Month: March 2021

When you’re a single parent, you have double responsibilities. You are in charge of everything including childcare and the household chores. You might be even working more than a single job just to make sure all the bills are paid and your kids are well taken care of.

According to statistics, the U.S. ranks number one when it comes to the highest rate of kids residing in a single-parent household. You already have your hands full of work and ensuring the kids are fed on time. If there is one more thing that could be bugging your restless mind, that would be the costly home maintenance and repairs.

The last thing you want to happen is to face numerous financial emergencies caused by your inability to prioritize home upkeep. But with your hands already full, how can you take the time off to take care of the house, let alone maintain it? There are a few secrets even the busiest homeowners do to ensure they keep up with home maintenance and repairs.

Start With a Home Maintenance Checklist

There are lots of things you ought to maintain around the house. But then, there are things you can’t afford to forget. Being too busy is not enough excuse to skip a necessary maintenance task as this can save hundreds of dollars in the long run.

So, make sure you have a maintenance checklist in place. You can simply copy one off of the internet. Just make sure it lists the maintenance tasks you need to do for every season. This will help you ensure you don’t forget anything.

Don’t forget to add a deep cleaning schedule. This will enable you to inspect the house for any signs of wear, tear, or damage. This way, you can tackle everything you missed cleaning during our regular and daily cleaning sessions.

Have a List of Reliable Local Contractors Ready

You can never tell when you will need a professional to inspect, maintain, or even repair an appliance or system. It will be easier for you to call the pros if you already have their contacts in place. Researching ahead of time is a good way to save yourself from the hassle of not knowing whom to call in cases of emergency repairs.

Do a bit of online research to find local contractors, plumbers, electricians, and the like. You can also consider asking your family, friend, or neighbor about a reliable handyman they worked with in the past. Make sure to check their reviews and have at least three contacts for each category to match.

Save their numbers on your phone and a separate record somewhere you can easily see them. This could be your phone book or a simple note on your fridge. You should not wait for an emergency behavior you find yourself professionals you will need.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

There are home maintenance and repair jobs you can safely tackle without a license. But if you have no skills yet, you can always ask someone for help. Don’t simply ask a relative, friend, neighbor, or landlord to help you with a DIY project.

Make sure you are present and ask relevant questions to learn how they do it. Knowing how to DIY home maintenance can save you thousands of dollars each year. Instead of simply watching a DIY video, having someone come over so you can ask them to teach you is always a better choice.

Don’t feel guilty for spending money on a cleaning service as you, too, deserve a break. Also, it won’t hurt to ask someone to watch over the kids for you while you DIY home maintenance. This could be your older child, a friend, a relative, or a trusty old neighbor.

Look for a Home Improvement Grant

When you’re already on a tight budget, you can consider looking for a home improvement grant. There are many states that aim to help their single-parent residents in covering the costs of home repairs, updates, and improvements. You just need to a bit of research to see if you qualify.

Did you know that there are other loans and grants available for single mothers? The FHA, VA, and USDA offer loans or grants if you qualify for their program. Different options offer different benefits and risks, so make sure to do your homework before you take the plunge.

Consider a Home Warranty

You may already have home insurance in place. But this won’t help ensure you are well covered in case of system and appliance failure. Normal wear and tear are unavoidable, making a home warranty a must.

This can help cover for the unexpected breakdowns of your home systems and appliances. There are home warranties offered at an affordable price, giving you peace of mind at the right time.

Maintaining a house is not for the faint heart. But since you’re the homeowner, it becomes your responsibility to keep up with the home repairs. This list can help you make home maintenance more manageable, even if you’re a single parent working hard to give your kids the best in life.

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Baby sleepsuits, bathrobe, socks, car seat: Learn about the must-have things in your maternity suitcase when going to the hospital for childbirth.

You have been waiting for nine months, and you are now counting days to delivery. Though full of uncertainty, these are happy moments for any mother who can’t wait to see and hold their baby. One way of ensuring that nothing goes wrong on the big day is good preparation. You should pack your maternity suitcase weeks before your expected delivery date to avoid the last-minute rush if the baby arrives earlier than expected. Below is a checklist of the must-have things in your maternity bag.

What to include in the suitcase for mum

While most hospitals provide the basics for delivery, you may need some extra items for more comfort, plus there are some essentials that the hospital won’t provide. Before packing, it is advisable to call the hospital to confirm if there are restrictions about what you should wear or eat. The checklist below will help you determine the mum items you need to pack in your maternity suitcase.

