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Parenting Advice for Young Moms http://www.youngmoms.org Thu, 10 May 2012 08:51:28 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 How Would the Cost of Child Support Affect Your Taxes? http://www.youngmoms.org/how-would-the-cost-of-child-support-affect-your-taxes/ http://www.youngmoms.org/how-would-the-cost-of-child-support-affect-your-taxes/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 08:48:34 +0000 Randy http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=288

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During a divorce in which children are involved, you have to consider many factors. One of them is child support. You will have to consider what the taxes will be for child support payments, especially if you are the one paying them. Based on what the agreement is in your divorce finalization, this will determine how your taxes will be affected.

Who Pays What?

As far as the person receiving child support payments, they are not taxable. It can be if the individual receiving the payments reports it as income on their taxes each year. If they do not, there is no penalty to the receiver. However, this must be outlined in the divorce decree as child support monies in order to count as non-taxable, the individual making the child support payments cannot deduct it from their income.

Child Tax and Exemptions

In order for a parent to receive child tax exemption, several guidelines must be met. First, the divorce must be final, or the parents must be legally separated according to the divorce decree. If they are legally separated, it must be put into a written agreement.  They must also have been living apart for at least six months of any given calendar year.

The parent that is granted child exemptions must also provide more than half of the total support for the child. One of the parents must have custody of the child and in their home for more than six months. Essentially, if you spend more time with your child, and your spouse only provides income for their expenses, then you are entitled to the child tax exemption.

Other situations, such as agreeing not to claim a child as a dependent, must be made into a written agreement. It is illegal for both parents, who are legally divorced, to claim children on their tax returns with the intent of receiving the child tax exemption.

Splitting the Exemption

The IRS does not give parents the option to split or share child tax exemption. The best thing to do is to negotiate between you two who should take the tax credit. Actually, the parent who would benefit more from the exemption depends on their total earned income and other criteria. If you feel you may benefit more from the child tax exemption, do not put it into your divorce decree to lose that exemption. Unless you have other children, you will not see it again.

Divorce involves pressing issues, including taxes for child support payments. If you are the paying non-custodial parent, be sure to consult a divorce lawyer who is able to address this concern as well as answer your questions as they arise.

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Android Phones for Young Moms http://www.youngmoms.org/android-phones-for-young-moms/ http://www.youngmoms.org/android-phones-for-young-moms/#comments Tue, 24 Jan 2012 18:46:48 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=271

Remember when all you could do with a cell phone was talk on it? At the time, you may have been a happy-go-lucky college kid, but now, you’re a busy mom whose technological needs are way beyond just talking. Thankfully, in recent years, cell phone makers have produced some pretty impressive phones with some pretty remarkable specs, and they just keep getting better. Need a portable, rectangular six-ounce device capable of fitting in your purse, organizing your entire life and entertaining the kids? Mark that off your ‘to-do’ list: you need an Android.

L is for Lifesaver

“Android” refers to the phone’s operating system—similar to your computer’s Windows or Mac OS X. It may sound very Star Wars, but Android phones are a mom’s ultimate weapon. As a new mom, your life is very hectic: ABCs, 123s, diapers, bottles, doctors appointments and dinner…you did remember the doctor, right? Phones have become personal, portable organizers, and no machine is better at being a mom’s friend than an Android. How exactly? Let us count the ways:

  1. Eight-megapixel cameras let you capture cute moments, even if you forgot the actual camera;
  2. Bluetooth lets you talk while you change diapers;
  3. Wireless internet access lets you find that recipe for baby food—at the store;
  4. Touchscreens make navigation foolproof—and pretty!
  5. Thousands of downloadable apps ranging from practical and educational to frivolous and fun keep you organized, entertained and can quickly perk up a fussy toddler.

The ‘Droids

There are dozens of Android phones on the market, and that means you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to finding the perfect fit for you. Of course, not every phone is created equal; some phones will have features you love, but without features you need. When the headline “Cricket Announces Samsung Transfix Andriod Phone” hit the web, techies paid attention, because it’s a good mid-priced option for newbies and it has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Not every phone has a slide-out keyboard, and some have more storage than others. This is one of those times you should compare your tech-friendship possibilities before choosing the best one for you.

The Apps

Apps are arguably the best part of an Android phone. There are thousands and thousands of apps you can download onto your phone, some free, some not-so-free. From Mint, the app that lets you manage your finances, to Cozi, the ultimate family organizer, to the Ovulation Calendar, in case you’re hoping to add to your family—there are practical app options that will help you with just about every area of your life. Of course, there’s also Plants vs. Zombies and Peekaboo Barn when mom and baby, respectively, just need some fun.

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MAKING AN EMERGENCY LOAN http://www.youngmoms.org/making-an-emergency-loan/ http://www.youngmoms.org/making-an-emergency-loan/#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2012 18:59:56 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=279 There are times when you face inevitable financial crisis. Applying for emergency loans are necessary in these dire situations, which include but are not limited to unexpected car repairs, paying rent to prevent eviction, educational needs, medical emergencies, job-related issues such as retrenchment or immediate resignation, and even calamities.

In these cases, there is a need to immediately access emergency cash. Making personal cash loans such as online loans provided by Plain Green Loans  gives the opportunity to people from various financial backgrounds (most especially to those with poor credit) to borrow cash.

Image via Flickr

Making a Personal Installment Loan

Opting for personal installment loans—as a means of urgent financing—don’t have the need for credit checks nor collateral. Even having a bad credit allows one to avail this.  For approved applicants, the money will be wired in your bank account in as fast as one a banking day. Thereafter, the emergency cash you need is already within your reach. You will be allowed the choice to pay over a period of time or a lump sum and without penalties.

Convenience of an Emergency Loan

This is a good emergency cash source when friends or relatives are unable to assist you financially; cash advances on your credit card are not possible and you don’t have valuables to put up for sale. However, it is really important to be fully aware with the given interest rates and the amount to pay during the term as well as payment dates.  It is advisable to read first the fine print on the contract before acknowledging the terms.

Personal Responsibility and Good Credit Standing

Once the loan documents are signed, the borrower has the personal responsibility to keep up with payment dates. It is necessary to establish good credit standing with financial institutions by paying on time because this would allow you to qualify for lower rates on future loans in some cases.

In the end, it always helps to be in a position to track finances in all aspects. It is still best to make sure everything is up-to-date and in order. It does take discipline to manage expenses while making the best out of life. There will be times of utmost need. Financial options can be explored and considered to fill the immediate need especially during emergency cases.

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Unexpected Debt After Delivery: How Young Moms Can Cope http://www.youngmoms.org/unexpected-debt-after-delivery-how-young-moms-can-cope/ http://www.youngmoms.org/unexpected-debt-after-delivery-how-young-moms-can-cope/#comments Mon, 22 Aug 2011 21:45:52 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=248 Each year, the cost of having a baby increases. From 1997 to 2007, the price tag associated with the hospital stay alone rose from $3,983 to $5,464—a hike of 37%. Once you add in all the other expenses – like car seats and diapers – it can feel like you’re buried under a mountain of bills without an end in sight.

Having a new baby is stressful enough without the added pressure of trying to make ends meet. Instead of spending sleepless nights worrying about whether you’ll ever feel financially secure again, try some of these tips to stretch your dollars just a little further.

Doctor Shop Before the Birth

Although no one thinks twice about going from store to store to save a few pennies on bread or milk, few consider shopping around for better rates on their doctor bills. Call several ob-gyns in the area and ask for their current prenatal and delivery rates. If you don’t have insurance, make sure you mention this fact; many ob-gyns have a discounted price sheet for uninsured pregnancies.

Review the Final Bill and Negotiate for Lower Charges

Once you receive the final bill from the hospital, review it carefully. Hospitals often make mistakes that can cost you a small fortune. If you don’t have insurance, ask the business office if they can give you a discount or if they have any type of hardship program.

Whether you’re stuck with the entire bill or just what your insurance doesn’t cover, ask for a payment plan. Almost every hospital will work with you and allow you to pay the bill over time. Apply for a financial aid, such as payday loans to get a head start on the payments.

Be Smart When You Register for Baby Gifts

Register your choice of baby items at your favorite department store to guide your friends and family as they purchase gifts for the baby. Don’t be tempted to scan a bunch of luxury items you’ll never use. Instead, take this opportunity to select the things you’ll need the most. If you run out of ideas, you can never have too many diapers or wipes, and it’s always a wise choice to ask for clothing in a variety of sizes to accommodate a growing baby.

