Category: Parents

How to Raise an Intelligent Child

When we think about smart kids, it shouldn’t be all bookworms and A grades. Clever children come in all different forms and to nurture true wisdom in your child, it is essential to look at the bigger picture. Whilst classroom intelligence is one thing, emotional intelligence and social ability are another. To ensure that your child gains the best start in life, you must nurture their strengths and try to release their creativity. Here, we will take a look at some of the best ways in which to raise smart children.

Make Learning Fun

When all kids see is the classroom, it’s no wonder they tend to become unenamoured with education. For this reason, it is important to show your children that learning does not need to be restricted to these prescriptive spaces. Every day presents new opportunities for learning, but how you go about nurturing your child’s intelligence should be a personal process. Many children learn best by doing, so why not take them outside and learn in nature. Research shows that learning in a green environment can help greatly in the development of children and also teaches essential respect for the environment. If they are fascinated by science, why not take a trip to the science museum, or try out some experiments in your back yard? If they show an interest in art, buy them some paint and let them explore their talent. Whatever you do, make it fun!

Pick the Right School

Selecting the right school for your child is also an essential factor. Many government-funded schools do not have the money to build top facilities or employ the best teachers, which can leave children uninspired by their environment. Whilst learning at home can make up for this in part, private international schools often provide far better opportunities for learning. When looking for international schools in Thailand or in your local area, parents have an excellent outlook as there are world-class facilities on offer, such as this school in Chiang Mai that takes a holistic approach to education. Not only will learning in an international environment enhance your child’s language skills from an early age, the right school may be able to teach them life skills as well as social skills too.

Additional Learning

Another way to enhance your child’s intelligence is to encourage additional learning through classes outside of school. These should focus on something your child enjoys and could range from language or music classes to sports, dance or art classes. 

Venture Beyond the Curriculum

As we’ve already touched upon, learning should not be restricted to books and the school curriculum. There are many other life skills that you can teach your child in order to ensure they have an active mind, such as gardening, social responsibility, and healthy eating. When they grow up and venture out into the real world, these skills will be invaluable in helping them to adjust and reach success.

Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life – by taking a holistic approach to learning and focussing on the quality of their early education, you can do just this.

Top 10 Summer Water Safety Tips

With summer days ahead, we can’t help but get excited for hot days where we can dip into the water. But as a parent we also can’t help but think of water safety for our children too.

This is why we thought it would be fitting to put together a list of some tips on water safety. We have gone to the experts at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools in Mississauga to give us the low down on what all parents and guardians should keep in mind around the water.

Tip #1 – Check Before You Swim!

Always have an adult check the water prior to going in. It is important to check how deep it is and if there is anything at the bottom that can be of danger. This way it will be a safe place for a child to swim.

Tip #2 – Buddy System

There is always safety in numbers. When going into the water, always swim with a buddy. Not only is it safe but fun too! Stay within your comfort level in the water and don’t be shy to ask for help when needed.

Tip #3 – Supervise

This tip can’t be stressed enough and a great warning for all parents and guardians. Make sure there is always direct adult supervision at all times when a child is in the water keeping a close eye to help prevent any in-water incidents.

Tip #4 – Finding Your Air

Practice having your child become comfortable with getting into the recovery position and finding their air on their back (doing the back float) when trying to find their place of safety.

Tip #5 – Fishy Cheeks

Practice the fishy cheeks method – inhaling air and holding for a count of 5 to build comfort with submersions.

Tip #6 – Jumping!

Everyone loves a good jump into the water but it is important to keep safety in mind. It is recommended to practice safe entries such as feet first. Avoid deep dives and belly flops for safety reasons.

Tip #7 – Pool Exists

Not only entering the pool needs to be done with safety but leaving the pool too. For tots and school aged children, the proper way to guide them safely out of the pool is by guiding their limbs by using elbow, elbow, tummy, knee and knee.

Tip #8 – No Running

A safety rule that everyone should follow is that there should be absolutely no running on the pool deck to prevent slips and falls.

Tip #9 – Clean Pool = Safe Pool

Keep pool toys away from the pool and deck area when not in use. This will prevent accidents in and out of the pool.

