via Fisher: If you’re wondering when to start reading to your baby, it’s great to to do right from the start! Here’s what to know about your child’s early development when it comes to reading, listening, and following along with stories.

You don’t have to wait until your child is talking; even from early infancy, reading to your baby begins to teach her to recognize the sounds and rhythm of language and to feel that cuddling with you and reading books is comforting and fun. Reading is also a great way for fathers, grandparents, and older siblings to bond with the baby. Studies show that children who are routinely read to from a young age develop improved language skills and increased interest in reading, which helps improve their readiness for preschool and kindergarten. Try to make reading part of your daily routine with your baby—for example, at bedtime. You can start out reading for a few minutes at a time, and extend to longer reading sessions as your child grows older and develops a longer attention span. Find a comfortable place to read and turn off other distractions such as the television or radio. Make the story come alive by using different voices for different characters, and even acting out parts of the story.

Children can be interested in different types of books depending on their age, development, temperament, and life experiences. Babies like books with interesting things to look at and touch; toddlers also like books that make noises and have fold-out sections they can lift to reveal hidden surprises; and preschoolers appreciate books with more elaborate pictures, rhymes, funny words, and interesting stories. Children may be enthralled with books about animals, trucks, princesses, baseball players, or children like themselves. Try out different books with your child to see what he enjoys. There are the time-honored favorites like Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat series as well as many new books. Check out your local library, bookstores, and friends’ bookshelves.

Here are some tips for reading to your child:

Birth to 1 year:

• In the early months, hold your baby close and read, talk and sing to her.

• By 3-6 months of age, your baby will start to enjoy looking at mirrors and pictures of faces, shapes, colors. She will begin to make sounds, reach out and touch the pictures. Choose books with interesting pictures and textures.

• By 6-12 months of age, your baby will sit in your lap, look at the pictures, touch the book, and put the book in her mouth. Use plastic and cardboard books, and point to and name the pictures for your baby.

1-2 years:

• From 12-18 months of age, your baby might enjoy choosing the book from the shelf, sitting and holding the book, and turning the pages. Follow your child’s interest in reading for as long as the book holds his attention. Ask “Where’s the doggie?” and let your child point to it. Ask “What does the doggie say?” and let your child respond.

• From 18-24 months of age, your child might begin to name familiar pictures and fill in words in familiar stories. She might even “read” to her dolls or stuffed animals and recite parts of stories. When you read, stop to ask your child, “What’s that?” and give your child time to answer.

2-3 years:

• Your child will be able to handle books with paper pages. She understands how the pictures go with the story, and may look for her favorite books and favorite pictures. Be prepared to read the same book over and over. Ask her questions about what’s happening in the book, and relate the story to her own experiences, “That truck looks just like the garbage truck that comes to our house!” Try dropping some words from the end of a rhyme and let her fill in the missing word.

3 years and up:

• Your child will be able to turn pages one at a time. He can listen to longer stories and retell familiar stories in his own words. He will also start to recognize letters and numbers. Ask him questions, “How many balls are there? Let’s count them!” “What’s happening now? What’s going to happen?” Look for books that teach children helpful lessons for making friends, going to school, etc. Encourage him to tell, draw and write his own stories.

via The YMCA of Austin: Summer is not over yet! Your flip flops may have seen better days, but you can still take steps to keep the fun going as we celebrate Family Fun Month in August. Now’s the time to squeeze in a few more family memories before the new school year starts. Here are a few ideas to get you going—and don’t worry: none of them require a drop of sunscreen!

