CreativeChild RSS Feed http://creativechild.com/ Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Issue No. 5 <p>Finding the perfect gifts for the kids in your life can be daunting. With their constantly evolving interests and skill levels, you want to get them something they can really enjoy and appreciate. Check out our favorites in this year&rsquo;s <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="https://joom.ag/o5hL" target="_blank">Creative Child Gift Guide</a></strong></span> to help ease any holiday shopping anxiety you might be getting.</p> http://www.creativechild.com/article/1515 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 The Wishlist 2017 Issue No. 5 <p><span style="color: #000000;">We all know about What to Expect When You're Expecting. But what do you <em>want</em> when you're expecting? In this years</span> <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="https://joom.ag/Q9hL" target="_blank">Baby Maternity Wish List</a></strong></span>, <span style="color: #000000;">you'll find our favorite necessities and accessories for baby and nursery and a little something for mama, too!</span></p> http://www.creativechild.com/article/1516 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 This is Parenthood <p>They tell you that time flies and to enjoy it all you can, and yet in the midst of sleep deprivation, 3 a.m. feedings, and endless diapers, it feels like it will last forever. You wonder how time can possibly fly when one night drags on so very long.</p> <p>Then, one morning you wake up to a running toddler who jumps in your bed and you wonder when she got so big. You chase her around all day until you&rsquo;re utterly exhausted, longing for the rest that night should bring, but it still doesn&rsquo;t come. Unless you&rsquo;ve hit a jackpot, toddlers still often interrupt your sleep. Still though, when she throws those little arms around your neck, you wouldn&rsquo;t trade it for all the rest in the world. You have a sense now that what they say is true. The days are long, but the years are short.</p> <p>You blink, and he&rsquo;s off to kindergarten. It hits you with a sickening thud that the baby days are forever gone and time seems to speed up now. You try to keep up. You do your best to soak it in, but you can&rsquo;t get a good grasp for long enough. He&rsquo;s growing too quickly now, constantly changing, slipping right through your fingers. You can&rsquo;t remember the last time you carried him, when he last rode on your back as you played horsey in the living room, or the last time he climbed in your bed in the middle of the night, but you wish you remembered. You wish you had a picture of each of those moments to carry with you always.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>Summers come and go.<span style="color: #333399;"><strong> <a style="color: #333399;" href="http://www.creativechild.com/articles/view/only-nine-more-summers">You know they are numbered</a></strong></span>, so you pack in as many memories as you can while the days are slower and the daylight lingers. You take lots of pictures on that family vacation, too many according to your kid, but you just have to capture that fleeting moment in time. Now it&rsquo;s back to school, and life once again becomes a flurry of backpacks, science projects, and soccer practice and suddenly they&rsquo;re finishing another grade. Another milestone is reached. Another closetful outgrown.&nbsp;</p> <p>Before you know it, you&rsquo;re dropping him off at middle school. This boy that you held in the crook of your elbow stands nearly eye to eye with you now. As he walks away from your car you think he looks too big to be yours. You whisper, <em>please let everyone be good to him</em>. You know how hard middle school can be. And it is. But together, you find your way.</p> <p><span style="color: #333399;"><em><strong>Continued on the next page...</strong></em></span></p> http://www.creativechild.com/article/1517 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Kid-Made Christmas – 10 Ornaments and Decorations <p>I have very few ornaments on my Christmas tree that came from a store. Most of them were made by my kids, and while my tree may not be displayed on the front of a magazine for its beauty, it&rsquo;s filled with special memories that I will always cherish.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>Kids love to create, and Christmas is a wonderful time to get them involved in crafts because there are so many to choose from all over the internet! I&rsquo;ve gathered together 10 ornaments and decorations you and your kids can make together over the next couple of weeks to add a touch of love and cheer to your home.</p> <p>1. Salt dough ornaments are a yearly tradition for us. They hold up amazingly well for years, and they are fun and easy to make. You can find the directions in <span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href="http://www.creativechild.com/articles/view/salt-dough-ornaments">this post</a></strong></span>.</p> <p>2.