What to Expect When Your Teen Enters High School

Children entering adolescence undergo all manner of changes; physically, mentally, and emotionally speaking. And watching kids go through this transformation can be difficult for many parents, especially considering that teens begin to turn to their peers for advice and support during this time, breaking away from their parents in an effort to establish an independent identity. But aside from the changes inherent to adolescence, parents will also have to cope with the fact that their young teens are entering high school, an environment that is not only demanding academically, but that also embodies hazards associated with peer pressure and the desire to fit in. So what can you expect when your teens enter high school? Here are a few things to prepare for.

For one thing you can expect the demands of the curriculum to increase. Whereas kids in elementary and middle school are often subjected to rote learning, those at the high school level must begin honing comprehension and reasoning skills. In short, they’ll be required to think. So whereas essays in younger years may have consisted of book reports or a letter detailing their summer vacation, they’ll now have to learn the five-paragraph essay structure and deliver work that shows more than the ability to regurgitate information. They’ll have to exhibit intuition, innovation, and independent thought. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll also notice that the amount of homework each night increases, as does the pressure to get good grades in order to have the best opportunities where college applications are concerned. In short, the academic load is about to get a lot heavier, which could cause extra stress for you and your teens.

Top 5 Relaxation Tips for New Moms

Back when you first found out that you were pregnant, although you probably suspected that your life as you knew it would change, nothing can really prepare you for just how much it actually will. Having the role of the mom of a newborn means that you’re held responsible for another human being; that you are the one who your baby depends on it meet every single need. And while that can be a great honor, at times, understandably, it can also be extremely overwhelming and a bit exhausting.

new momThat’s why we wanted to provide you with a few ways that you can take a break, make time for yourself and relax. The awesome thing about these recommendations is that you don’t need a lot of money to do them—just a few minutes of your time (while the baby is napping, of course).

Drink some tea (next to some candles). There is nothing that “hits the spot” quite like a cup of warm tea that’s flavored with honey. And, when it comes to sipping some herbal teas, you can actually feel your stress and anxiety literally slip away. Some of the best teas to help you relax are chamomile, cat nip and peppermint. Also, if you’re sitting in your favorite chair, don’t forget to light a couple of soy candles too. Jasmine, lavender and vanilla provide remarkable calming effects.

5 Tips for Getting Kids to Take Yucky Tasting Medicine

We’ve all had to face the tears and tantrums that seem to go hand-in-hand with forcing kids to take foul-tasting medicines. And while most of us would rather not subject our kids to this trauma, the truth is that they have to take their medicine, like it or not, if they want to overcome whatever illness all their classmates have contracted and passed around this week. So here are just a few ways that you can make the ordeal a little easier on everyone involved.

getting kids to take medicine

  1. Change the flavor. If it turns out your child is averse to certain flavors of medicine, simply ask at your local pharmacy about changing the flavor. Many pharmacies offer a laundry list of kid-friendly flavors for liquid medicines, including favorites like grape, orange, strawberry, and bubble gum, just to name a few. And if your medication is prescribed in a pill form (something of a rarity for children’s medication) simply ask if it comes in a liquid or if there is a comparable alternative that comes in liquid form.
  2. Try a new delivery system. When your kids see you coming with the bottle and spoon they might be aware of exactly what lies ahead. So try switching things up by putting medication in a cup, using a medicine dropper, or even asking your doctor or pharmacist for a plastic syringe. These methods could help to distract kids and even keep the yucky substance off their tongues.
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5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Babysitter for Your Kids

While it might seem easy to just go online or look in the newspaper, choose a babysitter, call them, and hire them on the spot, it is recommended that parents and guardians do their due diligence first. Not everyone is who he or she says they are on the Internet, and their online reputation could be much different than what it is in person – they might not be entirely trustworthy or they might even have a criminal record. If you don’t want to put your children in danger while you sneak away for the night for a date with the hubby, it is important to do your research first; hiring a babysitter is a big deal. Here are 5 things to consider before hiring a babysitter for your kids.

