Her name is Celeste Buckingham. Besides being young, beautiful and extremely talented young lady and a successful singer and actress, she comes from a multilingual family. Her mom has Iranian-russian origin and dad US-Irish. She was born in Switzerland. On top of all of that she lived in Slovakia for the most part of her life until recent, when she moved to the USA with her family.Getting dizzy? Yeah, and that is not all. Celeste has a Slovak citizenship and a US passport as well as a Swiss citizenship. So how did she find herself in Slovakia?Her dad is a doctor and after her parents moved from the USA to Switzerland where they lived for 2 years and she was born there, he was offered a job in Slovakia. They loved it there so much that they stayed. Even though she has no Slovak relatives or a family, she considers Slovakia as one of her homes.Celeste speaks fluent Slovak (she lived here most of her life so naturally learned the language through daily communication) and English (Her dad is American, so English is the language of choice in the Buckingham household) . Celeste’s mum admits she used to talk to Celeste in Persian, as she has Iranian roots. When in LA they speak German with each other, as many people in LA do understand Persian.Now imagine a family where mom is Caucasian and dad African-american with kids or vice versa. We bet it’s nothing out of the ordinary and you wouldn't even give it a second thought. People move, change jobs or travel, so naturally get to know new people while at it. So it happens, that by getting to know new people, many even find a lifelong partner. Children naturally become part of such relationships.Kids are therefore growing up in a dual world. World of two different cultures, habits, ways of life and of course languages. Two worldsGenerally speaking, when two people from two different cultures fall in love, they are naturally interested in learning about each other's cultures as much and as fast as possible. That of course includes the languages. Often this being the number one issue.Which language will be “the primary one”? But what if there are kids involved, which there often are? Mostly both parents naturally want their children to be able to speak both, mom’s and dad’s mother tongue. This is where things get complicated.The first issue such parents face is a fear, that if each of them speaks to kids in their natural language, they will get really confused. That however is not an issue. According to the Linguistic Society of America kids are able to easily differentiate between different ways people are talking to them. Besides that, kids even know the difference between when a women and a man is talking to them or when someone is talking politely and impolitely. So if you are worried about the bilingual issue, don’t be. Kids are taking it as just another way of parents talking to them. If we put this into some numbers, this is how it would go:U. S Census Bureau released some vital stats in 2015 on languages spoken at home other than English according to which for example in the New York metro area at least 192 different languages are spoken at home. 38% of this metro area population from the age of 5 and higher speak a language other than English at home. Let's compare it with for example LA metropolitan area: at least 185 languages are spoken at home and 54% aged 5 or more speak another language besides English in their homes.To teach or not to teach (and how) Parents are teaching their kids everything. Walking, talking, smiling and of course they are keen to teach them the language of their “youth”. But where to start? How? What with? How much time should they devote to such activity per day or week? These and many other questions are many multilingual parents faced with.Most of the time, one of the two languages you want them to learn will be the "more important, dominant" one. The real fun is in the ability to provide enough opportunities for them to use the "less important" one in a way that doesn’t feel forced or artificial. The best way is to put kids on purpose into many situations where only the "less important" language is used. This will prevent them not to be tempted to mix the two languages or simply go back to the one they consider "more important".Teachers and language experts are advising multilingual families the "one-parent-one-language" method. The idea is that mom always speaks her mother tongue with kids and dad his mother tongue with them. This is a very good start, but nowhere near the end of the story. It's all about the balanceAs with everything in life, balance is incredibly important when it comes to the issue of dual language families. Kids need to be constantly exposed to both parents languages in many different situations. That doesn't mean being exposed to the already mentioned more and less important languages just at home but also outside in the “real world” such as school, playground, extra curricular activities or kindergarten or at the grandparents place. Especially to the less important, as there will always be a dominance of one language. Videos or TV shows in the “less important” language can help a great deal too. Parents need to remember couple of very important factors:One is keeping it natural and never EVER force their kids. If they feel even slightly forced, they will naturally resist it and develop a negative emotion towards the language. Once that happens, it is nearly impossible to fix.The other one is exclusion. This can be a problem if each of the parents are only speaking their own language and neither of them speaks the others ones mother tongue. Kids can therefore naturally feel scared to say something in a particular language in fear that the other parent will not be able to understand them. Therefore both parents should be making every effort possible to try to learn each other's language so that nobody in the family will be missing out on a conversation. The world we all live in today is more diverse than it's ever been. What we can do is be as inclusive as we can possible be and do our bit to help kids from multilingual families as well as their parents to get accepted with in the society they live in and fast become a vital part of the community around them.
Times are rapidly changing, workplaces are becoming flexible and willing to adapt to their employees lives rather than the other way around. Childcare is changing also. This means the traditional picture of stay at home mum, even though still a common one, is now less so than we are maybe willing to accept. More stay at home dads are starting to become the norm. Some by choice, some due to financial reasons. The reasons differ for each family.Will dad replace mum entirely?Well, that isn’t happening for some time yet. Both parents play and should play a vital role in every child’s life and therefore should both be actively participating in raising them too.But let's talk numbers:According to the National At Home Dad Network data, there are 7 million men who are stay at home fathers in the US alone. This number is from the US Census from 2011 and accounts for approximately 32%, which is represents a stunning increase by one quarter from 2002.Pew Research from 2014 had found that 2 million men are stay at home fathers. This is double the number of 1989. There is also an increase in men who voluntarily choose to become stay at home dads. There is a rise from 5 to 21 %.Times and career choices are changingAs the talks about equal pay and equal employment opportunities for the exact same job role increase in intensity and the push on governments around the world is stronger than it's ever been before, the number of women working in high level executive a.k.a “manly” positions is rapidly increasing. They work as CEOs of large corporations, lead countries or decide court cases. Companies are also doing their best to be hiring women in places and for roles which were only a few years ago ruled by men. This means that a woman secures high pay and if that income happens to be higher than that of her significant other, it makes complete financial sense for the father to stay at home on a parental leave.But what does a society think about the fact, that more men are staying at home with their offspring voluntarily? Well, as per research done by Pew Research Center in 2013, 51% of people think children are far better off staying at home with mum and only 8% with dad. Another interesting fact is, that stay at home fathers are twice as likely to not have a high school certificate as dads who go to work. The exact figures are 22% vs 10%. Also stay at home fathers are older. Only one quarter of them is less than 35 years old. And the effect on a child's development is?Now we know the general info and are well versed in the numbers game but does it have an effect or some kind of an influence on the child's development at all?Well, yes and quite a significant one. Studies done by the Father Involvement Research Alliance have shown that children, from the moment they are born and their dads are very involved with them since the first days of their lives are more emotionally secure, more confident and more curious to explore new places and things, like to socialize more with other people, are better at finding solutions to problems and have a higher IQ. Girls have been proven to have a higher self esteem and boys are less aggressive. In general people whose fathers have been very involved in their upbringing are more successful academically, are calmer, tolerant and understanding and have happy and long lasting marriages. There is however a difference between what dads and mums focus on when it comes to raising kids. Dads want to teach their kids to be achievers, to be competitive and independent. Moms are a bit different. They focus more on security and collaboration with others. And how involved are you in raising your kids to become good and successful people?
