5 Ways to Foster Healthy Media Usage in Your Preschooler 

BarbChild Development, Children's Health, Preschool Behavior, Toddler Behavior

foster-healthy-media-usage-in -your -preschooler

Is your preschooler getting his very own IPAD or computer this year for the holidays?  Exposing your young child to technology can enhance his education unless it takes over his life.  Per a study done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only three out of ten kids ages 8-18 said their parents set boundaries on their use of technology. Don’t let your young child start forming bad media habits now because it will only get worse as he grows older.  Implement these guidelines right away to foster healthy media usage in your preschooler:

How to Foster Healthy Media Usage in Your Preschooler

1. Lead by example.

Don’t have the TV on all day. Resist using your cell phone during meals or spending hours on Facebook.  Gradually reduce your technology reliance and spend more quality time with your family.

2. Don’t let technology be your babysitter.

Sometimes it’s easy to give your child an IPAD or turn on the TV when he is bored to keep him entertained. Instead interact with your child by reading a book on an e-reader. Try teaching him how to write an email. Play online games that will develop his skills. Watch educational videos together.

3. Ensure your child is doing hands-on offline activities daily.

Is your three to five-year old getting enough play time outside?  Is he playing with blocks and board games, drawing and coloring, and trying to read books? Before you buy him an IPAD or other type of  media,  make real-life activities an integral part of his day.

4. Establish media time limits.

Decide what is the appropriate amount of time for your preschooler to be on TV, a cellphone, IPAD, or computer. Will it be 30 minutes a day?  According to Dr. Michael Rich, Director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Boston Hospital, for toddlers and preschoolers, 20 to 30 minutes a day of screen time should suffice.

5. Be skeptical for your child’s sake.

Just because a program is rated “G” for General Audience viewing, it may not be appropriate for your young child.  It’s a good idea to preview what your preshcooler is going to view and watch it with  her to help her process what she is seeing.  You can also access a site called Common Sense Media, a company that helps families make smart media choices.  In addition, when selecting online apps, ensure they foster creativity, innovation, and problem solving.

Dr. Michael Rich sums up what your role should be to foster healthy media usage in your preschooler:

“Technology itself doesn’t create problems,” says Dr. Rich. “What matters is what we do with it. Just as you monitor the foods your kids eat, you should introduce quality media when they’re ready, help them think about what they see and hear, and make sure they’re not sacrificing time for homework, physical activity, family, or friends.”

What do you do to foster healthy media usage in your young children?


Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 55+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page. 

 

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10 Best Holiday Stress-Busters for Busy Parents

BarbParenting, Stress-Relievers

holiday-stress-busters-for-busy-parents

 

 

Is the stress of the holidays starting to take its toll on you right about now?  Writing and mailing cards, shopping for gifts, baking cookies, decorating the tree, party planning, and allotting time for holiday traditions can be quite daunting when you are pressed for time.

Here are some holiday stress-busters for busy parents that will give you more quality time to spend with your family to realize the true meaning of this joyous season.

 

Top Holiday Stress-Busters for Busy Parents

1. Reduce the amount of holiday cards you send by mail.

More people communicate online because it saves time.  Email cards to distant relatives and friends.

2. Shop online to eliminate dealing with crowded stores and highway traffic.

Many online retailers offer incentives like free shipping and special pricing.

3. Delegate tree trimming to your kids.

They will enjoy using their creative talents and you will get time to attend to something else you need to do. After the children are in bed, you can perfect what they have attempted to do.

4. Don’t worry about making things from scratch.

Buy ready-made party appetizers, entrees, cookies, and fudge. Check out some of the big warehouse clubs to save money. Your guests will probably not even know the difference.

5. Keep a consistent bedtime schedule for your children.

All the excitement of the holidays can be exhausting for them.  Tired, cranky children are not fun. Putting your children to sleep at their normal time will ensure they are well-rested and give you some extra time to tend to a chore that needs to get done. (like wrapping presents)

6. Develop a holiday budget and adhere to it.

Determine how much you can afford to spend on gifts, food, and entertainment so you have a point of reference when shopping. Consider using a mobile price comparison app to get the best price for your items.  You ‘ll find you won’t stress out over how much you are spending.

