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Category: General Parenting

How to Teach Kids About Consent in an Age-Appropriate Way

It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about consent. In fact, the sooner they learn how to effectively communicate their wants and needs, the better. As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure that our children understand how to protect themselves and their bodies. 

Teaching kids about consent can be tricky, but it’s definitely worth it. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips on how to teach kids about consent in an age-appropriate and effective way.

Why Is It Important To Teach Kids About Consent?

Consent is when someone agrees, gives permission, or says yes to something. Teaching kids about consent is important because it helps them understand that their bodies are their own and that they have a say in what happens to them. It also teaches them how to respect other people’s bodies and personal space.

While some parents might feel that talking about consent is too grown-up or complicated for kids, it’s never too early to start teaching these concepts. You can begin by modeling respectful behavior yourself and talking to your kids about how their bodies work and how to care for them.

Tips On How To Teach Kids About Consent

As they age, you can have more detailed conversations about personal space, privacy, and consent. Here are some tips for teaching consent to kids:

mom talking to daughter

Start Early

You can begin teaching your kids about consent as early as toddlerhood. Modeling respectful behavior towards your child and others is a good place to start. For example, if you’re going to hug or kiss your child, ask first and respect their answer. 

This will help them understand that their bodies belong to them and that they get to decide who can touch them. Plus, teaching kids about personal safety early on can help them be more aware of potential dangers and how to protect themselves. 

In a way, teaching consent is similar to teaching sex education. They come hand in hand with helping young kids and even younger children learn about the importance of sexual consent at an early age. Plus, when parents teach young kids about consent and model consent properly, kids become more capable of avoiding sexual abuse and sexual violence.

Talk About It Often

Consent is not a one-time conversation. It’s important to talk about it often so that it becomes part of your kids’ everyday understanding. You can bring it up in different contexts, such as when you’re getting them dressed, when they’re playing with friends, or when they see something on TV or the internet. You must talk about consent often so it becomes part of your kids’ everyday understanding.

Use Clear Language

When talking to younger kids about consent, use simple and clear language that they can understand. For example, you can explain that touching someone else’s body is not okay without asking first. As they get older, you can talk about more complex concepts like personal space and privacy.

Do not confuse kids by using terms like “bad touch” or “good touch.” These terms can be confusing and may lead kids to believe that some types of touch are bad, even if they’re consensual.

Encourage Questions

It’s important to encourage your kids to ask questions when they don’t understand something. This will help them feel more comfortable discussing consent and other sensitive topics. You must also be open to answering any questions they might have honestly and without judgment.

For example, if your child asks why they shouldn’t hit their sister, you can explain that hitting is not ok because it hurts people’s bodies. You can also talk about how everyone has a right to personal space and how we need to respect other people’s boundaries.

Respect Your Child’s Privacy

As your kids get older, they will start to assert their privacy more. It’s important to respect their wishes and not force them to share information or do things that make them uncomfortable.

For example, if your tween doesn’t want to hug you in front of their friends, don’t make them. This will help them feel more comfortable setting boundaries and saying no when needed.

Teach Them It’s Ok To Say No

Your kids must know it’s ok to say no to anyone, even if they are much older or bigger than them. No one has the right to make them do something they don’t want to do, even if it’s something as innocuous as a hug or a kiss.

Saying no is not only ok, but it’s empowering. It gives kids a sense of control over their own bodies and what happens to them. And it sets the stage for healthy sexual relationships later on in life.

Teach Them That “No Means No”

Make sure your kids understand that no means no, regardless of the circumstances. This is important even if they’re just playing with a friend – if someone doesn’t want to play, that should be respected.

If your kids are old enough, you can also talk about the fact that sometimes people might not say no outright, but their body language can show that they’re not comfortable. Therefore, it’s important always to check in and ensure that the other person is okay with what’s happening.

Use Correct Terminology

It’s essential to use the correct terms when talking about body parts and private areas. This will help your kids understand that there is nothing wrong with these parts of their bodies and that they have a right to keep them private.

A lot of parents make the mistake of not using the correct terminology when it comes to private parts. They may use nicknames or make up their own names for body parts. While this may seem harmless, it can confuse kids and make them think there is something wrong with their bodies.

For example, if you call a boy’s penis his “wee-wee,” he may think there is something wrong with saying the word “penis.” He may also think that there is something wrong with his penis itself. It’s important to use the correct terminology for private parts so that kids understand that there is nothing wrong with them.

Some parents find it difficult to talk about consent with their kids. They may feel awkward or embarrassed, or they may worry that they’ll say the wrong thing. But it’s important to have these conversations anyway. The more you talk about consent, the easier it will become.

How To Teach Teenagers About Consent?

teach teenagers consent

As your child gets older, you can talk to them more explicitly about consent. Explain that consent is always necessary before touching someone else’s body, even if it’s just a friendly hug or handshake.

And let them know that they always have the right to say no to unwanted physical contact, even from someone they know and trust.

You can also use real-life examples to teach consent. For instance, you might talk about how a friend asked before borrowing your jacket, or how you had to ask permission before using someone’s phone. You can also bring up news stories or TV shows illustrating what happens when consent isn’t given or respected.

It’s important to stress that consent is always voluntary, enthusiastic, and sober. No one should ever feel pressured into saying “yes.” And if someone changes their mind after saying “yes,” that’s OK, too.

Finally, remind your teenager that they have a right to their own bodies and feelings. They should never do anything they don’t want to do just to please someone else. After all, this can lead to feeling resentful, used, or even unsafe.

If you’re ever worried that your child isn’t respecting someone else’s consent, or if they tell you this has happened to them, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted adult for help. Remember, you can always contact a guidance counselor, school principal, or local law enforcement if you’re concerned about your child’s safety or well-being.

What Are the Benefits of Teaching Kids About Consent?

There are many benefits to teaching kids about consent, including helping them to develop a healthy sense of self-respect and boundary-setting. When kids understand how to ask for and give consent, they can navigate social interactions more confidently and avoid potentially harmful situations.

Consent education can also help reduce the incidence of sexual assault and other forms of violence. Studies have shown that people who receive consent education are more likely to intervene when they see someone in an unsafe situation and are less likely to become perpetrators themselves.

talking to kids

Some of the specific benefits of teaching kids about consent include:

  • Helping them to understand and respect personal boundaries
  • Empowering them to make their own decisions about their bodies and relationships
  • Giving them the tools to identify and communicate when they feel uncomfortable
  • Teaching them how to set boundaries with others
  • Providing them with a framework for understanding and seeking consent in sexual interactions
  • Reducing the incidence of sexual assault and other forms of violence

These are just a few of the many reasons why it’s so important to teach kids about consent. When kids have the tools to understand and respect personal boundaries, they can lead healthier and happier lives.

How Soon Should I Teach My Child About Consent?

There is no one answer to this question since every family will have different values and comfort levels when it comes to discussing topics like sex and consent. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow when deciding how and when to talk to your child about consent.

The most important thing is to start the conversation early. It’s never too early to start teaching your child about personal boundaries and how to respect the personal boundaries of others. You can begin talking about consent in simple terms when your child is old enough to understand basic concepts like “no” and “mine.”

You can continue the conversation as your child grows older by adding more detail and complexity. For example, you can explain that consent is always needed before someone can touch or be touched in a sexual way. You can also discuss what to do if someone doesn’t respect personal boundaries, such as telling a trusted adult.

dad talking to kids

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to wait for a “teachable moment” to talk about consent with your child. You can bring up the topic anytime, anywhere. For example, you can talk about consent while you’re driving in the car or while you’re making dinner together.

The most important thing is to keep the conversation going. Starting early and talking often can help your child develop a healthy understanding of consent. This will also help your child feel comfortable coming to you with questions or concerns in the future.

Conclusion

Teaching kids about consent is important to help them understand how to respect personal boundaries and stay safe. There are many ways to teach this topic, but some key points to keep in mind are to use age-appropriate language, be clear and concise, and emphasize that consent is always necessary before engaging in any type of physical contact.

Additionally, it’s important to normalize discussions about consent by talking about it frequently and openly, without shame or judgment. By doing so, we can help create a generation of kids who are more respectful, aware, and safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you explain consent?

There is no one answer to this question, as it will vary depending on the child's age, development, and understanding. However, some tips on explaining consent to kids include using simple language, offering concrete examples, and emphasizing that consent is always voluntary and can be withdrawn at any time. Additionally, it's important to stress that consent is necessary for all types of physical contact, not just sexual activity.

What are some signs that a child does not understand or respect consent?

A few signs may indicate a child does not understand or respect consent. For example, if a child constantly tries to touch or hug others without asking first, this could be a sign that they do not understand personal boundaries. Additionally, if a child becomes angry or violent when someone does not want to play with them, this could also be a sign of a lack of understanding about consent.

What can you do if you suspect your child does not understand consent?

