Thanksgiving dinner presents a perfect opportunity to teach children a simple lesson about gratitude, a lesson that can start with parents expressing appreciation to each other, even for the smallest things. It’s easy to take each other for granted in our busy lives and talk about our frustrations and concerns in front of our children. Parents make a lot of sacrifices and do nice things for each other on a daily basis; it is important for children to hear about it. At home, parents can model how to express gratitude just by simply saying thank you to each other. Children will learn to say thank you. Living with an attitude of gratitude will help them be happier and build healthier relationships. Thanksgiving is a perfect day to start doing just that.
For months already, the back-to-school promotion have been reminding us to stock up on school supplies. Retailers treat it like a holiday, expecting us to come celebrate. I think it is a little sad that during the entire summer we keep reminding children: “vacation will come to an end, do not forget!”
A few days ago, I was in a store watching how a mother tried to motivate her son to choose some notebooks and a new backpack for the 2nd grade. He did not seem very excited; he just nodded patiently at her suggestions. I have been in the same situation many times, in that same store. And the fact is that parents do look forward to the new school year. We are proud that our children have advanced and we are relieved to see them busy again. But for some reason, every year we try to convince ourselves that our kids should also be happy about going to school.
Parents often tell me with surprise and concern that their children do not like school, and that they become sad when it comes time to leave home in the morning, especially after a vacation. And I ask them, “What is so strange about it? Why wouldn’t they prefer to stay at home, playing in their pajamas all day?” In fact, it amazes me that most children go back to classes without much complaining - good job parents! I always advise parents to be a little more realistic about how children feel about school.
For now, please allow your kids to enjoy these last days of summer, and speak as little as possible about going back to school.
I love this story from the news. Brian Barlow, a brave Oklahoma youth soccer referee created a Facebook page Offside to fight back unruly parents at youth sports events. He decided to make some of those badly behaved parents accountable by posting the videos of parents insulting each other and fighting each others and abusing referees verbally or physically.
This Sunday, The New York Times published an article about it: Fighting the epidemic of parents Behaving badly: "more than 70% of new referees nationwide in all sports quit the job within three years, according to the National Association of Sports Officials. The chief cause for the attrition, based on a survey conducted by the association, was pervasive abuse from parents to coaches".
Here is the Video in Fox news: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5811901587001/?#sp=show-clips
Will this campaign work?
I hope it does!
By Jenny Wise
A common problem that many parents have when the weather is bad is bored children. Thankfully, the Internet has a vast wealth of ideas and tutorials to help you plan activities for your kids that are educational and fun, even when school isn’t running. Here are five ways for your kids to engage their brains productively using online resources.
1. Get the wiggles out
There are YouTube videos for working out with your kids. This gives you a chance to stretch, get your pulse up, or do a little strength training as well. One way to get your kids up and moving? Turn on some upbeat music to get grooving. Bonus points if they know the words.
Some parents manage to sneak working out into daily chores. This can be an activity that requires a little incentive. You can choose the incentive, whether it’s 30 minutes of TV time or a small treat with their lunch.
2. Draw on something new
Drawing allows children to enter a creative world regardless of age or interests. According to the Atlantic, researchers have even recognized that the scribbles and drawings of very young children are full of creative instinct and intention. This is doesn’t require you to have any artistic ability. Just look at different tutorials designed for children and let them do their work.
This can also be a good chance to introduce your kids to writing letters of the alphabet or learning about numbers and basic mathematical processes. Early exposure can help them get a head start when they start school, and can build lasting self-confidence.
3. Fight boredom with educational games
Research shows it: playing games, online or off, can be very beneficial for children. Some of the benefits of playing games include improvements in memory, increased skill-building capacity, and better strategic planning and problem-solving.
That being said, not all games give the best opportunities for children to learn. Finding a game that is well suited for your child will depend on their age, academic interests or abilities. Some games that teach or encourage reading are particularly beneficial.
4. Give science a try
Any parent who has worked on teaching their child knows the difficulty of getting their child to maintain interest. Science lessons are interactive enough to help cement important scientific concepts. One activity involves elephant toothpaste, which uses yeast, hydrogen peroxide, and water to teach about catalysts and chemical reactions. Want another magical experiment? You and your lil’ mad scientists can make their own glass of lava. The ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ also will help your kids forget that there inside because of bad weather. The trick is on them because your kid is learning something new.
According to Time, reading up on the experiments that you do beforehand can help you answer questions your kids might have. It also can introduce them to clear, yet deeper explanations of what is happening.
