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Parenting & Family

3 Signs that Your Senior Parent Should No Longer Live Alone

We do not all age at the same rate, but unfortunately, it is a universal inevitability, nevertheless. When age catches up, even the fittest seniors need assistance to live well. So, how does one find out if their old parent(s)need assisted living conditions to live better lives? There are several signs that anyone paying attention can note easily and we are going to discuss some of them next.

Abnormal Clutter

People do not change lifelong habits after a certain age unless there is a definite cause for them to do so. Pay an unannounced visit to your parent’s home and see if it looks abnormally cluttered and dirty. Piled-up trash, unclean laundry, unwashed dishes, dirty floors, etc. are all signs that the people living in there are finding it exceptionally difficult to go through their daily chores for some reason.

The reason could be arthritis, fatigue, backpain, sickness, or even forgetfulness. You may not have noticed it before because they knew you were coming and, as a result, they cleaned up before your arrival. An unannounced visit may show you exactly how difficult it is for them to live alone now. Even if you cannot care for them at your own home, there are assisted living Houston communities where your parent(s) will find genuine care, companionship, and 24-hour service, catering to all their needs.

Unexpected and Significant Weight Loss

If an elder is not on a diet and exercise regime that they are aware of, they should not be losing a lot of weight within a very short time. In case that does happen, it means one, if not all of the following:

  • They are forgetting to eat and drink.
  • They are unable to or unwilling to eat.
  • They are seriously ill.

Forgetfulness to that extent can be extremely dangerous because it often indicates an underlying problem such as Alzheimer’s, TIA, and cerebral stroke among others. Dysphagia could be responsible for their unwillingness or inability to eat, which is also indicative of underlying medical conditions. There is no way to tell for sure without going to a physician. Seek medical assistance on their behalf at the earliest. Also, take the necessary steps to ensure they are not left alone and unattended at home.

Loneliness and Depression

Loneliness and depression are extremely common among the elderly, especially if they are single. Chances of depression are even higher if an elder has lost his/her partner recently. The fact that seniors are unlikely to be left with many friends who live nearby does not help either. If you have only one surviving, single parent who lives alone, look for the usual signs of depression.

More often than not, they will tell you about it on their own, but not everyone will. Depression can also lead to sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, general disinterest, anxiety, and forgetfulness. Next time you check on your parents, give them the time they need to talk with you and feel better. Also, if you see the more serious signs of depression, do not leave them alone.

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Parenting & Family

The Pros and Cons of Living with Senior Parents

If you have a parent who’s starting to lose their ability to perform tasks for themselves, then you have probably thought about bringing them to live with you. This is a very noble thing to do, but you should know that there are some downsides to doing so, and there are other options out there. Your family dynamic will change, and it might not be for the best. Even your parents may feel better in another setting. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of living with an aging parent.

Pro – You’ll Always have a Close Eye on Them

The biggest benefit of having your older parents live with you is that you’ll have full control over their care and will be aware of their whereabouts. You won’t have to worry about them getting lost if they’re starting to suffer from cognitive issues and will be able to help them directly if they have conditions that prevent them from doing everyday tasks.

Con – You’ll Have Less Freedom

With that being said, you will essentially become your parents’ caregiver and you might not be able to be there 24/7 for them if you have to work and don’t have other people in the house who can look after them during the day. This is something you can deal with if the parent in question is largely autonomous, but not when they have debilitating chronic conditions or are starting to deal with memory loss.

If your parents are showing signs of dementia or memory loss, then you’ll have no choice but to consider nursing homes or assisted living facilities that offer memory care. You might have trouble finding those in smaller towns and rural areas, but you’ll have no trouble finding them in large cities. If you live in Central Missouri, for instance, then we would suggest that you check out these St Louis memory care facilities.

Pro – You’ll Build Tighter Bonds and Prevent Isolation

Isolation is a major issue for seniors in this country. It has been estimated that about 24% of seniors in this country are socially isolated and about 43% of people over the age of 60 reported that they felt bouts of loneliness from time to time.

One of the best ways to breathe new life into an aging parent is to bring them closer to the family. Some grandparents live for their grandchildren and bringing your parents home will allow them to see much more of them. This will not only make him happy, but it could literally add years to their lives and even make them physically healthier.

