Have you ever found yourself choosing the easiest of all the options just because you were too lazy to think?
I know I have! Most of the times thinking feels like lifting weights! Our brain is probably one of the most complex and amazing parts of our body, it is capable of doing so many things at once and it gives us cognitive capabilities, which are what makes us humans. Problem is, we rarely actually use it; we just scan through the internet, run from one shiny object to another, we look, but we don’t really observe and analyze what is around us. Our attention span becomes smaller and smaller everyday.
I think our brain deserves to be nurtured, exercised and fed like any other muscle. Through the years I’ve become fascinated with discovering new and exciting brain games for adults and kids that stimulate every part of our extraordinary brain; I wanted to get them all together in one article for you to enjoy and access anytime It’s important to know that both adults and kids will be able to get something out of these activities, we as humans never stop learning and improving our capabilities, so hop on board and let’s see what you’ve got!
First let’s take a look at the various activities we can do to keep our brain fit:
Your memory is the part of the brain that is responsible for storing and retrieving information, therefore is very important to keep it trained. We’re going to go over one of the classic memory games, a very fun yet powerful way of keeping your memory fit and also improving it! This game is pretty simple, all you have to do is wait for the buttons to light up and then repeat the same sequence of colors yourself.
Check it out!
These come in many different forms, from word and number play to logical and creative exercise, puzzles stimulate your brain and force you to think and do some serious mental work. I think puzzles can be an awesome starting point for kids expecially. You can find a few good online puzzles on sites like http://www.jigzone.com/
This is another great way to keep your brain in function. You can find many trivia websites or resources online such as http://www.funtrivia.com/ that touch on a variety of subjects from history, to sports.
The IQ test is used to measure the intelligence quotient, a number that sort of states the intellectual and cognitive abilities of people in relation to their age. If your result is between 90 and 110 it is an average result, is you go over 120, well congrats, you’re a genius! There are plenty IQ games out there on the internet, you can try and take the test here!
This is another simple yet powerful method for improving your brain capabilities. Learning a new language boosts your memory, creativity, comprehension and is very useful in life nowadays with so many different cultures mixing together. I was shocked when I found out that the average person only uses 4000 total words and only 300 words each day! I mean, come on!
So I decided I had to make up for this, and started learning at least 20 words each day, it was incredible and I’ve never had thought I could do something like this, but I did, and you can too! a few good websites like http://www.vocabulary.com/ are all you need to start your lexicon journey These were a few memory tricks that I’ve found to be pretty fun and helpful at the same time.
Besides those activities there are other things you could do on a daily basis to improve memory and brain activity in general:
Recent studies have proven that Omega 3 rich foods such as colorful fruit and vegetables, fish and oatmeal help with improving memory, protect the brain from dangerous free radicals and also prevent Halzheimer’s. B12 Vitamins are also good and meat should be eaten only once a week.
Multitasking can be a useful skill, but it can also take you down on a path of self destruction! In my own experience every time I’ve tried to do multiple things at the same time all I would accomplish was to leave something behind. The same thing happens when you get home, put your keys somewhere, get assaulted by the kids and get involved in other activities. If you’re anything like me, you probably always forget where you left the keys. So focus is very important for your memory and brain activity as well.
This one is almost the same as learning a new language; basically the fact that you’re constantly practicing and engaging in a new activity, keeps your brain functional and reactive. You can try to learn how to play an instrument, a sport or any simple house activities such as knitting. I’ve found this tactic to be quite time consuming and impractical especially if you have kids and/or a business to run. Still, it’s something fun, different that you might want to try
This next memory trick is probably the easiest one. Recent studies have proved that getting a good quality 8 hours of sleep (or more) can actually improve your memory. What the brain does overnight is basically shifting memories to long-term storage, it’s kinda like a pc moving files from the temporary memory to the hard drive You’ll wake up fully restored and ready to take on the day!
It has been proven that our brain releases chemicals when we exercise, one in particular called norepinephrine, is said to have an amazing effect on memory. In order to prove this, I started doing small walks everyday, of at least 20 minutes each. With my own surprise I found that this physical activity actually helps me with reducing stress levels and giving a sense of relief and accomplishment. Overall I firmly believe that an active lifestyle is the best habit you can acquire. It brings benefits on all areas of your body and mind.
So what are you waiting for?!
“Think” about it
Going green is a rather recent phenomena in which people attempt to live in harmony with the planet, in an attempt to lessen their impact on the environment. Our ecological footprint as a race, and even as individuals, continues to grow drastically year by year. Some folks would even consider abortion an ecologically beneficial practice, at this point, due to the fact of how much we as humans are depleting the ozone and arguably destroying the environment. This is the main reason most are deciding to go green.
So what does going green mean? Why go green? And what is eco friendly? “Going Green” refers to the practice of choosing an ecologically friendly and environmentally responsible lifestyle. You make your decisions based on protecting the environment with a goal of maintaining the Earth’s bountiful natural resources, as opposed to depleting them and ruining the environment in the process.
There is simply too much trash, with mountainous landfills casting sickly shadows across soiled Earth. Damage to the ozone layer not only hurts the planet but poses new dangers to all of Earths inhabitants, man and beast alike. Air and water pollution can only prove detrimental to the denizens of this planet as well. Who wants to breath in toxic air and drink tainted water? One of the biggest benefits of going green is saving money.
Powerful corporations corner markets to better their own financial standing with no regard for the people it will effect negatively – it’s all about the almighty dollar. This is arguably the biggest reason society isn’t living a more green, sustainable lifestyle. But going green is going mainstream, and each year more people are educated on the dangers of living excessive and environmentally immoral ways of life.
Organic living simply offers a plethora of benefits, both personal and worldwide (in some small way). One can do something as easy as switching the light bulbs in their home from conventional incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light (CFL). This small act alone could save roughly $40 over the life of a single bulb.
As a mother of two and practicing Buddhist, I think it is of the utmost importance to reconsider your lifestyle, to start making environmentally intelligent and ecologically moral choices. Below I’ll continue to describe some more ways you can change your life and make a small but positive impact on our planet. What kind of world do you want to leave your children? And what kind of world do you want them leaving your grandchildren?
Modular homes (and modular buildings) are sectional, prefabricated houses (or buildings) that consist of multiple sections. These sections are referred to as modules. “Modular” refers to a method of construction. The method entails off-site construction. Each module consists of six sided boxes that have been constructed into a combined facility. These are then delivered to their intended resting place. A crane is then used to set the modules onto the building’s foundation. Eventually it will all be joined into one to make a single building! Modules are versatile in their construction options as well, as they can be placed side by side, end to end, or even stacked. This allows a great variety of building configurations and is really helpful in diversifying the styles available in a buildings layout.
Modular buildings are also sometimes referred to as prefabricated buildings. It is important not to confuse modular homes with mobile homes (which are also known as manufactured homes) – this isn’t an episode of Trailer Park Boys. Mobile homes and modular homes differ in two man ways. First of all, modular homes do not feature axles or a frame. This means they are generally brought to their permanent site on flat-bed trucks. Second of all, modular buildings are required to conform to every local building codes for their respective uses. Mobile hands, on the other hand, are required to conform to federal codes governed by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, at least in the United States.
Filling the home with green furniture is yet another way one can make an environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible. Green furniture are products that use materials taken from sustainable forests, have low toxic material levels and are locally manufactured. They are built to be durable enough to last a long time. Green furniture is also manufactured with the intent of easy repair, disassembly, and recycling. The goal is to make products that can be efficiently taken apart, sorted into their various constituent parts, and then recycled at the tail-end of their functionality and durability.
These products are often symbolized by a tree.
In this final section I will go over a few other general ways you can go green in your home. These are great ways to not only help salvage the damaged environment, give yourself moral peace of mind, but also to save some money in the process, essentially rewarding yourself monetarily for making the right decision.
The Reclamator water recycler is a self-contained water-treatment system. This recycler allows you to reuse the same water again and again. This differs from a septic tank or municipal system, both in which a water simply “goes away.” The Reclamator, on the other hand, applies a proprietary process which settles out solid wastes, leaving being clean, treated water that passes the municipal standards for drink ability. In a nutshell, the Reclamator is going to cut down on your water waste big time. Reclamators can also be made from repurposed or recycled materials. The biggest savings are derived in energy and infrastructure costs. These are usually the biggest parts of your monthly water bill.
This is one of the very few expensive ways to go green, as it will cost you a pretty penny – $25,000 to purchase the system and have it installed, as well as a monthly charge for maintenance. While you’ll be necessitated to have the system repaired by professionals should your children experiment with motor oil in your toilet, it DOES allow for self-contained living. Depending on your water bill, it could realistically pay for itself over the course of time.
A company called Bonded Logic has discovered a method of turning old jeans into insulation for homes. UltraTouch is not only made of reused and re-purposed materials, it also provides better sound absorption tendencies than your typical fiberglass insulation, while maintaining an equivalent thermal rating. The best part is the Ultratouch Insulation is there are no chemicals used in its manufacturing process. Ultratouch uses borate to ensure fungi and fire resistance, making it even less toxic than table salt. Ultratouch takes material that would otherwise be filling up landfills and finds a meaningful and fulfilling purpose for it. It’s designed to replace fiberglass insulation entirely, which in contrast is environmentally troublesome to make, store, and install.
The EcoDrain‘s purpose is that of a small heat pump. It uses the leftover heat from the used shower water to help warm the incoming water that hasn’t been used yet. Fret not, for the clean and dirty water never mix, but the system still squeezes out the extra heat that would otherwise merely be dumped into your cities sewer system. Since showers typically use lots of heat, when the hot water hits the drain, it’s still rather warm. Ecodrain uses this to it’s advantage whilst being environmentally friendly. Heating hot water is one of the most taxing energy costs in your typical homes. Because of this, heating hot water could very possibly be one of the biggest sources of your houses carbon emissions. The EcoDrain combats this by cutting energy use nearly in half! It is an extensive installation, however, as it is housed under the floor of your shower.
Implementing these changes and others (which you can easily find through online web searches and other research means) you will be well on your way to helping the environment. Take accountability for our ancestors and their ecological misdeeds, and help the environment recover from it’s centuries of abuse at our species hands. Everyone should feel obligated and compelled to make ecologically responsible and environmentally friendly choices, for the betterment of the species, the world, the future, and even our own financial standings.
Woodworking projects can be fun, pretty darn fun actually.
When Dennis and I were first starting our online business not a lot of money was coming in and with 2 kids we found ourselves overwhelmed. We had just bought a new house and spent almost our entire savings on that. So we thought: “We can’t buy new furniture? Well then we are going to build it ourselves!”
It was around that time that we decided to roll up our sleeves and start building some of our own things
The learning curve was surprisingly fast, Dennis already had some knowledge (as almost every good family man should!) so all we needed to do was follow some beginner’s guide we found online! This is I think the real power and value of today’s technology.
The most important thing when you’re first starting out, is to start small. Get yourself acquainted with small challenges, you will be amazed to see how easy and interesting it gets, especially because smaller projects require less time and seeing the results faster gives you that boost you need to keep going.
If you need to decorate the house, myriads of wooden crafts can also be created simply looking online. You’ll find many pre made free or very cheap plans with materials, measurements and instructions.
So if you have a knack to craft your own things then just get inspired, look around you and think at the possibilities, cause they are pretty much endless.
It all starts with the tools, every craftsman needs a combination of woodworking hand tools (don’t require electric power, duh!) and power tools.
The top hand tools that every good woodworker should have are:
Pretty basic, every household should have this by default. The hammer should be well balanced in order to avoid twisting your hand while driving the nails. Wooden handle are the best at reducing the stress on your hand, if you’re buying metal or fiberglass handled hammers just make sure they have a proper rubber handle. The most common type of claw hammer is the 20 oz size.
Another must have hand tool. You are going to need heavy duty screw driver of all the most common sizes and models in your set. A basic set usually contains Philips, slot, flat, cross and torx drivers of various sizes.
Nail sets are used to drive the nails into the wood and make them go right below the surface
Another basic must have tool, make sure you get one that is at least 25 feet long, solid and well made. This will avoid it getting loose over time and save you some accuracy problems later on.
A very handy tool for every woodworker, it has disposable blades that retract for safety.
Chisels are used not only by woodcarvers but also for cleaning out saw cuts and joints. They come in various sizes, the most common going from ¼” to 1 ½”, and must be carefully maintained in order to avoid the edge caps from getting damaged.
