As a nanny, you learn to work in less than perfect conditions. Bratty kids, angry parents, broken homes are all par for the course. But what happens when you finally find that perfect family you’ve been looking for, or, in most cases, they find you? What does a perfect family look like?

A perfect family doesn’t mean just well-behaved kids or parents who give you a raise on a regular basis. It is more than that. Perfect families can come with both parents or single parents. They can come with one child or four children. What sets the perfect family apart is one thing: respect. The children have respect for you and for their parents. The parents have respect for you, their children, and each other.

Strangely enough, you’d think love would be the necessary element for a perfect family, but really it isn’t. Of course, working for a loving family is great, but just love isn’t enough. Without respect, the system falls apart. How many single parents have you seen that love their kids so much, but their children hate them? How many times have you seen a parent give into a child’s tantrum because they love them too much to see them suffer? Love isn’t enough.

Respect is an overused and under-utilized word. Many people talk about respect, usually for authorities like police officers and government officials. But everyday respect is important. By respecting those around you, you create a world where everyone can get along. Sure, you still have disagreements, but they can be worked through calmly instead of being turned into all out wars. There is nothing worse than working for a warring family. Inevitably you are stuck right in the middle of it. Worse yet, the children often are forced to pick a side, or choose to rebel and go off in their own direction.

Parents blame the nanny for a lot of things. Rebellion in their children is one of them. But rebellion in children is often a product of fear, and fear a product of feeling out of control, of not being safe. A parent’s job is to make their child feel secure in a dangerous and unpredictable world. A nanny can only do so much. It is up to the parents to create a safe environment for their children and respect is a huge part of that.

In short, a perfect family is not measured by how many children they have, how much money they have, or how much love they have. A perfect family is one in which everyone, inside and outside of the family, is respected. That is the type of family any nanny would be proud to work for.

Author Bio

Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She also helps in providing information on nanny jobs through her writing. Learn more about her Learn more about her here.

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Saving for your kids education

With tuition fees alone for a three-year undergraduate course expected to reach £24,000 or more in the UK ($30,000 – $75,000 or more in Canada and the US) the cost of a university education for many may prove suffocating without some kind of financial aid provided by us as parents.

Tuition fees are only the tip of the iceberg for many undergraduate students. There’s also the not so small matter of accommodation and living costs to pay for. Student loans and grants are obtainable for students who qualify, but those who don’t are almost certainly going to require some form of financial supplement from the ‘Bank of Mom and Dad’!

Most parents are keen to help pay some of these costs but unless you have stored up plenty of savings over a number of years it can prove difficult to pay off large chunks of a tuition fee loan. It will leave students with crushing debts that may take many years to pay off.

A key component to avoiding debt is budgeting. Students and parents should make a detailed budget at the beginning of each school year. Figure out what money you have and when it’s available, rather than in February when you realize you’re out of money and then you have to scramble to go out and get a job and work 20 hours a week just to make ends meet. Financial worries can pile up and become extreme sources of stress at the very time you’re staring down at exams and midterm papers become due. Working between six and 10 hours a week really doesn’t have a negative impact on students scholastically, but when you are putting in too many hours, your studies and your success at school will suffer. Working just 6 – 10 hours per week tends to force you to become more organized and that will help a student across the board.

Credit cards are one of the easiest methods of accumulating unnecessary debt, and we caution students to consider the ease of accessing credit wisely, especially new students who are unfamiliar with the credit system.

If you are looking for creative ways to support your kids without the fear of accumulating unwanted or unneccessary debt, one of the best ways to supplement your child’s financial position at university is to give them a helping hand with their weekly spend on groceries, incidentals, utilities and occasional socializing. Giving them cash can lead to poor financial management, accumulation of unpaid bills and the inevitable ask for more. Giving credit cards can expose you and your kid to wanted financial liability. There is something in between.

