BS Family

A Parent or Guardian’s Guideline For Teaching Your Child to Sleep Alone

Teaching Your Child to Sleep AloneWho’s been sleeping in your bed? If your child is waking you up at night wanting to climb under the covers with you, you could be missing out on the rest you need to manage your duties at work and at home. More significantly, it is necessary for your child to develop the self-confidence to end up being more independent.

As long as you’re prepared to endure some fussing and weeping, you can stop fighting over bedtimes. Think about these suggestions for training your child to stay in their own space so your entire family can delight in a good night’s sleep.

Steps to Take with Your Kid

1. Give reassurance. Worry of monsters, intruders, and other imagined dangers are frequently the reason that your kid wants you by their side. Validate their feelings. Comfort them after a bad dream and provide them with a stuffed toy to hug.

2. Hang around together. Your kid might need more attention from you. Set up one on-one time throughout the day for baking cookies or taking a trip to the petting zoo.

3. Talk it over. Ask your child what would help them sleep better in their own room. If they have difficulty putting it into words, try making drawings or acting out the scene with sock puppets.

4. Start early. Naturally, it’s much easier if you start the process before they can walk to your room by themselves. It’s simpler to prevent the habit than to break it.

5. Train in periods. If your daughter or son is currently used to going to your room at night after frightening motion pictures or thunderstorms, you can still develop brand new habits. Inform them you’ll check on them every 10 minutes if they remain in their bed. Increase the intervals with time.

6. Proceed gradually. If your child requires more encouraging, there are interim steps you can take. Sit by their bed till they drift off to sleep or let them sleep on an air mattress on your bed room floor temporarily.

7. Be boring. This is one of those uncommon times when you want your kids to shun your company. Limit talking and cuddling so socializing with you isn’t that much fun.

8. Add lighting. If you’re lucky, your child might just be afraid of the dark. A nightlight or flashlight they can control could be a quick solution.

9. Offer rewards. Going to sleep on their own is a big achievement. Provide your kids with rewards on the nights they stay in their bed. Sticker labels and sugarless candy are good choices.

Actions to Take Yourself.

1. Analyze your contribution to the matter. Be truthful with yourself about the role you might be playing in the situation. Parents sometimes encourage their kids to share their bed room, especially when they like their company or want to avoid communicating with their partner. It might be time to bond more during the day with your kid or see a counselor about your marital relationship.

2. Create a barrier. Do you wake up in the morning shocked to discover that your kid has been sleeping in your bed? Hang a bell on your bed room door or keep it locked so you can keep an eye on the circumstance more closely.

3. Be firm. Don’t compromise. If you refuse to make exceptions, you’ll be able to recover your bedroom much quicker.

4. Create good sleep habits. Once each relative is enjoying their own bed, you can help them have a better night’s sleep. Stick to consistent bedtimes and limit late night snacking and television.

It’s easy to fall into bedtime routines that jeopardize your rest. Almost 24% of moms and dads state their kids sleep in their beds often, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Nevertheless, if you follow these tips, you can turn things around so you and your kids sleep peacefully and apart.

The Worst Thing Parents Can Do to Their Child

The Worst Thing Parents Can Do to Their ChildThe worst thing parents can do to their child is love them too much. They say love is blind, and it surely is. Too much loves blurs things. It is hard to see a wrong where is love is concerned. This case is similar to that of an overly adored and dotted child. The parent tends to disregard the necessity of correcting trespasses of such a child because they don’t want to hurt their feelings.

• Children raised without a clear distinction of what is right from wrong grow up as bullies and are less famous among their peers. Such a child has a low tolerance to complete intolerance of other people opinion, portraying them as arrogant and ill- mannered.

• Teachers also tend to hate and pick on this type of child. They treat them indifferently from other kids. They are less likely to be asked questions in class, and this interferes with the child participation to class events. As a result, their overall academic performance is affected. One thing teachers hate is an indifferent child. A less settled child who is negatively over hyper is a complete turn off to the teacher.

