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Way to Go Mom 2020! http://www.wtgmom2020.com Parenting Tips Mon, 09 Nov 2020 14:26:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 Keep Your Children Safe Using Technology http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2020/11/09/how-do-you-keep-your-children-safe-using-technology/ http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2020/11/09/how-do-you-keep-your-children-safe-using-technology/#respond Mon, 09 Nov 2020 14:30:51 +0000 http://www.wtgmom2020.com/?p=451 Today, technology is necessary but how do you keep your children safe using technology? Technology has many benefits and is almost essential for education and…

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Teen girl using cell phone
Keep safe using technology

Today, technology is necessary but how do you keep your children safe using technology? Technology has many benefits and is almost essential for education and communication. There are dangers, especially as a child get older. We need to keep children away from pornography and violent themes. We need to make sure they do not give private information out to dangerous people. We worry about our child getting bullied or bullying peers and classmates. Lets look at ideas to help parents and kid use technology safely.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. Bullying can happen with social media, texting, instant messaging and online forums. Parents may not use much of these but kids love them. Parents and teachers don’t often follow conversations online. Surveys of students show that at least 15% of teens have experienced bullying in texts or social media. There are laws against this but damage can be done before it is seen.

What can we so about this scary situation? Monitor what sites your child is viewing and what friends she or he is visiting on line. We can’t do this all the time. Watch your child’s moods and feelings. Once my daughter made friend with a girl on Facebook in another state. After some time, she became very upset about her conversation with this friend. The friend said she did not want to be friends any more and that Wendy was young and stupid. I had to help her understand that face to face friends are easier to understand than those far away that may be faking who they are.

Keep communication paths open so your child can talk to you about concerns. Minimize conflicts, establish rules with consequences, and listen when your child has things to say. Even though childhood spats seem small, your child’s worried are often huge to his or her self. Help your child find solutions or just talk things out. If cyberbullying is a real problem, then you can report it. If your child shows depression, get help. Do not ignore your child’s emotions.

Pornography and Violence

Another danger that lurk online is pornography. Thirty five percent of internet downloads are pornographic. Most children have been exposed to porn by age 11 and many are solicited. So our kids are seeing it and not telling us. What should we do? Talk to your child early about porn as you should about sex. Tell him or her to share with you anything he or she comes across that makes him or her uncomfortable. Stay calm in conversations. Know the games and sited your child visits. Consider a rule that online devices must be used in a common location in the house such as the family room so parents can see what kids are viewing.

Violence and bad language are other dangers online. Again, make sure you know what your child is seeing and hearing. Watch things with him or her. Talk to kids and explain dangers and concerns. Set rules about what to avoid. Encourage positive sites and activities. Schools use internet filters. We should have them at home as are kids get old enough to surf the web.

Sharing Information

Be aware that child predators are prowl sites that children visit often. They are on game sites and talk to kids. Make sure your child knows that if he or she talks to someone on line, he or she should never share private information. Give no full names, birthdates, or addresses. Do not share pictures. Keep conversations about the games. Ask your child to tell you if someone asks for more information. Remind him or her that people on line may be frauds.

Morality is Protection

Remind your child that he or she is a precious child of God. Express your love and confidence. Remind your child to always be kind to others. Your child has great things to accomplish. Tell your child you would not like him or her defiled by pornography, violence, bad language, or bad people. They need to know the dangers of these things. As you continue to express these feelings, your child will help safeguard him or her self from evil influences. Your child will talk more openly to you about things he or she encounters in the world because you are on his or her side. These precautions will help keep your child safe using technology.

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Good Communication Saves our Relationships http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2020/10/07/good-communication-saves-our-relationships/ http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2020/10/07/good-communication-saves-our-relationships/#respond Wed, 07 Oct 2020 06:52:31 +0000 http://www.wtgmom2020.com/?p=439 Take time to be careful in talking and listening to your children. You will be glad. Your children will feel that you care and will…

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Listen to your child

Take time to be careful in talking and listening to your children. You will be glad. Your children will feel that you care and will open up more. Remember, good communication saves our relationships.

Good communication saves our relationships. Be careful how you talk, listen, and react to your children. Children need to know that you are on their side and will listen and understand them. A good relationship is more important than power or winning. Review a few dos and don’t when it comes to communicating.

