Choosing the Best Daycare for Your Child

So it’s time for your little one to head off to daycare? The transition from home to a full-time care facility can be a challenge for both you and your young one. If you choose the right place, however, that transition can proceed much more smoothly. How do you know what to look for to ensure that your child has the best daycare experience possible? Continue reading for three things you need to consider when searching for quality childcare.

Consider Your Child’s Age

Your child’s age should be one of the greatest determining factors when choosing an appropriate daycare facility. Daycare programs are structured according to children’s developmental stages, and educational activities within each group are also structured to target specific ages. When scoping out facilities, it is important to look for one that offers age-appropriate learning activities for each stage of your child’s early cognitive development. Ideally, children will be segmented into groups according to age or developmental stage and educated accordingly. Your child’s social interaction with other children in his or her age group is a critical component in fostering relationship building and teamwork skills.

Consider Cost

Daycare costs have risen considerably, and that climb only continues. Annual childcare costs for an infant at a licensed daycare can run in excess of $10,000 USD (£7783.00) per year—and often well above that. As your child begins to learn, explore and require dedicated education, your childcare costs will climb even more. Depending on your location, annual costs may surge as high as £15,500 (about $20,000 USD) per child. When considering daycare facilities, the cost can often be an indication of the facility’s strengths. At the base level, which is generally the most affordable cost tier, education and developmental activities may be included, but highly affordable programs are typically focused on supervision alone. As you move up in cost tiers, additional services beyond simple supervision are included in the price. In-depth educational time, foreign language teaching, team-building activities and even advanced physical education like gymnastics and yoga may be offered at the more expensive centers. Additionally, many higher-cost daycare centers offer after-hours programs designed to accommodate children whose parents work until later in the evening.

Consider Employee Education

If you’re looking for a childcare facility that offers a well-rounded education and knowledgeable care, you’ll want to verify the center’s employee education requirements. Many facilities only require the completion of state-mandated education hours, yet others require employees to possess, at a minimum, an associate degree in early childhood education. Some places even require a bachelor’s degree in an education-related field for employment consideration. If you want your child to receive a quality education delivered by trained professionals who are well-versed in early cognitive development, take employee education seriously. Selecting a daycare facility is very similar to selecting a quality school for your child, and employee training and education matters.

Selecting a quality daycare center for your child can be a confusing task. Before you settle on a facility, make sure you do your research. Meet with the facility director, learn about educational options and determine if the center’s offerings justify the asking price. You might even consider sitting in with your child for a class or two to get a feel for how the facility operates. If you do your due diligence, you should have no problem finding a center that provides quality care and education, and one that fits your budget, too.

Here’s another article you might enjoy: How to Keep Your Nursery Clean Without Toxic Chemicals

How to Choose the Best Toys for Your Toddler

As the parent of a toddler, you have many worries and responsibilities. One enjoyable job for most parents, though, is picking out fun toys for your little one to play with. When selecting playthings for children of this age, the process requires paying attention to overall safety considerations in order to ensure the youngster’s health and well-being. You also want to stimulate learning. Continue reading for some practical and helpful tips on how to choose the best toys for your toddler.

Choose Toys That Encourage Creativity

Parents should take the time to encourage and nurture their toddler’s creativity in the home environment. This aptitude usually comes naturally to a child, but as they grow, other things impede their natural curiosity and drive to create. Lack of handy access to creative toys and supplies can hinder the development of a child’s imagination.

While there are lots of unique toys on the market that can enhance a child’s creative spirit, sometimes the simple, tried and true toys and supplies are all that is needed. Building blocks, geometric shapes and puzzles are always a good choice, and so are other traditional playthings that encourage imaginative behavior. Consider giving your toddler safe crayons and markers for drawing. Craft materials and art supplies are a great creative outlet that kids of this age love, though some of these activities may require proper supervision. The best tip for nurturing creativity in a toddler is to give them open-ended playthings. Kids will supply the imagination. Often, a cardboard box can entertain a child far longer than the high-priced toy that came inside.

Tailor Toys to Age Groups

Parents need to ensure the safety of anything in their toddler’s environment, and that includes the toys. A toy’s safety is very important to consider with toddlers, as poorly designed toys can lead to accidents. Always research any toy before giving it to your vulnerable child. Kids at this age may still put objects into their mouth or ears, and children may not understand how to properly play with toys in a safe manner. Be particularly careful of small, detachable parts.

Parents can read about a particular toy to determine if it is recommended for children at the toddler stage. Remember, though, that one child’s current developmental age might be significantly different from that of another.

Pick Toys That Stimulate Learning

Many parents want to stimulate their toddler’s learning and developmental skills by providing them with the right toys. For best results, it helps to choose a toy that your child seems interested in. There are many fantastic toys that are educational and yet still fun for toddlers to play with. There are some great parenting sites that review popular toys, and parents can take advantage of toy clubs that send an age-appropriate developmental toy to the home each month.

Watching your child grow and learn is a source of joy and wonder, especially at the toddler stage, and you’ll probably do everything possible to stimulate that young mind. Of course, a child’s continuing exploration of the world begins with playthings. That’s why it’s important to choose toys that challenge and engage a youngster.
Here’s another article you might enjoy: Enjoy the Ride: Bicycle Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids

How Can I Use Social Media to Promote My Books?

Creating an online social media presence is one aspect of any successful marketing plan to promote an upcoming new release. Social media is a free tool that can be used for marketing. It is an easy to use tool for authors to directly interact with their fans and to build an online reputation. Social media is used to promote a cult following and to increase a fan base. Here are some ways you can use social media to maximize your next book release.


