Author Archives: Family Magazine

work together as a family

How to Include Kids in Home Renovations

Home renovations, though often necessary, are something that many people enjoy. That’s why HGTV has a whole network of shows dedicated exclusively to people performing home remodeling. But when you start thinking about how to work together as a family to remodel your home, things get a little bit trickier.

That’s not to say that it can’t be fun, because it absolutely can be. But having children around when renovating your home provides a different set of challenges, and can create added stress.

If you can figure out fun ways to work together as a family, and accommodate your children’s needs, then a family home remodeling can provide a lot of opportunities for fun and growth. And of course, you want to make sure you do things as safely as possible, so you don’t end up needing to seek medical attention for anyone.

First, start by knowing what to include your kids in, and what to leave them out of. Some things children just aren’t capable of doing, and it will also depend on their age. For jobs that kids might not be able to help with, like roofing or wiring, it can be a good idea to take them on a mini-vacation and let the roofing companies do their work unhindered.

If you don’t want to get your kids out of the house, you can always give them scaled-down jobs to make them feel like they are helping, even if they aren’t. What these jobs are will depend on the job you are doing, but you can get creative with it, especially if you have younger kids.

work together as a family

If you are going to work together as a family for most of the renovations, you should also take into account the child’s schedule. Doing it in early spring, when they have to go to school and worry about homework, could be stressful for them. But doing it in the summer will be a lot less disruptive, as they won’t have school, there aren’t any major holidays, and it will be easier to carve out the time to do it.

Once you’ve thought of these basic things, you can start to think about your specific renovations, and what your kids can help out with in each area. A good way to easily work together as a family is to create a plan that everyone can follow, so you have an idea of how to move ahead.

Fencing

No, this doesn’t mean the sport. Oftentimes, remodeling your home might mean putting in a new fence, or repairing the existing one. Depending on how old your children are, they could help you with the actual building, making it easy to work together as a family for this project.

But if you have younger kids, it might be best to leave them out of the construction. You could hire a fence company to come in and build it for you, or do it yourself and just keep the kids occupied. A good way to do this is to give them a toy construction set or fake tools— let them feel like they are helping, while also keeping them out of your way.

When it comes to painting the fence, this is a job that almost anyone can help out with. Kids, especially younger ones, love paint, so it can be a fun activity for your family. This is a great time to let the whole family help out, even if it means you have to come back and touch it up later. It can also help you teach your kids how to properly paint, and for younger ones, you could even have fun teaching them how to mix colors!

Yard trimming

Even if you’re not renovating your home, keeping bushes and trees trimmed is important. But once again, this can be a difficult and dangerous activity, so your kids may not be able to help out.

Tree trimming is likely something you want to keep kids away from unless they are much older. Tall ladders and falling branches can be hazardous. But bush trimming is something kids may be able to help with.

If you supervise them closely, and show them how to do it, most children could use a pair of hedge trimmers safely. If even that is too much, you can once again get them a fake pair, or occupy them with something else. And, once the trimming is done, they can help you carry all of the branches and leaves away. Even young ones could grab small branches and feel like they are helping.

work together as a family

Sometimes, you may want to keep children away from these activities entirely. In that case, you can have them work on something else, like gardening or yard decorations, while you do that.

Gardening

Whether you grow flowers, vegetables, or herbs, gardening is an area that makes it easy to work together as a family. Children of all ages can help with gardening in one way or another.

Younger children can help dig holes for plants, as they love getting messy, and maybe help pick out plants. Older kids could help you plant or repot the plants, and maybe help plan the garden. And anyone can help water plants.

If your family has a garden, it is a great opportunity to get everyone involved and have fun while doing home renovations. Plus, you could grow delicious foods that you can then cook with, and teach your kids about how plants work.

Hardscaping

While similar to gardening, hardscaping is all of the hard, yet still mobile, elements of your yard. Stones, gravel, walkways, any harder and heavier objects that can decorate your yard or improve its functionality. This can be a great area to work together as a family and get creative with your kids.

Hardscaping elements are also something that you can assign to kids while you work on the stuff they can’t help with, like roofing or tree trimming. You can have them paint rocks to go in the garden, pick out tiles for outdoor living space, or even create a fun pathway, like having your children’s handprints in glow in the dark paint on a stone path.

Hardscaping gives a lot of opportunities for creativity and fun, and is usually something that any kid can help with. It serves as a good distraction when you have to do jobs that they aren’t able to do.

Roofing and siding

This is another aspect of home renovation that kids might not be able to help with. Roofing repairs, putting in a new roof, gutters, and more all mean hazardous ladders and heights. You might want to take your kids on a mini-vacation for this, while you let contractors do the work. Or, you could give them other tasks, like working on gardening and hardscaping, to keep them out of the way.

If you do want to work together as a family on this, you could always assign children small tasks that make them feel helpful but keep them away from danger. Have them find the nails, be “in charge” of supervising you, or even task them with bringing refreshments, like squeezing lemons for lemonade. These duties will give them something to do while keeping them out of danger and letting you get the work done.

Demolition

When you start indoor renovations, one of the first things you will do might just be demolition. Sometimes there are walls that need to be knocked out, and luckily, this is an opportunity to really work together as a family.

work together as a family

Older kids can help you demolish the wall— after all, what child wouldn’t enjoy being allowed to destroy things with a hammer? Plus, having a kid to do the hard work could help if you suffer from low back pain or other pain issues. Make sure that they wear proper safety equipment and that they are never left unattended.

Younger kids might not be able to help with demolition, but to keep them busy, you can allow them to color or draw on the walls that you will be knocking down. It will give them something to do, and there will be no harm since you’re getting rid of the wall anyway.

Lastly, you could have your kids draw up “plans” of what the demolition will be, and where new walls and fixtures will be going. For kids more in the middle range, this is a great way to engage their creativity and make them feel helpful, even if those plans aren’t the ones you follow.

New wall construction

After you’ve knocked out the old walls, you will likely need to put in new walls, floors, and/or doorways. Again, this can be a risky activity, so it may be best to have younger kids avoid this part. Besides, most kids won’t know how to assemble floor trusses anyway.

If you do want to get kids involved, you can again give them small tasks. Ask them to hold pieces for you, get you drinks, or even provide entertainment while you work. This can help them feel like they are contributing without putting them at risk.

Redoing the wires

Electricity can be unpredictable and dangerous, so this is an area that’s best to steer kids away from. Like the demolition, you could help kids feel helpful by having them draw up diagrams of how they think the wiring will look. It could be funny to you and/or your contractors, plus you could teach them about how it works.

You can also assign them to other tasks while you do this. Having kids create stones for the garden in another room while you do wiring is a great way to work together as a family while keeping everyone safe.

Changing bedrooms

If there are changes being made to bedrooms and bathrooms, it’s a great opportunity to get kids involved. They can help to shape their bedroom the way they want it to be, and really feel like they contributed to improving their living space.

There are a lot of possibilities when doing this. You can have your kids draw out how they want their room to go, and then work with that. You could have them help move things around, and install new fixtures.

Furniture assembly

Many people hate this part of home renovations. Furniture instructions can often be confusing, and a lot of people get stressed. For this reason, you may think that you wouldn’t want kids around. But it can actually be a great opportunity to work together as a family and educate your kids.

Having kids help with furniture assembly can make it more fun, because they will joke around and provide entertainment. It also teaches them two things. The first is how to follow instructions for furniture assembly, which will help them later in life. And the second is how to work with other people, which is a valuable skill that they will certainly need.

