Entries Tagged 'Family' ↓
September 24th, 2008 — Family
If you feel that you at a loss to help your child with their study habits, there is good news. There are tried and true strategies that will help!
1. Create a quiet study area. Begint by deciding where the best place is to study and do homework, and then set up a study environment. Be careful about where you decide your child will study because whatever the designated location chosen for the study base is, how a study “headquarters” is set up affects one’s ability to stay focused. Be sure to include a desk and accessories, various study aids, materials, a filing system in place for class materials, and good lighting.
2. Storage repositories are necessary to organize various school materials. These can include: subject accordion-type files or file folders that stand in a cardboard box or portable plastic file container; cardboard cubbyholes for paper supplies; cardboard or plastic shoe boxes in a drawer to stash supplies; tray baskets or bicycle baskets for paper. Use wall shelves, under the bed storage containers, and hanging space on the inside of cupboard and closet doors to add extra storage space.
3. Remove all distractions. Is the study area in a high-volume area? How often are there interruptions from people moving about? Is the TV on? How about the telephone? Try to be free from disturbances and outside noise as best as possible.
4. Set up a disciplined homework routine. Determine when is the best time for studies. What is the time of day when they are at peak performance (mentally most alert)? Part of learning to manage time is to create a routine time of day for studying, at the same time every day.
Parents with Younger Kids:
5. Create an award chart. Devise a clever method to give kids some incentive to do their schoolwork, by rewarding them for completing assignments and achieving good grades.
6. Use tools to motivate and encourage learning. If you can afford to, get a computer. Research shows that kids who master computers will learn faster. There are many fun learning software programs that will stimulate your child’s mind to learn.
7. Make reading fun. Set up “reading time” together to help develop reading habits in your kids. Do this often enough and this will become a good habit.
For the older students:
8. Create a school bulletin board. Draw up a vertical calendar chart on a magnetic and erasable board, just like the ready-made charts for professionals that are available in a variety of formats. This board will break down assignments into component parts with specific tasks involved in the school project. This method will teach your kids to plan. Include time to study for exams on the board.
9. Maintain a daily schedule. Establish daily schedule forms to delegate the amount of time needed for the most important study priorities. Allow for blocks of time for study periods (i.e., math assignment, science paper). Include appointments, errands, and time off in each of your days, as well.
10. Prepare for good study conditions. Determine your best settings for study. Do you study best alone or with friends? With music or quietly? You might find it helpful to set up a study group to improve one’s studies.
11. Take good notes. Organize for class by taking careful notes and organizing them in notebook binders. Outlining a textbook or article helps distinguish the most important facts and points, helping to build up a good understanding of the subject.
12. Establish visuals from reading. A horizontal or vertical timeline will help visualize the chronology and remember the relationship of essential world events. Build a concept tree to help make notes more memorable and present a visual representation of the relationship among several essential facts.
13. Build an indexing system. Design a note card system. This will cut the time it takes to research and organize your term paper. Establish a list of resources by category (magazine articles, encyclopedias, books, newspapers, etc.)
For more home organization tips and advice, check out these articles
home organization ideas
declutter my house tips
declutter your home
September 20th, 2008 — Family
Anger can be a paralyzing and debilitating condition. But it can be a terrifying and degrading experience for your child if you’re taking your anger out on them. Physical and verbal abuse of a child can have lasting and serious implications, so it’s crucial that as a parent, you do whatever is necessary to keep your anger in check.
As a parent, you have a wonderful opportunity to undo the wrongs that were done to you as a child if you had an angry and abusive parent or parents. It can be very curative and demonstrate to you where your troubles lie are and inspire you to fix them. Maybe your past is filled with unresolved hurt and anger. If so, take the necessary steps to heal yourself. If you don’t, you could unwillingly and unthinkingly harm your child. Studies have shown that children whose mothers often express anger are more likely to be hard to discipline. Identify problems from your past and honestly look at current situations that are angering you. Perhaps you aren’t fulfilled at work; perhaps your partner and you are having relationship troubles, maybe you have other personal issues or unfulfilled goals that are worrying you. If all your child ever sees is your angry face and hears an angry voice, that’s what they’ll most likely grow into too.