Not only do you want to promote your book on Twitter by providing links to places that you can purchase online, but you primarily want to use this as a platform to interact with your audience. Numerous recommendations from twitter marketing experts recommend finding and following influencers in your target market and regularly responding and reacting to their posts. This helps you get noticed by shared followers to then grow your own following. Once you’ve acquired a following, you can occasionally promote your book by doing things such as teasing excerpts or promoting content.


Facebook is another platform that enables you to directly interact with your fans and target audience. Ensure your personal online branding such as your website or blog contains links to your social media profiles, including Facebook. Using your Facebook URL on your blog is a great idea because it means they won’t get distracted or confused while trying to find your page. It also ensures that fans arrive at the correct Facebook landing page, and don’t get confused by user-created fan pages or parody accounts. Facebook offers a visual and interactive platform to share relevant and engaging content such as videos, celebrity or guest readings, excerpts or merchandise.

Advertise In-Person Events

While you can create a big presence online, nothing beats in-person live events. If you have book signings or a promotional tour scheduled around your upcoming launch, you’ll want to promote those events on your social media profiles to help drive your audience to your event. Some tactics for successful event marketing on social media include creating event pages, posting social media graphics showing upcoming tour stops, or by streaming live videos from the event. Find and post in groups that intersect with your target audiences like horror novel fans, or young adult fiction groups.

Use Facebook Live

The current Facebook algorithm is set to prioritize live video above most other mediums, ensuring the live video will have the best organic reach out of all the various content types. Leverage this to your advantage by hosting regularly scheduled Facebook Live discussions, readings, or even just having interactive fun. For example, you can consider hosting a bi-weekly hour-long discussion on various aspects of your upcoming book such as exploring motivations behind popular or controversial characters. This also gives you the advantage of allowing your fans to directly interact by posting questions, giving you the opportunity to build and enhance fan loyalty for future releases.

Host a Giveaway or Contest

Another way to successfully promote an upcoming book is to hosta a giveaway or other contest. You can ask your audience to do things like submitting essays, post photos of themselves dressed up as a character from your book, or videos of dramatic readings. Prizes you can offer include items such as signed limited editions of your book, merchandise, or other personal or unique items. Contests have the potential to go viral, especially when the prize is highly desired. You can also help drive sales of your book by offering a discount to all entries.

Create Your Own Hashtags

Create relevant hashtags surrounding upcoming book releases, relevant plot lines or referencing popular or likable characters for your fans and audience to use. Hashtags are easy to track, allowing you to monitor and engage in discussions surrounding your book. You can use a variety of tools to monitor posts using your hashtags giving you a consolidated topline summary of all discussions involving your new release. Encourage followers to use hashtags by posing questions and initiating other engaging discussions. 

Overall, social media platforms are a great tool to incorporate into your marketing mix for your next best-seller. Use it as a platform to engage one on one with your fans. Participate in ongoing discussions and online groups that have a crossover with your target audience to help raise awareness of your materials. Consider occasionally offering giveaways or hosting a contest for autographed editions, merchandise or other unique prizes. Ensure your digital presence such as author pages on online retailers, personal websites, and personal blogs all contain links to the appropriate profiles and that you’re using your Facebook URL accordingly. Lastly, proactively engage in ongoing discussions through Facebook Live, or by responding to comments and questions from fans in order to help build fan loyalty and increase affinity amongst your readers.
Click here for a free copy of “A Simpler Guide to Online Security for Everyone!”

Are We There Yet? What to Keep in Mind When Road Tripping with Little Ones

Road trips can be a lot of fun, especially when you take them with the family. However, when you have small children, going on a long road trip may be a bit much for them to sit through. Here is a list of tips and tricks that can help make your next road trip with the tykes a pleasurable one.

Snacks and Entertainment

The main reason that taking a road trip with little ones can be a trying experience is that kids often get bored very fast. To keep children occupied in the car, you’ll need plenty of snacks, kid-friendly activities, games, and electronics. While they may get tired of the games after a while, if you have plenty of snacks for them to munch on, that can keep them distracted for a long while. You might also consider playing road trip games together like “I Spy” or trying to find all the letters of the alphabet outside while driving. Games like these can keep kids occupied for hours and are fun to play as a family.

Take Breaks

Of course, if you have lots of snacks, then you would need to take lots of bathroom breaks as well. However, don’t just stop merely to let the kids use the restroom and then to hop back on the road. Allow them time to run around a bit and to stretch out their legs while letting off some steam at the same time. This also helps to wind them down so that they aren’t so restless during the remainder of the trip.

Drive Through the Night

If your road trip is more for purpose than for a joy ride, then taking the trip at night is a good idea when you have small children. By driving at night, the children will more than likely be asleep for the majority of the trip. By the time they do wake up, you shouldn’t have much longer to drive and the games, snacks, and other items you brought along can keep them content until you arrive at your destination.

Have an Emergency Kit

When driving, there is a possibility of breaking down or getting into an accident. This is hard enough to deal with generally, but having children with you can make an incident that much more difficult. Make sure you pack an emergency kit with things like blankets, frozen juices, extra water, and food as well as whatever emergency numbers you may need. This way the little ones are taken care of while you wait for help to arrive.

Remember, the best way to keep kids from becoming aggravated, from pestering, or from being teary-eyed in any situation is to distract them. Having lots of distractions, whether that be food, games, or songs, can help make for a smooth trip and a happy parent.

Here’s another article you might enjoy: 3 Best Tips for Amazing Family Travel with Your Kids

Enjoy the Ride: Bicycle Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids

So much of our childhood memories revolve around riding our bikes. Depending on where you grew up, you may have ridden your bike to the store, in the woods or around your neighborhood. If you have a child of your own now, you may be concerned with how you can make sure your child is safe while riding their bike. You want them to enjoy this time, but you also want to make sure that your child isn’t going to get hit by a motorist or injured while riding their bike. Let’s look at some bicycle safety tips that you can teach your kids.

