Useful Parenting Tips for Raising Teenagers

Having a positive and healthy relationship with your teenaged kid may seem like an impossible task for many parents, but it is actually not. There are many ways you can influence the adolescent’s life by implementing positive parenting. Many parents make the mistake of thinking that they will have no effect on a teenager’s behavior no matter what they do. When in reality, it is essential that the parents play an active role during this time of their child’s life. It is during this time that the teenagers are experimenting by making various and sometimes careless decisions. If parents do not have a close relationship with their children, they are at a risk of losing an emotional bond with them forever.

1.     Understand

The first step to establish a positive relationship with your child is to understand why they act unpredictably. By studying researches and understanding the changes taking place in the body of your adolescent child, you will be able to better understand what they are going through.

2.     Establish your Role

It is not enough that you act as a parent at all time and it is not recommended to act like a friend always either. This is why you need to make sure you have established your role as both a parent and a friend. There should be no confusion about the role, and you should be able to shift between the two roles at just the right time.

3.     Schedule Time Together

It is extremely important that you spend a significant amount of time with your teenage child. As a parent, you cannot afford to create any distance since it can have damaging effects on your child’s personality. Thus, it is important that you schedule a time during the day where you can have a heart to heart with your kids.  Make sure you always have meals together and discuss their day with them.

4.     Communicate

Your child should never feel as if you are interrogating or investigating them or else they will stop all communication with you. Thus, at all times make sure that the lines of communication are open and the way you communicate with them reflects a lack of judgmental behavior. Ideally, your teenage child should be able to share everything about their life with you without having a second thought.

5.     Have Expectations

Being a parent of a teenager does not mean that you quit setting expectations from them. While you may feel that your child does not look favorably upon what you expect of them, they are actually in need of a direction from their parents and setting expectations helps them get it. Keep informing them of the damages that certain behaviors and actions have on their lifestyle. These expectations will make the teen feel that there is someone looking out for them. They will also feel good about meeting those expectations.

Bottom Line

Creating an environment that makes the teenage child feels welcomed and secure is an essential part of bringing up a positive teen. Thus, as parents, it is our role to make sure that we do everything that we can in order to create a better future for our adolescents.

For more articles about raising kids, parenting and family fun, check out GetThrive.com

The Teen Formula Book

 

 

 

 

5​ ​Incredible​ ​Seeds​ ​You​ ​Should​ ​Add​ ​to​ ​Your​ ​Diet​ ​Right​ ​Now

With so many Superfoods on the market, it can be tough to figure out what to add to your diet. Including healthy foods now can help assure that your body will thank you later. In fact, there are 5 incredible seeds that can significantly improve your health, which you should seriously consider adding to your next grocery list.

 

Seeds Aren’t Just for the Birds

Eating seeds might seem strange. Aren’t they just for birds, bears, and other wild animals? Of course not! If you’ve ever followed baseball, you’ve seen how snacking on sunflower seeds has taken the place of chewing tobacco. Adding seeds to your diet can also help:

  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Lower risk of diabetes
  • Lower risk of heart disease or stroke
  • Protect your cells

Seeds are full of nutrients and good fats. Many contain vitamins and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like omega-6 and omega-3.

 

Delicious Seed Diet Tips

One may ask, “What’s the best way to eat seeds?” Well, there are several ways to enjoy these healthy treats.

  • Grab a handful as a snack
  • Add them to smoothies
  • Sprinkle them in a salad
  • Bake them into protein bars

If you keep your seeds in a dry place at room temperature, some seeds can stay good for more than three years! They are super easy to store. You can place them in an air-tight-sealed container in your fridge and they will retain their natural crunchy flavors. They may not last as long if they are prepared in a dish. When cooking with seeds, unfortunately, they will only last as long as the first ingredient to go bad.

 

The Incredible 5

There are so many wonderful seeds from which to choose, each with dietary and nutritional benefits. However, there are five specific seeds that stand out as ones you should consider adding right now (and we’ll tell you why!) The seeds that made the top of the list are: Flax, Pumpkin, Chia, Sesame, and Hemp.

