With your busy day to day schedule with work and things to do at home, you often don’t notice some of the things that are right in front of you every day. At times, you may sit back and suddenly realize that your child has grown eight inches taller or that his/her hair has gotten longer. It’s often little things like these that happen each day that seem to go unnoticed for periods of time. Perhaps you’ve been starting to notice that your child has been putting on a little extra weight, or maybe you’ve noticed it for some time now and it’s become a cause for concern. If your child has developed an overweight problem there are some steps that you can take to help them to start getting their weight back under control. To start with, take your child to your family doctor for a routine checkup. Your doctor can determine whether your child has an under functioning thyroid or any other medical problem that may be causing the weight gain. Once cleared of any medical conditions, the doctor may suggest a certain type of weight loss diet and or exercise program for your child to follow. At home, you can start to encourage your child to develop healthier eating habits. You can buy more fruits for snacking rather than the usual high fat ones found in the snack isle. You should even let him/her pick which fruits you buy so you know they are ones that they will eat. Also, rather than buying soda for your child to drink, buy sports drinks like powerade or various fruit juices. Also, try to get your child in the habit of drinking more water, and use the sports drinks and fruit juices for occasions like lunch or dinner time. Plan healthy meals every day, and plan out your child’s portions wisely, and make sure your child never skips breakfast. Skipping breakfast can make your child hungry and looking for less healthy things to eat later in the day. Also try to avoid eating fast food as often as possible. Eating healthy meals at home can help your child start to learn to develop better eating habits. If it becomes a regular household routine, he/she will be more likely to “go with the flow” and start to enjoy eating different healthy foods. Never use food as a reward for your child to get them to eat healthy. By telling your child that you will give him/her a slice of cake for desert if they eat all of their vegetables, you are in effect telling them that the cake has a higher value than the vegetables. The cake becomes the “pot of gold” you get for reaching the end of the rainbow. Another thing you can and should do is to encourage your child to get more physically active. Encourage him/her to join an activity at school such as basketball or track. Find out what activities are offered through the community such as swimming or volleyball, and try to find one that your child might enjoy. Make time to go on bike rides with your child or to take walks through the local park or hiking trail with them and make these things a weekly event you do with them on a regular basis. Have your child help you wash the car every weekend. Give them some household chores to do and make these chores their responsibility every week. The idea is just to have them doing things that will keep them active and moving. If a reasonable amount of time has gone by after you’ve changed your child’s eating habits and gotten him/her more active and you don’t see them reaching a healthy weight, you may want to consider a weight control treatment program. Many of these programs will have a variety of people on staff who are experts in specific areas such as doctors, registered dietitians and fitness trainers. They can collectively asses your child’s individual needs and formulate an overall plan to best deal with the problem. They can also help you learn how to keep up the healthy eating and exercise habits for your child after the program ends. Your family doctor can refer you to a treatment center that will best suit your child’s needs. Remember that the first step is simply the fact that you recognize if there is a problem with your child’s weight. Being in denial about your child’s weight problem if there is an obvious problem existing only serves to lead your child to unwanted, potentially dangerous health problems as time goes by. Taking steps to help your child with this sooner, leads to a healthier life for your child later.
Every state asks prospective adopting parents, no matter how they plan to adopt to participate in an adoption home study. The purpose of this study is to provide valuable information to parents who are wishing to adopt. It is not to frighten or distress anyone or make them think they will not be acceptable parents. An adoption home study simply assures that real people become parents. It is not meant for any other purpose other than to weed out the potential fears or reservations one or more parents may have. Adoption home studies vary from state to state. There are also considerable variations from one agency to another. There is a similar thread that courses through the adoption home study process and as mentioned earlier it is not ever meant to conclude anyone as an unfit parent. It is the hope of every agency to acquire many potential parents on a daily basis. Many adoption agencies provide training for prospective parents. This training can include anything from how to change diapers to how to broach certain subjects or question that specifically adopted children may ask at any age. The basic course of this training is to match the adoptive parents with a child who is a specific age, gender, or has certain needs. The goal of the adoption home study is to ensure a compatible and smooth adoption process from beginning to glorious end. One of the steps involved in the adoption process is an interview. It is not uncommon for any person looking to adopt a child to be interviewed several times by a social worker. Again this omni-important step is not meant to frustrate adopting parents but is set up more to ensure a compatible adoption. Also you will soon learn if you are truly cut out to be a parent once these interviews begin. Health statements, income statements and home visits are also part of the elaborate adoption home study process. Background checks are done in a respectful and thorough manner. These agencies understand that your past is simply passed and they are eager to know real people are seeking to adopt children from their agencies. With that said, please be forthright in bringing up past experiences you are not proud to admit occurred but from which you have learned. After all we all know there are biological parents out there who have made mistakes in the past. Autobiographical statements are an essential part of the adoption home study procedure and also references are going to be needed. It is best the adoption agency learns any thing remotely "fishy" about you from you, not someone else. Copyright 2005 by Dana Sanders. All rights reserved.
