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    Blog Posts (12)
    • How to Make a Cheap Christmas Tree Look Expensive

      When our kids were very young we only had a 30+ year old hand-me-down Christmas tree. But one year I saved up and bought a beautiful tree in the after Christmas sale, for 60% off. It cost $140 at the time, but I paid it because I expected it to last us for life. Ten years later I went to unpack the Christmas Tree from the garage, (where I'd safely stored it every other year) and inside the box was a dessicated rat, stuck to one of the branches... Talk about the nastiest Christmas decoration ever. Seems it had crawled in from the Aussie bush, which we live next door to, looking for a warm place during winter. And because it was stored high up we didn't notice any smell. So I went out to buy another tree, two and a half weeks before Christmas. Anything nice in my price range had long gone. To get something equivalent to what I had was over $700. I settled for a medium sized $80 tree and hoped with time I would be able to replace it. But as it turns out I never did. And now I love my $80 tree just as much as my expensive 'old' tree. So what changed? 1. I found a friend who loves Christmas as much as I do and we decorate each other's Christmas trees. 2. Before we begin, I cover a large plastic crate with Christmas paper, which I put under the tree, making it appear taller. 3. And then we begin to decorate the tree with strips of ribbon (which I purchased on spools from the $2 Shop.) Here we've used three different Christmas coloured ribbons. But you can use any colours to match your decor. 4. We begin at the back of the top of the tree and wind our way down, attaching the ribbon to the tree at 12-15 inch intervals. You can either wind the wire branch over the ribbon to hold it in place, or use a 1/2 green pipe cleaner piece and twist them into place. We've chosen to go diagonally as it's easiest to wind it around the tree. And it makes nice spaces for decorations to fit into. 5. Then we add some holly and the Christmas ornaments in the spaces. N.B. Every year our children received a Christmas ornament from their Nan, and from me as well, so over years we have a collection. Some are super-cheap baubles, and dough figures, while others are unique and more expensive. I always space the most beautiful decorations in eye catching positions on the tree. With the most sentimental in areas of prominence. 6. Finally we add three rows of beads and a tree topper to complete the transformation. You could also add tinsel Now all we need to do, is to hang the Christmas stockings. May your Christmas be a kind one and may the new year be full of good health, loving family, great friendships and fantastic adventures. If you would like some other great ideas for living well on a budget you may be interested in the following link to tips that allowed us to pay our house off in just over half the time plus gave us back years of free time over our working lives. https://www.best-parenting-advice.com/time-savers-for-healthy-meals Regards, Deb

    • Five Tips For Thriving At Home With Kids During Self-Isolation

      Bored kids are rarely easy to manage. And if kids are attempting to run the place, self-isolation could be a nightmare, for both kids, and parents alike. But alternatively, self-isolating with kids at home, could be a time when you can build closer relationships and create great memories... If you're smart about it. It could be a bit like going camping and having weeks of wet weather. Not what you planned. But you can still make the best of it and have fun. During this pandemic, rarely being able to leave the house, limits what you can do to break the monotony for your kids. But some of us can relate. I can remember having 25 new preschoolers starting a new year during three weeks of rain. And I knew if I didn't keep them happy and engaged, those who were inclined to be challenging, would be all over me. Because those who tested their parents, were also inclined to test me. So why didn't they? Or if they did, why didn't they continue to do so. Simply put, children got less attention for being difficult. But more importantly, there was so much more in it for them to do the right thing. I always had heaps of interesting things to do, so it was fun to cooperate. I wanted kids to be positive about learning. So I focused on every positive I could about their efforts to learn. e.g. When teaching Year 1 I focused on the best sentence written on their page and explained why that was particularly good. That identified what quality work was. And as a result I got better quality work... For younger kids, it may be as simple as commenting on the best letter formation. E.g. straight backs on letters of equal size. But if you're stuck at home, and there are generally kids screaming and running around the place, it's likely they may not have enough to do. And it can increase the overall levels of stress in a household. But with a little planning, you can turn what is a difficult time, into a positive time. One where you build quality relationships with your family, rather than be saddened by them. Improvements can be made with the introduction of: Simple routines: Kids love predictability. They like to know things like after an activity we wash our hands. Then we have snack break. And after less stimulating activities there will be something more exciting to do. Providing interesting things to do: Kids love to be actively engaged learners. Go to: Things to Do With Kids While Self-Isolating At Home During Pandemic: https://www.best-parenting-advice.com/things-to-do-with-kids-during-pande Boundaries for behaviour: Kids need clear boundaries so they know how to behave. (e.g. using inside voices, using walking feet inside, saying please and thank you. Simple rules keeps the tone of the house calm. And family relationships are better as a result.) Expectations need to be discussed ahead of time. e.g If your child chooses to be difficult, and not complete school tasks, the natural consequences would be they'd miss out on privileges; having to use the time they should have used earlier, to complete work. Noticing the positive: Kids crave attention. You're wise to give it to them for doing the right thing. By noticing the good makes us feel good about ourselves, regardless of how old we are. Our children love to know we see the best in them. Consistent expectations. Kids need to know you're reliable. If you're happy and funny one day, yet losing it the next, it unnerves kids. It makes them more on edge, and the tone of the home overall is more stressful. There is an excellent article on this site called 6 Steps for Improving Behaviour that may help. Go to: https://www.best-parenting-advice.com/6-steps-for-managing-behaviour-well This pandemic can provide an opportunity to build positive relationships and happy memories with your children. And it's perfectly fine for you to still expect some time to yourself. The happier your children are, and the better they feel about themselves, the more likely they are to give it to you. Self-isolation at home, may provide you the time to lead your family into more cooperative ways of relating, so your home is a happy one. If you're home schooling remember: You're attempting to create a positive attitude to learning for life. Having your high pressure to complete an activity, may make your kids really negative about learning. And if your child is not behaving well it's okay to say to them. "I'm not being a good parent if I let you think it's okay to behave like that. We both know you're so much better than that... Are you having trouble with something? Can I help you?" There are over 20 articles on behaviour management on Best Parenting Advice.com that can help you if you're having trouble. Check them out. Fond regards, Deb Arthurs

