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How To Raise A Bilingual Child

Today, languages are highly valued and learning more than one language has a multitude of benefits. Parents are now doing their best to raise bilingual children. Considering the benefits that come with this, the million dollar question is how a parent should go about it. Although there is no specific way that this should be done, there are several ways that can be more effective. The most important thing is to choose a way that a parent believes is the best and be consistent with it.
Here are some tips from us on how to raise a bilingual child.

bilingual child

Use the rule of minority language at home and the community language outside

The best way to give children the gift of a new language is to make it a part of their lives. One of the best ways to raise a bilingual child is to follow the minority language at home, community language when outside. This simply means speaking the minority language when at home and when the kids go outside, they speak the most common language in the community. By using the minority language at home with parents and other family members, you will be strengthening the exposure of the child to the language.

One person, One language

One of the most popular ways of raising a bilingual child is using the one person, one language strategy. This means that each person at home speaks the same language which is different from the other person when conversing with the child. The child gets equal exposure in both languages. The most significant part of this strategy is to ensure that it is consistent and none of the persons should switch the languages they speak while conversing with the kid.

Listening to foreign music and watching the movies

Children are sponges for music, so a good way to let them absorb the language is through native language songs. You should get a large collection of music CDs and DVDs in the language you want your kid to learn. Play those CDs while you do some routine things such as cleaning up or getting ready to bed. Talk with your kids about the songs, explain them the meaning.  Reading books, flashcards, and doing activities related to the culture also help.

Time and place method

In this strategy, a parent makes a rule on when each language should be used. It could be that the first language is spoken 3 days a week while the second one is spoken 4 days a week or a specific language is spoken in the morning while the other one is spoken in the evenings. Also known as the Context Method, it basically depends on who the child is with or where they are. One important advantage about this strategy is that the child learns two languages at the same time and can speak any depending on the situation.

Enroll your children in a billingual school or after school language class

There are lots of bilingual schools in every US city and most of them are really good. Keep in mind that these schools are private so the cost of tuition fee can be really high. But, if your kid is already going to a private school, transferring to a bilingual one might not be much more expensive. And it’s definitely a better option for them. Having other kids their age learning and speaking together will help them feel comfortable with the language.

To conclude, raising a bilingual child can be a huge challenge to any parent considering that some kids can be a bit slow in grasping. As a parent, you need to be patient and persevering. A lot of effort is needed and you also need to be consistent so as not to confuse the little one. Don’t forget, the benefits of raising a bilingual child outweighs the difficulties that you might face along the way. In lots of non-English speaking countries around the world, kids are taught to be bilingual in their native language and English, so this idea is not so innovative and crazy.


How to Teach Kids to Save Money

Talking with kids about money can be a little awkward at times, especially if they don’t fully understand the concept. Decide on an age appropriate time and have that talk with them. Learning to handle money is just as important to learning the facts about life or drugs. You want your kids to be prepared for the future.

Here is how you can teach kids to save money.

teach kids to save money

Set A Good Example No Matter The Age

This is important if you want to teach kids to save money because managing money successfully is all about making good decisions. Maybe your child won’t understand your bank statement but you can use situations you come across in everyday life to talk to kids about money on their level. It is never too early to teach kids to save money.

When it comes to older kids remember they are very aware of your attitude toward money. They will notice if you talk about saving money daily but in the end all you do is make impulse purchases. Every time you put money in savings, talk about it why and how much you decided to put. If you put aside some of your tax refund for saving, show them the tax calculator you used to determine how much.  Think of it this way, you don’t want your kids to pick up bad habits like smoking or excessive drinking so you set the example by not doing those things. It’s the same with money management. Set a good example for your kids. If you think that you can’t save money and you live from paycheck to paycheck, you can check out great post on Mommy Edition. Jayme from that blog found 18 (yes, 18!!) ways you can save money on baby necessities like diapers or formula. Check out the post and get inspired.

As you can see, there are many ways to show your kids how to save money, even on some home necessities.

