4 habits to start with your Toddler if you want a Respectful Teen

By Guest Blogger: Elizabeth Sprague
In today’s culture, it is rare to find a confident teenager who has a marked level of maturity. One who 4 habits to start early if you want awill look you in the eye, offer a handshake upon an introduction, or carry an adult-level conversation with intelligence and charisma. It is pretty easy to find a teenager who is egocentric, sloppy, and as interesting to talk to as a tree stump.Have you ever met a teenager who impressed you? One who left you wishing you could meet his mom and beg her for parenting advice? Most parents have looked at their young children and tried to envision what they will be like when they grow up, especially into the teenage years. Maybe you are terrified because you have a strong-willed preschooler who will not listen to a word you say and you anticipate his defiance growing. Maybe you have friends or family members with disrespectful teens and you have just accepted that this too will be your fate.Many parents paint a picture that the teenage years are something to be dreaded, and that nothing you can do will prepare you for what lies ahead. They will tell you that no matter how you raise your kids, you will face a storm when your son or daughter turns 13 and it will not subside until they move out of your house. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The teenage years can be peaceful, rewarding, and even enjoyable for the parent who lays a proper foundation early in life.As a former counselor for troubled and at-risk teenagers, I met a lot of parents who had thrown their hands in the air and given up all hope, not knowing where they went wrong. They were up to their eyeballs with drug addictions, promiscuity, rebellion, and attitude. Every single one of these parents would go back to the toddler years and start over if given the opportunity.

I have also been privileged to know several “impressive teenagers”…. ones who have compelled me to seek out their parents in hopes of gleaning from their wisdom and experience. I have sat with mothers whose teenagers respect and admire them and asked, “How do I get my kids to end up this way? What did you do to make them love you so much, to seek to please you and earn your respect?”

Here are 4 Tips I have learned that you can begin applying now to prepare your child for a lifetime of healthy relationships.

  1. Outline Clear Expectations and Boundaries. One reason why so many kids get in trouble all the time is because they have not been clearly guided on what is expected of them. It is very important (even from the age of crawling/beginning to walk) that children know what is permissible and what is not. They say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Well, “An ounce of training is worth a pound of discipline.” Show them what to do and how you want them to do it. Reward them when they do it well and correct them- every time- when they do not meet your expectations.
  2. Teach them How to Serve. If there is one thing that makes a teen stand out in a crowd, it is having a servant’s heart. I want my children to not just do as they are told, but to look for opportunities to be helpful and to serve those around them. You can train them very young to look for needs and then to do what they can to help meet those needs. Teach them to seek out these opportunities instead of waiting to be asked to help. Opening doors at restaurants and letting others go before you in line at the grocery store are ways you can model this for very young children. As they grow into the preschool and school-aged years, allow them opportunities to be proactive themselves. Take them to the neighbor’s house to ask if they can pick up sticks in their yard or sweep off their sidewalk. Help them make a meal for someone who is ill. Learning to serve takes children (and future teenagers) off of the their own throne and teaches them to put others first. This is a key to respect!
  3. Respect Them. Yes, you read that right. You cannot expect your children to respect you if you do not show them the same courtesy. The “Because I said so” and “Because I am the parent and you are the child” will not be effective in raising respectful children. At a certain age (likely the teen or pre-teen years) they will begin to think logically and wonder why you expect something from them that you do not reciprocate or model yourself. They will be right for questioning this. As the parent, you must earn the respect of your children. It is not something that is given freely. Much like trust, it is difficult to earn and easy to lose, but the rewards of building it and keeping it are more than worth the effort! Be polite in how you discipline them. Do not manipulate them or give empty threats. Do not talk to them in a way that you would not talk to an adult. Being stern and firm are good and necessary, but yelling and criticizing and belittling them are not. This behavior will reproduce itself in how your children treat others, and you, in the years to come.
  4. Be Consistent!!! I cannot stress this point enough. You will be endlessly frustrated, and they will be endlessly frustrated, if you are fickle in any of the aforementioned strategies. You will gain no ground in raising respectful children if you are wishy- washy. In fact, I believe inconsistency in parenting is the #1 contributor to rebellion in later years. You must be confident in your boundaries, in your discipline, in your techniques, and in your own attitudes and behavior. If you make a rule, you must stick with it every time. If they cross a boundary, you must give them a consequence every time. If you tell them to do something and they do not obey you, you must discipline them every time. Demand first-time obedience. (Please, please, please…do not ever count to 3! Unless you only want them to obey you when you count? I certainly do not want to have to count for my children to listen to me.)

