No Drama: Ways to Understand and Talk to your Tween

If you happen to be the parent of a soon-to-be teenager, sit quietly for a moment and remember back to your own adolescence. If you’re like most adults, you remember your teen years with a range of mixed emotions. After all, is that not what the teenage years are all about? There are emotions galore running through your tween’s mind. As the parent, it’s up to you to help them ride the hormonal roller coaster and come out the other side happy, well-adjusted adults. Here are a few tips to help you make that happen.

Who are the tweens in your life

The so-called “tween” years happen roughly between the ages of seven and 12. These pre-teen years are known be a veritable minefield for the kids and the parents who love them. Although many kids of this perplexing age group do enjoy spending time with their mom and dad, just as many of them are obstinate and have very little interest in hanging out with their parents. Some want to please their folks, some just want to fight.

Expect the unexpected

If you think that life with a tween is going to be smooth sailing, do think again. Your tween may be completely loving one moment, a bag of wild cats the next. That’s the thing about pre-teens– the hormones and emotions can be a pretty crazy ride, both for the child and her or his parents, too.

Tweens are developing adult bodies sooner than they did a generation ago. By the time they enter junior high school, many if not most 21st century tweenagers experience physical development and mood swings, too. The emotional changes associated with the tween years are awesome in their scope and dimension. Love your kid, assure them that they’re not going permanently nuts, and ride the storm as best you can. Tricky behaviors are inevitable in this age group. Parents of hormone-ravaged teens ought not to take their erratic behavior personally, says Super Nanny.

If you can afford to hire a sitter and get away for a few days, do it. We know about a personal loan that may help you save your sanity by taking a long weekend with your spouse or best friend.

Offer guidance, but don’t push your tween

Tweens are going to lose their cool once in awhile. It’s just the way it is. Be consistent, hug your kids even when they don’t appreciate the gesture, and set boundaries with enforceable consequences. When your tween becomes frustrated, acknowledge their feelings and offer guidance without taking over the task at hand. Explanations go a lot further than lectures, especially with tweens and teenagers.

Being the parent of any age child is a mixed plate of challenges and joys. Raising a tween is the natural progression of rearing a toddler. These years go by in the wink of an eye, so remember to enjoy your kids, even when they’re semi-insane tweens.

Is Your Future Adult Financially Streetwise? Money Skills Parenting Tips

The way you manage your money as an adult is a reflection of what your parents taught you. Adults who were taught good money habits from a young age are more likely to be successful. By comparison, kids who simply get whatever they want from their parents are more likely to be careless with their earnings as adults.

 

What Are You Teaching Your Kids About Money?

 

Research published by the University of Minnesota indicates that most adults develop their feelings and opinions about money based on their childhood experiences and values from their families.

 

Even if you think you’re telling your kids the right things about money, there are times when you could be sending unconscious messages too. For example, if you’re constantly stressed about finding enough money to cover all your bills, your kids end up associating a lack of money as being stressful.

 

Straighten Out Your Own Finances

 

Children tend to learn by example. They learn by watching their parents and other family members and take their cues by interpreting the expressions and feelings they see during certain situations.

 

If your own finances are in a mess, take some time to straighten out your own financial situation before you start focusing on teaching the kids some money skills. Catch up those past due payments. Work out a budget so you don’t have to stress so much when bills arrive.

 

If you’re constantly worried about keeping up with multiple different debt repayments each month, consolidate your finances. You should find you’re paying less interest, which can reduce your monthly repayment. Having only one monthly payment to remember also streamlines your banking and reduces your stress about money.

 

Teach Kids the Value of Earning

 

Giving a child an allowance to buy whatever they want teaches them the value of saving and spending. Yet it shows them nothing about how that money was earned so it could come into the household in the first place.

 

Every member of your family should be encouraged to take some responsibility for helping to keep your household running smoothly. Simple household chores need to be done, but when a child participates in some of those chores they learn responsibility and self-sufficiency.

 

Relating those chores to the allowance received can help teach a child the value of earning money. Effectively, they’re being rewarded for effort.