• Children are sharp beings. They can identify a weakness fast and take advantage of it. Once they realize that you love them too much to punish them, they will make endless mistakes. They will shame you when and where you least expect. They will broadcast your incompetency to others and cross other peoples’ lines. Their attitude and general view of life are corrupt.

• It’s not bad to love your kid. But remember to filter the love. Have a keen eye for the child’s behavior and attitude as they grow up. Teach them right and make them morally upright individual in the future. Correcting mistakes does not make you weak. It is a show of strength and that you believe in your child. Do not let mistakes build up. Punish, correct or discipline each mistake when it occurs. Yes, there are times you forgive but only those committed unintentionally. Make the mode of disciplinary a learning period but not a field to come back to. Let the child realize that repeating a mistake is not a smart thing. Help them understand life.

Love your baby as much as possible. Discipline them when necessity calls. Listen to them but do not bow to their demands. Let them understand that love and discipline is a pack given as one. Remember that you are the parent, the grown-up, the one who has seen it all. But don’t overstep to the extent of dominating your child’s life. Let them make the decision and you are the one to guide them in achieving the set goals. Good luck to you, your child, and your skills in parenting.

Tips to Build Self Confidence in Kids

Self Confidence in KidsWhen kids are young, they seem to have a very easy time to say no, and mean it. This is usually what parents call the terrible twos. This is a time when children don’t listen well and they are stubborn. This is usually frustrating for parents and teachers.

However, for the child, this period is critical to building self-confidence. The child discovers that he or she can have their own opinion, and that saying no can mean a certain strength and power over a situation.

In addition, by practising saying no, the child explores the boundaries of his or her environment. Because not everything goes the way the child wants it to go all the time, the child learns that saying no often triggers a reaction in another period and that’s how the child begins to feel empathy, taking someone else into account.

However, things change as kids grow up. Some children have a very hard to say no as they grow up. Still, it’s important for every child to learn that they can and should say no when they have to. This skill makes a child feel more stable and more confident. Children who can’t say what they are really feeling, particularly in uncomfortable situations, are often more vulnerable to bullying and other intimidations in the hands of other kids.

How well a child can say no depends on her self-image. Those who have a positive self-image generally have more overall self-confidence whereas kids who have a low self-image have a harder time to be self-confident.

Naturally character and family history can also play key roles in developing a child’s self-image. So, it is very important for parents to take steps to build a positive self-image in children.

Here are a few ways that parents can ensure that they are developing their child’s self-image and self-confidence positively.

• Encourage every family member to offer one compliment every day.
• Have the child start keeping a self-confidence diary. The child can draw in it, write, paste pictures, or whatever works. Have her record every compliment she receives.
• Give your child a symbol of self-confidence, such as a help stone or a special drawing that she can carry all the time.
• Ask your child what qualities they would like to grow. Then set attainable goals for her to achieve them.
• Role play with puppets. Using no as a theme, encourage your child to act out a story.
• Compliment your child often. This will help your child feel more self-confident.
• While the child is undistracted and mindful, practise saying the following motto with them every day: I want it! I can do it! I will do it!

By taking these steps, you will be developing your child’s self-image and therefore ensuring that she develops self-confidence. It is crucial to make sure that you child isn’t bullied. This can cause a lot of additional problems for your child.

Unless your child knows how to stick up for herself, she will be manipulated and abused. This can result in depression and increased anxiety for your child, something that should be avoided as much as possible.

How Do You Raise Your Kid to Be a Mature and Purposeful Adult

Kid to Be a MatureParents cannot just relax when their kids turn out to be 18. They have a responsibility to see through that their kid is still doing the right things and gear them towards a purposeful life even when things seem very bleak. So what do you really do? Read on to find out.

Bear with your child through thick and thin, instilling him continuously with the right values, principles and ethics. How do you manage to do that?

Let me cite you an example of my youngest sibling. He lost his Dad when he was only six. Yet, with the love of his mom and his sisters, he grew. But did he grow up to be the right kind of adolescent?

His sisters left for abroad either to settle or for higher education and then he had only his mom to guide him. Was he following the right path?

