independence-day-2007.jpgThis year has been going by too fast it seems! Its less than a month away. Independence Day is almost here.  What are your plans? How about planning on having a Fourth of July party for your child? If so, here are some tips to make it an extra special day:

Help your child make out invitations using red, white, and blue construction paper. Be sure to have an RSVP with a PS, noting everyone should dress in red, white, and blue. READ More on Fourth of July Kids Party Ideas

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by Stacey Schifferdecker
family-camping.jpgMy oldest son turned seven the day after his baby sister was born. We didn’t intend to have such a gap in ages between our kids—it just turned out that way. But it meant that either my son missed out on fun family activities or we brought the little one along. And that is how we ended up camping with a seven-week-old infant. Our friends thought we were crazy, but she was a great camper. In fact, she was even useful: when our tent started leaking during a heavy rainstorm, her disposable diapers were very handy!
Why camping?
Like it or not, life for most kids today is pretty conscripted. They tend to spend more time driving to play dates and planned activities than randomly exploring the great outdoors. Camping introduces kids to nature and gives them a feeling of freedom as they safely explore the campsite. It can also be a special family time when everyone can hang out and play together without other commitments or the lure of electronic toys.
Start out slowly
OK, maybe pre-kids you backpacked the length of the Continental Divide. It’s time to dial your adventures back for a few years. Try car camping at a local state or national park for a night or two or even setting up a tent in your own back yard. Our first camping expeditions were with our son’s Cub Scout pack, which is a mother’s camping dream: someone else did all the cooking!READ More on Camping with Kids

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A little girl feeling blueBeing or becoming a successful parent to your children is much more than just making sure they are fed properly or that they get to school on time. It's more than simply making sure your child is safe and behaving good. Being a successful parent also means raising kids without guilt in their lives. It includes nuturing your childs emotions. Guilt means to feel bad about something that was said or done in the past. To a certain extent, the past can be used as a tool to motivate improved behavior. This is because learning from the past serves a useful purpose. But guilt is not learning from the past.

The real feeling of guilt means to be immobilized in the present over something that has already occurred. It is a negative and confidence-crushing feeling. Guilt is a tool used by adults to make other people feed bad. We tend to use it more on children because we think that it is a good way to control their behavior. I understand that your intention is merely to control your child and put a halt to whatever they are doing that is causing trouble, but using guilt can cause more internal and external social problems within you child for years to come. READ More on Understanding Guilt and its Effects on Children

I have heard this way too much: “I have attempted to do everything that I can to get my oldest son to stop hitting his other kids. Sometimes he even hits me. Then I only get angrier. Punishing my son doesn't seem to work and my last alternative is to spank him. And when I do spank him and make him apologize, he's back hitting the very next day!”

There are thousands and thousands of parents who are going through this very same situation every day. One thing leads to another with a child who is behaving badly and then the end result is the spanking of him.

But how are we ever going to teach our children that it is not alright to hurt others when we continue to hurt them as well? What sense does that make? Sure it temporarily relieves the situation but you have just reinforced to your son that hitting is ok to do, especially to them. Do we really want to set that kind of precedent for our children?READ More on Does Spanking a Child Work? Some Spank Free Alternatives

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child spending time with dad on fathers dayOne of the best gift ideas for dad on Father’s Day is to give him the day off, spend time with him, and have fun and allow dad to just relax with the family he loves. What better way than to engage in Father’s Day activities dad’s sure to love!

Is dad a golfer? Terrific! Why not take him to the golf range, with the entire family, and spend the day! As a surprise, you can present him with a driver! Think how excited he will be to be able to hit balls all day at the range.

Is dad a baseball fan? Take the entire family to a batting cage and watch as dad hits balls out of the park! Remember to bring his favorite baseball cap. Perhaps you have purchased his favorite team’s jersey! Take lots of pictures for the scrapbook! READ More on Some Father's Day Activities Dad Will Love

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Fun Tip 1 - Enjoy a picnic in the park with your childMoms need to have fun too and have a break too. Its important to maintain a little balance in your life. It’s been a long, hard winter, hasn’t it? Well summer’s almost here and now it’s time for you to get out of the house and enjoy yourself. Here are 7 tips to help moms enjoy summer. 

READ More on 7 Mom Tips for an Enjoyable Summer

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girl and her pet dogChoosing a pet for your child is a very important decision that will last for many years. Some pets live ten to twenty years or longer, so the pet you choose today may become a lifelong friend as the child grows. Also, having a pet is a great way to teach your child responsibility.

What type of pet you choose for your child will depend on a variety of factors. How old the child currently is plays a role in your choice of pets, as does where you live, how much room you have, and how much time you as parents have too.

You see, when a child is still somewhat young, they won't be able to take care of most pets completely on their own. It's up to the parents to teach the children how to care for and love pets, and parents usually need to do a lot of the work themselves while their children are still young. So the amount of time you, as the parents, has available to devote towards the pet care, and the teaching of both pet and child will be an important part of choosing the proper pet for your child. READ More on Choosing a Pet for Your Child

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