CreativeChild RSS Feed Speed Up the Dawdler <p>Is your family always running late? Do you find yourself frustratingly repeating phrases like &ldquo;Hurry!&rdquo;, &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s go!&rdquo;, or &ldquo;Come on! We are going to be late!&rdquo; every morning? Like many families, you may have a dawdler living in your house. Getting kids ready for the day and out the door, especially on school mornings, is challenging for any parent but when you have one (or more) children that seem to take their time every morning, getting anywhere on time can seem impossible. Here are some tips to help you speed up the dawdler in your family.</p> <p><em>Set limits</em></p> <p>Typically, dawdlers are easily distracted. Many times, I have sent my son upstairs for some socks and he has come back down barefoot carrying a toy plane. Reduce distractions by limiting toys and screen time (for both parents and kids) in the morning. Remind them that there will be plenty of time for play after school when their homework and chores are complete.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><em>Make it a competition</em></p> <p>Many parents have success getting their dawdler to pick up the pace by creating a game or competition for them. Holly Searls, Olathe mom of four says, &ldquo;We set timers for everything. There is usually a motivator connected to the timer. For example, if they beat the timer, they get to stay up later. A negative consequence may be losing TV time.&rdquo; DeAnne Turley, Kansas City, KS mother of three, uses a sticker chart to motivate her kids. For example, if they are ready on time they get a sticker and if they collect 30 stickers they get a date night with the parent of their choice. Creating a competition or game out of each task in the morning is a great way to keep your child on task.</p> <p><em>Be prepared</em></p> <p>There are so many things to remember in the morning. Is there orchestra today? Practice after school? What&rsquo;s for lunch? Do you have your math homework? The stress of these last minute questions can be greatly reduced by preparing the night before. &ldquo;Choices seem to slow us down the most.&rdquo; says Krystal Laws, Olathe mother of seven. &ldquo;We pick out clothes the night before and lay shoes by the door. This makes the mornings run smoother.&rdquo; Loading backpacks, packing lunches, and setting out any sports equipment or instruments the night before will help everyone feel more prepared the next morning and focus on the goal of getting out the door on time.</p> Tue, 13 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 3 Important Benefits of Music in Our Schools <p>What do we hope for out of our education system? An education should make our children smarter, more confident, creative, and happy. It should enhance cognitive abilities and develop a well-rounded human being. So, why are so many school districts across the country scaling back or cutting out completely the one subject proven to do all those things?</p> <p>A music education has numerous benefits that should not be ignored. Research shows that learning music helps children learn other subjects, such as math, and enhances skills that kids use in other areas as well. In my research of this topic, the following three benefits stood out most.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Language Development<br /> </strong>According to professor of theory and music composition Anthony Brandt, even newborns have a basic understanding of music. He says it is the sounds of music, not the meaning of it,that babies first learn. Later, they can associate these sounds with what they mean. In his research paper titled Music and Early Language Acquisition, Brandt said that newborns can dissect parts of sounds like timbre, pitch, and rhythm, and therefore exposing the infant brain to music trains the brain for language comprehension.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>The benefits do not end in infancy, however. Receiving a music education in the formative years helps develop reading comprehension skills as well. By applying the familiarity of melody to the way sentences are spoken aloud, there is a stronger likelihood of understanding the language more quickly.</p> <p>Strikingly, Harvard researcher Gottfried Schlaug found a correlation between music training and language development in dyslexic children. He said, &ldquo;[The findings] suggest that a music intervention that strengthens basic auditory music perception skills may also remediate some of their language deficits.&rdquo;</p> Tue, 13 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 One Sensible Rule for Limiting Screen Time <p>I recently gave my middle schooler a phone. I had intended to wait until high school, but with a big school field trip coming up and more time spent at friends&rsquo; houses, I knew I&rsquo;d feel more at ease if we had a way to reach each other easily. Quickly, though, he developed the same problem that many of us suffer with today. His phone became attached to his hand.