The A-Z Guide To Authoritative Parenting

Adopting a parenting style is one of the best things you can do as a loving parent. Although there are many different ways of going about raising your kids, some are considered much better than others. By giving your children a solid foundation to build off of, you’re not only helping them succeed around the house with you, you’re also giving them a platform to build the rest of their lives upon.

This article will look into a very popular parenting technique called authoritative parenting and how it can help shape your kids in a positive way.  I have provided a table of content for easy navigation –

1.1 Authoritative Parenting Style Definition
1.2 Authoritative Parenting Skills
1.3 Authoritative Parenting Examples
1.4 Authoritative Parenting Books
1.5 A Brief Bio of Diana Baumrind
1.6 Effects and Conclusion

Authoritative Parenting Style Definition

Before we jump into the different techniques involved with being an authoritative parent, we’ll first define what the term means. Being an authoritative parent means finding the right mix of loving and caring and hard rules. By giving your kids consequences and outlining the things that they should and shouldn’t do, you can establish a framework from with which to build.

A formal definition of authoritative parenting, as outlined by Families.com, is, “Authoritative parents believe in developing a close and nurturing relationship with their children while also upholding and maintaining a reasonably high level of expectations and rules or guidelines.”

Authoritative Parenting Skills

If your parenting style is authoritative, it means that you’ve developed a certain skill set that you use when dealing with your kids. Authoritative parenting works because parents have established “ground rules” that their kids must obey. Although there are many variations on this common theme, many parenting books outline the following skills as the best foundation for an authoritative parenting style.

Listen: First and foremost, it’s important that you listen to what your children have to say. Although “authoritative” sounds very similar to “authorititarian,” they’re two very different parenting styles. By listening to what your children have to say, you can show them that you not only value their opinion, but you’re treating them like adults. Listening is one of the most underdeveloped skills, which is why it’s important to do everything you can to listen to what your kids have to say to show them that you care.

Give Them Independence: I’m sure you’ve seen it while you’re in the mall. Some parents drag their children along while they pick out clothes for their little ones right in front of them. Doing things for your child is a huge disservice to their future. Encourage your child to be independent and help them make their own decisions.

Boundaries and Expectations: As a parent, it’s your job to let your kids know what it is they can and can’t do. That doesn’t always mean telling your kids to eat their peas. Instead, it means setting boundaries for bigger things like curfews and what you expect of them around the house. It isn’t always easy to tell your kids to mow the lawn on a hot Saturday afternoon, but by rewarding them and letting them know that your expectations of them in school or around the house have been exceeded, you can reward them with love and encouragement.

Nurture: One of the worst authoritative parenting styles you can have is the cold type. Being cold means not showing any type of love or compassion towards your kids. Many folks who start looking into authoritative parenting styles lose sight of this and end up showing the cold shoulder to their kids more often than they should. While being firm is one thing, being mean and unresponsive is completely unnecessary. Learn from the beginning what it means to be a warm and caring parent so that you don’t end up like one of those 1960’s parenting figures who ends up pushing their kids away more than they invite them in.

Opinions?: Everyone has an opinion to share, even your children. By opening up your ears to let your children express what they think, you can encourage them to be open with you in all facets of their life. Your children aren’t meant to just stay submissive and silent. Allowing them to express their ideas freely, as well as listen to the ones that you have, you can help better prepare them for the “real world,” where they’ll be expected to collaborate and help others solve problems, not just agree with what they’ve been told.

Discipline: Disciplining is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do to your kids. No parents want s to have to put their kids into time out or ground them, but it sometimes has to be done. Part of parenting styles that are authoritative is discipline. Discipline isn’t meant to be mean or hard edged, but should instead be a way to remind your kids that they have stepped out of line. By providing boundaries for your children to work within, you’re helping them prepare for later in their life when the consequences may be more severe than a lack of video games for a week. While laying your foot down is important sometimes, being too heavy handed can lead to fallout with your kids.

Authoritative Parenting Examples

The best way to understand what it means to be an authoritative parent is to use an example. We’ll go over not only what an authoritative parent does, but also what two other parenting styles would say in the same situation.

The Example: This authoritative parenting example involves the age old tale of a child wanting a piece of candy, either before dinner, or during the middle of the day. If your son or daughter approaches you and asks you nicely for a piece of candy, there are a few different ways of approaching the situation.

Authoritatively: The most commonly accepted way of handling this situation is to simply not say no, but explain the situation to your child so that they better understand what’s going on. An authoritative parent would explain to their child that although candy is nice to eat and is enjoyable, it isn’t always the best choice to make before dinner or as a meal alternative. While candy can be a nice treat from time to time, it isn’t always the best choice for their health. You can then decide whether or not you want to give your child a piece of candy as a reward for something they’ve done, or say no to their request because it’s too close to dinner time.

Permissive Parenting: The argument between authoritative vs permissive parenting has come up many times in the past, with many parent often caving because of guilt or pressure to give their child what they want. In this situation, a permissive parent would simply give the child the candy that they want without explaining why they have earned it or what the effects of candy are on the health. Permissive parents often have children who are called “spoiled,” because they’re simply unable to say no to their children.

Authoritarian: Often confused with authoritative parenting, the “authoritative vs authoritarian” argument couldn’t be much clearer. An authoritarian parent would tell their child “no, you can’t have any candy” without ever explaining why the decision was made. Children grow to fear parents who are this strict and abrupt with their decisions.

