Archive for "Parenting"

Parenting Vivian | 19 Jun 2011

Parenting Tips on How to Enhance the Parent-Child Relationship by Talking With Your Child

When you get so upset in your own feelings and being wrapped up in what you have to say, that very often you ignore your little one’s feelings and reactions completely. When you are set in such a frame of mind, you tend to just rail away at your little one, lecture him about what he has done or forget to do. As a result, he will be completely tuned out and would have no idea what you are trying to say.

That is not communication but a disconnection, and your parent-child relationship will be at risk. As a parent, you can take the following actions to make communication adjustment to enhance this relationship.

  • Take the time to assess your communication pattern and understand where the problem lies.
  • Find out where your communication hot buttons are and work to keep your cool when talking with your children, after all it is you who fix the tone for the conversation.
  • Assess your patience level. At times your he may seem antagonistic. This may or may not be the case. You need to find out the real reason to determine that he is trying to annoy you. It could be that he needs your approval; your attention; your care. More often than not, children that seem to be acting out are simply seeking for your attention.
  • Improve your listening skill to hear what he has to say and not brush him off.
  • Consider the kind of language you are teaching him when you are interacting with him. Are you using words appropriately? Are you impatient? Do you raise your voice? Your child picks these up from you very quickly.

When you are tempted to talk ‘at’ your child, take the time to assess your mental state. Are you tired? Stressed? Have you listened and understood what he is trying to tell you? Are you just lecturing with no clear ideas as to what he has just said to you?
?br>If this is the case, STOP yourself and reframe your mind. Listen carefully to what he has to say and spend the time to have an actual conversation with him. You may be surprised.

Parenting Vivian | 15 Jun 2011

The Favorite Problem – Avoiding Favoritism in the Home

No one likes to admit it, but favoritism is a silent presence in millions of families. Often times subtle to the point of becoming ephemeral, favoritism whether real or perceived nonetheless can have devastating psychological impacts on both the favored and the secondary child alike.

Favoritism’s roots and causes

Experts say children grow up, mature and develop in very different ways, even among close siblings. It’s human nature for one parent to approve of a certain pattern of development over another. What mother or father isn’t tempted to lavish affection on the obedient student, the academic achiever, or the affectionate child more than a child who behaves otherwise?

But it’s the children that don’t seek approval that sometimes feel starved for its validation the most. They’re often the victims of favoritism, too, which places their self-esteem at even further risk. Like an infection that spreads if left untreated, the sense of inadequacy that parental favoritism instills can malign the child’s entire self-image.

Recognizing favoritism

Favoritism sometimes begins when a parent show preference to a child based on physical traits or resemblances to their side of the family tree. As mentioned before, behavior may set the standard for preferential treatment, though this is usually after some time has elapsed and the parent recognizes behavioral patterns in both children.

Typical signs of favoritism include rewarding one child more than the other for the same kind of accomplishment; likewise, punishing more severely for the same kind of infraction or misbehavior. Centering more family events around one child, encouraging one child to be more outgoing, or buying more or giving more gifts are also likely signs of preferential treatment.

Because the symptoms are sometimes so hard to detect, many confused or jealous children sometimes perceive favoritism where in fact none exists. Unfortunately for the child and parents alike, the perceived situation can be just as damaging as the actual.

Getting past favoritism

Favored children often have greater difficulty coping with rejection or dismissal later in life. The opposite child, conversely, sometimes becomes more accustomed to working harder to win recognition.

Parents can prevent favoritism by ensuring their treatment of all children remains neutral and balanced. They should also take diligent steps to ensure the perception of favoritism doesn’t exist in any of their children, and work to clear the air should the perception arise. While this does necessitate a great amount of vigilance on the parents’ part, it’s also necessary to successfully raise emotionally well-adjusted children.

Parenting Vivian | 14 Jun 2011

Parenting with Humor

Let Laughter Lighten Your Parenting Load The British writer, Chesterton once wrote, “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” The same sentiment has been echoed in a variety of ways by great thinkers and sages throughout history and I believe this is a major key to healthy parent-child relationships (or to any relationships for that matter).