If you suspect your child does not understand consent, the best thing you can do is talk to them about it. Try to use simple language and offer concrete examples to help them understand. Additionally, you can emphasize that consent is always voluntary and can be withdrawn at any time. If you're still concerned, you may also want to consider talking to a professional about how to best support your child.

Why should we teach children about consent?

There are a few reasons why teaching children about consent is important. First, it can help prevent sexual assault and harassment. Additionally, teaching kids about consent can help them develop healthy relationships and boundaries. Finally, it can also help them understand and respect the personal boundaries of others.

What does consent mean for kids?

There is no one answer to this question, as it will vary depending on the child's age, development, and understanding. However, consent generally means that all parties involved in a physical activity voluntarily agree to it. Additionally, consent can be withdrawn at any time, and all participants must respect each other's personal boundaries. Parents must learn how to teach kids about consent so that they can develop healthy relationships and respect the personal boundaries of others.

Best Age Appropriate Chores for Kids Ages 2 And Above

One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to start teaching your children about responsibility at a young age. One way to do this is by giving age-appropriate chores for kids to do around the house. 

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best kids’ chores for different ages. We will also provide tips on how to make sure that your children are able to complete their tasks successfully so that household tasks and family chores can be completed properly.

Why Are Chores Important for Kids?

girl doing dishes

Household chores are important for kids, both younger kids and older kids, for many reasons. They teach responsibility, help with time management skills, and give kids a sense of accomplishment. These are all important life skills that will help them as they grow up.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when assigning chores is to make sure they are age appropriate. You don’t want to give a three-year-old a chore that is too difficult or dangerous, but you also don’t want to give a teenager a chore that is too easy.

When assigning chores for your child, it is important to consider their age and abilities. You also want to make sure the chore is developmentally appropriate and something they can handle. Age-appropriate chore ideas can help even a younger child become excited with daily household chores.

Examples of Age Appropriate Chores For Kids

Toddlers (Ages 2-3)

Toddlers love nothing more than to feel like big kids. And what better way to do that than by giving them their very own chores? But before you hand over the mop, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, safety is paramount—look for tasks that don’t require the use of sharp objects or chemicals. 

Second, toddler-sized attention spans are notoriously short, so keep chores short and sweet. And lastly, a little bit of bribery never hurt anyone—if your tot is struggling to stay motivated, try offering up a small reward (think: an extra bedtime story or a few extra minutes of screen time). Here are some age-appropriate chores for toddlers:

1. Putting away toys

This is a great way to teach toddlers the importance of tidying up time. Plus, it’s a perfect opportunity for you to spend some quality time together while getting the house in order. Make it fun by turning it into a game—see who can put away the most toys in two minutes. And be sure to end on a high note by letting your tot know how proud you are of their hard work.

2. Wiping up spills

Another way to make cleaning fun for toddlers is by involving them in the process. When spills happen, enlist their help in wiping them up. They’ll feel like they’re part of the solution, not the cause of the problem. They might enjoy it!

girl wiping spills

3. Emptying small garbage cans

Emptying small garbage cans is something that toddlers can do all by themselves. By learning how to empty garbage cans, they’ll also learn about the importance of recycling. And as a bonus, it’s a great way to get them moving and burn off some extra energy.

4. Filling the cat’s or dog’s food and water bowls

If you have pets, chances are your toddler loves them just as much as you do. So why not put them in charge of taking care of the family pets? Filling the food and water bowls is a perfect way for toddlers to feel like they’re helping out around the house. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity for them to bond with the family pets.

5. Helping load the dryer and washer

Another great chore that toddlers can help with is laundry. They can help you sort the clothes and then load them into the washer and dryer. And when it’s time to fold the laundry, they can help you with that, too! Just be sure to supervise them around the washing machine and dryer—they should never be left unattended around these appliances.

Preschoolers (Ages 4-5)

children cleaning bedroom

Preschoolers are able to do a few simple chores around the house. By teaching them how to help out, you are instilling important values and helping to prepare them for future responsibilities. Some age-appropriate chores for preschoolers include:

1. Setting the table

One of the best ways to get your preschooler involved in helping around the house is to have them help set the table. This simple task includes counting out plates and utensils, and can also help with learning colors and shapes.

2. Making their beds

Another chore that preschoolers can help with is making their beds. This is a great way to teach them about taking care of their personal belongings and keeping their space tidy. Plus, it’s a task that they can easily accomplish with a little help from you.

3. Watering flowers and other plants

If you have a garden or even just a few potted plants, your preschooler can help water them. This is a great way to teach them about the importance of taking care of living things. Plus, it’s a fun activity that they can do together with you!

4. Helping bring light groceries in

Preschoolers will be able to help you bring in light groceries from the car. This is a great way to get them involved in helping with the grocery shopping, and it’s also a good opportunity to teach them about what it means always to be able to lend a helping hand to those who need it.

5. Sorting laundry

Preschoolers can help sort the laundry into whites and colors before you start the wash. This is a simple way to teach them about the importance of sorting items before putting them in the washing machine. Plus, it’s a good opportunity to talk about the different colors of clothing and what color goes with what.

Primary Schoolers (Ages 6-9)

kids in kitchen

Primary schoolers are old enough to start helping out around the house with simple tasks. Depending on their maturity level and ability, they can begin doing things like setting and clearing the table, unloading the dishwasher, walking pets, folding laundry, and vacuuming. 

Giving them small chores to do will not only help take some of the load off of you, but it will also teach them responsibility and help them to feel like they are contributing to the family.

1. Raking the yard

One of the most age-appropriate chores for primary schoolers is raking the yard. It is a great way for them to get some fresh air and exercise while also being helpful. Just be sure to supervise them so that they don’t hurt themselves with the rake.

2. Vacuuming the house

Another chore that primary schoolers can do is vacuuming. This is a great way for them to help out with the cleaning while also getting some practice with using an appliance. However, you must be sure to supervise them while they are using the vacuum cleaner, as they might not be used to operating it.

3. Scrubbing the table after meals

Primary schoolers can scrub the table after meals and help with the dishes. This is a great way for them to help out with the cleaning and learn about hygiene. It’s also a good opportunity for them to practice their scrubbing skills!

4. Making snacks and meals for themselves

You can rely on primary schoolers to make themselves snacks and meals. This is a great way for them to learn about nutrition and cooking. It will also teach them how to be independent and responsible for their own food.

5. Walking the dog

Primary schoolers can also help out with walking the dog. This is a great way for them to get some exercise while also being helpful. Just be sure to supervise them so that they don’t hurt the animal and they don’t get into any trouble.

Middle Schoolers (Ages 10-13)

child helping mom fold laundry

Middle schoolers are old enough to start taking on more responsibility around the house. They can help with laundry, cooking, cleaning, and yard work. Assigning them age-appropriate chores will help them to feel more grown up and responsible. It will also teach them important life skills that they will need as they get older.

1. Washing the family car

Another great chore for middle schoolers is washing the family car. This is a perfect opportunity to teach them how to properly wash and wax a car. They can also learn the importance of keeping their car clean and in good condition.

2. Taking the trash bins to the curb

You can already rely on middle schoolers to take out the trash bins to the curb on trash day. But, they can also help with recycling. They can learn about the importance of recycling and how it helps to protect the environment. This way, they can start to develop eco-conscious habits that will last a lifetime.

3. Babysitting younger siblings

Middle schoolers are also more than capable of babysitting younger siblings. This is a great way for them to earn some extra spending money. But more importantly, it will teach them how to be responsible for others. They will learn how to keep children safe and entertained, as well as how to deal with tantrums and other behavioral issues.

4. Using the clothes washer and dryer

Another chore that middle schoolers can handle is using the clothes washer and dryer. This is a great way for them to learn how to do laundry. They can also learn about the different settings on the washing machine and how to dry clothes properly.

5. Washing the dishes

Middle schoolers can be relied on to wash the dishes after meals. This is a great way for them to help out in the kitchen. They can also learn about the importance of cleanliness and proper food handling. Plus, it will teach them how to operate the dishwasher.

High Schoolers (Ages 14+)

daughter helping dad clean the car

High schoolers are old enough to start taking on more responsibilities around the house. Below are some examples of appropriate chores for high schoolers:

1. Cleaning out the fridge

High schoolers can be asked to clean out the fridge so that it is ready for the next grocery shopping trip. This includes taking out all of the expired food, wiping down the shelves, and organizing everything so that it is easy to find what you need.

2. Cleaning windows around the house

Another chore that is appropriate for high schoolers is cleaning the windows around the house. Windows need to be cleaned regularly to keep them looking their best. High schoolers can be asked to clean the windows on all of the floors that they are able to reach. Cleaning windows is a chore that requires attention to detail and patience. Both of these qualities will come in handy as high schoolers move on to college and their careers.

3. Ironing clothes

High schoolers are old enough to start using an iron to press their clothes. This is a valuable skill that they will use throughout their lives. Ironing clothes is not difficult, but it does take some practice to get the hang of it. High schoolers can be asked to iron their own clothes as well as the clothes of other family members.

