child development, health, healthy food, momblog

5 Proven Tips to Solve Your Picky Eater Problems

If you have a picky eater at home, do not be worried because picky eaters are normal members of millions of households across the globe!

But why do we even have picky eaters? Is being picky a sign of disobedience? Basically, children are considered to be neophobic. This means that kids could easily become fearful of whatever is new to them such as food tastes or appearance. Since the majority of our children have this tendency to become picky eaters, a lot of parents would simply give in to their demands just to let them eat and never starve. But doing this could compromise not just our children’s health but also their behavioral development.

Here are six proven tips to solve your picky eater problems:

1.Involve your children in kitchen stuff.

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Don’t we all agree that the kitchen is a dangerous place for kids? But that could only always be true if we never organize our kitchen stuff. Surely, you don’t cook your meals 24/7, right?

It is best for children to be involved during meal preparation so that they could also feel the excitement in whatever they have helped with. Maybe you could let them soak some veggies in a bowl of water? Or you could also let them drizzle some dressing over salad? You can actually involve them in almost everything except for the obviously dangerous activities such as when you are using the knife or when the fire is already turned on.

2. Show your creative side and experiment with fruits and vegetables

Did you ever hear them say yuck over carrots or apples? Then what has been your initial response? Most parents would choose to keep the “yucky” vegetables or fruits out of their children’s eyes to prevent them from showing disgust over what has been prepared on the table.

But if you really want to let your kids eat a particular “yucky” food, then you better start normalizing the experience of eating such. A subtle way of doing this is by making different forms of one particular food and letting them try these. For example, if your kids don’t like simple boiled carrots, why don’t you mash them with butter, process them with burger patties, or make differently shaped carrot fries? Let your creativity fly during meal preparation.

3. Never consider mealtimes as power struggle.

Mother's Hand Feeding Food to a Young Girl (13-14) Who Is Making a Face

One of the frequently forgotten facts in parenting is our children’s natural tendency for power struggles. The power struggle becomes evident once our children reach the toddler stage. It is during this time that you would often hear them say “no” to so many things including food.

Do not compete with your kids. The power struggle may seem real but you need to know that it is only part of their development as human beings. Never force a specific dish to your children because they could grow hating such meals. Instead, you can talk to them in a gentle and reassuring way about the beautiful things that they could get from eating what they may initially hate.

4. Model what you preach.

Cliché? Yes, but this cliché still remains relevant in daily parenting. If you want your children to eat vegetables, then eat the same thing as your kids on the table. A lot of parents force their children to eat something that they themselves don’t even want to eat. This can cause a lot of trouble and confusion to our kids because they don’t want strange stuff. They need familiarity, thus they need to see you eating the same thing that you ask them to taste.

5. Monitor your children’s eating habits, weight gain, and other body reactions.

Some picky eaters are unfortunately suffering from allergic reactions to certain foods while others are facing medical conditions. As parents, we all need to closely monitor our children’s body reaction to what we serve them. Do your kids suddenly feel itch after being exposed to peanuts or eggs? This may be a sign of food allergy.

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It is also very important to keep a record of your children’s weight and appetite condition. If your children are losing significant weight and are almost always lethargic, then you better consult your pediatrician immediately. Some picky eater problems can be caused by certain medical conditions. Be sure to communicate such eating problems with a professional who can help you and your children.


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child development, momblog

Help your Child Kick the Thumb Sucking Habit

via Help your Child Kick the Thumb Sucking Habit

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Thumb sucking is a concern many parents have. Toddlers suck their thumbs because it’s comforting and calming. It’s probably something they did before they were born and revert back to it when they are nervous, agitated, scared or ill.  They may also use it to lull themselves back to sleep in the middle of the night.

Parents shouldn’t concern themselves unless it continues after the age their permanent teeth begin to appear, around six years old. Experts say that it’s the intensity of the thumb sucking and the tongue’s thrust that deforms teeth and makes braces necessary later. Children who rest their thumb passively in their mouth are less likely to have difficulty than children who suck aggressively. If you’re concerned, closely monitor your child and analyze his technique. If they appear to be sucking vigorously, you may want to begin curbing their habit earlier.

Punishing or nagging your child to stop won’t help because it’s usually an automatic response. Attempting to curb it by putting an elastic bandage on his thumb or another method will seem like unjust punishment, especially since they indulge in the habit for comfort and security.

