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!
With video games being so popular nowadays, it can seem like books and reading are a thing of the past, as they fail to compete with the thrills that come with modern-day gaming. In spite of this, there are still some books out there; that have the capacity to capture the imagination of your children, and leave them spellbound, forgetting that they ever had a gaming console in the first place. Of course, the only challenge that remains is finding these books. So what can be done, in order to find these remarkable reads?
Ask Other Parents
Often at times the best source available, other parents will be able to guide you in the right direction when it comes to finding awesome books. There is a chance that they too have faced the same dilemma you’re facing right now, in terms of finding a good book for their kids. If they’ve successfully dealt with this challenge, you can learn from them, and get the titles of the books that they discovered. Of course, keep in mind that each child is different, and so what entertained their kids might not entertain yours.
Check Out Bestseller Lists
Books on the bestseller lists are there for a reason. They’re often amazing books to read, and have the sales figures to back this up. By picking from the books on these lists, you’ll be able to increase your chances of success. However, keep in mind that though these books for children are entertaining, each of them caters to a certain demographic. Even if books about vampire romance are selling in huge amounts, there is a possibility that this is the last thing a ten year old boy wants to read about.
By using review websites, you’ll be able to get a better understanding of whether or not the book you’re going to purchase is any good. Many review websites will point out whether or not the book was entertaining, and if it kept them wanting to read more. Review websites should be taken with a pinch of salt, as there is no telling if the person who wrote the review enjoys the same kind of literature as your children. If you find a book with a bad review, but think it is a book that your children would love, it might help just to see what your kids think of it, and get it for them.
A New Favourite Hobby?
Reading can be something fun for your children, once you find the right book for them. Of course, finding the right book can be a quest that has many hurdles along the way, and can prove challenging to those who are doing things for the first time. Nevertheless, by keeping a close eye on the bestseller lists, and asking other parents, you’ll be sure to find an amazing book in record time. In fact, it could be the case that the book you find is so amazing, that you choose to read it before you give it to your kids!
If you were going to describe the standard teenager, you might say ‘moody’. Teenagers seem to feel things way more intensely than us adults, and experience exhilarating emotional highs with crashing lows. However, being depressed is a different matter altogether. It isn’t just about being moody – it’s a mood disorder, and a serious mental health condition. People often think that teens can’t get mood disorders like depression and bipolar, but the sad truth is that they can. If you’d like to be able to spot depression in your child, read on:
Image taken from flickr
The fact of the matter is, the average age of depression is 14 year old. By the end of their teen years, around 20% of teens will have depression. Over 70% of teens with depression will be able to overcome it with therapy and medication, so it’s important that it’s addressed.
The following are some of the symptoms to look out for when looking for depression. If these symptoms last a couple of weeks or more, it could be depression:
- Writing about death, giving away their belongings, and comments similar to ‘you’re better off without me’.
- Complaints of physical pain.
- Poor performance at school or college.
- Critical comments about themselves and behaviour problems.
- Loss of energy, social withdrawal, boredom, and withdrawal from their usual activities.
- Slowness, physical agitation, pacing back and forth or repetitive behaviour.
- Excessive late night activity, too much/too little sleep, trouble getting up in the morning.
- Weight gain or weight loss.
- Withdrawal from friends and family.
- Irritable, sad, empty moods and the belief that life is meaningless.
Now, try not to worry too much if your child is displaying the above behaviour. Much of the behaviour above can be considered normal for a teen. If you suspect your teen may have depression or bipolar, then you need to take them to see a health or mental health professional to be sure.
This condition commonly runs in families, and may be triggered by a stressful life event. This isn’t something to be ashamed of, it should simply be treated as soon as possible. Take a look at this site for more useful information on depression in teens.
Some of the effects of teen depression include:
- Problems at school.
- Running away from home.
- Drug and alcohol abuse.
- Low self esteem.
- Internet addiction.
- Reckless behaviour.
Warning Signs to Look Out for:
- Talking or making jokes about suicide.
- Saying things like, ‘there’s no way out’ and, ‘I’d be better off dead’.
- Writing stories or songs about death, dying, or suicide.
- Saying goodbye to friends and family for the last time.
- Looking for weapons/pills.
If you suspect your teen may be depressed, you need to speak up right away. Even if you’re unsure, whatever the issue is, it needs to be addressed. Make sure you share your concerns with your teen in a loving, non-judgmental way, and let them know why things are worrying you. Encourage them to share what they’re going through. Always trust your instincts, even if your teen claims that nothing is wrong…denial is a strong emotion.