Levels allow you to verify the horizontal and vertical surfaces of whatever you are building. Level is the horizontal part and plumb is the vertical part. They come in different models as well the most common being the 48” and the 8”. What you need to do with levels is basically just put them on the surface and look at the bubble; once it is between the 2 lines it means you’re good
A necessity if you’re going to measure a number of different angles
Calipers are one of the best ways to measure widths and diameters, they can measure up to 1/1000ths of an inch although you probably won’t always need that much accuracy.
A good set of hand saws is pretty much one of the most important components of a woodworker’s shop. The best and most versatile types of saws on the market are the coping saw and the tenon saw, but you might want to include a dovetail as well as a hand miter saw in your arsenal.
Apart from the traditional hand tools, nowadays, most woodworkers use power tools to get the job done quickly and more efficiently. Some of the most common woodworking power tools are:
Circular saws are often used for carpentry jobs only but if used correctly they are perhaps one of the most versatile power tools for fine woodworking tasks. You can use circular saw for everything that a normal table saw would be used for such as cutting plywood or fiberboard sheets. These tings are VERY dangerous if used incorrectly, they usually have safety switches and blade guards but still I highly recommend you to fully read and understand the safety instructions that come with the product.
Power drills are the more powerful, versatile and less expensive alternative to cordless drills. They come two sizes, the 3/8-inch and the 1/2-inch.
This is the best tool if you’re in need of cutting curved or circular patterns. They have replaceable blades and usually provide orbital action and variable speed settings that are especially useful when working with different materials.
This tool is best use to avoid leaving sanding patterns on the stock which is usually what common palm sanders do. They use sanding disks in a number of different grits so make sure you have a few types available, as proper sanding requires to progressively use finer grits to remove signs of previous work.
A good table saw Is one of the most important and useful power tools in any woodworker’s shop (or house). Table saws are a big investment, therefore when buying one you need to make sure it has all the basic features such as a heavy and smooth work surface, a handle for lowering and raising the saw blade, another handle for setting the cutting angle, a dust collection system and a strong motor that is able to cut the hardest woods.
The most important safety features of table saws are the blade guard that protects the worker from the blade when exposed, and the on/off switch, which must be easy accessible and large enough to be pushed with no effort.
Another pretty expensive but useful woodworking tool is the compound mitter saw. This tool is especially used for making squared, angled or beveled cuts on boards.
The router is probably the coolest of all power tools. Routers come in stationary and plunge base models. The difference here is basically in the usage, a stationary router lets you set a certain depth, which is maintained throughout the entire session; a plunge router allows you to plunge the bit into the stock to make the cut and lift it back out. At first, if you’re a beginner, a good stationary model is good enough.
So these were the most used tools that any woodworker should have in his/her arsenal. Just to be clear here, we didn’t have all of them when we first started practicing and working with wood, but we slowly saved our money and now I can proudly say that our small house shop is complete!
We now are able to accomplish almost any small to medium wood crafting task as well as some nice home decorating, which I’m currently still learning
Just to get you excited into the possibilities with building things with wood from scratch, here’s a few things you can do for your home:
And the list goes on and on!
Working with wood as I mentioned is a fun and engaging activity when done right, and your kids can get benefit from it as well! Besides home furniture there is a multitude of projects such as wooden toys that I’m sure your kids would love to receive
A few years ago Dennis started suffering from severe pain in his lower back area, he was later on diagnosed with a lumbar herniated disk. For those of you who don’t know, a herniated disk is basically a problem with the cushions that are between each of the bones that form your spine.
These cushions have an inner softer part and an outer tougher part. What happens is that the softer inner section of one of these cushions breaks through a crack in the harder exterior part causing pain and and/or numbness through the area. Poor Dennis was miserable! We started driving around from town to town to see the best medics and seek for help.
I’m writing this article since I found out that thousands of people all around the world are suffering from herniated disks and back pain in general. This is a comprehensive list of tips and exercises you can do to feel better. So the first thing you’d want to do is to find out the reason behind your pain. Lower back pain can be cause by many other things other than a herniated disk.
If the pain you’re experiencing doesn’t go away after a few days or worse, after a few weeks, then you might want to get worried and start looking further into the problem. Go see a specialist and let him diagnose the pain.
The main physical causes back pain or discomforts are:
If you recognize yourself in one of these descriptions and think the pain might be caused by one of those factors, go see a doctor. He will prescribe you some good painkillers to ease the pain, while deciding for the best kind of therapy that suits your problem.
At first what you’re going to try and do, is at least reduce the pain. This can be done with a few useful methods that I’m now going to cover.
Here are some ideas to help you feel better
We use our back muscles all day long, both directly and indirectly; we bend, we move around and most of the times we don’t even realize how much we are stressing them.
If you don’t have strong back muscles it’s inevitable that with time they will get sore. This is why you need to give them some rest. You’ll see just how quickly the pain will diminish by just laying down for a while.
You can also try to sleep on your side, or keep a pillow between your legs, which will strengthen them out lowering the feeling of discomfort on the back.
I constantly see this from my kids, every time they sit down for dinner or do homeworks, they basically bend over the table with the spine totally curved. Posture is of the maximum importance reducing the weight your lower back has to support.
You’re having a good posture when the spine is slightly curved inward around the lower back area, a little onward at the upper back and again inward around the neck.
This is a big deal, especially if you spend most of the time sitting at a desk in the office. So throughout the day just make sure you periodically check your posture and you’ll be able to relieve the stress on your lower back by a good amount just doing that.
Another very important habit you must commit to if you’re suffering from back pain, is to take a short walk around the house (or the office) let’s say 5/10 minutes every hour. This will ease the pressure on your lower back for a while and give you a sense of relief.
Every minute you spend sitting down (especially if you assume a bad posture) will compress your spine and only increase the pain overtime.
It is also important that you basically change your posture continually during the day. You should sit regularly for most of the time, but keeping the same exact posture all day is not good either. Try and switch positions every now and then, sit reclined and declined for shorter periods of time.
As you might have understood, the main concept here is to stay active, you want your back to remain flexible and avoid the muscles to stiffen.
This is also why you experience lower back pain after sleeping for some time. Although you’re laying down it’s not good for your back to be in the same position for too long, in regards to sleep, you can try one of the solutions I mentioned before.
I am not a doctor so you should take these as simple advices, this is what, from my own experience (well, Dennis’), has been working so far to relieve the pain.
Stretching is probably the most important thing you can do to get some relief. It allows your soft tissues such as muscles and ligaments to do what they are designed to do, move.
As mentioned before, staying still and limiting the movements can make things worse. It might take a few weeks to fully mobilize your body but after some time you should start to feel a little better.
A few things to keep in mind before you start going crazy with the stretching are:
So here’s the top stretching exercises:
Lay down on your stomach keeping your elbows bent under you, your hands should lay with palms on the surface. Keep your hips and pelvis against the surface and lift up your torso only with your arms. Do this a few times and only go as far as you can without feeling any pain. During each repetition, hold the upper position for at least 10 seconds and up to 30.
lay down on your back with both knees bent and use your hands to grab one leg at a time (grab from the back of your leg) and pull it towards your chest. Try doing this with both legs at the same time.
Stay on your hands and knees and get down till your buttocks are laying on your heels. Reach forward with your hands in order to stretch the middle area of your back. You can reach with your hands a few inches, keep the position, reach another few inches and so on until you get to the maximum stretch position.
As the name states, you’re going to do the same thing a cat does when it’s angry
On your hands and knees, arch your back upwards basically taking the spine away from the surface. This is called lumbar flexion. The same stretch can be done for a lumbar extension, which is the opposite. Instead of arching your back, just bend it towards the table. You might do both or choose one, it depends on how comfortable you are with each.
These are, in our opinion the best stretching exercises to ease lower back pain.
Check out the following video for more stretch exercises
Now let’s take a look at some other remedies!
This kind of painkillers like ibuprofen and aspirin are pretty useful to relieve the inflammation on a chemical level. You should always use them with caution and it’s better to avoid giving aspirin to children.
Both heat and ice can be good for back pain treatment, you can try these following tips and see what works best:
In regards to ice techniques you can try the Frozen towel – wet a towel, put it inside a plastic bag and into the freezer for a few minutes. Take it out and place it on the lower back for some time, this should provide relief.
Other things you could use are common ice packs, frozen vegetables bags etc
Some nice heat treatment methods are:
A few other very useful therapies you can try if the above solutions aren’t working are massages, spinal manipulation and acupuncture.
You need to be careful with these, they can produce great results but also be dangerous if you suffer from back injury. Make sure you check out with your doctor to find out if this is a good fit.
This ancient Chinese remedy uses tiny needles to hit specific pressure points on your body and can basically give you a sense of relief. Many people have reportedly experienced great benefits such as increased mobility and diminished pain using acupuncture for lower back pain treatment.
In addition to these remedies and therapy methods there are objects in your everyday life that have a strict correlation with back discomfort.
If we talk about shoes for example, the best shoes if you’re suffering from lower back pain must follow these few principles:
And this is all guys! Hopefully you’re fine with your back and are not suffering from any form of back disease or injury. But if you do, simply try and apply these guidelines to your daily routine, I’m pretty confident you’ll see some nice improvements and, with time, feel better
Today’s society is always on edge. People live their lives frantically, desperately struggling to speed through the rat race as fast as possible to get to the supposed finish line. Very few people take the time to slow down for a moment, and most don’t even have the luxury of doing so. With the indentured servitude expected of us in this society that has cast us aside, one must constantly be on edge, well prepared and well energized, to tackle the trials and tribulations of their daily life.
There are many sources of energy these days with which to boost your work flow. As a mother of two I am more than aware of the plethora of energy drinks offered in gas stations and concessions stores, energy drinks my children regularly ingest. You have your Red Bull, your Full Throttle, your Rock Star, 5 Hour Energy, and NOS….these citrus flavored beverages, while rather delicious, are basically carbonated sugar and vitamins served in a very unhealthy concoction that feels almost unnaturally effective. Enter natural energy supplements.
The first natural energy booster I’m gonna talk about and get out of the way is exercise. Simply put, with constantly more demanding work schedules, people end up living entire years primarily sitting in an office chair staring at a computer screen. This is simply not healthy. One must implement a regular exercise regiment in their week-to-week life for optimal health.
Humans in our modern day luxuries, at least here in the States, are no longer required to hunt animals to eat. We are no longer required to gather food, to fish at streams. Everything is streamlined – movies are streamed on the internet, so there is no longer any need to take a drive to the nearest Blockbuster’s to snag a few VHS tapes. Pizza’s and delicious Chinese food are delivered right to our door, and fast food restaurants have drive-thru’s enabling you to sit in your car and not even walking into the restaurant.
The point of all this is to say, we simply do not exercise like we used to. We sit glued to our computer screens watching Youtube and World Star Hip Hop videos. Others sit glued to their television sets binge-watching the entire series of Breaking Bad and catching up on episodes of Supernatural. Still others sit glued at their television sets playing admittedly addictive video games like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Hotline Miami. Lord knows my kids play these games all the time! And I have to admit, they look pretty intriguing! But at some point you gotta say “Get outside and run around!”
Research conducted at the University of Georgia concluded that sedentary but healthy adults reported feeling less tired and more full of energy after implementing as little as 20 minutes of light to moderate exercise 3 days a week for 6 consecutive weeks.
Research has reportedly shown that as much as one in four people suffer from general fatigue that isn’t caused by a known medical condition. Still, it’s good to remember that fatigue CAN be a symptom of a variety of health problems, even some serious health conditions like cancer or heart disease.
The US Department of Health and Human Services offers the following exercise guidelines to enjoy general health and wellness benefits: At least 2 and a half hours of moderate intensity exercise ever week. This could be gardening, jogging, hitting the gym or even simply walking. You’d be surprised at how much a mile of walking daily can do for your general mood and energy levels.
For the more physically fit adults out there, it is suggested that 75 minutes of vigorous physical activities are implement every week. This could be swimming laps, hitting the weight room with heavy lifts, hiking on grueling nature trails, or speed walking can offer better benefits.
Case in point – start working out to get you out of an unexplained energy funk.
Your diet will have a profound effect on your overall energy levels. Instead of rushing to the bodega at the corner of your street to guzzle down a deliciously unhealthy Red Bull or Monster energy drink, why not consider a healthy, nutritious meal? I know, it takes a while to cook, to prep the meal and to bake it. Cooking can be an arduous process. But let me let you in on a few foods that can help boost your energy.