The one item that should go on everyone’s baby registry is a good car seat. For safety, it’s rarely a good idea to buy a used car seat, and hospitals aren’t allowed to let you take your baby home without one. Make sure it’s the right size for an infant and meets your state’s safety regulations. Remember, you baby won’t need a play pen or any of those cute toys for months, but he or she will need a car seat from day one.

Borrow What You Can and Buy the Rest at a Second-Hand Store

If you have a friend or family member who had a baby last year, you may be able to borrow most of what you need. Just remember to return it in good condition or pass it along to the next one in line to have a new baby. If you’re missing anything, check out the thrift stores and yard sales in your area. You can often find baby items that are new, or next to it, at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

Use Cloth Diapers

Although cloth diapers are a little more trouble than disposable products, they are cheaper and better for the environment. If you decide to go this route, don’t forget to add plenty to your gift registry or even request gift certificates for a diaper service. If you’ve never cared for a baby before, you’ll be amazed at just how many diapers you go through in a typical day.

Skip That Expensive Formula and Breastfeed

Another great way to trim expenses is to breastfeed instead of using formula. This plan is cheaper and better for both you and the baby. As a bonus, you’ll even save a ton of time by eliminating the need to wash bottles and prepare fresh formula each day.

Remember to invest in a good breast pump and have a few bottles on hand as a backup plan in case you have to leave your little one with someone for a little while.

Don’t Be Embarrassed to Ask for Assistance

If you don’t have insurance or you’ve lost your job, don’t be ashamed to ask for public assistance. That’s what it’s there for. Programs like WIC, Medicaid, food stamps, and other financial programs can help you and your entire family survive until you find a new job.

CONCLUSION

Now that you’ve got the first year or so under control, get this – the experts say that you’ll spend nearly $250K raising this baby until he or she reaches 18. Then, the college bills start rolling in. Once you get the hang of stretching a dollar until it screams for mercy, pull a little harder! You’ll need every penny before you’re done.

 

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Prepaid Cell Phones: The Best for Each Age Group http://www.youngmoms.org/prepaid-cell-phones-the-best-for-each-age-group/ http://www.youngmoms.org/prepaid-cell-phones-the-best-for-each-age-group/#comments Thu, 28 Jul 2011 22:13:43 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=193
Photograph of front of Samsung Tocco Ultra S8300.

Image via Wikipedia

Though prepaid cell phones have been slow to catch on the U.S., the country is certainly coming around to the idea of pay-as-you-go cell phone plans. Most of Europe already uses the prepaid system–in fact, 90% of Italy’s cell phone market and 66% of the UK’s market currently use prepaid plans.

If you’re thinking about going the prepaid route, be prepared to do some research: U.S. prepaid phones have come leaps and bounds in just a few years. Prepaid basic phones, smartphones, camera phones and parental control phones all abound in a head-spinning variety. We’ve collected our picks for the best prepaid phone choices for each age group.

For Kids

  1. Firefly glowPhone, Firefly.

For parents nervous about buying their child a cell phone, this one can’t be beat. It’s compact and easy to use, with large buttons and tons of parental control features. Nervous about your child dialing or texting someone they shouldn’t be (whether accidentally or on purpose)?

The Firefly glowPhone only supports incoming texts, so your child can receive your texts, but can’t send their own. There’s no keypad, so the phone can only dial numbers you’ve programmed. The glowPhone also comes with two convenient speed dial keys: one for Mom and one for Dad.

For Tweens/Pre-teens

  1. Firefly FlyPhone, Firefly.

Whereas the glowPhone is extremely limited in features and functionality, the FlyPhone is a perfect compromise between parents’ and kids’ demands. No self-respecting tween would get caught dead with something as babyish as the glowPhone.

The FlyPhone, on the other hand, comes with cool features like a camera and music player as well as a keypad for texting. It’s clearly designed for smaller hands, but it comes equipped with a microSD card slot and a headphone jack. Parents will be pleased with the phone’s built-in parental controls.

2. Huawei Ascend, Cricket.

The Huawei Ascend has got some serious playground cred. If your kids are clamoring for a smartphone, this is the one to get. This entry-level smartphone comes with cool, tween-friendly features and a price tag that can’t be beat.

The touch screen is large (three and a half inches) and the virtual keyboard is easy-to-use. Though the camera’s quality can be disputed, it’s doubtful that tweens will care about top-of-the-line photo quality while they’re snapping pictures of their friends. The Ascend does come with a microSD slot and plenty of pre-loaded apps.

3. Samsung SGH-T301G, Tracfone.

If you’re looking for a value phone, the Samsung SGH-T301G‘s $15 price tag can’t be beat. Better yet, this slider phone comes with rave reviews and all the features tweens expect: Bluetooth connectivity, picture and text messaging, speakerphone and a built-in camera. Tweens will no doubt enjoy the hearty battery life: the Samsung SGH-T301G promises four hours of talk time.

For Teens

  1. Sanyo Zio M6000, Cricket.

Though the Sanyo Zio M6000 may not be the fanciest Android phone on the market, it is a solid smartphone for a killer price. For teens looking to keep up with their friends’ fancy smartphones, the Zio’s vibrant display, touchscreen and 400 by 240 pixel resolution will more than satisfy.

It’s candy bar design and sleek black aesthetic makes this an excellent choice for teen boys, though girls will enjoy the many apps, widgets and personalization options just as much as the boys. Like most Android phones, the Sanyo Zio M6000 comes with a dedicated Gmail app, making speedy email access a cinch.

2. Samsung Finesse, MetroPCS.

The Samsung Finesse is without a doubt the best phone MetroPCS offers. Though the phone can’t compete with other smartphones on the market (the phone doesn’t even have wi-fi), it particularly shines when it comes to media playback, thanks to its vibrant screen. This phone is perfect for movie buffs craving a phone that’ll let them play their favorite flicks on the go.

The Samsung Finesse comes equipped with GPS, Bluetooth and a 2 megapixel camera. Since the phone comes with limited memory, consider purchasing microSD cards for easy memory expansion, especially for media playback. The Samsung Finesse’s battery life is remarkably healthy for a touchscreen phone: users report experiencing four hours of talk time.

For Adults

  1. BlackBerry Curve 8530, Cricket.

Crackberry fans, rejoice: the mega-popular BlackBerry smartphone is now available with no-contract providers. The BlackBerry Curve 8530 comes with all the features and benefits of a contracted Cricket BlackBerry model, including full access to the thousands of apps at the BlackBerry app store. Applications of a cricket blackberry include the flashlight app, which can prove to be useful during emergencies.

Adults generally appreciate the Blackberry’s physical keyboard as opposed to trickier virtual keyboards on touchscreen phones. BlackBerry phones are widely considered the most business-friendly of all the smartphones, so your prepaid phone will definitely fit in at the office.

For Seniors

  1. Clarity ClarityLife C900, various carriers

The ClarityLife C900 is a cell phone designed especially for seniors, particularly those suffering from arthritis. The phone’s bright display, large buttons and simple design make this phone especially easy to use. It’s specifically designed to be a brick-like phone, making it easy to hold and utilize—though it’s certainly meant to be carried in a handbag, not a pocket.

Useful features include the phone’s built-in flashlight and unique Emergency Button format: instead of dialing 911, the phone will dial up to five stored emergency contacts until someone is reached.

For Anyone

Once considered solely for those with bad credit or limited funds, prepaid phones are becoming increasingly attractive due to their no-strings-attached phone service and lower monthly fees. Still on the fence about getting a prepaid phone? This article may help you decide if getting a prepaid plan is right for you.

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Short Term Gratification v Life Long Values http://www.youngmoms.org/short-term-gratification-v-life-long-values/ http://www.youngmoms.org/short-term-gratification-v-life-long-values/#comments Tue, 26 Jul 2011 15:09:56 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=235 Picture of Samsung Moment cell phone with scre...

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Perhaps more than ever before, mothers are faced with the difficult problem of materialism. Today’s world has created a ‘must have’ environment, with many children not understanding the true cost of the things they want. With new versions of their cell phone, MP3 player, and gaming systems coming out ever six months, and peers who seem to have it all, some of today’s children are downright demanding of their parents and the material items they want. As parents, we must learn to tread this line delicately and make healthy decisions for our children and our family.

