How To Monitor Your Kids Without Spying on Them 

Sometimes, the world seems scary. Things such as global warming, crime, famine, war, disease make us want to keep our kids indoors and never let them go. According to the latest statistics, more than 2ooo children are reported missing every day.

Despite these horrible facts, it’s nearly impossible to forbid your kids to play outside on the plastic playground, spend a night over a friend’s house, follow Kim Kardashian on Instagram or dye their hair. They might do all this without you knowing it. Well, eventually, you will see their rainbow hairstyle.

According to PDPlay, playing outside contributes to cognitive and emotional development, improve sensory skills, and increase attention spans in children.

Kids want to explore, become part of the community, and express their individuality. They are going to do something not very thoughtful anyway ( just like you when you were a kid). Making mistakes is part of the learning process. As a parent, you should figure out whether you want to be with them when they are in danger, or you want to be the last to know about their ‘adventure’.

Indeed, monitoring your kids is like walking on thin ice. On the one hand, it would be great to know every little thing about your children in order to help them avoid getting into trouble. On the other hand, they will never agree to you reading their diary just the way you read your Sunday paper. 

Get to know their friends

Being aware of what your kids are doing and who they are hanging out with is the first step. Most kids want to be social because that’s the way they learn and explore the world. You will not always like their friends, but it doesn’t give you the right to speak badly about them and forbid your child from playing with them.

Make sure to invite their friends to your house from time to time. Also, don’t hesitate to get to know their parents. First of all, you might be able to find friends for yourself. Secondly, being on good terms with other parents makes the monitoring process easier.

If you see that your child’s friend behaves inappropriately (swearing, stealing, lying, etc.), talk to your kid about it. It shouldn’t be a negative conversation. All you need to do is to describe the situation and ask your kid about their honest opinion. That’s how you can help your children understand where the line good and bad is and develop their critical thinking.

Have an honest discussion

If you really want to protect your children, warn them about the potential danger. For instance, small kids should be aware that their body parts are private, and no one except a doctor can touch them.

Also, tell them what to do if a stranger starts speaking to them on the street and offering something. Before you start this kind of conversation with your child, tell them that you love them, and want to protect them. It is a much better tactic than using a commanding tone. 

Be their friend

The best way of keeping track of what’s happening in your child’s life is to build trust and become their friend.

Make sure to have one-on-one time with them every day, accept them for who they are, and involve yourself in their interests. It’s important to listen to what they are saying even though you are not the biggest fan of Justin Bieber, Monster High, or League of Legends.

Also, if you want to know your child’s secrets, consider telling them yours as well.

Talk about the media

Some kids have their Instagram profiles before they learn how to walk and speak. Your child is going to have an online presence one day. Maybe they already have, and you just don’t know about it. So, before they create their first Facebook or Instagram account, let them know what they should be aware of. If your child is not even twelve, you might want to ask them for their passwords. Once again, don’t be bossy and respect their decision (in case they refuse to give you their social media account passwords).

Explain to them how they should behave on the Internet. Let them know that they should keep their personal information private, avoid sending their photos to strangers and repost when someone else misbehaves. Encourage them to think twice before they text, post, and share content. The ugly truth is that everything people do on the Internet might stay there forever and even go public.

Consider monitoring programs

If your kids go to school alone, consider installing monitoring programs. Before you do that, let them know about it. If they don’t agree to this, suggest to ‘spy’ on you as well (so that your kids are going to see where you are). 

The bottom line

If you want to protect your kids without spying on them, make sure to establish a trustworthy relationship and become their best friends. Consider inviting their friends to your house so that you can get to know them better.

It’s essential to warn your kids about potential danger and explain to them why you forbid certain things. Before they create their social media account, teach them how to behave online. Also, consider installing monitoring programs so that you know where your kids are playing.

Parenting is a real challenge, but you should know that you are doing a great job so far!

3 Survival Tips for Moving Your Elderly Loved One

Making the decision to move your elderly loved one is never easy. They’re going to be attached to the home where they’ve spent most of their adult lives.

Whether you’re moving your elderly relative to another family members home or to a senior housing community these survival tips are sure to make moving day run smoothly.

