Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Two Keys to Learning Mental Arithmetic for Kids

Parents ask me what they can do to improve kids' mental health. They are surprised when I mention outdoor play. Oh, sometimes I recommend a parenting course for the parents. Other times I suggest spending more time with the kids... and, at times, I'll suggest encouraging uniqueness or cultivating a spirit of independence in a particular child. For kids with ADHD, I may suggest more structure at home or in the classroom. But... What is the single most powerful and urgent suggestion I offer?

Simple... Grab your kid, go and play outdoors!

Out Of Shape and Stressed Out Kids

We have a nation of obese, play-starved kids who are growing up on video games and living life with cell phones plastered to their ears. Most of the children I see in my counseling practice are in need of more physical activity. And physical activity is good for body, mind and soul! Our kids need to play more and to play outdoors. What a terrific way to combat childhood obesity!

Play-starved kids want and need more time spent in the great outdoors, especially city kids. I saw an eight year-old girl yesterday. When asked what she wished she could have or do more than anything else in her life she replied, "I want to go to the park more often!"

I'll go over the benefits later in the article, but allow me to say the benefits of more outdoor play are fantastic! Think about your kids' mental health... Consider that the average child spends less than 10 minutes a day outside. And allow me to say that our kids absolutely need more unstructured play time outside! Why? Because it is essential for their healthy development and maturation.

How to Help Your Child Live a Happier, Healthier Life

1. You are the key to your kids' mental health, well-being and success. You can be a great role model. Just turn off the TV or put down your electronic gadget and go outside (with kids in tow) and do something! You can take an early morning walk. Shoot hoops, toss horseshoes or go for a bike ride. Get your family MOVING! Outdoor play will make your children happy! And it will keep 'em moving. That is the key to raising a healthy, fit and happy child... more outdoor play.

2. If you want to make a change in a child's life you have to do something different. Otherwise you'll keep getting the same results. So... Visit your local neighborhood, city, state or national park more often. Outdoor play is very helpful for children with ADHD.

3. Teach (by doing) your children to enjoy nature in skillful ways. In other words, take them swimming and canoeing, fishing and rowing, bird watching, hiking and skiing, target shooting and rock climbing. Arrange for them to get good, safe instruction and supervision, and frequent practice, so they can develop the skill set needed for each outdoor activity. And they will learn to love being outside engaging in their favorite sport or activity. You'll find their self-confidence and happiness index growing with each activity they master!

4. Here's a big key to your kid's mental health. Give time for unstructured enjoyment of the outdoors, such as sitting on a blanket, watching the clouds, skipping stones, rolling in the grass, listening to waterfalls and playing tag. Kids really need this kind of stress busting time in nature. Learning to do nothing in a beautiful outdoor area is a lifelong value and skill you'll be imparting. Nature is healing and restful, challenging and stimulating. Kids who are nature-savvy are healthier and happier than others. So get those play-starved kids up and running in the great outdoors!

5. Get friends, family and other kids involved, too. You'll add a nice social component and you'll build strength in the group ethic. You can take your group to the park today and your neighbor can take them tomorrow. Draw upon your support system, consisting of relatives and friends, to help you get your children and adolescents out of the house and into the sunshine. You can find creative ways of setting up an environment for fostering health, success and well-being in your young family members. Outdoor play will fight childhood obesity, too.

The Benefits of Outdoor Play

Greater self-confidence, better attitude, improved mental and physical health, enhanced cooperation and teamwork, opportunities for spiritual growth, a deeper understanding of and respect for wildlife, a healthier brain, improved problem solving skills, and greater happiness, to name a few!

Outdoor play will bring the family together and reinforce all-important family values to guide and protect your child throughout his/her life.

Plus, outdoor play is a wonderful outlet for excess energy for all children and teenagers, especially those high-energy kids or those with ADHD. Outdoor play and time spent in nature can reduce depression, anxiety and anger. Outdoor play can give ADHDers an opportunity to blow off some steam and gain valuable experience stretching their legs, building their muscles and gaining coordination. Also, remember more outdoor play will help your kids fight childhood obesity.

In Closing

Get your kids outside doing, playing and exercising... and having fun doing nothing. You'll give them one of the greatest gifts you could ever give. And you'll help them build a foundation for a great life, full of meaningful endeavor, happiness and success! The key? More outdoor play!