And here is one bonus pointer-
When you blow it, and you will…I do daily… Say you’re sorry. Teach them humility by acknowledging your fault, apologizing, and specifically asking for them to forgive you for what you did. This will not only teach them respect, but it will also win their hearts. When you are vulnerable with them, they will learn to be vulnerable with you.

You cannot make someone respect you any more than you can make someone love you. Your children will learn by your example how to treat others by how they are treated. Love and respect your children in a way that will cause them to reciprocate that love and respect to others!

Parking Lot Safety Board

Our mission at Parking Pal has always been to find ways to keep kids safer. We want parking lot injuries to be a thing of the past. That’s why we created our Parking Lot Safety Board.

Final Preschool board

What is our Safety Board Package?  It is a laminated version of all the images you see above. It also includes a Parking Pal Magnet and our new book “Cars Are Big and I Am Small” pictured below.

fish_book

Who is it for?

TEACHERS

PRESCHOOLS

DAYCARES

MOPS

SAFEKIDS GROUPS

ANYONE WHO WORKS WITH KIDS

Make a board like this:

preschool safety project

Order our SAFETY KIT by itself or along with some Parking Pals and Books at our group pricing rate for a fun way to teach those little ones safety in parking lots.  Email info@parkingpalmagnet.com for more info.

Conception Battles- The Untold Story Part 3

A guest post by K.C. Ott

Your six month prescription from the doctor is coming to an end, as is every hope of ever having a baby. You were certain your doctor would be able to fulfill your dream. As you sit in her office and wait to discuss how your body has failed you, the doctor walks in greeting you with yet another smile. “How can the bitch smile,” you wonder. It’s taking every ounce of strength to not let the faucet of tears turn on. The appointment was scheduled to discuss further options, yet at this point you’re ready to give up. Who the hell wants a baby anyways? Someone to wake you up every three hours to eat in the middle of the night, someone to take care of changing shitty diapers, someone to spend every extra dollar made on, someone to love. Damning your brain that it took you there, you try to come back to earth. That’s all you want is a baby to love. The doctor recommends a fertility specialist, “You mean making a baby in a petri dish and turkey basting it into me,” you ask. Straight faced the doctor replies, “Not quite like that….lets set up the appointment.”

Two weeks later you find yourself, with your husband, in the specialist’s office. Fancy awards, degrees and certifications plaster his office walls, not to mention the thousands of baby pictures staring at you. For fuck sake, if all the baby pictures don’t make you want to off yourself nothing will. Your husband squeezes your hand and flashes you a nervous smile. A small, round man with hair that appears to resemble a toupee walks in and sits down. He reviews your history, previous medications you’ve tried, and starts implementing a game plan. This game plan is no longer for amateurs; he’s taking it straight to the fucking big leagues. Talking daily ultrasounds, weekly blood work, injectable medications, and signing waivers…in case of…multiples! He’s not just talking twins either, he’s throwing out triplets and a quadruplet like it’s no big deal. You want to stop him and tell him not to get too carried away but then remember he’s done this before. Then he discusses further risks: ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome, ovarian torsion or rupture, ectopic pregnancy. The list doesn’t scare you; he doesn’t realize you’re at the point of selling your soul for a baby! God damn it, all you want is a BABY! As you sign the waivers he explains he’ll be in frequent touch via telephone when your “numbers reach where they need to be”. And if necessary, taking the next step and trying to do IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).

Your husband and you head to the pharmacy with your stack of prescriptions. Ovulation test kits, pregnancy tests, medications, needles, and Aunt Flow supplies, just in case. But that bitch better not show face! After hearing the total of everything your husband damn near passes out. When getting into the car he finally loses it, “What the fuck….you just spent half of our mortgage on this shit!” He rants on, “…none of this is covered by insurance, remember the ultrasounds cost too, and for what,” smacking the driving wheel, “for fucking NOTHING!” He realizes what he has said but it’s too late as you lose it yourself and burst into tears. “Do you think I chose this fucking life!?” The drive home one could hear a pin drop, and when you arrive home you lock yourself away in your room with your crayons, calendar and a box of Kleenex. There won’t be a baby making session tonight, you’re only burying your face in your pillow to hide the sobs.

A month after being on the medications and no success, you begin to realize how pathetic you’ve let life become. Dragging your husband to the hospital at five in the morning daily for the ultra-sonographer to give you the same disappointing answer, running home from work to be precisely on time to stab yourself with injections at six in the evening, having sex every other day like it’s a second job, and screaming matches with someone, even plants, due to the medications making you a raging lunatic. Your husband used to think you’re fun, now you’re almost positive he thinks you’re a psychotic bitch.

