16 July 2018

Parent-Child Bonding 101: Why Every Mom & Dad Should Cook with Their Kids

It is understandable that you want your children to stay away from the stove or knives when you are cooking. However, allowing your child to help you cook can be beneficial in the long run. The following guide contains several reasons why every parent should cook with their children.

Cooking Together Is an Educational Experience
You can turn a cooking session into an educational experience for your children. Use this as a chance to teach your children how to crack an egg or slice an apple. Let them measure the ingredients to improve their reading and math skills. This is also your chance to talk to your children about a balanced diet. You can introduce them to different fruits and vegetables and teach them the benefits of healthy eating.

Everyone Feels Included During Mealtime
Children love to feel like they are a part of the team, and this is why they want to help you in the kitchen. You can find a job for everyone regardless of their age, from stirring the ingredients to peeling the potatoes. Your children are sure to feel grown up as they cook with the same pots and pans, like those from Brooklyn Copper Cookware, that you use on a regular basis. No more plastic playware! Your children also feel a sense of pride because they had an important role in preparing this meal.

Children Are Open to Trying New Flavors
The best part of cooking is being able to sample the flavors as you prepare a meal. Your children may want to try the fruit salad, stuffed tomatoes or lemon chicken they helped you cook. Cooking is a great way to encourage your children to try different dishes, and this opens their taste buds to a new world of food. Your children may or may not enjoy the meal, but the important thing is they tried a new dish.

You Are Spending Quality Time Together
It is important to spend time with your children, and cooking a meal is the perfect activity for the whole family. Cooking together gives you the chance to bond even when you have a busy schedule. You are teaching your children a new skill and making memories they are sure to treasure. You can also catch up with your children when you have some downtime, such as waiting for a cake to bake.

There is nothing wrong with letting your children help you cook a simple breakfast or main course. Your children are going to develop several skills when helping you cook, and they may even create their own recipes as they grow older.

09 July 2018

Back-to-School Shopping Essentials

Whether your children are entering kindergarten, starting up their high school careers or heading off to college, back-to-school season often means running from store to store in search of the necessities for a successful year. Help your student make the grade this year with some of these top picks for everything from classroom tools like calculators and planners to lunchtime solutions like lunchboxes, water filtration systems and on-the-go snacks. 

Find more tips and back-to-school essentials to ensure your kids have everything they need before class is back in session at eLivingToday.com

On-Trend Tech

Send students back to school in style with a dedicated math and science machine in one of the year’s trendiest tones. “Rose Curve Gold” is now an available color option for Texas Instruments’ TI-84 Plus Color Edition (CE) line of graphing calculators. Now thinner and lighter with six times the memory, the calculator can take students from middle school through high school and into advanced college courses. For more information, visit education.ti.com

Packing Perfection

Back-to-school season requires plenty of packing and preparing. Be ready with an option like this Freezable Hampton Lunch Bag from PackIt, built to hold containers and bottles of various sizes for easy on-the-go access. The large, redesigned shoulder tote has built-in freezable gel to keep items cool, and the interior wipes clean with its food-safe lining. The kids can have everything they need all packed in one collapsible bag made from non-toxic poly canvas. For more information and packing gear, visit PackIt.com

Drink Smarter

America’s drinking water infrastructure received a “D” grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers in its 2017 report card. However, you can still send your preschool- through college-aged students back to school with cleaner, great-tasting water. The PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration System is an on-demand filtered water solution certified to reduce more than 70 contaminants, including 99 percent of lead – more than any other brand, according to NSF. Learn more at PUR.com

Fashionably Warm

The school year typically brings with it cooler temperatures. Ensure your student is prepared for the elements whether he or she has to walk across campus or wait at the bus stop with the proper outerwear, including a light jacket for fall. With a variety of styles, lengths and materials available, the right jacket can be both functional and fashionable. 

Savory School-Day Snacks

Whether it’s for lunch or snacking on-the-go, an option like these convenient packs of Sabra Singles can satisfy midday cravings. Bursting with great taste and wholesome nutrition, these 2-ounce servings of Sabra hummus are packed with plant-based ingredients you can feel good about. Pair with veggies or pita chips for a nutritious lunchtime snack, and find more at sabra.com

Personalized Organization

Help your student keep those notes, study times and test dates organized with a quality planner that also showcases his or her personality. Available in a myriad of trendy colors and patterns – like polka dots, stripes or chevron – as well as various calendar layouts like daily, weekly or monthly, the right planner can help your child stay on track, achieve goals and preserve memories in one stylish and organized place.

05 July 2018

Raising Happy, Healthy & Well-Rounded Children

Raising Happy, Healthy & Well-Rounded Children

Every mom only ever wants the best for their children. But whether you realize it or not, this is often so much harder to achieve than you could ever imagine. A lot of the time, you tend to just go along with parenting - much like you do with anything else in life. You find your feet and you just try to get through each and every day. However, this isn’t always going to allow you to bring your children up to the best of your abilities. Instead, you need to set intentions with your parenting. If you want to raise happy, healthy, and well-rounded children, not only do you need to set boundaries, but you also need to work through five key areas, as shown below.

