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Category Archives: Home and Family

Tips to Make Child’s Toys Are Safe

If the toy contains small parts, consider your child’s behavior before purchasing.
Even if he/she is in the age range recommended by the manufacturer, parents must consider whether or not their child behaves mature enough to handle the toy and it’s parts.

Never leave a child unattended when playing with a toy that features small parts.
Even if you step away for a minute, that may be all that it would take for your child to decide to put the toy in his/her mouth. This can be very dangerous, so always provide as much supervision as possible while your child is playing with his/her toys and even more so if they feature any small parts. At the same time, never allow children to run with any toys that have sharp or protruding points.

Never allow the child to put toys in his/her mouth.
If the child were to swallow any part of the toy, or accessories, the result could be tragic. If you see the child putting his/her toys in their mouth, remove them immediately while saying “no” in a firm voice. It is not necessary to take the toys away from the child, but they should be closely supervised.

Pay close attention to consumer safety department notices and product recalls.
This information is very important because it provides updated information as to the safety of certain products, along with any that have been recently found to have defects. In the latter case, a product recall may be issued in order to avoid injuries. Never allow a child to play with toys that have been recalled or are not deemed to be safe.

Make sure that any drawing markers, paint or crayons that you purchase are non-toxic.
On every product that has been tested and is proven to be non-toxic, the label will indicate any such findings. Look closely on the back of the packaging in search of this seal before buying these types of art accessories.

If a toy is painted, make sure that the paint is not coming off.
This could be dangerous if the child were to put the toys in his/her mouth or if it were to get in their eyes, so be very mindful of chipping or peeling paint.

Make sure toys and dolls are flame retardant.
This is very important for the obvious reasons and to protect the safety of your child.

Make sure that the toys are an authentic product and not a cheap imitation, which may indicate cheaper manufacturing.
When shopping for toys, always make sure that you are getting what you pay for.

Monitor the message or rating that a toy or video game is promoting.
These days, so many toys are promoting unhealthy messages or ideals. It is important to monitor the toys that your child enjoys in order to make sure that the influences they are getting are the best for their age.

About Posting Children’s Pictures Online

First you must ask yourself… likely is this? In reality, the fear that a pedophile is somehow going to see your child’s picture, then become obsessed, go through the nearly impossible feat to identify your child in the first place, then develop an elaborate plan to somehow abduct your child, is about as likely as your child being hit with a small asteroid, twice in the same day.

Pedophiles are opportunists. While they may have preferences as to the way a child looks, the children they molest are based on the ones they have an opportunity to be around. And yes, nearly every pedophile is around children every day. We catch less than one percent of them, and they exist in a population well into the millions, likely into the tens of millions in the United States alone. Our organization has recently come up with mathematical equations based on the most widely accepted numbers, indicating that around one in every 20-30 adults has active pedophile tendencies.

This fear of a pedophile finding your child’s picture online, and then stalking your child for evil purposes, is nothing more than an urban legend. It has never happened, nor is it likely to in the future. It is simply not how they work. They do not need to go through elaborate heists to get children. Most are around kids every day. Even the ones who aren’t and might consider an abduction, are going to search for the easiest victim. They will pick one out based on their geographic location, not go through great lengths to try and find and stalk a child’s picture they saw on the internet.

While the fear parents have about this may be real, it is unfounded. A thief is not going to spend days fumbling on a solid steel lock with a thousand tumblers, when the door 3 feet away is already open and swinging in the wind. Likewise, a pedophile will not take the most difficult, complex route to a victim.

The only real justification to such a claim, is that pedophiles are picture collecters. Sometimes they do peruse through photo sites for pictures of children. However, the reality is this: The most common internet pictures of random kids used by pedophiles are taken with a telescopic lens, and without you even knowing about it. Beach pictures, in the mall, walking down the street. The family pictures you take and distribute to relatives without the help of the internet are much more likely to end up in the hands of a pedophile, and still may end up online anyway. While it is a discomforting thought for parents to think that pictures of their child may ever be viewed by a pedophile,short of locking your child in the basement, it is a reality of the age. Picture sharing over the web is a convenience. It is something loved by family and friends. When we breed a society where inocent pictures are too dangerous to be shared, then all we’ve done is added another atrocity.

Society would be much better off, if we could stop wasting time on these misguided fears, and instead apply the same effort to abuse prevention. Lost in all this is the fact that nearly every incident of sexual abuse is preventable, with simple steps that parents can take. The media has done a great disservice to the public, by focusing on the problem of sexual abuse from the extreme fraction of a percent, and reinforcing traditional views of pedophiles which are far from accurate. If parents don’t understand the way they work and act, you can’t protect your children. The ploys pedophiles use can be stopped, if parents simply take the time to address the things that make their childrren vulnerable to begin with. With simple steps that nearly every parent can take, just about every molester can be kept at bay.


