Talking to Baby
Talking to children and answering any questions they may throw at you is one of the fundamental ways in which they learn. Talking, however, isn’t just important once youngsters have already mastered basic language skills, but well before they have even uttered their first words.
Human beings aren’t born with language skills, but rather we acquire them gradually from an early age and build on them throughout our lives. Even as very small babies, we begin to learn the art of communication, which means that by constantly talking to your child you can be gradually teaching words and sentence structures, not to mention the things that go along with spoken language, such as facial expressions and gestures. Instead of simply repeating the words “mom” or “dad” to get your baby to repeat them, talk about everything that is going on in order to add to their memory banks and make it easier for them to learn a greater number of words in a shorter period of time. For example, you can talk to them about the foods that they are eating, describe what you are doing or chat about the things that you see on a visit to the park. The baby will eventually associate the words with the things you are talking about.
Babies may not understand what you are saying when you chatter to them incessantly, but the constant communication will help them build their own language skills that much sooner.
Reading to your children should start early. Really early. The American Academy of Pediatrics recom¬mends starting as soon as your children are born.
Reading stimulates brain development and language skills, as well as fostering a closer emotional bond between parents and children. Remember these tips:
• Read widely. Infants respond to voices around them, so start out by reading anything that’s handy—sports pages and cookbooks will do, as well as very simple picture books.
• Ask questions. As your child grows older, get him or her involved. Ask them what they think will happen next, or why a character behaved that way. You’ll start teaching some basic critical thinking skills, and you’ll make the experience more enjoyable.
• Read every day. Make reading a regular activity. Don’t just limit it to bedtime. Bring a book with you to doctor’s appointments and the store so you can read while waiting.
A lot of people – particularly busy parents – enjoy dining out at a restaurant, but many parents can be decidedly nervous about going out to eat with their children because of how the children might behave during the meal. The good news is that there are a few tips that can help you make the scenario of the family eating out together a much smoother and more enjoyable experience for all concerned.
One good idea is to check before you go out to eat that the menu of the restaurant you intend to eat in will have something that your child will actually be willing to eat. Another good idea is to beat the rush by going to the restaurant at an off-peak time, such as between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on a weekday afternoon.
Choose to be seated in a booth if you can, as this usually makes it a lot easier to keep your children contained. Not all restaurants are prepared for children so bring along something to keep them entertained such as a coloring book and crayons.
Hope this helps and enjoy!
Teaching Siblings To Get Along
Sibling rivalry may be as old as the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. Fortunately, most conflicts between siblings don’t lead to the same tragic result, but they can be distressing to parents and children alike. To keep the peace in your household, follow this advice:
• Start early. Involve the older child before the younger brother or sister comes along. Talk about how life develops in a mother’s body, discuss what changes the family should expect, and reassure the child of his or her parents’ love.
• Pay attention. Many struggles between siblings arise because one of the children feels neglected and wants his or her share of attention. Do your best to devote some special time to each child so he or she doesn’t feel less important or unloved. Avoid any behavior that might appear to favor one child over the other.
• Don’t compare children. Holding up one child as an example to the other can spark resentment and jealousy. Don’t expect them to become mirror images of each other. Appreciate each child on his or her own merits, and respect your kids’ individuality.
• Teach children to settle their own conflicts. If you impose a solution, or drop everything to mediate a conflict, chances are good that no one will be happy. Talk to children about how they can solve the problem on their own—by asking politely, taking turns, seeing things from the sibling’s point of view, and so forth. If you must get involved, try not to take sides; help the children negotiate their own solution.
• Hold family meetings. Bring everyone together once a week to discuss issues and explore solutions. Most of the time children just want to be heard. Give them a chance to speak and respond, and work together to resolve differences and disagreements.
Returning to work after maternity leave or even several years away from the workplace typically means having to find childcare. With so many different options to choose from, however, just what can parents do to ensure that their chosen childcare provider can offer good-quality care facilities and guarantee their child’s safety? Here are a few tips to bear in mind when investigating your options.
- Check with the day care centers to ensure that they can fit in with your planned working hours and offer some degree of flexibility if, for example, you are running late.
- Consider what kinds of qualities would fit your child’s personality
- Talk to friends and family members about their childcare providers and always aim to get personal recommendations for any options that you consider.
- Always visit the nurseries, day care centers or child care centers that you are considering, to get a feel for the atmosphere and routine.
- Check the indoor and outdoor space available to the children, to make sure that it is adequate and safe.
- Check out the facilities and the equipment provided for the children, to ensure that these meet high standards.
- Find out the types of activities the facility offers.
- Ask about the safety and security procedures and precautions.
- Ask to see the childcare provider’s formal inspection reports.
The backyard is somewhere where quality time with the family can be spent all year round, but accidents can take place anywhere and it is important to make sure that you have taken all possible safety precautions to make sure the backyard remains a safe area for relaxation and play.
When it comes to your lawn, you should remove tree stumps and get rid of concrete footings so as to cut down the chances of people tripping over. When cutting the lawn, debris such as rocks can turn into flying projectiles so the yard needs to be cleared. If you have children and any potentially hazardous tools or chemicals they need to be stored well out of their reach in a locked garage or shed.
Fencing is important too, serving to protect children from outside dangers and keep toddlers away from ponds, hot tubs, swimming pools or away from strangers and traffic. Fences can also help to protect your pets by keeping other animals away and making sure that they remain in their own yard.
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