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3 Simple Rituals to Help Your Child Conquer Fear & Love the Water

Baby swimmer
Parents, Help Your Child Love the Water! 

If your child is afraid of the water and you want to help, here are 3 easy rituals you can start today. Our expert today, Michelle Ziskovicz, is a swim instructor and author of the Little Duckie Swim Program. Let's find out her advice.

Helping your child overcome their fear and love the water starts during bath time. We
will help your child learn that water can be fun with this easy bathing ritual.

Make the water fun: Is bath time an enjoyable experience for
both you and your child? Most families have a variety of bath time experiences
with their children. To help your child have more fun in the bath try these
three simple bath activities:

1. Sing, read or tell stories to your child during bath time.

2. Ask your child what toys they would like to bring to the bath. (You
can do this for your swimming lessons too.)

3. Bathe younger and older siblings together. This way, a fearful
child can see that big brothers or sisters enjoy the water.

Reward good bath time behavior with favorites, like watermelon lollipops or princess
stickers. Before you know it, your child will start looking forward to bath
time. They are on their way to loving the water!

Bath Time: Be comfortable in the water

You can help your child overcome their fear of water using squirt toys and a “rain
bucket” in the bath tub. To help your child feel comfortable in and around
water, we will gradually help them feel at ease during a full submersion.

First, use squirt toys (in non-soapy water) to squirt other toys during bath time.
Show your child it is alright for the toys to be splashed with water. Help your
child squirt his or her favorite toys with water.

Next, find a “rain bucket” (a bucket or cup with holes in the bottom). Scoop some
non-soapy water and sing “rain, rain go away” while you drip water on your
child’s hands and feet. Eventually, your child will be comfortable enough to
let you drip water the back of their neck and top of the head.

This is a big step towards helping your child overcome fear of water in the water
for swimming lessons. Once your child feels comfortable with this
routine, bring the same toys and rain bucket to the pool to warm up for your
swim lessons.

For children who are extremely uncomfortable around water, do these same steps in
an empty bath tub. Start with squirting other toys, and move on to the “rain
bucket” only when your child is ready. Eventually you will be able to fill the
tub with more and water.

Baby pool
Use pool toys to keep swim lessons fun!

Swim Lesson: Relax and have fun in the pool

Start each swim lesson or pool time with a welcome song. Sing any favorite song you
would like to your child. Just make sure to repeat that same song at the start
of each swim lesson. This helps your child become familiar with the water
quicker. End pool time with a goodbye song and a yummy lollipop or stickers.

Swim Lesson Guidelines

Be Patient. The best way to help children enjoy the water and learn swimming is “going at the child’s pace”. Children learn best when they are physically, emotionally and mentally ready to lean. This is why your swim lessons should slowly introduce new water skills to your child when they are ready. We use our “Swim Routine” to get your child familiar with basic swim skills before adding more advanced swim skills. So be patient and let your child learn to swim at their own pace. They will learn faster and enjoy the water more.

Have Fun. Learning to swim is a brand new experience for a child. They must learn to move their bodies in new ways in water. Many children find it challenging in the beginning of the swim lessons. If you want to keep your child engaged during the lessons, make each lesson feel like play time by including songs, fun toys and taking breaks whenever needed.

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Let's HONOR Michelle for sharing her expertise in helping your children love the water. She is happy to answers your questions at How to Teach Your Child to Swim You'll find her swim program there too.

 Michelle Ziskovicz

Michelle Ziskovicz

 

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3 Fun Baby Brain Games That Promote Your Infant's Learning

 

Baby talking
Fun Brain Activities Babies Love

Does developing your baby's brain through simple games, appeal to you? If so, Deborah McNelis is here to help. Deborah, our parenting expert and creator of programs and materials like Love Your Baby: Making Connections in the First Year knows how to promote your child's learning. Deborah will share the first activity and I'll add two more.

 

1. Look and Touch

Do you ever wait in line with packages under one arm and your baby in the other? If the line is long, why not set the packages on the floor and scoot them along with your foot. That leaves one arm free to point out new things to your baby. Name the objects with a happy voice. If it's safe, you might let your baby touch them too. "Being able to touch objects provides much more learning than just seeing alone," says Deborah. She suggests using this technique when waiting for appointments too.

