Making Pocket Money Easier

My 9-year-old was carrying $48 in her wallet. Cash. She’s been saving well for some time, and the cash has accumulated. Her plan was to walk to the shops with her big sister to buy a treat.

Me:     I’d prefer that you didn’t take all that money in your wallet. I’d hate for you to lose it.

Her:    But dad if I leave my money here someone might take it (she was referring to her little sister who, aged 5, has a history of pinching cash when she finds it) or I might forget where I put it!

Me:     But if you take it to the shops you could lose it all if you put your wallet down…

And around and around we went.

I don’t like my kids carrying cash. And they don’t like leaving cash laying around in their room (or anywhere in the house).

A few days later (it was school holiday time) my 12-year-old tells me she wants to go to the movies and

Her:    Can I please have some money?

Me:     I don’t have any cash. (After checking with wife and realising we’re all empty…) You’ll have to take my credit card.

Her:    (Eyes light up) Oh, ok. How much can I spend?

Me:     Just tap it. And no more than (and then I think I mumbled some random amount that I hoped would be enough)

I hate giving my kids my credit card but when there’s no cash, sometimes there’s no other option. (One of my friends gave her daughter the credit card for the movies and it cost them over $100! That’s a lot of popcorn and ice-cream!!)

Three days later I received an email about ZAAP.

“The Universe” provided the solution.

In a nutshell, ZAAP is Australia’s first pre-paid Mastercard for kids. And no – it’s not a credit card. It’s literally a card (or wristband) that your kids can use instead of cash. And they can only spend the money that you’ve loaded onto the card via an app. It’s easy. It’s safe. It has literally solved my pocket-money problems.

Here’s how it works:

First, I went to zaap.com.au and ordered our ZAAP cards and bands (the kids can choose from over 50 designs or design their own). Time taken: about two minutes.

A few days later when the ZAAP package arrived, I downloaded the ZAAP app and followed the instructions to activate their ZAAP account set up an automatic transfer from my parent wallet (facility within the ZAAP app) to happen every Sunday night without me thinking about it, and that’s about it. Time taken: about 5 minutes.

It’s that simple. I kid you not.

Now each Monday morning when they wake up, their pocket money is on their card and all set to go. Pocket money paid, and no issues trying to find cash to give them or worrying that they’ll lose their money. Oh, and I’m not handing over my credit card when they need cash and no one has any.

And it’s brilliant.

If I’d had ZAAP my 9-year-old wouldn’t have any cash concerns on her trip to Woolies for a treat. The wristband has “tap” functionality which means the kids don’t even have to carry their card in their wallet, so my 12-year-old could have tapped her wristband at the cinema with cash I’d instantly transferred from my account on the spot.

The kids’ eyes lit up when their cards and wristbands arrived in the mail. They felt so grown up. And our first trip to the shops (so they could buy a treat by tapping their wristband) was gorgeous. They walked like they were 3 metres tall.

We’ve only been using ZAAP for a short while, but here’s what we love:

  • Mostly, we love the convenience. Pocket money is automatically set up to transfer. The kids don’t need to hassle us for money.
  • We love that the kids don’t have to carry (and lose) cash but they still have access to funds
  • It’s a relief to not get stuck handing over our credit card when we have no cash spare
  • The ZAAP app has a spending and saving component which has allowed us to have some really important money conversations, and since the kids can log into the app too, they’re excited to see their savings grow. The financial literacy component of ZAAP is something we really like
  • The kids feel so independent
  • A couple of times the kids have needed some cash and we’ve been able to do an instant top up in the ZAAP app. One daughter called from a friend’s house wanting $10 to grab lunch unexpectedly. I opened the app, did the transfer and she had money available on her card and wristband within about 10 seconds.

There’s the added bonus that for parents who want to know exactly what their kids are up to, the app shows you where your kids are spending their hard-earned pocket money (and how much they’re spending). The ZAAP app gives you peace of mind, or it highlights important conversations to have with your kids when you notice their spending habits aren’t wise.

Is ZAAP something you need?

Of course not. There are loads of ways to help the kids out financially without ZAAP. In our family, we’ve done them all.

But the reality is, we haven’t liked some of the ways we’ve had to deal with money and kids in the past. We’ve wondered what they’re spending. We’ve seen them lose cash – sometimes significant amounts. We’ve worried someone was going to steal their wallet. And we’ve handed the credit card over more times than we’d like to admit.

So, even though this is a sponsored post, we have felt that ZAAP is logical, convenient, and safe. It’s a simple idea that gives parents a little more control, kids a little more freedom, offers security, and makes transferring money to the kids (and their access to it) friction free.

