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There are 9 different temperament traits in children all parents should be aware of

What is temperament and why is it an import factor for a parent to understand?

As a parent it is only natural to want to show your child off to everyone you meet but sometimes there is a hesitant reluctance to do so.  This is because you are not sure how they will react.  Some children will politely smile, others may be flippant, or some may very well just withdraw shyly.
As we are all different we all react differently in certain situations.  It does not necessarily matter is the parent is outgoing it does not automatically mean their child will be too.
Temperament is defined as being the way a person or child expresses themselves or responds to situations.  Their behavioral style!
When developing parenting skills and communication channels with a child it is important that a parent, guardian, care giver or teacher understand a child temperament to best deal with them.

The 9 temperament characteristics

Sensory threshold


This is the various levels of stimulation a child requires to get a response from them.  Children with a low sensory threshold tend to be sensory avoidant or sensory sensitive.  In these cases, most children become overwhelmed, irritated or really upset by even a small amount of sensory input.  Children with a high sensory threshold tend to seek out sensory input and it is usually displayed in hyperactive type behavior until their ideal threshold is reached.

Activity level This is the scale of the child’s motor activity which is broken down into Gross motor skills set and Fine motor skill set.  This determines where the child is at in their development stage.  The levels will vary from child to child.

Intensity


This is how the child expresses their feelings such as sadness, anger or joy.  It is measured in the level of energy by which they do it.

Adaptability
This is how well a child responds to changes in various aspects of their lives, routine, etc.

Rhythmicity


This is the child’s natural pattern of various every day bodily functions or body rhythms such as eating, sleeping, etc.  Some children fall into a regular pattern whilst others do not and seem to resist consistent schedules if laid down by the parent.  Children who have irregular body patterns can be quite challenging, but it is very important to find a pattern they can fit into.

Persistence
The is the trait that shows the child’s ability to stick to the task at hand even when they run into difficulties

Distractibility
Is how easy it is for the child to become distracted and loose concentration and focus.

Approach or withdrawal


This is the child’s first response to people, different or new places or situations.

Mood
This is measured on the child’s normal disposition – are they cranky, sad, sullen, happy or serious.

It is important to remember when assessing a person’s temperament that there are no bad or good traits.  Everyone is different so is each aspect of their individual personality, these all fit together to form a person’s character.  That makes us all have our own unique ways of expressing ourselves.  Understanding this gives us the ability to communicate more effectively with each other.

3 Ways to deal with tantrums at any age

Temper tantrums are no just for the terrible twos

As a parent with a toddler you get to the stage where you fly through the store holding your breath that an object is not going to catch your toddlers eye.  Shopping is sheer hell with them and although you enjoy them you sigh a deep relief when they get a bit older thinking shopping, or an outing is going to get better.  Well the bad news is tantrums don’t ever stop!  Your tween or teen is just as prone to them only at that age they can be mean with it.   It is part of growing up and no, it does not mean your child is suffering some psychological disorder they are just testing the boundaries and dealing with the changes going on inside of them.
They don’t really know how to express themselves and handle everything that is happening inside of them.  It is overwhelming for them as well as frustrating for them.  If you think of how you feel sometimes in a job with all these rules and regulations and you have no say in them, you just must do as you are told.  You, as and adult can process that and know you simply must get the job done within the boundaries set for you.  Or you can leave if you do not like it, you know your choices and the consequences of them as well as your actions.  Children are still processing and honing these skills so will test the boundaries and express their feelings through tantrums.

3 Ways to deal with tantrums

#1           The most valuable of all methods is the tantrum avoidance method.


Try to identify what triggers the tantrums and find ways to either avoid these triggers or ways around them.  For instance, ensure you child has their favorite toy with them if you are going out or shopping.  Let them have a snack before you go and ensure they are not too tired or moody.

