Posts tagged: Child


Parenting Tip: Make Time for Your Kids While You Still Can

Life is busy, for parents these days. Most of us work at least 40 hours per week, bringing home a living.

Parents get up before the sun, rush the kids to school or day care, and then deal with gridlock on the freeway.

The evening is no different. We pick up the kids, rush home, make dinner, and go to bed. If our kids are lucky, they see us for a couple of hours each day.

Not enough?

I didn’t think so.

How do you strike a balance between work and time with the kids? It’s not an easy task, but it is possible.

Mom and child
Mom and child

Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Organize your life. Put your week down on paper before it starts. This includes a menu for meals, time for shopping, driving time, chores, and anything else that you put in your day.
  • Consider your tasks and decide if your kids can share that time with you by helping or decide if they can just be there while you complete the task. Pencil that time into your schedule.
  • Turn off the TV. Board games are a great way to get some time with the family. You can record your favorite shows and watch them later.
  • Schedule a special time with each one of your kids. That doesn’t mean they get the whole day. It’s entirely up to you. This can become a special tradition that will create memories that will last.

Don’t be discouraged if finding extra time seems impossible at first.

By putting in the effort, you will eventually find a way to make it happen.

Trust me, 20 years from now, you’ll be so glad you did (and so will they!).

Schools: Private or Public?

Enrolling your child in the right school is an important part of parenting. All across the country there are schools specializing in different areas of study. The question is which type of school will fit your child’s lifestyle? Some factors to consider are class size, location, and public school vs. private school. Public and private both have their benefits and their drawbacks. But it’s important that your child be compatible with the system you choose.

Public schools offer a more traditional schooling experience. Usually, public schools are attended by the children in the surrounding neighborhood. That’s where the term “neighborhood school” comes from. Public schools offer a more general curriculum to their students, and may have a limited number of after school activities, student organizations etc. But public schools are also full of the student expression, individuality and character that are sometimes lacking in the structure of private schools. And while they may seem less extravagant than some private schools, public schools undeniably bring an interesting element to the table.

Private schools usually offer a more extensive academic experience, and smaller class sizes which allow emphasis on individual learning. Private schools can cost more to attend, with high tuition fees and specific school uniforms. More qualified and experienced teachers often choose to teach at private schools, whereas new teachers are often relegated to public schools. There will likely be more money for extra-curricular programs in a private school. The decision you make should be based on your child’s personality and your own financial situation.

You And Your Tween

As kids enter their early adolescent years, it can be difficult to relate to them. They have the urge to explore their own independence and redefine themselves while parents have the urge to protect them from a world that is new and more adult. It becomes the parent’s responsibility to find a middle ground with their “tweens” and negotiate issues that may arise. Try not to scold your child if they make a mistake. Be rational and talk about their behavior.

The term “tweens” refers to the age group of 8-12 year olds, who are at the end of their early childhood and are entering their adolescent years. It can be difficult to realize that these young people deserve more independence as they get older. The pop culture that children are exposed to can have a big influence on their ideals, values, and who they become. So, it’s important to be careful of what you let your children be exposed to. More and more often, role models for young people such as singers and actors encourage adult behavior too early.

Children need to know the boundaries that are being set for them. They need structure and even though they may not like it, they need rules. The media has a big influence of everyone in this culture, not just children. But children are particularly impressionable. This makes it more likely that the media will play a part in the decisions they make. Parents need to be there to support their “tweens” and make sure that they have a stable system they can trust.

Classic Children’s Books

Reading to children is a fun activity for both the children and adults. There are some books that children from various countries and cultures have enjoyed over the years which continue to be popular today. The next time you plan to buy a book to read to your child, you should consider one of these classics.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Written by Mark Twian, it was first published in 1884. It is known for its use of dialogue and fantastic character visualizations. This is more than a book, it is a piece of American literary history.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

This adventure still captures hearts and minds today. Known better by the abbreviated title, Alice in Wonderland, it was written by Lewis Carroll. The well constructed tale can be read to children in parts, and they will always be left wanting more.

Black Beauty

Told through the eyes of a horse, this novel, first published in 1877, broke new literary ground. The themes in each chapter are meant to teach kindness and understanding, lessons that are important for children.

Andersen Fairy Tales

The genius of Hans Christian Andersen is still recognized today. The stories have been translated into over 150 languages. Aside form influencing many other works, the stories are still being published today.

The Wizard of Oz

Written by L. Frank Baum in 1900, the influence of this work on popular culture is without question. Your child will be swept away by the tale of young Dorothy and her companions, and it offers great life lessons as well.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Fire up your child’s imagination with this classic sci-fi tale. The visionary story has been reprinted many times and continues to thrive today. It was written by Jules Verne in 1870.

Gulliver’s Travels

Written by Jonathan Swift in 1726, it details the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, and was written originally as a satire. The popular story has been reprinted time and time again.

Jungle Book

First published in magazines in 1893-1894, this fascinating tale by Rudyard Kipling tells the story of Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves.

This is by no means a complete list, merely a reminder of the stories that held your attention as a child. Search online for lists of classic children books, it might end up being a nostalgic journey. While many good books are being written today, these classics will never become outdated.

How Music Stimulates Learning

It is a known fact that music can be used to stimulate learning. Just look at the faces of young children especially the way they respond to music in a learning environment. This is one of reasons why kids learn their ABC’s so well – the fact that it is taught initially as a song.

The popular book, The Mozart Effect is partially responsible for the growing acceptance that music aids in learning. According to the author, Don Campbell, when children listen to some types of music it helps them to learn better.

Boy Learning Music

Boy Learning Music

A 2003 article on the BBC News website, reported that researchers from Hong Kong “found that children who are given musical training have better verbal memories than those who have not had lessons.”

It is believed that music aids in the development of motor skills and language development. In fact there have been studies that claim that there is a definite link between early reading development and music and rhythm.

Music aids in the learning process by doing a number of things. Some of these include:

  • Getting students into a learning frame of mind. With music children get excited and more alert and therefore in the mood for learning.
  • Music helps to create a climate more conducive to training
  • Music is universal and is a great form of non-verbal communication

In fact, some teachers depend heavily on music in their teaching. Popular choices of music for learning include classical music, nursery rhymes and even popular music of the time.

A number of studies also indicate that music not only stimulates the brains of babies and children, but adults as well. So let the music play.