Check out ZAAP at www.zaap.com.au.

 

* This is a sponsored post. Dr Justin Coulson is a paid spokesman for ZAAP.

The post Making Pocket Money Easier appeared first on Dr Justin Coulson's Happy Families.

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8 Quick + Powerful Videos That Will Make You an Even Better Parent

Inside: Here are the best, most inspirational positive parenting videos that will make you a better parent, especially on the days when you lose your cool.

Every parent I know would love to stay calm, cool, and collected no matter what their kid throws at them.

But when your toddler unspools a roll of toilet paper into the toilet bowl and flushes, and overflowing musty wastewater all over your hardwood floors?

It’s human nature. Your emotions are bound to get the better of you. While you clean up the mess, you might huff, stomp, or raise your voice in frustration.

So much for being a calm and loving parent no matter what.

The Secret to Being a Calm Parent Isn’t What You Think

I used to think that if I could just figure out the secret for becoming a “zen mama,” positive parenting would come naturally to me every moment of the day.

But then I had an epiphany that changed my whole outlook on positive parenting.

Here’s the important thing I realized: Many people want to have a happy life. But happiness isn’t something you achieve one day and check off your list.

Being a calm parent is the same way. It’s not something you check off your list and never have to think of again. It’s a temporary state.

In other words, nobody can be perfectly happy all the time, just like nobody can be a perfectly calm parent all the time.

When you're struggling to be a calm parent, try these positive parenting videos

Here’s What You Can Do: Quick Positive Parenting Videos

In order to exist in that calm parenting mode as much as possible, we need to continually inspire ourselves to be better, more chill parents.

But if we’re being honest with ourselves?

As busy parents, we don’t always have the time or mental…freshness to read long think-pieces about parenting in the New York Times.

Sure, we need to keep reminding ourselves of our positive parenting goals, but how are we supposed to focus long enough to read a parenting book or inspirational article?

My favorite quick fix is to watch one of a few powerful positive parenting videos I’ve curated over the years.

Related: 24 Best YouTube Videos for Kids to Change How They See The World

8 Positive Parenting Videos That Will Make You a Better Parent

Below, you’ll find a list of the best, most inspirational parenting videos I’ve discovered over the years.

Not only that, they’re short – perfect for when you need a quick dose of inspiration to reclaim your zen parent status.

When you’re struggling to keep your cool because your kid Facetimed your boss while you were in the shower, watch one of these quick positive parenting videos and you’ll get back on track.

Go ahead and bookmark this page, and come back to it when you need to.

Also, I know firsthand that a houseful of loud kids can make it impossible to watch even a short video. So where possible, I’ve also included snippets of quotes from the videos so you can quickly scan for inspiration.

1. Does Your Face Light Up?

When Toni Morrison made an appearance on Oprah to talk about her books, she just so happened to drop one of the most powerful pearls of parenting wisdom I’ve ever heard.

“When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. And so, you think your affection and your deep love is on display because you’re caring for them.

It’s not.

When they see you, they see the critical face. ‘What’s wrong now?’

But then if you let your…face speak what’s in your heart? When they walked in the room, I was glad to see them. It’s just as small as that.” – Toni Morrison

2. Which Wolf Will Win the Fight?

This is a powerful analogy about two wolves fighting in your heart. When I watch this, I think of the red wolf as the anger and frustration I feel as a parent – and everything clicks.

“There is a story, usually attributed to the Native American tradition, which illuminates different ways of paying attention.

An elder, talking to a child, says, ‘I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is fearful, vengeful, envious, resentful, and deceitful. The other wolf is compassionate, loving, generous, truthful, and peaceful.’

The child asks, ‘Which wolf will win the fight?’

The elder responds, ‘The one I feed.’

…That doesn’t mean we try to deny or hurt or kill the angry wolf. If we did that, we’d end up in a long battle, all the while somehow making that wolf more powerful through our hostility and fear.”

3. Things We Should Say More Often

This is just one of many gems from Kid President. Too often, we forget that our kids deserve the same courtesy and kindness that we would extend to one of our adult friends. Out of all these powerful + positive parenting videos, this one is most likely to put a big smile on your face!

Here’s a sample of the list…

20. Thank you. (And not just on Thanksgiving, everyday!)
19. Excuse me.
18. Here’s a surprise corn dog that I bought you because you’re my friend. (There’ll be more corn dogs and more happy people. This is a good idea!)
17. I’m sorry.
16. I forgive you.
15. You can do it!

