Gradually teaching a child to be a self-sufficient person is one of a parent’s most important tasks. Some ways to start:
*Teach brainstorming: When there is a problem, have him come up with solutions. Then help him choose one.
*Encourage kids to take responsibility: Let them know they have to do their homework. Show them how to organize their schedules so they can plan for music lessons, field trips, and tests. Use a calendar on the wall or a Palm Pilot.
*Teach bargaining skills. Show how to resolve heated arguments. Teach them to walk away until they are calm. Show how to negotiate. Flip a coin to see who goes first; set a timer for three minutes in which to argue; make sure each one listens to the other. Create a penalty for not solving the argument, such as not watching TV today.
*Show how to weigh decisions: Michele Borba, author of Don’t Give Me That Attitude (Jossey-Bass) says that when a child wants you to make a decision, show her how to weigh the pros and cons, then decide for herself.
*Teach kids to make choices based on reason instead of fearing friends’ disapproval.
Show how to deal with failure. Acknowledge hurt feelings and show that failure isn’t fatal. Teach him phrases such as “nobody’s perfect,” “everybody makes mistakes,” and “you win some, lose some.” Have him practice so he can easily say them to his pals.
Treat yourself to an at-home honeymoon
Restrictions put in place during the pandemic make it challenging, if not impossible, to travel to most prime honeymoon destinations. And once you arrive, who knows what restaurants and attractions will be open. So, while white sandy beaches and European cafés may be out of reach, a romantic staycation should hardly be considered settling for second best.
All the comforts of home
First and foremost, you don’t have to worry about contracting the coronavirus if you choose to honeymoon from the comfort of your home. Additionally, you’ll avoid the hassle of preparing for a trip — no need to renew your passport, get vaccinated, convert your cash, or buy travel insurance. Plus, you won’t have to pack, and you can be sure that the bedding hasn’t been used by strangers.
Indulge in an array of luxuries
• Order all of your meals from restaurants and get them delivered right to your door.
• Splurge on a high-end sectional sofa, king-size bed, or home theater system.
• Surprise your partner with designer lingerie and drink only fine wines every night.
Honeymooning at home allows you to start your life as a married couple in the comfort and privacy of your own home while indulging in food, wine, and gifts.
The perfect dress for your body type
One of the most important factors to consider when searching for the perfect wedding dress is what silhouette will best flatter your figure. While the consultants at a local bridal boutique can offer more personalized recommendations, here are a few basic tips for some common body shapes.
• Hourglass. Show off your natural curves with a sheath dress or a mermaid gown, and accentuate your chest with a sweetheart neckline.
• Pear-shape. Choose an A-line or ballgown silhouette to accentuate your natural waistline, and balance the full skirt with a boat neckline or cap sleeves.
• Rectangle. Create a sexy silhouette with a bias cut or fit-and-flare dress in a lightweight fabric, and opt for a V-neckline and low back.
• Diamond. Select a gown with a flared skirt and thin straps or a detailed bodice that will draw attention to your upper body.
• Inverted triangle. Balance your proportions by pairing a high neckline and long sleeves with a slit or asymmetrical skirt that emphasizes your legs.
• Round. Opt for the flowing skirts of an empire-waist gown, and provide support for your chest with a boat neckline and an elegant off-the-shoulder look.
Keep in mind that these are just guidelines, and the important thing is that you feel comfortable and beautiful in the dress you choose.
5 things to consider when choosing your wedding cake
As one of the key components of most weddings, decisions about the cake shouldn’t be left until the last minute. Here are five factors to consider before you order yours.
1. The number of guests
You want to make sure there’s plenty to go around. However, it would be a shame to waste your money on an excessively large cake and have to throw some out.
2. The wedding theme
3. The design
In addition to choosing the shape of the cake and the number of tiers, consider what decorative elements you’d like to incorporate. Fresh flowers, edible gold leaves, and chocolate lace are just some many choices.
4. The flavor
From praline mouse to passion fruit, you might be surprised by how many options are available. Fortunately, most cake shops offer tastings to help you make your choice.
