Raising a healthy, happy, responsible and loving child requires more than relying on your instincts.

Like any job, learning new strategies and skills will increase your effectiveness, as well as your enjoyment.

The following posts will help illustrate how to Keep Your Kids Happy, Healthy, Safe, and Cozy.

Parenthood is scary, I know. We all treasure our kids–their happiness and safety mean more to us that anything and It is scary to think that all it takes is one evil person, car, or storm to lose it all. As petrifying as the “what ifs” are, we have to believe that there isn’t danger around every corner, but every corner is an opportunity for learning and adventure. We have to have faith. Think of every corner as a chance to build critical thinking skills, independence, and self reliance. Your kids need to know that you trust them to lead and do for themselves. They need to know that you think they are capable of turning the corner without you. You have to believe in them. Your kids can’t soar unless your let them fly.

If you believe in your kids, they will believe in themselves. If you say, “You can do it,” then they believe they can. If you say, “Knowing you, you’ll find a way!,” then they will. If you praise hard work and effort, then they will learn to work hard and persevere. If you love them without condition, then they will know that they don’t need to earn your love–it’s free. . Don’t let these “ifs” get lost in the shuffle of your busy life. Believe, Praise, Honor, and Love. I believe in you. You can absolutely do it

Every parent has a story. How you live your life tells that story. Your kids “read” your chapters each day by listening to you and watching you. When you treat them and others with kindness, compassion, and respect, your story generates warmth and joy–it makes them proud to be yours, and to be them. When you criticize, demean, or disrespect them or those around them, your story generates fear, confusion, and sadness–it makes them ashamed to be yours or worse, to be them. We each have the ability to rewrite or refine our stories–to improve upon them and become kinder, more accepting, compassionate, and supportive. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to nurture and honor life. Make your story one you are proud of. Raise kids who think it’s a best-seller!

Work ethic is taught. It is learned. When you teach your kids to work and work hard, they are building skills that will determine their success in life. If your kids never work, they won’t understand how it feels to push through, even when it’s hard, boring, unfulfilling, or frustrating. You work because you have to, because someone is counting on you. Work requires determination, perseverance, and a commitment to succeed. Work begins around the house. It is in your home where the foundation is set. Establish daily chores for each of your kids, hold them to completion to the best of their ability, and then praise their effort. Mandate work before play. Do this daily–even when it’s hard. The more your kids practice working, the better they will get and the more responsible, hard working, and valuable they will be everywhere they go throughout their lives. They will move mountains!

A parent thrives with love and encouragement–just like a child. You need to find it. You need friends–real ones. Nobody deserves the kind of friends who look you up and down and criticize you behind your back. Those people aren’t friends. They are takers. They use you to fill up their glass, while they knock your’s over or even worse, take it. They steal your time and energy. You need genuine, kind, and caring people in your life– those who will honor and celebrate you and your family. You need people who tell you that you are amazing and mean it. You deserve a room filled with friends you can trust. You deserve to thrive.

Kids thrive on routine–knowing what’s next, and what is expected of them. As wonderful as summer break is, your kids will have more fun (and so will you) with a bit of structure to help guide them and build a new routine. This is where the Free inspiring Moms and Dads Morning and Evening Checklists come in. By giving your kids a step-by step plan for the morning, your kids will accomplish simple tasks like making their bed, cleaning up after breakfast, a morning chore, and reading, etc. You won’t hear, “Mom, can I have Sammy over?” or “Dad, can I have my computer time,” because they’ll learn their checklist needs to be completed before the fun begins each day. Establishing a bit of structure will make summer days smoother, less stressful, and more fun–for everyone! Make this the best summer, ever! Look to the left of this post and click on Summer Checklists. Enjoy!