Archive of ‘Family’ category
A family trip is a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together and enjoy each other’s company, but there are a few things you might need to do when planning your vacation so that the time away is a great success.
Here are some tips to help you improve your chances of enjoying an amazing vacation that everyone will remember for all the right reasons, including why it helps to talk about your plans, a good mix and match strategy, plus a sensible idea to give everyone some space.
Get the kids involved
Unless you have very young children it is always a good idea to involve your children in the planning of your family trip.
There are various good reasons why that is a sensible strategy. When kids feel included in the planning stage of the trip they will have a much better understanding and appreciation of what’s involved and they get a chance to say what they would like to do while you are away.
The sense of anticipation and the chance to talk together about your plans can be the start of the bonding process that will continue into the holiday itself and by getting everyone involved you can quickly identify any potential issues before you finalize your plans.
Balancing everyone’s needs
A family trip has to be just that, a vacation that doesn’t just suit the interests and needs of one person but an adventure that manages to find a suitable balance between what everyone might want individually.
If you line up a holiday that doesn’t offer much for the kids in terms of entertainment and facilities that would not be a smart move, but equally, arranging a vacation that is solely focused on keeping the kids entertained is going to leave you as the parents feeling underwhelmed by the experience and wanting more.
Talk about all aspects of the trip as a family and if you are booking accommodation, like the Fairfield Inn and Suites Marriott, for example, and making plans for sightseeing trips while you are in the area, share the excitement and the anticipation with each other.
Leave some time in the day
Despite the fact that you are all going on a family trip you don’t have to spend every minute of the day with each other, especially if you have some different things you would like to do for part of the day.
If mom likes the idea of a relaxing morning spent at the hotel without rushing out of the door then there is no reason why you couldn’t schedule an adventure with dad taking the kids somewhere for the part of the day and then meeting up later.
As well as giving everyone a chance to get a bit of a mini-break you don’t have to feel that every part of the day has to be planned, or you could end up returning from the trip feeling like you haven’t rested at all.
As a parent, one of the big concerns you’ll have is how to keep your children safe at all times, especially when they’re young. It’s impossible to keep them safe all of the time. However, there are measures you can take that will make their lives safer and help you to protect them throughout their life. There are also things you can do if they have an accident that you’re unable to prevent beforehand, so here are some of the scenarios you should keep in mind.
Be Respectful of Animals
Depending on where you live, there will be animals and insects that can cause your children harm if they get too close. In most cases, being aware of your surroundings and respectful of an animal’s territory will be all they need to avoid getting an injury. It’s important to teach them that if they’re outside, they must take care in certain situations. In particular, snakes, spiders, and bees can cause the most harm, so you need to teach them about how to recognize them and where they may be hiding.
Keeping Them Safe in Public Areas
When you’re out with your children, you’re always aware of where they are and what they’re doing. However, in busy places such as malls, it can be difficult to keep your eye on them all the time. If you’re worried that they may become lost, you need to have a plan in place to minimize any chance. If you have young children, a good idea could be to have a strap or other harness that you can attach to your children. It would allow you to keep hold of them, especially if they like to run off and explore. For older children, you can always have a safe meeting place that you can all arrange. If they become lost, they can go there to wait for you. A good place is usually the information desk so that they can call you.
Making Sure They Stay with People You Trust
One of the most difficult things about parenting is being able to let them stay with other people. Your family are usually the first people you’ll let them stay with, however, if you hire a babysitter or nanny, the risk becomes slightly higher. Always try to choose someone who was recommended by someone you know. You may have other friends who use them and have found them to be reliable. If you’re still worried, you can always start off with just a little trip and then go out for longer periods as you feel more comfortable. Some parents have taken steps to install cameras when they’re away so that they can be extra sure everything is ok.
Teaching them to Call 911 in an Emergency
If there was ever to be an accident at home and one of the parents became hurt, it would be difficult for anyone to know. That’s why, if you have older children, they should be taught to dial the emergency services. Of course, they also have to be taught that it’s for emergencies only, but it could be of vital help if something serious happened. You also need to teach them your address and other contact details, or have them written down beside the phone, so they can tell the 911 team where the help is needed.