#2           Distraction


If you feel a temper tantrum coming on try to distract them.  Show them something and make it funny for them.
Get them to sing their favorite song with you or engage them in a chat about their favorite topic like their dog, favorite toy.
Discuss going to the park and what their favorite thing about it is, etc.|

#3           The temper tantrum


As a parent we know how it feels, especially when experiencing your first full blown temper tantrum.  You stare in horror as you child goes at it like they have been possessed.  Trying to pick them up or console them at this stage is about as effective as trying to hold a soaking wet cat!
Take a deep breath and calm yourself as much as you can.  Getting angry will not do anything other than make matters worse!
Stay close and let them ride it out.  Once they have calmed down it is important to show your love, support and that you respect their feelings.  But they must also know that their behavior was ineffective, and they could have injured themselves.
Most importantly do not give in to there demands for it is just an open ticket for tantrums.

Why parks are important to the community

Parks

In most countries, towns and cities there are laws that state there must be a certain amount of land not developed.  The land is used for recreation such as parks, sports grounds, community picnic areas, etc.

Here are some reasons why parks are important to a community

To protect the natural ecosystems


Most people seem to forget that they are not the only ones on this planet.  That even a small patch of grass can house its own ecosystem.
As cities grow these creatures are left homeless.  Parks give them a bit of their space back in an area they are accustomed to.  Much like your home on the street you grew up on.
This also provides great educational outings for kids.  They get to learn about the creatures that live around them and amongst them.  Why they are important to the planet and how to maintain the delicate balance of it.

Storm water collection


Grass and trees are one of the most efficient and inexpensive ways of dealing with storm water.
They do not get clogged, must be repaved at a great cost or cause unnecessary road works that cost the city time and money.
To prove this fact Garland in Texas encouraged it’s private property owners to plant more trees on their property.
With a result  during a storm the rain water runoff has since been reduced by 19 million cubic feet.  Another side effect of having all those trees is how much their air quality has now improved making their urban forest worth a couple of million dollars.
With the threat of global warming looming on the horizon and the extreme weather patterns that have been hitting the states it seems more green space could be a cost-effective route to take.

The heart of the community


Parks provide a place for neighbors to interact, to walk the dog, go for a run or have a picnic.
It is a place where the kids get to be outside enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.
Many communities tend to host various weekend markets, neighborhood picnics, concerts and or movies in the park.
A lot of parks also tend to have play areas for kids, recreational facilities such as skating rinks, basketball courts and baseball nets.
Statistics have shown that communities with parks tend to have lower crime rates as it give the kids places to meet and things to do thereby keeping them off the streets.

5 Pros and cons of giving a child a mobile phone or tablet

Mobile devices

This is the 21st century, a century where every parent must face the question sooner or later! “Can I have a mobile phone!”
There are many reasons to get them one and many reasons not to, we look at some of the pros and cons of getting your child a mobile device.

5 Pros and cons of giving a child a mobile device

#1           Pros – It is a good way to be able to stay in touch with your child.
Cons – the only major problem with this is that it could put your child at risk for theft.

#2           Pros – You can keep tabs on where they are always with the use of various applications such as Zenly.  There are more secretive applications as well.  Zenly is a bit more ethical in that you must be accepted as a friend.
Cons – This could be a privacy violation and as such could cause family drama and problems if the child thinks you are spying on them.
If you can spy on your child who else is?

#3           Pros – As the phone has to be registered for a contract it is usually in the parents name giving the parent full control over the device.
Cons – Unless you set strict limits the bill could get quite costly.

#4           Pros – Most devices come with emergency dialing on them.  There are also applications that can be downloaded and set in case the child is in trouble.
Cons – There are really no cons to these applications except maybe the phone not being fully charged or being abandoned.

#5           Pros – There are many great educational applications available for download on smart devices.  They can help with school work, guide the child if they are lost and access information from far and wide.
Cons – Being able to access the internet and other media applications leaves your child open and vulnerable to malicious cyber attacks such as stalking and cyber bullying.

Weigh up the pros and cons of getting the child the mobile device.  Find the best packages available and ensure that there are ground rules for the usage of the device.
As the contract holder you can set the various parental controls on the device.  Make ground rules and set phone limits.
This teaches the child responsibility and be sure to be consistent and stern should any of the rules be broken.  Like taking away the phone until they have either paid off the portion over the limit or have learned their lesson not to break the rules.

