August 06, 2021
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8 back to school parenting tips
Wait, what? It’s already time for school to start? How did this happen when it seems like just yesterday kids were doing the happy dance as they got off the bus and headed home for summer break?
While most parents love the more relaxed schedule during the summer months, plenty of parents will be doing their own happy dance as their children head off to school and everybody settles into a routine. In an effort to kick off the school year with less stress and as little drama as possible…
There Are Some Things Parents Can Do Ahead of Time to Set the Stage:
1.) Straight out of the gates, decide what your family can handle when it comes to extracurricular activities.
2.) Know what you as a parent can handle.
3.) Establish routines that provide consistency and structure at home.
4.) Include prep for the next day into your evening routine.
5.) Let your children do what they are capable of doing for themselves.
6.) Establish a homework station.
7.) Think about technology.
8.) Schedule a 15 to 30-minute opportunity once a week for everyone to come together and compare calendars.
5 ways kids can affect your marriage (& what to do about it)
Being a parent is amazing, but it’s tough. Life changes with kids, and each stage of parenting brings new challenges. There’s a lot to balance. Let’s be real: kids affect your marriage.
Here Are a Few Common Ways and What to Do About It:
1. Self-care often takes a backseat for parents.
Self-care, what’s that? Both of my elementary-age kids have schedules, activities, homework, projects, and social lives. (Wait, when did their social lives replace mine?) It can be hard to carve out alone time, but you need it, and so does your marriage.
2. You may disagree about parenting styles.
We all enter marriage with a belief system about how to parent, and it’s often based on how we were parented. Couples talk about if they want to have kids, how many, and when. But they don’t talk about how to parent. And that can lead to frustration.
3. Date night can get put on the back burner.
Dating is crucial to a healthy marriage, and kids can affect your ability to do that. Before kids, there may have been elaborate date nights, expensive dinners, flowers, and gifts. Now, you don’t feel like there’s time to think about dating. And what do you do with the kids?
4. Your sex life may change.
Early on in parenting, your sex life often takes a backseat because babies make life interesting. But you’d expect it to bounce back once you’re past the toddler years. For many, it does, but it isn’t always consistent. And kids always find a way to interrupt. Sex can become just another item on the to-do list, and that’s no fun.
5. Marriage satisfaction may decrease.
Kids and all the issues I mentioned above can affect your marriage by adding stress to your marriage. When stress mounts in your relationship, satisfaction decreases. You’re not alone in feeling this way. Research published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that many parents with kids experience reduced satisfaction, too.
Be intentional about having a healthy marriage, because it’s the best thing for you and your kids.
Q: What is the highest-grossing romantic comedy?
what we’re lovin’
This week’s picks come from Anna Reeves McCutcheon, an active participant in the Chattanooga Fellows Initiative, former FTF Intern, and now the Social Media Manager here at First Things First! Take a peek at her recommendations for this week because they are just THAT GOOD. Check ’em out 👀:
📖 Single, Dating, Engaged, Married by Ben Stuart talks through how to live in and enjoy each phase of life through faith. And for the phases you haven’t reached, it gives hope!
☕️ Kona French Press I’m a huge coffee drinker. I’ve had this $21 French press since I was in college, and it’s still going strong, so I would highly recommend it! It keeps ya coffee hot, and it’s the perfect companion for a nice snuggle-up with a good book.
🎧 Get Out of Your Head by The Porch (With Special Guest Jennie Allen) talks about how we train our brains how to think based on self-talk. It helps orient yourself to how your thoughts are impacting your life and what to do about it while incorporating faith into your mindset.
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Know a friend who would love reading all the relationship goodness we’ve packed in here? Go ahead and share it with them!
Answer: My Big Fat Greek Wedding