See Also: How to Choose the Perfect Senior Housing Option

Plan the Move

As with any other move you want to make sure you have the entire move planned.

I’m talking about from the organizing, packing, repairing, cleaning, and unpacking.

The moment the moving becomes something that’s happening, you should get quotes from a few moving companies, such as Hudson Movers, so you can budget.

It can help to write everything down in a notebook and important dates on a calendar to make sure everyone involved knows what needs to be done and what the current status is.

Ask Other Relatives for Help

Don’t think you can handle the entire moving alone? Maybe you overestimated the amount of time you could dedicate?

Whatever the reason, go ask your relatives for help.

In the case of parents, siblings and cousins are great options. Alternatively, see if your spouse and the kids wouldn’t mind donating a few hours to help you.

They could have a clear schedule to help and in return, it would help take some of the pressure off you.

Decide What to Do with Their Home

Deciding on what to do with your elderly relatives home is something that needs to be determined the moment it is time for them to move.

Maybe you want to renovate it and rent it out. Maybe some other relatives want to move in. Perhaps it’s time to sell it to be able to afford their expenses.

Whichever options you may be considering make sure to discuss them with your elderly relative, if possible, and other authoritative family members.

Keep in mind, you just don’t want to have the house sitting empty or it could lead to squatters setting in or even vandalism.

Make Sure They Have Keepsakes

It’s not easy on your elderly loved one to move. Their new location will probably be a downgrade, which means they’ll have to leave a lot of their belongings behind.

Therefore, if possible, allow them to pack a personal bag that contains some of their memories throughout the years. If they can’t pack their own bag, take a few minutes to put together some keepsakes for them that you’re sure they wouldn’t want to be without.

Conclusion: You Can Survive Moving Your Elderly Loved One

Moving at any point is going to be stressful and not something that you’re looking forward to. With these tips, moving your elderly loved one should go smoothly and it won’t feel like such a burden for you.

Have you ever had to move an elderly loved one? If so, what made the moving process go the easiest?

5 Ways to Plan and Prepare for the Toddler Years

It just seems like yesterday you became a parent to a newborn, now you are transitioning into the toddler years.

The next phase in your little one’s development is probably going to be the most challenging. By now your toddler can walk, run, jump, climb, and is eager to explore their environment. Though, still little, they already have strong opinions on everything.

Be prepared for the inevitable tantrums. They will cry, sulk, demand, and yell. You will wonder why there is so much advice for new parents when this phase is so challenging and there seems to be no comprehensive manual.

Well, here are 5 ways to plan and prepare for those toddler years.

Toddler Safety

Injuries are common for children under the age of four. Some of these injuries may be preventable. As your precious little one grows into a toddler it’s vital that you take precaution to ensure your home is safe as your toddler explores their environment.

Start by putting measures in place to prevent falls for your toddlers. For example, install safety guards on balconies and railings on stairs. Ensure, however, they are at least two meters in height and that the gaps between the rails are no wider than 12.5cm.

Toddlers are often very good at climbing and squeezing through small spaces. Remove as many of these possibilities as possible.

Also, if you often travel in the car with your child, you may want to start transitioning from the rear-facing baby car seat to a booster seat for your toddler as their height and weight allows you to lawfully do so.

The move from a baby seat to a booster seat ensures your bundle of joy is properly secured with the appropriate age seat harness.

Toddler Play

Understand that your toddler is keen to explore their environment and often they do this through play.

By playing and interacting with others your child learns valuable life lessons that stay with them. For example, your child might sometimes want to draw which is an excellent way to explore their creativity.

Create a space for your toddler to be able to do this so you do not end up with scribbles on your lounge, walls, and doors. Yes, it happens!

Your duty as a parent is to create a conducive and safe environment for them to play. You can also learn about age-specific games to suggest during their playtime.

Take advantage of every playtime to encourage them to learn and practice new skills. For example, while doing your laundry, you can get them to sort your socks and theirs.

Playgroups are a great means of allowing them space to play. This was the only times my kids got to paint. I was not game enough to deal with the mess paint creates at home.

