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.

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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!

Keeping Your Family Healthy Everything You Need to Know

When you have a family to take care of, you’re always on the lookout for exceptional family health tips. After all, the healthier your loved ones are, the better you’ll sleep at night.

Below are some family health tips designed to make sure that everyone in your household feels their best mentally and physically.

Make Sure You Have Health Insurance

Even if you can’t get health insurance from your or your spouse’s employer, you should still look into the possibility of buying it on your own. Having a health plan from a trusted insurance provider helps you mitigate the risk of having to overspend on routine and catastrophic medical treatments.

Without health insurance, you might end up paying much more in a given year than you might if you paid out of pocket every time you had to go to a doctor’s office, urgent care facility, or hospital emergency room.

Remember: Even if you feel great, you can always use the protection that comes from knowing your health insurance will kick in if you incur unexpected costs.

Share a Family Doctor

Want to know one of the best family health tips that lots of parents forget about? It’s making sure everyone eventually goes to the same family practice doctor.

Certainly, you may want a designated pediatrician to treat your children when they are infants. However, when everyone in your home is seen under the care of a single physician or a team-based practice, you gain several advantages.

First of all, your complete medical histories will be located in one place, which is always an advantage. Secondly, the doctor or practice will get you to know you all very well. Nothing feels better than getting compassionate care from professionals who have helped your whole family for years.

Finally, sharing a family doctor among you all may end up with some cost and time savings. Imagine how efficient it would be to set up everyone’s annual checkups at one time so you don’t have to make several trips to see your physician. As they say, time is money. And time well-saved is also money well-saved.

Focus on Nutrition

It can be notoriously tough to eat healthy as a family. There are so many distractions in life. Besides, fast food is tremendously easy to pick up or have delivered. Nevertheless, spending time thinking about the nutrition needs of you and your loved ones is one of those family health tips that you can’t afford to ignore.

If you’ve found it tough to get on a healthier eating regimen, start slowly. Plan to eat at least two home-cooked meals each day, such as breakfast and dinner. Look for recipes for dishes your family will appreciate, and ensure that the dishes are heavy on lean proteins and nutrient-rich veggies. Don’t worry about making food that looks like it came from the pages of a cooking magazine. Even simple meals can be wonderfully filling and satisfying.

Having trouble adjusting to your new food routine? It might be a good idea to talk to an allergy doctor. You could have underlying food allergies that you don’t know about. Or, other members of your family could be allergic to items. By learning everyone’s allergies, you can then remove certain foods from your diets and help everyone feel more comfortable.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

Seeing a dentist is one of the smartest family health tips you can follow. Expect to schedule dentist examinations at least twice a year for every member of your family, including small children. The sooner kids realize that dental care is important, the higher the likelihood they’ll never put going to the dentist on the backburner.

Of course, you may feel hesitant to go to a dentist because of something called dental fear. Dental fear, or dental anxiety or phobia, is quite common in both children and adults. Yet it’s something that can be overcome. Many dentists offer sedation dentistry medications that allow you to relax and get your teeth checked or worked on. Sedation dentistry can run the gamut from your breathing in nitrous oxide to taking oral medicines before treatment begins. Definitely talk to your dental provider about sedation options so you can get your teeth in great shape.

You may also want to consider cosmetic dentistry for your kids if they have problems like teeth that are crooked, crowded, or gapped. Having unattractive teeth can lead to a loss of self-esteem, especially in middle and high schoolers. Getting them braces can have a major improvement. Nearly half of teenagers who chose Invisalign clear braces reported an increase in their confidence levels after straightening their teeth.

Get Everyone Moving

Family health tips should always include a nod to physical activity, and these family health tips are no exception to that rule. Get everyone in your household moving and physically active, not just because it’s good for the body, but because it’s good for the spirit, too.

Ideally, you should find activities that every member of your home can do with or without major equipment. Such activities could be walking, running, or swimming in a nearby pool. Of course, if you have a health and wellness center nearby, feel free to take out a family membership.

