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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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Tips to Help Get Through the First Day of Day Care

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The first day of day care is an exciting and often scary transition for families. To help both children and parents alike navigate the big day, Successful Parenting Today has put together our best tips for a great start to day care!

Prepare Your Child for the Big Day

The process of preparing your child for day care should begin well before the first day. Visit the day care center at least once with your child, and consider shadowing a class for a day if the center allows it. Go over the day care schedule with your child as many times as possible. And don’t wait until the first day to begin your new routine—adjust bedtime and wake-up time at least a few days before day care begins. Knowing exactly what is coming will help your child to feel comfortable and confident. Basically, the fewer surprises the better!

Allow Plenty of Time and Help Your Child Settle

Allow plenty of time to get ready for day care, so that your child doesn’t feel rushed on the first morning. Give her time to pick the right outfit, eat a good breakfast and adjust to the big day. Make sure that you also arrive at the center with plenty of time to spare, so that you can spend some time helping your child to settle in and become familiar with the surroundings.

When the time comes to say good-bye, it’s best to make a quick and final exit. You may prepare a routine ahead of time, so that your child knows you will be leaving after a big hug and a high-five. Even if there are tears, try to leave without coming back so that your child can begin adjusting and bonding with the caregivers. Trust your day care providers (your confidence will help your child feel safe) and give them a call if you need reassurance.

Transition Back to Home

A successful first day doesn’t end with a smooth drop-off. It’s also important to help your child transition from day care back to home, and the first step is returning on time. Knowing you will be there to pick them up at the same time every day helps kids feel at ease.

After the stimulation of day care, returning home can sometimes be difficult. Planning for a special activity or treat at home can help with this transition, and also be an opportunity to bond with your child after spending the day apart.

While the first day of day care sets the tone, the transition to this new lifestyle is not complete after one day. Your child may still have fears or concerns, and it is important to listen and to reassure them that these feelings are normal. Stick to the routines you have established in the upcoming days, until you and your child have fully adjusted to this major life change.

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Warning Signs That Your Teen May Have An Eating Disorder

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Teens are increasingly becoming susceptible to the development of an eating disorder. The pressure to be thin is massive due to their constant exposure to ideal images in the media. It’s a difficult time for young people and parents need to be there to support them. Observe your teens for the following signs of eating disorders:

Dramatic Weight Loss

If you see them drastically losing weight, then look more closely into their eating habits. There is a difference between healthy weight loss and an unhealthy one brought about by a crash diet. Radical fluctuations are also a red flag. They may get thinner quickly but then gain back all that the lost and possibly more, repeating in an endless cycle.

Obsession with Weight

Another sign is an obsession with weight which may be manifested by frequent use of the bathroom scale. They may constantly talk about food and the labels containing nutrition information. Being aware of their nutrient and calorie intake is commendable but they can go overboard. It is especially alarming if they are always on the lookout for new types of diets and trying them out.

Excessive Fluid Intake

Some people try to limit their calories by drinking large quantities of fluid. This makes them feel full quickly thus reducing their craving for food. Although the body has high tolerance for fluid intake, drinking too much too fast can lead to hyponatremia which is a dangerous state of electrolyte imbalance. The fluids must have ample nutrients like sodium and potassium as well.

Food Avoidance

Watch closely if your teens are starting to avoid meal times as well as other situations that involve food. This may be an indication of an underlying eating disorder that’s causing them to withdraw from communal activities. Aside from being unhealthy for their physical well-being, it is also detrimental to their social life.

Self-induced Vomiting or Substance Abuse

In extreme cases, teens resort to vomiting to get rid of the food they ate and prevent weight gain. Others try to control their weight through laxatives and diuretics. There are also plenty of diet pills on the market. Talk to your child if you see these behaviors.

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The Key To Understanding Children’s Fears

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Being afraid of the dark, the bogey man and the monster in the closet are all part of growing up. We have all experienced being scared of something at some point and time in our lives and this helps us to be empathetic towards our own kids who are going through their own fears. Parents play a vital role in helping their kids conquer their fears by understanding children’s fears

How Can Parents Help?

