Monday, January 24, 2011

Keeping Kids Safe-Online and Parenting Ideas

Our friend is a police officer and was featured in this great video about keeping your kids safe online.  He address some great issues that you may find very helpful!  It is five minutes long so when you have some time, it is great!
Detective Bird gave a great talk in church yesterday about parenting.  I really enjoyed it and thought I would share some thoughts he gave that I really liked.  He has quite a perspective being a dad himself and also working in the school and with families with troubled teens.
1. Take care of yourself-if you are not fully functioning then you can't expect to take care of your children.
2.  Take Care of the Team
This team is anyone who helps you with your children.  For example your neighbors, teachers, scout leaders, grandparents, and especially your spouse.
With your spouse be sure to feed your marriage with regular date night.  With teachers and neighbors, counsel together and work together so you can help your children with specific problems they are having.  
3.  Love your Children--be a provider of good times and good things.
Tell them you love them unconditionally.  "I love you if you do awesome things and I love you even when you make mistakes."
4.  Discipline your children--Set appropriate limits.  Teach responsibility by giving them jobs that you know they can handle.  He uses the $5,000 rule to decide if they can handle the job.  If you told them you would pay them $5000 for completing the job without your help then they can handle it.  Make sure you are clear on what their responsibility is.  Then be sure to tell them "If you have any questions Ask".  After they succeed be sure to celebrate with them and share in the joy.  If they blow it-it's OK.  This helps and teaches them.  It's better to blow it when the price is small.  When you need to discipline give a lot of empathy.  I'm so sorry this happened, but his is whats going to happen now.  Stay away from the three R's.  Rant, Rave and Rescue.  Let the consequences teach them and then give them opportunities to try and try again until they get it right.
5.  Keep Smiling-Don't nag

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sitting by my Babe

When we had our first baby there were a few times when I had to crawl back in the back seat to soothe and calm down our screaming infant.  My husband would jokingly say, "I feel like a cab driver."  I see husband cab drivers all the time.  For the sake of their marriage I hope it's only an occasional event and not routine.  I think it's important to sit by my sweetheart.  For all the hours of the day I spend caring, feeding, dressing, bathing, diapering my children, I think I can let them sit on their own in the car so we can sit together.
I feel the same way at church, concerts, or the movies.  Kids can sit on our lap but I want to sit next to my husband and hold his hand, if possible.  I think children find security seeing their parents show affection and care for each other. Sitting by each other may seem like a small thing that would have no consequence and no matter at all, but sometimes the little things turn into big things.  Little things are often the glue that holds a family and marriage together.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Exercising Tips

This is the time of year that it is hard to get a lot of exercise when it's so cold outside.  Even though you as the mom and dad are not directly helping your child by exercising, they are indirectly helping them in so many ways.  Seeing you being healthy will help them follow your example when they are older.  The endorphins that you get from exercising will help your mood and help you be a happier parent.
I've been exercising for a long time and found a few things that help me keep going and see results.
1.  Do it everyday at the same time, if it's scheduled it will happen much easier!
2.  Spice up your routine and don't do the same thing everyday.  But make a plan at the beginning of the week so you don't sit there and think what should I do.   ie.  Monday-I will run for 30 minutes, Tuesday I will do the Wii Fit for 45 minutes, Wed.  I will do the Elliptical for 30, Thursday, I will do weigh training for 45 minutes.  etc.  (If you are looking to lose weight aim for 1 hour of exercise a day, if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight do at least half an hour)
3.  When you exercise, use as many muscle groups as you can.  For example if you are on the treadmill, don't hold on the treadmill unless you have serious balance issues.  Using your arms will increase your heart rate and give you a much better workout.  Use a balance board or ball while you do some of your weighted arm workouts.
4.  When working out with weight machines, maximize your time by rotating through 3-5 machines.  If you sit and rest for 1 minute after every machine, you add so much time to your workout where you are just idle and not keeping your heart rate (not to mention it annoys everyone at the gym who wants to use that machine).  Just be sure to do a totally different set of muscle groups, that way your muscles can rest while using a different muscle group.
5.  Most gyms offer personal training.  Golds Gym gives you three free ones when you sign up.  Planet Fitness offers free group classes.  It's so worth it to meet with a trainer and talk about your goals and how you can best achieve these.
6.  Don't be intimidated to try something new at a gym.  Ask questions, most people find it very flattering if someone asks them how something works.
7.  You don't need a gym membership to get a great workout.  Get some videos from the library, dance in your front room to music, use things in your house to lift.  Using your own body weight by doing sit ups, push ups, and stretching are all great workouts.
8.  Always stretch out after your workouts.  When I don't I can really tell because I'm more sore.
9.  When you do use weight machines, try to do three sets with 8-12 repetitions.  The first set make that your lightest weight, second set heavier, and last set make the heaviest.
10.  Do things you enjoy and if you don't enjoy it do it anyway because your children want you to be around when they are having their children.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Caring for Husbands

I know I usually write about children but I can't help writing today about caring for husbands because I am reading Dr. Laura Schlessinger's book called "The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands."  I read this book several years ago and picked it up again at the library because I needed a refresher.  I have lots of New Years goals and one is to improve my relationship with my eternal companion.  I read once that anything you feel important in your life you should read a book about it once and a while.  I like to do this with marriage, parenting, gospel topics, and money management.

Dr. Laura is totally traditional in her ideas of marriage and relationships and she is not afraid to say so.  She says it how she feels and puts a few strong words behind it.  Despite her occasional bad word I totally agree with her and would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a great relationship with their husband.  Since she does many radio shows she has tons of examples of relationships and her advise to them in her book.  Some are hilarious and some are quite sad.  Here are a few quotes in her book that I found enlightening.
"How can husbands fell respected, appreciated, or loved when they are the constant brunt of their wives negativity about everything?  As much as men's bellies need to be filled with delicious "home-cooked meals," their egos need to be filled with 'yummy food' as well.  I have found that if I speak blessings about my husband, then blessings are what i get in return."

We as women, want to know that we are lovely and desirable in general because of our shapes.  Ladies, what makes the male ego issue any different from our body ego issue?  A wife can tear down a husband's necessary sense of strength and importance more easily with a look or a comment than can torture in a prison camp.
She then gave the example of Eve who felt her husband "didn't understand her" and didn't do things right to help her feel happy and satisfied."  This all changed when she finally recognized that her husband had goals and desires, frustration and needs, all his own.  She realized that she had virtually ripped his love of golf away from him because she'd always felt that if he loved her, he'd want to be with her, he needed to do things around the house and with the kids, and she needed a break.  She admitted never even considering that maybe he needed a break, too.  I loved this comment that she made at the end. "Now several years later, we both are much more caring about each other, and willing to see the other's need and point of view.  Funny as I changed, my husband didn't seem so bad.  Did he become more pleasant in response to my more pleasant attitude, or was he really not all that bad to begin with?"

Sorry this is longer then I planned on.  I just have really enjoyed the thoughts that this book gave on how we as women can improve our marriages simply by improving our attitude, words, and actions we make towards our husband.  She gives so many personal examples and hard not to see yourself a little in all of them.  It really makes me evaluate how I can be a better wife, friend, and lover.