Fostering Caring for Family Far Away

Teaching a child to demonstrate caring behaviors to loved ones far away is a lot easier today than it was years ago.

caring

A big brother away at college, a grandma or grandpa who lives in another state, a relative serving in the armed forces overseas are all people who look forward to hearing from a child and are disappointed when they don’t hear. Children need to be encouraged to stay in touch with those who love them.

Here are some ways that make it easier to stay in touch:

  • Skype enables a  child to see and speak to a loved one via the computer when both parties have a webcam and this free software program.
  • E-mail enables a young child to send brief messages. When special holidays come around, a child can send a free card using programs such as Hallmark or Blue Mountain
  • Telephone calls, when possible, are also a good way to keep in touch
  • There is always the tried and true…send a hand made drawing or card in the mail.

A fun activity to foster caring for those far away is to make a “Caring Calendar” and hang it in the kitchen.

At the beginning of each a month, a child can circle dates for hello calls and holidays, birthdays or special events for each person that he or she wants wants to remember in a special way. When everyone has Skype they can see one another, which makes it a special visit!

Sunscreens for Young Children

Days are getting longer, which means more time out in the sun. Time to think kid-friendly sunscreens.sunscreens

Things to look for that would indicate that you are buying the ‘best sunscreens,’ include that it:

  • Provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
  • Has an SPF of at least 15 to 30.
  • Is water-resistant. Even if you aren’t going swimming, if your child is outside, he will likely be sweating, so a water resistant might provide better protection than a regular sunscreen.
  • Is hypoallergenic and fragrance free, especially if your child has sensitive skin.
  • Is in a form that is easy to use on your child, whether that means it is a stick, gel, lotion, spray, or continuous spray, etc.

Kid-Friendly Sunscreens that you would look for to protect your kids from the sun include:

  • Aveeno Baby Sunblock lotion, SPF 55
  • Badger SPF 30 For Face & Body
  • Badger SPF 30 Unscented Natural Sunscreen
  • Banana Boat Baby Tear-Free Continous Spray Sunblock, SPF 50
  • Banana Boat Baby Tear-Free Sunblock Lotion, SPF 50
  • Banana Boat Baby Faces Sunblock Stick, SPF 50
  • Banana Boat Kids Dri-Blok Sunblock Lotion, SPF 30
  • Banana Boat Kids Tear-Free Sunblock, SPF 50
  • Banana Boat UltraMist Kids Spray, SPF 50
  • Blue Lizard Australian Suncream, SPF 30
  • Bull Frog Kids FastBlast Sunblock Spray, SPF 36
  • California Baby Water Resistant, Hypo-Allergenic Sunscreen, SPF 30+
  • Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
  • Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Continuous Spray, SPF 50
  • Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Continuous Spray, SPF 70+
  • Coppertone WaterBabies Quick Cover Lotion Spray, SPF 50
  • Coppertone WaterBabies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
  • Coppertone WaterBabies Sunscreen Lotion Spray, SPF 50
  • Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces & Tender Places Sunblock Spray, SPF 50+
  • Neutrogena Kids Spray Waterguard Sunblock Mist, SPF 70+
  • Neutrogena Waterguard Kids Sunblock Lotion, SPF 70+
  • Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunblock Lotion, SPF 60+
  • NO-AD Sunblock Lotion, SPF 45
  • Up & Up Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30(Target)
  • Walgreens Sport Continuous Spray SPF 50

Parents should a avoid low SPF sunscreen or suntan lotion, which don’t provide enough sun protection for kids.

Other Sunscreens

In addition to traditional sunscreen creams, lotions, and sprays, you can also get extra sun protection with:

  • Lip balms with sunscreen
  • Sun protection clothing, made with fabric that provides a Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 15 to 50+

Source:

 About.com Pediatrics

 

 

How Parents can Help the Nanny

Jack Meyer contributed the following guest post. While his post focuses on a nanny as a caregiver, much of what he says rings true for any child care provider that comes into your home to care for your child or children, be it a day worker or live-in nanny.

Mr. Meyer is a regular contributor to http://www.nannybackgroundcheck.com/. As a detective, he wants to share information about what can happen when people don’t fully verify the credentials of a caregiver or any employee. He also writes for various law enforcement blogs and sites.

nannyOften parents get so focused on how the nanny is going to help them out with the kids that they forget that when a new nanny is hired, she needs help adjusting too.

