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Important Steps to Prevent Sports-Related Injuries

The following is a break-down of what parents need to know, to help their children remain free from sports-related injuries.

Education

Doctors treat around one million sports-related injuries in American school-age children every year. For parents, it is important to learn basic ways to avoid injury when their children practice sports, whether it’s at school or around the neighborhood.

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The Hygiene Hypothesis — Is a Little Dirt Good for Your Child?

You may have heard the term human microbiome or microbiota, which refers to the thousands of species of microscopic organisms that inhabit the bodies of both healthy and diseased humans. These beneficial or “friendly” bacteria and fungi play vital roles in keeping us healthy and helping with normal processes such as digestion of the foods that we eat. Friendly flora can be found on our skins, in the skin’s deeper layers, our mouths, parts of our eyes, and our gastrointestinal tract.

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Child Brain Development

Astounding Facts About the Amazing Human Brain!

  • The brain is one of the first organs to develop in a human embryo, and it continues to change and mature for a person’s entire life!
  • All 100 billion nerve cells present in an adult’s brain have been made by the time a fetus is six months old!
  • A newborn’s brain weighs 25 percent of its adult weight at birth. By two years of age, a toddler’s brain has reached 75 percent of its adult weight!
  • Sixty percent of the human genome (a person’s genetic makeup) — or 60 thousand genes — is dedicated to brain development!

While the brain’s different parts develop on different timelines for different individuals, the stages of development are the same for all of us. Below are some developmental milestones of the human brain, beginning with its formation in utero.

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The Advantages of Homeschooling

Once upon a time in the United States, all children were taught either at home, or through apprenticeships, where they learned a trade with which they would later earn a livelihood. But in the mid 1800’s, public schools began proliferating throughout the country, and most children subsequently started attending public schools.

In recent decades, however, more and more American parents have begun looking to homeschooling again as an option for educating their children. In 2012, three percent of all school-age children — about 1.5 million — were being homeschooled in the U.S. The top three professions for the fathers in these households were: accountant/engineer (17.3%), professor/doctor/lawyer (16.9%), and small-business owner (10.7%).

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If Your Child’s Pediatrician Asks Whether You Smoke Cigarettes, He Is Not Being Nosy!

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.

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Are Hand Sanitizers Dangerous?

Many of us heard the sad story recently about the Klamath Falls, OR 12-year-old girl who received second- and third-degree burns to one-fifth of her body while inside a hospital, after static charge sparks ignited the hand sanitizer she had just used to clean her hands and a bedside table. The sanitizer then burned olive oil that was on the girl’s scalp and T-shirt, making the flames burn more fiercely.

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Talking to Your Daughter about Her First Menstrual Period

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 »

New Guidelines to Fight Type 2 Diabetes in Children

The current childhood obesity epidemic has led to the American Academy of Pediatrics publishing new guidelines, for the first time ever, for doctors to follow in managing type 2 diabetes in patients between the ages of 10 and 18.

Type 2 diabetes affects 90 to 95 percent of the 26 million American adult diabetics, but it had been rare in children and adolescents. As childhood obesity rates have skyrocketed, one in three children younger than 18 diagnosed with diabetes is now diagnosed with type 2.

Few doctors have been trained to More »

Before You Give Your Child Stimulants for ADHD, Try Some Dietary Changes

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 »

Should Children Take Antidepressants?

While this decision is one that parents of minors should ultimately weigh carefully and decide upon, many of us are hesitant to put too many artificial chemicals inside our bodies. These chemicals often come with undesirable side effects, sometimes dangerous ones, and never is the case more so than with antidepressants.

The ongoing, tragic series of mass shootings by children and young adults that the United States has experienced recently, has brought the subject of youths and antidepressants to the forefront once again. Some of the children and young adults who committed these crimes are now known to More »

Are Your Children Needlessly Being Poisoned by Flame Retardants?

In the 1970’s, the United States government implemented fire safety standards that now have manufacturers of many types of furnishings and household goods using toxic flame-retardant chemicals, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs.

PBDEs are similar in chemical structure to PCBs, which were banned after they were found to be linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and impaired brain development in fetuses.