One of the best ways to help your child become more financially responsible and manage their money more effectively while attending university is to provide them with a pre-paid credit card. The premise of a pre-paid card is that you simply load the funds you want to spend and once it’s gone, it’s gone! As one of the fastest growing consumer trends in the UK, prepaid cards are a fantastic money management tool with many other added features and benefits. Prepaid cards such as the Pockit MasterCard® a do not have an overdraft or credit facility attached, effectively reducing the risk of accruing unwanted debt. As a parent this could allow you to come to an arrangement with your son or daughter to provide them with a predefined amount of funds each week or month, giving them the responsibility to manage their money without the threat of going into debt or unlimited liability.

Better still, cards such as the Pockit MasterCard® are accepted anywhere you can use a MasterCard – that’s over 30 million locations worldwide – giving your child the convenience of a debit or credit card without the risk of being buried in reckless debt. With power and freedom comes great responsibility, but it also comes with a host of additional exclusive offers on utilities, car insurance, impromptu days out and more. Offers vary by provider and geographic location.

University is meant to be some of the best times in your kid’s life. Save as much as you can now to prepare for their future and when the time comes, consider a prepaid mastercard to cover some of the smaller stuff. Allow them to focus on school instead of worrying about bills with the piece of mind and financial security offered by a well thought out education savings plan.

Surviving college or university without incurring debt may seem impossible to most of us, but it can be done. Murray Baker graduated from the University of Western Ontario without a cent of debt. He wrote the book on it. Murray is the author of The Debt-Free Graduate: How to Survive College or University Without Going Broke, a comprehensive and amusing guide to minimizing post secondary debt.

Murray says that the best strategies for surviving postsecondary education without an avalanche of debt are preparation and knowing your resources. He has brought many of his useful tips and strategies to the Web via The Debt-Free Guide and an array of Financial Planning Tools which he developed in partnership with Human Resources and Development Canada. All designed to assist students and parents with planning their post secondary education.

 

 

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Hi Dads!

I am so thrilled and excited to be here with you all, and to be able to write for HeadsUpDad.

In fact, I feel so grateful about it that I think I’d like to write about Gratitude. Gratitude and Appreciation are enormously important qualities for parents to instill in their kids, but most often all that folks can manage to teach them is polite manners. And while it’s nice to see a kid say “Thanks” when someone passes him the butter, that’s not exactly what I mean here. This is especially true today, because parents don’t spend as much effort teaching polite behavior as they once did.  But your grandparents probably didn’t care too much about how deeply their kids felt appreciation – they just washed your parents’ mouths out with soap if they happened to not use the right words at the right times! No, this generation really tends to care a lot more about teaching values, rather than just prescribed behavior. But the problem is, how can anyone teach that?! The crazy answer is – you really can’t. Kids are kids, and there’s a certain level of unthinking selfishness that just comes with the territory (along with incredible sweetness, as you know). And if little Julie finds exactly what she wanted under her Christmas tree, she’s going to be a lot more interested in the immediate joy of playing with it than she is in the deeper pleasure of writing a beautiful thank you letter for it!

Your job, since you can’t really teach gratitude, is to help foster a growth of that sense for when the child matures.

Here are a few suggestions on how to do just that:

1. Teach by example.

Papas, you’ll hear me say this one over and over and over.  About 90% of what kids learn from their parents comes from observation (which is, of course, how kids manage to learn to walk and talk, two of the most astounding achievements of any human’s life).  If you live with a sense of gratitude, your children will pick up on that. When your babysitter makes the kids dinner because you forgot to leave something in the fridge, do you just accept that, or really thank her for going the extra mile?  When someone in traffic lets you cut in, do you give a ‘thank you’ wave?  Your kid will see what you do, and learn from it.  And even more importantly, do you show gratitude to your kid when they do something kind?  That’s the best lesson of all.

2. Talk about Gratitude when it is expressed by others.

When you throw a poker party for some buddies, and one of them emails you the next morning to thank you for it, mention to your kid how good that made you feel.

3. Let them help you with acts of gratefulness.

I know this is a bit phony, but it’s still good:  Let’s say you want to send out a bunch of letters thanking people who’ve helped you in your work this year.  Have your kid stuff the envelopes or put the stamps on.  They’ll get the idea that thank you letters are what cool grownups like Daddy do.

