3 Reasons and 4 Tips to Save Kids (And Ourselves) From Technology

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Trivia: How many children under the age of 6 have smart phones??

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for the answer)

I have heard that technology can cause problems for kids and parents. I kind of thought, “Yeah, well, anything can cause problems. You’ve just got to be in control of it, be smart.”

That is what I thought.

And then I watched this Ted Talk that changed my whole perspective on technology and social media for children.

Can flip phones end our social media addiction? | Collin Kartchner | TEDxSaltLakeCity

 

Please, please take the time to watch this. It’s 17 minutes long, and life changing. I’m so happy I spent that 17 minutes to better understand this issue.

Let me repeat some of the most horrifying, intoxicating, depressing quotes from that video- Not to bring anyone down, but because I think they’re worth remembering. Even better yet, they’re worth changing ourselves!

There is a lot in this video that’s tough to hear, but it’s worth it to make ourselves, our homes, and our kids better!!

Here we go. Let’s do this.

(All quotes come from the Ted Talk listed above (see link)- unless otherwise specified.)

woman holding iPhone during daytime

1) Social Media and Suicide

“What is one thing your parent does not know about social media? It nearly ended my life.”

“…In just the last 7 years our suicide rate among kids (ages 10-17) have jumped 141%.”

“Experts say that handing a smart phone with social media and untethered access to these apps with no training or guidance is like handing them a key to a car with no drivers’ ed.”

Suicide has been a problem in society for most of my life, but I never really thought about the realities of this mass epidemic.

Children are hurting themselves. Children. All the time! Children don’t just do that kind of crap. Children are loving, kind, gentle, forgiving, understanding. Children are my favorite people to be around because of their amazing qualities.

My eyes are opened that a sweet, innocent child who hurts themselves could be lost forever. Over something so insignificant as a phone. That’s insane! It just can’t go on. This has to stop.

person using black smartphone with gray and pink case

2) Problems for Children’s Mental Health

“We are on the verge of the greatest public health crisis this generation has ever seen. That was two years ago. We are no verging. The verge is here.”

“Robs them of their resiliency…”

“Our kids’ entire self-worth at 13 is determined by virtual, unpredictable feedback. The validation that we all crave, to them, is only available in this synthetic way. Their social standing and their self-esteem is determined by a like on an Instagram photo.”

“When you’re 13 today, there’s no place to run. There’s no escape. And it is soul crushing.”

I’ve often wondered about the rising rates of depression and anxiety in particular, but other mental health issues as well, like bipolar disorder.

This video shared research linking depression and anxiety to cell phone use and/or social media addictions in children. This makes sense to me as a professional. I know that children’s brain development (particularly in complex social situations) takes years to properly form.

Neural connections that are actively used are maintained and even heightened by the brain, while neural connections that are not used weaken, wither, and eventually die if they are not used for a long period of time.

That means that our teens’ daily activities drastically affect their long-term development.

Lack of appropriate social and emotional experiences, learning, and growth will weaken or slow the social/emotional areas of the brain. Overexposure to particular experiences (like cell phone or social media use) heighten those areas of the brain.

It makes sense that the result would be an imbalance of development!


Other Great Reads: 

27 Universal Truths to Live a Happy Life NOW!

16 Rules of Parenting Etiquette That Will Make YOU One Popular Mama

Over 35 Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I’m NOT ABOUT to Stop!

25 Best Mom Hacks that Save Time, Energy, and Money


two men and one woman standing on station while holding mobile phones during daytime

3) Our Own Addictions

“The answer of ‘how do we save these kids’ is that we can’t… until we first save ourselves. We as adults and as parents, we have to break free from our screen dependency and our social media addiction. We have to start modeling healthy digital behavior for our kids who don’t hear us, they see us.”

“Now that I’m a teenager, I have never felt more distance, and it’s not because of me… It’s because I can’t get my mom and dad off their stupid phone… I’ve never felt more unloved and more uncared for all because of this stupid phone.”

“This little, precious human being looked at me and with tears in her eyes said, ‘Why do you love your phone more than you love me?’”

“When I had my phone out in front of my kids she didn’t know that I was answering emails to make money so she could go to dance… The only thing she saw when this was out in front of her was ‘that means more to dad that I do.’”

