3 Ways To Teach Your Kids Responsibility At Home

As a parent, it’s your job to ensure that once your children leave your home, they’re able to be productive and contributing members of society. And while your child can learn some of these skills at school, the biggest place where they can be influenced in this way is in the home. Knowing this, it’s important that you try to find ways to teach your kids the life skills they’ll need to be successful once they’re out on their own. To help with this, here are three ways you can teach your kids responsibility while at home.

Allow Them To Help

The first foray your children are going to have into responsibility is going to be when you allow them to help you with your tasks. Until your child learns what needs to be done and the way it needs to be done, they can’t be very helpful. So to teach them this, you should encourage them to help you with any tasks or chores possible. According to Alonna Friedman, a contributor to Care.com, you should set a good example of a positive attitude about work or chores by not grumbling when it’s time to get things done. Additionally, allow your child to take the time they need and to make mistakes in a safe environment until they can learn to so things on their own.

Build Responsibility Gradually

Once your child can start to take on responsibility on their own, it’s a good idea to build on these tasks gradually. According to Cheryl Butler, a contributor to Quick and Dirty Tips, young children can do things like put their dirty laundry in a hamper, help set the table, and feed any pets. For school-aged children, bathing themselves, cleaning the floors, clearing the table, and picking up in their bedrooms are appropriate responsibilities. And once your children become teenagers, you can help them build more life skills like laundry, yard work, cooking, and taking care of others though babysitting. Everything they learn from these experiences will prove to be very helpful when these responsibilities rest entirely on them.

Create Consequences For Their Choices

A big part of learning responsibility is learning how to handle any consequences that may come from your actions. While it can sometimes be hard for parents to allow their kids to have harsh consequences, this can help them be even more prepared for life outside of your home. According to Dr. Robert Myers, a contributor to the Child Development Institute, you should institute both rewards and consequences for things that are done in your home. This can help them learn all facets of responsibility.

If you’re looking for ways to teach your children about responsibility, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you do just that.

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3 Tips for Getting Through Your Child’s Hospital Stay

The worst thing for a parent is to have a child who’s hurt or sick. And while taking care of them at home can be hard, having to hand over control to a hospital staff can be even harder. Even though you know your child is getting the best care possible, handling the time you have to spend in the hospital for a child can be very challenging. All other thoughts go out the window when your child is sick, including whatever the medical costs will be. So to help you get through this trying time, here are three tips for surviving your child’s hospital stay.

Pack Appropriately

If you have to rush your child to the hospital, there’s likely very little time for you to pack anything. But once your child is admitted, it’s going to be helpful for both you and your child to have a few things from home. According to Sydney Loney, a contributor to Today’s Parent, you should try to pack light and just bring a few things that will help your child feel more comfortable, like their favorite stuffed toy or blanket. If they have a favorite activity, like a game or toy, you might want to bring that, too. For you, pack some pajamas and something to help you pass the time when your child is sleeping or out of the room.

Remember That You’re The Parent

Although there’s going to be a lot of people coming in and out of your child’s room and giving their opinions about her care, Virginia Sole-Smith, a contributor to Parents.com, reminds us that you are your child’s parent. This means that you should try to parent how you normally do. If there are things he or she should or shouldn’t be doing as part of your family rules, try to keep those things as constant as you can. This will help your child feel like things aren’t too far from the norm and will give them a sense of stability.

Always Advocate For Your Child

Especially if your child is too young to speak on their own or is otherwise incapacitated, it’s up to you as the parent to be your child’s advocate. According to Laurie Sue Brockway, a contributor to PGEveryday.com, this will usually require you to ask a lot of questions so you can ensure that you know exactly what’s going on with your child’s care. Even if you get the feeling that you’re being annoying with the amount of questions you’re asking, it’s up to you to determine what should or shouldn’t be done for your child’s health, so don’t get too stressed about wanting as many answers as you can get.

If your child has been or will soon be admitted to the hospital, consider using the tips mentioned above to help your whole family make this through this tough experience together.

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4 Ways Being a Grandparents Is More Fun Than Being a Parent

Being a parent is a series of trials and errors.  When you are doing it for the first time there can be a lot of figuring out to do that you never anticipated.  Things can be challenging and there can be a lot of work involved.

