Archive of ‘Family’ category
If you’ve recently had your first child, the chances are you’re a little unsure about whether you have what it takes to be a good mother, right? Well, you shouldn’t be too concerned. This is something many people ask themselves after having kids, but the vast majority of them fill their boots perfectly. Even so, it’s sometimes a good idea to get some advice and information from someone who’s been there before. If nothing else, it might put your mind at rest and allow you to concentrate on looking after your child. Considering that, today I’m going to provide you with some essential tips that are sure to help you stand in good stead. At the end of the day, there are no right or wrong ways to be a good parent, and most of it simply comes down to your instincts.
I had my first little angel five years ago, so I’m past all that now, but I do remember how worried I felt for the first few months. With that in mind, I’ve written this post in the hope of helping others to avoid the same unwarranted feelings. So, take a quick read through all the points made below, and you should come away with a much more positive outlook on the road ahead.
Link for photo
Listen to the child
Your child will communicate and send identifiable signals to you even before they learn how to talk. Most new mothers struggle initially when it comes to working out what different noises might mean, but after a while it will become second nature. Your child will cry in different ways when they want feeding, need attention or require a bathroom break. So, just try to work out which is which and you’ll be fine.
Give your child enough attention
Failing to give your child enough attention during the first few months of their life could have drastic effects on their development and future personality. So, make sure you always spend as much time as possible playing with the baby when it arrives, and never leave it alone to cry in the cot. As a mother, you should have instincts that tell you all this, but some people do need a push in the right direction, so it’s worth paying attention to that point.
Seek help from the professionals
If you’re really struggling to do the right thing, there are plenty of experts at hand to help. You could visit your family doctor, speak with a parenting advice service or even get help from a life coach. All of this can be arranged online these days, so don’t worry about having to leave home with the baby. Just wait until he/she’s having a nap, switch the computer on and perform a simple search. I think you’ll be surprised to see the amount of help available to you. I know I was.
Well ladies, you should now feel a little less stressed about the next few months. I promise everything will fall into place eventually!
Young children love camping, so make the most of it before they reach the teenage years. When they reach that age they lose all interest in the great outdoors and look, instead, to theme parks, amusement arcades, and anything else that costs a lot of money.
photo by studio ties
We find it hard to understand why they lose their enthusiasm for camping because we have forgotten how it feels to be that age. After all, being a teenager is all about looking fashionable and trying to attract a member of the opposite sex. Their best designer gear isn’t suited to muddy farmers fields or rugged countryside.
Younger children, on the other hand, can’t wait to get away from it all and rough it in the wilderness. They will help you prepare the caravan or motorhome and rush you on the day of departure. The journey is a fascinating one because they are very excited, and it isn’t long before you hear those dreaded words, “are we nearly there yet?”.
They are just a happy as you when you acquire your first touring vehicle from the Caravan & Camper Megastore because it opens up a summer of possibilities.
Try and remember what you enjoyed as a child and see if you can relate it to your kids today. Here are a few things they enjoy about camping.
- Adventure. They love to explore, so all of the new destinations you visit when touring offer them a different playground at every stop.
- Freedom. If you live in a busy town, you often cannot let your children play anywhere except in your garden. Imagine the delight they feel when they are allowed to roam, within reason, unaccompanied in the great outdoors.
- Sport. Many campsites are close to rivers; something your children may not experience very often, where they can spend the day fishing or paddling in the shallows; bliss. Never leave them alone near water.
- Fire. The campfire is one place where we allow our children to get close to the flames, and they are fascinated by them. Roasting marshmallows is a time-honoured tradition, so the kids eat lots of them.
- Nature. Camping puts them in the heart of the natural world where there is much to see. Whether they come across wild animals or those on a farm, kids enjoy seeing them.
- Family. Holidays of every variety are fantastic for bringing the family together for a week or two without the pressure of work. Camping is no different and young children are delighted to spend time doing exciting things with their parents.
