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Conquering Toddler Fears

By   |  Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
wisdom in children for overcoming fear

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
~ H. P. Lovecraft

If your normally easy-going child seems suddenly afraid of everything and clingy, you’re not alone.

 

As babies begin to transition from infant to toddler, fear blossoms almost as quickly as they seem to be growing.

While it may take you by surprise, the reality is that these fears, whether they’re concerns about the dark, monsters under the bed, or something completely rational, put your child on the normal track to development.

The key is learning how to deal with those fears. These tips may help.

Figure Out What May Be Causing the Fears

If you understand what is causing the fears, it’s possible you can help your child overcome them.

Think carefully about what’s going on in your toddler’s life at the moment. Is there a new teacher in his or her daycare? Has the routine changed significantly in recent days?

If there’s something that has created stress in your child’s life, that can lead to both rational and irrational fears.

Big events like falling in the water or even seeing a small fire in the kitchen could also create a very real sense of instability in your child’s life and lead to a variety of fears.

Acknowledge Your Child’s Feelings

The idea that there might be a monster under your child’s bed may seem nothing short of ridiculous to you, but to your child, it’s a serious source of concern.

Downplaying or ignoring your child’s fears could be damaging to his emotional development. Make certain you validate those feelings while still helping your child work to overcome them.

Reassurance is a Must

Once you understand exactly what your child is afraid of, you need to work to let them know that everything will be okay. Cuddle with your little one to help him feel a bit better.

Remember, also, that you shouldn’t just pay attention to your child when those fears come into play.

Stay interested in the happy moods too, or you risk making the fears bigger and more dramatic than they actually are.

Overreacting Only Makes Things Worse

Becoming overprotective of your child as a result of those fears can make things quite a bit worse.

You can’t simply let your child avoid all of the things that may worry him, but you also shouldn’t force him into every unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation. Work together to overcome the fear and offer support without hitting “Momzilla” mode.

Patience Is a Must

You may think up the single most creative solution in the world to your child’s problem, but it’s important to remember that his fears are completely normal, and they will fade at some point.

They just may not fade on your schedule. Don’t get frustrated with your child. Instead, be patient as he works to overcome his issues.

Children, and toddlers especially, are very good at taking cues from their parents.

The way you react to your own fears and concerns helps to guide their development.

 

Teaching confidence at every opportunity can help the two of you get past the fear stage.

 

Heather Nosworth is a writer with a passion for children and parenting. She regularly contributes to the Parenting & New Baby Advice Blog, where you can find more parenting articles along with unique baby gifts and gift ideas.

Parenting Can be Overwhelming

By   |  Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

 

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Aaran.

 

Parental Involvement

“Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.” ~ Michael Levine

If one makes a list of some of the most difficult jobs to do in the world, then parenting should definitely feature in that list probably at the top of the list.

 

Especially, managing children in the age group of 1 to 3 can be extremely difficult. It is a very delicate age group, and you need to handle children in that age group with the utmost care.

 

This is the age group where children start to learn things. They sometimes try to imitate parents and imbibe the characteristics of the parents. So you need to watch what you say or how you behave in front of your kids.

 

Single Parenting is Particularly Difficult

 

If you are a single parent, then your troubles will be compounded. There can be various reasons why you are a single parent. You may be a divorcee, and you get the custody of your child, or your spouse may have died, and you choose not to remarry, or you might have gotten pregnant either by choice or chance without opting to get married.

 

No matter what the reason is for being a single parent, the job is only going to get more and more difficult. One of the popular quotes on parenting that I found online comes to my mind. Here it goes – “A mother who is really a mother is never free.”

 

Expenses Can Significantly Increase

 

First of all, you need to make sure your job or business doesn’t get affected. The expenditure for children at a very young age will be significantly more than when they grow up.

 

Of course, there are going to be other expenses when they grow up, but when they are young, there will be many unnecessary expenses which are quite difficult to avoid.

 

Work Life May be Affected

 

You need to strike a proper balance between your work and parenting. Research has shown that parenthood can affect the productivity levels of employees in the office.

 

If you are a business owner, even then things would be affected since taking care of businesses, either small or large, requires more time and attention than normal jobs.
When you are away for work, you can’t take your children along with you. Some offices allow bringing your children to work since there are separate rooms in some offices for small children. However, not all offices have these facilities.

 

Even if you leave your children in those rooms, you won’t be able to concentrate on your work fully. You will be constantly going and checking on what the child is doing.

 

Also, only a small baby which is under a year old is suitable for taking with you to the office. Children above one year of age are usually very naughty and quite difficult to manage.

 

Nannies Are an Option

 

This leaves you with the option of hiring professional nannies to take care of your children at home when you are at work. It is true that hiring nannies can get quite expensive. But at least your child will be taken care of even in your absence.

