Mother and Child

Every child needs a mother's love

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.


26 Sep

Some Useful Methods for Finding a Name for your Baby

Posted in Baby

It can be fun and exciting for parents to choose a name for their baby. There are so many possibilities, however, that it can actually be overwhelming.

Out of all the many thousands of potential names, you have to narrow your list down to only one. It is actually not that hard to do. Also, it has been successfully done for centuries so don’t worry that much about it. This article will show you several tips and tricks on how to choose the right baby name without too much stress.

Just like the cycles of the seasons, baby names come and go. If you look back 100 years, the names that were popular are not popular today. If you think about it, just 20 years ago, names you hear commonly today were not even used.


Many of the more popular names in today’s culture were inspired by celebrities or superstars. Some names always remain in style. It seems to be traditional to keep them on the roster. The culture that you are in may inspire the name, or tradition – those are basically the only two categories to choose from with baby names today. If you prefer a more enduring name, you can always look at books or newspapers from fifty or a hundred years ago and look for names that are still popular today.

Having to come up with more than one name may be something you have to deal with if you have triplets or quadruplets. Similar sounding names are often given to multiple children. When you do this when they are babies, it’s definitely cute! It’s only later on when it becomes more difficult to handle. This is especially true if they are identical twins with names like Tim and Jim, for example. Kids want to be different. They want to be recognized for their own achievements and being their own self. When you name them so closely with their twin, this can make it hard for them. Having the same initials is also a problem. Try to name your kids so that this doesn’t happen either. You may simply want to name them with completely different names that don’t even sound alike.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a name for your baby, there are many helpful resources you can consult. There are books that contain thousands of baby names. There are many websites on the Internet that you can access to find this information. A lot of information is presented including where the name may have originated from, how to pronounce it and also the proper way to spell the name. If you find one you like, whether in a website or a book, you should pick it because it sounds promising, and use it if you so choose later. It’s all about making a large list, sifting through it over time, and finally coming to the final choice on the name for your baby. It’s that simple!

Try using the internet to find ideas for different names, you could invest in a smart dns service and use media sites in different countries.  My friend found a great name whilst watching a French TV show online on the site M6 Replay.

Finding the right name for your baby can be a time consuming process, but it can also be enjoyable. Whether it is your first born, or another child for your family, naming your baby is well worth the effort that you will have to endure.

There are many different aspects to choosing a name, and we’ve discussed just a few of them. Be sure to pick a baby name that your child will live with comfortably, and that you will love as well.

Jane Harlow

Blogger and Writer

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26 Sep

Choose from These Positive Parenting Tips

Posted in Family, Home

Positive parenting is one topic that has been getting a lot of talk lately and opinions on what it actually means vary a great deal. To most people, it means being the kind of parent who communicates effectively with kids and encourages positive behavior. Then again, it’s important to discipline children and restrict undesirable behavior as well. It is possible to do this in a positive way. The purpose of this article is to look into some effective positive parenting strategies.


In positive parenting, praise is an essential component. This must be done correctly, though, otherwise you won’t be able to properly communicate the message to your child. For this to work, you have to get down to specifics. Praise a specific action that your child makes, such as neatly putting the toys away or not making a mess on the table during dinner. Make sure you don’t give out praises indiscriminately or else it will lose its meaning. What you want to do is give praise when it’s appropriate and in a consistent manner because this lets your child know when your praises are genuine. You need to schedule time regularly wherein the whole family spends time together. It wasn’t that long ago that this would’ve been unnecessary to point out. Today is a lot different however, as it’s a lot more common for families to not eat their meals together. Even if you have a hectic schedule, do whatever you can to create quality family time.

You’ll want to do something that encourages everyone to take part in, so don’t even consider movie night where you all just sit in front of the television. If your children love to swim, why not take them to the beach or if you have a gym membership, take them there to use the pool? This will give you the opportunity to bond with your children. Children feel much more secure and develop healthier relationships with others when they spend more time with their families.

Positive parents encourage their children to explore new things. Get your child education toys. Does your child like or show interest in art, or some other type of learning? You’ll need to be on the alert for this. Taking your child on outings to educational places such as museums, planetariums, zoos and other cultural destinations can help encourage such interests. You can use the computer and the TV at home as learning tools too. You’ll find plenty of educational computer games available that your children can play on the computer.  Why not let them discover stuff from other countries in different languages, with the right technology you can access lots of different site, this UK proxy allows anyone to change their IP address and watch the great children’s TV shows on the BBC iPlayer from anywhere.

One of the things that positive parenting does is allow you to develop a healthy relationship with your children. If your child has any type of problems at home or in school, try to focus on the positive outcome you want rather than on the problem itself. The positive parenting methods we’ve explored in this article can help get you started, and there is plenty of additional information on this topic available online and elsewhere.

