7 Fun Arts and Crafts Activities to Keep Kids Entertained Without Electronics

Nowadays, it’s easy to find anything that can help distract your kids. Most of the time, this distraction will involve electronic gadgets.

Although it’s easy to rely on devices to entertain your kids, you should refrain from letting them spend their time on these gadgets. Meanwhile, you should do your best to engage with them.

You should find arts and crafts activities to do with them. That’s because such activities can help with their development.

That said, here are seven arts and crafts activities you can do to keep your kids entertained.

Raised Salt Painting

Raised salt painting is an exciting twist to the usual activity of painting. All you need to have with you to do will be glue, salt, watercolor paint (liquid), or even food coloring if you don’t have liquid watercolor paint.

First, you draw an image using glue. After that, cover the glue drawings with salt. Make sure that you cover all possible sides of the adhesive. Once you do that, it’s time to start painting the glue lines, but remember to eliminate any excess salt.

A gentle touch of the brush with watercolor paint should help spread the paint around.

Origami

Origami is a decades-old traditional art form in Japan that will show you that you can make art with just a single sheet of paper.

Teaching this to your kids is an exercise for the dexterity of the fingers and the mind. Therefore, you’ll be occupying the kids with something, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money to do it.

There are plenty of easy origami instructions available online that can be as difficult or as easy as you want it to be. You can start slow and straightforward with them. It would be a good idea to get different colors of paper so that the creations look great.

Origami can help improve your kids’ fine motor skills and patience.

Marble Painting

What You Need:

  1. Marbles
  2. Small bowls or containers to hold the paint
  3. Paint
  4. Paper
  5. A cardboard box that the paper fits into

With marble painting, the marbles will serve as your brush. Dip the marbles into the paint, then put it on the paper.

The paper should be in a cardboard box that should have short sides so that you and your kids can see what they’re doing in the box without a struggle. Roll the marble around by tilting the box here and there.

Slime Making

Slimes are great for sensory practices for your kids.

To make one for yourself, that’s safe for kids, mix 12 oz of glue, one and a half tablespoons of baking soda, and two tablespoons of contact lens saline solution. Add washable paint to create the color of the slime that you want.

You can add more baking soda if the slime is too sticky. If it doesn’t stick together, add more saline solution.

Dream Catchers

The mystique behind dream catchers, the story behind them is sure to keep your kids interested. Once you explain what they’re for, they’ll be doubly interested in helping you make dream catchers.

To make one, you’ll need:

  • Embroidery Hoops (6″)
  • Yarn (different colors)
  • Feathers
  • Pom-poms
  • Beads
  • Any decorative material

Stock up on all these things so that your kids can have the right decorations that they want for their dream catchers.

Sock Puppets

Sock puppets are a classic way of crafting toys with your kids. You can even create an entire stage for them to perform on by using a cardboard box.

It would be ideal to stick to a theme, like a fairy tale so that you know how you want each sock to use. It will help your kids get into crafting while also using some spare scraps that you have lying around the house.

 

Paper Mache

Paper mache is a cheap but fun way of crafting with your kids.

Paper mache can transform into anything, depending on what you want. It can be a sculpture, a mask, and even a bowl or a pinata. It’s a great way of letting your kids run wild with their creativity.

Like the ones on this list, arts and crafts are great for engaging your kids’ minds. At the same time, it can be an opportunity to bond with them without relying on gadgets. That way, your kids will get a holistic parenting experience from you, and it should help them grow and develop well.

Tips for Raising Responsible, Caring, Happy and Healthy Kids

When you become a parent, there is nothing you want more than to raise kids who are educated, kind, and responsible. This doesn’t happen without putting in the work, though. It’s your job to guide your children and teach them to have a strong moral compass. You can help your kids grow into adults you can be proud of by leading by example and showing them what to do. Here are some tips to help you along.

 

Show Them That Family Is Important

Many families find themselves in the situation of caring for their aging parents. They want their parents who provided love and support during their lives to now count on them when they need it the most. Having grandparents in the home can benefit your children. They have an abundance of wisdom and patience. 

However, in some cases, aging parents have health issues that require personal attention, leaving you caught between raising children and tending to the needs of your parents. Thankfully, providing quality care is possible without giving up time with your kids. Reputable home care NYC residents can trust (and other cities) are easy to find. These companies have qualified nurses to offer assistance with things like bathing, medical conditions and medication management. Your children will learn to be more empathic when they see how you navigated these issues.

 

Money Management

You may want your children to have everything. However, giving them those things can have a negative impact on their ability to save money. Children who don’t have to earn the extras they want will have difficulty separating the wants from the needs as adults. It’s important to teach them to save for the things they want. This skill will build self-control and encourage a bright financial future.

 

Kindness

It’s a wonderful and selfless quality to be kind to others. Children that treat others in this manner develop into caring and responsible adults. A great way to encourage this trait is to have your children at an early age start doing volunteer work. They can visit a children’s hospital and give sick kids handmade get-well cards or crafts. As they grow older they can donate toys and clothing to those without or serve food in shelters to help feed the hungry.

 

Perfection Not Required

Expecting perfection from your children is not going to build self-esteem. Instead, you’re going to encourage self-doubt regarding their abilities. This can lead to a life of missed opportunities and settling. As a parent, you want to encourage them to do their best. That doesn’t mean that they live up to your standards. Regarding school projects let them do them on their own. Rarely does a picture created by a kindergartener include fine detail. By allowing your children to do things on their own they gain confidence that carries over to adulthood. 

 

Be Happy

If you want children to be happy, you need to be happy. There’s nothing wrong with making time for you. A parent that feels satisfied will be a better role model for their kids. You’ll have the patience to deal with daily issues and won’t develop feelings of sacrificing your quality of life to raise your children. 

 

Responsible

Giving kids responsibilities while they’re young will carry over into their adult years. Doing things like cleaning their rooms, doing their homework, and helping with the cleanup after meals will encourage them to be responsible adults. Some parents bring a pet into the home to teach kids to take care of another living thing. They are responsible for feeding, bathing and tending to the needs of their pet. In return, they bond together making both the animal and child happy and content. 

 

Safety

Keeping your children safe is a big part of your role as a parent. Having set rules in the home such as locking the doors when you are away and not letting anyone inside, periodically checking in and having a practiced plan for emergencies, are a few suggestions. When young, it’s also important to keep poisons up high, cabinets locked and outlets covered.   

Remember, parents are all just doing the best they can. Sometimes you will make mistakes and so will your kids, how you handle the tough times will teach them even more lessons.

How & Why to Stop Your Child from Thumb Sucking

You might think that thumb sucking is harmless. It’s just habit kids develop and eventually stops. While that is sometimes true, when a child has a prolonged thumb sucking habit it can result in some destructive consequences. These consequences include everything from the physical to the social to the emotional. Depending on the child and their development, the habit can harm their growth and ability to cope with their emotions and get through life. Below is how and why you should stop your child’s thumb sucking habit.

Physical Effects

One of the most obvious reasons for stopping your child’s thumb sucking habit is that it causes physical results that can be quite negative. Not only can it cause an open bite or an overbite, thumb sucking leads to the development of a speech impediment and skin irritation. When the teeth are misaligned, it can require professional orthodontic treatment. This occurs most commonly in the top row, creating an overbite. But it can also occur on the bottom row as well. Since the habit impacts the mouth, teeth, and jaw, it can lead to the development of a lisp or the inability to pronounce specific consonant sounds. Finally, moisture from the mouth can cause a skin rash, irritation, ingrown nails, peeling, bleeding, and cracking.

Emotional Effects

Beyond the physical consequences, the habit of sucking thumbs can stunt the child’s emotional depth and ability to cope with life. Thumb sucking begins as a way for the child to comfort themselves and deal with emotions they don’t understand. If the kid continues to suck their thumbs past a certain age, they may not develop the mechanisms necessary to cope with life and their emotions as they get older. This can also lead to other negative habits. It is very crucial to stop this habit so the child has a chance to cope in healthier, more productive ways. Furthermore, the child who continues thumb sucking may have trouble expressing themselves, which can lead to social problems.

Social Effects

When your child has a hard time expressing themselves, it can lead to social issues that make it difficult for them to make friends and have a higher sense of self-esteem. Not only does it make children difficult to communicate, thumb sucking is often the focus of ridicule from their peers. They may be made fun of and maligned. The child might withdraw into themselves and become socially anxious. There are a wide variety of social issues that can result from thumb sucking, which make it all the more enticing to comfort themselves in those difficult moments.