  1. Make a blanket fort. This is a classic, and you can make the fort as big or small as you like. Start in the morning and designate the spot as the day’s reading nook. Pile on the pillows and turn it into a nap corner.
  2. Create a summer memories time capsule. Collect photos, write down stories and toss in a few souvenirs to preserve the good times for enjoyment later. Mason jars and shoe boxes make great capsule containers.
  3. Bake cookies together. Whip up a batch of sugar cookies and let each family member personalize their treats with icing and sprinkles. Even simple shapes like circles and squares can be decorated to become monograms or emojis.
  4. Mix your own soap bubbles. This recipe makes a great hard-to-pop batch: 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons dish soap and 1 tablespoon glycerin. Experiment with different bubble wands made from drinking straws, pipe cleaners or the top half of a water bottle.
  5. Hold a family game night. Enjoy the classics or try something new. Don’t forget to think outside the box and include games like charades, hide-and-seek and balloon volleyball.
  6. Set up a build-your-own meal. Each family member can have fun designing their own plates. Some ideas include funny-face pancakes with pieces of fruit and whipped cream, pizzas with veggie and pepperoni shapes and frozen yogurt sundaes with all the trimmings.
  7. Turn an everyday dinner into a fancy affair. Pull out the cloth napkins and candlesticks. Toast each other before you dine. Even pizza looks better by candlelight!
  8. Have a water fight. Once the sun goes down, take the gang outdoors for fun with super soakers and water balloons (or use sponges for a more environmentally-friendly option). Set up a slip-and-slide, if you’re feeling extra peppy.
  9. Go star-gazing. Try to find constellations. Take a drive outside the city for best viewing. The annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaks on August 12. Even with the moon three-quarters full, you can still expect to see about 40 to 50 meteors per hour at the peak.
  10. Keep the fun going. Give each family member strips of paper to write down things they like to do. Put the strips in a jar and as the year goes on, pull out a strip and make it happen!

via LIFECHO: We try to answer the question What is the Role of a Parent? by taking into analysis the biological, psychological, social and financial dimensions. The parents’ roles are of the maximum importance for personality development of the children. Basic traditional roles of being a parent are: nurture and educate children, discipline them, manage home and financially support family. Modern roles brought an active participation of fathers in children care. The main idea is that parents must be child centered and should aim to optimal growth and development of their children, to help them have satisfactory biological, social, psychological and emotional growth.

Take Care of the Biological Needs of Children
The first role of the parents is to take care of their child’s biological needs. Providing physical care to fulfill the needs of the child imply: proper food, fresh air, good lighting, enough sleep, recreation time, etc.

Provide an Optimal Environment
You have to provide a safe, nurturing and supportive environment that allows the children to grow healthy. For an optimal development, children need: adequate physical home environment; a tolerant and positive atmosphere; conditions for positive changes and improvements; opportunities to explore and experiment in his environment; consistent routine; etc.

Protect Your Children
Make sure their environment is safe. You have to protect your children, to warn them by telling what is safe to do and what isn’t, before they venture out on their own. Teach your child the difference between right and wrong, and that wrong may be harmful both for him and for others. Your goal is to protect your children from dangers to which they may be vulnerable and to keep them safe. Also children feel safe when there is continuity and consistency in daily routines, and especially when there is a loving atmosphere.

Teach and Educate Your Child
To raise your children properly, your duties aren’t limited to food, shelter and protection, but also require you to teach and educate them, to shape knowledge and character, to prepare your child to face the real world. So another parent’s role is to make possible learning of such actions as walking and talking, reading and writing (to facilitate learning of these activities, a parent must have patience and understanding). The main goal here is to provide the children with the best possible education. A parent has to be a fine observer (to have an overview of their children’s behaviors, moods and activities) and instructor for his children. If you want to be successful in this process of education, you have to be a model for your child. Especially be a gender model for the child and show him or her how to be a man or a woman. Teach your children about what is at the core of masculinity or femininity (see gender roles in the family).

Give your child various opportunities to finally become a healthy member of the community. To successfully integrate your child into your community, you should give him the knowledge of your community culture so that he will have the needed information and skills to grow up into a adapted adult. It is very important to guide your children toward social adaptation and integration. To help your kids develop appropriate coping skills and help them gain independence, explain and carry out tasks with your child. You also must be an advisor and a checker for homework. Take the time to explain. What is the role of a parent question doesn’t imply that there is just a single and essential role. There are many roles of being a parent and some of them are essential, while others are secondary.

Provide Guidance, Direction, Assistance and Help
Sit back and listen to your child, abstain from imposing your point of view and just offer appropriate direction and guidance. Another important role of parent is to provide guidance and assistance in the process of personal development and growth. The most effective way to help children is to advise them instead of commanding and to guide the progress of child development without doing his work (help them cope, but don’t solve yourself their problems). Give them a sense of direction and provide sufficient support to succeed and to feel that they are the source of the achievement.

