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How You Can Cultivate A Habit Of Writing In Children

Writing is an important skill not all individuals are able to master in their lives. By cultivating this productive habit in the formative years, children can develop effective writing skills and eventually become proficient in all kinds of communication.

It is a skill that is required in almost every phase of life – whether you need to write an essay for school or send a work-related email, you need to have good writing skills. Helping young ones develop their writing skills early on will contribute to their successful future.

To add to that, writing allows you to have an outlet to let your emotions flow. You can learn to express yourself better and even get rid of some toxic feelings during the process. Children usually have difficulty in expressing themselves and organizing their thoughts, which is why it can be a great way to help them manage these emotions.

In this article, we’ll explore some ways in which you can cultivate the habit of writing in children.

Teach Them How to Read!

how to improve writing skills for kids teach to read

The most important habit that children should learn in the formative years is reading. Reading is vital because it nourishes the mind and helps children to think in new ways. It helps kids to identify and acknowledge the world around them, besides teaching them the functions of language.

Writing is a creative activity; thus, to create, one needs material or substance. This is acquired through regular reading habits. So, before a child is handed a pencil, he or she should be given a book. Reading material chosen for the child should arouse curiosity and enhance the powers of imagination.

Make Writing Instruments Their Best Friends

Learning how to hold a pencil or a pen is an entirely new experience for kids. They may find it really difficult at first to memorize alphabets or write with clarity. Make sure that you always encourage them to help them feel comfortable.

Children are usually fascinated if they’re offered a variety of eye-catching, colorful pens and pencils, so ensure that the child has a range of writing instruments that he or she can use. Encourage your child to make wish-lists or to-do lists and eventually, start writing letters to relatives together. Make the child believe that notebooks, pens and pencils, and even the waste bin are one’s friends. They never judge or scold for writing anything on them; they accept everything that the child writes.

Observation Is The Key

improve writing skills for kids

Help the children become more observant. The more they watch things, the more ideas and thoughts and questions they’ll accumulate in the mind.

They should be shown everyday things we habitually ignore despite their beauty: flowers, birds, animals, etc. Activities like cloud-watching, birdwatching, fishing and stargazing can imbue your young ones with awe and wonder.

Encourage the child to let out all those ideas and feelings, stories and experiences (even the dreams they see), and record them in writing. The child should be encouraged to write regularly, even if it means writing little. They should not be made to write at some fixed time. The idea is to make them believe they are free to write whenever they want and that the act of writing allows them to share everything they feel.

Always Try To Give A Positive Feedback

Elders should try not to criticize the writings. Children take time to learn and it’s completely okay if your child seems a little hesitant to write at first. They may make spelling mistakes and it may take some time for children to develop their own distinct writing voice.

Encourage them to work harder and tell them they’ve done a great job. Hearing compliments can help the child to feel loved and respected and in turn, he or she will try to work harder on the skill.

Try to reward them if they write something nice or beautiful. You can make their favorite breakfast or simply give a pat on the back! Praise what they write, but not excessively.

Enjoy The Story Time!

Storytelling sessions are definitely precious. Our parents, grandparents, family members and elders have all cherished the practice of sharing stories of their times.

Telling stories will spark images in the child’s imaginative space and he might try to emulate the same practice while writing. Additionally, it can introduce the child to different genres and help him or her improve his or her vocabulary.

Asking them to read out what they write can also be a good way to encourage and praise them (only if the children are willing to show their work)

This would make them work harder on the craft.

Final Thoughts

Writing is an imperative skill that can boost the cognitive development of young children. It can help them to enhance their ability to think and communicate. It is important that parents allow their child to learn and grow at their own pace. Every child is unique and has different needs.

Not only can these tips help kids get in the habit of writing, but they can also help parents maintain a healthy and happy relationship with their children.

The post How You Can Cultivate A Habit Of Writing In Children appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

4 Learning Experiences That Can Redefine The Way Your Child Evolves

Raising a child is no easy game. Many struggling parents tend to look for parenting tips from external sources: parenting books, family and friends, psychologists, and a lot of the times, to no avail. Perhaps we should start looking inward: the answer might already be within ourselves and our journey into adulthood.

Your child will have a lot of experiences growing up, and these can shape up their future.

And as I write this, I’d like to tell you my story of how I evolved with a lot of learning based on stories I lived and the experiences I had. Here are the top 4 that matters.

Own Up To Your Mistake

It was the winter when I turned 10. My mom and I were shopping at a local supermarket when a pair of shiny ceramic wall hooks caught my eyes. Once mom agreed to include them in the bill, I put them in my jacket pocket, believing it to be a much more secure place than at the bottom of the shopping cart under piles of veggies.

Moments later, while we were walking toward the parking lot, somehow, we discovered that I forgot to give money to the cashier at the checkout. For a split second, the thought of continuing on our way home like nothing had happened crossed my mind. As if she could read my thoughts, mom firmly asked me: “Let’s go back inside and pay for them, shall we?”

I still remember how calm my mom apologized to the cashier for being so forgetful and telling me to apologize. Looking back, in a situation where many parents might resort to shaming their kids, it’s truly admirable how reasonably my mom handled the whole thing.

That incident might have shaped my entire outlook on owning up to your mistake: there’s no shame in making mistakes – it’s part of human nature, and when you do, you correct it, then you move on.

A Good Habit Goes a Long Way

My client-turned-friend Anna shared some useful parenting tips: “Like any other kid his age, my then 7-year-old son had a notoriously short attention span.

Once, he decided to be an engineer when he grew up and attempted to disassemble any electrical device he could find around the house. It ended after three days when he jumped to his next aspiration: an astronaut. Then a wizard, then an alchemist. The list goes on.

One weekend during his writing spree, I gave him a challenge: by the end of the coming week, whoever between us could record more journaling pages daily would win and get a reward of their choice.

how your child learns journaling

Needless to say, he got his Dragon Ball stickers after beating me by a landslide: 10+ pages vs. my 5-something (I swear I did my best!). I adopted the same approach and got him in other challenges: household chores, guitar lessons, etc.

Gradually, I noticed a change in his attitude: He has been more motivated to finish what he started and better manage time between school and playtime.

Keeping a journal is still a tradition in our family. We have shifted from the brick and mortar way of journaling with a notebook and pen to a smartphone app like Lugelo.

A few months ago, my son accidentally shared a picture of him drooling while sleeping in a class to the entire family via the app. It’s still a hot topic in every family gathering to this day.”

Cherish Relationships that Matter

Is the lesson my high school friend Grace has learned the hard way?

“She was my best friend back when we were both in 7th grade. We lived in the same apartment building, and our families knew each other. We stuck like glue. She was smart and always helped me with my homework. I was her unspoken bodyguard, always ready to knock down any boy picking on her.

It all came to a sudden stop one summer when we had a huge fallout, for reasons I can no longer remember. After six months of the cold war, she eventually offered me a token of truce in the form of an apology letter. Being an egocentric idiot that I was, I ignored her and her attempt completely.

In the years that follow, I occasionally found myself dwelling over what could be of us if I hadn’t been so stubborn that day. I never got the answer. But from then on, I always try my best to maintain a healthy relationship with people who truly matter to me, from frequently checking up on them to ‘bribing’ them with a boba teacup after a fallout as an apology.”

Take No Shit

“It happened during our playtime in kindergarten. It was my turn to go up the slide when another boy cut in line and shove me to the ground. I came home that day with bleeding scratches on both knees.

teaching kids about bullying

When my dad saw me like that, he just calmly told me: ‘Next time he repeats, you push him back,’” – said my colleague Minh when we stumbled upon the topic of childhood over a Zoom call during the lockdown.

“Your eyes are rolling hard” – he grinned – “Mind you, adult diplomacy doesn’t exist in kids’ world. Despite how nasty it sounds, the violence here is simply a means to an end, making a point that not anyone can mess with me.

And it worked. Just a few days after that incident, I met that kid again, and he did the same thing to me. But this time, I stood up from the ground and pushed him back just like I was told. That was the last time he ever got his finger on me.


Eventually, that mindset has taught me how crucial it is to set the standard of how others should treat me. It has kept me intact, both literally and figuratively, through a couple of high school bullying incidents, lots of corporate conflicts, and earned me respect from friends, colleagues, and, most importantly, from myself.”

I am still learning. And I am sure your child too! Your actions will decide how your child learns. Be mindful of your words and your response to anything that happens. Remember, there’s someone always watching and learning from you.

The post 4 Learning Experiences That Can Redefine The Way Your Child Evolves appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Much Screen Time is Enough?

In the 21st century, it’s unlikely you aren’t addicted to technology. Although our reliance on technology serves many benefits, it can also present risks. In the digital era, it’s no secret we need screens, but how much screen time is enough?

Are Kids More At Risk?

how screen time is too much

Too much screen time can collapse into developmental delays, depression, and prevent you from developing social skills.

For example, children under 2 years old who regularly watch at least 1 hour of television daily have been found to show an increased risk of cognitive, language, and motor delays. Additionally, children between 2 and 6 who commonly use screens may be more likely to develop emotional problems and experience family dysfunction. Even further, teens aged 13-18 and young adults aged 19-32 who spend long periods on social media exhibits higher rates of depression – and even a higher risk of suicide.

The Solution: Official Recommendations

As more knowledge on the dangers of prolonged screen time becomes available, the more parents worry. Today, 85% of parents are worried about the amount of time their kids spend online. To remedy, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), WHO, and CDC have all given insights.