At the end of the journey, however, when your little ones have left the nest and you have graduated with your degree in poop and tantrums, you get to enjoy the next best chapter: being a grandparent.  If you thought that being a grandparent meant just being a senior citizen, you thought wrong.

When your children have children of their own you get to secretly snicker as they go through challenges that you went through with them.  This “I told you so” goes without needing to be said out loud as suddenly your children start to appreciate everything that you went through with them.  

Along with this smug satisfaction, also comes the joy of enjoying your grandkids in an entirely different way than a parent does.  Here’s how.

You Don’t Have To Do The Disciplining

When children act up it’s up to the parent to enforce discipline to help guide them to be well-behaved people.  It’s one of those parts of parenthood that isn’t fun at all but is part of the job.

Unless of course, you’re the grandparent!  Sure you’ll have to do a little disciplining here and there if you’re the only adult present and the kids misbehave, but for the most part, when the parents are there, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy being the good cop for once!

You Get To Send The Kids Home at The End of The Day

Children are fun and creative and full of life.  When they aren’t tired or hungry they can be loads of fun.  It’s usually only about the end of the afternoon that their fussiness or moods start to kick in, and after a long day of enjoying their good sides, that’s when you get to hand them back to their parents and go home.

You can put your feet up and sip your evening cocktail knowing that you have absolutely no diapers to change or babies to wake you up in the middle of the night.

You Get To Spoil Them

It’s fun being able to spoil your grandkids and see their faces light up.  Being a grandparent essentially means all of the fun parts without having to get your hands dirty.  

You get to relax and enjoy their childhood rather than stressing about whether you’re doing it right.  That’s up to the parents! You’re just there to be fun and give them cookies.

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4 Things You Should Put On The Top Of Your Baby Registry

Having a baby is incredibly exciting.  The anticipation of your new arrival is a lot to think about.  Your life will change as you know it, you and your partner will create something entirely unique together, and you will be full of more pride than you ever imagined was possible.

Before the baby comes, however, it’s important to take care of all of the preparation.  Many people have baby showers so that people are able to gift them items that will make the process much easier for them.

Before your baby shower, you’ll have to create a baby registry so that your guests know what you want for the baby.  If you’ve never had a baby before, you may be lost on what exactly you need. Here are some of the most important things that you should have on your list right at the top.

A Breast Pump

Since doctors recommend giving your baby breastmilk for as long as possible, having a breast pump to express milk is important.  Whether it’s to keep yourself from engorging, or you’ll be pumping extra milk for bottle feedings, having a quality pump is worth its weight in gold.

Although there are perfectly fine manual pumps on the market, having an electric pump is much easier and makes the job go much faster.  Using a manual pump will take triple the time to express even the tiniest amount of milk in comparison to an electric.

A Baby Carrier

Since newborns aren’t big fans of being put down for any period of time, having a baby carrier which you attach to your chest will come in handy.

You can put your baby against you while still having your arms free.  This way you can walk around your house and get things done. Or you can go for a walk and get your baby to sleep against you from the gentle sway of the movement.

A Swing

For extra fussy babies, having a swing is essential.  You can stick them inside and get some work done rather than having to carry them all over while you try to clean the house.

Some babies refuse to sleep at all, and a swing is the only solution which will get them to fall asleep and stay asleep.

A Pocket Nanny

A pocket nanny comes in handy for keeping up with your babies last changes, naps, and feedings.  Simply set a timer and press the button each time you want to know if it’s time to do one of these tasks.

This may seem like a simple gadget, however, for exhausted new parents, it’s incredibly useful since things can be hard to keep up with.

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Divorce and Separation: Keeping Relationship Amicable

Divorce and separation happen. People who have joined their lives together sometimes find out that it isn’t the best way for them to be. And when the legal system is in play, there are lots of different details to consider. Ultimately though, there should be a goal somewhere in there that regardless if divorce and separation do occur, relationships should at least be amicable from a legal standpoint.

There are matters of spousal maintenance, family therapy, open lines of communication with children, and questions about dividing property. Amicable relationships have to work their way through the full spectrum of emotional, practical, and legal issues.

