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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Picky Eaters

My younger son who is now 7 years old was an extreme picky eater. Until he turned 5, he basically ate plain rice with fried chicken, egg, potato or nuggets etc. We are Indians and spice is a necessity in our meals. So I was like - What wrong with this kid?
The secret to the change in his eating habit was a bribe. His father expressly told him if he didn't start eating curry, he wouldn't get to play X-Box. It worked! Now he has no problem with eating spicy food. So I can now breathe a sigh of relief as I no longer have to worry about what to give him when we attend a wedding, party or relative houses etc.

Having Picky Eaters in our homes can be frustrating. So I like to share this article that I have come across.

Picky Eaters - The Dawn of Understanding


"In general my children refuse to eat anything that hasn't danced on television." (Erma Bombeck, 1927-1996)

Once upon a time not so very long ago, you probably envisioned that your children would be good, healthy eaters while growing up. Naturally, they would like everything you placed before them on the dinner table, and would beg for seconds and sometimes thirds. However, because you are reading this article, that lovely bubble has most likely popped and disintegrated into the mess you may find yourself cleaning off the floor, table, or wherever your delicious entrees happen to land thanks to your picky eaters.

Keeping up with your child's picky eating preferences can be frustrating, especially when one week he or she will only eat peanut-butter sandwiches, and the next cheese-covered French fries. Then, when he or she develops the nasty habit of putting catsup on everything - including ice cream ? you may think you have reached the ultimate level of gross-out.

Do not despair because eventually your picky eater child will become bored with that food of choice and move on to something else!

Many children undergo a period of highly selective eating, commonly referred to as "picky eaters." The reality is that all children (not just what you might consider a picky eater child) do not have the same taste buds as adults. Instead, their palates are undeveloped and may be more sensitive to different textures, flavors, and spices.

As children grow older, their tastes literally change, expanding to include more foods, but not always. When this does not happen, clever picky eater coping strategies are needed.

Many explanations exist for children's unusual picky eating habits that bypass biological and developmental reasons. Today, you will discover numerous forms of public awareness and understanding about picky eaters. In fact, discussion forums and clubs devoted to the mysteries of picky eaters, along with what makes these folks tick are everywhere. We are not just talking about kids, but also adults who grew up as picky eaters and now find themselves in this exclusive category as they struggle with their unique appetites.

Remember, when it comes to picky eaters, "unique" is the keyword. Your picky eater child may have a different palate, but he or she is not strange, weird, or even unusual. A variety of reasons could account for his or her taste buds being apart from other children.

If you would like to learn more about the reasons certain kids are picky eaters or discover some great tasting and easy to prepare picky eater recipes then visit http://mypickyeater.com

Learn step-by-step how to successfully cope with Picky Eaters with Help There is a Picky Eater in The House! Full of Proven Strategies and Great Picky Eater Recipes that are Guaranteed to Help. http://www.mypickyeater.com





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Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Big Bully - Tips to prevent Bullying

My younger son is seven years old and has just completed primary 1. He has come home and mentioned that his classmates do not want to friend him and also that he doesn't like the group that he has been assigned to as the members are not friendly towards him.
He is a very sociable child, who can approach other kids in the playground and make friends very easily. Thus I was quite surprised that he has very few friends among his classmates. Although this seems like a very small incident, it is also a form of bullying.

Here is an insightful article by Derek and Gail Randel M.D where they give us tips to prevent bullying. Hope you will benefit from this article too.

If your child is being bullied - 20 top tips for parents

Keith is now in the fourth grade and he dislikes school. For a fourth grader, this does not sound right. The reason Keith dislikes school though does not have anything to do with academics. Keith is being bullied before school, at school, and on the school bus. Who can blame him for not wanting
to go into that environment?

The basic definition of bullying is when someone keeps doing or saying things to have power over another person. Bullying involves crossing into one's space without permission.

Isn't bullying just something that happens to all children and we're just making a fuss over this? The children will get over it, right? Shouldn't we tell Keith to grow up and handle it? Wrong. Bullying happens to far too many children and adults shouldn't be ignoring it.


WHAT CAN A PARENT DO?

If Keith is being bullied and he is not reporting it to his parents then there are some very important questions to address.
· Why wouldn't he tell his parents?
· What message have Keith's parents sent to him about bullies?
· Does Keith's parents have a history of dismissing what he says?
· Possibly Keith's parents have had a habit of getting too involved in solving his problems.

