Are you having difficulty controlling your kids? Are you stressed because your toddler often asks you for a lot of things particularly after watching those ads on TV?
Take heart because there are apps that can help you deal with the situation. They teach kids to save and invest, do some household chores and homework and work for their incomes.
Young children of today are so obsessed with their tech gadgets and the best thing parents can do to get their attention is to use the technology. As the old cliche goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”
The apps for chores are helpful in giving kids chores and teaching them their responsibilities at home. There are two versions you can choose from – the conventional list type or the game type.
How many times have you heard or uttered the phrase “Grow up?” I suppose that you can not count. This phrase is often used in a wide variety of contexts. Yet what does grow up really mean? What does it mean to be grown up? If you are of legal age and you have children, does that necessarily mean that you are all grown up?
Well, if you were to ask author John Cheetham, parents are not necessarily “grown up.” This author from Melbourne has a new book called “Grow Up! How to raise an adult by being one yourself” and in it, he challenges parents to quit behaving like overgrown children and start acting their age. I don’t have a copy of the book as of yet but the information presented in News.com.au has gotten my interest. Here’s a sampling:
He says parents should stop drinking, smoking, swearing and losing their temper – particularly when driving. He thinks parents are too over-emotional, too over-protective and over-react to their teens’ faults. “The most important thing is to remember the power of example,” Dr Cheetham said. “Parents need to be in tune with their emotions – it’s not what you say, it’s what you do. And this means not having an episode of road rage on the way to taking your son to get his learners.”
If you think about it, this is an age old principle. Walk the talk and so on. I suppose, though, that in this day and age of indulgence, we can always use a reminder like this book. Now here is my question: Are you a grown up parent?
Let’s face it. One of the things we parents have to deal with is our kids getting sick or injured. It’s a part of growing up, especially if you have accident-prone kids like I do.
My four-year-old Ollie gets a bump/wound/scratch almost daily, and a few months ago had a bad accident in our garden where he cut his head open and was rushed to the ER. While playing with his big sister, he fell through the fence constructed by our handyman and nearly fell into our pool (which had just been cleaned out and empty). He was grabbed just in time by the handyman, so didn’t fall into the pool but slammed his head on the tile. My husband saw the whole thing and was going to kill the handyman for his shoddy work (it wasn’t nailed in properly), but he did save Ollie’s life…so it was a hard one. Luckily Ollie didn’t need stitches and aside from my husband being covered in blood ala Carrie, it turned out to be a minor injury. It could have been much much worse though, so we are grateful and have since taken extra precautions to make sure that all areas in our home were safe. Ollie was feeing a bit traumatized for the next few days (as were all of us), but I think he’s recovered now.
Here are some great tips from After The Injury, a really useful website for parents who have to deal with their child’s injuries. Whether your child’s injury is big or small, it helps to remember these things so that your child recovers faster.
While doctors know that injury prevention is the best “medicine,” the sad truth is that kids still do get hurt- lots of them- even with the most vigilant parents. In fact, 9.2 million children are treated in an emergency room for an injury each year, making it equally important for parents to know how to handle what happens after the injury.
1. Let your child know that he or she is safe. In the first days and weeks following an injury many children fear that something bad might happen to them again. Learn more about helping your child with new fears or worries.
2. Allow children to talk about their feelings and worries, if they want to. Let your child know that it’s ok to feel a little upset. The circumstances of an injury can be frightening, and it’s not always easy to know how to talk with your child about it. Here are some things that other parents have found helpful for talking with their child.
3. Go back to normal routines. It is important to help your child get plenty of sleep, eat regular meals, keep up with schoolwork, and spend time with friends. Here are some options to consider if the injury gets in the way of things s/he used to do.
4. Increase time with family and friends. Children who get support from family and friends seem to do better in recovering after upsetting events. Try reading together, playing games, or watching movies together. Listen to what some parents had to say about how to help their children remain connected after an injury.
5. Take time to deal with your own feelings. In addition to all of the things you do to help your child, it’s important to remember to take good care of yourself. Learn more about your own reactions and get tips for taking care of yourself.
