There's a saying that being a parent is the only job where you're ready to retire before you get any good at it. But if you're looking to improve, "Better Homes and Gardens" has a list of five common parenting mistakes to avoid.
#1.) Losing your temper. This is a mistake that leads to all kinds of other mistakes. Because when you get TOO angry, you say and do things you regret later. And the only thing your kids REALLY learn is to be afraid of you.
#2.) Not enforcing your own rules. Set limits for your kids, and then stick to them. Nothing spoils a kid faster than knowing that they can talk you out of a decision you've already made. And then you're reinforcing the behaviors you want to prevent.
#3.) Using scare tactics. Never threaten your kids with outcomes that would never actually happen. Don't get them to obey you by bringing up the Boogeyman, or saying you're going to leave them behind.
#4.) Not getting all the facts. This can go both ways. Sometimes people blame their children without knowing the whole story. And sometimes they DEFEND their children without knowing the whole story.
--Getting blamed for something they didn't do will make your children think you're unfair. And if you defend them when they're wrong, it's harder to discipline them later.
#5.) Saying things kids shouldn't hear. This could be swearing, or insults, or gossip. If you slip up here, you better believe you'll hear it back from your kids before long. And you'll have no authority to correct it, because they learned it from you.
Match.com recently asked users to vote on the best and worst ideas for a double date. The bad ones aren't actually THAT bad, but there's a reason each of them definitely isn't GOOD. First, here are the three BEST ideas.
#1.) Taking a Class Together. Like dance lessons or a cooking class. 17% of people said it's a good choice for a double date. And according to relationship experts, any date where you LEARN something together is great.
#2.) Going Hiking. 23% of people said it's their ideal double date, especially if the weather's nice and it's somewhere scenic. (--Meaning, a lot of people LIE about how much they like to hike.)
#3.) Going to a Casual Restaurant, or Cooking Dinner at Someone's Place. An overwhelming 49% of people said it's their favorite thing to do on a double date. (--So in other words, 49% of us are boring and/or cheap.)
--Now here are three WORST double date ideas . . .
#1.) Going to a Movie. Mostly because you can't talk, so it's not very social. That said, plenty of couples DO go to the movies on double dates. The trick is to just have a drink AFTER the movie . . . so you can all talk about it.
#2.) A Fancy, Candlelit Dinner. It's good for ONE couple, but not a group because it's too formal. And because nice restaurants are usually quiet, which discourages you from laughing or cracking jokes. 37% of people said dinner at a fancy restaurant is a bad double date idea.
#3.) Spending a Spa Day Together. 52% of people agreed it's no good, mainly because it's hard to relax when you're making small talk. Plus, it's not a good date for women, because steam and make-up don't go well together. (Match.com)
If you're tired and cranky this morning, "Real Simple" magazine has a few tips on how to become more of a morning person.
--Here are the top four . . . and you've probably heard one or two of them already.
#1.) Set Aside a Full Hour in the Evening to Unwind. And when you're planning things in advance, pretend you have one less hour than you actually do each night.
--People tend to overestimate how much they can fit into one evening. And if you don't give yourself some time to unwind, you end up staying up PAST your bedtime, which obviously means you'll be tired the next morning.
#2.) Reward Yourself for Getting Up. If you get up 15 minutes early, set aside some of that time for something you enjoy.
--Like reading the paper, MAKING coffee instead of spending five bucks on a cup, or even just watching a few extra minutes of "SportsCenter".
--When you're not rushing out the door, you'll start noticing that you feel less stressed out the rest of the morning, and a little less out-of-it in general.
#3.) Exercise Early. It's pretty tough to make it a habit, but it's probably the most FOOLPROOF way to wake yourself up. Even if it's just some light stretching or a walk around the block.
--As an added benefit, research has shown that exercising BEFORE breakfast burns more stored-up fat, and makes you lose more weight.
#4.) Don't Close Your Blinds Before Bed. Waking up when it's dark in the room is a lot harder than it is when you let more and more sunlight creep in.
--Or if you like your blinds closed for PRIVACY, you can get an artificial light-emitting box that works like an alarm clock. They go for as low as $50.