family arriving at relatives houseFamilies everywhere are really getting severly pinched or hurt with the price of gas these days, and there is no end in sight. We have to do everything we can to save a little here and there, not only on road trips, but on everyday tips to drop kids off at school, work, or the grocery store. This summer a lot of families will be driving on the roads. With the price of gas and diesel both climbing, it is important to remember that no matter how much you are paying at the pump, there are some ways to save your gas once you've purchased it, which will allow you to spend less overall on gasoline. There are things that a family, and there are things that you can do to your car to make sure that you are able to save on gasoline. Here are a few gas saving tips that may help.

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by Angie Shiflett

Parenting a child starts with simple unconditional loveMany parents eventually learn that their child has a medical issue, illness, or disability. This can be an emotionally overwhelming time for the family. I know, because I have been there. My oldest son was born with a minor physical deformity. The doctors referred to it as a “unilateral cleft lip”. They informed me that he would require the care and attention of many specialists throughout his childhood, and that he would need to have plastic surgery at approximately three months of age. I never thought that I would parent a child who had a condition like this, but I had always believed that regardless of what came our way with our children, I would love them none the less. Here, I will offer you my experience when it comes to parenting a child with special needs. READ More on Parenting a Child with Special Needs

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How Working Parents Can Build and Keep Strong Family Bonds

busy working mom juggling kids and lifeParenting is a tough job, and in today's society being a parent is harder than ever. Most households with two parents, are looking at or also need two incomes. Both parents are working full time and nowadays, full time is rarely a 40 hour week. Many times working parents are putting in 60, 80 or more hours. If they are not at the office or job site working, they are traveling or bringing it home with them to finish up. Unfortunately, even working this hard sometimes, the ends barely meet when it comes paying the bills and other financial obligations.

As a result, children are often left in the care of schools, daycares, and after care programs. This leaves parents struggling to provide for their families both financially and emotionally. Being disconnected leads to a host of problems, and leads children to believe that they can not come and talk to you as their parent when they need assistance. There are a few things that as working parents you can do to help provide and maintain a connection with your children. READ More on Tips for Working Parents

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By Julie Baumgardner

parents holding hand of newborn babyOnce the decision was made to start a family, John and Susan went from living in a loft and having people over all the time to living in a house in a quiet neighborhood with friends coming over significantly less often. “It was definitely a dramatic change for us,” said Susan. “It was hard to give up our two-seater convertible, but we knew it wasn’t a family car. We had hoped we could keep it and add a family car, but since we couldn’t predict our expenses after Caroline’s birth, we traded it in.”  Caroline arrived in October of 2005. Even though she has a great temperament and her parents describe her as an “easy” baby, she still rocked their world.

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a little girl and her pet dogDogs have long been known as “man’s best friend”; they are social animals who see the humans around them as their pack and they become strongly attached to those humans.  One of the things about a family pet is that they can help teach responsibility. A dog can be a lot of fun and a great addition to your family, but a dog can also be a lot of work, and there is always the chance the child might tire of the pet and leave the chores for Mom and Dad. Thats when your parenting skills come in to empasize how important it is and how much it means to your pet when your kids help out with them. One tip is to make the chores fun, help the child out if they need it and make it a routine.
 
Now, if you have decided on a pet dog, here are some things to think about:READ More on Dogs Can Make A Great Family Pet

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by Stephanie Partridge
 
child screaming at step momMore and more families are becoming blended families which means that parents are remarrying and children and gaining new step parents.  This can also mean some rocky roads ahead.  Blended families rarely mesh together easily and seamlessly, there is usually a great deal of adjustment and often a lot of conflict.  Step children may be resentful to the new parent, feeling that the step parent wants to take the biological parent's place.  Children can become surly, depressed and combative.  They may act out at home or at school causing their parents a great deal of stress and worry.  This is normal, but that knowledge does not make the transition any easier.  These tips, however, might.
 
Don't expect to bond overnight.
I can take a blended family years to bond.  Don't rush it and don't push the child to accept you.  If you are having trouble with your step child not accepting you, take a step back and allow them to guide the relationship.  Once they see that you will be there no matter what, they will be much more likely to accept you and warm up to you.  The key, though, is that you don't try to rush the relationship.  Allow it to grow, nurture it and take it easy.
 
Understand the difference between the blended family and the first family.READ More on Parenting Tips When Your Step Child Does Not Accept You

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What will you be doing with your kids this Earth Day?Earth Day and kids go hand in hand. This is a special day set aside to bring awareness to conservation efforts and help educate people on how to be more earth friendly.  Parents can use April 22nd to teach their kids how to respect the earth and what they can do to make a difference.

One thing that most people do anyway is to recycle.  If you don't, contact your trash service and request recycling pick up.  Most trash companies will do this for free, but you may need to use their special recycling bin.  Kids can learn to recycle in several different ways.  First, teach them how to identify whether an item is able to be recycled or not.  The easiest way to check this is to look for the recycling symbol on the item.  Things like plastic bottles and newspapers are almost always recyclable.

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