Raising Happy and Healthy Kids

Being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences, but it is hard raising a small human. There are a million decisions to make every day. All you want is for your child to be happy and healthy. Kids don’t need a lot in the form of products. We live in a consumer society that likes us to think otherwise. What kids really need are not things but love, attention and guidance.


Build Relationships

Teaching children how to build relationships is often overlooked. Simply pointing out bad behavior towards others is not enough. Encourage your child to practice small acts of kindness. This helps build empathy. Learning how to be empathetic makes children better people. It can also build self-confidence, self-esteem and happiness.

Effort Over Perfection

It is easy to reward a child for getting straight A’s on a report card, but just because your child got a C doesn’t mean they didn’t put forth a great deal of effort to earn that grade. That is why it is important to expect effort over perfection. Overemphasizing achievements can actually have negative effects on your child’s development, causing anxiety and even depression. Focus on praising your child’s effort over their natural ability. This shift in focus makes kids what to keep engaging in the process even if they may fail.

Happy Habits

Help your child develop happy habits. These are habits that have a positive influence on a person’s life. Some healthy habits that promote happiness and in turn productivity include getting a good night’s sleep, exercise, remove distractions, disengage at the end of the day, help others and learn new skills.

  •       Sleep: A good night’s sleep is very important for people of all ages.
  •       Exercise: Encourage your child to get outside and run around with friends.
  •       Distractions: Always having the television on or a device to play with discourages creativity. Give your kid some quiet time to reflect and think their own thoughts.
  •       Wind down: At the end of the day, everyone is tired. Pad your day with a little time to disengage from the day. Have a relaxing dinner and quiet time. Encourage reading or drawing.
  •       Help hands: Helping others is a happiness boosting habit. Make lending a helping hand a natural reaction. Kindness is a habit that goes a long way.
  •       Learning: Children are constantly learning even when we as adults don’t realize it. There are many gadgets out there that promote new skills and enhance learning. Sites like www.brandballot.com can help you choose the best products.

These habits just take a little bit of conscious effort to instill, but they create a lifetime of positive habits that tend to have the byproduct of happiness.

Raising happy and healthy kids is important. Give your child space to be themselves while also instilling good habits. This way when they leave the nest they are well-equipped to face the world. They will be more likely to have a positive effect on the people around them if they learn to build good relationships young, are willing to work hard regardless of the outcome and build positive daily habits.


Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fun Activities to Stay Cool With Your Kids on a Hot Day

Enjoying yourself on a hot summer day can seem almost impossible when you’re outside with your kids. Between the sun beating down in the sky, the high humidity and the sweat dripping off your face, you may want nothing more than to retreat back to the AC. With some fun and simple activities, you can stay cool all day long and keep your kids cool at the same time as you have fun together.

Swim Races

Splashing around in your swimming pool is a lot of fun on a hot day, but it can be even more fun when you host swimming races. You can use the ordinary streamers found in party supply stores to create the lanes that each person follows during the race. Check party stores for medals and prizes that you can hand out, or make your own on your home computer. Let the kids race to see who can swim the most laps in the shortest period of time or who can swim a certain distance the fastest. Pass out awards to all the winners. The Big Tick and similar companies can inspect your pool and ensure that it’s ready for the hot season.

Water Gun Assassin

Water gun assassin is a fun game that you can play with both kids and adults. Put the names of all players in a hat or bowl. Ask each player to draw a name. If a player draws his or her own name, put the name back in and draw again. Give each player a water gun and a set amount of time to hide somewhere outside the house. Players must then sneak up on the person they drew from the bowl and tag that individual with the water gun. The loser hands over his or her name to the assassin. Whoever is still standing at the end is the winner.

Make Ice Cream

You don’t need to spend money on an expensive ice cream machine just to make your own ice cream on a hot day. There are a number of recipes that you can find online for making your own ice cream base. All you need after making the base are a few plastic bags, ice and rock salt. Mix the ice and rock salt inside one bag, pour the base inside a smaller bag and firmly close. Insert the smaller bag inside the bag of salt and ice, and shake until the mixture becomes the texture of ice cream. You can store any extra in the freezer.

Water Balloon Races

When you have a number of kids over at your house, organize them into teams for a water balloon race. Fill ordinary balloons with cold water, place buckets on one side of the yard and have teams wait on the other side of the yard. When time starts, teams race across the yard and try to pop one balloon at a time over the bucket. The winning team is the one who fills their bucket the fastest.

Why stay inside and under the AC this summer? Water balloon races, water gun assassin and other fun activities help you beat the heat and have some fun with your kids as you cool off in your yard.

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