Posts filed under ‘family’

It Is Okay to Feel What You’re Feeling

We’ve been quarantined for 7 weeks now. It’s okay to express what you’re feeling.

Continue Reading May 1, 2020 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

Money Management Advice for Parents

Today’s guest blog is written by Sara Bailey.

As a parent, knowing how to manage your money is essential to creating a solid financial future for your children. It will also help alleviate some of the financial stress that can rub off on your children. Money management requires some key financial planning moves that will ensure that you not only set goals but accomplish them as well.

You Need to Have the Talk

If you and your partner haven’t had a serious talk about money before, then it’s definitely time. According to OppLoans, in order to have meaningful communication about finances, partners need to be open and honest about their financial circumstances. It’s suggested that you get comfortable with discussing general terms before jumping into the actual figures or creating a budget. You’ll want to avoid making it personal but focus on setting goals that you can accomplish together. It might be helpful if you think about some ways that you can start saving money as a family and bring that to the table as well. These money-saving activities may include preparing meals to avoid overspending at the grocery store, using coupons or cutting back on the money spent on your children’s clothes.

Craft a Finely Tuned Budget

The Balance gives a good overview of the things parents need to consider when designing a budget. To start with, you’ll need to determine the family’s income and track your monthly expenses. It’s also important that you devise a plan to manage your debt and increase your savings. You should make sure that you’re filing taxes correctly as this could decrease the tax obligations and free up money for your savings. When designing and maintaining your budget, don’t be afraid to make technology your friend. There are a variety of apps available that can help you track your spending, pay your bills and help you reach your savings goals. Once you’ve saved enough, you can start putting money away for your children’s college tuition or a down payment on a home. It is possible to purchase a home with a minimal down payment, but you will have to pay extra for mortgage insurance. 

Start Your Estate Planning

Depending on where you are in life, it may seem odd to start thinking about what should be taken care of in case of your passing. It’s important to remember, though, that things don’t always go according to our timelines. When dealing with estate planning, you’ll need to consult an attorney to develop documents that will dictate who will make medical decisions for you in case you’re incapacitated and who will be your child’s guardian if they are underage when you pass away. You should also create a will and ensure that your beneficiary information for all policies and accounts are up-to-date.

Another key aspect of estate planning is putting life insurance policies in place, which will protect your family financially if something were to happen to you. The right term length of your policy depends on your age and how many people are in your household. You can use an online calculator to determine how much coverage you need and how the cost can fit into your budget.

Maximize Your Benefits

If you work for a company that offers great benefits like childcare facilities and extended parental leave, then great! Even so, you should research other programs that you might be eligible for as a parent. Some of these government programs include Head Start and Early Start programs that are focused on the school readiness of children from birth to age five, as well as the childcare and development fund that provides assistance when parents need to find childcare services in order to go to work or attend school. You should also look into the Child Tax Credit or Child and Dependent Care Credit that would enable you to save on your taxes.

Parenthood can be a bit of a challenge on your finances. However, it’s something you can handle when you take all the steps necessary to have things under control. Start discussing finances with your spouse, then begin to take measures to cut costs and save for what matters most. Follow Sara Bailey at: thewidow.net

Photo courtesy of Pexels

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

February 21, 2020 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Your No-Stress Guide to the Perfect Family Getaway

Unsplash.com

 

Guest blog by Leslie Campos

Becoming a parent might mean that your days of traveling on a whim with nothing but a backpack are behind you, but it doesn’t have to mean staying put at home, either. Traveling with young children will require some extra planning and preparation. But with strategic budgeting and the right attitude, you can avoid common travel pitfalls. 

Want to save money and avoid stressing on your next family vacation? These tips will help you cut costs and enjoy your time off with your little ones. 

 

Travel With Relatives

If you’re planning to hit the road during the holiday season or over the summer, when most people have time off, reach out to relatives or friends with children and see if they would be interested in joining you. Yes, traveling with another family can present challenges, like figuring out finances, coordinating schedules, and making sure the kids get along, but there are also plenty of perks. 

 

With more adults around, parents can swap nights of staying in and babysitting the kids so that the other couple can have a romantic evening out. If you choose to rent a home or a large, multi-room hotel suite, you can save money by splitting the costs. Plus, the kids are less likely to get bored and antsy when they have cousins to hang out with. 

 

Plan to Pump on the Go

When your child is still breastfeeding, you might feel nervous about going on vacation. It’s perfectly normal to have concerns about pumping, breastfeeding in public, or properly storing breast milk while you’re en route to your destination. Having the right supplies can help—for instance, The Bump recommends packing a cooler bag, a leak-resistant bra, and a nursing poncho. 