Today I’d like to share a poem with you, just for fun. It reminds me of how important it is to remember to take life lightly and to see the humor in many of the potentially distressing and frustrating situations that are an integral part of the parenting experience. Parents who have weathered the toilet training stage will be able to relate, I’m sure. It’s called,

I HAVE TO PEE!” “I have to pee!” Four little words That can send any parent into immediate action; Capturing their attention upon contact. I have seen apparently sleeping mothers Leap to attention from prone positions When their toddler uttered those four little words. Unfortunately, I was not so quick to respond. Caught up in the seemingly endless excitement Of traipsing through store after store, Following in the wake of my mother in law, The Mall Queen, I guess I’d just become sort of numb. So in the children’s changing room Of the One hundred and twenty first store We’d entered that day, I guess I just didn’t really pay attention When my 2 year old said, “I have to pee,” “Mommy, I have to pee,” He may have even said it twice.

But did I listen? No, I was wrapped up in the tiresome chore Of finding just the right pair of pants for my four year old~And so we chose to ignore him~Indeed, none of us listened, None of us heard his plaintive plea. Until taking matters into his own hands, My young son produced a new kind of sound ~One that caught our attention… “What’s that sound?” my mother in law queried, “Sounds like water running somewhere.” In a burst of insight I knew what had happened And turned just in time to see the little guy Filling his brother’s shoe with a steady stream of liquid We were taken aback, but for only an instant.Then a smile lit my face, My mother in law dropped her insistence, And we both began to chuckle. Only my four year old Remained a little distraught At the lesson my young son had taught” I guess you’ll need new shoes to go home in,”His grandma reassured him, And then we were all able to laugh ~ a lot. And even today Whenever those four little words Drift my way ~I don’t take them slightly I don’t take them lightly, I sit up and pay strict attention To the young child’s faintest plea ~Indeed, I spring into action At even the tiniest mention Of those four famous words,”I HAVE TO PEE!”

How many times have you thought, “One day I’ll look back on this and laugh… subconsciously implying of course that in the meantime I’m just going to be miserable!” Perhaps our degree of enjoyment and ultimate success in life, our degree of enlightenment, is directly related to how long it takes for us to see the humor in many of our distressing and frustrating situations.

Of course, everything isn’t funny, and there are times when we need to let our children know when they have crossed our boundaries. However, many of our parenting woes and relationship struggles with our children are a result of we as parents just taking ourselves too darn seriously. The race to toilet train our child and make sure we “do it right” can put way too much pressure on ourselves and our children and prevent us from seeing the humor in situations such as the one in the poem. We can become frustrated when our child does not act the way we think he should and begin to think that we are inadequate as parents. It is our own frustration that catapults the situation into one that becomes out of control and damages our relationship with our child.

Even in those situations which may not hold any potential humor, we will still save a lot of energy and heartache when we decide we simply won’t take them personally. It’s always helpful to remember that our kids have their own lives and their own perceptions and quite often their misbehavior is about them and what’s happening for them. It only makes the situation worse if we take it personally when our child is in a bad mood, or going through a bit of a rebellious stage. All teens have moments of intense dislike for their parents. The wise parent will recognize this as an expression of teenage frustration with authority in their lives and a move to develop more independence. The same is true of a two year old. It’s a two year old’s job to say, “No!” When we take their challenge to authority personally, we are less able to deal with it effectively.

So let go of taking everything so personally. That may not be so easy to do in the moment, but I guarantee you that in the long run, it’s much more difficult if you hang onto it. It takes energy and awareness to change the deeply ingrained reactions that most of us experience as we take situations personally and ourselves too seriously. Such reactions damage our health and our relationship with our children. Use the heart breathing technique that I outlined in my last newsletter to help you let go of the draining emotions that are a result of taking situations personally.

Teach yourself to let go, and wherever you can, choose to see the humor in the situation. Next time you have one of those moments when you think, “One day I’ll look back at this and laugh,” try bringing that day closer to you right now. Healthy humor exists at a level that is quite detached from the defensiveness of the ego. We can do ourselves and our family a lot of good by rising above the frustration and turmoil of the moment to see the humor in the situation. And remember, you too will be able to fly when you learn to take yourself more lightly.

Parenting Vivian | 13 Jun 2011

Making Preparations For Your First Child

Those who become parents for the first time often think of it as being a slightly worrying time. You’ll soon realise that there are plenty of positives to focus on. There are so many happy, fun, wonderful time ahead – it really makes sense to think about these, rather than dwelling on a few negatives. You can make the very best start by doing a little preparation.

Some people tend to think that preparations should focus on rather practical aspects. It’s really vital that you don’t lose sight of some of the less obvious things that you’ll need to consider. Have you, for instance, thought about how your relationship with your partner will change? You’ll start to see some of those changes almost immediately.