It’s vital to ‘pick your battles’ when parenting. Accidents and nuisances don’t warrant the energy and agony it takes to get angry. And this is certainly true when it comes to potty training your toddler. You just have to accept that some accidents will happen. There is no point getting angry or frustrated. One way to make toilet training much easier and less stressful is to follow a program
toilet training boys
potty training tips
tips for potty training boys
These articles are packed with practical advice. And don’t worry if some of the articles are specifically aimed at little boys. The advice works just as well if you want to potty train a little girl.
But misbehaviors such as a child hurting themselves, others or property require a firm, quick and appropriate response from you.
You will probably have to constantly remind yourself that the small stuff isn’t worth getting worked up over. And keep reminding yourself also that you’re the one in control of your anger; don’t let your anger control you. Put yourself in time out, take a deep breath, walk away, do whatever you have to in order to get a grip on yourself before addressing the situation if you feel your anger coming on strong.
September 19th, 2008 — Family
For some, the idea of a budget is often a blur. It is frustrating to see how hard it is to do a budget and realizing that with one wrong purchase, you can actually ruin the entire thing. And this has been a perennial headache for most homemakers.
It is about time to overhaul the way people look at budgeting. It can actually be a great way to keep track of your family’s expenditures and help you evaluate the things that you spend the lion’s share of the family’s earnings on.
No Fret Family Budget
What is a budget? A budget is a tool for handling your finances by controlling the family’s expenditures in a way that money is enough for paying up bills, and still ensuring that savings are set aside for future expenses – vacations, or children’s education, or even for retirement.
Try these simple steps in preparing a no fret family budget, and see the benefits of intelligent spending.
1. Gather three months of your pay stubs and get your average monthly earnings.
2. Get out three months of your monthly bills. Do this for the fixed expenses like the rent, phone bill, car payments and other loans that come monthly. Add them up and get the average. Do the same for other expenses like groceries, and credit card bills.
3. Evaluate the results of your computations. Looking at your average monthly earnings against your monthly fixed expenses and other monthly expenses, think of some ways to economize. Cut back on some items that are somehow unnecessary.
4. Knowing the facts of your income and expenses, develop a family budget and try to stick to this monthly budget.
5. Now that you have a monthly budget, set up a savings account. Save up by making regular deposits to this account.
6. Keep track of this monthly family budget just to see if it is working for you. Try to fine-tune the “rough edges” of this budget as you go along.
7. If you can get hold of a personal budgeting software or spreadsheet application to keep record of your budget, the better. This will make organizing your expenses very easy.
These are the basic steps in developing and implementing a no fret, easy to stick to monthly family budget. Of course each family has diverse needs and wants. You have the freedom to develop your own monthly family budget, depending on your familys financial background and needs. No matter how you do it, just focus on the end result, which is building a savings that leads to a bright and financially stable future for your family. More on Family Budget Resources.
September 18th, 2008 — Family
Finding a suitable person for the nanny job is great, but do you even realize what you would like them to provide for you? What type of help do you wish? When do you need assistance? All of these things are essential to consider when hiring a nanny.
Do you require a full time nanny? A full time nanny will cost you more. Since most full time nannies live in your home, you’ll have to have the room to accommodate them. Also, you’ll need to determine a working schedule, as even nannies will require time off.
A full time nanny does offer many advantages, though. For example, they may have longer hours and more time off during the middle of the day when the child is at school. Or, they may be able to provide more complete child care since they are living at the location.
Do you wish a nanny that works at your home but then leaves daily? In this case, the costs are going to be reduced because the nanny will not be there for bedtime or other such events.
