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Monday, December 15, 2014

How to Raise Responsible and Well Behaved Children

Responsible and well behaved children are taught to be this way early on. They are taught if I misbehave then I have a consequence (cause and effect).

Parents don't always promote accountability and that's when children struggle. You can promote this by:
  • Holding children accountable for not meeting their responsibilities. Being held accountable promotes a willingness to meet the responsibilities next time. 
  • Making the consequence for not meeting the responsibility less pleasant than if the child had completed the task in the first place. 
  • Six ways to teach responsibility:
    1) Start
    as early as possible in your child's life
    2) Identify responsibilities
    3) Use responsible language
    4) Use the power of example
    5) Teach and coach responsibility
    6) Use accountability
    7) Tell
    your children what you'll be doing differently. "From now on, I'm going to start to point out how we meet responsibilities around here. So, you'll have a clearer idea of how many responsibilities I meet and why I think it's important that you meet your responsibilities."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to Promote Literacy at Home

Most parents read to their children every night. Reading with your child helps with:
  • developing his/her vocabulary
  • ability to listen and comprehend
  • ability to understand the purpose of print
  • helping to set up a lifelong positive attitude towards reading 
Talking and singing with children can teach them about sounds and how sounds come together to form language. Teach your child language games and songs. It's also important to listen to your child. Here are some examples of things to try with your child: 
  • Use rhyme whenever you can. Use phrases like 'snug as a bug in a rug' or make up nonsense rhymes about things you're doing-for example, 'putting fish in the cat's dish'. 
  • Sing nursery rhymes with your child when you're at home, in the car or out and about. Children love to sing, and nursery rhymes teach your child language, rhyme, repetition and rhythm. Try rhymes like 'Baa Baa Black Sheep', 'Miss Polly had a Dolly' or the Alphabet Song. 
  • Repeat sounds your child makes, or make up sounds and see if your child can copy them. 
  • Play 'I Spy' with your child using colors. For example, 'I spy with my little eye, something that's green. What's something green I might be looking at?'
  • Talk about the sounds animals make and ask your child to copy. For example, 'Cows say moo. Can you say moo?'
  • At mealtimes, talk about the food you're preparing, what you're doing to it, how it tastes and what it looks like.
  • Talk about objects outside the house or when on an outing-for example, the rustling of leaves, or the sounds of the birds or traffic. Ask your child if she can make the sounds for wind, rain, water, airplanes, trains and cars. 
  • Tell your child stories about when you were younger, or about his family's past. You might like to act out parts of the stories with your child, or tell the story through dance. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10 Tips For Setting Good Examples

You are the most important influence on your child. You can do many things to help your children develop healthy eating habits for life. Offering a variety of foods helps children get the nutrients they need from every food group. They will also be more likely to try new foods and to like more foods. When children develop a taste for many types of foods, it's easier to plan family meals. Cook together, eat together, talk together, and make mealtime a family time!

  1. Show by example
  2. Go food shopping together
  3. Get creative in the kitchen
  4. Offer the same foods for everyone
  5. Reward with attention, not food
  6. Focus on each other at the table
  7. Listen to your child
  8. Limit screen time
  9. Encourage physical activity
  10. Be a good food role model
Click on the following link to be taken to the full article to read more:

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

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: