Thursday, January 31, 2013

3 Types of Parenting Styles

Daughter with her unhappy parents 

Disciplining children is one of the hardest things to do.  As a parent you want to control their behavior in the most effective way, but sometimes you don't know how.  Helping your children become respectful and self-controlled is your responsibility as a parent.  Each parent has their own way of parenting.  Maybe you mimic how you were disciplined as a child or you observe others around you such as friends or family.  Here are three types of parenting styles:

  • Authoritative Parenting-This type of parent has rules that they expect their children to follow and there are consequences to their behaviour.  Authoritative parents have expectations of their children, but if those expectations are not met they don't resort to punishment.  They communicate with their children and listen to what they have to say.  They are responsive and nurturing. 

  • Authoritarian Parenting-Like an authoritative parent, this type of parent has rules, expectations and consequences but they are less affectionate.  If the rules are not followed their children are punished.  Authoritarian parents are not responsive to their children and don't communicate with them.  They usually say things like "Because Mommy Said So."

  • Permissive Parenting-This type of parent has very little rules and expectations of their children.  They are affectionate towards their children and communicate with them, but are more like a friend to them instead of a parent.

So, what type of parent are you?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

3 Ways to Help Children Use Their Words

 Sad mixed race girl

I'm sure every parent has said "use your words" to their child.  It's important for children to learn how to deal with their feelings and that starts with language development.  If children know how to talk about their emotions they won't resort to hitting, pushing or biting.  Sometimes adults have trouble finding the words to describe how they're feeling, so can you imagine how a child feels?  It's harder for them because their vocabulary is limited, so they don't have the words to talk about their feelings.  If children understand how to discuss their feelings they will know how to deal with them.  Here's three ways to help children learn how to use their words:

1.     By modeling the behaviour.  If you use your words to describe how you're feeling they will see what they're feeling is normal.  Children watch their parents and like to do what they do.

2.     Teach them those words that describe emotions such as "mad" or "sad."  If children learn how to describe their feelings they will have more control of them.

3.     Talk to them about why it's important for them to use their words.  Explain to them that it's better to talk about their feelings so they don't end up hurting somebody else or themselves. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Combing Your Child's Curly Hair

Mixed race mother brushing daughter's hair 

I have three girls and they are mixed (half white and half black) so they have thick curly hair.  Well, my third daughter is only eight months old so she doesn't have that much hair yet.  I'm hoping her hair grows thin but I'm not holding my breath.

My children have beautiful hair but combing it is a challenge.  My five year old has hair past her shoulders and she has thick small curls.  She gets very dramatic when I comb her hair.  She usually cries or whines.  My three year old has very thick small curls.  Her hair is harder to comb because she has more tangles as it's thicker.  When I notice their ends are harder to comb through I take them for a trim.

If you have a little one with thick, curly hair there's things you can do to easily maintain it and keep it tangle-free:

During a bath after you shampoo their hair and rinse, apply some conditioner and comb through it with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb.  Rinse it thoroughly.

Use a leave-in conditioner.  Apply some to their wet hair and comb it with a wide-tooth comb.  I recommend not using a brush as this will make their hair frizz and cause split ends.

On dry hair use a detangling moisturizer and comb through it with a wide-tooth comb. 


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dramatic Play

 Group of boys, aged 6-7 playing pirates together in a suburban garden
Dramatic play is a great way for children to express themselves.  They can pretend to be whomever they want to be.  Dramatic play is pretending and it allows them to use their imagination.  It can prepare them for real life as they practice their problem-solving skills.  

Dramatic play enhances social and language development as they communicate and learn how to share with other children.  It increases physical development while they move chairs (gross motor) and manipulate dolls (fine motor).  It increases self-help skills as they dress themselves in costumes while role-playing.

Dramatic play can be played by the child independently or with other children.  My five year old loves dramatic play.  She likes to pretend she's washing dishes or having a tea party with her stuffed animals and dolls.  She also likes pretend playing with her little sister.

Parents can encourage dramatic play by providing things such as dress-up clothes, play food and play dishes.  Sometimes a simple box is good enough.  Children like doing what their mommy and daddy does.  During dramatic play they get the opportunity to live in a fantasy.  Dramatic play is fun for children and so important for child development.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Outdoor Activities for Children

Young Girl Playing with Snow 
Just because it's winter doesn't mean you have to spend most of the time indoors.  I admit I can't stand the cold and can't wait until summer.  We do a lot of activities outside with our children during the summer and I would like our children to have fun in the winter too.  Our five year old loves the snow!  She doesn't care if it's cold, she just loves being outside.  Our three year old likes playing outside too, but she's not a fan of the cold.  Most of the time she loves doing what her big sister does.  My husband and I don't usually do anything with our children outdoors during the winter, but this year we would like to.  When we go up north to visit my in-laws during the winter it's great because there's usually lots of snow for the children to play in.  Here are some winter outdoor activities I think our children will enjoy:

  • Ice skating-my sister-in-law told me there's children's training skates.  We were thinking of taking our girls ice skating.

  • Building a snowman-this is a fun activity for children, but the snow has to be the right texture for it to work.

  • Making snow angels-I remember when I was a child I loved making angels in the snow.

  • Tobogganing-we attempted to do some tobogganing with our girls last year but there wasn't much snow and I was pregnant.  This year we might take them.  I remember tobogganing as a child and I loved it!

Can you think of anything?