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Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is Everything

As our hockey season comes to an end, we’ll have more time on our hands. Keeping the boys entertained over March Break was a bit of a challenge, although they managed to stay active playing basketball at our local community centre, and getting together with friends.

We had an opportunity to try out the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 during the latter part of March Break. To say the boys were excited to get their hands on this powerful device is an understatement.

Keyboard or Tablet

The first thing the boys wanted to do with the Surface Pro 4 was watch their favourite YouTubers for new videos. We detached the keyboard so that they could place it on their laps as a tablet – love the versatility!

When it was my turn to use it for replying to emails, and logging into social media, I attached the keyboard. The soft-to-the-touch keyboard clicks easily and firmly into place, transforming the Surface Pro 4 tablet into a laptop in an instant.

The kickstand adjusts to any angle for a comfortable viewing experience in tablet mode or as a laptop, folding neatly out of the way when not needed.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Keyboard or Tablet

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Keyboard or Tablet

Camera and Video

The clear 12.3” PixelSense screen displays crisp text and colourful and razor-sharp images. The high contrast and low glare ensure a stunningly true-to-life viewing experience.

Stereo Dolby® audio speakers provide a premium soundtrack for when I want to listen to music.

I love that I can use the Surface Pro 4 for taking photos and video. The kickstand is like a built-in tripod! As a blogger, I absolutely love that I can use the front and back camera feature. I can use the full HD video with the 5MP front-facing camera, while the 8MP autofocus rear-facing camera takes crystal clear photos and 1080p video.

We tried out the rear-facing camera and the boys had this message:

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Camera and Video

Apps

Not sure where to find everything on the Surface Pro 4? Just ask Cortana! Cortana is your virtual assistant, helping you stay productive and organized throughout the day simply by typing a question or saying “Hey Cortana!”

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Cortana and Apps

Sketchpad and Notes

We also had a fun time drawing on the Sketchpad using the Surface Pen which attaches to the Surface Pro 4 like magnet. We had a blast drawing with the Surface Pen has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and an eraser on the other end, so we could colour as lightly or boldly as we wanted with the same effects as pencils, coloured pencils or markers on actual paper.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Sketch Pad

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Sketch Pad

Powerful but Light

The Surface Pro 4 comes with 6th generation Intel processors; choose from the affordable Core m3 model which is for basic use, Core i5 option for gaming and photo editing to the mix, or the super powerful Core i7 CPU with up to 16GB of RAM. The battery delivers up to nine hours of video playback!

Made of magnesium alloy, the Surface Pro 4 is strong but lightweight. Its innovative design has the power of a laptop with the compact size and light weight of a tablet.

 

SAVE!

Now until March 31, save up to $200 on select Surface devices at microsoftstore.ca! Here are some of the current specials:

  • Save $200 on select Surface devices
  • Save up to $500 on select PCs
  • Save $50 on select Xbox One S consoles, plus get a free game
  • Save 50% on select Fitbit accessories

 

Shop online at microsoftstore.ca you will receive free 24/7 customer support, including online text chat, free standard shipping and free returns on every item, every day.

The Microsoft Store which features an assortment of best-in-class products, including Windows PCs, Surface devices, Xbox One consoles and games, phones and more. The Windows Apps store, within microsoftstore.ca, gives you access to thousands of apps to keep you productive, entertained, or informed.

Check out all of the March Break Deals on microsoftstore.ca!

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 | amotherworld | www.amotherworld.com

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Microsoft Canada and have received compensation for my participation. As always, the opinions expressed here are my own.

 

 

 

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Sauce and Cilantro Coleslaw

What do you get when you take a taco and fill it with delicious fish? A fish taco!

Now while tacos have been part of Mexico’s culinary history for many years, fish tacos were born in the last few decades. Fish Tacos are said to come from Baja California, Mexico’s northernmost state.

This delicious fish taco consists of a lightly battered mild white fish that is deep-fried, then served in a corn tortilla topped with a crunchy cabbage slaw and sauce.

There are many variations of Baja style tacos you can make, and a variety of white fish to choose from.  Choose a fish like mahi mahi, grouper, flounder, halibut or cod for the tastiest Baja-style tacos.

