Stay at Home Mom and SonSwitching from career-driven employee to stay-at-home-parent (SAHP) is a colossal move. Parents must weigh the pros and cons of leaving their jobs and determine if it’s financially possible. Often it involves a lifestyle change, perhaps cutting expenses or relinquishing pumps for sneakers. Sometimes it means a career change for the other parent.
Yet many parents find that the most overwhelming shock involves leaving behind the companionship of other adults. Although SAHPs are never alone, the company of their children is just not the same. And when regular adult conversation becomes a distant memory, SAHPs often find themselves lonely, even in a house chock full of children. Add in extra challenges, like being housebound with a newborn in wintertime or suffering from postpartum depression, and the isolation can become almost unbearable.READ More on Survival Tips For The Stay At Home Parent

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By Ask Yiayia-Becky Kapsalis

Family at top of mountain - What will your family achieve in 2008?“The years teach me much the days never knew” Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are a goal oriented society. Especially, since, at this time of year we’re given second chances to start anew. Goals are different than resolutions. Goals are defined as ‘something that somebody wants to achieve’; resolutions are defined as ‘firmness of mind or purpose’. Ask yourself “what goals do we want to achieve as a family, this year?” Break the goals into four categories for individual and family: Physical, Spiritual, Family, and Financial.

As a family discuss individual and family goals. Write them down and check back every month to see the progress, check off those that have been accomplished and add new goals for those that are a work in progress. READ More on GOALS vs RESOLUTIONS

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happy foster family in front of fireplaceIf you are considering getting involved as a foster parent, you are to be commended. It takes courage and caring to get involved in foster parenting; however, before you get involved, you need to be sure that you have explored every aspect of this big step in your life. There are both pros and cons to foster parenting, and while the pros usually outweigh the cons, it is best to take a close look at both sides before you commit yourself.

A Look at the Pros
There are many pros to foster parenting that can be enjoyed by the parents and the children alike. The following are a few pros to keep in mind when you are making your decision as to whether or not you want to become a foster parent. READ More on Pros and Cons of Foster Parenting

young teenagers first job interviewby Stacey Schifferdecker

I was surprised to recently learn that when my oldest son turns 14 in a few months, he can legally get a job. I always thought you had to be 16 to get a job, but 14- and 15-year-olds can work as long as they work no more than three hours a day and 18 hours a week during the school year. They also can’t work past 7:00 p.m. during the school year.

I don’t think Kegan is going to run out and start looking for a job when he turns 14, but it did start me thinking. In a couple years, he may want to get a job – should I let him? And if he doesn’t want one, should I make him get one anyway (if only to help pay for the increased car insurance costs when he turns 16)?
The Pros and Cons of Teen Jobs
There are arguments both for and against a teenager getting a job, especially during the school year.READ More on Should Your Teen Get a Job?

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mom and daughter on a cruise together enjoying the jacuzzi and viewby Stacey Schifferdecker

My mother-in-law has been talking about for years – taking my family and my sister-in-law’s family for a cruise. But the timing never worked out until now. This year, for the first time ever, my children’s schools and my nephews’ schools have spring break the same week. So hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to Mexico we go. I am a vacation planner junky, so naturally I am hip-deep in research about the best way to enjoy our cruise and keep six kids ranging in age from 7 (the only girl) to 14 happy and healthy for a week. So here is what I have learned – check back with me in March to see how the reality lives up to the research.

Which Cruise Line to Choose?
Which cruise line to choose was the first question we had. Of course, your departure location helps narrow this choice. Unless you have unlimited time and money for your vacation, you will likely choose the departure port that is nearest your home. The major ports for cruise ship departures in North America areREAD More on Tips for Family Cruises

little boy playing cupid on valentines dayMost children love celebrating Valentine’s Day. There is a lot of excitement that occurs during this holiday. Children get to enjoy various crafts, social gatherings, and, of course, indulging in lots of sweet treats! If you are in the process of gathering ideas for Valentine’s Day activities for kids, you have stopped at the right spot! Here, you will be introduced to a number of fun and exciting activities for your child.

Valentine’s Day Party

No Valentine’s Day is complete without a party! There are many different things that can be done to make a party for this particular holiday fun and exciting for kids. The key to a successful Valentine’s Day party is interaction! Make sure that there are plenty of games and activities that the kids can participate in! Detailed below are some great ideas that you can implement at the Valentine’s Day party that will be throwing! READ More on Valentines Day Activities for Kids

Solving the Great Teen Mystery

by Stephanie Partridge

mother with her teen daughterTo many parents (and people – teachers, doctors, etc) teenagers are creatures to be regarded with some degree of caution. The horror stories of teens who dress all in black, paint their fingernails black and walk around with a sullen look on their faces is enough to send even the toughest parent scrambling for cover. We hear stories of teenagers who come home from school or work, head straight to their room where they turn up some awful racket that they call music and disconnect from the rest of the family. This does not have to happen; you can have a good relationship with your teen, even a fun one. If you have not done things to cultivate that relationship when they were younger, don't worry. It is never too late to develop a relationship with you child. READ More on Improving parent/teen relationship

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