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25 Secret Parenting Tips You Won’t Find in Conventional Parenting Books

25 Secret Parenting Tips You Won’t Find in Conventional Parenting Books

I’m sure the majority of parents will agree that being a mom or dad is one of the most amazing and life-fulfilling roles you’ve ever experienced!

But you know what would make your experience even MORE enjoyable? Having someone share with you a few secret parenting tips to let you know you haven’t failed or gone loony, that you will rarely hear about elsewhere. So I’m going to step up and be that someone for you. You’re welcome.

1. It’s okay to break down and cry sometimes.

cry

    Being a parent is an emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting job! Sometimes it’s going to feel like you’ve got so much pent up inside, you’re about to explode. The solution? Cry it out. It’s not a sign of weakness. Crying allows you to release stress, and more often than not, you’ll find yourself feeling better and more relaxed after a good, healthy cry.

    2. The newest, most expensive baby toys will actually be for YOUR entertainment.

    baby-box

      Your baby isn’t going to care about the $500 Super Saiyan, Multi-Spin Rider with glowing rims & satellite radio, as much as he does the box it came in. Babies looove boxes. Oh, and they just can’t get enough of the paper cups, orphaned socks, and colorful washcloths!

      My kid’s 13. You think he remembers his Super Saiyan, Multi-Spin Rider? Not so much. What he does vividly recall are the times we danced the “Numa Numa” around the family room, and going outside to blow soap bubbles. So invest that extra cash in your child’s future and enjoy your baby getting a kick out of the simpler things!

      3. You’re not a bad parent for NOT enjoying “every moment that they’re little.”

      upset mom

        If you suddenly see little monsters with horns sitting at the breakfast table instead of the sweet angels you so adore, don’t panic! Sometimes, even the cutest, sweetest ones aren’t very pleasant company. Know that EVERY parent has had bad days (Yup, even the ones who appear to never have them!), so don’t be hard on yourself. It’s not like you’re going to take em to the animal shelter and put them up for adoption, right? Right?

        4. Saying “No” won’t traumatize them.

        saying-no

          Teaching them rules and boundaries is necessary for their emotional and mental growth. They may pout and cry (or throw a full-blown tantrum), but don’t give in to your little one’s plea for a slice of chocolate cake right before bedtime. Constantly saying “Yes” however, will encourage them to grow up to be spoiled, entitled adults. Standing by your “Nos” is also a great lesson in respect, as well as respecting other people’s boundaries.

          5. Giving your kids some alone time does not equal abandonment.

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          alone time

            As a matter of fact, this is crucial for the development of independence. Alone time empowers kids to truly enjoy being creative in the moment as well as encourage self-sufficiency. Kids who learn this are able to face time on their own without feeling sadness or panic. For younger children, alone time is when they are able to relax or entertain themselves without help from parents & caregivers who are in the same room.

            6. You don’t have to be perfect in front of your kids.

            Homer-Simpson-wingnuts-doh

              Here’s a perfect opportunity to teach your children by example. Show your kids that mistakes can be used as a stepping stone to something better, by identifying the lessons in the mistake and making improvements for a better outcome next time. It’ll encourage them to problem solve and grow their self confidence!

              7. It’s okay to give yourself a time out.

              tired-mom

                Have your kids read a book, color, or build with blocks while you take a few minutes to meditate, catch a show on TV, or just zone out on the laundry room floor. You’ll feel much better after a quick breather—plus your children will learn that when feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it’s healthier and more productive to take a break and come back recharged!

                8. Don’t let your child play on your cell phone without first limiting access.

                cellphone

                  Unless you’re comfortable with everyone in your phone book receiving a “jir3pwdn $WEhfw Ssssssss” text message from you, put a limit/lock on your phone before giving it to your child. Otherwise, don’t come cryin when your boss gets a hold of that selfie #fail you never got around to deleting.

                  9. Tell your vegetable hatin’ child NOT to eat his veggies.

                  spinach

                    “Finish all your spaghetti and… wait, I’m not so sure you should be eating the spinach. That green stuff can make you so strong, it’ll give you super energy when you’re playing at the park and swimming at the pool… do you think you’ll be able to handle all that awesomeness?”

