Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. There is no escaping that we have a generation of children that are being taught coding and have YouTube tutorials for just about everything. If you’ve kept up with the YouTube news and updates lately, you may have heard of the launch of YouTube Kids, a customized platform that is fully controlled by parental options. YouTube has been quite open about the options available to parents and children within this new platform which aids in understanding the uses much more. However, even with YouTube’s information the questions still remain: what can actually be controlled with YouTube Kids, and is it really safe for kids of all ages? 

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    You can't have escaped the media coverage of the Momo challenge recently but after a series of warnings about the game spread across UK social media fact-checkers and charities declared Momo a hoax. So is YouTube kids any different or safer than other platforms?

    What is YouTube Kids like? 

    Parental controls are plenty here. You can select age range from 8 and lower or 12 and older, hand pick channels and videos, channel blocking, search toggling, and ability to monitor watch history. The app is meant to allow kids to have access to interactive or fun videos that are kid based but avoid the interactions with negative videos or channels that can occur in a non-controlled environment like YouTube.

    What can you do about bad content?

    This is a major concern to do with the YouTube Kids app. The app still has advertisements, and sensitive content that was missed in screening can only be flagged for review by YouTube. This means your child could still have a chance of being introduced to sensitive or unwanted content through advertisements or a video or channel that has yet to be removed from the kids' channel.

    Are parental controls secure?

    The parental control part of the YouTube Kids app doesn’t require a Google account. It does have a custom set passcode for access, meaning your children cannot change the parental controls without the code. There are also very many options for parental controls which makes the experience able to be more secure. You can access the controls from an icon within the app and insert your PIN to change settings anytime.

    What ages are the app for?

    YouTube says that there are options for 8 and lower as well as 12 and up for the kids' app. Generally, YouTube Kids seems to be advertised as best for ages 3-8 years of age. However many review sites that break this down recommend the platform for at least ages 7 or 8. This is because of the risk of sensitive content that hasn’t yet been caught by YouTube. 

    Are there better options out there?

    Another important factor in how good this app is for kids of any age, are the other options available for younger kids of similar platforms and uses. There are many other options hosted by kids shows and also by other hosts. These are also free in many cases, so if YouTube Kids isn’t best for your younger child maybe another option would be better than it.

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    Overall, YouTube Kids could be useful for your child and your needs for videos of different kinds that can be fun and educational. However, there are still many risks to this option for younger ages that you may want to experiment with before trying it with your child. If you’re looking for an option for children ages 7 or 8 and up, this may be a great option to use as it has many benefits and uses. Either way, the decision is fully up to you and your needs as well as your personal opinions on the information I have given you today. Best of luck!

     

     

     

  2. There is a lot of support and even documentation out there for mothers. Fathers, on the other hand, have less. This is likely due to the shifting relationships at home. In the past, fathers were socially expected to work and make money while the mothers would stay home and raise the children. Now both parents will often have careers, and parenting is a job you must share and be in together.

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    This share of responsibilities is key to a healthy home, but for those dads out there who have felt they have begun to lose themselves or are doing this all on their own, here are a few suggestions on how to turn your life around:

    Lifestyle Changes to Make for Yourself

    Some lifestyle changes you need to make for yourself to stay healthy and happy include:

    Make Time for Yourself

    Being a parent is all consuming, but if you don’t put effort into maintaining who you were beforehand and the relationships you cared about, you risk not knowing who you are once your children grow up and move out. That is why you need to take time for the things you care about. Don’t let your sense of style slip; instead, try to buy better quality clothes that will help you look great and put together no matter how little time you had in the morning. Invest in the right mens glasses that suit your face shape from Mister Spex. Treat yourself to a nice briefcase to take to work. Encourage your partner to do the same.


    This also applies to the hobbies you have and seeing your friends. Try to make time for them. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, losing those friendships or forgetting those passions will make you regret things later in life. Your children need space to grow up, and if you can show them how you can juggle it all, they will grow up to be well-rounded individuals.

    Commit to Date Night

    Just as you need to make time for yourself, you also need to make time for your partner. Make date night a weekly event. The routine will work with your children (especially if you hire the same babysitter), and you and your spouse can get some quality alone time. You don’t even need to do anything particularly fancy. If it is warm, you can just go and sit on a park bench. So long as you are spending quality time together, it doesn’t matter what you do.