What to do if your child is being bullied

Child bullying

Child bullying is quite the global epidemic at the moment.  Kids are getting bullied both at school, on the streets and on their mobile device and or pc’s.
The thing about bullying is that most children will not report it.  Parents biggest fears is that their child is being bullied at school and they have a right to fear that.  Being bullied is one of the biggest threats of increased mental health issues well into adolescence and can turn into adulthood depression if not caught and dealt with.

What to do if you find your child has been bullied at school

Most schools as the parents to let them handle it.  But this tends not to be that effective and the bullying just does not stop or gets worse.

As a parent I would want to bring the other child’s parent in to have a discussion with them.  But most research points to kids who are doing the bullying as a reflection of their parents.  This may lead to the parent of the bully becoming aggressive and or legal ramifications.

Leave approaching the parent last and if you do ensure you have all your basis covered too!  There is not reason, if you can afford it, why you cannot get legal consultation and or counselling advice.   That way should the parent of the bully turn aggressive or threaten with legal action you know you are already covered for this.

Before things get all messy with the bullies’ parent(s) the best thing you can do for your child is ensure they know they have your support.  You are behind them one-hundred percent and they can come to you with anything.  A warm nurturing environment tends to give children the courage and self-confidence they need to get through life.

Help your child with their social life by encouraging them to have their friends over for play days, go on outing with their friends and make sure they attend various social functions.

Encourage them to join clubs, play sports and or get involved in local groups or hobbies.

At the same time, you do not want to be too smothering of your child and need to allow them a bit of independence.  A great start is something like a summer camp or day camp where they learn various survival and life skills and self-defense skills.  These are all confidence boosting activities and are great for the kid’s health to be out and about.

10 Reasons why summer camp is good for children

Summer camp

As a kid you probably went to summer camp and the first time you did you probably thought your parents were shipping you off!  You felt a bit hurt and scared but within a couple of hours you were probably knee deep in fun and camp spirit.
Now as a parent yourself you suddenly realize that being sent to camp is more stressful and agonizing for the parent.  We don’t like being away from our children for long extended periods of time if at all.  Especially when we are entrusting their lives to a bunch of camp counselors who are no more than kids themselves!
But then we remember how much we enjoyed it, the friends we made, the adventures we had and the things we learned!

10 Reasons why summer camp is good for children

#1           With modern technology being what it is kids are basically slave to it and spend far too much time with their eyes glued to a screen.
At camp they usually can only use their devices at allotted time during the day if at all.
They learn to open their eyes and once again see the real world around them instead of trying to experience on Google or some social media app.

#2           Instead of being cooped up inside all day they have to get out and about to do different activities such as canoeing, hiking, swimming, climbing running, building things and or doing various group activities and challenges, etc.

#3           Helps their self-esteem and gain confidence.  By not have the academic pressures of school, or the competitive sports arena’s or the taunt of social media the activities at camp are designed to help the child succeed in their activities.  The do this without peer pressure or a competition hanging over their head.  So, they get to feel the inner reward of being able to do things and at their own pace.

#4           Camp environment nurture the child’s resiliency and encourages them to try things they would never have before.  Like a child afraid of heights scaling a rock wall for the first time, being cheered on and supported by her councilors and peers.  This sets them up to want to go out and try new things and not be afraid of life.

#5           Gain a sense of independence as they get to make their own decisions as they manage their own time and choose their own path under the encouraging guidance of their camp counselors.

#6           Learn valuable life skills such as outdoor adventuring, discover nature and the dangers out there.  They learn to take care of themselves in various situations and builds courage.

#7           They learn to appreciate nature, the joy and beauty of their surrounds.

#8           Camp fires and cooking marshmallows then smooshing them between cookies is a treat you just have to have when you are on camp.  It is fun and a great way to socialize.

#9           Children develop great social skills as they have to live, eat and do various activities in a group environment where everyone has to participate.  They do challenges and trust exercises with their fellow campers to help developed these skills.

