Scale Down on the Toys!

They will tell you that they "want," "need" and "can't live without" this toy, that game and everything else in between. Usually parents or grandparents answer to that is "Okay." But not so fast, before you make a promise that you really don't know if you can keep (especially when you have other people on your list that have needs as well) ask your children, "What aren't you playing with anymore?" Make them find something in their rooms that they aren't using and you sell it (that's money toward your Xmas fund,) give it away or if it's broke, fix it or throw it away.

Let's face it, our children can be greedy! They will play into our emotions with their tears, silent treatment, and anger outbursts. They can make us feel bad, mad and sometimes more than happy not to do another single thing for them. Yet, what do we end up doing when the smoke clears? We get them what they want!

Create a plan of action before you go buying all those wonderful gifts! Know how much money you will spend on each child and don't go over it! Be sure that they have picked out some toys they are willing to part with. Host a yard sale, an online auction, or just give it away for a tax write-off.

But whatever you do, don't add another thing to their room (even if your child is a baby) until you have cleared some space for the next items you and others will buy for them. Children need to understand the following: "You must give in order to receive." As parents we should remember, "Money doesn't grow on trees!"

God bless.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of When Mothers Cry and blogger of this site and others.

When Should You Get A Child Checked Out?

As parents, we can get so busy that we barely have time for a bathroom break! Sometimes we are guilty of putting off seeing a doctor for ourselves and yes, our children too! We reason that if the child isn't crying and clenching his or her stomach in pain, then he or she is alright while praying that his or her runny nose, weird cough or pale face will go away in seven days or less. Well that simply isn't good enough, when should we take our children in to see a doctor?

1. When the basic remedies don't help.

Things like cough medicine and other over the counter medicines are designed to relieve symptoms, but not to cure. When you see that each day your child is getting worse instead of better, take him or her to see a doctor.

2. When the weird sounding cough isn't relieved.

You may have tried the humidifier and bought an over the counter medicine, yet still the cough remains. Don't put it off any longer by easing your worries talking to co-workers, grandparents and the neighbors for their thoughts, make that doctor's appointment!

3. Strange skin discolorations, rashes, hives, and markings that don't heal on their own.

If you purchase a topical cream that is suppose to help the skin heal and it doesn't, don't buy another, have a doctor take a look at it.

4. Body aches and chills that come and go throughout the day.

You may have given your child Tylenol and still he or she is complaining of feeling hot and cold, sweat beads are appearing on his or her forehead and it seems that the child is out of it, don't put this off! Chances are the fever is not breaking and he or she should be taken immediately to the nearest hospital!

5. Ear aches.

These shouldn't be taken lightly either since they can affect one's sense of balance when walking Also, they are a clear indication that other things may be wrong in the body as well.

6. Runny bowel movements.

A simple over the counter medicine should clear this up; but when it doesn't, you know what you need to do.

7. Upset stomach.

Whether it was last night's bad meat, an expired product on pizza or something else, after a 24 hour period any child should be as good as new after taking an over the counter medicine for stomach upset, but what if yours isn't? Don't put this off either especially if you feel that this symptom may not have been caused by food after all.

These are some of the seven most common issues that occur with most children (and adults) but when you have tried everything and nothing seems to work, take your child to a doctor. By the way, if you have one of those bosses who just doesn't seem to understand, well keep this in mind, if you don't get the care your child needs, which would you rather lose, your job or your child?

Other symptoms to pay close attention to:

Frequent headaches, yellowing of lighter skin tones, darkening of skin, black and blue marks that don't seem to heal, scratches or burns that bleed or pus often, lumps on the skin that don't go down or harden, complaints of pain in one's side, aches near the lower back, and problems passing bowels or no bowel movement for a long period of time.

Plan for School Breaks Before the Children are Off

A good plan goes along way!

I am a mother of four sons and at one time I had a newborn, a toddler, and two teens under the same roof! It was school break for the holidays and I was feeling overwhelmed! I didn't plan out anything and just took their school break in stride (at least at first.) But things quickly changed when I decided a day or two in advance, I would be preparing Thanksgiving dinner while breast feeding a newborn and attempting to keep the other boys busy with activities!

Before long, hours went by and the sun was setting before anyone was fed that year! I learned the hard way that spontaneous decisions don't work when you have children especially during school breaks. Days of loud noises, sporadic requests of wanting to go outside, crying spells, fighting etc. and I was the ring leader of a circus that had never been in control! So I would stop something to do something else and participate in chores "when I felt like it." Oh spontaneous living at its best with no plan in site!

You too may have gotten away with this sort of thing in the past back when you were single and without children, but once the family life arrives, you find yourself attempting to plan on some days and play it by ear on other days! This doesn't work long term and eventually it affects how you and your partner relate to one another. You are trying to have a simple conversation and out of no where a ball is flying, someone is grabbing your leg, and another is yelling, "!?"

So you know that the holiday breaks are coming, ask yourself, "What is the first thing I should be doing in order to plan for my childrens' school break? Begin listing what you will be doing with the children, what they will be doing without little assistance, and when will you get some needed me time. Start penning your thoughts. Then add days and times to them. Post their activities in public view, so that everyone in the household is aware. Ask a spouse to help out with supervision, errands, and chores. Talk with he or she about consequences for your trouble-makers.

As for those little ones, who can't do nothing more than coo and cry, well be sure you have all needed supplies so that you don't have to make so many trips with children in tote to stores to buy baby food, diapers, wipes, etc.

Call on family, friends or a babysitter when you feel so overwhelmed you can't see straight! Never feel obligated to pay someone back when you know you can't (that will only contribute to your stress levels.) Let the person know in advance, "I can't give you anything for your deed, but a "thank you." This way they won't be expecting you to do anything special for them. However, when things look better financially, do send them a token of your appreciation.

Holiday breaks with children don't have to be challenging unless you are going into them without a plan, so get as much accomplished before the school break, then take a deep breath once the children are back in school again!

God bless.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate, Laboring to Love Myself and When Mothers Cry.
Parents: Are You a Teacher or a Preacher?
Parents, do you find that no matter how much you talk to your child, nothing seems to change? This editorial piece challenges you to think about the way you preach and/or teach.
Read More
10 Mistakes We Make with Our Children Everyday
We have all been guilty of many of the following parenting mistakes. Find out what you could be doing to cause problems for you and others when it comes to raising your children and do something about it. Article explains.
Read More

Childhood Habits Are Hard to Undo - Let's Use It to Our Advantage

I was just thinking how wonderful it would be if parents used their power to create healthy eating habits.

I for one cannot eat a meal without a salad first. I'm a firm believer that this is what maintains my overweight sibling's cholesterol and sugar levels in top condition. Our family has an ingrained habit of: veggies first.
Watching TV me
ant time for oranges. My mother would peel them and pass them out. I got a little more creative and now other fruits are part of our TV viewing.

We can create habits, but habits are created by repeating behaviors. It's easier to create habits by role modeling them and we know that.

One of my coworkers started to bring fruits for her lunch and was asking my opinion about exercise programs. When I asked what motivated her to change she said that her child came home crying saying she doesn't want to be fat.

This week I read an article in the Chicago Tribune that made me feel helpless. The article states that we all know we are getting fat, we know the benefits of eating less and moving more, we know that getting fat is not good for your health and even with all that, the article ends with a gloomy message: we know we are fat, we know what to do to change, now leave us alone!

The author is right, and as a pediatrician more days than not I feel helpless, but if we leave you alone what is going to happen? Obesity is the only epidemic we have on our hands and if people are not willing to change it will be catastrophic.

I don't believe parents would do anything to harm their kids, but we are harming them.

Very unfortunately obesity is a chronic disease, because children do not wake up with a tummy ache, vomiting or high fever which would make parents rush to our offices asking for help.

Creating healthy habits can be very simple if you make feeding your family top priority.
Lets go back to basics: eat healthy, have fun with your kids, turn off your TV, sleep well.
By Jane Menezes
How to Love a Teenager in Crisis: 13 Ways to Help a 13 Year Old
Is your teen driving you crazy? Could you be contributing to their mean, nasty, and argumentative behavior? Find out what you can do to change your attitude and help them make some changes as well.
Read More

Fever Seizures Explained

Fever seizures are actually quite common among individuals - specifically, children. These are also identified as febrile seizures. Many medical professionals actually refer to these as fever convulsions.