What to do if Your Child is Injured
Although parents do all they can to protect their children, there can sometimes be an accident that wasn’t the parent’s or child’s fault. Even though it’s a deeply difficult time, it’s important that you get your child the help they need as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to learn some basic first aid so that you can help them before the emergency services arrive. It’s also important to take down details of the accident. If they are injured by a third party, then you need to get their details in case you need to file a claim through a firm like Harrell and Harrell accident lawyers. If it was a car accident then that means the car and registration details, and if it was an animal then record the type of animal that injured them, especially if they were bitten by a snake or spider. Any information about what happened could be useful, so don’t worry about recording too much.
Parents should always make sure that their children are prepared and able to see the dangers ahead of them, and they should likewise be prepared for anything themselves. You shouldn’t spend your life worrying, but you do need to be able to act if the time comes and your help is needed.
The benefits of screen time for children have been a source of debate for some time, but most experts agree that some time each day is a good thing. In addition to providing a variety of learning-based apps, movies and television shows, mobile devices have shown to have a calming effect for children on the autism spectrum. Before you start searching for good deals on iPads, though, consider whether a tablet or an iPhone would be a better purchase.
Display and Touch Areas
Although phone screens are getting larger, they are still no match for the screens found on iPads. If you have small children who still have clumsy hands, they will probably do better with a tablet. The larger display screen and touch area make it easier for them to navigate. Tablets are also better if your children will be reading picture books that have large letters and illustrations in them.
The smaller the screen, the longer the battery will last. The iPad is a good choice if you intend them for home use and the kids will be in quick reach of an outlet as the battery indicator goes red. However, if you’re looking for a device that can be used on the go, such as in the car or while waiting in long lines, an iPhone is a better choice since it won’t need to be charged as often.
While both devices provide Wi-Fi connectivity, the iPad won’t have any functionality if you aren’t near a wireless network. This is probably acceptable if the device is for younger children, but if you’re purchasing something for a tween or teenager, the iPhone is probably a better choice. It can be used for texting and calling, and you can always restrict usage and content with special apps.
Now that you have a good idea of which device is best for each situation or age group, it’s time to begin your search. You can look for good deals on iPads online or even check out your local iPhone accessories store.
Kids – you gotta love ‘em! Or so it is said, because as we all know, children can be a right pain at times! There’s feeding them, to begin with: kids are notoriously picky when it comes to what they will and will not eat. Choosing the right food for them to enjoy and be healthy is never an easy task. Then there’s getting them to go to bed at a sensible time, which may prove to be one of the most difficult of all tasks. You may have your own ways of getting the kids off to sleep – perhaps a bribe or a promise – but we’ve got some more ideas that might help.
You could start with the traditional: read them a story. This works for some kids, but for others it doesn’t do the trick. They become too interested in what’s going on, and don’t fall asleep. There has to be a better way – and we think we might have found it. We’re talking about a great way of getting the kids soothed at bed time, and it’s one that can be educational, too. The answer comes in the form of star projectors, which are fun, inexpensive and almost guaranteed to do the job.
About Star Projectors
The stars in the night sky have always held a fascination for both young and old. Find a place with limited or no light pollution and look up at a clear night sky; the sheer number of stars and planets that you see, twinkling above, is a thing of wonder, and kids love to learn about the heavens above. It’s no surprise that, once you get hooked, you remain so, and that’s why many people have telescopes.
Star projectors come in many forms, so we recommend you read a great review of the top 10 that we found at a site called Bestreviewer. They provide comprehensive, interesting and entertaining reviews of a wide variety of items, star projectors being just one of them. They give you full information of each on the list, plus pros and cons and recommendations, as well as the price you should expect to pay, and you’ll find great savings on the high street price. If you are interested, they also have reviews of telescopes, plus a range of household appliances, gadgets and more, so have a look and see what they can do for you.
