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

How After-School Activities Help Your Child

After-school activities are optional. But there are many benefits to having your child attend something they can get value from. Not all kids are cut out for certain clubs or activities. But fortunately, there is usually something for everyone. So no child needs to be left out when they attend projects they enjoy. Here are some of the greatest benefits of after-school activities.

Strengthening Understanding

Children learn in different ways. And a child should be helped with what he or she is good at. But your child’s school life is about more than just how well they do. They also need to be able to understand hard topics that push them. For some, this means knowing geology (read more), while for others, it could be math or language skills. Any program worth going to after school will help your kids in the long run, especially kids who have specific requirements or special needs.

After-school Activities Improve Brain Function

There are a lot of physical activity-based clubs for kids after school. This can help kids who don’t get out of the house very often. Most kids are happy to play computer games or do something else they enjoy. But tests have shown that children who exercise for just one hour a day have better brain function than those who don’t. Also, kids who are busy can pay attention for a much longer time. This doesn’t have to be a sport. It can be things like running or playing.

Better Life Skills

Life skills are important for kids. And kids can have trouble as teenagers and even as adults if they don’t have enough life skills. Life skills, which are also called “soft skills,” are things like being able to communicate and solve problems. It has been shown that after-school programs are great places for kids to learn these skills. This is because your kids will feel like they belong in small groups where they can make friends and learn how to get along with others.

Promote Activities for Well-being

Your child’s well-being is all that really matters. And after-school activities are great for embracing a wide range of core concepts for improved wellness. Exercise aside, these are:

  • Helping with school gardening activities or learning how to grow food and herbs.
  • Walking animals such as school pets and mascots for the school sports team.
  • Running in groups for support and encouragement, especially for inactive children.
  • Learning about the environment in active ways, such as cycling in a group.
  • Playing physical games that also need focus, such as with hula hoops and balls.

There are many well-being exercises that will encourage your kids after school. Of course, there are clubs aimed at a specific topic. But they can also generally take part in developmental tasks.

Improved Mental Health

Further to the well-being of your kids, after-school activities can help with mental health. Simply by creating a sense of belonging, your kids are much more likely to engage with others, socialize and work with other kids to finish a complex task like creative writing. When they feel accepted, children will develop better relationships, which can be a major boost for the physically or developmentally disabled child. Additionally, it helps learning about diversity.

After-school Activities Make Learning Fun

Most children enjoy learning. But for some people, it can be hard and, in the end, boring. Still, things to do after school can help break up the routine of school. Some programs let kids do things like work with computers and other tools, handle animals, or use arts and crafts to express themselves. So, if your kids work on a project after school, they can help themselves understand things they might have trouble with. For example, attending extra math classes.

A Safe and Secure Space

Lastly, one of the best current benefits of taking classes after school is that they can give you some extra time. The most recent study found that 67% of single moms work full-time. And this means you can’t be there for your kids all the time, unless you work for a company that is very flexible. But at a place where kids go after school, you can relax knowing that they are safe and getting extra education. This keeps kids from things like taking drugs or antisocial behavior.


Most schools offer after-school activities that you can use to expand your kids’ education. However, there are also many more benefits to using these. And these often include better mental health, learning new life skills, and making a safe and secure space for your children.

Weaning Process for Moms

For every mom, the weaning process is a significant step in their child’s development. It is a period when the child gradually moves from breast milk or formula to solid food. As a mom, it can be an emotional time, but it is also a joyful milestone to celebrate. This blog post will discuss three essential things that moms need to know about the weaning process.

weaning process for moms and babies

When to start weaning

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life. After six months, you can start introducing solid foods while still breastfeeding. In the Philippines, it is encouraged that mothers breastfeed their children up to two years of age, even if the babies are eating solid foods.

However, every child is unique, and some may be ready for solid food earlier, while others may need more time. It’s essential to watch for signs that your baby is ready to start weaning, such as sitting up well, showing interest in food, and chewing on toys. If you are unsure, consult with your pediatrician to ensure that your child is ready for the weaning process.