Fire protection

When remodeling, you will likely update your fire protection system. Use this as an opportunity to teach your kids about fire safety, and create a plan in case of emergencies. Make sure that they know what to do so if there ever is a disaster, everyone can make it out safely.

Painting

Of course, this is the easiest way to work together as a family when doing renovations. Kids love to paint, and if you give them permission to paint on the walls, they will certainly do it. You can also use it as an opportunity to teach them how to paint properly. Even if you have to come back in later and touch it up, it will be worth it for the fun you will have.

work together as a family

Working together towards a better home

Clearly, there are a lot of ways that you can work together as a family to do home renovations. Around 62% of people say that they feel grateful for their kids and family, and if you have fun with renovations and get your kids involved, you will likely be one of those people.

Building a Career: What Options Does Your Teen Have After High School?

Does your teen know what they want to do once they graduate high school? Choosing a career is one of the most important choices teens face as they enter into adulthood. Whether they go to college or not, your teen will have to find something to support themselves. There are many options that can create an excellent income and will still be something they enjoy doing. Here are a few interesting options for building a career your teen may want to consider after graduating high school.

Work as a Welder

If your teen loves technology and building things with their hands, welding can be an ideal choice. Working as a welder can be a lucrative opportunity for your teen when it comes to building a career. There is a growing demand for welding services and a current shortage of welders. Your teen can become a welder immediately without having to go to college. There are many opportunities to advance in welding and earn more income.

The average entry-level welder earns about $40,000 a year and highly experienced welders can earn up to $500,000 annually. The field offers flexible scheduling so your teen can work when they want and pursue other opportunities, such as part-time college, at the same time. Your teen can register with a welding institute and find opportunities around the world as a welder. The valuable skills learned as a welder can be used by your teen to start their own welding business or complete projects for family and friends. The workload for a welder is so diverse that your teen likely won’t get bored from doing the same work every single day.

Take Care of Others as a Nurse

Nursing is an excellent choice for building a career for teens who enjoy helping others. Your teen will need to get a degree to become a nurse. Accelerated programs are available for your teen to get a degree in as little as 16 months. The nursing field is expected to grow by 16% through 2024, meaning that workers are in high demand. The work can be challenging and exciting with a sense of satisfaction while making a difference in someone’s life.

There are many opportunities for advancement in a variety of work environments. For example, your teen can work in pediatric care, emergency room treatment, or hospice care. The work schedule as a nurse can be flexible to meet your soon-to-be young adult’s needs. There is plenty of job security and lucrative wages. A registered nurse can earn approximately $60,000 a year and a nurse anesthetist, which requires additional schooling, earns approximately $149,000 on an annual basis.

Argue Legal Cases as a Lawyer

Building a career as a lawyer can be challenging and lucrative for your high school grad. The average salary for an attorney is approximately $120,000 a year. Top attorneys have the potential of earning million-dollar incomes, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job offers plenty of opportunities to help others and develop problem-solving skills. There are a wide variety of areas to specialize in as a lawyer.

Being a lawyer is often seen as a prestigious career. It can include office perks like support staff, luxurious office space, gym memberships, and more. The skills learned as a lawyer can be transferred to other careers such as management, consulting, and college teaching. Lawyers can set their own fees, choose the clients they work with, and set their own hours. If your teen loves learning and enjoys a debate, they may want to strongly consider this field of work.

Construct Buildings as a Contractor

Building a career in construction is perfect for a teen who loves being outdoors and staying active. A building contractor can work on a variety of projects and meet new and interesting people every day. Contractors are able to run their own businesses, choose the clients they work with, and set their own hours. The demand for contractors is expected to increase through 2028 by 10% annually. Your teen doesn’t need a college degree to make money in this field, but it can be beneficial for earning more.

Entry-level construction workers are able to make around $15 per hour. General contractors can earn around $71,000 in an annual salary. Building contractors are able to make a significant impact on their communities and experience a high level of job satisfaction. Your teen can choose to work anywhere around the world they desire and travel as much as they want. The skills your teen learns can be used in a wide range of other careers if they choose to pursue other opportunities.

Help People as a Therapist

Becoming a therapist can be a rewarding career choice for your teen. Many people become therapists because they want to help people work through their personal problems. Counseling offers a way to create positive change and bring meaning to a person’s life. The therapy field offers a diverse range of focus areas, from counseling children to working in a drug rehabilitation center. There is steady job security in this field, as the need for therapists is constantly growing.

Your teen will need formal education for building a career as a therapist. Depending on the niche they choose, educational training can take anywhere from two to eight years of college. Therapists are able to set their own hours and work with the clients they choose. Annual salaries can vary from $36,000 to $77,000, depending on the niche they choose and their level of education and experience. Your soon-to-be young adult can make a living as a therapist anywhere around the world.

Innovate as an Engineer

Building a career in civil engineering offers your teen the ability to leave their mark on the world with the structures they build. There are a variety of available opportunities from energy to environmental design and construction. Civil engineers earn approximately $82,000 in annual pay. The demand for civil engineers is expected to grow by 8% through 2024 and beyond. The career offers the ability to meet interesting environmental challenges and service to their local community.

The work involved in being a civil engineer ensures that your teen will never have a dull moment. An engineer not only designs a structure but works first hand with a team of professionals while it’s being built. There are new projects and new people to meet every day. Your teen can utilize their creativity as well as develop their problem-solving skills and have something they can actually show to others from all of their hard work. There are numerous opportunities to travel around the world and explore interesting new places and cultures as an engineer.

Create Beautiful Smiles as a Dentist

Building a career in dentistry can be a rewarding experience for your teen in helping people live healthier lives. Employment growth for this field is expected to grow by 7.6% annually through 2028, which equals about 10,400 jobs each year. Dental work offers consistent income, as patients are scheduled for routine exams, cleanings, and other recommended dental work approximately every six months. Dentists can own their own businesses, set their own hours, and earn a good salary. The average dental general practitioner earns about $190,000 each year and specialists earn around $330,000 a year on average.

While at least eight years of school are required to become a dentist, this career allows dental professionals to save people’s lives by preventing and treating oral diseases. They can help people feel better about their appearance by creating beautiful smiles through a wide range of dental procedures. Your teen can build lifelong relationships with a wide range of people. The skills learned in this field can be used in a variety of other fields as well. Opportunities for traveling around the world and impacting the health of communities are also available.

Heat Things Up as an HVAC Professional

If your teen enjoys problem-solving and working with their hands, building a career as an HVAC contractor could be an ideal option. This career offers the opportunity to work with various types of equipment in new locations every day. Technicians install and repair heating and air conditioning systems for homeowners and businesses. Your teen can start their career by becoming an apprentice and taking classes at night to earn their certification. An HVAC professional can either work through a company or branch off and start their own business.

This job is in high demand with plenty of job security. HVAC jobs are expected to grow by up to 15% through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Technicians can earn around $47,000 per year on average. Your teen can work wherever they want and potentially earn more depending on the location they choose. Hours can be incredibly flexible and your teen will get the opportunity to meet and network with all kinds of people.

Travel the World as a Commercial Pilot

Another interesting choice for your teen for building a career is becoming a commercial pilot. Flying an aircraft can deliver an unbeatable thrill and no other job offers the kinds of views of the world that this field does. Commercial pilots have flexible schedules and are guaranteed time off in between scheduled trips. As a pilot, your teen can work and live wherever they want. They can have the opportunity to travel the world and see new places and people every day.