This broke my heart.

It is interesting to me that the presenter did not describe the intense, over the top parents. He described every day dads and moms. The ones who use their phone to check email, to enjoy a break by playing a quick game, to keep in touch with long lost friends, to see their sister’s cute baby on Facebook, to learn something new on YouTube.

It’s all good things- but an imbalance of anything is no longer a good thing.

The child doesn’t know the difference between a parent who is doing good things on their phone and a parent who isn’t. To the child, it’s the same result- a distracted, emotionally unavailable parent.

And I realized as I listened that I fell into that same category of “normal” disengaged parents. I remembered my child pushing her face in between me and my phone, or saying “mom, mom, mom, mom…” over and over because I didn’t respond the first time, or hitting my phone in my hands and saying “No!” And I thought she was the one who was out of line. 

Absolutely not! It was me all along.

Not my child! She can NEVER feel this way again! I learned about this with plenty of time to adjust and I’m going to.

My baby will grow up knowing that she and her daddy and her siblings are the most important thing in my entire life! More important than stupid cell phones, more important than Facebook likes, more important than popularity.

She is the center of my universe, and she’s going to know it!

man beside a boy while holding playing cards

4) What Can We Do?

Throughout the Ted Talk, I noticed four ideas of what we can do to improve ourselves as parents to help this crisis. Here they are:

  • “When I get home from work now… I put my phone in a drawer, I grab that little tiny human, I set her on my lap. I ask her about her day and as she’s telling me I try not to even blink. One thing amazing happened as I was doing this. All the defiance and anger stopped right then because she felt loved and connected.

This is obvious, but really hard to actually do.

The first step is to put the phone away. I never, ever thought I had a cell phone or a social media addiction. I never even had an Instagram or Twitter before I started blogging! I only had Facebook, and I spent less than 1 hour a day on Facebook.

But the cell phone… I actually struggle to be without my phone. I depend on it for my calendar, my alarms, my notes, my grocery list, my email, my games, my social media, my communication with my husband (and everyone else I know for that matter….), researching answers to questions, and basically everything else.

How am I supposed to put it down so that I can give my children all the attention they need?

I don’t really know, but I’m going to figure it out. Time to put it down, even when it’s inconvenient.

  • “It’s ok to show the world that we’re not ok.”

Social media has created a world of perfection. A world where everyone compares their worst qualities to everyone else’s best qualities. A world where you hide your flaws and flaunt the things you’re good at, then beat yourself up quietly when others are good at something you’re not good at.

That’s wrong!

Why do we participate?? Let’s just not!

We can be imperfect, even in public. Even on the worldwide web- even in front of our friends, and our colleagues. And yes, even in front of our children!

  • “What is the proper age to hand our children this technology and these devices… When are you ok with him to start looking at pornography? When are you ok with her to start feeling anxiety and question her self-worth? The minute we hand our kids these devices is the minute they stop being a kid.”

A third suggestion is to delay giving your children access to smart phones, especially because of the access to social media.

I know every parent has their own opinions on this, and I’m still forming my own opinion. But I think this point is very compelling and should at least be considered as parents make their own decisions.

photo of mother and child beside body of water

  • “It is never too late to step up and be a parent!”

I love this quote so much!

It’s absolutely right! We never have to get down on ourselves for our mistakes. We get infinity chances to try again, to fix our problems, to become who we want to be. 

Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and give it another shot.

And when you fail again, just do that again. One more try, and another, and another, and another. Your kids will love you if you keep trying, even if you fail over and over. Trying shows that you love them. You would give up if you didn’t care, but you do care so you won’t ever give up on your kids.

 

I hope sharing this awesome information helps a parent and a child out there! Please share your experiences in the comments below to inspire other moms and dads just like you!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Click here to get your FREE Parent’s Guide to Self-Care! 

Free Self Care Guide 2

 

Trivia Answer: 1 in 4 of children under age 6 have smartphones, according to this resource! 

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How to Help Your Kids Enjoy Hygiene Routines for a Jump Start to Lifelong Health

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

 

Kids don’t like cleanliness. At least, not all of it.

One kid loves brushing teeth, but hates brushing her hair. Another kid refuses to wash his hands, but has no problem soaking in the shower for an hour at a time.