The first step may seem obvious to some, but many still struggle with it. You only have so much money. As such, you need to develop a budget for your children. Don’t make the mistake of buying the latest toy on credit just to appease a child. If you cannot afford the item, your child doesn’t need it. Develop a budget and stick to it.

The next part isn’t as easy – explaining to the kids just why they can’t have a $450 cell phone (or other item). Helping them understand the value of money is part of it, but the greater issue is the underlying belief that happiness, popularity, and friends are found in what you have. Each child is different, but the most successful parents start this training during the toddler years and never let it go.

You want to give your child everything, but that doesn’t mean buying them every new toy. Instead, instill in them the concept of saving and of the value of money. Those things will have a life long impact, while a toy will only last a few months.

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Having a Relationship AND Children http://www.youngmoms.org/having-a-relationship-and-children/ http://www.youngmoms.org/having-a-relationship-and-children/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2011 15:09:54 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=234 My sister and her baby.

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In today’s world, more and more parents are single. With the divorce rate on the rise, it is not uncommon for a parent to find themselves in the interesting position of trying to date and develop relationships while being a parent. This can be a very trying time for parents and children alike. Handling the process with honesty and respect will make sure that everyone handles it as well as possible.

First, remember that your children, no matter what their age, are not stupid. They likely realize that you have a need to form adult relationships. Be honest with your kids about what you are doing and why. That doesn’t mean sharing every detail of your last date with them or even introducing them to each potential suitor. It simply means being honest.

Next, remember that children have feelings too, so be respectful. While there is no rule regarding how long you should wait to start dating, pay attention to your children and how they are handling your divorce emotionally. This is a fine line to walk, as you have to be fair and respectful of both your child’s feelings and your own. Just remember to be as respectful as possible.

Finally, remember that your children form attachments just like you do. Carefully consider when it is appropriate to introduce your new relationship to your child. Some may handle it well after just a few weeks while others will need a bit more time. Again, you know your child best, so make the introduction when the time is right for you.

 

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Proud Traditions For Blended Families http://www.youngmoms.org/proud-traditions-for-blended-families/ http://www.youngmoms.org/proud-traditions-for-blended-families/#comments Mon, 04 Jul 2011 15:09:53 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=233 Pisanice (easter eggs) from Croatia

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In a large way, traditions are what define us. Often, these traditions are handed down from generation to generation and become a part of family life. From Easter egg hunts to Christmas decorations, every family has its own traditions. For those who have entered into the difficult world of the step-family, creating new traditions for the new family is an excellent way to begin the process of blending together. The question becomes how to develop new traditions that will have meaning.

It is important to recognize that new traditions does not mean getting rid of old traditions. Instead, it is a carefully recipe that calls for both. Take some time to discuss traditions with your new spouse. Find out what traditions were important in his family and discuss yours. You will have to discard some – there is such a thing as too many traditions. Once you have narrowed down the list, it is time to create some new traditions.

One idea is to take two similar traditions and create a new one based on them. For example, your spouse may love decorating the tree on Christmas Eve and you may have the traditions of buying a new ornament for each child. Change this up to an afternoon spent making new ornaments as a family.

It is also a good idea to get the kids involved, if they are old enough. Ask them what they would like to do for the holidays. Put all the ideas together and you will soon find yourself the proud owner of new traditions.

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Preparing for Motherhood http://www.youngmoms.org/preparing-for-motherhood/ http://www.youngmoms.org/preparing-for-motherhood/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2011 11:39:27 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=188 Becoming a mother is an amazing and rewarding time in any parent’s life. While it’s completely exciting, preparing for motherhood can be a bit scary, especially for new mothers.

This is why many mothers recommend creating a pregnancy checklist to help guide you though your first pregnancy. The checklist is meant to serve as a guide to help you stay on track and organized.  Keep in mind the checklist will vary from person to person.

Deciding on the Prenatal Care

Most expecting mothers like to decide the prenatal care and birth plan early on so they won’t have to think about it later down the road. Some mothers want to give birth in a hospital, and others prefer giving birth at home. It’s good to think about who’s going to be at the hospital, the type of pain relief, prenatal classes, birthing classes and packing an overnight hospital bag. These are a lot of details that should be planned early on in the pregnancy.

Decorating & Shopping

Planning your nursery is a fun job, and many parents enjoy creating a cozy little place for their bundle of joy. Finishing the nursery when you’re about six or seven months is ideal because it gives the paint enough time to dry in the event that the baby comes a little early. Using no-VOC paint is best because it doesn’t contain the harsh chemicals regular paint has which will make the environment even better for your baby.

While many expecting parents like to get baby clothes before his or her arrival, most parents will receive enough baby clothes to last awhile during their baby shower. Baby clothing has always been a popular item to purchase since babies grow out of clothes pretty quickly. One tip would be to make a large list of everything needed and cross each item off the list as you receive it during the baby shower.

Make a Plan for After the Baby’s Arrival

Plan meals ahead of time since you won’t be able to cook for the first week or so. Then, figure out how and when you’re going to feed the baby and what the sleeping arrangements will be. In most cases, the baby will sleep in your room until you’re ready to put the little baby in his or her nursery.

During the first couple of weeks, create a plan for when visitors come to visit. You’ll be surprised at how many people will want to see the baby. Limit visits to only a couple people in the room at the same time.

Also, think about where your baby will be when you head back to work. When it comes to childcare, you might have to sign up early in the pregnancy because there could be a waiting list.

When it comes to preparing for motherhood there’s always something to do. By preparing for motherhood with a checklist, you’re making sure you’ve got everything covered while staying completely organized at the same time.

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Teaching Children to Live Without Materialism http://www.youngmoms.org/teaching-children-to-live-without-materialism/ http://www.youngmoms.org/teaching-children-to-live-without-materialism/#comments Sun, 05 Jun 2011 13:14:29 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/teaching-children-to-live-without-materialism/ Society pushes materialism on people from the moment that they can open their eyes and see advertisements. What philosophers such as Henry David Thoreau said 150 years ago, however, has become more and more obvious. Our society’s materialism can lead to its downfall.

Asian Family Customers Shopping in The Super M...

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

As a parent, you want to teach your children to enjoy the good things in life without becoming attached to material possessions. That way, they can live happily without the confines of material greed. Preventing materialism, however, can require a lot of work for parents raising children in today’s world.

Establish a Budget

Young children don’t truly understand how money works. When they spot your paycheck, the numbers translate into video games and candy because they don’t know about the realities of mortgage payments and bills. Get your children involved in the family budget early on to teach them about how money functions. You’ll not only foster a frugal approach to spending, but also teach them the basics of math.

Give Away Unwanted Toys

Take a few minutes each month to decide which toys your child wants to give away to less privileged families. This will teach him or her to enjoy letting go of material possessions. A couple days after donating the item, hypothesize with your children about where the toys are now and how they are bringing joy to someone else’s life.

By teaching your children the reality of finances and showing them that it can feel good to give things away, you can help foster a less materialist perspective that will make your kids happier and more secure. What anti-materialism strategies have you used in your home?

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Proecting Children From Dangerous Websites http://www.youngmoms.org/proecting-children-from-dangerous-websites/ http://www.youngmoms.org/proecting-children-from-dangerous-websites/#comments Thu, 02 Jun 2011 14:36:39 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=167  

Internet Access Here Sign

Image by Steve Rhode via Flickr

Recently there has been a lot of news coverage about children setting up their own Facebook accounts without getting permission from their parents. We all know that there are dangers online that could harm our children. Whether its deranged pornographic images or online stalkers, parents need to know how they can protect children from dangers that lurk on the Internet.

Only Have One Computer in the House

Many children convince their parents to give them all kinds of electronics, including smart phones and computers, well before they are old enough to use them responsibly. This gives unfettered Internet access to your kids. You can avoid these dangers by only allowing one computer in the house and setting it up in a heavily trafficked room.

When you have the family computer in the living room, you can keep a closer eye on what your children do online. If you have a laptop for work, then keep it in your bedroom and only use it when you must. That way, you can set a good precedent for your kids.

Use Parental Blockers

You can’t keep an eye on your kids at all times. Your computer, however, can monitor them while they are online. Use software that allows you to block certain types of content. That way, your children won’t be able to access pornography, violent games, and chat rooms without your permission. Choose a password that your kids would never guess, and keep it secret. Children are naturally curious, so they’ll want to find out what’s on those blocked websites by guessing your password.

