January 13, 2006

Bedtime and Kids: Is The Best Discipline Spanking?

By Kelly Nault
Parenting Question:
“Kelly, I’ve got five words for you: bedtime, kids, discipline, spanking and HELP! Our two sons are next to impossible to get to bed at night, and in the last while we’ve started spanking them. We’ve always threatened to, but really didn’t have to follow through. But when it started taking over 90 minutes to get them to bed, enough was enough! Now they are trying to hit us back, run around and it’s exhausting. I don’t know if you can help, but I would like to know what you might suggest.”

- Frazzled Bedtime Mom (and Dad!)

Positive Parenting Tip From Kelly Nault:

Dear Frustrated Mom:

Sounds like your family is burning the midnight oil and the fuel that is firing up this conflict is your sons� goal of power. The only question is, who will win?

My goal is to have you all win.

Resolving bedtime struggles is a common question and is an epidemic problem that plagues most households. If it�s not one more story, it’s ten more minutes of their favorite TV show or dawdling in the bathroom. Children will also manage to get their babysitters to let them stay up long past their bedtime. To avoid being conned or manipulated try my approach:

  1. Tell Them What You Are Going To Do.
    Say something like, “Part of what I love to do with you is read stories at bedtime, but sometimes I feel frustrated when bedtime takes a lot longer than it needs to be. So from now on I will be at your bedside promptly at ____p.m. to tuck you in. If you are not there at that time all ready to be tucked in, I will start getting ready for bed myself. If you would like a hug, you can come and find me for a quick one, but I will not return to your room.”
  2. Follow Through.
    As you stated, be in their room on time. If you feel it’s necessary, give them one five-minute warning. If they aren’t ready at the specified time, leave and be prepared to keep your mouth shut at all costs (regardless of tears, angry words, or pleads to be tucked in). Go into the bathroom, lock the door and get ready yourself. Give them one hug if they ask, then continue with your tasks. If they try to get you involved, simply say, “I’ll be happy to speak with you in the morning. Sweet dreams.” And that is all.

Lastly, know that your children will test you. Chances are your two boys will test you hard! Fortunately, this gives you the opportunity to be consistent in your new approach to discipline, kids, spanking and bedtime. As soon as your children realize that you are consistent in your new way to put them to bed, they will have no choice but to change their own.

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Kelly Nault, MA author of When You’re About To Go Off The Deep End, Don’t Take Your Kids With You inspires moms to put themselves first for the sake of their children. She shares time-tested tools that motivate children to want to be well behaved, responsible and happy! Sign up for her free online parenting course here.

Little Fingers Point To A Special Work-At-Home Idea

By Georganne Fiumara

Work often takes moms away from their children, but a new career idea actually brings moms and their babies closer while providing a way to earn money at home.

Here’s the idea: There is a way a baby can tell his parents exactly what he wants months before he can talk. No, it’s not magic or mindreading: It’s baby sign language. Parents all over the country are seeing the value of teaching their hearing babies to communicate using baby sign language and this has created a need for baby sign language instructors.

A new system is available to help interested moms become baby sign language instructors within days and and then market her services. It is called Kindersigns Career Kit, available at KinderCareers.com.

The creator, Diane Ryan, is a speech pathologist who teaches baby sign language. She explains, “There is no experience or educational background necessary to teach baby sign language. All you need is a love of babies and the desire to teach parents how to better communicate with their baby.”

Baby Sign Language Increases Trust and Decreases Frustration

Babies have a lot to say, but it takes many months before they can manipulate their little mouths, jaws and tongues to form words. When a hearing baby learns sign language, he gains the ability to communicate before he can speak. One mom of a signing baby confirms that baby’s first sign can be just as exciting as a first word.

Researchers tell us that the early years are prime time for acquiring language skills. It has been proven that baby sign language does not delay speech. In fact, hearing children who learn sign language have been shown to have a larger vocabulary when they do begin to speak and they have scored as much as 12 points higher on IQ tests in later years.

Most importantly, baby sign language increases trust between parent and child and decreases frustration for young children who cannot yet communicate with speech. Even older children love the “secret” communication that they can have with their parents in even the quietest of places.

It has also been reported that older siblings who sign with their baby brother or sister benefit from the early communication and sibling rivarly is reduced.