Stay Positive

Avoid criticizing, yelling, or lecturing. This turns kids off. In fact, child phycologists say to reward good behavior with positive comments and compliments. Try to overlook poor behavior when it is not dangerous or serious. Learn to say, “That is not a good choice,” or “That is too bad,”‘ when bad choices are made. Encourage rather than focusing on the negative.

Listen, Don’t Talk

Whenever possible, allow your child talk about things that interest him or her. Listen to his or her explanations and experiences. Encourage the child to talk. It will help him or her feel valued and important.  Children learn how to communicate by talking. Listening is  more important than talking. Give advice or help when asked. Only correct in a polite way when misconceptions are expressed.

When bad behavior is involved, let the child explain his or her side of the story. If there is a set rule that was broken and you feel the consequence is necessary, use statements such as “Never the less,” or “regardless.” Again. don’t yell, argue, or criticize.  Time out is appropriate for young children.  For older children, use grounding or loss of privilege’s.

Listening Skills

Along with being quiet while someone else talks, we can learn to use good listening skills.  They will help the other person know we are really listening. This is called “Active Listening.”

  1. Turn your attention toward the person talking.  Use eye contact. Watch for facial expressions.
  2. Comment with a “Yeah” or “Uhuh” so the person knows you are listening.
  3. Parrot or respond with rephrasing so the other person knows you are understanding.  He or she may correct if your understanding is wrong.
  4. Refrain from being anxious to jump in and complete phrase, advise, lecture, or give your own experiences.  Wait until the child acts like he or she wants an answer or comment.

Use “I” Messages

“I” messages refer to the way you address a concern.  Rather than blaming or pointing at others, tell how you feel by using an “I” in the sentence.  An example is, ” I am scared when you go somewhere without telling me.”  “I am angry when you use my things without asking.”  Get your family in the habit of using “I” statements and it can help express feelings without fights.  It will also spur discussion and bring people closer together.

With teenagers, consider feelings and truthfully express feelings.  Avoid  hurting him or her with accusations before you understand the situation.  Using “I” statements can tell your feeling and encourage discussion.  You can decide together what, if any, consequences are needed for future behavior that is not appropriate. Children are much more likely to obey rules if they understand what and why, and they have a hand in planning consequences.

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Discipline, a Bad Word http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2020/07/24/discipline-can-be-positive-or-negative/ http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2020/07/24/discipline-can-be-positive-or-negative/#respond Fri, 24 Jul 2020 01:25:52 +0000 http://www.wtgmom2020.com/?p=389 Sad child after being scolded.

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It has been a while since we have spoken about discipline,a bad word or so it seems. Times have changed and so has discipline. The line from the Bible says,”Spare the rod and spoil the child.” Now physical discipline is considered bad for a child. This is probably because so many have used corporal punishment in anger or to the extreme. It can easily turn into abuse so it is safe to stay away from it. However, discipline does not need to be corporal punishment or even negative consequences.

Is there a time for corporal punishment?

Use corporal punishment sparingly.  A paddle on the bottom may work when a child is not listening after being warmed several times. Get a child’s attention  with it so he or she will not do the dangerous crime again such as leaning or playing close to a creek or running in the road. We want the child to be fearful and never do these things again. Try reasoning with the child and he or she may never need corporal punishment.

Limit physical punishment to a moderate paddle on the butt with your hand. Do not hit a child or wrestle with intent to hurt.  Poor discipline can breed fear and hate. Don’t hurt your relationship with physical punishment.

Anger also hurts relationships. Corporal punishment in anger is very dangerous and rarely fixes things.  Try time out for the child and the parent.  Step back and consider what is a good consequence for a the child’s actions.  You can even consider asking the child, “What do you think is fair?  What should we do about this?”

What discipline should I use?

Discipline does not have to be negative. Practice using positively reinforcement for good behavior with compliments, comments, hugs and kisses, points on a chart, or even rewards of money or items being earned. You can get more positive results from sunshine than storm, as the parable says.  Remember that discipline is to encourage proper behavior and not to retaliate.

Use punishment only after conversation and warnings do not work. Set ground rules ahead of time and decide what consequence will be. A common punishment is time out in a place that is  not enjoyable like away from other kids, toys, or fun activities.  This doesn’t work for all children as some enjoy being alone. Try to minimize yelling at the child as he or she may tune out. Talk in a normal tone of voice and say, ” I’m sorry. this is what you did so this is the consequence.”