Imagine this. You want to buy a new camera, phone or a computer. You do your research online, check all the reviews you can find, compare prices and in the end you choose the winner you’ll spend your hard earned money on. You decide to buy in in your local electronics store as you don’t want to wait for the long awaited new “toy” for weeks to arrive. What was the deciding factor, that was the final “tipping point” that made you hand over the cash for that particular camera, phone, computer or any other product? Was it the design, the price, safety specs, functionality, the look, the reviews or a combination of all?Would these factors however change if you were a parent?Why do parents buy what they buy?Parents are a specific group of people. Why? Well, when deciding to buy a piece of technology for example a camera or anything else for that matter, they are probably buying it with their kids, their activities together or family memories in mind. And they are probably looking for example at the camera being “childproof”, meaning when a kid takes it “for a spin” the camera survives it in one piece.We asked a couple of mums what do they look for when buying products. Young mum of a small boy Zuzana says, when it came to buying basic things such as nappies or cleaning products for the household, environmental factor was for her at the utmost importance. Besides that also social responsibility.When it comes to cosmetics, she prefers natural over the standard well known brands and when deciding which pram to go for, she went for a German brand because of high quality and a guarantee of an immediate repair should anything go wrong. For Zuzana’s husband, who was the main person she discussed all major purchases with, functionality was the no.1 priority. Barbora, another young mom of a 3 month old baby girl has slightly different priorities when it comes to buying things.For a pram she was looking at the brand. Even though she is not a religious brand follower. Another important deciding factor for her was the functionality of the pram, such as the ability to adjust the handle or its construction and ease of folding it. Same thing goes for clothing. When she was pregnant and also now, when she is breastfeeding her daughter. She is struggling to find functional yet modern, fresh and feminine clothes that would also be reasonably priced.To answer the question we asked in the title of this article is pretty much not possible because it differs for each and every person and is influenced by many factors. One of the main ones is whether the person buying a product is a man or a woman. But one thing is for sure. It is usually a combination of a few or all of the above mentioned factors influencing the buying decision of parents. Because they are buying it with their kids in mind.
Priorities and lives of people about to become parents have changed quite a bit over the past few decades. Older generations would say that today's parents and parents to be have it a lot easier than they ever imagined it having. There is all this technology to help out with everyday duties, so parents really should have more time and indeed disposable incomes to spend with and on their kids. Talking about money it naturally brings us to fashion and comfort. Moms these days don’t just need items such as a pram to be purely functional but also stylish and fashion forward. Prams are becoming fashion accessories. But beware. There’s something else that is slowly but surely becoming even more popular than a pram. A baby sling. Mums and indeed dads too all over the place are growing fonder of this “little big” accessory. So what is better? Going with the classic pram or down the trendy path with a baby sling? Let us give you the pro’s of both. A classic pram never dies (there are the obvious plus points):It has wheels. No need to carry your child. Saves mom's back, big time. Because of the roof and other add ons protects the baby from the elements and moms can carry not only their kids in style and comfort, but also all the baby necessities, some shopping or a handbag. Child can sit or lie down anytime they feel like itToday’s market offers prams for every wish and need. From classic, to modern, lightweight, for the sporty, active fitness moms, for two children at ones are just a few options. Not to mention all the stylish color combos, sizes and shapes. Sling's the wordA piece of fabric, that had become extremely popular and a preferred choice for moms and dads all over the planet. A good friend of mine, who recently became a mom is a huge fan and both her and her partner constantly and daily carry their newborn son around. Here’s why:Comfort and Convenience- no need for a mum to push a large pram in front of her all the timeGreat for the physical development of the baby. Babies carried in a sling by their moms can feel mom's breathing, walking, movements. This helps to stimulate baby's own physical responses and provides the baby with a great exercise, which helps with balance.Happy baby- Many researches have proven that kids, who are carried are happier and cry less.Happy mom- A sling isn't good just for the little one but for mom too. It's like walking with weights so great for bones, muscles, general toning of the body. Have we mentioned it's a fantastic cardio exercise? Well, it is. Its cheap- Let's be honest. Having a child is not a cheap business. And a pram is one of the more costly items whereas a sling is often only a quarter of the price. What is there to even think about. It's safe- Well, you are literally “wearing your child on you”, so there is no chance of kids being taken away from the pram or run away by themselves. Slings can also provide emotional support for kids. And they are a great tool to bond. Not just for moms. Dads and even grandparents are welcome to try it too. It's a personal choice after all. What’s important is to spend quality time with your child so that you and him or her have many unforgettable memories to look back on and talk about when the time comes. Because time, memories and experiences, not things are what really matters in life the most.
