Being a single parent is hard. It is estimated there are currently 22 million children being raised by single parents in the United States. The responsibility to provide and protect falls solely on the shoulders of one person instead of two. While juggling all of the responsibilities that come with being a single parent, monitoring your child’s online presence and activities may fall through the cracks. But it shouldn’t. Children are more connected to the internet than ever before. One study revealed 90% of children have at least one device that allows them to access the internet. And unless their online activities are heavily monitored or restricted, they have access to just about any website out there. The same study showed 40% of children have interacted with at least one stranger online, often divulging personal information or contact details. And a shocking 15% of children revealed they had tried to meet with a stranger they met online. Monitoring a child’s online activities is a serious matter, and it’s twice as hard for a single parent to take on. Single parents have a lot on the line when it comes to keeping their personal information safe online. There is more personal information being stored online than ever before. Social security numbers, banking details, personal information and contact details — these are only a few examples of the information out there that can easily fall into the wrong hands online. A Clark School study at the University of Maryland showed there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds. Hackers don’t discriminate when it comes to what accounts they’re hacking, or the devices they’re hacking into. If you have any personal or sensitive information stored somewhere on the internet, there is a chance a hacker may get access to it. Cybercrime is a lucrative business. So much so that it has become more profitable than the global illegal drug trade. And 72% of Americans say having their personal, credit card or financial information stolen by computer hackers is their biggest fear. If the sensitive information of a single parent falls into the wrong hands, it is not only the parent that is affected, but their children too.
By Victor Wang
This one goes out to all the parents who want to teach their children how to garden, but don’t have enough space to grow their own food. News flash: You and your kids can grow nutritious, fresh food at home, even if you're limited to a tiny patio or a couple of windowsills. With a clear strategy and a few hand tools, gardeners working with a small area can do glorious things. Follow these tips to grow an indoor herb and vegetable garden, in any amount of space.
Herbs When you’re short on space, herbs will give you the most bang for your buck. The same compounds that give herbs their fragrance and distinct flavors make them nutrition powerhouses. Most are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin-rich. Simply incorporating fresh herbs into your regular diet via salads, soups, and smoothies can help to protect you from disease. Instead of asking "Oooh, what's that on my pizza?", kids jump at the chance to eat what they've planted!
Kids love outdoor parties, whether to celebrate a birthday, a milestone, or just for the heck of it. But luring children outdoors has become more challenging in the age of internet and game consoles.
Health experts say today’s kids spend less time outdoors than any previous generation. That means they miss out on sunshine, exercise, and face-to-face socialization. So, how do you entice a kid to leave the Xbox and venture to the backyard for a couple of hours?
You’ll find no shortage of outdoor games at stores and online. The trick is finding ones that will pique your children’s interest. You don’t have to spend a lot to engage the kids. In fact, getting your kids involved in the creative process of the party will prod their interest and give them a sense of ownership. Involve them in picking a theme, making decorations and baking or buying the cake.
Here are six tips for throwing the ultimate home backyard party for kids:
So often parents ask us what we do at TSL. It is hard to answer this question without being generic. We are a small business child care and the answer to the questions "Who are we?" "What do we do?" have to be defined carefully, because that answer sets us apart from everyone else.
My reply is often this..."TSL does not define itself by what we do, but what we do outside of what we do." This can be confusing so I have to break it down for people. As a recreational program we can do 101 things and still sound like any other program. We do games, crafts, projects, outdoor time etc. and the list goes on.
Is your child's school experience affected by the quality of child care he or she receives before school begins and after school ends? We think so.
There is nothing overly scientific about this piece, but I'm passionate about my philosophies and TSL has always believed that child care experiences in the before and after school setting can positively or negatively impact a child's full day experience. Makes sense, right? A child who engages in healthy play with stimulating and well trained adults between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. will walk through the school doors feeling good and ready to tackle the rigors of academia. While the child who is not engaged or is supervised by someone with lesser vested adults in the same time span, at the very least, may not benefit at all from his early morning experience such that it prepares him for the 6 hours ahead. And what about after school. An additional three hours of a child's life...doing what? Do parents and school professionals even know?
So, it was 2009 and I was in the midst of our first year summer program as TSL Adventures, the culmination of lots of hard work as I scurried to get TSL off the ground while finishing my 12th year as an elementary classroom teacher. Then, opportunity knocks.
Along comes Sacred Heart School asking if we could bring TSL to their school and run their before and after school programs. I hear the words of a song in my head "should I stay or should I go"....I went. After 12 years of teaching I closed the door behind me and never looked back.
There they sit -- in the corner, on the bed, in the chair.
Or even in the basement of your Albany-area home.
They never talk back, they always smile -- if that’s their nature -- and they don’t move until you move them.
They’re your “kids,” or your kids’ “kids,” although others might refer to them by a more conventional term -- stuffed animals.
But, just like your real children, they need to be clean. The reason? So that they don’t gather dust and spread bacteria that can cause health issues.
What is the best way to clean them, though, given the delicate nature of their fur? Or their battery cases?
There are four key ways to clean your stuffed animals -- in your washing machine, by hand, by dry washing, or by vacuuming.
Now that you’ve gone through your checklist and decided that you and your child are ready to host a sleepover, what comes next?
Besides survival, of course.
How about a successful evening and next morning?
Parents, if you’re indeed prepared to entertain, feed, put to bed and wake up to your guests the next morning, you’ll need to figure out the following, per Parenting magazine:
With winter break from school coming up next month in the Albany area, you know your children are going to ask you at some point if they can spend the night at a friend’s house.
But parents, just how do you know when your children are ready for one of their first forays into establishing their independence?
Sleepovers are an important step for 7- to 9-year-olds, Fran Walfish, author of “The Self-Aware Parent,” told Parents magazine.
"If your child likes them, chances are she is growing more comfortable with separation from you," Walfish said.
With the following tips from the magazine, you can increase the chances that your child won’t want to bow out at around bedtime.
Offer to host: Before you OK a sleepover at a friend's house, let your child test the nighttime scenario by inviting her pal to yours. "That way, you'll see if your child grows tired of being with her friend or starts to squabble with her after a couple of hours -- a sign that she may need more social-skills practice before staying over at another family's home," Walfish told Parents.
Dusting the dining room table. Washing the windows. Feeding the cat.
Just what chores can your child be trusted to handle? And at what age?
Household chores are important for children to learn, both for their development as individuals and for contributions to the family and home.
But there are appropriate ages for various chores. Although you wouldn’t want your 3-year-old to be in charge of taking care of the family dog, you might want him or her to help you make the bed, and you definitely would want little Aiden or Ava to pick up their toys and put them in a safe area.
Our friends at thespruce.com have published a list of age-appropriate chores; here are some highlights for all parents and caregivers to consider, keeping in mind that all children develop differently:
TSL Team Contributions
This blog is for parents and educators to learn more about our organization. It's also the space where we share information of interest to parents.