4. Making more complex meals

Instead of just sandwiches for meals, high schoolers can be asked to make more complex meals. This could include making a pot of soup, grilling chicken, or baking a cake. High schoolers should be able to follow a recipe and measure ingredients correctly. These are all skills that they will use in their future lives.

5. Caring for pets independently

High schoolers can be relied on to care for pets independently. This means feeding them, walking them, and cleaning up after them. High schoolers should be able to do this without being reminded by their parents. Caring for pets is a great way for high schoolers to learn responsibility.

Important Things To Remember When Assigning Chores for Kids

boys cleaning a mirror

Parents cannot just blindly assign any old chore to their kids and expect them to perform it well. There are a few things you need to consider when assigning chores. The first is the age of the child. It would not make sense to ask a five-year-old to do laundry, but they could help set the table for dinner.

Another thing to consider is the ability of the child. Just because a child is ten-years-old does not mean they are able to do everything. If a child has never used a vacuum before, it would not make sense to assign them that chore. Not all kids develop the same way. 

Therefore, you must be considerate of your child’s ability to do the tasks you let them do and always stick to an age-appropriate chore that will help kids learn responsibility properly.

The last thing to consider is the interest of the child. It would be pointless to give a child a chore they absolutely hate. If a child hates cleaning the bathroom, try assigning them a different chore.

By considering these things, parents can assign their kids age-appropriate chores they can and are willing to do.

Bottom Line

Age-appropriate chores for kids are important for their development. It is a great way to teach them responsibility and how to contribute to the family. It also helps them develop a strong work ethic. 

Therefore, choosing age appropriate chores for kids based on their age and abilities is very important. This way, they can feel successful and enjoy helping out around the house.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you determine what chores are appropriate for your child’s age?

The best way to determine what chores are appropriate for your child is by their ability, not necessarily their age. A two-year-old, for example, may be able to put away their toys but may not be able to do laundry. It’s important to consider each child individually when assigning tasks.

How do you get your child to do their chores?

The best way to get your child to do their chores is by setting a good example. If you want your child to help with the dishes, then ensure you’re doing them too. Children are much more likely to help out around the house if they see their parents doing the same. You can also try using a chore chart or reward system to encourage your child to do their chores. With a chore chart, you can list out all the tasks that need to be done and check them off as they’re completed. A reward system can also be effective, such as allowing your child to earn tokens or points that can be redeemed for privileges, like extra screen time.

Coping with Grief: 5 Ways You Can Help Your Kid

Few things in life are as painful as having to deal with loss. But for kids, the pain that comes with such changes can be almost unbearable, even traumatic. How can you help them in coping with grief and get through this?

No matter how perfect our lives may be at the moment, everything can change in just a single minute. Unexpected tragedies can befall us when we least expect them. And major changes in life — divorce, relocation, and the like, can hit us hard. 

And while no one wishes for such painful things to happen, the truth is, there’s no way for us to tell when our “perfect” lives could take a fateful turn.

If you’ve had to deal with such an unexpected, tragic turn of events recently, you’re probably still struggling to make sense of everything. And while you’re certainly affected by that sudden loss, there’s one who probably is as heartbroken as you are at the moment: your kid.

How to help your child handle grief

As adults, we’ve already gone through more than our fair share of pain and losses. But for children, this may be their first time facing such painful challenges. On top of that, they may not yet be mature enough to handle the overwhelming grief that comes with it.

It should come as no surprise then that difficult and painful times like this can lead to drastic behavioral changes for your child. It is important for adults to acknowledge that each child has unique feelings after a major loss.

If that’s the case for your child, what can you do to help your child cope with grief?

In this article, we’ll go over 5 helpful ways that parents can use to help their child cope with a loss. For most of them, you will need the help of other family members and friends.

Five Ways You Can Help Your Child in Coping with Grief

#1 Talk things through as a family

How to help your child handle grief

If your family has had to go through a significant change recently, it would be in everyone’s best interests to discuss how you can work together to get through.

Holding a family meeting to talk things through is a good way to assure your kids that they’re not alone to deal with their own feelings. Children need support in dealing with new feelings. Your child’s age does not determine their capacity to feel a certain emotion.

Do you need to sugarcoat grief?

Adults might think hiding the truth behind a smile and some flowery words help alleviate the situation. But it’s always better to be honest with your kids.

For example, if you’ve lost a loved one or a family member, telling your kids the truth rather than trying to dismiss what happened will help them deal better with similar situations in the future. As a parent, you help them acknowledge that pain and grief are normal aspects of life. 

Older children tend to have more understanding compared to other children, so allow them to participate in planning memorials if they choose to.

Grieving children require more attention as they will be struggling not only with their feelings but also trying to understand the grieving process.

Do you need to shield young children from reality?

Shielding them from problems will only make it harder for them once they have to face the painful realities of the world. Sharing stories early on during a child’s development stage can help young children deal with their own grief later.

Try to talk things out before you consider a mental health professional. Be transparent with your emotions, but make sure you don’t do so to the point of overwhelming them. As a parent, you want to make sure to keep your discussion age-appropriate as it can leave an impact on your child’s life.

When you explain death or losing a loved one to children, they can perceive it in their own way. Children feel sad when they see their whole family struggle. While giving your child time should be your priority, the confusing phrases that a grieving parent uses often make your child feel more insecure.

There probably will be some aspects or details of the main problem that you cannot talk about at the moment. Still, the fact that you’re doing what you can to reassure your child that you’re with them is more than enough to help ease some of their stresses away.

#2 Allow them to express their emotions

How to help your child handle grief

Tears are part of a person’s healing process, so don’t hold your kids back from expressing whatever emotion they’re feeling due to a major change. For example, if you’ve just decided to make a cross-border move, your kids would most likely cry and make a holler.

You might be tempted to tell them off for reacting that way, but keep yourself from doing that. Just let them express their emotions however they want and understand that the only way to heal is by getting all that sadness out of their chest.

How does this help children express feelings?

Once they’ve let out their steam, you may want to encourage them to talk about their feelings. Listen to them as they do this, and try to resist the urge to “fix” the situation for them. You’re not there to provide the solution. You’re there to listen. 

Do this until they heal and begin to accept that things have changed and that they simply have to live with these changes.

Your child is still learning the ropes of handling big emotions the way mature adults would, help them do just that. Once their intense feelings subside, they’ll be able to see and think things clearly, and the next set of painful changes won’t be too hard on them anymore.

#3 Look for opportunities to spend more time with your kids

How to help your child handle grief

It’s during the lowest point of your children’s lives that they need your presence the most. They may not know this themselves, and they may even try to fight your company and push you away. But you know better. 

Your child is wounded. And as a parent, you’re the only one who can help them heal. 

So look for ways to connect with your child better. If things are strained between you and your child as of the moment, gently try to push against the barriers they’ve set up.

How can you connect with your child's grief better?

This can be really tricky, and one wrong move can cause your child to shy away from you even further.

Shower them with attention in whatever way you can. Even if you feel you’re getting nowhere despite your best efforts, do what you can to make children think that you’re there to help, not fight with them. Try to have family members or friends engage with them by doing normal activities.

Sooner or later, your child will open up to you, and things will start getting better as you both try to heal from a traumatic change in your life.

#4 Gently establish limits to their emotional outbursts

While you want your child to feel supported as they go through a difficult, if not painful, transition, you also want to remind them that there are still boundaries as to how far they can take things.

If your child is expressing their frustration by misbehaving, try not to take this personally and see it for what it truly is: A sure sign that their emotions are clouding sound judgment.

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How can you help your grieving child?

Again, this is where you, as the parent, should come into the picture. Help them understand that while you empathize with the frustrations they must be feeling at the moment, there are better ways for them to heal.

When you make them attend memorial services, make sure you reassure your child. They may not understand what death means, so they can repeatedly ask same questions. As a parent, you have to be patient and understanding when explaining death to children.

Sometimes, all your child needs is a gentle reminder that they need to learn how to tame their emotions as they develop into more mature individuals once they age.

#5 Remember to take care of yourself as well

You’re probably wondering how this can be related to helping your child see things through at this point. But yes, self-care is crucial if you want to stay rational and balanced while helping your child understand what’s happening.

Do this before you offer support to young children

If you don’t nurture yourself, you’ll have a hard time nurturing your children as well. And helping them heal will be even more challenging. As flight attendants always remind us, you have to ‘wear your oxygen mask first before putting one on your child.’

So try to give yourself the attention you need as well. Don’t forget that it’s not just your child who’s suffering, you are too. So be kind to yourself. Only then can you show as much compassion to your child.

Stay up-to-date with your child's mental health

Make sure that you stay on top of your child’s mental health updates. Be it from their school or their doctor, you need to make your child feel safe.

Children should not feel insecure about sharing stuff about their everyday activities.

If you do not have close families, do keep an open mind about seeking professional help. While young people today have an open mind about seeking help from school counselors early on for their children, there are still a lot of parents that ignore the mental peace required by school-age children.

Many children today have deteriorating mental health as they cannot come to terms with their grief, and this is why they need that constant support in their emotional developmental stage.