Set Boundaries

Your child needs to understand where they can safely ride their bike. Teach your younger children that they should ride on the sidewalk where they are away from traffic. Older kids can learn to ride in the street, but they need to learn how to be aware of their surroundings. You should also let your child know where they are and are not allowed to ride. For example, you could set the nearest corner as a boundary. They could then progress to going around the block once they have earned your trust for closer distances.

Be Seen

It’s important for kids to always be seen, so they should use flashing lights or wear something that is bright or reflects light. It’s a good idea to have your child head home before it gets dark. This will make them more visible to drivers. Teach them not to ride their bike right into a street from behind a vehicle. It’s important that a car or other bike will see them coming from a good distance away. It gives everybody time to react.

Always Have Adult Supervision

Regardless of how old your child is, they should be riding their bike with an adult until you feel you can trust them. They should have the ability to put their own helmet on, keep their balance and watch what is going on around them. Even if you’re letting your child ride a short distance down the street, make sure you are outside to keep an eye on things. This will give you peace of mind, but this is also a good way to make sure that your child is practicing good bike safety.

Being Aware of Surroundings

Some children will ride along on their bike, not noticing what is going on around them. It’s important that they know where to be riding their bike, but they should also be able to look over their shoulder and listen for a car coming. There will be hazards everywhere that they should take notice of. Have them learn to keep an eye out for toys on the sidewalk, vehicles overlapping the sidewalk and large rocks that could cause them to lose control if they go over them. Being aware of your surroundings is a great skill to learn in all walks of life.

It’s important that your child understands the safety aspect of riding a bike. You wouldn’t put your child behind the wheel of a car and expect them to know what to do. Take the time to teach your child what they need to know. This will ensure they come home safe and sound after a fun day of being outside.

Here’s another article you might enjoy:

How to Keep Your Nursery Clean Without Toxic Chemicals

3 Best Tips for Amazing Family Travel with Your Kids

Travelling with kids can be memorable, but if things are overly structured or there’s too much forced togetherness, family vacations can turn grim. To make sure that your family vacation is positive and leaves everyone wanting more, you’ll need to make sure you can travel in comfort, enjoy outings together and get a little alone time.

Rent a Roomy Car

If you’re planning to spend at least part of your vacation in the car, make sure that everyone has enough space. For those traveling with older kids, consider renting a vehicle such as an SUV or van with three rows of seats to give everyone plenty of room. Younger children will likely need to be closer so you can monitor them more closely. If you’ve never rented a car before, it may be a good idea to rent one similar to what you usually drive in this instance.

Plan a Space Where Older Kids Can Run

You’re going on an adventure, and your older children may want to be able to break free and stretch their legs a bit. You can make this more possible by setting an eye-catching feature that they must stay in sight of. If you’re taking the family to the beach, invest in a giant umbrella and make sure your older kids stay within visual range. If they’re not strong swimmers, invest in good quality flotation vests. If your kids are old enough to have their own cell phones, check in with them as they roam. You can keep tabs on them while allowing them to expand their own horizons.

Leave Time for Doing Nothing

If budgets are tight but you still want to get away as a family, make room for unstructured time. You can even have an exciting bicycle staycation in your city and arrange lunchtime picnics. Plan to spend a few hours letting your children run free at a local park. Bring large balloons or tie a brightly colored piece of fabric to a tree branch and let your kids go as far as they can while still keeping in visual range. Then, schedule nothing and see what their imaginations can do.

It can be tempting to pack as much vacation fun into your trip as possible, but this can leave everyone feeling exhausted and overloaded. Leave time for naps, for reading alone or just for daydreaming. Focus on comfort, not speed or efficiency.

Here’s another article you might like: How to Keep Your Nursery Clean Without Toxic Chemicals

Protectors of the Roblox Universe | Lifting Simulator

Lifting Simulator on Roblox

The family that plays together, stays together… or so I have been telling myself as I have spent untold hours playing Roblox lately. Yes, I know, not really a suitable occupation for a 40 something but when your little one is obsessed by it and you want to make it as safe as it can be, you do what you can. I have to be honest here, the games become strangely addictive after a while and when your husband joins in and all of your immediate family is playing it can be quite fun.

This is therefore a review of the Roblox game, Lifting Simulator.

What does my son think?

He loves the game. In fact, he was the one who found it. He was even playing it before Denis Daily added it to his Roblox YouTube channel. We joined maybe a day later. He’s not a fan of the constant clicking and I am worried about RSI a little but it does teach him that success isn’t instantaneous. Of course, he is now asking us to click for him!

What do I think?

I am enjoying it. I like the way the game has several layers. You want to upgrade constantly to be the biggest and the most powerful using weight, genetics, and body alter but there is also the enforcement and criminal element of the game, which can be the most addictive.

When you start out you begin as a skeleton and you are weight lifting a pencil. You click your mouse to move the pencil until you have 30 coins. At this point, you have to sell your coins as you have run out of room in your wallet. You can spend or collect the money depending on your goal.

You can spend your money on three things. The first are weights and on the first run through, (I will explain this later), you have to buy each weight in the list before the next shows up. If you are fed up with emptying your wallet every couple of minutes, you can better your DNA (if only this was possible in real life). This has the effect of increasing your wallet so you don’t have to sell so often.

The third element of game play that you will spend your lifting simulator earnings on is called body alter. You can give yourself power and speed by buying this when you have enough money. The trick here is to buy enough weights to get the alter but no more in the first round. As soon as you buy the first power (freezing) then you will revert to the smallest body type and have to work your way up again. You will also lose all your money so there is use getting more than you need. For example, one on the weights cost around 100,000 but the first body alter costs 150,000. If you can reach 100,000, you may as well hang on and get the body alter and get the expensive weight later when it will be easier to get it. Otherwise, you will end up saving for the 100,000, spending it on the weight and then having to save a further 150,000. It is quicker to just save the one lot.

