Being a parent is the greatest gift we are ever given, but it is no easy task sometimes!
The happiness and health of those nearest and dearest to you is always your priority and these easy tips will help you all feel great and function together as one happy group…..small steps = big rewards!
A – Always choose water over any other beverage. Not only is it free, it is calorie free and has so many healthy benefits. It flushes toxins, boosts energy, plumps skin cells and helps control body temperature. Juice, Soft Drink and Cordial are great for an occassional treat, but if they are in your fridge, they will be drunk, so make sure they do not have a permanent position in there.
B – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It provides energy for the body, food for the brain, kick-starts your metabolism and helps improve focus. Keeping it simple with whole grain bread or cereal, fresh or tinned fruit, smoothies, baked beans, eggs or fruit loaf.
C – Compassion and caring for others does not have to mean becoming a mater to every needy person, group or organisation, but being able to little things, without expecting anything in return is where the power is. Let someone in front of you in the supermarket que, bake a neighbour a batch of bisquits, or volunteer with your favourite charity. Sharing the love makes the world a better place.
D – Doctors and Dentists play an important part in maintaining family health. It is so important to have a great relationship with your family health care providers. Try a few until you find one that fits your family. If you like asking lot’s of questions make sure you find ones that will take the time to answer them.
E – Exercise keeps you strong, fit and fabulous. Regular movement is one of the best ways to keep depression and anxiety at bay. Make it a family affair and make it fun! If everyone is enjoying themselves, exercise is not a chore, but a great time for family bonding. Go the park with a ball and bat, bike riding, walking along the beach, roller skating or simply taking the dog for a walk. If you are the creative type, go on a scavanger hunt around the neighbourhood with a list of things that each person has to find.
F – Finances can make or break even the best relationship. Debt is like a disease, always growing bigger and badder unless positive steps are taken to control it and stop it’s expansion. Savings are empowering and provide the option of choice. The ease of gaining credit makes it so easy to have it now and pay for it later with a big dose of interest making everything cost so much more. Make a list of everything you owe and make arrangements to take care of it in a steady manner, even if it is slowly, it is a step in the right direction. Having open conversations about exactly where you are and where you are heading is vital for success in the money department.
G – Good Manners is so much more than just please and thank you. Being able to look someone in the eye and say hello and goodbye seems to be a dying art amoungst teenagers today. Confidence to talk to people they don’t know is a valuable skill, especially when they join the workforce. Placing used dishes into the kitchen instead of leaving them lying around is respectful toward the person who provided you with food or drink.
H – Hand Washing is the most effective way to stop the spread of germs. Make the effort to remind everyone to regularly wash their hands and it will become a habit for life. Have a cute soap dispenser that the kids will enjoy using as a clever way to remind them. Buy a pump bottle of hand wash and add small toys, lego, glitter, craft gems, anything small enough to fit in the hole when you screw off the pump section as a way to entice kids to wash their hands.
I – Intelligent conversations that encourage discussions where every family member can voice an opinion and actually be heard without being shot down in flames is a powerful way to build self esteem. Learning to listen first and speak later will help everyone build a healthy respect for other people’s opinions. An open line of communication where children feel comfortable being able to discuss problems amoungst family members will become one of the most valuable was to keep your children happy and safe as they grow up and face some uncomfortable situations.
J – Junk food is filled with nothing but harm. Laden with sugar, fat and chemicals, they are simply bad for our health, wealth and waist. For everyones well-being, junk food must become a very occassional treat. Fresh and wholesome food can be cooked in bigger batches so there is some leftover to freeze for those days where time or energy is short.
K – Kitchens are the heart of the home. Creating healthy food is the life blood of our bodies. Involving all the family in choosing meals, making the shopping list and purchasing the groceries will encourage more variety in what the family eats. Try and keep the pantry clear of unhealthy food, if it is not there it won’t be the food of choice. Everyone should know how to cook, even just basic things, so let everyone help out occassionally it’s a fun and practical bonding exercise.
L – Like attracts like as the saying goes. Most importantly though is like thoughts attract like thoughts, and if you or your dear ones are always ‘thinking’ about what you don’t have or what you don’t like, your energy around these subjects continue to attract more of the things you don’t like. Focusing on the things that you do want, and adding a ‘YES PLEASE’ to those thoughts creates a positive energy and opens the door to possible opportunity to have the things you desire.
