child development, Child's Education, Relationships

4 Effective ways to Get Your Kids to Stop Whining

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“Moooooooooooom!”

It’s irritating, it’s frustrating and it gets on your last nerve. Though it’s obnoxious and unacceptable, it’s actually effective for your child to get your attention. It’s whining. But, like other bad habits, you can nip it in the bud early with a few simple strategies to teach your child there are other appropriate, effective forms of communicating with you.

  1.  First, try limiting the situations that trigger it. Avoid extra errands when the kids are hungry.  Don’t let them get involved in a frustrating game or project prior to bedtime. Pay attention when your child is talking, as sometimes whining is a reaction when a child feels you aren’t giving them your full attention. Praise them for not whining and talking in a normal and understandable voice that allows you to fully understand what they are saying to you.
  2.  When the whining begins, don’t overreact. Keep your response simple, calm and neutral.  Ask your child to repeat the request in a normal tone. When giving in seems inevitable, don’t delay. If you must finish the grocery shopping so you can put dinner on the table, for instance, and your child starts whining for a snack, offer something healthy right away.
  3. Once a limit has been set, parents should follow through. It’s imperative that both parents are on board with this limit and fully follow through when the whining rule has been violated.
  4. If you have an older child that’s developing a whining habit, suggest they come up with a solution to their perceived boredom or other voiced problem.  If you suggest possible alternatives, it might just prolong the child’s whining.

Sometimes whining can be the result of trauma and trouble in their life. A divorce, serious family illness or problems at school may be at the root.  Additional positive attention and quality one-on-one time may be just the medicine your child needs at a time like this. Your pediatrician can also suggest alternatives to curb whining should the positive attention and disciplinary actions be ineffective.


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child development, games

10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

via 10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

Children play not only for fun, but it also helps them to develop their individuality and recognize the world. During autumn or winter when it’s rainy, snowy outside adults had to entertain kids through indoor activities. We’ve put together a list of 10 enjoyable indoor game ideas to do with kids at home.

1. Freeze Dance

Kindergarten

Choose some of your kids’ favorite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or do 10 jumping jacks during the start of the next round and then rejoin the dance. Toddlers in particular love this game.

2. Balance beam

d0aa78a2a4449e108dc508ecd7830559We all know how much kids love walking in straight lines every chance they get. Turn on some music, and one at a time the kids can take their turn walking one-foot-over-the-other across the straight line of tape. Make the game more challenging by having the kids walk backwards or balance with one foot on the line.

3. Pen and pencil games

740x3362

Here are a few pen and pencil games that you can play at home with children.

  • Tic-tac-toe is a paper-and-pencil game for two players, X and O, who take turns marking the spaces in a 3×3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.
  • Join the dots: Make a 6×6 square of dots on a page. Take turns to join dots with a line. You can join only two dots at a time. If your line completes a box, you put your initial inside it. The person with the highest number of boxes wins. Once the child gets the hang of the game, move to a bigger square.

4. Hot Potato

hot-potato-game-1

This game will have everyone giggling. Ask the kids to sit on the floor in a circle. Turn on some tunes and have them pass the potato (a bean bag or soft ball) around the circle as fast as they can. When the music stops, the player holding the potato leaves the circle. Keep going until only one player is left and wins the game.

5. Obstacle course

20151018_string01

Create a furniture course in your apartment or take chalk and make a course outside. Add in specific mental or physical challenges to keep them guessing.

Example:

  • Crawl under or over a row of chairs.
  • Crawl under a string stretched between two chair legs.
  • Jump into and out of a Hula-Hoop five times.
  • Walk on a balance board.
  • Throw a beanbag into a laundry basket.
  • Run while balancing a beanbag on your head.
  • Do a ring toss.
  • Ride a tricycle along a predetermined route.
  • Somersault from one point to another.
  • Do a handstand.
  • Skip in place while reciting a jump rope rhyme.

6. Balloon ball

shining-design-kid-party-game-ideas-50-easy-birthday-games-for-kids-no-stress-planning

There are endless ways to play with balloons indoors.

  • Balloon Hockey: Make a hockey stick using the full instructions found here. Set up two goals on opposite sides of the room and have each child try to get the balloon into their goal by hitting it with their hockey stick. Pick a number of goals to reach or set a timer and see who gets the most points in that time frame to determine a winner.
  • Baloon Ping Pong: Securely tape the stick to the back of the paper plate to form a racket. Blow up the balloon and put a tape line on the ground to serve as a net. To play a formal game, let your kids hit the balloon back and forth across the “net.” They may only hit it one time to get it across and if they miss or the balloon touches the ground, the other person scores a point. The first person to score 15 points wins. To play for fun, just let them hit the ball back and forth with their rackets — no score keeping necessary.
  • Balloon Catch: Blow up one balloon per player. Each player tosses his or her balloon in the air and then must catch it in the mouth of their funnel, and then toss it in air again and catch it again, all without using their free hand. Each catch is worth 1 point. If the player uses their free hand or the balloon touches the ground, they start over at zero. The first player to get to 10 — or 20 or 100 — wins! The game may be modified to be easier for younger players. For instance, they get a certain amount of touches before losing their points or they can use both hands.

