Happy Healthy Children
To grow healthy and strong, children should have good food, plenty of sleep, exercise, and fresh air. Children have emotional needs, too.
To be both healthy and happy, every child needs:
A set of moral standards to live by-to know the difference between right and wrong.
A belief in the human values-kindness, courage, honesty, generosity, and justice-beliefs he learns from those around him.
Friendly help in learning how to behave toward persons and things in his world. This can mean something as simple as how to treat a neighbor with kindness, or how to care for a cherished pet.
Grownups around him who show him by example how to get along with others.
Every child needs to know:
Parents who have confidence in him and his ability to do things for himself and by himself.
Limits about what he is permitted to do, and parents who will hold him to these limits.
To know it is all right to feel jealous or angry, but that he will not be allowed to hurt himself or others when he has these feelings.
Staying Calm with Kids
It's nothing to be embarrassed about. Even the most levelheaded parents lose their cool once in a while. And although every day as a parent is challenging, some days are more challenging than others.
Here are some strategies for dealing with some of those especially stressful times:
Leave-physically. Take a physical break from your children by removing yourself from the situation. Whether this means going for a long drive to sort your thoughts, or just taking a short walk to clear your head, do it. Obviously, if another adult is not home and your children are too young to stay home alone, then leaving the house is not an option. However, leaving the room is. Remember, cussing into the linen closet is better than yelling at the kids.
Leave-mentally. Take a mental break by fantasizing. Images may be anything from a candlelight bubble bath to a tropical island beach resort. The important thing is to focus on a positive image, or as they say, "your happy place."
Figure out what makes you blow. Mentally list the last five times you've yelled at your kids. Is there a pattern? Does the time before dinner drive you nuts? Is the hour before school impossible? Try to come up with some solutions to these recurrent stress times. Start laying out the kids' clothes the night before. Take showers before bedtime. Set the table for breakfast right after dinner. Do whatever it takes to get some of your sanity back.
Lower your standards. This will be difficult for perfectionists. So what if your kids' clothes don't match? If they're clean and they fit, let it go. Unless you're on your way to a formal dinner, it's probably not worth the hassle to fight it.
Keep your blood sugar up. If you're hungry, chances are you're tired and cranky as well. Be sure to eat three well-balanced meals each day and if you feel a mid-afternoon slump coming on, eat something to nip it in the bud before you pick up the kids. Try not to depend on caffeine to pick you up. Having a snack such as fruit or graham crackers will give you a longer boost of energy.
Change with the times. If your spouse is out of town for the week and you've got the Herculean task of taking care of four kids, two dogs, and a cat, give yourself room to breathe. Let the kids watch a bit more TV, order pizza two nights in a row, or let the kids sleep over at a friend's house on a school night.
Communicate with your kids. Even the youngest children can sense a change in stress levels. Whether your child is five or 15, let him know that you're having a tough time. Without raising your voice, explain that you have locked your keys in the car, broken the heel off your favorite shoe, or had a terrible day at work. Chances are your kid will sympathize and stay out of your hair for a while.
Learn to say "no." Although saying "no" to your children is sometimes necessary, it may be better at times to say "no" to events that will stress you out even more around your kids. Consider it preventive medicine. There is no reason why the PTA members can't find someone else to organize their bake sale.
Simplify your life. Get a giant wipe-off calendar for your home. Put it where everyone can reach it and highlight days that look especially busy so that everyone is aware of the possible stress levels. Schedule time alone with your spouse and with your kids as often as possible.
Do as I say, AND as I do. Set a good example for your kids. Don't buy all the junk food you like and then yell at your daughter for throwing a tantrum in the store at not getting the cookies she wants. And if your son can't go to his favorite concert because it's too expensive, don't be surprised if he complains when you buy pricey tickets to the theater. In general, be respectful of your children. Many of the bad habits they'll pick up will come from you.
Above all, though, if you do lose your cool with your kids, don't be afraid to say "I'm sorry." We all have thoughts of guilt after we yell at our child, but it is important to realize how she receives our words and actions. They are probably hurt and embarrassed, so it is important to admit that you were wrong. Offer a hug and kiss with your apology, and let your child know they are still loved. And although not every situation will be handled with grace and wisdom, acknowledging your own weaknesses is the first step in gaining control.
