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5 Tips for Staying Connected with Your Children When You’re Busy

5 Tips for Staying Connected with Your Children When You’re Busy

We seem to be busier with work and other distractions in our lives than ever before, and that can make it challenging to stay connected with your children. Kids will inevitably gravitate towards whatever has the biggest influence in their lives. If you do not forge a strong connection with your children, they will look to create a strong connection with something else. That other strong connection can have a bad effect, whether it is the poor influence of bad friends or the debilitating effects of spending too much time with technology.

But how can you forge a strong connection with your children when you are busy? Fortunately, you don’t need to plan some overpriced and annoying trip to Disney World to stay connected. Here are some easy ways to show how much you value your kid.

Turn off the Car Radio and other distractions

If you commute a lot, you almost certainly listen to the radio or a podcast. And you may continue to do that out of habit if you are driving your child to soccer practice or school.

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But those fifteen minutes you spend driving can be a valuable time to connect with your child. Ask them what they think about where you are taking them, how their day is going, or whatever comes to your mind.

It should be noted that the quality of the time spent with your kids matters more than just the sheer number of minutes. But even a few minutes in the car is a good place to start connecting as you try to make time for other, better activities.

Eat Together

Families are eating together less than ever, and The Atlantic states that “the majority of American families report eating a single meal together less than five days a week. For most of human history, sitting down and breaking bread was an opportunity for people to get together and discuss everyday things together. The Atlantic notes that children who eat with their parents are healthier, have better grades, and are more likely to avoid drug or alcohol problems.

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You may be too busy to eat a huge meal with your child every day, but even a light lunch and conservation is a good way for you to find out about what your child is doing. If you have a bit more time on weekends, try cooking something with your child that he likes such as cookies or pancakes. Cooking is always a useful skill to teach, and you should enjoy having those few hours to try something new with your child.

Give Gifts

We may buy gifts for our children on birthdays and Christmas, but you can also buy small gifts for your children at another time. The act of giving in and of itself shows the child that you really care about them.

What sort of gift should you buy? I would avoid toys or anything expensive because you do not want to spoil them. Look for something which they may be interested in, such as a baseball cap or some nice decorations. If they don’t like the gift, try not to feel disappointed or angry, but talk with them about how maybe you can get them something they will like if you can spend better time with them.

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Share secrets and life lessons

Children like to think that parents are perfect, but we are not and should not pretend to be. Sharing life lessons or talking about past mistakes will make you more relatable to your child and teach them that it is okay not to be perfect. Furthermore, your child can take your life lessons to heart and hopefully avoid making the same mistakes that you did.

Such lessons and intimacy can be built over shared activities you do with your children. Try taking them out on an excursion, like a fishing trip, which can be really exciting, especially for a child. Places like Ultimate Fishing Charters makes the process easy, even if you don’t have a boat.

However, I would stress that when you talk about mistakes, talk about mistakes you made when you were their age instead of ongoing troubles. You should not burden a child with the troubles of adulthood.

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Do NOT be their friend

In all the time that I have spent dealing with children, this is the most important thing I was taught. Obviously, you should treat your child with kindness and respect, understand what they are interested in, and play with them. But you are a parent and they are a child. And children do need to understand that they sometimes have to listen to what their parent says. As Psychology Today notes, “a parent who desires to be a friend to their child is going to have a much harder time holding a child accountable.”

Balancing the desire to treat your child well while making it clear that they do have to listen to you is one of the biggest challenges in raising a child. But while you should listen to your child and be kind to them, understand the importance of setting limits and do not be afraid of grounding or punishing them.

Featured photo credit: Jako Jellema via flickr.com

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Published on September 4, 2018

19 Youtube Children’s Videos That Will Help Make Your Kid Smarter

19 Youtube Children’s Videos That Will Help Make Your Kid Smarter

There’s no reason why education should be a bore for kids. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, they can now find fun, informative, and important videos that can make them smarter one clip at a time.

Here are 19 Youtube children’s videos to send your kids off into an exciting world of new possibilities:

1. How big is the ocean? TED-Ed

TED’s educational channel is perfect for kids. With its fun animations and interesting topics, along with its accessible, means there are some big and complex topics reduced into understandable content. It makes learning fun!

2. All about nouns – Free School

Getting to grips with grammar can be hard work. Even authors, journalists, and academics can make elementary errors from time to time.

The earlier you start, the better, but these Free School videos teach the basics of grammar in vibrant fashion.

3. Bach’s Partita in E Major – Smalin

Stephen Malinsowki’s channel takes classical music into the 21st century. With his animated videos, the world’s most famous compositions get transformed into visual treats thanks to his efforts.