4. Apologize when you forget to be grateful yourself.

All humans make mistakes, and there will always be times when you forget to thank someone, or even to feel as grateful as you should. Let your child see you catch yourself in that error. And let them see you apologize and try to make up for it. That’s a huge teacher.

5. Teach them gratitude by rote.

Okay, and the boring one: Yes, I’m saying that you should teach your ungrateful little brats to say “Thank You” for getting the butter passed to them, and to write letters thanking Aunt Martha for the boring book she gave them, and even to thank their teacher for giving them extra homework to help them master something they’re having trouble with in school.  No, they won’t feel the gratitude at all.  But they will learn the right ways and times to express it when they do.

And then, I also want to add a big “Don’t” to this list.  Do Not Guilt Trip!  Children live in a world that’s all about themselves.  They’ll grow out of it, and you should encourage that, but don’t make them feel bad for not being there yet.  Telling them things like “You ought to feel more grateful” or “You’re too self-centered,” or worst of all “You’re spoiled, you got too many presents” don’t teach Gratitude; they teach Shame, which is the total opposite (If you really feel your kid got too many presents for her birthday, then be the adult and tell her there’s simply been a mistake, and she needs to give five of her toys to others.  It’s not her fault!).

Then, of course, the best role model any kid can ever have for Gratitude is one of us!  We dogs will show how much we appreciate every treat, every scratch on the head, and every time you let us in the house – every time!  And oh do we let you know we appreciate you humans when you come home from school or work!  And the more that your kid sees us do that, and senses how much they love the way our gratitude makes them feel (yes I’m emphasizing that thought!), the sooner they’ll develop a healthy sense of empathy, which will lead them to the true sense of gratitude you want them to own.

So those are my thoughts. Good luck with them. And in the meantime, from the bottom of my heart…

Thanks for reading!

 

About the author:

Shirelle is a busy dog. In between her posts from the Dog House at HeadsUpDad, she hosts a great web site offering friendly, down-to-earth advice for kids, teens, and parents called AskShirelle. Please check it out.

 

 

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Tips On Safe Toys For Children Under Eight

by Ruth Wilgress September 12, 2011

Canada is a very safe place to live and raise children. And it keeps getting safer and safer. Statistically there are not as many drunk drivers anymore, and hardly anyone I know smokes nowadays.  But that trend toward safety isn’t happening in kid’s toys. Buying toys comes with a lot of choices. There are so […]

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FLOWING WITH THE GOOD GUYS

by Richard Carmichael August 3, 2011

It was with great sadness that I read about the recent Norwegian terrorist attacks. A tragic ordeal for any country to have to experience, yet there was a point in the story where I found one Norwegian’s comment to be equally absurd as the attacks were cruel. A woman’s response to the killings was, “Why […]

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Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

by Christine S July 20, 2011

Waiting in line at the Scotiabank Theatre in downtown Toronto to see the latest (and final) film from the Harry Potter franchise, I was dumbfounded by the number of, well…adults in line to see the summer blockbuster. Granted, I was waiting for the 9:30 PM showing, and you never see too many kids downtown, but […]

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How to save money when having a baby…

by Maria Rainier July 14, 2011

Saving Money on Baby Having children can be expensive. When you’re just starting out with a baby, it can be easy to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on new baby gear, clothing, diapers and other necessities. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money with a little planning. I am expecting my first […]

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How to be “good” at waiting…

by Don Christensen June 29, 2011

  “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.” ~ Paulo Coelho Imagine never waiting for anything again. Ever. For sure, life would never be the same, but not for the reason you think. Realistically, to wait is to suffer. The suffering can come in […]

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Toxic Chemicals in personal skin care products?

by Richard Carmichael June 24, 2011

I have been doing a lot of gardening over the past couple of months and it has been great. Lots of fresh air, hard work and I am learning a lot. It’s killing my hands though. Shovelling, digging, gettting dirty, washing, getting dirty. Washing again has taken its toll. I use a lot of moisturizers […]

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How to: Urban Back Yard Farming for Rookies…

by Richard Carmichael June 24, 2011

What’s this world coming to? I have been thinking for the past few years that the amount of pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals in food is getting out of control. Genetically modified foods, mass enterprise farming and the demise of the small family farm all over the world makes me sad. I read an […]