Con – They Might Not Like it

You do have to consider the possibility that your parent will not like living with you. They might be frustrated by the lack of privacy or feel like you’re babysitting them. They also may not want to be a nuisance and withdraw even more as a result. So, think about this and try to gauge how enthusiastic they are about the idea before you start the process of moving them.

These are things you’ll need to think about before you bring a senior parent home to live with you permanently. It could be the best move you’ve ever made or a very bad one, so take the time to look at both sides of the coin and have them involved in the decision as much as possible.

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Parenting & Family

Things Nobody Tells You About Being a Parent

Pretty much everyone understands that there is a significant challenge attached to being a parent. But most people don’t like to think about this in detail. And when they do, they often gloss over the points that they don’t want to think too deeply about. This is unfortunate because whether you like to think about them or not, those things will happen. And you can do a lot to prepare yourself for that moment.

You’ll Have Almost No Time to Yourself

Say goodbye to your free time. While most are aware of that, many disregard how much of a strain it can put on their shoulders once reality hits them. It’s not just about your daily duties. During those first few years, you won’t even have much time to yourself in the evening once the kids are asleep.

Don’t even think about having one drink too many on an otherwise calm night because you never know when you might have to drive the little ones to the hospital due to yet another emergency.

You’ll Be Sick a Lot

Speaking of hospital visits, you should prepare to go through much more downtime yourself once you’re a parent. Kids get sick a lot, especially once they’re at an age where they frequently interact with other kids. And they’ll be constantly bringing those illnesses home.

Try to minimize your downtime as best as you can. Not just by taking medications, but also by masking some of the symptoms temporarily. If you’re having difficulty swallowing, something like SimplyThick Easy Mix can help get you through that period more smoothly. You don’t have to treat the underlying condition to be able to get around the house and take care of your kids, after all.

Keeping the House Clean Will Become More and More of a Challenge

And on that note, another thing you can forget about is keeping the house spotless all the time. Things will gradually get worse, no matter how much effort you put into keeping things clean. The best you can do is get used to that early on and make sure that the most critical areas are taken care of.

It will be a while until you can get your children to help you with chores, so don’t count on that in the first few years. You and your partner will be pretty much on your own. If you can afford it, getting some additional help can certainly be of use, but it’s best if you can get used to sorting these problems out on your own because they will just keep coming at you in the near future.

In the end, though, you know why you’re doing this – because it makes you happy. Once you’re through that turbulent initial period, things will start flowing more smoothly at one point. And you’ll never regret going through all that. Just make sure to use all resources available to you while you’re still going through challenging phases and things will work out just fine in the end.

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Parenting & Family

3 Things That Will Change When You Have Kids

Having children isn’t something that everyone will necessarily experience in their lifetime, but if it is something you have decided to do, congratulations! Having kids is a huge life change, but there is a lot of good that comes with it, even if it can be a little stressful and difficult at times. There are some adjustments you may have to make to your daily life, both short-term and long-term, in order to make the transition into parenthood easier on yourself and the rest of your family. Here are 3 things that will most likely change when you have kids.

Priorities 

You may notice that once you have kids your priorities are completely different than they were beforehand. You will no longer be as self-centered as you perhaps were when you were younger and had no one to take care of or worry about other than yourself. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself going out of your way to make your kids happy. They will become the most important things in your life very quickly!

Future Plans 

It is quite common for people to change their plans for the future once kids come along, and this may very well be the case for you. If you have thought about your retirement years or end of life care at all, those things might change now that you will have children who will be around to help take care of you or help you find an assisted living home to move into if at some point that becomes a need.

Many things about your future will become easier with the addition of children because you’ll have extra help and security as you age. Just make sure to talk to them about your wants and needs so that there are no surprises along the way.

Budget 

Unfortunately, one of the biggest things that is going to need to change once you become a parent is your budget. No matter how much money you make, you will likely need to cut back on something in order to be able to comfortably afford all of the costs that will come up as a result of having children.

In fact, it is probably a smart idea to have a savings fund that you start putting money into well before you have children if you think that might be a possibility for you. As joyful as they are, kids can come with a lot of unexpected expenses, and if you have a savings fund that will make everything easier in the end.

Making adjustments to your lifestyle doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. You may welcome many of the changes that come along with having kids! Hopefully, this list gives you a good idea of what to expect.

