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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Everything: How to Transition Your Kids after a Move



Moving can be really tough on kids. They have to leave their friends and adjust to a completely new school and environment. As a parent, you have to make the transition as easy as possible for your child. If you help your child with the transition, she will feel less scared. Here are some tips on how to help your child transition after a move. 

Throw a Going Away Party

Think about throwing a going away party before you move. Invite family members and your child’s friends to this party. During this party, your child can officially say goodbye to everyone and exchange contact information.

Go To New Neighborhood Beforehand

If the neighborhood you are moving to is not too far away, you should visit it with your child beforehand. Just drive around the neighborhood so that your child will become more familiar with his new environment. Walk around the different parks in the neighborhood and bring a picnic lunch. Do not be afraid to start talking to people in the neighborhood. For example, if you are at a grocery store, do not hesitate to introduce yourself to the cashier and tell her about your move. If your child visits the new neighborhood beforehand, he will feel more comfortable about moving there.


Visit the New School before His First Day 

It is likely that your child feels pretty nervous about going to a new school, so you should visit the new school with him a few days before his first day. Walk through the school with him and meet with the principal, teachers and other staff members. Encourage your child to talk to the school personnel and ask questions. If your child gets a chance to meet his teacher and principal beforehand, he will feel much more comfortable on his first day of school.


Seek Out After School Activities

Help your child make a lot of new friends by seeking out after school activities. For example, if your child is athletic, you should sign him up to play baseball or basketball after school. If he is the artistic type, you can sign him up for a painting or pottery class. 

 Get Them Involved with Moving

Kids will feel better if they can get involved with the moving process. Give them a box to put all their favorite toys in, so they know where all their favorite things are when unpacking. Have them meet the movers, and show them the moving truck, storage unit or other means that will help you move. They will feel more comfortable if they are involved in the entire process.

Getting used to a new town and school might be difficult for your child at first, but he will get used to it. If you do everything you can to help transition him after the move, he will be just fine. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Safety First: 5 Ways to Make Technology Safer for Your Young Ones


Today's world is a technological one full of computers, mp3 players, and a large assortment of electronic devices of all kinds. This technological world has infiltrated children's lives. Technology has many advantages for children, but in order for them to use it safely, there are several precautions you should take. Here are five ways to make technology safer for your little ones.
 

Try it Out for Yourself

There are numerous applications and programs that are designed for children. They claim that they are able to block any and all content that is unsuitable for them. Though they might be able to do a pretty good job, if you don't test out the program for yourself, you cannot be sure. Every new program or application that comes out should be tested personally to protect your children. Trusting something without testing it yourself is not a good idea.

Don't Have Devices in Bedrooms

In order to keep your children from playing online games all night long or looking at material that is unsuitable for their age, it is best to keep their computer, TVs, and all other devices in a common room shared by the family. The living room or multi-purpose room are both good places to put them. Regardless of what room you decide to place them in, they need to be in an area where you can have a clear view of the device's screen. This will help you monitor your child's activities.

Use Protective Cases

Another way to make technology fun and to keep your expensive electronic devices safe is to use leather cases. Children tend to be rough with devices, so getting leather ipad cases to protect your ipad will keep it from getting broken or damaged by your children.

Don't Forget Parental Controls

Almost every device has software with parental control capabilities. Whether it's a computer operating system or a smartphone OS, you need to check the manual and implement the parental controls to protect your children from questionable material. This way they can have fun using devices and be safe, too.

Make Rules to Limit Usage

Another good way to protect your children is to make house rules concerning device usage. Children are learning to use devices at younger and younger ages, so be sure you limit the amount of time they can go online and use electronics at an early age. Also speak with them about what material they are allowed to view and what is not appropriate for them and why they shouldn't view it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pure and Simple: 4 Strategies To Help Your Baby Avoid Unhealthy Chemicals

1. Use Organic Soaps And Lotions

A baby's skin is both sensitive and precious and needs to be protected from the harsh chemicals that are in many soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions. Anything that is going to be touching a child, including lotions, needs to be carefully inspected for ingredients. Even seemingly innocuous ingredients can be dangerous to an infant, which means that it's important to use products that have the least amount of additives. 

Organic products are the best bet at keeping a baby happy and safe, and there are also many natural, wholesome items that can be used in place of more complex products, such as natural oils being used rather than lotions to soothe dry skin.

