For many parents, bedtime becomes a harrowing experience. Kids complain about going to bed, they have to go to the bathroom 5 times before they settle in, or they always need a last drink. In many cases, kids use this to explore their power and to see if you really mean it when you tell them it is time to go to bed. Although bedtime may seem rough right now, creating a few bedtime rituals for you and your children may help. After all, their sleep is very important and you need to keep them on a regular sleep schedule. Instead of making bedtime a battle, the right routine and rituals can make this time special for you and your children.

Important Parenting Strategies to Remember to Get Your Kids to Bed

Before taking a look at some of the fun bedtime rituals you can enjoy with your children, there are a number of strategies that you need to learn that will help you eliminate battles and come up with a great bedtime experience that everyone will enjoy. With the following strategies, you can best come up with a routine that is going to work for your children. For us, we ended up with a combination of the bedtime strategies and rituals listed below.

– Strategy #1 – Come Up With a Bedtime Plan – The first strategy is to come up with a good bedtime plan. Remember that all children are going to be different. To figure out a good time for bedtime, watch your child to figure out when they are really tired. This way you come up with a good time that isn't too late or early. Make sure you plan out bedtime before it is late as well. Come up with limits, decide on a routine, and make sure you and your spouse are on the same page when it comes to the bedtime plan.

– Strategy #2 – Create a Special Routine – There are a variety of things that can be implemented into a bedtime routine. Create a special routine that will work for you and your children. This can include taking a bath, cuddling together, talking about the day, saying good night prayers, brushing your teeth together, story time, and more. Come up with activities that are enjoyable, and over time your child will become used to their routine, which will start getting them relaxed for bedtime.READ More on Creating Bedtime Rituals – Getting Kids to Bed the Easy Way

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grandma and grandkids having fun together

As we grow up and move away we realize how much we miss our Mother's. As a kid my mom was always there for me. Her presence and love meant more to me than anything, and still means more to me than anything. I will be hundreds of miles away and not able to see my mom this year. It is important that she knows how much she means to me, and that toughts of her will be in my heart this Mothers day.

With love this Mothers day from your son Kevin and your grandkids. Mom, I will miss you dearly this year, you will be in my heart and the hearts of the kids. You are the greatest.

Mothers day is a time to reflect and remember how special our Moms our. They have dedicated their lives to us and we need to let them know how much they are loved and cared about. Here is a special Mothers day poem for my mom and all moms on Mother's Day:

A PRECIOUS MOTHER

Mom You've given me so much,
Love from your heart
and the warmth of your touch.

The gift of life and you're a friend to me.
We have a very Special Bond

which only comes from God…
I'm sure you agree.

As a child I would say Mommy I Love You,

Now you're my Mother so dear
I love you even more
with each and every new year.

If I could had chosen,
I would have picked no other.
Than for you…to be my lifelong friend
and Precious Mother.

~Author Unknown~

From everyone here at More4kids, remember to make this mothers day extra special!

Grandma and kids

We all miss and love you Mom

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Hey Dads, this article is for us. I have been brainstorming fun ideas we can do for the women in our lives, and the mothers of our kids. Mother's Day is coming soon, next Sunday in fact, and it's time to start thinking of great ways that we can surprise mom this year. Sure, we could buy her a gift and she'd love it, but why not go the extra mile to make her day extra special. Dad and kids can get together and work to make Mother's Day exciting and relaxing for mom. If you are stumped for some good ideas, here are some great ideas to use. Pick one or combine a couple to show mom your love and appreciation on Mother's Day.

Give Mom a Spa Day

Every mom in the world could use some time for relaxation and rejuvenation. What better place to find this than at the spa. Get together and plan out a nice spa day for mom. Have it all planned out so that she is totally free to go off and enjoy her day at the spa. Not only will she enjoy all those pampering spa treatments, but she'll enjoy having a little time to herself. When mom comes back, she'll be a brand new woman.

Plan a Picnic for the Whole Family

Keep this a secret, I am planning on this one if the weather is nice :) Another great way to surprise mom for Mother's Day is to plan out a picnic for the whole family. Just make sure that dad and the kids do the planning. You don't want mom to have to lift a finger to make this happen. Decide on a nice place you can go on a picnic and then get everything together – the food, drinks, blankets, and anything else you'll need. If you can, hide everything in the car and then get mom in the vehicle and keep her guessing as to where you're going. When you stop at the park and pull out everything for a picnic, she'll be surprised and excited. Serve up mom some great picnic food and she'll be sure to have a blast. READ More on Mother's Day Surprise – Ideas for an Extra Special Mom's Day

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by Jennifer Shakeel

One of the toughest job requirements of parents is learning how to let your child grow up and be their own person. I say this to you as a parent struggling with this very issue right now. Our teenager is almost 15, starting High School and has morphed into this person we aren’t all the sure we like. (Smile and wink here.) It seems as though it happened overnight. One minute she was this perfect young lady who wanted nothing more than to cuddle with her dad each night watching their favorite show and do all she could to be just like me throughout the day. When I say overnight I am really not being facetious here.