 

If you’re flying, check out the TSA guidelines for transporting breast milk and other necessities for your baby before you take off. According to Kindred Bravely, women who are breastfeeding and need to store the bottles while traveling should be aware that breastmilk will technically last for about four to five days if refrigerated. However, it’s best for your baby to consume it within 72 hours. To keep the bottles as cold as possible, place them in the back of the fridge once you get to your accommodations. 

 

Baby Wearing

Lugging a stroller around on vacation can be cumbersome, especially if you know that you’ll be flying or taking busses to get around. Instead, try babywearing! Since you’re in an unfamiliar place where your child will inevitably be exposed to extra stimulation, being physically closer to you will be soothing for your baby, especially if they are feeling a little fussy. 

There are plenty of options for baby carriers and wraps. If you’re traveling with a newborn, Lamaze Internationalrecommends a ring sling to make nursing easier. Extended babywearing can be uncomfortable for your child’s hips, so it’s important to give them a break every hour or so. Your back and shoulders will thank you! 

 

Early Bedtimes

Every parent knows that kids will be more prone to tantrums if they stay up past their bedtime. On vacation, your kids will probably be tempted to try bending the rules around bedtime, but letting them do so can lead to meltdowns. Treat your kids by letting them stay up a little later than usual, but make it clear that they will still have to stick with a relatively early bedtime. 

Waking up and going to bed earlier means that your family can enjoy the popular attractions in the morning when crowds are thin. Bonus: If you make early dinner reservations, you may be able to take advantage of “Kids Eat Free” deals, which will help you cut down on your overall spending. 

The costs and effort involved in booking a family vacation can dissuade some parents from hitting the road with their kids. But finding great deals, linking up with relatives, and packing all the gear your family needs can help you have a successful, stress-free trip.

Wishing you and your family a happy new year!

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

December 31, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Co-Parenting Tips For The Holidays

CoParenting Tips

Great article by Kelly Frawley and Emily Pollock
Having survived divorce and coparenting, I appreciate the pointers that are listed here for parents who are divorced and share custody.

“The most wonderful time of the year” has the potential to become not so wonderful when parents who share custody of their children don’t have a mutually agreeable holiday plan in place. This isn’t the time for arguments over who’s getting which day or who’s buying what gift; a carefully thought-out plan can help you avoid tension and uncertainty so that all of you — most importantly, your kids — can enjoy a drama-free winter break.

When deciding how to schedule time and collaborate during the holidays, co-parents should take a number of factors into account: the children’s ages, family traditions and religious beliefs, how well the parents get along, and the kind of relationships the parents have with each of the children (it’s important to respect the traditions that are important to each of them). You might also want to factor in what happens during other school breaks during the year. For example, if one parent traditionally takes the kids on a vacation during spring break, then perhaps the other should get the bulk of winter break.

Looking at the big picture can help you see the logical plan for your family.

Setting a Sensible Schedule

Co-parents typically choose to manage the holiday season one of two ways:

1. Alternating years. One parent keeps the children for the entire winter break in odd-numbered years; the other parent gets them for the entire break in even-numbered years. This approach enables each parent, in their designated years, to plan a lengthy trip or schedule activities throughout the break period without needing to worry about giving the other parent equal time. It tends to work best when neither parent has a strong affinity for the season. Perhaps their religious traditions are celebrated at other times of year; a family may have already celebrated Hanukkah, for example, which often falls before winter break.

The downside of this type of arrangement is that one parent is deprived of holiday time with the children during the parent’s “off” years. This causes many co-parents, especially those who place a high value on holiday traditions, to take a different approach.

2. Equal time. Often, co-parents divide winter break in half, which typically gives each of them a week to celebrate the holidays or take a trip with their kids. They may alternate years when considering who takes the first week versus the second, since Christmas usually falls in the first. Parents may also choose to split the time by day, particularly when it comes to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. By each taking one of these important days, both parents, as well as the children, get meaningful Christmas time together each year.

In situations where co-parents get along, a third possibility arises: giving the children time with both parents together. For example, children who believe in Santa and cherish Christmas mornings might appreciate having both parents present in those festivities. In fact, children of any age might appreciate a visit by their other parent, as long as the experience remains amicable.

Buying Gifts: Together or Separately?

If your winter break includes a gift-giving occasion, it makes good sense to collaborate with your ex-spouse so you don’t duplicate gifts for your children or inadvertently neglect to buy the gifts they wanted most because you assumed the other parent was buying them. In a Santa situation, discuss who is responsible for that experience. Will it change year to year based on who has the kids on Christmas, or will you work together?

The more collaborative you can be, the better. However, if you absolutely cannot work with your ex-spouse, then it’s important to work through counsel to determine who will be responsible for what so you don’t put your children through undue awkwardness or stress.

You may also want to consider taking your children shopping so they can buy a holiday gift for the other parent. It teaches children not only about giving, but shows that you encourage kindness towards your ex-spouse.