A diaper bag is one of those essentials most Moms would be lost without. As Michelle from Minneapolis stated, “One day I left the house without my diaper bag. I didn’t realize I forgot it until I went to reach for it when I needed a diaper to change my baby. I ended up having to find a store and purchase diapers, baby wipes, and an outfit because the one my baby was wearing had become soiled. While I was in the store I bought a second diaper bag. I now keep that diaper bag packed and in my vehicle at all times so that I always have the essentials I need even if I’m forgetful and forget to take my main diaper bag with me when I go somewhere.” When you want to take an excursion out of your home with a small baby, there’s no telling what you might need. A good diaper bag can hold everything you might need including diapers, baby wipes, diaper ointment, baby powder, clothing, bottles, food, just about anything else you might possibly need while out and about with your baby. The most important item in a diaper bag is diapers. If you need to, you can carry up to a dozen of the thickest diapers in a diaper bag. In another large compartment of the bag you can put in several changes of clothes. Some other useful things to put in the bag are bibs, baby cups, burp cloths, washcloths, a blanket, pacifiers, toys, snacks, food (along with utensils for feeding) and baby bottles. A towel to use as an “anywhere” changing pad is another essential item. In fact, anything that you need to use on a daily basis should go into the diaper bag. But keep in mind that all that “stuff” in your diaper bag can make it really heavy so if you are going to have to be carrying it for a long distance or are only going on a short trip, make sure to just pack the essentials. It is a good idea to keep your diaper bag at least partially ready all the time. Some people have diapers, pacifiers, blankets, an extra set of clothes, and toys stashed away in their diaper bags permanently. . In the past, diaper bags were little more than large plastic shoulder bags with one or two big compartments. And they weren’t very attractive either. They were used because one didn't have a choice. Today that’s all changed. You can find diaper bags that vary from basic, to trendy, to designer. Designer bags are very attractive and stylish, but they typically also have a large price tag too. The simple design of some diaper bags may fool you into believing there’s nothing much inside. But, you may be surprised to see some nifty features like a pullout changing pad or special pockets for keys and cell phones. Most of today’s’ diaper bags come with nylon linings to prevent messy spills from ruining the bag. One of the most attractive diaper bags I’ve seen looks very much like a purse, and everything inside the diaper bag - changing pad, storage bag, wipes case - can come out. So, you can ultimately use it as a purse. Another one of my favorites has a non-slip grip on the strap, so the bag will not slide off when you bend to pick something up. A great feature in some bags is that they can easily be attached to a stroller with rings and clips that are included in the bag. Just be sure the diaper bag is positioned properly on the stroller so that the weight of it doesn’t tip the stroller over. Besides the cost, the only factors you have to keep in mind while purchasing the perfect diaper bag is size and comfort. The diaper bag that’s perfect for your neighbor may not be the right diaper bag for you. Take time to look at several different diaper bags before making your purchase so that you get the bag that is just right for you and your baby.
If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked by a parent what to tell your kids about money, I’d be a millionaire. There are many different aspects of money management you can & should tell your children about. Here I will share with you what I believe are seven of the most important principles 1. Money can be exchanged for goods or services. This is one of the first few lessons you should teach your child once they are old enough to understand – usually around the age of 3 years. Next time you go down to the corner store to buy one or two items, let your child hand the money to the cashier. By doing so, they will gain a greater appreciation of the concept of being able to exchange money for things you want or need. 2. One should be careful with money. Some people I know, seem to think that any coins with a value under 50 cents are just too small to be bothered using, and so when cleaning out their loose change from around the house will simply throw these smaller coins in the bin. What a waste! Encourage your child to be careful with all denominations of money, and show them how those small coins can add up, by starting a family small coins box. Maybe you could use the money to fund small family outings (a trip to the shop to get ice creams). 3. Money has to be earned. There are many people in the world these days that don’t seem to have ever learned this lesson. They sit around home and expect handouts so they can live, or turn to a life of crime to fund their existence. Be careful not to give your child money every time he or she asks, without expecting anything in return i. epletion of household chores. 4. Encourage one-third savings, one-third donations, one-third spending. The exact proportions in which your child divides their money are up to each individual family to decide, based on their beliefs and the needs of the child. This can quite easily be achieved by providing them with 3 piggy banks or moneyboxes – one for spending, one for saving & one for donating. 5. Avoid borrowing money wherever possible. It is always much harder to repay money that has been borrowed, than to save your money. Some loans, such as home loans, tend to be unavoidable though. A good rule of thumb is if you don’t have the cash to buy it, you can’t afford it! 6. Money isn’t your best friend so don’t let it control your life. Quite simply, try not to become so over committed with your finances, that you are forced to work 60 to 70 hours a week to continue the lifestyle. If you do, then you are letting the money control your life. You don’t usually need the fancy car (and car loan) or overseas holiday (and personal loan). All these things are nice, but only if you can easily afford them! 7. Show them how to budget & live within their means This is one of the most important skills that your child must know, that so many people don’t seem to know how to do. Recent surveys have shown, that many people are spending 10% to 20% above what they earn. They are earning enough money to fund their lifestyle, but they simply aren’t budgeting it, and so are wasting large amounts of money each week. With these seven lessons under their belt, they will be off to a great start, but there are many more money skills that your child will benefit enormously from learning. To learn more, visit the Kids Money Tips web site.
