5 Creative Ways You Can Bond with Your Kids

Many hardworking parents feel guilty for not spending enough time with their children. You leave early and come home late after work, trying to give your children the life they deserve. However, you cannot ignore their need for affection and attention. Your financial situation may not allow you to work for fewer hours per week, and you may not have much time to spend with your kids, but you can make every moment count. The secret is to be fully engaged in their activities whenever you have a chance to spend time with them. Here are some creative ways to strengthen your bond with your kids.

1. Allow Them to Choose Activities

Allowing your kids to decide the fun activities you do as a family makes them feel important and appreciated. Choose one day in the week when you spend time doing what they love. If you have more than one kid, give them an equal chance to pick an activity. You may not spend the whole day at an attraction, but spending one or two hours doing their favorite activities will strengthen the bond.

2. Take a Family Road Trip

Nothing brings a family together like a road trip. The experiences and activities shared will keep everyone talking for weeks. You can drive to your favorite holiday destination or a new destination. You get to spend quality time on the road and in your destination. If your kids have a favorite spot away from your hometown, take trips to that spot as often as you can.

3. Bond Over Art and Craft

If you want to create a strong bond with your kids, you must be willing to spend time on the floor with them. Getting crafty with your kids gives them an opportunity to explore and grow their creativity. You may have a mess to clean after, but it will all be worth it. Alternatively, make use of technology to build their creativity. For instance, you can make a collage together with a picture collage maker. You can use family pictures with special memories to create the collage, and then hang it on your wall.

4. Read Books Together

You have probably bought many children’s books but never read them to your children. You do not need much time to read a book with your children. You can pick one of their storybooks spontaneously and tell the story. Bedtime stories still work for children. Allocate ten to fifteen minutes before bed to read just one story. They will always look forward to bedtime stories. If you always come home after bedtime, schedule reading on your days off or weekends.

5. Try a Massage

Massages work best for toddlers. If you leave your child with a nanny as you go to work, practice giving him or her a massage every evening. Massaging the full body after a shower or just their feet and hands before bed will create a great bond. A gentle massage communicates love and affection.

Conclusion

You can create a strong bond with kids even with a busy work schedule if you know how to maximize each moment. Make each day different for them by introducing a new fun activity. It can be just ten minutes of storytelling or playing their favorite game together. Eliminate any distractions like phone calls or house chores during playtime. Pay full attention and allow your kids to lead the way at times. Your bond will grow stronger as you take simple but consistent steps to spend more quality time with them.

Charity Fundraising Ideas for the Whole Family

Raising money for valuable causes is something that you can take part in with the whole family. Not only does this help to bring you closer together, you are teaching your kids valuable life lessons about charity, unity and the power of people when they work alongside one another. Not only this, it gives you all a project to focus on, and provides you the opportunity to get creative in coming up with ideas. If you need a helping hand, here are just a few ideas to get you started when it comes to family charity fundraising.

 

Sell Food and Products
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Selling baked goods or handmade products are both very common ways of raising money for charity. Firstly, you need to decide on a location and a way of getting the word out there that you are going to be hosting this event. Then, you need to decide on what product you want to sell and start your very own family manufacturing line! If you want to do it the old-fashioned way, you could simply set up a table outside your own home with a sign explaining that funds raised are going to charity.

 

Go on a Journey

 

Choosing a journey that you can go on as part of the whole family can be a great way to capture the imagination of people. It could be an epic road trip – check out the No Birds Bash website for some inspiration. It could simply be a walk or bike ride between some points that have some sort of significance to you. You could either raise money by speaking to people directly or you could even set up your own website where more people have an opportunity to donate to your cause.

 

Host an Event in Your Hometown

 

There is nothing like hosting an event for bringing together the whole community in the spirit of togetherness and charity. For example, you could organise a scavenger hunt that brings kids and adults together as they search for items that you have hidden around a particular area. Charge a registration fee and the winners could receive a small prize at the end. Another idea is that you could host a talent show in a local high school auditorium, inviting anyone with a talent to come and showcase it up on stage. Why not create an obstacle course for kids to take part in? It doesn’t need to be overly expensive as you could use objects like tyres, traffic cones, ropes and slip ‘n’ slides.