Richard Hamon is a professional therapist and coach with over 30 years of experience. Richard helps people to solve their problems, enjoy truly extraordinary relationships and find meaning, value and success in all areas of their lives.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Five Ways to Simplify Your Life As a Small Business Owner

Most small business owners decided to start their own business because they believed it would allow them the freedom and flexibility to set their own schedule, make their own decisions, and only work as much as they wanted to. They might have thought that running a small business would give them more personal time and the opportunity to explore other activities outside of work. However, the nature of running a small business is such that most small business owners quickly discover that their business is controlling their entire life, and that they are working much harder than they ever did at any previous job. This is why it is always crucial for business owners take a step back and consider ways in which they can simplify their lives, practice better time management, and be more focused on the issues that are truly pressing at their business.
Here are five tips that will help you if you find yourself in this predicament:

1. Quit Sweating the Small Stuff
Don't let the minutia of owning and operating a business get in the way of you working effectively to achieve larger goals. While the small details of your business are certainly important, you can't let them hold you back from the more large-scale projects and tasks that you must accomplish. The lesson applies to perfectionists too: you will either have to let the small details and problems wait, or you will need to expand your staff to take care of them for you.

2. Set Concrete Goals
One way to deal with the issue of having too many projects to deal with at the same time is to set concrete goals and follow timetables. Once a week on Monday mornings, or every day - if necessary - write down a list of the goals you hope to accomplish that week or day. Keep your goals realistic.
Remember how much time you have and who is helping. No matter what issues may arise, ask yourself a few times every day, "Am I doing what I need to to accomplish my goals for the week?"

3. Stop Planning, Start Doing
There is at least one new study, blog entry, book, or Podcast published every week to help small business owners achieve success. Especially when it comes to small business marketing - a rapidly evolving and expanding field - it seems like there is way more information out there than any small business owner could feasibly comprehend and follow. This is why it is more important to take a look at what has actually worked to produce money for your business, and to use this knowledge as your own framework for success. You know your own business better than any author does, no matter how reputable they may be.

4. Allocate a Certain Amount of Time To Your Personal Life Every Week
No matter how pressing the issues confronting your business may be, there is nothing more important than your own health and happiness when it comes to running a business well. Balance is extremely important. If you are feeling overworked, exhausted, or overly stressed out, your emotions might begin to affect the way you work and the people with whom you work. There is nothing worse than snapping at a staff member or a customer because you aren't tending to your own well being. Give yourself a certain amount of time every week to spend with people you love, or doing the things you love, to help clear your head from all the work-related stress.

5. Make Your Workplace Your Happy Place
Regardless of how much you choose to follow the preceding four tips, the fact remains that, as a business owner, you will be spending a very large portion of your daily life in your workplace. This is why it is crucial to make sure that you enjoy your surroundings as much as possible. Hang up pictures of the people you love, bring some of your favorite or most sentimental pieces of art from home, or decorate in whatever other way makes you feel comfortable and at peace. Buy yourself a comfortable chair or invest in a nice sound system to play your favorite album (if the nature of your business permits it). Personalizing your work space and making it somewhere you like to spend your time will reflect in your work ethic and attitude more than you may realize.

Children and Stress

It's after midnight and Naomi's mother hears her in the refrigerator searching for a snack. No wonder she is gaining weight. She can't sleep, again. Tomorrow is an important day at school. Her 4th grade class will be taking a standardized test required by law. Rumor has it, among her peers that anyone who does not score well on this test will not be promoted to 5th grade. Naomi is different. Her 1st grade teacher helped her to understand that she learns differently from most of her peers.

Not only that, poor Naomi has been the tallest kid in her class ever since she was in kindergarten. Her classmates often call her "The Family Tree", a name Naomi has grown to hate. There are two new kids in her class. They are twins and they are bullies. They have chosen Naomi as their first victim. Plus, Naomi was frightened out of her sleep by her parents' fighting three nights in a row. To top it off, Naomi's gym shoes are too tight, she can hardly run around the gym with the other girls at school, the call her slow. Because at least one of her parent's fights has been about money, she is afraid to tell them she needs new shoes.