 

1) Flax​ ​seeds

Flax seeds are very small, brown in color, and shaped like a teardrop. They’re easy to grind up and add in to smoothies, protein bars, oils, and baked goods. These seeds contain lignans, which help balance hormone levels and blood sugar.

 

2) Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin​ ​seeds​ are large and green. They contain magnesium, are high in zinc, and help boost the immune system. They’re also high in fiber, which is great for digestion and can help lower heart-disease risk. You can chew them whole or grind them and add to oatmeal, batter for baked goods, or into protein bars.

 

3) Chia​ ​seeds

Chia are tiny grayish-black seeds. They’re known for boosting energy and metabolism. In fact, the word “Chia” means strength in the Mayan language. They’re high in omega-3 fatty amino acids, fiber, and antioxidants. You can munch on a pinch of chia seeds or add them into smoothies, soups, or salads.

 

4) Sesame seeds

Sesame​ ​seeds​ are small and generally white in color, although they can also be black. They originate from Africa and India and make an incredible oil as well. These seeds contain calcium and iron, which is great for your blood and helps boost bone health. Besides being on bagels, sesame seeds can be tossed into salads or used in cooking and baking.

 

5) Hemp Seeds

Hemp​ ​seeds​ are small, white, and round. They’re a terrific source of protein, fiber, and vitamin E. Hemp seeds have been known to help with acne and strengthen hair. These seeds are also a natural anti-inflammatory. They assist with providing a “full” feeling, which can be helpful if weight loss is a goal. Hemp seeds can be ground and place in smoothies, oatmeal, and even desserts!

 

Next time you’re at the market, make sure to add these seeds into your cart. You can always cultivate seeds at home if you’re inclined to plant, grow, harvest, or bake. If you enjoy unique flavors and participate in a healthy diet, then adding these incredible seeds will fit perfectly into your style. Check out GetThrive for many more tips on nutrition and healthy living.

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-healthiest-seeds#section5

https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart/articles/polyunsaturated-fats

https://bodyecology.com/articles/6_benefits_monosaturated_fats.php

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/10-reasons-healthy-young

http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/qa-do-seeds-have-expiration-dates

https://draxe.com/chia-seeds-benefits-side-effects/

http://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/how-to-eat-flaxseeds-health-benefits-tips-and-recipes-1247569

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/30/pumpkin-seed-benefits.aspx

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/sesame-seeds.html#Skin_HairCare

 

 

 

4 Tasty Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Meals Each Week

Weekly meal preparation can be an arduous task. You hate to repeat recipes too often, but you don’t have time to try a bunch of different things. You are also probably looking for something quick, but still nutritious and healthy. So what do you do? How do you make the most of your weekly meal prep?

According to many health experts, there is one thing that helps for certain in preparing your meals: do it in advance. Use recipes that you are comfortable with and get them ready ahead of time, storing them in the freezer or refrigerator for the week. What else can you do?

1. Plan Ahead

You should try to plan your meals for the upcoming week on Sundays—or any day over the weekend. Look for simple recipes in cookbooks or online resources such as Pinterest. Go through the cookbook or recipe selection, sparing half an hour to an hour of your time. Prepare a weekly menu, and write down the ingredients that you will need for each meal.

Now you not only have your menu, you also have your grocery list!

2. Shop Once Per Week

You should go grocery shopping once per week. Pick up your meat, fruits, and veggies—and any other ingredients you may need for your weekly menu.

3. Try Some Meal Prep

Try to season, or even cook, the meat ahead of time. Chop up the vegetables and place them all in different freezer bags. By the time you are ready to cook the meal, the advanced preparation process will have lightened your load.

Make a large pot of soup, put some in the refrigerator and even store some in the freezer. This can serve as dinner and lunch for a day or two. Grill some chicken over the weekend and save some for lunch and even dinner for one evening.

4. Prioritize Meals

Health experts advise that it is best to prioritize which meals you will prepare according to the simplicity. Make your plans for mainly breakfast and dinner. You can use leftovers each day for your lunch. For breakfast, prepare easy recipes such as boiled eggs or omelets. Add sausage or ham. If you are in a rush, a quick ham sandwich or cereal are both good options.

