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Children and pets

Wed, 1 June 2016

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Studies show that pets can be valuable in the life of a developing child. Children with pets tend to be more compassionate, self-confident and responsible, and are greater achievers. Before deciding on a pet, you need to weigh the practical pros and cons of keeping a pet. It is a huge responsibility and depending on the age of your child, you may have to assume most of that responsibility.

Once you’ve made the decision to keep a pet, you need to decide what type of pet to keep. Some pets take up more time than others and some will be more appropriate for your child’s age group than others. Also do some research on how much time and care different animals require. With all this information at hand, you will be able to make an informed decision about what type of pet to get. Of course, your child may have a specific animal in mind already. But if his choice will not be suitable for you, then you need to be truthful with him and explain this to him and perhaps offer an alternative.

Birds and fish are ideal for little children. Because they are always moving, they help children to develop visual skills. From the age of four, children can be taught how to handle a pet under adult supervision. Guinea pigs are great for pre-schoolers. They like to be held, seldom bite and whistle when excited or happy. Like guinea pigs, kittens also bond strongly with children. From the age of six, your child should be strong enough to control an energetic puppy. Rabbits are more suitable for older children as females can be aggressive. Preferably get a male rabbit and have him sterilised. Alternative pets such as lizards, frogs and snakes are becoming more popular. Ensure you have taken safety considerations into account.

Some safety considerations
• Ensure that you have the time, space and energy to look after a pet.
• Babies are not able to interact meaningfully with pets. Toddlers may pull tails, eat pet food or put their hands in fish tanks and cages. Supervise pets and children closely, especially when they interact with each other.
• Keep pet food and litter out of your child’s reach.
• Ensure that children wash their hands after animal interactions and before they eat.
• Be aware of allergies. Many children are allergic to cats.
• Small children often drown in fishponds. Install wire mesh over your fishpond.
• If you already have a pet, a new baby can be a threat to it. Get your pet accustomed to the new baby gradually.
• Most children who sustain dog bites are bitten by their own dog or another familiar dog. Animal behaviour is unpredictable. Always supervise children near dogs and other animals.

Specially written for by Sara Essop

Homeschooling Pros and Cons

Tue, 5 January 2016

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According to Wikipaedia, homeschooling (also called home education or home learning) is the education of children at home, typically by parents but sometimes by tutors, rather than in the formal settings of public or private school.

More and more parents around the world are choosing to home school their children for a variety of reasons. Here are some of them.

  • School classes are too large.
  • Study material is offensive due to religious, cultural or other differences.
  • Drugs, gangsterism, bullying, and sexual promiscuity is rife in schools.
  • Learning difficulties or special needs are not always catered for in school.
  • Homeschooled kids can dress, act and think the way they want, without worrying about being ridiculed or needing to "fit in."

In South Africa, public confidence in the education system is rapidly deteriorating, therefore more and more parents are choosing to homeschool. Homeschooling in South Africa is estimated to be growing at a rate of 20% per year.

There are some positive reasons to consider homeschooling too, such as

  • You may want to discipline and train your children yourself according to your faith and/or instil your own values into them.
  • You may want your children to travel with you if you have a job that requires being transferred for long periods of time to other countries.
  • Homeschooled kids have a reputation for being self-directed learners and reliable employees when they grow up.

On the downside, discipline may become an issue as your kids look at you as the parent and not the teacher. The lack of social interaction may cause kids to become shy when around others and the laid-back environment at home may make it difficult for kids to adjust to school hours. Kids usually also lose out on team sports. In some cases, one parent may have to give up work when choosing to homeschool.

One should bear in mind that there are many methods of homeschooling and different curriculums available and one need to find those that fit in with one’s family. There are also support groups that offer encouragement and help along the way. They can help with choosing a curriculum, record keeping, meeting applicable laws, and providing opportunities and activities for one’s children.

Home schooling gives children the opportunity to learn about the world from their homes. It also gives parents the chance to develop special bonds with their kids. However, it is not for everyone. It can take up a lot of the parent’s time and if you don't enjoy being with your kids all the time, then homeschooling is not for you.