&nbsp;<span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href="http://www.creativechild.com/articles/view/wish-list-keepsake-ornaments">Wish list keepsake ornaments</a></strong></span> are always fun to look back on year after year. My kids love looking through their old keepsake ornaments every year when we decorate the tree. Simply write your child&rsquo;s wished-for toys and items on paper and stuff into a clear plastic ornament from the craft store. Fill with a bit of Epsom salt for a snow effect for multicolored pom poms for a fun look and hang.</p> <p>3.&nbsp;<span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href="http://www.littlebitfunky.com/2010/12/make-these-now-handprint-snowman.html">These handprint snowman ornaments found at Little Bit Funky</a></strong></span> are perfect for small baby and toddler hands to make. You&rsquo;ll just some bulbs, white acrylic paint, and a sweet little hand.&nbsp;</p> <p>4.&nbsp;<span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href="http://adventurekerrs.blogspot.com/2010/12/sparkly-silver-snowflake.html">This sparkly silver snowflake ornament by School Time Adventures</a> </strong></span>is great for craft time and good fine motor skills practice. With a few pipe cleaners, fishing line, and beads, you can transform your tree into a sparkling winter wonderland!</p> <p><em><strong>Continued on the next page...</strong></em></p> http://www.creativechild.com/article/1518 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 The Children are Crying Out. Who is Listening? <p>Something is happening with our children, and we need to stop and pay attention. They are crying out. Suicide rates for young children are climbing, and the number of beautiful souls we are losing every year is alarming. In children ages 5 to 13, one dies by suicide every 5 days. (<span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/14/health/child-suicides/index.html">Source</a></strong></span>) There was a 54% spike in suicides in young children between 2013 and 2015.</p> <p>We lose thousands of teens every year. In fact, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year olds. Studies show that 90% of those have a mental health problem. (<span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/emotional-problems/Pages/Teen-Suicide-Statistics.aspx">Source</a></strong></span>)</p> <p>And this is not good news because mental health problems in children are also on the rise. Depression and bipolar disorder affect 14.3% of youth ages 13-17. Nearly 1 in 3 adolescents will meet criteria for an anxiety disorder by age 18. (<span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="https://www.nami.org/getattachment/Learn-More/Mental-Health-by-the-Numbers/childrenmhfacts.pdf">Source</a></strong></span>)</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>Studies have linked the usage of smartphones to mental health problems. Nearly 90% of 16- to 24-year-olds use social networking. Heavy use of social media increases unhappiness by 56% and depression by 27%. Smartphone use is affecting sleep, thereby affecting mood, behavior, and the ability to regulate emotions. (<span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="https://www.nami.org/getattachment/Learn-More/Mental-Health-by-the-Numbers/childrenmhfacts.pdf">Source</a></strong></span>) <span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="https://sputniknews.com/society/201712031059656185-smartphone-addiction-causes-imbalance-brain/">One recent study</a> </strong></span>found that internet and smartphone addiction predisposed the adolescent brain to depression. Another study found that kids who spent three or more hours a day on smartphones or other electronic devices were 34% more likely to suffer at least one suicide-related outcome. (<span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/14/teen-suicides-rise-with-smartphone-social-media-us/">Source</a></strong></span>)</p> <p>This isn&rsquo;t a problem unique to children. Our own smartphone usage is having a detrimental effect as well. One-third of kids reported feeling unimportant when their parents use their smartphones during meal times, conversations, TV watching, and playing outside according to another recent study. (<span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="http://www.parenting.com/news-break/kids-feel-unimportant-to-cell-phone-addicted-parents">Source</a></strong></span>) Our phone usage makes us <span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="http://time.com/14953/parents-who-use-smartphones-in-front-of-their-kids-are-crankier/">more irritable with our children</a></strong></span> and causes us to miss bids for connection.</p> <p>Parents often become defensive when their own smartphone addiction is mentioned<em>. &ldquo;We aren&rsquo;t addicted! We deserve a small break from the kids, surely&rdquo; </em>&ndash; this seems to be the common narrative along with &ldquo;<em>Now it&rsquo;s a phone instead of the newspaper, but parents have always been looking at something besides their kids 24/7</em>.