Ways to Be an Effective Parent: The moment the pregnancy test came back positive, you were determined to be an amazing, fun and cool mom.
Maybe your own parents tended to be somewhat uptight, or you have seen other moms who are so focused on rules and regulations that they end up having poor relationships with their children.
Ways to Be an Effective Parent Without Losing Your Cool
Regardless of your motivation, you are now a devoted mom who loves her kids more than life itself.
And, thanks to the following tips, you can still achieve your goal of being a cool mom. Check out the following suggestions:
Essential Items Can Still Be Fun
As you probably know quite well, kids of all ages require a stunning amount of paraphernalia.
From clothes and accessories to even the car that you drive, being a parent will impact your shopping choices in a number of ways.
If you have babies or other young children at home — essentially, small humans that still allow you to dress them.
Skip the boring monochromatic onesies, t-shirts and pants for outfits that have a high cool factor and then wear something that complements your kid’s look.
For example, Band-Tees has a wide selection of rock and roll related outfits for babies and toddlers as well as adults; this includes Pearl Jam onesies and Grateful Dead t-shirts.
Your toddler can rock the Eddie Vedder look while you sport a Nirvana t-shirt.
Another great example of buying essential items that are still cool is the ubiquitous minivan.
Yes, minivans are amazing vehicles for growing families, but no, they do not have to be boring rides.
For example, if you are in the market for a new mom-mobile, you may want to check out the Chrysler Pacifica.
The Pacifica is a great option for a cool mom like yourself; it comes with awesome features like touch screens, a 20-speaker sound system (to play the aforementioned Pearl Jam while driving the kids to school), and the ability to go from zero to 60 in under 7 seconds.
Get to Know What They Like and Join In
If you ever felt like your parents had no clue about what shows you liked or music you listened to, you can break this cycle by joining your kids in their interests as much as possible.
Spend time asking your kids about what they like to do, and then take part in the activities as often as you can.
For younger kids who adore video games, resist the urge to let them play in the family room while you catch up on chores.
Ask your son to teach you about his favorite game and say that you’d like to play too.
He will probably be delighted to share everything he knows about Mario or Crash Bandicoot.
If your daughter loves to play golf, talk with her about her lessons, practice sessions and upcoming tourneys and truly listen to what she has to say.
Suggest a mom-daughter golf outing; she may cackle at your inability to putt, but she will be thrilled that you are taking an interest in what she loves to do.
Give Them Some Space
As much as your adore your kiddos, a great way to be a “cool” mom is to back off from time to time and give your precious kids some space.
Keeping your distance in certain instances can also help to strengthen your bond with your kids.
Resist the urge to question your middle schooler’s desire to wear mismatched socks, and let your tweens spend the afternoon in their rooms on weekends texting their friends.
While you may want to be friends with your kids on social media, don’t post comments on their photos and try not to hover when they have friends over.
By playing it cool, you will be cool — and your kids will definitely thank you for it.
Being a cool mom does not mean canceling household rules and letting your kids take over.
It basically boils down to being there for them, getting to know them and their interests, and purchasing items that express your uniqueness and theirs too.
Unique Day Trips in the UK with the Kids
With the usual string of walks and adventure parks on most families’ agendas, it’s always nice to shake things up a bit with Days Out In the UK.
In the UK, we have no shortage of quaint – and just plain weird – things to do and sights to see for interesting unique day trips in the UK with the kids.
For a quirky trip with the kids, look no further than the following attractions:
Calling all pencil fanatics, this is your idea of cloud nine.
Hopefully, your kids love coloring, because you won’t be able to turn around without spotting a pencil or two.
Within the rooms of the pencil museum, you can find the largest pencil in the world – standing at 8m long, it was clearly made for a giant.
The Cumberland Pencil Museum offers art workshops throughout the year on how to achieve stunning pencil masterpieces.
When you picture days out in Scotland, you probably think of piling on the clothes, rather than taking them off.
