Category Archives: child development

FingerprintHeartCanvasSmThere’s just nothing like the love we have for our kids but are you sometimes at a loss for creative ways to express that so that they know, without a doubt, that they are loved to the moon and back? I happened upon today’s post at Popsugar.com and loved this reminder to be intentional in showing and telling kids just that. Here are just a few of the ideas you’ll find in the post.
1. I’m grateful for you.
6. You don’t have to be perfect to be great.
11. I believe in you.
12. This family wouldn’t be the same without you.
33. What you did was awesome.
55. You can try again tomorrow.
Don’t these take you to a happy, secure place just by reading them?! Read more at the link below and help your kids face the difficult things life throws at them.
( See 66 Positive Things You Should Be Saying to Your Child for the complete post)

I recently happened upon a fascinating yet easy idea by way of a simple blog post.  The Warm Fuzzy Jar described therein is a superb tool that can be easily implemented.  If you don’t want to buy pom poms, use painted rocks for heavens sake.  Just do it, like Nike says.  Take the time to at least skim the post from Hands Free Mama (see link below) and consider the lasting impression you have on your own kids and the kids you care for.  Here’s a short quote to give you a taste.DSC_0040-e1432856425292

“It became clear to me that constant corrections were not helping my children become more successful, more productive, more effective, or more fulfilled.  Being critical was hindering my children’s gifts and causing them to be unsure of their abilities. Criticism was diminishing their unique lights that made them who they are.”

Now, consider changing your kids’ lives by changing yourself first.  Here’s the link for the article in its entirety  http://www.handsfreemama.com/2013/05/29/how-to-fill-up-a-child/

Has your 2-year-old started (or are they still) waking up at night?

My kids are teenagers now so this no longer applies to me though my kids are often up at all hours of the night too.  Thankfully that doesn’t mean I have to be awake with them.  But if you’re in the throws of toddler hood and your child’s nights are still challenging, here’s a tip you may not have tried from Becky at Your Modern Family.  (See original post at http://www.yourmodernfamily.com/waking-at-night-advice/)

My 2 year old is still waking up at night – advice from a Pediatrician 

A few years ago, when our child was still waking up at night, I went into our Doctor’s office with this complaint…  “My 2 year old is still waking up at night .”  Her advice changed our nights!

2, 3, 4 year old waking up at night

I wanted to share this with you, because our son was the BEST sleeper.  He came home from the hospital and slept through the night.   


At one year of age, he continued to sleep all night long.  He did this until he was about two years of age and then it started.  He started waking up at night and it was happening every night.  He was waking up not feeling rested… even, might I say… “Crabby”?


not happy

Once we started watching his patterns more often, we realized that it was around the same time every night.  He was going to bed around 7:00 every night (6:00 if he didn’t nap at all) and waking up in the morning around 7:00 or 8:00.  If he goes to bed at 6:00, he wakes up between 6:50 & 7:30 – he always gets at least 12 hours, sometimes 13, which is about what he needs.

He started waking up at midnight, too.  He would wake up and cry.  We would just go in, cover him up and he would go back to sleep.  Sometimes he wanted a drink or different pajamas (not sure about this one, he just liked to change his pajamas – haha!)  It was impacting his mornings.  He just wasn’t acting like himself because he was waking up and not getting his much-needed rest. After a few weeks of this, I was exhausted (We have three other kids and one was a baby at the time.)  He was exhausted, too.

yourmodernfamily

I wish I could say that it was a short phase, but it kept going.  A few months later, I was even more exhausted.  When his 3 year well-check came around, this was brought up and we received great advice!

THIS ADVICE CHANGED HIS SLEEP PATTERNS AND HE BEGAN TO SLEEP ALL NIGHT LONG…

She told us that when WE go to bed, go into his room first, hug him, kiss him, lay with them, cover him up…. all things to rouse him just a bit.  Wake him just enough to break him out of his sleep a little.  What this does is that it breaks up his sleep cycle.   He was waking when he was switching from his REM sleep.   I studied child development in college, so this makes complete sense to me, once she said it.

I wish I would have thought of it sooner!  It worked PERFECTLY!  He no longer woke up at night and he sleeps the full night.  I was so excited the first night and I have been happy ever since!  So the key is just to ‘stir him a bit’ before you go to bed.  That was it for us!  I hope that it works for you, too!

Continue reading Has your 2-year-old started (or are they still) waking up at night?

Today I want to share a post from the Momastery blog because all kids need to hear this.  Yesterday Momastery posted a letter sent home with a child from a very caring teacher who absolutely ROCKS!  This shows why teachers are one of our nation’s most valuable resources.  Read below and then read it to your kids.  Not once or twice.  Every single time they hear the word “testing” they need to hear this until it’s ingrained in their hearts and minds.  Isn’t it absolutely fantastic?!  (See original Momastery post)

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Teach Your Monster to Read…our FREE online game for kids

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(Pick on image to view informational video)

Did you know…

the British founder of Usborne Books Publishing, Peter Usborne, and his two adult children have developed a free online game through their charitable fund, the Usborne Foundation?  Created by reading experts and gaming professionals, this game has been available to kids around the world for four years now and your kids can use a PC or laptop and  join the fun too.  A downloadable App is also available for a small fee.

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(Pick on the image to view an informational video)

Get more information at TeachYourMonstertoRead.com .  Read the reviews, join the blog, try the demos or start a free account.  Available for use both in home or at school, this is another tool you can use to make reading fun for your kids.  Get started today!

