A child may shoplift for any number of reasons -- to get attention, fit in, copy her friend’s behavior or get a thrill. Regardless of why she chooses to do so, she needs to know this behavior is wrong and must stop. If you believe your child is participating in this risky behavior, you should look for some telltale signs and address the issue immediately.
Whether your youngsters spend more time engaged in screaming matches than they spend in sibling harmony, or they’ve just gotten a little lazy when it comes to helping each other out, you can use a variety of simple tactics and lessons to improve their relationship. Help your kids to cooperate, appreciate one another and learn the value and satisfaction that comes from doing kind things for each other. And hopefully they’ll be sharing the TV remote and helping each other with homework and other tasks before you know it.
If your child is just starting out in the world of modeling, one of the most important considerations is putting together a portfolio of photos to showcase her personality and features. High-quality, tasteful photographs are essential to her modeling success, and finding the photographer who can bring out her best is essential to creating these great portfolio shots that agents and agencies want to see. You can jump-start her modeling career without breaking the bank by choosing wisely.
If you have any doubt about who the father of your baby is, you should get to the bottom of this issue as soon as you can. An official paternity DNA test is needed for accurate results. Establishing your baby’s paternity not only helps fill out his family tree, it also allows you to put the correct father on the birth certificate, collect child support and potentially qualify your child for Social Security, insurance benefits, inheritance rights, veterans’ benefits and other types of benefits from the father.
If asked if you love your children, the answer is most certainly a resounding "Yes, of course." However, love means different things to different people, and the form in which you communicate love sends different messages to your child about his personal worth. What he learns from his relationship with you is a defining influence on the kind of adult he grows up to be. When you love your child unconditionally, you help him develop a healthy sense of independence, joy, imagination, contentment, and the ability to give and receive love, says Richard Cohen, vice president of ChildTime Learning Centers.
If it seems like the holidays are taken over by presents, wish lists and decorating, it’s time to get back to the basics: teaching your children the true meaning of the holidays. “While parents are focusing on this year round, the holidays are a major built-in opportunity for parents to help children develop character and values,” says Rachel Robertson, director of education and development at Bright Horizons Family Solutions. “Receiving gifts has no long-term impact on a child’s development, but contributing to others and learning about giving and selflessness does.”
Your child has expressed interest in swimming and you are searching for a program that suits his needs and interests. It is a perfect sport to help your child get in shape, requires very little equipment and has minimal chances of injury. It is equally fun and engaging for both boys and girls, and is an activity that can be used for exercise and enjoyment for a lifetime. It can also be a lifesaving skill.
You want your children to love each other and develop deep, lasting relationships. They seem to be more concerned about arguing over whose turn it is to pick the movie or who's the smartest. Although their fights might make you want to tear your hair out now, teaching them to get along with each other and overcome disagreements will help them have a strong relationship with each other. It will also help them form friendships with people outside of the family.
A chore chart can be an effective communication tool that will help to keep your child apprised of what he is expected to do to help out on a regular basis. It can help to keep the house tidy and organized, and provide your child with a visual reminder of what he has accomplished, too. However, to make your chore chart a success, invest a bit of time in planning and family discussion before you post it on the fridge.
“A mother’s work is never done.” The adage never feels more real than when you are trying to manage your time well while caring for small children. From cleaning the house to turning in your company proposal on time, organizing your day is no small task. It is possible for moms to learn how to balance taking care of the house, nurturing young lives and handling outside responsibilities while still taking care of themselves.
Having an only child does not necessarily sentence him to a life of perpetual loneliness or whining to get everything he wants. While a parent can worry that Christmas morning is not as special without siblings to share it, an only child can contentedly celebrate special holiday moments with friends, cousins and parents. Keeping the wonder and magic of the season alive is a sure way to give your only child a holiday to remember.
Parents sometimes feel like anything their child does should be public information, but guiding a child into adulthood requires allowing privacy within safe, age-appropriate boundaries. Even the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child states that every child has a right to privacy, offering protection of a child’s private and family life. The key is finding a balance of mutual respect and trust.
Juggling a baby and college is no easy task. Making it work requires organization, dedication and flexibility. However, if you manage to balance a baby and college, you will likely go on to reap the benefits, including a greater sense of independence and achievement for you and a more secure future for both you and your child.