Coffee is naturally the first beverage that springs to peoples mind when they think of energy, even before the aforementioned Red Bulls, Monsters, NOS, and other energy drinks. Needless to say if you’re seeking a quick energy boost to give you that edge in the morning, caffeine is well-known to be very effective. America runs on Dunkin’s, after all. Coffee is shown to be an effective pick-me-up for improving energy levels, exercise performance, and mental focus. If you’re looking for that natural energy drink, look no further.
The yolks in eggs are naturally rich in B vitamins. One of the primary roles the B vitamins are responsible for is converting food into energy, so you can likely see the correlation of how eggs can be a great source for energy. Eggs are also rich with Vitamin D, which helps maintain strong bones. Eggs are also a great source of protein, and are a staple in the diets of athletes and weight lifters. In any case, eggs are a great breakfast to give you that extra boost of energy in the morning.
Water should go without saying, but I’m gonna mention it despite the obviousness. Water is essential. Staying hydrated is essential for overall well being and health. Lots of folks stay in a constant state of dehydration due to the saturated food and carbonated soft drinks they imbibe. I’ve always found waking up and drinking two big glasses of water is a great way to break the fast of the night time. You’ll feel immediately revitalized and ready to tackle your day if you do this daily! There might be a few all natural energy drinks out there, but water is the most important of them all!
Trail mix is a deliciously nutritious snack. My kids are huge fans of it, it’s a great healthy alternative to Milky Way or Snickers bars. The nutritional value of trail mix is due to its idealistic combo of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Refined carbs void of fiber quickly break down into glucose for short bursts of energy. But the fiber in trail mix alleviates this shortness, giving more longevity to the energy boost. This is because fiber slows down glucose-release, making that burst of energy a slower, longer endearing process. Protein also slows down metabolism of carbs in a similar way to glucose and its effects on carbs. The best part is, you can make trail mix of your own! Avoid the M&M’s entirely and use dried up fruit instead.
Sleeping well is also imperative to maintain good energy levels as you function on day-to-day life. But insomnia plagues many people across the world, and still others oversleep to the point of exhaustion. Maintaining a healthy and regular sleep schedule is essential in remaining energized throughout the day and avoiding the commonly dread “crash” many fight off towards night time.
Supplements like Melatonin can help you catch those Z’s quicker. If you are using the internet for hours on end daily, you might also want to invest your time in downloading the free program f.lux. What f.lux does is ‘soften’ the lighting of your computer’s screen to match the sunlight intensity outside. Once the sun sets, f.lux will increase the warmth of your computer screen. This is actually a huge benefit in not only fighting off insomnia, it’s also healthy for the eyes, as staring at the brightness of a computer screen late into the night is unhealthy for one’s iris’s.
Now to the section you’ve all been probably waiting for, the supplements section. If you’re looking for that quick boost, there’s a number of options for you to get into. Taking a trip to the Vitamin Shoppe or GNC to snag some supplements may seem like a nice shortcut, but you have to realize that supplements are not a figurative silver bullet for energy deficiency and regular fatigue. The reason I saved this section for the end of the article, in fact, is because supplements are just that, supplemental. To maintain good energy levels and overall good health and well-being, you must simultaneously implement a balanced diet, regular exercise, and healthy sleeping habits. Otherwise, no amount of supplements will give you the boost of energy you’re looking for.
Magnesium is a mineral naturally present in rather large amounts in the human body. The average person’s body contains roughly 25 grams of magnesium. 50% of this magnesium is located in the bones. Magnesium is necessary in breaking down glucose to energy, so it is good to eat the recommended daily intake of 350 mg for men and 300 mg for women. Fish, whole grains, almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews are all rich in magnesium content.
Vitamin B complex consists of the 8 B vitamins. B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. These vitamins play a very important role in maintaining our bodies, and are essential nutrients. B vitamins assist turning food into fuel, and can no doubt help you stay energized and focused all day long!
Creatine occurs naturally in vertebrates. It is a nitrogenous organic acid that helps supply energy to every cell in the body. Creatine is particularly important in muscle function, and is oftentimes used as a supplement for athletes and weight-lifters.
Amino acids are also a very important nutrient essential in the functionality of the human body. The 4 amino acids most effective in energizing are Glutamine, Phenylalanine, Tryptophan, and Tyrosine.
These are just a few of many vitamins that can help boost your overall energy and fight off fatigue. One should feel obligated to take a multivitamin and multi-mineral supplements for overall wellness. Also remember what I mentioned earlier, as I cannot say this enough times – healthiness ties into energy levels. Fatigue can be something as simple as laziness, or something slightly more serious like dehydration or malnourishment. Keep your diet healthy and be mindful of what you eat.
Also remember to instill a regular sleep schedule and maintain it – don’t under sleep, and certainly don’t oversleep! Also remember to exercise regularly – these keeps the body moving, functioning. How can you be expected to have a ton of energy on command when you never exercise or do anything other than watch TV? Follow these basic guidelines and you’ll be on your way to optimal energy levels in no time!
When Dennis and I decided we were going to live on the road, one of the first questions we had to face was how we were going to educate our kids. Fact is, we generally try to avoid standards, we love experiencing new ways of doing things and living life in general.
What we did was go online and look for information on homeschooling. We were surprised by the lack of actual useful and actionable tips, we were in a hurry. That’s why I’m writing this article, you might be taking our same path, not knowing were to look or what do do. If you’re new to homeschooling and are wondering if this stuff works, keep reading
Homeschooling for us comes in two different ways, you as a family need to decide which one to take. Some people prefer to simply take their child’s curiosity and interest in a topic and help him/her develop that topic, basically study what’s important for the kid, when it is important for the kid. With time every aspect of common education will probably be covered but it’s going to happen at the child’s pace.
The other method is probably the most common and less “exciting” (that’s also why we went with the first). Basically you just buy all the books and follow a specific curriculum (more on this later), the difference here is just that you are teaching it at home.
From our perspective, people learn best when they are motivated. The same goes for your kids, if you force them to learn something chances are they’ll probably do the opposite and want to go play… this is why we believe homeschooling works (at least with method one) you don’t set rules, you guide the child through the learning process as he actually wants to learn.
You might be asking yourself “what do I need to know to homeschool?”, well it’s pretty simple, in fact you don’t need any specific certification. All you need is a lot of motivation first of all; both the teachers and the student must be fully committed and ready to go on to a lot of research. Perseverance is another important quality as most of the above mentioned research might not be a walk in the park.
What you should do first is to get informed, go to your local library or directly to your lawyer and find out what are your state’s regulations regarding school attendance, private schools and homeschooling or tutoring. You’d basically want to know what are your legal alternatives to common school attendance.
You’ll find most of what you need there and you will gain confidence in knowing the laws yourself. Most school officials will probably have wrong or incomplete versions of the laws and if you are aware of it, you can speak to them with more authority.
Another option is to write your state representatives asking them to send you the related laws and explaining them that you are interested in homeschooling your child. This will help you get your letter through to some education official who probably wouldn’t even consider it if it was sent by you directly.
The one thing you would want to avoid, is to ask directly to school offices. Most of the times they know absolutely nothing about parents teaching their kids so you might as well save yourself some time.
Being often on the road, it’s not always easy to plan out a schedule for the kids. You’ve got to make room for everything, fit the program, activities and free time into the whole thing. That’s why we like to make a strategic yearly plan at the beginning of each school year, which is usually late august.
The one thing we usually do is a sort of mind mapping, we brain storm ideas, subjects, activities and overall goals we want our kids to be achieving by the end of the year. After that, comes the easiest part, which is just setting up the calendar. I usually do that, as Dennis is busy running our little busyness but I gotta say I actually enjoy a bit of planning and organizing here and there.
One thing you have to be aware of, (and it is part of your research to gather this kind of information) is that some states require a school year to be of at least 180 instruction days. We usually set this up in two ways:
Then you basically can structure vacation days or other plans around that.
What you are probably interested in tho, is a typical homeschool daily schedule and I’ve put up an example just for you
This is how we usually set up our days:
And this is one typical homeschooling day for the Andreson’s!
When we first started homeschooling Sunny and Juliet we were totally overwhelmed by the amount of programs, methods and courses that we found online, we had no idea where to start, which one to choose and whether or not that specific option was going to be a scam or a good choice. So yeah, this is basically the guide that i would have wanted to read at the time haha!
Because I know what you’re struggling with, I’m going to make it simple. There are a few good and well known methods for homeschooling around, all you have to do to choose the right one for your family is answer a few basic questions:
Each one of these points has a different interpretation, which ultimately lead to one of the methods that I am going to list out. The best approaches to homeschooling we found through our research are:
What you could do now is maybe write your answers to the previous questions on a piece of paper or something and keep it close while reading the next few sections. When you’ll see that some of the options meet a few or all of your answers; that is going to be your choice
The CM method (I’m just going to abbreviate it like this from now on) is based on a few basic concepts:
Classical Education is a term commonly thrown around in discussions about home schooling. Classical education curriculum basically divides the learning into three separate phases – the grammar stage, the dialectic stage, and the rhetoric stage.
In the grammar step, the students will be taught various words and terms associated with a subject. This is vocabulary based learning. The younger children certainly enjoy this particular step of the classical education home school – they enjoy singing songs with infectiously catchy melodies, chanting rhythmic rhymes, and even pronouncing new, bigger words. Think of the grammar stage as the initial lesson, the preliminary knowledge kids will use as the foundation for future lessons. This stage provides the building blocks for later lessons, be they in English, Science, Math, Geography, or other courses.
The next step is the Dialectic Step, or as it’s more commonly referred to, the Logic Stage. In the dialectic stage / logic stage, questions are asked, options are weighed and compared, and the knowledge learned in the grammar stage is put to the test. Much of the work done in the dialectic stage is accomplished through dialogue between student and teacher. This is a good time for the student to pick the teachers brain, and the teacher to test how much the student has learned from the teachings.
Lastly is the Rhetoric Step. The Rhetoric Step involves communication between teacher and student through writing, speech, and conversation to get to the truths associated with what was learned in the Grammar Step and Dialectic Step / Logic Step. Essentially what the students wants to do is use what they’ve learned to solve a problem, engage in a discussion, or write a paper or speech.
In this section I’ll be writing a general overview of the eclectic method for home schooling. Eclectic homeschooling is just as it sounds – it’s diverse, it’s unique, and there’s always something new to do. It keeps the learning fun and light, and many children seem to respond very favorably to these methods.
Eclectic home schooling is diverse in it’s educational approach. It’s a very flexible and relaxed approach. This allows the parents and children to personally pick and choose which curriculum that intrigues them most. While some might consider this rather unorthodox, it allows the parents and kids to pick the lessons and methods that best suit their personal learning styles and passions.
This is a way to make school appeal more to the children. If you’re expecting this method to be a stack of text books and pop quizzes, you’d be surprised upon doing more research how much more it is than that. Field trips, extracurricular activities, hikes through nature, and more can be utilized in this flexible and relaxed schooling method.
The world itself is the best teacher – experience will always trump tests and quizzes. Living day to day and experiencing the world as it is will gain one more knowledge than simply regurgitated memorized information from a book.
The Montessori homeschool method for homeschooling is an approach developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian educator and physician. This teaching method is characterized by an emphasis on freedom (with limits), independence, and respect for the innocent nature of a child’s psychological, physical, and social development.
Montessori education celebrated mixed age classrooms – classrooms for children ranging from the ages two to six years old are the most prevalent. The students themselves have a choice in the activities they participate in, chosen from a variety of options offered by the teacher.
Generally students work in uninterrupted blocks of time, the ideal time being around three hours. The discovery model is implement, in which students learn concepts from hands on experience and actually working with materials, as opposed to direct instruction and the memorization of outdated textbooks.
There are other, specialized educational materials that were developed my Montessori and her associates. It is for this reason a trained educator with Montessori certification should be present to lead the class.
Fundamentally, Montessori curriculum is based off a model for human development. The educational approach is based directly off of that model, the two basic principles of which are:
Children and developing adults engaging in psychological self-construction via interaction within their environments, and….
Children staying true to an innate path of psychological development – in other words, as Montessori philosophy dictates, children (primarily those under the age of 6) given the freedom to choose and act on their own accord, supplemented by light guidance, would result in optimal development. This is a valued commodity behind the Montessori homeschool curriculum.