What methods have you used to keep your children safe online?

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How to Maintain a Healthy Love Life http://www.youngmoms.org/how-to-maintain-a-healthy-love-life/ http://www.youngmoms.org/how-to-maintain-a-healthy-love-life/#comments Wed, 18 May 2011 16:47:14 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=140 It really is the first step into any relationship: it’s called trust. The utter sadness is this: most people get into relationships that end up destructive, faulty, messy, and just plain worthless. Really, the only ‘worth’ behind such connections is nothing other than sex — a physical partnership, which to be honest ends up bad anyway. Why is trust so important in any love life? Well, it brings out rewards in the long run.

Think of it as a click to your favorite online casino site, logging in for a day of gambling at the computer. What’s cool about most of those sites is the fact that you can get what are typically called ‘online casino bonuses‘ just for logging on! That’s basically saying you’re being rewarded for gambling.

In essence, that’s what trust is all about — you’re gambling with your heart, but in the end you receive a tremendous reward. And this isn’t a one-way thing either. It has to be done by both individuals, or it just won’t work. Trust needs to exist between both in a relationship, or eventually the relationship will die away. When you trust someone, you make it easy both to be yourself and make it easy for the other to be him/herself as well. And vice versa.

So imagine how healthy a relationship can be when you’re feeling good about yourself and, likewise, good about the person you’re with! Pretty easy, right? Understandably, though, the initial hurdle of getting past the fear of vulnerability and your heart being so open is the challenge.

But as said before — there are rewards in the future. Remember that.

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The Importance of Date Nights http://www.youngmoms.org/the-importance-of-date-nights/ http://www.youngmoms.org/the-importance-of-date-nights/#comments Tue, 17 May 2011 15:44:51 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=162 In all the hustle and bustle of raising kids, it can be very easy for parents to forget that they were a couple first. Regular date nights can help them remember this and recapture some of the romance that was present when they first met and married.

You can fit date nights into your budget. If you start putting aside money for your date night in advance, this can help cut down on the budget strain. Make it a point to put away $5 or $10 every week. If you cannot spare it from the paycheck, look for other places in the budget that you may be able to get it from like clothing expenses. Rocawear clothes are very reasonably priced and allow you to dress your family in the latest styles without spending every penny of your clothing budget. Put the money you save into your date night account.

Date nights don’t have to be expensive. A dinner for two at a casual restaurant and a movie can be budget-friendly, especially if you reverse the order. Take in a matinee showing (these can sometimes be as much as $5 to $7 cheaper than a night movie), then go out to eat after the movie. Not only will you save money, but having seen the movie first will give you something to talk about, in case you’ve forgotten how to converse in complete sentences about topics other than what the kids have been up to. If you look for inexpensive options and save up ahead of time, you and your spouse can reconnect on date night without breaking the bank.

 

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Learn to Deal with Your Child’s Curiosity http://www.youngmoms.org/learn-to-deal-with-your-child%e2%80%99s-curiosity/ http://www.youngmoms.org/learn-to-deal-with-your-child%e2%80%99s-curiosity/#comments Sun, 15 May 2011 11:01:10 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=150 LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 13:  US Commerce Secreta...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Protecting your child’s innocence amongst all the media frenzy is a daunting task. You may be working hard to do this, but the other children might not be that well protected. Children are the most impressionable and susceptible to beliefs within their friend circle rather than their parents. So, it often becomes a tough task to decide what to disclose and what to hide.

Apart from regularly monitoring the child’s television and Internet time, it is important for you to become a person who can satisfy his curiosity well. The trick is to let the child know that you will never mislead him or be vague. This will give him the confidence to approach you when something troubles him and you will be able to gain his trust.

This trust once gained is an important treasure, as it will relieve you from the constant anxiety about your child and his exposure to the world. Try and be as frank as is appropriate to your child’s age. Never make him conscious of the sudden change in conversation as he enters the room. A family should be able to talk about anything. If a child does show curiosity in learning about taboo topics, they must be handled appropriately, otherwise the child will have to turn to outside support.

Becoming a confidante will certainly take time and endurance, but if handled patiently it can be achieved. Doing things like snooping around the room to know what your child is up to, shows a panic driven approach which might upset your child. So, try and be that parent who takes a genuine interest in the child’s knowledge and watch those eyes grow warm with affection.

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Giving Your Teen an Allowance http://www.youngmoms.org/giving-your-teen-an-allowance/ http://www.youngmoms.org/giving-your-teen-an-allowance/#comments Thu, 12 May 2011 19:13:08 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=145 Many parents choose to give allowance money to their children, sometimes as payment for doing chores. This can help teach the value of money, and how to budget and save for a special item or event. It is one of the first steps that children can take toward becoming financially independent.

One financial expert and author wrote a book detailing the pros and cons of providing an allowance to children. Learning good financial habits is necessary for these children to understand how to spend money. This will also provide limits, which provides boundaries. Some teenagers are given money whenever they ask, so when they get out into the real world and have to provide for themselves, they might not understand why the money isn’t readily available.

When something has been saved for and purchased, it becomes much more valuable. It might be difficult to know how much money can be given for allowance, but determining which items the teen would be spending their allowance on is a good place to start. Some parents load a weekly allowance on a reach prepaid card, which can be used just about anywhere, and can’t be overdrawn. It is also much safer for teens to carry around than cash, which can easily be lost or stolen.

An allowance is a great way to start teaching financial responsibility. Understanding money is a necessary part of teaching teenagers how to take care of themselves as well as the things which they choose to buy.

 

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Bridging the Generation Gap http://www.youngmoms.org/bridging-the-generation-gap/ http://www.youngmoms.org/bridging-the-generation-gap/#comments Mon, 09 May 2011 11:01:04 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=149 The Generation Gap

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Traditional values are always threatened by the growing generation gap between parents and children, and the tussle that follows is a very complicated one that needs delicate handling. If managed rightly, it can be taken as a beautiful learning period for both the generations.

To begin with, a willingness to understand each other is a must and the first of many steps that need to be conquered. Parents need to understand the importance of peer group for the younger generation. An adult sees a social life as a distraction, whereas the younger generation thrives on friends and their circle to be hip and cool.

Being an adult, it becomes the responsibility of parents to give the child time to cope-up with the rapid changes that he experiences at this age. The importance of spending family time can be taught by example instead of theory. When children see their parents making extra efforts to spend time with them, they will value it more, rather than hearing just rhetoric.

Children like to have fun! A good family time does not necessarily mean only having to sit at home. It can mean a picnic, or bowling or any other adventure sports that the whole family can enjoy together. There are so many cultural events that can be hooked on to and the child will also get to grow in the environment of varied learning and fun.

With simple understanding, lots of patience and spending quality time, you can become the best friends for your children. Traditional values blended with the modern need are the perfect cocktail for today’s nuclear families.

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Setting Aside Time for Yourself http://www.youngmoms.org/setting-aside-time-for-yourself/ http://www.youngmoms.org/setting-aside-time-for-yourself/#comments Fri, 06 May 2011 16:03:26 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/setting-aside-time-for-yourself/ Young moms need to socialize and have fun. Having a child doesn’t change that. It does, however, make it much more difficult for you to find the time to go out on the town with your girlfriends. These tips can help you find a few spare hours that you can set aside just for you.

Find a Babysitter

Someone needs to watch your kids while you are enjoying yourself. Make sure your husband is pulling his weight around the house. If he hasn’t stayed in with the kids lately, then now is the time to call in a favor so that you can enjoy a bit of “me time.” If both of you want to get away from the house, then ask your in-laws if they would mind watching the kids for a few hours.

Breast Pumps are Lifesavers

If you are still in the breastfeeding stage, then you will need to plan ahead by using a breast pump to store milk for your child. This is especially important if you plan to have a couple drinks while you are out. Alcohol can enter breast milk, so you have to pump before you consume. These little contraptions are lifesavers for those days when you just need a glass of wine.

Plan an Outing

Talk to your girlfriends in advance to decide how you want to spend your day away from the kids. Perhaps you will go to a spa or visit a nightclub. It’s your night out, so choose something that you will enjoy.

When you set aside some time for yourself, you’ll probably feel happier and saner, which could make you a better mom.