Fish tacos are fairly easy to prepare – if you have all the ingredients on hand – but they’re also festive and fun for guests. You can prepare much of the ingredients ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until time to chow down.

Cilantro Coleslaw

3 cups shredded red cabbage (thinner is better)

1 small red onion, sliced

1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt to taste

Chipotle-Lime Sauce

1-2 chipotle peppers or more depending on level of spice, plus sauce (you can find chipotle peppers in adobo in the grocery aisle)

1 lime, juiced

1 large garlic clove, shredded

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 sour cream

1/4 yogurt

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Sauce and Cilantro Coleslaw

Battered Fish

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup beer, like Corona

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Juice from 1/2 lime

1 1/2 pounds your choice of skinless boneless white fish (I used wild fresh cod)

Chipotle Sauce and Cilantro Coleslaw | amotherworld | www.amotherworld.com

Chipotle Sauce and Cilantro Coleslaw

Method

Toss the cabbage, red onion, cilantro, vinegar, oil and salt together in a bowl. Place in refrigerator.

In a small bowl, stir together mayo, yogurt with lime juice and garlic. Add 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; use more peppers for a spicy sauce. Use a hand blender to chop peppers until sauce is smooth. Cover bowl and refrigerate.

When you’re ready to eat, prepare the beer batter by whisking together the flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour in the beer and stir. Cut the fish into strips, about one inch wide and three inches long. Dip the fish into the beer batter, mixing with fingers to coat.

In a cast-iron skillet, add about 1/2 inch of cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, add the battered fish and fry about 2-3 minutes a side. When the fish is golden brown, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Allow guests to assemble their own tacos. For mess-free hands, use Old El Paso Tortilla Bowls. Add fish, and top with a heap of coleslaw and chipotle sauce. Serve with lime wedges, and cilantro.

Note: To substitute for gluten free, set aside a few strips of fish, and dip into gluten-free bread crumbs. Fry in a separate pan. Serve with corn flour tortillas, or Old El Paso Hard Taco Shells.

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Sauce and Cilantro Coleslaw

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Old El Paso and as such receive perks and compensation for my participation. As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

Mom Admits She Wished She Never Breastfed Her Baby

Australian reality television personality Maddi Wright  shared a very bold statement: she wishes she hadn’t nursed her baby.

Maddi writes on Instagram:

I wish I never breastfed my baby. A strong statement and many would disagree but here’s why… 3 weeks post stopping breastfeeding with my 4 month old I am a completely different person. I’m a better mum and better wife. I have more energy. I actually have gaps where bub is NOT on my body so I get to miss him a little. I have more time for my other son. I am more affectionate towards my husband. I don’t dread going out in public. I enjoy my clothes again as I’m not leaking everywhere or having to wear uncomfortable maternity bras. I’m able to leave the house by myself without getting anxiety. I’m able to go to the gym again. I know I will cop alot of negative comments about this post but I think its important for mums to know that they have choices. There are so many different ways to be a mum. But what many mums forget is that MUM HAS TO BE HAPPY TOO. #breastfeeding #bottlefed #mum #baby

Mom Admits She Wished She Never Breastfed Her Baby
Credit: Instagram/ @maddi_and_lloyd

What do you think? I feel as though yes, every woman should choose for herself if she wants to nurse or bottle feed.

Obviously this woman was quite miserable about the idea of breastfeeding. But it’s not often that you hear a mom admit it!

Now I’m an advocate for breastfeeding. Breast milk is best for baby, and contains all the vitamins and nutrients baby needs in the first six months of life. Breast milk contains antibodies that help baby fight off viruses and bacteria. It also lowers  baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies, and breastfed babies have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea. It’s usually more easily digested than formula. So breastfed babies are often less constipated and gassy.

Breastfeeding is also good for mama as it burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster. It releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth. Breastfeeding also lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

The benefits are evident. So I often wonder for those new moms who try nursing, but give up early, have they given breastfeeding a real shot?

