By Lisa Pecos
If you’re considering starting a family, chances are that you’ve given some thought to the extra expense that having a child will add to your responsibilities, but exactly how much it costs may surprise you. A report just released last week is giving wannabe parents a bad case of sticker shock, reporting that raising a child can cost you close to a quarter of a million dollars.
By Lisa Pecos
The Journal of the American Medical Associating (JAMA) Pediatrics recently published an alarming report stating that the number of young children and teens hospitalized in the U.S. for opioid overdose has almost tripled in recent years.
By Jamell Andrews
Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t have to mean making life all about school and work. The season of falling leaves and all things pumpkin-spice offers a whole slew of fun, family-friendly activities to enjoy. Here are 6 fun things to do as a family this fall.
By Lisa Pecos
It may seem like something out of an 80s sitcom, but giving teen girls lifelike baby dolls to care for as a way to dissuade them from getting pregnant is something that has been going on for years. A recent study out of Australia, however, has found that this may actually have the opposite effect on teen girls.
By Jamell Andrews
Though behavior therapy is the recommended first line of treatment for young children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a report has found that more children are being treated with medication instead.
Stress is one of those things that just happens – especially when you’re responsible for the lives of others. Stress is inevitably your body’s natural way of reacting to thoughts or activities in your life that can often make you feel overwhelmed. Your body goes into a “flight or fight” mode which releases stress hormones throughout the body to help you react calmly. While stress is normal and good in some cases, when it becomes too much to bear it can cause a plethora of physical and psychological issues.
Stress Can Lead to Self-Medicating
What many don’t understand is that not dealing with chronic levels of stress can quickly lead to the need to self-medicate. While some might start smoking marijuana at the end of a long day to cope, others will drink several glasses of wine. Although in small doses these substances may seem harmless, prolonged use can lead to your body developing a tolerance and then a dependency which can lead to substance abuse and addiction. If you believe you’ve started self-medicating, the best thing you can do for yourself and your children is to reach out to a program that offers substance abuse recovery for women to get the specialized care you need.
By Jamell Andrews
Between school and work, extracurricular activities, and household chores, it’s easy to see why family time is at a premium these days. If you, like may parent’s, are finding that you don’t have nearly as much time to spend together as a family as you’d like, then these tips can help you make the most of what time you do have for more meaningful family time.
By Lisa Pecos
We all know that the commute to work can be stressful and the longer the commute, the more of a pain it is. Past studies have looked into the impact that long commutes have on your health and have found that those with longer commutes are more likely to be overweight, have high blood pressure, and develop cardiovascular disease. Long commutes have also been associated with lower life satisfaction and a higher risk of marital issues, including marriage breakdown.
By Jamell Andrews
With the rate of failed marriages increasing, more and more people are becoming step-parents. Stepping into the role of parent for a child that already has a mother and father isn’t always easy. Even with the challenges you may face, being a stepparent can be rewarding and you can form a strong and loving bond.
By Jamell Andrews
It’s hard to imagine that a parent could take too much interest or responsibility for their child or give them too much attention. Isn’t that a parent’s job and right as the person responsible for bringing them into this world and loves them more than anything? It turns out that you could be walking the fine line from a good parent to a helicopter parent that is doing more harm than good.
What Is a Helicopter Parent?
By Eirian Hallinan
Anyone who has grown up in a household with two parents knows that one parent tends to be easier than the other when it comes to getting their way. This is usually the result of one parent being more comfortable as the disciplinarian than the other. While this can create a nice balance in some cases, a recent study has found that this good-cop, bad-cop parenting can have a negative impact when the difference in parenting is extreme.
By Jamell Andrews
As a parent of an adolescent daughter, it’s easy to brush off acne and irregular periods as normal parts of puberty. While missed or heavy periods and acne are certainly common at this stage of a girl’s life, they can also be signs of a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
It is a well-known fact that drinking and driving is the number one killer of teenagers in the nation. Cell phone usage while driving is running a close second, but drinking and driving is still the number one cause. It is very important that you talk to your teenager about the dangers of drinking when driving. While it may be hard to talk to your teen, it is important that you do so for not only their safety, but the safety of others on the road with them.
Read on below for some tips for having this difficult conversation with your teen driver.
Odd Things that May Trigger Asthma Attacks
Asthma is an ongoing breathing disorder characterized by difficulty breathing, coughing and sometimes wheezing. About half of all asthma attacks are produced by various allergens, which irritate and inflame the airways; the rest can be caused by factors that have nothing to do with allergies, but which still irritate the airways and cause them to constrict.
