How important is to adopt a flexible parenting style as a single parent

Some parents rigidly stick to their ideas of how things should be done. Others can flexibly accept events as they are. Consequently, facing similar problems, the former will plunge into anger, frustration, sadness and helplessness. The latter will react to real circumstances and give themselves a chance to improve. Thus, in the colloquial sense, flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing conditions, readiness to change, seize opportunities, search for new ways to cope when something does not work as usual.

Flexible parenting style is combining it all – being harsh when there is an apparent demand for it, but also allowing your child to play endlessly on a playground from Both of these things can strengthen your relationship.

Flexibility over consistency

It is often said that you need to be highly consistent to raise a child “properly”. But do you really need to? It is surprising how the apparent inconsistency can benefit the relationship with your child. You will learn that you have the right to make mistakes and to change your mind depending on the situation.

When we talk about the consequences in the context of raising children, we think about the results of something bad the child has done. Very often, we just call it punishment. By consequences, we can also mean perseverance and loyalty to the rules, which means that we always behave the same in a given situation. Especially as a single parent, you want to give your child a sense of security, and you often hear that everyday rituals bring peace and order. This is true. However, allow yourself not to become a prisoner of routine. When the child’s period of independence begins, show that not everything can be planned from A to Z and that her or his opinion also affects your plans.

Never say never

Do not say words like: never, everything and always. Create yourself space for changes. You should be flexible enough always to have another way out. If an idea doesn’t work, you can still try something different. Unfortunately, your plans will have to be continuously changed. Only flexibility will allow you to remain calm and cheerful in such conditions.

It means mobilizing forces despite unfavorable circumstances, failures and the ability to recover after a stressful situation quickly.

Single parent’s dilemmas

Naturally, you want your child to have everything it needs. However, sometimes you think that for many children, it is natural to have both parents, which yours can’t have somehow. You dwell on a thought that the parent’s absence and dealing with it is a great stress for the child. That the child invests a lot in the relationship with parents, and that the parent is not only a loved one but part of their personality. The only response for that is: don’t be that harsh for yourself. By studying the level of happiness of children, two groups of children were taken into account: raised by single parents and raised by both parents. Guess what. The same percentage of children declare that they have a happy childhood, regardless of what model of the family they were brought up in. Other studies have confirmed another truism – not quantity but quality matters.

It is essential to devote as much time and attention to your child as possible. Especially when you are introducing a new person into your lives, the child should gradually enter into relations with the next mum or dad’s partner. To be able to accept a new partner, first of all, he must see a happy parent. At the beginning, it is worth taming a child with a new situation. A serious conversation with the child should precede a new relationship. Until now, your child was the most important, beloved, spent the most time with us and co-decided on various matters. Show that coming changes won’t ruin his or her position.

Reading their needs

Children have a strong will to learn something new and to experience constantly. We should be aware of this, particularly in a situation where we notice a wall beautifully scratched with crayons. Instead of reacting with anger, we may think to provide the child with a larger (and well, maybe vertically arranged) surface to draw.

To be flexible is to love but also to demand. Therefore, flexibility may also refer to an increase in the severity temporarily. The current rule might allow playing loudly in the room, but during the illness of the parent, this rule is verified, and the child should exceptionally behave more quietly. The child learns that life is not uniform and that the needs of others should be taken into account.


The consistency often feels like a heavy burden, forcing us to obey the rules blindly. Life itself is not entirely consistent, and different circumstances require different responses. Flexibility, empathic presence and sensitivity work better in interpersonal relationships than regulations and prohibitions. By experiencing them, children learn that we love them unconditionally and build their self-esteem. In the future, they will grow up to be empathic, flexible and sensitive adults.

©Paula Sieracka

Wake Up Fresh: A Guide to Improving the Quality of Your Sleep

Sleep is one of the most restorative natural processes that our body requires in order to function and survive, which explains why we can start to struggle with the simplest of tasks when we have not had the rest that we need. Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important for our health and wellbeing as exercising regularly and following a balanced diet.

