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Parenting 101: How to Work Together as a Team

Parenting 101: How to Work Together as a Team

Raising children should be a team effort. After all, parenting can be demanding and it certainly doesn’t come easy. The key is team parenting, which is defined as being united in you and your partner’s expectations, rules, guidelines, and methods of discipline. But it’s a lot harder than it sounds, especially when you and your partner have different parenting styles.

Differences in parenting styles can strain your marriage. Squabbles about how to raise kids can pile up, possibly causing irreparable damage. That’s why constant communication and teamwork are crucial. If you haven’t figured out how to do it yet, here are a few tips that can help you:

Ask each other for help.

Sharing the load is easier if both you and your partner are willing to ask each other for help. Breastfeeding, for example, can be challenging for mothers, but moms don’t always ask for help from their partner—and they should.

Fathers can help their spouses by holding their child after feeding. Baby Centre explains that this little moment is a great opportunity for a dad to bond with his child, and it’s an intimate way to show the mom that he is by her side. Showing each other genuine support is a great way to make each other’s lives easier. Delegate tasks and don’t wait to be told.

Find helpful tools that will make your life easier.

Technology has made parenting a little easier through apps and state-of-the-art baby monitors. The Raybaby Baby Monitor, for instance, allows parents to keep an eye on their baby through a video feed, and even monitors the child’s breathing patterns.

A sturdy pushchair or stroller should also be on your list. This will help keep your baby comfortable while you are traveling and moving around. iCandy has a great selection of pushchairs and prams in modern designs that can handle a multitude of terrains, Perfect for taking your baby to town or on a long walk through the park. Parents should take turns heading outside with their baby so both can rest. Taking your baby outside together is also a great way for parents to bond, and it will also get you out of the house, which can be hard with a newborn.

Be open to combining your parenting styles.

Since moms and dads often have different parenting styles, the key is to pick out the best points of both and combine them into one efficient style. Communicate with each other so you can find a comfortable compromise where both styles are given time to shine. Always coordinate with your partner before deciding on anything, from punishments to rewards. Take it from actor Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, who agreed to treat their kids like they would other people—with respect and admiration.

Don’t argue in front of your children.

You never want to paint the other parent as the villain, so make sure you don’t contradict your partner in front of your children. Research conducted by Very Well Family reveals that a child as young as six months can be negatively affected by parental arguments. Seeing their parents fight can cause children to withdraw and develop emotional insecurities, anxiety, and behavioral issues. Studies have also found significantly decreased cognitive performance in children born and raised in homes where parents constantly fight and yell at each other.

Misunderstandings are normal among families, but it becomes problematic when the arguments get out of hand. Whenever you feel annoyed or angry with your partner, step outside or go in a room where you can be alone to catch your breath. Sometimes, all we really need is a minute to breathe.

dad birthday

How to Take Your Dad’s Birthday to the Next Level

Dads are some of the most special people in our lives. Life advice, childhood memories in the playground, and unending support—these are just some of the things you’ll thank him for. And there’s no better way to do this than by giving your Dad the most incredible birthday.

From the moment he wakes up to the end of his birthday week, here’s how you can take your Dad’s birthday to the next level.

Start the morning right

Serve him breakfast in bed

Sometimes, it’s best to take a tip from the old days when you want to start your Dad’s birthday the right way. Just before he usually wakes up, take the time to make him a tasty, nutritious breakfast. Aside from giving him all the energy he needs for his birthday extravaganza, it’s also a great way of showing him how much you care.

Play it safe by cooking him a hearty fry-up breakfast, complete with eggs, bacon, and pancakes.

Get him the best present

Stick to something personal

You could go all-out and get your Dad an expensive present, but the best gifts usually come from the heart. These days, most people tend to start with a smaller, personal gift, before presenting him with a showstopper. Anything from handmade knitwear to a monogrammed leather wallet is sure to do the trick. Just make sure you don’t fall into the trap of getting your Dad something he will never use, or something that he already owns.

Then for a showstopping gift, why not give a luxurious gift with a personalized touch? With a range of personalized cookery sets and digital photo frames on the market, finding a special present is cheaper and easier than ever.

Give him an experience

It turns out that 74% of Americans value experiences over possessions. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that weekend breaks and memorable parties are becoming a great way to celebrate a birthday.

These go perfectly alongside special, material gifts, and can include anything from weekend breaks to days at the beach. Some people prefer to plan these kinds of experiences for big birthdays, like the big 5-0.

Hold a birthday party to remember

Choose the perfect cake

No birthday party is complete without a cake. It doesn’t matter how old your dad is—you’re bound to find a cake that suits him.