For children under 6 years old, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests a 1-hour limit. On the contrary, WHO and CDC give children under 18 years old more leeway, recommending 2 hours or less of screen time.

Many experts have weighed in on the matter as well. Jocelyn Brewer, a psychologist who specializes in the concept of digital nutrition, believes, “It’s not just about whether you consume any potential digital junk foods, but also your relationship to technology and the role it plays in your family life…. We want to avoid using screens to placate tantrums, just like we want to avoid eating ‘treats’ to calm emotional storms.” However, not all screens are all equal as they also provide a fleet of benefits.

The Need For Screens

too much screen time

As previously stated, screen time can create many positive outcomes. For example, technology can assist users in connecting with like-minded peers. Moreover, technology can help users explore their interests and hobbies on a wider scale. For example, kids can explore their passion for sports through use of video games. Furthermore, people can use technology to keep in touch with their family and friends.

The reason television has shown more negative effects than gaming or computer use is because children aren’t actively engaged. For the youngest children, sharing screen time with family members (and talking about what they see) is the key to making screen time more active.

Take it from Diana Graber, the Founder of Cyber Civics & Cyberwise, “One can either be ‘participant’ or ‘consumer’ when it comes to screen time… not all screen time is ‘bad.’” Graber is also the author of Raising Humans In A Digital World.

How To Get The Best Out Of Screen Time

From 2015 to 2019, children’s daily use of computers for homework nearly doubled. As a result, it’s crucial to steer children in the right direction when navigating the internet.

For starters, keep screens out of the bedroom. A private television can lead to more screen time and sleep problems. Keeping computers and televisions in shared spaces not only promotes communal living, but makes kids more likely to keep up safe habits – and parents more likely to notice negative interactions.

More along these lines, talk with your child about what’s on the internet. Even with parental controls, something will likely slip through the cracks. Setting up parental controls can help you control what your child has access to and monitor their activity. It is also easy to do as most technology has easy-to-use features that can help.

Simply directing your child’s devices to the kid-friendly version of popular sites can make a huge difference. Furthermore, talking with your child about what they see online, and why some of what they see may be wrong, can reduce the impact of negative content.

As Sherry Skyler Kelly, the founder of PositiviTeens, said, “You and your kids can access a variety of information, but you need to choose wisely and be a discerning and smart consumer of the online products and services.” Knowing this, consider designating screen-free times to your child – like meals, bedtime, and one night per week. You can also ensure time is set aside for exercise, family, and other valuable activities. This way, you can set expectations for screen time that fits your family’s needs.

Remember, not all screen time is equal. Growing evidence proves that how children use technology is far more important than how much time they spend on screens. As most things, screen time is most beneficial when used in moderation. For more information on getting the most out of screen time , take a look at the infographic below.

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

Reevaluating Screen Time in an Age of Social Distancing [infographic]


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‘Out of control’: Kerry Washington gets kids’ opinions on Trump

'Out of control': Kerry Washington gets kids' opinions on Trump

“Voting is one of our most sacred duties, and it’s important to start talking about it early,” said Kerry Washington on Tuesday. With this in mind, the returning Jimmy Kimmel Live guest host asked several kids for their thoughts on President Donald Trump and the electoral process, speaking to them via video call. 

Overall, there was some confusion concerning exactly how people cast their votes (“Maybe you go inside the White House and say it?”), who can vote (“Actually I think I voted before”), and how much it costs to do so (“$2000?”). However, the children were more or less united on their opinion of the current president. Read more…

More about Kids, Children, Donald Trump, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Kerry Washington

Fun Activities That Involve Your Children and Pets Together

Life isn’t easy, more so if you are a double parent (meaning you have kids as well as pets to take care of). It can get a lot hectic to balance and spend equal amounts of time with both of them. But fortunately, for all you multi-parents out there, there are ways to spend time with both your kids and pets and still have time to yourselves. That’s correct! There are numerous fun activities that can help you to involve both your human baby and furry buddy. They will not only have a great time, but you will too. So without stretching any further, let us dive straight into the list of activities.

Fun Activities For Children And Pets

We have come up with as many as five fun activities for your child and pet to enjoy. And we are pretty sure, at least one, if not all, will excite them both.

Fun Activities Involving Your Dog

pet activities for kids and dogs

Below are three fun activities you can perform with your child and canine buddy.

Fun Activity #1: Hide & Seek

The age-old game that we all have played in our childhood days can be brought to life once again. To play this game, hide your dog inside the house while your child finds a suitable spot outside to hide. Then release your four-legged pal and ask him to sniff his way out to find your child. This game can be played all year round, including the hot summer season as well.

Fun Activity #2: Dodging Obstacles

Make use of the scrappy old cardboard boxes and use them as obstacles. Place them haphazardly and tell your kid to dodge them all and reach the other end. While he performs the task, let your dog follow him behind in doing the same. Reward them both with tasty treats after their good performances.

Fun Activity #3: New Trick To Teach

It’s always amazing to teach your dog a new trick or two. This time, instead of you being the teacher let your child take over. Tell him to teach your little canine friend a new trick. It may take a while, but it will be worth it, wouldn’t it?

Fun Activities Involving Your Cat

pet activities for kids and cats

Below are a couple of fun activities you can perform with your child and feline friend.

Fun Activity #1: Teaching Fetch

Dogs sure love to fetch, but did you know that even cats like it too? Well, find a suitable thing to throw (like a squished up piece of paper or a tennis ball). Tell your kid to throw the object in the opposite direction and then summon your kitty to go get it for you. It might take a while for your cat to master it, but it will sure be fun. Reward them both with treats after each session.

Fun Activity #2: Build A Cat Castle

Use cardboard boxes to build the “purrfect” castle for your cat. Trim the edges, cut holes, and paint it with beautiful colors. Let your kid help you while you’re at it. Once done, watch how your cat slides through the maze that you and your kid created.

Pro Tip: While all these activities are fun, they more or less require outdoor interaction. So before you step outside, make sure you have your pet on a flea and tick schedule. If not, visit PetCareClub for incredible offers on pet supplies. Have fun with your pet and child!

The post Fun Activities That Involve Your Children and Pets Together appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Taking Home Learning To The Next Level

Distance learning can be difficult for students all around the world. The abundance of distractions, atypical environment, and impersonal approach to education is hard to follow – a mere shock to students. It’s easy to let normal schedules slip when everyone is home, and technology frequently diverts our attention. However, this makes teachers and parents concerned their students will fall behind. Making learning fun could offer a solution.

It’s likely your student needs access to technology to engage in their online classes. However, most technology comes armed with a fleet of push-notifications – causing distractions amidst coursework. In fact, a study conducted in 2015 found that phone notifications was a major interference when it came to attention and productivity. It remained the case even when participants had no interaction with their device. Simply having technology around that is unnecessary to course content can be distracting.

make online learning fun

Reducing distractions

Luckily, you can limit these distractions. On Apple devices, you can use “screen time” to set time limits on specific apps and features. The similar options for Android devices is “focus mode,” which lets you block access to specific apps on a set schedule. On top of this, you can stop notifications altogether. Encourage your learner to turn on “do not disturb” mode during class. Additionally, suggest silencing notifications rather than simply putting them on vibrate. Vibrations can be as distracting as sounds.

Another way to minimize distractions for students is to build a class schedule around a type of activity rather than specific plans. For example, model out a day with alternating activities: some shared, some independent. Switching between quiet and active play can help avoid behavior problems and improve focus.

Smooth transitions

With that being said, you’ll also want to master the science of smooth transitions. Try giving warnings before a transition in coursework – and stick to them. More specifically, you have to make sure you have your kid’s attention, then provide instructions and say “go”.  This keeps your student engaged while switching tasks. Consider using a visual timer to set during these transitions. The Time Timer app can help your child understand how much time is left before switching gears.

Sleep well, learn well

You’ll also want to encourage sleep to reduce the amount of stress on your student. Having consistent sleep and wake times each day can help reduce cortisol – which is known as the stress hormone. Remember: you don’t have to keep your old schedule to have a consistent routine.

Getting more interactive

Furthermore, it’s also important for students to feel they’re in an educational environment. Allowing them to share and collaborate can help keep the same dynamic, improving their productivity and focus. Although in quarantine, students can schedule virtual sessions to help each other with schoolwork, or virtual playdates to catch up with friends. Video conferencing platforms can also help parents and teachers stay in touch to swap ideas on what works.

online learning

Technology in online education

Incorporating technology into education makes learning slightly more fun – music to every student’s ears. EdTech also makes learning more hands-on. Several libraries will allow you to get a card online if you don’t already have one.

This opens up the catalogue of selections by miles for students. Students can find free texts that are no longer copyrighted on Google Books and LibriVox, and loan their books on Amazon Kindle and Nook. Even more, many libraries will grant membership cards without local residency, or let you purchase a card for a small annual fee. If you add more library cards to your account, you can check out more items.

Apps for fun and learning

However, EdTech can make learning fun outside of English classes. Apps like Bedtime Math, Monopoly, and Yahtzee make learning easy – even if you’re not comfortable with math. Bedtime offers a daily math problem for children aged 3-9, including a short engaging story, and a problem based on your child’s age. The aforementioned family games help practice basic math skills. For an added challenge, use extra cards or dice to practice arithmetic as you play. Gaming can be very helpful in education. A 2018 study showed that when parents with high math-anxiety used Bedtime Math, children showed long-term improvement.