However, at the Isle of Arran, you can bare all to the unforgiving Scottish weather. At least it’s unlikely to be crowded…
If your kids have grown up with a whole farmyard of toy diggers, this odd day out may go down a treat.
Diggerland is in fact a theme park where you can drive these huge behemoths yourself.
Just think of it as digging practice for your vegetable patch later.
This has got to be even less fruitful than bird watching, but travelling to Loch Ness, you can stand by the giant lake yourself and see if you can catch the legendary beast with your own eyes.
But let’s face it; you’re going to be waiting there a loooooooooong time.
If you don’t mind exposing your children to the utter craziness that is the theory of Creationism, this could a rather…enlightening… experience.
Effectively, this whole museum flies in the face of science and says “you, sir, are wrong.”
Warning: you may leave significantly stupider than when you arrived, but it may be an enjoyable way to kill some time (and brain cells).
Probably the most ‘normal’ day out on our list, Knowsley is pretty standard, as far as safari parks go, but the animals are weird and wonderful.
From Egyptian fruit bats to the feathery Rheas.
Expand your wildlife knowledge with the kids in tow, and marvel at how evolution must have been drunk when it created the Pink Fairy Armadillo.
National Space Center
So…the UK isn’t exactly famous for its exploration of the universe…unless you count our surplus of sci-fi writers.
But hey, you can still look at some retro astronaut suits at the National Space Center.
We may not have the credentials of NASA but it does have a planetarium (yay, stars!) and a 3D simulator.
And who knows, you may have the next Neil Armstrong on your hands!
Family Fun Days Out in Blackpool
When you think of Blackpool, you think of a seaside town in Northern England, quintessentially British with battered fish and chips eaten with wooden forks followed by multicoloured sticks of rock.
Images of the Pleasure Beach fill your mind, with ear-piercing screams of thrill-seekers riding the Big One.
Visions of the Illuminations filling the skyline once a year.
There’s a lot more to Blackpool though, not least of which is the fantastic zoo and sea life center that attract tourists all year round.
A perfect day out for you and your family, Blackpool Zoo and Sea Life Center are too large to do all in one day.
Have a browse through the available Blackpool hotels and make a base for your family overnight to ease the madness of doing everything within a measly time frame.
Celebrating 40 years this year, this fantastic site offers a huge range of things to do including seeing animals from all over the world.
Be sure to check out the largest primate in the world, the majestic gorilla, in the custom built Gorilla House which opened in 2000.
With the latest addition to the gorilla family, Meisie, being born in 2010, you’ll be able to watch as she grows in a human like fashion.
Watch as she tantrums, runs rings round her mum and explores her fabulous home.
Explore the Lost World and come face to face with terrifying dinosaurs of the prehistoric age on a dinosaur safari.
Explore the theories as to what made these gigantic beasts extinct all those years ago.
Also available at the zoo is an experience of a lifetime.
Get up close and personal with some of the world’s most beautiful creatures with an animal encounter.
Meet Zambar, a stunning Amur tiger, or learn the secrets of an animal trainer on a Trainer for the Day experience which is available until the end of September.
Play with the lemurs and the tapirs and treat your family to a fabulous rendezvous with some fabulous characters.
If you can wait until new dates are released, you could also organize to be a Keeper for the Day and see what it really takes to care for the animals in Blackpool Zoo.
Although these experiences are fully booked for now, 2013 dates will be available to book from the 3rd September and costs £175 or £325 for two people – well worth it considering the treats that the programme has in store.
The following day, make your way to the Sea Life Centre on the Promenade.
New is the Turtle Shelter and Behind the Scenes tours, where you team up with an expert guide to learn more about what it takes to be an aquarist.
Check out the interactive rock pool and the shark-infested waters that a tunnel will guide you through, before letting the kids loose in the soft play area and pirate adventure golf course.
Fabulous days out for the whole family, you can’t go far wrong with high quality zoos and sea-life centres and Blackpool has both!
(photo credit: 1)