How to introduce solid foods

*This is based on my own personal experience and it may differ with what will work for you and your baby

When starting the weaning process for moms and babies, it’s crucial to introduce solid foods slowly. Begin with one meal per day and gradually increase the frequency as your baby’s appetite grows. You can start with pureed fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, apples, and sweet potatoes, and then move on to mashed or soft foods, such as avocado and cooked carrots. Avoid giving your baby foods that are high in sugar and salt, such as chips and candy, as they can be harmful to their health. I think Baby Yani was already 13 months when she tried eating chips (haha! She loves tasting different food). Additionally, ensure that the food is properly cooked and mashed to prevent choking. Sit with your baby every time they eat so that you can watch over them. But even if you watch over them, allow them to feed themselves and explore the food you served.

Stopping breastfeeding

When you start the weaning process, it’s essential to remember that it’s a gradual transition for your child. You don’t have to stop breastfeeding immediately, but rather, slowly reduce the frequency of breastfeeding. You can begin by replacing one breastfeeding session with a solid food meal per day and gradually increase the number of solid food meals. Additionally, you can start to introduce a cup with water or formula to your baby. The weaning process can take several months, so be patient with your child and yourself.

Personal Experience

As a mom, I thought I would stop breastfeeding my daughter, Baby Yani, earlier. My eldest daughter stopped breastfeeding at exactly 12 months. Baby Yani is now 16 months old and still breastfeeding continuously at night and sometimes during the day. I tried weaning her completely and even booked a hotel just to try out being away from her for the evening, but I ended up missing her and she missed hugging me, too. This is what happened… (Check out video).

Breastfeeding has been a rewarding experience for both of us, but I am also looking forward to the weaning process so that I can get back more time for myself. I have been slowly introducing solid foods and different kinds of foods, and I can see that she is curious about them. I am planning to continue breastfeeding while she wants it. I’ll adjust to what she wants.


The weaning process for moms can be an emotional time, but it’s also an exciting time for your child’s development. Remember to watch for signs that your baby is ready to start weaning, introduce solid foods slowly, and be patient with the process. If you have any concerns, consult with your pediatrician to ensure that your child is on track. With these tips, you can help make the weaning process a positive experience for both you and your child.

More on Baby Led Weaning here:

Gentle Parenting Tips You Need to Implement

Many of us who our parents today grew up with so called ‘iron fist’ parenting. As children of the 80s and the early 90s, we were brought up around parents who used the same disciplinary methods that their own parents used from the 70s and the 60s. Sometimes this means standing in the corner when you’re in trouble. Sometimes it meant getting spanked on the behind. Sometimes it meant writing lines. There wasn’t very much empathy in parenting in the 60s and 70s, not mainstream parenting, anyway. That’s why it seems like the phrase gentle parenting is a brand new phrase, but all it means is treating children with respect and treating them like human beings. 

Gentle parenting is exactly what it sounds like, a gentle way to raise children. Instead of seeing children like many adults or having the expectations for their emotions as you would for an adult, you treat them as their age, and you treat them gently. If more children were treated gently when they were small, perhaps the world wouldn’t be so hard. Communication and empathy start as young as possible, but many people mistake gentle parenting for permissive parenting and there is a very big difference. Gentle parenting means being gentle with children, it doesn’t mean giving them permission for negative behavior or behavior that is detrimental to their surroundings. 

For example, with permissive parenting you may not discipline or explain boundaries to children at all. They may have no boundaries whatsoever and may be allowed to do whatever they like, but with gentle parenting the boundaries are there is just the way that you enforce them is different. Instead of isolating your children or naughty steps, or spanking, you might consider the fact that children benefit better from natural consequences. Gentle parenting doesn’t just stop with toddlerhood, either. By the time children get to the concrete operational stage between the ages of seven and 11 years old, they should be able to understand the world around them a little bit more, but not enough to make cognitive decisions like an adult word. The brain doesn’t stop developing until the early 20s, so you have to consider the brain of a child who is 13, while they think that they know everything they really don’t. 

They are more impulsive with their actions, and that can look like pushing boundaries or being spoiled, but what it really means is that your 13 year old doesn’t have the capability to think as cognitively as you think. So, if you want to be a gentler parent and have a happier child, we’ve got some tips to help you to get started.

Photo by Anna Shvets:
  • Put empathy at the front of everything that you do. It’s the most important part of gentle parenting, and it has to be a part of everything that you do for your family. Children are not robots and they are not there to be programmed to follow your orders. Yes, it’s nice when children do as they are told because you are a grown up and you have been conditioned to think that children have to listen absolutely to everything adults do. The reason you think this way is because you were taught this as a child. you were taught to respect adults by default rather than taught that adults need to earn as much respect as children do. Put yourself in your Child’s shoes. Did you learn from being yelled out or did you just learn to lie better? Did you learn from being spanked or put in the corner and isolated alone? Probably not. Many of us now have abandonment issues and anxiety and much of it stems from how we raised our children. But it’s not our parents fault. Until they know better they can’t do better, but we can.

