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2 Simple Ways to Be a Happy Parent

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2 Simple Ways to Be a Happy Parent

    Do you have moments throughout the day when you feel great as a parent? When your kids are happy, you are happy, you are all hugging, laughing and kissing one other? You know the feeling of wonderment. Now, do you also have times when you don’t love being a parent? Have you felt at your wits end, frustrated, angry and resentful? Here are two simple ways you can be a happy parent more often than passing moments in your day.

    Ask yourself two very important questions:

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    1. When are you happiest with your kids?

    2. What part of the normal day with your family routinely causes suffering?

    After you have answered these questions, you will see that there tends to be patterns or times during the day when things go haywire for you or when life is flowing smoothly.

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    When does life flow in your home? What are you doing with your children when everyone is most happy? Is there a way to increase these times? What is going on with you that you feel so happy to be around your kids?

    Parents say that morning, after school, dinner time and bed time are the most stressful for them. Would you agree? Look at each time period more closely and see what leads up to the stress. Is it that there really is not a routine in place? Is there no structure around a certain activity? Do your children know your expectations and if necessary, the consequences? And, do you follow through on your word or just give up to appease the situation?

    Kids love and adore routine and structure; not rigid, but consistent and calm structure. They also love predictability, so be sure to sit down and talk to your children about any routines you see that need to be put into place.

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    Now that you will have some comforting routines in place for your children, begin to think about ones YOU might need. Do you feel stressed after coming home from work? Find a way to wind down for 15-20 mins before you move into the next phase of the evening. Ideas?

    • You could go to your room, change into comfy clothes and take 10 deep breaths.
    • You could read a book
    • You could do a short yoga routine
    • You could lie down and close your eyes for 15 minutes
    • You could lie on your bed or the sofa and listen to classical musical

    Find whatever it is you think would help you re-energize before moving on to the task that usually stresses you.

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    Becoming conscious of the certain times when you are happiest with your kids and when you’re not allows you to stop, think, and redesign your family’s routine. It’s doable, you just have to make the necessary decisions, share and discuss them with your family and then be consistent. Your motivator will be the calm and habitual happiness you will feel.

    Image: Autumm

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    Last Updated on November 25, 2021

    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

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    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

    With all of the recent online services and companies falling under attack to hackers in the past few months, it seems only fitting to talk about password creation and management. There are a lot of resources out there discussing this, but it never hurts to revisit this topic time and again because of its importance.

    Password management isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do, yet it does seem like a bit of an annoyance to most people. When it comes to password management, you will hear the famous line, “I don’t really care about changing my passwords regularly. I have nothing important online anyways.” Let’s see if you have nothing important online when your PayPal account gets taken over because you thought the password “password” was good enough.

    In my opinion, it is an “internet user’s” responsibility to make sure that they keep secure passwords and update them on a regular basis. In this article we will discuss how to make your online presence more secure and keep it secure.

    The easy fundamentals

    First thing is first; creating a strong password.

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    A strong password is a mixture of alpha-numeric characters and symbols, has a good length (hopefully 15 characters or longer), and doesn’t necessarily represent some word or phrase. If the service you are signing up for doesn’t allow passwords over a certain length, like 8 characters, always use the maximum length.

    Here are some examples of strong passwords:
    * i1?,2,2\1′(:-%Y
    * ZQ5t0466VC44PmJ
    * mp]K{ dCFKVplGe]PBm1mKdinLSOoa (30 characters)

    And not so good examples
    * sammy1234
    * password123
    * christopher

    You can check out PC Tools Password Generator here. This is a great way to make up some very strong passwords. Of course the more random passwords are harder to remember, but that is where password management comes into play.

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    Managing your passwords

    I know some people that keep their passwords in an unencrypted text file. That’s not a good idea. I suppose that if you aren’t doing much online and are decent at avoiding viruses and such, it could be OK, but I would never recommend it.

    So, where do you keep your strong passwords for all the services that you visit on a daily basis?

    There are a ton of password safes out there including KeePass, RoboForm, Passpack, Password Safe, LastPass, and 1Password. If and when I recommend any of these I always count on LastPass and 1Password.

    Both LastPass and 1Password offer different entry types for online services logins (PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, etc.), credit cards and bank accounts, online identities, and other types of sensitive information. Both have excellent reviews and only differ in a few subtle ways. One of the ways that is more notable is that LastPass keeps your encrypted password Vault online where 1Password allows you to keep it locally or shared through Dropbox. Either way, you are the holder of the encryption keys and both ways are very secure.

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    LastPass and 1Password both offer cross-platform support as well as support for Android and iOS (LastPass even has BlackBerry support). 1Password is a little pricey ($39.99 for either Windows or Mac) where LastPass has free options as well as premium upgrades that allow for mobile syncing.

    Upkeep

    You should probably change your passwords for your “important” accounts at least every 6 weeks. When I say “important” accounts I am referring to ones that you just couldn’t imagine losing access to. For me that would be Gmail, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, all my FTP accounts and hosting accounts, Namecheap, etc. Basically these include any account where financial information could be lost or accessed as well as accounts that could be totally screwed up (like my webserver).

    There is no hard and fast rule to how often you should change your passwords, but 6 to 8 weeks should be pretty good.

    Alternatives

    You may think that all of this is just too much to manage on a daily basis. I will admit it is kind of annoying to have to change your passwords and use a password manager on a daily basis. For those people out there that don’t want to go through all of the hub-bub of super-secure, encrypted, password management, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

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    1. Create a unique and hard to guess “base password” and then a pattern to use for each site you logon onto. For instance a base password could be “Ih2BaSwAa” (this stands for “I have two brothers and sisters who are annoying”). Then you would add something “site specific” to the end of it. For Twitter Ih2BaSwAaTWTTR, Facebook Ih2BaSwAaFCBK, etc. This is sort of unsecure, but probably more secure than 99% of the passwords out there.
    2. Don’t write your passwords down in public places. If you want to keep track of passwords on something written, keep it on you at least. The problem is that if you get your wallet stolen you are still out of luck.
    3. Don’t use the same passwords for every service. I’m not even going to explain this; just don’t do it.

    These are just a few things that can be done rather than keeping your passwords in a management system. Personally, with over 100 entries in my password management system, I couldn’t even dream of doing any other way. But those out there with only a few passwords, having a simpler system may be beneficial.

    So, if you want to be a “responsible internet citizen” or you just don’t want to lose your precious account data, then creating and maintaining strong passwords for your online accounts is a must.

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