A good friend of mine and her partner had a son 2 years ago. Another good friend of mine had a son only recently, something under 2 months ago. I had always known both of the girls as very calm and collected, positive people. For as long as I had known both of them I had never once seen them stressed.Both of them have become moms now. Both of them are in happy, stable and functioning relationships and both of them have very calm kids.Why are some kids unsettled, nervous, crying and keeping their parents awake at night and others are calm, happy little angels? Children in spongesMany children cry and often do not sleep at night, therefore keeping mom awake. That leads to exhaustion, frustration, tiredness and the entire and never ending vicious cycle keeps repeating like a broken record. For both the child and the mom. And in the end it can disrupt a previously harmonious family life. David Code, renowned US author, whose book: Kids pick up on everything: How parental stress is toxic for kids had looked into various researches into how chronically stressed parents to be and parents could have serious impact on their kids development. Not in a positive way. It all begins during pregnancy, scarily enough. The research, which Code looked into shows, that when a woman experiences stress and anxiety while pregnant, the stress hormones are affecting the placenta and the developing brain of the fetus receives this signal. This heightens the risk of later ADHD and ASD disorders. It doesn't end with the birth though. Another research had shown that when stress level in parents is high even after the child is born and its initial years of life if can affect then even years later, during their adolescence years. The good, the bad and the uglyThere are 3 different levels of stress every one of us can and has for sure experienced. No matter if we are a parent or not. We could call them the good, the bad and the ugly but let's be proper:Positive stress- the best kind. This is the stress you experience when you are about to or meeting with new people. Some call it also “butterflies in the stomach”Tolerable stress- This kind is not nice but we can handle it in small doses, and as long as it doesn't happen often. For example losing a job.Toxic stress- The worst kind and one that is best avoided at all costs. For example violence.According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus in the state of Ohio in the USA, if you are a parent, who is continually feeling under immense pressure, you may be less responsive to what your child may be trying to tell you. A little stress here and there is needed and good. Positive stress is a great motivator and your kid will for sure notice it and start to mirror your behaviour.Calm you, calm childSo what should you do when you're starting to feel like stress is creeping up on you more than its healthy?Find out what the problem isMake time for yourself only- go get a massage, get plenty of rest, take that trip you dreamed of taking or simply just hit the snooze button and sleep.Try to get some outside help- if you can’t do it alone, ask your family, friends or even a professional for help.And what about your child?You can easily tell your child is stressed when:He or she cries oftenSneezes and yawns often Avoid looking at youHelp your child relax. Do this:Make eye contact Smile often and genuinelySpeak in calm voiceHold your childBut whatever you do, live in a way, that does not give you a reason to be stressed out. Because happy mom, happy child, happy family.
Few years back it was a doctor at a yearly preventive checkup telling us our vital health stats. Today we can have this info not from a doctor but from a piece of plastic, rubber and glass strapped to our wrist or tied around our chest. Fitbit, Garmin, VivoFit, Xiaomi Pro and countless other gadgets telling us the state of our health and fitness levels at any time we please. It's like having a personal fitness and healthy living coach non stop with us and available to answer our every question regarding our current health. Wearable technology and not talking just about the fitness gadgets but also about hands free cameras. The trend is nowhere near new but becoming popular by the hour and influencing many more ways we do everyday tasks. One of those being parenting. Among others. What do parents and specifically mothers think of wearable technology? Would they put it on their kids? Would they be scared? If yes, why? If not, why not? Instead of coming up with the answers ourselves, we asked the biggest experts. Moms themselves. Wearable tech and kids? Mums have spokenWell, there is no one answer. How many people, that many opinions. That is why we asked the most experienced of us all. Moms. And they were kind enough to give us their brutally honest opinions.Young mom of one daughter Denisa shared her opinion:She says, she is not opposed to her daugher wearing a camera but not for too long. In her own words: “I would be ok for her to wear some “gopro like” camera for a short time. Only for some kind of an experience, such as a fun ride or a water slide”. She would definitely not give her a camera to wear all day long. Her husband works as a doctor in a hospital and had a very unpleasant experience of late when a baby monitor exploded next to the little patient's head causing ugly burns. So naturally Denisa is worried and would never allow her child to wear something on or next to her daughter's head. Another mom of a little son Alexandra has a slightly different opinion.Since she has never yet had a chance to try and experience wearable technology so she’d be quite keen to try it.“So far I am staying true to the camera on my iPhone”, she says.Mom of 2 daughters Veronika is in her own words “a bit old fashioned”.She is completely opposed to using wearable technology. She would not even consider it.Veronika further explains why. “I believe that there is still some kind of radiation being emitted from this type of technology, and I am worried it may be harmful to the little ones health”.Wearable tech is here to stay and will continue to be a part of our lives in more and more ways with each passing day. Since we cannot fight it, we might as well use it to our best advantage. Same as we can't imagine our lives without having a cellphone, we are beginning to live in a world when technology such as wearable cameras, GPS trackers and baby monitors in the shape of socks will be absolutely standard item and people without will be seen as those who do not own a cellphone now.
It's just a fact of life that just about everything our kids do, be it at school or at home, is done on either a TV, computer, tablet, smartphone, and lately even smart watches. All of the aforementioned electronics share a common feature: a screen. Kids these days therefore spend the majority of their time looking at some kind of a screen. So, how much screen time is still ideal? Screen kidsThat phrase alone could easily describe how modern kids spend most of their days. Of course there is no single answer. The fact is that modern technology is now more available than it’s ever been. Seeing that kids have immediate access to this technology, which adults could only dream of when they young, is in many ways positive; such as learning news skills or picking up new ideas and enhancing creativity. There are, however, two sides to the story. Hours and hours of screentime is not good and we are not only talking about poor eyesight. Behavioural problems, obesity, a lack of communication, replicating negative behaviour, and even an inability to function in a society are all increasingly common problems. All about the balanceNot all screen time is bad. In fact there are four different types of screen time:Recreational: playing games or watching videos just for funEducational: doing homework onlineInteractive: playing video games, drawing picturesNon-interactive: watching TV or YouTube videosParents need to know the balance between healthy and useful screen time and its overuse. That's the easier part. The hard part is being able to explain and reason with their kids why.According to this australian parenting website, the optimum screen time depends on the age group in which your kids belong.For kids under 18 months, no screen time is recommended.For those aged between eighteen months to two years experts say to watch high quality educational programs and parents should be there to explain to their children what they are watching.Two to five year olds shouldn't watch more than an hour of screen time per day and parents should watch it along with them.For six year olds and older kids, parents should consistently set limits on spending time on electronic devices. As with everything, the key is to find the right balance and to be able to explain this to your children in an understandable, interesting and age-appropriate way.