Naomi has drifted off to sleep several times but keeps waking up with questions. Why won't mommy and daddy stop fighting? Do they know they are frightening me? How can I stay out of the new girl's way on the playground? What should I do the next time she pushes me in line? Why am I still the tallest kid in class? How can I avoid having to take gym class? Why do I new shoes again? Can mommy and daddy afford to buy a new pair? Will they be mad at me? What can I do to make myself stop growing? What if I don't pass that big test? What will happen if I can't do it?

Life can be complicated. It is perfectly normal for children to worry about complications that may occur in their families and at school. Naomi however, spends too much time worrying about complications in her life. She is overwhelmed, feeling overly anxious, and her thoughts and feelings are causing her stress. She has too many situations causing her to feel a sense of urgency and mental tension. Many things have occurred which have given her cause to place emphasis or make important. There are too many things causing pressure and demands on Naomi. She could very well be on her way to developing an anxiety problem or disorder. Naomi is not alone. Many children are stressed by complications of life.

According to the Webster's New World Dictionary of American Language, stress is distress, anxiety, and strain on the mind or body. It is force exerted upon a body that tends to strain or deform its shape. Stress is caused by a sense of urgency, mental tension, and placing emphasis of a thing or issue making urgent or important.

Stress is natural. We all experience it from time to time. Stress is a feeling that's created by the adrenal glands the hypothalamus gland, part of the nervous system, signals it. The signal is triggered automatically when we react to particular events of emphasis and importance. Stress is the body's natural way of rising to the occasion, to a challenge, and responding to a problem. This natural response is the body's way of preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, emphasis, strength, stamina, and alertness. Too much of it, though becomes anxiety. Too much of it, causes the body to spend an excessive amount of time feeling anxious, could cause difficulty sleeping, and often lead to anxiety disorders, even in children.

This is how stress works in all humans. Specific hormones are released in this natural stress response. They cause the heart rate to speed. There is an increase in the body's breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. Next, blood vessels open wider in order to allow more blood flow to large muscle groups. This puts more muscles on alert. Then, the pupils dilate in order to improve vision. The liver reacts next as it releases some of its stored glucose allowing an increase the body's energy. The last physical reaction due to stresses is the production of sweat to cool the body. All of these physical changes prepare a person to react quickly and effectively to handle pressure caused by the stress of the moment. When working properly, the body's stress response makes it easy for a person to perform well under pressure. However, anxiety disorders are developed when the stress response constantly overreacts, fails to turn off when the stressful situation has passed, and regularly neglects to reset itself properly due to continuous stress.

Because it interferes with their abilities, children repeatedly fall prey to many health issues caused by anxiety disorders. Many children have feelings of fear, worry, panic, or intense stress that can sometimes make it hard to get through the day and even the night. It interferes their ability to concentrate at school. It could either increase or decrease their appetite as well as cause them an inability to enjoy life or to relax. A child suffering from an anxiety disorder may be irritable, feel tired excessively, suffer with an upset stomach, tight and trembling muscles, or even suffer with frequent urination.

Teens who suffer from anxiety disorders may be prone the temporary escape found in, withdrawal, overeating, smoking, drinking and substance abuse. Families report that some children resort to cutting themselves and even attempting suicide. Teens choose these negative behaviors because they don't understand that these are temporary and feel helpless to address the underlying problem they face. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, more than two-thirds of a child's visits to the doctor are stress related.

Unfortunately Naomi is joined by many children who are also overly stressed by family challenges, bullying, difficulty learning, or just being different. They may be sad, hostile, or even self-destructive.

There are positive methods for children to relieve stress.

· pray
· play or do something active
· listen to music
· watch TV or play a video game
· talk to a friend
· try not to think about it
· try to work things out
· talk to parents or someone who loves them
· cry

Parents can teach these methods to their children. These methods of self-discipline will help children learn to minimize stress and manage the stress that may be unavoidable.

Let Your Child Get Dirty! It's Essential for Physical and Mental Development

Are you still following your child around worrying that they might stain their clothes? Do you forbid playing outside because they might get dirty? Do you see germs and infections in every step they take? Are you trying to keep away friendly dogs or cute kittens because they might be disease carriers?

Do any of the sentences above represent your attitude towards your child? If yes, you must reconsider. Depriving your child of physical contact with the "Dirty, Outside World" is bad for its health. Sound unbelievable? How can something full of germs be essential for a kid's development?