: A while back LeeAnn from Las Vegas asked my opinion on just when is the right time to begin teaching her 2-year-old daughter. She has already begun teaching basic concepts such as alphabet, colors, and numbers, but some members of her family feel that she is pushing her little girl. In my opinion, the easiest way for LeeAnn to test whether or not she is pushing her daughter can be found in this quote: "Is it too soon, or should I let her keep going as long as she is interested and is having fun?" If LeeAnn's daughter is interested in the concepts that she is learning and having fun while learning then it is definitely the right time to teach her. Young children are interested in the world around them and they are interested in what their parents know. Building on that interest to teach basic concepts (just as LeeAnn is doing) is not pushing your child -- it is meeting your child's needs. One of the most important things you can do for your child is to offer an environment rich in learning opportunities. If you give your child the opportunity to learn then he will learn -- it really is as simple as that. Remember, young children are learning a great deal about themselves, their family and caregivers, and their world ever day. For most of those lessons you are the teacher. By the time your child has reached the age of 2 you have already taught hundreds, even thousands, of important lessons about how to function in the world and society. Indeed, many of the everyday activities you perform with your child also have academic implications. For example, the books that you read to your child and the songs you sing with your child have a lasting impact on literacy. It is no great stretch to add other concepts into your repertoire and this can make a great deal of difference in how prepared your child is for preschool and kindergarten. There are really only three things you should remember: ~ Keep it fun Making learning into a game and your child will always enjoys what you have to teach her. ~ Keep it light Educational products and activities that are actually games are wonderful but don't force your child into spending time each day with flashcards or the like. They'll most likely learn faster and more meaningfully if you have an alphabet scavenger hunt at the supermarket. ~ Embrace the teachable moment but don't schedule lessons and force educational activities on your child. When the opportunity presents itself (and it will countless times in a day!) take advantage and use it for a lesson. For example, simply putting on socks can be a lesson in right and left, colors, or counting! HOW TO TEACH So how do you teach your preschooler without scheduling lessons and forcing them to pay attention? You embrace the teachable moment! What is the teachable moment? It is simply an opportunity that springs out of normal, everyday life or as children become older and more verbal a timely question or comment. Time when you and your child are in the car, for example, is a wonderful teaching opportunity that many parents overlook. If you are reunited after a day's separation then you can share stories about your day-and in the process work on vocabulary and literacy skills as well as teach your child about the world around them. You can also use cars and trucks to teach colors, road signs to teach shapes, and so on. Mealtimes are also wonderful teaching opportunities. Counting is easily worked into almost any meal, such as telling a child they can have two cookies or giving them five tater tots. Shapes and colors can also be brought into mealtimes. For example, my son likes to choose the shape for his sandwiches-triangles or squares? As a child grows older you can also do letter sounds with the various foods, such as milk starts with "mmmmh". WHAT TO TEACH Skills you should work on with your child fall into eight basic categories, according to early childhood educators: ~ Social/Emotional Skills, which will be the greatest predictors of success in life. ~ Self esteem, which is crucial for all learning. ~ Physical Skills ~ Communication Skills: listening, speaking, singing, drawing, gesturing ~ Basic Concepts such as colors, letters, numbers, vocabulary ~ Categorizing Skills, what is the same and different ~ Compare and Contrast Skills, which is the higher order level of Categorizing ~ Experiences on which to draw. These are perhaps the most important of all, as they provide a frame of reference for future learning. The more experiences from which a child can draw, the better s/he will understand both learning and the world. These are all literacy skills and they are all key to your child's future success. If you need still more help identifying concepts that your child should master then study the developmental milestones for your child's age at PreschoolersLearnMore. So rest easy, LeeAnn, you are doing exactly the right thing for your daughter!