Teenagers Who Watch Actors Drinking Alcohol in Movies More Likely to Drink Themselves
A study published earlier this year in the journal Pediatrics found that young European teens who watched more scenes of actors drinking in Hollywood movies were more likely to binge-drink and otherwise abuse alcohol.
Researchers gave questionnaires to more than 5,000 15-year-olds from England, and found that youths who had watched the most minutes of drinking scenes in different movies were twice as likely to have problems relating to alcohol as teens who had watched the fewest minutes. Those who had watched the most minutes were also almost 2.5 times more likely to drink at least once a week and 70 percent more likely to binge-drink (that is, drink 5 or more drinks in a single day).
Taking Mini-Breaks from Daily Parenting Duties Is Good for You, Will Recharge You
We know that you are a loving, dedicated mom (or dad!), and there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things you want to do for your family. But it is important to remember that taking a break from the daily routine is essential for recharging your ‘go’ and making you feel happier and more positive. After all, feeling more content will help you continue to be a good parent!
Delaying Start of School for Summer-Born or Premature Children Lowers Academic Performance, Says Study; Some Parents Disagree
Children who start school a year later due to summer birthdays or premature births may do worse academically later on, according to a British study published recently in the Journal of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.
Warn Your Children About Hearing Loss from New Music Players
Many young children and teenagers got MP3 players as holiday gifts last month; doctors want to urge parents to caution their children not to play their music too loud, to avoid noise-induced hearing loss.
Almost All U.S. Teenagers Are Not Getting Enough Sleep, Says Study
A full night’s sleep is one of the best things a teenager can do for his or her physical and emotional health, mental alertness and performance at school or sports. Yet, a new study found that more than 90 percent of American teenagers aren’t getting enough rest during school nights, with only 7 percent of girls and 8-9 percent of boys getting 9 or more hours of nightly sleep.
It’s good to know that in our day and age, medical knowledge and the ability to obtain information have increased so vastly, compared to even just a few decades ago. But even now, prevention is a fundamentally important way to maintain our health and that of our children, so that we won’t need medical interventions too often.
And what are some of the most essential ways to keep our children healthy the natural way? Here are five that should be on every family’s list.
Let’s face it, what parent hasn’t lost his or her cool in the face of a defiant child or children, and started screaming. If you never have, you’re in a small minority. Nearly all parents — close to 90 percent — have yelled at their kids at some point, according to a survey of almost 1,000 parents by the Journal of Marriage and Family.
But if you’ve ever done it, you know that screaming leaves you, the parent, feeling mentally worn-out and even guilty afterwards. And your children may model your behavior and pick up the habit, themselves.
What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Children
Nine American children died in recent weeks, who were infected in the 2014 enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) outbreak that has now spread to 47 states and the District of Columbia.
So far, the viral strain has been detected in samples submitted for a total of nine children who died; many other samples from young children who are possibly infected with the virus continue to be tested.
The Internet has made shopping for so many goods a lot easier and more practical. For parents, it is important to remember that teens may also avail themselves of the ease and convenience that shopping online affords. And unless parents educate and are vigilant over their teens, youths may be getting their hands on some products that could do them a lot of harm.
Such is the case with products that contain the synthetic human growth hormone hGH. This drug is used by doctors in injection form to treat a few medical conditions, such as diminished production of human growth hormone by a person’s pituitary gland, and to treat children whose doctors have determined will not achieve a normal height, unless there is medical intervention.
Like other diseases and conditions in our modern world, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses in children have increased markedly, globally and in the United States, in recent years. More children and teens with ADHD are taking pharmaceutical drugs to treat this condition.
Millions of American children are now being treated with these stimulant drugs, which improve symptoms for some but not for others. And aside from whether or not ADHD drugs will work for a particular child, there are also valid concerns from many parents about putting strange laboratory chemicals into their young ones’ systems.
For years, doctors have been advising parents to limit the time their children spend daily watching television or on a computer — the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children get no more than two hours a day of non-school-related ‘screen time.’ But the message isn’t getting through to all families.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted two national surveys among children between 12 and 15 years of age. Close to three quarters of all the youths reported spending at least two hours in front of the TV and using a computer. Fifteen percent of those surveyed said they spent four or more hours watching TV every day; while 12 percent used a computer for four or more hours a day. The survey did not ask about use of smartphones.
