Happy 2019 Everyone! The Christmas and New Year season is a wonderful time of year for many of us and what a blessing it is to be able to share with others during that time of year. Just imagine if everyone had that same loving, sharing, caring spirit all year long. The sparkling lights, holiday sweets, more shopping and giving, decorations everywhere, friends, family, and Christmas Music; I really like Christmas music! Yes, all of that makes the season a wonderful time of year and I have 3 suggestions how to make it last 365 days a year.
- Love – Love is a word that evokes action, for God so Loved the world that He gave his only begotten son. We can give love to ourselves and others all the time when we keep love in our heart, our thoughts, and actions. Allowing love to guide us on our journey, allows others to experience hope and hope is what Christmas celebrates, the hope in the birth of Christ.
- Kindness – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, I know you have heard that before. Have you noticed individuals seem to do this with ease at Christmas Time! Remember, the more kindness we have inside of us, makes it easier to share with others. I like to feel loved and appreciated, laugh and smile, think positive thoughts, give and do unexpectedly etc. and because I like these feelings, thoughts and actions I try my best to treat others the same way. Yes, it can be difficult at times especially when others don’t treat you with kindness but share your kindness throughout the year anyhow.
- Focus – Focus on what matters in life, you know the important things that can’t be replaced. What do you have that creates a “Thankful Mindset” not I wish I had, I want this, I really wanted that. The holiday season reminded us to be thankful for life, family, friends, a collective of all the memories we have, spending time with those we love as we celebrated Christmas and welcomed 2019. Take these thoughts throughout the year to to remind you to ficus on whats important.
I encourage you to try these three suggestions consistently in 2019 and you will begin to feel Christmas year round.
As I take time to give thanks for the many blessings in my life, I want to let you know how grateful I am that you are one of them. May you have a blessed time with family, friends, and food!
Teens, Schedules, Cell Phones, Oh My!
WE just started the school year and WE are almost finish with the 1st quarter, WHEW! Yes, I said, “WE” because my two younger boys are in high school now and it is work! Sometimes they pretend as if they have forgotten rules, schedules, and their responsibilities, but my husband and I have not. Here are my top fav-five strategies that help keep order in our home and the boys life.
1. Limit Caffeine – After school, my two younger boys; 14 and 16 like to grab a soda or an energy drink to push through the rest of the afternoon; they love sugar, but this does not help with other evening routines. So, I limit the caffeine and sugar in the evening or they don’t have it at all.
2. Balance Activities – Their lives afterschool became busier around 3rd grade and that’s when we implemented 1 for 1. For every athletic sport they played, we also required them to participate in a fine arts activity. Also, they could only play one sport a season. We continue this strategy as they got older, but implemented more volunteering with or without us.
3. Teach Time Management – Yes, we teach and model time management for the boys, but again they like to pretend as if they don’t understand the concept; They Do! Helping them to understand small chunks of time can be used to accomplish small task. Your teen will be surprised what they can accomplish in 30mins or 15mins. For example, my son did not have five hours straight every night to get homework done, so we had to be creative with our small chunks of time. Sometimes using the 30 minutes before practice starts to finish an homework assignment or study with a study partner leaves less work for later in the evening. A 20min power nap and timed showers helps them to stay on track. Also, starting with the least favorite subject first, can possibly leave them with more time at night for their favorite subjects.
4. Put Electronics Away – Research has long shown that screen time interferes with good sleep. So we do whatever it takes to make sleep hours electronic-free. Teenagers need a least 8-10 hrs of sleep to do well in sports, on test, and stay mentally alert. My son is struggling in this area, so on school nights he is required to put his phone on the kitchen bar and I return it in the morning. If he forgives to this or I have to ask, then I keep the phone; He Has Not Forgotten! 😊
5. Consistent Bedtime Routine – Oh my goodness, yes! Teenagers need a consistent set bedtime to help them be their best the next day not huffy gruffy. Lights out around the same time (project/paper due or a celebration) and wake up at the same time Monday – Friday, I give them a break on the weekends😊.
How can you help your teen? Start with watching, listening, and knowing what your teen needs. The most effective thing we parents can do is listen to our kids, talk with them about their challenges and help them set a regular schedule. It’s never to early or too late to start.
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Bloom Where You Are Planted
This is a well-known saying that creates smiles and encourage hope. Yes, it is a new year and we have resolutions to write and goals to achieve with hopes of making a difference in our life and a difference in the lives of others.
So, are you in the right garden? Of course you are. Trust that God is the Master Gardner and he has placed you in the space where you belong. Remember, he wants to see us bloom in spiritual maturity reflecting the love he so freely gave us. We can do more than we realize when we trust that we are in the right garden. No one else can do what you or I are destined to do or fill our place in the garden, so let’s bloom! Boom!
Thank you God for every new day you have given us and the new days to come in 2018.
Remember as you begin to write your goals there are three important areas to keep in mind:
- Make It Personal
Your resolutions should be doable and meaningful to you. Doable meaning realistic to you and your lifestyle, time, and resources. Is it what you think and want for yourself or is it what someone else wants for you? You must own them, because the roadblocks will pop up to try and stop you, but trust and believe God.
- Create A Plan
The best way to achieve success is with a plan; a business plan, a lesson plan, a game plan, “You Gotta Have a Plan.” Remember, no matter how well you plan, change is hard. “You’re up against a part of yourself that’s not going to change easily nor does it want too. You need to really create action steps! Step by step in order to manage it in small achievable goals. Studies suggest that willpower is a limited resource and if you make too many resolutions, you won’t have enough willpower reserves to stick to all of them. Maybe it’s better for you to make one resolution, stick to it and succeed, instead of five resolutions and no success; just a suggestion.
- Find Your Community
You should let a person or two know that you are setting a goal. Need more input or a larger community then share it on social media, Yikes! You will feel like you have a community supporting you and they want to see you succeed. Be careful with social media it can be a double-edged sword; positive or negative, sympathy or pushy, friends or people you don’t know. Either way having an accountability partner, an encourager is great!
Hello 2018, I am looking forward to “Blooming Where God Has Planted” me! He is the Master Gardener!
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.