  • Essential Documents: You should ensure that essential documents like your picture ID, Insurance card and medical records are in the suitcase. The hospital might need these documents at check-in and for admission.
  • A robe: A comfortable robe is one of the most comfortable clothing during labour and after delivery.
  • A birth plan: Carry several copies of your birth plan to be shared among the members of the medical team. A good birth plan will help doctors give you quality services by outlining your preferences during labour and delivery.
  • Toiletries: Since you may be required to stay in the hospital for a day or two, you should have essential toiletries like a toothbrush, hairbrush, shampoo, lip balm, face wipes and anything else that you find necessary.
  • Comfortable clothes: You need comfortable clothes for the whole time you will be in the hospital, including after delivery. Some of the must-have clothes include a nursing bra, loose pants like sleep pants and a birth lobe if the hospital does not provide one.
  • A birth towel and a pillow: Your hospital may provide a bath towel, but it may not be of the quality you desire. Therefore, you can bring a bath towel from home for the shower after delivery. A comfortable pillow is also a plus as you will be spending most of your time on the bed.
  • Backless slippers, socks and slip-on shoes: Since your legs may get swollen from IV fluids, easy to slip on shoes is the best choice of shoes when going to maternity.

What to include in the suitcase for baby

Once you have packed everything for you in the maternity suitcase, you should move on to the essentials for the new-born baby. You can follow the checklist below.

  • Baby sleepsuits: Sleepsuits are the best clothing choice for newborn babies as they are comfortable and easy to wear and remove.
  • Diapers and wipes: You can pack a medium pack of diapers and wipes for use while at the hospital.
  • A car seat: A car set for the baby is compulsory if you will be driving home. The hospital will not allow you to your baby if you don’t have a baby seat installed in your car.

Once you have all these essentials in your bag, you will be ready to go to the hospital when the baby decides to come.

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Your home will be battered by the weather caused by climate change. The harsher climate can put a strain on any house. It is even worse when it is older and built when the weather was milder. But you can do something about it. There are several upgrades and changes that can make your place be able to stand off the effects of climate change better. Here is a closer look at some of them.

Reinforcing The Roof

One of the more important places where you need to upgrade is the roof. Whether it is the hot rays of the sun or the freezing damage of winter, damage to it can mean that a house’s occupants are not going to have a pleasant time. Climate change makes it even more important as the weather is harsher. Fortunately, several roofing upgrades can help. A simple change would be some low-maintenance gutters. In the past, you had to clean your gutters regularly, but newly-designed gutters prevent all the clogging dirt from coming in completely. Other potential upgrades are better shingles that are more durable and energy-efficient to improved ventilation so that the attic doesn’t become an oven during the hotter months.

Ready For Colder Winters

People have experienced a taste of the colder winters in the past few years. This will only get worse as the climates around the world shift. You’ll need to prepare for that in several ways. The most obvious one is to contact your local furnace company and get an upgrade of your current furnace. A stronger and more up-to-date one should be able to handle the colder temperatures. But that is not all that you should be doing. Investing in insulation, if you have not done so, is essential. Completely insulate parts of your home so that the heat inside of your house will stay there. An important part that you should not forget is your plumbing. Insulated pipes or heated ones ensure that they won’t burst because of the colder weather.

Keeping Cool During Summer

The summers will also be a lot hotter. While this is not as bad as winter’s cold, it can still be very uncomfortable. Additionally, the risk of heatstroke is pretty high. The insulation you put in for the winter months should be just as effective as keeping the heat out. While that helps a lot, it can still get pretty hot. This is where your various cooling options come in. Air conditioning is popular and very effective, but it can get expensive. Combine it with some excellent ventilation, and you should be able to handle the heat.

Preventing Water From Coming In

Another problem that can come up is the danger of storms and flooding. Waterproofing your home is going to be an effective way to ensure that your belongings don’t get damaged or you have to pay for water damage repair. While a lot of tips to deal with flooding are meant for when constructing the home, there are several later additions you can do. A notable improvement would be to improve the drainage around your house. A lot of flooding is because the area around your home retains water, and it accumulates faster than it can go away. Digging drainage ditches and canals can help. An interesting approach would be to install an underwater cistern that will drain away from the water for later use. You can also invest in a water garden. This uses plants and creative landscaping to ensure flooding won’t happen.