 

Second-Hand Item Sale
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Most people have some stuff lying around the house that they are happy to donate, so you could set up a second-hand sale to raise money. Depending on the age of your kids, they could run certain stalls themselves. You could divide up the items by category (books, clothes etc) and have a separate stall for each.

 

Raising money for charity is a wonderful thing that you can do with your family. Choose a cause that it close to your heart and get creative!

Top Kid-Friendly Activities at Big Bend National Park

Are you and the family heading out to Big Bend National Park for a weekend, or possibly a few days stay and are wondering what activities are available for the kids? Big Bend National Park is home to a number of different communities and some pretty incredible natural landscape, which offer all kinds of opportunities for adventure and sightseeing. In order to help you plan your trip better, here’s a look at the top kid-friendly activities you can take part in at the park.

The Hiking Trails – Explore by Foot and Discover All Kinds of Hidden Gems

One of the best ways to explore Big Bend National Park is by foot, which means it’s time to put on your hiking shoes. In order to make the most of your time and ensure you don’t get lost along the way, www.treksw.com features maps that cover more than 150 miles worth of trails in the park. You can choose from the easy trails or the moderate trails.

The trails start at just 0.5 miles in length, such as the Sam Nail Ranch Trail, which is classed as one of the easiest trails. This one is ideal for those who want to learn about the park’s history, and enjoy bird watching.

Cycling Big Bend’s Landscape

Another fun activity for the family is to bring their bikes along and bike the back roads of the park. These trails are meant to be used with mountain bikes, as the terrain does get bumpy. One great thing about these back roads is that there is very little to no vehicle traffic to worry about.

River Trips – Time to Get Adventurous

If your family tends to be the adventurous type, then the river trips are an absolute must-do. There are five different river canyons located in the park, and each feature rafting, canoeing, or kayaking. There are sections that are meant for beginners, then there are areas that get a bit more challenging.

Visitors are welcome to bring all their own gear, or they can check out the local outfitters and rent equipment instead.

The Terlingua Ghost Town – Give Them an Experience They Won’t Forget

Now if you really want to give the kids a unique experience, then a visit to The Terlingua Ghost Town is in order. This is an actual mining town that used to exist and was thriving at one point. Eventually the mining went bust and all the miners just got up and walked away from the town, leaving their homes behind.

The entire town is still there, sitting empty and falling apart, giving it a real ghost town effect. There are buildings, homes, mine shafts, etc. to explore. Of course, there have been a few modern additions in order to make this a fun tourist destination – which is a restaurant, a saloon, and a small market.

Additional Activities

This is just a small look at the activities you can take part in at Big Bend National Park. There is also horseback riding, the hot springs to enjoy, fabulous scenic car tours, bird watching trails, camping, and more. So, whether you’ve got just a weekend to explore or a full week, each day will prove to be different and full of adventure.

4 Key Points to Consider When Choosing a Family-Friendly Hotel

When traveling on your own or in a group with other adults, there’s not as much to consider when it comes to the type of accommodation that you stay in. However, when traveling with children, your hotel, villa or apartment becomes a far more important decision. As a parent, you want to know that when on vacation, your children are not only happy and content, but also safe and secure where you are staying. But, making sure that you’ve found the right place can be tricky if you are booking online. We’ve put together some top tips to help you make the right choice of hotel for you and your family.

Tip #1. Child-Friendly Facilities

The sort of child-friendly facilities that a hotel offers should always be taken into consideration before you go ahead and book. For example, is there a kids’ pool area? What about a play area or designated kids’ entertainment club? If you’re taking a ski holiday, does the resort offer children’s ski equipment hire and/or lessons? Are children’s meals available at the restaurant? Taking your child to a hotel that’s mainly frequented by adults could mean that they get bored easily and you’ll need to work twice as hard to keep them happy during your trip.

Tip #2. Convenience

If you were traveling on your own or with your partner, you probably wouldn’t think twice about jumping on a bus at the airport or calling a cab to your destination when you arrive. However, when you’re travelling with little ones, waiting around for a bus or taxi at the airport isn’t always an ideal situation, especially if you have just gotten off a long and tiring flight. Search for a hotel such as ChateauBeauvallon.com, where guests can take advantage of the VIP shuttle service that will pick you up from their airport when you arrive and take you back when it’s time to return home.

