Dealing with Back-to-School Struggles Now – Pandemic Pandemonium

 

back to schoolWas your child having difficulty managing at home or distance learning? Is he or she worried about going back to school? I can tell you, my youngest is in a panic about going back, he’s very worried. While at home learning was necessary for both the safety of the children and the teachers and staff, it has definitely had it’s negative effects on quite a few of the kids. Socialization, a sense of normalcy, routine, etc. Being stuck at home was hard on everyone, and it seems that the kids took it extremely rough. If your child is returning to school this fall, check out these tips from Dr. Bregman, child psychiatrist, starting next sentence.

While the Covid-19 virus has been less of a medical concern for children than adults, statistics show that it is taking a major toll on their mental health. Children’s hospitals across the country are showing a significant surge in admissions for everything from generalized anxiety to suicide. 

Returning to school in August may be much more challenging than the typical “end-of-summer bummer.” Parents will be paramount in helping them through obstacles and the time to start is now.

Children who suffer from pre-existing mental health disorders like anxiety/OCD, PTSD, or depression are expected to have the hardest time when school resumes. But what about children who didn’t have mental health issues prior to the pandemic? 

In my private psychiatry practice, I am now seeing a children’s version of Cave Syndrome, a term I coined which describes people with a fear of leaving their house (or cave) due to stressors that developed or worsened during the pandemic. Unlike adults with Cave Syndrome who are fearful of leaving the house to go to work or run errands, kids with Cave Syndrome are worried about returning to school.

New Factors

Even children without a tendency towards anxiety have seen their routines get disrupted. Some

have seen their family suffer from Covid-19, lose their jobs, and experience financial difficulties. With more than 600,000 deaths nationally, there are few people who haven’t been impacted by loss.  

Everyone was talking about the “new normal” a few months ago. Well, there’s nothing normal about it. Now we’re seeing the consequences when treating young patients for anxiety and fear-based problems they may never have developed if not for the pandemic. In a way, it’s an arrested childhood development.

Recognize Your Child’s Concerns

You can spot difficulties by observing your child closely. Do they make excuses to stay at home? Do they talk frequently about not wanting to return to school? Are the choices they make based in fear and anxiety as opposed to rationality and necessity? If they seem like they would rather be grounded than return to school, they may need professional help.

Guidance to Move Your Child Forward

You know your child better than anyone else. The most important thing you can do immediately is to talk to him or her privately. Speak to them with honesty, love, and caring. Let them know that it’s ok to have these feelings and that you will be there to support them every step along the way. It’s also good for them to realize they are not alone in feeling anxious and fearful at this time.  

For younger children, talk to them about the first day of school with a sense of levity and good humor. Framing it in a positive light may work wonders. In addition, you can give him or her something from home, a memento, to hold onto as a comfort mechanism.

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24/7 Protection Against Harmful Blue Light with Viteyes Blue Light Defender Kids

Did you know that exposure to blue light before bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns as it affects when our bodies create melatonin? With screentime for kids having increased by 500% during the pandemic, an inside out approach with Viteyes® Blue Light Defender™Kids can be an effective method to help protect their eyes 24/7.

Viteyes® has created Blue Light Defender™ Kids, a nutritional supplement formulated with lutein and zeaxanthin, the only natural defense eyes have to protect the macula from the harmful effects of blue light that stem from digital screens such as smart phones, tablets, TVs, computers and even sunlight.

Also, because Blue Light Defender™ Kids is not only formulated with lutein and zeaxanthin but also Astaxanthin, it’s packed with antioxidants that kids may be lacking in their diets. And with its delicious chocolate berry soft chew kids won’t even realize that it’s filled with stuff that’s good for them.