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Prepare Your Child to Stay Away from Comfort of Home http://www.youngmoms.org/prepare-your-child-to-stay-away-from-comfort-of-home/ http://www.youngmoms.org/prepare-your-child-to-stay-away-from-comfort-of-home/#comments Thu, 05 May 2011 11:01:03 +0000 admin http://www.youngmoms.org/?p=148 Bid Goodbye

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Preparing your child to stay away from home is an important (and tough) task considering higher studies are generally pursued in bigger towns and cities. Making a child self-sufficient is something that might be difficult to instill in the beginning, but something your son or daughter will thank you with undying gratitude as they learn about life.  If a child has been brought up well, it reflects in every tiny behavior of his/her.

In some cases, your child might need to stay with a relative. If he has been taught to help around the house, the child is welcomed and parents are appreciated. Taking care of personal hygiene or helping the lady in domestic tasks, are some basic habits that have to be drilled from a younger age. How insignificant it may sound, but these tiny habits make a huge difference and your child will be treated as a family member wherever he goes. In an age when everyone is whizzing around and busy, even one more person to take care of seems a lot to ask for, but again your child can help ease up the situation by being helpful and respectful..

Even when staying on own, in a paid accommodation or with friends, somebody with good manners will be adored by all. He can be a leading example to his friends and someone to look up to. It is always a credit to the parents. That’s when the child actually realizes that his upbringing has been one of the best and learns to cherish the bond with his parents. Sometimes it takes distance to garner love and appreciation, and when it does, it makes the heart grow fonder.

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It’s Okay to Say No http://www.youngmoms.org/it%e2%80%99s-okay-to-say-no/ http://www.youngmoms.org/it%e2%80%99s-okay-to-say-no/#comments Wed, 13 Apr 2011 11:03:32 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=130 There are many facets to being a responsible parent, or rather a parent that raises a responsible child. We all want our children to have every possible advantage for a happy life. Unfortunately all too often we forget the one word that we absolutely must say now and then – no. This is especially true when children do what they do best – nag, whine and look at you with those sad puppy-dog eyes and adorable pout, all in an effort to get what they want.

Giving into a child all the time, or even the majority of the time, is a really good way to groom them into being materialistic. A better approach is to teach them the value of what they are asking for.

You may think you are making them happy by giving them the moon and all the stars, but studies show highly materialistic people often suffer from depression and discontentment. They do not take disappointment well and often cannot experience happiness over acquisitions but instead keep focused on what they do not yet have.

 

One way to avoid this mentality in your child is to teach them how to save to get certain things. Also be a role model by showing them there is more to life than possessions. Do things with your children that do not involve buying things, like take a drive in the country.

You can also cut back on your children wanting things by limiting their exposure to advertising.

Above all else, know that it is okay to say no when they ask for things they do not need. They’ll thank you for it later!

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Dealing with Your Teen’s Pregnancy http://www.youngmoms.org/dealing-with-your-teens-pregnancy/ http://www.youngmoms.org/dealing-with-your-teens-pregnancy/#comments Wed, 06 Apr 2011 13:35:15 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=124 Supporting your teenager can be stressful and difficult during a pregnancy. Of course it is generally accepted that teenagers should wait to become pregnant and start a family. However, as a mother, it is important to look beyond flaws and become supportive for your daughter and future grandson or granddaughter.

Familiarize yourself with the pregnancy week by week. It may have been awhile since you’ve gone through the stages or been around someone who is pregnant. After all, sometimes the best way to support someone is to listen and understand; being aware of the stages — or just brushing up on these stages — can help you be supportive.

Keep a dialogue between you and your teen during the pregnancy. Times again may be stressful, but you have to do your best to give advice and listen when necessary. Both of you will be better able to make it through rough times if this is present; your teen will be more open to listen to advice as well.

Talk about the future as well. Perhaps your teen will still be able to finish school, depending on her situation. Additionally, you could talk to her about her education during and following the pregnancy. Taking a few online classes when physically being there isn’t a good option could be something to consider, for example.

Much of dealing with your teen’s pregnancy involves communication. Many teens who are pregnant are pushed away by their families due to the response they receive; do your best to approach the situation thoughtfully and with care.

 

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Battling Materialism in Children http://www.youngmoms.org/battling-materialism-in-children/ http://www.youngmoms.org/battling-materialism-in-children/#comments Mon, 28 Mar 2011 10:37:31 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=116 Battling Materialism in Children

Materialism is a common theme in young people, because they do not understand the downside to the concept. Children want toys and food and things, and they’ll ask, beg, demand and throw temper tantrums in order to get what they want. A child may throw a temper tantrum in a department store, for example, angry that she isn’t getting the Barbie that she saw on TV, or that he doesn’t have the newest, biggest, most destructive monster truck toy on the shelves. In a world bent on consumerism controlling everything, it should not come as a surprise that we are raising children who are largely materialistic and selfish at their very core.

You can battle materialism in your children if you think about it early enough. If you lead by example, you can teach your children some really important lessons about being materialistic or not. Consider buying a book about being a Buddhist parent, which will teach you how to live life simply and free of materialism and selfishness, and pass some of these lessons down to your children. You do not have to be a Buddhist in order to benefit from the practice’s teachings. Just take what you can apply to your own life, and experience a little bit of enlightening as a result. Learning how to shed materialism will help your entire family benefit in many different ways.

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Age Differences in Children http://www.youngmoms.org/age-differences-in-children/ http://www.youngmoms.org/age-differences-in-children/#comments Thu, 24 Mar 2011 10:37:30 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=115 Parents have very different views when it comes to age gaps in rearing children. Some parents think that you should have all of your children within a few years, so they have a year or two between them. Other parents, on the other hand, think that you should put a few years between each child so that you can focus on the first few years of development for each child without having several of similar ages within a few years. Ultimately it is going to be up to you to determine which course of action is ideal for your family. For some people, it is ideal to have your children in rapid succession, then stop and not have to worry about having anymore children. For other people, it is nice simply to let things happen as they happen, which may mean a few years between children.

The age gap is definitely a consideration that you are going to want to make. Having a child aged five and a child aged 0-12 months is going to be different than having children aged five and four. The same is true for larger and smaller gaps as well. Some parents are proud to have children aged five, four and three simultaneously while others are happier with a child of eight, a child of five and a child of one, for example. Just make sure that you put some consideration into this before you begin having children, because yes, it does actually have an impact.

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New to the Neighborhood? Poker Time! http://www.youngmoms.org/new-to-the-neighborhood-poker-time/ http://www.youngmoms.org/new-to-the-neighborhood-poker-time/#comments Thu, 17 Mar 2011 18:08:36 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=85 You just moved in to the neighborhood and are excited about finding some new friends. Instead of sitting around and hoping someone is going to knock on your door, why not introduce yourself to those nearby and invite them to a poker party? Poker is a game that many people play, and love. This could be a great way to find some new friends.

Tips for Success

Sometimes, it can be difficult to make friends, especially when you are the new person on the block. By setting up a party, you could meet many people. Lifelong friendships start with just an invitation like this.

  • Choose poker tables first. Instead of playing at the kitchen table, splurge for an authentic poker table. This can make a great addition to your new home.
  • Gather the supplies you will need to play the game. Be sure you have enough chips for everyone and at least a few decks of poker playing cards.
  • Focus on making it fun. Use music to help lighten up the mood. Be sure to serve some type of food, even if it is just chips or pretzels. You want people to know you are doing something special for them.
  • Invite a few people, only. Too many new people at the same time can become confusing. Instead, schedule a few poker parties over a few weeks. That way, you can meet a larger group of people in an informal setting.
  • Have fun. Talk and get to know those at the party. Learn about their personalities, likes and dislikes and what they do for a living. Ask questions about the neighborhood and area, too.

It does not have to be hard to find some great friends in a neighborhood when you host a party like this. It may even become a weekly tradition for you.

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Technology in the Home http://www.youngmoms.org/technology-in-the-home/ http://www.youngmoms.org/technology-in-the-home/#comments Wed, 16 Mar 2011 10:37:27 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=113 Technology in the Home

There are a wide variety of different considerations that you are going to need to make when you become a parent. Raising a healthy and happy household should always be your primary concern, and as such, you should always be thinking about what you need to do in order to have your household grow healthily from the day that your child is born until the day your child ventures out on his or her own. Keeping this in mind, one of the biggest considerations to make when building a happy household and a happy home, is the use of technology in the home. How much technology is okay to use, and how much technology is too much? This is definitely something you are going to want to consider.