Give Your Child a Piggy Bank

This can be a great teaching tool for your young ones. Preschoolers like to hear the sound of coins dropping in and as they get older, school aged kids understand that as the piggy bank gets heavier, they’re saving money.

Saving goals shouldn’t be complicated. When the piggy bank is full, help your child count the money and let them spend some of it. This will help them learn goal setting and that sometimes in order to get what they really want, they have to save for it. This is the fun way to teach kids to save money. Encourage them to spend money on something fun but useful, as some nice books you can find in my post about best books for toddlers.

Give Your Older Child Increased Responsibility

Usually around the age of nine your kids can start paying for their own non-essential items like games or other toys. This will increase their incentive to save and make them think about how much they really want that action figure.

Introduce a Bank Account

Some banks like credit unions have accounts made especially for your child with special incentives like small prizes. They can learn to set aside their allowance and put it in their bank account for later. This a good way to teach kids to save money.

Teach Teens About Credit Cards

To most kids, a credit card is an easy and convenient way to pay for things but might not realize the extra costs associated with them. Explain how debit and credit cards are different and how credit cards can be used responsibly. Your teen should understand that using a credit card is like taking out a loan that has to be paid back.

Teach Your Kids About Online Shopping

Now that technology is giving us so much more to do, teaching your kids about online shoppingis becoming all too important. They should learn that entering personal information online is a risk because people can take that information and use money that isn’t theirs.

Make rules regarding online purchases. Explain to them who they have to ask and why a parent or guardian has to be there when there is a purchase to be made.

Learning to save money takes practices as we all know. We will make mistakes but those mistakes can turn into lessons that our children can learn from to become savvier adults.

Remember – it’s never too early to teach kids to save money!

*And just for full disclosure, there are affiliate links in this posts “How to teach kids to save money” That means that I’m sharing something that I think is helpful, and if you make a purchase through the link, I earn a little bit back. No extra cost to you, and just a little help for me to pay for the blog expenses.


The Pros and Cons of Pets for Children

There are a number of studies that prove having a pet is beneficial to a child’s emotional, social, physical and cognitive development. One such study that took place in the UK revealed how children who had a dog exercised dog exercised on average 11 minutes more every day than those who didn’t have one. Another study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics proved that young children who had contact with cats and dogs suffered less from respiratory and ear infections than those who lived without pets.

The Pros and Cons of Pets for Children

The Pros and Cons of Pets for Children

The responsibilities

As research appears to indicate, having a pet is beneficial to child development in many ways, which is why it’s important that we take care of our pets as best as we can. This means ensuring that they are fully covered by a pet insurance plan. It also means that we must be fully committed to the responsibilities of having a pet before we make the decision to have one. Even though our children will benefit from having a pet in the house, they might not be able to take full responsibility for its care. Ultimately we need to be ready to take care of our pets in the long-term. We must accept beforehand that the commitment won’t be minimal.

The main benefits

On the upside, running around and interacting with a pet can help children to develop strong motor skills. It can promote physical activity and keep them active. There’s also plenty of evidence to suggest that pets help children to socialize. Interestingly, when Dr. Lisa Wood conducted a study for the University of Western Australia, her findings revealed that cats and dogs are not the only pets that can help children become more sociable. Rabbits and snakes are just two of the household pets that also made the list.
The real beauty of a pet in terms of child development lies in the emotional support that it affords. Animals provide unconditional love and they never judge. They teach children to empathize with others and they provide safe environments in which to make mistakes and express true character without running the risk of not being accepted by others.
An interesting article published by ‘The Week’ also delves into the importance of pets for cognitive development. Children who read aloud to their pets are more likely to develop higher reading skills, according to the results gathered by a study that evaluated a group of second-grade children.

Possible cons to deal with

Even though dogs tend to be a real favorite with children, there’s always the risk of dog bites when small children are involved. There
are a number of breeds that are knowingly gentle with children – including golden retrievers, labradors and beagles – but the possible
risk never goes away and so children with pets must be carefully monitored.