Parents should be understanding of their kids fears and nit try to downplay it or trivialize it simply because you no longer have those fears. Never abandon your child. Always stay with a child who is scared, until the fear and anxiety subsides as leaving them alone will only make it worse. Another approach that can cause more harm than good is making the child feel stupid for being scared. Make your child aware that you are confident in their ability to handle the situation. This vote of confidence from your side will go a long way in equipping your child with the right tools to overcome their fears.

What Causes Fear in Children

Initial studies showed that fear was caused by behavioral conditions which basically means that if a child is bitten by a dog, they develop of fear of dogs. Later, studies showed that some people are born with sensitive temperaments that make them more prone to fear and anxiety. However, it is important to remember that we all experienced fear as children and it is a normal part of growing up. Children of different age groups experience different types of fear. A toddler or small child may have a fear of monsters, because at this age, they still believe that monsters exist. An older child may simply fear the dark or being alone.

These childhood fears eventually and gradually disappear. A parent should be worried if a child is still suffering from fear and anxiety way past the expected or normal age group. If it is interfering with the normal functioning of the child and the daily activities that a child should be enjoying, then alarm bells should be going off.

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Tips For Not Raising “Entitled” Kids

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Sometimes, you let your child get away with things that they should not. For example, you may let them keep the loose money they collected from the drawer, let them get away with not doing their chores or sometimes let them have it their way even though you know it is entirely wrong. This may lead to development of an entitled child if not checked. Well, instead of letting your child grow up thinking it is fine to do some things, here are parenting tips that may help you in being the best parent.

Help them learn how to deal with disagreements with their friends. If you get in the way all the time a battle erupts, the child may not learn how to deal with problems when they arise in future. Therefore, teach them how they can deal with certain situations effectively by themselves. As a parent, you can tell when your child is doing well or not. You also have the ability to tell when things are getting out of hand and your assistance is needed. In such situations, handle the situation with care to enhance amicability in the next course of action.

You are the first authority that your child looks up to. You are therefore at a position to create the rules of the house. You are also at a position to reward good deeds and point out areas that need improvement. To avoid raising entitled kids, practice your authority consistently. Do not let them get away with some actions just because you are not in the mood to deal with the child. If a child does something wrong, give them a deserving punishment and make them understand why it is wrong to act so.

Parents have the tendency to compare children. However, children are of different abilities and characters and they should not be compared. Using one child as a benchmark for the other may prove problematic since the child who is always compared to the other may have self-esteem issues. Remember the child needs to develop his or her own character and comparing them may not help matters.

Love your child unconditionally but do not let their actions deter you from taking disciplinary actions when need be. Ensure that the child understands what is wrong or right form the earliest time possible. Ensure you cater for all the child’s needs to avoid issues later on in life. Give them attention, help them in understanding complex issues in life and ensure their basic needs are catered for properly.

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Bullies And Their Effect On A Child’s Self Esteem

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We all know that bullying is not good for any child. Unfortunately, bullying remains a reality for many children. Research reveals that 28% of children, between the ages of 12 to 18 admitted to being bullied at school. Bullying may leave the child with physical scars or bruises, which will heal in time. However, there are more permanent effects of bullying that may affect a child well into adulthood.

Bullying and Self Esteem

Physical bruises heal in time, but the damage done mentally and emotionally will linger for years to come. Many children suffer from lack of confidence, as a result of bullying. They start to believe the unkind and hurtful words of the bully, which often leads to self loathing. Victims of bullying no longer have the ability to see themselves in a positive light. They become socially withdrawn and tend to spend almost all their free time alone. They also become socially anxious and in many cases, these victims develop thoughts of retaliation. According to statistics, at least 3 quarters of attackers in school shootings were bullied at some point. These victims always start to make up excuses for why they cannot participate in school activities, simply because they do not want to interact with their bullies, for fear of being ridiculed and embarrassed in public.

How to Tell If Your Child is Being Bullied?

Parents should be on the look out for tell tale signs such as reluctance to go to school, poor performance in school or any changes in the child’s eating and sleeping patterns. As a parent, you should also rule out any other factors that could influence of result in your teen having low self esteem. Once you are sure that your child is being bullied, you should firstly talk to him and let him know that there is noting wrong with him and that bullies make others feel bad, so that they can feel better about themselves. The next step would be to arrange a meeting with the school, the bully and his parents and try and get to the root of the problem for the well-being of both children involved.

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