Category Archives: Parenting

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!

 

 

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!

How to “survive” as a stay at home mom

How to "survive" as a stay at home mom

 

Being a stay at home mom is no joke.  It’s like customer service with the crankiest, messiest, non communicative customers at times.  But the good days are absolutely amazing and give you a feeling of love, success, and accomplishment that you couldn’t get anywhere else.  It can take a lot of work, especially on those rough days, so here are a few of my tips on how to “survive” being a stay at home mom:

 

Find time for you in each day even if it is a 10 minute shower with no disruptions.  Turn on some music, use your favorite scented soap, and enjoy the time alone.

Prepare outfits for the week this will save you time every day.  Just get it all done at once and you’ll have one less thing to do each morning!

Fix meals that can be reheated throughout the week.  Portion out what you can for quick-grab snacks.

Pick your battles …really!  I often find myself saying no about things that don’t really matter, making myself become even more stressed.  I’ve found that letting go of the minor things can really make a difference.

Schedule your week on Saturday or Sunday with activities and places to go during the week.  Getting out is great for everyone and will help everyone’s moods.  Just make sure you prepare everything ahead of time to make it easier on you – snacks, entertainment for the car ride or restaurant, etc.  Many libraries have reading times and activities for toddlers in the mornings, perhaps you could go to the zoo, or just hang out at a park.  If it’s on the calendar and pre-planned, you are more likely to stick to it.

Create a daily schedule.  It can be flexible or set, but a schedule of your basic daily activities will help reduce the chaos as the kids get used to it.  A sample of things to include: breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, craft time, math practice, tv time, snack, nap, etc.

Meet other stay at home moms.  Not only is it great to set up play dates and have someone to talk to, but you can arrange to watch each others kids alternating weeks to allow each other free time for a date night, quiet time at home, or whatever is needed.  You can meet through online groups, local gatherings, church, parks, or simply through your school.

 

Image Map
Copyright 2014 Family Centsability