When an individual experiences a drastic increase in the body temperature as a whole, they may start to experience muscle spasms that are considered to be uncontrollable. In nine out of ten cases, the individual that suffers from these types of seizures are under the age of eighteen. In most cases, the fever that induces the seizure exceeds that of 102.0 F. In this medical guide, you will learn facts pertaining to this type of seizure.

Are Febrile Seizures Common?

Surprisingly, febrile seizures are quite common among young children. As a matter of fact, it has been established that at least one child in every twenty five children will experience a fever based seizure at least once. Further statistical data indicates that at least 25% of all children that experience this type of seizure will experience at least one more fever induced seizure before becoming an adult.

The age group that is most often affected by these seizures are infants as young at six months old and children up to five years of age. If an older child experiences this type of seizure, it is likely that they will not have another one. If the child is young when they experience the seizure, chances are that they will have another one in their lifetime.

Will Fever Seizures Cause Permanent Harm?

One of the first concerns of parents with children that have febrile seizures is that the condition may cause permanent harm. On the most part, these particular seizures are not harmful. If the child is standing when they have this type of seizure, they could fall and injure themselves.

If the child has something in their mouth such as food or a liquid, there is a small chance that they could experience choking if they experience a seizure. Despite these small instances in which harm could come to a child, there is a rare chance that brain damage or any other type of permanent damage could be experienced.

It has been established that anywhere between 2% and 5% of all children that experience these types of seizures will develop epilepsy later in life.

The Symptoms

A child that experiences a fever seizure may not show any warning symptoms prior to the seizure occurring. This is due to the fact that the body temperature increases so quickly. In many cases, the child will completely lose consciousness. In some cases, the child may be observed shaking mildly or in a severe fashion.

Many children may experience stiff, rigid muscles for which there is no other explanation. These types of seizures may last only a few seconds or they may last up to a couple of minutes. If your child experiences a seizure - regardless of body temperature - it is important to ensure that a medical professional is consulted. Only a doctor is able to officially diagnose a fever seizure in an individual.

About the Author: Anne Ahira is an established entrepreneur and successful coach in her country of Indonesia. Her success story has been published in many nationwide publications in Indonesia. Making a lucrative income online is a challenging endeavor, but by getting the *right* information, it is an endeavor that you can succeed at! If you want to LEARN how to make a LUCRATIVE income online from Professional Marketers you can TRUST, below is the *only* product Anne Ahira recommends:

Treating a Toddler's Simple Cough

One of the most common reasons for a doctor visit by toddler age children is a cough. The good news is that coughs in children are most often symptoms of upper respiratory viruses such as the common cold and are usually self limiting; only lasting 7-10 days. While there are certainly more serious causes to pediatric cough we will take a look at treatment for a simple cough related to allergies and colds.

The first thing to note is that coughs are beneficial. They are a physiological response to airway irritation which in the case of cold and allergies is most often the build-up of mucus or upper respiratory secretions that are swallowed (post nasal drip). Cough should not be eliminated completely but relieved with a safe, soothing remedy.

Recent studies have also indicated that cough and cold medicines for children under the age of two are not only ineffective but can cause serious side effects. Never give your toddler these medications without approval from your pediatrician.

Toddler Cough Related to Environmental Irritants and Allergies

Your child's cough may be a reaction to environmental irritants, including smoke, pollution, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold. In these cases, the first treatment is to reduce exposure to these irritants. Continual exposure can lead to persistent cough and throat irritation as well as the risk of developing asthma.

It may be impossible to remove all irritants from your child's surroundings. To help lessen the adverse affects, use an air purifier in your home. They can help capture and remove airborne particles. Place the air cleaners in your child's sleeping and play areas.

Over-the-counter antihistamines such as Benadryl can help decrease mucus production in the nose, reducing the amount of mucus that drips down the back of the throat. Discuss with your pediatrician about the potential side effects of these products.

Toddler Cough Due to Mild Respiratory Illness

Toddlers and pre-school children can get up to 6-10 colds a year resulting in a lot of time spent coughing. A cough is a prominent symptom of the common cold as it is trying to expel extra mucus in the throat and lungs. Coughs can also linger after the cold has passed but in most cases will resolve on its own without further complications.

As an alternative to over-the-counter cough and cold medicines you can turn to good old fashioned honey to soothe a cough for children over the age of two. One half teaspoon of honey can provide the same soothing qualities as the store bought medications without the adverse and potentially harmful side effects. Do not however, give honey to children under the age of one.

Warm liquids such as decaffeinated tea can also soothe a cough. To make it more effective and appealing to a young child, add a bit of honey and lemon.

Place a cool-mist vaporizer in your toddlers' bedroom and play area. The moist air will soothe the airways and lessen irritation. Be sure to change the water frequently and to regularly clean the unit per the manufacturer's directions. The benefits of moist air can be also be achieved by having your child spend some time a steam-filled room, such as a bathroom.

Make sure your child is properly hydrated. Encourage the drinking of water throughout the day to keep airways moist and irritation- free. This will be particularly helpful for a dry, unproductive cough.

A toddler's simple cough in most cases will be more distressing on you than on your child. Studies have shown that a child's cough disturbs adult's sleep significantly more than the child's. It must be noted however that if your toddler's cough persists and is accompanied by persistent fever, labored breathing, or chronic mucous, this can indicate a more serious condition. To rule out pneumonia, croup, asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, pertussis, and other illnesses, visit your pediatrician if these additional symptoms exist.

Elizabeth Dennis writes for a variety of health topics. To learn more about toddler cough visit our website, the cough treatments guide.,Inc.


If you are a parent of little ones, be sure you are showing your children love during those first three years of life. Article explains.

aangirfan: HELP THE PARENTS - REDUCE YOUTH CRIME: "Image from: 'Bullying at Columbine High was rampant.' ..."

10 Discussions Children Have with Friends When Parents Aren’t Listening

Kicking off the new school year already, huh? Well be prepared for what lies in store for your children. Know how to ask the kind of questions that will get down to the nitty gritty! In case you don't know what that means, the heat of the matter or serious discussion. When you ask your children, "How was your day?" Don't expect any juicy details. But when you say, "So what new curse words did you learn today?" Watch their expression! Read this article and tell your friends about it:

10 Discussions Children Have with Friends When Parents Aren’t Listening

12 Ways to Keep Toddlers Safe at Home

As parents we sometimes overlook the dangers in our own homes while looking at what everyone else is doing when it comes to child safety. Be sure that you haven't forgotten any potential hazards in your own home. Review the following:

12 Ways to Keep Toddlers Safe at Home

Parents: The 3 Most Catastrophic Mistakes Parents Make and How to Avoid Them

In all the years I have been working with children and parents, I am amazed at just how many parents believe they can tell their children what to do and their children should just “do as they are told”.

Well I am here to tell you: nothing could be further from the truth. Most of these parents who expect or demand compliance from their children are needlessly headed for frustration and ultimately disaster. The worst part is: it just doesn’t have to happen!

As parents, we know we are far from perfect. We know we make mistakes; in fact, mistakes are a part of life, so it is inevitable. However, what we want to avoid are those serious mistakes that create larger problems that are difficult to resolve.


• Getting into power struggles that create resistance in your child
• Treating your child as if they know nothing and you know everything
• Towering over and overpowering your child to get them to do as you want


All three really deal with power OVER your child. While you have responsibility for your child, ultimately you want them to develop to their full potential so they can live fulfilling, independent lives. If you tell them what to do all the time, they will not learn how to problem solve effectively for themselves.

Think about what you would feel if someone were to assert power and control over you, at your expense. It would be hard to thrive. In nature if a sun loving plant lived under a tree with a huge canopy, the lack of sunlight would mean the plant would not thrive.


Parents who micromanage their child and overshadow every move their child makes, will often say, “it worked for me…I turned out OK… Actually, I was so wild I needed that type of control”.

What a parent who was micromanaged often does not realize is that much of their upbringing and behavior was a product of their parent not knowing other options.

While most children ultimately bend to their parent who exerts their authority in a controlling manner, they do not learn effective coping skills. This hampers them in resolving conflicts through means other than overpowering someone else. Imagine using a sledge hammer when a small hammer would work so much better.

No matter how well intentioned an overpowering parent might be, they build a resistance in their child. A child might submit but silently defy. Silent defiance comes in many forms, perhaps in “showing” the parent that no matter how tough the parent is, they will not give the parent the satisfaction of crying or showing emotion.

