How to Get Involved In Your Child’s School

school-supplies

One of the best ways to get closer to your child or children is to be involved more in their education.  When you get involved in their School Activities you let your child or children know that you’re interested in their lives. You can get involved by being part of the Parents-Teachers Association, Volunteering on Field Trips or even in other ways.

1. Join the Parents-Teacher Association of your child’s school. By joining you will have an active part in working together with the teachers and principal as other parents too. Part of working together is discussing policies for the benefit of the children. As an active participant you will have your voice heard. You will be able to choose and see what’s working and what’s not working. Your ideas will be brought to the table for discussion in the monthly meetings. New program ideas are also discussed as also future field trips. Activities to raise funds for the school are also chosen with the help of the parents.

2. Being a Volunteer for Field trips is also a very valuable experience. Assisting your child’s teacher can be rewarding. Field trips are vital for your child’s education because they get to learn something that will be a positive reference in their education first hand. If your working you can always schedule a day off to participate. If you cannot make it, it’s always good to see if someone in your immediate family can go for, usually it’s a good time for a grandparent to partake in the education of their grandchild.

3. Another way to get involved is to be able to come in for an hour or two to either read to the class or assist in other activities that the teacher may be doing. If your good at a particular subject or in crafts, you could always teach a craft or teach the children to do their first painting. You can always help with baking. Or help with any invitations the school might need. During outdoor activities you can also volunteer for a couple of hours.

These are just some ideas but there are more. You could always call the school and find out how you can be of assistance. After all, making memories is what’s it’s all about!

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Everything Helps

Having children can be the most exhilarating and yet the most frightening. You can go from zero to a hundred in a matter of seconds. Everything helps when you have a plan. Everything helps when you set goals and boundaries. Everything helps when you have a support group outside of your home. I put together a list of five helpful tips but I know there’s so much more. If only life was this simple. I probably do a second partake in the near future. With children there’s so much to talk about. I might not have a PHD in Child Psychology or Child Development but I have four kids. That should say it all. We are always learning and trying new methods to make life easier.

 

 1. One of the best things you can do for your child is to show genuine interest. To lead by example is to be the kind of person you want your child to be. To figure out what your true values are and acting on them. They can be as simple as doing unto others what you want done to yourself. To never giving up on making your dreams come true. To know that it’s ok to ask for help when you feel a little overwhelmed and to not be too hard on yourself when things don’t go your way!

 

2. Show affection. No one ever said too much affection was a bad thing especially when kids are small but lack of affection causes a significant impact on a child’s behavior development causing them many times to act up. Don’t be afraid to give lots of hugs or shower them with kisses. It will do wonders for their self esteem. Some kids might be into high-fives or some prefer that you text them or write them sweet little notes. Find your way to show how much you care and appreciate them. They grow up so fast and will remember every second you demonstrated your love!

 

3. Be the parent that asks questions. Be the parent that shows up to practice and recitals. Be the parent that “shows up”. Be the one that’s present, and makes time for their child. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what’s going on your child’s life. Ask questions about school, activities or interests. Be open and friendly to their friends. Ask questions about them. Be accepting of everyone.

 

4. Your child needs you to be clear, reasonable, consistent and lenient to their ever changing needs and choices as they grow older. Sometimes you are the one that’s saying “no” when other parents are just saying “yes”! At times it’s in everybody’s interest and has to be done for the long haul. Stressful frustrations can set in but setting boundaries and limits are important for developmental needs.

 

5. Look around you. Are there any adults outside of your immediate family that have a positive influence on your child’s life? Perhaps it’s his or her teacher that pushes them to practice writing their name and teaches them not to give up. Maybe they are in the swim team and the instructor pushes them a few more laps in the pool, to motivate them. Maybe they have a supervisor in charge of their routes where they deliver the Sunday newspaper teaching them commitment and responsibility. All parties can benefit from having supportive relationships.

 

 

Helpful Tips

 

Do you still think a parent’s job is easy?

Minority woman with her children fighting in the background

I’ve always heard that being a dad or mom was the hardest job around, but I never really gave it much thought until I became a mother myself and as I write I realize how really true that is.

