Questions to Consider in Selecting a Day Camp

Questions to Consider in Selecting a Day Camp

Day camps offer experiences that are unique from resident camps. Because of this, there are specific points to consider when choosing a day camp.

· transportation     · overnights     · swimming lessons     · food service     · horseback riding     · group pictures     · T-shirts     · extended care     · field trips

  1. Does the American Camp Association accredit the camp? ACA has specific standards applicable only for day camps.
  2. What training does the staff receive on safety, supervision, counseling, problem solving and other issues unique to working with young children?
  3. Is the price all-inclusive or are there extra charges for:
  4. If transportation is offered, where is the closest pick-up location?
  5. Does the camp have an “express bus” which transports children quickly?
  6. If before- and after-camp extended care is offered, who is with the children and what activities take place?
  7. Is lunch served or do campers bring their own sack lunch? Are snacks and drinks provided?
  8. If the camp offers swimming, are there swimming lessons or is it simply recreational swimming?
  9. Are campers in a group with a counselor all day? Or, are campers free to go from one activity to another with appropriate supervision? In this case, whom would you talk to if you had a question or concern about your child?
  10. Is an open house offered before camp starts where you can meet your child’s counselor and van/bus driver?
  11. Are parents allowed to drop by for visits or is there a special parent visitation day?

When Your Child Gets Angry: Here’s Your Gameplan

When Your Child Gets Angry: Here’s Your Game plan 

The truth about rage is that it only dissolves when it is really heard and understood, without reservation.” – Carl Rogers

Many parents send an angry child to her room to “calm down.” After all, what else can we do? We certainly can’t reason with her when she’s furious. It’s no time to teach lessons or ask for an apology. She needs to calm down.

If we send our angry child to his room, he will indeed calm down, eventually. He’ll also have gotten some clear messages:

  • No one is listening to what’s upsetting you. 
  • No one is going to help you solve the problem you’re experiencing.
  • Anger is bad. 
  • You’re being bad because you feel angry at us.
  • Your anger scares us. You’re on your own when it comes to managing those big scary feelings in a responsible way–we don’t know how to help you.
  • When you’re angry, the best thing to do is to stuff those feelings. (Of course, that means they’re no longer under your conscious control, and will burst out again soon in unmanageable ways.)

No wonder so many of us develop anger-management issues that last into adulthood, whether that means we yell at our kids, throw tantrums with our partner, or overeat to avoid acknowledging our anger. 

What can we do instead? We can help our children learn to manage their anger responsibly. Most of us have a hard time picturing what that looks like. Quite simply, responsible anger management begins with accepting our anger — but refraining from acting on it by lashing out at others. There’s always a way to express what we need without attacking the other person.

In fact, when we’re willing to stop and notice the deeper feelings under our anger, we find hurt and fear and sadness. If we allow ourselves to feel those emotions, the anger melts away. It was only a reactive defense.  

This is one of the most critical tasks of childhood — learning to tolerate the wounds of everyday life without moving into reactive anger. People who can do this are able to work things out with others and manage themselves to achieve their goals. We call them emotionally intelligent.

Children develop emotional intelligence when we teach them that all their feelings are okay, but they always have a choice about how they act. Here’s how to do that.

When your child gets angry:

1. Keep yourself from moving into “fight or flight” by taking a few deep breaths and reminding yourself that there’s no emergency. This models emotional regulation and helps your child feel safer, so she begins to shift out of “fight or flight.”

2. Listen. Acknowledge why your child is upset. Often, when people don’t feel heard, they escalate. By contrast, when your child feels understood, he’ll begin to feel calmer — even when he doesn’t get his way.

3. Try to see it from his point of view. The more compassionate you can be, the more likely your child will find his way to the tears and fears under the anger: “Oh, Sweetie, I’m sorry this is so hard…You’re saying I never understand you…that must feel so terrible and lonely.” You don’t have to agree, and you don’t have to disagree. Just acknowledge his truth in the moment. Once he feels heard, his truth will shift.

4. Don’t get hooked by rudeness and personal attacks. Parents are often hurt when children yell at them. But your child doesn’t actually hate you, or want a new mom or dad, or whatever she’s yelling. She feels hurt and scared and powerless, so she’s pulling out the most upsetting thing she can think of, so you’ll know how upset she is. Just say “Ouch! You must be so upset to say that to me. Tell me why you’re upset. I’m listening.”

Your child is not “behaving badly” or “winning.” She’s showing you in the best way she can at the moment just how upset she is. As she realizes that she doesn’t have to raise her voice or go on the attack to be heard, and that it’s safe to show you her vulnerable emotions, she’ll develop the capacity to express her feelings more appropriately.

