Family

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s moments with her husband, child and the other members of the family.

5 Strategies for Empowering Persons with Disabilities

In an ideal world, global societies would be inclusive enough that every individual, regardless of their abilities or physical condition, could thrive and contribute in a way that they find personally meaningful. Unfortunately, many countries continue to lag behind in terms of providing accommodation for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and supporting them in their navigation of the attendant physical, neurological, or developmental challenges their conditions pose. Ableist discrimination also remains rampant in many places around the world, leading to the exclusion of PWDs from essential aspects of community life—and, at worst, to physical and psychological violence.

In addition to being a moral obligation, recognizing the potential of persons with disabilities is also a societal necessity that stands to benefit entire communities. Doing so provides the opportunity to unlock a diverse pool of skills and perspectives that would have remained untapped otherwise. By fostering an accommodating and supportive environment, societies can enable disabilities to realize their full potential. 

Let’s examine some key strategies that can empower persons with disabilities by overcoming barriers and creating equal opportunities for all, focusing on the collaborative efforts of both the public and private sectors.

Invest in Inclusive Infrastructure

Building inclusive infrastructure requires organizations to think beyond the abstract concept of accessibility. Organizations must invest in creating tangible solutions that address the difficulties people with special needs face in the real world. These efforts can involve, for instance, designing buildings with ramps and elevators to accommodate those with mobility challenges. Developing apps and websites with user-friendly interfaces that individuals with visual or hearing impairments can navigate with ease is another crucial step.

Private sector investments in digital infrastructure, for instance, illustrate a commitment to achieving this ideal, aiming to guarantee better connectivity across communities and countries. Initiatives like the deployment of common towers and the construction of small cell sites are not just advancements in technology; they are steps toward fostering a digitally inclusive society where information and opportunities are within everyone’s reach. By focusing on improving mobile network service reliability and enhancing connectivity, especially in underserved regions, infrastructure developers are bridging gaps and enabling more people, regardless of their location or condition, to partake in the digital world.

This approach exemplifies a synergy between private sector aspirations and public sector objectives. It demonstrates how collaborations can work in tandem to bring about meaningful change and cultivate an environment where inclusivity is interwoven into the fabric of societal progress.

Provide Opportunities for Education and Training

Developing inclusive education and training initiatives is about more than offering access. It necessitates creating environments and crafting programs that address the multifaceted needs of individuals with disabilities. Such efforts require an understanding of the diverse learning requirements and the readiness to provide the necessary accommodations and support, paving the way for an equitable learning experience.

One way to illustrate this is through schools and educational institutions that implement specialized learning approaches and tools designed to accommodate different learning needs and preferences. For instance, implementing tactile learning materials for visually impaired students or creating individualized learning plans for students with developmental disorders can significantly impact their learning experiences. Supported by such thoughtful, inclusive approaches to education, students with disabilities will be empowered to apply themselves to their education and thereby reach their full potential.

Persons with disabilities also benefit from ongoing training and skill development programs, which offer continuous learning opportunities. These initiatives equip PWDs with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate their professional lives as these continually evolve over the long-term. Such programs also signify the collaborative spirit between educational bodies, governmental organizations, and private entities. The collective efforts of such organizations can help ensure that learning and development are not one-size-fits-all but are tailored to meet diverse needs.

Open Up Access to Employment and Entrepreneurship Opportunities

Providing PWDs with jobs or entrepreneurship opportunities needs to go beyond fulfilling legal quotas or corporate social responsibility. Organizations must seek to create real opportunities that acknowledge the potential and skills of persons with disabilities and allow them to contribute meaningfully to the workforce. This involves recognizing and valuing the diverse skills and experiences they bring and creating accommodating work environments where they can thrive. Ergonomic workspaces for employees with physical disabilities and accessibility tools and software for those with visual or hearing impairments are just a few accommodations employers can make for the benefit of their PWD employees.

Supporting entrepreneurship for persons with disabilities also involves offering tailored mentorship programs and ensuring accessibility to financial resources and business development services. By doing so, it’s possible to foster a more inclusive economic landscape where individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to innovate, contribute, and lead.

Create More Government Policies in Support of PWDs

Governments that aim to build more inclusive societies should focus on implementing policies that address the specific needs and challenges that persons with disabilities face. These include, but are not limited to, providing equitable access to public services such as transportation and healthcare. Governments might also create and enforce strict building codes requiring accessibility features in public spaces. 

