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16 Things to do before Christmas
Friday, 07 December 2018 00:00

The Christmas list.

Yes it is time to start thinking about Christmas. Don't stress out by waiting for the last minute rush. The following are the top 16 things you can do now to make the holidays a little less stressful.

1. Christmas Cards. Make your own Christmas Cards using a photo of the children as the main artwork. Aim to have these made by end of November, as opposed to mid December which has been the case for the last couple of years.

2. Plan early. Sounds simple but the number one reason why people stress out during the holidays is because they put everything off until the last minute. Make a list. Decide early-on what you want to get everyone. By taking the time upfront to decide what to get everyone you insure that the gift you give isn't an afterthought which can be very expensive as well.

3. Set a budget. Let's face it, the Holidays can be expensive. We all have friends who go overboard during the holidays and end up paying off their credit cards for the rest of the following year.

4. Don't forget others in your life. Your maid, gardener, teachers, hairdresser, beautician are people too and deserve being recognised for their efforts this holiday season.

5. Do your Christmas grocery shopping in advance. This is somewhat of a no-brainer but I’ve known people to forget in the past and they are then frantically running around the nearest supermarket like they are on a free-for-all supermarket trolley dash! The beauty of getting everything as early as possible is that you do not have to worry about rushing about last minute as well as being able to avoid the manic queues both inside the stores and outside with the traffic. Christmas shopping may be a fairly mundane task to do but it is pretty much a mandatory thing to do as well as the fact that it is inevitable that you will need at least something from your nearest store. If you want my advice, go as early as possible, if you have a 24 hour store near you go at the dead of night, just try to avoid the huge queues, you can thank me later.

 

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Is Your Child Being Bullied?
Saturday, 07 April 2018 00:00

9 Steps You Can Take as a Parent

We all know too well, name–calling, cruel taunts, cyberbullying and physical bullying happen every day to kids across the country.

When your child is being bullied, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else—all you want to do is make it stop immediately. Janet Lehman, MSW explains what you can do to help your child—and what could hurt them in the long run.

At some point, your child will be picked on or will have his feelings hurt by others. We all have our trials and tribulations with our kids, no matter who we are. An unavoidable part of living is finding solutions to problems, even when they are not easy or comfortable.

In my opinion, bullying is a real problem that needs to be solved as a family. Our son was bullied in middle school and high school. We lived in a small rural community where he went to elementary school; the teachers were very aware of all the kids and very attentive. In some ways it was an ideal school. Unfortunately, they had no junior high or high school in our community, so we had to make the choice to send our son to a large urban school nearby.

Soon, he started to come home with some very disturbing stories about how other kids were teasing him, calling names and taunting him. These children didn’t have any clear reason why they were bullying our son other than he was the new kid; he was perceived as being different. Our son would come home each day with terrible stories about things that had happened. My husband, James, and I tried hard not to react too strongly when he talked to us. We did not want to seem too upset about it, because we really wanted to listen to what our child had to say without making it worse by over–reacting. We tried to remain as neutral as possible, but we were not always successful. Our son was upset and depressed, and it broke our hearts.

How to parent effectively in difficult times.

Over time we were able to resolve these issues as a family, but I want to stress that it didn’t happen overnight, much as we wanted it to. It took a lot of work with both the school and our son to find a solution to the problem. Along the way, we learned some valuable lessons that I believe played a big part in resolving the issue for our son.

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