15 Reasons Why Toodlers Are Such Angry Little People

Toddlers get a bad rap. Their lives are tumultuous and filled with people who just don’t understand that they need their sandwiches cut into perfect triangles that don’t touch each other under any circumstances. And the juice should be in the blue cup…I mean the red cup…no, it’s actually the blue. Life is hard for these little dictators because sometimes they need to feel the satisfying crunch of a thousand Cheerios under their feet and most people are trying to take this away from them.

Of course, they feel angry. Who wouldn’t?

Here are some other reasons why toddlers are probably so angry all of the time:

1. They fall down a lot.

Have you ever seen how often those little shorties bite the big one? I don’t know any official numbers, but it’s often. I’d be pissed too if I was falling down all day long on legs that just weren’t working properly.

2. Moms don’t get shit right.

It’s not that hard, really. Moms should be able to figure out that clothes are painful to toddlers extremities, and that if your toddler wants to get into the car all by themselves, well then, the world will just need to wait.

3. There is literal crap in their pants.

And potty training is for losers.

4. Nobody understands what they are saying.

Words are hard, and sometimes screaming just feels right.

5. Everybody is trying to ‘change’ them.

If they have made a self-commitment to cry hysterically each time they don’t get to push the door button at the library, who are you to try and take this from them?

6. Nobody takes their problems seriously.

They don’t want your “help” while putting on their shoes; they just want one thousand years to get it right. Chill out.

7. Pants are the true oppressor of our great nation, and nobody seems to get this.

Toddlers get it. Legs are meant to feel all the changes of the seasons.

8. Time-outs are like jail for innocent people.

Toddlers are ruled by instinct, and their instincts tell them to say, “No!”  in a very loud voice when asked most things.

9. Everyone is always suggesting a nap.

They don’t need a nap; they just need someone to let them paint their body with syrup like God intended.

10. It’s like nobody has ever seen someone want to be naked in Target before.

Toddlers are innovators, and they predict that nudity is going to be the next trending topic.

11. It’s always, ‘hold my hand,’ ‘don’t run in the street,’ ‘don’t eat batteries,’ ‘don’t lick the cat.’

These things bring them joy. You don’t know that toddler’s life, lady.

12. They understand that the choices you are offering

them are complete bullshit.

Oh, really. They get to choose between taking a nap now or taking a nap in five minutes? They know a con when they see one.

13. There’s a never-ending list of things they need to do, and people keep jacking their shit up.

Jacking shit up — every toddler’s mom should wear a shirt that says this.

14. They haven’t known you for very long, so they need to see how long it takes for you to blow.

It’s like a long scientific experiment titled, “How fast can I make these people taking care of me lose their minds?” Their hypothesis is “very soon.”

15. Tantrums are great stress relievers.

It’s better than meditation and/or exercise according to some toddler experts.

So, next time you see a toddler losing his behavior at the grocery store, the playground, the pool, the library, the restaurant, or your own home, remember that they are just trying to live their most authentic life. Instead of trying to escape their wailing, you should really stay and watch and applaud their efforts. And give them candy.

Via Scary Mommy

5 Things You Need To Stop Giving My Kid

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Clint Edwards

People are always giving my kids crap. Sometimes it’s my neighbors. Other times its friends, or doctors, or family. And, you know what, I get it. You are a generous person. You like to see children smile, and that’s awesome. But the fact is there are a few things that you just need to stop giving my kids. Things like…

  1. Stickers

Hey, doctor’s office, you give a child a sticker and they smile. Good for you. But do you ever stop to think about where all those Dora and Batman stickers end up? Let me tell you: my van. They stick them on my van window, and then in the heat of the sun, those suckers get permanently welded on there. Well…not the whole sticker. Just part of it. The part I can’t scratch off, leaving me with a white and pink blotch that looks like separating continents. Or they end up on my dining room table. Or on my kid’s shirt, and I forget to check the shirt for stickers because the damn thing was inside out when I did the laundry, and something happens in the wash that is similar to what happens during arc welding, and the sticker never fully comes off my daughter’s favorite shirt. So what am I saying? Every time you give a sticker to my child, you ruin my shit. Stop ruining my shit.

  1. Party Bags with Cheap Crappy Toys

Oh, you are so cute with your little themed goody bag for each kid who attends your child’s birthday party. Help me understand your logic. You have a child. You surely have had your child come home with one of those damn parachuting army men that works once and then gets tangled, so you spend the rest of the day untangling the stupid thing while your child cries, only for it to get tangled again a minute later. You’ve heard the shrill squeal of a cheap plastic kazoo. You know what stickers do to your van windows. So why do you hand that shit out? Stop perpetuating a problem that you know makes everyone hate you.