No two kids handle hygiene the same. The problem is- all kids have to do all of the steps to proper hygiene. There’s no skipping brushing teeth just because Jimmy doesn’t like it!

So how is a parent supposed to create a positive atmosphere around necessary activities… that the child detests???

Here are 6 “mom secrets” that help with any hygiene routine—- and stay tuned for specific ideas for hair brushing, tooth brushing, hand-washing, and bath time!  

1) Monkey See, Monkey Do

Usually parents get up and get ready before the kids do. That’s the only way to get them out the door, because they need you coaxing them along every step of the way as they get ready, right?

The problem with this is that young kids don’t see that you go through the exact same hygiene routine as the child is expected to go through. There’s no example, it’s not relatable. Mom is just magically clean all the time.

Look for opportunities to get ready alongside your child- especially on weekends when there is less of a time crunch- so that the child can see you doing all the same cleanliness tasks that they do.

2) Fake That Smile

long black haired woman smiling close-up photography

If you want your kid to be positive about the morning/evening routine, you’ve got to be positive about it too! Even if it’s not a real smile, this is a great time to “fake it til you make it.”

How could a child possibly get excited to go brush his teeth if he hears mom say things like, “Oh no, it’s time to brush teeth! I hate this time of night. It’s always so awful! Well, here we go…”

Compare that to, “Oh yay, it’s time to brush teeth! Woo hoo! Toothpaste tastes like candy. I love it.”  

3) Always, Always, Always

Never let up on the hygiene routine! First of all, it’s healthy to brush teeth, take baths, and wash hands.

Second of all, consistency creates structure for the child. If you break that structure, they are more likely to act out because the tasks seem optional. “Why should I have to wash my hands before dinner tonight when I didn’t have to yesterday?”

4) Your Turn!

clear glass flower vase near rolled grey mat

Take advantage of independent streaks or stages.

Yes, your toddler’s extreme independence can be a blessing! Some aversions to hygiene could be because mom usually helps with those things… a lot. If you have a strong willed child or a child who is going through an independent phase, that’s opposite of what that child is seeking.

Help them out by giving them lots of chances to try each part of the routine on their own. It might take a little longer, but it has a lot of potential to cut down on tantrums or frustration.

5) This or This?

Some kids might struggle with hygiene routines because they are mandatory. It’s not easy to be told that you HAVE to do something, no matter what. Nobody wants to be told what to do!

You can help out with this by offering as many little choices as you can within the tasks themselves.

IE- You must brush your teeth. That’s not a choice. But you can have a choice in what toothpaste you want to use today!

6) FUUUUUUUUUN!

portrait photography of baby laughing

Anything you can do to make hygiene routines more exciting will increase cooperation. That’s why Disney makes so much money off of Princess shampoo and Superhero toothbrushes. They’re fun, and kids are more likely to try something that is  fun.

Batman Themed Hygiene Kit (Click the image below!)

Minnie Mouse Themed Hygiene Kit (Click the image below!)

Here’s more creative ideas to increase the fun aspect of hygiene:

  • Talk It Up: Tell kids all of the good things that will happen when they are clean! They look pretty or handsome, kids like to play with clean kids, their body is healthy, etc.

Here’s some great children’s books to teach kids about the importance of hygiene.

Click on the images below!
Don’t Get Sick! How Kids Can Keep Healthy and Safe – Good Hygiene for Kids – Children’s Disease Books

Smelly Melly: Personal Hygiene for Kids and Little Monsters

Hygiene Heroes! My Personal Hygiene Book :: Kids Hygiene Book. WE CAN TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES! WE CAN DO IT! HOW ‘BOUT YOU?

  • Visual Aids: Make cute, brightly-colored charts to show the child what’s coming up next! It will help them stay on track, and they’re fun to use!

Click the images below! 

Hygiene Habits Play Set

Step-By-Step Potty Chart

Step-By-Step Hand Washing Chart

Step-By-Step Shower Chart

Step-By-Step Tooth Brushing Chart

  • Apps/Games: There are TONS of apps and games to engage kids in hygiene routines. Here’s a few great ones to try out!

