Spanking or no spanking? What side of the fence are you on?

 

How to discipline a child is one of the biggest parental debates out there. For some parents “time out” works just fine. For others, spanking seems like the only way to get a clear message across to their child. Which method works best on the child though?

Here are the statistics

In a study conducted at Tulane University children’s short-term response to spanking may make them act out more in the long run. Of the nearly 2,500 youngsters in the study, those who were spanked more frequently at age 3 were much more likely to be aggressive by age 5.

The research, by Calvin College psychology professor Marjorie Gunnoe, found that kids smacked before age 6 grew up to be more successful.

 Child development research claims that using corporal punishment to discipline children leads to poorer developmental outcomes.

As 5-year-olds, the children who had been spanked were more likely than the nonspanked to be defiant, demand immediate satisfaction of their wants and needs, become frustrated easily, have temper tantrums and lash out physically against other people or animals.

“Children who are spanked occasionally are not thought to be significantly impacted later on, but those who are spanked regularly are more likely to have behavior problems that may escalate into antisocial behavior.” (http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/28/would-you-record-yourself-spanking-your-kids/#ixzz1tLjyT17v)

The statistics show that spanking a child is a temporary fix and will not solve a child’s behavioral problems long term. However, let’s not fool ourselves. Even though the statistics do say so, sometimes a quick spanking in the moment may be what the child needs. For instance, if your child was about to touch a hot stove you might give them a tap on the butt right there and then and say “no!”.  If they ran out into the street you might give them a few slaps on the butt to let them know that running into the street is dangerous. Sometimes associating pain and a dangerous situation is the best way a parent can tell a child not to do something. Especially if the child is too young to grasp why running into the middle of the road is dangerous just by telling them.

What do you think? When do you think is an appropriate time to spank your child and do you think it works all the time?

Why should I enroll my child in an afterschool activity?

     If you want to keep your child safe and happy after school, statistics show that enrolling them in an afterschool activity is probably your best bet.  Here are some reasons you might want to put your child into an afterschool program.

  • Teens who do not participate in afterschool programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes than teens who do participate. They are also three times more likely to use marijuana or other drugs, and they are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and engage in sexual activity. (YMCA of the USA, March 2001)

 

 

  • Parents who are concerned about their children’s after-school care miss an average of eight days of work per year. Decreased worker productivity related to parental concerns about after-school care costs businesses up to $300 billion per year. (Brandeis University, Community, Families and Work Program, 2004 and Catalyst & Brandeis University, December 2006)

 

  • Parents in the TASC study said that the program helped them balance work and family life: 94 percent said the program was convenient, 60 percent said they missed less work than before because of the program, 59 percent said it supported them in keeping their job, and 54 percent said it allowed them to work more hours. (Policy Studies Associates, Inc., 2004)

 

  • Children and youth who regularly attend quality afterschool programs have better grades and conduct in school, are more likely to graduate, and have lower incidences of drug-use, violence and pregnancy. (Afterschool Alliance, November 2005)

After reading those statistics you problably aren’t asking your self if you should put your child in an afterschool program. Instead, you’re probably asking where to sign them up. Here are 10 afterschool activities you might consider enrolling your child.

  1. Karate
  2. Drama
  3. Swimming
  4. Dancing
  5. Music (guitar, piano, drums)
  6. Art
  7. Organized Sports (Soccer, Football, Lacrosse)
  8. Tutoring
  9. Volunteer Organizations
  10. Babysitting

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How to get your military spouse involved in your child’s life when deployed

It’s hard enough acting as a single parent when your significant other is absent from the home. After a few deployments though couples learn how to cope with the separation. However, little kids don’t completely understand why mommy or daddy just “go away” for a while. It’s always a heartbreaker when you’re a military wife and your child asks “Where’s daddy?” and vice versa. One of the biggest fears military parents have about their kids, is being forgotten. Eventually, they’ll understand the sacrifice that mommy or daddy makes when duty calls. Still, how do you keep the other parent involved when they’re not present? Here are some tips.

1. Keep a picture out of your military spouse and talk about them often. It’s important for the child to understand that their other parent is still a part of their life even when they’re not home. Also, this will help the child to remember what their absent parent looks like, so that when homecoming finally arrives, your child will recognize who they are. Nothing hurts more than to not be recongnized by your own child. So you’re not just benifiting you child but your spouse too.

2. Letter writing and phone calls are very important and can be very rare. Even if your child is too young to write a letter, you can have them draw a picture (even if it’s scribbles) and have them send it to mommy or daddy. Getting a picture in return, will put a smile on their face. Also, if they can’t hold a conversation on the phone, you can alway just let them hear your spouse’s voice tell them that they are loved and missed.

