Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holidays - Full of Fun or Fear?

This?   or


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

Friday, May 3, 2013

Baby's First Year Milestones

Fun Baby Firsts: The Exciting Milestones of Baby's First Year  (title is a link)

webinar from the Minnesota Working Family Resource Center (another link)

Watching your new baby grow and develop is such a joyful part of parenthood.  Learn about the amazing leaps and bounds your baby will make in the first year, and how to promote development.  Parents will learn when to seek help for concerns, and how to access community resources dealing with development. 

Presenter: Sara Pearce, RN CNM IBCLC Amma Parenting Center 

Sara is the founder of Amma Parenting Center, as well as Director of Education. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and a Masters of Science in Nursing from Yale University. A Registered Nurse since 1995 and Certified Nurse-Midwife since 1997, Sara practiced OB nursing and midwifery in North Carolina and Minnesota until 2001, when she shifted focus to education. She founded Amma Parenting Center in 2007 to bring the New Mama Class to new mothers and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.   You can click on the title or this link to go to the registration page.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How Do You Talk About Traumatic Events With Your Little Ones?

Over the winter there was a horrible school shooting, before that a shooting at a movie theater. Now there were bombs at the Boston Marathon. And on our daily morning and evening news there are numerous stories about killings and shootings and hit and runs and...... 

We try to shield our children as best we can because we know that they really don't need to hear and see all of the violence in the format the news media projects it. But you know that there are other adults out there that don't see the little ears and little eyes and they talk about events and watch news stories where children can hear. 

At different ages children are able to handle different aspects of trauma. I received an article in my email that I wanted to share because it's perfect. It talks about the different developmental levels of children and what they understand and can handle regarding trauma in their lives.

Here is a link to the article I mentioned. It is an excellent article, well worth reading.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Olly, A Kid Friendly Browser

The default web browser built into the iPad by Apple is Safari. While this is a highly effective browser, many parents wish to be able to have more control over the features of Safari than Apple currently allows. The Olly browser is an alternative to Safari that provides parents with additional control over blocking websites and viewing Internet history. (read all the way to the end to find out how you can also protect your children when browsing the internet on your computers at home)

(from the iTunes store) Olly is the best browser in the world for protecting kids from harmful content. It blocks over 660 million pages of sexually explicit content. Thousands added every hour. Designed especially for families and schools.

"There is finally a way to let kids access the web on an iPad without having access to adult content" - Forbes


Protects kids from over 32 billion URLs of sexually  
    explicit content
Safe Browsing is easy to turn ON/OFF
It doesn’t block innocent websites! Less than 0.3% error 
You can block widely used social networks and video 
    sharing sites with one-touch buttons
Add additional websites of your choice to Safe Browsing 
    block list
Thousands of new pages added every hour. Software 
    update not required.
Monitor your kids' search history while protecting your 
    own with a pincode

"Olly seems to be as fast (or, in some instances, faster) than both Chrome and Safari, which was a pleasant surprise. If I had children or simply wanted to have control over what someone using my iPad chooses to view on its formerly-innocent screen, Olly would likely be my first choice."

"Olly is very easy to download, install and use. Parents assign themselves a four digit numeric passcode that enables them to not only turn Olly’s safe browsing mode on or off, but to add additional sites to the filter list including Badoo, BlogSpot, Digg, FaceBook and Twitter. By default these sites are not blocked, which is smart, since there are plenty of good reasons why kids should have access to social networking sites." -Forbes

"Because Apple makes it possible to disable Safari, it's possible to make Olly the only available browser. Parents can always turn Safari back on when they're using the iPad, but after using Olly for a while, I think it makes more sense for parents to simply use Olly with safe browsing turned off." -Mercury News

Regular features included

Olly is a fully loaded browser. It only blocks adult content
    when Safe Browsing is enabled
Unlimited tabbing just like Chrome
Twitter sharing integration
Facebook sharing integration
Integrated search and URL bar for simplicity
URL history (protected by your passcode)
Copy and paste

TO DISABLE SAFARI – Go to iPad Settings > General > Restrictions > Disable Safari

We add thousands of new pages to our cloud-based classification system every hour but you don’t need to install any updates. You don’t even need to restart the browser for it to block new sites when Safe Browsing is enabled. 

Olly is brought to you by MetaCert, the company that helped to instigate the creation of POWDER, the new industry standard for labeling content for online family safety, formally replacing PICS as a W3C Recommendation.

MetaCert also has software or extensions for your desktop browsers at home, if you use Firefox or Chrome they offer a free download that allows you to have more control over what your children are looking at on the Internet. (click on the links to go straight to the option for your browser)