D A D B L O G S
A dad blog by a geek dad with two geeky kids.
Buying a car for the first time can be an overwhelming experience especially if you're doing everything on your own and you’re feeling the pressure from the car salesmen. They don’t want you to leave the store without placing the purchase, but don't fret. Here are some tips you might find helpful.
1) Determine your budget. Ask yourself if you can really afford the car you have your heart set on. You not only have to think about the cost of the car, you also have be able to pay other vehicle costs like fuel and insurance on top of your monthly car loan payments. Buying and maintaining a car can be expensive, so make sure you don’t spend more than 25 percent of your monthly household income. If you're not sure if the car of your dreams could fit in your monthly budget, sit down and crunch the numbers. Tally up your monthly bills and necessary savings and decide whether the leftover money could cover for all your vehicle costs.
2) Decide whether you need a new car or a used car. Used cars are often less expensive compared to new cars but they can sometimes come with hidden surprises. The condition of a used car can result in more expenses to keep it running and safe to use. New cars come in perfect condition and with warranties, but of course, they cost more. If you decide to buy a used car, make sure you have it thoroughly checked by a licenced vehicle tester. Also, think about the important features you’re looking for in a car so you can narrow down your options right away and make the choice a little bit easier.
3) Research prices and possible discounts. Don’t buy the first car you see that’s within your budget. Ask dealers for a price quote including the breakdown of all the fees like the sales tax, registration fees and documentation fees. There could be deals and discounts offered for certain models as well, for example, outgoing models’ prices are often dropped suring large sales. You can also find lots of helpful tips here, like the best time to buy a car and different types of car loans, etc.
It’s also very important to make sure you review all of your purchase considerations before signing any loan contract. Once you have made your final decision, check the details of your contract carefully to make sure you aren’t paying unnecessary fees and to check that everything in your verbal negotiation has been included. Read through this infographic if you want more tips on buying your first car.
It is common to dislike a couple of teachers while you like some of them. There are teachers who may adore your child, and those who just don't understand him. But whatever the case, your child's teacher is the second most important person in your child's life. Here are some tips that can help you have a good relationship with all your child's teachers.
1. Consider meeting even before the school year starts, if possible. Share other information—like hobbies, interests and important family events—that will help your teacher get to know your child.
2. Find out how the teacher wants to be reached. Share email addresses and phone numbers. Explore tips you can use when emailing with teachers and sentence starters you can use when you talk.
3. Be respectful of the teacher’s time. Arrive promptly for appointments and wrap things up within your allotted time. The teacher may have more parents and students waiting for her attention.
4. If you’re meeting in the classroom, look for word walls, reference charts or displays of students’ artwork or school work that you can compliment. Teachers like to see that you notice their efforts. If you’re meeting in the guidance office or other location, start things off with a positive statement, like something you’ve noticed about the teacher’s classroom or teaching style.
5. Never talk negatively about a teacher in front of your child. Demonstrating your respect for a teacher will set a good example for your child.
6. Whenever possible, show up for back-to-school night and other events. This demonstrates that you’re part of the school community. Try to chaperone a field trip and volunteer in other ways too.
7. Express appreciation for the big—and little—things the teacher does for your child. Cards, thank-you notes, even small gifts can go a long way toward building positive relationships with the teacher, school aides and other staff.
Raising children comes with a host of worries. This is because kids tend to get sick no matter how careful you are about their health. They’re sure to catch bugs while playing outdoors or while watching TV with friends at home needless to stay, you still need to watch for those things which pose as serious health risks. Have a read to find out how to keep your child as safe as you possibly can.
Food allergies – Eggs, milk, seafood, soy, peanuts and wheat are a few of the foods which commonly cause allergies among kids. It’s important that you know all the food your child is allergic to, so as you find them out, keep a list and discuss it with them. Explain how to avoid those foods and what to do in case of accidental ingestion. Be sure to describe the ‘danger’ signs to watch out for, too such as: coughing, nausea, tightness in the throat, stomach pain, vomiting and wheezing.
Dental Problems – Children encounter dental issues as they grow which can be caused by their love for sweets and laziness in taking care of their teeth. Tooth decay and gum disease are the most common of these issues, yet can be prevented through good dental hygiene practice. However, there accidental issues, too which are called dental emergencies. The following detailed infographic explains the most common dental emergencies and how to best handle them.
