How to Be a More Engaged Parent

How to Be a More Engaged Parent

Being a parent is one of the greatest experiences you’ll ever have, but it’s also one of the most difficult. Raising kids is a full-time job, and in addition to your responsibilities outside of the home, it can be easy to feel a little disengaged from time to time. Luckily, this feeling doesn’t have to be permanent. By learning to be more engaged, you can make the most out of time with your children and create memories you can all enjoy for years to come. Keep reading for tips on how to be a more engaged parent.

1. Practice Your Active Listening Skills
As it suggests, active listening simply means completely concentrating on what a person is saying as opposed to just hearing them. Learning this skill can help you better engage with your children because it will allow you to be more present in each conversation. Whether your child wants to talk about their day or come to you for advice, actively listening will help deepen your bond and create a new level of trust.

2. Do Homework Together
Staying in the loop with your child’s education is very important. One of the best ways to do that is to take time every day (if possible) to sit down and help your child with their homework. This time will give you a chance to get a peek at what’s going on inside the classroom and allow you to support your child’s learning. If your child isn’t old enough for school yet, you can use this time to read them a story instead.

One day the time will come for your child to grow up and head off to college. When this day does come, you want your child to be able to come to you for advice and guidance. If you have been present in your child’s life, both physically and emotionally then they will more likely ask you to be involved in their adult life. If your child does come to you for advice on what to study or which college to attend then you could take some time and do a college search together. This will give both you and your child a better understanding of where they might be able to attend.

3. Leave Work at Work
With technology making people accessible around the clock, it’s becoming harder and harder to leave work at the office. Although checking your email during dinner may seem like the norm, it can actually keep you from being engaged with your children. Avoid bringing work home whenever possible so you can avoid being distracted. Make sure that when you’re eating a meal, watching a TV show, or just spending downtime with your children, you’re completely tuned in to what they’re saying and aren’t distracted by other priorities.

4. Do Chores Together
Looking for a way to spend quality time with your child while also staying productive? Doing chores together is the perfect way to accomplish both of those goals. According to House Method, you can be more engaged with your children by letting them help you with big home improvement projects or completing chores together. Doing things around the house with your child will show them that chores don’t have to be a bad thing. You can also use this time to teach your child how to handle new responsibilities.

5. Wake Up Early
You’re probably wondering how getting less sleep could possibly make you a more engaged parent, but you’d be surprised. By waking up early, you allow yourself to have more control and more time to get ready for the day. Instead of rushing around the house trying to get ready, you can use this time to eat breakfast with your kids and make sure they have everything they need for the day. Of course, if you’re not a morning person this one may be a little tough.

Becoming a more engaged parent isn’t something that will happen overnight. But once you establish strong habits, you’ll see a positive change in your relationship with your child and other family members.

Not Managing to Get around to That House Redesign Goal of Yours? Here Are Some Tips

Image via Pixabay

It's not exactly a secret that the state of your home has a lot to do with your own mental state, and sense of well-being.

It's unlikely that many people – if in fact anyone at all – would be able to feel good and content if their home was completely run down, dusty, and looked something like a mediaeval dungeon. On the other hand, if you happen to be fortunate enough to live in your "dream home," it's probable that you actually feel pretty good when lounging around on evenings and weekends.

Since our homes, and their decor, are such a big deal, many of us have various home redesign, reorganisation, and management goals that we accumulate, and know we should really get around to pursuing.

Of course, the trick is actually getting around to those home redesign projects that we keep putting off.

If you know that you need to work to finally achieve a home redesign goal of yours, but keep struggling to actually get the ball rolling, here are some tips that may be helpful.

  1. Write down just what it is you need to achieve in order to get the project finished

It's one thing to have a "goal" in the broadest, and most abstract possible sense. "I want my home to be less messy," and "I want to change the colour palette that the walls are painted in," are examples of those "broad" and "vague" sorts of goals.

It's another thing, altogether, however, to actually manage to specify and figure out an action plan for accomplishing those goals.

This requires some careful thinking and planning, as well as a good deal of reflection, in order to identify what specifically you actually want to get done.

One of the best ways of gaining the clarity and motivation you need in order to achieve your home redesign project, is to spend some time sitting down at a desk or table with a notepad and pen, and to just write down, systematically, what steps you will need to take in order to achieve your overall goal.