Some parents may find that the death of a pet is an excellent learning curve for children to experience, while others may be concerned about the possible heartbreak that could come from losing a pet at a young age. While children under the age of two might only respond to the pet’s death if he or she senses the stress and sadness in other family members, children between the ages of 5 to 9 already begin to understand death as a permanent state of affairs. As such, the experience could be more traumatic for them.

Choosing the right pet

Choosing the right pet for your child is also very important. Cats and dogs are the most obvious choices, but turtles, birds, gerbils and fish are also great options to consider. While fish don’t offer the cuddly attention that dogs and cats provide, they are really easy for children to take care of and they require very little maintenance.
Birds, on the other hand, are very high maintenance. Their cages need to be cleaned regularly and if your child refuses to take on this responsibility in the long-term, it will become another weekly task to add to your already long list of household chores. The great thing about birds, however, is that they fly. This can be highly entertaining for young children and can get them interested in biology and animal development.

Likewise, Cats and dogs are playful, cheerful and adorable – and kids love them. Their veterinary check-ups, preventive care and maintenance are easier than the other animals. For more information, check out the resources at selfpetcare.

All in all, there are many benefits experienced by children who grow up with pets by their side; benefits that probably outweigh the causes for concern. The only real question you have to ask yourself is whether you are also willing to make a long-term commitment. Remember… a pet is for life.


Shopping for a family winter Break

Getting away for a few days in the winter is a great way for everyone to reconnect and have some fun together. It could be something simple like staying with relatives or a week’s skiing. It is a great way to bust the winter blues.

Regardless, of what type of winter break you decide to take you will need to be ready to cope with bad weather. Everyone needs to be able to wrap up warm and stay dry. That way the bad weather will not keep you indoors.

winter family break

Coats for the men and boys in the family

It is especially easy to find thick coats perfect for a winter break when you shop online. This year, for men and boys, parkas are still widely available. They are a bit shorter than last year’s, but just as warm. Look out for the insulated padded versions and polar jackets. If your partner and sons prefer to wear a lightweight jacket, that is OK. Provided you buy one that is big enough they can easily wear a hoodie or fleece underneath it on particularly cold days.

Warm trousers and tops

Jeans are a great option for a winter break. They are thick enough to keep the wind out, so you usually stay war. Plus, they are not prone to creasing. Another great alternative is jogging bottoms. Potentially, you can layer these items on very cold days.

When buying tops think about wearing them in layers. Combinations of t-shirts, shirts and jumpers of sweatshirts can all work, you just need to select the right colors and styles to be able to wear them in this way.

The right footwear

Boots are the ideal footwear option for a winter break. They are comfortable and provided you buy a pair with soles that are thick enough they will keep the wearer’s feet lovely and warm. If the boots you buy are not waterproof, you can find out how to use wax to sort that issue out by clicking here.

Coats for the girls

For girls and women, parkas are also very popular, this year. The fur-lined hood really makes a difference to how warm you feel wearing one. For extra warmth, buy a full-length version with a fur-lined collar.

Another option is a reversible puffa jacket or coat. They look great and are really versatile.

Warm dresses trousers and tops

Jeans are great, but not every girl wants to wear them or trousers. Fortunately, this year there are some lovely warm dresses available in the shops. Jersey is a great fabric. It hangs well, does not crease and offers plenty of freedom of movement. So, if your daughter wants to wear dresses look at the jersey ones first.

Good quality boots

For little girls, this year, sparkly boots are the big trend. They are fun and there is no reason not to buy them. You just need to make sure that they are well-made and that the sparkle is not likely to come off when they get wet. For women, this year’s big boot trend is ankle boots. They are really practical and work well whether you like wearing jeans or trousers.

You should also not forget the little items. Hats, gloves, scarves and warm socks are also essential. It is best to buy these last. This will make it easier to buy items that fit in well with the rest of the family’s winter clothes.