For more about his videos, check out 16 inspiring classic music videos.

4. First Circumnavigation of the Earth – Simple History

Here’s an epic history lesson – who were the first humans to circumnavigate the globe? It was Ferdinand Magellan (sort of), although this complex story of bravery and suffering is an incredible story to add to any child’s knowledge of world history.

The channel offers plenty more like this, too, and simplifies difficult topics.

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5. Can we “de-extinct” animals? – The Brain Scoop

The Brain Scoop channel takes a look at many creepy crawlies, plus big questions of our day. This includes whether we can, Jurassic Park style, bring back woolly mammoths and/or mastodons.

6. Otter cubs get a swimming lesson – BBC Earth

The BBC is famous for its wildlife documentaries. On BBC Earth’s YouTube channel, you’ll find a large amount of videos of the world’s animals at large.

Below are some otter cubs finding out how to swim – one of many educational videos about animals.

7. Elmo riding a tricycle – Sesame Street

It’s been around for decades, it’s affected many people across the world (even I used to watch it as a young one back in the late 1980s), and it’s on YouTube!

The channel has the sort of fun material you’d expect, with this video offering a welcome confidence boost for anyone about to learn how to ride a bike.

8. Jack Back Wants to See Your Weird – SoulPancake

Weird is wonderful. And Jack Black wants you to embrace your daft side.

The SoulPancake channel dares kids to think outside the box, as well as embrace their wacky side. Ideal for any young minds looking to unleash their inner creativity.

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9. Lisa Winter, Robot Builder – Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

This is Amy Poehler’s channel that takes a look at inspirational women from around the world.

Here we have Lisa Winter, who builds robots. It’s a great channel if your daughter is looking to challenge herself, or find an exciting new hobby.

10. What happens if you eat mold? – SciShow

We’ve probably all thought about what happens if you eat mold. Now we know, thanks too the SciShow.

This channel takes a fun look at science and dares to answer some of the big questions of our world (as well as some of the smaller ones).

11. What’s the hottest hot and coldest cold? – It’s Okay To Be Smart

Any budding scientists will find this channel helpful. Here we have the answer to the hottest hot and the coldest cold, which anyone can use to enlighten those around them!

For kids, it’s physics made easy thanks to a fun channel that also uses some excellent animation.

12. iPhone in molten aluminium – The Backyard Scientist

This backyard scientist gets up to all manner of unusual experiments.

Here he’s doing the unthinkable – immersing an iPhone into molten aluminium. What do you think will happen?

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13. 3D pen wall art – Make Anything

A 3D printing and design channel! With this clip, kids can find some artistic inspiration.

A search through the rest of the channel will also be enough for any young mind to find a new project or two.

14. Mesopotamian ghostbusting with Irving Finkel – British Museum

Here’s a handy history lesson for inquisitive young minds. Learn about ancient Mesopotamia with Irving Finkel, a philologist and Assyriologist for the British Museum.

As this video from the museum’s official channel points out, Irv ain’t afraid of no ghost.

15. What Do We Do All Day?

This lovely little mini-science experiment will help your kids create an ocean in a bottle. I’m 33 and I want to make one of these things, so I should imagine any younger individual would be positively thrilled to make one of these.

What Do We Do All Day’s channel offers up many other gems such as this, too.

16. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Kermode and Mayo

The BBC’s flagship film review show is an absolute joy – it has an army of fans across the world.

Asides from being funny and entertaining, film critics Dr. Mark Kermode’s impassioned reviews are educational and progressive.

Perfect listening for anyone getting to appreciate film criticism.

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17. Rare double asteroid revealed – NASA

NASA’s channel is full of other worldly wonders such as this rare double asteroid reveal. Along with its many live streams from the Earth’s orbit, it’s a fascinating and essential channel for any young mind to be following.

18. What has NASA’s Juno discovered around Jupiter? – Astrum

Astrum is a bit like NASA’s channel, but more detailed. It takes a close look at some of our planets, for instance, like with the ever-fascinating Jupiter.

If you have any budding astronauts in your family, this is another essential channel.

19. Best creative home hacks anyone can do – HooplaKidz

Last but not least, here we have some arts and crafts.

Would your kid like one of these cute cushions in your home? Would they also want to create it themselves?

Then this is the right video and channel for you. Find out the basics for some fun crafts and liven up your home with a few friendly new knickknacks.

There you go, 19 Youtube children’s videos that will help your kids learn new stuff in a fun way! Of course, with a bit of your guidance while watching these videos together, you’re having some really good quality time with your kids too!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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