: A while back LeeAnn from Las Vegas asked my opinion on just when is the right time to begin teaching her 2-year-old daughter. She has already begun teaching basic concepts such as alphabet, colors, and numbers, but some members of her family feel that she is pushing her little girl. In my opinion, the easiest way for LeeAnn to test whether or not she is pushing her daughter can be found in this quote: "Is it too soon, or should I let her keep going as long as she is interested and is having fun?" If LeeAnn's daughter is interested in the concepts that she is learning and having fun while learning then it is definitely the right time to teach her. Young children are interested in the world around them and they are interested in what their parents know. Building on that interest to teach basic concepts (just as LeeAnn is doing) is not pushing your child -- it is meeting your child's needs. One of the most important things you can do for your child is to offer an environment rich in learning opportunities. If you give your child the opportunity to learn then he will learn -- it really is as simple as that. Remember, young children are learning a great deal about themselves, their family and caregivers, and their world ever day. For most of those lessons you are the teacher. By the time your child has reached the age of 2 you have already taught hundreds, even thousands, of important lessons about how to function in the world and society. Indeed, many of the everyday activities you perform with your child also have academic implications. For example, the books that you read to your child and the songs you sing with your child have a lasting impact on literacy. It is no great stretch to add other concepts into your repertoire and this can make a great deal of difference in how prepared your child is for preschool and kindergarten. There are really only three things you should remember: ~ Keep it fun Making learning into a game and your child will always enjoys what you have to teach her. ~ Keep it light Educational products and activities that are actually games are wonderful but don't force your child into spending time each day with flashcards or the like. They'll most likely learn faster and more meaningfully if you have an alphabet scavenger hunt at the supermarket. ~ Embrace the teachable moment but don't schedule lessons and force educational activities on your child. When the opportunity presents itself (and it will countless times in a day!) take advantage and use it for a lesson. For example, simply putting on socks can be a lesson in right and left, colors, or counting!
HOW TO TEACH So how do you teach your preschooler without scheduling lessons and forcing them to pay attention? You embrace the teachable moment! What is the teachable moment? It is simply an opportunity that springs out of normal, everyday life or as children become older and more verbal a timely question or comment. Time when you and your child are in the car, for example, is a wonderful teaching opportunity that many parents overlook. If you are reunited after a day's separation then you can share stories about your day-and in the process work on vocabulary and literacy skills as well as teach your child about the world around them. You can also use cars and trucks to teach colors, road signs to teach shapes, and so on. Mealtimes are also wonderful teaching opportunities. Counting is easily worked into almost any meal, such as telling a child they can have two cookies or giving them five tater tots. Shapes and colors can also be brought into mealtimes. For example, my son likes to choose the shape for his sandwiches-triangles or squares? As a child grows older you can also do letter sounds with the various foods, such as milk starts with "mmmmh". WHAT TO TEACH Skills you should work on with your child fall into eight basic categories, according to early childhood educators: ~ Social/Emotional Skills, which will be the greatest predictors of success in life. ~ Self esteem, which is crucial for all learning. ~ Physical Skills ~ Communication Skills: listening, speaking, singing, drawing, gesturing ~ Basic Concepts such as colors, letters, numbers, vocabulary ~ Categorizing Skills, what is the same and different ~ Compare and Contrast Skills, which is the higher order level of Categorizing ~ Experiences on which to draw. These are perhaps the most important of all, as they provide a frame of reference for future learning. The more experiences from which a child can draw, the better s/he will understand both learning and the world. These are all literacy skills and they are all key to your child's future success. If you need still more help identifying concepts that your child should master then study the developmental milestones for your child's age at PreschoolersLearnMore. So rest easy, LeeAnn, you are doing exactly the right thing for your daughter!
What do you do when you struggle with fear and anxiety and you have to maintain the family and kids? It can be tough but there are ways to manage your fears and take care of your family at the same time. Here are some techniques a parent can use to manage his or her anxiety. The first thing you should do is to get professional help. You owe it to your family and kids to get better. Getting the help you need to battle fear and anxiety is very important and will lead you to the road of recovery. Admitting that you have a problem and getting help is the first step in getting better. Remember that you are not alone. There are many people who deal with fear and anxiety and they too live normal lives. There is no reason why you can’t get through this. If other parents can manage their fears, so can you. You can do it. There is hope for you. When taking care of the family, do not try to manage everything all at once. Get your spouse or somebody else to help do some of the work. One person cannot do everything. Share your responsibilities with your spouse if you can. Also learn to communicate with your spouse about who does what on a certain day. Do not let your anxieties get the best of you. A technique that is very helpful is to have a list of positive statements that make you happy. Whenever you feel anxious and your taking care of the kids, get your list and read those statements. The next time you become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety, remember that there is hope in overcoming your anxieties and depression. With some help, you will be able to find the answers to your fears. You just have to be patient and determine to get better.