These are the basic items you need to make sure that everyone stays warm and dry. Now all you have to do is to plan your winter break. If your children are young, you should find this article I wrote about planning a holiday with a toddler helpful.


Unusual Parenting Techniques That Actually Work


Every child is hard-wired to mimic their parents (or caregivers) from the day they are born. It’s how they learn. What is more interesting is that in addition to imitating everything around them, children also mimic the breathing patterns of their caregivers. Why this isn’t taken advantage of more is a mystery but once you start to use these unusual parenting techniques, you won’t use any other.

Unusual Parenting Techniques

Unusual parenting techniques

Calming an Infant

Some nights your little one just won’t go to sleep. Instead of staying up all night trying every type of rocking motion, lullaby or the old school method your mother told you about, lay in bed with your child. Deep breathe slowly in and out for about five minutes. Eventually, she won’t be able to help but copy your deep breathing as well, and that will put your baby right to sleep.

Toddler Temper Tantrum

Tantrums no longer have to be a nightmare. Get as close as possible to your toddler, talk slowly to them and breathe deeply, nice and slow. Pretty soon your child will be calm. Tantrum over.

Older Children

There will be days where your child is over stimulated or just can’t calm down. Talk to them in a slow manner while you are deep breathing. Even the older children will mimic your breathing. Soon they will get out of that frustrated, over excited stage and calm right down.

We’ve all been there. It’s the end of the day, we’re tired, the kids are wired and we instinctively yell at them to calm down. When that happens our blood pressure rises, our breathing gets rapid and the kids see that. They react in the same way so it’s important to be mindful of our actions and of our breathing to keep the calm in order.

I love finding interesting tips and tricks on Quora and that is where I found this unusual parenting techniques too. See, it’s all about the breathing. These unusual parenting techniques won’t work for everyone, but who knows, maybe you will discover that they work for your kids! Try them!


Top tips when purchasing clothing online

Many are the times that many end up getting excited when they realize how the internet has made it easy to get desirable items. Within no time and in the comfort of your home or office, you can have the item that you want to be delivered to you. While it is true that the internet and online shopping has made things easier and more straightforward, many often forget to consider some factor and end up getting a bad deal, which ruins the whole experience. For instance, clothing. When it comes to clothing, the very first thing that you should take into consideration is the size, among many other factors. Below are some top tips when purchasing clothing online.

The very first thing that you should do is ensure that you are in the perfect mood to do some online shopping. If you are feeling exhausted and not up to the task, you may end up getting an item that you will not be pleased with and which you never bought. Shopping has always been a practice that is exciting for ladies. As such, you should only sit behind your computer or laptop when you feel you are in the shopping mood.

As stated earlier, the size is a crucial factor to consider. This is especially when you are looking to buy a bra, shirt, trouser or skirt. You should, therefore, ensure that you have your updated size before you make your pick. If you are not sure of the scale, you can visit some sites that will walk you through how to determine your bra size.

After determining your size, the next thing that you should do is identify the budget that you have. You should always remember that online shopping is more like a vast ocean and you will be bombarded with different labels that range from affordable to highly expensive. Therefore, before you run for your credit card number and buy a particular piece, take a time out and come up with your spending budget.

However, considering your budget does not mean that you should settle for something that is cheap as this can profoundly affect the quality of the product, and you end up uncomfortable wearing it. Also, pieces that are made out of poor quality do not last and tend to wash off after one wash.

If you are shopping for specific clothing, it is advisable that you first determine the outfit. Go to your closet and pick out the outfit that you want to pair the clothing too. This will make it easier to pair and match.

Also, if you will be buying online, you should try as much as possible to shop in bulk as this will enable you to get discounted prices. Also, before you make a purchase always check to see if there are offers within the site that you are shopping from.

This last tip that will come in real handy when buying clothing online: do not get carried away by the moving pictures that the sites may have put up for advertisements as you may end up getting something that you will not even wear.