Methods to Stop Thumb Sucking

Luckily there are many methods to help your child stop the bad habit of thumb sucking. First, you can buy them a finger sucking guard. This guard wraps around the wrist and covers the thumb, making it difficult and not as satisfying. Since they won’t get the comfort they are typically used to, they will stop sucking their thumbs over time. A similar product is called a thumbsie, which is the cloth alternative to the thumb sucking guard’s plastic. If the thumbsie doesn’t work, try the thumb guard.

There is even a special nail polish for thumb sucking. This bitter-tasting polish is repugnant to children. Simply apply the polish to your child’s nails and they will hate the taste when they begin sucking their thumbs. They’ll stop because it tastes so bad.

Furthermore, if you have tried thumb guards and nail polish for thumb sucking, you should think about taking your kid to a child psychologist. Thumb sucking may be the result of stunted growth or a symptom of it. They will also evaluate the child and give you some tips on how to help them stop that are based on your child’s idiosyncrasies. It might provide some insight into what’s going on with them.

Thumb sucking is harmless at first, but then it quickly becomes a problem in the future. While your child may use it to cope and comfort themselves when they are young, if they keep doing it you should do your best to get them to stop. Talk with them. Tell them why it is bad. Use the methods above that will discourage them if they don’t stop on their own and, finally, take them to a specialist if they still don’t stop.

Tips for Making Tech a Positive Force in the Life of Your Kids

When it comes to tech and kids, the headlines are not great. There appears to be no real protection from hackers and cyberthieves. They are not just a danger to your kids in some generic way. They are targeting your kids because they are easy marks. It is also not only a matter of sexual predation. Your kids are a fount of information about your family. And kids notoriously lack any form of discernment when it comes to what one should or shouldn’t reveal. Your kids are an uncapped firehose of information. And there is only a limited number of things you can do about it once they have a computing device and an internet connection.

As scary as that is, technology can also be the key that unlocks your child’s potential. The worst case scenario is not the only scenario. Your kids are so much more than the worst possibility. And they should have access to the tools that make them the best versions of themselves they can be. The tech that can bring them to their knees is the same tech that can raise them to the stars. It is just a matter of applying that technology in the most beneficial way. Here are some tips for how to do just that:

Teach Them to Program

It is hard to imagine any meaningful job of the future that doesn’t involve the use of technology. The screens from which you want to protect your children are the same screens that will one day pay their rent. It is counterproductive to make your children afraid or suspicious of technology. If you don’t want the technology to control them, teach them how to control the technology.

Don’t just teach them; teach yourself. The same coding games that teach your children how to program also work as coding games for adults. Many of your fears will go away once you understand how it works. When you have a healthier relationship with technology, you will be able to more capably guide your children into a healthier tech relationship.

The thing to remember is that as bad as the threats are, the tech is not the problem. Bad people doing bad things are the problem, as it has always been. Help your kids learn how it all works so that they can one day be a part of the solution.

Night Time Tech

The best parenting advice calls for children’s bedtime routine to be tech-free. But taken too far, this approach can throw the baby out with the bathwater. What you want to limit is screen time, not technology. That screen time also includes television and ereaders. If your child is staying up late reading books, that is probably a win rather than a loss.

Instead of making tech the night time enemy that robs your child of sleep, use the tech as an ally to help your child sleep better. Adjust the settings so that the screen takes on a warmer cast as it gets later in the day. On Apple devices, that feature is called Night Shift. Some people swear by it. Android has similar options. Set the smart speaker to play soothing sounds like crickets or waves. That is a known sleep aid for many. Use a sleep tracker to gage the quality of their sleep. Finally, you can set the devices to start the wakeup process in a gentle and natural way. Rather than you having to make several trips to their room to get them out of bed, technology can help them wake up more naturally and more refreshed.

Use Tech to Keep Them Safe

Rather than taking away the ability for children to text in school, administrators are implementing new ways to help kids stay safe via text messaging. By giving kids smartwatches with tracking capabilities, parents can know where their kids are at all times. A watch that can double as a phone is better than a phone because it is worn all day and not subject to getting lost. It also doesn’t have the capability to play games and post other distractions.

There are definitely a lot of ways for technology to go wrong. But there are also a lot of ways for it to go right. Give your kids the best opportunity by teaching them to code, letting tech help them sleep better, and using tech to keep them safe.

Tips for Teaching Kitchen Basics to Your Kids

You have probably been wondering when your kids can start helping you out in the kitchen. Before you start letting them help you out in the kitchen, it’s appropriate to know what’s okay for them to do as well as what isn’t. The following tips will help you learn how to teach your kids different tasks appropriately. You can also check this beginner’s cooking guide by StoneFryingPans.

