It happens...40 something with children and mid-life issues.

You may be at a place in your life where your career isn't what you want anymore, the family is getting the best of you, and you really don't know where you fit in life anymore.  This writer reminds you of what your purpose is in life even through the challenges of mid-life blues.  This is written from a Christian perspective.  Read here.

Use TV Time Wisely

When two of my four children were very young, I didn't have cable so they watched many children's videos.  To date, for my other two, I still allow them to watch videos despite having cable service and I also encourage public television shows.  I like the fact that all are commercial free, but cable, well that is another story!

I am appalled at the ugliness of so-called children's programming.  It isn't any wonder that many of these children who sit and watch cartoons and other shows all day and night don't become crazy.  The amount of TV and now video gaming that children spend is ridiculous!

When I saw that my own children were watching too much TV and playing video games, that's when I started cutting back the time for each.  I realize that oftentimes they were getting too much TV and gaming time because they were quiet.  What parent doesn't want a child to be off doing something and out of his or her hair for a time?

One of the things I did was create a chart and allowed the children to have a say on what time and days would be good for them to watch TV and play video games.  Of course, there was a limit and they couldn't do both back-to-back.  For the younger children, I just tell them when the TV comes on and when it goes off each day.  Since they are still small, we haven't really needed to set a video gaming time, because their attention span for that sort of stuff isn't very long.  I am surprised when they can stay at a computer screen longer than an hour.  The two younger ones are 3 and 4.  The two older ones are now 11 and 12.

When you feel like your children are spending far too much time watching TV and playing video games,  let them know and be open to their suggestions on how they can cut their time.  I realized that I had to incorporate other things during the days they were out of school to keep them busy.  I came up with the following:  reading time, practice worksheets, chores, exercise time (outdoor/indoor play), TV/video time, snack/meal times--of course, and then a favorite, I call, "Do Nothing Time."  They are to go to their rooms and relax.  This way I can have some peace and quiet to myself.  Sure, there is a lot of scheduling involved and yes, some have said, "That sounds like the military."  But it works!  Just think we all have routines in our days that require a certain amount of time to get tasks accomplished, so what's the difference?  The results over the years have been great!  My two older sons use my ideas when they go elsewhere.  My other two look forward to their scheduled times to get tasks completed.  Overall, everyone is happy.

So utilize the TV not as a babysitter, but as a privilege.  Make it work for you!  When children misbehave, cut it off.  When they continue to be disobedient, remove it out of their rooms.  Unlike what our society tries to portray when it comes to TV being a must-needed item, it is a mere luxury.  All of our children must understand that everything on that box isn't real, necessary or is the truth!

Nicholl McGuire
Read more about my experiences raising children here.
 

Expecting? Start Stocking up on Baby Underclothes

Sometimes both new and old moms are so busy thinking about everything but baby stuff that they end up bringing a baby into the world short on supplies.  Some expectant moms hope that others will buy certain needed items but unfortunately if you already have two or three other children, people don't always help.  One of the most important things that is often overlooked is having an adequate amount of baby underclothes.

Just think of how often you will need to change baby's clothes.  The t-shirts, socks, hats, and bibs (which is not an underclothing item, but are extremely helpful) are very important to have.  I recall the many days that I didn't take my newborn outdoors and simply dressed him in his t-shirts and socks on most days with a little sleep cap to match.  I also needed bibs handy for those unexpected dribbles.

So if you or someone you know is expecting, find some good quality underclothing-- you know the stuff that doesn't shrink up.  I found most of my items on Amazon, Target and Walmart.  I also got many of my baby diapers on sale everywhere from the drug store to Sam's.

Nicholl McGuire

Useful Websites for Family Health Concerns


The picture above was taken in San Diego CA on December 25th.  Unlike on the east coast, children who live in warm climates, don't hibernate for the winter--lol.  They are usually still out and about playing which means that the potential for them getting hurt only increases.  Sites that I visit when the children have colds and other illnesses are as follows. 




 
Other useful sites worth mentioning for our UK audience include:
 
Dental Elite - Careers in Dental Healthcare  http://www.dentalelite.co.uk/careers-in-dental-healthcare/
 
Does your child need tutoring?  Simply Learning Tuition https://www.simplylearningtuition.co.uk/resources/definitive-guide-to-homeschooling/
 
Interested in starting your own business?  Small Business Ideas http://www.skylineoffices.co.uk/small-business-ideas.php
 
 


Thoughts on Future Gift Buying for My Children

From birthdays to family holidays, children will expect to receive something during these special moments of the year.  The earlier you start planning, the better!  What parent hasn't been caught between an upcoming birthday and a household bill?  If you learned anything from this past holiday season it most likely was "Next year I need to do something different."  Then before you know it, next year is already here!

I recently discovered just how fast time has flown with one older child in his late tweens (lol) and now another older child who will become a teenager this year--their development has been simply amazing!  One child is 5' 4" and he's just 11.  (Meanwhile, the five-year-old and the four-year-old, at times, seem to be regressing especially when they have their share of tantrums.)

One day, while shopping, a fellow mom in the toy aisle suggested I get a video game or gift card for my older children after I asked her son had he heard what all the kids have been wanting lately since I was going to surprise the older ones with a few toys.  But his mom interrupted, "They just aren't into toys that age."  My tween still seems to be into the imaginative play toys such as action figures like wrestler men and toy soldiers who come with play sets.  However, the soon-to-be teen, well, I guess not so much.  The mom and her son saved me some money that day.

Nearing the end of last year, I realized that mixed in with the gift card and popular video games I bought my children, should be some educational videos, spiritual teachings, and something to help with extracurricular activities.  So I bought a little bit of everything I thought would appeal to their interests.  I wanted my children to start the New Year off to a good start mentally, physically and spiritually.

It was a nice shopping season and gift-giving experience in 2011, but I decided that yet again, I will be doing something different this year.  Rather than buy most of the children's gifts nearing the holiday season, I think it would be better to give them a gift or two each month--you know, spread out the gift-giving thoughout the year and give less gifts by the end of the year.  This way it encourages them to keep doing their best throughout the year and not just because a birthday, Christmas or our traditional Happy New Year celebration is right around the corner (we don't gift exchange on Christmas.)  Besides, I think starting the New Year off paying debt is really getting old (sigh.)

Nicholl McGuire

ABC Reading: Placing Education Before Everything Else

ABC Reading: Placing Education Before Everything Else
Great Learning Toys for Babies and Toddlers, Click Image and Start Shopping Today!

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