Dr. Panda Bath Time

Good Habits

Cute and Tiny Morning

Let’s Potty! Potty Training Board Game!

  • Earn Rewards: Create a rewards system. Maybe a child can earn a fun experience- like staying up one hour past bedtime, or choosing a special movie from Redbox, or feeding the ducks at the park.

Click on the images below!

Teeth Brushing Reward Coloring Book

Magnetic Reward Chart

 

There you have it- our tips for hygiene in general. It’s time to get more specific.

 

Making Hair Brushing Easier:

-Use detangler (Click image below)

-Use a Detangler Comb (Click on the image below)

-During bath time, put the conditioner in the child’s hair and use this as a chance to brush the child’s hair. Conditioner naturally detangles and softens hair, making it easier and less painful to brush.

-When brushing hair, start with the bottom inch of hair. Brush it out until there are no more tangles in the bottom inch. Then, move up another inch. When that section of hair has no tangles, move up another inch, and another inch, and another inch. This makes tangles less painful to brush through.

-Flip hair over your head and brush the underside of the hair first. This section of hair can be particularly tangled, so brushing it out first and then brushing the top layer of hair can decrease pain during brushing.

-For more amazing tips, check out The Secret to Brushing Your Little Girl’s Hair without Tears! 

 

Making Tooth brushing Easier:

-Choose the correct size of brush.

-Use child-safe toothpaste with fluoride(Click image below). It tastes better anyways.

-Sing a song like the ABC’s or Twinkle, Twinkle. The child has to brush as long as mom is singing. This is a good way to help the child learn to brush thoroughly instead of rushing through tooth brushing.

-Use this Baby Alive Teeth Brushing Doll (Click the image below!) to practice first. You can show the child how they will need to brush all of their teeth. Once the child has seen the baby doll do it, it is their turn!

-For more great tips, check out Make Teeth Brushing Fun with 6 Easy Tips!

 

Making Hand Washing Easier:

-Sing a song like the ABC’s or Happy Birthday. The child has to scrub his hands as long as mom is singing.

-Be silly- Use a crazy narrator voice to give a play-by-play of what the child is doing. “Tom is reaching for the soap, reaching, reaching…. He’s got the soap!! Now he’s scrubbing, But can he get those hands clean?? We’ll see- the anticipation is too much!”

-For more great ideas, check out Hand Washing 101! 

Making Bath Time Easier:

-Use child-friendly, tear-free, natural shampoo (Click the image below). It hurts a little less when it gets in their eyes.

-Try a face shield (click on image below) to keep soap and water out of eyes.

-Use this Little Mommy Bath Time Doll (Click on image below!) to practice first. You can show the child how they will need to put soap in their hair, then rinse out the soap. Once the child has seen the baby doll do it, it is their turn!

-Be silly- Use crazy voices to name all the parts of the body (hands, arms, elbows, armpits, tummy, legs, knees, feet….) as you wash them.

-For more tips, check out How to Make Bathtime Fun for Kids

 

I hope these tips make life a little easier for you mama!

Always remember that your efforts are worth it! If your little one can enjoy hygiene now, he’ll enjoy a long life of health.

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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Free Self Care Guide 2

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Surprise GIVEAWAY!! FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Tracker

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Hey Mamas,

This giveaway has expired. 🙁

But don’t worry!!

You can still get a copy of your FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Trackers- for every mom who wants to stay healthy during pregnancy by following this link! 

I hope you enjoy!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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5 Tips to Reach Optimal Health Before a New Baby (For People Who Don’t Like to Exercise or Diet)

Photo by Angelos Michalopoulos on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated: 2/12/2019

Every mom goes through a unique phase before she gets pregnant. It’s a time of preparation…

Time to start thinking about what kind of health I should be in before my pregnancy.

This is always a tough time for me. I typically make much better choices eating and exercising when I am pregnant or nursing than I do normally.

I’ve got to reign in all the emotions that come with eating, not just the eating itself. It’s an entire lifestyle change, a whole new mindset. More than just eating your veggies. 

I just like tasty food. And I’m not a dieter. And I hate exercising.

burger beside fried potatoes with drinking glass

But I also don’t want to be unhealthy or overweight, especially when there’s another little human who depends on me.