</p> <p>We already have our kids&rsquo; on limited access thanks to our <span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href="">Circle device</a></strong></span>, and while it&rsquo;s great for filtering content and setting time limits, the phone was still interfering too much. Honestly, all of our devices were getting in the way of quality family time. I&rsquo;ve been known to check mine during a movie. My husband has been seen scrolling on his phone when it wasn&rsquo;t his turn in whatever game we were playing, and my son watched videos on every road trip rather than engaging in conversation.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>I wanted a sensible solution to get us all looking into each other&rsquo;s eyes again. Then, I heard about many artists who have begun insisting on phone-free concerts claiming that the devices were distracting people from the experience. The trend is catching on in schools and even at weddings. People are being asked to place their devices in a <span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href="">locked pouch</a></strong></span> or box so that they can be fully engaged in what they&rsquo;re doing and who they are with instead of checking their phones or watching through a lens.</p> <p>This made sense to me. I want to teach my kids to engage with the world around them, to see the beauty in their surroundings and color of people&rsquo;s eyes. I want them to learn that people matter more than screens, and so I set one simple rule.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><strong>When we gather together, silence your phones and put them away.</strong></p> <p>Initially, I thought of creating a no-phone zone in the house. Our living room and dining room are open as one big space, so it seemed like a good idea to put a box by the entrance and not allow devices in this area of the home. However, I&rsquo;d already banned phones from the dinner table long ago, and we just don&rsquo;t spend a lot of time in our living room. I felt the phone use interfered the most on car trips and during family activities. So, it made more sense for us to go with the &ldquo;no phones when we gather&rdquo; rule.</p> <p>There is a time and place for technology; there is no denying that. My children are growing up in a tech-saturated world and it will likely always be part of their lives, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean it gets to steal us away from one another. It can be in our lives without taking over our lives. The people we love and the experiences we share will always be more important than what&rsquo;s happening online, and that&rsquo;s the lesson I hope my kids take with them into adulthood.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 09 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 The World Doesn’t Need Perfect Mothers <p>We are running ourselves ragged and worrying ourselves to pieces. We are doing too much and resting too little. The quest to be the mom who has it all together is a dangerous one, and it&rsquo;s time we drop our masks and show our true faces.</p> <p>A few years ago, I was crazy busy trying to do <em>all the things</em> and look graceful doing them. It seemed that all of the other moms in my circle were superheroes. Always volunteering, always smiling, baby cradled in one arm and a fresh batch of healthy muffins in the other. They made motherhood look <em>easy</em>, and as I tried hard to attain this level of mothering perfection, I was able to make it <em>look </em>pretty easy, too. Except I was withering on the inside.</p> <p>At home, my family saw the toll my perfectionism was taking. I was irritable and exhausted. I was ashamed that I didn&rsquo;t measure up &ndash; that I couldn&rsquo;t keep up like the other moms. I was sure they were waking up bright-eyed and giggly while I could barely drag myself out of bed. I felt like a failure.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>I suppose there&rsquo;s always been something to perpetuate the myth of the perfect mother (I&rsquo;m looking at you, June Cleaver) but nowadays we are subjected to a constant stream of the highlights of all of our friends&rsquo; lives. The selfies at the gym, made-up faces filtered of imperfections, smiling children showing their stellar achievements. We see how great everyone else is doing and then we log off and stand in the middle of our own reality, and it isn&rsquo;t so picture perfect. The kids bicker. Dinner comes in a microwavable container. The treadmill is a clothes hanger. It looks like failure in comparison, but it&rsquo;s not! It&rsquo;s real life. Beautiful, chaotic, filled-to-the-brim life, and it doesn&rsquo;t have to be perfect to be wonderful.</p> <p>I once asked my kid, &ldquo;Would you rather have a perfect mom or a happy mom?&rdquo; He didn&rsquo;t even hesitate. &ldquo;A happy mom, definitely.&rdquo; He went on to tell me that he&rsquo;d rather see me happy than have all the toys on his wish list. I bet your kid feels the same way. A child&rsquo;s love is such a beautiful thing. It isn&rsquo;t judgmental or conditional. You don&rsquo;t have to earn it or hustle for it. You are already a superhero in their eyes. The rest of the world&rsquo;s opinion doesn&rsquo;t matter anyway.