Becoming a pilot doesn’t require a college degree in order to make good money. The average salary for a commercial airline pilot is about $130,000 per year. Your teen will need to accrue some hands-on flight training before they can receive their certifications and licenses. As a commercial pilot, your teen can receive flight benefits that can be shared with family and friends. This includes free and discounted travel to any location you desire to visit.

Catch Bad Guys in Criminal Justice

The criminal justice field offers plenty of job security for building a career. There are many different career paths to choose from in the criminal justice field, from being a private investigator to becoming an emergency management director. Salaries can range anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000 per year. Entry-level positions can be obtained with a high school diploma while advanced positions may require a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Work schedules can be flexible, and job opportunities are available all over the world.

The need for criminal justice professionals is expected to grow by 7% each year over the next few years. A criminal justice career allows your teen to make a difference in people’s lives by keeping them safe from harm. The workload can vary from completing paperwork at a desk to engaging in dangerous situations. Criminal justice professionals can receive excellent health and retirement benefits. These benefits can include tuition assistance, life insurance, and favorable health insurance.

Work as a Mail Carrier

Another excellent choice for building a career for a teen that loves to be outdoors is working as a mail carrier. It may not sound glamorous, but it offers steady job security and great pay. Mail carriers have access to great health insurance and can receive a lifetime pension when they retire. Your teen can make up to $63,000 per year without the need for a college degree. In order to become a mail carrier, your teen will need to pass an exam, pass a physical and drug test, and have a safe driving record.

The job can come with some unexpected perks. Mail carriers can receive small gifts from the customers they serve. These gifts can be money, free snacks, and other forms of appreciation. You can meet interesting people and get plenty of exercise, too. There are plenty of job opportunities anywhere in the world.

Building a career is an important decision not to be made lightly. When exploring careers, take into consideration what things your teen is good at and what they enjoy. Have your teen research fields that sound interesting to them and possibly shadow professionals in those fields. Choosing the right career can be tough but rewarding in so many ways. Start exploring careers with your teen today.

15 Life Lessons Every Child Should Have

Having children is one of the biggest responsibilities you will have as an adult. Children can be a handful to manage, but they are a huge part of your life and will more than likely look to you for help and love for years to come. Children are with you forever and will learn from you while likely inheriting many of your habits. This is not always a bad thing, and in fact, emulating good behaviors and habits in front of your children is one of the easiest ways to pass down information to your children that can help them for years to come.

Developing Habits

It doesn’t take long for a healthy habit to form. In fact, habits take only two to three months on average to become part of a daily routine. It’s up to parents and children to pass down information and be able to make these habits generational and ongoing. Anything from healthy eating, to exercise, meditation, and self-care can all be great habits to pass down from generation to generation. In addition, to be able to pass down information can even help one day save your child’s life. Teaching your kids about camping, what to do in an emergency, even how to properly maintenance a car are all vital life skills. Just the same, it’s important to teach children to avoid bad habits as well, such as excessive drinking, smoking, excessive partying, and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Making Time for Lessons

If passing down information and tips to children is so vital, why don’t all parents do it more often? Unfortunately, modern life is full of stress, work, school, and busy schedules that take up much of our time. It can be difficult to set aside even an hour a day to simply talk to our children about life skills and tips, and even more difficult to make these habits stick if we ourselves aren’t practicing good habits. However, as a parent, you should always make an effort to teach your children life lessons and pass down information. To get started, here are 15 tips you can pass down to your children to help them get started on this journey through life. Continue to make time, teach your children using compassion, and have fun while doing so.

1. Meditating

One of the first things you should do when waking up or winding down at night is to meditate. Meditating and stretching are two forms of releasing tension and energy that aren’t just excellent for adults, but for children as well. Pass down information on mindfulness meditation and even yoga to your children. The sooner you can allow your children to meditate and be able to relax their thoughts and lower their stress levels, the better. If you don’t have a dedicated meditation space inside your home, you can easily do a landscaping project to clear out an area in your backyard and do meditation there. Outdoor meditation, especially during the morning sunrise, can be a beautiful experience for you and your children.

2. Exercising

pass down information

Exercising is one of the most important habits to teach your children. More and more children are presenting with early-onset diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and fatigue due to not exercising. Exercising can be simple to do, and extremely fun as well! Go for a swim in your backyard pool, or join a local sports team to teach your children about teamwork as well. Pass down information that can help children start off small, such as taking the stairs, or walking to the local store instead of driving. The more physical activity you are able to expose to your child, the better.

3. Eating Healthy

Eating healthy can be difficult for any child to do. This is especially true if a parent is constantly bringing in fast-food, doesn’t have time to cook, and doesn’t make an effort to expose their children to nutritious food. Instead of buying fast-food, take time to teach children about the importance of making healthy choices. Start by having your children help you cook or even meal-prep. If you do go out for dinner, make healthy choices and practice portion control, or order off the light-menu. Or, visit a local smoothie shop and order juices with super greens with probiotics. Smoothies and juices can be a delicious way to introduce your children to healthy foods! With so many people making more of an effort to be health-conscious now, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find healthy options even in fast-food restaurants. Always take the time to pass down information on healthy foods to your kids.

4. Expressing Emotions

It can be difficult for children and teens to properly express emotions, especially if they feel parents don’t want to see them cry or yell. However, every child needs to let their emotions out somehow. Not doing so can lead children to grow into adults that don’t have good coping skills for stressful situations, and even lead to anxiety and depression. To prevent this, let your children express their emotions often, and use positive reinforcement when they express positive emotions. If your children has their own room, do a home remodeling project with them so they can fill their room with their own personality and express their emotions this way too. Pink, black, blue, white, let your children explore their own personality!

5. Developing Healthy Relationships

pass down information

As a parent, it’s vital you pass down information on healthy relationships to your children, especially if they are now starting to date, make more friends in school, or even have trouble working with others. It’s important to teach children about the importance of boundaries, maintaining healthy friendships, and not allowing others to take advantage of these relationships or vice versa. The sooner you can show children what is healthy in a relationship, the sooner they can understand and implement these life skills. For instance, what does healthy love look like? When should you cut off friendships? How should a teacher interact with students? These might be some of the toughest, but some of the best conversations to have with your children and teens.

6. Self-Acceptance

Self-Acceptance is easier said than done, and especially in today’s modern world, accepting who you are is key when undertaking anything in life. Let your children know it’s okay to love who they are, and pass down information that lets your children know to accept themselves and any flaws. From body shape to body size, gender, hair color, and everything in between, self-acceptance is key for a child to have to help them grow into healthy, happy adults. Teaching self-love and acceptance can start by developing a self-care routine for your child. It’s never too early to start!

7. Confidence

Just like self-acceptance, having confidence is important for your child to have, even from an early age. Enroll your children in activities that allow them to be confident and prevent social anxiety, such as theater or singing. Or, simply let your children be confident in their abilities to do simple things every day. Confidence can help your children become adults that are able to easily find employment, ace interviews for schools and jobs, and interact with others in a positive way.

8. Exploring the Outdoors

pass down information

Exercising is good and well, but if you’re able to pass down information to your kids about exploring the outdoors, this is a great life-skill to have. If your children go camping for the first time, teach them the basics of navigating, packing the right food and equipment, and even preparing their RV with the proper tools such as an rv sway control system. Let your children know that the outdoors can be a great place to unwind, meditate, and get away from the world just for a little bit.