    • Extreme Parenting And Good Intentions

      Part of becoming a parent means that you're going to be feeling guilty, at least part of the time, no matter how good you are. You might accidentally tread on your child's finger, or leave their favourite toy at the supermarket. Or even drive home, and forget to pick them up from daycare. You may do much worse. Usually parents want the best for their children and their long term motives for them are good. But there are some bad parenting mistakes parents who have good intentions can make if they don't have balance in their parenting styles. Protection, correction, organization and freedom are great parenting attributes. But if any one of these attributes are the dominant parenting style the results can become damaging. So let's look at the motive behind the mistakes first: FEAR: Anyone who has ever had a child, is afraid that something bad could happen to them. But with some of the parenting styles I've highlighted below, fear can be the over-riding factor. And the consequences can be serious. 1. The Helicopter Parent: I want to protect my child from everything bad in the world. This is the parent that will swoop in to make sure that their child's world is SAFE. They will hover, making all roads smooth, ensuring their child cannot be hurt in any way. In an extreme, they wouldn't for example let a child jump around outside in case they fall over. Or they may not let them go to a birthday party in case they're exposed to junk food, germs or potential child predators. And this hovering can extend to protect their children from any emotional falls as well. CONSEQUENCE: The child's world becomes very small. They get little or no opportunity to explore and develop confidence. Or develop any resilience. 2. The Take Charge Manipulator: If I'm in control nothing will go wrong. This is the parent that can't help taking control. They're the one who makes the children's beds for them because the children can't do it well enough. Or they answer questions directed to their children. They make all decisions: what movies to see, what clothing to buy, what foods will be eaten. Even solving problems for their child... without ever being asked. CONSEQUENCE: The child gets little opportunity to make decisions and develop confidence. If this style is dominant the child can end up incapable of making decisions because they can become afraid to. They don't get the opportunity to develop confidence, to risk take, to develop resilience and to feel good about a decision well made. 3. The Perfectionist: If my child makes a mistake it can ruin their life and they have to learn to be vigilant. This is the parent who has a discerning eye. They're quick to notice any error. And they feel it's important to share this information with his or her children, so they don't make a mistake. CONSEQUENCE: While every child needs guidance, having a critical eye watching over every they do can be devastating to a child's confidence. And at an extreme, it erodes the relationship because the child feels they can't do anything right. They often give up... What's the point of trying if someone is only going to find fault. 4. The Free Range Parent: Often feels it's difficult (or unnecessary) to set many rules or boundaries assuming it'll all work out in the long run. These parents often want to be a friend to their child and may even fear rejection if they try to parent their kids. This parenting style tends to be hands off. And although their child gets by, with good luck most of the time, sometimes this isn't the case. And it can be a disaster. CONSEQUENCE: The child may be a little wilder than peers, have difficulty with limits, including schooling. Some other kids may not be allowed to play with them. Yet, if you mixed the positive aspects of all of these styles together, in a balanced way, you would likely have a style suitable to successfully parent children? By mixing the concern and the ability to foresee risk from the helicopter-parent, the organizational skill of the take-charge-manipulator, the ability to notice detail and set high standards from the perfectionist, and the easy going friendship of the freedom loving free-range-parent, it's possible to create a much more balanced and successful parenting style. It's great that parents look out for their children, organize some structure in their kids lives, identify important areas that can affect long term health and well being, encourage high standards yet still provide the freedom for children to flourish. Best of luck to you. regards Deb For more parenting ideas go to: https://www.best-parenting-advice.com Disclaimer: Best Parenting Advice provides some examples of what worked for me and you are welcome to use them as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. This site does not guarantee that information suggested will work in every instance or with every child.

