Ringing the Liberty BellUnfortunately, many kids today are not aware of the real meaning behind the 4th of July. Many celebrations on July 4th include fireworks, picnics, BBQs, and other celebrations. While celebrating the holiday is wonderful, we cannot allow our children to forget what this day is all about. It's time that kids learn about the history that is behind all the festivities that occur on the 4th of July. If you are not sure where to begin teaching kids the real meaning of this important holiday in the United States, here are some tips that can help.

Tip #1 – Talk to Your Kids About the Meaning of the Day

The first place to start when you want to teach your kids about the 4th of July and its meaning is by talking to them. Talk to kids and find out what they already know about this national holiday. Chances are they have learned some information in school, and you can add to the education that they already have. Spend some time talking about the importance of this holiday, the history behind it, and make them realize it is more than just a day to have a BBQ. Encourage kids to ask questions as well. This is also a great time to talk to kids about how they can celebrate this day in a way that brings across the real meaning of the holiday.

Tip #2 – Find Books About the History

Another great tip to help kids understand the meaning behind July 4th is finding books about the history of our country. While you can purchase books, another option is to visit a library in your area. Check out books that relate to the time of the Revolutionary War and the fight for independence in this country. There are some wonderful books available for children on this topic, such as "The Story of America's Birthday," which is by Patricia A. Pringy.

Tip #3 – Study the Declaration of Independence with Your Child

It's pretty easy to get a copy of the Declaration of Independence. You can get tourist versions or you could simply print it off from the internet. Take time to study the Declaration of Independence with your child. Try to explain what it means in a way that they can understand. Make them realize how important this document was in all the events that led up to what we now know as July 4th, or Independence Day.

Tip #4 – Take Time to Honor Soldiers

Take some time out to honor soldiers while you are teaching your children about the history of the country and Independence Day. Take some flowers or flags to a local cemetery and place them on soldier's graves. As you do this, talk to your kids about the sacrifice that has been made for freedom and how important it is that we never forget about those sacrifices made in the past.

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Fathers Day: Dad and SonFather's Day is a time to celebrate dads, and for fathers, it is a great time to reflect on the relationship you have with your children. Maybe you have a great relationship with your children or maybe you would like to be more involved in your child's life. The role of a father is an important one, and many studies show that having a father that is involved is beneficial to the entire family. Of course, not only will your children benefit from you being involved in their lives, but you'll enjoy great benefits too. This Father's Day, consider the benefits of being an involved dad and consider a few of these tips for bonding and becoming more involved with your children. It will definitely pay off big time.

Being Involved – The Benefits for Your Children

First, let's take a look at some of the benefits your children will enjoy when you are an involved dad. Being involved in your child's life is going to include getting involved in all aspects of their lives. As you do this, here are a few benefits your children will enjoy.

Benefit #1 – Greater Success – Studies have shown that children who have fathers who are involved in their lives enjoy greater success in life. They are more successful in their career pursuits, which leads to financial stability.

Benefit #2 – Fewer Problems – Another benefit of being involved with your children is they usually have fewer problems in life. They are less likely to be delinquent, get involved in violence, or have other behavioral problems.

Benefit #3 – Better Cognitive Abilities – Interestingly enough, spending more time bonding with your kids can increase their cognitive abilities. Regardless of your own education level, being involved with your kids can increase cognitive test scores and the likelihood that they graduate high school and even pursue higher education.

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Words That Empower Our Children

Words That Empower Our Children

Often as parents, words slip out of our mouths before we even think about them. I am no exception and will be the first to admit it. Sometimes we may quickly tell our kids things like "you should be ashamed of yourself" or "I'm going to leave you right here if you don't stop" and don't realize how this actually affects our children in the future. The way that we communicate with our children is so important to their emotional health, their self esteem, and even their personal empowerment. The outcomes and attitudes our kids have are linked to the words that we use as parents. The words that you use can either wound, shame, and bring down or they can nurture, encourage, and empower your child.

So, now that you know how important the things are that you say to your kids, you may be wondering what you shouldn't say and what things you should say. If you're not sure what words to use to help build up and empower your child, here is a look at some of the words that empower and some words that tear down your children. Learn the difference and start changing the way that you speak to your children. You'll be surprised at the difference.