5. Set whatever limits are necessary to keep everyone safe, while acknowledging the anger and staying compassionate. “You’re so mad! You can be as mad as you want, and hitting is still not ok, no matter how upset you are. You can stomp to show me how mad you are. No hitting.”

6. If your child is already in a full meltdown, don’t talk except to empathize and reassure her that she’s safe. Don’t try to teach, reason or explain. When she’s awash in adrenaline and other fight or flight reactions is not the time to explain why she can’t have what she wants, or get her to admit that she actually loves her little sister. Your only job now is to calm the storm. Just acknowledge how upset she is: “You are so upset about this…I’m sorry it’s so hard.”

7. Remind yourself that tantrums are nature’s way of helping immature brains let off steam. Children don’t yet have the frontal cortex neural pathways to control themselves as we do. (And please note that we don’t always regulate our anger very well, even as adults!)  The best way to help children develop those neural pathways is to offer empathy, while they’re angry and at other times. It’s ok — good, actually — for your child to express those tangled, angry, hurt feelings. After we support kids through a tantrum, they feel closer to us and more trusting. They feel less wound-up inside, so they can be more emotionally generous. They aren’t as rigid and demanding.

8. Remember that anger is a defense against threat. It comes from our “fight, flight or freeze” response. Sometimes the threat is outside us, but usually it isn’t. We often see threats outside us because we’re carrying around old stuffed emotions like hurt, fear or sadness. (In other words, your angry child really is not a threat to your safety or well-being.) Whatever’s happening in the moment triggers those old feelings, and we go into fight mode to try to stuff them down again.

So while your child may be upset about something in the moment, it may also be that he’s lugging around a full emotional backpack, and just needs to express those old tears and fears. A new disappointment can feel like the end of the world to a child, because all those old feelings come up. Kids will do anything to fend off these intolerable feelings, so they rage and lash out.

9. Make it safe for your child to move past anger. If they feel safe expressing their anger, and we meet that anger with compassion, the anger will begin to melt. So while we accept our child’s anger, it isn’t the anger that is healing. It’s the expression of the tears and fears beneath the anger that washes out the hurt and sadness and makes the anger vanish, because once your child shows you those more vulnerable feelings, the anger is no longer necessary as a defense.

10. Stay as close as you can. Your child needs an accepting witness who loves him even when he’s angry. If you need to move away to stay safe, tell him “I won’t let you hurt me, so I’m moving back a bit, but I am right here. Whenever you’re ready for a hug, I’m right here.”

If he yells at you to “Go away!” say “You’re telling me to go away, so I am moving back, ok? I won’t leave you alone with these scary feelings, but I ‘m moving back.”

11. Keep yourself safe. Kids often benefit from pushing against us when they’re upset, so if you can tolerate it and stay compassionate, that’s fine to allow. But if your child is hitting you, move away. If she pursues you, hold her wrist and say “I don’t think I want that angry fist so close to me. I see how angry you are. You can hit the pillow I’m holding, or push against my hands, but no hurting.” Kids don’t really want to hurt us — it scares them and makes them feel guilty. Most of the time, when we move into compassion and they feel heard, kids stop hitting us and start crying.

12. Don’t try to evaluate whether he’s over-reacting. Of course he’s over-reacting! But remember that children experience daily hurts and fears that they can’t verbalize and that we don’t even notice. They store them up and then look for an opportunity to “discharge” them.  So if your kid has a meltdown over the blue cup and you really can’t go right now to get the blue cup out of the car, it’s ok to just lovingly welcome his meltdown. Most of the time, it wasn’t about the cup, or whatever he’s demanding. When children get whiny and impossible to please, they usually just need to cry.  

13. Acknowledging her anger will help her calm down a bit. Then help her get under the anger by softening yourself. If you can really feel compassion for this struggling young person, she’ll feel it and respond. Don’t analyze, just empathize. “You really wanted that; I’m so sorry, Sweetie.” Once you recognize the feelings under the anger, she will probably pause and stop lashing out. You’ll see some vulnerability or even tears. You can help her surface those feelings by focusing on the original trigger: “I’m so sorry you can’t have the _____ you want, Sweetie. I’m sorry this is so hard.” When our loving compassion meets her wound, that’s when she collapses into our arms for a good cry. And all those upset feelings evaporate.

14. AFTER he’s calmed down, you can talk.  Resist the urge to lecture. Tell a story to help him put this big wave of emotion in context. “Those were some big feelings…everyone needs to cry sometimes…You wanted….I said no…You were very disappointed…You got so angry….You were sad and disappointed….Thank you for showing me how you felt….”  If he just wants to change the subject, let him. You can circle back to bring closure later in the day or at bedtime, while you’re snuggling. But most young children WANT to hear the story of how they got mad and cried, as long as it’s a story, not a lecture. It helps them understand themselves, and makes them feel heard.  