5. The ingredients
If you have a limited budget, determine if you favor high-quality ingredients over a refined look. You should also consider if any of your guests have allergies.
Contact cake shops in your area to schedule a consultation and make sure your cake checks all the boxes.
Who can you turn to for help investing?
Whether you’re working toward purchasing a home, financing your children’s education, or enjoying a comfortable retirement, you need to invest your money wisely. For most people, this means turning to a qualified investment professional. Here’s who you can count on to help you grow your savings.
• Stockbrokers. A stockbroker can buy, sell, and monitor investments on your behalf or simply give you advice on how to invest your money.
• Financial advisers. Also called a financial planner, a financial adviser can assess your current situation and help you develop a comprehensive financial or retirement plan.
• RIAs. A registered investment adviser (RIA) performs the same tasks as a stockbroker, but with an important difference: they can’t receive commissions by recommending specific financial products and are compensated by taking a percentage of the assets they manage for you.
• Accountants. A chartered accountant can review your tax situation and help you save on your tax return. They can also assist you when making a large purchase such as buying a home or after receiving an inheritance.
When deciding whether to work with a particular investment professional, always ask about their education, experience, and certifications. In addition, find out how they’re compensated (through client fees, commissions, or a combination of these) to determine whether there are potential conflicts of interest.
Finally, bear in mind that even when working with an experienced professional, investing always entails some amount of risk. Before making decisions about how to manage your money, you should evaluate your ability to withstand financial losses if your investments do poorly.
Eco-friendly alternatives to de-icing salts
Salt has long been relied on to ensure roads, sidewalks and other outdoor surfaces are free of ice in winter. Unfortunately, chemical de-icers tend to get washed into waterways where they harm wildlife and poison aquatic ecosystems. If you’re looking for an environmentally conscious way to make sure you don’t slip on your driveway, walkways, and stairs this winter, here are some eco-friendly alternatives to salt.
There are several non-toxic materials that can be used on icy surfaces in winter, including:
• Sand. This abrasive substance provides traction on the ice at any temperature, whereas salt isn’t effective in extreme cold.
• Beet juice. The sugar in this biodegradable liquid lowers the freezing temperature of the water, which helps prevent the formation of ice.
• Coffee grounds. In addition to providing traction, these dark granules absorb heat, which helps to melt snow and ice faster.
• Alfalfa meal. While it should be used in moderation, this natural grainy substance is highly effective at melting ice and providing traction.
Alternatively, you can lay down anti-slip ice carpets in the fall. These textured mats are designed to adhere to icy surfaces, provide traction, and prevent slipping.
Keep in mind that an effective way to prevent the formation of ice on stairs and walkways in the first place is to clear away snow as soon as possible. You should also make sure to always wear sturdy boots and use ice cleats to help you keep your footing in slippery conditions.
7 reasons to buy Fairtrade food
As a consumer, you have the power to support environmentally sustainable practices, and other just causes by making purchase decisions that reflect your values. Here are seven reasons to buy food and other goods that have the Fairtrade label.
1. The Fairtrade system ensures small-scale farmers and workers receive an equitable income by setting a minimum price for major commodities such as fruit, nuts, rice, and spices.
2. The Fairtrade system pays producers a premium, in addition to the minimum price, to be invested in social, environmental, and economic projects in their community.
3. The Fairtrade standards help protect the environment by requiring (and teaching) farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices such as limiting the use of pesticides.
4. The Fairtrade standards and carbon credit program support projects implemented by small-scale farming communities to increase their resilience against climate change.
5. The Fairtrade standards prohibit gender discrimination and encourage the creation of programs that empower women to become entrepreneurs and community leaders.
6. The Fairtrade standards require farm owners to provide safe working conditions and a living wage for their workers. Also, forced labor and child labor are prohibited.
7. The Fairtrade system encourages organic agricultural practices and rewards farmers with a higher minimum price for organically grown products.
If you want to support small-scale farming communities, look for food and other products that have the blue and green Fairtrade label.