A new study has found that parents who regularly don’t get enough sleep at night are more likely to have young children who, likewise, don’t sleep enough. Lost sleep in turn puts these youngsters (and the parents) at higher risk for being overweight or obese.
The study, done by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, assessed the weight of 337 preschool-age children and their parents, also examining factors known to help protect adults and children from becoming overweight or obese.
Parents do well to teach their children the importance of doing what we each can, to help save our planet. The efforts of one person alone don’t amount to much, true; but when you add many, many people, and many families, we collectively surely can make a big difference.
Below are many simple, easy things that you and your family can do around the home, to help keep your surroundings environmentally friendly. These steps won’t cost any more money; in fact, they will often save you money!
Autism rates in the United States rose by 30% between 2008 and 2010, and by 120% between 2000 and 2010, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in 68 8-year-old children had been diagnosed with autism by 2010, up from 1 in 88 two years earlier, says the report. These are staggering statistics, compared to the 1 in thousands ratio of American children who had been diagnosed as autistic in 1970.
The study, published online in late March, 2014, found that five times as many boys as girls are being diagnosed with autism. The CDC estimates that 1 in 42 boys has autism, and 1 in 189 girls. Caucasian children are diagnosed most frequently, followed by Hispanics, then African-Americans. The average age at which children are diagnosed has fallen, but remains above age 4 (diagnosis is possible by age 2).
It’s common knowledge that people’s life expectancies in developed countries have increased in the last 50 years, as science has uncovered new ways to prevent, treat and cure illnesses. But a study has found that people who were obese or overweight as teenagers are not living longer than similar people did five-plus decades ago.
The life expectancy of an American born in 2011 was 78.7 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the average lifespan has increased by more than 10 years since 1950. But the death rate for people in the study who had been obese or overweight as teens did not show improvement during that time.
Plus: 25 Things You Can Do to Help Prevent Cancer in Children
Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society published its yearly report, “Cancer Facts & Figures.” For the first time, the report included a special section on statistics about the prevalence of childhood and adolescent cancers. The separate section may be indicative of the fact that cases of childhood cancer continue to rise in the United States, despite much progress. According to the report, approximately 15,780 new cases of childhood cancer will be diagnosed in 2014, and 1,960 patients 19 and younger will die from this disease.
Current cancer rates among youths are 19 cases per 100,000 children. About one in 530 young adults aged 20 to 39 is a childhood cancer survivor.
So, you think you may have the next Einstein or medicine Nobel prize recipient in your home … or perhaps you simply want to ensure that you give your child the best chance to succeed in life by helping them get a great education.
Whatever your motivation, many parents are interested in finding ways to help their children succeed academically. Educators say that there are specific things that parents can do to enhance their child’s chances of success. Here are six ways to help you help your child do well in school:
If you hit bull’s eye and got your kids some fancy, expensive gifts for the holidays that they are still playing with some weeks later, kudos to you. But what if you got your kids presents that only held their interest for a couple of days? You probably feel like you wasted money.
It turns out, a lot of the best gifts that you can give to your children … cost no money at all.
In a perfect world, all women who become pregnant would have a relatively peaceful nine months, with plenty of leisure time to rest and to plan for the joyous arrival of their babies. But in the real world, adversity happens often. Sometimes, a woman is subjected to high stress levels during her pregnancy, whether the stress is related to money worries, family, a tragedy, or even problems with her partner.
Life does sometimes throw us curves that we did not anticipate. But if you are pregnant, you have an even greater reason to do everything in your power to take control of the stress in your life.
A new study found that when it comes to getting through to young people, you may be better off focusing on the positive, rather than using scare tactics.
If you’re a parent, you may at times get frustrated by how hard it is to get your children to listen to you when you warn them about the dangers of smoking, drinking alcohol, speeding when driving, or whatever the possible danger is.
The study, done at University College London in England, involved participants between 9 and 26 years old, who were asked to estimate their risk of suffering certain bad events, like being in a car accident or getting lung disease (from smoking). They were then told the actual statistics for those events.
Yes, it is. Child experts agree that playing sports is a great way for children who suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to build self-esteem, get exercise, enhance social skills and make friends. Playing sports helps boost a child’s self-confidence, something with which ADHD kids often struggle. Signing up your child for a sport offers the added benefit of steering him or her toward a more active routine, thus decreasing or discouraging more sedentary activities such as TV-watching or playing video games, and that’s a good step for any child.
Helping Your Child Choose a Sport
It’s no secret to any parent that children, especially younger ones, strive to be like their parents and do the same things that parents do.
