Category Archives for "Parenting"

Child’s First Pet: Which Should You Go For?

There comes a time in every parent’s life when their child makes that one request we all dread: can I get a pet? The question comes right from the heart, so really, we should be glad. But it’s also one of the most difficult questions to answer because nobody knows quite how well it is going to go. Will they take to the pet? Or will it fall by the wayside like every other thing they shown an interest in. Well, there’s a few good gateway pets to take a look at to test the waters of your little one’s pet-loving ability. Take a look at our conclusive list of starter pets for parents to consider.

Fish

A fish is always the easiest to start off with because – and no offence to said fish – that’s where the least collateral damage lies within the animal kingdom. If your child doesn’t take to a fish, they’re never going to take to anything bigger, never mind a dog or a pony. If you get all of the right equipment you can even sell it on if you child becomes bored. A tank, some decorations and a filter, and you’re ready to start this experiment! If you’re concerned about buying the right products, we recommend a canister filter over power filters and so does Tankarium.

Guinea Pig

A little bigger than a fish but also a little more playful. If your child decides they like this then that opens up all sorts of possibilities. These animals are best for children a little older as they can often scurry off out of control. The kid being old enough to tell you where it went would be a great bonus. There’s very little needed to a guinea pig too. A cage, some wood-chips and a toy ball and you’re golden to go. Watch your child’s eyes light up at the sight of these little guys!

A Budgie

This is pretty much the same with any small bird, but these make great first pets. Apart from the fact that you don’t do too much, they’re the perfect amount of effort for a kid. They can get the bird out and play with it if they want, but failing that they’re also happy to sit on their branch and keep themselves entertained. Something which we often wish our children would do. They’re widely available from local pet stores, too, and at a relatively low cost, they’re ideal candidates for the first pet lottery.

Dog

OK so this would be going in straight to the deep end, but honestly speaking, the pets further back in the list don’t exactly command the same level of excitement and kinship towards you and your child like a dog does. The bigger, more active animal might be the best way to introduce your child to a world where animals need a decent level of attention. It might also be a good pet for you too, and a chance for you and your kid to bond over something with a joint level of love.

May 1, 2017

Tips to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night

Child Sleeping

Once your child is out of a crib and into a bed of their own, bedtime become a whole new adventure. You never know what could happen when you put them to bed. They might decide that it is a good day to stay awake all night. Or they might get lonely, climb out of bed, and come join you. Although there is no foolproof method of getting your child to stay in bed all night, there are a few tips that may come in handy.

Create a Nighttime Ritual

Taking A Bath Before Bedtime

Children like routine. They enjoy having the same events happen at a certain time every day, because it lets them know what they are supposed to be doing. This can be as simple as doing the same things in the same order every night. For instance, bath time is followed by brushing teeth. Then it is story time, and finally bedtime. Having the same cycle of events can put them on track for a good night’s sleep. They will be expecting the bedtime to come at the same time, and they will be already growing sleepy.

Add a Mattress Topper to Their Bed

Adding Topper To Kids Mattress

Some children have the problem of overheating during the night. Some combination of high temperatures, humidity in the air, and clothing that is too warm can cause children to have night sweats. This can make them wake up due to the discomfort. A solution for cooling mattresses is to add a mattress topper. These have cooling properties which allow the sleeper to be relieved of the overheating problem. As well, toppers add another layer of bedding to the mattress. Children will be more comfortable, and therefore more inclined to stay in bed until they fall asleep.

Add an Aquarium to the Room

Aquarium

This might sound like an odd suggestion, but there is reason behind it! Aquariums produce a soft glowing light. This can be a comfort to a child who is afraid of the dark. Simply having that light, and the soft noise of the pump can be all that it takes to keep your child in bed. Just having the knowledge that they are not alone in the dark room can be enough to curb a child’s fears. They will also be able to watch the creatures swim around in the aquarium, which will lull them into dreamland soon enough.  

Conclusion

Training your child to sleep through the night can be an exhausting task. When they have their own bed, it is easy for them to continually climb out of it. However, stick to a routine and find a method that works for you and your child. Perhaps all it will take is putting them to bed at exactly the same time very night. Or maybe you will need to look into products such as mattress toppers or aquariums to add to the child’s bedroom. A simple solution may be the answer to countless restless nights.

How to Manage Gun Ownership Responsibly as a Parent

Gun Owner

There are a number of valid reasons to own a gun. From target practice and hunting to protection and more, you could easily find that owning one can provide the combination of joy and peace-of-mind that increases your overall quality of life. Whether you have long owned a gun or are considering purchasing your first, you’ve likely taken the time to consider the fact that firearms in a home with children does pose certain risks that must be taken into consideration.