No. In fact he wasn’t. He dropped classes at school and only liked to play the guitar and chat online on the computer. He became out of reach and out of control. His sisters talked to him and gave him lovely gifts and asked him to at least attend private tutors’ coaching classes. That is how he made through his O-levels and A-levels under University of London.

And then it was time to get to University. He had formed a liking for Physics and so all of us encouraged him to study Electrical and Electronics Engineering, our family being an engineer family. So did he make it straight away?

Again no. The teachers at the university failed to capture his interest and there was the trouble of massive traffic jam on the way. My brother started missing classes again. He was totally absorbed in playing the guitar and downloaded further musical tabs from the web, got a sound mixing amplifier and more guitars and played more music on them, created music and went for jamming sessions with his favorite guitar.

We knew he was making a gross mistake with his life. Music on the guitar pays very poorly in our country unless you are a really renowned musician.

It happened around that time that our little sister was getting married abroad and invited us to join her ceremony. In fact it was Good Almighty God playing on us.

When we went abroad we let our brother speak out about what he really wanted to do with his life. It was our brother’s turn to talk. And he said promptly that he was willing to study abroad. My second sister then informed him of a nearby school where he could major in Electronics and Electrical Engineering, physics being his favorite line of interest and take music as minor: he could still play on his guitar.

Having that settled, he applied and gave the necessary tests to enroll in. He had his credits transferred from his previous university. Eventually he finished graduating from his program with flying colors. Of course there were hard times for him but he made through them. And he was finally a graduate.

The next step in his life was to get a job. But every job seeking company that called in for interview remarked that he had to be a citizen. Meanwhile while he was on the job hunt, he was doing a short internship in the field of Computer Science – PHP programming.

As he couldn’t find a job abroad, not being a citizen there, he returned home and started applying for jobs here. Within a month’s time he got himself into a web programming firm, the emphasis being on PHP programming. I know what it is like to program in PHP. It is a never-ending process where you keep on learning every day.

Currently my brother is in this loop in a good kind of way. Two days ago he sold his last guitar, further putting his entire concentration into web and PHP programming.

Now that is what would look like a purposeful and mature adult, doing his work dutifully, loving it too, getting rid of his addiction for guitars completely. Ha ha. Good for him!!

Can you as a parent train and raise your kid to be this way? It takes a bit of determination and willpower. The rest is up to Almighty God. But don’t ever give up on raising your kid to be a smart, purposeful adult. You do have some responsibility to shoulder in this aspect. God bless!!

Successful Education Begins in the Home

Education Begins in the HomeChildren come to us with predetermine disposition, aptitude and fortitude. How well they function within these capabilities directly relate to their home. Education, without apologies, begins at home. Children learn how to respond to any facets of life in the home.

Consequently, prejudices concerning people, foods, clothing and live styles manifest from within the home. If a child is aggressive, know that, that behavior comes from observing a family member. Substitute any other behavior positive or negative with the before mentioned word “aggressive” and acknowledge that it connects with a family member that cares for the child. Children emulate what they see.

Teachers recognize this more than any other professional group because it is in their classroom that they experience the consequences, good or bad, of what children learn at home. Hence, teachers at every new school year establish classroom rules in an attempt to ensure a universal law of acceptable social conduct.

As a tenet, parents are responsible for whether or not children succeeds academic. Without ignoring a child’s predetermine abilities, they must project clear positive expectations concerning school. As these expectations take form, parents should remember that children mimic what they see and hear. Hence, they should avoid making negative comments concerning their children’s teacher and or school. Parents cannot demand that their children perform well academically when homework assignments are not completed, and social events are prioritized over establishing appropriate bedtime routine for school age children.

There is no denying that a child will act out, usually this begins at pre-K through kindergarten levels. When left unchecked by parents, acting out, becomes a norm for a child. When established as a habit, the disruptive behavior hinders the child’s academic success. Parents should not expect teachers to teach their children proper conduct and yet the burden of learning these skills sits heavily on the shoulders of many teachers.