So, it may come as little surprise that a study published recently in the journal Pediatrics found that the best predictor of how much time a child spends watching television … is how much time the parents do.
Researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (U of PA) interviewed 1,500 parents with children 17 and younger about the parents’ screen time habits (viewing DVDs, movies on the Internet, and so forth). They were also asked specifically about their television-viewing habits, as well as their kids’. When possible, adolescent children were also interviewed about their own TV habits.
We’ve all heard the warnings: soda pop is bad for us. Many studies have linked moderate-to-heavy soda-drinking to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal cancers and other serious illnesses. Even light soda-drinking (defined as 2 or more sodas a week) was found in one study to be linked to pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest and hardest-to-cure cancers. Diet sodas are also bad; they have been linked to even more disease than regular sodas, by some estimates; which makes sense, since they have an even greater number of toxic chemicals than regular sodas.
The fact is, for those of us who aim to eat natural diets and be conscientious consumers, sodas are a complete no-no. The ingredients are more times than not a long assortment of artificial chemicals and preservatives that don’t belong in anyone’s body — least of all, a child’s.
Before we knew it, summertime was over, and it was time for our kids to go back to school. We may no longer be able to fix elaborate breakfasts before the kids rush to school; but there are certainly plenty of breakfast choices that are healthy, tasty, and easy to prepare.
We all know by now that eating breakfast is important, as it fuels our bodies and minds for the day ahead. But what kind of breakfasts are nutritious and healthy?
Thinking positive and believing in oneself are much more than just feel-good concepts thrown around by psychologists looking to sell us books. Most people who achieve success in life on their own merit, at whatever goals they set for themselves, will tell you that believing in oneself, and not quitting in the face of defeat — even many defeats — are the keys to success.
When you are the parent of a child, you get the exciting, rewarding opportunity to mold a little mind from the beginning; thus, you will continue to influence the world even when you are no longer in it.
If you feel uncomfortable even bringing up the subject of sex with your pre-teen or teenage son or daughter, you are not alone. More than one parent has elected to avoid having that talk altogether because they didn’t feel comfortable. However, given the potentially very serious and life-changing consequences of sex, it is a subject that parents ought to discuss.
At no other time have children of all ages been exposed to so much gratuitous sex as today’s children. Sexual messages abound in television, movies, music and advertisements, while the Internet is a new source of ready sexual content for children who are not being carefully supervised. Today, more than ever, it is important to bring up the subject of sex with your son or daughter, instead of relying only on school to teach them what they need to know.
Prescription drug abuse by teens appears to have increased by 33 percent in a scant five years, according to a survey launched in 2012 and published in 2013 by The Partnership at Drugfree.org, in conjunction with the MetLife Foundation.
The survey interviewed 3,900 teenagers in grades 9-12, who attended public, private and parochial schools. Eight hundred parents were also interviewed at home. The survey covered the period between 2008 and 2012.
When it comes to food, the great thing about it is that we all have very similar nutritional needs: for the most part, what’s good for one person is good for everyone, and what’s bad for one person is bad for all.
Some people, including a lot of the experts, would have us believe that we need to go on special diets to suit our individual needs; but while that approach might make a lot of people in the diet and nutrition business wealthy, the truth is that our personal physiologies are much more similar to everyone else’s than they are different.
Getting a young child to give you his or her undivided attention while you talk to them is sometimes tricky, as any parent knows; but there are specific things that you can do to better your chances of being heard.
Even with a very young child, a parent or caregiver should take steps to establish a loving and nurturing relationship. Hugs, compliments, mock tummy tickles, enlisting your little helper in jobs around the house — these are all ways in which you can instill in the child the feeling that you love and appreciate him or her. The more time you spend together, the more “in tune” you will be with your child’s temperament, and how to go about teaching discipline, obedience and good social behavior.
The benefits of playing organized sports are well-established. They include giving children the opportunity to interact with peers and coaches to reach a common goal. This can help foster leadership skills as the child learns to get along with others and follow instructions, while working to improve their personal best.
Team sports can also help a child learn new skills. A young person can learn about the thrill of challenging oneself, and the importance of practicing a skill until it is mastered.
The teenage years are a dreaded time for many parents, as teens begin to rebel and dismiss their parents’ good counsel, reaching out for approval from their peers instead. But there are things that you as a parent can do to strengthen the quality of your relationship with your teen, and thus make him or her more receptive to your advice and instruction.
