Archive of ‘Parent Advice’ category
Working long hours, cooking, cleaning, running children to and from school and after school activities, occasionally catching up on some sleep, a mum’s life is all go go go! When it comes to cleaning, take a few of these tips from other busy mums and make cleaning your house daunting!
- Be efficient: Mum’s are really good at multi-tasking, use this to your advantage! Incorporate moving around the house with tidying, never leave a room without taking something with you to put away. Keep cleaning equipment throughout the house, so whenever you have a spare second (an advert during your favourite TV programme) you can grab the nearest duster and attack your dining room cabinets! Your dishwasher doesn’t just have to be for dishes, efficiency is everything! Load your dishwasher up with ice dispenser grates, stove knobs and grates and kitchen sponges – this cuts down on the time you spend cleaning. Combine your tasks, take your sponges into the shower with you and wipe it down when you’ve finished!
- Use your helpers: The majority of your cleaning will be cleaning after your children, and they do say that 3 pairs of hands are better than one! Combine fun and playtime into your cleaning, and get your children interested in helping you. Children-sized vacuum cleaners are a great way to get them enjoying cleaning – with any luck they’ll be asking to vacuum everyday! Set a time limit, say 15 minutes, and have a mad cleaning sweep all around the house including tiled areas. Pull together all the items that need to be put away and start the timer, 15 minutes a day means your house should stay clutter free (the majority of the time!)
- Tricky places: There are a few tricky places of the house that need a bit of extra time and care to clean, but with a few tips this can easily be sped along. Boiling water in your microwave for 5 to 10 minutes mean it will easily be wiped clean. Putting slices of orange, lemon and lime in the water it will keep your microwave smelling clean and fresh! Use a one-inch painter’s brush to get in all the nooks and crannies of you cabinets, the bristles will loosen up dust so the surfaces can be easily wiped away.
Talk to other mothers about further tricks of the trade, all mums have plenty of their plate and will be happy to share their secrets to make cleaning more effective and more efficient!
Flickr author here
If you’re a single parent, or your partner works away a lot, it can be difficult to find suitable employment. That is why starting your own home based business could be the ideal solution to all your financial problems. On top of this, staying at home with a child can become very tedious if you don’t have some kind of outlet, which is precisely the reason you pay close attention to all the business ideas listed in this post. Most of them are pretty simple to set up, and you’ll be able to work around your schedule, which has many obvious advantages.
I’ve personally worked from home for around three years now, and I can honestly say it’s the best move I’ve ever made. While it can be a little nerve racking to begin with, once you establish yourself and build a regular client base, things soon become more relaxed. So, give me your full attention and let’s take a quick look at some of the ideas you may wish to consider…
Washing And Ironing Services
You probably spend a lot of time doing your own washing and ironing when at home with the kids, so why not start a business where you get paid for it? There are many people who live alone and work long hours, and some of them simply don’t have the time to deal with these jobs. So, there’s definitely a lot of potential for earning if your skills are sufficient enough to make a good impression. You can either spend a couple of mornings each week collecting the clothing from your clients homes, or you could even allow them to drop it off to you. Obviously, you’ll need a commercial washer to cope with the increased loads, but these are cheap to buy from specialists like Alexanders Direct.
Freelance Writing / Design
There are lots of freelance websites around at the moment where companies and individuals post large and small jobs they need to complete. Presuming you have sufficient English skills or you’re a dab hand at design work, you could earn a good wage through these sites. Once you’ve established yourself in the industry, you should find it simple to attract clients outside of the freelancing sites, and so your earnings should increase even further. Just make sure you only ever bid for work you know for certain you’ll have the time to complete, as any late submissions could work against you.
Childminding / Babysitting
If you’re spending all day with a child anyway, you might as well look after other people’s for pay. Most families don’t earn enough for a parent to stay at home with the kids, and this means they have a lot of trouble sourcing care when the school holidays come around. Most childminders charge around £10 per child for every hour they’re with them, so it’s possible to take hundreds every day if you make the right adaptations to your home and obtain all the proper licenses and insurance.
Well ladies, there you have it. After taking time to read through those suggestions, you should be more hopeful about starting your own home based business in the near future. It’s important to work if you’re able, as this gives you a sense of purpose.
Good luck with the new business, whatever you end up doing!
When you’re a teenager, one of the things that you start to look forward to is the freedom to drive your own car whenever you want, and wherever you want to go. It’s also something of a status symbol for many youngsters, as it’s “cool” to have your own car rather than having to take the public transport everywhere (or blag a lift off your mum and dad whenever you want to go into town)!