When a child acts out and the parent ignores the behavior, the child learns to devalue the importance of the teacher, the school and ultimately learning. Parent who do not understand the value and importance of early prevention will have an uphill battle as the child attends secondary schools. Laying a strong education foundation consist of the child, parent, and teacher working together in a respectfully academic world of cooperation. Teachers cannot do it all.

Teachers can only affect a child’s learning aptitude when parents educate their children on good social skills, the importance of thriving for excellence and the determination to execute the desire.

Parents Children & Meditation

Parents ChildrenParents should meditate with their children, and adults, in general, together with young people. Kids, and I mean male and female, are able to meditate alone, but if they are led, they clearly find it more harmonious and are able to consciously integrate the dimension of meditation in their everyday work. It isn’t an unknown topic, many are bringing it forward, and even if in some countries it’s absolutely forbidden, in the rest of the world, these things are already happening.

In India, for example, meditation takes place in class when at school, and in kindergarten too; but above all it takes place at home. Being the homeland of meditation, India has a very high number of people who meditate daily, and children do it together with their parents. If we move, predominantly in Asia, and visit a Buddhist country, we also find people having meditation as one of their daily activities, both parents and children. Children are thus able to cultivate this state of inner silence, relaxation and peace of mind, and carry it out throughout the day and life itself, generating a small space every day to stop everything.

As we know, to meditate is to enter into a state of inner peace in which there is no mental activity; mental activity that is commonly coupled to an emotional one, which is consequently coupled to a physical one.

When we are consciously motionless inside us, we simply are in a dimension of being, we are merely turned on, and we just live without any crucial activity that is taking place. This makes sure that all the rest of our subsisting systems, and especially the physical, mental and emotional ones, relax and rest.

Teaching meditation to children is easy and fast. They are innately drawn to this state of being and do not need to sit for an hour, or more, as it is necessary for adults, to reach it. Children sit for ten minutes, recharge completely, and then take off as rockets to the next play. We adults, to be able to return to a level where we are once again quiet and stable – because at peace – need more time.

Those who meditate, you can talk to any practicing friends or acquaintances you may have, they’ll all tell you that such a state of inner peace, stillness and silence is extremely pleasant; perhaps even the most pleasant by far. That’s the absolute, and it is more pleasant than any other activity. That’s why they continue to practice it.

What Mothers Go Through When Daycare Is Their Only Option

DaycareWhen parents have to work and do not have an extended family to help pick up the slack, putting their children in a daycare becomes the only variable option. This rings particular true for single parents.

If you are the fortunate few and have parents that are retired and can care for your infant or toddler, you may never have to place you child in the any type of daycare, or home-care.

There are mothers who, three months after giving birth return to work to non-standard hours. They do not work a 9 to 5, which means they must place their children in a 24-hour day-care. Placing their infant in the care of strangers devastates most mothers. The guilt and fear with having to work and consequently having to place their infant in a childcare facility gnaws at their hearts. They observe events and people in their lives, see, and hear of at home mothers and in the back of their minds, they long for the privilege of staying at home with their children. However, life’s reality pushes them on to their daily jobs and thrusts their infant straight into the care of others.

Toddlers in daycare get potty trained take their first steps and learn to feed themselves as their mothers trek off to work. These mothers, who miss so much, often ponder of ways to make millionaires so that they can be home with their child to experience the first steps, to do the training that the day-cares in an unwritten contractual agreement do for their children. This reality can be harsh but what can a mother do when daycare is her only option.

While they work, many parents try to get friends and distant family members to care for their children. Some mothers try home-care in hopes that their children can have as close to home environment as possible. But friends at times go on vacation or just get tired of caring for an infant, a toddler, a pre-schooler and suggest that other arrangements be made. Distant families often make unwanted suggestions on the care of the child. They ignore the mothers’ restrictions and disregard their established personal hygiene. Consequently, disagreements arise, resentment sets in and quietly mothers begin to make other arrangement s for the caring of their children. At home-care can be just as unsettling, due to poor hygiene, unsafe and unreliable care. Your only option is daycare. How can mothers make the most of this unwelcome care?