With the first of the Baby Boomers turning 60 this year, the nation is beginning to see the effects of its aging population-and with the average life expectancy extending to nearly 78, those approaching retirement must plan ahead financially, emotionally and physically. However, for some people, that planning includes taking on a responsibility they thought was behind them: parenthood. According to a 2002 U. S. Census Bureau report, 5.7 million grandparents in the U. S. are living in households with their grandchildren-and more than 2.5 million grandparents are the sole guardians of the children. The bureau estimates that the number of grandparents raising their grandchildren has increased 30 percent from 1990 to 2000. Such was the case for the Py family. Tragedy struck them twice-once when their son-in-law died suddenly of a brain aneurysm and then 14 months later when their daughter lost her battle with breast cancer. The Pys' grandchildren were orphaned in a matter of months and they turned to grandma and grandpa. Many grandparents in the Pys' position turn to Mooseheart Child City and School, a nonprofit residential child care facility and school for children and teens in need, as an alternative to state foster care. "Families-many of whom are grandparents-work with us because we provide a nurturing home and a solid education," explains Scott Hart, the non-profit's administrator. "It's a difficult decision. But students thrive in our community because we encourage them to reach their fullest potential," he says. Mooseheart is funded through monies raised by the 1.3 million members of the Moose organization, and it accepts applications from all families with children in need. Hart says the children living in the Mooseheart community learn that from hardships come triumphs. It's a lesson the Py family learned as well. After enduring their tragedy, their home was eventually renovated by ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Their new home now includes a private "Moose" office, as the entire family is highly involved as volunteers of the Moose. "Our society's grandparents are increasingly faced with the necessity of raising their grandchildren. They need to understand that they're not in this alone," encourages Hart.
If your child has recurring illnesses, don't simply brush off these ailments as normal childhood health problems. He or she may have a serious underlying disease. Primary immunodeficiency, or PI, is a genetic defect that can compromise a child's immune system, leading to an increased susceptibility to certain infectious illnesses. There are more than 100 types of PI; each has somewhat different symptoms, depending on which parts of the immune system are affected. Some deficiencies are deadly, while others are mild. In children with PI, usual childhood illnesses occur frequently and can drag on and become chronic despite the use of antibiotics. If a child suffers from eight or more ear infections or two or more serious sinus infections within a year, he or she could have a serious form of PI. Other warning signs are failure to gain weight or grow normally and a proven family history of PI. While there are more than 1 million children and young adults in the United States affected by PI, experts estimate that 70 percent to 90 percent of those with the disease go undiagnosed. Without diagnosis and treatment, constant infections can significantly weaken your child's immune system. Parents should know that a simple and inexpensive blood test could identify the disorder in more than 95 percent of cases. Once diagnosed, there are several treatment options that can provide a better quality of life or, in some cases, a cure. The Jeffrey Modell Foundation, a nonprofit research foundation devoted to the study of PI, is making a profound difference in many lives by raising awareness of the disease. Since beginning a national public awareness and physician education campaign last year, 32 Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Referral Centers throughout the United States have reported promising figures. They calculated increases of 85 percent in the number of patients diagnosed; 31 percent in the number of patient referrals; and 67 percent in the number of patients receiving treatment.
It is never too early to begin teaching your child to read, or at least laying the foundation for early literacy skills, and it can definitely be left too late! If you are not sure then think about this. Statistically, more American children suffer long-term life-long harm from the process of learning to read than from parental abuse, accidents, and all other childhood diseases and disorders combined. In purely economic terms, reading related difficulties cost our nation more than the war on terrorism, crime, and drugs combined. Reading problems are a further challenge to our world by contribute significantly to the perpetuation of socio-economic, racial and ethnic inequities. However it is not just poor and minority children who struggle with reading. According to the 2002 national report card on reading by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), most of our children (64%) are less than proficient in reading even after 12 years of our attempts to teach them. Even without knowing these worrisome statistics we are aware that reading proficiency is essential to success--not only academically but in life. As the American Federal of Teachers states: "No other skill taught in school and learned by school children is more important than reading. It is the gateway to all other knowledge. Teaching students to read by the end of third grade is the single most important task assigned to elementary schools. Those who learn to read with ease in the early grades have a foundation on which to build new knowledge. Those who do not are doomed to repeated cycles of frustration and failure." More than any other subject or skill, our children's futures are determined by how well they learn to read. Reading is absolutely fundamental. It has been said so often that it has become meaningless but it does not negate its truth. In our society, in our world, the inability to read consigns children to failure in school and consigns adults to the lowest strata of job and life opportunities. And just when we thought the stakes could get no higher, over the last decade, educational research findings have discovered that how well children learn to read has other, even more life-shaping, consequences. Most children begin learning to read during a profoundly formative phase in their development. As they begin learning to read, they're also learning to think abstractly. They are learning to learn and they're experiencing emotionally charged feelings about who they are and how well they are learning. What does that mean? Most children who struggle with reading blame themselves. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, the process of learning to read teaches these children to feel ashamed of themselves--ashamed of their minds--ashamed of how they learn. And the sad truth is that they have nothing to be ashamed about. As Dr. Grover Whitehurst, Director Institute of Education Sciences, Assistant Secretary of Education, U. S. Department of Education (2003) says: "Reading failure for nearly every child is not the child's failure; it's the failure of policy makers, the failure of schools, the failure of teachers and the failure of parents. We need to reconceptualize what it means to learn to read and who's responsible for its success if we're going to deal with the problem." Do you want to wait for the policy makers to find a solution? Do you trust that they will? Or would you rather make sure that the job is done right by taking charge yourself? I know what my answer is because I know first-hand from witnessing my brother's life-long difficulties what an irrevocable impact a reading struggle early in life can make. It can mark your child for life! I'm not promising that your child can learn to read early or that they won't experience difficulty. After all, there is a significant number of children suffering from learning disabilities. These children will struggle. However, early instruction may ease their suffering and make the struggle a bit easier to handle. At the very least you will know that you did everything you could to help your child-and your child will know that as well. That cannot be wasted effort! And you have a head-start on every educator because you know your child--herr temperament, her strengths, and her weaknesses. You are the person best equipped to begin teaching your child. So we come back to the central question-when should your child's reading education begin? Traditional American Education models call for teaching a child to read between the ages of 7-9. Obviously we cannot begin teaching a newborn how to read. However, we can begin in infancy to lay the foundation for literacy which will in the end make your child a stronger reader. Literacy is defined as an individual's ability to read, write, and speak in English, compute, and solve problems, at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual, and in society. Many of the simple things we do at home with our children support the development of literacy so you are already working to make your child more literate even if you are not actively beginning the process to teach your child to read. This includes simple activities such as reading to your child, reciting nursery rhymes, and singing songs. But what if you do want to become a more active participant? There are many things you can do and it doesn't mean you need to invest hundreds of dollars in an expensive reading program. You don't actually need to spend much money at all to teach your child to read at home-or at the least prepare your child well for the beginning of reading instruction in school. Most parents already have the tools you need in your home to begin today! This is why I stress that it is never too early to begin-if you work with your child's development and make learning fun and interesting as well as challenging. My essential strategy as an educator is to create learning opportunities and then to get out of the way of my students so they can learn. Learning is an active experience that should fully engage the participant. I believe that when I am "teaching" that the student is only passively involved in the learning process. I see myself much more as a guide and a resource than a teacher in my classroom. I have taken this approach with my son's education and it has been very successful. We have various learning toys and aids in our home and there are many lessons taking place each day (at home and away) but I have never drilled him on facts or even used flashcards. If you can find ways to make learning fun and exciting-something that your child actually wants to do with you-then begin as soon as possible. Your child will have plenty of opportunity for dry lectures, mind-numbing repetitive drills, and boring lessons as they grow older so don't even go there. If you can't make learning fun and more like play than work then don't even go there. Trust your child's education to the professionals and hope for the best. Remember, there are many wonderful teachers out there so you child is not doomed to failure even if you don't intervene. However, the system is not a success and it is likely that at some point during the process your child may be adversely effected by it! That's why I take an active role in my child's education.
All The Sleeping Mistakes I’ve Made with My Children… I have three children, so I’ve made pretty much every mistake known to Mommies, except the fatal ones, as luckily, all three of mine are alive and well. But the biggest mistakes I’ve made have been in my daughter’s sleeping, or lack thereof, habits. So, let me tell you my story, and hopefully you won’t be destined to make the same mistakes I have. First, when she was very tiny, I let her fall asleep in bed with my husband and me. I was nursing at first, and it was just easier to nurse her lying down and let her fall asleep. Then I would move her to her bassinet. Later in the night, when I nursed her again, sometimes I would fall asleep so quickly after nursing her, that I wouldn’t even move her back to the bassinet. She would just sleep with us for the rest of the night. Later, when I had moved her into her crib in the nursery, I would still let her fall asleep in our bed first. I did this because I enjoyed it, it was convenient, and because she didn’t fall asleep easily in her room. And, I managed, in the process, to teach my daughter that she needed to be in the room with someone in order to fall asleep. So, guess what happened when she woke up in the middle of the night? She wanted to come back to our bed to fall asleep. And, worse, we gave in. Then we found that she was sometimes willing to go back to sleep in her bed if we gave her a cup of milk, so she began to require a cup of milk every morning at 3:00 am, long after she should have been sleeping through the night. She is now 2 Ѕ and only in the last month have we managed to go from 9:00 pm until 6:00am with our daughter in her own bed with no milk. So, why didn’t I make any of these mistakes with the other children? Well, they were just different. They were sleepers, and my daughter is not. Both of my boys can fall asleep within five minutes of climbing in bed, and could sleep through and explosion. My six year old used to ask to take a nap. My daughter, on the other hand, doesn’t need as much sleep, and doesn’t sleep as soundly. So, I had more trouble getting her to sleep, and gave in to any tactic that worked. With the boys, all I had to do was put them in bed. Now, I’ve told you this story to point out that we all make mistakes with our children, and to point out how important it is to start your child out with the right sleeping habits. I didn’t sleep through the night for almost 2 Ѕ years, and I have no one to blame but myself. So, take it from someone who has learned the hard way. Put your baby to sleep in her own bed, and teach her to fall asleep all by herself. You’ll be glad you did. And, you’ll be rested.
