Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Kids are People: A Radical Idea

I am a big fan of the Toca Boca apps for the iPad and Android devices. They let children explore parts of life that they don't normally get to, and they are so open ended that kids can be creative and not be told what to do. I like Legos for the same reason. Toca Boca has started writing articles for adults, parents and teachers and any other adult who cares to read them. I really liked this article and wanted to share it with you. I try very hard to adhere to the ideas in this article both as a mom and as a teacher. Granted there are times when things need to be done the way an adult says so but there's no reason we can't give our children as much control over their lives and how they do things as possible. It's something I tell all the families I work with, give your child choices, let them have control when ever possible and you will find that there are less and less negative behaviors. One of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes is "A person is a person, no matter how small".

Now, I will admit that the more I've read about this idea of "Childism" the more I think, that like most things, some people have taken it a bit to far (for my comfort and taste).  And so here is where I step up onto my soap box for a little bit....

In theory I guess this is good but we do tell cars not to hit kids. We also tell kids to watch for cars. No one is perfect and everyone gets distracted. Seems to me it should be an equal responsibility. As an adult I still look for cars, because there is going to be that one time that I don't and neither did the driver look for pedestrians. This is not victim blaming in my mind. That would be more like saying that you must have done something to deserve getting hit by your parent, or that the girl who got raped was asking for it by wearing something skimpy. 
Here is another one that irks me. If we don't tell kids not to accept candy from strangers then we are irresponsible as parents. I trust my daughter to know right from wrong, to not accept rides and other things from people she doesn't know, and to tell me and my husband about things that are happening that are not right. I don't trust all the adults out there to leave my daughter alone. Let's face it, this needs to be done on BOTH sides or it won't matter at all.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Local Activities Right In Your In-Box

Follow the link to find Macaroni Kid. 

The weekly newsletter of Farmington-Lakeville-Apple Valley activities to entertain, stimulate and exhaust your kids.

This is a website that lists family friendly activities going on in and around our area. You can sign up for their email alerts so that you don't have to remember to go to the website once a week and see what is going on. They'll tell you if the activity or event is free or what it costs. They also highlight museums around the area every so often. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

How do you encourage communication with your child?

I know, I said I was going to get better and posting more often. I've had a lot of evals lately so they have to take priority. :)

Here is a great article with 17 different ideas for you to try when working on communication with your child. This article is from the Friendship Circle, a resource for families with children who have special needs. They have lots of good things on their site, you should check them out. 

17 Ways to Encourage Communication With Your Special Needs Child.

You might like this one too:
23 Ways to Communicate With a Non-Verbal Child

I was just talking to a parent about communication and non-verbal children. One thing I mentioned was that kids may not have words but I haven't met one yet who isn't trying to tell you something. They use eye gaze, pointing, grunting, pulling you by the hand, body language, pauses, jabbering, gestures, and so many more. 

We just have to teach ourselves to tune into what they are telling us. The more we respond to their non-verbal communication the more they begin to understand that they are getting their point across and start to associate that with words. Usually kids don't talk because they don't need to, physically can't, or just don't see the point.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holidays - Full of Fun or Fear?

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As parents we take our kids to the malls and stand in long lines to see if maybe this year we can get that cute photo of our little one sitting on Santa's knee. So many kids are scared to death of Santa. Think about it, here is they very large man with a very furry face, you have no idea who he is but your mom hands you over to him. So not only has she blithely given you to some stranger, he gets right in your face and says "Ho ho ho". I think I'd be a bit scared too. 

Here's another scenario:  We get in the car with the rest of our family and are off to see our relatives. Of course as very little children, we don't really understand what that means. We get to a house we've never been to before (remember that we have short memories at this young age) and there are HUNDREDS of people that we don't know (ok, maybe not hundreds but remember that we are very small and they are very very tall). And our parents wonder why we want to hide in the closet or under the table or behind them in the chair. It can be so very overwhelming.

I recieved a link in my email to an article written by Linda Acredolo, Ph.D. Co-founder, the Baby Signs® Program and Professor Emeritus, UC Davis. It has some pretty good advice and ideas for us as parents to help our kids make it through the holiday season with everyone's sanity still intact.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

10 Halloween Safety Tips

These tips come from an article found on Parenting Special Needs . To view the entire article please follow this link: 10 Halloween Safety Tips

  1. Select a costume that makes your child easily visible in the dark to improve Halloween safety.
  2. Double check that your children can see ok with their mask or costume on.
  3. Helping your children to become familiar with the trick or treat route will enhance Halloween safety.
  4. Looking to make sure costumes don't trip your child will boost Halloween Safety for Kids.
  5. Use the buddy system for children with special needs.
  6. Make sure that costumes for children with special needs are comfortable.
  7. Teach Halloween Safety and Manners for children with special needs.
  8. Dress properly for the weather for ultimate safety and fun!
  9. Select flame retardant costumes to maximize safety.
  10. Prepare kids so they won't be afraid.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tummy Time and Your Baby's Sensory System

We all know that we are supposed to put our babies on their tummies during the day, but most people don't really know why.  For one thing, it helps develop the shoulder and arm muscles needed for crawling and later fine motor skills like writing. The less tummy time your baby gets, the later they will crawl and walk. Most babies really don't like being on their tummy very much so as parents we need to make it a more enjoyable time. Here is a link to an article that gives you many ways to can make tummy time a fun time as well as some reasons why it is so important to a baby's development.

How Tummy Time Can Help Develop Your Baby’s Sensory System

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Great Websites for Kids

Whether you and your kids are looking for websites that have  homework help, safe sites to play games on, sites that have lots of volunteer opportunities in your area, sites that have safe social networking and email for kids, watch kids TV shows, look up health information, or you are looking for online music sites, this page has them for you!   

Click here to link to the site

On this page are 18 different sections that have websites by category. Here is a screen shot of the first 6:

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning