• Manners Comments Off on Manners Matter: Saying Thank You

    The earlier I teach my kids proper manners, the better. I try my best.to call their attention each time they have lapses with their manners. For me, it’s best to remind them all the time so that they can gradually develop the habit of doing it. Although there are times when I feel like a broken record but I know that I have to do it. When it comes to basic manners, vigilance is the key. Having said that, I make sure I’m always around to remind them.

    Magical Words: Thank You

    I always remind my kids the importance of saying thank you. Those two words are a like music to anyone’s ear. There’s just no excuse for them not to say these two magical words that reflect a lot about their upbringing. I believe that if they make it a habit to say “Thank you” all the time, they will develop an attitude that’s focused more on gratitude. Such is the reason why I always remind the to say these two magical words.

    Getting Kids To Say Thank You

    I learned that I needed to explain to my kids the definition of Thank You. For me, the video captures the right definition of Thank You.

    “Thank you does not mean, ‘I love what you just gave me, I love what you just did for me.’ Thank you actually means, ‘I noticed what you just did for me.’ ”

    The video goes on to describe how the kids can understand the true meaning of saying, “Thank You.”

    “If you don’t say Thank You, then Aunt Margaret feels like you didn’t notice her. How does it feel like when someone doesn’t notice you?”

    I really thought that was the best way to explain why it’s important to always say Thank You. They don’t need to like the gift but they should appreciate the thought that they were given a gift. The earlier they realize this, the better. It’s clearly an attitude of gratitude.

    So each time they receive a gift that they aren’t too crazy about, they can use a thoughtful line that goes:

    “Thanks for thinking of me.”

    I really believe no kid is ever too young to learn this valuable lesson of saying Thank You.

    Modelling The Behavior

    Teaching my kids how to always say Thank You is not that easy. There are times when they get too moody and they just don’t want to say it. Well, they are kids after all. But for me, that’s not a good reason.

    To instill in my kids the habit of saying Thank You all time, I make sure they hear it from me as well. I say Thank You all the time as well. I even tell them to remind me if ever I forget. I model what I remind them to do. According to the video, it’s the best thing to do.

    “Best thing that we can do is you have to model it for our children. If we don’t model it for them….pleases, thank you, kind behavior … it’s window dressing. They’ll never do it.”

    As parents, that’s something to think about.

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  • Health, Sports Comments Off on Encouraging Kids To Play Sports

    children-playing-sportsPlaying sports is an integral part of child development. Encouraging a child to learn a sport of his choice develops self-esteem and creates the awareness for a healthy living.

    By getting into sports, a child learns the importance of teamwork. This is a trait applicable not only in sports but in life. As the child grows older, the concept of teamwork will serve a strong foundation in his corporate and personal relationship. The concept of teamwork also gives the child a sense of belonging. At an early age, the child will have a better understanding of all the responsibilities needed to make a team work. Eventually, the child comes out to be more focused on the actions needed to make a team work. This is very different from a child focusing on himself alone.

    Participating in sports also develops the child’s perspective on winning and losing. The child will have a better understanding that hard work and perseverance is rewarded. On the other hand, losing is part of the game. A vital lesson that is applicable in real life. The most important thing is that the child comes out stronger, a winner or not.

    Children also learn how to respect authority as they get into a sport. They take it from the coach who guides them in the game. This develops into a trait where they look for support and guidance as they move into their teen years. Discipline is a strong trait that is also in sports. No doubt, the regimen of practice instills discipline.

    Appreciation for the environment is also developed particularly by children who get into biking, hiking, skiing, and waters sports. These outdoor activities give them a better perspective on the importance of keeping the environment green and clean.

    The physical rewards of children engaging in sports are also beneficial. Staying fit in order to play well is important. With this in mind, the children will have a better understanding why eating healthy, sleeping well, and staying away from unhealthy habits should become a lifestyle choice.

    Bottom line, there are more than a handful of reasons why children are encouraged to play sports. These reasons are beneficial in molding the children into well-rounded individuals.

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  • Child Care Comments Off on The Challenges Of Potty Training

    Potty training is every parent’s challenge. With the convenience of disposable diapers, potty training is sometimes overlooked or, even worse, procrastinated. Nonetheless, there is that pressure to potty train and most parents are usually anxious and confused about the whole process.

    When Is The Best Time To Potty Train?

    Most parents are usually in a quandary as to when to potty train their little one. Then they get too anxious when they start to compare their child with other children that have been potty trained already.

    Dr. Loretta Cordova de Ortega, a Pediatrician at the Unm Medical Center Pediatric Clinic, has this to say.

    “Well, certainly there is no specific time. The average age most children potty train is between 18 months and 24 months. But certainly, if the children is interested prior to that, you can always have them go sit on the toilet …”

    That’s good news for most parents because it becomes quite stressful when a child is compared to another child that has been easily potty trained. It is also important to consider the readiness of the child. According to an online parenting resource called webmd.com, the emotional and physical readiness of the child should be considered at the onset of the potty training. If the child has any resistance, then it’s not time yet.

    Creating A Good Environment For Potty Training

    While potty training can be very challenging, it is a must to create a positive atmosphere for it. Dr. Loretta Cordova de Ortega agrees that consistency and a positive atmosphere are important aspects of potty training.

    “That’s really the most important thing. It needs to be a positive experience. Typically, if you think about children between 16 and 24 months, is that toddler age where everything is ‘no’. So they hear a lot of negative. What you want is a potty training experience to be very positive, something they can be very proud of.”

    Aside from creating a positive atmosphere for the child, it is also a must to come up with a good plan as to how to roll out the potty training.

    By the time the child is ready for potty training, a regular elimination routine has already been established. A good potty training plan should revolve around the regular elimination routine of the child.

    Based on the regular elimination of the child, parents should also be consistent in having their child sit on the toilet. A consistent potty training means that the child should always eliminate on the toilet seat. There should be no excuses for that. It’s important that parents really take time to do this. But in doing so, the parent should not feel obligated or stressed out that the child begins to feel that it’s a burden. Again, it is important to establish that positive atmosphere for the child.

    Rewarding The Child

    Some parents usually resort to a certain reward or incentive system to get the child to consistently go to the bathroom. While there’s nothing wrong with that, the best reward is for the child to know that he or she has accomplished something.

    “It depends on your child, if your child does respond to sorts of incentives, you can do that. But typically the most effective award or reward is that positive experience where the child has a sense of accomplishment.”

    It’s important for this particular age group to know that they have accomplished something because that itself is their reward.

    So while potty training can really be very challenging, it’s good to know that parents can look at it at a more positive and doable manner.

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