happy child with a positive attitideIt is an almost universal desire of parents to want their children to grow up in a happy and healthy environment. Most will spend plenty of time addressing how to help their kids feel loved and appreciated every single day. However, life seems to get in the way of these plans so many times, and parents find themselves spending most of their waking hours in survival mode instead of nurturing that quality time with the kids.
If you are a parent that is concerned that positive parenting techniques have not spent enough time in your home, you will undoubtedly be relieved to know that positive parenting is easier and more natural than it looks. With a few tips and reminders, you will be ready to relate to your kids with an attitude that will radiate the positive parenting philosophies that you are striving for.READ More on Positive Parenting Techniques that Raise Positive Kids

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Finding an appropriate magazine for your child can be a daunting task. So many slick, engaging magazines that are on the market today will draw your child in only to give him or her messages that go against your family values. With so many kid's magazines out there it is almost impossible to review them all. How do you find the right one? Well, we are here to help. With kids, ours and yours, in mind, we have compiled a list of the top 10 children’s magazines that are family friendly and sure to meet your approval. Many of these have withstood the test of time, entertaining and educating children for decades. They are great for helping to improve reading and retention skills while being entertaining and educational. Go ahead! Take a look!

Top 10 Kids Magazine Countdown

10. National Geographic

National Geographic has long educated and entertained adults, now children ages 8 and up can also enjoy National Geographic on their own level. National Geographic Kids magazine is among the top of children’s magazines with games, scientific experiments, puzzles and engaging articles on the environment, nature, space and animals – all designed to both teach and entertain. This award winning magazine takes kids on exciting adventures all around the globe.

9. Ranger Rick

The Ranger Rick Magazine has been around for several decades and has a long list of awards to attest to its great writing, amazing articles and fun puzzles. Each subscription includes a Junior Membership to the National Wildlife Federation. Written specifically for children ages 7 and up, this children’s magazine will keeps your kid’s attention for hours with its amazing photos of all sorts of animals, crafts and tons of fun facts. Younger kids, ages 4 to 7 can also get in on the fun with Ranger Rick Jr.

8. Jack And Jill

Jack And Jill
Jack and Jill Magazine is another publication that has withstood the test of time. It offers kids ages 6 to 12 tons of fun, exciting and informative stories, biographies, puzzles and news articles. All of the content, including the games and crafts, are designed to stimulate young minds while entertaining and educating. You may have even read Jack and Jill when YOU were a child. Remember the anticipation you experienced when your subscription arrived? Give that same excitement and joy to the child in your life. There is something new, exciting and fun in each and every issue!

7. M Magazine

Being a tweener can be a frustrating time. You are too young for the ‘big kid magazines’ but too young for the ‘baby magazines.’ Enter M Magazine, the kid’s magazine written just for tweens. It helps keep them in tune with their favorite celebrities, actors and actresses as well as their favorite bands. The free full color posters included in each issue are sure to please! The articles will keep your tween engaged, hanging on every juicy bit of information. What a great way to get your kids to read!

6. Boy's Life

Boys from age 7 to 17 will find great articles, short fiction and poetry within the pages of Boy’s Life. It offers not only educational material, but also inspirational stories that are relevant to the young men of today. There are well written, engaging articles on science, sports, hobbies and nature with something to speak to each young man who thumbs through its pages. This kids’ magazine will inspire that young man in your life while fostering a love for reading.

READ More on Top 10 Children’s Magazines

by Kevin CEO of More4kids

Best Websites for Parents

good parenting - father and son laughing and simply enjoying time togetherParenting can be a tough job, and most of us parents are grateful for all the help and advice we can get. How lucky are we to have the internet as a parenting resource in addition to our friends, family, books, and other helps! But the internet can be a little overwhelming too. Google “parenting” and you get 76,600,000 hits. Which websites have the information you need? Below are links to some of the best parenting websites out there. Here are our top picks. As we find or hear about more great ones we will add it to the list, so stop back. Now here is the list: READ More on Top Parenting Websites

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happy-new-year-2014Happy New Years 2014!

Make 2014 the year that your family makes a difference. Try one or several of these ways to give back in 2014 and give New Year’s resolutions a new spin.

1. Donate Items to your Local Animal Shelter or a Rescue

Many animal shelters and animal rescue organizations need supplies and donations on an ongoing basis. There are many ways that you can make a difference in the life of an animal, from being a foster to donating supplies like newspaper, blankets, toys, animal food and dishes. Or you can have collect money and make a donation. Check with your local ASPCA (http://www.aspca.org/get-involved), the Humans Society (http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/animal_rescue/) or find a local rescue in your area to support (http://www.petfinder.com/animal-shelters-and-rescues/search?)