Laughter, play and imagination come easily for children, but parents often get stuck in the serious adult responsibilities of life. When you are too serious, you'll miss out on all those opportunities to play and bond with your child. Of course your child needs structure and guidance to learn discipline and right from wrong. Being a fun parent doesn't mean giving up those responsibilities. By thinking like a child and finding opportunities to play and laugh, you can create memories you and your child will cherish.
The bonding siblings experience by sharing a room is often overshadowed by the disagreements on things like sharing the space, privacy and cleaning. Some bickering is bound to happen, but teaching your kids to share the space can help keep the peace. Setting boundaries, teaching communication skills and giving each child ownership in the room are all components of helping kids live together in a shared space. With consistency and learning opportunities, your kids can navigate the differences that occur when sharing a room.
When she was little, your child wanted nothing more than to be near you, but as she nears adolescence, she may want more independence. Establishing a curfew can get her in the habit of following house rules and getting home on time when she's a teen and is even more independent. A curfew helps her develop responsibility, whether she goes to a friend's house or is just hanging around the neighborhood. Setting a curfew that works with your family's needs and your child's personality gives her some freedom while still keeping her safe.
Saying "No" can be difficult for a parent, either because you don't want to be perceived as heavy-handed and restrictive or because you just don't want to get into an argument with your child each time he asks for anything. It may be easier to give in than to fight, but doing so will only lead to escalating demands and eventually into situations that might be downright dangerous. Dr. David Walsh, author of "No: Why Kids--of All Ages--Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It," reminds us that saying no is actually an important way of teaching children…
Vegetables may not be at the top of your child's list of favorite foods, but they are an important part of a healthy diet and essential for proper growth. In a CNN article titled "Ten Ways to Get Kids to Eat Their Veggies," CNN Senior Medical Producer Elizabeth Cohen reports that many children do not meet government recommendations for vegetable consumption, according to a 2009 study by Ohio State University researchers. Parents can follow some quick tips to encourage their kids to eat veggies.
Every parent makes mistakes from time to time -- even the ones who have years of experience. Luckily, making a mistake can become a teachable moment if handled properly. Developmental psychologist Marilyn Price-Mitchell, on the Psychology Today's website, recommends that parents should help their children learn how to deal with mistakes by disclosing their own slip-ups. So, serve yourself up a big slice of humble pie the next time you make a mistake, and teach your child an important life lesson in the process.
While brushing her teeth, loading the dishwasher and putting her laundry away might not top your child's list of favorite pastimes, regular responsibilities can help to develop your child’s sense of competency and self-esteem. A to-do chart can help her to keep up with all of her daily tasks -- no constant nagging required -- and a creative and decorative one can make staying on track a little more fun.
Whether you're returning to work after maternity leave or re-entering the workforce after a some time at home with your child, you want to ensure your little one is well cared for when you're at work. Choosing a reliable and trustworthy daycare center can ease any anxiety you might have about leaving your child. With the right research, you can discover a daycare provider that enriches, encourages and supports your child every day.
Parenting can be one of life's most rewarding pursuits. It can bring great joy into life, but it can also be challenging and overwhelming. Because every child and family situation is unique, it can be hard to know the best thing to do in every parenting situation. While there is no magic formula for perfect parenting, there are certain traits and behaviors that successful parents share. Whether your children are toddlers or teens, implementing these principles will create a strong foundation for achieving your goal of being a good parent.
Lost shoes, cold lunch preparation, uncooperative kids -- the morning routine can feel like a circus that puts every ounce of your patience to the test. Running short on time is often a problem that leads to frantic scrambling to get everyone out the door. Preparation the night before and coming up with a routine you can keep helps you stay on track in the morning. By taking control of the morning madness, you can reduce your stress and the stress you put on your kids by rushing them.