First of all, your child, in the delicate years between childhood and puberty, develops its immune system. The immune system is designed to defend the organism against millions of bacteria, microbes, parasites, viruses and toxins. But it needs to be trained; just us muscles need exercise to function properly. In order to recognize harmful germs, it needs to meet them first. Then it creates an archive, where it is all installed. When the time comes for a fight, the immune system will be prepared because it knows the enemy. Pure exposure to various microorganisms and other environmental factors leads to pure immune resistance. That means, that the child will be less susceptible to disease later in life. So, don't exaggerate in hygiene matters. Let your child's immune system harden, with the help of dirt.

Your child needs also to be active, run around and feel happy playing outside. Worrying about stains will make the child feel guilty about activities that make it happy. You cannot replace that happiness with clean clothes, or with indoor inactive activities such us TV or video games. This is especially true during the school year. Imagine being seated in a chair while experiencing growth and energy spurts! Getting loose outside home will help the child deal with that pressure.

Don't underestimate your kids' explorative skills. By exploring -not the house of course- it discovers the world. Exploration boosts the imagination as well as creativity, social and physical skills. Well-developed physical skills result in a healthy body. Creativity will bring adaptability, and social skills will bring success and mental health. All those will eventually turn an active child, into a lively, successful healthy adult.

Let friendly animals approach your child. They won't hurt it; they will be of benefit. By keeping animals away you teach your child to do the same. Have you considered having a pet? Children raised with pets show many benefits. Developing positive feelings about pets can contribute to a child's self-esteem and self-confidence. Your child will develop trusting relationships with others much easier. A good relationship with a pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication, compassion, and empathy.

Finally, how important do you think memories are? Memories are moments of our lives, forming our personality. What would you like your child to remember from its childhood memories? Clean, germ-free clothes? Or shiny days outside, filled with laughter and a sense of adventure?

Are you still afraid of dirt? No need to be, after all, dirt is health! So, let your child go and play outside, loose in the dirt. Join in if you get jealous, you might want to get a little dirty too!

Is Watching TV Bad for Your Mental Development - Could Be?

We've all been told that television is bad for us, that it melts our minds and retards our brains. Does it? Well, it's hard to argue that with a couch potato watching hours of TV each and every night isn't it. If we truly want an innovative society and a mentally strong base, then perhaps we ought to see what we can do about this.
No, I am not talking about removing TV sets in people's homes, I totally believe in freedom, and yet, I'd also like to consider perhaps some better communication about this, a national discussion if you will - who knows maybe a fire-side chat would be warranted too?
Not long ago, an acquaintance of mine stated to me on this very topic; "I once heard that our mind is actually less active when we're watching TV than when we're in a coma."
The visual stimulation goes up in the first 20-minutes and peaks, then slides down along a graph in similar shape to a Caffeine high, or most of those modern energy drinks - but "if" that graph kept going, after 4-5 hours, indeed, it would eventually get "way down" there I suppose. Still, it's a GREAT quote, I may use it sometime in an article or two, Thanks! That is funny. Perhaps, that comment was indeed the inspiration for this particular article.
Now then, let me ask you something. If we all know this, if we are already aware that TV is so debilitating and bad for our minds, turning it into Jello, and hurting our kid's ability to learn - then may I ask we spend so much time watching the boob tube in the first place? And what about the other distractions such as FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, or video games, YouTube etc. surely these are adversely effecting our population as well.
Are we in complete denial? In China they limit people from the Internet, as they want them to participate out here in the real world, not online. Some say that is more about censorship and control of their population, but is that all it is? Could it be that China noticed right away the adverse effects of such things? Well, maybe we need to consider that China and US are competing in the global market place now, and we need our citizens fully engaged in this game.
Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it. If you have similar comments, critiques, or questions feel free to email me at your earliest convenience.

Mental Development in Your Child - How You Can Increase It

Trying to teach your child enough to give them a head start when they begin school can be a daunting and stressful task. Either you are not sure what you should be teaching your child or you are not sure how you should be teaching your child. With this system though, teaching and training your child to learn can be both fun and rewarding without the stress involved.
This program was originally started to help accelerate mental development in children It can be used successfully with babies, pre-schoolers and children with brain injuries or learning disabilities. Children at these ages are eager to learn, they have a hunger for it. The incredible amount of learning and retention of information that they take in will never be as great at any other time in their lives. You can teach them to read words, phrases and stories. They can also learn encyclopedic knowledge and learn to do simple and complex math equations. Even if your child is not born a genius they can become one.
With the Genius Maker program you can multiply your child's intelligence and guarantee your child's academic success in life. Instill a life long passion for learning in your child and help them create confidence in their abilities to learn whatever they set their mind to. The program utilizes frequent yet very short lessons because kids get bored fast. This can be made part of play time and it will help you bond with your child. Guarantee your child's success; give them a head start in life.
Imagine your child raising his hand excitedly in school always with the answers? Think about him not struggling with his homework, and loving school. Now think of him proudly headed to college with this same confidence. Your child needs a head start in life, it is not to early to start teaching them! I know you want them to have this head start, this is how.
Money well spent for your child's future!

