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Raising a family in this modern world of instant everything can be a gargantuan task that is quite daunting to new parents no matter what their age is. The stress of parenting can lead to a number of undesirable circumstances such as divorce, child abuse, adoption and even alcohol abuse, but through the right combination of education, discipline, and encouragement even the most unruly children can become the most devout saints and angels.
One of the most important things parents can do for their kids is to prepare and eat healthy nutritious food. Kids learn their eating habits at an early age from their parents. One of the easiest ways to a stress free, healthy and happy life is to simply eat the right amount of healthy, additive-free, food and drink plenty of water instead of juice or soda. Things to avoid include high fructose corn syrup, which is found in almost every sweetened food in the U.S., and monosodium glutamate, or MSG which is also labeled as hydrolyzed yeast extract, or simply seasoning or flavor. If it’s not specific, it’s probably MSG or one of it derivatives.
Exercise is the second most important factor to raising healthy children. 40 minutes a day is recommended but this can be greatly increased as long the activities are broken up throughout the day. This is a great time for family bonding as well because we all know that parents need just as much exercise as their kids, often more because of sedentary work environments or long commutes. Biking and hiking are great for health, can be done almost anywhere, and offer a good time for parents to bond with their kids. A little bit of exercise can prevent parents from becoming obese, alcoholics, lazy, or just plain boring.
Television should be severely limited, and when it is watched it is best to view prerecorded material to be sure of its content and avoid brainwashing commercials and advertisements. The effects of quick advertisements and multiple commercial breaks cause viewers to begin to stop paying attention to what is being shown and enter a state of sleep that is highly suggestive. This is especially effective on children. When they do want to watch TV, be sure that it is a suitable show, or sit there and watch it with them. Children especially need to learn the difference between news, fiction, fictional news, and commercials which is often difficult for adults to differentiate. TV should never be a substitute for proper day care.
The best and most productive alternative to television is reading. Even when a child cannot read for themselves they still enjoy hearing and visualizing the story. This encourages kids to use their imagination and is highly effective at preventing ADD and its various offshoots. Books allow children to explore places and situations in more detail and interest than any other medium.
Living in a solar home and being safe seems like a no-brainer but many parents get caught up in the commotion of daily life and forget little things, like properly securing a baby harness, or baby-proofing cabinets and hiding cleaning products. There are a thousands things that can go wrong, and prevention is the number one tool for preventing those accidents from happening. Be aware of the surroundings, and children should be taught to be aware as well.
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