Friday, March 29, 2013

Link Love 29.3.2013

End of Winter White and Green Soup with Cheddar Cheese Scones looks delicious.

More recipes: these ones use Cadbury Mini Eggs!

40 ways to do sensory play. Lots of fun ideas here!

5-year-old girl discovers new species of dinosaur; scientists name it after her. How cool is that?!

This site is great for parents who are interested in the sciences, psychology and child development.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Love You Enough To Let You Hate Me

"I hate you".

The words every parent will hear at one point or another. There's nothing you can do about it. It will happen. Trust me. As sure as the sun comes up in the morning and goes down at night.

Your kid says “I hate you.’’ What now? Do you burst into tears or scream in anger? I highly recommend that as much as you want to do either of these, don’t! Not your best options.

Try this little puppy on for size!

Say, “I love you enough to let you hate me”. And then....



-go to your room


-wash your face

-compose yourself

-go back out

-talk to your kid

When you and your child have both had a chance to cool down, you’re ready to have a chat about what happened???. Say, “I understand you’re upset with me. It really made me sad when you said that you hate me. What were you feeling when you said that?”.

Start a dialogue about feelings and mutual respect: It’s not okay to tell someone you hate them, especially when you love them; It is okay-- advisable, even-- to share your feelings with someone you trust.

Teach your child that, rather than exploding and using hurtful words, she should express her emotions in a healthy way. Give her the tools to do so: a journal in which to write or draw her feelings, a vocabulary of emotions and a safe place to go when she’s feeling upset.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Announcing Your New Arrival

You and your husband/wife/significant other want to shout the news from the rooftops: You are expecting! 

Many questions run through your minds. Who do you tell and when do you tell them? Most importantly, if you already have a child, when do you break the news to her?

My advice? Wait until you are well into your pregnancy. The first trimester is most difficult, often causing nausea and morning sickness. According to experts, this is also when the risk of miscarriage is at its highest.

Wait until you are beginning to show, and then share your news with your child, your family and closest friends.

Tips for telling your child about the new baby:

If you are suffering from morning sickness, ensure that you do not tell your child that the baby is making you sick. In some cases, you may not feel up to playing with your child and you do not want her to blame the new baby.

It is wise to choose a time when your child is relaxed and well rested before broaching the subject.

Remind him/her that you love them very much and the new baby will not change that fact.

As your pregnancy progresses, you can take your child to the doctor with you so that she can hear the baby's heartbeat.

Read books or watch DVDs about a new baby coming into the family (see below for recommendations).

Let her choose a toy for the new baby.

Pay close attention to your child’s feelings. Is she excited? Happy? Sad. Acknowledge her feelings and answer questions in as simplistic and accurate way as possible.

Watch your words. Children do not always visualize what we say in a correct way. Teach your child the correct terminology. The baby is not in your tummy; it’s in your womb. Explain that the womb is a special place inside the Mommy, where the baby lives until it is ready to come out. You can’t see the womb, but it looks like Mommy’s tummy is getting bigger. Be clear that the womb is different from the tummy, because the womb holds a baby and the tummy holds food-- they don’t go in the same place!

Recommended Resources:

DVD: Great Siblings: A Sibling Preparation Film for Preschoolers from 1x Around Productions
Book: I'm a New Big Brother/Sister by Nora Gaydos
Visit your local parent resource store or independent bookstore (we recommend Parent Books at 21 Harbord Street in Toronto, ON)

Armed with the above information, you’re ready to share your good news with your child and the world. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Egg-cellent Egg Activity Roundup

Egg-inspired crafts are a fun way to celebrate the beginning of spring. Here's a roundup of egg-cellent egg activities and crafts to enjoy with your kids:

Newspaper eggs are a fun and easy mod podge craft.

Rhyming eggs combine literacy and art.

Pantone Easter Eggs are fabulous for adults who love art and design (perhaps your child's art teacher?).

Cute and fuzzy chick in a plastic egg craft

Fancy shaker eggs (pictured). These are so bright and fun!

Colour-coded Easter egg hunt.

Which egg-cellent egg activity will you choose?

Image Source

Friday, March 8, 2013

How To Explain Divorce To Children

What do you tell your child(ren), when Mommy and Daddy get divorced?

Preschool children do not understand the concept of divorce. They only know that their world is different.

Regression is a common setback for preschoolers. They will oftentimes try to control their surroundings, and may experience separation anxiety.

The older child is more aware that life as they knew it, is no longer. They often blame themselves and will try to get mom and dad to get back together.

What can you do to facilitate an easier time? 

-Maintain your regular routine.
-Do not speak badly about your ex (even if you're tempted!). Your ex is still your child's parent.

-Keep a regular visitation schedule with your ex. Help your child mark out these dates on the calendar so they know that the other parent loves and misses them too. 
-If your child is old enough, ensure that she can call the other parent herself. Teach her the phone number.
-Remember it is not the quantity of time, it is the quality of time that you spend with your child.

And finally, how do you explain divorce? In terms your child understands. Use just as much detail as she needs-- no more, no less: "Mommy and Daddy can't be together any more, but we love you very much, and that will never change".

Image Source

Link Love 8.3.2013

Worksheets for teaching resiliency.

Internet raises money for homeless man who returned lost engagement ring.
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Never has that old adage been more literally on the money than in the case of Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man in Kansas City, Missouri who returned a diamond ring to a woman who accidentally dropped it in his coin cup when she gave him some cash.
Harris returned the ring to the woman and now people from all over are coming together to help him out...
Harris has taken his good fortune in stride, saying, “I like it, but I don’t think I deserve it. What I actually feel like is, ‘what has the world come to when a person who returns something that doesn’t belong to him and all this happens?’”

Taming the Wild Things: Helping anxious kids and their parents.

Free Kindle books for kids.

This is a beautiful lesson.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Link Love 1.3.2013

If Passover is already on your mind, this Seder Plate colouring sheet will be great fun for you and your kids.

Pre-K to senior kindergarten teachers: Use these characters customized for each child to teach listening, taking turns, staying on subject, and empathy. The free template is included at the source.

Jennifer Lawrence criticizes mental illness stigma.The fact that she is well-spoken and stands up for those battling mental illness makes her Oscar win all the more exciting.

Resources for teaching social skills.

Letters and emails can effectively boost advocacy efforts for your kids with learning disabilities (LD) and others like them. This article shows how.

What's the best article you read this week?