7. Learn to say, “No.”

Let someone else plan your work holiday party.  Limit the number of holiday events you attend and projects you assume. During this hectic time.  Don’t exhaust yourself and your family by overdosing on too many activities. Make sure there is adequate time for your family to “chill out” at home, too.

8. Save time labelling your children’s gifts.

Use a different wrapping paper for each child and you won’t have to deal with labels.

9. Think and plan ahead for next year’s holiday season.

Make it a New Year’s resolution to purchase gifts throughout the year when you can realize substantial savings and not be stretched for shopping time. If possible, stock up on holiday decorating items and gift-wrapping supplies for next year right after Christmas when prices are at their lowest.

10. Be realistic

Realize that not everyone will be happy all the time.  Don’t worry about making everything perfect.  Let your sense of humor help you cope during this hectic season and follow our best holiday stress-busters for busy parents.


Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 55+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page. 

 

 

 

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Why Giving Your Preschooler a Holiday Puppy Can Be a “Doggone” Mistake

BarbParenting, Preschool Behavior

 Giving-Your-Preschooler- a -Holiday-Puppy

Little, four-year-old Ralphie had been begging for a puppy since he visited the local puppy store a few months ago. Every time he was out with his parents and saw a dog, he had to go over and pet it.  Ralphie’s parents could see he really wanted one and decided to surprise him last Christmas with a special gift from Santa – a puppy from the pet shop.

Ralphie’s initial excitement knew no bounds.  He smothered his new canine friend Sparky with hugs and wouldn’t leave the house without him. His dad showed him how to walk Sparky, comb his fur, and fill his water bowl. After a few weeks, the reality of having a dog set in and Ralphie wasn’t as interested.  He’d forget to keep Sparky’s water bowl full and was more interested in playing with his friends in the neighborhood than taking his new four-legged friend for a walk. Ralphie’s parents became the dog’s caretaker. Housebreaking him, walking, him, grooming, him, and feeding him became their additional chores.

You can see how giving your preschooler a holiday puppy can be a “doggone” mistake.  Let’s examine why giving Ralphie a puppy didn’t work for this family.

Why Giving Your Preschooler a Holiday Puppy May Not Be a Good Idea

1. Adding a dog to your family shouldn’t be an impulsive decision.

It should be discussed and negotiated with family members. You should research which breeds are good with children and the best place to purchase or adopt a dog.  Everyone needs to understand what his responsibility will be as far as housebreaking, feeding, exercising, and behavior training of your furry friend.

2. Young children do not fully understand the true meaning of pet ownership and rarely want the responsibility of consistently caring for a pet.

Their interest in a puppy can quickly wane leaving you with the burden of daily care. The best time to get a family dog is when it’s something you want and you are ready for the commitment.

3. Good dogs are usually not available for holiday purchasing.

Breeders want to ensure that their puppies go to homes where pet owners understand the responsibilities involved in caring for a puppy so they don’t usually breed their dogs for a Christmas-giving litter. When buying a pet from a pet store, you run the risk of getting a dog from a puppy mill. These dogs are frequently inbred, not socialized, and more susceptible to genetic health problems and behavioral difficulties. If you really want a dog, purchase one from a reputable breeder; an experienced, well-known rescue group; or, an established animal shelter.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Puppy for Your Family

It’s a good idea to take the following into considerations before purchasing a canine friend for your family:

  1. Finances – will you have the money to pay for the ongoing expenses of pet health care, food, and pet sitting, if needed? Per the ASPCA, the annual first-year expenses of owning a dog can exceed $1,000.
  2. Helpfulness of Your Preschooler – How helpful is your preschooler at home? Does he consistently do the small household chores you assign to him? If he doesn’t, more of the dog’s care will fall in your lap.
  3. Frequency of Not Being at Home – Some pets suffer separation anxiety if left alone too long. If you travel frequently with your family and your pet is usually at home alone every day, you are not being fair to the animal who wants companionship, too.
  4. Allergies – Do any of your family members suffer from bad allergies? If so, you will need to consider dog breeds which are less allergenic.

