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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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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