On the other hand, apps like iNaturalist and Google Sky can increase your child’s interest in science. iNaturalist provides recommendations and shares photos of plants and animals for the students to identify. Google Sky, meanwhile, lets you explore the solar system without a telescope. Similarly, Globe Observer tracks observations of clouds, land cover, and tree measurements. More interestingly, these apps are citizen science projects – which help scientists study nature on a larger scale.

The Takeaway

Based on a survey of California schools, nearly 9 in 10 parents are concerned their child could fall behind academically. Teachers are concerned 90% of their students will fall behind in Math, and 88% will fall behind in English. However, making learning fun can smoothen the transition to home learning. Check out the infographic below for visual tips on enhancing home learning for students.

Enhancing Home Learning
Source: Online Schools Report

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Neighborhood ‘bear hunts’ are an adorable cure for kids’ social-distancing boredom

Neighborhood 'bear hunts' are an adorable cure for kids' social-distancing boredom

With schools closing and people warned to stay home due to the coronavirus, parents and caregivers are working extra hard to keep their children engaged and not climbing the furniture. Fortunately it’s still safe to take brief, socially-distanced walks outside, provided there aren’t many others out and it’s done responsibly. 

Just be careful — there are bears out there.

To heighten the fun of these jaunts, and keep local community spirit alive, people around the world are putting stuffed toys in their windows for children to spot on “bear hunts.” 

It isn’t clear exactly where the trend started, but it’s gained momentum over the past few days. Read more…

More about Parenting, Children, Teddy Bear, Covid 19, and Social Distancing

Parent Child Interaction Therapy in Developing Parent-Child Relationship

Raising a child is one of the most important aspects of a parent’s life. Although the road can be tough, it is quite rewarding to see your child grow up as a wonderful person. The bond of a child with the parents start since birth as the child is dependent on the parent for every need.

Parents have a big responsibility to care for their children from birth to maturity.

The key to best raise a child is through social interactions. Children learn nearly all things in their youth from their parents and the environment they get at home. They start to interact and play with other kids their age when they reach 3 or 4 years of age.

Parents are the first teachers of every child.

This is why the relationship between them should always be positive. Children learn many things while interacting with parents, such as social skills, sharing, respecting and obeying the elders, and helping other people.

During their interactions, children learn to develop communication skills and motor skills. In an ideal world, nearly every parent wishes that their child not only behave in an excellent manner, but be a quick learner and perform well in school.

But, unfortunately, there are times when the relationship between a parent and a child is not always on good terms.

Even if parents are busy with their work routine, they have to take the time to address their children’s problems.

therapy for parent child interaction

The Parent Child interaction Therapy

There are certain techniques and sessions that help counsel both the parents and child. One such purposeful technique is Parent Child interaction Therapy or PCIT. It is a short-term behavior-based family therapy that may improve the relationships between parents and children.

PCIT is best for children who have disruptive behaviors and those who easily lose their concentration either while studying or interacting.

It was developed by Sheila Eyberg in the 1970s who specialized in designing techniques for children’s behavior and play therapy. She further enhanced the two-way behavioral approach given by Constance Hanf. Today, PCIT is considered as the most effective and goal-oriented therapy to improve parent and child interactions.

The Two Stages of PCIT

PCIT involves two stages — relationship enhancement and discipline and compliance.

The therapist will first speak with the parents and let them know about the process of the two stages. The therapist will then use a one-way mirror or a live video display to see the parents interact and play with the children. The parents will have a listening device so that the therapist can give live coaching. The behavior of the parent and child are tracked and graphed to show the progress.

The relationship enhancement stage teaches the parent to minimize any negative feelings within the relationship. This stage also encourages the parents to develop new communication skills and learn how to boost their children’s confidence.

The discipline and compliance stage, on the other hand, deals with improving the conduct of the kid. It addresses the symptoms to prevent any negative behavior.

PCIT approach is ideal for children between the ages of 2 to 7. It helps the children to learn and adapt good behavior.

parent child interaction therapies

The relationship enhancement stage is also called child directed interaction. It helps improve the shared bond between the parent and the child. The child has the option to choose the toy or activity that he/she will use and the parent will play along using the instructions given to them by the therapist.

The skills are denoted by the word ‘pride’ where:

  • Praise- The child should be appreciated for good behavior.
  • Reflection- The words of the child are repeated and discussed by the parents which encourages communication.
  • Imitation- The parents teach their child by mimicking and showing approval of what the child was doing.
  • Description- The parents describe what the child is doing so that the child can learn new words and build his/her vocabulary.
  • Enjoyment- The parents show enthusiasm and happiness on the activities and playfulness of the child.

What Happens In A Session

During the session, the parents need to remember to ignore any negative behavior or remark which is not serious. The parents also need to avoid using negative or sarcastic words when interacting with the child. Once the parents and child are comfortable in the first stage, then they progress to the second stage.

In the discipline and compliance stage, the parents give easy-to-understand instructions to the child with a clear message if the child ignores or disobeys the instruction. If the child complies with the message, then the parents need to use words such as ‘thank you.’

The PCIT approach has the potential to address many behavioral symptoms, such as short temper, disobedience, aggression, and defiance.

Benefits of PCIT

PCIT is quite helpful in:

  • Building better and positive interactions between parent and child
  • Developing useful strategies to help with the negative behavior of the child
  • Reducing the likelihood of bad habits that the child may grasp such as verbal and physical abuse
  • Reducing the negative behavior of the child such as anger, aggression, and defiance
  • Helping the child to interact and communicate within the family easily

The children who take part in PCIT sessions may develop more self-esteem, show less anger and frustration, possess better social and interpersonal skills, feel safe, and communicate effectively. Parents also take much positive influence from PCIT sessions as they learn about the different behaviors of their child.

The sessions are a weekly event. Mostly, a family may take 14 to 20 sessions until the restoration of the strong bond between the parent and child happens. PCIT started with treatment of only disruptive behavior of children, but it gradually expanded. Now, this therapy is widely used to treat certain disorders which include autism, selective mutism, trauma, anxiety, and abusive parents.

See Also: Five Things I Learned From Working With Autistic Teens

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Body Image Awareness: How to Talk to Your Kids About Body Image and Health

Did you know that your children might already be thinking about dieting and feeling insecure about their bodies?

Cultural influences are strong and in a world where social media creates unrealistic body image standards, children as young as six years old can be sensitive about their weight. Eventually, this can lead to severe problems, like low self-esteem and even eating disorders.

With that said, it’s important for parents to encourage their children to maintain healthy habits. That means teaching them to respect their bodies, have a healthy relationship with food, and encourage regular physical activity. It also means setting a good example by modeling a non-judgmental attitude toward your own body while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Talking to your kids about body image and health isn’t always easy. Modeling healthy behavior can be even harder. But making an effort to do so is absolutely crucial to their long-term mental and physical health.

Here’s what you need to know when it comes to talking about body image awareness and healthy habits.

The Obesity Problem in America

body image awareness obesity

At this point, most Americans know that the childhood obesity epidemic is reaching crisis levels. The Centers for Disease Control classifies over 20% of the U.S. youth population as obese. Factors like poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and too much sugar are playing a role.

States like Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana have some of the highest rates of childhood obesity. Some of the largest causes of obesity for high schoolers in Louisiana are lack of a healthy diet with vegetables, excessive soda, and lack of sustained physical exercise.

Childhood obesity sets kids up for a huge number of health problems that can affect their growth and future health. Additionally, children who are overweight are often bullied or excluded by their peers, often leading to isolation, low self-esteem, and mental health disorders.

American adults are also struggling with obesity, which can eventually lead to chronic health problems and a shorter lifespan. There are also social stigmas attached to being overweight, leading many people to develop eating disorders or extremely unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to control their weight.

Body Image Awareness: Addressing the Topic With a Sensitive Touch

Talking about weight, health, and body image requires a sensitive touch because kids can easily interpret your words to mean that you think they should focus on losing weight.

It’s important to emphasize health and body positivity over numbers on the scale. Always keep the conversations positive and monitor your language to ensure that you’re not unintentionally creating feelings of shame around weight, food, and exercise.

When addressing health and body image with your child, think about approaching it as a “we”-focused initiative. It shouldn’t involve simply ordering them to get off the couch and get moving. It should include creating family-focused activities you can do together, like hiking, yoga, cooking, and gardening.

Body image, weight, and health hover in a delicate balance, especially when it comes to kids. They will pick up on cues from you and detect any negativity in your words. Take some time to prepare for the conversation to ensure that you approach the topic with sensitivity.

Having the Conversation

Before you can move on to addressing topics such as spending less time online and more time outdoors, you’ll have to make your case. Instead of attempting to convince your child with logic, recognize that you need to have a two-way conversation where you’ll likely listen more than you’ll talk. The idea is to get your kids thinking about their health.

They might not realize that they eat more when they’re upset or how many hours they spend staring at screens. You can start the conversation by asking questions that will help them really start to think about their own habits. Then, talk about ways you can improve your health as a family. Don’t talk about weight loss. Instead, talk about how you can all be healthier together.

If your child is already saying things like “I feel fat”, it’s important to address the issue right away. Ask why they feel that way and try to get to the bottom of the issue.

Have they been bullied or have they seen something that made them feel ashamed?

Once you know why they’re making negative comments about their body, you can start to reverse the damage.