Questions about Your Teen to See if Your Teen has The Entrepreneurial Spirit

1. Does she ask what she can do to earn more allowance? Is she willing to take on jobs around the house instead of hanging out at the mall with her pals? Does she do her chores and work with vigor and excellence?

2. Did she have the best lemonade stand on the block? Did she go the extra mile to make sure that her stand was profitable and her product and service brought back customers over and over again?

3. Does she value flexibility and independence more than the “sure thing” of an hourly job? Does she make comments about wanting something “more” than just flipping burgers or selling pink t-shirts?

4. Does she work well on her own? In her free time is she thinking of other ways to make money or start a business? When you give her a job or chore around the house does she jump in and do it quickly and efficiently?

5. Is she a self-learner? ? Does she spend time researching and reading for her schoolwork and outside of that? Does she enjoy finding out more about how to use the computer to her advantage?


How to Improve Teen’s Self-esteem?

Starting from a young age, instill a positive attitude in your child. Children who have a great sense of self-worth are more apt to blossom into teenagers with a great sense of self-worth. Take time to talk with your teen instead of talking to your teen. If your child believes his or her opinion or thoughts have an impact in the home front, that individual is more apt to have a greater self-esteem. Allowing your teen to have a say in decisions that affect the entire family will further impress a sense of self-worth, thus positively affect his or her self-esteem.

Children learn by example, and teenagers are no different.

Teens whose parents showcase high self-esteem are more likely to exhibit self-esteem. Conversely, parents with low self-esteem or who constantly question their self-worth will pass those traits on to their children simply by their actions. The way you interact with your friends, family members, and colleagues will rub off on your children.

Individuals with low self-esteem set poor examples for their teens and should not be surprised when their teens exhibit similar actions. Children are like a sponge, so take care not to comment negatively towards yourself or others. Many teens with issues regarding their physical appearance learn these behaviors from home. Television, movies, and music play a huge part in any teenager’s life. These outlets seem obsessed with a pre-conceived idea of perfection that will most likely differ from that of the average individual. Take time to speak with your teen regarding these issues.

Interaction with your teenager will allow you first-hand information on any problems he or she may be having and make an attempt to remedy these situations. Often, teenagers are quite sensitive about their appearance due to acne or other issues. If this is the case, consider making an appointment with a dermatologist who will be able to remedy the situation. Similarly, your teen may be interested in changing his or her appearance to best fit a burgeoning identity, but may be hesitant to approach a parent. Remember, teenagers straddle the line between child and young adult.

Although they may yearn to be an adult, the child part still needs reassurance from a parent. If you as a parent feel a requested physical transformation will not benefit your teen, make a compromise. Often, teens are looking to be outrageous in order to push boundaries set by parents. Instead of lowering your teen’s self-esteem by creating a confrontation, create an atmosphere of discussion and compromise.

Open communication cannot be stressed enough. Take time to talk to your teen about their friends, classes, activities, or interests. Teach your teen to accentuate the positive instead of focusing on attributes they see as weak or negative. Instill a sense great self esteem at a young age that will continue with your teen as he or she grows.

You may wish to enroll your child in self-esteem building classes or extra curricular activities that will boost their self-worth. Whatever the case, taking an active part in your teen’s life is the best way to see them through this transitional time in their lives with their self-esteem intact.


Ways You Can Teach Your Teen about Money Management

The first thing you can introduce your teen to and maybe even yourself to do, is tracking where your money goes. How many times have you asked, “Where did I spend all that money?” If you have ever asked that then tracking your money can give you great insight into managing your budget better.

There are workbooks you can buy or you can use a simple notebook. Have your teen do this with you so you can both learn together. If you make it a family experience, your teen is more likely to pay attention and participate, because they will get to see how you manage your money too. It has the extra benefit of making you manage your money better to set a good example.

In this new workbook you and your teen write down every expense. Every time you or they spend money on ANYTHING, it gets written down. Not in a category, what was actually paid for with the money. You will be able to review this later when building categories like, “Items I could have done without.”

When you review your workbooks together, trade them. Each of you can mark what expenses the other probably should not have paid out and how much money you could each have saved if you didn’t make those extra expenditures.

It isn’t a bad idea for you to make a couple of mistakes on purpose so your teen gains confidence that they can handle their money and identify what expenditures were not necessary. You need to understand that the spending habits your teenager acquires in their teens will stay with them for the rest of their life.

