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Top Reasons Why Dogs are Good for Kids

Top Reasons Why Dogs are Good for KidsIf you know us, you’ll know that we’re a family animal lovers. Husband and I got Chuck in 2006, just a couple of months after we got married and he wa a huge part of our lives for 13 years. We’ve had other pets over the years, too – Happy the hamster, Maureen our Staff-Frenchie-Boxer cross, Bagel and Biscuit the budgies, plus various dogs we’ve fostered over the years.

We’re huge believers that pets make a home complete and that it’s great for kids to have pets too, as it teaches them responsibility…even if it is always be cleaning out Bagel’s cage instead of Sausage! With this in mind, I thought I’d share some reasons that dogs are great pets for kids (and why investing in scratch-proof flooring is a good idea if you want one!)

Bonding

Having a pet helps to build family bonds as animals are often the focus of family activities. From walking the dog together to grooming or feeding the pet, these simple but enjoyable tasks allow everyone to slow down, enjoy each other’s company and communicate with one another.

Exercise

Having a dog means that you have to go for walks. Come rain or shine, dog need exercise, no excuses. You have to remember, that as well as for their physical health, dogs need exercise for their mental health. When they’re at home, they can’t sit and read a book or watch the TV, that’s their equivalent of getting out and having a sniff around the neighbourhood! But all this is great, as it encourages you to be more active, too.

Responsibility

The daily commitment of caring for an animal is a great way to teach kids the importance of dependability and responsibility. To be a dog’s provider is an honour that requires a lot of patience and work. We make sure that Sausage and BB help to keep Maureen’s water bowl clean and refilled, put her food down, and make sure her bed is nicely plumped up for her to rest in.

Mental Health

It’s actually been scientifically proven that spending just 15-30 minutes with your dog can help you feel more calm and relaxed, reducing stress and increasing happiness. Playing with your pup increases your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, both of which are neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and tranquility. Just having a dog around can give your mental health a huge boost.

Comfort

Having a dog can be a huge source of comfort in so many situations. When my kids are ill, Maureen (as did Chuck) will always be the first one to sit with them while they’re recovering on the couch, she’s always there with face licks when the girls are crying and she lets us know if anyone o much as breathes wrong within a 100m radius of the house. She’s a huge source of comfort for us all and loves nothing more than a snuggle with her pack…except maybe for a 5 mile walk where she gets to chase pheants!

5 Basic Money Saving Tips that Really Work

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A lot of people assume that if they want to accomplish incredible things with their cash, they need to be saving hundreds of pounds worth of income every month. However, this isn’t really true. The fact is that just a couple of pounds placed into a savings account every week can make a huge difference to your finances in the future.

Rather than letting yourself get overwhelmed by the idea that budgeting has to mean changing your entire lifestyle, why not make some basic changes to your relationship with cash that really work instead? Here are some top tips to get you started.

  1. Think Bulk, Not Brands

When you’re shopping for essential items like toilet paper, tissues, and even cleaning supplies, it’s easy to get carried away looking at brand names and packaging. However, it’s important not to let the good marketing brainwash you. Instead, look for opportunities to save some extra money by buying supermarket-brand options in bulk.

More often than not, you’re going to get the exact same experience from a supermarket that you would get from a big-brand company, but you’ll save a fortune on the packaging. Remember, you can always buy extra of the things you always need in when they’re on sale, so you don’t run out too.

  1. Rethink your Electricity

When you start searching through your monthly statements for opportunities to save, you’ll notice that you spend cash in some areas more often than others. For instance, a lot of us overspend on food shopping, but we also tend to use a lot of our cash on gas and electricity. If you’re paying over the odds for your electricity, start by looking at offers from other providers to see if you can get a better deal. At the same time, you can also think about exchanging some of your high-consumption appliances with energy-saving alternatives.

While buying a new fridge, washing machine and other essential utensils might require you to take out a loan initially, it will mean that by the time you’ve finished paying what you owe, you’ll have much lower bills.

  1. Stop Over-spending on Drinks

Sometimes, it’s easier to see how much you spend on food from takeaways, restaurants and cafes than it is to recognise how much you’re spending on drinks. How often do you buy yourself a bottle of cola when you go shopping on a weekend to keep you going until you get home? How much do you spend on a morning coffee when you’re on your way to work.