Don’t fall into the trap of buying an ordinary sponge cake that you can find in most bakeshops (unless it’s his favorite). Instead, head to your local baker and tell them exactly what your Dad loves. You can also ask them to decorate the cake with designs that mean a lot to him.

If your Dad doesn’t have a sweet tooth, consider making a ‘cake’ out of his favorite food. One popular option is baking mini pies and arranging them in the shape of a cake.

Invite all his loved ones

Birthday parties are a special occasion. This means your Dad may want to have all his loved ones around him when he celebrates his big day. Take the pressure off your Dad, create a guest list, and send out invites to his closest friends and family. This is also a great way of turning his party into a surprise, as he won’t know anything about it. Remember that some guests may live far away, but they are sure to go the distance if it is a special birthday you are celebrating.

Secure attendance from your guests by creating personalized invitations by hand, or using some nifty online templates.

Choose some fun entertainment

When people have traveled from all over to attend the party, you’ll want to make sure everyone stays entertained. One of the best ways of doing this is by setting a theme for your party, as this is the kind of entertainment that takes care of itself.

Popular ideas include casino nights, the Great Gatsby, or a Hollywood party. Accompany your theme with a killer playlist. You may even wish to hire a local band to play some of your Dad’s favorite tunes.

Make it last forever

Extend the party

Your Dad’s birthday celebration need not last just one day! If you’re set on giving your Dad the most memorable birthday ever, consider celebrating the occasion throughout the week. This doesn’t mean having a party every night. On one night, you could go out for a family meal, and on another, you could have a fun day out together. This is also an excellent solution if your Dad doesn’t have much family to celebrate with, or if he’s not a party person.

Take some special photographs

Birthdays don’t last forever, but memories can.

The best way to do this is by taking some high-quality images of your dad’s big day. If you don’t have a camera that you can use to commemorate your dad’s birthday, it’s worth taking a look at this roundup of the best digital cameras of 2019 to see if there’s one that suits you. If these options are too expensive, buy a lot of disposable cameras and hand them out at the party. You’ll get some fun, vintage-feel photographs that can be printed and scanned onto a CD.

And when you’ve developed the images, don’t hide them away in a photo album. Display them in your Dad’s home using a Nixplay Photo Frame, so he can relive memories of this incredible birthday.

fathers day-will smith

5 Cool Dads We Admire

Fatherhood isn’t easy, with its fair share of late nights, dirty diapers, toddler tantrums, and teenage angst. However, some dads make it look like a walk in the park (and no, we don’t mean Jurassic Park). Here are some utterly cool dads whom we look up to.

Will Smith

Will Smith isn’t just a fantastic Genie: the Aladdin star is also a certified cool dad to Willow and Jaden, his children with Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Trey, his son with his first wife, Sheree Zampino.

“We respect our children the way we would respect any other person,” said Will in an interview with Haute Living. “Things like cleaning up their room. You would never tell a full-grown adult to clean their room, so we don’t tell our kids to clean their rooms. Actually, we tell our kids ‘you don’t have a room, that’s our room and we are letting you borrow it.’”

David Beckham

David Beckham, the more handsome half of the power couple known as Posh and Becks, juggles a successful football career, multiple endorsements and events, and fatherhood with much aplomb. It wasn’t easy, though.

“I didn’t want to miss a second, but of course there were times that I couldn’t be there. I feared they would do something for the first time and I wouldn’t be there to see it,” he wrote in an essay for Men’s Health. “I knew that spending as much quality time with my kids as I could, especially when they were young, was the most important thing in the world…I also realized pretty quickly, that there are never enough hours in the day to do all the things we want to do with our kids so as long as we make whatever the time available to us quality time, where we are present, as dads we’re winning.”

Gordon Ramsay

The Hell’s Kitchen host may be terrifying towards adults who are hopelessly inept in the kitchen, but he’s quite a softie when it comes to kids. You can see Gordon’s tender side on Masterchef Junior, where he mentors young kitchen geniuses, as well as on Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch, where he banters with his cheeky children. He has also been very vocal about keeping his kids grounded despite his family’s fame.

In an article on The Telegraph, the top chef explains that his younger years were rough, and that he worked very hard so that his kids wouldn’t go through the same thing. “They have a completely different life than I did growing up. I worked [very hard] to get out of the mess that I grew up in and they’re grateful, they’re not spoilt.”

Prince William

Prince William’s children, George, Charlotte, and Louis, inspire him to do everything he can to make the world a better place.

“I worry about the future more,” he says when asked about how fatherhood changed his life in an article on Vanity Fair. “When you have something or someone in your life to give the future to, I think it focuses the mind more about what you’re giving them, and are you happy that you’ve done all you can to leave it in a good state.”