 

  • Correct timing

 

You should remember that you shouldn’t teach your kids different kitchen skills during the late hours of the night. Wait for a convenient time like the weekend, when you don’t have to rush. You’ll be more relaxed and patient with them, which is very important. They also need to be more focused to learn tasks like how to make coffee and run the dishwasher.

 

  • Eye on the prize

 

When introducing your kids to cooking, you shouldn’t expect the type of food you get in restaurants. What you’re doing is boosting their self-esteem and encouraging their transition into independence. Don’t be hard on them; let them learn slowly. You have done a great job if you are excited to have spent time in the kitchen and helped you out at the end of the day.

 

  • Food safety

 

This is the most important thing you can teach them when they learn how to cook. The fundamental aspects of food safety include: their hands should be kept clean while preparing food, they shouldn’t lick their fingers, raw and cooked food should be kept separate, and when cooking, the right temperature should be used. Caution them on cross-contamination. Cooked food shouldn’t be put on platters that had raw food. The other rule is they should clean utensils after using them.

 

  • Using the dishwasher

 

The first step should be explaining to them how it works when it’s empty. Afterward, add dirty utensils and show them where everything goes depending on how you arrange yours. Teach them to always put plates and cups in the dishwasher instead of having the sink full of dirty dishes. Have their items on a low shelf to make it easier for them to unload the dishwasher.

 

  • Using a microwave

 

This is the easiest appliance you can teach them to use and most useful. You should teach them four basic things when they’re learning how to use most microwave models: melting, defrosting, cooking, and cleaning.

 

  • Watch your terminology

 

Kids aren’t as advanced as you’re in terms of words. If you use tough words like sauté, sear, or fold, they’ll be confused until you explain well. Therefore when you use such terminology, make sure you define them and understand what you mean. You can also use more straightforward language if you find that works better for them.

 

  • Use of hot pads

 

It’s easy to burn yourself in the kitchen, even as an adult. So have your children always wear hot pads when dealing with hot mixtures. They should be worn when food is removed from the oven or microwave and when holding all-metal pans on the stovetop. They shouldn’t lick hot food or even handle it, and if they get hurt, they should tell you or any other adult around. Ensure you always keep a first aid kit in your kitchen.

 

  • Shoes and Safe Clothing

 

It’s advisable to wear shoes in the kitchen, both for you and your child. You’ll be protecting your feet from accidents, and they offer traction. Safe clothing is also essential. Teach them not to wear clothes with long and flowy sleeves. Also, avoid wearing anything flammable such as synthetic fabric or loose clothing.

Proven Study Shows Nearly All Parents Will Regret Not Following Their Dream

Are you a pushy parent, forcing your children to do the activities that you wanted to do? Making them do all the things that you’ve missed out on?

 

There’s a handful of reasons why parents do this – they know keeping busy with activities reduces the risk of your kids getting mixed up in the wrong things, you see an extension of yourself in your child, or you have unfulfilled ambitions that you want your child to live out for you.

 

There is absolutely no better joy than being a parent. It’s by far, one of the best things that we will ever do in our lives. But unfortunately, as parents, we tend to put our dreams on the back burner, and as a result of this, we have regrets or force our dreams onto our children. 

 

It feels as though it’s something that is expected of us when we give birth. Our lives have to completely change and this little bundle of joy has to be the center of our universe.

 

But there’s a problem with this belief. Our children will eventually grow up, they become independent and begin relying on us less.  Then they go to college, get married and start a family of their own. 

 

And now you’re left with a ton of free time and regret. Although it’s never too late to go back to school or start a business you might not have the same energy to get it going at this point.

 

This will prove to be your biggest regret, in fact, 76% of parents say that they regret not going after their dream. You regret not finishing school, not starting that business, not hiking the Appalachian Mountains, not writing that book, and this list can go on and on,

 

Listen, your life doesn’t stop because you had children. You can still be a good parent and go after your dreams of being a teacher, writing a book, or starting that business.

 

The only thing being a parent will do for your dreams is possibly making obtaining that dream a bit more challenging. And it’s likely that the route you planned on taking to obtain your goal will look differently, but it’s definitely not impossible.

 

And something that you should begin working on. 

 

Your personal dreams shouldn’t come before your family and part of being a mother is about sacrifice, right. Of course, if your personal dream is to hike the Appalachian mountains for a year then yes you’ll have to sacrifice that dream for a while. But there’s another option – you can do a week long trip every year hiking part of the mountain and picking up where you left off the following year.

