Kids and Chaos: Three Ways to Take a Break When Your Day Gets Manic

As parents, our kids are of course the most important people in our lives; we’d do anything for them and their health and happiness truly is our number one priority. However, as anyone with kids will tell you, sometimes they can seriously stress you out. At the end of the day we’re only human, and a day of crying, moaning and bad behaviour is enough to grind anyone down. Sometimes all we need is a short break to clear our head, compose ourselves and get back to it. Here are a few ideas for things you can do get a quick break when your kids are driving you bonkers!

A hot  shower

Baths are great- the hot water eases tense muscles, it reduces blood pressure and it’s a quiet place to think and relax. But as busy parents, we don’t always have time to luxuriate in the bathtub and so it’s all about quick showers instead. While they might not be as relaxing as submerging in water, showers can also reduce stress and so are a good option when you’re feeling a bit irritated and overwhelmed. Once you’re out and feeling fresh, you might well find tackling any issues you come up against is that bit easier.

A cup of tea

There’s nothing quite like a soothing cup of tea when things aren’t going your way. If the kids are scrapping and moaning and are generally getting on your last tether, step outside and give yourself five minutes to enjoy a brew. Whether you take milk and two sugars or prefer green or herbal tea, there’s something relaxing and refreshing about sipping the hot liquid and again you can return to what you were doing with a much clearer head! If you’re flagging and your stress is being added to by tiredness then go with a coffee instead, sometimes we a caffeine boost is what’s needed to get through the tough days!

A game of something fun

Sometimes a fun distraction is what you need, to take your mind off things and lower your stress levels. Whether console games or live casino sites are your thing, taking a break to enjoy a game could be just what the doctor ordered when your day gets chaotic. You might not have time to sit and watch a full movie or even a full tv episode, but you can play a quick game of something you enjoy and it could help to balance your mood again.

Instead of losing your temper or getting into a mood yourself, when things get stressful just give yourself a few minutes. One day your kids will be all grown up, and you’d do anything to hear them fight, moan and cry for your attention again! For now, take a break when you need it and then return to your duties with a smile on your face.

How do you deal with things when your kids are driving you up the wall?!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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Back to School with Your Prep Expert

Millions of students are heading back to school over the next few weeks with many of them already thinking about their future and what college to apply to. Wondering if they can get a scholarship or even pass the ACT and/or the SAT with a good enough score to get them in to their school of choice.

Prep Expert can help change your score, and change your life. Studies show that when students prepare for a test or exam they do better, and when they have the proper preparation they do even better. That’s where Prep Expert can help you prepare for that special test.

With a successfully completed deal with Mark Cuban on Shark Tank, Prep Expert has become the world’s fastest growing test prep provider!

Check out their website PrepExpert.com and just see what they have to offer. Try out the free class and browse all of the other available courses. Their is even a 200-Point Score Improvement Guarantee!

So check it out today! You and/or your students will thank you for it! Providing the perfect tools for their future is exactly what students need to be successful in the future and Prep Expert can fill that need!

I was fortunate enough to be provided a trial for Prep Expert and found the program to be very easy to follow and I feel like after going through some of the prep courses I would be ready to take the ACT once again! The instructors are great and know exactly how to help you succeed. This is their job! So it’s only been 16 years since I last took the ACT, so why not give it a shot again. With Prep Expert’s help I am sure I will do great!

Be sure to check out PrepExpert.com today as well as their awesome episode on Shark Tank!

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Tips For Creating The Ultimate Man Cave

Do you have a man cave in your home? If not, you really should. Having your very own space, you will have the freedom to express yourself, whether you want to unlock your inner child with games and play activities, or if you want to focus on the more serious side of you, with space to read, work, and contemplate the life, universe, and everything!

The first thing to consider is where to build your man cave. While often rooted in the garage or basement, you could also take over any other spare room not used by anybody else in your house. Whatever the case, it should be the room where you have full control over, filling it with the things you need to create your perfect ‘me space.’ Now, we have some ideas for what could go into your man cave, for those of you looking for inspiration, but if you choose to ignore us and do your thing, that’s okay. It is your space, after all.

Here are our ideas for what to include in the ultimate man cave.

Somewhere to sit. Whether it’s to read, watch tv, or to chill with any of the friends you invite over, you will need to have something to sit on. For you, it could be a recliner, something to relax on while you’re trying to unwind. For those other people you allow into your designated space, you may want to purchase a small couch or a few bean bags. Whatever the case, comfort is key, so consider the range of seating options available to you.