Spousal Maintenance

Most people have heard of alimony payments, but the concept of spousal maintenance may not be as familiar. In certain states in the country, rather than alimony, lawyers work with divorced couples to figure out spousal maintenance numbers and values. Essentially, just because people separate doesn’t mean that standard of living has to go down. Depending on who makes more money in the relationship, there is a social and legal obligation to figure out how to continue payments to them at least until lifestyle matters are balanced out.

Family Therapy

Many times, there will be tension, anxiety, and even anger left over when people separate. However, there are ways to keep relationships moving forward at least on a neutral level. In one way to do that is to consider going to couples therapy or going to family therapy. It can be challenging to approach topics if you’re emotionally involved with them, which is why having a licensed therapist bring up questions can be such a positive experience for everyone involved. Family therapy doesn’t work instantly though, so it does take some time to work through issues.

Keeping Communication Open with Kids

If there are children involved in a divorce, things can get more emotionally dicey. Depending on the relationship each parent has with the child, the kid may not know how to behave, or may not understand why his family is changing. Keeping open lines of communication will make sure that a child has a chance to express what’s on their mind and gives adults an opportunity to speak openly to them as well.

How To Divide Property

Another matter that involves emotions, practicality, and legality is how to divide property among divorced individuals. Depending on who made more money, who owned specific property before the marriage, and who maintained certain pieces of property, legal requirements and social norms may require a lot of detailed contractual obligations. Especially if there is some piece of property or item that has high value to both parties, there can be a lot of discussions that have to go into the fairest way to divvy things up.

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4 Mistakes First Time Parents Make

When it comes to having a baby, there is no one book that applies to everyone.  It’s up to parents to figure this baby thing out on their own by trial and error and hopefully make it through to the other side without going nuts.

Despite how beautiful making a new life is, it also comes with a considerable amount of challenges.  Challenges which can be even more difficult for a parent doing it for the first time. When it comes to some of the most common mistakes that first-time parents make, and how to avoid them, here are the ones that stand out most.

Neglecting Self Care

When you first give birth to your new baby your entire world will be centered around the new life that you have created.  You eat sleep and breathe your new baby, and it quickly becomes a challenge to even find time to even have time to eat or bathe.

It’s essential, however, to make sure that you continue to take care of yourself to feel your best.  Whether it’s asking a family member to come over so that you can take a bath, go to the store and buy beauty products which will make you feel more refreshed, or even asking someone to take over so that you go for a walk without having to worry about the baby for a moment.  This won’t just be better for you, but it will benefit your baby since you’ll be giving yourself the tools that you need to be at your best as a parent.

Not Sleeping When The Baby Sleeps

It may be tempting to want to start getting as many things done as possible the minute that your baby falls asleep.  However, sleep is crucial if you’re running on empty. When your baby falls asleep, fall asleep with them, and take advantage of this time to rest up.

there is laundry or cleaning to do, this is a great opportunity to reach out to friends and family for help.  Don’t be afraid to say that you need a hand in order to get some rest. You’d be surprised at the number of people who find joy in helping.

Buying Too Much Stuff

When you find out you’re going to have a baby, the first thing you might do is go straight to a baby registry website and looking for different items that people say you need.  The list can start to get immense and you start wondering where you’ll put all this stuff, let alone what its even for.

Rather than falling into the belief that you actually need all this junk, however, you’ll find that you can raise a perfectly happy and healthy baby without the latest electronic mobile over their crib which projects all the constellations, can do your dishes, and feed your dog. Keep it simple!

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Home Improvement Goals: Saving Money So You Can Spend More On Your Family

Many people are going to approach home-improvement from the perspective where a nicer home is a goal in itself. However, if you think from a broader viewpoint, you can start to consider that one of the reasons you want to do home improvement projects in the first place is to save money so that you can spend more cash on your family instead.

Consider this process. First you figure out how to get a home improvement loan. Then you choose a DIY route for accomplishing a task, thereby saving money. And then you figure out how to eliminate sunk costs in your household, freeing up some more cash. And then you think outside the financial box to determine value other than strictly in a monetary-based way.

Getting a Loan

For anything other than the smallest home improvement projects, you’re probably going to have to get a loan. As long as you know that you have the income to cover this loan over time, it really is better to pull the trigger and improve your situation as opposed to trying to figure out how to scratch together the money over time. After this loan is in, then you can figure out which home improvement projects to take on to start sorting out areas of your household that prevent you from spending good family time together.