 

There are literally hundreds of “valid reasons” why you should put your dreams on hold.  But these are excuses. Fear is by far one of the biggest factors. You’re afraid to fail at your dream and fail at being a parent. But what if you succeed. Imagine telling your children when they grow up how you didn’t let anything stop you from going after what you wanted. 

 

There are endless possibilities whether you’re looking to make money, start a business or continue your education to become a school teacher. So there’s no reason that you cannot finish going after your teaching career when you can get your California teaching credential while sitting at your kitchen table and become a virtual teacher.

 

There’s no reason you cannot continue doing the job that you love doing. You’re not a bad parent for loving your job. And sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too, there are hundreds of remote jobs that allow you to stay home while still earning an income

 

The last thing that you want is for your unfilled dreams to affect your children’s lives. We’ve watched tv shows and movies about this. Parents live their dreams through their children, by forcing them into activities that they don’t enjoy. Fathers pushing their kids into sports they don’t want to play, mothers signing them up for activities they wished their mothers signed them up for.

 

But these children are forced to do things that they have no interest in. 

So grab a cup of coffee or tea and start coming up with a plan to obtain your goal.

How to Secure Your Family’s Financial Future

Parenting is difficult, especially when you are concerned about your financial future. Making and managing money can seem overwhelming, but since it is an intrinsic part of modern life, you need to get better at integrating it into your chaotic life. 

If you want to get yourself and your family on the right financial path, get started right away. The more time you have to make changes to save money for your retirement, a house, college for your kids or yourself, the better off you will be. 

If money is like a game, then here are some tips to play it better: 

Understand the Basic Rules of the Money Game

Budgeting and savings play an important role in making the money game work for you. 

Budgeting is a tool to track where your money is going. When you figure out where your money goes every month, then you’ll finally be able to plan where you think it should be going. Yes, that means adding those secret cups of Starbucks you enjoy before you pick the kids up from school.

As we mentioned, saving your money is essential, too. Think of your income as a scarce resource. If you’re not careful, it can completely disappear from your bank account just when you need it to pay bills or take care of an emergency. By limiting how much you spend, you’ll have more money available for the things that you need when you need them. 

Keep in mind, the amount you spend depends upon your income and expenses. Besides buying less, you can also save by not spending money on things that are available free. For instance, you don’t always have to pay fees for a bank account, some financial institutions offer a free checking account. That’s great because the last thing you need to be doing is paying an institution to hold on to your money.

If you make a simple plan on how to save, your money will grow. For instance, you can choose to deposit a certain percentage from your paycheck every month into your savings account. 

If your finances are currently out of control, create a budget and set an intention to save some money every month. Budgeting and saving aren’t difficult to learn, but it requires discipline to be consistent with keeping track of your money and setting some aside month after month.  

Improve Your Understanding of the Money Game

“You don’t know what you don’t know” is an idea that’s particularly relevant to improving your financial literacy. The things that we know about money, the things that we learned from our family, communities, schools, and jobs are fairly rudimentary, and they only make up a small part of the world of money management. The better you understand how money works, the easier it will be to make the right decisions to improve the quality of your life. 

There are many ways that you can educate yourself about money without having to enroll in a class on personal finance. You could, for example, read personal finance books, subscribe to personal finance blogs, and listen to podcasts on the subject. As you find out various money hacks, try them out, and learn from experience. 

Take a Break From the Money Game

Most people think about money all the time, always worrying about how to get more of it or part with less of it. But spending some time contemplating other forms of wealth will give you a sense of perspective. If, for instance, you are a kind and loving person, then you are rich in patience and compassion, and if you are a well-read person, then you are rich in knowledge and wisdom. Of course, your kids make your life incredibly exciting and fulfilling as well. They are where your success really shines. Although these qualities can’t be measured in dollars and cents, they add immeasurably to the quality of your life.

People too preoccupied with money, who think about it during the day, reflect on it before dropping off to sleep, and then think about it again as soon as they wake up, live in one of two extreme states: They either live in a state of aversion, a state of fear, or they live in a state of attachment, a state of greed. Breaking free of a habitual preoccupation with how much money you have in your bank accounts will free up your mind to appreciate many of the miracles of everyday life. And when you are happy, your family is happy too.

