An Important Life Skill: Starting To Teach Our Children To Take On More Responsibilities

Flickr

 

Responsibility is one of those things that we need to teach our children at some point, but we could feel that there is no need to do this until they are of a certain age. Responsibility starts early on in life, but how can we teach our children responsibility, no matter their age?

A Reward System

This is something we can start as soon as our children are mentally aware. They do something good, they get a reward. And this is the key to so many of the essentials in life that we want our children to do, from eating their greens to looking after the pet. It’s just that the reward turns into something different as your children get older. It could be chocolate, to begin with, but it could be something more substantial later in life.

Not Turning It Into A Chore

Rather than saying that our children have to do something, think about wording it in a different way so that they don’t feel like it’s a chore. Chores signify things that are boring, so consider making it part of the fun. For example, if your children don’t want to brush the family dog, ask your children to go and play with the dog instead, and take the brush with them. Sure, they may not brush the dog, to begin with, but if you can encourage them just to smooth the dog once, and the next time, they do it twice, it will have turned into a chore that they didn’t want to do, but has now become an automatic habit.

The Essential Duties

This is essential, especially when it comes to family pets, the essential duties like medication and hygiene are high up the scale of importance and as our children get older, we can trust them more with these duties, we can lay the foundations early on. We can do this by getting our children to sit with us while we administer the essential meds, or CBD oil, or whatever you need to do for the dog. And if the kids don’t know how much CBD oil for dogs is too much, then you’re there, guiding them every step of the way. As your children get older, and they get more comfortable with these very important duties, you can slowly step away safe in the knowledge that they know what they’re doing.

The Mindset Of “Cleaning Up After Our Own Mess”

And if you’ve got children that don’t take responsibility for anything, you’ve got an uphill battle. It’s important, as soon as possible, to teach your children that they are responsible for the mess that they make. If we lead by example and show that if we make a mess, we clear up after it ourselves, this sends the right message. But we have to keep reiterating this. These days, it’s easier for us to do something, rather than ask our children 50 times. But this has to stop. If you want to teach your children responsibility, it’s as important as getting your children to exercise, to study, and all of the important skills in life.

All Children Need Outside Time: Here’s How to Encourage It

Image Credit: Unsplash

 

Every child should be able to get completely caked in mud and have a brilliant time hunting for worms but in our over-clean, over-protective modern world, fewer and fewer children have the opportunity to run wild. This is a major issue because exploring the natural world is one of the best ways to begin understanding its complexities and beauties.

 

The good news is that parents can still spark the love of the outdoors in their kids, it’s just going to take a little more creativity than our parents required! While running about on a pitch and getting exercise is a great start, here are a few ways to introduce your kids to the natural world they could easily miss.

Learn and Play in the Garden

Learning to cultivate plants is one of the greatest gifts you can give to a child and from grass heads to proper lawn care, a bit of soil, a few seeds, and some patience are all you need to get started. Try planting a few quick growers like grasses or cress with young children and then gradually progress onto plants that take a little longer and are a bit more difficult to grow.

 

Getting outside and into the garden is also a good way to introduce your children to the various other species that live and thrive there. Leave some bird food out to encourage visitors and don’t be afraid to rummage around to find bugs and critters. The more you see these creatures in their natural habitat, the easier it is to love them as part of the environment.

Go on Walks

We might think of ourselves as tamed indoor creatures but getting out to see the nature that surrounds us will always inspire us. Taking a short walk each week is a brilliant way to add secret exercise to your day but it is also a good way to connect with the seasons and notice any changes.

 

If you’re feeling creative, try collecting small items that you can make a collage with later on. Leaves, flowers, and twigs are all candidates for this sort of artistic activity. Young kids will probably need a bit of jollying along if you are on a long walk so remember to take snacks and drinks and play games as you go!

Build a Den

Whether it’s an amazing treehouse with a slide or a ramshackle hut, having a den is a great way to encourage your children to get outside and play. A kid-sized space is ideal for encouraging a bit more independence as well as giving them a space for messier activities.

 

Adding swings and fun decorations is a great idea to personalize the den. String lights can look really cool if your kids are old enough to be responsible in the dark but even simple bunting can make a huge difference. The more you can do to encourage your kids to get out into the sunshine and build and create the better so don’t make this easy for them!