15. What about teaching? You don’t have to do as much as you think. Your child knows what she did was wrong. It was those big feelings that made her feel like it was an emergency, and necessary to break the rule about being kind. By helping her with the emotions, you’re making a repeat infraction less likely.

Wait until after the emotional closure, and then keep it simple. Recognize that part of her wants to make a better choice next time, and align with that part. Be sure to give her a chance to practice a better solution to her problem. “When we get really angry, like you were angry at your sister, we forget how much we love the other person. They look like they’re our enemy. Right? You were so very mad at her. We all get mad like that and when we are very mad, we feel like hitting. But if we do, later we’re sorry that we hurt someone. We wish we could have used our words. I wonder what else you could you have said or done, instead of hitting?”

Accepting emotions like this is the beginning of resilience. Gradually, your child will internalize the ability to weather disappointment, and learn that while he can’t always get what he wants, he can always get something better — someone who loves and accepts all of him, including the yucky parts like disappointment and anger. He’ll have learned that emotions aren’t dangerous — they can be tolerated without acting on them, and they pass. Gradually, he’ll learn to verbalize his feelings and needs without attacking the other person — even when he’s furious. 

You’ll have taught him how to manage his emotions. And you’ll have strengthened, rather than eroded, your bond with him. All by taking a deep breath and staying compassionate in the face of rage. Sounds saintly, I know, and you won’t always be able to pull it off.  But every time you do, you’ll be helping your child grow the neural pathways for a more emotionally intelligent brain. And you’ll be gifting yourself a lot less drama — and a lot more love.

Courtesy: Aha! Parenting.com

 

Top 5 Photography Activities to do with your Kid

In today’s world where children are tech savvy and are adept at typing before they can write, even toddlers find it pretty easy to use a camera. Photography is one of the best ways to bond and connect with your child.

In addition to that, your kid will have an advantage of becoming famous as people love to have their photographs clicked. We have compiled a list of Top 5 photography activities that you can do with your kid, and they can do with other kids. These exercises along with being fun are also great tools and opportunities to learn and interact with others.

Here is our list:

  1. Create a photo story: Kids have a fantastic sense of imagination. When it comes to story time, kids love to hear them. Use this as an opportunity to improve their sense of creativity and sequential thinking skills. Kids can spin great yarns. You can channel this into using photos to tell stories. You can team up with your kids and click ten random images. Then you can arrange the pictures in various sequences. Then let them enact or write a story such that each picture is connected to the other sequentially.

Once you have got their creative minds into story writing mode, you can keep improving and improvise on the story. You can also give them photos of the family and get them to write a story about what had happened and when.

You can also start a Family Journal. This will help you bond well with your child, and it will be an absolute treasure for your child when they grow up. You can add photographs taken on special occasions by your kid, of the whole family. You can use an opportunity of relatives coming over or festivities like Christmas and New Year to have your kid take photographs for the family journal. You can also encourage your kids to take family photos and use them on Festival cards which you can send to friends and family.

  1. Learn Numbers, Colors and other elementary things: A visual medium like photography is a great way to teach children. No one likes to be sat down and explained, but tell them that it’s a game and they will readily play it. You can do the same with photography. You can teach them shades and nuances and subtle differences in color. Every time your kid clicks a snap, you can check it along with them and then ask which the colors in the photograph are.

This way they will learn to identify colors and shades, and the best thing is that they will remember it. You can also do the same with counting the number of photographs taken or the number of items in each photo. You can also teach them easy stuff like reading alphabets captured in the picture or even basic maths.

The best way a kid can learn is when it doesn’t seem like learning and seems more like a game they are playing. In addition to them learning new things and improving their photography skills, you also get to spend quality time with them.

  1. Teach them to use photo editing software: In today’s world, editing and improving on things are the norm. With technology giving you editing software for free both on your Mac or PC and on your smart phone, your kid can have a fantastic time learning how to create and edit great photos. There are many sites like Canva and Pic Monkey which are excellent and are free. Instagram and Snapchat too give you entertaining editing features for kids. You can use these tools to work with your kid in editing photographs and improving their editing skills.
  2. Teach your Kid to identify interesting objects to photograph: One of the most important things that your kid needs to learn while they are learning photography is how to click photographs of items of their interest. Each person has a different set of things they like. While some children may get scared of spiders, others may love to click the intricate web made by the spider and its balance on the web. Similarly, some kids may love to click photographs of nature, others may like to click pictures of architecture, and yet others may love to click pictures of people. Understand what your kid wants to take photographs of and then teach them the basics of photography for that type of photography.
  3. Photo Competitions: Another great activity that you and your spouse can do with your kid or kids is organizing a Photo Scavenger Hunt. You can make teams and then as a group embark on an adventure to take a photograph of as many things as you possibly can, beginning with a particular letter. For example, how many individual things can you find that start with ‘P’ ?.