Something to watch. Rather than endure your partner’s cookery programmes or movie musical DVDs (forgive our general assumptions), you should have your very own tv. The bigger, the better, of course, as well as a fully-amped sound system or (and thinking of your family and neighbors), a set of wireless TV headphones to go with it. Sitting back in your recliner, you can watch whatever you want, from top tv series such as The Americans and Game of Thrones, to the big sporting events that occur every year.

Something to eat and drink. You don’t want to uproot yourself too often, so negate the need for those long trips to the kitchen. Instead, get yourself a mini fridge, topped up with everything you need to keep you replenished, and if you have the space, set up your own bar area too. Perfect for you, and perfect for any social engagements you hold in your man cave.

Something to play. If you’re a video gamer, you might want to invest in one of the latest games consoles, be that the Xbox One X or the PlayStation Pro, giving you the ability to play some of the newest games available. Alternatively, you might prefer something retro. Choose from one of the video game consoles of times past, from the NES to the much-underrated Sega Dreamcast, or set up an arcade cabinet in the corner of the room. Of course, you may not be into video games at all, so board games may be your thing, or sports equipment, such as a pool table or darts board may be your preferred option. And also… Think about your decor; including the colours you like, and the posters you may want to jazz up your walls. Consider personal items that will make you feel like it’s your space, such as collectibles or awards and accreditations you may have won. Choose as much or as little as you want for your space. It’s your man cave, and you can do with it as you please.  And if we have missed something out that you would consider essential, be sure to let us know!

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Keeping Your Teenager Safe

If you tell your teenager you want them to be safe, they will immediately feel like you’ve shoved a bag over their head, added a strait jacket and locked them in a cell. In their minds, ‘safe’ equals the introduction of curfews, boundaries and cotton wool to wrap them up in. Firstly, they wouldn’t be wrong to think that, given that a parent keeps their child safe with boundaries and curfews, the trick is to do it so that they, a) don’t know it, and b) actually enjoy it! Safety is a big deal in the world that we currently live in. Everything is moving toward automation and robots, and if you’re old enough to have seen and appreciate The Terminator movies, then you’ll know why you want to keep your kids as safe as possible.

In a digital world full of GDPR scandals and naked celebrity photos being leaked, it can be difficult to hand over that much-wanted smartphone that your teenager has been begging you for. The overbearing helicopter parent within you will want to perform random spot checks on said phone, but not to make your teenager feel untrusted and closed in, but to protect them from the dangers of a cell phone personal data leak, which can and does happen by a simple click of the wrong link. There is a time that comes up really fast, and that’s letting your child go a little bit. Not too much, you don’t want them to go too far and forget that they are still under your rules and your protection. But far enough that they can begin to make their own mistakes and get to know the world around them. Keeping them safe is still going to be a priority for you, no matter what, and there are no absolutely right or wrong answers to doing this. However, if you are going to go with the strait jacket method, it may be worth getting some guidance or parenting classes…or something. So, how can you keep your teenager safe without them hating you for it?

Communicate. It may be like getting a limpet off a rock to get your teenager out of their bedroom and into the dining room for dinner, but it’s so important. You need a neutral plane to be able to discuss their world and how things are going, and over their favorite meal is a good place. Ideally, you would have been openly discussing teenage rules from a young enough age that they know what to expect when the time creeps around. Communication is so important for happy and well-adjusted teenagers, so don’t be afraid to discuss the dangers of social media or the world around them. Get their input about things that they could be worrying about and learn to talk to them on their level, like a mature adult – this is what they are aiming to be.

Know Everyone. You want to be that parent who knows their friends, has met their friends’ parents and are comfortably aware of where they should be and when. This way, when an emergency happens, you know exactly where to go. You should impart how important it is to be able to keep tabs as you need to. The likelihood is that you won’t need to – and that’s exactly how it should be.

Keep Them Busy. Bored teenagers are not a good combination. A second job, extra classes and a full social calendar can keep your teen busy, but make sure it’s the good kind of busy – not the kind with such extra pressure that they feel like they cannot cope. If your teenager is still in school, set some rules together about curfews on school nights and make sure that they’re home to get a solid night of sleep before school the next day. Giving them enough rope to have their freedom is smart, but don’t hang them with it. They need to know you’re taking a step back to give them some room.

The good thing about this is that you can start letting them know from the beginning of high school what you expect, and they can do the same. You want to protect them without suffocation, and it can be achieved when everyone comes together to compromise and be happy together. It’s important to know you have a strong and trusting relationship. Put their safety first and you can make sure that this is the case.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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