Step back and facilitate children find out independence, allow and encourage them to be independent, help them handle and balance their needs for independence and dependence. Understand their need to be independent without loosing all your authority. When children show a certain level of responsibility and independence extend their privileges and freedoms, but hold them back when their behavior go wrong. At an early stage you make decisions for your children, but at teenage just assist them to decide (provide the wisdom to make themselves the final decision). Assist your child in the achievement of a task; help him only when necessary and only as far as needed. Familiarize your children with the diversity, pros and cons, and benefits of the most relevant ways to make a living, but let them to choose their own career. Ask various questions to get the child to discover exactly what it is he wants to do or be.

Support and Motivate the Child
If you want the child to be successful and to achieve his goals, encourage and motivate him. Positive motivation and encouragement is a must, love your kids both when they succeed and when they fail. Provide empathic encouragement as a reward for an achievement, but also to minimize the frustrations of failure. Teach the child to look at failure as a situation of learning and not as a tragic situation. Listen and be supportive, encourage instead of crushing child’s capacity to say no, at all costs. Motivate and persuade children to achieve more than they thought possible. Motivate the child and even gently push him to strive ever harder, if you want him to gain a strong will.

Don’t think that your children are sufficient to themselves and that they will grow up into strong young adults by themselves! Children should be personally motivated and trained to achieve their tasks. In short, you must be the personal coach of your kids: hearten the positive, temperate the negative, be active and influence your kid development. Praise your child, not only his behavior!

Take Care of the Social Emotional Skills
Another duty of you as a parent is to help your child to acquire emotional wellbeing. There are positive factors, such as: praise, encouragement, calm talk and response, affectionate attention, etc. that will help to build healthy emotions. Strive to eliminate negative factors such as will annihilation, sarcasm, neglect or bullying. Each child is unique, don’t compare your child with others (especially when you observe a weakness), rather help him deal with being different and even encourage him to be unique. Assist children in learning how to express their feelings and desires and help them develop healthy relationships. Socialize your child.

Monitor the emotional development of children and keep away main traumatic events that can negatively affect their emotional dimension. Assist child develop a positive self-perception, a strong sense safety and make sure they feel loved, if you want to raise an emotionally healthy young adult. Be calm and emotionally supportive. Teach child how to control and change their thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

Discipline Gently
Understand what the child is communicating directly or indirectly by his attitudes and behaviors. A major aspect of the parent’s role is to establish and maintain order in family by requesting a certain level of discipline. Always have a calm reaction, respond consistently, appropriately, and sensitively and gently give a corrective feedback to your child when his behavior is inappropriate. A calm and emphatic talk helps children become conscious of their mistakes. An upset reaction increases the tendency of child to defend him. You have to do what is best for your children, rather than overlook their ways of behaving in order to meet your need for silence. Practice a gentle but firm style of discipline.

Set boundaries and limits to control the children, impose ground rules and standards if you want to cultivate a good will. Build your authority, take charge and when limits are transgressed, issue ultimatums, enforce discipline and impose consequences. Don’t provide approval, praise or rewards when child’s behavior is inappropriate. Also parents’ duty is to warn their children to set aside games and TV until homework is finished. If you want to master the art of gentle discipline you have to acquire effective parenting techniques.

Finally, as a parent you have to be strong and do your best for your children even at your own cost (put your children position first). Be a giver rather than a receiver, give and go on giving, but at the same time demand (role of the child may be that of succeeding in school and of respecting the ground rules of family). You also have to continually learn, improve and optimize your parenting knowledge and skills. We tried to answer to What is the role of a parent? inquiry by describing the most important roles of being a parent and hope you will benefit our tips.

via newsner: Are you the kind of parent that’s always hugging your kids? If the answer is yes then don’t stop doing what you’re doing.

According to new reserach, physical affection during a baby’s development period is even more important than we thought.

The more you hug a baby, the more their brains grow, according to a recent survey from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

125 babies, both premature and full-term, were included in the study, which looked at how well they reponded to being physically touched.