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Parenting & Family

3 Tips For Leaving Your Kids With Your Parents For The Weekend

If you’re like most parents of young children, you could use a break for more than just a few hours every once in a while. And if you’re lucky enough to have parents that you trust to stay with your kids, you might even be able to manage a weekend away on occasion. However, as much as you might relish the break, you may also worry about leaving your kids for all of this time. But with the right planning and preparation, everyone involved can have a safe and enjoyable time.

To help you see how this can be done, here are three tips for leaving your kids with your parents for the weekend. 

Consider Having Everyone Stay At Your House 

While it might seem convenient to just bring your kids to stay at your parents’ house, for the sake of keeping their routine as consistent as possible, it might be best to just have your parents stay at your house while watching the kids.

Especially if you have little kids, your house is likely much more child-proofed than your parents’ home, which will make it easier for them to watch your kids here, too. And if your kids are going to need to be going to school or participating in other activities that they are signed up for, doing this from your house is just going to be much simpler. 

Leave The Right Documents And Directions 

Although you don’t want anything to happen that would require your parents to have to take your kids to the hospital or deal with any legal authorities for any reason, having the necessary paperwork and directions in the event that something were to happen can help both parties be much more comfortable with you leaving.

Try to give your parents things like your children’s medical insurance cards, permission letter for your parents to get your kids treated medically, and any other documents that might be needed while you’re away. Additionally, if you have a certain way that you do things and that your kids will be expecting, be sure you write these directions down for your parents as well. 

Make Things As Simple And Easy As Possible 

During the time that your parents are watching your kids, you should try to reel in your expectations and make things as easy on your parents as possible. Although they might not be on the verge of moving into an assisted living facility, they still likely can’t take care of your kids with the same energy you can.

Knowing this, try to make things like meals easier and let them know that things like screen time can be a little more relaxed while they’re there.

If you’re going to be leaving your kids with your parents while you take a weekend away, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you prepare for this experience.

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Parenting & Family

How to Convince Your Spouse to Start Therapy

Did you know only about 19% of adults received mental health treatment in 2019?

Knowing this information might make you think it’s impossible to get your spouse to start therapy. While it might be a difficult process, you can help your spouse take the first steps.

This guide will discuss some ways you can convince your spouse to get the support they need for their mental health. Continue reading to learn more.

Be Clear in Your Explanation

Convincing your partner to start couples counseling might be a difficult conversation, but there are ways to make the process easier for you. One of the best ways to help your spouse understand why you need couples therapy is to explain your reasons clearly.

Try not to use vague statements when having this conversation. Instead of telling your spouse that you have relationship problems, you should make a list of specific issues you need to work through. If you’re having problems communicating, tell your spouse how that makes you feel.

Point out examples of how these issues are affecting your relationship to help your spouse understand why therapy is the right choice.

Have a Private Discussion

Every important conversation needs to be had at the right place and time. Discussing going to therapy isn’t something you should bring up out of the blue during an event or family gathering.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with talking about therapy, your spouse has the right to privacy. They’ll feel more comfortable having this conversation one-on-one.

You should also avoid suggesting therapy during an argument. This might make it more difficult for your partner to agree to it.

Try Individual Counseling First

If your spouse isn’t used to having open discussions about mental health, they might be hesitant to go to therapy.

One way to ease their anxiety could include trying therapy on your own first. Individual talk therapy is one of the most common types of therapy, and you can get started right away.

If you take the initiative and show your spouse how much therapy has helped you as an individual, they might be more open to going as a couple later on. By sharing your experience, your spouse will realize it isn’t as scary as it seems.

Do Research Ahead of Time

Before you suggest therapy to your spouse, you need to be informed about the process. Do some research on the mental health issues they’re experiencing as an individual or some of the problems you’re facing as a couple.

Read about some techniques practiced in therapy. You can also come up with a list of therapists in your area and payment requirements. Many people avoid therapy because they think it’s impossible to find a quality therapist for an affordable price.

Show your spouse that they have options when it comes to therapy to help convince them it’s the right choice.

Lead With Empathy

How you talk to your spouse about therapy is just as important as what you say to them. If you want to start partner therapy, you have to approach the conversation with kindness and a lot of patience.

Use a gentle tone throughout the conversation. Some thoughtful language you can use includes telling your spouse how much you love and support them before suggesting seeing a therapist for a specific issue.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your partner might take some time to agree to therapy. You have to be patient throughout this process. This is a big step for any person and going at their pace is the best approach to take.

