3 Tricks For Weaning Off The Pacifier

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One of the best comforts for a tiny, crying baby is a pacifier. Baby needs comfort, Mom needs sleep; it’s a no brainer that a pacifier is probably one of the best tools in the parental box of tricks. It’s your child’s first love and as with anything, breaking up is hard to do! The pacifier has provided you with hours of quiet while the baby soothes themselves into naptime oblivion, but the time is coming to start weaning off that comfort. Some like to wait until a child is starting to talk before weaning, which is a good idea!

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Teething is a huge reason a lot of parents turn to a pacifier. Not only does baby have something to hold onto and chew, they have a soother with them to rely on when the pain gets a little too much. There’s no true ‘right time’ to start weaning off the pacifier, as the time is going to be individual to each child. However, you can have a chat with your kids dentist and talk about when a pacifier starts to impact their dental care and growth and make a decision based on that. If you want to get your child off the pacifier earlier, then we’ve got some tricks that will help you to make the transition a little easier for you and for baby!

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Timing It Right. Did you know that a pacifier can help to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)? At night, babies often forget to stop breathing and the presence of a pacifier in their mouth can remind their brain to breathe as the tongue relaxes and triggers a suckling reflex. Try not to wean off the pacifier too early, and avoid trying to wean during big life changes.

Cold Turkey? Perhaps Not. Every parent knows their child individually, so you will know when your child is ready to let go. Sometimes, you can tell they are ready before they can tell you, so even though it may make for a rough couple of days, you can take the pacifier away and endure the crying. The best idea is from around 12months, start refusing the pacifier in the day time unless for a nap. Distraction techniques with toys work wonders here! Once they’re used to only using it for nap time, start to wean off the night usage by using….

The Dummy Fairy! Children respond well to fairy tales, especially ones that involve a gift. It may be bribery for some, but who can say they’ve avoided parenthood without bribery?? About a month before the pacifier is permanently in the trash, start talking about a fairy who brings a present and takes the pacifiers to the new baby. The night before, leave the pacifier in an envelope and swap it for a small gift for being such a big girl or boy.

Getting your child on board to give up a pacifier doesn’t have to be a difficult feat. It means you have to be strong and stay calm and they will emulate that behaviour. Good luck!

 

 

Should You Let Your Kids Choose Their Own Clothes?

Every parent has had an argument with their kids about their clothes. There are always going to be clashes because young children don’t always have practicality in mind. They’ll also want you to buy them expensive designer clothes but when they come home covered in mud after a week, it’s not sustainable. While you shouldn’t be letting them do whatever they like, giving them a bit more freedom can stop a lot of the tension and help you to maintain a better relationship with them. Having said that, you need to go about it the right way.

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Teach Them The Value Of Money

When you buy your kids an expensive item of clothing, they don’t always understand the reality of that. They aren’t going to be thinking about how much of the weekly budget you’ve spent on it, so when they go outside and get it dirty, they don’t realize the impact. If you teach them the value of money and help them to understand that those designer clothes cost a lot of money. That means when you buy them nice clothes from places like miki miette, they’ll understand the consequences if they mess them up. Buying them a few expensive pieces for them is fine, but they need alternatives as well.

Give Them Options

Young children love to feel like they’re in control and choosing their own clothes is one of the most common ways that they express this. If you force an outfit on them, they’ll feel like they don’t have any say over it and you could end up with a tantrum on your hands. A clever way of getting around this is to pick out a few different outfits that you think are ok and then let them choose which one they want to wear. They’ll think that they are making all of the decisions but really, you’ll still be picking out their clothes.

Let Them Develop Taste

Another way to give your child more control over the situation without letting them run wild is to ask them what they do and don’t like. Take notice of which clothes they are picking more often and which ones they don’t like to wear. Catering to their likes and dislikes shows them that you value their opinion and makes them feel more grown up, which will make them happier.

Buy Cheap Stuff

Kids grow quickly and they get messy a lot so their clothes aren’t going to last that long. If you’re buying expensive stuff every time, your spending will soon get out of control. You should buy your kids a few pricier items but all of their day to day clothes that they wear when they’re out playing should be cheaper stuff. That way it doesn’t matter too much when it gets ruined. Make sure you aren’t buying too much either.