-©2003 Wendy Burt
Wendy Burt's second book, Work It, Girl! 101 Tips for the Hip Working Chick (May 2003, McGraw-Hill) is available in most bookstores.
A campaign group who target junk food and the way it’s marketed has produced a report marking out some of the dangers. In all it looked at the major UK TV channels and studied close to 750 adverts which were shown in prime time viewing for young people.
The findings were quite shocking to some extent, over 10% of them were promoting some sort of junk food. Ranging from fast food outlets, sweets, biscuits or other forms of fast processed food. The analysis was actually carried out by researchers from the University of Liverpool and they found that the unhealthy food accounted for about 50% of food adverts and 11% of advertising overall.
The campaign group who commissioned the study, have protested that children are being bombarded with adverts for the unhealthy food. There is a simple reason that these companies target prime time viewing and that’s because it works. Children are more likely to be seduced by these adverts and will then turn their persuasive powers towards their parents. The earlier these adverts go out the more likely the parents will succumb to demands and buy the children junk food rather than perhaps a proper meal.
The campaigners want the ban on these products to be extended to 9pm when less children will see them and they are likely to be less effective due to the later hour. It’s a reasonable request, after all there is increasing concern about our children’s health and weight. Also the current situation is simply allowing children to commercially exploited for financial gain.
In some senses just targeting TV commercials won’t solve the problem about this direct marketing to our children. Many kids spend more time on computers and the internet than watching TV in any case. Adverts in this format are much more difficult to regulate when children are watching YouTube channels or using tools to access Facebook (despite often blocks by commercial software) – see this video about how it’s done.
In this world advertising can be injected into a child’s view in any number of ways, through direct adverts, sponsorship or even product placements in games and movies.
Technical Information: UK IP address
For several years now I’ve been paying a small fortune in cable bills for hundreds of TV stations that I never watch. I had presumed though that my children were at least making use of this expense, but I recently discovered that the most watched channel on my TV was actually the two free BBC kids ones.
So after reviewing my options I decided to save myself this bill and look for alternatives to provide some entertainment for my children at a more affordable price.
I had a range of multimedia devices but the two that seemed to work best were a little device called the Roku and the WiiU my children’s favorite games console. There are lots of other devices like the Playstation and Xbox that would work just as well.
My first port of call was the Amazon service that was called Love Film but is now bundled with a membership for Amazon Prime. A free trial was on offer (which is easily cancelled) and I decided to try it out for a month. First of all the interface on the WiiU is awful, there seems to be a huge amount of lag when you select anything or press a key. There’s quite a lot of content on it but nothing that brilliant, most of the latest stuff you have to pay for though to stream. It’s probably worth a look but the interface on the WiiU put me right off as it’s a nightmare to use. If you have access on something else like your TV or Xbox perhaps it will work better – it costs about £72 a year but that it includes all the fast Amazon delivery if you buy lots from them.
Next I checked out Netflix, which worked both on my WiiU and the Roku, slightly prefer the WiiU as you can use the gamepad and screen to browse when someone is watching something else. Be warned though there are lots of different country versions of Netflix and the US one is by far the best – watch this if you want access – How to Get US Netflix.
The cost is £5.99 a month and there’s a huge amount of choice. There’s nothing absolutely new, but hundreds of complete series that you can get your moneys worth – we’ve watched loads of UK series we’d missed, Lost (all 70 odd episodes), Grimm and a load of others. There’s really an awful lot of content and lots of films from about 12 months plus – neat little system to find and recommend. Well worth the investment and I have watched more on Netflix for £5.99 than I ever did on my £69 monthly subscription to SKY TV.
It is worth investigating the different versions though, there’s loads more content on the American version and being able to switch countries is most useful – I did it by changing the DNS settings on my router using a Smart DNS service like this video shows.
Posted in Child, Family
There has been some controversy in Spain recently with regards to some ratings of popular children’s shows. For once it’s not the quality that has been questioned but more the times that these shows are being broadcast. The ratings suggest that around 600, 000 Spanish children aged from 4 years old to 12 are watching these TV programmes after 10pm on weekday evenings.
There’s many shows which are designed for younger viewers which are not even starting until 10pm, something that puts considerable pressure on parents to allow their children to stay up and watch this stuff.