Opening Up Communication and Making Habits Sustainable

awareness body image

Communication is key when it comes to creating healthy habits and body image attitudes as a family. Making habits sustainable when your child is young will help set them up for a positive, healthy future. Serving healthy food and encouraging regular exercise from a place of positivity is crucial for both physical and mental health.

It’s also important to remember that treats are fine occasionally, and can even help make habits more sustainable long-term. A kid who is completely deprived of sweets or never gets the chance to stay inside and watch TV might feel resentful and rebel against their healthy habits when they get a bit of freedom. Moderation is what’s key.

Weight and health are emotionally-charged subjects in our society. As parents, we have the difficult job of helping our children to build a healthy lifestyle while ensuring that we don’t damage their body image and unintentionally teach them to associate food and exercise with negative emotions. It’s a tall order, but caring parents can rise to the occasion and set their children up for a happy, healthy life by promoting proper body image awareness.

See Also: A Parent’s Guide to Healthy Eating During the Holidays

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A Parent’s Guide to Healthy Eating During the Holidays

Adults aren’t the only ones who have to worry about growing festively plump during the holidays. People, including kids, typically gain 1 to 2 pounds over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

You can commit to losing weight after the holidays or, better yet, not gain it in the first place. By committing to healthy holiday eating, your family can avoid the 5 to 10-pound weight gain that most people experience every five years.

Obesity Is a Growing Problem for American Kids

unhealthy eating kids

Obesity among kids has jumped from a little over 6% in the ’70s to over 20% in relatively recent years. This outcome is especially problematic because overweight children face cyber-bullying, lowered self-esteem, and chronic health issues.

Furthermore, children who are obese are more likely to remain so through adulthood. This makes them face additional risks such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. For parents, it can prove challenging to figure out what to do about the problem.

Sometimes, children grow obese due to an eating disorder and lack of physical activity. However, environment, genetics, metabolism, and poor sleep habits can also promote excessive weight gain. In some households, easy access to candy, snacks, and other food items with empty calories can make it harder to maintain a healthy weight.

Together, parents and physicians can develop safe interventions to prevent obesity among family members. Furthermore, the best way that parents can prevent childhood obesity is to lead by example, which means staying active and eating healthy.

Healthy Eating Tips for Kids During The Holidays

healthy eating tip for kids

During the holiday, parents can deploy a few tips and tricks to keep kids from gaining extra weight, starting with balance and moderation. For instance, if you’re hosting a family gathering, you can pair kids up with partners to share holiday staples that are high in sugar, calories, and fat.

This way, you won’t deprive your children of their holiday favorites. They’ll consume fewer empty calories by splitting shared portions.

Limit the availability of sugary holiday beverages, such as hot cocoa and eggnog. Also, keep plenty of cold water around for friends and family members. It’s a good idea to fill a cooler with ice and make a case or two available so that everyone can access water easily.

Finally, stay active! Plan activities that involve going outside, enjoying the cold weather, and moving around. Cold air curves appetites and boosts energy.

Additionally, plan rest periods for the entire family. People tend to eat to compensate for feelings of tiredness. A rest period can consist of watching a holiday movie or another activity that doesn’t require substantial exertion.

Most of all, strike a balance between epicurean festivity and healthiness. Some holiday food staples are a must but substitute food items and ingredients that are lower in calories, fat, and sugar as much as possible.

Obesity in the United States: A Kid’s Point of View

If you’re not careful, your passionate pleas for healthy eating can send the wrong message to your child. Today, children are sensitive about their weight. The proliferation of media messages made possible by the internet has compelled schoolgirls as young as six years old to start expressing concern about body image and weight.

The way that you talk to your children about their weight can have lifelong implications. To start, remember that it’s a two-way conversation. Also, you’re a step ahead if your child starts the discussion.

If they do, allow them to share their thoughts about the issue whenever they desire. During talks about weight, acknowledge your child’s feelings about the topic.

If you struggled with weight in the past, it helps to share that experience with your child. Also, your child must understand that you love them no matter what their size is.

Whatever you do, avoid judging and negative comments. This kind of language can have a harmful and lasting emotional effect on your child.

Finally, move the conversation beyond talk – take action. Kids learn by example, so show them how to eat healthily and stay active by doing the same.

Parents must protect their children from a host of threats, from food allergies to excessive internet content. Weight gain is an additional threat that can negatively affect the welfare of your child.

When taking steps such as changing family eating habits to ensure the welfare of your loved ones, it’s always a good idea to consult with your family physician and pediatrician. Furthermore, try not to make radical changes in the family diet.

Start with a plan and make small changes until you reach your goal. This list of healthy eating tips for kids can help you.

And remember, every family is different. Change takes time, so remain observant, patient, and positive.

See Also: Foods That Will Help You Keep Your Family Healthy

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Best Family Beaches In the USA You Can Visit With Your Kids

Summer is the perfect time to be on beach vacations. They offer a great way to bond with the family and create lifelong memories. But not every beach destinations can cater to the unique needs of travelers with kids.

As we plan our family beach trip, we should ensure that the beach offers amenities like kid-friendly attractions, spacious accommodations, food stores/restaurants, easy access to clean showers and restrooms, and of course, the lifeguards.

To save you the time of doing your research for best family beaches in USA, use this list to help you plan your next family trip.

Boca Raton, South Florida

Originally designed to be one of Florida’s premier resort towns, Boca Raton is known for its beautiful beaches and parks.

The Red Reef Park, a 67-acre park, wildlife conservation, and education center is the famous destination in the area where the family can do land and water activities. The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center offers educational programs about sea wildlife, nature, ecology and conservation.

These programs make the area one of the best family beaches in the USA.

Kailua Beach Park, Hawaii

kailua beach park hawaii

Vacationers will love the turquoise blue water of Kailua Beach Park. The life-guarded beach offers plenty of free parking and a variety of family-friendly water activities. The fine and soft white sand is great for kids and their beach play.

With its gentle waves, this spot is ideal for kids who are just learning to swim. Kids who are also learning how to surf will likely have a good chance to practice there as well.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater may not be as big as Miami, but the place offers plenty of ways to enjoy the summer family vacation.

Stroll down at the Sunsets at Pier 60 and enjoy the mini-carnival atmosphere. Kids will enjoy the playground and inflatable amusements. They’ll find the street performers and musicians at Pier 60 amusing.

Children over 14 years old are allowed to drive a rented jet ski with a parent. You should also add the dolphin cruise and the half-day fishing expedition on your itinerary.

Gulf State Park, Alabama

waterville usa

Families are flocking to the incredible beach town in Alabama every summer since it is the perfect place for fun and memorable family beach vacation.

There are plenty of family activities to do in Gulf Shores both on the beach and land. There is a small entrance fee but you’ll be rewarded with sugar-white sand and gently crashing waves.

Kids can do swimming, kayaking, and crabbing along the 2-mile stretch of beach. The Waterville USA is a popular destination for its water slides, a lazy river, and a miniature golf course.

Coronado Beach, California

Tons of activities and sparkling clean ocean water await every family at Coronado Beach. The beach is home to resorts, parks, and a lighthouse that will cater to the whole family including your dog.

You read it right. Yes, the North Beach is a go-to destination for families with their beloved pooch. From dog-friendly beaches to the views, and picnic spots, Coronado has become a top family beach destination in Southern California.

Hope this quick list helped you plan your next family beach vacation. These great beaches have a combination of nice shoreline, swimmable waters, delicious food choices, and a variety of activities. All of which make your family beach vacation comfortable, relaxing, and enjoyable.

See Also: How To Travel With Children And Live To Tell About It

Author Bio:

Edward Cruz is a staff writer for, a website that provides the latest promotional codes, exclusive sales, and offers for all of the top stores in the U.S.

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So it’s come to this: An unborn baby ‘kidfluencer’ has 112,000 Instagram followers


This is just getting ridiculous. 

As regular social media influencers vie for the title of most annoying, a new breed has emerged to expose the whole enterprise as a goofy charade. Or perhaps we should say not emerged, because, as exemplified by one so-called Instagram “kidfluencer” featured in a recent New York Times article, they’re not even born yet. 

That’s right, there’s literally an in-utero baby with a March due date that has more Instagram followers than you. One hundred and twelve thousand, to be exact. 

Say hello to Halston Blake Fisher, the soon-to-be scion of an influencer family that includes 2-year-old identical twins with more than 2 million followers on Instagram. Kyler Fisher, the twins’ father, told the Times that sponsored posts on his kids’ page cost between $10,000 and $20,000.  Read more…

More about Youtube, Instagram, Children, Social Media, and Influencers

How Toys Can Boost Your Child’s Development

How a child views their world starts from the arms of their caretakers. Their views are closely guarded with what you put in front of them. From the time they are in your womb until the end of their teens, they act like a sponge — absorbing everything around them and creating impressions that suit their mind.

This thing can be a boon and a bane in differing situations. However, if you do build the foundations strong, you would be able to inculcate the good values of being human into your child.

Nurturing them into a healthy and responsible adult is what all parents and caretakers want. If you identify yourself with this role, then read on to know how you can use toys as an important child development tool to pave a better way for them in the future.

Let’s explore how toys and child development are related:

Children learn more by playing than studying

This is why most of the playschools adopt a mix of play and learn to teach kids and it works!

Children who enjoy what they are doing learn more out of their activities rather than handing them a book and expecting them to absorb it all.