You can give a list of things to them that they can go and find. You can then compare which team has clicked the most and then declare the winner. You could also try a game such that the first person who can photograph something beginning with a particular vowel would win. In this way, you can envision and create many scenarios where you challenge the kids to think and identify objects along with clicking them.

Another great way of teaching them is to set up a challenge or if you have more than one kid, make it as a game. The game could be to stroll around the house and click photographs of various objects that are of a similar color, and they can compete with each other. Or they can click photographs of objects which start with a particular type of phonetic. Or they can search for objects that begin with the letters which are there in their name.

I hope you liked our article on the top photography activities you can do with your kids. Do mention in the comments below the ones you liked best and if you have any suggestions or have tried any other activity.

Bio:

Dan Barr is a photographer, a parent to two girls, and the founder of KidsCameraGuide.com, a blog that is all about teaching photography to kids and kids cameras. You can visit Dan at his website www.kidscameraguide.com or connect with him on Facebook or Pinterest.

18 Non-Toy Gifts for Children

All of us that have children have too many toys scattered throughout the house. No matter how diligent we are at keeping them at bay, it seems to be a constant fight. It’s especially hard when special days come and we want to give gifts to our children, or grandparents want to give gifts.

Gifts are good things!

But, too much of anything isn’t good.

A great way to combat too many toys is to shift all the gifts to non-toy items.

18 Non-Toy Gifts for Children

  1. Classes. Music, dance, riding, drawing, classes are a great way to encourage children in their interests and let them know that you pay attention to them and what they enjoy.
  2. Memberships. Zoo, science museum, children’s museum, YMCA membership, etc. These are particularly great for family gifts! Many young families want to enjoy day outings, but affording them can be a challenge, so give them the gift of a yearly membership.
  3. Subscriptions. Kids enjoy getting things int he mail. Why not encourage their reading by getting them a magazine subscription for something they are interested in!
  4. Events. Movie tickets, tickets to a play, concert or sports event are really exciting! Having an event to look forward to makes the rest of life more enjoyable.
  5. Activities. Mini golf, bowling, skating rink. These are so much fun! And a big part of the fun is going together. Children love spending time with the adults in their lives, they want to see you enjoying your time as well as enjoying them.
  6. Recipe and Ingredients. Kids love cooking with their parents. Baking something special or cooking dinner is an ideal time to spend together and learn life skills. Print out a recipe, purchase all the ingredients and set a date for cooking together.
  7. Crafting/Coloring Date. Our daughter loves making crafts. I do too, I really do enjoy the creative aspect. But I rarely take time out to do it with her. These crafting dates mean the world to our creative little girl. Keep a basket of craft supplies and get out a book for inspiration. We like this book. If you enjoy coloring books, how about sitting down with your child and color together? Show them how to use their imagination and create their own patterns with a basic foundation piece, like these simple animals. Working on projects together is a perfect time to enjoy conversation.
  8. Arts and Craft supplies. If your craft box is running low, stock up a little on things you need. Add in something fun the kids haven’t used before. A gift of art and craft supplies often brings on the imagination and kids can’t wait to get to work!
  9. Coupons. An envelope of coupons that they can “spend” at any time: I’ll do one chore- no questions asked, movie and popcorn night, you pick the movie!, 1:1 game of cards or basketball (whatever the child’s interest is in), sit and read a book with me, Stay up 1/2 hour past bedtime
  10. Restaurant Gift Card. Dinner, ice cream, coffee, cupcake- whatever suits their fancy! Give them the freedom of inviting whoever they wish: it may be mom or dad, it may be a grandparent, aunt or even teacher that they would like to spend more time with.
  11. Dress Up Clothes. These do need to be limited, but  2 dresses and couple play silks can get hours and hours of play!
  12. Books. We get a lot of books from the library, but there are some that I just can’t find there, or it takes us longer to read through. We have read through the entire Little House series, Narnia and are working our way through Shel Silverstein’s books. Be sure to pass the books on when you are done, so they don’t clutter up your home.
  13. Clothes. When kids only have a certain amount of clothes, they often enjoy getting clothes. Make it a point to get something that fits their style. That may mean western clothes, super-hero, fancy dresses, etc.
  14. Snacks. If your child is a foodie, they will love this! Some homemade granola or cookies made just for them is a special treat!
  15. Outdoor Supplies. If you are an outdoorsy family, giving kids their own fishing tackle or gardening equipment can be a big deal. It’s also something that gets left on the shelf in the garage, so you always know right where to find it.
  16. Telling Time. The average child these days doesn’t know how to read analog or finds it takes too long to think about it, so they search for a digital watch. Getting them a cool watch makes them want to be able to tell time on it. Boys, girls, and even teenagers can be excited about this.
  17. Games and Puzzles. Games and puzzles are great activities for when kids have to be indoors. It’s a good practice to have individual quiet times during the day, and having a puzzle to sit and work on by themselves helps brain development and problem-solving skills. Games teach a lot too! My kids talk about how they passed geography, just because we played Risk when they were little. Monopoly and PayDay have been popular and help cement math skills. Memory games are great for younger children.
  18. Calendar. Many children like to know what is going on, what day it is, how many days until ____. These kids are the ones that want to know what the plan is for the day, in what order things will happen, what time friends are expected over, etc. They struggle with spur-of-the-moment and can be frustrating if you are a spontaneous parent. But celebrate it! These children have many strengths and make our world run smoother. 🙂 Embrace their inner schedule and get them their own calendar. They can write down their own classes, appointments, play dates, etc. And if they ask you, send them to their calendar so they can get used to being in control of their own schedule. You can even schedule “spontaneous days”, so they know that something different will happen that day. Trust me, it will help them enjoy the spontaneous outings!

