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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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Handling sibling rivalry
Thursday, 07 December 2017 00:00

Sibling rivalry

How to help your kids get along

The term sibling refers to children who are related and living in the same family. Sibling rivalry has existed as long as families. Think back to Biblical times and Joseph’s problems with his brothers or of the dreadful time Cinderella had with her stepsisters!

It seems strange that whenever the word sibling comes up, the word rivalry seems sure to follow despite the fact that there are many solid sibling relationships in families (brothers and sisters who like and enjoy one another). However, it is the rivalry that gets attention the proverbial squeaky wheel.

What causes sibling rivalry? Think about it. Siblings don’t choose the family they are born into, don’t choose each other. They may be of different sex, are probably of different age and temperament, and. worst of all, they have to share the one person or the two people they most want for themselves: their parents. Other factors include:
Position in the family, for example, the oldest child may be burdened with responsibilities for the younger children or the younger child spends his life trying to catch up with an older sibling;
Gender, for instance, a son may hate his sister because his father seems more gentle with her. On the other hand, a daughter may wish she could go on the hunting trip with her father and brother;
Age, a five and an eight year old can play some games together but when they become ten and thirteen, they will probably be poles apart.

The most important factor, however, is parental attitude. Parents have been taught that they must be impartial but this can be extremely difficult. It’s inevitable that parents will feel differently about children who have different personalities with differing needs, dispositions. and place in the family. Picture the age-old conflict of the young child whining. “It’s not fair. Why can’t I stay up until nine-thirty like Johnny?” Fairness has nothing to do with it. Susie is younger and needs more sleep. It’s as simple as that, and parents are advised never to give in to the old “it’s not fair” strategy. Besides, when Susie is finally allowed to stay up until nine-thirty, it will seem a real privilege to her.

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