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      How to take care of a sick child

      sick child

       

      As a parent, I know just how difficult it is to wake up in the morning and discover that you have a sick child to take care of.

      Every parent hates to see their child come down with a cold or the flu. It’s difficult to watch your little one suffer and all you want to do is help them feel better.

      But what can you do for them? Here is a great article on what you should do when you have a sick child to take care of. The most important things you can do is monitor their condition closely, make them feel as comfortable as you can and show them that you are there for them.

      With the proper treatments and some extra love, your sick child will bounce back before you know it.

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      When Does Rough Play Become Bullying?

      bullyingDuring the early years of childhood, it is often inevitable that parents will have to deal with the occasional tantrum or generally stubborn behavior.

      It is common for children to get in fights with their siblings over toys or teasing and playground fights can sometimes occur between friends if their emotions get the best of them.

      However, it is important to distinguish if this type of play or behavior could be something more dangerous to themselves or others: bullying.

       

      Bullying or rough play?

      Rough play is a natural part of the growth of a child. Though it shouldn’t necessarily be encouraged, this type of play allows children to experience different ways of dealing with people as well as different emotions.

      Depending on the age, some children may have yet to understand the consequences of their actions; they simply listen to their emotions without recognizing what is socially acceptable behavior. In other words, these children are not bullying because they have no malicious intent.

       

      Bullying is intentional

      However, when children begin to become more self-aware, inappropriate behavior may sometimes be done with the intent of hurting others.

      To distinguish between rough play and bullying, characteristics of bullying can include:

      • Indifference in hurting others

      • Needing to be in control all the time

      • Repeated and targeted hurtful actions to a specific child

      • Name-calling

      • Frightening other children

      Some of these behaviors can occur simply because the children have yet to learn how to properly express themselves as their communication skills are still developing. Thus, some of these behaviors can occur without it being bullying which makes it hard to distinguish.

      As parents it’s necessary to teach children early the right way to play. It’s important to let children express themselves but when it’s done at the expense of others then steps should be made to properly discipline your child.

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      Proper Nutrition Improves Childhood Obesity Statistics

      According to the CDC, childhood obesity rates have tripled over the last thirty years. In 2010, 18% of children ages six to eleven were considered obese. Numbers like these are occurring all over the country, causing alarm among the medical community.

      As these rates continue to rise, it is certain more and more children will become victims of obesity, threatening their health and their lives. Many in the medical community are working to see what can be done to stop the onslaught of this epidemic.

      Through research, it has been found the foods being consumed by children are putting their health at great risk and causing weight issues like have never been seen before.

       

      Childhood obesity and kid’s dietschildhood obesity

      Why Is the Diet of Today’s Children Such a Concern?

      Very few children these days are getting the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) of the healthy foods containing the vitamins and minerals needed for proper growth and body function. Not only are children not eating the proper foods, but they are eating way too much.

      The average child eats hundreds of calories more than they should in a day. Between the ages of seven and ten, children should consume between 1500 and 2000 calories, depending on their age and sex.

       

      Food choice heavily impacts childhood obesity

      One of the biggest worries among the medical community is children are eating more fast food, fried foods, candy and soda than ever before. If your child consumes a 4-piece chicken nugget happy meal, they have already consumed about a third of the calories they need in a day. This can be even greater if your child chooses to up the size of their meal to a Mighty meal.

      Though the schools are trying to do their part in helping provide children with proper nutrition, they are failing in many ways. Pizza, fried nuggets and fries are not making for healthy kids.

       

      Curbing childhood obesity

      To improve the health of your child and prevent or reverse obesity, you need to offer your child a wide variety of healthy fruits and vegetables. Snacks should be offered in the form of fresh fruits and vegetable sticks. It is also important to get your child moving as much as possible.

      Studies have shown active children who have plenty of opportunities for active play, weigh less than those who sit around and play video games or watch TV.

      Through a healthy diet, exercise for kids and your supervision over their health, your child’s weight will improve along with their health.

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      Managing and controlling your child’s ADHD symptoms

      discipline

       

      If you have a child with ADHD or ADHD symptoms, then you know how overwhelming this can be. What if there was a way to control and reduce your child’s ADHD symptoms, by helping them directing their energy into something more positive?

      Most children with ADHD or ADHD symptoms do not have the ability of organizing, thinking and planning ahead, or completing tasks. As a parent, you will need to provide extra guidance for your child, while allowing your child to gain skills of their own.

       

      What are some ADHD symptoms?