Tip #3. Safety

Another main factor to take into consideration when booking a family hotel is the level of safety that they offer. For example, if the hotel rooms have balconies, is safety equipment in place to help prevent accidents? Is there a lifeguard on duty at the pool? If so, how often? The last thing that you need is to spend your vacation worrying that your little one is going to hurt themselves. So, opt for a hotel that takes their safety just as seriously as you do.

Tip #4. Location

Lastly, when looking for the perfect hotel for your family vacation, the location is a key factor. Although getting off the beaten path can be a cheaper option when it comes to accommodation, it’s important to bear in mind whether this will impact on your ability to get out and take part in activities during your trip. In many cases, parents find that it’s a much more convenient option to book a hotel that’s close to the center of the activity.

Have you found the perfect family hotel? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Top 4 Child-Friendly Christmas Vacation Ideas

Christmas is a few months away, but it doesn’t hurt to start making plans now. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to keep the kids entertained and under control for the holiday season, and as any mom knows, if the kids aren’t happy, nobody is.

One way to make Christmas extra special is to book a Christmas vacation. Sure, it can be expensive to travel over the festive holidays, but if you want to make this Christmas extra special for the whole family, it’s a wonderful idea. The only fly in the ointment is choosing a child-friendly vacation. Some destinations, like New York, for example, might be an adult’s dream Christmas break, but if you have young children in tow, a city break isn’t going to wash. Not to worry, though, as we have some great ideas for Christmas vacations your kids are going to adore.

Take a Snow Vacation

Christmas and snow go together like peanut butter and jelly. This year, why not book a ski break in one of the top ski resorts in North America. You have some wonderful destinations to choose from, including Whistler in British Colombia, Winter Park in Colorado, which is very family-friendly, and Snowmass, which is also in Colorado. Splash out on luxury accommodation for the whole family, such as the gorgeous condos available from https://www.snowmassvacations.com. Check whether the resort offers childcare and nursery slopes. If it does, you are good to go.

Disney at Christmas

Kids of all ages love Disney. A trip to Walt Disney World in Florida is any child’s idea of a dream vacation, at any time of the year, but at Christmas, Walt Disney World really comes to life. Imagine the joy on your children’s faces if they found out they were spending the Christmas vacation in a Disney Resort hotel. They would be in seventh heaven! It’s not too shabby for adults, too, with warm Florida sunshine and plenty of adult-friendly rides and activities to enjoy. Of course, you could just put your feet up and relax, but with so much to see and do, that would be a shame.

A Christmas Chocolate Extravaganza

Kids love chocolate, so they are sure to appreciate a festive break in the Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania. Take a trip down Christmas Candylane and admire the two million (yes, you did read that correctly) LED lights. Next, cruise through the Sweet Lights attraction and have lunch with Santa. Just watch your waistline, as a few days in this hotel is sheer bliss for chocoholics!

The Resort at Paws Up

Christmas in Montana is pretty special if you visit the Resort at Paws Up in Greenough. This is a working cattle ranch, but you can stay in a private, luxury lodge, and enjoy a snowy sleigh ride, personal visit from Santa, and some delicious food. They even provide a hand-decorated Christmas tree!

Now that we have inspired you, it is time to start planning your best Christmas vacation ever.

Beautiful Ways to Bond as a Family

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Life can get extremely hectic as time moves forward. One moment, you’re a teenager with the weeks and months stretching ahead like a new page. Suddenly, you’re married with a family and ten years have scooted by in a blink. When you find yourself working forty hours a week while having a family at home, a house to look after and a social life to keep up with, the family bonds can really be strained. It’s not anyone’s direct fault, it’s just how life goes sometimes.
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The happiest families have strong family bonds, and it’s up to parents to make sure that those bonds stay strong and unbreakable. You can create the foundation your family needs for a strong future as a unit, and with these suggestions, you can commit to that:

