Parental Advice

How Grandparents can play a great role in Kids development

The role of Grandparents in the life of kids is very vital. They are the sources of love, care and values for the kids when both the parents are busy at work. The development of kids is also the responsibility of grandparents as much as parents if the older generation is staying together with the younger ones. Holding a grandchild for the first time is more nostalgic than when you held your own kid for the first time. It is an unbelievable experience.

Fostering development

Grandparents foster cognitive and language development by talking to children, Telling them stories, giving them information about a lot of things which are normally new for these kids of the new generation. Grandparents take their grandchildren to the garden everyday where their physical , Motor skill, Social and Emotional development takes place.

Growing Bond

Creating a very close bond with your grandchildren is very important so that there is a continuity in their lives in terms of their parents having less time to be with them. As Grandparents you develop a very close bond with the kids by interacting with them on topics which probably they cannot share or ask their parents.

Family Tradition

Teaching your grand Children about the old values and traditions is a very rewarding time as this is what most nuclear families do not have the time to do as both parents are very busy with their respective careers.Positive attitudes of kids towards traditions is what is a reward to the grand parents. You are inculcating good values and the knowledge of the rich heritage of the family or the country is given to the grandchildren. This enhances lifelong learning in the children. Draw a family tree and show your grandchildren who their ancestors were. They will love to have this information and will be ever gratefuk to you for having shared this knowledge with them.

Involvement in interests

Grand kids are always interested in knowing what their grand parents are interested in doing. What they did in their childhood. Telling the children that there was no technology so long ago is almost unbelievable to them. When you tell them that there was a lot of outdoor play , reading, talking to friends, indoor games like carom, board games and having role plays is almost magic for them . They are so used to the Tabs, I-pads, etc that they do not know that there is a world beyond that. So they should be encouraged to do and involve themselves in other activites.

One on One Time

Giving children one on one time is something they will cherish all their life. This gives both the opportunity to bond over a lot of things. Going for concerts, plays, movies, Parks, Zoo etc alone with your grand children will give them that special feeling that you are spending your time with them. Exchanging ideas , doing projects together other than school work also boosts their morale.

Grandparents are an indispensable part of the life of children. They bridge the gap between parents and children. The love and affection showered on the grandchildren is what they crave for in todays busy life style. So kudos to the grandparents who are able to spend time with their grand children and are also able to pass on the redundant moral values and traditions.

Parental Advice

Tips On How A Stay At Home Mom Can Be Financially Independent

The decision to become a stay-at-home mom was by no means an easy one. As my husband and I sat down to look through our financial situation, we realized that by me quitting my job we would need to express serious self-control with our spending if we were going to make it work. If I am being honest, needing childcare was what more-so put us in a tight financial position because before my son was born we did not have any child or childcare expenses meaning that my paycheck was actually able to benefit our home.

However, once he was born, about 80% of what I made was going to childcare making it not only not worth it, but just plain silly for me to continue working. With all of this in mind, I knew that I could not and did not spend every day at work away from my baby, especially not for just 20% of a paycheck. We unanimously agreed that it was best for him, and for me, if I was to stay home with him.

Nonetheless, when those paychecks stopped coming and our bills started piling up, we realized that 20% of a paycheck actually made quite a bit of a difference. We re-visited the stay-at-home mom vs. working-mom discussion again and without hesitation we both agreed that it was still best for me to stay home and to instead look for different ways to earn some extra income and to stay above water financially.

Here is what we came up with:


The first and most financially productive avenue that I found was to work for Fiverr is essentially a commission based website that allows individuals to work doing anything they know how to do at a base rate of $5. You can add extras and eventually earn more money and you can work at your own pace and produce as much or as little income as you would like. Even the $200 a month I made at first was enough to offset me not working and has built to be a huge saving grace for our family.


While it seems redundant, couponing is truly free-money that many of us pass on because it seems daunting or irrelevant. Download the Cartwheel app on your phone for Target, cut coupons out of those annoying ads that show up on your doorstep, and stock up on whatever offers are relevant to you.

