08
Feb 19

Taking Legal Action Against Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is serious, but it is criminal? That’s the question parents face when they discover their child is the victim of serious and ongoing cyberbullying. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t clear-cut. Here’s what parents need to know about taking action against cyberbullying.

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is harassment carried out in a digital format. Cyberbullying can occur through texting, email, websites, blogs, and social media. The greatest difference between cyberbullying and traditional schoolyard bullying is that kids can’t easily escape the hurtful words and actions of online bullies. Cyberbullying content also doesn’t disappear, so targeted children can revisit their abuse again and again, reopening those emotional wounds each time.

Unlike schoolyard taunts, cyberbullying is often anonymous. This makes it difficult for children to report cyberbullying and for adults to take action against perpetrators.

Who is bullying and being bullied online?

When children are cyberbullied, it’s usually by someone they know. According to the Next Web, children are seven times “more likely to be cyberbullied by current or former friends or romantic interests than just some random stranger.”

Girls, LGBTQ students, and minority students are most likely to experience cyberbullying. The perpetrators of cyberbullying, however, are harder to pin down. Boys and girls are equally likely to cyberbully, and while some cyberbullies fit the profile of antisocial trouble-makers, many online bullies experience depression and are themselves victims of bullying or abuse.

Many of the signs of cyberbullying apply to both perpetrators and victims:

  • Secrecy surrounding online activities.
  • Unusual amounts of time spent online.
  • Odd behavior and mood changes when online.
  • Declining grades in school.
  • Changes in friendships.

What is the danger of cyberbullying?

No parent wants to see their child depressed or doing poorly in school. However, for some victims of cyberbullying, the consequences are much greater. Suicide among teenage boys and girls is on the rise, and cyberbullying is part of the reason. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that victims of cyberbullying are at greater risk of self-harm and suicidal behaviors. Perpetrators of cyberbullying are also more likely to self-harm or think about suicide when compared to children who don’t bully.

When children involved in cyberbullying exhibit warning signs of suicide, it’s imperative that parents intervene. As a parent, you may not know where to start, especially when you don’t know the identity of a cyberbully. A digital forensic expert, such as those at Secure Forensics, can help parents identify cyberbullies and collect evidence that can be used to stop the bullying.

Are there laws against cyberbullying?

With the correlation between cyberbullying and suicide, it’s no wonder that parents want to take legal action when their child is victimized online.

There’s no federal law addressing cyberbullying, which means that cyberbullying laws vary by state. Most states have developed laws or policies addressing cyberbullying. However, in most states, policies focus on what actions schools must take to prevent and address cyberbullying and don’t establish cyberbullying as a criminal offense. Some states only apply cyberbullying policies to activities that occur on-campus, limiting schools’ ability to address cyberbullying. Parents can find state-specific info on cyberbullying laws and policies at StopBullying.gov.

Regardless of state cyberbullying laws, public schools must address cyberbullying that’s based on race, nationality, color, sex, age, disability, or religion. That’s because these are protected classes under federal civil rights law.

What can parents do to stop cyberbullying?

Legal policies requiring schools to take action against cyberbullying can help shut down online harassment, but parents should also take a role in protecting kids from cyberbullying.

Parents should instruct children to never respond to cyberbullies and demonstrate how to block and report harassers and add privacy settings to social media profiles. It’s beneficial to limit the time your child spends online; unfortunately, this can feel like punishment to a child who is being cyberbullied. Rather than simply restricting online activity, provide children with more opportunities to have fun offline, like new extracurricular activities, hobbies, and family time.

The law is limited in its ability to stop cyberbullying. While many states have policies requiring schools to take preventive and corrective action in response to cyberbullying, many parents feel it isn’t enough. So, what does that mean for parents? While reporting cyberbullying is still important, protecting kids from cyberbullying has to start at home.

 


25
Jan 19

Everything Parents Need to Know About Their Kids and Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying

According to government statistics, up to 21 percent of kids aged 12 to 18 report being cyberbullied — and that’s just the numbers for reported cases. The hard truth is that many kids, some even younger than 12, are cyberbullied and either don’t recognize it or don’t say anything to anyone in a position of authority. It’s your job as parents to be on the lookout for signs your child is a victim of cyberbullying and to know what to do if you find out they are. Here’s a primer.

