How to Help Your Kids Practice for Their Practical Driving Test

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Practical driving tests are really stressful for kids and their parents. Everyone wants their child to pass first time (including them), but all too often, kids end up losing their nerve and making painfully silly mistakes on the day. It only takes a few mistakes to lead to a ‘fail’, which is disappointing for the candidate and their family.

Practice is the key to passing first time. It will probably take your child many hours of practice before he is ready to take his test, but all kids are different. Some teens are confident enough to book a test after only 20 hours of professional tuition whereas others need a lot more. Whichever camp your child falls into, taking them out for practice sessions in your neighbourhood will definitely help, so here are a few tips to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.

Is Your Car Legal?

You can’t take a learner driver out without having the right insurance in place. Never assume that your insurance policy covers your child, as it most likely won’t. You will need to pay extra to include a learner driver on your insurance, but it might not be as expensive as you think so call for a quote.

You will also need to stick L plates on the car. These are readily available from auto stores or online retailers such as Amazon.

Lastly, you must be aged 21 or above and have held a full UK driving licence for a minimum of three years to be able to sit with a learner driver.

Be a Patient Supervisor

There is no point offering to take your child out for a practice session if you spend the entire time shouting at them. This won’t benefit either of you and is quite likely to lead to a major falling out. Try and stay patient at all times, even if your child makes a few silly mistakes. If you do have to criticise their driving, at least make sure your criticism is constructive. For example, instead of screaming “slow down!” calmly ask them to put their foot on the brake. This should elicit a more favourable response.

Choose the Right Practice Routes

Until you are reasonably confident your child is a competent driver, stick to quiet roads where there are few hazards to deal with. Let them build their confidence (and yours) along routes free from complex intersections and multiple lanes of traffic. Later on, when their skills have improved, you can start taking them around the test routes.

Drive at Different Times of the Day

If we only ever needed to drive in daylight when the sun was shining, accident rates would fall dramatically. Unfortunately, most of us have to drive at all times of the day and night, and in varying conditions. To mimic this, go out at different times for your practice sessions.

Your child will need to pass his theory test before he is allowed to book a practical driving test. He can take try a few practice tests at toptests.co.uk.

Reasons Pets Are Great For Kids

Everybody loves the family pet, seeing it as a source of entertainment and fun. But do you know that having a pet can also benefit a child’s development in significant ways? Research has consistently shown that children with pets have some serious advantages when it comes to acquiring important life skills over their counterparts. Here are some of the most important of these effects.

They Learn to Socialize

2494974941_3e115fc42fImage via Flickr by sneakerdog

Social situations are often fraught with anxiety for children, who have yet to learn the rules of etiquette and society that guide adult interaction. While obviously the best way for children to learn to socialize is with other people, particularly children of the same age, pets can play a positive role in this process. Pets have needs and wants just like people, and learning to understand what behaviors indicate those needs and wants lets kids practice the difficult process of decoding social cues and empathizing with other living things.

They Learn to be Physically Active

Many pets love physical activity, be it running around a yard or rolling around a living room in a ball. By encouraging your kids to play along with the animals, you can instill in them a lifelong commitment to physical activity that will help them stay in shape later in life. Although we tend to think of physical fitness as mostly involving workouts and strenuous activity, it also includes simply not being sedentary, and relatively low-impact exercise like walking the family dog around the block can help keep your kids from turning into couch potatoes.

They Learn to Care for a Living Creature

All kids benefit from learning to care for a living thing; after all, many of them will have kids of their own one day. Experience gained from raising a pet can teach them about caring for a creature that relies on you for its well-being. Involve your kids in the day-to-day care of the pet, through assigning chores like feeding the animal or taking it for a walk. It’s also a good idea to involve them in the process of larger-picture pet care, such as getting the advice of a vet through a service like Kuddly, or planning a diet.

They Learn a Routine

Another positive effect of involving your kids in the pet’s daily routine is that it helps them learn to plan. Kids aren’t born able to manage time and set a schedule; they have to gain those skills through practice. The distance from their own lives intrinsic to pet care can let kids separate themselves from the picture and approach the job logically, though not dispassionately. Setting times for specific pet care routines and creating schedules for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks helps kids see how time management works on different timeframes.