Obesity, being overweight, type 2 diabetes, almost no or no interest in sports or physical activity whatsoever. These are just a few challenges the kids and youth of today’s generation are faced with.Overweight and obese kids are suffering not just when it comes to their health but their self confidence takes quite a hit too. Statistic says it loud and clear. Obesity in children in the United States alone had more than tripled since the 1970s. That is scary. And dangerous. Not just for the kids but their parents alike. Kids whose BMI (Body Mass Index) is at or above 85 percent but lower than 95 percent are considered overweight. Those above 95 percent have obesity. We like to move it, move it We know all too well that all of the above is not just scary but life threatening if left untreated. Another thing we know all too well is that the the only long term solution to fight this civilization disease is to move. And eat healthy. But first and above all to move. Human body was designed to move and be active no matter what its age. Exercise helps not just with mental wellbeing but helps small children grow healthy and strong. Besides that it helps and teaches them to be able to better overcome physical and emotional challenges. Physical activity also teaches and develops their endurance, strength and flexibility. Positive role models and healthy competition There is nothing worse than having to force someone to do something they don't want to do. This is especially true when it comes to kids. "The best thing is, if kids choose which sport would they like to devote their time to themselves”, says nutritional expert and a keen sportswoman Tina Zlatoš Turner. Ideal situation is, when the whole family likes and practises sport regularly. Include even grandparents if you like. Do whatever it takes to lead by example and motivate kids and grandkids to develop a healthy and loving relationship with sport. Not only for a portion of their lives for the whole one. Kids tend to copy the behaviour of adults and what they see at home. If they see their parents practise sports, it will become normal for them too. Sport will become a natural part of their day rather than a forced one. When to start moving? The opinions tend to differ but according to this clinic the general rule is that you can start getting your kids to move from as early as 2 years old. The best way is general free play at this early age but you can also try swimming. Older kids, so somewhere around the ages 6 to 9 year olds are getting better at paying attention and are able to follow direction so team sports such as tennis, soccer, and even martial arts are a good way to go. It also teaches them teamwork. 10 to 12 year olds are already smart enough to understand strategy of certain sports with complex rules (football, hockey, basketball) and are ready to take on a challenge. What if you see that your child is really quite good at something and you feel they should take it up a notch and start pursuing a career out of it? There are 3 ways: Do not pressure them, motivate them. Let them play and encourage them to self reflect afterwards on what can be done better. Do not criticize them. Kids are the best judges for themselves and they are very aware of their every failure. So do not remind them of it again. Motivation, continuous support and FUN If you’ve reached a point, when your child practises sport regularly and likes it, you need to do all it takes to keep that fire burning brightly. That can be done in multiple and very simple ways. One of the easiest and least time consuming way is to create a competition between siblings. Get them to run a race or do a rope skipping challenge. Use whatever sport your kids already like doing and make it fun with some healthy competition and a cool reward (who doesn't like a good amusement park or a trip to the movies, right?). However, kids are creative creatures who constantly and without much warning change opinions. Not just when it comes to free time activities. It is perfectly normal they will be all of a sudden super excited by basketball and next thing you know if will be athletics. They want to try and experience everything so that they can decide for themselves, which will be the winner. We at Benjamin have been thinking of ways to help parents excite and motivate their kids for the lifelong love of sport. We have been toying with the idea of adding a “fit lock” function. If your child does some kind of physical activity and is wearing Benjamin on them at the time, this function will then ‘reward' them by unlocking the PC or a tablet for thems. How is that for exchanging screen time for sport time? We call it a win-win!
It's a rainy Saturday afternoon. You find yourself sitting on the couch, holding a cup of hot tea, feeling somewhat nostalgic as you watch the raindrops slide down the window. You open the drawer on your cupboard and take an old dusty box out. In it you have all the precious family photos from your childhood. You are looking at them one by one before you realize hours went by. It stopped raining, the sun came out again and there is a beautiful rainbow outside. You no longer feel nostalgic. You feel happy and have a smile on your face. Why? Because you have just relived your childhood and reawakened your memories. Some of them you may not have even been aware of. But thanks to those dusty photos you are now. Memories are vitally important and keeping them even more so.What Role do memories play?Put simply - a very important one. Let me break it down a bit. Somewhere between the ages 2-4, kids lack "episodic memory" - memory that looks after remembering details of a specific event. These memories are stored in several parts of the brain's surface. This particular part of the brain is also known as cortex. Visual experiences are stored in visual cortex, sound in sound cortex and so on. All of these are then tied together and stored in the middle of the human brain, a part called hippocampus. The fact, why kids have a lot of trouble remembering events or situations between the ages of 2-4 years is because the hippocampus is at this very age only starting to put all of this information together. Kids’ brain concentrates more on improving a so called “semantic” memory - a memory thanks to which kids are able to recognize their parents or say “thank you” or “please” when they want something. Technology is here to helpNever fear. Technology is here to help your your kids remember and you to keep the moments, when your little ones are not yet able to do it themselves. Take Benjamin Button for example. And we’re not talking about that famous movie. This is better than that. An intelligent, pocket sized wearable camera. Looks like a cute button and clips on your kids clothes (or your clothes, if you wish) and records all the events by itself from the perspective of the wearer. Now imagine, how much fun watching this footage (such as the one below) can be later. And how much nostalgia and laughs while watching this very footage will it bring, when your kids are older or when they are parents themselves?Benjamin does all the work for you. Not only will it record all the fun, happy, sad or any other events you want it to, it will edit and cut the footage all by itself. All you have to do is press the “play” button and enjoy looking back at all the precious, happy family moments that would have otherwise been forever lost and not remembered. Technology is here to help us. Make our lives easier. Bring us closer together. Even relive and keep memories for the next generation that will come after us. Let Benjamin be the brain for remembering all the moments that matter. So that your children can share these very moments with their own children in a few years time. Let Benjamin become another member of your family!
