These days it seems like influences on our daughters are everywhere, from the television to the magazines and even their peers. How do you help your daughters to grow up with a healthy body image when they are bombarded day in and day out? Here are 4 things you can start today:
1. Don’t criticize your own body
Your daughter watches you very closely even if it seems like she doesn‘t. When you criticize or degrade your own body and/or looks, your daughter learns that behaviour. Be careful of what you say. Even if you tell your daughter that her body is perfect and normal, she’ll have a hard time believing you if she hears you constantly putting yourself down. If she hears you talking about your stomach or thighs, she’ll start examining her own a little more closely. Instead of saying something negative, turn it into something positive such as, “I think I’ll go for a jog.” Instead of complaining about a “problem” you simply announce your solution.
2. Eat well as a family
If you promote healthy eating in your family and teach your daughters about good foods and nutrition they will be armed to make better decisions when you’re not around. It’s important for the whole family to participate in healthy eating, moderation and portion control. When your daughter knows she is making the best choices, she will feel better about herself. Getting your children involved in the meal making will make them more likely to eat what they’ve prepared. If you serve meals buffet style on the table, don’t lay out every bit of food you made. If the food is there, people will take thirds and fourths etc. Instead, before dinner put some away for lunch or dinner the next day.
3. Promote activity
If your family is sedentary, it’s important that you bring more activity into your daily lives. When a child is active, they feel better about themselves. Being active releases “feel good” chemicals in everyone’s brain, so get out there with the kids! Being a role model is even better than just telling them what they should be doing. Find weekends activities that the family can participate in together, whether it’s going to the park for the day (picnic included) or going bowling. Create other healthy habits for your family such as going for walks after dinner, instead of plopping in front of the television for the evening.
4. Arm your daughter with things to say to “mean girls” (or anyone)
It doesn’t matter how fit and beautiful your daughter is, she will likely get teased at some point about something. Whether it is muscular legs, larger breasts than her peers, or her slim arms, your daughter needs to know what to say when people start bullying her. For example, if someone were to insult her muscular legs, you could advise her to come back with something like, “these are my runner’s legs, I’m happy with them.” It’s never fun to be teased about anything, but arming your daughter with things they can come back with will help her confidence immensely. It’s hard for anyone to think of the perfect comebacks on the spot, so help your daughter come up with appropriate ones beforehand and don’t be afraid to role play with her.
With all of the influences of the outside world, it’s up to you to arm your daughter with the best knowledge you can about healthy body image and what’s real versus what’s not real.
Kids have a very difficult time when their parents go through a divorce. What adds to their upset is the fact that you, the parent, is having a challenging time too. That is why it is called, “Crazy Times”.
If you don’t understand what causes these chaotic feelings, let’s take a look at them. First, it is important to state that whatever you are feeling, it is normal. Humans experience grief and loss during a divorce just like they do when they loose someone who dies.
Understand quantum physics and you understand the divorce experience. I suggest you rent the movie, What the Bleep Do You Know.
The family energy support pattern is disintegrating and you and your children are going through reorganization of your family’s energy system. You have no way of controlling it so don’t even try. Your feelings may vacillate between anger and even rage to crying hysterically. Allow yourself to be you.
On top of that, while you are going through all of this you are expected to be a supporting and loving person… and your children are going through the same process as you. So now you are expected to be a loving, supportive parent.
It is important to have something simple to lean on, so here is a very basic checklist to help your children because they need special parenting to get through this difficult time.
1. Establish a parenting team.
Just because you are getting a divorce, it does not mean that parenting becomes a singles’ sport. Both parents need to cooperate. To provide this united parenting front you need to establish a working relationship with your soon-to-be former spouse.
2. Focus on what is best for your kids.
It is easy to get caught up in the business and legal components of a divorce and to forget about the best interests of your children. The more you focus on what is best for your kids, the fewer conflicts you will experience.
3. Provide structure.
Divorce is disruptive and destructive. The first thing you need to do to parent your children through a divorce is to reestablish structure in their life. This structure comes from rules and routines.
4. Provide support.
Your child requires extra support during the divorce proceedings. This support needs to come partially from you, their other parent and through other individuals. Family members and friends make good back up support people. Use them strategically to ensure your kids always have someone to turn to.
5. Communicate with your kids.
Some parents think that by keeping their kids in the dark about their divorce that they are protecting them from hurt. This really is not the case. It is better to provide your kids with age appropriate information that will help them to adjust to the divorce and to feel secure that they know what is coming next.