Authoritative Parenting Books

Walk into any bookstore in the country and you’re bound to find a whole section on parenting books. The world of parenting has become an entire industry build around the idea that there’s a perfect way to raise your kids. Authoritative parenting isn’t build so much on the idea that there’s a book you can buy that will tell you all of the things you should and shouldn’t do, but instead is built on core principles (you can see those listed above). These core principles are very much the “guiding light” of authoritative parenting styles and are seen in just about any book you can buy.

If you’re looking to pick up some additional literature on how you can become a better parent, we have a few books that we’d highly recommend. We know that it’s not easy being a parent, which often means that you don’t have time to sit down and read an in-depth parenting manual that will give you all of the answers you’ll ever need. Instead, the books we’ve picked out take a look at parenting in a few different lights. In many cases, these books take a “top down” approach to parenting in that they see parenting as a cumulative approach, not something you can tackle situation by situation.

Unconditional Parenting: Moving From Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason – This first book isn’t so much a step by step guide as it is a “go at your own pace” type book. Many parents are under the impression that, like dogs, people should be rewarded for good and bad actions. Rewarding your child isn’t always the best way to get through to them. This book explains how it’s best to use reason and love with your child as opposed to simply giving them a toy or time to watch TV when they do something correctly.

If you’re looking for a good jumping off point, this is it. This book will by no means cover everything you need to know about authoritative parenting, but it’ll do a damn good job of getting you off on the right foot so that you can bring your child back into your life without pushing them farther away.

Getting to Calm: Cool Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens + Teens: If you’re long past the days of rewarding your children with time in front of their video game consoles or in front of their TV, it’s time for this book. Managing teenagers is much harder than looking after a young child.

While it’ certainly helps if you have a strong foundation in place with your kids before you start teaching them how to be successful teenagers, this book understands that some kids aren’t brought up in an authoritative household. In addition to trying to correct past parenting inconsistencies, this book takes a very level headed approach to raising teenagers (even their rebellious nature).

Both of these books are widely considered “the essentials” in the authoritative parenting world, and they’re both extremely cheap. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the strategies that they’re trying to employ, nor do you have to be the best parent in the world already to get a good grasp on how you can find things to change around your house.

Above all else, remember that parenting isn’t something that can be learned overnight, but is instead an art form that’s mastered over a number of years.

Don’t beat yourself up if things go wrong from time to time, as parenting isn’t something that’s set in stone. While being an authoritative parent, you have to realize that there’s a lot of give and take when it comes to your kids. By listening to them, chances are you’ll learn what they like and don’t like about what you’re doing, giving you the opportunity to change things that may not be best for the both of you.

A Brief Bio of Diana Baumrind

As you read through parenting books, chances are you’ll stumble across this name. Diana Baumrind is one of the most widely regarded cognitive psychologists in the parenting world and her views on the way parenting styles have evolved are still referenced today. Diana Baumrind’s theory was that parenting could be broken into 3 different styles. We outlined those styles above as authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive.

Authoritative parents are the most level headed parents on the block and take the time to listen to and explain to their children why they’ve made the decisions they have. Instead of leaving kids in the dark about why a certain decision has been made, explain to them that it’s not OK to push their siblings around because, “XYZ.”

In contrast, authoritarian parents in general say “no” all the time, while permissive parents always say “yes.” All three of these styles are based around the idea that there’s a balance between responsiveness and demandingness that a parent must meet. Responsiveness is how much a parent responds to their child’s requests or demands, and demandingness is how much a parent demands of their children in exchange for “rewards” or for other things.

The perfect balance obviously falls within the authoritative parenting boundaries, meaning that a parent both gives and receives in their parenting style. A full Diana Baumrind biography can be found on Wikipedia here.

Effects and Conclusion

One of the biggest misconceptions about parenting is that whatever style you choose to adopt, you should be able to know the outcome before it happens. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Authoritative parenting effects can’t be known unless you try things out. Some new parents think that they can buy a book and find out all there is to know about what it means to be a parent.

Unfortunately, books can only guide you so far. To truly know what your child is going to turn out like, you’re going to have to try things out. Trial and error within a given parenting methodology is the best method of all.

Fat Burning Exercises – Pick Your Favorite One

One of the number one questions I get in my inbox every morning is about fat burning exercises. While many people use workout time to hopefully lose some weight and get into better shape, many folks just don’t have any clue what they should be doing to ensure that fat and weight loss actually occur.

Today’s article is going to break down some of my favorite fat burning exercises for you so that you can get on track with your fitness goals and hopefully shed some pounds in time for the holidays.

Continue reading “Fat Burning Exercises – Pick Your Favorite One”

8 Weird Downsides To Working in a Cubicle

We all have our pet peeves about the modern cubicle office environment, don’t we?

Sometimes we might even feel like cattle confined to our cubicles, but it’s a long way from the meat packing plant conditions Upton Sinclair wrote about in “The Jungle.” Well, usually.

So, let’s just take a minute or two and have a few chuckles about the vicissitudes of life within the confines of 3.5 cloth covered walls, and then move on.

Continue reading “8 Weird Downsides To Working in a Cubicle”

26 Awesome and Enjoyable Hobbies For Women To Kill Boredom

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Everyone and their mother seems to have a hobby to go to these days, so why not you too? If you’ve dropped the kids off to school and have already gotten the chores done for the day, why not take some time to start learning something new or taking up a hobby. If you’re stuck for ideas, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve compiled the best lists from all around the Internet to create the ultimate hobbies for women guide around. For your ease (of navigation), I have included a table of content below –

Hobbies for Women – 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s

The importance of hobbies often goes overlooked. Although we’d all like to think of ourselves as productivity machines 24 hours a day, it simply can’t be done. Everyone, including women, need downtime to relax and enjoy the world and to learn new skills. By taking your mind away from work or family, you’ll be able to clear your mind and do those things even better when you need to. Hobbies not only give you a sense of relaxation though. They’re also a great way to pursue something that you’re passionate about.