These simple tricks should help you to take all of the stress out of the morning routine and keep your kids happy. It’ll also help you to save some serious money when you’re out shopping.

Time To Take Control: What Can Be Forgotten Now You Are A Parent

Getting that positive pregnancy test, welcoming a newborn into your life, and becoming a parent for the first, second, third or whatever time is always a remarkable and amazing experience. You become entered into a bubble, a special club, that only you and other parents understand. The sleep deprivation, the overwhelming feeling of love, and the fact you no longer mind the look and smell of dirty nappies. However, because we can become embroiled in the world of parenthood, there can be a few things we simply forget to do or even think about. Even though they may impact our family in the future. I thought I would share with you what some of them are.

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Taking out life insurance

While it may feel inappropriate to think about a time when you might be here if we are truthful with ourselves not one of us really knows what the future holds. The last thing any of us wants to do is to leave our partner or our children struggling to pick up the pieces. This is when it might be worth considering a life insurance policy. A life insurance will pay out a lump sum if you are no longer around, some people tend to take it out to cover a mortgage and any debts you may have. Even covering a loss of income, etc. Some people may assume that life insurance doesn’t cover you long term, but this is when companies like Whole Life Insurance comes in. You may be wondering what is whole life insurance, so head to the website to find out more about eligibility criteria. You may be surprised to realize that even with the biggest of issues in your life, you can still secure your family’s future.

Saving for your children’s future

It is hard to think about years ahead when right now you can’t see past tomorrow due to lack of sleep. However, these children grow up so fast and before you can even blink college and university will be here. This is why it is so important for parents to start saving for this as early as possible. It isn’t just about education either. You may want to have money set aside for their first car, even to help them get on the property ladder. We all know how hard that is for young adults these days. It could be a small amount each week, saving any birthday or Christmas money they receive in a bank account, but over the weeks, months, and years those small amounts can really add up.

Securing your own future

Finally, we can often forget about ourselves and our futures, so it’s just as important to have general savings to cover family expenses, trips, and even to help with your future finances when retirement comes along. You also might want to think about getting a will in place now that you are a parent. Every one of us has assets, be that of monetary or sentimental value, and it’s important that should anything happen, that your children and family know what your wishes and intentions are.

I hope this helps you take back some control of the future.

Safety First: How To Protect Kids At Play Time

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Everyone is unique, but if there is one thing kids have in common it’s their desire to play. Whether it is on the internet or outside, they love to get stuck into a long, hard session. For parents, this is a godsend because keeping your kids active is one of the major parts of being a mom or dad. However, there is a problem: their safety. Unfortunately, play time isn’t always a secure pastime and accidents do happen. If you want to protect your children, you have to take action. Here is a couple of things that should help.

Reconsider Their Toys

Regular toys look harmless on the surface, but there may be issues going on underneath the hood. Simply put, there is no way for you to know what is in a toy, which is frightening. For example, the manufacturer may use paint that is dangerous in large quantities. Or, it may use chemicals that can seep into a baby’s skin and cause rashes. Thankfully, natural toymakers are on hand to help. With things like an organic playmat and a rattle, there is no reason to worry about their health. All you have to do is start buying organic alternatives. Sure, it is expensive, but it is worth it for the sake of your children.

Don’t Walk Before They Can Crawl

Every kid loves to do things like ride a bike, and parents love watching them do it for the first time. But, unless your child is the next Mat Hoffman, they will be a few scrapes. For the most part, they are small incidents which go away after a short cry. However, there is a real possibility of danger with a bike, which is why the safety equipment is imperative. Simply put, if you have the best, the odds of an accident reduce dramatically. Take training wheels as an example. By fitting a bike with stabilizers, no one should lose their balance and fall off. When they have it mastered, they can move onto the next level.

Parental Controls

As the intro eluded, playing outside isn’t the only way modern kids spend their time. Nowadays, children love to surf the internet and play video games online. On the face of it, there isn’t too much wrong with this as long as they play outside as well. But, when you delve deeper, there is a safety threat. Although it is a taboo subject, there are people online that prey on young kids. To keep them out, parental controls are essential. That way, your children won’t be able to access sites that are potentially dangerous when you are not watching.

