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How to Talk to Children About Death

By on January 4, 2018 in Family

Children learn many things every day, some of them wonderous and enlightening, others worrisome and quite scary. Death can be difficult to accept for an adult; children may not even be able to grasp it. If they learn about death the wrong way, this can lead to confusion and possibly lingering problems, such as anxiety and/or depression.

If your child does not understand what it means to die, and you think they are now old enough, here are some ways that you can discuss it:

Ask Questions

Before you start your talk, find out what your child knows about death. That will provide you with both a clear starting point and areas that need to be included.

Reassure Them

Your children already have a bond with you, but this is a good time to reassure them that it is safe to display their feelings. Listen, be patient, and try to answer any questions in ways that you think they will understand. If you don’t know the answer to a question, be honest: don’t simply make something up. Make sure they realize that there is always someone there to answer their questions and help them to understand.

Language

You understand your child better than anyone and are aware of what they can comprehend. Thus, use language that is appropriate for their level. While you don’t want to overwhelm a child, the more they can understand that is concrete, the less they will try to fill in any blanks with their imagination. Kids have a tremendous capacity to imagine things (remember your own childhood), so it is possible they can come up with explanations that will simply cause confusion and stress.

For the very young children in your life, the excerpt from SESAME STREET below shows how Big Bird first learns about death. It is quite well done and recommended viewing:

How to Deal With Disappointed Children at Christmas

By on December 4, 2017 in Family

Some children look forward to Christmas with a fervor that goes beyond pretty much everything else in their lives. But can you really blame them? Think back to what Christmas meant to you at that age. We’ll bet that you had a certain toy in mind, and stayed up as long as you could to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus delivering it.

Alas, it was not to be. The cool thing you wanted (and was sure could be found in that big box under the Christmas tree) turned out to be something practical that was no fun at all. That no doubt left you sad and maybe even a little mad. How could this happen? Why couldn’t I just get the thing I wanted, like all of the other kids?!

Years later, you can see how irrational and immature that sounded, but kids don’t understand views like that, especially in the moment.

We want the best for our kids, but sometimes it is not possible (or desirable) to get them what they ask for. So, how do you talk to the child you know you will disappoint this Christmas because you didn’t buy the iPhone X they wanted?

Be Careful About Expectations

If your child expresses a longing for something you either can’t or don’t want to buy, don’t lead them on by saying things like, “Maybe if you’re good.” If a gift is not a possibility, let them know in advance.

Be Mindful of Their Feelings

Remember how you felt in their shoes. It seems trivial and silly to you as an adult, but this type of let down is a big deal for them. Once the furor has died down, try to impart to your child that you can’t have everything in life and it is good to know how to deal with disappointment.

Kids Have Short Memories

It may be tears and complaints now, but let’s face it: kids have short memories. They will eventually start thinking of other things (and other potential gifts) and everyone will be able to move on.

How to Tell Your Child That There is No Santa Claus

By on November 29, 2017 in Family

What child doesn’t love Christmas? And what child doesn’t love Santa Claus, the loveable old guy in red with the bottomless sack filled with endless gifts? However, as happens to every child (usually between the ages of 5-7), there will come that day when they ask whether Santa is actually real. This can be both an awkward and an important time in a child’s development that some adults struggle with. Some even tell their children early on that there is no Santa, so they won’t have to lie to them later on.

If your son or daughter has come to you asking about whether Santa, and you are not sure what to say, consider the following approach. It was posted on Facebook by Charity Hutchinson and offers a gentle, effective way to handle the issue.

In essence, Hutchinson says to tell kids that Santa Claus is something that we ourselves become. It is all about growing up, being considerate of other people’s feelings, and demonstrating that empathy by engaging in positive actions.

When the time comes, let the child know that you think they are ready. After citing several occasions during the year where the child has done kind things for others, talk to them about who else could benefit from their new Santa generosity. Emphasize that these acts of kindness are done in secret with no intention of someone doing the same for you—just as Santa did for them all these years.

This is a wonderful way to do it because you are encouraging kids to pass along the joy of giving without expectation. That is an important lesson which can help kids along the road to maturity at a time when they feel the world revolves solely around them. It also saves parents from having to lie, something that can be quite painful.

As for timing, there is nothing wrong with waiting until after Christmas. However, in the end, you child will decide, not you.

Does the PG-13 Rating Really Work?

By on June 15, 2017 in Family

Prior to the late ’60s, there was no movie ratings system in America. Films that adhered to the content restrictions of the time received an Approved seal and were sent out into the marketplace for anyone to view. However, changing times and the arrival of foreign films that more readily addressed adult themes demonstrated that it was time for a change. The ratings G, M, and X were introduced, which were soon modified to G, GP, R, and X (GP eventually became the more widely recognized PG).