  • Schedule the time: It doesn’t sound particularly fun to schedule in time with your family, but you need to do that sometimes to make it happen. If you don’t carve the time out to spend together you just won’t. One night a week should be reserved for dinner and games and you should reserve Sunday as your day as a family to get together and have fun! Add in a monthly weekend trip and find a good retreat center as a family to simply enjoy yourselves. Time away together can ensure your bond is strong.
  • Eat together: Families to leave technology out of the kitchen and eat their evening meal together are families who understand each other. Talking together about your day and discussing issues over the table can help you laugh, joke and have fun.
  • Have meetings: Meetings in the office are a totally different activity, but when you have a meeting at home it gives you all as a family to remind each other of the values you hold, the chores that need doing and any important updates. It gives you all an open forum to be together to discuss important events coming up in school or at home and it also allows the children to have a voice and feel like they matter in the home.
  • Encourage each other: Families are successful when they believe in each other’s success. If you have competitive teenagers involved in sports, go and see their games and meets. Have your children involved in your own successes at work and let them tell you they are proud of you. Family support is very important and you need that to be able to continue as a united group.
  • Socialise together: Hold a block party or invite the neighbours to you for days of fun. It’s always said that it takes a village to raise children and if you are close and tight knit with your neighbours, you can always be looked after together. It gives your whole family a sense of responsibility and can also in a way, show your family how strong you are together.

Family bonding is important and when you are all together, you can feel secure and close the way family should be.

 

Rainy Days and Mondays: Indoor Activities to Share With Your Child

Ask any parent and they’re sure to tell you how hard it can be to keep a kid amused when stuck indoors. Whether due to bad weather or a bad case of the sniffles, being stuck at home isn’t much fun for anyone. That’s why we’re so pleased to present several rainy day activities you can share with your kid.

Indoor activities away from home

If you’re looking for an indoor activity to do outside the home, check out the Mommy Poppins website. There you can scout by city or region to find all sorts of educational and entertaining stuff to do with your kids on a rainy day. For instance, Connecticut moms can find info about planetariums, museums and observatories that offer an exceptional experience for kids and parents alike. The Treworgy Planetarium at Mystic Seaport offers rotating planetarium shows along with exhibits and lectures that explain how long-ago seafarers used the stars to navigate.

Mary Poppins also offers a range of kid-friendly indoor activities that are just right for a rainy day. Snuggle under comfy blankets and read a pile of book aloud. Shuffle a deck of cards and teach your kids to play gin rummy, slapjack or poker. Use household items to make musical instruments and march a parade through the house.

At-home activities for rainy days

Hold a room-cleaning competition with a time limit, and see how fast your kids organize their personal spaces. Set a timer, and allow the winner to choose the next indoor activity, recommends NetMums magazine. Make one-person pizzas with premade crusts and any topping the kids might find in the kitchen. Be sure to have plenty of shredded cheese and sliced veggies for this one. Make a gigantic bowl of popcorn and settle on the sofa to watch all the kid-friendly flicks you’ve been meaning to catch up on.

Creative on a rainy day

Art projects are a great way to spend a rainy day. Keep a collection of sketch books, markers, pencils and crayons and bring them out on inclement afternoons. Art apps for Android devices can be a whole lot of rainy day fun, too. Browse a sweet selection of artistic apps at this link. Collage art is another project that’s fun for the whole family. Let your kids cut pictures and phrases from used magazines and glue them onto cardboard oatmeal cartons to create cool containers to hold just about anything.

Let the kids raid your closet and put on a fashion show. You’ll want to supervise, but letting your little ones dress up and try on colorful makeup can turn a rainy afternoon into a wheelbarrow full of laughs. If you know how to macrame, teach your kids how to make friendship bracelets, plant hangers and other crafty items made of cord.

Rainy days don’t have to be boring, nor do they have to cause tension between parents and kids. Try a few of the aforementioned activities and enjoy your rainy afternoon.

 

Freddie Oliver is Dad to 3 kids under the age of 10. He loves being a Dad and enjoys spending quality time with the kids as they learn, grow and develop into wonderful mini humans!

Is It Worth Taking Your Kids On A Long-Haul Holiday?

