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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

20 of the Greatest Blogs with Fun and Fabulous Ideas for the Perfect Graduation Gift

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Do you know someone graduating this spring?  You are probably wondering what to buy for the graduate.  Try to keep in mind what the next step is for the graduate.  Is he going on to college in the fall or out to get a job?  If he’s moving out of the house he may need items for his new place.  If he’s going job hunting he may need a suit and other dress clothes for interviews.  You may just want to get something sentimental like a personalized watch or necklace that he will always have to remember his special day.  These 20 blogs will help you determine what the right gift might be, whether you’re buying for a guy or a girl.  You may end up just giving him money and if so you may want to check out the blog posts about unique ways to give cash.

Guys

For some reason guys can be hard to buy for.  Men like gadgets so maybe you could get him a new cell phone, a laptop for college or a tablet.  Personalized items like a stadium blanket for those games that he will inevitably go to see or cuff links so that he can look very stylish at his interviews.  These five blog entries will help you choose something for your male graduate.

Girls

Sometimes girls are easier to buy for, but only because girls like technology, fashion, travel, and cars just like the guys so there’s a wider range of things to buy.  Take a look at some of these ideas for your female graduate and see if you get any ideas.

Unisex

Many items are unisex such as luggage, alarm clocks, docking stations for music as well as many other things.  These kinds of items might be good for the graduate that you aren’t too sure what they’re interests are, the last thing you want to do is to buy a gift that won’t get used.  Check out the ideas on these five blog articles and see if you can find any clues as to what you should buy.

Monetary

If all else fails you can give the graduate cash, but no one want to just hand over the cash because it will be combined in a pile with other cash and pretty much forgotten.  If you want to make something unique glance through the ideas on these five blog posts because they show a bunch of different ways to give cash as a gift that will make it far more memorable.

Posted in Education, Teens | Comments Off

20 Blogs with Different Ideas on How to Make May Day Baskets with Your Preschooler

Monday, April 15th, 2013

May Day baskets, which Romans and Druids exchanged when they celebrated the sign that Spring was turning into Summer, have been around for centuries. The tradition of making and leaving baskets by the doors of your friends to celebrate May Day is experiencing a comeback.  If you would like to make May Day baskets with your child, there are many different types you can choose from.  You can add an updated spin to this time-honored tradition by making your baskets out of recycled items, which will also help you keep it green this year.  Or, if you want to be different, you can make one of the non-traditional May Day baskets.  There are plenty of quick baskets to make that are simple enough for your preschooler to help with.  If you remember making May Day baskets when you were little, you might prefer to make baskets like you did back then and go the more traditional route.  No matter which type of basket you choose, you can find some help in one of these 20 blog entries.  Check them out and get to crafting!

Eco-Friendly

In the weeks preceding May 1st you will need to collect small containers to upcycle into May baskets.  You may be able to figure out how to make baskets out of everyday items on your own, but if you feel a little stuck for inspiration check out these five blog posts.

Non-Traditional

Create May Day baskets that are different and unusual by creating cones that can hang on the door or using origami to create your own basket.  Find these ideas and others in the following five blog articles about May Day baskets.

Quick & Easy

If you are pressed for time or are just looking for a simple basket to do with your preschooler, you can check out the options on these five blog posts.  Find printable patterns that are simple to cut apart and put together.  Several other simple options can also be found on these blogs.

Just for Fun

Have a little fun this May Day by creating various fun May Day baskets to make you smile.  If they bring a smile to your face, just think what they will do for little neighborhood friends or elderly neighbors who remember dancing around the May pole celebrating the start of summer.  These baskets are clever and something you and your preschooler can enjoy making together and delivering to family, friends and neighbors.  Don’t forget that the key is to ring the bell and run away before you get caught.

