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Gift Overload

Before you know it, the holiday shopping frenzy will be starting. This is a great time to plan ahead if you feel that gift-giving  for your children got a little out of hand last year. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the season and spend far more than we should on gifts. Parents often find that when their children receive an abundance of gifts, it creates higher and higher expectations each year. The more gifts received, the less children seem to appreciate each individual one. In addition, when excessive spending occurs, a great deal of stress for adults can follow when reality hits and credit card bills arrive in January.

For some families, the issue may be other relatives or family friends who “over-gift.” For others, they themselves are the source of the avalanche of presents. Take a good look at your feelings on this topic and create an action plan now so you can be better prepared.

First up, communicate with those friends or family members who buy gifts for your child. Tell them very directly that while you appreciate their generosity, you are trying to scale things back a little to help your child be more appreciative.  Ask if they have something in mind already or if they would welcome  a suggestion of something your child might enjoy. If the person lives near you, an alternative to a gift could also be spending time together, like a movie date or meal out somewhere that the child enjoys.

For yourself, follow your own advice and keep purchasing reasonable. Make lists and write down every gift purchased so you have a running list of what you have already bought. Set a budget for […]

By |October 23rd, 2017|Child Care|0 Comments|

Bath Time Blues

Some children LOVE bath time and would stay playing in the tub for hours. Others have the opposite relationship with bath time. Since basic hygiene is a necessity, what can you do if your child falls into the “reluctant bather” side of the equation?

Bring on the toys! Look for ways to make bath time more fun. Consider trying bath markers or paints, strainers, squirters, or new floating toys.
Change up the time of day. Some children fight bath time because they know it will be followed soon after by bedtime. Try a morning or afternoon bath when your family schedule allows it.
Add something special – place battery operated tea lights in the bathroom, turn on some music and turn it into a junior spa experience.
If your child is old enough it may be time to give them the option to shower instead.
Fill the tub with bubbles and read to your child. When the bubbles are gone, finish up the story and finish washing your child.

No matter what it takes to get your child in the tub, remember that safety is critical. There is no magic age at which a child is safe in the bath tub. Sadly, drownings occur in bathtubs every year. Young children should always be supervised carefully in the tub. One final note – for many reluctant bathers, it’s a short phase. Try a few of the tricks listed here and everyone will be happy. And clean.

 

-Regina

By |September 18th, 2017|Child Care|0 Comments|

The Child Who Wants to Join Everything

We’ve all heard about parents who “overschedule” their child and keep the child running all week from lesson to lesson or sport to sport, or a combination of the two. The other side of that coin happens too. What if your child wants to join everything? When does a parent draw the line and set some limits?

The answer to those questions can be different for different ages or personalities. A few points to consider as you evaluate what’s right for your family:

Does your child enjoy the activity and look forward to it?
Is your child overly competitive or hard on themselves if they don’t meet their own expectations?
How much expense is involved in the activity? Is that expense reasonable for your family budget?
How does participation in the activity affect the rest of the family? Does it require travel or excessive time commitments that take away from other family activities?
Is your child’s school performance negatively affected by the activity?
Is the activity safe? Is it well supervised?
Does your child have a balance of active and more relaxing activities?

Having a child who is ready and willing to explore many new things is a wonderful thing. Children need some opportunities to try out a wide variety of interests and see what clicks for them. Children who try a range of different things may come across a talent or skill that can become a lifelong source of satisfaction for them. Other children get caught up in wanting to do whatever various friends are doing out of some anxiety or feeling of missing out on something if they don’t get to do it all.

As with most things, balance is the key. Answering the above […]

By |August 23rd, 2017|Child Care|0 Comments|

He Gets To – Why Can’t I?

If you’re the parent of a preteen and you haven’t heard those words come out of your child’s mouth, they will.  (Be honest – a few years back you said them to YOUR parents.) As preteens are starting to put together a better sense of self and their place in the world, they often question what they see as unfairness.  If a friend has certain privileges or possessions that they do not, they can feel they are being denied something they have a right to.

When your child expresses this frustration in an accusatory way, it can easily put you on the defense. It’s a natural reaction for a parent but it generally just sets up an atmosphere of further conflict. Taking a little time to ready yourself for these questions can help you to keep a cool head and yet maintain your own standards for your family.

All families have their own rules, expectations, and financial considerations that play a role here. Some parents allow “riskier” behavior and later regret it, while some feel strongly that allowing some controlled risk is an important step in the growth and decision making process for children. When you can let go and to what degree is a very personal decision that comes with knowing your child’s abilities, reactions to peer pressure, daily environment, etc. Your job is to make the best possible decisions for your own child about what this looks like.

When you set boundaries and limitations for your children, it’s a sign of love, concern, and parental responsibility. Children obviously don’t always view it as that. Be calm, firm, and consistent. Practice a few of these statements to say to your child:

“This is what works for our […]

By |July 21st, 2017|Child Care|0 Comments|

Preventing Summer Slide

The last day of school. The LAST DAY of SCHOOL! Most of us remember that amazing feeling that the whole summer was stretching out ahead of us, and life was GOOD. While summers are a great way to relieve some of the pressures and expectations of the school environment, it can work against some children who may find school more challenging. A little planning can keep your child from losing too much ground on their hard-earned academic progress while still experiencing the joys of summer. You might want to consider some of these tips:

Summer Camps – Some are designed to be heavy on specific subjects like math or science, but many summer recreational camps and programs incorporate academics into their program in fun ways.
Library Reading Programs – Most communities fortunate enough to have a public library run programs for children to earn prizes or other incentives for summer reading.
Book Clubs – Connect with a few of your child’s friends’ families and start a book club for your kids. Let the children take turns selecting titles to read. Schedule a meeting time to discuss the books and incorporate treats that reflect a theme related to what they read.
Summer School – Don’t rule it out! Many summer school classes are packed with fun activities while still supporting your child’s weak subject areas.
Vacations – Assign your child some questions to research about your vacation destination. Along the way, show them how to calculate distances travelled, estimate arrival times, track fuel expenses etc.
Little Free Libraries – Map out locations of Little Free Libraries in your surrounding area and visit as many as you can. Select books to read and then pass them […]

By |June 27th, 2017|Child Care|0 Comments|