Tip #10 – Goggles

Ask your child to practice swimming with and without goggles. By doing this, you are allowing your child to adapt to the various water environments and it prevents your child to develop a dependency on goggles.

These 10 tips on water safety will have your family enjoying summer with peace of mind. We can not stress enough the importance of staying safe and enjoying the water.

Did we miss a tip? If so, we would love to hear them. Feel free to leave a comment below with what tip you would include.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

This article is brought to you in partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim School, Mississauga.

 

 

Things To Consider When Buying Baby Hampers Online

Are you looking for the perfect gift for baby or a mum-to-be but just can’t decide what to get? Why not play it safe and get a hamper? It’s the ultimate way to spoil someone special. Here are some tips for buying the perfect baby hamper online.

  1. Know the Recipient

Mums-to-be need diapers and bottles, but it doesn’t mean they’ll love the contents of all baby hampers. The trick is to know what your recipient really likes and then pick a hamper to match her taste.

For instance, if she has a sweet tooth, what about a pamper hamper complete with sugary treats and chocolates, and perhaps even a bottle of wine, all for after baby is born. Or, if she’s a hands-on mum who prefers practical gifts, perhaps a hamper with a receiving blanket, nappies and pacifiers is the way to go.

Just don’t buy the first hamper you see. Browse through the entire range until you find one the recipient will really enjoy.

  1. Don’t Forget the Basket

While the contents are of course the most important part of the hamper, you should also spare a thought for presentation.

When you buy a hamper, you’ll notice there are a few different kinds of baskets. A picnic basket is the most traditional, but there are other options worth considering. Wooden carry baskets with handles make a stunning alternative and you could even paint them to add a pop of colour.

With a lovely basket to hold all her goodies, mum-to-be gets to enjoy two gifts in one, as she can use the basket to carry baby items once emptied.

  1. Don’t Panic Buy

Don’t leave it until the baby shower is just around the corner to pick out the perfect hamper. If you leave it until too late to buy a hamper online, you may encounter limited options and delayed deliveries.

  1. Always Check Delivery Dates

Once you’ve found the perfect baby hamper, you need to make sure it will arrive in time. Failing to check delivery dates and times is a common error when ordering items online. But, don’t assume whatever you order is just going to arrive within a few days. Some items may need to be sources for the hamper or could even be out of stock.

Be sure to check the delivery times in advance and place your hamper order with plenty of time to spare.

  1. Consider the Occasion

When it comes to buying a hamper, it can be too easy to concentrate on the recipient and contents but forget all about the occasion. New parenthood, welcoming a baby and even birthday hampers are all fantastic gift ideas, each with their own special nuances to represent the occasion. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • For new parents – A baby hamper is a great gift for new parents and gives them a much-needed boost, so you could include treats for mum and dad and a bouquet of flowers, too. You could even add something for baby, like a pair of booties or a little teddy.

Keep these tips in mind when buying a hamper online and you’re sure to get it perfectly right!

How To Prepare Your Family For Interstate Moving

Moving can be quite the unforgettable adventure, especially if you know the place you’re moving to is something you know you’d like to live in. However, preparing the family for moving interstate isn’t just a matter of asking everyone to pack. Here’s how to prepare your family for interstate moving, and how you can move in without hassle.

Simply Self Storage numbers indicate that a myriad of individuals actually use moving services, although 44-percent of their respondents are from individuals. Other users include corporate (36-percent), and the military (16-percent). 73-percent of things moved are household goods, with 20-percent being office equipment. Here are tips to prepare your family for the “big day”:

 