These classifications were deemed sufficient until the summer movie season of 1984 when parental outcry arose over the level of violence in the PG-rated INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and GREMLINS. Many felt that both films were R-level in content and not suitable for children to see unaccompanied. This resulted in the creation of PG-13, which fell between PG and R. Anyone could still see a PG-13 feature, but parents were warned that some material could be inappropriate for children under 13.

Nowadays, the majority of movies carry the PG-13 classification as it allows filmmakers to present a certain degree of violence, coarse language, and sexual content without limiting their possible audience. It makes commercial sense, but the PG-13 movies of 20-30 years ago bear little resemblance to ones bearing the rating now. Directors routinely take movies right up to the line without crossing over into R territory, which can mean the material is really top end PG-13 and would have received the more restrictive rating only a few years ago.

What can parents do? If you are concerned about the content of some PG-13 features, there are websites such as Kids-In-Mind that break down the levels of violence, language, and sex in each feature. It can be difficult to keep track of what your kids are seeing or hearing, particularly online, but it is worth exercising some degree of control until they are in their later teens and better able to process the often graphic content of films.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is one of several recent movies that have pushed the PG-13 rating to its breaking point. Image courtesy Warner Brothers.

Parents Taking Care Of Parents

By on March 1, 2016 in Family

CaptureAs we all know, family is so important.  That’s why we really need to reinforce how important it truly is to take care of your family.  When I had a baby, it was probably one of the most stressful times in my life.  However, I’ve found that throughout the years, the most stressful time might possibly be when I have kids to take care of and parents to take care of.  My dad passed away when I was quite young, and I remember it being a very difficult time in my mother’s life.  Now, being a young parents of two kids under the age of 5, having my mother get sick is just creating so much unwanted stress on my family.  Yes, my husband is great and takes care of our kids and my mother all the time, and I’m so thankful for that.  But having to juggle kids, work, and parents is sometimes just a little bit too much.

My friend eventually told me of a service that care for seniors right at your home.  This means that I can leave the house, drop my kids off at preschool, and go to work without having to worry about if my mom is doing okay home alone.  Basically, this service provides home care for your loved ones and they’re able to stay with them at home while you’re away.  This definitely helps my life a lot because it’s not so much the taking care of my mother that stresses me out, it’s more the worry of leaving her at home by herself.

I’m so grateful for services like these because without it, I don’t know if I would be able to adjust my life properly and still be able to do everything I do.  My family is very thankful for our caretaker.  She’s amazing and extremely professional.  My mother sure likes her a lot too as well as the kids.  It’s definitely one of the best agencies for at home care in our region.  I no longer have to rush home from work or not be able to take my kids to their swimming lessons at night.  I’m able to cook dinner for my family and spend more time with my kids, husband, and mother.  It’s so great to be able to count on someone and them have your back.

A Closer Look At Child Care Centers

By on October 16, 2015 in Family

Of course the cleanliness and maintenance of the center need to be of critical importance to the administrators and the staff. It might be easy to ascertain this from the surface, however this should not avoid you from examining further. Does the center have a set schedule for sterilizing their devices and cleaning the children’s products and toys? Does it have a policy for sick children or a treatment for administering medication? A child getting ill needlessly must be a parent’s least concern.

Licensing policy specifies that moms and dads can see their children anytime. If they are looking for a Las Vegas child care center, for instance, they must be enabled to go into and observe the centers. Likewise, if you wish to see your child for whatever factor while he is at the center, the staff ought to let you in anytime.

When you’re inside the center, it is simple to see if your child is getting quality care. A few of things you must observe consist of crying children, noise levels, and the entertainment facility supplied. If children are simply wandering about aimlessly, then don’t expect your kid to find out anything. A good Las Vegas childcare center ought to inform children and encourage them to communicate with each other.

Just When You Thought You Had Heard It All…

As you can see, there are lots of factors to consider to look into when finding a Las Vegas child care center. In some cases, it might not even be about the service provided; it is about how comfortable your child feels in the day care.

However, there are differing opinions about child care centers

What discipline technique does the center employ? Look for one that enhances positive habits instead of that which penalizes a child for bad habits. This can scar a child for life.

Child Care Centers?? More Considerations

Talk to the center’s childcare workers. Do they really have a positive outlook in life? A natural desire to make a positive effect in a child’s life is an excellent character quality. One ought to also have a proactive method in child rearing and discipline. These qualities can absolutely influence a child.

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