Thursday, April 22, 2010

Parental Stress - 15 Smart Ways To Stress Less

Parenting help for today revolves around parental stress, and ways to stress less while traveling the parenting road, so you can be at your best as a parent.

Being a good parent is not an easy road and wreaks havoc on stress levels.  In fact, parenting, although so important to the future of our kids, is one of the areas that professionals say causes the most stress in a person's life. Parents stress about their future and that of their kids, whether they are doing a good enough job, finances, future goals, parenting techniques, safety and well being of their kids, their health, their children's health, trying to keep up with incorporating a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their kids, meeting the demands of parenting, and the demands of their kids, cooking, keeping house, and above all else they stress about giving their kids certain comforts they may not have had when they were growing up, and not making the same mistakes their parents made, and let's not forget the automatic guilt that comes with parenting, whether warranted or not.  Quite a list don't you think?

This level of stress in so many areas of daily life, can lead good parents into an overwhelming state of mind, thus causing an unhappy, agitated state, which definitely takes its toll on the well being of a person. This can interfere with parents being at their best for their children, their partner and themselves. It isn't fair - we have such an important job but with the responsibility comes an enormous amount of stress that actually ends up lessening our abilities.  Too much stress takes away from us and thus takes away from our children. Turn the tables on stress, don't let it change who you are as a person or a parent.  Take these 15 secrets and use them toward beating down your stress.

1.  One thing we have nowadays that perhaps our parents did not have it an array of ways to reduce stress.  USE THEM! Find the one that best suits you and engage yourself in calming your mind and body. Consider regular exercise, meditation techniques, yoga, outings with friends where you can be who you used to be before you had your kids.  Taking time out for yourself is of huge value and it doesn't take long before you can feel the value in your life and your parenting.

2.  Reach out and grab hold of the wonderful information that is out there to assist you in being a good parent, and help you through tough times in raising kids.  Other moms and dads have lots to share and you will find that they alone, have more to offer in information than just the professionals.  Don't let this information go to waste.  Milk it for all it's worth.

3.  Feeling overwhelmed is a common trait of parenting. Do not ignore it - instead get help to conquer it before it gets out of control.  Forget what people might think, those people are going through the same thing you are and like you, they don't want anyone to know how hard they find parenting - this is a very common human trait.  The smart parents are the ones who get the help when they need it and they are better parents and partners because of it.

4.  When you feel the anger mode coming in - take a breathe, count to ten while slowly releasing your air. Breath slowly and controlled.

5. Take time every day to have a conversation with your child and build on good communication.  This helps prevent conflicts, and aids in a better all around behaved child, thus preventing parental stress.

6.  Keep your passions in your life.  Do not let go of the things you love and need to keep smiling and thriving.  Having children doesn't mean neglecting yourself or your needs.

7.  Keep a social life with and without your partner.  Having people you can relate to in your life is a gift.  People need other people to share and rely on for whatever reasons. Do not close yourself off from the world and live only in mommy or daddy land.  You are an adult, with wants and needs.

8.  Be realistic in your expectations of your children.  Have an awareness of raising children, the areas of maturity that encompass tough times and get a head start on them so that you don't feel overwhelmed and surprised when they fall upon you.  Being prepared helps a person feel in control.

9.  Avoid parental slip ups to avoid unnecessary parental stress.

10.  Get proper sleep.  If you aren't sleeping well take appropriate measure to deal with the problem.  Don't just leave it and figure it's a part of parenting.  It isn't.  Getting proper sleep is of major consequence to the way the brain functions throughout the day. Not getting enough sleep is a stress causing factor on its own.

11.  Do not ignore your health.  If you have a recurring physical problem, or illness, no matter how afraid you might be you must bite the bullet, face your fear and address the problem. Remember that not everything is life threatening and most illnesses can be dealt with and fixed.  In the back of your mind you will stress about an illness of health problem that you are not addressing.  By addressing it you will be fixing it and dealing with it which is still better than ignoring it and then really having something to worry about later down the road.

12.  Do not take on more than you can handle.  If you are feeling overwhelmed with one child make an educated decision on when or if you will have another.  Don't let your pregnancies pile up on you if you are not inclined that way.  Take your time and don't let anyone or anything push you in a direction you are not ready for.