2. Look and Touch at Home

Consider as part of your daily routine, carrying your baby around the room showing him objects while naming them. Let him touch them too. Watch his eyes almost pop out with interest.

3. Create an "Art Gallery" for Your Baby

When your child begins to crawl, tape an "art gallery" about 1 foot above the floor. Use old birthday, Christmas, and valentine cards for this activity. Observe her eyes and sense her joy as she moves toward them. Name the objects in the pictures. Let her touch them. This visual stimulation is great for her brain.

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Deborah's look and touch game, called Something New, is from her excellent card packet, Brain Insights, Love Your Baby: Making Connections in the First Year. What's so great about this packet and all of her brain development packets through age five are their beauty and simplicity. You don't have to be a brain scientist to figure out what to do. Each packet page has a fun activity with few words, ready for you use right away. The pictures are joyful and inviting.

Pick up Deborah McNelis's Love Your Baby: Making Connections in the First Year at her website:  You'll find all of her development packets there too.
http://www.braininsightsonline.com/

Cover BrainInsights

Also available on Amazon.com

Let's THANK Deborah for helping us increase our baby's brain development in such delightful ways.

Author, Deborah McNelis
Deborah McNelis

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Is the Government the Best Parent for Our Children?

 

Mom reading to kids
Should You or the Government Take More Responsibility?

Are you the best parent for your child or would you like the government to take more responsibility? Our parenting expert and author of the book, Other-Wise and School-Wise, Carol Josel, is an educator, supervisor, and speaker. Today she is sharing the latest statistics and news about education, mothers, and government.

1. “Government failure is hardly new, though President Obama has given it a characteristic new twist: A program’s proven inability to do the things it is supposed to do is now an argument for expanding it.

In our new progressive era, no program can ever end because the only reason government fails is that there wasn’t enough government in the first place . . . There may not be a better illustration of this contradiction between intentions and results than Mr. Obama’s new demand for free, universal preschool.” ~ from a Wall Street Journal editorial

2. “… Children are most likely to succeed in school when pushed by parents who provide stability, help with schooling, and instill an education and work ethic. But for decades now, the American family has been breaking down. Two-fifths of children born in the USA are born to unmarried mothers . . .” ~from a USA Today editorial

3. “The government should not–and cannot–substitute for parents. Stay-at-home moms work, too. Why is it so off-limits for the government to encourage marriage before kids, two-parent households, and a stay-at-home parent as the ideal?

No 3- or 4-year-old needs to be in full-time, all-day preschool. That’s called daycare. Treat the causes of poverty, not the symptoms. Oh, and schooling is not free. We all have to pay for it, which makes it more challenging for those families that are trying to make it on one income.” ~ Vanessa Theurer, USA Today reader

This post appeared first on School Wise Books. Sign up today for Carol's latest news.

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Carol finds tons of education statistics, quotes, and news for us in her blogs and newsletters. Her 3 points today help us think about our culture. Carol brings us what we need to know if we're going to make improvements. I'm grateful for educators, like Carol, because they keep us informed.

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Pick up Other-Wise and School-Wise: A Parent Guidebook. It's filled with expert advice, lessons, and activities to help you as a parent. It is simply wonderful!

  Cover Other-Wise

 Available at Amazon.com

Let's APPLAUD Carol for the unique role she's chosen to help us educate our children while, at the same time, keeping us up-to-date on what's happening now. She is a tireless worker for schools, children, student teachers, and parents.

Author Carol Josel
Carol Josel

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Heroic Teenager Helps Family But Needs Advice

 

Smiling Girl with Braces
Does Your Family Include A Heroic Teenager?

Many families include a heroic teenager. News of them is often silent because they contribute out of necessity. Annie Fox, our parenting expert and author of the book, Teaching Kids To Be Good People, is here to share her advice to an overworked adolescent. First, Annie will share the teen's message and then her counsel.

 This Responsible Teen Needs Help

"Our family is going through some tough times. My mom's stressed and works from 4:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. My dad needs lots of help because he has cancer. My older sisters live far away and have their own families. So I'm in charge.