Negative and Dis-empowering Words vs. Positive Empowering Words

"You should"  instead you can say "You could or you can"

"I can't" instead you can say "I'll do my very best"

"Try" instead you can say "Do your very best"

"You must" instead you can say "I'd like for you to"

"Don't forget to" instead you can say "Please make sure you remember"

"Don't drop it" instead you can say "Make sure you carefully hold it"

"That was a bad shot" instead you can say "You can do much better"

"I'm too busy to…"  instead you can say "I'll find some time"

"You're a real pain" instead you can say "You could take better actions"

"You have to" instead you can say "I would like you to"

"It's too hard" instead you can say "Practice will make it easier"

"I'm not good at" instead you can say "I can do better"

"You're being selfish" instead you can say "Try to work on sharing more"

"You're being irritable"  instead you can say "You're a bit sensitive"

"I'm not good…" instead you can say "I need some more practice"

"No one likes me" instead you can say "Making friends takes some time"

"You're naught" instead you can say "You can behave in a better way"READ More on Parenting: Words That Empower

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by Claire Thurston
The daddie difference - father playing with his sonEven though more and more fathers are prioritizing time with their families, many may not know how they specifically impact their children in different ways from mothers.[1] This article spotlights fathers’ contributions because those long term research results have not yet reached a mainstream audience. By highlighting father’s importance to his child, The Dad Difference does not seek to disparage mothers, especially single mothers, or to condone male or paternal violence. There will be those who fear that scientific data demonstrating father’s impact would resurrect patriarchy and erase the hard-won gains of women in the twentieth century, but this is not a zero-sum game. When fathers know more concretely what they contribute to their children: men, women, families and society will benefit.READ More on Parenting and The Dad Difference

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happy family on mothers dayMother’s Day is a tradition that has been celebrated all throughout history. On this special day, Dads and kids all around the nation gather to show the mother in their life how much they appreciate and cherish them. If you are a dad that is searching out for ideas that you and the kids can use to order to achieve the goal of making mom’s day special, then this can serve as a very powerful tool and resource. Here, you will find many different creative ideas that you can put to good use. In the end, your wife will feel absolutely honored that you have taken the time to devise a way of showing her how much you and the children love and cherish her!

Memory Movie

One of the first and most impressive strategies that you can use to ensure that you are successful in making Mom’s day special is to create a memory movie. This is not a difficult task, but there are many different supplies that must be obtained in order to complete this Mother’s Day gift. These items are as follows:

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Easter candy is almost a tradition in most households. little girl eating a chocolate Easter bunnyEvery year moms try to decide what to give their kids for Easter. No doubt the kids would prefer candy and chocolate. However, it is a good idea to include some healhier alternatives. There are many healthy replacements for Easter candy baskets you can try. Here are a few tips and ideas.

Instead of chocolate or marshmallow candy, try filling or including with:

* Fruits and cookies. You can bake natural cookies at home that taste yummy.
* Mini boxes of raisins and low fat candies.
* Stuffed bunny rabbits and jelly beans, which are low in calories.
* A basket of brightly colored plastic eggs; with coins inside each egg.
* Coloring books and crayons.
* Small toys for either girls or boys.
* Peanut butter cookies and mini bran muffins.
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family-new-years.jpgIt is that time of year when we all look back on the year we have had and get ready to make our lists of promises to ourselves about how we are going to improve in the New Year. Yes, I am talking about New Year’s Resolutions. We all know the old stand-bys such as losing weight or quitting a bad habit. This year I would like to make a proposal, make your New Year’s Resolutions about bringing your family closer.

I know that at this time with our economy as bad as it is, and many of us face the hardest times that we can remember. It is now, at this time of year that we need to look at all we each have to be thankful for and focus on how to make those connections stronger then ever. What are the reasons you get up each and every day and try to do your best? The answer is the family that you have around you. With a strong family bond in place, it makes even the toughest of times easier to get through. Plus you are teaching your children what is really important in life, and it will encourage them to always strive to not just do their best, but to keep them grounded and focused as they grow. I pray that we have done that with our children, as I am sure that you do. READ More on Family New Years Resolutions

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