It’s a job that doesn’t come with an instructions manual or manufacturing manual. Every day is an opportunity to learn. It’s with the mistakes that we assimilate our “trial and error”. We could have thousands of people give us endless advice, but at the end of the day, what counts is how we deal with situations and their stressful moments.

               Everything begins the second the baby is a tiny seed with the countless hours of morning sickness in all times of the day. Our maternal instinct takes a hold of us while we carefully walk slowly to not slip and fall.  That unbreakable bond grows along with love as soon as you discover you are not alone. There are things you can’t explain, only feel. You start to notice your clothes no longer fit you the way it used to.  You don’t complain because you know it’s for a good purpose, the birth of your child which is priceless. Gradually that little one takes control over us, not letting us eat everything that we want without having his or hers approval first. To sleep or not to sleep? Depends on the position, otherwise you will feel a little tap letting you know to quickly move it.

               All this loses its precedence the second you start to feel your little miracle moving inside of you that you helped create with a true feeling of LOVE. Your little bambino recognizes your sweet voice and the sound of your beating heart. Before your little one wants to make his or her debut, stress befalls you with questions of concern regarding labor. Will I do everything right? Will I be a good mother or father? The questions are overlong filled with doubts… Curiously what instantly calms the nerves is when someone reassures us that we’ll be great parents and when that big day arrives -gratitude and pure joy is what we feel on knowing how everything worked out well. What about the pain? What pain, that all is forgotten the moment you hold your baby for the first time. We grasp that we are so much stronger than we comprehend and with this strength we can do anything.

                After the birth of your little angel come thousands of uncertainties. Cries and more cries… You’ve changed dirty diapers and you fed your little mini you but still the sobbing continues. Since communication is still not their forte, you have to put on your thinking cap and decipher what’s going on in that little ones soul. Colicky, tiredness or simply a tooth wanting to surprise everyone could be some of the culprits and all are reasons to keep you up at night. In times like these is when both parents have to put aside their thinking cap and now put on their patience hat just so they can attempt to clown around in hopes that the baby will forget about the pain that caused the tears.

Not always do tears have a concrete explanation. Sometimes they just want to be embraced in their parent’s arms or want to hear a lullaby that they remember hearing in the womb. Months go by and sleepless nights as well, and when that occurs you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel as you realize that the small victories are really the big ones… Just like the first time your little one started crawling or the first reactions to certain foods worth documenting on camera. The joyous sounds your angel makes while laughing. The first steps taken without any assistance. Nothing compares to hearing “mama” or “dada” as the first words the very first time causing you to weep emotionally while you experience joy.

Once again time passes as it always will, and a little brother is born. There you will be introduced to the green eyed monster except this time it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with your firstborn. The toys that they don’t want to share with the stranger that has been around now for some time but to a child that was an only child up until a few months ago, his sibling is still a stranger. Now comes the tough parts, instilling important values on our offspring. Sharing is of course one of them. Just like in all phases of life, there are ups and downs, all of which requires you to use your patience hat.

More so when you have three little ones and two eyes sure aren’t enough!  Especially when all they want to do is explore as if they were little Christopher Columbus’s and they end up getting into trouble! It doesn’t matter how many times you say “no” they interpret as a “yes” and they only stop at timeouts. Than those tantrums surface and a cry triggers another cry that triggers another cry. When you have three small kids it’s a symphony of cries. It’s not too bad when you’re at home, but when you’re out in public it’s a different story. All eyes are gawking at your every move like vultures waiting for their prey. You look around embarrassed knowing that if there was a whole in the ground you’d jump in. You begin to transpire as you silently pray that this episode will stop. Then you realize, wait a minute these people don’t know anything about us to be judging, most likely they don’t even have any kids to know what it’s all about.

If they knew they would know that kids need a routine to know what is expected, and if you change it even a little bit, and it’s bound to happen because that’s what life is made of, change, you will throw them off. Unfortunately people will judge without knowing the facts. They don’t know if your child didn’t have his or her routine nap, or if they are hungry or even if they wanted that chocolate that you refused to give. However if they had kids they would sympathize and perhaps give a sigh of relief that it’s not their kids! If you give in boy are you in trouble! Being a parent is knowing when to say yes or no. It’s also curing wounds after the many falls. Which are many not because no one was looking but because you say “walk” and they automatically hear “run”. As a parent you’re working overtime every day. Your time for yourself happens when they are fast asleep that is when you don’t fall asleep yourself first after all that chasing around.