Test taking is one of the activities in school that causes many children stress. For some it's just a few butterflies in the stomach, a positive form of stress that prepares the child to act. But for other, it's a negative form of stress that comes from feeling incapable or overwhelmed. As the Johns Hopkins School of Education's website explains: The chaotic heart rate patterns brought on by negative stress cause tumultuous activity in the brain, which negatively impacts how information is processed. This process compromises the ability to problem solve on a test. Stress also inhibits working memory by…
Raising a family of three or more children can give parents cause to worry about the effects of "middle child syndrome." Dr. Kevin Leman, author of “The Birth Order Book,” points out that birth order can influence a child’s personality, self-confidence and aspirations. Middle children often feel pressured by their siblings’ accomplishments and feel like they need to compete for their parents’ attention. It’s not all bad in the middle, though; middle kids are often more flexible, laid-back and independent than their brothers and sisters.
Death touches everyone at some point, whether it’s the death of a pet, a relative, a friend or classmate. Parents may wish to shelter their children from the pain of loss, but young people must learn to cope with death. You can help your kids deal with the loss of a loved one by providing age-appropriate information, encouraging them to express their feelings and seeking professional help for them if needed.
Whether the school library has suffered from funding cuts or the same books have graced its shelves for quite some time, you can rekindle a love for reading with a no-cost book swap for all of the students at your child’s school. Work together with your school’s administrative staff and get your child involved in the project to encourage her creative side and her love of reading, too.
It is possible to balance work and family life, but as with many things, you must have patience and put in the right effort. Plan your schedule so you can spend quality time with your little one every day. "Tuning in" to your child's interests and feelings helps build a tighter bond between you.
With so many conflicting spiritual and religious opinions in the world today, it may be hard for your teen to decide which road to take. You can be the number one spiritual teacher in your teenager’s life by demonstrating and guiding the way. Although you can’t force him into following your beliefs, you can give him a healthy start and trust him to make his own decisions from there.
If your child has discovered a passion for hockey, he might be dreaming of making the school team or city league or even becoming a pro hockey player someday. To accomplish those dreams, however, your child needs to become a good hockey player, and that is only accomplished with a lot of practice and a certain amount of natural aptitude. A parent can't make his child be a good hockey player. That is up to the child. Sometimes a parent wants a child to play a certain sport because the parent is living vicariously through the child. If your child…
Many pushy moms don't realize they're being pushy -- they feel they're simply acting out of love. Pushy moms often keep their eyes not on the child but on the prize. "My child may not be happy now," they say, "but he'll thank me in the long run." However, as a parent, your child's guaranteed present happiness should be more important as the future chance of success.
In the younger grades, teachers often give children plenty of support when it comes to long-term projects. They may break the project into small steps, give plenty of spread-out deadlines, and keep on top of students to complete each step. When children first encounter a long-term task with no given structure, they may not know where to begin. Planning is an executive skill all children need to learn in order to succeed -- in school, in the workplace and in life.
Busy households need all the help they can get. Cooking meals, cleaning, doing laundry, mowing grass, hauling out the garbage and caring for pets are just a few of the many tasks involved in maintaining a home. Parents who encourage their children to help around the house are preparing them for life as independent adults. They're also teaching them the value of pitching in and contributing to the well-being of the group. Children's self-esteem blossoms when they know they can provide real service to other people, starting with their families.
Children are impressionable beings, and they tend to adopt the language of those around them as an acceptable form of communication. When you swear in front of your children, you run the risk of them picking up your bad habit. Fortunately, once you've realized you need to stop swearing in front of your kids, you've won part of the battle. However, winning the rest of the battle against a bad language habit takes a strategic plan of action and a committed attitude.
In many ways, parenting is an unparalleled adventure. From changing diapers to picking out a prom dress, parenting is time- and resource-consuming, even in an ideal situation. Teen parents, often with minimal financial resources and insufficient education, enter this challenge with hurdles beyond the norm. Many teen pregnancy programs focus on the mother and her needs, but mentoring the father, while challenging, is also critical to increasing the father's involvement and building strong families.
Aggression involves actions that injure another person, either physically or emotionally. Aggressive behavior between children can cause concern when you witness it. If your child exhibits aggressive behavior toward others, redirection might involve helping your child move past the incident or helping him manage his own behavior. As your child gradually learns limits, he will become more adept at the self-control necessary to prevent harmful outbursts.
Your youngster is old enough now to sit in a regular chair at a restaurant. Gone are all the tools that were available as a toddler -- no high chair, booster, bib or accommodating server to pick up after your child. It is time for him to learn how to conduct himself in a public venue, so it is up to you to prepare him well for this experience.