Stomach flu – Stomach flu or gastroenteritis is very contagious meaning your child has a good chance of getting it while at play or at school. Stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting are its symptoms and can be best avoided through to good hygiene habits like hand washing before meals, as well as after using the bathroom.
Whooping cough – Caught by breathing in the bacteria when an infected person coughs or sneezes, symptoms are characterized by colds, a runny nose, a slight fever, and a cough. If caught your child will need to see a doctor for antibiotics and get plenty of rest, fluids and healthy food.
Rashes – Also called dermatitis, rashes include lumps, bumps, blisters, even pimples and can be itchy, red and scaly. Tell your child not to scratch his rashes because it may cause infection, so book in to see a dermatologist for medication right away.
Most men today want to be more than just breadwinners, and they also want to share in as many aspects of parenting as possible. In fact, many dads today want to have a closer bond with their children. Are you one of these men? Here are somet ideas that can help you have a closer relationship with your kids.
1. Find something you have in common with your kids. Dads will relate a lot better with their kids if there is a shared interest. This can sometimes be tricky, as most men tend to relate better when being active and tend to teach through games. If sport is not something you have an interest in, than you need to find something that your child enjoys doing, and take an active interest in that. For example, Let your child involve you in their hobbies or sporting activities.
2. Spend quality time with your sons. From the age of five, a boy thinks their dad is much like Superman or their favourite superhero, and tends to give their mother a much harder time at this stage. Dads need to find the time to spend as much time with their sons as possible in these years, and not make each game a lesson or push them too hard.
3. Share the discipline. Dads are traditionally the ones that get to do all the fun play but they also tend to miss out when it comes to disciplining their children. Some dads are great at getting their kids excited before bedtime, and then expect their partner to settle them down. Both parents should take a more active part in disciplining their children's behaviour as it's not only the mother's role.
4. Treat your daughters with respect. Daughters that have strong links with their dads tend to have a much healthier outlook. Dads should teach their daughters about how they should be treated by males and they should also treat their daughters with respect, so they learn to expect this in their future relationships with men.
5. Learning to let go of your Superman persona. Most teenage boys will be programmed to challenge their dads, and its all part of their development and growing up phase. Most sons will take great pleasure in verbal jousting matches with their dads, where they delight in proving their dads fallibility. Dads at this stage need to maintain a sense of humour and a willingness to stand back and allow other male mentors to come into their son's life.
Good dad-child connections don't spring out of nowhere. Biology gives us a headstart -- if we weren't biologically programmed to love our infants the human race would have died out long ago. But as kids get older we need to build on that natural bond, or the challenges of modern life will take them away from us.
Be your child's friend. Your toddler is at the age where he wants to hang out with you every second of the day, so take advantage of that by enjoying every minute together, like driving in the car or watching ducks at the park. If he starts acting goofy, get goofy with him, and invite him to do activities that you enjoy by giving him kid-safe tasks in the kitchen or garden.
Show your silly side. Invent silly songs, dance when you hear music (and even when you don't), try on a funny hat while you're shopping, and be spontaneous. Kids don't expect grown ups to have a sense of humor, so when we let loose, they connect with us more.
Find the fishing hole. A leisurely day of fishing or hunting can be a great way to unwind together without so many parent-child issues pressing in. So pack a cooler with lunch and go enjoy the outdoors together.
Touch. Touch your kids often, with hugs and gentle strokes and rubs. Even if you are disciplining your toddler, hold his hand while you tell him not to hit or that he needs to stop whining. If your child isn't a cuddler, find other ways to connect, like rustling his hair, dancing together, or even roughhousing a bit.
Read. Reading time is a great way to get the ball rolling on conversation and to start asking each other questions. Adapt special voices for characters when you're reading, re-read favorites, and include your child's name in the story.
Take a long walk together. During the long days of summer, take advantage of the extra daylight by taking walks together after dinner. It doesn’t have to be a power walk or even really about fitness. Just make it a chance to explore the neighborhood together, talk about your day, and maybe give the dog a little exercise.