Obtaining a driver's license signals a new road to independence for teenagers. Parents often worry about their kids when they get behind the wheel of a car. What about a motorcycle? Many teens also want to hop on a bike and take off. While you may be concerned, there are steps you can take to best prepare your child to get their motorcycle license.
Before anyone can become a licensed driver, they usually must practice with a permit. Requirements vary from state to state, but the consensus is that applicants must at least be between 14 to 17 years old and able to pass the specified tests. The main tests include a DDS knowledge exam, a road skills test, and a vision exam. Your state may also require you to sign on your child’s behalf.
While you may not always need a permit, there are some advantages to having one. For example, holding a learning permit gives your teenager the time they need to master the skills of driving a motorcycle. Always check with your state's DMV before letting your teen hop on a bike.
Training and Safety Courses
Before your teen gets on a motorcycle, it's a great idea to enroll them in a training and safety class. It's critical that they learn everything they can before embarking on their journey. Courses vary from location to location, but they typically teach the same material. Students will have classes in things such as shifting gears, navigating, and braking while enrolled in their course. Motorcycle accidents are prevalent, so always practice defensive maneuvers. With roughly 88,000 motorcycle accidents in the U.S. in 2015, it's pretty clear that riding a motorcycle can be incredibly dangerous, something that can be at least somewhat mitigated by taking training and safety courses.
Obtaining a License
Once your teenager has spent the necessary time to learn the basics of driving a motorcycle, it's time to get that license. The typical requirements are about the same as getting a permit; they'll have to be able to pass the necessary tests to prove they're competent at driving. The applicant will also have to pay a fee for their license to be valid. Once approved, their license will show "M" class, proving that they're a registered motorcycle driver.
While your teenager is learning, stress the importance of being patient. As you know, your teen always needs to be cognizant of what's happening around them. You're a great parent to help your child get that license they want so badly, so enjoy the ride.
Did your teen pass their driving test? We recommend reading this article before investing in a new or used vehicle.
Before you face another chorus of “I’m bored” from the kiddos, consider these simple activities you and your child can do together when winter weather or schedules have you stuck indoors.
Simple STEM Activities to Do at Home
(Family Features) Winter is the season for family gatherings, snow days and breaks from school and work, but all this time indoors can lead to a serious case of cabin fever for both children and adults. Before you face another chorus of “I’m bored,” consider these simple activities you and your child can do together when winter weather or schedules have you stuck indoors.
Each activity idea from the experts at KinderCare can help children build foundational skills they’ll need for success in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) areas so you can combine fun and learning.
For more activity ideas, visit kindercare.com.SOURCE:
From the classroom to the internet, bullying can lead to children developing a poor self-image or lead to bullying others. In fact, members of Generation Z believe bullying is the biggest issue facing their generation. Consider these ideas to help your kids learn how to overcome, avoid and break down the cycle of bullying.
5 Ways to Empower Kids to End Bullying
(Family Features) From the classroom to the internet, bullying can lead to children developing a poor self-image or lead to bullying others. In fact, members of Generation Z believe bullying is the biggest issue facing their generation, according to new data.
A survey of American youth ages 6-17, commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America, the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, found bullying ranked as the top concern for young people in their own communities, across the country and on a global scale. At the same time, 84% of those surveyed said they want to be a part of the solution.
Consider these ideas to help your kids learn how to overcome, avoid and break down the cycle of bullying:
Promote more time unplugged and outdoors. It is important for parents to promote healthy, face-to-face social interactions. Outdoor activities allow children to work together, solve problems and bond in a way that typically can’t be achieved through a screen. They also give children a break from the cyber-world, where bullying is often prevalent.
Encourage kindness. Ninety-seven percent of Gen Z members surveyed said being kind is important. Encourage kids to act on that feeling and remind them that it doesn’t take any extra energy to be kind. Serve as a role model by making kindness a foundation in your family, just as the Boy Scouts of America have done. The Scout Law lists being kind as one of 12 guiding characteristics.
Educate and equip. Parents should educate their children about why bullying is never OK, equip them with the knowledge they’ll need to recognize it and encourage them to report and safely respond to all forms of bullying they observe.
Use the buddy system. In Scouting, the buddy system pairs kids together to help ensure the well-being of one another. This approach is used for practical and safety reasons that can also be applied to everyday life. A pair or group of kids are less likely to get bullied, and buddies can be supportive by being an upstander.