Just because you’ve started a family or are pursuing professional goals doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have time to focus on the things that you’re most passionate about. By engaging in lighthearted and fun activities you can relieve stress (which is good for both mental and physical well being), and learn new skills and techniques that can be applied to other areas of your life.

Out-of-Comfort-Zone Hobbies for Women

If you’re still early on in your years, you may not be tied down to a family or commitments just yet. You can use this extra free time that you have to invest in something you’re passionate about. Instead of trying to separate all of the different age groups into different “demographics” to insinuate that some women can do things that other women can’t because of their age, we’ve compiled all of the hobbies we could into an easy to navigate list. We want to mention that, some of them will push you out of your “daily life” zone. Good luck!

Although some of these hobbies are a little dated, we’ve thrown in some “21st century” ones that can only be done with the use of that expensive computer you just bought.

Blogging

Writing has typically been a hobby for women throughout the ages. In this day and age, the trend is no different. Although, now instead of writing by hand, we all have access to the internet where our thoughts can be shared with the entire world instead of just the leather covers of a bound book. If you have thoughts that you’d like to share with the world, all you have to do is set up a free blog at either wordpress.com or blogger.com to get started! Share the blog with your friends and family and watch them spread the word as your thoughts become more and more in depth. Blogging helps improve your writing and analytical skills, which are both useful in the professional world as well!

Jewelry Making

This hobby shows up a lot on hobby blogs, but rarely do women actually get into it. Making jewelry is as easy as heading down to your local craft stores and picking up some beads or precious stones and making necklaces or bracelets out of them. If you really like the final product that you come out with, you can set up a store on your blog or on eBay to sell your crafty creations. There are quite a few women who do this already, which means that the competition is pretty steep online, but if your product is good enough, people will come.

Belly Dancing

Here’s one you probably don’t see every day. Belly dancing is both a great workout and a sexy way to impress your man. Don’t worry if you’re uncoordinated and rough on the dance floor. Belly dancing is different from regular dancing and anyone can learn. Sign up for some belly dancing classes at your local gym or fitness center to see if you like it. You can even sign up for the classes with your friends so the embarrassment can be shared by everyone.

Hobbies for Young Women

If you’re still young enough to be able to stretch, contort, and use your body in unusual ways, these hobbies may be for you. Some of these hobbies for women in their 20’s aren’t typically thought of as “hobbies,” but instead workouts. However, a hobby doesn’t necessarily have to be something that you do at your kitchen table while the husband is away.

Hobbies are anything that make you feel good about yourself and better you in some way, be it hobbies for women at home or outdoors, these few suggestions do all of the above.

Modeling

Modeling may seem a bit farfetched, but many women do it to raise a bit of extra cash to either pay for school or for a night on the town. Before you get started, you’ll want to make sure that you’re comfortable in front of the camera and are willing to put in the hard work required to make yourself into a decent model. While it may seem easy on television, being a model requires a lot of skill and discipline and generally isn’t something that happens overnight. To get started, all you have to do is browse through Craiglist or the local paper to see if there are any easy modeling jobs nearby. Give them a call, send in a headshot, and who knows, maybe you’ll land your first modeling gig!

Singing

Singing is a pretty universal hobby for both women young and old. However, if you’d like to make some money doing it or turn your hobby and passion into a career, being young gives you an advantage. If you don’t have much experience singing, we suggest enrolling in some vocal lessons at a local studio. Voice lessons aren’t terribly cheap, but you can often get a discount if you order a few lessons at a time. Take 5 or 6 lessons to see how you feel about your singing endeavors, and if you don’t like where they’re headed, try something new.

Photography

Photography is often thought to have high startup costs, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Photography is one of the best cheap hobbies for women that you can find. If you have a cell phone with a decent camera, you’re ready to get started. Look up a few photography lessons online to see where to get started. If you’re really passionate about your new hobby, consider saving up for a nice DSLR camera or something similar to take your passion to the next level.

Hobbies for Older Women

Hobbies for elderly women often involve playing some type of board game or putting together a puzzle. Just because you’re getting on in your life doesn’t mean that your hobbies have to be boring and uninteresting. Hopefully these tips and ideas light a fire within your creative spirit and you too can engage in some of these top hobbies for women.

Canning Fruit and Vegetables

If you’re retired, chances are you have quite a bit of extra time on your hands. You can invest this time into growing a fruit or vegetable garden where you can take the fruit and can it to give or sell to your friends. If you don’t think you have the time to grow a garden, consider buying some fruit or vegetables from the local store and canning those instead. Canned fruit and vegetables are still popular these days, and there’s no reason why you can’t join in the fun with this easy and inexpensive hobby.

Book Clubs

If you’re an avid reader, why not team up with others in the community and start a book club. Book clubs are a great way to not only share a few laughs with friends, but to also enjoy more books that you probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. Book clubs inspire creativity by getting all of the members to step outside of their comfort zone and read things that may not have ordinarily interested them.