Many groups have been watching how Spanish children’s TV have got later and later. It’s not just specific shows either, children’s channels are stating kids films at 9:30 pm presumably finishing fairly close to 11pm at night. This is simply too late for children in that age bracket who are unlikely to get enough sleep, wake up tired and unable to concentrate at school.
It might sound really shocking to UK parents for instance but the there are subtle reasons why this has happened in Spain. The Spanish tend to work longer days taking a break in the day, as such it fairly standard for parents to finish their working day at 7 or 8pm. This has knock on effects on evening meals and television viewing. This is why many kids TV stations air shows much later, it is certainly quite unusual and not seen much outside Spain.
Obviously the TV stations want viewers to generate advertising income, so this is one method that they can improve audiences. Parents are also likely to watch alongside their children too.
Of course there are different options available, many expats based in Spain tend to access TV stations in their native language and hence the kids shows are earlier. Also many people use on demand services run by the BBC, using methods like this link in order to access them remotely.
However all of Spain’s shows tend to be later even the adult versions with 90% of the country’s highest rated shows finishing after 11:30pm which is considerably later than in any other European country. IT is said that as a consequence the Spanish have an average of 53 minutes less sleep than the Europe average. Many are concerned about this statistic especially at a time of economic crisis when productivity is a key concern.
Many hope that over the next few years that improvements are made to the availability of digital channels which are popular in many other countries. This also allows for multiple screenings which could allow for more flexibility in viewing times. As mentioned other channels are available over the internet and many people access the BBC in Spain for example just by connecting via their computers and a proxy to hide their location.
There’s an on-going argument about the consequences of television on kids. It may arouse, instruct and amuse. If parents are discerning about how much they see and what their child watches, you’ll find nothing too dangerous about Television. Even online TV can be accessible very easily – see this link. On the flip side, some specialists state that any kids under 2 should not see any television. They believe that it hinders a kid’s progress and improvement in lots of ways.
- Kids can learn about letters, numbers, colors and designs by observing quality educational programmes.
- Kids can find out about etiquette and social interaction on educational programmes and through quality dramas.
- For most parents of young kids, each day at home there is a lot of time to fill. On occasion a recognizable or proper film or programme can supply a moment of peace for both parent and kid.
- Kids appreciate the familiarity of a film or show they’ve saw several times as much while they like to see the same reading books again and again.
- Many movies and exhibits have a moral narrative, and this may occasionally provide a helpful means for parents to introduce moral themes and thoughts to their children’s lives.
- Quite frequently a film or show can supply the inspiration for imaginative play and games away from the TELEVISION. A kid might keep on with this particular scene in their playtime and appreciate reenacting a popular scene or character from a film.
- TELEVISION and media is really a path in this era. It’ll help them take part in cultural and social activities and conversations within their informative lives and developing social.
- Kids under 2 can be adversely influenced by video. It can stunt their mental and social growth.
- Way too many hours before a TELEVISION can keep children from socializing with their siblings members and family.
- An excessive amount of TELEVISION may become an issue for a number of kids who participate in less physical exercise since they would rather see TELEVISION.
- A lot of exposure to TELEVISION and display media can make a kid’s head idle when it comes to utilizing their creativity and brain-power in other regions of their lives.
- They’re being exposed to advertisements when kids see TELEVISION. Lots of marketing is directed especially at young kids. Ads target young types and state them to become faithful brand customers as adults. Exposure to some advertising could support poor ingesting habits and food selections.
- Injudicious TV viewing can expose kids to bad habits for example smoking and drinking. It may expose them all to violence and generate a mindset of aggression and anxiety.
- Watching TELEVISION too can instil in your kids social stereotypes of gender, race and class.
Ultimately as with anything in life, it’s about moderation. There is no problem with children spending some time watching quality TV programmes that are broadcast by the ITV or BBC in the UK – here’s a link for access outside the UK.
Disciplining your kids is necessary, but you can do it the wrong way. The boundaries and rules set by many parents are not so good. Parents can go the other direction, being too strict which is also not good. To get it just right isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of patience. Following the rules is one thing. Teaching your kids to think for themselves is another. To help you out, if you are a parent, or even if you’re not, here are some disciplinary mistakes to avoid.