Eliminate Brand Names

Another huge way my husband and I worked together for financial independence to allow me to continue to be a stay-at-home mom was eliminating the need and desire for brand names. If you have an ALDI grocery store in your area, do your best to only shop there. Go for off-brand when you can and only purchase brand name of products that do not offer an alternative.

Budget & Cash Envelopes

Make a budget and stick to it. Pull out cash for your allotted gasoline, groceries, and free-spending money and keep them in separate envelopes. Take your envelopes with you to the store and keep in mind that when the cash is gone, it’s gone. This will help you to eliminate unnecessary spending.

At the end of the day, I get to be the one making memories with and taking care of my little instead of someone else and that is something I will be thankful for my whole life. I know that I will always be able to go back to work when my children are grown, but I will never be able to get their childhood back. So, for me, it is worth every bit of struggle involved to make ends meat.

Parental Advice

Handling Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry is a very important word in the dictionary of parents who have more than one child and the children do not get along too well. It is a very common feature in many families where one child is more dominant than the other and the other child thinks that he is not loved by his family members as much as his other sibling is. This creates jealousy amongst the siblings. Normally when the siblings compete with one another as to who is better in sports or studies etc. and who is the one who can impress the parents more , there are traces of sibling rivalry . It also starts when there are personality clashes, attention tactics and favourism by the parents. Sibling Rivalry is something which should be handled very meticulously. The children should not get that feeling that the parent is trying to resolve the brewing rivalry. How to stop siblings fighting ?

Prepare for the Birth :

Before the birth of your second child you have to prepare your elder one for it. Make him feel important as an elder brother. Tell him that the baby is being brought for him so that when the baby grows up they could be best of friends. Take him along the journey of your pregnancy. Allow him to feel the baby kicking below the bulge. Tell him how you felt when you were expecting him. Pictures of him as a baby can be shown to him so he knows exactly what to expect of his little sibling.

After Birth:

When you come home from the hospital be sure that you have given the elder one some responsibility of welcoming the little one. Reward him for the work done. See to it that Day one is very comfortable for the elder one. Do not focus only on the baby. This is the age when somebody else can also be with the baby. You as a mother will be required to be with the baby only when you need to feed.

Make Provision for gifts:

When ever there is a newborn in a family, friends and relatives visit . They bring gifts for the baby. There are people who bring gifts for the elder one too. But all do not. This is something that you should handle with care as this is the first step towards rivalry. Bring gifts for the elder one and keep then in reserve so that when friends and relatives lavish the new born with gifts, you can give a gift each time to the older one.

Gift Opening:

Make your elder one responsible for unwrapping the gifts and showing then to his younger sibling. He will happily do that for you. Tell him that he should teach the younger one how to play with the rattles and other play toys when his sibling grows up a little.

Allow Sibling Bonding:

Every morning have a fixed time for your two kids to bond with each other. Let them be with each other under your supervision. Show the elder one how he has to handle his little sibling. He will surely learn fast and soon the bond between them will be unseparable.

Role of Teacher:

As the children grow up give the elder one the feeling that he should teach skills he is good at to the younger one. Make him feel important as an elder brother. The younger one will also look up to him.

Give “ ME “ time:

Give some of your time totally to the elder one. Make him feel that you love him too and want to spend quality time with him. Otherwise he may not voice it but may feel that all the time the focus is the younger one.

Boredom solved:

All the time if you make your elder one do duties for his sibling, he will be bored and may just feel forced to do it as he may not want to hurt you. Parent realization in this matter is very important. Give him some new and interesting activities to do. He will be very happy as now he is your focus. Let him know verbally that you love him very much.

Make both kids Responsible for their behavior:

When the kids grow up make some rules in the house. Each child will be responsible for his own behavior towards others or amongst themselves. SO if one or both of them behaves badly ,give them punishments like they will not have any Television time and will have to go to bed early.

Give them space:

If the children are fighting over unneccesary things, separate them. See that you calm them down. Explain to them later on after they are calm and cool why this fighting was unnecessary. If you do it immediately the fighting may restart and it may also escalate.