This becomes the stoic child who stores their anger and frustration. These emotions when under pressure tend to either leak out or explode at some point with someone less powerful that they can intimidate.

Some children respond to over control with anxiety and fear. Over controlling parents then may feel frustrated that these children seem to have “no backbone”. These children may perceive themselves as weak and ineffectual.

We need to let children struggle against the elements of life, in order for them to develop their strength. If we squash the evolving strength with our rules and demands, we can weaken them.


• Connect with your child, step into their shoes to experience the world as they do
• Calm your emotions because emotions are contagious and if you are calm they will catch your calmness
• Listen to their thoughts and feelings. Children see things, as they appear to them in the moment. Enjoy the humor; children can be enormously entertaining as they tell it like it seems to them. Art Linkletter interviewed thousands of children on his early TV show, and showed us how “Kids Will Say The Darndest Things”.
• Limits are important but you will deliver them very differently if you complete the first three steps first.
• Fresh-Starts are very important because it gives you and your child freedom from mistakes. It normalizes mistakes and communicates your belief that you child can correct the mistakes. This is important as a way to focus on making better choices in the future. With fresh-starts, there is no making a child feel bad about past mistakes once they correct the problem.

No matter how long you have been a parent, chances are you are missing one of these steps or applying them out of order. The good news: you can follow the simple steps I have outlined to stop making mistakes that have lasting impact, and insure that you connect to have positive influence with your child.

Sandra, psychotherapist and Child Expert, creator of the 5-Word Parenting System: Connect, Calm, Listen, Limits and Fresh-Start. Learn it once use it for life. Contributing author to All-in-One Marriage Prep.http://one-step-ahead-parenting.com

Germs Don’t Cause Disease, You Do

We once had an in-office day care. It was complete with a classroom, an area sectioned off for indoor play, kitchen and outside playground equipment. There was a full-time monitor/teacher and lots of little munchkins around the office interrupting us during the course of the day.
It was healthy and nice for moms and dads to be able to interact with their children during the day. If you own a business, think about doing this. If you are an employee, get together with coworkers to see what you can do to help the business you work for get one established. We operated ours for almost a decade, until most of the youngsters grew up. Several of them have even come back to work with us as young adults. We became like a home away from home.

I was the official sliver surgeon for all the kids. Our office is in a wooded area so almost every week there was a sliver drama. That’s when I got to perform my magic with terrifying instruments like a scalpel, forceps, needle and magnifying glasses. My little patients tried to be real brave and fight back tears, but their dilated pupils and clammy trembling hands revealed the true life threatening state they found themselves in. All the other kids were a wide-eyed and awed audience for these major surgical events. It was just like The Learning Channel surgery programs, but with a Sesame Street flair and a little less blood and guts. Once my patient’s survival was assured, there were lots of hugs and thanks. Then off they would all skip, relieved that their friend had survived one of life’s dire and perilous calamities. They could be heard around the building all abuzz with, “Did it hurt?” “I saw the blood!” “You were brave!” “How big was it?” “Glad that wasn’t me!”

Actually, everyone would be pretty brave about this except my own kids. To listen to them when I am removing a sliver not even visible except with magnification, you would swear I was working on a 2 x 4 with vice grips or sawing their limb off with a chain saw. No need to be brave when it’s Dad who’s working on you.

As I would work on sweaty, grubby little hands, I wondered how kids ever survive childhood with all the filth. If germs were really the true cause of disease, how could any of us survive? Do we really think washing our hands with antiseptic soap, disinfecting toilet seats, doorknobs and telephones, wearing surgeon-type face masks on the streets and getting vaccinated keeps all of the germs at bay?
One E. coli bacterium can produce four billion offspring by the next morning. Viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and parasites are ubiquitous throughout nature in air, water, on surfaces, skin, food and ground. They are microscopic and in countless numbers. Just one gram of soil contains over a billion microorganisms. If you shoveled just one cubic meter of dirt, 35 pounds of it would be these microscopic critters. Some are pathogens; others are necessary for our survival. Without bacteria to consume garbage, we would have long ago been smothered under the refuse nature and we create.
Good bacteria (probiotics) on our skin and in our mouths and intestinal tract actually help thwart the bad bacteria. Disease causing pathogens can even exert a beneficial effect by stimulating immunity. That is the principle of vaccines. The thing that it seems science is trying to achieve – no bacteria at all – with obsessive disinfection and sterilization is neither possible nor beneficial.

For example, scientists attempting to rid chickens of salmonella (food-borne pathogens) tried a sterile environment. The result was that mortality increased because the chicken’s immune system could not develop properly without exposure to the pathogens it needed to be protected against. Germ-free chickens were fine so long as there were absolutely no germs around. But since that would never be possible, once exposed to the pathogens they would easily succumb to disease and die. The solution was to feed baby chicks the salmonella infested droppings of the mother hens. After all the sterility failed, they found the cure was in the filthy poop! (Wysong, R. L. Salmonella Enteritidis Infection From Eggs, Wysong e-Health Letter, September 1999.)

We could never sterilize the world if we wanted to. If we did it would result in our demise. The microbe paranoia serves primarily the interests of drug, vaccine and disinfectant manufacturers. (I am not suggesting reasonable hygiene is not in order.)

I hear you, “Yeah, but we would be having the plague and other epidemics if it weren’t for medicine.” Contrary to popular belief, diseases like polio, measles and typhus were not conquered by humans. Note in the accompanying graphs that the vaccine or chemotherapeutic agent that is credited with vanquishing the scourges was introduced after the majority of the decline in the disease had already occurred! (Why Modern Medicine is the Greatest Threat to Health It would be like me taking credit for dropping the tide by bucketing water out of the ocean as the tide was receding. Infectious diseases have a natural ebb and flow and so does the general immunity of the population. That is the reason epidemics decline regardless of human intervention.

We can’t even eradicate the mosquito, a creature which we can see and for which we can examine every life stage in detail. How are we going to eradicate microorganisms, which, if crowded side-by-side, would number in the trillions to occupy the space of one mosquito?

Look at the creatures in the wild co-existing, and even thriving in what we would consider filth. Rabbits eat their stool, vultures eat rotten carcasses, and dogs will roll in the most putrid, decaying material they can find and then lick themselves clean and offer the perfumery to their friends to lick as well.

Children constantly have their fingers in their mouths after wallowing on the floor, playing in the toilet or exploring the garbage pail. We adults aren’t exactly sterile in our habits either. Up until relatively recently a bath once a year was considered plenty in western society. That or less is common elsewhere in the world to this day. Billions wipe themselves with their fingers (usually with the left hand, a good reason to shake with the right) and yet live in societies that rank higher on health scores than nations with bidets, perfumed toilet paper and disinfectant aerosols and soaps.

Don’t buy the simplistic germ-view of how we get disease. True, certain pathogenic organisms can be associated with disease, but likewise so are crows and buzzards associated with road kill. The buzzard is not responsible for the road kill, neither are the pathogenic organisms responsible for disease. They are both opportunists. They wait until the prey is weakened and then they dive in. In microcosm, infectious disease is like the carnivore-prey drama occurring throughout nature. Predators always choose the easiest meal: the unfit, the weak and disabled.

We are not victims. Disease does not strike us. The opposite view that disease is a result of virulent microorganisms lurking in our environment waiting to attack us, organisms we can’t even see much less understand, makes us dependent on experts who have a vested interest in our illness. No matter how much money we give them, they will not protect us from the dark germ forces in spite of their Star Wars antiseptics, vaccinations, antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents.

We are in control of our own defenses. We either create the setting for health or the meal for pathogens. Our choice.
Dr. Wysong: A former veterinary clinician and surgeon, college instructor, inventor, research director for the company by his name and founder of the philanthropic Wysong Institute. Also check out

Mother Love

Scientific studies conclude something mothers everywhere have always intuitively known – that the unique love they have for their offspring is vitally important to their development. A mother’s love and nurturing even directly impacts the biological development of the child's brain and central nervous system. In effect, mother and child are “hard-wired” for mutual love. The brain is like a template designed to await molding by its early environment. One researcher even wrote that hugs and kisses during the early critical periods assist in making neurons grow and connect properly with other neurons.
Throughout childhood, warm human love and touch generate an internal release of addicting and pleasurable opiates. Even teenagers (who may act as if they don't need the parents at all) must receive ongoing neural synchrony – love – from the parents. The brain and heart appear literally designed for love, with happiness and even health depending on it.