#10         Summer Camp has always been a place where kids make the best friends, most of them return to camp the following year or at least keep in touch with each other.

13 Interesting facts about social workers work

Social workers

Social workers sometimes tend to get seen as the enemy when in fact they work to try and make a difference in a family’s life.  They work tirelessly to ensure there are good effective social support systems in place to improve family relations and build up communities.

7 Interesting facts about social workers work

#1           America established the social worker profession in the late 19th century.

#2           The profession was established to ensure that vulnerable people such as immigrants and poorer families were given the means, tools and skills in which to raise them from social and economic poverty.

#3           Social workers help people in the interpersonal and person lives so as to help them achieve a social and economic improvement

#4           They help people want to accomplish social change, so they can better themselves, their lives, strengthen family bonds and grow stronger communities

#5           Every social worker believes that every person has worth and the potential and the right to lead fulfilling and productive lives.  The believe in the importance of human relationships.

#6           Their code of ethics prioritizes human life – it is the NASW Code of ethics

#7           Through the US History social workers have created various programs and policies that give people, not matter their circumstances, a fair and equal opportunity to be able to cope with and get over whatever obstacles have blocked their way in life.

#8           Social workers have to obtain either a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctoral degree in social work and still qualify with a minimum number of hours of fieldwork that is supervised by an already practicing and qualified social worker.

#9           They have to be completely dedicated to helping people and once fully qualified earned the right to do so wherever or whenever they are needed.

#10         Social workers are there to help people of all ages from children to the aged.  They also help them through all kinds of different circumstances and situations such as hospice care, adoption and fostering, etc.

#11         Government sources confirm that over sixty percent of mental health services are provided by Professional social workers.

#12         You can find social workers in most police departments, hospitals, military facilities, mental health clinics and in a lot of large companies.

#13         There is a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that puts the Social Worker profession as an occupation that is expected to grow twice as fast as any other in the US.  Especially those working in the private social service sectors.

5 Ways to help your child combat their stress

Children also suffer from stress

There is a lot of pressure on kids these days and they too suffer from stress.  This can be caused by various situations such a conflict between parents, problems with their classmates, schools studies and too much on their schedules.

5 Fun family activities to help the family overcome stress

  • Make a concerted effort to manage your own stress

    A lot of times children can pick up on their parent’s stress. This in turn stresses them out as they do not truly understand the cause.
    It is very difficult especially if your life just seems to be one big rush and you are putting out one fire after the next.
    There are many ways to combat your stress and if you are struggling get help!
  • Ensure they get good quality sleep and enough of it

    As you probably know when you are stressed sleep becomes a bit of problem. You sleep pattern becomes erratic and you tend to wake up in the middle of the night with your problems seeing to have grown.
    This is true for you child as well except theirs presents in forms of restless sleep and bad dreams.
    Try keep all electronics including the TV out of the bedroom.
    Sit with your child and read them a good old fashioned bed time story while you snuggle down together.
  • Teach your child how to deal with pressure and listen to their bodies

    Dealing with various pressures is the key to helping your child combat and manage their stress.
    To do this you have to let them know that making mistakes is okay, that is how we all learn and stumble through life.
    As long as they are doing their best that is all that matters.
  • Rethink and rearrange their schedules

    The one thing we tend to do is overload their little schedules. They have school, sports, art, music, etc. Then still have to come home to a bag load of homework and or studies.
    The child is being pushed from the moment they have opened their eyes until they close them again.  Giving them hardly if any at all time for themselves.
    Rethink their schedules and discuss dropping some of their commitments with them.
  • Always make time for play

    Children, not matter their age, even teens, need time to play. Have some fun and relax.  This should be done each and every day.
    It is through play after all that children truly learn to express themselves!

Psychotherapist will tell you that a certain amount stress is normal.  There are times when there are going to be tough choices only your child can make.  But those should be the normal child choices and drama’s that give the barely noticeable and manageable amounts of stress.
Kids have a lot to deal with just growing and do not need the added burdens of even more stress and anxiety.
If you feel a bit overwhelmed by it yourself and fear you are not coping too well with your kid’s stress reach out.  That is what Social centers are for!

