During the holidays we get more invitations to parties and gatherings then other times of the year. If you have a baby that means one of 3 things. Option 1 stay home. Option 2 pay a fortune each time for a babysitter. Option 3 bring your baby.
ow much time does your young child spend in front of the television? Do you find yourself putting on the dvd player in the car, handing your iPhone to your child so s/he can watch a movie, or putting on the t.v. at home to entertain your child?
TV watching is a passive activity that doesn't require anything more than sitting there, staring at a screen which can lead to obesity and affect developmental skills. When your child is sitting around watching television, they are NOT doing a lot of other things such as: reading a book, playing outside, socially interacting with others, being creative, or being physically active. These are all things crucial for meeting developmental milestones. Limiting t.v. watching time allows for more planned activities which will help your child work on skills like conversational skills, gross and fine motor skills, and cognitive skills.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that TV watching should be limited to one to two hours per day of quality programs. The word quality is key here. Make sure what your child is watching offers something to your child. Programs like Dora the Explorer attempt to engage your child in critical thinking skills. And although the questions posed in programs like this are better when coming from an actual person who can help your child come up with the correct answer, it is better than watching mindless television that does not offer a lesson, or some learning.
They also suggest that your child should not have a t.v. in his/her room, that if a program is not worth watching, do not keep the t.v. on for background noise, and choose program times as you would if you were going to a movie. It might not be a bad idea to actually check out the programs your young child watches and look at some others to in order to compare. You may discover that one is better than another and is better quality. This should apply to movies too. You should know exactly what kind of content the movies have in them. Just because something is animated, doesn't mean it's age appropriate.
Set a t.v. time, choose programs wisely and plan activities for your child that will help, not hinder your young one's developmental skills. Children learn from doing. As an old chinese proverb says "Tell me and I forget, Show me and I remember, Involve me and I understand".
If you look at the top of the menu of a particular outdoor restaurant on Long Island you read that children must remain seated during their stay and that service is dependent on this. And a few years ago there was some contraversy over a sign in a Chicago coffee shop that read "children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices when coming to A Taste of Heaven."
Some may get upset by this and some understand and appreciate these signs. Sometimes it seems to be a clash of those with children vs those without when it comes to things like this. Each parent though, actually each person, comes from a different school of thought. There are some parents who are more liberal with their children and feel everyone should agree with their views. It's kindof like politics that way.
The point is, that when people go out to a restaurant, coffee shop or pizzeria, chances are they really don't want to listen to a screaming, misbehaved or whining child and like it even less when that child is running around. Most of us prefer to enjoy our time out...in peace. Especially since the reason we go out is for fun, to relax, to catch up with friends and dining out brings a certain mood that can easily be ruined by an unruly child.
To avoid your child from fitting into the category of "that kid" (you know, the one describe above who everyone is staring at) here are some things to keep in mind:
*Enforce appropriate table manners and proper in-seat behavior at home at your own table. When you are sitting down for meals, make sure your child is sitting too. Encourage him/her to sit quietly, with no yelling, whining or bouncing around rules. Some squirming is to be expected but reinforce staying in the chair.
*Bring something to do. Many parents go out for coffee or a meal with a young child and then expect that child to either sit there, or run around. Neither of these are good options and they are not fair to your child. Bring a bag full of crayons, coloring books, toys, books or dolls. Something that can fit on the table that your child enjoys playing with to keep him/her distracted.
*Talk to your child before going out about the behavior you expect. If your child is old enough to understand (about 2yrs and above) sit quietly with your child and tell him/her that you will be going out and explain exactly what you want to see. For example "we are going to the coffee shop and when we get there I want you to sit quietly with me and stay in your sit". If necessary offer and reward and tell your child they can pick out something yummy to eat, but that it is contingent upon the good behavior.
Going out should be enjoyable for everyone. If you have to constantly scold your child or chase after them, then it means that you are not having a good time, and the people around you aren't either. Having your child be well behaved means that you can enjoy your time with your child, and it means your child will have a good time too. It also means that your child will be safe since running around can lead to falls, hot beverage spills and even running into the street if it's an outside place. A well behaved child is a happy child and by children of all ages behaving appropriately all will enjoy time out together.
When your child does not know how to swim, not only do you need to bring all the extra equipment, but you have to be in the water with your child every time s/he wants to be there holding him/her up...and let's face it... sometimes the water is just a little too chilly and the kids are a little too splashy for you to enjoy yourself.
So, that being said, many parents pose the question: "What is a good age to put my child in swim lessons"? The answer is around 3 -4 years depending on how much your child likes water. Even though there are swim classes for children as young as 6 months, these are really there just to get your child adapted to the water and there is no need for you to spend your money on them. Children who are about 3 years old begin to explore the water more freely and experiment with going under water and kicking their feet etc. As they get closer to 4 years old most children who are not afraid of the water are ready to swim. If your child is one of those children who goes under water and loves to be in it, then you may want to consider finding some lessons.
The best thing to do is sign up for private swim lessons. Many parents put there children in group lessons where their children get about 5 minutes of personal time once you factor in the other 5 or more kids in the group getting a turn. It is best to hire a swim instructor that works at your pool and use your money for private lessons where your child will get personalized attention for 30 minutes.
You should watch these lessons and listen in to all the key terms like "talk to the fish" and "listen to the fish" so that when you practice with your child you use the same cues that the instructor uses.
Once your child is proficient in the water, if they are young, it may be a good idea to go in the water with them or at least be sitting on the side of the pool depending on the skill level just to be on the safe side. And as you sit there knowing you and your child are free from swimmies and floaties and tubes, you can bask in the sun and enjoy watching your water baby show off her/his new skills.
“The recommendation of a new category of autism spectrum disorders reflects recognition by the
work group that the symptoms of these disorders represent a continuum from mild to severe,
rather than being distinct disorders,”
This change will supposedly make it easier for school districts to give services and parents to get services for their child because the children will be classified as Autistic and therefore qualify to receive services more easily rather than having to decide which category/ diagnoses the child falls. Some states do not give Special Education services to children with Asperger's because they often have average to high IQ's and adequate language skills. This new criteria will make it more children eligible to receive services through Special Education.