Making the Plan Official (more…)

December 18, 2019 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

Hey Parents What Are You Wearing?

When I was growing up, there were certain things that I could wear while playing outside (like shorts) that I couldn’t wear off the block. My mom and dad were really particular about how we looked and the impressions we would make on other people.

Not only was my mother specific about what we wore or didn’t wear, she and dad had a specific way they dressed as well. One of the family rules was no rollers out of the house. which simply meant that your hair was combed and you had on appropriate clothes and shoes. My father was formal (old school) and wore a shirt, usually a tie and pants. Depending on where he was going, he had on a brim. The only time he had on house slippers was in the house.

Image result for older black man with brim

There was no way my mother would’ve come out of the house with her house slippers or anything that looked like pajamas either. As she put it, she would never want to embarrass her family’s name or ours.

Fast forward to today’s times where some parents show up to their child’s school dressed really bad! So I wasn’t surprised to read the article yesterday where the Houston principal, Carlotta Brown gave her parents a dress code when coming to school. She was tired of them showing up inappropriately dressed and setting bad examples for her students.

To all of the haters who disagreed with the principal’s rules, saying that it was discrimination against those parents who had low income. I disagree! Have one dress or shirt (blouse) and pair of pants that looks respectable. And wear that – even if you wear the same outfit every time you attend a school event.

It’s really about the kids and the role that you play in your child’s life. It is completely inappropriate to wear see-through clothing around adolescents – your child’s or someone else‘s. Talk about early sex education! “Hey John, I could see through your Mom’s blouse! She’s hot!” How embarrassing is that? Also leave the hair bonnets at home too. They are just to protect the hair while you sleep.

I know you believe that as an adult you can do whatever you want. 

You can! 

Just remember that everything you do reflects back on your children and sets an example (for the rest of their lives) whether you like it or not.

Just my two cents worth.

Learn more about your family’s dynamics. Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to be a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

May 2, 2019 at 3:03 pm 4 comments

How the Sins of Our Mothers Scar Us

My sister and I always felt that our mom favored our brother Tony. Her heart seemed to be softer on his behalf. Don’t get me wrong, Tony got into trouble and was punished too, but not as much once my parents split up. What I now know, is that Mom was compensating for my dad being absent in his life. She did the best she knew how.

Since I was in college during my sister and brother’s high years; years AD (after divorce), I didn’t see much preferential treatment bestowed on Tony.

Mom could do a lot of things really well! When it came to organization and getting things done, my mom was AWESOME! I learned how to speak up for and take care of myself because of my mother. Showing emotions, wasn’t her strength. She was unable to teach me how to love and nurture myself or anyone else. So in high school and college, I was pretty detached in my relationships. I kept to myself and only opened up to my closest friends.

Once I became a mom and started seeking my mother’s advice, I asked her why she seldom said she loved us or hugged. Her words were “My mom didn’t treat us that way.”

Here’s the deal: families live and die emotionally through experiences with the moms in their lives. If your mom did not receive praise and lots of ‘I love yous’ ❤️ as a child, then they either feel that it was unwarranted (when they raise children) or they are emotionally unable to share those kinds of feelings.

It is definitely possible that mothers will give lots of love and praise when they have their own children even if they didn’t receive it as a child. I have many friends who are wonderful moms, and when asked about their childhood, they say they didn’t get along with their mom. When pressed to explain further, they say they wanted a different experience for their own children. ❤️

When mothers are harsh and don’t exhibit warmth and love to their son or daughter, that child grows up similar to a sociopath who acts without feelings or conscious.

How do we change that behavior?

One child at a time…

Yes I know you are busy working and raising a family…

Yes, I know you never had a relationship with your mom or dad and don’t know how to talk (civilly) or show love…

Yes, it’s hard…

But not impossible…

Start by taking baby steps.

  • “Good morning, I love you.”
  • “Good night I love you.”
  • “Have a good day at school.” (Hug your son or daughter)
  • “You mean everything to me.”

These statements go a long way toward building a better relationship.

That’s nice. ❤️

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

March 28, 2019 at 5:33 pm Leave a comment

How to Defuse Anger in Your Family

Have you noticed that the people around you (at work or school) are so angry? Maybe it’s you or people within your family.

How do you keep that anger emotion from taking over?

Listen to my YouTube vlog and let me know what you think. Click here. Once you’re done subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Want to learn more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

March 13, 2019 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment

Acceptance Is Key to Personal Happiness

Have you ever done something you regretted?

That happened to me last night.

I watched the nightly news – that was my regret. But while watching, I saw the story about actor, Jussie Smollett being attacked by two masked men who shouted MAGA. For those of you that don’t know what MAGA means — it means Make America Great Again. First of all, if you are proud of what you are doing, why hide behind a mask?