Enjoy the Stars
A star projector can display the actual universe on the ceiling of the bedroom, or may project a soothing, colourful image that is designed to help them relax and fall asleep, and each is an inexpensive item that will provide the necessary relaxation to ensure your children are asleep in no time at all.
There’s something very special about a star projector, and at the prices you will be getting an inexpensive and interesting – as well as fascinating and educational – item that will keep your children happy and get them to sleep in no time at all.
For most of us, we know that our smartphones are a prime target for hackers and thieves. Since these mobile devices are practically the same as a computer, we have to start treating them as such by securing them. But which methods are best? How do they get inside? Let’s look at the most common entry points as well as ways of protecting your phone and family’s phone from hackers.
Whenever you surf the web, you could potentially run into a site that will download a bug onto your system. This malicious software will infect your system and try to extract data or use up your phone’s battery and memory.
The Protection: If you get Android antivirus software like AVG, then you can avoid dangerous sites and keep your device clean.
If you’ve ever gotten an email from a contact of yours with a suspicious heading and link embedded inside, then odds are it’s a scam from a hacker who is trying to steal your information. On your phone, these hackers can also send texts or call you while pretending to be something like a bank or service, asking for personal information.
The Protection: Never click on a link that you don’t trust completely, and never give out information to someone calling you. If you have to update your data with a company, tell them that you’ll call them on their main number or do it online.
One of the best ways for someone to gain access to your phone’s contents is to steal it from you. This will enable them to look at things like your contact list (for phishing scams) and stored data like saved passwords.
The Protection: When it comes to Android security, you should keep your phone password protected (swipe or PIN), and you should get AVG, which allows you to track and shut down your device remotely before anyone can access anything.
The more time you can spend on prevention for yourself and family, the better off you’ll be in the long run. AVG antivirus can be your best defense against hackers and thieves, and it’s free to download.
Buying a new family car is an important decision and one that you generally have to live with for a number of years. Therefore, it is really important that you don’t take this decision lightly, as you could end up with a car that causes no end of bother and greatly cost you. When you are looking for a new car, it is always a good idea to read some reviews from car experts and people who have already bought the car. One of the great things about the Internet is that you have access to loads of review and expert websites that can help you to make your decision.
There are obviously a number of factors to take into consideration when you get your next car. Factors like how fuel-efficient the car is, whether it has a warranty; when the tax is due, how quickly it accelerates or how well it handles should all form part of the decision process.
Here are some of the best options available right now if you are looking for a new family car:
Kia Soul – This compact yet surprisingly spacious car is a popular choice for small families. Because it is one of the more affordable cars on the market, it is a great option if you are keeping to a budget. The shape of the car ensures that it offers more passenger comfort than your typical car in the compact category.
Honda Civic – The Honda Civic is also a popular choice in the compact car category. Priced a bit higher than the Kia Soul, but offering a large amount of space and the best fuel economy in its class.
Hyundai i20 – Another great car if you are looking to keep your budget low, the Hyundai i20 is turbocharged and also boasts intelligent safety systems, touch screen navigation and parking sensors. For a small car, it is surprisingly comfortable and a popular choice for small families. You can find one which is cost effective at notable dealerships such as Autotrader.
Chevrolet Malibu – Chevrolet have always provided excellent standards for family cars and the Chevrolet Malibu is largely regarded as the top midsize car available right now. This is a highly spacious car that also rides really nicely, providing a very comfortable experience for all passengers. The infotainment system is also a big selling point for this stylish, reliable car.
Remember when you are looking for a new car that there are a number of factors that you should be looking at. It can be easy to be influenced by cost alone, but sometimes opting for the lower priced vehicles can actually end up costing you much more in running costs and maintenance.
Make sure that you do your research to work out which car will suit your family the best and check out as many reviews on your choice as you possibly can. A few years with the wrong car can feel like a very long time, so set out your main priorities and don’t let them be swayed when you get into the car dealership.