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Things You Can Do If You Have a Perfectionist Child

What if your child is struggling with the reality of not being perfect? Here are some things that can help you and your child deal with the problem of perfectionism.

Wanting to be a perfect mother is one thing, and quite another thing is having to deal with somebody else’s perfectionism. Especially when it’s your child we’re talking about. Many factors contribute to perfectionism in children. In some cases, it’s a personality trait that they’re born with, but family dynamics also play a part.

Perfectionism is becoming harmful or a mental health disorder that includes frequent irrational thoughts on failures rigid, negative self-talk, self critical, inflexible routine experiences, disproportionate reactions over insignificant failures, inability to overcome setbacks, symptoms of anxiety, or depression, panic attacks, low-self esteem, eating disorders, and even self-harm.

Gifted children accustomed to excelling are often also perfectionistic kids.

If you often hear your child say, “I just can’t do anything right,” that’s a sure sign that you have a perfectionist child in your hand that sets impossibly high standards for themselves.

But sometimes, perfectionism can manifest itself in other aspects of your child’s life. You also have to be on the lookout for signs that your child’s perfectionism is causing social problems.

Continuum perfectionists: You may be dealing with continuum, those children who cannot glean satisfaction from their efforts due to their preset, unrealistic goals.

Socially prescribed perfectionists: A socially prescribed perfectionist believes that others have incredibly high expectations of them, so they feel intense pressure from society or their loved ones to always be seen as “perfect.” They can perceive this pressure as coming from their parents, coaches, or teachers.

In this article, we’ll talk about:

  • How to tell if you have a perfectionist child?
  • Three types of perfectionism
  • How to help your child deal with perfectionism

How to tell if your child is a perfectionist

Do You Have a Perfectionist Child_ Here's What You Can Do

Not sure if you have a perfectionist child?

Ask yourself: Is your child apprehensive about disappointing their teachers? Or do they have that tendency of pushing themselves past their limits simply because they couldn’t accept anything less than perfect?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you have a perfectionist child.

It might seem like a rare case, but do you know that perfectionism is quite common among kids? In fact, a recent study conducted on children aged 8-11 shows that a staggering 80% of the subjects have exhibited perfectionist kids.

A lot of kids are worried about making mistakes. And that’s most likely because of the consequences they associate with falling short of other people’s standards.

So, before we talk about what you can do to help your child overcome their fear of making mistakes, let’s first talk about the three types of perfectionism common among kids. By understanding the reason behind your perfectionist kid’s tendencies, we can figure out a more effective way to help them overcome this challenge.

Three types of perfectionism in children

It’s normal for us parents to have high expectations for our children, but it’s also crucial for us to help them understand that it’s human to make mistakes. But getting that message across can be tricky, especially if we don’t understand the reason behind their perfectionism.

Thankfully, child development experts have shed light on this matter.

So here are the three types of perfectionism:

Internally-driven perfectionism

This type of perfectionism is rooted in one’s desire to meet the impossibly high expectations they’ve set for themselves. Children with this type of perfectionism are highly-motivated to succeed but respond to any signs of failure badly. For example, they may get distraught over a single mistake in their test results.

Externally-driven perfectionism

Whereas a person’s impossibly high standards trigger internally-driven perfectionism for themselves, externally-driven perfectionism is triggered by other people’s expectations. These expectations may either be real or assumed, but they have the same stressful effect on someone with this type of perfectionism.

Children who have this type of perfectionism are easily upset even with the slightest failures because they feel they have disappointed their parents the moment they made that mistake.

Mixed perfectionism

Individuals who fall under this category find themselves triggered by internal and external factors.

Your child may have mixed perfectionist tendencies if they are hard on themselves, setting impossibly high standards that they struggle to meet. At the same time, they also excessively fear disappointing people they believe have very high expectations for them.

Now that we’ve discussed the three main types of perfectionism, you’re probably wondering: Is it really wrong to have high expectations for your children?

The short answer is NO. It’s not wrong to hold high expectations for your children.

That is to be expected from us parents since we want our kids to be at their best at all times. And research also shows that children tend to perform better at school when they know their parents expect them to do well with their studies.

So when does it become wrong?

It becomes wrong when your child begins to associate their achievements with your affection and love. When they start believing that you love them more for their accomplishments rather than for who they are as a person, that’s when the real problem starts.

Next thing you know, your kid becomes too scared to make mistakes, thinking that any form of failure would cause irreversible damage to the relationship they have with you.

So how can you help your child overcome that fear?

How to Help Your Perfectionist Kid Overcome Perfectionism

Perfectionism is not an easy tendency to overcome. But it’s very much possible that your child can beat their fear of failure. So what can you do about it?

Don't be a perfectionist yourself

Do You Have a Perfectionist Child Here's What You Can Do

Now this one’s easier said than done, to be honest. Because if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that we can be our own worst enemies at times too. But you see, kids have a knack for picking up traits from their parents. So if your kids see that you’re hard on yourself, then they’ll most likely be the same on themselves too.

If you feel that your children have picked up your perfectionist tendencies, then the best way to help them overcome perfectionism is to show them that you’re working on overcoming this yourself. Admit to making your own mistakes. Model perseverance when faced with a difficult task. Use constructive coping skills when dealing with disappointments.

If your child feels you expect perfection, they will strive to be “perfect” to gain your approval. Avoid using the word “perfect” altogether, even as praise. Problem-solving teaches kids how to handle their own perfectionism now and into adulthood, even when no one else is there to offer guidance.

For example, the next time you make a mistake, learn to acknowledge it and then move on. That will teach your kids that it’s normal to make a mistake and that the best thing they need to do when they make one is simply to learn from it and then move on.

Be careful with the way you react to your child's mistakes

A child scared of making mistakes simply because they feel it will make you love them less would be quick to sense your disappointment when they do something wrong.

So if you discern that your child has attached their sense of worth with their accomplishments, it’s time for you to double-check the way you react every time they make a mistake. Teach them to challenge that inner voice or stop listening to it.

Does your body language convey the same message that you’re saying? Do your nonverbal cues really show that you’re okay with them making mistakes? Being mindful of the way you react will help ease their fears of making mistakes in the future.

Also, do your best to support your children, especially when they’re faced with a difficult task. By letting them know and feel your support, they’ll understand that you will be there for them, no matter the task’s outcome.

Be careful with how you praise your child

Do You Have a Perfectionist Child_ Here's What You Can Do

How you word your commendations when your children accomplish something can also affect how they associate your affection with their achievements.

For example, if your words of praise are usually generic, such as “You’re so smart! I’m so proud of you!” then they may assume that you’re only proud of them because they’ve proven themselves intellectually capable.

To help your perfectionist child, you start to say things like – “Stop crying. Take a deep breath. Let’s work through this together.” “It’s no big deal. Here. Look. I’ll fix it for you.” “Relax! If you stop worrying and crying so much, you’d be able to think and figure it out.” “There’s nothing to worry about. You’ll get it.

However, if you keep your praises specific and process-oriented, such as,

“I’m proud of you for doing your best in the competition,”

You highlight the fact that it’s not about their achievements. It’s about the efforts they put into doing something.

When they understand this important difference, they’re less likely to be focused on impossibly high goals and will instead work on putting in more effort into whatever it is they’re doing.

This leads to your kid being more persistent in the face of challenges simply because they understand that success is not dependent on a particular trait.

Remind your children of how much you love them

Do You Have a Perfectionist Child_ Here's What You Can Do

Of course, you love your children, but how often do you tell them that? Sometimes we take those words for granted or think that it’s not necessary to express them to them often when they obviously should feel that you love them.

If that’s how you feel, remember: When it comes to reminding your kids of your unconditional love for them, there’s no such thing as too much.

Reassure them that you love them for who they are, no matter how flawed they may be. Do this, especially when your kids are not doing well, or they’ve failed at some aspect of their lives.

That way, they’ll know for sure that they don’t have to be perfect just to be worthy of your love. They just have to be themselves, which is already going to be enough for you.

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4 Things You Can Do to Put An End to Sibling Rivalry

Not sure how to handle things every time your kids get into a huge sibling rivalry?

Here are four practical tips to help you get your kids past this challenging phase.

Sibling rivalry is among the challenges parents face with having more than one kid at home. How often did you have to play referee between your kids when they fight over toys, clothes, and food? It can be very draining and frustrating, to say the least, when you feel like you’re trapped in an endless cycle of resentment.

Of course, it can be too easy to just focus on your children’s current behavior and lose your marbles over their flaws and quirks. But trust us on this: Addressing the root cause of sibling rivalry is always a better idea as stress in the parents and children’s lives can create more conflict and increase sibling rivalry. Adult siblings can also be portrayed with a rivalrous relationship, often continuing childhood conflicts. Situation comedies exploit this to comic effect. Sibling relationships may be shown as alternately loving and argumentative.

