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/

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

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.

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. 

Involving Your Children in Cooking for Thanksgiving

It can be easier to shoo kids away from the kitchen during the hectic Thanksgiving cooking process. However, besides being fun, getting young chefs involved in the cooking and baking of Thanksgiving meals can also take some of the work off of your plate.

Why Do It!

Participating in a special family meal can build their confidence and inspire them to be more self-sufficient. There are a variety of Thanksgiving recipes that kids can make.

Understanding that things can get a bit hectic during prep on Thanksgiving, make sure to set some time aside to prepare something together a day before the big day. They can learn a lot by getting involved in the cooking process.

One of the most bonding moments of the year is when the kids participate in the Thanksgiving feast. It’s a great way to spend time with their parents and share a special meal. The kitchen is a great place to grow and learn as a family.

Find some recipes to make a day or two ahead of time so that you can enjoy the Thanksgiving feast with your family. Here are some easy things little ones can help with before Thanksgiving. 

Kid Friendly Tasks

  • Washing vegetables like potatoes and carrots
  • Making a dip with sour cream and a soup packet. Use a big bowl to keep the dip inside, not on the floor, then let them stir to their hearts’ content. 
  • Rolling out dough for pies and cookies.
  • Baking cookies and being the official taster. 

On the Big day, let your child fill all the water glasses and place them on the table. Then they can fill the pitcher, so it’s ready to go with dinner. 

Mixing the ingredients for the stuffing is another excellent way they can help while you get the bird ready. 

Even the next day, children can help. All those leftovers need a lunch plan. Invite your child to help prepare a simple lunch, such as a grilled turkey sandwich with leftover cranberry sauce. 

What’s most important is the memories you’ll make in the kitchen on the holidays. Those will last a lifetime. 

Tips for Raising Your Family in a Big City

While cities can be expensive, growing up in a modest suburb can still provide some advantages. According to conventional wisdom, raising happy children requires a big house, a quiet neighborhood, and a safe car.

Have you noticed that many families raise their kids in cities instead of the suburbs? According to Leigh Gallagher, author of the 2013 book The End of the Suburbs, the growth of the urban population outpaced that of the suburban sector for the first time in over a hundred years in 2011.

Vishaan Chakrabarti, the author of A Country of Cities, believes that many people who moved to cities when they were young moved back to the suburbs in their 30s due to the quality of education and low crime. However, these factors are also changing in cities, and parks and schools have improved in many areas.

Here’s what you get in the City

Culture

People who live in large urban areas are more likely to have easy access to cultural attractions, such as ballet, opera, and symphony, as well as movie houses, historical landmarks, and museums. Take advantage of these wonderful learning centers. 

Less Carpooling

Most suburban parents don’t like the hours spent driving their kids to school, camp, or classes. In cities, parents allow their kids to ride public transportation starting at 11 or 12. This eliminates the need for them to rely on their parents as much and will enable them to develop a sense of independence. 

More Diverse

Cities allow children to meet people from different backgrounds and experiences, which increases tolerance and compassion. They’ll try new foods from their friends’ lunchboxes and gain new perspectives on the world.

Important Lessons

Explaining to a child why a homeless person is sleeping on the street is very distressing, but there are also many opportunities for growth and learning in these situations. 

No Commute

Cities allow families to spend more time with their kids, as they don’t have to commute as much. City dwellers often only commute a couple of miles. Doctors and other necessities are often within walking distance, and a car might be unnecessary. It’s great to get out and spend time talking or just walking with your family.

Amenities

You can find artisanal ice cream or coffee at your local strip mall if you’re in the market. Although not every city center has the same food and drink options, the diversity of the offerings in any area is usually better than what you’ll find in the suburbs. Urban locations also have easy access to various stores and restaurants.

Four Things Every Freelancer Should Have on Their Website

For freelancers, a website is a crucial gateway to more business. Clients use freelancers’ websites to scope out their work, decide if the freelancer is a good fit for their needs, and ultimately hire them. That is why every freelancer must include the following four things on their website.

Why a Client Should Hire You

Every aspect of your website should be designed so that clients know right away why you are the best choice. Your site should state the services that you provide upfront. If clients have to hunt through your website to find out if you are a copywriter or someone who can design their logo, they’re likely to move on to another freelancer.

Your website should also have information that explains how you stand out from other freelancers. Include more details about your niche or any special skills you have.

Your Portfolio

Explaining why you are the best freelancer for the job is not enough. Potential clients will want to see examples of previous work you have done for other clients. You should have a dedicated space on your website to showcase your portfolio. This can include sample designs, clips from writing projects, or other accomplishments from your career.

Easy Booking Tools

Once clients have expressed interest in your work, your website should make it easy for them to contact and hire you. Include a contact form or booking tool directly on your website to make the hiring process easy.

Make Your Website Work for You

Your website is not just a way for clients to find you. It should be a way for you to grow your profile and increase your network without doing much active work. A website can work for you by collecting email addresses for marketing materials and pitches. Include a sign-up sheet or subscription box on your website to collect contact information.

Building an effective website may seem like a daunting task for many freelancers, but including these four things can help you generate business and grow your profile.

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Originally published on JenniferPowersNYC.Medium.com

How to Really Listen to your Children

This may seem obvious, but listening is more than just hearing what someone is saying. When parents are engaged with their children, they’re actively involved. This means that the speaker feels heard and validated through physical touch (holding hands) or eye contact (looking into your child’s eyes), as well as verbally (asking questions). Listening properly takes practice, but it can be learned. Here are some tips to help you listen to your children:

Use a Good Question

If your child is speaking to you, but you’re not listening to her, then she’s probably not going to feel that she has your complete attention. Be careful not to interrupt. A good question will let your child know that you’re interested in what she has to say and will keep her talking. A good question will keep your child talking and help you learn more about your child’s experiences, feelings, and thoughts. So ask open-ended questions that encourage your child to talk about things that are new and interesting.

Sit Back and Listen

When you listen, sit back and give your child your full attention. If you’re watching your child’s every move, then you’re not really listening properly. Try to be still and look into their eyes as much as possible, without turning or interrupting them with questions or comments.

Summarize What You Hear

Good listeners don’t just listen to their child; they also listen to the child’s experience. They’re able to summarize what the child has just said and present it in a way that makes sense to them to apply it in the future.

Focus on the Child Fully

Try not to look at your child’s face while you listen — instead, listen to what they’re saying. Watch your child’s hands, arms, or legs to see if they are expressing themselves through body language. You may find your child’s expression is speaking louder than their words.

Use Non-Verbal Communication

As parents, we try hard to communicate our love for our children verbally, but sometimes all the words in the world aren’t enough. Your non-verbal communication can help your child to feel you are genuinely listening to them.