</p> Mon, 05 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 How to Turn Your Child’s Challenges into Opportunities <p>Every child has challenges. By and large, however, how that child perceives and deals with those challenges will be influenced by how his parents perceive and deal with those challenges.</p> <p>When child entrepreneur Max Ash was diagnosed with dyslexia, his mother Jennifer Ash often wondered if his son would lead a horrible life. Would his dyslexia cause problems in the future? Would he be able to get a good job? Then something happened.</p> <p>He created a mug with a hoop in his art class. It spawned a bunch of copycats, which annoyed Max at first. But for Jennifer, it was a Eureka moment. &ldquo;Instead of seeing his learning disability as a disability, I realized it also could be looked at as an advantage.&rdquo;</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>People with dyslexia have been known to see things differently (think Albert Einstein). And Jennifer began to consider the possibility that Max&rsquo;s dyslexia was giving him a unique way of looking at how mugs could be used: not only to drink and eat with but a way to make it acceptable to play with food.</p> <p>As a way of supporting Max, his family supported him in starting Max&rsquo;is Creations, a company that creates a line of sports mugs with hoops. His basketball mug has been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and his mugs are now being sold at retailers like Nordstrom across the country. When I interviewed Max last year, he had sold more than 40,000 mugs.</p> <p>When I asked Max how he viewed his dyslexia, he referred me to banner on his school building (Max attends a special school for children with learning disabilities): &ldquo;Children with dyslexia see the world differently. Isn&rsquo;t the world lucky they do?"</p> Mon, 05 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Providing Children with Emotional Rest <p>My son walks out of the building dragging a heavy backpack, an overstuffed three-ring binder with a shoulder strap he never uses, a lunch box, and a water bottle. Because his hands are full, he struggles to get the door open to my vehicle. Finally, he manages it, and he unloads his things into the back seat and climbs in. He lets out an audible exhale as he buckles, and slumps into his seat, staring out the window.</p> <p>&ldquo;Hey love. How was your day?&rdquo; I ask gently. &ldquo;Ok,&rdquo; he replies, his eyes not averting from his window stare. I can read the signs in his expression. <em>Give me a minute. I need to rest</em>. I don&rsquo;t ask any more questions but my eyes dart from the road to my rearview mirror as we pull out of the school&rsquo;s parking lot and make our way back to the freeway. I turn on his favorite song and crank it up. His expression softens, and he starts to visibly relax.</p> <p>School is a place of unrest for my boy, as it is for many children. There is a constant pressure to perform, not only for teachers but for peers. Children have to navigate tough social situations, adjust to busy schedules, absorb tons of information, and are expected to act beyond their age and development. This is the reason we often get the <span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href="">after-school meltdowns</a></strong></span>, a release of pent-up emotions the child has been holding inside and now finally feels comfortable enough to let out. For <span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href="">highly sensitive children</a></strong></span> like my son, those feelings of unrest are magnified, as are all of their emotions.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p>Regardless of emotional sensitivity or personality, all children need emotional rest to grow well. Dr. Gordon Neufeld, a developmental psychologist and founder of <span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href="">The Neufeld Institute,</a></strong></span> discusses the need for emotional rest in his Relationship Matters course. <span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href="">See a clip here</a></strong></span>. To summarize, Dr. Neufeld mentions these three ways in which we can provide our children with emotional rest.</p> <p>1. Some common discipline methods cause separation between parent and child, and they require that the child &ldquo;work&rdquo; to get back into our good graces. For example, &ldquo;Go to your room and don&rsquo;t come out until you can behave,&rdquo; tells the child that we do not want to be with them unless they can &ldquo;be good.&rdquo; Yet, from a developmental standpoint, <span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href=";utm_source=positiveparents">children aren&rsquo;t always capable of controlling their emotions</a></strong></span>, impulses, and behaviors, and when they are having a hard time doing so, this is the time when they need us by their side the most.<br /> <br /> As Dr. Neufeld says, &ldquo;Children must never work for our love; they must rest in it.&rdquo; When we make them work to earn our approval and positive attention, they cannot rest in the security of unconditional love, and it puts a burden on them to try and keep mom and/or dad close. He says our message should be <em>there is nothing that can separate you from my love</em>.