Parenting

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    A , Psychology, answered
    While kids love receiving gifts, writing thank yous is plain drudgery to most. But writing thank-you cards to others is a habit of gratitude we should encourage in our children.
    • Taking time to convey thanks is a simple, proven way to boost gratitude.
    • Doing so is another way kids learn to consider other people's feelings rather than just their own.
    • It also helps our kids understand that we expect them to use that practice.
    • And it helps bring back that glorious endangered tradition of the hand-written note! (Sigh!)
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    A , Psychology, answered
    The truth is we can begin to teach our children money management skills as early as three and four years of age, and those lessons don't have to be difficult. In fact, the best way for kids to learn them is by taking advantage of those simple everyday real life moments like watching us at the ATM machine, paying our bills, balancing our checkbook, deciding our money budget, talking through our spending decisions or back to school shopping. Those lessons will take a bit more patience and persistence, but learning positive spending habits, financial wisdom, and good money management skills are crucial for life.
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    A , Psychology, answered

    Time out is a discipline strategy in which a child is immediately removed from an activity for inappropriate behavior (like hitting, biting, defiance). Parents often complain to me that time out doesn’t work. When I dig deeper I find that there are typically four big no-nos they do. Turn these around and you’ll be more likely to get better results using time out.

    Here are the most common parenting time out mistakes and the solutions.

    • Using the wrong place! Find a quiet place where the child is isolated but safe. Make sure he doesn’t receive attention from others and has no access to distractions like games, toys, iPods, computers, pets, food, TV, pals, phones. He’ll want to be there!
    • Setting inappropriate time. The time length is one minute for each year of the child’s age (three years equals three minutes, six years equals six minutes, and so on).\Giving attention. The single biggest parenting mistake is talking to the child during time out. Wrong move! Instead you must ignore, ignore, ignore. Any interaction with your child will only reinforce whatever misbehavior he is displaying. Your goal is to remove the attention from the child’s inappropriate action and not reinforce that misbehavior (which could increase its frequency until it becomes a bad habit).
    • Inconsistency! Use time out anyplace and anytime your child displays the inappropriate behavior and the minute the child misbehaves (or as soon as convenient).

    Used correctly and consistently you should see a gradual diminishment of the behavior you want to curb!

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    A , Adolescent Medicine, answered

    Let your child know you understand - First, you need to communicate that you understand his (or her) struggles in making new friends. Then, give him something tangible, such as a small pebble or key ring he can put in his pocket. Tell him that every time he panics, meeting someone new, to take out the pebble and be reassured that Mom is thinking about him, as well as praying. Let the pebble remind him that he CAN do it.

    Meet with your child's teacher - Meet with your child's teacher, sharing your concerns. Then, discuss ways you can work together to help him become more sociable.

    Encourage your child to join after school clubs and activities - Wholesome organizations such as Scouting, Little League, and other activities not only help to bring out an introverted kid, but also pick an interest in hobbies that can last for years and even a lifetime.

    Invite other children to come over for visits and sleepovers - Continually encourage your child to ask friends to visit. Besides helping him socially, you can also observe what's going on by getting to know his friends.

    Host a party - If your child has a birthday coming up, plan a party. On the other hand, you don't have to wait for his birthday. Throw a back-to-school party, harvest festival, etc.

    Help your child list questions - Explain to him how he can prepare ahead of time when meeting someone he doesn't know. For example, have him prepare a list of questions to ask such as, "What do you like to do after school? Do you have a favorite TV program?"

    Don't lecture - Instead of berating your child for being shy, encourage him. Tell him that he has special gifts and talents and doesn't need to be like everyone else. In other words, don't emphasize his shyness which only makes him more self-conscious. Just point out specifics how he can overcome his fears of meeting new kids

    Don't do everything for your child - If the phone rings, encourage your child to answer it. When someone's at the door (and you know it's a safe person), purposely busy yourself, allowing your child to welcome whomever is calling.

    Set a good example yourself. In other words, let your child see you go out of your way to be friendly when meeting new people. If he/she sees that it's a pleasurable experience for you, chances are he/she will be more likely to emulate you.

     

     

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    A , Psychology, answered
    To help avoid impulsive buying, involve the kids. Discuss the difference between "needs vs. wants" and let them know that this year there will be a budget and they will need to stick to it. Find out what is on the top of their "want" and "need" list. Such discussions help reduce those impulsive "just gotta to have it" shopping habits. Even kids as young as 6 -- even 5! -- can benefit from those money discussions.
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    A , Psychology, answered

    Breaking the habit of negative self-talk can be done. Children with poor self-beliefs often have bombarded themselves for so long with a steady stream of derogatory messages. Their potential for success is greatly limited, because they don’t believe in their capabilities. Self-talk is a critical part of how children acquire beliefs about themselves. One of the most powerful ways to help your youngster develop a firm belief in himself is to teach him to practice positive self-talk. What if you have a child who is a pessimistic thinker or has gotten into the habit of saying negative self-statements?