The Unit Study method generally integrates various fields together cohesively, as opposed to dividing them into separate subjects to be studied at different points during the course of the day. Instead of the separation of various fields, students undergoing homeschool unit studies will learn about history, math, art, science, literature, music together – how their relationships integrated together serve a core organizing principle.
Unit study is certainly a unique method of learning. Students go really in-depth with what they are learning, maintaining the interrelatedness of the Unit Study disciplines. Say your child has shown an interest in learning an instrument. Utilize the unit study approach by tackling various areas of education within a single subject.
Say little Billy wants to learn to play the guitar. Explain to them the mathematics of guitar tabs. Have them read literature about the history of the instrument. They could learn some geography in tracking the evolution of blues, whilst simultaneously learning more history. You could even take a nice field-trip to a concert of a legendary musician. Then have them practice their writing and grammar by submitting to you a report on their favorite musicians. See what I’m getting at?
The following is certainly one of the more interesting of the methods of teaching I’ll be writing about today. It is called “Unschooling” and it’s a philosophy that rejects schools as a primary means or focus to provide children with an education. Those who are educated via the unschooled method learn through organically occurring, natural life experiences.
Unschooling curriculum can include a multitude of activities or pursuits. For a few examples, perhaps the child will learn discipline doing chores around the house, interpersonal communication skills during play time with other children in the neighborhood or relatives, the pursuit of hobbies and personal interests will have them educated more in-depth on subjects they find rewarding to study and pursue.
Also, hands on work and real life experience can be attained through travel, internships, work experience, and more. Nothing teaches a carpenter how to build a house properly than actually applying the 16 on center and hammering the nails home themselves.
Courses actually can be integrated alongside this real world experience focus of unschooling. The entire philosophy behind the method, however, questions the usefulness of your mainstream curriculum. The philosophy also questions the effectiveness of conventional grading methods.
Although unschooling may seem like a much needed breath of fresh air for many (including John Holt, widely considered the father of the philosophy), there are many detractors of the method. The mainstream media oftentimes addresses homeschooling, but very rarely (if ever) is unschooling brought up. Many consider to view unschooling as an extreme educational philosophy, suggesting unschooled children will lack the social skills, structure, and motivation of those children attending regular schools.
In this section we will go over the Waldorf Method as applied to home schooling. The Waldorf student doesn’t just read about music, dance, theater, writing, literature, and history. They simply do not regurgitate memorized facts on pop quizzes and tests on these subject matters. Instead, Waldorf curriculum necessitates students to experience these subjects first hands. It is through these real world, applicable experiences that Waldorf students are enabled to champion a lifelong joy of learning and education.
When learning is derived almost entirely from real world experience, individuals can enjoy the intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual capacities to stand independent of any sort of educational indoctrination. The Waldorf method prides itself on allowing the students to be certain of the path in life they wish to stride down – it’s all about each unique individual finding their own way, marching to the beat of their own drum.
The Waldorf homeschool method certainly isn’t for everyone. Much like unschooling, this method has it’s detractors. Those who champion the Waldorf homeschool curriculum are rather passionate in their defense of the methods and educational benefits that can be derived from their practice.
All in all, the Waldorf method approaches all aspects of education in a unique and effective fashion.
Waldorf curriculum is designed to meet various facets of childhood development. Waldorf teachers have the common goal to create a genuine enthusiasm in students for learning, and feel that this enthusiasm is a requisite for educational success.
Now that we’ve touched upon a healthy variety of home schooling methods, let’s move on to homeschooling pros and cons. In ancient civilizations, how were kids raised and educated? It was done by parents. In this day and age a lot of parents go on autopilot and allow television, video games, the internet, and public schools do all the teaching.
In my humble opinion it’s imperative of a parent to bestow personal wisdom and knowledge unto their child. This is from blood to blood, from one relative to the other. The amount of I’ve learned from my relatives, particularly my dear old Aunt Beatrice, is very apparent to me.
Think about it…if you were to homeschool your kid, you’d be in control of what your children is learning and when. You could make the overall presentation and atmosphere of education fun, whilst simultaneously intimately strengthening your bond and influence over your children. You can also hone in on their talent zones, really give them more incentive to work hard and learn harder by focusing on their passions and hobbies.
But just as there are benefits to homeschooling, there are also some disadvantages of homeschooling as well. You’ll be forced to spend a LOT of time with your child, and this may get in the way of other activities. You’ll also have to defend your decision to home school your child to those who don’t agree with home schooling. You’d also have to spend a healthy amount of money on home-schooling your child.
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and home school your child. What kind of Homeschool supplies will you need? Where do you get home schooling materials? And how much will these home school supplies and materials run you?
You’re obviously gonna need a bunch of supplies to get the most out of your manual education. But what are the most commonly needed supplies for home schooling?
So how exactly do you go about finding the best homeschool curriculum? This you gotta find out for yourself. Invest some time with your family, see what interests your children have. Does your son enjoy kung-fu flicks? Sign him up for karate classes and implement it weekly into the education curriculum you devise! What about if he wants to play an instrument like the guitar? Guitar lessons would be a great source of education on many levels. How about if you have a daughter who really enjoys fashion? Have her learn how to knit, crochet and sew, to design her own clothes.
Basically you want to hone in on the key interests your children have and expand on that field. Find relevant twists on your standard school subjects and apply them to those hobbies and passions. This not only allows the child to flourish in their ambitions and develop talent, it also provides them an opportunity to enjoy the educational process. This will in turn strengthen their intellectual resolve.
You also have to ask yourself, what do YOU want to teach your kids? Maybe your kids haven’t shown an interest in music, but you are killer at acoustic guitar and feel obligated to pass down this talent and your instruments to your daughter or son. Perhaps you want to teach them ways to best cope in modern day society, how to avoid the pit falls of the rat race and to enjoy themselves beyond a dull, indoctrinated existence. It’s all up to YOU.
Ah, Kindergarten and Preschool. What a fun age this is, and such an important time in the development of a child. It is said by some that this is the age a personality and moral foundation is developed. These personality traits are ones a child could very well live the rest of their lives with.
There are actually a number of free preschool and kindergarten curriculum’s available online that be found after a simple Google search. It is best to thoroughly research each available option, and tweak them as much as possible to best benefit your child and their particular whims and talents. Remember, one of the best reasons to home school a child is to help them develop intellectually in a fashion that is symbiotic with their personal interests and talents. This not only makes the teaching and learning a more lubricated experience, it also allows the child to develop skills that may very well enable them to change the very world we all live in.
Some of the basic fields you should consider teaching your kid regardless of their personal talents would be the standard reading, art, math, history, and science. You’re going to want to develop their ability to speak, write, and understand the language. This is where it all starts – the ability to write thoughts down, to better express oneself. Bear that in mind before getting too carried away with Little Billy’s raging guitar skills.
What is a homeschool diploma, and how do you get one? There are many places online that offer homeschool diplomas. Whether you have just two students or are planning the graduation of an entire class, perhaps for a religious school, you can find websites via Google to help you in getting diplomas for all of your students.
Though they are not generally accredited, homeschool diplomas are a visual, physical depiction of one’s efforts in education and their passing grade in the overall class and course material. You’re going to want to also provide a transcript for your students, whether or not you feel it is necessary it is best to have back up contingencies in place due to the fact homeschool diplomas are not accredited.
There’s an adult swim show I watch with my kids, a bit of a guilty pleasure, called the Venture Bros. Both the kids in the show are dragged through horrible and dangerous scenarios, and the entire thing is a spoof on the cartoons and comic books I grew up with in the 70’s. Anyways, the two brothers actually learn while they sleep in their beds. They literally have a computer linked into these sort of pod like beds, and their grandfather (a deceased, but brilliant scientist) teaches them all kinds of information…although the videos were recorded for the father and not the grand children. In any case, later on in the show, a few seasons in, they “Graduate” from the learning beds and receive diplomas.
Before any parent decides to skip the public schooling and get their brains dirty, they tend to ask themselves how much does homeschooling cost? And the homeschooling cost is certainly a great question, considering it should be a big factor in considering this as the way to educate your children.
One must realize, there is no real answer to “how much is homeschooling.” In fact, I’d say the cost is more a time over finances sort of thing. Think about it – you’re investing your personal time into the raising of your child or children. You are personally attending to their social and intellectual development, giving them the building blocks they will use throughout their entire lives. So what of the cost?
The key isn’t to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on educational props and curriculum’s and supplies. You’re goal isn’t to drop a few grand in your local Staple’s. It’s to give your child the education they deserve, the education you wish them to have for them to succeed and flourish based off of their unique personalities, interests, and talents.
So instead of questioning how much it’ll cost in money, instead ask how much it will cost in time, mental strain, patience, and energy. Being a teacher is a huge responsibility, always remember that before embarking on your homeschooling journey.
So that’s it, hopefully we’ve been of any help to you on deciding whether to homeschool your kids or not. It for sure is something that you, as a parent, need to put a lot of thinking into. Homeschooling is a life experience above all else, it can shape the future of your children and give them a meaningful, fun and remarkable youth they won’t forget.
So that’s it, hopefully we’ve been of any help to you on deciding whether to homeschool your kids or not. It for sure is something that you, as a parent, need to put a lot of thinking into. Homeschooling is a life experience above all else, it can shape the future of your children and give them a meaningful, fun and remarkable youth they won’t forget.
Lord knows that as a parent of two and a full-time internet blogger, I’m usually completely swamped. Busy would be an understatement considering the amount of time I spend daily writing and attending to my darling kids.
Keeping two children entertained beyond constant television, video games, and internet surfing can prove to be a burdensome task in this day and age. With the steady rise of technology that offers entertainment with an efficiency unheard of in decades past, attention spans are steadily dropping.
As the games get flashier and more violent, and as the explosions in movies grow higher with every Michael Bay film release, children seem glued to their devices, locked away in their rooms, never exploring the outdoors like their parents did before them.
Outdoor party games are a great way to break the funk of technology obsession that has this generation of youngsters in a choke hold. Getting your kids to put down their PlayStation 4, Wii U and Xbox One controllers to run amok outside may seem like quite the daunting task. This is even trickier with teenagers – what kind of outdoor games for teenagers could possibly drag them away from their Netflix binge-watching and the constant stream of information and entertainment available on the world wide web?
In this first section I’m going to give you a small checklist of fun outdoors activities that can not only entertain the youngest of your flock, be them in their toddlers or pre-teens, but also activities that can even intrigue the more angst-ridden teenagers in your family.
Camps for teenagers have to be one of the best options available. Just think back to the classic Judd Apatow flick, “Heavy Weights,” and how much fun those portly rapscallions had during the course of the movie. Not only did they exercise and eat healthily, they all grew as people, forming new friendships and forging memories that will likely last a lifetime.
Youth camps can come in a variety of forms, so here’s a quick breakdown of a few of the options available.
Some summer camp activities for teenagers include swimming, fire-building,survival skills, tracking, and even more. Summer camp activities for kids are lesssurvival based, and more centered around having fun and forging beneficial interpersonal communication skills that will benefit your kids for the rest of their lives.
Many parents might feel apprehensive to send their kids to overnight camps. This may be in light of late night viewings of classic horror flicks like Sleepaway Camp and Friday the 13th, or it may be due to other reasons. In any case, I actually recommend sending your kids to these summer sleep away camps for several reasons.
Not least of all, you’ll get a bit of YOU time! Why not make it a win-win situation and take a break for the kids for a while? Spend some of that time on some much earned relaxation, because everyone knows being a parent is a full-time job! Better yet, have a romantic evening with your spouse without having to worry about making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Teen overnight camps are beneficial in other ways, as well. It’s not only trusting your children and teenagers to function in society without you guiding them, it’s also instilling valuable life lessons. Just being in the outdoors, soaking in the sun rays and Vitamin D naturally, letting the nutrients of the Earth below soak in through the soles of ones bare feet…it’s a healthy experience for the mind, body and soul.
As mentioned earlier, female exclusive camps exist, so for fathers nervous sending their daughters away for a weekend, sleepaway camps for girls would be a much wiser option.
As mentioned earlier in the article, summer camps exist with more direct concentrations. Perhaps your child has behavioral issues you could stand to fix, or perhaps their weight is getting out of control and you fear for their health and physical well being. The options you have here would be summer camps for troubled teens and weight loss camps for teens, respectively.
