Teens More Likely to Learn Distracted Driving Behavior From Their Parents

As parents we know that our kids are always watching. They notice our behaviors and actions when we least expect it and often reflect back what we do in their own actions.

In a recent study of more than 1,500 teens conducted by Texas A&M University and Aceable Drivers Ed, researchers found that teenagers are more likely to witness their parents engaging in distracted driving behavior than their peers. It’s often assumed that the generation who grew up with cell phones from a young age are the worst offenders when when it comes to poor driving habits when, in reality, they report their friends and peers engaging in fewer instances of distracted driving than their parents.

Modeling good behavior for our kids starts at home. This is why it’s so important for parents to set a great example around safe driving habits. Driving is a huge responsibility and we want our kids to be as safe as possible on the road. Here are a few easy tips to get started so you can set the right example, and become a safer driver yourself:

  • Put your phone in the glovebox while driving
  • Pull over to a complete stop if you need to make a call or eat
  • Get completely ready at home so you’re not multitasking in the car
  • Keep pets in a carrier or secured in the back seat while driving
  • Find some apps that help pause notifications on your phone while driving
  • Always put on your seatbelt and insist others do the same

Be sure to check out the article with more in-depth information and tips from the distracted driving study.

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Using Your Phone as a Source of Entertainment for Your Kids

We tend to associate smartphones with adults. The majority of over eighteens own one of their own and chances are that you are either reading this article on one right now, or have one in your pocket or nearby. While we may use our phones for professional purposes (responding to emails), social purposes (catching up with friends), or sheer procrastination (scrolling through the explore page of our Instagram feeds), it’s important to remember that smartphones can prove extremely beneficial for little ones too! While you might not want to purchase one of these expensive devices for your little ones to use independently quite yet,

Ensuring It Is Always Connected

Phones aren’t much use if they constantly lose signal or are unable to make use of mobile data. So make sure that you sign up to a reliable provider like Freedompop phones, who will be able to ensure that your little ones can engage with any of the following recommendations as and when they grow bored throughout the day!

Online Videos

The web is awash with media that is appropriate for your little ones. Whether they want to watch their favourite cartoons, sing along to the latest kids’ chart song, or – you will be able to find the content online through some sort of video streaming service. Perhaps the most popular is Youtube. This can be accessed easily through your web browser, but you’re generally better off downloading the app, so that everything can be accessed more readily and easily. If you’re willing to pay a small sum of money monthly, you can even skip its notorious pre-video ads. Just remember to make use of parental controls, which can prevent your little ones from accessing unsuitable or age inappropriate content.

Photographs

Once kids can recognise themselves in the mirror, they are likely to become increasingly interested in taking pictures of themselves with you, siblings, pets, and pretty much anyone or anything else they adore. They’re growing up as part of the selfie generation! They’re bound to find hours of fun using your phone’s camera. Consider allowing them to use fun apps like snapchat to take and save pictures too! They’re bound to enjoy the different novelty filters they can try out. Just make sure they don’t send pictures around to your whole contact list!

Games

Phones have had games for a long time. But we have come a long way from simple classics like Tetris and Snake. Nowadays, there are seemingly endless different games down there that can be downloaded for your little ones to try out and play. Again, be a little cautious. Some will allow you to carry out in-app purchases and may charge your card directly. Ensure that protective settings are on or that your card is not connected to your account when letting your kids play games on your phone.

As you can see, your smartphone can provide your children with a whole lot of entertainment!

And if you really want to show off, check out this guide on how to mount a projector!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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Planning on Children in the Future-Items You Should Hang Onto & Put in Storage

One of the best things about having multiple children is that you likely already have all the items you originally needed for your first baby and can use those items repeatedly. If you are planning on having children in the future, whether soon or in several years, there are baby items that you want to hold onto so that you do not have to bare the expense again.

Below, we will look at some of the most important baby items you should hang onto and put into your self-storage unit.

Baby Clothes

It may sound like an obvious one, but a lot of individuals will get rid of the newborn and smaller sized clothes thinking they will not need them. Baby clothes are expensive, and you can save yourself a lot of money by hanging onto your first-born’s clothes.

To store baby clothes, you want to wash them first and remove any stains they may have. Then, allow the clothes to fully dry. Once dry, fold them up and store them neatly in a box and place into a climate-controlled storage unit for safe keeping.

Crib

One of the heftiest upfront expenses for any new baby is the crib. If you have a crib that your child has outgrown, you may want to think about placing it into storage to use it in the future.

Before you store the crib, do take pictures of how it looked when it was put together. Depending on how long you store it for, you may forget what it looks like assembled and a picture can help you piece it back together.