What Is Cyberbullying?

Every parent is familiar with the bullying of their day and age — playground scuffles, fights at the Friday night football game, cold shoulders at the school dance. However, cyberbullying is a newer and extremely potent form of bullying. One basic definition of cyberbullying is any use of digital means to harass, intimidate, scare, ridicule, or ostracize. Cyberbullying can happen via text, websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, or any form of digital communication.

 

How to Know If Your Child Is the Victim of a Cyberbully

Although the easiest way to know if your child is being cyberbullied is them telling you directly, that’s unlikely to happen. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask, however. That’s step one.

Beyond that, it’s up to you to spot the warning signs. Some include:

  • They either stop using the computer/phone or begin to do so only in private. A rapid increase in social media/internet use can also be a warning sign.
  • They get jumpy or defensive when they get a text or message.
  • They become withdrawn.
  • They are hanging out with friends and at social engagements less and less.
  • They appear angry, sad, depressed, or agitated.

If you suspect something is going on, you may want to gain access to their texts, online messages, social media accounts, and any other online platforms (gaming, video, etc.). While you should always have access to your younger children’s digital life, asking for access for an older child (early teen) may feel like an invasion of their privacy. It’s a delicate subject, for sure, but it may be necessary if cyberbullying is occurring. There are also ways to monitor their online activity without actually seizing control of it.

 

Addressing It

How you approach your own child is personal, but you should be gentle no matter what. Let them know you suspect it and that they can tell you anything without fear.

You should contact your child’s school (if the bully is a classmate) or coach/instructor (if the bully knows your child from an extracurricular activity). You should not contact the bully’s parents directly, as this almost always leads to defensiveness and confrontation. If the bullying is very serious and gets to the point where you fear for your child’s safety or mental health, you may need to hire a digital forensic expert to help you keep records of the bullying to be used as proof should any legal action need to be undertaken. There are many trusted options available for this service, such as SecureForensics.

 

How to Prevent Additional Cyberbullying

Addressing the source of the bullying is certainly an effective first step, but you must make more decisions as a parent to protect your child from further abuse. You may need to limit or at least closely monitor online time. Get to know your child’s online friends. For instance, require your child to report any bullying to you (let them know that this is not akin to “tattling”).

Keep in mind that you must teach your child that retribution is not the answer under any circumstances. Teach them they can use privacy settings to their advantage and that they should simply block or ignore online nuisances if they persist.

Cyberbullying is a very serious problem — one that can lead to tragic consequences. Some children have been cyberbullied to the point of taking their own life, so it’s certainly not an issue to take lightly or simply wait for it to pass. The good news is that cyberbullying can be addressed, stopped, and prevented, and kids can overcome its effects with guidance and counseling. However, remember this: Recognizing and, in turn, dealing with cyberbullying, like many things, starts with you — the parent. Be observant, be compassionate, and take action.

Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

 

 

 


14
Jan 19

What are My Rights With Sole Custody?

Separation with children results in either joint or sole custody. With joint custody, both parents are responsible for their child’s well-being and care, and they need to make decisions together. With sole custody, one parent is responsible for making major decisions for the child regardless of what the other parent thinks.

The court will decide if joint or sole custody is best for the child, and in most cases, they do prefer to have both parents working together. However, certain circumstances require the court to give sole custody to one parent, and that parent then has the following rights.

Visitation Rights

Unfortunately, even if you have sole custody, it is not up to you what the visitation rights and schedule are for your child. During your divorce or separation, this schedule is determined by the courts, and it is up to both parties to fulfill this schedule to the best of your abilities. In fact, should one of you deter from the court-appointed visitation schedule, it could leave you susceptible to being arrested. While you can plead your case to the court, know that sole custody does not give you the power to keep your ex away from your child.

Location

With sole custody, you do have the ability to decide where the child will live. Depending on your relationship with your ex and your visitation schedule, it may be in the best interest to keep the child in the same neighborhood you lived before the divorce. However, should you need to relocate for work or personal reasons, know you can do so without having to consult with your ex.

