Building Your Brood: How To Prepare For Your Second Child

Adjusting to parenthood can be a tough task, but the challenge becomes even more difficult when you introduce a new addition to the mix. Going from one child to two brings a series of changes, and it’s important for you as a parent to adapt to having two kids as well as being there to help your first-born get used to life as a big brother or sister. If you have a child and you’re thinking about adding to your brood, or you’re already expecting, hopefully, you’ll find this guide useful.

Adjusting to parenthood can be a tough task, but the challenge becomes even more difficult when you introduce a new addition to the mix. Going from one child to two brings a series of changes

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Choosing the right time

If you have one child and you’d love to have more children in the future, it can be tricky to find the perfect time to expand your family. Do you want a small gap between the kids or can you not even contemplate trying to survive those sleepless nights again now that you have a toddler settled into a routine? There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing the right time to start trying for another baby, but there may be factors you’d like to consider. If you were unable to conceive naturally the first time around, you might have difficulties this time too, and it may take a long time to get pregnant. Even if you didn’t have any issues the first time, there’s nothing to say that everything will be straightforward this time. We tend to take our ability to conceive for granted and assume that it will just happen. The reality is that every couple is different. If you’ve had tests like semen analysis and fertility treatment in the past, it’s wise to set up a meeting with your doctor and discuss the options if you decide that you’d like to try for another baby. If you’ve not had treatment before, but you’ve been trying for a while without any success, it’s worth seeking expert advice. In your head, you may have it all planned out, but unfortunately, things don’t always pan out how you’d like them to.

If you’re celebrating happy news and you’re expecting again, one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is telling the people you love.

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Telling your child

If you’re celebrating happy news and you’re expecting again, one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is telling the people you love. If you have a child already, you may be approaching revealing this news with a mixture of emotions. Of course, it’s an exciting time, but you may also be apprehensive or anxious about the reaction. If your child is still very young, they may struggle to understand, but an older child could display a range of emotions. They may be thrilled that they’re going to be a big brother or sister, but they might also be worried about what this will mean in terms of having to share their parents. If you are looking forward to telling your child, it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve had scans and made sure that everything is fine and the baby is healthy and developing well. It may also be a good idea to take your child along to any scans you have later in the pregnancy so that they feel like they are part of the journey.

You may think that life is hectic enough with one child, but wait until another little person joins the fold. Life with one child is very different to life with two, so it’s best to be prepared for long days and nights and to try and get ready as best you can.

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Prepping for life as a father of two

You may think that life is hectic enough with one child, but wait until another little person joins the fold. Life with one child is very different to life with two, so it’s best to be prepared for long days and nights and to try and get ready as best you can. Tick off practical jobs like getting the nursery sorted and arranging childcare at short notice if your partner goes into labor. Have your parents or best friends on standby so that they can take care of your child while you’re in hospital. Pack a bag, make sure you’ve got all the essentials you need and think about changes you need to make to cope better once your new baby arrives. Do you need more space at home? Is your car too small for two kids and all the stuff they have? Do you need to speak to your boss about flexible working options? Whatever tasks you have on your list, try and tick them off before you approach those final few weeks to make sure you’re ready and alleviate any additional stress.

When you’ve had your parents all to yourself for your whole life, it must be very strange to suddenly see a new baby stealing the limelight. When you bring your new baby home, go out of your way to make a fuss of your older child and let them get involved with helping out.

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Helping your child adjust to life as the big sibling

When you’ve had your parents all to yourself for your whole life, it must be very strange to suddenly see a new baby stealing the limelight. When you bring your new baby home, go out of your way to make a fuss of your older child and let them get involved with helping out. Encourage them to hold the baby while you supervise and try and build that bond from the early days. As a father, you’ll probably find that you have to take on a more influential role if your partner is feeding and tending to the baby. Be there for your first-born, spend time together, have fun and make sure they know that they’re as valuable now as they were before that little bundle of joy arrived. Ask friends and family members to make a fuss of both children when they come and visit for the first time and make the older child feel special. You could buy a small gift from the baby such as a teddy bear, a toy car or even a personalized big brother or big sister t-shirt they can show off with pride.