4. Love the Kid You Have

This short film has no dialogue but always reminds me of this quote:

“Parenthood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you’d have. It’s about understanding your child is exactly the person they are supposed to be. And if you’re lucky, they might be the teacher who turns you into the person you’re supposed to be.” – The Water Giver

To read more about this short film, check out How Society Kills Your Creativity – In An Award Winning Pixar-Esque Short Film.

5. The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto

This clip is from an appearance on Oprah with Dr. Brené Brown, who is a researcher, professor, and author. Dr. Brown is also a parent, and Oprah asked her to share her Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto.

Here’s a taste for you:

“Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable.

You will learn this from my words and my actions, the lessons on love, and how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness.

You will learn that you are worthy of love belonging in joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability.

We’ll share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both…” – Dr. Brené Brown

6. The Way We Talk to Kids Matters

This video is a little different than the other positive parenting videos in the list because it’s targeted to people who work in schools. Still, this one always makes me reflect on my own tone as a parent.

And when the school administrator talks to the teacher about her students’ behavior, I cringe because I have definitely done the same when telling my husband about our kids’ behavior…in front of the kids.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. Everyone we meet throughout our day can make a difference. All the difference.

Talk with us, not at us.

Teach us what we need to know. That’s how we get smarter.

And when you talk with us and teach us, give us bigger and bigger words. Words that we can use to read and understand. And that will take us places we could never reach without you.”

7. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen to You

Josh Shipp is a parent, author, and advocate for youth. He has a few great positive parenting videos, but this one’s my favorite.

“When you ask a kid a question, you are inviting and evoking critical thinking. And ultimately as parents, that’s what we want. A fully functioning teenage human being who – without us there, in our absence – can analyze a situation and know in that moment what the wise choice is.

Focus on questions [and] get them to come to those conclusions so they will own those conclusions for life.” – Josh Shipp

8. Your Normal May Be Their Magic

This sweet video shows a normal day from both the mother’s and the child’s perspectives. Never forget that your “normal” may be their magic.

Download my FREE cheat sheet as a bonus for joining my newsletter: 16 Miracle Phrases to Help You Reconnect With Your Child

Your Turn

What are your favorite positive parenting videos? Share in a comment below!

8 Best Positive Parenting Videos to Make You a Better Parent

Author information

Kelly

I’m a mom of four, a recovering perfectionist, and the author of Happy You, Happy Family. Parenting is hard enough without all the guilt we heap on top of ourselves. So let’s stop trying to be perfect parents and just be real ones. Sound good? Join my mailing list and as a bonus, you’ll get 25+ incredibly helpful cheat sheets that will ease your parenting struggles.

The post 8 Quick + Powerful Videos That Will Make You an Even Better Parent appeared first on Happy You, Happy Family.

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Don’t Underestimate What It Really Takes To Succeed

It is always an interesting exercise to look back over the past 6 years and analyze how my psychology has changed from employee to entrepreneur. There were so many things I “thought” I understood when I first became a business owner. But, like many aspiring entrepreneurs, what you read in books and what you see from a distance when you observe people who actually own businesses… never truly prepares you for what it is really like.

Now… I’m in a position to be a mentor and coach to people who are in the same boat I was in 5 or 6 years ago.

As I have more conversations with people looking for advice to get their businesses up and running, naturally I see some very common themes emerging from these conversations.

Among the biggest — understanding what it really takes to become a successful entrepreneur.

(By the way, when I use the word “successful”,  I am talking about someone who can build a business that has sustainable growth and can pay the business owner(s) a healthy salary to live and thrive on.)

Estimation Of Effort – Phase 1

In general I have noticed that aspiring entrepreneurs adopt one of 2 mindsets:

  1. They incorrectly underestimate the amount of effort required to build a successful business
  2. They incorrectly overestimate the amount of effort required to build a successful business

People in group 2 generally talk themselves out of actually “going for it” before they can ever develop enough self belief to attempt starting a business

So for this discussion I want to focus on folks in Group 1…

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had an experience similar to this.

  • You come up with a great business idea that fits well with your skill set and interests.
  • You know exactly how you want to build and grow the business.
  • You may even have some partners involved and they too buy into the exciting new vision.
  • Before you know it, you start making 3,6,9 and even 12 month sales projections. You are convinced that this thing can write hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars of new business once the market sees what you’ve come up with
  • Your enthusiasm and excitement are through the roof and it feels like nothing can stop you from making this plan a reality

This is usually about the time where the actual work begins. Where you take your visions, plans and ideas and begin working it into an actual business entity that sells.

