Parents Still Spending On Kids ? Despite Credit Crunch

Households across the UK may be tightening their belts as the credit crunch begins to bite and rising prices hit the family purse strings, but parents are still prepared to splash the cash on the kids.

That’s the view of one of the UK’s leading retailers of children’s furniture, which is experiencing a double digit sales growth in 2008, at a time when other retailers are bearing the brunt of the downturn in consumer spending.

Aspace, an online children’s furniture store, is bucking the trend in retail and puts its fortunes down to the fact that it sells products for children rather than being a furniture retailer.

It may only seem to be a case of semantics but there is a massive gulf between the two, according to managing director, Paul Cunningham.

?As a business we have kept a very close eye on factors which are having an impact on market sector, as well as the wider economy, and it is clear that there is a huge difference between the purchase motives for the different types of furniture,? he said.

?We have studied the data and the main conclusion that we have drawn is that parents will, within reason, cut back on a number of purchases but not ones which affect their children. The idea is not as crazy as it first seems because all our research and data points to the fact that parents would much rather forego a new sofa, bedroom furniture or a dining room suite because they are prepared to make do with what they?ve got in favour of spending the money on their children.

?In those terms, there is a certain logic to the argument which does help to explain why is seeing business growth this year.?

Cunningham believes that his company’s current trading situation fits into a widely accepted business wisdom which says that there is a natural sequence in which retailers begin to suffer at times of economic downturn.

According to such wisdom, it is believed that furniture retailers are the first to be hit. Then it’s men’s fashion followed by women’s. And only then, when a recession kicks in, does spending on children and food begin to drop away.

A number of leading business figures have alluded to this cycle recently, said Cunningham, and he is convinced that his company is seeing this effect at first hand.

?It has been gratifying to see business leaders confirming what we are seeing in our business,? he said.

?And given the fact that things are slowing down, this often presents its own opportunities. Just look at the housing market for example. Whilst the housing market is a nightmare for the poor souls who need to buy or sell at the moment, the rising number of ‘stay-put homeowners? is stimulating a number of different markets, including ours.

‘rather than losing thousands on the property market, many homeowners are opting to ride out the storm and stay where they are. And because they are staying put, they are spending a few pounds on their home to spruce it up. They might choose to make cosmetic changes in areas such as kitchens or living rooms but in areas like children’s bedrooms they are tending to go for a more significant overhaul including new furniture.?

As well as the rise in stay-put homeowners, Aspace points to another factor which is helping his business: the poor supply of quality children’s furniture and trading up. Poor supply was the whole reason we started the business,? said Cunningham. ?We spotted a big gap in the market for better quality products.

?Yes of course the likes of B&Q and IKEA make very good products which are pitched perfectly in terms of price and the market they are aiming for. But they don’t go above and beyond that. Until we came along there was no one who was offering better quality furniture.

?We have exploited the niche to great effect in recent years because there is growing demand for better quality products. And as a result of offering a better choice of quality products we have seen an increase in households trading up from the perfectly adequate furniture from the big retailers to something better from us.?

All these factors could go some way to indicate that parents are pampering their children like never before, but Cunningham is quick to point out that it more likely reflects parents? well placed intention to do their best by their children.

‘there is probably an element of parents wanting their child to have all the opportunities in life that maybe they didn’t have and the physical environment in which they live ? especially their bedrooms ? does go a long way to helping achieve that.

?After all, a recession won’t last forever but this part of a parent’s journey with their child will never come around again.?

Licensed Teenager Brat Camps For Rebellious Girls And Boys

Teen brat camps are institutions operated in a military fashion specifically for teens that tend to defy authority. Here these teens learn discipline by means of military exercises and intensive physical training. In years gone by this was where parents would send a teen that was out of control and needed this type of attitude adjustment. Boot camps can either be privately operated or state operated.

Some boot camps run by the state serve as substitutes for juvenile jail. While some state managed boot camps require teens to have been ordered by the court to get enrolled, privately managed camps will many times enroll teens without such rigid requirements. Summer training camps for anxious teenagers provide guidance on improving sports skills. They are usually categorized on the basis of age and ability. The staff that coaches the campers is usually coaches of a local school or college. Training consists of continuous learning and continuity is the keyword to better training. A lot of the summer camps are quite similar to non-faith based camps. They offer most of the typical summer camp activities including horseback riding, water activities, hiking and many others. These camps also have the added benefits of offering Bible studies, devotional studies, worship services and prayer time.

Youth wilderness camps offer exceptional outdoor programs with help of certified trainers, instructors and counselors. Cognitive therapy and behavioral modification programs prescribed by wilderness treatment centers play an important role in improving conduct, emotions and personality of aggressive kids. Summer camps also offer parenting tips and advices to families to strengthen their relations with defiant children. There are several types of alternative programs and schools for unmotivated children growth. The programs must be selected based on the specific needs and demands of expert educational consultant or problematic youngsters.

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Christian camps for struggling teens are considered as good alternative to boarding schools, boot camps, and drug rehab centers to deal with behavior problems. They aim at restoring the troubled teens to a particular life of power, purpose, in addition to potential. The camps give professional Christian counseling and Biblically based coping skills programs. Christian camps for distressed girls are known to be a great alternative to other kinds of programs for helping troubled teens like boarding schools, boot camps, and other programs that can only have a short-term affect on a troubled teen. They use professional Christian counseling and teach Biblically based coping skills. Boot camps for troubled teenagers are usually short-term and very regimented in style, including military exercises and intense physical training and “in your face” supervision, focusing on reality, respect and responsibility.

Many teens lack these qualities, yet they desperately need them in order to successfully transition into adulthood. This experience can help some defiant teens replace destructive attitudes and behaviors with new perspectives and direction in their lives. The concept is that a “quick reality check” will turn a child around who has been acting out. These boot camp style programs are usually ineffective for teens that have developed bad habits over a long period of time and are in need of long term change. Christian boarding schools are like most teenage camps except that they obviously have a Christian-centered basis for their programs. But if your teenager is anti-authority, is clashing with you or his or her teachers, then the last place you may want to send your teen is a boot camp with another authority figure. This time it’s the church and even God. Of course if the staffs are professional and aware of troubled teens and the ‘them and us’ attitude, then this might be just the ticket.

Christian boarding school will be staffed by people who have a special motivation to others. We don’t want to detract from the efforts and intentions of those who don’t live a faith-based life, but the fact that staffers have that extra motivation and belief in God’s plan can produce results. Most of the military schools are boarding schools, and are either privately owned or rather funded by the U.S. government. The military environment instills the virtues of honor, self-discipline, teamwork and other strong skills. Some schools have the famed Middle School Cadet Corps (MSCC) program.

Many parents choose military school education for their children in need of discipline and respect for rules. A common misconception is that they enforce cruel and rigorous punishment to keep delinquents in order. These troubled military educational institutions foster a safe and healthy atmosphere for troubled youngsters. Some schools refrain from taking on serious violators of the law.

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