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 http://www.preschoolteach.blogspot.com

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 http://lose10lbamonth.com

Baby Pushchairs and Strollers - Getting Ready For Your New Baby

There are many strollers available on the market and your choice will be determined by a number of factors such as price, functionality and style/personal choice. When looking for a stroller you will need to firstly consider the frame and construction of the push chair. Most strollers have aluminum frames and a light weight chassis which folds up easily and it is important that it folds up tightly with preferably a one step folding process. The ease with which you can fold it up and tuck it away is a vital factor for most would be mothers and accessories such as rain covers and it's weight will also be significant with some starting at only 15 pounds.

Something you should also be concerned about is the warranty that the stroller carries and this can range from 1 year to a lifetime warranty. When you fold up your stroller you will want it to fold up into a standing position and the best strollers do so by the front wheels disappearing between the back wheels and ready to be stored away in a space efficient way.

Interchangeable and washable liners will also be a factor in your decision as you will be looking at it for a long time and the availability of accessories such as shades, insect repellents, adjustable handles and a great color choice is important to many new moms. You can expect to pay anything from $50 up to $500 for your stroller and the more expensive ones feature a stroller frame with a removable car seat for baby.

Accessories that you can look for in your push chair include small trays for storage of baby's toys and there are even small trays for parents which attach to the handle and on which you can store some small knick knacks such as your cell phone. Another important feature you will need to consider is the brakes which need to be effective and those which work on all four wheels as opposed to just two are clearly safer for your loved one.

There are many choices to make to ensure that you do your best for your loved one.

To help you with your choices stop by Sarah's site http://BassinetBaby.org where she reviews Bassinet baby products which will definitely help you to make the right choice for your baby.

drugstore.com

What is a Tween? And Why You Should Be Concerned About Them

One of the hardest jobs you'll ever have is that of parent. You may not realize this now, if you don't have children, or if your children are infants, or if they're still under your wing where you can protect and nurture them. But the day will come when your child will walk out your door and leave you at home, wringing your hands, wondering if they will take all that you've taught them into that scary and quite often dangerous world of Tweens. It's always been our perception that teens are the most difficult to handle, that the teenage years are the hardest. But there is a new reality facing parents today and that is the Tween years. These are the years when they're growing out of their babyhood but have not reached Teen status yet. And parents, these are the truly important years.

These Tween years are the precursors of what is to come - the dreaded Teen years. These are the years where we absolutely have to lay the foundation for their future. This is the time to really begin the dialogue on sex, drugs and rock and roll. Ok, so we'll forget about the sex for the most part in this article and the rock and roll of another era seems to have been overtaken by some violent and graphic lyrics of rap, so we'll address that in a future article. For now, let's concentrate on drugs and addiction. The Tween years are when kids start hearing and learning about drugs. Notice I didn't say they start learning about addiction. No, they hear about drugs and depending on who they hear this information from, they may think that doing drugs is cool and that everybody is doing them. Unfortunately they may not be too far off the mark with that reasoning. But these same kids who are curious about drugs do not know the truly down side to doing drugs and that is Addiction with a capital A. For if our children were to really know exactly what addiction is, I doubt that they'd be so eager to start down this path. This is why it's critical for parents to first educate themselves, and then to educate their children. The famous slogan, "Just Say No" initiated by then First Lady, Nancy Reagan, has lost a lot of its impact over time and is only the beginning of what should be a serious, open, and honest discussion about drugs between parent and child. A better slogan to teach your children would be "Just Say Know." Know what drugs can do to you, Know what addiction is, Know how addiction affects not only your life but the lives of your family and friends. Know that you can say No to drugs. Education will be our salvation and we must all be educated on this important subject. We have to reach kids while they're still on the vine or in the tree, so to speak. We can't wait until that tomato ripens or the apple falls from the tree because then it's too late. Kids in the 5th and 6th grades are now acutely aware of drugs. Their innocence is being stripped away from them at younger and younger ages. The time for discussion about drugs and addiction is now!! Don't be a "Not in my family" parent. Just because your child has always been a delight and has not given you any trouble does not mean that trouble might not be looming on the horizon. The Addiction Monster is out there and he's waiting to grab your child and you'll find yourself in the fight of your life, trying to spare your child from his deadly grip.

Start speaking to your Tweens about drugs NOW. There is not a moment to waste. Parents of Tweens, don your suit of armor and grab your tools because, as Bette Davis famously said, "It's gonna be a bumpy ride."


Sheryl Letzgus McGinnis is the author of the book "I Am Your Disease (The Many Faces of Addiction)" published by Outskirts Press. You can read about, and purchase the book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well as the author's website - http://www.iamyourdisease.com. Sheryl's two latest books are Slaying the Addiction Monster - An All-Inclusive Look into Drug Addiction in America Today and The Addiction Monster and the Square Cat. Both of these books will be available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well as the author's website in October of 2008. The Addiction Monster and the Square Cat is a wonderfully educational book for kids ages 10 and up and is told by the sassy but lovable family cat. It packs a powerful punch and speaks to kids in their own language.