Therefore, if you are suffering from poor quality sleep, it is crucial that you do what you can to improve it. So, we have put together this guide full of tips and suggestions on how you can improve the quality of your sleep and wake up feeling fresh ready for the day ahead.

Get into a Sleep Routine

One of the best ways that you can effectively improve the quality of your sleep is by establishing a sleep routine that you can follow each night. Research has found that having a pre-sleep routine that helps to wind down your mind and body can make getting to sleep and staying asleep at night much easier.

So many of us spend the hours before bedtime completing tasks that we have not had time to do throughout the day. While this may seem like a productive use of your time, you are keeping your mind alert when it should be getting to switch off. Therefore, we recommend that you engage in relaxing activities such as reading and taking a hot bath instead.

Invest in a New Mattress

Being comfortable is everything when it comes to improving the quality of your sleep and you will find it impossible to have a good night’s sleep if you do not have a high-quality mattress. So many of us are guilty of keeping mattresses for much longer than they are intended for. Instead, you should upgrade your mattress as frequently as necessary.

It is important that you do not just consider the type of mattress you need to improve the quality of your sleep, but also the size of the mattress. If you share your bed with someone else, then a double bed may not be big enough for the two of you to be comfortable. Therefore, you may want to consider a split king so that you have the option to sleep together or apart.

Increase Your Exposure to Daylight  

We all have a natural body clock, known as your circadian rhythm, which is what tells us that it is time to be awake or to go to sleep. It affects your body, hormones, and brain, and natural sunlight during the day is what keeps your body clock healthy and aligned. Therefore, it is important that during the daytime, your body is exposed to as much daylight as possible. This will not only just help to improve your energy levels throughout the day but will also help sleep duration and quality during the night.

Limit Your Afternoon Naps

If you are suffering from broken and poor-quality sleep, then you can find yourself feeling tired and in need of a nap throughout the day. However, this can make getting to sleep at night even more difficult. A short power nap earlier in the day can sometimes be beneficial for your energy levels and brain function, but irregular naps during the afternoon can confuse your body clock and further damage your quality of sleep.

Poor quality sleep can be damaging for your overall health and wellbeing, which is why it is so important to get the sleep that your body needs. By making a few changes, you can get the rest you have been dreaming about!

Don’t feel like cooking but want a home-cooked meal? Black Bear Diner has you covered!

Don’t feel like cooking tonight? I had the opportunity to receive a Family Meal from the Black Bear Diner in Torrance and my family was quite impressed! Black Bear Diner has locations throughout California and is currently offering curbside and delivery service of the new Family Meals to make family life easier.

They have quite a variety of meal choices for either breakfast. lunch or dinner. I chose to try the Chicken Fried Steak Family Meal and it was delicious! It’s perfect for a family of 3 or 4 people and included 4 Bear Paw Chicken Fried Steaks with country gravy, 4 housemade cornbread muffins, and a choice of 2 sides. I chose the Mashed Potatoes and the Seasonal Veggies!

This was absolutely delicious!

Black Bear Diner’s specially priced Family Meals are hearty, home-style food for the whole family – including breakfast (helping remote working parents during busy mornings.) Family Meals include Bacon, Eggs & Pancakes and Roasted Turkey Dinner and serve 3-4. You can find the options on their website here:

I’m looking forward to trying one of their breakfast Family Meals soon! But, I really recommend their Chicken Fried Steak Family Meal which is $34.99. And, their chocolate cake is absolutely divine!

Don’t forget to order a slice of the Chocolate Cake! It’s big enough for 2!

You can find Black Bear Diner locations here.

Self Disclosure: I received a comped meal to facilitate this post but no other compensation was received and I highly recommend! Images by SoCal City Kids.

4 Tips to Take Best Pet Portrait Photo

Our pets might not have two legs and opposable thumbs, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t part of the family. Our furry friends have made their way into our lives, and we can’t bear to live without them. As with many other things we love, we want to capture precious moments on film, but this can be tricky. Follow our four tips for perfect pics.