An allowance is okay, but just until they get a job. Never make the allowance enough to get the things they want most. Make them learn to save their money up to buy those things. Once they do have even a part-time job, no more allowance. They will respect the money they earn a lot more than the money you give them.

When your teenager is around 16 and has a job, help them open their own checking account. Teach them how to balance their checkbook. If you have been doing the workbook with them, this should be easy. You can help them get a prepaid credit card or teach them how to use the debit card that comes with their new checking account responsibly.

Again, if you two have been doing your workbook and marking down everything you spend money on, managing a debit card will be easy. Also by continuing to do the workbook, you will both learn how to save more money because you will be more aware of where your money gets wasted.

We all want to help our teens and we want to buy them nice things, but as parents we also need to teach them responsibility. Nowhere is that more important than teaching them to be responsible with money and credit.

Buy them the necessities, but make them pay for the extras. That applies to clothing, school supplies, or anything else, especially where your teenager decides they want the better, more expensive version of the items in question. Let them pay for the extras and they will appreciate their money much more or will learn to do without the most expensive item.

If you help them with the purchase of a car, offer to match them dollar for dollar toward the car. If you do plan to buy the car for them, make them responsible for the payment of the insurance, gas, and other extras. That will also have the added benefit of teaching them to respect and take care of their automobile.


Things to Look Out Before Sending Your Kid off to Summer Camp

1. Find out what the camp has to offer and if it is accredited. You don’t want to send your kid somewhere where he’ll be sitting around twiddling his thumbs all day in a place that has absolutely no accreditation. This will most likely turn out to be a disaster. Camps that have specific programs that will keep your child busy all day are your best bet.

2. Make sure though that there is a balance between active and quiet times in the schedule. If your kid is going non stop all day long by the time he gets home he is going to be bouncing off the walls and you’ll never get him down.

3. Make sure you keep in constant contact with the camp and your child. This doesn’t mean you have to call 3 times a day everyday but you should at least keep in touch to find out what’s going on a couple of times a week.

Tasks that Kids Can Do around the House


Can dust with an electromagnetic cloth or baby wipe; Spray and scrub the sink and bathtub with water and a sponge; pick up toys or other floor clutter and put them in baskets or bins – if the baskets are labeled with pictures, they can even put the right toys in the right container! At this point, anything you give them to do except putting the toys away will be more to give them something to do while you are cleaning, but they will try to do their best if you take the time to teach them, and it will seem natural to them when they graduate to more complex tasks.


Sweep with kid-size broom; spray and squeegee windows using lemon- or vinegar-water (inside windows only, please!); use a handheld vacuum; wipe sinks using baby wipes; empty a small trash basket into a bigger bag; scrub corners of kitchen chairs or other small spaces using a clean toothbrush or nail brush and a cup of water; make beds (preferably with a comforter, it’s easier for them); fold towels; put clothes in drawers; hang clothes on hooks; put dirty clothes in hamper; help feed animals; wipe off baseboards, windowsills with small cloth or wearing old socks on their hands; help wipe up spills; dry unbreakable dishes; pick up litter in the yard.


Sweep small areas with a dustpan and broom; clean bathroom sinks; hang up the towel after a bath; store bath toys; help in the kitchen (stirring, tearing lettuce, etc. – no knife yet!); set the napkins and silverware on the table; clear dishes from the table (depends on your child, you know if they risk breaking them or not); help load the dishwasher; straighten plastic dishes in a cabinet; help straighten pots and pans; sort family members’ clean laundry; dust furniture; strip linens from beds; straighten books on a bookshelf; put game and puzzle pieces in correct storage containers; use a lint remover to pick up pet hair on furniture; tidy up their room.

Younger Elementary School Kids

Make beds (any of them); take out garbage; sweep stairs and walks; clean the car and help wash it; vacuum their own room; sort and straighten toys; fold and put away laundry; empty the dishwasher; feed and care for pets; set and clean the table (but only with unbreakable dishes and cups at this point); sort clothes for washing.

Older Elementary School Kids

Clean bathroom mirrors; vacuum; clean toilets; clean countertops and the kitchen sink; mop small-area floors; use the washer and dryer; wash, dry and put away dishes; clean pet areas; clean cobwebs and dust in high places with a pole; sweep the garage; set and clean the table (by the end of elementary school, they usually are able to do it with regular dishes and glasses).


Can do everything you do, except for the most intensive jobs, or the ones using noxious products, such as deep-cleaning of the oven, or removing mold from the bathroom tiles.


Helpful Tips to Pick A Daycare Center

The first thing you need to do when going to a daycare center to determine if it’s one you want to send your child to is ask them if they have any openings. This should be the very first question you ask. If their answer is no and you need daycare in the near future then they most likely will not be able to meet your needs. If, however, you really want this center then find out when they expect to have an opening and make plans.

