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Five Things Parents Should Know About Baby’s Cries

A baby crying without any particular reason that you can pinpoint is a heartbreaking situation. Mostly, first time mothers are left clueless about what to do in cases this kind of situation arises. Even veteran mothers sometimes commit the same mistakes. Thankfully, there are guidelines that you can surely make use of the next time your baby becomes fussy.

Foremost, it is important to recognize that when a baby cries, he is trying to communicate something to you. Since they cannot talk, it is your responsibility to assess and interpret the reasons behind. Sometimes, a mother’s instinct works out pretty fast but there are other instances when you have to really explore what bugs your child.

Almost instantaneously, the most common reason that comes into mind when a baby cries is because he is hungry. This is of course true especially if he puts his hands to his mouth and if he manifests rooting. Rooting pertains to the turning of the head towards a perceived nipple. Other signs also include the tongue sticking out or the puckering of lips. Contrary to popular belief, a baby who cries because of hunger is already a late sign.

Feeding your baby is the ultimate solution. Also, when you feed your baby, make sure that your baby is satiated; nursing on demand or for about 8-12 feedings should be kept in mind. For each breast, give at least twenty minutes to ensure that your baby gets enough milk. A baby’s consumption of milk should not lag for more than four hours.

However, if you have just fed your baby, then there must be another reason which might be the lack of sleep and rest. A baby should have a range of 13 to 15 hours of sleep in a day in order to be considered well-rested. In between, naps are strongly advised. When rest and sleep are the agents being considered, quality should be checked. A baby is easily stimulated by light, noise and even touch.

As advertised, another reason why a baby cries is because of the need for a nappy change. There are some babies who can go on without complaining of their soiled diapers while others have difficulty bearing with the soiled diaper. Checking constantly on the diaper will help. In addition, make sure that the diaper change is done efficiently as the baby’s skin is sensitive and is prone to develop rashes which could be another reason why a baby cries.

A fourth reason why your baby cries is because he is not definitely feeling well. When your baby suffers from an ailment, the cry can be very distinct and it is where your instinct usually works. Try to check the temperature and see from that point.

However, if the nagging feeling is not usually there, try to check whether there’s a tummy trouble. Gas can be eliminated by letting your baby burp after feeding. Make it a habit to massage your baby’s abdomen to let out the troublesome gas. Also, check if your baby has a tight clothing or a waistband that makes him uncomfortable; these could just be the causes of your problem.

Finally, your baby can be very demanding. Take advantage of this opportune time to bond with your baby. He will cry just to get your attention and you will miss this in a matter of years so give into it.

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How to Effectively Deal with Hyperactive Children

To be with someone who is hyperactive as an adult is already difficult, what more if it were in the case of precious angels who are not exactly aware of their conditions. Primarily, effectively dealing with hyperactive children entails a good dose of patience, a great amount of love, enthusiasm and reading. As it is no joke, taking in as much information and applying the techniques in real life setting is difficult but in the end, very rewarding.

Hyperactivity, foremost, refers to a varied number of symptoms ranging from extreme emotional reactions to relatively short attention span. For children, common diagnosis include the most commonly known ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome. Nonetheless, as the disorder is in truth, not common, the child concerned should be assessed and evaluated by an expert in the field. It is unfair to brand a child as such if the real causes are not explored.

The reasons for hyperactivity which are not psychological in nature include thyroid problems, lead poisoning and even sleep deprivation. A remarkable effect though is that some can be very gifted. Unfortunately,  some could also have learning disabilities.

Nonetheless, what remains to be done is to take care of the precious angels that speak of nothing but a world that is difficult to understand and where they continue to thrive an strive.

Hyperactivity can be dealt with by establishing a routine to be followed as a structured and consistent environment facilitates the learning and behavioral processing of the child. This could actually be employed in the waking and sleeping hours of the child as well as when one is allowed to take a nap or watch the television. Clearly express that rules are rules.

It will however help that these limitations also be receptive to slight changes. You can break the rules at the time you see fit but make sure that you remind the child that there are conditions that were earlier discussed to be followed at a later time. Remember that being harsh to the child would result to more problems especially if he is at the point of asserting his self-worth. This is especially true for toddlers.

It is just as important though to facilitate a relaxing environment; that is avoiding over-stimulation. If it is possible to have a big space for the child, then, why not? De-cluttering the life, if at all possible means to keep things to a minimum, the loud noise from the TV or the radio can be very distracting so as talking simultaneously with several unknown visitors. And when things do get messy, try to avoid the use of negative reinforcement. As always, recognizing the good things or the accomplishments of the child is far better than punishing every single wrongdoing made.

Always look at the brighter things in what the hyperactive child does. Your desperation to understand is easily picked on by their sensitive disposition. If you sense that you may reflect someone giving up, both of you could take a walk or transfer your energy somewhere else. It is very difficult for someone hyperactive to just relax and sit around, make use of the energy and translate it to something productive and creative.