Finally, the best thing you can do is try and watch them as much as possible. Okay, it isn’t easy or realistic, especially if you have more than one. However, it is the only way to ensure that they aren’t doing something hazardous. All it takes is a question or a quick glance in their direction to know if everything is okay.

Tips for Teaching Children About Stranger Danger

With it being summer and kids out of school, it is a perfect time to teach your child about stranger danger, if you haven’t already! Sadly, we live in a world that is full of hate, crimes, kidnappings and more, it is is vital that we teach our children to stay away from strangers. Children are innocent and trusting, and it is up to us to teach them that not everyone will be kind to them!

It can be a little hard teaching them the difference on who is safe and who isn’t but with these tips below it might help you out. The definition of stranger danger, is someone your child doesn’t know. Children need to know that if they don’t know them, to stay away. Now, a police officer, firefighter, they don’t know them, but they need to know they are safe people to talk to if they see.

Tips for Teaching Children About Stranger Danger

Always Have a Buddy 

Make sure your child always has someone with them when they are outside. This can be a friend that they go to the park with, or play outside together, even an older sibling. Just make sure that they always stay close with their friend and never go into a strangers house, or talk to strangers when they are out. If someone approaches them, to leave. If you leave them for a minute at a ball game, say stay close to Uncle Jimmy. Make sure you always have a friend or family member that is an adult that your child can go to if you are not right there.

No, Go Yell, Tell

This is a part of the National Crime Prevention Tips, for teaching children about strangers. By telling the stranger, “NO”, and then run away from the situation to a parent or adult they may know near by. As your child is running, tell them to  yell for help as they are doing this. Once they find an adult they know, tell the parent what happened. This is very simple, and I suggest role playing this with your child so they can learn and remember in case a situation arises.

Follow Gut Feelings 

Teach your child how important it is, if someone makes you uncomfortable get away as fast as possible. If they are asking you if you want candy, or to come into their home, those are all bad signs. Teach them that if their gut is telling them to get away, always follow it and run away. If someone does make your child feel uncomfortable make sure they know to come and tell you right away.

Stay Close Together 

When you are out at a parade or walking around at the mall, teach your child to hold your hand and stay close. This will help keep them a lot safer, and you can physically feel them holding your hand. Try to always stay on top of where they are, when you are in stores, so that they don’t wander off and have a stranger approach them.

Make sure to sit down and talk to your child about stranger danger, and act out scenarios by role playing, so they can get the feel of what can be a negative situation. Show them and teach them how to get out and react fast, because it can truly save their life!

 

6 Commitments of A Great Parent

When you take on having a child, your life gets put on the back burner. It is our duty as parents to raise our child the best way possible, to prepare them for the world! Parents sometimes sacrifice their own time, so you can spend it helping and teaching, and loving your little one! Below are commitments of great parents. These commitments are a choice, and you can choose to agree and follow them if you want.

Most parents agree, we want to be the best parents we can be, all the time. But sometimes a simple meltdown or 50th time being asked why in a day can be enough for us to begin to lose our minds. These commitments can help you to be the best parent possible!

Best Parenting Commitments

Best Parenting Commitments To Start Following

Be There

Just be there! It’s simple but too often we get distracted and are to busy. Stop what you are doing and spend time with them, make sure if they want to talk, you listen! Even if they are three and don’t make a lot of sense! Showing your interested makes them feel special and loved.

Best Parenting Commitments

Role Model

Be a role model in every area of your life! Be a good spouse, be kind to others, do good deeds, friendly to strangers, and so on. Be the person you are trying to teach your child to be.

Don’t Be Quick To Get Angry

Try and refrain from getting so mad. Just like the saying, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” Make sure to stay calm if your child makes a mess. Create every area as a learning possibility. If they see you getting mad five times a day, they might mimic that same trait. Step into a different room and breath if you find your getting upset. Count to 10, do what you have to, so you can cool down.

Best Parenting Commitments

Discipline

Make sure your child knows and understands rules. We live in a world with rules even as adults. Making sure they know if they don’t follow the rules of your household, they will have consequences! Stand firm and don’t give in, if you decide to ground them or take away electronics. Whatever discipline action you take, follow through!