  • Assess everything you own with a thorough spring clean. This is especially if you’ve been living in your previous home for quite some time. Make sure you inspect every nook and cranny of your previous household and have a record of what you own and where everything is. This allows you to prepare what to take and what to leave behind.
  • Are you sure you need everything? Try to assess if there’s clutter you’ve saved but don’t exactly need and consider either selling them or throwing them away. This is because long distance movers can be quite expensive if you’ve decided to bring everything with you. If you do want to keep some clutter, try to assess how much of the costs would be allocated to them, and if you can carry that burden.
  • If you have large appliances, consider selling them. True, they might be a bit of a hassle buying newer appliances in your new area, but consider the costs of bringing the large appliances with you compared to buying a brand new one. Chances are, your old appliances might be in disrepair and may need replacement soon, anyway.
  • Get the right kind of equipment. If you’re hiring a moving company to help you, make sure you help them by getting the right kind of boxes to store your belongings in. Don’t just use boxes from the local store, as they’re built to handle groceries and not books, ornaments, and dishes. Label the boxes properly, too, and make your own inventory.
  • Get yourself a reliable moving company. If you’re moving interstate, chances are you may have shortlisted a few moving companies to help you along the way. Find best rated interstate moving companies that are not only able to move to the state with a relatively reasonable rate, but choose one that’s reputable and licensed.
  • Prepare for the move earlier, if it’s possible. Try to make sure you start and finish packing a few days before the actual move happens, as this can alleviate both you and your mover when it comes to any last-minute concerns. If you need to say goodbye to neighbors and friends, try to hold a party a few weeks before the move itself, so you have enough time to prepare.
  • Make sure to keep in touch with your moving company. Establishing good connection with your moving company can at least give you some measure of guarantee on the safety and security of your belongings throughout the move. This also allows you to properly follow-up on important matters, especially when there are sudden changes to weather and traffic.

Conclusion

If there’s anything the points above have taught us, it’s that interstate moving takes more than just preparing your things and hiring a mover to do the heavy-lifting for you. It takes knowledge on the location and the logistics, a keen eye on safety, and awareness to one’s surroundings are just some things to help ensure interstate moving is done without a hitch.

 

Steve Acker

Steve Acker has been writing as a frustrated novelist for the past 15 years, and he’s got into blog writing very recently thanks to the suggestion of a friend. As a contributor to sites such as 9kilo, Steve has applied his creative flair to his pieces, making them entertaining and informative at the same time. He loves reading books and talking with his friends in the nearby coffee shop if he has the time.

 

Parent Engagement in Children’s Learning: Guidelines for Good Practice

Like every caring parent, you want your child to show progress and do their best at school. So, in order to help them, you’d like to be engaged in their learning process. This can definitely be a good thing, since it will show your child they have your support and you will probably help them overcome some obstacles in the process. Here are some good ways to be involved in your child’s learning process.

Get to know the school and the teachers

Attend school events, like orientation or PTA meetings. Being involved at the school will allow you to get familiar with the school, teachers and other school staff, as well as with other parents. That way you can be informed of the school personnel’s plans and goals, especially those concerning your child. Find out if there are activities or events you can help organize or monitor, such as field trips and school dances, or even offer to help in your kid’s class, which will give you an insight of the school and the classroom atmosphere, but also of what is expected from your child.

Photo by rawpixel.com

Ask how your child is doing

Start with asking your child how they’re doing at school, and then find out about your child’s progress from their teacher. If you feel like your child isn’t making enough progress, ask for the teacher’s opinion on what the problem is and what you can do to help. Don’t wait too long; react as soon as possible, since you don’t want your child to fall behind too much. When you get a report card from your child’s teacher, read it thoroughly. Always be polite and friendly to the teacher, and even if you question their teaching skills, give them the benefit of the doubt, and approach them with questions, rather than accusations. Anybody will be more helpful if they’re treated with respect.

Help your child with the curriculum

If you see that your little one can’t cope with their curriculum, jump in and help. Explain anything that is unclear to them, help them deal with difficult tasks and point them towards the solution to any problem they might have. And if you and your child need extra help with key subjects, the smartest thing to do is get professional English tutoring or additional math classes. It’s important to know when your knowledge or methods simply aren’t enough and accept that it’s completely fine to hire somebody to help you.