This could include things such as getting in touch with a contractor in your area, or going shopping for different paints. The important thing is to set specific targets that you can cross off a checklist, one by one.

  1. Bring the experts in, if DIY isn't working out for you

It's entirely possible that, if you're not managing to actually execute on your home redesign plans, you're just trying to bite off more than you can chew, and are demotivated, nervous, and distracted, as a result of that.

If the DIY route isn't working out for you, and you're struggling to make things happen on your own, it can be a good idea to bring the experts in. Not only will this mean that the task will get done more quickly, but it will likely also be done to a significantly higher standard, as well.

It's not unlikely that you would be able to paint your home, by yourself, for example. But hiring a home interior painting company would allow you many more options, and would make the process a lot more versatile. It will also allow you to take a step back, and continue living the rest of your life, while the company gets the job done on your behalf.

Of course, hiring experts to redesign your home will generally cost a good deal more than if you were going to do it yourself. There is a trade off to be made here, but it's definitely not the case that you should always err on the side of doing everything solo. In some cases, this can even be extremely dangerous.

  1. Clarify your vision for the home, in detail

It might be that you are struggling to achieve your home redesign goal, because you haven't clarified and specified your vision for the home, in sufficient detail.

Vague goals tend not to lead to productive action, and results. Among other things, it is much harder figuring out what the ideal first step is to take, unless you've been very specific about what it is you want to achieve.

Spend some time sitting down and clarifying your vision for the home in detail, and then work backwards to identify some smaller-scale actions you can take to getting started.

  1. Set aside a significant amount of time for the project, and do things to make it more enjoyable

It's difficult to embark on an ambitious redesign project when you don't have a lot of time at your disposal, and you know the whole thing would drag on for ages.

It can also be difficult to motivate yourself to go through with the redesign project, if you fundamentally don't enjoy the work.

Get around these issues by setting a significant amount of time aside for the project – a weekend, or even a week off work – and then do things to make it more enjoyable. You could listen to audiobooks or music while working, for example.


How to keep track of your health at home

Your everyday health is important to maintain, especially if you don’t have daily access to a personal trainer or nutritionist. So here’s how to keep track of your health at home in order to ensure that your body is feeling its best all day, every day.

At-Home Health Tests
We don’t always have the availability to visit our doctors, and there may be something playing on your mind that you just want to check before consulting a professional. Nowadays, you can get at-home health tests that can cover an extensive list of problems that might crop up including STD’s, allergies, and more. There’s a review of Everlywell that’s worth looking at as an example of testing your general health in the comfort of your own home.

Keep Hydrated
Water is the number one thing that keeps our body performing at it’s best. Without it, we tend to find that we have less energy or there’s more risk of us becoming run down. By keeping hydrated, you’re giving your body the fuel it needs to do the day to day tasks effectively. You should be drinking around 1.5 liters a day and if you do any exercise, make sure you drink plenty more. The more water you drink, the better you’ll feel!

Get Plenty Of Rest
Getting rest is something that everyone needs and depending on how many hours you need, you may be able to function on as a little as five hours a night. However, it’s good to listen to your body and get plenty of rest. There might be particular times in your life where it gets busier, but you shouldn’t sacrifice sleep because of it. The lack of sleep will mean that your body isn’t repairing and recovering well.

Keep Track Of Body Measurements
A great way of keeping track of your health at home is with body measurements. Weight loss or gain happens with all of us, but it’s making sure that we don’t go too far on either side to cause health issues for our body. Simply using a measuring tape to keep track of body measurements and noting them down can be beneficial. That way, if you notice that you’re losing too much weight or gaining too much, it will hopefully make you aware that you need to do something about it.

Invest In A Fit Bit
Technology has certainly come a long way, and a Fit Bit seems to be on many peoples wrists currently as a device that helps monitor your heartbeat and count the steps you do on a daily basis. It’s a useful device that could come in handy if you workout at home or just want something that measures your body’s health in general.

Keeping track of your health at home is very important to keep an eye on you and your body on a daily basis. So invest in a fit bit, make sure to get plenty of rest each night and hydration is key!


Home and Garden Improvements

If you’re looking to improve your home and/or garden, here are some things you should consider…

Reasons To Hire A Professional Window Cleaner

Window cleaning services are popular with both business owners and homeowners. If you currently clean your windows yourself, you may be wondering whether it is worth paying for a professional window cleaner. Below, we reveal the reasons why it is.