- Seaside. There are many sites close to the sea, so they can step out of the tent or motorhome and be splashing about or building sandcastles in minutes. At night, they can hear the sound of the waves breaking and fog horns in the distance, reminding them of the adventures tomorrow has in store.
Well, I hope I have encouraged you to go camping while the kids are young. I am going to start packing now too. There is no time to waste. Happy trails!
As any mum will attest, the gifts that our young children give to us are sometimes disappointing. Of course, we appreciate their efforts in attempting to give us the perfect present, but more often than not, we are left with a plethora of tacky photo frames and fridge magnets. While this does sound rather ungrateful, and that is not our intention, there are some things that all mums would love to receive on gift bearing occasions. Here are my top five gifts, that I wish my kids would buy me on my birthday:
While this may seem a little odd, I love relaxing while being bathed in candlelight. I have candles in my bathroom, so that when I have those rare moments of ‘alone time’ I can sit back and relax in dimly lit surroundings, while being immersed in hot soapy water. It’s idyllic to say the least. A candle gift is essentially the gift of relaxation. Relaxing is so essential for our emotional well being, but as busy mums with hectic lifestyles, this seems more like a luxury than a necessity.
The gift of music is seriously underrated. There is nothing more wonderful than receiving a new CD, or an iTune’s voucher. Music is the ultimate mood lifter, so if I’m having a particularly rubbish day, I like to dance around to my favourite songs to lift my spirits. Of course, giving the gift of music is very personal. I’d be happy with a mixed CD, or playlist, that my children had compiled themselves. While their favourite songs may not be to my musical taste, I would thoroughly appreciate the effort that they had gone to.
I love gardening, so having lovely ornaments in my garden is essential. I love adorning my outdoor furniture with gorgeous centerpieces. Bark lanterns are perfect for the outdoors as they suitably match with their surroundings while Zen gardens are perfect for making your outdoor space a more peaceful place.
Reading is a form of escapism, so delving into a riveting fictional piece allows me to take a break from reality. I don’t think that there is anything more enjoyable than reading a cracking yarn. You can get lost in the pages; you fall in love with the characters and, more importantly, you are exercising your brain. A day of watching children’s cartoons can seriously take its toll, so it is important that I take the time to read.
Of course, perfume is a difficult gift to buy, so I don’t expect my kids to know what scents I like. When I’m getting ready for a rare night out, I feel that the perfume completes my outfit. More importantly, smelling good inspires confidence within. You look amazing and you smell amazing. What could be more perfect? That said, nights out are few and far between these days!
Whatever your children buy you for your birthday, you are sure to love it regardless. My advice is to drop hints to your partner, so that you get exactly what you want for your birthday.
Are you starting to get nervous at the prospect of entertaining your children for six weeks during the summer break? You are not alone; parents all over the country are bracing themselves for weeks of endless activities with their children.
Here are some suggestions for things a mum can do with her children to keep them happy on a daily basis. If you are that mum, treat this as your bible for the holidays, it could help you hang on to your sanity.
Parks are underused facilities when you consider what they have to offer. They give wide open spaces for the kids to run around and burn off energy, there is some great play equipment, and most of all they are free. Make a trip to the park part of your daily routine.
The Swimming Baths
Kids love the water, so make a visit to the swimming baths a weekly event. There is one in most big towns, and it does not cost a lot of money. The little ones will be happy to play in there until they can stand the cold no longer, which could take a couple of hours.
Once or twice during the summer, take them on a trip to the seaside or to a theme park. As an island nation, we all live within a couple of hour’s drive of the beach. The will probably be expensive, but cut down on the money you spend there by taking your own pre-prepared food.
There will come a time when the weather forces you all to stay in the house. It is a perfect time to dig out all of the crafting materials that you have gathered over the years. Why not try something new this year? Decorate a ceramic plant pot with glass beads. Simply stick them on with some glue gun sticks. The glue cools very quickly so they can cover the container in under an hour. That idea isn’t suitable for very young children, only those who are over ten years old.