hiring a babysitter

  1. If you have already done a few face-to-face interviews, it is recommended that you don’t hire them on the spot. You can always have them do a test run by babysitting your child while you are home. Hire them for a few hours during your busiest hours or while you are doing house work, but make sure to observe them to see how engaged they are with your child and how engaged your child is with them. This is a great way to know for certain if a babysitter is a good fit.
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5 Simple Stress Management Tips for New Moms

new momDo you remember the days when you could sleep in on Saturdays or if you wanted to lay on the couch after work and watch reruns of your favorite sitcoms (uninterrupted, we might add), you could? Now that you’re a new mom, that probably seems like a lifetime ago. Suddenly, your world consists of tending to all of the needs of your newborn and while it brings you lots of joy, we get why it can also be pretty stressful at times. Being a mom is a 24-hour responsibility, after all.

That’s why we’ve enclosed five very simple stress management tips; ones that will help you to stay “cool, calm and collected” as you are in the process of adjusting to your “new normal”:

Get more rest. Yes, we get why this tip might cause you to internally laugh a bit because sleep is one of the things that’s hardest to get when you have a new baby in the house. However, what tends to happen to a lot of moms is that when the baby is sleeping, they use that as a time to clean up or talk on the phone. You’re going to need as much rest as possible to keep your stress levels down and sanity levels up, so at least take a couple of naps when your child is asleep and try and go to bed about 30 minutes earlier than you did before you became a mom.

How Much Television Should Your Kids Be Allowed to Watch?

For children, watching too much television can be a double-edged sword. With staggering levels of childhood obesity and budget cuts at schools, that are effectively eliminating physical education classes, TV can only add to your children’s inactivity that cause these problems in the first place. Moreover, the more television your children watch will also expose them to commercials for unhealthy foods, further fueling the dilemma. This leaves many parents to the rescue, to set the necessary guidelines and boundaries as to how much time they can spend in front of the television. But how much television should your kids be allowed to watch?

limit tv timeMany doctors and researchers say that the amount of time your children are watching television should not be limited to only the TV. When you are trying to determine how much time they should be watching television you should also measure the time in front of other screens, like tablets, video games and personal computers. Many doctors say that children between the ages of 2 and 12 should only spend about 2 hours a day in from of any type of screen. They also say that children under 2 should not be allowed in from of any screen at all.

Today, children spend 20% longer in front of televisions than they did 10 years ago. On average, children spend about 4 hours and 49 minutes per day in from of the television – way above the recommended number.

Top 5 Tips for Potty Training Success

You always want those baby-raising milestones to be as fun and effortless as they seem on your favorite mommy blogs, but there’s nothing particularly fun (and certainly not effortless) about potty training. It’s a complicated process that can take months or even years to come to fruition. There are stops and starts, tantrums and successes, battles and the occasional total breakdown. While all is in service to your little one taking another step forward in his growth and development (and of course ridding your life of diapers as quickly as possible), you must roll with the punches and not expect perfection. Yet there are ways to improve your chances of avoiding a trip to the mental health ward. Here are five of the top tips for potty training success.

pic4First of all, you must be consistent. Once the process begins you cannot give up, no matter how frustrating it has been. Create a timeline for trips to the bathroom and stick with it. Even if you are setting your child down on the training toilet every twenty minutes to ‘try’, consistency is key. You’ll have more failures than successes, but it will help your child develop an understanding of when he needs to go. And recognizing the need is just as important as a successful toilet trip.

You also cannot be afraid to tell some white lies. While your child’s toilet deposits aren’t actually feeding the fish or traveling to some magic fairy land where they transform into golden bricks used to build princess castles, there’s no harm in telling your child these things. Whatever gets them excited about the process is a positive, and you’re not a terrible mom for pulling the wool over their eyes, no more than when you share stories about the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus. Some day they will go to the toilet on their own, but you have to do whatever is necessary to get them moving in the right direction.