How to Volunteer as a Family

Giving back to the community is a great way to teach children about compassion and empathy. It can also be fun and help build a stronger relationship between them and their families.

Benefits to Young People Who Volunteer

Young children can learn that helping others can make a difference. Volunteering also shows older teens and kids how they can make a difference.

When kids and teens volunteer, they get to meet people from different backgrounds and abilities. Working on a project helps them develop strong relationships with others who share the same values and interests.

Kids and teens can practice life skills by volunteering. It can also help them become a part of a team and show up on time. In addition, teens can discuss their volunteer work in their college applications or job interviews.

Try volunteering at a healthcare facility, a political campaign office, or a nonprofit organization to see what it’s like to work in these jobs.

How can Families Volunteer?

There are different types of volunteer projects that families can choose from, such as helping someone you know, or going to an animal rescue or shelter every week. Some families also make a tradition of doing one project a year, such as filling holiday gift baskets.

Look for a project that fits the needs of your neighborhood and works for your child’s age. You can also offer to help with chores such as weeding and cooking.

You can also ask your family to help with a cleanup project, such as picking up trash at the local beach or park.

If you’re looking for a project to help people in need, consider donating food to a local soup kitchen or food bank. Volunteers can also help deliver meals to those who are homebound.

Write letters to veterans and children in need of a boost. Some organizations also need volunteers to help them send letters to legislators. Nonprofits need help with fundraising and promotional activities, such as writing postcards.

Where to Start?

You can find a variety of projects that your family can help with by searching online or calling a charity that your family supports. You can also check the state’s website for information about volunteer programs. Some families participate in projects after disasters in the US or abroad.

This blog was previously published on January 20, 2023 https://jenniferpowersnyc.medium.com/

New Parenting Books to Read in 2023

So many things go into being a good parent that it can be hard to keep track of all the details. But, with the help of these resources, you can easily find the answers to some of the most common questions about raising kids.

Due to the steady flow of information that’s available online, it’s hard to keep track of all the necessary resources for parenting.

Although it’s hard to choose just a few favorite parenting books, there are plenty of them you’ll love.

This list of parenting books can help you navigate the various issues you might be facing as a parent.

  1. Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle While Other Kids Shine

By Dr. Michele BorbaThrivers Michele Borba

In her second book, Thrivers, Michele talks about the various factors that help some kids become successful.

Today’s kids are more likely to be successful than ever before. Unfortunately, they’re not as happy.

Although many factors can help kids become successful, some of the most important traits are also in common with those who succeed.

The book, now available in a paperback, explores these traits and helps educators and parents identify the things that will help their kids succeed.

  1. Social Justice Parenting: How to Raise Compassionate, Anti-Racist, Justice-Minded Kids in an Unjust World

By Dr. Traci Baxley

It’s also essential to raise responsible kids, as Baxley so brilliantly states. This is about creating a better society for everyone.

The changes society is going through now are happening because of the efforts of educated and socially enlightened kids.

  1. The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

By Ross W. Greene, PhD

Are you worried that your child is out of control and that they might respond to problems by screaming, crying, or hitting you? The explosive child by Ross Greene is a must-have for anyone who has tried everything else.

The practical and compassionate book will help you identify the steps you need to take to stop your child from developing destructive behaviors.

In The Explosive Child, Ross Greene explains how traditional discipline methods don’t work with kids with explosive behavior.

  1. Brain-Body Parenting: How to Stop Managing Behavior and Start Raising Joyful, Resilient KidsBrain-Body 

By Mona Delahooke, PhD

According to Dr. Delahooke, behavior is only a symptom, and we should stop parenting reactively and focus on the things that are important to our kids.

Managing our expectations helps us understand and empathize with our kids. It also allows us to develop effective ways to help them succeed.

This blog was previously published on January 20, 2023 at JenniferPowers.me

Common Challenges New Parents Face

People tend to experience readjustment after having a baby or pregnancy. It can take a lot of work to get used to the changes brought about by the new situation.

Some people may find it hard to cope with the changes. It’s essential to seek help when this happens. There are a variety of community and health services that can help. Asking for assistance can help decrease stress levels.

NEW PARENTS OFTEN FACE CHALLENGES WHEN ADJUSTING TO A NEW LIFE. 

Some of these include: 

  • The demands of breastfeeding can involve pain and inflammation of the nipples and other body parts.
  • New Parents suffer from fatigue.
  • Often new parents need more confidence. 
  • Dealing with the expectations of family and friends can also take time and effort.

The changes brought about by pregnancy or childbirth can also affect one’s identity. For instance, it can cause a loss of one’s work role and sense of freedom.

During this period, one’s relationship with their partner can also change. For instance, they may have different ideas about how to care for the baby.