How much technology is alright in the home? It is important for your family to be connected, and your child should have access to the internet for research, homework and communication purposes, but you must prevent your child from becoming addicted to the internet or from using it too frequently. You are going to want to keep in mind use of video games, computer, internet, cell phones and related devices while your child grows up in order to make sure that technology use in the home is proactive, positive and beneficial rather than hampering and addictive in nature.

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Leading Through Example as a Parent http://www.youngmoms.org/leading-through-example-as-a-parent/ http://www.youngmoms.org/leading-through-example-as-a-parent/#comments Wed, 09 Mar 2011 10:37:26 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=112 Leading Through Example as a Parent

As a parent, you are going to want to be aware of the fact that children like to soak up what their parents say and do. Children are going to make a regular habit of saying the things that you say and doing the things that you do because they want to model their behavior on yours, and this is how they do a lot of their learning while they are young. When you understand that your children are modeling their behaviors and their actions based on yours, you can use this to your advantage by doing a lot of leading through example. What leading through example means is to set a good example for your children and to be a good leader so that your child or children will naturally follow that positive model.

When you are a parent, you are going to need to make sure that you are being a positive role model. A positive role model is someone that a child can model themselves after in order to grow into an emotionally and mentally healthy person. You want your children to grow up as healthy and as happy as possible, and so being a positive role model and leading by example are two very important considerations that you are going to want to make, especially when your child is young and picking up on your behaviors and your emotions.

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Teaching Healthy Relationships Through Leading Healthy Relationships http://www.youngmoms.org/teaching-healthy-relationships-through-leading-healthy-relationships/ http://www.youngmoms.org/teaching-healthy-relationships-through-leading-healthy-relationships/#comments Mon, 07 Mar 2011 10:37:25 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=111 Teaching Healthy Relationships Through Leading Healthy Relationships

When you are a parent, there are a lot of different things that you have to teach to your children as part of life. One of the most important skills that you can teach your child or children is the benefits of healthy relationships as well as how they can find and lead healthy relationships with people as they grow up. This can be healthy friendships, family relationships and healthy love connections as well. One of the easiest ways to teach your child the tenets of a healthy and happy relationship is for you to strive only to participate in healthy relationships and to lead by example. Leading by example is a great way to show your children what to do as they grow up.

Healthy relationships are essential to growing up emotionally healthy, and so you should strive to ensure that your children understand what a healthy relationship is in order to be able to fully thrive in the future. If your relationships are unhealthy, then you may end up leading in the wrong direction through example, and your children may grow up not quite understanding the difference between healthy and potentially harmful relationships. If your children grow up with this kind of confusion, then the odds are good that they will have difficulty having their own healthy relationships in the future, so make sure that you are leading by example in the right ways.

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Technology and the Generations http://www.youngmoms.org/technology-and-the-generations/ http://www.youngmoms.org/technology-and-the-generations/#comments Mon, 28 Feb 2011 06:53:02 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=64 Back 50 years ago, technology was not a word commonly used by everyday people. Technology then was far simpler, but even that generation could tell you how much technology had changed since they were younger.  Since that time, especially in the last ten years, technology has grown even more. As it has, people have changed as well.

When you talk about technology, you have to start with the advent of things like television. While there were other technological advancements before that, it was the television that had the greatest impact on people and lifestyle. Now, people could interact with and see people doing all sorts of things right from their home. They did not have to turn on the radio and imagine what the costumes were, they could see them.

Television continued to change the way that people interacted with others throughout the generations. It is impressive, nonetheless, that people have become more and more dependent on technology. With the advent of the Internet, for example, there is an easy way to do just about anything you need to. Chat and see your friends from around the world. Buy the items you need online and avoid having to leave your home. This has impacted the way people communicate and interact with each other as well.

Some would argue that the way technology has become such an important part of American society is a bad thing, but it may not be that. Rather, it may be that people just need to learn how to communicate and interact with people outside of their televisions and Internet connections. Creating new generations dependent on technology is likely, but that does not mean the ability to interact has to change.

 

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Upper Middleclass without Materialistic Traits http://www.youngmoms.org/upper-middleclass-without-materialistic-traits/ http://www.youngmoms.org/upper-middleclass-without-materialistic-traits/#comments Sat, 26 Feb 2011 06:53:02 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=63 Many people are moving up within the class system. The upper middle class is now larger than it was just a few decades ago. That means more people have more spendable income. While the recession has cut into this discretionary income, that does not mean that people will keep spending less. In fact, many people are moving up because of new opportunities and job growth. If this is happening to you, you may be able to spend a bit more, but you may be worried about doing just that.

In some situations, it is easy to become too materialistic as your income rises. Now that you can afford more of the things that you think you need, you may decide to spend more. You may decide that you can eat out more or buy higher end clothing. This ends up being counterproductive, but many people find themselves in this particular situation.

If you want to avoid materialistic qualities like this, invest in yourself. Take note of the following tips.

  • Know where you are spending your money. If you are not sure where your money is going every month, it makes sense to step back and start counting it.
  • Create a budget and stick with it. Once you run out of money for spending on discretionary items, stop spending money.
  • Do pay yourself first. Before you spend any money, put some money into your savings.

Doing these things can help you to have the things you need, but help you to avoid spending too much and becoming too materialistic. It takes realizing what you are spending money on to realize that it may be time to reel in the reins on your spending.

 

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Passing on Traditions http://www.youngmoms.org/passing-on-traditions/ http://www.youngmoms.org/passing-on-traditions/#comments Sat, 19 Feb 2011 06:53:01 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=62 Every family has traditions. Some are more prominent than others. Perhaps your younger family has yet to install any traditions just yet. You may be wondering how to find traditions to start, too. A person’s heritage can be anything from American to European to many others. Each cultures has its own traditions. These may be country-wide traditions, such as celebrating the birth of the country. These could also be family based traditions. If your family does not celebrate enough, just take a closer look.

Talk to older generations of family members. What you may find is some traditions have been forgotten about or that modern society has led families away from the simplest of traditions. You can get those back, though. Learning about the traditions is the first step. Often you can find out simple things that your parent’s parents may have done during the holidays or for special days during the year. Incorporating these into your own routines can be a great way to pass down traditions.

Some families do not have many traditions to pass down, but this does not mean you cannot start them on your own. You can and chances are good that you can find a wide range of opportunities to do this with. Create special birthday celebrations or start scrapbooking with your children. You can use food as a tradition, too. Make a special type of meal for each holiday.

The more ways you can find to pass down these traditions, the better. It creates a sense of family and unity and can be a great way to show love within a family. Traditions are simple and enjoyable. They do not have to cost you a thing to create.

 

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Explore the Gay Scene in Boston http://www.youngmoms.org/explore-the-gay-scene-in-boston-2/ http://www.youngmoms.org/explore-the-gay-scene-in-boston-2/#comments Sat, 19 Feb 2011 06:22:49 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=23 Moving to any new location is stressful and sometimes a bit intimidating. It’s even more of a challenge if you are a member of the GLBT community. If you are moving into Boston apartments, then you are in for a treat. Boston has a reputation for being socially liberal and politically progressive. It is the capital of the first state in America that legalized same-sex marriage. Many consider Boston a world-class gay destination.

If you live in Boston, you don’t have to connect with other gays only in the evening at gay bars. You are encouraged to celebrate your lifestyle day and night, all year-round. Go to food festivals that benefit AIDS research, take part in the Boston Pride parade and festival, or stroll around the gay village.

If you do love the nightlife, then you might want to visit Melange. There is no cover charge here, and it’s a classy place for women of all ages to come and dance, dine and drink together. If you are a male looking for a place to hang out with other men, head on over to the Alley Bar. It’s been open for more than 26 years, making it one of Boston’s oldest male gay bars. In addition to great-tasting drinks, you can enjoy playing video games, pinball and pool.

Some of the best things in life are the simple things. Many members of the gay community find that the best gay places in Boston include the incredible performing arts scene in Boston. There are also dazzling displays of beauty to be enjoyed in Boston’s parks. When you go to the tree-shaded park called Boston Common, you can see the Massachusetts Statehouse, where the same-sex marriage law came to fruition in 2004. If the weather isn’t the best, enjoy the art and history in the city’s museums. There are more than 40 museums in the area so you have plenty to choose from.

