6 Things You Can Do to Prevent Animal Cruelty

This is a guest post by Jeffrey Scott Franklin, owner and Operator of Cobra Canine.

6 Things You Can Do to Prevent Animal Cruelty

  1. Don’t get a pet as a toy or an impulse decision. The people who aren’t up for the 8 to 15-year commitment of responsibility (financially, physically and emotionally) are often times the ones who end up sending their pet to a shelter or simply not caring for the pet as is required. Pets need food, shelter, regular baths and nail clippings, vet checks, vaccines and in their lifetimes some sort of vet care or geriatric care may become necessary. Be prepared for these and this will make sure animals aren’t neglected.
  2. If you don’t know much about dogs (or any specific animal in question), don’t breed them.  Let experts do the breeding work. Enjoy your pet to his or her fullest- without adding more animals that may or may not end up in great homes. While we aren’t advocates of spaying or neutering until at least two years of age, we do believe in being responsible if your pet is around other animals.
  3. Volunteer at an animal shelter. If you feel the need to have a fuzzy pet friend, but not a lot of time- donate your time and energy to a local shelter. Go walk a few dogs and pet some animals that need some love and attention. There are never enough volunteers at these places.
  4. Keep them warm and cozy. Donate extra blankets and care items you may already have in your home to local shelters.
  5. Report suspicious activity. If you see animals that are maltreated, mistreated or neglected- report it.  You won’t get backlash for this from the authorities- but you very well may save an animal’s life in the process.  If we keep our eyes and ears open, animals have a much better chance at having a good life or potentially, a great life and a second chance.
  6. Adopt or donate money to shelters. We have found many strays over the years, and helped them medically, given them training, and found them loving homes.  If you see an animal that needs some TLC, or a home- help as you are able.

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Jeffrey Scott Franklin is owner and operator of Cobra Canine. He has dedicated the last 25 years developing the finest quality canines for military, police, detection, drug, tracking, personal protection, and pet dog obedience and has worked with over 10,000 pet dogs and families. Directly responsible for serving the needs of several large programs including DOS, Pentagon, U.S. Customs, U.S. Military, Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Paraguay, Algeria, and numerous police departments, Franklin’s life is a constant adventure. And he’s telling his story.

The new book, Franklin: The Man Behind the United States Commando Dogs by Matthew Duffy offers an exhilarating look into the fascinating story of the pioneer behind Elite Working dogs trained for the United States Military. Readers will go along on secret operative missions with the world’s foremost K9-Combat teams, witness the enduring bond between men and dogs, and learn how Franklin is making a difference in the lives of people and dogs across the world.

Guest Post: Gift Baskets for Pet Lovers

Gift Baskets For Pet Lovers

Whether you are shopping for a pet owner or professional, you can never go wrong with a pet gift basket. The gift baskets allow you to show your recipient how much you care about them or appreciate their hard work. If you are shopping for pet gift baskets, here are several ideas that fit any occasion.

Pet Lover Care Package

The Pet Lover Care Package is a great idea for every pet owner and their beloved pet. It comes with a pack of chocolate chip cookies for your recipient. The gift also includes two gourmet biscuits for their dog, and their cat is sure to enjoy a fun mouse toy. Everything comes arranged inside an adorable pet themed box.

Great Pawsome Friends Gift

The Great Pawsome Friends Gift comes in three sizes to ensure it is big enough for everyone on the veterinarian, pet shelter or pet rescue staff. It includes cookies, butter toffee pretzels, tea and coffee. The gift basket also includes items for dogs and cats, from the cheddar cheese dog biscuits to the crinkle ball cat toy. Your recipients can find the items inside three paw print containers.

Dog Daze Dog Gift Basket

If you are looking for a gift basket designed just for pets, start with the Dog Daze Dog Gift Basket. The basket includes a gourmet dog biscuit and puppy cake mix. It also comes with peanut butter, beef liver, salmon and pineapple and pork dog treats. All the items are neatly arranged inside a yellow and white polka dot container.

Cat Fish Cat Gift Basket

Surprise your recipient with the Cat Fish Cat Gift Basket for their kitty. It comes with cheese cat treats, tuna cat treats and Fancy Feast Appetizers to keep them happy. The Zoom Stuffers Fat Cat Catnip Toy is sure to keep their kitty busy for hours. Everything comes arranged inside a green and white container with a matching green bow.