Point charts or their variation are good positive and negative discipline selections combined.  Give points, tallies, stars, or stickers for positive behavior.  Sometimes, points can be taken away if bad choices are made. At a previously decided amount, the child can earn a prize.  It can be money, a toy, or an outing. These can be used for chores, bedtime, teeth brushing, breaking a bad habit, coming home on time, or any number of  accomplishments.  Do not overlook the value of the reward of  time spent with a parent.

Grounding Child or Time out for Item

A comparable easy consequence is to take away a valued item that is being misused.  Video games or the TV that are overused can be taken away until the child does chores or gets outside for some exercise. Toys that are used as weapons or not shared can be put up.  Bikes left on the driveway can be lost for a time.  Remember that children will have a hard time sharing new birthday presents, so you should politely put them up for later. Losing driving privileges is often a threat that works for teenagers.

Grounding works for older children who value time with friends and away from home. Do not be unreasonable with grounding and make it too long for the crime. Avoid taking away special occasions such as birthday celebrations, family gatherings, or class parties.

Be consistent with discipline.  If you let actions off the hook once, a child may work on getting around punishment.  Especially watch out for equal treatment of siblings.  Kids will react quickly if treated unfairly.

Teens

When it comes to teens, choose your battles.  Longer hair and loud music may be annoying to adults, but is it so much safer than drugs or drinking.  Allow your teen to be his or her self and respect him or her in conversation and opinions.  Set rules on those things that are important and agree on consequences ahead of time.  

Allow teens more choice in free time and activities.  You can discuss with them the choices that are dangerous or off limits but let them have some say in the discipline for doing wrong.  Be consistent.  They need to learn that life has consequences when bad choices are made.  Sometimes the consequences of actions are the best teachers so don’t protect them.  An example is spending allowance too quickly and not saving for a larger item or a more special event.

In conclusion, discipline helps a child learn what to do and how to act.  Each child is different, so learn what works to reinforce good behavior.  Keep in mind that protection and learning good habits are the results we strive for. We should never punish for retaliation or to inflict harm.  After consequences, show extra love.

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What to Do With All of Us Home http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2020/03/26/what-to-do-with-all-of-us-home/ http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2020/03/26/what-to-do-with-all-of-us-home/#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 09:00:06 +0000 http://www.wtgmom2020.com/?p=328 We can go outside for exercise, even if stuck at home.

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With this Corona pandemic causing us all grief, we wonder what do do with all of us home? Most schools are now closed and many people are working from home or not working at all. What are we to do with parents and children in a small space? It is easy to get irritable and fight and argue. This is a hard time to live in. I have been studying several sources to get tips that may help.

Get Some Exercise

The rules are to stay away from groups and don’t touch surfaces that have been touched be lots if people and not sanitized. But that does not mean we can’t take our kids outside. If you have a yard play in it. If not, head to an open field or area where there are few people near bye. Walk, hike, play ball, or do yard work. You may need to go with the kids to get them out. The sunshine and the fresh air will do a lot to prevent disease. We also need Vitamin D from the sun.

If the weather is bad and you can’t get out, there are many exercise programs on line to access.  A good one is Cosmic Kids that has different yoga programs for kids. Remember to wash your hands after indoor or outdoor exercise.

Set and Carry Out Some Goals

You are stuck at home but we must still get things done. If you have work to do at home, you need a time and place for it. Many kids have chrome books or on line school work. They need a time and place to do it. Besides these importance goals, we need exercise, housework, reading, recreation, and projects. I suggest a schedule that allows for these things plus a little personal time for meditation or just quiet time. Children thrive on routines. One of my favorite blogs has a great list of things to read, watch and make.

Maintain Mental and Emotional health.

One things we can do is get along.  Make a plan to calm down when tempers are high. Practice conflict resolution. Talk things out and learn to see each other’s point of view.

Distance physically but not socially.  Keep in touch with loved ones through the phone or video visits.  Consider serving those who are stuck at home by running errands for them and getting supplies for them.  Socializing and service and helped boost emotional health.

Limit screen time.  Help children do school work, read, exercise and play separate from video screens.  Too much screen time can lead to moodiness, aggression,and feelings of sadness.

Bond over family recreation.  Learn to play board games, outdoor games, exercise, and even active video games together.  Again, socialization is is important for our health.

Keep healthy physically.  Besides exercise, we all need regular patterns of good sleep and good nutrition.  All health is inter-related.