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24 Blogs with Tips on Coloring Your Own Hair for the First Time

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Coloring your hair is a good option whether you are trying to cover some gray or you just want to try a different look.  Going to the salon to get your hair colored can be very expensive, so you may be considering coloring your hair on your own.  If you want guaranteed perfect results, you should go to a professional.  However, if you are willing to experiment with your hair a little, you might be a good candidate for coloring your own hair.  Keep in mind that some of the biggest fiascos happen when hair is not in good shape, so it’s important that you prepare your hair ahead of time to make sure it’s at its healthiest.  Then you will need to decide whether you want to try highlights, temporary color or permanent color for your first attempt.  Read through these 24 blog articles and educate yourself before you try anything on your own.

Preparing to Color

The first step when preparing to color your hair at home is to make sure that your hair is healthy.  Even if you think your hair is in fairly good condition, it’s recommended that you do a deep conditioning treatment on your hair a few days before you color.  For more tips on what you should do to get your hair ready to receive color, take a look at these six blog posts.

  1. 7 Things You Need to Know Before Coloring Your Hair
  2. Beauty Tips—For Coloring Hair
  3. Best Hair Coloring Tips: What You Need to Know Before You Dye Your Hair
  4. How I Prepare for Hair Color
  5. Things to Know Before You Dye Your Hair
  6. 7 Things to Consider Before Coloring Your Hair

Highlights

Highlights might be a good place to start for your first time coloring your hair.  While it’s a little more work, you can adjust how much color you are putting in your hair.  If you are just starting to get gray hair, you are better off highlighting your hair for a while because it’s less of a commitment and less maintenance.  Once you start coloring your hair, it’s hard to find a good time to stop, so you end up coloring it for the rest of your life at that point.  For pointers on how to highlight your hair, read through these six blog entries.

  1. How to Highlight Your Own Hair
  2. How to Highlight Your Own Hair at Home with Foil
  3. How to Highlight Your Own Hair
  4. How to Highlight Your Own Hair at Home
  5. How to Cut, Color & Highlight Your Hair at Home
  6. How to Foil or Highlight Your Own Hair- Part 1

Temporary Color/Semi-Permanent

Once you decide you want to go with all-over color in your hair, you might want to take your new color for a trial run.  If you use temporary color or a semi-permanent color, you are leaving yourself an out if you find that you really don’t like the color. Also, if it turns out badly you haven’t committed yourself to live with the color for the next three years.  Some temporary color is so short-lived that you can wash it out with the very next shampoo.  Others will take a few shampoos.  Temporary color is something you can try for a special occasion and then go back to your normal color the next day.  To find out more about what your temporary coloring options are, check out these six blogs.

  1. Hair Chalking: A New Look at DIY Hair Color
  2. Add a Splash of Color to Your Hair with Dudley’s Fantastic Colors
  3. Wanna Add Temporary Color Streaks to Your Dark Brown or Black Hair?  Grab Your Gel Eye Shadow and Go
  4. Eye shadow… for Your Hair! It’s the Best Way to (Temporarily) Try the Dip-Dye Trend
  5. How To: Rock Temporary Hair Color!
  6. DIY: Temporary Dip Dye Hair

Permanent Dye

If you are more than 50% gray and are looking for something to cover up the gray for a while, you are looking for permanent dye.  The most important thing to remember about permanent dye is to buy a good quality dye and that you choose a shade lighter than you really want.  These six blog posts will help you decide if permanent coloring is for you and if it is what the best way is to go about getting the look you are after.

  1. 4 Must-Read Tips for Upgrading Your Spring Hair Hue
  2. How To: Color Your Hair at Home
  3. Cool Ways to Dye Your Hair
  4. How to Dye Hair
  5. How-To: DIY Dyed Ombre Hair
  6. How to Dye Hair Like a Pro

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How to Help Kids Stop Stuttering

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

There are a variety of speech difficulties that are common in children, especially between the ages of two and five. A stutter is one of these more common conditions, and causes children to repeat fragments of words every few words, sometimes several times before they’re able to say the word fully. For young children, the frustration of having difficulty communicating with others can be the primary complaint, but older children often become quite self-conscious if the stuttering continues. Children who stutter may avoid speaking as much as possible in an attempt to mask the issue, rush sentences, blurt out statements, and even speak in a voice that’s abnormally loud. The potential damage to kids’ self-esteem and the frustration that can accompany difficulty in communication can be detrimental to their emotional health, which is why it’s important for a stuttering child to receive treatment and attention at a relatively early age.

