by Joy Burgess

If you have a teen in your home, at some point they probably will want to get a job. Of course, there are some things you are going to have to do to prepare them to go out there in the work force. Teens need good preparation for a job at home, great ideas for jobs, and tips for actually landing that job. You can help your teen to make the transition to a working teen, which is not always as easy as teens may think. It is even more difficult to land jobs in this struggling economy, which is something your teen needs to understand. Here is a closer look at how you can your teen can prepare, find, and land a good job, even during tough times.

Preparing Your Teen for Their First Job

The first step in the job process for you and your teen is to start preparing your teen for their first job. It's not easy to step into employment from being a carefree teenager. However, you can make this a process that is smoother for them with some simple preparation.

Analyze Their Interest: One thing you can do to prepare your teen for a job is analyze the interest that they have. If they have some interests in a particular job, consider helping them find a volunteer position so that they can see what it is like. This also will give them a taste of keeping a schedule that balances school, work, homework, and family and friends.

Make Sure They are Responsible at Home: Another thing that you can do to make sure they are well prepared on the job is to make sure they are responsible at home. Ensure that your child is handling their responsibilities at home. If they are not able to keep up with home responsibilities, your teen probably is not ready to handle the responsibilities that come with balancing a job, school, and more.

Teach Them About Handling Money: This is the perfect time to teach your teen about handling money. If they are going to make money, you want them to handle it in a responsible manner. Consider helping them open a bank account, teach them the basics about keeping up a checkbook, and make sure they know about saving money and how important it is.

Great Job Ideas for Teens

Not sure what jobs are great for teens today? It's a good idea to know what jobs are out there for teens. Here is a look at some great job ideas that your teen may be interest in.READ More on Teen Jobs – Preparing Your Teen for a Job in a Struggling Economy

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manners-and-respectThe teaching of manners has come in and out of vogue over the past several generations. Many parents today consider manners important, but aren't sure when to introduce the ideas or how to broach the subject. Kids don't require formal lessons and learn best in the natural course of life.

Books are a great way to introduce a new concept and start a discussion with your child. There are a variety of books written on topics related to manners. One good example for general manners is Perfect Pigs: An Introduction to Manners by Marc Brown (author of the Arthur series) and Stephen Krensky. This book covers a variety of table and living manners topics and situations.

When you decide to begin focusing on manners, don't try to teach it all at once. Prioritize the issues that are most important to your family and select one or two things to focus on. You don't want to overload your child with a sudden onslaught of lessons in manners. Take it slow.READ More on Teaching Manners

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Tracing Your Family Tree – Getting Started in Genealogy

Discovering your family history is not only a fun activity, but can help bring your family closer together

I was thinking of great family projects for 2010 and I thought about how great it would be to research ones own family history.  For many reasons, it is important to know about your family background. It can give you and your family a sense of who you are and where you've come from. It can also be important because knowing how your ancestors died could have an effect on your own medical history. If you're not sure what you need to get started in genealogy, here are some tips to get started.

First off, you will need to have some basic office supplies available when you get started. File folders can be used to keep any blank charts you'll need; they can also be used to keep your ancestors organized. Start a file folder for each surname you find during your search. When it is too full, you can always separate the information further.

If you'd rather not keep everything you gather in paper form, you can invest in good genealogy software such as Roots Magic 3, Family Tree Maker or Legacy Family Tree 7.0 Deluxe.  These will range in price between $30 and $100. You can also find free software, such as Personal Ancestral File 5.2 or Family Tree Builder 4.0.

The important thing to remember is to keep things organized, no matter which method you choose to keep notes on your family members. Be prepared, however, as you may find delving into your family background so interesting that it takes over a good amount of space in your home.READ More on Genealogy – Making Geneology a Family Affair

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children playingIf you have more than one child, you know that each own has a temperament all their own. There are those kids that are very verbal and interact with others whenever they get together. On the other hand, you have those that are quiet and more reserved, and just want to play by themselves. Even though your child may be born with a preference to be social or not, much of a person's social ability to interact appropriately with others is based on what they are taught. You, as their parent, have a wonderful opportunity to help your child thrive in social situations. Helping them to succeed socially will give them confidence and the ability to adapt to situations all throughout their lives.

When teaching your child social skills in life, it is important to remember that these skills include many facets. Not only are social skills based on behavior, but also on the child emotions, intellect and ethics. These are all areas that will need to be strengthened as our child grows, so that they will have the ability to interact with others and achieve the goals they set for themselves.