But PBDEs are now being used prevalently by manufacturers of many products, including polyurethane foams for furniture; mattresses; plastics for television cabinets, computers, electronics and small appliances; wire insulation; carpeting; as coatings for draperies and upholstery — and on baby More »

Important Things You Should Consider Before Bringing Home a Pet for Your Children

Around holiday time or birthdays, a lot of well-meaning parents cave in to their children’s pleas for a pet. But sometimes, things don’t go smoothly, especially with younger children, and the pets are soon after returned to the seller or shelter, or given away. Or worse, the child or the pet wind up getting seriously hurt.

There are stories of More »

Effective Ways to Handle Children’s Tantrums

We’ve all experienced it: we’re at the grocery store, or even a department store … when out of nowhere, a child starts letting out nerve-congealing screams that quickly direct our attention to the source — a toddler or slightly older child is upset that he or she can’t have some enticing-looking goody they’ve come across, and they’re letting the whole world know they’re upset.

Very often, the parent accompanying the child More »

5 Ways to Know if Your Child is too Busy

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 »

How Important is Reading to your Toddler?

If you read many parenting books and articles, you have probably heard that reading to babies is useful for bonding and for exposing young children to a variety of words and sounds but is ultimately not that important for development. This is certainly true when it comes to children under a year old, but the story becomes much different for children aged two to three. During these years, reading More »

Sibling Rivalries in Children

Relatively few children are fortunate enough to be close friends with their siblings — in few cases, siblings can even be best friends.  But in the majority of cases, routine quabbles, and even drag-out fights, are a fact of life in the lives of brothers and sisters. Sibling rivalries can often More »

Nerves in Kids: The Brain-Gut Connection

We as parents try our best to buffer our children from stimuli or situations that could cause them undue psychological stress.  We keep an eye out on what they watch on TV, the Internet, what video games they play. We strive to prevent  them from witnessing situations that could emotionally traumatize them or make them fearful, which could lead to nightmares or generalized anxiety.  In short, we do the best we can to protect our children’s minds — their brains — from undue stressors.

But until recently, not a lot of attention was placed in More »

Does Entertainment Play a Role in the Increasing Gun Violence Among Youth?

The recent series of horrifying, unspeakably senseless mass shootings perpetrated by teenagers and young adults in different American states has all of us in this country searching for answers. What can be causing these increasingly common, genocidal outbursts of gun violence? And what can we as a society do to change things?

Most of us understand that it would be simplistic to try to More »

Raise Kids Who are Smart about Money

Most people are not born with a natural ability to make smart financial decisions. As a species we are not designed to think about the long-term consequences of our actions, and the allure of the short-term can be powerful. That is why More »

What to do With an Underachieving Child

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 »

Survival Tips for the Toddler Years

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 »

What to do About a Child Who Lies

Every child lies, just as every adult lies. These might be difficult truths to accept, but if you search your own past and examine your actions honestly, you will no doubt find that there have been many situations where you found it useful to lie. Children are no different, except that they are often poor liars and tend to do it even when there is little chance they will get away with it. There are many reasons that they do this, but the most important thing parents need to know is More »

The 5 Keys to Being a Great Parent

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 »

Teaching Kids to Love Nature

In an age of growing disconnection between people and nature, many parents find it challenging to instill in their children a sense of appreciation for all that the earth has to offer. In many cases, nature is remote and not easily accessible, while electronics and media are immediately available, and many busy parents understandably go the easier route. But there are numerous benefits to helping your child appreciate the wonders of the great outdoors, and it is even More »

5 Things Teens Do Not Tell Their Parents

As kids grow, it can be difficult for parents to let go of the parent-child dynamic that was established during the early years. Teens might still be far from fully formed adults, but they are unique individuals with strong senses of themselves, and much of their behavior is oriented toward growing and becoming adults. For parents, the old closeness of the early years must sadly give way to something else. No longer will you More »

Teaching Your Kids a Good Work Ethic

Many children are not predisposed to working hard and carrying out their responsibilities with enthusiasm. In fact, most kids must be taught these things, often with great hardship and frustration for the parents. Kids want to play and enjoy their idle time—which is perfectly natural and even healthy to some degree—and typically do not take well to being More »

Homework Headaches? 6 Tips for Parents of Young Children

Few children are predisposed to diving into homework with enthusiasm. Most have to be taught the discipline and sense of duty required to stay on task and get the often boring work done on time. Teachers can only do so much. When it comes to instilling good school habits at home, parents must play an active, hands-on role. Some children take to it better than others, but in any case, good parents stay informed of their children’s homework activities and provide whatever pressure is needed to make sure it gets done. But how do you parents avoid the homework headaches?