13.  If you are having marital problems address them.  Do not let them pile up and do not let them get the best of you.  Remember also that your kids will learn how to be a partner themselves from the examples you and your partner set so address marital issues and get them sorted out. Do not be afraid to get professional help if you feel you need it. Professional marital assistance is extremely common and you may feel alone but trust me you are not. It's simply one of those things everyone hides.

14.  Do not compare yourself to other parents and families.  Everyone has different circumstances.  What you may think looks so great in another family could very well simply be an act because everyone wants to look like the perfect parent in front of other parents. Every couple has their problems and every parent has their strengths and weaknesses.  In society today, people don't want to share their shortcomings they just want to appear perfect.

15.  Be aware of the areas of childhood that cause problems in a child's behavior, such as a poor diet, poor sleeping habits and too much television watching to name a few.  These poor behavior causing areas will only add stress to your life and cause unnecessary friction as you try and get behavior under control.  There are already plenty of time when as a parent you will have to deal with poor behavior from your children, there is no need to add anymore.

Parental stress is part of the parenting territory but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't do the necessary to limit this stress as much as possible and do the necessary things to help yourself perform well under stress and duress. Nip as much parental stress in the bud as you can, stress less, and parent at your best.

More parenting assistance

Weight Gain in Pregnancy Sets A Pace For Obesity
Every mom and mom to be needs to be aware of the findings of unnecessary weight gain in pregnancy.  Please share this information.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Parenting Help: 9 Slip Ups to Avoid in Toddlerhood

The best parenting help in the world would be if each toddler came with an individual owner's manual to assist parents in the trying times of toddlerhood.  Sure there is plenty of helpful advice out there from other moms and dads and professionals, but every child is different, with a different temperament so usually parents end up on a trial and error basis when using parenting help to assist in raising their toddler.  Much of parenting is trial and error and not giving up until you find the help that works best for you and your toddler.  A perfect example of this is a toddler's bedtime - getting them to go to bed without a fuss and remain in bed throughout the night.

This particular parenting help is to lend you a hand in avoiding the slips ups that end up slowing down our efforts and working against quicker successes. When dealing with toddlers, regardless of the technique you are using for whatever situations, avoid these nine slips ups to help your ride be a little less bumpy and support whatever technique you are using for whatever situation.

Slip Up #1: Not Enough One on One

Make no mistake that family time is important but be cautious not to go overboard but rather concentrate more on having one-on-one time with each child. Professionals have always stressed to parents how children, especially toddlers love one-on-one time with their parents.

Simply get on the floor with them and play.  No distractions, no TV, no telephone calls - just you and your toddler.  Let him see that at that time he is the only thing that matters.

Slip Up #2: Being Inconsistent

Engraving your toddlers life with consistency is what will award you with a more durable and agreeable toddler.  Toddlers especially thrive when they know what to expect. Like a consistent bath time and bedtime, and even what to expect when they are not behaving.

The parenting help to assist in fixing this problem is to keep regular routines for your toddler.  Have a system set up with your partner ahead of time that both of you will use when your toddler acts up.  Make sure your caregiver adhere to the same system and make it clear that regardless of whether she agrees with it or not she must follow the same system as you and your partner.  Systems will change and be revised as your toddler grows through the stages of childhood.

Slip Up # 3: Too Much Explaining

 Dr. Phelan explains that at the time when a parent says "No" to something, and the toddler insists, and then parent begins to explain, once again why - this is what Dr. Phelan calls the talk-persuade-argue-yell-hit pattern. The argument goes back and forth with tears from the toddler and further agitation building in the parent. 

Once you lay down the law avoid eye contact.  If toddler disobeys, give a BRIEF verbal warning.  If toddler persists then go into whatever consequence you decide to use for this type of misbehaving, such as time out or, some parents will simply ignore their toddlers continuous demand once they have already laid down the law.  This is the what I use with my toddler and it works quite well. I say it once, if she argues, I give a brief verbal warning, if she continues I ignore her demands within the particular situation at hand.  Remember that toddler's are not adults and are not able to grasp reasons for things so explaining is not accomplishing anything except frustration.  