Art Classes

Before you shoot the idea down, art classes are welcoming of people of any age. If you’re not sure of your artistic abilities, that’s all the more reason to join an art class or club to meet new people and try something new. Art classes are generally held at local community colleges or at libraries. Have a look online to see where art classes are held in your community and give something new a try!

Unusual Hobbies for Women

While the hobbies themselves may not be unusual, these interesting hobbies for women could get you excited about something you may never thought of yourself doing. While these hobbies are obviously universal, some of them are better suited for younger women. These aren’t necessarily hobbies for women over 50, but if you’re willing to give anything a try at least once, you may surprise yourself with your ability to do some of these.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing, both indoor and outdoor, has become one of the most popular hobbies for women in the past few years. Not only is it relatively inexpensive to get started, it’s also extremely engaging and challenging for both men and women alike. Although you may not think of yourself as strong or athletic, rock climbing is more of a strategic sport than anything else. While muscles can help, they’re not necessarily going to make you good at the sport. Many cities have indoor rock climbing gyms where you can get the basics down and move on to an outdoor setting down the road.

Flying

No, we’re not talking about getting on board a Delta flight to head out to Las Vegas. We’re talking about taking flying lessons to obtain your personal pilot’s license. Being a pilot is much easier than people think and can be accomplished within just a few months. With your license in hand, you can rent or fly planes as you want to fly all over the country or just around your state. Flying is a bit expensive, but once you get the hang of it, your lessons will pay for themselves when you can rent your services out to other people.

Parkour

This one may best be left to those in tip top physical shape, but if you’re bold enough to try new things, this could be for you as well. Parkour is the act of using unusual city landscapes to move around. Sound confusing? Think of it more as a run through the city and using the buildings as a way to dance through your run as you go. A video would be the best way to show what parkour actually is. It’s not only a physical workout, it’s also a great way to get a better idea of the city you know and love.

Top 10 Hobbies for Women

We’ve covered a lot of ground so far in these hobby listings, but what are the top 10? Hobbies stretch far and wide in the world, but we’ve whittled things down into the top hobbies for women at the moment. They range from physical exercise all the way down to curling up in bed and enjoying a little R&R. Let us know if we hit the mark with these or if there are other great hobbies for women that we missed.

Cooking

It may sound stereotypical to say that cooking is a woman’s hobby, but hear us out. Cooking is a great hobby for just about anyone. Not only do you get to play around with different types of flavors and textures, you’ll learn some great meal ideas while you’re at it. We recommend picking up some cookbooks to get some ideas for when you start, but once you have the basics down, the sky is the limit. Experiment however you’d like and we’re sure you’ll come up with great ideas.

Running/Jogging

This hobby is sure to get you into shape fast. If you don’t already exercise regularly, now may be the time to start something new. Running and jogging don’t just have to be about getting fit, but instead could be sued as a way to clear your head. Going for a jog for at least half an hour a day is sure to not only get your legs looking nice, but also clear your head from all of the stress of the day.

Sports

While sports in general are the point of this part of the list, we’d like to draw attention to one sport in particular: golf. Golf often goes overlooked by women as a “guy’s game.” Although the acronym, golf, excludes women from playing, getting out onto the course with your boyfriend or significant other can be a real bonding experience. It gets you away from the house for a while and helps you get a bit of fresh air. Plus, drinking is generally encouraged on the golf course, and who doesn’t like a beer or two during the afternoon?

Gardening

Starting a small garden in your back yard or outside the front porch can be a lot of fun. You’ll add some aesthetic value to your home and you can have all of the joy of taking care of something as well. Gardening isn’t for the impatient though. If you’re going to get started with planting different flowers and trees, remember that everything takes time to grow. It may take a few weeks or months before you see any of the fruits of your labor, but when it does sprout through the ground, you can be that much more proud of it.

Music

We mentioned learning to sing in one of the subsections, but music as a whole can be a lot of fun. If you don’t already know how to play an instrument, it can be a great way to let off some steam and unleash your creative side. Creativity has been shown to boost happiness and longevity, so what are you waiting for? Strum out a few chords on that guitar you’ve had sitting in your attic for all these years.

Reading

If you’re the type that likes to read a lot, why don’t you check out joining a book club or a group that introduces new books to each other. If you’re stuck for ideas, you can always check out the best sellers’ list at your local bookstore to figure out something new to read that way. Reading is a good way to kill time and get lost in different worlds. Reading is also linked to helping creativity, so why not give it a shot in conjunction with playing music or something similar?

Trip Planning

Although some may call it a vacation, one of the most fun hobbies for women is planning miniature trips. Be they to the beach for a weekend or across the country for a week off, planning a few trips a year can really keep the monotony of a job or life broken up. You’ll always have something to look forward to. Try to make the trips as cheap as possible so you’re not breaking the bank every time you decide to go somewhere. You can use sites like expedia.com to book last minute deals if you want to just get away for a weekend once in a while as well.

Learning a Language

Knowing a second language is often considered sexy by many men. If you’re not sure where to begin with learning a language, you can always check out books from the local library that can help you get started. If those aren’t cutting it, consider enrolling in some basic language classes at your local college or university until you get the hang of basic phrases or ideas and build from there. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect to be fluent in just a few hours. Learning a foreign language takes practice, and what better way to practice than to talk to your boyfriend with your new words?

Video Games

Believe it or not, girl gamers are on the rise (big time) and more and more games are coming out every day. If you’ve never taken the time to try your hand at playing video games, why not start now? There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of entry level games that can help you get on your way to dominating Xbox live. If you’re looking to get your boyfriend involved, chances are he’d be more than happy to play with you while you learn the ropes of his favorite games. Hobbies don’t just have to be personal!