Making Sure Your Little Ones Are Getting Enough Exercise

Image Source

 

With the development of technology, kids tend to prefer to spend their time browsing social media, watching their favorite cartoons and shows online, and playing games on their consoles. But it’s important that you encourage them to incorporate sufficient exercise into their routines as well. If your child is aged six or older, they should be getting at least one hour of physical activity a day in order to improve their strength and stamina and to promote healthy development. There are also other benefits that tend to come hand in hand with encouraging your child to exercise, such as boosting their confidence, teaching them the value of teamwork, and spurring on hobbies and passions. So, to help you get started in the right direction, here are just a few different types of exercise that your kids might enjoy!

 

Baseball

Baseball is an extremely popular team sport that can endow your kids with a full social life at the same time as giving them an opportunity to work out. Check out local clubs to see whether there are training sessions or teams in your local area. If there isn’t anything nearby, you could set up your own team in your local neighborhood. Getting to grips with the basics, encouraging parents to accompany their kids along to training sessions and matches, and investing in the basics like dugout charts can prove just as much fun for you as your kids! The sport requires little ones to practice a variety of skills – from running to throwing, catching, and batting – so you can be sure they will get a thorough workout from each session.

 

Swimming

Swimming is a valuable life skill that just so happens to provide a thorough and comfortable full-body workout. If your kids can’t yet swim, enroll them in specialist swimming classes where they will be taught the basics in a safe environment. This is also a great activity for weaker children or overweight children, as swimming is low impact and the water helps to support their body weight, meaning that they get to stretch out, work their muscles, and move with less pressure or strain.

 

Ice Skating

Remember that you can think outside of the box when it comes to sports for your kids to try out. Ice skating lessons at a local rink can be extremely fun and something that your little ones really look forward to. While they get out of puff, they will also pick up great skills such as balance.

 

As you can see, the options available to your little ones can vary drastically. The key to finding the right one is generally a process of trial and error. Try your little ones out at taster session and induction days where they can get a feel for different activities and try them out themselves. Then see which sports or fitness routines they actively enjoy and encourage them to pursue them or attend more regularly!

How You Can Help Your Child Succeed at School

Boy Standing Near Bookshelf

Image source

Everyone wants their children to do well at school, although parents are the biggest teachers of all in a child’s early life. Then they start leaving you every day for their lessons, but you can still be a big influence on how they progress in school and in the rest of their lives.  There are many things you can do to help support your children through their school days. Not every child can be top of the class, but you do need to know that they have achieved the best they are capable of.

Make Friends With Their Teacher

As soon as a school year starts you should get to know the teacher.  Let them know that you are there to support your child and if there are any problems you want to be informed right away. They should also be aware that you like to reward good work with a ‘well-done’, so you want to know if they excel at something as well.

Make sure to attend all official parent-teacher meetings, but never be afraid to speak with them at other times too. You should also remember that the teacher is not the only person that can affect your child, as there are others that dictate the way the school is run, as well as administrators and lunchtime staff. The more of them that you know, even if it is just to say hi, the more you will understand how your child can do well in the school you have chosen for them.

You can also find that the school your child is in is underfunded and that could be a great concern for the teachers and those in charge. Teacher Funder has been set up to help tackle this problem as it allows parents, students, and businesses to make donations to the school.

Support Your Child

Ask your child’s teacher how they are doing compared to other students, and if they need extra help in a particular subject, either do it yourself or arrange for some extra lessons. If they are having trouble learning generally, it could be that they need a specialist teaching and you should ask for this.

You should let the school know about your concerns and perhaps arrange a meeting with the teacher and the principle. Your child has rights if they need a specialist help, and they will be able to give you the advice you need.

Let your children know how important homework is and make sure they do whatever they are given. Don’t be afraid to help them with it if the need arises, as they can get very stressed out if they do not understand something and the teacher is not there to help.

If you cannot help them in a particular subject, make sure they have the resources they need for answers. There are many of them online that are there to assist children of all ages.