I am a retired medical transcriptionist and radio DJ who also did voiceovers for TV. Married, with one living son, having lost my youngest son Scott, who was a paramedic and an RN to the disease of addiction. Happily married for 42 years to Jack, retired 8th grade science teacher. My oldest son Dale is a graduate student in Environmental Sciences and has his own band, New Gravity.

We live in Palm Bay, Florida. I am originally from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and am a citizen of both Australia and the US. We are owned by one dog and four cats!

Sex Education For Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

Talking to toddlers and pre-schoolers about sex can be very challenging for many parents. Sex education for young children is a natural responsibility for parents.

At some point, toddlers and pre-schoolers usually get curious about their own bodies. It's best to let them explore and ask questions at their own pace. Parents can benefit from being honest and frank with children at these early ages. For instance, when a child becomes curious and asks about a body part, giving the proper body part name, rather than a "nickname" like some parents are inclined to try, or perhaps trying to avoid even addressing the questions. This may send a message of dishonesty or mistrust to the child once they get a bit older and realize mom or dad cannot seem to call it the proper body part name.

Also parents can benefit from taking any conversation about sexual awareness seriously, without joking or shame or embarrassment. It is the nature of children to be curious, and denying them this curiosity may affect the parent-child relationship and bond. As an example, many dads have never been able to even refer to female body parts with their daughters without some level of embarrassment or discomfort. Most times, this awkwardness started when their children were babies, and can affect the relationship for years.

Some children may ask a lot of questions. Especially in the most healthy parent-child relationships, a child may feel comfortable firing many questions at mom or dad. They may compare their genitals to a parent's and ask questions about that. Many kids want to know where babies come from at early ages, as well. For parents that may not feel comfortable answering all of these queries directly, perhaps an indirect approach may work, like getting one of the many books written for toddlers and pre-schoolers on awareness of their bodies to help share information.

Toddlers and pre-schoolers can begin to understand the concept of "private" body parts. This is helpful as once they begin to explore themselves, they may also want to begin to explore with playmates. Curious exploration with others is also natural for children, and is mostly harmless. Children at these young ages can learn boundaries and be taught to set limits with issues about their bodies.

Masturbation is also natural at this age. This can be very shocking to many parents. Toddlers and pre-schoolers may even do this in public and at the most inappropriate times, as they are still exploring and unaware of the inappropriateness. Again, parents can benefit from not reacting to a child's self-stimulation by joking, acting embarrassed or shameful. There will be many teaching moments to help children learn that these are private activities.

Dealing with these difficult conversations at early ages is vital for parents. As children get older, the questions about sex just get deeper and more complex. Parents should want children to depend on them (rather than friends) for information about sex. In trying to encourage healthy communication and a close parent-child relationship, parents can begin to earn trust and respect when their children are young. By forging this bond when children are at the toddler and pre-school age, parents can look forward to more trust from their child and a closer relationship when he or she gets older and into middle school and high school.

More information is available on healthy communication with toddlers and pre-schoolers.

FREE parenting books, articles, videos and more - FREE parenting stuff.

For more information on understanding the complex nature of who a child is, how his or her brain develops and processes information, and to practice new and easy-to-learn healthy parenting tools, please visit: Responsible-Kids.net

Marty Wolner (BA, CPE, ICF, PACA) is a Certified Parenting Educator for the Institute for Professional and Educational Development, and New Paradigm Training Institute in Ft. Washington, PA and the Institute for Family Professionals in Philadelphia, PA, and the parent of two teenagers.

When Teens Start Dating - Tips For Parents

Many parents have fears when their teens start dating. These fears are often based on the fact that their teens are becoming adults, and parents worry about having less control or influence over them.

It's not that parents are control-freaks or always want to be in charge. It's simply hard to let go and trust that when teens start dating they will do so responsibly and avoid the well-known pitfalls.

Here are some tips to help you through this time, particularly if it's a scary one for you.

There's no substitute for communication, so work on having a positive, friendly, open relationship. Strangle fear thoughts at birth, as these will 'communicate' to your teens - and when teens start dating there's nothing that puts them off more than fearful parents!

Believe it or not, although your teens may think you are an old fuddy-duddy, you know more about dating than them. They may think they know it all, but since their information is gathered from the media, deep down they're not really sure of themselves. They know that what they read and see on 'teen programs' is not the real world. It's fantasy, meant for entertainment, not for education.