As a parent, concerns about your child’s health and safety likely dominate your thoughts. Not only are you responsible for taking care of an incredible little being entrusted to your care, you are also charged with teaching her how to rely on you less and less each day. It’s only natural to want to do things for her, but sometimes doing too much for her compromises her ability to become independent -- which is, of course, her major job in life.
Working from home may sound like a dream come true to many people, but in reality, it's more of a juggling act. Issues concerning time management, division of labor and availability are often concerns for the work-at-home parent. When considering working from home, it is important to look at the reality of what working from home entails. In some cases, working from home may prove to be more difficult than going into an office every day.
You're used to keeping track of when bills are due, when doctors' appointments are scheduled and what meetings you have to attend, but getting your child to keep similar track of her own assignments and deadlines can be a challenge. Work with your child, and her teachers as needed, to develop a workable system she can use to take care of this important responsibility.
You worked all day, then spent the evening running the kids to and from their activities, somehow managing to feed them and get homework done in between. Everyone is finally settled in for the evening, and the last thing you want to think about is tackling household chores. But if you don't do a few things, you'll be facing a daunting mountain of laundry and lots of heavy-duty cleaning by the weekend. So establish a daily chore routine for yourself -- and family members -- to keep household chaos to a minimum and allow you to relax without feeling guilty.
From a very young age, children experiment with ways to get their parents' attention, as well as new ways to express themselves and assert their growing independence. Kids may use profanity to see what type of reaction it elicits or because they don't yet have the language skills to express anger or frustration. Halt your children's use of bad language by not using it yourself, teaching them how to appropriately express themselves and explaining why bad language is not acceptable for your family.
Children sometimes use back talk as a way to get your attention, but young kids also talk rudely when words fail to convey their feelings or emotions, according to Dr. Judith A. Myers-Wells, human development specialist and instructor at Purdue University. Teaching your children to respect you takes effort by both you and your kids. The respect project begins in early childhood with firm guidance from you and praise for your child's positive behavior in following directions and respecting you. Some simple steps help to develop a tradition of respect, and eliminate back talk, in your family.
You wrack your brain for new play ideas that can be interactive, educational and fun all at the same time. If your kids are like most, they will likely enjoy playing "restaurant" with you. With a few play items and a little creativity, you can make this activity both fun and educational for your children.
Situations that evoke anger in children are opportunities in which parents can guide children to respond appropriately. At the same time, the intimate instruction strengthens the parent-child bond. When dealing with a child who’s angry, parents have to appropriately regulate their own emotions first.
Most children threaten to run away at some point in their lives, but much to a parent's dismay some will actually take the plunge and do it. No doubt you are overwhelmed with emotions like fear and anger, and it's easy to feel lost and out of control when your child is missing. There are resources to which you can turn in this time of need, and actions you can take that will help bring your child home.
Surely your baby is one of the cutest in the world and worthy of winning the next big baby photo contest. While you and every other parent out there likely feels the same way, your baby is precious and beautiful. His cute little feet, sparkly eyes and chubby cheeks could very well win a contest. Other than the logistics of entering the contest, which most anyone can do, it takes a good photograph that captures your child's personality and beauty to win.
A fire safety plan teaches your kids how to respond if there is a fire in your home. Children who know how to react when a fire breaks out have a better chance of getting out safely. Even kids as young as 3 years old can follow a fire safety plan as long as they get plenty of practice, points out the U.S. Fire Administration. Being prepared for a fire emergency is key to preventing injury and death.
Placing your child in front of a kid-friendly television program while you work around the house or prepare dinner might seem like a better option than hiring a babysitter. However, the effects of excessive television when young can be significant. Children who watch a lot of television are more likely to be overweight, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP recommends that children under the age of 2 watch no television daily and that older kids watch no more than two hours of television a day, supervised by their parents.
There are several reasons why a child may develop a fever. He may become feverish while teething, after immunizations or as a result of illness. Fevers by themselves are not a cause for concern as they serve as an indicator that something is wrong. If your child is under 3 months of age and develops a fever, you should contact your healthcare provider. You can treat your older infant or child at home by keeping him comfortable until the fever passes.