Soon after this point, the first roadblock occurs. Usually something completely unanticipated. This immediately knocks the enthusiasm level (of you or your team if you have one) in about half. Right away, the big bold sales projections you had drawn up on the whiteboard begin to look more like a dream than a reality.

To make things worse, roadblocks #2,3 and 4 are often right around the corner. Within a matter of days or weeks, what was originally an exciting, motivating, invigorating vision of the future is now looking like a HUGE chore with very little hope of success.

(Note: This happens on all scales from starting a blog to launching a big company.)

This is where 90% of the dreamers are weeded out (I actually have no idea what the percentage is. I’m just guessing but I think 90% is a safe assumption based on my observations and experience).

For the small number that decide to stick with it, THIS is the point where the entrepreneur is actually created. There is a distinct shift in the mindset of the person who proceeds at this point. A committed decision that says “I will find a way no matter what.

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”
— George Bernard Shaw

Estimation Of Effort – Phase 2

With enough creativity and persistence, the entrepreneur who sticks with it long enough eventually finds some success. The kind of success that can be replicated and built upon and this is typically where things start turning around and looking more optimistic again.

This new entrepreneur is probably feeling quite proud of himself for sticking with it and making some money despite the fact that things were looking pretty doom and gloom not so long ago.

But it is only the beginning…

A new phase begins where the reality of the situation kicks in and the entrepreneur realizes that the hard work, determination and persistence that was required to make it through phase 1 is actually a way of life for the most successful business owners.

Adopting the entrepreneurial spirit isn’t a one-time event but rather a change in personality. Instead of becoming discouraged by challenge, the true entrepreneur thrives.

Setting Your Expectations Correctly…

If you are in the early phases of your entrepreneurial journey, here are some important distinctions to keep in mind…

1. No matter how good/powerful your idea is, it is going to take a huge amount of effort and overcoming challenge to get your business idea off the ground.

2. Remember that any successful entrepreneur you look at also went through similar struggles despite how easy it may look from the outside. I guarantee you they overcame huge adversity and challenge to get where they are. This should help you respect and admire those entrepreneurs even more (so that you can learn from them with an open mind).

3. Creatively overcoming challenge and thriving in the face of adversity is what makes an entrepreneur. Instead of being discouraged by the challenges that come your way, look at them as your opportunity to practice getting better. Each battle you win (regardless of size) adds more fuel to your success bank.

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18 Ways to Increase Your Happiness 

Behavioural scientists have spent a lot of time studying ‘happiness’. They’ve discovered that being happy elevates our wellbeing, increases our life satisfaction and gives us better health and longevity. 

But while happiness does “just happen” sometimes, each of us has the power to make choices that can bring us more (or less) happiness. 

Here are 18 things you can do to be happier. Some of these things can be done right now. Others will need to be planned. But all of them are shown scientifically to impact on our happiness for better. 

1.           Take a break from social media 

Studies consistently show that social media use has a negative effect on our happiness. While real-world social networks are great for our overall wellbeing, using social media platforms, such as Facebook, reduces physical health, mental health and life satisfaction. 

Take a break from social media. After one week, you’ll find your happiness levels increase. 

2.           Spend time on your relationships 

There may be no discovery more powerful than this – other people matter for our happiness. Spend time with someone you love today. 

3.           Smile 

Charles Darwin was the first to pose the idea that the act of smiling intensifies our feelings of happiness. It really is that simple. Our emotions are reinforced by our facial expressions. So if you want to feel happy, smile. 

4.           Help someone 

When we help people, we feel better about life, and about ourselves. The data shows the more we ‘do good’, the more we ‘feel good’. 

 5.      Look for ways to feel gratitude

Empirical studies show us that gratitude may be one of the best wellbeing boosters there is. For two weeks, jot down three good things that happen each day. This simple exercise is scientifically shown to boost happiness and positivity. 

6.           Savour your memories 

Nostalgia makes us feel happier and closer to the people around us. Take a few minutes every day and savour your memories, whether it’s a special hug with a loved one, your first kiss or an amazing holiday. 

7.           Be mindful 

Becoming more mindful helps you make positive memories to savour. Tell yourself, ‘This is a moment worth remembering.’ Focusing on the here and now keeps you present in happy moments. That also means putting your camera away. Studies show that we forget what we photograph, while we remember what we remain present for. 

8.           Set goals 

Goal setting is essential to happiness. In fact, dopamine (the feel-good chemical) release relies on goal setting and achievement. And having goals elevates our optimism because we anticipate good things. Set goals and work out how to achieve them. 