9. Making Routine Check-Ups

It might not be so easy to make your own medical appointments, and attending doctors appointments can be nerve-wracking. Still, it’s important to teach your children the basics of making doctors appointments, and how crucial it is to follow-through and let medical professionals know about any problems your child might experience.

10. Making Routine Dental Visits

No one wants to visit the dentist all the time, but it’s a part of life that you should let your children know about. As a parent, it’s vital you pass down information on oral hygiene to your children. You can do this by simply brushing and having a good oral hygiene routine with your children. However, if your child is younger than age 2, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless your doctor or dentist tells you to. Make appointments regularly with a good children dentistry office, and get rid of the fear of dentists!

11. Supporting the Community

It’s important to teach your child the importance of being supportive of not just family and friends, but of the community. Pass down information on your beautiful community to your children, and encourage them to help others every day. This can be as easy as shopping at unique locally owned shops, or volunteering at a local shelter or hospital. Trash pick-up, beach clean-ups, and any other community skills and gatherings can also be a great way to teach your children the importance of community as well.

12. Simple Car Maintenance

 

Your kids will someday be driving and even own a car on their own. But, this doesn’t mean they’ll be well-equipped to handle the pressures and responsibilities of driving if you don’t pass down information to help them. More importantly, teach your children basic maintenance tips to help prevent them from getting stuck on the side of the road. Simple things such as car brakes repair can help prevent your children from getting into accidents as well. Equip them with emergency power tools, spare tires, extra battery cables, and car jacks, and always teach your children the importance of contacting insurance agents and the proper authorities.

13. Simple Home Maintenance

You might find that one day, your children will be stuck at home alone, and call you frantically because they don’t know where that strange noise is coming from, or where that leak is going! You can prevent children from questioning these things and prepare them for when they have their own home by teaching them simple maintenance skills and tips. For instance, if you’re doing roof repair work, take the time to pass down information on the importance of roof maintenance, and let your kids know to report anything they might notice such as cracked tiles or shingles. Involve them in weekly or monthly maintenance projects, such as replacing HVAC filters or cleaning the gutters. Though it might seem boring now, this information will be extremely helpful to your children in the future.

pass down information

14. Expressing Creativity

Children, teenagers, even adults all need to express themselves through creative outlets every once in a while. The great thing about expressing yourself by being creative is that you might find a talent you never knew about! Give your child the tools to express themselves in any area they want. For instance, if they want to get building materials and start designing their own small carpentry items, like tables, bird-houses, even doll houses, this is a great outlet for expression! Painting, music, and any other art form is also vital to allow your children to express themselves and let those creative juices flow.

15. Self-Discipline

What is self-discipline, and how can it help a child develop into a better adult and better person overall? Self-discipline is being able to do your homework on time by yourself, getting to bed early, or even making your bed up every morning. Pass down information on taking self-discipline seriously, even at a young age to your children. The earlier in life your children understand that their choices have consequences, as does their work ethic, the better! There’s no better way to teach this than with a list of simple chores, positive reinforcement, and lots of love toward your children.

15 Things to Consider when Caring for an Aging Relative

Being able to provide comfort and care for aging parents is a goal that many people have in their adulthood. Caring for family as they get older can be rewarding and beautiful, however, it can be time-consuming, difficult, and overall add stress to an already busy life. Moreover, not everyone has the medical knowledge, skills, or knows the importance of elderly care services that are needed to care for aging parents. However, even so, parents and family remain grateful for the children and other relatives that are able to care for them in their time of need and dedicate time to their well-being. In fact, roughly 62% of people report feeling grateful for their children and family, showing just how prevalent taking care of an aging parent or relative is.

Options

As mentioned, not everyone has the medical knowledge and skills to care for an aging relative. In addition, busy lifestyles full of taking care of children, maintaining a home, expanding careers, and even attending school again can all add to one’s inability to care for their parents. In these times, it’s crucial to understand the importance of elderly care services and understand the options that one has to care for their aging parents. Though you can care for your aging relatives at home, there is always the option of seeking long-term care at a skilled nursing facility to provide medical care to your loved one. Besides skilled nursing facilities, having an in-home nurse to provide health care services to your aging parents or relatives is a great option if you’d still like extra help in caring for them. Nevertheless, whether you’re dealing with medical services, financial planning, business planning, or any other pressing matters, it’s important to get help from a professional to provide the right services to you and your family. If you find yourself wondering what the importance of elderly care services is, doing a bit of research into resources in your area can be beneficial. Here is a list of 15 things you should consider when caring for an aging loved one, including medical, legal, and comfortable living services.

1. Visit Doctors Regularly

The importance of elderly care services begins with visiting the right medical professionals regularly. As your parent or loved one ages, it can be difficult for them to fully remember all their upcoming appointments. Make sure to have a system where you can organize and help your aging relatives keep track of doctor’s appointments. A print-out from the doctor’s office of upcoming appointments can be useful. In addition, help attend their medical appointments in order to understand the condition of your loved one, and if need be to help translate if there is a language barrier as well.

2. Keep up with Medication

Medications are essential to help your aging parents cope with illnesses, chronic diseases, and pain. As memory skills begin to decrease, it becomes harder and harder for parents to be able to remember to take their medication at the appropriate times. Even with organized pillboxes, calendars, and alarms, taking medication can be a challenge. If you are able to, make sure to keep track of all medications that your parents are taking, and ensure that they have not overdosed or double-dosed on medications as well. Hiring an assisted living at home nurse can help tremendously to simply help administer medication.

3. Hiring a Care-Giver

As we mentioned above, the importance of elderly care services is that it helps in taking care of simple tasks such as medications. Even hiring a caregiver for 3-4 hours a day to care for your aging parent can be beneficial. However, if you can afford it, seeking a full-time caregiver to do routing assisted living at home chores such as medications, bathing, dressing, and keeping your parent company is all important when considering your aging loved one’s well-being. Talk to your insurance company to see if you are eligible to get help for a care-giver, and ensure your caregiver is a licensed CNA, LVN, or RN depending on the level of care your loved one needs.

4. Considering Senior Housing

If your aging relative wants to be more independent and live on their own, senior housing is a great benefit and can help in easing their transition into independent living. Senior housing costs are low, and living in senior housing can help your relatives become friendly and develop support with other elderly residents. In addition, living in senior housing lets your aging relative enjoy living at home while not having to worry about maintenance on their home, landscape, and other physically demanding chores around the home.

5. Considering Skilled Nursing Facilities

If you are not able to care for your loved one at home, and they cannot be independent by themselves, it should be time to consider a skilled nursing facility to provide senior care services for your relative. A skilled nursing facility provides around the clock medical care for your loved one, which is of the highest importance of elderly care services. Skilled nursing facilities can be covered by insurance, and a plethora of reviews exist online from other family members and their experience with a particular nursing home. Whatever facility you choose, ensure that their doctors are highly rated, that nurses and caregivers greet you amicably when you visit, and that it remains clean and secure in order to keep your elderly family members safe. Different facilities can also cater to different levels of care that your family needs, such as physical rehabilitation, mental health services, and even care for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

6. Senior Recreation Activities

As your aging relatives get older, it can be harder and harder for them to enjoy doing physical activities necessary stay healthy. However, senior workout classes, swimming classes catering to the elderly, yoga, and other programs are all available to help keep your aging loved one healthy and in shape. Besides the health benefits of senior exercise programs, mental health benefits are plentiful. Regular exercise has been shown to boost endorphins, which help keep mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression at bay. If your loved one lives with you, make arrangements to attend these classes, or explore other recreational activities such as art, meditation, singing, dancing, or anything else that keeps your loved ones happy and active.