If only chips and cookies were nutritious… But they’re not.

So, I go through this terrible process before every pregnancy where I try to prepare my body for building another person- and that means being in good physical condition.

Nothing crazy, mind you.

Again, I am no dieter and I hate to exercise. All I’m aiming for here is being healthy in general.

No counting calories, or cutting out carbs altogether, or cayenne detoxing.

How do I get prepare my body for having a child- without going crazy?

1) Healthier Choices

Ok, we all know about this.

  • We know that refined sugars and carbs are bad.
  • We know that veggies are good.
  • We know that we should have a balanced diet with lots of colors.

So the first (Unavoidable!) step is to make a few healthier choices.

When I’m thinking about getting pregnant, I try to change my diet a few months in advance. Here’s some of the changes I make:

  • Take a prenatal vitamin. Ok, so I usually do this all the time, but it is especially vital now! (Click the image below!)

Nature Made Prenatal + DHA 200 mg Softgels – Rich in Folic Acid, Iron, Iodine & Zinc Value Size 90 Ct

  • Buy whole wheat everything. Tortillas, bread, buns, you name it. I can’t seem to function without carbs, so I at least try to make them a little better for me by choosing whole wheat.
  • Increase fresh veggies. I eat at least one veggie with each meal. No exceptions. Buy a variety of colors. This ensures that I’m getting a balance of nutrients from my food.
  • Drink water. Pregnancy requires a ton of water, even more than normal. Before pregnancy, I start getting used to that by increasing my water intake. There are great resources out there, like water bottles that help you track your water intake

Use this great water bottles that track your water intake! Perfect!! Click image below!

BELLYBOTTLE Original Pregnancy Water Bottle Intake Tracker with Time Marker and Weekly Calendar Stickers – Voted top Pregnancy Gifts must haves Essentials (PINK)

This also means giving up other drinks- especially those with high sugars (like soda) or high caffeine (like coffee and energy drinks- read here for more information on how to keep your energy up without the caffeine!).

And we all know that pregnancy means limiting or cutting out alcohol, so this is a good time to get started.

  • Just stop buying unhealthy snacks that I can’t resist. Chips, chocolate, ice cream, and cookie dough are a few of my weaknesses. I can’t have them in my house if I am going to make a change to being healthy. So I just don’t let them in the house.
  • Get through the cravings. It helps me to know that cravings for my favorite carbs and sugars should go away after a week or two of the new, healthier lifestyle. I just have to make it til then!

But that is only the first step!

2) Sweat and Stuff

Ok, seriously, who has time to exercise?

Nobody.

And who wants to exercise?

Nobody.

So how on earth does anyone ever get it done?

The only times in my life where I have been successful at keeping a consistent workout routine is if I am working out with a group. That way, they know if I am missing my workouts and they hold me accountable.

Effective. But I hate it.

My favorite way to get in some good physical activity is to play with my kids for 30 minutes to 1 hour every day.

group of children pulling brown rope

I love this, especially right before another pregnancy, because I just want to soak up my little ones before I have a baby that needs most of my attention.

It helps my kids cope with a new sibling because they get lots of mommy’s attention beforehand and it helps me feel connected with each child. AND I get my workout in. Let me tell you, it’s an intense workout.

Win, win, win.

Click the image below for some great family fun!
Backyard Discovery Oakmont All Cedar Wood Playset Swing Set

3) Use Water to Control Portion Sizes

Here’s a simple trick that I use to make sure I am drinking enough water and also monitoring my portions at meal times.

About 30 minutes before the meal (usually right as I am starting to cook dinner or lunch), I drink a BIG glass of water. Not your average 8 fluid ounce cup. A BIG cup of water.

That’s 3 glasses of water (one at breakfast, one at lunch, and one at dinner). Not the entire day’s worth of water, but a good start!

Again, if you would like some extra help keeping track, try these water bottles that keep you updated on how much water you need! Click the image below.
babyneü Pregnancy Gift Time Marked Water Bottle with Motivational Quote, weekly timeline stickers. Designed to help you reach your Daily Water Intake. BPA-Free, straw, sip top, carry loop(BABST Aqua)

The water fills up my belly so that I eat a more appropriate portion of food rather than helping myself to a heaping plate.