Is Your Kid Being Bullied? Arm Him With These 5 Techniques

Kid Being BulliedIs your child being bullied at school? As a parent, it can be really hard to know what to tell your child to do about that. Teachers and administrators will do what they can, but most bullies are sneaky, so at the end of the day, it is your kid alone against the bully. The biggest difference you can make is in teaching your child concrete skills for how to respond when bullied.

For conflicts at school, I find using children’s picture books a great place for ideas. One of my favorites is Simon’s Hook; A Story About Teases and Put-downs by Karen Gedig Burnett, illustrated by Laurie Barrows. In Simon’s Hook, Simon’s grandmother tells him a tale about a bunch of fish who learn to “Swim Free” rather than “taking the bait,” ie the insults, being thrown at them. Armed with his new skills, Simon is able to rejoin the kids at the playground who have been making fun of his bad haircut.

Simon learns five “Rules for Being a FREE Fish” from his grandmother’s story.

Rule 1: DO little or nothing! Don’t react!

Interestingly, when I have taught these rules in class, this is the one the kids choose the most. We practice having kids give a blank stare back. Practice this one with your kids over and over. Start by having them insult you and you showing them no reaction. With little kids, you are likely to hear something like, “You’re a poopy face!” Don’t laugh at them. Just look at them as if you didn’t even hear them. Then ask permission to tease them. Ask them for examples of what kinds of hurtful things they have heard and then repeat those things in an exaggeratedly bratty voice, coaching them to do little or nothing. Praise them for how neutral they can keep their face. Have them practice in front of the mirror. You pretend to insult them; they practice staring right through you.

Rule 2: Agree with the hook!

What? Agree with what a bully says? Yes! This one actually works surprisingly well as it completely disarms the kid who is being mean or insensitive. Let’s look at some examples:

Juan: You can’t be my friend!

Rogelio: Okay! I’ll go play with someone else then.

Do you see how Juan was gearing up for a fight and Rogelio just took the wind right out of his sails? If Rogelio really does want to be friends with Juan, he might add, “Maybe we can be friends tomorrow.” Often-even though they don’t say it out loud-younger kids don’t mean, “You can’t be my friend EVER.” They just don’t know how to say that they are mad or that they want to play with someone else that day. Help your kids understand that sometimes other kids don’t mean to be hurtful. They just don’t know how to express their emotions and their needs.

Here’s another example of agreeing with the hook:

Britta: You’re shoes are ugly!

Michelle: I know! I told my mom they are so ugly they should win an ugly prize.

How can you argue with someone who is cheerfully agreeing with you? Note how reference to a disagreement with Mom subtly puts Britta and Michelle on the same team of Kids Whose Moms Just Don’t Get It. Very disarming indeed! Invite your kids to use you as an excuse.

Rule 3: Distract or Change the Subject.

What’s funny about this technique is that it is often kids who might otherwise be socially challenged who are the best at it. Distraction works by just pointing out something that is going on in the environment like, “Hey, wasn’t that the bell?” or “Isn’t that Mr. Jones in the Giant’s hat over there? I wonder if the Giants won their game last night.”

Changing the subject works like this:

Rakesh: Your writing is terrible!

Hiren: Did you know that the heaviest dinosaur was the Brachiosaurus? It weighted around 80 tons. That’s like 17 Elephants. And it was as tall as an 8-story building! That’s way higher than my apartment. My building is only five floors high. I live on the third floor, though. Did you know that…

You can see how by the time Hiren runs out of steam, Rakesh is going to wish he had never said anything!

Kids like the idea of this technique but I have found they actually need to brainstorm a list of possible topics for what to talk about. Here are some ideas a recent class came up with. Help your own kids add to this list:

• the weather

• what happened on a favorite t.v. show this week

• a book they have read recently

• anything that involves a list (kinds of cars, kinds of cereal, what they ate for breakfast this morning, the state capitals, etc.)

• a question (Do you think Mr. Jones is going to give us a pop quiz today?)

• what they did over break or on their last vacation

• anything they happen be obsessed with at the time

The trick to Changing the Subject is to add enough detail that the kid doing the insulting totally forgets what he said in the first place.