Increasing Water Efficiency

Climate change swings from two extremes a lot. While it can cause flooding in some parts of the year, it can also cause a water shortage in some periods. If you want to avoid water problems during them, you should upgrade your home to be more water-efficient. For example, you can change out all your faucets and shower-heads to low-flow versions. Depending on the number of replaced items, you can save hundreds of liters of water a day. That can add up, and there will be noticeable effects. You can also install a water storage tank for your home so that you have emergency water when necessary.

Bringing a house to climate change standards is a challenge. For one, the expense can be intimidating. But if your house has sentimental value, you’ll undertake the effort. Additionally, all the changes mean that the house has increased in value. That is a big bonus for many homeowners. Think about what upgrades you can do now to properly protect your home from climate changes.

Meta title: Climate Change Upgrades: Improvements That Will Soon Pay Off
meta desc: When you own a home, you should be seriously interested in how you can make it be able to weather the changes in our climate. They may seem expensive but they can be worth it in the long run.

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Chores. This single word is something that most adults are not excited about. You can only imagine how children perceive this activity.

That is why it is essential to teach them while they are young. With proper guidance, children can embrace chores as part of responsible living. Here are some practical strategies to try.

Equip and Orient Well

When one has what they need at their disposal, it is easy to finish things. The proper installation of an excellent water heater will make dishwashing a breeze. Complete garden materials will make raking or cleaning the yard fun. The idea is to provide the children with the correct equipment, so they will not treat chores as a burden. It does not mean that you have to rely on technology. Even manual pieces of equipment, as long as they are complete, will help finish the work.

Also, as a parent, you have to be clear of the results that you expect. Teach them first how they should go about a chore. You can also tell them what you want to see once they finished doing it. This way, they will try to follow a standard. You can eliminate frustrations on both sides.

Avoid Punishments, Operate on Rewards

One of the pitfalls of giving chores to children is by giving it as a punishment. When a child misbehaves, some parents use chores as a form of discipline. In doing so, the child associates chores with something negative. They begin to hate the chore, not in itself but because they attach a negative experience to it.

Instead of doing this, a child should see chores as a happy experience. You may try to have an equivalent allowance or reward for each chore. It could be money, a small token, or an experience that they wish to have. This strategy also shows the value of earning something. If they want to get something, they have to work hard for it.

Show a Good Example

Children are great imitators. They will copy what they see around them, especially with their parents. They should see that their parents like to do things for the household and the family. It is more beneficial when they see their mother and father splitting chores. This practice gives them the concept that chores are not gender-based. It also gives them the idea that something is easier when more family members get involved in tasks.

Empower with Praise and Feedback

An excellent way to encourage children to repeat a task is when they know that they have done well. Thus, be generous with praise if you see that they did their best to do a certain chore. Be specific, whether it be the skill, the timeliness, or the attitude by which they have done the chore.

You must also be objective in giving feedback if you see that they still need to improve. This way, they will get accustomed to a certain standard of accomplishing a chore. Do not mindlessly praise for the sake of making them feel good.

Doing chores is a strong way to prepare children for adult life. Making them love it when they are young will benefit them in the long run.

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Whether you are looking for a daycare, afterschool care, at-home care or a preschool, choosing your child’s caregivers is important. These individuals have a significant impact on your children. Therefore, choosing the best childcare option requires more than searching for child care Parker CO.

What You Need

Your first step should be identifying your child care needs and desires. For example, how long and for how many days does your child need care? Will the care provider need to help with homework or other projects? Choose whether you prefer in-home care or if you want your child to attend a daycare, Montessori school or other care facility.

Your child’s needs should also be identified. For example, if your child has any medical risks, such as allergies or asthma, or developmental or other needs, look for facilities that can meet these needs.

Referrals and Research

Your next step should be asking your friends, loved ones and peers for referrals. If they have children who are being cared for by someone outside the family, ask detailed questions about the childcare providers or facilities, including how they handle emergencies or behavioral problems and what services they offer.

You should also check for online reviews and licensing. Conduct a Better Business Bureau search, and speak with the local chamber of commerce to ensure the center doesn’t have any outstanding complaints.

Interviews

Not only should you interview day care centers’ leadership, but you should also interview the workers. Learn about their hours and under what circumstances these hours may be extended. Ask for proof of their accreditation, which childcare centers receive from the National Association for the Education of Young Children and in-home care receive from the National Association for Family Child Care. Ask about and compare costs. Discuss waiting lists and the number of children the provider cares for. You may also discuss immunization, sick kids, caregiver health and other policies.