Baby Sign Language in Hollywood

In the film “Meet the Fockers,” twins and real-life baby signers, Bradley and Spencer Pickren, play a baby who uses baby sign language to talk to his grandfather played by Robert De Niro. TV’s Debra Messing (Will and Grace) has taught her young son baby sign language and has described the joy of baby signing on talk shows such as Live With Regis and Kelly and The Tonight Show.

All of this media attention has increased interest in baby sign language and increases the demand for new instructors.

Baby Signing Can Be A Business And A Pleasure

HomeWorkingMom.com, buys and evaluates work-at-home opportunies and reports on their findings so that moms can feel safe. They gave the Kindersigns Career Kit their top rating of 5 stars.

There is no doubt that baby sign language helps cement the parent-child bond with early communication skills that could last a lifetime. What a fulfilling way for a mom or anyone who loves babies to earn money at home!

For more information on the KinderSigns Career Kit, go to KinderCareers.com.

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About the Author: Georganne Fiumara founded Mothers’ Home Business Network (HomeWorkingMom.com) 21 years ago as a safe place for moms to get work-at-home information and ideas.

January 9, 2006

Making the Rules

Every family needs some structure. Set limits that work for you. The first step in setting down realistic rules in your family is to understand your child’s ages and stages of development.

These are very important for two reasons: first, a child is much less likely to break rules that take into account his needs and learning abilities; and second, knowing that your expectations are reasonable gives you the confidence to discipline your child when he does overstep the mark.

When rules work

Children who are too young to understand the concept of rules really don’t benefit from them. Before your child is 2 years old, it’s much easier to simply redirect his undesirable behaviour rather than to try to stop it with a set of rigid rules. For example, if your child has a tendency to scribble on the walls, tell him that this is wrong and give him some large sheets of paper instead.

You will find that being positive rather than negative usually results in a better chance of cooperation. Children find it easier to recall and obey rules when you tell them what you want instead of what you don’t want. Saying „Stay in bed” is better than „Don’t get up now.”

Putting rules into play

The language of rules must be very clear and firm because your success with rule-making very much depends on the way you phrase any request. For example, you can’t make fuzzy statements like ‘You can splash your sister at bathtime, but just a little bit’. Imagine what’s going to happen next! Often, parents undermine the strength of a statement by presenting it as a question. “Keep your shoes on, okay?” won’t work because your statement sounds ambivalent and will be interpreted by your child as if the final decision is his.

Strict or permissive?

The most extreme approach in disciplining children doesn’t work because it doesn’t promote self-discipline. A heavy-handed, authoritarian approach will just fuel resentment and can make your child rebellious.

Over-permissiveness, on the other hand, leaves children feeling neglected. Today, most parents want to strike a balance, but the question is how?

A lot of new parents face a real dilemma. Intuitively they know they should be setting limits, but they’re so aware of the need to see things from their child’s perspective that they are afraid to make demands on their children and set rules. Many of them end up negating their own needs in order to meet the needs of their children.

© Louise Jakob 1999.
Louise Jakob is a freelance writer and web publisher based in Switzerland. She is the editor of European Woman, http://www.europeanwoman.net, a webzine, community and web guide for women in Europe and everywhere.

Keep your Kids Safe Online

By Colleen Moulding

Thousands of children and young people use the Internet every day without any problems at all, but we’ve all heard about it’s darker side and the danger they could find themselves in. Here are ten quick tips to make sure that your kids enjoy using this wonderful resource without putting themselves at risk.

1. The most important thing you can do to ensure your child’s safety on the Internet is to be there when they are using it. Don’t let children surf in their bedrooms or in a separate room to the rest of the family. If this is unavoidable, make sure that you are often in and out of the room that they are using, keeping an eye on what is going on.

2. Have clear rules about what is and what is not allowed and stick to them. This might be no e-mailing, no chat rooms, only chat rooms approved by you or whatever you decide. Some people like to draw up a contract with their children agreeing which types of site can be visited and which activities participated in.

3. Get involved in what your kids do online. Get them to show you their favourite sites, tell you about their e-mail buddies and explain what they like doing online. This will give you an insight into the possible pitfalls. If you want to keep a check on which web sites they are visiting, click on History in your browser window.

4. Download some filtering software. There is software available that can stop your child giving out personal information such as his/her name, address and telephone number. Stress to them the importance of keeping such information private. Even competitions and product offers are not always what they seem to be and false sites have been discovered with just the intention of getting this type of information from children.