A part time nanny is great solution for those that are looking for someone to help after school and until bedtime, or during the day for younger kids. These individuals will come into the home and provide child care as you define and will meet the child’s care needs during the time they are there. Naturally, the cost of a part time nanny is lower and they do not generally live in your home.
One thing that many parents assume is that if they have a nanny then the nanny will be providing in home cleaning services as well as child rearing. This is not something that comes with the package and may cost you more to find a nanny/housekeeper rolled into one.
When you hire a nanny, have realistic expectations. If you are hiring someone to come into your home and take care of your child’s every need, communicate this. But, realize too that they are not magicians that have magical solutions for all problems that are going to arise. They will provide services to you that are directed by you, not just off the cuff.
Another realistic expectation to have is that of the role that the nanny will play. In most cases, a nanny is not someone that will be filling in for a parent. They don’t handle running a home either. Things like cleaning, cooking, chores and doing your grocery shopping are not things that you are hiring a nanny to do. Rather, their job is to take care of the child.
The job of a nanny is child care. Nannies will be okay with doing some cleaning up in situations where the child has been the one to make the mess. But, it is rare to find a nanny that will agree to run your household for you. If this is something that you are after in the nanny, finding someone who can accurately and completely handle each of these roles will be hard and must be sought carefully. Often, one or the other roles will falter.
If your child will soon be at an age when they will require to be potty trained it is essential that everyone involved is following the same program. To do otherwise will simply confuse the toddler.
Discover more about the best toilet training methods and approaches
potty training toddlers
potty training tips
potty training boys
Remember, toilet training a toddler does not have to be a stressful expeerience for either parent or child. Although the above articles may appear to be directed at parents of boys, the advice applies equally well if you have to toilet train a little girl.
September 18th, 2008 — Family
Have you ever heard those familiar words, “I’m bored,” coming from the mouth of a child? If so, then childrens crafts could be the solution. Provide the children with craft materials and boredom will soon be a thing of the past. Read on for ideas on childrens crafts.
Essential materials for kidswill usually include paper, crayons, glue and safe scissors. Paper for childrens crafts could include construction paper, plain computer paper, cardstock of various colors, and many other options. Even junk mail and old magazines can make interesting art projects. Crayons are nice for younger kids, but the stores now sell with many other options, including washable dry-erase markers, gel pens and watercolor pencils. Kidcrafts items can be quite expensive even on a tight budget there are many possibilities.
Other materials children can craft with include found objects and recycled junk. By recycled junk, I mean empty cereal boxes, toothpaste boxes, cardboard from packaging, plastic containers, and even tin cans. If you allow children to craft with tin cans, however, you need to make sure the open edge of the can doesn’t have any sharp edges. You must file these off or squeeze them flat with a pair of pliers.
Found objectscould include leaves, twigs, rocks, and other items in nature a child could discover. Maybe there is a sheep farm in the neighborhood. If so, wool scraps can often be discovered stuck to the barbed wire fences. Any or all of these items could be utilized in childrens crafts.
One of the most fun and popular childrens crafts is creating a collage. Kids can glue materials down when creating a collage. It’s best to use a heavy paper for the background, and then let the creativity start! For an additional challenge, a collage can be made around a theme, such as food, animals, or babies. Old magazines can be searched for just the right images, which can be cut out and glued onto the background. The older kid may wish to cut out details from magazine features and reassemble them in new and interesting ways. They could cut out interesting words and headlines and add them too.
Younger childrens crafts may include collages created from glued down pasta, beans, ice lolly sticks, leaves, and many other materials. Don’t forget about glitter, too. If your budget permits only a few child crafts splurges, remember that children of all ages, especially girls, really like creating artwork that includes glitter. But whether your children are boys or girls, young or older, suggest some kid crafts the next time your children say they are bored!