"I cook, clean, and help my parents. I'm not exactly complaining, but add all that to homework! (Our teachers are really piling it on.) Please help me with a system to get stuff done fast!" -15-year-old (From page 65)

Advice from Counselor, Annie Fox

After empathizing, Annie made the following suggestions for creating a system:

1. Let your teachers know what's going on at home and ask them to ease up at this time.

2. Make a list of your daily tasks at home that must be done.

3. Add the home responsibilities to the list that need to be done a few times a week.

4. Take care of your duties to your family and your schoolwork.

5. Give yourself 30-60 minutes every day to chill out as another way to help yourself. (From pages 212-213)

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I like Annie's advice because she gives this girl much needed appreciation first. Annie knows she can't lift this child's burdens, but she can help her with a practical system. Her last piece of advice, to take time for herself, helps puts a little balance in this girl's life. What do you think?

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Pick up Annie Fox's book, Teaching Kids To Be Good People: Progressive Parenting For The 21st Century

Cover Annie Fox Book Teaching Kids

Available at Amazon.com

Let's APPRECIATE Annie Fox for her gift in helping teenagers with their problems. Annie knows how to be specific and positive.

Author Annie Fox
    Annie Fox, M.Ed.

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Resilient Kids: How to Teach Confidence Using 4 Practical Parenting Tips

 

Boy feeling fear jpg
Learn Ways to Raise Resilient Kids Here!

To be resilient, your child needs to be confident, evaluate situations well, use his support system, and come up with good strategies. Today our parenting expert and author of the book, The Resilience Formula, Dr. Donna Volpitta, will help us with the first part, building confidence in our children.

 

Confidence and the Self:

Let's say your son's ride home from a party is drunk or your daughter is being bullied. How they think about their own abilities will determine what they do. They both need to feel, think, and look confident in their words and actions.

Will your son speak up and put his safety on the line?

Will his confidence help him find a better way home?

Will your daughter look and sound weak?

Will she look and sound confident?

Resilience shows itself in your child's self-talk, feelings, and actions. Dr. Volpitta gives us 4 parenting tips to teach our children from Tool Kits for Kids:

How Kids Can Appear Confident ~

1. Use direct eye contact when speaking and listening to people.

2. Stand up straight. (Avoid the shoulder slump.)

3. Speak loud enough to be heard and with moderate speed, not too fast or slow.

4. Keep a confident facial expression.

Parents can coach their kids by role-playing situations in front of a mirror.

Dr. Donna says, "Practicing these skills helps kids develop confidence because looking confident projects an image that shows other kids they are not easily shaken, and this increases their social capital."

Repeat Resilient Language:

When kids suffer from the loss of a friendship, a poor grade, or a scratched knee, what they tell themselves is important. Repeating reasonable statements helps them develop a wiser brain. Here are 3 ideas Dr. Donna suggests to teach children to repeat often when things don't go well:

"1. This is a difficult time. It's not difficult forever.

 2. I may feel bad now, but I may feel better later.

 3. My life may not be OK now, but in time, I can find a new way to be OK."

These accurate statements are believable. They give your child a perspective about time, that things can get better. (From pages 54-56)

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Dr. Donna Volpitta has given us practical solutions for helping our children think, feel, and act with confidence. Teaching our kids confidence is a big first step to their becoming resilient. 

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Pick up Dr. Donna Volpitta's book, The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive Not Reactive Parenting and teach your children the resilience formula.

  Cover Donna

Available on Amazon.com

Let's APPLAUD Dr. Volpitta for her excellence in helping parents raise resilient children.

Donna V
Dr. Donna Volpitta

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The Success Story of a Bully, A Principal, His Teacher and Parents

Boy angry
How a Parenting Team Tames a Bully

Richard used bad language, behaved badly in class, and bullied other children. Rick, the principal, held a conference with his parents and teacher. Rick learned that Richard's father feared his son would get kicked out of school like he did when he was young. This insight was the key because Richard picked up on it and acted out his dad's fear.