My son (and honestly, my husband as well) both liked these. My husband said they tasted vaguely of chocolate- I didn’t get that, but hey. Neither of them ever complained about taking these chews, and both like to complain, LOL. Especially the husband-  my son makes considerably less fuss. It’s always the big ones, isn’t it? Does it work? I can’t tell you that. I have no idea, and there is no way I can tell personally. The science says it does, and I know that Blue Light is a big problem, so I’m hopeful- and I’m glad they both like the taste.

kids supplement

Only 1 in 11 American kids are getting the necessary amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin in their diet, which include food sources such as eggs, broccoli, and dark leafy greens, like kale and spinach. Both ingredients act as powerful antioxidants to filter out blue light and also play a crucial role in visual development in the retina of the eye. Lutein is also found in the brain, depositing in the areas known for visual processing, comprehension, learning and memory. Staring at digital screens can also overwork the eyes causing digital eye strain. Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant clinically proven to help eyes recover from eye strain and fatigue. It also helps keep eyes healthy by increasing blood flow to the eye. Astaxanthin is found in select seafood like shrimp and lobster, however the best source in food is salmon.

With Viteyes® Blue Light Defender™ Kids (ages 4+) as well as their existing Viteyes® Blue Light Defender gummies (ages 12- adult) and Viteyes® Blue Light Defender™ Plus capsules (ages 12 – adult), they’re able to offer a natural defense against harmful blue light for almost all ages.

Learn more at https://youtu.be/A0K1ZhMjo-I.

Baking with Baketivity – Fun For Kids

If you are like me, you love to bake. It is one of the things my youngest son and I do together often. He’s become quite the hand in the kitchen, although he’s still such a mess I’m always surprised. (When does that stop? Ever?)

We’ve recently tried out these fun kits from Baketivity. We did two at once, because sadly we were pretty sick when the “Back to School” one arrived (we had Covid, and I got very, very sick from it). No matter, it was fun doing them both together.

baking with kids

Each kit comes with everything you need, already measured out, labeled, and pre-packaged. It also comes with cute “kid sized” chef gear (hat and apron) as well as a cute little spatula- also kid-sized.  Apologies he’s not wearing them- they are a little too “kid sized” for him, LOL. This boy has been in men’s sizes for a few years now. What can I say- he’s just a giant.

baketivity

One kit was “back to school” themed, and was sugar cookies sliced into the shape of pencils, with colored sprinkles decorating them to look like them, as well. They were delicious, and disappeared immediately. Like, gone within a day.

fun kids activity

The second kit was cinnamon buns, and my son did these nearly entirely on his own, very limited help from me. He really enjoyed doing them. We make cinnamon buns all the time, but usually from either one of my books or from memory (my memory, so he needs me to tell him everything at this point). My books are obviously geared towards adults, so sometimes he gets confused on what to do next, or by a specific measurement. This kit really simplified things, and the directions are so easy for children to follow.

cinnamon bunds

If you have an aspiring baker, a kitchen helper, or you just want your child to be confidant and competent in the kitchen- I highly recommend getting a Baketivity kit. They are fun, easy to follow, and give kids the confidence to try bigger and more difficult things. And hey- don’t worry about the mess. That’s why we have mops and brooms and cleaning supplies, right? They can help us clean up, and it will be one more thing they get better at, right? There we go. Truly- really fun time. You will be so glad that you did.

Enjoy your day, and stay safe out there!

Sports Drinks For Kids/ Hydrate Without Chemicals

Looking for an alternative to Pedialyte that is more natural but has all the benefits? Look no further. Kinderlyte gives you multiple options for your child (and several flavors to choose from) that they will enjoy. No syrup-y aftertaste, these are flavors your kids will enjoy. There is also individual powder packs that make it easy to keep them on the go in case you need them.

After the founder made a 2am trip to the store for his sick daughter only to find that the Oral Electrolyte Solution he had purchased was full of artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors that are known to influence behavioral and health issues, he decided to create Kinderfarms. This is a company dedicated to values-driven alternatives that better serve the needs and values of today’s healthy families.

