Fun Ideas For Your Next Family Game Night

Family game nights can be the perfect time for everybody in your family to bond, let go of any stress they’ve been having, and just have fun. You could have a game night once a week if you’re ambitious, but even having one once a fortnight or once a month could be a great idea, if that’s all you have time for.

Below, we’ll take a look at some fun ideas for your next family game night. Take a look and see what you can do to have the best time!

Rotate The Games You Play

Your family probably has some favorite games that they love to play, but this doesn’t mean you should stick to them the whole time. Make sure you rotate the games you play and give all kinds of other games a chance. There are all kinds of fun games out there, including minute to win it games and dollar store games. You have so much choice! Ideas include:

  • Nerf Gun games
  • Twister
  • Cluedo
  • Monopoly
  • Pie face
  • Kerplunk
  • Jenga
  • Domino’s
  • Uno
  • Scrabble

All you have to do is make sure you choose games that are suitable for the kids. You don’t want to challenge them to a game of scrabble and have to let them use the Scrabble word finder because they aren’t old enough to play.

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Do Stuff Other Than Games

Life is exciting when we have a little novelty, and you can use game night to introduce novelty into your life and have an amazing time. For example, why not let the kids eat ice cream or another dessert for dinner? You could also have a backyard camp out night, and perhaps even a ‘no rules’ night. During a ‘no rules’ night, you still have to stay safe and avoid disrupting the neighbors at 3am, but other than that, everyone can do what they like.

Make Believe

Make believe comes so easy to kids, and not so much to adults. However, this is the perfect reason for everybody to get into it and do it! Dress up and put on accents and pretend to be different people. You can do this while playing a game, watching a film, or even eating your dinner. This can be so much fun and you’ll love seeing how far everyone’s imagination can stretch.

Use The Hasbro Game Demo Site

This site can give you an idea of what to expect from a game before you splash out on it. Take a look if you’re in the market for a new game! You can also look at game reviews on YouTube, so you can get a well rounded idea of what the game you want to buy is about.

Don’t Neglect Puzzles

Puzzles are a great brain training exercise that keep everybody engaged. They might not be a traditional game, but they can still be a lot of fun and help everybody to use critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Are you ready to host your next family game night? What will you play? Leave any of your own tips and ideas below!

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Talking the Future Through With Your Teen

You remember their first day at school as if it were yesterday. The nerves that needed calming down and those new school clothes that started off so immaculate and clean. Yet, those years have gone by in a flash and it’s time to help your teenager find the next step along the road to their career or educational success.

If you’re at a point where your teen needs to make some crucial life decisions about what and where to study, we’re here to help you all through the process that can be at times stressful and confusing for everyone involved.

The Basics

Your teen has put the work in and found subjects that they have both enjoyed and found they have a natural aptitude for. They’ll also know what they find difficult and challenging.

It’s time to sit down with your senior year teen and talk about the reality of their grade scores and what they are looking at and what they’ll need to secure a college place.

To help your child start to take ownership of the process have them write down all the factors that they’ll need to take into account. Yes, grades are the first place you should start but they should also consider any awards they’ve received. Their achievements in sports and their hobbies and interests outside of school.

Then the very best thing you can do to help is simply to ask them what they want to do? They may opt for the traditional route of going to college, though this option is sometimes far harder for some students to pursue than others. Or they may not. They may feel that going to college isn’t for them that they would rather find a job or enrol on a course that teaches some practical skills, perhaps coupled with an apprenticeship.

Whatever your child says at this stage, you’ll need to respect their decision and above all you mustn’t act disappointed as this will only serve to make your child feel guilty or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, dig their heels in even more. Remember what it was like to go through this decision-making process yourself and be patient as they figure things out.

College

If your teen does decide that a college course is for them then it’s time to start looking. Your first port of call is going to be the internet but where to start? Work with your child to narrow down the type of course they would like to enroll on. One of the easiests ways to start the process is to ask your child how far away they would be prepared to travel.

Once you’ve established how many hours max they’d be prepared to go you can narrow down the search to within a set radius.

You might also want to ask your child what kind of qualities they’d like the college to have. Will they have a strong sports presence or have a great college orchestra? Keep an open mind and choose between six to ten that your teen feels drawn towards. Some might seem out of reach but be prepared to include them even when the entry requirements seem particularly tough or the fees are a little on the steep side.

While college can be expensive, there may be help in the form of grants, loans and other federal financing that might help to bridge the gap.

Career

While college might be your dream, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the dream of your child’s. If they have a firm idea in their mind of what they want to do and where they want to start then that desire to work and earn a living should be applauded.

Encourage them to look for employment that has a clear career progression. Help them to find an employer who takes on school leavers with a view to training and seeing them progress up through the ranks of their industry.