Remember that we are not perfect.  Families will experience challenges and make mistakes. Never the less, we can do a great deal to purposefully thrive during our corona virus lock-down period.  Let us help each other get through this hard time.

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The Corona Virus and Our Children http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2020/03/06/the-corona-virus-and-our-children/ http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2020/03/06/the-corona-virus-and-our-children/#respond Fri, 06 Mar 2020 12:01:51 +0000 http://www.wtgmom2020.com/?p=302 protect a child from illness

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What do we do about the corona virus and our children? Stop worrying and do what you can.  Do not panic but do revisit health and cleanliness habits, as you should every winter.

Let’s Clarify

Corona is really a group name for a bunch of viruses that cause colds and the flu in different forms. Most people have enough strength and antibodies to fight off these viruses. This is probably also true for the novel COVID-19 virus also, but the young, elderly, and those with other illnesses are more susceptible. More people die from the flu in the United States than there are from the COVID-19 virus. That being said, the novel virus has a 2.% death rate where as the common flu has a .1% death rate. The COVID-19 virus’s death rate is 20 times higher as far as we know.  We do not really know the the total incidents of COVID-19, as many are probably not reported.  The other bad news is that the COVID-19 is  more contagious that the common flu. It can easily spread with sneezing or coughing droplets.

Keep Informed

Watch how the novel virus is spreading. Do not travel to areas where the virus is being reported. Follow health guidelines recommended by health professionals. If the novel virus travels to your area, be careful to do as professionals recommend.  Face masks are unnecessary and unhelpful accept for those treating people infected with COVID-19. Try to stay healthy and get your flu shots. Why? Because if you get the novel virus when you are weakened by other illness, it could be dangerous.

Let’s Review

Practice good sleep schedules, good nutrition, and good exercise for yourself and your children.  These have been discussed in earlier blogs.  In addition, here are good health practices we should have and teach our children.  Find these on most health sites.

  1. Regularly and thoroughly wash hands before eating, after using the toilet,  after coughing or wiping nose, and after touching often touched items. Hand sanitizer is helpful but not as good as soap and water.
  2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, including shaking hands, hugs and kiss.
  3. Try not touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  4. Stay home when you are sick.
  5. Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue and then throw tissues away.
  6. Maintain at least 3 feet from yourself and anyone who is sneezing or coughing.
  7. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with household spray or wipes.
  8. Follow public health recommendations for using face masks ( not recommended unless working with the ill).

 

After all else, have faith that health authorities can control it and keep us safe. The United States has the best health care in the world. If you or your child have a high fever or trouble breathing, go to a health professional to get the disease tested. Do your part to help keep your family healthy.

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Preschools are Important http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2019/11/26/preschools-are-important/ http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2019/11/26/preschools-are-important/#respond Tue, 26 Nov 2019 00:29:17 +0000 http://www.wtgmom2020.com/?p=280 Preschool children at play

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Preschool children at play
Preschools are important

 Research shows that preschools are important for four year old children. Early learning helps a child learn a great deal in preparation for school.  There are a variety of activities that can be included so which are important? What is the relationship between price and quality in reaching goals?

What Should be involved in a Preschool

There should be lots of time for play.  Play is a child’s work.  They learn language and new vocabulary, caring and sharing, large and small muscles coordination, and have fun while socializing. Children learn perseverance by engaging in activities that require problem solving.

A preschool should include reading picture books and the introduction of reading. There should be some letter and number recognition.  Beginning writing, tracing, and art projects increases small muscle development. Art projects increase creativity,  individuality and pride.

I am a believer in music as a learning tool.   Music help enjoyment, language development and learning concepts such as number, letters, people and animals.  Activities with music helps with socialization and muscle coordination.

Also, large muscle activities should be included.  These can be dance and activities with music, beginning gymnastics,and outdoor play.  A snack time should be included to help learn manners and sharing.

How long should a preschool program last?  Is seems like a lot to include all these things but each area should last only 10 to 15 minutes. Teachers should rotate between active and passive activities.  A schedule could be at follows: Open play, Circles time ( for books and number,letter recognition, calendar,etc.), Music time, Snack time, Creative art, and Large movement.  A preschool can run from two to three hours.

How Important is Preschool

Many sources say that that preschool for a child is a great investment of time and money. Besides socialization, a child begins learning a variety of skills and knowledge through fun activities. Don’t allow your child to fall behind socially or academically or experts warn there can be negative consequences. Yes, your child should have some preschool activities but it not imperative that the preschool be a commercial one.