As you’re about to find out, it’s really important that you offer each other enough support during the pregnancy. Always take the time to find out how your partner is feeling and make sure that the two of you are communicating properly. These communication skills will be unbelievably important once the baby’s born.

The nursery tends to get much of the focus when it comes to more practical concerns. You’ll want to create a space that is peaceful and also safe for your baby. You can always check the very latest medical and safety advice to ensure that you are creating the right environment.

In addition to making nursery preparations, it’s important that you also consider products that will be used outside the home. There’s no time like the present when it comes to learning about travel systems, car seats, travel costs and pushchairs. You’ll discover that you have more confidence if you know more about what’s involved, enabling you to enter the world of parenting with a really positive state of mind.

Parenting Vivian | 12 Jun 2011

Stop Bad Behavior – 2 Parenting Tips

There are so many tips out there that promise to stop your children’s bad behavior, stop the hitting, and teach them to be more respectful, that sometimes it is difficult to decide which ones to follow. Children that misbehave are not fun, and neither is being embarrassed in stores, restaurants, and parks. This often happens when your child is behaving badly. Changing their behavior doesn’t come without a lot of hard work.

Two of my favorite tips that can help you fix your children’s bad behavior some people will tell you are just “common sense”. But if this is so, why don’t more people use them. Sadly a lot of people who know them don’t recognize the fact they aren’t even using them.

So what are these tips?

  • Have a clear set of rules and consequences. Write them down and display them in some very obvious places in the house where everyone can see them. Make sure your kids understand each rule and what will happen if they don’t follow it. Make sure the consequence follows the rule. For example, one of your rules may be to not throw balls in the house. As a consequence take the ball away for a specified period of time such as a half an hour.
  • Make sure you are consistent with the rules. Often a parent will pick and choose the times when they follow the rules and when they won’t, or what they will use for a consequence. The problem with this is that a child will become confused and, frankly, in their confusion will continue to misbehave.

If the rules and consequences are clear and are posted where everyone can see them; and if they are followed consistently it will go a long way in improving your child’s behavior.

Initially it may appear that these tips aren’t working; in fact, the behavior may get worse. This is because your child will fight back; he is used to getting his way. But if you are consistent he will eventually comply and things will turn around. Remember this; it takes 3 weeks to change a habit. It may also take 3 weeks before you see improvement as your child learns to change her behavior.

My wife and I spent a lot of time looking for answers to our child’s bad behavior. We searched everywhere. We knew it was time to resolve the problem and nothing we had tried had worked. We bought several programs and took courses, but spending all this money didn’t help at all. We realized that no one was going to do it for us; it was up to us.

We follow these suggested tips on a regular basis and we have found that when we are consistent things will run smoothly. Sometimes we forget and break the rules ourselves. This generally happens when we are exhausted or distracted and then our son gets his way. When this occurs we need to get right back on track. Each time it seems like we have taken a step backwards as he gets a taste of the way it used to be. The faster we get back into using these tips the faster he starts behaving again.

Parenting Vivian | 09 Jun 2011

Kids Learn Eating Habits by Watching Their Parents

The alarming rise in childhood obesity has spawned a lot of research into children’s eating habits and preferences. In a just published study of 120 children aged 2 to 6 years researchers found a distinct link between the children’s parents food preferences and that of the contents of the children’s pretend shopping carts. Not surprisingly kids learn eating habits from their parents.

This experiment was set up perfectly for children… what little one doesn’t love those toy grocery carts and plastic food? The team had each child take a turn in a play grocery store where there were a total of 133 choices, both healthy and not so healthy. In the meantime, the parents filled out questionnaires about how often they bought certain foods and drinks. All reported that they brought their children with them grocery shopping.

Most of the children did “buy” some sugary, salty snacks and desserts, but on average, the carts were filled with equal amounts of healthy and not so healthy foods. Remarkably, 35 of the subjects bought significantly more healthy items and less junk. The results pointed to the idea that the health-consciousness of a child’s toy shopping cart might in fact mirror what was found on a parents’ grocery list.

The findings, reported in the November 2008 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, suggests that even very young children don’t just mindlessly grab for sweets when they have the chance. Instead, they appear to be developing food preferences based on what they see Mom and Dad eating and buying at the store.

Those little ones are already making choices, paying closer attention than you realize to what you do.

“The data suggest that children begin to assimilate and mimic their parents’ food choices at a very young age, even before they are able to fully appreciate the implications of these choices,” write researchers led by Dr. Lisa A. Sutherland of Dartmouth Medical School. Dr. Sutherland is a nutrition behavior and communication scientist who focuses on researching the impact of media and marketing on childhood obesity and tries to develop interventions that might help children and their families.

