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6 Signs You’re Forgetting to Set a Good Example for Your Kids

October 27, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

fear-of-failure

 

Melanie Hargrave, guest contributor

Being a parent gives you an abundance of parenting components to think about and remember, so naturally many good practices may fall through the cracks. But one of the most important responsibilities that cannot be overlooked by a parent is to constantly set a good example. Here are some signs that you may need to change your habits to not only improve your child’s outlook, but also yourself as a person.

 

You’re Eating Badly

Your eating habits will leave an impression on your children, whether or not you eat the same foods together. Eating too late and eating sugary or fatty food will imply that children will be able to indulge in those habits when they are older. Be sure to eat foods that are wholesome for both of you. If you are the one protecting them from your own bad eating habits now, who will protect them in the future?

 

You Don’t Do Housework

Depending on what kind of household you live in, you might have a maid or other help come in to assist you with housework. If your children never see you working, they may get a skewed view of how life is supposed to work as an adult. Make sure you set a chore schedule for the family. Try to make the work fun by operating together as a group.

 

You’re Inactive

It’s not just your body and mental health you’re affecting by neglecting to exercise. Children have plenty of energy to put toward being active, but the less active you are with them the more that energy will dwindle away. Help your children find sports or hobbies to fall in love with now, so that they’ll start good habits and keep them throughout their lives.

 

You Shirk Obligations

We’ve all had that party we were planning on going to, but decided not to at the last minute because we were too tired. If your child witnesses this kind of flakiness, it will permanently skew the way they view commitments to others. The next time you or your child feels the desire to shirk an obligation, verbalize your thought process. “Well, I’m tired, and I’d rather stay at home and play. But I made a promise and I can’t break promises.”

 

Bad-Date

 

You’re in a Bad Relationship

This is a controversial topic, but it depends on what you want for your children. Most feel that the foundation of a family is most important for child development, but to others the relationship between mother and father must be positive for it to do any good. Make sure you are being treated well if you want your children to succeed in their future relationships. If you are stuck in a toxic relationship, consider whether your children’s futures are at stake if you can’t end the relationship for yourself.

 

You Choose Not to Be Happy

Children are happy creatures, but they also learn quickly. Life as an adult is much harder than it is as a child, but you may want to reevaluate the way you approach it. Happiness is so much about attitude that you should ensure you’re looking at life as positively as possible — if not for yourself, for the sake of your child. Have conversations with them, talk about everything that is going well, and teach them to look for the beauty in life. You will prepare them with valuable tools for the rest of their lives, and you will learn a valuable lesson yourself in the meantime.

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Melanie Hargrave is a wife and homemaker whose pride and joy is her family. In addition to spending time with her husband and daughters, she loves being outdoors, playing sports, and sharing her experiences with others. She is an advocate for women’s rights, and supports Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoefflin and his services for women.

5 Reasons to Put Your Child in Music Lessons

October 10, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

kids play music

 

Leslie Mason, guest contributor

When searching for an extra-curricular activity for your child, it can sometimes be difficult to decide how you want your child spending their time. Music lessons, however, are an activity that will continue to pay off well into your child’s adult years. Here are just some of the benefits your child will gain from learning a musical instrument.

 

1. Music Enhances Fine Motor Skills

When young children learn to play a musical instrument—from the piano to the violin—it increases their fine motor skills. Those skills are important for accomplishing a variety of tasks, from tying their shoes to reading and writing.

As they grow older, those skills will continue developing, particularly if they keep playing the instrument, and those finely-tuned skills will benefit them into their adulthood, especially with activities that require very precise movements of the hand, like drawing.

 

2. Music Creates a Haven for Self-Expression

Healthy children need to be able to express themselves, and music gives them an outlet to do so. As they get better at playing their chosen instrument, they will be able to play the music they want, or create music of their own. That outlet of self-expression becomes even more important as children get older: children who have a place to express themselves have a higher self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life than children who do not.

 

adhd

 

3. Music Facilitates Academic Growth

Music facilitates academic growth by improving comprehension and grades. Learning to play a musical instrument and read and play sheet music teaches a child the same skills they need to do mathematics like division. By the time they need these mathematics skills in school, they will already be adept at using them, and can learn math easier than most other students.