Takeaway

Giving your preschooler a holiday puppy is usually not a good idea and shouldn’t be done impulsively. Take the time to do your research on the type of dog and where to purchase the dog that will best fit your family’s need for pet ownership.  Remember that the best time to add a dog to your family is when you are ready to make the commitment that pet ownership demands.  Have you ever purchased a pet as a holiday gift for a young child?  Let us know if it worked out for you .


Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 55+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page. 

 

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16 Common Household Items That Will Fascinate Your Young Child

BarbBaby Behavior, Toddler Behavior

household-items-that-will-fascinate-your-young-child

 

Is your baby or toddler tired of his toys?  Are you looking for ways to keep him interested in playtime?

Older babies and toddlers want to learn more about cause and effect. They are interested in the sounds that objects make and how they fit together. Here are 16 household items that will fascinate your young child.

 

Household Items That Will Fascinate Your Young Child

 

1. Colander – improve your child’s fine motor skills by having him push pipe cleaners through the holes. Use it as a bath toy, too.

2. Potato Masher – the interesting curves of this tool will attract his attention. Have him make imprints in Play-Doh or sift sand with it.

3. Plastic cups – enhance water play, sand play, stacking, scooping, hiding things, and color-sorting things.

4. Wooden Spoon – will satisfy his curiosity about what sound this object makes when he bangs it against a hard surface. Babies also like to chew the wood.

5. Plastic Mixing Bowls – Your young child can stack these and bang on them.

6. Empty Wipe Container – Fill it with fabric scraps and have your child pull them though the slit opening.

7. Remote controls – Babies especially enjoy playing with these because of the soft colorful buttons that show flashing lights.

8. Paintbrushes – Your child will love painting the outside with a cup of water.

9. Clothespins – Kids can create some neat art by arranging these.

10. Catalogs and Magazines – Strengthen your young child’s motor skills by letting him rip them apart. He can also have fun stacking them.

11. Suitcases – Young children love opening and closing suitcases, placing items inside suitcases, and even climbing inside them. They can make great beds for their stuffed animals, too.

12. Swiffer – Get your young one to start helping around the house. The Swiffer is lightweight and easy to move around.

13. Containers with Lids – Give your child a few of these and watch him have fun removing the lids and putting them back on the containers. Who would think something so simple could be so entertaining?

14. Paper Towel Rolls – Young kids like to use them as microphones as well as rolling them and bending them. They can even try putting items into them and watching them fall out of the bottom.

15. Retractable Tape Measure – Your baby or toddler will love pulling the tape out and watching it retract.

16. Laundry baskets – are great places for kids to put items into and dump them out.  Young children also enjoy sitting in them. Laundry baskets provide great support for younger babies learning to sit up. Encourage your little one to try throwing a ball into one. Laundry baskets serve as great beds for stuffed animals and dolls, too.

A good rule of thumb to follow to choose household items that will fascinate your young child is to ensure they meet these three criteria:

      1. They are non-toxic because babies and toddlers put everything in their mouths.
      2. They don’t have sharp edges which would cut your young child while he is playing with them.
      3. They don’t present a choking hazard. Items that are very small like buttons or small coins are easy to swallow.

What household items fascinate your young child?


Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 55+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page. 

 

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Easy Grocery Store Learning Activities for Your Preschooler

BarbChild Development, Parenting

grocery-shopping-learning-activities-for-your-preschooler

 

Did you know that your weekly trip to the grocery store can help strengthen basic skills your young child is learning at Chappell Schools? There are opportunities to reinforce number, letter, and word recognition; color identification; comparisons; shape recognition; as well as counting. Your child can also learn new words which you can mention each time you return to the grocery store.

The next time you’re food shopping with your child, try some of these easy grocery store learning activities for your preschooler. Plan your trip after a meal or snack so he won’t be hungry and fussing for food. You‘ll find you actually look forward to taking your little one with you to the supermarket.