When they know they have tests coming up, they can become worried about them and you can help by showing them how to prepare and overlook through their work with them to double check that they understand it. A worried child will not do so well in tests, as one that is confident that they know the subject. You can help them to gain that confidence.

 

Three Men Standing Near Window

Image source



Be Involved With The School

Teachers appreciate help in the school, no matter what form it comes in. If you can spare just a few hours each week to volunteer, your children will see this as a positive move and will be proud that one of their parents is giving up some time to help at the school. It does not have to be anything academic as there is much more to running a school than teaching. Help could be needed preparing things for an art class, or at break time watching the children play to make sure no one gets hurt. There are all sorts of jobs that you could help with and this could free the teachers to concentrate on what they should be doing.

Encourage Learning At Home

Have a positive attitude toward learning at home, and the best way to do this is to show them that you are still learning too. Show them that you value education and use it as part of your daily lives to reinforce the principle.  Even some video games are educational and you should encourage them to play these as well as the normal ones that most children play. Learning through play, no matter what age they are is a good way for them to remember things. Playing cards, for instance, can help them with mental arithmetic and Scrabble or Hangman can assist them with spelling.

Reading, of course, is very important, but it does not have to be things they have no interest in. It is better to read a comic book than nothing at all, as they will still learn from them.

It is not only school subjects that you should encourage them with. A documentary on TV can be a great way for them to learn about something new, as long as it is fitting for their age.

Children respond well to active learning and it can also teach them to be independent and to learn things on their own.

Let Them Play

Although learning is crucial for your children, so is just being a child and having fun. You should let them play with their friends as then they are learning how to socialize and how to treat other people and that is an important part of them growing into well-rounded adults.

Don’t just tell them that manners matter; use them all the time yourself. They will learn more by example than any other way, especially when they are very young.

Teachers play a vital role in the education of your children, but so do you. Their attitude towards school work and school life often reflects the attitude at home and if you show them the importance of education, without putting them under too much pressure to do well, they will work to achieve the best they can and that is all you can ask of any child.

How To Manage A Breakup When You Have Kids

Image Source. Licensed under Creative Commons.

 

Breakups can be difficult at the best of times, but they can be particularly challenging if you both have kids together. Doing what’s best for you and what’s best for the kids isn’t easy. Here are a few tips to negotiating a breakup when you have children.

 

Plan how to tell your kids

Once you’ve decided that you’re definitely breaking up, the first thing you’ll need to do is tell the kids. If your kids are older, they may have already sensed that you weren’t getting along, but the news could still come as a shock. If you and your partner have come to a mutual agreement, it’s important that you both tell the news together so that your kids realize that you’re both serious about it. You should break the news at home where your kids are likely to be comfortable. Make your kids understand that it’s not their fault and allow them to ask questions, being as honest with your answers as you can.

 

Decide how to share out parental care

After one of you has moved out, your kids will have to get used to sharing time between the pair of you. You’ll need to decide the best way to do this – it’s usually healthy that your kids have a stable base, which means spending most of their time in one place. They can make regular visits to the other parent’s house. Coming to an amicable agreement isn’t always easy – in the case of a bad breakup, one partner may attempt to claim full custody in which case you may have to look into hiring child custody lawyers. When arguing this decision, make sure that the kids aren’t around so that they don’t feel caught in the middle.

 

Decide financial arrangements

Depending on the amount each of you is earning, you should both contribute a certain amount of funding towards your kids. If you were financially reliant on your partner, it may be their job to continue paying for the kids. Making financial arrangements isn’t easy and may also require hiring a solicitor or a financial adviser to come to a fair decision.

 

Keep up a routine

A sense of routine is important for your children – it will give them something familiar to cling onto. When sharing out parental care, try to arrange a schedule so that your kids know when they’re going to see each parent. Try to keep up other routines that existed before such as keeping bedtime at the same time and allowing them to attend the same after school clubs.

 

Listen to your kids

One thing that many parents don’t do is listen to their kids. If your kids are young, they may not be able to make decisions for themselves, but in the case of older kids, they may want to have some input when it comes to how much time they spend with each parent. You need to approach the situation practically, but you should still listen to you kids and let them have a say.