Being in control of your emotions requires discipline. If you lose control of your emotions, this is a parental mistake that you need to get a handle on. Discipline has nothing to do with acting out of anger, or punishing your child because you are mad. As a parent, you need to be effective with your discipline, always thinking things out. Just like in the courts, you have to use that level of restraint. Obviously, all parents are susceptible to losing their temper every now and then. It’s all about not letting your emotions rule you, and disciplining your children using reason. Any parent that is really in control should always allow the reason to control their decisions, not their emotions, which can make them inconsistent and ineffective.
A common error made by parents is engaging in an overly strict way of handling their children. This will impose a dramatic imposition on your kids and they won’t have the opportunity to participate in decision making. This method always has extreme connotations, with a strong price to pay. This will likely get your child’s attention, but it may not have been a good idea down the road. This may put a chip on your child’s shoulder that will make them antagonistic and harsh towards people later on. Rather that respond to assignments because they can comprehend the reasoning behind them; they are programmed react because of fear. In many cases, children brought up this way will only follow the rules when they think someone is watching. You should want your children to be inquisitive and try to understand not only what you are asking of them, but why also. Make sure children have guidelines and rules to follow, don’t let them spend hours watching online TV channels (source:http://www.uktv-online.com/), give them quotas or specific times that it’s allowed.
Make sure that every child realizes that they are an individual. You need to remember this too! You should never compare your child to someone else if you want them to behave in a certain manner. Parents with more than one kid, make this mistake very often. By doing this, you are suggesting that the other child (which could be their brother or sister) is better than they are which is not a good thing to do. Friends or neighbors kids, they should never be used in this way. No matter what you do, your children will have difficult these in one way or another. If you compare one child against another, you will build resentment between the children, or cause them to feel competitive in someway. No matter what you do, every child is going to have good and bad points that you have to accept because that is the way they are. Sometimes you just have to let them watch Hulu for hours, just to keep the peace!
Discipline is an important but challenging part of being a parent. As you have just read, there are many mistakes the parents can make when it comes to disciplining their children. You probably have to work on a few of the areas that we have discussed in this article. Just do your best to correct them. If you persist in practicing a fair and evenhanded style of discipline, your kids will eventually respond in a positive manner.
I recently had to spend some time abroad as my husband had a temporary contract in Turkey. Normally I would have loved the chance to visit somewhere new but having a 1 year old to look after made it rather more of a daunting prospect. I’m afraid I became a bit nervous, worrying about the food, water, environment and even entertaining my little boy. Fortunately a friend who had travelled a lot with small children brought me back to reality with the statement – “they do have babies in Turkey too you know!”.
It made me think how ridiculous I had been, but perhaps the reality is that mothers of young children often feel a little helpless – perhaps it’s lack of sleep! I managed to get some advice about Turkey from here and friends in general and when I discovered there were two large European supermarkets near where we were staying in Izmir I began to rather look forward to the adventure.
It couldn’t have gone better, the Turkish people are lovely with children including the men. It is actually easier to visit a cafe or shop with a little one as they’ll always help and make a fuss of my little boy. Eating out in the evenings was something we learnt to enjoy, much more relaxed that in the UK. Children seem to accepted much more readily as part of day to day life.
There was one small problem which I had and that was TV. The kids channels were not very exiting and my little boy was forever pining for the Tellytubbies and In the Night Garden. Fortunately someone gave me some help and explained that with a little trickery I could actually watch them on my laptop through BBC Iplayer. I had tried this previously but it didn’t work as Iplayer only works in the UK but I was pointed at this wonderful web page - http://www.theninjaproxy.org/tv/how-to-use-a-bbc-iplayer-proxy/. This explained how I could use something called a proxy server to change my location to look like it was in the UK. It did cost a few pounds for the subscriptio but only the cost of a bottle of wine a month (not Turkish wine though!). It turned into a godsend, I could even download the latest adventures of Iggle Piggle and we’d watch them together.
I know I could have managed perfectly well without UK TV shows, but it made our stay so much more relaxing!
There is little doubt nowadays that you should limit the time your children spend in front of a screen. There have been so many studies done and most inevitably point to potential health and development problems. But yet our children are spending more and more time in front of some sort of screen.
It’s not easy for parents, it was highlighted by a conversation I had with a mother outside my son’s school. When I tell my son to stop watching TV he will inevitably move to something else based on a screen. Whether it’s a computer, Xbox or even a tablet or iPad – it seems like our children’s whole lives are built around screens.