Make new games:

If you feel that the kids are fighting over the same toys they you can make a new game for them where both can play with the toy at the same time. This will excite them as well as they will make peace between themselves.

Blame Game:

Do not blame any one child for the fights. It takes two hands to clap so you as a parent should speak to each child separately as discussing the issue together will escalate matters. Try and understand where all this started from. Become a good judge and solve the problem to the satisfaction of both the children. Nobody should feel that you are favouring the other.

Do not compare:

Comparing two children is the worst step a parent can take. Each child is an individual and is unique. So their attitudes, reactions and how they handle things will be different. Give each child time to do thing at their own pace. Just because the other child is faster , do not keep saying it. It will demotivate this child and he may lose the will to do the work told.

Sibling Rivalry certainly creates a lot of stress in the house. But if the parents handle it carefully it will help them to bond better and We as parents should understand that Sibling Rivalry is a way of Love.

Parental Advice School Age Teenagers

Bullying, 6 Tips Every Parent Should Give Their Child

Bullying in some form has been around since the beginning of time. There will always be someone stronger and someone weaker and today’s children are no different. What has changed over the years is the access that bullies have to their victims. It used to be only on the playground or corner store that there was access but now, with the advent of all of our technology, the bullying behavior can enter into the safety of our own homes and access our children at all hours of the day or night. It can be a scary situation for any parent and child to deal with so read on for some tips that EVERY parent should give their child regarding bullies.

1. A Bully Is Seeking A Reaction (Don’t give it to them)

Teach your children not to give the reaction a bully is seeking. If at all possible, it is best for a child to ignore and walk away from a bully. A perfect example might be in the lunchroom or cafeteria when a bully sits down next to your child and begins to harass them. An initial response could either be to completely ignore the bully or to simply get up and move to a different table showing the bully that their actions do not get an intended rise out of their intended target.

2. Talk To The Bully

As long as the bullying has not reached physical proportions suggest that your child try to talk to the bully, without an audience of other children. This could be one on one if the child is comfortable, or with a trusted adult. Sometimes approaching the bully at the very outset of this behavior can help nip it before it gets out of control. Suggest that your child discuss that it is not okay for the bully to talk to them in the manner they have been doing and have your child ask the bully if they might start off on a different note and be civil with one and other.

3. Involve Others

If the bullying behavior is not easily quenched and is continuing to escalate, teach your child to involve others. This could be as simple as for personal safety by suggesting that your child not be alone. Have your child only go to the bathroom, playground, locker or other areas with a trusted friend so that there is not an opportunity for them to be preyed upon when they are weakest or alone. Also if the bullying is happening at school or on a sports team, involve other adults. Have other eyes and ears watching out for your child and watching the interactions of the bully around your child.

4. Protect Your Home

It used to be that our homes were our sacred realm; however, with social media and digital technology, this may no longer be the case. Protect your child’s safe zone by insisting on removing the capacity for a bully to contact your child outside of whatever medium they are accessing your child through. Put blocks on phone contacts, texting and social media. Require your child to provide you with passwords so that you can access social media and other accounts to be sure your child is not being harassed in those mediums as well. If you find evidence of harassment, copy it, document it and hold on to it in case you need to pursue further action at some point you will have supporting documentation.

5. Discuss Physical Self Protection

As parents we typically want our children to avoid physical altercations, but sometimes it is necessary to teach our children what to do in the event that they are forced into a physical encounter. Discuss what your child can physically do to protect him or herself and role play to be sure they are comfortable doing that.

6. Open Communication

This may be the single most important tip you can give your child regarding dealing with bullying. They need to have an open line of communication with you. Discuss times in your life where you may have had to deal with bullying behaviors and teach them how you dealt with those scenarios. Check in with your child daily to see how things are going and watch your child for signs of behavior change, mood changes and overall wellbeing.

Bullying is something that we hope our children do not have to encounter, but in life they most likely will at some point cross paths with a bully. Teaching our children the keys to handling this behavior will go a long way in enabling them to feel confident when a bullying situation arises.