Choosing the DIY Route

There are tons of DIY home improvement projects that you can do. Instead of spending thousands of dollars hiring a contractor, you can spend a few hundred doing it yourself. Also, if you do the project with your family, that’s a good bonding experience. So not only will you be saving money, but you’ll also be spending more time with your household tribe as well.

Eliminating Sunk Costs

There are sunk costs associated with certain household items or activities. And if you really want to save money, even if it feels like a sacrifice, you should get rid of these things. For example, if your family isn’t using that in-ground pool that’s costing you tons of money to maintain, it might be time to fill it in. Even though people wouldn’t consider getting rid of the pool as an improvement in most cases, you know that in this context that’s actually exactly what you want to do.

Thinking Outside the Financial Box

The value concerning your household and the quality of time that you spend with your family is not just going to be about the number of dollars that you spend. Quality time means focus. Quality time means understanding what everyone in your family likes to do. If you choose home improvement goals that increase the value of your family time as opposed to just the value of your home, then you’re headed in the right direction.

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Budgeting With Your Kids :Teaching your kids how to be financially responsible(guest post)

With a changing economy, now more than ever it is important to teach your children about financial responsibility, even at an early age. There are many different methods for teaching little ones about money.

As part of training the next generation, it is vital to be involved in the money education of your children. In a lot of ways, teaching your kids how to handle money correctly is also teaching them your values, ethics and morals. If you are ready to start integrating financial planning into your child’s every day learning, look to this list for a few effective ideas.

Teach them where money comes from

While it might be interesting to talk about the national mint and bank circulation, it is more practical to show your children how you as parents provide family funds. It is important that they understand the process of earning money and why it is necessary to live within your means.

One of the most common ways to teach your children this lesson is by giving them an allowance for doing chores around the house. Give each chore a dollar amount and connect the fact that parents go to work to do the same thing. The next step is teaching them how to manage their newly earned cash.

Create a budget with your kids

The number of teens and college students who not only have never budgeted before, but also do not know how to budget is astounding. Make sure that your kids are not part of that group by helping them create a budget for the money they are earning.

There are budgeting worksheets and other resources online to help you and your kids set up a budget. Make them plan out where they will spend their money each week. If they want an extra activity, make them do extra chores to earn it, teaching them the value of money and a savings account.

You can also let them be a part of the family budget. When you sit down to plan out the family finances, have your kids sit with you. Explain each item as you go along so they understand the expenses that the household is obligated to purchase.

Help them understand loans and credit

Credit card debt is a very prominent issue in American society. Help you kids understand how to avoid credit card debt and what loans, like TitleMax, are and why they are used. If they understand how credit works and how to use it correctly, they are less likely to get into financial trouble in the future

Set up a loan system with them if they want to buy something outside of their budget. Give them an allotted time to pay it off, and supply penalties for late payments, just as a real loan would work. This system of delayed gratification will teach them how to manage their money and realize the value a dollar has.

Jessica Socheski is a freelance writer who loves researching creative solutions for personal finance. You can find her at The Teaching Box where she is an editor or on Twitter.

Image: http://www.washingtonparent.com/articles/1208/kids-and-money.php

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Tantrum Time

My daughter is 3 years old, she never went through terrible twos. I thought this is great hopefully she wont go through that stage at all. Boy was I wrong.

She has started throwing these tantrums that are the worst I have ever seen. We can’t control her or calm her down. I have tried everything;getting down to her level and trying to talk to her to calm her down, threaten to take some stuff away that she really likes, tell her when we get home we can play outside or play a game.

It always seems to be when we are out in public, it is so embarrassing. I always take her to the car and she absolutely refuses to get in her car seat. She scratches, kicks and screams. Last night my husband took her and my son out quick to the store. I was making dinner and I was starting to get worried while they were gone so long and he called me and asked me to come pick my son and the milk and he was going to wait it out with her until she would get in her car seat so he could buckle her in.

Well another half hour went by and he called me again and said he could not calm her down and she still refused to sit in her car seat. I tried getting her to sit in her seat she immediately started to kick and scratch me. I tried forcing her in her car seat and she just grabs a hold of it and pushes away.

I don’t want to reward her bad behavior. I am at a loss of what to do at this point.

What do you do when your kids throw tantrums and they are out of control? I need some advice.

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