Raising Compassionate Kids

Raising Compassionate KidsCompassion isn’t something we’re born with. It’s learned. And it’s something parents can — and should — teach their kids. You can do it by example. Through conversation. Through experience.

While instilling a sense of compassion in a youngster by being a shining example is admirable, there’s much more to it than that! It’s not enough to just be a compassionate, caring person yourself. You have to help your kids develop empathy, kindness, caring and a sense of responsibility toward others, say the experts at Parenting.com. They suggest steps such as setting rules and expectations, enforcing limits, providing structure, encouraging friendships and setting high standards, among others.

Here are 11 other things you can do to raise a truly caring and compassionate child, from Parents Magazine. And 13 more tips, from Scholastic.com.

Jim Taylor, Ph.D also stresses that children aren’t likely to learn compassion on their own. In his piece for Psychology Today, he says parents have to nurture that “caring for others” trait in a child’s early years, so they will come to “realize its value and embrace it as their own.” The author is also convinced that compassion is contagious, and advises surrounding your family with compassionate people.

Why generate compassion in your children? A simple answer – it could be a key to help them enjoy life by becoming “more deeply attached” to family, friends, and others around them.

Unfortunately, Everydayfamily.com cites an MSNBC special indicating that today’s young adults – high school and college students – are less likely to “get” the emotions of others, citing a more competitive society in which today’s parents are raising children compared to people of the same age group 30 to 40 years ago.

There seems to be no question that, while building a child’s confidence and self-esteem is important, promoting a sense of caring and compassion is equally so.

Back-to-School Budgeting: Tips for Parents

Back-to-School Laura Edgar is a senior writer for NerdWallet.com, a personal finance website that helps people save money on financial products and everyday purchases.

Parents know all too well that back-to-school season is synonymous with spending money. To some extent, this is inevitable. Kids outgrow their old clothes, backpacks break, and your child’s teacher just might need some extra art supplies. With a little advanced planning and creativity, it’s easy to make back-to-school shopping simple and affordable. In fact, budgeting for back to school is a great opportunity to teach your kids financial literacy basics. Here are some helpful suggestions to help you and your child save money and start the school year off right.

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Need a babysitter? There’s an app for that!

Mom with BabyFinding a babysitter when you want one is always a gamble. Your regular sitter is either ready, willing and able — or has other plans. Your relatives— if you’re fortunate enough to have them nearby — are busy, too. Friends are reserved for emergencies only, and you’re leery of strangers.

Scheduling kid-free daytime appointments for yourself can really be a challenge too.

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Advertising and children: A powerful combination

Child SafetyThanks to a task force study by the American Psychological Association, here are some basic facts you may not realize about kids and advertising:

• It is estimated that children view more than 40,000 commercials each year.

• A majority of all children in the U.S. today have a television in their bedroom.

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How To: Save on Summer Camp

Kids at Summer CampAre stints at day camp or extended stays at sleep-away camp an integral part of your children’s summer? If not, maybe you’d like to get your children involved in all the fun, friends and festivities camps have to offer?

As with all your other children’s activities, the impact on the family budget is likely weighing in on your decision. For parents, much has been written about the price of having your kids take part in the creative crafts and camaraderie-building activities. With that in mind, here are some ideas on how to lessen summer camp’s impact on your wallet.

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You could win All-Star tickets & prizes

Blue Crabs ContestFor baseball fans in Southern Maryland, what better game to catch than the Atlantic League All-Star Game, where you can see the League’s best playing together on one night. Which is why we’re celebrating our partnership as the Official Bank of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs with an All-Star contest!

Enter our Blue Crabs Contest and you could win a grand prize family four pack of tickets to the 2013 Atlantic League All-Star Game at the home of the Blue Crabs – Regency Furniture stadium, Wednesday, July 10.

In addition to the grand prize, six lucky winners will receive a Blue Crabs baseball hat as part of a weekly drawing every Friday from May 24 through June 28. Continue reading

Children: How to Become a Babysitter

Girl BabysitterIs someone in your family ready for that first babysitting job? Babysitting is almost a rite of passage for tweens and teens. But, just like with any other job, babysitting has its rules!

That’s especially true in Maryland, the only state in the country that dictates that babysitters must be at least 13 years of age. But, being mature, reliable, capable and age 13 isn’t all it takes to be a good babysitter. Training and knowledge are key components of success for a youngster’s “first real job.”

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Savings Tip – Check Out Your Local Library

Looking for fun and free educational and entertainment opportunities for your children? Good news, you can find all of that with a visit to your local library.

Most locations offer free concerts or story times for younger kids, like Saturday Story Times available at the Charles County Public Library. Not only are these events cost effective, they are also influential in getting kids interested and excited about reading at an early age.

There’s always something for teens and tweens too! Game night and a cooking workshop are just two events coming up at Prince Frederick’s Calvert Library.

Most events are usually held at the same time on a regular basis, which can grant moms and dads the ability to arrange a carpool; saving some busy parents another valuable resource – time.

Do you visit your local library?

Children – Why Entrepreneurship Is Great for Youngsters

Does your teen have aspirations of starting the next Facebook? Do you have a little one interested in selling lemonade on the front lawn? Embrace it! Entrepreneurship can help young children acquire a vast skill set befitting whatever career path they choose to explore. Here’s how you can help foster your daughter or son’s entrepreneurial side.

Learning experiences, not mistakes

Encourage your children to take risks and be unafraid to fail. Mistakes are a part of life, and early on children should see a mistake as an opportunity to improve . Help them learn by looking at what went wrong and brainstorm alongside them, ways to do things differently next time. Such exercises also play a role in nurturing their problem solving abilities.

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Allowance: Your child’s first step – to money management

If your child is old enough to understand the concept of money, it’s probably time to start thinking about allowances. Most experts suggest you start a youngster’s financial literacy lessons early, by stressing saving, sharing and spending that allowance.

The first thing to determine is how much and how often? Continue reading