      Before you can find solutions for your child, it’s best to first understand all of your child’s symptoms and how they impact the family as a whole.

      Here are a few noticeable behaviors that many children with ADHD have that can disrupt the life of your family.

      • They tend to disregard parental instructions
      • They are very unorganized, as well as easily distracted
      • They’ll begin projects and forget to finish them
      • They will often interrupt conversation and demand to be the center of attention at the worst times
      • They may speak before they think of what to say
      • It can be very difficult for them to go to sleep
      • They can also put themselves in physical danger by doing things that will cause them bodily harm

       

      Ways to manage ADHD symptoms

      There are ways to help reduce some of these symptoms that will make you and your family much happier in the long run. The first step is to stay positive and healthy by have a more positive outlook on life.

      The best way to do this is to try to keep things in perspective. Keep in mind that your child’s behavior is a disorder. They don’t have an evil intention to make you and your family’s life a living hell.

      Another thing to keep in mind is to have a sense of humor. As your child gets older, all of those embarrassing experiences you’ve dealt with in the past, will become funny stories in the future.

      You’ll need to make some compromises for your child. If you child hasn’t finished their chores or have missed a couple homework assignments, cut your child some slack. You need to understand that if your child hasn’t finish something the way you wanted them to, it isn’t the end of the world.

      Help your child grow as a person by believing in them. Put together a list of positive and unique this about your child. Be sure to trust that they will be to learn and mature themselves as the days go by.

       

      ADHD symptoms can take a toll on you as well

      While you are taking care of your child, you should also take care of yourself, especially during this time.

      Be sure to exercise and eat right, as well as look for ways to reduce stress from your life. You should also seek support by talking with a teacher or a therapist.

      You should also consider joining a support group for parents of children with ADHD. This will allow you to share your experiences and receive helpful advice from others going through the same situation.

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      Practice word blocks to help manage verbal bullying

      a stop bully

       

      Just like blocking a punch or kick in a physical altercation can prevent injury, so too can having blocks against hurtful words. We call these “word blocks,” and they are an important tool in managing verbal bullying.

      Also just like blocking a physical attack, you must learn to use word blocks reflexively and immediately, without any trace of emotion. The goal of these word blocks is to stop a verbal attack by showing that you are listening to the other person’s concerns and initiate a redirection.

      Some examples of word blocks are:

      • “I hear what you’re saying and I’m listening, but…”
      • “It seems that way and I agree it’s difficult, however…”

      Using these simple word blocks can help take the heat off of you and give you the opportunity to steer the interaction into a more useful direction where the two parties might be able to come to some sort of mutual understanding.

      Next time you find yourself in an argument, try using a word block to stop it and shift the focus of the conversation to a more constructive place.

       

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      Managing ADHD in your child

      Child Safety Podcast

       

      So you’ve just found out that your child has Attention Defect Hyperactivity Disorder and you are worried about what lies ahead for you and your child.

      Below are a few things that every parent with children diagnosed with ADHD should know.

       

      It can be managed

      Although there is no cure for ADHD, the symptoms can be managed through medication and behavioral therapy. Meanwhile,  specialized or supplemental education such as a private tutor can ensure that your child doesn’t fall behind academically.

      The amount of countermeasures needed to manage ADHD symptoms will vary based on the severity of each individual case, but typically children can be nearly symptom free with these simple treatments.

       

      Medication

      There are three types of medication that children with ADHD could be put on. They are:

      • stimulants – most common treatment, last 4-12 hours
      • nonstimulants – fewer side effects than stimulants, last up to 24 hours
      • antidepressants – can be effective, slight risk increase of suicide

      Each have their positive and negative effects, so it is up to you and the doctor to determine which one or combination are right for your child.

       

      Behavior therapy

      In addition to medication, your child might benefit from more structure through establishing a routine. The goal is to help your child understand what is expected of them by consistently having them perform the same actions on a regular basis.

      For example, having a set bedtime that is followed on a nightly basis will help your child understand and recognize that as the bedtime approaches, they are expected to do things like get in their pajamas and brush their teeth.

      Limiting choices and distractions in their life will keep them from becoming too distracted or overwhelmed.

       

      Your child is not alone

      Between 8% – 10% of American children are diagnosed with ADHD. Boys are three times as likely to be diagnosed than girls. In addition to speaking with your doctor, both parents and children might find it helpful to talk with other families managing the symptoms of ADHD.

      Together you can learn what works and what doesn’t without having to feel like you’re suffering through it all alone.

