Monday, 27 February 2017

Having Fun With Your Children Is Not Negatively Influencing Them

There’s a huge misconception about what is a bad influence and what is overprotective parenting. Of course, there are some blatant situations where your children’s friends or people they’ve met over the internet are having a negative influence on them. Child grooming is extremely dangerous if your children meet some rather questionable people on the internet, which is why there are so many parental controls on routers and computers to prevent this.

However, things such as playing video games, taking them to have fun outdoors and letting them get a little loud are not bad at all. In fact, children have so much energy that they need to release it at one point or another or else they’ll be stuck at home studying forever. You want your children to have fun and to enjoy life, make memories and friends, and ultimately feel comfortable.

Taking your children out

Many protective parents are far too concerned about taking their children out. As long as you’re monitoring them and taking them to controlled spaces to play games and have fun, such as Lakeside Karting to teach them the fun of driving, then you have nothing to worry about. Parents are worried about having their children taken away or kidnapped, or running into dangerous looking folk that will negatively influence their child. But sadly, unless you want your child to live a sheltered life where they never see the outside world, you’re going to have to take them out to experience life on their own instead of telling them about it in the safety of their home.

Video games being bad is a myth

Think about all the people this generation who are now young adults. They have jobs, they studied hard, some are entrepreneurs, and video games have made some YouTube content creators very wealthy. Video games are no worse than movies when it comes to consuming content, and even the effect of violent films is up for debate. Cartoons nowadays are very happy-looking, colourful and cheerful. However, if you consider the cartoons the previous generation was brought up on and try watching them, you’ll notice a huge amount of innuendos and questionable content that will make you think “did I really watch this when I was young?”. Exposing your children to video games doesn’t make them violent, it’s a media myth and is grossly exaggerated.

Exposing them to the world exposes them to career choices

Keeping your child locked indoors is a stupid way to protect them. The less they know about the real world, the harder it will be for them to live independently. If you’re serious about providing the best for your child then you would be wise to let them know about their options in life. Tell them about the things they can do when they grow up, show them places in the real world and expose them to everything life has to offer. The earlier you do this, the more chances your child has to develop a passion for someone that could eventually turn into a hobby, career or something even greater like a business.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Raising A Well Rounded, Compassionate Child

Nobody ever said that raising a child was easy, and more than a few have said that it’s, well, it’s more difficult than you could ever imagine. Ouch. We’re not going to disagree there. You won’t get everything right - sometimes it’ll feel like you’re not getting anything right - but if you do the right things, then it’ll eventually show in your child. Maybe not tomorrow, or a year from now, but when they’ve grown - which is how you should determine your success, not when they’re in the middle of growing! - you’ll see how they’ve benefited from your actions. And what will those actions be? I’m glad you asked...


The Outdoors

Too many children spend all of their either indoors or in a heavily built up area. As such, it can only be later in life when they spend any meaningful amount of time in an area that can be considered “the outdoors”. But you should be making sure that your child is able to spend time in the outdoors as they’re growing. It broadens their horizons, keeps them fit, and they’ll also acquire a string of useful life skills. On a more philosophical level, it’ll make them aware - consciously or not - of their broader position in the universe. And if that doesn’t make them behave...

Tolerance for Other Beings

Children can be pretty cruel, and it’s difficult as a parent to always be on top of how they’re interacting with others. There’s enough going on! But as adults, one of the few things that really matter is how you treat others. The earlier a person learns that they should treat all beings with compassion, the better they’ll take what they’ve learnt into adulthood. Buy your family a pet; it can be a fish from or a puppy, it doesn’t matter - they’ll inherently learn how to take care of another creature. Also make sure they know that all humans, from the cleaner through to the Royal Family, are equal and deserve respect. If everyone learnt that as a youngster, the world would be a much better place.

To Travel

We know that you have limited time to go on holiday, and you might just want to spend a week in the sun. That’s fine. But from time to time, try and go on a trip that exposes your son and/or daughter to a completely different culture. They’ll become a more worldly, well-rounded human being for it, and that’s crucial if they’re going to become a success in adulthood. Of course, also feel free to spend a day or two where you teach them the joys of doing nothing but lying next to a pool….

Following the Heart

As a parent, you want your child to be safe. After that, it’s only one thing that matters: their happiness! Instil in them the confidence to do whatever it is in life they want to do and they’ll be in the best possible position to live a happy, productive life full of passion. And now isn’t that nice?

A Guide To Choosing The Right School

Depending on the age of your children, you can be looking for a number of different things.  If they are just starting out you will have one set of priorities and for those going into further education you will have another.  We have pulled together a handy guide for finding the perfect school and giving your children the best start in life.

Consider Your Child

First question you should ask yourself is about your child.  Are they shy, extrovert or pretty laid back.  Do they make friends easily or prefer being in smaller circles.  Have they shown signs of being talented in one area or do they need a little extra support?  If you can get to grips with their needs and desires then you can start ticking schools of the list.  

At What Cost?

Making the decision to send your child to a private school is hard.  You need to ensure you can keep them in private education throughout their academic career because a switch could be far more dramatic than just simply changing schools.  However if you do have the opportunity to make this investment into their future then grab it with both hands.  The relationships between teachers and parents tends to be a closer one and most children will form better bonds with their teachers in a private education setting too.  

Are They Culturally Diverse?