Moreover, music improves memory. Learning and playing an instrument stimulates brain function, including the areas controlling memory. Therefore, the more children play an instrument, the better their memory and overall cognitive function.

 

4. Music Encourages Hard Work and Perseverance

Learning a musical instrument requires perseverance and patience. Most people don’t sit down at a piano and immediately play Beethoven or the Star Wars Main Theme. You have to start out easy and build up to the proficiency required to play more difficult and complex music. This kind of musical prowess requires long hours of practice and hard work. Discipline and focus are necessary to learn a musical instrument well and play the songs of your choosing. These traits—perseverance, patience, hard work, discipline, focus—are all traits children will acquire as they learn a musical instrument.

 

5. Music Introduces Children to Other Cultures

Music comes from all over the world, from all kinds of cultures. Different instruments have multiple styles of music associated with them, and each style has famed composers. Children learning to play instruments could play a variety of different songs, originating anywhere from Austria to Zimbabwe. Music will familiarize children with many cultures, and that will help them be more open-minded when dealing with people of different beliefs and behaviors.

Music is an important part of the world, and putting children into musical lessons can have a huge impact on the mental, physical, and emotional growth of those children. No matter what instrument your child learns to play, the benefits are immeasurable. You couldn’t ask for a better activity for your child.

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Leslie Mason is a homemaker and garden expert, always on the lookout for programs to help her children and grandchildren, like nutrition for athletic performance. Leslie also enjoys writing, gardening, do-it-yourself projects, and fixing up the house.

The Link between Anxiety and Childhood Obesity

September 2, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Ryan Rivera, guest contributor

There have been a number of studies that linked childhood obesity and anxiety. Childhood obesity has become a very serious medical condition.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that the incidence of childhood obesity has doubled in children and tripled among adolescents in the last 30 years. In 2010, more than 33 percent of children and adolescents are either overweight or obese.

Childhood obesity sufferers have higher cardiovascular disease risk due to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It is also associated with increased risk of cancer and osteoarthritis. That is why there is a pressing need to understand the relation of anxiety with childhood obesity and find ways to curb this impending health menace.

childhood-obesity

 

Sad children tend to be heavier

A new study shows that children that have been overweight or borderline obese from kindergarten to the third grade are also showing signs of anxiety or depression. The negative feelings have become worse overtime said researchers from the University of Missouri. MU researchers examined the social development and the behavior of about 8,000 school-age children.

Girls that have been obese or overweight, said the researchers, are viewed with less favor compared to girls that have near normal weight. Obese girls are seen to be less sociable and have shown less self-control. The appearance-based social behavior has created artificial pressures that have caused anxiety.

 

Sad children have altered dopamine signaling

Dopamine is one of the feel-good chemicals in the brain that makes the person calmer and less anxious. However, a study conducted by the University of Illinois said that there is a link between high-fat diets and some mental disorders. The study’s results on obese and juvenile mice saw a sharp decline in the dopamine metabolism that led to the emergence of anxiety symptoms and even learning difficulties.

Mice that are stout have increased their burrowing and even shown reluctance to go to open spaces and even developed memory impairments and other mental disorders. Switching to a low-fat diet showed signs of improvement in the learning difficulties of mice, the study said.

 

Sad children are caught in the middle

In a 2006 study, it was not established if obesity is causing anxiety or vice versa. It is possible that there is more than one factor that is involved showing the links between anxiety and obesity.

The fact that people tend to eat more and choose unhealthy food when they are suffering from anxiety and stress is an indication that there is a direct link. There are also people that would not eat anything when they are sad or anxious.

The fact that being obese tends to be socially undesirable and even a sudden target for bullies causes children to have negative thoughts thus making them sadder compared to other children.

 

Sad children are unhappy over their physical appearance

In a research study in Australia, it was shown that it is not the obesity itself that is causing the anxiety. It is the impact of obesity on the physical appearance making children less socially acceptable.

This leads to negative thoughts and emotions that eventually impacts mental health. That is why children with poor physical health tends to show signs of anxiety or worse progresses towards childhood depression.