Barack Obama

What’s better than being the 44th President of the United States of America? For Barack Obama, it’s spending time with his daughters, Malia and Sasha. This is a hands-on dad who, despite occupying the most powerful position in the world, still coached Sasha’s grammar school basketball team and took the time to have a proper dinner with his family five times a week.

“It is in my capacities as a husband and a father that I entertain the most doubt,” Pres. Obama confesses in a Washington Post article. “I am a black man who grew up without a father, and I know the cost that I paid for that…And I also know that I have the capacity to break that cycle, and as a consequence, I think my daughters are better off.”

This Father’s Day, make sure to let the fathers in your life know just how much they mean to you by reminding them of your most treasured moments together. Place your favorite photos on a Nixplay Frame, and give it to dad–he’ll be in for a sweet surprise. Plus, we’re making it even sweeter: Get up to 25% off Nixplay and NIX frames, only until June 16!

Will Smith image via Wikimedia.

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5 Signs You Have The Coolest Dad In The World

All fathers have the ability to transform into different forms, depending on the occasion. The man you’ve always known as a typical Workaholic Dad might turn into a Sporty Dad while coaching his son’s baseball team, then he’ll morph into a Geek Dad when he finally gets to put up his feet after dinner to watch his favorite TV show. And while all fathers are amazing, the best ones are, without a doubt, the Cool Dads—the kind of dad who always made you feel like you’re the luckiest kid in the world. Here are five signs that you have the coolest Dad in the world.

Your dad let you find your own path in life.

Some parents have very specific ideas of what their kids should be when they grow up: A doctor, a lawyer, maybe an engineer. Others expect their children to follow in their footsteps, or take over the family business. A cool dad won’t expect you to live out his dream, but will encourage you to follow your heart and do what you really want to do.

Your dad embraces his playful side.

When you were a kid, you probably have a friend whose dad who terrified you to no end. He wasn’t doing anything wrong per se, but he just gave off this intimidating, I’m-watching-you vibe that makes you want to get out of his sight immediately. And on the other hand, you have a friend who’s got a cool dad—one who’d crack jokes with you and your friends, whom you can ask for advice on even the most mundane things, and whom you don’t mind playing basketball or football with on a summer afternoon. A cool dad is reliable, but he also knows when to have fun.

Your dad treats your mom like the queen she is.

A truly cool dad knows how to treat his woman right. He loves and respects his wife, and won’t attempt anything that will harm his family. He sees his wife as his equal and never dismisses her role in the household. He’s an amazing role model not just to his children, but also to other families.

Your dad does the most selfless things for your family.

When you become an adult and realize just how hard it is to make money, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation of the things you probably took for granted as a child. Just think: Your mom and dad managed to provide for all your needs, put you through school, buy your toys and books, and take you on vacations. These don’t come cheap, and your dad probably scrimped and saved every cent he got just so you can have a great childhood. There’s also the small acts that prove how much your dad loves you, like waking up before dawn on weekends to take you to baseball practice and driving for hours on family vacations. See how much your dad loves you?

Your dad proudly uses or displays the things you made for him.

Remember all your janky middle school crafts projects? If your dad can display every single one of them on his desk at work, he would. He’d also have your childhood crayon drawings professionally framed, along with all the greeting cards you cobbled together for his past birthdays. You’re the love of his life, and in his eyes, everything you create is a masterpiece, a gift to be treasured for life.

This Father’s Day, surprise Dad with a Nixplay Frame! Get up to 25% off selected frames, only until June 16!

main image lisa luken guest blog

Living the Simple Life with My Quirky, Adventurous, Hardworking Dad

Growing up, I didn’t think my parents were cool. I lived on a farm in the Midwest in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. My dad farmed the open land that stretched a mile down the road to my grandparents’ house and my mom worked various jobs while taking care of me and my sisters.

My family lived a simple life. I grew up watching my parents do their best to achieve work-life balance while providing for our family. I watched them work hard and play hard—traits my sisters and I have carried with us well into our adult lives. I didn’t always have the most fashionable clothes or the latest gadgets, but I was blessed to have always had what I needed when I needed it.

Recently, I had the opportunity to look back at the simplicity of my childhood while organizing and scanning our family photo collection. Through this project, I was able to see my youth through the eyes of my parents. It was humbling to learn what life was like long before I was born, and it was thrilling to recount my childhood through the snapshots of everyday moments and big celebrations captured over the years.

The process of organizing the photos took me on an unexpectedly emotional journey. I was able to get a glimpse of my great-grandfather’s travels in the Navy, my grandmother’s wedding, my parents’ childhoods, and ultimately, my arrival. This journey back in time gave me the opportunity to see a side of my parents that I hadn’t fully noticed growing up. I got to see my creative, nature-loving mom and my adventurous, quirky, hardworking dad in a new light.