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      When dealing with bullies, confidence is king

      self-confidence

       

      The easiest way to deal with a bully is to never have one in the first place. Although this may seem like common sense, most people don’t know how to keep themselves from becoming a target. The key is to project confidence.

      Bullies look for easy targets; those who look like they won’t fight back or challenge their authority.  They look for targets like this by paying attention to how other kids carry themselves, how they speak and how they respond to adversity.

       

      Posture

      The easiest thing for a bully to pick out is the body language of a potential target. Several factors combine here that display what the person is feeling about themselves or their surroundings. Someone showing weakness or a feeling of intimidation is going to be much more likely to attract a bully than someone who shows that they feel self-assured.

      Here are the body posture cues they look for:

      • Head and eyes – are they looking at the floor or scanning the area ahead for potential trouble?
      • Shoulders – slumped shoulders typically indicate submissiveness. Hold your shoulders up and slightly back.
      • Chest – when your shoulders move back, your chest moves forward
      • Back – slouching or walking slumped over indicates that you are unsure of yourself or your surroundings. Stand up straight and the rest will feel more natural

       

      Speech

      In many cases, displaying more confidence will help to deter some bullies but others may still decide to test your confidence by verbally interacting with you to gauge your response. Here it is important to speak assertively and decisively.

      • Volume – imagine a scale from 1 to 5 with 1 being a whisper and 5 being a shout. Your volume should be at a 3.
      • Tone – talking loud but sounding unsure won’t help your cause. Speak with confidence and assertiveness.
      • Speed – too slow and it sounds like you’re stalling, too fast and it sounds like you’re in a hurry to run away from the conversation. Speak at a natural, even tempo.
      • Preparedness – have a preplanned practiced response to what a bully might say about you.

       

      Action

      Looking and sounding the part is a great start to displaying confidence, but if you fold at the first sign of resistance all that work will have been for nothing. This doesn’t mean that you should be ready to get into a fight, instead knowing how to quickly and appropriately respond to situations will show bullies that you are well prepared.

      • Scan your surroundings – stay out of harm’s way by looking out for potential trouble. If you can’t avoid it, scan for the nearest exit in case something does happen.
      • Self defense – martial arts training is a great way to learn to keep yourself safe
      • Know who to speak with – if something serious happens to you or someone else, knowing who to report the incident to can put a quick stop to it.

       

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      Cyberbullying: The Role Educators Can Play

      Jessica Carol, guest contributor

      School-yard bullying has taken on a whole new meaning in this day and age. Those fat kids who harassed you and took your lunch money have gone digital and the Internet is largely responsible for it. On the surface this may seem pretty harmless when compared to facing a menace face to face but as witnessed in the Amanda Todd case the problem that started off as just a simple way to have fun while hiding behind a computer screen has gotten worse, thanks to our own negligence.

      Justin Patchin Speaks OutThere might not be laws to prevent cyberbullies from harassing others but educators are certainly capable of advising students on how to avoid such scenarios.

      In a recent Interview, Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Justin W. Patchin stressed upon the threats cyberbullying poses to kids. While comparing regular bullying to the digital version Patchin remarked that “Using technology can be just as harmful if not worse for some teens.”

      With technology penetrating our lives more and more each day the risk of our kids getting exposed to these digital felons continues to grow bigger. Parents might be able to keep a strict eye on their child’s technology time at home but the advent of portable smart devices like iPhones and iPads means that our kids can go online from school at any time they want and indulge in activities which can have a long lasting effect on their life. This is where educators need to do their part and not just limit instruction to the boundaries of a classroom.

      Act Responsibly

      Since kids spend a good chunk of their time at school the effects of cyberbullying can be easily seen inside the classroom. Sudden odd behavior and short temper can be a symptom. An educator’s involvement at that point can help keep their students on track and prevent their grades from slipping. Teachers can organize after school classes to speak about the use of technology and how students can effectively tackle a situation where they are made victim of hate speech. There might not be laws to prevent cyberbullies from harassing others but educators are certainly capable of advising students on how to avoid such scenarios. Speaking about the role educators can play Dr. Patchin is of the view that “Educators need to be more educated about the problem so that they can respond to it more effectively.”

       

      Offline Activities

      A debate that has sparked up in recent years is that the internet and video games are preventing kids from developing hobbies and pursuing outdoor activities. Teachers can organize soccer or basketball games or encourage students to take up a hobby like drawing or skateboarding. This will not only provide the necessary mental and physical conditioning but will also keep them away from prying eyes.