Plan Your Sessions

Capturing candid shots of your pet might be difficult if you haven’t planned for it. They tend to move around a lot, and when you see that perfect moment, your camera or phone isn’t ready, and you miss it. Plan a time to take the photos, and decide on what kind of picture you want. 

If you’re going to have a pic of them relaxing, the best time would be in the evening when they are sleepy. Action shots are better when they are energized, so playing with your pets will bring those pictures to life. 

Try to take the photos in an environment that your pet is familiar with. If you’re in an unfamiliar place like a photo studio, your pet won’t be relaxed, and you might not get the desired effect.

Light and Shutterspeed

Use natural light as much as possible, and don’t worry too much about complicated lighting setups. Bright lights might frighten your pets and could create a red-eye effect in the photos. If the weather outside is clear, you can consider taking pictures in your garden.

Pets move, especially dogs, so action shots are challenging to take if you don’t use fast shutter speeds. You will more likely get a blur instead of an image when using slow shutters. This means that you would need a decent digital camera to take these kinds of shots. A smartphone simply won’t work.  

Level Down

Most of the time, we look at our pets from above, and photos at that angle are not that flattering. If you have a small dog, you could try putting it on the couch, with you sitting on the floor beside it to capture them from the front. With bigger dogs, you might need to lay on your belly to get the perfect shot. The idea is to take the photo from eye-level or lower. 

Attention Grabbers

Once you have your pet in the right place and at the right time, you want them to focus on you. To do so, you need to grab their attention. For dogs, a treat out of camera range might do the trick. For cats, a toy on a string will pique their interest. If you have a partner helping you, then let them stand behind or next to you with the treat. 

In this way, your hands are free to take the photo. Be patient, and as soon as you see the picture you like, start snapping away. Don’t only take one photo. Take a whole bunch so that later you can decide which one is the best to keep. 

A beautiful way to immortalize them is to have the photo converted to a panting. If that’s something you like, then you could go to Instapainting or other sites to get amazing portraits.

Final Thoughts

Pet portrait photos are precious memories that will stay with us long after they’re gone. It’s worth the effort to get that perfect shot. If you struggle with doing it yourself, consider hiring a photographer to come to your house. Either way, have it done while your pets are still with you.

Books of the week!

Do you have a young child who is fearful of going to the Doctor? Do Penguins Have Pediatricians? is a wonderful picture book for young children that will help ease the fear of going to the Doctor!

Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. would like to introduce 

Do Penguins Have Pediatricians?

by Patrick O’Donnell
Illustrated by Erik Mehlen

On the way to a doctor checkup, a young child asks an important question: Do animals that live in really cold places ever get sick? From the same author as Did Dinosaurs Have Dentists?, this picture book uses Arctic and Antarctic creatures to lessen anxiety about the doctor. Can penguins catch pneumonia? Can a caribou get chicken pox? By introducing ailments through charmingly drawn animals, this humorous look at common childhood illnesses will ease the fears and worries many kids have about visiting the doctor. The colorfully illustrated story contains 14 common terms related to children’s health, as well as a glossary of fun, scientific facts about each of the animals featured.

STRETCH MARKS by  Amber Trueblood is the perfect book for all Moms to read!

 It’s a truly fantastic guide for moms who feel like their own needs, interests, and dreams have been lost in the mom journey. Amber has developed AMAZING, relevant tools that actually help. She mixes hilarious and ridiculous personal stories with scientific data, smashing guilt-inducing iShoulds, silencing self-judgement, and uncovering Baloney Beliefs that can help reveal what is truly important to all moms. The book is a quick read and small enough to toss in a purse or work bag for when little pick-me-ups are needed. It’s must-read right now while the safe at home order is in effect!

STRETCH MARKS is available on, Barnes & Noble and wherever eBooks and paperbacks are sold!

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this feature. Images were also provided.

BOGO Memorial Day Meals at Rubio’s!

Rubio’s Offers Military & Veterans Free BOGO Meal on Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, with locations across California, Arizona and Nevada, invites military and veterans to enjoy one free adult entree, with the purchase of another adult entree. Simply bring military ID and show the coupon

Rubio’s Coastal Grill is also featuring Family Weekend Deals – two entrees for $15, or four entrees for $30. Guests simply enter the coupon code when ordering through the app or online at, or scan the QR code for in-store orders, Friday, May 22 – Monday, May 25.

