There may be days when you wonder whether your middle-schooler will ever be independent.
Will he be 35 and still incapable of remembering to put the toilet seat down?
Will you still be delivering her forgotten lunches when she works as a corporate lawyer in her 40’s?
Surely at least one sock will eventually make it into the dirty clothes hamper… right?
There are so many life skills we have to teach our children before they leave us to become adults. Providing the structure and safe place for them to practice (and even fail) while they develop this ability is vital for their long-term development.
Here are some ways to help and encourage them to take the initiative to cultivate their independence.
Build Your Toolbox
Timers – Timers are great way to help your kids be responsible, for smaller tasks that needed to do in an hour or less. If you have given them a phone, have them use the timer function. In the beginning, set yours for the same time so you can be sure they are responding when it goes off. There are inexpensive digital kitchen timers available in many stores and online. You can even find them at some local stores.
Most ovens also have a built-in timer function that you can use without turning on the heating element. Even an analog ‘egg timer’ that ticks the seconds and minutes away can be helpful as the sound itself may remind your child to remain focused on his task.
Paper Calendars and Personal Planners – For longer-term projects and appointments, do not underestimate the usefulness of calendars and planners. This tools can help you make your kids take responsibilities for themselves.
If you still don’t have it, add a family calendar in a prominent place where everyone can access it. Expect each family member to be responsible for adding all of their own events on the color chosen that is assigned to them. The act of writing it down ties them to that responsibility.
In addition to the larger family calendar, equipped everyone with smaller personal planners. Have informal planning parties where you share snacks or have a game night once a month after spending a little time looking at the weeks ahead and updating all your planners.
If your child is particularly artistic or enjoys crafting, you might even consider doing bullet journaling together. Its a way of planning that makes calendars and checklists very personalized and emphasizes a healthy outlet for creativity.
Checklists – When a task seems monumental, people often freeze, avoiding the task completely rather than approaching it with a well-formed plan. Checklists are particularly handy for breaking down responsibilities into smaller, more manageable portions that will provide them a quicker sense of accomplishment, leading them to increase productivity. This will help your kids on this responsibility-training time.
Consider combining a checklist with a calendar or planner, especially for school projects or other long-term goals, spacing the smaller goals of the project into bite-sized, easily-managed chunks.
Chore and Sticker Charts – If your child needs help to remember weekly or daily routines, you may want to use sticker charts. This will be a helpful tool to make them responsible, especially when they already used it when they were younger.
Any chart will do, but basically, you’ll need a column for the name of the activity or chore and a place to physically check off the completed activities each day of the week. Don’t require them to actually use stickers, but note that many kids this age (and a lot older) secretly love the nostalgia of stickers, so have some small ones on hand just in case.
Take It Slow and Be Consistent
Once you have decided on a method, set up a system together. Oversee it for several weeks, being sure you both agree on what the successfully completed task should look like.
When they seem to understand and are able to handle the task without your guidance, give them the opportunity to practice without your help, backing off slowly. The key here is to gradually expecting him or her to take the lead more and more until it is fully their responsibility.
When you see that the habit has been fully established, you can check it every week, then every few weeks, and every few months just to make sure they are really maintaining the habit of keeping track of their own responsibilities.
Throughout the process, consistency is key. Don’t tell them they are responsible to pick up after themselves, then follow them around doing it for them. Once you’ve established that it’s their responsibility, there should be a natural consequence if they fail to do it.
For example, returning to the socks in the hamper issue, if they continue leaving their socks everywhere, they will eventually run out of clean socks and have to either wear dirty ones or go without for the day.
Play the role of Coach
There are life skills we sometimes assume that our kids would picked up from us, but you shouldn’t assume your child knows to do anything you haven’t intentionally taught them. In fact, it’s likely you will have to teach them new skills more than once.
Finally, your role as the coach is to ask thought-provoking questions and reinforce good behaviors.
Here are some questions you can start to use immediately:
- Are you proud of the way you responded to that?
- What would you do differently if you could do that over?
- How do you think your actions made Sally feel?
- Do you feel good about how you handled that?
- How did you handle the situation?
Comments that inspire responsible behaviors like:
- I love who you are becoming.
- You owned that like a boss.
- Great job stepping up today.
- You are a responsible kid.
- You are really good at …..
