by Stacey Schifferdecker

trick or treat - group of trick or treaters on HalloweenBoo! Halloween is almost upon us. I know the trick-or-treaters at my house are busy thinking about what they want to be this year. Of course, their ideas change daily, so no costume-making is underway.

In addition to getting your kids ready to go trick-or-treating for Halloween, you need to make your home ready for all the little ones who will be knocking on your door. You don’t anyone to trip and fall or to catch their costume on fire.

The universal signal for a house where trick-or-treaters are welcome is a simple porch light. No light – no kids. So be sure and flip your porch light on so the kids know you are ready and waiting. READ More on Making Your Home Safe For Halloween

family time - just enjoying being a family togetherParenting sure has its up and its downs. Becoming a parent can be one of the most exciting times of anyone’s life, and it can also be one of the most stressful. It is important for new parents to realize that along with all of the stress and hard work of parenting come countless and immeasurable rewards. I personally would not give it up for the world!!

You see, parenting offers us parents the ability to raise a new member of the global community, someone who has unlimited potential to make a difference in the future and in the world. There is nothing better than seeing your child grow to become a successful adult who cares about the world in which they live.

Sure, the future reward is amazing and almost unbelievable, but what about the everyday rewards of parenting? READ More on The Special Rewards of Parenting

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great moment - father and sonCreating a meaningful close and relationship with your teenagers begins from the moment they are born. However you can't turn back the clock and if you are having a difficult time with your teen, it is still possible to build a closer relationship. If you have other younger children, take this time to evaluate how your relationship with them is developing. Is is important to realize that the foundations you lay out now, will carry you into the difficult teen years. Make sure you spend time together, talk and answer all your youngsters’ questions. Kids are so inquisitive and will ask just about anything. Don’t shy away from the tough answers or you will slowly close the door on communication. Of course, you’ll be answering in an age-appropriate manner, but don’t brush off the hard questions. You want your children to come to you when they need answers and support. READ More on Parenting and Building A Closer Relationship With Your Teen

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family enjoying a day at the parkNow I don't want this to get political, but I once heard or read Al Gore saying, and I am paraphrasing from memory here, "If your babies crib is on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame-retardant". What did I learn from this? Use your gut instinct, and don't always think about parenting, just do what seems to come naturally and see what happens, most of the time it will be the right decision.

Most moms seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to parenting. Dads do to, but it takes a little harder work, I am talking from experience here. As a dad I have found we really have to work at getting in touch with our kids feelings. Moms just seem to do it naturally. Beginning with the birth of a child, or sometimes before, an immediate instinct forms with a mom; a signal if you will, instantly hones in on the baby’s every need. While there are some who do not have the ability to take on the role of parent; the majority however, do. The confidence to follow your own parenting instincts is an inherent trait, and one which is worth exploring a bit more.

READ More on Trusting Your Parenting Instincts

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The family that plays together stays together!Raising a natural child is a difficult task. Ask a thousand parents how to do it and you will get one thousand different answers. in fact you will find there is no right or wrong way. What matters the most is that your child is brought up in a happy and healthy environment, an environment where he or she is loved, respected and cared for in every facet of their life, and that they know you will always hold them in your heart and be there for them when needed. 

Here are some additional tips in the raising of your child that I try to incorporate in my life:

READ More on Natural Parenting – Raising Your Kids Naturally!

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boy totally engrossed in video gamesby Stacey Schifferdecker

Yes, I’m old, as my children gleefully tell me. The thing is, I really don’t get video games. I don’t understand what the attraction is and I really have no interest in finding out. My boys, however, could play for hours. They’re even happy just watching someone else play.

Now, my boys are not video game couch potatoes. They both play sports, take music lessons, hang out with friends, read books, do chores, and are active in church. Still, given a choice of activities, video games still rank very high, especially for my nine-year-old. To help keep his enjoyment of video games from turning into an obsession, I have found it very important to set strict guidelines about when, what, and for how long my boys can play. READ More on Parenting and Taming The Video Game Monster

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Are you planning on a Halloween Party for your little ghouls and their friends? Here are some ideas your kids will be sure to enjoy!

Bobbing for Apples: The classic Halloween party game is bobbing for apples. To make it creepier, peel the apples and call it bobbing for brains or carve faces into them.

Bowls of Goo: Another classic is the “Guess What You’re Feeling” game where you fill various bowls with food items like peeled grapes and call them eyeballs, spaghetti becomes guts, and pumpkin guts are brains.

To add a competitive spin on the games add three marbles into each bowl of goo and challenge the kids to find the eyeballs with their feet!

Guessing Game: Fill a jar with candy corn and ask children to write down their guess on how many pieces of candy are in the jar. Winners get the jar!

Games to get them riled up!

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