Operations at Rubio’s have shifted greatly due to COVID-19. While food safety and cleanliness have always been a top priority at Rubio’s, new initiatives include tamper-proof seals on all delivery orders, daily health checks for all team members, protective face coverings and gloves, extensive sanitizing and disinfecting of restaurants, strict social distancing protocols inside and outside, and contact-free curbside or express pickup and delivery. Guests are encouraged to order through the Rubio’s app and Rubio’s is offering free delivery on all orders of $15 or more. For more information about Rubio’s Coastal Grill and to view the menu, visit Rubio’sFacebook and Instagram.

Credit: Rubio’s.

pediped Memorial Day sales – Memorial Day Sale


Offer: 20% off Entire Site
Sunday May 24- Tuesday May 26 at 11:59PST – Memorial Weekend Sale

Code: HONOR2020
Offer: 20% off entire site – can not be combined with other coupon codes
Friday May 22-Tuesday May 26 at 11:59PM PST

Don’t miss the sale!!

Credit: Courtesy of pediped.

Scoob! * Great Family Movie with Terrific Characters and an Amazing Mystery

Scooby-Doo is the hero of his own story in “SCOOB!,” the first full-length, theatrical animated Scooby-Doo adventure, which reveals how he and his best friend Shaggy became two of the world’s most beloved crime busters. The story takes us back to where it all began, when a young Scooby and Shaggy first meet, and team up with Velma, Daphne, and Fred to launch Mystery Incorporated. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Zoinks, this movie is terrific! The storyline is creative and entertaining and there is wonderful character development that is unique to this movie versus the cartoon episodes we all grew up with.”  Tiana S. adds, “  SCOOB! is a hilarious, action-packed and adventurous animated movie based on the original Scooby Doo cartoon. This movie is a cool, updated version and includes cell phones and references to some of the current stores, such as IKEA and Wal-Mart.” Cadence G. wraps it up with, “I like SCOOB! because it has an amazing mystery and the characters are really cute. It’s cool that they have their own opinions about pretty much everything, yet are still good friends. This film is full of action and also has some touching scenes that that will make you feel emotional.” See their full reviews below.


By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Grab your Scooby Snacks and get ready for a Scoob-tasic adventure. Zoinks, this movie is terrific! The storyline is creative and entertaining and there is wonderful character development that is unique to this movie versus the cartoon episodes we all grew up with.  

Scoob! is about the never-before-heard origin of the Mystery Inc. gang and how Shaggy (Will Forte) and Scooby Doo (Frank Welker) met. After a montage of solving mysteries, we see the gang wanting to expand and we get to follow them on their biggest mystery yet. Only their friendship can save them. 

I LOVE The Scooby Doo Franchise! And Scoob! is no exception. I remember watching the show and wondering how the Mystery Inc. gang got together. And now, in Scoob! we finally learn the answer. The animation is super vivid and creative. Everywhere you look, there is an “Easter Egg.” For example, the names of streets and stores are names of people associated with Hanna-Barbera.  The cast includes children of some of the adult actors. The characters’ voices are cast to perfection.

Frank Welker has a fantastic snack-loving dog voice and has been the voice of Scooby Doo for nearly 20 years. Will Forte has a hilarious hippy voice; Amanda Seyfried (Daphne) has a magnificent, kind and caring tone in her voice; and Gina Rodriguez (Velma) has an excellent voice portraying wit, intelligence and quite a bit of sarcasm.  My favorite character is (SURPRISE) Scooby, because he is such a sweet dog and, as Frank Welker says, “When he talks, I’m not even sure I am listening to a dog talking like a human, or a human talking like a dog.” I agree.  But a close second is the villain of the movie (no spoiler here) because his name, his voice and his appearance are just perfect for a bad guy. 

The key message of this movie is about the power of friendship. This movie has mild bad language and some magic scenes that may be scary for a younger audience.