Breastfeeding does not come naturally; it takes time, and practice, and often the help and expertise of a lactation consultant.

But not every woman can nurse, and not every woman will want to. Those who choose not to shouldn’t be made to feel bad for their decision, however.

So Maddi’s post caused quite a stir! A few commented, praising her for sharing her view:

“Very brave. I have seen so many frustrated mums and yet they never admit it is because of breastfeeding! Good for you, it doesn’t make you less of a good mother because you did this! Everyone should choose what makes them happy!”

“I wish you were able to enjoy breastfeeding, but if you are not and you are in pain, I think you made the correct call. I respect you for speaking up and put a voice to a lot of mums in your position. I wish people would be more empathetic.”

“Of course you are going to defend formula. You don’t want to admit to yourself breast is best, when it is a known fact. But with that, it is hard and its not for everybody. I wish more people would realize the amazing benefits and bond it creates.”

“I say each to their own but she is making it sounds way worse than it really is. The first two months are more demanding but it just gets easier and easier!!!”

But others weren’t so supportive.

“It’s really not surprising a girl from some reality TV show who now pimps out photos of herself and kids on Instagram for more fame would lack the education and intelligence to continue breastfeeding. Some people really should not have had kids…. Parenting takes sacrifice. It’s not all easy and yes breastfeeding takes sacrifice. Some moms like this girl are clearly not ready to be the best mothers.”

“To breastfeed is a personal decision, but in my opinion a baby is more important than leaking, using maternity bras, going to the gym, being a good wife??? OMG! Is only one year of your life… you have the rest of it to be “normal” again. Anybody can do whatever they want but it is a fact that human milk is the best option for a baby and that the other “things” are less important…”

“Breast feeding is natural. Your fatigue and anxiety may be reasons to stop breast feeding early but certainly are not good reasons to encourage other women to go down your path. I support you in your choice to stop breast feeding. Four months is awesome. You did great. You are probably a wonderful parent. Your post is however irresponsible.”

What do you think?

 

Delicious Chocolate Snacking with barkTHINS

I enjoy cooking, and because I work from home, I’m able to make semi-elaborate dinners on weeknights. But we’re also a family on-the-go thanks to having two children in competitive hockey, so I make sure to have a good supply of snacks on hand.

Our go-to snacks are fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, and cheese and crackers. But we also love having a little something to satisfy our sweet tooth… like chocolate!

There are many benefits to eating dark chocolate, a super food that contains several important nutrients. Made from the cocoa tree seed, dark chocolate has antioxidants that helps lower blood pressure and fight disease. Bonus!

Have you ever paired chocolate with wine? After a long work-week, I enjoy unwinding in front of the TV with a glass of wine and some chocolate. Who am I kidding?! I also enjoy an afternoon pick-me-up to keep me going the remainder of the afternoon!

The only trouble is, there aren’t many good options for a delicious gluten-free, non-GMO and Fair Trade chocolate snack…. until I tried barkTHINS®.

barkTHINS® are thin pieces of Fair Trade dark chocolate combined with delicious and simple non-GMO ingredients. They contain no artificial colors or flavours – why? Because barkTHINS are made with delicious natural ingredients… we’re talking almonds, pretzels, toasted coconut and pumpkins seeds.

For the first time, Canadians are able to get their hands on all four barkTHINS® flavours:

Delicious Chocolate Snacking with barkTHINS

Often I find dark chocolate to be quite bitter, but barkTHINS have a smooth taste without the bitter finish. barkTHINS have quickly became a favorite treat in our house. The only challenge is trying NOT to eat the entire bag!

My son claimed the Dark Chocolate Pretzel with Sea Salt, which was fine because I can’t have gluten/wheat. He loves the crunchiness of the pretzels combined with the deep chocolate flavour.

The toasted coconut is dangerously addicting! There is something about the combination of the chocolate with the nuttiness of the toasted coconut that makes it impossible to stop at just one or two pieces.

The dark chocolate combined with the crispy almond or pumpkin seed with sea salt has just the right amount of sweet and salty goodness. Inspired by the Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt flavour, I decided to make a batch of gluten-free pumpkin cookies and added barkTHINS for an extra burst of deliciousness!