  1. Cheetos

I love Cheetos, but when given to my children their little hands look like they’ve been into Donald Trump’s sunscreen. Orange fingerprints line my van, their shirts, and my sofa. One small bag and suddenly it looks like my house has been dusted for prints. Unless they lick their fingers. Then everything is coated in a cheese-scented paste that is almost impossible to get out of furniture without good upholstery cleaner and Xanax.

  1. Your Broken Toys

I can’t count how many times I’ve been at a friend’s home and one of my children has fallen in love with some worn-out, crappy, broken-up princess tea set or Pikachu missing an ear, and suddenly I hear the words, “Oh…you can have it, sweetie.” Then I get the wink—that look from another parent that seems to say, “It’s your problem now.” Kiss my ass, it’s my problem! I have enough broken toys at my house. You don’t need to be passing your garbage into my house. I don’t need more. And I will admit, I have done this same thing before. Half the time it’s some broken toy my kids were given. Honestly, it feels like passing around broken toys is some sort of parental hot potato, each person trying to get rid of some silly piece of shit, when in fact we all just need to unify and start throwing this crap in the garbage. Can we do that? Together…please.

  1. Stuffed Animals

I’m not sure if stuffed animals can have sex. I try not to think about stuff like that, but what I do know is that they multiply. So I understand. You’ve got these stupid, button-eyed, hairy things growing in numbers. You want to thin the herd. Awesome. Throw them away. Give them to Goodwill. I don’t give a shit what you do with them, but don’t give them to my children because they are taking over my home, same as yours. Some of them smell bad. Real bad. Like whatever your kids did to them bad. Or they are sticky. I don’t need any more sticky crap, and neither do you. That’s why you gave it away. Sneaking stuffed animals from your house to mine is not being crafty, or spreading joy, it’s just you dumping your shit into my home. Stop it. You’re being an asshole.

I doubt many parents will disagree with this list. In fact, many will probably add to it. And if you do have a love for stickers on your van window or smelly stuffed animals or any of the other garbage I’ve listed, please comment below with your mailing address. I have a package to send you.

 

This Popular Sleep Aid May Be Harmful to Kids

There’s no quick fix that gets kids to sleep sooner, better, deeper. But melatonin comes pretty close.While medical experts don’t have much bad to say to adults about using melatonin, which isn’t a pharmaceutical rather a health supplement, some are concerned when it comes to regular use in children.

A recent New York Times Well blog post reported that while a lot of parents have given melatonin for their kids because it works—doctors don’t actually know whether it’s doing harm in the long run. Children’s brains are still growing and developing, and melatonin is a synthetic form of a hormone the pineal gland produces, and which signals to the brain it’s time for sleep.

“I think we just don’t know what the potential long-term effects are, particularly when you’re talking about young children,” said Dr. Judith Owens, director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Parents really need to understand that there are potential risks.”

Research isn’t conclusive but some suggests that it could have effects not just on the brain but on other systems developing in children: reproductive, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic.

Melatonin has known possible side effects for adults, including “headaches, dizziness and daytime grogginess,” the Times reports. That last one is what makes it a sleep aid and also dangerous for drivers who might use it. The hormone-like substance, which is also found in foods like barley and walnuts, can also interfere with medications for blood pressure and diabetes.

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose.

Doctors who treat sleep disorders in children have long known parents turn frequently turn to melatonin to help their kids with sleep issues, often picking up the pills at a health food store and not telling their own doctors—a mistake.

“I rarely see a family come in with a child with insomnia who hasn’t tried melatonin,” Owns said. “I would say at least 75 percent of the time when they come in to see us” at the sleep clinic, “they’re either on melatonin or they’ve tried it in the past.”

For those who give it to their children, Owens recommends letting their child’s doctor know. She also said the pills should be picked up from a reputable source. Because they’re not regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration, there’s no way of know how much of the useful ingredient is in each pill. Buy “pharmaceutical grade,” which tend to have “more precise dosing levels.”

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose. In fact—and this is where parents, particularly, should be cautious—some contained nearly 5 times the dosage written on the label.

So while there’s still no silver bullet for kids and sleep—except for lots of exercise, predictable nighttime routines and early (yes, early!) bedtimes—the melatonin temptation should be met with caution and some medical support.

Contributions on this post via Mom.me

9 Things a Pediatrician Wishes You’d Stop Doing

One pediatrician tells us the truth about the things doctors wish parents would stop doing, now.
Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, so unsuspecting moms and dads are left to figure out a lot on their own. Our go-to sources of advice—friends, the internet, our own parents—might not have the most reliable, up-to-date info. Then when we get to the pediatrician’s office, we’re either too stressed, rushed, or embarrassed to ask our questions. Doctors are great at telling you what to do, but even they might be hesitant to be upfront with parents about what not to do. So we asked Bill Bush, M.D., pediatrician-in-chief at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to give us the truth about the things parents should stop doing, now.