Summer camp for troubled teens can be just the thing to break your kid out of a rut. Perhaps school has become a mental burden causing them great stress and psychological fatigue. Or maybe it’s those teenage hormones and the side-effects of puberty causing your kid to act out. In any case, summer camps for trouble youth can be highly beneficial in helping your kid learn discipline, respect for others, and pull them out of the rut causing them to act out.
Weight loss camps for teens is obviously directed at shaving off the pounds. These camps generally implement daily exercise regiments and educate the campers on the best dietary courses of action they can take to start losing weight and getting into shape.
Obesity is a growing concern in America, and the obesity rates are only getting higher. I personally think this is largely due to constant video gaming, internet surfing and television watching. Kids are getting lazier and lazier, stationary in their rooms, borderline hypnotized by technology to the point they only venture outside to go to school. Outdoors activities are a great way to kick-start the metabolism!
To live a happy and fulfilling life, one must embrace healthy socializing and companionship. It is for this reason I’d like to bring up games for team building. The group teamwork games will help teach your child how to work as part of a team, an imperative art one can only learn through experience.
Indoor team building games are on way to get the kids working together mutually. Perhaps you can invest in some mind-benders like giant puzzles. Buy a half dozen different Star Wars Lego sets and have your kids construct a scene from the films, like the Battle of Hoth.
Great team building activities can extend beyond just construction and puzzles, though. Perhaps your kids all play different instruments – invest in a home studio and help them record their debut EP. It could prove to be an artistically rewarding experience and who knows, maybe you’ll groom the next Frank Zappa or Jimi Hendrix!
Team building ideas for teens are rather easy to come up with. Why not have them do some renovations in the home? That old carpet covered in pet stains could prove to be an awesome activity for the teens to work on – install a hardwood floor! Pay them for their efforts, and they’ll realize a hard work ethic is a rewarding mindset to maintain.
Outdoor team building games are even more fun. You can do a round of capture the flag, a bit of paintball, ultimate Frisbee – no matter what game you choose, they’ll certainly be getting fresh air and exercise! And as for outdoor team building activities, a new shed for dad would be nice!
To sum it all up, your children would highly benefit from some genuine fun. After all we only get one life to live, why waste it inside the house playing video games when there’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored, experienced and lived
Anxiety can hit when you least expect it. As a mother of two kids I not only deal with anxiety myself personally, but have also seen my children in the clutches of anxiety attacks as well. But what causes anxiety? And what are the symptoms of anxiety disorder?
It is rather important to note that the effects of your average, regular stress is much different than the effects of an anxiety disorder. Normal worry doesn’t get in the way of your life, of completing daily tasks and responsibilities. With an anxiety disorder you are resoundingly distracted, which in turn can greatly disrupt your social, professional, and home lives.
The fact is, anxiety effects people on emotional, behavioral, and physical levels, and can greatly disrupt the flow and value of someone’s daily life. These anxiety disorders can befall upon people of any age.
As I mentioned earlier, as a mother of two I am basically preselected by fate to deal with the burden of anxiety. This applies to pretty much any parent, if you ask me! At least it certainly does for good parents. So I thought I’d touch upon anxiety as it specifically pertains to women.
Unfortunately, many women tend to operate in a perpetual state of low anxiety, of constant worry. This is referred to as generalized anxiety, and it tends to intensify during certain points of psychological stress or biological change, such as during puberty or menopause. It is during these times that generalized anxiety intensifies into something more severe, such as phobia, anxiety disorders or full-on panic attacks.
Anxiety symptoms in women are pretty similar to regular anxiety as it effects everyone else. Muscle tension and headaches, an overwhelming feeling of fear or dread that is completely irrational, chest pains, heightened heart rate or heart palpitations, insomnia. One afflicted with anxiety might also become nauseous, or even suffer bouts of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, or GI distress.
Women suffering from anxiety will also deal with a feeling of fullness. Some might experience chest pressure or shortness of breath. Other symptoms of anxiety in women include mood swings, jumpiness, shakiness, and overall irritability. Sudden changes in body temperature may also occur, from feeling hot to feeling cold, or even hot flashes.
It is also worth noting that 20 – 30% of people suffering from anxiety disorders are simultaneously suffering from depression.
Most of my anxiety and stress has been based around my kids, worrying about them as any parent usually does. Other than the kids (who are wonderful and not intentional sources of anxiety), traveling can sometimes cause a bit of anxiety as well. Traveling the world is both amazing and frightening at times.
Another source of anxiety has been starting the online business. It can be stressful attempting to build a business from the ground up, and arguably even more so on the internet, where there is millions of competitors out there trying to get their businesses off the ground as well.
The biggest source of anxiety in a lot of women might just be menopause. My dear Aunt Beatrice suffers from menopause and she has been known to go off-the-rails crazy during this period. I might tease her when she’s stable, but when she’s suffering from anxiety and depression? Yeesh, look out.
I feel for my dear old Aunt Beatrice, bless her heart, because it is known that hormonal changes have a proven connection to psychiatric symptoms. During hormonal changes such as puberty or menopause, us women have a higher risk to particular psychiatric disorders, and are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. So I’ve toned down my teasing of Aunt Betty, but every now and again we still rib her a bit. Menopause and anxiety…a volatile pairing if ever there was one. That could even be the name of a crust punk band.
My husband suffers a bit from anxiety as well. He’s the rock of the house, usually solid and not quick to share his feelings or thoughts. He doesn’t like to show weakness, unlike the rather timid and limp wristed men of the current generation of young adults. He’s a man of his time – unbent, unbowed and unbroken.
Anxiety symptoms for men are pretty much the same as they are for women. Anxiety in general seems to effect everyone the same way, overall.
Anxiety is even more common in men than depression. 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety at some point in their lives, whether they refuse to show it or talk about it like a real man or cry about it like the fragile and pampered youths of today. Anxiety can be a very serious condition, much like depression, but most men don’t let it dictate their lives.
Most men that suffer from anxiety have these feelings churn up during high-pressure situations. Some might be afraid to speak or perform to a crowd, others might be worried about a crucial work deadline that could get them that raise they’ve deserved for the last decade, or even something more simple like going to the doctors office for a checkup.
I’d say the biggest source of anxiety for my husband has to be our daughter, though. As any good father should be, he is extremely protective of our daughter.
Anxiety disorders can even effect children. In fact, in this day and age of rampant over-medication of children with drugs like benzodiazepines and amphetamines, with a media that glorifies indentured servitude to corporations through propaganda and fear mongering, and a country who’s elected officials and politicians have abandoned the very people they were elected to serve, it’s no wonder all the children don’t have anxiety.
Anxiety disorders in children are less common than they are in adult males. Only 1 in 8 children suffer from anxiety regularly, but it is a normal part of childhood. Every child can go through their anxious phases, but it’s no cause for alarm as this is only temporary. This isn’t the case for those children with disorders.
Children who suffer from an anxiety disorder generally experience nervousness and shyness, even fear. This can cause them to start avoiding certain public places or even activities they used to enjoy. A child who merely gets scared after watching a horror movie may be easy to reassure, but if the child has an existing anxiety condition it will be much harder to reassure them and help them doze off into a peaceful nights sleep.
It’s good to get children with anxiety disorder treated, as some research indicates untreated children suffering from anxiety are at a higher risk to do poorly in school, have more likeliness to engage in substance abuse and are more likely to miss out on important social experiences.
Many people who suffer from anxiety oftentimes wonder, “How can I avoid being anxious?” I imagine that is a very common inquiry doctors and therapists alike encounter, how to stop anxiety attacks. On how to overcome anxiety, and how to effectively utilize anxiety attack relief.
There is no sure-fire way to stop an anxiety attack dead in it’s tracks. Just like there is no magical pill to make you lose 25 pounds or magical multivitamin that ensures guaranteed psychical health and well being, there is no magical cure for anxiety. It takes time and effort. Here’s a few things that can surely help out though:
This is only a handful of ways to combat anxiety.
This is apparently a common course of action people consider taking when they are looking to put a stop to anxiety. Many people look to acupuncture, an ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine, in hopes of alleviating their anxiety symptoms and getting some peace of mind. But can acupuncture help with depression? And is acupuncture good for anxiety?
The concept of acupuncture is to stimulate specific points in the body in an attempt to correct any existing imbalance in the flow of energy, or Qi, through channels referred to as meridians. The imbalances in energy flow are said to be caused on our daily interactions with the five elements – fire, water, earth, wood, and metal. Apparently how one interacts with these elements dictates a profound effect on internal organs.
So….can acupuncture help depression? Is acupuncture for anxiety a pipe dream? I believe that acupuncture for depression and anxiety can work on certain individuals. It helped my Aunt Beatrice, and it also helped my husband. Two out of two ain’t bad! And it can’t hurt to at least try it out.
So what is the cost of acupuncture? The acupuncture cost varies from one professional to the next. Generally acupuncture prices usually range from $60 – $125 per session, however the initial appointment is far more in-depth and tends to cost more. Every session after the first is more of a maintenance of the energy. Think of it as an investment in yourself – my Aunt Beatrice and husband swear by it!
Vitamins and dietary supplements can have a positive effect on ones mood and help combat the debilitating effects of anxiety. Using vitamins for stress and vitamins to help anxiety is actually rather common knowledge. In fact, vitamins and supplements for anxiety are even advertised in stores like GNC and Vitamin Shoppe.
In this section I’ll list these vitamins that relieve anxiety, herbal mood enhancers, for example the best B vitamins and b50 complex.
Some of the more common vitamins that help with anxiety and natural vitamins for anxiety include: Vitamin B1 (which is good at controlling blood sugar levels, ultimately reducing the risk of panic attacks), Vitamin B3 (which plays a major role in the process of serotonin production which promotes calmness and sleep), Vitamin B5 (which helps the adrenal function of the body), Vitamin B12 (which has been linked through various studies in improving depression)…B vitamins in general are real important!
Other vitamins and supplements include magnesium, glutamine, glycine, taurine, 5-HTP, Omega Fatty acids, Kava and Kava root, passion flower, Valerian root, fennel, St John’s Wort, motherwort, skullcap, chamomile, Vitamin D, Omega 3s, Omega 6s, and Omega 9s, Lactium and L-Theanine, and even more.
Multivitamins and mineral supplements should be a part of everyone’s daily lives, as they help support overall physical and mental well-being. Lord knows most folks these days are malnourished.
Gaba supplements are believed to be very, very effective in fighting anxiety. A gaba supplement or gaba tea is said to really supplement mental well-being.
GABA stands for Gamma Amino Butyric Acid. GABA serves to protect nerve cells from becoming worn out due to excessive amounts of accumulated stress and mental strain. It is said GABA’s effects are highly important and beneficial for those who suffer from panic attacks, as it is the panic attack sufferers who deal with a monotonous cycle of flight or fight responses. This causes the burning out effect on the cells that GABA serves to improve.
In any case, research has suggesting those who are afraid of these panicked feelings have deficient or tapped out GABA Receptors in their brains. GABA receptors and neurotransmitters, as such, have been linked to anxiety for many years now. GABA can slow down and even reverse over stimulation of the brain. When GABA reserves are tapped out, your body and mind are both less effective in relaxing, or calming down, after particularly stressful situations.
Those who take Valium are actually experiencing similar effects to GABA. The same can be said for marijuana and alcohol, which both produce similar reactions within the human body. This leads to a lot of people self-medicating to the point of unhealthiness, using alcohol as a crutch to get over anxiety.
Fact is, GABA is a far healthier (and more legal) alternative to some of the illicit and psychoactive substances mentioned earlier. I would never suggest people to break the law and do illegal things for the sake of alleviating anxiety. Go the legal and natural route instead, you’ll thank me later!
Our lives have become so stressful, we are always on the run and everyday seems harder than the last. I think it’s really important to be able to save some time for yourself, enjoy the little things and appreciate the fact that you’re living a life the way you want it to be. Don’t just take things for granted and learn to celebrate the small goals you achieve everyday
Anxiety is one of many products of today’s chaotic world, it’s up to us to find the strength to face it.
Hi Yall! I’m Lelia Anderson, the wife of Dennis Anderson. I just wanted to share with you something very dear and near to my heart. Well, I just found out that my long time friends Sally, Diane, and Sarah are all separated from their husbands of over 14 years. I was shocked and devastated to hear of such distasteful news. I wanted to know more of what really went wrong backstage in their marriage, so I planned a luncheon . We all sat down over lunch and we talked for hours and hours on marriage and parenting.