4 Tips for Mothers of Newborns Your Friends Were Actually Right About

The worst thing about being a first-time mom is the doubt. You doubt yourself about everything. You try to put a good face on it. But in your alone time, you break down in the shakes because you are afraid you are going to break your baby in 17 different ways before you even get her out of your belly. The list of things that can go wrong is longer than the list of things that can go right. You are scared senseless. And that fear is not entirely unfounded.

The second worst thing about being a first-time mom is the advice – the endless, unsolicited, insipid advice. Oh lord, just make it stop! Now that I think about it, that might be the worst thing. The never-ending stream of advice is truly awful. And thanks to the internet and social media, there is nowhere to hide. You always suspected that some of your friends were idiots. This period in your life will remove all doubts.

That said, they are well-meaning idiots. And they love you very much. Moreover, some of that advice is actually spot on. It can be hard to know which advice is good and which is, well, not so much. Here is some you have surely heard before. It’s the good stuff:

Boost Your Energy and Milk Supply

Breastfeeding is hard work and it literally takes a lot out of you, especially if you have twins. If you don’t do something to boost your supply of both energy and milk, you will find yourself, well… drained. The friend that told you about the breastfeeding protein powder deserves a gold star.

You can drink protein shakes and enjoy tasty energy bars that help boost that which a breastfeeding mom needs the most. More to the point, it helps you take care of yourself. Your newborns completely depend on you for everything. You do them no favors by not taking care of yourself. Like the instructions on every flight, in case of emergency, take the oxygen to supply yourself, then help the person you are with. That goes double for babies. You have to take care of yourself if you want to take the best care of them.

Get the Right Nursing Bra

When you’re breastfeeding, a bra is no longer just underwear. It is a vital tool for you and your baby. Avoid the most common mistakes when buying a nursing bra. An example is a size. Many make the mistake of buying a bra that is too big because they think bigger is better. This is not true. What you need is a bra that fits properly.

Another common error is thinking the pregnancy bra will suffice for nursing. That is not true. While you want support from both, the nursing bra will have cups that are easier to lower and more padded cups to prevent leakage. There are plenty of areas where you can save money as a new mom. But a nursing bra is not one of them. Take your time and find a good one.

Don’t Assume Your Baby Is the Exception

Try not to take this the wrong way: While your baby is special to you, your baby is not special generally speaking. In your lifetime, babies will be born by the billions. Yours is one of them. If you fall into the belief that your baby is special, you might miss warning signs of common infant and newborn problems. You can also fall into the trap of thinking that something is wrong with your baby when they are perfectly normal. Your baby is special in the same way that every mom’s baby is special. Try to keep some perspective.

Buy the Best Camera You Can Afford

There will only be one first step, first word, and first giggle. You don’t want to entrust those firsts to some garbage smartphone camera. The reason you want the best camera for all the special moments is because 20 years later, the quality of pictures will be so far beyond what we have today, the pictures you take right now might not age well. So get the best you can because you can’t go back and retake those pictures. You get one shot for the really important ones. Make it a good one.

Sometimes, your annoying friends are right. Give a special thanks to the ones who advised you to get milk and energy boosters, to get the right nursing bra, to keep a level head about your baby’s specialness, and to get the best camera you can afford.

Modeling These 4 Values Is Hard, but Worth It

No one ever said that being a role model was easy. In fact, it is so daunting of a task, many people actively disavow any responsibility for being a role model. It would be nice if that were possible. But it isn’t. None of us have the privilege of living in a selfish bubble where we can do anything we like without having an impact on anyone else. That is simply not how it works. And if any part of you fantasizes about being in such a bubble, you should not become a parent.

As a parent, you are not in a bubble. You are under a microscope. Everything you do is magnified, studied, and mimicked by your child. It doesn’t begin when you bring your baby home from the hospital. Learning begins in the womb. Your influence as a role model to another human being starts before you see your child’s face. There is never a time when your actions are not shaping your child. If that seems like a lot of pressure, it is.

The good news is you can do this. It helps to start the process by already having some strong life values in place. You need to think about what kind of person you want your child to be when they grow up. Then be that person. Here are a few values you are going to want to pass on:

Clear-Minded

Your greatest asset is your brain. And that will be true for your child as well. Their ability to think clearly and without the influence of intoxicants might be the life or death difference for them. It is the difference between doing well academically and doing poorly. It is the difference between being an employee and being the boss.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to fall into the wrong crowd and bad habits that become debilitating addictions. If your child sees you taking intoxicants, the likelihood of them doing the same is much greater. You would be heartbroken to learn that in her late teens, your precious little angel is experimenting with methadone. Even if she does not become instantly addicted, it can destroy her opportunities.