The pituitary hormone, oxytocin, is present during all loving acts but most especially at birth where it serves to stimulate uterine contractions, and during nursing for the milk ejection reflex. It, along with the nursing hormone, prolactin, help create that intense feeling of love shared by mother and child. Endorphins are physiological chemicals that are also released in both the mother and child during loving contact. They create a feel-good high for both and thus play a critical role in encouraging affection and dependency.

When bonding fails, it is theorized that the absence of these pleasure chemicals can leave a void, making such children especially susceptible to drugs that can also release such pleasure chemicals. The stress hormone cortisol is also released when touch and love are lacking. Sensory deprivation in mother-absent children – a form of stress that stimulates the release of cortisol – can increase susceptibility to abnormalities such as depression, violence, substance abuse, and even impaired immune response.

The most natural way mothers deal with newborns in the majority of the world is with an in-arms approach. In more primitive cultures where mothers are barely allowed a break from work to give birth, babies are swaddled to the body creating constant contact and reassurance. This bathes tissues in love hormones and encourages development of healthy neural connections, particularly as the synaptic connections in the cortex develop for the first two years of life.

There is also heart-to-heart, quite literally, between mother and child. Heart muscle cells not only contract, but also communicate with one another. Isolating one cell from the heart in a petri dish causes it to lose its rhythm and begin to fibrillate until it dies. Putting two cells in proximity to one another causes them to synchronize and beat in unison. There is an unseen and as yet unmeasured communication between living cells. The beating of the mother's heart and her breathing pattern coordinate in a critical way with the infant's internal rhythms. This is part of what is known as a synchronizing hormonal flow that occurs between mother and child (directly from breast milk and also from loving contact and even from proximity and thought) that help to regulate vital rhythms in the child. Mothers instinctively place their babies to their left breast, keeping their two hearts close. The mother's developed heart actually stimulates the newborn heart activating a dialogue between the two hearts and minds. Mother and child are more appropriately considered as one, rather than two separate entities as they bond while the child is being held and nursed.

These interesting links that science is revealing between mother and child are another proof that all life is holistic and intimately interconnected. The ideal holistic model is that which nature presents and it is clear that mother and child are meant to be intimate. Children cannot simply be cast off to be fed, clothed and housed as if that were enough. Society needs to take note of this important biology as more and more pressure is put on modern families and mothers to treat newborns as just another duty to schedule into the appointment book or to have serviced by a third party. By giving love the respect it deserves and making it the starting point of life, the odds are much greater that love will then blossom in children and be carried through to their children…and, who knows, perhaps continue on to the world at large. We could use a lot of that.

Dr. Wysong: A former veterinary clinician and surgeon, college instructor in human anatomy, physiology and the origin of life, inventor of numerous medical, surgical, nutritional, athletic and fitness products and devices, research director for the present company by his name and founder of the philanthropic Wysong Institute. Also check out

Helping Your Child to Read Well

Instilling the habit of reading in your child will help their mind open up to all sorts of possibilities that they otherwise wouldn't have. This is one of the most important things you can do for them as a parent.

If you want to be successful with helping them to read well, it is important to be patient with them as they are learning their new skill. Giving them a lot of room to grow will help them get comfortable easier.

New readers will encounter the frustration of trying to learn how to put letters together into words. Not only that, but it takes a lot of practice to get the pronunciation down as well, so be ready to be a constant source of encouragement for them.

When you are introducing them to reading, pick books that are geared for children. The ones with nice and colorful drawings along with large type helps them to stay focused as well as speeding up the learning process.

Keep them at their reading level until they are ready to move into something harder. Let them grow at their own pace, with a little direction, and they will move into some more difficult reads soon enough.

Remember that children need breaks too, and try not to overdo it. They will have a better chance of loving to read if they can grow at a steady pace without it becoming a chore that they will hate.
The same goes with teaching them new words. Don't over stuff their minds right away, and try giving a few a day for them to work on.

Remember to also guide them through the process. Don't be afraid to read along with them, and always be encouraging as they stumble through words and sentences. Being patient and gentle now will make them better and more confident readers as well as developing the skills they will need in other areas as well.

Reading is something that almost anyone can master if they learn under the right conditions, and you as a parent are the greatest asset in making that happen. Guide them but don't intimidate them while being patient, and they will develop a strong understanding as well as love of reading for their entire lives.

Severe Anxiety and Phobia in Children - How to Know If a Child Needs Help

Anxiety is one of the most prevalent problems of childhood and adolescence, but the least likely problem to be treated. Common effects of severe anxiety or fears include interference with family relationships, school performance and friendships as well as significant personal distress.

Avoidance is a Key Sign of Severe Anxiety

It is not always obvious that a child's difficulties are a result of extreme anxiety or fear. Avoidance is the most common outward sign that there may be a problem. Children and adolescents will actively try to avoid encountering anxiety or fear inducing events or objects.

Some parents, and even some health professionals, believe that children will eventually outgrow their problems with severe fears and anxiety. Research clearly shows us that this is not the case. Left untreated, children who suffer from severe anxiety and fears are at greater risk for additional emotional and behavioral problems such as depression and substance abuse.

How do you know whether a child is suffering from severe anxiety or fear?

Examples of interference or impairment in a school setting:

What you may see or hear
What may be happening
Child's school work is deteriorating because the child is so distracted from worrying
Child has high rate of absenteeism
Due to separation anxiety disorder, e.g., the child worried about being away from mom
Child's grades are dropping off because child does not participate and does poorly on tests
Due to interfering social evaluative fears, e.g., the child worried about what others think
Child making frequent visits to school nurse and is frequently picked up early by mom
Due to panic disorder, e.g., the child who feels like she needs to vomit every day

For further information on whether your child may need help, please visit our website:

Child Anxiety and Phobia Program (CAPP) at Florida International University

Value Health Card Inc.

How Should You Teach Self Defense to Your Children?

Self defense is not only important for elderly people but also has a huge importance in the lives of small kids. It is essential that you teach your children some basic self defensive moves early in their lives so that they can master them as they grow up. Children are also in very much danger as the adults are. There are many crimes in the world in which children are attacked for instance theft, kidnapping, murder etc. Criminals can easily steal things from children when they are going to schools or playing outside in the playgrounds. Similarly kidnapping is a very common crime these days and children are kidnapped for money. Although you can never prepare a child to face these huge crimes but you can create awareness in his mind how to know when and where he is likely to be attacked.

You can teach your child many basic things which will help him in avoiding many dangerous situations. The first thing you should teach your kids is not to talk to strangers when they are outside. The first thing the criminals do is talk to children and engage them in conversation. You should tell the children how strangers come to them and try to get their attention by talking to them. Children should ignore such people as much as they can. The next thing to teach them is not to take anything, the stranger offers. The criminals who attack children mostly offer candies to them. You should tell your children what it can lead to if they accept things from strangers. Do not let your children go out at night and when they go to parks try to accompany them as much as you can.

Besides teaching these basic thing to your children do tell them how they can perform some simple self defensive moves. Teach them just how to kick someone and run away after-wards. Do not teach them any technique which is related to weapons. Weapons can be very dangerous for children. Therefore weapons should not be given to them before the age of eighteen or twenty. If you create awareness among the children of the dangerous world outside and tell them how to ignore people, then you have done your homework as far as teaching them self defense is concerned. You can teach them complex stuff when they are grown up. It is better to join some professional training institute where special training classes are conducted for children of different ages.

By Imran Al

Learn more about online self defense training course and check out the cheap martial arts weapons for your self defense.


Find Out How to Stop Stuttering in Children

Some say that stuttering from age 2-5 is normal. Even more so this type of stuttering may only be referred to as developmental stuttering, where kids are still flexing out their speech patterns and capabilities. In fact this type of stuttering are said to be outgrown by the kid after 6 months or even less. But what about for situations of stuttering in children that lasts more than six, months or even years? Once persistent stuttering is detected, it is best to act fast. The best thing to do in this situation is to hire a speech and language pathologist or speech therapist who is equipped and knowledgeable on how to stop stuttering in children.

When it comes to dealing with the kids, the most important thing to do is to relate with the kid in a manner that is not intrusive. Professional speech therapists know how to stop stuttering in children, and at the same time they know how to make children feel at ease. Effective therapists will not follow around a toddler and rattle off words to teach him in a business-like manner. Instead, he will make the kid feel at ease by playing with him and warming up before starting with the therapy. Therapy can be said to have the characteristics of play to attract the children to open up and become responsive to the lessons.

