FAMILY BONDING – 5 EASY WAYS TO CONNECT WITH YOUR FAMILY

Life has its infinite ways of distracting and separating us from our families. Good parenting is not an easy task when an average child spends most of the day with teachers, friends or playing computer games. It is said that for each negative interaction any successful relationship has to have five positive ones. How can you nourish family bonding when you spend most of the time away from them?

5 ways to improve relationships in your family

Good parenting is not possible if there’s no emotional connection between parents and children. These tips will help you stay in sync or re-connect with your family:

Prioritize your family. Your family comes first – this is the basic and most important rule of good parenting and a well-balanced family life. Whenever you’re faced with difficult decisions (whether it’s about work, friends, finances etc.) let this be your guideline – take care of your family first no matter what. When your heart and mind prioritize something else rather than your family, it will reflect in any thought, action or decision you make. You can’t expect others to be emotionally attached to you, care for you or respect you if you’re showing with your words and actions that just about anything is more important than them.

More at: http://kidsfirstcommunity.com/family-concerns/family-bonding-5-easy-ways-to-connect-with-your-family/

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THE IMPORTANCE OF SENSORY PLAY IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A HEALTHY CHILD

What is sensory play? Toddlers and kids learn best through their senses. Any play which stimulates the use of touch, smell, sight, hearing, using fine motor muscles etc is considered sensory play. Stimulating neural pathways through sensory experiences is a crucial part of kids’ early brain development.

Sensory play lays a crucial foundation for later learning skills

Stimulating senses through play sends signals to the brain which help develop its ability to identify objects and explore the world. Learning to differentiate sharp from round, smooth from rough, cold from warm is a basic step in empowering the brain’s ability to discover, classify and sort more sophisticated information later through life.

If children have enough room to get messy with various types of sensory play, for instance water, sand, flour, mud, digging, pouring, rolling or sliding materials, they will have more experience stretching their sensors and exploring various concepts of space and movement. Although thoughtful adult support is very important when it comes to explaining things and providing valuable information, while they’re young kids will learn best by being active and personally experiencing various sensations.

More at: http://kidsfirstcommunity.com/child-development/the-importance-of-sensory-play-in-the-development-of-a-healthy-child/

TEACHING KIDS TO HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND POSITIVE THINKING

Teaching kids about positive thinking is probably one of the best ways to prepare them for life challenges they will have to deal with throughout life. If you teach your children how to be positive early in life, you will create a healthy habit of positive attitude, successful problem solving and build powerful coping skills. All these skills are very helpful to ease the pressure and stress of both growing up and adulthood.

Teaching kids to be positive is teaching them to have a good life

A positive view of life is a proven protective factor in dealing with stressful situations. Kids who are able to see the future optimistically are less likely to follow negative influences and exhibit less self-destructive behavior (smoking, drugs, alcohol) than kids with low expectations of what the future might bring.

Positive thinking for kids can be reinforced by caregivers (parent, teachers), but also by authority figures who children perceive as their role model (favorite uncles, aunts, older cousins, friends etc).

More at: http://kidsfirstcommunity.com/respect-and-character/teaching-kids-to-have-a-positive-attitude-and-positive-thinking/

HYDRATION QUEST: WHY IT’S IMPORTANT AND HOW TO STAY HYDRATED

Our bodies consist mostly of water. Each cell, organ or tissue needs water to stay alive and function normally. To stay hydrated is to enable our cells to properly exchange nutritional substances, regulate body temperature, and maintain a healthy balance of electrolytes that affect functionality of our nerves and muscles etc.

Why is it so important to stay hydrated?

If our body is not properly hydrated it will begin to shut down. Drinking enough fluids enables us to remove toxic body waste, process and absorb vitamins and minerals from food, and have a healthy metabolism, heart rate and blood pressure.

Even the slightest variation in percentage of water creates amazing changes in our bodies. If you lose only 2% of body-water, you won’t be able to perform intense physical activity (sports, hiking, running etc.). After you dehydrate 3% or 4%, your bio-physiology is disbalanced enough to increase heart beats, blood pressure and body-temperature. A loss of more than 10% of fluids is considered medical emergency.

More at: http://kidsfirstcommunity.com/healthy-living/hydration-quest-why-its-important-and-how-to-stay-hydrated/

HEALTHY SNACKS FOR KIDS: FUN LUNCH BOX TIPS & IDEAS

When it comes to healthy food, kids are picky eaters. Most parents feel guilty knowing they should feed their children healthy foods, but simply don’t know how to do it.

Making healthy snacks for kids’ lunches and filling their lunch boxes with food they’ll actually want to eat is a great way to introduce fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes into your child’s diet.

Kids love to snack

Findings by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from the latest survey on increasing caloric intake showed that today’s children snack twice as much as kids 20 years ago. Like it or not, snacks have become an important part of daily diet. Children take in more calories than ever before, yet their basic vitamin and mineral requirements necessary for healthy physical and psychological development are not being met.

The trick is to make healthy snack food for kids; let them enjoy treats but enable them to eat well. If you make it visually appealing as well as tasty, your kids will probably eat even those veggies they usually resist and reject.

More at: http://kidsfirstcommunity.com/healthy-living/healthy-snacks-for-kids-lunches-fun-lunch-box-tips-ideas/

Justin Urbas-Tax Saving Tips for the End of the Year

We cannot escape paying taxes.The amount of taxes subtracted from your income is dependent on how much money made, deductions, etc. We all need to strategize in order to get big savings on our taxes. Here are 7 top tax saving tips that will lower your tax bill this year.

Top 7 Tax Saving Tips just for you:

DO YOUR TAXES YOURSELF

Although this does not directly affect the amount of taxes you pay, it reduces unnecessary tax related expense. You don’t need a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm or tax preparation services elsewhere. There are several online software such as TurboTax which instruct you on how to do your taxes on your own.

FUND RETIREMENT PLAN

If you find yourself with extra cash, invest in a retirement fund. The more money you divert to your retirement plan makes you eligible for deduction. Seek advise before taking this step.

DEFER YOUR INCOME

Request that your year end bonus be received the following year. Since income tax is collected for the year in which income is received, you would not be taxed for the deferred income. This should only be done if it lowers your tax bracket.

More at: http://www.usefinancialtips.com/tax-saving-tips-end-year/

HEALTHY LIVING: 5 FUN AND EASY WAYS TO BE AN ACTIVE FAMILY

Busy schedule, work, school, other obligations…Although we understand the abundant benefits of physical activity on our health, according to CDC’s statistics, only 20% of us meet recommended physical activity guidelines and actually find time for some of the many ways to be an active family.

If parents practice a sedentary lifestyle, kids will probably adopt it too. Modeling a healthy life style for children can seem hard, but if you’re well informed and organized you will find plenty of health tips and ways to get that daily exercise for you and your kids.

Going to the gym for aerobic and muscle strengthening becomes a less practical option when you have kids. The free time that you do have, you probably want to spend together with your loved ones. So in order to stay healthy, you have to be a little more creative in finding ways to be active as a family, to spend precious time together and have wonderful fun!

More at: http://kidsfirstcommunity.com/healthy-living/healthy-living-5-fun-and-easy-ways-to-be-an-active-family/