Parents Helping Parents of Wyoming State Parenting Center

Posts tagged ‘Relaxation’

The NO TV Challenge: Think YOU Can Handle It?

Julie Heil- PHP Outreach Coordinator located in Buffalo

I am prepared for the BATTLE! My family has attempted and sometimes completed a No TV Challenge several times over the last three years that we have actually had cable television. There are lots of moans and groans for the first two days and then my two kids figure out that they have things they have forgotten about like…..

Bikes, Games, Books, Art Supplies, Pets, oh and those pesky adults in the house called PARENTS.

Really, it is amazing to me how my middle school son will be watching Spongebob when I leave the room and the next time I peak into the family room, there is some hot mess of a female on the scream holding a huge gun and killing a metal person/vehicle while screaming profanities. WHAT I scream- “mom its Megan Fox, relax” he says. “All my friends get to watch whatever they want and plus its only PG-13”. (I’m kinda stuck on the rating thing- PG-13 just means the absence of the F word- all else is fair game as demonstrated by Megan’s bodacious bod and use of weaponry while wearing a bikini)

I don’t like TV, I think it sends the wrong messages to our kids on so many levels, you have to be skinny, with perfect clothes, own the best cars and eat a ton of junk food (thinking of the commercial of the father and son standing in a beautiful wavy corn field taking about how high fructose corn syrup is natural and really good for you)  Plus, the kids in these shows talk so nasty to each other. Their dialogues are wrought with sarcasm and innuendo that children don’t understand. Oh, how I wish for the days when Dora the Explorer was the hero of our house. I loved her chubby little girl ways and mismatched clothes, her adventurous spirit and sweet Abula that gave wise advise.

I have hidden the remotes, unhinged the dish and I am ready for the fight! This week we are TV free, are you up for it?

Staying Active: The Last Cosmic Joke

Dara Johnston- Resident Lazy Bones

When asked to write a post about staying active, the first thought was who are we kidding?!?! Staying active, sure that’s definitely important, and what all of the health magazines state we should do as well as our health professionals/ parent educators/ teachers etc…

However, what I wish I could say to the next person to tell me to get off the couch is a resounding (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) Is this some horrible cosmic joke? Am I now supposed to fit in being active with the care of my loved ones, working all the time, studying for classes, studying for professional certifications, trying to get ahead at work, and my failure of a social life?

Once again – are you serious!

So instead this post will illuminate why taking time for oneself is a better alternative to ‘staying active’. Sure all you gym rats and super healthy types can still workout until you ach; eating your organic vegetables and staying away from refined sugar.

However, my lazy self is going to attack this list of things as if it were my weekly bucket list:

  • Taking time to read a book for leisure
  • Taking a walk in the early evening
  • Meditating (if that’s your thing)
  • Actually have a conversation with my loved ones that doesn’t end and begin with ‘Yeah, work/ school was fine’
  • Setting the alarm early so that I can press the snooze button as many times as I want
  • Going on a hike, instead of cleaning out the garage
  • Turning off my phone, Ipad, Computer for the whole weekend
  • Sleeping past 5 AM on the weekends
  • Learning to cook a new dish each weekend that straddles the line of healthy and still edible

You get the picture, I am not advocating for staying on the couch indefinitely but rather slowing down long enough to enjoy the simple pleasures. Therefore, I challenge all of you to come up with a short weekly bucket list that helps to put the focus back on your priorities- what type of things will be on your list?


December 1, and the countdown begins!  I can’t get everything done I am stressing, and Christmas is supposed to be fun.  What can I do?  Don’t feel alone, according to  80% of their readers feel the same way.  What can we do to relieve some stress, to bring the Happy back to Happy Holidays?

Here are some tips to maybe help:

Don’t try to make everything “perfect”.  As parents, moms especially, we want our children to experience the perfect holiday.  Let’s be honest, does your child really care that all of the packages are wrapped in matching paper and bows.  Do all of the candy canes have to face the same way?  Decide a couple of things that are really important to you and stick to perfecting those items.

Use shortcuts.  Simplify experiences that you want to include in your celebrations .  Want to still send Christmas cards?  Try sending e-cards that can be sent out all together.  Want to host a holiday party?  Consider hiring help (catering, cleaning, etc) or make it a potluck.

Make a plan.  Does spending too much cause your stress?  Make a budget and stick to it.  Do you and your spouse disagree about where to spend the holidays?  Make a plan well ahead of time, so everyone knows what to expect.

Just say NO!  This is a hard one!  Who wants to miss out on anything this time of year??  But, we really don’t need to attend  everything we are invited to, every activity in the community.  Once again, make a plan and choose what is really special to you.

Hopefully these ideas will give you a few strategies to make yours a Holly Jolly Christmas/ Hanukkah/ Kwanzaa/ Celebration!

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