2. Watch Your Cleaning

While it may not seem obvious, cleaning solutions can affect the health of a baby. Even if the child is not in direct contact with the cleaning solution, it can get in the air and it can also be transferred from the mother's hands to the baby. 

Cleaning solutions can have many negative affects on an infant, and some cleaning solutions in particular are very strong. Organic and child-safe cleaning solutions are best, and household remedies such as baking soda and vinegar can also be used.

3. Blend Your Own Baby Food

Mothers can easily create their own baby food line by blending their own baby food in a quality blender. This avoids any dangerous additives in commercial baby food lines, such as preservatives, and it also makes sure that the mother knows that their baby's food is full of robust and healthy ingredients.

When blending baby food, mothers should keep in mind that babies have very delicate taste buds, so they don't need a lot of flavor and the ingredients should be kept simple to avoid any potential allergic reactions and confusion related to which ingredients are causing the reaction.

4. Pay Attention To The Environment

Babies should always be fed well-filtered water because it's possible that the tap water has chemicals in it such as an overabundance of fluoride, but that's not where the danger ends. Bad quality water can even be harmful to a child's skin and hair.

Air quality is also extremely important, and new parents should test the air quality in their homes. Fungus or mold that does not affect adults may affect the delicate lungs of a young baby, and should be removed before the child is brought into the home.

Friday, April 19, 2013

4 Ways To Teach Your Teens About Financial Responsibility




Raising teenagers can be difficult. When it comes to teaching them about financial responsibility, you don't have to make things complicated. There are plenty of strategies that you can use to teach them about how to be responsible with money, and to make the most of their finances.

1. Teach Them To Work for What They Get
 
If your child is involved in a lot of extracurricular activities and homework, it may be difficult for him or her to get a job. However, that doesn't mean that you should simply give them money for whatever they need without making them work for it. Make your kids do chores around the house, help with your family business, or do other tasks that you come up with. When your child has to work for what he earns, you will be much less likely to waste the money that he gets.

2. Teach Them to Save

One of the most important lessons that you can teach your kids is to start saving. For this, you may want to open a savings account with your child that will pay him or her interest. In addition to helping them open a savings account, you should consider rewarding them for saving. For example, when I save money, you could pay interest on those savings up to a certain amount. This shows them that saving pays off.

3. Show Them How to Budget

It is also important to show your kids how to budget. Once they have some money, they need to know that they have to not spend it all at once. For example, if they need to buy clothes for school, start a clothing budget for them instead of just buying them everything. This way, they'll realize that by avoiding the expensive items, they can get more clothes. They'll also see how far a dollar can really go.

4. Teach Them About Credit

Your teenagers also need to have a basic understanding of credit and how it works. While you probably don't want your teenager to have a credit card, there are things that you can do to help him get off on the right foot. Educating him about the importance of always paying bills on time and not taking on large debt is important. 

The last thing you want is for your teenager to require the help of a credit repair company to undo their damage. In case of emergency, you can get further education on credit repair from http://www.lexingtonlaw.com/credit-education/credit-repair-company/.

By being proactive about teaching your children about money, you can make a profound difference in the lives of your kids.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Three Things to Teach Your Kids to Keep Them Safe at Home


No matter what age your child is, it is extremely important to teach them various things that will keep them safe in their own home. Accidents happen every day that could have been prevented if the parents simply had a discussion with their child about what is safe, what is not safe, and what they can do to prevent dangerous situations from occurring. 

Children look up to their parents for guidance and to teach them important life lessons. By setting a good example and teaching them about safety, you're doing the very best that you can do for your children. When going over the ins and outs of safety, ensure that your children are familiar with these three things that could potentially save their lives. 

Swimming 


It can’t be stressed enough that all children should receive swim lessons. This is especially recommended for those that have swimming pools in their very own backyard. Horror stories are shared all the time about how children have gotten out of their house without their parents knowing and have accidentally drowned in the pool. Even if you don't have your own pool, kids are curious and can make their way into a neighbor’s yard to go exploring. Swim lessons will teach them the basics of staying afloat in water. While it is still necessary to have some sort of child safety gate leading to your swimming pool, simply knowing that your child is able to swim will provide you with the peace of mind to know that your child is safe.

Contacting Emergency Services 

All children should know what number to dial in the event of an emergency. If someone in the house is hurt or is trying to hurt them, let them know that it is okay to call 911. This service is there to help them and to keep them safe in dangerous situations. Explain that this number should only be used for real emergencies.