&rdquo; If you don&rsquo;t think you&rsquo;re addicted to your smartphone, try powering it off and putting it in a drawer for a day. The newspaper didn&rsquo;t grab our attention for hours on end and keep us coming back to check over and over. We must recognize the problem and the loss of heart-to-heart connection that it&rsquo;s causing so that we can help our children (and ourselves).</p> <p><strong>The internet is sucking us <em>all</em> in like some cheesy horror flick, leaving our dining tables, living rooms, playgrounds, and our relationships deserted. </strong></p> <p>##ad##</p> <p>Smartphones and social media aren&rsquo;t the only culprits, I&rsquo;m afraid. A correlation exists between the rise in depression and anxiety with the <span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201001/the-decline-play-and-rise-in-childrens-mental-disorders">decline in play</a></strong></span> as well as <span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/12/02/246599742/school-stress-takes-a-toll-on-health-teens-and-parents-say">academic pressure</a></strong></span>. I&rsquo;m sure there are many other pieces to this jigsaw puzzle as well.</p> <p><strong><em>There is something we can do. </em></strong></p> <p>Secure attachment relationships reduce the effects of stress says Megan Gunnar, PhD. She has spent 40 years studying childhood attachments and how they affect the way children process stress and emotions. (<span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="https://cehdvision2020.umn.edu/blog/secure-attachment-relationships/">Source</a></strong></span>)&nbsp;For young children, this attachment reduces the production of stress hormones. A positive parent-child relationship is also associated with less depressive symptoms and behavioral problems in middle childhood through adolescence. (<span style="color: #008080;"><strong><a style="color: #008080;" href="https://www.du.edu/ahss/psychology/gem/media/documents/hazel_parentrelationshipqualitybuffers.pdf">Source</a></strong></span>) Research shows that adolescents who have more supportive, positive relationships with parents experience lower levels of depressive symptoms and are at a decreased risk for developing clinical levels of depression whereas low levels of support and a poor relationship leads to an increased risk.</p> <p><span style="color: #008080;"><em><strong>Continued on the next page...</strong></em></span></p> http://www.creativechild.com/article/1519 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Presence over Presents: A Holiday Invitation <p>In a corner of my living room stands a twinkling tree with a bright star atop. Underneath, the presents are far fewer than last year because we made an agreement as a family earlier this year &ndash; we decided we&rsquo;d enjoy more <em>experiences </em>and less <em>things</em>. We (okay, mostly I) wanted memories over materials in 2017, and so we went to amusement parks, concerts, conventions, and plays. Still, there are toys under my tree this year, and I count my blessings as I put each wrapped gift in its place. How much longer will there be toys underneath my Christmas tree?</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>I came across a picture the other day. My toddler son stood in red footed pajamas and a Santa hat in front a different twinkling tree in a different house, smiling ear to ear, and I was reminded yet again that these years are so fleeting. What ever happened to those pajamas? Where did the years go? My heart lurches in my chest just a bit as he stands in front of our tree now at five feet tall, and I can see the young man in his features and yet still see the toddler in his eyes. This pre-teen boy has just stopped believing in Santa but doesn&rsquo;t quite want to say it aloud because it feels to him like letting go of childhood, and he&rsquo;s not ready to let it go just yet.</p> <p>Neither am I.</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t want to dwell on the amount of Christmases I have left with my children before they aren&rsquo;t children anymore. I don&rsquo;t want to dwell on the fact that I may only have one or two more Christmases where my kids still ask for toys. I don&rsquo;t want to dwell on the days of the red footed pajamas either. There was sweetness then and sweetness to come, but I don&rsquo;t want to miss the beautiful and joyful moments of today. I want to be present <em>this </em>Christmas. I want to see their big-kid faces light up with excitement. I want to hear their laughter and laugh with them. I want to join them in their worlds because right now, I&rsquo;m still invited into it.</p> <p>My youngest son is 9, but he looks like a middle schooler. As we watched a movie together last night, he held me on the couch in much the same way as I used to hold him. He cradled my head against his chest as I lay against him. &ldquo;Love ya, mom&rdquo; he said. The sweetest words. I could&rsquo;ve easily missed that moment. I could have been distracted, and sometimes I am, but this tender moment with my boy strengthened my resolve to be present this holiday season.