1. Get organized: Create a system in your household for keeping track of all homework. There are a few ways to do this, but perhaps the best option is to have a homework notepad in a common area of your house such as the kitchen. When your child gets home from school, have him or her write all the day’s homework tasks. Later, cross them off when they’re completed. Or, if you think your child has the discipline, have him or her bring a special notepad to school to write down all homework assignments as they are given.
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Keep Your Marriage Strong After Having Kids

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 »

The 5 Most Common Parenting Mistakes

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 »

Helping Your Child Lose Weight

Because we love our children unconditionally, it is very easy for parents to become blind to any physical problems their kids may have. When a child becomes overweight, parents tend to think he or she is just a little plump or that it is just a passing phase that will end at the next growth spurt. Children do indeed go through phases and their bodies are constantly involving, so in many cases there is nothing to worry about when a child has a couple of extra pounds. But parents do need to watch closely, because weight problems can get out of hand faster than you may think.

There are countless reasons why parents need to keep an eye on their children’s weight. First, there are the basic reasons of health. Children who are overweight can develop health problems that may plague them for life. Second, children set many of their lifelong habits during these years, and teaching your kids to eat well and exercise turns into a great gift later on. Meanwhile, there are also social factors; kids who are obese or even just overweight often face teasing and bullying, which raise a whole additional set of issues.

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Child Speech Development: What’s Normal?

Most parents understand that children develop at different rates, and that this is as true for speech development as anything else. Yet if you are the parent of a two-year-old who has barely started to speak, a five-year-old who has trouble making himself understood, or a ten-year-old who is unusually quiet, it is only natural to worry that there is something wrong. In many cases, children with delayed speech More »

Encouraging Independence in Your Young Child

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 »

Kids and Sports: The Parents’ Role

The benefits of organized sports for children cannot be overestimated. Even when a child is not particularly sports-oriented or does not excel on the playing field, the experience itself is valuable. It teaches kids how to work with others and how to take instruction, it introduces them to teamwork, competition, and the importance of practice, and it encourages them to challenge themselves to do difficult things. Meanwhile, it also provides all-important physical activity, which is as important as ever in the age of the obesity epidemic.

But there are many things to consider when involving your child in sports. Most important, you have to think about whether your child is ready and which sports might be the best match for him or her. Every child is different, and some children thrive in some sports and flounder in others. You know your child best, so you will have to use your own judgment in making this decision.
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Childhood Fears and Anxiety: What Can Parents Do?

A certain amount of fear and anxiety is a natural part of life and childhood. It is what drives us to take precautions and to keep ourselves and our families safe. In children, while fear and anxiety are often illogical, they are in many respects an important part of growing up. But in some children these feelings can become excessive, and the effects may actually hinder learning and growth.

Where these feelings become problematic is where they are More »

Finding Safe Toys for Toddlers

For young children, toys come with numerous benefits. Not only are they fun, but they also stimulate the imagination and help with learning. But there is a serious side to toys; each year, millions of children are treated in emergency rooms for toy-related injuries, and tragedy can result from poor choices of toys or inadequate parental supervision.

As a parent of a young child, you are More »

What to do if Your Child is a Reluctant Reader

For young children, being able to read is an important foundation for all later education. But some children do not take to it as well as others. Some have difficulty learning how to read and hence cannot have fun doing it, while others simply do not enjoy books as much as their parents would like them to. In these situations, it is important for parents to play an active role so that the child does not fall behind.

Reading does not have to be your child’s favorite activity, but he or she should be capable of enjoying it. And even if that is not possible, a strong proficiency with written words, letters, and sounds will More »

Why Tears Are A Good Thing!

Crying is particular to human beings and is a socially adaptive skill. There are often lots of tears shed during the first few weeks of school because it is usually the first time your child experiences an extended separation from you. It is an important stage for your child when she begins to learn that she can be part of a group outside of her family. During those first days she is working out how to cope with separation, loss, anxiety and change. The skills and techniques she learns will be needed throughout her whole life. As a protective parent you may find it difficult to see your child crying but know that generally, children are resilient and can utilise coping skills remarkably well. Crying is one of a child’s best coping strategies so children should be allowed to cry. The benefits of crying include: More »

Why Is Autism On The Rise?

