for the entire 6 weeks(feels too long!).

A mother can’t think like a father

I have been told by my husband quite a few times, ‘think about yourself now, don’t always think of the kids always’. But most of the times, I have just been unable to do that. Is it just me or are all mothers like that?

Families are getting smaller

I was brought up in a joint family which means the extended family were living in the same house as my parents. It was easier for my parents to bring me up as there were people around to ‘help out’. But my husband and I are on our own. All the parental responsibility falls on us and mostly me as hubby is at work.

My children are with me the whole day which is truly a test of patience especially in the summer holidays.

So how would you deal with this ? If you are a stay at home mum like me without any help, it is a very trying time !

My solution

  • I try to put a positive spin on things which I get frustrated with – for example, this is the best time to spend time with my children. Time will fly very fast and before I know they will be all grown up. If ever you feel angry and frustrated, say this in your mind, ‘ I must spend the time with my children now. Before I know it they will be all grown up and won’t need me anymore’.
  • If you work from home like me, at least (try to) work couple of hours during the day, maybe while kids are playing with themselves or watching television. You might not to be too productive with your work so choose work which requires less focus. I feel that by working even an hour, brings sanity back in my life while the kids are at home. Please refer to my previous post ‘How to Work From Home with Kids’.
  • If you don’t work at all, then do something of your own, preferably something mentally stimulating like a crossword puzzle.
  • Be kind to yourself, ask your spouse or friend for help if required to look after your children, once in few weeks, refresh and recharge yourself- even if it is only for an hour. It will make a huge difference!
  • Accept the situation. If you accept the situation that you and your spouse are the only caregivers of your children, you would find it easier to deal with the situation. Go with the flow. Don’t pressurise yourself with the cooking, cleaning etc.
  • Think of this situation as a learning curve for you as well. You will definitely learn to be patient if nothing else!
  • Teach your children to think of their Mummy too, teach them to be grateful that their Mum is always around to look after them.
  • Get your kids to help you with the household chores depending on their age and ability. This will show them how hard you work to look after them.
  • If possible ask the grandparents to look after the children for a couple of hours so you can re-energise yourself.
  • If your spouse is agreeable you can ask him to put the kids to bed while you go for walk few times a week. Fresh air can do wonders for your mind after an exhausting day with kids. It will help you relax and calm your mind down.

Children are the future of tomorrow

All the children of this world including ours are the future of tomorrow. If we provide them with a happy, safe,honest and secure upbringing,they will be able to spread this love in the world long after we are gone. Therefore, it is imperative we give the right upbringing to our children. As a parent we would have to give quite a few sacrifices as children are the only hope of mankind. If we teach our children to be selfless,loving and caring then they will be able to teach the same things to their own children.

Conclusion

I know the job of a stay at home is the hardest job in this world, but we have to persevere to make a better tomorrow. But it is also imperative that a mother gets a break from her routine through her spouse or other family members or friends. I believe that these sacrifices will not go vain. Such is the power of love of a mother!

After all it is said that since God couldn’t be everywhere, he made mothers!

Do you want to share any tips which may help other stay at home mums? Please share via comment box below.

Regards,

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Should Children Stop Sleeping With Parents – At What Age?

In the Western Countries, medical professionals always advise that the child sleep in their own room from 6 months onward. Room sharing with parents is not encouraged. But in other countries, it’s perfectly fine for children to sleep with their parents upto 7-8 years or sometimes even 10 years of age. So, when should children stop sleeping with parents?

The First 12 Months

From my own experience, for the first 12 months I kept my child in a cot in the same room as me. I did not let my baby sleep in my bed except when I would breastfeed my baby in the middle of the night. If you breastfeed your baby at night on your bed, don’t let blankets or quilt cover your baby or make them too hot. Also, you have got to make sure you don’t crush your baby. Make sure you always place baby on their backs and there are NO older children in your bed at that time.

After 12 Months

When I stopped breastfeeding at around 12 months, I moved the cot to another room, so my child would sleep in a separate room. It was very hard transitioning them from my room to another room. My husband and I had to wake up several times in the night to console them and put them back to bed. But the key thing here is to be consistent .

Initially you will have to put them to sleep, preferably the same way you used to do it when they used to sleep in your(parents) room.

You have to keep doing this everyday so they get used to idea as well as you. When they wake up in the night and ask to sleep with you, encourage them to sleep in their bed. Sit with them for a bit while they put themselves to sleep again. It was very hard doing this every night, absolutely exhausting. Sometimes, I just had to give in and let them sleep in my bed.

But the next day I would remind my child again that she/he needs to sleep in their own bed.

Be Consistent in What you do

If you want your child to sleep in their own bed, you should be consistent in what you say to them. Don’t say one night, ‘you can’t sleep in my bed tonight’ and the next night you say ‘you can sleep in my bed’. If you are utterly exhausted like I was, explain to them , because you are scared of the monster, you can sleep in my bed tonight but not every night, you have to start sleeping in your own bed.

Praise them

Every time they sleep in their bed for the whole night, I used to reward my children with reward stickers and praise them. Praise will go a long way.

Be Patient

Transitioning them to their own room is a process. Don’t expect overnight success.