Parental Advice Pre-Schooler School Age

5 Back-to-School Safety Tips Every Parent Should Teach Their Children

The dog days of summer are about to come to an end and as they do, millions of families across the country will be preparing their children for the start of a new school year. For some, it will be the first year while others will be a grade older. But no matter how old your child is, arming them with safety and security tips is essential and will serve them well into adulthood. Here are 5 of the most major tips you should be sure to teach your child before the first school bell of the new school year rings.

1. Be alert and aware on your way to and from school

Some children will wait at bus stops while others will walk. And still others will ride their bicycles. If your child is getting to school without your assistance, you should be sure that he understands how to keep safe at the bus stop by watching out for unusual people and staying on the sidewalk out of harm’s way. Children that walk or ride bicycles should never use their phones or listen to loud music with their ear buds so they can hear any cars or other people approaching them. Additionally, there is strength in numbers so try to arrange for your child to commute with other children in his class. Small children should always be accompanied by an adult.

2. Don’t add people on social media that you don’t know personally

Children are always excited to have new friends but with today’s technology, that can come with a price. Teach your child to never ever accept a friend request on any social media platform from someone that they do not know personally. It could be a dangerous child predator trying to follow their routine in order to bring harm to your child.

3. Report bullying

When new kids come to school, they are often the victims of bullying. Children can be cruel to other children. Teach your children to be accepting and kind to all the children in their class. Just as important, teach your children to come to you or involve a teacher when someone is harassing them. Every child has the right to learn in a positive environment.

4. Arm your child with knowledge

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to keeping safe. Make sure your child knows your home address by heart, as well as important phone numbers. You should also be sure your child knows how to call 9-1-1 in an emergency situation.

5. Be involved

We all lead busy lives but active parenting will help keep your child safer. Before school starts, find out about the school’s safety procedures and make sure your child understands them. Keep an open line of communication with your child so he feels comfortable coming to you. Use this as an opportunity to discuss safety in certain scenarios so your child feels confident when he walks through the doors to a brand new school year.

Newborns & Babies Parental Advice

How to Introduce Your Pet and your New Baby

Many young couples that own a dog will undoubtedly get to the decision to have a baby, and although there are many things to consider when having a new baby in the home, one needs to consider the dog too. Introducing your pet to a newborn can be a great experience for both owner and dog, but there is a correct way to go about this. Therefore, in this article we will look in detail the steps you should take if you are wanting your dog to get along with your new family member.

First and foremost, you will not be able to introduce a dog to a newborn if he is aggressive, nippy or unpredictable, so it is crucial during the 9 months leading up to a birth as to what to do with your dog. During those months of pregnancy, make sure your dog gets some advance obedience training, and if that means hiring a professional then you need to do that, it will be worth it and you can’t put a price on the safety of a newborn. Having said that, if your dog is already socialized and doesn’t bite or nip, we can move on to the next step of actually introducing pet to baby.

Dogs have wonderful senses and can pick on on emotions both good and bad, and during pregnancy your dog will already know something has changed. During the pregnancy, if you’re setting up a nursery or baby room, you need to let your dog know that this room is off limits, at least initially, however, you can let him in as time goes on with supervision. Moreover, when mother is in the hospital with the newborn, try to take something home that will have the babies scent on it, so your dog can smell the new scent that will soon become an every day smell in the home.

Before bringing baby in the house, make sure you take your dog for a long walk to expel any extra energy and make sure you are in full control and the dog is calm before entering the house. Once you enter the home with your dog, he will notice the new smell straight away, so keep an eye on him and his reactions. The parent holding the baby should allow the dog to sniff and smell but at a distance only. Moreover, try to gauge the reactions, and over time you can allow him to get closer and closer, but never take any chances, if you are not in total control or are not 110% sure, do not allow any contact.