Try to wait it out. Children usually give up thumb-sucking when they’ve found other ways to calm and comfort themselves. Consider offering them other alternatives to comfort themselves such as a soft blanket or lullaby toy

The key is to notice when and where they are likely to suck their thumbs and offer an alternative.  If it happens while they are tired, try giving more naps.  If they suck their thumb frequently while watching television, try to distract them with a toy that will keep their hands occupied.

Older children may need gentle reminders to curtail thumb sucking while in public, and praise should be given freely when the child finds and uses an acceptable alternative.  Your child’s pediatric dentist can offer other suggestions for helping your child kick the thumb sucking habit.

child development, family conflict, momblog, Relationships

6 Easy Methods for Preventing and Controlling Tantrums

In one of the previous posts, I gave you reasons why tantrums are not at all bad. By acknowledging that tantrums are perfectly normal for our young children, we could now start making proactive steps to help our kids overcome their feelings of stress, emotional insecurity, and fear.

Here are some of the proven ways to keep meltdowns at bay and effectively controlled:

1. Let your child have a positive emotional foundation

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Do you know that it has been proven that consistent parent and children bonding activities such as playing together can offer positive and lasting impact on the emotional foundation of children? Even story-telling sessions can help reinforce discipline and patience which result in less emotional meltdowns among toddlers and preschool kids.

2. Do not be triggered by your child’s behavior.

1270234No matter how much annoying, stressful, and embarrassing the situation is, do not ever be triggered by your child’s tantrums. Once you react negatively to a child’s meltdown, then you only aggravate the situation. Remember one of the most frequently offered advice to couples about the need to be composed when one is feeling bad or angry? The same goes for our kids.

3. Be able to understand where he is coming from.

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Tantrums have certain triggers. Surely, one cannot behave annoyingly without any reason at all. If your child is over three years old, then it could be much easier to handle tantrums because you can effectively converse with her regarding what she wants, how she feels, and what makes her sad. But if you have a toddler who has a very limited vocabulary, then you can start training her to express herself through actions and signs. This way, you will be able to have a clue if she wants to have a certain toy, whether she is hungry or not, or if she is feeling sleepy.

4. Give him the space to vent out.

Don’t ever try to contain the stress, worry, and sadness of your child by stopping her from crying or screaming. Little children have a very limited capacity for managing their emotions. When they are frequently stopped from releasing their negative feeling, then their very mental health could be affected really badly. If they are having tantrums, give them two to three minutes to let them vent out.

5. Be creative – offer other objects of interest.

imgIf your child still hasn’t overcome her meltdown in three minutes, then you could try diverting her attention to something of interest. If she cries over ice cream, why not point to her stack of blocks or her cute dolls? Use your environment to stimulate her interest. Even a family picture can suddenly turn things around. Talk more about her siblings or even herself. Let her pour down her mental faculties in being amazed by her surroundings.

6. Offer the physical comfort of your mommy or daddy embrace.

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Our little children best understand love through physical means. There is nothing more comforting to our kids than our cuddles and hugs. Embracing your children can stimulate the release of more oxytocin or love hormones which will then allow them to feel much happier and less stressed.


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child development, family conflict, family time, momblog, Relationships

The Six Best Tips to Prevent Shouting at Your Kids

Parenting is definitely overwhelming. Although it is generally happy and fulfilling, it can also be toxic and exhausting at times. When things are not going well such as when our kids fail to listen to us or when they behave in a nasty way, we can have the tendency to yell at them. Is it normal? Or is it even acceptable?

Most moms and dads regret it when they suddenly and unintentionally shout at their children. But no matter how much they want to stop themselves from doing such, they admit that yelling seems to be a natural response.

I understand this sentiment. There are just times when our kids could easily bring out the unexpected beasts in our supposedly soft and loving hearts. But as much as possible, we don’t want this to happen. We want to continually be our children’s protector, nurturer, and safe refuge.

Not shouting at our kids is essential in making them grow mentally healthy and emotionally secure. Studies even point to the ineffectiveness of shouting in disciplining our children. When we yell at them, we do not address the main cause of misbehavior since they won’t usually be receptive to explanations during moments of distress.

To help you prevent from shouting at your children, I have compiled six of the best ways that you can use to make sure that you enforce positive discipline:

1. Identify what triggers your shouting.

1459981233-gettyimages-177462404In order to address the problem which is yelling, then we also need to know the cause of your response. Look back at the times that you have yelled at your children. Was it because of certain misconduct? Then go the extra mile in order to prevent such misbehavior. If your children usually mess up during meal times, why don’t you start teaching them table manners according to their age? If you have a toddler, then you could set up paper floor mats that could catch the dirt as she feeds. Do whatever it takes to prevent your triggers from arising.