The next run through whether with the freezing, fire or any of the other powers, you can skip weights to get through it a lot quicker. While you could not see the entire list before, after you have bought them once, you can see them again but you will have to buy them after each and every upgrade.


As you go through the game and do plenty of weight lifting, you will gain a rank. This is fluid and will change as you play. This is a game with no judgement you can be good or bad and there are an equal number of ranks to go through until you reach the pinnacle of your chosen side. On the good corner there is Nice Guy, Bodyguard, Protector, Guardian and Superhero. If you are neither one way of the other you may end up as Neutral or you could go to the dark side and become a Bully, Jerk, Thug, Criminal or Godfather.

You get to be these ranks by killing other players who have a better or worse rank than you … and sometimes randomly. I have been minding my own business lifting the odd motorbike when someone kills ME and then demotes me from Nice Guy to Bully. Ooh, I was annoyed. I had to go around killing other bullies and jerks to get my status back until eventually I became a Protector. Sometimes you get to keep your status but other times not. I have left a Protector but come back as a Bodyguard. Another time I left as a Nice Guy but returned as a Bully.

When we started, we were constantly killed as soon as we spawned so when we had enough clout to get ‘em back we tried to be protectors. There are a few player who pride themselves on being the sheriff and kill all the bullies and worse around. However if you get stuck with a bully rank but you didn’t deserve it they don’t know this and they will still try to kill you. Also, some good guys will be good for an hour and take the other side so you can’t trust the other players! Still, you can still make alliances and it’s a sweet thing when there’s a bunch of you keeping the peace.

You get to keep your normal character during this game and unfortunately, my little one is obsessed by a YouTuber and will model himself on him. He’s too young to understand that people can be offended by that and I think (hope) that the guy is nice enough to understand that. We have already seen him in a previous gaming video so he’s come across him before when he was still Kindergarten age and he was sweet about it in the video.

This game is good for the whole family. There is nothing ominous about it. Our son’s chat has been disabled so he can’t talk to any dodgy people if they are on it so it’s just good clean fun. He’s learning to save and the concept of sticking up for people who can’t protect themselves because in this case they can only weight lift a pencil and he can carry a piano.

Definitely recommended for children with supervision. The supervision is for the horror stories you hear on the internet about the internet.

Happy lifting!

How to Keep Your Nursery Clean Without Toxic Chemicals

When you have a baby, you become much more aware of how clean your home is. The nursery where your baby is sleeping should be clean. This will help keep your baby happy and healthy. Frequently dusting and wiping down areas where you change your baby’s diaper is beneficial. Unfortunately, many chemical cleaning products can be dangerous to your baby’s health and yours as well. Let’s talk more about how to keep your nursery clean without using toxic chemicals for the job.

What Are Chemicals and Which Ones Are Toxic?

Chemical cleaners, if properly marked, come with diamond-shaped hazard pictograms that show what kind of hazards they pose. You’ll want to keep an eye out for ingredients such as ammonia, bleach, hydrochloric acid, isopropanol and sodium bisulfate. All of these chemicals can irritate the skin, irritate the eyes, make your baby cough and there are dangerous long term effects to worry about as well. If you see an ingredient on a product that is very hard to pronounce, chances are it’s not a good one to use. Do a bit of research on harmful chemicals before you purchase items for the nursery.

Stick With Natural Options

There are a lot of cleaning products on the market right now that use only natural ingredients to get the job done. Things like citrus oils can be just as effective when it comes to disinfecting and killing germs. Not to mention, the smell is pleasant and safe. Look for organic and natural cleaning products that advertise they are safe and chemical-free. You can even come up with your own cleaning products that you make yourself. A mixture of 50/50 vinegar and water can be quite effective for cleaning up messes. Not to mention, it’s incredibly affordable to make. You can even add your own essential oils for fragrance.

Stick to Unscented

Scents tend to be very irritating for a small child. You’ll want to keep your cleaning products as unscented as possible. Even a natural smell of orange peel or pine can be overwhelming. Just because a product doesn’t smell, doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to do a good job at cleaning things up in your child’s nursery.

You can find a number of natural cleaning products at your local grocery store or health food store. There are also a number of products available online. Just be sure to check the ingredients before making a purchase.

Parenting can be overwhelming. If you need more help, check out some of our other articles.

How to Navigate These 3 Challenges of Family Planning

The challenges faced by families in the modern era can be enormous, especially the process of planning. Balancing work life, managing interpersonal relationships of all family members and overcoming health issues related to fertility can all place burdens on parents-to-be and their children. Fortunately, with the right amount of planning and a bit of mental toughness, these challenges can be overcome. Here are a few of the most common issues facing families and some tips on how to deal with them.

Children Who Don’t Want Another Sibling

There can be several reasons why a young child may not want a little brother or sister. One of the most common of these might be the expectation of loss, which includes loss of attention, loss of access to resources, etc. Jealousy is, in fact, one of the most prevalent human emotions and is not limited to children. Research has shed some light on the psychological factors that cause jealousy in children who may be wary of another sibling joining the family. Ways to prevent this include a focus on increasing the connection between parent and child prior to and after introducing a new family member, encouraging laughter, which releases feel-good hormones in your child, and taking the time to assure your older child that he or she is needed and appreciated.


Women in the western world face fertility issues frequently. This can be due to age, health conditions, diet, stress and other factors. Many health professionals specialize in helping couples struggling to conceive. Strategies such as tracking ovulation and lifestyle modifications, as well as taking medication, can help. Sometimes, though, naturally conceiving a child is simply not possible. In these instances, couples may consider procedures such as egg donation. This refers to the process of taking an egg from a donor and implanting it into the mother’s ovaries. Although egg donation is an involved and often expensive process, it is a viable alternative to natural conception. According to Baby Steps, egg donation can be a six-month process or more, so couples should take time constraints into consideration if they are interested in this option.

Balancing Work Life

Women who have established careers often face difficult choices. Choosing between a career and a new family can be a tough decision. Increasingly, families rely on dual incomes to make ends meet, and personal accounts of work-life balance struggles are well-documented. Many people report that managing time throughout the day is a major contributor to stress and burnout, which can be even more difficult to manage with a new baby. Communication between members of the family is essential to maintaining harmony and a sense of common purpose. Proper financial planning is a major tool for preventing conflict and reducing stress in a new family. Discussing priorities in terms of family life versus career can go a long way in protecting the long-term mental health of all family members. Creating and sticking to a family schedule can also help organize time and prevent conflict.

Many resources are available online to help cope with the challenges faced by parents and their children, and counseling with a trained professional is sometimes necessary. However, these obstacles can be overcome with dedication and perseverance when everyone is on the same page.
Parenting is no easy task. If you need more advice, check out some of our other articles!

How Parenting Style Affects Your Child’s Brain

The nature versus nurture argument has been around almost as long as parenting. Does how you parent affect your child’s brain, or is your child already wired to react to life a certain way? It turns out that parenting style does affect a child’s brain in many ways, giving parents more influence than you may imagine.


Resilience is something parents want their kids to have, so they can survive in a world where they won’t always win. However, raising resilient kids means letting them try and fail, something that makes many parents nervous. Young people need to know that it’s OK to fail or lose and that everything that doesn’t go as planned won’t break them. This is how true resilience is built. Parents who encourage their kids to try and help them learn from failures help their children learn resilience and teach them to reframe failure as an opportunity to learn and try again. If you try to keep your kids from failing or taking any type of risks, there is no opportunity for them to learn how to be resilient, which will impact them throughout their lives.

Physical Safety

Kids need to be physically active, but what you may not know is that more than their bodies benefit when they exercise. Playing games, walking or other physical activity improves mental and brain health and overall attitude in kids. It’s also good for kids to play physically and create their own games using their imaginations to develop confidence and independence. It is important to give kids a certain amount of freedom when it comes to physical play, but it’s also important to make sure they are safe. Helmets and gear should be worn when appropriate, and kids shouldn’t engage in activities that put them at a high risk for brain injuries. Serious concussions may result in traumatic brain injuries, which can have severe long-term effects.

Be Authoritative

Parents should guide their children, teach them lessons and help them grow. This is considered an authoritative form of parenting, and it has many advantages. Kids who are raised by parents who are consistent and loving and seek to guide as opposed to punish have higher confidence and aren’t as likely to suffer from depression. Their brains benefit from being raised in a safe environment where discipline is valued over punishment.

Authoritarian parents, by contrast, simply want to coerce their kids to obey even if that means punishment. Kids raised by authoritarian parents are more likely to suffer from depression and not think as much of themselves. What you do as a parent affects your child’s development, and that is a good thing since you can have a positive influence over your child’s future.

Please check out my other parenting blogs here!

Need to Make Your Home More Handicap-Accessible? Start With These Changes

Your ability to age in place while enjoying full use of your home may be a challenge if you have stairs. In fact, in many homes, the only place to shower is on the second floor. If you’re in a cast, a wheelchair, or simply no longer comfortable on the stairs, you may need to move quickly to be able to reach your bathroom and bed. Consider making changes to your home now so you won’t be in a rush or have to make hard decisions.

Convert Front Steps Into a Wheelchair Ramp

Removing the front steps on your home and building a wheelchair ramp can make your home accessible no matter the injuries or health concerns you may face. When designing your wheelchair ramp be sure to work with a licensed contractor to stay within code and to make sure your ramp will stand the test of time. In addition, consider how the person most in need of the ramp leaves or enters the house. Does the move from the house to the garage to get into their vehicle in climate control, or are they picked up on the driveway? You may need to invest in a driveway update, so the wheelchair user has a friendly surface when they leave the ramp.

Install a Stair Lift or Elevator

When you or a loved one are no longer safe climbing stairs, it may be time to install a stair lift. These tools hug close to the wall and may require you to take out the handrail. The person in need of transport simply belts themselves in, rides up the stair lift and is able to swivel and stand on the second floor. Stairs are a common cause of trip and fall injuries, especially for senior adults. Because such a stumble can be catastrophic to their ability to stay in their homes, investing in a stair lift can be a great investment. Elevators are also an option, but the renovation to install an elevator is quite invasive and expensive; stair lifts are the more affordable option.

Doorways and Bathrooms

If you’re ready to install a stair lift, it’s probably time to think about widening doorways and renovating bathrooms. While both of these repairs can be costly, messy and invasive, creating beautiful and accessible bathrooms is a repair that can greatly benefit your disabled friends and family. If you’re thinking about a renovation, consider adding a no-lip shower so a shower chair can be rolled in later.

You may be thinking about downsizing into a house where everything is on one level. However, if you love your home and your neighborhood, it is possible to make changes to your existing home that will make aging in place a better option.

Parenting is no easy task, so let us help you with some things we have learned!

Why a Good Night’s Sleep Is the Most Important Thing You Can Have

The importance of a good’s night sleep cannot be overstated. Sufficient levels of quality sleep are just as important as eating right and exercise when it comes to your overall health and quality of life. Here are three functions that prove the importance of a solid night of rest each night.

The Health Benefits

The many health benefits of solid sleep are too vast to list in their entirety. Most adults need a full eight hours of sleep to function at optimal levels. While many people think that they can mask inadequate sleep with copious amounts of caffeine, this is never a good long-term solution. Taking care to receive the recommended eight hours of sleep each night can boost your immune system, improve athletic performance, reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, promote healthier blood sugar levels and decrease the amount of inflammation in your body.

