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How to Raise a Confident Child

Confidence – that magical trait which all parents want their child to be in possession of. What makes a confident child? Is it nature or nurture? Research suggests it’s some of both – while some children are born socially gifted, others can certainly be trained into the habit of self-belief and self-confidence. So here are some top tips to ensure that you’re well-armed when it comes to helping your child be at their confident best at all times.

It starts early

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You can’t begin too soon. From birth, most children are protected from the harsher realities of the world by loving parents but there’s a fine line between protecting and smothering. As your baby grows into a toddler, it can be difficult to loosen the reins and let them experience a few bumps on the road to growth and learning. But it’s vital that we do loosen the reins. If we protect toddlers from every single knock and bump, they won’t learn how to navigate as quickly or as confidently as they might otherwise do when left to their own discovery.

Provide your toddler with many safe opportunities to explore the world physically and mentally. Take them to parks, gardens, play centres, libraries, museums, and playgroups. Allow them to climb appropriately, to touch and experience different textures and materials. Allow them to get dirty! Talk to them constantly – offer positive reinforcements when they successfully navigate a new environment. Praise them for trying new things and commiserate – but briefly – when they fall.

Small children are like sponges – let them see you in action and at your most confident. You are their best role model and it’s to you they will look when they come to measure their own successes. 

As they grow

Once children reach school age, some experience a period of shyness or difficulty relinquishing their attachment to you as carer. A new environment, exposure to new people and routines can cause all sorts of emotions to rise to the surface. Talk them through these times by naming their emotions. Little children have no experience of emotions in an intellectual way so they can’t always make sense of strong feelings.

If a child has never felt jealousy or insecurity before, then how can they process that emotion without a name for it? Discuss their feelings with them and let them know that they are valid and normal. Give them the tools they need to become the confident, outspoken individuals you know they can be.

Schools can also be supportive when it comes to helping children to feel more confident. This prep school in London offers many strategies to nurture children and to help them grow into confident young adults.

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The Benefits of Journaling for Kids

Journaling for children is growing in popularity and as more parents realise just how powerful this quiet hobby is, sales of journals and associated equipment have really skyrocketed. But the best part of journaling is that in fact, no real spend is needed. Your child doesn’t need fancy paper or pens to begin – they just need paper and something to write with.

Of course, some children might love to have some extra bits and bobs to make their journals more exciting but that’s up to you as a parent. There’s no need to spend a lot. Cheap stickers, pictures cut from old magazines, these are all great additions to a fun journal.

Journaling can also help children with their literacy skills. This independent school in Woking employs many different creative means to assist children in their journey towards fluent reading and writing.

The point of journaling

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Why journal? In short, it’s a wonderful way for children to get their thoughts, frustrations, fears, joy and creativity out and into one place. They’re great to look back on as your child grows too! Parents can see a visual record of their development and how they change as the journals progress.

This is also great for children – offering a way to make sense of events in their lives which at the time might not seem very important but which later, they come to realise were pivotal moments.

Getting creative with journaling

One of the most attractive things about journaling is that there are no rules! Children can choose to fill a page with words only, or with words and images or even just one word if they so choose.

Whatever helps them to express themselves is a positive addition to their journal. Children can feel immense pride and satisfaction through journaling and whether they add to it daily, weekly or less, the great thing is that they can choose – it’s up to them, unlike homework!

Support your child in their journaling by ensuring they’ve always got ample equipment including pens, stamps, stickers, papers and pencils – this helps to inspire them and keep them filling those pages in!

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How Do Chores Support My Child’s Overall Development

Chores are a vital part of any child’s home experience. Why are they so necessary? In short because a child who has no understanding of basic household chores will struggle to manage their own life successfully once they leave home for university.

Children also need to participate in the mundane portions of home life – not just the good bits! That means they have to be shown what needs doing, how and when to do it!

Why chores help children learn faster

The fine and gross motor skills needed to undertake simple tasks such as tidying away toys are vital for smaller children’s learning.

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From a very early age, children can be taught how to tidy away toys and where to put them.

The physical activity and organisational skills which are honed during these simple actions will stand your child in good stead for learning effectively once they begin kindergarten or school.

Children at this pre-school in Lincoln take on small chores daily and this gives them a sense of responsibility. At school, small children are expected to help tidy up and take on small duties – if your child is already practiced in this, then they will feel confident and pleased to be able to help with little intervention.