Are you thinking of adding to your family or are you counting down the days until baby number two arrives? Adjusting to being a parent of two children can be tough, but it can also be an incredibly exciting and rewarding challenge

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Are you thinking of adding to your family or are you counting down the days until baby number two arrives? Adjusting to being a parent of two children can be tough, but it can also be an incredibly exciting and rewarding challenge. It’s wise to plan ahead and focus on how you’re going to adapt to life with a new child, as well as how your first-born is going to cope with a new brother or sister. Think carefully about when you want to try and add to the family, prepare for the new arrival as best you can by ticking off practical jobs and getting your home ready and make sure your older child is involved in the journey with you.

What To Teach Your Kids About Money

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There comes a time in each child’s life when they start to want to buy their own things themselves. This might be through the money they have earnt in a part-time job or from their pocket money. You should use this time to teach your children about money. They need to know when to spend and when to save and the importance of using money smartly. With that in mind, here is what you should teach your kids about money.

Teach Them About Spending

You should also teach your children about spending. They need to understand that money is a limited resource and that once it is gone, it is gone. This can be taught having a money pouch on a day out with your child, and as you buy things throughout the day, this will steadily run out of money. At the end of the day, when all the money is gone they can see that there is no more money even if they want to buy more things. Obviously, this is simplified for a very young child and won’t be appropriate for teenagers.

Children need to learn that eventually, they will need to be able to manage their own finances. A good way of teaching this is through setting a set allowance or pocket money and sticking to that figure. If they spend it all, then it is all gone. They need to learn the consequences of their actions and understand that the bank of Mom and Dad won’t always be there to catch them. If they don’t have money, then they might need to do things like take out a small loan if they desperately need money and you don’t necessarily want this to be the case when they grow up.

Teach Them About Saving

You should teach your children the value of saving money as early as possible. The sooner they understand the benefits of saving money for later, the better it will serve them through their lives. This will help them understand that they need to save money in order to purchase expensive items and that it is worth having some money set aside for times when they want it. A good example of this is if your child wants an expensive video games console, then encouraging them to save their pocket money and once they reach a certain amount you will also make a contribution will help them see the value in saving. Another example would be encouraging them to have a savings fund for when they go holiday so that they can enjoy more ice cream, activities and other treats. These are great ways to show your children how important saving can be and the rewards of doing so.

When they get older, this will also apply to understanding how savings accounts work. If they understand that interest means that their money will steadily grow without them needing to touch it and that the more they save, the more money they will have, then they are more likely to have good saving habits in the future. This will help them to save money for a house, education or anything else that they want to save money for. Teaching them that the sooner they start saving, the better is also worth doing.

Saving Money with Kids: Is It Possible?

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If you have children, saving money can seem impossible. How are you supposed to save cash when you have extra mouths to feed and extra demands to meet? Well, while it may be difficult, it can be done. Read on to discover some great tips on saving money as a family.

  • Focus on paying off your debts – Paying off debts can be a challenge when you have children. It takes the back seat because you have so many other expenses to tackle. However, being in debt results in further expenses because you’re going to be paying interest. So, the best thing to do is put a plan together to pay off your debts. Use a debt consolidation calculator to determine whether this would be the best solution. Otherwise, put together a structured plan so you can work out how much you can afford to comfortably put towards your debts every month.
  • Take advantage of cheap family travel – Make sure you explore your travel options carefully. If you use public transport a lot, buying a railcard may be a wise idea. You could save 1/3 off family train travel by investing in a railcard.
  • Shop better – Most families will agree that a large chunk of their monthly spending goes on groceries. So, now is the perfect time to learn how to shop more effectively. Take advantage of the value ranges that are offered by supermarkets. Also, buy in bulk and make a shopping list before you go to the supermarket. A few small changes can go a very long way when trying to save money.
  • Make the most of vouchers and coupons – Nowadays, there seems to be a voucher and coupon for everything, so make the most of them. You can also use special childcare vouchers to save money in terms of tax. Make sure you explore all of your options carefully. A lot of parents are missing out on savings without even realising it.
  • Opt for free family fun – There are plenty of ways for you and your family to have fun without spending money. If you do a quick browse on the Internet, you will see that there are many free attractions, or venues where children go free, which will make your days out a lot more cost effective.
  • Make sure you’re not paying too much for council tax – There are many homes that are in the wrong council tax In fact, this has been the way since 1993. This means you could be paying way too much money for your home’s valuations. Not only this, you may also be owned a significant amount of money too, and so this is definitely something that is worth exploring future.

So there you have it: some of the best ways to save money if you have children. While it can be incredibly difficult, it is not impossible. Follow the advice that has been mentioned above, and you will soon notice that your money starts to build-up.