I asked if I could take notes and they all agreed that I could only if I was truthful and captured both sides of co parenting and divorce. They all knew I love to blog and what better topic to blog about than their current situation. I must admit, it was very difficult for me to sit and listen to their stories, but I did .
Who knew divorce and separation could bring on so much heart ache and pain. I created this blog to help them tell their stories from their prospective. As they plunged deeper and deeper into the concept of co parenting and divorce, I took pages and pages of notes and this is what I carved from their experiences.
Modern day families suffer from many problems. Co parenting is just one situation amongst the many. The concept of the traditional family is one that has changed significantly over the years and this reflects changes in culture, society and lifestyles. There are some homes where several generations live under one roof, there are children brought up by same-sex parents and there are families where the parents no longer live together, but share parental responsibilities.
Co parenting refers to a situation where parents are no longer either married, in relationship or cohabiting, but they both share the parental responsibilities of caring for their children. This term describes a style of parenting or a parenting arrangement where separated or divorced parents work together as a team to be the best parents they can possibly be to their children. It is a choice of parenting style made by parents who, although they are no longer together, still want to offer their children a stable and loving relationship with both of their parents.
Sometimes, parenting is challenging and stressful, especially if the parents’ split was not amicable. It takes hard work on both sides and the focus must remain on what is best for the children. If communication between parents is difficult, tense, vengeful and defensive, then this may have a detrimental affect on your child’s emotional well-being and development. Furthermore, it may make them feel they must side with one parent over another.
However, there are many benefits for children in being raised in this way, such as limiting the adverse mental and emotional effects the separation may cause. It is with this in mind that many parents who are no longer in a relationship strive to work effectively together for the sake of their children. With commitment, cooperation and consistency, sharing parenting of children can work well and help the child to experience limited effects of the split.
Effective Co Parenting Tips
Whatever your personal circumstances, parenting is a skill that you need to learn. Of course, this means that it is inevitable that you will make mistakes along the way. Learning how to be an effective parent is an ongoing process and you will need to adapt over time to meet your child’s needs. This will often involve trial and error to discover what works for your family.
Parallel Parenting can only be classified as successful if the amount of stress and upheaval caused to the child after the separation of their parents is minimized and they continue to have a happy, stable, secure and loving relationship with both parents equally.
Another effective parenting tip is to maintain good lines of communication with each other by being civil, constructive and honest in their communications. Work together to be consistent in both homes and discuss any problems as and when they arise. This type of parenting requires teamwork, with equal effort and input on both parts.
Parents who have decided to share parenting in this way must not use their face-to-face meetings or telephone conversations as an opportunity to score points or take revenge. The sole focus of these interactions should be for the benefit of the child or children.
Don’t take on roles of the good parent and the bad parent, where one of you gives all the rewards and treats and the other has to focus on discipline. It is often the case that the parent who is the main caregiver is left to deal with all the mundane or difficult tasks of parenting, while the parent who sees their child for shorter periods of time just spends time having fun with their child. It is important to find a way that both of you are responsible for child discipline and that you both get to have fun. This may necessitate having days out together.
A further tip is to avoid your child acting as a go-between. Don’t ask them questions about what is going on with their other parent’s lives, you should ask this directly to your ex yourself. Questions such as, “Did you have a good time with your Dad?” are fine, but questions like, “Is your Mom seeing someone else?” should be avoided.
For shared parenting to be successful, it is important that you set boundaries and rules from the start. If possible, meet with your ex-partner to discuss what these should be. A neutral environment is best for this conversation as this is more likely to lead to the meeting being constructive and amicable with a better outcome. This may be a difficult meeting, but it is important to make the rules clear from the start to avoid problems at a later date.
Rule number one of co parenting is to never criticize your ex-partner in front of the children. This not only presents your child with a negative image of the other parent, it also reflects negatively on yourself. Similarly, it is important not to use your child as a weapon in emotional blackmail. This is not only damaging to your child, but also to the possibility of an amicable relationship with your ex in the future.
It is essential that you remove your own emotions and thoughts from any interactions that involve the children. Any decisions you make about your child should not be based on your feelings about the other parent. Although there may be times when you disagree with your ex, these should be private conversations out of earshot of your child. Never argue when your child is present. Instead, agree to discuss a matter at a later time.
Another important rule should be to always make important decisions about your child’s life together. Always make sure that both parents have the necessary information to make an informed decision and listen to any concerns raised. Don’t involve your child in the decision-making process as this may make them feel that they must take sides.
Divorce is a difficult and stressful situation for all involved, not least the children. Many aspects of your lives will changes including finances, practical arrangements and day-to-day routines. All these changes can impact negatively on your child’s life. With this in mind, it is absolutely essential that you focus your energy on making this time as stress-free for your child as possible.
There is a reason why you and your spouse divorced, so it is likely that the relationship between the two of you will be strained. However, you are both still parents to your child and they need love, time and attention from both of you. Therefore, although your romantic relationship has ended, you will still need to retain the parenting side of your relationship for the sake of your child.
Divorce often affects the finances of a family. Any financial arrangements made between the two of you need to be kept with the agreed payments being made on a regular basis. Your child does not need to know the details of any financial agreement that is in place. Children don’t understand the complexities of finances and a child being informed of who is paying for what may make them feel guilt about any expense they perceive themselves to have created and raise resentment towards a parent that is not paying, even if this parent is the one providing their care.
Relationships are often strained. Even though you may be trying your best to parent your child, you might find that your ex-partner is being uncooperative and difficult. This poses challenges and can undo all your good work towards creating an effective parenting team. Therefore, it is important to take steps to counteract their difficult behavior to make the process of parenting run smoothly.
It is possible that your ex-partner is being deliberately difficult and obstructive as a form of revenge for the ending of your relationship. It may also be an expression of their resentment or a result of feeling guilt towards you. Whatever the cause is, it needs to be resolved to ensure that there are no negative effects on your child.
One step to take is to set up rules, boundaries and routines from the start. Do this together and write everything down as this will help to eliminate some potential problems in the future. Although it may be difficult, it is important that you do this together so that you can both reach an agreement that works well for your situation. If it helps, meet in a neutral environment to discuss this.
Thinking of all exchanges and meeting with your ex-partner as a business transaction can help smooth the tension. If you were managing a team in the workplace, you would lead by example. Try to employ this tactic with your ex-partner by treating them as you hope they will treat you in return. Similarly, speak as though you are passing on an important piece of information regarding a work issue to a colleague to prevent you from expressing your emotions in your tone of voice.
Co Parenting Resources
If you feel that you and your ex-partner need some expert support and advice, then co parenting classes are a good option. It is an opportunity to learn how you can work together to raise your child, even though you are no longer in a romantic relationship. The main benefit of opting for parenting classes is the positive effects it can have on your child’s life. There are typically two types of co parenting classes to choose from.
The first is face-to-face parenting classes. These will require you both to attend in person to receive direct instruction from an expert in this field. Although training methods may differ, the aim of the classes is to educate parents about the best parenting techniques to use, strategies to reduce the likelihood of problems and guidance about the types of behavior to avoid.
An example of this type of parenting class is the one led by The Parenting Center. Their aim is to support parents, children and families through periods of transition by giving them the advice, resources, tools and support they need.
The second option if you are considering co parenting classes is to complete a course online. This may be more convenient for some parents, especially if there are limited options for classes in your area or if you have time-constraints or work commitments that do not fit in with hours of the parenting classes.
A good example of this type of course is the one offered by puttingkidsfirst.org. Their course is approved by courts to support separated and divorced parents to continue giving their child a stable upbringing and to prevent children from having to experience any negative impacts during this period of transition.
A fantastic resource to turn to if you need advice and guidance about shared parenting is websites. They offer lots of information in the form of blogs or articles, as well as additional resources, links and forums. It is possible to find out everything you need to know about co parenting simply from searching the Internet.
A great website to turn to is Co-parenting 101. This site covers many different issues around shared parenting and divorce. Information can be found by reading the blog or by watching the podcast. The site was founded by a divorced couple who have successfully raised their two daughters and wanted to share their experiences with others.
Another informative site is Parent Connection: Parenting After Parting. This website offers an abundance of tips and advice, along with other information about what to expect following a divorce or separation. This website also has links to useful articles and resources across the web.
Websites and classes are not the only resources geared toward the topic of co parenting that can be useful. You may also find that it is helpful to consider using other sites, such as those focusing on health or parenting issues, as they may also be able to give you all the information you need to know.
If you prefer an interactive approach to finding information, then a website that offers a forum on this subject may be preferable to you. This way you get to communicate directly with others who have had similar experiences to yourself. An excellent choice is Two Happy Homes: Co Parenting Community. Although the online community forum is the central focus of this site, there are also plenty of relevant blogs and featured articles on here that you may find helpful.
Co Parenting Books
When you need advice about parenting, one option is to search for a book written by experts that will offer you the guidance you need to tackle some of the difficult challenges of co parenting. There is a great choice of books available, so you should be able to find something that is appropriate to your situation and also suits your reading style.
The Co-parenting Survival Guide: Letting Go of Conflict After a Difficult Divorce by Jeffrey Zimmerman Ph. D. and Elizabeth Thayer Ph. D. is one of the most highly recommended books on the current market. It has been described as essential reading for all parents after divorce. It gives parents constructive advice and approaches to use to successfully raise their child together, in spite of any conflict between them. The authors are the co-founders of Parents Allied to Co Parent Effectively (PEACE).
Another book that comes highly recommended is Raising Your Children Before, During and After Divorce by Judith Wallerstein. The author is the executive director at The Center for Family in Transition, so her writing comes from direct professional experience. Her advice adopts a straightforward approach to parenting that makes sense and is easy to follow.
The Co Parenting Toolkit by Isolina Ricci Ph. D. is packed with inspirational ideas to help you parent your child successfully with your ex-partner. The book is filled with constructive advice for creating schedules, resolving conflict and heal your emotions. If you buy this book, then you may also consider buying Mum’s House, Dad’s House by the same author. This book is written for children to help them to cope with various aspects of the separation of their parents.
Co Parenting Calendar
Sticking to a routine and creating a schedule are an important part of effective co parenting. Children feel more secure when they know what is happening and when. It is also better for you and your ex-partner to both be aware of the schedule so that you can plan other aspects of your life around this. It will also prevent confusion and arguments in the future.
Using a co parenting calendar is an excellent way of getting organized. They can be used to plan in advance who is caring for the child on which days, what dates any financial payments will be made and who is responsible for collecting or dropping off your child at school or activities. There are several methods you can use to create a co parenting calender.
The first method is to devise one yourself. You can do this using a regular calendar, but one parent will not have a copy written in the same format. An alternative is to create one using a spreadsheet on the computer by using rows for the dates and columns for different categories. This way, two copies can be printed off, one for each parent.
A good alternative is to use an online tool to create the calendar. The ‘Our Family Wizard’ website has some fantastic resources for creating a co parenting schedule. It is simple to create your own calendar on here and this can easily be accessed by both parents. The site also has other features that you may find useful, including an expenses log, a trade time option and a section for noting immunization dates and your child’s health records.
If you are currently having problems with shared parenting or you are looking for ways to prevent them from happening, then there is plenty of help and support available. Although some parents may prefer to work through their issues without any outside help, others may choose to utilize one or more of the many resources available. These include websites, forums, books, parenting classes and calendars for creating schedules.
Co Parenting Agreement Template
One way to avoid complications and conflict in the future is to both sign a co parenting agreement. This outlines the rules and boundaries you have set together and you both sign need to acknowledge the contents and your responsibilities as outlined in the agreement. This is a fantastic way of making things clear between you and leaves no margin for confusion.
To create a co parenting agreement, there are many templates available online. These are good to use because they give you guidance about what should be included in the template, so you don’t need to think too much about what should be on it and you can avoid missing important things off. Which template you choose will depend on the needs of your child, your parenting style and your individual family circumstances.
Our Family Wizard has tools to help you create your own co parenting agreement. Both parents can work together to devise an agreement at the same time as they are creating their schedule. It makes sense to do the two together, especially if you are using the same website, so that both the schedule and the agreement tally with each other.
Childreninthemiddle.com also has a template that you can use in the presence of an attorney so that you can allocate duties as either the sole responsibility of one parent or as the joint responsibility of both parents. The checklist style template is a really simple way to decide who should be doing what. This site also gives a sample of what a finalized parenting agreement should look like, so you can use this as guidance when completing your own.