In reality according to the study it is the underweight people that are more prone to have mental health problems compared to overweight people. It is just that since underweight people have less physical problems they are able to mask anxiety symptoms well.

 

Sad children will not get happiness right away with weight loss

According to some studies, losing weight among obese children does not guarantee immediate turnaround from anxiety problems. Losing weight may help improve the physical health and also the anxiety but it would not immediately cause any improvement in mental health.

 

Sad children have to wait for answers

Studies conducted recently showed that there is a link between anxiety and obesity but there is still confusion if obesity causes anxiety or the other way around. It is possible that obesity is not the contributor but the problems that are linked with obesity causes people to feel anxious and depressed.

Schools play a vital role in building their children’s confidence and create a healthy environment both physical and mental. As we move to better understand the links between obesity and anxiety, it is best to teach children how to eat healthy and to encourage more physical activities.

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Ryan Rivera loves to share all his learned tips and tricks for conquering anxiety through his writings.  If anxiety plagues your child, try to get some help by visiting calm clinic account.

 

8 Ways to Protect Your Children from Bullying

August 16, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

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Bullying is a sad reality that’s been happening in schools everywhere. In fact, even in 2010, over 160,000 children  miss school out of fear of being bullied.

a stop bully

Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

 

Bullies use their physical size, age, or gender to intimidate other children–whether by abusive language, social threats, physical aggression or psychological abuse. Usually, students who are quiet or those with disabilities are more likely to be targeted than others. Fortunately, schools are now doing more to address this long-standing problem. Nonetheless, as a parent, it is your responsibility to keep your child safe.

 

Is your child being bullied?

If you suspect your child is being bullied, the first thing to do is to take a long breath. As a parent, your first instinct may be to march over to the school, grab the bully by the neck and tell him to stop harassing your kid…or else. However, what you’re doing is just what the bully’s doing to your child. Remember, your goal is to help your child protect himself as much as possible, and not beat up another kid.

 

You’d need planning and understanding to keep your children safe. Here are eight tips to help your children overcome bullying.

 

1. Listen and encourage them to share concerns

If your child begins to hate school or say that other kids are mean to him, you must take the situation seriously–he may be a victim of bullying. It may be difficult to listen to your child talk about bullying, but you have to listen to what he or she says in a loving manner. Remain calm and express support, understanding and concern. If your child thinks you don’t understand his feelings, it will be difficult for them to open up in the future.

 

2. Share your own experiences and feel their pain

If your child learns that you too, have been teased, dissed, bullied or rejected as a child, he will realize that this experience is normal and can be dealt with. You can talk about how you felt at the time and what you did to handle the bullies. This can also help your child manage his emotional reactions to hard situations.

 

3. Learn about the situation

Ask your child about the bullying incident. How and when did it happen? Who is involved? Have other children witnessed it? Also ask your child what he has done to avoid or stop the bullying.

 

4. Brainstorm about how to respond to the bullying

Rather than concretely solving the problem for your child, invite your kid to think about what they can do. They may come up with shocking suggestions but accept them all in the spirit of brainstorming. Of course you don’t want them to retaliate or affirm surrender, but you can turn “strategic retreat” and “seeking help” as good sense. Once you and your child come up with a plan, make sure to affirm it, giving him more confidence.

 

5. Talk to school officials

Don’t contact the bully’s parents yourself. Instead, contact your child’s teacher, school counsellor and school principal. You can also encourage school officials to focus on the problem of bullying as part of the curriculum.

 

6. Follow up

Ask your child for any progress with regards to bullying. If it persists, contact school officials again.

 

7. Seek help from authorities, if needed

You should know when to seek help from authorities and professionals. If your child has been physically attacked or threatened with harm, talk to the school officials immediately to see if the police should be involved. If circumstances lead to getting legal services, prepaid legal expense plans, like those from Legal Shield, can help you battle with expensive lawyer fees.

 

8. Boost your child’s self-esteem

Children who are bullied tend to have low self-esteem, even long after the incident happened. As a parent, it is your duty to pick them up, and make them feel special again. If not acted upon, low self-esteem can lead to lasting problems such as depression and anxiety. Encourage them to join music, art, or sports classes to build friendships and develop social skills.

 

Do you have any other tips to share?