Gluten-free soft pumpkin cookies with barkTHINS

I also love getting behind a company that is Fair Trade Certified™ and use non-GMO ingredients. Fair Trade certification ensures that farmers receive a fair price, allows farmers to invest in techniques that bring out the flavours of the region, and strictly prohibits slave and child labour.

 

Where can you buy barkTHINS?

  • Costco
  • Walmart
  • Sobeys
  • Loblaws
  • Metro (in ON and QC)
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Overwaitea
  • Federated Coop
  • London Drugs
  • Jean Coutu
  • Rexall

barkTHINS offer a delicious twist on chocolate – they call it SNACKING ELEVATED and I would have to agree!

Which flavour of barkTHINS would you like to try first?

Delicious Chocolate Snacking with barkTHINS

Disclosure: I received product from barkTHINS and wanted to share it with you. This post is sponsored by barkTHINS, however, all opinions are completely my own and are based on my experience.

 

 

Disney’s Moana Now Available to Watch at Home! (Giveaway)

Disney’s Moana is now available to watch at home on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, On-Demand and Digital HD/3D!

My family and I watched the new Disney film Moana and we loved it! My kids are HUGE fans of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson… and frankly, so am I! We enjoyed the stunning animation and the beautiful music.

Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows exactly why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho) meets the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.

Moana is directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), and features music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i.

I appreciated that the film focused on a strong, independent female character who was on a mission to follow her dreams, and discover her own identity. Moana is a lovely film that inspires young girls to follow their dreams and embrace their inner strength.

The Moana Blu-Ray-DVD is now out and it includes bonus features, including a Maui mini-movie, Making the Music of Moana, and deleted scenes which are always fun to watch.

Excited to watch Moana? You can now get your copy of Disney’s Moana anywhere DVDs are sold, on demand, and for rent!

Disney's Moana now available to watch at home

ENTER TO WIN

One lucky amotherworld reader will win a copy! Fill out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. Open to Canada only. Good luck!
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disney's moana now available to watch at home

Skiing for the First Time with the Family at Hockley

I was recently faced with my fear of heights when I tried my hand at ziplining in Mont Tremblant. No, I didn’t bother to try a small zipline tour first, no! I dove right in to one of the highest and scariest courses.

Now living in Canada, we suffer through months of cold and snow. Although it’s tempting to want to hibernate for the entire duration of winter, it isn’t ideal with two children who are active and love the snow. We’ve learned we need to embrace the reality of our long winters. The boys (10 and 12) both play competitive hockey, so our evenings and weekends are already booked.

But on off days, why not pick up skiing – an activity that we could all do as a family? So, off we went to ski at Hockley Valley Resort in Orangeville, about 45 minutes from where we live and over and hour from Toronto.

Learning to ski at the youthful age of 40-something raised a few flags: I’m not a fan of the cold, and I have never downhill skied. I didn’t think I’d be the most promising candidate for midlife ski lessons; my balance isn’t the greatest, I already have muscle pains, and I’m not coordinated.

Like riding a bicycle or skating, if you don’t learn to ski in your youth, it is challenging when you’re an adult. Plus there is the added worry about breaking a hip or spraining a knee.

I tried cross-country skiing when I was in middle school. I still have fond memories of the school three-night trip we took to Camp Kearney just north of Huntsville, where students learned how to snowshoe and cross country ski.

But it’s cross country skiing = it’s easier. Cross-country skis are narrower and lighter than downhill skiis, and only the toe of your boot is attached to the ski, which is more comfortable than having the entire boot strapped to it.

Skiing for the First Time with the Family at Hockley

Skiing for the First Time with the Family at Hockley

First time skiing with the family

First time skiing with the family at Hockley Valley

To prepare for our first time skiing, we took semi-private lessons at Hockley; the boys went with one instructor, and my husband and I went with another… us old folks would need a little more specific guidance I assumed?!

The boys learned so quickly. I’m assuming their skating skills helped because they knew how to edge and stop. My husband also picked it up fast too; in no time, he was skiing down the Teddy Bear hills!

