February 25, 2022
top trending topics
🤗 Find more joy in your parenting with these tips.
💕 If you’re wondering when your teen should start dating, look no further.
😔 Help your child learn & grow from healthy grief.
💌 Talking to your teen about their romance life may seem scary but we’ve got some tips to help you navigate the convos.
🤑 Basic $$ tips for college students. Share this one with your college kid!
tips & tricks for growth
you can protect your family’s mental health
For starters, it’s important to continually remind ourselves that when we’re going through something that’s very unusual,we remain in a heightened state of anxiety and stress that impacts our mental and physical health.
📆 One thing that can help you regain your footing is to establish routines, rituals, and structure. In times of high anxiety and stress, the consistency of routines and structure are soothing to everyone.
💛 Make your home a peaceful place—a refuge from all the craziness going on in the world. Spend some time thinking about things you can do to create calm. Play calming music, light a lavender candle and let the sunlight in. Encourage your children to find a comfy spot where they can read or play with their toys.
✨ Be self-aware. Your children are like sponges. Whether you notice it or not, they’re watching your every move, your facial expressions and even listening to your conversations that don’t include them. They’re quick to pick up and take on your stress and anxiety. Have adult conversations out of the hearing range of your children. Be proactive in dealing with your emotions.
When parents model and lead out using these strategies, it teaches children how to navigate through hard times in healthy ways. It shows you believe they have what it takes to keep going even when things get really challenging. This builds self-confidence and helps them learn how to think and be creative in the midst of change.
being a stronger father figure is possible
Have you ever wanted to just do better as a dad? I mean mentally, physically, and emotionally? I don’t know your situation, but wanting to do better helped me start to become better.
Some people think that a father is behind on child support because he doesn’t care or doesn’t want to pay. That may be the case for some people, but it was different for me.
In my case, I cared very much. I wanted to pay. But I had a tough time.
I wasn’t balanced, and sometimes I had to choose between paying a bill or paying my child support. I wanted my kids to have nice clothes or shoes when they spent time with me, so I chose to put the payment off.
Now I see that wasn’t a great idea. But I thought money and buying things was the way to their heart, because one thing I could say about my dad is that he always made sure I had decent clothes and shoes. I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I thought education and having the right credentials, and finding jobs to make money would make me more successful in the eyes of my kids and family.
But I realized my kids needed more than that. They needed me.
what we’re lovin’
This week’s picks come from John Daum, husband of 28 years to his wife Monica, a Dad of 5, and a Content Creator here at First Things first. Take a peek at his recommendations for this week because they are just THAT GOOD. Check ’em out 👀:
💬 Getting teens to talk can be challenging. Chill, Chat, Challenge– makes it fun! (They won’t even notice that they’ve slipped into quality time with their parents.) For more help in creating conversations with teens, get a teen’s perspective in this blog basically written by my son. How Do I Get My Teen To Talk To Me?
✏️ Parenting some young children? This simple, profound idea is a proven winner. (All credit to my wife.) Start a little journal/notebook– for each child. Journal the things you do together, funny/fascinating things they say, the emotions you feel for them in the moment, milestones they reach, etc. Basically, the things you think you’ll remember forever. Trust me, you won’t. (You don’t have to write in it every day and you don’t have to write big long entries. Just keep the journal(s) handy.) You’re playing the long game here. Over the years, our kids have loved reading them, and now as adults, they truly treasure them.
📓 The Me Journal: A Questionnaire Keepsake– Speaking of journals, this book does half the work by asking great questions. It’s a great guided way for kids to work through their feelings, discover their values, set goals, and write about not-so-serious stuff too. (We’ve given this book to a number of young people and it’s been a hit.)
share the love
Know a friend who would love reading all the relationship goodness we’ve packed in here? Go ahead and share it with them!