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Top Five Tips To Reduce Mom Stress

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What is exactly is mom stress, and why does it differ from other types of stress one may encounter? It could well be described as the loss of ability to cope with the repetitive routine and mundane course of daily child rearing for a specifically isolated period of time. Most moms will suffer at least some form of mom stress before their children are grown. Moms may feel as if they can no longer handle the fighting, the crying, the tantrums and overall lack of adult interaction. Moms should not feel ashamed for identifying with any of the above, this just means they could use a simple change in your daily routine.

Here are five easy to implement ways to avoid mom stress. Take heed, that all five of these involve taking time for yourself each and every day. Your special time could be something as simple as giving yourself a soothing foot soak first thing in the morning before the children and husband are awake. Gather your favorite foot spa products and relax. You can find many great spa products made specifically for new moms such as the Earth Mama Angel Baby specialty line of products. Be sure to post a do not disturb sign on the door and strictly prosecute anyone that dares to enter!

Your special time should also include some form of slow paced exercise such as early morning stretching or a 30 minute relaxation video. The slow yet invigorating pace of the exercise will begin to release your feel good hormones thus lending a more relaxed tone to the rest of the day.

What type of things did you enjoy before you became a mother? Your special time should encompass some sort of creative activity to remind you of your personal interests. If you enjoy photography why not start a scrapbook where you can catalog your photos as well as do some creative journaling? This would be a good time to do some positive thinking about your children by showcasing the special qualities of each child in the scrapbook.

Remember your long lost friends? Your special time should contain at least some kind of daily interaction with another adult beside your spouse. Make arrangements for a play date with another mom and have coffee while your
children play. Be sure to keep your diaper bag stuffed with items your children may need so they do not interupt your friendly conversation. Thinking ahead can make your visit much more enjoyable. Keep the conversation positive! Don’t spoil your “You Time” by discussing negative subjects that will probably leave you feeling emotionally drained.

Finally, the most important step before beginning your new routine is to get your husband on board. You will need his support to make sure you are not disturbed while taking time for yourself. Surprisingly, most husbands would like to see their wives relax a little more and are willing to help make that happen.

You shouldn’t feel that you have to keep a strict “You Time” schedule. Keep it relaxed by spreading your activities out through the week. One special “You Time” activity a day should be enough to put you in the right frame of mind.

Taking time for yourself should not be viewed as a selfish endeavor. This will only leave you feeling more refreshed and ready to be a better parent and wife. We all need that little something to look forward to each day and this can only help us to enjoy life with our family all the more.

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Parents

Dealing With A Crying Child While Driving

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Even the calmest, most perfect child can turn into a crying scream machine in the car. A wet diaper, an uncomfortable seat belt, or the pangs of hunger or thirst can send any child into a crying fit that can test the patience of even the most subdued of parents. An angry or screaming child can also make the drive itself more dangerous as you become more distracted by the screams of your toddler. Bad moods are contagious. If you allow yourself to become angered by your child’s crying you may drive more offensively and be more prone to doing something stupid while behind the wheel. There is no simple or fool-proof way to avoid having your child cry while you are driving him or her around, but these simple ideas may make things less stressful and more safe for you and other motorists.

1.If it is obvious that your child is not going to calm down on his own find a place to pull over (if it is safe to do so) and check to see if there is a simple reason for the crying.

Did he spit out his pacifier, is his belt cutting into his shoulder, or does he have a wet diaper? NEVER try to take care of retrieving a pacifier or giving a cookie while you are driving. We have all tried it before and we all know that it is not a wise thing to do, especially in rush hour traffic.

2.For children that are old enough to understand a few basic words try using a de-escalation method such as counting down slowly and calmly from five to one while attempting to make occasional eye contact in the rear view mirror (if possible).

This de-escalation method works more effectively if you practice it at home as well. Any time your child is throwing a tantrum instead of immediately putting him in time-out try getting him to calm down by sitting down with him face to face, make eye contact, and do the slow, calming count down. If you can get him to calm down at home using this method he will eventually be able to calm himself down while in the car with your verbal help.

3.Use a sibling as a helper.

This isn’t an option in all cases of course, but if your crying child has an older sibling in the car consider placing their car seats close enough together that the older child can play with or otherwise distract the younger child for a few minutes until you reach your destination. Obviously, the older child should never be allowed to unbuckle his seat belt while the vehicle is moving.

4.Never allow your child’s crying to affect your driving or your attention to the road.

At the same time never allow your child’s crying to build your stress to the point that you yell at the child in a desperate (and futile) attempt to make him be quiet. A child that is too young to understand words will only be startled by your yelling and will likely cry even more. In addition to this yelling at your child can cause other psychological problems down the road. If you are nearing the end of your rope, pull over and find out what is wrong. Always calm yourself down before opening the door to check on your child.

There is never a perfect method to deal with the stress of a crying child, especially in a confined space. But consider these four simple tips and always stop and think before doing anything unsafe while driving a vehicle. Pulling over may slow you down or make you late, but driving faster or more erratically because of the distraction of a crying child can make you a danger to yourself and others while on the road.

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Children

Educational Activities For Young Children In The Kitchen With Parents

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The kitchen is the center of most family activity. Everyone wants to see what good things are cooking for dinner. The kitchen can also be a place of learning for your child.