Invest in a reusable water bottle and take it with you wherever you go. Not only will you have an instant source of hydration when you need it, but you’ll also get a health boost by switching away from sugary and caffeinated beverages too.

  1. Prep your Meals in Advance

Next time you’re going shopping at the supermarket, make a list of all the meals that you’re going to make for that week. This will help you to make sure that you’re not overspending when you’re walking through the aisles. However, it will also mean that you have everything you need to start prepping your meals in advance.

While spending an afternoon cooking and chopping on a Sunday might not seem like much fun, it will mean that you have all the food you need ready and available to throw into the oven when you get home after a long day at work. Pre-prepped meals make it much less likely that you’ll end up turning to a takeaway for food.

  1. Make Saving Automatic

Finally, if you’re the kind of person who finds saving difficult, then why not simplify the process by making it completely automatic? Take a look at your budget and find out how much you can afford to put into a savings account after your bills are paid for. Then, you can set up a direct debit that moves your money into your savings account before you have a chance to spend it.

Making saving automatic will reduce your risk of spending the cash that you wish you had put aside for later. At the same time, it also means that you don’t need to think about saving at the end of each month. Just make sure that you come and re-check your budget every once in a while to make sure that the amount of cash you’re putting into savings, and the cash you’re using elsewhere still makes sense.

Teaching Kids About The Grey Areas Of The Money World

Money is a magical thing to a child. Adults have a lot of it, in their opinion, and the day they get their pocket money is one of the best times of their lives! But as we know, money isn’t always a sunny, fun thing. That’s something we need to make our kids aware of as well. 

Kids need to learn about the world they’re growing up in, and whilst they’re young, they’ll absorb more knowledge than ever before. And because of that, it’s important to introduce them to money at a young age, and highlight both the good and bad aspects of it. So, without further ado, here are some of the grey areas the financial world has to it, and what your kids ought to know about them. 

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How to Know They’re Spending Too Much Money

Kids should know that money doesn’t grow on trees, and when they want to spend some, they won’t be able to spend forever. Of course, the idea of object permanence can be hard to teach to a kid, but it’s definitely possible! Put the coins out in front of them, and slowly take them away using hypothetical purchases – when there’s none left on the table, ask your child what they see. 

Having a Debt

As a kid, the idea of debt can be incredibly scary – it’s something they see on the TV, in all the adverts and the drama TV shows, where scary men in suits bust into a house and take all kinds of things away with them. Well, it’s time to make sure they don’t grow up with that notion, and only that notion, about debt in their head. 

Teach them how easily debt can be resolved. Teach them that looking for an instant loan might be quick and easy but needs to be thought about at length. Teach them to be careful about who they borrow from, and to always look to family first. Teach them that you can always be relied upon! 

The Benefits of Saving Up

Saving can be something weird and alien to a child. A lot of the time, kids are about instant gratification, and if they want something, they want it now! But if you manage to get ideas about saving in early, they’ll be able to stop themselves and think automatically!

They’ll be able to look at the toy in the shop and work out how long it would take for them to earn enough pocket money. They’d feel more secure about making that decision, and they’ll be able to comfort themselves with the idea that they can come back later. All in all, you’ll teach them to be very mature about their money. 

There’s a lot of grey areas in the money world, but they don’t have to be unknowable forever. Make sure your kids are aware of the troubles money could give them, even when they’re not sure what they’re running into – it’s important for the future. 

How Gender Normative Attitiudes are Damaging Our Kids

I’ve written before about how we don’t believe in gendered toys and that we encourage the girls to forget gender conformity when it comes to pursuing their interests, and for the most part it’s worked well. BB plays just as happily with toy cars and Nerf guns as she does with her Barbies, and Sausage goes to a martial arts class where she’s often the only girl. A phrase often uttered by me is “as long as you don’t need a penis to operate it, it’s not just for boys!” and despite the cringe caused by the word “penis” the girls are happy with this rule.

However, just recently, BB has run into some issues. It started a while back when she asked for some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles underwear, and we discovered that they didn’t make them for girls. We did, however, find some stretchy boxers on the boy’s section of H&M which had TMNT print on them and decided that they were just as good as knickers and would probably be quite comfy. BB has worn them, happily, for months.

