How To Pick The Perfect Tree For Tree Houses

 

tree houses

Building a treehouse is great fun and a great experience for families. However, it’s important to realize that not every tree is perfect or suitable for a treehouse.  Furthermore, if you have plenty of trees to work with in your backyard but you’re unsure of which tree to use, this expert guide will give you the top helpful hints.  Here’s a few tips:

Best Practices When Choosing A Treehouse Tree

  1. Look For Tree Damage

First, while all trees grow equally, not all trees are suitable. It’s important before making any decision that you check the tree for damage. Damage can come in many forms.  Some things to look for include:

  • Dead trees where the branches break off easily.
  • Rotting or infection of funguses that may compromise the integrity of the tree down the road.
  • Lightning damage or other damage during a weather event.
  • Trees that look limp while others around them are blooming well.
  • Damage from white ants, damaging insects or bugs that are eating the tree.

These are some of the key areas to look for in order to avoid choosing a tree that may be dangerous at a later time.

  1. Height Of The Tree

Next, consider the height of the tree and the first set of strong branches. While you don’t want to go too high, having some height gives the effect of freedom.  As a general rule, try to avoid going higher than 3 feet.  This distance will help to reduce the risk of major injury if a fall occurs.

Next, treehouses that are built an average of 3 feet or less in height will also feel less impact from windy conditions.  The higher the treehouse, the more wind speed and swaying motion it will be susceptible to.  Consider the impact of the wind before you build the treehouse.

Consider the tree house door when building.  If you can, try to build the treehouse in a curved effect to allow the wind to glide over it better. This will help reduce the sail effect that can be experienced with a square treehouse.

  1. Branch Thickness

The thickness of the branch is also important, because it ensures the treehouse is supported well.  Furthermore, the additional weight of both the building and the weight of the children must be considered.  The right branch should be thick enough to be able to place up to four attachment screws or bolts into it.

Additionally, the tree branch should be thick enough to secure the base of the tree house.  It should be solid enough to support the treehouse floor when positioned in the center of the branch.  Use support beams if the branch is not thick enough to support the tree house. The bigger the branch, the better the treehouse support will be.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing the right tree for your kids tree house, these are some of the most important things to consider. By taking your time to choose the right tree for tree houses, you’ll be able to really keep your children safe.  So have you found a suitable tree yet?

 

About the author Daniel Stone:

Daniel has worked in the management, cutting, and caring of trees for the last 20 years. He works and helps run Bellarine Trees and is passionate about the environment and tree worker safety. He has a wife and two daughters and he enjoys playing tennis in his spare time.

Disobedient Children Are Hazardous

parenting tips, parenting, disobedient children

 

Do you have children who are disobedient? Did you know that disobedient children can become hazardous?  Children want things their way, but they have a limited way of expressing their emotions.  As a result, they act out by crying, screaming, hitting, or using other avenues. They go as far as they can by testing our limits. They want results, they want you to give in and allow them to have their way. There’s good news, disobedient behavior should pretty much disappear by the time children reach their teens.   At least the screaming, hitting and crying. Prepare for a new set of behaviors to appear. That is behaviors that are typical of teens.  You should know, if disobedience becomes a habit with your child, you need to take appropriate action.

First of all, teaching your child to obey rules and to be respectful is a part of parenting. Good parenting will require you to teach your children to obey rules. Additionally, children must display respect at home and school, while driving, playing on the beach and every other area of their life.  They must understand that disobedience can lead to:

  • Poor relationships
  • Becoming an underachiever
  • Poor grades
  • Problems with the law
  • Disrespect of others
  • Violence

If your child becomes disobedient and is displaying any of the problems above, you may want to assess what’s happening in your home. Children will also act out if they’re feeling stressed, unloved, or witnessing problems at home. Children may also act out if:

  • A parent is absent or not involved
  • Alcohol or drugs are abused
  • Rules or boundaries are not established
  • Family members yell and scream
  • Lack of money is causing problems
  • Problems are solved using violence
  • Physically abused is being endured

Additionally, children will act out and become rebellious and disobedient if there are problems at home. Most importantly, ignoring your child’s disobedience and problems in your home will not make them go away.  Seeking counseling is a good way to help resolve problems before the child becomes out of control and encounters legal problems. As a result, they must understand the importance of obeying rules and the consequences they will encounter if they choose to disobey.