School

In addition to deciding where your child can live, you also get to decide where your child will go to school. Again, this is usually determined by where you live, but should you decide to send your child to a private school, you have the right to do so.

Religion

If you are a religious person, parents will sole custody have the ability to decide what religion the child will be raised. Obviously, once your child is old enough to make his or her own decisions, this should be left to the child; however, until then, you can make this decision and raise your child as you see fit following those religious beliefs.

Medical Decisions

Your child’s health is the number one priority, and sometimes health decisions will need to be made for your child. When you have sole custody, you are allowed to decide on your child’s medical decisions without consulting the other parent. For instance, if you are deciding whether or not to vaccinate, whether or not to go through with certain tests, or even whether or not to go through with a procedure, this decision is totally up to you until your child turns 18.

Support

Like visitation rights, you do not get to decide how much child support or alimony payments you receive from your ex. Instead, this decision is again made by the courts, and depending on where you live, it may be a state law that’s followed. Should you ever have any issues with your child support payments, be sure to take it up with the court, not your ex.

Having sole custody of your child gives you plenty of rights, but there are also things you simply cannot decide. Be sure to fully understand what you’re responsible for when it comes to your children, but also be sure to work hard to give them a solid relationship with the other parent, regardless of your personal feelings.


03
Dec 18

How to Keep Your Family Happy and Free of Stress Through the Holidays

Happy Family During Holidays

 

The holidays can be a magical time for families. Co-parenting and blended families can add a different dynamic, but even non-blended families can benefit from having a solid morning routine. This keeps anxieties low for the whole family, especially during what might otherwise be a stressful time. Below are some things to keep in mind.

 

Family Time First

 Life in the 21st century is nonstop, and balancing different activities can seem like we are always on the go. However, children need us to be present, especially if this is their first holiday season in a separated household. The morning is the perfect time to check in on how everyone is doing. Over breakfast, make sure all technology is put away so you can really try to engage in conversation. They may be recalcitrant at first, doubly so if they are experiencing lots of change. Yet, by making time for them and demonstrating that you are there to listen, you can get them to talk about how they feel. Ask open, gentle questions to prompt them, and make sure you don’t come across as accusatory. Breakfast really is the perfect time to have heart-to-heart conversations with no distractions, so make it your special time to bond this holiday season.

 

Keep Your Energy Up

 Children seem to have a never-ending supply of energy. To keep up with the growing excitement of the coming holidays, with all its delicious food and potential presents, we need to give ourselves a boost, especially in the morning. Start your day right by not hitting snooze, as this can disrupt your sleep cycle. Instead, immediately get up, and let natural light into your room. This helps your body wake, and it will also help you sleep at night. Working out regularly can also boost energy, even if it’s low-intensity aerobics such as going for a morning walk with the kids. Eating well and throughout the day with healthful snacks can also keep you energized and ready to tackle anything that comes your way. Don’t reach for another cup of coffee if you can avoid it, as this can disrupt sleep and cause you to continue the cycle of exhaustion. Instead, grab a glass of water alongside protein- and fiber-rich snack options.

 

Family Exercise Routines

 There are many benefits to routines, such as having your children make their bed first thing. They may need normalcy now more than ever, so create routines they can easily manage. One such habit to develop is that of exercise. It’s healthy and helps them process some of the excess energy they may have over the excitement of the holidays. Further, this can be an activity you do as a family. Even just 30 minutes a day can reinforce bonds, and if you do it out of doors, can be especially fun for kids. Try a circuit routine, something they can learn through repetition, as this is fast and relatively straightforward. If there is extra stress from a recent divorce or separation, a workout can be just the thing to help process this.

 

Add Some Flair for Fun

 Routines can seem boring, especially to children. It’s our jobs as parents to make sure they’re healthy and happy, so make their mornings fun. One such way is to put on upbeat, age-appropriate music for the whole family to bop to. Create your own playlist with some of their favorites, and introduce them to some of yours as well. Your child’s idea of fun might be turning on a video game or grabbing their phone. However, try to resist the desire to engage in tech first thing in the morning. Instead, focus on each other to help develop a positive mindset for the day and relax our dependencies on technology as entertainment.