Finally, when you have a newborn baby in the home things change, like time schedules, sleep patterns and feeding times. Having said that, try not to interrupt your dogs schedule too much, as he needs to know he is still part of the family, even though there is a new addition. If you stop taking him for his regular walks, or avoid his playtime, he could start to get anxious or feel like the new addition is taking his place, which can lead to adverse behavior. Nevertheless, by doing the suggestions within this article, it may help to ensure that both your new baby, and your dog get on well with each other for both of their lifetime together.

Learning & Creativity Parental Advice Pre-Schooler School Age

5 Ways to Make your Kids Mornings Easier

Mornings can be challenging, even for that rare breed of creature who considers themselves a “morning person.”  When discussing young children, mornings can be even more difficult.  Children are sometimes irrational creatures in every regard, therefore, it can be especially patience stretching to wake a grumpy child and seamlessly get out of the door without losing your mind, or your cool.  Here are a few tips from some seasoned parents that may help make your morning go a little smoother and hopefully to at least soothe that wild beast you have invoked.

1. Are They Counting Enough Sleep?

This is paramount, there are specific recommendations for each and every age child.  The amount of sleep your child has can directly impact the ability to rouse in the morning, as well as the mood you find your precious gem in.

2. Repeat Yourself (wake them twice)

Adults are guilty of this; we call it the snooze button where we allow our bodies to become used to the idea of waking in the morning.  As you develop your morning routine consider letting your children know that the first time you wake them will be gentle (maybe a kiss on the forehead or a soothing stroke of the hair). The second time you come, you expect more than a flutter of the eyelids.

3. Here Comes the Sun…

Though it is very important in the evening at bedtime to have a quiet and darkened room to help lull your little one off to dreamland, it is equally important to create an energized environment in the morning.  Open the curtains, twist up the blinds and allow the light in.

4. Bribery

Never underestimate the reward system.  Set some expectations and bust out a goal chart.  If your child wakes and readies themselves without incident every day for a week, offer a small treat as a reward for the desired behavior.

5. Tunes to Tame the wild Beast

Develop a morning playlist of your child’s favorite energetic make-you-move-and-groove kind of songs.  Amp this up in the mornings to get them roused and going, hopefully without the grumpiness joining you.

Give some thought mom and dad, to how you wake in your best form to greet the day, be creative and sometimes patient.  Using some of these tips should enable you to have a smoother, less stressful morning routine.  Now go wake that Tasmanian devil.

Learning & Creativity Parental Advice School Age

Home Schooling vs. Public Schooling

Which is the BEST Option for Your Family?

Maybe your child is fast approaching school age or maybe you are finding yourself increasingly frustrated with educational options for your family.   Whatever the reason more and more families are exploring the aspects of homeschooling vs. public schooling.  As the homeschooling movement has gained popularity from the 1970’s until today it has brought with it a surge of educational options that rivals most other educational arenas.  When you couple that with what some families are finding to be a less than ideal environment in many public schools, you have room for debate and questions.  But how does homeschooling really stack up to the public school system that has been in existence since most of us can remember?  Are children who are homeschooled at a disadvantage?  Are public schooled students better socialized?  Read on to answer some of these tough questions.

How does the educational experience differ between public school and homeschool?

With public school systems a classroom is typically comprised of approximately 20 students. This means that for any well meaning teacher it is a constant battle to decipher the needs of 20 individual personalities and learning styles to create the optimum learning experience often in a shortened time span.  With homeschooling you may have a large family but the teacher (usually the parent) knows the student intimately and knows what tools they need to succeed.  There is also more freedom and time to explore topics of interest and areas of difficulty as there are no bells ringing to signal preset time constraints.

Are Homeschooled Students at a Disadvantage Academically?

With all the freedom allotted to homeschoolers, do they wind up disadvantaged in the sheer academia?  According to a number of studies on test scores and academic performance, the answer is pretty astounding.  The home educated students typically score 15-30 percentile points more than publics school students on standardized academic achievement tests. That is an increase in test scores that most parents would love to see.

What About Socialization?

