Rabu, Mei 11, 2011

10 Family Activities for the Weekend

> Easy things to do that don’t require a big home or plenty of money

FAMILY experts say it’s important for families to bond by spending quality time together. But between work, school and extracurricular activities, there’s barely enough time for family meals.Instead of putting off family
time, plan for small shared events on a regular basis rather than relying on a grand holiday. After all, a holiday is great but only lasts a few days. Daily experiences strengthen relationships and allow parents to instil values.
As adults we map out our work day with to-do lists, but we neglect to map out time with our families. Is it any wonder then that weekends go by unfulfilled despite promises that “We’ll do something”?
Here are a few easy ideas:

Children love role-playing and pretend, so let their creativity runs free with a game of charades. Younger children may need some assistance; to make it easier, choose familiar topics or characters such as fairy tales or cartoon characters. No props or purchases required. Great for rainy days and lazy afternoons.

Lay out newspaper on the dining table, floor or patio and get a roll of brown paper so there’s more space
for everyone to get their hands dirty. There’s no need for any structure—toddlers can play freely while older children can create patterns and pictures. You will need: large roll of brown paper and poster paint. Ideal for bright and sunny afternoons.

Younger children can appreciate simple games like Snakes and Ladders, while older children can benefit from Monopoly and Scrabble. Great for rainy days and lazy afternoons.

You can do this anytime, anywhere so it’s great when you’re waiting in line or stuck in traffic. Simply pick atheme or set a rule and go with the flow. An example: build vocabulary by creating a chain of words where each subsequent word must begin with the last letter of the previous word. Improve observation skills with I Spy. Take turns to spy something in the surroundings and provide a hint such as its colour or the fi rst letter. Or improve recall with trivia. Challenge your children by asking questions about their favourite book or cartoon characters, and phrases used in movies and cartoons. Props and purchases are not required.

Perfect for any home with a garden area, it’s easy and you get to water the plants too! Prepare towels and a
change of clothes in advance so you don’t drip all over the house. You will need balloons or water guns. Ideal for bright, sunny afternoons.

Pack simple drinks and snacks, plus anything to keep the children occupied— bicycle, scooter, skipping rope, bubble blowers, a ball or frisbee. If all else fails, make paper aeroplanes and see who can throw them farthest.You will need: whatever is available. Ideal for bright, sunny mornings and afternoons.

Get a movie, pop some corn and get comfortable. If you’ve never really sat down and watched modern animation in action, you’ll be surprised at how far it has come since The Flintstones and Tom & Jerry. You will need: one good movie that everyone can enjoy. Great to do after a long day out.

Build self-esteem and a team-player spirit by getting kids to chip in. Start small—give your toddler a watering can to help water the plants or get everyone involved in washing the car. Older children can help with preparing meals or washing up, and even toddlers can be taught to set the table with place mats and plastic cups. To minimise mishaps, give clear, simple instructions. You will need: patience and many compliments.

The bottom line here is to spend more time together as a family, so it’s important to loosen up and don’t fret if the laundry is neglected for one day, or if the carpet is damp. Keep things simple, make allowances for  mistakes and accidents, and supplement all of the above with praises and lots of laughter. 

Source: Sun2Surf

2bz4money: To add some activities with children i.e gardening, planting, cooking and learning productive software such as MsOffice, blogging etc.

Selasa, Mei 10, 2011

Teaching Children to Manage Money

ARE YOU a parent dealing with children who demand a weekly allowance of RM300? Do you have questions about what you should be teaching your kids when it comes to money? Well, you are not alone.
Across the globe, children have become the most profitable market for global merchandisers. The relentless exposure to television and the Internet has contributed to the consumptive behaviors of our children.

The question here is how to teach children to be a wise consumer. And more importantly, how do we teach them to be financially responsible individuals? But before we attempt to answer these questions, it is perhaps wise to reflect if we, as parents, have set a good example in managing money. The “young parents” generation may have financial missteps, but preventing our kids from making the same mistakes is our responsibility.
Estella Loar, the author of Teach Your Children about Money, points out that children learn about money mainly through observation and examples set by their parents. Loar says a parent’s attitude towards money determines their children’s spending and saving habits.

The good news is that reassessing your own finances while teaching your children about money management in the process is possible. Educating children about money management begins at home. As parents,you must first be aware of your saving and spending habit. According to Loar, if you reckon that you and your spouse haven’t been good money managers, then buckle up and inform your children about your intention to be wiser
with money.

Use concrete terms when discussing money with them. In other words, communicate in the language that they would understand. For example, when they ask how much money you make, what they really want to know is why they can’t buy a iPod or computer game.In such a situation, the ideal answer is that you have enough money to pay for their food, clothes, education and future needs, but not for an iPod. Of course, the hard part is urging them to put off the instant gratification of buying what they want, whenever they want. But by doing this, you instill the most basic approach to handling money: do not spend what you do not have. The point is to make them understand that there are priorities when it comes to money management.

Child psychologist Dr Lee Kuan Shin of Centre for Effective Living says parents should show consistency when teaching their children about money management. So if you tell them that they can’t have a particular toy or gadget, then you shouldn’t indulge in a new pair of shoes either.Lee says it is crucial for parents to show
consistency in terms of value, belief and attitude towards money, as inconsistency in this case could potentially train children to be manipulative.

For example, if you are more lenient about money than your spouse, it is only natural that your children would turn to you (perhaps without even telling your spouse) when they need money. Therefore, Lee says, you and
your spouse should create a strong set of values unique to your own family. You and your spouse must set financial priorities according to your family’s financial capability. Only then will you succeed in establishing a consistent approach to teach your children about money.

Children’s curiosity about money develops as they get older. Therefore, your method of teaching must be more strategic as they become active consumers. Get them involved in your weekly grocery shopping, and let them see how you make your purchasing decision. For instance, you can tell them that instead of buying your favourite soft drinks, you would rather buy milk because it is healthier. Such activity, according to Loar, is effective in teaching them about setting priorities. You can also introduce them to the concept of saving, spending, ownership and interest by playing games such as Monopoly Junior edition.

Source: Sun2Surf

2bz4money: I use Catur Bestari  to teach my children on money management.