 

Teach the Value Of Spending

 

When children are given an allowance of their own, teach them to take responsibility for their own spending. If they run out of money before their next allowance, let them know it’s okay to make mistakes and explain to them the importance of budgeting their money so it lasts until their next allowance arrives.

 

Teach Them to Save

 

Kids also need to learn that they can’t always afford to buy everything they want. If your child wants a high-ticket item, encourage them to start saving towards the purchase price. Discuss ways they might increase their allowance or, if they’re old enough, work on ways to encourage a part-time job around school responsibilities.

 

Teaching children strong financial habits while they are still young can stay with them into adulthood. A child who understands the value of earning, spending responsibly and saving is far more likely to maintain good financial habits over the long term.

Starting a Family: Tips for Taking a Close Look at Your Future Finances


With the cost of raising a baby at its highest point ever in the UK alone, it’s clear to see why many couples are choosing to start a family later in life. When combined with other outgoings like rent and bills, not to mention the ongoing stress being a parent can cause, having a child can seem almost impossible.

But, finances don’t have to restrict you from starting a family or cause added stress as long as you’re organized and prepared. Everyone should have the right to start a family, and money shouldn’t stand in your way. Below you’ll find some top tips for taking back control over your finances so you’ll be in a position to start a family of your own.

Begin budgeting early

A 9-month pregnancy seems like a very long time for most expectant parents, resulting in many leaving financial preparation until right at the end of pregnancy. Then, once your baby is born, if you haven’t budgeted and prepared properly you could find yourself unable to buy everything your new-born needs and spiralling into a cycle of debt.

It’s never too soon to begin saving, so as soon as you find out you’re pregnant there’s nothing to say you shouldn’t start saving right away. Put money aside each month to build up a baby fund and cut out mindless spending.

If you’re already struggling with debt, or are worried about your partner’s finances if unmarried, it’s essential to get this straightened out before the baby is born. Consolidating your own debt or even getting advice to consolidate your partner’s debts is an ideal place to start.

 

Life insurance

Anything can happen at any moment, and it would be catastrophic if something happened to you without having left a financial cushion for your baby. Therefore, buying life insurance as soon as you find out you’re expecting a baby is vital for your peace of mind.

If you’re relatively healthy and have a good record, life insurance isn’t likely to cost a huge amount per month and will be an affordable yet essential preparation to make.

 

Day care 

If you know you’re going to go back to work once your baby is born, preparing for day care is crucial. In a similar sense to saving and budgeting, many new parents leave organizing day care right until the last minute and may find themselves with no one to take care of their child when the time comes to go back to work.

Day care waitlists can be extremely competitive, so getting your name down as soon as you get pregnant is the best chance you have of getting the specific care service you want.

Starting a family is a hugely exciting milestone for the majority of couples. But, if you don’t take care of your finances for when the time comes, it can be hugely stressful. So getting organized as early as possible is the best thing you can do for your baby before they’re even born!

 

Olivia Bailey writes about personal finances in her articles which appear at a variety of online homes! When not typing away on the laptop she’s busy raising her kids.

Image courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Controling Your Crazy Busy Life: Tech Helpers for Modern Moms

With over 80% of working parents experiencing stress-related health problems, being a mom in today’s modern society is perhaps more stressful than it’s ever been. Having to juggle work with life at home can take its toll on both your physical and emotional wellbeing, with a quarter of modern moms admitting to cry at least once a week due to stress.

 

If you’re a mom and feeling the pressure, you don’t have to go through this without any help. Today’s technology advancements recognize the pressure today’s working moms are under, and have provided a vast selection of apps specifically focused on reducing stress and making life that little bit easier for parents. If you think you could use the help of an app or two, keep reading to discover some top tech helpers you can start using right away!

 

Happy Kids Timer

 

On weekdays, mornings are often the most stressful time of all. As well as having to get yourself ready for work, you’re also responsible for getting your kids up, ready and out the door on the way to school.