ASK FOR HELP

Most people find it hard to ask for help. They may feel embarrassed or resentful because they struggle to care for their new baby.

The arrival of a new baby can trigger various feelings and thoughts. Some of these include a sense of loss for one’s old self. We encourage new parents to acknowledge the joy and distress they can feel.

Expecting parents should refrain from being overly influenced by parenting advice. They should also maintain a realistic perspective and allow themselves to learn how to look after their child. They should also refrain from judging themselves against the expectations of others. They should allow themselves to learn through experience.

Having a couple of trusted sources can also help new parents navigate the various changes parenthood brings. These may include a child health nurse or GP.

It’s also vital for new parents to take care of themselves. Having a well-rounded and balanced life can help them cope with the changes brought about by parenthood.

Find a support network, a helpline, and information about various health services. Support groups, parenting skills courses, and counseling services are also available. 

The point is, you don’t have to go it alone. 

This blog was previously published on January 13, 2023 at JenniferPowers.me

Keeping Your Kids Entertained on a Rainy Day

It can be hard to keep the kids entertained when rain or cold weather keeps them indoors. However, staying indoors can be fun with the right activities for kids.

Here are some fun and exciting activities to keep the kids entertained indoors. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out Mommy Poppins Stay-At-Home Guide. They also have a Boredom Busters Guide that will inform you about new and fun indoor activities. 

Baking

Baking cookies or making granola is a great way to keep busy. You can find recipes for easy and healthy treats that are perfect for anyone who is not a chef. Most can be made in just minutes and will be a big hit.

Sensory Games

If you have little ones, you know they love lights and sounds. Pull out those toys on a rainy day. These imaginative playthings are perfect for kids and babies. 

Make an Escape Room

You can also use an Escape Room kit for added fun. You can buy a downloadable kit to get started. It will be fun for the entire family.

Make Slime 

You can make a batch of slime and challenge the kids to define the state of matter of the substance. This is fantastic for science-minded kids and parents. 

Make a Scavenger Hunt

An indoor scavenger hunt is also fun to get the kids together. They might find some missing socks. That’s a big win all the way around. 

You can do this with simple things like finding something blue. Leave a clue to find the next item, which might be a book with a duck in it. 

STEM-Learning

Children will love using STEM-inspired toys and turning learning into play. For instance, you can have a building challenge using Magna-Tiles.

Listen to a Story

Get everyone together for a story podcast. There are a variety to choose from that will be fun for everyone.

Have a Parade

Playing marching band is a great way to spend quality fun time with your kids. Before leading the parade through the living room, you can make the instruments from household items, pots, pans, and paper tubes. 

Work Out

It’s great to burn off some energy with an excellent indoor workout. Check YouTube for kid-friendly yoga or dance that will be good fun.

Traditions to Start With Your Kids in 2023

A tradition is a ritual that helps build a sense of identity and memories for your family. You can do it weekly or around specific events, such as holidays or birthday parties. Doing the same thing multiple times helps build a stronger bond with your family.

Families have unique memories, such as the hot car ride to the mountain cabin or vacation home. As we grow older and become parents, we can decide which will continue into our daily lives and holiday celebrations. Forming new traditions can also be beneficial.

New traditions can be fun to develop, and here are a few ideas to help you start.

MEALTIME

Having the same meal each day of the week can be a great way to create continuity. Monday might be your son’s favorite dinner, and Wednesday is set aside for your daughter’s favorite. Maybe Sunday is pasta night, and grandma’s meatloaf on Thursday. Giving the meal a theme gives everyone something to look forward to and remember fondly in the future.

TALENT SHOW

Gather all of the family members together and host a talent show. Everyone can showcase their talents by singing a song, running a certain distance, or displaying a drawing.

SHOW AND TELL

A fun activity for the whole family is to play “show and tell.” Each family member can bring one item to the dinner table, and they can share why it means something to them.

TAKE A WALK

A regular family walk can be a great way to get outside and away from the screens. Do it early in the morning or at dinnertime, which can be a great way to exercise and spend time together. If your kids are young, a baby stroller is an excellent way for them to join in the fun.

TELL ME A STORY

Bedtime stories is a great way to build a strong bond with your children. It can also help boost their reading skills and promote social and emotional development.

DATE NIGHT

A monthly Mommy/Daddy/Child date can be a great way to build a strong bond with your children. Each child gets to choose what they want to spend time doing as a family.

GIVING BACK

One of the most effective ways to build a strong relationship with your children is by regularly doing community service projects. This can help them become familiar with the project and its cause.

CHRISTMAS TRADITION

Set up a camp in front of the Christmas tree, where the kids can enjoy reading holiday stories and snacking on treats. In the morning, you can make Christmas tree shaped pancakes.  