 

Strategies To Teach Your Child Responsibility

As a parent, we are always working at teaching our children how to be the best versions of themselves. From being thoughtful, listening when people talk, being respectful, and of course learning responsibility. Being responsible is learning to take care of their belongings, get their homework done and on time, learning to take care of themselves and others, and much more. Below are some strategies to teach your child responsibility.

When your child learns about responsibility you also want them to have a positive attitude as they complete the task at hand. You don’t want them to do the task because they have to, you want them to be proud they are doing it and to the best of their ability. Raising helpful, strong, responsible kids is our goals as parents. These tips below can help you nurture and teach your child to be responsible.

5 Tips for Teaching Your Child Responsibility

Strategies To Teach Your Child Responsibility

Be A Role Model

First and foremost you want to act the way you want your child to act. Parents have so many responsibilities that we can demonstrate each day how to handle them. Be on time, finish tasks doing the best you can do, and if you promise or agree to help out with something, follow through.

Start Teaching At A Young Age

If your child is still young, that is the best time to teach. Teach them to pick up their toys, put the dishes up when they are finished eating, and the list goes on. As they get older, they will be engrained with those simple responsibilities you had them do when they are young. Let them help make a sandwich at lunch, and help fold laundry. It may take longer and not be done perfectly, but allowing your child to help when they ask to, will slowly teach them simple responsibilities for later in life.

Expectations

This is something we need to work on as parents. We have to expect that if your 3-year old helps fold laundry or makes their bed it won’t be perfect. But you still allow them to help, because that is how they will learn. You have to look at your child’s age and then base what they can do and to what standard.

Demonstrate Tasks

Demonstrate how to do small tasks so your child can begin to learn. If your child has a laundry basket in their room, teach them that is where they toss dirty clothes. Or that if they want a snack, create a bin that has approved snacks that they can grab and eat by themselves if you say they can. A simple task like that will teach them how to be responsible for themselves, respect rules of the household, and grow.

Praise

Kids love to help out, and in that make sure to offer positive praise when they do. Tell them you are proud of them, thank them for helping take the trash out or dust. Children will learn that when they help it makes mom and dad proud and they will work hard to keep doing this for you.

Routine

Kids need and love structure and routines. You can slowly begin to tell your son to pick up their room each night or put the laundry in the basket. It will then become a routine. Just like with older kids, that when they get home they have to sit down and work on homework, instead of waiting till later at night. Over time it will become a routine to them, instead of winging it when they want.

 

5 Mistakes Every Parent Makes

I am for the first time raising a teenager stage of parenthood and boy is it rough. I keep being reminded that she is only 15 and there’s more to come, but seriously, how much harder can it get? I say the wrong things. I make too many things a life lesson and I can easily get my teen to shut down in 2.2 seconds. I seriously feel some days like a failure to parenthood, but I realize this feeling is not something I have to be alone in.

Many parents feel the same way. Be it, mom or dad, we all get that parenting guilt trap going on where we feel like our teen is going to hate us forever, be scarred for life or worse. REality is, our teens are much more resilient than we give them credit for. Teens have this inept ability to forgive and move on from our mishaps as parents. Teens are built to be the same child you raised, just with a new set of thoughts.

While I venture towards this year of raising a 15-year-old, I am found realizing that these 5 mistakes every parent makes throughout the days of child rearing and it’s okay.

5 Mistakes Every Parent Makes

5 Mistakes Every Parent Makes

Making Everything a Life Lesson

If I had a quarter for everytime I open my mouth in response to something my oldest says to make it into some lesson, I would be rich! I know better than to do this, but my mama brain always goes towards making my reply something that teaches something. You know, a life lesson that my teen already knows?! I swear, sometimes her reply of, “Mom I know. I am not dumb!” just is a kick in the gut because I know she knows but still, the Mama in me must reply with some lesson versus just listening to her.

I am too Busy

This has been something I have been getting pretty bad at lately. With the higher workload, trying to make up for back due to bills and really figure out a balance between work at home, school, raising three kids, having a boyfriend and weekly appointments, I am too busy. Reality is, I am not too busy. I should never reply that I am too busy because that’s the one time your teen may actually open up to you and a reply of “I’m too busy” will shut them down in 2.2 seconds without a chance to hear them later on about the same thing.

