by Jennifer Shakeel

a family photo on Valentines DayIf there is one day of the year as parents we should stop and take a moment or two to appreciate the little gems in life, it is Valentine’s Day. By gems, I mean those precious little people you helped to bring into the world. Yes, your children, our children. We have holidays that are meant to celebrate everything else except our children. Being that Valentine’s Day is suppose to be a day of celebrating love, I suggest that you spend it celebrating the greatest love in the world, that between a parent and their child.

In our house, Valentine’s Day is less about my husband and I and more about our three children. We have a special dinner together, either at home by candlelight or we go out all dressed up. While we don’t necessarily sit there at dinner and tell our children how wonderful they are, or how much we love them… we do spend the evening completely focused on them. There will be moments when my husband and I look at each other and whisper about how we cannot believe how much they have grown. We are amazed at the people they have become and how lucky we are that they are our children.

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Simple gifts can make the best valentine giftsWhile many people seem to think of Valentine's Day as a holiday that is for lovers, it's a great day for kids as well. If you happen to have kids in your home, then you should be sharing the love and fun with them as well. You may want to throw a party of just have a quiet celebration for your kids. However, you'll definitely want to make sure you have a great gift on hand. While they probably won't want chocolates or roses for Valentine's Day, there are many great gift ideas that you can consider that your kids are sure to love for this holiday of love.

A New Movie
If you are looking for a great gift idea for a kid on Valentine's Day, a good movie for kids may be just the thing. Whether you rent the DVD for a family night together, go out to the theater, or even buy them the DVD, this is a great gift. Not only are you giving them the gift of getting to watch a great family friendly movie, but you'll be giving them quality time with you as well. So, this definitely makes a great gift choice for Valentine's Day, no matter what age they may be.

One of the Wii Games
Another great idea for your kids' Valentine's Day gift is to give them one of the Wii games that are out there. These games are exciting for the whole family. You can find the games, such as Tennis, Golf, or even Bowling, that get everyone up off that couch and actively involved in the game. It's a great way to keep kids active while they are playing a video game. In fact, these games are so fun that more than likely the whole family is going to have a blast playing together. READ More on Valentines Day Gift Ideas for Kids

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by Jennifer Shakeel

young boy out of controlOne of the most important jobs a parent has is to teach his/her children to have self control. As a parent you want your child to be able to openly express their feelings without throwing a temper tantrum, throwing things, biting or hitting. Understand that this job is ongoing, it doesn’t stop after they are 4, self control is something that needs to be reinforced through out your child’s development so that as they grow, at each stage they know how to best handle a situation. Unfortunately, this is job that I feel many parents today are failing at.

Before you get upset at the last statement think about the last time you were in a store or at a restaurant and heard a child throw a temper tantrum, yell at their parents, cause a scene… I am willing to bet that it was within the last 24 hours, and that you didn’t just witness one incident like this, but two. Now, delve a little deeper, when was the last time your child caused a scene or acted out? I am not perfect, I am not going to sit here and tell you that my children have never done something like that before. I can tell you that the last time it happened though was a long time ago. READ More on Tips For Teaching Kids Self Control

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by Joy Burgess

teenager power washing family drivewayUnfortunately today, there are many teens that grow up not having any idea how to handle responsibility. Many parents don't require teens to take responsibility in the home, and so as they become adults, they are not able to deal with responsibility that comes with going to college, getting a job, and taking care of themselves out there in the world. It's important that you teach your teen responsibility, and one of the best ways to do this is to have some chores for your teen to take care of. I can't promise it will be easy, but it will pay off in the long run.

Setting Expectations for Your Teen

First of all, you need to start setting expectations for your teen. This is important. When you come up with expectations that you expect your teen to meet, then you are helping them to succeed at meeting your expectations and other expectations in their lives. You'll find that this is the very first step in learning how they can take care of responsibilities in their lives.

Of course it's very important that you only set up expectations that are appropriate for their age and development. You don't want to set the expectations so high that they are not able to meet them. Come up with clear expectations for your child that you know they can handle. Then let your child know what those expectations are. Hold them responsible for meeting those expectations.

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by Jennifer Shakeel

happy and self-confident young boyThere is something that each and every child is born with and we as parents either help them increase it or totally destroy it. I am talking about self confidence. Take any group of kids, or people, and you are going to find those that have self confidence, those that aren’t to sure, and others that have none. If everyone innately has self confidence what is it that causes some people to be beaming with it and others simply wishing for it. The answer is parents. Believe it or not every interaction you have with your child is either going to encourage/boost their confidence or ruin it.

I say this with caution, because who your child is will also play a large role in how they take those interactions and use them to become the individuals they are, and the individuals they will become. For example, in my family there were three kids. I was the oldest, I have a younger sister and an even younger brother. We were all raised in the same house by the same parents, yet we each became three very different people. With out going into detail, lets just say that some children’s character will allow them to take adversity and use it to build their strengths, and some children will take adversity and succumb to it, give up or believe that they are not strong enough to overcome it.READ More on Weekly Parenting Tips – Building Self Confidence

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by Jennifer Shakeel

self confident and happy boyThere is something that each and every child is born with and we as parents either help them increase it or totally destroy it. I am talking about self confidence. Take any group of kids, or people, and you are going to find those that have self confidence, those that aren’t to sure and others that have none. If everyone innately has self confidence what is it that causes some people to be beaming with it and others simply wishing for it. The answer is parents. Believe it or not everything interaction you have with your child is either going to encourage/boost their confidence or ruin it.

I say this with caution, because who your child is will also play a large role in how they take those interactions and use them to become the individuals they are. For example, in my family there were three kids. I was the oldest, I have a younger sister and an even younger brother. We were all raised in the same house by the same parents, yet we each became three very different people. With out going into detail, lets just say that some children’s character will allow them to take adversity and use it to build their strengths, and some children will take adversity and succumb to it, give up or believe that they are not strong enough to overcome it.

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by Joy Burgess

happy mom with her step daughterBecoming a step parent can be a very difficult transition. One of the hardest things to do in this situation is to figure out what exactly your role should be as the step parent. Do you play the part of a "stand in" parent or are you more of a supportive confidant? It can all be difficult to figure out. Of course it is important that in the beginning you and your spouse take the time to sit down and talk about the relationship with the kids and about what the role should be. However, if you still find yourself floundering around trying to find your feet as a step parent, here are some important ideas that can help you figure out your specific role in the family.

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