It’s a feeling I can relate to, we introduced a no computer games day twice a week, unfortunately that has just changed into a ’watch TV day’ instead. The benefits seem rather negligible to say the least. Most of my childrens homework is also online introduced by the school which makes it even more difficult.
I discovered the other day that my child banned from all big screens in the house, had discovered another avenue. He was watching TV shows on my iPad in secret, streaming childrens TV from the United Kingdom. I suppose I should be grateful he was watching BBC Iplayer using this - http://www.proxyusa.com/ for more details, at least it was a little more educational than most of the stuff on Hulu. There’s a video demonstration of this technology here – this one is about ITV player Outside the UK but it’s the same principle.
I will continue my attempts, I’m simply scared that my children will have little real life skills if I don’t. A report I read the other week suggested that a child born today will have spent a year of it’s life in front of a screen by the age of seven. It’s a scary thought, but a statistic that is instantly believable to anyone who has a teenage son or daughter! In fact if you count other screens like iPads and other devices I’m almost surprised it isn’t more.
Article on iPad configuration – here.
It’s been proven time and time again that children can be taught to read years before they start elementary school. And although every child is different, we as parents have the responsibility to give our children the best head start they can in life. The following 4 steps, when practiced regularly at home, can give most children a reading ability before they even begin formal education or childcare providers such as day care boise.
Most parents will sing the alphabet song to their children, and teaching the alphabet is the first step to head them into reading. There are other ways of having them remember the alphabet that will help associate the letters with words. You could put images with letters to help them understand the association. For example: If you show them an apple, show them an A, a banana; a B, a cookie; a C, and so on. As they begin associating, they’ll realize the letters are the beginning of other words too.
All youngsters like to be read to and story time is another step in the learning to read ladder. The best time to read to your child is bedtime, this is because they don’t have distractions, are tired and won’t fidget. This is the time to introduce the little words to your child. Words like “it”, “the”, “and”, “she”, “as”, and “he”. Since the small words are easily recognized and more easy to remember, it will help them get introduced to the larger words, then small phrases, and finally reading complete small sentences.
Interactivity is the next step on their learning to read journey. The age of technology is here and with it comes computer programs and interactive books that can be really beneficial at helping your child to read. When a child feels like they’re playing a game, they will be more interested and that’s what these do. They’re funny, bright, attention getters, but they’re also educational. There are so many programs and books to choose from, and there’s different reading levels as well. There are phonic teaching interactive books and programs, vocabulary building one and so many more. You should start out at the level your child is at and move up as they understand and learn.
There’s a lot to be said about those infamous letter magnets. You can use them in this step to make learning fun but spelling out words on the refrigerator. You can spell out small words, things in the fridge, or whatever snack they’re going to get. So long as you make good use of the colorful, moveable, and playful magnets, your child will be interested, have fun, and be learning at the same time.
These four steps can help you teach your child to read. These steps should be practiced daily. The interaction you have with your child is also a good bonding period for the two of you as well. Parents shouldn’t get disappointed or discouraged, if it takes their child a little longer than someone else’s, all children are different and will absorb knowledge differently.
For some people Bangkok is a noisy, polluted and congested city and not an ideal place for a mother and baby or mother and infant to visit. While these characterizations are not totally unfounded it would be wrong to claim that Bangkok is not family friendly. The city has lots of things for kids to do and enjoy. The experience of Bangkok from a child and mother’s point of view can be wonderful: it very much depends on planning.
For a start there are many family friendly hotels in Bangkok that have excellent facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, play rooms and restaurants. Bangkok is excellent value for 4 star hotels. Also areas like Chidlom offer plenty of park and green space that are free of noisy and sleazy bars. Choosing the right hotel is half the battle won when it comes to a family friendly holiday.
Next is where to visit. If the child is old enough a great half day can be had taking the Chao Phraya Express boat up and down the river visiting the main tourist sites like Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and Wat Arun.
If you have the time it is great to take a tour farther afield. There is Dreamworld. It is Thailand’s answer to Disney World. There are lots of rides and other attractions. And it only costs $15 entry.
For children who like to see animals there is Thailand’s largest open air zoo about 40 minutes away by taxi. It is called Safari World. There is also Siam Ocean World in the Siam Paragon Shopping Centre: it is the largest aquarium in South East Asia.
There are also places like Funarium especially designed for children to have fun and explore in a safe environment.