1. Stop looking to the internet for medical advice

When you’re freaked out about your child’s symptoms, the first place to turn is usually Dr. Google. And while trusted sites like the American Academy of Pediatrics can have useful info, it’s still impossible to diagnose your kid over the internet. Instead, take your concerns to your doctor. “I’ve been given websites to look up because a parent is pretty sure their child has X, Y, or Z disease,” Dr. Bush says. “I’m always happy to look and get back to them, but a diagnosis is based on our medical evaluation.

2. Stop going to the ER for everything

I’m guilty of this one. Recently my 3-year-old ran head-first into the fridge, and after blood started coming out of his nose and mouth, I rushed him to the ER without waiting for a call back from his doctor. Four hours and a $900 bill later, he was pronounced totally fine. “Except for extreme emergencies, getting a phone call in to your physician’s office gives time for the child to calm and the family to make assessments, and for us to determine if there’s an alternative place we can have you seen,” Dr. Bush says. An urgent care facility or the pediatrician’s office the next day may be better options.

3. Stop requesting antibiotics.

It’s natural to want our kids to get better as soon as possible, but Dr. Bush says antibiotics aren’t always the answer. “There are times when it’s absolutely appropriate to give the antibiotic when they have a bacterial infection, but for the majority of the patients we see with viral illnesses, it’s not,” he says. “Colds and coughs don’t need an antibiotic, they just need time to heal.” Plus, giving antibiotics too often can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are then harder to fight off.

4. Stop refusing vaccinations and demanding alternative vaccine schedules.

Ironically, just as some parents rush to medicine, others are scared by vaccines. Even if parents agree vaccines are a good thing, they’re concerned about giving many at the same time. “Very solid evidence exists that immunizations prevent many deadly and debilitating childhood diseases,” Dr. Bush says. “The FDA requires any new combination of vaccines to prove equal effectiveness as if they were given on separate dates so we’re not overwhelming the immune system.” The problem with delaying vaccines, especially with babies, is children then go unprotected for longer. “When you start spreading them out, you put more kids at risk,” he says.

5. Stop allowing unlimited screen time.

Let’s face it: Screens are a part of our lives now, which the AAP recognized when they relaxed their rules around screen time. But even so, Dr. Bush says to make sure your kids have outdoor play for exercise, and face-to-face interaction for social development. “Life’s about interacting with other people, so encourage children to play with their friends in person instead of texting or playing video games online,” he says.

6. Stop blaming your child’s cold on being outside.

This is one myth that just won’t die. But your kid is not going to catch a cold by going jacket-less for the 10-second walk to the car, so it’s probably not worth fighting that battle. “Viral illnesses such as colds come from the spread of germs—kids touching everything and then they touch their eyes, nose, and mouth,” Dr. Bush says. “We see much more spread of illnesses in the wintertime when kids are all condensed into one small area for the entire school day.”

7. Stop skipping well-child visits.

We all lead busy lives, and when it comes time for what we consider “non-essential” appointments, it’s easy to let them pass by. But Dr. Bush says that’s a mistake. “If we switch from providing sick care to well care, we can do a better job of preventing or managing certain diseases,” he says. This includes hearing and vision problems, heart murmurs, blood pressure elevations, kids who are failing to grow and spines that may be developing scoliosis. Plus, the visits give you and your child a chance to feel more comfortable with your doctor, so you’ll be more likely to discuss any concerns in the future.

8. Stop using Q-tips to clean your child’s ears.

You may think you’re helping your child’s hygiene, but you’re really just pushing wax further into the ears. “Kids will come in sometimes with ear pain or decreased hearing because their ears are just so packed with wax from the Q-tip not bringing it out, but pushing it back,” Dr. Bush says. Instead, allow some water to get into your child’s ears at bath time, because the moisture should help wax naturally work itself out.

9. Stop freaking out about your child’s temperature.

It can be alarming when your child develops a fever, but once they are out of the newborn stage when it may be dangerous, it’s just something else to report to your doctor. “It’s a symptom like a runny nose, cough, or pain, part of the collection of information that helps us make decisions on what’s the appropriate diagnosis and treatment,” Dr. Bush says. “It’s very rare that a fever alarms us.”

Via Parents

11 Words That Have A Different Meaning After You Have Kids

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You think you have mastered the English language. You’re sure you know the meaning of these commonly used words, right? But then you have kids. And you realize that these words you thought you knew take on a whole new definition once you become a parent. Here are 11 words that you’ve had to relearn since having kids, with brand-spanking-new definitions.

  1. Tired

Pre-Kid Definition: Feeling sleepy

Post-Kid Definition: EXHAUUUUSTED. Frickin’ BEAT! A condition usually brought on by severe lack of sleep which happens night after night with no recovery. Every muscle in your body aches. You feel like you just competed in two Iron Mans back to back. Your eyeballs burn. SO, SHUT UP, PRE-KID DEFINITION!

