“I’M OVERWHELMED” 5 Tips For Taking Control Of Your Life

“I’M OVERWHELMED” 5 Tips For Taking Control Of Your Life


Are you feeling overwhelmed being a parent?  Do you want to feel more relaxed and empowered raising your child?  Working parents, stay-at-home parents, visiting parents – it doesn’t matter which one you are because these days almost every parent feels overwhelmed by their daily day.  Parents every day experience anxiety, stress and despondency because they feel as if they are losing control of their natural balance.  The natural balance that once allowed them to walk, talk and chew gum slowly – all at one time!  Now you are running to work, picking up children, grocery shopping, doing laundry, paying bills, taking your child to some lesson, etc. Those days when you had control over your life, can be re-lived again by knowing how to create a structured life that incorporates extra time, a swing to your step and the ability to believe that you can accomplish what needs to be done, in addition to being a fun and caring parent.  Below are five tips that can start you on the path of feeling a positive glow about yourself.

  1. Create Routines – Routines are established by parents to manage their own behavior and also to manage the behavior of their child. A routine actually nurtures the positive overall growth of your child.  A routine helps to create consistency, and consistency allows you and your child to feel secure.  Create a “routine calendar.”  Get a large sheet of paper and write down what needs to be done daily (hour by hour).  A time slot for each activity, whether it be work or play.  This routine calendar is a plan for each hour of the day.  For example: 6:30 AM – wake up, shower, dress; 7:15 AM – wake children, help them dress; 7:45 AM – start breakfast and have your child make sack lunches, etc.  (Do not forget to put down chores for each child in this calendar).  Two personality traits that develop from a routine are positive thoughts and feelings children have about themselves.  Routine doesn’t allow for frenzy and uncertainty.  Routine says I know what is being done and when it is being done.  Most importantly, stick to the routine each and every day.  Watch your life become more manageable.
  2. Nurturing – A part of every single day should be devoted to nurturing your relationship with your child. Whether the specific time for concentrated nurturing is in the day or night doesn’t matter…what does matter is that you spend at least one-half an hour a day doing something with your child.  Choose an activity (massages, games, toys, exercises, dancing, joking, being silly) that nurtures you and your child’s spirit.  These daily nurturing sessions will stimulate the growth of your child and allow you to become child-like once again yourself.  You can feel very refreshed by having an unstructured playtime with your child.  Your feelings of being overwhelmed throughout the day should just melt.  The quality of your child’s emotional growth is largely a part of their reflection of their relationship with you.  Seeing you smile, having a light cheerful voice creates an exceptional fun and healthy bonding for both of you.
  3. Create Limits – Feeling hopeful and empowered with your child starts with you defining the “limits” of what you think is acceptable behavior. Set limits on acts, but not on your child’s spirit.  When your four year old decides to run ahead of you in the shopping mall, take the time to talk with your child about your rules and limits when out shopping.  Make these limits well known to your child.  Create a substitute limit, i.e., tell your child he/she can run ahead of you in the house only.  The defining of “limits” is necessary not only for your peace of mind, but also for your child’s development in knowing when and what is acceptable behavior.  If you have decided that no ice cream is permissible before dinner, stick to that limit or rule.  The truth is – if you allow your child “just-this-one-time-only”, you are really giving permission for this scenario to take place time and time again.  Then you become angry and overwhelmed.   No need to loose control, just create a limit of each act that pushes you to feel anxious and un-balanced.  Remember to create limits that are age appropriate.  This is known as “wise-parenting management.”
  4. Create Time – Sometimes less is more. Start by doing less each day. Parents are generally creating the overwhelming feelings they experience because of trying to fill their day with too many activities.  Children honestly benefit from “down time.”  When you are going in too many directions at once, you are creating stress and strain. Everyone feels it.  Look at your routine calendar and see what activities can be eliminated or reduced.  Sure dance lessons, soccer practice, piano lessons, etc. are important – but not as important as finding nurturing activities that are done at home and done in the name of sanity.  To feel less overwhelmed, spend some time in paring-down what activities are welcoming and credible to your family members and what activities are actually causing frustration and stress (like when you hear yourself saying, “hurry up, hurry up.”)  Make the cut and you will create a more relaxing and manageable family life.
  5. Create Your Own Personal Time – This is a time for you to remind yourself that you do have control of your life and you do need to take care of yourself. There are many examples of healthy personal time which makes your heart happy (and making your heart happy is very, very important for your entire well-being): time spent apart from your child (call the babysitter), time spent in a warm bubbly bath (wait until your child is asleep), time spent on a date with your special other (again call the sitter), time spent doing an activity that makes you feel good (drawing, gardening, knitting, golfing), time spent going out with friends for dinner, time spent exercising, time spent just getting quiet and welcoming the peace.  Being good to yourself is the most important thing you can do in life – it benefits you, your child, your mate and your work life.  It is amazing that what you do for yourself is a characteristic trait that your child will learn to admire, learn from and respect.

