Hillary Clinton: An Advocate for Quality Child Care, Employment, and Education

Today, on November 8th, 2016, I just cast my vote for Hillary Clinton. I was a Bernie Sanders supporter. Now I am rallying all my energy around Hillary Clinton. The stakes are way too high and the alternative of a Trump Presidency is unacceptable, not only for a small business owner as myself, but as a parent concerned about our children's future! Campaigning for the 2016 Presidential election continues to heat up. America’s middle class realizes how important it is to vote for a candidate who understands their concerns and is prepared to fix problems. Some of the rhetoric seems to sound the same, particularly when it focuses on child care. In fact, Donald Trump believes he and Hillary Clinton are on the same wavelength with child care. That’s why it’s important to stay up to date as proposals are updated or changed.

Clinton emphasized in July 2016 that her plan would limit a family’s cost of child care to 10 percent of the family’s income. A concrete plan to achieve that goal. Hillary’s proposals to support the goal include the expansion of the child care tax credit. Concerned about the possibility of daycare centers raising rates if there are higher child care subsidies, she and her advisors are studying an equitable way to make employment affordable for parents.

Trump proposes an option for families to deduct the cost of child care from their taxes. It provides middle class workers a tax deduction to recoup the expense. Annual daycare costs for an infant in California range in the neighborhood of $12,000 and up. Preschoolers average $9,000 or more each year! A family of three living in Sacramento, CA with a pre-tax/deductions annual income of $70,000 is recognized as middle class. Employees know the costs of working before a paycheck is issued. A tax deduction or credit is not a guaranteed way to recover what’s been spent. Donald is out of touch with the middle class.

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Monitoring and Keeping Our Children Safe on Social Media Sites

Recently, a comprehensive study was performed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on the impacts of social media on children and teens. It was concluded that individuals under the age of 18 benefit in numerous ways by utilizing social media website. Younger generations have the ability to increase their communication skills, have access to a multitude of facts and other types of information, and experience an increase in self-awareness; however, despite these benefits, it was determined that the interactions, activities, and information shared on social media platforms may also be detrimental to a child’s physiological, psychological, and emotional growth. Furthermore, social media platforms may result in dangers that negatively impact the safety of children and teenagers. As parents, it is our number 1 priority and responsibility to protect our kids; however, our power to do so should not be abused. In this comprehensive guide, you will be introduced to various tips that will aid in monitoring social media accounts, internet safety, and taking a productive, proactive role in protecting your children.

Social Networking – At a Glance

Before delving into the tips that will help you to successfully monitor your kids’ social media accounts, we feel it is important to share some basic information about social networking. These types of networks are those that provide a virtual-based community for people that have an interest in a particular activity, subject, or simply want to gather with one another in an online environment. Essentially, these networks are online clubhouses. You establish membership, create a profile, and engage in various types of activities and transactions. Social networking allows you to connect to relatives, friends, neighbors, classmates, and others through activities like games, chat, pictures, and email. All social networking websites include the ability to provide updates via status posts and typically host events. Examples of popular social networking websites for kids include Facebook, Twitter, Club Penguin, Webkinz, WhatsApp, Instagram, Pinterest, Burn Note, and Snapchat.

Why Do Kids Gravitate Towards Social Media?

There are several unique reasons why kids gravitate towards social media sites. First and foremost, these websites allow them to communicate with those that they care about in real life – even if those people are far away. If a kid has lost touch with a friend, they have the ability to relocate and reconnect with them. They may share messages with others, share various types of content (videos, memes, and informational text), and they may share pictures. They have the ability to participate in groups and causes that they are passionate about. They may also play games – solo, with their friends, or with people that they meet online. In today’s world, social media is a part of life – especially for kids. As parents, we must accept that this is a way of life for today’s children. Now, it is time to expound on how we may successfully monitor our kids’ social media accounts.