7.  Bake or decorate

cooking-with-kids-1

Kids love spending time with parents in the kitchen. Think simple techniques, short ingredient lists and satisfying dishes that children will be proud to eat—because they’re the head chef. Bake without losing your sanity or buy pre-made frosting (and even cupcakes) and set up a cupcake decorating station with whatever candies, nuts, and sprinkles you have on hand.

8. Puzzles

GettyImages-138710378web-56f9e4f25f9b582986706ea3

When you cannot step out, pick up a few puzzles that you can work on all day.

Picture puzzles, but these won’t keep you busy for long unless there are more than 25 pieces in it.
A picture puzzle book can be a great idea, given that you can work on one puzzle after another to keep the child engaged.
Word puzzles are a great option if you want to improve your child’s vocabulary.
3D puzzles toys are good for younger children.

9. Pillow fight—’nuff said.

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A pillow fight is a common game mostly played by young children (but also by teens and adults) in which they engage in mock physical conflict, using pillows as weapons.

10. Treasure hunt

Pirate-box

Kids love finding hidden objects — especially when there’s a prize at the end. Simply write your clues on some slips of paper — get creative. Place the first clue somewhere easy to find, like inside your child’s snack or cereal bowl. Then leave as many clues as you like around the house, making a trail to the final clue. Instead of a prize, the treasure hunt can lead to various coins around the house. This way the kids get to collect all the coins and put them in their piggy banks in the end.

Have fun!

child development

Take the Bite out of your Toddler’s Biting Problem

Mother with her daughter

The majority of toddlers engage in some biting between their first and third birthdays. Probably the most common reason is that it is one of the few ways of communicating that’s effective for them, before verbal skills are developed. However, not all children bite. Some choose other forms of communication, such as grabbing, shoving, or punching.

Another reason toddlers bite is to express frustration, a feeling which is very common with toddlers, because both their communication skills and their motor skills are so limited.

To a young toddler it can be funny to see mommy suddenly bolt upright or for a playmate to start crying. Toddlers may also bite because they’re teething or because they put everything in their mouths anyway, so why not someone’s arm? It could even be something as simple as hunger.

But how do you teach your child not to bite?

Make it perfectly clear that the biting is hurtful and wrong and point out to your child how much pain their biting has caused.  Express that biting is wrong and unacceptable and that neither mommy or daddy like it. 

If you discover that your child is biting out of frustration, try giving them an alternative to express to people they are having a difficult time.  Though language is a difficult task at this age, most toddlers can be taught words that are appropriate for such a situation.  For instance, “You need to tell mommy or daddy that you need help and not bite us,” or “Show mommy what you need, but don’t bite.  You’ll hurt her if you bite and I know you don’t want to hurt mommy, do you?”

Experts agree that parents should try not to give biting so much attention that it becomes an attention-getter. This is true of all behavior that you don’t want to see repeated.  Firmly tell the child again that there is no biting allowed, that it is wrong, and that it hurts people.

child development, games

10 fun indoor games and activities for kids

Children play not only for fun, but it also helps them to develop their individuality and recognize the world. During autumn or winter when it’s rainy, snowy outside adults had to entertain kids through indoor activities. We’ve put together a list of 10 enjoyable indoor game ideas to do with kids at home.

1. Freeze Dance

Kindergarten

Choose some of your kids’ favorite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or do 10 jumping jacks during the start of the next round and then rejoin the dance. Toddlers in particular love this game.

2. Balance beam

d0aa78a2a4449e108dc508ecd7830559We all know how much kids love walking in straight lines every chance they get. Turn on some music, and one at a time the kids can take their turn walking one-foot-over-the-other across the straight line of tape. Make the game more challenging by having the kids walk backwards or balance with one foot on the line.

3. Pen and pencil games

740x3362

Here are a few pen and pencil games that you can play at home with children.

  • Tic-tac-toe is a paper-and-pencil game for two players, X and O, who take turns marking the spaces in a 3×3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.
  • Join the dots: Make a 6×6 square of dots on a page. Take turns to join dots with a line. You can join only two dots at a time. If your line completes a box, you put your initial inside it. The person with the highest number of boxes wins. Once the child gets the hang of the game, move to a bigger square.

4. Hot Potato

hot-potato-game-1

This game will have everyone giggling. Ask the kids to sit on the floor in a circle. Turn on some tunes and have them pass the potato (a bean bag or soft ball) around the circle as fast as they can. When the music stops, the player holding the potato leaves the circle. Keep going until only one player is left and wins the game.