It takes time for everyone acclimate to a new situation, especially when you’re bringing someone new into your home and expecting them to watch, get along with, and sometimes even teach your children. There are a few ways you can help your new nanny ease into her position:

1.      Set down your rules

This sounds like an obvious one, but a lot of times parents don’t think of this until they find themselves getting frustrated with their nanny for doing something wrong or differently than they would do it themselves. If there are certain rules that your family adheres to then it would be helpful for you to clearly lay those out for your new nanny so that she doesn’t inadvertently step on any toes. It’s harder to change habits after getting accustomed to them being a certain way than it is for your nanny to start nannying the way you want her too from the get-go.

2.      Regularly schedule reviews and meetings

It’s a good idea to check in with your nanny frequently to make sure that everything is going well and to make sure that everyone is happy with the situation as is, that way adjustments can be made if necessary. It’s good to step back and openly communicate about what’s working and what isn’t, so try having a review every couple months to assess how things are going and take time to talk to one another at the end of each day to address any problems your child may be having or progress he may have made.

3.      Give credit where credit is due

Sometimes you don’t know a good thing until it’s gone – try to acknowledge and compliment your nanny when it’s deserved. Everyone needs to hear “job well done” on occasion; it helps to foster a good work environment.

4.      Include the nanny in family events

From time to time it’s a good idea to include your nanny in picnics at the park or trips to the beach. You’re bringing someone into your home and having her care for some of the most important people in your life – your children. The more included they feel, the more comfortable they’ll become. Having a good, open relationship with your nanny is crucial to the success of the hire.

Hiring a nanny can be a wonderful and rewarding experience for you, your children and the nanny. It truly is a job that requires a great deal of passion towards the profession and it’s not an easy profession to undertake.

When the family is as committed to making the nanny comfortable as the nanny is to caring for the children it fosters a dynamic and successful relationship.

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, wants all Americans to know about programs and resources to help children and parents curb obesity  including the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health’s We Can!! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition)® program.

Through public-private partnerships, safe places to play and nutritious food options are being made available in neighborhoods and schools across America. Exciting new programs include the Partnership for a Healthier America and Olympic Team USA’s commitment to provide 1.7 million kids the opportunity to participate in free and low cost physical activity programs offered by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USOC National Governing Bodies for sport, and others over the next year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released a new farm to school grant program designed to educate children about food sources, and increase the availability of locally sourced foods in schools.

obesityOver the past 30 years, the childhood obesity rate in America has almost tripled. According to the Centers for Disease Control,CDC, in 2010, approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years were already obese. Children and teenagers who are obese are more likely to become obese adults. Overweight and obese youth are at greater risk of developing serious adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.

That is why HHS, with the President’s Council, supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s goal to end childhood obesity within a generation through her Let’s Move! program. Everyone has a role to play – parents and caregivers, school teachers and administrators, community leaders, local elected officials, after school programmers, and health care providers.

According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, children and adolescents aged 6–17 years should spend 60 minutes or more being physical active each day.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, released by HHS and USDA, provide nutritional guidance for Americans to promote good health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity. The guidelines recommend balancing calories with physical activity, and encourage Americans to consume more healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood, and to consume less sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and refined grains.

To learn more about National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month or for tips on how to help your kids lead healthy lifestyle visit http://www.fitness.gov

 

Added Benefits of Taking Music Lessons in Childhood

musicBeyond the obvious benefits of learning music, a new study gives a few more reasons to take music lessons in childhood.

The study, published in the Aug. 22 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, states that adults who took music lessons as children have a heightened ability to process sounds and are better at listening.

Northwestern University researchers looked at 45 adults who had music training in childhood and compared them to those with no musical training during childhood. Those with even a few years of musical training in childhood had enhanced brain responses to complex sounds.

The participants were divided into three groups: those with no musical training, those with one to five years of lessons, and those with six to 11 years. Most in the study had begun music lessons at about age nine.

The study found that those who had music lessons were better at hearing fundamental frequency. This is the lowest frequency in sound and is crucial for speech and music perception. It enables recognition of sounds in complex and noisy hearing settings.

In a university news release, Nina Kraus, a professor of neurobiology, physiology and communication sciences, stated “Musical training as children makes better listeners later in life,” She continued, saying, “Based on what we already know about the ways that music helps shape the brain, the study suggests that short-term music lessons may enhance lifelong listening and learning.

Many children take music lessons for a few years, but few continue with formal music instruction beyond middle or high school. We help address a question on every parent’s mind: ‘Will my child benefit if he or she plays music for a short while but then quits training?”

Note: While the research showed an association between musical training and better listening skills, it does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

(SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, Aug. 21, 2012)

More Information: The American Music Therapy Association: other benefits of music.