For example speech therapists nowadays will try to talk to the children while emphasizing some words, which in turn makes the children imitate. Also the most common way of teaching and at the same time playing with the children during speech therapy are playing different types of games. One game is called the Picture Flash Game: In the game, the therapist will flash a card with a picture on it. For example, a picture of a car - the picture has no label but, the flashcard indicates the syllable that the kid has difficulty in pronouncing, and for this example it could be the syllable "Ca. This way, the kid gets to practice his mind without being dictated and at the same time won't be struggling with the answers because there is a clue.

These is an example of motivational, educational yet fun way of how to stop stuttering in children. By practicing daily therapy and monitoring, the problem areas will improve and at the same time therapy will not be a boring activity that kids avoid.
By James Coffey
There are more resources for how to stop stuttering included on this website:, visit now!
baby star

How to Tell Stories to Your Children - Creative Parenting Tips on Story Telling to Kids

What are the benefits of reading stories to your children and what's the best way of doing it? How to you make it interesting? How do you increase their learning? Make story telling time a pleasure for both parent and child with these top storytelling tips.


When you see an indifferent, bored or restless kid suddenly entranced by a beguiling story tale, you can fully appreciate the power of storytelling and the rewards it brings to both listener and storyteller. Here are just a few of the benefits of telling bedtime stories to your child:

1. Storytelling helps you bond with your child

Storytelling is one of the best ways to create a bond with your child. You are communicating and engaging with your child on a one-to-one basis. It is also a good chance for your child to find out something about you too as you can put your personal touches into the story.

2. Story time forms part of a restful routine before bedtime

Most parents understand the enormous benefits of sleep for a young child. However, many toddlers refuse to go to bed. Creating a quiet and regular schedule before bedtime helps get your child to go to bed.

3. Story time is one of the most effective language-learning tools

Kids do not know the difference between learning time and play time. For them, almost all the time is play time. Reading a bedtime story is one of the best ways of teaching language skills to young children.

By the way, do not feel that you have to pause the story to explain every new word. If your child asks, by all means, explain the word, but a lot of the time they will get the meaning through context. Sometimes it is good enough for now to introduce concepts that will be explained later. For example, jokes such as puns may be very difficult to explain and you don't need to. You are simply introducing the overall concept of a 'joke' which they will learn to understand in finer detail as their learning progresses.

4. Story time teaches so much more than language

Storytelling does not introduce simply language and vocabulary. Ethics, geology, botany, physics, zoology, chemistry, human behavior, social skills..all these areas may be introduced through seemingly simple tales.

5. Storytelling time will help your child to concentrate and focus

The nightly bedtime story is most of the most simple yet effective means of forming the habit of concentration, of fixed attention in your child.


Here are simple tips for reading stories to your children.

1. Schedule time for storytelling and turn it into part of your bedtime routine

Getting your child ready for bedtime is often the second most stressful, busy time of the day, next to the morning off-to-school rush. As mentioned, you should make storytelling part of your night time ritual. Switch off the TV and any other noise, put away toys and other distractions. Dim the lights except for your reading lamp, settle your child down on the sofa with their warm glass of milk and read them an engaging story. This creates an atmosphere and routine your child will learn to understand, and will have them calm and ready for bed. I know that you might be tired and distracted, but try to make this time focused

2. Picking the right bedtime story

A great bedtime story has a sense of familiarity but with some magic or mystery, repetition, great characters and a storyline that moves along.

Goldilocks and The Three Bears, for example, contains familiar and related objects and situations such as a breakfast setting of porridge, chairs, beds, a mummy, a daddy etc. It also achieves an air of mystery "who's been sitting in my bed" and magic by having three bears at the center of the tale.

A classic tale such as Jack and The Beanstalk has wonderful characters from the old lady Jack meets along the way, the giant's wife, and of course, the wonderfully scary Giant with those memorable lines "Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman". It is a great chance of course for you to put on your most dramatic voice.

A tale like Three Little Pigs has lots of repetition so the child is able to anticipate parts of the story. The big bad wolf goes up to one of the little pig's houses and he will blow and will blow....but what will happen next!?

It is hard to go wrong if you pick one of the classic fairytales: The Ugly Duckling, Cinderella, The Frog Princess, Goldilocks and The Three Bears, The Princess And The Pea, Rapunzel and so many more.

As for the best modern bedtime stories: try the works of Julia Donaldson, Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are and of course, Dr Seuss.

3. It helps to know the story

If you are already familiar with the bedtime story, you can turn your primary focus onto your child. Eye contact is a key part of bonding and you can't engage your child by looking in their eyes if your head is in a book. Knowing the story also means you can be spontaneous and ad-lib a little.

4. Delivery

Speak with passion and engagement and you are sure to hold your child in rapt attention. Obviously do not rush, keep to a pace your child can follow but at the same time, there's no need to string out every word. Act as if you are hearing the story for the first time too: express surprise, humor, tension as the story goes along.

5. Participation

As your child grows older, encourage them to participate in the storytelling. They can repeat "Fe Fi Fo Fum" with you, for instance, or you can ask them what they think will happen next. Obviously, hold off if your child is quite tired (by the way, you don't have to finish the story if they are too tired, just bookmark for the next night) or busy with their milk or too young. Before they learn to read, you can point at the pictures. Once they start to learn to read, you can follow the words with your finger or ask them to do the same. Do not dismiss their questions even if they are not relevant. This interaction and questioning is a valuable part of their cognitive learning.

6. Enjoy yourself

And finally, enjoy story time, do not see it as a chore, and your child will feel that sense of passion, concentration and joy.

Gemma Swansburg is re-reading her favorite bedtime story, Anne Of Green Gables. Gemma is a writer/researcher. Visit her latest article, a series of Luminess tan reviews. For best prices, product info and special offers for the Luminess tan airbrush system and other airbrush makeup equipment, visit


Why Some Children May Never Get the Sleep Disorder Solution They Need

There is a growing trend in the area of medical treatment for children with sleep disorders, and it could spell big trouble for the suffering kids if it isn't reversed soon. Dr. Dennis Rosen, a noted pediatric sleep specialist, recently pointed out the huge shortage of the number of qualified subspecialists in the field of pediatric medicine. Oddly enough, when it comes to physicians specializing in adult medicine, the trend is just the opposite: every doctor and his brother wants to be an adult specialist. Why the disparity? I'll give you one gue$$.

Adult sleep specialists make a lot of money. A LOT of money. Those who help children to find a sleep disorder solution, on the other hand, don't make nearly as much. Not only that, but those graduating doctors who want to work with children must attend even more years of medical training and residency. That means they'll have to go into debt even further and wait longer to begin paying it back. That makes pediatric medicine very unattractive from a sheer financial standpoint. But the money issue, significant as it is, isn't the biggest repercussion when it comes to the huge difference in the number of qualified sleep disorder specialists. What is the issue is the access to care.

With so few pediatric specialists in the area of sleep disorders available, that means one of two things. Either the affected child will have to travel great distances at great costs to get the care he or she needs, or that child will have to wait (sometimes months on end) before he or she can be seen by one of the few practitioners he can find. Or perhaps a combination of both.

Check out these sleep disorder statistics. According to the American Board of Pediatrics, there are only 751 qualified pediatric practitioners open for business in the United States. That's only 1 for every 100,000 suffering children. And in sparsely populated states like Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, there isn't even one!

Even though the US government is under great pressure to reduce medical spending, this is a free market problem that simply isn't going to fix itself without some significant intervention from Congress. Too many children's lives are at stake for lack of qualified medical professionals. The extra training is definitely needed (children aren't just "little adults"). But something needs to be done to ease the financial burden of aspiring pediatric sleep disorder specialists. Otherwise many suffering American children won't get the sleep disorder solution they desperately need.
By Harvey Foreman
Do you or a loved one have insomnia? It may be very treatable. Or it may be a bona fide sleep disorder that requires treatment and medication. Visit to find out which one you need and get the rest your body craves. Don't wait another night. Get visit now and get to sleep tonight.

Back To School Shopping - Top 5 Tips

It's that time again to get excited and do some shopping for back to school clothes. Here are 5 tips to follow when doing your back to school shopping.

1) Shop end of summer sales - You know as well as we do that kids wear short sleeve polo shirts all year long, so hit the big summer sales and snap up discounted duds that can be worn well into fall.