Explore differences. As a family, look for ways to get involved in activities that include families from different backgrounds and cultures. Introducing kids to ideas and lifestyles different from their own can be an enlightening experience, and that knowledge can help break down some of the barriers that contribute to bullying, such as fear and misunderstanding.
Learn more about ways Generation Z and its supporters can help put an end to bullying at Scouting.org.SOURCE:
Boy Scouts of America
Most parents go all out to make sure that their children are safe and secure in their own cars, but what about when they are on the big, yellow school bus? Understandably, a lot of people don't feel comfortable having their children ride on a bus with no seat belts or other safety features. A lot of individuals would rather take time out of their schedules to transport their children to the school directly. So just how safe are school buses?
Just because a school bus is loaded with children does not mean it is immune to traffic accidents. In fact, just last year, over 17,000 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries stemming from school bus accidents. In 2006, the Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice stated that over 40% of accidents are caused by other vehicles striking the bus with the remainder coming from children simply getting in and out. However, most fatal accidents involving school buses aren’t the vehicles being struck but children getting hit within the "danger zone." This region comprises the areas that are 10 feet from the front, back and side of the bus. Although this is not the fault of the bus itself, many new models are coming out with innovations like extension arms that keep children away from these areas.
But There Aren't Seat Belts
One of the most common arguments for improving the safety of a school bus is to add seat belts. The vast majority of states don't require seat belts on school buses. So if normal cars are required by law to have seat belts, why not a school bus filled with children? Essentially, it comes down to the cost/benefit analysis. This means that the benefits of adding seat belts doesn't increase the safety of the bus but instead diminishes it as it becomes harder to evacuate children in the event of a fire or crash.
Other reasons include not being able to enforce it as one driver cannot make sure that 30-plus children are all wearing them constantly. Lastly, most school bus interiors are designed with compartmentalization in mind. This means seats are closely packed together and made out of energy-absorbent material to lessen the impact.
If someone really wants to understand how to improve school bus safety, they should stray from the usual talking points. A voice that goes largely unheard in this debate is that of the driver. Unlike teachers, drivers must take care of over 30 to 50 kids at a time with no additional help. Drivers have offered some of the best preventive measures, such as the addition of teacher aids to every bus to be disciplinarians and make sure that children are walking safely out of the bus.
The debate over whether school buses are safe and how they can be improved will continue for the foreseeable future, as it should. However, it first is necessary to form an understanding of the statistics and current research behind common suggestions. A school but may not ever be entirely safe, but it is clear that schools and state governments are working diligently to come as close to it as possible.
Getting back into the routine of school isn’t always easy, so use these tips to make it less painless.
This time of year, family life can get a little messy. School schedules and sports activities mix with work commitments, and before long the house is as cluttered as the calendar. With these tips, you can make small changes to help you get organized and stay that way.
Tips for Maintaining an Organized Home
(Family Features) This time of year, family life can get a little messy. School schedules and sports activities mix with work commitments, and before long the house is as cluttered as the calendar.
Fall is the perfect time of year to recommit to an organized household so you can keep the chaos contained. With these tips, you can make small changes to help you get organized and stay that way.
Embrace routines. The idea of dedicating large chunks of time to organizing and tidying the house can be overwhelming. However, making time to clean as you progress through the day can help control clutter and keep the time commitment more manageable. Commit to cleaning up the kitchen after dinner each night. Set expectations for kids to pick up their rooms before bed. Before long, routines become productive habits that make a visible difference.
Purge the excess. Over time, nearly everyone collects too much stuff, and clutter is often more an indication of too much volume than poor organization. Items are purchased to replace outdated things, but the old pieces sometimes don’t actually get discarded. Getting control of your clutter starts with eliminating the things you no longer want or need. A good strategy is to create piles of items: keep, sell, donate and discard.
Create a drop zone. In most homes, the entryway is a catchall for family belongings that get shed with each pass through the door. It’s convenient to have shoes, coats, backpacks and other essentials ready to grab as you head out, so instead of fighting the inevitable jumble, find a way to organize it. A stylish drop zone using ClosetMaid’s Space Creations organizers is a solution that attractively contains all those essentials. The line includes a range shelving kits, complementing drawers, baskets, rods and more so you can customize the storage unit to your exact space and needs.
Avoid junk piles. Nearly every home has at least one junk pile, drawer or even room. In most cases, the reason is that the contents are a mish-mash of items that don’t really have any place else to go. Make a point to identify ways to create order, whether it’s adding drawer inserts to contain all the odds and ends or buying a standing file to capture bills and mail.
