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Motivation

Raising Tomorrow’s Leaders to Maintain High Morals & Integrity

October 31, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

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It goes without saying that we live in a society that is known for having a blemished moral code. From general everyday crimes to large scale scandals and tales of corruption, ideals of honesty and integrity are usually just that-ideals; and often times fail to be enacted by most of society’s members. Considering this, adults in the role of nurturing and caring for young people should think seriously about how much emphasis they place on maintaining high standards of morality and integrity in the day to day lives of each child.

So much change can occur at the hands of these nurturers, and so much corruption as well.

If you find yourself in one of these roles and haven’t already set high moral standards in your home or school environment, now is the time. Below are a few simple tips on how to go about implanting seeds of fairness and honor in the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.

 

Effortless intervention

If you’re a busy parent or overloaded school teacher, the idea of setting aside time for yet another objective may seem like a shot in the dark. But one of the great things about good character is that it isn’t rocket science. For most of us it comes naturally, its ingredients are simple, and it can easily be replicated by young people.

One way to effortless teach children to have good character is to simply exhibit it yourself. Being cautious of your statements and actions and living up to your expectations of others (practice what you preach), can do wonders for the nurturing and development of the children you’re in contact with.

 

General guidelines for successful teaching

When working to better children’s understanding of the importance of honesty and upright character it’s important to be mindful of a few ground rules.

 

  • Be crystal clear about your expectations

This, above all, is one of the most important points to cover. In order for children to work towards an objective they need to know what that objective is. This means being clear about your values with regards to fairness, trustworthiness, respect, empathy and other honorable characteristics.

Likewise, doubt and indecisiveness are detrimental to this campaign. Children can often sense a shaky foundation a mile away. This makes it even more crucial to clarify and reiterate moral goals and objectives over time, as well as to demonstrate and uphold them every time an opportunity arises.

 

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  • Explain the personal and societal benefits of uprightness and good character

Along with clarifying your expectations it’s also important to explain your reasons for demanding such morality in the first place. Use interactive activities or interesting examples to illustrate to children the outcome of a moral and just society as well as the immediate rewards for good behavior. This may include being well-liked by others, trusted by teachers and friends, as well as being happy and content with one’s self.

 

  • Be consistent with penalties or demerits for immoral behavior

Show children that you are serious about the limits that you put in place by following up misbehavior with age appropriate repercussions. This may include demerits or punishments for large scale offenses such as cheating, stealing, and lying as well as reprimanding them for more subtle acts such as an unwillingness to compromise, share or show empathy towards others.

 

  • Encourage academic success without going overboard

The pressure to succeed and do well academically is often what pushes many children to cheat on exams and engage in other dishonest or immoral behavior in exchange for a higher mark or score. In retrospect, parents as well as teachers should also bear some of the burden of such actions. This is due to the often heavy emphasis they place on academic achievement and secular success.

Teach children that doing well in school is important for a successful career as well as their own enlightenment but that it’s not the ‘end all’ to everything. There are other ways to demonstrate intelligence outside of academic achievement and other options besides college. And primarily that they should try to aim for a well-balanced life-with regards to school, family, work and leisure activities.

These are just a few issues to consider when working to instill high moral standards in children.

In addition to any workbooks or activities that you may find to assist you in this endeavor, remember that one of the easiest and most important first steps is to simply apply these values to your own life first and foremost.

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This is a guest post by Martha Buckly, she is a blogger and writer since very long time. She loves to travel and to make new experiences. Martha is currently collaborating with few writing services because she wants to share her knowledge about writing with others.

Fun Activities That my Girls Actually Want to Do

October 30, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

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Emily, guest contributor

There is this awful and horrible fact that you have to face when you are a mother of two girls: they are becoming teenagers and you are not the center of their world anymore.

Yes, you will stop being that fun mom, and that person that brings the smile and excitement to their faces, just by showing up in their room. Less and less common activities and less and less time will be given to you. You are ceasing to be the main superstar of their lives. But you can still grab some attention from your teenage girls, if you think hard and come up with some fun activities that you can do together with them.

 

Make a Fashion Show or Photo Session

Everybody nowadays has a smartphone with a great camera. Your girls will always want to go shopping, but besides that, they will also want to look good. You don’t have to spend a ton of money shopping each time you want to spend some time with them. Organize your own fashion show or photo shooting during which they will be models. This is a great way to reorganize the closet as well.

