Archive for August 4th, 2013

Mommy & Daddy's Blog

1. WHAT TYPE OF PARENT ARE YOU CURRENTLY? Rate yourself. If you could score yourself on a 1-10 basis, one being the worst and ten being the best, where would you put yourself and why? After having over fifty parents answer this question, I have found the most common answer to be anywhere from a five or less. As parents, we tend to think we are never doing enough. We think we’re ok but could always do better. We remember everything we did wrong. I just yelled at my daughter, I wasn’t fully listening, I couldn’t get off of work to see her school play. We never think of the good we did.

2. WHAT TYPE OF PARENT DO YOU WANT TO BE? What personality traits do you need to work on as a parent? Think of all the traits you would like to portray to your children. Think of the person…

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Going to school for the first time is a scary and exciting time for every child. Going to a strange place with strange people and being separated from parents and familiar faces can be a terrifying thing for anyone to go through, especially for a child of 4 or 5. It is up to us as parents to prepare our children for that big day, even though we may be feeling just as scared and even a little sad ourselves. Here are some things that you can do to get your child and yourself ready for that first day of school.
Read Stories About Starting School- If you have a normal story reading routine with your child (or even if you don’t), you can start reading them books about the first day of school. Kids will often relate with the child in the story and the outcome of the book may put them more at ease about their own first day. Some great books to consider are Franklin Goes To School by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark and The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing.

Teach Them The Basics- Before your child begins school he or she should know or should be actively practicing some basic things. These things include being able to spell and write their first and last name. They should also be able to count to 10 and tie their shoes. You should also probably start practicing their address and phone number with them as well. These will probably be difficult for them to learn at first, but if you keep practicing on a regular basis, like reciting it a few times while getting ready for bed, they will eventually commit it to memory.

Attend School Orientation With Your Child- Whenever a child is attending school for the first time, whether it’s Kindergarten or Pre-K, an orientation will usually be offered. This orientation will offer a variety of useful things, such as the ability to ask and have addressed any questions and concerns you may have, the opportunity for you and your child to meet the teachers, principal and bus drivers, as well as the opportunity for your child to take a tour of the classroom and the rest of the school. Depending on the school and whether or not your child will be taking the bus, your child may also be able to take a mini bus ride around the parking lot to see what it’s like to ride on a bus. Plus, your child may get to meet some of the children that they will be attending class and possibly making friends with. All of these things can help your child prepare for and even anticipate the first day of school, so be sure not to miss this important event.

Include Them in the School Shopping- Allow your child to go shopping with you for their new clothes and school supplies, and be sure to let them pick certain things out for themselves, such as their book bag, folders and their first day of school outfit. After you’re done shopping, let them help you organize and pack all of the things they will need to take with them on the first day. This will make them feel like they have more control over a situation that seems to be out of their control, and they’ll probably feel more relaxed and excited as well.

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Not another slippery dip

little pawsBecoming a mum is life-changing. It’s easy to remember all the things you sacrifice, like sleep and bladder control! Amongst the myriad sacrifices of motherhood it’s important to reflect on all the things you gain, and, fortunately that list is long too.

In my latest article over at Essential Baby  I  talk about what I’ve I have gained since becoming a mum, and it’s not just the few extra kilos on the bathroom scales! It begins with a sense of vulnerability. If you enjoy this piece, please share it.

What are some of the things that you have gained since becoming a mum?

*Photo: Tamara Oudyn

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Family Camping with KidsCamping with childrencan bring you back to the simplicity of nature. It increases your awareness of your surroundings and can refresh your appreciation for the many things that so often go unnoticed. Many things are learned and experienced for the first time during each day in the life of a child. Patience is almost unavoidable. It is so important to take the time to enjoy the journey of these new experiences with your child. In nature there are so many amazing things to discover. Camping can be a wonderful adventure. Just think – the birds and animals, the plants and trees, the rocks, the streams and ponds, the insects, the sounds, the weather, the wildflowers, and the many activities that can provide so much excitement. The possibilities are endless! By planning successful, enjoyable camping trips when your children are young, you will set them on the path to a lifetime of outdoor adventures.