The holidays can be just as stressful as they are enjoyable. Separated families can experience this more acutely, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to process that stress healthily as a family. By spending time together and developing a good routine, we can set our kids up for success, as well as give ourselves the boost in energy we need.

 

Image Courtesy of Pixabay


23
Nov 18

3 Ways Divorce Can Affect A Child’s Ability to Sleep

Divorce is getting more and more common in an era where families do not have to stay together to be able to afford the basic functions in life and where divorcee’s are not looked down upon for not staying together. However, it is still stressful and hard for people of any age to deal with. To make this transition as easy as possible for everyone involved, particularly the kids, sleep is key. Here’s a few reasons that the kid in your life might not be getting enough sleep during this period of their life.

Stress

Divorce is hard on every member of the family, from the parents who are separating to even the smallest of children. Whether they are dealing with their parents fighting or just dealing with the changes in their lives, it adds stress to any child’s life.

Stress is a huge problem for anyone who is going through a hard time, and it will make anyone have trouble sleeping. Kids don’t have the stress coping mechanisms that adults have built up over their lives, or the ability to recognize that the stress is what the problem is for them. In addition, lack of sleep causes everyone to be less able to handle even the most minor of stressors in their lives, making everything seem a whole lot harder to deal with.

 

Change of Routine

Kids thrive on routines. Divorce is, by design, disruption of the routines that they thrive on. Luckily, there is an easy way for parents going through divorce to make this change easier on their kids. If you can keep as much of their routine intact as possible no matter where they’re spending their days, they will sleep better in the long run.

This is especially important when it comes to bedtime. Bedtime routines help to train the brain into recognizing when it is time for it to produce melatonin and start getting sleepy. It also serves as time for parents to bond with their children, especially when they are younger. Kids will grow up and remember the time that their parents spent reading to them at night or telling them silly stories to help them relax.

 

Changing Sleep Space

Parts of these changes for kids of all ages can be both good and bad, particularly the changing of their sleep space. When one parent moves out, kids usually get new beds and bedrooms. This book can lead them to forget some of the things that they were supposed to bring back to the other parent’s house, but great that they get a new mattress or crib, especially if they are sleeping on a hand-me-down. Mattresses should be replaced every eight years to be as supportive as possible for the people sleeping on them – even when those people are significantly smaller than their parents.

If you notice that a child in your life is not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, it might be worth talking to a doctor or a therapist to see if there is an underlying issue that you can work with to find the underlying problem.


26
Oct 18

The Financial Woes of Divorce

Finances During a Divorce

Finances During a Divorce

There’s a lot involved with getting divorced, and the second biggest question on people’s minds when it comes to divorce is “How much is divorce going to cost?” (The first question is usually about the children, if there are some.) The cost of a divorce will vary on a variety of factors, but in most cases, you can count on divorce to cost thousands of dollars before its finalized. If you want to have a general idea of the cost of divorce, here are the financial woes you need to take into consideration.

Mediation/Attorney Fees

In most divorce cases, couples either hire divorce attorneys or they opt for mediation. Of the two, mediation is often the least expensive option, but you will still need to pay for it. Divorce attorneys vary in price too, so you’ll want to make sure you’re making the right decision when it comes to finding the right one to represent you.

Documents/Paperwork

Aside from the cost of attorneys or mediators, you’ll also have document and paperwork fees that will be filed with the courts. Some lawyers will roll this fee into their own expenses while others will make you pay for this cost separately. There’s no right or wrong way to go about paying for them, but it’s something you’ll want to keep in mind when determining your budget.

Filing Fees

Once your divorce has been approved by the courts, you’ll also notice filing fees, which happen to make your divorce legal. Again, the way this cost works will depend on your lawyer, but it’s important to ask questions about this upfront so you’re not hit with a surprise bill when it’s all over.

Child Support/Alimony

In some instances, one parent will be required to pay child support and/or alimony to the other parent. The cost of this will depend on the state you live in and the number of children you have, but if you’re required to pay child support or alimony, you’ll need to factor this into your financial plan. After all, failing to pay child support can keep you from obtaining a passport or force you to serve jail time.

