OK, we know. It's rough out there y'all---especially for parents. The financial impact of COVID-19 is undeniable, with homeschooling still a thing and more money being budgeted for home-cooked meals or delivery. When you're not juggling Zoom calls, mediating sibling squabbles, screaming "Stop wasting toilet paper," or side-eyeing progress reports from your child's online teacher, you're probably worried about how you're even going to manage yet another masked trip to the store to pay for that last bag of overpriced veggies or organic chips left on the shelf.
And don't get us started on the utterly depressing and total kill-joy of unemployment. For those who might have been part of a downsizing or layoff, it's gotten even rougher.
Parents, we feel your pain, and we're with you. What better time than now to get a little relief and teach your children the value of money via an expert. Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche, a former preschool teacher who has helped thousands of adults reach their financial goals and get out of debt, is getting back to her roots. Through storytelling, Aliche's new book, Happy Birthday Mali More, showcases why early financial education is important.
"I thought it was time for parents and teachers to have a tool that they can bring into a classroom or their homes to teach financial education for children," Aliche said in an xoNecole interview. "Every book has questions and activities you can do to extend the financial lessons."
Courtesy of Tiffany Aliche
Aliche practiced things with her students that many parents can incorporate today while working from home and spending more time with their families. "The children would ask financial questions like whether I would buy them things or why they couldn't have certain things, so I started playing around with what would be age-appropriate financial education for children as young as three," she explained. "We would do things like create savings banks out of shoe boxes, and I started paying them Monopoly money for doing certain tasks in the classroom." She would also allow the children to buy items from a classroom store stocked with things she bought from Dollar Tree.
"I wanted to show them how money was used. We'd also do penny drives, where I could show them what it looked like to donate and be of service to the community. We'd add the pennies up every two weeks or so, and talk about the money we saved, what we would do with it, and who we would help."
Courtesy of Tiffany Aliche
Times are tough right now, but many are learning financial lessons that will have an impact far beyond the current crisis. By making money talks relatable and enjoyable, children can learn lessons today that can serve them even in adulthood. Taking the time to do activities or include your children in money decisions can be a necessary distraction from daily WFH pressures or even pose opportunities for bonding moments.
"Make it fun. When children are little, it's hard to retain information that's not really fun for them. [Don't make it] feel like a chore," Aliche advises.
"In my classroom, the kids were already doing jobs, so it was relevant to them. [They would know], OK, I have this job at school---I put away the blocks every day--but then they got paid pretend money to do so. Being paid made the lesson deeper. So now, when you go food shopping, you might say to your five-year-old, 'Let's talk about the budget for what you want. I know you have that cereal you like, so here's your budget for that.'"
And in today's stressful time of "Mommy can I have that," or "Ma, why can't we have an extra bowl of that?" practicing patience and consistent discipline is key. "If you say something one time, it doesn't guarantee that they're going to understand and know it," Aliche adds. "Consistently weave financial education into your daily life."
For more of Tiffany, follow her on Instagram. Purchase her book Happy Birthday Mali More at MaliMore.com.
Featured image by Shutterstock
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports