5 Small Changes that Will Make You a Better Parent in 2017

BY: - 28 Dec '16 | Parenting

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When I reflect on all the challenges I have faced in life, I can honestly say that nothing has been more challenging than being a parent. Don’t get me wrong; I love being a parent. I love it so much that I am pregnant with my third child. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s not. On my best days, I smile and pat myself on the back because I made it, but on my worst days, I end up in tears. The struggle is real.

But despite the tough days, I never give up hope. I know I am a good parent. But I also know that I can do better. We can all do better. But even if we want to do better, how do we actually make that happen? How do we juggle all of our current responsibilities while focusing on making improvements?

I think it’s possible if we all vow to make small changes that can potentially have a big impact on our parenting and our kids. This isn’t an area where you decide to go big or go home. Do things that are realistic and reasonable because that’s the only way to introduce lasting change into your life.

So if you are looking to improve your parenting skills without adding stress to your life, here are 7 ways you can do so in 2017.

Limit Distractions

We live in world filled with distractions. From social media to demanding jobs, there are distractions at every turn. As parents, we have to learn how to limit those distractions so we can be fully present with our children. By establishing boundaries and limiting the amount of distractions that we allow in our daily lives, we are able to spend more quality time with our kids. It also enables us to set an example that we will want them to follow for years to come.

Focus on quality

Having a busy lifestyle can leave parents feeling guilty about how much time they spend with their children. I know I struggle with this at times because I have an aging mother who requires a lot of my time and I am an entrepreneur. I often feel like I am being pulled away from spending time with my kids when they need me. But I realized that the quality of the time we spend together is far more important than the quantity. So when I am with my kids, I make the most of every minute. I listen to what they want to say, I play what they want to play, and we thoroughly enjoy our time together.

Stop yelling

Even the best parents yell from time to time. It’s not intentional, but it can still be damaging. The problem is that yelling rarely solves anything. Your kids are not more likely to listen to you when you yell. The opposite actually occurs. They tune you out. As parents, we have to try our best to communicate with our kids without raising our voices. Yelling increases anxiety, causes people to shut down, and it also sets a poor example. Less yelling and more calmness is definitely the way to go.

Lead by example

As much as you want your kids to listen to what you say, they actually pay a lot more attention to what you do. We all want our kids to be healthy, shoot for their dreams, and live their best lives, but then we try to get by without doing the same for ourselves. One of the best things we can do for our kids is to lead by example. If we want our kids to be their best, we have to let them see us doing the same.

Avoid comparisons

As parents, we may have the best intentions, but comparing our child to anyone else is rarely a good thing. Whether you compare your child to a sibling, or to yourself, it leaves your kid feeling like she isn’t good enough. It’s damaging. Kids need to feel like they are enough, flaws and all, and that you aren’t constantly hoping and wishing that they were like someone else. Let your kid know that you see him and hear him and respect him for who he is.

BMWK family, what can you do to be a better parent in 2017?

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 496 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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‘Turn Up’ Time: 10 Things We Want the Obamas to Do After They Leave the White House

BY: - 6 Jan '17 | inspiration

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It is truly bitter sweet that the first black POTUS and his beautiful family are leaving the white house. We are sad that they are leaving. But at the same time, we we are truly happy that it was eight years well spent!

We are so excited for them to be a part of the ‘real world’ again. They are leaving the ‘presidential life’ behind and looking forward to all  of the amazing opportunities that the future holds. Now, they can live their lives outside of the negative eye of the media (to an extent) and not have to deal with all of the hate that they experienced while at the White House.

And now, we are excited about what the future holds for the Obama Family.  So, here are a few things we would love to see the Obamas do after they leave the white house.  And after you read our list, let us know what you are looking forward to/ hoping to/ dreaming to see them do.