So they'll appreciate a little advice from a friendly quarter. If you've worked on your relationship with them, that 'quarter' will be you. And remember you don't always influence others by speech alone. Actions speak louder than words, and if you role-model a positive relationship with your partner, your teens are more likely to be influenced by that.

Some parents think that when their teens start dating, the parent's job is done. Of course it's not. Ongoing support and advice are necessary. Keep emphasizing the respect aspect of dating: your teens should treat their dates with respect, and should expect the same treatment in return.

Problems and hitches will arise. The best thing any teen could wish for is a non-prying helper who can give comfort, support and advice. Let that be you!

If all goes well, the time will come when your teen wants to bring his or her date home. Most parents - and dare I say it, mothers - want to scrutinize every aspect of their teenager's new friend. When teens start dating they are obviously nervous about meeting each other's parents and family, so try to control the critical eye and be welcoming and supportive. That way the visitor will become more relaxed, so you'll get a much clearer picture!

Never embarrass the young couple by laying down the law about dating. If you have been communicating openly, that will have been covered in private between you and your teens. Remember, your role now is to let go, but be there as a 'guardian angel' figure.

If you take an instant dislike to the newcomer, examine your feelings very carefully. What your teens look for in a relationship may be totally different from your wishes, and you may have to respect their judgment. If the other person has faults, trust that your kids will have the ability to help, or end the relationship if it's not working.

Obviously parents do not want to see an abusive or unhealthy relationship when their teens start dating, and if you see clear signs of this, then talk about it - but tactfully and supportively.

There's no denying it can be hard for parents when teens start dating, but you can relax and know that all will be well if you:

model the type of relationship you want them to have
work on clear communication.

Frank McGinty is an author and a teacher specializing in Personal & Social Development. Together with his wife, Grace, he also runs a 'Family Life' website, catering for a wide variety of family interests and concerns. For their f.ree report on 'Raising Assertive Children' visit >
http://www.Family-Life-Plus.com

New Baby and Meddling Mother-in-Law

The following is a letter written to a clinical psychologist along with her response. Enjoy!


Dear Dr. J

I've been married for about two years. When I first met my in-laws, I really liked them. Joe's mother seemed really interested in me and supportive of me too! Three months ago, we had our son, Brian. It's been pure hell since the baby was born. My mother lives in another state, so I asked Joe's mother if she would like to come and stay to help me with the baby. She came and just took over! Every time I tried to bathe Brian or feed him (thank god I breast fed and she couldn't take over on that too!), she told me how to do it and how I was doing everything wrong!

I tried to talk to Joe about it, but he loves his mom and always defends her when I try to tell him how I feel. At the end of one week after the baby was born, she left, but I just can't stand her now! She calls all the time and wonders about the baby, but she's still butting her nose in and trying to be the authority on MY baby!

We have always had Joe's parents and my parents up for a week each in the summer time. I do not want Joe's parents to visit this year! I just dread having my mother-in-law here criticizing me all the time. Joe says he understands, but has put his foot down about not having his parents visit. He wants me to accept things as they are and not make a big deal about it. I will be a nervous wreck having to bite my tongue all the time.

Joe doesn't know this, but I've started to screen phone calls. When it's his mother, I just don't answer. Help!

Mary

Dear Mary

This is a pretty common problem, but a painful one. It is very important for you to get a handle on this conflict with your mother-in-law asap! You say you liked your mother-in-law before and that you felt her attention to you was supportive and positive. This is good because, underneath this conflict, you have good feelings about your in-laws. You don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater on this.

It's not that you want no contact with them, you just don't
want your mother-in-law trying to be the mother. Sometimes it seems easier to be rather black and white about something like this, but the answer is slightly more grey than that. It will
require ongoing boundary setting with your mother-in-law around her role as a grandmother. And, for that, you must get your husband on board.

Sit down with Joe at a time when you are not upset. You can use my response as an opener if you like. The main point is that you and Joe need to be on the same page with this. Otherwise, he will feel caught in the middle between you and his mother, and this is not good! You will end up feeling alone and you may get more and more angry and agitated and try to set rigid and punitive boundaries with your in-laws. This would be a big mistake. Your son can only benefit from his contact with his grandparents. He needs these relationships with extended family. So, you must put his needs before your own on this. And, if you don't get this resolved, it will also have a negative impact on your marriage.

The goal in the talk with Joe is to develop a plan where BOTH of you talk to his mother. In fact, it might be better for Joe to take the lead since it is his mother. He needs to support
you on this, but he also needs to consider the feelings of his parents. Just be sure you and Joe talk it out and know what your agenda is and then talk to his parents, maybe when they come to visit.

My suggestion is to wait and see how they interact when they arrive. Sometimes grandparents can be overbearing when a new baby has arrived, and tend to back off later. If it's still a problem, be sure to tell them how much you enjoy having them in Brian's life and what good grandparents they are. Then ask for the behavior changes you would like.