Julie Goodwin

Blogger at http://www.changeipaddress.net/

 

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31 Jul

Helping Your Child Breathe More Easily

Posted in Child

There are way too many children that suffer from breathing problems such as asthma or allergy based conditions such as hay fever, yet little is done about finding a gentle, natural solution. Parents are reliant almost entirely on their family doctors to prescribe medications and inhalers to try and relieve the often frightening symptoms that can leave little ones in great difficulty breathing.

Yet there exists a completely natural and very gentle solution that can help enormously with alleviating the dire symptoms of such respiratory conditions to the extent that reliance on medications and inhalers can be reduced, in many cases dramatically. This solution is simply salt air therapy that is known to work and to be extremely effective at improving the breathing of adults as well as children.

The most common form of this therapy is simply to take a two week vacation to a seaside town or holiday resort and let the child breathe in the naturally salty sea air. This air gets into the bronchial airways and helps to gently cleanse and unblock them while killing harmful bacteria and microbes that can irritate the delicate lining membranes.

Salty air also helps to reduce inflammation, which is so important to reducing the narrowing effect that causes the breathing difficulties, whether brought on by anxiety or environmental toxins or pollutants. A similar effect can be obtained by spending time in specially prepared salt mines.

However, it is not always convenient to travel to the seaside if you live inland, so most people simply make do with their prescription medications and inhalers for the most part. Yet there is a simple device that emulates the sea air in a portable natural inhaling device called a salt pipe.

Salt pipes simply have salt crystals inside so that when you inhale through them, you breathe in the salty air just like being by the ocean, except you can use these anywhere. You can find out more about these at Clear Airways, a website dedicated to salt air therapy and providing information on natural treatments for respiratory conditions in both adults and children.

If your child suffers with breathing difficulties, it is certainly well worth finding out more about how simple salty air can help to reduce symptoms and the frequency of inhaler use. Speak to your doctor about it and if he or she hasn’t heard about this type of natural treatment, seek a second opinion as is your right to do so and give your child a fighting chance of leading as close to a normal life as possible.

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28 Jul

Do Our Children Actively Conceal Internet Usage

Posted in Family

Well if a survey in Australia is to believed it is very likely indeed. A report which was produced and released in Canberra found that 70% of Australian children aged between 8-17 said that their parents did not know how much they used the internet.

Perhaps more worryingly, over 50% of the children interviewed said that they would often modify their browser histories in order to hide which sites they had visited. Another 10% had actually gone to the extent of creating fake social media accounts to throw parents of the track.

In fact it is probably unlikely that the majority of parents even know how to check a browser’s history or validate their children’s social networking presence. Combined with these sort of tactics, it seems extremely likely that most parents in Australia have no idea what their children do online.

The survey also asked questions about the children’s concern about being online. It might be surprising for parents to hear that the biggest one is that of cyber bullying in the 8 to 12 year age bracket, whilst the teenagers were more concerned about privacy issues and having their accounts hacked.

Again the concern is that some of the issues that our children are worrying about, are probably completely unknown to the majority of parents. How many parents would worry about our kids getting bullied whilst using the computer? In truth, probably not that many as it was simply a concept that didn’t exist when the majority of us where growing up. For the record Cyber bullying is normally defined as the use of information technology to harass people in a repeated, aggressive and deliberate manner.

Finally 80% of the children has some experience of cyber bullying with nearly 40% of them describing themselves as victims. There is every likelihood that these results based on the response of Australian children would be repeated in most Western countries.

There are many issues involved with our children using technology that we are simply unaware of. This is made even worse by the wide technology skills gap that often exists between children and parents. How many of the parents are aware of technology like this which is used to bypass content and filter restrictions on line –

There is technology however available that can pass an element of control back to the parents. Most of the major anti-virus companies now produce internet security products which incorporate parental control components. These can be used to restrict access to specific sites or categories, also to control the amount of time your children can use the internet on a daily or weekly basis. Obviously the one essential element that is required to enforce parental controls and limits on technology is ensuring some basic knowledge of the technology involved. It can be difficult especially in the fast moving world of social networking or proxies and vpns, yet there are simple sites like these which explain this technology if needed.

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28 Jul

Children’s TV Needs Subsidies to Survive

Posted in Uncategorized

In most countries with a decent TV/film industry there are numerous initiatives to help firms do business there.   Subsidies, tax breaks and numerous other financial incentives are used to attract the film and animation companies to a particular area.    In  the UK this has been particularly effective and a once dwindling industry is now one of the most successful in the world bringing much needed high tech jobs and investment in the country.