Toddler Education

Stimulate your toddler’s interest in learning by reading, talking, and singing to them. As you sing, talk, share stories every day with your child you are helping them become familiar with sounds, words, and language which will help their literary abilities.

You can start by familiarising them with the letters of their name. Then, associating each letter with a different word.

Use rhymes and songs to get words to stick and while reading to them be sure to point under each word as you read them out.

Also, ensure storytelling is done regularly, is relaxed and fun that way your child will look forward to it. Take your cue from your little one, there are days they may not want to spend time reading, that’s OK too.

Toddler Behaviour

You will find at this age your toddler has a handful of ways to show their displeasure at something. It is not uncommon for the child to throw tantrums, yell, refuse things, throw away their toys, and even bang their head on the ground in order to have their way, get your attention, or show they are unhappy.

You should first seek to understand why your child is behaving in a certain way. Have they had enough sleep recently? Is the child healthy?

Lack of adequate rest could influence how your toddler reacts to situations. Plus, these challenging behaviors could be an early sign they are not healthy – you might want to take them to your physician for a checkup.

Toddler Sleep

Understanding your child’s changing sleep pattern will help you train them to master a healthy sleeping routine.

One positive at this stage of your child’s development is that they are likely to sleep through most nights without waking, unlike the early days.

However, the real work is in actually getting them to bed in the first place. So, you may want to maintain a firm and consistent sleep routine.

It is worth noting that it’s normal for most toddlers to sleep an average of 10-12 hours a day. 10 hours of sleep in the night and 1-2 hours of nap during the day.

A New Mom’s Guide to Using Breast Pumps

Being a new mom can be both exciting and scary. There are many things that you must learn as you navigate through all the do’s and don’ts of parenthood. One of the first things that every mom takes on is breastfeeding. After all, breast milk is dubbed as the “superfood” for a reason.

However, every once in a while, you will be unable to breastfeed your baby. You might think that you will always be around 24/7, but eventually, reasons will appear. You may have to go back to work or perhaps your little one is unable to latch on properly. The good news is, you can use a breast pump to collect milk and store it for future meals. Because you can create a stash of milk, your baby will not have to skip this nutrient-filled food. 

There are 2 types of breast pumps, electric and manual. Manual pumps are less expensive than their electric counterparts and are travel-friendly because they don’t need an outlet to work. Electric breast pumps, on the other hand, take no effort to use and are more efficient in expressing milk. But if you’re worried about portability, according to CuteLittleDarling.com, you can now find an electric breast pump that is rechargeable. What this means is you can also take your unit with you wherever without worrying for a power source. 

When Can You Start Pumping?

Some moms immediately start pumping right after their baby is born. The reason for this is because pumping can help encourage their milk supply. If the child is born premature, his/her mom can start early on pumping as well.

However, do note that it is crucial that you have established breastfeeding first before bottle feeding. This usually happens around your baby’s 4 to 6 months of life, and after this, you can pump in between your feeding sessions. The back and forth expressing of milk in breastfeeding and pumping allows you to drain your breasts more efficiently and prevent engorgement.

If you have to leave for a long duration, you can start pumping 2 to 3 weeks beforehand to get more comfortable. Pumping this early also lets you collect enough milk for your baby.

When is the Best Time to Pump?

The short answer is during the day, or better yet, in the morning. Your breasts are going to be naturally fuller during this time, which can help you pump more efficiently. If you are interchangeably breastfeeding and pumping, you can do your session an hour after you breastfeed your baby in the morning. However, you can also pump during the evening if this is more convenient for you.

Some moms even use a manual pump type called a milk catcher. Pumping using a milk catcher is also called passive pumping because it only catches the milk from your breast as you breastfeed with the other. Passive pumping is an efficient way to avoid wasted milk and expand your stash.

Speaking of expanding your milk stockpile, pumping every 2 hours in-between breastfeeding can also help in increasing your milk supply. Milk production works in a supply and demand scheme, which means, to maintain your production level, you have to keep your demand.

If you’re not with your baby, you can pump at the same time with his/her breastfeeding session. This way, you can keep your milk supply level high. If you are replacing missed breastfeeding sessions, it is best that you pump every 3 or 4 hours similar to a baby’s milk demand.

