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Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone! Enjoy your holiday with your friends and family!

Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Child

We have all heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and your child’s doctor is an important part of your village. From the moment a woman finds out that she is pregnant the health of baby is one of her first concerns. Choosing the right doctor for you child is an important decision that can seem overwhelming.  It is important to find a doctor that you can trust and that you are comfortable calling. You want a doctor who can give you support, information, and who can answer you questions. It is also important to know if you and your doctor share similar views on breastfeeding, immunizations, and alternative medicine.

Here is some helpful tips from Baby Center and Children’s Hospital Colorado:

Choosing a Doctor for Your Baby

How to Choose a Doctor for Your Baby

Reading Treats

Is it reading time and your child is resisting? Try these reading treats! Do you have any tips to share on how you encourage your children to enjoy reading?

(Taken from Serendipity from Jewels and Company)



Your Child’s Special Place

As a child whether you made a tree-house, tent, or fort out of pillows, we all had a moment where we made a creative space to get away or just to play. Kids deserve a chance to make that special place where they can create memories that you can remind them out as they get older.

Take a look at this website that shows you how to help your kids make Tents, Forts, and Hideouts. You will be surprised at all the creative games and scenarios that your children can come up with.

Tents, Forts, and Hideouts: Special Spaces for Kids

Do you have a memory to share about a special space you made as a child or a memory from a special space that your own child has made? Share with us in the comments below!

Memorial Day: Thank You Troops!

As we spend time with friends and family, let us remember to acknowledge that this day is about the soldiers who gave their lives so that we could have freedom. Thank you to those who have served and who are currently serving our country. We appreciate you and your service!


A Story: Raising a Child with Autism

According to the CDC, 1 in 88 kids in America now have autism.

One mother offers an intimate and personal look into her day-to-day life of raising a son with autism. Read her story in the link below

A Day in the Life: Raising a Child with Autism


Mother’s Day Tips for Blended Families:

Having any major holiday drama-free can sometimes seem challenging for any family, let alone a blended family. Mother’s Day is no exception. There are still some family sensitivities and considerations for enjoying family togetherness, honoring moms and step-moms, and spending time in a respectful, meaningful way. When a blended family is involved, it may require a little extra sensitivity and time management. According to the study titled Post-Separation Parenting Arrangements and Developmental Considerations (J. McIntosh 2010), the most positive blended family relationships occur when the parents have the ability to; “get along sufficiently well; (there is) a business-like working relationship between parents; child-focused arrangements; and a commitment by everyone to make shared care work.” In other words, the best outcome for children living with divorced parents is the existence of co-parenting, cooperation, and flexibility. In real life, though, it is easier said than done. Mother’s day can become difficult when feelings about the relationship may not always be positive. For example consider the biological mother who holds that position, but maybe is not in contact with the child. Or the aunt, who does not have official position of mother, but exhibits the mothering qualities and hence has built that sort of relationship. Here’s where Dr. Renee comes to the rescue with some solid tips about making any holiday (including Mother’s Day) as stress-free and drama-free as possible for blended families.

Dr. Renee suggests recognizing that “mothering”, is a verb and “mother” is a noun. Thus we might very well feel that the person who holds the position of “mother” is not the only one “mothering (the verb)”. Ideally, children will have in their live, adults who do both, hold the position and do the job. However if that is not the case, and you want to remain drama-free here are two rules of thumb to live by:

1. Honoring the position held (i.e. mother, step-mother, friend/aunt/grandma as mom, and even dad as mom); something that feels appropriate to acknowledge the person who holds the position, even if they are not actively doing the job, is a great way to keep drama to a minimum. Yes, there may be angry, hurt feelings here (ex. She does not deserve it), but think of it as a certificate of acknowledgment and a means to taking care of yourself by remaining stress-free

2. Honoring the relationship; when you honor the relationship you are expressing feelings and your appreciation of that person in your life. Here is where you may want to put your thoughtful and heart-felt attention.

Given these two precepts, here are a few creative ideas about how to ease the tensions that can possibly occur around Mother’s day. By keeping these two values in mind and using a little bit of ingenuity coupled with genuine respect for people’s feelings (including your own), there are a number of ways to celebrate. And, if none of these ideas sound appealing or authentic to you and your blended family, then maybe it’s time to put everyone’s collective heads together and come up with a brand new way of celebrating – one that honors either, the position or the relationship, and ideally honors both.

Honoring the position – This can be a simple gesture like giving a card that shows recognition, finding or making a thoughtful gift of recognition, or even a telephone call or face to face interaction of recognition. Simply recognizing the fact that the special person has a role in the blended family life that is important and saying “Thank you,” can be a powerful acknowledgement.
Honoring the relationship – Paying attention in a meaningful way is one way to honor the nurturing relationship itself. Honoring the relationship itself is about the emotional connection that this nurturer provides. One way to show honor is by using eye contact and really listening when the person is talking. Or, participating in a fun family activity like bowling or playing outside in a park (with no cell-phones or technological interruptions) is another way to honor the relationship. Connecting and paying attention all show respect for the relationship itself.