Answering the Door

In the times that we live in, you can never be too careful about who you interact with. Whether your child is home alone or you are there in the house with them, teach them that it is important to never answer the door for a stranger or someone that you do not recognize. While not everyone is bad, you can never be too safe with your children at home.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Five Ways To Support Your Kids Summer Sports Teams



Most parents will agree that there are lots of advantages to children playing and participating in summer sports. What most parents might not realize is how important of a role they play in their children’s sports. There are several roles a parent plays in relation to team sports, and being a good role model at all times is probably the most important one of all. Below are five excellent ways that you can support your kid’s summer sports teams. 
  
Being a Good Sport

You want to be a good sport at all times for your team. Root them on during their games, and clap and cheer for them. Show up to all the games your child plays. If you have no way to make a game, have someone tape it, and talk to your child about why you cannot go. Always show an interest in your kid’s games, practices and other summer events.

Keep the Attitude in Check

When it comes to the opposite team, remember your attitude. Never say anything bad about the coach or players on the other team. If there is a true problem, the adults can work that out alone. Never accuse the other team of cheating or say bad things about that team around your child. You need to show your child what it is like to be a good sport, whether you win or lose. Never gloat in front of your child about winning a game. Always give the “good game” handshake to the opposite team.

Be On Time

Another way to show support for the team is by showing up on time for all games and practices. All the team members’ and coaches count on your child to show up on time, and it is your responsibility to show everyone that you are just as dedicated as your child is.

Bullying

Always discourage your child from bullying another teammate or opposite team member. Teach your child how to be a kind, confident teammate. This is something your child will keep with them for the rest of their lives, whether it is in sports or outside of sports.

Taking Sports Too Seriously

Some very well-meaning parents have a problem with taking the sports game far too seriously. Ultimately, sports are about the health and fun benefits for the child and not the big win for the parent. All proud parents want their kids to win, but these good intentions can easily get out of hand if we let them. A parent who argues with a ref or coach is showing their child poor sportsmanship.

Being involved in summer sports is a very healthy activity for kids of all ages. Even a child who does not feel talented enough to play sports should give them a try. With the support of the parents, children will develop good, lifelong relationships with sports.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

5 Technological Tools Teachers Are Using To Connect With Your Kids



As you probably know, teaching your children important lessons is not easy by any means. Educators are faced with the daunting task of being responsible for a classroom full of young, impressionable minds and ensuring that they learn and engage with the material that is presented to them. This task grows increasingly difficult as of late, with teachers having to adapt to tech-addled teens and children who are used to being entertained and occupied every waking moment. 


It is hard to get students to sit still and appreciate the sciences and the arts or even retain basic, crucial lessons in a quiet environment that does not have even a tenth of the stimulation their smartphone or television could provide.


 Fortunately, technology is proving to be more of a help than a hindrance when it is placed in the hands of creative, engaging educators. Some tools, many of them Internet-based, have the ability to transform a room full of glassy-eyed, bored pupils into a group of interested, engaged students who care about the lesson. Here are five technological tools that teachers are using to connect with your children.

1. Fun Brain


Fun Brain is an educational website that provides a number of valuable resources that teachers can add to their arsenal in the fight against boredom. The site primarily focuses on math, and even has a "Math Arcade" with flash games that will make even the most boring math concepts fun.

2. DoSomething.org


Many teachers, especially those in the social studies and government fields, have bemoaned the fact that school districts no longer require civics classes. There is also a growing need for learning material that is applicable in the real world and uses technology to make a difference. DoSomething.org is one such resource, dedicated to spreading information about important issues and causes to people of all ages. The site offers visitors the opportunity to sign petitions and donate to causes, allowing anyone who participates to make a difference.

3. Exploratorium


Exploratorium brings out students' innate sense of curiosity and encourages them to investigate and ask questions about the world around them. Games and activities on the site make science interesting and fun!

4. Scholastic Kids Press Corps


The Scholastic Kids website provides students with news reported by kids just like them. Not only does the site give kids a desire to be informed about the world around them, it includes various games that tie in to the lessons.

5. MyBackPack


MyBackPack allows you, the parent, to have more of a hands-on approach to your child's academics. With this service, you can check on grades, attendance, and assignments due-- all of the information is posted by your child's teachers. No more "report card lost in the mail" tricks!