Most day-cares include some form of preschool. Check to see what your child is learning. You can even make suggestions as a parent. Decide if this preschool is enough or if you should change day-cares or add another preschool.

Put your child in preschool at age four following general guidelines. Today, many parents work full time so some sort of preschool activities are necessary earlier. Every child is different. Many children do not do well in very early academic environments. Children under four still need a great deal of unscheduled time and nurturing time. If possible, they should be at home with a parent the majority of the time.

Cost of Preschools

A good quality preschool can be very expensive. Many schools now have preschool for at risk children. Sometimes you can have your child included for a smaller than normal fee but it may be on a lottery basis. Churches often run preschool to make good use of their space. Another alternative is home preschool as it is more affordable. Talk to other parents who have used preschools and ask around early. Start looking in the spring for next fall because the schools fill up quickly.

If you are home part of the day and like working with children, consider doing your own home preschool and include some children from the neighborhood. It can work into a good part time job. I had two of my children in trading preschools. A group of parents get together and plan on what days they will take turn having the children at their home for preschool. There are lots of resources on line for curriculum and activities. One good curriculum program is Joy School. As with others schools, there is a fee but it is much less than commercial preschools.

If you can’t afford preschool and do not want to do a home version, take time to read and work with your child on a daily basis. Consider trading play groups so your child can learn to socialize and play with others. No matter what preschool you use, this small window of time should be a fun learning period for your child.

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A Child’s Sleep Habits Influence Her Success http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2019/09/17/a-childs-sleep-habits-influence-her-success/ http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2019/09/17/a-childs-sleep-habits-influence-her-success/#respond Tue, 17 Sep 2019 10:00:34 +0000 http://www.wtgmom2020.com/?p=250 a young child sleeping
Image by Daniela Dimitrova from Pixabay

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It is true that a child’s sleep habits can influence her success. If your child is often short of sleep, he or she may not be able to focus and learn as well as he or she could with good sleep habits.  He or she may have trouble socializing if always tired.

What is Enough Sleep 

The general guideline for amount of sleep needed daily is 14 hours for an infant, 12 hours for a toddler, 10 hours for school age children, and eight hour for adults. This rule is not in stone. Every child differs. Recent research has shown that middle school children may need more sleep (as much as eleven or twelve hours nightly) because they are growing faster again. One way to know if your child is getting enough sleep is if he/she wakes up automatically without being woken. This may be why kids often sleep in on weekends as a catch-up period. It is hard to tell because they also often stay up later at night.
This being said, it is helpful to a child if he/she can maintain the regular sleep patterns on the weekends. Many, but not all children, develop a circadian rhythm, which helps them go to sleep at a regular time and wake up at a regular time. It would be nice if these kids didn’t change their pattern much on the weekend.

Sleep Disturbances

There are all sorts of things that disturb a child’s sleep. For babies, it be hunger to begin with for their stomachs cannot hold enough food to last more than 3-4 hours. Later as they can eat more, they may be bothered by being cold, being hot, wet diapers, or illness. At some point parents (4-6 months) needs to let them fuss a little to see if they can go back to sleep without attention. Of course, if a child is crying for more than five minutes, he/she will need help.

For young children, sleep can be disturbed by illness or fear. Some kids fear the dark so a night light is helpful. Some kids sleep better with a sibling in the room. It may help to read a book about the dark. There is a Monster Under My Bed is a good one. Another suggestion is to come into your child’s room at night and talk to him/her about what looks scary in the dark. You may even have to stay with the child for awhile. At 5 to 7 years, children can start having bad dreams, sleep terrors, or even sleep walking. Try to calm them and get them back in their own bed because you don’t want to get in the habit of sleeping with you.

What an Expert Says

“In addition to feeling sleepy trough the day, sleep disturbances can have social, physical, and emotional consequences for a child,” says Ramon Cuevas, MD, pediatric neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. She suggests that it is helpful to think of sleep disturbances in three categories:

  • 1. Quantity: Not sleeping enough(which could include problems at bedtime and waking and not being able to go back to sleep).
  • 2. Quality: Not getting a good night’s sleep(which could include breathing problems and waking frequently).
  • 3. Conditions where there is a sleep disease like narcolepsy.