You can find amazing pet gift baskets for pet owners, professionals and their four-legged friends on Bisket Baskets.

 

 

Image Source: Pixabay

Notice: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

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Guest Post: 3 Tips For Finding Your Career Passion And Running With It

3 Tips For Finding Your Career Passion And Running With It

Abby Sutton didn’t know it yet, but her career plans were fated to veer off in a new direction the moment she signed up for a college class in Russian fairy tales.

“It was a random thing,” says Sutton, who is now an account strategist for Google.

She was a pre-med major at the University of Pittsburgh, but the fairy tales course sounded interesting enough to round out her class schedule as an elective. One day in the class fairy tales took a backseat as someone made a presentation about College Works Painting (www.collegeworks.com), an internship program that provides practical business experience for college students.

Sutton was intrigued.

“I realized this could help make my medical school application different from everyone else’s,” she says. “I would have a better chance of getting into med school.”

She signed on and soon the undergraduate student was learning to run her own business, and managing a crew painting houses in Pittsburgh neighborhoods. She learned to sell her services to homeowners, plan a budget, estimate expenses, and hire and manage employees. It was such a life-changing experience that Sutton switched her major to business administration, happily giving up her plans to become a doctor.

“What we try to do is give students a truly entrepreneurial experience,” says Matt Stewart, co-CEO of College Works Painting. “For employers, the most impressive recent college graduates are those who are both ambitious and have a proven track record through hands-on leadership experiences.”

Based on her College Works Painting experience, Sutton offers a few career tips for college students and for young adults just getting started in the workforce:

  • Be open to alternatives. College students often are just 18 years old when they choose a major and begin mapping out their careers.  But those decisions are based on limited life experiences, so students should never close the door to other possibilities, Sutton says.
  • Make the most of every minute. Time management is critical for any job and something many college students and young professionals struggle with. Sutton says she learned to make good use of what others might consider downtime. She even scheduled business phone calls during her 10-minute class changes at college. “You learn not to waste any seconds in a day,” Sutton says.
  • Don’t underestimate yourself. Sutton was 20 when College Works handed her the responsibility of being a district manager overseeing other interns, which meant she would mentor people her own age – or in some cases several years older. That was daunting – but not for long. “I was more worried going into it, but I came to realize their age didn’t matter,” she says. “A lot of times they had more respect for me because of it. I would be talking to a 26-year-old guy who would be blown away that this was a 20-year-old girl doing this. They wanted to figure out what they could be doing differently so they could be in that spot.”

Sutton’s medical school plans and those Russian fairy tales are just memories now, but the College Works Painting experience still influences her every day.

“It was the best decision I’ve made and it changed the course of my life,” Sutton says. “I realized how much I loved sales and business. If I hadn’t done that I would be miserable reading science books right now.”

About College Works Painting

College Works Painting (www.collegeworks.com), founded in 1993, provides real-world business experience for thousands of college students each year. The award-winning internship program also offers high-quality house-painting services for homeowners. The company operates in more than 35 states, hires more than 2,000 students each year, and paints more than 10,000 homes annually.

Available on Amazon.com

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

PS Annie! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Guest Post: Mitigate Stress, Unwrap Inner Peace this Season

Mitigate Stress, Unwrap Inner Peace this Season

By Julie Potiker, author of Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm In the Midst of Chaos

Fighting traffic, bundling the kids up in snow gear, caring for aging parents, planning holiday meals and parties: When the holiday stressors are piling up, Julie Potiker suggests calling on this simple mindfulness solution to turn down the chaos and turn up the peace.

R.A.I.N.

R = Recognize your feeling and name it (i.e., “Oh, that’s overwhelm. I’m feeling frustrated. I feel upset.”).

A = Allow your feeling to be there without judging it.

I = Investigate gently with curiosity why this feeling is there.

N = Nourish yourself. What do you need give yourself or hear or do right now to make yourself feel better?

“Stepping back for a moment from what you’re feeling to observe it, instead of being stuck in it, can enable us to handle even the most stressful moments,” Julie says.

BONUS: Change the channel by popping in a positive mental state from a memory. Really feel that goodness for a breath or two to transform it from a mental state to a neural trait. “Rewire your brain for more happiness and resilience,” says Julie.