Your Sibling is Younger and Doesn’t do This

Another mistake I make and many other parents who are raising more than one child make. It’s a reply that is meant to drive your older child to be better, do better and realize that their teen brain isn’t thinking clearly. In reality, this reply makes your teen feel like an idiot, less than and annoyed with you to the point that they don’t care and will continue doing worse than their sibling just to make you more frustrated because they can.

Your Friend isn’t a Good Person

While you may have every right to believe and feel that your teen’s friend isn’t a good person, telling your teenager that information is probably going to drive them to hang out with the said person even more. I have always been that parent who gives every child a chance, but it seems once my first born turned 14, I have been more guarded of her friendships than I ever was before. Learn to trust that your teen will make the right decisions in friendships, listen to them about EVERY friend (even the ones you think are bad) and try to hear what they are saying. This friend may not be “bad” but dealing with troubles far beyond anything you can imagine.

Can’t you Just Stop Talking

Since I am blessed with the talking gene, as I call it, from my father’s side of the family so are my children. My teen can go days without uttering many words and then have a really awesome day where she will talk and talk, meaning her brothers can’t even get a word in edgewise. This drives me bonkers sometimes because I want all three kiddos to share their thoughts, so I respond to STOP TALKING PLEASE and well that just fires back at me with a teen who shuts down 100%. Teens are dramatic about their responses, try not be the dramatic parent and think through what you say.

Teens are Dramatic. Period.

Teens are dramatic about their responses, try not be the dramatic parent and think through what you say. It doesn’t matter if you have the most intelligent human being on Earth as your teen child, those teenager years make brains work differently. It doesn’t matter how many times you try to get through to them about a bad person, a bad event or a life lesson you feel they need to hear again, your teen will not care what you have to say in that moment. Surely you can take time, as I do, to spend 15-30 minutes with your teen at the end of each day so that they have that time to open up but there’s no guarantee you will stop making these mistakes listed above.

Let’s Try to Avoid These Mistakes

We are imperfect human beings raising children who are near adults. As parents, we have to learn to let go and trust that mistakes will be made, friendships will be broken and bad things may happen, but it will work out in the end and your teen will be just as fine as you were as a teenager. If we worry less and listen more, our teens will make better decisions overall.

The Greatest Gadgets For Parents With Babies

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Nobody ever said being a parent was easy, but why did they have to put the most difficult part right at the start of a journey? Having a baby is a baptism of fire for a parent, especially when dealing with their first. It’s a steep learning curve filled with sleepless nights and desperately trying to negotiate with a tiny person who seems to want…. Something, but you’ve absolutely no idea what! Watching a baby grow and develop (which they do, really fast) is a wonderful, edifying and life affirming experience… but it’s also a lot of hard work. Fortunately, living in the modern world affords parents a plethora of helpful and surprisingly affordable gadgets that not only make parenting a little easier but provide much-needed peace of mind. We’ve assembled a few of the best right here…

Diaper Pails

Never put disposable diapers in the trash. Ever. They’re not like regular garbage and should not be treated as such. Very few garbage cans can mitigate the inevitable odor that accumulates in a household where diapers are changed on a regular basis. A diaper pail is a relatively low-tech piece of kit, but one that makes a big difference. Click here for more information on what to look for in a diaper pail guide. You’d be amazed how much rosier your worldview gets when the smell of baby poop no longer permeates your home.

The Pacifier Thermometer

Newborns are extremely prone to infection. Checking your baby’s temperature is one of the surest ways to give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that your baby is healthy. The trouble is that getting a thermometer into the mouth of a screaming wriggling baby can be a long and exhausting process. That’s why some bright spark thought of putting one right there in a pacifier!

The MamRoo Car Swing

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, chances are there are some long journeys to catch up with friends and relatives for the holiday season scheduled in your calendar. This can be tortuous when you have an upset baby in the back. Of course, it’s imperative that your baby be kept safe in a car seat but this car swing by 4Moms will bounce and swing your baby just like you do, lulling them gently to sleep with these familiar motions while you concentrate on driving.

Video baby monitors

New parents, particularly first time parents, live in a near-constant state of paranoia. Aside from the ever-present “am I doing this right?” mentality that plagues those early years, there’s the very real worry that nags away whenever your baby is out of your sight. Audio baby monitors have given parents peace of mind on this front for decades, but living in the digital age has made it so much easier for parents to keep an eye on their beloved child at all times wherever they are. The current generation of video baby monitors allow parents to see how their baby is in real time using an app on their smart phone.

Gadgets like these are great for giving parents peace of mind and lightening the load so that they can take some much needed time for themselves.