Make your child your taste tester. Taste testing is an important job in a test kitchen. If the food doesn’t taste just right, then it is rejected as a good recipe. Let them taste each thing you make. Get them accustomed to the tastes of sweet, salty, sour, and tangy. If they are a good taste tester, they will learn to recognize when something tastes bad. This is the first step to becoming useful in the kitchen.

Show your kids how to cook their favorite meals. Kraft® Food and Family magazine offers a section with recipes just for kids. Teach kids how you prepare to start cooking in the kitchen. Start with something simple. Children can assemble the ingredients and the utensils that will be needed to make the recipe. Show them what to do once and then let them take over. It will be slow at first since it is something that they have never done, but kids are up for new things. You may have to help them if there is any use of the oven involved. The more they get a chance to cook, the more they will pick up from you.

The major task of the kitchen is stocking it with groceries. If the children can write, let them make out the grocery list for you. This process helps them with their spelling. After the list is completed, it’s time to head to the grocery store. As you call them out, let the kids look for the items that you need. They will think that it is a food scavenger hunt. Your trip may take twice as long when they are helping you but it will be worth it to teach them about food shopping.

Show kids how to use the appliances in the kitchen. See if they can guess what each thing does. Use each appliance to create a simple treat as you demonstrate. By the time you finish showing them how everything functions, they will have a lot of snacks to eat. For example, use the blender to make a tasty shake as you demonstrate how it works. Use the mixer to whip up some instant pudding. The toaster can brown a bagel that can be spread with cream cheese or preserves. Caramel dip can be softened in the microwave and used for apples which can be cut up using an apple slicer.

Start at a young age and teach children about the clean-up side of cooking. Once you make a meal, the dishes you used need to be washed and put away. This is a perfect time to show them the dishwasher. Using the dishwasher is good for young children who aren’t tall enough to wash the dishes in the sink. Let them load all of the dishes in and start it up. When the cycle is finished, show them how to empty it.

Now that they know the basics, it’s time for the kids to create recipes of their own. Make sure that they use the proper measurement amounts for liquid and solid ingredients. Look over their recipes when they finish writing them to see that nothing is left out. As a bonus, let them show you how to create their recipes. Give them the apron and chef’s hat to make it official that they are in charge of the kitchen.

Everyone needs to learn to be self-sufficient in the kitchen. If your kids learn early, they will be helping you for a long time. The kitchen will become their favorite room in the house once they learn the ins and outs.

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Children

Homework A Mothers Day Tribute

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As Mother’s Day approaches and “spring fever” is settling in, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on the significant roles that mothers (and fathers) play in homework.

As a young student, I had my share of homework arguments with my mom. As an adult, I have become more and more appreciative of the tenacity my mother had to put up with me and my frustration towards homework. I have also discovered a few things I wish she could have understood when I was crying over long division…

Things I Wish My Mom Knew When I Was Upset Over Homework…

– I am tired of feeling lost. It seems like everyone else understands this stuff without any problems. I feel stupid. The teacher does an example on the board and I’m lost. It doesn’t make sense to me.

– I don’t understand why I need to learn this stuff! When will I ever need to know how to do long division? I can use a calculator. I’m tired of wasting my time.

– I don’t want your attention for homework. I would rather do something much more fun with you!

– Finally, and most significantly… I’m not THIS upset over just this one long division problem. It’s the fact that I still have 20 more to do after this one and I still do not have a clue what I am doing! I will be here forever and I will never have any fun in my life again, ever!

Things My Mom Probably Wish I Understood…

– You can do this! You just need to settle down so your brain can think about math instead of thinking about the anxiety you are creating for yourself.

– You will be grateful that you know how to do long division when you are stranded on a deserted island like Gilligan -without a calculator- and will need long division to figure out how to build a radio out of a coconut. (Okay, who am I kidding…my mom does not even know who Gilligan is, but she tried to tell me I would be grateful for knowing this stuff, even if I did use a calculator. She was right.)

– There are so many things I would rather be doing with you, too! But, I love you and your education is VERY important to me, so I am willing to put up with you and your tantrums. Too bad you are so stubborn, er, uh… independent…like me.

– You are doing this to yourself. You are feeling lost and overwhelmed over your 20 long division problems because you keep telling yourself that you can’t do it. When you tell yourself you can’t, you close your brain off from any chance of learning.

Something Neither of Us Knew…

…that someday, our arguments and fights would give me a greater appreciation for the frustrations my students feel and would allow me to be a much more empathetic teacher. Who knew all of those fights and arguments were actually career preparation in disguise??

Conclusion

Moms (and dads) are the unsung heroes of homework and school success. As a teacher, I can tell you from experience that students who do not have significant support from parents do not have any interest or motivation in school. Being a homework coach is an extraordinarily tough job, but it will pay off!

In the meantime, I hope this article gives parents something to talk about with their children. For students, I hope you can find some way to say “thanks” to your parents for all of their support with homework and school…perhaps you can work extra hard to earn a good grade in their honor, maybe you make an effort to settle down and try to be patient while trying to learn your homework, or maybe you simply give mom or dad a hug and say, “Thanks!”

As for me, this article is my “thank you” to my mom, but she already knows how much I appreciate her patience with me back then. Now, she has fun sitting back and watching me deal with my son’s “independent” spirit…

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