January 29, 2009

Hyper-parenting and the taste of crow?

The source of my most recent humbling is a pledge made several years ago that I would never hyper-parent my children.

Hyper-parenting, you may recall, is the term coined years ago by a psychiatrist describing parents who over-schedule their children in an attempt to enrich their lives. They drag them from one activity to another, always keeping something on the schedule.

As it turns out, experts say this is bad for both the children and their parents. I frequently belittled those parents and felt quite superior in my parenting skills. I hesitate to go so far as to call myself supercilious, but I was knocking at its door.

Full story: Dad has to eat his words about parenting … again

January 20, 2009

Obamas set parenting guidelines

Seven-year-old Ava Childers will soon be responsible for making her own bed every day.

And she can thank the Obamas for that.

Ava’s mother, Danita, got the idea after hearing that the soon-to-be first daughters, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, are required to make their own beds in the morning.

“I hadn’t given her any chores … and I just mentioned it to my husband,” says Danita Childers, recalling their recent parenting discussion. “Maybe she’s old enough to do something like that.”

Like others across the country who are looking to the Obamas as parental role models, the Childers family of Chicago’s South Side are eating up stories about the Obama family’s values — from the girls’ 8 p.m. bedtime to the president-elect’s “Harry Potter” reading nights to the task of selecting a pet dog.

Full Story: Obamas set parenting guidelines

January 2, 2009

Obesity Starts Earlier Than You Think

“If you want to reduce the likelihood of obesity in your children, start thinking about the hormonal consequences of your diet, before your child is ever born. He or she will be thankful that you did” – Dr. Sears.

New York, NY (PRWEB) January 1, 2009 — Recent reports have indicated that childhood obesity is set in place by the age of five, but, “Actually, it starts in the womb,” says Dr. Barry Sears, one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of diet on hormones and gene expression.

Dr. Barry Sears says obesity has a strong genetic component and starts in the womb. Bestselling author of The Zone, he founded MedWell Foods to help people lose weight. His new book is Toxic Fat.

“Obesity has an exceptionally strong genetic component. Couple that genetic predisposition with the wrong hormonal mix in the womb, and the child is destined to a life-long struggle against obesity and its health consequences,” added Dr. Sears, whose MedWell Foods was founded to help people lose weight.

“One solution to this problem is to make sure that the mother is controlling the dietary environment of the child,” said Dr. Sears. “Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, as it is likely that the mother has the same genetic predisposition as the child in the womb and more than likely is eating the types of junk food that ensures an obese child.”

Dr. Sears rose to prominence when he wrote The Zone, a New York Times #1 bestseller. He also wrote Toxic Fat, the just released book about obesity that addresses the causes of obesity and offers solutions to help people struggling with their weight.

Dr. Sears says, “It is often easier to change one’s religion, than to change their diet.”

Therefore, he set out several years to invent a new technology that could provide healthy comfort foods that would alter the gene expression of both the mother and the child in the womb.

He founded MedWell Foods, which offers products that are a result of new food technology that allows the production of once “forbidden” foods that normally cause people to gain weight, such as breads, pasta and desserts that now have been developed to decrease hunger instead of promoting it.

“By simply substituting the MedWell equivalent for the foods that people like to eat, you are ensuring a dramatic increase in appetite suppression along with beneficial changes in the genes that would otherwise promote obesity.”

MedWell food products can be ordered directly from the company at Medwell123.com.

December 24, 2008

Teaching Kids About Money For Life-Long Healthy Financial Habits

Kids catch onto the importance of money in life pretty quickly as they watch us use it. The way to show your child the value of a dollar is by teaching them the different ways a dollar is used.

Begin When They’re Young

Begin explaining to your child how money works from a young age. It’s important for kids to know you get money by earning it. Items (or services) in life are given in return for money, and the value or worth of that item varies according to the seller. If you do not have enough money, you can not purchase the item.

A follow-up to this is talking about saving money. A child with a couple dollars could go buy a piece of candy (that’ll be gone in 10 seconds) or an inexpensive toy (that will be broken in 10 minutes or completely forgot about the next day). However, if that child decides to save those dollars, a better item can be purchased that may have more meaning and last longer.

Have A Savings Plan

One way to teach children about savings is setting a percentage they should save every time they earn money. Ten percent is an easy sum to learn; simply move the decimal point one space to the left. For every $1.00 earned, $0.10 will be saved ($23.48 earned, $2.34 saved).

This savings isn’t for a better short-term item, but for a “rainy day” or even a car or college fund. The remaining $0.90 can be used for the candy or “better item” as mentioned above. This principle can teach the child self discipline for very long-term savings (i.e. a house or retirement when they’re an adult).

Sure, a six-year-old won’t understand the “rainy day” concept, and driving in ten years may be discouraging. But after saving 10% over the years, it’ll add up. This teaching is especially helpful when they get their first job and are already in the habit of saving that 10% for long-term use.

You might also set aside a certain percentage for charitable giving, so kids can also learn about this important aspect of managing money.

As Your Child Grows

When your child is more mature, take him or her to the bank with you and open a line of savings in their (and your) name. Once or twice a month, take your child to the bank so they can deposit their money into their account. Let them see the bank statement and watch how their money is growing with the help of interest.

Interest is a huge part of using money. Either it’ll make you pay more than what your item was originally worth (credit) or it can help you make more money. Teenagers need to understand that unless you can pay off that debt within 30 days, you’ll actually be paying more for your purchased item.

One way to show how detrimental or great interest can be is by doing some role-play. Pick an item your teenager currently wants to purchase on a credit card. Make a chart showing how making only the minimum payment affects the total debt (you’ll also need to explain APR), how long it takes to pay off the debt with minimum payments, and how much interest is paid in total.

On that same note, take the number of months it took to pay off the credit card and show how much interest he/she’d be making in a savings account while putting money away to save for that item. The amount of interest isn’t much, but the point to make is if you save money to purchase the item, you will only pay that sum without the additional cost of interest.

When children understand how money works they’ll (hopefully) be more inclined to use responsibility when making money decisions.

Laura Nelson-Smith is the resident editor of Career & Finance at Schmoozins – an online magazine for women that gives all women a voice. Join us as a contributor, schmoozer or just hang out a while.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Laura_Nelson-Smith

December 16, 2008

Lessons From a Single Mom

An incredibly heart-warming story of courage and perseverance and strength. A must-read.

My daughter was born 33 years ago. I did everything more traditional. I worked full-time. My daughter had before-school and after-school care. She was a latchkey kid in fourth grade. We lived in a small block where everyone looked out for her. She went to private school and now is a nurse. It was more traditional for her; I was paying for child care where needed.

….

With my second daughter, my oldest was in her first year of nursing school; she was 18. I just knew that I didn’t want to do things the same way. I would turn 40 when she was born. I couldn’t see going through the same thing. I would have had to work a job and a half to put her through school and do the different things that I’d done with my oldest child, and I didn’t have the support I had with the oldest child. A lot of things had changed. Not as many women were staying home. Families had ventured out. Two to three generations were no longer living in the same house.

Full story: Lessons From a Single Mom