And what about a hobby that you can sahre with your kids. Face painting fits the bill
face painting designs
simple face painting designs
these articles are sure to inspire you to what to learn to face paint. Think of the fun you could have at birthday parties, special holidays in particular Halloween. Your children, and their friends, will love your face painting creations.
September 16th, 2008 — Family
For many parents, organizing the kids to do chores, put things away in proper designated places, be respectful and civil can be a most daunting task. With such frustration, some parents may resort to anger, threats and even name-calling.
Anger can seem to be suitable on occasions, but if a parent sinks into a routine pattern of resentment and negativity toward a child’s lack of compliance, it could result in real damage to the child’s self-concept and well being. No parent wants that.
Nothing breeds unwillingness and apathy more than being made to feel accused and inadequate. Think of a time when you were made to feel that way. Did it make you want to improve at all? Of course, it did not.
Create an enthusiastic atmosphere with your children. How do you do that? Get your children excited about rewards they will get if they clean up their rooms, keep the house tidy and do their chores. Let them know that they are appreciated and how a family is a co-operative unit for the wellbeing of everyone. Bring this across to them in various ways. They will feel loved and a valuable part of the family. Teach them to earn their place by being a contributing part of it.
Introduce a point system that adds up to an allowance that lets the children spend their money the way they want to. They love this! This empowers them! If they want that trip to the roller rink or some other new possession that is really important to them, they know getting it will be a direct result of their efforts. This teaches them value for your efforts.
Be encouraging. Do not make them feel poorly if they mess up, but when they do, absolutely, take the reward points away. Let them know there is always next time, and let them know they can do better, but do not sway in your stance. It has to be as real as if they were going to a real job and being paid for their production. The rules agreed to have to be kept, no matter what and they have to know it’s firm but fair. It has to directly affect what they consider to be important to them and in how they are directly affected by it.
Those well-to-do families and their children have so much – perhaps too much! It’s all there without any effort on their parts, and they don’t have to earn a thing. They just take it all for granted. Make incentives that are particularly important to them and let them learn the lesson that participation equals real reward.
Tasks to earn rewards can change, week by week, and with multiple kids the highest point winner can take the pick of the favorite chores and the lowest point winner gets the ones that are left over. Make it a realistic approach for each child according to age and ability to have their fair chance to win.
Do they have their own reasons and incentive to keep their bedrooms and the play areas clean? Talk it over with them; ask them for instances of how it could be more meaningful for them. Subtly guide them to discover for themselves what reasons the clean room, etc. would serve their best needs.
If they want to earn extra points to gain something special or to catch up if behind, make available extra tasks above and beyond the call of duty. This will help them do that, such as taking over one of the parent’s tasks for a time or doing a special project for the home and family.
Bringing up our children is a really tough job. Even miracles can occur with the right attitude, good communication and good systems! Bring up your child to respect you and to earn their way and you will have a naturally organized household.
For advice on the best ways to go about organizing and de-cluttering a home, check out these articles
home organization tips
declutter my house
home organizer tips
September 13th, 2008 — Family
25 Meaningful Ideas for Families
This list of tips and advice will help you to preserve piece in your families. More families tips on the way.
1. Go for a family nature walk near your home to collect seasonal items that you can use in your holiday decor. If you live near a forest, the obvious choices are pine boughs and pinecones.
2. Make a few handmade holiday cards this year as a family.
3. Make appreciation cards. Replace the annual Christmas letter in your holiday cards with a brief letter of appreciation for the recipient.
4. Create or shop for an ornament that reflects a defining event or sentiment for the year.
5. Enjoy a Family Night with special holiday crafts or games.
6. Start a Christmas-themed puzzle. A puzzle table, placed in a quiet room is great for holiday visitors. Whenever your guests want to get away from the action, they can retreat to work on the puzzle.
7. Play special music. What is everyone’s favorite holiday CD? Allow each family member to choose and keep them in the CD changer so everyone’s musical taste is represented.