However there is one area, which is still struggling in these harsh economic times and it is one arguably that is more important than most.  Children’s TV companies are almost all struggling, particularly in the UK, which seems to have been forgotten in the success story.

It’s surprising in some ways as the development of cable and satellite channels means that there are well over 30 dedicated children’s TV channels available on mainstream UK television.  What is surprising though is that less than 1% of the programming broadcast on these channels is produced by UK TV companies.

The reasons for such a downturn in an otherwise successful sector are numerous.  However one of the major reasons is that there has simply not been the level of assistance and investment in the children’s TV sector are the rest of the industry.  There are of course some hugely successful children’s TV franchises where the accompanying branded merchandise sales mean huge profit levels.  However British TV companies don’t have the sort of investment to compete with  the required marketing and production costs to access these markets.

The reality too is  that all TV and media markets are now global and need to be approached in that way.  The major players like the BBC still can profit at this level but it’s much more difficult for the numerous smaller TV production companies to access these markets.   Despite licensing restrictions and blocking attempts, technology like  Smart DNS means that most people will be watch whatever they want wherever in the world they happen to be.  Big markets, need quality shows which obviously require higher investment to produce.

So what’s the future hold for British Children’s TV? Well there is hope with proposals now for tax breaks and incentives being implemented in this sector.  It is hoped this will attract more inward investment and help the children’s TV companies be as successful as other areas of TV production in the UK.

It needs to happen and happen fast, at the moment the only really successful company in this sector in the UK is the BBC, already there is huge competition and if you ask the question - Can I watch Iplayer abroad, well the answer is a resounding yes, it’s essential that  the resources here for TV production are used in all areas of entertainment – children’s TV can potentially as bigt as all the others.

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03 Jun

What are Children’s Favorite Books?

Posted in Child

There’s been a really interesting poll just completed by the UK Government in tandem with YouGov. It’s central idea is to try to encourage reading and to help support the many thousands of vulnerable children in the United Kingdom. It’s basically a list of the top ten children’s book voted for by the participants in the survey.

The list is not surprisingly dominated by British authors.

  1.  Winnie-the-Pooh – AA Milne (1926)
  2.  Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (1865)
  3.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle (1969)
  4.  The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (1937)
  5.  The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson (1999)
  6.  Charlie And The Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (1964)
  7.  Black Beauty – Anna Sewell (1877)
  8.  Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)
  9.  The BFG – Roald Dahl (1982)
  10.  The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe – CS Lewis (1950)

The campaign is entitled Story Time and the results were published with the help of Peter Capaldi, the new Dr Who.   They are keen to encourage reading both by children and through  the help of their parents for younger children.  One of the charities supported by the project include Dr Barnardo’s who try and provide support for children who’s parents are often unable to provide such an environment.

Most of us will be very familiar with the list,  Winnie the Pooh always seems to have a special place in the heart of so many children and even grown ups.  Many of the characters in all these books have provided huge inspiration for the movie and film industry.  The Hobbit being the last ‘blockbuster’ produced from this particular list.

It would be interesting to see how the list would change in other English Speaking countries perhaps from Australia, North America or New Zealand.   There is a surprise that more recent books like Harry Potter didn’t make an appearance which suggests  that perhaps it was mainly adults picking their favorite books.

Nowadays of course the internet has changed the way children amuse themselves, the lure of a good book is perhaps not as enticing as it was thirty years ago or to the pre-internet generations.  Still that’s not too say that there isn’t lots of quality education stuff available online.  This site shows you how to access some of the great educational programmes from the BBC even if you’re located outside the UK – BBC iPlayer USA.

There is an important point here though with publishing a list of children’s classic stories – it’s not altogether that important what children read, just that they do.  Forcing children to read literature that doesn’t interest them is unlikely to have much of a positive effect especially with all the other alternatives available.

 

Jim Hide

Education and Technology Blogger

 

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02 Apr

Should We Ban Junk Food Ads

Posted in Home

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.

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02 Apr

Is Netflix Worth it for Kids

Posted in Family

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.

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02 Apr

Children’s TV Shows Too Late in Spain

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.

 

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31 Oct

The Pros and Cons of Children’s TV

Posted in Child

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.

Positive:

  • 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.

Negative:

  • 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.

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31 Oct

Disciplining Your Children – Some Mistakes to Avoid

Posted in Family

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.

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31 Oct

Loved Turkey but Saved by CBeebies

Posted in Child

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!

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31 Oct

TV Quota – Limit That Screen Time

Posted in Family

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.

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13 Aug

How To Teach Your Child To Read In 4 Easy Steps

Posted in Child

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.

Step 1

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.

 

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

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