At Kinderfarms, it all starts on a farm, where healthy hydration begins with real, natural ingredients! Kinderlyte is the first 100% natural and Non-GMO oral electrolyte solution (OES). NO artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors or preservatives. Kinderlyte is Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegan, Gluten Free and Kosher. With Kinderlyte, you get more electrolytes with no artificial ingredients like Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Yellow 6, Blue 1 or Red 40.

 Kinderlyte is different. Doctors & Dieticians worked to formulate a true OES with more electrolytes, potassium & zinc than the leading brand. Unlike Sports drinks, OES’s use dextrose exclusively to carry electrolytes directly to the bloodstream for rapid absorption. Any product containing juice, coconut water or honey will be absorbed more slowly and is not a true OES. Kinderlyte hydration drinks work quickly when you or your loved ones need it most.

Kinderlyte is a 100% natural oral electrolyte solution. We use non-gmo dextrose instead of fructose so it’s delivered direct to the bloodstream for rapid hydration. This helps to rehydrate and replenish key nutrients due to dehydration resulting from illnesses and colds in both children and adults alike.

Kinderlyte can be used for rapid rehydration & rehydration therapy for people of any age! More than 90% of people are dehydrated, keep your eye out for symptoms of dehydration in adults, the elderly and kids. These include dry skin, dry mouth and muscle cramps. Kinderlyte’s direct rehydration to the bloodstream makes it effective, it works fast to address dehydration for any reason including sports, hangover, travel, stomach virus, infant diarrhea, toddler vomiting and more!

Liquid and powder electrolyte solutions  – Kinderlyte liquids and hydration powders offer natural and effective rehydration, without artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. We recommend keeping at least two bottles of electrolyte solution at home and two boxes of the electrolyte powder in your (or your kids’) favorite flavors on hand for instant hydration on the go.

Drinks and powders with high levels of electrolytes like Kinderlyte meet the World Health Organization’s requirements and can help relieve symptoms associated with virus-related mild to moderate dehydration in both adults and kids. Kinderlyte’s oral electrolyte solutions are designed specifically for rehydration with the optimal balance of glucose and electrolytes. Kinderlyte products are available at Target, Rite Aid, Walgreens and other retailers nationwide.

PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism

“PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism,” premieres on October 9. The half-hour program will feature candid and authentic conversations between kids and their parents about race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate way and offer viewers ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home. The special will be hosted by Amanda Gorman, the writer, activist and first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the U.S. 

As Gorman shares in the show, when something is confusing or uncomfortable, she likes to talk about it. Growing up, she would participate in daily family meetings, where the kids got to pick any topic they wanted to discuss, whatever was on their minds. It is that same spirit that moved Gorman, whose poetry often discusses race, to become involved in the timely production.

In addition to the frank, up-to-the-minute conversations on the subject, “PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism” will include relevant content from the popular PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger’s NeighborhoodArthur and Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. Just following the special will be the premiere of a brand-new episode of the animated PBS KIDS series, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, featuring Harriet Tubman as well as an Arthur short created “in memory of civil rights legend John Lewis,” as noted on-screen.

PBS KIDS announced a new special, “PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism,” premiering October 9. The half-hour program will feature authentic conversations between real children and their parents, and will include content from PBS KIDS series DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOODARTHUR and XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM. The show will feature kids and their parents talking about race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate way, such as noticing differences in race, understanding what racism can look like, and embracing the role we all have to play in standing up for ourselves and each other — offering viewers ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home.

The special will debut as part of PBS KIDS Family Night on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel, and will also be available on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings), and streaming on pbskids.org, the PBS KIDS Video app and on PBS KIDS’ FacebookYouTube, and Instagram.

“PBS KIDS believes kids are capable of understanding and talking through tough, but important issues with the adults in their lives – something that has been core to our mission for the last 50 years,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Through the PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism special, our goal is to support parents in talking with their children about race, anti-Black racism in our country, and how to be actively anti-racist. Parents have increasingly asked us for these resources, and we hope that this special will provide a helpful starting point in whatever way they choose to have these conversations with their children.”