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Teachers as Friends: How to get along with your teachers?

When children start going to school, parents worry about a lot of things. Their child might have problems coping with the tasks, responsibilities and activities in school. Their child might even find it difficult, interacting with his classmates, peers and teachers. All of these things leave the parents worried, making them think twice, whether or not their child can survive the long hours they spend in school. Children spend as much time in school as they do at home. If they’re not home, they’re at school, studying, learning and spending time with friends. This is all part of a child’s complex life, one of the milestones of growing up. Since children are bound to be in school for quite some time, the best way to make their stay as pleasant as possible is to teach them how to get along with other people. It’s easy for kids to get along with other children and peers with the same age. Most of them do a good job in making friends all on their own. When it comes to adults, most especially teachers, it’s a whole different story. Children see teachers as figures of authority. They consider their teachers as someone who sets rules, gives tasks and serves sanctions and punishments; similar to what their parents do at home. Children might find it a bit challenging to get along with their teachers because of this. Children who have good relationships with their teachers tend to learn more in school. They become more confident with themselves and they show a much better attitude towards learning and responsibility. Children who get along with their teachers are also not afraid to ask questions. They can confide relevant school matters like learning constraints, difficulty understanding, bullying and other similar issues. Here are some helpful tips on how teachers and children can get along and become friends.

1)      Allow the child time – Relationships are not built overnight and they do not happen right there and then. Children are like sponges, they easily absorb everything around them. When they see other children acting a certain way towards their teacher, they would immediately follow what the others are doing. If their classmates are scared of their teacher, they would also feel the same way. When children are given enough time, this allows them to make their own impression about their teacher. Eventually, they’ll get to know their teacher more and will be able to build a better relationship with them.

2)     Teachers and students must know their responsibilities – Being friends with the teacher is not the same as being friends with other children, students must always remember to listen when the teacher is talking. The main responsibility of the teacher is to teach. The student’s, on the other hand, is to learn.

3)     Both student and teacher must always do their best – The teacher must do his best at what he does which is teaching. If he teaches well, his students will learn. The student must also do his best with all his exams and school activities. A student who learns a lot will be very grateful to the teacher who helped him.

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Is Homeschooling for You?

Some kids learn better when they are taught one on one by their parents or tutors at home. Thus homeschooling is increasingly becoming a popular method of teaching kids. Parents choose homeschooling for many reasons, one may be that their child is physically incapable of attending regular school such as in cases of a debilitating disease or because of economic reasons that they cannot afford to send their child to a good school. For some parents, homeschooling is better than traditional school as children can be given enough attention that their weaknesses and challenges in their academic studies can be best addressed.

Homeschooling can be done by the parent or a tutor. Most parents acquire a homeschooling curriculum from various institutions that specializes in home schooling. Others would argue against homeschooling as it is not a common practice but homeschooling is legal and every parent has a right to choose their kid’s education. In some states homeschooling are monitored to ensure that the kids receive the necessary subjects and curriculum they would need to substantiate what a regular kid gets from traditional school.

The advantage of homeschooling is that you won’t need to leave the house in order to learn. The pace of studying a certain subject is also based on a child’s ability to comprehend thus a more effective approach in ensuring that no child is left behind unlike in a class where children who are slow to absorb the lesson often gets unnoticed. It is basically learning at one’s own pace. Homeschooling is not always confined in the house, one can learn by going to museums, zoos, parks and other places that can foster learning.

Although many have accepted the concept of homeschooling there are still those who see it as unorthodox. Some question the parent’s ability to teach unless they have formal education to do so. Not all parents specialize in all subjects they will be teaching to their kids in home school and this may be a disadvantage in the quality of education a child can get. For example, a mom can be very good at science but can lack the proper knowledge to teach English to her child. Furthermore a child who is homeschooled may not have the luxury to enjoy school facilities like gyms, libraries, laboratories and auditoriums. Homeschooled children may have their kitchen table as their classroom and their sink as their experiment table.

Another concern for homeschooled children is lack of social interaction with other kids which is deemed important in building self esteem and effective communication skills. Homeschooled kids are feared to become isolated and shy if brought into the real world, although parents of homeschooled kids make it a point to expose their children socially by scheduling group activities with other homeschooled children their age in their community. This way children can still nurture social skills needed as they grow up.

Homeschooled children are not less competent compared to students who attend regular school. Homeschooling is best for children who are likely to achieve and gain more by one on one teaching rather than in a classroom setting and the best person to know if homeschooling is right for their child is the parent. Parents should observe their child’s pace in learning and talk with them to provide them the option of learning at home.

