Archive of ‘Parent Advice’ category
Every parent will inevitably have to deal with their offspring’s request to learn to drive and their wishes to pass their driving tests. It is not a subject that some parents like to deal with, especially those that are overly protective of their children!
But as they approach 17, they will doubtless be thinking about the freedom having their own car will bring them, as well as the number of opportunities that will be open to them. For example, employers are far more likely to take on youngsters at their companies if they have full, clean driving licences.
If your son or daughter has decided that they want to start learning to drive, here are a few hints and tips to help make your journey (excuse the pun) a more bearable one!
Get your child to apply for a driving licence
The first thing that anyone needs to do being taught how to drive on public roads is to apply for a provisional licence. As long as your child is at least 15 ¾ years old, they will be able to apply.
However, the only caveat is that they can’t get behind the wheel of a car until their 17th birthday, so it’s probably easier just to wait until then before applying for a provisional licence.
Find an approved driving instructor
Assuming that your son or daughter is at least 17 years of age, it is now time to find them an approved driving instructor.
Just like how those learning to drive need to pass tests, approved driving instructors have to pass a rigorous set of tests in order for them to be qualified for teaching others how to drive.
Alternatively, you could teach them how to drive yourself, as long as you are over 21, hold a full driving licence for the vehicle they want to learn in, and both you and your offspring are insured to drive your car.
I would recommend getting a qualified approved driving instructor to teach your child how to drive, as they won’t pick up any of your bad habits nor are you likely to “fall out” with each other.
Take the theory test
Once your offspring has had some experience on the road and has done a lot of studying (for example, reading the Highway Code), it is time to put them forward for their theory test!
Their driving instructor will be the best judge of determining when your son or daughter is ready to take their theory test, but if the instructor tells you that they are now ready to be put forward, don’t hesitate to book theory test today!
Take the practical test
Assuming that your child has passed their theory test with flying colours and their instructor feels that they have enough experience on the road to tackle the practical test, it will then be time to put them forward in it!
If your son or daughter is comfortable driving their instructor’s car, they will normally be able to take their practical test in it rather than in someone else’s car.
Often, we get stuck in a present-giving rut. When our friends and loved ones are welcomed into the delight (and horror) of parenthood, we want to commemorate their new journey with a token of our love. The thing is, the gifts that are available for new babies can be a little, well, dull. If you want a thoughtful gift for the new parents that is a little different from the usual plethora of photo frames and stuffed toys, then look no further:
Baby gift hampers are always a welcome help for new parents, particularly those that are brand new parents for the first time. Think about all the things that new parents need, and are likely to run out off. You can tailor the hamper to suit the sex of the baby, or the interests of the new parents for a truly unique twist on a new baby gift. So many parents have experienced the stress of running out of wet wipes at three in the morning or using the last of the nappy rash cream on a Bank Holiday when the shops are shut for two days. Think about all the things that you run out of regularly as a parent and buy accordingly. Not only is it thoughtful, but the parents will love you as they can avoid maximum stress with their new baby ‘survival kit’.
While the baby cannot indulge in the bubbles, the new parents can. So many people get wrapped in buying the new baby gifts that we often overlook the parents in all of this. After all, new mummy has done all the hard work for the last nine months and she is not even reaping the rewards! Reward both mum and dad for their hard work and allow them to celebrate their new bundle of joy with a good, quality bottle of champers. Who wouldn’t like to receive a gift of bubbles, regardless of the occasion? Just ensure that the whole bottle is consumed in one sitting, or there may be fights over who is doing the night feed with a hangover!
Vintage Baby Gifts
If you are struggling what to buy the baby, then take a look at the plethora of vintage websites, and handmade websites that are plastered all over the internet. With a vast array of vintage gifts to give to the new baby you will be spoilt for choice. Take a look at silver dummies, old style lace shawls and personalised wooden toys. There truly is something for everyone, regardless of their love of all things twee.