Thanks for reading!
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
Congratulations. If you are reading this, you are probably an expectant mother or father. Today I would like to offer some advice concerning the design of a new nursery for the little bundle of joy that is on his or her way. Don’t leave it until later to sort out, the next few months will fly by and the last thing you need in the later stages is to worry about decorating a room. If everything else is in place, it is easier to concentrate on the important things instead.
A nursery is unlike other bedrooms in the home. The decor is not an issue for the baby; it is more to give pleasant surroundings for the parents. The room must be a practical place to work as well as a relaxing place to rest. Here are five incredible design ideas for your nursery.
It is very important to decorate the nursery to a high standard because the chances are that there will be plenty of visitors dropping by who will go in and introduce themselves to the new addition to the family. The quality is compromised by attempting to decorate over bumpy walls. Remove all of the old wallpaper and if you are unable to make the walls perfectly smooth, hire a plasterer to skim them over with a topcoat to give a perfect blank canvas for you to work on. The job takes about a day for a small to medium sized room and the transformation of the walls makes it worthwhile.
It is best to keep the decor simple in a nursery. Don’t do anything there that will be a shock to the senses in the middle of the night. Have one feature wall with some attractive modern wallpaper as in the image and paint the remaining walls with emulsion paint that is applied with a roller for the best finish. A feature wall is a great place to introduce a wallpaper mural. There are hundreds of designs available online so finding one for suitable for a nursery will be easy.
In the middle of the night, a parent need to be warm and comfortable so there is no better product than carpet for the nursery. Ultra modern room make use of laminate in the magazines but for comfort and practicality it isn’t suitable here.
To go along with a modern theme, consider using blinds at the windows. They help to keep the room light and airy by opening up the space around the windows. The latest thing is panel blinds from Super Blinds Mart and other places online. They are similar to vertical blinds, but they have overlapping panels to keep the light out better. Of course, there are plenty of traditional alternatives such as venetian blinds, wooden shutters, pleated blinds, and roller blinds, that are all suitable for use in the nursery.
Remember when laying out the room that you will need to access both sides of the cot so do not place it against a wall if possible. A comfy chair is the second most important feature in the room where mom or dad will sit to feed the little monster in the middle of the night. There are storage units made especially for nurseries that comprise a cupboard and plenty of drawers for convenience. A proper wardrobe is not suitable until the little one has grown.
As you can see, the nursery needs to be tackled from a different angle to normal bedrooms. It is one of the most enjoyable projects to complete in the home, and one of the most exciting too.
As the world of the internet and smart phones continues to dominate our everyday lives, industries the world over are being influenced, from online shopping to online gambling. If you want to live in the 21st century, consider bypassing the corner shop next time you want to buy a lottery ticket – here are a few reasons why it’s better to play lotto online.
You don’t have to go anywhere
We all know that we our beloved British weather cannot be relied upon when we need it most, so why take the risk of popping out to the shops to buy a lottery ticket when you can access the benefits from your home computer? Saving you time and the temptation to buy a cheeky choccy bar, playing online will work wonders for your wallet and your waistline.
You can bet on the go
It’s Saturday night and the lottery numbers are being read in ten minutes, but you’ve forgotten to buy a ticket! This was a common nightmare for lottery lovers in the days of yore, but thanks to the advent of today’s smart phones, you can play lotto at the touch of a button, whether you’re on the commute home or tucked up in bed.
You can win great prizes
The wealth of available prizes with online lotto sites is indeed much greater than your typical Saturday night rollover. With a whole host of playing options, you can play anything from a lucky dip to strategically placing your bets up to 10 days in advance, and with more than just cash prizes available, you can even win a VIP weekend trip to Dublin.
You can play with your friends
Gone are the days where offices would go to the toil of buying a huge round of lottery tickets for a big rollover sweepstake – playing with friends is much easier with online lotto. If your friend has forgotten to buy a ticket, all he or she has to do is whip out a smart phone and start playing straight away, and you can even compare results together just by looking at a screen.
You can save the world
As news of the deforestation continues to get us down, the eco warrior gamblers amongst us can rest assured that they’re not destroying trees by needlessly buying lottery tickets. Plus, if you’re not already bragging to your friends about your big wins, you can also show off by telling them just how many trees you’ve saved by making the switch. So you’re playing the game and saving the planet – what better excuse is there than that?