If you are stressed with what you should prepare for dinner, it means that you have forfeited advanced planning. The worst-case scenario is fixing a quick salad instead of heating up a TV dinner.

You don’t have to cook everything at one time when you get all the ingredients for your weekly meals. You could chop and prep the veggies, for example, and store them until it is time to prepare the actual meal. You could wash all fruits and vegetables, getting them ready for snacking. You could portion out other snacks such as nuts and crackers. You could cut up meat and freeze until it is time for the recipe you need that specific meat product for.

The smallest effort made in the food preparation process ahead of time can make a world of difference. It allows you to spend less time during the actually cooking process.

If you need some additional tips to try to get your healthy eating back on track, feel free to consult your doctor. He or she is there to help you with tips and tricks to maintain, or start, a healthy approach to eating and meal preparation.

 

 

6 Parenting Tips to Manage Discipline Successfully

The word discipline may have a negative connotation, but it’s actually something useful and necessary. Great outcomes can emerge from effective discipline. Parents often become overwhelmed by the prospect of disciplining their children. Fret no more! Below are 6 simple tips to help manage your child’s behavior successfully.

When parenting, it makes sense that our goal is to increase our children’s positive behavior. At the same time, we want to deter or decrease negative behavior.

When observing and defining behavior, take care to be specific. Saying your kid is “acting like a brat” is general, subjective, and won’t help you to best invoke your disciplining skills. Defining the action, such as your son is “teasing his sister” or “breaking his toys”—those are specifics behaviors that can be targeted for improvement or extinction

1. Explain What’s Expected

You’re not a mind reader and neither is your child. It’s very important that you communicate expectations. If you want your kids to take off their shoes at the front door, let them know. You can write it down and let them read it. You can tell them. Just make sure when you are giving direction that you do it face-to-face. Children get distracted easily—make sure your child actually heard you. If you’d like, you can always ask him to repeat back to you what he heard you say.

2. Practice Do-Overs

When your kid comes running into the house with muddy boots (and she’s been told to take them off at the door), help her practice the rule. Instead of screaming, calmly bring the child back to the front door. Remind her of the rule. Now give her another chance to be successful. Thank her when she takes off the boots. Reiterate that next time, this is the behavior you’d prefer.

3. Be Clear What’s Happening Next

As adults, we make schedules and are the managers of our own time. But we’re also in charge of when our children will be doing something. Give your kids fair warning. If you’re leaving the house in 10 minutes, let them know they need to start wrapping up what’s they’re in the middle of. Giving youngsters notice of upcoming expectations eases their anxiety.

The majority of negative-behavior displays often originate from a child’s anxiety level. (Other sources are lack of sleep and hunger.)

4. Ignore Bad Behavior

Although this sounds absurd (and impossible), it’s not. When your kid is doing something she’s knows she’s not suppose to, it’s mostly to get your attention. If you give her attention by yelling at her, you’ve now reinforced that bad behavior gets noticed. That’s not something you want.

If you look away, don’t respond, don’t freak out, more often than not, the child will cease the behavior. Once she stops, immediately give positive reinforcement by offering attention. She will learn that when she behaves nicely and properly, you are happy to spend time together.

Do NOT actively ignore if your child is hurting herself or another. Use this tip only for annoying behaviors (like incessant talking, tapping you on the arm 800 times, not cleaning up, etc.). Also, do not ignore destructive behavior.

5. Keep Consequences Realistic, Deliverable, and Proportionate

After you’ve told your child he would be receiving consequences for continuing negative behavior, make sure he knows what it’s going to be, beforehand. This gives him the opportunity to stop the bad behavior or accept the consequences.

If he makes the choice to continue with his behavior, don’t overact. Keep your emotions in tact. Clearly, deliver the punishment and briefly remind him why he’s receiving it. There’s no need to yell. That’s won’t help the child learn. He will, however, learn that continuing to throw food around, however, means he doesn’t get to play with the iPad after lunch.

