Category: Children & Parent

Important Tips for Cash Child Trust Funds

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Child trust funds are a long-term investment strategy that allows parents, grandparents, friends, and virtually any interested adult, to ensure that a child is well equipped for a productive adult life. Three types of child trust funds are (1) cash (2) stakeholder (3) share-based.

Cash child trust funds carry the least amount of risk to the investment. They are equivalent to a savings account. One advantage is that the interest is tax-free. Investing in cash CTF is the ideal scenario for those investors who realize the importance of saving for their child’s future, yet do not want to utilize the stock market for such investment.

A Stakeholder child trust fund takes on somewhat of a higher investment risk than cash CTF, but usually earns a higher return. There are restrictions on stakeholder child trust fund to ensure that money is diversified. In addition, when the child is 13 years old, the investment is typically shifted to lower risk markets to ensure that the end of the CTF lifecycle will be rather stable.

A share-based CTF permits higher returns, but it incurs charges to manage such fund. Meaning that one can typically earn higher rates of returns because the investment is placed in riskier funds, but in order to shift the investment between funds, one must pay to have the CTF managed. Thus, a profit will not be realized until one deducts the appropriate charges that will be assessed. The share-based CTFs give investors two options upon opening the CTF. One option is to choose a couple of funds and shift the investment between the two at the investors’ leisure. The other option is to choose from an unrestricted list of funds, and shift the investment accordingly.

The following useful tips can be applied towards either type of CTF:

In cash CTFs, monitor the interest rate. Make sure you are receiving the most competitive interest rate as possible.
Keep in mind that any contributions to a CTF cannot be withdrawn until the child turns 18, and at that time, the child himself can only withdraw it.
Be aware of up-front charges when opening a stakeholder CTF and share-based CTF.
Remind friends and family members that they are able to contribute to a CTF
Understand the risks before deciding against a cash CTF
Start early. If one starts to invest early in a child’s life, and chooses a stable fund, the long-term benefit will be realized.
Be a savvy investor. Research, and study your options. Evaluate your particular situation i.e. realistic monthly contributions, etc., and make an educated decision based on that information.

Comparing The Best Child Trust Fund (CTF)

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The Government announced earlier this month that the number of children with a Child Trust Fund has reached over 3 million. However, The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Kitty Ussher, also highlighted that only three-quarters of parents have actively opened their Child Trust Fund accounts.

This means that for the seven-hundred and fifty-thousand children whose parents did not open the Child Trust Fund themselves, the opportunity to gain one year’s worth of interest is lost. In fact, the accumulated loss of interest for all those Funds that have not been opened amounts to an estimated 15 million!

The Child Trust Fund is a long-term savings and investment plan set up by the Government to encourage parents to save for their children’s future. The Child Trust Fund is available to all children born on or after 1 September 2002 . Children will receive an initial 250 in vouchers to open their Child Trust Fund accounts, with a further 250 when they reach seven years of age. In addition to this money, parents, family and friends can contribute up to 1,200 each year into the Fund.

Although opening a Child Trust Fund is relatively straightforward, choosing one can be more difficult. With three types of accounts (cash, stakeholder or shares) available from numerous banks and building societies each with their own offers, terms and conditions and rates, finding the right Child Trust Fund for their children leaves many parents confused. Recent research from The Actuarial Profession has shown that most parents are simply overwhelmed by the huge amount of information they receive. Often, the just need concise information which simplifies and compares the various accounts available.

Currently, there are several websites that compare only Cash Child Trust Funds, but only MyEggNest.com leads the way by providing a comparison table of all three types of Child Trust Funds: Cash, Stakeholders and Equity (or Shares) Child Trust Funds.

MyEggNest.com has an all-inclusive, easy to understand comparisons of all Child Trust Funds provides parents the tools they need to make informed decisions about the best ways to compare Child Trust Funds available or to see how their children’s current Child Trust Fund compares to others on the market.

Joe Luong, Marketing Director for MyEggNest.com said, “Our feedback has shown that many parents are overwhelmed by the multitude of leaflets and fliers from financial bodies available regarding Child Trust Funds. Some even believe it is too much that they don’t even know where to start.”

“What parents of newborns need is clear and concise information explained in simple English on how best to compare their children’s Child Trust Fund. With MyEggNest.com, new parents are able to research everything they want to know about the Child Trust Fund from one reliable source. On one site, they can seek guidance from other parents in the form of a Child Trust Fund discussion forum, look at product reviews and learn how best to compare Child Trust Funds.”

