The new Bird’s Eye advert makes me so mad!

How can this be communication?

I go to the cinema a lot and as such I get to watch the adverts again and again. There is one advert that makes me want to shout at the screen and I have now noticed it making its way to my TV screen as well. To me, this advert is all that I hate about modern day parenting and people! When I watch it I always turn to my daughter and say, “If I ever speak to you like that you can kill me!”

On the surface this advert looks pretty normal and is promoting family eating and communication, which of course I approve of.

Watch it for yourself and see if you can find any problems…

 

You might have watched it and wondered what is wrong with it. Why has it got Sarah so mad?

[Read more...]

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How to Prepare Your Future Teen Driver

Teens and Driving

teens and driving Getting your driver’s license is a rite of passage. For parents, it can be both a blessing and a curse. Parents look forward to having another driver in the house since it means less “taxi” time for them and more independence for their child. However, it also means additional anxiety and stress on the checkbook.

Below are a few ideas to consider to not only prepare your teen for driving, but also to help ease your nerves:

Set the Example

Most teens are talking about driving long before they even obtain their permits. This is when you should plant the seeds of safety into their brains. Your kids are observing your driving habits long before they are preparing for the permit test. Your politeness to other drivers, your attitude, your speed, and your cell phone use are all setting examples.

Expenses Education

Discuss with your teen the expense of owning and operating a vehicle. Explain what he or she should consider when shopping for a vehicle. Discuss miles per gallon, maintenance costs, and resale value. Average gas, insurance and maintenance costs for a mid-sized sedan are $9,129 per year, according to the American Automobile Association. At minimum wage that could be upwards of 23 hours of work per week.

If you are considering purchasing a car for your teen driver, shop for a car together. To look for quality used cars in your area use a website such as Drivetime.com for local used car inventories. Achieving a GPA of 3.0 or above typically qualifies a teen for lower insurance rates. Discuss with your teen the importance, as well as the savings, of being a good student.

Set Ground Rules

Now is the time to establish the expectations of the responsibility of driving. Before your child is on the road, discuss what behaviors you expect. The American Automobile Association recommends a parent/teen driving contract. The contract lists the responsibilities of the teen driver along with the consequences that will arise from the failure to follow the contract.

Permitted to Drive

Once your teen has obtained a driver’s permit he or she can drive with a licensed driver in the vehicle in most states. Check with your state department of motor vehicles as the laws can vary from state to state. Georgia’s TADRA (Teen and Adult Driver Responsibility Act) requires drivers ages 15-18 to go through an intense three-step process before obtaining a license. This process requires young drivers to complete a driving education course and have 40 hours of driving experience – six of which must be at night. The following six months after obtaining a permit, they cannot drive with anyone in the car that is not a family member. Six months after that, passengers are allowed, but all must be 21 years of age.

Eliminate Distractions

According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while driving leads to six times more auto accidents than driving while intoxicated. There are devices in the market that will prevent your teen from texting while driving. Aegis Mobility has developed a device that will not allow texting once the device is moving faster than 10 mph. TeenSafer also records driving events so you can see how well your teen is following the rules of the road.

 

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3 Things to Do if Your Teen Wants to Join the Military

Military badgesWith the U.S. military promising “top-notch training and career opportunities” as just the tip of the benefits iceberg that comes with military service, it’s easy to see how joining the armed forces can be alluring, especially to a teen who may think he has no other prospects. Some parents may feel pride when their teen announces that he or she wants to join the military, while others might have an immediate, negative reaction. Personal feelings aside, however, the dangerous circumstances military forces have to face causes anxiety for any parent.

When your teen announces their plans to join the military, the best thing you can do is become supportive. If your teen is 17 or older, they are old enough to enlist in any branch: Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. At that age, your child will soon become an adult who can legally make his or her own decisions without your permission. Keep the communication lines open so that any advice you do offer will be accepted and hopefully considered, instead of being rejected offhand simply because you’re the parent.

Find the Facts

According to the U.S. Military website, many of the top reasons teens give for joining are exaggerated. They’ve heard about the G.I. Bill and think that all educational costs of college will be covered. Some think it’s easier to enlist than to look for and land a job. Others are under the impression that they’ll get to travel the world on Uncle Sam’s dime. As with most misconceptions, there is a grain of truth somewhere in there, but your teen should know the actual facts before they sign up. Ask them what their reasons are for enlisting, and then go with them to the local recruiter’s office to find out how close their perceptions are to the truth. It will be easier to be supportive if you know that your teen is fairly realistic in his or her expectations.

Discuss Alternatives

Whether or not your teen is accurate in his or her reasoning for joining the military, you can still offer alternatives. It’s not unreasonable to ask that they at least consider other options, especially if your teen is one whose never been quite sure what they want out of life. Advise them to take an aptitude test. The results may surprise you both, and they can provide a starting point for an alternative plan. For example, if it turns out your teen has a flair for numbers and finance or an entrepreneurial inclination, you could suggest that your teen look into an associate’s degree in business management. Even if they can’t stand the idea of a college campus, there are programs, such as those offered by Penn Foster, that your teen can take online to earn a degree in a relatively short period of time.

Be There

Part of being supportive is being there for your teen no matter what the outcome of their military aspirations. You may have to check your emotions and personal opinions at the door, and give them as happy a send off as possible when they go away to boot camp. You’ll still have to keep your opinions to yourself if the military rejects your teen. Military.com reports that most American teens don’t qualify to join their ranks. Contrary to what many people think, the military won’t take everyone who wants to enlist. They do have fitness, health and educational standards that all recruits must meet. Body art like tattoos can even be a reason the military might not accept a kid’s enlistment application if they are on his neck, conflict with military standards, are offensive, or refer to gang membership. Whatever the results, whatever the reasons, let your teen know you’ll always love them and be there for them.

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