The development of such policies requires ongoing dialogue and collaboration between government agencies, advocacy groups, and persons with disabilities themselves. This is the only way to formulate and refine policies that are truly responsive to the needs of the disabled community. Furthermore, continuous interaction and partnership can help governments adapt their policies in response to emerging needs and changing circumstances, ensuring the continual relevance and effectiveness of these policies over time.

Work to End Ableist Discrimination

Eradicating ableist discrimination requires those in power to do more than spread awareness or promote mere tolerance. Organizations must take definitive action to dismantle barriers and prejudices against persons with disabilities. This involves educating the public about the rights and abilities of persons with disabilities and addressing and correcting stereotypes and misconceptions.

For instance, conducting sensitivity training in schools and workplaces and running public awareness campaigns can play significant roles in changing perceptions and attitudes toward disability. Addressing ableism proactively and systematically is crucial to fostering a society where persons with disabilities are recognized for their capabilities and are not defined by their conditions.

Creating an inclusive society where everyone, including persons with disabilities, can thrive necessitates more than just goodwill; it requires sustained, collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors to dismantle barriers and foster equality and respect. By adopting and implementing the strategies discussed, it becomes possible to realize a society where inclusivity and accessibility are ingrained in its fabric, allowing every individual to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to the community and the nation.

How to Incorporate Your Children Into Your Wedding Photography

Your wedding day is a momentous occasion, and for many couples, it’s a celebration of love and the merging of two families. If you have children, whether they are from previous relationships or are your own, including them in your wedding photography can make your special day even more memorable. Capturing these moments will create beautiful memories for you and your children and serve as a symbol of the union of your families. This article will explore creative ways to incorporate your children into your wedding photography.

  1. Pre-Wedding Portraits

Before the ceremony begins, take some time for pre-wedding portraits with your children. These candid shots can capture the excitement and anticipation of the day. Encourage your children to express their emotions and personalities, whether it’s with a playful laugh or a sweet moment between siblings. These images will be cherished for years to come.

  1. Getting Ready

Include your children in the getting ready process. Whether they are helping you with your dress, adjusting your veil, or simply sharing in the excitement, these behind-the-scenes moments can be beautifully captured by your wedding photographer, such as deansandersonweddings.com. These images reflect the bond between you and your children as you prepare for the big day together.

  1. Family Portraits

Incorporate your children into the family portraits. Traditional family portraits with the bride, groom, and children are a wonderful way to document the merging of your families. Encourage your photographer to capture both formal and candid shots to showcase the love and unity within your new family.

  1. Ceremony Moments

During the ceremony, there are several opportunities to include your children in your wedding photography. You can have them participate in readings, candle lighting ceremonies, or even as ring bearers or flower girls. These moments are not only heartwarming but also provide beautiful photo opportunities.

  1. Candid Moments

Some of the most precious moments are candid ones. Encourage your photographer to capture unscripted moments between you and your children, whether it’s a stolen glance, a hug, or a shared laugh. These candid shots often become some of the most cherished images from your wedding day.

  1. Reception Fun

Your reception is a time for celebration, and your children can be a part of the festivities. Capture images of your children dancing, enjoying the wedding cake, or participating in any fun activities you have planned. These pictures will reflect the joy and happiness of the day.

  1. Parent-Child Portraits

Take some time during the day for special parent-child portraits. These intimate moments between you and your children can be captured in various settings, such as a quiet garden or a picturesque location at your venue. These images showcase the love and connection you share with your children.

  1. Special Props or Signs

Consider incorporating special props or signs that involve your children. Whether it’s a custom-made sign with a sweet message from your child or a photo booth with fun props, these elements can add a personal touch to your wedding photography.

Incorporating your children into your wedding photography not only captures the essence of your special day but also celebrates the bond between you and your children as you embark on this new chapter together. With careful planning and communication with your wedding photographer, you can create a beautiful collection of images that tell the story of your love, your family, and the joyous occasion of your wedding day. These photographs will serve as cherished memories for generations to come, reminding you of the love that brought your family together on this beautiful day.