6. Deal with issues as they emerge.
Many issues are likely to emerge during a divorce. Common issues include behavior problems, changes in sociality and emotional disturbances. Do not ignore these situations. You need to deal with them as they emerge to reduce the amount and severity of damage that is produced by them.
There is an old saying, “Fake it until you make it!” No matter what you think or feel, Madeline Binder, M.S. Human Services Counseling, advises, don’t talk against your soon-to-be former spouse or use your children as “carrier pigeons”.
Great Songs for Kids and Babies
If you are a nanny or a babysitter, you likely already know the power of singing a melody, even if you are completely out of tune. If you are just starting out with your first job, you will quickly learn to overcome your stage fright and just belt out a song. It doesn’t matter if the windows are open or the neighbors hear, what matters is stopping those crocodile tears from falling.
Every great nanny will have a generous selection of songs chiseled in a special place in their mind. Some children will immediately respond to the same song every time, but others will need a variety. You will also need to know a good variety of lullabies, as well as fun and entertaining songs, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to toss an educational one in there as well.
Commonly referred to as Lullaby and Good Night, this is by far the most popular baby song that everyone should be familiar with. Interestingly, although many assume this is simply an English song, it’s not. It actually is a German original, first published in 1868. It is also interesting that as popular as this lullaby is, it’s known more for the melody than the words, as few people actually know all the words to the song.
The great thing about Rock-a-Bye Baby is that it’s one of those songs that you can sing, but it is also a favorite by little girls to sing while putting their dolls to sleep. It’s a simple song about a cradle in a tree top that is blown to the ground when the wind blows. Few people stop to actually think about the words, which are actually a little disturbing.
It’s amazing that children aren’t traumatized about taking a bath when they learn that a spider can crawl right back up that spout when the water is turned off, but they’re not. Kids love this song, but make sure that you learn the fun hand gestures that go along with it.
Millions of children learn a little French before the age of 2 by listening to this easy to sing song. Of course, the English version, known as Are You Sleeping, is just as popular. It’s not a bad idea to learn both versions and sing the translation back-to-back.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
This is one of the greatest songs to sing to toddlers and young children because it can be sung as a round, which is perfect if you have several children to care for at one time. The lyrics are suggested to be metaphor for the different choices of life, but children simply appreciate it for being a fun song to sing.
It’s never too early to start teaching the alphabet and the easiest and certainly the most entertaining way to do this is in a song.
Wheels on the Bus
Surprisingly, there are nine parts to this song, making it one of the longest songs for children. However, most people are only familiar with the first half. It should also be noted that there are hand gestures to go with each section. This is definitely one worth learning as it will occupy a bit of time.
There’s a Hole in the Bucket
This is a very long song that children just seen to love and want to learn, but it will take commitment on your part to get all the words down. Henry and Liza banter back and forth over mending a hole in a bucket in a creative way.
Ten In a Bed
As fun as this song is to sing, it also teaches children subtraction. Ten begin in a bed and every time the little one says to roll over, one falls off and the number in the bed decreases. Children have to use their memory and subtraction skills.
Buckle My Shoe
Here is a fun counting game. It’s short and sweet and will teach the numbers from one to 10 in no time at all.
Who doesn’t love a song that lets you make obnoxious farm animal horses? Although the song is written with chicks, cows and pigs, you can be creative and add in just about any animal you want.
Article provided by Nanny.net, your one-stop-shop for nanny news, information and tips.
Education Is Vital
Education during school life is can prove vital in moulding the character of young kids and to produce the desired mind frame that keeps them away from harms of the society. Education that includes facts related to substance misuse can serve as an effective harm reduction technique. If the students are equipped with proper knowledge of the harmful effects of drugs before they actually get the opportunity to consume them, their already-developed sense of responsibility will help them stay safe. They will be able to make right decisions at the right time and hopefully no amount of peer pressure will ever be enough lure them to try drugs. With proper education on how to face and respond to the pressures and ill effects of the social environment, you can teach the children about how they can keep themselves protected and away from the harmful impacts of substance misuse.
Talking To Children: Parents And Teachers
Children hold an incredible amount of trust and a high level of comfort when talking to their parents. Parents should use this to their benefit in conveying a strong message to their children regarding substance misuse. Parents, who are aware of the best techniques of convincing their children, are able to potentially deliver the message with greater effectiveness than education authorities. As a parent it can sometimes be beneficial to discuss your own experiences with your children as a means of providing a warning. If substance misuse has impacted on you in the past, discuss it. Children often understand a lot more than society gives them credit for. Parents also carry greater influence as they will be more aware of a child’s circumstances and social circles than a teacher will. It is important to recognise however that this is not absolute and can go both ways – some children may well feel more comfortable discussing issues such as substance misuse with a teacher or other authority figure.