3. Video is also a great way to get your spouse involved. Plus, I’m sure your spouse won’t mind a friendly tour around the house or neighborhood to remind them what they have waiting for them at home.

4. Make a countdown! We’ve seen the 25 day countdown until christmas. Why not a countdown to your spouse’s arrival home. This helps give your child a realistic idea of how long they will be gone and when they’re coming home. Plus, let’s face it. Countdowns are fun! It’s a way to get you and your child all excited for that family reunion!

Do you have any other suggestions or ideas? Please leave a comment. We’d all love to hear it!

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What is an appropriate age to allow your son or daughter their own facebook page?

It’s hard for parents to decide what age is appropriate for their children to interact with much of the social media of today. You’ll hear a lot of parents ask “When should I get them a cell phone” or “Is he old enough for a Nintendo DS?”  or “At what age should I buy her an ipod?”. Now all the buzz is about facebook. Your children want to be part of the social craze, but are they old enough? Now with the new Timeline in place, it seems like everyone can get a glimpse of your whole life within mere minutes. So a parent has to ask themselves one thing. “Do I want to expose my child to the world?”. Most parents’ first response is no. Which is completely understandable. We all know there are internet predators and crazy people out there. Why take the chance? Then you start to think of your kid’s friends all socializing on facebook and your child begging you for a facebook page because well “everyone else has one”. So, what do you do? Well, the truth is you can let your child have a facebook page and keep them safe in the process.

 

If you check the facebook website, it states that you need to be at least 13 years of age to sign up for an account. This seems reasonable, since there is content on facebook that is not going to be appropriate for small children. So if your child is under 13 and pleading for a facebook account, then save it for a good 13th birthday present. Still, even 13 seems young. Even though we all worry about our children, we can’t keep them shut out from the world. Would you forbid your child from ever going to a slumber party? Would you tell you child that they can’t walk to the bus because of predators? Of course not. Instead you would supervise the situation so that it was safe for your child. You would probably talk with the parents hosting the sleep over, and you would most certainly walk your child to the bus stop until they were older. The same goes with the internet. You must supervise the situation.

Know the username and password of your child’s account. This way, no matter where they are or what computer they are using, you can still check up on their account. If your child has a facebook account and won’t give you their username and password, there is software you can install on your computer that will pick up the information for you. It’s also known as spyware. Spyware is not a comfortable word for most people, unless of course you’re spying on your own computer.

Don’t let them post their picture.  Not having a picture of your child up on facebook is a good idea. This is a good way of making your child less of a target for predators.

   Set the privacy settings to friends only. If you go into the privacy setting, you can make it so that only friends of friends can send friend requests and only friends can send messages. This may not seem like much but it’s better than the whole world being able to contact you child.

The most important step in monitoring your child’s facebook is to simply keep your computer public. Keep the computer accessible to everyone in the home. This way, it’s easier to monitor your child’s facebook activity.

 So what is the appropriate age to allow your child a facebook page? Although the facebook website says 13, ultimately it’s up to you as the parent. If you do decide to set up a facebook account for your child, at least there are precautions you can take as a parent to make sure your child is safe.

Do you know of any other ways to protect your child on facebook? Please let us know and leave a comment!

 

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How to Decorate your Child’s Bedroom the Affordable Way

What parent wouldn’t want to give their child an extravagant bedroom? Not every parent can afford to give their child their dream room. However, there are ways to give it some character.  Here are some tips on how to decorate your child’s room without breaking the bank.

 The Toy Box

      The toy box or toy chest can definitely be a bedroom fashion statement. Let’s face it, kids can be messy. Having somewhere to put all of their toys is a major advantage. On the other hand, it can also add a lot of character to the bedroom if you buy the right one. It doesn’t have to be a plain wooden chest. Try different colors and designs. If you’re doing a bedroom with a flower theme, then consider buying a chest that has flowers on it or if you’re doing an Army theme, then consider doing a camo pattern. Toy chests run anywhere from about $50 to $200. Still a little out of your price range? Not to worry. For about $50 you can alway buy a plain wooden or white chest and decorate it yourself. Here are a few adorable toy chests to get those ideas rolling…

 

The Fabrics

     What type of curtains do you plan on putting up? What color will the comforter be on their bed? Have you thought of adding some color or style to the room with a rug? Decorating isn’t just about the big things. It’s about the little things too. Plus it’s cheaper. If you have a specific theme in mind the coordinate with your fabrics. Let’s say you want to do a blue ocean theme. Here’s an example of what you could choose at a decent price.

You can find this 4×6 rug on amazon for the the low price of $48. If you want to go bigger you can get a 5×8 for $79 or a 6×9 for $108. This rug is perfect for kids. It’s made of recyled plastic. So if your kids happen to spill, no worries!