Make This Christmas Beautiful For Needy Children by Adopting Operation Santa Program

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Christmas is a festival of love, care and happiness. It is actually one of the most awaited and loved festival across the globe. For kids the festival is even more important. It is the day when they would receive their impeding gift from the big man. Yes the Santa Claus who brings the kids the gifts they have written for. How can we forget those innocent letters that kids write to Santa every year demanding their special gift items? In their innocence they don’t realize that it is actually their parents who provide them with things they have wished for. Writing letters to Santa is actually the most loved tradition in this festival that promotes the belief of love. Have you ever wondered that there might be kids who won’t receive their Christmas present? Yes actually there are millions of them who keep waiting for their present to come. Their families are financially inadequate to provide their kids what they have requested for.

Can we do something to help such kids? Again, yes absolutely. The United postal services have come up with a unique program known as Operation Santa. It is very noble opportunity through which you can help the needy children. Through this you can adopt the Christmas letters to Santa There are millions of Santa letters received by the postal department every year. Through this program you can adopt any one of them by answering it. Here you can send the kid the gift the kid has requested for. Don’t worry such children never demand expensive luxury items, their wish list is generally limited to basic essentials such as clothes, woolens, shoes, toys etc. You can easily pay for such items without any kind of financial stress. The postal department sends the gifts on your behalf. Earlier you could also get the contact details of the concerned family but now due to privacy concerns such details are not provided. So won’t you feel satisfied if some eagerly waiting kid receives his due present?nt?

To be the volunteer for Operation Santa program you can contact your nearest post office and get all the necessary details. Otherwise there are specific websites too that provides the concerned details. You can search for such sites on the internet and get all the necessary information such as participating post offices etc. If the nearest postal office to you doesn’t support this program then there are other mediums too to do charity for needy kids. You can donate to specific NGO’s that work for such causes or can also donate to orphanages, church etc.

Be an elf is a nonprofit organization that supports the United States Postal Services Christmas letters to Santa program.

Telling a Child What to Do and How to Behave will Often Backfire on You

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The most effective way to get someone to do something, especially children, it to model the desired behavior. Nobody likes to be lectured to or be constantly told what to do. Lecturing will quickly send children in the opposite direction.

Model healthy interactions with your spouse and other adults. Always speak lovingly and respectfully.

Save shouting for safety only.

To teach your children manners say it for them rather than asking them to use the “Magic Word”. As you serve say, “Thank you Mama!” When your child demands service say, “May I have some juice please Papa?”

Or, try using non-verbal signals. Decide with your children what the hand signal will be when they have asked for service inappropriately. Use the hand signal, such as touching your lips with your index finger, every time they demand service.

Maria Montessori has shown us that modeling appropriate behavior is particularly critical during a child’s first six year of life, because children enter the Absorbent Mind developmental phase. A child’s mind acts like a sponge, integrating everything accurately, nonjudmentally, uncritically and effortlessly.

During the approximate ages of 2 1/5 to five years, children enter the Sensitive Period for Social Development phase. A child explores and absorbs group and social behavior. Due to this sensitivity, a child needs to have modeled acceptable social behavior at home and in a positive school setting.

The late guru, Rudolph Dreikurs, teaches us to teach and model mutual respect. Be kind and firm at the same time. Kind to show respect for your child, firm to show respect for yourself and the needs of the situation. This is difficult!

Ask, Tell, Respond, Act:

Ask first: “Please put your activity away.” Back off and wait. If needed:

Tell once: “This goes right here.” Hand her the toy and pat the shelf.

Respond: “OK Mama, I’m putting it away!.” (Say if for her.) If needed:

Act: “Let’s do it together!” Do it with joy! (Even if she doesn’t help.)

Teach and model that mistakes are great opportunities to learn:

Clean up your messes:

1. Own your part: “Wow, I just made a mistake!”

2. Apologize: “I apologize for_____. (Be specific)”

3. Commit: “The next time I will do _____ instead.”

4. Amends: “To make it up to you I will do _____ for/with you.”

When you want to make your child do something you are in a power struggle. Say “Oops, I’m trying to get my way, I’m going to go do something to help myself feel better.”

Children express what we repress. When your child acts up, look inside yourself first. Clean up your act, resolve your feelings, mend fences.

Why Go With European Baby Clothes And European Childrens Clothes

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Today’s fashions are as diverse as the people that embrace them, wear them and share them. But to a certain extent, many of the baby clothing and children clothing found in the USA follows one or two specific trends. After a while, it can be tiresome to see the same cuts, styles, colors, patterns and materials over and over. As a mother myself, I often strive to find less popular clothing styles, and stores that aren’t mainstream, in the hopes of being exposed to new designs, colors and styles that I haven’t encountered before. I enjoy dressing my children in high quality clothing that stands out from the crowd, and is unique while still be stylish, tasteful and acceptable.