A couple of weeks ago, she was getting dressed for school and I’d laid out her TMNT boxers for her to wear, and she got a bit upset and said she didn’t want to wear them that day. I asked why and she said that it was P.E. day, so she’d have to get changed in front of her classmates, and she didn’t want anyone to see her in her boxers. It transpired that a few kids in her class had been taking the mikey and telling her that she shouldn’t be wearing that underwear because it was for boys. She told the girl who was mocking her that “Mummy couldn’t find any others for me to wear today”, but she shouldn’t have to feel like she needs to make an excuse.

She’s quite a resilliant kid, our BB, but it was clear that it was bothering her to have her classmates telling her that she was doing something “wrong”. I started trying to ensure that I gave her girly underwear on the days she had swimming or PE, but the whole thing sat really uncomfortably with me.

It gets worse.

BB’s school, like the rest of the country, offers free school meals in key stage one, but they recently got rid of their cold food provision, so if a child wants a cold lunch instead of a hot meal, they can now take a packed lunch. BB was super excited about this as she’s a little fussy with food AND wanted to show off her new lunch box. Her new Spiderman lunch box.

She’s used it twice, and BOTH times been told by some of her peers that her lunchbox is for boys.

The problem I’m having is this – what want her to do is to tell them all off about their gender normative attitudes and carry on using whatever she wants to cover her ass and carry her lunch. However, it’s not me who has to fight the battle, it’s her. I can encourage her to stick up for herself and tell her classmates where to shove it all I like, but at the end of the day, she’s the one who has to do it. Part of me wants to protect her feelings, buy her the pink knickers, buy her the LOL lunchbox and let her conform, but a MUCH bigger part of me wants to encourage her to stick to her guns and wear whatever she damn-well wants. We don’t raise kids to be compliant.

The whole thing has really stuck in my throat. The saddest part is, I’m not surprised. I still see posts on things like Facebook Marketplace on an almost daily basis of people looking for “toys for boys” or a “pushchair suitable for a girl”. We’re STILL, in 2019, so hung up on the outdated rules we’ve had drummed into us about what is for girls and what is for boys and it’s being passed onto the next generations.

We’ve given BB a pep talk and told her that the opinions of others are not important, and that she should carry on liking Spiderman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles without worrying about what people think, and I’m hoping it sticks but there’s a chance that the damage has already been done. Daddy also made sure she had undies she felt comfortable in for PE days and bought her some in pastel colours. NOT that we should have needed to…

If you’re reading this and still teach your kids that toys and charachters are only for a specific gender, please join us in the 21st century and update what you’re teaching your kids, because I will NOT be teaching mine to tolerate that kind of bullshit.

(Also, is it any wonder we’re still having these problems when THIS is what comes up when you Google “TMNT girls”…because obviously, no ninja goes anywhere without their handbag and fucking stripper heels. EYEROLL)

Has your Little One Got a Big Birthday Coming Up? Discover My Gift Ideas for 7 year old Boys!

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It only seemed like yesterday you were bringing a tiny bundle home from the hospital, now you’ve got a six year old that’s about to turn seven! You almost-seven year old will be bubbling with energy and fizzing with curiosity, they’re excited to learn about the world around them, they’re probably showing interest in a particular sport or already have a few firm favourites on TV, in the movies and in the toybox!

It’s not always easy to find toys that are suitable for a boy aged 7, but don’t despair! I’ve come up with a few simple ideas that your little lad will absolutely love. Read on for a little inspiration.

Lego/building bricks

Lego should be a staple in any toybox! So if your child already has some, then consider updating their current supply with some new sets. You can either go down the traditional route of a box of simple bricks and accessories, or opt for something themed such as Star Wars, Marvel or even Harry Potter. There are so many Lego sets out there including Lego movies, Batman Lego etc so you’re sure to know which ones they’ll like. If they’ve never had Lego before then this is your time to introduce them to the simple yet creative world of building bricks. Not only does Lego allow them to unleash their creativity, but it’s something you can enjoy doing together.

A magic set

Do you have a budding Houdini at home? Or maybe they’re in the market for a new hobby and want to impress their family and friends? Treating them to a magic set, teaches them the wonders of slight of hand, the art of expression and performance and the dexterity needed to pull off all their new tricks! It might be fun and awe inspiring but it’s a good skills builder, they’ll also feel incredible when they pull off their first magic trick successfully.

