Parenting

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    Parents should agree what type of lifestyle goals they want to instill in their family while prioritizing their own health needs. Raising healthy kids requires a well-planned strategy to which everyone commits. There are several ways to include everyone in healthy activities on a regular basis -- take the dog for a walk after dinner, ride your bikes together (with helmets, of course) or just play catch in the yard. Another option for spending time together, while instilling the values of healthy nutrition, is to start a backyard garden. This will not only be fun for everyone, but will ensure easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    A baby's first food means a baby's first poop, which means a parent's first diaper change. Use this step-by-step guide to make the first of, oh, 7 million changes you'll be making over the next few years.
    1. Lay your baby flat and lift his ankles. For boys, put a wipe over the penis to avoid a spray.
    2. Slide the diaper underneath so the top of the diaper is even with his bellybutton.
    3. Bring the front of the diaper between his legs.
    4. Unfasten the tabs on the side, point his penis down, and close up.
    5. Make sure it's snug - diaper leaks can ruin your day, or at least your carpet.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    While you know that kids are at risk of severe injury from accidents, the number one cause of death and hospitalizations among kids, you also know deep down that you're putting them at even greater risk down the line if you don't allow them to take risks and understand what consequences may mean. The key is to expose your child to developmentally appropriate risks and provide sufficient support until he masters skills. Think of providing safety as giving your child training wheels for life: You let him ride all kinds of metaphorical bikes but provide training wheels until he learns how to ride on his own. For instance, when he first explores stairs, you follow behind him; when she first jumps off the edge of a pool, you catch her. It's better to teach your child to climb the stairs with you as a safety net, so that if you are looking the other way and he sneaks over there, he's better prepared.
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    A , Health Education, answered

    Kids need to feel safe and protected, but they also need to learn to experience the world by taking risks. They grow through the success or failure of their efforts, not ours. If we micromanage our children's lives, we send a message that they are incompetent on their own. When they do not face challenges because we shelter them from any discomfort or emotional stress, they are unable to discover their true capabilities and claim their inner strength.

    As the kids get bigger, our relationship with them evolves. We are no longer the source of all things - perfection embodied in the form of the universal mother. They start to develop discernment and evaluate our behavior as a gauge for their own. At this point, it is imperative that, if you want to influence your children, you strive to practice what you preach. They pick up your values even when you do not think you are broadcasting them, so be aware of what you teach with your actions. Parents have a remarkable amount of influence over the behavior of their offspring, both good and bad; they do not control them completely . . . and certainly not predictably. There are couples who were absolute monsters, but whose children grew up to be kind, responsible, emotionally stable adults. In addition, there are people who were conscientious, caring, involved parents, but whose kids ended up in jail or rehab. There is always some unforeseen and uncontrollable factor that impacts your child's development- including the forces within.

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    A , Psychology, answered
    A big part of changing kids’ irresponsible attitudes is to flat-out require responsibilities. And the easiest place to begin is right at home. First think about the responsibilities you want to delegate per child. You might even gather the troops and brainstorm together all the things they should be responsible for and additional ways they could help out at home. These might include household chores (watering plants, making beds, dusting); personal responsibilities (brushing teeth, showering); personal possessions (putting toys, bicycles, videogames away); school (do homework to the best of your ability, return library books).Then clearly spell out to each family member your expectations and the consequence for incompletes. Go through each responsibility step by step at least once with your kid so that she clearly knows how to do it. This is the time when you can correct any poor habits.
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    A answered

    To help you choose between your camp options, here is a list of some of things you might want to consider when selecting a camp:

    What the focus is
    • Would he or she enjoy an academic camp? A sports-related camp? An environmental camp?
    • Which specific programs do you and your child want the camp to include: Horseback riding? Canoeing? Arts and crafts? Campfire songs?
    How it’s organized
    • Does your child enjoy or need structure at camp? Or a more relaxed atmosphere?
    • How much or little interaction will the campers have with the opposite sex? Will they participate in the same activities? Use a common dining hall?
    • How large or small is the camp? Would your child benefit from having the special attention that smaller camps can offer?
    Quality issues
    • Are the counselors and staff well-trained?
    • How healthy are the meal and snack options?
    Safety concerns
    • Will there be adequate supervision for all activities? What is the camper to counselor ratio?
    • Is the camp safe and secure?
    • Are background checks conducted on camp employees?
    • What medical facilities are available? Is there a doctor or nurse on-site?