What are the guidelines for a physical fitness regimen? Generally speaking, most people should get about 30 minutes of moderate to intense activity every day. You may have to aim for a little less some days, especially if you’re busy, and a little more on others. Plenty of families spend their weekends doing physical activities like hiking, biking, skiing, or sledding so they can get in some hours of fitness and have loads of fun, too.

Feel like it’s tough to get your kids to participate? Make it mandatory, but also rewarding. Take a walk together after dinner every evening. Or insist that your children do something physical before they can engage in a non-physical pursuit or hobby. You don’t have to be heavy-handed, but do explain that moving the body is an excellent way to ward off long-term health issues. Who knows? Your child who seems to have zero interest in athletics may discover a new pastime like volleyball, tennis, or power walking.

Take Care of Your Eyes

You get only one pair of eyes, and it’s up to you to take care of them. Many times, families forget that they should go to the eye doctor once annually, if not more often. A visit to the eye doctor usually takes less than two hours and can give you a wealth of information about the wellness of your eyes.

Eye visits are also terrific preventive measures. Scans of your retina and the inside of your eyeball can reveal any possible problems. Often, eye conditions seem to sneak up on people because they don’t always hurt. However, your eye doctor can assist you in diagnosing conditions and recommending treatments.

If you or anyone in your family wears glasses or contact lenses, you’ll definitely need to prioritize eye doctor appointments. You cannot order contact lenses, even online, without an updated prescription. And you won’t know if your glasses prescription has changed if you aren’t going to the eye doctor as often as you should.

Not worried because you’ve never had an issue with your eyes? Be on the lookout for indicators that your kids might need corrective lenses. Some of the red flags parents often overlook are children who squint, stop getting high marks in schools, and begin to complain of frequent headaches. These are all signs that this is one of those family health tips that you shouldn’t ignore.

Concentrate on Hygiene

By now, everyone realizes that personal and household hygiene is critical to health and well-being. But kids are notoriously bad about washing their hands correctly and brushing their teeth, let alone keeping their rooms neat and tidy.

If you have kiddos in your household, the best thing you can do is teach them how to properly clean, disinfect, and sanitize the spaces they share with others. Not only will this be exceptional learning material for them today, but it will also help them down the road. Eventually, most children will move out of their parents’ homes and live on their own or with others. The more they know about the right ways to stay organized and keep a pristine home, the better.

True, you may not be a star cleaner yourself. In that case, you can make improvements a family project. Schedule time for everyone to do a little weekly cleaning on Saturday or Sunday. Assign rotating cleaning schedules for the bathroom and kitchen. And perform deeper cleans every month to ensure that dust, debris, and other pollutants don’t build up. Eventually being clean will be second nature.

Put a Premium on Mental Wellness

Staying fit and healthy isn’t just about taking care of your body and getting regular vaccines and examinations. It’s also about caring for your mental health.

Unfortunately, mental health has been considered a taboo subject. You might find it tough to talk about feelings or set up an appointment for anxiety counseling. However, many people regard finding a good therapist as one of the best family health tips they can give to others.

While you might not want to visit a counselor yourself, be open-minded to the needs of the others under your roof. Kids can get depressed and stressed out, especially in a world that includes social media and seems to run 24/7. And adults can find themselves facing overwhelming emotions that they aren’t sure how to deal with. Therapists are trained to help their clients move to a healthier headspace. So be flexible if your partner or child opens up about wanting to see a counselor.

Address Chronic Conditions

Do you or does someone else in your household have a chronic condition? Never allow chronic issues to go unchecked for very long. For instance, if your partner has a lingering cough that won’t go away, urge him or her to get it checked out. It might be a symptom of something treatable, or could be an indicator of a larger problem that you’ll want to know about right away.

From diabetic foot care to dealing with the effects of gluten intolerance, you have a responsibility to take chronic problems seriously. Your loved ones’ future or comfort could ride on a simple visit to the doctor.