2)Stick to the list - It's easy to sway from the clothes you set out to get but remember to pace yourself it's a long school year and there will be some shopping through the year, so make a list and stick to it.

3)Separate wants from needs - Most clothes don't go out of style over the summer, and your child should use some of the previous years school clothes his or her has or maybe there is a older brother or sister that has some slightly used clothes that could be handed down.So there may not be a need to go out and buy everything brand new, also if money is tight you might want to hold off on winter clothes for a couple of months.

4)Have a budget, Stick to the budget - Set aside your back to school funds and only use that money, because things could get out of control real fast.

5) Shop online - More people are shopping online these days because it's fast,easy,safe and in most cases cheaper. There are huge discounts when shopping online.
By Carl Bender
So there it is 5 great, quick tips to do your Back to school shopping, I have also set up a one stop shopping center to help, just visit Back to school sales to see for yourself.
10% Off School Uniform Purchases over $100 at Cookies Kids!

Short and Long Term Effects of Bullying - The Victim & the Bully

Bullying is a serious problem faced by our youth today. It does not matter if the bullying takes place in the school, neighborhood or on the internet. It can lead to serious problems for both the victim and the perpetrator.

There are short and long term effects of bullying that should be noted for both the victim and the bully.

It is important to realize that once it is determined a bullying situation exists, immediate help needs to be given both the victim and the bully.

Short Term Effects for the Victim:

*Extreme depression - always seems sad and withdrawn
*Loss of self-esteem or self-worth may occur
*Trouble sleeping - bad dreams - nightmares
*Bed wetting might occur, especially in younger victims
*Physical Symptoms (upset stomach, headache, etc...)
*Anxiety about going to school or riding the bus
*Truancy could result as a result of being bullied
*Anxiety about attending social events with peers
*Drop in grade average

Short Term Effects for the Bully:

*Difficulty in maintaining friendships with others
*Generally does not do well in school
*Tends to be truant and often drops out of school
*Higher risk for alcohol or substance abuse

Long Term Effects for the Victim:

*If given immediate help the victim should have limited long term effects. This is especially true if the victim is given assistance by a child mental health care professional to resolve the issues of being victimized.

*If the bullying continues for any length of time:

**Chronic depression leading to suicidal tendencies
**Long term psychological post-trauma disorders
**Self-destructive behavior
**Alcohol or substance abuse may result

Long Term Effects for the Bully:

*Increased percentage are convicted of a crime by age 24
*Increased dependency on alcohol and illegal drugs
*Increased chance of spousal or child abuse as an adult
*Continued difficulty in maintaining long term relationships

It is also shown through surveys that boys and girls, victims and bullies, all have a much higher occurrence of carrying concealed weapons to school.

Our children have a tendency to keep the acts of bullying to themselves. Less than half who are involved report the instances to an adult or parent.

This, combined with the statistics that show over half of our children are either a victim of bullying or a bully, makes this a major issue when trying to secure the safety of our children.

There are many websites available for adults who are concerned about the issues of bullying. I urge any parent, adult and child care professional to visit one of these resources to learn more about what can be done to address this serious issue.

The short and long term effects of bullying and cyber bullying are too great to ignore. Immediate action needs to be taken.

By John W Sheridan

I have written a detailed report on the subject of Cyber Bullycide Victims

Please protect your children from Cyber-Bullying! Read this report before it is too late!

5 Tips To Coping In The First Weeks With Your Newborn

When having a new baby, you really do not realise how much work it is until they arrive. It can feel overwhelming when you need to catch up on your sleep, rest, do housework, fix food for yourself as well as trying to keep up with the demands of a newborn.

This article gives you tips on how to cope.

Accept the realities - first it is important to accept the position you are in. You may be miserable without your sleep or having to put someone constantly before yourself, but this stage passes quickly - more so than it feels at first. Try to focus on enjoying the time and don't worry about routines. Just go with the flow and things will adjust quickly.

Rely On Others - When there is a new arrival in the family, family should be there to help you out and make sure things are easier. If your family offer to clean for you or cook for you - accept it. It will be a much needed break. If they don't offer, don't be afraid to ask and try to rely on people at this time. Also try to keep in touch with friends so that you have people to talk to if you are feeling a little overwhelmed.

Cut Corners or Accept Mess - Try not to let it stress you that you haven't vacuumed in over a week or the house is a little messy. Let it go, your baby is more important and tidiness isn't. It can be tough but it is OK to have a messy house and you shouldn't like you have to keep up appearances with your home. If it bothers you too much, try and get family to help out.

Get Out Of The House - One of the best things I did when I had my son was to go out on a walk everyday. I put him in a sling and went for a walk. This helped his colic and helped me calm down when I felt like a bad mother or unable to cope. Getting out of the house will make you feel like you have taken a much needed breather.

You Can't Spoil A Baby - Despite what many people might try to tell you, it is impossible to spoil a baby. Responding to your newborn's every need is important and not something to stress over. Go with your own natural instincts and trust yourself. YOU know best.

Being a new parent is stressful but relying on others, accepting mess and trying to focus on what is important will get you through it.

By Marie Crawford

Looking for a sturdy safe baby cot bed or a safe pop up travel cot when visiting friends? Check out our websites for the reviews and the best prices in the UK.

When Moving Away With the Kids Becomes a Divorce Issue

One of the biggest hindrances in a collaborative divorce often comes when one party requests to move away from the residential state. In a move away there is typically a compelling reason for the move, such as a job, a new spouse, or to be closer to family.

Take for example a true scenario of Joe and his family. In Joe's situation, his ex-wife requested she be allowed to move to another state to be closer to her family. Joe was feeling guilty, he was feeling overwhelmed, and he was feeling this might help them all get over the breakup of the family. In hindsight, this was perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that Joe ever made.

Joe was trying to give his children a sense of belonging, and to give his ex-wife the support system I knew she craved. Instead this all worked against him, and became a logistical nightmare. His ex moved from his home state of New Jersey to Massachusetts. Her family was there and this was supposed to be good for everyone involved. At first when Joe had his visitation with his children, he would travel the four or so hours to his ex's new home, and he would stay there with their children. He felt that keeping some sense of routine might work best for the children. His ex would stay with family or friends on those weekends, and eventually she had a boyfriend and would stay with him. This is where things spiraled out of control.

Although Joe admitted the original agreement was less than traditional, it worked for his family. However, once a new significant other was introduced into the picture, there were other factors to consider. This arrangement no longer worked and Joe was left to scramble for other plans. Joe now had to make the long drive up to see his children and then find forced activities to do with them, instead of the family all being comfortable in an environment that felt like home to them. Likewise, during overnight visits, Joe was faced with the question of where to stay, and added costs, etc. As all parties currently going through a divorce know, money is always an issue.

According to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) if one parent takes the children into another state and with intent to set up home resides there for a minimum of six months, then residence is established there. The UCCJEA requires that all further actions be heard in the new state of residence.

The moral of the story is it is impossible to predict what issues will come up later in a divorce. For this reason it is critical parents maintain a level playing ground to work out their indifferences.

Ron Lasorsa is a father that decided to take action after an adversarial divorce. He offers online divorce support for child custody through inspiration, information, and services on his "Divorce Cures" website to reduce the emotional and financial impact divorce has on children. Get a free "Divorce & Custody Resource Handbook," when you sign up for his newsletter at

Divorce Cures is an online divorce support for child custody resources that provides inspiration, information, and divorce services to reduce the emotional and financial impact divorce has on children.

Divorce Support for Child Custody

Kid Friendly - Mini Leaderboard

Back to School Sleep Tips

During summer months, we have a way of letting bedtimes sneak later and later. It has much to do with the fact that the daylight hours are longer, thus interfering with the release of Melatonin (our 'sleepy hormone'). That, and the fact that we feel the need to get out there and enjoy every bit of the warm weather and sunshine we possibly can. We all find ourselves up later than usual, and this can spell trouble when September rolls around.

As the summer comes to an end you look back fondly at all the trips to the beach, the back yard barbecues, and the after dinner walks to the ice cream store but you also realize that with summer's end comes the need to get your children back on some sort of a sleep schedule.

So what should you do?

• First, don't wait until the night before school starts to try to lay down the new/old law and have everybody in bed by 8:00. The excitement of a new school year, along with a couple of months of late bedtimes will make this a difficult place to start.

