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11 Things Every Parent Can Do To Make Their Kids Much Happier

11 Things Every Parent Can Do To Make Their Kids Much Happier

Are you a caring parent who is willing to go the extra mile for the welfare of your child? Have you ever wondered whether your busy lifestyle is affecting their normal upbringing? Pause for a moment and think how children feel and what kind of mental state they are suffering from. Children are very innocent at heart and so if they want to play or want to know something related to their education you shouldn’t ignore them or show your displeasure even though you may be tired, because such behavior hurts them. As a parent you must know how important it is for you to get involved in your children’s education as it increases their chances of success considerably.

As per a survey done by researchers from the Institute for Social and Economic Research, the affect of being a full-time working mother or dad on a kid’s education is the same as growing up in a single-parent family. Research shows that a child’s potential to do well at exams come down by 20% in cases where the mother returns to work. Such children (age 5-10) whose mothers are busy with their work do worse at school and suffer from mental stress compared to those youngsters whose mothers stay at home to bring them up and help them in their studies.

The study showed that during the 1970s and early 1980s, average mothers worked full-time for 18 months before the child was five. Almost two third of their kids i.e. approximately 64% of them achieved at least one A-level or equal qualification. It was seen that for mothers who worked for 30 months and over before their kid was five, only 52% of the children achieved one A-level pass.

However, compared to the earlier periods the working parents of today are more affected by feelings of guilt. A new study says that around 42% of parents that participated in the study were unhappy that they couldn’t fulfill their role as ideal parents during the week days. The research also shows that it is the quality of your involvement and not the quantity that counts. For example you may spend hours with your child but it will serve no useful purpose if you remain aloof to its desires and needs for emotional connect. So don’t be with the child just for the heck of it while you play away at your mobile phone or whatsoever. Make your child the center of your focus.

Research says that children of parents who are more involved in their kid’s education and other extracurricular activities tend to be more intelligent and active. So, it’s very essential to support and guide your children whether it’s for education, games or teaching them good and bad habits. No matter how busy you are with your daily work schedule, there are plenty of things that you can do for your children during your free time.

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Here are some ideas for busy parents to get their children a little more outdoor time without causing your head and busy schedule to burst out!

Put on a happy face

happy face

    By the time you reach home after a tiring day at the office, your entire body may be hurting but still when your kids come running to you and share all his/her activities that he/she did in school, you should put on a smile and meet their expectations so that they feel you are their best friend. But, if you put them away and ask them to come later then their joy in having you around might disappear.

    Don’t brush off your child’s concerns

    Make your children understand that you are always available to talk with them and share whatever is disturbing them. If you brush aside the feeling of your kid or try to ignore it, the child will keep his feelings inside and never express it to you. So, be a good listener as it can be very helpful in dealing with children.

    Plan family time

    Though, you might be having a busy life during the week days, try to take out some time from your busy schedule and plan unique activities to enjoy with your kids like games, bike ride, or do some creative activities. You may also take your child to shopping malls or water parks, where they can spend time with you.

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    Hold family meetings weekly

    Family Meetings

      Kids feel very special if they are taken seriously and their ideas are praised. Your children may help you to make morning and bedtime routines and come up with creative ways to manage chores. It’s very exciting to see how children are more willing to follow the plans and rules created by them. Such meetings can also help children learn how to solve problems and be cooperative. They get the chance to put forward their problems in family meetings so that the parent can solve it and make them understand in a proper way.

      Lead family discussions with children

      Dinnertime is the perfect time for your family to have discussions about the latest news, topics, and new stories. Parents may also discuss about science education so that children can gain some knowledge and interact more with parents. In this way, busy parents can guide their children and be their idol.

      Instead of sidelining your children, ask them whether they can help you

      Kids are very innocent creatures who always hanker after their parents’ love and attention. So, it makes them feel special when parents ask for their help instead of lecturing and scolding them. Ask for their help in a polite manner instead of asking for it rudely or harshly, as they feel they are being scolded and brought down. Like, if you find your child’s room dirty or things are kept here and there then ask him/her to help you in making it clean instead of scolding him or her for making it dirty.