                    Answer will almost always be “Yeah!”… and works with almost any food.

                    10. Nap time is when you get stuff done.

                    cleaning

                      Most people will tell you to sleep when your baby is sleeping. Sure, if you want to get NOTHING else done in your life! Fold laundry, meditate, take a shower (remember that?), read a book, get updated with all the drama on Facebook—and yes, sometimes cuddle naps with the kids to recharge your mind, body, and spirit!

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                      11. You will be unable to escape from the power of cute.

                      linda honey

                        You’ll do your best to keep a straight face, but inside, your heart has already melted and is running down your leg. It’s okay to fall under the spell—just don’t forget to take a photo, video, or write about it on social media so you can appreciate their special power forever.

                        12. Your kid who had nothing to say to you all day will suddenly want to tell you a story when you’re on the phone.

                        phone-tips

                          Give your child an activity such as coloring books and puzzles to keep her occupied while you are on the phone. In all honesty, nothing really worked for me for very long, so I scheduled both my personal and business phone times during my child’s naps.

                          If you have a trick that’s worked for you, please share in the comments below!

                          13. You can have fun without the kids and still be a good parent.

                          datenite

                            Balance is important in maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit. You are a parent with little people depending on you, but that doesn’t wipe out the fact that you are still… you! So don’t feel guilty! Go out dancing, catch a movie, have dinner with your significant other, or a girls night out!

                            The better you take care of and feel better about yourself, the better you will be able to give to your children.

                            14. You’ll suddenly know the names of all Pokemon characters.

                            pokemon

                              Or any other show, movie, or video game your child will become obsessed with. And you know what? That’s OK because knowledge is power. Granted, it’s power that is useful only in their kiddie world, but your child will think you’re the bomb-diggity—and THAT in itself is pretty powerful.

                              15. At some point you will accidentally hurt your child and you’ll feel like the worst parent to slither across the Earth.

                              sad baby

                                Whether it’s by snapping at them after a stressful day at the office, or tripping over them because they blended in with the floor pillows. It happens to the best of us, so forgive yourself. Apologize, make certain your child understands that it wasn’t intentional, give them a big hug, and do something that you can enjoy together to mend the hurt and lift the mood.

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                                16. Always bring a change of clothes not just for your kid, but also for yourself.

                                spitup

                                  Kids are messy and dirty; they leak goo and other stuff from everywhere. And there is a good chance they will contaminate you too. Always keep at least an extra shirt for yourself in your baby bag—or in a bag kept in the trunk of your car. You’ll thank me for this.

                                  17. You will make noises and faces just to see your baby smile.

                                  giggle

                                    You’ve seen the silly, new-parent portrayals on TV. Well, that’s you. And you’ll do it again and again just to see your little one crackle, smile, and laugh so hard, he farts in his diapers!

                                    18. Your new found interest in baby poop will confuse and frighten you.

                                    diaper change

                                      You’ll be recording the time, amount, smell, color, and the consistency. And don’t be alarmed if you find yourself celebrating a good diaper full of poop at times. Don’t worry, this phase will pass—pun intended.

                                      19. You will have the highest highs and the lowest lows—all at once.

                                      moodswings

                                        Parenting can be highly stressful, emotionally overwhelming, and spiritually uplifting—all at the same time. It’s normal and there’s nothing wrong with you. Just step back, give yourself a time-out like we talked about earlier, and resume. Ain’t no thang!

                                        If you feel you’re unable to deal with the mental or emotional stress, please confide in people you trust or seek professional help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s really a very courageous and responsible thing to do. The earlier you get help, the better it will be for you and your children.

                                        20. No matter how much baby-proofing you do before your angel is able to scoot around the house, she will find the one thing you didn’t baby-proof.

                                        baby_proof

                                          Sure, you might find her feeding your tampons to her dolls and stuffed animals and using your panty liners to cover her boo boo. Just make certain to keep all medication, chemicals, and sharp objects out of your baby’s reach.