• At least two weeks before school starts, you should slowly start moving bedtime back to an appropriate time. If your child has been going to bed somewhere around 8:30-9:00pm for the past couple months, start by bringing bedtime earlier by 15 minutes every 4 nights. This way, by the time school begins, your child's body has adjusted to going to bed at an earlier time.

• I suggest that pre-school and school aged children through to adolescents, should be going to bed between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. If you constantly need to wake your child in the morning, then he/she is going to bed too late. Putting your child to bed at the same time every night will teach their bodies to sleep the needed amount of night time hours, so they can wake feeling naturally refreshed. No need for alarm clocks if you child is going to bed early enough!

• Get the kids involved! This can include toddlers, and all the way up to teens. For the little ones make a chart of the bedtime routine and go over it with them before bedtime. Some good examples of bedtime routine activities include: a bath, getting pyjamas on, a glass of warm milk or a light snack (nothing sugary or caffeinated), stories, happy thoughts about their day and so on. The purpose of the routine is to act as a system of cues for your child's body and brain; it lets them know that the time for sleep is near. It should be in the same order every night and move in a step-by-step fashion. For young children, offering a sticker or a happy face beside each step of the routine (on the chart) can keep it moving in a efficient and positive way.

• Setting a timer can be a fun, and effective way to keep the bedtime routine on track. You can make it a goal to get everyone ready and in bed by the time the timer goes off. That way it's not really YOUR fault that they have to get ready for bed, it's the timer's decision! If they co-operate you can include a small reward at the end, such as a sticker, or a collection of stickers that add up to a bigger reward. A good length for a bedtime routine is about half an hour to 45 minutes.

• As a child reaches puberty the increase and changes in hormones levels, usually turns your once early-to-bed-child into a night owl. It's very natural and normal for teens to feel the need to stay up late and sleep longer into the morning. Unfortunately, this is not the way the adult world works, so they do need to conform and get up early in the morning with the rest of the family.

• You can help your teen by encouraging her to write out a bedtime routine that can help her make the transition into night time easier. For teens, a bath or shower can be a good way to unwind and a glass of warm milk or camomile tea might help with the release of Melatonin. Additionally, some quiet time in their room listening to music or reading can be a good way to relax, followed by sleep. Again, 30 minutes is an appropriate length for a bedtime routine and trying to get to bed at the same time every night will make it easier and more of a habit to wake up at the same time in the morning.

• Watching TV or playing video games right before bed has been linked to an increase in the amount of time it takes children to fall asleep, so those activities should be stopped at least an hour before bedtime.

One last tip: make sure your child's room is dark enough at bedtime. This will help with the transition both at night and in the morning. The early rising sun can provoke all of us to wake too early so purchase some black out blinds or hang a blanket over windows to help keep out the sun.

If you would like some printable bedtime routine charts or other "kid friendly" facts about sleep, check out

Sleep Well!

Dana Obleman
Creator of The Sleep Sense Program

About the Author: Dana Obleman launched her successful private practice as a Sleep Coach in 2003, and since then has helped thousands of parents solve their child's sleep problems. Dana offers individual consultations with parents (in person or via telephone), group seminars, and is the creator of "The Sleep Sense Program", a best-selling "do-it-yourself" guide for tired parents. Dana has made numerous television appearances, has been featured in national and local newspapers, spoken at multiple parenting trade shows and baby conventions, and co-hosted a popular parenting radio program. She was also recently invited to present a lecture on solving infant and toddler sleep problems to a convention of family doctors at one of the country's largest medical schools.

She currently lives on the West Coast with her husband and three young children.

Back To School. Shop our School Uniform collection.

The Faces of Motherhood

Mother, Mommie, Moma, Mom, Mamie, Madea. Whatever the choice, this time the dictionary just cannot do justice to the role. For most of us, from the day we find out that inside of us a seed, a life has been planted and given to our care, a bond begins that is simply indescribable.

As we run the course and watch our bellies grow, without an actual awareness our heart strings become more and more taunt for that little kick, or the flutter of movement that we can now claim as ours. Throwing up, swollen feet, backaches, wow, what a way to start a race. Oh too soon comes the pain which in that moment you feel is as worst as pain can be, then out comes our rite to be called a mother, aka "our little bundle of joy"...we'll see!

For the next months, and into years motherhood brings a salad of emotions. Fear acting as croutons, instinct as the cream de la cream of lettuces, with the contents of our salad of motherhood being fatigue, confusion, experiments, and tears. Now since most salads are just not as good without dressing, we dress ourselves in love. Not the love you have for your man, or your moma. This one is much different, much deeper, so much more attached to your soul. At times it is actually scary because you feel as if there is nothing that can come to change what is between you and your baby.

Giving time, time. We move through the days of teething, diarrhea, fevers, falling, walking, and talking until our little one begins to grow into their own. They suddenly have a way of doing "them." What "they" want, and being who they are, your warnings and your "no" is tested to the limits and we begin to blame it on their fathers side of the family or the kids at daycare, anything, anyone but our babies.

Years begin to fly by and on the first day of kindergarten your heart breaks as they go walking inside, just so independent, waving and smiling; tears begin to fall from your eyes that you can't really explain, the first time of many more to come, but its love.

As life would have it time passes, and days and nights come and go and you begin to see your baby growing like a weed. The next thing you know high school is kicking down the door and boys or girls are ringing the phone off the hook, hormones are raging and necks roll with attitude. Suddenly your advice sounds like a foreign language to them and all of a sudden they seem to think you appeared on the scene just recently and with absolutely no experience or knowledge of what, when or how things work in life.

Your days and nights begin to be filled with wondering if you have said the right things, done the right things. Do they really know how much you love them?

Sooner or later they become young women and young men that make choices, some good, and some bad. Some days you lend your opinion and they take it, others they seem to turn a deaf ear. You find yourself back in the days of when they first started to try to walk and you would let them go, your hands and arms posed around their little world of uncertainty, and they would wobble back and forth and you wobbled back and forth with them to try to keep them from falling. Even back then sometimes they fell, and if they did it hurt you and them, sometimes they took steps with great success and you cheered them on proudly.

Mistakes are made, incidents happen, lies are told (and yes, your child has lied to you too). Motherhood brings such a gambit of emotion that it's hard to define them all. Love for a child that creates hopes and dreams that are sometimes dashed and discounted as if you are a total stranger, yet love forges on.

Nights when they stay out longer than they are suppose to without calling and your mind takes you on a trip through hell, your stomach in knots you walk the floor and pray Gods protection, and its love that drives you. In they come finally and they just can't seem to understand why you're so upset, "I'm fine, moma, stop worrying so much" and off to bed they go, or at least that's what they try to do, in my house things went down a little different. Voices came from the dark asking where in the hell you've been, or just when you thought you made it safely in without her hearing you, if you were lucky, the thrown shoe would miss you, yet it's love that drives her.

Young adulthood and adulthood are real special places where you begin to find out who your children really are. Your lives bring changes in your conversations and you realize that they are not just your children; they are people with their own minds and lives. Motherhood now means loving them enough to let them go, let them be who they are, what they are, right where they are whether you like it or not. You do it out of love.

I would just like to take a moment and acknowledge the mothers who may have lost a child, you are warriors! Despite your hurt you march on, living, and loving. You epitomize motherhood; your love can not be stopped not even in loss. The faces of motherhood are many; they give, give, and give out of love, out of need, out of want. They take, take, take when they think they can give no more, they take love to the next level, and the next level.

Motherhood is a gift, a privilege given by God, a task that requires what no book can teach, Dr. Spock can give all the advice he wants and nothing, nothing can or will prepare you for the journey of motherhood. As sistas walk out motherhood we all need, and require a word of support, encouragement and advice to make it through, your road may help another mother make a decision or see things a little different. Share your words, your failures, and your triumphs at Sista's Common Sense Corner,

Simple Summer Fun For Children

As a mom, you want your kids to stay active during the summer months. You definitely don't want them moping around the house, staring at the TV or playing video games. Here are some great outdoor games for kids that are sure to keep them active and busy all season long.

Remember when you were a kid and spent most of the summer playing outside with your brothers and sisters and the rest of the neighborhood. Remember the simple games you played? Most likely your kids will enjoy those summer activities as well.

Bring on the Water - Summer is hot, no doubt about it. But instead of letting the kids sit inside the air conditioning all day, bring out the water play. Fill up some balloons with water and let them have at it. You can also buy some inexpensive water guns and keep them stocked by leaving a plastic pitcher or two outside. Just remind kids never to throw water balloons or aim at someone's head or face.