P.S. About Julie Potiker: Author and mindfulness expert Julie Potiker is an attorney who began her serious study and investigation of mindfulness after graduating from the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of California, San Diego. She was trained by Kristin Neff, Christopher Germer, and UCSD as a Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher. She went on to study with Rick Hanson, becoming a graduate of his Positive Neuroplasticity Training Professional Course. Potiker also completed Brené Brown’s Living Brave Semester. Now, she shares these and other mindfulness techniques with the world through her Mindful Methods for Life trainings and her new book: “Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm In the Midst of Chaos.” She holds a B.G.S. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from George Washington University.

Guest Post: WINTER HEALTH MYTHS BUSTED!

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WINTER HEALTH MYTHS BUSTED!

There are endless winter health myths that we have heard from well intentioned grandparents and parents. They have become so ingrained in us that we take them as cold hard facts. Many of these myths have no more basis in reality than Santa Claus.  Of course, everyone wants to stay as healthy as possible during the frosty months. In order to do so sensibly, we turned to Board Certified NYC internist and gastroenterologist Dr. Niket Sonpal.

Myth: Allergies go away in the winter

Allergies might be the real source behind your stuffy nose and scratchy throat this season. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one in five people suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies, and the indoor variety can actually be worse in the winter. Dr. Sonpal cautions that, “If your symptoms last longer than 10 days or ease up after taking an antihistamine, it might be time to visit an allergist.”

Myth: I wash my hands all the time with hand sanitizer, so I should be fine.

Hand sanitizer will kill most viruses, but not all. You must make sure you use the right amount of hand sanitizer and let it dry completely. Dr. Sonpal points out that,” Some viruses, like norovirus, which causes vomiting, is not killed by hand sanitizer. Soap and water are best to get rid of all bacteria and viruses, but the hand sanitizer is better than nothing at all.”

Myth: It’s cold out, I don’t need sunscreen.

The sun’s rays are just as strong in the winter months as they are in the other seasons. Snow and ice can reflect even more sunlight, up to twice as much. Grab the SPF 30 and put it on, regardless of the temperature. Don’t forget those sunglasses to keep your eyes safe as well.

I’ll just drink some alcohol to keep myself warm.

Although it may feel like drinking alcohol is making you warmer, it does not. Dr. Sonpal says that, “when you drink, the blood vessels dilate or get bigger, and blood flows to your skin and away from your internal organs. So, it may feel like you are getting warmer, but you are not.”

Myth: The Flu Shot Gives You the Flu

According to a new survey from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and Rite Aide, 44 percent of American women view the flu as a serious threat to their health. Yet nearly half (49 percent) do not intend to get a flu shot this year because they believe the vaccine can give them the flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the flu shot for anyone older than 6 months of age. Dr. Sonpal stresses that, “The shot does not contain a live virus, making catching the flu from it impossible.”

Winter weather makes you store fat and gain weight

Our bodies do not go into some kind of winter hibernation mode, stockpiling every ounce of fat to use for the lean times. It seems logical, like a throwback to our days living in caves foraging for food, but in reality, any weight gain comes from our winter habits. Dr. Sonpal points out that, “we tend to exercise less in winter. We eat more hearty meals and comfort foods, including more sugary snacks and desserts (especially around the holidays).”

Myth: You Lose Most Heat Through Your Head

The saying goes “we lose 90 percent of our body heat through our heads.”  But a 2006 study found that the head accounts for about 7 percent of the body’s surface area, and that heat loss in the region is fairly proportional, according to LiveScience. “Your head is another extremity, and it’s susceptible to cold, so you should wear a hat, but it doesn’t lose any more heat than another part of your body,” says Dr. Sonpal.

Myth: Chicken Soup Will Cure Colds

Many cultures teach us to drink warm liquids like tea, hot apple cider, and soups when we’re dealing with colds. It’s true that something like chicken soup may help soothe and ease congestion, but much like vitamin C, hot soup won’t do immediate wonders.

Myth: Being Cold Gives You a Cold

No matter what your grandma might have told you, spending too much time in the cold air doesn’t make you sick. One study found that healthy men who spent several hours in temperatures just above freezing had an increase in healthy, virus-fighting activity in their immune systems. In fact, you’re more likely to get sick indoors, where germs are easily passed.