  1. All-Nighter

Pre-Kid Definition: An entire nighttime period spent partying and having fun. No sleep is experienced because one is too busy drinking, dancing and being free. Being so free and alive. So free …

Post-Kid Definition: An entire nighttime period spent up with your baby or toddler who is crying incessantly and won’t go back down in her mother-‘effing crib. Like, she won’t stop crying and it’s making your face melt. And this goes on all night long.

  1. Quickly

Pre-Kid Definition: Doing something with swiftness, efficiency, in a short amount of time.

Post-Kid Definiton: Leaving the house before noon. Or getting out of the grocery store in less than 2 hours.

Pants
Pre-Kid Definition: Trousers or nicely ironed slacks or skinny jeans
Post-Kid Definition: As in, yoga

  1. Eating Out

Pre-Kid Definition: Going to a restaurant and enjoying a leisurely meal wherein you eat and possibly have a glass or two of wine while you talk about world issues and/or the latest episode of RHOBH.

Post-Kid Definition: Going to a restaurant with the hopes of getting food in your belly before you a) either leave voluntarily with ranch dressing across your shirt and tears in your eyes, or b) are kindly asked to leave by the restaurant manager after more than 3 surrounding tables complain about the croutons flying from the circus happening at your table.

  1. Nap

Pre-Kid Definition: A brief episode of sleep, usually taken mid-day to rejuvenate and reenergize. Perhaps taken in a hammock after just a few beers or a delicious, slowly eaten meal.

Post-Kid Definition: Something that is a daily struggle to get your baby or toddler to do; something that doesn’t exist for you anymore, honey.

  1. Pants

Pre-Kid Definition: Trousers or nicely ironed slacks or skinny jeans

Post-Kid Definition: As in, yoga

  1. Sex

Pre-Kid Definition: Hot, torrid and potentially spur-of-the-moment boot-knocking that happens often and anywhere

Post-Kid Definition: A major event. Likely put on the calendar. To occur in your bedroom, done quietly as to not disturb young housemates, in an amount of time usually cut short by said housemates with a “MAAAAAHHHMMMM!” Or just crying, either of which pretty much kills the mood.

  1. Gross

Pre-Kid Definition: Very unpleasant, foul, even repulsive

Post-Kid Definition: BOW DOWN TO ME, PRE-KID DEFINITION!!!

  1. Chillin’

Pre-Kid Definition: Relaxing. Taking time to do absolutely nothing. Kicking it.

Post-Kid Definition: This word does not exist.

  1. Acceptable

Pre-Kid Definition: Able to be agreed upon. Suitable.

Post-Kid Definition: Whatever you can do — be it begging, bribing or surrendering — to get your small child to just put on her stupid pants.

  1. Love

Pre-Kid Definition: A feeling of deep affection or attachment

Post-Kid Definition: You never knew how your heart could burst with such happiness and intense affection for a tiny little human that looks sort of like you. Your soul lights up when you see him. Your heart aches when you are away from her. And you can’t even begin to imagine your life before they were in it. Even if you actually got sleep back then.

Once you have children, everything changes  even the definitions of words.

Via mom.me

When It’s OK to Use Home Remedies on Kids and When It’s Not

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A traditional pediatrician and a naturopathic physician weigh in on when you should—and shouldn’t—use home remedies on your kids.

Chances are you’ve probably used at least one home remedy on your child, whether it’s a “magic potion” cold remedy concoction of essential oils or a simple bee sting cure-all made out of baking soda and vinegar.

Whether you’re a believer in home remedies or not, the plethora of websites, books, and online courses available on the subject—from the not-so-natural medicine cabinet miracles to 100 percent organic homeopathic cures—suggests that many parents are not only believers but proactive embracers of treating their children with alternative methods.

But recent horror stories and warnings such as the Canadian parents who were convicted for their toddler’s death from meningitis because they used home remedies instead of taking him to the hospital; the infant who suffocated from a plastic bag home like remedy; and the Tennessee poison control center’s warning that more children are being accidentally poisoned by “essential oils”—have sparked a rather heated debate among parents online about the safety of treating kids without a doctor’s supervision.

Amid this sometimes angry dialogue, the crux of the conversation seems to hinge on this question: How do you know when it’s okay to use home remedies on your kids, and more importantly, how do you know when it’s not okay?

In hopes of empowering parents with information on the dos and don’ts of home remedy treatment, we spoke to two pediatric professionals to get their advice. Here are their thoughts:

The Traditional Doctor

Dr. Joseph Gig ante is a professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

When it comes to parents treating their children’s common ailments at home using either a “home remedy” or a homeopathic treatment option, what’s your overall philosophy?

“My philosophy regarding home remedies and homeopathic treatments is “first do no harm,” which echoes the Hippocratic Oath. There are many home remedies that might have minimal if any benefit to the child. However, if the parents feel like they want to try something and the treatment will not harm the child, then I don’t have a problem with the treatment. A second situation is one that is more worrisome and dangerous. This is when parents choose not to use a traditional medicine therapy that is known to be effective and instead opt for a homeopathic treatment that is ineffective, resulting in a delay in treatment and harm, and possibly death, of their child, as we have seen in a few cases recently.”