</p> <p>##ad##&nbsp;</p> <p>I want to extend an invitation to all the parents reading this &ndash; an invitation to join your children in their worlds. It&rsquo;s an invitation to slow down. An invitation to let things go, to listen to your heart, and to hold them a little longer. An invitation to be childish again for a little while. This is an invitation to put down phones and hold hands instead, to look into eyes instead of screens. It&rsquo;s an invitation to release your regrets and set aside your worries so you can fully live and love in the now. I&rsquo;m asking you to give your children valuable presence. I bet it&rsquo;s the most sought after gift this year.</p> <p>Wishing you the happiest of holidays. #presenceoverpresents</p> http://www.creativechild.com/article/1520 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Give Your Child What He Needs Most <p>The number one need us humans have is to feel important. It&rsquo;s why we wear the latest trends, drive nice cars and why we talk about our brilliant children. It&rsquo;s why we work so hard to succeed and it&rsquo;s also the motive, unfortunately, behind some of the worst crimes. Everyone needs to feel important. Kids are no different. But when you&rsquo;re pint-sized, and you don&rsquo;t have much to offer in the area of expertise, yet receive constant correction, constructive though they may be, it&rsquo;s easy to feel undervalued, underestimated and smaller than you really are.</p> <p>So what would it take to meet our kids&rsquo; biggest need? A simple appeal to logic, really. Consider viewing your kids not as little people who need a lesson in obedience or beings who need to learn as much as possible so they can become important later, but as people with legitimate feelings and who need to, like you and me, feel important now. They want to shine too, and not just on stage, but in the very eyes of the people who mean the most to them on this earth. Those participation trophies don&rsquo;t mean nearly as much to our kids as our eye contact, and genuine interest in what they have to say and the things they like.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>If this sounds like a tall order, rest assured, it isn&rsquo;t. Making our kids feel important is much simpler than our trophy-happy culture has come to believe. In fact, these five simple New Year&rsquo;s resolutions we list below won&rsquo;t cost a single penny, yet will pay big dividends towards your kids&rsquo; outlook on their future and their value. Here are five simple New Year&rsquo;s resolutions worth keeping.</p> <p>1. Smile at your child when you see him in the morning, when you pick him up after school and before he goes to bed, no matter what has happened during the day. Even if you wake up to them whining or fighting, slap on a smile by thinking of something heartwarming. Smiling doesn&rsquo;t cost us much of anything, not money, time or energy. Yet something neurological happens when we smile. Once the smiling muscles in our face contract, there is a positive feedback loop that goes back to our brain and reinforces our feeling of joy. Smiling is the gift that keeps giving. So repeat the mantra if it will help: smile morning, noon and night.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.creativechild.com/article/1514 Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Issue No. 4 <p>Finding the perfect gifts for the kids in your life can be daunting. With their constantly evolving interests and skill levels, you want to get them something they can really enjoy and appreciate. Check out our favorites in this year&rsquo;s <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="https://joom.ag/AlUL" target="_blank">Creative Child Gift Guide</a></strong></span> to help ease any holiday shopping anxiety you might be getting.</p> http://www.creativechild.com/article/1512 Tue, 05 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 The Wishlist 2017 Issue No. 4 <p><span style="color: #000000;">We all know about What to Expect When You're Expecting. But what do you <em>want</em> when you're expecting? In this years</span> <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="https://joom.ag/KlUL" target="_blank">Baby Maternity Wish List</a></strong></span>, <span style="color: #000000;">you'll find our favorite necessities and accessories for baby and nursery and a little something for mama, too!</span></p> http://www.creativechild.com/article/1513 Tue, 05 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 New Mom Wish List! <p>We all know about <strong><span style="color: #008080;"><a style="color: #008080;" title="What to Expect When You're Expecting" href="http://www.whattoexpect.com/" target="_blank">What to Expect When You're Expecting</a></span></strong>. But what do you <em>want</em> when you're expecting? Here you'll find&nbsp;some of our favorite necessities and accessories for baby and nursery and a little something for mama, too!</p> <p><strong>The complete Baby Maternity Wish List is at the end, so be sure to check it out!</strong></p> http://www.creativechild.com/article/1511 Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800