The factory inside your child’s head

The factory inside your child’s head

Newborns start out with some wonderful gifts. Their radiant skin and adoring eyes win over everyone who comes in contact with them and their first smile is a milestone in every parent’s life they won’t ever forget. However, some of the real miracles in your infant are taking place inside those perfect little heads where the brain cells your child is born with are laying the foundations for learning and development.   And there are literally billions of them. They are free floating at first, waiting for the library of experiences your child will go through in his or her life to make connections between them. That’s why it’s important to understand how critical your role is in shaping those experiences—right from the very first time your new son or daughter makes eye contact and sets the little factory in their heads in motion building these bridges called synapses that will lay the foundation for how they think and act well into adulthood.   Those little brains are impatient to get started too. Scientists and experts tell us that your infant’s brain will develop faster from birth to age three than at any other time and of course that means you’ll need to start feeding them with a rich and nurturing environment right from the moment you first meet.   Serious Business?   If all this sounds like a serious business, there’s no need to overreact and get too worried about doing the right things at this critical time. Parents don’t need to read their babies bedtime stories from old algebra textbooks they’ve kept from the college years or...
Zika Virus News You Need To Know

Zika Virus News You Need To Know

You’ve heard a lot about it in the news already and as fear grows over the Zika virus and its potential effects on pregnant mothers and their unborn children, the need to understand the disease—what it is and isn’t and what it can and can’t do becomes all the more important. Here’s everything that you need to know about the Zika virus so you’ll have a solid foundation to take appropriate steps to protect yourself and any future family you’re either carrying or planning on having. First off, although the virus has made its way into the hearts and minds of Americans lately , it turns out the disease is really nothing new, was first discovered in Uganda in 1947 and was named after the forest where it originated. This mosquito-borne illness is transferred in the bites of those very insects that can carry other infamous diseases like the Dengue virus and has made itself known on an alarming scale in Latin America, the Caribbean and has even made inroads into Mexico and Puerto Rico. There have been 50 cases reported in the United States. Deceiving The Zika virus is deceiving with symptoms that are usually not too severe—joint pains, fever and rashes have been documented along with muscle pains and even headaches. These symptoms last only a few days to a week and there are even a large number of infected people that report having no symptoms at all. Therein lies the Trojan Horse like quality of the virus since one of the real dangers to pregnant women who contract the disease is microcephaly, which is a medical...
Why your child needs to be wired into preschool

Why your child needs to be wired into preschool

One of the biggest roles you’ll have as a parent is grooming your child for the next step in their lives. Preschool is an important part of making sure they grow up to be well adjusted adults who are fully equipped to meet all the challenges and responsibilities they’ll face. Here’s some of the more important things you need to know about these early childhood education classes geared to three and four year olds. The definition of what goes into a preschool program varies depending on the one you’re looking at. These schools, which will give your toddler exposure to letters, numbers and shapes among other things, may offer everything from part time schedules or even full time daycare from September to May. The time frame isn’t as important as what your son or daughter will learn at the preschool you choose for them. One of the most important lessons is the ability to socialize with other children—to share, contribute and just generally get along with playmates their own age. Training for kindergarten Just like the name suggests, preschool is training for kindergarten and studies have proven toddlers that get this early start come to that next step with better pre-reading, basic math skills and even fuller vocabularies than the children who don’t attend. While the social interaction aspects are strong and important , children also learn a number of other lessons from preschool through the experimentation and exploration they experience there. Here, they begin to learn the smaller things like how to pour a glass of milk for themselves and get answers to what seems to them to...
How words and routines affect your child’s sleep.

How words and routines affect your child’s sleep.

When your son or daughter is whirling around the house and getting into places and things you wish they wouldn’t, it might be hard to remember their growing little bodies need rest to grow. Rest assured, they need sleep as much as play and you might be surprised to find out how much some experts suggest your little bundles of activity actually require. Here’s a few statistics. Infants should have as much as 16 hours totaled each day to get the rest they need to develop and toddlers require as much as 12-14 hours of shuteye according to experts in the field. Even your school age dynamo should have ten to eleven hours to recharge. Parents should get involved and there’s lots more they can be doing than just supplying a cozy bed and soothing bedtime story. By establishing healthy sleeping habits when they are young, you can foster a rhythm that will help children as they grow and develop. Regular naps Making a regular schedule for naps even when he’s only four months and still splitting his sleeping patterns between day and night helps to build a routine. Remember, children love schedules and you don’t need to wait until your daughter is asleep before putting her to bed. In fact, it’s best for babies to soothe themselves to sleep so they’re not always looking to Mom and Dad for that kind of comfort. A regular schedule and a routine your son or daughter can count on work together. Letting your little ones know that sleep time is approaching helps them to prepare and the three Bs of bath,...
Mapping your child’s personality path

Mapping your child’s personality path

There are many character traits that go into making us who we are as adults and it should be no surprise these individual qualities get written into our personalities when we are children. Although there are many shades of gray and a broad spectrum of how the traits blend together in each and every one of us, there are several clearly defined temperament markers that are recognizable in most children. Frustration Tolerance This personality trait that will get used often as an adult should be recognizable when your child becomes a toddler. If your child has a persistent streak and rises to the occasion when challenged that’s great, but even if your youngster tends to give up easily, there are a few techniques parents can use to build up their tolerance and desire to keep trying until they succeed. If you find your daughter getting frustrated with a task, backing away to come back and try again after a nap might refresh and invigorate her. If your son is trying the same thing over and over again without any luck, you might want to try to change things up by suggesting a new approach. How you see them responding to change is another trait you’ll want to keep an eye on. Pushing their plate away when there’s a new food on it or acting out because there’s been a change in the bedtime story routine might be showing an inflexible side to your son. If that’s the case, there’s no need to worry; Mom or Dad can run a little interference and talk about how tasty peas really are...