Photo by NeONBRAND

See to it that your child’s homework gets done

Children can sometimes forget to do their homework, or simply choose not to do it, when they feel there are more interesting things for them to do. It’s your job to make sure that doesn’t happen. First, explain to your child the importance of consistency and that homework needs to be done every day in order for them to progress at school and learn more. You can help by removing any distractions from your child when they’re doing their homework. This includes telephones, tablet computers or the television. If they need help organizing or any materials for their homework, be there. Monitor their work, check if the homework is completed and correct, and praise your child, letting them know you’re proud of their effort.

Be positive

If you maintain a positive attitude towards learning and school, your child will pick up on that. Be a positive role model and read with your child, so that they perceive reading as something pleasant. If you limit their screen time, you should show support by skipping your favourite TV show and switching off your phone when it’s study or homework time. Tell your child about all the good things you achieved in life because of what you learned at school. They need to know that they aren’t just learning to get a good grade, but to gain knowledge of the world around them.

Photo by Chris Benson

Active learning

Whenever possible, show your child the practical use of their theoretical knowledge, whether in the kitchen, or outside in nature. For example, they won’t mind learning about animals if you take them to the zoo, so that they can see what all those animals really look like. Active learning is all about them asking questions and getting answers, exploring their surroundings and solving various problems. Encourage your child to play sports or play an instrument, and to ask all the questions that pop into their mind, which will reflect on their enthusiasm for school and learning.

Your involvement in your child’s education is a key factor in their academic success, so get involved and give your child all the time and patience they need to thrive. Your child is worth it.

 

Written by: Claire Adams

About the Author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Knowing When Not To “Ovary” Step Your Boundaries

To empower change, you need to be a driver of change.

I started my blog almost three years ago and the driving factor was to inspire others’ through experiences that I share from my own life and from other amazing people. I always felt that we can learn so much from one another and it helps us empathize with the paths that people walk through.

Not one person lives the same life or has the same experiences as another. That is why it is important to create a community of understanding and support.

But it wasn’t until I got into the parenting world that I have seen another side of “human interest.”

We all have been asked a million in one questions about our lives by curious people. But when do the questions become too personal?

Now I am an open book ever since becoming a parent. What you see is what you get in layers (I have to be honest). I tolerate a lot of questions as I want to be respectful and nice but I really don’t think that anyone should endure it. Even if it is perceived as “normal” questions to ask.

Recently, I have been asked if I was expecting as a few people noticed that I was interested in attending a Baby Show (Thanks Facebook for sharing events that I am interested in. This is an issue that I don’t even want to touch on…yet). Now I am not sure how that conclusion came about since I do write a blog on parenting and am the Assignments Editor at The Baby Spot. But that is beside the point. Of course I shared my thoughts online as it can be therapeutic to vent online for all to see. Then it had me really thinking, “Why do people ask and why do they care?”

I read an article awhile back that spoke volumes about wanting or getting pregnant was no one’s business. And it is very true! Now I know many people who don’t see the harm in asking so let me bring in my experience as that is the only way I know how.

Back in 2014, I gave birth to a healthy little baby girl. We were all thrilled as my husband and I were married for already seven years so people were starting to really question if babies were in our future (didn’t know there was a timeline of having children after marriage but to some there is). I thought this could be the end of the baby questions but unfortunately it was not and I wasn’t too surprised. As we have been programmed to ask these “normal” questions.

We were even asked why it took us so long to get pregnant and if there was something wrong with us. Once I had the courage to respond, I replied with tears in my eyes, “There wasn’t a problem. We were just grieving the loss of our baby that we miscarried before we had our healthy baby girl.” This was the first time that we were disclosing this information to people and while many empathized, others continued with questions. So I slowly developed a thick skin to brush the insensitive questions and played it off that the people who were asking “didn’t know any better.”

But I think it is time to bring this to light as this momma and many others have had enough.

Unless a woman has come to you to talk about her pregnancy goals or life, don’t ask!

Reasons Why Not To Ask

We don’t know what one is going through and some women could be going through any one of these reasons as this is why you should not ask:

  • Grieving a miscarriage
  • Difficulty in getting pregnant
  • Financial strain (News flash! Kids are expensive)
  • Suffering from other health issues
  • In an abusive relationship or just a rocky relationship
  • Does not want children (There is nothing wrong with that)

The list could go on and on. The bottom line is that they are not your ovaries to care so much about. Did it ever occur to people that those constant questions could actually cause the person stress? Imagine the health issues that stress brings onto a person!