 Slip up #4: Serving Only Toddler Foods or Favorite Foods

Feeding your toddler only fish sticks and fries or mac and cheese will prevent him from wanting to eat anything else.  Doing this early on will cause you to have to break bad habits and enforce new ones which we all know is a tough task.

Encourage your toddler, as early on as possible, to eat grown up foods, healthy ones of course. If you do this early on you will find they are less reluctant to try new foods and will have a broad desire for different type foods.

Don't always fall prey to their, "I don't like it!" Introduce new foods one at a time, if they resist, wait a week and then try again with that same food. Toddlers who are conditioned to eat the same kiddie foods, will often say they don't like another food just because they don't want it but after a few tries they will usually go for it and thus broadening their scope of meals.

Picky eater toddlers are quite common so by introducing new foods at a regular pace you help them open up to different types and tastes of food. If they fight you, don't make a fuss and don't allow yourself to become a personal chef to your toddler as this will open a whole other can of worms you will have to deal with.

Slip Up #5: Lending Too Much Help

When you see your toddler taking time to do something or struggling a bit, think twice before you jump in and help.  Constantly helping your toddler before you have given him a chance to succeed on his own is sending him a message that he is incompetent or incapable of doing something. You will also be interfering with their ability to become self-reliant.

Of course, there are times when a toddler does need help but give your toddler the chance to see it through on his own. When you do offer help, avoid completing the task for him. Only help a little and then allow him to continue on his own. Cheer your toddler on as he works at his task and encourage him not to give up.  Children need to learn to endure struggle and persevere, an important parenting skill to start teaching during the toddler years. 

Slip Up # 6: Potty Training Too Soon

Another very common slip up, parents inveigle their toddlers into potty training to soon.  They tend to use harsh and abrupt reprimands which turn into a power struggle, putting a very negative, unhappy tone for their toddlers, which usually backfires and does not get the results they think it will.  This type of behavior can easily cause the training to take even more time, making your toddler feel insecure and less likely to even attempt toilet use.

Parenting help says parents can set the tone for their toddler by introducing the toilet and briefly explaining what its use is. Consider showing your toddler how the toilet is used by using it yourself and he can watch.  In good time your toddler will want to copy you, and at this point you can praise his wonderful new skill of using the toilet.  Don't forget to introduce the skill of washing hands along with toilet so the two tasks become one complete measure.

Slip Up# 7:  Big Kids Bed Too Soon

I have always been puzzled as to why this slip up is so common as well. A baby's crib not only keeps them safe but it also helps enforce good sleep and bedtime habits. Moving your child to a bed before he is ready will play havoc with his sleep patterns and put parents in a position of exhaustion when they find themselves in the position to lay in bed with their toddler until he falls asleep, or the other side of this picture is all too common which is toddlers waking in the middle of the night and climbing into bed with mom and dad.

When your toddler starts climbing out of his crib or asks for a real bed, this is the best time to begin the change from crib to bed.  This usually comes between the ages of 2 to 3.

Slip Up #8: Allowing Too Much TV/Movie Time

Professionals will tell you that according to recent studies toddlers who watch too much TV often have glitches in their learning abilities later on.  Too much TV also promotes laziness and you will find your toddler doesn't want to do anything else but watch TV. Watching too much television is also associated with overweight kids in childhood.

Instead of TV keep your toddler active by helping him use his imagination through pretend play, creative games, reading, outdoor activities.  Talk to your toddler to promote language, verbal skills, and listening.  The less TV time your toddler has the better.

Slip Up #9: Handling a Tantrum

Here is a parent's biggest nightmare, especially when it happens in public.  Why? We feel judged and for whatever reason a toddler having a tantrum in public makes parents feel inadequate in their parenting, which is ridiculous because all toddlers have tantrums regardless of their mom and dad's parenting level.

There is no point in trying to talk your toddler out of his tantrum, and there is no point losing your temper because it only makes things worse and will make your toddler cry and scream even more. Remember it is your toddler who is most important and not people and their opinions.  Not to mention most of these people have simply forgotten that they too were once in the same position as you, or they simply have not yet dealt with their child having a tantrum. Ignore the glares; don't even look around to see if anyone is looking at you.  If someone has something to say put a smile on your face and ask them if they remember the days of toddlerhood. Then, take your toddler to a change of location away from the public eye and let the tantrum run its course.  Once your toddler is finished his tantrum, give him a loving smile and hug and carry on with your day.