You can see cultural shows, tiger shows, snake shows. You can go ice skating or bowling. You can visit the cinema. You can go to a planetarium. There really is more than enough to keep a child happy in Bangkok for a month of Sundays.
More and more people are having family holidays in Thailand. The trend seems to be for people to go to farther and more exotic destinations for their family holidays. Whereas, a few generations ago a family vacation was normally a trip to see the grandparents or a car ride to the beach or nearest national park, things have changed with the present generation of 30 smething parents.
This is the generation that traveled to India, South America, Africa etc. and have since gotten good jobs and started a family. These people don’t want the unglamorous holidays they experienced as children. Rather, they want to re-visit their favorite places from their traveling days. One of these favorite places is Thailand. Since the 1970s Thailand has been one of the most popular backpacker destinations in the world.
The only thing to be aware of is that Thailand has changed since the 1980s. Those people considering on taking their kids to Koh Samui or Phuket might want to think again. These places have been spoiled by overdevelopment, high pricing, prostitution and pollution. They continue to pull in package tourists but the more discerning families are heading to new destinations in Thailand.
Khao Lak is an hour’s drive north of Phuket and offers miles and miles of golden sand beaches. The resorts in Khao Lak are good value, clean and suitable for families. There are plenty of beaches to choose from in the Khao Lak area. There are the central beaches of Nang Tong and Bang Niang, and then there are the more remote beaches of Bangsak, Khuk Khak, Pakarang, Lamru and Lamkaen. For those who really want to get away from the beaten track there is the nearby island of Koh Kho Khao that offers beaches, bird watching and an ancient village.
Khao Lak has plenty to do other than swim in the sea or resort pool. There is Khao Lak National Park to explore that includes both rainforest and coast. There are also the world famous dive spots of the Similan Islands to head for. Not far to the south is Phang-Nga Bay that has great sailing as well as James Bond Island and the Floating Island to visit.
It might be that the children will fall in love with a different part of Thailand to the one their parents did, but that’s because the times are a changing.
Toys are a part of any child’s growing up years. It can help foster their imagination as well as learning. There are a lot of toys that you may find fancy to buy for your kid and hope for them to enjoy it. However, you need to make sure that the ones you buy are specifically indicated for the age of your child. Getting toys intended for older kids may be too complex for your child, getting ones that are for younger age groups may not stimulate their interest at all.
For babies, the recommended toys are ones that are brightly colored, can make noise, have texture and are safe to put in a baby’s mouth. Babies and/or infants are stimulated through their sense of sight, hearing and touch. They also tend to put everything they can grab into their mouth, so you better make sure that there are no small pieces or parts of the toy that can cause your baby to choke.
If you have toddlers, you may have noticed that they are often full of energy and are often curious of the things around them. They play games imitating adults, run around and exploring or read books and solving simple puzzles. The best toys that you can provide for your toddler would be ones that can allow them to use their imagination and satisfy their curiosity. If your child is inclined to reading or solving simple puzzles, then giving them a book with colored illustrations or simple puzzles will surely be an enjoyable treat for them. You can also provide them with toys that can allow them to imitate what you do like plastic cooking toys for girls and plastic carpenter tools for boys. Aside from those, you should also provide your toddler with toys that can allow them to expend their energy like lightweight balls, push/pull carts, etc.
For older kids, they will enjoy more complex toys that can interact with them and foster their imaginations. This may be the best time to provide them with ride on toys like the Peg Perego Ducati Monster or more challenging puzzles. You should provide them with toys that can improve their imagination, which also allows them to learn.
A doll is a doll is a doll and I don’t want to pretend that there is any deep meaningful value inherent in a child’s plaything. However I am not surprised by the worldwide appeal of the Lalaloopsy range of dolls. Yes, they look very cute. They are also well made and with their over sized plastic heads are durable and easy to clean, but these are not reasons enough for their overwhelming success.
As you probably know, and has been stated already on this site, each Lalaloopsy doll has its own unique themed personality. Again these sterotypical characters aren’t going to transform our society anytime soon, but without a shadow of a doubt they are more wholesome and more positive role models than Barbie ever was or ever could be.
While no one could call these dolls educational toys in the traditional sense, it is possible to see their value in the simple life of a young child. If a parent is prepred to take the time to embrace the world of Lalaloopsy with her child then the characters can be both inspirational and aspirational for a younf girl (or boy) who is learning to understand the different types of personalities around them.