Ideas on How to Monitor our Kids Social Media Activities

  1. The first step to monitoring kids’ social media accounts and internet safety is to obtain information about the age restrictions on the various platforms. For example, if your child wants a Facebook account, the website requires them to be – at least – thirteen years of age. Naturally, you could change your child’s birth year in order to allow them access sooner than the designated minimum age; however, this is not advisable. If a social media website has an age restriction in place, you should respect that and encourage your children to wait until that age in order to create a member profile. If – when your child reaches the minimum age requirement – you feel as if they lack the maturity to interact on the social media site, you may have them wait for access.
  2. READ More on 10 Tips for Monitoring Kids’ Social Media

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Parenting Secrets of a Happy Family

One of the best gifts you can give your children is a happy family. When your children grow up and look back on the family time that you spent together, you want them to have fond memories of the good times that they had growing up. Although every family has their occasional problems and difficulties, there are some tips that you can use to insure that your family will experience a lot of happiness together.

1) Enjoy Laughter Together

Laughter is one of the things that helps draw families closer together. Sharing funny stories or watching humorous movies or television shows together is a wonderful way to create a connection with your children. You will find that plenty of laughter will make almost any situation that can occur in your family much easier to handle.

2) Concentrate on What You Have to Be Thankful For

So many times it seems that people focus more on the problems that they have in life, instead of truly enjoying the many blessings that they already have. One of the best ways to not only create more happiness in your family, but also teach your children the fine art of seeing the good side of things, is to focus more of your attention on the positive, instead of dwelling on the negative.

3) Share Your Happiness as a Couple with Your Children

One of the best gifts you can give a child is the knowledge that their parents truly love each other. Not only does this give them a strong sense of security, but it also provides them with a positive role modeling experience that they can look back on and emulate when they grow up.READ More on Top Ten Secrets to a Happy Family

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More4kids Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Cultural diversity is a very important topic surrounding the National Hispanic Heritage Month 2016. Culture has a direct impact on our identity and heavily influences our behaviors. It is, essentially, what shapes us as individuals and as a whole. Starting on September 15th and continuing on until October 15th, the United States recognizes the presence and contributions made by those that are classified as Hispanic and Latino Americans. The nation celebrates this culture and their rich heritage. It is essential that we, as parents and caregivers, place an emphasis on the various cultures in the United States and how they have shaped and continue to influence us, as a whole. We should ensure that our children embrace these cultures and the wide range of diversity in our nation. One of the most positive and productive ways to accomplish this task is by placing a special emphasis on National Hispanic Heritage Month 2016.

What is Cultural Diversity?

Before expounding on the facts pertaining to National Hispanic Heritage Month, we feel it is first important to outline the definition of cultural diversity. Not only will this help our children to appreciate diversity, but, it will increase our own level of appreciation when it comes to diversity. In essence, cultural diversity is a system of various beliefs and behaviors that not only recognizes the actual presence of different groups in a society, but, also respects those groups. It involves acknowledging and valuing the socio-cultural-based differences and encourages that group to continue to contribute in their own way in order to empower our society, as a whole. Therefore, in National Hispanic Heritage Month, we are teaching our children the importance of valuing the Hispanic people in our country, their contributions to our country, and we encourage them to continue to contribute to our nation so that we may become empowered, as an entire nation.

National Hispanic Heritage Month – The Basics

Throughout history, Hispanics have always held a very strong commitment to their family, their faith, their service to their communities, and hard work. Their historical traditions and the customs of their culture have not only enhanced our nation, but, have aided in shaping our national character. The celebration of this special month initiated back in the year of 1968 on September 15th. This is the day when five different Latin American countries acquired their independence. These include Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Since that time, other countries have established this time period as the one to celebrate their independence. The additional countries include Belize, Mexico, and Chile.

Hispanics and Latinos

It is important to understand that the classifications of “Hispanic” and “Latino” refers to those that originate from South or Central America, Puerto Rico, or another Spanish-based culture or people, without regard to a specific race. The Census forms allow Hispanic and/or Latino people to identify themselves in numerous ways. These include “Mexican”, “Mexican American”, “Spanish”, “Chicano”, “Cuban”, and/or “Puerto Rican”. According to statistics obtained by the Census Bureau, over 50 million people in the United States are Hispanic and/or Latino. This cultural group accounts for 16% of the entire population of the nation. Diversity abounds immensely among the Hispanics and the Latinos. As parents and caregivers, it is our responsibility to share stories about this level of diversity with our children so that they will understand the importance of celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Day.