Scrap Booking

This one is a timeless classic that has been around since your grandmother’s were born. Scrap booking is the art of making a book or packet out of all of the photos you have around your house. Be they from your sister’s wedding or from your last vacation, a scrap book is a great way to remember all of the things you did that you took photos of. There are plenty of scrapbooking blogs online these days too, and you’re sure to find some great ideas for your own projects from them.

Money Making Hobbies for Women

We all like to make a bit of extra cash on the side, right? Just because a hobby is relaxing doesn’t mean it can’t earn you some extra money on the side. These easy hobbies for women are designed to not only bring some fun into your life, but also give you a bit of money to play around with to buy birthday presents or have fun with when you hit the town this weekend.

eBay

The most well known money making method on the Internet is the art of finding things around your house that you no longer want or need and selling them on the internet. eBay is rife with buyers looking to buy everything from that old computer you have tucked under your bed to that silverware set your grandmother gave you. Take a few hours (or days) to inventory all of the junk it is you have at home and figure out what you can sell online and what belongs in the trash. Setting up an eBay account is easy and once you’ve gotten your things listed online, it’s time to sit back and watch the money roll in.

Freelance Writing

If you did well in English during your college years, chances are you’re ready to be a freelance writer. Freelance writing involves writing product reviews and informational articles for websites. Content providers pay pretty well when it comes to the articles you can write for them. If you’re good enough at what you do, you can easily make $15-$20 an hour by working full time. The work can get a bit boring if you’re not careful, but for those that only want to write for an hour or two each day, the extra cash it can bring in can help out quite a bit.

Website Creation

We talked about blogging elsewhere in this article, but blogging about a hobby you’re passionate about can bring in some cash as well. Although breaking into the blog arena is difficult these days, making a website about your hobby or passion can bring in a few extra dollars each month. By updating your site with tips and tricks for other enthusiasts, you can make money off of ad revenue on your website each time someone visits your site. Generating traffic is difficult, but if you provide informative enough articles, people will find you eventually.

Photography

Lastly, photography is a great way to bring in some extra dough. If you’re good enough at taking pictures, why not consider hiring yourself out to your friends or coworkers to take photos at their wedding. You don’t have to charge huge sums of money like the pros do to start off, but when you get good, a free weekend you have taking photos could bring in some awesome cash. One thing to watch out for when considering photography though is the high cost involved with purchasing new equipment all the time.

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Building Your Personal Brand Through Social Media-Few Minutes a Day

You may not realize it, but there are dozens of things you can do to build your personal brand through the social route in just a few minutes everyday. Everything you do affects your brand, so why not implement a few easy to use tactics to help greatly boost your brand in just a few minutes each day. Mind you, some of these may require follow through that requires more than a few minutes of your time, but actually setting up the idea can be done in a flash.

Don’t try and implement all of these at once, but instead focus on one at a time so that you can devote your attention to any response you receive as a result of your efforts. Creating many different promotional avenues at once can be overwhelming and some may end up getting neglected.

Youtube Video

If you’re an expert in a particular field, why not make a Youtube video about it? In previous personal branding articles I’ve mentioned “power drills,” so let’s keep with that theme to give you an idea of how to create a Youtube video around your area of expertise.

In regards to power drills, I could set up a screencast program that captures my computer monitor and sound from a microphone to create a video about power drills. The video could focus on different websites to go to buy discounted drills, or show great DIY websites or hidden gems that aren’t accessible with just a simple Google search.

Posting a video about “Power Drill Buying Tips” may also be great to people looking for some advice on what to look for when buying a drill. The possibilities are literally endless for what you could choose to make your video about. Just be sure that it’s relevant and that it’s professional enough to attract attention to the “Info” section of the video where you can point people to your blog or website.

Workshops in Your Community

Similar to Youtube, setting up a workshop in your community can give a huge boost to your personal brand. Take 5 minutes out of your day to give a local high school or community center a call to see if you can schedule an hour in the coming month to come in and talk about your particular niche and hold a free seminar for people to attend. The key word here is “free.” Charging for seminars when no one knows who you are or how well versed you are in a subject can be detrimental.

During the seminar, be sure to hand out as many business cards as you can, as well as have flyers and logos anywhere you can. Seminars are designed to build your brand, so take full advantage of the time to plug your website and services, all while helping people with a common problem. In the power drill example, you could host something at the local tool store on the weekend on how to build a birdhouse for kids.

Update your Avatar

Believe it or not, there’s a higher click rate on profiles that regularly update their profile picture on Facebook and Twitter than those that keep their image stagnant. People like change, so why not give it to them? Take a few minutes every few weeks to take a new photo of yourself and update your social network profiles to keep things new and interesting. By updating your photo on Facebook, it’ll show up on News Feeds of all of your followers, which is important when you want to stay on people’s minds.

Forum Posting

With a forum signature already set up, why not put it to good use and actually post on the forum? Start a thread on a forum relating to your niche that inspires conversation. While the market is probably small, if you were actually a power drill specialist, you could ask on a power drill forum what people look for in drills when they buy them or what new products they’re looking at getting in the coming months.

From the responses you can not only get your forum signature in as many posts as possible, you can also get ideas about what to post about next on your blog. If people on a forum for your niche are talking about a particular product or news item, chances are you can drive traffic to your blog by discussing the topic even further.

How Do I Get Into Shape?

