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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Should You Spank Your Child?

Spanking does not work! It is not necessary. Instead, children can be raised with:
  • Age-appropriate expectations
  • Limits accompanied by empathy
Children who are raised this way don't need much in the way of discipline at all, and they become self-disciplined adults. 

However, children who are spanked are more likely to exhibit
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Drug use
  • Aggression as they get older
The only positive outcome that's ever been shown from spanking is immediate compliance; however, corporal punishment is associated with long-term compliance

Corporal punishment has repeatedly been linked with nine other negative outcomes including:
  • Increased rates of aggression
  • Delinquency
  • Mental health problems
  • Problems in relationships with their parents
Large, peer-reviewed studies repeatedly show that the more children are hit, the more likely they are to hit others, including peers and siblings. As adults, they are more likely to hit their spouses. The more parents spank children for antisocial behavior, the more the antisocial behavior increases. 

"IQs of children ages 2 to 4 who were not spanked were 5 points higher four years later than the IQs of those who were spanked" (Science Daily, Research Shows Children Who Are Spanked Have Lower IQs). 

"How to control one's angry impulses is one of the things you are trying to teach your children. Spanking sabotages this teaching. Spanking guidelines usually give the warning to never spank in anger. If this guideline were to be faithfully observed 99 percent of spanking wouldn't occur, because once the parent has calmed down he or she can come up with a more appropriate method of correction."--Dr. Sears

Resource Link: Aha Parenting

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Leaving Children Unattended in a Car

Last month the parent education topic was "Keep Your Child Safe, Look Before You Lock" focusing on accidentally leaving a child in a locked car with extreme temperatures. However, we want to remind parents the dangers of intentionally leaving child/children in an unattended car while running errands.

Please do not leave your child in an unattended car even if it is just for a few minutes. Criminals look for vulnerable situations, such as this for kidnapping or car theft. Minnesota does not have a law regarding children in cars, but Minneapolis Police spokesman John  Elder says it comes down to a child-endangerment issue at the discretion of the officer. 

"If the officer feels the child is in danger, he can take the child and put them in protective custody," Elder said. Parenting coach Tina Feigal feels it's never safe to leave a child unattended in a car. 

"I really understand people think I'm just going to run in for a few seconds and I'm just going to get this one thing and it's going to be a little bit and I don't want to get this child cold or wet," Feigal said. "But, someone could come and drive that car, someone could hit that car or just the whole idea of being left in a car could be emotionally hard on a little child, they could be thinking "Where did Mommy or Daddy go?"

Feigal doesn't have a specific cut off, but recommends it is a child old enough to fend for themselves and able to get their parents in case something were to happen.

Resource Link: Leaving Children Unattended in a Car

Friday, August 15, 2014

Our New Location Celebration went great! Check out the slideshow below with some pictures from the event. Below the slideshow is a video of Dakota County Attorney, James Backstrom speaking on the importance of Early Childhood Education.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Topic of the Month (August 2014): Keep Your Child Safe, Look Before You Lock!

Hot weather is back and on average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. These deaths are preventable, and everyone in the community has a role to play in protecting our children. Here is what you can do:
  • Always make a habit of looking in the vehicle-front and back-before locking the door and walking away.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle-even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running with the air conditioning on. 
  • Place an item that is needed at your final destination in the back of the vehicle next to the child or place a stuffed animal in the driver's view to indicate that a child is in the car seat.
  • Call 911 immediately if you see a child alone in a hot vehicle. If he or she is in distress due to heat, get the child out as soon as possible and cool him or her down rapidly. 

*Don't forget pets can also die from heatstroke. It doesn't take long for a car to heat up, even with the windows cracked. It's never a good idea to leave a pet in the car!

Check out the video below and the following website link for more information:

Monday, July 7, 2014

We have moved!

We are in our new building and loving it! You can see the fun the children are having in their new rooms (with windows) and on the new playground! We will be having a New Location Celebration/Open House on Tuesday, August 12th from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Please join us!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Topic of the Month (July 2014): How Video Games Affect Young Children

Interactive video games can have a positive impact on children. They can be educational and improve manual dexterity as well as computer literacy. However, there are many negative consequences of video games for children. Children may have or become:

  • Aggressive/Violent
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Impulsiveness
  • Mood swings
  • Hyperactive
  • Sleep Disorders (avoid television and video games before sleep)
  • Eating Disorders
  • Obese
  • Addicted to video games
  • School/Academic Difficulties

Studies recommend that those younger than two years old should not be exposed to any media (television or video games). This is because they do not have the cognitive ability to make sense of the blur of shapes and colors they see on the screen. A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.
Older Toddlers through Preschool

Studies recommend that those two years old through Preschool should have a half hour of limited media time (television or video games). It is better for children to have face-to-face interaction and to stimulate their creativity and imaginations. 

School Age Children through Teens
Studies recommend school age children through teens should have a 1-2 hours of limited media time (television or video games). Guiding children toward non-media activities is a sure way to reduce their screen time. The busier they are exploring the real world, the less likely they'll resort to TV shows, video games and the computer for entertainment.
*Any video games for children should be free of violence and other adult content. Killing people or animals, high speed races with crashing cars and other such games serve no educational purpose and can only desensitize them to violence. Adults and teens should not play these games in front of children. Violent behavior is learned, often early in a child’s life.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Topic of the Month (June 2014): Summer Safety

*Heat Dangers
Don't allow your child to engage in strenuous play when the heat index tops 90. The heat index may be given as part of your local weather report.

If you're going to be out in hot weather for a while, make sure your child drinks several ounces of water beforehand. Children who are playing don't respond to their body's needs until they're in trouble. 

By the time your child complains of thirst, he could be on the brink of dehydration. Offer your child something to drink every 30 minutes while you're out, as well. 

*Sun Protection
Every sunburn a child experiences is not only painful but also raises their risk of getting skin cancer, so it's important to protect a child's delicate skin. You can do so by covering them up, using sunscreen of at least 15 SPF correctly and regularly, and only allowing them to be out in the sun at the safest times of the day (before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m.).