When it comes to food preferences, modeling good, healthy choices for your children seems to have some impact. So if you want them to choose more fruits and veggies have them in the house, and eat them yourself.

Try to think of the grocery store as a place to talk about healthy and unhealthy food choices, even with very young children as even at this age kids learn from your choices. While formal education about nutrition usually doesn’t begin until elementary school, there’s no reason to wait… and this research suggests the kids learn by picking up clues anyway, so why not make them the right ones?

Parenting Vivian | 06 Jun 2011

Special Needs Child Development and Self Esteem – Learning From a Special Puppy

Some ancient (a pet owner no doubt) once said, “We can learn from the animals.” How wise that old saying is. At least it turned out to be that way for me and my family as we cared for a special needs Dachshund puppy named Itty Bitty. There were lessons to be learned that applied themselves to a special needs child’s development and self esteem.

Through Itty Bitty’s life, we have seen how a small, weak individual can lose heart and be excluded from others that are stronger and healthier, yet their desire to survive and be included can be a blessing to themselves and those around them. -And the picture book that came from Itty Bitty’s story reveals to children and adults alike, that “Even though you are little, you can do big things!”

Itty Bitty was born just after midnight on a cold, February morning. He was the first puppy ever born to our female Dachshund, Gwenny, and she had a very difficult time giving birth to Itty Bitty. Being the first one through the birth canal, it was a difficult time that had its physical consequences on the tiny pup. It was not long before the other puppies were born and Gwenny focused her attention on the stronger, healthier puppies.

“So what has this got to do with a child’s development and self esteem?” you might be asking yourself. Well, read on.

We nursed the little guy from a small puppy bottle. -Around the clock at first. Then we would force him to nurse from Gwenny to get the antibodies that he needed to survive any infection.

After Itty Bitty defied the vet’s prognosis and lived beyond the two days, and then two weeks that he was given to live, it was obvious that he was not growing like the others. He was tiny, yet he had enormous feet that tripped him when he tried to walk. His siblings (three brothers and one sister) somehow new that he was different and slowly began to exclude and ignore him.

It was then, as my heart went out to this helpless puppy that I realized how human this situation was. As a child, I was small for my age, so I had to work a lot harder to keep up. Also, my older brother was epileptic. I watched him struggle through all phases of his life during his early development years. “Normal” kids would never choose him for baseball games or invite him to join them.

As Itty Bitty began to try to cope with the rejection, he became distant. We would find him sleeping at the opposite end of the birthing box, away from Gwenny and the others. When he tried to roughhouse and play with the others, he would fall down. When they grew old enough to go outside, he would sit off somewhere and be content to be alone.

That is a natural reaction that I have seen in children. The smaller, weaker and special ones learn to cope by being alone. It is easier that way, but it also has a tendency to deny them of the precious socialization time that they truly want and need. –Socialization time that will prepare them for the years that lie ahead.

What to do then? Well, it is all about self-esteem, about building that up in a child so that they have a sense of self worth. That confidence will shine through and the other children will see that.

–But, how to begin?

Look for opportunities to reward the child for things that are done well. Make them feel like the hero that they are in their heart. Now I absolutely don’t mean to trivialize the issue by overly rewarding them for minor things. Be very careful with that. A child (and the children around the child) will see right through that. What I mean is that you should celebrate the positive, incremental steps of development. As the child grows, the positive reinforcement should be for greater accomplishments.

I will never forget that day, many years ago, when my epileptic brother stepped up to the plate. He had never been able to hit a ball in a real game. He surprised his entire little league team and the coach, too, by smacking a triple. He hit the ball a long way! I was proud of him as he tried to get his sense of direction and run the bases, but more importantly, he was proud of himself.

As I watched Itty Bitty trying to keep up, I thought, what would happen if this little guy could save the day for his family? I arranged and staged some pictures to have him do just that. I wanted children and parents to see the reward that comes from doing something special. –To vicariously feel the acceptance and inclusion that Itty Bitty feels in the book when he becomes a hero.

It is through the reward of positive reinforcement that we see these little ones, whether small, or handicapped, or special, realize, as Itty Bitty does in the book:

“Even though you are little, you can do BIG THINGS!”

Parenting Vivian | 05 Jun 2011

How to Become Better Parents

All parents have the desire to be better parents to their children. There are no exact methods that are being used by parents as every family setting or household is different. However, below are some guidelines that parents can refer to in order to become better parents.