9.           Play with your kids 

When you play with your children, oxytocin (often called the ‘love hormone’) is released in your brain. And it’s one of the fastest ways to forget your worries and remember how it feels to be carefree, and to laugh. So whenever you can, get down on the floor and play. 

10.         Exercise 

Exercise boosts wellbeing. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start small and slow, but aim to make it a habit. Studies show that people who engage in even a small amount of exercise have better mental health. 

11.         Sleep 

Studies show regular sleep schedules contribute to happiness, healthiness and calmness. Yet, we continually tire ourselves out. Go to bed early. Rise early. Get enough sleep. 

12.         Live your values 

If you’re out of alignment you can’t be happy. Work out what you feel is right and live your life consistently with those values. 

13.         Make a budget 

Budgeting boosts happiness. It helps you focus your spending on things that improve your quality of life. You may choose to spend less on a car or clothes (which bring a small amount of happiness), but more on holidays and hobbies (which bring a lifetime of happy memories). 

14.         Breathe 

Deep breaths slow us down, strengthen our body and stabilise our minds. They help us be present and they reduce stress. Deep breaths make us happy. 

15.         Kiss 

If you have a partner, kiss each other more and longer. Studies show kissing lowers stress, and raises relationship satisfaction. And if it doesn’t make you feel better right away, do it again until it does! 

16.     Learn something new

People who are curious tend to be happier than people who are not. Learning something new can trigger our creativity and help us to find more things that make us happy. 

17.         Speak and think positively 

You remember the saying, ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything’? Well, there’s truth to it. Catch those negative thoughts and words and switch them to positives. This increases the serotonin in your brain, which creates a sense of wellbeing. 

18.         Forgive 

Hanging on to past hurts is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Letting go brings peace, reduces stress, strengthens relationships and makes us happier. 

 

If you put even a few of these items into practice, I guarantee you’ll find that you’re happier and more satisfied with life. It’s a small amount of effort for a big reward. 

 

Find more like this in the Happy Families Shop:

        

The post 18 Ways to Increase Your Happiness  appeared first on Dr Justin Coulson’s Happy Families.

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Transform the man you desire to be irresistible and feels you his only preferred woman

  • Why men leave “perfect” women
  • Why men leave women who do everything “right”
  • The #1 thing missing from modern relationships

This may not sound fair, because it’s not-

But did you know that you can be a guy’s dream girl…

Scientifically, you can certainly transform the man you desire to be irresistible and feels you his only preferred woman

I mean, you can literally check off every box on his “perfect woman” list…

But if you mess up this one thing, he’ll drop you the second another option comes along?

My friend James Bauer discovered this missing “secret ingredient” all men are constantly searching for in a woman.

And most women have no clue it exists because guys aren’t even aware of it.

We just KNOW when it’s missing.

==> The “Secret Ingredient” to obsessive love is revealed through this link http://bit.ly/2PnjcdF

The really cool thing is, when you know how to give a man this “secret ingredient”…

It will send a shockwave of desire for you straight to his brain and he will HAVE to have you.

In fact, when you do this… watch his face light up, almost as if he’s just been zapped.

It’s that moment when he says to himself “Where have you BEEN all my life?”

Every woman should know this. Check it out here:

==> Why men leave “perfect” women… http://bit.ly/2PnjcdF

Is this “secret ingredient” missing from your relationship?

 

If your man is on his way out, there’s only one thing you can say to pull him back for good. It is incredible to know that:

  • Make your ex desperate for a second chance by using only 12 words
  • 12 words your ex won’t be able to resist
  • Make your ex needs you in his whole life with only 12 words
  • 12 words that make you irresistible to your ex

If you’ve been through a breakup recently–

Or if your man seems to be drifting further away each day…

Then it’s time to pull out all the stops.

Because 99% of the time, there is only 1 thing your man can hear that will change his mind and heart.

Scientifically, you can certainly transform the man you desire to be irresistible and feels you his only preferred woman

Check how to achieve this target here  http://bit.ly/2PnjcdF

And once you say this to him, or even send this simple phrase in a text message…

It will flip his world upside down and you will suddenly find him chasing you…

And even begging to be with you.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

http://bit.ly/2PnjcdF

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10 Fashion Mistakes Women Always Make

“10 fashion mistakes women always make” is an interesting video from Shea Whitney showing a woman’s vision to draw the attention of other women for their look even when following fashion trends. Of course, it is not necessary that every woman will agree for the given remarks but these view points deserve to be noticed. Let us share this video. You can check out high quality fashion products for women at our web store:

http://www.2mstore.com

 

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