You do your best to plan your days but know that not everything goes as planned. It is making memories with your children. It’s being nervous on your child’s first day of school. Listening to the same stories being told countless times. It’s keeping a watchful eye when the fever doesn’t drop. It’s being present when the first tooth falls out and then convincing your child to sleep so that the tooth fairy can do her surprise visit. Its letting them sleep in bed with you when they are frightened at the lightening. You’re always going to be a parent your whole life. Even when they grow up and think they know it all, and have a lot of friends to go out with. All those sleepless nights come back again. You start to pray that your kids are not in the wrong place at the wrong time and come home safe… Do you still think a parent’s job is easy?

 

 

How will you leave your mark ?

I used to think that the older we were the more patient we are but now I have my doubts on that! I find as we get other we are more selective of our emotions that we are too busy with other things. Therefore we have a zero tolerance for others, situations or things because we did it all. We gave our all in our younger years. We did it all as well. We spent time with the wrong crowd. We did things we most likely regret as we got older. We did crazy things that now looking back wasn’t worth the energy and effort we put into it.

As the years go by like a clock ticking away, we see our time is limited. We spent half our lives trying to prove ourselves to others. To be accepted or fit in that we lost the essence of whom we really are.  After awhile, we realize that the things we took for granted were actually the ones that really mattered. The extra hours we put in a regular nine to five job were actually not worth it because in the end result we’re just a number that without a moment’s notice will be replaceable.

However, those hours that you missed out on your child’s recital… Or a parent teacher interview to work late will not come back. Those endless soccer or baseball games that you did not see your child’s victory face or dry the tears away from a loss… That’s ok; he or she will forgive you but not forget that you were not present. As we get older we regret those times we missed out on because of a bad choice.

For those that were actually there all the time, will regret that they didn’t pamper themselves. Or that they didn’t take that once in a lifetime trip to a Dubai, Bali, Thailand or any place exotic and worth visiting. They will regret not following their dreams to finally be that singer or writer that they so longed to be and so the quest begins. Life after children begins and if you’re lucky enough to be a mother or father again in your life as a grandparent you will vow not to make the mistakes you did with your own children. You will spoil your grandkids and let them have chocolate until their hearts content. Some will be very present as they weren’t to their own kids due to career opportunities. Others will actually adopt an “I did the child raising once now it’s the kids turn to do it.”

They will concentrate their energy travelling the globe while on their retirement. Others will take this time to actually go back to school to finally get that degree that they put on hold for the responsibilities of raising a family. For that matter, there’s no time like the present to set our priorities straight and see what really matters to us. Without a doubt there’s people going to soon. Some might have left their mark in this world and their legacy will remain on as positive, others will leave their mark too, but will it be on a positive note?

What mark do you want to leave in this world? What will people say about you? Have you done everything on your bucket list? There’s so much I can write about this but for now I have to check off -playing with my kids while making funny memories!

10 Tips to Help your Child Sleep at Night

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Our 2 1/2 year old is constantly fighting his sleep time routine. It’s been quite a challenge and struggle. However we are slowly finding some tips that have been making quite the progress for us. Here are 10 tips to win a challenging child. I think He mysteriously believes if he sleeps he’s going to miss out on something really big. Don’t fret, it happens to all of us and you will overcome it!

1. Set a Standard Time for Bedtime

By setting a usual time, their bodies will began to get used to the routine. A child needs between 9 to 12 hours of sleep but it definitely depends on your child. It depends what they are used to. If they get up early in the morning everyday or if they like to sleep in until late morning. Once you’ve studied your child’s pattern you will begin to know how many hours of sleep they need. My son is an early riser regardless if he goes to bed late. He’s usually the first one up but now not so much because his sister wakes up earlier as she is four months old. We don’t use alarm clocks at home unless we really have to get up earlier than usual.