For most children learning responsibility is something they need to learn, just like riding a bike. A few things to keep in mind when teaching responsibility: give them the tools to be successful, be patient and consistent, and coach them. Ultimately your voice as a parent becomes their inner voice. Remember to use positive words when they show ownership and responsibility as you will continue to see those responsible behaviors and actions. Give them the tools to be successful and the inspiration to grow.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leslie is the ‘mom behind the keyboard at Super Mom Picks, a parenting tips, ideas, and product reviews blog. She is a full-time working mom who has a passion for improving her family’s health, happiness, intellect, and overall quality of life experiences.
World Vision Philippines Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines (MBFP) Mobile App and First TV Ad Supported By DOH, Partner LGU’s and Celebrity Ambassadors
World Vision Philippines, has relaunched it’s Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines (MBFP) web-based and mobile application platform last June 27, 2019. This app can be use by everyone in promoting breastfeeding to public and in reporting Milk Code violations in the country.
The event held at Luxent Hotel and attended by the health sector’s stakeholders, the local government units (LGU’s), together with the breastfeeding community, the academe, and the media.
The launched event, hosted by World Vision celebrity advocate Gelli Victor, a breastfeeding mom herself, and is also supported by other World Vision celebrity ambassadors Christine Bersola-Babao and Tippy dos Santos who rendered a song, to the delight of the breastfeeding-supporter guests.
This activity aims to promote the culture of breastfeeding. It also seeks to protect the rights and privileges of every Filipino mother to practice breastfeeding in their chosen places, like in their homes or workplaces.
The newly-enhanced MBFP reporting app also now includes Filipino translation and a Growth Chart and Early Child Care and Development (ECCD) Checklist. The app was made to help parents track their child’s development and milestones.
Within the said event, the Public Service Advertisements (PSAs) is also shown, where it features the powerful stories of real breastfeeding mothers. The PSA aims to inspire other fellow moms to breastfeed their children up to two years and beyond.
One of the moms, 42-year-old Maribel, was featured in the TV and graced the event, proudly shared that she breastfed all her seven children. The three ads will be televised soon on free TV and social media.
“To make #BreastmilkForTheBest fully realized for Filipino children, we need to continue making mothers and the community know that we have laws that protect and support breastfeeding. Now the challenge for all of us, is to ensure that these laws are fully implemented,” said Carleneth San Valentin, Health and Nutrition Technical Manager of World Vision.
Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines is a project of World Vision in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and the city government of Malabon, Manila, and Quezon City.
To know more about this project, about breastfeeding, and the Philippine Milk Code, visit http://mbfp.doh.gov.ph or download the MBFP mobile app.
World Vision World Vision is a global Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
Having a hard time “stretching” your budget?
Whether you have your own family or you are single I know you’re doing this – wait – which one? The stretching of your budget or the budgeting itself? Are you confused? To set things right here are my own truths for seven easy steps to budget your family’s monthly expenses.
BUDGETING? WHAT’S THAT?
First and foremost do you know the meaning of it? This is a very crucial factor for you. Why? Because you cannot do something you didn’t understand. Let me help you with this one.
According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary budgeting is “the amount of money that is available for, required for, or assigned to a particular purpose”.
Thanks to Merriam Webster it’s given meaning is understandable. Now let’s explain it further.
The definition has four parts. These are (and with each corresponding explanations):
- ‘the amount of money’ – refers to the total earnings of an individual or the combined income of a family.
- ‘that is available for’ – pertains to the money ready for use which called “cash on hand”.
- ‘or required for’ – the compulsory needs or necessity of a family that should be met or satisfy.
- ‘assigned to a particular purpose’ – the allocation of the money for each family’s needs.
Keeping all of these factors in mind we will come up to a clearer picture that budgeting is simply you, having a plan on how to spend your income for your family’s expenses. So how will you do budgeting on a monthly basis?
Based on the above statement I compiled seven easy steps to budget your family’s monthly expenses and in the end for you to satisfy your family’s needs. In the succeeding illustrations I will be using Peso Denomination, but you can also use other monetary denominations based on your country of residence. Let’s discuss it.
- Know the Exact Take Home Money
You should know personally how much money you or your husband bring into the family. Most of us usually know the estimate amount only or worse the ‘guess’ amount. Simple reasons like you are very busy in other things or you just don’t ask your husband about his pay might be the culprits. You should be aware of the exact initial amount where you will create your budget plan, because if not then how can you start?
Is this so important Lai? Is this true? You may say.
Yes! We can’t neglect this part. I personally made this mistake.