SHOPPING FOR OTHERS

You can also go shopping for the needy and help local organizations. During this time, the kids can learn the importance of giving to those who need help the most. It can be a different experience for them to choose toys that are not for them.

BAKE FOR THE NEIGHBORS

Make homemade treats for your neighbors and friends and deliver them. You can also make special stops at local police stations and fire departments.

This blog was previously published on JenniferPowers.me on December 22, 2022

Making Meaningful Memories Over the Holidays

One of the most important things during the holiday season is spending time with your loved ones. This can be a great way to create lasting memories and make the holiday season memorable for everyone. Here are some ideas to create fond memories this year. 

VOLUNTEER

Giving back to the community is a great way to make this season special for you and your loved ones. You can visit places you and your loved ones would like to help, such as a food bank or a hospital. 

The Mayo Clinic Health System has stated that volunteering can help an individual’s mental and physical health. It can also help with depression. Moreover, it can provide a great way to enjoy the holidays and give back to the community.

BUILD A FIRE

During the holiday season, have a fire and enjoy time with your loved one. While you snuggle by the fire, you can also play games. According to WebMD’s website, music therapy can help seniors feel less isolated and bright mood.

One of the most meaningful ways to pass the evening is to share happy stories. Your loved ones will likely have several interesting anecdotes they would like to tell you. Everyone can share their blessings for the year.

FAMILY PHOTO

It’s the best time to take family photos because you already know where everyone will be during the holidays. If you can’t hire a photographer, you can use timers that you can set on your devices to capture photos without leaving anyone out. Recreating poses from childhood photos can also be a great way to reflect on the holidays.

DECORATING PARTY

You and your loved one can spend some time decorating for the holiday season. You can start by making a dining table centerpiece or decorating the Christmas tree. You can then hang holiday ornaments or create a nativity set. Have a craft day when you make stocking for each other.

PREPARE THE MEAL TOGETHER

The kitchen is the heart of the holiday season, as food is crucial to our memories. With all the preparation that goes into preparing a meal, it can be an excellent opportunity for you and your loved one to get together and share the experience.

The aroma of the food and the activity can create a memory, and your loved one will be able to enjoy helping you. Another way to create a lasting memory is to have everyone at the table together. This will allow them to feel included and provide a memory that will last forever.

This blog was previously published on JenniferPowers.me on December 22, 2022

How to Handle Routine Changes During the Holidays

The following strategies will help you create a routine your entire family can stick to during the holidays.

Ironically, people think there is no place for routine during the holidays. When it’s so essential to maintain your family’s routine during the holidays. Doing so can help keep our minds focused on the positive and keep our bodies rested. Our habits can help us keep our homes and families running smoothly.

Schdule vs. Routine

A schedule is a list of various items that can change daily or weekly.

A routine is similar to a rhythm that you and your family follow. You can accommodate it for different events such as holidays and summer break.

Most household schedules change significantly during the school year as well as seasonally.

Some of the most common items in a routine include meal times, bedtimes, and regular family time activities.

Reduce Family Stress

Maintaining a routine throughout the school year and the holidays can be constructive. Doing so will lessen the stress on you and your family.

For instance, you might want to stay in bed a little longer and stop taking evening walks. But a consistent sleep/wake schedule reduces stress, as does exercise.

Make Adjustments Early

It’s important to consider the needs of each member family when it comes to creating a routine. Having a consistent set of rules can help keep your family running smoothly.

Bedtime

Getting enough sleep is crucial for your family’s physical and mental health. It can be challenging to get enough rest, especially during the holidays. Having consistent and good sleep can help keep our families healthy, happy, and running smoothly.

Morning Routine

An excellent habit for your routine and your family is gathering for breakfast. This can help keep everyone’s schedule organized and ensure that all essential items are taken care of by having a chat over breakfast.

Mealtime

Maintain a mealtime by planning for the entire month. A consistent, healthy, and delicious food plan can help keep your family on track and avoid going out all the time.

These tips will help you establish a routine you can stick to throughout the holiday season. We often need our habits the most during stressful times. Having a good family routine can help keep your family on track and stress-free during the holidays.

This blog was previously published on December 22, 2022 https://medium.com/@jenniferpowersnyc/how-to-handle-routine-changes-during-the-holidays-9d1a7acf2e54

How to Travel Safely With Kids This Holiday Season

Anxious about traveling during the holidays? You’re not alone. Here are some of the questions parents are asking. Should I buy a refundable ticket? Should we stay home? Is it worth it?

Let’s assume you’re not staying home. You have a family to visit. Maybe a child who’s never met his grandparent. It’s worth it to make that introduction. It might be worth it for the memories you’ll store up during the holidays. 

Should We Self Quarantine?

According to the CDC, Individuals should stay home for at least seven days after being declared sick. 