 

An article by Aaran who loves reading inspirational quotes and photography. Find some of his favorite sayings about relationship at FinestQuotes.com

Discordant Child Parent Relationship: The Root Of Behavior Problems

By   |  Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Neha

 

As the entire nation mourns the Connecticut tragedy, questions are being raised on the growing discord and tensions in child parent relationships.

Child Parent Relationships

Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.
~ Plato

 

How a quiet 20-year-old could gun down 20 innocent children, 6 adults, reportedly his own mother and then himself, has left parents horrified, shaken and wondering what went so hopelessly wrong.

 

“I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between five and 10 years old,” President Obama had said in an emotional address. “They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”

 

A lot of soul-searching needs to be done, to understand how deep an influence parents have on their children.

 

Being a parent, you have the most important role to play in shaping your child’s mind, attitude, behavior, values and character. Why would a reclusive boy like Adam Lanza who was described as one “who excelled in academics but apparently not in forming deep friendships” by those who knew him, would resort to such mindless carnage?

 

According to reports in the media, Adam Lanza hardly interacted with anyone, didn’t have a Facebook account, and was “withdrawn but not threatening in any way”.

 

In fact, the school authorities reportedly don’t have a picture of Adam Lanza.

 

The Washington Post quoted Beth Israel, who lived for a time on the same street as the Lanzas, as saying, “Overall, I would just call him a socially awkward kid, I don’t know, shy and quiet. Didn’t really look you in the eye,” Israel said in a telephone interview Friday night. “Just kind of a weird kid, maybe. I can’t tell you any specific incidents why [I thought so],” she said.

 

It should be a matter of concern for any parent. Your child may be shy, introvert and quiet. But being a loner with no friends and virtually no communication with others could be the root of a serious behavior problem and needs a closer attention.

 

Ironically Adam Lanza has an older brother – Ryan Lanza who unlike him, is sociable and successful. As a parent, one has to understand that every child has different needs and must be treated accordingly.

 

Lecturing your child won’t make much of an impact on him unless you develop a connection with your child. Shouting and screaming doesn’t work at all.

 

Being extra demanding or resorting to oppressive discipline can prove counter-productive.

 

If your child’s self-esteem is low and your child lives in a lonely, self-created world, as a parent you need to take immediate corrective measures to address such behavior problems.

 

As your child grows through the years, you have to keep a close watch on how he gets along with others, the type of friends he makes, the kind of toys and games he likes to play and what he thinks, feels, says and shares.

 

Child development means wholesome, healthy growth of your child’s physical, intellectual, attitudinal and emotional wellbeing.

 

A peaceful family life, based on a strong, supportive parent child relationship encourages healthy, happy, soaring success of every family member and in turn ensures a harmonious society.

 

Neha Arora is a promising staff writer at Wisitech InfoSolutions Pvt Ltd. The views expressed here are her own

When is it Okay for Kids to Use a Kindle or iPad?

By   |  Friday, December 14th, 2012

(Editor’s Note: This post is by Guest Author Brenda Stevens)

 

When we were students, we spent countless hours buried in books in the library doing research on our school paper or report.

 

teaching children

“I’m more interested in arousing enthusiasm in kids than in teaching the facts. The facts may change, but that enthusiasm for exploring the world will remain with them the rest of their lives.” ~ Seymour Simon

All kids need now is a laptop, mobile phone, e-reader, or tablet and they have all the resources they need within a few clicks.

 

This change raises some important questions.

 

Are our children ready for all that screen time?

 

What is a safe age to start introducing technology to our toddlers and young children?

 

There is no stopping the pace of technology advancement around us and its influence on our daily lives. As we see more and more young children spending countless hours on their iPads and Kindles, how do we know if they are ready to take on these gadgets.

 

Many of us are worried about how these changes can affect the formative years of our child.

 

Here is a structure for slowly and safely introducing this tech into your son or daughter’s life.

1-2 Years Old

 

Generally speaking, children under 2 are still too young to make full use of the iPad or the Kindle. Sure, they will appreciate the colorful graphics and animations but the screens itself provide limited sensory experience.

 

At this stage, it is best to let your child explore the real 3-dimensional world. Allow them to touch the snow or feel the softness of a marshmallow for the first time.

 

Encourage them to play with their shadows and run in a grass field. While these things seem simple enough to us, to a child these experiences will help hone their development. There is no level of screen resolutions that will offer this kind of understanding of the world around us.

Toddler Years

 

Now that your toddler is starting to recognize colors, shapes, and the alphabet, we can introduce them to the wonderful world of iPads and Kindles.