6. Keep in mind people in the same family can react in different ways. Your child’s feelings and worries about the injury might be different from yours. It’s important to monitor how your child is doing and when reactions might signal trouble. Learn how to gauge your child’s emotional recovery and identify any reactions that might need special attention.
Visit After the Injury to read full tip sheets, learn more about child injury and pain care, take a quiz to rate your child’s reactions to injury, and create a personalized care plan to help parents help their child recover from injury.
Photo via Ramberg Media
The creation of dollhouses is an outgrowth of people’s interest in dolls. Being a plaything that usually resembles a baby or child that is especially appealing to girls, a doll can be further enjoyed by its owner in its own miniature house, complete with objects that make it look like an actual home. Dollhouses for girls have long been a source of joy and entertainment to girls of various ages.
The earliest-made dollhouse was known to have existed as early as the 15th century. Craftsmen filled the miniature houses with every conceivable household article such as furniture, books, clothing, musical instruments, silver, glassware, and china to make them very realistic. Dollhouses for girls come in different styles, most of which reflect architectural trends of a particular place and time.
Dollhouses were used by adults to showcase decorative figurines. It occupied a different level of importance as children were not allowed to get close to them primarily for their preservation. The more famous ones can be found in museums. Germans were believed to be the first ones to use dollhouses as toys. English dollhouses were inspired by the so-called Nuremberg kitchen imported from Germany. It was originally intended as a cooking game being a small model of a room with kitchen equipments. Succeeding variations came with several additional rooms which soon evolved into dollhouses. Americans were introduced to dollhouses in the 19th century.
Dollhouses were only found in the homes of wealthy people until the 20th century. They were objects of intricate and excellent craftsmanship typically having glass fronts and elaborate decoration. They were and are still considered trophy collections, played only by adults. It is a good thing that present dollhouses for girls are a lot more child-friendly and can truly be enjoyed by a child.
Our 2 year old boy is a mini goth. The strange thing is that our son looks absolutely angelic with a mop of light brown curls, milky skin, rosy round cheeks and a rosebud mouth – so it’s become somewhat of an ironic family joke.
His first word was “mask” – referring to the small collection of Balinese and Sri Lankan masks in my husband’s office, which I think terrified and fascinated him all at once. He’d always point at them and want to be carried up for a closer view, only to cling to us in terror (mock?) after he got a good look. Not one for Sesame Street, Barney or Thomas (unlike his 2 elder siblings) His went straight from Baby Einstein to Nightmare Before Christmas. Corpse Bride, Coraline…he just loves Tim Burton’s works, and can you guess what his all-time favorite song is? Not “The Wheels on the Bus” or “If You’re Happy and You Know it”…..but “Monster Mash”. Click here for his favourite version: Monster Mash. In fact, if he sees me on my laptop, he’ll crawl on my lap and say “watch Monster Mash” until I stop whatever I’m doing and log on to YouTube.
So you can imagine that Halloween came early to our house this year. The sheer delight on his face was precious as we unpacked our boxes of Halloween decorations and he pretty much took charge (directing his 8 and 5 year old siblings of course) of placing every pumpkin, ghoul or ghost in choice locations in and outside the house. “Its Halloween! Its Halloween!” he says excitedly every morning when he comes out of his bedroom and looks at our spider-webbed stairway and tall witch on the landing.
He’s also quite firmly told me that his costume is NOT going to be the Cat and the Hat his elder siblings both wore at his age. “I be Dracula, Mom”. Oh, and he has also demanded for his choice of Halloween cake several times a day, telling both me and his Daddy ” I want Dracula Cake”. It’s hard to say no with that angelic little face and his naturally affectionate disposition. So tonight, as I tucked him into bed (Jack Skellington stuffed toy in his arms), I just couldn’t resist but whisper that Mommy would indeed get him that Dracula cake for Halloween. Help!