A new bike/scooter

There’s no escaping the fact that technology plays a huge part in our little ones lives; from Tv to tablets, games consoles to handheld devices, so it’s important to find the right balance and encourage them to play outside as much as we can. A new bike or scooter is a super simple way to achieve this. They can get excited about choosing a new bell for their bike as well as all the safety accessories they’re going to need. From family walks, to trips to the park and even on holiday, your child will get plenty of use out of a new bike or scooter, and plenty of fresh air to boot!

Arts and crafts

Sometimes, the simplest of gifts are the best ones. An arts and crafts set or plenty of arty supplies will give them a nice quiet activity to enjoy on rainy afternoons and it’s a great excuse to get creative and enjoy getting messy! From paints and glitter to sticky tape, craft paper, googly eyes and tissue paper. You can buy a set or create your own!

Best Scooters for Children

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If you are looking for a present to buy your child for their birthday or Christmas then you should certainly consider a scooter. This is a toy which has been popular amongst children for many years now and thus there is a high chance that it will go down a treat with your little one. We’ve compiled a list of the top scooters available in toy stores and off of the internet today, take a look for some ideas and inspiration for your little one…

But, before we go into the different products that are available, it is important to stress that you must also teach your child about the importance of riding their scooter safely. A lot of parents have had to work with a trusted car accident lawyer because of their child being injured while out playing. You also need to make sure you invest in th correct safety accessories to go with the scooter too.

So, now, let’s take a look at some of the best scooters out there…

Ben 10 Ultimate Alien In Line Scooter

Ben 10 is a popular children’s television programme and if your child is a fan then this is certainly the scooter for him. The scooter itself is blue and boasts lime green handlebars and wheels. This design is eye-catching and is thus assured to be loved by your son. Moreover, it features an exciting and intricate alien graphic on the footplate. In addition to this, it is also worth noting that the scooter boasts a rear footbrake. It is suitable for those over the age of five years old and it has an adjustable handlebar height between 74 cm and 80 cm. 

Cosmic Light Scooter in Pink

Most little girls love pink and thus they are assured to love this scooter. It features a transparent footplate as well as bright pink wheels and bright pink handles. This scooter is assured to be the centre of attention. In addition to this it features three wheels rather than two, with the extra wheel being at the back of the scooter. This is extremely helpful because it helps your child with their balance and ensures a safer and easier riding experience. You are yet to learn about the best part of this scooter; the multi-flashing deck. 

Sponge Bob Scooter

If your child is a fan of Spongebob Squarepants then there is literally no better scooter for them than this one. The scooter is covered in images of Spongebob – even the handlebars feature mini images of the popular cartoon character on either side. This scooter is vibrant and eye-catching; it is one of the most exciting scooters on offer today. Moreover, this scooter is easy to fold away and store because of its simplistic fold and lock mechanism. 

My First Scooter

If you are looking to buy your daughter her first ever scooter then this is certainly a good option. It is bright pink in colour and boasts bright yellow handles and wheels. This is one of the most eye-catching scooters available today. Moreover, the scooter has four wheels – two at the front and two at the back. The wheels at the front are bigger than those at the bike. And this design is something which is extremely beneficial because it makes riding the scooter a lot easier. Furthermore, once your child feels comfortable on their scooter you can then remove one of the wheels, and then further remove another so that you are left with a two wheeled scooter. This saves you from buying another scooter once your child gets older.

As you can see, there are a lot of different scooters on the market today. If you are looking for a fun and exciting scooter for your child, you should have no trouble finding something that is going to put a massive smile on their face. However, it is vital to choose with care because you need to make sure you select a scooter that is age appropriate and is safe as well. When buying anything for a child, safety is always one of the main concerns, and a scooter is certainly no different. 

5 Activities That Encourage Children to Bond

5 Activities That Encourage Children to BondSpending time with friends is not only vital for a child’s happiness and wellbeing, but it also provides an ideal opportunity for them to develop crucial social skills. In this post, we’ll discuss a few activities — from team sports to laser tag for kids — that allow children to bond with one another. 

Every child is unique and will react positively to different activities and scenarios, so it’s important to explore the various options out there to find something that suits their needs and allows them to evolve both mentally and physically. Bonding with others is highly beneficial for children and can have a positive impact in many different ways, making finding things to do that encourage them to spend time with others well worth the effort.

  1. Team Sports

Let’s start with something that is and has always been a go-to activity for team building, socialising and fitness. Many of the world’s biggest sports are team-based, examples of which include football, rugby and basketball. Aside from the primary benefit of being extremely fun, they allow your children to meet new people, get in shape and learn how to work efficiently as part of a team. 

