dad and small son walking togetherWhether one or both parents work, moms and dads can find it challenging to hold down jobs and also effectively parent their children. It can be difficult to make the decision for both parents to go to work, but in some cases it is the only option available, especially in these increasingly tough economic times. Although often having both parents working can help out a bit financially, there are other problems and difficulties that can rise up as you try to be a parent and a career person as well. There are challenges that arise, your child may go through stages where their behavior shows that they want more of your attention, so you have to find the right balance between working and parenting. Let's take a look at these challenges, signs, and some tips that will help you to keep that connection with your children, even when you're working hard.

Challenges of Working Parents

There are a variety of challenges that you'll have to do with if you and your partner are both working and trying to raise your children. Let's take a look at some of the most common challenges that working parents deal with. 

Challenge #1 – Finding the Right Childcare – If you have smaller children, one of the main challenges that working parents go through is finding the right childcare. You want to make sure that you find childcare for your children that is going to be safe and educational and this can be difficult. The financial aspect of the childcare can be stressful as well. Although older children go to school during the school year, you may even need childcare for them during the summer months. READ More on Working Parents – Keeping the Connection

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very upset girl having a tantrum during a timeoutDisciplining your children is important as long as it is done in the right way, and while positive enforcement is excellent, at times some kinds of negative reinforcement are going to need to be used, such as a time out. While many parents have heard of time outs, many are not sure exactly what they are, much less how they should be used effectively.

Essentially a time out is a technique that is used to help manage your child's behavior. If your child does something that is unacceptable, then you simply have them go somewhere that is away from the rest of the activities that are going on in the home. This can be a certain chair, their room, or a corner. The basis form of punishment is to help children understand that when they do things that are unacceptable, they are going to lose the opportunity to be around others.

While it may sound great to you in theory, you may have a hard time actually enforcing it, and there are a variety of reasons that this may be the case. Let's take a look at some helpful tips that will allow you to take timeouts and use them effectively to help educate and teach your children to behave properly without any form of violence or hurtfulness.

Now, here are 7 strategies for effective discipline and effective timeouts:

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stressed out child - kids need to learn to relax tooWhen it comes to stress relief, many of us think about the things that bother us as adults: bills, transportation, work issues, family life and more.  But stress is not just for adults, and many children, even younger ones, suffer from problems with stress, too.  By teaching your children healthy ways to cope with stress at a young age, you can help them develop healthy habits that will help them become happier adults.

Stress in Kids?

Many children become stressed due to a troubled home life.  Problems like divorce, a long-distance move, serious illness, abuse and more all cause significant amounts of stress in a child's life.  But there are less traumatic events, like peer pressure and teasing, that can also cause a child to feel stressed out.

Unlike the past, families are not as connected as they once were, and children may lack the support systems needed to help them cope.  It is up to parents to teach their children about stress and a healthy way to handle it.  There are several activities that you can try with kids as young as three.

Another common reason for stress in kids is taking on too many activities. My childhood seems a lot simplier than my sons. Todays kids have a lot going on in comparison. School, karate, soccer, swimming amongst other things. Its good to keep kids busy and involved, but at the same time they need their downtime too to recharge, or else they may feel overwhelmed and the result can be behaviorial issues.

Here are a few tips to help your kids de-stress.

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Help busy kids de-stress by integrating family activities in their scheduleI remember when I was a kid. Life did not seem as hectic and busy as it does for my young son who is just starting school. As if the day-to-day activity of going to school isn’t enough, some children like mine will join clubs, a band, take karate, learn swimming, or join an organized sport such as soccer or baseball. Then you have to figure out a way of handling all those activities and still making sure your child gets their school work done. Here are a few tips and ideas that can help you make handling all those activities seem like a breeze, or at the very least a little bit easier.

  • Make the family the priority. Yes, it’s true that as children go through their school years they will find more and more extra-curricular activities they would like to be involved in. Instead of allowing them to be involved in them all, tell them you expect them to be home to eat with the family. Your family is more important than any school activity.READ More on Helping Your Child Avoid Overload and Stress
Green Kids - saving the world, one child at a timeGod has given us a beautiful world to live in and take care of. We all need to do our part to keep this world clean and healthy. It’s very faddish right now to talk about reducing your carbon footprint and eating local, but even if you can’t switch to a hybrid car right now, there are still simple ways you and your family can make a difference to the environment:
 
Use fewer plastic bags
Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags every year – the equivalent of dumping nearly 12 million barrels of oil. In addition to the petroleum or natural gas used to make the bags themselves, the inks and colorants on the bags often contain lead.
 
To reduce your use of plastic bags,
 
  • Bring your own cloth bags when you go to the grocery store
  • Re-use the bags you already have
  • Pack lunches and leftovers in re-usable containers instead of plastic bagsREAD More on Simple Ways to Save the World

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frustrated parent trying to get through to her daughterParental frustration, tt’s an inevitable occurrence when you are raising a child. You spend almost all of your time, money, and energy on raising your child, and sometimes it is still not enough. Every parent gets frustrated from time to time – it’s a normal thing. However, if you are unable to handle your frustration in a proper manner, you may find that it can have a very negative effect on the upbringing of your child. In this article, we’ll offer up some tips that will hopefully help you to get through frustrating times with parenting.

If you feel like you are frustrated with your children to the point where you cannot control it any more, the most important thing that you can do for both yourself and your children is to get away for a little bit. If you have a partner that you are living with, ask them to take care of the kids a little while and have a time-out for you. If you’re not with someone, see if a close relative can watch the children for a little while. In that time, you should read a book, go see a movie, or do something else that helps to calm and relax you. Afterwards, you can come back and address any of the problems that might still be present with your children. Giving yourself a little downtime can help you to look at situations regarding your children from a better standpoint which can be immensely helpful in keeping your relationship healthy.

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a dad carrying his new baby daughterMost first time fathers or expectant fathers have a lot of assumptions about what it might be like and mean to be a father. These ideas are a part of your upbringing, your relationship with your father and the expectations of social framework that you inhabit from a father. However, the single biggest misconception that most parents have about fatherhood is that newborn babies do not require their fathers.

The connection between a mother and her baby is that of a very intense bond which cannot be broken and often you might be left wondering whether your baby actually needs you. Do be assured that he or she does, for you have played an important role in bringing him or her into this world, and you can comfort and soothe the baby too, just as your partner can nurse the baby. You can establish your bond with your baby by holding him or her, rocking and cooing. However, it is best to wait until the baby is breastfed. This way you can also allow your partner to recuperate after breastfeeding. READ More on Parenting Tips for New and Expectant Dads

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