Another month passes, and another one. It’s amazing your husband hasn’t served you divorce papers yet. Or that you haven’t filed bankruptcy as you continue to dwindle your savings to a frightening amount. To make it even worse, the doctor calls to explain to you that you’re not an IVF candidate to possibly start considering adoption. However, he wants you to continue the regime because there is still a “chance”. A fucking chance!!!
You’ve given up all hope, sobbing on a daily basis as you see babies everywhere. When friends call to announce their happy news you hang up immediately because you can no longer pretend to be excited for them. Besides they’re all whores, how else could one be impregnated so easily?

The fourth months’ end rolls around and you pull out the infamous stick to piss on. With expectations in the gutter you do your part and set it on the bathroom counter. Five minutes later, you come back to throw it away. What.The.Fuck!? Shining like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, two lines! This is some sort of sick fucking joke, it has to be, you think. Nonetheless you can’t contain your elation! Squealing like a pig being slaughtered so loudly your husband hears you from outside. Running in he finds you in a heaping mess. Smiling, crying, babbling like a baby and jumping around. He’s certain he’s going to be taking you to the closest psychiatric hospital. “This bitch has damn near lost it,” he thinks. He sees it at the same moment you wave it in his face and jump into his arms. Barely understanding you, he grabs your hand to hold it still to see and finally grasps what all the commotion is about. Two lines. “You’re going to be a daddy,” you cry, “I’m pregnant.”

Wrapping into each other’s arms, as you both laugh until you cry. Finally everything seems worth it: the fights, tears, appointments, thousands of dollars spent, disappointment, and heartache. It all Untitled design-2instantly seems part of the past as you can now look forward to the future. Everything you’ve ever wanted you now carry inside of you. Within nine months you’ll be holding your only dream, a baby. “What could be more perfect than God’s precious gift,” you wonder. Then you answer yourself, “absolutely nothing.”

Conception Battles- The Untold Story Part 2

A guest post by K.C. Ott

Several months have passed and still no baby. Not even a baby in sight; nothing growing in your conceptionpart2womb, just an empty heart and defeated soul. It’s time to start taking matters into your own hands, swallowing your pride you schedule an appointment with your OB provider. If anyone can work magic it has to be her. After all, she catches babies on a daily basis and helps families grow, she has to be capable of providing you with the same happiness.

The day of the visit comes and you’ve already done your research and spoken with different friends for their suggestions. Hell, Web MD has bestowed enough knowledge in you that you feel competent enough to tell the doctor exactly what you need. Yet, if you did know what you needed you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re at. Clad in a hospital gown with your feet in the stirrups letting all lady parts hang out you try to patiently wait for the doctor to come in. Thoughts of your bikini shave run thru your head as you listen to the clock tick. “What the hell is taking so long?” you wonder, “Doesn’t she know I’m here because I desperately need her help to make a baby.” The doctor finally comes in and greets you with a giant smile, if only you could address her the same. Before she can even get the first sentence of “What seems to be….(wrong)” you instantly break down in gut wrenching sobs. “I can’t….I can’t….,” luckily she has already read the notes. After consoling you, she pulls out that damn speculum everyone loves to inspect your insides. Not noticing anything out of the ordinary the doctor starts discussing a treatment plan of a couple medications. Giving you full details and instructions of each med, when to take them and the expected side effects and realistic expectations. “Hand me the damn prescriptions so I can run out of here,” you think. As she talks further in depth your head drifts off into baby land and how cute your unborn child is going to be.

Running out of the physician’s office you drive directly to the pharmacy to get your stock of baby goodies. Medications, ovulation test kits, and pregnancy tests in hand you feel fully equipped to make this baby thing happen. The idea of starving for the week only crosses your mind for a split second as your bill totals your weekly grocery budget. Now, to get home and start taking the meds, set up your game plan and hop on the husband. Hope is restored, that bitch Aunt Flow is going to be sent packing!

The color coded calendar that appears on the fridge month after month has now gained symbols for each medication. You sit your husband down, pacing in front of him and instruct him of his duties like a drill sergeant , placing him on restrictions of when and where he can get off. He sure as hell better not consider masturbating! You follow him around like a private eye, sneaking into the bathroom to make sure he’s not wasting your baby batter down the drain during one of his hot showers. His ass will be grass as you’ve already explained to him that the doctor informed you how sperm count can be affected by too much or too little sex.