Now is the time a lot of families are starting to think about holidays. After all, it’s a good idea to get somewhere booked before the prices start to hike up. But when you are thinking about destinations, you need to think very carefully if you are planning to go further afield. After all, while there is a ton of benefits to going somewhere luxurious which is 10-hours flight away. It can be a challenge going on a long journey with the kids. In fact, here are some things to consider before you decide to take your kids on a long-haul holiday.

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You need to prepare them for the flight

 

The most challenging thing about going on a long-haul holiday with little ones is the journey. After all, they are going to get bored during the time at the airport. And then it can be a challenge to get them to sit still for the flight. If you do want to make the trip, you need to choose an airline who offers lots to do for the kids. For example, you want kid’s music and tv shows available for them to watch. And you should also take a bag for the kids full of activities and toys to keep them busy. Also, bring a cozy blanket and their pj’s, so that they can get some sleep while on the flight. If you still think it might be a challenge, it would be worth looking at a shorter flight which will be manageable with the kids!

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You need to consider the time difference

 

You also need to check what the time difference is in your chosen destination. After all, if it’s a big difference, it could be a challenge to get your children to get used to the time. In fact, they might end up suffering from jet lag when you arrive at the destination. Of course, there are some things you can do to help ease this. For one thing, you can get a flight which lands in the evening at the destination. That way, you can all head to bed and get into the same time as the country in the morning. And as it says on these jet lag tips from whatsthebestbed.org, make sure your kids are well-rested before the trip so they won’t feel as exhausted when you arrive!

 

You need to think about the benefits of the holiday

 

To ensure you make the right decision, you need to think about the benefits of going to the destination. For example, is there anything unique which you won’t get at a country only an hour or two away? And is there things that the kids will always remember? You might find that you can get similar fantastic accommodation and sights at somewhere a lot closer. It can definitely help you make your mind up if you do your research before you go and book that holiday!

 

And remember to check out what injections and tablets you will need before you go to the destination. After all, it might not be worth going if your family has to go through the stress of a load of injections before the trip.

 

Single Mom Vacation Stress, And How To Reduce It

So, everybody knows that while vacations can be wonderful family time, they can be a big bag of stress as well. There is all the washing and ironing you have to do before you go. Then there’s the packing, as well as booking and paying for things.  All of these issues can be magnified when you are the only adult that is going, as you don’t get to split the responsibilities or the stress. But there are some ways you can seriously reduce your vacation stress, and have an enjoyable time. Just read on to find out what they are.

Pay In Increments

So one of the biggest stresses about vacations is that they can cost so much money! It can be pretty tough to make ends meet when there is only one parent in the household. So finding the money to go on vacation is often a rare and exciting treat.

One way you can make this a little easier on yourself is to find a voucher to help you reduce the cost of your holiday. Or you can look for a provider that allows you to pay in increments.

Some vacation providers allow you to book your place, and dates, with a small deposit and then pay off the remaining fees over a year or so. It’s a lot easier to pay a little each week or month. Plus, by booking it this early, you have something to look forward to on the days that are a bit stressful. You know the ones I mean!

 

Pack In Advance

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Another major stress of vacationing is getting everything ready to go. This is primarily made up of washing, ironing, and packing all of the clothes that you will want to take with you for both you and your kids.

The best thing that you can do to reduce stress here is to get packing in advance. What you need to do is sort out which clothes you will need for your trip, and keep them separate from anything else. Then wash and iron these, and roll them up once they are dry as this will help to stop them from creasing.

Be clear with the kids on what they can and can’t wear for the week before the holiday, though, as they might take something from the wrong pile. You can even put it in their suitcases, so they know not to touch it.

Also, it’s often a good idea to dress in something comfortable, but nice when you get to the airport as this helps you to get in a festive holiday mood.

 

What About You

Something else that you can do to reduce the stress of your vacation is to make you’re you provide for yourself as well as the kids. It’s your vacation too!

For example, it is your time of the month while you are away, you may want to get tablets to delay your period, so you don’t have to worry about that on top of everything else!

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You may even choose to pay for some childcare on one of the days. Then you can get some time to relax by the pool, instead of always making sandcastles and running after the little one when visiting theme parks!