Younger children are happy to craft with paper and safety scissors. They can make paper chains, or snowflakes. The snowflake is made by folding a circular piece of paper into four, and then cutting shapes out of the edges. When they open it up, the cut-outs become symmetrical, making intricate patterns.
Go On Holiday
Use one or two weeks up by going on holiday. If you can only afford a caravan by the seaside, the children will love it. They love to get away on adventures, no matter how plain the accommodation may be. What appears as a run down seaside town to us looks magical to them, it is all in the eye of the beholder, as they say.
Even if the holiday seems to pass at a snail’s pace, you will reap rewards from your hard work. Your little darlings will expect the same next year now that you have set a precedent, but that is a long way off. For now, put your feet up and have a well earned rest.
When children have to enter the foster care system, they are often traumatised, scared, and confused. The first foster parents that care for a child in this situation are referred to as short term emergency foster carers, and it’s important that they’re well equipped to deal with the children that could come into their care temporarily. Foster parents are carefully screened by foster agencies, so if you want to become an emergency short term foster parent read this guide for help:
Image taken from Flickr
Call your department of social services and request information on emergency fostering. You’ll be able to find the information online on DirectGov.co.uk too, so read up on it.
The foster carer’s role is to provide high quality care for a child. You may be required to work with therapists, teachers, and doctors to help children deal with any emotional trauma or disabilities too.
A wide range of people are needed to care for foster children as children have very different needs. You’ll need to be willing to understand a child’s heritage, ethnic origin, culture, and language. You can become a carer from any type of background. You don’t need to be married either; you can be single, divorced, or living with a partner. Gay men and lesbians can become foster carers too. Providing you have a good support network and in good health, you should be fine to become an emergency foster carer no matter your age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
Preparation and Training
People who want to become any kind of foster carer need to go through preparation and an assessment. Usually, this is what you can expect:
- Having to attend groups where you’ll learn about the needs of children coming into foster care.
- Visits from a social worker.
- A social worker will then prepare a report which will be presented to an independent fostering panel, which recommends whether you can become a foster carer.
- You should expect an annual review and training to ensure you’re still fit to be a foster carer.
- All foster carers are given an allowance which should cover the cost of caring for the child in their home.
- If working for an agency, this amount will be set by them.
- Fostering is now being seen as a more ‘professional’ role, and a lot of local authorities are running schemes, which pay carers a fee. This is sometimes linked to the child’s needs, but also a reflection of the skills, experience, and expertise of the foster carer.
- Foster carers also get tax relief on up to £10,000 of their earnings, plus allowances.
However, if you’re considering doing this for the money then you’d be best off finding another job. You should foster children because you want to help, certainly not for the money.
If you like the sound of becoming a foster carer, then you need to take the first step and contact your local fostering agency. You can also join forums like the Fostering Information Exchange Network to share knowledge with other foster carers. Good luck!
Buying your very first family dog can be an exciting experience, especially for the kids. So, this summer could be the ideal time to put your hand in your pocket and bring a new little friend home for everyone to fuss over. Contrary to popular belief, dogs don’t take that much looking after, and so long as you have time to feed it, take it for walks and keep it entertained, you’ll love having one in your home. Of course, this is also a great way to teach your children about responsibility so perhaps you might delegate the walking duties to them?
Still not convinced? Well then, give me your attention for the next three or four minutes, and I’ll do my best to highlight some of the main reasons why this is a good idea. If you’ve never owned a dog before, purchasing one might cause a bit of a shock to your system, and could upset your daily routine a little, but I guarantee you won’t regret a thing. Just make sure you use a reputable supplier, like PetFleas, for all your flea and worming treatments as substandard products tend to perform poorly.
1. You’ll put a smile on your children’s faces
Kids love fluffy little animals, and so bringing a puppy home for the first time is guaranteed to make them very excited. While this will likely wear off a bit over time, they’ll always love their new friend. Also, animals have been proven to boost good moods and help people (especially children) avoid mental health issues.