But what many teenagers don’t realise is how dangerous driving can be. According to statistics from Brake, the road safety charity, a shocking one in five new drivers are likely to crash their car within the first six months of driving, and it probably comes as no surprise that young men are far more likely to be involved in a crash than women.
Quite often, teenage drivers will end up being taught how to drive by their parents, and many of those youngsters will go on to pass their driving tests. If you have teenagers and they want to learn how to drive, here is what you need to know in order to do a good job!
Have you got what it takes?
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself whether you are cut out to be a driving instructor to your children. There are certain qualities and legal requirements that you will need to possess before you can even consider becoming a driving instructor to your kids:
- Personal qualities – as a driving instructor you have to be patient, have the ability to stay calm under pressure and be able to guide your child through any dangerous situations;
- Driving licence – in the UK, you will need to have held a full driving licence for at least 3 years;
- Car – obviously a car is required for this particular task, and it needs to be road legal (i.e. having valid MOT and tax). Both you and your kids need to be insured to drive the car.
One crucial thing that you must not do is pass on any bad driving habits to your kids; pretty much everyone will have picked up bad driving habits at some point in their lives. Some parents opt for taking an advanced driving course first to help them be better drivers, so that they can pass on those positive driving skills to their offspring.
Preparing for the big day
When you’re both ready for the first driving lesson, it is important to teach your kids the basics of your car (or their car, if they have their own car to learn in). This means going through the controls of the car, and familiarising them with the different components of a car so that they can check they all function correctly.
Once you are both ready to begin, make sure the stereo is turned off, and both of you have seatbelts on. Get them to adjust their mirrors and seat to ensure optimum visibility and comfort, and then you can begin the lesson.
In a hurry to pass?
Some parents feel it is better to get approved driving instructors to teach their children how to drive, so if they are in a hurry to learn how to drive, it might be more beneficial to book some intense driving courses for them once they have mastered the basics of driving in your car.
This gives them the confidence to progress as they will have had previous driving experience (with you at their side) and it will obviously be cheaper too.
If you’re looking for a nanny, it can be difficult to find one that lives up to the expectations supernanny Jo Frost set for everybody. Her techniques seem to work no matter how badly behaved the child! However, that doesn’t mean you can’t strive to find somebody as equally as good as her. Here’s what you should look for when hiring:
Someone Well Put Together
No, we don’t believe you should judge a book by it’s cover, but if the nanny seems to take care of herself this can only be a good sign, as well as an indication of how she’ll care for your child/children. She doesn’t need to have a fashion sense to rival Alexa Chung, but providing she’s clean and tidy like t&c staff, it’s a good sign.
Interacts Well With Your Child
As part of your interview, you should allow the nanny time to meet your child. Does she seem patient and caring? IS she comfortable holding and playing with your child? Don’t worry if your child doesn’t seem to take to her right away, they may get used to her in time. What’s important is how she handles the situation.
Asks Appropriate Questions
There are some tell tale signs that somebody will be a good nanny, and asking appropriate questions is one of them. If she asks you how often your baby cries for example, this might mean she can’t handle normal child behaviour. If she doesn’t ask any questions at all this can still be a problem, as she should be interested enough in the position to think of things she’d like to know the answers to.
Does she seem intelligent? The nanny should be able to follow instruction and think on her feet effectively.
You don’t need to become best friends with this lady, but you should be able to talk to her about things concerning your child. She should feel comfortable with you, as the pair of you will need to be in constant contact.
If she’s on time for her interview, that shows that she could be reliable. Lateness, even with an excuse, could spell trouble.
Does she seem as if she can handle taking care of your little one? If she doesn’t look up to the job physically, or seem it mentally, you should steer clear.
Getting references is a very important part of choosing a great nanny. Experience and great ratings from past employers are brilliant! You want to be able to contact at least 2 of her past employers. You’ll need to ask questions regarding how long she was with the family, whether she was reliable, why did she leave, if there was anything they didn’t like about her, and any examples of when she handles a difficult situation. Background checks are important too!
Once you think you’ve found a great nanny, you could schedule a test run in order to find out whether she’s suitable for the job. If you still feel comfortable, hire her!
Image Credit: Flickr
Women, often considered defenseless and an easy target, might find learning self-defense can help them if ever put in a dangerous situation.
Most crimes against women are sexual, and statistics confirm that 1 out of 5 American women have been raped, the victim of attempted rape, or sexually assaulted. Statistics also confirm that about 4.8 million women are the victim of domestic violence each year.