As your child grows and begins to take on more responsibility at home, the same rule applies. They know they’re trusted and capable at home so they feel that they are also these things at school.

Older children and chores

As children approach adolescence they are sometimes a little less willing to help at home. It’s important that you ensure your child understands that these things are non-negotiable. There’s no ‘doing it later’ and no swapping jobs with siblings – their jobs are their jobs and that’s that!

This will ensure that as they grow, they will continue these responsible practices and carry them into other areas of their life including revision, part-time employment and hobbies. Make sure your children get the best start in life by giving them their own chores from an early age.

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The Tech You Need When Starting A Home Business

Thinking of starting your own home business? In order to keep your business organized and productive, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve invested in all the right tech. Below is a brief guide to all the essentials you need when running a business from home.

The right devices

First, you need to consider which devices you need. No matter what type of business you’re setting up, certain devices will be necessary for communicating and carrying out general admin. But which devices do you need?

  • Desktop?: Desktops are stationary computers that allow you to keep your work in one place. A powerful desktop computer is typically a lot cheaper to buy than a laptop of the same power. That said, you’ll need to buy a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse. And more importantly you will need to make sure you have a comfortable desk and chair to house it all.

    Pic Credit: Soges

  • Laptop?: If you want to be able to work from different locations, a laptop could be a better option than a desktop. Just bear in mind that if you need a very powerful laptop, it is likely to be a lot more expensive to buy than a desktop computer of the same power. Some business owners own a desktop and a laptop. 
  • Tablet?: Tablets provide added on-the-go use – you can use them sitting down or standing up. They’re generally not as powerful as laptops and you may not want to use them for tasks like writing (unless you’ve got a wireless keyboard).  
  • Smartphone?: Most of us already own a smartphone. Such a phone will allow you to take calls and answer emails on the go. It could be worth buying yourself a separate work phone to help separate your business and personal life. 

On top of these basic devices, there could be other gadgets worth considering. A few gadgets to consider include:

  • A desktop camera: Plan to conduct video calls? A desktop camera could give you better video quality. You can even consider doing some vlogging on it for your business.
  • A microphone: Having a microphone could allow you to take hands-free calls at your desk. This could be a desktop microphone or a headset microphone. 
  • A wireless keyboard: Wireless keyboards can be linked up to a range of devices including your tablet – which could be useful for any writing tasks.
  • A wireless printer: A lot of modern businesses are now going paperless, but a printer is still handy to have for those times when suppliers or clients want a physical copy of a document.
  • A portable charger: When it comes to working on the go, a portable charger will help to keep your devices powered up.

The right software

Once you’ve invested in the right devices, you should consider the types of software you’ll need.  A few aspects of you business that you may want to download software for includ

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e:

  • Accounting: Accounting software could be necessary for recording and calculating your taxes.
  • Employees: There could be various types of software worth considering if you plan to hire employees such as mentoring software and payroll software. 
  • Marketing: Marketing software could allow you to manage your website, social media and emails all from one place. 
  • Security: Strong cybersecurity software is a must for protecting your business from viruses, network attacks and ransomware. 

A lot of modern software is cloud-based, allowing the same data to be accessed from multiple devices. It’s worth looking into scalable software that can grow with your business – a lot of free software generally isn’t scalable, which could mean having to go through the hassle of migrating to new software at a later stage.

There will likely be software you need that is specific to your industry. This could include graphic design software if you’re planning to start your own graphic design company or ecommerce software if you’re going to be running an online store. 

A strong internet connection

A lot of your work is likely to be done online. So that your work runs smoothly, it’s worth investing in a strong home internet connection. Ethernet cables and wi-fi boosters could be other options if your current wi-fi is a little shaky but you don’t want to upgrade it.

It could be worth also investing in a portable internet connection if you want to be able to work on the go. This could include a portable router that plugs into your devices or upgraded data plan for your smartphone. 

Consider using a VPN to keep your connection secure – especially when working from somewhere remote. If you’re using public wi-fi, this will prevent hackers gaining access to your data. 

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Features

6 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Equipment for Your New Business

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Investing in new equipment for your news business is one of the best moves you can make to enhance growth and improve efficiency. Additionally, new business equipment can boost success, though it does not come easily.

 

Whether it is purchasing new equipment, vehicles, or any other asset, your business needs a source of funding to get hold of these kinds of stuff. This makes it necessary to look for options, such as asset loans, to get started. Many new businesses should prioritize investing in new equipment or updating the existing ones for many reasons. 