Division of Property

During your divorce, there will be a division of property between you and your ex. This again will be determined by the laws and the court systems in your state. In most cases, the courts decide what is considered a marital asset and what is considered pre-marriage individual property, and then the division of assets will fall into play after this has been determined.

Housing

Some married couples opt to sell their house and split the profit (or loss) of the house. In some cases, one person will buy the other person out of the house. There are plenty of options, but it’s important to know that housing will be an expense during the divorce. If you remain in the home, you’ll still need to cover the mortgage payments. If you move out, you’ll need to pay rent in another location. And if you decide to sell, you’ll have the cost of selling the home. Either way, it will be a big adjustment for you to consider.

General Expenses

When you were married, you had a shared income that allowed you to live a certain lifestyle. When you get divorced, this income is now cut in half, and each person will be forced to adjust their lifestyle to accommodate your new budget. This means you may need to make necessary changes, such as trading in a luxury vehicle for one that’s more affordable or quitting that prime gym membership.

Divorce will certainly make an impact on your finances, but if you can at least be semi-prepared for what to expect, you’ll at least be in a better situation.

 

 


16
Oct 18

7 Ways to Make Learning Fun for Children

When learning is fun, it becomes more meaningful. If someone is having fun, they will be attentive and motivated.

By including engaging and creative activities, learning at home or in the classroom will be more enjoyable.

Many parents decide it is better to teach their children at home rather than send them to an outside school.

There are various reasons that parents make this decision to homeschool their children ranging from the quality of the schools to religious preferences. Educating your children at home is a balancing act.

One challenge is for these parents to make sure their children are not isolated and learn how to socialize and interact with their peers.

Enrolling children in extra-curricular activities, joining social groups, and taking field trips, are options for exposing them to other children. Another way to not only encourage socialization but also to add a little fun to learning is by using video education technology.

Using video technology to learn extends education outside the walls of a classroom or homeschool environment. It also helps create memorable experiences.

Children can “visit” places virtually like labs and museums. This not only provides educational value but can also be fun.

Offer Choices

Most of the children’s daily routine is set and doesn’t offer them a lot of choices. This can feel somewhat stifling. Offering them some options when possible, can make them feel like they do have some control over their lives. Even adults don’t like always being told what to do and when to do.

You don’t want to allow children to choose between learning and playing, that would be counterproductive.

How about allowing them to choose the order of their lessons or their assignments? They will still get the necessary education but will also have some control over the process.

Use Technology

What do children do when they are not in school? They are on their phones, iPads, or tablets texting their friends, playing games, and watching videos.

Why not capitalize on that and add some fun to their learning? Using technology in the classroom can increase student learning and engagement.

A few suggestions on how to utilize technology are:

  • Teach by using presentations instead of lecturing
  • Let them do some of their research on the Internet
  • Use video conferencing to allow children to virtually visit different areas of the world
  • Show educational videos to explain some of your lessons

Field Trips

Whether children are learning in a classroom or in their home, taking them outside of their educational environment is important and will add some fun. Field trips help connect what students are learning with the outside world.

You can take them on a field trip to attractions like your local city hall, a government office, or a museum. If you are teaching your children about pre-historic animals, taking them to a museum ties in well to your lessons.

Don’t forget about virtual field trips. The options online are limitless. You can “visit” anywhere in the world on the Internet.

Utilize Their Imagination

Let children use their imaginations by designing lessons that can foster creativity. If studying criminal justice, how about staging mock trials? When teaching about history, you can have children use role-playing to act out what they are learning.

Allow children the freedom to express themselves by giving them options for different projects. You can let them choose between drawing a picture, writing a story, creating a presentation, or even acting out a history lesson.

Conduct Experiments

Even students who might not be interested in science can have fun conducting experiments. Hands-on activity keeps students engaged.

Make it Practical

It is very difficult for anyone to pay attention when learning something new if they don’t understand why they need to have this knowledge.

Give concrete examples of why the child should care about what they are learning rather than just telling them. This will promote interactivity and allow children to ask questions that will enhance their learning experience.

For example, when teaching history, it can be helpful to discuss what we can learn from things our ancestors have or have not done.

You can relate history lessons to children’s lives by discussing some of their experiences and what they have learned from them.