When it comes to these situations, having a background in self-defense can help prevent the attack, help save someone else from an attack, or help escape an attacker.
Here is a list of the most effective self-defense tools:
For women living alone, in a city, or in a crime-related area, owning a gun is a smart idea. Most people who own guns have never had to use one on an intruder, but they feel more comfortable knowing they have a means to protect themselves. Purchasing and owning a gun legally can be done through websites such as Calibersnm.co
Although a humorous take on it, Sandra Bullock, in Miss Congeniality, teaches women how to defend themselves with the acronym SING:
If attacked from behind, a woman should elbow her attacker in the solar plexus (stomach), stomp on their instep (foot), hit them in the nose, and finally, aim for the groin.
Other vulnerable areas to aim for are the eyes, ears, neck, and knees.
If the attacker is in front, aim to gouge the eyes and yank on the ears. For the neck, because of the carotid artery and jugular vein, the attacker can be temporarily stunned if hit hard in the side of the neck.
The elbow, knee, and head are the biggest built-in defense mechanisms because they inflict the most pain.
Be vocal and aggressive if possible. Because many attackers prey on women they hope to be defenseless, yelling and immediately fighting back can scare them off.
Having a rape whistle, pepper spray, or mace can be effective tools to stopping an attack. Rape whistles draw attention, thus many attackers will flee for fear of being caught. Mace and pepper spray, when sprayed in the face, cause temporary blindness, giving a woman a chance to run away.
There are many gyms, colleges, and martial arts centers that offer self-defense classes. Classes demonstrate how to get out of typical positions such as a chokehold, bear hug, or wrist hold. These classes provide informative tips, practice, and confidence should anyone ever be put into a dangerous situation.
Keys, pens, briefcases, tweezers, etc. can all be used as weapons if applied with enough force. These items can temporarily stun and injure an attacker, or, in the best case scenario, scare them off.
Report any attack to the authorities. Do not be afraid to report to the authorities because any evidence or information can be used to catch the assailant and provide awareness.
Hopefully a dangerous situation will never arise, but knowing self-defense could save a life.
Image Source: http://www.mma-a.com
We can’t keep our eyes on our children every second of the day even though we try hard, and during the summer they need to get outside and play. Keeping our children safe is our prime concern through every waking moment and we would feel devastated if any harm befell them through our inaction.
There are different types of danger we need to consider when looking at our children’s safety. These fall into two categories; physical and security. We will take a look in this article, at some of the dangers that your garden may present to your children and what we can do to minimise them.
This is an obvious danger no matter where you live or what style of garden you own. Good, strong fencing is essential to keep intruders out and children in. Now this needn’t mean turning your home into a fortress, just adding a physical barrier that will stop anyone having free access. The fence can be disguised or made from lots of different materials so there is no need for it to look ugly. The garden should have a good gate which is locked at all times.
There are a myriad of physical dangers that the garden presents to a child and negating them is usually down to common sense. Some of the dangers are life threatening and some may cause minor injury, so let’s take a look at a few of them and the solutions.
- Water. A garden pond is a death trap to a young child. No matter how capable you think they are, leave nothing to chance. It seems that you only take your eye off the children for a moment and disaster happens. Ponds should be fenced off or, better still, go to a local fabrication company and have them build a steel grill that can be placed over the pond until the children have grown up. It will allow wildlife to flourish while keeping your kids safe. All too often we hear about children coming to harm in ponds.
- Trees. Are your trees healthy and safe? If you own a large tree you may be wise to seek the opinion of a qualified tree surgeon. Structural weaknesses may not be immediately obvious to the untrained eye and large branches can fall. Low hanging branches can bring a headache to a child running from enemy soldier as well, so they may need removing.
- Bushes. Shrubs often come with thorns that will scratch your kids as they explore the jungle or hide from invading aliens. The only answer is to dig them up and replace them with some more suitable planting. Perhaps a rose garden can wait until the kids are a little older.
- Glass. Do you have a greenhouse or cold frame? As you are aware, broken glass is deadly. There is some useful safety film on the market that can be applied to your glass and, should it be broken, will help to ensure the shards remain stuck to the film and prevent your child coming to harm. Alternatively, replace your glass with plastic sheeting.
- Garden tools. Many tools you use to garden are sharp and can be very dangerous when children try to play with them. The best way to avoid those kinds of accidents is to store your tools in a locked garden shed. If you do not have a shed, you can easily add one to your garden with a steel building kit. You can decide if a steel shed is right for you by reading Armstrong steel reviews from real people who also have them.