5. For younger children consider using a site like Surf Monkey at http://www.surfmonkey.com where you can download free tools to help children surf the web safely. There’s the Surf Monkey Bar, which incorporates safety features to ensure sites visited are kid friendly and there is the animated Surf Monkey character which acts as a web guide to the surfing child. Parents can use a password system to build in safety settings for the bar and browser and for activities on the Surf Monkey Kids Channel. Parents can then sign their children up for the Surf Monkey club if they want them to join in on the community features such as chat rooms, message boards and e-mail. The bar is easily turned off for adult use.

6. Older kids are just as vulnerable as young ones. Teenage girls, for example, are at risk from men who lure them into face to face meetings after chatting to them online for many weeks before suggesting that they get together. Make sure children know never, ever to arrange a meeting with someone they get to know online without your permission. If they really want to meet up with a friend made in a chat room or similar, go with them and make sure that the parents of the child/teen that they are meeting know about the arrangement too.

7. Make sure that children understand that not everything they read is necessarily true. This can be difficult, but it’s a life skill they need to learn. All through life we have to make decisions about whether or not information is of value. Discuss with your children how to evaluate the material they find and the difference between fact and opinion.

8. Teach them to stay out of trouble by not posting anything bad about another person no matter how angry they may feel at the time. Once a comment is out there it cannot be retracted, and many hurtful remarks have been posted in the heat of the moment. It is much better to leave a chat area than to get drawn into anargument.

9. See that they understand that taking pictures, writing or music from web sites without the permission of the copyright holder can get them into trouble as it is stealing someone else’s work.

10. Tell them firmly never to pay money or agree to pay money for anything without parental supervision and never to use your credit card details without your knowledge and permission. Also make sure that they recognize mass mailed money making schemes for what they are and are not foolish enough to waste their money on them.

(c) Colleen Moulding 2000
Colleen Moulding is a freelance writer living in the south of England. She is also owner/editor of All That Women Want.com http://www.allthatwomenwant.com a magazine, web guide and resource for women everywhere. We Know What You Want! Home, Parenting, Women’s Biz, Work At Home, Fashion, Kid’s Sites and more. Come on over to http://www.allthatwomenwant.com It was made for you! Subscribe to the FREE monthly e-zine by sending a blank e-mail to allthatwomenwant-subscribe@egroups.com

Kids and Dogs Safety Tip Sheet

By Sheila Blythe-Saucier

Teaching children the do’s and don’ts regarding animals is among one of the most important lessons you’ll ever teach them. Animals are everywhere and though many are domesticated, this does not automatically make them safe. For example, in the U.S. alone, 1-2 million dog bites occur annually.

Today many homes are raising children along with the family dog. Naturally kids delight in hugging, petting, and playing with their pets. But unfortunately, many children grow up believing that all dogs are gentle and friendly like their pets, and commonly fall victim to a dog attack, simply because they’d never been taught when it’s not okay to approach a dog.

Start teaching your children the following safety guidelines regarding dogs when they are quite young, and continue reinforcing these precautions frequently.

1. Never run up to a dog.

2. Never attempt to touch a neighbor’s dog through a fence.

3. Never touch a dog that is growling, showing his teeth, or barking hysterically.

4. Young children must never approach dogs without a grown- up’s supervision.

5. Always hold your hand out first and allow the dog to sniff your hand.

6. Never grab at a dog.

7. Don’t approach a dog that is a watch dog protecting his property.

8. Never attempt to touch a dog that is eating or in possession of a bone or a treat of some sort.

9. Never hurt the animal by pulling it’s tail or fur for example.

10. If the dog is leashed, ask the dog’s owner permission to pet the dog first.

11. Keep your face away from the dog’s, when approaching or playing with them.

12. Don’t make loud noises or sudden moves when approaching a dog. Speak softly to it.

13. If a dog is chasing you, stop running, as this encourages him to chase you.

14. Avoid eye contact with an aggressive dog, and back off slowly and non-threateningly.

15. Do not touch, or attempt to touch, the animal’s eyes.

Copyright © 1997 by Sheila Blythe-Saucier. Founder and owner of Safety Net-Child Safety Consultants, Sheila Blythe-Saucier is in the business of protecting children from the hazards that exist in their homes and communities. An R.N. for the last 20 years, Sheila extensively researched and authored a child safety book, which lead to the development of her business. Through a home inspection covering over 600 hazards commonly found in and around homes with young children, parents receive an education on protecting their kids fully, in a few hours time. Brought to you by World Wide Information Outlet (WWIO) your source of FREEWare Content online. Located on the Internet at: http://certificate.net/wwio/