Your Travel Guide For Cozumel, Mexico

A 34-mile long island just off the east coast of Mexico, Cozumel is precisely the kind of place you picture in your mind when you think of an idyllic beach vacation. There are plenty of beaches and great places to stay, eat, drink, and dance. However, it’s also a much wilder location than many others in the country, with great swathes of the island undeveloped with dense jungles and untamed coasts. Here, we’re going to look at how you prepare for your island adventure.

Pic by Violetta

Getting there

For you lovers of cheap travel, then the variety of ways to get to the island is going to be a joy. It might be a surprise to find that plenty of airports have regular flights to and from Cozumel, including Atlanta, Charlotte, and Dallas. Besides flying, you can also get there by sea. Not only is the island a popular cruise ship destination but there are regular ferries from Playa del Carmen, as well, a nearby resort town on the coast facing it.

What to do

If you’re looking for a more active vacation spot, then you’ve found it. Lovers all things underwater will be glad to hear there are plenty of top snorkeling spots, with coral reefs, colorful fish, and even underwater caves for the more adventurous. The beaches are a prime spot for both partying and water sports, as well.

What to see

However, Cozumel’s real worth is in the sheer amount of different tours and sights to try out. First of all, it’s an archaeological treasure. The San Gervasio Mayan Archaeological site is tucked in a wildlife refuge, with several buildings from that ancient empire still standing. For those who prefer something a little tamer, the local Museum of Cozumel is worth a visit as well, with plenty of Mayan artifacts as well as flora and fauna exhibitions.

Staying healthy

A traveler should always be prepared for the risks of their chosen destination and nowhere is risk-free. If you’re exploring the wilds on a tour or simply walking far from where you’re staying, you need to make sure you have access to care. In case of an emergency, there is an air ambulance company located on the island of Cozumel Mexico. The sun will be your greatest foe, so make sure you cover your skin appropriately and use sunscreen. Lastly, invest in bottled water since safe drinking water from the tap is hard to find.

Safety questions

A lot of people have concerns about crime when venturing into Mexico, but Cozumel is relatively safe. There’s nowhere near the level of violent or cartel-related crime as you would see closer to the border. However, it’s still unwise to be out alone at night or on the beach, and you should always be mindful of your possessions. Hurricanes are an infrequent but serious risk to safety, so make sure you check the forecasts before booking your trip.

Cozumel is not the average tourist destination. There’s a lot more adventure to be found for those willing to explore, but you should remember to keep safety first in mind above all else.

Film-Themed Presents That Add Big Screen Magic To The Holiday Season

With the winter holidays on the horizon, the time has come to start thinking carefully about presents. (The best part of the whole holiday experience). And what better way to show people you care about them than by choosing themed gifts based on their love of film?

 

Take a look at some of these ideas.

 

Replica Oscar Trophy

 

Pixabay

 

No, your loved one probably isn’t going to be winning any Oscars for their films any time soon, but that shouldn’t stop them from dreaming, should it? A replica Oscar trophy can help your loved one imagine that they really have made a contribution to film and accepted an award in Hollywood for their efforts.

Okay, sure, replicas aren’t made from real gold either – that’d be too darn expensive. But the electroplated gold sure does make them look real enough.

 

Minions Union Suit

 

Pixabay

 

When Despicable Me hit the big screen, few people thought that it would be as popular as it was. But the animated film franchise following the adventures of criminal mastermind Gru and his minion underlings soon became a classic. Now you can barely go five minutes without one of the films being shown on TV.

Minions, a spin-off film featuring the small, yellow bespectacled and somewhat disaster-prone creatures, also became a box office hit and spawned a raft of merchandise, perfect for the film buff you know. Shops like TV Store Online sell Minion-themed uniform union suits, complete with minion-face hood.

 

Darth Vader Mug

Darth Vader is perhaps one of the greatest characters ever to grace the big screen. With his rasping breath and evil mask, he’s truly a frightening sight to behold. But that doesn’t mean that he isn’t loved by film buffs the world over.

A Darth Vader mug is every Star Wars fan’s dream, and will undoubtedly be their favorite mug, come Christmas day.