Kids are curious, and it’s not uncommon for them to explore firearms simply because they are shrouded in so much mystery. There are a few things you should be doing to ensure yout right to bear arms and duties as a parent don’t clash.

Talk to Your Kids

The most important thing you can do to employ proper gun ownership as a parent is to talk to your kids. We often fail to give them credit for their ability to take responsibility. Rather than just telling them to leave your guns alone and increasing their curiosity, let them know exactly what can happen when they’re played with. In fact, it can even prove beneficial when you take them out for supervised target shooting if you feel they’re mature enough to do so. You should also prepare them on  what to do if they ever encounter a gun without adult supervision such as:

  • Keep their hands off the gun
  • Flee from the area.
  • Make an adult aware of the situation.

While it can be valuable to teach older children more about firearms, if you have younger children, it’s important that you keep your guns out of reach. Use your own common sense to gauge your child’s ability to fully absorb the realities of the dangers guns pose before you allow them to engage in use.

Purchase a High-Quality Gun Safe

Stack On Gun SafeMost of the time your gun won’t be in use. That’s what makes it so important that you take time in figuring out the best way to store gun. People have long used a number of methods such as hanging them on the wall or placing them in a closet. While this makes it more difficult to get into the wrong hands, it’s still highly possible.

When you invest in a high-quality gun safe, however, you get the peace-of-mind of knowing that your gun is safely tucked away. Thanks to technological advancements, you can now take advantage of special features such as electronic locks that are much easier to use. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality product. When you take time to read reviews from real customers, you can locate a quality safe that both meets your expectations and offers the specific features that work best for you.

Educate Yourself

Educate YourselfIn order to be a good teacher, you, yourself, must be educated. When it comes to gun responsibilities, you must ensure you know your gun like the back of your hand. Just a few things you should do to ensure you fully understand each firearm you own include:

  • Carefully read the instruction manual
  • Be aware of how to safely open and close the gun action
  • Know how to properly remove ammunition

In order to pass knowledge onto your kids, you must first possess it yourself. By taking the time to enlighten yourself, you can better ensure you know how to talk to your kids about gun use and safety.

You Can Own a Gun With Children in the Home

Guns have a bad reputation, especially in this day and age. With the ability to quickly share information no matter where you are in the world, we see some of the most horrible scenes play out before our eyes. However, it’s easy to overlook the fact that these types of situations aren’t the norm. In fact, gun owners very rarely have to use their gun as they can inflict the fear necessary to avert problems such as burglaries and attacks simply by brandishing one. Just a few other interesting facts you probably didn’t know include:

  • There are around 270,000 civilian firearms in the United States.
  • Nearly a quarter million sexual assaults are avoided using guns.
  • Three in five felons polled reported they’d they’d leave armed victims alone

It’s clear to see that owning a gun can put the power in your hands when it comes to the safety and well-being of your family. While the risk of accidents will exist, you can significantly minimize your chance of experiencing these kinds of problems when you employ these helpful tips. You can own a gun with children in the home. It just takes a little action on your part to ensure you’re a responsible gun owner and parent.

Keeping Firearms In A Gun Safe And Out Of The Reach Of Children

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Our children are the most important things in our lives. Every day, they are exposed to germs, bullies, car accidents, viruses, and honestly the list is endless. Keeping them safe and out of harm’s way is one very important job that we have when it comes to raising our children. We obviously can’t keep them safe from every tiny thing, but we can try our hardest to keep them away from what can hurt them the most.

Vaccinations

Child Vaccination

Vaccinations are a hot topic these days. There are a certain amount of parents around the world that are against vaccinating their child because they don’t think it’s necessary and that it just causes more harm than good. Personally, I’m pro vaccination and here’s why.

All vaccines are carefully reviewed by doctors and the federal government to ensure they are safe. They are meant to protect children from illnesses and complications of diseases that could have easily been prevented by a vaccine. These diseases can result in:

  • Amputation of an arm or leg
  • Limb paralysis
  • Loss of hearing
  • Convulsions
  • Damage to the brain
  • Death

Everyone has their own beliefs, which is fine, but vaccines can protect your child better than no vaccines from measles, mumps, whooping cough, and other diseases that may be brought over from foreign countries.

Guns

This is another hot topic. Guns are becoming an increasing problem here in the United States. At the end of 2015, 265 children had gotten ahold of a gun and shot themselves or someone else by accident. This is an alarming statistic, but a preventable one.

If you have guns in the home that are unprotected, now is the time to find the top gun safes you could possibly have. These are storage units for all of your firearms that can either be mechanically or electronically locked, leaving the guns out of reach of little hands.