With this parenting help you now know 9 slips ups to avoid when traveling through the toddler years, helping to make parenting in toddlerhood a little less of a bumpy road and adding more value to your parenting skills.

More Parenting Help

As a mom or mom to be are you aware of the consequences of too much weight gain in pregnancy? Please share this information with other moms and moms to be - it's such an important topic!

Major time saver for the family cook! once a month cooking and a freezer full of meals! I love this!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weight Gain in Pregnancy Sets A Pace for Obesity

Pregnancy is an exciting time as expectant moms and dads look forward to the arrival of their new baby. They make preparations such as planning out the nursery, choosing parenting techniques, and selecting names.  Moms to be often stress about their ability to be a good parent. One of the things expectant mothers need to be aware of nowadays is weight gain in pregnancy and how it can affect them in the future and their child.

Excessive weight gain in pregnancy is associated with long-term obesity for mothers, who are more likely to be overweight or obese 21 years of less after giving birth. Not to mention the added excessive weight gained with each following pregnancy.

 A study led by Dr. Abdullah Mamun, at the University of Queensland, Autstralia says, "Weight gain during pregnancy independently predicts the long-term weight gain and obesity of women. Our study found that that excessive weight gain in pregnancy has profound long lasting impact on the future development of obesity."

The study used more than 7000 mothers and their children born at Brisbane's Mater Hospital during 1981-83. Using a database of records with the women's weight before pregnancy, and the maximum weight gain before giving birth, researchers were able to calculate the amount of weight gain throughout pregnancy.  Of the 2026 women included in the study, 33 percent gained excessive weight, 41 percent gained sufficient weight and 26 percent gained insufficient weight during pregnancy. The average weight gain for mothers participating in the study was 32.4 pounds per week.  According to Dr. Abdullah, these women were 4.5 times more likely to be over weight or obese even 21 years after giving birth.

Such factors including maternal age, pre-pregnancy body mass index, education level, smoking habits, television watching, hypertensive disorder, diabetes, method of delivery, duration of breastfeeding and menopausal status were taken into consideration, but had no altering effects on the study.

Professor Leonie Callaway said it is possible that some of these women who had excessive weight gain in pregnancy might be metabolically prone to this, and even without a pregnancy, might have ended up gaining weight at a quicker rate over time.

However,  increased awareness and knowledge about the implications of weight gain during and prior to pregnancy can be an effective tool.

1.  Awareness of a healthy diet and keeping fit prior to pregnancy.

2. Maintaining a fitness regime and healthy eating habits from as young an age as possible.

3. Being fit and of a healthy weight prior to pregnancy. 

4.  An awareness of documented information on pregnancy as opposed to old wives tales handed down through generations.

5.  Maintaining a fitness regime throughout pregnancy - much of this depends on a woman's fitness level prior to pregnancy and should always be arranged by a health professional familiar with keeping fit during pregnancy.

6.  Losing unwanted pounds within 6 months following delivery. Be cautious here as rapid weight loss can effect breast feeding practices.  The weight loss should be on a healthy level and properly administered through proper diet and exercise.

7.  Breast feeding as opposed to bottle feeding, or at least incorporating both methods if necessary, as breast feeding lessons calories and also helps protect against breast cancer.

In a previous research Dr. Mamun found that children whose mothers had unhealthy weight gain in pregnancy were more likely to be overweight or obese in childhood and adulthood. This is actually not a new finding, as there is plenty of research to support this idea and in fact most of us can already notice that over weight moms and dads often have overweight kids as well. Much of this is also the lack of introducing a healthy lifestyle to themselves and their children, causing a chain reaction throughout the family history.

Regardless of the situation, moms and moms to be need to be aware of the replications on themselves and their children should they be overweight prior to pregnancy and further gaining weight throughout their pregnancy. Weight gain in pregnancy should be at an amount that is normal for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.  Awareness and education of a healthy, active lifestyle prior to and during pregnancy can massively assist in unwanted excessive weight gain in pregnancy.