Personalised gifts are the perfect way to show the new family that you care. Personalised gifts are an excellent way of showing how much thought you have put into their gifts. You will win serious brownie points with the parents with a gift like this. Think personalised children’s story books, personalised door signs as well as comforters, dummies, wooden keepsakes, dressing gowns and so much more. It truly is the gift with a definite personal touch.
Nobody like to dwell on the fact that we’re all getting older, but sometimes it’s good to take a look at some of the most common health issues faced to prepare ourselves for what’s in store. Luckily, most people manage to drift through life without anything substantial occurring, but there are still a lot of minor problems we might encounter in the future. With this in mind, today I’m going to give you some basic information about 4 of the most common operations a parent might need to endure after the age of 50. Like it or not, our bodies do start to deteriorate around this time, and you’ll be far more relaxed if you know what’s coming.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to scare you, and you may be lucky enough to never have to go under the knife to keep your health. I just want to put the information out there in the hope of educating people who are interested. So, give me your full concentration, and we’ll get started…
Although doctors and fitness experts tell you that exercising regularly is a good idea (and they’re right), this does take a heavy toll on your joints, which is why so many people end up having to undergo a knee replacement at some point during their 50s and 60s. Don’t stress too much though. While this might have been a major operation in the past, advancements in procedures and prosthetics have made it far less complex, and so far fewer complications occur.
This operation is slightly more complex, and so you’ll have to take it easy for a long time if your doctor recommends you need a new hip. My grandmother actually underwent this procedure a few years ago, and although she recovered perfectly, she was unable to walk or get out of bed for around ten weeks. Considering this, you’ll definitely want to make lots of preparations before going under the knife, as your family will need to rally round to ensure you’re okay.
When you reach a certain age, your eyes will also begin to cause you problems. Most people just wake up one morning with blurry vision, and this then starts to become worse over the course of a few weeks. If you notice this happening to you, it’s vital that you consult a doctor at the earliest possible opportunity, as there is a chance the issue can be dealt with without the need for an operation if you catch it early enough.
Varicose Veins Removal
You’ve probably noticed that some mature people have veins that stick out a little more than most of us. This is a condition known as varicose veins, and it affects around 1 in 6 people at some point in their lives. It’s never a good idea to travel on an aeroplane if you suffer from this, and the operation to have them removed could knock you off your feet for a few days, but other than that it’s nothing to worry about.
So, having read about some of the most common operations parents over the age of 50 might have to endure, you should be better prepared for any eventuality.
See you soon!
Every Mum in the world knows that the time they have to themselves is incredibly precious. This is why it is always a great idea to have some ideas to hand for any chances you get to do something pleasant. The following are some of my top secret delights.
Play Some Bingo
I remember that when my Mum used to play bingo it was a huge social event for her. She would get her hair done, look out her best clothes and have a huge smile on her face. I was always interested in seeing what her bingo hall was like but when I finally went once I left a bit disappointed. Thankfully, the option to play some bingo on the internet now lets me enjoy the same sort of fun my Mum had without leaving home. I probably even spend less money than she did, as I always play free bingo at gamevillage.com. I haven’t yet enjoyed a big win but for the very little money I have spent it is working out to be an incredibly cheap hobby. I recently started playing on my mobile phone as well, so I can grab a few minutes wherever I am able to get some action.
Watch a DVD
When I lived alone I used to watch films all the time. Once the family came along I had to stop this hobby for a while. Now, I always have one or two DVDs tucked away waiting for the chance to watch them. Just last night I settled down with The Book Thief after everyone else was tucked up in bed. It meant a later night than usual but it was worth it to see a magical movie and have some quality time on my own. If you haven’t had time to watch a DVD in the last few months then you should make the time to do so. It is a perfect way to transport yourself to a different world and forward about the stresses and strains of family life for a while.