As we take the time this month to celebrate fatherhood, I’d like to express my gratitude for the fathers and grandfathers in my life. I’m filled with memories of my dad and his fun-loving, unique way of living life.

While I have carried many vivid memories with me over the years, the process of organizing my family photos added even more to my list of noteworthy “dad” memories.

There was that time he slowly pulled into our gravel driveway on his motorcycle, one hand on the brake and the other tucked tightly by his side. “Hey girls, look what I found!” he shouted. Carefully snuggled into his hand was a black and white rabbit, blind in one eye, that he found on the side of the road. The little bunny would be christened by our family as “Spunky Wabbit” and he would live in the black-and-white rabbit cage my dad built for him the next day from wood scraps in the barn. That was so typical of my dad—he was always noticing the tiny details (I still don’t know how he spotted the cottontail while riding down the country road on his motorcycle) and he was always working on a project.

Then there were the times when he’d play with us kids at the park, happily serving as the fourth person for the teeter-totter or sometimes being the only one brave enough to climb to the top of the playground tower.

Of course, I can’t forget all the memories of doing farm chores with him; most notably, the days we spent walking along rows of soybean fields to pull button weeds. This task always seemed to be required on the hottest, driest summer days, but my dad never failed to get us to follow through with our responsibilities. Amazingly, we’d always find arrowhead treasures as we walked the fields doing our job. It wasn’t until years later that I realized my dad had strategically planted the arrowheads each morning in the exact rows we’d be walking that day.

The trickery didn’t end there, though. I would also see his sneaky side during the mornings after he’d have his buddies over to play cards in the garage. He’d have me and my siblings sweep the floor and clean up, and without fail, we’d find quarters that had “accidentally” fallen on the ground from the night before. Thanks to my dad, I acquired quite the collection of quarters and arrowheads over the years.

My dad may have had his ways to “trick” us into getting our chores done, but we knew he always had our backs, providing for us and keeping us safe while still managing to get his work done. Long before baby carriers were fashionable, he’d zip me up inside his coat and accomplish what he could, taking me along for the ride.

When winter came and the work on the farm shifted from plowing fields to plowing snow, my dad’s love for adventure and being outdoors kept him outside all winter long. Between snowmobiling and skating on the frozen fields, my dad always kept us active and encouraged us to embrace the outdoors.

When the snow melted and spring arrived, it was time for rides in our small plane. I come from a family of aviators, and my dad’s favorite hobby was to hop in the plane and go flying. One of his favorite activities on clear Sunday mornings was flying up to Wisconsin for breakfast with me and his dad, just because we could. I think of life now and how complicated it can become, and I long for the days when hopping in a plane and flying to another state for breakfast was accomplished in such a laid back, matter-of-fact way.

And I can’t forget the weeks we spent in northern Wisconsin every August when our family convened with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second-cousins and extended family members (I could never keep track of who everyone was). We fished and swam, and my dad always managed to keep us entertained. He would turn our fishing boat into a speedboat and tow us around the lake on tubes made from the old tires of the farm equipment. We would hike through the woods and watch sunsets on the lake. And after these long days of slow living, we would gather around firepits cooking the day’s catch, toasting marshmallows for dessert and sharing stories with our extended family.

While each season and each vacation provided memorable and entertaining moments with my dad, it’s the everyday moments that really stand out the most—the repeated routines that shaped each day and contributed to my simple childhood.

Each night at home on the farm, after dinner was cleaned up and while bedtime books were being read, my dad would make popcorn on the stove and my grandfather would arrive like clockwork to share a beer and reflect on the day’s work. They’d plan the next day’s farm tasks and dream up their next big business venture. I listened in to all of this with a child’s perspective while my mom read, all while enjoying my bowl of salted stovetop popcorn (a routine that stuck with of me well into adulthood).

Looking back, I know that these routine nights and adventure-filled days shaped who I am and paved the path I’ve taken in my life. I know my sense of adventure and my love of gathering with others to share good food, good wine, and good stories grew from those days and nights at home on the farm and in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

I’m grateful my parents captured my childhood in photos—not only the significant events, but also the everyday moments. And I’m grateful for my adventurous, playful, quirky dad who exhibited grit and persistence, who taught me how to work hard, and who showed me how to savor the rewards of each day while always dreaming big.

Here’s to celebrating all the quirky, cool, adventurous dads in this world who have made a difference in their children’s lives in big ways and small ways, and here’s to sharing our favorite memories with them through Nixplay frames!

Take advantage of Nixplay’s Father’s Sale! Get up to 25% off all frames, only until June 16!

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