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About the author

Based in San Diego, California, Melissa Page is an advocate of child safety. She writes about health and relationships, among other things. For more of her works, visit Word Baristas.

Online Games That Build Kids’ Self-Esteem

August 9, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Online games have become a distinct aspect of children’s social environment and are an engaging part of their social skill development. In an age when children have at least monitored internet access to others from virtually every part of the planet, online, as in the real world, children continue to learn, evaluate and compare themselves to those in their world, whether virtual or real. Providing kids with quality, challenging and thought provoking online games is an important vehicle to help them learn self-worth and self-esteem. After all, as any child development expert will tell you, kids learn best through play. Kids with high self-esteem are significantly better adjusted socially.

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Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Positive Recognition: A New Twist on ‘I Spy’
Interactive, online self-esteem building games are offered by McGill University. Among them is the popular Eye Spy which teaches children to look for and focus upon positive social cues amidst those in their surroundings while ignoring the negative cues. This game helps kids quickly recognize the significant differences between strong positive and negative social cues in facial features of individuals either smiling jovially or those who are demonstrating strong unhappy or negative facial cues and to develop a reinforced response to the positive cues.

 

Wow! I AM Cool!
From Education World comes nearly a dozen online, interactive games that help kids develop and boost their sense of self and self-esteem. Ranking Traits and Accentuate the Positive are two games that promote a child’s ability to identify and speak positively about him or herself and then become comfortable with their many positive traits.

 

When Choices Are Rewarding
A child with access to Ffxivarrclasses.com will join thousands of others around the globe in learning the skills and strategies involved in playing the online game Final Fantasy XIV. The game allows the child to create, develop skills, and interact with others in the interest of gaining levels. The website is far more than a simple fan site. With the information and instruction, success is achieved more rapidly and creativity is ramped up. Kids experience a strong measure of self-fulfillment and productivity as they move forward in the game faster.

If a child is even remotely proficient online, then there is a world of online, interactive games designed to help bolster kids’ self-esteem and come away with a greater sense of accomplishment and a stronger sense of self-worth.

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Author Bio:

The author is a father, gamer and writer at Ffxivarrclasses.com. When not lost in the virtual world, he writes game guides and reviews.

Creative and Inspiring Themes for Kids’ Bedrooms

August 8, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

James Anderson, guest contributor

Get up parents stop pondering and start working on your kid’s room. To equip them with more interesting, creative and imaginative surroundings, fill their personal dwelling with cool stuff. Nowadays it’s not a very tough task to do as kids admire several cartoon characters, fairy tales, sport stars, super heroes, comic characters etc. and want to be as cool as them. You can easily find furniture, rugs, carpets, wall papers, wall hangings and other accessories on numerous themes that kids would surely love. Be more creative and add some color to your kid’s life by applying following themes on their room:

 

Cartoon and Comic Book theme:Add a little imagination and creativity in your kid’s bedroom to give them a feeling that they have the world of their own with perfect surroundings.

Every kid has his own way to pay a tribute to his favorite character. If your kid is a cartoon and comic book enthusiast then fill your kid’s room with cartoon and comic book themed items. Use bed, bed sheets, curtains, cushions, carpets, wall hangings, rugs and wall paper with the theme of Spider Man, Ben Ten, Barbie, Dora, Winnie the Pooh, Power Puff Girls, Batman, The Avengers and the like. Make their world a bit more interesting by adding Batman soap container, comic book free standing letters, Spiderman motion lamp, Ben Ten toy boxes, Cat Woman mug, Marvel Comic’s Captain America bed sheets, leather storage bins with super hero logos, Spiderman themed wall decoration, comic book dresser, vintage comic book decoupage coat rack,   super hero wall clocks, table covered with comic book characters, Herman chair etc.

 

Fairy Theme:

Give life to the imagery fairy tales of your baby girls and decorate their room accordingly to give them the real fairy tale feel. Place Twinkle fairy castle bed with snow white bed sheet, wooden fairy bedroom flower lamps, mushroom cushion stepping stone, fairy lights, fairy dust craft, girls Fancy Swirls Wall Decal Quote with Birds and Butterflies – glittering dust, Fairy Wings, awesome fairytale mirror stickers, Woodland Fairy  bedroom set, small colorful fairy doors. Use wall papers and wall hangings of Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty etc. to give it a more fairy land look.