I think as parents, sometimes we think that on our child’s eighteenth birthday, something magical is going to happen. The truth is, they wake up the same person they went to bed as. When my daughter went away to college, I admit to being completely blown away by the amount of students who had never had 100% freedom prior to coming to college. Up until leaving for college, these kids still had curfews, still were asked daily if their homework was done, still faced consequences at home if they did not turn in homework, and were still monitored in many other areas. If you have never been allowed to stay out all night, what do you think a new college student does their first week at school? They end up staying up and out night after night. If you were never allowed to wake up and say “I don’t want to go to school today” what do you think a new college student does the first month of school? They sleep in and don’t attend class. I believe as a parent, it is our job to allow our children the above freedoms in a safe atmosphere where we can guide them. For example, when my daughter was a senior in high school, I allowed her to go out on school nights and she really had no curfew. She did come in a few times at 2am and just couldn’t get up for school. I did write her a note for school and she slept. She missed school work, and now had double the work the next day. She quickly found that this was not a great choice to make. In college, making a choice like this can be much more devastating, if there is a quiz, a test, or a large assignment is due. My daughter was not familiar with academic probation until she got to college and student after student was placed on academic probation. Often, parents do not know the student has been placed on this probation as the entire relationship is between the school and the student. The parents no longer have a voice, or receive any type of notifications, even if the parent is paying all the bills. Most parents I speak with have the same goal. We want our children to be independent happy adults. This can only happen though if we allow them to make choices on their own. I know that when I think back, I did make some bad choices as a teenager. I’ve also made some bad choices as an adult. I’ve learned from those choices and those choices have all led to the person I am today. I continue to make choices and continue to grow as a person. Don’t we want the same for our children? So, while my opening sentence said nothing magical happens the morning of their eighteenth birthday, we as parents can certainly help them into adulthood by allowing them the freedom to be independent.
Introduction to Troubled Teen Programs More than ever, teens today are facing an uncertain future. With political instability across the globe and unrest in local communities, it’s no wonder that our teens are confused and scared about their place in the world. Just as they are trying to find their own adult identity, the teenage body is hit with an influx of hormones and unsettling emotions that they don’t know how to control. Because of this, teenagers are particularly susceptible to conditions such as depression, oppositional defiant disorder (rebelliousness) and numerous personality disorders. Adolescent frustration can easily lead to behavioral problems, if the teen doesn’t receive appropriate counseling. Troubled teen programs exist to provide such counseling, and intervene before troubled teens can damage their future irrevocably. Who Can Benefit from Troubled Teen Programs Many teenagers can benefit from the variety of troubled teen programs that are available. Whether you’re teen is overtly rebellious, experimenting with drug use or promiscuous behavior, or has had trouble with the law, troubled teen programs can provide the tools to set your teenager on the right path. Troubled teen programs can reach your troubled teenager by teaching them to respect themselves and others, offering relatable testimonials and providing an objective outlook on how your teen functions. Whatever problems your teen may be facing, such as alcoholism, insecurity, or apathy, troubled teen programs can renew a positive outlook on life. These programs will help your teen, and your entire family, by bringing you all together. Types of Troubled Teen Programs There are many diverse troubled teen programs to address the many problems facing teens. Finding the program that best suits your teenager’s needs is key to helping them out of their problems. Some typical troubled teen programs include: * Residential programs – Similar to boarding schools, residential teen programs require the teen to live at the program facility. Residential troubled teen programs are especially helpful for teens that have been expelled from public schools or need a great deal of supervision. Residential programs can be general or cater to specific problems such as drug abuse. * Wilderness programs – Wilderness troubled teen programs take the problem teenager out of the confusing modern world and bring them back to the basics. Removing the teenager from the influences of bad company, computers, cell phones and modern conveniences, allows wilderness programs to access the root cause of the teen’s issues. * Boot Camp/Military School ( militaryschoolsboys. org/) – There are a number of troubled teen programs that utilize the military approach to treating problem teens. Focusing on discipline and respect, boot camp style programs can build the character of a troubled teen while allowing him to gain much-needed self respect. Where to Look for Help in Finding Troubled Teen Programs Because each program is unique, it’s important to carefully investigate your options before deciding on the program that is right for your troubled teen. Many programs can be investigated via the internet. Once you locate a program or programs that may be right for your teen, contact each organization to discuss your specific issues.