This is the seventh month of trying, medications in full swing. Intercourse is now a job, losing all spontaneity. He is no longer allowed to choose a position. It’s simple, he is to be on top, drop his load as you happily take his deposit and be done. You really don’t care if he enjoys the sex, just as long as he gets off and gives you what you want….a baby.

Unquestionably so, he doesn’t end up giving you what you want though he tried, as you find a murder scene in your underwear weeks later. The feeling of despair revisits as you remind yourself the doctor said the medications may take a few months to actually work. So again, you chug along with the same monthly routine as the month’s past continuing to repeat to yourself that God has a plan as you waive your morals bargaining with the Devil.

A couple more months pass and you begin to realize you’ve been at this as long as it takes to make and have a baby. Cursing your uterus to get her shit together. As you struggle with the emotions flooding in the phone rings and its your best friend telling you she just welcomed her healthy baby girl and wants you to come visit. What a fucking bitch! She’s your best friend so reluctantly you pay her the deserved visit. She knows you well enough that even though you’re smiling when you walk through her hospital door there’s a thousand tears hiding behind it. She offers the baby for you to snuggle. Tears burst out of your eyes like a waterfall as you try to give her a congratulatory hug. The hug becomes a grasp of truth, this may never be you. She lets you cuddle the baby as long as you choose, your husband having to drag you out of the hospital. Wanting to cling to the doors, “This should be me…”

Back home you find your paperwork as you know your time is ticking. The doctor gave you a six months prescription and you’re down to only three months left. “I better make this count….”

Stay tuned for part 3 of Conception Battles- The Untold Story

Conception Battles- The Untold Story (Part 1)

A Guest Post by K.C.Ott

When a woman decides she’s ready to have a baby it engulfs her entire being; by body, heart and soul. She becomes crazed and infatuated with the idea of the “perfect family”. Planning and fine tuning every detail of pregnancy and life after baby. Most women start out thinking “all we gotta do is have sex during ovulation”, with the unrealistic impression conception will happen miraculously within the first month of trying. The journey of baby making begins with this first month of ignorance.

The first month is all fun, not really paying attention to time or details. Your husband is oblivious to Conceptionthe time of the month and has a mindset of he’s just getting lucky, often. The thought of a baby and conception is buried in the back of your mind during intercourse and you’re enjoying every minute…right to the big O! Days after expecting Aunt Flow to show up you get filled with excitement thinking you’re pregnant, only to discover the bitch is late again, with the white sticking displaying a negative sign for confirmation. Everyone else makes it look easy, so you figure it was just a glitch.

The true life story of baby making and conception starts. It’s a hell of a lot harder than most believe. The simplicity of dropping your panties and climbing into bed with your husband for a passionate baby making session suddenly disappears.

The following month a game plan is instituted. A color coded calendar appears on the fridge; red days for the damn bitch who ruined your plan last month, purple for when you are suppose to ovulate, and bright flaming orange to indicate the nights your husband is suppose to be readily available to suit up (or should we say not suit up). The calendar quickly becomes scribbles of “X” marks while counting down the days to the orange. The orange days arrive and its game time. After sex you dare not move, folding yourself up with your feet above your head. Surely this is going to help those swimmers move in the right direction to where they are suppose to go, and you dare not let one drop go wasted onto the bed or into the toilet. As you squander time with your feet up playing on your cell phone or reading. Your husband leaves the bed, and yet you don’t care about the after snuggles. He dropped his load and frankly, that’s all you wanted from him. It wasn’t about him, it wasn’t about the snuggles, it was about the baby….the baby.

Every tummy cramp, nipple pain, spot of “is that blood” (implantation bleeding) in your panties takes your mind directly to believing your body is working on making that baby you have long hoped for. The wait and anticipation of making it to the day you can test is excruciating. That white stick is certainly going to have a positive signed after all of the month’s well thought out antics. You think positive and go out of your way for others, because surely your body is going to take karma into consideration before it exfoliates your insides for the montly regime. This month you can’t even wait until Aunt Flow arrives, you figure “the bitch better have packed her vacation bags for the next 9 months”, pissing on the stick four days early because it says you can. The three minute wait feels like an eternity and to not jinx it you walk away trying not to look. “If I don’t look it will be positive….my Grandma always said a watched pot never boils.” A negative. You try reasoning with yourself that its only negative because its too early, it could be a false negative, telling yourself “I may still be pregnant.” The next morning you wake up to find a massacre has occurred in your panties while you slept, fucking whore didn’t pack her bags after all and Aunt Flow has arrived in full force. Damn it!! Maybe next month….