Of course, the main reason to have a family pet is to expand the family and bring more love into your home. At the same time, there are some very practical arguments as to why you should do so. Think over what kind of pet would work best with your family’s lifestyle, and bring home a new family member. One day, your kids will thank you.

Before You Board: Sanity Saving Strategies for Preparing for Your Flight

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Vroom. You’re about to get on a plane. You know the feeling. The jitterbugs that creep up from your stomach. That nagging feeling that you forgot something, but you can’t remember what it is.

What you need is a simple checklist.

Research

You know that you’re going somewhere, and you know where that somewhere is. So, spend some time researching it – like local laws and customs (if you’re traveling out of the country). If it’s domestic travel, you still want to get a lay of the land. Use Google Maps’ street view to see the area where you’ll be staying.

Get familiar with the roads near your hotel. Check out local restaurants and menus so you can get a feel for the food there. Hop on a travel forum or on City-Data and ask locals about the area. What do you need to bring? Where are the local hot spots? Where are the tourist traps?

Plan It Out

Time to buy your travel tickets. Do this at least 3 weeks out. More lead time is better than less. If you can, try to buy a plane ticket on a Tuesday when prices tend to come down a bit.

If you’re driving, prep your vehicle by getting some basic maintenance done. Or, research and book a vehicle for the trip from your favorite rental place.

Have Passport, IDs and Visas at The Ready

You have to get pictures done, fill out an application, and pay the fees for your passport. If you’re leaving the country, you can’t really travel without one. And, make sure you have any visas you need for travel too, along with a government-issued ID.

Get Travel Insurance

Just do it. It’s not a scam. Lots of people won’t buy travel insurance and their trip turns out fine. They then conclude that travel insurance is a scam. It’s not. It’s insurance. If you’re on a trip somewhere and something happens, it will probably be catastrophic because you’re away from home and cut off from your local network of friends and family. This is why people buy travel insurance – so they can get an emergency lift out of a strange country, get traveler’s checks replaced if they’re lost or stolen, and get comped for lost luggage.

Get Immunizations

This is super-duper important if you’re visiting a third-world country or a place where there’s an outbreak of a weird disease that you’ve never been exposed to. In the U.S., and most other western countries, we have clean water and different sanitation standards. Because of that, we’re not exposed to the same kinds of bacteria and viruses that other people in other countries are.

If you’re visiting some places in Africa, for example, there’s a real chance you could get yellow fever – something that’s been eradicated in the west. Or, ebola. You don’t want that.

So, make sure you check out the place you’re traveling to, and get all your immunizations.

Get Prescriptions

Don’t assume the country you’re visiting has the drugs you need. They may not. Fill your prescriptions before you leave so you’ll have them.

Prepare Your Home for a Vacation

Call friends and family and let them know where you’ll be. Either hire someone, or have a trusted friend watch the house, take care of your dogs, or do whatever needs to be done.

Pack

Here’s where things get tricky. You want to pack smart, bring luggage bags (get ones that are sturdy, like from Bed Bath & Beyond), or a rolling garment bag if you’re packing suits. Pack the usual – clothes for the trip, toiletries, a wool blanket, and tissues.

Bring some non-perishable food and snacks just in case you’re hungry and can’t find a place to eat.

Bring a basic first-aid kit with you if you can stuff it into your luggage. You’re in a strange place, and won’t know everything about the hospital situation or what’s available at local drug stores. Finally, bring an emergency cell phone with International prepaid minutes.

Molly Powell enjoys writing articles when not running around after her daughters! She writes about all aspects of family life from parenting to decor to travel related articles.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2015/05/22/06/08/travel-778338_960_720.jpg

Consider Designer Clothing as a Gift for Children

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If you receive an invite to a child’s birthday party, or if you have just become a proud grandparent or aunt or uncle, it is important that you find something for the child to wear. While many of us shop in regular retail stores for children’s clothing, it can be nice to buy something designer as well. Unfortunately, this generally means that you have to pay a small fortune as well. However, if you know where to shop, you, too, can afford these types of labels.

