Friday, 15 October 2010

Power of Reading

Reading to your child at a young age is one of the most effective tools for expanding his mind and instilling a lifelong love of learning. Reading a good book allows your child to travel to places she has never been, to meet people she has never met, and to develop an understanding of how to deal with a variety of physical and emotional situations.

Reading to your child also helps you develop an emotional connection. Whether you have her cuddle up in your lap, nestle with him while he is winding down for bed, or read to her while waiting for food in a restaurant, you are connecting. Reading to your child from an early age will also help him be successful in school. Reading out loud will help him learn language and become familiar with words. Reading is the foundation for developing an understanding of conceptual information and it sparks imagination!

Your child is never to young to be read to. Frankly, you should begin reading to your child while in the womb. During this time, use reading as a way of familiarizing the baby to your voice. If both parents take turns reading, it is even better. Imagine, before the baby is even born, the act of reading helps you connect and it can help parents reconnect with each other. When your child is born, the adventure begins. During the "easy" phase of infancy when your child is not physically able to explore his/her world, reading to your child helps him feel loved and comforted. Nestled in your arms with a favorite picture book, your baby will, at first, seem unaware of what is going on. But is she?

When my daughters were infants, I would read a series of picture books called the "Find The" board books by Stephen Cartwright. These books have lively illustrations, but no words. Guided by a series of images that included pictures of children and animals, each book asked children to find the piglet, the duck, the teddy, the puppy, the bird, or the kitten. When my daughters were very small, I would hold the book in front of them and while their heads wobbled about, I would ask, "Ceiley, where's the bird." Of course, there was no response, so I would point out where the bird was and, in doing so, I would describe the picture and put it into context. For several months, I would pull out the book and ask, "Where's the piglet!" One day, an interesting thing happened. When I asked the magical question, my daughter lifted a chubby finger and pointed to the piglet. Had she understood what I had been saying all along? I will probably never know but one thing is certain, before the age of one, she knew what a piglet was, what the word "find" meant, and she used her magnificent brain to tell her finger to point to the picture of the pig. All because I read a book. Her mind was indeed a blank slate upon which I could impress ideas and concepts.

Reading to your child should become second nature. Anytime, anywhere is an opportunity to read to your child. During the hectic toddler days, books can be lifesavers in public places. If you have to stand in line at a bank, take a book bag along filled with engaging books that your child enjoys. Before they get fussy, take out a book and start reading. Yes, it is very difficult to read to your child while you are holding him and standing up at the same time! Instead, put her in a stroller and bend down. As you read to your child, you are using your time preciously. By bending down, you are coming down to his level. By reading, you are expanding her knowledge and growing neurons. Make your waiting time, his reading time!

Reading while waiting also works well if you have several children with you. Although my daughters are 11 and 6, my oldest daughter will still lean over and read along to the book I am reading to my youngest, despite carrying along her own stash of Harry Potter and Manga books. The key is that, by making reading part of your child's everyday experiences, she will come to expect that reading is the norm.

If you are not a reader and do not enjoy reading, you have a great obstacle to overcome. If you do not enjoy reading and/or you were not brought up with reading in the home, it will be doubly difficult for you to get in the habit of reading. Please, don't let this stop you! The exciting thing about being human is that you can change anytime. Start slowly. Find a topic that interests you and start reading. Buy a bookcase and make it a goal to slowly fill it up with children's books, classics, or whatever else suits your fancy.

Read to your child. Engage his imagination. Don't assume that children read at a certain age. There are so many things that you can do to prepare them for the day when they start to decipher letters and words on their own. Lay the foundation early in life and your child will reap wonderful rewards.

You Bringing Up Your Child In The Right Way?

If you have children, you have to spend sleepless nights and restless days to nurture them. Children are like plants that need regular watering, weeding and pruning. Thus, parenting is a full time job where all your skills will be tested by none other than your children. As a parent you have to be ready to bear the child~s whining, protests when you tell your child to clean the room.

But good parenting wants you to change this attitude of the child. However, that does not mean you have to resort to violent means. Every child has his/her own nature and thus parents have to deal with each child in a different manner. Remember that parents have a major influence on the child~s behavior.

According to good parenting, you have to be strict with the child at times. At times you have to say ~no~ to him and you must also teach him to say ~no~ to wrong things. Lay down some rules and be sure to be consistent in the way you handle your children.

Good parenting does not mean that you have to be negative all the time. Love has the capability and capacity to change. However, effective parenting requires that love have to be coupled with strict and firm limits to enforce a difference. So, establish a loving and affectionate relationship with your children but still be firm. Take the example of situation when your child wants to spend the night at a neighbor~s house. If you do not approve of it, you should explain the reason. Do not go in detail, but let your child know about your decision and be firm. Do this in a loving way.

Try not to grudge at every activity and action of your child. Try no to be critical all the time, and try to look at the positive sides of child~s personality. If you feel that there are certain habits that need amending, try to improve as you feel they should be. Good parenting means how you handle the misbehavior and what difference it makes by affecting the child, and whether the misbehavior continues or stops.

In the end one can say that good parenting means good understanding of discipline techniques along with the consistency in your behavior and reaction to situations. Parenting is about your attitude, your capability and the way you steer yourself to bring up a child.

Childrens Birthday Party Ideas

Children's Birthday Parties can be fun, but exausting for you. The following ideas apply for children ages 2-12 (more birthday party ideas at Idea Queen).

The most important part of any children's party is to keep it simple. Kids have a way of amazing us with how entertained they can keep eachother with even the simplest of activities. (If you are ever in doubt, give your child a box and watch them for a few hours). Here are some ideas to make a smooth and flexible birthday party.

Planning the Party
Before you buy anything, you'll want to first plan the party. What's the theme? How many kids will there be? Do you need games? This isn't always necessary for younger children, but as they get older becomes important. You'll also want to pick the place where the party will be. There's nothing wrong with having it at home, but you could also have a party at the park, a kid-friendly restuarant (Chucky Cheese for example), or another fun place.

The Checklist
With any party you are going to need supplies. This is a given, but make sure you have everything on your list a few days before your party. Don't forget the cake, party favors (if you need them), ice cream, etc. Depending on where the party is you may not need much, but make sure you have it all.

If the child is school age, there's going to be a guest list. Be sure to send the invitations out at least a week ahead of time so other parents have enough time to buy gifts. I know I've had problems with rushing to get gifts in time because I didn't get the invitation until the day before the party. Keep the other parent in mind, and offer an RSVP so you know how many extra children you'll have on that day.

Games, Favors, & Activities
This is going to depend on the age of the children invited to the party. While a schedule isn't recomended, you'll still need to do a bit of planning if you are having a long party. Older children can help in planning their party and making their own list of things they want to do with their guests. Younger children might need some help, and you may need to have some activities to do to keep them occupied especially if you hold the party in your own home. Coloring books, bubbles, and other activities can work for younger children. Keep some back up ideas in hand for those that just don't want to do anything.

Now that you have some ideas, you should have a fun and happy birthday party for your child!