Yes, some of the dolls are fairly silly and just for fun, but some of the characters like Spot Splatter Splash, who loves art and Peanut Big Top, who is a born performer, can help a child to understand themselves a little more, both their place in the world and the differences in others. If your child is teachers pet, but feeling a bit left out socially, is it not possible that Lalaloopsy Bea Spells-a-Lot could make them feel like they belong? Isn’t this doll enough proof for a five or six year old that being top of the class is something to be proud of?
My child is still too young for a doll of her own, but assuming that Lalaloopsy is still going strong in a couple of years, I fully intend to help her choose exactly the right doll, or dolls, that suit her personality and outlook.
Most of us start to give nutrition extra thought when we’ve just had a new addition to the family. I’m convinced that giving our babies mothers’ milk for as long as possible helps to give them the best start in life. Even though my son was drinking formula at a young age, he’s doing really well now that he’s a bit older. He loves coming to give me a hand in the kitchen. Knives are his favorite tools these days! Obviously, at five years old, this gives me great cause for concern. But of course, I want to make sure that I’m the one to show him how to use them.
We spend a lot of time together practicing chopping things up. We’re not just chopping for the sake of chopping though, we are preparing fruits and vegetables to be juiced. I think it’s important for kids to be able to see how their foods are made. So before we even get to the kitchen for chopping practice, we are out in the garden picking some of the vegetables that we’re going to be juicing. It’s fair to say that we also have to go to the farmers’ market for the fruits as we don’t these grow ourselves.
When I was young, I never really understood the aversion to greens, I actually quite liked them. What I do remember though is that I’ve always eaten them since a very young age. In the same way, I wanted to get my son into fruits and vegetables without turning it into a big deal. So what we do is make sweet tasting green juices together. Since he not only knows what goes into the juice, but also cuts the apples and uses the juicer himself, he “owns” the juice making process. The juicer that we use is regarded by many experts as the best juicer – why not watch the video on Youtube? It suits us because it’s so simple to operate, a child can use it. Of course, I always make the juice with my son to make sure he learns how to use it properly.
It can be dangerous for children to use juicing products. Their hands and arms are small enough to fit into the machines which could turn into a major accident. Therefore I always insist that my son pays 100% attention to what he’s doing. So far, we’re both enjoying making and drinking the juices.
My hsuband really wanted to go to Thailand last year. I was in two minds about it. On the one hand, I loved the beaches in Koh Phangan that we usually went to, but I was worried for our 15 month old baby girl, Tania. She had never been on a long plane journey, let alone experienced a tropical climate. In the end my husband convinced me that we shouldn’t let our life become dull just because we had a baby, and I reluctantly agreed.
The waiting in Heathrow airport was no problem. Tania loved running after the other children in the departure lounge. She seemed more adaptable then we had given her credit. On the plane the BA staff were very kind and helpful. They got us a middle row of seats at the front all to ourselves.
Tania was restless on the plane until we fed her. She wouldn’t go in the cot that was provided for us because it was too small. A friend suggested that we use calpol so we gave it a try. It worked a treat putting Tania to sleep. She dozed through much of the long journey in our arms.
We spent a couple of nights in Bangkok to give Tania time off flying and to adjust her body clock. She seemed fine with the heat but we had to make sure she was well hydrated. The biggest problem in Bangkok was keeping her away from the traffic.
Next we took a short flight to Koh Samui and then transferred to a boat to Koh Phangan. Luckily the sea wasn’t rough. We got to Bottle Beach in the afternoon. All of us were exhausted. My husband and I from looking after Tania and the little girl from the traveling.
We got a nice beachfront bungalow at Bottle Beach with air-con and a fridge. This was important to cool down her milk.
Tania loved playing in the sea and scoping up the fine sand in her hands. She played happily by herself nearby as my husband and I relaxed in the sun. It was a blissful few days until we started running out of baby stuff. First it was baby food, then it was nappies and then it was powdered milk. The only problem with Bottle Beach is that you can’t buy baby stuff there. It is also quite a hike getting into Thongsala, the main shopping area. My husband had to take the boat to Chaloklum and then a taxi to Thongsala, or on rough days the taxi to Thong Nai Pan and then another taxi to the main town.
It would have been impossible to pack enough baby stuff for a two week holiday. Next time we are going to stay on a less remote beach.