Don’t just take the first job that comes along but instead think further into the future and ask your child where they’d see themselves in five years’ time in the ideal job.

 

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Break

It might be that your child really is lost and has little clue what they might like to do after school. You worry that they’ll take the first job on offer or that they’ll enrol on a course that will see them drop out before long. If this is the case then let them take a break. Have them volunteer with a charity that speaks to them and spend the time talking to a school guidance counselor about where they want to head to in life. Sometimes, a little space can make all the difference.

Practical Training

If your child has shown an aptitude towards a specific skill or has their eyes set on learning a skill closer to home then very often a technical training college can be the answer. Find a school that specialises in construction, robotics, like the Pinnacle Academy, and so forth. Helping your child find their passion in life is half the battle.

Entrepreneur

Your budding genius may have just hit on a startup idea that’s worth talking about. If your young entrepreneur has thought carefully enough about starting up a business, how about letting them explore that idea and seeing if they can make it fly?

Like any new business it will take some work and some commitment but with the right idea and your support, they might just be a success.

Whatever your child chooses to do, they’re looking to you for your support. Your idea may not be their idea and that’s ok. It’s fine to disagree but just remember that this is their life and not yours.

Be proud of what they have achieved so far and of what they have to offer. Lend a supportive hand and help your child achieve a future that they’ve always wanted, whether at work, college or as an entrepreneur.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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4 Common Mental Health Troubles in New Moms

Being a new mom is no easy feat. Through the pregnancy, birth, and raising the baby, many mothers struggle coming to terms with all the changes. A study by the group Children of the 90s showed that anxiety and depression rates are up 50% in new and young mothers. Many of the moms in the study were unaware of their clinical depression and anxiety.

 

Motherhood is difficult. It’s no wonder that new moms struggle with mental health. They often neglect to take care of themselves when caring for a new life.

If you are a new mom, or you know someone about to become a mother, here are a few common and urgent mental health issues and ways to get help.

  1. Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression develops immediately after the birth of the child. It’s very common, affecting nearly 20% of women in developed countries. It occurs mostly in underdeveloped countries. New mothers can struggle with the hormone changes and the sudden lifestyle that comes with motherhood. Depression of any kind is related to neurotransmitters and hormone levels: both are affected by pregnancy and birth.

The best treatment for postpartum is a combination of biological and psychosocial treatments. Professional help from therapists is recommended. Many licensed therapists even specialize in postpartum treatment.

The most important thing for a mother struggling with postpartum is a support system that encourages professional intervention as soon as possible.

  1. Bipolar Depression

This disorder is genetic, so mothers who have other family members with bipolar disorder are more likely to develop it. Like postpartum, it is directly related to hormone levels and neurotransmitter issues. Common indicators of bipolar depression are:

  • Drastic mood swings
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Memory loss

There are many different treatments available. Bipolar depression cannot usually be treated solely with behavioral therapy. Seeing a psychiatrist is recommended, but treatments include medication, and TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), which offers many benefits in bipolar depression treatment.

Seek a professional diagnosis before pursuing any treatment for bipolar disorder. 

  1. Anxiety

All mothers are anxious in some way. However, some new moms feel anxiety about their new responsibility so much so that they develop an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is also related to hormone changes and neurotransmitter levels. Some anxiety is normal, but if you are constantly on edge or feeling guilty about everything, that could be a sign of something more.

If you feel overwhelmed by anxiety, see a therapist. They may be able to give you a better idea of whether or not you are at risk for an anxiety disorder. This illness also tends to run in families. Treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, and naturalistic treatments like meditation.

  1. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Wanting order is normal. Demanding order or being unable to operate in a condition that isn’t your perfect ideal is not. Performing certain behavior patterns can also be a sign of OCD. OCD interferes with your normal life, and often the behaviors extend over long periods of time. It’s often associated with preventing harm or mistakes, which is why it’s common in new moms.

OCD is usually treated with psychotherapy and occasionally medication. Your brain may be suffering from a lack of serotonin which could contribute to your OCD. Visit a therapist if you suspect any of your behaviors could indicate OCD.

Conclusion

Mothers have a hard job. It’s no wonder so many women suffer from mental disorders during pregnancy or post-birth. In fact, studies have shown that mothers don’t receive enough mental health support in general.

It’s important for moms to be healthy, for themselves and for the baby. If you are a new mom, make sure you have a good support system, and know that you have resources you can

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Five Things Only Parents Of High-IQ Children Know

If you are the parent of a high-IQ child, then you have a unique perspective on the world. Whereas most parents are used to feeling smart while around their kids, intelligent children have a unique ability to put you in your place. Check out the following things you only know if you are the parent of a high-IQ child.