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Autism in Children

Autism is a rare condition where kids affected act differently than other kids. An autistic child experiences a world of his own different from other kids. It’s hard for kids with autism to communicate effectively with others as they cannot express themselves fully through words that they sometimes get frustrated and isolated from everyone else.

Raising a child with autism requires a great deal of patience, care and understanding. It is painful for some parents to feel as though they cannot talk to their child and communicate with them. Kids who suffer of autism sometimes react to people, happenings or things around them differently. They may suddenly shout towards strangers or become agitated when talked to by children their age. Sometimes being touched by a family member can aggravate them and cause them to throw tantrums.

Common gestures may not be understood by an autistic child and are often ignored. Greeting or smiling at them may not elicit a response at all for they cannot connect these simple gestures with a person’s feelings.

What causes Autism?

Autism is a neurologic disability that usually runs in families. For some autism may be linked to another medical condition such as Phenylketonuria (PKU) or congenital complications such as rubella or toxoplasmosis. Although research has yet to determine its definite cause, until now it remains idiopathic.

What are the signs and symptoms of Autism?

  • Lack of non-verbal communication such as eye contact, facial expressions and gestures.
  • Apathy or not caring of other’s feelings
  • Cannot distinguish other’s feelings like happiness evident by someone laughing or frustration as evident by crying. When they see these emotions in others they don’t recognize it as feelings and often ignore it
  • Isolation or preference of being alone
  • Doesn’t want to be touched, hugged or cuddled
  • They sometimes appear to be unresponsive when called
  • Abnormal speech or lack of spoken language
  • Difficulty in expressing themselves through Words per minute
  • Inability or lack of interest in conversation
  • Repetitive body movements such as rocking, flapping hands or banging toys against the wall

Children with autism mostly have an IQ of below average while some can have an above normal IQ. Some children may develop seizures usually for those who have mental retardation.

Finding out that a child is autistic can be difficult as they appear normal kids that exhibit extreme shyness however parents are usually the ones who notice that there is something wrong. Doctors diagnose autism by performing lab tests and other medical tests to rule out other medical conditions. Then referral to a neurologist, pediatrician and psychologist is made when autism is suspected.

Caring for a child with autism can be very painful and emotionally stressing for the parents as there is no cure for it. Treatment aims for the child to function as close to normal as possible enabling them to do day to day activities on their own. Therapists will focus on teaching autistic kids and their parents to communicate effectively through pointing pictures and sign language. Therapy will also help the child learn social skills such as greeting people and follow simple directions. With constant therapy and a strong support group children with mild autism can grow up to be responsible individuals that can live alone by themselves.

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My Child Has Trouble Talking: Is It a Delay or a Disorder?

When your toddler utters words that are very difficult to understand or does not say much compared to other kids his or her age, you may be told that it is simply a delay and that he or she will eventually catch up. Your child may be concentrating on improving his or her motor skills such as learning to walk that talking has temporarily been put on a hiatus. Parents are often encouraged to be patient, to respect each child’s unique developmental timeline and more importantly, to resist the urge to compare with other kids. This is because each child has his or her own developmental timeline.   

On the other hand, there is also a chance that a child is not a later talker and that a speech disorder actually exists. The disorder is not something that will be resolved on its own, and can impact the child’s learning and development, behavioral and social if not treated in a timely manner

However, even professionals express that it is a challenge to distinguish between a child whose speech is simply delayed and one who has an actually language disorder. What makes this issue even more of a concern is that pediatricians and general practitioners do not have specialized training to detect early signs of a speech and communication disorder, so they may end up advising the parents to wait.  To ease the anxiety, pediatricians typically advise parents to wait it out on the premise that language development becomes more active at age two. Doctors recommend waiting until the child is of this age, and maybe even until he or she is three before consulting with a speech pathologist. And so begins the waiting game for parents who keep believing that their child will eventually catch up and learn how to talk like other kids his or her age.

When you suspect that your child may have a speech problem, do not wait until he or she is three before considering consultation with a certified speech language pathologist. These professionals are trained to distinguish a delay from a disorder in your child’s language development. To find one, you may ask your pediatrician or your local hospital for a referral, but better yet, check out, the official website of the American Speech-Language-Hearing.

If a specialist finds that your child is simply behind and that the delay will soon resolve itself, he or she will most probably give you tips on how to boost your child’s language skills. These may be games, activities, or even tips on how to talk to your child so that he or she learns to talk more.

However, if a speech pathologist confirms a disorder, be glad you saw the specialist early. Earlier speech therapy means better prognosis for your child’s language. The sooner the disorder is corrected, the better chances your child has in his or her overall development.

In closing, it is not advisable to wait until your child starts school before getting him or her checked for a disorder if you suspect one. There are free screening and intervention programs that are available for very young children and even babies.

