Archive | January 2016

How to Teach Your Kids Their Address and Phone Number

178708102Everyone knows how important it is for children to memorize their address and phone number. This is true not just for convenience, but also for safety. Children often learn best when there is some sort of game involved, and there are many fun ways you can teach your child his or her address and phone number.

  1. Make a Map of the Neighborhood

Have your child draw a map of the neighborhood, or draw one together. Place your address and phone number on the house. Put other important or fun locations on the map as well, like the school or a best friend’s house.

  1. Put It to Song

Make up a song comprised of the address and phone number, or find a variety online. A common choice is Frere Jacques.

  1. Make a Sequence Activity

Separate your address and phone number onto separate index cards, like so:

  • House number
  • Street name
  • City or Town
  • State
  • Zip Code

Place the index cards out of order, and then have your child put them in the correct order. You can also do this with just the telephone number, by placing each number on a separate card.

  1. Practice in Real Life

Have your child practice punching the numbers on a cell phone or house phone. You can also teach your child the correct buttons to push, like “send,” in order to complete the call.

  1. Use an Abacus

An abacus, or any other type of manipulative, is a great way for your child to practice and visualize your phone number. It’s also a great counting exercise.

  1. Make a Mailbox

Create a makeshift mailbox out of a cardboard box, or purchase a play mailbox. Your children can send each other letters through the mailbox after addressing the envelopes.

  1. Turn It into a Craft Project

A fun 3-D alternative to a map is a small, standing house. You can make it out of cardboard or anything else that will stand upright. Kids can design the front to match the house, and then add the street number. You can also put up a marker next to the house with the street name.

  1. Create a Game

Make a phone number game from popular games like hopscotch and BINGO.

Use one method, or mix and match. The possibilities are endless for teaching your child his or her phone number.

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How Having a Baby Can Affect Your Relationship

166652124When you become a parent, you and your partner will undergo changes that you might not have been able to foresee. No matter how prepared you are, there are always aspects of parenting that come as a surprise. Babies inevitably change the dynamic of a relationship, in both challenging and wonderful ways.

Sleep

Sleep is perhaps the most obvious change that will take place in your relationship. Babies, especially newborns, require round the clock care, and the parents’ sleep schedule is therefore interrupted. Lack of sleep can cause irritability and make it difficult to concentrate. You may find yourself snapping at your partner or arguing over what would normally be small decisions.

One strategy for getting as much sleep as possible is for you and your partner to switch off. It may seem like a good bonding opportunity for both parents to be up with the baby at night, but trading responsibilities can give you more quality time together. Some parents have the mother breastfeed the baby during the night, and then have the father take care of the baby during the daytime so the mother can nap.

Bodily Changes

Intimacy will undoubtedly change between you and your partner, at least for a while. Many new mothers find that they aren’t as interested in being intimate, because it’s hard to balance feeling sexually attractive and feeling like a parent. The mother has also undergone natural, physical changes that may temporarily cause pain or cause her to feel self-conscious about her appearance.

Keep lines of communication open between you, so that each partner knows why the other isn’t interested in intimacy at that time. When you’re not physically intimate, you’ll want to plan quality time together, even if it is just for 20-minute intervals. Go for a walk, hold hands, or schedule a babysitter in order to see a movie. Physical intimacy will resume in time, and in the meantime, you can do other activities to feel connected.

Household Responsibilities

Since babies take up so much time, you’ll probably find that your house gets a little messy, even if you normally keep it very clean. Especially with the sleep deprivation, couples find that they snap at each other about household responsibilities. New parents can set up a time to discuss household chores while the baby is sleeping. In order to resolve conflict and avoid shifting blame, come up with a list of chores and decide who is responsible for which. Ideally, this list should be realistic and allow for some flexibility. Post your list in a convenient location, like on the refrigerator.

It’s important to cut yourselves some slack while caring for a new baby. Praise yourself and your partner for accomplishments, both large and small.

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