I on the other hand did not! My balance isn’t the greatest and my fear of speed also caused me to wipe out every time I attempted to go down the hill. It was quite the gong show for me as the magic carpet ride lady made sure to thank me for the amusing entertainment I provided!

I kept trying to remember the ski instructors tips to position your skis so they are facing across the slope of the hill, not down it. Also, I needed to remember to edge my skis inward as I’d make turns, and also to stop!

Learning to Ski as a Family at Hockley Valley Resort

First time skiing at Hockley Valley

Learning to Ski at Hockley Valley

First time skiing with the family at Hockley Valley

Learning to Ski in your 40s

After about two hours, my legs and butt were hurting and my knee was throbbing. When I took another wipeout going down the hill, I twisted my knee. Let’s just say my body was quite sore the next two days!

Will I try skiing again? The boys definitely want to go again… I would like to try again but need to get over the fear and focus on the proper techniques so I don’t break any bones!

Thank you to Hockley Valley Resort for hosting us!

Learning to Ski with the family at Hockley Valley Resort | amotherworld | www.amotherworld.com

It’s Pi Day! Pi Day Activities

March 14 is Pi Day – a day to celebrate the mathematical constant pi (π). The digits in the date, March 14 or 3/14, are the first three digits of π (3.14), Pi Day was founded by Physicist Larry Shaw in 1988.

Pi Day is a great excuse to engage children in fun math challenges meant to enrich and deepen their understanding of the concept of Pi. Activities might include investigations of the value of Pi, special Pi projects and parties with pizza or other kinds of “Pi.”

Kumon Math and Reading Centre Instructors have compiled some fun activities to help families celebrate Pi, while incorporating the self-learning method that Kumon follows. Here are a few fun ways to celebrate Pi Day and have your kids problem-solve and learn on their own at the same time!

Make a Pi Bracelet or Necklace

To celebrate Pi Day this year, break out the craft kit and make yourself a fun fashion accessory!

Supplies:

  • Different colours of beads
  • Pipe cleaners, thread or string
  • A pen and a pad of paper

Steps:

  1. Write out as many Pi digits as you can and and colour code each number.
  2. Grab different colours of beads and begin to string them onto the thread or a pipe cleaner you select to make your bracelet.
  3. Start to place the beads onto the thread in order of Pi’s number sequence and the colours you’ve selected for each digit.
  4. Tie up the thread and wear your new accessory – use it to memorize the digits of Pi!

It's Pi Day! pi day activities

Pi Day Activities | amotherworld

Host a Pi Word Challenge

Word challenges are always a hit with children. Here’s a fun way to enhance and test children’s vocabulary and help them learn new words as well!

Supplies:

  • Pencil and pen for each participant OR
  • Scrabble board game letters

Steps:

  1. Challenge children to write down as many words they can think of that include the word “pi” (pizza, pineapple, picture, pie, etc.). a. For younger players, help them out by talking and spelling things through and using images for aded support
  2. Determine which child has the most number of words written down and offer them a prize!

It's Pi Day! pi day activities

Throw a ​Pi Day Scavenger Hunt

Conduct a Pi Day scavenger hunt by hiding Pi-themed objects around the house. The objects can also represent the numbers of Pi.

Supplies:

  • Assorted circular objects (fruit, cups, wheels, balls, etc.)
  • Assorted number cards that represent the numbers in Pi
  • A pencil and a pad of paper

Steps:

  1. Hide a number of circular objects or numbers around your home.
  2. Come up with a list of the objects kids need to find (provide a few hints just in case!). Here is an example list to get you started: a. Three objects that have circular cross sections: cylinder, cone and sphere b. The first five digits of Pi c. Three items with the word ‘Pi’ in it
  3. Ask children to hunt for the objects.
  4. For older children, challenge them to measure the circumference and diameter of circular objects and then divide the circumference by the diameter, to find Pi. After the hunt, reward all participants with a delicious prize, like pizza or pie!

It's Pi Day! pi day activities

Happy Pi Day!