Avoid making accusatory and blaming statements. It might sound something like this, "We realize you and dad have a lot more parenting experience than we do, and we would like to
be able to ask you for advice. But we would like to take the lead with Brian. We have thought a lot about how we want to raise him, and we have our own ideas about parenting. If we need to, can we then ask you for advice? We may want to do some things differently than you did, and most things will probably be the same. But if you wait for us to ask, we won't feel that you are trying to tell us what to do." Use your own words, but be direct and make sure they understand your boundaries.

Dr. J

Jennifer J. Sowle, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Licensed Marriage and FamilyTherapist. She is also an AASECT Certified Sex Educator and Sex Therapist. Dr. Sowle has a private practice in Northern Michigan.

Dr. Sowle’s website, http://here-to-listen.com, explores psychological issues like: Depression, Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Eating Disorders. She also gives information on relationships, such as conflict resolution, managing family finances, communication techniques, divorce, parenting, and sexuality. She helps in talking to your children about sex and sexual abuse and also addresses stress, anger management, and gay and lesbian issues. Regular features are “Ask Dr. J” and “Can This Relationship Be Saved?”

10 Cheap Family Activities For Every Parent

If you're looking for family activities to do with your children, and don't want them to cost a fortune, then why not consider some of these exciting things you can do.

1. Just spending time with your children playing board games, or dressing up, or reading with them, will be very rewarding. Perhaps you don't get the chance to spend as much time with your children as you'd like to, so why not do something they like doing?

2. Going for walks can be great exercise for all the family, as well as fun and educational. Why not go to the countryside and see what wildlife you can see, or find out more about the area where you live, or put on your wellies and go out in the rain, and jump in some puddles or find some mud to play in!

3. Maybe your children love going to the park, so why not take them more often? You could take a football or a frisby, as well as playing on the slide and swings. Letting your children run around with others their age is a great way for them to make new friends, and also to let off steam.

4. Your children might benefit from going to museums and art galleries, especially if they're studying something specific in history or art at school. You could help them learn more about a certain period of time, or artist, and help them with their schoolwork at the same time. You might enjoy visiting a museum or gallery you haven't been to in a while too.

5. Are your children too young to appreciate your favourite sports? Why not see if they'd like to go to a football or rugby match, or maybe they've been inspired by watching tennis or motor racing on TV.

6. Does your gym have children's classes? Remember that if you don't take your health seriously, and watch what you eat, you can't be surprised if you're children are unhealthy. Instead of watching TV, or spending time on the computer, why not suggest going for a bike ride, or swimming?

7. Getting your children interested in cooking from an early age, can promote healthy eating, and ensure that they understand the importance of eating good quality fresh produce, and get their five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. If you eat a lot of fast food, or unhealthy snacks, your children are likely to want to as well.

8. Don't forget to encourage your children to spend time with their friends. Maybe your children could invite a couple of friends round for tea, or to play. Why not see if you can become friendly with their parents, and they might repay the favour?

9. An afternoon doing arts and crafts is a great way to spend time with your children. Why not encourage them to be creative and artistic? Perhaps they'll enjoy colouring pictures, or making collages, or following instructions to make a model, or create something useful and practical.

10. Gardening can be fun for all the family, so if you've got green fingers, why not let your children help you with your gardening ideas and plans? They could have their own area of the garden, or plant pots, and grow their own seeds, and see how they do.

Now you know what sort of things you can doe with your children, and that they don't have to be expensive, what other family activities can you think of?

By M James

Discover a wide range of Family Activities you can do with your children, and amazing seasonal Gardening Ideas to make the most of your garden. If you're a parent, then you'll love Candis magazine. Find out more at Candis.co.uk today, and subscribe online. You'll be glad you did.

Raising a Disabled Child

As a teenager in the late 60's I couldn't have imagined my life as anything other than being a housewife and mother, a June Cleaver look-a-like. Maybe a "little" job that was cute and didn't require much work or brain power on my part. But that was not to be. Ultimately, I became the parent of a mentally challenged child.

My son was born with a heart defect that required surgery. A tissue graft in his heart failed and blocked blood to his lungs. He went through renal failure as a result. As a believer in a higher purpose, when my son was so near death after the second heart surgery, I swore an oath to take care of him despite my limited understanding that the "normal" child was gone and not sure what would be left.

During my son's crisis a black minister from Louisiana with a daughter facing a similar crisis, whispered these words of comfort "God gives no more than you can handle." When times have been difficult, that phrase has been my rock. I can handle whatever the trial, because God gives no more than I can handle.

My son's father couldn't "deal" with the residual health and learning disability issues and left a few years later. I was left with a special needs child and the courts back in the late 70's did nothing to protect his future needs.