Someone on Quora coined MAGA as Morons Are Governing America. Either way you look at it a crime against another human being is wrong and usually behavior that is learned at home or learned under prejudicial leadership. And more importantly, criminal behavior should not be copied. People imitate what they see and respect. When weak people see that people who look or act differently (from them) should be punished, they perpetuate that behavior. Considering that we live in a country rich in diversity, acceptance needs to be one of our skillsets.

America is part of a global society of countries that influence people, economies and political leadership. We are asking nations like the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, to respect the citizens in their countries and treat them fairly; respect their differences. We have to do the same in America. Accepting the differences that we encounter within our families, our communities, our workplaces has to take place.

The time is now to remind ourselves of three things:

  • You don’t have to like someone to work with them.
  • You don’t judge a book by its cover.
  • Your life’s purpose is unique and not based on looking or being like someone else.

Being great again means having honor and integrity. It means using your voice to help others, not denigrate, embarrass or misuse them. Being great means that you are inclusive instead of exclusive. That means that judging a person by their socio-economic status, ethnicity, faith or gender preferences is unacceptable.

Being great in a positive way trickles down from top government to state and local governments, communities and families. Doctrines should inspire people to do better and be better. As you accept others for who they are, it has a reciprocal effect. Accepting others may help you accept things about yourself (that you may have rejected in the past).

There is too much work to do to HATE. Just my two cents.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact meMs. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

January 30, 2019 at 8:19 pm Leave a comment

Which One Are You Today?

It’s funny when your kids are small, you don’t ever want them to grow up. They are so innocent and precious and they listen to our every word. Then the day comes when they start saying things like “I’m grown, I can make my own decisions.” And you realize they are growing up and maybe you should let them (make their decisions). 

Then they change back into a non-adult! They say things like:

  • Can you pay for my phone?
  • Will you complete my FAFSA?
  • Do you have money for me to get my nails done?
  • Can you pay my car insurance?
  • Will you pay my rent?

Wait a minute!

  • I thought you were an adult?
  • Isn’t that what you told me you were?
  • What happened to “I can do this? Please stop telling me what to do!?”

This is the brain of our teenage or twenty-something kid. The problem is that they really don’t want a lessons learned talk, they kinda want to figure it out, but don’t mind asking for your money and support.

My feeling is that when your kid says, “I can do it”, it’s important to let him or her do it. I believe today’s parents don’t want their children to make the mistakes that they made. It sounds good, but isn’t realistic. Growing up means you make mistakes. I made them? You did too. It’s okay. 

Young people today don’t mind making mistakes. They don’t want to be nagged or guilt tripped, but they also want to be rescued when they’ve made a mistake. It’s doesn’t work both ways! Some lessons can only be learned through experience. A daughter who has a child without the security of marriage (against the advice of her parents), takes a risk that she will raise her child alone. A son who wants to play pro ball and decides not to go to college, takes a risk of having an injury (that keeps him from playing) and working the rest of his life as a laborer.

It’s hard watching our children make mistakes especially ones that can follow them for life. It’s harder when they tell you to butt out – let them live their life. Those are hard lessons for us as parents. However, just like our parents had to let us go and grow… we have to do the same thing. A little lesson learning never hurt anybody! Happy 2019!

Are you saying Yes when you really mean No? Click here to Join my FREE Facebook Group – Balanced Moms Club to join with other moms to receive tips about time management, organization and basic meal planning.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

January 4, 2019 at 10:14 pm 5 comments

Kids Do the Darnedest Things

I have the cutest great nephew, and one day he said s*~t. He was two years old and we couldn’t understand where he heard a word like that and could repeat it so clearly. Periodically, swear words are sprinkled throughout his conversations especially when he gets frustrated. It doesn’t really matter where he picked up his irreverent language, just know that he was imitating someone close to him (that he respected).

Young children are like sponges and they pick up our words, phrases and mannerisms so easily. They watch us to determine how they should act, and then they surprise us with an exact replica of ourselves. That’s one of the things they do quite well without any prompting from us.

I said young children didn’t I? Actually it doesn’t matter how old our child is, they imitate our behaviors whether positive or negative.

Both my parents smoked like sailors as I was growing up. The first semester that I was home from college, I lit up a cigarette in front of my mother. She was horrified and asked “Why are you smoking?” I told her that since she did it, I’d decided to smoke too. Then we had a conversation about her addiction to cigarettes. She begged me to stop and that was the first (and last) cigarette I smoked.

Here are five thoughts to remember as your kids continue to grow:

  • Watch your language
  • Manage your temper (no popping off)
  • Model kindness
  • Be open (for them to talk)
  • LISTEN

Enjoy your family and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

November 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm 4 comments

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