How Long Should It Take Using the Pump?

The duration of each mom using a pump will vary individually. Some women only need 15 minutes to express the right amount of breast milk, while some take twice the time. Once you notice that your breasts feel drained and the milk flow is slowing down, you can stop your session. 

As we have said earlier, you can pump every 3 or 4 hours. This takes a total of 8 to 10 times a day and usually gives you more than a thousand milliliters of milk. Pumping for this duration can boost your milk production and allows you to drain your breasts with milk efficiently. 

How to Prepare for a Pumping Session

It is essential that you feel relaxed and comfortable before pumping. Some people even suggest thinking of your baby as it contributes to stimulating your body to produce milk.

You can also massage your breasts before (and during) pumping or put a warm compress on them to stimulate milk let-down. Besides these methods, check if you have the perfect flange size will make pumping more effective and comfortable. 

How to Use a Breast Pump

Each model may have a specific direction unique to it, which is why it is best to read its manual first. However, some general things that you must know in using a breast pump involve the following:

  • Check if you have the right flange size. You can also moisten the flange itself with water to create a good seal. 
  • Your nipple must be in the center of the flange before you start pumping.
  • Start with a low suction level. Most pumps on the market mimic a baby’s suction rhythm, which involves 2 phases; stimulation and expression.
  • After each use, make sure that you clean your pump. Closed system pumps are easier to clean because it has a barrier between the pump mechanism and the collected milk.
  • Pay attention to the pump parts that are in contact with the milk and your breast. Clean and scrub them with hot water and liquid soap and then air dry. You should also check if the unit you have is dishwasher safe to save time.

How to Store Breast Milk 

First, fill your milk bottles only three-quarters full. The reason for this allowance is because frozen milk can expand. You should also never freeze milk in large quantities as they will be difficult to thaw.

You can store freshly expressed milk for as long as 4 hours in room temperature. Keep in mind that they must be away from any sources of heat. If you put your milk in the fridge, its lifespan can last up to 4 days. But if you want a longer preservation period, you can opt to put your stash in the freezer for as long as 6 months. Pro tip: Label each milk bottle to keep track on which you should use first.

Making high-end fashion meet technology – The secret of success of Casio Singapore shock-resistant watches

For men, it is no longer enough to be dressed to impress but knowing how to wear a watch correctly and choose a brand and style that upholds the personality should never go amiss. And to this extent, Casio has an answer for all fashion needs for men that also supports their ambitions to perform at their peak with proper technological support from watches. Watches, though small, can make a significant impact on the style that makes a world of difference because people notice even the smaller details to evaluate a person.

Casio had aimed for developing a watch that never breaks and, in their endeavor, landed up discovering its shock resistant range of watches G-shock that have become an icon in fashion and functionality. The watch that has become synonymous with toughness is not only for tough guys but also for those who want to display it as a valuable fashion accessory. Although it is hard to say which comes first, fashion or functionality, it will be safe to assume that both go hand in hand in Casio Singapore watches.

What G-shock really means?

To say that G-shock watches are shock resistant would be an understatement because only when you know about its wide-ranging resistive abilities that you will realize the power of the small devices. Remember that the watch is the toughest device ever made, and naturally, it can resist every type of shock. Correctly speaking, these watches have 7 elements of shock resistance – it can resist electric shock and water and even low temperature, gravity, shock, vibration, and toughness. Casio packs the watches with its technologies and innovations to achieve the desired level of shock resistance. Typically, protective urethane for internal components and suspended timekeeping modules keep the watches completely unaffected by shocks.

Comfort, style, and functionality

Casio G-shock watches are examples of superior workmanship and technology that has helped to create the devices considered tactical timepieces that never compromise on toughness while ensuring comfort and style. To look for an item that perfectly blends comfort, style, and functionality, there is no need to look beyond G-shock watches that have become the benchmark for the fashion seeking males. Every piece of the watch has its own appeal and meets the aesthetic criteria of fashion-conscious men who are also keen to flaunt a technologically superior watch that meets their high aspirations.