                                          21. Sleep deprivation will begin to feel like mental and emotional illness.

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                                          crazycrazy

                                            Earlier I suggested you take advantage of your kids’ naptimes to get things done. If you’re sleep deprived and unable to function, scratch that for now and nap with them. It’s OK to put off doing laundry and leave the dirty dishes for later. What’s the point in having a load of clean clothes when you’re not able to function properly? Don’t assume there’s something wrong with you or that you’re not a good parent. Get some rest and re-energize!

                                            As stated earlier, if you’re unable to deal with the mental or emotional stress, please confide in people you trust or seek professional help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s really a very courageous and responsible thing to do. The earlier you get help, the better it will be for you and your children.

                                            22. Time alone in your car becomes a mini vacation/therapy.

                                            a young woman driving a car

                                              Just driving out to the supermarket on your own will make you feel like a brand new person! And discussing life’s most important issues—with yourself, while waiting to pick up your child from school in the car lanes—is OK too! You’ll be surprised at all the clarity and great solutions that results from self-therapy!

                                              23. You will compare your baby against all others and know yours is the best.

                                              stage mom

                                                Regardless of what anyone else might say, this is NORMAL, and you will be absolutely RIGHT! Way to go for having the BEST-KID-EVER! #highfive

                                                24. Always give your kids your undivided attention.

                                                listen

                                                  This will help your child build trust as well as self confidence. Let’s try to avoid the answering while eyes are glued to your text message, or half grunts from behind the newspaper. If ever you are unable to give your undivided attention (work, phone call, guests, etc.) let them know by saying something like, “I’d really love to hear about EVERYTHING you have to say, so will you give me a few minutes to finish this up so I can give you all of my attention?”

                                                  My child grew up with this. And now he gives the same respect and consideration to those who ask for his time and attention. It really works—children really do learn what they live. And it’s pretty awesome.

                                                  25. Seal your special bond with a secret handshake, dance, or code word.

                                                  secret dance

                                                    No matter how silly it is, no matter how old they become, this will be something very special just between you and your child! Priceless!

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                                                    Carmen Sakurai

                                                    Mental Declutter, Stress Management & Burnout Prevention Coach. Feeling Stuck? Overwhelmed & No Energy? Let's Talk!

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                                                    Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                                                    Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                                    Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                                    Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

                                                    If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

                                                    When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

                                                    In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

                                                    1. Salmon

                                                    Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

                                                    It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

                                                    Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

                                                    Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

                                                    Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

                                                    Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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                                                    2. Blueberries

                                                    Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

                                                    Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

                                                    Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

                                                    Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

                                                    Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

                                                    3. Turmeric

                                                    Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

                                                    Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

                                                    Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

                                                    Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

                                                    Curcumin has also been shown to:

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                                                    • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
                                                    • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
                                                    • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
                                                    • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

                                                    4. Coffee

                                                    Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

                                                    Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

                                                    Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

                                                    Coffee can also:

                                                    • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
                                                    • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
                                                    • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
                                                    • Improve your memory.
                                                    • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

                                                    5. Broccoli

                                                    What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

                                                    Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

                                                    Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

                                                    Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

                                                    Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

                                                    6. Bone broth

                                                    Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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                                                    Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

                                                    Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

                                                    Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

                                                    Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

                                                    With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

                                                    Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

                                                    7. Walnuts

                                                    Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

                                                    Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

                                                    Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

                                                    Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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                                                    8. Eggs

                                                    For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

                                                    Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

                                                    Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

                                                    9. Dark chocolate

                                                    You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

                                                    Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

                                                    Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

                                                    Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

                                                    Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

                                                    Conclusion

                                                    Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

                                                    In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

                                                    If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

                                                    More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                                    Reference

                                                    [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
                                                    [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
                                                    [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
                                                    [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
                                                    [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
                                                    [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
                                                    [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
                                                    [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
                                                    [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
                                                    [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
                                                    [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
                                                    [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
                                                    [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
                                                    [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
                                                    [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
                                                    [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
                                                    [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
                                                    [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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