Years ago, my daughter and I attended counseling sessions. I accepted the fact that I didn’t have all the answers. It helped me tremendously to see things from a teenager’s perspective, and become a better parent during her teenage years.

Although I have parented successfully, I don’t consider myself to be a child expert by any means. I also know that schools, churches and many employers offer family counselors to assist families when they need help. Last, don’t be afraid or ashamed to seek it if you need it.  Once their child becomes hazardous, many parents wish they had reached out.  Don’t be a parent who looks at things in hindsight, deal with the problems when the occur. You and your child will be thankful for your insight.

You may also like Teaching Your Child Responsibilities

 

 

 

 

6 Character Traits To Teach Your Children

character traits, children's traits, developing character

 

First, children aren’t born with good character and it isn’t hereditary.  Parents should teach character by being a good example.  Helping to develop your children’s character is essential.  A person’s character is the essence of you are, so children must learn that their character will surface in all areas of their life.

There are 6 areas of our character that parents should focus on. They are:

Be Trustworthy – Teaching children to be honest is a must. Being honest is an important character trait.  And it must be implemented in all areas of life.  Stealing, deceiving, cheating or being unreliable are big elements of becoming trustworthy.  Next, being trustworthy helps to build a good reputation, which is important in life.

Be Fair Teaching children that they must play by the rules is another important character trait.  Their are rules/laws for going to school, driving, and swimming on beaches and in pools. They must be followed are their will be consequences.  Additionally, children must also learn to not take advantage of a situation or another person.  It is not right to do so.

Be Respectful Teaching your children good manners is every parent’s responsibility.  Furthermore, children today are rude and disrespectful. Saying thank you, please, or excuse me seems to a thing of the past?  Why do they interrupt their elders or not hold the doors for people entering or exiting a store or building?  Manners are a part of daily life, however, it seems that they are no longer important.    

Be Responsible – Teach your children the importance of honoring their word.  If they say they’re going to do something they must live up to it.  Teach children to think before they act.  Also, self-control is imperative to good character and they must strive to be an example to others.

Be Caring – Displaying kindness toward other is a big part of developing character. Children should help others  and be forgiving when others upset or hurt them. Because the world is unfair at times, we must forgive and move forward.

Be a Good Citizen – Most importantly, children should learn that obeying the law is essential.  Furthermore, teach children to get involved in their community and neighborhood.  You may like the post Why You Should Teach Your Children To Volunteer.

Finally, helping to develop your child’s character must start at an early age.   Many traits make up a person’s character.  Children should be raised to be good people.  However, they are not expected to be perfect.  Strive to lead by example and help your children to make good decisions.  Loving unconditionally should be something parents do every day.  Telling them that you love them unconditionally is just as important. In conclusion, they will remember the conversations and examples they were shown during their character development.

Why You Should Teach Your Children To Do Volunteer Work

volunteer work, mentors, role models Are you involving your children in volunteer work?  Why, don’t you think it’s important?   I believe volunteer work is very important to  children for many reasons.  As parents we need to teach children to get involved in the community.  Community is more than a place to live, it’s a place to give as well.

I taught this value to my daughter. I realized that becoming a volunteer was not only important to the community, it was important in life.  I’m from a small town, giving back and helping others was the norm.  To this day, I’m proud to say that I’m from my hometown. Nothing has changed except those who taught me have gotten older, but their children have now stepped up and taken over.  If there’s a death in the community, someone is having a baby, getting married, having a difficult time in any matter, the town comes together.  Those who grow up are so proud, we brag about that trait.  Giving is passed from generation to generation. 