The results indicated that premature babies responded to affection less than babies who were not born premature. What was also revealed however, was that babies that were subjected to more affection by parents or hospital staff showed stronger brain response.

According to researcher Dr. Nathalie Maitre, this last revelation tells us that something as simple as body contact or rocking your baby in your arms will make a big difference in how their brains develop.

“Making sure that preterm babies receive positive, supportive touch such as skin-to-skin care by parents is essential to help their brains respond to gentle touch in ways similar to those of babies who experienced an entire pregnancy inside their mother’s womb,” Maitre tells Science Daily.

Basically, affection is vital for the development of the brain. So, cuddle and hug your babies as much as you can – and don’t forget to share this research to show everyone out there how important it is to be loving to our children!

This summer, are you letting your young kids swimming at pools?

Water safety for kids is an extremely critical issue for parents to pay attention at especially when they have young children at home.

If you are keen to keep your kids safe while you enjoy your family time at the pool, here are some pool and water safety tips that you need know.

Watch this video now for the best tips from Kimberlee Mitchell, a Child Safety Expert to ensure the safety of your kids swimming at any pool!

What are the best pool safety tips that you practice? Share it with us in the comments section below now!

Using chopsticks to eat brings many benefits to us such as coordination training, effective weight loss and reduced risk of choking.

Therefore, it is a wise choice for parents to teach chopstick skills to their little ones.

Learning chopsticks however is a challenging quest to many adults. It gets even tougher when it comes to teaching chopsticks skills to kids due to their lack of fine motor skills.

If you are trying to figure out how to teach kids to use chopsticks, trying using some assistive tools to help you instead.

Watch this video now for the smarter ways to help you kids in learning chopsticks.

Teaching friendship skills to children is one important mission that parents need to take on to develop the social skills in their children.

This mission however could be especially hard for parents of introverted kids.

Even though some kids are born shy and introverted, social skills are still an important lesson to be taught to them.

Teaching friendship skills to kids will have a tremendous impact to our kids’ wellbeing. It happens so because kids who bond better with their friends can harvest better sense of belonging which help them to develop their emotional skills and reduce stress.

Watch this video now for how you can help your kids making friends if social skills do not come naturally to them.

As parents, it is our responsibilities to teach children the right values, various life skills, and the essential knowledge for them to succeed in life.

Out of so many things for kids to learn, it might be challenging for parents to set their priorities right when it comes to teaching their children.

If you are concerned whether are you missing out any important life lessons to teach to your kids, the following video is for you.

This video is a great guide to help you decide what to teach children and what are the things that they should have known at the age of 10.

Watch the video now and share it with your friends if you find it helpful!

10 Things Children Should Know By Age 10

10 Things Children Should Know By Age 10

Posted by David Wolfe on Saturday, March 17, 2018

Did you know that there are tens of thousands of kids go missing in USA each year?

A study of attempted child abductions has found that in 84%of the cases, the abducted child was able to escape thanks to their own actions, with 35% of them actively resisting and 49%running away.

To keep your kids safe, it is of utmost priority for parents to educate their kids and themselves about child abduction and some basic safety tips for kids.

If you are looking for ways to educate your kids on the basic abduction safety tips, here is a video for you.

Check out this video now for the basic safety tips for kids and parents in case of abduction.

Happy International Museum Day!

Are you planning to bring your kids to visit a children’s museum over the weekend? If the answer is “No”, you might want to reconsider it as you find out about the importance of museum for kids in the following article.

Researchers at the University of Arkansas found that trips to art museum did not just make children appreciate arts better. Higher levels of critical thinking, tolerance, and empathy, are also identified as one of the benefits museums bring to children.

Continue reading the following article now to find out more about the 10 educational benefits visiting a children’s museum can bring to your kids.

Via Mommy University: 10 Educational Benefits of Bringing Children to the Museum

Museums are community centers designed to inform and teach the public. When we ask what is the educational benefit of a museum, the immediate response is academic learning. Absorbing academic information, however, is scratching the surface of what museums offer families and specifically children.