Grocery Store Learning Activities for Your Preschooler

 

Ask your child to look for a specific letter in the grocery store. See how many times she can find it and point it out to you. “Can you find a cereal box with the letter ‘C’?”

Ask what sound the letter “C” makes.

Ask, “Can you name a piece of fruit that begins with the letter ‘B’?” as you are strolling through the produce aisle.

Introduce your child to a new word by pointing out a piece of fruit he may not be familiar with such as a “pomegranate”. See if your child can tell you what letter “pomegranate” begins with.

Have your child point out a piece of fruit that is round in shape.

“Can you point to a vegetable that is red?”

Compare sizes. “Can you find a big bag of cookies? Now find a bigger bag of cookies. Which is the biggest bag of cookies you see?“

“Can you find a letter that’s in your name in this grocery store?”

“Let’s count the number of aisles in the grocery store.”

“Can you put 4 tomatoes in this bag for me and count them as you do?”

“Can you find the number “2” in the store?”

“Can you guess the next item I am going to place in our shopping cart? Listen to the clues.”

“How many items are in our shopping cart?”

Make a shopping list for your child using pictures of items you will be purchasing. Have your child check off the item as you or he puts it into the cart. Here is a downloadable grocery list you may want to use.

Using these easy grocery store learning activities for your preschooler will make your trip to the supermarket with your young child a fun and educational experience for both of you.


Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 55+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page. 

 

 

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The Secrets to Handling Your Spirited Child

BarbChild Development, Parenting

handling-your-spirited-child

 

Little Jasmine pushed Sammy down in the sand box and poured sand over his face. “You’ll never hit me again, Dummy!” she hollered loudly as she ran toward her mother.

Sammy’s mother ran over to her sobbing son and tried to comfort him. She decided she would tell Jasmine’s mom about the incident.

“I’m sorry about what happened,” apologized Jasmine’s mom, Violet.  “I have trouble controlling Jasmine; she is such a spirited child.”

Sammy’s mother had a difficult time understanding bratty versus spirited children. She couldn’t believe her ears. “Spirited” child, she thought to herself, Jasmine is just a spoiled-rotten brat!

Is there such a thing as a “spirited” child?  Per Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a clinical psychologist and professor at California State University, Los Angeles, while there’s no clinical testing to establish whether a child is spirited, there are some children who are more “spirited” than others.

The doctor feels that a spirited child is very enthusiastic and curious, can be very opinionated, has stronger moods and emotions than other children, and has difficulty handling all of those feelings.

A spirited child is determined to explore, discover, and create all sorts of things. When you establish rules, they will object by sometimes having meltdowns but still know how to listen and respect your wishes.

A bratty child is rude and disrespectful and usually mean. They know no clear boundaries and will constantly challenge your authority.

As parents, you want to raise a well-behaved child but don’t want to stifle the “spirit” of your child.  How can you improve understanding and handling your spirited child? What can you do to ensure that you don’t raise a brat?

Dr. Durvasula recommends that you consider if there might be an underlying cause for your child’s extra spirit especially if a teacher or doctor has mentioned to you that there might be an issue. It’s possible for a child to have mood or developmental disorders which can contribute to his temperament.

When dealing with your spirited child, the important thing to remember is you need to be real about your child’s behavior and set limits for him that match his personality yet respect the rights of others.

With that in mind, here are some strategies for handling  your spirited child :

Ways of Handling Your Spirited Child

1. Remain Calm.

Keep your cool so your child doesn’t sense you are being influenced by his behavior. Tell him you see what’s happening.

“I see you are angry about having to pick up your toys.”

2. Give Him Positive Choices with Consistent Rules.

Make the environment positive when you know your child doesn’t like to do a particular task.

“It’s time to clean up. You can pick up the marbles or the soldiers first.”  Choices let children feel power.

3. Create a Behavior Management Chart Together.

If you notice your child needs to focus on improving certain behaviors, have her help you make a list of these behaviors and goals on the computer. Print the chart out and hang it on the refrigerator.  Each time your child shows improvement place a sticker next to that goal. Make it a game to see which behavior improves the fastest.