You guessed right! We’re talking kid pictures. And in particular sharing private pictures of your own children across social media networks.It's a difficult and hot topic these days. Discussed among parents, those who are not yet parents and simply said, everyone has an opinion on it. The thing is, there is no one definite answer. In the end, it will always come down to you- the parent to decide, if you will or won’t share your child’s life on the internet.That being said, let’s take a deeper look on the good and the bad of sharing pictures of the biggest treasures of every parent- their kids on the world wide web.The GOODThis one’s simple. Why do you post on social media at all? Why do you post pictures from trips, good food or fun activities? Because at that moment you are happy. And you want to share and spread your happiness with others. You want to create a positive vibe. You want people to see that you enjoying your life.The same goes for sharing photos of your children. You are proud of them. Proud that you have them, proud because they have achieved something. And you don’t want to keep it just to yourself.Another reason many parents share their children’s photos is to simply stay in touch. Many of us nowadays are torn apart. For multiple reasons. We live far from each other. Often in different cities, states and even countries. Social media has therefore become the only option for us families to stay in touch. And for our grandparents to see us, their grandkids.Use with CAUTIONAs with everything, moderation and common sense is key. Or better yet, caution would be a better expression to use.We are being witnesses of the the first generation that will be living with a digital trail. This means that kids will have a backlog of digital information available about them on the internet. We currently don’t know and are not able to tell whether this will be an advantage or a reason for some later trouble but either way, parents should be highly cautious of what information, photos and mainly the quantity and frequency do they decide to share with the world. However cute or sweet they may be. This trail, once online, becomes very difficult to keep track off. Or get rid of. You can lose control over its use faster than you may realize.People are imaginative and creative and kid pictures are one of the most sought after pictures in the online world. Within seconds can a picture you took of your child and uploaded online with only the best interests in mind be taken and used in better cases for advertising purposes and the worst ones? Let’s not even go there. The options are limitless. Be photo WISENo one can of course stop you from sharing whatever you feel like on your social media channels. And if kid pictures are something you like sharing than that’s your decision. But let us give you a few tips so that particular activity does not turn its back towards you one day.Privacy settings are your best friend (especially on Facebook)- that is what they are there for after all. When posting a picture, only share it with family members and custom select people who will be able to see it Give GPS a break- Turn off location enabling settings on your smartphone, tablet or laptop Don’t use your kids real names- be creative and give your kids nicknames, or better yet- ask them, what nicknames do they like. This goes especially for tagging pictures of your children on social media networks. Tagging a picture can also later make it a lot easier to delete it and with it lessen the danger of it being used for all the wrong reasons. Use websites that require people to log in to see the pictures rather than the photo being freely available for all of your followers to see. Flickr is a good one. Or Instagram when set to a private account. So what do we recommend?Well, there is no right or wrong answer. It is an individual decision and us here at Benjamin shall leave this decision up to your discretion.There are many ways to keep your memories alive. You could store your photos on an external disk or in a cloud storage and share them with your loved ones in a matter of seconds whenever you want, wherever you are. The options are plentiful and the world is your oyster. Just make sure you do it safely and in such a way, that won't be able to be misused.
It looks like some people think, that having a tiny camera you can clip on your child and record precious and nowadays often forgotten about memories is not the greatest of ideas. The reasons differ from opinion to opinion but most of them are asking why would you feel the need to record your kid’s every move.Let's have a closer look on why having the option of capturing some important moments from your child's life can just be something your kid will one day thank you for. Every parent does the best job they can to bring their children up to be the best people they can be and achieve a lot of success in their later lives.However it's the first 4 years, children have little or no recollection of their own lives. That is exactly the period of time, the most important moments in their lives tend to happen. We are talking the first word, the first steps, the first smiles… well, you get the idea.These are the very moments that are often missed and what’s worse forgotten about because they were never captured.A recent poll also found that 69% of dads have missed a kid’s milestone, with almost one in four missing their child’s first steps, and one in five missing their first words. 11 percent of working mothers missed baby learning to walk and talk, much to their regret. Don’t become a part of this sad statistic!This is where Benjamin Button comes in handy. This little camera ticks multiple boxes of being useful. Besides looking cute, it clips on your kid's clothing (or your own, if you prefer), turns on when it sees the light so you don't even have to worry about pushing a single button and records the daily happenings. In Full HD. So far so good, but keep reading. It gets even better.It poses an intelligent software that automatically picks the best moments of the day thanks to the mobile app. That means the following:Saves you having to look at your own kids through the lens of a smartphone. Instead, you can devote your full attention to them. Be there with them in the moment. Edits the footage and all you have to do (or not) is to share the video with your family and friends on social media. Prevents exposing children to far too much screen time, of which they already have more than enough, but instead it motivates them to experience things first hand and be present in the moment Records events that would normally never be captured, especially the funny ones and those natural ones. Kids forget they are wearing Benjamin so act naturally and these moments are therefore priceless and often very funny. Especially when parents are not around and later watch the footage of what their kids have been up to.And also this:Parents suffering FOMO (fear of missing out) are buying into it. Moms and dads have almost doubled the Benjamin Button’s original $25,000 Kickstarter goal, with a cool $43,000 since the campaign launched in late May. The creators expect to send out finished products just in time for the 2017 Christmas season.Having an option and a way to being able to forever remember the most important memories, such as those from summer holidays, just like this one is something no parent can truly put a price on.SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave
Ever wondered how you can turn back time and re-live important family memories? Or what your child is doing when you are not around?What does the world look like from a child’s perspective? If the answer is yes, meet Benjamin Button. The first button-shaped smart camera capable of capturing and keeping your precious family moments together, forever. And in the easiest way possible. It is specifically designed for busy parents who are short on time and lack experience in keeping only the best moments from video footage. However, the true magic of Benjamin lies in it’s pretty casing. With it’s built-in automatic video editing software, sound and activity recognition, face recognition or smart sharing options, it takes the guesswork out of making the videos interesting. All you have to do is share and enjoy the video with those that matter. The idea of capturing moments kids will not remember has been there from the very beginning of Benjamin Button, as one of the therapists Vladimir Cervenak has said.Kids do not remember much until the age of 4 and thus such video footage from important moments can play a crucial part in later years, by treating fears for example. A child's perspective, from the video footage – as seen here from the prototype is another major reason for Dan Salter, a father of one girl. Some parents have tried to put GoPro-like action cameras on their kids, but as the mounts and holders are not designed for their bodies, it can be dangerous when engaging in different sports etc., and there is even Wifi radiation to be concerned about, so they stopped using it. Most of the parents, when asked, enjoy the hands-free video shooting and smartness of Benjamin Button which edits the videos for them automatically.They can easily share funny and important moments with their distant family or via social media.