Explain That There’s No Shame in Getting Help

One of the biggest hurdles to starting therapy is the stigma many people feel about it. Many people might be afraid to go to therapy because they don’t know anyone who has.

Your partner might feel shame about struggling with their mental health. Encouraging them to get treatment for their mind as they would for a broken bone is one way to approach the conversation.

Getting help for a mental illness or relationship problems should be seen as an act of bravery rather than a sign of weakness. Talking to others who are willing to share their experience will help destigmatize counseling for your spouse.

Remind Them of the Hard Work They Have to Do

Therapy for spouses requires a lot of hard work. Keep this in mind when you start talking to your partner about going to therapy.

While you don’t want to overwhelm them with information during your first conversation, you need to be honest about how hard therapy can be. Transparency is key to working on your relationship issues.

Talk to your partner about the work they have to put in to reap the benefits of therapy. Knowing that things will change for the better will encourage them to give therapy a chance.

Suggest Some Trial Sessions

Another way to convince your partner to start therapy is by setting up a few sessions with different counselors. It’s important to find a counselor that you feel comfortable with.

Setting up appointments with different counselors can help your partner understand the therapy process and make them feel more comfortable opening up.

Once you find a good fit, you can start working through your issues. A good therapist will help you uncover whether you’re married to a narcissist or if there are other mental health issues your partner’s dealing with.

Convince Your Spouse to Start Therapy With These Tips

The tips in this guide should help you convince your spouse to start therapy or at least start the conversation. You should do some research before talking to your spouse about therapy. You should also try speaking with a few therapists to find the best fit.

Check out some of the other family and relationship blogs on our site for more helpful tips.

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Parenting & Family

5 Tips For Balancing Family And Work

Working full time is difficult, stressful, and time consuming enough on its own. Throw trying to care for a family into the mix and its no wonder so many people seem to struggle with it all. Balancing work and family in a healthy way can be tricky, and there can be so many variables involved. If you are curious about how to make a better balance in your life, read on. These 5 tips are just for you!

Be Your Best Self 

Taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally by taking adequate breaks and engaging in self care is actually one of the best ways you can be a great parent, spouse, and employee all at once. The better you are feeling, the more equipped you will be to take care of other people and things. For instance, if you are feeling like your marriage isn’t working out, filing for divorce could actually be the very best thing for you, both work-wise and family-wise, because if you are finally happy you will be able to do your best in all corners of your life.

Make Lists 

Making to-do lists is a helpful tool for any busy person, and this is especially true if you are trying to balance a busy work schedule with an equally busy family life. To-do lists can come in many forms and don’t necessarily just have to be in your planner, notebook, or on a post-it note. They can also be on a large chalkboard or whiteboard in your home in a place you know you will see it regularly (so as not to forget anything on it), on your fridge, or in your phone.

When you have a lot going on in all aspects of your life, it is very important to keep track of the things you need to get done, and always make sure your priorities are straight. For example, if you have an important work function coming up you should make sure that you don’t already have a special date planned with your spouse or one of your kid’s soccer games to go to during that same time.

Be Transparent 

Talk as much as you can and be open, honest, and transparent not only with your family but with your co-workers and supervisors as well. If everyone knows and understands that you have a busy life and the reasons behind that, they will be much more likely to be understanding when you have other obligations.

It can be hard to juggle a family and a busy work schedule all at once, but finding a rhythm that works for you, including surrounding yourself with understanding people, will make your journey so much less bumpy. Try the above tips to see if they can alleviate some of your stress!

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Parenting & Family

How to Discuss Stranger Danger With Your Kids

With advances in technology and children spending so much time online, it’s scary to think about who they may be unintentionally communicating with. While popular gaming platforms may seem innocent enough, they are one of the easiest ways for our children to fall prey to sinister adults with ulterior motives. Unfortunately, the potential for danger isn’t just limited to the internet. If you’re a parent, it’s important to begin the conversation about “stranger danger” early, so they know what to look out for as they navigate the world around them. Following, are some important tips on how to discuss “stranger danger” with your children, before it’s too late.