One of the main reasons why people do not hire a window cleaner, is because they don’t want the expense. But, is it really more expensive? Just think about how much money it would cost you to buy all of the high standard cleaning equipment yourself. A professional window cleaner has all of the right tools for the job that you may not have like a wall ladder which is important for window cleaning. Different windows have different requirements, for example, stained glass windows and leaded windows can be damaged if you use cleaning products that are ammonia-based. You could easily accidentally damage your windows without experience and training.

A professional cleaner will also have an eye for detail. It is likely that that they will pick up on things that you may have overlooked. For example, they will notice any malfunctions or damage, which could lead to a dangerous situation or expensive repair bill if left untreated. This includes everything from rotted wooden window sills to an ill-fitting window. You will also save a considerable amount of time by hiring a window cleaner. Nowadays, most of us are time poor, and it is hard to find the time to blink or sneeze, let alone do some window cleaning.

Outdoor Decking

Decking options are varied. This is the type of service that will enhance your outdoor area, and it can do so in a number of different ways, as there are numerous materials, patterns, and styles to choose from.

Of course, the professional you choose will be able to advise you on the different decking options that are available, as well as the best solution for you. However, it is advisable to have a good understanding, as the professional you consider may only have one type of decking material, and thus they may try to push you in that direction.

Pressure-treated wood is one of the most popular options, as this is one of the most affordable decking materials. This type of wood has been chemically treated, meaning it will resist insects, mold, and rot. In most cases, it will be made from fir or pine, and maintenance will be needed.

Instead, you may want to go for one of the more high-quality woods, such as cedar or redwood. Cedar is the natural choice for aficionados of natural wood. It is lightweight yet strong, and widely available too. Plus, it makes a beautiful deck. Finally, you can choose composite decking boards. This is a segment of the decking board industry that is fast-growing. These boards are made from recycled plastics and wood fibers; they don’t splinter or warp. If this sounds like an option for you, approach high-end deck builders in your area and ask for a quote. A cheaper quote doesn't always mean the best so consider their reviews too to determine the quality of their work

Great Reasons To Hire A Gardener

Gardening services are available to help people enhance the outside of their property and to ensure they get the most from their garden. Below, we take a look at some of the best reasons why you should consider hiring the services of a gardener.

One of the main reasons why you may want to hire a gardener is so that you can roll with the seasons. A gardener will know exactly how to get the most out of your exterior space depending on the months. They will know what flowers well during the different seasons, and they will be able to provide you with expert advice on taking care of your garden during this period. You can then carry it on by buying succulents online and any other supplies you need and keep it up. Of course, you can also improve the look of your garden. A gardener can help you to fall in love with your home all over again. You will want to spend more time outside, relaxing with your partner or having guests around for barbecues and such like.

Perhaps you need someone to carry out a specialist job? There are numerous reasons for irreparable damage occurring to shrubs and trees, and an expert gardener will be able to take care of this. You can take advantage of their in-depth knowledge. There is nothing worse than spending money on plants, trees, and such like, and then being disappointed when your garden does not flourish as you had imagined. This is something you will no longer have to worry about when you hire this type of gardener.


How to get the Perfect Tan right through your swimsuit

One of the easiest ways to take your natural beauty to the next level is by getting a gorgeous tan. The perfect tan should  look even and natural but have a really nice glow that lets you shine from the inside out. But actually achieving that natural, sunkissed tan can be way more difficult than people might think.. Between sticky tanning lotions and sprays, expensive tanning beds, and streaky tan lines you will get from most swimsuits, it can seem downright impossible to get a killer tan! That’s why we were so excited when we found out about the company CoolTanⓇ and their amazing line of TanThrough swimwear that you get a tan right through your swimsuit- no more tan lines required.

Getting a tan has never been easier thanks to CoolTan’s uniquely formulated fabric that lets you get a tan right through your suit. The secret to what makes TanThrough so amazing is their Microsol V fabric. This specially formulated fabric is knitted to create millions of tiny pores to let around half of the sun’s rays through the suit. This will allow you to get you an even tan in approximately the same time as you would with a medium level SPF sunscreen. This means getting a tan can be as effortless as hanging out by the pool, walking along the beach, or going boating with friends.