2. Make your commands doable and easily understandable.

Your children surely have not fully matured yet, right? Then you must work on the instructions that you give them. If you want them to clean the living room, then be specific with your orders and give them one at a time. Ask them to pick up the scattered toys first, then only after that shall you order them to put the toys in the ottoman or do other things related to it. Do not bombard them with a lot of orders because they will surely fail you at some point in time and that could just cause your emotions to rise again.

3. Offer warning signs to generate teamwork.

"I'm sorry Dad!"

Be able to communicate to your children that you might be at the brink of a disastrous response and that you don’t want to reach that point. It would be nice if you could directly tell them that you are already losing patience and that you may now be triggered to shout. Such warning signs, when communicated peacefully, can generate teamwork because children would most likely rather prevent you from losing your cool than do otherwise.

4. Set realistic standards.

Your kid is not an adult; thus, you cannot expect her to be behaving like an ultra-disciplined adult who has been trained to follow all orders without room for mistakes. If you have a toddler, then don’t expect her to be eating mess-free. If you have an infant who keeps on crying at night, then don’t get mad at her for keeping you awake. After all, our expectations usually set the foundations for our behavioral responses.

5. Reflect on your day and your life.

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Have you had a bad day? Has it been months since you last had your own time for yourself at the salon or a coffee shop? Have you been feeling anxious because of career disappointments? It is important to examine yourself most especially when you have been delivering not-so-acceptable behavior towards the people around you. Be able to know how to address your own frustrations so that you can also live peacefully with your children.

6. Practice. Practice. Practice.

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Yes, it can be hard. Even when you become intentional in changing yourself, your child, and the circumstances, you could still suddenly yell at your child when certain situations happen. If ever you fail, do not ever think that it is the end of your journey to positive discipline. It could take time and a great deal of effort. Keep on practicing. But whenever you fail, do not forget to make a personal apology to your child about what you have done. Let her know that you are capable of asking forgiveness and that you need her help to remove the yelling tendencies.


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child development, family time, momblog, Relationships

How to Use Positive Attention to Have Happier Children

Sorry to burst your bubble, but here is a shattering truth: not all attention is good! Although we always hear the popular advice to give attention to our children, it is very seldom that we are given the reminder to offer positive attention.

As parents, we need to be mindful of and intentional on the kind of attention that we offer our kids.  Not because we are physically present can we assert the rightfulness of our parenting act. We need to make sure that the way that we interact with our children can be considered as belonging to the positive attention category.

To help you give your best foot forward in this parenting journey, let me offer some of the most helpful tips to use positive attention so that your kids can develop fully, happily, and optimally:

1. Offer the warmth of your smile.

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How often do you smile at your kids? When you get home from a stressful day at work, do you still manage to show your smiling teeth or do you bring the frustration from your job to your living space?

 

2. Give your hugs even during tantrums and trying moments.

Managing toddler tantrums and dealing with constantly crying infants can truly exhaust you. Some parents have a tendency to shout at their kids who give them difficult times. It is not enough to just stop your kids from crying. What is important is that you show your affection during the moments when they are emotionally down. Offer them hugs instead of just verbally asking them to wipe off their tears.

3. Listen to your children’s stories.

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Children who are only learning to talk can be quite annoying for some people. Although they could be generally cute, some people cannot stand hearing repetitive words and noisy expressions. As a parent, never should you have the same attitude such as theirs. Enjoy this phase. Be patient even when they are stuttering. Encourage them to articulate their thoughts well by helping with the formation of words and sentences.

4. Set your bonding activities together.

Do you know that a lot of kids consider their bonding activities with their parents as some of the most precious moments of their life? Create a routine with each of your children. Even when you have dozens of kids, make sure that you can set aside a few minutes with each one to perform a special activity.

5. Discover their gifts and interests.

Our children have their own talents, abilities, and interests. Have an effort to discover what it is that your children want to do. Exploring these things with them can reinforce your relationships.

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These tips seem to be trivial, right? Despite their non-complexity, they are very important in your parenting journey. Here are the reasons why positive attention can help your children:

  1. Positive attention can build your children up. It can help them have confidence with their own selves and have the courage to explore their capabilities.
  2. Positive attention can conquer all their hidden fears and create a safe haven for growth. Emotional security can prevent depression later on in their lives.
  3. Positive attention creates wonderful surroundings that can make your children feel a lot happier and more fulfilled.

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