Is My Child Getting Enough Sleep?

Many children go through their days sleep-deprived. When children do not get enough sleep their actions can be wrongly classified as “behavior problems.” Due to lack of sleep, they may have trouble controlling their emotions. This happens because the part of the brain that helps us regulate our responses and actions is greatly affected by the amount of sleep we get.

Parents are sometimes unsure of actually how much sleep a child needs. The chart below was created using data from the University of Michigan Health System. It shows you a ballpark amount of sleep a child needs.

Age and Total Hours of Sleep Needed

  • Infant: 16 hours, including naps
  • Toddler: 14 hours, including 1 or 2 naps
  • Preschool: 12 hours, including a nap
  • Elementary: 11 hours a night
  • Middle School: 10 hours a night

The chart lists the average amount of sleep for each age group. Some children need a bit more sleep or are able to do well with a little less sleep. The goal is to ensure that your child is getting the right amount for him/her. Ask yourself these questions to determine if your child is sleep-deprived:

  • Can my child fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes?
  • Does he wake easily from his sleep?
  • Is she awake and alert throughout the day?
  • Does my child often fall asleep in the car?
  • Does he seem irritable, very emotional, aggressive or hyperactive during the day?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, your child may be sleep-deprived. Here are some tips that can help your child get that much-needed rest:

  • Pick a natural bedtime when your child gets physically tired and begins to slow down.
  • Create a consistent, simple bedtime ritual. Include quiet activities such as a song, a story, a bath and calm, quiet cuddling. End the routine with turning the lights down and saying, “goodnight.”
  • Allow only two comfort items for sleeping – any more could be distracting.
  • Be consistent and firm about the purpose of bedtime. Bedtime is for lying in the bed and falling asleep.
  • Use bedtime as an enjoyable, resting, cuddling and sleeping time, never as punishment.
  • Use dim lights for sleeping times and brighter lights during awake times.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine throughout the day.

Sleep deprivation can cause behavior-related problems that affect your child’s daily interactions with others. Children who get enough sleep are better prepared to regulate their emotions, think clearer and enjoy their day.

Smart Health Solutions for Kids

14 Natural Health Remedies for Children

Whether your child has a tummy ache, a stuffy nose, or a bug bite, doctors say that old-fashioned home remedies are often the best way to help him/her feel better fast. These time-tested treatments rarely have side effects, cost next to nothing, and use items you probably already have on hand. “Some, like ginger and chamomile, have even been confirmed by scientific studies to have healing effects,” says Hilary McClafferty, MD, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ provisional section for complementary, holistic, and integrative medicine.
Of course, you should always call your pediatrician if your child’s problem seems serious. But the next time your child has a minor ache or injury, you can find these smart solutions all throughout your house.

Smart Health Solutions for Kids

 

Honey and Lemon Juice for a Sore Throat

Lemon dries up congestion and honey provides a soothing coating, says Lane Johnson, MD, associate professor of clinical family and community medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. In fact, a recent study found that a spoonful of honey eased kids’ coughs even better than cough medicine. Mix together a tablespoon of each, microwave for 20 seconds until warm (not hot), and have your child swallow the mixture a teaspoon at a time. Caution: Honey is not safe for babies under 1 year.

 

Baking Soda for Bug Bites

“My nana used to make a baking-soda paste for me when I was a child, and when I tried it on my own kids, they said that it stopped the itching better than store-bought products,” says Estelle Whitney, MD, an ob-gyn in private practice in Wilmington, Delaware. The alkaline baking soda helps counteract the acidic swelling, she explains. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with just enough water to make a thick paste, smear it on the bites, and let it dry.