Tip 1: Encourage Emotions

Emotions are a part of every day living, and in experiencing these emotions, children will have to learn what is appropriate and what is not. Some emotions are naturally easier to express than others. Most children can express themselves just fine when they are happy and excited. Once a child gets angry, hurt or rejected, they may not be able to express those emotions in a proper manner. These are times when a parent must reaffirm to the child that these feelings are normal, but there is an appropriate way to handle them. If you teach your child the skills they need to cope with these feelings and emotions, they will be able to be resilient and able to handle the hurts they will encounter in life.READ More on Weekly Parenting Tips – Encouraging Social Skills

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haiti-port_au_princeLast Tuesday, when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake occurred in Haiti on January 12, 2010, it shook the entire world.  As more and more information comes in and we get a better picture of the tragedy, our children are affected as well.  A disaster of that scope is very scary and your children may be afraid and even uncertain about their own safety and the safety of their family and friends.

Why Talk?
It may seem easier to ignore difficult or tragic events. You may get wrapped up in your own concerns, your own pain, fear and anger.  However, your child is aware of what is happening around them and when those events turn scary, they may become concerned and afraid.  Your child needs you; they need to hear from you that their feelings are normal, that their reactions are normal.  It also helps for them to know that other people feel the same way that they do. It is very important that your child knows that there are people who are working to help people who are victims of disasters.  It is also vital that they know those people are working to make certain that they are safe.

Gather Information
The first step in helping your child deal with a tragic event is to gather correct information from reliable, valid sources.  Knowing the facts can go a long way in helping them feel at ease.  Sit them down and talk to them.  Try to answer their questions and find the answers to questions that you can't answer.  Sites that are excellent sources of information include:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/haitiearthquake_embed (this site includes links to other agencies' sites)

However, don't inundate them with information.  Allow your child to guide the discussion.  Offer the resources and some information; then let them ask questions while you answer or you look for the answers together.READ More on The Haiti Earthquake: Talking to Your Kids and Helping Them Understand

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Valentines Day is About Giving from the Heart

Teaching Kids Valentines Day is About Giving from the Heart

Valentine's Day is a special holiday when we think about love. Although you may be planning something special for you and your spouse, make sure you include the kids in this special day as well.All kinds of love can be celebrated on this holiday – it doesn't just have to be about romantic love and passion. Wondering how you can make this day a special one for the kids this year? Here are some unique Valentine's Day ideas for kids that you can use to make it a wonderful time together as a family to celebrate the day.

Let Kids Make Valentine's Surprises for Family Members

One great idea that you can use is to let the kids make Valentine's Day surprises for family members. Maybe get them involved in making a special surprise for your spouse, their siblings, grandparents or other family members. Need some ideas?

–  Decorate Picture Frames and Include Photos of the Kids – A great project that makes a special surprise for a family member is to allow your kids to decorate picture frames and include photos of the kids in them. Take pictures of the kids together and have some printed out. Get plain photo frames and allow your kids to decorate them with ribbon, flowers, and more. Add in the pictures and they make a great gift for Valentine's Day that they made all by themselves.READ More on Unique Valentine's Day Ideas for Kids

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By Patricia Dischler


Nurturing Creativity, Curiosity & Courtesy is just as important as Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

Parents naturally want the best for their child academically, so when research comes out illustrating how the early years have a tremendous impact on future intelligence, the pressure is on to teach those "3 R's: 'Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmatic" as early as possible. The unfortunate result of this has been children who are being fed facts and solutions for memorization, without any basis for their own problem solving or sense of exploration of the information they learn. Early childhood programs feel the pressure as well and are getting caught in this same trap: teaching children the preconceived answers without teaching the process that lead to the answers in the first place. It is no surprise then that many children are struggling in schools, and that children in higher grades are being found to have little or no problem solving techniques and additional problems with social interactions. The missing link? Teaching the 3 Cs. Instilling in children a love for learning and a process for making decisions and solving problems while working with others begins with encouraging in them a sense of creativity, curiosity and courtesy.

Sparking creativity in children opens the door to learning in every developmental area. When children think creatively they look beyond what is in front of them to see what could be. They explore from many different angles and engage all of their senses. This creative exploration can lead to successful problem solving, a broader understanding of topics taught, and a sense of appreciation for the world they live in.READ More on Teaching the 3Cs: Creativity, Curiosity & Courtesy

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