The use of technology has become a major part of our lives, with our electronic products affecting us in a number of ways; both positive and negative. From toasters to televisions, some of these gadgets and appliances can be among the most hazardous things in your our homes, putting both us and our children at risk. But are they really as dangerous as we’re led to believe?“Thanks to Benjamin I was able to show my husband what new things our son has learned today while he was at work. At the same time, I stored these precious moments for my son, for when he grows up. I wish my parents had such a magical device!,” said one of the first users and mother of one boy, Jana Bachman. Just more click-baitYou can find a plethora of articles and studies claiming that prolonged WiFi radiation has a negative impact on us and our children's lives. There is, however, one prevailing reason behind all of this doom: scaring people. The more people share such information about the dangers of WiFi or other potentially harmless modern amenities, the more people tend to click on them; the more advertising revenue is generated, and the more motivation there is to keep creating more.So, yes, it’s easy to see how radiation can be frightening, but it’s important to remember that not all radiation is created equal: there are two types and two sides to the radiation story.Radiation is the thing that bathes the world in warm sunlight, making all life on Earth possible. Radiation is also the reason we can turn on a radio and hear music without wires or change the channels on our TV.Two sides to the storyThe most critical factor, when it comes to the dangers of radiation, is the difference between ionising and non-ionising radiation. Ionising radiation can be considered as the dangerous form of radiation, including x-ray radiation, gamma radiation, and some amount of ultraviolet light on the high end of the ultraviolet spectrum. The key factor here is the wavelength of the radiation type.Ionising radiation gets its name because it has enough energy to excite electrons and knock them out of their orbit, or ionise them. Too much exposure to this kind of radiation is highly dangerous to both your and your child’s health, and even low but persistent exposure over time affects your DNA, significantly increasing your risk of cancer.On the opposite side, there’s non-ionising radiation. This kind of radiation doesn’t have enough energy to ionise atoms, with your home WiFi signal falling into this category.According to who you ask, some of the more potent WiFi health hazards include the danger of cardiac stress, the risk of infertility, links to cancer, sperm neutralisation, insomnia and sleeping disorders, tumours in the body and the functioning of the brain.Allegedly, it can negatively affect children's health in more ways than one. For example, a study done in Glasgow found that exposure to WiFi radiation to children had caused delayed development of the kidneys, with the findings also being supported by an Austrian study group. It appears that the effects of WiFi radiation on the development process of children are severe indeed.But not everyone agrees with this gloomy outlook. The World Health Organisation, which tends to exercise caution before outright dismissing something as toxic, carcinogenic, or otherwise harmful, is very clear in its statements that there is no known health risk from radio-frequency communication devices.Safe memoriesNow that you’ve seen non-ionising WiFi radiation from both points of view, it’s up to you to decide which “side of the pond” to stand on, with the debate on its safety no doubts continuing into the foreseeable future. But what if there was a way of capturing memories and important life events without the need of a WiFi connection or even a cellphone? Parents know this story all too well. In an effort to capture all the important moments in their children's lives, they spend a hefty portion of time looking at their own kids through the lens of a cellphone or camera instead of actually being present in the moment happening right before them.The solution to this problem is here, today. A better, and most importantly, a safer way exists. Its called Benjamin Button. This completely WiFi and Bluetooth-free, full High Definition wearable camera in the shape of a cute button simply clips on your child's clothing and records all the important memories for you. It even edits the video into short clips all by itself. This means the only thing you have to do is to enjoy watching the video or sharing it with your friends.And because parents know that children are curious and love exploring, this camera is also dust and waterproof. Now nothing stands in the way of you being really present in your child's life.
New year, new start, right? Ok, maybe not new but at least better, improved start. Many of us are beginning the new year with a few goals, resolutions and decisions of what we want to or plan on achieving in the 12 months that lie ahead of us. Get healthier, learn a new language, quit smoking, start exercising or be a better parent. For those of you, who have decided to try and become better parents, you have come to the right place. Similar to last year, we have put together the best parenting blogs you should read and follow in 2017. They may offer some inspiration and maybe even help you on your way.Kidspot | http://www.kidspot.com.au |@kidspotsocialThis huge Aussie parenting portal is all about helping moms and dads solve their doubts and all kinds of problems, that come with simply being a parent. Kidspot has been around for 10 years and offers a wealth of information about anything and everything you need to know about being a good parent. No matter if you have a newborn or a teenager on your hands. Chances are, you will find an answer to your question right here. Whether you are not sure about something during your pregnancy or you just want your teen to act “normal” for a while, this is your place to go! Kidspot even offers lifestyle tips and food ideas.“In 2017 Kidspot will continue to share engaging real life stories and informative articles that make us laugh, cry or become so outraged we almost spit out our cold tea. We want to provide a supportive environment for parents to share this crazy journey.” - Melissa WilsonPregnant Chicken | http://pregnantchicken.com/ | @pregnantchickenEstablished by Amy Morrison in 2010. A very well-known and read website by now. Mostly focused on pregnant women and pregnancy in general. Packed with all sorts of topics, tips and tricks around pregnancy. Currently undergoing many big challenges to engage their readers. Pregnant chicken will try to deliver its new tools and many useful resources for the parents. There is definitely a lot to look forward to!“Pregnant Chicken is relaunching their pregnancy calendar and their new resource guide for 2017! Both stick to the Burd’s philosophy of keeping things fun and funny during pregnancy.”