 

Sports Theme:

Kids with intense passion for sports would love to live in a sports themed room to get that sporty sensation. Add the accessories related to their favorite sport, for instance, soccer themed bed and bed cover, baseball cushions, basketball wall hanging or use rackets, bats or hockey sticks as wall hangings, football shaped wall clock, posters and wall papers of favorite sports stars or team names, tennis themed rugs or carpets, curtains with prints of their favorite team logos like the logo of Manchester United etc.

Add a little imagination and creativity in your kid’s bedroom to give them a feeling that they have the world of their own with perfect surroundings.

About the Author:

James Anderson writes about the imaginative world of kids and how you can make their world more interesting by decorating their bedrooms in their beloved themes. He also loves to write about Cheap canvas prints and printing photos to canvas.

Building Discipline Through Music

August 7, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Contributed anonymously

 

With so many varying types of activities, lessons, and sports available, how do you know which one is best for your child? If you are looking for something that enhances learning styles, encourages emotional growth, develops confidence and discipline and most importantly is fun, music lessons may be the answer. Music has the power to positively influence your baby while he or she is still in the womb; just imagine how it can influence your child when you put it in his or her hands.

 

Musical Brain PowerThe true cognitive and emotional benefits from music come from learning a musical instrument in depth and developing musical skill.

Children (any most of us adults) are naturally drawn to music. More than that, it has an incredible effect on your child’s brain. According to the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, learning a musical instrument advances cognitive development in children, especially in the areas of vocabulary, fine motor skills, auditory discrimination abilities and fine motor skills. Learning music also improves your child’s attention span, listening skills, reasoning, and ability to learn languages. Studies also have shown that children with musical training also tend to have higher academic achievements and go further in post-secondary education.

 

Your Child’s Social-Emotional Development through Music

Music also impacts your child’s social-emotional development. From toddlers to teens, it can be difficult for your son or daughter to express feelings through words. Music acts as a bridge in helping children to feel, recognize, and express emotions, and then put a name to them. Playing an instrument teaches children to regulate their feelings, manage their impulses, and is a great way to relieve stress. Learning how to incorporate emotion into song dynamics helps to instil compassion and empathy. Any tool you can give your child to prepare them for dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of their childhood or teen years is a definite plus. Research shows that university students with musical training have less anxiety, fewer emotional problems and fewer problems with alcohol compared to their non-musical peers.

 

Building Confidence One Note at a Time

Excelling academically and emotionally will positively affect your child’s self-esteem. Add that to the confidence your child will gain from becoming skilled at an instrument, and you have a foundation for happiness and success. There is a strong connection between involvement in music and positive self-perception, feelings of success, and leadership skills. Music improves a child’s self-image and helps to encourage positive attitudes. Playing music in band or orchestra also helps children learn how to be good team players and work well with others.

 

Strings, Keys, and Mouthpieces: Which Instrument to Pick?

After seeing some of the incredible benefits of music lessons, you might be wondering which instrument is best for your child. While piano is the most challenging instrument to learn after violin, it greatly helps kids learn how to sight-read music and grasp the fundamentals of music theory. Knowing how to play piano also can make it easier to learn a secondary instrument. For outgoing children, louder instruments such as drums or trumpet can work best, while shyer children might want to stick to a stringed instrument, or woodwind.  Other things to consider include noise level, space, and your budget. Click here to find affordable musical instruments like electronic drum sets, keyboards, recorders and more, allowing you to gauge your child’s interest level before investing in a pricier piece. Remember that there is no ‘easy instrument,’ as everything takes time and practice to learn.

Music is everywhere. Simply listening to music has a powerful effect on your mind and body, and think of how empowering it can be if you are the one creating it. There are many ways to introduce your child to music; through classes like Kindermusik, small groups, individual lessons, or playing around with instruments at home. The true cognitive and emotional benefits from music come from learning a musical instrument in depth and developing musical skill, so practice, practice, practice! Even if your kid doesn’t become the next Mozart, learning music can’t hurt. Start exploring with instruments now and see where music can take you and your child.