  • Set reasonable boundaries. You can’t expect a four year old to follow the same boundaries or rules as a 10 year old, so you need to be reasonable in your expectations. You might want your 2 year old to sit quietly in a restaurant, but two year olds are never quiet. It’s nice if children share nicely with their friends, but is sharing a rule that should be followed or sharing something they should want to do? Instead of disciplining children for not sharing, you should encourage them to share but explain to your children that they don’t have to if they don’t want to. Would you share your phone with a complete stranger who comes and asks you for it? Absolutely not! So why do we expect children to share their toys with other children that they don’t know? Consider their development and go with that. Boundaries for a 2 year old in a restaurant may be that they are able to have a tablet or some coloring in. Boundaries for a 10 year old in a restaurant work very differently because they do understand that sitting down nicely while out is a good thing.

  • Make your boundaries reasonable. While we are on the topic of setting boundaries, your boundaries have to be reasonable ones. For example, responding to your children because I said so, it doesn’t help. Iit’s arbitrary and it doesn’t help your children to learn anything. If your children want chocolate for breakfast, and you know it’s not great for them, explain it. Make it so that your children understand the answer to the question rather than just saying because you said so. Kids will respect you much more when you put boundaries in place that they can understand. Saying ‘because I said so’ is a power play; and you don’t need to have a power play with a child who doesn’t get it.

  • Be okay with saying ‘yes’. You do not have to say no to everything – and yet we are programmed to! The children want to play with glitter, but we say no because of the cleanup. We could be saying yes and having as much sparkly fun. Is a five minute vacuum job really a hardship? Of course it isn’t but when you’re raised to be made to feel that way it’s easy to project that onto your children. Your children want junk food at 8am, but it’s a Saturday so is it really a bad idea? You could easily reduce your child’s junk food intake for the rest of the day. If you would say yes more often on vacation, then why not in everyday life?
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio:
  • Raise the words you use, not your voice. Shouting doesn’t help the kids, and it doesn’t help them to learn, but it does often help you to get out your frustration, which is nice, but it isn’t great in the actual situation, does it? Unless your goal is to terrify your kids it really doesn’t help. Instead of wasting your energy shouting, why not think about the fact that you could speak calmly, because if you were yelled at you probably wouldn’t listen either. Children don’t listen to yelling. In fact they just become afraid of it and the last thing you need is your children to become afraid of you.

  • Treat your children the way that you expect them to treat other people. Children will model your behavior, so if you are treating them kindly and with respect, they will treat other people kindly and with respect. Also, you should remember that respect is and. You can expect your children to show you the respect that you are expecting, but only if you are giving it to them in return. As we said, modeling that behavior is so important. If you want them to genuinely feel kind and respect towards you, you have to show that you are worthy of it. Treating your children well should be the default rather than something that you do because somebody else told you to.

  • Don’t drag out discipline. With gentle parenting, discipline looks a little bit different. You’re not children or isolating them, and you’re not grounding them for weeks on end and you’re not taking away all of their toys. Instead, you correct the behavior in the moment. If a child has thrown a toy and the toy is broken, then they have to relearn that you are not going to replace it. If they have hurt a friend, then their natural consequences are to apologize for their behavior and may commence. You don’t discipline your child by waiting until they have got to the weekend and then deciding on a punishment for them. Children don’t think like that and while you may hold a grudge, all you are doing is proving that you hold one. But what adult holds a grudge against a child? Certainly not a decent parent.

It takes time to switch from an authoritarian parenting style to a gentle one, but it can be done. All you have to do is remind yourself that children are people too, and if you wouldn’t treat an adult the way you would treat a child, then something is going wrong. Helping your child to learn from their mistakes and become a well rounded individual is your decision and your responsibility. Make sure that you are unleashing a happy and emotionally secure individual on the world.

One Word for 2023

It’s that time of the year when I think of my word for the year — the one word to rule them all (well, at least how I live my life for 2023). After thinking about it for a few days last December, I finally chose my word. The word that I chose was DETERMINED.

I am determined.