So I wanted to offer every parent out there tips that my husband and I are using to cope with the growing pains we are experiencing in letting go, just a little.

Parenting Tip One: Realize that tomorrow it will be Different

We all remember what it was like to be a teenager. One day the latest pop singer was the person we dreamed about and tried to emulate… and the “next day” we had moved onto the skater guy that sits across from us in Math class that happened to smile at us yesterday. Part of the morphing experience I call it, is that our children are trying to discover who they are outside of us. What they like and what they don’t. It is a learning process that they need to go through.

Parenting Tip Two: Take a deep breath before you comment on the clothes

Now, as long as they are not baring all that they own, let them wear what makes them happy. If you want to use the stipulation that we use “This is what you will wear when you are out in public with us,” so be it. Compromise because you don’t want them to sneak things behind your back. And they will, no matter how wonderful your child is, they will if you stifle them to the point that they have no freedom.READ More on Parenting Tips: How to Let Your Child Be Who They Want To Be

Childhood, much like life, is full of competition. Children compete at how for mom and dad’s attentions, they compete with friends to do something quicker and or better. They compete at school to get good grades. They compete to get picked for the “best team,” in gym class. There is absolutely nothing wrong with healthy competition. Competition is actually good for all of us. It keeps us motivated to continue to improve and get better at whatever it is we want to do.

Healthy competition can teach children how to be their best along with encouraging teamwork and instilling in them a strong work ethic. Competition will also teach children invaluable lessons about sportsmanship, the importance of preparation and discipline. Perhaps the most important lesson it teaches is preparedness for the challenges that life will throw at them.

Keep in mind that I am talking about healthy competition. We have all seen the over involved parent that, in my opinion, is trying to live vicariously through their child that gets up and yells and screams and berates their child during a football or baseball game. We have all seen the parents that show utter disappointment in their child after a competition if their child doesn’t come in first. Completely ignoring the fact that their child did their best.

We all want our kids to be the best, sometimes we have to accept the fact that they are not going to win everything they set out to do… and expecting them to is just unreasonable. Winning and losing both offer very important life lessons.

Here are seven tips to help you encourage healthy competition in your children.

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Dealing with Changing Friends Going in a Different Direction

by Jennifer Shakeel

Being in high school is a whole new world for teens. They are suddenly in a new environment and with bigger teens now. Middle school was fun your child and their friends, and now that they are in high school they will be making new friends on top of friends you already have. Your child and their old friends may be drifting apart, and may be wondering how to still be friends. If you have child who's friend may be changing, the best thing to do is still be friends with them. It is important to teach your child that they should also go out and make new friends.

Right now my oldest daughter is going through this very thing. She and her three best friends have been friends for three years. Due to the fact that we have only lived here for 3 years, but the three girls have been friends since kindergarten. They are all drifting in different directions right now. I think a lot of it has to do with maturity and goals in life. The one friend is very vocal, loud, and to the point. She and my daughter are writing a book together and they tell everyone that they were twins separated at birth. Then one of the other girls, she is just your typical young teenager, I love her to death… but she is into boys and being a silly girl around boys. She and my daughter are close, but don’t hang out much because she is involved in color guard. Then the third girl, I am not sure how to describe her… other then very laid back. It is the first young lady that seems to be pulling away from the group right now, and it upsets my daughter.READ More on Parenting and Your Childs Changing Friends

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Guiding Your Teenager to Independence and Self-Reliance

by Stephanie Partridge

Mom amd son talkingAs your teen grows, he or she will begin to move in a direction that makes them more independent.  They will begin to rely more on themselves and less on you.  For some parents that is difficult and for most teens it is quite tough, but it is a necessary part of becoming an adult.  Growing up means growing apart in many ways.

The question then becomes how can we as parents help our kids?  How can we guide them to becoming self reliant?  I asked three psychologists who work with teenagers and families to weigh in on this issue.  Here is what they had to say.

“Adolescence is where parents reap what they have sown during the earlier years,” says Katie McCorkle, Ph.D., family and child psychologist and founder and CEO of Balanced Heart Healing Center (www.balancedheart.org). “If they have allowed independent thinking and respected the child’s wishes on important matters throughout childhood, the teenage years will be an easier rider for both parent and teen.  If parents have made all the decisions previously (and thus fostered dependence), teens are more likely to assert their independence in ways which don’t please the parents.  It’s all about bi-directional RESPECT in the relationship, and focusing the teen’s attention on who they really want to be, and how in/consistent they are being in expressing that in their daily life.”

McCorkle offers these tips for parents who want to guide their teens to independence.READ More on Parenting and Teen Independence

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