Teach Your Children to Recognize the Signs

According to DeliverFund, a  nonprofit organization that combats human trafficking, “the human trafficking problem continues to rise across the United States, with traffickers able to use any tool available to them to connect with potential victims.” Therefore, it’s important to spread human trafficking awareness, so we are knowledgeable of the tools these people use to prey on our most vulnerable. One of the most often utilized tools is the internet. Social media, video games, and chat rooms are all popular places these people may lurk to gain your child’s trust. They may try to relate to them by talking about video games, popular music, or other pop culture references. Educate your children about this fact, and let them know they should never trust that the other person is who they say they are. Let them know they should never give strangers on the internet their real name, where they live, their telephone number, or where they go to school.

Practice Scenarios With Your Children

While discussing the importance of staying safe and not talking to strange adults is an important component of raising awareness, it’s also important to put this plan into action, and allow your children the ability to practice what they would do in a variety of scenarios. Take the time to role play, so your children know what to do if a strange adult approaches them. Pretend you’re a stranger who’s looking for their lost puppy or offering candy if they come to their house. By allowing your children the opportunity to put into practice what they’ve learned, they’ll know just how to react without hesitation if they’re ever put in a similar situation.

Teach Your Children to Trust Their Instincts

Instincts are a very important tool in our fight against child trafficking and keeping our children safe. Teach your children they should always trust their instincts, and if a situation doesn’t feel right, or an adult is making them uncomfortable, they should leave and tell an adult they can trust. Teach your children that an adult should never ask a child to “keep a secret,” and this is a sign that something is very wrong. Let them know that no matter what an adult may say to them, they should always speak up if someone has harmed or inappropriately touched them or tried to do so. By empowering our children with the knowledge and insight on what to look out for, they’ll be in a better position to defend themselves and get out of scary situations.

Teach Your Children How to Find Help

While you may like to believe you’ll be there if your child is in a scary situation with a stranger, there are field trips, day camps, and other times when you may not be available for your child in their time of need. Therefore, your child needs to be able to identify an adult they can trust. Teach your children they should find an official store employee, police officer, security guard, or other uniformed personnel if they find themselves in a scary situation. By teaching your child who they can turn to if you’re not there, you’re putting your child in a better position to stay safe and situationally aware.

With all the news headlines about children being abducted or harmed, it’s no wonder why many parents fear for their children’s safety. These are challenging times to raise a family. However, by providing our children with the knowledge and skills they need to deal with strange adults, they will be in a better position to identify potentially dangerous situations and stay safe.

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Parenting & Family

7 Symptoms Of Illness Parents Must Not Ignore

There are times when it is hard to judge if a sign of illness requires a call to the doctor. Parents often get worried about which temperate is a sign of extreme fever and when the tummy ache becomes a sign of an infection in the stomach. It is a lot more confusing when it is about your child’s health. Bruises, flu, and cuts are natural as they grow up but you need to be careful about certain symptoms and signs of the child. Some symptoms call for instant medical attention and should not be ignored. Let us take a look at those signs.

  1. Heavy fever

You must be aware of the fact that fever is a way through which your immune system will fight infection. But there are times when it will need medical attention. If you notice that the body temperature is higher than 100.3 F, it is a sign of fever and also shows the signs of an active immune system in the body. Now, if your child has a fever but is eating and playing like any other day, avoid the medications. Otherwise, give a limited dose of medicine to reduce the fever temporarily. If the medicines do not cure the infection and fever persists for more than 2 days for kids below 2 years and more than 3-4 days in kids above the age, you need to speak to a doctor immediately. A compounding pharmacist can make it easier for you to give medication to your child.

  1. Persistent headache

A headache happens due to the constriction of muscles in your scalp and it is never a brain problem. But children do not normally get a headache. So if your child has a headache, you can treat it with a pain killer but if it is persistent and has an impact on the day-to-day activities like playing, eating, or sleeping, then you need to speak to a child specialist. Again, if you notice that the child is often getting headaches, you need to have this evaluated. In case of fever with a headache, it could be a serious problem and you need to take the child to a pediatrician.

  1. Abdominal pain

With the introduction of new diets, it is common for children to have stomach pain. Consider it major only if the pain is severe and is present on the lower right side. If it is accompanied by diarrhea or vomiting, it could be due to appendicitis and you need to visit the doctor right away.

  1. Vomiting

It is important not to give anything to your child for one hour after the child vomits. Later, you can give them a small amount of electrolyte solution. Continue giving fluids in small amounts for the next few hours before giving solid food. When vomiting persists beyond a day, you need to seek medical attention. If the child has a fever with vomiting, it could be a sign of urinary tract infection or a throat infection.