?Enforce limits, structure and rules
Studies show that children feel safe and secure when there are rules and structure in the home. Your children will learn about self-reliance and self-control. Therefore, do not be afraid to fix reasonable rules and limits in your home.

?Always be consistent
Once you have set the rules, stick to them. Do not change or bend the rules depending on your mood, the weather, a special occasion, etc. The rules you set should be consistent to prevent confusion. Remember to do what you say. Avoid saying one thing and doing another.

?b>Respect your child
Children learn from their parents and if the parents treat them respectfully, they will learn to be respectful towards others. Treat each child as an individual and do not compare him with others, even with his other siblings. Each of them should be encouraged to be himself and to pursue his own interests.

?b>There is nothing wrong with failure
Your children will encounter failure once in awhile. Do not be afraid to let them encounter failure, as this is part of life. Over protecting them will not do them any favor, as it will make them grow to be fearful or timid. Do not curb your children’s natural desire to learn and explore new things just because you want to prevent them from getting hurt. Your parenting role is to ensure their surroundings are safe and conducive for learning and growing.

These are the guidelines on how to become better parents. Applying the guidelines above will not guarantee that your children will grow up to become great adults. However, it will give you the satisfaction of having fulfilled your parenting responsibilities with the goal of becoming better parents.

Parenting Vivian | 04 Jun 2011

What to Do About Shy Kids – 3 Simple Tips

Do you have a child or children who are shy? Perhaps you are a teacher or a caretaker for a number of children. If this is the case, perhaps the question has crossed your mind, “What to do about shy kids?”

Shyness may or may not be readily apparent in young children. Some children may cling excessively to mommy in any unfamiliar situation. Others may show no signs of shyness in early childhood, but may develop it during their growing up years.

In either case, the child might eventually outgrow his or her shyness. Surprising to many, however, is that a child can actually “grow into” shyness! A child who shows no signs of shyness at the age of six or seven may become noticeably shy by the age of nine or ten.

One possible explanation for this is that in the early childhood years, it is easier for many to make friends than it is during the later years. Inviting someone of the same age to play in the sandbox can result in a friendship between young children.

As we age, however, interactions become more complex. Children develop interests in various subjects such as sports, music, model building, drawing, and so on. Conversation becomes more important than play as we age, and social interactions become more complex.

So, in the case of “late blooming” shyness, is it a matter of a child “becoming” shy, or simply a case of the world and social interactions becoming complex at a rate faster than he or she can handle?

In any event, there are certain things you should know about what to do about shy kids.

1. Don’t be too aggressive in pushing your children into social activities. Instead, offer support to them when they become interested in something themselves. Offer to drive them to club meetings or other places where they can interact with other people.

2. Show an interest in your child yourself. When your child wants to talk about his activities with you, don’t be patronizing or feign interest. Show real enthusiasm for what your child is enthusiastic about.

3. Don’t interrupt. Your child should be able to practice conversing by talking to you and other family members without being cut off. If your child doesn’t get a chance to talk to members of his own family, how can he learn how to practice talking to anyone else?

Parenting Vivian | 04 Jun 2011

Mothers Helpers – Seeking a Local Mother Helper? Valuable Tips!

If you are interested in hiring a family helper and wondering where to find quality mothers helpers, then you should consider hiring the services of an online placement agency. A good agency that specializes in matching between families and helpers could help you in quickly locating a professional and experienced person. This following review will help you to learn more about the way families are finding today a good family helper.

Searching online a mother helper

Online family helper placement agencies uses a matching mechanism that meets the needs of families that are looking for a family helper and mothers helpers that offer their services. This online service was designed in order to simply the way parents are searching and finding a helper that can perfectly suit their family needs. These solutions can also advice on the following matters – how screen a mother helper, how to interview a helper candidate and how to conduct a candidate background search.

Main advantages

The advantages of using this type of service are:

(1) Easy way to access a large and nationwide database of mothers helpers candidates that are looking for a job.

(2) Ideal for parents who want in minimum time to find the best mother helper for the children’s.

(3) One of the most cost effective services there are.

It’s all about the simplicity

Online matching services are probably one of the most successful and useful solutions there are for parents who wish to find the right mother helper for their family in the fastest and the most reliable way. We could easily come across other great advantages this service is offering since it provides a simple solution to a frustrating task. For an easy and successful process it’s recommended to follow the above guidelines of this article before going a head.

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