Specially written for by Sara Essop

Lunchbox Ideas

Fri, 23 January 2015

Moms all over the country are wondering what to pack in those lunchboxes! Herewith a few simple ideas:

Medium pita bread with mince, tomato, lettuce and cottage cheese
Banana Muffin
Chocolate flavored milk

Whole-wheat roll with sliced beef, cucumber & lettuce
Fruit yoghurt
Flavored water

Honey & Mustard Chicken with couscous and mushrooms, peppers & onion
Digestive / ...

Jesus is still the reason for the season

Mon, 14 December 2015

This is an old comparison but every December we look at it and just have to share it with our visitors. What do you think? Please leave a comment at the end of the story.

Santa lives at the North Pole
Jesus is everywhere

Santa rides in a sleigh
Jesus rides on the wind ...

Protect your child from predators

Fri, 27 November 2015

According to figures released by the South African Police Service Missing Persons Bureau, a child goes missing every six hours in South Africa. This adds up to 1460 children per year. They are kidnapped for various reasons including sexual assault, organ donation, muti, slavery and ransom. We need to implement ...

How to child-proof your house

Wed, 4 November 2015

More and more freak accidents are taking place in South Africa all the time. The tragic part is that most could have been easily prevented. It is essential to child-proof your house once you have children. There are professional services available in South Africa that come to your house, scan ...

What to do if your child is being bullied?

Thu, 15 October 2015

Bullying in South Africa is a serious problem in schools. There have been several recent cases of children committing suicide after being victimised by fellow students. Bullying can be defined as the intentional, conscious desire to hurt, threaten or frighten another individual. It can take the form of physical abuse ...

Getting Pregnant

Wed, 5 August 2015

Pregnancy occurs as the result of the female gamete or oocyte (egg) being penetrated by the male gamete spermatozoon in a process referred to as fertilization, or more commonly known as conception. The fusion of male and female gametes usually occurs through the act of sexual intercourse. However, the advent ...

10 Signs That You Might Be Pregnant

Fri, 12 June 2015

1. A missed period
Consider trying a pregnancy test if your usually regular period is late. This is the surest sign of pregnancy in a woman of childbearing age who usually has regular periods

2. Morning sickness
As early as a couple of days after conception you may begin feeling queasy. However, ...


Tue, 7 April 2015

Adoption is the legal process of adding a person to an existing family. Adoption, unlike foster care, is meant to be permanent. The goal of adoption is to provide lifelong security to the child and the adoptive family.

Children who are orphaned are obvious candidates for adoption. Children can be adopted ...

A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy and Caring Children

Thu, 5 March 2015

A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy and Caring Children

Despite what researchers used to believe, studies are now finding that children can show signs of empathy and concern from a very early age. As moms, many of us are well aware of this fact, particularly when we see our babies act ...

Children and technology

Mon, 9 February 2015

When it comes to children, if used correctly, technology can be a huge asset. If not, it can be a huge problem. However, there is no way that one can avoid it. Our world is changing constantly. The primary toys of today’s children are computers, iPods, tablets and mobile phones ...

Mom2B Pregnancy Shakes

Tue, 24 February 2015

Mom2B Pregnancy Shakes now come in delicious chocolate delight flavor and assist in the provision of nutritional, vitamin and mineral requirements of moms and their babies before and during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Click here to enter our competition and stand a chance to win a hamper

The shakes provide an affordable ...

Umbilical Cord

Sat, 29 November 2014

The umbilical cord (also called the birth cord or funiculus umbilicalis) is the connecting cord between the developing embryo or fetus to the placenta. Developed from the same zygote as the fetus, the umbilical cord normally contains two arteries (the umbilical arteries) and one vein (the umbilical vein), buried within ...

Itchy and pregnant? It could be serious

Mon, 4 November 2013

It is normal to itch during pregnancy due to changes in hormones and skin stretching. However, in a few cases this itching could be the main symptom of a high-risk pregnancy condition called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP).

What is intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP)?

Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is the ...

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