Nurturing Your Kids ' Mental Development

It is said that a child's brain is like a sponge which has the ability to absorb new ideas and knowledge. This is, of course, vital for his emotional and mental development. It is then important to provide your own with the opportunity to learn new things and have access to everything that will help him gain more knowledge than he can by himself.
Fortunately, there are many things that can help you do this and some of them are listed below:
1. Books- It is undeniable that children of any age enjoy reading books especially those which have colorful pictures and pop-up pages. Even children who are barely a year old are very eager to listen to bedtime stories. You should encourage your kids to read often. Take them along with you when you go to the bookstore. When the right time comes, you can teach them how to read. It is through reading that a child can have the opportunity to see the world from many different angles. With reading, he can explore the world even without traveling and, most of all, he can learn different cultures just by reading. Indeed, it is a fun and cheap way of enriching oneself during childhood.
2. Music- If you're a mother, you must remember relatives and friends who used to advise you to let your child listen to classical music while still in your womb. Yes, there is evidence that shows children who are exposed to music before birth tend to have a greater appreciation for it as adults. As your child grows up, it is good to introduce him to different genres of music and, if you can afford it, you can enrol him in piano, violin or guitar lessons.
3. Mathematics- Not everyone enjoys learning numbers and most certainly not children. Try to incorporate math in their daily activities such as making them count their toys at the and the end of playtime and have them compare the numbers they end up with. The challenge is to make math fun to learn. If it is fun, the child will have a greater chance of remembering each lesson he learns.
4. CAD for Kids- Every child has an artist in him. He may express this artistry through scribbling, writing, drawing, painting or even sculpting. Fact is, it is good for parents to enhance their kids' sense of creativity by giving them the opportunity through different activities. CAD is software used by design professionals such as architects and engineers. However, there is CAD for kids which allows children to discover their artistic passions through drawing on a digital medium. Who knows? Your child could be the next big thing in architecture for the future generations.
Nurturing your child's mental growth will not only help him achieve academic success. Also, a child who is are provided with many avenues for learning tends to grow up to be more emotionally secure individuals than one who is always left at home with a nanny who lets him sit in front of the television set all day without enough opportunity to engage in educational activities.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tracking Your Prime Cost? Good, Just Make Sure You're Calculating It Right

One of the most important and telling numbers of any restaurant is its Prime Cost.
Prime Cost is the total of food and beverage costs plus all payroll expenses including wages paid to management and staff and payroll taxes and related benefits.
Prime Cost is a key indicator of a restaurant's profit potential and how well management is managing the restaurant's biggest and most volatile costs.
Generally accepted industry rules of thumb tell us that in tableservice restaurants the goal should be to keep Prime Cost at or below 65% of sales. QSR or non-tableservice operations should aim for a Prime Cost is 60% of sales or less.
When Prime Cost exceeds these percentages by more than a point or two, it usually becomes a real challenge for any restaurant to make a sufficient bottom line profit regardless of the other expenses on their P&L.
Some independent operators may not be getting an accurate reading of their Prime Cost because of the way owner's compensation is handled.
When calculating Prime Cost, the owner's compensation should be included in management payroll only if the owner is actively working in the restaurant and the amount of compensation does not exceed 4% of sales.
If you own a restaurant but have a GM manage the daily operations, don't include your compensation when calculating Prime Cost
For owners who perform the duties of a GM and/or chef, first see if your salary exceeds 4% of sales. If it does not, don't do anything. If it does, take the amount that exceeds 4% of sales out of Prime Cost.
Reason for the 4% amount is this. In general, GMs or chefs are not paid more than 3%-4% of sales. When a restaurant is very profitable, working owners may pay themselves more or even much more than 4% of sales so including all of their compensation in Prime Cost can cause it to be artificially high in comparison to other restaurants.
If applicable, reclassifying some portion of owner's compensation out of Management Payroll should give you a better number for comparing your Prime Cost to industry averages and rules of thumb.