I am sure that the questions come with no malice attach to them but it doesn’t mean it should be acceptable either. Let’s break the “normal” and start asking less questions about others and start listening more. You would be surprised at how much someone can disclose without being asked.

Now onto the question on many minds…Is Momma Braga pregnant?

The answer is very simple and that is NO. Do I want another? Only time will tell. But if I do and I do become pregnant then I will announce it with great pride. In the meantime, I am enjoying being a mom to one energetic daughter who has taught me that being a mother is the hardest job that I will ever have.

Please let’s respect one another and let’s break old traditions. Be the change by leading by example. Change can only happen if you do something or in this case not ask the questions.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

–          Momma Braga

Experiencing WWE NXT Through The Eyes Of A Child

We love watching and following the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and we have been fans for many years. You might have remembered a few articles that I have written on WWE and we can’t forget the very entertaining videos that my daughter has done in imitating the wrestlers entrances. So it is no surprise that when we heard that the WWE was returning with their ever so popular NXT live tour, we had to purchase tickets especially since it was being held at the Hershey Centre. It was so much closer to home!

For those of you who may not know or follow, let me give a quick definition of WWE NXT. This is a branch of the WWE brand. This is where you get your start in the WWE. It is almost like the place that you need to prove yourself before going to the main roster of Raw and Smackdown (the main shows of the WWE). That is if you have that superstar quality for the main stage from what I have heard people say.

We have watched wrestlers from NXT in Toronto before and it was such an amazing show as each wrestler outperformed the next. I think it was the most entertaining wrestling that I had seen live in years so it was refreshing.

Now it was time to see it again but without the cameras for television broadcasting which makes it a more intimate event for fans as we are solely focused on the performances.

I do need to mention that watching a WWE live event comes with many restrictions and I do recommend that if you are taking young children to please read what the rules are before going. The Hershey Centre did a great job in making sure that the attendees were aware of the restrictions and were great at answering any inquiries from fans (like myself who messaged them a whole lot!).

For this event we made it into a daughter and mom night as my husband had to work. We also went with a family friend and his son; they are our wrestling friends for life. 🙂

Momma Braga and Nikki.
Our family friends Mike and his son Austin. Photo Credit: Mike Clarke.

WWE NXT Event

We arrived early to avoid waiting in a big line-up in the cold and it helped us find our seats with lots of time to enjoy the venue (this is when it is the perfect time to take a selfie to capture the moment). We had great seats as our view of the wrestling ring and the entrance for the wrestlers was perfect for us.

Before we knew it, the lights started to dim and the ring lights were on…it was time for the show! One performance after another, it was amazing! Each larger than life character came into the ring and really put their heart into their performance. We got to see some fan favorites and were even introduced to some new wrestlers who are going to be making their televised debut soon (one became my favorite very quick, Ricochet!).

But what made this event even more spectacular for me as a mom was seeing my daughter light up with excitement. I know that my heart was glowing to see how happy she was. Isn’t that what we want for our children to be?!

It amazed me to see her interact and engage with other fans. For the first time, I took the back seat from being a fan and watched her be one. I got to experience the event through her and that made me love this event even more. So what did my three year old do?

Well, when the audience clapped, chanted or screamed so did my little one. It was so awesome to see her chant, “NXT, NXT, NXT!” And anytime the audience cheered for one of the wrestlers, she would try to chant their name too (as best as she could as some of the names are a little difficult to say). But one that she had no trouble chanting was for Nikki Cross (by the way, no connection as to how we named our daughter, lol).

From Left to Right: Our family friend Mike, Nikki and Momma Braga. Photo Credit: Mike Clarke.