Parents, Children, And Bullying

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Bullying is endemic in modern society. Nowadays, kids don’t even have to meet someone face to face to be a bully or get bullied. Stats show that more than 75% of children have and still experience abuse from their peers. As a parent, it is your job to step in and make sure your son or daughter is not a victim. But, what can you do to keep them safe? Below is a selection of tips which experts believe to be the best steps. Hopefully, they will come in handy for you and your children.

Understand The Causes

First and foremost, it is not your fault or the fault of your son and daughter. However, it is worth pointing out that some factors tend to get a reaction. Clothing is a prime example. Students who don’t have to wear a uniform get to put on casual clothes. Although they are comfy, the apparel they wear is a sign of their social status. Nickis baby Versace and Young Versace range is obviously upper/middle class, whereas t-shirts with holes are low class. No one can help their situation, but parents can try and make their child less of a target. It doesn’t have to be top of the range stuff because as long as it’s clean and hole-free, it’s okay.

See The Signs

Children are not open books and they won’t tell their parents if they are suffering. As a mom or dad, it’s your job to spot the warning signs and act. To do that, you need to delve deeper and read between the lines. Are they not as happy or positive as usual? Do they lack confidence because of their looks or appearance? Does the idea of leaving the house fill them with dread? All of these are signs of anxiety brought about by bullies. It’s not easy yet sitting down and talking is the only way to get a straight answer.

Reduce Online Time

Some parents hate the idea of telling their kids they can’t play video games and enjoy life. However, the internet is a dangerous place where the majority of modern bullying takes place. From Twitter to Facebook, bullies will post and tweet nasty things spread across the cyber highway. Pretending it doesn’t take place isn’t a long-term answer but it does help to take a break. The less time they spend online, the less impact cyberbullying should have.

Talk Adult To Adult

The odds of two children sitting down and working through their differences are long. Typically, it’s the parents who get together and come to a suitable solution. No one likes to have the conversation, but it’s essential to prevent further damage. Bullies, like the majority of kids they fear their parents. As long as they are decent people, they will stop it at once. Of course, it’s never wise to go in all guns blazing because people go on the defensive. Instead, point out what’s wrong and come up with solutions together.

Hopefully, your children will never have to experience bullying. If they do, the tips above should help.

Ready For Life Outside The Nest?

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There comes a time in every parent’s life where they stumble across a night of zero sleep, their brain ticking like a clock on the fritz as they wonder whether or not they did enough as a parent to set their kid up to be successful in life. This usually happens right before your kid decides to leave home.

You will sit there, staring down the barrel of an emptier nest, panicking that you never did enough to prepare them for college, work and just life in general. Well, to help you panic less and rest assured more, we have pulled together a list of essential life skills your teens will need before they close the front door and wave goodbye from the driver’s seat of their first rust bucket. Think of this as a sort of checklist if you will.

What’s Cooking?

Every teen would love to have takeaway pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but this isn’t exactly ideal. Neither is a life of Ramen noodles. That is why you need to teach your kid the life skill that is a few basic meals that they can fall back on and build off. Something nutritious and delicious.

Money Matters

All that time at school, enduring a life of pop quizzes and exams that are meant to get you the best job possible, and yet not a single class on money management or budgeting. That is why you need to make extra sure you teach your kid how to budget, the dangers of debt and how to make their money stretch further.

On Time

Teenagers are famous for their inability to wake up before 11 am, but being on time is a pretty important skill to have. We’re talking job interviews, doctor’s appointments, dentist check-ups, meeting friends and whatever else. Sure, some places use an appointment reminder to help overcome the pain in the-you-know-where of having people not show up, but it’s a skill that will come in handy. That’s a fact.

Social Skills

Getting a great education is super-important, but having the social skills is on another level. Being able to hold a conversation, communicate with others, work well in a team, talk in a way to get people to listen and inspire with the same veracity as, let’s say, Jon Snow. That starts with basic manners like saying please and thank you and ends with sympathising other people’s opinions. You want to make a great first impression and then deliver from then onward.

Lust Or Love

Just think back to when you were young and foolish for a second. All those romantic pit-stops you made, your vision clouded by ideas of young love and finding the one you were meant to be with while working as a barista in some tiny coffee shack in the midwest. It is a time of euphoria and total heartbreak, and that is why you need to help your child understand the difference between love and lust, and why you need to help them recover from a breakup.