You Don’t Need To Entertain Them

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Most parents have to continually provide entertainment for their children to prevent them from becoming loud and restless. But parents of high-IQ children have the luxury of being able to let their children get on with it. High-IQ children can find entertainment and focus all over the place, often in the smallest of things. Steve Jobs, for instance, spent the majority of his childhood tinkering with computers. It provided an endless source of fascination for him and gave him the foundation he needed to build a great company, Apple.

High-IQ children will spend their time reading, creating things, measuring stuff, and collecting.

It’s Hard To Find A Decent Education

Most educational institutions are concerned primarily with achieving “minimum standards.” Things like “no child left behind” are all initiatives which focus on bringing the bottom up. Public schools have very little incentive to push highly intelligent kids and get the most out of them.

Parents who do find a gifted program are in luck. These programs help high-IQ children expand their horizons and learn more advanced concepts across a variety of fields.

They Make You Feel Stupid Sometimes

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When somebody twenty or thirty years younger than you can solve maths problems that you can’t, it can make you feel a little dumb. Yet this is something that parents of highly gifted children have to deal with all the time. As a parent, you have to have pretty good self-esteem to cope with the brilliance of a child who seems to have infinite potential for originality.

You’re Always Gushingly Proud

Being a proud parent is natural. But you don’t want to take it too far. Parents who praise their children to the skies often end up with problems later on.

The problem is this: if children come to believe that the parent values them because they are smart, they’ll start focusing on that instead of the world around them. Kids who want their parents to see them as bright will often avoid intellectual challenges for fear of being “outed” as average. Children can also develop an obsession with being intelligent and have this as a barometer of their worth as a human being. If they fail at a test, then they’ve also failed as a person.

Parents of high-IQ children, therefore, know that it’s vital to praise their kids, but not to worship them.

You’re Never Bored

High-IQ children have a habit of exploring the world and discovering new things: stuff you never even knew was there. When there’s a high-IQ child in the family, there’s never a dull moment. You always have something new and exciting to talk about.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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How to Know If Your Teen Is Using Drugs or Alcohol

We all worry about our kids. It’s natural. We want to make sure they are on the right path.

Drugs and alcohol are the top concerns for many parents. What if your teen is using them?

It’s something that no parent wants to think about. If you’re reading this article, you might already have your suspicions.

We will discuss some things to look out for to know if your teen is using drugs or alcohol.

 

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms are one of the most obvious signs. Take a close look at their eyes after they go out. Are they red and heavy-lidded? Constricted? This might indicate they’ve been using marijuana.

Eyes that are dilated or have difficulty focusing might point to drinking. A red, flushed face is also a common sign of drinking.

Also keep an eye out for other symptoms such as:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Unexplained runny nose or nosebleeds
  • Shakes or tremors
  • Dry mouth (constantly licking lips)

 

Covering Up Evidence

There are many subtle signs that your teen might be using drugs or alcohol. Some of the most common include:

  • Unexplained track marks/bruises
  • Smells of marijuana/smoke
  • Soot on lips or fingers
  • Empty bottles
  • Missing medications/alcohol
  • Paraphernalia (lighters, syringes, etc.)

As previously mentioned, these signs are subtle. So you should also pay attention to ways your teen might be hiding them. For instance, are they suddenly wearing long sleeves during the summer? They could be hiding track marks. They could be using fragrances to mask the smell of smoke. Stay alert and take note of anything out of the ordinary.

Changed Behavior

Have you noticed a significant change in behavior? Don’t jump to conclusions right away. Teens are naturally moody.

Drugs and alcohol, however, can significantly affect one’s mood. If your teen seems excessively moody, this might be cause for concern. Personality shifts and failing grades can also be indicators.

Be aware of any secretive behavior. Are they lying about where they are going? Do they stay out way past when they said they would be home? They might be trying to hide their use from you.

Drug Test

Maybe your teen denies using drugs or alcohol. If you still feel that they are, you might have to do a drug test. There are accurate at-home kits available online.

Keep in mind that there are ways to fake-pass a drug test. For instance, your teen might know to drink a lot of water to flush out their system.

They might also know that it’s a tip-off to drug testers when urine is excessively clear. Therefore, they might take B-2 or B-12 before the test to give their urine a yellowish tint.

Searching Their Room

Should you search their room? If you feel it’s necessary, yes. Inform them that it is for their health and safety. Keep in mind that evidence might not be in plain sight. Be sure to check hidden spots such as empty candy bags or under loose floorboards.

Communication Is Key 

Let your teen know they can talk to you. They shouldn’t be afraid to come to you with a problem, even one as serious as this.

Educate them on the dangers of drug use and alcohol. Especially if they start young, teens can be at risk for serious problems down the line. Addiction and potential trouble with the law are just two of the many serious consequences.

In most cases, you should just ask them. Have a healthy conversation about their drug or alcohol use. If necessary, get them the professional help they need to get back on the right path.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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