Have a profitable week!  Jim Laube & Joe Erickson

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Anger Management For Children - Parents Are You Facing a Losing Battle? What Are Your Plans ?

This may not come as a surprise but anger management for children usually starts with a child's natural progression. Aggression can be a stage that children will pass through, but if aggression isn't checked by parents who are good role models for their kids it can become a

uncontrollable two headed monster. If it isn't checked by a kids tween years, parents should prepare for all out war as tweens roll into their early teen years. So it is always recommended to nip it in the bud while kids are still young, but parents are lost as to how to actually get control of a disruptive child.

To get control of a disruptive child in order to improve your anger management for children skills, a well to do parent needs a plan. The objective of the plan should be one thing and one thing only--respect. If a child respects his/her parent(s), he/she is more unlikely to show an aggressive, belligerent attitude. A parent's plan should include daily training because it will take daily training to install new learned habits. But not only will a parent have to change their child's attitude, parents may find that their own attitudes need a make-over.

Parents who are trying to cultivate a new attitude in their children first need to stand in front of a mirror with the following question. How can I change myself first? That usually starts with letting go of any egotistical attributes a parent may have. Many parents will go ballistic if a child disobeys, and this in turn only makes a child want to retaliate against the parent. Don't forget that a child is a child. They will make mistakes, but as a parent it is up to you to calmly explain that the mistake was just that--a mistake. If you find yourself screaming at your child for a mistake, you're not teaching, you are pouring salt in an open wound.

Anger management for children starts with a planed out, patient, harmonious, low-key approach. Parents need to plan in advance how to deal with a disruptive child. Parents should plan how they will react when things go wrong. This will eliminate any unwanted spontaneous anger from the parent, and in return kids will respect parents more. While planning, don't forget that kids will be kids, and that includes a little mischievous ways. They should not be yelled at for spilling milk on the floor, or for grabbing M&M's at the local grocery store. You wouldn't scream at a tiger because he has strips would you?

Although it seems like you have come to a dead end regarding your child. Know that there is another way to win [] back your power.This method has given me power over the situation. It has taught me how to remain calm and to be at peace with myself first.
Puberty is the most crucial stage of our lives and everyone goes through it at some point in life. All the major changes, physical, emotional and psychological occur at this stage. A human body begins to develop as one moves from childhood to adolescence. It has been scientifically proved that girls mature earlier as compared to boys. Girls get their first period around 12 years of age, i.e., two to two and half years after they begin puberty. But, this is a general observation, it differs from one girl to another. Some girls might get their first period as early as 9 years of age and as late as age 16. Naturally, the changes in girls are different from boys and so the timing of puberty varies a great deal in both of them. Puberty in girls starts between the ages 8 and 13 whereas in boys it is between 10 and 15 years. The wide age range can answer your question, why some girls and boys of your child's age still look like kids and some look more like adults.

The beginning of puberty at a very early stage is called precocious puberty. All individuals cannot take these changes easily as others and might be frightened and confused about it. Some schools talk to their students about these topics, but it comes very late. It is the primary responsibility of the parents to talk to their children during their early childhood, approximately at the age of 8 years. The next segment is divided into two parts because the ways to talk to girls and boys about puberty are different.

Talking to Your Daughter About Puberty

Earlier, it was like when a girl gets her first period, only then she knows about it. The mother or any other elderly female never bothered to explain what it was exactly or why it happens? The girl was not supposed to ask questions about it and even if she asked, very casual and ridiculous answers like "it happens" or "every girl goes through it" were given to her and nothing more than that. What should she make out of such statements? The girl used to feel only confused and helpless. But, nowadays, the situation has changed. Children are exposed to so many things that they are aware of these things before the right time and the information is also not from the reliable sources. Thanks to the present media and television. These mediums have become so much independent that they take up any issue and present it any how they want. In this case, talking about the issues of puberty remains an important point and you as a parent, should be very careful and start as early as possible to talk about puberty to your daughter. Here are a few tips to help you initiate the talk on this sensitive yet most important subject with your daughter.