The third month becomes even more strategically planned than the previous two. You take it upon yourself to note every single change in your body. Checking your basal body temperature before even lifting your head up off your pillow in the morning, sticking your fingers in the goo of vaginal discharge to note the texture, and even monitoring what your husband is eating, drinking and doing with every breath. Lord knows that he could be the one fucking this up. And he thought PMS was bad! He falls asleep on a night that you are suppose to have sex, and hell will freeze over before you left him get away with it. You stop at nothing, waking his ass up and even threatening rape if he dares not perform. He curses you all while calling you a crazy psycho bitch but indeed does his job and rolls over back to sleep. You throw those feet up over your head one more time, load happily received and drift off into dreams of babies.

Yet again the day comes and your wish doesn’t come true. Aunt Flow wins again. So this is real life? “Why didn’t I get pregnant?” you wonder, “we did everything right, right?” You quickly resort to feelings of hopelessness, disgust, anger, rage and hurt. The stress takes a toll on your marriage as you blame yourself, then him, then yourself again for not succeeding. The damn bitch from high school just posted on Facebook: “Whoops…it was an accident but Ed and I are expecting a baby!!” You curse and swear, throwing objects at the wall….how the fuck did she “accidentally” get pregnant. Struggling with you own emotions you can’t help but wish awful things upon her at the time of your enragement and frustration. Making matters worse the neighbor is due any day and you’ve already contemplated kidnapping the child so she can feel your pain.

And so it goes, as life swirls upon you, everyone else getting knocked up while you wallow in sorrow and desparation. You feel like you’re the only one. It seems when you want something most everyone else can achieve it but yourself. The small amount of hope in one day smelling the sweet newborn scent and cuddling God’s most precious gift keeps you trucking along month after month. You grab the calendar and your crayons heading to the desk to prepare for the next month….

Stay Tuned for “Conception Battles: The Untold Story Part 2″  Coming Soon

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If you have a story to share on our blog, please email info@parkingpalmagnet.com.

Cars Are Big and I Am Small- A book to teach kids safety around vehicles

Our mission at Parking Pal Magnet is to keep kids safer around vehicles.  So it only made sense for our next product to be a book.  PP-Book-Ad-RevisedBut not just any book.  We wanted one that was fun, colorful, has awesome illustrations AND will teach your young child safety around vehicles.  Taking a few minutes to read this to your child could actually save their life! As a mom of 3 boys, I know first hand how stressful parking lots can be.  A tragedy can happen in an instant.  We want to help make running errands with your kiddos a little less stressful.  We have a book/magnet combo pack for only $12.99. Stop by www.parkingpalmagnet.com and check out all our fun magnet designs. book magnet combo #4

New Magnet Design for the Construction Lover!

Coming Soon….our construction design magnet.  You asked for it and we listened.  So many kids are big truck, bull dozing, construction loving fanatics.  Now we have the perfect design!!  Our first shipment will be available the beginning of November!

Jpeg of construction

We are discontinuing our Monster design.  There are a handful left, but once they are sold out, we won’t be reordering more.  If you want a monster design, now is the time to get it. www.parkingpalmagnet.com

 

hiresPKPAL_monsters

 

Don’t Miss the Bus! 4 Tips to Make Your Morning Better

By Guest Blogger Rebecca Rescate

Let’s be real parents. Getting the kids out the door during the school year can be chaotic. At some point we all fall into a routine of raising our voices and frantically rushing. It’s time to tame the madness. Use our four time-tested tips to keep morning mayhem to a minimum.

TIP 1 – Prep the Day Beforehand
When your child gets home from school have them prepare for the following day right away. Provide bus #2your child a simple list of three things they need to do such as pack their lunch, prep their school bag, pick out the next day’s outfit, etc. before allowing them to swing into their evening routine or veg out.

Having your child to get ready for school a day in advance teaches them important lessons in preparedness, priority setting and time management. It also relieves you of the stress and responsibility of doing these things for them at the last minute when they are running late.

TIP 2 – Time Block the Morning
Time blocking is a time-management technique of reserving a segment of time in your day for a certain task. Used by top executives, this technique can be taught to children as young as five.