The conference succeeded because parents, teacher, and principal:

1. Wanted to help Richard.

2. Acted as team and trusted that each member would play their part.

3. Knew each had the power to make a difference but none could separately fix the problem.

4. Shared information openly and honestly.

5. Talked specifically about what they knew without labels or generalizations.

6. Believed they would be making decisions in concert with each other.

7. Understood that success was in Richard's hands.

What Rick, the principal, learned:

1. If a parent is afraid, the child will pick up on it.

2. We must do a little action research on the problem with new behaviors.

3. Together parents, teacher, and principal can create the conditions for changing a child's problem behavior. (From pages 162- 167)

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Rick Ackerly shows how important it is for parents, the teacher, and principal to become a team in helping a troubled child. When they work together, avoid labels, and create the conditions for change, miracles, can happen.

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Pick up Rick's book, The Genius in Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity, and Creativity, in Children.

Cover The Genius
Available at Amazon.com

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Let's THANK Rick Ackerly for sharing his important knowledge as a true leader in the educational field.

Blog Potential Rick Ackerly educator

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9 Ways to Boost Your Child's Inner Motivation

 

Tween with braces
Parents Can Inspire Their
Children's Inner Motivations!

Want to boost your child's own motivation instead of relying exclusively on rewards like candy, money, and toys? Perhaps you're tired of giving her material rewards for doing the smallest things. Today our parenting expert and author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, Dr. Michele Borba, will share how to wean her off receiving material rewards. Dr. Borba's 9 ways will show you how to motivate her inner joy for a job well done. 

Dr. Michele states there are 4 types of rewards:

1. Material rewards can be candy, toys, and money.

2. Tokens are stars, stickers, certificates.

3. Praise is your encouraging words.

4. Internal praise is doing something because it feels good.

Many parents start out with stickers. As kids grow older money may motivate them. But what happens when they'll only do things if they're paid?  This is not what most parents want for their kids. What can they do to encourage their child's inner motivation? Let's find out solutions from Dr. Borba.

9 Parenting Tips for Moving from External to Internal Motivation

1. Involve your child in her solutions and insight by asking questions like, "What can you do to help you remember your homework?" or "What did you do to improve your Math grade?"

2. Be a cheerleader. Give smiles, hugs, high fives, clapping, and cheers.

3. Use a pebble jar. When your child completes a task add a marble to a small jar. When it's full go on an outing together like the park, a bike ride, or museum.

4. Give one-on-one time like going on errands, the library, or just snuggle on the couch together.

5. Stress internal praise by describing her success like, "You put a lot of work into that report."

6. Boost inside pride by finding out what pleased her and ask questions like, "How did you learn to balance yourself without the training wheels?"

7. Emphasize self-acknowledgment like, "You were a good sport today. Did you remember to tell yourself you did a great job?"

8. Switch from "I" to "You." Instead of saying, "I'm really proud of you," say, "You must be really proud of how hard you worked today."

9. Use accomplishment journals. Ask your child to write or draw her successes in a journal to remind herself she's her own best motivator. (From pages 89-91).

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I like Dr. Michele's methods for moving children from stickers to internal pride and satisfaction. It's so simple. Perhaps you'd like to copy the nine ideas for increasing your child's inner motivation. Use them often and material rewards less. Then watch your child grow.

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Pick up The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries and feel confident in your parenting skills.

Cover The Big Book of Parenting Solutions

Available at Amazon.com

Let's THANK Dr. Michele Borba for her research and work in helping parents do their very best in raising their children.

Dr. Michele Borba

Dr. Michele Borba

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How to Get Your Out-of-Control Teenager to The Treatment Center

 Teenage girl angry

Getting Help for Your Out-of-Control Teenager

Do you have an out-of-control teen? Have you tried everything but nothing works? Sue Scheff, our parenting expert and author of the book, Wits End, will share some ideas on getting your teenager to the residential treatment center. She knows first-hand about the pitfalls and helps parents assess programs for choosing the best. Once you've chosen the program the next step is to get your teenager there.

 

Your Teenager's Sense of Betrayal and Your Feelings of Guilt

Sue Scheff agrees it's difficult to convince your out-of-control teen to agree to go to the residential treatment center. Most adolescents feel betrayed and no parent looks forward to the angry words and tantrums. In fact, Sue knows the guilt a parent feels since she had to face the same problem with her daughter.