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Men’s Health : A Decade by Decade Primer

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day to each and every one of you! I sincerely hope that you enjoyed a wonderful day that was all about YOU! How appropriate to reach out to you now with a new post this month, because not only is June representative of Father’s Day, it just so happens to be Men’s Health […]

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8 Super Cool Summer Camp Ideas for Creative kids:

by Richard Carmichael June 16, 2011

Design Camp at the Design Exchange (Dx) in Toronto Every year as parents we scramble to find interesting stuff to engage our kids with over the summer holidays. For the lucky ones, its the trek to the cottage, for others it is a week or two away from the heat of the city up North […]

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How to Motivate Your Child…

by DanielaBaker May 28, 2011

without comparing him or her to others As a father, you have an important role in your children’s development. You can be a strong motivator when it comes to their intellectual, emotional and physical development. Unfortunately, many dads go about motivating their kids in the wrong way. They are excited to help their children grow […]

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Environmental Consciousness and Bargain Shopping: Intertwined

by Richard Carmichael March 16, 2011

A marriage of eco and commerce?? or just a more ethical way of doing business? We’ve all heard of Groupon, LivingSocial, Dealicious, Dealfind, Webpiggy, and a host of other deal of the day sites promising terrific savings on restaurants, botox injections and hair removal, but have you heard of ethicalDeal? (affiliate link) Do you think […]

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The Father Study…

by Richard Carmichael March 3, 2011

  Calling all fathers of newborns and children one year old or less… A study out of Loyola University and Erikson Institute in Chicago is looking for fathers of babies under one year of age to complete an online questionnaire about their experience of parenting a baby. This anonymous questionnaire takes about 20 minutes and […]

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Find your Whey to optimum muscle rejuvenation

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D February 16, 2011

Which “Whey” Do I Go? Just enough knowledge to choose the better protein for you! Before I knew any better, nothing was worse than walking into my local nutrition house for protein powder, to be bombarded by a multitude of gargantuan, colorful plastic barrels— all promising variations on the same theme: muscle growth, faster recovery, […]

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Tips to help your kids to the head of the class

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D January 7, 2011

Greetings my favorite Dads! I sincerely hope that you have each enjoyed a fabulous Holiday season and are looking forward to a happy and healthy New Year! You guys are typically the first on my mind when it comes to the various materials I compile to discuss on my blogs, and I know that we […]

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Teach Your Kids About Beauty With Lenzr’s Photography Contests

by Rob Campbell November 29, 2010

We’re often told that it’s not the destination, but the journey. Teach your kids how to find beauty in the unexpected, and it can prove to be an invaluable lesson for them. Growing up, one of the greatest things that my own dad has taught me is that beauty is in the eye of the […]

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Lest we forget…

by Richard Carmichael November 11, 2010

Graves of personnel from the Edmonton Regiment killed in the battle of Ortona, 7 January, 1944. We pause to honour the fallen on Remembrance Day “The lessons learned from these terrible conflicts must never fade from our collective consciousness,” Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell (Retired Colonel) My generation grew up in a world that was oblivious to […]

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ZERO TO HERO… One woman’s tale about male infertility

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D October 21, 2010

Dearest Dads, Well, it has been a while since my last post, and I do apologize. Professionally, I seem to always be busy, I’m sure we have that in common right? While it’s my mission to deliver as much fun and informative fitness chatter as I can to keep you healthy and fit, today I […]

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Fall Harvest – Turn Losses into Gold?

by JamieList October 12, 2010

The bad news is in, and the equity markets are up, but still down from two years ago this fall.  Investors are reeling from constant negative news, and are deeply concerned about the general state of the economy.  Some of these fears are well founded, as the world economy is going through a period where it […]

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When A Highschool Hockey Program Goes Hollywood

by Rob Campbell September 19, 2010

Educators will tell you that having a winning sports team can inject efficacy and enthusiasm into an entire student body. There’s a buzz in the halls, and a new energy in the classroom, because it’s myth making and on some level each school victory makes everyone feel special. Kids remember where they were when it […]

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Lenzr Photo Safari For Kids – 3 new photo contests for iPads

by Rob Campbell August 19, 2010

Challenge your kids with cool photography assignments! A great activity that will engage their creative side, develop new skills and give them something fun to focus on this fall. Visit Lenzr.com and choose a photography assignment. Lenzr challenges people of all ages and skill levels to upload specific images for a safe and friendly web […]

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Cardiovascular Health and You: How to shop for your Heart!