What symptoms or ailments do you think are safe for parents to treat at home—at least in the beginning?

“There are many symptoms and illnesses that are safe for parents to treat at home. The most common of these is the cold. Parents can support their child and make them feel more comfortable if their child has the common cold symptoms: cough, congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat. Fever can also be managed at home. Parents often get very worried about fever, but fever is a response to an infection and helps fight the infection. Giving your child Tylenol or Ibuprofen helps bring the fever down and makes the child feel better. Vomiting and diarrhea are also common symptoms children get, which parents can treat at home by being sure their child stays well hydrated by encouraging fluid intake. Children will often also complain of headaches and stomachaches. In most instances, these symptoms are not serious and can be managed at home.”

Are there ailments and symptoms that you think parents should never treat at home?

“Yes. A fever that’s equal to or greater than 100.4 Fahrenheit in an infant less than 3 months of age should not be treated at home. The fever may be a sign of a serious bacterial infection. Fever associated with a severe headache and a stiff neck should also not be treated at home as these may be signs of meningitis. A parent should have their child evaluated if a fever lasts more than 5 days. A child who is having difficulty breathing, which may result in a blue color to their lips/mouth, should also be seen immediately. Children, who have had vomiting and diarrhea and now are not drinking at all, have decreased urination or are not acting like they may be severely dehydrated and need IV fluids.”

What are the most common errors that parents make when treating their kids at home?

“The most common error I see that parents make when treating their children at home is not giving their child enough Tylenol or Ibuprofen to treat a fever. The doses of these medicines are based on the child’s weight. As infants gain weight, their dose of Tylenol or Ibuprofen should increase; however, parents often dose based on a previous weight and as a result under dose their child. The other error I often see is parents using the wrong kind of thermometer. The most accurate way to measure an infant’s fever is using a rectal digital thermometer. Another common mistake is using over the counter cold/cough medicines. These medicines don’t work in children and can cause serious side effects.”

A couple of recent headlines have showcased tragic endings for parents who treated their kids at home, what can parents learn from these two tragic stories?

“Thankfully, tragic stories of children dying at home instead of seeking medical care are not common, but they are avoidable. They are probably due to a combination of lack of common sense, false beliefs by parents and false claims made by naturopathic practitioners. Parents should always be leery of practitioners who shun traditional medicine completely, are anti-science and make false claims about childhood immunizations. Medicines work; immunizations prevent disease and have saved millions of children’s lives. These practitioners may recommend treatments that are not effective and may result in a delay in seeking medical attention, as was the case in the Stephan meningitis case. If parents are using home remedies, they should seek medical attention if their child is not improving or getting worse within 1-2 days.”

The Naturopathic Physician

Dr. Jamie Oskin is a naturopathic doctor at Arizona Natural Health Center with expertise in homeopathy and natural pediatrics.

As a naturopathic doctor specializing in pediatrics, what is your overall philosophy as it relates to helping parents make the best choices for treating their kids at home?

“[I believe] lifestyle is very important for children to be healthy. For example, I work with parents to [not only cure ailments but also to] improve their child’s nutritional status—i.e., exercise more and get better quality sleep. These lifestyle components of health are essential for a child to live up to their fullest potential. Lifestyle medicine and homeopathy work hand in hand. The homeopathic remedies stimulate the body’s innate capacity to heal.  In other words, homeopathy stimulates the “nature” side of the equation to help make the child healthier. Lifestyle medicine promotes an environment (i.e. “nurture”) for the child to achieve optimal health. The “nature” + “nurture” is a perfect combination to help most children with most health concerns.”

What symptoms or ailments do you think are safe for parents to treat at home—at least in the beginning?

“Minor bumps and bruises can safely be treated at home without a doctor’s help with over the counter, Arnica. Self-limiting coughs and colds can be treated with over-the-counter products. Self-limiting allergic rhinitis (hay fever) can be treated at home with over-the-counter homeopathic products. Basic earaches can also be treated with over-the-counter products since most ear infections are viral, self-limiting and will resolve on their own within 48-72 hours.”

Are there symptoms or ailments that you encourage parents to not treat without calling you first?

“Any condition that is acute and intense, such as a high fever, delirium, unresponsiveness, neck stiffness, strep throat, excessive vomiting or diarrhea, dehydration, difficulty breathing as in pneumonia or asthma, should be treated with the help of a physician. Any condition which is chronic and ongoing that does not resolve with simple over-the-counter treatments should be treated with the help of a physician, example, recurrent ear infections, chronic eczema or psoriasis, ADHD, autism, PANS, tic disorders, asthma, autoimmune disease, etc.

If a patient has an acute life-threatening condition, such as meningitis, appendicitis, etc., then they must be treated in the emergency department or at a hospital. Safety and “first do no harm” always come first.”