Removing access from a desired item is torture for a kid. If that’s what you choose as a consequence, make the time frame realistic. A short time away from a favorite toy will send a loud message. Also, make sure you follow through with the understood consequences, even if he begs and swears the behavior won’t happen again. It just did. Be strong and do the calm, right thing and that will bring about more desirable results next time he thinks of flinging spaghetti onto the wall.

6. Create Structure

All of these tips for successful disciplining point back to “following rules.” As mentioned, setting up and expressing expectations will define the rules of your home. So, creating structure will help your children follow along with your plan.

If everyone wakes up at the same time every morning, your child will learn “this is when we get ready for our day”, or “this is when we eat breakfast.” If you want your kid to eat breakfast, then be consistent with wake-up time and when food is available.

Bedtime structure is also very important. Proper sleep for everyone is essential. When a child knows a routine and experiences structure, she is more secure. She understands what to expect throughout the day. Rigidity is not particularly healthy, but organizing and experiencing events in a consistent manner will help the disciplinary process.

Of course no ”method” for parenting will be perfect fit for everyone. Being individuals, all with different life circumstances, our challenges will vary. The above tips are offered as helpful tools. Hopefully, some of them will strike a chord for you and your parenting style. For other articles on families and health, check out GetThrive.com

Sources:

https://www.verywell.com/classroom-discipline-tricks-that-will-work-at-home-4110244

https://childmind.org/article/managing-problem-behavior-at-home/

 

Weight-Loss Tips Not For Dummies

If you’re serious about losing weight, you’ll want to be smart about your plan. If your goal is weight-loss and keeping it off, then you need to be smart. Read on then, for proven, “Not for Dummies”, expert tips to help you attain your goal.

It’s Your Loss

So often we see in the media, people touting their magnificent new figure, sans 40-100 or more pounds than they were previously. But before long, oops! The weight-loss turns back to weight gain. Why?

A true “good” diet is a habitual regimen of healthful, mindful eating.

The main reason why people’s weight fluctuate so greatly is because they go on a diet. “Going on a diet” connotes temporary, extreme changes in eating habits. If you go, you eventually come back—like “going on a vacation.” You’re enthusiastic to go, but the return trip turns out to be a downer.

Forget the Quick Weight-Loss Fix

Once you “go off the diet,” you generally gain back the weight.

The only way to lose pounds and keep them off is by adopting a particular lifestyle. That lifestyle includes a balanced, nutritional, whole-foods based, forever-diet—along with regular exercise, and proper rest.  Period.

The Only Worthy Tips are the Smart Ones

There’s so much information to filter through and digest; it’s surprising we even have any motivation after we’re done researching diets. The reality and scientific truth is that no gimmick or “trending” diet will give you desired results if your goal is to keep the weight off.

Healthy weight reduction and maintenance is possible with a commitment to a smart plan.

Smarty-Pants Tips

Weight loss is not about merely cutting calories. It’s about providing your body with nutrients and reducing inflammation in your body.

Focusing on those two factors will naturally shed pounds with ease.

How do you provide nutrients? The only way is through ingesting non-processed, whole foods. Vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins will provide you with vitamins and minerals.

The way your body absorbs nutrients is to combine them with fat-soluble foods. This means you need to eat “good fats.” Here are some yummy examples:

  • blueberries with walnuts
  • carrots with hummus (garbanzo beans, good)
  • sweet-potato chips with guacamole (avocado being the good fat)
  • almond butter on a brown rice cake
  • a teaspoon of flaxseed oil in your berry smoothie
  • avocado oil in the pan with your scrambled eggs
  • asparagus with your salmon (omega-3 fatty acid rich)

I bet you’re getting the picture!

Tipping the Inflammation Scale

If your body is experiencing inflammation externally, you know it. You can see redness or swelling. Internally, you really don’t know if you’re inflamed until you feel lousy or experience pain, or you get diagnosed with a disease.