Perhaps the most fundamental step to getting your teenage son or daughter to trust you and listen to you is to be loving and kind to your child. If you strive to have a harmonious and respectful relationship with your child, fewer conflicts will arise. That does not mean not disciplining your child, because correcting a child when they do wrong (in a compassionate, thoughtful manner) is every bit as important as giving them your love, your attention, and providing for them.
Compared to years past, today’s pediatricians are more apt to ask parents about their smoking habits. And while some parents might take offense to that, your child’s doctor is only trying to help keep your youngster healthy.
In our modern day, American society has largely accepted that cigarette smoke poses some of the very same dangers to those who are around a smoker as it does to the person who smokes.
A lot of parents these days rely in small or in large part on schools to supply their children with information about the changes that happen to the body during puberty, and about sex.
But it’s a very good idea to supplement the education that children may get in class — and even to begin having those discussions, in age-appropriate ways, long before they’re brought up in the classroom.
For starters, it’s likely that as your child More »
The American Psychiatric Association estimates that between 3 and 7 percent of American children suffer from attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, though some studies show even higher rates. ADHD diagnoses have increased by an astounding 66 percent since 2000.
Many children now take prescription drugs, chiefly stimulants, to combat the symptoms of ADHD — hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.
Because it’s a growing problem, studies continue being done to try to determine if there are More »
Today’s parenting culture is one of ambition and high expectation. In an age of increasing competition in all areas of the socioeconomic spectrum, we all want our kids not just to do well but to excel. In light of this, many parents forget to leave their children time for the simple things—playing outdoors, engaging in imaginative activities and such. We tend to think time that is not spent engaged in a productive activity is time wasted.
Having high expectations for one’s children is perfectly natural, and there are More »
Getting a child to live up to his or her full potential is one of the most challenging things about being a parent. On one hand, we do not want our children to feel that we are putting undue pressure on them to do things they may not necessarily want to do. On the other, practically every child needs at least a parental nudge every now and then, and this often means being the bad guy in your child’s eyes. It is yet another area of parenting where the parents More »
If you are a new parent, most of what you have heard about the year or two immediately following infancy is probably negative. You hear about the terrible twos, temper tantrums, disobedient children who get into everything, and the like. But while there are certainly some gigantic challenges to raising a toddler, this period becomes a lot easier if you More »
For anyone who has never raised a child, the idea of parenting might seem like a rather simple thing on a day-to-day basis. After all—how complicated can it be? Just try to be a good role model, attend to your child’s needs, and make sure your child learns the rules of acceptable behavior. But of course, as any parent knows, raising children is not so simple. On any given day, there is More »
Many healthy, loving couples are not fully prepared for the challenges of having children. These challenges are difficult to foresee, and. almost no couple is immune to them. Even couples who have never been through a serious argument before having children can be tested by all the new tensions and pressures that come with bringing a new family member into the world.
While there are many problems that can arise in a marriage after children are in the picture, the most common issue is More »
Parenting is a process of continuous learning and adjustment, and no parent makes it through unscathed. Many mistakes parents make are easily recognizable and can be fixed right away, while others are only visible with the benefit of hindsight. But while no parent can be perfect, it is possible to More »
As much as we love our children, parents need to have lives of their own, and they cannot spend every waking hour supervising children. Of course, we do not begrudge infants and toddlers their need for constant attention, but growing children need to develop a sense of independence. Not only does it give parents More »
Your child has her own unique personality. She may be shyer than some or more outgoing. The way you respond to her basic temperament greatly affects and influences her. Sensitive and encouraging parents can help a shy child and abusive parents can make an outgoing, lively child feel withdrawn and disconnected. To help a shy child you can:
Many 21st-century parents are very conscious of the importance of keeping the lines of communication open with their teens. This often comes at the expense of old-fashioned discipline and parent-child hierarchy, but for many parents the trade-off is worth it. In exchange for that old-fashioned stuff, you get a strong emotional connection with your child that is almost like a friendship, and you are rarely kept in the dark about important things.
Still, even in this day of unprecedented openness between parents and children, some More »
You may be stunned to hear your little angel say a swear word! Many parents experience these shocks at some point so do not fret! This often happens as children begin to explore language. It happens because they have heard someone else say it in frustration and they want to express the same emotion or they do it because they know it achieves a reaction and therefore think that it is funny.
The best action to take straight away is to More »
Sibling relationships can be among the most complex in the world. With our siblings we share a special familiarity, plus lots of shared experiences that give rise to a unique understanding. With siblings, there are few secrets and very little mystery. Your siblings see you at your best and your worst, and they have known you when you are at your most vulnerable. In short, there is nothing simple about sibling relationships.