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    • Easy Carrot Cake by Renae | Best Parenting Advice: delicious fool proof dessert

      EASY TASTY RECIPES Quick & Easy Cakes & Desserts Easy Carrot Cake by Renae Share this recipe with a friend Ingredients 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1 cup olive oil 2 cups plain flour 2 teas bi-carb soda 1 teas salt 1 teas cinnamon 3 cups grated carrot 1 pkt 125 g crumbled walnuts Method 1. Preheat oven to 130 degrees fan forced 2. Line a 10 inch square cake tin with baking paper 3. Mix sugar, eggs and oil together 4. Sift bi-carb and flour together and add to mixture. 5. Add salt and cinnamon to mixture. 6. Add grated carrot 7. Bake for 1 hour. Test with a skewer. Ice with Renae's Vanilla Icing or Deb's Cream Cheese Icing For more Easy Healthy Recipes go to the following links: More Easy Tasty Cakes and Desserts easy tasty cakes and desserts lemon slice delicious Easy Healthy Soups East Healthy Fish Recipes easy healthy fish dinner recipe salmon mornay Easy Healthy Chicken Recipes yummy drummy easy healthy chicken dinner recipe Easy Healthy Beef Recipes Easy Pasta and Pizza Recipes Easy Healthy Rice Recipes Easy Healthy Breakfasts Easy Healthy Lamb Recipes Show More Back to Top Best Parenting Advice.com is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. This site provides free resources for busy parents who want best practical advice on: effective child rearing strategies, easy healthy family meals, self-care tips for time-poor parents and fun learning games to help best educate children while also encouraging positive relationships within the family. One of the best pieces of parenting advice to help support healthy cooperative families, is to provide regular nutritious meals, eaten together as a family as often as possible. Best parenting advice provides a range of quick and easy family dinner recipes supplied by busy working parents. These are the recipes asked for: because they taste great, they're quick and easy they're family friendly and they're foolproof. ​ This site provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. This site does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this site to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Best Parenting Advice.com is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems. Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.

    • Fun Reading Game 5: Free Fun Reading Games | Best Parenting Advice

      FUN READING GAMES Reading Game 5 Although the games are different and can be used for revision purposes at any level, you will need to work through them each in order to access the words used, as the learning is sequential and cumulative. Game Cards N.B. Prior to playing this game ensure cards are placed on a non slip surface You will need to cut the three sheets following into the 4 words Assessment Sheets To continue with Fun Reading Games click on the next level link below. For other fun games click on one of the other links below. Level 6: I Can Toucan Game Fun Phonics Fun Maths Games Show More Best Parenting Advice.com is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. This site provides free resources for busy parents who want the best practical advice possible on: effective child rearing strategies, easy healthy family meals, self-care tips for time-poor parents and fun learning games to help best educate children while also encouraging positive relationships within the family. The best parenting advice regarding creating engaged learners is to make learning as much fun as possible. That's why games work best to revise new information. Children practise skills over and over in play situations, yet aren't even aware they're doing it. Best parenting advice.com provides many examples of quick and easy games to help develop both early reading and maths skills. ​ This site provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. This site does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this site to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Best Parenting Advice.com is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems. Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.

    • Fun Reading Game 4: Free Fun Reading Games | Best Parenting Advice

      FUN READING GAMES Reading Game 4 Although the games are different and can be used for revision purposes at any level, you will need to work through them each in order to access the words used, as the learning is sequential and cumulative. Game Cards Prior to playing this game ensure cards are placed on a non slip surface Assessment Sheets Paw Prints Print off two copies and cut paw prints out. The first to collect two full sets of prints is the winner. To continue with Fun Reading Games click on the next level link below. For other fun games click on one of the other links below. Level 5 I Ranaconda Game Fun Phonics Fun Maths Games Show More Best Parenting Advice.com is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. This site provides free resources for busy parents who want the best practical advice possible on: effective child rearing strategies, easy healthy family meals, self-care tips for time-poor parents and fun learning games to help best educate children while also encouraging positive relationships within the family. ​ The best parenting advice regarding creating engaged learners is to make learning as much fun as possible. That's why games work best to revise new information. Children practise skills over and over in play situations, yet aren't even aware they're doing it. Best parenting advice.com provides many examples of quick and easy games to help develop both early reading and maths skills. This site provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. This site does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this site to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Best Parenting Advice.com is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems. Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.

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