It's Pi Day! Pi Day Activities for Kids | amotherworld

Trying to Conceive? Knowing When You Ovulate

Are you trying to conceive? It helps knowing when you ovulate so that your chances of getting pregnant are increased.

Your body usually releases one egg each month in a process called ovulation, and needs to be fertilized soon after. To boost your chances, it helps to know your body and when you’re ovulating. Then you’ll know when you and your partner should be having all the sex!

Here are some ways of knowing when you ovulate.

Know your cycle

Keep a menstrual calendar for a few months so you can get an idea of what’s normal for you. Find a ovulation calendar tool online to help. If your menstrual cycle lasts 28 days and your period arrives like clockwork, it’s likely that you’ll ovulate on day 14.

Check your calendar

Now that you know when you will likely ovulate, you can plan when to have sex. Your fertile window begins on day 10, so plan to have sex between days 10 and 14 of a 28-day cycle. Sperm can survive for a few days inside your body, so it’s ideal to have them already there waiting for your egg.

Trying to Conceive? Knowing When You Ovulate

Chart your temperature

As your hormone levels change throughout your menstrual cycle, watch for signs of body changes. During the first half of your cycle, your ovaries give off the hormone estrogen and when your estrogen levels are high, your ovary releases an egg. After the release of the egg, your body starts to produce the hormone progesterone which causes body temperature to rise slightly.

If you track your temperature every day before you get out of bed, your basal body temperature, you may notice a pattern that shows when you ovulate. Taken with a special thermometer, your BBT is the baseline reading you get first thing in the morning

Track your fluids

Your hormones also change the texture of your cervical mucus, the sticky fluid that comes from your cervix. As your body gets ready to ovulate, you will notice more of this stretchy and slippery fluid. When your mucus feels like this, you are within your fertile window.

Ovulation predictor kits

Ovulation predictor kits like the First Response® Digital Ovulation Test are able to pinpoint your date of ovulation in advance by looking at levels of luteinizing hormone, or LH, which is the last of the hormones to hit its peak before ovulation actually occurs. The kits,  which checks your urine, have enough test strips to let you check your LH levels several times during your menstrual cycle. Start testing a few days before you think you might ovulate, then repeat a few times over the next few days to pinpoint the exact day. When your LH levels are highest, you’re in the fertile window. Your two most fertile days begin with the LH surge and you are most likely to get pregnant if you have intercourse within 24-36 hours after you detect your personal LH surge.

Twinges of pain

It’s possible to feel yourself ovulate – in fact 20 percent of women do! Your body will send you a memo when it’s ovulating in the form of a twinge of pain or a series of cramps in your lower abdominal area, usually on one side.

Ask your doctor

Some women don’t ovulate on a set schedule, so if you’re having trouble realizing when you ovulate, ask your doctor for help.

 

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When Should I Get a Phone for My Child?

 

Cell phones are a great way to stay in touch anytime, anywhere. Kids are getting cell phones much younger these days, and parents are left to wonder: when should I get a phone for my child?

But at what age should your child get a cell phone? Is your child old enough to have a cell phone?

Most teens – 85% of those aged 14 to 17 – have cell phones. So do 69% of 11-14 year olds, and 31% of kids aged 8-10, according to a 2010 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

My 12-year-old had been asking for a cell phone since he was 11. Many of his classmates in Grade 6 last year had one, but I thought he was still too young to have one.

My son then asked for a phone for his 12th birthday… I still wasn’t sure if the time was right. I thought we would wait until he was closer to 13 to get one.

The convenience of your tween or teen having a cell phone is pretty obvious. You can call or text your kid to find out where he is and what he’s doing and inform him of your own plans. It can make you feel safer just knowing where your kids are. And in an emergency, a cell phone can be crucial if your child needs to reach you – or vice versa.

For your child, it’s also convenient for them to be able to reach you anytime. If your child is involved in sports, and you’re dropping him off at practices, or if your child is meeting with friends for group projects, a cell phone can be a convenient way to stay in touch.

When do you know if your child is ready?

I don’t think there is a specific age that a child is ready to have a cell phone, but more about the child’s maturity and responsibility. Is child is showing signs of being responsible and independent?