The special bond siblings share is fantastic in many ways. Unlike More »
Everyone, no matter how old, has nightmares from time to time. Some adults remember their dreams more clearly than others, but we all have at least a few memories of nights and mornings when we woke in sheer terror, then felt that sense of relief that comes from the realization that it was all just a nightmare. Dreams are a strange phenomenon that science has yet to fully explain, but nightmares are something we have all experienced and thus can identify with on a personal level.
But for young children, there is a special acuteness to the terror that More »
As a new grandparent you want to be the best you can be! Your new role is not as daunting as becoming a first time parent but many things have undoubtedly changed since your own children were little. With so many more mothers returning to work childcare is required more often and many grandparents find so much joy in helping to look after the new additions to the family.
In terms of setting off on the right foot with your child and his or her partner you can look at these helpful hints: More »
As a parent of a seemingly lazy child you may feel very frustrated with attempts to motivate him. Some parents are baffled by their children being so different in their levels of activity. Children are different and some are inherently more active than others but few are naturally lazy. Often a child’s energy is being used for growing and his body needs to rest, this can often be mistaken for laziness. Once he has rested and his body has caught up he More »
Alcohol is considered socially acceptable as long as it is drunk moderately but it can cause mixed messages being communicated to our young people. We tell our children drinking is bad for them but they then see us consuming alcohol and sometimes too much at social occasions. What do you do if you discover your child is drinking excessively? What do you say without seeming hypocritical or risk your children losing their trust in you?
Many children have their first sip of an alcoholic drink at around More »
That kids experience growing pains is no myth. At times of growth (and kids do grow at uneven rates), to feel actual pain in the bones, muscles, and joints is quite common. Its prevalence is difficult to measure, but it is believed that as many as half of all children experience growing pains regularly. As grownups, we may not remember just how uncomfortable these pains can be, but they are significant enough to disrupt sleep, make it hard to focus in school, and cause irritability.
Be aware that even though you feel you are doing your very best raising your child, sometimes your parenting strategies can be damaging to your child’s self-esteem and the parent-child relationship. Your child needs to grow up with a healthy level of self-esteem to be more resilient to the lessons learnt and the knocks taken in life. A good self-esteem enables your child in decision making, having confidence in the judgements she makes, knowing what is right and wrong and having an ability to ‘bounce back’ after a knock. Healthy self-esteem is especially important during your child’s adolescent years when the chances are she will experience peer pressure to experiment with cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterised by repetitive and unwanted thoughts. These obsessions create actions made by the sufferer as they try to eradicate the anxious thoughts which are compulsions. OCD cases vary from mild to severe and manifest in different ways. With children suffering from OCD their obsessive thoughts can cause high levels of distress and anxiety often dominating their time and ability to focus and hold their attention on things. Research carried out estimates that 1.9% to 3% of children have OCD so out of 1000 children in a school 19 to 30 of them will probably have this disorder. OCD does not discriminate between ethnicities or social groups.
It is one of every parent’s worse nightmares. You take your eye off your child for a minute only to find her gone when you turn around. Or one day he does not get home from school at the normal time. Or she goes outside to play and does not come back in. Scenarios like these are fortunately uncommon, and when they do happen there is usually a good explanation, and it is usually pretty easy to find the temporarily missing child. But what about those very rare cases where the child is not easily found?
When it comes to educating children, a lot of focus is placed on practical skills like reading and math, which are undoubtedly important. But we should raise our children to be well-rounded individuals, and this involves teaching them forms of creative self-expression. While different kids have different talents-some are good at drawing, some can dance well, and some are most talented in non-artistic areas-music should be integral to every child’s life. And even if your child does not develop into a musical prodigy, it is a good idea to have cultivate familiarity with the art form.
By Lisa Pecos
With the rise of computers and electronic gadgets as tools for all types of school-related activities, kids spend far less time writing by hand than they used to. As a result, many people fear that the ancient art of handwriting is bound to become a thing of the past. While this is true to some extent-writing by hand is certainly less important than it used to be-it is still important to have good handwriting for the times when it is called for.
By Marc Courtiol
Although it may sometimes be hard to imagine life without cellphones, most grownups can recall a time when we were not all in constant touch with one another, and when every household shared a single stationary phone. And because most of today’s parents grew up in that world, many have a somewhat traditionalist attitude when it comes to whether to give their own kids cellphones. Many feel there is no reason a child needs a cellphone, while some take a more modest approach, allowing that it may be a good idea to provide their kids cellphones at, say, 14 or 15, when the social life picks up.