Another discovery of Dr. Cuevas is that children can have sleep apnea. It is rare and different than adult sleep apnea. The brain can send messages that repeatedly stop and start breathing during the night. This will mean that the child cannot get enough quality sleep during the night. Any child with this or other sleep problems may have trouble concentrating and may have mood swings. If you worry about your child having sleep apnea, observe him or her while sleeping to see if he or she stops breathing for more that one or two seconds. If concerned, take the child to a doctor and have a sleep test.

Noise

Many parents worry about the noise level in the house when children are sleeping or going to sleep. The truth is that children get use to the noise level in their home and can sleep well with that level. I have seen tired children fall to sleep with a lot of commotion going around them. It it is the sudden change of noise level that wakes a child. If your child is accustom to some talking and background noise as he/she goes to sleep, it may make him/her secure if he/she is used to it. So don’t try too hard to maintain silence while a child is sleeping .

Some older children get in the habit of sleeping with the TV or music playing. It may be started as a way to block out other background noise. This can be a bad habit as a child may need the ambient noise to sleep. Also, there may be sudden changes in the pretended background noise that wakes the child. Try to help your child learn to sleep without added help.

In conclusion, parents should help children get enough sleep and develop good sleep habits. It will influence their health, social interactions, and ability to focus and learn. A child’s sleep habits influence her success.

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Help Children Do Well in School http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2019/09/02/help-children-do-well-in-school/ http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2019/09/02/help-children-do-well-in-school/#respond Mon, 02 Sep 2019 12:00:18 +0000 http://www.wtgmom2020.com/?p=229 Help children with homework as needed but don't do it for them.

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What are the best ways to help children do well in school? A big key is to be involved. We should not need to spend a great deal of money. But we may have to spend lots of time. For some, money is more plentiful than time so tutors or expensive programs may seem necessary. Let’s explore some ways to help with school that take more time than money.

Know the School and Teachers

Take time to get to know the school and teacher through visits, parent portals, and communication. Learn expectations and tell of concerns or problems at home. Be aware of how much homework there is and what reading your child should be doing. Be sure to go to parent-teacher conferences but don’t wait if there are doubts as it may be too late to repair somethings. If possible, visit regularly as a volunteer. Teachers do appreciate the help and it pays off in terms of attention your child receives.

Homework-Think positively

Homework can be fun if your child understands the material and there is time. Do not put so many activities in your child’s life that he/she doesn’t have time to do homework. Make a place where a child can quietly work on homework. Have supplies handy and shut or the TV and phone. The rule on the amount of homework a child may have daily is 20 minutes per year. If it is getting to be too much, check with the teacher. The child may be procrastinating or maybe he/she doesn’t understand what to do.

Get involved unless he/she desires to work independently. Do not do the homework for your child as you are cheating him/her out of the learning experience. Never the less, you can learn with your child. Home work can become more enjoyable as a parent interaction period. Do not talk down the teacher or subject because that will put a stumbling block in the way of your child’s success.

Good Reading Helps all Subjects

If a child can become a good reader, he/she can get a jump on any subject. He or she will just comprehend better. How and when do you read?

  • Read to your child when she/he is younger and chapter books when he/she gets older. Help them practice with beginner readers.
  • Encourage summer reading and time to read regularly, maybe 20 minutes before she/he sleeps.
  • Read yourself. Set a good example that reading is enjoyable. If you are concerned about what your child is reading, read it to check it out

Preschool helps a child get a head start and that certainly helps his or her self esteem. It also helps with socialization and speech. Despite lack of preschool academics, most children will reach there own stride by third grade. However, reading proficiency is a must by the end of third grade because then ” children are no longer learning to read but must read to learn.” Reading and study time must continue.

If There is Still Trouble

If you have done all these advised things to help your child and he/she is still falling behind, what should you do? First, meet with the teacher and find out what he/she thinks could be wrong. Your child is spending more time learning with his/her teacher than with you. Maybe your expectations are too high. Possibly the teacher has some study tips that might help. There could be before or after school tutoring program that could address this subject.

Have your child tested. He or she may need glasses. Maybe he or she has trouble hearing directions. There should be a child psychologist associated with your child’s school so make an appointment. Your child may have a learning disability. It could be your child has dyslexia, depression, or ADLH or some form of it.

One of my children was very bright but had trouble paying attention. The teacher along with a doctor recommended Adderal (a long term release form of Ritalin). This worked well for several years but he learned to cope and do well without it in high school. There were side effects he didn’t like. I know there is a lot of controversy over Ritalin but you can try it. Each child has different challenges and each will react differently with medication so if it doesn’t work well for your child, change it. I have seen children turn from being unteachable to good students with the help of Adderal.