Consider the jobs that require urine testing. So how long does methadone stay in your urine? It can be as many as two weeks. One night of partying can be the difference between success and a lifetime of struggle. Don’t play games with your mental health. In that game, your child is likely to be the biggest loser.

Sustainability

If you teach your child to love the planet while doing things to hurt it, they will learn from what you do rather than what you say. Sustainability has to be more than a slogan. It has to be a mission. You don’t get a badge for going halfway green. It is a commitment that has to permeate all your choices. You can’t have this one area in your life where sustainability doesn’t matter. Nobody is perfect. And your child does not have to see you being perfect. They have to see that it really matters to you. Show them that, and it will matter to them as well.

Make It Right

The first thing you learn as a role model is that nobody is perfect. You won’t be, either. So if you are a person struggling with substance abuse disorder, or anything else, the best thing you can do for your child is to let her see you making it right and staying on the path to recovery.

Some of the mistakes you make with your child as a witness will be pretty bad. You will not ruin them for life just because you are human. The damage comes when you don’t take measures to correct the mistake. If you treat lapses in values as if they were not a big deal, then the value you are hoping to teach will be no big deal to them. It is okay to make mistakes. But when you do, take the extra step of making it right. To make things right is one of the most important values you can pass on.

If no one told you that being a parent meant being a role model, surprise! It does. Start with the values of being clear-minded, being eco-friendly, and most of all, making things right when mistakes happen. Get those right, and you will be the greatest role models your child will ever have.

How to Teach Your Child to Take Care of a Dog

Getting your child a dog is a potential lifelong commitment. Before you jump into getting one, make sure that your child is ready for the responsibility that it takes. Adding a dog to the family gives your child the opportunity to learn how to care for and meet the needs of someone else. Doing this can have lasting positive effects on your child throughout their life. 

Commitment to Training 

Dogs are wonderful and fun but they also need some training to be good houseguests. The last thing a mama wants is to have to scrub poop stains off the carpet every single day. Not only that, but you’re going to want to be able to have guests over without your dog jumping and knocking them down. 

Careful consideration must happen to ensure your pet is properly trained. If you’ve never trained a dog before, visit an online vet chat room where they can teach you a bit more about your animal. Once you learn how to train them, you have to be diligent about it and stay consistent. Everyone in the household needs to be on the same page in order for it to work.

Keeping Structure 

It is very important to teach your child to maintain structure with your dog. Pups need to eat at certain times throughout the day and they also need to go outside at specific times as well. To prevent your child’s pet from pooping in the house, try to let the dog outside in-between and after meals. 

It is also important to set up a consistent time to walk and exercise the dog so that it can stay healthy. Your child may have responsibilities of their own that they need to learn to prioritize as well. Yes, it is very important for your pup to get care of, but it isn’t helpful if your child sacrifices their own responsibilities to do that. Thus, your kiddo needs to learn time management. For example, they need to be able to take their pet for a walk and finish their homework in time for bed

So before you get a dog, it is a good idea to sit down with your kid and talk about how they will manage their time.

Cleaning up Messes 

No one wants to clean up the mess that a dog makes. When children think about having a pet, they seem to only think about the fun parts. But it is important for kids to be the main ones cleaning up their dog’s mess. 

If the dog goes to the bathroom inside of the house, have the child clean up the mess and reinforce the pup’s training. If their pet knocks something over, have your child pick it up and help teach the dog to be more gentle. 

Every mess is an opportunity for both the child and the dog to learn something.

Having Lots of Fun 

It seems obvious that it’s important for your child to have lots of fun with your dog. Unfortunately, once the excitement of having a new puppy wears off it’s easy for a kid to play with them less. Young kids often get distracted by and more excited about new things. If you notice this, try to remind your child that dogs need lots of love, affection, and playtime daily.

Extend a Hand 

It is definitely important for your child to learn to care for their pet. But, it’s equally important for mom to extend a hand from time to time when it gets hard. Sometimes they just can’t do it all on their own. This will teach your child that it’s okay to need help. Also, it will allow them the chance to mess up without sacrificing the safety or wellbeing of their pet. 

All in all, the lessons and love your youngster will learn from gaining a new best friend will be worth it.