 

A Popcorn Maker

 

 

Flickr Credit: www.yourbestdigs.com

 

Cinema popcorn is expensive. Even with combos and meal deals, you often end up spending more on food than you do on the tickets to see the actual film. But all that could change if every person in the land owned a popcorn maker: a device that could accurately recreate that cinema feel, but without the extortionate price tag.

 

It turns out that such devices do indeed exist and can be found in major retail outlets up and down the country. Just make sure that you buy one that’s dishwasher-safe. You don’t want any nasty surprises.

 

Amazon Fire With Alexa

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just talk to your TV and it would show you whatever you wanted to watch? Well thanks to Alexa voice integration with the Amazon Fire Stick, you now can. Just sit back, shout at the TV, and it’ll show the film buff in your life whatever he or she wants to watch. Oh, and you might benefit just slightly from this modern marvel of technology too if you happen to live with them.

So there you have it: gifts for the film buff in your life to bring some of that big screen magic to the holiday season.

Rekindling The Flame In A Long-term Relationship

File:Candles in Love 07406.jpg

Image Source

 

Has the fiery passion that once existed in your relationship been reduced to embers? It could be time to rekindle that flame.

 

Many couples in long-term relationships can end up settling into a dull routine. Here’s how you can break free of monotony and make your relationship exciting again.

 

Go on dates

Dates are a great opportunity to focus purely on each other, which could be needed if you’ve both been distracted by other commitments. You don’t have to go out to an expensive restaurant – simply spending a couple hours together somewhere out of the house may be all you need whether it’s walking around a park or going for coffee. It’s important to not involve anyone else who may steal the attention. This means not meeting up with friends or family. If you have kids, it’s worth getting someone to babysit. This way you’re forced to talk to one another and connect.

 

Try new things together

The beginning of a relationship is often fun because the two of you are going through lots of new experiences together. By trying new activities, going to new places and tasting new foods together you can recapture that excitement. Examples could include trying a salsa dancing class or going ice skating or trying oysters – anything that neither of you have done.  

 

Surprise each other

Surprises can also rekindle the excitement of being in a relationship. This could include sending a romantic text out of the blue or looking into flower delivery and having some roses delivered to your partner’s workplace or even throwing a surprise breakfast in bed. Such surprises will show that you still care for your partner and may fill them with that initial giddy feeling of love.

 

Come up with joint goals

It could be worth coming up goals that you can both work towards. This forces you both to work together and support one another. This could be a savings goal such as saving for a dream vacation or saving up to move home. Alternatively, you could try to learn something new together – this could be a new language or an instrument. If you’re both out of shape, you could even vow to get fit together by taking part in joint exercises such as jogging or going to the gym together.

 

Keep physical contact

Physical contact is also very important for keeping a connection between you. Whilst having kids may result in less time in the bedroom, you can still try to make an effort to hug and kiss one another each day. Hugs, in particular, can be a small gesture with a big impact – they can help to relieve stress and make you both feel supported. If you haven’t been getting physical, it could be time to start breaking down the barrier – you don’t want to get to a stage where it’s awkward to touch one another.

Calm Your Kids Before Their First Big Game

Pixabay.com

Kids love playing sports, and many love playing on their school’s soccer, basketball, or baseball team. I’m sure that yours will be no different! It gives them the chance to make new friends and learn how to be a team player. Not only that, but it also gives them a set of skills to work on outside the classroom. Training with the team will be heaps of fun for them, but things might change suddenly as they are just about to head onto the pitch or court for their very first big game competing. They could potentially get very nervous and start to worry about their ability. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can calm them down. Read on to find out all about them.

 

Start A Lucky Ritual

Lots of professional sports players have lucky rituals that they always do in the changing room before they go out to play a game or match. They might need to do some warm-up stretches in their custom soccer uniforms or listen to a certain song or playlist. Doing this same thing before each game is a way of bringing luck. So, you might want to introduce a kind of lucky ritual for your child. Get them to do something that they think might bring them a good fortune when out on the pitch.

 

Get Them To Do Some Visualization

Another great tip that many professional sports players use is visualization. In order to do this, you just need to encourage your child to think about playing the sport and a positive outcome. This can help to boost their confidence and banish any pre-game nerves that might be sneaking up. Visualization can also help show them exactly what they need to do to perform well out on the field or court.