You should also label the pieces of the crib or write out a blueprint for it and keep all hardware in a small bag attached to the crib.

Lastly, always store the crib in a climate-controlled unit to prevent deterioration of the wood.

Toys

They say that you will spend a lot of money on baby clothes, but you will spend even more on toys. The younger the child is, the more expensive it seems the toys are too. From the bouncer to the walker to the entertainment, it adds up.

You should store all toys from your baby’s younger years as your new little one will use these toys as well.

If you decide to store the toys in self-storage, clean them very well and allow them to dry. You should dry out any cracks or crevices that may be present. Place the toys into storage containers and then label the exterior of the container. If you need to store a bouncer or other toys that are too large to fit in a container, clean them up and then place a sheet or protective cover over them.

Don’t Underestimate the Expenses a New Baby Brings

You likely still have many of the items you would need for a new baby, so take the time to store them and hang onto them as you will save yourself some money in the end. Some additional items to consider storing include the stroller, baby rockers, changing table, and car seat.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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The Best Toys of 2018

It’s that time of the year again; the time for which children all over the world (and more than a few adults, too) have been waiting: the gift-giving season! In particular, as an adult and parent, you are well aware of the months’ approach, given how often the little one clamor about your feet asking questions about the toy budget this year. Instead of having to conduct hour-long searches on Google, we’ve compiled here a selection of the best toys of 2018 – with a wide range of costs so as to be inclusive of most peoples’ budgets.

Not surprisingly, some of the toys from last year crept on to this list, because of the simple fact that the craze for them has yet to die out. Fingerlings are one of them, and stores constantly complain of being out of stock when new requests come in, despite the feverish pace of manufacturers in keeping up with their end of the supply and demand curve. With that set, let’s jump right into the top toys.

The Fingerlings As Advertised

These little monsters and cute, adorable creatures are still near the very top of any kid’s list of toys this year. The Raptors Untamed is the latest incarnation in the line of finger-attached action figures, which successfully combines dinosaurs with the caricatures that have been thus far reserved for sloths, monkeys and other relatively cute critters. Fingerlings are recommended for ages 5 and up.

Plush Toys With a Twist

It’s not surprising that plush toys would be a big hit with kids within a certain age range; even many adults appreciate their large, plush and furry nature. The thing about the new brand of plush toys known as Grumblies – which are making waves across the nation – is that they’re losing a bit of their cuteness and gaining a rougher edge. For some reason, though, kids are taking to them as a replacement for the unrelentingly cute furries of yesteryear. Just wait until you get a look at their faces! Things sure have changed since you were a kid.

Dinosaurs Are Taking Over – Imaginext Jurassic

Not surprisingly, the reemergence of Jurassic Park on the Big Screen has spawned a resurgence of toys related to the franchise. The Imaginext Jurassic World Jurassic Park, for example, is a definitively hot ticket item that’s certain to fly off the shelves for months to come. It’s large and substantial, which means that it will take up lots of play time as your little loved one cycles through all the permutations and makes his little slice of Jurassic Park come to life.

Pet Vet Play – The Examine and Treat Play Set

For your fledgling veterinarian; this adorable playset starts him on the road to becoming a doctor for the sick animal someday. It’s no wonder that this is one of the best toy sets of the year – toy maker team Melissa and Doug has stocked the bag full of all the little elements that real pet docs use. You even get a pet toy dog and cat in the bag, on which to carefully run your health examinations. With two dozen pieces in all, your little one won’t want for examples of what to do. It comes with a diagram and a checklist, too.

Make Mine Marvel With The Avengers Training Kit

There hasn’t been a comic book franchise as successful on the Big Screen as Marvel’s recent movies, with characters like Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor and Black Panther capturing the imaginations of fans of all ages – especially the young. This toy set lets them use various odds and ends from their super-powered heroes and pretend to shoot repulsor blasts from the lifelike Iron Man gauntlet, or snake through the advanced jungles of Wakanda with the Black Panther mask.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Gun

Never to be confused for a real gun, this colorful projectile toy carries quite the punch – and it’s all in fun, guaranteed to provide the children with hours and hours of fun in any moderately expansive space. Nerf guns tend to dominate the Christmas season among a certain age group, and the company has responded with advancements that will have your boys (and some girls) clamoring for upgrades like the speed-load tech that automatically loads the next foam clip and lays waste to the opponent’s dreams of escaping untouched. Always be sure to get extra darts – they are inexpensive since it’s just colored foam.

We could of course go on and on with the toys that are available this year, but the above are definitely some of the very best.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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