The topic of today’s article is definitely going to be a bit broad, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I often hear and see people at the gym looking to get “into shape.” While it’s definitely a formidable goal to have, a lot of people are many times, blinded by their own definition of the phrase and end up failing at their exercise routines before they even make any progress.

Today’s blog post will cover how to set goals for yourself so that you can actually get yourself into shape, but will also cover what exercises you can do and what programs you can follow to actually make the changes you want to make to your body. Today’s article should be a lot of fun and should be inspirational to all who read it, so I hope you stick through it and enjoy!

Continue reading “How Do I Get Into Shape?”

Air Travel Hacked – The Definitive Guide To a Safe and Happy Air Journey

Traveling by air is probably nothing new for many folks, but there are probably quite a few things that you don’t know about air travel. The history of air travel goes back about 100 years when the Wright Brothers were the first ones to take to the skies with their makeshift aircraft.

While the idea of air travel had existed before the Wright brothers, no one had ever attempted to build a device that had wings instead of just a balloon or something else that could become airborne.

Air Travel Statistics

Although air travel seems commonplace for most of us, you may be surprised to learn that only about 42% of people took a trip by plane in the last year. That number is a bit higher for business people who travel on a weekly basis. Business trips were had by about 48% of the population.

You may also be surprised to hear that over 41 million trips were missed in the past year because of frustrations with the airline industry. Whether they were caused by bad weather or poor service remains to be unseen. One thing is certain though, and that’s the fact that people generally hate traveling by air.

Here are some basic statistics –

Domestic Air Travel in India

Vacation Deprivation Key Statistics From Expedia

Air Safety

Generally speaking, air travel is by far the safest way that you can travel these days. Compared to the number of accidents with cars on the road, you have much less chance of a mishap happening to you while in the air than while on the ground. Let’s take a look at some numbers.

In the year 2,000, there were 83 casualties across the entire airline industry. That may sound like a high number, and that’s because it is. 2,000 was a bad year for the airline industry. The three years prior to 2,000 (1997-1999), there were 12 recorded fatalities in the air. That doesn’t mean that on average there were 12 deaths per year, that means that there were 12 total deaths in the entirety of the time elapsed. During that time period there were over 11 million flights that recorded time in the air. So, as you can see, the odds are definitely in your favor in terms of how safe air travel is.

How safe is air travel you ask? Well, you have a 1 in 11 million shot of dying while in the air. Those are pretty good odds in anyone’s book.

If you compare that to driving, you are 22 times safer in an aircraft than you are on the road. Far more people are killed each year because of car wrecks than those that die in the air.

Air Travel Restrictions

It’s probably no surprise to hear that there are plenty of air travel restrictions out there these days. Everything ranging from what you can and can’t take onboard the aircraft for security reasons, to what seat you get to pick out depending on your age.

When you’re packing your bags, remember that bringing sharp objects or weapons on board planes is against the law in almost all countries. If you’re making an international flight to the United States, you’re no longer allowed to bring liquids on board the aircraft. Remember to throw out that water bottle before you make it to the security checkpoint!

Some of the most common air travel guidelines to remember are those that require you lock your bag before sending it through the security checkpoint and ensuring that you don’t have anything in your bags that will get you stopped at the security checkpoint. Knives and guns are obviously a no-no.

When traveling domestically within the United States, it is required that you lock your bag with a TSA (Transportation Security Authority) lock. All of these locks are designed so that they can be opened by TSA when your bag is getting screened in customs or at security checkpoints. While you’ll be the only civilian with a key to open your bag, all TSA approved locks are able to be opened by a TSA agent with ease. If you use a lock that isn’t TSA approved, they’ll have no problem simply cutting the lock to get inside to take a look.

Air Travel Rules/Regulations

While the obvious ones were listed above in regards to what you can and can’t bring on board a flight, there are some lesser known rules that you should be aware of before booking tickets and getting to the airport.

There are limits on how heavy your baggage can be. Check on your airline’s website to see how much you can cram into your bag before you get slammed with huge overage fees at the check-in counter of the airport. If you don’t have a scale at home to weigh your bag before going to the airport, you can make a quick trip to your local post office to get an accurate reading of how heavy your bag actually is.

There are also age restrictions on board many domestic US flights. Children under the age of 18 aren’t allowed to sit in an exit row seat. When you’re booking your tickets, ensure that you don’t pick an exit row seat for your family if you have a child with you. They’ll be asked to move.

The check-in time for flights in a minimum of one hour before your departure time. Many times airlines will close their check in counter about an hour and a half before departure time to prevent people from sprinting through the airport and through security to try and make their flight. Just be early! Although it may sound crazy, about 2 to 2 and a half hours before your departure time is a good time to arrive at the airport.

ID Required?

Do you need an ID to travel on board a flight? The common answer is “yes.” To make it easy for both you and the airport officials, having an ID ready when you go to check in is a good idea. Although the airports say that you need a driver’s license or passport to board an aircraft, it’s technically not required by law.

There are ways around having to carry an identification card (if you’re willing to sit in an interrogation room while they verify your identity). To make things easy for yourself, try and buy a travel wallet that allows you to carry both your tickets and your ID card all in one location. That way when you make it up to the security checkpoints or the boarding gate, you’ll have all of your information ready to go.

Air Travel Deals

We all want to be able to get the best air travel prices around, but many people don’t know where to look. With air travel sites popping up every day, it’s often hard to keep up with which ones are the best deal for the money and which ones are a total scam.

