Is technology hurting our families?

Foresters, the international financial services organisation, is encouraging parents to cut back on their family’s use of technology. But why?

Last month saw the UK launch of Tech Timeout, a campaign which aims to get families to take an hour away from technology daily in order to spend more quality time together, free from techy distractions.

Rebecca Bell, Project Leader from Foresters explains: “While there is little doubt that technology plays an important part of all our lives, there are fears that extended use by children can have far reaching affects including lack of developmental skills and even depression”.

This is a concern echoed by many organisations, including charity Family Action, which is reported to have released leaflets advising parents to turn off their communications devices and spend some more time with their children. The fear is that if parents give too much attention to mobile phones and television over traditional family conversations, children will suffer, both in terms of their family relationships, but also in terms of reaching speaking and listening milestones.

Ms. Bell explains: “We are inviting parents to pledge their support for this initiative and take a daily scheduled break from their electronic devices for one hour every day, for a week.” Doesn’t sound too tough, does it?

You can sign up, and get useful tips, at www.techtimeout.com

Order in chaos, chaos in order (sponsored post)

Meal planning – what could go wrong?

Parenting is a juggling act, a feat of will, an endless battle to get organised, a desperation to minimise risk and a constant quest for peace of mind.

I’ve become so much more organised since becoming a parent. Before kids, I lived for my work and worried little about other practicalities. Now I’m a lean, mean, planning machine. Oh yes.

We have home insurance, health insurance, life insurance and all manner of cover. We have multiple bank accounts, emergency childcare details and back-up email accounts. We have plug guards and cupboard locks and emergency numbers pinned by the fridge. We have bath routines and weekly meal plans, craft boxes and cookbooks. The furniture is practical with rounded corners and the surfaces are always being wiped.

Except…the toy box is full of pans and spoons from the kitchen cupboards. The meal plan now says, ‘cake and pizza’ in a childish scrawl. The pile of household paperwork is balanced precariously on the hall phone table, mixed in with out-of-date flyers from school bags and junk mail retrieved from the doormat. The surfaces may be wiped, but they’re rarely free of crumbs and sticky, felt tip tinged hand prints.

Oh yes, I’m a lean, mean, organised machine. There is order in our chaos, and chaos in our order. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is a sponsored post

Join the MyFamilyClub 30 minute Parent Pledge revolution (sponsored post)

What will your Family Pledge be?

MyFamilyClub is currently running a campaign called the 30 minute Parent Pledge. It’s all about trying to encourage parents to spend just 30 mins doing something a bit different but thrifty with the kids.

What you pledge is up to you. It might be a treasure hunt through the woods, cooking up a storm together in the kitchen or spending time getting the veg patch ready for spring. The only requirement is that your pledge is fun, easy, thrifty, and takes roughly 30 minutes.

To help get parents inspired, MyFamilyClub is asking you to send in your pledges. The one MyFamilyClub chooses as the favourite Parent Pledge will win a luxury two-night family break in Cornwall, courtesy of Sands Resort Hotel & Spa.

To see the full details and enter your Pledge, just go to MyFamilyClub and share you best money saving Parent Pledge. Good luck!

This is a sponsored post.

MumsontheBlog loves the Babymel Spring/Summer 2013 styles

Just a quick post to show you the gorgeous new range of changing bags from Babymel. Our editor, Emily, is in love with the stylish boathouse blue striped satchel. What do you think?

All Babymel bags are equipped with built in stroller-straps, wipe-clean linings, padded changing mats and insulated bottle holders and feature original prints. Prices range from £42- £60.  Someone get us to the beach!

How to start dating again after divorce (sponsored guest post)

Divorce rates today are high, leaving many men and women having to negotiate single life after many years of being with someone else. After a large portion of time spent in a relationship, putting yourself back out there might seem a scary prospect. While things may have changed on the dating scene since you were younger, there are plenty of people in the same position also looking for love.

Although finding a partner through online dating websites such as eHarmony UK is becoming increasingly popular, there are still some amazing places to meet new people in London, or to wow your partner on the all important first date.

Here are some dos and don’ts for how to start dating again after divorce.

Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/akahige/435441561/

Do… develop a support group

It’s a good idea to turn to old friends for support after divorce as they will know you better than anyone else. However, making new friends is essential to making a recovery after divorce as they will be less likely to take sides or feel uncomfortable about your newfound singledom. Finding new friends who are also single will help give you the confidence to get back out there and start meeting people again.

Don’t… listen to bad advice

You’ll likely have plenty of friends or acquaintances who will be ready to jump in with advice as soon as you let them. Make sure that you use your discretion in who you listen to, as  what might be solutions for friends may be a disaster for you. Be open-minded, but don’t feel you have to listen to everybody.

Do… examine what went wrong

It might be painful to look back over your past relationship, but it’ll help to set you up properly for the future. If you didn’t feel confident in your last relationship, you’ll want to make sure the pattern is not repeated. Try to improve your self-esteem by valuing yourself and spending time with others who value you too.

Don’t… live in the past

Examining your past relationships will help you move on, but don’t get too hung up on mistakes which may have been made. Concentrate on getting out there and planning new activities for yourself. Being single needn’t mean your life is on hold – try something new instead of sitting with your problems. You never know who you might meet.

Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightthroughmylense/6470067149/

Do… take a chance

Online dating can help you meet a huge variety of potential matches and give you a chance to find a new love quickly. Many people use dating websites after divorce to help them find a new partner who shares their interests and understands their situation.

After a divorce, feelings of loneliness or disappointment are common and it’s important not to let these feelings spoil the chance of finding new love. Many people find their perfect partner dating after divorce and you’ll have plenty of chances to find yours.

This is a sponsored guest post