Rule 4: Laugh at the hook or make a joke!

Most kids can just laugh. Again, practice it with your kid. First demonstrate: Have them insult you and then just laugh at what they have said. I had one kid who was really good at laughing and then following up with a blank stare. It left the other kids completely nonplussed. They really had no idea how to proceed from there.

Making a joke can be hard because it requires kids to think on their feet, but if you have a very verbal or punny kid, it could be just the tool:

Maria: You’re not a good dancer!

Mira: How did you know Ms. Kltuz was my middle name?

Or

Kevin: You can’t play with us. Go away.

Howard: I can’t? Really? Oh, that’s right! I put on two left feet this morning. That’s okay. Just put me on the left side of the field and I’ll be fine.

This works because kids don’t know how to deal with this kind of answer, and they will let the joker play rather than try to outwit him.

Rule 5: Stay away! Swim in another part of the sea!

Stay away or swim away works well in two circumstances.

One, the kid being mean is truly physical or out of control. Some kids are just not safe. They arrive at school with behavior challenges that are too big for our kids to deal with (chances are the school is struggling, too, to find enough manpower to help that kid). It may mean not getting to do what you want that day, but recess is too short to try to argue with that kind of kid. Help your children to brainstorm a variety of fun things to do so that they have some choices away from the bully. If the bully has picked them as a target, help your kid find some space away-maybe the library or a lunchtime club or helping a teacher out in her classroom.

Yes, I recognize that this is not fair. Your child should be able to play whatever he wants at recess. I am sorry to say, though, that teachers’ eyes cannot be everywhere and yard duty help is usually spread way too thin. Usually the out of sight, out of mind principle comes into play, here: Disappear for a few days, and the bully will direct his attention elsewhere.

Two, sometimes kids just need a break from each other! Help your child understand that we all go through rhythms of how much closeness and how much distance we need at any given time. Often the person being insulting is really just looking for some space. So give it to them! They’ll come around another day. If you have the kind of child who forms very intense, deep attachments to one person, spend some time explaining that that is not everyone’s friendship style. Some people like being friends with a lot of different people. One day they will want to play with you, and another day, they will want to play with someone else. This is not personal: It is just a different personality. Reassure your child that if they can just walk away today, chances are the other child will seek them out again soon.

Kids like these techniques. Having tools in their tool belt, empowers them and allows them to deal with situations quickly and to move on. Furthermore, it very often allows the kid being mean to move on, too, so the whole day gets better for everyone.

Just learning about the skills will not be enough. You will need to provide lots of support and suggestions. You can practice them after the fact, helping your child to imagine the conversation he might have had. If he climbs into the car complaining that So and So did something mean today, ask him if he took the bait. If he did, help him figure out how he might have used each of these techniques to redirect the bully or defuse the situation.

It might feel unfair that your child has to “not take the bait.” No one should be baiting him in the first place, right? But you know and I know the world does not work that way. Surely, you have listened to a friend tell a story about someone being annoying or mean and have counseled, “That’s the kind of person you just have to ignore” or “Why do you let him rile you so?” What you are saying is Why take the bait? Children will feel more in control if they know it is in their power to not take the bait.

If your child is worried about going to school, ask what he thinks might happen and practice over and over lots of different ways he might handle it. Emphasize that deflecting conflict is a skill. He will get better and better and it and it will be easier and easier to know what to do in the moment.

Too Many Toys 8 Terrific Tips for Taming the Toys in Your House

Too Many ToysTip 1. Help your kids identify their value behind why a particular toy is important to them. Then help them prioritize their values.

By prioritizing what is important to your kids and having them articulate that to you, it will help you decide how much space to devote to a particular kind of toy. Let’s say, for example, that your child is nuts about dinosaurs. It just makes sense that he’d want a wide variety of dinosaurs represented, doesn’t it? On the other hand, a kid who loves dolls might be convinced that it is more important to lavish love and care on a limited number of dolls-and that the rest could find good homes elsewhere. That child might need more space for doll accessories, like a crib, but can make do with 2 or 3 especially beloved dolls.