I hope these tips help. Try them before you spend extra money on tutoring or classes. Then if you have more money than time and you can find someone you can trust to help, cautiously go for it.

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Back to School http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2019/08/12/back-to-school/ http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2019/08/12/back-to-school/#respond Mon, 12 Aug 2019 02:44:40 +0000 http://www.wtgmom2020.com/?p=222 Children boarding school bus.

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Children getting on a school bus.
It is fun to go back to school.

It is hard to believe that it is time to go back to school already. I remember the bittersweet feelings. Kids get to go back to friends and learning. It will be hard to get back on a schedule but it will be better for everyone to sleep and eat regularly. And there is so much to do to get ready.
Through many years of experience and some research, I have come up with some helpful tips for getting back to school.  We will start with few no- brainers.  

It’s Time to Reset

  1. Reset sleep habits a few days early.
  2. Reset eating habits to include regular meals with fruit and vegetables.
  3. Reset children’s brains 7-10 days before school starts by reading and reviewing math facts.

Next are Things to Do Before or at the Beginning of School.

  • First, have your child get a check up, especially if he/she will be doing sports. Include an eye exam. Check immunizations.
  • Look for good deals on school supplies. Check the parent portal or other school communication to make sure you are getting required school supplies. Some schools get them and charge a fee. However, secondary schools often have you get different items for different classes so you may have to wait except for binder, pencils,line paper, and pens.
  • Visit the school with your child. If he/she is walking to learn the route. Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher if in elementary school. Learn policies on things like pick-ups, early arrivals, being tardy, homework, busing and schedules, etc.
  • Set aside a quiet clear place for your child to do homework. Provide, pencils, paper, light, and a computer if possible.

Next,When School Starts

  • Make homework a priority and a habit. Have a consistent time for homework a and make sure it is completed. Offer help as needed.
  • Read with your child 20 minutes daily or set time for him/her to read.
  • Take charge of the TV and other media. In other words, allow no TV, cell phones or social media during homework time and set limits on time for media daily. Keep track of where your child goes on the web.
  • Help maintain organization with routines, activities, and family time. Get all to bed on time.
  • Make an appointment with the teacher if your child is having trouble with a subject. Visit your child’s school often and volunteer to help regularly if possible. Showing your presence as a parent improves teacher’s attentiveness to your child.

Starting school again is a time for kids to re-unite with friends and get back to scholastic education. In addition, it can be fun when you help your child prepare.

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Teaching Sex Education http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2019/07/22/teaching-sex-education/ http://www.wtgmom2020.com/index.php/2019/07/22/teaching-sex-education/#respond Mon, 22 Jul 2019 09:00:24 +0000 http://www.wtgmom2020.com/?p=202 I may be opening Pandora’s box by approaching the subject of sex education because it is so controversial but I have heard that controversy is…

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Young teens playing soccer
Activity keeps growing children from worrying about sex

I may be opening Pandora’s box by approaching the subject of sex education because it is so controversial but I have heard that controversy is a way to get noticed. Be direct and positive while teaching sex education.  The main guideline here is to give information that a child needs to know and wants to know.

What a Child Needs  to Know About Sex

Children happily play without clothes and bathe together until about seven to eight years old. Then, and sometimes quite suddenly, they develop modesty. If a young child does not have younger siblings to see body differences, he or she should see or associate with a cousin or friend’s baby just to know how the other sex looks. Very young children will often explore their own bodies. Do not shame them as it is natural. Distract them with other activities.

As a child embraces modesty, he or she will want to dress and bathe separately from other siblings or friends. Even parents can be shunned but they must still check to see if bathing and hygiene is being done properly.

Children need to know how their body parts work for toilet training. They do not need to know the biology of sexuality of making babies until close to 12 years old. This will depend on the child and his or her maturity. Girls often mature quicker than boys. They may start asking questions so give direct and brief answers. Set an time aside for a friendly positive conversation about the “Birds and the Bees” with some privacy and a good picture book on the subject. Maintain a honest open relationship with your child so talking about how to have a baby is not strained. Emphasize love in the picture. Guess what? The pleasure of sex and how that happens does not have to be discussed at the same time. Be open to questions and do not draw out the answers.