“It is estimated that 95% of parenting literature is talking about sibling rivalry instead of root problems.” (Ashleigh Warner, psychologist and gentle parenting advocate)

But what exactly can you do to end sibling rivalry while making sure that your children feel respected? And how can you help your child adjust to having a new baby in the house?

This article will look at four tips to help you (and your kids) survive this challenging phase of sibling feuds.

Tip # 1: Acknowledge your child's emotions

4 Things You Can Do to Put An End to Sibling Rivalry

While you’re celebrating the presence of the newest member of your family, the chances are high that your eldest won’t share the same emotions. They’ll likely feel resentful about the entire matter and strat sibling rivalry with the newest addition to the family.

Even as siblings develop more individualized identities later in life, differences drive competition and conflict. This is common among brothers and sisters raised in the same household yet very different.

Competing desires for your attention and differences in developmental stages can lead to moments of jealousy or misunderstanding. Rivalry can even affect them as they get older with their self-esteem and friendships.

But why the resentment?

Aren’t they supposed to be ecstatic about having a little brother or sister instead of creating sibling rivalry?

Not necessarily. Try to view matters the way your child does. Remember, the most important need for a child is – attention. And the fact that there’s a second baby in the house means one thing: They won’t be getting the same amount of attention anymore hence, the start of sibling rivalry.

If anything, your new baby will get the biggest dose of attention now. And while that’s understandable, your first child might find this a hard pill to swallow. So it’s only normal for your eldest to display any of the following emotions:

  • Sadness
  • Rage
  • Jealousy

And that is just three of the many other emotions that your child may feel while welcoming a new sibling. Whatever their reaction may be, just keep in mind that it’s normal for them to feel all sorts of negative emotions.

What can you do at this point?

Rather than harshly dealing with their negative emotions, it would be best to acknowledge their feelings and help them go through it. Gather the family and talk to give everybody a chance to say what they want to say. It’s also an opportunity to establish house rules that family members can agree to follow.

For example, you may say, “I imagine you must be feeling scared about all these changes that are going to happen.”

It doesn’t have to be done perfectly, but acknowledging these emotions is an excellent way to make them feel understood. And it will allow them to process their feelings and get over that difficult phase.

Tip # 2: Take the time to bond with your child

4 Things You Can Do to Put An End to Sibling Rivalry

With a new baby in the house, your eldest may feel as though they’ve lost an important person in their lives—you. They may feel that you no longer need them. And they may view their sibling as a threat to their relationship with you.

Psychologists and researchers today endorse the influence of birth order and age and gender constellations on sibling relationships.

Other research shows that parental favoritism negatively affects the mental health of all of the children in the family, either by creating resentment in the less-favored children, stress from high parental expectations for the favored child, strained sibling relationships, and other negative consequences.

So if you notice your eldest trying to put some distance between you or pulling away from you, it’s probably because they’re doing their best to handle the shift of emotions. They’re just trying to keep themselves from getting hurt.

If one child loves to run around outside, grab your sneakers and soak up the sunshine with them. If the other child likes to read their favorite book, snuggle up next to them. Then, make sure that everyone has the space and time they need to be alone.

What can you do?

Don’t let that distance between you and your child grow.

Instead, take the time to assure your child that they still matter a lot to you. And, try to bridge the gap between your children by gently allowing them to develop an attachment for each other. Your eldest will most likely feel a bond between them and their new sibling in time.

Being proactive about teaching children emotional intelligence, problem-solving skills, negotiation skills, and encouraging them to look for win-win solutions, parents can help children resolve conflicts that arise as a normal part of growing up together in the same household.

Tip # 3: Make your child feel included

4 Things You Can Do to Put An End to Sibling Rivalry

One of the best ways to make your child feel included is by involving them from the very beginning — from prenatal care to nesting to birth. Help your child feel invested in the whole process and make them feel that they’re part of the new baby’s life.

Older and younger children may have different privileges due to their age. But if children understand that this inequality is because one child is older or has more responsibilities, they will see this as fair.

When you do this, the chances are that your eldest would find it easy to form a strong bond with their sibling. They may even ‘mother’ their little brother or sister, rather than view them as a competition.

That’s huge for young children to understand.

Tip # 4: Help your child navigate their negative emotions

4 Things You Can Do to Put An End to Sibling Rivalry

Parental favoritism is often cited as a source of adult sibling rivalry. It’s also common for people to think that a sibling is, or has always been, favored by a parent, even if the rest of the family may not recognize or acknowledge it.

While it hurts to be the less favored ‘child,’ it’s human nature for some people to be drawn together for various reasons. One of the most common ways young children manifest challenging behavior is physical aggression. There can be a lot of impulsive hitting and pushing.

When these things happen, it is normal for you to feel mad. After all, it is never easy to see a child hurt another child. However, it is essential to respond to these behaviors with understanding and compassion.

The closer in age kids are, the more intense the rivalry can be. This natural inclination to compare ourselves to other people can be a major driver of sibling competition. Most fights arise due to underlying causes such as birth order and family dynamics.

Children are doing the best that they can to process all those big feelings they’re probably feeling. And being the kids they are, they’re not perfectly able to process all those emotions successfully.

So, if your eldest starts getting physical, keep in mind that it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like the baby. They may simply be going through a tough time.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should just let them hit their sibling. But rather than discipline them in anger, discipline your child with love. You don’t need to shame them for what they’ve done, as this form of reaction would only create more separation between you and your eldest.

Remember that your kid’s challenging behavior is just a symptom. So don’t react to the sign. Look deeper. And keep in mind that it is the emotion underneath all that behavior that is causing the problem.

Try to create some boundaries

You can create a physical boundary by pulling on the arm or pulling the child onto your lap and saying something like: “I can’t let you hurt him or her.”

Make sure that you are physically there so you can keep your child from getting even more physical. You can use your arms to keep them from hitting their younger sibling.

And if that’s not enough, pull them aside and tell them: “I can’t let you do that. I’m going to help you stop hurting your sibling.”

Do not allow physical aggression because it will create resentment between siblings, making the aggressive child feel even worse about themselves.

A Final Note

Child development experts recommend age spacing to reduce the chances of sibling rivalry and help you meet your children’s developmental and emotional needs.

So if you’re still at that stage where you’re thinking about adding a new member to the family, you might want to consider spacing your children at least three years apart.

This is because the older child has most likely already developed a more secure attachment and has somehow gained more independence from you. They won’t be competing for the exact needs simultaneously, but they’ll be close enough to play together all the time.

Plus, they’ll have more chances to build a bond with each other and share the same circle of friends.

Focus on the cause and not the symptom

If you’re already in a situation where you’re having difficulty dealing with your kids’ rivalry, remember to focus on the cause and not the symptom. Support your child and help them find emotional balance. Adjust accordingly.

Sure, gentle parenting requires a lot more effort (and tons of patience!). But the more you practice it, the better it will be for you and your kids.

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4 Easy Tips to Deal with Back-to-School Stress

Dreading those days when you have to drag your kids back to school? We’ve got 4 easy fixes to help you cut back on your stress levels before they shoot up.

Let’s face it: Back-to-school stress is inevitable for everyone in the family involved. Not just for your kids! Not to mention how stressful it is for teachers as well.

Because hey, nobody loves it when a good vacation has to come to an end.

How your kids feel about going back to school after the summer break is very much like how you feel about going back to work after a blissful weekend.

Think of having to wake your kids up for school and making sure breakfast is ready before they head out the door. Or of all the schoolwork you’d have to help them out with. Or of all the school lunches you’ll have to figure out every single day.

Now those tasks are, in their own way, fulfilling. But we’re pretty sure you don’t look forward to them. At least, not immediately after the school break.

So yeah, back-to-school days come with back-to-school blues, and it’s now up to you to make sure you survive the next few days and weeks of school-related stress.

Now you’re probably not looking forward to diving back into the school routine, not after a few carefree months spent during vacation, but we both know you don’t have much of a choice, do you?

Thankfully, we’re here with a mini cheat sheet you can use to help you deal with the stress that’s bound to come your way. Ready to learn about the 4 easy tips that can help you deal with your back-to-school blues?

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Tip # 1: Stay positive despite the stress

4 Easy Tips to Help You Deal with Back-to-School Stress

The worst way to deal with stress is to get stressed about dealing with it in the first place. So rather than negatively approach the matter, try to get yourself to view things positively.

Of course, you’re not the only one in the family who should be working on staying positive. But if anyone should start working on staying positive first, it should be you.

Now this one’s not going to be easy, with all the tasks piled up your way now that school’s back. But listen: Getting stressed out over the start of school will only result in stressing your kids out further. And you know what that means — it’s a recipe for disaster.

So here are some concrete examples of staying positive regarding back-to-school days.

When your kids groan about having to go back to school and complain about having to wake up early every day. Or when they whine about having to do loads of schoolwork again, help them view things in a more positive light.

A Pew survey found 61% of teens say they feel a lot of pressure to get good grades, and nearly half say they feel a lot of pressure to get into a good college.

Remember to take time for yourself as well — we all need someone we can rely on to keep things in perspective and help us through the difficult times.