Visuals triumph over text

Yes, you might find that your child likes to read but they would enjoy something more visual. Be it pictures, videos or any brightly colored toy, they interact with visuals more.

This is why most of the toys aimed at kids are brightly colored. It helps them identify colors and things.

Toys enhance motor skills

When they play with something that would make them get up and play, they develop healthy motor skills. This would help them be active which is what their growing body needs. The more they play, the more enhanced their hand-to-eye coordination will become.

So, get them balls and doll prams that will get them moving. Find them at BabyUniqueCorn.

Toys enhance cognitive skills

Toy puzzles help children in their cognitive skills. The very challenge of figuring it out themselves enables them to become critical thinkers. Rather than throwing a book on them now, give them interesting and fun toy puzzles.

They help them understand relations

Children understand relations through role-playing. They look around their home environment and enact the same with their toys. They role-play with their toys and playmates to imitate what they observe.

Make sure you leave a good impression on them so that they understand the essence of relationships. Play with them sometimes to also guide them.

They help them understand the society

When you get them toys that represent a profession, they would be able to understand society little by little. With role-playing, they would understand the process, decorum, and manners that go with it.

Toys are instrumental in developing that attitude and learning curve. Make sure you have adequate toys that would develop their mental health.

It helps them express themselves

Toys, especially the ones they identify with, become instrumental in helping them to express themselves. Talking to themselves or personifying toys is a healthy way on how they express and understand themselves.

These internal monologues, which they express overtly, are a sign of healthy self-expression. Give them the toys, some colors, and a sketching pad and see their thoughts on canvas.

They generate stereotypes

Society and media mirror each other so much that sometimes it is difficult to tell them apart. Some toy manufacturers infamously generate negative body image or impose gender roles on the impressionable minds of the children.

Therefore, try to avoid toys that heavily stereotype people into specific roles. Instead, give them neutral toys that would help them understand that they are not defined by their gender but by their ability.

One study found that feminine toys enhance nurturing and caring personas through role-playing. The same study also found that such toys reinforce unnecessary obsession with external standards of beauty and lowers logical and mathematical skills.

In contrast, masculine toys or toys endorsed for boys promote aggression and violence but enhance spatial skills and logical skills.

So, the only way to break away from it would be to identify such toys and make sure you never purchase them. Get your children both types of toys. Expose them to empathy and balance in emotions and skills. Promote kindness and talent with the right toys!

Toys teach them about possession, maintenance, and sharing

When you gift your child with some toys, you are teaching him how to value them. In the process, he learns about possession and maintenance. It teaches your kid that if he fails to take care of his toys, he’ll lose or break them.

Apart from that, it teaches kids how to share and encourage their friends to care for their toys, too.

The toys you give your kids make a difference in the way they develop. Make sure you supervise what comes into your house and how your child interacts with it.

See Also: Connecting With Your Child: 5 Things You Can Do To Stay Close Despite Your Work

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Little Baby Bum has billions of views on YouTube — and just sold for millions


Did you know that a near hour-long collection of children’s nursery rhymes set to 3D animation is the 20th most popular YouTube video ever?

The video, with over 2 billion views and counting on the site, was created by the YouTube channel Little Baby Bum

And the husband-and-wife duo behind the popular channel just sold Little Baby Bum, likely for millions of dollars.

The exact sale price is confidential, but a social media marketing firm told Bloomberg that the London couple likely made between £6 million to £8.5 million ($7.8 million to $11.1 million).

More about Youtube, Children, Acquisition, Youtube Kids, and Tech

Why a $95 million bill to study tech’s effects on kids might actually pass this time


Congress wants to spend $95 million to study how gadgets and social media affects children. 

The proposal for the Children and Media Research Advancement Act, or CAMRA Act, was introduced Thursday in the U.S. Senate. A bipartisan group is behind the bill, so it might actually have a chance of passing. 

The bill is not new. Back in 2004, then-Sen. Joseph Lieberman wanted to study the effects of electronic media on the youth. It fizzled out. The same thing happened when a version of the bill was introduced again in 2007 — just a few months before Steve Jobs introduced the iPhoneRead more…

More about Children, Congress, Social Media, Devices, and Tech Addiction

Does Your Child Really Need Glasses? Here’s How You Can Tell

Approximately one-third of children (under 18) in the United States wear glasses or contact lenses. Yet, many children don’t have the glasses they need. 14% of 5th graders went without needed glasses in the last year and nearly one-quarter of teens with correctable vision have the wrong prescription. Among African-American and Mexican-American teens, that rises to one-third who are wearing glasses with an insufficient prescription.

The Role Vision in Learning

role vision in learning

Nearly half of children don’t notice they’re struggling to see until they can’t see the board in the classroom. At that point, their vision is likely already affecting their learning and performance in school.

Poor vision makes it difficult to read. It can cause headaches and tiredness that can interfere with one’s ability to focus on a task.

Parents often don’t realize their child has trouble seeing until told they need glasses during an eye exam. Kids rarely complain about poor vision because it’s all they’ve ever known. Don’t let your child fall behind – learn to spot the signs of poor vision.

Signs Your Child May Need Glasses

sign of poor vision in children

If you notice these signs that your child is struggling to see, it’s time for an eye exam:

  • Tilting head to the side or covering one eye
  • Holding books or mobile devices too close
  • Sitting very near the television
  • Complaining of headaches
  • Struggling to do well in school
  • Difficulty learning to read
  • Frequently rubbing eyes

Early Intervention for Eye Health

Early detection of vision disorders is essential to children’s learning and development. In preschoolers, poor vision has been linked to delays in cognitive and motor development. Not being able to see clearly can interfere with children’s ability to learn and early treatment can be key to preventing further loss of vision.

Head Start provides preschool education to children from low-income families and requires every child to be screened for vision and eye health. As a result, 1 in 5 preschoolers enrolled in Head Start has a diagnosed vision problem. For children not enrolled in Head Start, regular visits to your pediatrician should include an eye check and screening for indication of poor vision.

Milestones for Infants & Toddlers

If your child has difficulty reaching these milestones it could be a sign of poor vision or other developmental issues. See your pediatrician for follow-up and testing.

  • Maintaining eye contact (8 weeks)
  • Smiling at familiar people (3-4 months)
  • Watching and mimicking hand movements (5 months)
  • Looking at and reaching for an object (6-7 months)
  • Recognizing familiar faces (7-9 months)
  • Pointing at pictures in books (9-12 months)

Vision Care for Children

Don’t ignore vision care just because your child doesn’t show signs of blurry vision. Vision care includes monitoring eye health through regular check-ups, in addition to determining the need for corrective lenses. An eye exam is recommended for every child with a family history of poor vision, a recognizable eye abnormality (such as the lazy eye), or who has other risk factors for vision problems.

Check out this infographic to learn more about children’s vision and eye health:

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

How to Tell if Your Kid Needs Glasses Infographic

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5 Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids about Responsibility

If you want your children to grow up into capable adults who are strong and independent, it’s important that you work on them and start in time. Molding young minds and teaching kids about responsibility is not something you can take lightly.

Now, considering that talking won’t help much (it’s not that they don’t want to listen – it’s their attention span), you need to come up with different ways to make this fun. Here are some suggestions you might find helpful.

Let Them Help Out

helping in the household chores

Many parents I know are putting their finest effort into getting their kids out of the way when doing chores. Instead of trying to explain that they will have enough time to deal with housework in the future, you should indulge their curiosity.

Teach them how to do household chores at an early age and be patient with them. They can take longer than you to complete the chores but practice makes perfect. Soon, they’ll find the tasks a lot more enjoyable.

See Also: Top 10 Tips to Help Children Develop Useful Habits

Adopting a Pet

This is every kid’s dream and you should try and make this happen for your children. Taking care of another being can teach them some of life’s greatest lessons.

You can get a dog or a cat. You can even get your children a bird or a fish. Just make sure to ask for their opinion when deciding on a breed.

Collecting Coupons

Cutting colorful pieces of paper can be fun for kids, especially if they get to eat their favorite cereal and get a toy as well. There are a lot of websites that offer great discounts for practically everything. You can join forces with your child, browse through fun items, and save money together.

Earning Pocket Money

kids responsibility

Sure, you can simplify things by just giving your kids money. However, if you’re planning on teaching children about responsibility, encourage them to work hard for their money.

It can be a valuable experience for them as they get to learn how to work hard, be frugal, and be responsible for their earnings.

Reward System with Consequences

The best way to prepare your kid for the big bad world out there is to teach them how hard work is always rewarded and that there are consequences if you are lazy. If you want this system to work, make sure that you explain everything in detail. That way, your children understand and know exactly what to expect.

For a chore completed carefully and properly, you can take them somewhere cool, award them with a few bucks or come up with an activity you both enjoy together. This will have a positive effect on your relationship with your child.

Don’t forget to set an example.

Children are like sponges. They’ll notice if you’re taking shortcuts and they will most definitely copy your behavior. So, act like you speak, be disciplined and persistent. By doing that, you can be sure that you have done your best in teaching kids about responsibility.

See Also: 8 Ways To Nurture Your Child’s Self-Motivation

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How Does A Divorce Work With A Child?

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans unravel and fall apart. This is true with any relationship, including the relationship where you share a child. When children are involved, the steps to ending a relationship become more complex.

So, how does a divorce work with a child?