Observe how the teachers and childcare providers interact with the children. Do they get down on the children’s levels? Do they speak kindly or get frustrated? After a scheduled visit, where you are allowed to observe the care providers on their best behavior, drop by unannounced. You will get a more accurate understanding of the care provided if the staff is unprepared for a formal visit.

Ask the center or child care provider for references, including current and previous clients. You may also speak with parents as they are picking up their children. Don’t underestimate the insight of the children receiving care, though. Ask them questions too.

By conducting a little research, you will find the best caregiver or center for your children.

 

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When is the perfect time to teach your kids about investment? What kind of assets should you make on behalf of your kids, and how can you teach them about it? It is never too early to think about your kids’ future. Often, parents are wary about providing for their kids when they grow older, and their needs expand. Then, of course, there’s always the constant fear that you’re not going to be around forever, and you may leave them on their own sooner than you expect. Parents want to make sure their kids are taken care of even if they’re not beside them anymore.

Investing in your kids’ future is one of the noblest things you can do. While opening a savings account is a good idea, you have to think outside the box to grow your kids’ money in the future. Since they’re still young, this is the perfect time to make investments they can reap when they grow older. Imagine buying a blue-chip company stock right now at just $100 per unit. How much will that cost in the next decade or more? That money can even go to your kids’ college fund.

Shares and Stocks

The stock market may be volatile, but if you invest in the right companies for the long-term, you can watch your money grow and multiply. You can open an investment account for your kids and buy shares of stocks when you can. When there’s a promising initial public offering, consider investing in it because chances are that you can get them for a much lower price than average.

If you invest your $1,000 in the stock market right now, it has the potential to grow to $5,000 or even more, depending on the performance of the company. Investing in stocks regularly will boost your kids’ investment portfolio. This is one of the most popular ways to give your kids a financial head start.

Jewelry

Buying gold, silver, and other precious metals is always a good investment choice. The value of these metals will only grow in years to come. Though there are good and bad days with gold, it is generally a valuable asset. You can also start buying custom jewelry for your kids. As you well know, the value of jewelry increases, too, as years passed. A collection of jewelry will be a worthy investment to make in the name of your kids. They have the option to keep them as heirlooms or sell them for a profit in the future.

529 Plan

A 529 plan is designed for educational plans. You can grow your kids’ money there through investments and regular monthly contributions. The best thing about this plan is that when you withdraw from it for educational purposes, it is not subject to federal income tax (capital gains from investment). However, if the withdrawal is for non-educational purposes, you’ll have to pay a 10% federal tax penalty. You’ll want to stay clear of withdrawing money from this fund.

Mutual Funds

Similar to stocks and shares, mutual funds refer to money you put into a group of companies based on a principal account holder’s decision. You can choose a company that will handle your kids’ mutual funds investment. Here, you won’t have to worry about reading the market and selling/buying shares when the market becomes too volatile. Mutual funds are highly liquid and have recorded good returns for short- and long-term investments.

Insurance

Your life insurance can save your kids’ future when you suddenly pass away, or something unexpected happens like unemployment. Most life insurance policies have investment options, too, so your money will grow while you’re paying for it monthly. You can also use it for your kids’ education. By contributing to the fund regularly, you build up financial protection for your kids once they’re in college.

Teaching Your Kids About Investing

Kids as young as four years old can be introduced to the value of investments and savings. If they want to buy a new toy, ask them to save up for it. They can do menial tasks in the house, and you can pay them a dollar for it. Just don’t forget to explain that they don’t always have to get paid to contribute to the household work.

Start early in investing in your kids’ future, as well as in their financial knowledge. While you can start investing for them, they will also take care of these investments in the future. Aside from the investment portfolio you will leave to them, your greatest gift is to provide them with the knowledge to take care of their finances in the future.

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We all know how important academics are in a child’s life. But no matter how much you justify how important it is, the truth is, they are not always aimed at a child’s holistic development. Other important lessons are learned outside the classroom.

This is where extra-curricular activities come in. They help make kids well-rounded as they sharpen their skills and abilities. As their acknowledgment of this fact, almost every educational institution has incorporated extra-curricular activities into their program.

These activities are not just for the sake of getting kids involved with other things and packing their schedules to keep them occupied. These are designed to help build the right habits and disciplines needed in life.