With my own tween, I looked for the developmental signs that he was ready.

I noticed that he takes care of his belongings, and is neat and organized. He puts his backpack and lunch bag where they’re supposed to go, and packs his own lunch. He doesn’t need reminding to shower, brush his teeth and wash his face. He’ll take care of his hockey equipment on his own.

He keeps his school work organized, and does his homework without me having to remind him. If I ask him to call me when he gets to his friend’s house, he will remember and call me. When he goes outside to hang out with his friends, he’ll come back inside when he’s supposed to.

In general, I felt like he was responsible enough to get a phone at 12 and a half. So he received one for Christmas, thanks to Rogers‘ great promotion – a Samsung Galaxy S7. We have a Share Everything Plan so that my husband and I and now my son, share data under the same plan. But in order to make sure my son doesn’t go over his usage, I’m able to manage his account through the MyRogers app. This gives me an added layer of comfort.

Just look at his face when we received it, and then we went to Rogers to activate it. This snap is of him choosing his own phone number.

when should my child get a phone

When Should I Get a Phone for My Child

When did you or when will you get a cell phone for your child?

 

When Should I Get a Phone for My Child?

Is Your Teen Sad? Music They Listen To May Send Wrong Message

by Tracy Smith

We all know the teen years can be tough – so many emotions, hormones and pressures swirling around while we try to figure out our direction in the world.  Who wouldn’t get overwhelmed and feel down at times?

I just hope that if my kids are feeling upset and isolated that:

  • I am tuned in enough to pick up on it so I can help,
  • they are surrounded by good friends that are positive influences, and
  • they are confident enough to ask for help from the right people if they need it.

Too much to ask?  The teen years have not hit my household yet, but when I listen to the radio and hear some of the lyrics that get broadcast out to millions of teenagers across the globe every day, I am shocked by some of the advice and messages that are being downloaded and shared by the millions.

Is your teen sad? The music they listen to may send the wrong message.

On the depressed and feeling low theme… a new song titled ‘Cold Water’ featuring Justin Bieber opens with the lyrics:

“Everybody gets high sometimes, you know.”

Eeek! No, actually they don’t. In fact, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime found that only 16.8% of Canadians (ages 15-64) smoked marijuana … that leaves 84%!! of Canadians who don’t. The way musical artists rant out their lyrics, they would have us believe the majority of people are smoking pot or popping some sort of pill every weekend.

The song goes on to say:

“What else can we do when we’re feeling low?”

Actually, I can think of a lot of better things to do than “getting high” when you’re feeling down. How do musicians sleep at night knowing the influence and platform they have and the horrible advice and information they peddle.

Is Your Teen Sad? Things they can do when they’re feeling low

The website kidshealth.org recommends some of the following tips for teens that are feeling depressed or in a bad mood:

  • Exercise for 15-30 minutes with an elevated heart rate
  • Eat healthy – stay away from the junk food
  • Get enough sleep
  • Limit your screen time and spend face-to-face time with people or pets
  • Be creative – draw, create, write, dance, doodle
  • Cry – it’s okay and sometimes it makes you feel a lot better
  • Talk and spend time with a friend
  • If the sad and depressed feelings persist, talk to someone you trust – a parent, guidance teacher, close relative, coach – about getting some additional help from a counsellor.

I know as parents, we can’t control everything our kids are exposed to or ensure that they are always happy and thriving, but stay engaged, keep the lines of communication open and don’t forget to show them you love them – even when they are sad and pushing you away.

CMHA STATS: http://www.cmha.ca/media/fast-facts-about-mental-illness/#.V-q1FGVln-Y

 

Ever since receiving her red plastic writing folder in Mrs. Heaton’s grade three class, Tracy Smith has loved writing and telling stories. As a professional writer and communications strategist with more than 50 published articles under her belt, Tracy’s work has appeared in national and local publications, newspapers and magazines … and now proudly on amotherworld. To learn more visit bytracysmith.com

 

 

Is Your Teen Sad? Music They Listen To May Send Wrong Message