Tip 2. Have as much shelve/bin/drawer space for your child as you can spare, so that they can stay organized.

Help kids learn to categorize toys into shelves or bins. This will allow your child to see visually how much she has of one kind of thing-and in turn help her decide how much she needs of one thing. Often it is not until all of one kind of toy has been gathered into one place, for example, that a child realizes she has as much as she does. Seeing it all together helps her realize one good set of colored pencils and/or crayons, for example, makes boxes and boxes of duplicate colors superfluous and therefore a waste of space.

Tip 3. Be creative about ways to store toys when you have limited space.

It can be really worth it to find storage or display cases for the size toy you have. My sister, for example, was a big collector of porcelain animal figurines. No one was bigger than around 4″ by 4″ so my dad built her a grid of shallow shelves that was about a foot wide and went all the way to the ceiling. With less than a foot of floor space, she was able to safely display more than 100 figurines. Deep but narrowly spaced shelves for things like boardgames and puzzles allow kids to store long flat things on shelves that resemble big CD holders. This kind of shelving can often be found in teachers’ supply catalogues. Rather than duplicating that kind of storage for each child, have a central location for similarly shaped toys. Soft things-like stuffed animals and costumes, can be hung from a series of hooks suspended from the ceiling (provide a foot stool, so children can reach up). Shelves that slide out on rollers allow you to place toys 2-3 deep, and kids can still be able to find them (especially if you think in categories, like dump trucks one behind the other, etc).

The best way to organize kids’ toys is to limit the number of toys they have to the toys they actually play with and use. Tips 4-8 address how to do that!

Tip 4. As toys and arts and craft projects and science kits and the like come into the house, write a date on them with permanent marker.

Has your child given a birthday party where all 20 of his classmates bring him a gift? She opens them all, but in reality only four or five things actually get used? By putting a date on presents as they come in, you can show a child concretely how long it has been that he has not touched the toy. That can make it easier for a child to let a toy go out the door. If a child is still reluctant to let go of a toy, give a date a month out by which the child needs to use the toy. Tell him that if he doesn’t use the toy in that time that, you will be donating the toy to a local charity. The key to this tip? Do NOT remind him that the month is close to being up and do not rub it in his face that you will be giving the toy away. Simply get rid of the toy, and if your child remembers about the toy AFTER the give-away date, comfort him and assure him that next time you are sure he will not let the give-away date come and go.

Tip 5. Help kids let go of toys by identifying the “best of” in the category.

Let’s say that your child loves doing arts and crafts, and your shelves are filled with the remnants of half used kits. Have your child identify which of the projects provided the most fun and satisfaction and offer to get refills for that project. Let’s say, for example, that your kid really loved the weaving kit she got for her birthday and she did all the projects listed in the manual, but then she ran out of supplies. The tissue paper and pipe cleaner flower kit, on the other hand, engaged her for an hour or so and hasn’t been touched since. Knowing that you are going to buy more weaving supplies, might make it easy for her to say good-bye to the flower making kit (and if not, go back to the Tip #3 plan and put it in place for the flowers).

Tip 6. Put away toys that your child is not ready for or isn’t likely to ever play with.

Go back to the 20 presents from a birthday party. It is very likely that you are a good judge of what your child is actually going to play with. In the chaos of the party, it is easy to “put things away” for safe keeping. If you put a bunch of the toys away, likely the out-of-sight-out-of-mind principle will apply and your child will completely forget they even got that toy. If a couple of months go by, and the child doesn’t ask about it, quietly send that toy away with the next Good Will bag. Along the same lines, if your child gets a toy which looks like it will someday interest your child but is too sophisticated for him or her at the moment, put it away in a closet-and assuming that your child doesn’t ask you for it in the meantime-YOU can gift it to your child when your child is old enough for it. OR you can later make it available for your child to give to one of his friends!

Tip 7. Use natural transitions, like the start of a new school year, to mark a Big Clean Out.