The Children’s Rights Council also has a template for a parenting agreement. This can be downloaded as a PDF and has blank spaces for you to fill in information such as names, number of hours or times. This can be found at crckids.org.
Co Parenting Counseling
There are many problems that can arise when you are sharing the parenting of your child. Long-standing tensions between you and your ex-partner may get in the way of good communication and effective parenting. Therefore, some parents choose to take steps to improve their won relationship in the hope that it will benefit their child. One way of doing this is to attend co parenting counseling.
The aim of counseling is to help the couple to make the process of their divorce easier and limit the impact that this has on their child. Although you are divorcing each other, the child should not be expected to divorce either parent. By attending counseling, you will work through the problems and try to find solutions so that you can both be better parents.
Good communication plays a vital role in effective parenting, while poor communication can just create more problems. Counseling can help you to learn how to communicate more effectively. And this in turn will improve general relations between the two of you and remove some of the problems. You will be taught how to address issues in a non-confrontational manner and how to listen as well as talking.
Another advantage is that parents have the opportunity to discuss the best interests of their child in a neutral environment. This can be difficult if you are in your home as memories, feelings and resentment can get in the way. By having counseling, an expert will guide you towards the end goal of making decisions about what is best for your child.
It is also the chance to discuss your schedule plans in the presence of a neutral person. If you and your ex-partner do this alone, then there is the possibility that personal and marital issues will overtake the conversation and prevent you from being constructive. By doing this during your counseling sessions, the professional will help to keep the conversation on track and stay focused on the important issues.
Deciding to end your marriages a difficult decision that needs thinking through carefully. There are many different issues you need to consider and you must try to think about these rationally. It is not just about your feelings, but also those of your child. Think long and hard about the impact that divorce will have on them.
If you are considering divorce over trivial matters, then try to consider ways that you can resolve these issues. For example, if it is just that the spark has gone, then look for ways to add a bit of excitement back into the marriage. If you are irritated that your wife is untidy or a bad cook, then talk your irritations through and look for solutions.
Of course, sometimes divorce is unavoidable and the only option to deal with a situation. There are some things that couples just cannot work through, even if they have tried. Infidelity, abuse and a complete breakdown in communication are just some of the reasons why a man may choose to divorce his wife. It can be too difficult to get your marriage back on track following these events or issues.
There is only you who knows what is best for your situation and only you can make such an important decision. However, it is important that you have thoroughly weighed up the pros and cons before coming to your final decision. It can also help to take some time, possibly by separating, so that you can distance yourself from the situation for a while and make a rational decision. If you do decide that divorce is the best option, then you need to discuss this with your wife before instigating the proceedings. If you have children, it is absolutely essential that you try your best to make sure that they are affected as little as possible by the end of your relationship.
Choosing to divorce is possibly one of the hardest and most painful decisions in your life. For this reason, you must spend a lot of time thinking about whether this is the action that you really need or want to take. This decision process is all the more important if you and your husband have children together.
Divorce is a long and difficult process with repercussions in the aftermath. These repercussions will affect you, your husband and any children you have. You need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of opting for divorce and consider all alternative courses of action before making your final decision.
If there is any way that you can work through your problems, then try these first. Have you talked through the issues with your husband or considered counseling to resolve the situation? Have you both put effort into making changes in your relationship to improve it? Have you considered a trial separation to see if you are better apart or together and to give you both space to think things through?
If you have already tried all of these, then divorce may be the only course of action open to you. Similarly, if the problems are just too great to overcome, such an affair or violence, then it would seem that this is the best route to take. There is only you and your husband who fully understand the details of your relationship, so only you or your husband can make this decision.
If you decide to instigate divorce proceedings and you have children together, then it is really important that you work together as a parenting team to limit the amount of disruption to the lives of your children. You must remove your feelings about your soon-to-be ex-husband from the situation to ensure that your child continues to have a stable and loving relationship with both of you.
Divorce support groups are ideal places for people to turn to in their time of need. Divorces are difficult for all involved; men, women and children alike. It is likely that even in the most amicable of divorces that the end of your relationship means that there will be significant changes in your life, including your home, your finances, your social life and your general lifestyle. In addition to this, you will also face a roller coaster of emotions.
Divorce can be a messy process. It can take its toll on both parties and have many negative effects on children. It might be necessary to get support to help you through this difficult period of your life, especially if you are finding it difficult to cope. One option available for couples who are going through a divorce is divorce counseling.
There are different types of divorce counseling available. The first is where you attend alone to speak to a counselor one-to-one about the issues. The second is an opportunity for both you and your ex-partner to attend the sessions and the counselor acts as a mediator between the two of you. The latter may be the better option for couples with children as it is an opportunity for you to consider the needs of your child and to make future plans based on their best interests.
Counseling has many advantages for couples currently going through a divorce. First and foremost it can help divorcing couples to improve the lines of communication. Counselors can help teach you how to talk and listen in equal measures and how to keep your tone neutral and non-confrontational. This is important if you both want to parent your child effectively and limit the effects of divorce on them.
Opting for counseling also gives each person the opportunity to air their problems and you are doing this in a neutral environment. The counselor will make sure that both people get an equal chance to speak and help you both to find solutions to these problems. This is usually more effective than having these discussion at either of your homes and will get better results overall.
When parents divorce it is sometimes necessary for decisions to be made about the future of the child by external agencies. This is more likely to be the case if you and your ex-partner cannot reach an amicable decision about what is best for your child. If this is the case, you may need to apply to the courts for custody or visitation rights.
The term custody refers to who has responsibility for the child. If sole custody is given, then one parent has the child living with them at all times. If joint custody is granted, then the child will split their time between their parents. Depending upon the decision of the court, this may be an equal amount of time or one parent may be awarded more time than the other.
If your ex-partner is given sole custody of your child and you want to still play a part in their life, then you may need to apply for-visitation rights. This means that you will get to spend time with your child on set dates. Visitation rights are only usually refused if there is concern that the non-custodial parent poses a risk to the physical or mental well-being of the child.
It is important to note that the laws surrounding custody and visitation rights differ from one state to the next in the United States. Therefore, it is sensible to seek the advice of an attorney about this matter.
If you cannot make parental arrangements between yourselves and you need to resort to applying to the court for custody or visitation rights, then it is absolutely vital that you do not involve your child in this at any stage. Do not ask them where they live or try to influence their decision about this. Your feelings about where they should live are not important, the welfare and best interests of your child are the only things that matter.
Although divorce may be the only option for you and your partner, there are many steps you can take to reduce the negative impact of this on yourselves and your children. It is important that you take the needs of your child into account at every step of the way. Even if you no longer live with your child, you can still play an important role in their lives. Therefore, it is in your interests and theirs to make every effort to make the divorce as stress-free for your child as possible.
If a divorce is handled badly, it is often the children that suffer the most. As a loving and responsible parent, it is you role to make sure that your children are affected as little as possible. There are plenty of strategies to choose from to support your child and the ones you choose may be influenced by a number of factors, including the age of the child, their personality and the circumstances surrounding the divorce.
One of the simplest ways to help children to cope is to keep their day-to-day routine as similar as possible. The least disruption you cause to their lives, the better. This will require effort on the part of both you and your ex-partner to make appropriate arrangements and stick to a schedule.
Making sure your child feels loved and that they are not involved in any confrontation or resentment is also important. Don’t use your child as the messenger or speak negatively about the other parent in front of them. It is essential that they are not given a negative view about either parent or made to feel in any way that one parent loves them less than the other.
There are a number of resources available to divorced parents that can help them to support their child to cope with the effects of a divorce. Books, websites ad even counseling are all options available for children of divorced parents. As a parent, it is up to you to decide what resources will best meet the needs of your child and what benefits they will gain from them. What works for one child does not necessarily work for another.
If you are divorced and finding this a difficult situation to be in, then a divorce support group may be the best option for you. Here, you can discuss your problems with both experts and those who have been in similar situations. They may help you to learn ways of coping with the divorce and also of taking positive and constructive steps to move on with your life.
One such group is Divorce Care. Starting in the US and Canada, Divorce Care now have groups across the World. By visiting their website and typing in your postal or zip code, you can find the group nearest to you. Each session begins with a 40-minute informative video. This is followed by a group session where everyone gets to talk about the issues raised in that week’s short film. Meetings take place in local churches, and if you can’t find one near you, then they offer training so you can start your own.
Divorce Support Meetup Groups are another fantastic group for anyone who is currently going through or has recently finalized their divorce. There are 673 of these groups in 364 cities across 12 countries. Not only will you get to discuss everything you need support for at the group, you will also be able to participate in some fantastic trips and events organized by the group. This is a fabulous way to meet new people who have had similar experiences and to take positive steps towards moving on with your life.
If you are divorced and have children, then you may wish to consider Parents Without Partners. This group helps you to cope with both issues from the divorce and those of being a single parent. Joining these groups is a great way to get companionship as well as emotional and practical support. These groups are only available for those living in Canada or the United States.
Support Groups for Divorced Women
If you are a woman currently going through a divorce, or you are suffering the after effects, then you may prefer to use a support group that is specifically aimed at supporting women. By doing so, you get to share the experiences of other women and learn how they coped with the end of their relationship. Professional support, advice and guidance may also be available to help you to deal with your problems. This will benefit you in the long-term as they can help you to move on with your life and find solutions to your current problems.
Anyone struggling to find support groups that are specifically aimed at supporting women in their area should speak to their main health practitioner. They will have the resources to find what services are available in your locality and suggest the options they feel are best suited to your situation and needs.
One option you may wish to consider is The Women’s Center. This professional divorce service offers a number of different services to divorced women. There is the option of one-to-one counseling sessions or group therapy, and other services available include family counseling, mediation services and financial planning. In spite of their name, they do also offer support for men and children, but their main focus is on women.
If your marriage has ended in divorce following emotional, verbal or physical abuse, then Partners in Prevention is a good organization to turn to for divorce support. Professionals in the field of domestic abuse of women will work with you and guide you towards the best support services for you. This will help you to work through any issues that are the result of abuse and help you to find other women who have lived in that situation.
Support Groups for Divorced Men
Some men find talking about their problems difficult and support groups aimed at men could be a better option for them. By opting to attend groups for men only, they can discuss both general and gender-related issues around divorce. If you are not sure what support services are available for divorced men, then you should either talk to your doctor as they may be able to suggest the best groups for you, or do a search online.
Men whose divorce has affected their relationship with their children are likely to want specific support in this area. Fortunately, there is a lot of help for men in this situation and these groups can help you to rebuild your relationship with your children, open the lines of communication with your ex-partner and give you practical advice and support. Two of the best support groups for this are BOND and the Center for Successful Fathering.
For more general divorce support, you might want to consider contacting the Center for Divorce Therapy. They offer individual or groups support and can also give you a wide range of information and resources to hep you through this difficult time.
The Divorcing Man’s Support group is another option. They are part of the Meetup Group, but they concentrate on the issues faced by men during and after a divorce. The sessions use a short film and group discussion to cover topics including money, custody, emotional issues, visitation rights and child support payments. Joining this support group is a good way of having a good time with other divorced men too, as they regularly hold events for divorced and separated men.
Online Divorce Support Groups for Women
Using support groups online that are aimed at women is a good way of seeking support from fellow divorcees who have experienced all the situations and emotions that you are currently experiencing. It is also a good way of remaining anonymous if you feel uncomfortable about sharing any negative experiences or revealing the details of your life in front of strangers. If this is the case, there are many online support groups available for women both during and after their divorce.
One such website is Daily Strength. This is a website where you can find support for many different health and relationship issues. You simply find the right groups to join, such as the divorce forum, and then you can discuss your problems with others. Alternatively, you can search for and expert adviser and seek advice and guidance from them.
Another good choice is Woman’s divorce. This is a website that gives lots of information and advice to women after their divorce. It is a really useful resource for finding information about practical matters and getting lifestyle tips to help you move on. These is also a forum at this website for any women who wish to talk through their experiences with other women.
Picket Fences Divorce Recovery Ministries is an online community established by a group of divorced Christian women who wanted to help other women in the midst of a divorce. By joining this community, you will find lots of support from women who have faced the challenges that you are currently facing. Their website also offers lots of useful articles and resources to help you cope with some of the practical and emotional issues you can expect during a divorce.
Online Divorce Support Groups for Men
One way for men going through a divorce to connect with other divorced men is to search online for a support group. If they have busy working lives or are not confident about speaking publicly in a group, then online groups can be a solution to the problem of finding support from others. Another benefit is that they often have links to articles or resources that may also be helpful.