Take Covid 19 Tests?

Economist Emily Oster, who writes about parenting and pregnancy in her book, ParentData, said that rapid testing is an excellent idea for traveling. She added that even if everyone in the group is vaccinated, having the test before and after they get to the airport can help prevent the spread of the illness.

Getting the test can also be challenging, especially since it’s only sometimes available at pharmacies. 

Who Can Hold the Baby?

Pediatricians suggest that all relatives wear a mask while holding the baby to keep the child healthy. Everyone should wash their hands properly. Go ahead and blame your doctor for making relatives do these things; they won’t mind. 

Travel

It’s hard to avoid people while you’re at the airport, for instance, as you queue up to get in line or wrestle a car seat into an overhead bin. However, a blanket or a protective shield can help keep your child away from masses of people.

It’s always better to avoid public transportation when traveling with an infant. 

Was it the Right Choice?

Think about your risk tolerance. It’s also easier said than done depending on the person you’re trying to protect. For instance, you may have a different risk tolerance for an older relative who is not vaccinated than for a young child who is healthy and has immunity from their mother.

Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when setting boundaries. Wherever your stance is, you should be able to stand up for yourself. It’s your right to keep your child safe.

Gifts Ideas for New Parents

During the holiday season, new parents can experience both the best and worst times. Whether they’re celebrating the birth of their child or preparing for the arrival of their new bundle of joy, this time of year can feel very different for them.

It’s natural to want to spoil the new baby in your family. However, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean you’re only shopping for the baby. Plenty of gifts will help new parents feel supported as they navigate their new life. Here are some suggestions.

Automatic Baby Rocker

New parents often spend a lot of time holding their newborn in their arms. However, after a while, it’s tiring. A baby rocker will help new parents get some rest. It can provide them with a break and allow them to get back to tasks.

A Meditation App Subscription 

It can be very challenging to become a new parent. However, with the help of a guided meditation app like Headspace, you can help new parents relieve their stress and get back to their regular routines. The practice will allow them to feel more grounded and relaxed.

A Couples Parenting Journal

When couples become parents, their relationship often takes a backseat. It’s a great idea to keep their romance alive. A couple’s parenting journal is filled with questions that couples can answer together.

A Meal Delivery Gift Card

It can be very challenging for new parents to prepare food for the family. A meal delivery gift card from a company such as Grubhub or Seamless can help new parents get food delivered to their homes. A local restaurant gift card is also a good alternative.

European Cheese Board

After nine months of abstaining, it’s time to give the mom what she really wants; a bottle of wine, cheese, or cold cuts. These items are usually off-limits during pregnancy, so a party featuring these foods can be a great way to celebrate the new arrival.

A Comfy Robe

A soft robe is an excellent choice for busy parents who want to keep themselves warm and comfortable after a quick shower. Go for midweight Turkish cotton, which is fast drying and comfortable.

A Stylish Nursing Cover

New moms may feel a bit uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. A good nursing cover can help ease the transition, allowing both the mother and baby to breastfeed peacefully.

A Manly Fanny Pack

Fanny packs are often criticized, but they can be a lifesaver for parents needing additional hands. A masculine belt bag can hold all the items they need while they keep the baby safe. 

Happy shopping!

Tips for Taking Your First Trip Without Your Child

Getting away, just the two of you, from time to time, is healthy for your marriage. It’s a good idea for parents to take vacations without their kids for a couple of days.

Some fears come with leaving your kids behind for any period of time.

You might even feel guilty about leaving them at home while you’re on holiday, but getting away is essential so you can recharge.

Although it’s normal to feel anxious about leaving your kids behind, it’s also important to remember that they’re at home and safe. 

Having a positive attitude about traveling can help ease anxiety.

During a trip, you can spend time doing things that we would never be able to accomplish with kids in tow. Some of these include walking through museums in foreign cities and leisurely dinners.

One of the essential factors to consider when it comes to adult-only travel is ensuring that your kids are with responsible adults whom you trust. 

Before you go

It’s important to talk to your kids about the plans for the trip. If they’re likely to be excited about staying with their grandparents or caregiver, tell them a few days in advance. But, if you suspect it will upset them or make them anxious, you can wait until the day of the trip to tell them. According to a psychologist, there’s no point in telling them too early as they might spend more time worrying or upset.

Even if your kids are a little upset, it’s great for them to see that their parents want to spend time together. 

A fun thing to try is asking your child to lend you one of their favorite toys. While you’re away, take photos with the toy in different cities and during fun adventures. This will make your child feel a part of the vacation. It’s a great way to include them while still getting your adult time together. Plus it will be fun for you too. 

Ultimately, it’s healthy for you to get away, and the kids need to know you can’t be with them every single day. It’s good for everyone in the house to learn and grow.