There are also other reasons for children to get involved in community service or volunteering:

  1. College Applications –  Administrators like to know that you are not only intelligent, but you also find time to give back to others. 
  2. Scholarship Applications – Scholarships helped finance my daughter’s education.  I ensured that she stood out among students who were competing with her by having her do volunteer work.  Volunteer work is socially and academically acceptable.
  3. Helps Build Leadership Skills – Working with leaders helps teens learn leadership skills. Leadership skills can be used in camps, tutoring, church, college campuses, and many other places.
  4. Networking – Volunteer work allows teens to network with administrators, managers, and other people who can give them a reference for future jobs, scholarships and college applications, and possibly be hired with the company in the future.
  5. Learn To Give To Those In Need –  Volunteering gives teens an opportunity to see that there are people who are less fortunate than them.  Hopefully, seeing others who are less fortunate will help them to appreciate what they have. 
  6. No Pay Learning To Work From The Heart Volunteer work doesn’t pay monetarily, but it teaches the importance of helping others without receiving anything in return. 

It’s important that teens get off of their electronics and learn about how the world works outside the comfort of home. It’s a great way for them to learn to appreciate what they have instead of expecting everything to be handed to them.  They will learn to work for what they want in this world, and volunteering can help give them skills they will need in the future. 

Be sure to subscribe before you leave, so you don’t miss upcoming parenting tips and more. 

Are You Making Excuses For Your Child’s Bad Behavior

parenting tips. disobedient children, children with behaviorial problems

 

 

Are you making excuses for your child’s bad behavior?  If you are, your children will grow up to make excuses for their behavior too. If excuses are good enough for you it will be good enough for them. Children earn by what they hear as well as what they see, so if you as a parent who is constantly making excuses for their bad behavior they will never accept responsibility for their behavior. They know they won’t be held accountable for what they say or do. They listen and watch you blame the teacher, principal, doctor and eventually the police, lawyer, judge, or probation officer. It’s always somebody else’s fault.  They may get a scolding occasionally, but they know the scolding won’t last long because you will go right back to blaming something or someone.

Along with bad behavior, you can probably find disrespect and a refusal to obey authority.  They don’t respect authority because they have no respect for you and the rules that you establish in your home. Everything you do is taken for granted, and they believe they are entitled rather than earned what is given to them.

When I was raising my daughter, I had a conversation with her once on following rules.  She understood that they were to be followed or their would be consequences. That was it, I refused to repeat myself over and over.  She had to learn that if she couldn’t follow rules or instructions, she was going to have a difficult life. It wasn’t always an easy journey, raising kids is never easy. However, when I told her to step she stepped. She may have stepped with her arms crossed, mouth poked out or rolling her eyes, but she moved and she did what I asked her to do.  I made it clear that she was to follow the same rules with teachers, police, elders and anyone else in an authority position. There was to be no arguing or talking back.  If she felt that she was being mistreated, she was to inform me and I would handle it adult to adult.  

Kids need to understand that the world has rules.  It all starts at home, and if you’re not willing to teach your children that they must obey and that their bad behavior is unacceptable you’re leading them down a path of destruction.  Yes, I said you. As adults if we don’t pay taxes, we’re charged with tax evasion. If we disregard the speed limit we get a ticket. If we don’t pay our bills timely, we get a bad credit rating. Children grow up to be adults and they will take the same excuses for their behavior into adulthood.

Here’s some of the consequences that your child will suffer if excuses for bad behavior are allowed to continue: 

  • Your child will be socially inept. They will be unable to fit into society or they will be uncomfortable in social settings.
  • They will probably end up being violent and aggressive because they don’t know how to deal with their emotions.
  • Their decision make skills will be limited and probably very poor. 
  • They will grow up thinking that the rules don’t apply to them.
  • They will refuse to respect authority figures such as cops, teachers, the principal or their elders.
  • They will lack the ability to complete tasks or hold down a job.
  • They will expect you to continue making excuses and bailing them out of problems.
  • They will cost you thousands of dollars for lawyers, counseling, mental health consultations, living expense etc.  
  • They will be unsuccessful in school and will most likely not graduate from high school let alone college. 

This list is not all inclusive, but it should be an eye opener. You can’t wait until your child reaches their teens and than try to establish rules. It needs to start early, so they will understand appropriate behavior when they reach their teens, before entering society socially, getting a job, or doing volunteer work etc. 