School-age children need a good amount of sleep – they have to be healthy and full of energy if they take on the world. So instead of getting angry with them for being tired, tell them that it’s okay to want to catch up on all their lost sleep. SO, yes, sleeping habits are also important to deal with anxiety.

Why not say something like, “Wouldn’t it be great to see your friends in school again?” or highlight something that you know they’ve been looking forward to. That way, their attention will be diverted to something that will negate whatever stress or apprehension they may feel about going back to school.

Remember, stress begins in your mind. The moment you try to shift your mindset, everything else (and the rest of your family) will follow.

Tip # 2: Don't rush yourself when school starts

4 Easy Tips to Help You Deal with Back-to-School Stress

The last few weeks of every school break is often a whirlwind of activity, with parents rushing to get everything on their To-Buy lists before Day 1 of school. Now before you scramble your way to the nearest Target (or Staples) and get every single school supply your kids need, can you do this one thing?

Breathe.

It can be so easy to get yourself caught up in all that rush and end up stressing yourself out unnecessarily. So before that happens, slow down. Back to school anxiety is a genuine issue that can be addressed by effective communication. Some young people with anxiety will need a professional or specialist to help them feel better.

We’re not saying you don’t have to buy all that stuff your kids need for school. We’re saying that you don’t have to rush yourself to buy everything at once. You can even start buying ahead of time, way before everyone else rushes to buy stuff for their kids.

Another thing. Recheck all the items you have on your list. Do your kids really need all that already? Or are there non-essential items that you can purchase a little later after school has started? Like, tissues or that winter jacket you’ve been eyeing for some time.

Identifying what you can buy at a later time can help you cut back on the amount of stress you’ll face before school starts.

And don’t worry! The stores aren’t going anywhere once school starts, so you’ll never run out of chances to buy any item you’ve relocated to the bottom of your To-Buy list. Plus, there’s always the option of buying stuff online if you want an easier way to shop for your kid’s school items.

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Tip # 3: Focus on building that excitement for the school year

4 Easy Tips to Help You Deal with Back-to-School Stress

There’s always one thing to look forward to in school, so focusing on that is an excellent way to keep your spirits high even as the summer break comes to a close. Talking to your child about what they’re personally excited about can give you the extra push you need to get through the initial back-to-school stress.

Getting them excited to make sure their school supplies are still in working order, for example, can ease the process of picking out school supplies. Asking them about what they’re planning to do during their free time can help you figure out how much homework they should get every night.

It’s important to be honest with yourself and your child when talking about their enthusiasm over returning to school. Stay involved with your child’s school and communicate regularly with the teacher, even if it’s over email. Each family member needs to relax and have some unscheduled time.

Stay on top of how your child is doing academically, socially, and behaviorally. Get organized! You might create a night-before-school special meal; showing enthusiasm yourself is sure to spread to your kids, turning their nervous energy into excitement.

Focus on the good. Turn everything negative around. For example, your child says, “Ugh, I hate school, I do not want to go back!” While you may sympathize with his feelings (remember your old school days?), you need to twist it around. Likely, your child is anxious and stressed about the upcoming school year.

Instead of saying, “I know!” say something like:

“You will get to see all the friends you have not seen all summer;” “You will get to play soccer again once school starts;” or something that tells your child there are good reasons to look forward to school starting.

When you realize that what stresses us out about going back-to-school time is that we’re going to be facing a new set of unknowns, you can quickly turn that stress and anxiety into excitement. Not just for your kids, but for you too.

Tip # 4: Don't hold the stress in

4 Easy Tips to Help You Deal with Back-to-School Stress

You have to talk it out, momma.

The longer you hold all that stress in, the worse it will be for you. You don’t want to get sick simply trying to hide all that stress beneath a facade of calm. And the same goes for your kids too. Hey, you may also feel nervous about their new environment, new classroom, new structure, and new routines.

Back to school anxiety is real, and it can be calmed with good communication. Children and adults tend to thrive with a consistent schedule. Before the school year begins, plan the weekly a.m. and p.m. routine and do your best to keep to it.

Whether it stems from COVID stress or anxiety about social acceptance, it is normal for children and parents to experience anxiety and stress when starting the new school year. After all, school and social relationships are a huge part of a child’s life.

The start of a new school year introduces a vast number of changes. You may feel nervous about starting school for the first time. Find what works best for your child and encourage them to use that technique whenever they need it.

Troubles with teachers, other students, or a class are just a few of the stresses that can keep many kids from enjoying school—and often, parents feel helpless to assist their children.

If you sense that their back-to-school anxiety may be rooted in something more serious, such as an anxiety disorder or a problem with a bully, talk with your child, your child’s teacher, and the school counselor.

It can be tempting to just bottle all your emotions up for the sake of “positivity,” but that strategy can easily backfire on you in the long run. Ease back-to-school anxiety with your kids by talking it out.

Plan the week out each weekend; spend some time gathering your thoughts and plans for the week ahead. Write down appointments (both yours and your kids’), extracurriculars, playdates, meetings, and even downtime. By writing in time for downtime, exercise, and other “self-care”-related activities, you’re more likely to stick to them.

With that being said, plan a “final hoorah” weekend at the beach or the mountains for your family. It will de-stress both you and your kids and remind them that just because school is in session doesn’t mean they can’t still have fun on the weekends.

So what can you do?

Discuss with your family whatever is stressing you out. Discuss. Not rant. Not complain. Not whine. Just plain, relaxed conversation on what you dread the most about going back to school. You know, like you’re talking about the weather.

By having a family discussion, you’ll have a better picture of what your kids are going through. This will help you develop a better game plan as you tackle the upcoming back-to-school season.

You don’t have to limit that discussion to just your family members. You can definitely talk your feelings out to a trusted friend. Someone you know would understand the emotional roller coaster ride you’re about to go through now that vacation days are over.

And believe it or not, letting out all that steam inside of you can do wonders in lowering your stress levels. Plus, it will also help you and your kids handle the stress better, now that you know how everyone feels about going back to school.

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7 Ways to Keep Your Mom-Work-Life Balance

Keeping your mom-work-life balance can be difficult. In fact, scratch “can”. It IS difficult. Thankfully, striking the right balance is not impossible. Here are 9 things to keep in mind as you work at keeping your balance (and sanity) intact.

Whoever said that motherhood is easy-peasy has never tried being a mom. Add in work to that mix, and you’ve got yourself a combination enough to drive you overboard. 

We’re talking about you trying to be the best version of yourself at work while trying to hide the fact that you’ve had quite a sleepless night. Or you trying to hold it all together when you’re at home after having a really bad day at work. Or you trying to squeeze in a few minutes of self-care before snoozing off to a dreamless sleep. 

If you feel like you’re being stretched and pushed towards a thousand and one directions, welcome to the life of a working mom. Don’t worry. You’re definitely not the only one trying to juggle everything at once. Try your best to over-communicate and be proactive to continue to make being a working parent manageable and rewarding.

And yes, there are ways to find your mom-work-life balance despite having all that stress come at you from different directions. Let’s talk about 9 things you can do to keep your balance through it all.

#1: Don't feel guilty about with your decision

7 Things to Remember as You Keep Your Mom-Work-Life Balance

Some working moms think that trying to achieve a mom-work-life balance is something to be ashamed of. But that is far from the truth.

If anything, your decision to help support your family life financially while taking care of your responsibilities as a working mom is something to be honored.

So rather than trying to downplay your sacrifice for your family members, focus on the beauty of your selfless act as a working mom and how it has contributed to your family’s well-being as a whole.

This will help you find satisfaction and meaning in what you’re doing as working moms and give you the extra push you busy moms need when you’re going through really tough days—at home or work.

#2: Work at being more present for those who need you most

7 Things to Remember as You Keep Your Mom-Work-Life Balance

We understand that it can be quite a struggle to have a perfect mom-work-life balance when you’re trying to juggle so many things at once. And we’re not just talking about being physically present.

We’re also talking about you being mentally and emotionally present for your family members when they need you. 

Again, this can be taxing, but making sure that you still get to spend quality time with your whole family is one way to keep your balance. 

Moms have a bad habit of putting their own needs last in order to take care of everyone else first.

But if you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you expect to take care of anyone else well? 

One way moms separate work from home is by not working on weekends, or if you have weekend shifts or must work on weekends, not feeling guilty about having your partner, relative, or friend take over when you are not around.

For example, why not try putting away your phone during whole family meals?

Or try helping your kids out with their schoolwork?

These may seem like little things, but these little things can mean so much to your family member since they know how much of a sacrifice it took you to be fully present for them. 

#3: Take care of yourself first

7 Things to Remember as You Keep Your Mom-Work-Life Balance

Repeat after us: Self-care isn’t selfish. (3x)

Remember that in-flight instruction we always hear as our plane prepares for takeoff?

We’re reminded to put on our oxygen masks first before attempting to help others put on their oxygen masks.

Why?

Because we can only help others when we’re in the position to give the needed help.