Best Parenting Commitments

Be Open

Make sure you try to be understanding and open to your child at all times. Let them know that at any time they can come to you for support! If they get in trouble or start to struggle, they need to feel you are open to talking so they will come to you! Starting this out when they are young really helps instill that in them, so as they grow they know, no topics are off limits. Staying calm to any information they share is key! If you end up blowing up, they will begin to get fearful to tell you things, because of how you will react.

 

Love Them

Most importantly just love them! Give them hugs and kisses, speak words of affirmation to them, and just be there for them! We live in a world where all we want is love, so make sure to love on your child, tween and teen! No matter how old they will get, they will still want their mom and dad at times for love and support!

About the Author

Kelsey is a freelance writer for bloggers! A country girl from Kansas, who enjoys spending time with family! You can see what Kelsey has available for content in her Facebook Group.

Autism Awareness #LightItUpBlue for Understanding and Acceptance

I recently shared a bit about my autism story with my middle child. Diagnosed High Functioning Autistic about 3 years ago or so, it was a new learning experience. With that being said, finally having the diagnosis that now is pretty much Asperger’s helped us to better raise our son. Now when others want to look at him odd or make faces because he isn’t as social as one would anticipate for a 10 year old boy to be, I just say “that’s how he is and that’s okay! He will socialize when he warms up to people but that takes a while.” And I am okay with who my son is and I think he’s pretty darn awesome!

Since April is World Autism Month, I’ve decided to #LightItUpBlue with Autism Speaks to increase understanding and awareness of autism. I have found that more people are aware of autism than ever before. I personally have learned that there are many areas of Autism that make raising autism so tricky. No two parents will have the same child who exhibits exactly the same quirks or personality traits. It’s highly likely that you know someone with autism too since the CDC estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in every 68 children in the United States.

Autism refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

Why I’m Going to #LightItUpBlue for Understanding and Acceptance

Autism’s most obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Autism Speaks encourages parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.

My Son Was Diagnosed around age 8

It wasn’t easy to get an autism diagnosis. First he was said to be ADHD, bi-polar as that runs heavily in the family and at age 2 I even had a pysch try to give him anti-psychotic drugs. I walked out and never went back there! It isn’t easy to get a diagnosis for Autism because the symptoms can be clearly misdiagnosed for ADHD, bipolar and other mental health symptoms like anxiety. There simply aren’t many professionals out there who will look deeper, they prefer to give a quick diagnosis in my opinion and ADHD or anxiety is much easier to say a child has than to take the time to evaluate for autism. Again that is simply based on my own experiences. Finally we met a psychologist who has an adult son who is high functioning autistic – she diagnosed my middle kiddo in a mere matter of minutes. From that day forward my son was no longer on any medications and we worked to mold his household life into something that decreased meltdowns, was routine driven and worked for him.

Never Give UP!

If I had to advise anyone looking to get a diagnosis or answers, I would say DO NOT EVER GIVE UP! You will find someone who gets your child and will give you the diagnosis you and your child deserve. Try to find someone who has a child or grandchild with autism, they are the key to spreading awareness and getting more kiddos diagnosed properly.

Light it Up Blue

The “Light It Up Blue” campaign is about more than awareness — it is about increasing understanding and acceptance of autism.  This includes advocacy and support for people across the entire spectrum throughout their lives. It also includes advancing research into personalized treatments for autism and related conditions.  I encourage you test your understanding of autism by taking this quiz!

Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include GI disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.

My son has GI issues, he has sleep issues and as a younger child ADHD was certainly present. Overall my son still has anxiety and after having his adenoids out he sleeps okay. There’s a tick he has when he is excited and now at age 10 he simply tells his friends that’s what he does when he’s excited, he doesn’t know why. There’s little symptoms he has that you can see if only you know more about autism, the average person may just see him a shy, quiet kid until you get to know him then he’s a chatty Cathy!

Why I’m Going to #LightItUpBlue for Understanding and Acceptance

Make a Difference …

You can help make a difference too by taking the Light It Up Blue Quiz to see how much you know about autism. If you’re moved to do so after visiting AutismSpeaks.org, please show your support for and understanding of the challenges faced by individuals with autism by sharing a photo to #LightItUpBlue for Autism Awareness Month too. Also, check out Autism Speaks’ nationwide calendar of autism-friendly friendly events and activities in April.