Will He Outgrow His Stutter?

Some children simply grow out of their stutter with a bit of speech therapy or special attention. Others, however, may continue to struggle with their stutter throughout adulthood. According to research published by the University of Iowa, girls are more likely to outgrow stuttering than their male counterparts. As a result, the ratio of males that chronically stutter to females is approximately three to one as children get older.

While there is evidence to support the idea that your child could outgrow her stutter without intervention, taking action to help her overcome her speech difficulties can boost those chances even further.

Stuttering Support at Home

Kids need to know that their home is their safe haven, especially if they’re regularly teased or bullied by classmates. Making sure that your child feels loved and valued can not only help to counteract some of his shame regarding his speech inarticulateness, but also create an environment conducive to supporting outside speech therapy and promote results from within the home.

Make sure that everyone in the household knows and abides by a “no interrupting” rule. When a stuttering child feels that he’ll have to rush his statements in order to be heard without interruption, the pressure and stress can exacerbate his speech difficulties. It can be very tempting to finish your child’s sentences for him or to respond to him before he’s completed a sentence in order to spare him the effort of struggling with his speech difficulties, but this can also be damaging to his self-esteem and impede his speech-therapy progress. It’s also important to strictly enforce rules regarding teasing in your home; if your child is frequently bullied by his peers and classmates due to his stutter and comes home to the same jokes and laughter at his expense from siblings or even parents, it only damages his self-esteem further. When your child is speaking, be conscious of your own reactions to him. Listen to what he’s saying and make an effort to understand him without showing signs of frustration or sadness. Furthermore, avoid calling attention to your child’s speech difficulties with phrases like “slow down,” or “speak clearly.” In addition to noticeably slowing his speech, this behavior also can make him even more self-conscious about the issue. Try to listen closely and be patient with your little one as he stutters.

When to Enlist the Help of a Professional

A child that still stutters at the age of five should have the assistance of medical professionals in order to help her overcome the situation, if possible. Also, a child that regularly repeats entire words and phrases, rather than single syllables, may require the assistance of a pediatrician or speech-language therapist. If a child’s stutter worsens, the muscles of his face and neck visibly tense when he speaks, he’s avoiding situations in which he may be required to speak, or stuttering is accompanied by facial tics or body movements, it may be time to enlist the help of a professional.

When your child is under the care of a speech-language therapist, make sure that you establish a dialogue with her in order to ensure that you’re working together to get your child all of the help he needs along the way. Remember that you are a team, and that helping your child overcome his stutter will be a team effort. Take the advice and suggestions of your child’s speech-language therapist to heart, and make an effort to ask what you can do at home to reinforce the help he’s receiving. Remember that the longer you wait after your child begins exhibiting stuttering symptoms before consulting a medical professional or speech-language therapist, the less likely he is to recover fully.

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Top 10 Holiday Movies to Watch with Your Kids

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Since the holidays mean that the kids are home from school, what’s better than using that additional time for a little extra family bonding? If you’ve already been ice skating, have read all the Christmas stories, and are at a loss as to what to do next, why not indulge in a family movie night with some classic holiday favorites?  Break out the popcorn and the eggnog and cuddle up with the kids to watch some of these holiday classics, and maybe a few new favorites too.