Although kids take part in these types of activities at school, finding teams or clubs outside of school can provide additional benefits, as they’ll be able to widen their social circle and may even take on a new long-term hobby.

  1. Laser Tag for Kids

Think paintball, minus the pain and with the added intrigue of modern technology, and you’ve got laser tag. An exciting, immersive experience that offers realistic combat scenarios in a safe environment, the nature of the sport is perfect for kids who are fascinated with action-packed films and television shows. More importantly, though, it’s an ideal alternative to video games that encourages kids to exercise and spend time outdoors.

So where does one go for a brilliant day of laser tag? GO Laser Tag London is one of the UK’s leading laser tag facilities. There, your children will be able to enjoy adrenaline-fuelled action and a variety of game modes while immersing themselves in an enormous forest battlefield. You’ll even get a free pizza for every player. Lunch and a fun day of laser tag — what more could your child want?

  1. Escape Rooms

Escape rooms have become more and more popular in recent years with both adults and children, as it’s not only an engaging experience that requires creative thinking, but it also demands the need for efficient teamwork. Problem-solving is an essential life skill that can benefit people no matter their age, but for children, these skills prove crucial throughout their education and career. 

A quick search online will give you a decent idea of what escape room experiences are near you, but if you’re looking for something special, it’s worth checking out some of the best escape rooms the UK has to offer.

  1. Hiking

Not all bonding activities require teamwork or a competitive environment. In fact, activities such as hiking can be an effective way of improving your child’s communication skills and fitness while encouraging them to explore the great outdoors. While on a hike, your kids will have plenty of time to engage in conversations with both children and adults. 

Whether they’re discussing everyday topics, navigating the terrain using a map or talking about something else, talking to others in real life, rather than online, is vital for the development of essential social skills and general confidence in social surroundings.

  1. Zorbing

The thin line between excitement and fear is one that many of us love to walk from time to time, and adrenaline activities offer children an engaging and unforgettable experience in a safe environment. One great example is zorbing, which consists of one or two participants getting inside a huge inflatable ball and rolling down a steep grass hill.

Although this is one of the more simple activities on the list, especially as it doesn’t really require any effort or teamwork, that isn’t to say that it’s not a brilliant bonding experience. There are also three different zorbing options to choose from; harness zorbing, aqua zorbing and black hole aqua zorbing. 

The “aqua” options involve 40 litres of water inside the inflatable sphere, which creates a waterslide-style experience with the added excitement of rolling down a steep hill. The black hole option is a blacked-out sphere, which creates an immense sensory two-person freestyle aqua ride unlike anything your children will experience at a theme park. Plus, the addition of water makes it perfect for cooling down during a hot day.

Let’s Celebrate! How To Throw A Perfect Kids’ Birthday Party

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No matter how confident you are in your parenting, there’s one thing that strikes fear into the heart of every parent: your child’s birthday party. Once they graduate from family parties to parties that seem to include every kid they’ve ever met, you know it’s going to be an extremely busy day! But there are definitely some ways that you can make it easier…

Pick A Theme

First of all, pick a theme. This will make the party more fun, and it will also allow you to personalise it for your kid, making it more memorable both for them and for the other kids who are attending. Choose something that your child loves, but make sure that it’s a theme that’s general enough to encompass a lot of different activities. For instance, if your kid loves dinosaurs, you could play a pin the tail on the dinosaur game, you could have the kids make their very own dinosaur tails, you could make dinosaur party hats. The possibilities are endless.

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Get Your Timing Right

It’s important to get your timings right. If your party is too short, your kid may get upset when it ends, but if your party is too long, the guests will get over-tired and fractious. Two hours is a great length for a kid’s birthday party. You should also do your best to keep the timings away from naptime, if your child is a little younger!

Include All The Kids

It’s important to make sure that if you’re inviting more kids than your offspring’s small group of friends, everyone is included. This includes the kids in your child’s class who may have special needs or learning difficulties. It is so important to ensure that they feel included, and chances are, you will have a friend for life in their parents, who will be delighted. Talk to their parents about whatever needs they may have, invite those parents along too if necessary, and make sure they’re included in the festivities.

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Talk To The Parents

It’s a good idea to talk to all the parents, not just those of kids with special needs. Note down any dietary requirements – and get some gluten and dairy free snacks, just in case! It may not be a terrible idea to ask the parents if they want to stay and hang out during the party if their kids are still young – provide coffee and snacks so they can relax and assist with their kid if emotions start to run high.