7. Accessories for Daily Living

As adults, it’s easy for us to dress, grab our keys, go out into the world, and come back home with ease. However, the importance of elderly care services is ensuring that we keep track of all the little things our aging relatives need for their day, including proper clothes, accessories, and money. For instance, if your aging loved one suffers from anemia, dressing them warmly can help keep them comfortable. Ensuring your aging relatives remember their hearing aids, walkers, cell-phones, dentures, wallets, and everything in between is all crucial also. Keep track of all the accessories your relative uses throughout the day, and ensure it is all accessible to them should they leave the house on their own.

8. Using Holistic Medicine

The importance of elderly care services is utilizing every option in order to ensure our aging relatives find solutions for their pain, chronic diseases, and any other issues that get in the way of their comfort. Exhausting every option means turning to holistic medicine, natural remedies, and other natural therapies that can all add on to traditional medicine to give support to our aging loved ones. For instance, if your loved one complains that pain medication is not helping, perhaps acupuncture or using natural pain and fatigue relief cream can all help. Make sure you are dedicated to finding a solution for your loved one and continue to seek help for any ailments that are still causing your elderly relatives trouble.

9. Joining Support Groups

One of the things to consider with the importance of elderly care services is knowing how they can help your loved one not feel so alone when dealing with their aging lifestyle. Support groups are now widely available for anything from alcoholics anonymous, to grief, and even elderly support groups. If your loved one cannot physically attend groups, telemedicine implementation can help so they can participate in support groups regardless of where they are physically. Consider signing your loved one up for groups if they express feelings of isolation or depression, and reach out to programs for meeting times.

10. Eating Healthy

Healthy eating is of the utmost importance to elderly care services. Eating healthy involves having a balanced diet, keeping track of sodium levels, diabetes, and other special diets that your elderly loved one might partake in. If you’re caring for a relative at home, try your best to cook foods that are rich in vitamins, easy to digest, and are full of fiber in order to help your loved one process foods easily. Prune juices, legumes, and papaya are just some of the foods that can help the elderly process foods easier and avoid digestive discomfort. Consider using protein and meal-replacement shakes such as Ensure if your loved one doesn’t have the ability to eat regular meals as well, or if they are at a low weight. Always consult with your relative’s physician to see what foods to avoid and add to their diet.

11. Having Reliable Transportation

Reliable transportation is needed in order to let your loved ones get to and from medical appointments, visit other relatives, or simply go out and have a good time. Having a motorized scooter can be helpful in making your loved ones more mobile. A simple wheelchair that doesn’t stick easily can be just as good also. More importantly, ensure any vehicles have a wheelchair lift or are easy to get your relatives in and out of on a daily basis. Power Vans are now widely available and can help fit wheelchairs in order to transport your loved ones safely.

12. Settling Legal Matters

Besides medical considerations, the importance of elderly care services is settling any legal matters while your loved one is still alive and able to remember important details, in addition to expressing their final wishes. A wills and trusts lawyer can help you and your family navigate through legal documents and proceedings to ensure that your loved one’s last will and testament are ready to go before their passing. Last will and testaments should be handled by your loved one and their attorney, but helping with your loved one’s decision making can prove to be crucial in making the process of settling up a will a little less stressful.

13. Caring for Financial Matters

Just like handling last wills and testaments, outstanding financial matters such as outstanding debt, selling off of assets, selling a business, and any other financial matters should also be settled as soon as possible by you and your elderly relatives. A financial accountant, business consultant, and even legal attorneys can all be necessary in order to accurately handle financial matters.

14. Planning for Funeral Arrangements

Though you might not want to think of it, the importance of elderly care services is that it allows you to help with funeral planning ahead of time. Funeral planning is essential in order to allow your loved one to express their final plans and to make sure there is enough money to help allow their last wishes to be put into place. Whether your loved one wants a certain casket, wants to be cremated, or wishes to donate their body to science, take the time to discuss with your aging relative their options and wishes, and make sure to do everything possible to help in making their wishes a reality.

15. Remodeling the Home

Finally, the importance of elderly care services is knowing how to remodel your home in order to accommodate for a loved one. Install ramps, stair-lifts, and hardwood floors in order to make it easier for your loved ones to move around. Installing a walk-in shower tub, and easy-to-use kitchen appliances can also prove to be beneficial in preventing accidents, slips and falls, and simply making the life of your elderly relative easier.

7 Tent Camping Basics for Your Family’s Fall Getaway

Get you and your family ready for the great outdoors this fall. Autumn can be a wonderful time for camping. Yes, the weather is getting a little cooler, but if you arrive prepared you can soak in some of the best nature has to offer before winter sets in. In order to plan your trip, you’ll want to read up on these tent camping basics for you and your family. These tips can help you have the best camping experience possible and get the most out of your trip.

About half of people who camp say they became interested in it because they love the outdoors. Don’t let a dip in the temperature and change of season diminish that love. There are a lot of excellent reasons to spend a weekend out in nature as the leaves start changing color. The cooler temperature might actually be more enjoyable for many people. There’s nothing like a crackling, warm fire on a chilly night.

Keep reading to find seven tent camping basics for you and your family this fall.

1. Decide How to Get There

The first step to any successful camping trip is getting there. Camping spots can be far from main roads and beaten paths, depending on how isolated you’d like to be. That can pose some challenges when it comes to having the right vehicle for the terrain.

There is also the matter of packing to consider. You may feel you need to pack a lot for an autumn camping trip because the weather is cooler. Tents, blankets, sleeping bags, extra clothing, and food can take up a lot of space in a small car and quickly crowd out seating.

If you only have a small car, you might want to look into minivan rental while planning your trip. A minivan can offer you a lot more space for all the tent camping basics you’ll require for your trip. If you aren’t sure yet whether you’ll need a larger car or not, you can always do a packing test run. See how the camping equipment as well as some coolers and suitcases fit in your car. It will likely become evident quickly if you need more space.

If you have a large family that you’re traveling with, you will almost certainly need a larger vehicle in order to get there with all your gear and supplies. Some people like to travel in an RV, even if they plan to stick to tent camping. That can be a good option for a family or large group, as an RV will certainly allow you to travel with all the tent camping basics you’ll need.

2. Decide Where to Stay

Of course, you need to know where you’re headed before you decide how to get there. This can be related to your vehicle, however. Some campsites are small and will charge extra if you roll up in a large vehicle. Some have dedicated RV parking or no RV parking at all. If you are traveling in a minivan or RV, you should look up your campsite to see if you will be able to park that vehicle there during your stay.

You also may want to keep a close eye on the weather when choosing a camping location in fall. Some areas will be much more prone to rain that time of year. You don’t want to show up for tent camping and get surprised by a sudden storm that floods you out. That can quickly turn a fun trip into a miserable one.

When choosing a location, however, you don’t only want to think about what can go wrong. Also take into consideration what you are hoping to get out of the trip.

If you just want to get away and have some peace and solitude with your loved ones, a large camp site with many spots open might not be the best option. You may instead want to find a place a little farther off the beaten path. The tent camping basics you’ll need could change if you are more remote, however, so keep that in mind when you are looking up locations.

