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Pandemic Holidays

The holidays are approaching and the question many parents have is “How do we celebrate in the midst of a pandemic?”

This year has been a year like none of us have experienced before. A pandemic is definitely a new scenario but if we stop and think, our country has experienced other challenging hardships in the form of depressions, recessions, wars, and natural disasters. The holidays came anyway. Spoiler alert- they will come this year too.

So, again, how do we celebrate? This year, more than ever, we can model optimism and strength for our children. The pandemic is serious and most of us will be altering traditional celebrations in some ways. What we CAN do is to focus on gratitude for all of the things we do have. We can look for ways to draw closer together with our immediate families and create cozy holiday experiences. We’re spending more time at home, so decorate your space! Put up lights inside and/or out and get out the holiday decorations that bring you joy and fond memories. Watch seasonal movies together, play board games, set up a space to create an ongoing holiday puzzle station, return to the tradition of sending holiday cards, play more music, bake favorite treats, burn scented candles, and plan a family hot chocolate bar. Don’t forget to read holiday stories at bedtime!

The writer Christopher Moore said, “Children see magic because they look for it.” This year we could all use a little magic. Let’s make sure our children can find it.

-Regina

By |November 20th, 2020|Child Care|0 Comments|

COVID Anxiety

Welcome to the year of the COVID crisis………The year 2020 started out normal. After the first month or so though, we’ve all seen our lives pretty much turned upside down. COVID-19 entered our vocabulary and since it did, everything changed.

As the virus continues making its way through various states, anxiety levels have skyrocketed for many, and one group in particular concerns me. Children.

How COVID anxiety affects our children may not be known in full for many years, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to lessen the impact now. In the early days of this current health crisis, so little information was known about the virus and its method of transmission that a lot of us reported feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Information is power, and we had almost none. Modern technology is a blessing and a curse though. Now we are bombarded by a constant stream of reports about COVID and many of those reports offer conflicting information. Politics have entered into the conversation and further inflamed the situation. And our children are often hearing too much.

So, what DO children need to hear? That depends on their age. Toddlers may only need to have adults work with them on frequent and proper handwashing and learn that sometimes they will see adults in masks. Watching their family and caregivers putting on and taking off masks will help them begin to process that a mask is not scary – it’s basically an item of clothing. Older preschoolers can add a little more knowledge to their base. They can learn that germs can cause us to get sick and that right now we are all being more careful about germs. Because of the extra germs that are […]

By |November 9th, 2020|Child Care|0 Comments|

“I Didn’t Do It!”

The day will come. Your wonderful, loving, sweet-faced child will tell you a lie. As upsetting as that can be to many parents, before you envision your child doomed to a life of crime, take a deep breath and let’s look at the situation.

For many young children, fact and fiction can blur very easily. We value a sense of imagination in our children and encourage pretend play with them taking on the role of puppies, princesses, superheroes, mommies and daddies. Many families encourage belief in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and a variety of other holiday characters. At some point, children begin to move freely back and forth across that line of believing and doubting. The ability to consistently separate fact from fantasy can result in some instances where adults look at a child’s behavior as lying.

Children have difficulty telling the truth at times for other reasons. Fear and avoidance are probably two of the most common. If children are afraid of punishment or of disappointing a parent, they may decide its a better route to create their own version of something that happened. The same can be true if a child is avoiding something they don’t want to do. For example, a child who is feeling unhappy about having to clean their bedroom may tell a parent they have already completed the task.

As adults, we ourselves are less truthful in many cases than we like to admit. Adults call in sick to work when they are perfectly healthy, back into vehicles with their car and leave the scene, or insist they did not know the speed limit for a stretch of road when questioned by a police officer. How many […]

By |June 22nd, 2020|Child Care|0 Comments|

Sibling Fights

Any parent
of multiple children knows that sibling fights are not unusual. Even the most
loving of families can struggle on a regular basis with the reality of brothers
and sisters getting along.

Sibling
fights can occur for a lot of different reasons. In some homes, space is tight
and being in very close quarters all the time can create some frustration.
Sometimes just too much “togetherness” can get wearing. (Have you ever gone on
vacation with someone and discovered your patience with each other wearing thin
as the trip went on?) In some cases, sibling personalities are very different,
and each can find the other person’s habits to be difficult to tolerate. For
some children, there can be resentment over perceived favoritism from parents
to a particular brother or sister. The ultimate reason may be that a certain
amount of fighting is to be expected when humans are in the process of growing
up and learning about self-regulation and everyone’s place in the world.

So we know
it’s going to happen, but how can we minimize the impact? As always, role
modeling is critical. When the adults in children’s lives demonstrate the
ability to disagree respectfully and work through differences in a positive
manner, those children will have a head start on handling conflict more
constructively. Parents, teachers, and all adults need to intentionally teach
problem solving skills and establish environments where respect is an
absolute non-negotiable. When children slip into rudeness or name-calling
toward each other, adults need to step in immediately and enforce ground rules
of respect and willingness to take turns listening to all parties.

One great
resource to use with young children early on is the book The Berenstain
Bears Get in a Fight by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Children relate well to
the characters and their real-life conflicts and it’s a great conversation
starter to […]

By |January 21st, 2020|Child Care|0 Comments|

Hygge and You

Wikipedia
defines HYGGE (hoo-ga) as “A Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness
and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.”  Never heard the word? Google it and you’ll
find plenty of references to this somewhat trendy notion.

Wisconsin is
a perfect place to explore the concept of hygge. While hygge can be experienced
any time of the year, Wisconsin fall and winter seasons are custom made for it.
As we move into the darker and chillier times of the year, some of us find it
to be a little bit of a negative slide mentally. If that’s the case for your
family, consider making a commitment to adopt a more hygge-like lifestyle.

So what are
some of the simple pleasures that can help create this “comfortable
conviviality?” Following are some easy ideas – part of the charm of hygge is
its simplicity.

Get
out the candlesAdd
some pillows to your cozy placesWear
your slippers as much as possibleAdd
some soft area rugsPut
on the sweatpants and hoodies!Treat
yourself to fingerless glovesMake
hot chocolateRake
some leavesBuy
yourself a favorite “goodie”Light
a fire in the fireplace or firepitEnjoy
some relaxing musicCurl
up with a book or a favorite movieTake
a nature walkBake
some breadBuild
a snowmanSpend
time with a small group of family or friendsShare
a meal with someoneMake
soup or chiliDig
out the fondue potCozy
up with your dog or cat

Like the idea of hygge and want to know more? Check your library, bookstore, Facebook sites or Amazon for some easy and entertaining quick reads. Put on your sweatpants first.

-Regina

By |December 9th, 2019|Child Care|0 Comments|