If tips 1-4 have not helped clear out the accumulation of clutter, apply a 10% tithe. Let your kids know that they are going to have to donate 10% of their toys to charity. They might balk at first, but this is another excellent way to get kids to prioritize and decide which, for example, of their books they absolutely must have. It will help them recognize that they still have books on their shelves that they read 2-3 years ago when they were much younger. Similarly, unless you have massive amounts of free space for enormous Lego projects, my guess is most kids will not register a 10% reduction of their Lego blocks (They simply don’t have the space to build something that would actually use all their blocks). If your kids greatly resist the idea of donating some of their toys, I highly recommend checking out the laugh-out-loud-funny Too Many Toys, a delightful picture book by David Shannon.

Tip 8. Help keep toys organized by making some clear guidelines about how many gifts can come into the house.

Share your value with your kids that they not equate stuff with happiness or security. Help them see the value of fewer treasured objects by encouraging more thoughtful gift giving. Let relatives know that less is more-or perhaps ask relatives if they would like to go in on a gift together. Some toys, like a fancy model kit, for example a) can be quite pricey and b) actually requires extra supplies-like glue, additional paint, a big board the project can be done on so that as it is being worked on it can be slid in and out from under a bed. Relatives who think of the big picture could go in on all the pieces together. That way one gift comes into the house instead of 6-7.

You can also enlist help from close family friends and relatives by asking that they provide your child experiences rather than toys that will add to the clutter. Perhaps your daughter’s best friend’s family will invite her to go to the zoo with them the next time they go. Perhaps your son’s uncle will take him to a hockey game. These gifts work on so many levels: They say to your child I am valued, People like having me around. They give your child time with another caring adult, so you are creating that larger safety net. The activity itself is often memorable–especially if it is in the child’s honor. Again, these are great opportunities for families to go in together on an outing that might be more expensive: Grandpa can pay for the ticket, Uncle can actually get the child to the game, Aunt-who-lives-far-away can provide a gift certificate for cotton candy or a souvenir.

How To Raise Your Kids The Right Way

Raise Your KidsThe goal as a parent is to help your child feel competent and confident, and to help her develop a sense of passion and purpose. There are many ways to raise happy, well-adjusted kids, but science has a few tips for making sure they turn out okay. From keeping it fun to letting them leave the nest.

No one would argue that raising children of character demands time and effort. While having children may be doing what comes naturally, being a good parent is much more complicated. Here are some steps to follow.

1 – Put parenting first:

Once you’re a parent, you have to learn to put your priorities below your children’s, and to make the sacrifice to spending more of your day caring for them than you do caring for yourself.

2 – Don’t aim for perfection:

According to a study, new parents who believe society expects perfection from them are more stressed and less confident in their parenting skills.

3 – Be good to your sons, Mamas:

A warm, attached relationship with mom seems important in preventing behavior problems in sons, even more so than in girls, the research found.

A close relationship with their mothers can help keep boys from acting out.

4 – Eat dinner as a family:

The dinner table is not only a place of sustenance and family business but also a place for the teaching and passing on of our values.

5 – Tend to your mental health:

Research suggests that depressed moms struggle with parenting and even show muted responses to their babies’ cries compared with healthy moms.

According to researches, kids raised by these mothers are more easily stressed out by the preschool years.

6 – Give your child enough play time every day:

“Play time” does not mean having your child sit in front of the TV while you do the dishes.

It means letting your child sit in his room or play area and to actively engage with stimulating toys while you help him explore their possibilities

7 – Be positive:

Parents who express negative emotions toward their infants or handle them roughly are likely to find themselves with aggressive kindergartners.

Behavioral aggression at age 5 is linked to aggression later in life, even toward future romantic partners.

8 – Joking helps:

When parents joke and pretend, it gives young kids the tools to think creatively, make friends and manage stress.

9 – Encourage independence:

You can still be there for your child while encouraging him to explore his own interests. Don’t tell your child which lessons to take; let him pick from a variety of options.

Don’t be ashamed if you feel things are getting too much for you. Ask for help. Tell your partner when you’re having a hard time, find a babysitter or parenting counselor, seek support from other parents, learn new ways of parenting that will make it more easy and enjoyable for you.

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