By incorporating at least some of the above-suggested tips daily, you will truly experience a positive change in yourself and in raising your child.  Your life will be more in control, more livable, more enjoyable and more relaxing.  Keep up the good work you are doing and don’t forget to spend some quality time on yourself.


‘No Child Left Behind’: What it Means for Parents


The No Child Left Behind Act is a landmark education reform law that is already improving academic performance across the land. One of its chief aims is to close the troubling achievement gap that separates many disadvantaged, disabled and minority students from their peers.



The No Child Left Behind Act is a landmark education reform law that is already improving academic performance across the land. One of its chief aims is to close the troubling achievement gap that separates many disadvantaged, disabled and minority students from their peers.


To do this, it measures student performance and focuses extra resources and attention on those most in danger of falling behind. But what about the schools themselves?


Under No Child Left Behind, schools that receive federal funds to help teach and prepare educationally disadvantaged children must make what is called “Adequate Yearly Progress” in reading, language arts and mathematics. These clearly defined benchmark goals, which will be raised over time, have been put in place by each of the 50 states based upon what is appropriate for their local school districts.


If a school does not reach its annual goals, it is given extra assistance and another chance. If it again does not succeed the following year, the school is deemed “in need of improvement.” Extra resources are provided to the school, and new options and choices are provided to its students and parents.


As states release their lists of schools that underperformed over the last school year, parents should be alert to their school’s status. They may be eligible for free tutoring or after-school classes for their children, or entitled to choose another public school that better meets their needs.


Parents of children in schools deemed “in need of improvement” should contact their local school officials to find out if their children are eligible for these and other services.


If a school continues to underperform for five or more years in a row, school officials must develop and implement a two-year plan to turn around the school. The local school district will ensure that the school receives needed technical assistance as it develops and implements its improvement plan.


Parents who get involved – by enforcing attendance, supervising homework and setting academic goals – are less likely to see their children left behind in school. Ways that parents can help their child’s school succeed include:


* Attending parent-teacher meetings to address academic or discipline problems.


* Participating in school board meetings.


* Volunteering to serve during school hours or in extracurricular activities.


* Encouraging other parents to become involved.


* Tapping into community or private-sector resources.


* Learning about No Child Left Behind and how it can benefit their child.“I’M OVERWHELMED” 5 Tips For Taking Control Of Your Life




“Parenting Tip: 7 Ways to Complement Computer Games and Unleash Your Child’s Creative Genius”



Many parents fear that letting their kids play computer games for more than an hour or so per day will turn them into asocial, obese couch potatoes. Yet, computer games are here to stay, so rather than fighting them, why not use them? This article shows you how you can let your child play computer games yet still foster the development of their creativity.