 

Show Them Positive Videos

If you take a look on YouTube, you will see that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of motivational videos that each have their very own positive message. If you show a couple of these to your child, then they will start to feel a lot better about the upcoming game. They might even get them excited for it! A similar idea to this one is to play them some motivational music. Music has been scientifically proven to calm the nerves, and playing something like the theme tune to Rocky is sure to get them in the mood to play!

 

Don’t Worry Them

Did you know that parents can often stress out their children without meaning to? If you are worried about the game, for instance, then your child could quickly pick up on this and it could cause them to be stressed. So, try and calm your own nerves before trying to tackle your child’s. You could always try some deep breathing or any of the tips already mentioned in this post!

Do you have any other methods that you use to try to calm your child down before a big sports game? If so, I’d love to hear them!

 

Christmas Survival: Gifts That Keep On Giving

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say. The nights have started to get a little colder, fireplaces are getting stoked up, Christmas trees are being adorned with magical lights and presents are starting to appear underneath. However, the festive season can start to become a little stressful when you have an array of gifts to buy your nearest and dearest and you have no idea what to choose. The pressure on gift giving can be immense. While cash is an obvious option, this lacks thought, effort and any sense of willingness to understand the personality of a relative or friend.

It’s vital that you don’t get too hung up on the gift giving and try to enjoy the festive season. Mince pies and mulled wine are there for the taking, and you should enjoy eating, drinking and being merry. Take a look at these gift ideas to help inspire your present purchases this year.

Image by

 

All Things Floral

For those relatives and pals with green fingers or for those people we know who adore interior design, there can be no better or more innovative gift than a tropical flowers monthly club. By purchasing this sort of subscription for your mom, sister, niece or friend, they can enjoy the freshest flowers, the most beautiful colorful bouquets and the most gorgeous stems delivered directly to their door. For people who love flower arranging, this is the perfect gift and is a real gift that keeps on giving. Forget the generic sophisticated arrangement of roses and opt for a monthly gift of the most special bouquets. Your friend or relative can then enjoy adorning their home with the most stunning lavender, red and yellow leis.

 

An Experience

Sometimes a physical gift isn’t the answer to your present dilemma. Older relatives like mums, dads and grandparents are quite elusive when you ask them what they would like for Christmas. “I have everything I need,” is their response. Or, “Just having my family around me is like a gift at Christmas,” comes the reply. While this sentiment is all too noble, it’s only right that you purchase them something to show how much you appreciate their love and support. Instead of opting for a wrappable gift, choose an experience.

It doesn’t matter what your parents are into, there’s some sort of experience that will cater to their interests. If they adore adrenaline-inducing activities, a bungee jump could be on the cards. If they adore a tipple or two, how about a tour of a vineyard and some wine tasting. If they love nothing more than culinary extravaganzas, they’ll be a taster menu on offer at the newest Michelin starred restaurant in town. Just because your present underneath the tree won’t be the largest, sometimes the best things come in the smallest packages.

Image by

 

Jewelry

Ok, so this is a physical gift, but it is also the sort of gift that will evoke memories for years to come. Whether you are searching for a gift for a male relative or female friend, there can be a piece of jewelry that will suit them.

Dog tags for men, engraved with a significant date such as an anniversary, when their first born arrived into the world or their birthday can be a sentimental offering. For your loved one, why not consider an eternity ring, a necklace, and earrings set or even a charm bracelet. This sort of jewelry is perfect as you can continue adding to it over the years; each charm can signify a significant life event.

Alternatively, look into purchasing a watch. The latest gadgetry means that your watch can connect to a smartphone, tell you how many calories you have burned in a day and how many steps that you have taken. Or perhaps you’d rather go down the retro route and gift a vintage Casio calculator watch from the 1980s.

Christmas time is stressful enough as it is. You might be hosting the family this year, cooking for a dozen people or organizing the local Carol service. These are stressful enough events as it is! You need to enjoy the Christmas holidays as much as the next person. So, put your feet up, complete your Christmas card list, get the food order in and start decorating your Christmas tree. Soak up the ambiance and try not to allow the pressure to get to you. Take the hassle out of gift-giving and use this guide to inspire your present giving this festive season.