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Craft tools for Homemade Greeting Cards http://www.youngmoms.org/craft-tools-for-homemade-greeting-cards/ http://www.youngmoms.org/craft-tools-for-homemade-greeting-cards/#comments Wed, 16 Feb 2011 06:52:56 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=61  

Everything old is new again and today the newest rage is homemade greeting cards. If you are looking for a way to make holidays more special, homemade greeting cards are a wonderful idea. Home made greeting cards are fun to make and great to receive. Stores are full of cards at various price ranges but making something from home will give it that special touch that really lets family and friends know that they are loved. A few craft tools can make average cards look spectacular.

Creative hole punches: These come in many different styles and shapes like circles, hearts, triangles and move on to more intricate designs that can provide hours of card making fun. Ribbon can be threaded through the holes for added interest.

Double sided tape, rubbber cement and other types of craft glue: All of the clever design elements have to be affixed somehow. Permanent double sided tapes works very well and is the least messy. Rubber cement is very thick to hold heavier embellishments and dries clear but can also be messy and smelly. Other craft glue or glue sticks can be used if necessary.

Why settle for boring cards?: Original designs, poems, photo cards and those downloaded from the internet can get extra pizzazz when different embellishments such as glitter, sequins, colored stones, stickers, and beads are added. The possibilities are endless anything that can be cut or glued can find its way onto a greeting card. Use your imagination and add anything else that will make your card pop!

Rubber stamps: Another great idea in card making is to use simple rubber stamps and inks in different colors. Not just for scrapbooking anymore, stamps can be purchased in many different designs with words or without and can add something special to every card.

Card making is especially fun for kids (paper trimmers, scissors,  and any other sharp objects should not be used without supervision.) The more add ons and variety available, the more fun it will be.  This is the perfect project for the whole family no matter what the occasion.

 

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Private Lives http://www.youngmoms.org/private-lives/ http://www.youngmoms.org/private-lives/#comments Mon, 14 Feb 2011 06:52:55 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=58 Marriage by definition means the joining of two lives into one. What was once “mine” now becomes “ours.” However, there are people who insist on trying to live the single life while married. Every person deep down has a tendency towards selfishness. Right or wrong this tendency can try to rear it’s ugly head in a marriage but wise spouses will take steps to strengthen a marriage instead.

Private money is one way that people can be married but still separate.  A couple may decide to keep separate bank accounts. This may be okay, but it can become dangerous when money becomes an “off limits” topic and is therefore never discussed. This can lead to financial difficulty in the future because there is no plan for spending and no accountability.

Private cell phones and e-mail accounts is another way in which people create separate accounts. Whatever is occurring behind closed doors, or in that email account, may be private, but it needs to be something both people in the relationship would be happy with. With a lack of trust, the marriage may not be strong enough to survive.

There are many other ways that people create these separate lives for each other even though they are married. It can be difficult to form separations especially when one partner is more successful, more active or otherwise in a more prominent position. Yet, it is critical to understand that you do have options to overcoming such a break.

If you and your spouse are living a separate but married life, now is a good time to come clean. Both people can bring to the table the information and resources they each have. Then, the information can be better presented to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

It is your decision to make about whether or not you want to continue living a married life behind closed doors, but for many, sharing everything is a better option. The key is to focus on what you can bring to the marriage and how to make that the most valuable aspect of life.

 

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Let the Middle Class Rise with Education http://www.youngmoms.org/let-the-middle-class-rise-with-education/ http://www.youngmoms.org/let-the-middle-class-rise-with-education/#comments Sun, 13 Feb 2011 17:34:17 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=19 The middle class is a very important segment of the American economy.  After all, the middle class is what keeps businesses operating, and they are also the people who spend the most money on consumer goods (which is what ultimately drives much of our economy). So, it is of extreme importance that we nurture the middle class, and help those who desire to be a part of it. The best way that anybody has ever found to reach the ranks of the middle class has been to get an education. While it can be a great struggle to get out of poverty, the rewards of doing so are great and vast. As the middle class grows, the American economy also grows.

The middle class, as a whole, is primarily made up of people with some type of advanced education, who have jobs of a professional nature, and solely support their families. Within this class are also tomorrow’s business owners and industry leaders, full of the entrepreneurial spirit and the American dream. What’s more, by increasing the opportunity and availability of education, America can help increase the size of the middle class and subsequently strengthen this important part of the populace.

Education for each individual in America is where it all starts, and with the prevalence of online universities and online degrees, this is now possible. There is a host of easy to understand resources available for people who are in poverty and desire to go to college, including grants, scholarships, and the convenience afforded by online learning.

It is now possible for anyone to get the training and education that is needed to rise upward in life, all while working a full time job and raising a family. In time, education always pays off. But, it also benefits the country as a whole.

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Improving communication http://www.youngmoms.org/improving-communication/ http://www.youngmoms.org/improving-communication/#comments Sat, 12 Feb 2011 06:52:54 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=60 Being in a relationship for awhile can make one, well, lazy. We begin to believe that our loved ones can practically read our minds but this simply is not the case. In order for any relationship to prosper, communication has to occur. No matter how long two people have been together they still need to talk in order to hear each other’s heart. It’s easy to project our own motivations and preconceived notions onto our spouses or loved ones and that is why talking is so important. Conversation doesn’t have to be boring or routine, here are some ways to liven it up a bit.

See how well you know each other: Play a guessing game while driving or whenever time permits. One person asks a question that tests how well the other person knows them. For instance, what was my nickname in high school? The other person has 3 chances to get it right. Make it even more fun by setting up a point and reward system. Whoever wins gets an extra special surprise.

Occasionally ask questions that bring you closer together: What is your favorite thing about women, Do you like short hair or long hair – make it a point to find out what makes your special someone tick. Go one step further by incorporating their likes into daily life and removing their dislikes. It will show them they are loved and cared for.

Spend time together in pursuits that leave room for conversation: One of the most popular date night ideas for couples is Movie Night. That’s great but the problem is there is little room for conversation, a relaxed dinner before hand can be just the thing to get conversation flowing. Make dinner at home or build something together.

Use everyday opportunities as a chance to bridge the communication gap. This is the key to stronger, healthier relationships.

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Catering to Women of All Sizes http://www.youngmoms.org/catering-to-women-of-all-sizes-2/ http://www.youngmoms.org/catering-to-women-of-all-sizes-2/#comments Thu, 10 Feb 2011 09:46:27 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=26 Recently, clothing lines have started to realize that there is a whole untapped market – beyond women who fit easily into the smallest sizes – and so they started to design different clothing categories. These companies have categories for average women, plus-sized women and even a clothing line for toddlers and infants!

One of the first companies to tap into these markets is the Apple Bottoms brand. Apple Bottoms is a company that prides itself on offering clothing that caters to all women regardless of size. This is evidenced by the fact that their clothing company offers traditional clothing for women, plus-sized, girls and infants. Here is a brief look at each category of clothing this company offers.

Women’s. The women’s clothing line is one of the most popular put out by Apple Bottoms. They offer jeans, tops and jackets that fit the body in a form-fitting way. This allows any woman to be able to show off her best features whether she is wearing a jacket or pair of jeans.

Plus-Sized Women. One of the creeds of the company is that clothing should fit regardless of the size of the woman. This creed is upheld with a clothing line designed especially for women who have trouble finding options from many clothing lines. The plus-sized options are designed to fit any woman just right and not have them look as if they are trying to fit into clothing that is too small for them.

Girls. The clothing line for girls is designed for those who wish to wear stylish jeans but might not have the figure to wear the women’s line. The girls version of clothing is essentially a smaller version of the women’s clothing.

Infants/Toddlers. This part of the clothing line offers infants/toddlers the chance to dress in designer jeans regardless of their age.

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The Optional Father http://www.youngmoms.org/the-optional-father/ http://www.youngmoms.org/the-optional-father/#comments Wed, 09 Feb 2011 06:52:52 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=57 Women in Hollywood are choosing to adopt children whether or not a father is present. Is this a good trend or not? It is definitely a lifestyle change for those who are looking for a way to create a family without being dependent on other people to do so. Of course, when you live as a celebrity, it is easier to have a family like this. The major factor behind this ability is money, of course, but is that enough?