It made the event that more exciting to watch and that is why many fans go see a live show. Seeing a WWE event is a social experience that you can’t get from watching it on your television. It is an opportunity to engage with other fans on the drama of WWE wrestling and I believe that this is where the wrestlers get their performance rush from. That energy and vibe at a live event is what makes WWE great and successful! We all had an amazing time and it will be a memorable mother and daughter day that we will not forget. We got to spend time together and engage with the most loyal and craziest fans ever! We just loved it! WWE NXT gave us a very entertaining night full of heart, athleticism and a forever family moment.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Kids Up Front Toronto: Making A Difference One Ticket At A Time

Coming from a background of the non-profit world, I have the utmost respect for many charities who work tirelessly for their causes.

During my tenure as a fundraiser, I encountered Kids Up Front Toronto and was impressed by their mission and impact. So I was excited to introduce them to the youth clients and to all the staff members that I worked with.

Now as a parent blogger, I am excited to introduce this amazing organization to all of you and this is way overdue.

“Remember your first concert. Now imagine giving a child that feeling for the first time.”

Kids Up Front believes that all children deserve to experience the magic of the theatre or the excitement of a hockey game. Kids Up Front makes sure that children and their families affected by poverty, abuse, illness as well as newcomers to Toronto gain exposure to the community through the distribution of tickets.

Photo courtsey of Kids Up Front Toronto

How did it all start?

“Kids Up Front began in Calgary in 1999. Our founder, John Dalziel was surrounded by empty seats in the Saddledome and believed that thousands of deserving children and youth could benefit from unused tickets. Kids Up Front Toronto’s founding Executive Director, Lindsay Oughtred, had the same idea in 2006. She was a high school English teacher, inspired to fill seats on the field trips she was taking her students on. Lindsay discovered Kids Up Front, left the classroom behind, and the rest is history! Kids Up Front operates in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Atlantic Canada.”

Photo courtsey of Kids Up Front Toronto

The Impact on the Lives of Children, Families and the City of Toronto

The impact of the work that is being done by Kids Up Front Toronto is one that uplifts children, families and the whole community.

• Children benefit from developing a sense of belonging; feeling included; gaining exposure to “normal” childhood experiences.
• Parents benefit from feeling valued; having the means to give their child a special experience; re-connecting with their child in a positive way.
• Families benefit from sharing constructive leisure activities; encouraging positive social interaction between parents, children and siblings; healing and strengthening relationships.
• Communities benefit from having engaged citizens; strengthening of community values; inspiring future leaders.

“Thanks to our generous donors and over 240 agency partners, Kids Up Front Toronto distributed nearly 85,000 tickets valued at over $2.8 million in 2017. Children have community building experiences that help boost self-esteem and families form stronger ties by allowing parents and children to connect in a positive way. We believe Kids Up Front is helping to create a more inclusive city by removing financial and social barriers.

Photo courtsey of Kids Up Front Toronto

Making a Difference Through Kids Up Front

“Kids Up Front is a simple idea with an incredible impact. Thanks to our extensive network in the GTA, we are able to accept tickets (even just hours before game time or show time!) and get them into the hands of children and youth who do not otherwise have the opportunity. Kids Up Front also provides charitable tax receipts for the value of the ticket donation (with proof of purchase). It truly is a win-win for everyone!

If you don’t have tickets to donate, EchoAge birthday parties are another great way to help Kids Up Front give deserving kids a break.”

It is easy to make a difference in the lives of children and their families through Kids Up Front Toronto. You can donate your tickets, donate money or even donate your time. So many options to make a world of a difference in the community.

How Can a Child Be Referred To Benefit From Kids Up Front

“Kids Up Front partners with child and youth serving agencies to ensure our tickest are going to families who will truly benefit from these incredible gifts.”

To see a list of these amazing agency partners, click here.

Upcoming This Year

“We are working toward our goal of 100,000 tickets valued at over $3 million by 2020. The more tickets we have, the more people we are able to reach. We would love to finally get rid of our waiting list of agencies looking to partner with Kids Up Front. We are also continuing to raise our profile in Toronto. We want every single person in the city to know what to do with their unused tickets.

Nationally, we can’t wait to watch Kids Up Front Ottawa and Kids Up Front Atlantic grow in their first full year as our newest Kids Up Front regions.”