- Amy MorrisonDaddy Blogger | http://daddyblogger.com/ | @tokyorickyEstablished by Ricky Shetty, Daddy blogger gives you a slightly different perspective on parenting. The father perspective. The main message of this website is to inspire other parents to travel with their kids and families a whole lot more.So besides enjoying the traveling adventures, you will also find tons of parenting gear reviews, tips, giveaways and much more!“Here we are in 2017 doing a Round-The-World Trip visiting Asia, Middle East, Africa, South and Central America with 3 kids under 5 years old. Our blog has saved us thousands of dollars by getting media stays at hotels and resorts, complimentary sightseeing attractions, restaurant meals, and much more. We have worked with major Tourism Boards, Hotels & Resorts, and Sightseeing Attractions around the world. In 2017, we will continue with our family travel adventure inspiring other parents to travel more with their children. If we can travel globally with 3 kids under 5, so can you! :)” -Ricky Shetty[yikes-mailchimp form="1" description="1"]The Inspiration Edit | http://www.theinspirationedit.com/ | @inspire_editThis educative, yet funny blog written by a stay at home mom and an early years teacher Angela Milnes keeps its objective and slogan fairly straightforward; “learn through play”. Angela was born in New Zealand but is now living in the UK with her husband, daughter and a dog. Her blog definitely doesn’t lack resources; from recipes, family animals to games and ideas. She says, she loves writing this blog as it is her way of portraying honest and positive family experiences. “The focus of our blog for 2017 is sharing inspirational ideas to educate and engage children through play.”- Angela MilnesSo which one of these will become your 2017 source of parenting advice? Let us know in the comments or share your opinion with us on our BB facebook page.SaveSave
We parents know our time is precious and we need information (that can sometimes be scarce) as well as inspiration for our parenting. Benjamin Button has picked the best mummy and daddy bloggers out there and this is what they are going to write about in 2016: Dad and Buried | dadandburied.com | @DadandBuried Mike Julianelle with his hilarious daddy blog will get a new kickstart in 2016. „I’m expecting another kid in January, so my blog is sure to be loaded with stuff about that, from remembering all the baby stuff I’d forgotten, to dealing with suddenly having two kids, to never sleeping again for the rest of my life. Hopefully I’ll be able to write about my sons bonding, and their positive relationship, and maybe even my 5yo settling down and not being such a pain in the ass anymore? That would be great,“ says Mike. He will have further milestones in his family life which will be fun to follow: his 5 year old son will enter first grade, which will surely bring new material. And Mike will also be turning 40. Looks like 2016 at Dadandburied.com blog will be a great source of inspiration for parents with babies and pre-school kids as well. Family Focus Blog | familyfocusblog.com Family Focus Blog will continue to feature parenting articles that share personal tips and hot topics in parenting. „You will also find more healthy family recipes and family friendly craft projects. Family travel destinations will be highlighted,“ says Scarlet Paolicchi. For shopping- eager mums, of course there will be even more shopping tips and an increased focus on fashion. Familyfocusblog.com will be again a number one choice for mums with little free time. I Am Not the Babysitter | iamnotthebabysitter.com | @MsJamieLynne The blog will contain it’s normal eclectic mix of parenting articles, humour, lifestyle, etc. but you can look forward to kicking off 2016 with a parental philanthropic focus! „We anticipate early 2016 focusing on our nonprofit work. We have a nonprofit organization called Raise It Up that was started by iamnotthebabysitter.com’s founder, Jamie Grumet,“ shared Nikki Waring. The team recently went to Lesbos in Greece to a Syrian refugee camp and will be returning there at the beginning of 2016 to provide relief aid. „We also have sustainable garden projects coming up in Africa as well,“ added Nikki. Parents who want to see the world outside of their safe neighbourhoods should definitely stick to this blog. [yikes-mailchimp form="1" description="1"]Daddy Blogger | daddyblogger.com One of the most watched fathers in the US – Ricky Shetty – has big plans for 2016. „We are launching our brand new website FamilyTravelBloggers.com on Jan 1, 2016 focused on inspiring parents to travel more with their kids. We will be doing a one year adventure from Vancouver overland through the US, Central America, and South America with 3 kids under 5 years old,“ reveals Ricky. You might check the website and maybe see Ricky live in your city. Besides that, with Ricky you will always get great tips on how to spend your family holiday. The Good Men Project | thegoodmenproject.com Thegoodmenproject.com is more than a blogging platform, and indeed it is worth reading it all. We focused on the Dad and Family part of it. It is not, and will not be in 2016, only a parenting forum, it is specifically one which examines the involvement of men as fathers. „We will spotlight the men in our world who have expanded their complete, emotionally holistic selves to innately express the depths of present and eager parenting. We will expose gender role restrictions as useless paradigms and create a new vision of male individuals who can explore and express the gamete of their talents, instincts and compassions freely and with strength — all to the benefit and inspiration of their families and children,“ says Robert Watson. The Good Men Project is revisiting the daily parental routines and focuses on the core of becoming and being an extraordinary parent. Robert adds: „We will reflect a world where a woman can be accepted as a competitive, viable candidate for the most powerful job in the world, and at the same time be one in which a talented, vibrant, valuable man can see his mandate is staying home and nurturing his children as their primary stay at home parent.“ Crazy Adventures in Parenting | crazyadventuresinparenting.com If you have a few minutes off from the kids each day, it is totally worth it to spend it on crazyadventuresinparentingblog.com blog. Mum of seven great kids, Lisa Douglas, is sharing here not only fun stories or recipes. Tons of useful tips on spending time with kids, weight loss or even crafts especially when they are described in a very personal and informal way will cheer up any mum. Lisa is planning to return to „old school blogging“ for 2016. She is missing the times where she used to pour her heart out. „It was about our unique voices and opinions being shared. I got to know many bloggers back then, as they got to know me, because we shared from our souls and laughed when it was funny, and cried when life became hard and unbearable. I want to some how get back to that,“ says Lisa. Fingers crossed for her and for all parents who love blogs that help them to become better than they were yesterday!