Don’t Be Afraid To Order In

Remember that you don’t have to do every single thing for this party yourself. If you’re not crafty, you don’t need to create handmade decorations. If you’re busy, why not hire a caterer? If you’re worried about making the perfect cake, look for companies like Anges de Sucre who provide a huge variety of cakes that are much prettier than anything an average parent could create! There is absolutely no shame in hiring a magician or entertainer instead of trying to corral the kids yourself. Don’t put yourself under unnecessary stress – life is far too short and you should try to enjoy the day as well. For the best balloon sculpting Singapore can offer, check local Facebook parenting groups. 

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Plan Out Activities

It’s a great idea to plan out some activities, and to have some contingency plans if they fall through. If you want the kids to spend some time running around in your back yard but then the heavens open and it starts to pour with rain, have a CD of kids’ music ready so you can play musical statues or musical chairs inside. Remember that a dance party is always fun for kids of any age too! 

Make Easy Goody Bags

Costs for kids’ parties can really add up, and you might be surprised at how much cash you need to push into your child’s fifth birthday – don’t even start thinking about that sweet sixteenth… If you want to provide goody bags at the end of the party, you don’t need to go big or expensive. A great idea is to buy a book for each kid – you can get cheaply priced books online. With a slice of birthday cake, this is ideal. You could also provide a few pieces of sidewalk chalk, a small tub of play-doh, or a slime-making kit for slightly older kids. Just remember not to provide anything that stains or that makes loud noises, or you definitely won’t be the most popular parent at the school gates the next Monday!

Kids’ parties don’t have to be as stressful as they may feel – these simple tips should keep it fun!

Here’s How You Secure Your Child’s Financial Future

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We all want our children to grow up and do well in life, and sometimes it’s possible to give them a helping hand with this. For instance, you could help them with their education to make sure that they get a head start. Read to them as often as possible when they are young and encourage them to always do their homework to a good standard once they start to go to school. It’s also worth spending time working on their social skills so that they can grow up into well-rounded and confident individuals. For instance, you might want to sign them up for nursery from an early age or arrange lots of play dates with your friends and relatives who also have children of a similar age.

Of course, it will also pay off if you help your children with finances.

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Start Saving For Them As Soon As They Are Born

One of the best things you can do to ensure that your children have a bright financial future is to start saving some money for them on a regular basis. You don’t have to save too much, but you might be surprised that even a very small amount could quickly add up for your kids. If you just save £10 for them every month from their birth to their eighteenth birthday, then you will be able to save £2160 for them. If you place these savings into a high-interest savings account, then they will also get quite a bit of interest paid onto them over the years, which should help the pot of cash grow even more. You will be allowed to open a bank account for a child as soon as they are born, and it really is something you should think about.

Take Out Some Life Insurance

It’s also a really good idea to take out some life insurance for yourself and your partner. This will help to protect both of your incomes should anything happen to you. For instance, if one of you were to suddenly pass away, then the life insurance will then pay out every month to replace all or part of the monthly income that was being brought into the family. This way, your family wouldn’t also have to deal with any money issues while they were grieving and dealing with the loss.

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Write Your Will

haven’t already, you should also think about making a will. It may not be the most pleasant thing to think about, but it will be super beneficial for your family. In the will, you will state how you want your money and estate divided up between your loved ones in the event of your death. For instance, you can say that you want your money split up equally between your partner and your children. You can also state who will inherit any property that you own. The will will make it a lot easier for everyone once you do pass away. They won’t be able to argue the terms of the will, so there won’t be any debate regarding who gets what. Not only that, though, but it also ensures that your children get what you want them to, as no one will be able to state any claim to what they are due to inherit.

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Think About The Potential Cost Of University

There’s a chance that your kids might want to go university to get a good education in order to further their careers. This is a really good path for them to take, however it can be really expensive. The cost of university has been gradually increasing for the past decade or so, and there is no sign that it will be reduced anytime soon. So, this is going to be an expense that you will need to prepare for. If you can afford to, it’s worth saving up for it as soon your kids are born. You could start a separate savings account for your child alongside one for general savings. This could be a good idea even if your kids decide to not go to university after all – at least they will still have these savings that they could put towards a house deposit or their first car.