Even though we may enjoy playing them ourselves, many parents worry about the impact of computer games on their child’s development. We fear that letting our kids play computer games for more than an hour or so per day will turn them into anti-social, obese couch potatoes. It would be better to have our children read or to read child stories to them, we think. Yet, computer games are here to stay, so rather than fighting them, why not use them? This article shows you how you can let your child play computer games yet still foster the development of their creativity.“I’M OVERWHELMED” 5 Tips For Taking Control Of Your Life


The issue that many parents have with computer games is that, compared with reading a child story, they don’t require the use of a great deal of imagination. Here are seven ways in which you can complement computer games to foster the development of your child’s creativity:


#1 Develop character profiles


Some computer games have characters. With the Harry Potter games these characters are already well-known and well-developed. With other games, however, the characters may be more “shallow”. This is a perfect opportunity for your child to develop the characters further. They can invent a profile for the character, imagining who their family is, where they come from, where they go/went to school, what hobbies they like to do, how they feel, etc. Your child can then make sketches or drawings of the character and scenes from their life: past, present and future. Finally, your child can create profiles of the other people in the character’s life: friends, family, pets, colleagues, droids, etc.“I’M OVERWHELMED” 5 Tips For Taking Control Of Your Life


#2 Create Storyboards


If you think about it, a lot of computer games are nothing more than interactive stories. So, your child can create their own stories using the characters from their favorite computer games. Think of this as an extension of the computer game. You could even pretend that you work for the computer game company and are creating a new version of the computer game.


There are several ways you can approach this depending upon you and your child’s preferences. You can write a script, create cartoon-like illustrations, create illustrated scenes (i.e. pictures) only, or create pictures with accompanying text.


#3 Write a Diary


It could be interesting for your child to get inside the head of some of the characters. Incidentally, this is also a good way to develop a child’s empathy. Have your child write a diary as if they were one of the characters.“I’M OVERWHELMED” 5 Tips For Taking Control Of Your Life


#4 Develop a Virtual World


One of my sons has developed his own virtual world. He’s created detailed maps, descriptions of all the creatures, plants (more than 100 in all, fully illustrated) and lands in it, and a complete history of this imaginary world. Your child can create a virtual world that is either an extension from an existing computer game or something completely new.


#5 What’s Cooking?


If your child likes to cook, why not develop some special recipes of what people eat in the computer game’s virtual world? What’s their favorite food? What is the national dish? These “recipes” could be from real, edible foods or other non-edible materials (make sure your kid doesn’t eat the latter!).“I’M OVERWHELMED” 5 Tips For Taking Control Of Your Life


#6 Get Hands On


Some children are kinesthetic learners; they learn by doing. If your child is one of these, they can create 3D models from clay or papier mâché of the characters from a computer game. You can even create life-sized models in your garden/backyard. For example, you can carve a character from an old tree stump or log.


#7 Create Your Own Computer Game


In the area of computer games, what could be more creative than creating your own game? When they create a game, computer game companies go through a process similar to some of the steps described here so you might be able to use the results of your fun work to create an actual computer game.


There are hundreds or thousands of software tools you can use to create your own games. However, unless you’re a “techie”, it’s probably easiest to use one that doesn’t require any programming or advanced computer skills.


Software tools such as “The 3D Gamemaker”,* for example, allow you to create games simply by pointing and clicking. The 3D Gamemaker has a library of scenes, sounds and 3D objects that you can combine into your own games. Obviously, this is a bit less creative then making a game from scratch, but you can also scan in your own images, record your own personal sound effects and import your own 3D models to make your game more original.


The Multi-Choice Creation System (MuCeS) lets you create Multichoice adventures in which the game player chooses one option out of a number of given options depending on what she thinks will be best for a given situation.


The above are only two examples of the possibilities. The point is that you don’t need to be a “rocket scientist” in order to create your own computer games. Imagine how thrilled your kids will be to create their own games. Playing computer games will never be the same again!




Some parents regard computer games as an “unhealthy” influence on their children, but when you combine computer games with some of the “offline” child story creation activities described here, you’ll not only unleash your child’s creative genius, you’ll have a lot of fun doing it.


* Note: I have not (yet) used any of the software described here. The products mentioned are provided purely as examples.





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