    * Let her know about menstruation even before she gets her first period otherwise she will be frightened at the sight and location of the blood. You can start talking to her right from the age of 8 years.
    * Convince her that it is absolutely natural and normal and everyone has to go through it sometime in life only the timing differs from person to person because if your girl is alone in her group who still did not get her first period or if she is the first one to get it, she might feel embarrassed and as an odd man out.
    * Tell her the reason behind the small lumps that she experiences around her nipples and about the swelling of the breasts. Let her know that her body is growing according to her age and the above-mentioned parts are the major organs that reflect the changes and the growth prominently.
    * The growth of hair in the armpits and the pubic area is also a major change and needs to be talked about. Also the leg hair starts thickening and there is a rapid increase in the height of both girls and boys.
    * Last but not the least, be patient and open to answer any question raised by your daughter. Be clear enough in your explanation and make more use of scientific terms which will make both of you comfortable while conversing.

Talking to Your Son About Puberty

Boys may feel comfortable talking about their puberty with other males. May be the father, uncle or any other close male figure can take the responsibility of talking to the boy about the changes in his body. However, if there is no such person in his life, a trusted female can do the job. Many parents never talk to their kids about puberty. So the school in such a case must be advised to arrange a session on this subject. If you are going to talk to your boy about puberty, here are some instructions that will make your conversation better.

    * Like a girl, a boy also needs an assurance that whatever is happening to him is normal and there is nothing wrong in it. You should be confident enough while delivering your speech. This will make the boy believe you and won't feel awkward.
    * Make use of formal and scientific language which will make the explanation more clear. If you hesitate while pronouncing some words and say something different, it will only confuse the child.
    * Tell him that his penis and testicles will begin to grow during puberty and he will experience ejaculation. The concept of wet dreams or nocturnal emissions needs to be explained to the boy because he often gets wet dreams during puberty which makes him feel embarrassed. Nocturnal emission is nothing but the discharge of semen through the penis when the boy is asleep. The body is becoming capable of producing testosterone (male sex hormone) and there is an erection in the penis. This erection leads to ejaculation.
    * Tell your son about the growing hair on the face, in the armpits and the pubic area. There is also a considerable increase in the height and weight and the voice cracks and deepens.

Boys and girls both suffer from acne during puberty and it is important to tell them to take care of their body, especially the face and the skin.

As a last piece of advice, be prepared before the conversation, write whatever you want to say if you are not confident and get ready to answer any question. If you are not able to answer a question or feel doubtful, better take help from your family health care provider and clear it off. Finally, leave your child with something to read which will give him/her additional valuable information about this normal, natural yet important stage of life.

By Snehal Motkar

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Big Disaster For The Children. Divorce & Parental Alienation

Are you guilty? The big question for you..

Parental Alienation - when one or both divorcing parents attempts to negatively influence their children about the other parent -- is one of the most terrible outcomes of a divorce gone bad. It's a difficult and complex subject, but the outcome is always the same. Children who are emotionally scarred.
When you mix two egos with dramatically differing perspectives, you're bound to get an entanglement of emotions compounded by allegations, defensiveness and self-righteousness. Unfortunately, no one wins when parental alienation runs its course during and after a divorce. But it's the children in particular who lose in a big way. Many of them are affected for life.
Behind parental alimentation are parents who feel totally justified in hating, resenting or otherwise distancing themselves from their former spouse. They fail to take into account how this might psychologically play out in an innocent child who naturally loves both parents. Backed by the strength of their convictions, these parents feel validated in negatively influencing their children's attitude toward the other parent. Whether its overt put-downs, disparaging comments or more subtle nuances of distain, they make it clear that they do not like, respect or trust the other parent. The message to the children creates confusion mixed with anxiety, insecurity, guilt and fear.
What's a child to do when one of their parents says the other parent, who is genetically a part of them, is bad, wrong, hateful, or not worthy of their love? How should a child handle the burden of learning "truths" about their other parent that only an adult can comprehend? Who can a child turn to when Mom is putting down Dad (or vice versa) and it makes them angry, frightened or resentful?
Parents need to think before they act. They need to look ahead to the consequences before they share secrets that no child should have to know - before they take the innocence of childhood from children who are totally powerless to fix their adult problems. They need seek the counsel of professionals who can dispassionately help them make the right decision on their children's behalf. Then they need to work on healing themselves.