Be mindful about use. When you’re on a mission to eliminate excess clutter, it can be tempting to go overboard putting things away. It’s important to be realistic about where you store the things you need and err on the side of keeping the things you use regularly within reach. This may mean getting creative about how you organize or even adding new storage containers or furniture, but remember being organized is only helpful if it’s also practical.
Find more ideas for better home organization this busy season at ClosetMaid.com.SOURCE:
It’s time to get your household organized for another school year and all that comes with it. Whether your child is headed off to kindergarten or going away to college, these useful tips can help make the transition back to the regimented school year easier and get your busy household organized for the upcoming season.
Making the Back-to-School Transition Easy
(Family Features) It’s time to get your household organized for another school year and all that comes with it.
Whether your child is headed off to kindergarten or going away to college, these useful tips can help make the transition back to the regimented school year easier and get your busy household organized for the upcoming season.
Middle and High School
By implementing some of these simple tips, you and your kids can look and feel your best, setting up a seamless, stress-free transition back to the school year. Find more information at all-laundry.com.
Photos courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Loving, loyal, and always looking to have a good time, a dog is a great companion and a great way to teach your kids about responsibility. Part of that responsibility, however, is in getting both your dog and your children adjusted to each other. To help you out, we've put together a few basic tips on how to help your dog bond with your children.
Involve Children in Their Care
One of the best ways to get your dog to trust someone is by having that person care for them. Even if only once a week, having your kids take charge of something like feeding routines builds trust in your dog, teaching it to associate good things with the person providing the care. According to the Sequoia Humane Society, it's also a fine way to teach your kids about responsibility. In this case, neglecting their duties has a real consequence for a creature they're fond of.
Teach Children When to Leave Them Alone
As important as play and care are in bonding a dog to people, it's equally important for those people to learn when to leave a dog alone. Something many children struggle with is the idea that dogs have their own wants and needs. The dog may not always be ready to play, especially if it is older. According to Dolman Law, children should give the dog space when the dog is eating or sleeping, sometimes even when it is playing with a toy. Additionally, if a dog has gone off somewhere on its own and moves away when approached, it likely wants to rest and isn't in the mood for human interaction.
Reinforce Good Behavior
According to Victoria Stilwell, positive reinforcement does wonders in setting a pattern. This is true for both the dog and the kids. Reinforcing good behavior from both of them makes for an easy way to get them to play well together. If a dog gets treats and fun out of behaving well with children, they'll continue to do so. Likewise, kids who are told they're doing well and given a treat of their own will handle dogs with consideration. It's a simple way to reinforce good behavior all around.
A dog can fulfill a family, but there's a lot of responsibility involved in properly adapting the family to the dog. If you're considering getting a new pet, try these three techniques for helping your dog bond with your kids. Before you know it, your dog will feel like part of the family.
Want more tips and tricks for your family pet? Check out more of our articles here!
If you're buying a car for your teen, safety is probably your highest priority. After all, teenagers aren't exactly known for their driving prowess. However, other considerations, such as your budget and the vehicle's reliability, are important too. Before you turn over a set of car keys to your family's newest driver, take the following considerations into account.
It's Probably Going to Break
Like it or not, the car you buy for your teen is probably going to break. If you're like many parents and buy your teen a low-cost car with a lot of miles on it, it'll simply be more likely to break down due to age. Furthermore, teenagers are usually harder on cars than more experienced drivers. They tend to brake harder, accelerate more quickly and disregard necessary maintenance tasks. Teaching your teen how to maintain their car will help extend the vehicle's life, but you should expect breakdowns and plan accordingly. There are some cars that are safer for teens, but you should still encourage safe driving.
Consider the Upfront Expenses
Knowing the upfront expenses of buying a car for your teenager will help you budget and prepare financially. First, decide whether to pay for the car upfront or to take out a loan. Then, consider having your teen pay for part of the cost of the vehicle. Not only will this take a little financial strain off you, but it'll build a sense of responsibility in your child. Finally, don't forget to budget for car insurance. Adding a teen driver to your insurance is likely to increase your premiums considerably.
Find the Right Car
The car you want for your teen is probably different than the one you want for yourself. To encourage safe driving, look for cars that don't emphasize horsepower, and keep in mind that larger cars are typically safer than compacts. Newer cars generally come with more safety features than older models, but they also come with heftier price tags.
Handing over the car keys to a new driver is a big deal regardless of how prepared you feel or how responsible your teenager is. Adequately preparing yourself and your child for this milestone will give your entire family peace of mind. Know that the car you choose is likely to break down, establish a budget, and take your time finding the right vehicle for your new driver.
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