Stop Smoking

As far as family health tips go, this is a no-brainer: Stop smoking. The majority of people who pick up smoking are either trying to quit or wish they’d never started smoking in the first place. If you’re among the long list of nicotine users, talk to a medical expert about quitting.

Why should you stop smoking, especially if your kids complain about it and say they’ll never pick up the habit? Unfortunately, kids whose parents smoke are at a greater risk of eventually trying cigarettes, cigars, or other forms of tobacco or nicotine. Plus, they may start vaping.

Yes, smoking cessation can be hard. It can also be tremendously freeing. Look into the many types of “quit smoking” programs or strategies on the market and see if there’s one that will work for you. Even if you’ve tried before, remind yourself that this could be the time that it sticks.

Keep a List of Urgent Care Facilities

What happens when a medical emergency occurs? Would you know where to go if you didn’t feel that you needed to call 911 instead? Plenty of people draw a blank when faced with emergency problems that don’t require a trip to the hospital, but definitely require quick attention.

Instead of being in the dark, make and post the name and number of at least one urgent family care center in your area someplace where everyone in your household can see it. You might also want to suggest that your loved ones put it into their phones as a contact. That way, if the time comes that you, your spouse, or your kids need to see a medical professional pronto, you’ll have the information.

Although this list of family health tips has been long, it’s anything but exhaustive. However, it’s a great place to begin making certain that the people who mean the most to you are as secure and protected from a health perspective as they can be.

Hiring a Professional Contractor vs. DIY

When you have a building or remodeling project to get done, you need to find the right construction company to handle it. But, how do you know if you’re picking the right company? The first step is to familiarize yourself with construction people near me so that you know who you are picking from. Then, you can look online to see the company’s reviews. If they don’t have reviews yet or have very few, you can always ask them for a reference who they have worked for in the past.

Not every one of the contract builders near me will be ideal for taking care of your project. You will want to choose a company that has experience with the kind of work that you need done. You may want to make a contractor inquiry to find out what kind of experience each company has in the kind of job you want from them. You may also need a contracting engineer to help get everything done. When you have your team assembled for the job, it can then get underway. Be sure that you choose a contracting company that is honest about how long your specific contracting job will take.

When you purchase a home, you are taking on a plethora of expenses other than your down payment. Many consider these expenses to be worth it since the average net worth of a homeowner is more than thirty times greater than that of a renter. These expenses include homeowner’s insurance, property tax, utilities, and repairs. For home repairs alone, homeowners generally spend between one to two percent of the total price of their home on repairs every year, according to Wells Fargo, a bank and mortgage lender. However, this price estimate only includes routine maintenance and does not factor in major remodels. According to HomeAdvisor, it costs an average of 20 thousand dollars to remodel a kitchen, 15 thousand dollars to remodel a basement, and nine thousand dollars for a bathroom.

need construction work done

For many home renovations, labor is the largest expense involved. According to information compiled by the National Association of Realtors on HouseLogic, labor is the most expensive part of nine out of ten common home repairs. In some cases, the cost of labor outnumbers the cost of materials considerably. For instance, the material required for repairing a door that is out of alignment costs approximately five dollars. However, the cost of labor is 30 to 125 dollars an hour for a handyman, in addition to a possible minimum charge of 150 to 350 dollars.

When deciding whether or not you need to hire some professional contractors for home improvement, you should consider the type of project, its complexity, and your level of expertise or skill, as well as the available time you have to work on the project.

For many home repairs, you can forgo the cost of labor by completing the home repair or remodel on your own, without hiring contractors for home improvement. However, the trick is deciding whether or not you can complete the task on your own. As a rule of thumb, more knowledge-based or labor-intensive tasks such as electrical work, plumbing, pouring concrete, or tile setting should be done by a skilled electrician, plumber, or another professional, while jobs such as painting, replacing cabinets, or insulating an attic can be done on your own.