The younger the better

Even if your child is older, move him or her to his/her room ASAP. It is easier to make younger children sleep in their own beds in their own rooms than older children. As children get older, it will be harder to make this move. Remember you are doing this for their development, so don’t feel guilty.

After 3years+

By the time your child is around 3 years of age, she/he should able to start putting themselves to sleep. If not, encourage them to do so. Explain to them that you need to go to sleep and there is no point of mummy or daddy sitting next to you or ‘close your eyes, I will back in a little while’ and then check on them every 10 minutes or so until they put themselves to sleep.

If required put a night light

I always put a night light in my kids room, so they don’t feel the darkness too much especially in the winter. Also, they can find their way if they wake up in the night.

Why is it Important for Children to Sleep in their own beds

  • Children need to deal with their fears or nightmares on their own. This will increase their confidence about looking after themselves.
  • Parents need a little space from their children. This is especially necessary so that both the Mum and Dad can keep their marriage strong. Please refer to my previous post, How To Keep your Marriage Strong After Kids.
  • It encourages independence in children.
  • Parents and children both will have a goodnight’s sleep as everyone will be sleeping in their own beds .

So what are your experiences or opinion on this matter? Should children be sleeping with their parents? How hard it has been for you to move your child out of your room? Share via the comment box, I would love to hear from you!

Regards

 

 

 

How To Work From Home With Kids – Especially During Summer Holidays!

By now all schools would have closed and all school going kids would be over the moon, EXCITED..summer holidays have started! But the parents of kids, who work from home, would not be so excited. How to work from home with kids is indeed very challenging. Summer holidays last for a long time 6 weeks to 8 weeks, nearly 2 months ! Parents not only need to work but also keep the children occupied. I would like to share some top tips on how to handle both of them .

Time Management

Allocate time for doing your work in a day. Say you want to do 3 hours of work during the day, work 2 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon. Allocate time for any other chores you would want to do for example cooking lunch or playing with kids. Time management is very crucial to completing  all your professional and personal work .

Plan Ahead

Before the start of the holidays, make sure you have stocked up on your stationary like printer papers, cartridges, etc. Make a timetable or schedule of how you would complete all your work on time as per your deadlines. Make sure you follow this schedule properly .

Explain your work to your children

Explain to your children that why your work is important to you ? What would happen if you are unable to complete your work on time? You should do this so that children realise the importance of your work- financial or need to create your identity. Kids shouldn’t feel neglected during the holidays.

Make Rules

During the holidays, I often explain to my children that I would be working from home so that I can look after them. But when I am working, please do not disturb me. If I complete my work on time, I can play with them or take them out to the park or to the beach. If your children are very young then they might not understand. Even older children will need to be reminded time and again not to disturb while the parent is working.

Make a list of activities

Before the start of every holiday, I make a list of indoor and outdoor activities which are of interest to the kids. Then I add a list of educational work which I would like them to do during the holidays. For example times table,spellings, cursive writing etc. Like me, you can put the list on the fridge or anywhere you can easily access it. If you feel the kids are getting bored or restless, you won’t need to think how to keep the kids busy, as the list is right in front of you.

Consider buying some inexpensive toys – the novelty of the toys will keep them busy. If you have bought more than one toy , space out giving each toy.

Keep toys and games within reach

If you have got more than one child, make sure all the toys and games are within easy access. For example while you are working, your children can play a game of snakes and ladders with each other. If the games are within their reach they can easily get it themselves rather than you leaving your work and bringing the game to them.

Don’t forget to spend time with them

Parents have got to accept that during the summer holidays, they wouldn’t be able to do as much work as they would be able to do during the school term time. Whilst making your schedule, try to accommodate sometime spending with the kids doing their favourite activity, indoors and outdoors.

Take the kids to parks and beaches

Make sometime available for taking kids to parks and beaches – that is the best and cheapest way to enjoy the summer, also it’s the most enjoyable activity for kids. As a parent, you would to get fresh air as well and enjoy the sunshine!

Consider Summer camps or activities

If your child likes certain activities like swimming or football, get them enrolled in the holiday courses. If your child likes going to summer camps, enroll them there. This will encourage social skills in them. They might also learn certain other activities, while they are at the summer camps.

Arrange play dates

Arrange play dates with your children’s class mates or friends. Depending on your workload, you can decide whether to let your child go to their friends house or vice versa.

Consider working at night

From experience, if you have got a child under the age of 10 years, you would not be able to do more than 3 hours of work during the day. The next option is to work at night after the kids have gone to sleep. Beware that you would be tired as well especially due to the fact that the kids are at home .

Taking annual leave

If both parents are employed, you can use maximum number of your annual leave in the summer holidays. If grandparents or relatives are willing to help you, you can leave your children one or two days a week with them. Make sure you spend time with your children on other days of the week.

As mentioned above, it will not be possible for parents to do as much work in the holidays as they can during term time. Holidays are a good time to spend quality time with your children and work is important too. 

Therefore, balancing both is very important. Children shouldn’t feel neglected and unwanted .

Do you have a plan as to how to handle your work and your kids during the holidays? Would you like to share it ? Put your ideas in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you.

Happy Holidays!

 

Regards