Child Care

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|

Re-Framing Winter

Winter is on its way. For many of us, that’s not one of the
things we really like to hear. Winters in Wisconsin can be pretty extreme –
last winter definitely fell into that category. But have you ever thought about
how your own negative cold weather talk could be affecting your children?

Negativity is unbelievably contagious. Think about how it
sounds to your children, (and other family members and co-workers) when this is
what they hear all winter:

“It’s WAY too cold out.”

“I HATE winter.”

“The roads are going to be terrible!”

“Another gray and gloomy day….”

“This is NEVER going to end.”

For many children, winter is a favorite time of year. Snow
has a magical quality and when it appears one day, it offers all kinds of new
play opportunities. Rather than jump on the negative band wagon this year, help
your family and yourself by some intentional “re-framing” of the cold weather
season. Make it a point to notice and comment on the pluses like, “The
snowflakes are so beautiful when they’re this huge.”  “I love how cozy our house feels when the
wind is blowing outside!” “It’s a great day to make hot chocolate and watch a
movie.” Better yet, dress for the weather and get everyone out for a walk on a
sparkling and glittery night when the snow is falling.

It happens every year. Winter shows up for ALL of us in
Wisconsin – the lovers and the haters. Make this the year that you choose to
ride it out with a more positive outlook and before you know it, well, you know
what comes after winter……

-Regina

By |October 22nd, 2019|Child Care|0 Comments|

When Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go to School

At some point in time, most parents will hear the words “I
don’t WANT to go to school!” come from their child. So what do you do when it
happens? First and foremost – stay calm. Before you over-react, take a deep
breath and look at the situation for some clues. Consider these points:

Is this a new development?Has your child missed school for illness and
could be anxious about being behind in their work?Does your child feel comfortable with their
teacher/s?Have any new children recently joined the
class?Can you narrow down the part of the day the
child is concerned about? Recess? A lunchroom issue? Gym class?If your child rides a bus or is in a carpool,
is that a concern to them?Are they struggling with any particular
subjects in school?Are they anxious about being away from you?Do they have incomplete homework or projects
that are due?Have they ever expressed fear about school
violence?Have they ever expressed concerns about being
targeted by bullies?Has the school contacted you about problems
they have seen?Does your child have other anxieties or
worries?

Establishing frequent and open communication with your
child early on will help them be more likely to confide in you when
difficulties arise. After you collect the information that you can, you will be
better able to plan a course of action. You may be able to resolve the issue
yourself or you may need to work with school personnel to learn more or to determine
the best way to address things. And finally – don’t rule out that they might
just be having “one of those days.”

-Regina

By |September 30th, 2019|Child Care|0 Comments|

Reconnecting Kids With Nature

When you ask
a group of adults to share some of their favorite childhood memories, very
often the answers will involve time spent outdoors. At a recent staff meeting,
we did just that and teachers shared great stories about camping trips, fishing
in small streams, playing with sticks and mud, and laying in the grass to watch
clouds, among other things. Just hearing about the remembered positive
experiences created a relaxing and uplifting mood for all of us.

So what will
our children (and grandchildren} say? Are we giving them opportunities for the
same kind of relaxing time in nature that we all remember so fondly? In too
many cases, we are probably falling short of what we would like to say. So many
families find themselves with very busy and very structured lives that don’t
include enough outdoor time.

How can we
help children reconnect with nature? It might be easier than you think.
Following are some simple suggestions. Start small and make it a point to add
more experiences as you go.

Plan
family outdoor experiences like after dinner walks, picnics, or trips to parks
and beaches.Provide
your child with outdoor toys like butterfly nets, binoculars, bug catchers,
sand boxes and sand toys, kites, etc.Take
your books outside! Create a family outdoor reading area. Start
some simple gardening.Dress
your children for the weather so they can enjoy being outside in all four
seasons.Go
outside after dark and look for stars, fireflies, or the moon.Bring
some nature inside. Decorate with plants, seashells, driftwood, and interesting
stones.Play
relaxing “nature sound” music in your home to set a peaceful tone.Watch
for outdoor events like concerts, craft fairs, food events, or charity walks.Eat
outside when you can!Help
your child notice their surroundings – trees that are budding, birds in the
trees, cloud formations, etc.

The best
thing you can do to encourage a reconnection with nature is to reconnect
yourself […]

By |August 12th, 2019|Child Care|0 Comments|