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Monday, September 28, 2015

Brain Building Basics


Brain building basics include:

1. Look- Make eye contact so you and your child are looking at each other. 

2. Chat-Talk about the things you see, hear, and do together, and explain what's happening around you.

3. Follow-Take your child's lead by responding to their sounds and actions, even before they are old enough to talk. When they do start talking, ask follow up questions like "What do you think...?" or "Why did you like that?" 

4. Stretch-Make each moment longer by building upon what your child does and says.

5. Take Turns-With sounds, words, faces and action, go back and forth to create a conversation or a game.

Check out this great new website called Vroom and sign up for their free App for Amazon Fire, Android, or Apple devices.

On your device you will receive one brain building activity a day for each child you have. These activities help spark connections in your child(ren)'s brain(s) that they need for development and future learning. 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Establishing Bedtime Routines for Children

Sleep is an essential part of our day to ensure we are healthy and ready to engage in what life has to offer.

Click on the link below for some tips on:
  • Establishing a specific bedtime and a bedtime routine
  • Helping your child feel comfortable for bedtime 
  • Ensuring that your child is safe while sleeping alone
  • Helping your child become more independent in sleep

Below is a Sleep Guidelines Chart for Different Ages of Children

Thursday, July 30, 2015

7 More Easy Ways to Be a Fantastic Parent (Six Part Series-6/6)

Health Advice All Parents Should Follow

1. Get your children vaccinated. Outbreaks of measles and other diseases still occur in our country and throughout the world. 

2. Protect that smile. Encouraging your child to brush twice a day with a dab of fluoride toothpaste will guard against cavities.

3. Be vigilant about safety. Child proof your home thoroughly, and never leave a child under 5 in the tub alone. Make sure car seats are installed correctly, and insist that your child wear a helmet when riding his bike or scooter. 

4. Listen to the doc. If your pediatrician thinks your child's fever is caused by a virus, don't push for antibiotics. The best medicine may be rest, lots of fluids, and a little TLC. Overprescribing antibiotics can cause medical problems for your child and increase the chances of creating superbugs that resist treatment. 

5. Keep sunblock next to your child's toothpaste. Apply it every day as part of the morning routine. It'll become as natural as brushing her teeth. 

6. Put your baby to bed drowsy but still awake. This helps your child learn to soothe himself to sleep and prevents bedtime problems down the line. 

7. Know when to toilet train. Look for these two signs that your child is ready to use the potty: He senses the urge to pee and poop (this is different from knowing that he's already gone), and he asks for a diaper change. 

Easy Ways to Be a Fantastic Parent

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

7 More Easy Ways to Be a Fantastic Parent (Six Part Series-5/6)

Always Say "I Love You" 

1. Love your children equally, but treat them uniquely. They're individuals. 

2. Say "I love you" whenever you feel it, even it's 743 times  a day. You simply cannot spoil a child with too many mushy words of affection and too many smooches. Not possible. 

3. Keep in mind what grandmas always say. Children are not yours; they are only lent to you for a time. In those fleeting years, do your best to help them grow up to be good people. 

4. Savor the moments. Yes, parenthood is the most exhausting job on the planet. Yes, your house is a mess, the laundry's piled up, and the dog needs to be walked. But your child just laughed. Enjoy it now--it will be over far too fast. 

Boost Brainpower & Physical Activity

5. Teach your baby to sign. Just because a child can't talk doesn't mean there isn't lots that she'd like to say. Simple signs can help you know what she needs and even how she feels well before she has the words to tell you--a great way to reduce frustration.

6. Keep the tube in the family room. Research has repeatedly shown that children with a TV in their bedroom weigh more, sleep less, and have lower grades and poorer social skills.

7. Get children moving. The latest research shows that brain development in young children may be linked to their activity level. Place your baby on her tummy several times during the day, let your toddler walk instead of ride in their stroller, and create opportunities for your older child to get plenty of exercise. 

Easy Ways to Be a Fantastic Parent

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

9 More Easy Ways to Be a Fantastic Parent (Six Part Series-4/6)

Raise Grateful Children 

1. Show your child how to become a responsible citizen. Find ways to help others all year. Children gain a sense of self-worth by volunteering in the community.

2. Don't raise a spoiled child. Keep this thought in mind: Every child is a treasure, but no child is the center of the universe. Teach him accordingly.