Makes You Safer

A well-rested person is a more alert and aware person. Getting enough sleep improves cognitive function, reflexes, productivity and performance. This awareness keeps you safer in a variety of life situations such as driving. While drowsy driving is more common in teens, the dangers of it apply to everyone. It is important to remember that coffee isn’t a fix. The better approach is to be committed to getting enough sleep each night so that you can feel confident taking to the road knowing that you are alert and aware.

Helps to Ward Off Depression

Getting adequate sleep each night can go a long way in helping to ward off depression or other mental health issues. Anxiety and depression are strongly linked to poor sleeping habits. Many people who have been diagnosed with depression report that they have problems sleeping. Once you get in a depressive cycle, it becomes even more difficult to get to sleep. Keeping a regular bedtime routine can help you to fall asleep easier and keep a host of mental health issues at bay. 

Almost everyone wishes that they had more hours in the day. However, your sleep time is not what you want to sacrifice to get more accomplished. Getting a full night’s rest will ensure that you have the health, energy, and mental awareness to be more productive and happier in life. A good night’s sleep is simply the best investment of your time.

Want to learn more? Check out more great content from the Ceri Clark blog: 

How to Help Your Kid Be Friends With Everyone

It’s important to raise your child to be friendly, compassionate, and caring. Some children just tend to be less socially comfortable than others. As a parent, that’s when we step in to help. As role models and parents, there are steps we can take to teach our children how to be friends with everyone. This will help them succeed throughout their lives in many aspects of their lives; creating a social circle that will be a great support system.

Teach Them Not to Be Afraid

There’s really no reason to be afraid of new people. While not everyone is nice and has your best interests in mind, there is nothing wrong with introducing yourself to new people. Teach your child how to shake someone’s hand, say hello and introduce themselves. They can learn how to ask details about a person, learn about their culture, etc. Stranger danger is something we often teach, and this is a process that can often scare a child from every new person they meet. Talk about the differences between strangers and being friends with new people.

Teach Them How to Talk Properly

You’ll want to make sure you teach your child how to talk properly with other children. For example, when talking to someone with a disability, there are some things not to say that your child should know about. There are many different demographics of people that you should teach your child about. You don’t want your child to judge other people unfairly. Teach your child that there are many different people in the world. Just because someone is a different race, makes a certain amount of money or works a certain job, that doesn’t mean you can’t be nice to them. Teach your child tolerance within their social circle.

Conversation Topics

One of the hardest things to learn is how to start a conversation and how to keep one going. Teach your child how to talk about themselves, but teach your child how they can ask someone details about their own life. Once they find something that is a common favorite, they can proceed with the conversation that way.

A good way that your child can learn to be friends with everyone is by seeing how you act around people. Essentially, you need to practice what you preach. Show your child that you can be friendly, tolerant and caring. Introduce yourself to people, treat them properly and be friends with neighbours, co-workers, etc.

Here’s another article we think you’ll like:

Why Moms Should Limit Their Kids’ Caffeine Intake

How to Turn Your Trip into a Hassle-Free Experience

Taking a trip with friends or family can be an exceptional event, and planning an upcoming trip should be as stress-free as possible. You can make it happen when you plan accordingly and ahead of time. The following are some key factors to take into consideration the next time you are preparing for a great vacation.

Make Sure Your Car is in Good Shape

Check out your vehicle before you start your trip in order to clear up a potential source of stress. Whether it’s a road trip across this incredible country or a four-hour drive to the airport, your car’s condition must be taken into serious consideration. If it’s been a while since your last maintenance check, you may be vulnerable to an engine seizing, or a tire blowing out, or a radiator overheating, or any number of common maintenance issues that can be dangerous and turn your vacation into a headache.

Plan for Security Lines

Security lines are one of the stressful but necessary things in our lives. We can’t avoid having to stop at a security line, but we can make sure to make it as stress-free as possible. Those catching a plane must go through a series of security checkpoints where you will be asked to open bags and remove clothing. The best way to make this process as hassle-free as possible is to be prepared. Be ready to open up your bags, have your jackets off and folded and have electronics placed on top of your luggage as they are often the most searched. You can even run into security lines at theme parks, concerts, historical sites and other major vacation destinations. Checking the most popular times before planning your visit can help you avoid excessive delays.

Use Short-Term Vacation Rentals

Booking a hotel for five or six people for multiple nights can be a very expensive hit on your budget. Consider looking into booking a short-term vacation rentals instead to save money and enjoy a more flexible and comfortable experience. Renting a home for a week or two that can hold your entire family can cost less while offering perks like a kitchen and greater privacy.

Trips with family and friends should be as hassle-free as possible. Be proactive in your approach to the planning phase of the trip for the best results. These recommendations can help you to relax and enjoy an incredible experience.

Looking for more travel tips? Read this next: Baby Care Anywhere: 4 Tips for Parenting on the Go

Why Moms Should Limit Their Kids’ Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is something that many people use on a daily basis to keep themselves alert and awake. Many children have begun to consume caffeine by way of sodas and caffeine-packed sports drinks. While you might not think that your child is affected by the amount of caffeine they are consuming, there are some negative effects that you might want to think about before you continuously provide caffeine to youngsters. Let’s take a look at why moms should limit their kids’ caffeine intake.

It Can Cause Anxiety and Mood Swings

Caffeine can cause your body to have a large upswing in energy. When that caffeine wears off, the result is a large drop-off of energy. When a young child’s body experiences such drastic highs and lows, it can lead to them feeling very panicky or anxious. This isn’t an emotion that a child should have to experience at such a young age. It can set them up for anxious feelings for the rest of their life.