</p> <p><em><strong>Continued on the next page...</strong></em></p> Wed, 31 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Anger Management: Helping Kids Cool Down <p>Everyone has to deal with feelings of anger and frustration at times. While these feelings are normal, it is important to teach kids how to appropriately deal with them. Parents and kids can work as a team to come up with strategies for these situations. &ldquo;Unfortunately, many kids have never been given the opportunity to think of those other ways to calm down. They keep getting into trouble because the only behaviors they know are inappropriate ways to express their anger.&rdquo; (<span style="color: #333399;"><strong><a style="color: #333399;" href=""></a></strong></span>) Working together to prepare a plan in advance will help children learn how to calm down and discuss why the feelings occurred. &ldquo;Once the child chooses his &lsquo;calm down&rsquo; technique, encourage him to use the same strategy each time he starts to get angry.&rdquo; Here are some examples of this technique for each age group.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><strong>The Toddler Years (ages 0-2)</strong></p> <p><strong>Prepare:</strong> Observe what calms your child. Is it snuggling up with a parent? What toys does he play with quietly? Make note of what is calming for your child and use these activities later when the child is upset.</p> <p><strong>Act: </strong>Children of this age do not understand their feelings. When the child becomes frustrated and angry, use one calming technique you observed. Sing a song, snuggle up with a book, get out a new toy, or start a new activity. Remain calm yourself and use a soothing voice while speaking to the child.</p> <p><strong>Discuss: </strong>Think about what caused the child&rsquo;s anger and discuss with other caregivers what may be common frustrations for your child. If a toy is causing the child to become angry, simply remove it. If the child was overtired or hungry, adjust meals and bedtime. During the toddler years, tantrums are normal and may happen frequently. Try to remember this is one of the ways that toddlers are able to communicate their feelings. Be patient and know that this stage will pass as the child matures and their vocabulary develops.</p> <p><em><strong>Continued on the next page...</strong></em></p> Tue, 30 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Helping Kids Face Their Fears <p>As a child, I assumed my parents weren&rsquo;t afraid of anything. I would call on their help when I felt scared or nervous and they were always there to check under the bed for monsters and assure me that all was safe.</p> <p>One day I found a wasp flying around in my room and I called my dad to help. When he saw what the problem was, he ran back out of the room in terror. My dad is petrified of wasps. In that moment, I realized that adults have fears too.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s normal for children to have fears. Kids may have bad dreams, be frightened of the dark, or find certain movie scenes scary. However, kids can develop fears that interrupt their everyday life such as a fear of speaking in front of others, fear of being dropped off at school, or fear of trying new things. Here are some tips to help kids face their fears.</p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><strong>Give permission</strong></p> <p>Parents can let kids know that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to be scared. When you give a child permission to feel afraid, they can begin to acknowledge what is frightening them and face it head on. Parents can give tips on how to deal with different situations and work through the situation together. Lauren Heller, mother of twins, says &ldquo;For my preschoolers, we spend time talking about the event starting a few days before. I try to help them know what to expect and allow them to ask questions.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Problem solve</strong></p> <p>Try to pinpoint exactly what your child is afraid of and discuss ways that it can be handled. For example, when Jane Hammond&rsquo;s nine-year-old daughter was afraid of falling during an ice skating competition, they discussed what would be the result of her fall - just get back up, no big deal. &ldquo;She did fall once in a competition, then got back up and finished. She was glad for the experience!&rdquo; says Hammond. If your child is afraid of the dark, using a night light may help solve the problem.</p> <p>##ad##</p> <p><strong>Teach coping skills</strong></p> <p>Each time your child is afraid, give them tools they can use to overcome their fears. A child may be able to calm down by singing a song, hugging a stuffed animal, telling a joke, or declaring that monsters aren&rsquo;t real. Give your child the tools they need to face their fears and also reassure them you are always there to help them when they are afraid.</p> <p><strong>Reward for bravery</strong></p> <p>As you see your child overcome fears or at least make efforts to face the things that scare them, reward them for their bravery. Giving positive feedback and acknowledging their efforts will encourage your child to keep trying to confront the things that cause them fear and anxiety. A parent&rsquo;s praise can really build a child&rsquo;s confidence so they are prepared to face a variety of challenges.