The situation sounds grim, but we managed. I had to for my son and his sister's sake. As the saying goes, "failing was not an option". When I began my journey as a single parent I had a $7.00 an hour job in a flower shop and an order for child support that seldom came. We managed because I had no choice. Meanwhile, I became a better person for the struggle. A hobby a few years later became a livelihood and now makes an income six times that beginning salary.

My son and I still live together after all these years. I own my own house, I have a new car, and I have a career as a writer. My son and I travel together, go to movies and both our lives are filled with outside activities for each of us. I am a firm believer, you make your life what it is. I decided a long time ago to have a happy life despite the challenges thrown my way. Over the years I have faced my son's health crisis', job lay-offs and my daughter's diagnosis of being bi-polar. Despite it all I chose to be happy. I am a successful person on so many levels.

My crowning achievement is my son. He functions academically as a 8 or 9 year old. But as an adult, socially he is charming, personable and friendly. He is everything a parent could want in a son. He takes his job seriously. He is a hard working young man who still opens doors and isn't afraid to scrub the toilet while I do laundry.

Not everyone would consider my situation a blessing but I do. The struggles have been rewarded time and time again. I stood at my son's bedside and made a promise. That promise of "I'll endure whatever hardship" has turned out to be "heaped with blessings". My life is not what I expected, but it is richer than I could have ever imaged. Having a disabled child is not the end of the world, it's the beginning of a more rewarding life filled with unconditional love and great joy.

Charlotte Hoaks is a successful technical writer in the Houston area. She and her son are members of the Association of Retarded Citizens (ARC) a support organization for the disabled. Charlotte uses her skills as a writer to share information and inspire others to be more pro-active with assistance for the disabled. The disabled are the "silent" minority. They only have a voice when others advocate for them.

5 Things a Single Father Should Know About Their Kid's School

Single fathers can feel cut out of the picture when it comes to staying on top of the events and procedures at their kids' schools. There is plenty of information to handle, from homework to after school activities. Some announcements may come home with kids and get lost. But these ten tips can make life much easier for everyone:

First, make sure teachers know that the kids have a single father so there won't be any misunderstanding. Don't depend on the kids to relay this information. Make the information known and be clear about it.

The second step is to be sure to make it to Back to School night, PTA meetings and any other opportunities to meet and connect with school administrators and teachers. At Back to School Night teachers may describe classroom rules and leave contact numbers. They may even describe the course curriculum. Back to school night gives single fathers a chance to gauge the tone of the school, general procedures and the appearance and layout of each of their children's classrooms. It is an important way to learn about a school.

A third point? Be sure to ask about free tutoring service or resource rooms in the school. Many schools offer after school tutoring for free. Sometimes, teachers can recommend names of experienced tutors. Busy parents sometimes can use these services to help their children succeed. Find out where resource centers are located and where free tutoring takes place.

The fourth step? Be pro-active and be sure to check for papers and announcements that come home with children. Have a file folder set up for each class as well as school activities. If there are permission slips to be signed, due dates for major projects or other information, stick it in the appropriate folder and consider having sticky tabs with due dates for important papers. Know if the school has a procedure for clear communication about homework and due dates.

Finally, it is vital to understand a school's policy about absences or missed school days. Some won't let children return to school without a permission slip. Other schools have policies that allow only so many sick days per semester or year.

O'Neil is a eager internet newbie in the art of writing articles. His newest interest is in girl games. So come visit his recommended where you can play girl games. You can venture it his most popular section of games, dress up games.

Dating Tips For Single Parents

It is not easy balancing being a single parent with dating. Single parents face many other challenges than those who are just single and dating. Single parents may feel apprehensive when beginning to date. Here are some dating tips for single parents to help ease that nervousness.

For those who have already taken the plunge into dating; some single parenting tips to help you discuss your new dating life with your children follow the dating tips for single parents.

List

Make a list of qualities your dating partner must have, qualities you would like them to possess and qualities that absolutely will not work for you.

Some desirable qualities might include patience with children. If a long term relationship is your goal; a desire to have a family might be important. Common interests and mutual hobbies could be qualities you would like but are not necessarily required. Qualities that you do not want may include a party lifestyle or lack of motivation. You may also want someone who has an understanding of the demands of parenthood or at least a desire to learn about those demands.

Mindful

Be mindful of your appearance when in social settings. Try not to wear attire that is provocative. You don't want to give the impression that you are readily available. Conduct yourself in a manner that says you have respect for yourself and others will respond accordingly.

Sex

Sex is usually an awkward subject when you are a parent. Professional dating advice for single parents recommend that you do not engage in sexual activities on the first date. In fact, their dating advice for single parents caution against sexual activity until you have established a relationship that is intimate and shows promise of developing into something long term. Sexual relations too early in a relationship that then ends can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem.