5. Obstacle course

20151018_string01

Create a furniture course in your apartment or take chalk and make a course outside. Add in specific mental or physical challenges to keep them guessing.

Example:

  • Crawl under or over a row of chairs.
  • Crawl under a string stretched between two chair legs.
  • Jump into and out of a Hula-Hoop five times.
  • Walk on a balance board.
  • Throw a beanbag into a laundry basket.
  • Run while balancing a beanbag on your head.
  • Do a ring toss.
  • Ride a tricycle along a predetermined route.
  • Somersault from one point to another.
  • Do a handstand.
  • Skip in place while reciting a jump rope rhyme.

6. Balloon ball

shining-design-kid-party-game-ideas-50-easy-birthday-games-for-kids-no-stress-planning

There are endless ways to play with balloons indoors.

  • Balloon Hockey: Make a hockey stick using the full instructions found here. Set up two goals on opposite sides of the room and have each child try to get the balloon into their goal by hitting it with their hockey stick. Pick a number of goals to reach or set a timer and see who gets the most points in that time frame to determine a winner.
  • Baloon Ping Pong: Securely tape the stick to the back of the paper plate to form a racket. Blow up the balloon and put a tape line on the ground to serve as a net. To play a formal game, let your kids hit the balloon back and forth across the “net.” They may only hit it one time to get it across and if they miss or the balloon touches the ground, the other person scores a point. The first person to score 15 points wins. To play for fun, just let them hit the ball back and forth with their rackets — no score keeping necessary.
  • Balloon Catch: Blow up one balloon per player. Each player tosses his or her balloon in the air and then must catch it in the mouth of their funnel, and then toss it in air again and catch it again, all without using their free hand. Each catch is worth 1 point. If the player uses their free hand or the balloon touches the ground, they start over at zero. The first player to get to 10 — or 20 or 100 — wins! The game may be modified to be easier for younger players. For instance, they get a certain amount of touches before losing their points or they can use both hands.

7.  Bake or decorate

cooking-with-kids-1

Kids love spending time with parents in the kitchen. Think simple techniques, short ingredient lists and satisfying dishes that children will be proud to eat—because they’re the head chef. Bake without losing your sanity or buy pre-made frosting (and even cupcakes) and set up a cupcake decorating station with whatever candies, nuts, and sprinkles you have on hand.

8. Puzzles

GettyImages-138710378web-56f9e4f25f9b582986706ea3

When you cannot step out, pick up a few puzzles that you can work on all day.

Picture puzzles, but these won’t keep you busy for long unless there are more than 25 pieces in it.
A picture puzzle book can be a great idea, given that you can work on one puzzle after another to keep the child engaged.
Word puzzles are a great option if you want to improve your child’s vocabulary.
3D puzzles toys are good for younger children.

9. Pillow fight—’nuff said.

761699b00fc2c4c89e4301f9c656efed

A pillow fight is a common game mostly played by young children (but also by teens and adults) in which they engage in mock physical conflict, using pillows as weapons.

10. Treasure hunt

Pirate-box

Kids love finding hidden objects — especially when there’s a prize at the end. Simply write your clues on some slips of paper — get creative. Place the first clue somewhere easy to find, like inside your child’s snack or cereal bowl. Then leave as many clues as you like around the house, making a trail to the final clue. Instead of a prize, the treasure hunt can lead to various coins around the house. This way the kids get to collect all the coins and put them in their piggy banks in the end.

Have fun!

child development, Relationships

Successful Two-Way Communications with your Child

Feeling-better-article-2

One of the most frustrating challenges we face as parents is communicating effectively with our child. Though we strive to open an honest two-way line of communication with our child, we become frustrated when it appears their attention isn’t solely on us or the conversation at hand.  Yet we seem to find it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss things with them while reading the paper, folding clothes, or working on the computer and then are often left wondering when the lines of communication broke.

Children are by nature easily distracted and not always responsive to their environment. It is the responsibility of the parent to emphasize positive patterns of communication and ensure the child learns that ignoring communication is not acceptable. Early prevention, in the form of educating your child about the proper forms of communication, is the key to ensuring that the non-verbal agreement does not take hold.  Teach your child by example.  Remain completely and totally focused on them and the conversation at hand.  Turn off the television; allow calls to go to the voicemail, or go in a room where there are no distractions.

Talk to your child, and explain to them in age-appropriate terms how they are communicating and why their method doesn’t work.  Show your child how to communicate effectively, even when the questions are hard.

Make yourself an active listener.  Let them voice their opinion or side of the story and ask questions to ensure you understand their viewpoint.

Be constant in the manner in which you communicate with you child. Send the same message with each and every interaction. Allow your child to see that you will call their attention to those times that the unwanted behavior rears its ugly head.

Kids will be kids and they will sometimes be distractive and non-communicative. You are the expert in knowing your child’s behavior and can best judge the improvement in their communications. The best way to ensure healthy communication patterns is to model positive communication skills.