  1. Breathing difficulty

If a child has a fever, rapid breathing is normal but it can be relieved with medication. However, if the rapid breathing is there without fever, then you will have to see a doctor. If there is breathing difficulty when exercising or playing and there is a whistling sound in exhalation, it could be asthma and you need to take the child to a doctor.

  1. Fatigue 

If you often notice that the child does not look energetic than usual and if it stretches for a long time, it could be a problem. This could be due to depression or malabsorption. You need to take the child for a checkup and if you have a teenager, leave them alone with the doctor to discuss without feeling uncomfortable. 

  1. Heavy rash

When the rash is confined to the feet and hands alone, there is not much to be worried about. However, if there is a rash on the body, then you need to seek medical help. Further, if the rash turns  white if you press it and then turns back to red once released, then it is not a cause of worry. But if this does not happen and the child has a fever with the rash, it could be a medical emergency and you should not waste any more time.

Do not be the parent who likes to have a wait and watch approach when the child is sick. Never think that it is too soon to go to the hospital or you would be ridiculed for going. There is nothing wrong with taking the necessary steps for your child. If something is wrong with your child’s health, the first person you will think of is a doctor. Take your child to the doctor if you see any of these symptoms so as to avoid complications.

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Parenting & Family

3 Tips For Dealing With A Child Who’s Resistant To Your Upcoming Move

While moving is never particularly enjoyable for anyone, if you are trying to manage a family move with a child who’s resistant to the idea of moving, this can make things even more challenging. In addition to trying to figure out how to make your residential move happen and set up your new life in this new home, you also have to navigate the uncharted waters of your child and all the emotions they’re feeling. 

To help make this hurdle a little easier to get over, here are three tips for dealing with a child who’s resistant to your upcoming move. 

Set Aside Time For Your Child To Express Their Feelings

In all of your stress to get your move handled, you may have found yourself leaving your child slightly on their own emotionally to work through their negative attitude toward your move. However, this may not prove to give you the results you want.

As another strategy, you may want to try setting aside a time that your child can express their feelings, either to you or to someone else. Let them say everything that you’re thinking or feeling, cry if they want to, get upset and just let their emotions out. If they want to say something negative, have it done in this setting. Then, once they’ve ready, have them rejoin the family and try to move forward. Sometimes, just having this safe space as an outlet can help them actually begin to work through what they’re feeling and process the reality of your upcoming move. 

Validate Their Concerns

In an effort to get your child more onboard with your move, it’s possible that your child could feel like you’re not validating their feelings or concerns about the move. So the next time they start to complain about the move, try to join them in their misery for a moment or two. Seeing that you too will miss certain things about your home or are worried about finding your place in their new community can help them feel like you’re both on the same side rather than on opposite teams. 

Take Away Fear Of The Unknown

Sometimes, the underlying issue that makes kids resistant to a move is that they’re really just scared of the unknown that comes with starting a life somewhere new. 

To help them overcome this, you should attempt to take away this fear of the unknown by exposing them to their new life as much as possible prior to the move. If you’re able, go visit your new home, walk around your new neighborhood, sign up for a class or sport, or go to an event at their new school. Seeing these places and meeting these people could help them see that there’s really nothing to be afraid of about your upcoming move. 

If you’re going to be moving soon and you have a child that’s still not onboard, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you all work through this.

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Parenting & Family

5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Family’s Life

Having a family is difficult, stressful, and expensive. You care about your spouse and children more than anything else in the world, and because of this you are constantly worried about their health, well-being, and quality of life. Of course you would do anything you can to improve these things for them, but especially in this day and age that isn’t always easy. Here are some simple ways you can improve your family’s life right now. 

Preventative Measures

Preventative measures such as calling exterminators for pest control, keeping fire and carbon monoxide alarms in working order, and checking for mold on a regular basis are great ways to keep your family healthy and happy. Most of these things are much less stressful to prevent than they are to take care of later on. So to ensure that stress levels stay low in your household, keep up on preventative measures.

Keep A Schedule

Keeping yourself and the rest of your family on a semi-strict schedule is a fantastic way to make sure stress levels stay low and everyone is as productive as possible. Young children especially thrive when they have schedules because they always know what to expect and there are no surprises. Consider hanging up a calendar or dry erase board so that everyone in the family knows what important things are on the to-do list. 