Really, we cannot give others what we don’t have. We’re saying that we cannot give other people our attention, love, and care when we don’t even have anything left for ourselves. Also, never compare yourself with any stay at home mom.

While it’s impossible to have the entire weekend all for yourself, you can still free most of the weekend time by using the tips above.

That way you will: have a motive to work hard during the week and feel rewarded once the weekend comes, not feel guilty for hiring help or being a working mom (which is something no working mom should feel guilty about!)

The beauty of it all will be the time you spend cuddling up with your family, resting your mind and your body, and enjoying every moment of it.

So find time for yourself too, no matter how busy your professional life may be. True, there are 1,000 things you need to take care of, but taking care of yourself should always be your priority.

Only by taking care of yourself will you have the energy and capacity to take care of the people you love even better.

#4: As working moms spend your time on things that actually matter

7 Things to Remember as You Keep Your Mom-Work-Life Balance

If there’s one thing that motherhood helps you fully appreciate, it’s the fact that family time is a luxury we can’t afford to waste. And especially if we’re balancing a successful career on top of our already busy schedule as a mom.

In fact, you probably have those days when you feel like 24 hours isn’t enough to get every single thing done. Your work hours  shouldn’t interfere with your family time.

Working moms barely have enough time to brush their teeth. That’s why we need to learn how not to waste a single minute of it while we can.

And this starts with learning how to manage your time appropriately and efficiently so you don’t get overwhelmed by things that really matter: spending quality time with your family and friends, nurturing yourself, and doing the things you love, this way you can keep a positive attitude.

So how do you keep your mom-work-life balance when you're faced with an overflowing list of To-Dos?

7 Things to Remember as You Keep Your Mom-Work-Life Balance

Choose which task you want to spend time on. When you look at your list more closely, you’ll realize that many of the tasks you do daily are not really essential, which means you’ll get to cut back on all the time you would have spent on those non-essential tasks.

Limit long lunch breaks and surfing the internet so that you can get the most out of your work time.

Also, focus on doing things that make you happy, not on the things that only stress you out. That way, you won’t feel so drained at the end of each day, and you’ll still have energy left to spend with your family.

#5: Don't take your work life work stress with you at home

7 Things to Remember as You Keep Your Mom-Work-Life Balance

Stress is contagious, and that is why there should be a line between your work life balance and your personal life. 

When you’re having a terrible day at work— let’s say your boss has been extra stressful today, try not to bring that negative vibe home with you. Life is already stressful as it is, so there’s no need for you to add to your family’s daily stresses by bringing all that negativity home.

Now that can be tough because there will be days when you’ll go home feeling anything but optimistic about how your day went. In such cases, make it a habit to unload whatever tension you’re holding inside before you go home.

You can either do this in the car as you head home from work life. Or you can try to find a few minutes of quiet after heading out of the office. 

Deep breaths work all the time, so do that. Then remind yourself of all the things you’re looking forward to at home, and remind yourself too of all the things you are grateful for.

Something as simple as “I am doing the best I can. I am blessed with a loving, happy family. I am grateful for everything” is enough to set your mood for the rest of your day.

#6: Stop trying to be a perfect mom

Of course, we want to be the best version of ourselves 24/7. Still, no matter how hard we try, we’re always gonna fall short of being perfect. And you know what? That’s okay. You don’t even have to try to be perfect because here’s a heads up: No one out there is perfect. 

So rather than feel sorry for yourself for not being the kind of mom you’ve always wanted to be for your young kids’ sake. And rather than comparing yourself with other working moms who consider themselves perfect as you see on social media, learn to acknowledge that you are trying your best to be the kind of mom your kids need.

Life as a working mother will have its ups and downs, and that’s all part of the journey called life. Embrace it. Live it. Be grateful for it. The moment you accept the imperfection of everything, you’re gonna be one happier momma.

#7: Stop and smell the roses

7 Things to Remember as You Keep Your Mom-Work-Life Balance

Okay, be honest. When was the last time you even allowed yourself to have fun? Oh no. Please don’t say you don’t remember when. Because if there’s one thing that should be written in all-caps on your To-Do list, it should be this: HAVE FUN.

There’s no need to take things too seriously. Look for every chance to pause and enjoy life’s precious moments. Live for every opportunity you get to enjoy life with the people you love. When you make the time for happiness, happiness will find you, no matter how many responsibilities you’re juggling as a working mother.

Final Thoughts

Striking a better mom-work-life balance is certainly not easy. But with patience and the right people around you, you can find happiness in accomplishing such a difficult feat. 

We hope this article has been helpful! Feel free to share this post with a friend, and check out our other blog posts on this site.

When you can’t be the perfect mom you wish you were

If there’s one thing that’s extremely frustrating, it would be this: Accepting the fact that you can never be the perfect mother you wish you were. Not even if you tried. So how can you handle your flaws as a mom and still be the best imperfect version of yourself?

Have you ever felt like beating yourself up for being less than perfect as a mother? And with that feeling comes the inevitable question, “How to be a better mom?” When you were at a young age, you probably swore to yourself that you would do everything you could to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes that your mom (or other moms) have made in terms of parenting.

Now that you’re finally a mom, you find yourself struggling with the same mistakes you swore you wouldn’t feel guilty of.

So how do you handle that overwhelming feeling of disappointment that you’re nowhere near your idea of the “perfect” mom?

In this article, we’ll talk about 10 things you can do as you embrace your flawed self (and hopefully forgive yourself for not being perfect).

  • Take the time for self-care
  • Love yourself and all the flaws that come with who you are
  • Mistakes happen, accept that your role as a mom is something you’ll play for life
  • Don’t build your world around your children
  • Be okay with saying sorry
  • Accept whatever feedback your child may have 
  • Make sure that you regularly spend time with your children
  • Don’t take everything personally, especially when your tween intentionally misbehaves
  • Don’t bottle up your feelings, but don’t drown your child with your emotions, either
  • Give your child the freedom to be their own type of person

And before we start going into the details, we just wanted to get this point across: There’s something good behind being imperfect. Know why? Because that means you’re constantly working towards progress. 

You’re doing your best to be the best version of yourself, momma. And by learning to live with the fact that you’re not perfect, you also teach your kids that they don’t have to be perfect too for them to be worth your love.

And hey, that’s something worth congratulating yourself for. 

Now let’s get down to business and talk about the 10 things you can do to become the best imperfect version of yourself.

#1: Take the time for self-care

When you can't be the perfect mom you wish you were

More often than not, this is something that many moms, especially new moms, miss out on. They’re so busy taking care of their children and the rest of their family that they forget to take care of themselves.

Guilty? Don’t worry. You’re not the only one who’s guilty of this at one point or another. But if there’s one thing you have to realize, you need to take care of yourself first so you can care for other people better.

Now that you’ve finally realized what you’re missing, it’s time that you take self-care seriously. When was the last time that you did something for yourself? Or the last time you pampered yourself? 

When you see that you are well-taken care of, you can live your life more fully and enjoy your role of being a better mom.

#2: Love yourself and all the flaws that come with who you are

When you can't be the perfect mom you wish you were

Moms are, hands-down, amazing at loving their children unconditionally — flaws and all. So isn’t it ironic how we find it tough to love ourselves the same way? Why is it that we often find ourselves more critical of our flaws and constantly find opportunities to put ourselves down simply because we’re not “perfect”?

Training our minds and hearts to love ourselves for who we are taking a lot of patience. Thankfully, it’s not an impossible feat.

So the next time you hear that little voice in your head telling you off for falling short of your perfect standards, silence that inner critic. Instead, replace it with positive self-talk to boost your morale. Not sure how to do that?

Just talk to yourself the way you would to your child. Don’t be harsh and unforgiving. Because really, you deserve something infinitely better than all that criticism you’re getting from yourself.

#3: Don't build your world around your children

When you can't be the perfect mom you wish you were

True, being a mom to your children is a major role that you’ll always play, but you still need to keep that thin line between your personal life and your life as a mom. And while your children are an essential part of your life, they shouldn’t be the only ones defining your existence.

Why?

Because eventually, your children will have to leave your nest. Building your world around them increases the chances of you encroaching on your children’s personal lives, causing unnecessary friction between you in the future. 

So go ahead and live your life the way you want to. Have your own group of friends, pursue the things that interest you. Creating a life separate from your child will help you cope with the loss you’re bound to feel when the day comes for them to spread their wings and build their own families.

#4: Accept that your role as a mom is something you'll play for life

When you can't be the perfect mom you wish you were

Once a mom, always a mom. And while you’re not the perfect mom, as there’s no such thing as such, you can play that role the best way you can. How? By always being there to support your child through thick and thin.

It doesn’t matter how old our children may be. As moms, we know that our role in their lives goes beyond the first 20 years of their lives. We’ll always be there to nurture, teach, care, love, and understand them. 

So how do you stay present in the lives of your children? 

Do they still feel that you’re still the same person they can run to on bad days? We hope your answer to that question is a YES.