Getting started

child custody

Figuring out the child custody rules and regulations within your area is vital. Having a knowledgeable and capable family law attorney is crucial to the process.

Family law is different. It has far more rules and regulations than the criminal law. The burden of proof isn’t upon just one person. Instead, it is upon the person who is requesting for the custodial rights. That person has to prove that he’s more capable, reliable, and responsible.

More often than not, that means both parents need to prove themselves. The process won’t be quick and easy. It can take months and even years.

Tips On Handling Divorce When You Have A Child

1. Knowledge is key

Knowing what to do will help you through this difficult time. Having a lawyer can make things easier for you.

2. Prove that you’re the better parent

This isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Anything you say will be recorded. If you fabricate stories or tell lies, expect those things to backfire on you.

Now, if you’re sure that the other parent won’t do any good to your child, make your lawyer aware of it. Having proofs to back up your claim will also be helpful at this point. Be open to your lawyer so you can plan how you can use those proofs to your advantage.

3. Have your documents ready

Be prepared. If you expect to move out of the state, have your children’s documents ready. Keep a record of their school activities so you can easily use them when transferring.

Apart from that, you should also have your work history or proof of residence ready in case the court asks where you will be transferring. These documents are also helpful in proving your capability to provide for your child’s needs.

4. Try to come to terms with the other parent

Doing so can make the proceedings go faster, cheaper, and with less stress.

Your attorney will inform you all about the different types of custody agreements. The most common are those where the child resides with one parent weekly and spends weekends with the other parent.

Another common form of custody, which has become more popular as of late, is known as shared parenting. This is where the child spends half a month with each parent. This type of custody requires more communication. If you’re on good terms, then that won’t be an issue.

5. Don’t be afraid to have a discussion

There is nothing wrong with being passionate but remember that this isn’t about you anymore. This is about your child. Whether you like it or not, the person you are arguing with will be in your life for no less than 18 years. The less difficult you make it, the better things will be in the years to come.

talking child custody

In Conclusion

Remember that no matter how hard things get or how confusing the process becomes, rely on your family law attorney to help you through the court proceedings. He will help you find a way for your child to have a relationship with both parents.

Although your relationship with your partner is ending, it doesn’t mean that your child’s relationship with his parent has to end, too. It is your duty to make sure that your child still gets to enjoy a quality time with his parents.

See Also: 5 Legal Issues To Consider And Address Before A Divorce

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Dental Care for Children With Special Needs

Meeting and balancing the requirements of your special child can be very challenging at times. Urgent medical matters usually take preference over dental care. According to research, these children are more likely to suffer from dental problems as compared to children without any disabilities.

If your child has down syndrome, seizure disorders, learning disabilities or cerebral palsy, here’s a quick guide to proper dental care for children with special needs.

Dental Visits

dental visit

Make sure not to skip any dental visits and find a dentist who understands children with special needs. You can learn a lot from them. If your child is having a hard time sitting still during his dental exam, you can plug in some earphones with music so they can be comfortable.

Daily Oral Healthcare at Home

Allow your child to brush his teeth where he is comfortable. The bathroom is not the only place where your child can brush his teeth. Make sure to provide enough light, steady and clean water, and a good sized mirror. Have a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste ready, too.

Create a Positive Atmosphere

Your approach to oral care is important to your child. A positive attitude will make your child’s approach to dental care a lot more fun.

Explain and demonstrate all the steps to your child. Make sure to appreciate his effort the best way possible to ensure good behavior and consistent good practices.

Establish a Routine

oral hygiene routine

Developing a consistent routine can help create a sense of familiarity. This can increase your child’s confidence in taking care of his oral health. You can set the routine according to what your dentist recommends. Maintain a record of what is effective and what is not so that you can refer it to the dentist on your child’s next visit.

Nutrition and Oral Health

Make sure to kick-start your child’s dental routine as soon as you get home from the hospital by wiping his gums with a wet gauze pad. Once your child’s teeth have erupted, make sure to brush his teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Ask your dentist when you can start using fluoride toothpaste and how much you can use.

Serving healthy and well-balanced meals with limited use of sugary or starchy foods can encourage healthy teeth and limit tooth decay. They can also encourage your child’s baby teeth to grow and develop properly.

Remember to brush your child’s teeth after eating. If that isn’t always possible, have him drink water or rinse out his mouth after eating to neutralize or wash away the acids.

Make Your Child Comfortable with Oral Care

Giving your child a lot of time to become familiar with his dentist’s clinic can help reduce his anxiety to a large extent. You should help your child find his comfort zone, help him explore the dental clinic, and understand the dental procedure as much as possible.

Timings Matter

Some people are able to cope better at different times of the day and the same goes for children.

Mornings are ideal as children still have a lot of energy. However, for children who are diabetic, make sure to ask his doctor as there are certain procedures that need special requirements. One good example is blood sugar.

Break Stereotypes and Work with What Your Child is Comfortable With

It is not necessary for your child to get his dental check-up done in a dental chair as has been stereotyped for adults. He can have his check-up done wherever he feels comfortable. He can get his teeth and mouth checked whether he’s in his wheelchair or sitting on your lap.

I hope that these 8 oral health care tips help your children maintain good oral health and experience healthy and happy lives without being plagued by dental problems.

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A Quick Guide In Designing Your Children’s Room

Adding fun to your children’s room is no different from any renovation project you have for your home. However, in choosing the right child room design, you have to make sure that it can adapt to the changing moods of your children while allowing them to develop some really cool memories.

If you are not sure where to start, here are some ideas you can consider.

Clocking The Cool Color: The Basics

The project has to start with picking the right color.

It is a myth that children love all colors. In fact, they are very picky.

To address this, you need to introduce themes along with the colors. For instance, you can associate yellow with sunshine and red with roses.

Since children have ideas, make sure to ask for their opinion. Depending on your children’s age, they can assist you in coloring the wall themselves.  For you and your children’s safety, choose paints without toxic fumes.

Thematic Tales: Every Wall Has A Story

harry potter themed childrens room
Via pinterest

Children grow up listening to stories of monsters, centaurs, and unicorns. So, it’s only logical that you design their room with those stories. Hire a professional or grab a paintbrush yourself and draw stories of David Slaying Goliath or Beauty and the Beast. This can freshen up the room while imparting values to your kids.

You also need to pay attention to the room’s flooring since it’s where your children spend most of their activities. You can opt for laminate and vinyl flooring in hardwood, stone, tile, and carpet flooring.

In choosing between laminate and vinyl flooring, consider that your child’s room is a high traffic area and the flooring has to be durable. Laminate is a durable material and it rarely fades. It is resistant to stains and easy to install.

Vinyl flooring, on the other hand, is a step up from the old linoleum types. It is also good for a child’s room as it is resilient and doesn’t take a lot of time to install.

Killing The Ceiling: The Dreamy Sky

dreamy childrens bedroom ceiling
Via Decoist

The right design can make your child’s room look dreamy. Peeling paints and plasters on the ceiling can be really depressing.

Since the ceiling is the last thing your child looks at right before he sleeps, you need to carefully plan its design. It should be designed tastefully and with care.

For the wood ceiling, you can get board planks from your local hardware store. Run them in the same direction on the ceiling. Finish the job with crown molding or wood trim. For ceiling tiles, get the adhesive ones that are easy to install. Mix and match tiles or create a pattern. If there’s an existing wallpaper, make sure to remove the old wallpaper and prepare the ceiling before you add a new design.

Furniture And Accessories: The Finishing Touch

Assess the furniture in your child’s room.

If they are still usable, consider freshening them up. Take out all pieces of wood furniture and sand them down. You can also paint them up with a shade that matches the color scheme you used on the walls. For those items that need upholstering, check if you can do it yourself. If not, make sure to hire someone you can totally trust.

Consider the layout of the room. Children move around a lot and need space. So, go for an uncluttered layout that will allow your children to move freely.

Now, go for accessories. Here is where you can make the most out of your designs. You can use accessories that can double as learning materials. For example, you can make their geometry lessons come alive by decorating the room with different shapes. A mixture of symmetric figures and patterns would enhance the imagination and creativity of your kids.


The best child room design idea is one that reflects his or her dreams, ambitions, and emotions. It should allow them to feel comfortable and safe, too.

By following these steps, you should be able to create the perfect room for your little ones.

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7 Tips in Choosing Perfect Toys for Your Kids

When a birthday or holiday rolls around, no doubt your kids will present you with a wish list of the toys they want. And every time a toy commercial comes on TV, your child is probably pointing to everything they see, asking you to buy it. While you’ll want to fulfill some wishes, there are some more things you should think of when buying toys for your kids.

Here’s how to make the right choice for finding perfect toys for your kids.

Choose Brand Names

toy brand name

Brand names tend to be more reputable and often offer warranties that ensure the durability of the toys you buy. If you shop online, in particular, be cautious of brand names because there are many knock-off items at cheaper prices. While those price cuts might seem like a bargain, they often aren’t very durable. They’re also more likely to come from a vendor with a less than stellar reputation which could leave you with a broken product and wasted money.

Check Out The Reviews

Internet trolls aside, the majority of reviews you see are legitimate. You can learn a lot about the products you plan to buy by seeing what others who have bought and used them have to say about it. If there are more bad reviews than good ones, you’ll probably want to look for a different brand or product instead.

If you want to know if buyer reviews are legitimate, check out Fakespot.

Keep It In The Age Limit

Toys are all designed for different age ranges. Children under the age of 3, for example, shouldn’t have anything with small parts because of the dangers of choking.