 

Organize the Movie Night

Just watching a movie together is fine too, but make it a real movie night. Spend some time together, looking for movies to watch and rearrange the living room into a real cinema. Don’t forget the snacks and drinks. If you like and have a time, show you kids how to make snacks and bake them yourselves. In this way, you will have a whole day of preparations and activities so that you get two more extra hours, watching a nice movie. Choose the films together and prepare some tissues if it’s a sad movie!

 

Organize Your Own Spa Day at Home

Make your home men-free and have your daughters enjoy the day with you in a spa that you will make from your home. This includes preparing all sorts of facial and body scrubs, a lot of nail polish, home-made masks and many other fun things. There are tons of recipes online that show you how to prepare all these things at home. Also, this is a great way to spend time mixing up ingredients and pampering your daughters. Not to mention, this makes a perfect opportunity to show your girls how to take care of themselves and how to indulge themselves while making themselves beautiful at the same time.

 

Prepare a Meal

Now, this is a tricky one. At first, it may sound too much like a chore to your girls. Therefore, you have to make it look fun. Do it by beginning with their favorite meal and with making the whole thing more interesting by having rules like: “cook, but everybody has to dance/sing.” In this way, they will be more interested and they might just end up learning something.

Eating out is also very fun. All girls love to dress up so they can show up in public and show everyone just how beautiful they are. Fishing for good deals in local restaurants can often inspire you to try out a new place you haven’t been to, and you have a reason to get all dolled up as a family!

Be careful with too much food though, you want your kids healthy!

Whatever you do, try to make it look fun and interesting. Their childhood ends so fast, so make sure you make the most of it.

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Emily is a mother of two beautiful daughters. She and her husband do everything they can to ensure the safety of their kids.

6 Signs You’re Forgetting to Set a Good Example for Your Kids

October 27, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

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Melanie Hargrave, guest contributor

Being a parent gives you an abundance of parenting components to think about and remember, so naturally many good practices may fall through the cracks. But one of the most important responsibilities that cannot be overlooked by a parent is to constantly set a good example. Here are some signs that you may need to change your habits to not only improve your child’s outlook, but also yourself as a person.

 

You’re Eating Badly

Your eating habits will leave an impression on your children, whether or not you eat the same foods together. Eating too late and eating sugary or fatty food will imply that children will be able to indulge in those habits when they are older. Be sure to eat foods that are wholesome for both of you. If you are the one protecting them from your own bad eating habits now, who will protect them in the future?

 

You Don’t Do Housework

Depending on what kind of household you live in, you might have a maid or other help come in to assist you with housework. If your children never see you working, they may get a skewed view of how life is supposed to work as an adult. Make sure you set a chore schedule for the family. Try to make the work fun by operating together as a group.

 

You’re Inactive

It’s not just your body and mental health you’re affecting by neglecting to exercise. Children have plenty of energy to put toward being active, but the less active you are with them the more that energy will dwindle away. Help your children find sports or hobbies to fall in love with now, so that they’ll start good habits and keep them throughout their lives.

 

You Shirk Obligations

We’ve all had that party we were planning on going to, but decided not to at the last minute because we were too tired. If your child witnesses this kind of flakiness, it will permanently skew the way they view commitments to others. The next time you or your child feels the desire to shirk an obligation, verbalize your thought process. “Well, I’m tired, and I’d rather stay at home and play. But I made a promise and I can’t break promises.”

 

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You’re in a Bad Relationship

This is a controversial topic, but it depends on what you want for your children. Most feel that the foundation of a family is most important for child development, but to others the relationship between mother and father must be positive for it to do any good. Make sure you are being treated well if you want your children to succeed in their future relationships. If you are stuck in a toxic relationship, consider whether your children’s futures are at stake if you can’t end the relationship for yourself.

 

You Choose Not to Be Happy

Children are happy creatures, but they also learn quickly. Life as an adult is much harder than it is as a child, but you may want to reevaluate the way you approach it. Happiness is so much about attitude that you should ensure you’re looking at life as positively as possible — if not for yourself, for the sake of your child. Have conversations with them, talk about everything that is going well, and teach them to look for the beauty in life. You will prepare them with valuable tools for the rest of their lives, and you will learn a valuable lesson yourself in the meantime.

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Melanie Hargrave is a wife and homemaker whose pride and joy is her family. In addition to spending time with her husband and daughters, she loves being outdoors, playing sports, and sharing her experiences with others. She is an advocate for women’s rights, and supports Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoefflin and his services for women.