Create A Supportive Family Environment

So first of all, you’re going to want to make sure that the environment you bring your children up in is just right. This is something that we don’t always think about, but it really does contribute to how your children can grow. So make sure that you’re being a supportive parent, and that your home environment is welcoming, positive, and encouraging. This is often hard when you’re stressed out in life, but if you want the best for your children, you really have to focus on this.

Let Them Choose Their Path

As a step on from that, you’re also going to want to make sure that you let your children be themselves. Sometimes parents can take the above point too far. You want the best for your children so much that you push your desires on them. But this only ever suppresses your child. So it’s always going to be important to let them decide on their life for themselves. You will need to guide them and keep them on track, but ultimately, the choice should be theirs.

Focus On A Happy Childhood

Focus On A Happy Childhood

Next, you’re going to want to make sure that they just have a happy childhood. So think about days out, playdates, having a pet - there’s more info on that here - and just anything else that makes their life enjoyable. Remember, they’re only a kid once, so just make sure that they enjoy their childhood.

Support Their Growth

From here, you’re then going to want to make sure that you’re caring for their health. Diet and exercise is so important. If you’re not too sure on this, there are details here on the best nutrition for kids. Then you can ensure that they’re going into a healthy adult.

Encourage Their Strengths & Interests

Finally, you should also ensure that you’re doing what you can to nurture their strengths. This can involve things that they’re good at in school - whether that’s academics or sports or arts or anything else. This is a great way to help them figure out what they want to do with their futures. But that’s not all, you’ll also want to make sure that they’re pursuing their interests too, as these could also lead on to something. Then you will find that they’re not only happy and healthy, but they’re well-rounded too.

Creativity Your Child Can Take Part In

Kids are full of imagination. It’s what makes their pictures so colorful and their crayons so blunt, and it’s why we laugh at the stories that come out of their mouths. Being creative is quite natural for anyone under the age of 15, and kids rarely have to practice to come up with an idea or have some fun because of it! But as children get older and older, their creativity is better put to use when it’s funneled into something productive that they can enjoy, which can help them out with their career and passion dreams when they’re adults.

Creativity starts at home, and it’s something that every child should be allowed to explore freely until they find something to do that they really love. So with all that in mind, here’s a couple of ideas for how you can better direct your child’s creativity during this sensitive time, without limiting them in any way. 

So you might have to put all the lids back on the paint, but getting it everywhere is all part of the creative process, honestly!

Try Some LEGO Builds

It’s the toy that keeps on giving! And hey, you never know when you have a little architect or engineer in your household if you don’t set up some Lego building challenges from time to time! You’ve probably got a whole box of the stuff in the attic, so now’s the time to dig it out and get building; you’ve got a picture to recreate, a time limit to do it in, and you little five year old is depending on you to help them beat their older brother at the game! 

If you’ve ever seen a Lego sculpture on the internet or in the news for being a world first, and thought about how that works… well now you can find out and try to build something like it yourself!

Make Jewelry Together

It’s something that can be very fiddly and intricate, but it can teach your child about patience and determination, and how to keep their cool when a necklace just won’t chain together! Rings are really quite interesting to make as well, seeing as you can teach a bit of healthy of safety with a hot glue gun to stick to the art your kid has created to the actual ring itself. 

And hey, you’re going to have a lot of fun whilst you’re at it, putting all kinds of beads and pieces together to create something that’s really fashion forward. You can check here for some ideas to get you started if you have no clue how to create something you’d actually love for your little one to wear outside!

Being creative is something that should flow naturally, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take practice to get good at it. Start young and your child will be an absolute artistic wonder by the time they reach their teens, and they’re going to love every minute of your supportive process!

03 July 2018

How to Set Boundaries & Rules When It Comes to Your Teen’s Driving

At some point, you may need to teach your teenager how to drive. It is an important skill that will allow your son or daughter to be more independent. However, it is also a skill that can take time to learn, which means that you should set boundaries for when and where they are able to drive.

No Unapproved Passengers Allowed
Ideally, the only passengers who will be in the car with your child are siblings or other family members. For instance, your child should be allowed to bring a younger brother or sister to school or drive you to work if necessary. If your child is going to drive with friends, you should set a limit as to how many people can be in the car at one time. This can work to limit the potential distraction that a young driver may not be ready to deal with.

Don’t Let Them Drive Alone in Inclement Weather
While your teen driver will have to learn how to drive in rain or snow eventually, you should be in the car as they do so. Unless your son or daughter is going to drive a short distance, they should not be allowed to drive alone during a major rain, snow or ice event.

Teach Proper Phone Use While Driving
It is no secret that teenagers love to use their phones. This is often true even while they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. Parents should be sure that their children either turn their phones off while driving or use an app that limits their ability to make calls or receive messages while driving. Most major phone companies offer some sort of service that limits how the phone can be used.

Limit the Hours During Which They Can Drive
Many states do not allow teen drivers to be on the road at night unless they are coming home from work. Even if state law doesn’t restrict a teen from driving at night, you should as a concerned parent. The rules that you put in place should be based on your teen’s experience level and competency as a driver.

As a parent, it is important that your teen driver comes home safe after every trip. In addition to the ground rules that you put in place, an insurance policy from companies such as LA Insurance can provide financial protection. This can protect your assets in the event that your child causes an accident or damages the car.