Never underestimate the power of a healthy diet - a lifestyle change that will positively effect everything you do and experience in this life.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Good Parenting Discipline Tactics - Gets Results

Discipline is an area that is commonly known to parents as the place where we seem to make the most mistakes. I mean let's face it, when you are overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, and sometimes even fed up being a parent, you are expected to make an immediate decision that requires clear, concise, sensible fair discipline rules. Result based discipline tactics will help parents not get entangled in discipline traps that cause much frustration and repeat offender kids.

Many parents have said to me that one area of parenting they hate, yes hate, the most is the area of discipline. I can totally understand that. Not only is it daunting but it makes me feel guilty and rather down for the rest of the day whenever I have to discipline my kids, and, many times I would do it wrong or forget the rules. But, now after 19 years of parenting a now teenager and 5 years of parenting my now 5 year old, I have the discipline area down pretty pat, which has helped me make great strides in disciplining with success and having less repeat offenses by my kids.

Here are some discipline tactics to help you avoid the traps and get a more positive experience out of your efforts.

1. One Style Does Not Fit All

Our grandmothers or even mothers will tell us what they found to be affective when disciplining their children. Their approach back then was simple. One method of discipline was used on all the kids. However, it is important to remember that children are all different, especially when it comes to the way they handle being disciplined or scolded. Some children are rather sensitive and can't handle being spoken to sharply, while others are not the least bit bothered. Some will learn quickly while others will take more time, needing repetition when the situation arises again. And some need to express themselves rather loudly before they can begin to hear what you are saying to them. So in a nutshell, children have different temperaments, so be sure to select discipline tactics that suit the individual.

2. Understanding Where and Who They Are In Life

Age and development also plays a role here. Toddlers are known for doing outrageous things you have repeatedly told them not to do, thus pushing your limits as a parent. Tweens are searching for their independence from their parents, wanting to prove to themselves that they can get on with you. This usually shows itself through odd or crazy behavior, again resulting in your need to repeat yourself and reinforce punishment. Neither one of these age groups is interested in listening to a long lecture.

Good parenting discipline tactics require that a toddler receive direct, quick, simple discipline while a tween will require punishment within appropriate boundaries.nd with this, does not necessarily come perfection. Both tween and toddler will usually be repeat offenders putting your discipline tactics and your parenting to the test.

When you understand where and who they are in life you gain the key to selecting the best approach of discipline for them, you and the situation.

3. Overdoing it

This one is a bit tougher, and even more so for parents who are frustrated from not seeing an improvement after repeating discipline for the same old issues. Ensure the punishment fits the crime as opposed to the punishment fitting your level of frustration and agitation. Ensuring you are able to uphold the punishment is another part of not over doing it. It's tough I know, but think about the punishment before you inflict it. Don't tell your toddler he can't go to the party if you yourself have to be there for some reason. Don't tell your tween he has to stay home all day and not go out unless you know for sure that you yourself don't have to go that day.

It helps if you keep a punishment in mind for when you need it this way you are less likely to throw out a punishment that is over the top or not realistic. Another good idea and a very helpful one if you ask me, is to have a single word or phrase that you use on your kids when they are getting out of line or showing signs they are about to be repeat offenders. What ever the phrase you choose, don't shout it but rather use a firm tone of voice, a stern serious face, and a glare that lets them know you are not kidding and will shove out the disciplinary measure if you need to. This is also good because you are giving your child the chance to make the right decision on his own before slamming down the discipline.

4. Underdoing it

I used to be famous for this one when my teenager was a toddler. Simply voicing to your child he is going to get into trouble at the moment he is doing something not right, is really not going to work. Good parenting discipline tactics require that your approach be more direct and firm. Going over to your child and helping him do the right thing and then giving him another chance to play nicely is a better approach.

Think about what would be the most effective punishment. Canceling sports if your child really doesn't like it that much is really not accomplishing anything. Make sure the punishment or discipline measure is one that will help him think twice the next time and one that he will feel the consequences of his actions. My daughter's favorite thing in the whole day is pretty much her night time story before bed. Taking this away as a punishment worked but then she grew a little older and it didn't work anymore so keep up with your child's movement when it comes the things he loves, hates or couldn't care all that much about.

5. Consistency

If you sometimes allow something (for whatever reasons), and then sometimes don't allow it, you are confusing your child, especially young ones. Children know very well that they can often times soften up mom and dad or that mom and dad will let something slide, so they use it to their advantage. Sometimes parents get caught up in whatever they are doing at the time and their kids get away with doing things they shouldn't.  Consistency is key to how long it will take for your child to stop being a repeat offender in the same area.

