One Way To Easily Reach Goals & Be A Better Parent: Set Family Goals

Admit it, your goals and aspirations as an individual doubled or even tripled the moment you become a parent. Maybe you want to lose that extra weight by eating healthier and at the same time, you want to save a certain amount of money to enjoy financial freedom. While working on these targets, you are probably concerned about raising smart and responsible children too. Likewise, you wish to create family memories that your kids can cherish for years.

With the many hats that a mother or a father has to wear, parenthood can sometimes feel like a huge burden. Most of the time, defining the goals is the easiest part of the journey. The real challenge starts in the process of accomplishing each one as you may encounter stress and difficulty that can push you to quit.

But cheer up, there is one simple thing you can do to successfully sweep all your targets in one strike. It is as easy as making your goal-setting an important family activity. A research done by the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) found out that having a partner to work on your targets increases your chance to achieve the goals by 65%. This proves that making your spouse and/or kids your partner, you strengthen your resolve to commit to the goal. Aside from increasing your chance of success, this practice also offers many extra benefits for the whole family:

Enhances Relationships

The act of working together toward a common goal may be more effective in fostering a solid connection within the family than any other bonding activities. As you reach your objectives, you will most likely support and encourage each other every step of the way. The process gives you a chance to communicate and spend quality time, making you more understanding and appreciative of each other. When you finally obtained the fruits of your labor, you may be delighted to discover that it also comes with a priceless reward – a stronger and happier family.

Resolves Conflicts

Each family member has a unique personality that may result in clashes and disagreements. Some families can choose to conveniently ignore conflicts, leaving it unresolved for years. However, when you are working on a common goal, family members have another reason to quickly fix and iron out misunderstandings. This results in harmony that is essential in building a positive environment.

Teaches Valuable Life Skills To Kids

As you exert effort to achieve goals, you show your children the importance of values such as perseverance, patience, and hard work. These life skills that can help secure your child’s future is not that easy to teach using words alone. By making your kids part of your goals, you effortlessly instill those values by example.

Children who actively contribute to the fulfillment of family goals can learn problem-solving strategies and communication skills. It can also boost your child’s self-esteem and teaches them how to cope with stress.

So do you want a healthier lifestyle, financial freedom, responsible kids, a thriving business, and clutter-free home? As long as you set realistic goals, you should not let fear hold you back from weaving big dreams for you and your family. You can achieve all your goals in life and at the same time be the best parent you can be, just start by setting family goals.

Ryder and Nicole EricksonOne Way To Easily Reach Goals & Be A Better Parent: Set Family Goals
Read More

Five Tips to Stress Free Travel With Young Children

One of the best parts about having children is the opportunity to visit new places and show your children the world. However, many parents run and hide at the mere thought of navigating an airport and flying with young children. Traveling with children can be very overwhelming, but with focused planning, direction and a little bit of experience, flying with young ones will seem much more manageable. Although there is no way to say you won’t have any turbulence ahead, these tips will hopefully help you to avoid a mile-high meltdown.

Choose Your Flight Time Wisely

One of the easiest and most helpful travel tips for families is to thoughtfully choose your flights based on your children’s needs. If possible, plan to fly around your little one’s nap time—Ideally, they would stick to their schedule and then sleep while on the flight. Also if there is a direct flight option, take it. By avoiding layovers it will simplify the entire travel process for you, require less planning on your end, and eliminates the stress of rushing to catch your connection.

Prepare Your Supply Bag

It is easy to overpack a diaper bag, or carry-on suitcase with who knows what, but when traveling with children it is essential to pack the right supplies for in-flight needs. The supply bag includes diapers and wipes, and two changes of clothes in case of an accident. Also be sure to bring hand sanitizer and wipes to avoid germs that live on planes. Bring any medications your child may need in your supply bag rather than checking it in case the luggage gets lost. Bring lots of mess-free snacks like crackers, and a spill-proof cup for each child. It is better to be over-prepared with supplies than at 30,000 feet without a clean diaper for your little one, so keep the length of the flight and total time to your final destination after the flight in mind when determining your supply quantities.

Engaging Entertainment

You may feel the need to pack your children’s entire playroom for a plane flight, but if you strategically plan and select toys and entertainment for the kids, you will be just fine. The key is to entertain and engage your child. Bring wrapped surprises for each child, such as a new toy car or mini doll. When you board the plane, ask the flight attendant for some plastic cups that the kids can stack and play with. Choose toys that last a while like coloring books, stickers, lace-up toys, etc. If your child is old enough, ask them to pack their own backpack with their toy choices for the flight. Be sure to load up any tablets with lots of videos for longer flights. And finally, use your children to entertain each other. Ask older children to help with their younger siblings—this will keep both busy and occupied with each other.