It is imperative that you stop making excuses and start working to change your child’s bad behavior. If you don’t know where to start, contact your church, school or a local counseling office.  It’s never too late to get the help needed so you can change your excuses into effective parenting and your child’s bad behavior in to productive and healthy behavior.

 

Guest Post – Preparing Your Teens For Adulthood

 parenting, teenagers, parenting tips

 

“Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. Trust me, life will still be there when you’re grown.” Wise words from my Grandma Blanche.

Teens know everything, right? So, it only makes sense that they’re ready to tackle the world at the tender age of 16. They think they have all the knowledge and skills necessary not just to survive, but thrive in the big bad world. As parents, we know the truth. Sure, there are some things that your child may have learned in school that weren’t available to us. These days schools are teaching Computer Science, Parenting, and more advanced classes on Government and Politics.

However, there are some key fundamental skills your child should be equipped with before leaving the nest – whether going off to college or moving out on their own.

Let’s discuss a few of these skills:

Grocery shopping When our kids got their driver’s license, one of their new chores was going to the grocery store with cash. This taught them:

  1. Comparison shopping
  2. Budgeting 
  3. Communication skills (you know teens don’t talk! Lol)
  4. Checking account maintenance – The one class I really wish schools would make mandatory are banking basics. When our kids turned 14, we opened a High School Checking Account. With our names on the account, our kids knew not to get crazy with their bank card.

Each month, we reviewed the bank statement together and discussed future payouts that we needed to save for. This was a huge help!

Stay In Learning Mode – This skill is crucial to your child’s growth! With or without a college degree, your child must know that learning is a life-long activity. Once they leave college learning doesn’t stop.

One of the most important parts of learning is knowing who to learn from. Teens learn more from other teens. As adults they need to know what they need to learn, and who would be best to learn from. This quote is so appropriate: “You don’t know what you don’t know, until you need to know it.” – Unknown

The best skill you can teach your teen is discernment. Help them understand how important it is to surround themselves with like-minded people, people who have similar lifestyle goals in mind.

Your teen may not listen to you, but when in the company of other young people who are working toward a similar future they can teach and learn from each other.  “Each one. Teach one.” – an African Proverb.

life coach, business coach   About the author:  Ericka Richardson is a mother of three, and a grandmother. She was raised in New York and moved to the Atlanta, Ga area in 1993 where she raised her children.  Ericka and her husband, Mike, started their business in 2003. Even with the time constraints of starting a business, they made sure their children stayed active, well-grounded, remained humble and grateful.

Ericka is a Certified Life and Business Coach as well as a Business Consultant. Her coaching practice is built around her love for helping others. Ericka preaches and teaches Business Basics with each of her clients.

You can connect with Ericka online at:

www.coachericka.com
www.facebook.com/coachericka
www.facebook.com/groups/bizbasicsbootcamp
www.linkedin.com/in/ericka220
www.twitter.com/bizcoachericka

Teaching Children Responsibility

tips to teach children responsibility

 

Teaching children responsibility starts at an early age and it starts at home.  A child learning to be responsible will will increase their chances of being successful.  Learning responsibility started at an early age in my house.  We had conversations on why it was important and demonstrated negative results when being responsible wasn’t taken seriously.  Here are 5 ways that I used to install responsibility:

Assigning Chores This includes putting toys away, helping with dishes, cleaning their room and eventually getting a job around the age of 16 for the summer.  Yep my daughter had a job. Did she need to work, no.  I could financially support us, but it was a great way for her to learn about what it takes to hold down a job and build confidence. Getting to bed timely, getting up timely and reporting on time is a life long lesson.  Additionally, these skills need to be learned and embraced. Doing chores also included going to school and doing home work. In my home you  either go to school or get a job.

Playing Team Sports/Activities I put my daughter in organized activities at the age of 3. It was a little majorette group with drummers, so cute. At the age of 5, we switched to ballet. Ballet dancing requires discipline, and so does being successful in life. Organized sports or activities can include football, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, volleyball, whatever your child likes.  If your child is not into sports, try a painting or karate class. The important thing is that they learn about discipline and being a team player.

Volunteer Work – Doing volunteer work is a good way to learn about responsibility. Feeding the homeless, working at a food bank, reading to seniors at a nursing home is a good start. If they like farming, horses or gardening, have them volunteer on a farm or equestrian center.