PBS KIDS Talk About,” previously an online-only video series, models authentic and practical parent-child conversations that reflect PBS KIDS’ core values of kindness and curiosity, and has included real families addressing topics such as feelings and emotions, relationships and family, curiosity and wonder, bravery and courage, and self-confidence and determination.

To support this new offering, PBS KIDS provides a variety of resources to help parents talk to young children about race and racism. This resource hub on PBS KIDS for Parents includes articles, a webinar, booklists, links to programming, and more tips and resources to help parents have meaningful conversations with young children about race, racism, and being anti-racist.

Produced by Crossroads Productions for PBS, the special was developed in consultation with Dr. Aisha White (Director, The P.R.I.D.E Program (Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education)), Dr. Renée Wilson-Simmons (Executive Director, ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) Awareness Foundation), and Dr. Dana Winters (Director of Simple Interactions and Academic Programs; Assistant Professor of Child and Family Studies, Fred Rogers Center). The “PBS KIDS Talk About” series and the “PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism” special were created with major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

7 Tips for Traveling Safely With Kids

Traveling with your kids exposes them to new experiences that stimulate their development. Whether you are traveling to visit family or to go on your annual vacation, you do need to remember that safety is always your highest priority. Fortunately, you can help your kids have fun while also keeping an eye on their wellbeing by using these travel tips that make sure everyone arrives back home safely.

 

Know How to Manage Getting Through Airport Security

 

Making your way through airport security can be hard enough without having to struggle with diaper bags, toys and little ones. However, there are a few things that you can do to make it easier. Have your older kids wear shoes that are easy to remove as they go through the screening process such as slip-ons or crocks. Your younger children can likely keep their shoes on, but they may need to be warned about the need to put their belongings through the x-ray machine. 

 

Use the Right Car Seats and Seat Belts

 

The majority of places that you will travel to domestically have car seat laws in place, and you need to make sure that you know them so that you do not get into trouble with the local law enforcement team. If you are traveling internationally, then you may still want to use your child’s car seat as additional protection in the event of an accident. Lugging a bulky car seat around can be a hassle, so consider using an all-in-one stroller that reduces the equipment that you need to carry. Older kids should also be taught to use their seatbelts when they are in a rental car or taxi cab.

 

Never Leave Your Child Alone In a Public Space

 

Being stressed or in a hurry can sometimes cause parents to experience a lapse in judgement. However, you should never assume that your child is safe just because you are in a comfortable environment. For instance, you should not leave your child alone in the hotel lobby while you run out to the car to grab a few bags. Ideally, your child should always be within an arm’s reach in case you need to stop them from wandering or protect them from a kidnapping.

 

Discuss What to Do If They Get Lost

 

Despite your best efforts, it is possible that your child might still get lost at some point during your travels. If your child is young and mostly nonverbal, then place your contact information somewhere visible on their clothing or skin. You can even order special stickers and fake tattoos with your name and phone number on them specifically for this purpose. 

 

Older children should be coached on how to ask for help in an emergency. Talk to them about how they can identify employees at the venues that you expect to visit such as by checking for a uniform or name tag. You can also rehearse what they should say to a person in authority if they do get lost such as their phone number and parents’ names. Finally, make sure that your child knows to stay where they are if they get separated from your family. While they may need to look for an adult to help, they should not wander far from where they were left.

 

Use Caution at Swimming Pools and Beaches

 

Aquatic activities are one of the most popular things to do on a family vacation, and there is no doubt that hitting the beach or public pool is a great way to cool off and burn off your kid’s energy. However, you must always remember that no body of water is ever completely safe.

 

Do a quick scan of any public pool to check for signs that something could be amiss with the pool maintenance. Never let your child swim in cloudy water where you cannot see the bottom of the pool. You should also see a cover over any pool drains or filters. 

