How to remain patient with your picky eater

Child reaching for strawberries

 

From the time we are born, our senses are constantly growing and changes.  Our taste buds are developing as well as our desire to be independent.  It may seem like a simple thing to eliminate the picky tendencies that arise but it can be so much more than that.  It can become a major psychological change for the child.

While most children are simply “picky,” some have a sensory processing disorder causing certain tastes or textures to seem despicable and unbearable.  With my children, I have experienced both the typical pickiness as well as oral aversion caused by SPD.  So how do we know the difference?  For most, it takes a trip to a specialist to determine, but we knew early on.  With any food that was not completely smooth, my oldest would choke.  For some, the earliest signs are a dislike for socks and shoes, or getting extremely upset on any type of mess (paint, food, etc) on their hands. 

Other children may have allergies to foods that do not clearly present themselves.  They may develop stomach aches or nausea and automatically have aversions to certain foods from it.  At such a young age, they may be unable to communicate their pain, leaving the only “choice” to be refusal and reluctance of those foods.  This is something we worried about with my youngest for a while.  What if he felt we were forcing him to eat foods that made him hurt?  Fortunately as he has developed his speech, we are able to work through this and determine what is going on. 

But for those who are simply picky, there are a few things we can do to make it easier.

Eat with your child.  Nowadays, it is too easy to fix something separately, eat a something different than your child, but it is so important to the well being of your child to maintain a habit of eating meals together. 

Offer rewards.  Rewards of a mini M&M or another small treat after a bite of disliked food may help put your child past the desire to fight that food.  Once he or she accepts this method, change it to two bites for a treat, and so forth. Prefer not to give candy?  Find something else your child likes such as mommy or daddy making a silly monkey face and noise.  You’ll be surprised how a smile, happy attitude, and silly face can make a difference when you are on the verge of a breakthrough!

Give your child something to fidget with.  I found that both of my boys both benefited from holding something in their hands as they took a bite of something they did not like.  Once you work past your child fighting that food, you can move on to them self feeding.  For those with SPD, it helps take their mind off of the food and give their brain something else to process.

For the older kids, a chore chart with meals could be added.  At the age of 5, my son has a great appreciation for coins.  He earns a nickel for each thing he completes on his chore chart and it is really a great motivator for him.  We added meals to his chore chart and it gives that extra push to help him work past it.  

 

Try to learn what makes your child tick.  Each child is different and will respond differently.  You know your child best and you can do it.  Just keep trying and don’t give up.  You are your child’s world and they need you more than anything!

 

 

The Snowball Effect of a Personal Injury

Personal Injury Stress

 

Being involved in an accident is already scary enough. These fears and stresses can be exacerbated when you suffered injuries. In an instant, any and everything about your life can be changed forever. From your finances to your personal relationships, the aftermath of an accident is often riddled with stress-inducing obstacles to overcome. If you are a parent, you need to be even more prepared.  Fortunately, there are a lot of resources and strategies that can help you get through it all.

 

Lost Wages/Employment Issues

One of the biggest things to happen to someone who has been injured is lost wages or employment issues. Whether your injuries are short or long-term, if you’ve been hurt to the point that you’re incapable of doing your job, it can impact your finances. Some individuals end up losing time, money, and even their jobs altogether (if their injuries are long-term and they won’t ever be able to perform their duties).

Solutions: Though you may not be able to do much about your diagnosis or recovery time, you can help your finances in a number of ways.

Hire an attorney – when you’re missing time off from work and your budget is starting to hurt because of it, secure an attorney. You’ll need to hire someone who practices in the region the accident took place. For example, if you were injured on a ride at Playland,  you would want to consult a personal injury attorney in White Plains NY or another city in Westchester County. They know the local court system and can help you file a suit to seek compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and other damages resulting from the injury. 

File disability – the moment you’re injured and not able to return to work you need to file a temporary disability claim. Your employer and/or your state has disability insurance which can be used to provide you with financial assistance while you recover.

Government programs – if your income has decreased substantially since the accident you may need further assistance from the government. There are programs that provide free or affordable healthcare, housing assistance, utility assistance, food stamps, and more you can take advantage of.  These programs can help you get back on your feet!