Some of the biggest names in celebrities today are changing the makeup of what a family is. Instead of focusing on what their families did to raise them, they are taking to the world, adopting children and creating their own family, without the need to have a father present. Does this make sense?

  • These families are often wealthy, meaning that they are sometimes materialistic. However, material items cannot replace the need for a father.
  • The lack of a father could be a negative aspect for children who grow up without a positive man in their lives.
  • Women, realizing that there is a great need to help other people in the world, are working hard to achieve something that so many others have not: helping to aid the world around them, one child at a time. That is a good thing in most cases.

When it comes to creating a family, relationships have changed. It is no longer necessary to focus on just having a mother and father. It is also important to consider the economic conditions the child will receive as well as the circumstances around his or her birth right now. In other words, if a child is coming into a family because he or she has no one else to turn to, it can be an incredible gift and opportunity for that child. That should not be discredited for anything.

 

 

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Planning and Executing a Themed Party http://www.youngmoms.org/planning-and-executing-a-themed-party/ http://www.youngmoms.org/planning-and-executing-a-themed-party/#comments Tue, 08 Feb 2011 18:30:44 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=29 You’re never too old to play dress-up, and it’s a fun way to throw a themed dinner party or birthday party. You can do it for any occasion, really. There are many popular party themes, including cowboys and Indians, toga parties, and Victorian dinner parties. You can get the costumes online, and that makes shopping easy – especially if you don’t live near or in a big city, where you can buy costumes at a local store. Online shopping often costs less, as well. You’ll want to have great food and decorations for your party, too, so don’t forget about that. When it comes to knowing what foods to make, consider two things: the theme of the party and the desires and dietary restrictions of the people who will be attending.

If someone has an allergy to a particular food, it’s better to find out about it in advance, so that you don’t turn your themed party into a medical emergency. You can look up the kinds of foods that were served during the time period in history that you’re showcasing, or in the country that you’re using as all or part of your theme. If you do that, you’ll be presented with plenty of great choices to use for your party. You may also want to consider asking each person to bring something small, but you may not want to do that if you don’t know the people that well or are concerned that it may put a strain on their finances.

Naturally, you’ll want to look your best for the party, and you’ll also want to be able to help out anyone who isn’t sure what to wear or where to buy what they need. Checking with costumeexpress.com is the best way to get what you need for the party, so that you’re able to have a great time, look the part, and enjoy interacting with all of your guests.

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3 lies parents are told when considering divorce http://www.youngmoms.org/3-lies-parents-are-told-when-considering-divorce/ http://www.youngmoms.org/3-lies-parents-are-told-when-considering-divorce/#comments Mon, 07 Feb 2011 06:52:51 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=59  

Couples believe that being with the one they love will bring great joy but when things go badly it can be earth shattering. Well meaning friends, family members and even therapists often try to relieve the burden on the couple by making divorce seem like a viable, logical and even healthy alternative. Without knowing it many parents buy into at least 3 lies about divorce.

Children are resilient: They will get over it.  While children are a lot stronger than we give them credit for, there are many adults who are still lamenting their parents divorce or even blaming themselves for it. The comment that children will “get over it” down plays the significant emotional trauma they will experience when their family and everything they have known is torn apart.

A divorce is better than our children watching us fight: Children that witness family arguments can become frightened, stressed and unhappy but instead of doing away with the marriage perhaps parents could learn to disagree without becoming disagreeable, choose not to fight in front of the children and fight fair without name calling, screaming or violence.

I deserve to be happy: A lot of readers may disagree with this but it needs to be said (or at least written) love, marriage, and having children is all about sacrifice. Parents postpone or sometimes give up their happiness for the sake of their children. No one should endure physical or sexual violence but too many families are destroyed these days because one or both parties decide to look out for themselves instead of the needs of the children.

There is an epidemic of divorce running rampant through our country and children are more likely to be poor, depressed, and even suicidal because of it. For this reason parents should consider their children first and foremost before deciding to divorce.

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Children or Career? http://www.youngmoms.org/children-or-career/ http://www.youngmoms.org/children-or-career/#comments Sat, 05 Feb 2011 06:52:50 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=65 Career minded women are putting off having children, deciding on only one child, or refusing to have children at all.  Professional goals are a key factor on whether many women will become Mothers later or never.Career minded women usually fit into 3 categories.

The up and coming professional: This woman is driven and will not let anything stand in her way including a child. Right or wrong she knows what she wants and what it takes to get it. This woman probably will not have a child or postpone it as long as she possibly can. Of course there are the exceptions to the rule whose lives are interrupted by love and before they know it they find themselves pregnant. Some happily and others are not overjoyed at the ideal.

The woman who has it all: There are women out there who have put in the hours, went to school and worked hard, sacrificed everything and spent years climbing the corporate ladder but now find that the only thing they don’t have is a family or a child. Having put career first and foremost ahead of everything including their love lives they begin to consider adoption with or without a willing Father.

The woman who wants more: Successful women who seem to have it all, a beautiful family and amazing careers often find that they want more out of life and consider having children to be an enriching experience instead of a burden. Being financially stable helps them make the decision to have more children.

There are many women who do a beautiful job at handling high profiled careers and raising a family. It is not for the faint of heart but those women struggling with this decision should keep in mind that with lots of sacrifice, understanding, planning and ingenuity it is possible to raise a healthy family and have a dynamic career.

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Safe Kids, Safe Computers! http://www.youngmoms.org/safe-kids-safe-computers/ http://www.youngmoms.org/safe-kids-safe-computers/#comments Fri, 04 Feb 2011 06:36:32 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=33 Parents baby proof their home when their baby begins to crawl and then starts walking. Parents should take the same care to childproof their child’s experience on the Internet and to childproof their computer. To make sure their children are safe when using the Internet, parents should set some rules for their children to follow. Parents and children should decide together the rules for Internet usage. When children take an active part in setting these rules, they are more likely to follow them.

One good Internet usage rule is to never give out personal information online. This means your child should keep his address and telephone number private and never give it out online.

If a child comes across something on the Internet that is scary or makes them uncomfortable, they should tell their parents immediately. They can help the child determine how to handle the situation.

Parents can purchase Internet filter services that will keep provide their children with a safe Internet experience. These filtering services are easy to set up and use. It blocks out pornographic sites, provide alerts for predators and cyber bullying, and give parents access to their children’s social networking sites.

Parents should also keep their computers safe. One of the most important things is to install an antivirus software program. PC Tools Free Antivirus is a good one to use. It will keep your computer free from all viruses that can affect your computer. It recognizes viruses and then deletes them or quarantines them so that they cannot harm your computer.

PC tools also have an assortment of spyware programs. Spyware is a malware that collects little bits of information without the computer owner’s knowledge. PC tools have programs that scan your computer, determine if there is spyware on your computer, and deletes or quarantines the spyware so it won’t work.

Parents should do everything in their power to keep their children and their computers safe!

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The upside of living with Grandma http://www.youngmoms.org/the-upside-of-living-with-grandma/ http://www.youngmoms.org/the-upside-of-living-with-grandma/#comments Wed, 02 Feb 2011 06:53:06 +0000 admin http://youngmoms.org/?p=56 In this economy families are finding themselves staying with loved ones a lot longer than either side probably dreamed. Certain situations put families and sometimes extended families together and not always peacefully. There are families where a parent has been in an assisted living facility but once again because of the economy, can no longer afford the care. The decision to live with a parent or to bring a parent in to join the rest of the family can be a stressful one especially if the relationship is not strong to begin with. Of course there are some cons to this situation but surprisingly there are many benefits to it as well.

A helping hand: In our society it is not uncommon to view the elderly as having lost their usefulness but this is far from the truth, if health permits Parents and Grandparents add much value to the home. Childcare, sharing chores around the house, contributing financially, yard work, and providing the general warmth of companionship and conversation that everyone needs no matter how old they are. Many households benefit from this sort of living arrangement and children are allowed the opportunity to have an extended support system.

If there are any draw backs that could tarnish this rosy picture it all has to do with the additional responsibility if a family member is sick or with the resulting personality clashes of being in close quarters for a while. This is to be expected but the benefits can far outweigh the negative aspects of combining family life, if the parties involved will choose to make forgiveness a family rule. No one is perfect, especially not our family members. Things will be said, barriers crossed, interferences made but if a family chooses to forgive immediately and often then the warmth, love and emotional fullness of a full house can be a great reward.

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