 

 

 

 

 

Unbreakable Bond: Moms, This is How You Bond With the Kids

The bond between a mother and her children is one that can’t be broken. And, forging this unbreakable bond is something that happens at an early age. So, you need to come up with the best ways of bonding with the children and making a positive impact on their lives.

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Read to Them

You know one of the dying arts these days? Parents reading to their children. Most parents these days are too content to let their kids sit in front of a screen. As such, many children nowadays aren’t able to read very well. Educating your child to read and reading to them yourself are really important. This can increase a child’s vocabulary, excite their imaginations, and make them more creative.

Discipline is Important

Discipline plays a big role in your life as a parent. You have to be sure your children are well disciplined and that they know the rules. Kids who lack discipline at a young age will wind up being entitled and spoilt as they get older. That’s why you have to address this behavior when they are very young and make sure you nip it in the bud. Discipline teaches kids about respect and understanding and will bring them closer to you in the long run.

Spend Time Together

Spending time with your children is one of the most important things you’ll have to do as a parent. Kids need love and attention at a young age because it’s crucial for their growth and development. Children look to you as their role models and their link to the world. The more time you spend together, the more your children will learn, and the more well-rounded they will become. If you neglect your kids and don’t make time for them this will have repercussions on them as adults. Too many parents these days don’t make the time for their kids, and you’ve got to make sure you don’t make this mistake.

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Play With Them

You have to put in the time to play with your kids. Spending time together is important as well. But you need to share in the act of playing together. This means you join in with their games and embrace the way they want to have fun. It’s really important for kids to be able to play with their parents. And not enough moms and dads these days take the time to do that. Kids need stimulation and interaction when they play. And they have to be taught about socializing while they play because this will come in very important later in their lives. Also, playing with them allows them to spend time with you in an entertaining environment and ensures that you develop strong bonds.

Know When to Reward Them

You have got to know when to reward your children for their behavior and accomplishments. Now, this is a bit of an art form because you have to get it right. It’s important to recognize their good behavior and success, but you can’t always reward them. You shouldn’t get into the habit of rewarding the kids constantly for things they should be doing anyway. This will make them grow up thinking that’s always going to happen. But it is important to show recognition on occasion. You also have to choose rewards carefully. You could buy them treats, gifts of unique craftsmanship, or follow through on promises. Make a decision about what you feel the best reward will be for your children.

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Be Consistent

One of the big mistakes that parents often make is to be inconsistent in their approach to parenting. This is a mistake because it gets confusing for their children. They need consistency to familiarize themselves with the way you parent. This means you need to follow through on threats you make, as well setting boundaries. Find a style of parenting that works for you, and stick to it. The worst thing you can do is chop and change the way you are with the kids. This is okay occasionally, and when they are younger. But, if you do it too much then you’re going to find that the children disengage, and they won’t take things you say seriously. Consistency is the key to success in anything, and parenting is no different.

Prepare for Tantrums

As your children get older, the number of tantrums they have is going to increase. As they get more and more hormonal, they will start to treat everything like it’s the biggest deal in the world. Now there are many ways you can tame your children’s temper tantrums. But this will become increasingly more complex as they get older. And you need to be aware of the fact that these tantrums are going to occur. The best way of bonding well with your kids is to make sure you understand their tantrums and try to understand their emotions. If you can deal with these things well, then you’ll get on better and develop a better relationship with the children.

Find Out What Works for You

There’s no formula for how to be a good parent, though people may tell you otherwise. It’s about being there for your kids and treating them well. But, it’s also about making sure you find what works for you as a parent. Something that is effective for other people and their kids may not work on your kids. The best way to bond effectively and be a good mother is to determine what works with your children and then use the techniques you need. This helps you I understand your kids on a deeper level and allows you to bond with them better.

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Parenting is one of the hardest things in the world, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. And you need to make sure you give yourself the best possible chance of being a good mom. The thing is, there is no guidebook to raising children. Sure, there are plenty of parenting books that give you the basics. But no one knows your kids the way you do. And you can use this knowledge of them to ensure you bond with the kids as much as possible.