It’s Addictive

Caffeine is completely legal, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a substance you can become addicted to. You don’t want a child to begin life with such an addiction. Some industries have a very serious stimulant abuse problem that originates from caffeine. Using it in the morning to wake up and get going is enough to trigger that desire each and every morning. It’s not a healthy or good feeling to be so dependent on anything each day.

Children Are More Sensitive to Caffeine

It might take two to three cups of coffee each morning for an adult to finally feel as though they are awake and ready to go. Children are much more sensitive to the effects of caffeine. They can start to feel jittery or anxious with just a few sips of coffee or soda that has caffeine in it. It’s ok to have a little cup of soda with caffeine in it at a party once in a while if that’s all that is available. However, this shouldn’t become a daily beverage choice for a child.

If your child shows negative effects from consuming caffeine, it is probably a good idea to completely remove caffeine from their diet. You’ll want to pay close attention to what they are drinking. There are plenty of caffeine-free options that they can enjoy just as much.

For more information about changes you can make to your family’s diet, take a look at this other article on how to transition to a vegan diet!

Vegan Nutrition During Pregnancy: What Vegan Moms-to-Be Need to Know

It is incredibly important to eat healthily and take care of yourself when you are pregnant. After all, you have another human being inside of you that are counting on you for those nine months of pregnancy. People assume that being vegan will affect pregnancy in a negative way. As long as you pay close attention to your diet and the vitamins that you are supplementing with, you can very easily manage pregnancy and can still be vegan. Let’s take a closer look at pregnancy and nutrition and how it affects being a vegan who is expecting a child.

Make Sure You Hit All Your Nutrient Needs

You can still be vegan, there are a number of vitamins and nutrients that you need in order to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. For instance, folic acid is something that is incredibly important during the first trimester. It prevents conditions like spina bifida. You also want to make sure that you’re getting enough iron. Anemia can negatively affect your baby. It can also cause you to feel more run down and nauseas than you already are. Also, improper nutrition has been cited as a cause of premature birth.

Shifting Your Diet

If you’re craving foods that are outside of your typical vegan diet and you feel comfortable, feel free to indulge once in a while. If you are planning on sticking to your vegan diet strictly, you’ll want to make sure you’re working certain food groups into your diet. You’ll need plenty of protein from beans, soy, etc. Your prenatal vitamin probably has a good dose of iron and B vitamins, but you can also get these things from natural sources like green, leafy vegetables. Calcium won’t come from milk and dairy products for you but get your fill from citrus fruits.

Don’t Let People Make You Feel Guilty

People who don’t understand your vegan lifestyle may criticize you while you’re pregnant. Even if you haven’t asked for their opinion, they may express to you that they are worried you’re not giving the baby what he or she needs. You can simply let them know you are paying close attention to your diet and making sure you’re eating all the major nutrients that are needed during pregnancy.

If you have questions about how you can manage a vegan lifestyle while you are pregnant, you can speak to your OBGYN or a nutritionist. A professional will be able to help you design a meal plan that works for you during these nine months.

4 Fun Ideas for Your Next Family Vacation

The family vacation is always a highlight of the year. To ensure that everyone in your family comes away with amazing memories, be sure to choose a destination that is fun for all ages. Here are four ideas to help get you started as you begin planning your next family vacation.

Disneyland Paris

It is no wonder that Disneyland Paris is such a popular vacation destination for families in the UK. Not only is it just a train ride away, but this theme park mecca also delivers a magical time to all of its lucky visitors. Your children will delight in meeting all of their favorite Disney characters, taking in the daily parades and fireworks shows, and riding all of their favorite attractions in this fairytale setting.

Enjoy the Ocean

While most people think of Hawaii when they think of America’s best beaches, the Gulf Coast actually boasts an abundance of stunning coastline. While visiting this idyllic region, you can check out some of the ocean-themed parks the Gulf Coast has to offer. Travellers of all ages will delight in the opportunity to get up close and personal with marine life at the Ocean Adventures Theme Park in Gulfport, Mississippi and the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

New York City

This American city has no match in this world. A trip to the Big Apple should be on every family’s bucket list. Kids will marvel at the noise and energy of Times Square just as much as you will appreciate the chance to burn off energy in gorgeous Central Park. Take in a Broadway show, sample some classic New York pizza, and soar to the top of the Empire State Building all in one day. There is enough to keep you busy for weeks in this bustling city.

All-Inclusive Mexico Resort

An all-inclusive beach vacation in Mexico is a true treat for every member of the family. Children will love the chance to splash in the ocean and enjoy the kids’ activities while adults will appreciate the opportunity to truly relax and rejuvenate. You will not even need to worry about leaving the tranquil grounds of your resort when you choose the all-inclusive option.

Wherever you decide to spend your next holiday, you are sure to create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. The most important thing is that you are together, relaxed, and having fun.

If you’re going to be travelling with a baby, here are some great tips for parenting babies on the go!

Got a Hot Date? Here’s How to Pull Out All the Stops for an Up Market Night Out

Dating, especially when it’s for the first time with someone new, can be terrifying. That’s because you don’t know this person very well yet. You’re unaware of their likes and dislikes. That’s what dating is, after all, getting to know someone and finding out if they’re interested in you. In order to land a second date, you’ll need to pull out all the stops. You’ll want to be stylish and charming and show that you put some effort into the occasion. Women love to see that a man is invested. Here’s how you impress her.