 

Interesting and sneaky parenting tips from a recent Time Magazine article

6 Sneaky but Scientific Ways to Help Kids Learn

@katejleary

Jan. 22, 2015

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Anna Pekunova—Getty Images/Flickr RF

 

Parents want to teach kids the skills they’ll need to lead happy, productive lives. But we have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Ellen Galinsky, author of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needsacknowledges this “time famine” at the outset of her book, which is filled with evidence-based ways to help kids learn the skills they need. Here are a few of her suggestions. Chances are you’re already doing some of them. Now you can rest assured that research supports your methods, and maybe you can try a couple of new things. As Galinsky says, “we teach best when we are learning.”

  1. Play games backwards. For example, “Simon Says, Do the Opposite.” It’s the classic with a twist. If Simon says, “Be quiet,” the kids should be loud.

Why:
This helps kids practice inhibitory control, an important executive function. Executive functions also include focus, cognitive flexibility, and working memory. These skills predict academic success at least as well as IQ scores.

  1. Talk about feelings. Encourage your kids to talk about how they feel (She’s sad and frustrated that she left her new necklace at Grandma’s and won’t be able to get it back until next week. She’s also envious of her brother, who remembered his necklace.) Speculate about how others might feel, whether it’s in real life situations (Another driver cut you off, and that made you angry, but maybe that driver was having a terrible horrible no good very bad day) or in a book (Alexander was disappointed when the shoe store had exciting striped sneakers for his brothers but only white ones for him.)

Why:
This helps kids learn the skill of empathy. Kids who are able to understand what others are feeling and understand their intentions have smoother transitions to school, college and beyond because they can see others’ point of view.

  1. Tell Stories. Read. Talk about what you’re reading. Read to your kids, or ask them questions about their books. Tell stories. If you go to a friend’s house, encourage the kids to tell the story of the visit later. Family life is filled with what Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley call “business talk.” This kind of talk usually uses simple vocabulary and conveys what an adult wants from a kid. Storytelling and discussion of books uses richer language and is called “extra talk.”

Why:
It promotes good communication skills. In a survey Galinsky conducted, employers were most concerned about employees’ verbal and written communication skills. Extra talk correlates positively with academic performance. Of course, it might also be pleasant.

  1. Choose toys that have no point. Lego bricks, not sets. Or break up sets after the thrill wears off and see what your kid can make. Guide instead of taking over. (“It doesn’t seem to fit here? Where else could it go?”) Don’t wrest the brick from her hand even if you know you could make something cool.

Why:
This kind of play promotes object, space, and number sense, skills that help kids make connections. Information is easy to come by in the age of Google, but it’s of limited use if you can’t make creative connections.

  1. Write Out the Fights.You probably don’t feel like pulling out a notebook when the kids are fighting, but try Galinsky’s approach, supported by research and tested on her own kids. Collaborate with your family to:
  • Identify the dilemma.
  • Determine the goal
  • Generate a list of solutions. Go beyond your typical solutions.
  • Think about how these solutions might work, and not just the ones that were your idea.
  • Pick one and try it.
  • After you’ve tried it, discuss how the solution is working and either tweak or change the plan.

Why:
This process models critical thinking, which Galinsky defines as “[T]he ongoing search for valid and reliable knowledge to guide beliefs, decisions, and actions.” Life is packed with decisions to make and problems to solve, but in the short term, good critical thinking skills might help your kid judge when a friend is influencing him to make a mean-spirited or dangerous choice.

  1. Praise effort — not talent or intelligence. Instead of saying, “You got that problem right. You’re so smart,” say “You worked hard on those problems and you figured them out. That’s great.” Talk through how they deal with challenges and praise persistence.

Why:
Kids who receive this kind of praise are more likely to take on challenges. They have a “growth mindset,” which means that they see their abilities as something they can develop. This sets the stage for a lifelong interest in learning.

Continue reading Interesting and sneaky parenting tips from a recent Time Magazine article

This is an excellent idea! (I didn’t come up with it)

(See the full post at http://www.artbarblog.com/inspire/make-mornings-better/  for suggestions to try with your child’s specific personality.  I am sharing only a portion of this wonderful piece.  Diane)

Make Mornings Better {through patience + planning}

Make Mornings Better {through patience + planning}

Last year, I made a chart of sorts for my one that just cannot get her body moving in the morning. It wasn’t really a chart as much as a way for her to visually see what she needed to do. This totally worked for us. It helped her understand and grasp the fact that the mornings were hers to own (or hers to ruin). By taking me out of the equation, she actually did everything she needed to do because she was in control. We had this chart up for no more than two weeks and then it wasn’t needed anymore. Why it took me 4 years to figure this out is a mystery.

DIY good morning chart ~ teach kids to own their day | artbarblog.com

Make your own Good Morning chart:

shoe box lid / scissors / piece of cardboard / white glue / markers or paint / photos of your child doing the things that need to get done

I simply cut a shoebox lid in half and glued it to a piece of cardboard. I decorated it for her because she was honestly not into this idea at all. She thought it was “babyish”. But I convinced her by telling her that it would make mommy not have to talk to her at all! She liked that idea. We took photos of her in the midst of her morning tasks. All she had to do was move the photos from one pocket to another. She still is slow to get up, but she knows what to do and that if she doesn’t do it, I will have to speak to her (are you getting the picture that she is not a morning person?).