There are many websites offering support to divorced men. Some are devoted to this topic and have expert advice available, while others are more general health and lifestyle sites that have forums covering divorce and relationship topics within them. The latter is less formal and is for those wanting to chat and share experiences, rather than seeking professional support.
A great place to start is Dads Divorce. This is an online support group that offers lots of advice and information for all divorced men, not just Dads. There is a huge selection of resources available on this site, along with various forums dealing with specific topics under the umbrella of divorce. As it is targeted at men, much of the content and themes on here are aimed at male readers, such as visitation rights, custody and support payments.
Another great website is Divorce Magazine. Although this website is aimed at both men and women, men can find specific advice and help on this site. Along with the various forums, you will also find some very informative articles, a huge database of resources and a list of links to professionals who may be bale to support you. Therefore, this is a good site for general research, chatting to other divorcees and seeking professional help.
Breakup Support Groups
Even if you are not married but your relationship has ended, it is likely that you will need some support to get through this difficult time. This is especially the case if you were in a long-term relationship or if you had children together. Regardless of the circumstances, this is a significant change to your life that may impact on you both practically and emotionally. It is likely that you will need some help and support you get you through this unhappy, confusing and turbulent stage of your life.
Finding the right support for your situation is important in helping you to approach the situation positively. American Self-Help Clearing House can help you to do this. They are a Jersey based non-profit organization that helps couples in crisis from across America to access the support they need depending on their individual circumstances and needs.
Another alternative is Breakup Support Groups Meetup Groups, part of the same group as the aforementioned Divorce Support Meetup Groups but with a specific focus on couples in a relationship breakup rather than a divorce. There are 21 of these groups in 20 cities across five countries. The format is the same as for the divorce groups, with a weekly film followed by group discussion and are usually held at local churches. The groups also arrange regular events and activities for its members.
If your problems are emotional rather than practical following the breakup of your relationship, then it makes sense to speak to a health practitioner about your problems. They will be able to offer the necessary support you need or guide you to the right organizations for help, support and advice.
Single Support groups
Whether you are divorced, separated, widowed or you have simply never found your perfect partner, being single can be a lonely place situation. It is tough watching friends and families getting into relationships, having children and generally moving on with their lives while you are still alone. It may seem that everyone is happy except you. However, it is possible to access support in a variety of ways.
There are many other people who are experiencing the same situation as you and it is possible to meet them at support groups. By going to a support group, you can make friends with other single people and discuss ways that you can make constructive changes to your current situation. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the positive aspects of your life as a single person and this will benefit your emotional health.
It can help to search online to discover where your nearest support group is so that you can find out more information about the sessions. Investigate whether you think it is the type of support group that would benefit you in your current situation. If necessary, speak to someone who is already attending the group and find out their opinion about the sessions. This way, you can make an informed decision about which groups are best for you.
Alternatively, search for an online support group for singles. This is sometimes the better option for people who are shy or for those who have limited time available to attend group meetings. Although you won’t get to meet the people in person, you will find others that understand your situation as it is similar to their own and you can help each other through the difficult times.
Most people are affected by the traumatic experience of divorce. It can impact on your life in many ways, both practically and emotionally. However, lots of people have gone through a divorce and come out the other side relatively unscathed. There are steps you can take to make sure you survive your divorce and come through smiling.
The first thing to do is to think positively and view your divorce as a fresh chapter in your life that has opened opportunities for you. You might be going through a difficult time, but there are lots of positives in your life too. Try to focus on these by concentrating on your career or spending time with friends and family. Take the opportunity to get a new hobby and meet new people.
Another tip is to make any necessary arrangements with your ex-partner from the start as this may help you to reduce the amount of challenges you face later. This may include financial arrangements, a schedule for co parenting or general rules and boundaries surrounding your divorce and any contact you will make with each other.
Take control of your finances. Most people are affected financially following a divorce as you may have the same expenditure but with only one income, or you may be having to pay legal fees. Consider ways of making more money, look at areas you can make savings and try to reduce any debts. By doing this, you are limiting the amount of stress and pressure that your financial situation is causing after the divorce.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support. In the initial stages, this may mean turning to your friends and family. However, if your emotional suffering continues, then you should consider seeking help from professionals, such as a divorce counselor.
As a family with two children we can truly appreciate good teamwork. When organizing anything that involves the entire family, a great team effort is absolutely crucial for having everything go smoothly. The same thing goes for running a business. Whether you work in a startup, small family business or multinational, good teamwork is of crucial importance for most businesses. Often, the work that is done by a team that works well together is of much higher quality than if the work would be done by the same team members individually. When there is no communication in our family business, things are bound to go wrong and frustrations arise.
If you want to get the very best out of your work teams, actively working on team building (whether corporate team building or small business team building) is very important. Building out well-functioning teams will help eliminate inefficiencies in your organization and help elevate the level of work that is performed by everyone in the company. While sometimes teams will work together very well from when the moment the team is formed, in most cases some form of team building is necessary to help the team achieve top performance and maintain this level of performance throughout the entire team project. When considering team building, it’s important to choose the right team building activities and provide the right environment to help the team achieve its full potential. Below we will have a look at some great team building activities that have been proven to work very well to build out a dream team.
Office team building helps to improve better communication among employees and also among employees and management. It helps improve the professional relationships between employees who work in the same function or department, enhances understanding between employees who work in different departments and employ different functions and ultimately will aid in improving the quality of work that is done by the entire organization. Team building can help motivate employees, making them feel happier in their jobs. This in turn will improve their productivity, both during teamwork and on individual assignments. There are three key things a team leader needs to do in order to build a great team:
Next we cover some team bonding ideas that will help transform your teams into great teams.
Below are a few simple and fun team building games that will help improve communication and performance of teams at your workplace. All of these corporate team building activities and games are easy to organize and have been shown to provide great results.
Outdoor team building activities are great because they take employees away from the indoor work environment, which enables them to leave work problems and work-related stress behind. This will help greatly in forming better relationships between employees and managers and promotes a great team building experience. Furthermore, it has been shown that spending time outdoors and being active helps improve productivity. Your workers will be recharged and ready to go after a fun, active outdoor team building game. Below are a few team building games for adults for outdoor team building that you can incorporate into any regular workday. Many of these are also suited as team building activities for teens. While your employees may lose some working time, the improved productivity and team effectiveness afterwards will more than make up for this.
Gardening has been shown to improve people’s mood and can positively affect your health. According to a survey done in the UK, collecting data from 1500 people, gardeners are less likely to display signs that indicate depression and feel more satisfied with their life overall. Being in nature, working with your hands gives many people a sense of calm and satisfaction. You can organize to work in the garden at your office, or even better help plant a garden for a local charity, school, hospital or other local business. Gardening with your co-workers is something very different from normal day-to-day activities at work, which will stimulate the development of closer bonds.
Hula Hoop Sessions
The thought of hula hooping with your co-workers sounds silly and that’s exactly what it is and why it’s a great quick team building activity. Getting silly helps break down boundaries and strengthen relationships. Hula hooping is also a great workout for your core, improves coordination and flexibility and provides stress release. Organizing a half hour hula hoop session every week is a great idea for team building. Schedule the session during normal work times so that people don’t feel like they have to give up their normal break time for a “work” activity. After the hula hoop session your team will feel refreshed and ready to get back to it. Improved productivity and better health are resulting perks that will benefit both your employees and your organization.
Outdoor Fitness Sessions
Either organize regular outdoor fitness sessions with work teams or incentive workers to organize them on their own by offering an extra break if it’s spent working out in the outdoors. Doing exercise in the outdoors lifts spirits, recharges the mind and promotes team bonding.
Ships in the Mist
A classic outdoor team building exercise that enhances listening skills and helps build trust among team members. To play ships in the mist, find an open area and select two team members to form a pair. One person of the pair will play the ship and the other will be the commander. All the other team members will spread out around the area. The person who plays the ship will wear a blindfold and the commander has to guide him or her through the sea full of obstacles (the other team members) to get to them to their destination. If the ship hits an obstacle, the game will start over with new players.
Outdoor Treasure Hunt
Who said treasure hunts are for kids? A treasure hunt is fun for people of all ages! A treasure hunt stimulates good teamwork, brainstorming and creates some healthy competition among the team. Organize a clever outdoor treasure hunt that will require the participants to think creatively and work together. To promote competition you can offer a prize to the winning team such as a free dinner or small gift.
Outdoor Ropes Course
Ropes courses are challenging but also great fun and stimulate effective team efforts. Team members have to work together, compensating for each other’s weaknesses and taking advantage of each other’s strengths, in order to complete the ropes course.
Company Running Competition
Organize a company 5k running challenge. A 5k run is achieveable for most people, even for those with no running experience. Incentivize people to go practice with co-workers during the period before the challenge by offering an extra long lunch break. A lot of companies also pick a special theme for their 5k running challenges, such as a zombie run theme or a foam fest theme. A fun theme will help increase participation and make the challenge more about fun and not just competition. A fun 5k challenge can stimulate team bonding and gives team members a shared goal outside of work.
Not all outdoor team building has to be active. A relaxed company picnic can be a great opportunity for co-workers to get to know each other better and build new or better relationships. Provide healthy food and perhaps organize a few outdoor games for the people that do want to get active. Let team members change into more informal clothing if they generally need to be dressed formally for work. This will make the picnic feel more like a real break from work and not a work activity.
Yoga is great for mind and body. A yoga session is a great workout that also helps people relax and clear their minds. A weekly or bi-weekly yoga session with your team will help keep stress at bay, minds focused and productivity up. Make sure to get a great yoga teacher who can help people at any fitness level have a good session.
All these outdoor corporate team building games help keep team members happy, healthy and fit while improving team dynamic and relationships between team members.
While outdoor team building ideas are great, it’s often not possible to organize them regularly due to time or weather constraints. In this case some quick team building activities may be just what your team needs. Below are a few indoor team building games and activities.
A Fun Quiz
Organize a quiz that’s both challenging and fun. Include some tough questions, but also silly ones and make sure the quiz hosts has some funny work-related jokes prepared (or is a very good improviser). Include some games in which teams have to go up against each other and provide a fun gift for the winning team to promote some competition.
This can be both an indoor or outdoor activity, depending on preference, weather and availability of space. Dancing is fun and provides a great workout. End the workshop with a “dance-off” between teams to enhance the fun factor and introduce a competitive element. After a great dance workout, team members will feel refreshed and their moods will be lifted.
Organize a healthy cooking workshop and let different teams prepare different courses of a delicious meal. Preparing a meal from scratch with a team will bring people together, provide some stress relief and be a fun lunch/dinner experience.
This team building event is best held at the end of or after the working day since this is one of the few team building activities that probably won’t improve productivity immediately. Wine or beer tasting is a very pleasant, educative and relaxing team activity that promotes relationship building and open communication.
During theatre training people are taught about human behavior so they can act out a human interaction in a way that looks genuine for any theatre situation that they are given. Being able to read human behavior is very important in business situations because people often don’t say everything that they want to convey, but their body language will often give away a lot more than their words.
Improvisation in theatre often involves interaction with other actors, which translates very well to situations of interaction between team members. Theatre training is both a fun and very educational exercise for work teams that will induce team bonding and help enhance team interaction.
Just because team members are willing to participate in a team building activity doesn’t always mean that the activity will automatically have the outcome that it was intended to have. It is important for any team building activity that guidance is provided from someone who’s experienced with team building. A manager who is very skeptical about team building for example will likely not be a good facilitator for a team building activity. In order to increase the chances of organizing a successful team building activity it may be necessary to hire an outside expert or team of experts to guide the activity. While free team building activities can be very effective, if an experienced facilitator can’t be found within the organization it may be worth the investment to hire an outside expert.
It’s often a good idea also to organize separate learning sessions for team leaders to prepare them for the team building activity and help them better fulfil their team leader role.
Teams are part of anyone’s life, whether it’s a work team, family team or team of friends. Teams that work well together achieve their goals faster, better and have more fun while doing so. If you run a business, whether small or large, you should actively work on team building in your organization. The benefits of having great work teams will far outweigh the costs that are involved in team building. Make sure that you develop a team building strategy and work towards team building goals instead of just organizing a few random team building games once in a while. For your family, team building can be much more ad hoc of course. Just make sure you spend plenty of quality time together. This means time spent actually doing fun things together, not sitting at the table with smartphones and tablets in hand!