If the pace and stress of modern life isn’t something that you enjoy then why not take a step back. By looking at some retro ideas you can slow down your lifestyle and give your kids a real treat.
Why not try out one or more of these ideas and see how much fun it adds to family life.
Give Them Fish and Chips in a Newspaper
If you grew up in the UK then there is a good chance that you have savoured the wonderful pleasure of eating fish and chips wrapped up in a newspaper. Yet, there is also a strong possibility that your little ones have never done this, and they might not even believe you when you mention it.
Why not make them some healthy fish and chips and then wrap them up in a newspaper. The kids will love eating in this way and it may bring back some happy memories for you too.
Play a Board Game
These days, the wealth of computer games and mobile apps means that we are in danger of losing the thrill of the traditional board game. Yet, if you played the likes of Monopoly or Cluedo as a youngster then you know exactly how exciting this sort of game can be.
This is a fantastic way of spending a few hours as a family playing together. Some board games are even pretty good at help kids to learn new words, improve their memory of learn in some other way.
Get a Slush Machine
Who can forget the glorious summer days of their youth when they would slurp a slushy drink and feel as though they were in paradise? This retro pleasure might seem like something that never be re-captured for the benefit of your children.
However, you can get slush machines for home use now. This opens up exciting possibilities for making fantastic drinks that get the whole family excited.
The classic parlour game of charades is one of the finest ways of spending time as a family doing something that is terrific fun. If you have slipped into the habit of spending time each in their own room then this a smart way to get together as a family again.
If the children in the family have never played this game then this love discovering how much fun it is. They will soon be caught up in the excitement of this game, which usually ends in laughter and a great bonding experience.
Make Your Favourite Childhood Meal
Most of us have at least one favourite meal from our childhood that we still look back on fondly. Do you remember something that you used to eat as a kid and that you haven’t tasted in years?
By making a few retro meals you can let the little ones enjoy some of the food that you most enjoy and also get to savour the taste of your past at the same time.
What if your partner is racking up a huge amount of credit card debt, and has a hard time putting a halt to their unnecessary spending? This situation can get quite dangerous. Is your spousal debt starting to look unmanageable due to a spending addiction? Start investigating payment solution and embrace the ideas listed below that you may try out to get their finances back on track.
1. Be Careful with Debt Solutions
There is a saying that “you know yourself best”, so when you are solving your own debt problems, you have only yourself to worry about. Dealing with someone else’s issues on the other hand, may pose some uncertainties, and there are more factors to consider. For example, be especially careful about converting credit card debt into home equity debt. This will just free up your cards enough so that you or your partner can inadvertently do more damage. Unless you are committed and completely stop using those cards and commit to paying down debt, any loan modification efforts will only lead to increased spending temptations and additional debt.
2. Seek Counselling
While you may be open to taking action for yourself, it may be a lot tougher trying to encourage your spouse to go this route. Have you ever seen the TV show “Intervention”? You can only instigate change once you have seen the light. Unfortunately, many people with this problem do not see their debt as a problem and continue to be in denial.
3. Do Not Bail Your Spouse Out
Discuss the option of separating your finances with your partner who cannot manage their spending. See if you can work out an agreement where you keep separate financial accounts.
4. Approach the Issue with Sensitivity
Be understanding and supportive provide a positive attitude and loving approach to your spouse’s problems. Dealing with change can sometimes be tough and it’s easy to fall off the wagon, so making this a team effort would be much more manageable. Of course, your family’s dynamics will determine whether you can realistically make this a successful joint effort, but this has to be done.
5. Manage Household Finance
In effect, this would mean relinquishing financial control and assigning the financial responsibilities to someone in the family who can handle their finances. Would you be able to make your spouse cooperate and agree to a financial plan? In fact, you are both basically imposing strict limits on your household spending, and though it may be an uncomfortable arrangement, it may be worth doing for at least, for the short term.