**Get the kids interested in the trip by getting them involved. Build their excitement and anticipation.

  • Plan the camping trip together
    • Decide on places to go – consider interests, outdoor experience and children’s ages.
    • Pick activities to do
    • Plan and shop for your meals
    • Prepare and pack the equipment and supplies
  • Try a backyard campout before you go for the first time
    • Teach the kids how to set up a tent
    • Try some outdoor cooking
    • Experience a night outdoors in sleeping bags
    • Show them how to use some camping equipment
    • Plan a few activities
    • Search the sky for constellations
    • Listen to the many night sounds
    • Don’t forget the special nighttime snacks
  • Try to experience outdoor activities with your kids
    • Get them familiar with the outdoors in order to eliminate their fears
    • Teach them about safety and to respect nature
    • Teach outdoor skills and outdoor ethics
    • Camp chores are actually fun for kids. They love collecting firewood, filling water containers, hammering in tent stacks, camp cooking etc.
    • Make the camp chores extra fun – have contests for gathering the most kindling, best camp cooking, most organized gear
    • Take a small day hike in the woods at a local park
    • Visit a nature center
    • Go fishing at a local pond or stream
    • Take an evening walk
    • Go on a picnic
    • Read related books
    • Have a scavenger hunt
    • Go on a flashlight walk

**Take the necessary gear and supplies

  • Extra clothing and shoes – the kids will get wet and extremely dirty
  • Warm clothing – it may get chilly especially in the evening/dress in layers
  • Insect repellent – consider time-release formulas
  • Sunscreen – they’ll be outside all day
  • First aid kit – for those little accidents
  • Rain gear – keep them dry and warm
  • Toys, games, activities – you want to keep them busy
  • Check out Want to Play a Game?
  • Familiar bedtime items – pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, dolls etc
  • Flashlight/glow sticks – to help relieve nighttime fears
  • Snacks – all this activity is going to make them hungry
  • Drinks – avoid dehydration due to heat and activity level

**Create memories

**Plan alternative activities

  • For bad weather
  • To avoid boredom during down times
  • If they dislike a certain planned activity

**Respect campground quiet hours

**Make your travel fun

  • Don’t travel a great distance – stop frequently
  • Make your trips short – maybe two or three nights
  • Take toys and activities to keep them busy
  • Play car games – license plates, sign abc’s, singing etc
  • Take plenty of snacks
  • Build their excitement and anticipation

**A few tips on camping with an infant – Submitted by K. Molina

  • Use jar baby food. It’s easy to pack. Be sure to buy the smaller jars to cut down on leftovers or waste.
  • Buy a brand of baby cereal that has the formula or whole milk already in it…just add a little bottled water.
  • Portion out the cereal in small plastic ziplock bags…just add water.
  • Buy formula ready-to-drink in cans… you don’t have to add water.
  • Buy 2% milk in tetra packs that don’t need to be refrigerated until they’re open
  • Buy toys at the dollar store. They will keep your kids occupied in the car and at the campsite…simply throw them away if they get too dirty to take home.

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A millionbillionwillion miles from home
Waiting for the bell to go. (To go where?)
Why are they all so big, other children?
So noisy? So much at home they
Must have been born in uniform
Lived all their lives in playgrounds
Spent the years inventing games
That don’t let me in. Games
That are rough, that swallow you up.

And the railings.
All around, the railings.
Are they to keep out wolves and monsters?
Things that carry off and eat children?
Things you don’t take sweets from?
Perhaps they’re to stop us getting out
Running away from the lessins. Lessin.
What does a lessin look like?
Sounds small and slimy.
They keep them in the glassrooms.
Whole rooms made out of glass. Imagine.

I wish I could remember my name
Mummy said it would come in useful.
Like wellies. When there’s puddles.
Yellowwellies. I wish she was here.
I think my name is sewn on somewhere
Perhaps the teacher will read it for me.
Tea-cher. The one who makes the tea.
Roger McGough

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The crocodile, with cunning smile, sat in the dentist’s chair.

He said, "Right here and everywhere my teeth require repair."

The dentist’s face was turning white. He quivered, quaked and shook.

He muttered, "I suppose I’m going to have to take a look."

"I want you," Crocodile declared, "to do the back ones first.

The molars at the very back are easily the worst."

He opened wide his massive jaws. It was a fearsome sight––

At least three hundred pointed teeth, all sharp and shining white.

The dentist kept himself well clear. He stood two yards away.

He chose the longest probe he had to search out the decay.

"I said to do the back ones first!" the Crocodile called out.

"You’re much too far away, dear sir, to see what you’re about.

To do the back ones properly you’ve got to put your head

Deep down inside my great big mouth," the grinning Crocky said.

The poor old dentist wrung his hands and, weeping in despair,

He cried, "No no! I see them all extremely well from here!"

Just then, in burst a lady, in her hands a golden chain.

She cried, "Oh Croc, you naughty boy, you’re playing tricks again!"

"Watch out!" the dentist shrieked and started climbing up the wall.

"He’s after me! He’s after you! He’s going to eat us all!"

&quoton’t be a twit," the lady said, and flashed a gorgeous smile.

"He’s harmless. He’s my little pet, my lovely crocodile."

© Roald Dahl

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