This seems to still be a question at the forefront of most people’s minds.  How could a child surrounded by other children all day long in a public school setting not be at an advantage over a child who may only be surrounded by siblings and a parent for most of their time?  The answer is that homeschooled children view the world as their classroom so they are more often not inside the confines of 4 walls when learning.  What this means is that the socialization experience of homeschooled students is more often with a greater variance of people.  They come in contact with not only other children their age (at co-ops, church or social events, and extracurricular sports) but also with people from all walks of life and varied ages as they interact with the world at large.  There is also more time for the homeschooled child to volunteer to communities where their socialization experiences helps.

Now some of the basic questions may be answered, but for someone who is newer to this whole concept of homeschooling and public school, what are the options?  For public school it is simple.  When your child reaches “school age” (usually by 6 years old) you take them down to the local school district and register them for kindergarten.  Simple as that your child has begun their academic career.  Barring any family move from district to district, this is where your child will attend school until they complete the 12th grade and graduate school.  There usually are no other major changes save for the situations where a family may decide to take advantage of a technical school, if offered, usually during the latter high school years.  In many parts of the country there are also now charter and Montessori schools that accept public funding and therefore operate like public schools allowing children into the school system either on an academic testing basis or a locale basis.

In traditional public schools the parent is simply the compliment to the education.  The parent helps with homework, can facilitate assistance in the classroom with parties and field trips if necessary, but is largely left out of the educational part of school.  In fact, the parent has no say in what is taught in the school operating system so if there are concepts that are against the parent’s own set of standards and beliefs (certain religions and material on sex education and reproduction) they are taught regardless of the parent’s personal feelings.

What about homeschooling, how does a parent even get started?  A good starting point in the US  is to review the laws in your state.  This can be done by going to this website , picking out your state and seeing what the requirements are.  Every state is a bit different with some having more leniency and less reporting standards than others.  What if you live outside the US and are wondering about international laws?  No problem there is a place to view all of those laws as well

If you are interested in completely removing yourself from the home education proceedings but do want to have your child at home while learning there are a number of online schools available.  This option, at least in the United States, often comes free of charge as it is still being partially funded by the public school system as a whole.  Therefore, while the parent can call it “homeschooling” there is little choice for the parent in the education being provided, however it is provided often free of charge and with the child in the parent’s home.  One of the most well known online public schools is K-12.

For a parent who would like a little more control they must first register with their state or locale in whatever manner is necessary (for some there is no registration requirement) and provide whatever materials are asked of them.  Beyond that the parent has more choices.  A parent can choose to purchase entire grade level curriculum for each child with all of the guesswork taken out of the teaching and lesson planning, a parent can purchase curriculum on a by subject basis for those students who may be more advanced in one academic area than another or a parent has the freedom to develop their own learning protocols.   The parent is the overseeing body who is in charge of what materials they want to focus on and what subjects they want taught to their children.

Public School and homeschool are options available to every parent, in every state.  This option is not yet available in every country, but there are agencies that are keeping tabs on what is available

Homeschooling is legal in all of the 50 United States and of course public school is the option that has been the norm for educating children since before the turn of the century.  A parent must only realize that they have choices and then look at the options available to their family to decide what avenue will best meet the needs of their own child or children.  Whether you as a parent reside in the United States or Abroad, there are agencies that can provide you information and the basic concepts of homeschooling remain the same.

Parental Advice Toddlers

Celebrate Toddlerhood: 5 Tips for Parenting Your Toddler

Once a cuddly, sweet baby, when your child enters toddlerhood that can change in an instant. Suddenly that smiley baby is now a shrieking hot mess in the middle of your living room floor because she wants to eat an entire box of cookies before dinner, or even worse, in the produce section of the supermarket. And if this is your first entry into toddlerhood, it can be pretty daunting.

The good news is that this phase doesn’t last forever. And the bad news is also that it won’t last forever. Before you know it, your toddler will be a big kid with a whole different set of challenges so you’ll have to ride the ever-changing toddler tide and enjoy the ride from the ups to the downs and back again. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you stay as sane as possible during this phase.