Wearable technology devices

Watches have evolved over the centuries, and now what men wear on their wrists does a lot more than mere timekeeping. To be precise, watches are no more the simple chronometer but aptly named wearable technology devices that can do everything from tracking your health to monitoring your movements and measuring altitude and much more. Men are fond of wearable devices, just as women are fond of jewelry.

Those involved in extreme activities like adventurers and explorers would like the watches that pack a host of technological features to make the devices work in the most severe environment, and Casio could meet their expectations with watches that never fail to thrill.

How to Choose the Perfect Senior Housing Option

Finding the right senior housing options for you can be a challenge. Retirement is a major life change, and the reality is often a major surprise compared to what people expect as they reach retirement age. But when it comes to senior housing, there are more options today than there have ever been.

Starting in 2035, an estimated 2.5 million seniors plan on moving out of their homes, and today’s seniors have very different expectations about what senior housing should look like. The industry has taken notice and they’re coming up with innovative solutions to give seniors more choice.

The Senior of Tomorrow

There are some major differences between today’s and tomorrow’s seniors and older adults in the past. For one, many Boomer seniors are actually financially better off than their children. They’re going to have to rely more on their own resources for senior housing. Second, they’re generally healthier and living longer, expecting to live independently for longer. Finally, many are hoping to find retirement residences with a comfortable atmosphere and a focus on community engagement and social life.

What to Look for in a Retirement Community

#1 Independent Living

Independent living is housing designed for seniors – ranging from separated houses to apartments – that’s friendlier to older adults, easy to navigate, more compact, and requires no maintenance or yard work.

There may be options where you don’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning, or laundry, and most offer amenities like swimming pools or tennis courts. There are also likely to be no shortage of events and activities like exercise programs, holiday gatherings, gardening, movie nights, art classes, and more.

#2 Smart Design

Although moving into a smaller home or senior living apartment may mean less space, it should be better designed. You will need wider hallways, accessibility fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen beyond grab bars such as walk-in bathtubs, non-slip floors, and levers instead of doorknobs. These will make navigating easier even if you require a walker or wheelchair, and they will reduce the risk of injury later.

#3 Location

How close is it to your community? To family and friends? Is it convenient for doctors’ offices, shopping, parks, and other amenities? The most important factor in location is whether or not it’s close to communities, places, and people that are important to you.

You should also consider whether or not alternative transportation options are available, as older seniors drive less. Is the location walkable, close to transit, or do the facilities offer shuttle buses?

#4 Prepare for Changes in Your Health

Many consumers don’t think about changes in their health when they find a new place to live in. There are increasingly senior living options that provide flexible care options: nursing care or even memory care available in senior living apartments so that you don’t have to move again. Once is enough.

#5 Affordability

Finally, there’s affordability. While many seniors would prefer to stay in their homes, it may not be practical given the costs of retrofitting – or the fact that many of today’s retirees have most of their net worth in their homes. Selling is the most effective way to tap into that equity reliably.

You’re going to have a lot of options for senior housing. Look at your finances and consider your priorities before you make your decision. 

Edwards Syndrome: Overview, Diagnosis, and Risks

Edwards syndrome, or trisomy 18, is a rare genetic condition in which an individual has one or more extra copies of the 18th chromosome. For the most part, Edwards syndrome occurs randomly as a result of an error during meiosis, which is the process of sex cell division, but it may be possible for someone to be a partial carrier of this condition. (A partial carrier is someone who has the genetic mutation which causes Edwards Syndrome but doesn’t show symptoms and is at risk for passing it on to their children.)

Trisomy 18 is associated with significant developmental problems, and babies born with it will usually have a reduced life expectancy. However, if you are pregnant, it is possible to find out whether your baby is affected by Edwards syndrome in the womb. This knowledge can help you to make important decisions about your prenatal care, and your baby’s care after birth.

How is Edwards Syndrome Detected?

Edwards syndrome can often be detected in a fetus within 7 days of undergoing the MaterniT21 PLUS prenatal screening. This non-invasive blood test poses no harm to the developing child but can inform of the baby’s likelihood to be born with a number of genetic abnormalities. If a prenatal screening test shows signs that a baby has a chromosomal abnormality, additional testing will be necessary. Prenatal genetic screening is not considered a diagnostic test.