This may seem like an odd consideration, but we need our children to have a balance of all cultures if we want them to grow up to believe in equality and understanding the differences between human beings.  Or perhaps you are in an ethnic minority yourself which means it’s even more important to find a school which has the correct attitude when it comes to respecting culture, religion and race.  Most schools will be incredibly focussed on these areas however it is still important to ensure their policies fit yours!

What Extracurricular Activity Do They Offer

School should of course be about work and results however it is also important they offer a good range of sports and relevant school trips to ensure our children get a rounded education of both academic subjects and the world surrounding them.  You may also want to find out if parents can assist on the trips or if there is any support for those on a lower income

Delivering Results

Obviously this is the most important factor for most.  How does the school perform when it comes to exam results?  Do they have a strong anti bullying policy and have they made that work?  You can get loads of facts about your chosen school via the internet or ask them to provide you with their statistics over the last few years.  Look for patterns and improvements.  Often a change in head teacher can make a huge difference to the performance of the pupils.  

Do plenty of research and take the time to visit as many of your local schools as you can.  Don’t forget to bring your kids along too and to talk to them about what they want.  It is the beginning of a long journey and the very start of their future as young adults.  

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Do You Understand Your Working Rights?

There are times when we can feel like the world is completely against us. Perhaps we had a bad day at work because we made a mistake, and then we come home and there’s more to think about and more worries such as money, our children or even our partner. Unfortunately, there’s very little we can do besides keep our chin up and keep working and providing in hopes that we have a good stroke of luck sooner or later.

Sadly, that rarely happens, but did you know that you’re probably missing out on a lot of external help? For instance, you could be entitled to benefits and welfare if you’re unable to provide for your child or if you feel like your job pays too little. There are many ways to get a helping hand in life and surprisingly many of them will come from your workplace or by the local authorities and government. To help you understand your rights as a worker, here are a couple of pointers to think about.

Paid Leaves

If you are feeling sick but don’t want to take time off work in fear that you might lose your job, then fear no more. There are many laws that protect workers from losing their jobs due to having a couple of sick days off and there are ways to continue getting paid despite not being at work as long as you have a valid reason to be off sick. Most employers also give their workers at least two to four weeks of paid leave, but this has to be discussed with your employer. Make sure you read your employment contract thoroughly and discuss your options with your boss.

There are also paternity and maternity leaves available for people who are expecting children or have children. According to Ellis Whittam, you can also get time off work if you plan to adopt a child. You can get up to a whole year off of work as long as you can state your reasons for taking time off work for your adopted child. There are some criteria to this, however, and you’re going to need to fully understand the terms and conditions should you ask for adoption leave from your employer.

Training Time

Many employers are also obliged to give new recruits time for training. For example, if you are an employee that works in a company with over 250 members of staff, you have the right to ask for time off work to undergo training that will help you become more productive in the workplace. Of course, the exact conditions and training need to be discussed with your employer, but there is actually no time limit on the amount of time you can ask for. However, it is usually up to your employer’s choice if you will be paid for it or not.

Health and Safety

Employers should be looking after their members of staff and have a high degree of care for their working conditions. This can be anything from proper seating and desks to work at, to having the right safety equipment for dangerous jobs such as construction or working with electricity. All workers also have a right to not work more than 48 hours a week because it can lead to negative effects on your health.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Home DIY Blunders: What To Avoid

Whether you are renovating your home completely or making some final DIY touches to your lovely abode, you are bound to come against some blunder along the way. There are so many things that can potentially go wrong with any project to do with your home that although it’s worthwhile planning, it’s always worth remembering to accept when things don’t go according to plan. I thought it would be wise to share with you some of the most common DIY blunders we can all be faced with at some stage in our lives and hopefully offer some reassurance and tips for quick fixes.


Deciding on a paint colour purely by how it looks on the tin

This can be a huge no-no when it comes to choosing paint colours. What it shows on a tin is never a true reality of what it will look like on the wall. For example, choosing a pastel grey and it looking more like a lilac than anything else. It can happen. So avoid this DIY blunder and save yourself a small fortune or unfortunate wall colours by investing in a few tester pots of your colour choices. Paint a small patch in different parts of the room to ensure that when the light catches it, you are happy with the finished and dried paint colour. You will thank yourself for this in the long run.

Appliances or tools breaking down on you when you least expect

Let’s be honest, the last thing anyone needs is your electronic chisel breaking while you are halfway through chipping away at plaster, or for your sander to stop working. Even things like needing a skip at the very last moment to clear your home of an old kitchen and bathroom. They can all cost money that sometimes we haven’t budgeted for. This is where you do have options that you could consider from places like Swift Money. Another option would be to consider having a contingency fund in place for incidents such as this.

Knocking a wall down that you shouldn’t have

Many DIY disasters happen because we attempt something we know nothing about. Of course, we want to take on much of the work ourselves to keep the cost of labour down, but this can potentially create a few DIY blunders that could have been avoided. One of the most common ones being knocking a wall down that you shouldn't have. Some walls in your home are classed as supportive, meaning they have a hand in ensuring the next level of your home stays safe. Knocking one of these down could cause a huge problem in your home. If you are unsure about anything like this best to leave it to the professionals.

Water problems

Water can cause huge damage even with the littlest drip. Sounds absurd but it is true. A leaking radiator, water being switched on when pipes are not connected correctly, they can all cause damp in your property that could open up further problems in regards to plastering and condensation in the property. Things like this again are perhaps best left to the professionals. But in most cases, just make sure you only switch on the water when you are sure all necessary repairs are done.