On the flip side, some families like the security of knowing that they are still close to a convenience store or supermarket if they find they missed something while packing. There are plenty of campsites that can give you the benefits of both nature and modern conveniences. If this is a concern for you, look up what is in the nearest town to see what resources might be available during your trip.

3. Make Sure You’re Well Stocked

One of the most essential tent camping basics is simply making sure you are well-stocked on supplies. As noted above, you can choose a campsite that is close to things like convenience stores, but why interrupt your vacation if you don’t have to?

If you can, plan out your tent camping basics before you even start packing. Lists can be vital tools in determining what you’ll need to get through the weekend. Look up the weather so you can plan things like blankets and clothing accordingly.

One of the hardest things to plan for, though, is meals. What you can cook and eat changes when you’re camping. You likely won’t have access to many of the amenities of a full kitchen, so you will need to plan meals around what is available.

See if you can write down some ideas for your meals and snacks for each day. It is a good idea to pack a little more than what makes the list. If there was an unforeseen circumstance, you would definitely want to have extra food and water around.

If you don’t have one already, invest in a hard cooler for your trip. A good cooler is one of the most essential tent camping basics. It is important that this cooler won’t leak, can store a lot of food and will keep it cold. A whole cooler of ruined food can quickly spoil your entire trip.

4. Plan Your Activities

While you are doing your practical planning, why not plan some activities as well?

Tent camping means that you will probably be out and about all day. There isn’t that much to do at the campsite itself when it’s just your family and a tent. So one of the best tent camping basics is just to figure out what activities exist in the area.

If you are in a forest, you may be able to go hiking or biking together. If there is a local ATV dealer, you may even be able to buy or rent ATVs to take through the woods. Many people go camping specifically to find locations for ATV riding.

Hiking and biking are quieter activities, but no less rewarding for that. If you love hiking, you should look up whether there are trails near where you are camping. You can explore the woods with your family for a whole day and return to a cozy campsite and crackling fire in the evening.

You don’t need to stick to land when you go camping, however. There are also a lot of water-based activities you might enjoy while camping, such as swimming and paddleboard trips.

Many campsites are located near rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water. If you are a family of water-lovers, you should try to see if there are any opportunities near where you are camping.

On the far end of the spectrum, you may even bring a fishing boat out camping with you to really enjoy the water to the fullest. This may be the last chance for you and your family to get out on the water before winter freezes it, so try to take advantage if you can.

5. If You Are Bringing a Boat, Arrive Prepared

However, if you are bringing a boat, that also carries with it additional concerns and challenges.

As with an RV, you will need to make sure that you can actually park your boat. There are a lot of campsites that are great for tent camping basics, but might not have the space or infrastructure to accommodate a boat.

You also will need a vehicle that can haul a boat trailer along with it to your location. Sometimes, campsites can be located down very bumpy dirt roads or up steep mountainsides. If that is the case, it can be a real challenge to haul along a boat. You should investigate this and see if others have brought their boats to this campsite before you commit to doing it.

One of the bare essentials of boat ownership is boat insurance. Now is when that insurance becomes especially important. You never know if there will be an accident or incident of some sort. Because you are camping around other people, as well, you want to make sure you’re insured just in case the worst should happen.

6. Understand that Nature Can Be Dangerous

Talk of boats goes a little beyond tent camping basics, so let’s talk about something we should all be wary of while camping – safety. Nature is beautiful, but it can also be hazardous. There are a lot of ways to get injured while you are out in the woods.

Injuries from camping don’t always mean broken ankles and other severe accidents. It is all too easy to go for a relaxing hike and wake up the next day with an itchy rash. That’s why you should know the signs of poison ivy and poison oak before you spend time camping in the woods. In some cases, these rashes can cause severe reactions, so you should also know if anyone in your family is allergic.

You also should be careful of wild animals. Bears generally steer clear of humans, but they may come around sniffing for food if you don’t observe the tent camping basics regarding food and food waste. You definitely want to pack away your food at night. If you leave it out, it won’t just be bears that might get into it. Raccoons and other critters can be attracted to the smell.

The same goes for your trash. That trash might smell tasty to an animal, so you don’t want to leave it out to attract anything. Check if your campsite has dumpsters available where you could get rid of your trash each night.

Of course, there are also insects to think about. An insect bite can sometimes turn serious depending on what kind of bug you encountered and whether you are allergic. It is a good idea to know beforehand if you or anyone in your family is allergic and what you need to do in the case of a bite or sting.

7. Know What to Do in an Emergency

Unfortunately, sometimes accidents and unforeseen circumstances do still occur. It is possible to do everything right, know all your tent camping basics, and still end up with an emergency on your hands.

In the case of an emergency, it is good to know ahead of time if there are hospitals or animal hospitals nearby. If you bring a pet, they can also run into danger outside, so look up both if you are traveling with a dog, for example.

Because campsites may be remote, it can take a long time to reach a hospital depending on where you are. That is why it is good to also have your own first aid kit. A decent first aid kit is one of the most crucial tent camping basics. It will allow you to address an accident instantly and potentially prevent further harm in the process.

It’s also not a bad idea to have extra supplies around. Things like pain killers can come in handy if you have to get someone to the hospital but it is going to be a long drive.

Hopefully, all of these tent camping basics will help you plan the perfect fall camping trip with the family. It is not pleasant to think about emergencies, but it is worth it to include that in your planning as well. You hope you won’t need it, but will be grateful if it turns out you do.

In the end, a little planning can go a long way toward making your family’s fall camping trip a relaxing and worthwhile experience. You don’t need to stay locked up inside just because the weather has gotten a little cooler. As long as you’re prepared and plan ahead you can still have a fantastic getaway.

4 Tips On Throwing Your Child’s First Birthday Party Post-Divorce

Divorce is tough. It’s tough for everyone, even if it’s ultimately the best thing for everyone involved. Yet at the same time, it’s not that uncommon, especially in this day and age. While we might look back at previous generations and wonder why the divorce rate is going up, the fact is that a lot of marriages that lasted a lifetime weren’t necessarily happy; rather, it was once considered unacceptable for people to divorce. Now, people feel more comfortable with the idea of divorce on a societal level. We now recognize that psychologically, a lot of people simply marry at the wrong time or too early, and therefore need to divorce for the best of both parties. People aren’t sticking with a marriage simply because it’s the theoretical “right thing to do” anymore. On average, the typical first marriage lasts about eight years. But that doesn’t mean that the shame and stigma surrounding divorce has entirely disappeared. It can be difficult to face the first major life events surrounding a divorce, especially if you have kids. Even if they’re ultimately better off, children can have a hard time accepting divorce. Holidays can be hard enough for them to handle until they get into a routine, but birthdays can be even more sensitive. And even if your child doesn’t seem daunted by the idea of their first birthday party following a divorce, it’s understandable if you might be. There is always a lot of pressure on parents to plan a perfect birthday party. That pressure inevitably intensifies after a divorce, when you want everything to be perfect.

Fortunately, you aren’t alone. As previously mentioned, a lot of people get divorced in this day and age, and it’s important to understand that you can still plan a perfect birthday party for your child even if you are divorced. Chances are that a lot of their friends are divorced, and you need to consider the fact that children are often just as put off by their parents acting as if they need to be handled with kid gloves as they are with new changes. It can be a bit difficult to reach the balance necessary, and with that being said, we’re tackling all of the topics that a parent might want to think about when planning the first birthday party after you begin co-parenting as a divorced parent.