When you get the news that your child needs to spend time in the hospital, you will undoubtedly have your own concerns, but it's important not to overlook your child's emotions during this stressful time. Your child's age affects how he understands and deals with a hospital stay, but most children have the same general concerns. While you want to protect him from unnecessary worry, you should also be direct and answer any concerns or questions he may have.
The leading cause of death in children is injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common childhood injuries include drowning, suffocation, falls, car accidents, poisoning and fire. As primary caregivers, parents play a crucial part in preventing those injuries. Changing the environment to make it safer and teaching your child how to act safely are two primary ways to keep your child healthy and injury-free.
As of 2012, nearly one-third of American children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Many parents, hearing reports of the potential health ramifications of child and adult obesity, purchase jungle gyms and other playground equipment to give their brood a safe and fun way to get some exercise to fend off this problem. Choosing the right jungle gym involves several considerations to be sure that it is practical, safe and fun for enough time to be worth the investment.
If your child is having trouble seeing, he may or may not tell you what he's experiencing. Young children, in particular, might not have the words to explain that they can't see well. If eye problems run in your family or if you or your partner wear glasses or corrective lenses, your child is likely have similar problems as she gets older. Watch for telltale signs to help you identify a vision problem and get her the corrective lenses she needs.
The first born and the baby of the family tend to get special treatment, but that doesn't mean that the middle child is loved any less, Kevin Leman notes in his book "The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are." If your middle child perceives your love differently than you truly feel, find time to make him feel special. When your middle child gets plenty of parental attention, he'll feel special and loved rather than left out, as can happen for many middle children, Leman reports.
While no parent ever wants to lie to her child, there may be times you have to get a bit creative in order to get your little one to take the medicine that she needs. Young children may not fully understand why taking medicine is so important and they may be afraid to take it if it tastes bad. It's a struggle that nearly every parent is faced with at one time or another.
Swimming in the ocean isn't for everyone. The waves, swirling sand underfoot and wildlife swimming around, as well as the inevitable mouthful of salt water, is enough to keep plenty of people -- adults and children alike -- on dry land. If you are comfortable swimming in the ocean, and your kids know how to swim, then taking them in the ocean probably seems like fun. By introducing your children to the ocean slowly, and not forcing them to do something they are uncomfortable with, you can help them develop a love of the sea.
Puberty and related topics are among the most dreaded topics of conversation for parents, but it's your responsibility to educate your child and prepare her for what's to come. Imagine the distress of your daughter starting her menstrual period without being prepared for it. Sit your daughter down and have a conversation, even if you know it will be unpleasant or uncomfortable. You'll both be glad you did when the big day comes and your daughter gets her first period.
It is quite devastating to see a positive pregnancy test result only to miscarry the baby you were so ecstatic about. In addition to the physical symptoms of losing a pregnancy, you'll also feel a range of emotions in the days and weeks that follow. Taking care of yourself is the best way to recover from a miscarriage, but also understand that every women recovers at her own pace and what works for another woman might not work for you.
Whether it’s completing a homework assignment or getting ready for school, children with ADHD often have problems following directions. Of course, part of this is a concentration problem. According to Barbara Fisher, author of “Attention Deficit Disorder: Practical Coping Mechanisms,” the length of some directions often puts off children with the disorder, who think in a more tangible, step-by-step process. By breaking up the directions into a set of clear steps and rewarding each step, you help your child be more willing to move through with all the directions. For short-term directions, such as completing a homework assignment, you have…
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it will cost approximately $241,080 to raise a child who was born in 2012 through age 17 – and this doesn’t even include the cost of college. Sure, this figure is enough to instill panic in even the most practical of parents. To prepare for the ever-growing costs associated with raising your child, you’ll want to start saving now – long before he understands the value of a dollar.
A child’s fever can be frightening; you might wake up in the night to discover that your child is flushed, sweating and hot to the touch. In healthy children, a fever isn’t necessarily an indicator of something serious, according to KidsHealth.org. Fevers typically mean that your child’s body is fighting an infection. However, take appropriate steps to manage the fever and make your child feel more comfortable. If conditions worsen, you might need to make a doctor’s visit.
According to psychologist John Gottman, author of the book “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child,” a child can understand the meaning behind the phrase “I’m sorry” from as early as 4. Parents can take advantage of this fact by apologizing for their own mistakes, thereby showing children the importance of owning up to mistakes and showing others that you wish to be forgiven. But apologizing isn’t as easy as just saying “I’m sorry” and hoping things will be forgotten; a proper apology comes with an explanation.