5 Top tips on nurturing a child’s spirit

What defines a child’s spirit?

When you think of anyone’s spirit really you think of the energy they bring with them into a room, an activity, a conversation, etc.
You or someone may define you or your child as a quiet contemplative person, or a bold outspoken person.  Some might have such a nice spirit that you can actually picture them glow when they walk into a room.  They could be a natural born leader in the way they take charge of a situation or are just someone people naturally turn to because that is the energy they give off.
A unique characteristic that defines them as a person.

5 Top tips on nurturing a child’s spirit

#1           Encourage your child

Each of us has something we are good at, love and or desperately would live to pursue.  But we do not for fear of failing, making a fool of ourselves, getting hurt or doubting that we could even do it.
Be their number one fan and support their efforts.  Pick them up when they fall and cheer them on to attempt it again.

#2           Love them unconditionally

Even through the worst of arguments, the tears, tantrums, heartaches and fears make sure your child knows how much you love them.

#3           Listen with both ears and pay attention


Children to have a story to tell you about their day.  Mostly they have learned something new or found out things that have interested and fascinated them.  It fills them with excitement and they want to share it with you.  Let them it is amazing what you have forgotten at times and how it feels to see it through the light of your child’s eyes.
Encouraging them to talk to you and really listening to what they have to say without judgment, criticism or attitude goes a long way in developing a trusting bond that will last well into adulthood.

#4           Accept them for who they are


If your child wants to wear a pink tutu everyday – well that is their little quirk.  Don’t judge them or make them feel like they are weird.  They have their own styles, likes, dislikes and feelings it is unfair of an adult to try change that.  All we can do is guide them and try as best we can to steer then in the right direction.

#5           Always make time to partake in playtime


I saw a post on social media once “If a child hands you a toy phone it doesn’t matter who you are, you answer it!”
There is nothing like joining in, in play with your child.  Their minds are filled with worlds of imagination that they turn into a mountain of fun and games.
Not only will you get to spend quality time with your child, but you may actually enjoy it and relieve some tension and stress at the same time.  There is nothing like tapping into your imagination to make you feel alive again.

 

Nutritious lunch box ideas for fussy little eaters to encourage a healthy diet

Healthy body, health little minds!

As parents we long to have the perfect little eaters that would just gobble up all the goodness we put on their plates.  But they are children and their tastes are still being refined so vegetables and most things we know are healthy for them are out.
This makes packing healthy nutritious lunch boxes for school a task and a half!

Nutritious lunch box ideas for fussy little eaters to encourage a healthy diet

  • The sandwich

    It may seem boring to get a sandwich everyday so why not shake it up a bit.
    There are many variations just the brown slices of bread.
    There are delicious mouthwatering mini rolls, wraps and various breads that taste good all on their own.
    The best thing to is put some buttered slices of bread, a wrap, or roll in cling or sandwich wrap as it is with nothing on it into their lunch box.
    Then put a few topping choices that are nice on their own or mixed into separate compartment or small container that fits into their lunch box.
    This enables the child to make their own sandwich come break time.
    It also stops the sandwich from getting soggy.
  • The sandwich toppings

    Grated cheese or a mixture of a few different varieties
    Stripped grilled chicken
    Stripped lettuce
    Different vegies that they enjoy such as tomatoes or cucumbers sliced and ready
  • Fresh salad ingredients

    You can even give them various salad vegetables and or fruits ready to mix or already mixed for them.
    But don’t forget to pack a plastic spoon with the lunchbox for them to eat it with
  • Sesame seed grilled chicken strips
    with some diced cucumber and a bit of tomato sauce makes an awesome lunch time snack. Plus, most kids love chicken.
  • For a sweet treat there are many quick and easy recipes you can make at home such as:

    Chocolate chip oat biscuits
    Peanut butter slices
    Date and chocolate balls
    Banana and or apple mini muffins

Always make sure to pack some napkins and a plastic spoon for them.  Compliment the lunch with spring water and or a pure juice.

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