2. Set a Standard Time to Wake Up

As a child needs a regular time to sleep he or she also needs a regular time to get up. Without forgetting that the times will be different from the weekdays as they are from the weekends. We try to let them sleep in during those weekends but it doesn’t always work out as planned, does it?
Sometimes over sleeping can mess up the whole routine, especially at night or afternoon naps if they are still small.

3. Check that the Room Temperature is Cool Enough

If the room temperature is warm it can be a cause of lack of sleep, although having it too cold can also cause the same effect. The main room temperature is sufficient. Don’t cover your child too much, just enough to keep warm if eventually a slight breeze occurs.

4. Protection from their Fears

It’s easy for a child at a young age to be afraid of “monsters”, the dark, strange noises. Don’t brush them off. Talk to your child to find out what’s causing these fears. Speak openly and honestly about them while finding an alternative solution. Sometimes all that is needed is a little hug to show them you are there for them always. A special toy can also work wonders, leaving them at ease.

 

  1. Set up a Routine

This one can’t be stressed enough. It’s so important. Have a routine easy enough for them to get used to as having dinner, bath time, play, and brush teeth and story time. At our household we use that one and after the story we do a little prayer, we give each other a hug and a kiss. Keeping a routine will help the child get used to what’s happening next. It will be instilled in them and if by chance you ever forget one step they will remind you like clockwork. They will always know what to do.

  1. As Bedtime Approaches Turn off Distractions

Once that time rolls on by, turn off all distractions. The television, the computer screen, the cell phone, the radio, anything and everything, that will cause a child to lay awake in bed. Sometimes just a little bit of light at times can be a distraction. Some kids like to sleep in complete darkness while others prefer a night light.

  1. Reduce Stress before Bedtime

A calm environment can do wonders for kids. Reducing stress hormones can allow for a relaxed state of mind which in turn will allow for a goodnights sleep. Having pre-bedtime activities to a minimum can be calming, turning down the lights also helps.  At times kids can be overly anxious about an event just before the date which can make it harder for any child to fall asleep. Try not to remind kids the night before of anything that will make them lie in bed thinking of tomorrow.

  1. Create a Sleeping Environment

Having a consistent sleeping environment can be very helpful. Being surrounded by many toys will not be helpful, however, having one toy can. Some kids like to sleep with a doll or stuffed animal like a teddy bear. The important thing is to create a quiet environment, one that allows for an atmosphere of relaxation. One that differs from the environment during the day and one from the night.

  1. Focusing on Relaxation

Focus on relaxation by not putting pressure on the actual sleeping. Kids can easily deprive themselves of sleep. As adults can have problems falling asleep, so can kids. We can easily get frustrated when they are not doing what we want. It’s fundamental to remain calm and focus more on soothing your child and creating an environment of  relaxation.

  1. Talk to your Pediatrician

If you’ve tried all these tips and you feel as though nothing is working then the best option is to seek expert advice. Talk to your pediatrician about your worries and your child’s symptoms. Let your doctor know if he or she gets agitated, uncertain, has recurring nightmares etc. Your child can be experiencing a sleep disorder. Your doctor will be able to let you know the next step.

Take Me Back

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Take me back to a time where I was too young to hear the news or read newspapers. A time where all I had to do was learn and play. A place where I didn’t understand the meaning of discrimination or terrorism and to me everyone was the same. Some a little weird but that didn’t stop me from playing catch with them. Let’s go back to the time where freedom roamed and doors were kept unlocked. People actually spent time out doors and not inside on a sunny day. The neighbourhood watch was in effect and not turning a blinds eye to anything wrong witnessed. There was always different religions and cultures but everyone showed respect to each other. People had each other’s backs as a team and not to each his own. When you met someone you automatically brought them into your group no questions asked. You knew judgements would not take you far. If they deceived you, you cut your losses and moved on. At school you were given so many nutritious snacks, even with peanut butter. You can take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with you. Most children were active. It was normal. It didn’t mean they had ADHD or they needed to see a psychiatrist or take medication. Kids were kids. They ran, talked loudly, played hours without end. They had no internet to give them answers or make them worst. You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet. They wanted to learn things, they went to the library and picked up a book to travel back in time to a land where the Vikings roamed or to a wizards castle that turns everyone into mice. Kids spent their summers in parks playing on the swings, slides, teeter-totters, swimming and grew up stress free.