Friendship

Work on building a social framework of friends. Participating in social activities with friends is a good way to meet people with like interests in a nonthreatening group environment. Don't be afraid to initiate conversation and introduce yourself to someone you are interested in.

Dates

If friends want to set you up with a blind date; ask for the persons email. Begin corresponding with the person via email so you can begin to learn about the person. Conversation will flow more easily when you already have an idea of the person's interests. This will help ease nervousness on the first date; and hopefully you will have a more enjoyable date.

Explaining dating to your children may seem difficult and awkward. It needn't be stressful. For parents already dating; single parenting tips to help you follow.

1. Graphic details of your dating are not necessary. A simple response that you are spending time with a close friend will suffice in the beginning. If a relationship progresses into more; you can begin to discuss you dating partner with your children. Omit intimate details even if you have a teenager.

2. If dating begins to turn into a more long term relationship; you may consider an introduction. Prepare in advance for the meeting. Professionals recommend to parents dating, this single parenting tip: public areas such as a parks or a zoo make neutral places to introduce a dating partner to your children.

3. Give your children time to adapt to this new person who is getting so much of your attention. Expect your children to have questions and concerns. Answer their questions honestly and keep the communication lines open. Reassure your children they are still your priority and you dating does not change how you feel or take care of them.

Hopefully when you begin dating; these single parenting tips [http://www.singleparentdatingadvice.com/dating-tips-for-single-parents.html] will make the transition for your children go more smoothly.

Pieter West travels the world on a regular basis and have written about numerous subjects. He has an extensive knowledge about, finances, DIY, parenting advice and many more subjects.

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Avoid Sun Exposure For Children

The hotter months is a period available for almost all varieties of family free-spirited pursuit. Yet, children, in particular, are vulnerable anytime that they are subjected to sunshine and one should really have simple steps to give protection to them.

The earliest and most obvious main issue is, surely, that surrounding sunburn. The epidermis of a kid is hypersensitive and affords a poor screen towards the detrimental ultraviolet rays of the day. The consequence is sometimes super fast and hurtful skin impairment in the form of burning.

It is, obviously, wrong to always maintain small children totally enveloped by clothing or coverings in the outside any time the sun is out even if that would always be the approach to deliver the most complete defence to sun exposure. Yet, the unsafe rays from the sun could instill serious soreness and long lasting injury to youngsters.

There does exist a primary associated link concerning too much sun and the progress of skin cancers later in life. The greater and more numerous the exposure, the greater the risk of critical complications in the future.

Sunshine is at its most intense close to noon. Here is the perfect time frame to prevent direct exposure. Keep in the shade or cover up a little one with protective clothing during these times. It may well take only 10 or 15 minutes for irreversible damage to take place at this time of the day and before you can blink your boy or girl is vulnerable.

Too much sun will probably end up being extremely sore for any youngster. Quick remedies, which include the employment of drinking water or aftersun lotions, may ease the discomfort for some time however it will come back shortly after. Therefore, it is most effective to avoid this scenario if at all possible and to cover up and always keep in the shade during periods of strong sunshine.

Bear in mind, too, that when there is a wind or even a mild air flow, the surroundings may feel chillier. However the sun's rays will probably still damage the skin with the very same high intensity. The same applies to bathing, as sun light can permeate water extremely effectively.

The answer for staying away from harmful skin injury generated by the sun's rays is straightforward. Steer clear of direct exposure at instances of maximum strength by using the shade or clothing and, at other times, always keep exposure to a minimum.

By Dr. Mark Clayson

Visit Health Disease Prevention for more health related information

What You Should Do If Your Infant Has a Seizure

As a new parent, watching your infant suffer with a seizure can not only be devastating, but leave you feeling helpless and inadequate as a parent. The first time you see your infant having a seizure is usually the worst and it is not until you understand what is happening and what to do that you will feel more comfortable handling the situation.

Infant seizures are not uncommon and usually the Infant will be fine afterwards. Seizures will only last a few minutes and eventually will stop without any intervention. These seizures or convulsions are the result of abnormal brain nerve cell activity that causes unconsciousness, rigidity in the arms and legs, and twitching of the face or limbs. Most infant seizures are related to fevers, however, recurrent seizures with no fever may indicate a seizure disorder and should be diagnosed by a doctor or pediatrician.

Febrile Seizures

Febrile seizures have a short duration of five minutes or less, are triggered by a high fever and usually indicate an underlying illness. They can be sudden, but after the first episode do not usually reoccur. What's important here is to find out what the underlying illness is that is creating the high fever. Many times, the seizure is the first indication that your infant has some kind of illness.

Although the seizure will only last a few minutes, there are steps that should be taken. First, remove any objects in the immediate area so if the child starts flinging around no injuries will occur. You will want to bring the fever down and the best way to do this is by removing the infant's clothes and applying cool cloths to the Infant's head and chest. Always use cool water, do not use rubbing alcohol. Placing your Infant into a cool bath during a seizure is not recommended and can be very dangerous.