Here in the UK about one in one hundred people have an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) which could be conditions such as Asperger syndrome (AS) or autism. The reason the term ‘spectrum’ is used is because the symptoms of these disorders are very varied. Children with an ASD generally are similar in that they find it difficult relating to others because they do not develop their language and social skills in the same way that other children who are the same age do. Children who have autism are often diagnosed by the time they are two years old. They find it hard to communicate and interact. Autistic children sometimes have a learning difficulty like dyslexia and autism is more common in boys. Asperger syndrome is usually not as severe as autism although it is a similar condition. Children with AS do not usually have a learning difficulty and do not find it as difficult to communicate as autistic children. AS children often have an average or above average intelligence.

It is not completely understood at the moment as to what the causes are of ASDs. It is thought that the conditions run in families. There is a theory that autism is linked to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine but there is no scientific evidence that proves this to date.

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I want to Go Back to Work but I Have Lost My Confidence

It seems to be a common factor that when women are considering going back to work after taking time off to look after their children, a feeling of insecurity and lack of confidence overwhelms them and puts them off the idea. A long time out of the work place makes some women feel that simple tasks such as More »

Teenagers and Acne: What Parents Need to Know

Acne is a very common concern during adolescence, and virtually every teen deals with it to some degree. Even small acne breakouts can be cause for anxiety, and serious acne problems can lead to depression and social delays. So from the parental perspective, acne is not to be taken lightly just because it happens to almost everyone. There are good and bad ways to deal with the issue, and improper handling of the situation can More »

How To Conquer The Homework Battle

Threatening, bribing and punishing are futile methods to use when attempting to get your child to do her homework. Let us be clear, most children do not like to sit down to do their homework after being at school all day. You cannot make your child do her homework or make her enjoy it. You can use methods that assist her to do her work. You can be positive, motivational and consistent. Read on for tips that will help you at least reduce the More »

Playground Safety: Not Just for Overprotective Parents

For both parents and children, there is something magical about a playground. It gives the child an opportunity to play freely in a safe outdoor environment and to interact with other kids, and it gives parents the chance to sit back and relax in the fresh air while the child plays. But of course, while many children thrive when given the chance to play an area designated for them, no playground is completely safe. There are things to fall off of and things to bump into, and there can even be sharp edges. Parents do not have to hover over their children at the playground, but it is a good idea to More »

How Can I Help My Shy Toddler?

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:

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Getting your teen to talk about his or her feelings

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 »

Help! My Toddler Is Swearing!

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 Rivalry: What’s Normal, and When to Get Involved

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 »

My Teenager Has Acne, How Can I Help?

Acne can inflict the young and the old but is most common during our teenage years. The acne that teenagers suffer from is called acne vulgaris and is triggered by puberty’s reproductive hormones surging through their bodies. These raging hormones make the sebaceous glands enlarge and increase the production of sebum. The pores produce a kind of protein called keratin. The increased sebum and production of keratin, dead skin cells and bacteria block the hair follicles which stops the sebum being able to get through the skin pores. Acne is when the skin erupts because it is infected and inflamed by the bacteria and sebum clogged hair follicles.

At a time in your child’s life when he is already often angry and confused, angry skin can really get him down. The diet your teenager sticks to can greatly affect his skin’s health. This is where you can More »

What to Do About a Child’s Nightmares and Night Terrors

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 »

Keep Your Kids Learning Through the Summer

No student remembers every single thing she learns in school. Even over the course of a school day, many things will go in a child’s ear and out the other. And as any parent who is active in the educational process knows, kids are wildly inconsistent with their learning. They learn some things with little effort, while other things require endless repetition and instruction.

In any case, it is only natural for some of the things a child learns during the school year to be lost during those three to four summer months. Much that is lost will be More »

How to Keep Your Teen Out of Trouble: 10 Tips

Teens are naturally rebellious, and when you combine this with all the potentially destructive influences that today’s teens are exposed to, it is not surprising that the percentage of young people who have been arrested at least once has grown in recent years. And these incidents can have lifelong repercussions. Even a minor offense such as shoplifting or drug possession can set a young person back and shut opportunities to them. And of course, there are many much more serious crimes that can taint records permanently and even ruin lives.