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Winning With Parenting Arguments

Raising children is not an easy job. When parents are involved in their child’s life, there will come moments when discipline needs to be applied. Most children want to be right and forego discipline so they will try to find a way to get out of disciplinary action through arguments. The key to effective parenting is for mom and dad to present a united front. One of the worse things a parent can do is to go at odds against your spouse in front of the child when the argument surrounds the discipline of the child.

What If You Two Don’t Agree?

I think the need for parents to present a united front should be so constant that if one parent says or does something to discipline the child whether the other parent agrees or not they should always support their spouse in front of the child. If it’s a big issue, you should stand behind your spouse and then later when the child isn’t around hash it out and come to an agreeable compromise for the next instant of disciplinary action.

Ideally, child rearing should have been discussed in detail before you ever took your marriage vows. But often, couples are wrapped up in their new love so they don’t get to the meat of the matters of children while they are engaged. They may discuss whether to have children, but they don’t project ahead and consider consistent discipline actions.

All you can do is move forward from this point on. You two need to come to an agreement and you need to reach this agreement before you practice disciplining the children. Never argue about this in front of the children.

Always Present a United Front

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Parenting Boys - Dad and Young Son having fun together
by Claire Thurston
Even though more and more fathers are prioritizing time with their families, many may not know how they specifically impact their children in different ways from mothers.[1] This article spotlights fathers’ contributions because those long term research results have not yet reached a mainstream audience. By highlighting father’s importance to his child, The Dad Difference does not seek to disparage mothers, especially single mothers, or to condone male or paternal violence. There will be those who fear that scientific data demonstrating father’s impact would resurrect patriarchy and erase the hard-won gains of women in the twentieth century, but this is not a zero-sum game. When fathers know more concretely what they contribute to their children: men, women, families and society will benefit.READ More on Parenting and The Dad Difference

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Acts of Kindness

101 Acts of Kindness: Making a Positive Impact on a World Filled with Negativity

Acts of kindness allows each of us to make a positive impact on a world that is swarming with negativity. Kindness is an act that, simply, “feels good”. It does not matter if we observe kindness, have kindness bestowed upon us, or bestow kindness upon others. It is said that, when a person experiences kindness – in one way or another – it puts them at their absolute best, as people. Kindness is compassion. Kindness is generosity. Kindness is love. Kindness allows us to connect with others. As parents, we should encourage our children to engage in random acts of kindness. We, too, should engage in these acts. In doing so, we will inspire happiness, high levels of gratitude, and will be making a positive difference in the lives of others that they will want to pay forward! The following outlines 101 acts of kindness that we and our kids may perform in order to make a positive impact on the negative world that we are part of:

1) Smile when you make eye contact with others.

2) Hold the door open for someone.

3) Use kind words when speaking to others, such as “please”, “thank you”, and “you’re welcome".

4) Compliment a person on their talents.

5) Brag about a person’s accomplishments and really mean it! Use great examples.

6) Congratulate someone on a job well done.

7) Congratulate someone who has been able to do something new and exciting, such as purchase a house or travel to a new and exciting place.

8) Use a person’s name when speaking to them.

9) Listen when others talk – not with the intent to answer, but, with the intent to truly hear them.

10) Be genuinely happy for someone. They will notice!

11) When online, speak positively.

12) Always strive to encourage others.

13) Help those that are less fortunate. Volunteer. There are tons of local opportunities. Places to contact: local Church, schools, libraries, food pantries, hospitals, Red Cross, and animal rescue shelters to name a few.

14) If someone recently had a baby, offer to cook a week’s worth of meals.

15) If someone had a baby, offer to clean their house for a couple of weeks while they adjust to being a new parent.

16) If a car is parked where a meter has expired, put money in it.

17) Do not use your phone when speaking and/or engaging with others.

18) Make friends with the new neighbor they will appreciate it and you will too!

19) Make friends with the new kid at school.

20) Make friends with the new person at work.

21) Invite a neighbor over for dinner.

22) Buy a meal for a homeless person.

23) Make and hand out blessing bags to the homeless.

24) When you buy something new, donate one used item to a family in need, a local charity, or to the local Goodwill store.

25) When someone is speaking, make a point to avoid interrupting them.

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