For over five years I have been focusing myself on rearing our kids and have told my husband to take in charge in our family’s budget. Being new to motherhood I don’t want other things to preoccupy me but my kids and since I don’t know the budget I just asked my husband to buy anything that our family needs. At first there is no problem with that set up. But after sometime we discovered that we didn’t even save some money in that 5-year time span. Yes we have savings but we didn’t add more to it. All of this happened because I didn’t give any attention to our budget. So now I’m making amends. I’m taking in charge on our budget and should be more concern about it. Since now it’s not only me and my husband in the picture– but our children too.
So knowing how much money you or your husband is providing to your family is a must.
What we are talking about here is the net income. Maybe you know the monthly gross income of your husband but you actually didn’t know his monthly net income. There is a difference between the two. Monthly Gross Income is the amount of the salary before the taxes and other deductions. Monthly Net Income is the amount of the salary after the taxes and other deductions. Check out his payslip for that info. You will see the gross income pay at the topmost part and the net income pay at the bottom. That amount is the take home money. Now you know where you will start your steps in budgeting your family’s finances”!
2. Allot Twenty Percent (20%) As Your Family’s Savings
Since you know now the correct amount of the take home pay you can now make a wise act – you doing a conscious saving. This means before anything else you will allocate twenty percent of your take home pay for your family’s savings. You will deduct beforehand a portion of the net income and tag it as your Family’s Savings.
Most people do save after spending. They usually buy first their needs before they will save. But do you think it’s a good and bright idea? Both of us would agree no. When you do this way you will not save anything at all. That’s for sure. What we want is us being conscious savers and not the other way around. This is a great start for your budget since you intentionally set aside a specific part of your budget to be your savings. But you may ask “What is Saving”?
MEANING OF SAVING
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, savings “is the act or an instance of economizing.” In simple terms you are economizing when you spend your money less and save it. By doing so your family will have a money ready for future use, like if you want it to grow you could put it in an investment. Or your savings can be use for the education of your babies in future. Just keep in mind that you will not use this savings but for your family’s future financial needs.We will tackle this more in my future articles.
So if your take home money is Php 20,000 per month you will set aside 20% of it for your family’s savings. It’s Php 4,000 to be exact. You will come up now to a new cash on hand amounting to 16,000. This is your adjusted take home money and where will you deduct your family’s expenses.
After you have saved 20% of your earnings and have your adjusted take home money, what’s next?
3. List Down the Expenses
After you already save a portion of your family’s net earnings I can say that this part of budgeting is your family’s own and unique smorgasbord. This is where you will see the different things your family needs, wants or anticipates to. Think and analyze the different kinds of expenses and types of spending your family has. You need a pen and a paper for this activity.
We will classify this into two groups. One is for your Family Needs and the other one is for your Family Wants. Simple words but very tricky ones. Each family has its own needs and wants. Maybe for you strolling at the mall is a need but in true sense it is only what you ‘want’. To give some head’s up a need refers to the things that everybody should have to live. It’s the essentials for a family to survive. While want refers to things that a person desires to have or to do but not necessarily required for him to live. Best example is buying a designer’s bag or an expensive latte.
For your benefit and convenience I made a sample outline for the typical monthly expenses of a family. You can modify it based on your own family’s needs and wants. With these you will understand how to budget your family’s monthly expenses.
4. Create Major and Minor Expense Groups
From your Family Needs and Family Wants Groups you can now identify which are the most important from the least important ones. With these you can create your Major Expenses and Minor Expenses Groups. Is budgeting so easy if you will just plan in this way? Definitely!
From your Major and Minor Expenses Groups you will see now your Expense Categories. Choose whatever you want to include in your Expense Categories. But based on the renamed groups you can somehow determine what are most essentials ones, the true needs of your family. Clearly it belongs to Major Expenses Group, right? So we will now be focusing on this group and set aside the minor ones.
We can almost see the body of your budget! Are you excited to complete the seven steps of budgeting your family’s monthly expenses? Put all your focus here as we build it. Keep it up!
5. Put Corresponding Amounts on Your List
Since this is a monthly basis budget you can now write the precise amounts for each expense categories. Do this with your husband (if you are married) or with your parents (if you are single) and work together to determine the correct amounts. Writing exact amounts and adding some allowance are good ways also to avoid shortages. Remember that you are filling in these blanks with your new and adjusted net pay.
Make the necessary adjustments or allowances with this modified net pay. If you see that you’re short in some of your Expenses Categories look for others in the list and balance it altogether. Maybe you put more amounts in others than what is needed or the other way around.
Then simply add all the expenses and with this you will see if there is still money left. You will assign that money for a Category that we will call the “Excess Cash” of the family. What is this about? Read the next step to know more.