“When I grow up I want to be a pilot” – these are certainly famous words echoed by children across the world and why would they not want to embark on this glamorous career? Being an airline pilot is exciting and rewarding. The key to embarking on a career as a pilot involves years of dedication and meeting the very specific and tight requirements that are needed. The cost of this career can be huge, so you need to ensure that you have the money to pay for training. Similarly, you need to be prepared to give up around a decade of your life to dedicate your time to training to be a pilot. You need to be serious, committed and ambitious in order to make it as a pilot. It requires a lot of hard work, but can be a rewarding and exciting career for those that seek to make a career out of being a pilot.
Photo is courtesy of the UK Ministry of Defence
A University Degree
Once you have spent four years of your life at an accredited university, you will be making the right steps into becoming a professional pilot. Science degrees are usually required. Aviation degrees are less important. Unless, of course, you are enraptured by the world of aviation and want to learn about it at your chosen institution. A university degree is important to airlines as it demonstrates that you are committed and willing to learn their education program.
Upon successful completion of your university, and academic, studies, you will then need to find a good flight school and instructor. This enables you to start working towards your private pilot certificate. This certificate is critical for any aspiring young pilot. The FAA minimum flight time is 40 hours. What is more, the FAA provides a highly regimented program for those that want a more intensive mode of study. If you want more information from an expert in the field of aviation, or for more advice on how to get into the industry, contact Rafael Munguia.
Upon completion of your private pilot license, you will need to start earning your instrument rating and commercial certificate. No one said that a career in aviation would be easy! You will need to dedicate 250 hours to this.
Of course, a bucket load of qualifications and certifications does not automatically mean that you will get to fly an aircraft. You will need to gain flight experience, which is highly competitive and difficult to achieve. Once you have landed your placement, you will need to undertake at least 1500 hours of air time before you are allowed to fly a commercial jet. It is imperative that you realise that becoming a pilot does not mean meeting the minimum criteria and required hours. In this highly competitive industry, you will be expected to exceed and surpass any required flight hours. You should aim for at least 5000 hours of air time before applying for any job as a pilot.
Becoming a pilot is incredibly difficult; it requires time, money, resources, ambition and dedication. Only the brave and few become pilots. But, if you have what it takes and you are willing to work hard, there is no reason that you cannot become a pilot when you grow up too.
You are the woman that wants it all. As a busy mum, it can incredibly difficult to get back into work and still care for your family. Of course, there comes a point with every mum when all they want to do is regain their independence (or freedom!) and go back to work. Being a mum is rewarding, but it not your sole purpose in life. If you are in a career quandary, then look no further. You will be inspired and amazed at the jobs that you can do that you can fit around the kids:
Image is courtesy of Gypsy in Moda via Flickr
Laundry and Cleaning Services
Sure, you may have had your fill of cleaning and laundry at home, but so many people employ the services of cleaning personnel that it seems silly not to get on the bandwagon. Many people want to employ reliable and trustworthy cleaning staff but don’t know where to start. You could be that go-to lady! The great thing is, is that you can fit it in around the kids school hours and choose hours that suit you and your family. What is more, you can charge your own rates, be your own boss and master of your own destiny. What’s not to love? If you are unsure where to start, contact an expert company such as Laundry Express for more information.
Buy a Franchise
Buying a franchise is incredibly easy. Look at the existing franchise within your area and bobs your uncle. There are many franchises available that you could suit your lifestyle as a busy parent. Tumble Tots is a great franchise. What is more, you can involve your own children, should they be of the right age. Take time to think about what you are passionate about and put that passion into the working world. Not only will you be happier for it, but it will also prove to be financially rewarding too.
Apply For Freelance Work
The internet has opened up so many doors for busy mums who are desperate to get back into the workplace. Utilise the web and see what is available to suit you. You can freelance in anything, from writing to project management, childminding and administration. Some of these jobs you can do from home, but there are a wide range of opportunities to get back into the office on a freelance basis. This is great for busy mums who don’t want to commit full time to their career.
Do Your Own Thing
The secret to success is down to you as an individual. There are lots of mums that run independent businesses such as playgroups and the like. Lots of these women are ordinary mums, like me and you, who have taken a skill, interest and passion and turned it into a viable and profitable business. Think about you what love to do, (this could be art, creative play, music, cooking, finance – the list is endless!) what skills you have, your work history and apply them to the working world. Setting up a business from home is relatively easy. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so!