Myth: Feed a cold, starve a fever

Dr. Sonpal says that, “This is another myth that comes from a time when people didn’t understand the science of body chemistry. The thought was that if you had a cold, food would warm you up. Conversely, if you had a high fever, not eating would cool you down. This is just patently bad medical advice. In both cases, good nutrition gives your body the fuel it needs to fight infections and recover from an illness. When you have a fever, your body is burning energy at a rapid rate, and that needs to be replenished. So, by all means feed your cold; but also feed your fever, or any other illness. Even if you have stomach issues, find a way to take in lost fluids and electrolytes.”

 

About Dr. Niket Sonpal:

Dr. Niket Sonpal is a native of Long Island NY and a graduate of Medical University of Silesia – Hope Medical Institute in Poland. After completing his residency in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, he was selected to be the 2013‐2014 Chief Resident at Lenox Hill Hospital–Northshore LIJ Health System. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and Clinical instructor at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn. Dr. Sonpal has completed his Fellowship in gastroenterology & hepatology at Lenox Hill Hospital and will continue his work in the field of medical student and resident test preparation. He now serves as the associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Brookdale University medical center.

He is the co‐author for the best-selling Master the Boards: USMLE Step 2 CK, Master the Boards Step 3, And Master the Boards: Internal Medicine. He is also the Chief Operating Officer for Medquest Test Prep, Director of Medical Education for Picmonic Test Prep, and a recognized expert on medical test prep.

Guest Post: Keep pets’ safety in mind this Thanksgiving, Pet Sitters International advises

 

This article was provided by Pet Sitters International (PSI).

Keep pets’ safety in mind this Thanksgiving, Pet Sitters International advises

The association offers tips to ensure pets and humans both have a safe and happy holiday.

KING, N.C. (November 5, 2018) — Thanksgiving—it’s a time for falling leaves, family gatherings and plenty of turkey and stuffing—but the holiday is not always a festive time for pets. Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational organization for professional pet sitters, advises pet owners to keep in mind their four-legged family members’ safety when planning Thanksgiving activities this year.

“Simple holiday traditions, such as hosting a Thanksgiving feast for friends and family, can pose potential problems to pets if not monitored carefully,” advised PSI President Patti J. Moran.

“Fortunately, there are simple precautions pet owners can take to help promote a safe and happy holiday for pets and humans alike.”

PSI offers the following tips for pet owners to keep in mind this Thanksgiving:

  1. Know which treats are “off-limits.” Food is a culprit for some of the most common holiday pet emergencies, so know which foods are off-limits for your pets, and make it clear to any guests. Holiday treats—such as rich, fatty scraps; bones from pork and poultry; alcoholic beverages; chocolate; and other sweets and candies—can be harmful or toxic to pets. Some of these foods have been linked to pancreatitis in pets. Signs and symptoms of an inflamed pancreas include vomiting and abdominal pain, and severe pancreatitis requires emergency medical care and treatment. Other dangerous substances for pets include the sugar substitute xylitol, bread dough and onions. If a pet ingests any potentially harmful product, call a veterinarian or a local emergency animal hospital immediately.
  1. Put holiday decorations out of pets’ reach. Will you be decorating your home with cornucopias, pine cones, plants, lights or other festive décor this Thanksgiving? Or will you put up a Christmas tree or other holiday decorations following the Thanksgiving feast? Be sure to keep out of pets’ reach any decorations that could be harmful if chewed on or ingested.
  1. Provide a safe space for pets. For pets that are easily frightened or not used to being around a lot of people, Thanksgiving can be an especially stressful time. If guests will be at your home, make sure you have a room set aside where your pet can relax with favorite toys and will not be disturbed. It is also important to make sure your pet is wearing an identification tag with your name and current contact information, in case he or she slips out the door as guests come and go. You may also want to consider microchipping your pet.
  1. Don’t delay hiring a professional pet sitter. If you will be celebrating Thanksgiving or another holiday away from home, your pet could benefit from the services of a professional pet sitter. PSI advises pet owners to only use the services of professional pet sitters and to begin the search for pet care as soon as possible. PSI recently surveyed nearly 1,000 professional pet sitters and found that 65 percent say they are usually fully booked for holiday pet-sitting visits at least two to three weeks prior to the holiday.