6. Anticipate Other Expenses
You might think you write down all of your family’s monthly expenses but did you include the unexpected ones? Like when you buy medicine if your child gets sick? Or when the gas tank of your stove depletes and needed a refill for you to cook your evening meal? Where will you get the money for those unforeseeable things? To answer this is where your budget’s Excess Cash enters the scene. I also use this in our own budget. I model my sample budget list on a family with one child.
Excess Cash is for the random and unexpected expenses that can be happen in your family’s daily existence. I’m sure you know this. Apart from the major needs there are also some minor expenses that can occur in day to day lives. These are some examples:
To have an idea of the whole picture of the budget list here it is:
Now your budget list is complete! There’s only one more step to follow to succeed on budgeting your family’s monthly expenses. Let’s use it now!
7. Use Labeled Envelopes For Segregation
We will be using your newly created budget list plan for the physical segregation of your take home money. You can use envelopes or something that you could use to sort out your money paper bills. Physical money segregation is important for you to realize your budget goals.
Labeling envelopes greatly helps you to know where you will be getting money for a specific need of the family. Label each envelope according to each need. Write the word “Savings” for the envelope of your allotted savings. Tag other envelopes according to each Expenses Categories of your Major Expenses. Mark “Excess Cash Fund” in the envelope of your budget for Random Expenses.
Based on your budget list count now how much money you will put on each envelope.
So how many envelopes did you completed? Mine’s twelve! Whew!
And now you’re set and your budget is complete with only seven steps! What a relief! Congrats! All you have to do is to implement it and follow it wholeheartedly!
To make sure that you will succeed in your budget goals and to avoid ‘stretching’ it, these are some of my sincere tips to you:
- Faithfully follow what you plan – your efforts of putting your budget all together with become worthless once you did not apply it in your everyday life.
- Make a log – If you can monitor your everyday expenses by making a log and writing each and every amount of money you will spend from your budget then do so. I personally do it to for my Excess Cash Fund. I want to know where and when we spend it. Especially the small amounts, you will be surprise on how much your family spends per day.
- Make being thrifty a habit – Less spending is more! Teach yourself to be frugal for most of the time. It might be difficult for you right now but it will bring you more comfort in time. It depends all on your determination to save for your family.
Who would say that budgeting is hard? What you only need is a simple planning with your family, some basic math and a firm resolution that you will follow your family’s monthly budget plan
What can you say about this article? Does it give you more knowledge about budgeting?Do you experience the same problem in budgeting? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments. =)
Are you thinking if BSA Mansion Condotel is good value for your money? Here’s my review.
This is my first ever article for my Hotel Review Truths Section under the Travelling Category.
I began writing this article since yesterday when we are staying at BSA Mansion Condotel. We family usually have these ritual hotel accommodations every December 31st of the year since me and my hubby would always want to shield our kids from the smell of the firecrackers during New Year’s Eve. Its a dual purpose for us, first for our kids’ health and second for our family bonding time. So let’s start this review now.
BSA Mansion Condotel is not on a modern hotel side. It shows its age through its outside and inside looks. The building’s corridors, reception desks, and elevators show proofs that it is indeed aged through time. But who needs a new building facade if you want to get the lowest price with a good amenities right? MY TRUTH: I am a thrifty and a practical mom. As long as the establishment meets my own set of criteria and budget its a gold one to me. I will share to you my own set of hotel qualifications in my future posts. Anyway, let’s go back to BSA Mansion Condotel. Though it’s surely worn out and has an outdated exterior the room itself is not. Inside the room, you will get the feeling that it’s well taken care of. I will explain it further in the next subparagraph.
We advanced book last November 2018 since we know that during New Year’s Eve all of the hotels will hike their prices if you didn’t book early due to its peak season/holiday period. We booked 1 Room for 4 Pax. When we get there this is where the surprise came – they gave us two bedroom suite that could accommodate 8 heads! Wow! We were only 4 adults and 3 kids to be exact so basically, the room is huge for all of us, we could have 1 bed each! The beds are in doubled decks style. I simply love it since this is my first time to have this kind of bed in hotels because it’s usually just single or twin beds in others. Pillows and bed sheets are neatly placed in each bed with towels. Though the room has four double decks it doesn’t feel cluttered, it still has enough room for movement and space.
The room has a dining table, a refrigerator, two flat screen TV, one comfort room and a small terrace outside. It also has kitchen utilities like an electric stove, a microwave oven, and cooking wares. In our room, it has a lovely black-laced lampshade. The design of our room is sleek and modern as you may say. Now we are going to the downside of this place.