If you’re trying to book your flight early to snag cheap air travel tickets, check out sites like Kayak.com or Travelzoo.com. Both have built up a great reputation in the travel industry for providing the cheapest fares. They work by scanning many different competitor’s websites so you don’t have to. You can scan all of the airlines going from one airport to another in one search to see which airline brings back the cheapest price.

The best days to book flights for low cost air travel are Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the best day to get online to book flights are at the start of the week. Airlines bump up their prices on Wednesday’s and Thursdays because they know that people are now booking for flights for the following week. Business travelers generally fly out on Monday and back home on Friday, making Tuesday and Thursday the best days to book flights for.

If you’re looking to grab a last minute air travel deal, Expedia.com is the best place to go. Expedia works by allowing you to bid on a flight that you’d like to go on. Airlines wait until the last 24 hours or so to see how much money they can get out of potential passengers. If there are still empty seats available on a flight, they’ll begin considering the bids of people on Expedia and similar sites to try and fill those empty seats.

Although this is a risky method of flying, people have been known to get some of the cheapest air travel deals they can by using this method.

Booking very early and very late are the best ways to save money.

Air Travel Booking

When you’re trying to book air travel, there are a few ways to go about it. You can either go directly through the airline’s website to book exactly the flight that you want, or you can use some of the sites listed above to aggregate data across many different airlines to try and get the best price you can. The latter of the two options is the most preferred among frequent travelers as it provides the best prices you can get.

Another, and probably least common route to take is to call the airline directly. The airline will be able to take all of your information from you over the phone and mail you or email you a copy of your tickets. Although it may seem “antiquated,” if you don’t have access to a computer, you can pretty quickly order tickets over the phone. Give it a try sometime. You’ll probably be surprised at how easy it is.

Air Travel Coupons

Although you can use travel sites to book extremely discounted air travel, getting some coupons to help with the deal can’t hurt. Although many airlines don’t release coupons for their out flights explicitly, you can often get coupons on third party sites (like those listed above) to get some additional savings during promotional periods. Cheap-o Air (cheapoair.com) often has deals for customers who want to save $10 or $15 off of their next flight. Although it may not sound like much, every little bit helps.

If you’re looking for much bigger savings, there’s a promotion that happens within the airports that many travelers never hear about. If a flight you’re on is overbooked, many times the airline will offer some sort of compensation to travelers who opt to travel at a later time during the day. If you think a flight you’re going to be on is overbooked, approach the flight counter and ask if you can be booked on a later flight in exchange for a travel coupon.

These travel vouchers that the airlines issue are usually a few hundred dollars in value, so if you can afford to be a few hours late, take the money! The travel vouchers typically last for a year or so and can be used to book flights through the company’s website.

Last Minute Air Travel

We already listed one site, Expedia, for last minute travel deals. However, there are also plenty more options available online that will allow you to wait until the last few hours before you need to head out to try and get the best deal possible on your flight.

Hotwire.com is another popular option to investigate for last minute deals. Unlike Expedia, many times you won’t be able to bid on flights, but instead only get the best last minute travel deals that are available. You’ll have to accept the fact you won’t have too much control over where your flights are headed, but who can pass up $100 flights to Cancun or Toronto?

Student Travel

Another great way to save cash is to fly as a student. StudentUniverse.com is by far the best resource on the web to fly as a student, as it’s able to get flights for travelers under a certain age. In addition to searching for student only flights, Student Universe is also able to search the popular sites like Expedia and Hotwire to find other great deals that students can utilize.

They also have a number of different travel guides for students looking to study abroad or attend other high education programs across the ocean. These guides can be an invaluable tool for students who have flown very little in their lives, as they’ll tell you exactly what you need to bring and what to watch out for when it comes to airline control.

First Class Air Travel

Ah, the luxury of first class. First class is the section of the plane reserved for luxury travel. First class passengers enjoy almost twice as much legroom as is available in coach; bigger seats, better meal selections, and in flight entertainment that is generally not available in the rear of the plane. You’ll pay big bucks for first class tickets, as the amenities aren’t cheap for the airline to provide, but if you have the money, the tickets are well worth it. Being able to recline all the way back in your seat when it’s time to take a nap or sleep through the night is an amazing benefit.

Air Travel Tips

Although flying is commonplace, many folks don’t know how to tackle it properly. These tips should help make the process much simpler and smoother for both yourself and the family that’s traveling with you.

Disinfectant Wipes: Although it’s disgusting, airlines rarely (if ever) clean the tray tables or head rests on board their planes. Bring a few disinfectant wipes on board with you so that you can wipe down the area where you’re going to be eating, as well as the headrest where your head is going to be resting for the next few hours.

Free Samples: Because of the restrictions on the size of the liquids you can bring on board the flight, try to get free samples from the cosmetics counters or from hotels as you travel around. These travel friendly sized bottles are a great way to keep stocked up on the essentials without having to refill tiny bottles yourself.

Air Travel Pillow: Always bring your own pillow onto a flight. The pillows that are provided are reused and disgusting, and are generally uncomfortable.

Bring a Blanket: Similar to the pillow tip, the blankets provided by airlines are often useless. Try and bring a big sweater or portable blanket to keep yourself warm and comfortable on board a long flight.

Lounges: If you are a frequent flyer or have $50 to spend, you can take advantage of your airline’s travel lounge in the airport. These luxury lounges are a great place to get free food and drinks while you relax and wait for your flight. The staff within the lounges will notify you when your flight is ready to depart as well.