The Clothes

Being nicely dressed for a date is crucial. That’s because it shows a woman you put time and thought into getting ready. You don’t have to pull out a suit and tie. According to Art of Charm, you should let her know you put some effort into your appearance because you wanted to look good for her. The clothes you choose will depend on where you intend to go, but even if you’re just grabbing drinks at a pub, you need to dress stylishly. A woman will look at every aspect of your outfit from your shoes to your sunglasses, so don’t skimp on any part of it. Either a nice pair of slacks or jeans is a suitable look for a first date. Combine that with a good shirt. If it’s chilly, a denim or leather jacket (unless she’s vegan!) is appropriate. Better yet, consider a sports coat. You should also pay attention to the little things like shoes, cologne, and accessories. Small added touches like a nice watch or a pair of sunglasses can make a big difference.

The Transportation

Women love to be treated like a princess by the man who is courting them. You can enhance a date is by paying special attention to the transportation. A limo service will help you impress the lady. According to Callahan’s, limos can be safer than other transportation options. You can show her that you truly put some planning into the evening by finding a chauffeur to safely drive you both to your destination. You also won’t have to worry about walking around at night to retrieve your car or locate a taxi. Having someone else drive also gives the two of you time alone to get to know each other. Limos are comfortable and private. They will take you directly to the front door of your destination. They’re perfect if the two of you are going to a play, an opera, or an upscale restaurant. When you’re ready to say goodnight, your limo will drop your companion off at her front door, assuring she arrives home safely and in style.

Above all else, a woman simply wants to see that a man made an effort. It shows that he cares about her and about the date. Dressing stylishly and renting a limo are two ways to let her know you’re invested in the courtship.

Another way to impress a woman is to show her how you can cook. Check out these other articles on food for inspiration!

How to Make Bugs Hate Your House

Bugs make a way into our homes using a variety of methods. Though there are pesticide companies that claim to exterminate them, many people want to use simpler, safer options to get rid of indoor pests. One of the best ways to fix a pest problem is to make your house as inhospitable to them as possible. Luckily, this doesn’t require poisons or huge amounts of cash. Following a few simple steps will help you create a home that pests don’t want to go near.

Do the Dishes

Pests love food. That’s why leaving dishes covered in crumbs or caked-on food in the kitchen for any period of time is inviting a pest problem. An easy fix is to do the dishes as soon as a meal is over. If you own a dishwasher, rinse and place dishes in the dishwasher after you eat to keep insects from being attracted to your home. Leaving dishes in the sink or on the counters overnight gives pests plenty of time to sniff out food remains and invade. Once they are in the house, it’s difficult to get rid of them. Start a dishes-after-meal routine to avoid bugs altogether.

Clean with Vinegar

Insects don’t like vinegar, and that’s enough of a reason to embrace it as a tool for cleaning the house. Ants especially don’t like it when vinegar has been sprayed in a home, so using it to wipe down counters, spray windows, and clean doorknobs will keep these creatures away. Due to a renewed interest in cleaning with natural products, it’s possible to find recipes everywhere that will tell you exactly what to mix with vinegar to make it a strong cleaner and a pest deterrent. Baking soda and lemon are good choices, and a diluted vinegar cleaner saves money on both cleaning products and exterminators.

Deep Clean Regularly

Deep cleaning may not be your favorite hobby, but if you want to see fewer pests roaming your home, it’s absolutely necessary. Regular deep cleaning of the more obscure areas in your house can discourage pest infestations. It also keeps pest invasions that have started under control before they become unmanageable. Many pests like to congregate in the areas of your home that you touch the least often. For example, German cockroaches are often found in dark, warm, humid areas close to sources of food and moisture. Many bugs will retreat to the nooks and crannies of the kitchen when an exterminator puts out traps. They aren’t gone, simply waiting to reemerge when they feel safe. Keeping these areas clean will take away the safe haven these pests depend on and make your house inhospitable for bugs.

Keeping bugs out of your house may seem challenging, but it is very possible with a little bit of effort. Small changes can make a drastic difference when trying to keep bugs at bay. They are house guests that no one wants, so make your home as uninviting to them as possible.

If you’d like to stick to environmentally friendly methods to get rid of your pests, check out these 3 tricks to make your spring cleaning better for the environment!

3 Amazing Gift Ideas for a Child Who Loves Star Wars

The Star Wars franchise has fans of all ages and interests. You can make your child smile from ear to ear by incorporating their favorite Star Wars characters into a special gift perfect for any occasion. Here are three gift ideas for the child who loves Star Wars.

Celebrate the Stars Wars Way  

What better way to celebrate a special occasion than with a Star Wars themed party? The possibilities of fun are endless with this versatile theme. Party games involving lightsabers are always a hit with the younger kids. Or create a unique balloon bouquet designed to resemble lightsabers. It is easy to plan a menu with Star Wars food and drink. For example, a little blue food coloring in almond milk helps recreate the famous milk from the movies.


Taking your child to Disneyland to visit the new Galaxy’s Edge land will be a dream come true for any Star Wars fan. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens May 31st, 2019, and is expected to have a large crowd. Be sure to get a jump start on the planning so that you can secure your reservation. For the first few months of its opening, Disneyland will require a separate entrance ticket with a window of time in which you can visit. The new addition is designed to be a truly immersive experience. This new area boasts two new attractions, interactive shopping opportunities, fun activities, and special food and drinks options. Stepping into this land will make your child feel as if they entered an entirely new galaxy of fantasy and fun.

Star Wars Room Makeover

A bedroom makeover that incorporates the Star Wars theme is an ideal present for any occasion. Part of the fun is getting your child involved in the decision-making process. Together you can scour the internet for ideas and then make your list of ways that you want to carry the theme through the room. There is an abundance of fun ways to turn any bedroom into a galaxy far far away. This is a gift that your child will truly enjoy for years to come.

This expansive theme makes it easy to celebrate in a big way. Your little Star Wars enthusiast will be delighted in any of these three ideas, designed to make them feel special by incorporating all of their favorite characters into the celebration.

Looking for the perfect book to give to your child for their birthday? Children of the Elementi is the perfect middle grade novel for sci-fi lovers!