Photo courtesy of Kids Up Front Toronto

I have personally seen the impact that Kids Up Front Toronto has done in the community. The smiles, excitement and pure enjoyment that the youth and kids exhibit during an event is the most heart tugging moment for anyone to see.

So if you have tickets that you can’t use or just want to give a child an opportunity of a lifetime, then I say Kids Up Front is the place to start in making a difference!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tanya, Program Manager at Kids Up Front Toronto for taking the time to do this exclusive interview with us at Momma Braga.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Kids Off to College – How to Cope with the Empty Nest Syndrome

Source: Pexels.com

Written By: Claire Adams

Sending your kids off to college should be one of the happiest moments in your life. However, for many mothers, this is also one of the hardest moments, as they will be separated from their children for the first time and for a prolonged period.

This is better known as an empty nest syndrome, and if you don’t know how to cope with it, you can create a tough situation both for you and your kids. So, let’s go over some tips that will show you what to do and what not to do when your kids finally leave for college.

Face the music

First of all, you should come to terms that your children are leaving and that they probably won’t return to your household. Sure, it will be hard and you will shed some tears, but that is all a part of the healing process.

The worst thing that you can do is to neglect your emotions and bury them; like that ever worked for anyone. You need to be open about the situation and learn to embrace it. Just remember that the adaptation process takes time. So, don’t expect to wake up one morning feeling jolly that your kids aren’t home, or maybe you will; everybody is different.

Source: Pexels.com

Start new activities with your spouse

Having no children around your household means that you will have a ton more time for yourself. While your kids were in the spotlight for the past 18 years or so, the time has finally come to put more attention to what you and your spouse want to do.

Maybe you were planning a tropical vacation for decades, but you couldn’t get around doing it because of your parental responsibilities. Regardless, now, you can do whatever you want. Of course, going on adventures with your spouse is also an excellent way to keep your mind off your kids. After all, you don’t want to be one of those mothers that speed dials their children every hour or so.

Keep the campus visits on the low

Next, you need to resist the urge to visit your kids every weekend. Campus visits are fantastic and going over there when they are in a tough spot with exams can help your kids stay motivated. However, if you start going over there every week or even every month, you can create the opposite effect.

The first year of college is the most important year, and you need to let your “babies” find their own way. And most importantly, don’t worry about their safety. Regardless if your children are staying in a college campus of the University of Toronto or in a private student accommodation in Melbourne CBD, know that they will be safe at all times. One last thing, don’t make surprise visits. Maybe your kids are studying or they have something planned with their college friends, and you showing up out of nowhere can ruin that.

Source: Pexels.com

Make new friends

Since your kids are off making friends and studying (of course), you should do the same. Well, you don’t have to study, but you should start meeting new people. You can join a book club, reconnect with your friends that are also going through the same phase, and so on. Most parents feel lonely once their kids leave for college, and the best way to shake off that feeling is to be around people.

Pick up a hobby

Finally, you should pick up a hobby. Keeping yourself busy with a fun little hobby is the best therapy for your mind. If you didn’t have the time for hobbies in the past, now is the best time for them. You can start DIY projects around the house, pick up sewing, plant a small garden in your backyard, or anything else that you may enjoy.

And that is about it for today. As you can see, dealing with the empty nest syndrome is a slow but necessary process. Even though sending your kids to college is a dream-come-true, that doesn’t mean that you cannot feel sad about it. Just don’t try to ignore your feelings, and know that time heals everything.

 

About the Author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.

When I Experienced Mom Competition…. As A Child

By: Grace Cross
Twitter

When I see Moms trying to up one another, I cringe, grab my kid off of the playground and run back to sanity. Mom competition reminds me of elementary school and I really don’t feel the person to bring another human being down, in order to make myself feel better. I understand why Moms do this to one another, but it is a pretty shameful act for many reasons.

We read blog posts about Mom competition all of the time. The calls for action to make it stop, the way it makes people feel, that they are not good enough or that they have to try harder. It reaps of sadness and self-esteem, it quite frankly makes me wonder if people give a damn about one another anymore. They do. I know they do. I may be a hopeless romantic for human kind. But we are making a mistake here Moms with Mom competition.

