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Showing posts with the label Parenting

Private Tutoring For Your Children?

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Hey teacher, leave those kids alone! So recently, my son started receiving private tutoring. I know what you are thinking; pushy middle-class parent, leave him alone. I don't blame you, I'd think the same. My son is five and doing well at school. The basics are there and we are proud. Our concern was his handwriting. He knows the letters and numbers, but struggles to write them. A common trait in boys (we're told). In fairness, I don't possess great handwriting either. Perhaps it's my fault? Anyway, a local tutoring firm launched recently. We saw the opportunity to support local business, and our son's learning.  Is Private Tutoring Worth It? It is hard to put a value on your child's education. I pay £20.00 for a half-hour session of learning, on Saturday mornings. I thought extra learning would be a hard sell. He does five days of school, then dad springs this tutoring nonsense on him. Surprisingly he adapted well. This is 1-2-1 tuition, with no distraction

Travel: Family Glamping, At Lee Wick Farm

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Daddy, Glampion Of The World. So last weekend, we went glamping. What is glamping? Ah, let me explain. Glamping is the posh version of camping. Basically, camping for tarts. Designed for those who need home comforts. Last weekend we got away. Granted, it wasn't far, or even out of Essex. 'Lee Wick Farm' was the destination, a small farm outside the area of Clacton. Apparently it's one of the UK's top 20 glamp sites. We booked it months ago, and for a while, I doubted it would happen. Then the lockdowns were eased, and Jurassic Park, we were on! Read on, for my glamping experience. What Is Glamping? Glamping means 'glamourous camping'. Unlike a tent, you typically sleep in a cabin (see picture). Facilities vary, but toilets, running water and cooking equipment are common. Glamp David. We had a small microwave, which was useful. Although proudly, I managed to cook dinner on a BBQ. The site provide BBQ starter kits, for around £10.00 ($15.00). The term 'gla

Five Podcasts For Dads & Podfathers

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Are you a Podfather? Make no mistake, podcasts are big business. Everyone is listening to podcasts (it seems), it's a growth area. Big media corporations have spotted the trend. Spotify for example, have spent fortunes buying podcast content. The likes of Joe Rogan, Michelle Obama and Dax Shepard have all joined the stream giant. All tastes are catered for in podcast land. It's niche after niche. We even have podcasts about podcasts.  Today I'll discuss the phenomenon and share my favourite 'Dad' podcasts. Brief History of Podcasts Let me take you on a journey. I've been listening to podcasts since 2004, welcome to the party. In 2004, my favourite podcast was the 'Daily Source Code'. It was presented by former MTV presenter 'Adam Curry'. His podcast was slick and ground-breaking at the time. He revolutionised podcasting, earning the title 'Podfather'. He still podcasts today, on the satirical show ' No Agenda '. Curry is a podcast

Tablet Devices For Kids, Yes or No?

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iDad? Tablets for kids? There's a divisive subject! I wrestled with the dilemma myself. Christmas was nearing, and we suffered a prolonged "sh*t, what can we get him?" moment.  Previously I'd been strict with screen time. Tablets were viewed with cynicism, the lazy approach to parenting. I was not going to be that parent. Along comes Black Friday to tempt me. Before long, there's a Fire tablet in my virtual basket. Hooked like a haddock, on a £50.00 ($65.00) saving. I'm so weak! So how did Amazon break me? Great question, let me mount a defence. Technology Is the Future Most schools use tablets, and even nurseries. Most households have a Fire or iPad device. Friends of your children, will be using them.  Parents (I believe) hold onto a nostalgic belief, that technology is bad. They want their children to enjoy the simpler things, as they once did. I get it, but we have to be real.  Parents hold onto a nostalgic belief, that technology is bad. Nobody wants litt