 

Cayenne Pepper for Nosebleeds

This spice helps blood clot, and it has been used medicinally in cultures around the world, says pediatrician Lillian Beard, MD, author of Salt in Your Sock and Other Tried-and-True Home Remedies. Keep your child’s head upright and pinch his nostrils together for several minutes. Then sprinkle a pinch of ground cayenne pepper on a moistened cotton swab and dab inside the nose on the area of the bleeding. “It seems like it might sting but, surprisingly, it doesn’t,” says Dr. Beard.

Junk Drawer: Duct Tape for Warts

The gray fabric tape seems to irritate warts — which can be surprisingly stubborn — and inhibit their growth. Place a small piece on the skin over your child’s wart, but not so tightly that it hurts, says Dr. Johnson. Change the tape whenever it starts to get icky; in about a month, the wart should be gone.

A Bubble Wand for Anxiety

Breathing slowly and deeply will help your child relax when she’s feeling stressed, says Lonnie Zeltzer, MD, director of the pediatric pain program at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and author of Conquering Your Child’s Chronic Pain. Have your child blow long, slow streams of bubbles from the soapy wand.

 

A Bandanna for Headaches

Wrapping several ice cubes in a dish towel will help soothe your child’s head pain (never place ice directly on his skin because it’ll burn), but it’ll be hard for him to hold it in place for long, says Dr. Beard. To keep the towel-wrapped ice from slipping, press it against his forehead or temples and secure it with a bandanna tied at the back of his neck.

 

A Sock for Tummy or Neck Pain

Instead of buying a heat wrap, make one by filling a sock with uncooked rice and tying it closed with a string, says Paula Gardiner, MD, a researcher in the department of family medicine at Boston University Medical Center. Microwave the sock for one minute or until warm, and place it wherever your child has pain. When it cools off, microwave it again.

 

Your Blow-Dryer for Swimmer’s Ear

This painful inflammation of the outer ear traps liquid and possibly bacteria. If the area has become infected, your pediatrician will probably prescribe antibiotic drops. But for mild cases, you can try evaporating the trapped water by standing a foot away from your child and aiming the dryer — on the warm (not hot) setting — at her ear, says Dr. Beard.

 

Contact Lens Solution for Congestion

For a child over 6 months, fill a bulb syringe with preservative-free saline solution, raise her head, and gently squeeze solution into one nostril at a time, says Dr. McClafferty. (Do it in the bath or over the sink.) In fact, a recent study found that using a nasal wash with a seawater solution (not yet available in the U.S.) helped kids get over colds faster — and made them less likely to get sick again.

 

 

Fresh Ginger Tea for Car Sickness

“Ginger stops the stomach contractions that tell your child’s brain he feels nauseous,” says Dr. McClafferty. For children ages 2 and older, add a teaspoon of shredded fresh ginger to four ounces of boiling water, and let it steep for four to five minutes. You can add a bit of honey to make it taste better. After it has cooled, have your child drink it a half hour before getting into the car.

 

Cucumber for Mild Swelling

If you go to a fancy spa, the facialist may use this salad staple to ease the puffiness around your eyes. That’s because cool cucumber slices help soothe hot, swollen skin. You can place a slice anywhere your child has minor swelling, Dr. Beard suggests, and then simply replace it with another slice from the fridge after it becomes warm.

A Credit Card for a Bee Sting

If a bee or wasp stings your child, remove the stinger to prevent additional venom from entering the wound. In order to avoid squeezing the stinger, which can spread the venom, use the flat edge of a credit card to gently scrape across the area until the stinger comes out.

A Stick of Gum for Indigestion

If your child is age 4 or older, have her chew some gum when she complains of a full stomach after a big meal. “The extra saliva she’ll produce will neutralize the problematic excess stomach acid,” says gastroenterologist Anil Minocha, MD, author of Natural Stomach Care.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
Article source: Parents.com

10 Things to Know About Parent-Child Relationships

The parent-child relationship is different from all others

 

 

“…the mother and child reunion, Is only a motion away.” Paul Simon

Paul Simon was right about the mother and child reunion being a very close bond. The parent-child relationship is qualitatively different than all of our other relationships. Parent-child relationships develop over time, influenced by child characteristics, parent characteristics, and the contexts in which families operate. These factors mix together in unique ways to create incredible diversity in the qualities of those relationships.