Children, being childish, have natural reasons for acting inappropriately. But parents, being responsible for preparing children for entering society, sometimes have to intervene. By identifying frequent acts of misbehavior and explaining the roots behind such behavior, you set the stage for limit-setting. The key to setting limits is to make your expectations and the consequences for breaking them clear. Be sure to get a summary from your child to ensure understanding.
Your child loves performing in front of an audience. She may be very talented and have had years of voice and drama lessons. Auditions will be part of her life if she is truly serious about pursuing her craft and she will need to be thoroughly prepared to effectively compete against others.
Just like adults, babies can have different kinds of hair, ranging from fine and wispy to thick and curly. If your baby has a head of curly hair, tangles may be a particular problem. You will probably find that your little one doesn’t share your priorities and couldn’t care less whether her hair looks neat and pretty. Do your best to manage your baby’s curly locks anyway.
Running a family is hard work -- holding down a job, paying bills, taking care of household needs, preparing meals and chauffeuring children to their various activities can be energy-sapping. Although you already know your kids love you, you can boost your cool factor by getting to know more about their genuine interests. The coolest dads are self-confident, though, so don’t get overly caught up in establishing your hipster credentials. Be confident, have fun and know that fatherly coolness will follow.
Routines can help children stay focused, follow tasks through to completion and, ultimately, succeed in school and in life. In addition, routines provide security and stability that allow kids to feel safe and better prepare them to handle stress. Establishing routines takes planning, organization and time. With a good strategy, loads of patience and the right tools, you and your children can enjoy all the benefits of an organized lifestyle.
Dealing with an energetic child is like trying to avoid an oncoming tornado. You want to get out of its path of destruction. Having an energetic child can be tiring and sometimes frustrating for a parent, especially if your energy level does not match the child's. It is important to focus the little one's energy into productive endeavors to stay "one step ahead" of him. You do not want to be so overwhelmed that you dread visiting quiet places where your child is expected to sit still, since all eyes will be on you if he doesn't. You also don't…
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only one to two hours of media time per day for children older than 2. If you want to limit your child’s screen time, you can approach this issue in a variety of ways. At first, your child may be resistant to a change in his electronically charged habits, but, in the long run, you will be glad you got him unplugged and interested in other activities.
Whether it's a family photo, a photo shoot for your child's modeling career or a special occasion such as a wedding, long hours spent preparing to be photographed and actually being photographed can wear on even the most patient of children. When your child is bored, frustrated or tired, the photos won't turn out as nicely as if he was in a good mood. Fortunately, you can encourage a good mood and a successful photo shoot with a bit of preparation and ingenuity.
Participating in after-school activities can have a profound impact on a child's life overall. After-school activities help children develop social skills and allow them to build strong supportive relationships with adults other than their parents, according to Colorado State University Extension. Participation in after-school activities can also improve children's academic performance and self-esteem. With all the benefits of after-school activities comes a risk of being too involved and allowing school to become a second priority. Parents should take steps to help keep a sufficient balance between school and after-school activities for their children.
Kindergarten is the logical progression after finishing preschool, but your child may need a little help managing the transition from preschooler to grade school student. The move often means a new school, different classmates and higher expectations. Even if your child is developmentally ready for kindergarten, she may feel nervous if she doesn't know what to expect. Polishing up her skills and helping her understand what to expect eases the transition so she's ready when the first day of kindergarten arrives.
Although most children wake early in the morning, sometimes waking times can become a little extreme. If the days in your household are starting too early, it might be time for some adjustments to your kids’ sleep schedules. It’s probably not realistic to expect your little ones to sleep until mid-morning, but with a little gentle coaxing, you should be able to push back waking times a bit.
Sharing parents and living together can set siblings up for some quarrelsome years. Developing empathy and outgoing concern for others often helps siblings get along more peacefully and can help diffuse problems when they do occur. With encouragement from you, your kids can also deliver sincere apologies to each other to mend differences. Apologizing requires humility, a valuable social skill.