1. Prepare For Emotions

It’s natural for you or your child to be emotional following a divorce. It’s important to remember that getting divorced does not break up a family, but rather creates a new idea of what your family is. Of course, not everyone responds to divorce the same way as everyone else. You may not have a lot of negative feelings or sadness about your divorce, and that’s okay. The issue is really understanding that your child might. Kids may be too young to understand that a divorce is necessary; or they could be full-grown adults and still be too emotional to really separate themselves from the situation. All of this is natural. Conversely, you could be the emotional one and your child might even be relieved by the divorce. What’s important is that you’re open and honest with your kids about your emotions, and encourage them to be open and honest about theirs. While it’s impossible to guarantee that you’ll be emotionally set before the birthday party happens, counseling is always a good place to start. Through counseling, you, your co-parents, and your children can navigate the emotional minefields that come with divorce.

On the day of the birthday party, however, you as the parent need to be prepared and act accordingly. This is why working with a therapist on things like resiliency training can be so important. The last thing you would want is to unload all of your emotions about your divorce on your child, particularly on their birthday. No matter what you plan to create a perfect birthday party, none of that is going to matter if you make that party about you and your feelings regarding your divorce. This doesn’t mean that you have to suppress your emotions and completely deny what you’re feeling. But you have to find the appropriate time and manner in which to express your feelings. This is something you’ll have to be careful about throughout your time with your children following your divorce; don’t make it all about you. Understand that your kids are going through something over which they have no control, and acknowledge their struggles while at the same time process your own in a way that does not negate what your children are feeling. Be human, of course; but remember that your children are relying upon you.

2. Consider Inviting Your Ex

This tip isn’t going to work for every family; it depends heavily on what your relationship with your ex-spouse is like. But it can be difficult to plan a perfect birthday party without knowing whether or not your ex is going to be there. It’s important for you to consult with your child about this, if them being there is an option. Take their opinion into account; it’s really the most important one. At the same time, think long and hard about whether or not you and your spouse will be able to cooperate with one another on a friendly level. Some exes are quite amicable, even becoming friends after the divorce is over. Others have major issues with one another, and can’t be amicable even for the sake of the children. Ultimately, you will ideally get to this place. But if you aren’t there right now, remember that your kids come first. Your maturity is paramount to their adjustment. For some children, it won’t matter if their birthday comes with cool perks, like a bounce castle or custom birthday party shirts. They’ll just want their parents to be kind to each other and present equally. Other children aren’t really going to care.

Then comes the really thorny issue: what if your children want their other parent to be there, but they can’t be there? This may be because your ex-spouse is involved with legal issues that make it difficult for them to attend the birthday party, which does occur during some divorces. It could be because you and your ex-spouse are still figuring out your custody arrangement. Many child custody attorneys will advise that you and your spouse keep your distances from one another during this period unless absolutely necessary. No matter what your reason, there are times when you and your spouse just won’t be able to be around one another with your child for an extended period. Therefore, you need to prepare your child for this possibility. Again, discussions are key. But you should also make sure that your child is able to have a birthday celebration with their other parent, whether it’s a full party or a secondary occasion. This could even be viewed as a “plus side” of the two of you splitting up. It might not be ideal, but it might be nice for your child to have two of everything. Be prepared for challenges, of course. Everyone is different in terms of how they process emotion, and you must be respectful of your child’s feelings even if you can’t fulfill their every wish.

3. What If You Do Host By Yourself?

While you may be focusing on planning a perfect birthday party post-divorce, the fact is that this is only going to be the first birthday party you’ll be planning following your divorce. Right now, you can focus on the fun things, like whether or not you should host the birthday party at a pizza shop, or if another option is a good idea. But the fact is that you’ll have plenty more birthday parties to host. The fact is that if you decide to host your child’s birthday party on your own, you’re probably setting a precedent. You and your ex will have to decide how you’ll host the next birthday parties. Will each of you host a separate party? Or, as more parents tend to decide, will you trade off on different birthdays? There are a lot of different options to consider. Another factor to consider, of course, is whether or not this should be hammered out in your custody agreement. Some parents choose to be more relaxed, while others prefer to have an explicit agreement in place.

One major reason why a lot of parents choose to host together is that it’s also somewhat difficult to plan a perfect birthday party on your own. A lot of parents are stressed out by the idea of planning a birthday party on their own, let alone a birthday party that’s taking place soon after a divorce. While you may have the impulse to “make up” for the divorce by planning an extravaganza, the fact is that you’re better off planning something within both your financial and emotional limits. You’re not a failure if the birthday party is somewhat less fancy than what you may have done when your ex was there to help you out. And if you weren’t the cook in the family, don’t feel as if you failed if you order food delivery. It’s all a part of the adjustment period.

4. Prepare Yourself For Questions

Perhaps the most stressful part of planning a perfect birthday party is the fact that it’s a party in the first place. There are a lot of issues surrounding divorce in terms of how people perceive divorce, and how curious they might be about it. There may be questions from children; that’s perhaps to be expected, especially if the children are particularly young. Field these gently, and with understanding; and for that matter, discuss with your child what to say if their friends ask them about your divorce. But you may also want to think about the fact that some adults may ask questions as well. As strange as this may seem to you, it’s not unusual for adults to become a bit too curious about divorce, perhaps because some of them see it as taboo; or perhaps because they don’t quite know how to keep to themselves. No matter what their reasoning, it’s understandable if that makes you want to take down the birthday lawn signs in your yard.

But again, you have to think about your child first, and understand that you can’t deny them a perfect birthday party because you’re worried about questions. This year, it might be a better idea to invite fewer children to the birthday party. Most people are probably trying to keep their gatherings small in a post-pandemic world anyway. No matter what, answer any questions to whatever degree you want, but keep your response short and polite. You don’t owe anyone your life story, but you also don’t want to cause a scene at your child’s birthday party. To keep questions to a minimum, you might want to put away any visual reminders of your ex, like family photos including them or custom made jewelry they gifted you, at least for the duration of the party.

There really isn’t any such thing as a perfect birthday party, least not in a defined manner. But you can certainly make a birthday party easier on yourself and your child with these tips. For that matter, you can take this time to put aside the divorce for a while, and really focus on bonding with your child and lavishing them with attention.

At the end of the day, stress is what really can prevent you from throwing your idea of a perfect birthday party. Don’t stress yourself out, don’t worry too much about what you’re going to be doing with the birthday party itself, and focus on your child. This is going to be an emotional time no matter what, for at least one of you. Let yourself feel, and at the same time let yourself enjoy it!

Is Online Gaming Safe For Kids? Tips to Ensure Their Privacy

Gaming is an incredible way to keep your kids entertained. It’s stimulating, bright, colorful, and very entertaining! But how safe is it?

If you’re a parent, concerned with their child’s safety online, continue reading for the best online safety tips for parents.

Is Online Gaming Safe for Kids?

Before diving into come online safety tips for parents, it’s important to discuss whether or not playing video games is safe for them in the first place. There are so many risks online that can include:

 

  • online bullying
  • developing a gaming addiction
  • coming across inappropriate material

 

If you’re willing to take this risk, and believe your child is old enough to handle the responsibilities of being online, allow them to play. However, set the proper restrictions before setting them loose! There are various apps and Chrome extensions that allow you to monitor and limit their time online.