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D August 12, 2010

Hey favorite Dad of mine… I thought I might start this post with a bit of trivia… Most men love their stats right? But I bet you didn’t know that just over 30% of all deaths in Canada are attributed to cardiovascular disease huh? Ok, stop the depressing me Shawna!! (I know… I can hear […]

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Bet the Farm – Or Lock It In?

by JamieList August 4, 2010

I was recently asked by a client whether they should re-finance their mortgage, and if so, how should they do it. Since there is no way to predict the future, that is a difficult question to answer.  However, the most reasonable way to approach that question is to look at it from the perspective of risk.  […]

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Eyebrow Grooming: to pluck or not to pluck…

by Sean Beckingham July 25, 2010

Every day when you get up in the morning and every day before you go to bed, you look in the mirror and you don’t notice it. With each new day, like the great Glaciers, the two bushy areas above your eyes have been creeping ever so slowly towards mayhem. Then you see it. For  […]

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Management Fees – Are you paying for Bondage or Advice?

by JamieList July 15, 2010

Each year, Canadians decide how and where they will invest.  Other than asset allocation, the fees that are paid will likely have the largest impact on their account.  For some, fees will be paid to an advisor involved at some point in the process.  That advisor might be a planner or a broker who takes […]

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Eat Often—Lose Weight!

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D July 13, 2010

show it in, in messy fist-fulls, originally uploaded by mufftycub. Eat often and watch the pounds drop off… Sound too good to be true? Hi guys! I hope you’ve missed me! This busy trainer of yours has been flying by the seat of her pants! That’s not to say that I have not been thinking […]

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Yay—Summer is here!

by Richard Carmichael July 7, 2010

Yay—Summer is here!, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. Well, if you haven’t already noticed, summer is in full swing. Heat waves, power outages, traffic jams, highway construction, air conditioners, cold beer on the patio, burgers on the barbeque, weekends up at the cottage, beach time, camping trips, outdoor adventure, family fun, summer holidays! We have been […]

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Daughters gone wild—Tilt: The Movie

by Richard Carmichael July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day! And now for something completely different… Basically we’re looking for opinions (or information, or personal, real life experiences) about how fathers can connect with teenage daughters, especially when those teenage daughters are starting to get into things like drinking, drugs, or sex—daughters who have gone ‘a little wild. ‘Specifically, we’re hoping to […]

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Watch a Movie, Send a Kid to Camp

by Richard Carmichael June 25, 2010

At Hospice Toronto, where I was doing my original hospice and paliative care training, one of the presenters mentioned that the movie “Departures” would be really good for us to see in order to get more insight into the kind of work that Hospice is trying to do in our communities all across Canada. While […]

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Letters to my Father: Just a Word of Love

by AngelDavies June 20, 2010

On January 25, 2007 I lost my father, Christopher Davies, to spinal cancer. I think about him often, usually at times in my life when I don’t know what to do in a difficult situation and at times when I’d normally turn to him for his help and wise advice. Times like now. He was […]

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Fathers Day Tribute: Sunday Morning Rock Star

by Julie Keck June 17, 2010

Every Sunday morning at the Keck house, an epic battle was waged. No, it wasn’t my parents trying to drag my sister and me out of bed; we were up at the crack of dawn eating generic puffed rice (gag) and sitting in front of the TV watching the Three Stooges and wrestling. You know, […]

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This father’s day, we’re going fishing!

by Kim Samuelsen June 10, 2010

Do you remember when I’d write you poems like these for Father’s Day? And I was probably about 7 years old Dancing around when you’d come home from work… Ever since I was young, I have loved going on fishing trips with my dad, even if it meant getting up at 6AM. It’s been a […]