Tap into your savings – hopefully, you’ve been putting away for a rainy day. If so, now would be the time to use your emergency funds to tide you over until you receive other financial help. 

 

Hospital Stays/Long-Term Issues

Serious injuries can significantly alter the course of your life. Some people have to be hospitalized for days, weeks, or months at a time until they recover (which also increases medical expenses). Others end up having long-term issues that require long-term care or permanent lifestyle changes.

Solutions: Being seriously injured is stressful, but there are ways you can speed up your recovery. For those who have permanent issues, making lifestyle adjustments are necessary.

Work with your doctor – Keeping all your doctor’s appointments, following their advice, and following-up with specialists is the most effective way to recover.

Ask your family for help – If you’re going to be immobile for awhile you’ll need to call in the reinforcements. Your family can be very useful in helping you recover. They can pitch in with household chores, run errands, prepare meals, and even watch your children.  Recently my husband suffered a malpractice injury and we discovered how lucky we were to have family nearby. 

Make changes around the house – If your injuries are permanent you may need to make changes around the house to support yourself. This may include installing a ramp or widening doors for a wheelchair, adding grab bars for extra support, purchasing a lift chair, and whatever else you can think of.

 

Emotional Distress

Accidents don’t just cause physical pain, they cause emotional pain as well. Dealing with your finances, filing a personal injury suit, seeking medical treatment, and adapting to your new normal can be a lot to take on at once.

Solutions: The most effective solution for dealing with emotional distress is to speak with someone about it. Talking to a therapist or spiritual adviser can help you to gain perspective on things and learn new ways to enjoy life despite your injuries and troubles.

 

When you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t even your fault, it can turn your world upside down. It’s important that you don’t allow your circumstances or condition to get the best of you. In order to recover and get past the stress of an accident, it is important to make a plan. A personal injury attorney, your doctors, a therapist, and your family are the most effective people to turn to to help you resolve your problems. It may take some time, but eventually, you’ll learn how to appreciate life, and things will go on.

5 Skills Young Children Develop from Video Games

 

5 Skills Young Children Develop from Video Games

 

When I was a child, I was jealous of my cousin who had a Nintendo video game system.  It was so much fun to play, but my parents wouldn’t buy one.  My husband, however, grew up with video games.  After we married, he told me that he wanted to make sure our kids have access to technology and video games just as he had.  I couldn’t really understand the reason why, but now as a parent of young children, I can see how video games can serve educational value and encourage the development of new skills in a fun way!

 

Math Skills

Several games require the player to earn coins or points to move forward in some way, whether that is to level up or to purchase additional characters or items in the game.  This teaches basic math skills to my sons, helping them also learn to save up when necessary. 

 

Reading and Language

Instructions and character dialogue teach language skills and reading skills.  My 5 year old, has learned to read simple commands on the screen to complete a task or mission.  My 7 year old can read specific instructions on the screen to the point that he rarely needs our assistance.  They have also have developed a greater communication with each other.

 

Teamwork and Collaboration

Have you seen young brothers work together and follow each others instructions without a problem or fighting?  I have, and it is amazing to watch them work together!  Many of the “missions” in their games require them to work together closely and complete certain tasks at the same time in order to progress.  It took them a little while to figure it out but they have learned that teamwork is the best way to get something done.

 

Map Reading and Navigation Skills

Most games will have some sort of map to see where to go next or where another player is. My 5 year old has learned to navigate and compare his movement from that on the screen to the small map.  They can find each other across New York City in LEGO Marvel Superheroes and it is absolutely amazing to see these skills at work at such a young age!

 

Hand-Eye Coordination

You might think it is easy to press a button and move around on the screen but for a young child, it can improve their hand-eye coordination drastically!  Button configuration varies per game so the memorization and ability to press the buttons automatically takes patience and practice.

 

These skills can and will still be learned elsewhere, but I love seeing my children learn together while not even realizing it.  It will always be a controversial topic on the amount of screen time children should have, whether they should play video games, etc, but I believe that there are definitely benefits.  Check out these kid-friendly video games and see what you think!

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