Serving As A Role ModelBeing a role model can be rewarding. Children learn about leadership, and the importance of setting an example so others will want to follow their lead. Being a tutor, mentor, active in the church etc. makes a great community role model.

Having A Role ModelBeing your child’s role model is just as important as teaching them to be a role model. Children look at everything we do. We just think they aren’t listening.  Furthermore, it’s important that your child see you doing the things that you wan them to do.  For example, reading, taking courses on-line or at your local university, cleaning, cooking, handling money wisely, and most importantly spending time with them. It’s important that boys have a positive male as a role model and girls have a positive female as a role model.

Finally, how do you teach your children responsibility?  Do you use the same techniques for your sons and daughters?  We would love to add your tips to our list.  As we know, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other. 

 chore charts for girls football-chore-chart-1 super-heroes-chore-chart-1

Finally, motivate your child with our chore charts.  We have ballerina, football, basketball, a princess, princess castle and superman.  You can download the charts here.  Print them and lets start getting those room cleans, toys put away and everything else on their lists.  Check back, I will be adding other charts.

 

Kim Cattrall’s Parenting Advice

Image-Defining-Motherhood

How do you define motherhood?  I read an article on-line that discussed an interview with Kim Cattrall from Sex and the City week that has me baffled and a little annoyed I may add. I thought I would share this post with you, and maybe you will understand why. For some reason Kim Cattrall believes that she is a parent, but she has no children. How does that work?

In her words, “I am not a biological parent, but I am a parent. I have young actors and actresses that I mentor. I have nieces and nephews that I am very close to.” She goes on to say that there are ways to become a mother and you don’t have to have your name on the birth certificate. She also stated that she didn’t change diapers, but she helped her niece get through medical school and she helped her nephew get through a rough time. She considers those motherly things. Hang tight, I’m picking myself up off the floor. I’m wondering if I got the mothering thing all wrong.

[Read more…]

5 Safety Tips For Latch Key Children

 

 

Did you give birth to a Latch Key Child?  Schools are back in session and some parents will be leaving their children alone for several hours after school for many reasons. Some parents are single mothers who can’t afford the expense of child care, many families have both parents working outside the home, others because their children are old enough to take care of themselves for several hours and than we have those who can’t find after school care.  What ever the reason, there are approximately 15 million Latch Key Children in the U.S. so don’t feel that you’re a bad parent or that you’re alone in your decision.   

My daughter was around 10 when she became a latch key child.  I’ve always hated that term, but it is what it is.  I was a single mother at the time and I was trying to purchase a home. I was saving every penny that I could, so I asked my daughter if she thought she could stay alone for several hours to cut out child care expense and she jumped at the opportunity. The bus stop was 500 yards from my front door and I had neighbors that would step in if there was an emergency. I felt guilty initially, but I realized that I wasn’t the only parent who had a latch key child. I soon released the guilt and became comfortable with my decision.  

Many parents question the appropriate age for leaving children unattended. The ages vary from state to state, so if you’re considering leaving your child alone be sure to check out the legal ramifications. You will also have to assess your child’s maturity level and their ability to follow directions as well as the safety of your neighborhood.  Think about the time frame that your child will be alone.  If it’s more than a few hours, you may want to find another option in my opinion. My daughter was home for 2 hours before I arrived. That was the longest 2 hours of my life.  

We decided to do a trial run and if we were comfortable we would implement the plan.  Here are the safety tips that worked for us:   

1.  Rules Must Be Established – No friends over, do not answer the phone or door unless it’s for people who are checking on them, do not leave the home to play in the neighborhood etc. It’s also important that your child understand that they can’t tell people that they’re home alone and why. It’s imperative that your child understand the rules.    
 
2.  Establish a Routine – You must give your child a routine. In my home it was to come straight home, let me know that she was home and that start on her To Do List. Today there are nanny cams and home monitoring devices that allow you to see what’s happening in the home while you’re at the office. There are also devices that allow you to turn off the alarm system remotely and reset it once your child gets inside the home. Skyping is a great idea too if it’s allowed in your office. 