4. Establish Structure and Routines.

When children know the weekly and daily schedules in advance, there are no surprises and upsets. Children thrive on structure and predictability.

5. Create a Distraction.

If you notice a behavior starting to happen, find a task, job, or interest that will change your child’s thinking.

6. Meet His Basic Needs.

Ensure your child isn’t tired, hungry, or feeling ignored which can be the catalyst for becoming upset. If you are off schedule because of visiting a theme park that day, address the need for a food break, nap, or a little one-to-one play time.

“…When your spirited child is disrupting the experience of other people, that’s not how society rolls,” Duvasula says.  “It’s a balancing act between allowing independence to soar and grow while helping that child understand time and place.”

How have you improved handling your spirited child?  How do you establish limits that don’t hamper your child’s creativity and curiosity?

 Additional Resources for Understanding and Handling Your Spirited Child

Recommended Reading:

Raising Your Spirited Child  by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

Parenting the Strong-Willed Child by Rex Forehand and Nicholas Long

Kids Are Worth It – Giving Your Kids the Inner Gift of Discipline  by Barbara Coloroso


Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 55+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page. 

 

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The Rookie Parent’s Guide to Preventing Stranger Danger

BarbChild Safety

preventing-stranger-danger

 

“Would you like a balloon?” asked the friendly store cashier.  “Come with me and I’ll get you one.”

Little four-year-old Kate excitedly started to follow the generous middle-aged woman into the stockroom.

“Kate,” her mother yelled. “Come here right now. What have I told you about going with strangers?” she anxiously queried the preschooler.

The little girl frowned angrily at her mom because she couldn’t understand why she shouldn’t go with the nice lady to get a balloon.

Young children are so innocent and naïve; they can’t fathom a friendly person being dangerous. If you haven’t had a conversation with your young child about going off with strangers, now is a good time to review this guide for preventing stranger danger.

When to Start Preventing Stranger Danger

When discussing strangers with two or three-year- old toddlers, talk about general safety. Remind them to stay close to you when they are with you outside of your home. Per the American Academy of Pediatrics, at this age, your children should know the correct names for their genitals and that it is not OK for most people to touch them there.

Ask your four-year old what a stranger is. If he doesn’t know, emphasize that it is anyone he doesn’t know. Tell him that although not all strangers are bad, it’s hard to tell the good ones from the bad ones. To remain safe, it’s best to be cautious with people he doesn’t know. You might compare the danger of approaching a stranger with approaching an unfamiliar dog.

9 Guidelines for Preventing Stranger Danger

When discussing the dangers of strangers with your preschooler, include the following guidelines:

1. If someone you don’t know is pretty and seems nice, she is still a stranger if you do not know her.

2. Don’t ever go anywhere with a stranger or get into his car.

3. Don’t ever take food, candy, or gifts from a stranger.

4. Do not ever pet a stranger’s animal, even if he tells you to do so.

5. A stranger should not ask you for help. If he does, move away from him quickly.

6. If someone rings the doorbell, it’s best to let mommy or daddy answer the door.

7. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel uncomfortable. If this happens, tell mommy or daddy or another trusted adult.

8. Always stay with mommy or daddy when you are out. Don’t go off alone.

9. Should a stranger try to take you, yell,” No!” and fight hard to get away.  Run to a public place until you see an adult who can help protect you.

Takeaway:

During the hustle and bustle of this holiday season keep your children safe. Discuss preventing stranger danger so they are not tricked into leaving the store with someone they don’t know. Identify some adults in your neighborhood who can help your child in case they are in an unsafe situation. Share one of the following books with your child to reinforce the importance of remaining cautious with strangers.

The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers by Jane Berenstain

Once Upon a Dragon: Stranger Safety for Kids by Jean Pendziwol

Your Body Belongs to You by Cornelia Maude Spelman


Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 55+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page. 

 

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10 Proven Ways to Please Your Prechooler’s Picky Palate

BarbChild Development, Children's Health, Preschool Behavior

please-your-preschooler's -picky-palate

 

 

As Johnny grew into a toddler, he was learning lots of new skills like walking, talking, and climbing. His mom noticed that he only wanted to eat certain foods probably because they made him feel more secure.