Let me tell you what I am not. I am not a psychologist and I am not a relationship expert. I am just a regular person who has seen this happen for years. This is what I see.

I want to paint a different picture for you, Mom competition in the eyes of a child. I am as bewildered at ten years old as I am today.

My Mother was not a competitive Mom. She always told us to try our best and she was encouraging. When we did not do well on a test, she would help us where we were struggling. It was not a “participation award” situation in my family. We were praised when we did well and where we struggled, we were helped so we understood. If we needed to be pushed to do well, we were, but we were nurtured in our talents and the hobbies that made us feel good. However, My Mother, moving from a different part of the country with a different culture, coming from a big city where everyone was just too busy to focus solely on other families, was quite surprised with the cattiness of other Moms.

My Mom wanted to make friends in this new town she was living in, so she joined the parent teacher association, she volunteered around town with charities and she volunteered in our school. That way, she believed, she could meet people her age and establish her tribe. My words, not hers.

She learned pretty quickly that this small town I grew up in, with all of its wonderful traits, had a few vices and the biggest of all was Mom competition.

My Mom was a fierce believer in individual privacy. If you got a good grade, she would not brag amongst groups that her child got that coveted A. In retrospect, if my siblings or I did not do so well, she would not let them know either. Her answer was always the same, “they did good” and she left it at that. She also did not ask how your child was doing.

My family comes from a culture where what you did for a living did not matter. My parents had great jobs, but they did not want to judge an individual on their occupation. We want to get to know the person. So, my Mom was interested in if her newfound friend’s children had a great soccer game or if they entered that writing competition because they were good writers, or if they checked out that new park or playground nearby. Conversations can go above the competitive nature and just get to know the person as an individual rather than their accomplishments or lack thereof. We are not defined on what others define us, but what we define the world to be, according to us.

These Moms would get frustrated when my Mom would protect our grades. One mom decided to go further and after school while playing on the playground and my mom was helping my infant sibling, a Mother decided to get the scoop on the latest math test. “What did you get?” She asked.

”A B”. I answered slowly. You have to respect your elders, right?

“A B?” She replies, “I thought you were good at math.” I was nine.

A B is good for me in mathematics. I try hard with math and I had to always study. It did not come natural to me as English did. A B was good. It also seemed to satisfy this Mother.

I did not tell my Mom.

The Mother of a friend continued to ask about my grades. I studied hard and told her. Dissatisfied that I was scoring higher than her child, she began comparing me to her older child, who had completed the grade a few years before.

“Eleanora scored I think 5 % higher than you. I will have to go and check her binder.” Yes, this Mother of my friend, a mother of three kept a binder of her children’s grades so she could refer to them when others were asking. She was quite proud of this and probably would be proud to tell you she kept the binder for reference for other parents to this day.

This grade asking went on until I was about fourteen. I did eventually tell my Mom who really let this other Mother have it.

It may take a community to raise a child but a child’s grades for comparison is just crossing a line.

I know now that this woman has a low self-esteem and needed to compare myself to her children to feel worthy. But if she opened her eyes, she would realize her children had big hearts, a lot of talent and she had so much to be proud of. When I got a grade higher than her child, she was visibly distressed and angry. That’s not right!

I would ask parents to look within themselves. I would humbly ask them that if they, themselves, feel inferior, to address that concern and take care of themselves. Everyone has their own standard of genius. Some parents are proud if their child learns to communicate. Others are proud their child got into a great University, other parents out there are happy their child is alive. There is nothing wrong with just being happy that your child, lives, breathes, is kind and has good thoughts.

I have gone through school and I have a degree that people are interested in, I see my child asked by adults if she will “go to school and get the same degree as Mommy.” She is under five.

“I just want her to grow up to be kind.” I answer. This is not your journey, competitive Mom, it is not even mine. It is my child’s. Let’s just be happy that she is alive to take a journey. Be humble and be kind. Open your mind, learn from others and be kind fully curious, if that even constitutes a phrase.

And if you still continue to care about a child’s grades and get mad when they succeed, I humbly advise you to kiss my ass.