How to Prepare your Kids for Getting a Dog

Getting a dog can be a very exciting experience. It gives your kids some added responsibility and it also gives them something to care for. If you want to prepare your kids for getting a dog, then there are a few things that you can try and do.

Understand the Dog’s Background

It doesn’t matter where you purchase your dog, or even whether you choose to adopt. You need to know the dog’s history, and you also need to know if they are aggressive around children. At the end of the day, your kids should always come first and by knowing information like this, you can be sure to make the best decision. A lot of people think that they can force an unwilling dog to accept a child, but this should never be the case. It will end up in an almost certain disaster, and it will also put pressure on the family as well.

Treats

Treats are like currency, for canines. They are a fantastic motivator when you use them properly.

If you want to help your kids to understand this, then start by giving your child a couple of treats to hold. When the dog is being well-behaved, or when they do a trick on command, tell your child to give them a treat. This will help your child to bond with your new pet, and it will also help the dog to be more accepting of your kids too. When your child hands out a treat, make sure that they keep their hands flat as this will stop their fingers from being nipped. As time goes on, you can use the treats less and less.

Warning Signs

You should always tell your child to use gentle body language. You also need to tell them to use slow, and deliberate gestures. By doing this, the dog is aware of when they are going to be petted, or stroked and it also helps your child to respect the dog’s feelings too. Of course, you do need to tell the child about the dog’s body language too. They need to listen out for warning growls, and they need to know when to leave the dog alone. If your child does not look out for these signs, then your dog may end up with anxiety or they may even resist having a close relationship with your child. Remember that not all dogs will have been socialised to deal with new people and they might not all act the same way either.

Responsibility

Getting a dog is a fantastic way for you to teach your child responsibility. They need to know when to feed them, when to give them more water and even how to help them to stay healthy. If you want to help your child, then try and assign them certain jobs. This could include filling up your dog’s bowl in the morning or it could even involve letting them out in the yard. Depending on how old your child is, you may not want to let them take the dog out for walks to begin with. The main reason for this is because younger dogs tend to pull on the lead, purely because of how excited they are for their walk. It’s very easy for a child to lose control here, so always insist on holding the lead yourself until the dog calms down a bit.

Health

Looking after a dog isn’t just about giving them food and water. They are essentially becoming a member of the family, so you need to look after their health too. This could involve taking them to the vets and even getting their claws clipped from time to time. Your child may love giving your dog a treat from time to time and this is great, but they do need to understand that if they do this too often then they could risk harming the dog’s health. Your friends may ask “why does your dog’s breath smell so bad?” and you may even notice that they start to become overweight as well. All of this can be contributed to a poor diet, and if you can teach your child about this then you can help them to understand the needs of the dog you have much more efficiently.

So, getting a dog can be great for the whole family, but it is important that you teach your child how to look after them and how to care for their immediate needs. The sooner you do this, the better experience you will have.

 

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Technology And The Internet: Keeping Your Children Safe And Informed

The birth of computers for domestic use, gradually seeped into everyone’s homes, schools and libraries across America as the advantages of having such an advanced piece of technology seemed to outweigh any known risks. With just a few decades of technology under our belts, the dangers have become more prominent in the media, and although we may consider ourselves as parents to be quite savvy in avoiding the digital world’s pitfalls, the kids may not possess the sense of awareness you have. This could make them vulnerable to digital world dangers. Which is why the pointers below highlight some of the risks and benefits to help keep them safe and informed in the virtual world.

Educate About Risks

You could begin by sitting them down to have a chat, maybe using your own PC/laptop/phone as an example to make the experience more interactive and walk through some of the dangers and solutions on the internet. However, use a bit of discretion to work out what’s age appropriate.

 

  • Spam email – Encourage kids not to give out their email at every opportunity and to limit it to close family and friends only, otherwise they may receive an influx of spam. Explain the difference between genuine and spam emails. For instance, opening and toying with spam email could allow viruses on to their computer or phone, causing it to stop functioning.
  • Cyberbullying – Showing them how to block/ban other people who are harassing or insulting them online is essential. Use the prevent cyberbullying extract from the government website for more information on this subject.
  • Social Media – Explain why it’s best to limit your personal info and pictures online and not to entertain friend requests or private messages from people they do not know.
  • Private Information – Encourage your children to keep their passwords in a safe place, and only share with you if they want to. Explain this will stop people gaining access to/controlling their accounts.

Educate About Benefits

Alongside a whole host of danger technology brings, there is also a long list of benefits that kids could use to their advantage.

 

  • Safety – Encourage your kids to look after their technology as one day they might need it to look after them. Phones, for example, could be a handy tool if they’re in danger, allowing them to call you or emergency services. Which is why every effort should be made to look after their technology and treat it with respect. Such as buying a protective phone case, phone stands to prevent dropping it when they’re trying to watch a Youtube video, screen protectors, laptop cases and so forth. To survey the top 10 stands for cell phones, the best phone cases, and screen protectors, there’s an abundance of protective equipment you can order online.
  • Knowledge and skills – A distinct point of children having technology is the world of knowledge it opens up to your children. Also using technology is advantageous in helping them to build computer skills, which are no longer desirable but essential in most jobs today.
  • Connecting – Using the internet can be a good way for kids to keep connected with friends and family, it can also be a way of you connecting with your children, such as playing co-op games together or watching funny Youtube videos.

 

As a parent, your worries are no longer limited to looking after your children in the real world but are extended to looking after them in the digital world too. By using the tips above to educate them on the risks, you can help them avoid technology/internet pitfalls and be cautious of danger..

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

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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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How To Be A Good Dad After A Relationship Breakdown

A relationship breakdown is difficult, and is made even harder to deal with when there are children involved. Your beautiful, innocent children are now going to have to live without their parents being together and for some children, it’s a really difficult transition. The worst thing about your breakup is that you will no longer be able to see your children every single day. You may miss large milestones in their lives and that’s heartbreaking. However, it’s important to remember that they are the most important thing to think about right now, so here are some tips on how to be a good Dad after a relationship breakdown so that they have the best life possible.

Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

Call them every day

Some Fathers think that if they shower their children with gifts and material things that they can get away with not calling their children every day. A simple fact is, your children want you in their lives and while they might love gifts, a simple phone call each day will make the world of difference. Chatting to them (and their mother) about their day and asking if there’s any way that you can help will show your children that nothing has changed apart from the fact that their parents no longer live together. It will also help you stay in the loop of your child’s life!

Know your rights

With relationship breakdowns come resentment, and sometimes Mothers stop contact between their children and their Fathers. It’s important to make sure that you know what your rights are as a Father so that you’re not missing out on precious time with your children. If you’re not sure where to seek this information, it might be a good idea to hire a Father’s rights lawyer to help walk you through the steps you should be taking. Remember that there’s a difference between being stopped contact completely and simply having to negotiate the days you see your children.

Keep your promises

One extremely important thing to remember is that if you promise to do something for your children and don’t come through, they will remember. It’s imperative to make sure that you don’t give your children false hope. If you can’t make it to their school play, tell them! Don’t leave them thinking that you’ll be there if you know full well that you won’t be. Keeping your promises will also help your parenting relationship with their mother and may result in you seeing your children more.

Keep any discrepancies away from the children

Finally, and possibly most importantly, make sure that you keep any arguments or disagreements away from your children. They simply want to see their parents and at times you will argue with their Mother, but protect them from seeing anything like that by discussing matters in private. If they can see that their parents are able to be civil they will find the breakup a much easier situation to deal with.

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