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what to do once they’re safe. The Red Cross has advice for dealing with almost any sort of emergency at Redcross.org/get-help/ how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of- emergencies. Laundry Even if your kid is already doing their own laundry, are they taking the time to sort their clothes, or do they just throw everything in all at once? Teach your kids the simple tricks that really help in the long run. Separating laundry by color and fabric types helps clothes last longer, washing jeans and graphic T-shirts inside-out can keep the colors and prints from fading, and using too much detergent or fabric softener is bad for both clothes and the washing machine. Be sure to add advice on irons, stain removal, and dry-cleaning while you’re at it. Manage a Budget
has the necessary tools in their car at all times, and ensure that they know how to put on the spare. Bonus : Double-check that your kid also knows how to safely jump-start their car. Natural Disaster Safety In an emergency, kids look to their parents for guidance. But does your kid know what to do if they’re on their own during an emergency? Getting caught in a dangerous, unpredictable natural disaster can be terrifying, so make sure your child knows how to keep themselves safe in that situation. Teach them how to create a disaster preparedness kit, where to find information during an emergency, and
step in becoming fully independent. Everyone needs to know how to monitor their accounts, track expenses, control their spending, and save money. You don’t want to get a panicked phone call three months down the road when your kid realizes they’ve accidentally spent their rent money. You can find tips on creating a budget at Nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/ how-to-build-a-budget. Taxes Let’s be honest here: Unless you happen to be an accountant, the best thing any of us can teach our kids about taxes is how to find a good accountant to get them done early.
This is a skill even grown adults have trouble mastering. Managing a budget is a crucial Parents never stop worrying about their kids, and that’s okay. But you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if you never got around to teaching your kid how to change a tire or balance their budget before they left home. Let your kids know that if they need you, you’ll always be there to teach them something new— or at least send them a link to a helpful tutorial on YouTube. Is Your Child Being Bullied? Warning Signs You Can’t Ignore
Confidence Issues Bullying has the potential to drop kids into a volatile cycle of confidence-killing self-talk. Bullying may produce external damage, but what goes on internally can be catastrophic for children. The continually progressing, technology-based environment our children live in nearly outpaces their ability to adjust and cope. Children often internalize their emotions, and when they are being bullied by someone online, their distress can be even harder to detect. The best way to be aware of how your children are feeling is to talk to them openly about their social interactions both online and offline. Summer is the perfect opportunity to discuss these issues with your child because they likely will be relaxed, comfortable, and out of school, where bullying often occurs. Then they can approach the new school year with confidence and self-worth. What parent doesn’t want that?
Somewhere along the line, our society accepted bullying as a social norm for children. “How can kids learn to cope with the real world if they can’t handle a bully?” is a common misguided justification. Kids who don’t meet the standards of what they are socially expected to be aren’t accepted among their peers. Rather, they are treated like emotional punching bags for anyone deemed more culturally acceptable. But the life of a child is truly a special force in this world, and just because someone differs from physical, social, or cultural normativity doesn’t give anyone the right to treat them poorly. Differences should be celebrated, and bullying needs to be eradicated. The best way we can start is by making an effort to notice bullying and put a stop to it. Here are three warning signs. Headaches and Stomach Aches
Change in Friends There are bound to be changes in friend groups throughout your child’s life, but that doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t take notice when this happens. When a child expresses disinterest in spending time with specific people, it could be a sign of bullying. Connecting with other parents who have children in the same circle could be a way to gauge the pulse of your child’s friend group.
Anxiety is an emotional complexity that tends to manifest itself in physical ways. If you notice your child has stress-related symptoms like headaches, ask them about their emotional well-being. An open-ended question like, “I’ve noticed you haven’t been feeling well a lot lately, can you tell me more about that?” will help open lines of communication.
2 • unitedconservatory.org
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