You can also have races using balloons. Take a filled water balloon and have two players line up side by side. Place the water below between their heads and have them race to the finish line without bursting the balloon.

Old-Fashioned Fun Another fun outdoor children's game is hopscotch. You can get a quick refresher course on the rules by checking online. Use sidewalk chalk to make the hopscotch board on your driveway or sidewalk and have the kids get hopping.

Another popular outdoor game for kids is capture the flag. Play is simple. Divide the kids into two teams and give each team a different colored cloth to use as a home base. Set the bases at opposite ends of the yard. Set up two areas for jails or outs. As the kids try to capture the flag and get tagged, they are "out" and get sent to jail. If a player reaches the out base without being tagged, she can free all the other kids. The point of the game is to capture or steal the other team's flag without being tagged.

Egg and Spoon Races - Note - use raw eggs for this one. Give each child an egg and spoon. Create a race course, ideally with some obstacles like cones or balls that the kids need to dodge around. The kids will need to go all the way to the finish line and return again - without breaking the egg.

Hey - you knew there were plenty of great outdoor games for children that will keep them busy in the fresh air and away from the TV. Get them started and you will soon be excited to discover all the other fun summer activities kids will come up with on their own.

Andrea Stein is the founder of an online community for encouraging successful tween girls. Go to for your free book Girls Can Change the World and and find out about our free Girl Power Club for Tweens.

Keeping Your Children Entertained This Summer!

It can be difficult to know what to do with your children through the summer holidays. It's a long amount of time to keep them occupied and we all know that they need plenty of it! The following article has been written to help parents, baby sitter and child minders or the following summer holiday.

Don't forget that there are plenty of companies who sell children's toys and crafts for next to nothing. Don't think that you will have to pay a fortune to get things to keep the children occupied. You can also create craft materials from old house hold objects.

It is a good idea to keep the children away from computer games and the TV for a proportion of the day. If it's sunny there is no reason why the children cannot play outside or play a board game or craft on the patio or grass.

By purchasing craft packs you not only stimulate their mind and improve their hand-eye co-ordination but you create a fun activity. It's far better for their mental health to be doing craft and board activities as opposed to sitting in front of video games.

I would recommend searching on the net for deals on games for the children over the holidays. You can often get voucher codes and cash back options.

Don't forget that you can also take them out to feed the ducks or collect wild flowers. You can teach them about wildlife and also show them different types of flowers. Not only do you teach them something different but they are outside in the fresh air and communicating with people and wildlife.

Have fun this summer and don't forget that there are simple and cheap options to keep your child entertained this summer. I hope you enjoy yourself!

Joan Smith purchased from Baker Ross

What to Do When Your Child Screams and Cries Every Day at Preschool

A mom told me about her son who is three and has just started preschool. She described him as a kid who isn't normally really clingy, but when they even talk about going to school, he starts to scream. According to his teacher he screamed and cries for the full 2.5 hours for the first two weeks. She wondered if this is normal or is he just not ready?

Unfortunately for this mom and the child's teachers, the situation is difficult, but not that unusual. Without knowing this child personally, there are actually two conflicting answers I suggested. I asked her to think about each one, knowing that other parents have done both and felt confident in their decisions.

The solution I recommend most is to try to stick it out. I know how tough it is. A couple of things you might try, are to bring him to school during a time when he isn't in class. For example, if he goes three mornings, bring him in the afternoon or on an off day. Let him show you all around his classroom, pointing out the things that he likes best. Make a big deal about his cubby, his circle time mat, etc. Let him play with you on the playground. If he isn't anxious because he knows you aren't going to leave, he may enjoy himself. Then, when you bring him to school the next day, be sure to talk about something specific that he showed you in the classroom. Tell him you can't wait until he comes home to tell you how he enjoyed it in school.

Also tell him how lucky he is now that he's a big three year old and he gets to have special time with new friends and new experiences. You have jobs you have to do (pick something he doesn't like, such as going to a store) and he doesn't have to go with you to do your job. School is his special time and you are so proud of him because you know it's a little scary to go to a new place by yourself. Ask him to make you a picture that you can't wait to hang on your refrigerator. Be sure to ask his teacher to give him time to make that picture. They should also make a big fuss over the special picture he is making just for you.

Ask his teacher if he can bring a blanket, stuffed toy or other comfort item that he's allowed to keep with him. Slowly his teachers can wean him off of that item. One more thing you can do is have a play date with a child in his class. If he develops a friendship, he might be more excited about playing with this child in school and may look forward to playing with him again after school.

Not to confuse you, but I know another parent who went through a similar situation, and after two weeks she decided to pull her son out of school. She believed he just wasn't ready yet. He had some speech delays, and she chose to use that year to enroll him in speech. She also formed a play group so he could begin to meet and become friends with the children he would ultimately go to school with. She worked with him on the pre-reading and pre-math skills he would be missing in the three year old program, so he didn't "fall behind."

Her son is now in his twenties and she is sure she made the right decision at that time. In fact, she teaches in the same preschool where I teach. If you decide to do this, it won't be popular among other parents. You need to be strong in your conviction that you are doing the best thing for your child. At three years old, he has plenty of time left for school.

By Terri Akman

A bit about myself: I produced the Romper Room and Friends TV show and Bowling for Dollars when I worked for Claster Television in the '80's and '90's. With three kids of my own, I stopped working there in 1996. Today I am a freelance writer and preschool teacher and I am in the process of publishing my first book about preschool advice for parents. Please check out my blog at

What to Do When Your Kids Eating Habits Are Out of Control

This is a common problem with families across the board. Obesity in children is on the rise and we need to help our children now, before they reach adulthood and start the bad eating cycle with their own families. Healthy eating starts at a young age. if you start your toddler off on healthy snacks like fresh fruits and veggie snacks you will start them off right. Now this is not to say that they will never touch junk food. Of course they will! But the important thing is that they will eat less of it. However sometimes no matter how hard you try your child's eating habits do get out of control and so does their weight.

Here are 5 things to do when your child's eating habits are way out of control.

Educate yourself: you and your family need to understand the reasons for bad eating habits and what healthy eating really means. The best way I know to get this accomplished is to read up about this on the Internet. I know that this takes a little time and effort but it is worth it for the health of your child and family.

It does not take a lot of expensive books and manuals to learn how to eat in a healthy way. You do not have to obsess about it just make a few adjustments and use common sense. Then examine your family's eating habits and you will understand why your child is getting into bad eating habits.

Lead by example: In order to take control of bad eating habits you will need to get the whole family involved. Many bad eating habits are simply learned from home. Children learn from examples and contrary to many people's opinions not all these habits come from peers.

So the first thing to do is to get all the family involved. Once the entire family is eating in a better way you will be surprised to see that your child will often follow the same example. Now this will not solve the complete problem but will go a long way to resolving the situation. When all the family are eating in a healthy way your child will not feel that they are being singled out and they will feel that they have support and can change their eating habits.

Do not nag your child this will only make matters worse: The biggest mistake in getting your child back on the healthy eating track is to be continuously reminding them that they are overweight and should stop eating junk. Constant nagging will push them to defy you and eat even more junk. I know because I have done this mistake myself.

Get rid of unhealthy food from the house: This is a hard thing to do. Go through all the food in the house and get rid of all the junk food. You know what they are...chips, candy, cakes and cookies etc. Do not forget to get rid of soda. The important thing to remember when you do this is that once you have got rid of the junk food you must be very sure not to buy any more from the grocery store.

Offer alternatives to junk food and soda: of course you cannot expect your family just to "cold turkey" when you get rid of junk food you will need to replace those tasty snacks with other things. Fruits are a good alternative. Sugar free drinks can replace juices and sodas. Try to encourage your family to drink more water. Sugar free ice cream can be taken in moderation. You can make fun veggie snacks; there are many quick recipes for healthy snacks on the Internet. Make use of a slow cooker to prepare a good meal for your family which will be ready when you come back from work. This will eliminate the fast food habit.

If you take action today you can get your child's eating habits back in control and when they lose those extra pounds you will both be happy that you made the sacrifices. Do not forget to compliment your child on their weight loss as this will make them realize that they have achieved something and will make them feel better about themselves.

Cathy Q is giving away a free mini course "5 Strategies to Lose Weight Fast and Keep It Off" to take advantage of this offer please visit

You might also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.
Custom Search