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Inspired Parenting Newsletter July 8th 2011

Awesome Parenting Tips!
Winners and New Contest

Wow!
I was so impressed by your top 10 parenting tips, they were just awesome, and our group of parents had such a hard time deciding the winner. Every entry had some absolute gems in them. We actually ended up with a draw - even after several discussions and re-voting! So I decided to up the prize a little and have two winner who each got a $30 Amazon Gift Card.

Our winners are: Kathleen Martin with this entry:
How To Be An Awesome Parent
Kathleen understands the Law of Attraction inside out, and her tips very much reflect that.

Here is one of her tips:
Teach them that they create their reality. Children know this inherently but can be influenced away from this knowing. Between the ages of 0-6 they spend much of their time in their imagination creating a reality that feels good. When they are imagining that they are a princess or a superhero they believe it. Keep it going. Tell them that they create with their thoughts and feelings throughout their lives and that they can be, do or have anything.

And our second winner, Arooj Akbar with her entry:
Being The Best Parents, Rasing The Best Children
Arooj came up with some tips that were unique, like this one below:
An allowance can be a great way to teach kids money management skills. With an allowance, your child can learn how to make decisions, deal with limited resources, and understand the benefits of saving and charitable giving.

Don't forget you can get a free copy of Allowance Secrets which is a great e-book with chapters by parenting and financial experts giving parents tips and stories about how to teach your children about money. I was very honored to be a contributor in this great book. You will get other fantastic ideas about children and money also - you may see a different gift when you get to the page, but if you sign in, you will get into the members area, and the Allowance Secrets books will be available inside - totally free!

You are still very welcome to submit your Top 10 parenting tips, and you can read all our Top 10 parenting Tips entries here. Don't forget to click the like button and share your favorite parenting tips with your friends!


A Selection Of Annie's Favorite Tips

I've picked out a few more of my favorites tips from among the entries, and I will feature some more over the weeks to come as there are some great tips among them.

LISTEN. LISTEN. LISTEN. This cannot be compromised upon. How will you know or understand your children if you don't listen to their stories, experiences, feelings, fears?
by Anjali
No Perfect Tips on Parenting

Anjali's parenting tip is one of the ones I think is most important. Parents underestimate how powerful listening is. Simply listening, with your full attention allows a child to move through their feelings and release. They will often solve problems themselves, or let go the attachment to having to have a set outcome. As parents we often make our kids issues bigger by thinking we have to sort it out, or coach them. But more often than not, if we allow our children to explore how they feel, they will have let it go and moved on without having to take further action.

As parents, we have an incredibly powerful position. In the things we say each day, we are literally programming our kid's minds and beliefs. It pays to be very conscious of the regular messages that they are receiving, even if you're not talking to them directly. Think about what their impression would be around relationships with family and friends, money and the state of the world they live in. Is it a happy place in their minds?
Cathy
Communication Parenting Tips

I had another collection of tips that came in after the contest was finished, but I wanted to include one of them that I think is a great tip:
Empower your kids by letting go. My husband does not believe in spoon-feeding or getting everything ready for our teenager, say, when he's going on an outing without us. If there's anything left out of the packing list that he'll need during his trip, he'll have to figure out how to resolve the problem. This way he'll be empowered to be more resourceful or be more careful the next time.
Yang Wai Chin
Be A Role Model

Most importantly there should be a family time in your busy schedule!! Family time gives rise to happy and mentally peaceful children. It keeps the parents in touch with the lives of their children and lets the parents share some words of wisdom. Even today when my elder daughter is 18, she does not skip family time, she loves it, the playful atmosphere and discussions.
Nighat
Sweet Parenting Memories

From the highchair to teenager eat at the kitchen table together. No TV on, no radio, no noise. It's quiet. Now just talk about your day to one another.
Donna
Tips From A Grandma

Both the last two tips emphasize the importance of spending time together as family talking. Our lives are so busy, schedules often clash, and sitting down and eating a meal together can be hard to coordinate sometimes. Kids are missing out on learning conversational skills. I was watching a historical drama movie the other day, with one of those big elaborate dinner parties! Whilst I would not want a return to the days of women not being able to voice an opinion, it did make me realize we don't get taught the art of dinner conversation.

Communication is not just about talking, it is about listening, sharing ideas, and debating, and everyone being included and having a turn. Learning to put forward an opinion, and explore how we feel about topics takes time and respect. There is a lot of research showing children who have lots of adult or family conversation time, have a much wider vocabulary, do better in school and are more self confident. There is a disturbing trend of kids starting school with a minimal vocabulary, and poor communication skills. Sitting passively in front of TV does not develop the ability to listen and respect others. It doesn't create the pathways in the brain that build a child's ability to discuss and flesh out a point of view. If you do choose to let your kids watch some TV programs, then watch with them, and use it as a discussion point. There are lots of good topics raised even in a nightly soapie. But if there is no expansion or discussion then the opportunity is lost.