Phthalates belong to a family of chemicals found in plastics, including many children's toys. The website of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences states that phthalates are hormone disruptors that can interfere with reproductive development, speed the onset of puberty and lower testosterone levels and sperm count. Phthalates can be absorbed by the skin, so even touching toys that contain phthalates can put children at risk. Parents can reduce their children's exposure to phthalates by staying away from toys that are likely to have them.
Taking your kids to the movie theater is fun, but can be quite expensive by the time you add up the cost of purchasing the tickets, sodas and snacks for each family member. Instead, consider hosting a family movie night in your home for the kids. You can watch the movie with your children as a family, or invite other kids from the neighborhood.
If the thought of taking your children to a restaurant makes you want to weep, you need to lay down the law. Children are perfectly capable of acting like human beings while eating a meal in a restaurant, but it's up to you as the parent to make that happen. Teach your children what your expectations are and plan ahead to keep them entertained and occupied. Doing so will allow you take your children out to eat, as well as have a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
Grocery shopping isn't how most parents would want to spend their time, especially if they have to take their kids with them. Children don't like grocery shopping because it's boring to wander up and down aisles filled with food instead of more interesting things, such as toys. You can, however, make your grocery shopping trip more enjoyable for everyone if you plan ahead and have games and activities to keep your kids busy.
Storytelling is universal. Telling stories to your children helps them gain an understanding of human nature, promotes language skills like grammar and syntax, can teach them about their culture and family history, and can even make them eager to go to bed each night just to listen. Storytelling, even when your own children are your primary audience, is an art form. It includes giving a narrative account of an event, re-telling a joke or telling a tale. Good storytelling in all cases includes some basic elements. Start with an attention getter, keep the narrative flowing, and avoid digressions. Even when…
Gangs begin recruiting members at a young age, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, so it is important that parents be aware of this trend and be able to do something about it. Once the child joins a gang, exposure to violence and other illegal activities could follow. Many gangs pressure members to commit illegal acts, drink alcohol, do drugs and engage in sexual activities. Parents should maintain awareness of the risks and do everything possible to prevent this from occurring.
About 65 percent of fireplace-related injuries occur in children under the age of 5, and another 15 percent occur in children between the ages of 5 and 10, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. A roaring fire turns your home into a warm and cozy place, but it can pose serious hazards to your children. If you have a fireplace, take time to childproof it, as well as the area around it. This way your family can enjoy cozying up to the fire without worrying that anyone will get hurt.
Whether jumping rope or playing tag, your child may lose his footing and hit the ground face first. When your arms are full of a sobbing, bleeding child, it's easy to lose your cool, but the first rule of first aid is to stay calm. Assess your child's split lip carefully. If it's a small cut, warm soapy water and pressure should be enough to stop the bleeding. If your child has a large, deep laceration, you should go to the emergency room immediately.
Just because the vast majority of homes these days have a television doesn’t mean you have to let your child grow up glued to the screen, wasting away hours each day. Not only will unplugging the television lower your electricity bill, it will also give your child more time to explore other activities. Although the adjustment period may be bumpy, your kid will eventually realize that life does go on even after you ditch the remote.
If school mornings are currently an overwhelming ordeal, filled with shouting, frantic breakfast-guzzling, nagging, unorganized backpack-packing and temper tantrums -- all for the kids to end up at the school frazzled, and just in time for a late slip again -- it’s time for a few organizational changes to make mornings run smoother. With a little bit of planning and forethought, mornings at home can be calm and structured, making an ideal relaxed environment for your kids to start their day.
Holidays are supposed to be a joyful time, particularly for children, but many kids find them quite stressful and upsetting. If your child is exhibiting symptoms of stress such as unexplained crying, temper tantrums, or withdrawing from friends and family, it's time to let go of the notion of making each holiday "perfect." Instead, allow yourself -- and your kids -- to relax and enjoy each others company at this special time of year.
If you worry your toddler might end up lost if she ventures into her cluttered, overflowing closet, it's time to reorganize and give the closet a makeover. The task doesn't have to be an overwhelming, all-day task; just start with a blank canvas and make a few simple changes to turn the closet into an organized masterpiece.
Kids add to the household work -- all those extra shoes, toys and messes won't clean themselves up. But getting your child to take on housework isn't always easy. Assigning specific chores gives your child direction so he knows exactly what you expect. Chores teach life skills, values and a sense of value within the family structure. Giving your child age-appropriate tasks ensures the household duties are covered -- and you won't be the one doing all the work.