Photo via nicandres
The other day my husband and I went to the first PTC meeting with our daughter’s teacher, Ms. A. Report cards had just come out and I was eager to see how N had fared in the first term of first grade. It was a big adjustment for her as her preschool was tiny (8 kids on her class!), and her new “big school” was huge (almost 1,000 kids up to grade 12!). I knew that she was happy there, but as any parent knows, the way your kid is at home and at school can be two very different things.
Well, Ms. A told us that N was an enthusiastic learner, did well in all her subjects, especially p.e, art, computer and music. She then also said N was not really a “self starter” and needed some time (i.e. would play, draw or get distracted) before she could sit down and complete a task. In maths, she was very good with numbers, but often got confused with “problem solving” work. In reading, she had also improved vastly (she could hardly reading at the end of Kindergarten), but tended to rush through reading, using context clues to guess the words rather than going through them slowly.
Of course, I also had other questions- like the grading system, which was new to me, ranging from 4-1 (4 being the highest, and meant to be “super, super” not given lightly) and I was used to the old-fashioned ABC’s or 95, 85, 75 etc. N mostly got 3′s, a few 2′s, and two 4′s, but I can’t help but feel that she could have done better – that I could have done more to help her.
I think its up to us as parents to really know and understand our kids learning styles (again, think of the Animal School) as it could really help them not just in their school years, but for the rest of their lives.
Photo via AJC1
Halloween is my favorite holiday (after Christmas, of course!), so the next few weeks will be all about spooky ideas, tips and treats to make our little ones’ Halloween the best one yet. This week, I have a guest post from Kelly Rockey who writes about Halloween costumes over at Star Costumes. It’s all about safety – probably the most important thing we parents have to think about when getting our kids ready for Halloween. Thanks, Kelly!
It’s that time of year when your little ones turn into goblins and witches and head out in search of Halloween treats! We all want Halloween to be a happy and safe holiday for our kids, but sometimes with the excitement of the season kids can be less than careful. Using these simple safety tips can help you make the most of the Halloween season and keep your children safe at the same time.
1. Pick a Safe Costume – Help your child pick out a costume that will help keep them safe by making sure it has a few key characteristics. Make sure it is fireproof and that vision is not obstructed with small eye holes. Make sure there are no long capes, strings, or hems on the costume that the child can trip on. Bright colors can help them be seen at night; if they are wearing a dark colored costume make sure they are carrying a light or you can affix glow in the dark tape strips onto the costume.
2. Practice Pumpkin Safety – When carving pumpkins all children love to help, here’s how to let them help safely. Do not let them use a sharp knife to cut into a pumpkin. For older children there are plastic saw-type knives on the market. For younger children just have them scoop out the gunk and then draw a face on it for you to cut for them. When placing the pumpkin out with a candle, make sure that it is out of the way enough that your child’s costume doesn’t brush by it and accidentally catch on fire. Or better yet there are “flameless” LED lights on the market now that are completely safe and look realistic. Another option is to use a glow stick for an eerie but safe glow.
3. Keep Their Props in Check – If your child’s costume requires them to carry an ax, pitchfork, butcher knife, or the like then you must make sure that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on. Also teach your child to never swing at or hit anybody with their prop.
4. Safe Candy is Yummy Candy – Always inspect your child’s candy before letting them eat it. Do not let them eat any candy that has open or broken wrappers. Always trick or treat in a familiar neighborhood so you know where your child’s treats are coming from. Feed your child a spooky Halloween dinner before going out trick or treating so they are less likely to eat their candy before you have a chance to check it.
5. Basic Safety for Halloween and Everyday – To make trick or treating as safe as possible make sure that your children know basic everyday safety such as looking both ways before crossing the street, never getting into a strangers car, and not talking to strangers. Also never let your children go out trick or treating without a responsible adult or teenager to chaperone them.
Photo via Halloween Blog Online
My four-and-a-half-year-old has become a rebel. I’m not sure when it happened or why. Maybe it was during the summer when he and his sister were fighting all day (and night). Maybe it’s because he found out we were expecting baby # 4 (!!). Well, whenever it happened, what’s happened is that my little angelic O is now a mini James Dean.