By Lisa Pecos
Having a first child is one of the most difficult things you will ever have to do. From the middle stages of pregnancy until those blessed later months of the first year when the baby gets less fussy and more predictable, you are put through a series of challenges that test every fiber of your being. So it is a wonder that anyone would make a conscious choice to complicate things further by bringing a second child into the picture. Yet people do it all the time. And yes, many aspects of having a baby are easier the second time around, but in many ways you will feel just as challenged and bewildered as you did the first time.
By Jamell Andrews
Because driving is such a routine thing for so many adults, we tend to forget what a serious act it is to get behind the wheel. A car is a massive, potentially dangerous piece of machinery, and operating one comes with a world of adult responsibilities. So it is hard for many parents to imagine that their 15-year-olds will soon be driving unsupervised. Sure, there are drivers’ training classes and learner’s permits, but your child is still your baby, and no amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the day he or she drives off without you.
By Lisa Pecos
In the early years of a child’s life, parents are forced to do whatever they have to do to make sure the child is supervised at all times. But once the child reaches a certain age, the issue starts to become fuzzier. Most well-behaved kids reach a point-generally in their preteens or thereabouts-where they are responsible and self-guided enough to look after themselves for a few hours. Yet considering whether to leave a child home alone raises all sorts of issues, and many parents are reluctant to face up to these issues until a little later. In the end, it is up to each family to decide on their own, but in any case there are some important factors to keep in mind.
By Lisa Pecos
Today’s kids plug into media at an earlier age than their predecessors, and the amount of media they consume is staggering compared to the habits of past generations. According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average child between the age of eight and 18 consumes media for seven hours and 38 minutes every day-and the real rate for teens is much higher. As parents, there is good reason to be disturbed by these figures. Granted, certain types of media have benefits, but the negative effects of media overconsumption are considerable. The good news is there are things responsible parents can do to moderate these effects.
By Chris Molnar
Oh the princess tea party — it’s practically a rite of passage for little girls everywhere. At some point your daughter will embrace this phase and celebrate it for all the dainty beauty that it is. This makes for the perfect theme of a party and your little princess can truly celebrate.
By Jamell Andrews
Most children experience some degree of shyness in certain social situations. For example, some young kids are naturally afraid of grownup strangers, and some are shy around kids of the opposite sex. For others, the problem can be more general; they may seem to lag behind their peers in social development, and this may cause them to have trouble making friends, which in turn causes them to fall further behind. If your child falls into this category, there are steps you can take to help her outgrow her shyness.
By Jamell Andrews
For parents, getting kids to go to bed at certain times is one of those ongoing struggles that over the years can reach epic proportions. Kids have a powerful, seemingly inborn desire to guide their own sleeping patterns, and for parents there is just no easy way to subvert this force. Granted, some kids are more obedient than others and are perfectly content to head to bed when asked, but these are the exceptions. For most parents, it becomes an issue early in the child’s life, and you continuously have to work with your child to make the household sleep situation consistently positive.
In the early evening I would sit outside under the tree near our house and watch the birds. One day I saw a Blue Jay come and chase the other birds away if they got to close. I noticed that every time she did that, 2 little Blue Jays would fly up and eat the seeds in the feeder that was hanging in the tree. Then I noticed that she would hop from branch to branch and the little birds would follow her. This went on for a few weeks. She would look down from the branch where she was perched to check on them.
Our son Michael was potty trained at nine months and spoke in sentences at 12 months old. At age two, he would listen to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite over and over. When a friend gave my husband and I tickets to see the Nutcracker one holiday season, I cringed! Mike did stand up comedy at the age of three, and we thought it was necessary to put him into Pre-School to learn to read and write his own first name.
Even if you have read all the books and been to all the classes, you cannot know exactly what it is like to be a parent until it actually happens. Every new parent encounters surprises and unexpected challenges. And while most of these challenges are easily overcome, they are quite serious given the fact that you now have a young human being’s life, comfort, and happiness in your hands. There is no reason to panic, though. Most new parents hit their stride within a couple of weeks, and the everyday tasks become second nature. But if you are preparing for the arrival of your first, here are ten tasks to be familiar with.