Play Age Appropriate Games

Do your research before purchasing a video game for your child and don’t blindly buy it if you want to follow online safety tips for parents. There are various forums for parents that break down the appropriateness of a game. These forums can also rate these games for violence, language, or crude messages.

Play Games With Your Children

If you’re concerned about letting your child play games, look into Minecraft dedicated server hosting and start gaming WITH them!

Additionally, this is also a remarkable way to bond with your child. If you need some more ideas, here are some of the top games for children below eleven.

  • Funbrain
  • UNO! Digital
  • Getty Games
  • Ramo Games

Other Interactive Games to Play

Looking for online safety tips for parents? Play this game instead. Using the Heads Up app is a wonderful way to provoke their imagination. It’s like charades, but online.

Animal Crossing is also a fun role playing game where players can create their own virtual world.

Play the Game Before Giving it to Your Child

If you’re too busy to play video games with your child, consider playing the game beforehand before you give it your parental stamp of approval.

Children’s games are pretty simple, so it shouldn’t take more than two days if you want to gain a decent grasp of what the video game entails.

Sign Your Child Up For Child Appropriate Websites

There are child friendly video games, and then there are child friendly websites! These are free and designed for children of all different ages.

Teach Your Children to Never Share Information Online

Kids should refrain from sharing personal information online when playing games. This can include their real name, address, age, or the name of their school.

Let them know the dangers of oversharing online. Make sure they also understand that people may not be who they say they are online. If you suspect your child may be chatting to someone who is using a false identity, call the authorities and your lawyer right away.

Ensure they also never share:

  • their full name
  • their home address
  • their home town
  • their age
  • the name of their school

Calling a Lawer When You’re Feeling Suspicious of Cyberbullying

On the topic of lawyers, ensure to contact your attorney whenever you’re feeling suspicious. If you fear your child may be in danger, you can open a case if your child is being cyberbullied.

After all, cyberbullying is a growing and serious problem facing the youth, Kids as young as eleven are beginning to use social media and are playing online games. This is a serious issue, as a young and bullied child can feel debilitating stress and anxiety about logging in online. Sometimes, the child may also be subjected to violent and excessive harassment. How can you tell when this problem is getting serious? The child may begin to withdraw from their closest friends and family.

They may become depressed, anxious, and their performance in class may decline as they are constantly feeling distracted. They may also lose interest in activities and pastimes they used to enjoy. Some children so strongly internalize the bullying they endure; they may resort to self harm. They begin to believe the words they hear online.

You may worry what you can do if your child is a victim of cyberbullying. There are multiple distressing media reports about teens and pre-teens bullying classmates through social media. Still, you may ponder whether the U.S. law protects children constrained to such verbal offenses.

The CRC specifies the term cyberbullying as “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.” Under that definition, it appears that the victim of cyberbullying could bring in a claim under personal injury law. If a young person has suffered devastating harm, as a result, established through solid proof of physical illness or mental health counseling, then it would seem that a personal injury claim based on cyberbullying could be established.

Furthermore, if your child is a victim of this crime, you may want to know all the smart options available to you and your family in order to put a stop to it.

Intentionally inflicting psychological harm is considered a crime in the majority of the country. In 49 states, laws specifically address bullying as a class of assault. Almost all of them include electronic harassment. Twenty-two states’ laws include specific references to “cyberbullying.” Most state laws require school-based sanctions for kids undergoing this kind of verbal torment; however, very few carry criminal penalties at this time.

Even without such laws, an argument published by the American Bar Association suggests that “the underlying acts constituting cyberbullying also may constitute a traditional common law tort regardless of whether they emanated from online communication. For example, the typical instance of cyberbullying may touch on harassment, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

Create Potential Usernames With Them

If certain games require a username, pick one out with your child. Their name should be full of personality but should not disclose anything personal about them or your family. This is one of the many online safety tips for parents you should take seriously.

Monitor Their Gaming History

When your child is younger, you should be monitoring the sites they’re on. Add blockers or consider placing a time limit for how long they are allowed to play games on the computer.

Monitor How Much Time They’re Spending Online

Even adults are guilty of this — but technology addictions can certainly ruin someone’s life. Becoming addicted to your phone, apps, or computer games can worsen your attention span. While it’s nice to play a few games every now and then, ensure your child is not in the midst of developing an addiction. Signs of having a technology addiction can include the following:

  • your child can only think about the internet
  • your child may feel anxious when they aren’t around a computer
  • they may feel angry or grumpy when not around a computer
  • they may ignore what is happening in the real world — or it may not interest them

Limit gaming to an hour or less per day. Try to have days where everyone in your family refrains from using technology. Instead, do other educational activities. Here are a few to get your imagination started.

Take a Step Back From Online Gaming and Go Outdoors

Ensure your child is getting enough exercise and going outdoors for fresh air. Have them play sports to meet their minimum requirement of daily activity as well.

Have Your Kids Learn to Play Instruments

Online gaming can be educational and fun, but it should be a supplemental hobby. If you really want your beloved child to be more dynamic, teach them to play an instrument as well as how to play video games.

Teach Them a New Language

There are various online games that can help your child learn a new language. Allow them to play this game, so it complements their studies.

Make Sure They are Taking Breaks When Online

Out of all the online safety tips for parents listed, here’s one that relates to your child’s overall health. Spending too much time online can take an intense toll on your physical health. For example, it can cause eye problems and headaches. If you fear your child is spending way too much time online, implement breaks throughout their gaming sessions. If they are having problems with eye blur or strain, take them to their pediatrician.

Let Them Play Games Offline

According to research from the Entertainment Software Association, approximately 70% of families have at least one child who plays video games. They are an incredibly popular pastime; however, you don’t have to let your child play online games if you don’t think they’re ready. If they’re too young to know who they should and shouldn’t be interacting with, allow them to play games offline.

For example, Minecraft Pocket Edition is quite popular with small children.

They won’t be able to contact anyone through offline apps, so you won’t have to worry about conducting thorough investigations into what they’re doing online. This is one of the many useful online safety tips for parents that you can implement.

Offline games aren’t just safer, but they can also be just as enjoyable and fun!

Allow Your Kids to Play Educational Games

If you’re still on the fence about letting your child play games, consider letting them play educational games when implementing more online safety tips for parents.

They can play games that involve math, reading, or vocabulary. Ask your child’s teacher if they can recommend any games. Not only are these safe for kids, but they also teach your child valuable skills for school in the process.

Warn Your Kids About In-App Purchases

Kids are vulnerable. If you want to let them play online, implement these online safety tips for parents. Kids may not know when they’re buying virtual money that they are spending your actual money! Before letting them loose on their own, make sure their game isn’t riddled with advertisements and in-app purchasing. They can cost you hundreds of dollars without you even realizing it.

Check the Privacy Settings on Their Games

Don’t overlook any of these online safety tips for parents, but this one, in particular, deserves your attention. When your child starts playing a new game, check and adjust the privacy settings.

Wrapping Up

Online safety tips for parents are crucial to keeping children safe online. The internet can be useful, but it can also be a scary place for an innocent and susceptible child. Know the risks and know how to avoid them. For example, kids can experience cyberbullying or meet dishonest individuals with horrible intentions. Therefore, do what you can. Limit their exposure and set time limits. Play educational games to supplement their learning in school. Lastly, play games with them, so you can bond with your young child too!