  1. Charlie Brown Christmas – This movie has been around for over 60 years and it still shows up on television every year.  The movie is about Charlie Brown getting frustrated with the materialism of Christmas.  Linus gives a monologue about the true meaning of Christmas, which helps Charlie Brown understand what Christmas is really all about.  Great for toddlers and older.
  2. A Christmas Story – A classic movie that everyone needs to see, though due to some content it might be best for kids over 10.  Ralphie is a kid who wants a BB gun for Christmas, but everyone tells him that he will shoot his eye out if he gets one.  The story is set in the 40’s and is kind of reminiscent of how things were in the old days.  It was a simpler time, but there is some language and kids fighting, so you’ll need to decide for yourself if your kids are ready.
  3. Frosty the Snowman – Frosty is a snowman that comes to life after some kids found a hat that belonged to a magician and put it on his head.  The animation and music are memorable.  Great for any age. Your kids will likely love this favorite, and probably already know all the words to the accompanying song.
  4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr. Seuss wrote this book first, and it was then made into a movie.  The Grinch is an ugly, green, furry fellow that is sick to death of how happy everyone is at Christmas, so he decides to steal everything about Christmas.  Because of the kindness shown to him by one small girl, his heart melts and he gives everything back and realizes what Christmas is all about.  Good for all ages.
  5. The Polar Express – A relative newcomer to the holiday movie top picks is this new classic about a young boy who is teetering on the fence as to whether he believes in Santa or not.  Then, on Christmas Eve, a train pulls up behind his house and takes him to the North Pole where he gets to see everything for himself.  A delightful story and great for any age.
  6. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Rudolph is a baby reindeer born to one of Santa’s flying reindeer. He is destined to be on the team that carries Santa’s sleigh until it is discovered that Rudolph has a red nose that lights up. Because of Rudolph’s differences he is picked on by the other young reindeer and they tell him since he doesn’t fit in that he can never fly Santa’s sleigh.  Finally, due to a bad blizzard, Santa discovers that Rudolph’s nose might just be what he needs to be able to deliver all of the toys.
  7. Shrek the Halls – Shrek is planning Christmas when his friends show up and he is concerned that they will wreck all of his plans. As the movie goes on, he realizes that the true joy in Christmas is being with the people that you love, not all of the material things that also tend to accompany the Christmas season.
  8. It’s a Wonderful Life – Jimmy Stewart stars in this classic movie about a guy who feels stuck in his life and wants to travel and see the world.  He doesn’t think he matters, and it’s not until he ends up in a life where no one knows him that he realizes just how important he really is and just how wonderful his life is.  This movie is most suitable for children ages 8 and up.
  9. The Santa Clause – Tim Allen plays a normal guy who happens to unintentionally knock Santa off his roof because he thinks Santa is a burglar.  Tim finds out that he is the next Santa Clause and that he doesn’t really have a choice about it.  Throughout his journey becoming Santa he learns to love the idea and is able to become closer to his son.  Ages 5 and up for this movie.
  10. The Muppet Christmas Carol – As much as you would expect by the title, this movie is the classic Christmas Carol story retold with the Muppets.  The ghost of Christmas future is a little scary, so you may want to shield younger viewers on this part.  This movie is appropriate for kids 5 and up.

Slow down this holiday season and grab a movie to enjoy with your family. These movies have stood the test of time and are worthy of sharing with your kids.

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5 Easy to Make Advent Candles

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Now that the holiday season has arrived, the kids are probably so excited about Christmas that they are likely about to burst! One fun way to help build up the anticipation for Christmas day is through Advent calendars.  An Advent calendar is a way to celebrate the days leading up to Christmas, and the kids can open up a new day on the calendar everyday during the month of December. There are commercially available Advent calendars, but why not create your own?  Here are 5 easy to make advent calendars.

  1. Envelope Advent- Use colored A2 size envelopes for this project; you will need 24 of them.  You will also need a roll of red or holiday ribbon, and mini clothespins (available at craft stores).  Label the envelopes 1 to 24.  Insert activities or a promised goodie inside each envelope.  Use the clothespins to secure each envelope onto the ribbon and hang the ribbon along a wall in the kitchen where everyone will see it every morning.
  2. Cardboard tube Advent- For this calendar you will need 24 toilet paper tubes, white paint, security envelopes, a snowflake punch, a stapler, cork board, a glue stick, mini clothespins, ribbons, fabric to cover the board, and number stamps or stickers.  Staple the bottoms of 24 toilet paper tubes closed.  Cover your work surface with newspaper and paint the tubes white, then let them dry.  In the meantime: open up a couple of security envelopes and punch snowflakes out of them using the blue lining of the envelopes.  Wrap the cork board with some fabric of your choosing and staple it to the back.  Staple 4 pieces of ribbon across the cork board like mini clotheslines.  Glue the snowflakes to the cardboard tubes.  Stamp one number per tube according to the days left until Christmas.  The first tube will have a 24 on it, the second 23 and so on until the last tube will have a 1 on it.  Fill the tubes with little chocolates, notes, activities and so on.  Use the mini clothespins to pin the tubes in order onto the ribbons on the cork board.  Six tubes per ribbon will work out perfectly.
  3. Tree Advent- Gather a nice branch from your yard and spray paint it white.  Using a coffee can and some plaster of Paris, stand the branch up in the can.  Fill the can with plaster and allow it to harden.  Cover the plaster with some green crinkle fill.  Wrap up 24 small gifts and write 1 to 24 on the packages using a permanent black marker so you have one gift for each day of Advent.  Hang the packages on the tree using Christmas tree hooks and some tape.
  4. Garland Advent- Gather up 24 paper sacks with handles. Using a stencil, cut out large numbers 1 through 24 to glue on each bag for the days of the Advent.  Let the kids decorate the other side of the bag any way they like.  String some cording across the room like a garland and pin the handles onto the cord to make a garland of bags with regular clothespins.  Put light weight things in the bags so the garland doesn’t sag too much.
  5. Popsicle tree Advent- You will need 24 craft sticks, green and silver paint, a paintbrush, a hot glue gun and glue, 24 2×2 boxes, 2 rolls of ¼” red ribbon, red twine, adhesive numbers or stamps and scissors.  Hot glue craft sticks together end to end overlapping about ½ an inch.  Make one with 6 sticks, 5, 4, 3, and 2 sticks.  Glue the last 4 sticks across each other like an asterisk.  Hot glue the “branches” onto the “trunk” of the tree.  The longest length is the trunk.  At the intersection where the craft sticks overlap is where you will glue your branches.  The largest one at the bottom working up to the smallest at the top.  Cover your work surface with newspaper and paint the tree green and the star silver or any other color you have.  Wrap the boxes with red ribbon and tie a bow.  Slip some twine under the bow and create a loop to hang the box.  Add the number stickers to the boxes and hang the boxes on the tree in order from 24 to 1, with 1 being at the very top left branch.  Your branches will be even, one on each side at the top, two on each side on the next branch and so on.  Fill the boxes with candy or whatever you want and you are done.  Glue the star to the top of the tree.  Stick the tree to your wall using some foam tape at a couple points along the tree.

Half the fun of Christmas is the anticipation of the big day, so why not celebrate each day leading up to Christmas with the kids?  Include activities like lighting the tree, working at a food bank, looking at Christmas lights and other fun, rewarding activities, like making these easy Advent calendars.

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10 Tips for Teaching a Child How to Ride a Bicycle

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Bicycles have never gone out of style and it isn’t likely that they ever will. It is the first ‘grownup’ transportation that a kid learns to operate on their own. Every child is excited when they receive their first bike. However, learning to ride a two-wheeler can take some time, more for some than others. Here’s some tips for teaching your child how to ride their first bicycle.

