How many toys do kids really need?

From Today’s Parenting By Carla Harms| Dec 1, 2017

Don’t worry about loading up your cart at the toy store to aid your kid’s development. Here’s how many toys they really need.

Before having my son, I had seen one too many living rooms taken over by toys. I was determined that my own house would never be filled with plastic blinking contraptions that would inevitably become tripping hazards and leave my husband and I howling in pain. But, like all the other things I said I would never do, I found it difficult to avoid once I actually became a parent.
Continue reading

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they

Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Feel free to excerpt these tips or use them in their entirety for any print or broadcast story, with acknowledgment of source.

ALL DRESSED UP:

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and t hat costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.

CARVING A NICHE:

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
    Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. They should never be left unattended.

HOME SAFE HOME:

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
    Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
    Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

ON THE TRICK-OR-TREAT TRAIL:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:
  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom).
  • Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

HEALTHY HALLOWEEN:

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.

©2017 American Academy of Pediatrics

Prayer for Your Family’s Future School Year

Prayer for Your Family’s Future School Year

Lord, a new school year has begun for some and soon will begin for many more. Would you give peace and patience to parents, teachers and those young people who begin their new routine and school year. Excitement, a range of emotions and worry means we need your patience in spades. Father God give families a new focus and help them to fix their minds on You. Help children, parents and teachers work in harmony as they grow and learn through the school year. May your patience be apparent in each person’s life. Help our schools be a safe! Help adults and children be
productive in the new learning environment for 2017. As parents, teachers and children enter the educational environment may the classroom be the perfect place for growth and preparation for the future. Keep everyone under an umbrellas of protection. We look forward to the school year ahead and thank You for Your presence every step of the way.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Make a Decision

Make a Decision

Be decisive. Right or Wrong make a Decision. The road is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a Decision.

When Should Your Child Get a Phone?

When Should Your Child Get a Phone?

Parents empowered by ‘Wait Until 8th’ keeping kids smartphone free longer. By Genevueve Shaw Brown of ABC News

Across American groups of parents attempt to keep smartphones out of the hands of children.

Brooke Shannon, founder of Wait Until 8th, told ABC News that in Austin, Texas, where she lives, there is “mounting pressure” to give children their own smartphone at a young age.

“We started seeing children as young as 1st and 2nd grade coming to school, play dates and birthday parties with the latest iPhone. As we started to ask around, many parents said they eventually caved on the smartphone because ‘everyone had them’ and they did not want their child to feel left out,” Shannon said.

Many parents are holding out of buying their kids cell phones. Twice as many children have cell phones now as in 2004. Most teens — 85% of those aged 14 to 17 — have cell phones. So do 69% of 11-14 year olds and 31% of kids aged 8-10, according to a 2010 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Go Here For More From ABC News

Still, there were many parents who preferred to wait. So, the idea came for these parents to rally together and start a pledge.

But the family feels the positive far outweighs any inconvenience. “She reads more, still plays with Legos and is more active and imaginative than I think she would be if she were immersed in a virtual relationship with a screen,” her dad said.

About 1,300 families with children in more than 400 schools in 43 states have already signed the pledge in the few months since the movement began, according to Wait Until 8th.

Kids Who Appear Acting Naughty, Aren’t!

Kids Who Appear Acting Naughty, Aren’t!

By Erin Leyba. Image from iStock.

Many of kids’ so-called ‘bad’ behaviors are actually normal developmental acts of growing up.

1. They can’t control their impulses. Ever say to your kid, “Don’t throw that!” and they throw it anyway?

Research suggests the brain regions involved in self-control are immature at birth and don’t fully mature until the end of adolescence, which explains why developing self-control is a “long, slow process.”

What parents can do: Reminding ourselves that kids can’t always manage impulses (because their brains aren’t fully developed) can inspire gentler reactions to their behavior.

2. They experience overstimulation.

We take our kids to Target, the park, and their sister’s play in a single morning and inevitably see meltdowns, hyperactivity, or outright resistance. Jam-packed schedules, overstimulation, and exhaustion are hallmarks of modern family life.

What parents can do: When we build in plenty of quiet time, playtime, and rest time, children’s behavior often improves dramatically.

3. Kids’ physical needs affect their mood.

Ever been “hangry” or completely out of patience because you didn’t get enough sleep? Little kids are affected tenfold by such “core conditions” of being tired, hungry, thirsty, over-sugared, or sick.

What parents can do: Kids can’t always communicate or “help themselves” to a snack, a Tylenol, water, or a nap like adults can. Help them through routines and prep for when that schedule might get thrown off.

There are several more points about whether Kids are acting out on purpose, Go Here.