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The Ultimate Balancing Act: Giving Your Kids Independence, While Keeping Them Safe

Independence and safety is a constant battleground for parents. We want to let our children have some freedom as they grow up. We want them to able to go and play with their friends, to stay for after-school clubs on their own, and even to go to events with friends and on their own. We know that to grow up to be responsible, careful and streetwise adults, this freedom in their younger years is essential. But, we worry. When they first start playing out alone, we sit trying to watch them through the window. Those first few weeks of them walking home from school alone, we’re constantly checking the time and fighting the temptation to call them.

We want to give them freedom. We want to show them that we trust them, and we want them to be able to grow up, exploring their own personality and character in their own space. We want them to be sensible, independent and responsible. Yet above all, we want them to be safe. It’s a delicate balance between protecting them and letting them go a little bit. Here are some tips to help you to get it right as your kids get older.

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Educate Them

The very best way to keep your children safe as you start letting them out into the world alone is with education. Teach them about stranger danger and who to call in an emergency. Tell them what to do if they need help and make sure they know your name, address, and phone number. But also teach them things like local public transport information, take them out walking so that they know the local area on foot and teach them anything at all that you think that they need to know.

In today’s world, online safety and independence is another concern. The Family Orbit iPhone App can help you to keep them safe but teaching them as much as you can about keeping themselves safe online can also be a massive help.

Set Some Ground Rules

Rules are often the key to safety. Give them times to be in. If there’s somewhere you don’t want to go, make it a rule. You might want to say that they can only go out alone on weekends or once homework is complete. It’s also ok to tell them that they need to check in with you with a text or phone call at regular intervals. Rules keep them safe and help everyone to feel more at ease.

Encourage Honesty (Without Hounding Them)

It’s crucial that your kids feel happy talking to you about what they do, who they see and how they feel. Ask them questions about their friends and what they’ve been up to, without it seeming like you are grilling them. Talk about your own day, ask natural questions and encourage an open and honest relationship between you. This will mean that they are much more likely to come to you if they need help.

It’s Ok to Worry

All parents worry when their children start to become more independent. It’s normal and natural, but you shouldn’t let your worries hold your children back.

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4 Ways To Connect With Your Partner (That Don’t Center On The Kids)

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Parents put their kids first – that’s what being a mom or a dad is all about. And, 99% of people wouldn’t have it any other way. Still, it doesn’t mean focusing on them all of the time is a great idea. Sometimes, you and your partner have to put your needs in clear view to create a strong, unbreakable bond. And, you should do it without using the kids as a focal point as it will provide you with mutual interests that add spice to the relationship.

If the idea of connecting without the kids sounds tough, don’t worry because it isn’t as tricky as it seems. Here are four ways to do it that are astoundingly simple.

Spoil Them

Typically, it’s the kids that get the surprise gifts. You just can’t beat the smile on their faces when they open a present that they love. But, don’t forget that your partner likes to feel loved too. Out-of-the-blue gifts are the perfect way to show that you care, which will boost your bond. Not only that, you can tailor it so that you can do it together. Jasmine Traditional Thai Massage will give you a couples’ massage, meaning you can enjoy the experience as a duo.

Prioritize Date Night

Everybody understands the importance of date night, yet lots of men and women fail to prioritize it on a weekly basis. Sometimes, work gets in the way or the pair of you can’t be bothered to get ready and leave the house. Most people have been there and it isn’t embarrassing to admit you prefer chilling in pajamas than eating at a swanky restaurant. However, going on a regular date is the best way to get away from home life and be adults for an hour or two. Even if you book a hotel room and watch a movie, the time alone will bring you closer together.

PDA

Nope, this isn’t a hip new drug the cool kids are taking. It stands for Public Displays of Affection, and it’s something your children will inevitably hate. But, kissing in public or holding hands are two excellent ways to build bonds. For one thing, it’s a sign both people are lost in their happiness. No one cares about who’s watching because you’re smitten. Also, it gives the relationship the spark back. In your younger days, you would probably kiss and cuddle all the time. Therefore, it’s a reminder you’re still very much in love.

Spend Time Apart

It sounds illogical because connecting with your partner relies on being close to one another. The way it works is simple: when you’re not together, you realize how much you miss your spouse. As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. With this in mind, it’s essential to have separate hobbies and activities and to give each other space. Go out for a drink with the girls, for example, or join a different gym so that you’re not always stepping on each others’ toes.

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5 Ways To Save Money

We’d all like to be able to save a bit more every month but sometimes no sooner has the paycheck landed in our accounts, then it’s out again thanks to bills, rent, car payments, school fees and medical treatments. Throw in something unexpected like a large bill, or denied insurance claims, and things can seem impossible. It’s not easy pinching pennies, and it’s important to know what items you should pay extra for such as quality meats, a cable provider or comprehensive insurance and those that, if you know where to look, you can get for less.  

Buy In Bulk

No matter what time of the year household goods such as toilet paper, bin bags, soap, kitchen roll and laundry detergent are items we need. However, it could be worth stocking up while deals are on, buy one get one free, three for ten dollars etc, to save money in the long run or even consider buying your essentials elsewhere. Supermarkets tend to mark up prices on household items so it may be cheaper to purchase them online, visit a warehouse or even buy them at the drugstore.



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Stick To Your Grocery List

We all arrive at the supermarket determined to buy what’s on the list and only that but somehow by the time we arrive at the till it never happens. If you can, avoid taking children with you when grocery shopping as the basket will be piled high with sweets and chocolate or distract them by turning looking for items into a game. They’ll be so busy trying to find the pasta that they’ll forget to add the candy. Sticking to a list helps you identify what you eat the most and means you’ll be on the lookout for deals as well as looking to see if there are cheaper alternatives. Make sure you eat a proper meal before you browse the aisles, as it’ll remove the temptation to throw anything and everything into the shopping cart so you can just get home.

Switch Off Your Appliances

Even when you’ve removed your phone from the charger electricity still continues to flow through the cable if it’s still turned on at the wall. By making sure all devices, cables not in use and even lights are switched off before you leave the house each morning you could lower your monthly electricity bill by around ten percent as well as helping the environment.

Research Big Purchases

Big purchases such as a new TV, games console or sofa require a little bit of thought and preparation to avoid you spending cash unnecessarily. Make a note of the make and model of the item that you like, check the price and look around. Online retailers tend to have more stock, but independent dealers will have more freedom to negotiate so decide what’s important to you and go from there.

A Dollar A Day

A dollar may not seem like much but if you pop a buck into a savings account, or even a glass jar, every day over the course of a year you’ll then have $365 to spend. A healthy savings account will help pay for surprise family holidays, a different car or a boatload of new gadgets.