    Helping a child break the habit of using negative self-talk is not easy. Like trying to break any habit, you’ll need to be consistent in your efforts to help change your child’s behavior usually for a minimum of three weeks. Here are ideas I suggest to help develop a more positive self-picture and reduce negative self-talk.

    Develop a Family “I Can” Slogan. Whenever someone in the family said, “I can’t,” they learn to say to that person: “Success comes in cans, not in cannots.” The simple little slogan became an effective way of encouraging family members to think more positively.

    Point Out Stinkin’ Thinkin’.  Create a private signal like pulling on your ear whenever you hear your child say a negative comment in public.

    Confront Negative Voices.  Gently encourage your child  to talk back to his or her negative voice. Explain how he or she can confront their inner negative talk. Use examples like “I remember when I was in school. Sometimes right before I’d take a test I’d hear a voice inside me say, ‘This stuff is hard. You’re not going to do well on this test.” I used to hate that voice, because it would take my confidence away.  I learned to talk back to it, so I’d just say, ‘I’m a good learner. I’m going to try my best. If I try my best, I’ll do okay.’”

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    Many moms go back to work after having a baby and rely on child care for their children. Relatives or family members sometimes take on child-care duties, or children are enrolled in child-care programs. All parents wish the best start for their children. Child care is more than just a service that allows parents to work. It is a world that will affect a child's development in many ways ? physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. Finding quality child care that is affordable can be challenging. Many parents need inexpensive or cost-free day care where they know their children are safe and are being helped to grow and develop. Parents can contact their local social service agency (listed in the phone book) for information about government-sponsored programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start and other community programs. We recommend taking the following steps to choosing quality child care. Also, we have provided a Child Care Provider Checklist for help in choosing child care providers.

    Steps to choosing quality child care

    Look ? Visit several child-care homes or centers. Visit the home or center more than once and stay as long as possible so you can get a good feel for what the care will be like for your child. Continue to visit even after you start using the home or center. Listen ? Make sure the place is cheerful and not too quiet, which can mean not enough activity. Happy-sounding children means they are involved and busy. Count ? Count the number of children in the group and the number of staff members caring for them. The fewer the number of children for each staff member, the more attention your child will get. Your state will likely have child-to-provider ratios to follow, so make sure there aren't too many children. Ask ? Adults who care for children need knowledge and experience. Ask about the background and experience of all staff that will have contact with your child in the home or center. Be Informed ? Find out more about efforts in your community to improve the quality of child care. Ask if the home or center is involved in these activities. Consider getting involved yourself.

    This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.
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    A answered

    To make a trip to the supermarket a pleasant experience for everyone, try a couple of different strategies. For starters, give each of your children a job to do and make it age-appropriate. For example, one child can be in charge of the shopping list, checking off the items as they’re placed into the cart. Another can manage your coupons. Let them trade off wrapping the twist-ties around the produce bags. Keep them busy, and they’ll have less time to pester each other, and you.

    One job all the kids should get involved with is selecting produce. This can be fun. Because the goal is to get a wide variety of fruits and vegetables into their weekly diet, let each child select an old favorite and then have them pick out something unusual or that they’ve never tried before. For teens, have them plan ahead by choosing a recipe featuring one of the unusual-to-them items, and then put them in charge of collecting the ingredients and preparing the dish for the family to try.

    For young children, you can make a game out of it. Tell your kids that the family is going to eat a rainbow, and have them choose fruits and vegetables from every color group. There can be strawberries and rhubarb for red, carrots and kumquats for orange, and bananas and acorn squash for yellow. That way, you’ll be sure to get a diverse selection of food, and you may even find some new foods that you all love.

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

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    A , Psychology, answered
    Getting back into the school year is a major adjustment for kids -- and parents. Preparation is the key to surviving with a minimum of stress. Set aside an area for school paperwork and projects, prepare meals and other daily needs in advance, and rearrange your schedule in anticipation of drop-offs, pick-ups, and activities. My favorite lunchtime tip is to prepare a whole loaf of PB and J sandwiches, and individually freeze them to grab and pack later.

    It's also a good opportunity to show kids how to transition between "work" time and "fun" time. Talk to the kids in advance of how the whole family's schedule is different when school is in session. Minimize complaining by putting up a calendar with holidays highlighted. And create small incentives for kids to get ready on time in the morning -- in our house, we use a "check" system that the kids get to turn in for fun family activities. We also have the kids set out their outfit and backpack the night before.

    Anticipating these challenges will help you survive -- and even enjoy -- the transition to "Back To School".
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    A , Health Education, answered

    There is an ongoing debate over whether the quality or quantity of time with a child is more important. Ideally, you need to have both. However, since many of us need to work, the quality becomes extra important. This does not mean every play date needs to be an event. It is more important that you really commit to being present when you interact. So, when you are together, turn off the TV or radio, and put down the PDA and magazines. You can do other things, but they should be activities where you can look your child in the eye and have a meaningful conversation.

    While mutual productivity is great, it is also important to spend some serious 'do‑nothing' time with your children. Teenagers especially tend to respond like wild animals. They need to sense they can trust you before they open up. Just hanging out with no agenda shows kids that you value their company and that you enjoy being with them. This goes a long way in the trust department.