This trick alone is responsible for a significant amount of my pre-pregnancy weight loss.

4) Time Limits

Another pitfall of my everyday eating habits is that I allow myself to eat whenever I want.

  • That means if I want a snack between meals, I can have one.
  • If I want a midnight snack, I can have one.
  • If I want all the hobbit meals- breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper- there’s no stopping me.

If I’m working on being more healthy, I cut out some of these extra meals by setting rules for myself.

And, I don’t just mean lines in the sand, but firm, for reals, no joke rules.

grayscale photography of clock

  • For example, I don’t eat past 6pm.
  • I don’t let myself snack between meals.
  • I make my mealtimes consistent every day, such as breakfast between 9-10am, lunch between 12-1pm, and dinner between 5-6pm. And that’s the only 3 hours in the day when I am allowed to consume food of any kind.

I know, I know, it’s healthier to eat small snacks often rather than big meals. If I had enough self-control to do that, I would. But when I try to eat 6 small snacks in a day, I just end up with 6 big meals.

In that case, it is more healthy to limit myself to meals rather than trying to snack.

Please note that this is one habit that I give up after pregnancy. I find that snacks are a helpful way to keep morning sickness away, and you need more calories during pregnancy anyways.

5) Feeling Zen About Food

Emotions about food are difficult.

It is a tough topic for a lot of people. Media portrays a perfect body type that many people aspire to obtain. This brings up feelings of self-doubt, self-esteem, being in control, feeling accepted by others, health and wellness, confidence, and mortality to name a few.

Click below for a great resource on emotional eating!

When Food Is Comfort: Nurture Yourself Mindfully, Rewire Your Brain, and End Emotional Eating

Lots of big emotions are tied to food.

Success at changing a lifestyle takes more than just grudgingly following steps that you don’t want to do.

That’s where I went wrong for a long time.

As I have said many times, I’m no dieter. I’m no exerciser. I’m no good at counting calories.

These few tricks I have identified are the prefect mix (for me) of small and simple changes that I can handle. They are things that work for me BECAUSE they don’t send me into big emotions of frustration, regret for foods I have eaten, wishing for foods I can’t have, or self-punishment when I mess up.

At the same time, I find new ways to reward myself, to rejuvenate myself, instead of eating (many ideas are mentioned in this blog post). 

I can feel happy about my food choices without putting myself under intense stress for giving up a major part of my life.

In doing so, I control my feelings and my food.

Need some resourced for during pregnancy? Got you covered!

The Whole 9 Months: A Week-By-Week Pregnancy Nutrition Guide with Recipes for a Healthy Start

Motherwell Maternity Fitness Plan

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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A Rockstar a Day Keeps the Children at Bay- Healthy and Natural Hacks to Boost Your Energy

Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated 2/8/2019

Image may contain: text

As parents, we are always out of energy.

Between waking up during the night for our kids and catering to their needs all day long, not to mention the day to day grind of normal life (working a job, meals, laundry, dishes…..) there just isn’t enough energy to go around!

And with all that, it seems like the kids have energy to spare! So not only are we juggling everything, but we have to do it at a run just to keep up with the kids.

It’s exhausting.

And it’s never ending.

No weekends off, no holidays off, no 9-5 shifts. So it’s vital that parents get some much-needed energy boosts here and there.

These are my top hacks to keeping up with the kids when you’re out of energy.

(Please note- depression or anxiety disorders may need professional help of a doctor and/or counselor.  These steps should not take the place of professional help.)

1) Energy-Boosting Foods

What if I told you that you could boost your energy… and at the same time be cutting a few of those extra pounds??

That’s right. Who knew?

There are lots of foods that naturally contain the perfect ingredients to cure your mid-day lull. Look for things like fiber, protein (increases concentration and focus), and complex carbs.

Watch out for the short-lived high that comes with a spike in your blood sugar from things like starches and sugars (especially refined sugars) or caffeine.

Yes, they give you a quick boost in energy but this is followed by an energy crash that will leave you struggling to continue your everyday tasks. When you experience this crash, the natural tendency is to seek out that high of the sugar rush again! It’s a vicious cycle.

woman laughing and running in front of Lindley Park Pool building during day

On the other hand, the following foods provide longer and more stable increases in energy.