Now, after having said all of the above, I don’t wish you to have nightmares. With sensible precautions, there is no reason your kids can’t play their way through the summer in safe surroundings. Most of the subjects raised here are, you may say, obvious. Ye, they are, however, they still need stating otherwise children would not still be coming to preventable harm. So set to work in your garden and give your kids the safe, happy summer they deserve while having peace of mind yourself. No job is more worthwhile.
When you have a little girl that you want to buy the prettiest and sweetest looking outfits for, the things that matter most are the little extras. In our opinion, it all comes down to those little frills on short sleeves or bejewelled motifs on shoulders or even pretty embellishments that will delight a little girl’s eyes. We have yet to come across a designer brand of children’s clothing that understands this factor more than Miss Grant.
When you are looking for plenty of embellishments, then you really need to take a close look at Miss Grant dresses. These dresses come with a wide array of different all-in-ones, leggings, puffy sleeved tops, ruffled skirts and very simple, but eye catching shapes. The Miss Grant range offers a diverse blank canvas for parents who can choose from the likes of long strings of dangling and attractive beads, ribbons, bows, motifs and various decorative patterns to suit even the most discerning tastes of your little girl.
Another way that Miss Grant products could be the best choice of designer wear for your little girl is the fact that they all rely on similar cuts and styles but with different decorations and colours, so your child only needs to try on one dress to see how well any others in that range will or will not fit. This means that as well as having to spend less time making your child changing into different outfits in a changing room, you can buy more Miss Grant products online, knowing that they will fit properly.
The fact that the cuts and fabric have been expertly designed and manufactured means that with most products, they are likely to fit your child, regardless of their size and shape. If your child and you are very fashion conscious and want to look your best, then Miss Grant is a great choice for clothes shopping as the lines offered are practical as well as being eye-catching and fashionable.
One of the concerns that we always have with children’s clothes, whether it’s those worn by little girls or boys, is how well they will survive a play session outdoors. You can rest assured that Miss Grant dresses have been designed and made with this in mind. Little girls can get rather messy when they are out playing in the grass or mud, and even if they don’t like that kind of play – accidents are always possible when it comes to kids at play. Practicality of the clothes in this range is something you don’t have to worry about, as they will retain their great looks and fit even after play.
We don’t know about anyone else, but having girl’s clothes for our kids that look good but that are also easy to look after is very important to us. This is very much the case when it comes to Miss Grant dresses and clothes. They really do look great and last a long time, more than justifying the price tag compared to cheaper, less well designed alternatives.
It can be tricky as a parent trying to find a special needs stroller that can provide your child with the necessary support and positioning that they need. For many parents, there is no substitute to seeing particular adaptive equipment in person and testing it before purchasing. If you are unsure of the measurements you need to be aware to work out whether or not you should purchase a Special Tomato EIO push chair, then please continue reading as this is what we will discuss in the following article.
Your Child’s Weight
As the Special Tomato EIO chair has a maximum weight capacity of 90 lbs. or 40.8 Kg, it is important that you accurately weigh your child and make a note of their weight in either Kilograms or pounds.
Your Child’s Hip Width
Your child’s hip width is measure at their hip joint, while they are seated. One way you can do this is by placing two books at either side of your child’s hips and then measuring in a straight line between their hips, across their lap. The seat width of the EIO push chair is 12” or 30.5 cm.
Your Child’s Thigh Depth
This is another measurement that should be taken while your child is seated. Ensure that your child is sitting with their buttocks against the back of a seat. Measure this in a straight line from just behind their bent knee to where their buttocks meet the back of the seat. The EIO Special Tomato chair has a seat depth of 12~ or 30.5cm. It is worth keeping in mind that the angle of the leg rest is adjustable; therefore children that have thigh depth measurements less than 12” or 30.5 cm will still be able to fit comfortably onto this chair.
Your Child’s Back Height
Again, this is another measurement taken while your child is seated. Ensure that your child is sitting as far back on the seat as possible. Measure in a straight line from where their buttocks meet the seat surface to the top of their shoulders. The EIO push chair has a backrest height of 24” or 61cm.
Your Child’s Back Height To Top Of Head
Make sure your child is seated as far back in the seat as possible and measure in a straight line from where their buttocks meet the surface of the seat to the top of their head. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the backrest height of this chair is 24” or 61 cm.
Your Child’s For To Knee Height
While your child is seated, measure from their shoe’s bottom, along the back of their leg to the back of their knee joint, where it bends at an angle of 90 degrees. This chair has a seat to footplate height of 13” or 33 cm.
If you follow the above instructions you can be sure whether purchasing this particular push chair is the best decision for your child.