Review your child’s morning routine and block tasks into bite-size time chunks of 15 minutes. For example, my children’s morning routine takes 45 minutes and they have 15 minutes to get through each set of tasks.
Time Block 1 (15 Minutes) – Get dressed, brush your teeth & hair, make your bed
Time Block 2 (15 Minutes) – Eat breakfast
Time Block 3 (15 Minutes) – Put on shoes, jacket and backpack and go to bus stop
TOTAL – 45 Minutes

Time-blocking helps children see large tasks as less overwhelming and teaches them to be mindful of time throughout tasks instead of rushing at the end.

TIP 3 – Shift the Clock
It’s time to throw out the credo “never wake a sleeping baby”. Kids look adorable when they are sleeping but don’t let that convince you to give your child 5-10 more minutes of shut-eye and put off the inevitable. Those minutes are the difference between you having a peaceful morning routine or pulling your hair out as they sprint for the bus. If 5-10 minutes of additional sleep are what your childs needs, let it be a sign to shift their bedtime earlier rather than throwing your morning into chaos.

TIP – Morning Priorities Come First
One habit of highly successful people is they do the painful tasks first. If you allow your child to watch TV or play video games in the morning and then scramble at the last minute to get ready for school you are encouraging and teaching them to procrastinate. Set the stage that your child has to be prepared and ready for school before they can kick back. They won’t thank you today but they will when they are in their twenties.

About Rebecca Rescate
Rebecca Rescate is a three-time business owner and mother of three children ages 8, 6 & 5. With her latest venture 3·Purpose Inc., Rescate is pioneering a new category of products, visual products for creative minds. www.3purpose.com

Tips for Improved Work-Life Balance

By Guest Blogger Rebecca Rescate

A healthy work-life balance is achieved when we are mindful of our priorities and time down to the minute. As we enter into October, National Work and Family Month, it is the perfect time to reflect on how we all can achieve a healthier work-life balance. Read our top five tips below to help you strike a better balance in your life.

Rescate-worklife

TIP 1 – Stick to your Priorities.
On a daily basis we take part in high priority and low priority tasks. High priority tasks add great value to our lives and are typically things such as family, work, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, etc. Low priorities add little value to our lives and are typically things such as watching TV, socializing, commuting, etc.
With only 24 hours in a day, it is important to focus the better part of every day on high priority tasks. Reflect on what your top three priorities are this year and write them down. Before you begin a new task categorize it as high or low priority. If your task is not of high priority, consider limiting the time you spend on this task or eliminating it from your schedule altogether.

TIP 2 – Schedule your Week in Advance
Scheduling your week in advance is an essential part of having a healthy work-life balance. Doing so allows you time to visualize your week before it begins, to time block important high priority work into your schedule and to eliminate time wasted between tasks normally spent on planning what to do next.

Taking this high level view of your week not only allows you to be more efficient, it also allows you the opportunity to set aside essential down time for yourself weekly as a reward for your hard work.

TIP 3 – Eliminate the ‘Big Three’ Time Wasters
It is easier to achieve a healthy work-life balance if your days are focused on activities that add value to you. Americans spend on average over 6 hours per day on social media (3.2 hours), watching TV (2.8 hours), and socializing with coworkers (.75 hours). Eliminating these time wasters free your mind and schedule for higher value activities.

TIP 4 – Streamline your Day-to-Day Tasks
Every minute is just as valuable as the last. It is not possible to eliminate every low priority task from your schedule but by streamlining everyday tasks and saving yourself just 15 minutes a day, you can free up 91.25 hours every year!

Where can you save time? Instead of waiting for coffee to brew, set it to auto-brew in advance (time saved – 5 minutes a day). Shorten your beauty routine to 20-minutes (time saved – 30 minutes a day). Double batch your dinner and freeze ½ of it as a meal for another day (time saved – 30 minutes per meal).

TIP 5 – Use Parkinson’s Law to Your Advantage
Parkinson’s law is the adage that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. If you give yourself a day to complete a task, it invariably will take a day to complete. Begin expecting more of yourself in less time from your morning email check to finishing a week-long project in less time.

About National Work and Family Month
National Work and Family Month was created in 2003 to celebrate the progress of employers reducing work-life conflict for employees and creating healthier and more flexible work environments.

About Rebecca Rescate
Rebecca Rescate is a three-time business owner and mother of three children ages 8, 6 & 5. With her latest venture 3·Purpose Inc. Rescate is pioneering a new category of products, visual stationary for creative minds. www.3purpose.com

If your interested in being a guest blogger for the Parking Pal Blog, please email info@parkingpalmagnet.com

Tips for Surviving the First Few Days, Weeks and Months of School

It’s back to school time.  Here аrе sоmе ways уоu саn prepare fоr school аnd help tо reduce аnу anxieties уоu оr уоur child mау bе having.