Anyone can post a profile on a pet-sitting or dog-walking website or app, so it is important to make sure you are choosing a qualified pet-care provider. PSI recommends pet owners schedule an initial consultation with a potential pet sitter prior to booking services and offers a free pet-sitter interview checklist on the PSI website. Pet owners can search PSI’s Pet Sitter Locator free of charge at www.petsit.com/locate.

“Finding a pet sitter you trust allows you to truly enjoy your holiday, so pet owners shouldn’t delay in seeking professional pet sitters to watch their pets while they’re away visiting family, attending holiday parties or simply shopping late,” Moran said.

To learn more about PSI, visit www.petsit.com.

 

About Pet Sitters International

Founded in 1994 by Patti J. Moran, author of Pet Sitting for Profit, Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, with member pet-sitting businesses in the United States, Canada and more than 20 other countries. PSI members have access to the widest array of business services and educational resources available in the professional pet-sitting industry. PSI’s Pet Sitter Locator is the largest online directory of professional pet sitters, and pet owners can visit petsit.com/locate to find local professional pet sitters.

This article was provided by Pet Sitters International (PSI).

 

Guest Post: Tips for Traveling with Pets

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Tips for Traveling with Pets

Flying with your pet: If you are going to take your pet on an airplane, it is important to determine whether your pet will need a crate or a carrier. Larger dogs will fly in a crate in the cargo, and smaller dogs that fit into a carrier can fly in the plane. Make sure you find out the requirements for your dog prior to booking your flight.

Familiarize your pet with its crate or carrier: Pets like familiarity. If you plan on keeping your pet inside a carrier or crate while traveling, make purchases at least a month before travel to allow your pet ample time to get comfortable with the new environment. Place him or her in the carrier and provide some treats. Gradually lengthen the time your pet is in the crate or carrier until your pet seems at ease in its new space.

Car safety: It is important that we always think about the dog’s safety while in your car. If you want your pet to sit on the seat, get your pup a dog seatbelt. It allows your dog room to move around, but provides restraint in the case of an accident. If you have an SUV, you can buy a gate that keeps your dog from jumping from the back to the front.

Feed your pet no less than five or six hours before traveling: It is very easy for your dog or cat to become sick during travel. Providing time for food to digest lessens the chances of your pet becoming ill.

Find a pet-friendly hotel:  And if you’ve got plans during the day, since most pet-friendly hotels will not allow pets to be left in the room alone, consider taking your dog to a nearby Camp Bow Wow® doggie day care facility or hire a Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow® pet sitter to keep Fido company. Camp is open early in the morning until late in the evening, so your pup can play all day.

Make your pet feel at home: Use familiar dishes, blankets, toys and other items from your home to create a sense of comfort for your pet.

And If Fido can’t travel with you, book him an overnight stay at one of Camp Bow Wows 100+ franchises across the country; you can even watch him while on-the-go via Camp Bow Wow’s iPhone App, which has a web-cam feature that is hooked up at every location.

Erin Askeland, CBCC-KA, Pet Behaviorist, Training Manager and #GiveAFetch Pet Expert at Camp Bow Wow

 

Image Source: Pixabay

Guest Post: Quick & Easy Ways to Pet-Proof Your Home for the Holidays

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Quick & Easy Ways to Pet-Proof Your Home for the Holidays

To truly pet-proof your home, start by getting down on the floor to see the world the way your pet sees it. This allows you to spot potential hazards that you might not notice from your vantage point.

Treat your pet like you would a child: Active puppies and kittens can easily get into dangerous situations. Use safety gates in areas where dangerous holiday items are to prevent your pet from getting into trouble.

Take caution with wires: Pets can easily injure themselves with electrical wires and outlets. Use caution when hanging up holiday lights on trees and around the house. Secure all electrical cords and outlets and keep your dog in areas of your home where cords cannot be accessed.

Avoid holiday plants: Plants can be poisonous for pets, so be cautious when placing holiday wreaths, flowers and plants around the house where your dog can easily access them.

Candles: Lit candles pose a serious threat to both your dog and your home. Keep your dog away from candles because they can easily be knocked down creating a fire hazard.