  1. Help the community – I’m sure leaving the white house will allow President Obama to focus on the issues that really matter most to him now. I would imagine communities (especially ours) cheering him on: in assisting our young people to obtain jobs, in being totally involved with social justice issues, in working on higher education initiatives, and in advancing small businesses. We can expect Obama to be an ex-president activist like Clinton and Jimmy Carter for sure.
  2. Write more books – Before Obama became the POTUS, he was quite the accomplished author. We look forward to seeing him write more books, especially on his experience in the white house. Although being a former president is a job in itself, we hope he finds time to share his experience with us through writing because we can’t wait for the book release (hint hint POTUS)!
  3. Be a Professor of Law – Obama has a great academic history – he earned his political science degree from Columbia University along with his law school degree from the prestigious Harvard University.  Also, he taught at the University of Chicago. It would be such a great direction for him in the near future. Plus, who wouldn’t want to sit in a class taught by Obama? He has an amazing sense of humor. The class would be rather educational and entertaining!  I would go back to school…just to enroll in his class.
  4. Start a Basketball Team – We all know that aside from Michelle, Obama has the hots for basketball. He has expressed his desires of wanting to put together a basketball team.  He is also a Chicago sports fan and supports the Bulls…no need to elaborate…go Chicago GO! Perhaps we well see him at a few more games in the near future.
  5. Create Initiatives for the Youth – Obama has launched initiatives and non-profit organizations targeted at supporting young people, not only in America but around the world. We look forward to him getting more involved because he is a huge motivation to the youth. Compared to other ex-presidents, he is relatively young at age 55 and this will have great impact on his relationship with the youth in the communities worldwide.
  6. No More Public Office – Although Hillary Clinton shared publicly Obama would indeed make a great Supreme Court Justice, Obama has ruled out any future careers in public office. He admitted that being in public office would be boring for him at this point in his career and he is planning get out into the world a little bit more.
  7. Become Youtube Stars! – Malia and Sasha Obama grew up in the White House, starting when they were just 10 and 7 years old.  Today, the girls are teenagers!  Malia, now 18, has graduated from high school and is expected to take a gap year before attending Harvard University in fall 2017.  Sasha, now 15, is continuing her studies at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., which is the same private school her older sister recently graduated from.  We know it must have been tough being the first black girls in the white house. The world has kept eyes on them. They were criticized for basically everything from their choice of clothing to attending parties. We would love to hear about their experience growing up in the white house as young black teenage girls. A YouTube channel wouldn’t be such a bad idea ladies!
  8.  Build a Presidential Library – Many modern ex-presidents keep busy by creating presidential libraries, raising money for their foundations and launching initiatives. We expect Obama to continue in this line of presidential traditions while adding his own style and charismatic flare!
  9.  More Children?? – We know Obama has a soft spot for kids and we hope to see more children initiatives in the years to come.
  10. Be a Sports Commissioner – Although Obama might not be interested in taking up any more government inclined roles, we sure would love to see him leading as a Sports Commissioner.  He would make sure a natural!
  11. Michelle’s Next Steps – Michelle Obama is an extraordinary woman and we are excited to see her next steps.  We don’t know what they will be…but we know they will be amazing and we can’t wait to see them.
  12. Be Himself – In the end, we just want President Obama and his family to be able to voice out their individual opinions and live a life filled with an abundance of happiness and continued blessings.

Although being the first black first family of the United States was extremely challenging (to say the least), we are so glad they did it with such grace and class. No impeachment hearings, no corruption and of course, no mistresses (kudos to the POTUS on that!). They held it together and the black community couldn’t be prouder!  They have proved the haters wrong…and now they deserve to turn up!

Read: Time is Running Out! 10 Things We’re Going to Miss Dearly About the Obama’s Marriage

We hope they are just as excited as we are concerning this new chapter and we wish them the very best!

BMWK – what do you look forward to seeing the Obama’s do after the White House?

About the author

Da-Nay Macklin wrote 48 articles on this blog.

Coach Da-Nay Macklin is a Certified Christian Life & Relationship Coach, founder of the Courageous Conquerors Mastermind and Author of Love After Adultery: The Breakthrough Journey of the Brokenhearted Available on Amazon She is one of the nation’s leading experts on infidelity and a thought leader on maximizing potential as she assists couples and individuals to live life by design and not default. Da-Nay has been has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s show Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal after successfully navigating adultery in her marriage, and named one of the 15 most powerful women on the south side of Chicago. She now resides in Charlotte, NC with her loving husband and daughter.

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