You may be wondering what other home improvement tasks you can do on your own and which require a professional contractor. This depends on many other factors, including your skill level, expertise, available time, and the overall cost. When deciding whether or not you should do it yourself, you should also consider safety.

Consider Safety First

There are three major reasons a task is too dangerous to do yourself:

It could potentially be fatal. Botching a job such as electrical work or roofing could potentially be fatal or result in serious injury, leaving you bedridden and in need of home care. Jobs like these are best suited for professional contractors for home improvement who are trained to handle the dangers involved. For example, replacing an electric water heater is a job you might be able to do yourself. On the other hand, replacing a gas water heater is a job for a professional since cutting into gas lines could possibly lead to explosion, fire, or poisoning if you are not careful.

It could cause major destruction. Botching a major plumbing job such as moving a bath fixture could potentially destroy your home. If the fixture is not properly installed or tightened, it could result in a water leak. If the leak remains unnoticed for long enough, it could weaken the wall to the point that it collapses. This is also a possibility if you hire professional contractors for home improvement, but in this case, the plumbing service or plumbing contractor would be responsible and forced to pay for the damages.

The job requires a permit. If a job requires a building permit, it is likely too complicated a job to do yourself. A building permit is a document that says a construction job was done safely and up to all standards. Every city or municipality has laws dictating what jobs require permits and which do not. These laws also dictate how much they cost and how easy they are to obtain. In a few areas, it is fairly straightforward for a homeowner to acquire a building permit to do home improvement work themselves. In other areas, you can only acquire a building permit if you have hired licensed contractors for home improvement. However, just because you can get a permit, does not mean you can do the work yourself. Oftentimes, the fact you need a permit is a sign you should not be doing the job on your own.

Leaving It To A Professional

There are a few other reasons to opt for hiring professional contractors for home improvement jobs:

Mistakes could cost you even more. Even if there are no issues of safety involved, hiring professional contractors for home improvement jobs can be a wise investment. If you decide to go ahead and do it yourself, yet you are not sure what you are doing, you will likely need the services of a professional contractor later on down the road to fix your mistakes. In this case, doing it yourself did not save you money. Instead, it cost you twice as much for one job. For instance, if you choose not to hire an asphalt paving company and decide to pave your driveway yourself, you might have to pay for crack sealing later on down the road to fix your mistakes.

It could affect the value of your home. Real estate brokers warn that shoddy do it yourself work can be a serious aversion for potential buyers, even if you splurge on the best quality materials. For instance, even the most expensive bathroom tile will appear cheap if it is not installed correctly.

Calculating Your Costs and Savings

To figure out whether or not it is worth it to do a job yourself, you need to estimate both the time and cost involved and calculate the savings per hour.

Get a professional estimate. Begin by finding out how much it would cost to get the job done professionally. You can do this by getting a quick quote from a professional home improvement contractor. There are also plenty of websites that ask you to provide the job you want to be done and your ZIP code and then will estimate the price for you based on survey data from other homeowners in your area.

Calculate the cost to do it yourself. After getting a professional estimate, you need to calculate how much it would cost to do the job yourself. Do not forget to include the price for tools, materials, or permits, if necessary. Add all these costs up to determine the total do it yourself price.

Factor in the time required. Estimating the time is a lot more difficult than the cost since the time you spend on a home improvement job will largely depend on your skill level and experience. There are plenty of online resources or home improvement books that will provide an estimate of how long a job will take based on your level of experience.

Estimate Your Hourly Wage. After you have estimated your potential savings and the time required, divide your savings by the time to determine how much money you can save per hour of work. Or to look at it a different way, this is how much you can make per hour. Then, you can decide if it is worth it to work for that wage. For instance, rewiring a basement is a job that will likely take weeks or months to do yourself, while a professional electrician can finish it in one day.