How To Make The Most Of A Duvet Day

We all have those days when the mere thought of getting out of bed, let alone going to work or doing anything else, just seems impossible. On those days, the best thing to do is often to have a ‘duvet day’ where you literally stay in bed and relax as much as possible – it’s a form of self-care, and although it might initially seem like a waste of time (or even selfish!), the truth is it can help hugely and ensure you feel much better by the time you’re done. 

Of course, you can just doze all day, and for some people, that’s enough – or rather, it’s the best thing they can do. However, for others, there are different ways to make the most of a duvet day, and if you’re wondering what they might be, keep reading to find out. 

Make Your Home Cozy

One of the most important things to do if you’re going to have a duvet day is to make sure your home and wherever you’re spending your day (it could be your bedroom, but it could equally be a sofa in the living room, or a book nook somewhere else in your home, for example) is cozy and welcoming. When it feels great, you’ll be a lot more relaxed and not worry about doing the housework or making changes to make things more comfortable. 

Some of the things you can do include dimming the lights (and perhaps having candles too), playing soothing music, and making sure your bedclothes are fresh and clean. Make yourself a little cocoon of comfort that smells and feels great, and you’ll have the most amazing duvet day. 

Ignore Social Media

Social media can be a useful thing, especially if you run a business or you want to stay up to date with your family and friends. However, studies have shown that social media can also have a detrimental effect on your mental health – you’ll either see a lot of negativity, which is upsetting, or you’ll compare yourself to others and their ‘perfect’ lives and feel bad. Or both. That’s why, when you’re having a duvet day, the best thing to do is ignore social media altogether. 

This can be a hard thing to do because, even if we don’t like to admit it, many of us are addicted to checking our profiles and feeds. Therefore, find something to keep your attention for a while so you don’t even think about looking. Listening to music, reading a book, or watching a great movie or TV series would all be good ways to do it. Watch Vindication here, and you’ll soon see why things like this can keep you occupied and away from social media. 

Treat Yourself

A duvet day really is the ideal time to treat yourself to a little (or a lot) of pampering, and that could include whatever you want, from eating your favorite comfort foods to having a long, luxurious soak in the tub. 

Sometimes you might not know when a duvet day is coming (although you can also plan them in advance and make the most of them that way), which is why it’s wise to have your favorite things stored away in your home, just in case you need them. 

How Diet Habits Change During Pregnancy

It’s easy to make fun of the “pregnancy cravings” which often lead to bizarre (or to put it more nicely ‘interesting’) flavor combinations in the food we choose to eat. Of course, there’s a fair amount of leeway to be given here – try to grow a brand new human being yourself, however natural it is, and you’ll see that yes, it does have an effect.

But while we poke light and harmless fun at these changes, if temporary behaviors can bring joy to many, it’s worth considering what’s actually happening here. After all, alternative cravings or preferences aren’t exactly a health issue like itchy skin during pregnancy, provided you’re getting a balanced diet with enough nutrients and steering well clear of alcohol and other vices.

By learning of how our diet habits can change during pregnancy, you can develop better habits or help repeat the good ones that help you sustain yourself over the course of this quite unique period of your life. While exploring these changes, we also intend to give some worthwhile dietary advice for expectant mothers, and we hope such insights help: 

Increased Nutrient Requirements

Pregnancy places greater demands on the body, as it needs to provide nourishment and support for both the mother and the growing baby, and for a prolonged period of three-quarters of a year. As a result, there is an increased need for various nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients such as protein and carbohydrates. A balanced diet becomes paramount to meet these elevated nutrient requirements, but you should also be very careful regarding supplementation. 

Some supplements simply aren’t acceptable for pregnant mothers, while some may offer similar vitamin counts, so for instance taking a multivitamin and an additional essential vitamin on top of that could take you above the daily recommended allowance you should be aiming for. On top of that, certain nutrients are key for pregnancy, such as folic acid, iron, calcium and omega-3. It’s important to note that some companies put out great prenatal supplements to make sure you have everything to hand at once. In the long run, that can make a great deal of positive difference.

These can help your unborn child through helping to combat conditions like anemia and support bone development. In the long run, this will help you gain the best chance of offering optimal health to your child, while also helping you deal with the rigors of pregnancy more easily. So, to put it simply, diet habits not only change during this time, but those habits must be precisely and consciously considered.