Extra-curricular Activities that Teach Kids Important Life Skills

  1. Music
    Music is a great form of self-expression that also teaches kids the value of discipline and perseverance. It has plenty of benefits to a child’s growth and development, whether it is piano lessons, voice lessons, or learning how to play any other musical instrument.
  2. Sports
    Sports are great at instilling discipline in a child. Whatever sport it may be, whether it’s football, baseball, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, or whatever, being involved in sports requires a certain amount of commitment and dedication. It’s also a very effective way to teach kids about the value of teamwork and collaboration.
  3. Dance
    Dance as an extra-curricular activity not only provides kids a fun and great way to exercise but, just like sports, it teaches them to be physically disciplined and helps sharpen their minds as well. They can join the school dance club or take classes from reputable dance schools and trainers.
  4. Crafts and Pottery
    Some kids may not be inclined to physically strenuous activities. This limitation should not hinder them from exploring and growing outside the academe. Crafts and pottery are a great way to further develop kids’ fine motor skills and enhance their creativity.
  5. Painting and Sketching
    Painting and sketching are both great at unleashing a child’s creativity and resourcefulness. It’s great for kids who aren’t as gifted physically as those involved in sports and dance. But it gives them another avenue to be creative and learn essential problem-solving skills.
  6. Sewing Classes
    When it comes to extra-curricular activities, sewing isn’t exactly one of the first things that come to people’s minds. However, with an increasing interest in fashion among young people, it is something that can help them develop a greater interest and deeper appreciation for the intricacies of creating clothes. Plus, knowing how to work with a needle and thread is always a good thing.
  7. Self-Defense Classes
    With Netflix’s Cobra Kaigetting very positive reviews, self-defense classeshave increased in popularity nowadays. After all, it doesn’t just teach kids how to defend themselves against bullies, but it also teaches them the right values and perspective about self-control and discipline, that fighting is the last resort to any conflict.
  8. Cooking Classes
    There’s nothing more practical in life than learning how to cook. It is a skill that will serve anyone for life. It’s a great supplement to learning math and science, given all the measuring done to get a recipe right and all the experiments performed to come up with a new dish. It’s also helpful in teaching kids to be creative and expressive while observing proper personal hygiene. It teaches them to focus and how to observe safety at all times. It arms them with knowledge about proper nutrition and how to prepare healthy and balanced meals.
  9. Book Club
    Being in a book club can help enhance a child’s love for reading, and ultimately, learning. The exposure they can get from reading all kinds of literature will help them build their vocabulary, develop a love for reading, socialize with other book lovers, and open their minds to other schools of thought and worldviews.
  10. Drama Club
    Belonging to a drama clubis a fun and creative way for children to let out the performer in them. Being on stage may not be for everyone, but there are other aspects to a drama club besides just performing. It involves people working hand-in-hand to put together a show. This means that different skill sets are picked up and learned depending on whether they will perform on stage or help out behind the scenes. It is ideal for artistic and creative development, improving social skills, boosting memory (especially for memorizing scripts), and a host of other important life skills.

No matter how important academics are, kids need more than just head knowledge to make it in life. Extra-curricular activities teach kids important life lessons that are not usually taught inside classrooms. Don’t deprive children of this education and get them involved with extra-curricular activities.

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In this world, there are only two types of people: those who love kids and those who dislike them very much. The first type of people believes that despite the annoying nature of children, they are little angels who bring happiness and joy to everyone around them. People who dislike kids, on the other hand, just see them as annoying little creatures.

If you belong to the first type of people mentioned above and you have a knack for science-based medicine, then you must be destined to have a career in the healthcare industry. It’s not an easy choice to make, but pursuing a medical career that cares for children can be very fulfilling.

There are a variety of areas you can specialize in within the industry; it’s just a matter of deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life. To give you an idea of the possible professions you can be in, here are four jobs that will allow you to work with children daily:

Pediatrician

If you want to provide general care for children, you can become a pediatrician. This specific field of medicine deals with the physical, behavioral, and mental health of all children until their 18th birthday. You can be handling minor illnesses, viral infections, birth defects, or serious diseases that will require your service.

In this area of specialty, you can go one step further and focus on a subspecialty. You can become a pediatric surgeon who performs minor to major surgeries on babies, children, and young adults. Or you can become a pediatric dentist who takes care of children’s baby teeth and promote proper hygiene.

