disciplining a child

Disciplining a Child: Teaching Positive Behaviors

Disciplining a child can seem like a tricky battle, especially sense no two kids are the same, but let’s look at some things that do not change with children.

Discipline comes from Latin meaning teach. With this in mind, approach discipline as a tool toward teaching a new preferred behavior.

Behavior, even in the current state that is perhaps not preferred, is normally there to fill some basic need. Take a step back and think about what need the child is filling. Are they board? Is this helping them get attention? Is this giving them some sort of power or control? Really think about how it is meeting their basic need because if it is something like getting attention, it will be hard, but if the behavior no longer met that need, perhaps they would no longer do it (consistency is key with this). If it is another need that is being filling, what are some alternative preferred behaviors the child could use instead.

When disciplining a child, threats, anger and other emotional evoking strategies aren’t ideal because they appeal to the limbic system in the brain. It is better to keep it rational and clean cut with the child. If the child is using their cerebral cortex, they are connecting thought with action, a life-long skill. Some great strategies within this are:

  1. Start with clear, simple choices all of which are acceptable to you
  2. Have child verbally reiterate their choice back to you as a verbal contract
  3. Honest communication
  4. Cooperation through compliance
  5.  ‘Teachable Moments’ with reflection of poor choices
  6. Seeing everyone as equally valuable
  7. Clear expectations with consistent follow through
  8. Don’t: compare kids or give conditional appraisal
  9. Set a good example
  10. If the child has multiple behavior problems, start small…changing 1-2 behaviors at a time
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Baby Massage: Improving Life with Touch

Baby massage can be an easy way to help your child. Here are some ways it helps, and some ideas for getting started. It can be help:

  • If the child has hyper-tonic, high tone, muscles, massage can help in relaxing them.
  • Baby massage can also help hypo-tonic, or low tone, muscles to stimulate the muscles and help them develop
  • It helps both children with hyper and hypo sensitivity to regulate their bodies to touch. Helping a child learn to familiarize touch can help with life long necessary skills. Getting a child’s body in-line can also help to regulate other senses.
  • Massage can also help fussy babies relieve tension and stress. Children who are extra susceptible to this need are drug withdrawal babies, sensitive babies, and babies that have unusual pain.
  • Massage can help all babies sleep longer and deeper if done as part of a nightly routine.
  • Baby massage can help increase social skills and increase bonding
  • Help with digestion- keeping babies more regular and ease gas issues
  • Help babies increase alert state for more personal interactions
  • Help with feeding issues by assisting oral-motor development
  • It may even help some children with weight gain- Perhaps through alertness, feeding issues, and digestive help
  • Baby massage can help improve body awareness, which will help gross motor, fine motor, and self-help skills

Easy ways to start:

  • Keep it simple
  • Make it a routine
  • Place baby or toddler on towel
  • Use lotion
  • Talk with baby

Here’s a simple video to help get you started. There are other ideas that started at legs is easier as they are less sensitive. If you need more guidance many massage therapist and even some chiropractors are happy to help get you started.

 

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allergies

Allergies in Babies and Toddlers: 6 Things to Know

Allergies in Babies and Toddlers can be very intimidating. What do you do for such cute little ones when they seem to be suffering? How do you know that it is only allergies and not something worse? Well I’d love to say that there is a magic cure all, but if your little ones are anything like our little one, even the allergist will be left guessing.

First: Allergies are caused by their bodies immune systems believing that they need to fight something off. As their bodies create extra antibodies, a variety of things can occur.

Second: Note that allergies can present in various ways. They can show as overly dry skin almost anywhere on the body or a personality change. They can also be chronic cold symptoms, red eyes, acne, itching, or the usual rash (which also presents in a variety of ways).

Third: If you are concerned, call your medical provider. In all cases of allergies, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Anaphylaxis is a rare condition, but it rapidly causes allergic swelling blocking the airways.

Fourth: Our son changed allergies as he grew, so just because your baby is allergic to an item, it does not mean they always will be. Take caution and talk to a medical provider about reintroducing foods or environmentally items after your child has been off of them a while.

Fifth: Allergies can be linked to genetics. The specific allergies however vary. In our family that means, what causes anaphylaxis in me is not the same thing that causes it in my son. Also too much dairy bugs me, but my son is super sensitive to sugars. So although the auto immune over activity seems prevalent in certain family line, the things that trigger it seem to be different.

Sixth: It is important that you talk to your medical provider. They will be able to sort out the virus from allergies. They also can help you deal with both so that your child gets feeling better soon.

allergies in babies and toddlers

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State Stack Up in Early Childhood Development

So this is a little late in my plans on posting, but here is an interesting quick find way to examine how your state stacks up in early childhood development. It looks at specific age groups, but ranks states based on the zero to 18 age bracket.

By State Early Childhood DevelopmentIt looks at things like the population in this age group like: childcare, unemployed families, low income levels, screenings, size of babies at birth, immunizations, loss of jobs, reading with children, intervention, and federal care. It also ranks the states with the top 9 being:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Vermont
  3. Iowa
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Minnesota
  6. North Dakota
  7. Connecticut
  8. New Jersey
  9. Virginia

The Last 5 in well-being for children 0-18 are:

46. Arizona
47. Louisianan
48. Nevada
49. New Mexico
50. Mississippi

massachusetts state facts

As you can see, there is also national  numbers on these data. So although Mississippi has a lower population than Massachusetts, it still falls behind in lots of the ares. Some important things to note from looking at these child development fact sheets. Poverty matters. Programs matter. Reading with your children matters. So although some of the information applies directly to the state, it also can be changed by the parent. This means we not only need to elect government officials that fight for this next generation. We also need to help steer the population ourselves.

If you are interested, go check out your states date. There are four pages worth of information, so it’s not only ranking child well-being by state. It is also showing you what these ranks are based on and what we can do better to improve the lives of our children.

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