08
Oct 18

Preparing for Parenthood when you’re a Parent with a Disability

Preparing for Parenthood when you’re a Parent with a Disability

Preparing for Parenthood when you’re a Parent with a Disability

 

More than 4 million people in the U.S. alone are parents who have disabilities, so you are not alone if you’re about to become one of them. Prepare for all the changes of parenthood by getting your home and yourself ready for this major life change. Parenthood is just like anything else: if you’re well-prepared, you’re better-equipped to handle the job.

Getting Started

When should you start preparing your home for the new baby? Right now! You can’t get started too soon because time is going to go pretty quickly. Start by taking a good look around your home and try to spot safety issues before they become real issues later.

Safety Proofing

Every parent, at some point, faces the saga of baby-proofing their home. People with disabilities need to take some extra safety steps for their new bundle of joy. Add non-slip backing to all of your rugs, or replace them entirely with skid-proof rugs. Add grab bars to the walls of the baby’s room to make changing and bathing times easier. Don’t forget latches on cabinet doors, because soon enough baby will be a curious toddler.

Move the Furniture

Before baby arrives, pick a room for the baby. You may need to move furniture or boxes, so get this done early and get the room prepared. Place all the baby’s furniture well in advance, and practice moving around the room. Can you get all the way around the crib? Can you move easily at the changing area? Set everything up so that it’s well within reach and easy for you to get to.

Keep all supplies within reach, so you don’t have to stain to get to them. And don’t forget your baby gates. The baby will be crawling soon, so set up gates by all stairs and ramps to prevent baby from going places they shouldn’t. Carpet stairs that aren’t carpeted, or better yet replace them with ramps that are easier for you to navigate.

 

All the Little Things

A baby may be little, but they bring big changes with them. Don’t forget to look around your home and think about all the little details that may affect your new little one. Decluttering is a must, according to Kiddie Proofers. Babies and toddlers will find a way to get into everything, so start the process right now. Mount the TVs securely to the wall, so little hands can’t pull them down. Add night lights to all your rooms so you can see what you’re doing, even at night.

Consider installing a handheld shower, so you can wash baby more easily. Re-organize all your cabinets, so you can access sippy cups and other baby items quickly. Change out your doorknobs to simple latches, rather than turn-style knobs, so you can get in and out of rooms even when your hands are full. Swap door hinges with expandable hinges to give yourself more moving room, too.

Get the Right Gear

There’s not a lot of baby stuff made especially for parents with disabilities, but there is a lot of items out there you can use, according to Outspire. Get a swivel car seat to make transport simple. Look for baby clothes that fasten with Velcro, rather than tiny little buttons and snaps. You can also find wheelchair-accessible cribs that have sidewalls you can lower, or little doors that make it easier to get to baby.

Having a disability can feel like an isolating experience, and having a baby at the same time may get overwhelming. You’re part of a huge community of millions, and more and more people with disabilities are becoming parents. Take some extra steps to prepare for your baby, and get ready for your brand-new life as a parent.

Photo credit: Pexels.com

 

 


17
Sep 18

Preparing For Your Life As A Single Mom

First Time Mom

First Time Mom

Congratulations, you’re expecting! There’s no greater joy in life than having your first baby but if you are single or recently divorced, you may be worried about what your future looks like.

The good news is that with proper planning and the right supports in place, you can reduce your worries about raising your child.

 

Setting Up For Success

You may have been told that you’re going to be a good mom but between the overwhelming information you’ve received, the hormones coursing through you, and the doubts that every new mom feels, you may have a hard time believing it. To be successful, you’ll need to learn to rise above your doubts. Planning well can help you be successful.

Two important considerations you must plan, according to Parents.com, are:

  1. Ask yourself if you are up to the challenge. Becoming a new parent is difficult for anyone so don’t pretend this will be easy. Read the truth about being a single mom over at The Bump. They advise taking life one step at a time. For now, just concentrate on having a healthy baby.
  2. Can you support yourself and your child? Whether or not you are expecting child support, you should set a goal of being able to support your child on your own. Once your baby is born, you can start to plan for his or her future with these suggestions from The New Savvy.