6. Use the Right Tool
As it is mandatory to cut all your spouse’s credit cards at this stage, you will need to provide another payment method for her because you simply cannot expect her to pay for everything in cash. This is where the Visa prepaid card comes in handy. Prepaid Visa cards functions just like a traditional credit or debit card would. This will allow your spouse to make purchases in-store, online or at ATM machines. However, the prepaid Visa card is not linked with any credit facilities or bank account. This means that she can only spend what was preloaded on the prepaid card account. Since a prepaid credit card does not facilitate credit services or cash advances, your spouse will not be able to spend any money that they don’t have. This is a perfect tool to restrict expenses as well as to help her nurture a sense of responsible spending.
Now that you have realized that the only way you can break this bad habit is to help your spouse to make a commitment to deal with it head on. You will have to help your spouse dig deep to find the discipline to make those changes. With the assistance of prepaid Visa cards and full dedication, it gets easier as your spouse develops healthier financial habits over time.
Visit http://www.transact24.com and get your spouse a prepaid Visa card today, do not allow her debt to add up and control her life.
You don’t have to be a fan of the ubiquitous Kardashian family (and their endless weddings and baby showers) to see the hottest gifts for babies and parents. Today’s parent wants a gift that’s not only very cute and clever, but one that is practical.
Take your cue from celebrity and famous new parents – a very coveted baby shower, christening, bris or baby welcome gift is a baby hamper. You can struggle to put one together yourself. But for the same (if not reduced) price, you can purchase beautifully arranged baby hampers in Sydney which come in themes and colours and lots of personalization options. It is also more convenient and hassle-free to purchase one rather than creating it yourself.
Baby hampers are so clever – and if you’re giving the gift in a crowd or party, you will get all the oohs and ahs. Attention will be on your gift, which will not only be picture-ready and picture perfect, but be filled with items, to which you can add to make it just what you’re looking for and what you need. There are sellers like Baby Gift Box that have gifts designed for the mum-to-be, for a set of twins, for gender-specific or gender-neutral babies, too.
If you’re looking for additional items to give – let’s say you chose to give a hamper for the baby shower – and you need something to bring to welcome the new baby or to bring when you attend the baby’s christening or bris – there are a lot of super fun, super cute and all-kinds-of-adorableness presents available.
You know how toddlers like to ride up high on mummy’s or daddy’s shoulders? There’s cute – albeit one-trick pony item — that some parents will love, it’s a shoulder baby holder. It has a cute soft seat that conforms around the wearer’s neck and a chest brace and holders for the baby’s feet.
Baby leg-warmers may seem gimmicky to you, but little knit knee warmers – with padding in the knee are great for crawlers (but bear in mind that not every baby crawls – some go from sitting to walking).
The always pulse-on-pop-culture Buzzfeed may have their moments of controversy, but not when it comes to checking out the latest in electronics, fashion, food and more…and even… baby gifts! Check out “30 Unexpected Baby Shower Gifts That are Sheer Genius”. Included on the list are:
- Baby bean bags
- A baby shusher
- Car-seat/Stroller combination
- Car-seat vest with a holder for a dummy or baby-bottle
- Dancing shoes for parents to wear with little shoes on top for kids to stick their feet in and dance with mum or dad
- Portable baby food mill
- Baby bullet — people who love icy mixed drinks know the bullet that’s a compact high-speed, individual blender, and now there’s one for mixing baby food
- Blooming bather – a safety padded mat for baby to sit on whilst in the bath
- Bottle heater that doesn’t need batteries or hot water
- Fancy baby cradle that comes with music and “five unique motions” that mimic the way a parent carries their baby
- A baby board book on HTML (it’s actually called HTML for Babies)
- Clever stroller attachment for mum’s with lots of useful pockets
- A bib that is also a placemat
- A 3-in-1 travel diaper bag that transforms into a changing table and portable bassinet (this is mad genius, actually)
- A spill-proof and indestructible sippy cup
- A changing mat that’s transformed from what looks like a cosmetic pouch
- A stroller phone holder
- A super-gentle battery-powered nail file
- Electrical outlet protectors
- An egg carton filled with baby socks in different sizes (something you can actually make yourself)
With plenty of ideas presented above, you can certainly find a gift that is not just perfect for the baby but is also something that parents-to-be will appreciate.