A couple of recent headlines have showcased tragic endings for parents who treated their kids at home, what can parents learn from these two tragic stories?

“These two tragic stories are heart wrenching. In both cases, there seemed to be some misguided parents and/or even negligence. Home remedy or not, it is never a good idea to put a plastic bag over a child’s head, and it is downright dangerous to do so and then leave the child unattended. The other family’s child showed clear signs of meningitis—high fever, severe neck stiffness—and should have been seen immediately in an emergency department. Both cases highlight the importance for parents to yield to common sense when trying home remedies and also to always put their child’s safety first. Because these stories were tragic, they received a lot of media attention and shine alternative medicine in a poor light. But in both cases, alternative medicine was not the problem, but rather misguided parent decisions.”

New School Year and the Come back To The Routine

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The lazy days of summer are coming to the end, together with the long stretches of daylight, lemonade, grilling and pick-up games outside. As the season winds down, you may take a final getaway weekend with your family. Or you may just stay home and squeeze every bit of time before school starts.

Either way, there’s a good chance that your children are off their normal sleep schedule by now. That’s completely understandable, but it’s also something that needs to be remedied before the school bell rings. So I want to help equip you to get your children back into an age-appropriate and healthy sleep routine so that they wake up bright-eyed and alert for that first day of school. It’s not really an impossible task. It just takes a little forethought and a few days to implement changes.

You can shift your child’s bedtime back to the appropriate time for school nights either gradually or in cold way, you choose. If you do it gradually, then shift it in 30-minute increments over as many days as needed. Just do the math. Most elementary school-aged children need to be in bed by 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. to get the sleep they need each night.

Follow these recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics for total hours of sleep per-school and school-aged kids should get by age:

  • Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours daily to promote optimal health. That includes naps.
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours daily.
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours daily.

If your child shows some resistance to going to bed earlier, wake him up in the morning at his new school day wake up time. If you prefer to go cold turkey, I recommend starting this process in the morning by waking your child up at his new school day wake-up time. That evening put him in bed at the appropriate time so he can get the recommended amount of sleep after a calm bedtime routine. He will be a little more tired and willing to go to sleep at his new bedtime.

The Benefit of Physical Activity for Sleep:

Getting physical activity each day is important for our sleep. During the school year it may get pushed aside when homework piles up. As weather permits, you can take a brisk walk around the neighborhood for 30 minutes after dinner or play catch. Just be sure your child is fitting in at least 30 minutes of exercise, ideally outside. This will help her go to sleep as well as improving her physical health.

However, while rough play – like wrestling on the bed for fun – is great for some kids, bring it to an end an hour before bedtime because it naturally stimulates your child and will keep her up longer. The same goes for strenuous physical activity. Choose puzzles, building toys, reading or other quiet activities in the hour before bedtime.

Create a Soothing Bedtime Routine:

Trust me; children thrive on routine even if they resist it at times. Sometimes we jettison our routines in the summer and need to put some structure back in place as school draws near.

Your child’s evening routine actually begins at dinnertime. Young children digest their food more slowly than adults and will need to eat two hours before bedtime in order to sleep soundly. After dinner you may clean up together and do something as a family.

Structuring your school-aged child’s soothing bedtime routine can be as simple as choosing three to four things that should happen every night in the same order right before your child goes to bed. This may include a bath or shower; brushing teeth; laying out clothes, shoes and the child’s backpack for the next day; and snuggles, along with a book or a story.

Depending on their age, your child may enjoy some independent reading time before you say goodnight to him. Just be sure to brush teeth and put pajamas on before you let him start to read in bed. Show your growing child your love and affection with snuggles, hugs and kisses. Turn off the light at bedtime and say goodnight.

The idea is to find a routine that suits your family and stick to it. Of course you will change it as your child grows, but don’t change it every week.

Make sure your kids are well-rested for the start of the school year so they can perform at their best.

20 Phrases To Calm Down Your Child

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Next time you find yourself dealing with a toddler tantrum, or a cold shoulder from your teen put your best foot forward by trying one of these 20 phrases:

  1. Instead of “Stop throwing things!”

Try this: “When you throw your toys, I think you don’t like playing with them. Is that what’s going on?”

This speaker/listener technique is designed to help communicate feelings in a non-confrontational manner. Not only does this keep the lines of communication open, you are modeling how to phrase a situation from your perspective, which in turn gives your child a chance to rephrase events from their perspective.

  1. Instead of “Big kids don’t do this!”

Try this: “Big kids and even grown-ups sometimes have big feelings. It’s okay — these feelings will pass.”

Let’s be honest, the older your kids get, the bigger the problems they face, the bigger the feelings they have. Telling them that big kids don’t experience anger, frustration, or anxiety is simply untrue. It also encourages children to avoid or quash emotions and prevents them from processing them in a healthy manner.