Hide the trash can: A hyper puppy can easily knock over a trash can and spread garbage and bacteria throughout your home. In addition, dogs can choke on hazardous items so be sure to properly dispose of all holiday wrapping and keep it out of your dog’s reach.

Utilize a sofa cover: To avoid fur on your loveseat, use a seat or slipcover to avoid a mess before guests arrive.

Be careful with fruit and candy baskets: Holiday treats will inevitably be present during this season, but grapes, raisins, chocolate and other holiday treats are actually deadly for dogs. Candy wrappers can also be threatening to your dog, so be sure to throw away all wrappers in a place where your dog can’t get to them.

Erin Askeland, CBCC-KA, Pet Behaviorist, Training Manager and #GiveAFetch Pet Expert at Camp Bow Wow

 

Image Source: Pixabay

Guest Post: Is Your Child’s ADHD Possibly A Misdiagnosed Breathing Problem?

Is Your Child’s ADHD Possibly A Misdiagnosed Breathing Problem?

 

Children who breathe through their mouths because of a dental issue may be easily misdiagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),

The result is resulting in a lifetime of being given powerful drugs unnecessarily.

“Mouth breathing is often caused by an obstruction in the nasal airway, frequently resulting in lower oxygen to the brain,” says Dr. Ami Barakat, author of Perfecting Smiles, Changing Lives. “More than half of the people diagnosed with ADHD are mouth breathers.  That is too significant a statistic to be a coincidence.”

“I don’t believe that every diagnosed case of ADHD can be eradicated with solving mouth breathing issues,” says Dr. Barakat. “But for parents who have a child who is a mouth breather who also has been diagnosed with ADHD, it is best to get a second opinion from a dentist.  Because once they accept the ADHD label on their child, that means the child will take powerful drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall for the rest of their lives.”

About Dr. Ami Barakat


Dr. Ami Barakat, author of Perfecting Smiles, Changing Lives, is a general dentist who has trained extensively in orthodontics.  He has received several prestigious awards in recognition of his talent, achievements and passion for dentistry.  He graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry with honors and served a one-year residency at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal.

 

 

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

PS Annie! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Guest Post: Santa Warns Kids to Start Doing Chores

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Santa Warns Kids to Start Doing Chores

Tis the season for helping out at home and sharing with people in need

Getting kids to clean their rooms and do other chores around the house is usually a constant battle for parents. But, very soon kids will be hard at work writing letters and making lists of the toys and games they hope to receive for Christmas creating the perfect opportunity for parents to re-motivate their kids.

Santa and his elves will be watching to make sure those chores are getting done and that valuable lessons are being learned as well. For parents with a busy holiday schedule, follow these simple tips to get kids to help more around the house and keep them motivated year-round because Santa is always watching.

Make Like an Elf – It might be hard for kids to understand the concept of a job so put it in holiday terms. Santa and the elves are working hard to make the toys and games, so kids need to work hard to earn them. Treat their chores as their first job and an opportunity to start teaching them about spending, saving, donating and investing.

Divide Up Hosting Housework – Assign your children tasks that match their ages and skill sets to get the house ready for holiday guests. Make sure to give them a deadline to help teach time management and keep them focused. Pay them for the work they do and suggest they use the money to pay for small gifts for a family gift exchange.

Shovel Up the Savings – Broaden the concept of a “first job” for older kids by having them do chores for neighbors. You can either pay your kids for raking leaves and shoveling snow or talk to your neighbors about hiring your kids for a small amount. Have your kids put the money into savings and use this as an opportunity to teach them about the different types of interest that can be earned through savings accounts.

Spread Cheer – Going out of the way to help others during the holidays is in the spirit of the season. To teach kids the importance of helping others and make them feel like they are making a difference have them use part of their earnings from doing chores for a charitable donation or to buy gifts and food for families in need.

Stuff Stockings with Stocks – If you want your kids to help out with chores all year, not just during the holidays, give them a reason to be motivated. Adults work for a paycheck and kids will too, especially if their money starts growing in the stock market.

Gregg Murset, CEO BusyKid

The co-founder & CEO of BusyKid, Gregg is best known as the groundbreaking inventor of My Job Chart which grew to nearly 1 million members in four years. Gregg is a father of six and a certified financial planner and consultant who also became a leading advocate for sound parenting, child accountability and financial literacy.