 

Just make sure to monitor and limit their screen time to avoid taking over their daily routines.

 

Thankfully, there is a wide array of child-friendly apps and electronic books to help with your child’s speech and cognitive development.

Pre-School Years

 

The iPad and Kindle are excellent ways to encourage your child to read. At this stage, it is best to go for interactive books that double as an educational toy to help them with their studies.

 

Ebooks are just beginning to evolve into larger immersive experiences, and quick access to dictionaries and the sounding out of words means that your child can quickly build their vocabulary and reading comprehension.

 

Depending on how we use them, e-readers and tablets work to your child’s advantage. The important thing is that we set limitations and monitor them as they explore these gadgets.

 

Brenda Stevens is a techy mom and blogger who writes about all things family. You can find her helping families calculate their baby conception date at DueDateCalculator.org.

Teaching Your Kids to Eat Healthy

By   |  Friday, December 14th, 2012

(Editor’s Note: This blog post is by Guest Author Jacqui Vincent)

 

Eating habits are often developed at an early age. It is no surprise that many of us turn to our childhood comfort foods, in times of distress.

 

Teaching Children Healthy Eating Habits

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. ~ Virginia Woolf

Childhood obesity is a growing concern. Unhealthy eating habits can make kids prone to cholesterol and diseases.

 

As parents and caregivers, it is essential to teach kids to eat healthy, starting at an early age. Eating healthy can have enormous benefits by giving your child that extra insurance in health and also by keeping diseases at bay.

 

Children are often resistant and determined to eat what they like. How exactly do you go about introducing healthy eating habits in your child? Here are a few tips that could help you develop better eating habits in your child.

 

Develop a Long-Term Plan

 

If your kids have been consistently eating fast foods and takeout, chances are they will rebel if you insist on a complete overhaul of their diet. In other words, plan to move gradually towards a healthier lifestyle.

 

Start off by replacing snacks with veggies and dips or fruits. Introduce healthier sides and entrees.

 

Start using heart-friendly cooking substitutes.

 

Switch to whole grains, lean proteins and leaner dairy products.

 

You might be surprised how well your children will adapt to your new plan.

 

Teaching Children

When we learn to eat properly we begin to rebuild our bodies and to fulfill our purpose on this planet to grow in health, creativity, wisdom, and compassion. ~ Dr. Ann Wigmore

Involve Kids in Food Planning and Preparation

 

Children love to be involved. Kids who are actively engaged in menu planning, grocery shopping and food preparation are receptive to trying new foods.

 

Eat a Variety of Foods

 

Introducing a variety of foods will help kids get more nutrients, and develop a palate that is more receptive to new foods.

 

Boredom may revert kids to junk foods. Giving them a choice of delicious, healthy foods will keep hunger at bay and lead them to make healthier eating choices.

 

Portion Control is Key

 

It is important to teach kids to eat the right portions. Portion sizes have been increasing over the years. The average size of a pizza slice or a muffin is not the same anymore.

 

Kids need to be educated about the difference between eating to curb hunger and overeating. Demonstrate healthy portions at meal times and help kids develop visual cues about serving sizes.

 

Eat Together and Eat Slowly

 

Eating too fast may result in overeating. Children need to be reminded to eat slowly. Also, eating together and having family meal times leads to healthier eating habits in children.

 

As with everything else, consistency is key. Children watch and learn. Living by example and following long-term strategies are surely beneficial in teaching your kids to eat healthy.

 

These great parenting tips are brought to you by Jacqui Vincent, mum of four and the owner of MyBabyShoes, Australia’s leading online retailer of children’s shoes.

Helping Your Child Overcome a Fear of the Dentist

By   |  Monday, December 10th, 2012

There is something about lying helplessly on a chair amid glaring lights, unfamiliar sights, and nerve-wracking sounds in the dentist’s office that turns even the most macho of men into nervous cowards.

 

parenting kids without fear

A positive attitude of both parents and the dentist makes your child feel comfortable in the dentist chair.

If the dentist can cause adults to shake in their boots, how do you think the younger folks among us feel?

 

Parents of small children know the effort it can take to get children to cooperate at the dentist, especially if previous visits were not the best of experiences.

 

If you have kids, the last thing you want to do is create a habit of perpetual fear that makes going to the dentist a dreaded occasion for everyone involved. A successful first visit can set the stage for a lifetime of positive dental experiences.

 

Start Early

 

Early dental attention is important to dental health throughout one’s life. In addition, early trips to the dentist can help a parent know how best to care for her child’s teeth.

 

One of the biggest mistakes a parent can make is putting off the child’s first dental visit until an issue arises that needs attention. If the first trip to the dentist involves pain and discomfort, the child learns that the dentist’s office is an unpleasant place to be.