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Divorce and Its Negative Effects On Children

Divorce has seemingly become very common these days.  It has become very prevalent in today’s young couples.  Majority of parents who get divorced usually either search for unrealistic relationships in their marriages or simply do not believe that it can bring negative effects on their children.

According to research, children who belonged to parents who experienced repeat divorces acquired lower grades and more likely to experience difficulty fitting in.   The lost of either parent to divorce usually causes the lack of emotional support the child needs from either parent.

Around forty percent of children in America grow up without their fathers.  It is very critical that in the event parents get divorced, the father of the child should continue to provide good parenting such as helping with homework, spending quality time, and being emotionally available to the child.  Unfortunately, a lot of parents lose these practices immediately after divorce.

Conflict amongst parents during or after the divorce is also a major contributor to the child’s well-being.  Often times, parents who decide to divorce believe that if they would be happier being divorced, their kids will be happier compared to when both parents are miserable staying together.  Divorce is a change that most adults find very difficult to get adjusted to.  Can you imagine what the situation is like for your children?

As parents, it’s perfectly understandable that you feel uncertainty on how exactly you can provide the right and needed support to your children.  You may have gone through a divorce for the first time, but there’s always something you can do to help your kids always feel loved, to never allow your circumstances affect their self-confidence and personality.

You can provide constant reassurance, making them feel that they can always rely and count on you.  Try not to let your child see and feel your conflict with your spouse.  Just bear in mind that their well-being is your topmost priority.

They key thing here is to make them feel that the divorce is not their fault.  You need to commit to listening to their feelings without falling into the trap of being defensive.  Reassure them by letting them feel that there is nothing they should be afraid of and making them understand the situation.  Your unconditional love for them will strongly be felt, and highly necessary.

Cooperating with your ex plays a very important role in ensuring that your children grow stable and strong even after the divorce.  Putting aside your conflicts with your ex may be complex and stressful.  Trying to control strong feelings of resentment, anger, and any kind of conflict with your ex may be the most difficult part.  However, it is very possible to agree on an affable working relationship.  Sure enough, any parent should do this for their children’s sake.

You and your ex should consider this as a new relationship with one another.  Again, this has to be agreed with the common understanding that your children’s needs come first.  Remember that just because your marriage is over doesn’t mean your family is too.

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Why You Should Educate Your Children about Sex

Many parents would argue against sexual education to children for fear that they may be exposed too soon and this could lead to an early sexual experience out of curiosity of what they learned in school. But children do not have the sexual desire yet to become fully sexual active at that age.

Sexual education is encouraged in some schools to prevent children acquiring false information from inexperienced individuals such as their friends and peers. By learning it in school children will be able to acquire factual information without the pressure of experiencing it personally. Some argue that giving the school the go signal of teaching kids about sex is robbing their parents of their responsibility to teach such life important values to their children.

Family is the basic unit of society which molds every individual into becoming a responsible citizen as they become adults. Parents play a significant role in raising children with values essential to become a good citizen of society. These values instilled by parents and other members of the family will guide a person into making many important decisions in life that will lead to a person’s path to success, fulfillment and personal achievements.

The right approach

It is not easy to talk about sex to children because it is deemed a taboo for some families especially those conservative types of families wherein they view sexual intercourse as a sacred act enjoyed only by married couples. Although this is the ideal set up, sex after marriage does not always happen especially in western countries where young people are exposed to sex in media, internet and society. Liberal thinking towards sexual acts and sexual preferences has opened a window that leads to promiscuity and immorality.

How would parents bring up a topic such as sex to their children? Here are some tips on how to start the discussion.

  • Explain the biological process that takes place and try to use common medical terms such penis, vagina, and semen. Some parents may replace organ names with cute connotations such as “weenie” or “mommy’s daisy” but it is better to name them as they are to remove malice in the words and present it to them as a biological process that is natural between married couples.
  • Answer your child’s questions and don’t leave them wondering. Keep your answers straight to the point and factual to give your children the correct information to avoid having them ask their friends or peers and reduce the risk of false information being passed on.
  • Though the goal of sexual intercourse is for making babies, make it clear to your children that it is also a form of intimacy between married partners just like moms and dads. Seeing that sex is not just a biological process to proliferate, children will value sex as something that should be shared with the person you love and will commit to in marriage.
  • Make sure that when you make time for the “sex talk” your children’s focus is on your discussion. Set aside an appropriate time and remove all distractions so that there is enough interaction and understanding between the two of you.
  • Reinforce sexual education to your children, it should not be a one time discussion as children will eventually have a lot of questions as they grow up and personally experience the changes in their body that makes them feel uncomfortable. It will be a relief for them to know that these changes happening are of a normal occurrence. If parents and growing children continue to have an open communication about sexual education, it will form a trusting relationship wherein children and adolescents will not feel embarrassed or ashamed in telling their parents of their personal life regarding relationships, sexual identity and experiences.

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