How is Edwards Syndrome Diagnosed?

Trisomy 18 can be diagnosed before and after birth. The only way to diagnose this condition before birth is by undergoing some form of prenatal diagnostic testing, including amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. These tests involve inserting a needle into the uterus to remove a small sample of the placenta or the baby’s amniotic fluid. The DNA from the sample is then tested in a lab to confirm any genetic abnormality.

Edwards syndrome can also be diagnosed after birth when symptoms of the condition become apparent and the doctor performs a physical exam on the child. This diagnosis will always be confirmed with DNA testing in order to verify the presence of an extra 18th chromosome.

What are the Symptoms of Edwards Syndrome?

Depending on the location of the extra 18th chromosome, symptoms of Edwards syndrome will vary in severity. Babies with this condition will often be low in weight, cry softly, and will have difficulty growing. They may also be born with underdeveloped organs and abnormally small body parts.

What are the Risks of Edwards Syndrome?

Due to the wide range of developmental problems in these children, only 5-10% live beyond their first year. Those who survive past the first year often face considerable health challenges and intellectual disability that can make independence difficult.

Females are more likely to survive longer with this condition, though lower mortality rates have been noted for those with higher birth weights of both genders

Speak with Your Doctor

Remember that most babies are born healthy, but if you are concerned that your baby may be born with a genetic disorder, speak with your doctor. They will be able to recommend specific testing options that are right for you and your medical history, as well as answer any questions you may have about the condition or the process.

If your child is found to have Edwards syndrome while still in-utero, you may have additional questions about their condition and their future care. A genetic counselor may help make this news more manageable by helping guide you and your family through the pregnancy and planning for the future.

6 Easy Tips for Entertaining at Home This Summer

This summer is set to be a blazing hot one. In fact, June this year was the hottest on record. So, it all points towards high temperatures persisting all the way through summer. And that means there’s never been a better time to help people cool off by entertaining them at your home.

But you need to keep everyone comfortable, so they have the best possible time. Here are a few easy tips for you to make your next event a memorable one.

Do the Work First

Don’t be that person who tries to prep and plan in the minutes before your guests arrive. Prep and plan well in advance so everything is ready and you don’t have to worry about anything.

After all, don’t you want to join the party and enjoy it with your friends and family?

Decorate with Your Flowers

Nothing says summer like flowers. But before you decide to waste money on buying them from the store, look closer to home.

Take a glance at the leaves and flowers in your garden. A few minutes spent making some strategic cuts can create a few small bouquets for your event. Tie them together with some pretty ribbons and you have your decorations ready to go.

Invest in Some Outdoor Cookware

Some people decide to pull out the grill. But why not do something different and consider pulling out an outdoor pizza oven from Forno Venetzia instead?

Other options might include a premium grill or a minibar so guests can serve themselves.

Keep Your Guests Cool

The latest heatwave has been blamed for at least six deaths already. It’s important to keep cool if you’re hanging out this summer.

Make sure you have a lot of ice on hand. Have more than you need if the temperatures start to soar.

Offering some summery cocktails to your guests is an excellent way of making sure everyone is comfortable.

Make Things Cozy at Night

Maybe you decided to hold an event in the evening instead? During the summer season, people always underestimate how the temperature can change at night.

Nothing creates some awesome summer memories like a campfire or a firepit. They are a great way to end events that you may host as the summer season ends. 

Just make sure you check to make sure your local town or city doesn’t prohibit fires on residential property to avoid being fined. 

Keep the Bugs Away

Unfortunately, summer also brings bugs. Mosquitoes are perhaps the biggest nuisance, especially at sunset.

Not all your guests are going to be well-prepared for this apocalypse. Try to have lots and LOTS of insect repellent to stop your guests from becoming uncomfortable and packing up early.

There are plenty of insect repellents on the market, but you should choose only EPA approved repellents, so you know that they’re safe and that they actually work.

Last Word – Creating the Best Summer Gathering Ever

Good friends, good food, and good drinks are the only real things that people expect when they go to a party.

Provide all these things and your party is always going to be a success. Do everything you can to make your guests comfortable and they’ll want to return every weekend!

Have you started planning your summer party yet?