8. Take a photo of your children standing in a particular spot each year – in front of the tree, by the front door – any place that will be consistent from year to year. Make a special holiday ornament or scrapbook album that depicts the growth and change of your family each year.
9. Research the holiday traditions of your nationality. Adopt a few of these traditions into your annual celebration each year to celebrate your heritage.
10. Ask each child to write a Dear Santa letter. Keep a special record of these letters in an album or treasure box.
11. Create an evening tradition of taking a family walk or drive in your neighborhood to view the holiday lights.
12. Cut snowflakes from wrapping paper, festive holiday advertisements, or last year’s holiday cards, and string them together into a festive garland.
13. Adopt a special cause each year and spend some time as a family helping those in need, or raising or donating money for a charity of your choice.
14. What are your favorite holiday memories? Pose the question tonight at the dinner table. Use your family’s answers to plan this year’s celebration. You may be surprised at the special memories that have nothing to do with gifts or elaborate events.
15. For fifteen minutes, write down things in your life that you are grateful for. Ask each of your family members to join you in creating their own lists.
16. Bundle up and head outside. Make snow angels or build a snow fort with your kids.
17. What’s your favorite homemade holiday treat? Write down the recipe, and share it with your friends. Encourage them to do the same.
18. Challenge each member of your family to fill a box or bag full of items to give away. Decide as a family where to make a donation.
19. What was the best book you read this year? With whom would you most like to share its message? Purchase a copy for them and drop it off, anonymously.
20. Take your family to a performance of The Nutcracker. Purchase a CD or DVD of the Nutcracker to bring the memories home.
21. The holidays can take their toll. Make a holiday tradition of recharging your own batteries. Gather your daughter and your best friend and head to the day spa for a much deserved pedicure or massage.
22. Reach out to those whom you haven’t seen all year.
23. Keep a “Joy Journal” this holiday season, in which you record the funny things your kids say, joyful times you share, your favorite things to do with your family.
24. Give small and simple gifts (homemade cookies or a small book) to a few of the people who make your everyday life easier, such as the trash collector and postal carrier.
25. Share your family traditions with friends and ask them to tell you about the family traditions that make their holidays sweeter.
For those who are in big problems, think about way to finding a marriage counselor, this can help a lot if you know how to make a wise choice of the specialist.
September 11th, 2008 — Family
How much will it cost to hire a nanny?
One thing to remember is that the location you are in and the type of service that you are requiring will determine the actual cost of a nanny. There isn’t a by hour rate that works for everyone of every skill and need.
Geography is the first thing that will determine the cost of a nanny. The more influential the location or the more costly the living expenses, the more costly it will be in those areas to hire a nanny for your daughter or son.
The education and experience of the nanny is the next deciding factor. Naturally, you get what you pay for in these features. If you are looking for someone that is well experienced and has a great resume, you can count on paying more for their services. On the other hand, someone new out of school would cost you less.
The pay and benefits of a nanny vary, but we have some guidelines for you to think about.
Beginning nannies that live in your home will range from $250 to $500 per week.
Those that are fully trained and have experience are likely to require a salary that ranges from $450 to well over $1200 a week.
For a nanny that doesn’t live with you, or one that works part time, you can expect rates to be dependant on hours and needs. Part time workers can earn $9 per hour to $25 per hour or more, depending on their qualifications.
Most nannies will require a benefits package too. Remember, they are an employee of yours and those employment benefits should come with working for you.
For live in nannies, it will be necessary to provide them with a private room to live in, usually with a proivate bathroom too. Free room and board is a condition of virtually all live in nanny contracts.
For time off, the nanny should receive at least two weeks per year of vacation time. Also, major holidays are usually provided without work. Many families will provide health care insurance to their nannies too.
Sometimes, if the nanny is required to drive the child from place to place, the nanny will also require the use of a car while working.