Saving Money on Home Improvement

Whether you are hiring professional contractors for home improvement or doing it yourself, there will be a cost. For a do it yourself job, the largest investment will be your time. When hiring a professional contractor, it will be money. In both of these cases, however, you will want to save as much money as possible. With just a few tips, you can ensure you are making a wise investment with both your money and time.

Saving Money on Contractors For Home Improvement

Doing it yourself is a great way to save money on home improvement projects, but there are also a few ways to keep costs down when hiring a professional contractor:

Opt for high return projects. Some repairs are essential, but most remodels are not. To get the most return out of your remodeling jobs, opt for renovation projects that add the most value to your home. This includes a manufactured stone veneer, a new steel entry door, or a garage door replacement done by a professional garage door company. A siding or roofing replacement are a few other high return projects. With these projects, you can expect to recoup almost the entire cost when it is time to sell. Avoid renovation projects like adding a sunroom, upscale master suite, or upscale bathroom. You can expect to lose half the total cost of these projects during resale.

Communicate with your contractor. Many of the issues that arise when working with a contractor stem from a lack of communication, according to Consumer Reports. Before the job is started, layout some clear guidelines regarding working conditions, working hours, cleanup, and where to direct any questions. If a problem does arise, address it immediately with your contractor. Clear communication both ways will help you avoid any problems.

Do your own demolition and cleanup. Even when doing an entire job yourself is not feasible, you can still save money by doing parts of the job yourself. If you can swing a sledgehammer, for example, you can handle the demolition step yourself since it does not require the skill or expertise of a professional contractor. You can also save money by cleaning up yourself after the demolition as well as at the end of the project. You can also add any finishing touches yourself at the end of the project, such as painting or power washing your deck or siding. By only paying a professional contractor for parts of a project that require their particular skill or expertise, you save a significant sum of money.

Saving Money on Do It Yourself Jobs

Although cheaper than hiring professional contractors for home improvement, doing a job yourself can get quite expensive considering the cost of tools, materials, or permits, if necessary. However, there are a few ways to keep costs down and get the best value out of doing the job yourself:

Learn how to do it yourself. Before you think about tackling a home improvement job, you need to know how it should be done. Today, you do not necessarily need experience to complete home improvement tasks. There are plenty of online resources that can teach you everything you need to know about simple home repair jobs like fixing a leaky faucet, a clogged drain, or a screechy door hinge. After you practice certain skills and build your confidence with these tasks, you can move on to larger ones like building a bookshelf, replacing a toilet, or installing well pumps.

Save on building materials. You can save on various building materials for your home improvement project, such as cabinets, doors, windows, or bathroom fixtures, by looking at a reuse store. These stores take leftover or unwanted materials from other projects and sell them at a great discount. If your do it yourself project requires a special tool, you should look into buying it secondhand from a local garage sale, online, or renting it from a home improvement store to save money.

Deciding between doing a job yourself or hiring a professional contractor should be more than just a matter of money. You should consider safety, speed, hassle, and the quality of work. These various factors are the reasons why many homeowners often decide to hire professional contractors for home improvement, despite the increase in cost. For many homeowners, doing it themselves comes with the added benefit of feeling prideful in their work.

When considering any home addition or need construction work done, you need to be aware of some dangers and hidden costs to keep your project affordable. Firstly, you should consider the size of your project and whether you need a contracting engineer, if you need a general contractor, or even both.

Your choice will depend on the scale, complexity, and labor needs of the project. For large scale building projects, you could use a contracting engineer as they will have the skill, knowledge, and required home builders license to undertake this work. They can increase the size of your home, create the necessary building plans, and register building permits for your project. A building engineer will likely use a subcontractor or general contractor to do some of the work. General contractor specializes in specific parts of the job, such as drywalling, roofing, or plumbing.

Lastly, web pages and area guides will show about contractor tabs, telling you whether they are reputable or fly by night. Low cost contractors may end up costing you a lot more in the end when you have to repair and redo poor work.