3. Talk about what it means to be a good person. Start early: When you read bedtime stories, for example, ask your toddler whether characters are being mean or nice and explore why. 

4. Explain to your children why values are important. The simple answer: When you're kind, generous, honest, and respectful, you make the people around you feel good. More important, you feel good about yourself. 

5. Set up a "gratitude circle" every night at dinner. Go around the table and take turns talking about the various people who were generous and kind to each of you that day. It may sound corny, but it makes everyone feel good. 

Don't Stress About Dinner

6. Serve a food again and again. If your child rejects a new dish, don't give up hope. You may have to offer it another six, eight, or even 10 times before he eats it and decides he likes it. 

7. Avoid food fights. A healthy child instinctively knows how much to eat. If he refuses to finish whatever food is on his plate, just let it go. He won't starve. 

8. Eat at least one meal as a family each day. Sitting down at the table together is a relaxed way for everyone to connect--a time to share happy news, talk about the day, or tell a silly joke. It also helps your kids develop healthy eating habits. 

9. Let your children place an order. Once a week, allow your children to choose what's for dinner and cook it for them. 

Resources: Easy Ways to be a Fantastic Parent

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

8 More Easy Ways to Be a Fantastic Parent (Six Part Series-3/6)

Trust Yourself 

1. Give yourself a break. Hitting the drive-through when you're too tired to cook doesn't make you a bad parent.

2. Trust your mommy gut. No one knows your child better than you. Follow your instincts when it comes to his health and well-being. If you think something's wrong, chances are you're right.

3. Just say "No." Resist the urge to take on extra obligations at the office or become the Volunteer Queen at your child's school. You will never, ever regret spending more time with your children.

4. Don't accept disrespect from your child. Never allow her to be rude or say hurtful things to you or anyone else. If she does, tell her firmly that you will not tolerate any form of disrespect.

5. Pass along your plan. Mobilize the other caregivers in your child's life--your spouse, grandparents, daycare worker, babysitter--to help reinforce the values and the behavior you want to instill. This includes everything from saying thank you and being kind to not whining.

Don't Forget to Teach Social Skills

6. Ask your children three "you" questions every day. The art of conversation is an important social skill, but parents often neglect to teach it. Get a kid going with questions like, "Did you have fun at school?"; "What did you do at the party you went to?"; or "Where do you want to go tomorrow afternoon?"

7. Teach children this bravery trick. Tell them to always notice the color of a person's eyes. Making eye contact will help a hesitant child appear more confident and will help any kid to be more assertive and less likely to be picked on.

8. Acknowledge your children's strong emotions. When your child's meltdown is over, ask him, "How did that feel?" and "What do you think would make it better?" Then listen to him. He'll recover from a tantrum more easily if you let him talk it out. 

Resources: Easy Ways to Be a Fantastic Parent

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

9 More Easy Ways to Be a Fantastic Parent (Six Part Series-2/6)

Be a Good Role Model 

1. Be the role model your children deserve.
Children learn by watching their parents. Modeling appropriate, respectful, good behavior works much better than telling them what to do. 

2. Fess up when you blow it.
This is the best way to show your child how and when she should apologize.

3. Live a little greener.
Show your kids how easy it is to care for the environment. Waste less, recycle, reuse, and conserve each day. Spend an afternoon picking up trash around the neighborhood. 

4. Always tell the truth. 
It's how you want your child to behave, right? 

5. Kiss and hug your spouse or partner in front of the children. 
Your partnership is the only example your child has of what an intimate relationship looks, feels, and sounds like. So it's your job to set a great standard.

6. Respect parenting differences.
Support your partner's basic approach to raising children--unless it's way out of line. Criticizing or arguing with your partner will do more harm to your relationship and your child's sense of security than if you accept standards that are different from your own. 

Know the Best Ways to Praise

7. Give appropriate praise.
Instead of simply saying, "You're great," try to be specific about what your child did to deserve the positive feedback. You might say, "Waiting until I was off the phone to ask for cookies was hard, and I really liked your patience." 

8. Cheer the good stuff.
When you notice your child doing something helpful or nice, let him know how you feel. It's a great way to reinforce good behavior so he's more likely to keep doing it.

9. Gossip about your children.
Fact: What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly. Make praise more effective be letting your child "catch" you whispering a compliment about him to Grandma, Dad, or even his teddy.