So, why should you invest in equipment for your new business? Here are six reasons that will make such an investment worthwhile. 

Equipment increases efficiency and productivity

IT equipment, such as software and CRM, is essential for any new business. These kinds of equipment are necessary for improved efficiency by eliminating repetition in mundane tasks. For instance, social media management software helps your business improve online engagement without requiring employees to monitor any system. This allows employees to focus on other core business areas for improved productivity and efficiency. 

Improves the quality of your work environment

New furniture and desks make your office and work environment look organized and tidy. Additionally, other assets, such as queue barriers, make it easier for customers to line for services in an orderly manner. This aspect makes your business look professional and organized, making work more manageable. 

Improves security 

Technology equipment can be used to enhance the security around your place of work. For instance, updating your cloud-based software is a vital step to reduce cybercrimes and improve the security of your business data. Additionally, some equipment improves the physical security of your employees and customers. Consider investing in safe assets such as fire extinguishers to make your workplace a secure place to work. 

Enhances expansion

Many people start businesses with the view of future expansion. If this is your goal, you should invest in assets that allow you to grow and expand. For instance, investing in multipurpose assets is an excellent strategy to venture into other markets, improving sales. Buying equipment for your new business is a sure-fire way to grow in the future.

Gives a competitive edge

The business environment is becoming more saturated and competitive like never before. Therefore, you should ensure you stay up to date with equipment that helps you gain a competitive edge. For instance, investing in machinery and automated tools makes work easier by simplifying repetitive tasks. Additionally, it improves the volume of production, allowing your business to meet the market demand. 

Improves the quality of goods and services

One of the advantages of automation is that it improves product quality. For instance, chatbots improve customer services by handling concerns and offering tailored and timely solutions when customer care agents are not in the office. Unless you want your employees to work 24/7, you should consider investing in equipment that keeps work flowing even when you are not in the office. 

Conclusion

Investing in equipment for your new business comes with many advantages that you should never overlook. The bottom line is that equipment helps you expand your business in more than one way. 

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Features

Signs Its Time for a Career Change

If you are feeling unhappy in your current job, it may be time to consider a change. There are many reasons why people feel bored or dissatisfied with their current position. The following list includes some of the most common signs that it’s time for a career change.

Lack of Growth

If you find that your company is not interested in helping you grow, it may be time to look for a new job. It’s important to have an organization where there are opportunities for growth and promotion. 

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This is especially true if you are looking for a new position within the same industry because you have upgraded your qualifications. There are opportunities for training in most industries so whether you have done advanced customer service training, yellow card training, or even advanced your research skills you need to use your newfound qualifications.

If you have enhanced your skills and there is no room for promotion it’s time to start hunting around for other opportunities with companies that can help you meet your career goals.

You Don’t Feel Challenged

If you are not being challenged in your job, and feel as though you are wasting time every day. You may find yourself suffering from constant boredom. If this sounds like something that is happening to you, it could be a sign that it’s time for a career change.

It is not good for your mental health to be in a situation where you feel drained and bored every day. If you are not careful your lethargy and dissatisfaction can spill over into other areas of your life. You may find that your friendships and even your family life begin to suffer because you are miserable.

Your Boss Is Incompetent or Tyrannical

Your boss may be incompetent and this can make the work environment intolerable. Spending your day having to follow senseless orders that are not going to make the company progress can be depressing, to say the least.

If your boss is tyrannical and you find yourself constantly living in fear you may want to consider a change. This type of environment is likely to make it difficult for motivation, commitment, and loyalty with your company.

There Is No Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is extremely important for your mental health and if you find yourself having very little because of your current working conditions then it is time to make a change.

Striking a balance can make a lot of difference in your overall satisfaction with your life, so consider making a change.

Make a Change

Now you know the signs that it’s time for you to switch your career. Making the change can be very scary at first. However, it is also scary when you are in a situation where you are constantly feeling as if you are being drained of your energy and you are no longer motivated.

 Start looking around for another job or get additional training so that you can get a promotion for a job somewhere else.

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Features

6 Tips To Enhance Employee Engagement in the Remote Work Era

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Almost 40% of employees in the UK worked from home during 2020, and over a quarter of UK businesses reported embracing remote and home working. After all, for a portion of employees, these arrangements are much more beneficial and convenient than coming into the office every day. Whether you have decided to entirely switch to remote working or embrace a hybrid model of work, it is essential to understand how to engage with your employees. Here are some tips to help you get started. 

