Parenting 101

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Pregnancy

Can you babyproof your relationship?

Before we had a baby, I loved my husband’s spontaneity and ability to go with the flow. Post-baby, my appreciation for his carefree personality morphed into irritation every time he forgot to pick up diaper rash cream at the drugstore. I didn’t care anymore that he was a fun dinner date – I cared about whether he was going to pick up the Cheerios encrusted in our living room rug. Almost overnight, we went from being leisure-time pals to co-owners of a demanding small business with one very cranky little customer.
If you had crashed our wedding and asked the two of us to predict how a new baby would affect our relationship, our answer would have sounded as rosy as our newlywed glow. A new child, a chubby-cheeked mix of our best facial features and most endearing personality quirks, would deepen our bond. We imagined gazing lovingly down at our adorable sleeping infant, lit in soft focus as a lullaby warbled in the background. A few years later came the reality check: that sweet snoozing baby was actually awake and screaming, up for the seventh time since midnight, spitting up milk all over our PJs. And we were tired, cranky, and bickering about whose turn it was to get up next.
This turn of events struck me as ironic, given that I study families for a living. As a graduate student, I worked on UCLA’s Center for the Everyday Lives of Families (CELF), a big observational study of dual-earner couples with kids. CELF recorded hundreds of hours of video of families rushing through their morning routine, scrambling to get dinner on the table, and wrestling over kids’ homework in the evenings. A few years later, I joined the University of Southern California’s Family Studies Project as a postdoctoral fellow. We brought families into the lab and asked them to argue on camera. So by the time I had kids of my own, I knew exactly how tough family life could be. I had seen the bags under parents’ eyes and charted their rising stress hormones. And yet I was still blindsided by how much my husband and I struggled with our adjustment to parenthood.

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Infancy 0-2

Breastfeeding myths debunked

There’s a lot of misinformation about breastfeeding a baby, let us confirm or debunk some common breastfeeding myths.
Breastfeeding Is Exhausting – Whether you feed your baby formula or breast milk, being a new mom is tiring! However, when you breastfeed in the middle of the night, your body releases hormones that will help you get back to sleep. Without these hormones, you could be lying awake after those midnight feedings.
Drink Milk To Make Milk – If you don’t like the taste of milk, you can still breastfeed. It’s not necessary to drink milk in order to make it. Instead, eat a healthy diet full of a variety.
Breastfeeding Won’t Work If You’re Stressed – It’s a common misconception that you need to be calm and relaxed all the time in order for breastfeeding to work. However, women have breastfed throughout the world’s darkest days, including through war and famine. Instead, the hormones released when you breastfeed can have a calming effect, which means breastfeeding can help if you’re stressed.
Toughen Up Your Nipples – Some moms think they need to toughen up their nipples before the baby arrives so they have an easier time nursing. However, this isn’t necessary at all. Avoid any creams that claim to help prepare your nipples for nursing. While they won’t do any harm, they won’t help either! Instead, the best thing you can do to prepare to start breastfeeding a baby is to have a supportive partner and a helpful lactation consultant, friend, or relative who can help show you how to properly latch your baby.

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Toddlers 2-6

Ris in Occupational Therapy cases

Kids occupational therapy has numerous benefits. The therapy is used for a wide range of diseases and disorders and prepares the kids to lead healthy and normal life. Some of the benefits are as follows.
General Activities of Daily Life – The list starts with providing aid to the young ones facing difficulties in daily activities like brushing, dressing, toileting, writing, drawing, etc. The therapy helps develop these self-help skills in the children.
Sensory Processing Issues – It is generally observed that children with sensory processing issues are unable to synthesize information in the basic five senses i.e. sight, smell, touch, hear, and taste. These children may experience over-sensitivity, under-sensitivity, or both at different places like school, home, or anywhere. These kids often feel difficulty in paying attention and get distracted by a loud fire alarm and other such things. They also try to avoid recess and activities going on around them.
Occupational therapy can help those young ones regain the skills and addresses the issue in a proper manner.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills – Gross motor skill involves the movement of muscles in arms, legs, etc. whereas fine muscle skills involve the use of small muscles in forearm and fingers. Kids having trouble with these skills may experience difficulty in walking, bicycling, and other. Occupational therapy can be used to deal with the condition and eventually eradicate it.

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Tweens 7-12

Do touchscreens mess up handwriting skills?

Touchscreens have become as much a part of lives as breakfast, cars, and taxes. Most of us probably do not go a whole day without interacting with touchscreens. From ordering food at fast food restaurants to binge-watching Netflix on your iPad. The prevalence of touchscreens also means that these new generations are growing up with them as the norm. Now, specialists are saying that norm is damaging kids dexterity making it harder for kids to use pens and pencils. Paediatric doctors, orthopedic therapists, along with handwriting experts say kids are losing the strength and agility needed for proper handwriting. While most kids have become proficient in swiping and even typing on touchscreens, experts say writing is still very important. Specialists say learning to write, paint and even cutting help hone fine motor skills and coordination. These new generations are using these skills less and that could be a bad thing. “Children coming into school are being given a pencil but are increasingly not be able to hold it because they don’t have the fundamental movement skills,” Sally Payne. “To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers. Children need lots of opportunities to develop those skills.”
“Poor handwriting can have serious conse-quences for early literacy and academic perfor-mance. Handwriting is a skill that lasts a lifetime – and the learning of it teaches us so much more than just how to put words on paper.” Exposing children to technology is indeed important. But some experts say there must be a balance.

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Teens 13-18

How to deal with your teen’s broken heart

Do you remember when your first teenage relationship ended? How you just knew that they were the love of your life and the only one for you? That you would never, ever get over it?
A heartbroken teenager at home – When teenagers break up with their boyfriend or girlfriend, they can often think it is the end of the world. You can expect anything from floods of tears, tantrums, endlessly moping around in their bedrooms, lots of sighing and staring into space or glued to their phones or perhaps silences or slammed doors and storming out of the house. It’s very hard for a parent to see your child so upset so how do you help?
Don’t rush in – The only thing that really heals a broken heart is time, or meeting a new love, so nothing you say is really going to make much of a difference at the beginning. In the early days, just be a shoulder to cry on, be comforting and show you understand how much they have been hurt and how heartbroken they are feeling. Look after their physical needs (making sure they’re eating and sleeping) and make them feel loved and cared for.
Tread carefully – Try not to say things like: ‘You will get over it.’ Firstly, they won’t believe you and secondly, at this stage, they probably don’t even want to think about having another.
Time to talk? – Some teenagers may want to talk about what has happened and some may not. Girls are perhaps more likely to want to talk than boys. Don’t push too hard, just give them the opportunity to talk about how they feel so they can express their unhappiness, hurt or anger.

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