With the rise of television, video games, and now the internet and digital devices, many are worried that the old habit of sitting down and reading a good book is on its way out with the coming generation. But while the act of reading is certainly undergoing change, reading is still a fundamental component of education, and it is as fun as it ever was. For 21st-century parents, fostering the reading habit comes with some unique challenges, but there are a few things you can do to ensure that your kids grow up loving to read books.
We like to think that a child’s world is all lightness and fun, but there are dark sides to the childhood experience. Especially in this age of increased expectations, rigorous study, and intense competition for educational opportunities, kids are increasingly dealing with stress in addition to all the traditional sources of bad feelings in children. Stress is no longer just a grownup problem. Kids face many of the same pressure that adults do, and they also have pressures of their own. If you think your child might be suffering from too much stress, here is what you need to know.
After a generations-long decline in the emphasis on manners when raising children, many 21st-century parents are rediscovering the importance of instilling values of politeness and decorum in their kids. Children who have good manners are better behaved in general, but they also tend to go far in the world because they know how to ingratiate themselves to others in all types of social situations. And ultimately, manners are not just arbitrary rules imposed for no good reason. They help create an ordered society of mutually respectful individuals. So even if you find that manners are not what they used to be, parents can still make a positive difference one child at a time.
Over the past several years, the phrase “helicopter parenting” has emerged in the media as a term for parenting styles that involve excessive intervention, attention, and guidance on the part of parents toward their children. The term is metaphorical; the parent is a helicopter constantly hovering over the child. It is often used pejoratively, and it tends to bring to mind images of parents completely sanitizing their children’s worlds, going to the hospital for every bruise or scratch, and acting in an excessively entitled manner on behalf of their kids.
Pre-verbal children use crying to get what they need. After learning to talk, many children have trouble breaking this habit. In fact, some develop a rather complex system of sounds and gestures that sometimes includes crying, sometimes pouting, sometimes tantrums, and sometimes a loud, whiny voice. For parents, as much as we love our children, these behaviors can be infuriating, not to mention embarrassing when they happen in public.
There are some simple preparations that you can make in advance before embarking on a trip away with your toddler in the midst of his potty training.
Stutters or Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder most commonly affecting children between the ages of 2 and 5, though it appears in people of all ages. There are many forms of stuttering, which itself is only one of a variety of similar speech disorders. It usually involves the involuntary repetition of syllables, the prolonging of words, or mid-word interruptions. The speech difficulties are often accompanied by additional tics such as rapid blinking, lip tremors, and muscular tension in the face, jaw, or upper body. The problems often worsen when the stutterer is excited or under stress.
By Liz Krause
When it comes to the internet, gone are the days when parents know more than the kids – or so it seems. The fact of the matter is, although a child may know how to use the internet faster and quicker, it is the parents’ responsibility to protect them from the dark side of the web.
Many parents do not realise how important the development of their child’s fine and gross motor skills are in terms of their academic and physical performances. There are lots of games and activities which parents can do with their children to enhance their motor skills.
To overcome the fear of the first day at nursery, playgroup or school is a big step for your child. Talking to your child about it can help them prepare and alleviate some of their fears. They will naturally be anxious of the unknown so explain and describe where they will be going and for how long they will be there. Also create some excitement about the activities they will be involved with. Ask them what they are expecting school to be like and discuss any fears they are holding on to. Reassure that they will be collected by you or another carer at the end of the day. Do not dismiss any fears that seem silly to you. Listen and talk about whatever they might be worrying about.
Asthma affects the small tubes (airways) that carry air in and out of the lungs, also known as the bronchi. The airways of the lungs are more sensitive in children with asthma. Something that irritates your child’s lungs is a called a trigger. Triggers cause the airways to narrow, inflame the lining of the airways and tightens the muscles. Also there is an increase in the production of sticky phlegm. The symptoms are wheezing, coughing (especially at night) and shortness of breath making the child’s chest feel tight.
Are you helping or hindering your child’s self-esteem and feeling of confidence? Say your child tries to carry their bowl of food and a beaker of juice across the room, then trips and spills everything. Do you say ‘I told you not to do that! Now see what you have done!’ It is tempting but it would be much more helpful to say something like ‘Oh dear, you tried, but it didn’t work. Don’t worry. Next time you can try carrying things one by one’. This way your child is not made to feel worse than he already does for failing at trying to do something. Also, it is important to bear in mind that it is not only what your child directly hears you saying but what he also overhears you telling other people like, ‘he’s so clumsy!’ or ‘he never learns’. This can leave the child feeling that this is the absolute unchangeable truth.