 

For beaches, try to choose ones with active lifeguards whenever it is possible. You will also want to give your children boundaries for how far they can go out into the water, and younger children should always be holding your hand. Remember that a beach can be overcome suddenly by rather high waves, check the weather reports before you go. You should also obey any flag warnings regarding rip tides and wave height.

 

Think About Bathroom Safety

 

During your travels, using public restrooms is usually unavoidable. Talk to your children about how to stay safe in a public bathroom. For example, you can help them look for places with appropriate bathroom dividers to protect their privacy. Your child should also be taught how to practice proper restroom behavior such as knocking and waiting to see if there is an answer before pushing open a stall door. If possible, make sure to accompany your children to the restroom, and make sure that your older kids know that you are waiting just outside the door of restrooms where you cannot go inside.

 

Identify Emergency Services at Your Destination

 

If all goes well, you should hopefully never need to take your child to the emergency room or file a police report. Yet, you should be prepared in case the unexpected happens. Trying to search for an emergency room at the last moment could delay your child’s ability to get prompt medical care. Take a few minutes before your trip to locate sources of aid that you can turn to in an emergency. You should have a list of these resources for every place that you intend to visit so that you are confident about seeking help if the need arises.

 

Taking a trip as a family is a great way to bond and build wonderful memories that you will cherish forever. Yet, the last thing you ever want is to experience an accident when your family is far away from home. By focusing on doing everything you can to keep everyone safe, you can look forward to stress-free travels that lead to only wonderful experiences for your family to remember.

 

Aquabeads For Creative Holiday Gifting #HolidayGiftGuide

 

Aquabeads arts and crafts products are new and improved as they allow for a quicker drying time to create even more incredible designs in less time.  The new sets feature an innovative Flip Tray and Bead Receiver to set art work aside for faster drying while continuing to create additional masterpieces.  This is a great gift for kids of all ages- my son is 12 and he still enjoys playing with Aquabeads. The pieces are small, so supervise small children. 

Kids can make Aquabeads creations from included templates or their own imaginations. They place beads onto the layout tray, then spray with water to fuse the beads together, letting them set with time.  Once dried, the creations can be shared with friends and family. 

best gifts for kids

 

Kids can get started with the Beginners Studio. They can create designs even faster than before using the flip tray to let one creation dry, as they work on another. With more than 840 shining jewels and solid beads in 16 colors, there are plenty of options for creative play. Beginners Studio includes the case, flip tray with bead receiver, sprayer, bead pen, template sheets and instructions to ensure kids have everything to get started. As kids collect studios for more fun, they can connect them for easy storage and travel. Beginners Studio, Ages 4+/ $19.95

art toys for kids

Kids can double the fun with the Deluxe Studio as they can now create fun 3D designs with 2 flip trays This Deluxe set contains more than 1,300 jewel & solid beads in 24 colors, a container, and two flip trays and bead receivers, rainbow bead pen, easy trays, sprayer, template sheets & instructions. This set connects to the Beginners Studio or Glamorous Designer Set for even more fun. Deluxe Studio, Ages 4+/ $29.95

frozen toys

Just in time for the premiere of Disney’s Frozen 2 on November 22nd, kids can craft their favorite Frozen characters of Arendelle with included templates featuring Anna, her sister Elsa and friend, Olaf! To play, place beads onto the layout tray, then spray with water to fuse the beads together and bring the artwork to life. Once dried, the character creations can be shared with fellow movie fans, friends and family. Aquabeads Frozen 2 Character Set for ages 4+/$9.95.

Gabb Wireless Black Friday Special #BlackFriday #GiftGuide

Review of the phone to follow shortly, but as of now, I can highly recommend this service. It’s perfect for kids and families.  Check it out, and this is a really great deal. Perfect time to buy.

Thanksgiving evening until midnight on Black Friday Gabb Wireless is giving away a Gabb Z1 smartphone with the purchase of a Gabb Basic service plan. The Black Friday offer is available at GabbWireless.com using the onsite promo code and is limited to 5 lines per family.