I came across this great family game last week, called The Art of Children's Conversation What a brilliant idea this is! The game sets out the ground rules so children learn to listen and take turns. It encourages each family member to contribute and teaches kids to respect different points of view. The discussion topics encourage thinking deeply and facilitate children (and adults!) to discuss differences in respectful ways. It is a learned skill to articulate complex ideas, and learning to do this with a supportive family is a skill for life. Communication skills are not taught in schools, and we usually don't specifically teach our kids how to listen effectively or how to discuss ideas. We expect our kids to drop everything and listen to us though!

I think if this game were used regularly for a short time, parents would actually see a difference in the way the family communicates on many levels. And to be honest, I think most of us parents could do with a bit of practice with our communication skills!

There are also other adults - or older teenager's versions available, such as a Literary version, one for talking about Travel (no more boring travel monologues!) and there is even a Christian version. Simply a brilliant idea - every family should have a copy, and I'd love to see it in schools.


Raising Healthy Happy Self Confident Kids I met Brian Tracy many years ago when my children were small, and I attended one of his seminars. He is such a positive person, and was very open about raising his family and the challenges that come with being a parent. Kids don't come with a training manual, and we all try our best to raise them as positive confident little beings. Just like we feed our bodies, I have always found as a parent, I need nourishment for my mind, and tools to help me be a better parent. Although the course I attended was not a parenting course, he talked a lot about how the way we are raised is the major force that shapes our belief system, and the challenges we face as adults often stem from our childhood.

Many of the processes he taught us, were things I used with my kids over and over. And the insights I gained about myself were incredibly valuable.

So I was delighted to find that Brian now has a course for parents: How To Raise Healthy Self-Confident Children.

In the 6-CD Program, How to Raise Happy, Healthy, Self Confident Children, you will learn...

  • Four behaviors of effective parenting
  • How to communicate with your children on a deeper level
  • How to raise responsible children
  • How to help your child achieve higher grades in school
  • How to raise high achievers
  • How to help your children stay drug-free
  • To manage your time so family comes first
  • How to raise super kids
I know from the questions I get from parents, that most of us worry that we are not doing a good enough job raising our kids.

When I was working for corporations I would always be updating my skills, and doing professional development courses - and that is something I will always do. Why then do we not do this as we raise our kids? Bringing up a child is the most important job you can do. Even if you are not having challenges at this stage, It is always good to get ideas, tools and communication techniques so you are well prepared as your kids grow and move into different stages.

I only recommend courses with people whose work I respect and trust, that I know will give you good tools, and are a positive, uplifting person. Brian Tracy is one of those people, and he has trained thousands of people world-wide to make positive changes, and move into success, and fufill their dreams.

He offers a One year money back guarantee, so you have heaps of time to test out his course and get a refund if you don't find it suits you.

You can visit his page and see the video if you think you might be interested:

How To Raise Healthy Self-Confident Children.


I hope you enjoyed your 4th July holiday if you were in the USA, and everyone have an aMAZing week.

Wishing you JOY,
Annie D :)

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New Contest Has Started!

We all have some cute and funny kids sayings or stories, or some weird or even crazy parenting advice we have been given. Share your funny stories and the entry that makes us laugh the most will win a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

Give us some background to your story first, a first name and ages of the children etc, and the context of the story. We want to know a little about you and your family!

Featured Book Review

This is the first in a series of Stevie Tenderheart books, that are written by Steve Laible, who wants to make the world a kinder place. His lovely stories have messages such as "Choose Integrity as your True North and You Will Never Get Lost." or "A Change of Heart Changes Everything".

The little boy in this story LOVES his bed, and wants to take it everywhere!


The profits from this lovely book are going to fund Steve's dream, which is the Stevie Tenderheart Ranch Camp Reserve Project. So as well as buying a great book, you are also supporting a truely amazing man who is helping hundreds of kids.
parenting advice? Ask Annie

Featured Parenting Question

Should a Two 1/2 Year Old Be Independent?
This Mom got some feedback from her Daycare centre which concerned her. Read what is realistic, and how to encourage independence in preschoolers.

Family Feud
This poor new Mum is caught in the middle of a family who disaprove of her decisions, and are creating a very stressful situation.

What's your biggest challenge as a parent?
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