Other toys are for older children and while a child of 5 won’t be attempting to eat small pieces, they might not have the patience or understanding for a toy that’s been created with older children in mind.

Think About The Product Features

That toy guitar sure is cute! But does it have a volume control on it? If not, you’ll be doomed to listen to it blaring every single time you attempt to make a phone call. Some products in the same genre will have very different features on them too and it’s up to you decide what makes one set of features better for your child.

Choose Toys That Do More Than Entertain

learning toys

Some of the toys you choose for your child will be purely for fun value. But other toys will have educational elements to them. Things like water tables or block sets or even toy kitchens all provide an opportunity for your child to learn new things like colors, shapes, new words, even new languages.

There are also other toys that can help children build self-confidence or self-esteem such as pretend toys or musical instruments. While it’s nice to give your kids plush and cuddly toys to love on, the perfect toys for your children can teach soft skills too.

Think About Assembly

Is the toy you’re choosing ready to go right out of the box? Or will it require some effort on your part to put it together?

Make sure you’re aware of the packaging and assembly so you won’t be surprised when you’ve got a new dollhouse that you have to put together while your children shriek with excitement and try to touch everything as you’re assembling it. Talk about pressure!

Compare Prices

Once you’ve decided on the toys you want to buy for your child, you’ll want to look at the price. Not everyone has a limitless budget. You’ll want to factor in things like the cost as well as the usage of it.

For example, if you’re going to buy a walker, you might want to invest in one that has a detachable face of learning activities. That way, when your little one begins walking on her own, she’ll still get use out of this toy.

Before you buy it anywhere, compare the prices of the toys you’ve selected among reputable stores in your area as well as online. Don’t forget that if you order online, you will have to factor the cost of shipping into your budget unless it comes with free shipping.

Remember, toys should be age-appropriate, safe, and durable. Keep that in mind and you’ll always find the perfect toy!


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10 Ways to Avoid Making Your Kid Resent You

When I was younger, I worked in a nursing home. It was a sad and disheartening place to work. The people you’d normally find there are not in their best condition and it was heartbreaking on most days.

On weekends, the grown children of some of those people would come to visit. They’d sit awkwardly on the stiff chairs, obviously just fulfilling their duty. However, once the obligatory hour and a half were over, they’d quickly walk out looking visibly relieved.

The parents would be left with nothing else but to look forward to when their children would be back next. Some residents had no visitors at all. It was so sad to watch.

On occasion, there would be a special resident, one who always had visitors. The children of this person would stay the entire length of the visiting hours and show up punctually the next week. Many times, his family members would bring dinner. His grandchildren would come on weekends and the halls would turn into a family reunion every Saturday.

And I asked myself, what was the difference between these two sets of circumstances? How were these residents different?

So, I started to look at my own situation and of the people around me. I finally came up with the most important items that would ensure a long and loving relationship with your children.

Let your kid be whatever or whoever he wants to be

Identity is very important to anyone.

When you were young, you probably had a good idea of wanted you to be- a teacher, pilot or doctor. Although you did not grow up to be those things, you were pretty much decided at that time.

Kids, as they grow, change their minds almost as quickly as sand falling from an hourglass. It is what they do. If you do not allow them to be who and what they want to be when they want to be it, they will resent you.

Don’t force them to share their toys

personal toys

I know this is a sore subject for some.

When we were young, we were taught that nice people share. Our parents would take away our toys and give them to another child to play with.

Let’s look at this from another perspective.

How would you feel if your boss or your parent insisted that you give the keys to your new car to your friend just because nice people share? You would hate it. After all, it is YOUR car.

Well, if the toys truly belong to the child, shouldn’t he be the one to decide whether he should share or not? If you take his possessions away, he will dislike you as much as you would dislike someone who takes your things.

Instead of forcing him to share his toys, keep a separate basket of toys that are for everyone. This will make it easier for him to share with his playmates.

Stop finding fault

Some parents never realize that their kids grow up. They continue to correct them all their lives without knowing that it embarrasses and upsets the kids. Nobody likes to be constantly told they are not measuring up. No one wants to be corrected all the time.

If your boss did that to you, you’d probably quit. So, validate the things your child does right instead of constantly correcting the things he does wrong.

Know when there is something very important to your child

When my son was thirteen, he wanted his ears pierced very badly. His dad did not want this. So, my son, being the resourceful and totally badass kid that he is, recruited his little brother to steal sewing pins from my sewing basket and did it himself.

I didn’t realize what had happened until I noticed that he was wearing his hoody all the time- even in 90-degree heat. I pulled the hood off and there were my sewing pins sticking out of his earlobes.

Now, I could have gone ballistic, but all I did was laugh. I told him to take out the pins, let his earlobes fully heal and I would take him to a nurse to have it done right. In short, I knew I was licked.

Now, ear piercing is not a life or death thing so I could afford to be magnanimous. Some things aren’t, so make sure to choose wisely which issues to stand your ground.

Make the ratio of your time together way overbalanced on the fun and happy side

One of my biggest regrets in life was that I was so stressed out trying to work an insane job while raising my kids. I should have given myself more breaks. For that reason, the happy times were fewer.

Everything that happens to us, we will remember as either happy or unhappy.

Summer vacations and birthday parties are some of the events we consider happy. These are times we think of as pleasurable. Dentist appointments, on the other hand, are sucky so we consider them as unhappy.

Don’t give them too much

happy girl

This is a problem for many parents and I’m guilty of this one, too.

I grew up in a house with seven kids. I shared a bedroom with three sisters in bunk beds shoved against the wall. There was little money for buying clothes. It was only when I was thirteen that I could finally babysit and buy the clothes I wanted.

Because of this, I thought it was best to give my kids everything I wanted as a child but could not have. This, unfortunately, made them feel overwhelmed.

It wasn’t until later that I realized that I was making them miserable while trying to make them happy. They felt that there was no way they could contribute back.

When I finally let them work and make money to buy what they wanted, they became resourceful and happy.

You cannot make up for a hard childhood by buying things for your kids. You make up for it by being a loving parent.

See Also: What You Need To Know About Teaching Children Values

Let them make you laugh

Everyone loves someone who finds them sparkling, charming and amusing. When your child makes you laugh, have you noticed how he tries to be funnier and funnier? Making you laugh is a gift from him to you. And laughing at his jokes is a gift from you to him.

Was there ever someone who made you feel sparkling, charming and amusing? How did you feel about that person?

Touch their hair as they pass

There is nothing like physical touch to make a person feel that you really want to share your space with them. Kids love to cuddle and get close.

I have endless photos of me and my son as he was growing up. In each one, our arms are entwined. We were always physically close and that closeness has remained to this day now that he is grown.

Love and protect your own parents

No matter how much we may have resented our own parents, they loved us and they did the best they could do for us. No parents hate or dislike their kids unless they have serious issues. Our parents just got overwhelmed and upset as we were growing up, and our kids, when they grow up, will probably feel the same way, too.

Show your kids a good example and overlook all the upsets for the time you have left with your parents.

See Also: Top 10 Tips to Help Children Develop Useful Habits

Always be willing to start over

My oldest son and I used to have fights. If we had kept it up, we would both have been miserable and upset all night.

At that point, I would look at him, hold out my arms and say “Can we please start over?”. He would tear up, come to me and we would be done.

This is a great way to end an upset. You both agree that it’s the end, and you start over.

Love your kids. Tell them how precious they are to you. Use discipline with love and understanding and you will not be alone in your later years.

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Have a Child with Skin Sensitivities? Here’s How to Deal with it

To provide the best for a baby, parents make sure that the child is always cared for and nurtured in the best possible way in a secure environment. However, when their child is affected by any kind of disease, then the parents’ role becomes even more crucial. They are then required to put more effort in caring for their children which makes parenting a job harder than it already is.

Different allergies can make the child’s and parents’ lives problematic just as much as a fever or a disease. The sensitivity or allergy can range from a red rash, dry skin, red skin, rubbery patches on the skin and itchy skin. These complications arise due to different conditions but can be treated with care and caution.

Here are certain guidelines to help you deal with your children’s allergies.

Clothing Items

clothing tags

Some clothing items or fabrics with embroidered characters can be a reason for itchiness and rash on the skin. Several tags can also produce itchiness and make the kid irritable if the tag is touching the kid’s skin directly. Elastic bands that are exposed on trousers for kids can also produce rashes and have an itchy effect after being relieved of the elastic garment.

When shopping for your child’s clothes, run your hand through the article of clothing before purchase. If it feels slightly irritable then refrain from buying it.

Remember, all kids’ skins are softer than adults therefore making your child more inclined to having skin irritation. Also, opt for softer clothes that are light and don’t stick to the body too much. If the kid has an elder sibling, then use hand-me-downs as they are softer in comparison due to numerous washings.

Shoes and Outdoor Activity

Outdoor activities are great for kids with sensitivity problems. Camping outdoors, cycling, playing in the local park are few of the many activities that your kids can do to keep them occupied outside.

A kid boxed up in the house is likelier to worsen in condition if he is not exposed to the sun and natural environment too often. Sweat can also be a factor to irritation and itchiness so children are best dressed up in loose clothing and strappy footwear instead of enclosed ones.

Playing outside with sandals or slippers is a much better decision than having your children wear shoes all the time. This way, kids can take them off anytime they feel uncomfortable. There are also no shoelaces that need tying all the time and feet can get sweaty and grow at a healthy pace.