 

Early visits to the dentist can be a fun experience for your child, especially if you choose a dentist that specializes in pediatric care. Such dental offices are prepared to make dental appointments a positive experience for your child.

 

Many dentists are joining the ADA in recommending a first visit to the dentist by age 1 in order to catch any early problems and to start kids on the path to appreciating a healthy mouth.

 

Choose Well

 

Finding a dentist for your child is an important task. The attitude of the dentist and his staff has the possibility of affecting your child’s dental experiences for the rest of his life. Some helpful ideas for selecting a dentist include:

 

  • Recommendations – Ask other parents about their kids’ dentists. Word of mouth is a great way to find out who is good and who to avoid.
  • Tour – Once you have narrowed down your choices, stop in for a tour of the office. Child-friendly dental offices should feature bright colors, child-size seats, exciting decorations, and child-appropriate teaching materials.
  • Check Credentials – A quick call to the state licensing board or the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) will ensure that the dentist of your choice has the proper licenses to practice in the field of pediatric dentistry. In addition, you may want to make a call to the dental office to find out how long the dentist has been practicing, both as a dentist and as a child-specialized dentist.

 

Parents Make a Difference

 

There are many things a parent can do to make dental experiences more enjoyable for children. Children pick up on the attitudes of their parents, whether positive or negative. Here are some great tips for you as a parent:

 

  • Don’t tell scary stories – If you have had bad experiences at the dentist, your child does not need to hear about them.
  • Go first – If possible, schedule an appointment to see the dentist right before your child. This may not always be possible with pediatric dentists, but it boosts confidence considerably to see mom or dad happily survive his time in the scary-looking chair.
  • Keep it honest – Don’t tell your children that it won’t hurt or that nothing is going to happen. If they do end up experiencing any pain, they will lose confidence in your word regarding future visits.

 

Meg Jones enjoys the opportunity to write about family and home issues, especially when it comes to nurturing children.  If you are looking for a Dover dentist, there are many very fine care centers available that specialize in working with children.

Seven Surprisingly Common Parenting Mistakes

By   |  Thursday, November 29th, 2012

(Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog by Sharon Anderson, a prolific writer on parenting advice and a very warm and affectionate person)

Parenting children with discipline

If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much. ~ Jackie Kennedy

 

Perfect parents are as fictional as Santa Claus. If you’re a parent, or will be one soon, you are going to make mistakes. Trying to change this fact is a pointless endeavor.

 

The only thing that any parent can do is try to minimize the number that they make. Here are seven of the most common parenting mistakes. How many have you made?

 

Trying to be a Friend

 

It’s pretty common for a parent to want to be their child’s friend but when it comes down to it, your child needs a parent, not a friend. Your role as a parent is to provide structure, rules and a shoulder to cry on. It’s very difficult to be viewed as both a friend and an authority figure. And unfortunately, it’s the latter that your child needs the most.

 

Talking too Much

 

Learning when to talk and when to stay silent is a parenting skill that can take years to master. When your child isn’t listening to you, what you say is pretty much the definition of irrelevant. Learn to recognise such situations and try to find the self control to keep your words of wisdom for a time when they will actually be listened to.

 

Pushing High Expectations

 

There’s nothing wrong with encouraging your child to do well at school but there is a line. And when you cross that line, your words of encouragement can actually prove the opposite of motivating. Encourage your child to study but don’t tell him/her that you expect certain grades.

 

Comparing Siblings

 

If you have two or more children, it’s important to keep the comparisons between them to a minimum. Even subtle comparisons have the capacity to lead to long term insecurities. If one of your children is smarter than the other, keep that fact to yourself. Unconditional love is particularly important when there’s more than one child in the house.

 

Not Picking Your Battles

 

Saying yes to everything your child asks for obviously isn’t feasible but a little bit of leeway can go a long way towards keeping arguments to a minimum. Letting your child stay up all night obviously isn’t good parenting but is an extra twenty minutes on front of the television really worth an argument? Sometimes saying no simply isn’t worth it.

 

Right Words, Wrong Actions

 

If you want to instil certain values into your children, you need to demonstrate those values yourself. Saying one thing and doing another is not how you teach a child anything. If you don’t want your child to swear, keep your own swear words to a minimum.

 

Being too Helpful

 

It might be tempting to make things as easy as possible for your child but doing so isn’t going to benefit him/her in the long term. A child has many lessons to learn and most of those lessons are easiest learnt through experience. It’s important for you to be there for your child but don’t allow yourself to be the solution to every one of their problems.

 

Sharon Anderson, the writer of this article is a very warm and affectionate person. She is currently working with Country cubbies, who sell a wide range of different cubby houses and play forts.

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