How Should We Treat Them

Do not be afraid to treat little girls like girls and little boys like boys. It is miraculously amazing how girls will be drawn to dolls and purses and dressing up while boys will be drawn to cars and super heroes and playing rough. If there is a cross over in personalities, that is okay too. Children play with what is around them. My little boy loved to play with dolls and a kitchen because he was playing with his big sister. When I got pregnant, he pretended he was too. I tried to explain to him that boys don’t get pregnant but I don’t know how much he understood at age three. He grew up quite straight.

What a Child Wants to Know About Sex

Young children like to explore their body parts when they a undressed or bathing. This is normal. If it is uncomfortable to you, distract them. They will outgrow this when they become modest.

As they grow older, they will ask questions about what something is called or how it works. Again, keep answers brief and direct. See if you can use correct names for body parts so the body won’t be degraded by funny names or made fun of.

I heard a story of a boy who asked,”Where did I come from.” His mother launched into an explanation of the birds and the bees. Finally the boy interrupted and said “Yes, but Sam is from New York. Where do I come from?” The moral is: Don’t jump to conclusions and don’t give more information than is needed. A good clue that you have said enough is when your child walks away or starts doing something else while you are expounding.

What About Sexual Activity

These is one area of controversy. Teens will naturally want to investigate and explore the opposite sex because it is enticing. Hormones will begin pulsing as a child reaches puberty. It can be embarrassing so some of this exploration is kept hidden. Magazines with pictures and conversations with friends will be used outside parents’ knowledge. There may be masturbation for boys or girls. Do not be alarmed if these activities are discovered. The best fix is not punishment, but distraction. Teenagers are busy with school,work, and many activities. Keep them occupied. Teens should be tired at night. There should be little or no time to masturbate or read pornography. Try to keep communication paths open so they can discuss questions with you. If you ridicule or shame, it will throw up barrier between you.

Are there things to worry about? Of course. Masturbation and especially pornography can become addicting and displace normal activities and relationships. That is why teens are warned against them. Sexual activity with others has many dangers including pregnancy, venereal disease, and harm to self and others emotionally. Even with birth control (which is rarely used correctly), intercourse in teen years can take a big chunk out of a youth’s psychological well being because he/ she doesn’t understand love completely yet. So, you , as a parent, have the difficult job of convincing your child of these dangers and encouraging him or her to wait at least until he/she is an adult and in a loving relationship if not married. Try to encourage friendly group activities with other teens. Delay individual dating as necking and petting lead to sexual activity. Religious influence can help.

LGBT

Lately, there has been a lot of talk from the LGBT community about rights. We are lead to believe that 20 to 25 percent of the population identifies differently than what they are born biologically. This is not true. In fact only 3.8 % of people say they are LGBT (that is lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender). This is up from less than one percent ten years ago. Some would argue that more people feel safe in expressing there true feelings. Others would argue that because of the push in education on these topics, more people want to be LGBT. It has become popular. I am not trying to influence your opinion. Children should not bully but they need not empathize too closely.

At one time, teens would fight against the notion of being gay. It is not an easy lifestyle. Now, with the push on acceptance, we have another side effect. Teens feel like they need to try it out. This is tough because teens are trying to find themselves anyhow. Teen sexual activity can be dangerous. Try to help your teen stay involved with school and school activities. Sports help use up excess energy. Give warnings but don’t condemn. Show love and acceptance. You can ask probing questions like, ” Are you sure this is right for you?” Don’t try to sway your teen as it sometimes pushes them the other direction. Stay close through fun family activities and time to talk so communication can stay open.

Above all, don’t pushing a child toward a gay or transgender lifestyle by categorizing remarks and thoughts. Examples: “She dresses like a boy. She must be lesbian.” “He plays with girl toys. He must be gay.” “He acts so feminine. He must be gay.” Let a child be free to be his/herself.

Note! This discussion (whether your child is LGBT) should not even come to the surface until he/she is a late teen. Then he/she should not feel threatened to bring it up. One son of mine felt bad that he hadn’t dated until his senior year. He worried that he would appear gay. It turns out that many young men do not date even until they are in college. Social pressure can be harmful.

Good Luck

In summary, try not to thinks of sex education as threatening and awkward. Conversations on the subject must be started before age 12 so your child does not get all his/her information from others. However many conversations will be started by your child’s questions and will probably be brief. So, be prepared to give good and safe information.

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