Talk To Your Children About Money From An Early Age

As well as making all of these financial preparations for your children, it’s also a good idea to be open with your discussions about money. You should explain why it is so important to save as much money as possible. It’s also necessary to teach them the concept of interest so that they know to always look for the bank accounts that will offer them the best interest rates. Make sure that you talk to your children about various financial products as well, such as loans, credit cards, and investment opportunities.

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Avoid Loans And Credit Cards

You should talk to your children about loans and credit cards so that they are aware of them, but it’s best to try to discourage them from using them once they become financially independent. If they do start to use these kinds of products, they will be a lot more likely to end up accidentally sliding into debt and with huge bills to pay. So, make sure that your kids are aware of the fact that there are some financial products that they need to be wary of.

Give Them A Piggy Bank

Piggy banks may seem quite old fashioned these days, but they are a great resource when you need to teach your kids about the basics of money. They will be able to save up any change that they are given. Eventually, if they leave it for long enough, they will have a nice little pot of money to use however they want. By doing this, it’s a great way to show them just how useful saving money can be.

As you can see, teaching your kids about the basics of good money management can be incredibly easy. This should help secure their financial futures!

 

The Importance of Family Dental Hygiene

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Just recently, all four of us had our yearly check up at the dentist. Husband and I were given the thumbs up by our dentist, who said we’re obviously taking good care of our teeth and practising proper dental hygiene, but he had a few notes for the girls.

Sausage needed to include her gums when she’s brushing, because her gums bled slightly when the dentist prodded at them (something they don’t want to see) and BB was told she’s doing a good job but she needed to make sure she’s including her whole mouth when she brushes, not just at the front. He also said it would be a good idea to visit an orthodontic clinic in the net few months as Sausage is getting to the age where a decision about braces can be made.

A lot of people don’t realise, but poor dental hygiene can actually lead to a whole load of other health problems, not all of which will be in your mouth – it can even put you at risk of a heart attack. Here are some serious health problems, from the NHS website, which can start with poor dental hygiene:

  • Gum disease dangers

    Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It’s mainly caused by bacteria from plaque build-up. In some people who are susceptible to gum disease, the body over-reacts to the bacteria around the gums and causes too much inflammation. In others, the inflammation doesn’t clear up properly. The result of the intense gum inflammation is that it also affects the bloodstream, and is believed to slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long period of time.

    What’s the damage?

    Gum disease has been linked to a variety of other health problems, including:

    • heart disease and heart attacks
    • diabetes and its control
    • stroke
    • rheumatoid arthritis

    Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, explains: “The link between oral health and overall body health is well documented and backed by robust scientific evidence. Despite this, only 1 in 6 people realises that people with gum disease may have an increased risk of stroke or diabetes. And only 1 in 3 is aware of the heart disease link.”

So how do we get kids to take their dental health seriously? Obviously we don’t want to scare them with tales of heart disease and diabetes, but impressing upon them how important it is to keep their mouths in good shape can be the difference between a life of good health and serious ongoing issues. 

Start As You Mean to Go On

Establishing a good routine from an early age is essential to getting kids to see tooth brushing as part of their daily activities. You can start brushing teeth as soon as they erupt, using a special baby toothbrush with no paste. Help them to make a game of brushing by doing it to music and letting baby have a go of doing it themselves. If they see tooth brushing as fun, they’re far more likely to want to do it.

Get An App

There are loads of apps out there which have built-in timers to ensure kids brush for the correct amount of time and also often have fun songs or animations which your kids can brush along with. Have a look in your device’s app store to find one suitable for you.

Offer a Reward

Giving your child a reward for brushing should be a regular item in a parent’s arsenal, but the reward that works best will depend on your child’s age and interests. Someone under the age of eight, for example, may be receptive to a funny bedtime story before lights out – but only after he brushes. For an older child, a good reward might be letting him watch an episode of a favourite TV show between brushing and bed.

Remember, good dental hygiene doesn’t just happen in the bathroom – what they eat and drink can also be a contributing factor. People are mostly aware that fizzy drinks and sugary sweets are an issue, but a lot of people fail to remember that fruit and milk also have high sugar and acid contents, which can also attack the enamel of teeth.

If your kids eat fruit or drink milk, make sure they clean their teeth afterwards and try to give only water before bed as the lack of saliva  in the mouth during sleep means that it’s even easier for the tooth decay to occur.