How many baby outfits does one newborn baby need? How many teddies and cot toys can one family take? If someone close to you has just had a baby and you’re thinking of a suitable present, what about giving them something a little more thoughtful than yet another cosy baby blanket?
Having a child is a momentous occasion that should be honoured in the appropriate fashion. If you’re thinking of a baby gift that has meaning and longevity rather than simply panders to fickle consumerism, here are 5 ideas you might like to consider.
- Magazine Subscription
Having a new baby is no walk in the park, especially if it’s the first one in the family. Unfortunately, babies don’t come with an instruction manual, leaving the parents to work it all out for themselves. This is where information is invaluable. Of course, you can find the answer to every conceivable question on the internet – but isn’t it much nicer to flick through the pages of a printed magazine over a cup of tea while the little one is asleep?
There’s a wealth of choice when it comes to baby and parenting magazine titles, so you’re bound to find one that fits with the new parents’ lifestyle and general outlook. An annual subscription makes it easy. No searching at the newsagents for the latest issue – just wait for it to plop through the letterbox. It might just be the highlight of their month.
- Family Photography
For a lasting newborn present that will be appreciated for years to come, a professional family photography shoot is hard to beat. Choose an experienced portrait photographer who specialises in families and children (and pets too!) and make a booking or ask for a gift voucher.
From newborn to baby’s first year, and all the developmental milestones in between, having a professional photographic record of the changing family is a beautiful reminder that can be looked at again and again.
Whether photographs are framed or canvas printed and displayed on the wall, sent to far flung members of the family, or lovingly kept in an album that comes out at special occasions, why not make it regular event – say every year – to add to the family chronicle?
Your new baby photography present could be the start of something beautiful and very long lasting indeed – and it’s all because of you!
- Children’s Investments
For those who want their baby gift to be of long-term use, and not just a passing frippery, there’s always money. Of course, you could simply hand over an envelope of hard cash to the new parents – but if that seems a bit too cold, there’s a wide range of savings instruments specially designed for children that you could investigate.
From National Savings Children’s Bonds and Premium Bonds, to Junior ISAs and a range of other children’s savings vehicles, there’s bound to be one that fits the bill, both for you as the donor as well as the long-term savings goals for the little one.
If you’re going to set up an account on behalf of the child, it’s advisable to do this with the parents’ full knowledge and cooperation, as some savings vehicles have limitations and restrictions, both in terms of who can act on behalf of the baby as well as the amounts that can be deposited.
- Astrology Chart
For something completely different – and do check with the parents first to see how they are inclined – how about a reading of the new baby’s astrological birth chart? It’s a powerful document that can be referred to time and again for guidance and advice through the years.
Many people believe that the constellation of the stars and alignments of the planets at the time of one’s birth offers invaluable insights into a person’s nature, needs and strengths – and can even provide clues as to future developments in the person’s life.
While some scientists concede that the movement of the sun, moon and planets have an influence on us by interfering with the Earth’s magnetic field, astrology has failed to stand up to scientific scrutiny. From a mainstream scientific viewpoint, therefore, horoscopes are a load of nonsense.
However, if you are more spiritually inclined, you may not be so quick to dismiss the ancient wisdom going back thousands of years. Perhaps a natal chart could provide answers that science cannot, offering a unique tool to guide the baby through all stages of life?
- Charity Donations
You might like to look beyond the immediate needs of the new family, particularly is they’ve been showered with presents from all sides and really don’t need anything else. If you wish to mark the birth of a baby in a more socially conscious way, how about making a statement on their behalf?
Both the National Trust and English Heritage offer lifetime memberships that support their valuable work to preserve our heritage, while WWF and the Born Free Foundation will let you adopt an animal.
There are many causes in the world that would welcome extra support. Whether you sponsor a Third World child through Plan International or make a donation to protect the rainforest, your donation could make a real difference to the world we live in.