Hydration Importance

We all know we need to drink a good amount of water each day, but in pregnancy, that becomes a non-negotiable consideration. It’s also important to be careful when drinking caffeine through teas as a max limit of 200mg is recommended to expecting mothers, as any more has been linked to issues like low birth weight.

Moreover, staying well-hydrated is critical during pregnancy. Water is essential for maintaining amniotic fluid, regulating body temperature, and aiding digestion – no doubt you can agree all of these are essential priorities. It also helps prevent urinary tract infections, which can be more common during pregnancy. Pregnant women should aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, then, equalling roughly 64 to 96 ounces, or roughly 8 to 12 standard-size cups worth.

Managing Nausea and Cravings

Most pregnant women experience these two difficulties as their body is taxed during pregnancy. While they might not completely dissipate, they can be managed. Managing morning sickness through dietary adjustments, such as consuming bland, easy-to-digest foods, can help alleviate discomfort. Likewise, understanding and satisfying cravings within reason is a normal part of the pregnancy journey, so don’t feel ashamed if you’re suddenly extremely attracted to the idea of eating pickled foods between two layers of wholemeal toast and hummus – you may balk at the idea later, but as of now, it may be the recipe you most dream about. 

A quick Google to see if a certain combination is safe to eat can always be helpful, but make sure you’re still satisfying your cravings in a considered manner, and if your partner pokes fun at you for it, remember that you’re carrying their child to begin with, and you deserve a little slack.

Weight Gain Considerations

Weight gain is absolutely an expected and necessary part of pregnancy for obvious reasons, and in some cases, you may grow extra fat as part of that, outside of carrying an unborn child. Healthy weight gain is essential, and it’s not solely about quantity but the quality of the calories consumed. 

It’s also important to remember that no two women will come through pregnancy the exact same way. If you’re a little larger after your pregnancy than you had expected, that’s absolutely fine, adn you can always focus on weight loss later down the line. In other words, unless this presents itself as a problem and you’re given recommendations by your doctor to change your habits, don’t worry about your figure during this time. You have much more important priorities to worry about.

Safe Food Handling

Pregnant women are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses, which can be harmful to the baby. Safe food handling practices, including thorough cooking and avoiding certain high-risk foods, are critical to prevent possible sicknesses and other dangers.

In other words, you may be ultra careful about eating in new locations, especially when on vacation. You can also invest in certain helpers in the kitchen like temperature thermometers that pierce the meat and can tell you the exact internal temperature, for example in chicken the same temperature is 165 Fahrenheit to kill any harmful bacteria that could lead to potential sickness.

With this advice, we hope you can more easily understand how diet habits change during pregnancy, and also never feel like an outlier if you pick up some quirky habits of your own along the way. It’s perfectly natural, and we’re sure you’ll keep up with your great diet as you wait for the arrival of your little one. Good luck!

Best Ways to Prepare for Sending Your Child to College

As your child’s high school years come to a close, the reality of them embarking on their college journey becomes more tangible. This isn’t merely about advancing from high school subjects to college courses. It’s a transition that goes beyond textbooks and lectures. Your child is about to step into a world of increased responsibility, fresh challenges, and new experiences that will shape their adult life.

Concurrently, as a parent, you’re also transitioning from guiding your child’s daily activities to trusting in the values and skills you’ve instilled in them as they take on this newfound independence. As a guiding force in their life, you can take many concrete steps to make sure that they’re not only academically prepared but holistically poised to embrace this new chapter. Here are a few of the most important:

Teach Them Basic Financial Management

Navigating the world of personal finance can be daunting for college freshmen. From managing allowances or part-time job earnings to making larger financial decisions about matters of tuition and housing – there are plenty of aspects for a young person to consider. As a parent, a strong knowledge base of financial principles can be one of the most enduring gifts you give your child.

For example, budgeting is one of the most important money-handling skills your child will have to practice while at college. It’s important that they know how to allocate their allowance, discerning between needs and wants, and foreseeing potential expenses. Emphasize that this proactive approach will prevent them from being shocked by a dwindling bank account halfway through the semester. 

It’s equally critical to discuss larger financial commitments in addition to everyday expenses. If you’re considering a bank loan to fund their education, walk them through the intricacies—interest rates, potential subsidies, repayment schedules, and the overall impact on your family’s future financial health. In addition, remind them that the allure of immediate gratification that credit cards offer can be treacherous. Encourage them to use credit judiciously and help them understand the implications of interest. By underscoring the importance of timely payments, you can help safeguard them from early financial pitfalls.