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    Lifestyle Changes to Make for Your Kids

    Some lifestyle changes to make for your kids include:

    Be Consistent in Your Schedule

    Get back from work at the same time every day. Do homework with them every day after dinner. Make routines so that your kids can thrive, bond with you, and know when to expect you day after day.

    Find an Activity to Do with Your Kids on a Regular Basis

    Some great activities include: 

    • Teaching Them How to Cook
    • Going on Bike Rides Every Saturday
    • Playing Tennis

    Don’t Make Mum Play the Bad Guy

    Work together as parents. Don’t make your partner the bad guy who always has to say no to fun ideas like ice-cream for dinner. Work out rules you want to enforce together and equally lay down the law. This way you can share the responsibility, and no one becomes the “fun parent” while the other takes the brunt.

     

  3. For all the parents out there, there’s plenty of financial support to help you give you and your children a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle.

    Child Tax Credits are a benefit that is awarded to families raising children age 16 and under. It was designed to help support young families and provide help with modern family life. It’s been designed to help with the costs of raising children. It gives parents the opportunity to be able to afford school uniforms, clothes and nutritious foods to name but a few.

    Dependent on your household income, you will receive a fixed amount. It also depends on the number of children you have and their date of births. You can visit the Government website to find out more about your eligibility and your claim.

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    Who can actually claim?

    Any parent can make a claim, but the amount you receive is dependent on a number of different factors. If you have a child under the age of 16 then you may well be eligible to make your claim! You are also eligible to claim for a child or children under the age of 20 who are in approved education, or a training/registered with a careers service. If you are struggling to understand any of this, you can get in touch with the Child Tax Credits customer service team, and they will happily help you.

    How can they help you and your family?

    Having a family doesn’t come cheap, and we all know how important it is to ensure our kids live their best lives. Applying for Child Tax Credits just gives you that little bit of extra security if you are in a position where you think you might struggle. You can put it towards the food shop, or use it to buy your kids new clothes for the summer and winter.

    Ultimately, it’s been introduced to help you. There’s no shame in applying for it, every parent does. If it helps you get by, and stops you struggling, there’s no reason to not at least apply!

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    So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with them now and see how they can help you and your family remove one of the biggest stresses in life. It might only be a small amount, but when you are raising your kids every little helps!

     

  4. Creating space in your bedroom

    It is no secret that I love sleep and love my bed but not every bedroom is as big as we would like, so it’s important that you maximise every square inch that you have available. There are a number of ways you can make the most of the space in your bedroom, in this blog we are going to give you some of our top tips.

    The Storage Bed

    Despite what Marie Kondo saya, storage boxes aren’t always aesthetically pleasing, they can look cluttered and are sometimes the issue that stops you from achieving that flawless finish. So what options are there out there that will allow you to achieve a stunning look in your room, but yet keep your things stored? A storage bed may well be the answer you are looking for.

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    There’s a huge number of options for you on the market, in a variety of styles that will fit any interior design specification. A Divan Frame will be ideal if you have a narrow bedroom, as they are side opening so don’t need any extra room for you to access your stored items. It won’t compromise any of your space. You can have one side of your bed against the wall, and simply lift the other side up to access the storage area.  

    Do you really need a double bed?

    Often people get double beds for the sake of it. Simply because they are bigger, and we all like that extra space to stretch out into on a night. However, are they really a necessity? They can compromise the sometimes-limited space you have available, and there are other options available that won’t take up anywhere near as much space.

    Providing you get the right smaller sized bed; your night time comfort will not be affected. There are small double beds and wide single beds available, and they could be what you are looking for. They are compact and don’t take up as much space as a double bed, but they do give you more room to breathe than a single bed.

    Providing you get the right smaller sized bed then you can have an equally as comfortable night’s sleep. There’s a great selection of styles available, with chic and classic looks very popular, alongside modern and contemporary styles, suiting all bedroom characteristics.

    Don’t forget your guests

    Pretty much everyone has guests staying over at some point, so obviously it’s key that you cater for their needs without using up too much space. The guest rooms are often the smallest in the house, so we would recommend you take a look at pullout beds. They make the most of the space, but also allow you to have more than one guest staying over at a time.

    If you ensure your bed is kept right up against the wall, then there will still be plenty of space for your guests to move around. It’s a far more convenient option than having a space hugging double bed in the room on a permanent basis.

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    These are just some of the tricks that you can apply in your home to maximise the space in your bedroom. With these solutions, you could allow your space to flourish, and it can be used in a far wiser fashion.