When is the Right Time to Allow Children on Social Media?

Social media is so popular these days that even the youngsters have made it their favorite hangout. It is a very powerful tool and one that can impact a child positively or negatively.

With the many issues involving social networking sites in particular cyberbullying, however, parents are concerned over their influence on their young children. Some allow their kids to create accounts on the popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram while the others think it’s better not to introduce social media until their child is much older and able to handle themselves well online.

social-media-families

The minimum age requirement for a child to join Facebook is 13. Many parents agree this is an ideal age during which a child is supposedly already responsible enough to behave properly online. But this is not always the case as some sensitive kids can easily get offended when they read negative comments from friends although they may not really be directed to them. Also, there are much younger kids who have created accounts on various social networking sites without their parents’ consent. Read more…

Posted on May 30, 2014 at by Teresa Te

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When to Delegate Work and Responsibility to Children?

Responsibility is something which we give to our children gradually and in accordance with their age. Giving them too little or too much is counterproductive. The nature of task should take into consideration the physical, mental, and emotional capacity of children.

children cleaning Read more…

Posted on December 2, 2013 at by Teresa Martinez

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5 Tips to Help Children Adjust to Sleeping in Their Own Rooms

It is not uncommon for very young children to sleep with their parents. For some time, this will work both ways. Parents will have the advantage of keeping an eye on their young kids while the children get the comfort of knowing that their parents are just one bed away from them in one room. However, kids who are growing up will be needing more privacy and be accepting more responsibility in taking care of themselves.

sleeping boy

Before we go into the nuances of helping our children adjust to sleeping in their own rooms, we parents need to determine the probable causes why they don’t want to or why they refuse to. The usual reasons are based on two factors: fear and insecurity. Knowing what they are afraid of or insecure about could help us act accordingly to effectively address their concerns. When this is done, the convincing part will be a lot easier to handle. Read more…

Posted on August 19, 2013 at by Teresa Martinez

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Valuable Apps to Help Parents Discipline Kids

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.
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Posted on March 29, 2013 at by Teresa Te

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Are You a “Grown Up” Parent?

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?

Posted on August 30, 2011 at by Lara

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Quick Tips For Kids’ Injuries

bandaidLet’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

Posted on July 13, 2011 at by Lara

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Before Dollhouses Became Toys

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.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at by David

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Our Little Goth

Baby Dracula
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

Posted on October 7, 2010 at by Lara

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The Report Card

Report Card

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

Posted on June 7, 2010 at by Lara

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5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Little Ones Safe This Halloween

HalloweenParty

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

Posted on September 26, 2009 at by Lara

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