family enjoying the outdoorsIntroduction by Kevin
What does it mean to cherish our kids? Many parents, including dads like myself sometimes tend to get so wrapped up with work and careers, that we sometimes forget how much our kids need us. Perhaps one of the greatest days in my life was when my son was born. I was so happy and overwelmed my hands shook a little and my voice quivered a bit as I held him for the first time. For me, when I get busy, or frustrated, I think of this. What it does for me is to put everything back in prospective. It helps me find the time, or become less frustrated around my kids. Jobs and problems will come and go, but family is forever, and that is what is most important. Pam Leo in this article helps remind us how much our kids need us, and how important it is to let them know how much they are truely loved.

"Shower the people you love with love."
– James Taylor

Cherishing Our Children by Pam Leo

What does it mean to cherish our children? I don't think I've even heard the word cherish used since the days when it was the title of a popular song. The admonition not to spoil children has been part of our parenting culture for so long that most parents are reluctant to shower love abundantly on their children for fear of spoiling them. Cherishing our children does not mean buying them everything, giving them anything they want, letting them do anything they want or not teaching them acceptable behavior. That would be spoiling them. The word, cherish, as defined in my dictionary means: to hold dear; feel or show love for; to take good care of; protect. Tender, loving care is the foundation of cherishing children. READ More on Cherishing Our Children

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young teenager and first step towards independanceIt can be a bit scary and overwelming when your realize your teen is start to grow up and become independent. While your first urge may be to lock them in the basement until they’re 18, that probably won’t work out well. Since we can’t keep our children by our side all the time, it’s important to take steps to keep them safe when we’re not around. So what should we do?

Communication is key and starting to talk to your teens early can help. Teach them what kind of behavior you expect from them and what you won’t tolerate. Also teach them how to say no when they don’t want to do something, and how to get out of various bad situations. You may even want to go as far as role playing with your child. READ More on Parenting As Your Teen Stretches Their Wings

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happy kids enjoying some mom timeAs parents who love our children, one of our main objectives to raising healthy minded and goal oriented children is to give them a sense of purpose in life. Many people may disagree about whether or not purpose in life can be found through employment or leisure activities, but few will debate the necessity for living life with a feeling of purpose and meaning. Even kids need to feel that they are important and can help accomplish tasks.
This sense of purpose and meaning should be established very early in your child's life. This must be constantly reinforced through adulthood. It is a very important part of the work that you can do for your child to be raised as a self confident and peacefully driven adult.READ More on Parenting and Giving Your Kids a Sense of Purpose

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FCareer Woman and Kidsace it, not all parents can afford to stay home with their kids. As a working parent, it very often becomes necessary to enroll your child in a daycare center. While you may be understandably a bit nervous, here are some tips for choosing a daycare provider which will help lessen some of the fears and concerns you may have.

  • What are the cost involved? Are there any hidden costs?
  • Ask where they are located and their hours of operation.
  • Check out the daycare centers in your area, either on line or by calling.
  • Find out if there are any vacant spots so you can enroll your child.
  • Do they supply meals or snacks to the kids?.
  • Ensure the daycare provider is licensed. Many times you can check with the state, and a lot of states have this information on the Internet.
  • Ask how many children are currently enrolled in the center, and their ages.
  • Did you know some states do inspections and post those inspections on the internet? If you have internet access check it out.
  • Ask for references or other parents you can talk to.

After you have asked these quesitons, you are not done. It is very important to visit the daycare center and check on, and ask the following:

READ More on Got to Work? Tips for Finding a Childcare Provider

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mom and daughter in deep conversationHow can you become the best parent to your child? It is a big lesson to learn but will be a benefit to you as long as you are a parent or grandparent. Listen to your children. An important part of parenting is to listen to the big things, listen to the small things, and listen to what may seem unimportant stuff. You will find listening to be a valuable tool while parenting your children. Does it take time? Sure it is time-consuming and sometimes you are busy with other activities but if you begin listening to your children when they are young they will continue to talk to you when they become teenagers.

Learning to be a good listener takes just a little time and patience but can bring massive rewards when your child is older. There are a few quick hints that may help you develop your listening skills. First, if your child has something to say, stop what you are doing. Yes, parents are busy and often feel they do not have time to stop and listen to their child. It’s important to realize the time to listen is when they want to talk. You will never have this time back. So, stop what you are doing. The dishes will wait, you can watch the same news again after they are in bed, and nothing is more important to your child than your attention. READ More on Tips To Help Develop Your Parental Listening Skills

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very happy self-confident little boyA very important goal for us as parents is to try and help our  children gain self-confidence and self-worth. This not only helps our children develop mentally and emotionally, it also add the  extra bonus of helping with life skills and building self-esteem in our kids. As a parent there are certain things that we can do and skills we can develop in ourselves and in our child that will help our children grow in self-confidence.
When you start to parent a child, one thing that you must remember is that you are in control of a life and what you do and say will control and change your child forever. It is a pretty humbling responsibility. Without a doubt self-confidence and self-worth are the most important emotions you can help your child learn.READ More on Parenting and Empowering Your Child With Self-Confidence

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step parenting one step at a timeMany things may lead to step Parenting. Death or divorce, both unpleasant circumstances can often result in the need for step parenting. Re-marrying and subsequent step parenting require the same skills, dedication, focus and luck that is necessary in good parenting under ideal conditions. In step parenting there is a little more to consider. Let’s call these considerations steps – steps toward parenting or step parenting – sort of fits doesn’t it?

Where to start? The first Step.

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