The first few years of your child’s life are usually the most special, and so it can be tempting to spend all day playing around and let them get up to all kinds of mischief. However, these early stages are when your little boy or girl will be most susceptible to new information, and so giving them some education from time to time could significantly improve their intelligence in later life. This is why many childrens books are based around learning, and why you should consider spending at least an hour every day teaching them something new.
Language is one of the most difficult subjects to pick up when you’re older, and so encouraging your children to take an interest from an early age could be a very wise move. At the end of the day, even if they never encounter a situation where using their newfound foreign language is required in real life, just being able to speak in a different tongue is likely to improve their options when leaving school or university. Don’t get me wrong, teaching a new language to a child is never easy, so you’re going to need some fun tips from an expert if you want to achieve the best results.
It must be your lucky day…
Turn Learning Into A Game
Most toddlers exhibit one of two main personality traits. They’re either extremely competitive, or in constant need of entertainment. Regardless of which category your child fits, there’s a learning technique that will suit. For competitive children, make it clear that whoever learns the most words first will be rewarded in some way. For children with active imaginations who need entertainment, find a way of turning the learning into a fun game. Perhaps you might like to get Snakes and Ladders out and add the stipulation that they’re unable to roll the dice until they’ve answered a language question correctly. Are you with me?
Use All Modern Technology
Presuming you have computers in your home with a good internet connection, it would be silly not to utilise all the benefits offered by this technology. You’ll find some brilliant foreign language learning games online, and when their skills are more advanced, you could even head on over to websites like learngerman24.net to help them improve even further. Incidentally, it’s worth mentioning that German, French and Spanish are the most common languages spoken in the world after English, so it’s best to stick with those three.
Visit A Relevant Country
If you’ve spent a couple of months teaching your child to speak French and you really want to encourage them to progress further, you’ll need to spark their interest somehow. This could mean booking a holiday to somewhere like Paris and letting them meet people who use the language as their first. This will help to provide a kind of context to their learning, and should inspire them to continue because they want to, not because you want them to.
Well guys, that’s all you’re getting out of me today, but I’m confident you will have learnt some skills that are sure to benefit your child in the near future. Just remember, young minds are like barren deserts; they need the seed of inspiration and the water of your knowledge to sprout life.
Photograph credit here
As a parent, a divorce is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever go through. Not only do you have to deal with your own feelings, you have to make sure your child is coping well too. However, by handling the situation correctly you should be able to make your child feel safe and secure. Millions of families have been what you’re going through and have survived, so follow our guide to get through it together:
Explaining The Situation to The Children
Sitting your children down and explaining what is going on to them is very important, especially if they are old enough to realise what is going on. Try to explain it to them together, even if it means you have to stop arguing and call a truce for a while. Depending on the age of your child, you’ll need to give more/less explanation and say things differently. A child of 5 is going to understand less than a child of 15! Make sure you agree on what to say with each other beforehand, don’t pass off any blame, and don’t contradict each other. Your child needs to know you’ll both be there for them as always.
Minimise the Tension
Providing your partner isn’t too angry, abusive, or violent, try to minimise the tension to avoid causing emotional difficulties. These difficulties could affect your child way past childhood, so don’t criticize your ex in front of them or make them take sides.
Make Sure they Know You Love Them
Both parents need to make the child know that they love them no matter what, and they’ll always be there for them. Show them they won’t be abandoned and that they are always loved with plenty of reassurance.
Stick With Their Routine
Make sure they stick with any current routines at school, after school activities, seeing friends, and seeing family on both sides. Life will change for them, but the more stable it is the better.
Don’t Go it Alone
Make sure you let teachers and carers about what is happening so they are understanding of your child’s behaviour and can provide support where possible. You may also need to contact a company such as this immigration and family law solicitors based in Manchester to sort out any issues.
Your child needs to know that it’s ok to discuss things with you. Their feelings and opinions are important, so be honest and open with them. Try to answer any questions they have truthfully in a way they’ll understand.
See It From Your Child’s Point of View
Your child won’t have the same concerns as you – they might simply be worried about pocket money, birthday parties, and other things that children worry about.
Protect Them from Adult Worries
Bear in mind that there’s no way your child can understand what you’re going through. To your child, saying sorry could work and they probably won’t be able to process why it hasn’t. Try to protect them from your worries, and confide in an adult rather than your children on your worst days.
You and your child/children will get through this, it will just take time, patience, and honesty from both/all of you. Stick together, get support, and you’ll be just fine!
Image Credit: Flickr