Children’s bath toys typically stay in the bathroom, and with the high humidity and dampness in the room, they become the perfect breeding grounds for mold. Not only does mold look gross, it can actually be hazardous to your child’s health, especially if your child suffers from allergies or asthma. Even in healthy children, mold can cause symptoms like sneezing, stuffy nose and watery eyes. And since your child’s bath toys might end up in their mouth, it’s important to clean them thoroughly at the first sign of mold growth.
The first haircut is an exciting step for parents, often commemorated with photos, video and locks of the clipped hair. Your tot may not be as excited and cooperative as you had hoped. The new experience is sometimes scary for a young child, especially if she is already nervous around strangers. Planning her first trip to the salon helps reduce the tears so your child comes out with a new hairstyle -- without you losing all of yours.
Supplementing your child's education at home gives you a chance to expand on the concepts he learns at school. At home, your child is the only student and you can take this opportunity to tailor learning to meet his needs in creative ways. You could turn almost any activity into a learning experience.
A good babysitter can be hard to find; she comes to your rescue on date night, keeps your kids safe and sound while you're away and entertains them for hours at a time. If your babysitter is one of a kind, you can show your gratitude for all she has done for your family with a gift that lets her know she’s appreciated and demonstrates how much you’ve learned about her throughout your time together.
Healthy living doesn’t come easily to anyone, and that includes kids, especially when they’re so influenced by the values of an overweight, under-moving culture. Luckily, slogans are a fun way to reach kids of all ages, from thoughts on healthy eating and exercise to positive thinking and taking care of the environment.
No parent wants to think about the house catching on fire while the children are inside, but it happens to many families each year. The U.S. Fire Administration strongly urges families to create an escape plan to follow in the event of a house fire because it can save lives and protect your family from injury. Make your escape plan, teach it to your children and practice it regularly so everyone knows what to do if you experience a house fire.
Most children enjoy a chance to splash around in the bathtub, playing with toy boats and sea creatures that squirt water. Foam toys are another entertaining activity because these toys stick to the side of the tub, opening up a whole new world of play opportunities. Skip the expensive foam toys available in stores and instead stop by your local craft store and pick up a few sheets of colored foam. In less than an hour, your child will have a brand new set of toys to play with in the bathtub.
When imagining the quintessential perfect moment between parent and baby, chances are that it's a mom you're imagining rocking her baby to sleep. But while it's true that mothers are often the main caregivers for babies, dads don't have to be completely left out of the care process. Inviting dad to help out, asking for his opinion and keeping him in the loop helps him become more involved -- and helps mom maintain her sanity.
The kitchen is a central spot in the home for meal prep and gathering, but the sharp objects, magnets, heat, cleaners and water put your baby or young child at risk for serious injury. Babyproofing a kitchen requires you to secure dangerous objects and keep your tot from getting near dangers, such as the stove. Your childproofing efforts should address your baby's immediate threats with consideration to the future when she can reach even more dangers. Securing the kitchen now keeps your tot safe for the next few years.
Dampening the toothbrush, making a quick pass over her teeth -- kids have plenty of tricks to get out of really brushing their teeth. If your child is cutting short her tooth-brushing time, she misses out on the chance to clean her teeth properly. Brushing is a key way to maintain oral health. Lecturing likely won't get her to brush her teeth any longer. Using creative and child-friendly ways to encourage her brushing habits just may make her next trip to the dentist cavity-free.
Help motivate your child to put in some extra effort at home with a chore chart that will let him keep track of every task he completes. It will also let him keep track of the amount of money he can look forward to receiving for a job well done. You can fill the chart with his regular chores and check them off as they're finished, or use the chart to keep track of chores your child does above and beyond the basic household requirements.
Your child's habit of blasting cartoons or watching movies all day long is not only annoying and disruptive -- it could also be damaging to his well-being. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, an excess of media -- which might include TV, video games, mobile devices and computers -- can lead to sleep problems, eating disorders, obesity and issues with attention. When you're deep in the fight between TV and homework, there's no easy solution, but the bottom line is, you have to be the adult and assert yourself.