Make Meals At Home

Everyone eats out once in a while, and it can be a fun treat reserved for special occasions, but cooking meals at home is a great way to save money and also make sure that your family is as healthy as possible. When you make meals at home you know every ingredient that goes into everything and can better control the caloric intake as well as keep in mind any allergies anyone in your clan might have. Making meals at home on a regular basis will improve your family’s life for sure.

Home Improvements 

A happy home equals a happy family, and making improvements to your home (no matter how small or inexpensive) will make the general quality of life in your family go way up. It’s important that your home is a place where you and all of its other inhabitants feel safe and calm. Things like layout, scent, furniture, paint, textiles, etc. can really make a difference in the mental health of your family members. Consider making changes to the aesthetics and functionality of your home and you might be surprised the positive things it will bring about in your home life. 

Don’t get so wrapped up in work and personal obligations that you forget about the importance of your home. Improving your home even in the slightest ways will help so many other things for your family such as their mental and physical health! These things are priceless and will be totally worth whatever time and money you invest in home improvements.

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Parenting & Family

Summer Activities Ideas for Kids at Home

The recent changes in our lifestyle in this past year made parents probably much more creative than ever before. Those who raised kids during the peaks of the pandemic are certainly well aware of the beauties of crafting and tie-dying. However, chances are you might welcome something that takes you and your kids out of the house. As the weather gets warmer and warmer, a bunch of fun things that you can do outside present themselves. Let us take a closer look at kids-friendly summer activities that not only kids can enjoy:

Backyard camping

The necessary ingredients for the perfect backyard camping experience that lasts for days are as follows. A tent that can ideally be set up instantly, a headlamp, a folding camping cot, camping chairs, and an outdoor folding table. To make it the most memorable camping of all times, you can round it up with some extras. These can include an inflatable bed, sofa, or fort. Remember to have a telescope ready to watch the night sky and walkie talkies for every family member. If you want to go all out, not just literally, you may invest in some string lights and perhaps a camping hammock too.

BBQ

Then, of course, there is the feasting, which will crown the whole camping trip. A must-have would be a propane gas grill, grilling tools set, outdoor storage, and a thermometer, among other things. Whether it is a portable campfire or a real one, the whole family can gather around it with some s’mores kits. You can engage in lively conversation about the highlights of the backyard camping. Alternatively, you can pose questions to your kids, like how is propane made or what do flames consist of and see what they have to say about it. Such activities allow the family to spend quality time together and get away from the routine of weekdays.

Creative games

Oftentimes, it does not take more than handing your kids a few colourful chalks and designate an area outside where they can get creative with them. The possibilities are plenty. Sidewalk chalk art, hopscotch, alphabet hop, and chalk maze are just a few of the activities a simple chalk could make happen. If you are ready to invest in more than that, go for the inflatables. You cannot really go wrong with having a land roller, a water slide, or a soccer set in the backyard. Talking about soccer, virtually anything will do that allows kids to sweat and exercise a little. Depending on how big of a Harry Potter fan your children are, you can set up the poles for muggle quidditch as well. If not that, then maybe a hula hoop obstacle course, sack races, or croquet.

Rainy-day fun

It may occasionally happen that your kids have to take a rain check. A read-a-thon may just be the perfect alternative when stuck indoors. It is up to you how you prefer to organize this family book club of yours. Maybe everyone is grabbing their favorite read and curling up on the sofa with some tea or hot chocolate. Perhaps, you are in the mood to take requests and read out something to your kids. You can also choose a book series and make it a regular event. This is also the ideal time to recount some childhood memories of yours, introduce some folktales, or tell a tall tale and bask in your kids’ disbelieving faces. Such occasions offer great opportunities for bonding and initiating an informative and fun conversation with your family.

Final Words

It is entirely up to you how much effort you want to put into your kids’ summer timeouts. It is not a question of budget, just a question of a little research and planning. Summer is ideally spent outdoors. Thus, the more outdoor activity you can cook up, the more beneficial the time will be for your children. You can think in terms of sports, crafts, or games, as long as your kids are outside, the vitamin D supply is guaranteed. As author and poet, Oscar Wilde  once noted, the best way to make children good is to make them happy. Now, what better way to make them happy than let them soak up some sunshine and fresh air?