  1. Instead of: “Don’t you dare hit!”

Try this: “It’s okay to be angry, but I won’t let you hit. We need to keep everyone safe.”

This gets the message firmly across that the emotion is okay, but the action is not. Separating the two will help your child learn to do so as well.

  1. Instead of: “That’s it, you’re getting a time-out!”

Try this: “Let’s go to our calm-down space together.”

My Favorite, because I hate the sentence Time out

  1. Instead of: “Brush your teeth right now!”

Try this: “Do you want to brush Elmo’s teeth first or yours?”

For toddlers, tantrums are a way to exert control over their environment. This way, you are offering your toddler a choice, and in turn, some control.

  1. Instead of “Eat your food or you will go to bed hungry!”

Try this: “What can we do to make this food yummy?”

This places the responsibility of finding a solution back on your child.

  1. Instead of “Stop whining!”

Try this: “How about a quick ‘do-over’ in your normal voice?”

Sometimes kids complaint and don’t even realize it. By asking them to rephrase in a normal tone, you are teaching them that the way they say things matters.

  1. Instead of “How many times do I have to say the same thing?”

Try this: “I can see you didn’t hear me the first time. How about when I say it to you, you whisper it back to me?”

Having your child repeat back what they hear solidifies your message. Varying the volume adds an element of fun to the request.

  1. Instead of “Stop getting frustrated!”

Try this let’s take a break and come back to it in 17 minutes.”

It sounds random, but a research-based formula  for productivity is to work for 52 minutes, break for 17. By taking a break from task-related stress, you come back to it ready to begin again, focused and more productive than before. The same concept applies to homework, practicing the piano, or playing a sport.

  1. Instead of “Go to your room!”

Try this: “I’m going to stay right here by you until you’re ready for a hug.”

Again, isolation sends the message that there is something wrong with your child. By giving them space until they are ready to re-engage, you are providing reassurance that you will always be there for them.

  1. Instead of “You are embarrassing me!”

Try this: “Let’s go somewhere private so we can sort this out.”

Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about them and their feelings. By removing both of you from the situation, you are reinforcing the team effort without drawing attention to the behavior.

  1. Instead of sighing and rolling your eyes

Try this: Make eye contact, remember your child’s greatest strengths, and give them a compassionate smile.

Practice keeping it in perspective by seeing the strengths in your child.

  1. Instead of “You are impossible!”

Try this: “You are having a tough time. Let’s figure this out together.”

Always, always separate the behavior from the child, reinforce the emotion, and work together to come up with a solution.

  1. Instead of “Stop yelling!”

Try this: “I’m going to pretend I’m blowing out birthday candles. Will you do it with me?”

Deep breathing helps restore the body to a calm state. Being playful with how you engage in the breathing hastens cooperation. For older children, ask them to breathe with you like Darth Vader does.

  1. Instead of “I can’t deal with you right now!”

Try this: “I’m starting to get frustrated, and I’m going to be right here calming down.”

Teach children how to label and govern their emotions by modeling this in real-time.

  1. Instead of “I’m done talking!”

Try this: “I love you. I need you to understand what I ma saying.

Give children a visual to express how they are feeling. It may surprise you what they say and what kind of solutions they come up with to change their direction.

  1. Instead of “I am notchanging it!”

Try this: “I’m sorry. How can we do better next time?”

Shifting the focus from the event to the solution eliminates the power struggle associated with digging in your heels about the event.

  1. Instead of “Stop saying ‘No!’”

Try this: “I hear you saying ‘No.’ I understand you do not want this. Let’s figure out what we can do differently.

By acknowledging your child’s “no,” you are de-escalating the situation. Rather than arguing yes/no, change the script to focus on the future and the prospect of a solution.

  1. Instead of “Don’t be angry!”

Try this: “I get angry too sometimes. Let’s try our warrior cry to get those angry feelings in check.”

recent study reveals that yelling when we are physically hurt can actually interrupt pain messages being sent to the brain. Although your child may not be in pain per se, a warrior cry can work to release angry energy in a playful manner.

  1. Instead of “Stop overreacting!”

Try this: “You are having a big reaction to a big emotion. If your emotion had a monster’s face, what would it look like?”

When kids are tired, hungry, or overstimulated, they are going to overreact. Putting a face to the emotion externalize the issue and allows children to respond to their inner monologue of anger. This subsequently helps them exercise control over the emotion.

I hope you found this article useful next time you confront your angry child

2T vs 24 Months, What to Pick?

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If you’ve got a 2-year-old on your hands, you’ve probably reached a mommy milestone: the one where you wonder what the heck the difference is between a size 24-month garment in the baby department and the same basic garment that’s a size 2T in the toddler department. After all, 24 months is 2 years, right? (We’re pretty confident we’ve got the math right on that.) So why do both sizes exist — and which one should you buy for your child?