Minimize Carry-On’s

Depending on how many children you have, you may have your hands full without even carrying any actual baggage. Now add all the carry-on luggage, car seats, strollers, and maybe an infant in there and you probably won’t even be able to get from the car to the check-in desk without falling over yourself. With that said, it is best to check anything and everything that you can so that you can be as hands-free as possible. Most airlines allow you to check up to one stroller and one car seat per child at no additional cost. If your child is small enough, use an ergonomic carrier or wrap to hold your child. They even allow you to “wear” your babies through security which is a huge plus. If you opt for the stroller route for younger kids, swap out your heavy-duty wheels for a smaller, travel-friendly stroller that can be easily gate-checked. Your most important responsibility is getting your children from point A to point B, and that is much easier accomplished by only bringing the necessities.

You’ve Got This

No matter how hard you try to prepare for flying with children, things still happen. A baby may cry, drinks might get spilled all over the seats, and the iPad might die mid-flight. Take a deep breath, and keep your cool because it is all ok. Let’s be honest, crying from babies is toddlers is pretty much inevitable, and although you may think the passengers around you would throw you out mid-flight because your little one is upset, they won’t. Most people have been there before and get it. As long as you are doing your best to console, and diffuse the situation, the majority will understand.

Having children shouldn’t limit your travel opportunities, it should encourage them. They always say the hardest part is just getting there, but that doesn’t mean getting there has to be so hard. If you plan ahead, thoughtfully pack, and prep for the journey ahead, traveling with young children will be stress-free and enjoyable for the whole family.

Ryder and Nicole EricksonFive Tips to Stress Free Travel With Young Children
Read More

3 Tips for the Best School Year Yet

With summer rapidly coming to a close and the school year starting back in full swing, the excitement, and perhaps anxiety levels, are peaked at this time of the year. Early mornings, new classes, full days, and more structure all mean one thing––a new school year. Whether you homeschool your kids or they are about to head into another year of traditional schooling, there are certain things to remember to help prepare your family for a successful and worthwhile school year ahead. Keep these tips in mind as school starts and use them throughout the year for the best school year yet.

Use a family calendar

We cannot stress this one enough. With kids running in ten million different directions, it can be hard to keep meetings, practices, games, and events straight. Hang a big calendar in the kitchen that everyone has access to so anyone can jot down appointments or important dates to remember quickly. That way everyone will always have an idea of what’s going on, and nothing will come as a surprise. Trust us, it will save time and stress for the whole family. And everyone could use a bit more of that during the school year.   

Make family time a part of your routine

We all know how busy weeks get once school starts because that means all the activities, sports, and clubs start too. So make an honest effort to set aside some time once a week, or even once a month, to slow down and get together as a family. Whether everyone sits down at the dinner table or you plan a family game night, make sure everyone is there and has an opportunity to talk and communicate with each other. Life only gets busier and busier, and communication is key when it comes to raising a family. So be sure you keep communication as a number one priority, especially throughout the school year, because that’s what establishes a foundation for a healthy and supportive family dynamic.

Identify goals

If you want to raise a successful family, you have to raise goal-driven children. Make sure your kids grow into the go-getter, dream-chasing people you want them to be by making goal-setting a habit at an early age. Although they can be, these goals don’t have to all be academically related. They can be anything from reading one book every month to making a new friend. Setting small, yet realistic goals each year is one of the most effective ways to set your children up for success. It will get them used to the idea of setting attainable goals that they will reference in the future.

Kick off back to school by implementing these 3 tips to make sure this is the best school year yet! 

Ryder and Nicole Erickson3 Tips for the Best School Year Yet
Read More

Talk About The Importance of Fitness with Your Kids

The fitness habits you pick up as a kid stay with you for as long as you live. That’s not to say that you can’t overcome those learned behaviors, but it is definitely harder to move past poor fitness routines the older you get. In order to establish the right kinds of ideas about fitness in your kids, it’s important to talk about it and to instill positive values when it comes to physical fitness.

It’s also vital to stress the importance of fitness as a whole with your kids.

Focus on Health, Rather than Weight

For the longest time, people have focused on silly things like “goal” weights and “ideal” weights. At the end of the day, weight is just a number that fluctuates based on the time of day, the season, and even the climate you live in. That number in no way defines who you are as a person, and it’s not at all tied to your self-worth.

When you’re talking to your kids about fitness, make sure that they understand weight has nothing to do with their value as people. You’re not concerned with the number they see when they step on the scale. You just want them to be healthy.

Emphasize the Positive

On a similar note, it’s important for you as the parent to emphasize the positives of fitness, rather than the negatives. Fitness should never be about losing weight. It should instead be about your kids’ gaining strength and skills and the ability to do things with their bodies that they couldn’t previously do.

When you emphasize the positive aspects of fitness, you entice your kids to participate in the hopes of gaining new skills—rather than making them feel as though fitness is a chore to be completed.

Let Them Know It’s Okay to Fail

Everyone fails. Most people fail at something at least once a week. When it comes to teaching your kids about the importance of fitness, you have to stress this point: it is okay to fail. It is okay to be bad at a sport. It is okay to fall off your bike.

When you make these points to your kids, you allow them to see failure as an opportunity to grow and learn, instead of as a condemnation of their current capabilities.

Regardless of the way you frame it, it’s crucial to emphasize the joy that fitness can bring to their lives—for the rest of their lives.

Ryder and Nicole EricksonTalk About The Importance of Fitness with Your Kids
Read More