Raising children is a confusing business. There are times when any parent or caregiver can use additional parenting advice. There are many books available to parents to help get through the day-to-day issues. Every child is different, and every parent is different, too. Because of this, there are no cookie-cutter solutions that will work for everyone. The best suggestion is for you to review all the solutions you discover and take a few quiet minutes to think about them. Modify the suggestions to best suit your family, and don't be afraid to try out more than one until you discover the best answer. Here are some tips: 1) Tell your children that you love them. Don't just show it by buying them things. Verbalize it and show them by hugging them. 2) Be involved in your children's lives - go to their concerts, games, and plays. This should be your highest priority. 3) Involve your children in family decisions. 4) Do not ever say "Because I said so" or "Because I am the parent". Instead always rationally explain your reasons for making a decision. Not only will children then understand and comply easier, but it will help them to develop their own reasoning skills. 5) Actively participate with your children in activities outside of the home. Do not hesitate to share the ups and downs of parenting with another parent. You may be surprised to find that they are experiencing some of the same joys and frustrations as you. One popular mistake parents make is asking instead of telling. The way you phrase your words determines whether your children see your request as optional or required. Take away all wishy-washy phrases from your vocabulary. When you want your child to do something or stop doing something, make a clear and specific statement that leaves no room for confusion. Many parents start out on the right track, but are derailed by an incredibly persistent child. It seems that when children couple their youthful energy with an extraordinary ability to pinpoint their parent's weak spots, the result is usually disaster. If you are doing your job as a parent, there are many times when your decisions will not be popular with your kids. When your child is nagging, whining and pleading with you, it is a sure sign that you have made the right decision. It is also a sign that you need to disengage from your youngster and teach him you will not be easily swayed by his persistence. Your most important goal as a parent is not to make your children happy on a short-term basis. It is to raise capable and responsible human beings. There are many times when your children will be unhappy with your decisions. Today there are more parents than any other generation of parents in history. There is an incredible amount of information and knowledge about parenting advice you can get from friends, books, and the internet. Take advantage of this information. Read and take note. And be confident in your actions.
There is an urban legend that over thirty percent of all children are not born of their appointed father; instead, they are the products of adultery. Because of this long-standing myth, the idea of a paternity test has been a persistent one in the minds of the public. Here, we will explain what a paternity test actually is and answer questions on how it works to prove who fathered the child. Why A Paternity Test: Some question why this test is called a 'paternity'. The answer is quite simple: unless the mother was impregnated through an egg donation, it's obvious that she is the mother. The father, however, can be anyone--that is why children are tested against his DNA and not hers. How Does A Paternity Test Work: Though there are other methods, DNA testing is the easiest--and most effective--way to test a child for paternity. DNA is unique for each individual but, when sexual reproduction occurs, an embryo is created. That embryo is formed by taking genetic material from both parents to create a new string of DNA. To prove who is the father, one only has to look at the child's DNA pattern. In it, you will find evidence of the father's unique traits. Certain sequences will be available, and these will prove whose traits passed on. Is A Paternity Test Accurate: Yes. Unless the case involves a twin brother, DNA should easily be able to tell who fathered the child. The test is accurate. Is A Paternity Test Necessary: This is the gray area of the subject. A father's right to know if a child is his is not questioned; what is questioned, however, is the effects on the child. Often, cases of fathers seeking parental rights to children who have with their mothers and another man who they view as their father surface. These cases are long, drawn-out battles of basic parental rights versus basic child welfare. The father may argue that, since it was he who actually created the child, he should have the right to be present in his or her life. Others would argue, however, that a child in a stable home should not be forced to have two fathers and, therefore, two lives. It is this heated debate that has divided many, and left the rest uncertain. Each case is different and must be examined as unique, which makes setting precedent almost impossible. To have a paternity test is to open up a great deal of consequences--not only for the child, but for the parents. It is not a simple matter, or one that should be decided too quickly. These tests may be taken without consent, but there is a law in the UK that is demanding that no test be given without the express knowledge of all involved. This is to protect families. A paternity test is an effective way to discover who fathered a child, but it can also be an effective way to cause a child grief. It should be approached with caution.