Helping Children Avoid Winter Blues

October 25, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

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Barbara Johnson, guest contributor

As fun as winter can be for your child, it can also be a source of bad moods and negative behavior. The gloomy, snowy days can take a toll on both you and your child. However, there are a few things you can do to help your child combat the winter blues and even perk up your own mood along the way. Take note, though, if you are concerned that your child may be suffering from more than just a few gloomy days and has seasonal affective disorder (SAD) seek out professional medical attention.

 

Do Activities Together

Sometimes all your child needs is a little distraction to get their mind off of the sad weather and dark interior. Don’t limit yourself to playing board games and watching television though. This is time spent together but it isn’t always quality.

Find some crafts that you can try together and make your own holiday decorations. You can also play some active games indoors that will help spend some of that pent-up energy. Go on a scavenger hunt that leads to a movie theater themed evening indoors. Or test out a new cookie recipe with your child’s help. Share your treats with neighbors or friends. One of these activities can easily take up one afternoon.

 

Play Outside

Just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean that you can’t have outdoor adventures. In fact, it’s all the more reason to get out there, especially if you live in an area where snow is a rare commodity.

It can be a pain to bundle your child up just to discover they need to use the bathroom or they want to come inside after ten minutes. But if you can make it part of your routine to go outside a couple of times a week, you will surely notice the difference in your child. The cool, fresh air will do them good. Part of the problem with winter blues is feeling cooped up in one place for too long.

 

Get Out of the House

Winter driving is frightening for some people. But with a little preparation and courage, you can get out of the house for the afternoon and save your family some sanity. Sometimes all you need to cheer up your young one is a change of scenery.

Doing a fun family activity like ice skating, sledding, getting hot chocolate, or looking at Christmas lights is a good way to escape your home but keep everyone together. Noticing the fun aspects of winter and celebrating the cold can be a way to help your child’s mood improve.

 

Let the Sun In

A very real cause of seasonal affective disorder is lack of sunlight. Keep your own home bright and cheery to contrast the cloudy skies outside. Use lighting that brings a room to life, rather than dimmer, low lighting.

For an even better experience, find ways to let in the sun. Install overhead roof windows while the weather will still allow it. Open up your blinds and let the sun pour in (this is an excellent way to warm your house as well). Wherever you live, find a way to utilize the natural light from the sun. Canadians who experience less sunlight during the day will want to invest in glass doors for Vancouver homes or larger windows for Edmonton.

Your child’s mental health should be a high priority to you. It will be worth it to both of you if you make the extra effort to help them have a more enjoyable winter. Work together to overcome and avoid the winter blues that afflict so many people.

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Barbara Johnson works in real estate and enjoys finding her clients the perfect homes. In addition, she shares her home improvement and gardening tips with others through blogging.

Fun Activities For a Great Camping Vacation with the Kids

August 23, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Camping is a great way to spend a few days away from the big city and to show your kids there is an environment different from the Internet and that it’s really worth exploring. Camping is usually associated with fresh air, delicious home-made food and lots of time spent bonding with your family, having actual conversations (you know, without TV interference) and reveling in the beautiful and breathtaking vistas nature has to offer.

Some time away from the constant information bombardment lets you achieve tranquility and peace with yourself, and even though you might enjoy the time off, your children might get bored easily. Luckily, there are tons of things you can while camping that will both let you rest well and entertain your kids. Here are some of the more fun activities you can perform.

 

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Set up the tent

You will be surprised what the right approach can achieve with children. Even though setting up the tent is a job for the adults (obviously), you can be sure that your kids will want to help. And why wouldn’t they? It’s a fun new activity in a totally new place. It’s one of the most interesting things they can do at that moment.

It’s either helping you with the tent, or standing around, poking the ground with a stick waiting for you to check on them every 30 seconds and constantly listening to you telling them to stay near. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? Of course, the children won’t have the time to rationalize all of this.

They will just want to help because children like being involved in the same activities adults are doing (that’s part of our learning process). So it’s safe to say your kids will want to help. Let them. Yes, it will take a little more time to set up the tent, but it’s fine – you’re not going anywhere and you’re not in a hurry. The kids will be entertained for a while and they will feel helpful which is enough to make them happy. After you set up the tent, you should also…

 

Build a fire

This is where it gets a little more dangerous, but the campfire is a classic. Most camp sites have pits already dug up, but if they don’t (or there isn’t one in that particular location), you can always make one. All you need to do is dig up a little hole (like I suppose you’ve seen people dig in movies), surround it with stones to make sure the fire doesn’t escape, and then gather some wood.

Now, the “digging a hole part” you kids will just love. Let them do it all. Guide them if you have to, but let them dig the hole and help them with the stones. Tell them what a good job they are doing and how much they’ve helped you. This positive reinforcement will make them want to help even more. Let them assist you with gathering wood. They will feel great for helping out.