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Letters to my Father, a Fathers Day Tribute

by Richard Carmichael June 10, 2010

Greetings to you a week from Father’s Day: Love your Dad? Despise him? Miss him? Want to reach out and say something in a public place to reward his greatness, let him know what’s on your mind or even the score? Have something to say but can’t because he is gone? This month, we wonder […]

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Lenzr Celebrates 50 Year Old Dads In Time For Father’s Day

by Rob Campbell May 29, 2010

The 50 Going On 15 photo contest on Lenzr is set to collect, display and eventually grade a wide selection of photos of people, mostly men over 50 years old doing outrageous things like they were still teenagers. Is your father or anyone you know between the age of fifty and sixty years old? Do […]

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3 Fat traps to avoid on the job…

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D May 29, 2010

You may not believe it, but your job may be weighing you down. Learn how to master these Fat Traps and you will thank yourself for it. Hello Handsome! I hope this post finds you and all of my favorite dads well and happy! Maybe you guys have noticed that my previous posts all had […]

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The Child Care Expense Derby

by JamieList May 18, 2010

My wife and I earn similar (but variable) incomes, and so each year we engage in what we call the “Child Care Expense Derby.”  We have the government to thank for that.  Every year I am a bit suprised by who it goes to (“and the winner is…”), but I am glad for the opportunity to […]

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3 safe and healthy ways to decrease body fat

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D May 17, 2010

Do you want a tight and ripped body? Read on to learn 3 Safe and Healthy ways to Increase Muscle Mass and Decrease Body Fat I purposefully did not include these “muscle builders” in my discussion of healthy supplement options for you, because talking about muscular performance, endurance and muscle repair truly deserves undivided attention. […]

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Mothers Day Gift Ideas at HeadsUpDad

by Richard Carmichael May 7, 2010

MothersDay.at.headsupdad, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. With Mother’s Day bearing down hard (this coming Sunday fellas) many of us busy Dads cringe at the thought of it. Not that we don’t love our moms and significant others, we all do, but the fear that grips us as we start to think about what to get is […]

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Sustainable Family Fun in Toronto: The Evergreen Brickworks

by Richard Carmichael May 3, 2010

Brickworks_DV107, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. The weatherman was not so sure about how the day was going to unfold, but this gang of boys and one girl was not to be dissuaded by the weather map’s ambiguity. It was Saturday afterall, and the weekend warrior’s eco-adventure awaits. Another opportunity to seek out a deeper connection […]

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Protecting your Estate: Where there’s a Will…

by JamieList April 28, 2010

To love what is lovely, but will not last There are a variety of things that we don’t like to do. Taking out the garbage comes to mind, as a task that is unpleasant, but absolutely necessary to the proper functioning of a household. So it is with a legal Will. Many families, particularly young families, put […]

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Technology makes Private Schools better than Public Schools

by Rob Campbell April 24, 2010

New technology like iPads, smart blackboards and sophisticated social networking applications have made Ontario private schools into awesome educational facilities.  I recently attended a theatre performance at a private school north of Toronto that was preceded by a walking tour of the facilities.  As many of you know from reading my posts here, I’m a […]

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Where can your kids play soccer or baseball?

by Richard Carmichael April 23, 2010

Thinking of getting your son or daughter involved in an active summer, playing Soccer or Baseball in an organized community league? Not sure where to go or where to sign up? Heads Up Dad spotted this today and wanted to pass it along to you. The good people in the marketing department at Canadian Tire […]

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How Evergreen is Rehabilitating our Cities—Brick by Brick

by Richard Carmichael April 21, 2010

Evergreen Brickworks Toronto, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. Happy Earth day Everyone! In the spirit of tipping our hat to the place that gives us everything we need to sustain life, today’s post is going to relate to Environmental Stewardship of our planet. Specifically, the essential role we play as parents, cultivators and influencers of future […]

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Brandkarma – Social media on a mission

by Richard Carmichael April 15, 2010

Brand Karma was started in an attempt to help answer two basic questions – what kind of a world do you want to live in and what kind of a world do you want to leave your kids?  They’re important questions, far too important to leave to governments, regulators, experts and business leaders to answer […]

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