It can be challenging to bring young children to a museum when they can have short attention spans, inability to read, and no prior knowledge of the subject. By introducing bite size trips to your children, it is actually doing more than just teaching them information on a subject.

10 Educational Benefits for Bringing Children to a Museum

Encourages a Love of History

Museums are the caretakers of history as much as they offer connections to history that can easily be overlooked in traditional classrooms. Whether you bring your child to a children’s museum, art gallery, or science museum, history has made a huge impact on the innovation they are witnessing. As parents we don’t have to be experts on subject matters, however reading out the plaques in the exhibit and motivating your child to ask questions will encourage a love of history.

Listening to Stories

While interning at the National Museum of the American Indian (NAMI), I had the opportunity to visit dozens of museums the summer I graduated from college. From the Museum of Modern Art to the Whitney to the Air and Space Museum to Holocaust Memorial Museum, I was able to walk through hundreds of exhibits and learn the importance of storytelling. Museums are full of stories, and it is critical for our children to hear those stories. Stories told at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. not only teach our children history but also encourage empathy.

Compare and Contrast

Museums offer opportunities for children to compare and contrast what is important for them which leads to higher critical thinking skills. An art museum will contain various types of artwork and as they stroll through an exhibit there will be differences in the style, subject matter, and techniques demonstrated in the artwork which can foster interesting conversations.

Encourages Questions

Visiting a museum opens the door for your child’s curiosity in the form of questions. Some of these will be questions that have answers, questions that should be encouraged, questions that make you think, and questions that may not have answers. All of these questions should be encouraged, and don’t worry if you don’t know the answers. Ask your child what they believe the answer is and listen to their reasoning.

Boosts Language Development

At Mommy University, we always look for opportunities to boost language development and it is no surprise that visiting a museum will assist in this process for not only your child but you as well. Visiting the Rubik’s Cube exhibit at Liberty Science Center last year, I was exposed to videos about non-linear problem solving which has now weaved itself into my vocabulary. For young children, boosting language development revolves around identifying words while for older children the exposure to new concepts and ideas will carry higher level vocabulary.

Encourages New Ideas

An interesting challenge we attempt each year is to visit a museum or exhibit that doesn’t immediately captivate our interest. We actually will walk through an exhibit that we lack prior knowledge. The purpose behind this is to expose ourselves as well as our children to new ideas and concepts. My husband and I will make a point to discuss what we see, how we interpret it, and ask our children questions. We are modeling for them how we interact with the exhibit and information but more importantly that we are open to new things whether we are familiar with it or not.

Museums Inspire

When you walk into a museum that contains the skeleton of an animal that is taller than your house and has not walked this planet in millions of years, your mind begins to wonder. When you walk into a museum that has a planetarium that provides light shows about the solar system, your mind begins to dream of the night sky. Museums inspire us to wonder, imagine and dream of possibilities that are beyond what we know.

Sparks Creativity

When visiting museums, we always stop off at the information desk for a list of activities that are taking place that day and attempt to structure our visit to include some of the scheduled programs. At Liberty Science Center, we have been lucky to see animals up close and interacted in programs on math in football. The Morris Museum incorporates stations at some of their special day events, such as Dino Day, where children can make their own fossils. The Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts Art Splash in the summer where children can learn about what has inspired artists and through activities can have a deeper appreciation of art. Through museum programs and activities, children are exposed to opportunities that spark creative moments.

Fosters Family Bonding

In addition to exhibits that might appeal to your family, some museums like Montclair Art Museum have specific activities and days dedicated to families. Museums don’t just want to appeal to the more mature visitor because they know that children who enjoy museums will become adults who will want to return. Visiting a museum as a family also gives everyone on opportunity to get to know each other better and engage in meaningful conversations.

Creates Lifelong Learners

By encouraging your children to play and visit museums, it is creating lifelong learners. While most careers require a specific type of education, the reality in our changing world is that we need to be lifelong learners to continue to grow as the demands change. Museums encourage curiosity which is necessary for children to become lifelong learners. Museums seek out unique links and relationships that are not always readily present which offers us, the viewer, something new each time we visit. There is always the possibility for an “ah ha” moment to occur.