 

But, with Happy Kids Timer by your side, chaotic mornings will be transformed. Specifically designed for children, Happy Kids Timer will walk your kids through everything from making their bed to getting dressed so you don’t have to. Featuring fun music and animations to keep them engaged and entertained, Happy Kids Timer will engrain a sense of routine in your kids giving you more time for yourself in the mornings.

 

Alarm Clock for Me

 

Happy Kids Timer is without doubt a great app, but it will be completely useless if you and your kids can’t even face getting out of bed. Getting a good night’s sleep will make getting up early a whole lot easier, and that’s where Alarm Clock for Me comes in.

 

In addition to providing an alarm clock and up-to-date weather information for your location, Alarm Clock for Me offers an innovative sleep timer that will lull you to sleep with either white noise or relaxing tunes. Simply download the app, set the timer, and allow yourself to become relaxed with its sounds. A great way to get your kids to sleep too if they struggle to drift off, learn more about what else Alarm Clock for Me has to offer.

 

ShopSavvy

 

Bringing kids up can be very expensive, with sales often becoming a mom’s new best friend. ShopSavvy allows you to compare the price of items you need all in one place, giving you the benefits of sales without the stress of busy shopping malls.

 

Simply search for what you need, and ShopSavvy will instantly find the best prices for the item in all available shops, giving you the exact location of the cheapest price! Saving you both time and money, ShopSavvy is a must-have for the modern-day mom.

 

Being a working parent can be tough, but you don’t have to do everything alone without help. From getting ready in the morning to saving money on grocery shopping, these apps will provide much-needed solutions to avoiding stress and feeling happier.

 

Janet Kennedy is a busy Mom, as most are! She uses tech to keep life on track and mostly in control!

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Using Travel to Teach Life Lessons: Key Reasons to Take Your Kids with You on Trips

Traveling is not only a great way for kids to learn life lessons, it’s also a good way for them to pick up new skills, develop an appreciation for other people and other cultures and to expand their horizons.

An important thing to remember when you’re traveling with kids, make sure you have enough money to cover your expenses, even those unexpected ones. If you’re looking for a good value %APR credit card, consider the Citi Double Cash card. It is one of the few cards that offers cash back. What that means is that for every dollar you spend, you get 1 percent cash back. You can also get another 1 percent cash back on every dollar you pay off each month. This can be a great way to save money when you’re traveling.

The Importance of Travel for Kids

Here’s a rundown on why traveling the world is beneficial for young people.

  • Overcoming shyness: Travel encourages kids to question, meet new people and try new things whether it’s talking to other children in a new language, trying a new type of food or exploring a historic building, travel will bring shy kids out of their shell.

 

  • Boosting smartness: Get your kids involved in the planning of your trip, not only will this get them excited about the adventure, they will learn how to discuss and deduce facts as you go along. Let them explore maps and travel guides so they get a feel for your destination.

 

  • Improving independence: Even though young people’s independence is still limited, travel can teach them to be responsible for things like their luggage and their belongings. Let them pack their things (with your supervision), and choose which things are essential and which things they need for entertainment.

 

  • Accepting difference: When kids travel and are introduced to different cultural styles and people of different ethnicity, they begin to embrace difference rather than being prejudiced or maintaining cultural stereotypes. This makes them much more well-rounded individuals.

 

  • Understanding different beliefs: Travel allows children to understand and accept other religions and belief systems from an early age. It means that they are not afraid to ask questions and you can visit temples and churches of many different types wherever you travel.

 

  • Building relationships: One of the important things about traveling with your family is that it strengthens relationships. It encourages communication within the family group and facilitates discussions of new subjects.

 

  • Keeping the inner child alive: Kids grow up too fast these days. Traveling is a great ongoing adventure. That keeps the inner child alive. Forget the latest cell phone or video games, build sand castles on the beach, watch tigers on safari, go swimming with whales, and ride on the back of a camel. These are priceless experiences that will never be forgotten.

Take your kids traveling as often and to as many different places as you can. They will love you for it and will pass the travel bug on to their own families.

Anna Duffy writes about travel; from solo backpacking in your 20s, traveling with kids to help broaden their horizons, or seniors going on a first-time cruise.