1. It happens to every parent

Every child throws a tantrum at some point. Don’t worry about what other people think while your kid is screaming away. All the parents around you are sympathizing with you. Try to see the humor in the situation as well and it will be less stressful.

2. Make rules and stick to them

Children need rules and limits in order to be successful and that needs to start in this phase. While the rules need to be kept simple in toddlerhood, they still need to be enforced. So if you’re out somewhere and your child is behaving nicely, simply tell your child that it’s not OK to act like that and warn them if they don’t stop, you’re leaving. Make good on that if they don’t change their behavior. Caving only teaches them they can keep acting like a total jerk.

3. Praise goes a long way

You don’t need to give little junior a new toy every time he does something right. Heaping on the praise for listening or doing what he was asked to do will help reinforce the good behavior. Children love to make their grown-ups happy and when they get positive attention from their good behavior, it makes them more likely to give a repeat performance.

4. Let them try it themselves

It’s so tempting sometimes to help your child with everything but you need to take a step back and let them try things for themselves, particularly with things like eating and drinking, dressing themselves and experimenting with things that could be messy. Messes are all part of life and kids need to know that.

5. Messes can always be cleaned up

And speaking of messes, it can be extremely annoying when your toddler accidentally knocks his plate of food off his high chair and right onto your freshly-scrubbed floor. Accidents happen, as do intentional demolitions of your very best attempts at keeping the house clean. Children are exceptional at making messes of all kinds and while you shouldn’t let them pile up, enlist your toddler’s help in clean up instead. In this way, you’ll begin to lay the foundation to raising a hard-working child who will strive for greatness in adulthood.

Parental Advice Teenagers

5 tips to keep your kids safe online

Our children love smart phones, tablets, laptops and even desktops. We are a society that loves television, live streaming, gaming, social media and even just shopping online. In the times we are in we will not be able to banish media and the digital age, but counteracting some of the disadvantages of spaced out gaming, digital surfing, and even online learning are a must for parents today.

1. Set Boundaries

First and foremost if you want less digitally obsessed children, you have to set boundaries. You are the parent after all. Boundaries can be something as simple as insisting that there are no digital devices at the meal table, during family time or at bedtime. These are all healthy restrictions that promote family time at the forefront and start to drive media to a secondary spot. Designate a spot in your home to place smart phones, tablets and other devices during restricted hours.

2. Let Them Know There Are Requirements

Set up a contract with your children. If you are paying for the Wi-Fi or have purchased the device, let them know who is in charge. If the device was a gift or your child purchased it themselves, let them know that the use of said device and media time is a privilege and not a right. Setting these boundaries up front with your own expectations for their use is a very wise idea.

3. Keep Them Safe, Be Nosy

Yes your children should have some privacy; however, you should have passwords. In the times we live in it is imperative that we keep our children safe. Simply allowing them free rain access to the web and social media without any restrictions is not exercising responsibility. Make a list of the passwords somewhere and randomly check to make sure that they have not been changed. Even if you never utilize this tool, it is in your parental toolbox and may keep your children from making some mistakes as they know you can access anything.

4. Become Their “Friend” and “Follow” them

If your child is on Face book, Twitter, Instagram and the like, set up your own account and be sure to “Friend” and “Follow” your children. If they will not allow you to do this, they should not be allowed to use the platform.

5. Require movement

Begin with setting times, for instance, if you allow your child 1 hour of digital media; require a 20-30 minute break of physical activity before allowing them to binge on more media. During the break have the physical be something fun, a quick dance off, a round of jumping outdoors on a trampoline or brisk walking/racing up and down the driveway. If a smart phone is the medium of choice, require physical activity while texting, scrolling, or whatever your child does most. Your child just might surprise you with their ability to walk while texting or scrolling.

The amount of responsibility mounded on parents today to protect, engage, and involve our children in the non-digital world is infinitely more challenging than in past generations. However, if we do not get involved we will regret the digitally obsessed, anti social and out of shape offspring that we have allowed our children to become. The Digital revolution has its merits and demerits when it comes parenting, it has become parents responsibility in clearing the noise for our own kids to embrace the positive side of it.