Room Service: Not really related to actual flying, but if you’ve just landed in an airport and are on your way to the hotel you’re staying at, call ahead for room service to be delivered to your room when you arrive. Calling 20 minutes before you arrive at the hotel can ensure that food is waiting for you when you arrive and you won’t have to sit around waiting for it to come.

Charge your Laptop: With many domestic flights now offering Wi-Fi on board the flight, having your laptop charged before you get on board a flight will ensure that you’ll be able to do some sufficient time killing on the web.

Packing For Air Travel

Although you have your tickets booked and you’re ready to go, there’s still some packing to do. Packing is daunting no matter which way you look at it, so pack smart and avoid the hassle later.

Remember that airlines often have restrictions on how much baggage you can bring on board. Generally speaking, you’re allowed one carry on item for free per passenger.

Airlines charge for baggage, so be smart and try and consolidate all of your luggage into one suitcase if you’re going as a family. If you’re going on holiday, rewear clothes while you’re there, meaning bring one pair of jeans for every two days of travel. You don’t get THAT dirty while you move around during the day. Clothes can be reworn.

When considering your carry-on bag, we suggest packing all of the essentials that you’re going to need during the flight into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. This means that you should put your book, gum, and ipod all in an easy to find location that you can just pull out of your bag and plop onto your seat as you’re boarding the plane. That way, instead of having to fuss with all of the stuff in your backpack, you have a bag with everything you need already at your fingertips.

Air Travel Weather

The weather for flights is pretty unpredictable. Air travel delays are not uncommon because of bad weather, which not only means an inconvenience for you, it also means an inconvenience for the entire flight. If you’re on your way to the airport and the rain is belting down, try calling your airline directly to rebook your flight. By calling ahead instead of waiting until you get to the airport, you’ll avoid the lines and grouchy representatives (who are grouchy from having to deal with so many flight rebookings), and will be able to relax once you arrive instead of having to sit in long lines trying to get yourself onto a different flight.

It’s always a good idea to have a number for your airline’s customer support center on hand at all times. You never know what can go wrong when you start your travel.

Traveling With Children

Pregnancy: Air travel during pregnancy is probably one of the roughest things an expectant mother can do. If you’ve been checked out by your doctor and are on track for a healthy pregnancy, flying shouldn’t be an issue at all. However, after your 36th week of pregnancy, many doctors recommend that you stay planted firmly on the ground. The pressure of the cabin after this point in the pregnancy can cause complications at birth.

Although, after the 36th week is the typical cutoff point, It’s always still a good idea to talk to your doctor about your health and how well you’d do up in the air. There’s nothing worse than finding out after the fact that you shouldn’t have flown with a child on the way.

Infants: If you have a small child that you’re traveling with, things may get a bit rough from time to time. Travel experts recommend this quirky tip to make traveling a bit easier for the both of you. If you have the means to do so, bring your child’s car seat on board the air craft. If you’ve paid for a seat for them already, why not use it? Because your child is used to his or her carseat, placing it into the airline’s seat as well can help relax and calm the child down.

Air travel with an infant can be tough, but if they have a relaxing environment that they’re used to, chances are they’ll scream much less than if you were to just plop them down and tell them to shutup for the flight.

Children: Finally, we’ll cover air travel with children. Utilizing a tip we covered earlier, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for trips with children. Take a gallon Ziploc bag and help your child pick out things that he or she may need on the flight. Pack up the Nintendo DS, a book, and maybe a bag of Goldfish all into a big bag so that your child has access to everything they’ll need for the flight.

This not only helps them stay organized, it prevents your seat neighbors from getting annoyed every time you want to get in and out of the seat to fetch a new toy or gizmo for your child.

Air Travel With Pets

We all want to be able to bring our furry little friends everywhere we go, but many times that’s not possible because of restrictions with airlines. If you’re looking at options for air travel with dogs, this website has you covered:

http://www.dogfriendly.com/server/travel/airtravel/airpettravel.shtml

They carry a comprehensive list of all of the airlines who are pet friendly and what their pet travel policies are. You can book your tickets with airlines who allow small dogs on board the plane as opposed to in the luggage compartment down below.

Talk to your airline before you book tickets to see what their policies for pet travel are and how much it will cost to bring your pet on board the flight. Because rates change often, it’s good to get an estimate the day you’re booking your ticket, as variances can often happen every day.

Domestic Travel/International Travel

For those that don’t know, domestic air travel is when the flight that you’re on doesn’t leave the country. It stays within the borders of the country you departed from and requires no additional paperwork upon arrival. International travel is of course when your flight leaves one country and arrives in another.

Many times you will need a passport and a visa to enter foreign countries. However, because the United States and similar countries have provinces outside of their country’s borders, visas and passports are sometimes not needed to enter these places.

When booking flights that are “direct” and “non-stop,” be aware that these terms are not interchangeable. These terms often appear on domestic air travel tickets as a way to indicate to customers how the flight is being handled.

A direct flight is one that may make stops at other airports along the way, but you won’t have to get off of the aircraft to continue your journey. Direct flights are popular with airlines who don’t necessarily have enough business in one area of the country. They’ll start a flight there and move to a larger city where they can fill the flight up before continuing onwards to the destination.

Non-Stop flights are flights that go directly from your point of origin to the destination. They don’t stop.

Domestic flights are generally cheaper than international air travel, as they’re generally over shorter distances and on smaller planes with smaller costs. However, if you plan ahead as was discussed earlier in the article, you can book flights for relatively cheap rates to just about anywhere in the world.

Additional Resources