Take this morning. It’s time to get ready for school and the little rebel is up and ready to rebel. After 10 minutes and tears he’s finally dressed, but getting out of the house takes another 15 minutes (after he lies down on the kitchen floor in defiance). It’s the same for most of the day, where I have to repeat myself about 100x. Bathtime? He runs away. Dinner? He won’t come to the table. Bedtime? Please put away that toy, I’m turning off the lights. His talking toy camera keeps talking and I am ignored yet again.
So you can imagine I have been at my wits end all week, and to keep myself sane, I tried to look for some positives. One good thing is that my (usually) extremely naughty 7-year-old is now starting to look like an angel (she may be putting this on given her little brother’s new rebel status). Another good thing is that having done my online research, my little rebel is actually going through what you could call another natural process of growing up. And that other than the “busy” points of the day (like dressing, mealtimes, bed), he is still a very sweet boy. This, from Baby Center, made a lot of sense:
“Defiance is how your preschooler asserts himself….remember, too, that disciplining your preschooler doesn’t mean controlling him — it means teaching him to control himself. Punishment might get him to behave, but only because he’s afraid not to. It’s best for your child to do the right thing because he wants to — because it makes the day more fun for him or makes him feel good…”
So take heart parents of little rebels, and realize that this too shall pass (and hopefully your preschooler will start behaving again). For more good advice from real Moms, check out these Expert Answers.
Photo via afsilva
It’s summer vacation, and this year we decided to enjoy the time we have together as a family, without busy schedules or classes, with just the time to really do anything or nothing for once! Last summer we did no less than 3 trips, and in-between I enrolled the kids in summer classes (N did a reading workshop, O an art class), so you can imagine how the holiday went amazingly quickly and not without stress! This summer we wanted to do the opposite, so aside from a 2-week trip to visit Grandpa P, we had NOTHING else planned.
Great?! Well, yes, aside from one small detail. My kids have been fighting like cats and dogs (ok, worse!) on a daily basis. Maybe it’s because we are at our beach house and there are no other kids around, maybe its because the beach hasn’t really been swimmable so they’ve been pushed with things to do…maybe they just have serious personality clashes?….
Luckily, the truth is that siblings WILL fight and there really isn’t much we parents can do about it (other than scream and make threats). But I did find this very useful bit of advice from Positive Parenting, which said:
“Instead of reacting to the fighting, parents can choose to be pro-active. They can stay out of the fights in a nonjudgmental way. Children need to be able to settle things for themselves. Parents can teach negotiation skills later during a calm period. Teach your child to say “I’ll give you these blocks for those.” This will help them learn win-win skills that will be there when they are needed now and useful in the future.”
I’ll be giving this a try in about 30 seconds….
Photo via kafkan
I get newsletters from a lot of places, and admittedly I mostly just skim through them, only really clicking through if I find something especially interesting – like the other day! In my Fisher Price newsletter was a link to their 50th Anniversary toys, toys from my childhood.
If you grew up with Fisher Price toys like I did, I urge you to visit this page, I honestly got incredibly excited remembering the beloved toys my sister and I once played with for many happy hours. One thing I wasn’t aware of was how the “Little People” toys of today evolved from the ones we played with in the 70′s. My kids have the Christmas sets, which they love playing with, but the characters just don’t have the same appeal. They look too much like cartoons in my opinion (which I admit is completely biased!).
The first “house” I had was this yellow house you see above. I still have it in storage in my Mom’s house but sadly it’s pretty war torn with the pieces all disappeared – boo hoo. Fisher Price now has a “50th Birthday” version, which is just a few “retro” figures in a tin which vaguely looks like the original. A poor substitute, I think! They could have at least made replicas of the original people.
Other favourites which tug at my childhood heartstrings are the Sesame Street “street”, pictured at the top of the post and the airport just above. I could go on, and go the extra mile by actually purchasing these toys on Ebay (tempting, if it weren’t for the exorbitant prices), but for now I’ll just have to be content to look wistfully at these online photos.
For more memory tripping, check out this 1977 Fisher Price catalog, which I think is meant to be a bit of a joke, but for a seventies kid like me, is another lovely walk done memory lane.