Working in pediatrics isn’t just like working with small people. Children are much more fragile than adults. Their situations are more complex on the basis that they might not fully comprehend what is happening to them. And that’s why working in this specialization can be immensely fulfilling to the right people.

Speech-language Pathologist

If you want to help children with communication and swallowing issues, you can become a speech-language pathologist (SLP). This specific field of medicine deals with problems that can involve a person’s speech sounds, language, literacy, and social communication.

Being an SLP means that you’re willing to work with children who have stutters or those who suffer from phonological disorders. It can also pertain to issues with a child’s cognitive functions such as their attention, memory, and problem-solving skills.

Art Therapist

If you want to connect with children and their emotions through art, you can become an art therapist. This specific field of medicine combines the complex nature of mental health as well as the arts and humanities through the process of creation.

Being an art therapist means that you are helping children become more expressive about their identity and their complicated feelings. This can help them develop interpersonal skills and learn how to communicate without having to use words. Art therapy can also be used to identify existing cognitive problems in children.

Child Psychologist

If you want to help children cope with their problems and deal with their emotions on a psychological level, then you can become a child psychologist. This specific field of medicine also deals with mental health, but it makes use of emotional and behavioral patterns to diagnose potential problems and respond with the appropriate treatment.

Being a child psychologist may be harder than usual because you’ll be dealing with individuals who may not be able to express themselves very well. But having this job also promotes the concept of valuing mental health at an early age, which can be crucial in today’s time.

There are a lot more professions in the healthcare industry that deal with children and their physical, mental, and social well-being. But most of these jobs would require additional years of education or training so that you can learn about the child-centric specialty you choose.

A healthcare professional who works with kids on a daily basis is much different from a regular physician. Pediatricians can work on a regular physician’s patient, but this situation can’t work the other way around. Medical professionals who work in pediatrics are qualified to work with children to that degree. They underwent proper training to know how to handle a children’s quirks, emotions, and temperamental nature. Doctors in pediatrics were also taught how to respond to these situations in the best possible way, which is why they are valued that much.

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Many places are now easing up on COVID-19 restrictions, but still, plenty of folks would rather play it safe and stay indoors as much as possible unless it’s essential to go out.

This leaves couples with no opportunities to go out on dates and have a great time. Or does it?

Romance is not entirely dependent on going out on dates. It has a lot to do with how creative a person can get to keep their partner or spouse interested and engaged in fresh ways.

Keep the romance burning at home with some helpful tips that we’ve listed below.

  1. Go on a movie date in your backyard.

Some movie theaters have already resumed operations, but not everyone still feels good about being out in an enclosed public space with people.

So instead of going out to the movies, why don’t you just set-up a home theater in your backyard? Prepare a couple of movies, some snacks, and a cozy and intimate seating area where you and your loved one can spend the rest of the evening enjoying a movie or two (or three!).

  1. Compete against each other in some playful and fun games.

While relationships are supposed to be partnerships, it doesn’t hurt to compete in playful and fun ways to keep the romance alive. It signifies that you don’t find each other as a threat to your existence and shows security in both parties.

Play some video games or board games. Have a bake-off and see who does best in the kitchen. Have a dance contest and see who’s got better moves. You can take this time to let your guards down and have a great time together.

  1. Turn the evening into spa night.

Spa nights are always a hit among couples as it gives them the chance to really relax and relieve themselves of their stresses and worries. It’s also quite romantic, especially if you have accompanying romantic music playing in the background and some wine to boot.

So if you know any Bullfrog Spa dealers, now would be a good time to contact them and make an investment in your relationship.

  1. Have a picnic or go camping in your backyard.

Just because you can’t go out doesn’t mean that you can’t go out. You can still take your spouse or partner out on a date in your backyard, garden, or rooftop. You can prepare a fun afternoon picnic or go camping in the backyard, complete with a bonfire and tent. Or you can go up on your rooftop with a picnic basket filled with wine and snacks as you spend an evening stargazing.

  1. Make a couple’s bucket list for the next ten years.

Coming up with plans is a great way for couples to connect and make a more intimate connection. Instead of drawing up personal goals, come up with a bucket list that both of you can do as a couple in the next ten years. But don’t stop there. Create a concrete action plan of how you intend to tick off each of those items on your list.

  1. Wash the car together.

Turning an ordinary chore into something fun, romantic, and borderline naughty can help create some sparks in the relationship and set the mood for a night of intimacy.