Involvement From Influential Figures
We see involvement from popular celebrities regarding a wide range of issues in our society, such as poverty, knife crime and racism. Substance misuse is another important issue which celebrities can help to raise in the public consciousness in order to ensure it remains high on the agenda of governments and other authority agencies. Tragedies such as the death of Amy Winehouse, who was and remains a musical icon to millions of young fans around the world, only serve to show the terrible impacts substance misuse can have on individuals, their families and the wider society.
As you probably already know, kids can be both a blessing and a curse! It really just depends on the day- no, make that the hour- that you’re talking about.
For example, the other day my kids were playing around in the kitchen. Of course I wasn’t home, otherwise I probably would have been able to prevent this from happening. You see they aren’t supposed to play ball inside the house, but of course when the cat is away, the mice can play.
Anyways, they were bouncing a big plastic ball in the kitchen. Harmless, right? Except for the fact that we’d left a few glasses on the counter from breakfast.
Yup- you can probably guess what happened. The ball bounced too high, onto the counter, then knocked over the glasses. Of course they pretty much exploded, so now there were glass shards everywhere.
The good news is that this got the babysitter’s attention pretty darn quickly. She came over, told the kids to go into timeout and then cleaned up the mess. I double checked it when I got home and couldn’t find any shards, so I’m thinking that we’re okay.
But really, most of the time my kids are definitely a blessing in my life. They are as sweet as can be, even if they do play a little rough inside (and end up breaking stuff). My youngest constantly tells me that I’m the greatest mom in the whole world and she’s sad whenever I’m not with her! I mean what child says that? Only a very sweet one- that’s for sure.
Another thing is that they are very physically affectionate. It seems like every 10 seconds they want another hug from me or the hubby! I’ve met kids who couldn’t stand hugs or being held, so I’m glad that mine turned out the way they did.
I’m also really looking forward to watching them play sports and whatnot in a few years. I grew up playing sports, as did my husband. Even though I know there are no promises for my kids liking sport, I can still dream, right?
Personally, I’m hoping to have one dancer and one basketball player. Dancing is so cool and it’s a nice combination of both art and sports. Even though I qualify it more in the art category, you have to be quite the athlete to be a good dancer!
As far as basketball goes, that’s just my sport. I played it, my husband played it, and we hope that we can teach our kids everything we learned over the years. It will also give us a chance to go see games, which is definitely something that we miss.
Ahhh, kids. Obviously they make me worry a lot, but I’m definitely glad we chose to have them! If we didn’t then I just feel like my life would be a lot more boring, ya know?
Anyways- thanks for listening to my ramblings! I guess I should get back to taking care of the kiddos now.
You love your child, and you think they’re just the best thing in the entire world. You can’t believe how amazing they are, and your world revolves around them. You know how special and important your child is, but how do you make sure they feel that way? It’s the very little things that will boost the confidence of your child. They pick up on every slight nuance, so it’s your job to make sure you’re sending them all the positive signals you can. Here are some simple ways to make your child feel special and important. They’re easy to do, and they’ll mean so much.
Give an Award
Your child doesn’t have to win a contest to earn a reward. If there’s something your child does well, create your own reward certificate and present it to them. Congratulate them on being the best hula hooper in the world, or the bravest patient at the doctor’s office.
Tell a Joke
Kids love to laugh, and they love to be funny. Think of a few little, clever jokes to tell your kids, like a knock-knock joke or riddle. After they get a kick out of it, encourage them to tell the joke to other adults. When they get a laugh, they’ll feel great.
Play Dress Up
Whether your child is a girl or boy, they’re probably fascinated with your fancy clothing and jewelry. One day, play dress up and let them try on your clothes and jewels. They’ll love being allowed to touch and wear your stuff and look at themselves in the mirror.
Ask an Opinion
Sometimes kids aren’t taken very seriously, so your child will feel very important if you show them you value what they have to say. To subtly do this, ask for your child’s opinion on different things, like which painting should go in the living room or what color you should paint your toes.
Make your child feel special by telling them stories about themselves when they were little. Take out the baby book and gush about what a cute infant they were. Tell them how happy you were the day they were born and what they were like as a baby.
Give a Letter
There’s always something very exciting about getting a letter in the mail, especially when so much communication is done through the computer. Address and mail a letter or card to your child, or ask your friends and relatives to do so.
Place an Ad
Lots of newspapers have sections for birthday announcements or congratulations. Take out a special ad for your child on their birthday, after an accomplishment, or for no reason at all but to say you love them. They’ll love seeing their picture in the paper and feeling famous.