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We know that our role as parents is a critical one, in terms of child development. But what exactly can we and should we be doing to raise mentally healthy children or at the very least, to minimize the impact of mental disorders? Obviously, the answer is complex but here are a few tips 

1) There are great benefits of effective parenting to child development under normal circumstances, and even greater benefits in the face of risk. There are certain risk factors that are unique to parent-child relationships. The relationship processes involved may depend on where the risk resides … in the child (e.g. developmental disability, prematurity, behavior problems), the parent (e.g. psychopathology), or the family context (e.g. economic hardship, minority status). Child developmental delay, child diagnosis of ADHD/ODD, and low family income are associated with lower positive parenting scores, a measure of a “resilient parent.” Maternal education acts as a protective buffer to improve resilient parenting for younger children (aged 3-5) while maternal health is protective for 5 year olds. One of the greatest protective factors is maternal optimism, which is effective for children ages 3 to 8.

2) Children with developmental delays are more likely to have behavioral issues. The extent of a child’s behavior problems is a strong contributor to parenting stress, more so than the child’s cognitive delay.

3) Parental warmth and controlling, in a positive way are the two most important parental attributes that help to create positive effects. In research terms this is parental affect and sensitivity. Positive emotional reactivity and self-regulation are important parental factors in developing healthy children’s temperament.

4) Mothers and fathers share some childrearing attributes and effects, but also differ in important ways that create unique relationship qualities. Both mothers and fathers of children with borderline intellectual functioning have more negative controlling parenting (child age 5-6) than did parents of typically developing children. In turn, those children with borderline intellectual functioning showed more difficult behavior. It is interesting that negative paternal behavior is predicted by earlier child behavior while negative maternal behavior predicts child difficulties.

5) Emotion, in all its facets, plays an important role in the development and trajectory of parent-child relationships. It’s a two-way street; children’s emotions affecting parental behaviors and parental emotions affecting children’s development and behaviors. The regulation of emotion is especially critical in parent-child relationships, for parents as models, and for children as a core developmental competence.

6) Attunement is an important factor in parent-child relationships. This involves the dynamic and complex patterns of sensitive mutual understandings and interactions between children and their parents. Attunement is characterized by correspondences in biological, affective, cognitive, and behavioral domains. As Dr. Bornstein notes, “when interactions with caregivers fall out of attunement by becoming mistimed or mismatched, children and parents both experience distress”

7) One parent’s hostility might disrupt the other parent’s ability to maintain a positive relationship with his or her children. The father-child relationship appears to be especially vulnerable to parental hostility.

8) Stress is ubiquitous and reflected in many different contexts that can affect the quality of parent-child relationships. In particular, stress-effects associated with parenting (challenging child behavior and parenting tasks) may be greater than the effects of general life stress on families).

9) Maternal social factors and infant temperament can significantly influence the development of infant neurobiology. Maternal social factors may either promote or strain parent-infant adaptation over time. Prenatal psychosocial stressors significantly affect infant health and development. Prenatal maternal depression and lack of social support predicted higher cortisol among infants with more temperamental negativity. In addition, mothers with negatively temperamental infants were more likely to show maternal distress and less social support from prenatal to 12 weeks postpartum.

10) Father-son relationship is the most susceptible to crossover effects of parental hostility (affected by hostility from the other parent), while the father-daughter relationship seems to be more protected in the early years.

 

Should Your Toddler or Preschooler Use an iPad?

Should Your Toddler or Preschooler Use an iPad?

And How Long Should They Be Allowed to Use It?

by Daniel Nations

To iPad or not to iPad, that is the question. At least for the digital age parent. Whether you are the parent of a newborn, a toddler, a preschooler or a school-aged child, the question of whether the child should use an iPad (and how much!) becomes ever more pressing, especially as similar-aged children huddle around tablets at restaurants, concerts, sporting events and almost any place where both children and adults gather together.

In fact, the few holdouts where you don’t see a mass of children focused on the digital world are those places that focus on the child: the playground or the swimming pool.

Is this good for our children? Should your child use an iPad? Or should you avoid it?

The answer: Yes. Sort of. Maybe. In moderation.

It seems everyone has an opinion on the iPad. We have people arguing that tablet use by toddlers is tantamount to child abuse and those who believe there are good educational uses for them.

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is a little confused, having updated their longstanding policy that screen time should be avoided at all cost by those two and younger to a more nuanced approach that we live in a digital world and that the content itself should be judged rather than the device that holds the content. Which sounds nice, but isn’t quite a practical guideline.

Kids Need to Be Bored

Let’s start with something that isn’t quite obvious to everyone: it’s good for a kid to be bored.

This applies to the two-year-old, the six-year-old and the twelve-year-old. And one thing the iPad shouldn’t be is the end-all-be-all cure for boredom. There are much better ways to respond than handing the kid an iPad.

It is not about the cure. It is about the hunt for the cure. Kids need to stretch their creative muscles and engage their imagination.