One idea for thinking out of the box with baby clothing and children’s clothing is to look towards European clothing. European children’s clothes and European baby clothes. Estella-NYC is one option for finding these beautiful, inspiring baby and children clothes. They carry extensive lines of European children’s clothes and European baby clothes. In fact, the clothes that they carry are so inspiring that clothing designers, including Isaac Mizrahi (you may recognize his name as one of the designers for the exclusive line of clothing at Target, often browse their store just to find their own inspiration.

Estella has been in operation for six years, and is located in the Greenwich Village area of Manhattan, New York City. A husband and wife team (Chike Chukwulozie and Jean Polsky) run the company, and their fresh ideas for unique clothing has been a big success. They are known nationwide and even worldwide for their innovative designs and colors for European children’s clothes and European baby clothes.

The available European baby clothes include newborn gifts and first birthday gifts, baby blankets, onesies, and the standard array of clothing: outfits, dresses, shirts, pants, shoes, outdoor wear, swimsuits and other essentials. These European baby clothes are also available in organic and eco-friendly varieties.

The line of European children’s clothes is just as impressive. Cotton shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts, plain and button down tops, bottoms, shoes, hats, swimsuits and gifts bring plenty of European fashion right to you.

Dressing your children in the European fashion is a great way to make a statement that is stylish and tasteful, while being anything but ordinary. European childrens clothes and European baby clothes can go a long way in making your children stand out from the crowd.

How A Good Bed Guard Can Protect Your Child

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When a child is big enough to move from their cot into a bigger bed then you will need to consider whether to fit a bed guard to their bigger bed or not. Some people do not like the idea of fitting a bed guard as they feel it is too restrictive for their child. However, these people may not be aware that there are now many bed guards on the market, some of which are very discreet and do not feel so restrictive.

Our advice therefore is to always use a bed guard as it will help to protect your child in several ways. Firstly, a good guard it going to prevent your child from falling out of bed at night and hurting themselves. Whilst kids are pretty resilient there are many instances of them falling out of bed and getting injured either on their heads or the rest of their body. A bed guard will mean they will have a barrier there should they roll to the edge of the bed that will keep them in the bed and from falling on the floor, thus preventing injury.

The second benefit for the child is that if they are prevented from falling out of bed they will avoid being woken up by such an episode. Any parent will know that if your child has a broken nights sleep and becomes distressed in the night that it can have a knock on effect the next day. Their mood can be greatly affected by a broken nights sleep so by having a bed guard this can be avoided more often.

A final way the bed guard can be used to protect your child is when the child comes to sleep in the parents bed for any reason. There are some types of guard that are made from foam and can be fitted under the sheers to form a barrier between the parents and the child. This way you can all sleep safe in the knowledge that the parents will not roll onto the child as they sleep and therefore wake up and/or injure the child.

Survive Going On Holiday With Your Parents

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No matter what age you are, and what stage of your life youre at, the prospect of travelling with your parents can bring the calmest and most collected person to their knees. You may love your parents, you may enjoy spending time with them, but sometimes going on holiday with them can be a little too much, so if youre dreading the start of your holiday, here are a few tips that could help you and your family get on that little bit better while youre away.

Accept it

It doesnt matter if youre 14 or 40, your parents are always going to picture you as a small child, and therefore, you may find that theyll inadvertently treat you like one. Try not to get upset by this, and try to calmly remind them that you are now an adult; you may even have children of your own, so direct your parents attention towards them instead.

Compromise

As with all holidays or short breaks, there will be times that everyone wants to do different activities and see different places. This is fine, so try to come to some kind of compromise with your parents and agree to meet up later if this has to happen.

Be Grateful

There is an old saying that says that you cant choose your family, but you can choose your friends, and this is just one of those sayings that may be actually be very true for many people. But some people dont get the opportunity to go on holiday with their family at all, so its perhaps a good idea to let your parents know just how grateful you are for their company. Get everyone together for a family photo on the final day of your break, and then give a framed copy to your parents once youre safely home, it will serve as a perfect reminder of your family holiday.

Tennis Psychology And Tennis Parents Do You Expect Miracles

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Do you expect your tennis kid to always perform well or win? Do you have a hard time focusing on what your kids do well on the court instead of focusing on mistakes? I receive many questions from sports parents about their young athletes performance. One question parents ask me: Am I too hard on my young athlete? Yes, most parents are.

Just today, I received an email from a sports parent about his child. He stated, I am sometimes hard on my son and tend to see his weaknesses more then his positive qualities! As a tennis parent myself, I have to agree. I find myself focusing more on the mistakes my child makes in matches instead of the wonderful shots she makes.