3.  Create a To Do List –  Keeping your child occupied is important, they won’t have time to think too much about being alone.  I created a list of things for my daughter to do once she arrived. She could get a snack, no cooking allowed, and turn on the television, radio etc.  Yes, sound is nice here. Homework had to be completed and her room orderly before I got home. If homework was completed, she could watch her favorite movies or television show. 

4.  Establish Emergency Procedures – .Make sure your child knows to call 911 if an emergency arrives and has a list of phone numbers for neighbors or relatives who are close by. My neighbor agreed to check on my daughter as well and my daughter knew that she could go next door if needed.  

5.  Give Lots of Hugs and Praise – Let your child know that they’re doing a great job following the rules and how much you appreciate the fact that they’re growing up and helping to contribute to the household by being responsible. Children love praise and they deserve it. 

The experience actually build confidence in my daughter. It also made her understand responsibility and the importance of following directions. Did you raise a latch key child or do you currently have one?  What were some of the rules that you implemented?  They could be of benefit to other parents. 

Potting Training, Weening, and First Awards

How important are memories to you? At certain times I go through pictures and look back over various events or remember things that have either made me laugh or cry. You know like the birth of your children, my divorce (that was a combination of laughter and tears), my grandchildren’s birth and things that your children have said or done. I came across these pictures and thought about my grandson’s special day.  It was so adorable, and remains one of my favorite memories.   

Reminiscing is a good thing don’t you think? I decided to revive one of my post from several years ago, because the memories are so near and dear to my heart. Here’s one of the fondest memories of my grandson: I attended the graduation and preschool ceremony at my grandson’s school last week-end. It was adorable. We decided to put him in nursery school last year, because he’s an only child and sharing was not a part of his repertoire. We thought it would be an excellent way for him to interact with other children and enhance his education. It was money well spent.





Here’s another thing that I will always remember. Have you ever been truly impressed by someone that you met? It doesn’t happen often for me, but Miss Joy the Director shown in the purple dress will always have a place in my heart too.  She became so emotional in her opening speech and she knew each song that the children performed. She truly adores them and it shows. There’s nothing like walking away and knowing that your child will truly be loved. Miss B., one of the teachers is assisting her.  Miss B. has a twin sister who is also a teach at the school, Miss T. 

Decisions can be difficult, but if you do your homework and research things it helps to put things into perspective. When we decided to put Xavier in nursery school, we did a thorough investigation. We read reviews, visited schools and talked to other parents before a decision was made. Maybe I’m strange but it gives me comfort knowing that the money being paid is not just going into someone’s pocket. I want to know that it’s used to enhance the education of the children. This school doesn’t have a problem demonstrating that education is their number 1 priority. Not only did they focus on helping the children with social skills, sharing, potty training, weening them and helping with a schedule nap time, they learned colors, numbers, the alphabet and even had homework assignments. A banquet room overlooking the beach was used for the graduation and ceremony, the Director presented each of the teachers with beautiful gifts, the entertainment from the children was delightful, and refreshments were served to all in attendance. I don’t know how it could ever be topped, I understand why the school has a 5 star rating. 


Think about one of your proudest moments with your child or children and how you felt. That is exactly how I felt watching my Sweetie Pie and all that he had accomplished in the year that he has attended. I was able to see why he had grown so much, the school definitely puts the focus on the children.  

As you can see in the second picture above, my grandson is not shy. He had no problem grabbing the microphone and he knew all the words to the songs. He also won the Potty Training Award. My big boy is wearing big boy pants now. Good by pampers and hello potty! 




He adores his daddy, so daddy was the recipient of his Big Boy Award. The students in the background are graduates from the Kindergarten class. My big boy moves up to the young 3 year old class in the fall. Another aspect of the school that I like is the fact that they have 2, 3, and 4 years; however, each age has two classes. They integrate the children into the young class and gradually prepare them to move with the more mature students within the year. 


If you’re considering nursery or preschool, I would highly recommend it. I believe my little Sweetie Pie has enjoyed the experience as much as we did. He looks forward to going to school each morning to see his friends and teacher. That in itself speaks volumes.

You may also like: 9 Benefits of Preschool