Ideally, there can be a situation where the blended family wants to recognize both the position and the relationship. Here are a couple of ideas:

A Blended Brunch – This is a fab way to get people together in the same place at the same time for Mother’s Day in a blended family. Kids love planning and preparing parties, so, with a little guidance, the entire meal can be prepared by the kids. It’s a fun way to pull together and brunches are one of the easiest group meals to fix, so low-stress. This kind of cooperative activity is a fantastic way of showing honor and respect for both the position and the relationship.

Half and Half, please – Honoring the position and the relationship may require some excellent time management – it’s all worthwhile, though. For example, one Mom or Step-Mom can spend time with the children in the morning until around two in the afternoon. Then the other Mom or Step-Mom can spend time with the children from two o’clock on until the evening. That special time is the perfect way to honor both the position and the relationship in a way that makes children feel valued and loved.

These are just a few of the ideas that can work for a drama-free, hassle-free, mentally healthy Mother’s Day for any family – not just blended ones. The key to celebrating Mother’s Day in a healthy way for blended families is communication and respect. By honoring both the position and the relationship, everyone feels connected and respected. No matter how the day is spent, it truly is an opportunity to put aside any issues and pay homage to everyone who nurtures children in a loving and meaningful way.

- Dr. Renee Clauselle
© Child Psychology Blog 2012
from Child and Family Psychology website: Original Link


INA Urges Nannies, Parents, and Placement Agencies to Follow Water Safety Guidelines

Since the 2010 tragic drowning incident in Long Island, New York, that involved a nanny and the toddler in her care, INA has committed to sending an annual reminder to nannies, parents and agencies that only child care providers who have the proper training should take children swimming or near large bodies of water like a pool, lake or ocean.

INA recommends that children are only to be taken swimming by a nanny if she is a lifeguard, if she has successfully completed a credible water safety and rescue course, or if there is a lifeguard present.

INA recommends that any child care provider who works in a home where there is a large body of water present be properly trained in water safety and rescue.

To find an American Red Cross Water Safety and Rescue course in your area, visithttp://www.redcross.org.

(Taken from www.nanny.org)



Cold & Flu Guide

It starts with a sniffle — next thing you know, the whole household is sneezing, coughing, passing tissues and slurping chicken soup: The common cold, or worse, seasonal flu, is upon you.

By the time you’re a parent, you’ve probably had your fair share of colds and bouts of the flu. According to the CDC, each year up to 20% of the population gets the flu, and the Mayo Clinic cites the common cold as the number one culprit of stay-home-sick-from-school days in children. But although there’s not much you can do medically for a cold or even the flu, aside from the vaccine or antiviral treatment in some cases, there are alternative treatments (yes, chicken soup is one!) and prevention techniques you can use to help keep your family cold- and flu-free.


From Parenting.com Family Health Guide

Top 7 Ideas for Involving Kids In Setting New Year’s Goals

Making resolutions for the New Year can be a fun family activity as well as one led by child care providers or teachers alike, as well. After all, everyone has goals for improvements for the new year, and talking about them and then working to make sure they’re achieved is a great family or team activity. Here are ways to get started.

1. Check Out Kid-Friendly Sites Together
From sending an animated New Year’s Card, creating New Year’s desktop wallpaper, to playing an online New Year’s jigsaw puzzle or watching a fireworks show, there is a growing number of kid-friendly sites with a mission of fun. Some even feature goal-making games and ideas as well as explanations as to why there is a new year anyway.

2. Set Group Goals For Starters
Set a special “group goal setting time” for kids by cutting paper strips (big enough for little hands to write on–younger kids will need help from an adult), and have each child write three goals they would like to see achieved as a family/care setting. Have all the group goals read aloud and then combined with other contributions, and then set a list of achievable and agreed-to “top 5″ goals as the approved goals for the year for the family or child care.

3. Create A New Sharing Tradition
Kids only need to be able to talk for this one. Start with a special family activity (special meal, game night, park fun, family football, or whatever). Then, have each person speak of wishes they hope will come true in the new year for other members of the family. A sibling may wish that the brother earns a spot on the select baseball team or that a sister finally loses her two front teeth. The end goal is quality time and communication.

4. My Teenage Son’s Goal in Life Is to Make Me Feel 3,500 Years Old Book

If you’re a fan of Pulitzer Prize-winning American humorist, Dave Barry, check out his book, “My Teenage Son’s Goal in Life Is to Make Me Feel 3,500 Years Old–And Other Thoughts on Parenting.” You might as well start the new year off with laughter. This is a “should read” even if your kids are small…so you’ll know what you’ll be facing sooner than you expect!

5. A Kid’s Goalsetting Guide (for Parents)

Parents: Need help with helping your kids set goals for themselves? Here is a guide that will lay a path for parental assistance in getting kids to aspire to self-achievement.

6. New Year’s Resolutions vs. New Year’s Goals

About Guide to Management John Reh discusses the difference between setting New Year’s Resolutions vs. New Year’s Goals. The explanation is aimed more for business applications, but its advice is certainly applicable to all aspects of your life.

7. Goals for Care Providers and Parents
Parents and child care providers should take advantage of the new year to discuss goals they have for their kids (or kids in their care) for the new year. Providers, if you have parents who are late with pick-up or you’d like them to work with their children on potty training or table manners, a new year’s goal can be sent home in a positive way. Parents, if you’d like to make recommendations for activities or something relating to your child’s care, this is a good time as well!

From , former About.com Guide

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