Inflammation, clearly, is not a good thing. In order to decrease it and help you on your weight-loss plan, there are certain foods you might consider removing from your diet. Inflammatory foods include:

  • wheat, gluten, and casein
  • dairy
  • processed and cured meats
  • soy
  • processed grains
  • sugar
  • sugar
  • sugar

Awww, Sugar Sugar

Yep, sugar mentioned more than once was not a typo. Sugar in the form of granulated or powdered sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and fructose is unacceptable in more than minuscule amounts if you want to lose weight, keep it off, and have a healthy body.

And, forget the artificial sweeteners. They are equally or almost worst. Read why here.

Here’s the Skinny on Weight-Loss

Regardless of the propaganda circulating by the sugar, wheat, and corn industries, “no dummies” do not fall into that trap. The truth is that those ingredients cause inflammation. If you want to lose weight, you need to say bye-bye to them for a while, if not, your lifetime.

It may sound grim, but the reality is that’s it’s a challenge and can be fun.

Don’t starve yourself by any means.

Start out your day with a nutritious breakfast. A smoothie that includes berries, protein (like a nut butter), fresh spinach or kale, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a bit of almond or coconut milk will fill you up and get your digestive system and brain into forward gear.

You can snack on any of the foods mentioned above. Your lunch and dinner should consist of at least half a plate of veggies and the rest with lean protein and good grains and fats. Make herbs and spices your best cooking friends too—they will add flavor and also help reduce inflammation.

Drink tons of water throughout the day and try to get at least eight hours of sleep per night. Toss in a bit of daily exercise, and you will start losing weight before you know it. Maintain a healthy diet, and you’ll keep those pounds off, and you will feel better than you ever have!

Ask a friend to join you on your positive eating challenge. If you need more support, there are terrific programs already set up to get you started. Restart TM offers groups with trained coaches to help with mindful eating. Arbonne offers a 30-day healthy living package with nutritional supplements and professional support. You can always check out other weight-loss and positive health-affective diets on www.GetThrive.com

Tricks and Tips to Boost Brain Power and Memory

We’ve read countless articles about how the aging process affects our memory. Woefully, they’re mostly accurate.

Memorable Studies

Games, brain-twisters, and other cognitive activities have shown
that new, memory-building neural networks can be formed. It’s a process that occurs in the brain called neuroplasticity. This is encouraging for those seeking to exercise short-and long-term memory. Those types of mental activities build brain muscle, making recollection more fluid.

 

Additionally, one who desires easier access to memory should also participate in a wholesome lifestyle. According to a notable 2013 study, those who: maintain a healthy BMI, eat lots of fruits and veggies, exercise daily, don’t smoke, and keep alcohol intake to a minimum—those participants were approximately 60% less likely to forget as much (or suffer from dementia) as those who did not here to that type of lifestyle.

The Help-Memory List

Write these tricks-and-tips down so you don’t forget them! But, if you practice them, hopefully, you won’t have to look back at your post-it notes. It will become second nature, and your rejuvenated memory will serve you plenty well.

Lifestyle Choices

Eat Fresh – a diet rich in vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fish provide natural sources of omega-3s. Colorful fruits are wealthy with antioxidants. Avoid refined sugars, processed foods, and meat, which contribute to inflammation (even in your brain.)

Sleep Well – During a deep sleep of eight hours or more, it’s believed that the brain shifts memories from temporary to longer-term storage. Besides consolidating information, your brain actually absorbs new info while you sleep. Reading or practicing a new skill before bed enhances retention. Sleep well, and you’ll have better focus and remember more.

Exercise – Aerobic exercise on a regular basis enhances retention of new (and old) information. MRI brain scans show that vigorous exercise expands the hippocampus, which is the area involved in learning and memory. Exercise also reduces stress (which can impede good recall.)

Brain Games

Choose from the list and see which work best for you!

