two young teenage friends shoppingWhen it comes to styles, there is always an enormous amount of excitement in seeing just what the New Year will offer….especially from the perspective of the top designers and clothing manufacturers.

2009 is here and it is no secret that teens (and girls 10-12) are as much into the spring and summer fashions as any adult. There is a tremendous amount of anticipation about the latest fashions and this year promises to be spectacular and colorful as designers debut their new looks.

Don’t be surprised if your younger ones are already been rifling through the pages of glossy catalogs and style magazines and making online searches just to see just what’s hot and what’s not. Parents can also find out which new and trendy items are making waves for all young girls this fashion season, and use their savvy style sense to impress and delight the teens in their lives.

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patriotic children holding a flagWe live in the greatest country in the world, where anything is possible. Unfortunately many of us take it for granted, and many young adults don't truely appreciate what they, what we have. That is why I believe an important part of parenting is teaching our children what it means to be a citizen, to apprecite what we have, and to realize how blessed we are to live in the United States of America.

Today we will look at several different areas of interest that should be focused on when teaching your child to be an ideal citizen of the United States of America. Your children should understand that when a person is a “citizen”, it means that they are a person who is protected and has rights of the government. It also indicates that they have certain roles and responsibilities that must be maintained in order to live, work, play, and be protected by that government which offers them rights and protections.

In the following steps, we will look at some very important facts that should be taught to your child. By teaching these facts, you are instilling in them a high standard when it comes to their citizenship. You are teaching them that it is an honor to be part of this nation, and that they have a large role in serving the nation. Consider integrating the following facts into your home based curriculum and/or family talk nights to instill a sense of citizenship in your child: READ More on Teaching Children Citizenship

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Parenting Tips of the Week 

mom and dad motivating daughter before raceI am speaking from personal ongoing experience when I say that one of the most frustrating duties of a parent is to motivate their children. At least it is for us, when it comes to our teenage daughter. I have yet to figure out why there has been such a lacksidasical approach to life taken by my teenage daughter. One day I will figure it out, and hopefully she will snap out of this phase and get back to being the motivated go getter she has always been.

Unfortunately there is not a magic wand that you can buy or borrow to wave and make sure that your children are motivated to not only excel, but in some cases to just get up and do something. What I do have to offer is seven different tips or strategies that have been used and have been successful with our son, our daughter at one point and many other children whose parents I have talked with.

Tip 1: Encourage Children to Plan Their Own Projects

When children are in a social setting, or a setting outside of school it is an ideal time for them to explore new things and make choices about what it is they want to learn. Encouraging them to create, plan and execute their own projects gives them ownership of what they are doing. Ownership fosters excitement, and can increase the amount of effort they put into what they are doing. When you give them the opportunity to have input into what they are doing it helps them develop intrinsic motivation and helps cultivate problem solving skills.

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by Joy Burgess

child with down syndrome and his momParenting a child that has special needs is both a challenge and a blessing, all wrapped up into one. Often parents end up being faced with big challenges, emotions they didn't expect, and many, many doctor's visits. Today there are many kids that have special needs, including chronic diseases, hearing impaired, visually impaired, autism, developmental delays, learning disabilities, sensory issues, and even mental health issues. If you are a parent of a child that has special needs, you need to understand you are not alone, and the more you learn, the better you will be able to cope with the unique challenges that are going to come your way.

Dealing with the Emotions
For those that are dealing with a child who has special needs, dealing with the emotions that come along with this can be difficult. There are many emotions that can crop up in a parents heart throughout the life of their child. Sometimes there are feelings of anger towards medical professionals or even yourself. Many parents go through periods when they feel depressed and isolated, feeling that no one understands all that they are going through as a parent. Often when in public, others have cruel things to say about the child, which can be so hurtful to the parent.

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a work at home mom juggling her kids and work

by Joy Burgess

One of the main faults that work at home moms tend to have is not taking out time for themselves. If the last time you had time alone was in the bathroom for 2 minutes, and that was interrupted by the kids bugging you through the door, it's time to change some things in your life. While the life of a work at home mom is always hectic, it's important that you start finding some time for yourself. Although it's often difficult to find the time, this is important and you'll just have to make the time. It's very easy to get busy with your job, the family, and your husband, and you suddenly realize that somewhere along the way you begin to lose a bit of yourself. So, it's time you start changing things a bit and taking out a bit of time for you.

The Importance of "ME" Time for WAHMs
So, you may be wondering why having "me" time is so important. Well, remember what they say about oxygen masks on the airplane. Before you help anyone else out, get your own mask out. It's the same way in life. If you are going to try to help others, you have to help out yourself first. You can't be everything to your kids, your husband, and your job if you aren't taking care of yourself. Many work at home moms spend time taking care of all the obligations except for the obligations that they have to themselves. In order to stay healthy physically and mentally, there are times when you need to take a "time out" and spend some time doing something you enjoy. Spending some time with yourself for a change.

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by Jennifer Shakeel

family having fun outsideThis week I thought it was important to focus more on the parents and less on the children. This is due in large part to a few visits we have had recently with some of our friends. Parents, in general, will fall into one of three categories: parents, friends, acquaintances. These categories are based on observations I have made. Once I define them I am sure that you will at least acknowledge what I am saying to be true.

I will start with the parents that fall into the acquaintance category. These are the parents who have no idea who their children are, where they are or what they are doing. They show a lack of interest in not only the children, but even in attempting to parent them.

Then there are the parents that fall into the friends category. We all know parents that fall into this group. These parents are would rather be their child’s best friend then their parent. They worry more about being cool, and not making their kids mad at them then making sure they are raising responsible adults.

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Parenting Tips of the Week

child saying thankyouIf there is one thing in this world that there is simply not enough of, it is consideration for our fellow man. We seem to be living in a culture that is “all about me.” From the way our government runs to the way we treat each other every day. What many people do not understand in all of their complaining about no one being there, or no one treating them kindly is that first you must treat others kindly.

With that being said, how are we supposed to teach our children to be considerate? That is a good question; see I do believe that as a whole most parents really do try to teach their children how to be considerate. At least through example. One of my very good friends, she and her husband are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. They would just as soon let harm come to themselves before they let it come to someone else. However, their children are absolute monsters. It makes my husband and I scratch our heads. While children do most of their learning through the example that their parents display, it is not the only way they learn.

Tip 1: Respect Others

Along with consideration is respect. I have said many times, we are not all cookie cutter cut outs of each other. Which means that there are many things about each of us that makes us different, and different isn’t bad. Make sure your child understands that it is important to respect others as humans, especially if they want to be respected. Listen to someone else’s views. They don’t have to agree with everyone, but they should listen.

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