  • Yogurt
  • Nuts
  • Whole Grains
  • Eggs
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Salmon or Tuna
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Spinach or basically any dark leafy greens
  • Quinoa
  • Chia Seeds

BetterBody Foods Organic Chia Seeds 2lb, Non-GMO Great Taste, Contains 2300mg Omega-3s and 2g of Protein, Good Source of Fiber, Gluten-free, Use in Smoothies or Top Yogurt Soups or Salads

Nutiva Organic, non-GMO, Premium Black Chia Seeds, 32-ounce

  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin Seeds (Click the image below)

Lightly Sea Salted Whole Pumpkin Seeds, 2 LBS by Gerbs – Top 14 Food Allergy Free & Non GMO – Vegan & Kosher Certified – Dry Roasted In-Shell Pepitas from United States

Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Pumpkin Seeds, 2 Pounds

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Asparagus
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Hummus (Click the image below)

Casbah Authentic Grains, Hummus Chickpea Dip Mix, 6 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Lilly’s Hummus – Hand-Made Small Batch Hummus Variety Pack, Vegan, Non-GMO, Made with Organic Chickpeas, 2 oz Cups, 16 Count: 4 Roasted Garlic, 4 Classic, 4 Smoked Tomato Basil, 4 Roasted Red Pepper

  • Beets
  • Grapes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pistachios (Click the image below)

Wonderful Pistachios, Roasted and Salted, 32 Ounce Bag

Wonderful Pistachios, Roasted and Salted, 1.5 Ounce (Pack of 24)

  • Sesame Seeds
  • Ginger

Besides all these great foods that help you feel awake and energized, there are great foods that help supplement your sleep. These foods contain ingredients like lactucarium, tryptophan, omega-3’s, melatonin, and serotonin, which can help you sleep more deeply and restfully- thus helping you feel more rested the following day!

Try snacking on one of these great foods just before bed to improve your sleep:

  • Halibut
  • Cherries
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Small amounts of Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Chickpeas
  • Honey
  • Elk Meat (Click the image below)

BEST Premium Natural Style Kippered Cut Thick Strips 1.75 OZ. Elk Jerky – No Preservatives – High Protein – Low Carbs – Buy Multiple Packs & Save! (Elk Spicy, Spicy 1 Pack)

1 BEST Premium 100% Natural Grass Fed Hand Stripped 2 OZ. Thick Cut Delicious Tasty Bold Flavor Elk Jerky from Utah USA – Wood smoked With Hickory Wood by Wild West Jerky (Teriyaki 1 Pack)

Buffalo Bills 100% Exotic Game Meat Sausage Sticks (mixed 1oz sticks – elk, venison and wild boar)

  • Turkey

You can also save energy preparing meals using custom freezer meals. 

2) Don’t Forget Hydration

Water is a very important factor in keeping your body energized.

selective focus photography of girl drinking water

Being dehydrated can cause you to feel sluggish and lethargic. People often mistake feeling thirsty as feeling hungry, which can increase unhealthy snacking.

As we mentioned earlier, if I chose to eat a snack that is high in refined sugars and carbs, I will have a spike in energy followed by a crash. Lack of water can trigger this cycle.

Drinking plenty of fluids will decrease feeling tired as well as decreasing unhealthy snacks.

Remember that not all fluids are created equal. Watch out to make sure you aren’t drinking unnecessary calories or sugars.

3) Get Your Sweat On

Exercise increases serotonin to your brain. This directly increases your energy level.

woman doing yoga on stability ball

When I think of exercise, I immediately want to go crawl into bed instead. But exercise doesn’t have to be mundane.

Any activity that gets your blood pumping and your heart rate up will release endorphins.

My favorite way to get exercise in is to play games with my kids and neighbors. It feels great to spend some quality time with my family and also build a healthier lifestyle at the same time. That’s two things checked off the list!