2. Start a Community Recycling Program

Starting a recycling program in your neighborhood, community or city can be a big undertaking, but the results are well worth it. You can start with your own family and branch out from there, inspiring others to follow suit. Earth 911 has some great tips for getting started at http://earth911.com/general/start-a-community-recycling-program/. The Environmental Protection Agency also provides a detailed outline for starting a recycling program in your area, although it is on a somewhat larger scale, at http://www.epa.gov/region04/rcra/mgtoolkit/starting.html. What is important is getting started and actually making a difference.

3. Make a Blanket for a Child

Project Linus (http://www.projectlinus.org/) is a nationwide organization that collects blankets and gives them to children “in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies or anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug” (Project Linus website). Any blanket style is accepted, as long as the blankets are homemade, washable, doesn’t have any pins and comes from an environment that is smoke free. Blanket patterns are available on the Project Linus website. There are many different patterns available for your family to choose as a project, including a weighted blanket pattern for children with sensory processing disorder or children with autism.

4. Go Green

When you go green, everyone wins. Families learn the importance of protecting the planet and often save a few dollars in the process. But going green goes way beyond recycling. There are tons of fun, interesting ways that your family can go green in 2014. Check out this list of 40 ways to go greener at home http://theartofsimple.net/tips-to-go-green-at-home/. Better Homes and Gardens also has a good list of tips on their Daily Green page (http://www.thedailygreen.com/going-green/tips/).

5. Help Protect the Planet

The Nicodemus Wilderness Project (http://www.wildernessproject.org/projects.php) connects volunteers to public lands so that they can clean and beautify the area. There are several different projects from which you and your family can choose, including the Apprentice Ecologist Project (http://www.wildernessproject.org/volunteer_apprentice_ecologist.php). If you don’t live near any public lands why not schedule a giving back family vacation?

READ More on 10 Ways to Give Back in 2014

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family resolution - get in shape togetherWow, 2013 is almost over and 2014 is upon us. Now is the time for New Years resolutions. Now is the time to make resolutions that will help build a stronger, happier, and healthier family. For me there was so much I wanted to do with my family that I did not. However, it is not important to dwell about the past but look to 2008 with optimism and excitement. If you failed on resolutions in the past, make smaller ones that can be easily accomplished and build on those successes. Keep a list of your resolutions and small steps you will take to make them happen. Talk about your resolutions with your family, and have your spouse or kids help hold you accountable to those resolutions! In fact, everyone in the family should participate and hold each other accountable. For me there is nothing more powerful then my five year old looking at me in the eyes and reminding me what I had promised to do! Here are some resolutions for mom and dad to think about, and if your kids are old enough have them join in and come up with some New Years resolutions on their own.  READ More on New Years Resolutions for Dads and Moms

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by Stacey Schifferdecker

This young lady is in the Christmas spirit

This young lady is in the Christmas spirit

I remember watching a Sesame Street Christmas special a few years ago when Elmo wishes it could be Christmas every day. Of course, he soon realizes that Christmas every day really wouldn't be a good idea: people need to work, sing other songs, celebrate other holidays, and generally have a break from the whirlwind that Christmas often becomes. But how about the Christmas spirit – the love, kindness, and generosity we often find overflowing at Christmas? Can we help keep that Christmas spirit alive for our children all year long? Absolutely! And it may be easier than you think. The key is to model the Christmas spirit to our children every day in our own behavior.

Practice kindness

I expect to pass through life but once.  If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.

William Penn

Kindness is easy to practice all year long. If you have a big cart of groceries, let the person with just a few items go ahead of you. Hold a door open for the people behind you. Speak politely to everyone and refrain from gossip.READ More on Christmas Every Day

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overscheduled-boyKids who Do too Much: Overscheduling Kids

Are you a card-carrying member of the Good Parent club? In order to qualify, according to modern society, we must expose our kids to activities that enhance his "portfolio". But, what happens when extracurricular activities pile up on and start to smother the child?

This phase is called burnout.

Experiencing Burnout

Yes, wonderful good parent, burnout can and is happening to our children globally. Things that were once adult business, like stress, anxiety and fatigue are now kid business. Elementary children are falling asleep at their desks. Overscheduled kids can't focus and get fidgety, irritable and lethargic.

Adult sponsored activities were designed to offer life-affirming opportunities. For example, football, karate and swimming are great forms of exercise. If your child is not doing well in school, the opportunity to acquire non-academic skills can enhance his self-esteem. Group activities help the shy child learn social skills.

Overscheduled kids frequently feel guilty because they believe they aren't doing enough. These are the same kids who are pressured to make top grades, make 1st chair in band, make black belt in karate and so on. Unrealistic expectations lead to stress, anxiety and depression.

Outside activities can gobble up so much time; in consequence there is NO time for family, play, downtime, sleep or friends.

This phase is called getting out of balance.

Getting Back in Balance

READ More on Overscheduling Kids – Getting Them Back in Balance

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