The porous fabric in each swimsuit also filters air and water through the suit to keep you nice and cool, even on the hottest of days, and dries up to 3x faster than normal fabric. That means these swimsuits are the perfect choice for traveling or bringing to the gym or beach because you won’t have to agonizingly wait for your suit to dry and won’t have to worry about throwing a wet suit back in your bag to get all moldy and gross. The suits are constructed to be incredibly comfortable, so you can wear your suit all day without having to worry about the straps digging in or being too tight.

One feature we particularly love about the TanThrough swimsuits is that they’re are all machine washable. This is such a great feature to get out all that salt, sand and chlorine to keep your suit nice and clean. This can also help prolong the life of your suit, not to mention you won’t be finding grains of sand scattered throughout the house months after going to the beach.

We all know how great it is to have an amazing tan, but it’s not always possible to hit up the beach or spend hours out in the sun to get one, which is why CoolTan also created a line of TanThrough shirts to make tanning easier and more comfortable while going about your daily activities. You can be playing a round of golf or tennis, gardening, or even just running errands and be getting a great tan without even thinking about it. TanThrough shirts are also made using that amazing Microsol fabric so they’re super comfortable and moisture-wicking while also giving you an effortless tan. Each shirt also has a base layer of sun protection of SPF 6-10 so you won’t have to worry about getting sun damage or dealing with an unsightly Farmer’s Tan. CoolTan has many style options to choose from so you’re guaranteed to find a style perfect for your favorite activities.

CoolTan has a variety of swim styles, sizes, and colors to choose from so you are sure to find your new favorite swimsuit. Whether you prefer monokinis or one-piece suits or halter and string bikinis, CoolTan has the ladies covered. Men can choose between briefs, hipsters, jammers, board shorts, and trunks to find the most comfortable styles for all their favorite activities. Plus, each suit comes with a Customer Satisfaction Guarantee so you can ensure you will get the absolute best fit and style for you. Make sure to check out CoolTan’s website and Instagram, @cooltansportwear to keep up to date on new styles and sales and to see for yourself just how easy it can be to get a tan, right through your swimwear or shirt!


Five ways to improve your health and well being

It’s important to look after our health and wellbeing at all stages of our life. It can be so easy to slip off the wagon, and as we only get the one shot at life, we want to make sure it’s a long, happy and healthy one. So here are five ways to improve your health and wellbeing.

Cut Drinking Down
Alcohol in moderation is fine but having too much of it can affect both your physical health but your mental health also. It’s important to know when you’re in the right frame of mind to have alcohol and when not to. It's worth noting if you consume CBD products on a regular basis, it is not recommended to mix alcohol with marijuanaso cutting down on your consumption of it would be sensible. Alcohol doesn’t make a situation better, it only aids in making things spiral out of your control, being under both the effects of marijuana and alcohol at once can put you in a bad frame of mind and take control out of your hands. Reduce your intake as best you can, perhaps starting with a no drinking rule on certain days so that you give your body a rest.

Take Alternative Medicines
Alternative medicines and treatments have become more prominent in the market nowadays because they’re known to help with body pain and on the mind. CBD is becoming more and more prominent as a way to help people manage both their physical and mental health, and there are plenty of resources online to help people who are looking for CBD products UK, and worldwide, choose the best options for their individual needs. A lot of Chinese medicines are now becoming increasingly popular due to many of us wanting natural or organic products when it comes to ingesting it.

Hydrate Yourself
Hydration is certainly important to make sure your body can perform at it’s best. Water helps with keeping you focused on busy days and providing you with the energy you need to get you through the day. It also has an effect on your skin too because skin cells require water in order to keep it looking plump and glowy. Try to have a bottle of water by your side constantly and aim to drink around 1.5 liters of water every day. Drink more if you’re exercising on one day.

Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress is a big factor that can affect your overall wellbeing and stress can also come from a variety of places. It might be work and perhaps the workload you are being given or dealing with a colleague you don’t like. It could be a family situation that’s ongoing and that you’re stuck in the middle of. You can manage your stress levels to some degree by doing things to help you to relax. Indulge in some self-care, and that’s anything that you enjoy and helps to minimize your stress levels.

Exercise Regularly
Exercise is one that’s pretty obvious, but it’s one of the most impacting when it comes to helping with your health and wellbeing. We all need to exercise to some degree to keep our body feeling fit and reducing any risks of illnesses. For our mental health, it’s a good distraction and a way of venting out your feelings. Look for exercise that you enjoy and do it on a regular basis, start off small and slowly increase the amount you do.