5. Make music
Research has shown that music can speed up the brain development of children. Figuring out the right instrument can be tough, so teach your child about instruments and talk with them about what they might be interested in. Many instrument shops or schools allow you to rent an instrument for a small price each month, so these are a financially viable option. The clarinet or saxophone can be fun instruments in particular, as they’re easy to adapt to and learn on.
You can find local music teachers, but if you’re hoping to save some money on music lessons, look no further than YouTube or other online video resources. You can find lessons from trained professionals and experienced musicians to help your child make beautiful music. Learning to play a woodwind instrument helps your child with coordination and discipline. If your budding artist needs practice, he or she can even follow along with some videos on their clarinet and maybe even reproduce the introduction to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” If you haven’t chosen a particular instrument, perhaps watching a few videos may encourage your little one to make a ‘sound’ decision.
These are just a few educational options for your children. As you try them out with your children, see what works best for them and ignites their imagination. They’ll learn all sorts of things and have fun while they’re doing it. It takes some trial and error, but you’ll make memories together and maybe you’ll even learn some new things yourself.
By Ashley Taylor
I have the pleasure to share with you an article from Ashley Taylor. Ashley and her husband are proud parents of two healthy, wonderful children and their disabilities haven’t stopped them from leading a happy, fulfilling life. Check out Ashley's website disableparents.org if you are interested in the information that she has to share with parents with disabilities.
We hear a lot about what it’s like to be a single mom or dad, and even what it’s like to raise a child with disabilities. But there’s not much out there on parenting when you have a disability. That can leave people with disabilities feeling alone when they start planning their family and looking for resources. What do you need to know before getting pregnant? How can you prepare for parenting with a disability? If you’re looking for answers, you’ve come to the right place.
Planning for Conception
Conceiving is a big and important step, but when the chance of passing a hereditary condition is high, some couples choose to use donor eggs or sperm rather than conceiving naturally. This is also an option for couples whose disability affects their fertility. Some couples who choose to conceive naturally complete prenatal testing to screen for health conditions. Even if the outcome doesn’t affect your pregnancy, prenatal testing can be helpful for planning for the future. Learn more about prenatal screening at Pregnancy, Birth, and Baby.
If you use medications to manage your disability, your preconception planning should include a medication review with your doctor. Your doctor can tell you if any medications are unsafe during pregnancy and plan alternative treatments.
Preparing Life for Parenthood
Becoming a parent is perhaps the biggest transition that most people go through in their lives. After living for yourself for years, suddenly you have to design your life around caring for another person. This can be especially challenging for people with disabilities, whose self-management routines may be more involved than average.
If you’re going to juggle life and parenthood, you need to set yourself up for success before the baby comes. That means making sure your home is up to par, your health is on track and have a plan for managing infant care.
If you have any outstanding medical needs, this is the time to take care of them. Try to make it so you only have to deal with routine appointments when your baby is young.
Ensure your home is fully adapted to the needs of your disability. Remodeling a home is expensive and it’s common to put off adaptations that aren’t strictly necessary. But if something is going to cause a safety hazard or a regular inconvenience when you’re caring for an infant, change it now. There are simple fixes you can do without springing for professional remodeling, such as replacing entrance steps with a ramp, using expandable hinges to widen doorways, or buying a kitchen table that can double as a seated work surface.
When it comes to planning for infant care, an occupational therapist can help you learn how to do child care tasks in your home and locate baby care equipment that meets your needs. And don’t underestimate the power of organization: Rearranging your home to keep routine items close at hand will make life much easier when you’re toting around an infant.
Finally, make sure you’ll have time in your schedule to keep up with your own needs after the baby arrives. You can’t afford to put your own health on the back burner. While neglecting self-management might free up some time in the short-term, it only makes life harder in the long run. There’s no shame in hiring a house cleaner or mother’s helper, or paying someone to grocery shop or walk the dog for you. If it makes your life easier and gives you the time and energy to be a better parent, do it.
While this advice can help people with disabilities as they plan for parenthood, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to parenting with disabilities. Every disability has its own challenges and victories, and everyone has their own beliefs about the best way to parent a little one. But no matter what parenthood looks like in your family, there’s always strength in planning ahead.
This short video shows how much parents can do at home to teach kids to be helpful and independent step by step. It requires planning and dedication when they are young, but It will keeps them busy and will make them feel accomplished.
Can you imagine how helpful Edison will be by the age of 16?