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Dealing with Bullies

 

It's every parent's nightmare to have a child who's bullied at school. The helplessness and stress can eat away at you. Not being able to protect your child when he needs it can be a dreadful burden to carry, but if you're able to recognize the signs and act accordingly, you can nip the problem in the bud and prevent any further trauma. Here are some signs and tips on how to deal with bullying:

Signs your child is being bullied:

 

Decreased interest in enjoyable activities. If you notice he's not interested in activities or hobbies he used to love, or if he's not eating or sleeping well, this might mean there's something that's distracting him. It could be he's the victim of bullying. 

Mood swings. If he starts acting out or becomes very sullen and cranky, the pressure of being bullied may be getting to him, causing him to be defensive and disengaged.

Avoiding school. If he has no interest in going to school or starts making excuses to skip it altogether, he may be avoiding a bully.

Tips on how to deal with your child being bullied:

Talk to your child. If you think your child is being bullied, ask him about it. If he's apprehensive about telling you, use scenarios from a movie or a TV show you're watching, or connect it to a story from a book. He may feel more comfortable opening up indirectly.

Contact his teachers. Letting his teachers know he's being bullied can help immensely. They can get to the root of the problem and deal with the concerned parties where it's happening. If it's necessary, contact the bully's parents as well.

Help them avoid isolation. Bullies prey on the weak, and kids who are loners or introverted are easy targets. If it means having a teacher accompany your child when he walks from the cafeteria back to the classroom, at least you know he’s being looked after. You could also ask for help from other parents and employ a buddy system with other kids who are at risk of being bullied too.

Support your kid. Most of all, support your child through this difficult time. Children who are neglected or are exposed to abuse often turn to bullying themselves in an effort to regain some control. Let him know that there's a world beyond the schoolyard and that it does, indeed, get better.

The Working Stay-at-Home Mom

“Home-based with a little extra time and a desire to contribute to the family nest egg, or just out for some independent spending money? Apply now!”

Can this be true? Can moms stay at home yet still earn?

The answer is yes!

There has never been a better time than today to earn from non-traditional business models and flexible work schemes. The advent of BPO (business process outsourcing) business models, stable Internet connectivity, and a populace growing ever more comfortable with the concept of remote offices have made not only housewives but students, artists, and even sideline-seeking employees benefit from various work-from-home arrangements.

It’s clear: whatever reason you may have for wanting to work, nine-to-five employment is no longer the only answer.

As a mother and a homemaker, earning from a work-from-home assignment or side business can do wonders. Some moms who miss the rat race get to flex their business sides again, while others find that the management skills they’ve developed in the home apply well for business, too. Independent income boosts self-esteem or adds much-needed cash to the family reserves. You can build an emergency fund for unforeseen expenses or add to your labor and delivery nest egg, save up and invest in financial instruments such a mutual funds, buy insurance for the family, or even just have a little extra clothing allowance.

Try these out:

  • Direct selling. Got the gift of gab and a network of amigas, from neighbors to fellow kindergarten moms? Try direct selling. From make up to personal care products to lingerie and food containers, most direct selling products are easy to move, involve minimum capital, and require a small monthly quota.
  • Multi-level marketing (MLM). Some direct selling businesses offshoot from MLM, where recruiting ‘downlines’ from whose earnings you earn a percentage to add to your profits. Be careful though and choose a reputable business. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is; and if the product doesn’t work or isn’t worth the price it’s sold, stay away.

 

  • Web-based services. A quick Google search for internet-based services reveals a bevy of choices: tutoring foreign students in English, writing content for web pages, virtually assisting start-up businesses, scheduling appointments for offshore clients, editing other people’s essays – if you got a skill, someone will be willing to pay you for it. Again, it is worthwhile to be careful: never pay for a placement, never give personal bank details and passwords, and check your client’s reputation.
  • Open an online shop. These days all the storefront you need may be a Facebook page or a Sulit ad. In fact, many successful businesses began as online enterprises. You can start with your handcrafted projects on Etsy, or be the middleman for the hard-to-find imported goods your cousin hand-carries from Europe. Be sure to get a good shipper and explore all the social media options available to you.

Good luck and happy earning!

Party Popping!

Childhood is ‘the best years’ of our lives, and yet it passes so fleetingly. Before we know it, the kids are all grown up and childhood is but a distant memory.

One way to fill your kids with fond remembrances is through memorable events. An awesome, fun-filled seventh (or fifth or twelfth or any!) birthday party may just be the perfect childhood moment your kid takes with them in their adulthood.

So how can you ensure your kid has a party to remember? Here are some tips:

  • Listen to your child. There was an American show called Outrageous Kid Parties, which, aside from the ostentation and massive expense on display, frequently thrived on conflict. One episode even had a pushy grandma insisting on adding a disco element to her grandson’s pirate theme! Don’t be that grandma. Before organizing a party, ask yourself: is this for me, or for my kid? If your aim is to impress your adult guests, you’ll probably succeed – but leave your kid puzzled. Take your cue from what your kid wants, from the theme to the menu and even the guest list. Nothing makes a kid feel more special than being ‘boss’ for a day.
  • Get creative. A party need not be extravagant to be memorable, but it should be distinguished from an ordinary day. A little effort from your part, such as handcrafting spaceship party favors, turning the living room into an ultra-cool alien cave, or transforming popcorn into ‘moon rocks’, will delight your child and your guests. The goal is to make the day as special as possible. Not the creative type? Scour Pinterest for inspiration, or assign imaginative older siblings or cousins to add a touch of whimsy.
  • Think of age-appropriate activities. If you have a mixed guest list, try different ‘stations’ where kids can do a variety of activities at their own leisure. Ideas can include cookie decorating, a mini-obstacle course, a scavenger hunt area (for active older kids), or even a drawing and coloring table. Face-painting and temporary tattoo stations seem to be a big hit, too. Remember to include unstructured free time for kids to play on their own and let their imaginations run free.

  • Plan appropriately. Obviously a swimming party in the middle of monsoon season is bound to fail, and overextending the guest list when your venue is your backyard is unwise. As much as you want to pack everything into one event, you need to take a step back and manage expectations – your own as well as your child’s.
  • Get organized. Failing to plan is planning to fail, and anyone who’s ever done an event can tell you that in parties, Murphy’ Law is king. So get your checklist ready, make sure you have a Plan B and a Plan C, get your back-ups in line. Assign family members to monitor their share of work (ex. Hubby picks up the cake, ate is in charge of following up with the photo booth operators, kuya is the DJ) and hope for the best.

But when all else fails… take a deep breath and smile. Disasters happen and sometimes things are beyond our control. If you find yourself in this situation, make the best out of it and reassure your child. Here’s where your imagination and quick thinking come into play. Sometimes it’s the spontaneous things that kids love and remember the most.

ARCHIVE
2017
May