Write a Note
Little notes to your child will show them you’re thinking about them. Leave a simple note saying you love them in their lunchbox, or place one outside their door to find when they wake up in the morning. Draw a silly little picture to make them smile.
Vincent Menez is a working father of 2 and a high school conselor working in Omaha. When blogging and writing in his free time he ensures all his work meets a high grammatical standard and is mistake-free by using a grammar checker. Due to his schedule Vincent prefers to feed his children quick, easy meals.
Talking about sex with is a crucial discussion between parents and teenagers. Study shows that almost 90% of parents want to start a conversation to their teens about sex however, only less than 40% feel it is right or have confidence to start it. The main dilemma of parents is that they don’t know what to say to their kids, how to say it and when the right time is.
The tendency of parents is to shy away when the topic is about sex in view of the fact that it is awkward and embarrassing. They feel this way because they might not have the right modelling and experience of sex education with their parents when they were in their teens. There is a reality to this, the conversation between parents and their teens must happen because the latter long for their parents to give them honest information and they trust what their parents would say to them. Here are a few tips for parents to start this seems to be distressing awkward situation.
Research the facts
There are different sites in the internet to start with if you do not wish to look into books. These sites will have factual information about sexual relationships, body image, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and lot more than you an ever think.
Assess your right time
Start the conversation during moments wherein you are watching a show / movie or listening to the radio and the topic is about sex and intimacy. Use these chances as natural starters to talk about relationships, sex, what their peers think about and how your teen views and feels about the issue. Integrate the values you have taught at home and let your teens know the reasons behind these values for them to assimilate it in their lives.
It’s ok not to know everything
When you are faced with a difficult question from you teen, be hones to say that you don’t know the answer and you can search the answers together. This way, you will be able to guide your teens into knowing what is right for them without relying on people that may provide them with misconceptions.
Open the communication constantly
Keep talking to your kids about this topic without making them feel apprehensive. Some teens may look like as if they are not listening, but in reality they are. Just make them feel that you are around when they feel that they need someone to talk to about this issue.
While your baby will not read the newspaper to you, she communicates and listens to you every day. Your newborn actually recognizes your voice. As you chat with her, she responds to you. Do you notice how your baby sometimes calms when she hears you? Your voice has the power to sooth your child. By talking with your baby throughout the day, you use your voice to reassure her and teach her about her surroundings.
When you talk with your baby throughout the day, you build a relationship with him. Talk to him just as you would talk to a friend. Discuss your plans for the day. “Today, we’re going to the grocery store. After your nap, Grandma will visit us.” Ask questions. “Do you see the blue bird? Do you hear your sister?” Talk about your actions as you bathe, feed, change and rock him. “Now I will put on your socks. Let’s sit on this chair so you can drink your breakfast.” Point to familiar people, objects and colors while discussing what you see. “Look at the picture of Aunt Sally. Her hat is blue.” Include him in your daily conversations and life events.
Your baby understands your words before he can repeat what you say. Use proper grammar as you talk to your baby. When your child starts to talk, he will imitate your language. Your baby learns by watching and listening to you.
Read often to you baby. A child’s reading and literacy training begins before they can talk. When you read to your child, you prepare him for a lifetime of reading success. Don’t feel pressure, though. You baby wants to hear your voice, and he’ll enjoy being with you whether your read Homer’s Iliad or the Sunday comics. While reading, point out objects of interest like colors or pictures.
Baby Talks Back
After the first month of life, your child will verbally express herself. A variety of coos indicates her emotions and feelings. Listen to her discover her voice and exercise her vocal cords. As she grows older, her vocal abilities increase. She will learn to giggle, make sounds and eventually imitate you.
By your baby’s four-month birthday, she will be laughing. Introduce music and storytelling. In an animated voice and with exaggerated facial expression, tell her rhymes and motion songs. By her eight month, she will be clapping along and responding to your infectious conversation.
In addition to talking to your baby, model good communication skills by listening to her and valuing her needs, thoughts and opinions. While your baby cannot verbally talk yet, she does cry. You may at times wish she would cry less often, but she will outgrow this stage. Within two short years, your baby will be talking your ears off and sharing her verbal speech abilities. For now, her cries are attempts to gain your attention. Respond to her cries in order to provide reassurance and build a foundation of trust.
How should you talk to your baby? Share life and build your relationship by verbally sharing daily activities. Your baby needs to hear your voice. Communicate with her, teach her the foundations of language and create an inviting atmosphere when you talk to your baby.
Damian Wolf is guest blogger and future father. He is especially delighted to contribute for newborn baby clothes website, because he will become a father in May this year.