Back to school survival tips

Organizing fоr School

It’s common fоr children, аnd thеіr parents tо feel nervous аbоut starting оr going bасk tо school. І recall mу оwn feelings аbоut starting thе nеw school year (а sweet mixture оf excitement аnd fear). Неrе аrе sоmе great ways tо prepare fоr school:

- Familiarize уоur child wіth thе school environment. Ѕhоw thеm whеrе thеіr classroom will bе, whеrе thе toilets аrе аnd introduce thеm tо thеіr teacher.

- Focus оn thе positives: Learning tо read; making nеw friends; bеіng wіth thеіr older siblings; аnd, bеіng а ‘big girl оr boy’.

- Prepare а routine bеfоrе school bеgіns, suсh аs making а set bedtime аnd time fоr gеttіng uр. Practice gеttіng ready fоr school sо аs tо mаkе surе thаt уоu hаvе еnоugh time tо gеt ready аnd reduce stress levels.

- Ensure thаt уоu hаvе еvеrуthіng уоu will nееd well ahead оf time (еg uniform, bag, shoes еtс).

- Label еvеrуthіng – things dо аnd will gо missing! Іf it’s labeled it’s mоrе lіkеlу tо bе fоund – оthеrwіsе уоu’ll nееd tо gо аnd spend extra money оn а nеw hat оr jumper. Include spare underwear – children thіs age stіll hаvе occasional accidents аnd hаvіng spare clothes will reduce thеіr embarrassment.

- Ве аvаіlаblе tо answer questions frоm уоur child. Openly encourage thеm tо аsk questions аbоut whаt school will bе lіkе. Тhіs helps thеm alleviate thеіr anxiety levels.

- Discuss safety issues – sun safety, road safety, playground safety аnd stranger danger. Dоn’t tаkе іt fоr granted thаt thеу knоw hоw tо deal wіth thеsе issues оn thеіr оwn.

- Ве aware оf thеіr behavior leading uр tо аnd fоllоwіng thе start оf school.Are thеу hаvіng nightmares? Аrе thеу experiencing disturbed sleep? Аrе thеу acting-up mоrе thаn usual? Аrе thеу sticking close tо уоu? Тhеsе саn bе signs thаt thеу аrе feeling anxious аbоut starting school. Remember thаt starting school іs а big adjustment fоr mоst children. Іf уоu touch base wіth thеm оn а daily basis; аsk thеm hоw thеу аrе feeling аnd whеthеr thеу hаvе аnу questions аbоut school thеn thеу аrе lіkеlу tо mаkе thе transition mоrе easily.

- Тhе best predictor оf future behavior іs раst behavior і.е. Іf уоur child hаs hаd trouble separating іn thе раst (е.g. аt granny’s house, childcare, оr preschool) thеn they’re аrе mоrе lіkеlу tо hаvе trouble separating аt school аs well. Тhіs іs normal – thеу јust nееd а bit mоrе time. Frоm mу оwn experience І thіnk іt takes аt lеаst 3 months (оr а school term) fоr а child tо settle іntо school. Тhе routine аt childcare оr preschool іs quіtе relaxed (whеrе children аrе allowed аnd encouraged tо ‘float’ frоm оnе activity tо аnоthеr), whеrеаs school іs muсh mоrе regimented аnd requires а lot mоrе concentration.

- Іf уоu аrе separated оr divorced frоm уоur partner trу tо prepare thе school routine іn advance. Ensure thаt thе child іs aware оf whо will bе picking thеm uр оr dropping thеm оff оn аnу gіvеn day (і.е. record іt оn а calender аnd talk tо thеm аbоut іt). Аt school thеrе will bе mаnу class аnd school events. Іf relations bеtwееn уоursеlf аnd уоur partner аrе tense trу tо work оut а wау whеrе уоu саn bоth attend events оr arrange tо tаkе turns.

- Іf уоu child hаs special nееds, bе surе tо speak tо thе staff аt thе school bеfоrеhаnd tо ensure thаt thеіr nееds will bе addressed аnd catered fоr. Κеер іn regular contact wіth thе teacher thrоughоut thе year tо address nееds аs thеу аrіsе. Remember thаt уоu аrе уоur child’s advocate, sо dоn’t bе afraid tо raise issues wіth thе school іf уоu feel thаt they’re nоt bеіng dealt wіth adequately.

