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6 Signs You’re Forgetting to Set a Good Example for Your Kids

October 27, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

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Melanie Hargrave, guest contributor

Being a parent gives you an abundance of parenting components to think about and remember, so naturally many good practices may fall through the cracks. But one of the most important responsibilities that cannot be overlooked by a parent is to constantly set a good example. Here are some signs that you may need to change your habits to not only improve your child’s outlook, but also yourself as a person.

 

You’re Eating Badly

Your eating habits will leave an impression on your children, whether or not you eat the same foods together. Eating too late and eating sugary or fatty food will imply that children will be able to indulge in those habits when they are older. Be sure to eat foods that are wholesome for both of you. If you are the one protecting them from your own bad eating habits now, who will protect them in the future?

 

You Don’t Do Housework

Depending on what kind of household you live in, you might have a maid or other help come in to assist you with housework. If your children never see you working, they may get a skewed view of how life is supposed to work as an adult. Make sure you set a chore schedule for the family. Try to make the work fun by operating together as a group.

 

You’re Inactive

It’s not just your body and mental health you’re affecting by neglecting to exercise. Children have plenty of energy to put toward being active, but the less active you are with them the more that energy will dwindle away. Help your children find sports or hobbies to fall in love with now, so that they’ll start good habits and keep them throughout their lives.

 

You Shirk Obligations

We’ve all had that party we were planning on going to, but decided not to at the last minute because we were too tired. If your child witnesses this kind of flakiness, it will permanently skew the way they view commitments to others. The next time you or your child feels the desire to shirk an obligation, verbalize your thought process. “Well, I’m tired, and I’d rather stay at home and play. But I made a promise and I can’t break promises.”

 

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You’re in a Bad Relationship

This is a controversial topic, but it depends on what you want for your children. Most feel that the foundation of a family is most important for child development, but to others the relationship between mother and father must be positive for it to do any good. Make sure you are being treated well if you want your children to succeed in their future relationships. If you are stuck in a toxic relationship, consider whether your children’s futures are at stake if you can’t end the relationship for yourself.

 

You Choose Not to Be Happy

Children are happy creatures, but they also learn quickly. Life as an adult is much harder than it is as a child, but you may want to reevaluate the way you approach it. Happiness is so much about attitude that you should ensure you’re looking at life as positively as possible — if not for yourself, for the sake of your child. Have conversations with them, talk about everything that is going well, and teach them to look for the beauty in life. You will prepare them with valuable tools for the rest of their lives, and you will learn a valuable lesson yourself in the meantime.

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Melanie Hargrave is a wife and homemaker whose pride and joy is her family. In addition to spending time with her husband and daughters, she loves being outdoors, playing sports, and sharing her experiences with others. She is an advocate for women’s rights, and supports Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoefflin and his services for women.

5 Reasons to Put Your Child in Music Lessons

October 10, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

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Leslie Mason, guest contributor

When searching for an extra-curricular activity for your child, it can sometimes be difficult to decide how you want your child spending their time. Music lessons, however, are an activity that will continue to pay off well into your child’s adult years. Here are just some of the benefits your child will gain from learning a musical instrument.

 

1. Music Enhances Fine Motor Skills

When young children learn to play a musical instrument—from the piano to the violin—it increases their fine motor skills. Those skills are important for accomplishing a variety of tasks, from tying their shoes to reading and writing.

As they grow older, those skills will continue developing, particularly if they keep playing the instrument, and those finely-tuned skills will benefit them into their adulthood, especially with activities that require very precise movements of the hand, like drawing.

 

2. Music Creates a Haven for Self-Expression

Healthy children need to be able to express themselves, and music gives them an outlet to do so. As they get better at playing their chosen instrument, they will be able to play the music they want, or create music of their own. That outlet of self-expression becomes even more important as children get older: children who have a place to express themselves have a higher self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life than children who do not.

 

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3. Music Facilitates Academic Growth

Music facilitates academic growth by improving comprehension and grades. Learning to play a musical instrument and read and play sheet music teaches a child the same skills they need to do mathematics like division. By the time they need these mathematics skills in school, they will already be adept at using them, and can learn math easier than most other students.

Moreover, music improves memory. Learning and playing an instrument stimulates brain function, including the areas controlling memory. Therefore, the more children play an instrument, the better their memory and overall cognitive function.

 

4. Music Encourages Hard Work and Perseverance

Learning a musical instrument requires perseverance and patience. Most people don’t sit down at a piano and immediately play Beethoven or the Star Wars Main Theme. You have to start out easy and build up to the proficiency required to play more difficult and complex music. This kind of musical prowess requires long hours of practice and hard work. Discipline and focus are necessary to learn a musical instrument well and play the songs of your choosing. These traits—perseverance, patience, hard work, discipline, focus—are all traits children will acquire as they learn a musical instrument.

 

5. Music Introduces Children to Other Cultures

Music comes from all over the world, from all kinds of cultures. Different instruments have multiple styles of music associated with them, and each style has famed composers. Children learning to play instruments could play a variety of different songs, originating anywhere from Austria to Zimbabwe. Music will familiarize children with many cultures, and that will help them be more open-minded when dealing with people of different beliefs and behaviors.

Music is an important part of the world, and putting children into musical lessons can have a huge impact on the mental, physical, and emotional growth of those children. No matter what instrument your child learns to play, the benefits are immeasurable. You couldn’t ask for a better activity for your child.

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Leslie Mason is a homemaker and garden expert, always on the lookout for programs to help her children and grandchildren, like nutrition for athletic performance. Leslie also enjoys writing, gardening, do-it-yourself projects, and fixing up the house.