I think one reason many tennis parents focus on mistakes and weaknesses is that they know what their kids are capable of in practice and matches. For example, one week your child might play flawlessly winning every match in the tournament. Naturally, our expectations as parents shoot up: My child should be able to perform like this all the time!

I call this the peak performance dilemma. Some athletes judge every performance based on their best performance! They think, If I can play great one time, I should do it all the time. I think tennis parents adopt this same attitude. When our kids dont perform up to their potential, its easier to focus on the mistakes and what they are doing wrong (compared to their best performances).

Whats the solution to this dilemma? First, you want to be careful not to compare every match your athlete plays to his best match. Second, you have force yourself to focus on what your child is doing well in each match, especially after the match on the car ride home. Dont pick apart every mistake your young athlete made in the last match. I suggest to parents that you compliment your player for one or two things she might have done well in the match, before saying anything else.

When you think your child under-performed during a match, giving complements is very hard to do (trust me I know this personally). Try to focus on your players positive qualities. Your kids know what mistakes they made and dont want to be reminded after the match!

Importance Of Preschool Development For Your Child

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When children reach the age of three, they essentially embark upon a very crucial part of their lives. They meet people and participate in activities that will have a profound effect on them, thereby making the need for preschool development even more important.

Given the sensitive and curious nature of children at such a tender age, providing proper preschool development to them is no longer an option, rather it is required. This article will highlight some of the benefits of this approach in order to emphasize its importance to parents. Any parents debating the benefits of sending their child to preschool will also find this article very useful.

1. Encouragement to Speak Your Mind

One key indicator of good child development and growth is the childs ability to communicate and speak his/her mind. Many children are shy to speak at first. Parents and teachers should play a leading role and take the first step in getting the child to open up. This requires that the child be completely comfortable with the surrounding and the people in it. Aside from home, Montessori schools are an ideal place for a child to develop and improve their communication.

2. Emphasis on Interaction

A child learns invaluable lessons at home. It is arguably the best education institution early on. However its potential is limited. Children are always comfortable at home. They need to be exposed to the outside world and be given ample opportunities to communicate and interact with people who are not part of the household. Preschool development revolves around this school of thought.

3. Learning the Importance of Teamwork

Children are paired in teams and groups where they learn to work together and understand the importance of teamwork. This serves as a means to improve their communication and interaction with their peers as well as their teachers.

4. Acquiring Good Learning Habits

An integral part of good preschool development is to create a desire in children to learn. In order to do so, preschools implement numerous programs designed to make learning more appealing and to motivate children to better themselves as students and human beings. Children can get bored very easily so the learning activities must be fun and entertaining.

5. Significance of a Healthy Body

A healthy body makes for a healthy mind. This is particularly true for children. Preschool development doesnt entail restricting children only to indoor learning activities. A significant emphasis is given to outdoor activities that are bundled nicely with indoor tasks in order to give children the perfect balance of learning and fun.

These above mentioned reasons are more than plenty to convince any parent about the importance of preschool development for their child. Adequate attention, ample learning opportunities, healthy recreational activities and freedom to express at will are the basic principle of this concept. Proper implantation of these principles in any child will bring about noticeable results in the future.

Becoming a Foster Parent

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Becoming a foster parent can be a wonderful gift to yourself and the child that you care for. It is important before getting into this type of work that you know there will be ups and downs, and that it will not be easy.

Some might think it is just a good way to earn some extra money. Others find it a calling to help children in need. If you are not the latter then perhaps you should reconsider going into this work.

Besides being the right person in order to be a foster parent, it is important that you are with a good agency. Even though you are not doing the work for the money, it is still important that you receive the money you need to care for the children. The agency that you will work with should guarantee money for room, board, clothing, and they should provide insurance.

There are other areas that you need to consider as a foster parent. Sometimes a child will be in your home after terrible circumstances. It is important that the agency that is helping you is truly helping you. They should not leave you on your own to help a child deal with emotional and physical problems. Some kids may need counseling, and the agency should either provide it or pay for it.

Even if you are the right type of person for the job of foster parent and even if you have the right agency, it is important that you are prepared for the worst circumstance. You might be the right person for the job because of your empathy, but this may make it more difficult for you than anyone else to let these children go when it is time for them to move on to a different home or to an adopted family.

You will need to be their foster parent while still realizing that you are not really their family. You can love them and take care of them, but in your own mind you will need to keep them at arm’s length knowing that any day they can be taken out of your home.

Having to live with this reality might be a deal-breaker for even the most dedicated individual. Do not feel like you are being talked out of this great opportunity. Just know that since you know the worst, you can be prepared, and enjoy the time you have with each child. This could be one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Hopefully if you are the right person then you will make the right choice.

Learn more about the steps of becoming a foster parent Michigan at: .

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