normal girl, who, out of dumb, blind luck, and blessings from above, stumbled into the most amazing life I could have ever imagined for myself. I’m a wife to an amazing man and a mom to two pretty awesome kids. Which leads us to…
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
To mirror my weekly CBS 11 news segment (4:00 pm broadcast, Dallas/Ft. Worth market), here's a little Q & A on kids and the dreaded...bedtime.
- Have a routine
- Be Sparkly
- Is NOT recommended for babies under 6 months
- Should NOT be used to treat sleep disorders or problems
- Does not teach kids HOW to fall asleep
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Okay, dear readers, as we embark on the Thanksgiving holiday I know that many of you will be celebrating with family and extended family over the next few days. And family + extended family + cramped living quarters + lots of food + lots of kids = lots of
STRESS LOVE, right???
So as you go into this first of two back-to-back holidays (up next: Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa), I realize that you're thinking: 'You know what I need? I need one more challenge.'
I'm on it.
Here's the challenge: When you're about to lose it on an in-law, when you're about to throw out the burnt dressing and buy the whole darn dinner from Kroger, when you're about to pack up the kids and just go home and turn on Dora because at least you will have 30 minutes of peace...just look at your kiddos for a minute. Just for a minute. Maybe they're playing- and it's probably the cutest thing you've ever seen. Maybe they're zonked out on the sofa from a mashed potato, cherry pie induced coma- and it's the most peaceful sight of the day. And just remember: you do it for them.
P.S. To my Canadian, UK, German, and Indian (and anyone I forgot) readers, thanks for sticking with me through the past few American Thanksgiving posts. And to everyone, I'll be back on Monday, November 29- well fed and well rested! Read more...
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
|Photo by Nine Photography|
|Photo by Nine Photography|
Monday, November 22, 2010
In the past few weeks, I’ve given you a few tips to handle temper tantrums. Just in time for the Thanksgiving break (do I anticipate possible meltdowns with a week off of school? No...not my children...), here’s a recap along with one extra!
- Know the warning signs of a tantrum for your child/children. It may be fussiness, a whiny voice, or a number of other tell tale signs.
- If you see said warning signs, keep it simple and redirect. Using simple language and redirecting your child to something else entirely may be all that is needed to avoid a meltdown.
- Easier said than done, I know, but you getting angry also, will only escalate the situation.
- Sometimes children need to work emotions out on their own. This helps them learn to regulate.
- Especially if the tantrum is in a private place (like home), give the choice of letting the child ‘work this one out on her own.’ Of course, be there for support and guidance, but it’s okay to let her feel upset and experience her emotions.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. As parents, we want our children to have thankful hearts. We want to teach them that thanksgiving is a time for careful reflection on what we're thankful for and not just turkey time (though the pie is irresistible...oh the pie...). But how can we help young kiddos learn to communicate their thankfulness?
Yep. You guessed it. By example. Young children will follow your lead of showing how thankful you are for the good things in your life.
Try it like this: "I'm so thankful for ______. 'Thankful' means I'm so glad. It makes my heart happy."
Then ask your child what she is thankful for. You may need to help very young children by giving suggestions- "Hmm...you always seem so happy when the puppy comes inside and licks your hand. I wonder if you're thankful to have such a friendly puppy?!" And you can challenge older children by helping them think of qualities, rather than just tangible objects, that they're thankful for.
Did you do it? What happened? Now go eat pie :) Read more...
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
How can child care help my child?
A while ago, I told you about the long term effects of early child care. To summarize, children who experience high-quality child care when they are young show slightly better academic performance and fewer behavior problems when they are adolescents than children who experience lower quality care or no care at all. Although the effects are small, they are long lasting.
Can child care have any negative effects on my child?
Research does link longer hours (50-60+ hours per week) in child care with increased behavior problems in children and slightly more risky behavior and impulsivity in adolescents. Longer hours is often coupled with other factors such as too many kids in a classroom with too few caregivers or low-quality care in general, which could also contribute to outcomes like behavior problems.
How do I find high-quality child care for my children?
- High quality caregivers should be sensitive and responsive to children all the time, not just when they're upset.
- Look for a low child to caregiver ratio (fewer children per caregiver)
- Low turnover of staff
- High quality caregivers interact directly with children and get on their level (e.g., on the floor, sit at the table with them)
- Look for centers or classrooms that have a variety of age appropriate activities and games for children
- Look for classrooms that have activities that stimulate all the senses
- What is your policy regarding sick children?
- What is your discipline policy?
- What is your staff turnover rate?
- What is your caregiver-to-child ratio?
- What are your safety policies?
- Can I observe whenever I'd like to?
- What is your overall philosophy regarding child care?
Friday, November 12, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
- Watch how she interacts with your child- Does she get down on your child’s level? How does she respond to your child? Does she make eye contact and speak directly to him? Does she quickly pick up on and expand upon the child’s interests? If your child is a baby, does she know how to hold him? Does she know appropriate strategies to comfort him when he is distressed?
- How does she interact with you? Does she seem confident? Is she able to express herself?
- Ask for references- Essentially, this is a job interview, so ask her for the names and numbers of a few adult references. Ask her about her past experience with children. Ask her what she would do in a hypothetical emergency situation or how she handles stress.
- Ask her outright- Questions that may feel awkward like ‘Do you know who to call in an emergency?’ or ‘What would you do first if my child was choking?’
- Tell her outright- Things like ‘My rule is that you don’t leave my child unattended at any time’ or ‘My rule is that you don’t open the door at all.’
- Do a trial run- When you can go somewhere close and for a short period of time, such as a neighbor’s house or a close restaurant for 30 or 45 minutes.
- Trust your instincts- At the end of the day, don’t leave your child with someone you don’t feel comfortable with.
- Red Cross – Enter your zip code to find CPR and other preparedness classes in your area
- Many hospitals offer babysitting preparedness courses for free or a nominal fee. Simply look up your local hospital’s website or call for information.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010