There are some truly amazing children and baby clothing designers on the market today. Just take a look at the Evolution Kids Emporium clothing brand pages to see just a small collection. You will quickly spot that there are many designers out there, and that they create the most amazing pieces. Is there anything cuter than a little baby in a full jog suit, for instance, with athletic strips on the hood, cuffs and legs? You know that if you purchase these items as a gift, they will be greatly appreciated and they are therefore suited to children of all ages as well. Imagine how happy someone would be if you buy their toddler something designer! It is a way to show just how much you care as well.

Once upon a time, finding designer clothing for children was nearly impossible. Today, however, all the big fashion houses are at it. You can find brands like Dolce & Gabanna, Baby Dior, Gucci and more. They create fashionable yet comfortable items that are perfectly suited for children of all ages. And because these are true designer labels, the quality is superior as well. A lot of parents purchase nice clothes but then don’t allow their children to play in them, because they worry about the fabric ripping. This is something you don’t have to worry about with real quality designer clothing.

Trends

It is impossible to name a single designer that dominates the kids’ clothing market today. But what is known is that we are liking patterns and particularly patterns that have meanings. Some, for instance, have historical images printed on them, adapted to a younger, more modern audience. All of these are beautiful and bright, however, as daring to make a statement with your clothes is definitely the hip thing to do right now.

Spend some time looking through the amazing collection of items available through Evolution Kids Emporium to be inspired about what is hot and trendy this season. You are guaranteed to be able to find something that is not just incredibly beautiful and of high quality, but also very easy on the purse strings. After all, children only wear their clothes so many times before they grow out of them. Hence, although the garments will still be fine at that time, you will have to pass them on to the next person. As a result, you don’t want to spend too much, which you won’t have to by shopping at Evolution Kids Emporium.

 

Photo source from artur84 of www.freedigitalphotos.net

Parenting 101 God’s Got An Answer For That : Teaching Kids How to Use the Bible to Solve Problems

It was a privilege to be invited by OMFLit Publishing to attend a free parenting talk a few weeks back at their Boni branch, God’s Got An Answer For That: Teaching Kids How to Use the Bible to Solve Problems.

Amor Alvarez is the first speaker and he is a pastor at Christ Jesus Our Life Church. He also works at OMF Lit Publishing. He shared about how we can apply Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” in our parenting.  

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  1. Tell them about Jesus by reading His word. There are many age-appropriate Bibles available and choose one that fits your child’s age and interest.
  2. Patiently answer their questions. Answer truthfully and simply. If you avoid answering their questions, they will go to Google, social media or their friends to find out the answer.
  3. Read together especially when they’re young. This builds a love of reading in your children. Put your books at a reachable place. If you are not available, record your voice in an app and let your child listen to you read even if you are not there.

The second speaker is Ms. Angel Santos. She is the current children’s ministry head from GCF Ortigas.

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She shared her parenting tips through the acronym INTENTIONAL.

Intimacy with God.  We need to grow personally so we can teach our children. Do our children see us praying and reading God’s Word?

Nurture your children.  Children stay out of the house because they don’t have a relationship with their parents. It is important to know your children’s love language and let them know they can express themselves at home.

Train them consistently. Do it daily.

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xemplify Christ-like behavior. Be more kind, gentle, loving and have integrity.

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ourish them spiritually. We should not delegate nourishing our children to the church as this is the parent’s responsibility. They need to know the Bible is part of their life, not just as stories but also they need solid doctrine. Help them to do quiet time and disciple them.

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each them about real life. Help them understand that life is not perfect and how to deal with disappointments, difficulties and despair. Also teach them to dream and hope in God.

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nvest time in relating to your children. A child would view God with the way the child relates to parents. If parents is always busy, then the child would view God as always busy. If the parents are distant, the child would view God as distant.

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ffer them to God. We need to remember that our children are not ours, but God’s. Let’s entrust them to the Lord’s care and point them to His Word. Let them realize that the Word of God has everything that they need to know.

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ever entrust your children’s future to others. Be proactive in teaching our children.

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ffirm their value. Help them come up with goals and remind them of challenges they will encounter and walk with them on these challenges.

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ift them up in prayer. We must pray for every area of their life.