Co-Parenting Tips: How to Handle Opposite Rules in Other Parent’s Home

I have been co-parenting for about 14 years. With this experience of co-parenting have come some challenges, struggles and personal growth. You see, co-parenting isn’t easy by any means and when you co-parent with someone who is completely the opposite of you, it’s quite frustrating to say the least. I have been co-parenting my sons for about a handful of years but I took what I learned from the first child into my co-parenting situation with the father of my sons. Since I have watched co-parents put the kids in the middle for so long, argue and fight consistently and place their own kids under the impression that they are not free to love both parents, I work hard to share tips on what has worked for me and what I have learned in the last 14 years. Today I am sharing co-parenting tips – how to handle opposite rules in other parent’s home as a means to guide you towards having happier, well-balanced kids who don’t feel guilty loving both parents.

Co-Parenting Tips: How to Handle Opposite Rules in Other Parent’s Home

Get Over Yourself

That may sound harsh and well it is meant to be. If you are co-parenting with someone who destroyed you emotionally it will be difficult to get over your emotions. I say it should take about two years to get over the hurt that was caused in the breakdown of that relationship. Once you hit the two year mark of co-parenting, you should have been able to work through the hurt and be a better co-parent to your kids. Take up to two years to see a counselor, work through demons from the relationship and figure out a way you can come to peace with knowing your ex hurt you but the kids shouldn’t pay for it. You are just as imperfect as your ex, so get over yourself.

Never Utter a Mean Word

Kids hear everything, even when you think the kids are not listening, they are! Learn to never utter a mean word about the other parent whenever the kids are awake. Part of co-parenting is working together to raise your children without harming their self-esteem and love for their other parent. While you may see fault in the co-parent, the kids do not see this. All kids see is that their Mom and Dad love them, care for them and are there for them. Allow your kids to learn the faults in their parents on their own, it is not up to you to brainwash the kid to hating their other parent. If you must vent about the co-parent do so on a kid-free weekend/night or when they are fast asleep and there’s no chance they will hear you.

Accept the Other Parent’s Rules

You and the other parent will rarely have the same exact rules. Learn to accept that the other parent has their set of rules and it is not your place to step on their toes. If your kids come home saying that they are allowed to do something at their other parent’s house and you are not okay with it, set up a meeting to discuss this concern with the co-parent in a way that leads to resolve. When the co-parent refuses to budget on their rules, simply accept it and teach your kids that Mom and Dad have different rules. That Mom and Dad live in different houses and that’s part of having two homes, they get to have different rules and it’s kind of exciting, right?! Make it fun but respectful. Encourage your kids to respect rules regardless of which home they are in.

Learn from the Co-parent

Sometimes you can learn from having different rules in the other parents home. In my scenario for example, my first born is my eldest of 3 children so how I treat her is different than her Dad because she is her Dad’s only child. Get what I mean? Each of us could possibly learn something from another because of our differences in our daughter’s “birth order” for each household. Take time to learn from your co-parent, each of you should still be able to learn something new in the parenting world without attacking. Sometimes the answer on how to handle opposite rules in the other parent’s home is to figure out why they have that rule, why they think that way and truly hear them out. You can still keep your own set of rules, but understanding why they have these rules will help you be a better co-parent to your kid. When you understand why the co-parent has this rule, you can better teach your kid to respect that rule because you have taken the time to hear why the co-parent has this rule.

It isn't easy to co-parent with someone who is the complete opposite of you #coparenting Click To Tweet

There you have it a few ways you can learn how to handle opposite rules at the other parent’s home. Mind you, co-parenting is rarely as easy as I make it sound typing it out on paper but I am blessed in that I have one co-parent who I constantly have to comprehend where he’s coming from to try to respect and teach my daughter to respect him while the other co-parent and I can communicate, get on common ground and be peaceful at all times when it comes to raising our sons. The joy of having opposite co-parenting scenarios is that I can try my best to help others see how co-parenting doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You truly can find middle ground to make it work!