  1. Provide Protective Gear – A small child on a bike with training wheels isn’t likely to fall and hurt themselves too much, but they’ll still be excited to receive and wear their first bike helmet. Don’t but it off until later. It is better to get them used to wearing a helmet every time they get on a bike from the beginning than to try and add the habit later.
  2. Correct Sizing of the Bike – Many parents make the mistake of starting their kids out on a bike that is oversized for their child. The reasoning is, of course, to save the money of having to upgrade to a bigger bike when the smaller one is out grown. Unfortunately, a bike that is oversized for a child makes it more difficult for the child to maneuver, which makes it more hazardous for the child and could take them longer to learn how to ride.
  3. Start with Training Wheels – Some kids can learn to ride quickly without training wheels, but the majority of them need that extra help balancing to get started. The training wheels are not meant to be sitting level on the ground, but a little above the ground, so that they only touch the ground when the bike leans. Positioning them properly will help your child learn to balance.
  4. Smooth Surface – Gravel is not a good surface for learning to ride a bike. Find a smooth hard surface with plenty of room, like a paved parking lot, to begin your child’s bicycle instruction and then gradually move to narrower surfaces like the sidewalk or driveway.
  5. Help Them Learn Balance – The training wheels are the beginning of learning about balancing a bicycle, but eventually those training wheels need to come off. When that time comes, you may want to walk alongside the bike holding on to it as they get used to the new feeling of maintaining balance without the help of their training wheels.
  6. Help Them Gain Confidence – Some kids will be able to take off quickly with only a little guidance after the training wheels come off, others lack the confidence in themselves or take a couple of falls and get fearful of falling. Stick with them, holding onto the bike and walking alongside as long as it takes for them to gain that confidence to try it on their own.
  7. Gradual Free-wheeling – As you’re doing the walk-along, gradually begin letting go for a few seconds at a time and then taking hold again. Each time, let go for a little longer amount of time, until they are able keep it up on their own.
  8. Positive Attitude and Words – Criticism or belittling are never the approach to take when trying to a child something new. Speak positive and encouraging words to them. Let the child know that you believe they can conquer this task.
  9. Falls Will Happen – Part of the process of learning to ride a bike inevitably will result in falls. Some knee pads, elbow pads, a helmet and protective shoes will help keep your child for skins and bruises, but their ego and confidence may still get bruised. Encourage them to try again, once they recover from a fall.
  10. Don’t Rush Them– If your child is hesitant and fearful about riding their bike without their training wheels, don’t push them to fast or hard to make the change. Eventually, they’ll become confident enough to give it a try with your help.

Learning to ride a bike is a right of passage, a step towards adulthood and independence. Make sure to make the process a positive one.

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How to Teach Your Child to Tie Their Shoes Without Bunny Ears

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Tying your shoes is something that most people do almost every day, often without even thinking about it, but with the invention of Velcro shoes some parents are putting off teaching their children how to tie their shoes.  However tying shoes is a necessary lesson that can be taught when a child is young.  If your child can handle a pair of scissors and successfully cut paper then she has the dexterity to tie her own shoes.  Kids should have the ability to tie their shoes between the ages of 3 and 6.

The easiest way to start teaching your child to tie her shoes is to get a couple of adult shoes out to practice on, one for you and one for her.  On her shoe it might make the teaching process easier if you re-lace her shoe with a white lace in which you have taken a marker and colored half of the lace.  That way you can refer to the white lace and to the colored lace instead of trying to explain right and left to her.

If your child’s dominant hand is the same as yours, sit side by side with her to teach her.  If your child has the opposite dominant hand, then sit across from her.  This will ensure that you are not teaching her backwards.

Step 1: Cross the laces and tuck one lace underneath the other lace and pull both laces tight to the shoe.

Step 2: Make a loop out of one of the laces.  While holding that loop tightly in one hand, use the other hand to wrap the straight lace around the loop.  Show her how to tuck the straight lace through the hole beneath the loop that she is holding.  Let go of the loop.

Step 3: Take a loop in each hand and pull tight.  Adjust the loops until they are about the same.