Here’s some great activities to do with your kids that will also give you a great workout and get your energy up:

  • Tag
  • Freeze Tag
  • Trampoline (Click the image below)

Skywalker Trampolines 15-Feet Jump N’ Dunk Trampoline with Safety Enclosure and Basketball Hoop

Skywalker Trampolines Jump N’ Dunk Trampoline with Safety Enclosure and Basketball Hoop, Blue, 12-Feet

Stamina 36-Inch Folding Trampoline | Quiet and Safe Bounce | Access To Free Online Workouts Included | Supports Up To 250 Pounds

  • Dancing
  • Anything at the park- swings, climbing, etc.
  • Any kind of sports- soccer, football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis…..

NET PLAYZ 4ftx3ft Easy Fold-Up Portable Training Soccer Goal, Set of 2

SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball Hoop W/Ball. 18”x12” Shatter Resistant Backboard.

Field-In-A-Bag Set

  • Playing catch
  • Jump rope
  • Climbing trees
  • Piggyback rides
  • Foot races
  • Pretending to be an animal
  • Hopscotch
  • Playing Twister (Click image below)

Twister Game

4) Turn on the Tunes

Sometimes, we have done everything we can think of and we are still just tired.

These are the moments when we need a little pick me up.

silhouette of man and woman playing guitars

The first thing I do in the about-to-fall-over-from-pure-exhaustion moments is turn on the radio or Pandora!

A little bouncy music can change the mood for the day. Instead of moving slow and lazy, it makes me dance! I can get so much more done with some nice background music playing.

And the kids love it! It’s a great way to cheer them up too- since kids seem to feed off of the adults’ moods. If we are tired and lethargic, it affects them. Sometimes, they mimic a lethargic adult and are also tired…. And other times, they do the opposite and have enough energy for both of you!

In any case, music will get them moving to use up some of that extra energy while giving you the boost you needed to keep going.

Plus, music just makes us happy. We need that.

5) Hey, Good Lookin….

woman wearing pink dress while standing near black metal rail at daytime

When parents are feeling zapped, I always recommend putting on a cute outfit. Keeping your body image up is so important to life, but it’s also something that gets overlooked in the busy life of a parent.

So, if you’re so drained that you can’t keep moving, go change your clothes. Find something cute, pizzazz-y, spunky. Something that will put some pep in your step.

Give yourself a confidence boost and then go try again with whatever you needed to get done.

Don’t underestimate the power of your look.

Put on a fresh coat of nail polish, freshen up your lipstick, and get ready to feel amazing! 

Here’s some great products to help you out!
Beauty Glazed Pigmented Matte and Shimmer 35 Colors Chunky Eyeshadow Palette Pop Colors Blendable Eye Shadow Powder Make Up Waterproof Eye Shadow Palette Cosmetics

SHANY All In One Harmony Makeup Kit – Ultimate Color Combination – New Edition

Best Pro Eyeshadow Palette Makeup – Matte Shimmer 16 Colors – Highly Pigmented – Professional Nudes Warm Natural Bronze Neutral Smoky Cosmetic Eye Shadows

6pcs Matte Velvety Liquid Lipstick Matte Liquid Lipgloss Waterproof Lip Gloss

8pc Nabi Cosmetics Professional Selected Lipstick set of 8 Amazing Colors

Kleancolor Nail Polish – Awesome Metallic Full Size Lacquer Lot of 12-pc Set Body Care / Beauty Care / Bodycare…

Sinful Colors 10-piece Surprise Nail Polish Set

KLEANCOLOR NEON COLORS 12 FULL COLLETION SET NAIL POLISH LACQUER

6) Making Moments Count

If I’ve done all this and I am still feeling lethargic, it might be time to sit down and take a break to consider my own mental well being for the day.

Free Self Care Guide 2

Click here to receive your FREE Parent’s Guide to Self-Care! 

Some days just suck.

On those days, I try to see the silver lining.

Remember that the time you do have matters- even if it doesn’t seem like much. The time you have to sleep matters, so make the most of it. The time you have for “you time” matters, so make the most of it.

And the time you have as a parent matters. Yes, we are exhausted. A lot. But we are so lucky to have these wonderful kids in our lives. They bring so much fun and excitement. They keep life real. They make us carry on.

When things just suck, remember to make the moments count. Love your kids. Tell them and show them.

man carrying daughter in black sleeveless top

This will brighten your day and put the pep back in your step.

When you are too tired to do anything, just smile. (What about the days when you have nothing left to give? Read more here!)

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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