Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Children, Love them but not the headache

I just want to start out by saying that I don't have children. But I have "raised" many children in one area of their life. I have taught martial arts for over 10 years now and every day is wonderful. I have a majority of children for students and my Grandmaster would say they are my specialty. He says he can't even figure out how I can get a child to go from almost no attention span to a hour long attention span. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.

Every child I have ever taught began with the moment of truth. Children love to test their boundaries. They love to see what they can get away with and where your buttons are. Sometimes they don't realize they are doing this. Other times, they know exactly what they are doing. As a teacher, the best way I have found to get over this hump is to not give in at all. I try not to use the word no but I'm very firm with the rules. And of course, part of that is having to deal with the usual basket of attempts to get out of class. My favorite being the tummy ache. I just simply say "Aww, well, let's try to finish the next part of class and see how you feel". Usually, their tummy ache vanishes after that because they realize they can't fool me. And you can always tell if it's a real tummy ache or a fake one. All you have to do is mention doing more class or more chores. If they whine about doing the work, then it's a fake one. If they whine about their tummy, it might be a real one. When they whine about their tummy even more, try to get them to do a little work and then leave them alone for a minute. After awhile, look at them when they can't see it. You'll know for sure at that point. You're not being mean but you are trying to show them that skimping out of work just because it's hard is not a good thing to do. People who give in end up creating spoiled children whether or not they meant to do so in the first place. Many first time parents give in to everything because they don't realize it's a lot easier to change a no to a yes then it is to change a yes to a no.

Earning the respect of a child is very difficult. It really is. I applaud people who can gain the trust and respect of a child. Mothers have the easiest time to gain and lose a child's respect. Fathers are close to them. But an outside person has the best chance because you end up treating another person's kids different then your own. There are days when I feel bad when a child shows they are more willing to listen to me then their own parents. Especially when they give me that look of jealousy. For example, at the end of class I let the kids run around and play tag. Sometimes I play with them and we have plenty of fun. Well, when their parents arrive, they usually want to stay. And the parents can't always get them to leave. But I can. I just say one word and the kid responds "Yes sir" (side note, all instructors in my school are called sir regardless of gender) and gets ready to go. The parents tend to just stare at me. I feel bad because I can't figure out how to politely explain that they would obey them if they would just respect their kids more. Ah well, either they will learn or their kids will just start respecting them period. Another example I have is a moment when the child was getting picked up by his mother and he started to pick on his little sisters. I kinda just jumped in and scolded on reflex and merely told him "What did I tell you to have with little kids?" He responded "Patience" His mother was very shocked but pleased. Her son had been a little short with a lot of the kids in class so I started teaching him about patience. I found out that it's been rubbing off and he treats his sisters a little better now. That made me happy.

Now, I was going to go into my whole explanation of getting a child's attention span increased but I think I'll leave that for next because it'll be a lengthy post. Oh, and the tips I have also work wonders on people with ADD.

Until next time!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

First Post - Ways to live on a small income

Well, this is my first post and try at this. We'll see how this goes. I guess I'll start off with what I hope to post about in the future. I know plenty of random things and I love to share them. Now I have a chance to share them with many people instead of just my circle of friends. These things include stuff I learn teaching, random computer items, cooking, dance, ways to live on a small income, and so on and so forth. In fact, I'll make this first post about living on a small income.

I have two jobs and one job is basically non-profit. The other makes me about $32,000 a year. And after rent, bills, and gas...well...I have about $300 a month to use on other items. Of course, part of it goes back into bills. I just want to mention right here. I take about 5 road trips a year. I also eat out on occasion and I have few problems buying my family gifts at those special times of the year. And I still have money left over for emergencies. I'm just going to go over a few of my little quirks that help me do this.

The first one is simple. Food. Notice I didn't put food in my list up above? The reason for this is easy. Some people have no clue how to cook. For those of you who don't know how to cook, please pay attention to this next part. Go out and buy (or get from your mom) a set of pans, measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a basic cookbook. I suggest getting a Betty Crocker cookbook. Now then, anyone can cook SIMPLE food. Just follow the instructions step by step. Do not make any variations unless you know what will happen when you do. And if you don't want to go this far, then you can easily survive on sandwiches! I have before I was able to fill out my kitchen. Bread, sandwich meat, and cheese can cost about $5. And it will last you a week. Now then, when you buy food, please understand that 9 times out of 10, the off brand (Like Save) is exactly the same as the brand labeled food. Knowing this can save you plenty of money. And knowing where to go helps as well. Aldi's is a very good place to shop. Just remember to bring your own bags or you can use the boxes they have in the store. And this place only accepts cash or debit cards. No checks and no credit cards. But, it's worth it. Another place I like is Hyvee. They're pretty good on prices most of the time. And lastly, your local farmers market. You can get fresh food at a low price and help out the people in your town!

Now when you cook, try to make more then one meal. Buy yourself a good set of Tupperware (gladware is pretty good to use) and learn to love leftovers. Often times, my dinner from the night before ends up being my lunch. It works out and saves me time and money. One more then for those who have problems cooking. Buy a crock pot. These things are amazing. You just dump all the ingredients in one pot, turn it on, and come back a few hours later to something yummy! They even have prepared packages in the frozen food aisle!

Okay, enough about food. Next thing, give yourself an allowance. Either in cash form or by using an extra balance book, keep yourself from spending over a certain limit each month. Now, you can also add in your eating out and so on in here. But making yourself only spend a certain amount each month builds good habits. It'll take some getting used to but trust me, it'll help you out a lot in the end. Because my last note about this for now is simple. Keep at least $100 in your checking account at all times. Any extra money that isn't for bills or your allowance, put in a savings account. ING is a good company to go with and their rates are very nice. Or you can use your own bank's savings account. The reason for this is you never know what will happen in the future. I've had times when I had a tire blow out and had no way to buy a new tire. I had to borrow money from my parents, sister, and a friend to get my car all fixed. And I hate having to do that. I prefer not having to borrow money or have a need for a credit card. I've been living very nicely on a low income and no credit card. If I can do it, anyone can!