The other thing you can do is find your self a therapist, someone you can talk to you, vent to and share your thoughts, you can find some great options at betterhelp

Why not try these tips and give yourself more attention when improving your health and wellbeing.

Book Brush- Review

Book Brush has literally changed my life in the few weeks I have had it.  I do not know anything about photoshop so this is an elegant solution to produce convenient high-quality book ads. 

I was so scared that it was going to be similar to photoshop but let me tell you just how easy it is 

How Easy?

Simply choose your ad size, upload your book cover(s), select the perfect background image from over 1 million free images, then add text boxes and stamps if you’d like. Our software instantly creates an image for you to download.

example, this was not made by me. 

To get your subscription to book brush 


NO credit card required 

you get: 
3 images per month 
limited 3d templates, stamps and fonts 
over 1 million background images or simply upload your own

There is also a PLUS package for $8 per month.  

To check it out further, click here 


17 years

Today we celebrate 17 years of marriageSeventeen. It’s amazing how it seems like only yesterday we were two college students who fell in love with Jesus and one another. And today we stand before you with 17 years of marriage, a beautiful baby girl, and a deeper love for God and one another.
And it’s a beautiful thing.
Marriage is a beautiful thing. We knew that well before we married one another and still hold that same assertion today, only much stronger. While our marriage is far from perfect, we have learned so many things these past 17 years that we are vital to a successful marriage. 
You are a good man. No, a great one. You are the man of my dreams. Not just that, you are the man who has slain the dragons in my nightmares. You have exceeded my dreams, brought to life a man my dreams didn’t know existed. You are a man who speaks the truth. Not just truth that everyone wants to hear; you speak the truth everyone needs to hear. It’s refreshing. You are a good man. 

You are a selfless man. When you saw me struggle with loneliness and depression, you gave me time away. When you hear me utter a silly desire, you find a way to fulfill it. When you see me tired and weary, you give me time to rest. When the workday has drained all my energy, you order pizza on your way home from work. You clean up our never-ending messy house on your day off.  You are a selfless man. 

Thank you for being that man. I hope you feel loved for all you are. In the moments I say nasty things and my tone is hurtful, I hope you still know the depth of my love for you. That my heart breaks knowing I’ve hurt the one my soul loves. 
Thank you for pushing me to grow. For loving me when I’m in a dark place but never allowing me to stay there. Thank you for asking me tough questions. For showing me the truth when I need it, grace when I don’t deserve it, and discernment when I am too confused to understand. 

Thank you for being a good father to our baby. To know she is secure in your love is a gift. Knowing she will always understand the love of a father will have eternal rewards. For her to see you loving people and serving the Lord will guide her the rest of her life. I’m certain that they will trust Him more easily since she had a father that has cared for her so well. 



His kids
Your kids
= Our Kids

Today I want to discuss blended families and how to make blended families work.

Looking to achieve blended family bliss? Add one part parent, one part new spouse. Blend in children, stepchildren, jobs, new living arrangements, and a hefty dose of good intentions. Voilá! If only it were that simple. Whether you call it a stepfamily, a blended family, or the craziness-that-is-my-life, making it work the second time around can take some extra effort. But never fear--it can be done!

First, a reality check.
Whether your family is blended or biological, being married and raising children will always have moments that are frustrating and challenging. "National surveys of remarried couples with children rate children as the number-one cause of conflict between them," says JoAnne Pedro-Carroll, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies to Help Children Thrive Through Divorce. Start with a positive attitude, a willingness to do the hard work, and realistic expectations.

There are many reasons family counselling may be needed.
- The blended family
-The disconnected family
-The Loner
-The drama queen 

-The addict
-The secret keeper
-The sexual drought
- Intimacy as punishment 

- Growing apart 
- Holding grudges 

Blending a family is not going to be a "walk in the park", it will be hard, there will be some tears, some disagreements, you mat even second guess your self but learn to love thru it, you will make it. Make family fun, do fun things together, make sure you give your step kids the same love you give your kids,don't make them feel like the "second" kids from the second family, involve them in activities. 

There are many reasons why families benefit from counseling. Not all of the indicators for a therapy need are listed here, but often, families that are experiencing something,not on the list will also be experiencing one that is. To find out more about how family counseling can help your family start talking to a therapist today.
© Take A Walk In My Shoes. Design by FCD.