 While these drapes might seem plain, they still fit the theme quite nicely and can be found at a low price of only $30 for the set at AntaresPro.com.

These curtains are a little bit more pricey at $50 at TinyTotties.com. However, they are a darker color of blue if you want to tone things down a bit.

The comforter set is really what pulls your theme together. So take the time to really search and find the right one. This is twin set found on amazon.com for a low price of  only $25. For the full set it’s $60 at the Basspro website.

Changing up the fabrics in the bedroom may seem like a small change but the outcome will show a big difference. If you’re try to save that extra buck you could redecorate with fabrics for a little over $100 dollars. Not a bad deal!

How to show your child you love them (10 ways)

We all tell our children we love them, but showing them our love means so much more.

"A hug"

1. No matter how old they get or how independent they might seem, sometimes a simple hug will remind them how much you love them.

"I'm proud"

2. Let your child know how proud of them you are. You might think they know you’re proud of them, but have you ever actually said it?

"One-on-one time"

3. Spend some one-on-one time with your kids. They might not think much about it now, but they’ll remember it later.

"Discipline"

4. Discipline isn’t just a way to teach your kids right from wrong. It’s also letting your kids know that you care about them enough to take an interest in them. They may hate you now but they’ll love you later.

"Take interest"

5. Take an interest in your child’s hobbies. Do they enjoy video games? Sit down and watch them play and perhaps join in. Do they want you to join in on a tea party? Then do so. Taking time out of your day to be a part of theirs will mean the world to them.

"Let them help"

6. While it’s important to take an interest in your child’s hobbies, you should let them take an interest in yours too. Whether it’s fixing up the old car, cooking dinner, helping with the garden, or making a shopping trip. Let them help and take part in your hobbies too.

"Bedtime story"

7. Read a bedtime story before lights out. If they’re too old, then ask them about their day or strike up a small conversation before bed.  A small interaction with your child before the day is through is important.

"Reward your kids"

8. Okay, we have the discipline aspect covered but there’s another side of the spectrum, the reward. Now don’t shower them with money and gifts every time they achieve something. Taking them for a scoop of ice cream or out to the park for a job well done is the way to go.

"Have fun"

9. It’s okay to let loose and have some fun with your kids. Let your inner child come out and be a little silly! Kid’s love that!

"Say it"

10. Now, we all assume that all parents say “I love you” to their kids. Unfortunately it’s not always the case. For you parents out there who have a hard time saying it, just say it! You don’t have to say it everyday but every once in awhile suck it up and tell your kids how you feel because they need to hear it and believe me, once you say it, they will never forget it.

 

 

How to make a quick and healthy meal for your kids

Let’s face it, Veggie Tales only gets kids to eat their vegetables for so long. Between work, parent teacher confrences and soccer practice, it’s hard enough having the time to fix up dinner for the family. Never mind trying to find the extra time to make sure your family is getting a healthy meal. Here are some quick recipes to help all those busy moms and dads out there.

"Mini Pizzas"

Mom and Dad don’t have to make dinner tonight! Mini pizza are fun and easy to make for the whole family. The kids will definitely have a blast with this. All you need are these ingredients…

  • Pizza crust (wheat)
  • Pizza sauce (low sugar)
  • Cheese (low fat)
  • Whatever topping you want (veggies)

Directions

Easy! Just create your tasty little pizzas just the way you want. Heat the oven to 400F to 425F, bake for 10 to 12 minutes, and wallah! You and your family are ready to sit down to a healthy and tasty dinner the whole family will love!

"Healthy Tacos"'

That’s right, tacos can be healthy too! Plus, it’s another finger friendly food, which is great for kids not quite old enough to use the fork. All you need are these ingredients…

  • Taco shells (corn)
  • Ground beef or turkey (both)
  • Cheese (low fat)
  • Salsa
  • Veggies
  • Taco Beef Seasoning
  • Sour cream (low fat)

Directions

Heat up your meat until brown. Then add the Taco Seasoning and 1/3 cups of water. Then just set all your ingredients on the table and finite! Your tasty dinner is ready for eating!

"Mini Sliders"

Isn’t there just something so cute when foods go mini? Well it’s easier and faster to make too. Grill or fry up some mini burgers in a flash and have your kids just begging for more when they try these little delectables. All you need are these ingredients…

  • Ground Beef or Turkey (both)
  • Tiny Buns (wheat)
  • Veggies
  • Condiments

Directions

Don’t be afraid to experiment. No one says you can’t sneak some pureed veggies into that hamburg. Plus it might give a the flavor a little zing. Just heat up your mini patties and add your own spices and seasoning. Now just set everything out on the table and let your kids build their own mini sliders!