Use Technology and Social Media

Using technology and social media in the right way can help you build engagement with your remote team. Thanks to these channels, you can encourage education and training, but you can also launch fun initiatives such as contests and competitions. These can be tailored to your business or industry and can involve rewards for the employees that take part in them. 

Ask for Feedback

Gaining feedback and continuing to innovate is essential to growing your business. If this is your goal and you wish to keep your company up to date and competitive, you will need to analyse current trends and your employees’ needs and wants. For this, the best way to get started is to ask directly for your employees’ opinions. Listen to them and collect pieces of inspiration through surveys and reviews. 

Let Them Know What’s Happening

Statistics have shown that, for 70% of executives, employee engagement is important for the company’s success, and an engaged workforce can reduce absenteeism, productivity, and income. At the same time, over 85% of employees don’t feel engaged in the workplace – and this percentage is bound to continue rising when your talents work from home! 

To prevent them from feeling detached and isolated, make sure you keep all channels of communication open. Let them know what is happening inside the company at all times!

Provide Training

Providing training is crucial to increase engagement. In fact, training can be a strong motivator, especially if it involves training the employee on nationally appreciated industry standards. This knowledge can help them feel like they are developing their skills and knowledge and they are up to date with the latest developments. Make sure you schedule regular training sessions.

Ensure They Have the Right Tools for Productivity

While some of your employees might have adapted to working from home in no time, for others it is all more complicated. Make sure all of your employees have the right tools to give their best even when working from home. These tools include must-haves such as needed devices, collaboration software, and essential systems. However, you should also consider providing subscriptions to sports, meditation, and productivity apps that can help them achieve a new work-life balance. 

Organise Events

Events, whether these are online or in-person, can bring together all remote employees, giving them the chance to learn something new together, share ideas, and catch up. Of course, virtual hangouts are important but inviting experienced corporate event speakers, organising activities, and providing them with a safe space to interact is essential for team building. 

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Features

How to Find Blog Content Ideas

Blogging is one of the most powerful tactics to share ideas with an engaged audience. It can help you establish your expertise in a specific field or niche, generate new sources for content and build relationships. So, to make this happen, it is important to develop a blogging strategy that will keep you on track and generate the results you’re looking for.

One way of doing this is by finding and developing ideas for your blog. Depending on your audience and the topic of your blog, you can become more creative in developing these ideas into posts that are more engaging for your readers. This will also help to develop a habit of blogging regularly to have material to share when people come looking for new posts. If you’re struggling to find topics, here are some ways to find blog content ideas: 

Developing Content Ideas For Your Blog 

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The most important thing to keep in mind when developing content ideas for your blog is that the idea should solve your audience’s problem. A good way to find out what problems your audience has is by reading their comments. Another way is by looking at the posts on topics similar to yours and seeing what questions people are asking.

Do not be afraid to experiment. Creativity is very important in this field. Try new things, and don’t just stick with the same old formats. You might also want to look at other blogs for inspiration, but make sure you give credit appropriately.

Plan Blog Content to Fit Your Content Calendar

Planning content can help with developing ideas for your blog. By planning and thinking about what you want to write about, you’ll be able to think of more things worth writing about. This is a great way to develop your blog thoughtfully. Planning is one of the most important aspects of blogging. Sure, it might take a little more time at first, but it will result in higher quality posts and greater success with reaching your goals.

Use Blog Title Generators to Help with Ideas 

Creating blog content is hard. However, if you use a blog title generator, it becomes much easier. This tool will give you an idea of what your blog should be about and help you to brainstorm about the title and content. The best thing is that these tools are available in most online software – WordPress, Google, etc. So, if you are unsure where to start with your ideas for articles or blog posts, then a title generator can provide the inspiration you need. There are many different types of generators that will give you titles for things like opinion pieces or listicles, depending on the type of popular content in your industry.

Check Alternative Options for Content Ideas 

You can use the Google search engine to find a list of blogs relevant to the topic you want to write about. Another way is to read some of your favorite blogs and see what they’re writing about. You’ll get a sense of what interests them and will likely be interested in, too. One other place you could go is social media like Twitter or Facebook, which often cover news stories that will serve as blog post ideas for your site. In some cases, you can use a market research sampling agency to provide products that would make great content. You can even check out Twitter and Facebook Groups that offer products that can also be great for your blog. 