A year ago I remember going to meetings on crutches as I was recovering from a knee operation. It was very hot, however, these were meetings that were worth the sweat. At this time in 2014 we started under the project name Mamawatch.me. The first business plan was written and as well as product discussions the first five of us also discussed some deeper topics, for example: how can we use this project to help other people? Not just as customers, but even supporting them with money…if we make some one day. We agreed to give away 50% of net profits to children who were “not so lucky” in their life – whether due to disease, family circumstances or something else. Only when I look back do I see that this was one of the crucial moments that formed the team – many people who came across us joined, left…or didn’t even consider joining based on the overall atmosphere and culture which was forming near a chocolate factory in Bratislava. The year passed by very quickly. It was filled with lots of ups and downs. Ups – like new prototypes, great customer feedback, workshops with our mentors, or even a love that appeared in the team – were the fuel. Downs – like technical issues, lack of money, the failure of CrocoDuo, our test campaign or wrong turns – made us stronger. Once there were 12 people on board dedicated to helping as much as they can. Now there are 7 people who form the core team and a few helpers who dedicate the time they can. Everybody who came (even if they left) brought something important and irreplaceable: Lukas brought great ideas about the video before he left for studies in the US. Amir set up the first prototype on bananapi and set the road for the technical development before he moved to another project in Prague. Michal started to set the brand identity of Benjamin Button before he realised he was involved in too many projects. Nela – besides the great b-day cake and cookies she made – brought the name Benjamin Button after she heard the idea for the first time because it reminded her of the movie and novel. Andrej brought financial planning and some new features for the device, and also started to work on the intelligent software. He left after receiving an offer from his friend’s software company. Martin prepared some great tools for our crowdfunding campaign including mailing lists, strategy, media and PR list. He left to start his own advertising agency. Two of our programmers Andrej and Miso taught me that the best motivation for IT guys is money, indeed. So who stayed? I would call them heroes, or maybe fools. I don’t know anyone else who would work on a project without getting paid for so long. I don’t even know whether, if I tell it to my grandkids one day, they will believe it. Andrej, my classmate from secondary school, and his company eSense Slovakia were the first who believed in button. I can’t even count how many times he came up with great philosophical questions, technical solutions and even marketing ideas. There is no field he would not comment on or cover. He is a true artist and technician in one. Ivo was an architect with a 3D printing and rapid prototyping company next door. And a fresh father. He got the Bb idea so quickly…and came up with designs that we can hold in our hands so rapidly that I felt like Alice in Wonderland. Miska was called to help with branding and graphic design. Our promising beginning was interrupted by her not comings to meetings. However, before Christmas she came with work that totally blew our minds. Also she turned out to be very empathic and she would catch the best feedback from the focus groups we did. Vlado had a rapid start preparing all the documents for software development. Even thought he had to finish his university studies, he was always there if we needed to fix some web bug and he offered some great critical thinking points that helped us to stay on the ground. Michal helped a lot in putting the PCBs and other hardware together for prototypes, especially those which went for software development. Miro would probably even risk his life to make b a success, sometimes he couldn’t help more that he already did, but would still love to. He will be a pillar for our production. Peter joined recently and he made Bb not a Slovak start-up anymore. His comments questions and advice are priceless. He always hits the mark! Robo is on standby for our quality assurance and production set up. As an engineer in automotive and electronics he comes with some great contacts and ideas. Boris is also on standby ready for the online sales and affiliate program….in Barcelona. David helps from time to time with online marketing and social media. He always brings a simple solution to a complicated problem – punk style :-). During our team meetings we have always had a reason to laugh. We also imposed some traditions to help with discipline and motivation…and they are funny. Any team member who is late for the meeting must sing. A song of their own choice. Praise the lord some of us remember some folk songs. But this is not the worst torture we undergo. All of us have sacrificed something we love until we launch the campaign: Ivo is avoiding McDonalds food, Miso gave up on chocolate and I for example gave up on pistachios! Heeeeeelp! I wrote this look back blog to say THANK YOU to this amazing team. It is an honor to work with you and to learn from you every day. You are my heroes, and I believe soon you will become heroes to tens of thousands of great parents and happy kids! A big thanks goes to all of our mentors and stakeholders for all your help and valuable feedback, we are all humble students of yours: our families, Tomas Baran, Janco Benkovic, Feri Borsik, Jon Bradford, Rasto Brencic, Julo Budaj, Petra Drozdova De-La-Fere, guys from eSense Slovakia, Marian Gazdik, Robo Grencik, Palo Hlubina, Vilo Janac, Andrej Kiska, Katka Kovalcikova, Maja Koczova, Sisa Kusnirova, Tinka Licko, Igor Matlon, Andrej Mosat, Simon Sicko, Lidka Sirotova, Ivo Stefunko, Ludo Srenkel, Vladimir Synek, Rado Tausinger, Michal Pastier, Jan Pop, Christoph Raethke, Viki Reviliak, Mato Rudinsky, Rado Vasina, Peter Vidovic, Alex Wayenberg, Peter Zalesak, Mr. and Mrs. Zathurecky, Dodo Zemla, and many more that I have forgotten to mention. But we love you anyway :-*
Photography is the magic of capturing the moment. The beauty of a moment is turned into a memory which can stay with us forever. One of the most precious periods for personal photography is capturing the early stages of childhood which we do not remember at all. It is not just visual proof that reminds us that we were once children; it is a unique mix of emotions, innocence and gestures. What is the most appropriate period for taking pictures of a child? As far as newborns are concerned it is in their second week. The babies fall asleep easily and we can create beautiful pictures of them taking a nap. Keep your camera ready – after they awake with their eyes wide opened and full of surprise, you can capture some nice facial expressions. A great period for taking artistic photos of a baby is from the 3rd to the 5th month. At this time the babies react nicely to different sounds which attract their attention. We can use either baby rattles or some melodies from the mobile phone to make them turn our way and giggle. Maja, professional photographer and Bb friend (whose picture illustrates this post), gave us this advice: “I personally prefer singing and making some animal sounds. Babies usually stay in one position – the one we have placed them in, so it is really easy to arrange the photo scenery. The infants cannot walk or crawl away, which ends approximately within their 8th month of life.” Photographers as well say that the best scenery is usually outdoors. Hard to tell why – besides the atmosphere, fresh air, colors, the matter of fact is that people – both parents and kids – are somehow relaxed and natural. Kids love to play and be outside and the pictures taken can usually tell a whole story about their playtime. “For smooth cooperation I can only advise bribery” says Maja, “Give the child a chocolate, toy, biscuit or even a simple flower and I can ensure you that finding the best shot will become much easier.“ Some might think that taking pictures of your child or baby is taking the moment away from you, because you are not cherishing it enough. However, the focus in finding a great shot and detail makes even an everyday situation special. The rule of thumb for baby pictures is easy – just enjoy it, enjoy the moments, even if your baby is crying. That is worth capturing as well! And do not forget to get back to your pictures after some time…