See Also: Five Clever Tips for Stress-Free Family Camping

Detergents, Lotions, and Soaps:

Personal care and cleaning products such as soaps, lotions, and detergents contain chemicals. These chemicals can be harmful to a kid with sensitive skin. They could be even more harmful if a child has an exposed wound or rashes. It worsens the condition and can produce a more complicated wound or sensitivity.

To minimize the effect, keep track of the product that you buy and use products that are made from organic materials rather than using products made from chemicals. Fragrance-free products also have minimal skin sensitivity effects and are better than their fragrant counterparts.

Food Allergies

food allergies

Allergies related to food can also be the cause of some serious skin problems for the kids. It is always favorable to switch to foods that are organic as opposed to chemically treated inorganic foods.

Similar to personal care and cleaning products, the chemicals in foods are known to cause skin-related problems. Design your grocery list in a way that caters to your child’s nutrition just as well as it caters to your child’s allergies. If the problem persists even with your changes in the kid’s diet, then consult a pediatric dietitian. They can pinpoint the food that is causing the allergy and making your kid’s skin sensitive.

See Also: Shifting Your Family To The “Real Food” Diet 


Vitamins are a huge source of nutrition and can be helpful in the proper nourishment of the kids. The lack of these vitamins can be devastating for a child’s health. Health-related problems can also lead up to skin sensitivity. These problems can be avoided by simply keeping track of your kids’ vitamins intake. Your pediatrician can help guide you in making sure that your child’s nutritional needs are being met.

It is always a good idea to listen to your kid if they are telling you about a certain rash, patchiness or dryness in their skin. It will be beneficial for you and your kid to tackle the problem in its earlier stage instead of having the condition worsen over time and causing the child suffering.


The post Have a Child with Skin Sensitivities? Here’s How to Deal with it appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How Social Media Helps Students Study

Social media in education is a no-brainer and many studies and experiences have proven its efficiency.  Once you get serious about your education, you then realize that you must take the hand of as many resources as you can.  Studies reveal that more and more students like yourself believe that the technology they use to study should have the same format as social media.

We are social creatures.  Whatever we do good, we seem to do it better in a social context where there are more people around us.  It is no different with studying.  According to the Social Learning Theory, we learn best when we interact with people.

Social media can help you in many ways if you use it wisely.  For instance, let’s say you need help with picking a topic for your next essay.  Now, if you google essay topics, you will get tons of resources.  But if you go to social media, you will find suggestions by real people based on real experiences.

Let´s take a look at the specific ways that social media can help students study.

Connections and Community

social media education

When it comes to intensive and in-depth projects and group work, social media allows you to centralize all your knowledge to make communication more efficient.  For instance, you can create a hashtag such as #Economy101 to have people connect under the same topic. You now can build a community where everyone contributes with their piece of knowledge.

Think of all the interactions and connections that can take place on a Facebook page or group.  Forums are a great place to make questions and get answers.  You can even invite the professor to join this group or the chats.


Social media is all about sharing.  Most of our FB friends share everything from their location and activities to the one-hundred pictures of their weekend that nobody is going to see.  Now, you also get the opportunity of sharing resources to enrich a content.

Using the designated hashtag, you can share links to resources.  You can also share experiences, joys, and even frustrations.  This input will be available to everyone, at any time.

Some things that can be put into practice when sharing:

  • Stream a class through live video on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Google Hangouts, or YouTube. This will be saved and used later by those who were not able to attend a class.
  • Google Hangouts is a great resource for online study sessions.


Given the extent and reach of social media, a large number of resources can become overwhelming.  You need to curate this information.  Create topic boards on Pinterest or a blog service such as Tumblr.

For resources that have not been posted online yet, you can use cloud-storing services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, or Box, to organize it.   If you are working on a team project, work on a Google Doc.  This will keep a neat organization and help take notes for all to see and share.

Meaningful Conversations

social media in education

There are hundreds of chats taking place on Twitter.  These are conversations that take place at a certain time where all participants use a particular hashtag.  This creates a timeline of people having a meaningful conversation about a particular topic.

You can plan your own Twitter chat to get the convo going.  This conversation can take place in a Facebook group as well.  The advantage of Twitter chats is that they are more open and universal.  Experts on a particular subject might participate too.  For instance, you could have an author discuss literary aspects of the novel you have to make a book report about.  That would be pretty neat!

Authors and experts are already on social media.  If Albert Einstein were alive, he’d probably be on Twitter.  Just imagine what his Instagram would look like!  You can ask direct questions to these influencers (not Einstein, he´s dead).  This will get you the best insight on a particular topic.

Supplemental Materials

You can use social media to find additional content that will reinforce what you have learned in class.  These materials are out there waiting for you.  The great part about it is that you also get honest opinions and ideas on how to make these contents work best.

Find YouTube videos for assistance with challenging topics.  Khan Academy is a widely used source that organizes YouTube videos into courses.

Follow already existing hashtags in a particular area.  You will find rich amounts of help there.  You can also look for keywords, experts, topics, etc., across all your social media channels.

See Also: 5 Tips to Use Social Media for eLearning Content 


When it comes to social media, not everything in the garden is rosy.  There are some downsides on the use of social media.  But since you are one responsible kid, you will take full advantage of the resources all the media offer you.  Use social media well and have meaningful and useful connections that will help you get through your education.


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Top 10 Tips to Help Children Develop Useful Habits

Being a good parent means helping your kids acquire healthy habits and helping them drop the bad ones. It doesn’t matter whether your child is a toddler or a teenager, there is always time for you to help and motivate your children to be better people by aiding them and setting an example.

However, with the sheer amount of pressure every parent experiences when trying to raise children, they might often feel helpless and desperate. Parents might not know what healthy habits are of the biggest priority for children and where the best place to start is.

This might be a bit overwhelming considering that the problems your children need help with vary greatly, from providing help with term paper writing to picking sports to practice. To help you along, we have created a list of things you definitely should teach your child regardless of their age.

Eat healthy food

This might be one of the most simple habits your child should be introduced to. By feeding them healthy products, you will increase their energy and promote better well-being.

However, as children tend to like unhealthy foods more, introducing them to this habit might not be the easiest task. So, make sure to be a good example for them because no matter what you teach them, if they see you eating pizza for dinner while they have to eat broccoli, it will only make them angry.

Some households are successful in getting their children to eat healthy by not introducing junk foods into their diet at all and letting children understand the benefits of healthy eating.

Also, it might be easier if you make eating healthy into a fun activity. An example would be creating pictures out of food. Check out bento boxes for inspiration.

See Also: Four Simple Ways to Teach Your Kids to Say “NO” to Junk Foods

Say no to gadgets

If you can’t keep your children from using their gadgets, at least limit the time and duration that they are used. For instance, you can ask them to spend up to twenty minutes a day watching their favorite cartoons.

On top of that, you can use this time as a reward for helping family members or for doing the homework. This way, you are hitting two birds with one stone.

Also, make sure you are a good example for them here as well. If you cannot spend even a few moments without your cell phone, your kids will surely pick up the same habits.

Quality family time

family quality time

Spending quality family time is an investment for your children. Not only are you creating many happy memories for your children, you are also teaching them how precious the family is.

So, consider planning family trips or celebrating certain holidays only in the family circle and involve your children in making preparations.

Playing sports

Taking care of your health is vital. However, not all parents can be considered as role models for their kids in this area. Some parents are too stressed at work while some run away from exercise.

Show your children that taking care of one’s health is a priority. Get involved in some kind of sport with your kids and inculcate it as a habit.

Life values

It is from parents that we learn our values first. They teach us responsibility, accountability, and selflessness.

Therefore, if you want your child to grow up to be mature and grown-up, be the kind of person you want them to be. You are the first and the most important role model for them.

Being positive

Don’t be a negative person. Try to cheer your children up even when things are not going as well as you would want them to. You can always find a bright side and encourage your whole family.

By choosing a positive path, you will improve your children’s future. In comparison, being a negative person will definitely affect their own personalities and well-being.

Realistic goals

People often get frustrated after they fail to achieve goals they set. They feel like a failure, even though they are not.

Sometimes, failing is a byproduct of setting unrealistic goals. Therefore, to keep your children happy and going, teach them to set realistic goals and then to go on from there.

Teach them to break up their ambitions into doable tasks and challenges, all the while working towards their bigger dreams.

Saying “no”

Many people regret not having this habit. We cannot say “no” even when we know that we cannot fulfill what people ask us for. We tend to try and please everyone, and we mostly pick it up after our parents who either used to be like this or set huge expectations we could not meet. Thus, teach your children to say “no”, and they will be forever grateful to you.

Being a good friend

being a good friend

This habit is a key to a successful life. We never feel like a failure when we have friends who can help us get through life’s darkest moments. Therefore, teaching your children how to make genuine friends and what it means to be a good friend themselves is truly a blessing. First, be a good friend to your kids, and then encourage them making friends with kids of their age.


And finally, we come to honesty. Teach your children how to be true to themselves, their friends, and to you. Help them understand that lying or pretending never works as a lie is always found out in the end. To be happy and satisfied, they have to be real and true to what they believe in.

If parents teach their children these simple yet powerful habits, parents will see a real miracle of how a small helpless child grows to be a healthy young person of great value.

See Also: 11 Ways Parents Can Help Children Do Better In School


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