Looking at Photos
If there is one thing which might be even better than the other two I’ve already mentioned it is looking at old photos of our family. At the moment, we have a mixture of old printed photos and digital ones. I’ve been scanning the old ones and then putting them all onto a cloud storage site. It really is amazing to look back at these old pictures and see how much the kids have changed in a relatively short period of time. Some of the pictures can instantly transport me back in time just by looking at them. There are some from our first ever family holiday at the seaside and I can almost taste the salt in my mouth and feel the sun on my back when I look at them. Sifting through these priceless images also gives me a wonderful incentive to keep on taking more family snaps in the future.
All parents want their children to do well at school, so when your child actually knuckles down and gets some great work done it can be a joyous occasion for all! A lot of parents choose to treat their children for doing well at school, but what exactly can you do for them? Here are some great ideas that are sure to get them motivated to continue to do well:
Image Credit: Flickr
Take them to The Zoo
Kids of all ages love the zoo, but young children get especially excited when it’s time to see the monkeys, giraffes, lions, and other cool animals. You shouldn’t underestimate the power of your local zoo if you want your child to revise hard, do their homework, or get a good result in a test/exam.
Buy Tickets to a Theme Park
Tickets to a local theme park will have your child lying awake with excitement for weeks, so it’s probably best you don’t tell them you’re planning on doing this too far in advance, or they probably won’t do that well at school! Taking them for a fun filled day out on all of their favourite rides and rollercoasters should encourage them to keep up the good work too!
Invite Their Friends Round
If you don’t have the kind of money to take them to the zoo or a theme park, perhaps you could invite a few of their friends round and put on a few snacks. You could leave them to play to their own devices, or you could turn it into a full on party for all the kids, with food, games, and a bounce house! You can find jumpers for sale online to make this get together extra fun for the kids.
Buy Them A Small Toy
Perhaps your child has had their eye on a small toy for a while. You could always treat them to something little to say you’re proud of them for doing so well! However, I don’t advise buying them something too large as they might begin to expect this from you every time they get a good mark or score.
Cook Them Their Favourite Meal
If you’re on a real budget, you can still treat your child to their favourite meal one dinner time. Forget the chicken, potatoes, and veg (unless this is their favourite meal), and offer to cook them anything they like; spaghetti bolognese, burger and chips, or even pizza! Make their wish your command.
Take Them to Their Favourite Restaurant
On the other hand, you could treat your child to dinner at their favourite restaurant. This shouldn’t cost too much money, as kids usually like places like Mcdonalds and KFC as far as restaurants go. Either way, they’ll love being treated and should continue to try hard in their studies!
Although it’s nice to treat your child when they do well at something, I do give a few words of caution. Treating them too often for what should be considered as ‘normal behaviour’ can make them grow to expect certain things for nothing. Only treat your child on extra special occasions and it should have the desired effect!
As they grow up your little ones will be seeking out more and more adventurous activities. They’ll also start eating foods that haven’t received your seal of approval. Both bring with them an increased risk of damaging or losing teeth. Knowing what to do when this happens could mean the difference between rescuing your child’s tooth or losing it and it could spare a whole lot of unnecessary pain. Below is some advice from the Cuffley Village Dental Practice.
It’s probably the furthest thing on your mind when you’re outdoors having a good time with your family, but as the summer approaches so too does an increased risk of broken and damaged teeth. Spending more time outdoors, participating in adventure activities and crunching down on hard candies and tough foods could all end up in a chipped, broken or knocked-out tooth.
Dental emergencies don’t keep office hours and finding an emergency dentist can take time, even when you are at home. Taking the right actions and doing so swiftly can help you save the tooth or in the least, minimise unnecessary pain.
1. If it’s a milk tooth, it’s probably fine.
Since milk teeth are destined to fall out eventually, if your child has a milk tooth knocked out, it’s not necessary to have the tooth reinserted. So no need to panic. A lost tooth chart is a handy way of tracking tooth loss and will help you work out which teeth are permanent. But do check for facial fractures and bruising. And remember to dispatch the tooth fairy!