Vinyl Records: A Hipster Dad's Tale

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Glorious 12" vinyl! Vinyl records continue to surge in popularity; as eager buffoons embrace the musical frisbee, and nostalgic traditions. Sales are up a staggering 30 percent across the UK, to the delight of audiophiles and hipster twats everywhere. Experts predict that vinyl will outsell CDs this year, for the first time since the eighties.  Have we all gone bonkers? Perhaps we should start wearing shell-suits and listening to Phil Collins? What time is the 'A-Team' on? So, what is behind the trend? Well, basically, nostalgic old vinyl lovers like me. But younger people are buying into the trend too, because vinyl is a "new" experience. For the young, it's their chance to own physical music, instead of renting it from streaming services who (allegedly) "rip-off" artists. The appeal stretches beyond the music, because vinyl is collectable too. I own 109 records (according to Discogs ), including rare ones, signed ones, coloured ones and some limit

Mother's Day and Lady Stuff

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Mum's had worse days! Monday was 'International Women's Day' and today is 'Mother's Day' (in the UK). Our moment comes later in the year, with 'Father's Day' and 'International Men's Day' respectively. "Every day is friggin' men's day!"  my wife would say. Mother's Day gets tricky with small kids, as effectively your are stung twice! I can hardly make my 2 and 5 year old, visit the card shop and florist alone. So the burden falls on me, along with gifts for my own mum. They should rename it 'Wife Day' or 'Valentines 2', because if you have small children, that's your reality. This morning we enjoyed a McDonald's takeaway breakfast, something different. It goes against my healthy living, but hey, it's a special day.  Today's gifts include flowers (standard), Charlotte Tilbury make-up (pillow talk?), chocolate truffles (yum) and a small bottle of Sauvignon blanc (pisshead). I'll

Seven Lessons Learned In Lockdown

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At peace with life, and pink! I've done a lot of growing over the past twelve-months, and not just the period where I got fat! ( read here ) By growth, I mean the personal and self-development variety. The kind where you experience epiphanies, clarity and new perspectives on life. So much has happened, yet so much didn't happen!  German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" (or was that Kelly Clarkson?). In short, setbacks help us to grow and improve. Forgive me, I am about to go all Zen. I present to you, my seven lessons learned in lockdown. 1. Avoid The 'Comparison' Trap Social media has revolutionised the way we connect, I love it. The problem is, we often consciously and subconsciously compare ourselves to others. Too easily we become envious when the grass appears greener. Don't get caught in that trap, focus on your own purpose! People rarely have perfect lives, and believe me, many battle their own dem

Being A 'Working From Home' Dad

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Another day, another dollar! I look back with fondness, on my former office life. The office was my solace, the quiet place and the break I needed. Then Coronavirus came along and ruined it for me. Two enjoyable parts of my life were suddenly merged. Now I'm stuck working from home, whilst simultaneously parenting our two boys. What a long and arduous journey it has been. All things considered; I've done well, but bloody hell, it's been tough! In the news recently,  Goldman Sachs boss David Soloman branded working from home as an "aberration".  I think I'm with Dave on this one! Give me a 'kid-free' day in the office any time!  No generation of 'working parents' were ever tested like this. Pat yourselves on the back mums and dads, you've earned the stripes. The 'Working From Home' Myth Right, lets set the record straight! All employees expect a certain degree of productivity, so when you work from home, you don't "get away&

How To Save Money For Your Children

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Show me the money.....Dad! Are you saving money for your children? If not, I would urge every parent to get organised and start building a nest-egg now. If you have started already, great, but read on.  I have saved for my two children since they were born. A modest direct-debit goes out each month. Already I have four-figure sums saved for them. By the time they hit adulthood, I would hope to have grown this more. I am not doing anything ground-breaking.  You would be surprised, how much you can grow money in an eighteen-year period. The power of compounding (more on this later) means you can leverage time, by saving regularly and growing a decent return. In this post, I'll show you my approach and what I believe parents can do to save. I am no financial advisor, just a parent, trying to save for his kids. However, this approach would also work for parents wanting to save for themselves. These tips are aimed mainly at British parents, but some of the principals can be applied univ