</p> <p>As you work these steps with your child, continue to be patient and supportive. It is normal to have fears and it is appropriate to explain this to your child. As scary situations arise, encourage your child to share her feelings with you so that you can deal with them together.</p> Tue, 30 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 This Convertible Crib Is The Ultimate Dream Bed! <p>Dorel Living leads the way in the design, sourcing and manufacture of quality home furnishings.&nbsp;Specializing in finer wood and upholstered furniture, <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3366ff;">Dorel</span> Living</a></strong></span> has made a commitment to quality and safety in all aspects of its operations &ndash; from initial conception to final production.</p> <p>Through a versatile product offering that embraces the bedroom, dining, kitchen, seating and accent categories, Dorel Living offers consumers true value by way of functional, inspired and accessible style.</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The Adelyn Crib has a modern design with a casual and trendy feel that easily converts from a crib to a daybed.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The Baby Relax Adelyn 2-in-1 Convertible Crib is classically designed with a sleek silhouette that exudes a casual yet trendy feel. This modern crib boasts a sturdy wood construction and features unique and gracefully arched side panels, giving it a whimsical touch while remaining gender neutral. The substantial top cap molding adds a calming elegance to your nursery and fits well with todays modern decor. The open slat design makes monitoring your child a breeze and the stationary side rails make for a safe sleeping environment.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span style="color: #3366ff;"><strong><a style="color: #3366ff;" href=";oid=490493.1&amp;wmlspartner=je6NUbpObpQ&amp;sourceid=04976074030045710066&amp;affillinktype=10&amp;veh=aff" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: 'Calibri',sans-serif;">Shop the Baby Relax Adelyn Crib Here</span>!</a></strong></span></p> Tue, 30 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 How to Raise Kids Who Can Talk to You about Anything <p>We all hope for the kind of relationship with our children where they feel they can talk to us about anything. We hope they&rsquo;ll run to us with their hopes, fears, problems, and dreams. However, getting them to open up isn&rsquo;t always easy. Here are 7 powerful ways to ensure the communication lines will stay open.</p> <p>&nbsp;##ad##</p> <ol> <li>Listen to the chatter of your toddler or preschooler. Why? You&rsquo;re making deposits and building rapport. Kids will only talk to you if they feel like you&rsquo;ll listen, especially when they get older. Focused attention, eye contact, and thoughtful responses now mean a child who feels she can open up to you later.&nbsp;</li> </ol> <ol start="2"> <li>Engage in side-by-side conversations. Often we want to sit our kids down face-to-face and have a deep, meaningful conversation, but many children are more likely to open up when you&rsquo;re either busy doing something together, such as playing ball or watching a show, or if you&rsquo;re not making direct eye contact, such as when you are in a car. Sometimes a face-to-face chat is great, but other times it can cause a child to clam up, especially if the tone or body language is off. If you want your child to communicate more, create opportunities for conversation while you are side by side and engaged in something.</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;##adbig##</p> <ol start="3"> <li>Hold your tongue &ndash; at first. Parents can be quick to dish out advice or even criticism, but be careful with your words. If children feel that you&rsquo;re going to be judgmental, they may look for a peer to confide in instead. Of course, children need our guidance even when they aren&rsquo;t asking for it and don&rsquo;t want it, but it&rsquo;s best to be a great listener first. You&rsquo;ll be able to feel if your child is currently open to hearing your hard-earned wisdom or if they may need a little time. When you do give advice, try not to lecture. Keep it short, and end with showing faith in your child to do what&rsquo;s right.</li> </ol> <ol start="4"> <li>Make your relationship number one. A strong parent-child relationship is the single most important predictor of good communication. Spend time connecting with your child each day. Play, cuddle, listen, read, dance, and just enjoy one another. I think we can sometimes take our role so seriously as the &ldquo;behavior patrol&rdquo; that we forget to enjoy our kids, and that comes at a great cost to our relationship. A good relationship is also what allows our wisdom to reach a child&rsquo;s heart. If your child isn&rsquo;t feeling connected and accepted, your lessons won&rsquo;t stick.</li> </ol> Wed, 24 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800