Johnny’s fussy eating habits all started when he was one.  He had started feeding himself more and became insistent on eating only certain foods.  His mom knew he needed a more balanced diet so she tried to introduce foods like beans, mashed potatoes, anything that he could eat easily with the few baby teeth he had. After trying several foods with no luck, Johnny’s mom just gave up. Now she had a preschooler who was a picky eater. How would she ever please her preschooler’s picky palate?

How to Please Your Preschooler’s Picky Palate

  1. Understand that your food preferences affect what your child will eat.

    Make sure that you are eating a variety of nutritious foods you want your child to eat. The key is making your child familiar with new foods because young children need to be exposed to a new food at least 10 to 15 times before they will try it.

    2.  Let your little one get involved in the meal preparation.

    By doing this, you are increasing the likelihood that he will taste what he is making.

    3. Don’t show disgust for a food in front of your child with your words, facial expressions, or body language.

    Your child may also become picky about eating that food.

    4. At every meal include a healthy food your child does like along with the new food.

    Gently encourage your child to touch, smell, lick, or taste the new food. Don’t force the child to eat it.

    5. Be observant of your child’s food likes and dislikes.

    If your child doesn’t like “mushy” foods, try more sliced options. For instance, substitute apple slices for applesauce or a baked potato for a mashed one.

    6. Don’t get into the habit of making special meals for your child.

    Let him eat what everyone else is consuming in a smaller serving.

    7. If your child has a sweet or spicy tooth, use healthy dips that match those tastes.

    Have your children dip their vegetables, fruits, and meats into yogurt, hummus, ketchup, mustard, or low-fat salad dressings.

    8. For the child who wants to feed himself, include finger foods that he can easily pick up himself and eat.

    9. If you have a child who eats four tablespoons of his dinner and then wants a cookie or piece of candy, serve a small portion of it with his dinner.

    Allow him to eat it first or only eat that. In time, he will understand that sweets are part of the meal but not the only part.

    10. Resist negotiating food with your child.

    “If you eat your dinner completely, I’ll give you some ice cream.”  “Just eat two more bites.” You will avoid a big power struggle and defeat your purpose.

    Takeaway:

    The more familiar a child becomes with a food, the more likely he will eat it. Remember that your child will usually need to see a new food 10 to 15 times before he will try it. Give your child easy tasks involving handling the food when you are preparing the meal. This will increase his likelihood of eating what he makes. Finally, be a good role model and don’t show any negative feelings toward a food in front of your child. Use these ten tips to please your preschooler’s picky palate.

    If you are concerned about your child’s nutrition or growth, consult with his doctor. Remember, though, that as long as he has energy for growth and he is not losing weight, there’s generally no reason for concern.


    Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 55+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page. 

     

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Why You Didn’t Easily Succeed at Fighting Holiday Stress Last Year

BarbParenting, Stress-Relievers

succeed-at-fighitng-holiday -stress

 

 

Was last year’s holiday season unbelievably stressful for you? Were there some things you should have done differently? It’s not too early to start thinking about what you could have done differently to succeed at fighting holiday stress this year. Could some of these reasons been your downfall?

Reasons You Didn’t Succeed at Fighting Holiday Stress

You didn’t know how to say “no”.

You over-committed yourself which put you on a time-sensitive schedule. Your family and you were exhausted because of all of the planned activities that left you little time to relax. Realize that you can only do so much as a working parent and that you can stress your kids out by doing too much, also. Be realistic when it comes to family expectations; don’t let your emotions guide you when accepting invitations and responsibilities that will wreak havoc on your schedule.

You didn’t evaluate priorities.

You didn’t take the time to sit down and plan out how to use your time. Make a list of the “must do” activities such as decorating, shopping, wrapping presents, baking, party-planning. Schedule them incrementally to allow enough time to accomplish by your deadlines so you are not rushing around at the last minute.

You didn’t facilitate easier ways to do things.