Tips for parents:
· Encourage your child to report any bullying incidents to you.
· Validate your child's feelings. It is normal for your child to feel hurt, sad, and angry.
· Ask your child how he/she has tried to stop the bullying. Asking
questions is a wonderful way to have your child do the thinking.
· Ask how is he/she going to solve this. We want the child to do the
thinking before we jump in. See how many options he can come up with.
· Coach your child in alternatives. Ideally the best solution is having your child solve this without anyone interfering. Most of the time unfortunately, this isn't possible. Share these strategies: avoidance is often an excellent strategy, playing in a different place, play a different game, stay near a supervisor, look for new friends, join social activities outside of school.
· Talk with your child's teacher. Make sure they are aware of what is going on.
· Encourage your child to seek help from other school personnel.
· Volunteer to help supervise activities at school.
· Do not ignore your child's reports. Ignoring them sends the wrong
message.
· Do not confront the bully or the bullies' family.
· Teach your child how to defend him or herself.
· Teach self-respect.
· Give numerous positive comments to your child.
· Avoid labeling or name-calling.
· Let your child know it is okay to express their anger. There are
positive and negative ways to express anger, we want to teach and model the positive ways.
· Let your children stand up to you now and then. It makes it more
likely they will stand up to a bully.
· Stress the importance of body language.
· Teach your child to use 'I' statements.
· Teach positive self-talk.
· Teach how to use humor, 'out crazy' them. For example, if the bully says to Keith, "Hey, boy you're ugly." Keith can respond in a couple different ways:
"Thanks for sharing"
"Yes, I know, I always have been"
"Yes, today's lunch was disgusting" then walk away.

There is many other aspects of bullying to look at: Why your child is the victim, why people bully, what you child can do if he/she is bullied, signs your child is being bullied, what the schools should be doing, handling the school bus issues. All of these are addressed in The Shameful Epidemic, ? How to protect your child from bullies and school violence.
Visit www.stoppingschoolviolence.com to learn what is possible. There are solutions.



Derek and Gail Randel M.D. are parent coaches who have customized programs
for corporations, schools, and parent groups. They can be reached at Parent Smart from the
Heart, 1-866-89-SMART, www.parentsmartfromtheheart.com , www.stoppingschoolviolence.com or
info@randelconsulting.com








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Friday, November 9, 2007

Encouraging Your Child to Write


During my generation, that is, when I was a child, most parents would have encouraged their kids to become Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Teachers etc. Nowadays, there's a shift in the mentality. I know of lots of parents who want their kids to become computer programmers, Researchers (OF DNA, Cloning etc), Professional sportsmen (Golf, Tennis). These are some jobs where the moneys' rolling in. Well, I for one, would like one of my kids to be an Aurthur. NO, Not just an author. Best seller or Booker Price winner. (One can always dream right - so why not dream Really High)

Before anyone can become a fantastic writer, they must develop a love for writing. I came across this article on how to encourage our kids to write well. So, for all hopeful parents, do read on and get your child to follow what's recommended below. Happy reading :)

How in the world do you get your child to write? This is the battle cry of many parents. A lot of imagination, with a little bribery (or praise) is all you need to get your child writing. We'll supply the imagination. The praise and bribery is all up to you.

Grocery List: Enlist your child's help in making the grocery list. Walk around the kitchen, naming things you need from the store. Ask your child to write everything down. Your child can also suggest foods you might need from the store and he can add those, too.

Old Checks: If you've recently switched banks and have checks that need to be destroyed, first let your child play with them. Give him some envelopes and he can pretend to pay bills -- while getting him to do some writing. Of course, destroy the checks afterwards. If you do not have checks available, you can just give your child some blank pieces of paper and he can make his own checks.

Cards: If your child is interested in Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh cards, then give him some index cards cut in half and have him design his own cards. Encourage your child to give the characters names and special abilities on their cards.
Fictional Journal: Sometimes it is hard for children to write in a journal. What is there to write about? Instead of a standard journal, give your child a fictional journal. He or she can pretend to be anything they'd like to be and write a journal as that person. Your child could write from the perspective of an Astronaut discovering a new planet, Prince or Princess on an Adventure, Archaeologist finding a new species of Dinosaur, Famous Athlete, President of a Country, Passenger on the Titanic. Your child could write from the perspective something instead of someone, a mailbox, an animal, a pen. The possibilities are endless.

Letter-writing: Have your child write a letter to Santa, the Easter bunny, or the Tooth Fairy. Or, your child could write to their favorite athlete, fictional character, or movie star.
Alphabet Game: Take a piece of paper and write the letters A-Z in the left column. Then, choose a category from the following or make up one of your own. Vegetables, Fruits, Animals, Musical Instruments. For older children, the categories can be narrower and more difficult, like Countries, Characters in Literature, Presidents, etc. Set a timer and you and your child both list as many of the items in the category as you can for each letter. The trick at the end is that you have to cross off anything on your list that your child has listed. (for instance, if you both have "apple" for an "a" fruit, then the parent crosses theirs off.) Whoever has the most words wins.

Character Game: Tell your child to pick a character from a book or movie that he's familiar with, and you do the same. Then, ask several questions and you each write the answers to the questions on a piece of paper. When you've finished asking the questions, then have your child read the answers and try to guess who he was pretending to be. You do the same and see if your child can guess who you were. Whether you are pretending to be Peter Pan or Shrek, you and your child will have fun and your child won't even realize he's practicing his writing!








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