2. Preserve a knocked-out permanent tooth. Then get to the dentist. Fast.
If a permanent tooth gets knocked out at the root there is a good chance a dentist can reinsert it-provided you act quickly: Pick up the tooth by the crown. Do not touch the roots. Gently rinse the tooth and if possible, try to place it back in the socket. Get your child to gently bite down on it. If you can’t put the tooth back in their mouth, keep it in a glass of milk. Get hold of a dentist immediately and bring the tooth along. Ice any bruising.
3. A small chip in a permanent tooth is not an emergency.
If your child has lost a small part of their permanent tooth and it doesn’t hurt, you should be able to make a normal dentists appointment and seek dental treatment once you’re at home. A dentist will usually either smooth the tooth down or add some filling. In the meantime, you could use an emery board to file down any jagged edges that might hurt the tongue, lip or mouth.
4. A fractured permanent tooth requires immediate attention.
A fractured tooth can be extremely painful. When a tooth is cracked, the inside of the tooth is usually damaged and a dentist may be unable to save it. A dentist will need to assess whether the tooth pulp is damaged which would require a root canal treatment. Alternatively, a crown or bridge may be necessary.
While you find an emergency dentist and make your way to their practice, you can protect the sore tooth with gum or some moulded candle wax. Place any broken off fragments in milk.
5. Stay calm.
Whether you’re a child, teen or adult, damaging a tooth can be traumatic. It’s important not to panic and give your child the reassurance that everything is under control: You will get them to an emergency dentist as soon as possible and regardless of the damage, they still have the prospect of a perfect healthy smile ahead of them.
Nobody gets married with the intention of splitting from their partner a few years later and getting involved with a messy child custody battle, but unfortunately, this happens quite a lot in the modern world, and so you need to be as prepared as possible for any eventuality. I recently went through something like this, and although it was stressful and upsetting, with the right advice from my lawyer, I managed to pull through. With that in mind, today I’m going to relay some handy tips that could make the process a little more bearable for all involved. Of course, your partner may act incredibly unreasonably in this situation, but that doesn’t mean you have to bring yourself down to their level.
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At the end of the day, you want to get through this is the quickest time possible to avoid it having adverse effects on your children. I can tell you from personal experience that family breakups can have a massively negative impact on your child’s mental health, and it’s not always obvious until they’re a little older. Indeed, my own parents split when I was four years old, and it took me until the age of around 22 to completely recover from it. That might sound extreme, but it’s the god’s honest truth.
So, take a read through some of my tips, and hopefully you’ll limit the chances of this happening to your kids…
Tip #1: Always Remain Calm
Situations will almost certainly become heated quickly during a child custody battle, but you need to remain calm and rational at all times. This is the best way to show the authorities that you are the best parent for the job.
Tip #2: Never Lie In Court
You might be tempted to tell a couple of small lies in court, but this should be avoided like the plague. Any lawyer with the same level of experience as Attorney Mark Goldstein will tell you that getting busted for one lie means your entire case falls apart.
Tip #3: Think About The Child
Child custody battles happen because two parents each believes they’re better for the child concerned. Even so, don’t try to get residency for your kids if you know in the back of your mind that your ex partner would do a better job.
Tip #4: Be Patient
Divorces can take a long time to come through, and child custody cases aren’t that different. Your son or daughter will have to speak with social services representatives to help determine their happiness levels, and you’ll have to jump through a lot of hoops. This is just something you have to accept.
Tip #5: Don’t Be Vindictive
In situations where a couple co-owned a property, it’s usually the partner who keeps it that gets custody of the child. However, as I’m sure all the rational people reading this article understand, that is not a good enough reason to fight for a child you’re unable to look after properly.
Well, hopefully know you’ll be a little better prepared should anything go wrong in the future. None of us like to imagine things like this happening, but they do, and so we shouldn’t avoid the issue.
Follow my advice, and everything should go smoothly.
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.