In the event your infant starts vomiting, turn him to his side or lay him down on his stomach. Try to remove any vomit so as not to block his breathing and prevent choking or aspiration. If the Infant starts to have labored breathing gently pull his mouth open from the back sides of the jaw bone using two of your fingers.

Once the seizure is over and your child is awake, notify your doctor or pediatrician right away or take the infant to the emergency room of nearest hospital or clinic for a full examination. As previously mentioned, an underlying illness is usually present and this needs to be treated.

Seizures With No Fever

These types of seizures should be treated the same as Febrile Seizures except for the fact there is no fever, so cooling down the Infant is not necessary. Keep the infant comfortable, away from any objects and do not try to restrain the Infant in any way. Sometimes during a seizure, the infant will stop breathing momentarily. Do not be alarmed or try CPR, the child will start breathing again on their own without any intervention on your part.

Many parents fear that their infant will choke on their tongue or bite it off. There is no way that the Infant will swallow their own tongue and rarely does the child do severe damage to their tongue or bite it off. These fears are unfounded and you should never stick your fingers or any other object into your Infant's mouth during a seizure.

As with febrile seizures, once the seizure has ended and your Infant is conscious and awake, seek medical attention for a full examination, diagnosis and treatment.

Although frightening, seizures are common place and rarely result in brain damage of any kind. If your infant has a seizure, remain calm, follow these simple steps and then follow up with a medical professional for treatment.

Gunawan Harinanto is a Happy Dad with one handsome boy, and webmaster of Baby First Care site. Please visit his site to get more info on Infant Seizure.

Strep Throat - A Common Disease Among Children

Strep throat (usually a more severe form of sore throat) is a very common disease, afflicting thousands of people during flu seasons. Although strep throat can be developed by anyone, at any time, the disease is most often seen in children, who tend to catch the disease in winter or spring. According to statistics, strep throat has the highest incidence in children and teenagers with ages between 5 and 15. Strep throat refers to throat infection with bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes. The disease is generally manifested by reddish aspect of the throat, intense throat pain and discomfort, difficult swallowing, headache, fever, cold chills, pronounced fatigue and nausea. Although most cases of strep throat don't involve serious complications, sometimes the disease can lead to coronary damage, kidney affections or rheumatic fever.

Most of the time, strep throat is acquired by entering in contact with persons infected with the causative bacteria. The bacteria responsible for causing strep throat are highly contagious and they can be easily contracted by air, saliva or nasal secretions. Proper hygiene can substantially reduce the risks of infection with Streptococcus pyogenes and thus you should instruct your child to frequently wash his / her hands and avoid interacting with contaminated individuals during epidemics. In case you have become afflicted by strep throat, it is very important to properly wash eating utensils and dishes and to avoid sharing food or drinks with your child and other members of the family.

Strep throat usually requires paying a visit to the doctor's office. While home remedies may provide temporary relief for the symptoms of strep throat, the infection can only be overcome with proper medications. If the doctor confirms the presence of bacterial infection in the throat (by taking a sample of mucus from the throat and analyzing it in the laboratory) he will prescribe a course of antibiotics to deal with the infection. Common antibiotics used in the treatment of strep throat are penicillin V, erythromycin and clarithromycin.

Although most symptoms of strep throat will begin to ameliorate within the first few days of treatment, it is very important to complete the course of prescribed medications in order to fully eradicate the infection and to stop it from recurring. Strep throat doesn't require bed confinement, and patients are allowed to carry on with their regular activities over the entire duration of the treatment. After 2 or 3 days of treatment the disease loses its contagious character and patients can interact with other persons without the risk of transmitting the infection. However, it is still advisable to maintain proper hygiene and take other precautions until the disease is fully overcome in order to prevent contaminating other persons with the bacteria.

By Groshan Fabiola

For more resources on different strep throat subjects check out this links. You can find great content regarding strep throat symptoms, strep throat in adults, treatment for strep throat and many more strep throat related issues.

Constipation in Babies - Making Things Flow Easier

Your one month old baby grunts and strains as he tries to move his bowels. As a mother, you are typically worried that he may be constipated - you can definitely tell from the look on his face that he is having some major difficulties. So, you call his doctor for some expert opinion. You want to know for certain if it really is constipation and guess what? He told you that you don't have anything to worry about as long as his stool remains soft and moist! No, your baby is not suffering from constipation!

But what about all that grunting? Doesn't it indicate that something is wrong? Doesn't it suggest constipation? According to medical experts, all newborn babies grunt but it does not mean that they are having difficulty in moving their bowels. Basically, they grunt and grumble because their abdominal muscles are not yet as strong as that of an adult's and they need to strain more to push the stool out.