That all depends. Is your 24-month-old a baby or a toddler? Still confused? As far as fashion is concerned, if your child is crawling and wears a diaper, you’ve got a baby. If your child is walking and potty-trained, you’ve got a toddler on your hands. The difference between a size 24 months and a size 2T takes this into consideration to accommodate your child’s (and your) needs. “Babies come in all shapes and sizes, so some 12-month-olds could be wearing clothes that are size 18-24 months,” says Emily Meyer, co-founder and chief creative officer of Tea Collection. “That’s why the sizing for 24 months and 2T is different. The silhouette for 24-month sizes is rounder — ideal for a healthy, growing baby of any age who might still be crawling. Size 2T clothes, on the other hand, are intended for early walkers. The silhouette is less round and more upright to allow for easier movement as your little toddler starts to really get around.”

The differences between the two sizes also take moms into account. “Expect to find extra room for diapers and often snaps inside the legs to make changing easy,” says Mellicia Marx, owner of Poplin Style Direction, a personal style service that works with kids. “A toddler, according to brand logic, is likely potty-trained and no longer needs extra room for diapers. It’s also worth keeping in mind that kids’ clothes are usually sized in age ranges that end in the highest month. For instance, 24-month items are generally made for 18- to 24-month-old babies, and 2T is intended for 2- to 3-year-old kids.

Another difference? Clothes that are marked 24 months are usually more “babyish “in terms of style than those that are 2T. “If you prefer your little one to wear a miniature version of grownup clothes, you may find more selection in the 2T world,” says Marx.

 

 

My Only Child Doesn’t Need A Sibling

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Via mom.me

By Leah Campbell

I have this amazing friend who is basically a single mama superhero. She is stunning (in the kind of shape I have never in my entire life been in), successful in her career, completely committed to parenting and always jetting off on some new adventure or another with her sidekick—a little girl who is full of her mama’s spunk and energy.

I am not kidding you when I say I look at this mama some days and wonder how in the heck she does it all.

But recently she posted something on Facebook that struck me. It was about the numerous comments she gets regarding how her daughter “needs” a sibling, and how rude, presumptuous and downright out-of-line those comments are.

As I read her post, I thought to myself, “You go, Mama!”

For the record, I have always wanted a large family. The idea of having an only never really crossed my mind, until I dealt with infertility, enduring singledom (I think they used to call it “spinsterhood”) and the realization that my daughter (adopted in the most serendipitous of ways) and I have a pretty damn good life together. If it is only ever just the two of us, both she and I will be just fine.

She doesn’t need a sibling any more than I need another child. Which is to say, it would be nice—and I certainly remain open to the possibility—but I also see the beauty ahead in the life I could create for us if it is only ever just her and me.

You know what kids need? Love, support, guidance, food, shelter and maybe a little more love. But a sibling?

I think people mean well enough when they comment on the need for a sibling. Nobody intends any harm; they are simply remembering back to their own childhoods, to the fun they had with their siblings, or the loneliness they may have felt as only children themselves. Plus, we all know the stereotypes surrounding only children, and I have certainly known an only child or two myself who has lived up to those stereotypes.

But what people forget is that those really are just stereotypes. The recent research points to the fact that only children are not nearly as lonely as we’ve been led to believe, and that they actually fare better than kids with siblings in some areas, including academic pursuits. And, as long as we’re talking in anecdotes, I’ve also known only children in my past who in no way lived up to the stereotypes attributed to them; they were kind, generous, loving people who were raised by parents that worked hard to mold them as such.

Whether or not a child has a sibling is not the defining factor for the type of person they will become, and no child needs a sibling. You know what kids need? Love, support, guidance, food, shelter and maybe a little more love. But a sibling? That’s about as crucial to development as a puppy—sure, lessons can be gained from the added responsibility, but it certainly isn’t the only way to grow into a responsible adult.

Look, if I am ever blessed with another child, I have no doubt my daughter will benefit from having a little brother or sister to grow up alongside. But she’s not going to grow into a spoiled, selfish person without one—which, let’s be honest, is the underlying implication whenever anyone suggests that a child needs that brother or sister.

How about instead of commenting on the size of other people’s families, or when/if they should add on to those families, we instead make a solemn vow to recognize that it’s none of our business. Not only because you have no idea what another family has dealt with (infertility, loss or struggles in their romantic relationship that make adding on seem like a bad idea) but also because no child needs a sibling. And asserting that they do is just kind of an asshole thing to say.

Don’t be an asshole. Just don’t comment on another person’s family. Because you don’t know the whole story, and your compilation of anecdotal evidence does not make you an expert on what any child might need.

One thing I can say for sure? My friend’s little girl is going to be just fine if she is forever an only child. Mostly because she has a superhero for a mama. One who works hard, every single day, to make sure she has everything she needs—and so much more.

I completely identify myself on this post. I hope you found it crucial found some comfort  if you are experience some similar situation.

Monica R.