Figure Out Time Management Strategies Together

College life—with its myriad activities, responsibilities, and freedoms—can quickly become overwhelming without the anchor of effective time management. A packed schedule can become even more packed with social engagements and even potential part-time jobs or internships. This new environment, which is vastly different from the structured routines they have experienced in high school, will likely throw your child off-balance. Chances are, they’ll welcome your guidance when it comes to dividing their time effectively.

The first step to teaching effective time management involves introducing the concept of prioritization. Remind your child that not all tasks are equally urgent, and not all of them will require the same amount of time and effort to complete. Emphasize that dividing their time among different responsibilities according to priority will make their days much more manageable. Introduce them to tools, such as digital apps or traditional planners, as well to help them map out their days and weeks. 

Regular check-ins, especially in the initial months, will open up opportunities for the both of you to go over any scheduling challenges and successes your child will have encountered. It’s also an ideal time to discuss the art of saying ‘no’. With numerous clubs, activities, and social events vying for their attention, it’s crucial they discern which engagements align with their goals and support well-being.

Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle

Amid new friendships, challenging courses, and extracurricular pursuits in college, many students can unintentionally neglect their health. The college years are formative—not just intellectually, but also in shaping lifelong habits—which makes it an ideal time to cement the importance of health and well-being.

One of the most notable changes students face is dietary. They are no longer guaranteed home-cooked meals every day, so the allure of fast food, late-night snacks, and irregular eating patterns can be strong. Show your child what a balanced diet looks like for people their age, and try looking up simple, healthy recipes together that they can prepare on their own. You’ll also definitely want to encourage them to get regular exercise for both their physical and mental well-being. Go over the various physical activities offered at their chosen school, from gyms to sports clubs to fitness classes. This can help them find a form of exercise they enjoy and are willing to stick to.

Equally vital is the domain of mental health. College life is full of emotional highs and lows, and as a result, stress levels among students can run high. Foster an environment where they feel comfortable discussing their feelings. Teach them how to recognize signs of stress, anxiety, or depression and seek help when needed. Look up mental health resources that they can avail themselves of on campus, such as counseling services, and make sure they know how to access these readily.

Brush Up on Essential Life Skills

The transition from home to a college dorm or apartment is an exciting rite of passage. It’s the first taste of living semi-independently, and with that comes a suite of responsibilities that might be new to your child. Preparing them with essential life skills can significantly ease this transition and help them become more self-reliant.

Start with the basics. If laundry has always magically ‘done itself’ at home, now’s the time to demystify the washing machine and the art of separating whites from colors. Cooking is another invaluable skill. While they might not prepare gourmet meals daily, knowing how to whip up a few simple but nutritious dishes can be both cost-effective and healthier than constantly dining out. 

Lastly, teach your child how to manage their living space. Simple tasks like cleaning, basic grocery shopping, and even minor troubleshooting (think changing a light bulb or unclogging a drain) are important life skills to learn. These skills, while seemingly mundane, empower them to face day-to-day challenges confidently and resourcefully.

Discuss and Process Emotions Openly

Sending your child off to college isn’t just a physical separation. It’s also an emotional journey dotted with pride, anticipation, concern, and a touch of nostalgia. Your child might oscillate between the exhilaration of independence and the comfort of familiar routines and faces, and you may find yourself facing similar emotional highs and lows as you prepare to send them on their way.

During this time, it’s crucial to maintain open lines of communication. The college transition can unearth a myriad of feelings—excitement about the future, apprehensions about fitting in, academic pressures, and perhaps even homesickness. Creating a safe space where your child feels comfortable sharing these sentiments gives you room to provide them with the emotional validation and guidance they seek. 

It’s equally important for you, as a parent, to share your feelings too, striking a balance between expressing your concerns and championing their new adventures. This openness not only strengthens your bond but also equips both of you to navigate this significant life change with mutual understanding and empathy.

As your child stands on the threshold of their college journey, your guidance remains their steadfast compass. While the landscape of their world evolves, the values and skills you’ve established together ensure they’re equipped to navigate with confidence. Embrace this transition as a testament to your nurturing, and trust in their ability to soar.