How to  Take Advantage of the Teaching
Moments Sports Can Offer

Young Soccer PlayerWhile getting your children involved in sports is definitely a great move for them physically, there's a lot more that you and your child can get out of their involvement in sports. Sports involvement is definitely a great way to combat the rise of obesity in America today, but even more important are some of the incredible life lessons that sports and positive parenting can bring home to your child. Allowing your child to get involved in a sport opens the door for them to learn some important lessons. Of course, it's up to you as a parent to help kids apply the lessons they learn playing sports to other areas of life. Don't let these teaching moments slip by you. Here are just a few of the lessons that you can bring home to your child through their involvement in sports.

Lesson #1 – The Strength of Working as a Team

One of the most important lessons that kids can learn when involved in sports is the strength of working as a team. Playing a sport allows kids to learn about setting team goals, team cooperation to achieve goals, how to take turns, and more. This helps kids develop socially and emotionally, and can help them prepare for times later in life where working as a team will be important. This type of development is important to how your child ends up working with others in their life, such as teachers, friends, family, and even classmates. Don't let this opportunity get by you. Find ways at home that you can continue to encourage teamwork. You can bring this home by getting kids involved in tasks at home, explaining how every person in the family is part of a team playing towards the goal of a clean home.

Lesson #2 – Everyone Brings Something to the Game

Another important lesson you can teach your child through sports is that everyone brings something to the game. Not every child performs each task well within a team. One may be great at running the bases, another great at catching, while another is excellent at strategy. Kids need to learn that while others may be better at one task than they are, everyone has something unique that they bring to the game. This is a lesson that can help your child develop more confidence and self esteem. Don't allow your child to focus on the weaknesses of others, but help them look at the strengths of others. This will help them to realize that while they have shortcomings of their own, they also have skills that come naturally and areas where they excel. As they grow older, it will be important that they are able to be confident in what they bring to the table, whether it's at school or later on the job.

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I just read an article on developing helpful children. This is a very good article to read. As parents of young children we often wonder how our children are going to be in the teen years where parenting can be much more of a challenge. Some tips recommended in the article is to start children out young with chores and priase them. Also it is not recommended to tie chores to money as it is not a good idea to associate withholding of money to punishment.
As a parent of a 4 year old this article provided some great ideas.
For teens it is recommended to increase the amount of work around the house in order to provide the skills and self-sufficiancy they will need when they move out. READ More on Developing Helpful Kids

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Parenting Boys - Dad and Young Son having fun togetherMany people have different ideas concerning which gender is easier to parent – boys or girls. In the end, both have their challenges and their stages that can be difficult to deal with. While some people may have the idea that boys are easier to raise in many ways than girls, there are specific challenges you'll deal with when you are raising a boy. It definitely is not an easy task – in reality, it's not an easy task to raise any child. Boys often respond to things differently than girls do, and your parenting techniques may need to be different with a boy than it would be with a girl. Remember that your long term goal is to help your son become a mature and responsible adults. If you happen to have boys of your own, here are some helpful parenting tips that you can use as you raise them to become young men of character.

Tip #1 – Ensure There is a Good Role Model in His Life

Probably one of the most important tips for raising a boy is to ensure that there is a good role model, a male role model, in his life. This role model should preferably be his father, although there are situations where the father may not be in the picture. Even if your son has his father in the picture, it's always great to have other male role models that he can look up to as well. A good male role model can help boys to learn about male characteristics that are desirable and boys also learn a lot by the way their role model treats others, such as women, too.

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Group of Young FriendsIf you are expecting a baby, you have a new baby, or you already have several children of your own, you may be wondering if there really is a difference between raising boys and girls. Is there really such a big difference there or is it actually the ideas that we get from society as to how each gender should be raised? In reality, when you think about which gender is harder to raise, usually your ideas are skewed based upon the child who is causing you frustration at the time. In fact, you'll find that boys and girls both present their own unique difficult challenges while you are raising them.

Every Child is an Individual

First, you need to realize that every child, whether boy or girl, is an individual. The personality that your child is born with has a big impact on how difficult it is to raise your child. Of course, your influence and their environment also plays a role in their development. From birth, every parent usually deal with girls and boys in a different way. While all of these factors combine together to make up your child, there are no hard and fast rules that can be used on girls or boys, since every one has individual traits.

Differences in Development

Of course, while every child is different, there is a difference in the development of boys and girls. Each gender develops at a different rate. Girls grow and their bran develops differently than boys. According to researchers, parents often raise boys and girls differently because of these differences in their development. From birth, girls and boys seem to be wired different, which leads to different types of parenting on the two genders. In the end, these differences in development really shows that the debate regarding the gender that is harder to parent has no real answer. It all depends at the stage in development you are looking at and the specific actions and situations that you are dealing with as a parent.

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Fun Valentines Day RecipesIf you have a family and you want to celebrate this Valentine's Day together, you may want to plan a very special menu for this day. Sure, Valentine's Day is for lovers, but you love your kids too and you want to make this day a special one for the entire family. Well, one way to make the day special for everyone is to make some great Valentine's Day dishes. No idea where to begin? Well, here are some great recipes for family dishes that you can serve on Valentine's Day this year.

Heart Shaped Pancakes

One great family dish (even dad can make) for breakfast on Valentine's Day is heart shaped pancakes. If your kids love having pancakes for breakfast, they are sure to love this great breakfast dish. You will need to have a heart shaped cookie cutter to make them, or if you are artistic you may be able to shape them yourself. Here's the recipe and instructions. READ More on Fun Valentine's Day Recipes

Valentines Day is a fun time for kids to make some creative giftsValentine's Day will be here soon and it can be a fun time for young and old alike. There are many Valentine’s Day gifts that kids can make. Regardless of how old your child is, they will enjoy collaborating with you in order to develop gifts that they can share with their friends, teachers, relatives, and other people who they consider to be “special”. Below are a couple of great ideas that can be loads of fun for your child this Valentine’s Day!

The Handprint Heart

The first Valentine’s Day gift that kids can make to share with virtually anyone is the handprint heart. This is a very unique and special keepsake that is sure to make the day of the person on the receiving end.

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It's very easy to make Valentine's Day all about couples, but this really is a holiday to celebrate all kinds of love, including the love that you have for your children. This year you may want to take some time to make this day a very special one for your kids. You don't have to spend a huge amount of money doing it either. Of course, sometimes it can be hard to come up with ideas that will share your love and appreciation for your kids. Here is a look at some special and simple ways that you can show your kids you love them this Valentine's Day.

Picture This

If you want to show your kids how much you love them, one special thing you can do is to create a special picture of each of your children. Find a favorite picture and get it printed out. Use the picture in a photo card or use some heavy paper, fold it into a card, and then glue the picture to the front. On the inside of the card, take time to write something special to your child. Let them know why they are so special to you and how much you love them. This is easy to do, it doesn't cost much, and it is sure to communicate your love to your children on Valentine's Day.

The Treasure Box

Another great idea for Valentine's Day and your children is to create a special treasure box for them. This doesn't have to include candy either. While many people equate this holiday with candy, don't go overboard with the candy. Fill up the treasure box with little things that your kids like. Include things like notepads, pens, pencils, erasers, special stickers, and perhaps a couple pieces of a favorite type of candy they may enjoy. Just avoid making the focus on sweets to keep things healthy.READ More on Show Your Kids You Love Them This Valentine's Day

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