Sue advises that a good treatment program will help with your teen's sense of betrayal and your guilt. A good program will get your teen to take responsibility for her behavior that brought her there. Most programs, says Sue, remove all privileges and your teenager must earn each reward. In this way, your teen begins to cooperate.

To calm your guilt, Sue counsels you to learn the details of the program, your teenager's day, and every aspect of your child's life in the facility. Then, she says, "Give yourself time to fight it (the guilt) off."

Getting Your Teenager to the Treatment Facility

Some fortunate parents convince their teens to go but not many in comparison to those who rebel. So what do you do? Here are two suggestions:

1. Be deceptive. Get your adolescent to the facility when she thinks you're taking her somewhere else.

2. "Ask the treatment facility for a list of recommended escort services that you can contact and interview to determine which one you desire to work with." Sue instructs parents to compare rates, availability, and procedures.

If you choose the second, the escort service may come before dawn while your child is sleeping and is taken off guard. It also assures your teen arrives during daylight hours. (From pages 117-123)

Sue Scheff has researched many resources for parents to consider. She is the founder of Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.). Since 2001 Sue has assisted families with valuable information and resources for their children and teens who are struggling with today's peer pressure, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and simply good kids starting to make bad choices. (From page 169)

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Let's PRAISE Sue for her research into the best programs for your out-of-control teenagers. The story she shares about her daughter in Wits End will save you much grief if you follow Sue's advice.

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Pick up Wit's End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen to get the information you need.

Cover Wits End
Available at Amazon.com

Author Sue Scheff
       Sue Scheff

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Which Values Must Children Learn from Their Parents?

Friends_d
   Learning Values from Parents

When you teach your children values, which ones would you like them to repeat at your funeral? Our parenting expert and author, Katherine Gordy Levine, has researched some of the wisest sages of our time and is here to share them from her book, Parents Are People Too. She'll even tell us what she said at her mother's funeral.

Eulogy from Your Children

Which would you rather have your children say at your funeral?

  1. Mom taught us how to love.
  2. Dad pushed me into achieving the Eagle Scout Award.
  3. Mom showed by example how to help others.
  4. Dad read us bedtime stories.
  5. Mom made us succeed by hitting and yelling.

In Her Chapter on 'Goals and Missions - Knowing What's Important,' Katherine shares 4 common core beliefs. She calls them one-liner templates for guiding your child's life. Which one of these would you want your children to adopt?

  • "To thine own self be true."
  • "Winning is everything."
  • "The one with the most toys wins."
  • "What will the neighbors think?"

Did you pick number one?

Katherine goes farther by naming these 3 common core beliefs across cultures:

1. Help those in need; be caring.

2. Treat others fairly.

3. Only some people are worthy of caring and fairness.

How did you feel about the third one?

3 Authors Katherine Recommended for Teaching Values:

1. Victor Frankl, who wrote about surviving a concentration camp in his book, Man's Search for Meaning, said that those who survived best believed in the service of others.

2. Robert Fulghum's book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, cleverly puts forth the ideals of caring and justice.

3. Dalai Lama shared his core belief by saying, "My religion is kindness."

Three Values Katherine Shared at Her Mother's Funeral:

1." She gave us the gift of loving life's, small pleasures. She taught us to love the first snowfall, a shooting star, a piece of sea glass, the sunset."

2. "She always knew exactly how to comfort the hurting child, how to make all children feel special."

3. "She often bought and sent to you small reminders of her love." (From pages 117-124)

Katherine ends with the question, "What do you hope your children will say about you?"

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I find such wisdom, practical advice, and solid research from Katherine. One of her gifts is how she writes. It's as if she's having a kind caring conversation with you.

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Pick up, Parents Are People Too: An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents so you can instill the best values in your children.

Cover Parents Are People Too_

 Available at Amazon.com

Let's APPLAUD Katherine Gordy Levine for sharing her beliefs on how to be our best and pass them on to our children too.

Katherine Gordy Levine
Katherine Gordy Levine, MSS

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