     Logistics

    • What is the cost?
    • Will the camp dates fit in with your family’s schedule and vacation times?
    • Is the camp in a convenient location?
    • Is transportation to and from the camp available?

    From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

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    A , Psychology, answered
    Nothing is more affirming to children than succeeding at goals they've worked hard to achieve. It's the tangible proof your child interprets as, "I really did it!" and a great way to nurture your child's self-confidence. As goals are achieved, celebrate them as a family. You might:
    • Capture the image: Photograph your child achieving her goal and framing it.
    • Victory log: Provide your child with a small notebook or journal (A Victory Log!) for your child to log each goal achievement.
    • Success dinner: Have a Victory Dinner where you cook your child's favorite dinner.
    • Balloon pop: Take a dollar bill or a picture of an inexpensive prize and help your child tightly roll and insert it inside a large party balloon. Blow up the balloon and knot the end. On the outside of the balloon use a black laundry pen to write or draw a goal your child wants to achieve. Tie a string to the end and hang the balloon in a special place. Tell the child that the moment he achieves the goal, you will pop the balloon together. The prize inside will be his reward for his hard work. In the meantime, the blown balloon serves as a reminder to work hard at the goal.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    The best way to help your child cope with back-to-school anxiety is by being available to listen to his fears and helping him to talk them through. With a younger child, for example, stress the exciting aspects of going back to school, like seeing his friends again and getting involved in after-school activities like sports and clubs. Be clear that going to school isn't negotiable, but then give him some choices related to school: For example, tell him he can pick out a new backpack or opt to bring his lunch to school rather than buy lunch in the cafeteria. If once school starts he doesn't settle in, make an appointment to talk to his teacher to see how he or she might help your child get comfortable in his new classroom.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    The biggest parenting mistake I see is inconsistency. You try "time out" on Tuesday but let that hitting slide on Wednesday. You ignore the whine at 2 o’clock but yell about it at 3 p.m. You try giving that small portion of peas on Thursday and give up by Friday. I guarantee you won’t get the results because you are inconsistent with your response. Kids need consistency -- they need to know what is expected. Your consistent response will make the difference.

    Kid behaviors can be changed, but that change takes consistent parenting effort and a bit of time. In fact, learning any new habit (and stopping the old) usually takes a minimum of 21 days.

    So stick consistency to your plan for at least 21 days. You should see a gradual diminishment of the old inappropriate behavior as the new more appropriate behavior kicks in. Also, pass your plan on to at least one other caregiver. You always get better results if you tag team (with your parenting partner or coach or relative or girlfriend or teacher).

    And if you do not get the change or you see an increase in the behavior, it’s time to get help!
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Multiple kids may double your pleasure but it also doubles the stress. Some research suggests that the added stress of multitasking can put a strain on not only you but also your marriage. Take care of yourself. For instance:
    • Join a Mothers of Multiples group, such as National Organization of Mother of Twins Clubs or Multiple Birds Canada.
    • Spend time -- just a bit -- away from your kids. Take a short walk, hire a baby-sitter so you can go to a movie, join an exercise club, or just ride bikes together. The activity doesn't have to cost a dime.
    • Find "you" time. Find what helps you stay balanced and relaxed and ink that into your daily routine. Setting aside just ten minutes a day may be all it takes but those minutes will help you take on the challenge of parenting multiples.