Psychotherapist, JoAnn Simmons, MA, LMHC, and a contributor to my new book, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook(TM) Guide to Preparing Your Children - with Love!, offers some sound advice in her new book, Stop Looking ... And Let True Love Find YOU! "There's nothing that hurts more than a broken heart," she notes. "Romantic love relationships are the toughest to release, especially if you feel wronged by your partner. A rocky romance often results in blaming the other person. Some people hold grudges for years. These grudges block the energy around your heart and tend to constrict giving and receiving love."
This not only hurts your children, it hampers your ability to move on with your life in a healthy, productive way - and keeps you from attracting a happier, more successful new relationship into your life. "The longer we hold onto the past, the longer we stay stuck in negative feelings related to the past. You must let go of old resentments," says Simmons.
The essential point here is that you don't let go of those resentments in order to benefit your former spouse - or to let them off the hook. You let go so you can make a space for a better future for yourself. That better future will inevitably be better for your children, as well. So everyone wins.
Parental alienation is a sure way to risk alienating your children from you - if not today, in the years and decades ahead. When making decisions about your divorce, child custody issues, visitations, holiday celebrations and all the day-to-day activities that fill our busy lives, remember to be a parent first. Put aside your personal feelings about your former spouse. Stop - and see that other parent from your child's perspective - as the Mom or Dad they deeply love.

Children-Parent Communication, absolutely needed

Communication between parents and their children can be a source of great pleasure and a wonderful bridge to being close and warm. Or it can be a source of deep distress for everyone and bring a family to the brink of disintegration. It is that important. Often when professionals are brought in to help a family they spend time getting to understand the dynamics of the family and it is the communication patterns that give them the best 'feel' for what is really going on inside that intense and intensely private space that is a family system.
How can we make sense of communication?
One of the most useful models we have found for making sense of how people are communicating with one another is through Transactional Analysis. We have a short video of the model available on U-tube. With this model it becomes easy to see how two people 'miss' one another and talk at cross purposes. This is especially true between parents and their children as parents and carers have to walk a delicate line between talking to the children as equals and coaching them to make the most and best of themselves and some tough love type conversations where they lay down the family law and set boundaries. Getting that balance right enough of the time makes a big difference to the success of the relationship.

Getting it right: Tough love and fun
One of the things that children respond to really well is fun! Not any great amazing revelation I know but it is something that in our observations of family communication we see missing much of the time. The way I understand it is that parents and carers get caught up with their responsibilities - put food on the table, roof over heads, make sure kids get on at school. It is like a computer programme running their system. What they lose in this programme is the fun button. Spending time with the children, playing, doing interesting things and just hanging out somewhere you both enjoy gives more quality to your relationship than anything else. I have often found parents worrying about having 'family time' and yet hating the time they do have as a family because it always leads to rows! In fact it is far better to have quality time with the children on a one to one basis as the priority and that makes family events much easier because the competition for time and energy has been relieved. Try it and see.

How Childrens Wallpaper Can Complete a Kid's Bedroom

Designing your child's room can be one of the most exciting moments that a parent and their child can go through together. There are many aspects that complete a child's room. Such things would include the bed, colour scheme, toys and the list goes on. One of the more important things that add the finishing touches to a kid's room is Childrens Wallpaper. The thing about Wallpaper that many people don't appreciate is the fact that it sets the entire theme of their child's bedroom.
Instead of having to worry about paint and different colour patterns to go ahead with, choosing Childrens Wallpaper would be the ideal choice for your kid's room. Seeing as there has been an increase in demand for Childrens Wallpaper the market has seen an increase in the variety of designs that are currently being offered. The designs that you find in most high street shops are very simple, plain and boring to be quite frank.

The best place top search out cool and trendy Childrens walloper is to look online. There are a number of sites that are currently offering Childrens Wallpaper in unbelievable designs. Some of the Childrens Wallpaper designs include themes of cars, dinosaurs, the sea, football pitch, fairy princess and many more. The great thing about shopping for this product online is that you are open to more variety. Having a look around on a number of sites will also give you an idea of which wallpapers are more popular amongst kids. It will give you a chance to read reviews of other parents that have bought similar wallpapers and give their views on the quality that they received. The best thing about shopping online for kids wallpaper is the price factor. You will find yourself having to pay a fraction of the price that you would have had to pay on the high street for really interesting and attractive designs.

Here are some pictures