However, when real constipation occurs, you definitely need to have your baby checked by a qualified practitioner. Constipation can be a symptom of a more serious physical or emotional condition and may even indicate an intestinal blockage in younger babies.

To be thoroughly safe, you need to be on the lookout for any significant changes in your baby's stool or bowel movements. And if the baby you are nursing does not move his bowels in 2 days or more, it really is high time for you to consult your doctor about it.

So, what do you need to do once your baby has been diagnosed with constipation? To help your baby move his bowels more easily, try these simple surefire tips:

o Try using suppositories. Glycerin suppositories are safe enough to be used for small children and infants alike. These thin, waxy substances help relieve constipation by stimulating the rectum and by "greasing the walls" to allow for an easier elimination of body wastes. However, be sure to use suppositories only when extremely necessary. Using suppositories on a regular basis may not be good for your baby since once he or she becomes dependent on it, your child will not have a bowel movement without it!

o Enlist the aid of the thermometer. Using a rectal thermometer approved for child use can help your child if he or she is being troubled by constipation. How do you use it? Simply apply some petroleum jelly onto the rectal thermometer and insert it into the baby's rectum. Be careful not to insert it more than 2 ½ inches deep. Don't worry if you see traces of feces in the thermometer as you take it out. It just means that the treatment has been proven effective once again!

o Sweet does it! So, you really need an effective treatment for your baby's constipation, don't you? Well, try this! Add a teaspoon of Karo syrup in about 6 to 8 ounces of your baby's formula and you can say goodbye to your baby's constipation for good! The syrup draws enough water as it travels to your child's digestive tracts thereby keeping the stools soft.

No one deserves to suffer from constipation - especially not the babies and younger children! Just follow these tips and you can be sure to keep constipation in babies and children at bay.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Constipation

Learn to Photograph Babies and Capture Those Special Moments

Unless a baby is sound asleep, taking a picture of a baby is not easy. However, if you can manage to develop enough patience to capture your baby in an unforgettable pose, the picture can be extremely valuable.

Photographs like this will be treasured for years and years and hold special meaning for you as well as your children. You will find out just how valuable these pictures are when your teenager brings home someone special for you to meet. You may have read an article about children photography and have the belief that the same techniques that are used to photograph children will work as well when photographing babies. Is this is what you think, you had better reconsider. There are some special considerations needed when photographing infants and toddlers and you will quickly understand why once you try to do it. As babies grow older they start to understand your wishes and will usually respond accordingly. This definitely makes taking those pictures much easier. An infant or baby up to twelve months old will have no idea what you mean when you ask them to "say cheese".

From birth to twelve months of age, infants go through a number of stages of growth. Often, capturing the perfect pose will largely depend on the stage the baby is in. We are going to take a closer look at baby photography and the best techniques to use at each stage of growth.

Birth to 10 weeks - Take full advantage of the photography opportunities you have at this stage because it gets harder later on. Babies at this age will not move around to much and spend almost all their time either lying on their stomachs or backs or held in your arms. You will get the best possible head shot of your infant if he or she lies on their back. Point the camera toward your baby's beautiful little head and start snapping.

10 weeks to 6 months - At this point, babies are fully capable of holding their heads up themselves and this makes a huge difference when taking pictures. Babies at this age are known to roll over frequently, flipping from their stomach to their back. Babies are now more aware of their surroundings and like to reach out to things. You can get great shots by getting their attention right before you take a picture. To do this, casually play with something that interests your baby and quickly pull the object toward the camera without blocking the lens. If this trick works as planned, your angel will focus his or her attention on the object and therefore the camera, providing a perfect shot. You can try teasing a smile out of your baby by gently tickling the lips with a plush toy before you pull it away.

6 months to 9 months - By the time your baby has reached this age, he or she will be able to sit up without any help, crawl, and stand with the support of a chair or table. A baby's behavior is rather unpredictable at this phase. They can go from laughing, to crying, to a full-blown tantrum in a matter of seconds. You will have probably learned to handle the camera well by now which is a good thing because you will have to do your work as quickly as possible. You can try the tickle trick, but its success will likely be rather short-lived.

9 months to 12 months - Your precious baby has certainly come a long way. He or she is no longer restricted to wriggling around on their back. Once a baby has reached this stage it will be very aware of its surroundings and will try to investigate everything. Babies at this age demand a lot of attention from you so you will have to be able to play while snapping those pictures. One very easy game that all babies love is the classic "peek-a-boo". Playing this well loved game will surely provide you with some twinkling eyes and gorgeous smiles.

Bennetta Elliott is writer of Personalized Gift Express which sells unique personalized gifts and favors for every occasion. They offer a great selection of personalized baby gifts.

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