Jinkies, I give Scoob! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Adults will love this as well. Scoob! is available online May 15, 2020. #SCOOBMOVIENIGHT


By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

SCOOB! is a hilarious, action-packed and adventurous animated movie based on the original Scooby Doo cartoon. This movie is a cool, updated version and includes cell phones and references to some of the current stores, such as IKEA and Wal-Mart. There are so many funny scenes in this movie that the whole family will love.

In SCOOB!, the entire Mystery Inc. team from Scooby Doo returns to solve more mysteries. We learn how Shaggy, Scooby, Velma, Daphne and Fred originally met one Halloween night. The team then goes on several adventures while trying to solve mysteries. Their biggest mission is when Velma, Daphne and Fred find out that Shaggy and Scooby are missing, and they go on a quest to find their lost friends. They need to stop the villain, Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs), from capturing Scooby and using him to open up the gates so he can steal the treasure of the underworld.

The lead characters are Shaggy (Will Forte), Scooby (Frank Welker), Velma (Gina Rodriguez), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried) and Fred (Zac Efron). It was interesting to learn what role each of them had in the group. For example, Velma is the “brains” of the team. The costumes are amazing and spot on to the originals. Scooby even gets an upgrade and gets to wear a great superhero costume in the movie. There is a lot of great music from different eras and it takes place in Venice, California. It is really clever that the movie starts with Dr. Dre and Tupac’s song, “California Love.” The special effects are realistic and make you feel as if you are in the movie. One of the coolest parts of the movie is when other Hanna Barbara characters such as, Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg), Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) and Dee Dee Sykes (Kiersey Clemmons) show up to help save Shaggy and Scooby. A great surprise is when American Idol’s, Simon Cowell (Simon Cowell) appears in the movie. I love how current events are used in the movie, especially the joke they include about how Simon is responsible for giving the world Kelly Clarkson.

The message in SCOOB! is all about friendship. The cast uses the phrase “friendship saves the day” throughout the film. Anytime the Mystery Inc. team needs to solve a case, they do it together. This movie is PG and, even though there isn’t a lot for parents to look out for, there are two scenes that could be mistaken for inappropriate language.

SCOOB! is PAW-tastic and a film you definitely want to see. You may even find yourself dancing while watching it. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 5 to 18. Adults will love it too. This movie is available on video on demand now, so grab your Scooby Snacks and order it today!

By Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I like SCOOB! because it has an amazing mystery and the characters are really cute. It’s cool that they have their own opinions about pretty much everything, yet are still good friends. This film is full of action and also has some touching scenes that that will make you feel emotional.

This animated film is about a gang that meets on Halloween when they are young and they solve their first mystery. Then they start solving mysteries all the time. When they grow up, they try to find an investor to support their mystery-solving business. Simon Cowell (Simon Cowell) meets the crew in a diner and says he won’t give them any money if Shaggy (Will Forte) and Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) are part of the business, since he believes a group is only as strong as its weakest link. Shaggy and Scooby go off bowling on their, but wind up getting chased by evil robots. They get transported to Blue Falcon’s (Mark Wahlberg) ship and meet Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) and Dee Dee Sykes (Kiersey Clemons). The group gets chased by the robots who are controlled by Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs)—a bad guy that wants to take Scooby and open the gate to the underworld. You’ll have to watch to see if Dick successfully opens the gate.

All the characters are so funny; each one has its own little personality. Fred (Zac Efron) isn’t the smartest guy, but he’s the cutest. Velma (Gina Rodriguez), on the other hand, is probably the smartest person ever. The group relies on each other to solve problems. To me, that’s pretty cool. My favorite part is when Shaggy and Scooby sing “Shallow” to Simon Cowell. It is so funny because they are definitely not good singers. But I love it because “Shallow” is my favorite song.

The message of the film is to trust your friends. Even when they mess up, you should have their back. It kind of reminds me that sometimes I mess up and I want my friends to support me still.

I give SCOOB! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. I also think adults will like this film—especially if they used to watch the animated shows when they were kids. SCOOB! is available now online, so go look for it!