  1. Turn off all the lights and light up some candles.

Nothing screams romantic than a candle-light dinner. But why stop at the dining table? Turn off all the lights at home and light up a few scented candles all over the house to really set the mood for a romantic evening over dinner at home.

  1. Have a deep and meaningful conversation.

While fun and games help keep a relationship exciting, intimacy can be deepened with a meaningful conversation. While physical intimacy has its benefits, connecting on a deeper level through relevant conversations actually helps improve relationships.

  1. Write love letters and notes to each other.

Just because you’re already past the courtship stage doesn’t mean that you should stop courting each other. Go back to how you were when you were trying to win your partner over. Keep those love letters and notes coming and post them in different places at home where your partner is most likely to see them. These little gestures make them feel appreciated and valued, which earns you several brownie points.

Hopefully, these things can trigger your creativity and spur you on to planning more refreshingly original home dates for you and your spouse. Again, dates don’t necessarily have to be in posh restaurants, which can cost you a lot of money. You need a little creativity and resourcefulness to keep the love alive in your relationship.

 

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Has your child been telling you about dreams of becoming a superhero? Which superhero did you look up to the most when you were a kid?

It is no surprise that a lot of kids are drawn to superhero characters from comics, movies, and TV shows. Kids are said to have a greater sense of control and power when they are pretending to be superheroes and this could help them explore, hone, and challenge their courage in different situations they face every day.

What do you say to your child when they tell you that their dream is to become a superhero someday? You don’t crush their dreams by telling them it is impossible. Don’t tell them that superheroes do not exist. Instead, you tell them that, yes, they can achieve that dream. Superheroes exist not just in fiction but also in real life.

Non-fiction Superheroes

Real-life superheroes sometimes lurk in the shadows unnoticed. You don’t notice them until you pay attention, and until you detach from your everyday bubble. Real-life superheroes sometimes do not get the recognition they deserve. They simply go about their daily lives, helping out whenever they can.

Who are these real-life superheroes? Where can we find them?

The lady across the street who offered to carry your groceries, the teenager who tapped on your shoulder when you dropped a dollar bill, those who rescue trapped and helpless animals — these are just a few examples of real-life superheroes. No, being a real-life superhero does not require the wearing of capes (or visible underpants). It does not require having super speed or telekinesis. Superheroes may not even need the latest modern gadget.

Without all of those, how can these people be considered superheroes?

Similar Superpowers

When we talk about similar superpowers, we are not talking about super speed and all those fantastic ideas. We are talking about real-life grit, ability, and heart.

Real-life superheroes go beyond fictional ones because they do not have the advantage of fantastic abilities and fancy technology. “Human” superheroes rely on their character. What are these characteristics? How can your kid become a real-life superhero?

How to Be Super

A superhero needs courage. This does not mean that one is fearless. Courage means one is brave enough to face any challenge despite the presence of fear. This characteristic not only applies to fighting crime and bad guys. Courage may also mean owning up to one’s mistakes despite feeling ashamed because apologizing is the right thing to do. Practice courage by standing up for what is right (even merely in the household setting).

Related to courage is responsibility. A superhero should be responsible enough for their actions. One can make all the promises in the world but promises without action have no value. One cannot simply promise to change the world and do nothing. Teach your child how to be responsible for turning their words into actions. Doing basic house chores may help in teaching them responsibility.

A superhero is aware that knowledge is power. They learn about the world and everything that is happening around them to find out what they could do as responsible citizens. Superheroes are eager to find out how to make a better world for everyone around them. Gaining knowledge does not mean you have to be arrogant about what you know. One can simply start by attending middle school diligently and participating in class to be aware of context and possibilities.

Most importantly, a superhero has a heart of gold. One cannot be a superhero without knowing how to empathize with others. This is what motivates superheroes to help out in their community. Lead your child into having a warm heart towards all people by teaching them how to be kind and gentle even in situations of negative emotions. Instill in them the importance of love and care in creating a positive community that is healthy and safe for everyone.

Fictional superheroes are merely reflections of underappreciated superheroes in our everyday communities. Becoming a superhero is an attainable dream. Don’t discourage your child from trying to reach this dream of helping out their community. Instead, teach your child how to be good citizens of the country. Let them learn the value of kindness and love in maintaining peace and order.

Being a superhero does not require fancy clothes and the latest technology. Becoming a superhero simply requires love — nothing more, nothing less. Although, if your child asks for a superhero cape as a birthday gift, it wouldn’t hurt to provide.

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