Television Violence

Boy Watching Tv

It’s hard to stop it, but violence on the television is a growing concern. No matter what your child is watching, there’s some kind of violence going on at some point in the show. When children watch it, they have a tough time processing what’s real and fake, especially if they’re under the age of 8. It has become such a problem in Canada that the American Academy of Pediatrics want primary-care providers to be in a position to counsel children on media violence.

If you think that your child is being exposed to too much television violence, there are some precautions that you can take to ensure that they aren’t becoming anxious, stressed, or worried:

  • Choose age-appropriate content.
  • Restrict screen times
  • If violence is viewed or discussed in school, talk with your child about it after school hours and reassure them about systems and laws put into place to protect against that violence.
  • Have open communication with caregivers and teachers of your child. Make sure they let you know if they notice a change in behaviour with your child.
  • Check for emotional reactions during violent media coverage if they are watching it.
  • Encourage positive TV viewing such as inspiring, encouraging, and teaching shows.
  • Address any changes in behaviour with your child’s primary care physician.

This past year has been one of the worst in many years for news coverage. It’s  not surprising that children who watch the news with their families are having negative reactions afterwards. If this is happening, limit their viewing time or don’t let them watch it at all.

Conclusion

As said earlier, we can’t protect our children from everything, but we can try our best to keep them safe from what’s in our control. Guns, violence, and germs are all things that we can control in our homes. We all parent in different ways, but we all strive to protect our kids whether we agree with laws and systems or not.

November 5, 2016

Common Blunders New Parents Make Raising Children

Being a parent is not an easy job. I have three children, and I still have not mastered the art of raising them properly. With our first child, Jesse, we did anything and everything we could to ensure that he was coddled and well-cared for. He had the best of the best, and our wallets took a hit. We thought that he had to have every gadget and gizmo out there. Of course, we were very young and had no clue about raising babies. I was only 20, and I had no clue what parents were all about.

Letting Them Stand on Their Own

One of the biggest mistakes that new parents make is rushing to the child every time they whimper. When he cried, we held him, which is a huge mistake. By the time I got to my second child, Madelyn, she pretty much could cry for about 5 five minutes before I would go to her. And, by the time the third one rolled around, Noah, well, he just kind of cried himself to sleep nightly.

child-cryingTeaching children that they need to have ways to cope starts in the cradle. Parents who continuously rush to their child’s aid will never teach them anything in life, no matter how hard they try. Even though I am only 30 years old, I still have friends whose parents cater to their every whim. It really is a bad pattern to break.

They Don’t Need Stuff

I mentioned before that Jesse had all he could ever want. Now, when he came home from the hospital, his crib was a name brand that cost over $1,000. Do you honestly think that child slept any better in that crib than one from a discount store? The thing is that I tried to show my affection by purchasing things. Parents always get caught up in the latest toys, clothes, and technological gadgets. Again, this is another pattern that doesn’t seem to stop anywhere in life. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to kids.

Showing Love

mother and babyWith my first and second child, I was all snuggles and hugs. However, by the time my third one came around, I had to go back to work to pay for all the diapers and such. I didn’t get as much time with Noah as the other two. I regretted that because I don’t feel he and I are as close as I would like. I don’t have as many hours with him, and I have learned he doesn’t need so much stuff. What many parents don’t make a habit of is telling their children how much they love them. Hugs and kisses as well as “I love you” should be said and done every day. You can’t buy your child’s affections.

Thinking Bad Behavior is Cute

Wow, this topic really hits close to home. I already told you that I felt like Noah didn’t get much of my time. So to make up for my feelings of failure, I let him get by with way more than the others. Keep in mind, this is also common by the third or subsequent child too. Noah would say a dirty word every now and again. We would laugh at his little slip of the tongue. However, by the time he went to kindergarten, his dirty words landed me, and him, in the principal’s office. He also had a habit of yelling “shut up.” He had a small lisp, and it was so funny to hear him say the “s” sound. Once again, my husband and I laughed and thought it was funny. However, his teachers don’t take too kindly to being told such a thing.

Learning To Relax

family-1016311_640What they say is true, kids don’t come with instruction manuals. Parents have to wing it. However, remembering that we are trying to mold them into upstanding citizens should always be in the back of our mind. We teach them bad habits from the cradle that can follow them through life. Most of the time, we overcompensate for our shortcomings and our childhoods, and we give them complexes and problems they don’t need. As a parent, I can honestly tell you, we need to relax. My third child, the one who didn’t get as much, is much more well-rounded, which only proves my theory. My first one, he still thinks the world should be handed to him. I guess when we get it right, they will be raised and gone.