Revive synapses by making your brain work hard…

-Do Crossword Puzzles; Sudoku; Jumble; Scrabble; Boggle
-Do math in your head
-Brush your teeth with your less-favored hand
-Say the alphabet backwards
-Learn a new language
-Learn to play a new instrument
-Draw a map from memory
-Drive to work and home using different routes
-Play hand-eye coordinated video games
-Take up a new sport
-Learn to draw or paint
-Memorize dialogue from your favorite movies
-Memorize the capital of every country
-Drink one glass of red wine (resveratrol in the skin of grapes enhances memory)
-Drink a cup of green tea (caffeine improves short-term memory)
-Make up acronyms for long lists (errands, for example, POBMG: Post Office, Bank, Market, Gym)
-Associate names with rhyming words (Keith has crooked teeth; Jeff has no teeth left)
-Makeup lyrics to instrumental or classical music

-Get creative and make up more brain games!

 

For other fun tips on healthy practices for you and your family, check out www.GetThrive.com

 

 

 

 

 

Tips To Get Your Kids To Eat A Healthy Lunch

Once our kids leave the house without us, there’s no telling what they’ll eat (or not eat.) If you want them to eat a healthy lunch, here are some “do” and “don’t” tips for what to send with them.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Think back to when you were a kid in school, and it was lunchtime. Was eating on your mind? Not really. You may have been hungry, but the real motivation was recess! Playing is the priority, so the quicker the meal is over, the faster the fun begins.

What to DO:

-Pack stuff you know they like. If the goal is to get them to eat (for body and brain fuel), then give them something that’s been tried and true.

Small portions are key. If it’s too big or looks overwhelming, they might take a few bites and toss the remainder. Or, they might avoid eating it altogether.

– cut sandwiches into quarters; make it appealing and not-smelly; seriously, if it looks or smells gross, they’re going to ignore it.

– send apple slices or an already-peeled orange (instead of the whole fruit); remember, they’re in a hurry

– 2 short celery sticks and 2 baby carrot sticks are plenty

– a small yogurt is fine, but remember to pack a spoon

– granola or nut bars are great, but try and keep sugar content low and protein power high

Healthy Options. Pack water instead of juice. Fresh fruit should replace a processed cookie. No candy! Use multigrain for sandwich bread.

Instead of a traditional sandwich, you can try:

  • rolling turkey slices around a cheese stick
  • a small packet of peanut or almond butter and fruit or veggies to dip
  • a small container of pre-cut pieces of grilled chicken
  • packing food in a bento box; make it easy for your kids to access and eat their healthy foods.

Other DO’s and DON’T’s:

-Don’t pack gooey, messy, or smelly. Avoid overusing condiments like mayo or ketchup. After hours in a bag or box, those ingredients seep into foods making them unappealing. (Besides, mustard and pesto are healthier “spread” choices.)

Tuna fish is a great protein, but maybe wait for dinner or weekends. Your kid doesn’t need his breath, clothes, or lunchbox to stink all day.

-Read ingredients on pre-packaged lunches. Yes, the grocery store offers inexpensive, completely-processed food kits with juice and candy, which looks very exciting to many kids. They are not healthy.

Alternately, higher-end, health conscious markets will carry pre-packed snack or lunch kits that are much more nutritious—but still check the ingredients first. Then think, “Will my kid eat what’s in this?” Regardless if it looks good to you, your child still may not like it.

-Cut off the crust. If your kid is one who refuses to eat crust from his sandwich, just cut it off before you send it with him. Choose your battles. Overall, you’ll be wasting less food, and you’ll be getting him to eat every part that you send with him.

-Be Cautious of Leftovers. Sure, pizza is a great lunch when it’s leftover from last night’s dinner. But a brocolli and pasta dish is not. First off, it will smell. Second, you’ll need to pack a fork and it will be messy. Lastly, soggy old broccoli is gross. Before you send what you know they liked yesterday, think about how it will pack and arrive today.

-Have Kids Help You Pack Their Lunch. Although some find it as just another “chore”, most children enjoy getting involved in preparing for their midday school or camp meal. Especially if you allow them to add something enticing. Maybe y’all made some pumpkin bread over the weekend (and added protein powder into your mix.) Placing a slice of that into a lunchbox is fun!

Kids are more apt to eat their meals if they feel they’ve had some participation in the preparation. Reminding your children about the benefits of healthy food choices is important, too. Making foods appealing and tasty is another level of keeping nutritious foods a habit and part of your family’s lifestyle.