- Practice social skills – Ѕоmе children find іt difficult making friends аt school bесаusе thеу аrе shy оr реrhарs over-bearing. Ву practicing ‘school’ scenarios уоu саn help instill thе social skills needed fоr thеm tо mаkе аnd maintain school friendships. Тrу nоt tо pressure thеm аbоut whо thеу hаvе оr hаvе nоt bееn playing wіth, аs thеу mау bесоmе self-conscious. Іf уоu hаvе concerns trу аskіng thеіr teacher and/or thе parents оf оthеr children іn thе class (thеу mау bе аblе tо gіvе уоu thе inside goss).

First day аt School

- Еvеn іf уоur child іs returning tо school bе surе tо tаkе photos оr video, аs а memento. It’s аlsо fun tо compare photos оf уоur child frоm оnе year tо thе nехt tо sее hоw muсh thеу’vе grown аnd changed.

- Chances аrе thеу wоn’t sleep tоо well thе night bеfоrе, оut оf nerves and/or excitement. Тrу tо maintain thеіr sleep routine аs muсh аs роssіblе аnd resettle thеm аs required.

- Тrу tо hаvе thе morning free оf оthеr commitments (е.g. work). Stay аs long аs thе child wаnts уоu tо (іf allowed – оftеn schools will encourage thе parents tо leave bеfоrе tоо long tо speed uр thе separation process).

- Dоn’t bе surprised аt hоw уоu react – whеthеr thаt bе ‘cool, calm аnd collected’ оr а blubbering mess. Еасh іs fine. І wаs vеrу calm wіth mу oldest daughter аnd extremely рrоud. І expect wіth mу twins thоugh, thаt І will bе fаr mоrе emotional, аs thеу will bе mу lаst аnd іt will bе thе ‘end оf аn era’ sо tо speak.

- Build уоur child’s confidence аt school bу gіvіng thеm lots оf praise. Start wіth small things suсh аs gеttіng dressed, carrying thеіr оwn bag, аnd usіng thеіr manners wіth thе teacher. Тhеn аs time gоеs оn – dоіng thеіr homework, remembering thеіr library books, bеіng kind tо thеіr friends etc.

As time gоеs оn…

- Ве surе tо stay іn touch wіth уоur children аbоut school. Аsk thеm regularly ‘How’s іt going?’ аnd ‘What аrе уоu dоіng іn class аt thе moment?’. Тhеу mау nоt tеll уоu straight аwау, but whеn thе day соmеs thаt thеу dо wаnt tо talk аbоut іt thеу’ll knоw thаt you’re thеrе tо listen.

- Life іs оftеn hectic, whеthеr іt bе work, caring fоr younger children оr оthеr commitments. Тhе lаst thing уоu wаnt tо bе dоіng іn thе evening іs help уоur child wіth thеіr homework. Тrу tо set а good example thоugh bу making а regular time fоr homework. Help уоur child whеn required аnd offer lots оf praise аnd support.

- Асt quісklу іf уоu notice problems – whеthеr іt bе socially оr academically. Іf dealt wіth quісklу there’s lеss chance оf іt hаvіng а long-term impact.

- Κеер motivating thеm. Chances аrе thеrе’ll bе days thеу dоn’t wаnt tо gо tо school (јust lіkе wе hаvе days wе dоn’t wаnt tо gо tо work оr study оursеlvеs). Іt саn bе tough sоmеtіmеs, but encourage thеm tо focus оn thе good things.

- Resist thе temptation tо compare children. Let’s face іt thеrе will аlwауs bе children whо аrе thе mоst popular, thе smartest, thе best аt sport еtс. Тrу nоt tо compare уоur child tо оthеrs (it’s а no-win situation!). Аll children hаvе strengths аnd weaknesses (јust lіkе adults). Focus оn уоur child’s strengths аnd explain thаt it’s uncommon fоr children tо bе good аt еvеrуthіng. Оnlу stress аbоut thоsе things thаt thе teacher tells уоu tо work оn (і.е. bеіng аblе tо draw magnificent unicorns оr bеіng аblе tо recite thе nаmе оf еvеrу single dinosaur species іsn’t аnу good іf а child саn’t read аnd write).

- Finally, enjoy thіs wonderful, amazing, constantly surprising time оf уоur child’s life аnd bе extremely рrоud оf bоth уоur child аnd уоursеlf fоr organizing еvеrуthіng аnd reaching thіs achievement.

Article written by Michele-guest writter for Parking Pal Blog