Sadly, much of what teens do must be out of their parents’ hands. We cannot watch our children every second of the day, and the teenage years are a time when kids need an increasing amount of freedom in order to find themselves and become independent people. But while you cannot control your child’s actions, what you can do is More »

I Want To Be A Good Grandparent!

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 »

Should I Give My Child Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements?

If your child is not eating a meal of fatty fish like salmon or sardines at least once a week then it is a good idea to give him a daily fish oil supplement. Oily fish includes salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, eel, pilchards and fresh tuna and if your child eats a meal with one of these fish once or twice a week then he will probably receive the level of omega-3 fatty acids his body requires. Popular fishy meals that kids like are More »

Help! My Child Is So LAZY!

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 »

Help! My Child Is Sleepwalking!

If you are shocked to find your child sleepwalking rest assured that it is fairly common in childhood and not usually anything to worry about. It can be triggered by stress, illness or not enough sleep but with most sleepwalkers it is not a sign that they are psychologically disturbed. There are risks associated with a child wandering around the house whilst asleep as they could fall down the stairs or wander out of the front door. There are precautions that can be put in place which I will discuss later. Sleepwalking is most common in children aged between More »

What Parents Need to Know About Cutting

Cutting—or, as it is known in medical circles, self-injury—has gotten a lot of attention over the last few years, and there is a growing awareness that it is a serious issue among teens, not just due to the physical harm it causes but also because it is often a symptom of deeper emotional problems. Still, though the issue is more out in the open than it used to be (and it is not a new thing), many parents are still uncomfortable talking about it.

To put it simply, the phenomenon known as More »

Should Kids Be Allowed to Have Caffeine?

Many parents have strange approaches to giving their kids caffeine. On one hand, we do not think of coffee and even tea as being appropriate beverages for young children, yet on the other hand, many parents allow their children to drink soft drinks practically to their hearts’ content. And while soft drinks are lower in caffeine than coffee, they have a good amount of it, and they deliver all the caffeine-related effects that coffee does. So while caffeine More »

Had Enough of the Backchat?

Do you feel exasperated dealing with backchat and disrespectful behaviour from your children? It can be difficult to handle your children’s bad manners, rudeness, swearing, sarcasm or cheekiness and most parents complain about it at some point. Think about why your child might be behaving this way as there are More »

Early Childhood Teeth Care: The Basics

Much confusion surrounds the issue of how to help young children achieve good dental care. Because we know that those early teeth are going to fall out after a couple of years, many parents assume that early childhood dental care is not a priority and that kids do not need the kind of brushing routine that adults have. But on the contrary, there are some very good health-related reasons to pay close attention to your child’s dental care from a very early age, and it is never too early to begin instilling good habits.

Very early dental care
What many people do not realize is that babies More »

Alcohol and Your Teenager

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 »

Children’s Growing Pains: What Can Parents Do?

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.

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Parenting Tactics That Damage Your Child’s Self Esteem

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.

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Does My Child Have OCD?

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.

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Is My Child A Bully?

In the UK alone approximately sixteen children a year commit suicide because of the trauma they endure due to bullying. The offending children who have tirelessly bullied their victims know exactly what they are doing but it seems that sometimes, the people in authority such as school teachers claim they did not know the bullying was taking place. Friends of the bullies also probably knew what was happening. Before a child has to have medical treatment or dies, people need to speak up if they suspect such bullying.

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Sibling Rivalry: What Can Parents Do?

Sibling rivalry can take many forms over the years. When the second child is first born, it can take the form of acting out, regression, and fussiness on the part of the older child. And as the kids grow up, it can turn into arguing, physical fighting, and deep feelings of jealousy and resentment. Most sibling rivalry is more of an annoyance than a serious problem, but it can become emotionally taxing to parents who had hoped their children would get along and love each other.

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Encouraging Your Budding Little Artist

Watching your child expressing herself through painting and drawing is wonderful. As your child grows up she will continually explore and experiment though painting and drawing if she enjoys this medium. There are many artistic activities and materials that you can introduce to her over the years, to nurture her creativity.

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Are You Worried About Your Child’s Speech?