2. Dogs are simple to care for
You don’t need to provide puppies with stimulating conversation, and neither do you have to buy them lots of outfits as they grow, so they’re much less hassle than other animals or a new baby. So long as you have enough food, you take them for enough walks, and you’re willing to spend time stroking them in the evenings, they’re in heaven.
3. They’re cheap to buy
It sounds silly, but you can get dogs for free or very cheap from rescue centres if you so choose, which means they won’t break the bank like a reptile or other animal might. There’s no need to purchase expensive vivariums or anything like that, which means your electricity bills shouldn’t increase significantly either.
4. Dogs are a man’s (or woman’s) best friend
If you’ve never owned a pooch before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out they are very forgiving animals that never hold a grudge. You’d be hard pushed to find a human being capable of giving love unconditionally, but dogs have got this down to a tee.
5. They live for a long time
Presuming there are no accidents, and you look after the animal properly; a dog could be around for fifteen years or more. That means they have time to become a real member of your family. So, just make sure you’re willing to keep them for that length of time before making your final decision.
You should now understand exactly why buying a dog for your family this year is a good idea. As I just mentioned, if you have a tight budget, that’s not a problem as many shelters are constantly seeking to re-home puppies and canines that have suffered abuse in the past.
Retirement homes still have a negative stereotype in that many people believe they‘re lifeless and that they signal a loss of independence. But that’s simply not the case. In fact, if you talk to many people who live in retirement homes, they will tell you that they’ve been given a new lease of life. Here are some reasons why…
The social aspect
Many elderly people spend days on end at home without seeing or speaking to anyone, yet in a retirement home there is always someone to have a chat to. Of course, you can spend time on your own if you so wish, but you’ll never be lonely. There are, of course, all the other residents with which to converse, but then there’s also the various staff and volunteers around the place. And that’s just in between visits from family.
The many activities and facilities on offer
Any retirement home worth its salt will have a plethora of activities on offer to help you get the most out of your time there. There may be some activities you already enjoy, such as gardening, but there’s a good chance that you’ll find plenty of new things to do you haven’t tried before. Brunswick Gardens retirement home, for example, has many different activities and facilities available, including a café, craft room, fitness suite, IT suite, library, woodwork room, beauty salon, and much more. We all know that keeping active in old age is important, so having more things to do is essential.
You get the care you need
This might not sound particularly glamorous but it’s tremendously important. If you’re at home and not receiving the correct level of care then it will naturally impact on your life. However, if you’re receiving the correct level of care, around the clock if needed, then you’ll be much more able to enjoy the various aspects of your life. Despite what you might have read in the press, the vast, vast majority of care homes provide unrivalled care from highly trained professionals who really can make a difference to your care and quality of life. Your family and friends will also be happy to know you’re getting the care you need.
Not ready for retirement living? Try volunteering!
Retirement homes can give a new lease of life to anyone, not just the elderly or those needing round the clock care. It’s also incredibly rewarding for volunteers. If you’re looking for a career in health care of some sort or would just like to do something worthwhile, then volunteering is an excellent option. Not only will you be helping to improve people’s quality of life, but you’ll also be saving the organisation some much-needed money in the process, not to mention how good it’ll look on a potential job application.
If you are after some products to aid with old age, check out Senior Buyers Guide here
Prom season is almost here, and young girls all over the world are celebrating the end of their high school years with a big, formal party better than any they’ve been to before. One of the most exciting things about prom, for girls anyway, is the fact that they get to dress up in beautiful dresses, wear gorgeous makeup, and have their hair done by a professional. The whole affair is getting more and more elaborate as the years go on. For the day, they get to feel like a star! However, it’s you that has to foot the bill for your daughter’s big day, and while it’s important, it isn’t her wedding. While you want her to have the best time, you need to plan it so you can fit it in with your finances. Let’s take a look at how you can help your daughter plan her prom:
Photo taken from Flickr
The first thing you’ll need to do is go out and find a beautiful dress for your daughter. Everything else is based around the dress: the jewellery, the hairstyle, everything. If you feel you won’t be able to go the whole hog in every aspect of prom, you may want to discuss with your daughter what the most important thing is to her; having an extravagant, expensive dress, or having her hair/makeup done by professionals. If she wants a luxury dress, then many bridal stores sell them and will allow her to try them on. Make sure she doesn’t try too many on, as they are all gorgeous and she’ll literally be spoilt for choice!