Make sure they don’t disturb the natural order of things around and that they don’t break branches from trees – explain that they should help you gather wood that is already on the ground. Explain these concepts to them – why they should gather this type of tree, why they shouldn’t gather that type of tree – children love learning. If you know something about the area, talk about that, too.

 

Eating

After all that work, the kids will feel tired and hungry. A lot of time will have passed before you’ve gotten the camp up and running and the children will feel great that they were a part of the process. Now it’s time for the reward.

Eating near the campfire is a magical experience, possibly causing some primeval nostalgia. It gives us a sense of security and harmony and will definitely calm the little ones down. After they’ve eaten, they will probably want to rest for a bit and that will be about your first day there.

 

Exploring

There are a lot of interesting things to see when you go camping so you can spend some additional time with your children exploring the campsite and showing them different birds, squirrels and other small animals they are bound to find fascinating. Additionally, you can let them take some photos so they can show their friends when they get back.

Everything related to camping is a overall fun and exhilarating experience and you can spice it up even more. All it takes is a bit of imagination.

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Jessica Conars loves to spend time with her kids.  In her professional life she works with Clean To Perfection as a professional cleaner. During weekends she likes to go camping with her family.

Building Discipline Through Music

August 7, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Contributed anonymously

 

With so many varying types of activities, lessons, and sports available, how do you know which one is best for your child? If you are looking for something that enhances learning styles, encourages emotional growth, develops confidence and discipline and most importantly is fun, music lessons may be the answer. Music has the power to positively influence your baby while he or she is still in the womb; just imagine how it can influence your child when you put it in his or her hands.

 

Musical Brain PowerThe true cognitive and emotional benefits from music come from learning a musical instrument in depth and developing musical skill.

Children (any most of us adults) are naturally drawn to music. More than that, it has an incredible effect on your child’s brain. According to the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, learning a musical instrument advances cognitive development in children, especially in the areas of vocabulary, fine motor skills, auditory discrimination abilities and fine motor skills. Learning music also improves your child’s attention span, listening skills, reasoning, and ability to learn languages. Studies also have shown that children with musical training also tend to have higher academic achievements and go further in post-secondary education.

 

Your Child’s Social-Emotional Development through Music

Music also impacts your child’s social-emotional development. From toddlers to teens, it can be difficult for your son or daughter to express feelings through words. Music acts as a bridge in helping children to feel, recognize, and express emotions, and then put a name to them. Playing an instrument teaches children to regulate their feelings, manage their impulses, and is a great way to relieve stress. Learning how to incorporate emotion into song dynamics helps to instil compassion and empathy. Any tool you can give your child to prepare them for dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of their childhood or teen years is a definite plus. Research shows that university students with musical training have less anxiety, fewer emotional problems and fewer problems with alcohol compared to their non-musical peers.

 

Building Confidence One Note at a Time

Excelling academically and emotionally will positively affect your child’s self-esteem. Add that to the confidence your child will gain from becoming skilled at an instrument, and you have a foundation for happiness and success. There is a strong connection between involvement in music and positive self-perception, feelings of success, and leadership skills. Music improves a child’s self-image and helps to encourage positive attitudes. Playing music in band or orchestra also helps children learn how to be good team players and work well with others.

 

Strings, Keys, and Mouthpieces: Which Instrument to Pick?

After seeing some of the incredible benefits of music lessons, you might be wondering which instrument is best for your child. While piano is the most challenging instrument to learn after violin, it greatly helps kids learn how to sight-read music and grasp the fundamentals of music theory. Knowing how to play piano also can make it easier to learn a secondary instrument. For outgoing children, louder instruments such as drums or trumpet can work best, while shyer children might want to stick to a stringed instrument, or woodwind.  Other things to consider include noise level, space, and your budget. Click here to find affordable musical instruments like electronic drum sets, keyboards, recorders and more, allowing you to gauge your child’s interest level before investing in a pricier piece. Remember that there is no ‘easy instrument,’ as everything takes time and practice to learn.

Music is everywhere. Simply listening to music has a powerful effect on your mind and body, and think of how empowering it can be if you are the one creating it. There are many ways to introduce your child to music; through classes like Kindermusik, small groups, individual lessons, or playing around with instruments at home. The true cognitive and emotional benefits from music come from learning a musical instrument in depth and developing musical skill, so practice, practice, practice! Even if your kid doesn’t become the next Mozart, learning music can’t hurt. Start exploring with instruments now and see where music can take you and your child.