They can do this by playing with dolls, drawing with crayons, building with play-do or Legos, or any one of hundreds of other non-digital activities. In this way they not only engage their creativity, they learn more about their own interests.

Kids Need to Interact With Other Kids

Imagine a world where every time a toddler argued with another child over a toy they were both given a tablet. When would they ever learn how to be frustrated, how to overcome conflict and how to share? These are some of the dangers pediatric psychologists fear when they warn against tablet use. It is not just a question of how much (or little) the child is learning from the tablet, it is also what they aren’t learning when they are using the tablet.

Children learn through play. And an important element of this is interaction. Children learn by interacting with the world, from learning to open a door by twisting a knob to learning how to deal with frustration when a headstrong playmate takes a favorite toy or refuses to play a favorite game.

The Displacement of Learning

One thing these two concepts have in common is how they displace key elements of learning and child growth. It isn’t so much that the use of the iPad is doing harm to the child — in fact, iPad use be good — it’s that time with the iPad can take away from other vital lessons the child must learn.

While children gathered around an iPad are being social in the sense that they are together, they aren’t being social in the sense of playing with one another. This is especially true when each child has their own device and are thus locked into their own virtual world. This time around the iPad takes away from time that could be spent playing outdoors, using their imagination to defend a make-believe castle or simply telling each other stories.

And this is just as true for the lone child as it is for the group of children. When a child is playing with an iPad, they aren’t feeling the tactile sensation of opening a book and touching the letters on the page.

They aren’t building a fort with sheets and chairs, and they aren’t baking an imaginary cake for their baby doll.

It is this displacement of learning that can become the true danger of the iPad when it is used too much

Learning With the iPad

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ revised recommendations on screen time come as new research reveals how apps can be just as effective as real-world lessons on learning to read in children as young as 24 months. Unfortunately, research in this field is still very limited and there isn’t much to go on for educational applications beyond reading.

By way of comparison, the study referenced how television programs such as Sesame Street usually don’t provide educational benefits until the child hits 30 months. This is about the same time as the child learns to interact with the television by spouting out the answer to questions posed on the show. The iPad, it seems, can generate some of that interaction that is so important for learning at a younger age, which demonstrates its potential both as an educational tool and a good purchase for a parent.

 

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Child Development Components – Understanding Your Unique Child

Children grow at different rates in many different areas. When trying to understand your children and their behavior, you can think of them as being the sum of all the parts that make them unique.

Developmental Ages and Stages
Children’s behavior follows a course in which smooth, calm, easy behavior alternates with unsettled, more challenging behavior. It is almost as if kids need to take two steps back before taking a huge leap forward. So if your children’s behavior takes a turn for the worse, it may that they have entered into a phase of “disequilibrium.”

Developmental Tasks
At each age, there are certain tasks that children need to master to prepare them for the next stage of development. While children are working to accomplish these jobs of childhood, parents may find their children’s behavior challenging. Yet, learning these skills at the appropriate age is important for children’s emotional growth and increasing maturity.

Temperament
All children are born with their own way of reacting to the world which can be described by ten temperament traits. These traits stay the same throughout a person’s life. Temperament explains why some children are very easy-going while others tend to be more challenging to raise.

Maturity
Maturity is made up of how willing a child is to do a certain task and how able he is to do that task. Children acquire maturity slowly over time and in each of the following areas: physical, social, emotional, intellectual and moral. A child can be mature in one of these areas and not in others.

Situational Factors
These outside factors impact children and affect their behavior. These can be large things such as a divorce, a death of a parent or a re-location, or they can be seemingly small things such as a friend moving away or a new neighbor moving in. Being aware of these factors helps you better understand your children’s reactions and deal with their behavior.

Why is knowing about child development important?
Any part of the equation could explain what makes your child “tick.” Because each child is unique, how you parent one child will differ from how you parent another. What ‘works’ for Brad may not work for Samantha, and what works for Sean at one time may not be effective a month or even a day later. This fact is part of what makes parenting an art rather than a science.

Knowing what to expect as your children enter each new phase helps you to think in advance about parenting strategies that might be helpful.

Understanding your children better helps you to be a more effective, patient, and tolerant parent. This will allow you to ‘fine-tune’ your parenting approach to meet the needs of each child.

Some behaviors, although challenging, are quite “normal” for certain ages. Understanding this can eliminate you blaming yourself or your children. You didn’t create your children’s temperament, and they are not purposely trying to “drive you crazy.” Don’t take their behavior personally or as a challenge.
Children’s growth is not a smooth path, but rather includes many twists and turns and even some detours. Just as maps keep you heading in the “right” direction, the unique child equation keeps you on track in guiding your children toward their long-term destination of becoming successful adults who reach their full potential.