Step 4: Take a loop in each hand and cross them, just like she did at the beginning with the laces.  She will tuck one loop under the other and pull tight.  Now she has double tied her shoes and they shouldn’t come untied.

Step 5: Practice, practice, practice!

Allow your child to practice with you and patiently help her perfect her skills.  This lesson could take as little as 45 minutes or it could take several days, depending on how quickly your child picks up on the technique.  Make the process fun and your child will want to keep practicing.  If you get upset with her then she won’t want to continue practicing because it will no longer be fun.

Once she has mastered tying the big shoe let her practice on her own little shoe.  This will be harder because the laces will be much shorter.  After she has gotten good at tying her shoe with it off her foot, show her how to loosen the laces and put her shoe on and then tighten up the laces and tie her shoe.  She can sit and practice this skill on her own at this point.  Make sure that you lavish her with praise every step of the way.  Soon you will be able to have her put her own shoes on and tie them herself.  This is a huge accomplishment for her and one she should be proud of.

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10 Safety Tips for Parents with Guns

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Every parent wants to do anything necessary to keep their child safe. Many parents forget a vital fact, children and guns do not mix. There are ways to be a gun owner without risking harm to your child. Here are ten good safety tips for parents with guns.

  1. Never Leave Your Guns Loaded – By leaving your gun loaded, you are taking an unnecessary risk. Children tend to be very curious, and they may wonder what the black shiny thing is.  They may not understand the fully that the gun can hurt them and others.
  2. Store Ammo and Guns Separately – By storing you ammunition in a different place than your gun, even if your child discovers one or the other, they will not have access to both at the same time. Unloaded guns without any ammunition are fairly harmless.
  3. Invest in Trigger Locks – While there are a lot of people who argue the necessity of investing in trigger locks, it is a great investment for all parents with guns. Trigger locks will make it impossible to shoot the gun. This protects kids of all ages from accidental misfiring of the firearm. Of course, trigger locks only work if they are installed properly on all of your guns.
  4. Teach Respect for Firearms- The best way to protect your children when it pertains to guns is to educate them. You want to teach them that guns and other firearms are not toys, they can hurt people. Also that they should respect all guns, whether it is a hunting rifle or a pistol. All guns deserve respect and proper handling.
  5. Never Point Guns at People- If you want to teach your child how to be safe with guns, one of the first things to teach them is to never point guns at people. Of course, you need to follow the rule, too. Do not tell your child not to aim a gun at people if you joke around and aim one at people yourself.  Children learn best by example.
  6. Never Assume a Gun is Empty- Assuming a gun is empty is just how many shooting accidents happen. If you always treat your gun as if it was loaded, even when you think it is not, you will keep it pointed in safe directions and be careful not to place your finger on the trigger.
  7. B-B Guns Aren’t Toys- One of the most common misconceptions is that B-B guns cannot hurt anyone, they are just a toy. Sadly to say, they are a real weapon. They may not kill someone but they still can cause real damage, and they can hurt someone. Children need to follow gun safety rules with B-B guns, just the same way that they follow them with all other firearms.
  8. Never Leave a Gun Unattended- Whether you are going to bed or to the local store or even just into another room, you should never leave your gun unattended. Unattended guns are asking for trouble. Children appear and disappear quickly; don’t take the chance.
  9. Clean Guns Safely- When you are cleaning your gun, remember to have it facing toward the floor. This stops people from accidentally discharging the weapon in the direction of themselves or another individual. Also teach your child the importance of making double sure that there are no bullets left in the barrel or chamber prior to cleaning.
  10. Gun Safes- The most important investment a gun-owning parent can make is to purchase a gun safe. This allows the parent the ability of hiding all the firearms under lock and key. Keep your guns safe from innocent children and any other unwanted person. Gun safes can be purchased small enough to hold one handgun and big enough to hold an arsenal.