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      Get new clothes for your kid and make them glad

      Get new clothes for your kid

        Are you too busy with your office work and responsibilities? Does your child ask to go out for shopping? No worry, you no more have to say your child ‘NO’ as if you can’t go shopping with them, search online and get the colorful clothes for them. Why to roam here and there around the streets when you can easily get a huge variety from the comfort of your home? All you need to do is to steal some time from your busy schedule and do online shopping for kid’s clothing. There are plenty of online shopping store for children where you may get huge collection in vibrant designs and colors. In this way you can shop the perfect clothes for your child by saving your time and money as well. So, buy trendy clothes for your kids online and make them realize how special they are for you.

        Outings on weekends

        Weekends are generally busy as you have lots of things to do at home but you can finish it off quickly and plan an outdoor adventure for the joy of your child as it could add fun and rejuvenate you and your child’s mind. You can also take the family to nearby Local Park for a picnic and meals together. After all, it’s always good to have family get together to talk and relish various outdoor activities.

        Be a good companion for your kid

        No matter how busy you are, the most important thing is to build a strong relationship with your kid. Though, you can’t spare sufficient time for them, but whenever you are free like at night, during breakfast time, etc., show your interest and talk to your child as if you are his/her good friend. Never show them anger if they talk any wrong things, and try to teach them about moral values or ‘what is wrong’ and ‘what is right’, so that they can know the difference between right and wrong. In this way, they will never try to hide anything and as a good companion they will share each and every thing with you. After all, a fruitful relationship between parents and children is very necessary to make a healthy family life.

        Green time co-ops

        If you know some impossibly-busy parents who may like to unite with you for making sure that your kids play or engage in outdoor activities, you may form a green time co-op in which each parent can take turns to take an hour off from their work in a week to look after the child while they play.

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        Make them learn from you

        Parents do feel guilty when they cannot give time to their children due to their busy schedule. But looking at it the other way, it can be helpful for parents like you as you can set an example for your children with your hard work. As children see their parents working hard at a job and handling plenty of responsibility, they can also learn about the responsibility and work for an aim. Discussing the same with your child may improve their learning ability.

        So, it is advisable for every busy parent to try the above suggestions for their child’s unhindered growth and also to become their idol.

        Featured photo credit: Spotonlists via spotonlists.com

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        Last Updated on March 30, 2020

        Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

        Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

        Feeling tired all the time?

        Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

        I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

        Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

        If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

        In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

        What Happens When You’re Too Tired

        If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

        Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

        • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
        • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
        • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
        • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
        • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
        • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
        • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

        Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

        Unfortunately, yes!

        Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

        Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

        Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

        Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

        Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

        Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

        1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
        2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
        3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

        The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

        It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

        Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

        Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

        If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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        Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

        Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

        But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

        Symptoms of fatigue include:

        • Difficulty concentrating
        • Low stamina
        • Difficulty sleeping
        • Anxiety
        • Low motivation

        These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

        Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

        How Much Sleep Is Enough?

        The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

        Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

        So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

        The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

        Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

        Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

        If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

        And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

        It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

        4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

        Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

        1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
        2. Exercising regularly
        3. Using stressbusters
        4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

        So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

        After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

        In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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        I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

        Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

        • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
        • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
        • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
        • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

        The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

        And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

        But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

        L — Living Healthy

        Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

        So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

        In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

        As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

        Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

        1. Unplug

        Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

        So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

        2. Unwind

        Do something to relax.

        Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

        3. Get Comfortable

        Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

        Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

        Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

        Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

        If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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        Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

        This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

        E — Exercise

        Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

        That’s what happened in my case.

        But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

        As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

        My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

        That made sense to me.

        So, I decided to swim.

        I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

        Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

        Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

        So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

        If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

        A — Attitude

        Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

        When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

        Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

        Breathing.

        But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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        Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

        1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
        2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
        3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
        4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
        5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
        6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

        This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

        When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

        Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

        N — Nutrition

        Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

        If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

        Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

        For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

        Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

        Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

        1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
        2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
        3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
        4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
        5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
        6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
        7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
        8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
        9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

        Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

        That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

        Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

        The Bottom Line

        If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

        If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

        If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

        • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
        • Regular Exercise You Love
        • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
        • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

        Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

        More Tips to Help You Rest Better

        Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
        [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
        [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
        [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
        [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
        [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
        [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
        [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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