Review your “To Do” list to see if there is any way you can make a task easier. Could you bake less cookies this year? Could you reduce the amount of shopping you have to do by suggesting a family gift exchange? To do this, each family member puts his  names on a separate piece of paper and identifies what he would like to receive. Each family member picks a name and shops for that person within a designated budget.

Could you reduce the amount of cooking you have to do by having more potluck dinners for family holiday get-togethers? Could you decrease your holiday card list or send some greeting cards electronically to save time and money?

You didn’t delegate.

By thinking that no one can do it better than you can, you are setting yourself up for a stressful holiday season. Let older children and adults help clean the house, bake the cookies, and set the table for holiday parties. Could your children help wrap presents for others? The gifts may not be wrapped perfectly, but you ‘ll be getting your kids into the holiday spirit.

You forgot to plan for fun for your immediate family.

You didn’t schedule time to attend a holiday play, concert or community event with your children. Because of all of your commitments, you forgot to drive around with your family to see all of the holiday lights. The holidays are supposed to be a fun time to gather with your family.  Don’t neglect favorite activities that are enjoyable and memorable for your immediate family.

You didn’t have any time to “chill out” by yourself.

Taking time for yourself is an important holiday-coping strategy. Schedule some time to destress whether it be a short nap every so often, or some special time with your partner or a good friend. Alleviate some of the stress during this hectic time of year.

Takeaway

It’s not too early to start preparing for the holidays to succeed at fighting holiday stress this year. Learn from last year’s mistakes. Say “no” if you know your plate will be full. Make a list of everything you need to do and tackle them a little at a time so they don’t overwhelm you at the end. Let others help you and look for other easier ways to do things which may mean reducing or eliminating some responsibilities. Remember the reason for the season – celebrating enjoyable times with your family and close friends. Last but not least, schedule some down time for yourself.  It will recharge your batteries and help you battle the holiday stress.


Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 55+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page. 

 

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7 Reasons to Ditch the Guilt of Being a Working Mom

BarbBaby Behavior, Child Development, Parenting, Preschool Behavior, Toddler Behavior

ditch-the-guilt-of-being-a-working-mom

 

 

Are you constantly beating yourself up about being a working mom? Do you feel like you should be home with your young children because they may be missing out not having you around?  Take a look at these reasons why it’s time to ditch the guilt of being a working mom.

Why You Need to Ditch the Guilt of Being a Working Mom

1. Your child will fare better in life.

A Harvard study showed that children raised by working moms are more likely to have jobs themselves, hold supervisory roles, and earn higher wages than children who were raised by stay-at-home moms.

2. Your child will become a better socializer.

His day includes interacting with other preschoolers and adults which improves his social development.  He learns how to get along with others and resolve conflicts.

3. Your child has a better chance at academic success throughout his school years.

The U.S. National Institute of Health conducted a research study which found that children in high-quality childcare programs scored slightly higher on measures of academic and cognitive achievement in their later teenage years.

4. Your child has a better chance of being healthy during his elementary school years.

Although your child may pick up bugs at preschool from his exposure to so many children, he will benefit down the road. A study which the Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics conducted found that children under two years of age in daycare had more respiratory and ear infections then but were sick less often in elementary school than children who were cared for at home.

5. Your child will be better able to function independently.

As a result of attending daycare, your child will be less clingy. Being with other children on a daily basis will make him more independent. There are many things you can do to alleviate his early separation anxiety.

6. Your baby won’t hold a grudge.

Your baby won’t remember how many times you left him at daycare or how often he got upset. Ease your guilt about leaving him because he won’t mind.  Once he gets into the routine, it will be normal to him.

7. Your child will learn necessary life skills.

From how to eat with a fork or spoon to, snapping, buttoning, and zippering his clothes, your preschooler will be learning lots of life skills every day at the appropriate age level. You’ll be amazed when you see your little one doing these tasks automatically at home.

If you have a baby or  young child in daycare, it’s time to ditch the guilt about being a working mom. Reflect upon all of the benefits your preschooler is realizing while you are working.


Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 55+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page. 

 

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Barb7 Reasons to Ditch the Guilt of Being a Working Mom