BSA Mansion’s service I can say is not so good. First is everything you do here has an equal charge for their customer. Small things like a sachet of sugar costs 10 pesos and an outside call cost 20 pesos. They didn’t inform us about it from the moment we checked in. We thought those trivial things are free but sadly it’s not. I think the hotel’s management just wants to get more income from their customers because the hotel itself is not popular anymore.
And for the second downfall is about the breakfast arrangement. Since we booked for 4 heads we thought that the inclusive breakfast is for 4 heads also. In Agoda’s booking confirmation it stated the room is for 4 pax and the breakfast is inclusive. It doesn’t specifically express if it’s for 2 or for 4 heads. So we assumed and we booked it based on the posted hotel room offerings of Agoda. I thought BSA could help us with it but no. So we just end up ordering for 1 additional breakfast and we four share the 3 breakfast and other foods that we have. The breakfast is plated and delivered to our room, food tastes good especially the beef tapa that I chose. It comes with egg, rice, and drinks.
Yes it has! And the pool is crystal clear but very cold (grrr…) but all of us dip in it because there are no other people in there but us! Hahah! The pool locates in their penthouse at the rooftop. We enjoy the scenery of Makati’s tall buildings.
Room’s overall cleanliness is acceptable. Bed linens and towels smell good. But one negative note is we saw a dead cockroach on the bathroom floor. We are responsible guests so we call housekeeping dept. to borrow a broom and dustpan and we sweep the floor whenever there’s dirt.
Though BSA Mansion Condotel is an old hotel it can still serve well by giving its clients an excellent service that is expected to every hotel all over the world. It’s not the hotel appearance or the style that matters but most of all the good service that the hotel could give. If the hotel could be more adaptable to their customer’s needs then it means something or everything to the customer’s satisfaction. After all, a good hotel experience translates another customer booking in the future, right?
Do you have other hotel experiences that you want to share? Put it in the comments section!
All of us knows this word, and all of us uses it everyday. But what does a word “mother” really mean?
Upon searching in Google I saw three different meanings of it. One as a noun and two as verb.
1. a women in relation to her child or children.
2. bring up a (child) with care and affection.
3. gave birth to.
So we can see from the various definitions above of the word “mother” that the word itself is very dynamic and has its own complexities. So lets talk about it a little more. I will explain it in non-chronological order.
The third meaning is the simplest of all. Because it only applies to the biological mothers who experience the process of pregnancy up to the delivery of the baby. With that description in mind, from the moment that we saw a women with a bulging tummy we will instantly say that sooner or later she will become a mother.
The first meaning, on the other hand, pertains not only for the birth mothers but to the adoptive mothers as well. For those women who adopts a child they can also be called mothers.
Lastly, the second definition above is the most profound one and for me its a very empowering meaning. Why? Because as the definition states you don’t have to be a real mom or an adoptive mom just to be called “mother”, but even if you are a men, a grandfather, a sister, an auntie or whoever you are and you “bring up someone (a child) with care and affection” then you can be called a mother! Yeah right!
Is this a truth Lai? If you may ask me. Definitely yes!
Do you have a proof? Sure! Okay I will share it with you.
My daughter Kei is on her 2nd year in a public daycare center here in Valenzuela City as a Kinder student. As her mom I need to attend their yearly parent meetings, they called it the “Nanay-Teacher Day”. This meetings are very good and a very informing one, since the moderator is from the city’s Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD), the parents or guardians of their students will be given the right information and guidance on how to be the best mother and teacher to their kids. And this is where I heard and learned that everybody can be a mother to a child – no exception – because all of us – whether you’re a man or woman, has the capabilitity to raise and nurture someone like these little ones, even if it’s not our own blood and genes.
So basically I attended this Nanay-Teacher Day (Mother-Teacher Day) twice and I really appreciated it (thank you Valenzuela City!) with my heart, so I will tackle it more in my future posts so you moms can benefit from it too!!
So what is the answer in the question “What does the word ‘mother’ really means?” Well if you have love and compassion to others to the the point that you want to provide someone a place to grow, to raise and teach him on how to become a good person, then in its truest sense you can be a mom! You can be the living definition of the word ‘mother’!And with that meaning ANYBODY can be a mom!
Motherhood is a very complex thing and if I can’t pause my mind out of it these post will not end sooner. So right now I just laid the fundamentals of it here and I hope I gave you guys something valuable, do I? Do you learned something from this? Write your comments here below, I will appreciate your words and insights about it. Thank you! =)