The next thing you have to find out is where the center is located and how the traffic is in early morning or rush hour evening hours. If traffic is really bad you know that you’re going to have to leave yourself extra time to get your child to the center and extra time for pickup, especially if the center closes at a certain hour.

The next thing you have to find out is what their hours of operation are. If the center has hours from 9 to 6 and you have to be at work at 8 AM then you are going to have a bit of a problem unless you can arrange to have someone else bring your child to the center. Most centers however do have hours long before normal work hours begin and long after normal work hours end. Just make sure you find out exactly what the hours are.

The next thing that’s important to know is if there are any special holidays or dates when the center is closed. Not all businesses celebrate all holidays. For example, many businesses may be open on Martin Luther King’s birthday. If yours is one of them and the center is closed for that day you are going to have to make plans for someone to either stay with your child or if possible bring your child to another center for a day or if worst comes to worst, bring your child to work. Make sure you know this well in advance.

Of course you are going to have to find out what the center charges and if there are any special supplies you will have to bring. Some centers provide diapers and food but many do not. So find this out in advance. Also, find out how payment needs to be made and when. Some centers require payment in advance and other allow you to pay at the end of each period, whether it be weekly or monthly.

It may not be a bad idea to find out the ages of the other children. If they are all older than your child you may not want to take your child to that center as there could be a greater danger of problems.

Find out if the center offers some kind of flex time in case you have a strange schedule. Some centers actually have a day shift and a night shift. Find this out if your needs require odd hours.

This may not seem important but find out what their turnover rate is. A high turnover rate may indicate a poorly run center.

Find out if there are backups to the main provider should he or she become ill. The last thing you want to find out is that you can’t bring your child one day because there is only one caregiver and they are out sick.

Finally, find out if the center is certified. While this doesn’t always mean the center is great, you’ll have a better chance of getting a good center if it is certified.


Study Music Benefits

1. Music training has been linked to spatial-temporal reasoning skills. (I.e. ability to read a map, put puzzles together, form mental images, transform/visualize things in space that unfold over time, and recognize relationships between objects. These skills are often helpful in science, math, and chess.)

2. Musical symbols, structure, and rhythmic training utilize fractions, ratios, and proportions, which are all important in mathematical study.

3. Increases problem finding/solving, logic and thinking skills like analysis, evaluation and the linkage/organization of ideas

4. Optimizes brain neuron development and circuitry

5. Assists motor development especially coordination of hands, eyes and body

6. Expands multiple intelligences and helps students’ transfer study, cognitive and communication skills from subject to subject in any syllabus

7. Group orchestra or ensemble activities help promote cooperation, social harmony and teach kids discipline while working together toward a common goal.

8. Music augments memory. For example, most people learn their ABC’s by singing them. Repeating a tune in a predictable rhythmic song structure makes memorization easier.

9. Singing is a great way to aid/improve reading ability and instruction. Karaoke is a perfect example. Children may learn a song by ear (auditory) but words on a TV or computer screen provide a simultaneous visual anchor.

10. In vocal music learning rhythm, phrasing, and pitch greatly enhances language, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary skills. This is especially noticeable when using songs in first and second language study.

11. Improves critical reading and writing

12. Raises test scores, decreases performance anxiety, and teaches kids how to handle/manage stress during standardized exams

13. Helps children channel unexpressed and/or negative emotions in a positive way

14. Boosts creative thinking

15. Reading music and performing memorized pieces help children to think ahead

16. Improvisation helps people to “think on their feet”

17. Solo performance is connected to self-esteem and self-efficacy. (concept of self capacity) Children learn to reach for their very best.

18. When kids prepare and consistently practice for recital or performance, they work to sing/play without errors. They generally apply similar determination and perseverance to many future endeavors academic or otherwise.

19. Improves understanding of homework and enables a higher levels of concentration

20. Children who study music usually have a better attitude, are more motivated and are less intimidated by learning new things


Get your Child to Eat Vegetables with These Tricks

– Blend vegetables in a blender and add them to spaghetti sauce or liven up any non-veg dish.

– Keep a plateful of green salad, either in raw or grated form. You can toss up a salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, onion, and radish and so on. You can have salads either at mealtime or in between meals, as a snack.

– While making sandwiches for lunch, add lettuce, tomato slice or carrots in between. Chicken, tuna or pasta salads taste great with dash of vegetables in it.

– If your child thrives on noodles, add boiled or lightly steamed vegetables to it.

– While making pizza, add chopped broccoli, spinach, etc in addition to other toppings.

– Vegetables with a dash of melted cheese added to soups changes the flavor altogether.