#5: Be okay with saying sorry

When you can't be the perfect mom you wish you were

It may not seem like it, but learning to apologize when we have to is also a skill that you need to learn as an imperfect mom. Because let’s admit it, we’re every bit as flawed as our children. 

So if we expect our children to apologize to us when they do something hurtful, don’t you think it’s just right that they expect us to apologize when we do the same to them?

Of course, that doesn’t mean simply saying a halfhearted apology every time we lose our temper or forget to do something vital. We don’t want our kids to feel as though we’re taking them for granted by apologizing when we don’t sincerely feel sorry for whatever it is we’ve done.

When your children see that you are humble enough to acknowledge that you also make mistakes, they’ll have more reason to respect and love you. 

Here’s a word of caution, though: Just because you should learn to say sorry doesn’t mean that you have to be the apologetic sort of person who feels like they need to say sorry simply for thinking a particular way. If you feel like you have to apologize for being who you are, that’s a different matter altogether.

#6: Accept whatever feedback your child may have

When you can't be the perfect mom you wish you were

When our children don’t give us the feedback that we want to hear from them, it can sting more than just a little bit. But that is also part of playing the role of an imperfect mother. Your child is a unique individual with unique thoughts and beliefs, just as you do. 

So when communicating with your child, make sure to keep your mind open. Just because you share a mother-child relationship doesn’t mean you have to see eye-to-eye on everything. 

There’s no need to express frustration towards your child when they don’t say what you want to hear. All you have to do is give them the time and space to air their views.

By making an effort to respect them for their opinions and going the extra mile to listen to their thoughts, you give them added reason to listen to you too.

Plus, allowing your children to speak their minds is also a good way to help them gain the self-confidence they need to navigate their personal lives.

#7: Make sure that you regularly spend quality time with your children

When you can't be the perfect mom you wish you were

If there’s one thing that moms have in common, it’s the fact that we’re almost always running out of time. There are just so many things that need to be done, and sometimes it can feel like we’re being pulled in all different directions. Especially if you’re juggling a career on top of being a mom.

But no matter how busy you may get, we hope you don’t forget that your children deserve the first spot on your priority list. 

Ask yourself: When was the last time I sat down with my children and took the time to get to know them better? When was the last time I really listened to their thoughts (without spacing out halfway through) and just allowed them to express themselves freely? 

Remember, the time you spend with your children is something no one else can do for you. Your boss at work can find someone to replace you in your job role, but you can never find someone to stand in and play “mother” to your kids on your behalf. 

So if you feel that you’re not giving your children enough attention, it’s time for you to seriously start considering what changes you can make to your current schedule so you can make time for them too.

#8: Don't take everything personally, especially when your tween intentionally misbehaves

When you can't be the perfect mom you wish you were

One of the most painful moments that we have to live through as parents are dealing with what they call “growing pains.” If you think dealing with a toddler in their “terrible twos” is already enough to give you a headache, wait for when you’d have to deal with teenagers.

At this point, your children are bound to do and say things that will hurt you. Ever heard of kids who attempt to run away or do everything they can to pick a fight with their parents? You probably remember those days when you’ve given your parents a headache too. But that’s simply part of growing up.

So when your kids start flexing their “independence” and become pros at talking back, resist the urge to label their attempts as proof that they don’t love you anymore. They do. They just can’t wait to be independent.

And while a toddler’s tantrums are infinitely more bearable than your teenager talking back at you or breaking all the rules you’ve set, keep in mind that this phase too shall pass. Rather than focus on their actions, try to discern the thoughts and emotions behind what they do and don’t take things personally.

Put your phone down more, or at least for a set amount of time each day. While everyone fights over the “right” amount of screen time kids should be allowed, most parents aren’t considering how much time they spend on their own devices and the fact that their kids certainly notice when their mom or dad is paying attention to their phone instead of them.

Carve out a realistic slot of time each day to put your phone down and make real connections with your kids.

In the end, it’s just about them trying to sort out their thoughts as they transition from being young age teens to young adults and not so much about you as a parent.

#9: Don't bottle up your feelings, but don't drown your child with your emotions, either

When you can't be the perfect mom you wish you were

Just because you’re the grownup doesn’t mean you always have to put on a brave front for the sake of your children. Trying to hide all the negative emotions you’re feeling, like pain, for example, will only teach your children that showing their true emotions is a bad thing.

Caring for yourself is easier said than done. This is especially true if you have very young children and are the primary caregiver in your household. 

So rather than trying to pretend that you’re okay 100% of the time, let your children know when you’re feeling less than okay. For example, if you’ve had an awful day at work, it’s okay to let your children know that you need some time to process your thoughts and emotions.

If you want to relax a little to be a better mom, practice regular self-care, spend quality time with your kids, and try to develop a sense of perspective. Make sure your own needs are met as well as your child’s

Or, you can tell them that you’re feeling upset about what happened so they won’t feel like you’re not in the mood because of something they’ve done. Kids, as you know, tend to make assumptions that they’re to be blamed for “making Mom sad”.

For instance, if you want them to eat healthy foods, eat healthy foods. If you don’t want them to pick up bad habits, like smoking, don’t smoke. If you don’t want them to be violent, be peaceful. If you wish to raise a trustworthy child, keep your word.

If you want to be a good mom, if you want to raise your children to be better people, to be independent and happy, to live a fulfilling life, it starts by working with you.

So, assure them that what you’re going through is not in any way connected to them. You don’t want to put your children over the edge just because our day didn’t go the way we wanted it to. 

When you’re transparent with your feelings, they’ll also be more transparent with theirs, making it easier for you to help them out when they’re going through a rough patch themselves. 

But here’s a point you’d do well to remember: Just because you want to be transparent with your emotions doesn’t mean that you should overwhelm your children with whatever burden you’re dealing with.

They don’t have to grow up too soon by having to go through whatever complex emotion or mess you need to sort yourself.

#10: Give your child the freedom to be their own type of person

When you can't be the perfect mom you wish you were

As parents, it is perfectly understandable that we want to do everything in our power to ensure that our children get the best of what life has to offer. And because we’ve been in this world much longer than them, we may feel that they should listen to us every single time. “Mothers know best,” after all.

There’s just one problem with that mentality, though. 

You see, that kind of mindset can easily strain your relationship with your children, who at this point are trying to navigate the world on their own and carve a life for themselves. Give your children positive feedback they’ll appreciate. 

While you have your own hopes and dreams for your children, you need to keep in mind that they will ultimately have to live their own lives. And that they deserve to lead the lives they want. No child is perfect and part of growing up is making mistakes.

Letting your child make mistakes is a great way to teach them that actions have consequences and the event gives a great point of reference for future lessons. Spending time with your kids is just as important.

So when the time comes that they choose their path, try to be as supportive as you can. Continue loving them, even if the path they chose was different from what you had hoped they would.

Many parents boast about their children and are constantly holding them to the standards of others their age. Remember, your child is a unique person in his own right. Do not compare him to other kids. Children move and develop at their own pace and have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Remember: Our role as parents is not to dictate our children’s every move. It is to serve our children as guides while discovering who they are and what they want to be in life. We can help them choose the path we think would be the best for them. But we have to let them make a choice ultimately.

Embrace your journey as a mom

When you can't be the perfect mom you wish you were

Just like any other journey in life, motherhood will have its ups and downs. But no matter how difficult the path may be, no matter the exhaustion, stress, heartache, annoyance, and sadness you’re bound to feel, always remember one thing:

You will hear plenty of parenting advice from so many different sources, just be sure you trust yourself to make the right decision when the time comes. If you’re having trouble managing your stress, never hesitate to seek professional help.

Take some time out, drink water, and spend some quiet time. Having a glass of cold water can help quell anxiety.

The act of drinking and the calm, clear nature of water helps many people relax during high-stress situations. Listen to music. Try scheduling time just for yourself to pull out a favorite book, tap on a favorite blend of essential oils, and kick back with a little peace and quiet to give your brain a break.

Have confidence in who you are and your parenting abilities. When a situation arises, try to give yourself a moment to process what is going on before reacting. 

And it may not be perfect, just as you and your children are not perfect, but it is worth every sacrifice and every struggle you have to go through as a parent.  As parents, we cannot afford not to work on ourselves because by working on ourselves we not only become happier people, we become better parents.

Good parenting happens in real-time, on the spot, and in the moment. The trick is recognizing those moments when your actions and reactions can help your child learn and grow in the best possible ways. Parenting is not easy so you need to give yourself time, don’t  be afraid to take a step back.

Don’t compare yourself to others, either. Children learn by example. If you frequently compare yourself to other mothers and talk about your shortcomings, your kids will learn to compare themselves to others too. While a foundation of love is the best thing you can do for your child, you cannot rely on your feelings alone to guide you in parenting decisions

When you work on yourself you start connecting with yourself, you start listening to your intuition more and this helps you to become a better parent – remain calm and patient, a better parent than guides their children in a loving way, that recognizes their child for who they are and doesn’t parent from a place of fear. 

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