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Features

The importance of the right internal controls

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People often think that internal controls are only for large multi national or multi million corporations….that is really not the case. Arguably the complexity will increase the bigger your organisation but it is never too small an entity to have in place adequate controls.  But what is mean by  Internal controls, taking the definition as set out in Investopedia it states that Internal Controls are  “are the mechanisms, rules, and procedures implemented by a company to ensure the integrity of financial and accounting information, promote accountability, and prevent fraud. Besides complying with laws and regulations and preventing employees from stealing assets or committing fraud, internal controls can help improve operational efficiency by improving the accuracy and timeliness of financial reporting“.

So whose responsibility is it to ensure the internal controls are working and in place, quite simply its managements responsibility.  Taking it one step further it is important to be cognisant of the fact that internal controls are inextricably linked with financial reporting and if you are a US business and fall into the category where the 2002 Sarbanes Oxley Act applies to you, it is impetrative you understand how the provisions relate to your internal control environment. If you are unsure this great guide will prove invaluable assistance.

Internal controls are usually classified into three main categories:

  • Preventative – meaning those which aim to prevent the loss of companies assets, be it monetary or otherwise. They are often perceived to be the most cost effective to implement. In its simplest form an example of a preventative control is a password on a employees computer or cctv camera in a warehouse.
  • Detective – those time of controls seek out he breach, so detecting when a control breach has occurred. They can be very useful to show where a preventative control has broken day and may need to be tightened of done away with altogether. Some practical examples of detective controls would be for example week bank reconciliation or a weekly warehouse stock count.
  • Corrective – this is the next logical step. When a detective control picks up a breach, the corrective control decides what happens next, ie how do we fix this going forward to prevent it happening again.  An example of a corrective control would be a variance report or even simpler having adequate insurance in place in the event that stock did go missing from a warehouse.

It is of paramount importance not just to have the controls in place but to track and monitor them regularly and take corrective action as necessary. It can be a very daunting prospect but there are a huge volume of resources and organisations operating in this space who you could call on for assistance. As expensive as it might be it is still likely to less costly that a significant control breach occurring in your organisation.  Many larger entities would have a full time staff member dedicated to this area conducting regular internal control audits. It is certainly something to keep in your mind.

 

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Features

5 Side Hustles for Busy Parents

Times have been tough, and many of us have found ourselves in need of a little extra income to make ends meet lately. 

Of course, parenting is a full-time job in its own right, but unfortunately, it doesn’t pay all that well! 

Make use of your free time – if you’re lucky enough to have it – and try your hand at these five side hustles to boost your income.

  • Blogging

Blogging is a great way to share your passions with the world.

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Perhaps you already have a blog, but just treat it as a casual hobby. If you dedicate a bit more energy to it, and team up with an excellent agency such as Maratopia Digital Marketing to make sure it looks top notch, you’ll be able to turn it into a lucrative career!

Successful blogging is a competitive business, so to gain that much needed edge your site will really need to sparkle.

  • Child Care

What’s a few more kids to look after, right? And you get to send these ones home at the end of the day – we won’t tell anyone if you want to accidentally-on-purpose send your own little ones packing too!

If you can handle having a couple of extra little terrors tearing around then try your hand at child minding. 

  • Selling Crafts

If you’re a nifty knitter or a passionate painter, you can sell your creations on sites such as Etsy

Be sure not to under-price yourself – many make the mistake of just coving the cost of supplies. This is fine for a hobby, but it won’t be worth your while in the long term. 

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Don’t forget to factor in all the effort you put into an item – your time is money after all! 

  • Proofreader 

If you have a keen eye for detail, you might be cut out for proofreading.

You’ll have an excellent opportunity to read over everything from documents, to books, to websites, on the hunt for any errors. 

Working as a freelancer gives you far more flexibility, so as long as you meet your deadlines, you can work whenever best suits your lifestyle and family commitments. 

  • Uber Driver

This is another great one for setting your own schedule.

Choose your own hours and work as an Uber driver. Of course, there are times of the day that are more lucrative than others, and if you go for these then you’ll probably have to deal with more than anyone’s fair share of drunk university students, especially during Fresher’s week!

But driving jobs are fantastic if you love to be behind the wheel, plus you’ll be able to get away from the kids for a few hours. Though is there really that much of a difference between hyper toddlers and drunk students? 

Have you taken up a side hustle to bring in a little extra? Tell us all about it in the comments below! 

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