If she doesn’t mind too much about the dress and would rather make an impression with her hair and makeup, you can find amazing dresses for a fraction of the price of real prom dresses online. Try checking stores like Lipsy, Asos, and even eBay for a bargain.
Jewellery and Accessories
Usually, the dress will do all of the talking. However, a few accessories can still set the whole thing off and give the look that ‘woah!’ factor. Decide on one or two main accessories; perhaps a tiara and bracelet. If she doesn’t want a tiara, she can afford to wear more sparkly jewellery.
Transport to prom is usually in a luxury vehicle like a limo. Ask your daughter what her friends are doing, and you may be able to split the cost with their parents to make it easier for you all. Bergen Limo have affordable prom limos in NJ, so check them out!
Hair and Makeup and Other Beauty Treatments
Depending on your budget, you can book your daughter in with a professional hair and makeup artist, or encourage her to experiment herself. She may want to do her makeup herself, and have somebody do her hair, or vice versa. Make sure you look at the portfolio of any professional you speak to, to make sure they can offer the style your daughter would like. You may also want to book your daughter in for a spray tan, manicure, eyelash extensions/tinting, and waxing. Make sure you do this in good time and with somebody with a great reputation! You could even encourage your daughter to watch Youtube tutorials together and attempt some things yourselves. Practice makes perfect!
Don’t feel pressured to spend thousands on your daughter’s prom if it’s out of your budget. Follow the tips in this guide and you’ll both be ecstatic with the outcome!
If you’re thinking of putting together your very own family tree, you need to be prepared to put in a lot of work. You’ll need to dig through a plethora of records, scan cemeteries, and comb through other resources to go back generations and generations. You’ll then no doubt have bits of paper all over the place, and feel as if you can’t make sense of the chaos. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with the research part – that’s up to you! However, I can help you get organised so you can build your family tree right down to your very own children. Let’s get started:
Image Credit: Flickr
Family tree software is used by many professionals and can help to organise everything you’ve discovered so far. You can easily attach information this way, as well as many other things that would be difficult to do manually. Some are free, and some you’ll need to pay for to get the features you want. Just a few I like best are Ancestry.com and RootsMagic.
Get Your Child Excited
All kids love a good story and they’ll be fascinated with a story that ends in them being born. You can tell them all kinds of stories, from how their ancestors came to live in the country, to where you and their dad had your first date. Make sure you include as much information as possible – for example, if Nan hadn’t have got the job at that doughnut factory, she never would have met your Grandad.
You don’t need to go back umpteen generations to make it exciting for your child. Start with any information you do have, and don’t panic about not knowing who your child’s great aunt twice removed married. You could possibly create a family tree in one afternoon, depending on how detailed you are about the whole thing! You can use supplies like index cards, poster boards, pens, pencils, and markers. You could try making an index card for each person you plan on including in your family tree. Write down their name, date of birth, and date of death if you know it. You can then include any other information you know about that person. Make a card for the important event that links two people too!
If you decide to go into a lot of detail with the family tree, then it’s obviously going to take you a lot longer than one afternoon. One big advantage of this is that you might actually find out about family you never knew you had! For example, you might find a long lost cousin from Canada that you’d love to get in touch with. You can then make cheaper calls to Canada by visiting planet-numbers.co.uk. You’re sure to have loads of fun and learn some things about yourself along the way!
Put it Together
To easily put the tree together, start with your child at the bottom and then work your way up. Work backwards like that until your tree is complete! Make sure you get your child involved in the process so they learn about their heritage.
You can then display your tree proudly in your home!
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!