Another consideration of the nanny and the work that he or she does for you is the work schedule. If you have a live in nanny, you may think that the nanny would be working any time that the child is around. The fact is that a nanny is like any other employee, needs a schedule that is fair and appropriate.
In most cases, a nanny will work from 40 to 60 hours. If the nanny is required to work over these hours, the family should provide extra pay, such as overtime or should give some additional time off later in the week.
Hourly employees will face the same restrictions on hours as the live in or full time nannies. The difference here is that the nanny will likely earn an hourly rate, which in most States have a maximum number of hours per week worked before overtime rates will kick in. You’ll need to check with your State’s Department of Labor website to find this information out.
Again, all of these things need to be taken into consideration during the hiring phase.
Taxes are yet another consideration of the hiring of a nanny. Because you are employing them, you will be required to pay taxes for them. This includes Social Security taxes, Federal Income Taxes and any state or local earnings that are required to be paid in your State.
You’ll need to gather this information from your local governmental offices to find out how to register for tax payments and what you will need to actually pay, how much and how often.
The good news is that there are many accounting software products that have built in features that can help you to manage your staff including your nanny services.
When hiring a nanny it is important that they agree how the child is to be cared for. For example if your toddler is about to be potty trained the nany must follow the same routine as you. Other wise, your child will just be confused. Consistency of approach is vital
potty training boys
potty training tips
potty training boys
The advice in these articles work just as well whether you are toilet training a little girl or boy.
September 11th, 2008 — Family
Babies that are breast fed are very portable and easy to comfort no matter where your schedule has you going. Many new mothers however, worry about breast feeding in public. The worry of nursing in a public place is normally worse than the actual experience and often the only people who notice you feeding are the other mothers who
are doing the same thing.
Many mothers find ways to breast feed discreetly. You can ask your partner or even a friend to stand in front of you while you lift your shirt from the waist. When you breast feed, the baby’s body will cover most of your upper body and you can pull your shirt down to their face to cover the tops of your breast. Some mothers like to put a light blanket over their shoulders as a type of cover.
When you are visiting someone else’s home, you may feel more comfortable either leaving the room or turning away from people when you first put the baby to your breast. If you want more privacy, breast feed in an empty room, car, or public restroom.
A lot of restrooms are becoming more child friendly and they even have a seperate area with a changing table and a chair. Several shopping malls now offer special mother’s rooms where a mom can breast feed her baby in privacy, which will help sensitive babies who are too distracted by feeding to nurse well in public. It won’t take long at all though, before your baby will learn to breast feed without any fuss at all.
An alternative way is expressing or pumping your milk at home and then offer it in a bottle while in public. Keep in mind, offering bottles with artificial nipples in the first few weeks can and probably will interfere with breast feeding.
When breast feeding in public, you should always use what works best for you. During the first few weeks, it will take some getting used to, as it will be as new for you as it is for the baby. With some time, you’ll have no problems at all.
If you don’t feel comfortable breast feeding in a certain location, then you shouldn’t. You should feel a certain level of comfort when you feed, as the baby can tell when you aren’t comfortable doing something. If you show your baby that you aren’t nervous – you and your baby will be just fine.
Other Child care Advice:
The key to successfully potty train a toddler begins long before they are developed enough to be using a potty. This is known as pre-potty training. Learn more
potty training boys
potty training tips
tips for potty training boys
September 8th, 2008 — Family
Being new to the South means being new to greens. When we go to potlucks here in the South there are always a variety of mixed greens. I’m just learning the difference between a good mixed greens dish and a really savory mixed greens dish. Of course, you have to learn your greens. Once you know what greens are, then you have to get the tang and the sweet just right. That takes some doing! And it doesn’t hurt to ask for a little help from someone who knows their greens. There are a lot of good cooks here in the South who are more than happy to share their wisdom with you. Remember, flattery will get you everywhere so be sure to eat your greens and compliment the cook. You’ll walk away with the best mixed greens recipes you could possibly want.