 

Get The Support You Need

It’s important to get the best support that you can find. That, of course, includes family, friends, and loved ones and the best healthcare options. However, there is nothing like the camaraderie and support you will get when you network with other single moms. Look to your local faith or advocacy groups to find a support group. You can also try the Single Mothers By Choice website.

Next, you need to choose the right obstetrician. Mommy’s Memorandum advises finding one that has a lot of experience birthing healthy babies among their tips. Keep in mind that you may need a high-risk specialist and other health care providers if you are over the age of 35 or have health conditions that can impact pregnancy. The right team will keep you safe through this process.

You should also secure reliable childcare ahead of time. If you are lucky enough to have a family member to help you, be sure to have a backup plan for when that person gets sick or is no longer able to help. Check out these five steps to find reliable childcare in your neighborhood from MuchMostDarling.com.

 

Babyproofing Your Home

It’s never too soon to start babyproofing your home. As you get closer to your due date, you are going to be busier than ever with doctor visits and setting up your nursery. Now is the time to protect your home for when your baby crawls. Some things you’ll need in advance include:

  • Electrical outlet covers.
  • Childproof locks and window guards.
  • Baby gates, which are especially crucial if you have stairs.
  • Edge and corner guards if you have coffee tables with sharp edges.

Discover everything you need to keep your baby safe up to 16 months old at MamaNatural.com.

 

Preparing For Postpartum

Labor and delivery will be a whirlwind and, before you know it, you will be home with your little one. This is an important time for women. It’s crucial that while you are bonding with your child, you continue to get the care and support you need, including taking time for yourself and getting out of the house!

A good way to do this is to plan for your postpartum needs. Read this post on how to do that and download the printable worksheet at The Motherhood.

Single motherhood can be a joyful, amazing experience. Be sure to be well prepared for the journey with these tips.

 


15
Aug 18

Financial Planning for Parents: How to Get Started

Financial Planning for Parents

Financial Planning for Parents

Planning for your financial future can be one of the most stressful things you’ll do in your adult life, simply because there are few guarantees. You never know what life will throw at you or when, and if you are a parent—or are planning on having kids—it’s essential that you start making preparations for at least the next five or ten years. Having kids is costly—over $245,000 over the course of a lifetime, according to one study—and so is owning a home and vehicles. It’s also important to start thinking about retirement, even if you’re only in your 20s or 30s, since your cost of living will likely go up in the future.

Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do now to plan for your family’s future. From setting up a college fund to learning easy ways to save money, preparing for your financial needs now will save you a lot of time and grief down the road and will ensure that your children are taken care of.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started with financial planning.

 

Calculate your assets

One of the first important steps in figuring out what your financial needs will be is calculating your current assets. Your home, vehicles, savings accounts, and any major investments will need to be counted. Talk to a financial advisor and find out how much your home is worth first, since it’s likely to be your largest investment.

 

Create a budget

Creating a budget will help you start saving money quickly, so sit down with your spouse or partner and go over your weekly and monthly spending. Look at your income and think about which bills could be eliminated or reduced, such as swapping cable for a streaming service. This is also a good time to think about whether your family would be comfortable on just one income if you’re planning to have a baby and one parent wants to stay home. Don’t slash too much from your expenses when creating a budget because you’ll want your budget to be realistic so it’ll be easier to stick to.

 

Build up your savings

It’s important to have some savings, whether you want to have a nest egg or just a household maintenance cushion. Start building up the amount you put away every payday, and open a savings account that won’t be touched until you absolutely need it. You can also start thinking about a college fund for your child, even if you are still expecting. Schooling can be very expensive, so it’s never too early to start planning.

 

Appoint a guardian or executor

Once you become a parent, it’s imperative to create a will that contains your last wishes, including the names of those who will take responsibility for your child or children after you’re gone. It’s also a good idea to name someone to take over the duties of your estate. Think about your beneficiaries and how you’ll divide up your estate. While it’s not something that anyone wants to think about, it will go a long way toward giving you peace of mind now.

Planning for the future can be frustrating and stressful if you don’t have a good plan. Sit down with a financial planner or an accountant to go over your preparations, keep communication open with your spouse or partner, and think about what your family will need down the road, not just in the present. With the right preparations, you can ensure that you and your loved ones will be well taken care of no matter what life throws at you.