Parents must follow through with punishments so choose them wisely. Taking away TV all together is usually a pretty good punishment for most kids, however, if you say it is for the entire day then you can't back off from that in the evening when you are busy doing something and don't want your child underfoot. Your child will learn that you are not serious or that the punishment will cease as soon as you are busy.

6. Using the positive to wipe out the negative

Many parents find themselves in the position of feeling guilty a lot because it seems they are always punishing their kids and thus creating a rift in the relationship. This can be the case with a child that doesn't listen well and is always somehow in trouble.

One of the things these parents can do is to observe the good behavior no matter how small and let their child know they appreciate it and get praise for it. If your child is sitting and playing nicely with is playmates as opposed to fighting and taking away toys then praise him for it even if it is for five minutes. Use this technique and you will find it makes a world of difference because most children want to please their parents and noticing their good behavior will help them want to do good more often.

Another good parenting disciple tactic is when you go out with your kids and you know they are likely to act up, don't scold them in advance by assuming they will be naughty. Instead, let them know how they can help you and get them involved in some tasks and offer a reward for good helpful behavior. Give your kids the opportunity to prove you wrong and behave themselves, as opposed to assuming right away they are going to be naughty. Show them you have faith in them.

In conclusion discipline is really about showing your kids how much you love them while helping them grow up to be all the good things. Apply good parenting skills by helping your child feel your love even when disciplining him by taking a deep breath at the time of frustration and thinking clearly about how you should punish him that will have the better outcome. Utilize good parenting discipline tactics such as positive reinforcements, keep age and temperament in mind, punish to fit the crime, follow through and be consistent in all your efforts.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cooking Healthy Family Meals - Once A Month

Cooking healthy family meals pretty much top the list these days with parents making healthier food choices and meals for their family. One common question many parents ask themselves everyday is, "How can I find any free time when I spend so much of my time in the kitchen!"  Yes, cooking 3 meals a day plus snacks is a lot of preparation, a lot of cooking, and a lot of time.

Let's face it even if you are a person who loves cooking,  such as I do, the time to self indulge in cooking and fancy unique ingredients is simply not on the chopping board with our busy schedules and lifestyles. Instead cooking healthy family meals takes the lead. 

Frugal Mom has done something really really awesome for us parents! She has provided us with a guide for cooking once a month with the outcome being a freezer full of meals. Yes you read it correctly! Does it work? Yes it does! Are the meals healthy? Yes they are! Are they tasty even after being frozen? Yes they are! As far as I am concerned Frugal Mom has hit the nail right on the head, helping parents find time for other things besides living in their kitchens.

Here is why this guide is priceless.

  • Simple meal times with the meal already done keeping nicely in the freezer.
  • Cooking once a month gives you your much needed free time to tend to other important matters or to do something for yourself.
  • Once a month cooking is a "save money" treat
What do you get with the guide?
  • Complete step by step instructions
  • Over 70 family friendly meal recipes - tried and tested
  • Forms to help you stay organized
  • A chance to save some money
  • A more simplified life with more time for your kids, your spouse and yourself.
  • An online support group
  • Formatted for "easy to print"
  • A bonus "Bulk Freezing - Ground Beef
  • A money back guarantee - although you won't need it
With a great idea, a professional approach, and a God send to parents, Frugal Mom has all of the above and gives us a way of cooking healthy family meals once a month.  With all this she has kept the price of her guide to a minimum making it easily affordable. You can view comments from others who have purchased her guide and find out more details at:

A Freezer Full of Meals!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Good Parenting: Help with Child Stealing

Your five year old is definitely old enough to know he should not be taking things without asking or paying for them. In other words he is old enough to know that stealing is not acceptable. If you are like many parents who have arrived home to find there little one had taken something that does not belong to him, utilize these good parenting guidelines with help for child stealing. 

1.  Although you may very well know your child has stolen,  do not lose your temper and immediately begin accusing him.  Instead, ask him how he managed to pay for that or who gave it to him. Give him a chance to be honest.  Most kids at this age are  honest when they are asked directly about a situation.