      Speak

      Encouraging students to speak about their personal experiences with cyberbullying or reporting an incident to an adult to resolve an issue instead of keeping it bottled up inside is another useful technique educators can employ.

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      Jessica Carol has been working on internet security related issues such as Cyberbullying. Her articles have mostly landed on the Mobistealth blog, where she’s covered several aspects of parental control. She tweets @jcarol429

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      4 Ways to Increase Your Child’s Confidence

      By Lauren Tessin, Guest contributor

      When it comes to children, they have a mind of their own.  Like anyone, they all have different personalities and have had different life experiences to help shape their personality.  Although there are many different traits we would like to see our children have, confidence is one of the most important.

      Without confidence, life can be tough and seem against you no matter what.  However, with a little confidence, we can get farther in life and be a happier individual overall.  So, how can you make sure your children has confidence?  Continue reading below to find out!

      Praise them

      When your child does something good, be sure to praise them.  From getting an “A” on his or her spelling test to getting an award for being the best classroom helper, praise your child.  When you praise your child, they feel good about what they have done, and it will encourage them to repeat that same behavior that got them to be praised.

      Encourage them

      If your child is feeling less than confident, be sure to encourage him or her.  For example, if your child is nervous about his or her exam or riding the bus for the first day of school, encourage them to have confidence.  By saying things like, “I know it may seem intimidating, but you will do just fine.  What is the worst that can happen?”  You are showing that you understand where they are coming from, but also reminding them that they will be fine in whatever they do.  Encourage bad thoughts to leave their head and replace those bad thoughts with positive and realistic ones.

      Don’t let them give up

      Do you find that your child wants to give up easily when it comes to certain things?  If so, don’t let them give up.  Once you do, you are showing them that it is okay to not try their hardest.  You may even give them the signal that they may not be able to do it after all, so they should just quit now.  Be persistent and keep pushing your child to his or her goals.  Once they see that they can do it on their own, they will remember that next time they struggle with something.

      Be a role model

      In order for your child to have confidence, you must show how confident you are.  For example, next time you’re afraid to do something or you want to knock yourself for not being talented in a certain area, be sure to avoid those thoughts and to display the opposite.  By saying things like, “I’m not the best at basketball, but I can try my best to help you practice for today’s game” you can show your child that you are willing to try anything.

      As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do in order to increase your child’s confidence.  From praising them for their achievements to being a good role model, shaping your child’s personality really does start with you.  As a parent, you can help set your child up for failure or success just by how you parent.  Parent wisely!

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      Getting Past the Stigma of ADHD

      I did not know I had ADHD when I was in high school. Sure I was one of the more easily distracted kids at my high school and I eschewed organization, but I never even considered that I had a neurobehavioral disorder. Once I got to college and faced increased responsibility however, I could no longer compensate for my once-manageable ADHD symptoms and decided to seek out help.

      In case you did not know, ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by inattentiveness, impulsivity and/or hyperactivity. It primarily affects children during their development, but at least 30% of individuals diagnosed as kids continue to have symptoms into adulthood. Some Adults, like me, are not diagnosed until after adolescence, only realizing their diagnosis after the fact.

      While I have significantly improved my ability to successfully manage life with ADHD, I look back on my time in high school as lost time. While I was able to compensate fine at the time, being aware of my condition would have allowed me to develop appropriate habits, be more self-aware of my issues, and achieve more success in college and beyond.

      Of course, some individuals would like to deny the reality of a disorder such as ADHD, citing the lack of a definitive test and the fact that “all kids” get distracted to call into question whether ADHD is in fact a real disorder, or whether it is an invention of drug companies to make money. Sadly, while these individuals may have the best intentions, they are a real threat to the successful treatment of those who struggle with the disorder.

      By arguing that ADHD does not exist, skeptics stigmatize the disease – this results many who could be helped through treatment to resist seeking out a diagnosis. Even worse, the stigmatization of ADHD leaves individuals who may have the disorder to blame themselves for their symptoms, leading to depression and low self-esteem.

      When I talked to my parents about seeking out a diagnosis in college, they were extremely supportive and respected the reality of the disorder; as a result, I was able to receive help make progress towards managing my symptoms. Although I was fortunate to receive the support I did, some with ADHD are not so lucky. To help these individuals, we need to get past the skepticism of a vocal minority and recognize our duty to respect and support those with mental disorders.

      This post was written by Evan Oelschlaeger, a recent graduate of Macalester College and member of the Vistelar Group.

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