I am determined to reach my financial goals this year. Last year, we started the year with the entire family having COVID. This really derailed me from the financial plans that we had. It was quite a rocky start to the year, but that didn’t stop me. Although I was 30% short of my financial targets, it’s fine. I still got to at least save and invest last year.

I am determined to help Zeeka enjoy learning via homeschooling. Last year, we also decided that we’ll definitely homeschool Zeeka for 4th grade. We finished two quarters already, and so far, it has been fun. Daddy EJ teaches Math, Science, CF, Digital Literacy and I teach Language, Reading, Filipino, Social Studies and Art. We’ve all been enjoying it!

I am determined to help our employees become more skilled and fulfilled. This year, I think my theme for work is to help the members of our team grow — in skills, knowledge, confidence, experience, maturity, etc. I’ve been reading this book No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention and it has made me realize that you have to trust your people fully, so that they can shine.

I am determined to be a loving wife. We’ve been married for 13 years, and a lot of things have changed. With 2 kids now, we hardly have time for ourselves. But, this year, I am looking forward to more alone time with the hubby — more date nights!

So that’s it…

If you want to read my past articles on One Word, here you go:

One Word for 2022

One Word for 2021

One Word for 2020

One Word for 2019

One Word for 2018

One Word for 2017

One Word for 2016

One Word for 2015

One Word for 2014 (didn’t get to choose one)

One Word for 2013

What’s your one word for 2023? I’d love to read about it, too!

Online Privacy and What It Means for Your Family

Online privacy has become a hot topic as of late. With more and more of us using internet-connected devices on a daily basis, it’s fairly normal to have concerns about our privacy. This is especially true as social media becomes a more integral part of our lives as each day passes. As such, we generate loads of data on the internet, and a lot of this can be used against us if we’re not careful. This is why online privacy is so important.

But what does online privacy mean for families? What if you’re not tech-savvy or you don’t really know much about using the internet. Whether you’re just getting started with the internet or would like to know more about safely using the internet, privacy is a topic that you should understand thoroughly. Here’s what you need to know. 

Photo by Dan Nelson on Unsplash

What online privacy means

Online privacy essentially refers to how much of your information remains private whenever you go on the internet. For instance, if you sign up to lots of different websites using your email, then you’re potentially giving out your email address to dozens of different businesses or people. This might not sound like much of a big deal, but what if their data is compromised? Suddenly, your email could be seen by virtually anyone and you could get lots of spam emails.

Similarly, online privacy can relate to social media. Remaining private basically means that you’re not sharing too much information. However, with all of the photographs we take, the information we might share, and also the connections we have, it’s possible for someone to use someone’s public profile as a means to find where they live. This kind of public information can make it easy to stalk you and your family members.

Is online privacy really that important?

Absolutely! Sharing too much information can encourage stalkers. This is especially important to deal with if you have children. Kids tend to overshare and they might talk a lot about their family or home. If they do this a lot, then it’s only a matter of time before some of your information is leaked out. While it’s easy to overlook something like this, it’s never too late to start practicing some habits that could lead to safer online browsing. 

Small habits like using the best private search engine or installing some kind of software that scans links can really help your situation here. Showing that you care about privacy and that it’s a top priority will help your family pay a little more attention to what they’re doing on the internet.

The basics of staying safe on the internet

So how exactly do you stay safe on the internet? What are some things you can do in order to make the internet a bit safer for your whole family? There are a number of simple ways to start protecting your kids online, but here are some of the most common methods.

  • Pay a little more attention to how they use the internet. Are they speaking to anyone that you don’t know? Are they visiting places where they could encounter strangers?
  • Have you enabled parental controls to disable access to certain websites and features?
  • Does your child know about basic internet safety? This can include not clicking on strange links and making sure websites are real and safe before clicking on a link.
  • Use something like a virtual private network to shield your activity on the internet.

While it can be fairly difficult to stay safe when browsing the internet, the use of a VPN and basic internet knowledge can be a good way to combat most threats. In addition, you may want to install some kind of antivirus software or even a spyware scanner. In the event that you do click on a bad link, you’ll get a warning and the software may even clean up the problem before it gets out of hand.

Is the internet dangerous for children?

The internet is not a dangerous place for children. In fact, it’s no safer or more dangerous than anything else they can do. The danger comes from people, not the internet itself. As such, the best way to avoid any kind of danger is to be more careful about what you share. Oversharing is never a good idea, but it’s something that children might do because they’re curious and they don’t realize there are bad people out there.