2.  Once you have established that he has stolen, calmly put across your disapproval.  State that stealing is hurtful to himself, his parents and the people he is stealing from. Give an example of how he would feel if someone stole his favorite toy or his pet.

3.  Let the first offense go with a warning but if it happens again you need to put down a punishment.  Good parenting requires that you communicate this rule to your child and ensure that they understand that next time they will be punished.

4.  Another rather tough but necessary good parenting guidelines for help with child stealing is to hold your child responsible for his actions by having him return the item and apologize.   This can be a rather stressful task so do it together with your child and offer support.  This task alone will make quite an impact and is often enough to make your child never want to take anything again without asking.

Stealing once or twice as a young child is quite common but good parenting skills for handling child stealing requires that you handle the situation calmly, immediately and seriously.  Do not just assume that because it is common that it will just pass on it's own.  Make sure your child knows the rules of punishment and that he is made to return the item and apologize with your help. If stealing happens often talk to your doctor to see if there could be an underlying problem.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Toddler Eating: Tips To Create Healthy Eaters

The first tip to creating healthy toddler eating is a rather obvious one but one that is often overlooked or not adhered to. It is vital that parents provide healthy foods by keeping the shopping on a healthy level for everyone in the family not just their toddler or baby. Good parenting means providing good healthy meals at least 90% of the time.

Remember that by toddler age, your child should pretty much be eating the same as the family. If not, this means you are still making separate healthy meals for your toddler. Yikes, that's a lot of work to carry on doing for years to come, not to mention your child will notice that no one else in the family is made to adhere to to eat healthy eating and there for must not be that important. Hence, your toddlers attitude will change toward his meals and you will begin to have mealtime nightmares when your toddler does not want to eat his food but his older sisters or brothers or mom or dads.

When doing the shopping keep the idea of "Variety" in mind. This is important so that you can offer your toddler a variety of foods and dishes in small amounts, in a simple non fussy way. Doing this will encourage him to try new foods over a period of time and understand the idea of choice and educate him on the many different foods available.

Ensuring their toddlers get the daily health requirements from their meals and snacks is one of the biggest daily good parenting concerns. The best way to do this is to plan meals and snacks around the five major foods groups displayed in the food pyramid. (Cereals, bread, pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables, meat and fish)

Ages 2-5 years need the same number of servings in each food group as an adult but their serving sizes are about one third smaller than an adult.

After trying out different approaches I find it easiest to put a weekly meal plan together and do my weekly shopping around that. This way meals and snacks are planned for the week and I don't have to worry about what to cook or give for snacks. I also know I have the ingredients required for each meal and don't have to take time to go to the store. I also devote half of one day to cooking some meals or snacks ahead of time and freezing them so that I have more free time during the week and less hassle with cooking.

Snacks play a big role in the day of a toddler. With snacks you have another way of fulfilling your child's nutritional needs as well as open his taste buds to new foods. Snack time should be fun and become a good toddler eating time that he looks forward to but also carries healthy benefits.
  • Offer a variety of snacks throughout the week.
  • Avoid large portions as they are often overwhelming and wasted.
  • With smaller portions your toddler can always ask for more.
When you give a junk food snack always add healthy foods to it. For example: If you give ice cream, instead of chocolate syrup use honey with nuts and raisins as a topping. When you make baked goods add a puree vegetable to the mix before baking and use wholemeal flour instead of white. When you bake with chocolate or use chocolate for anything, use dark chocolate as it holds an abundance of anti oxidants. Keep this idea in mind whenever you give your toddler junk food.

With this tactic even junk food will have some benefit to it and your toddler will learn to always incorporate a healthy food with whatever he eats because he watched mom and dads good parenting while growing up. It also shows your toddler throughout his growth that goodies are fine in moderation and can taste just as good when healthy tid-bits are added and there is no need to overindulge.

Toddler eating does not have to be the hassle it has become.  Good parenting means the sooner you introduce your toddler to different foods and make meal times fun and non stressful the easier your road will be in setting up your toddler for a lifelong commitment to good eating habits, good nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle.

Frugal Mom teaches you how to do once a month cooking with easy step-by-step instructions.
Frugal Moms Guide To Once A Month Cooking
A must have for every family cook!