No matter what safety tips you follow to protect your children from the dangers of guns, remember that you have to arm your children with the right knowledge of how to best respond to holding, operating, or maintaining firearms. Arming you children with the proper knowledge is the best way to protect them from the dangers of firearms.

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Teaching Kids Good Sportsmanship

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Whenever the Olympics approach, parents, caregivers and athletic coaches are presented with the perfect opportunity to introduce the concept of sportsmanship to their kids and emphasize its importance. Athletes from around the globe will converge to compete against one another for worldwide recognition, and the vast majority will do so with grace by showing strong sportsmanship every step of the way.

Between youth league team sports, school physical activity initiatives, and the variety of athletic lessons and skills that today’s kids participate in, there are tons of opportunities every day for kids to showcase either sportsmanlike qualities or the foibles of a sore loser. Emotions tend to run high, especially in younger children, making it even more difficult for them to display themselves as a good sport. There are several ways that parents and authority figures can help kids to become sportsmanlike competitors; these are a few of the simplest and most effective.

  • Model Sportsmanlike Conduct – Kids learn by emulating the adults that are important to them, so it’s imperative that parents, coaches, and caregivers model good sportsmanship at every opportunity. That means applauding good plays regardless of who made them, keeping negative comments and criticisms to yourself, and never making a child feel bad about himself because of an athletic mistake.
  • Don’t Focus on Wins and Losses – Instead of focusing on the wins and losses of a kids’ sports team, adults should concentrate on acknowledging good plays and offering supportive assistance to build skills that children are less confident in. Emphasizing the importance of playing to the best of your abilities rather than obsessing over a win helps kids feel less absorbed with scoring and allows them to be more in tune with teamwork and dedication.
  • Never Reward Excessive Aggression – A child that delivers a win through overly-aggressive conduct should be congratulated on her success, but also encouraged to do so in a manner that can’t be construed as bullying the other players on the field.
  • Instill a Sense of Pride – When children are praised and taught to feel a sense of pride in their athletic accomplishments, parents and coaches can also help to instill a sense of humility. Kids that learn the difference between confidence and cockiness are also beginning to understand the concept of sportsmanlike conduct versus swaggering conceit.
  • Emphasize the Importance of Having Fun – At a young age, even budding athletic stars are still learning the fundamentals of the game and are beginning to build the foundations of skill. Kids that feel pressured to perform beyond their means or are forced into participation are not only almost certain to grow to resent their sport, but also to become more focused on winning at all costs. Keep kids’ sports focused on having fun, working together and building skills that may be valuable in the future.
  • Don’t Coach From the Bleachers – In addition to embarrassing your child, shouting at his teammates, coaches, and the other team from the sidelines is a great way to teach kids exactly how not to behave. There’s nothing sportsmanlike about railing the other team, berating children for a fumble, or badmouthing a coach your child looks up to. Remember the first rule of teaching kids to be a good sport is to model that behavior yourself, and this includes refraining from taking on the head coach role from the bleachers.
  • Point Out Good – and Bad – Conduct in Professional Athletes – The Olympic Games and other sporting events provide parents and coaches with a great opportunity to point out stellar sportsmanship, but it can also create talking points for discussing bad conduct on the part of a professional athlete or sports figure. When major sports names make the news for either a temper tantrum or an impressive display of grace, talk about it with your kids. Ask them how they feel about the situation, creating a dialogue that allows you to both hear what your child has to say and pass along the wisdom that you’ve learned over the years.

Discouraging kids from looking up to trash-talking, insulting athletes who make a name for themselves by bashing their teammates and opponents is one of the most important steps to helping them learn to be good sports themselves, as children will model their own behavior after that of their heroes. While you can’t control who your kids look up to, you can calmly and gently point out their favorite stars’ attitudes, when they’re someone to look up to, and where they have room for improvement. Remember, though; badmouthing a rude professional athlete to your child isn’t likely to be viewed by her as much different from that athlete threatening to pulverize his opponents. Choose your words carefully, and help your kids become the best sports they can be.

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