M – Meal Times can simply be a time to eat or they can be a time that the family sits down at the table together and discusses the day to day happenings and planning for the future. The old tradition of sitting down for meals as a family unit seems to be becoming a thing of the past. Sitting down in front of the TV automatically cuts off the opportunity for conversation. At least one meal a day should be family time to help you all be involved in day to day life.
N – Nurture with words of honest encouragement. Over praising looses it’s meaning over time. Even when someone is struggling with something, letting them know that they are doing their best can go a long way to helping kids to keep on trying. Not every student will receive straight A’s, but children who are at least giving it a good go, will acheive so much more than children who just give up.
O – Opportunities for simply having fun as a family don’t have to be extravagant, playing a board game, sharing funny jokes, having theme nights with dress ups, going to see a funny movie, have a cooking competition, simply anything that will put a smile on everyone’s face and create happy memories.
P – Pets of any type bring joy in a little package and help to develop a sense of responsibility and caring of another living thing. Children will bond closely with a new addition and if the right steps are set in place from day one, the simple jobs of feeding and cleaning up after a pet will help to empower children with a sense of independance.
Q – Quality Time together as a family creates good memories, forges strong bonds and builds trust between family members. Fun activities like Movie Night with all the trimmings, Picnic in the park on a sunny day, or a day at the beach, simply relaxing and enjoying good food where you focus totally on your family and not work, emails or Facebook, is a powerful positive tool.
R – Rules play an important role in helping everyone understand their boundaries and what is considered acceptable behaviour. Creating a set of rules that fits your family and making sure that appropriate consequences are faced when rules are broken, is a much smoother way of keeping your family happy and safe.
S – Sugar is one of the most damaging substances added to so many processed foods. Sugar is a key player in many of the illnesses that can beseige us. It is highly addictive. Limiting sugar for younger children is easy as you have complete control over what they consume, but for teens and adults it is not the same story. Keep sugary foods for occassional treats, just simply don’t let them become an everyday, all day occurance. Everyone’s health and weight will thank you!
T – Television and computer games are time wasters and create anti-social people. Some TV and computer time is vital for learning, studying and relaxing, but hour after hour staring at a screen is bad for your health and eye’s. Careful monitoring and controlling the amount of time anyone spends glued to the screen is a necessity.
U – UV protection is one of the best anti-aging tools we have. Sunscreen not only slows the development of wrinkles and discolouration, it dramatically reduces the risk of melanoma. Sunscreen should be applied to exposed skin everyday at every age.
V – Vitamin intake can be lacking in our daily diet. A good quality multi-vitamin taken daily will ensure that everyone in the family is receiving good nutritional support. Great for boosting the immune system and general well being especially for fussy eaters and busy parents.
W – Watch your words as they have the power to build and destroy. It is definately easier to gently build up the self love and self esteem of child, but it is so much harder to repair a damaged adult, that has been called every detrimental name and insulted through out his or her childhood. Common ones that slip out of our mouths so easily such as ‘you are so stupid’, ‘can’t you do anything right’, ‘you will never amount to anything’, ‘you are such a slob’ have the power to stop children from reaching their full potential if they here them often enough, they simply become their truth.
X – XXX is the traditional sign off on letters to represent love. Create little love notes for your partner or children and hide them in places they will find them during their day. A jacket pocket, a lunch box or under their pilllow will remind them of how much they are loved and cherished. A big lipstick kiss placed on a little card also works wonders.
Y – Yes to less…..sugar! Sugar is one of the most addictive substances that is legal. Completely nutritionally devoid of any benefits, it is damaging to your health, and can become your master. We get enough sugar naturally from fruits, and with it loaded into just about every packaged food, avoiding it as much as possible is by eating fresh foods is the best plan.
Z – Zero tolerance for damaging habits such as lying, stealing, bullying is vital for a family to function happily. The penalties for such behaviour must be made known and be age appropriate. Most importantly the punishment must be carried out with no backing down, so children learn from a young age that there is a price to pay for breaking rules.
Sharing today for #IBOT with Essentially Jess