You may be concerned that your child is having difficulty with his speech. There are common problems that are often diagnosed and this is a guide to how you can detect them, how to help your child and also how you can seek professional help.

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Amber Alerts – What to Do in Case Your Child Goes Missing

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?

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How to Raise a Musical Child

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.

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Developing Your Child’s Handwriting Skills

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.

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Tips for Helping Your Child with Homework

By Lisa Pecos

All parents want to see their children succeed in school, and studies have shown that kids whose parents are more involved in their educations are more likely to do well. Thus, helping your child with his or her homework should be a no-brainer, but it is not always so simple. In the early years, things are relatively easy because young kids have very little homework and what homework they have is simple. But as children get older, the homework becomes more time-consuming, and they eventually cover subjects with which we, as parents, may not be confident. Confronted with calculus, for instance, most parents cannot be blamed for being a little intimidated.

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Should Kids Get Their Own Cell Phones?

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.

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Welcoming a Second Child: How to Handle the Change

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.

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Helping Your Teen Learn to Drive Safely

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.

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How to Get a Child Off the Couch and Active

By Jamell Andrews

Getting kids away from their TVs, computers, and gadgets is one of the greatest challenges today’s parents face, and it is not getting any easier. Many parents understandably want their kids to be up to date with all the modern technology, but for every gadget and game our children gain, something is lost. Today’s kids are losing interest in the simple enjoyment of outdoor activities and sports. If we do not push back against this trend, we may be raising a generation of overweight and unhealthy grownups.

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Leaving Your Child Home Alone

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.

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Kids and Homework: What Can Parents Do?

By Jamell Williams

When sending our kids to school, we expect the majority of their education to take place during the six or so hours per day when they are actually in the classroom. But for parents, it is important to realize that education needs to be reinforced in the home. This means not only helping kids with their studies, but also imposing homework times and engaging them in conversation about the things they are learning at school. It is easy to fall into a pattern of over reliance on our children’s teachers—but we must remember that teachers have dozens of kids to worry about. Our kids need us to make their education deeper and more personalized.

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The Negative Effects of the Media on Teens

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.

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Hosting a Princess Tea Party

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.

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What to Do About a Shy Child

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.

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Setting and Enforcing Kids’ Bedtime

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.

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Spread Your Wings and Fly…

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.

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It’s OK to be Different

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.

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10 Tasks New Parents Should Master

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.

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How to Encourage Kids to Love Reading

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.

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A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Stress

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.

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8 Tips for Teaching Your Kids Good Manners

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.

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Are You a Helicopter Parent?

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.

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What to Do With a Child Who Whines

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.

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Techniques – When Potty Training Clashes With Your Vacation!

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.

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What to Do if Your Child Stutters

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.

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Should I Vaccinate My Children

Childhood vaccines are used to protect children from a range of serious illnesses such as polio, measles, diphtheria, tetanus, and meningitis. Practically everyone in the medical community unequivocally advocates vaccination for young children, but the issue has become complicated in recent years. For new parents, it is difficult to ignore the recent controversies generated by those who are opposed to vaccinations. A few high-profile celebrities, along with a growing grassroots movement, have made their vaccine refusal a big issue in the media, and this has many new parents wondering what they should do.

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How To Keep The Internet Safe For Your Kids And Home

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.

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Encouraging Your Toddlers Caring Side

You probably find that little toddlers can be very kind and sweet but this is not always the case. How do you encourage their sympathetic side?

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How To Cope With Sibling Jealousy

Sibling jealousy is incredibly common. To the older child it can be an overwhelming and confusing feeling when confronted with a young sibling and parents need to be patient and understanding.

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Developing Your Child’s Important Motor Skills

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.

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How Safe Are Sunscreens Ingredients?

When people go to the store to buy sunscreen, they assume that the products they purchase are safe and effective. Whether you purchase sunscreen for trips to the beach, lounging poolside, or for everyday protection against the sun’s rays, you probably expect to be able to rely on your sunscreen to protect you from sun damage.

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Summer Problems Caused By Nature

The sun is shining, the days are longer and you have waved goodbye to coughs and colds but summer brings its own little irritations. Here are some tips to help.

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A Look at ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The parts affected control concentration, attention and impulsivity.

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First Day of School

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.

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Understanding Asthma in Children

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.

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