Effective Parent Child Communication – Keep The Doors Open!

The most important aspect of any relationship is communication. Miscommunication causes a lot of misunderstanding. When your children are very young it is the best time to set up a very good communication system between you and your children. Effective parent child communication is of great importance at every stage.

As a parent, you do not want them to hide things from you. Your aim is to be involved in their life and their choices or decisions. Maintaining good communication with your children is an investment which will benefit you even when your children are grown-ups.

You need to start early – the earlier you start communicating effectively with your children, the easier it is going to be. As soon as a baby is born, he/she is aware of who his /her carer is. You can communicate with them when you play with them- for example when you play hide-and-seek or any other game. When you talk to them, talk in full sentences. For example say “do you want milk?” instead of just “milk”. This will encourage them to talk in full sentences as well. Also, give them choices – “do you want this or that?” This will encourage them to make small decisions .

How was your day?

As your child grows up, communicate with them according their age and understanding. Whenever they have any questions or curiosity about anything – answer it honestly. Do not discourage them by saying “stop asking me questions” If you are in the middle of something, just say “let me tell you later “. This will teach children the importance of communication. Once they start going to a pre school or primary/secondary school, you can ask them “how was your day?” . Encourage them to tell you the highlights of the day. Tell them yours too ! They will feel involved in your life too!

Secrets

Kids love secrets. Most likely they would like to tell you secrets if they did something harmless but naughty at school. Tell them your secrets- make it up – something fun and child friendly! Talking in different ways with your kids encourages communication.

Sometimes it may seem like a chore – but doing this continuously will be very helpful especially when you really need your child to talk to you – for example if they are being bullied or harassed at school. Or when you feel that they are mingling with rough or wrong crowd. If your kids tell you something in confidence – like an embarrassing moment they had – keep it a secret- don’t blurt it out to the other parents. Tell your spouse about in private- and not in front of the child.

Finding solutions

From an early age encourage your children to discuss any issues they might be having at school. Try to resolve any problems they might be having. Give them options – if they are not happy with the solution you have provided them with. If they have got a dilemma about anything you can steer them in the right direction.

Tap their feelings

If your child discusses an incident with you in school, ask them how did they feel about it? Try to gauge their feelings on it. If they did not feel good about it, try to soothe their feelings about it. Next time they go through a difficult situation, they will discuss their feelings about the situation without you having to ask about it.

Praise them

Praise them when they give you some important information. This will encourage them to do it again.

Trivia

When they talk, however trivial it is, LISTEN! You never know what you might learn! If they are doing something wrong, you will know early on, which would give you a chance to guide or steer them in the right direction!

Do not close doors to anything

Do not close doors to any kind of communication or discussion with your kids – whether you agree with them or not. Kids too have the right to express their opinion!

In case, they are curious about the human anatomy, do not shy away from the topic- try to answer their questions truthfully. If you feel it is not age appropriate – tell them ” I will tell you about it at the right time”- keep the doors open. Don’t say something like “you shouldn’t talk about this – you are too young” otherwise they might try to satisfy their curiosity in incorrect ways.

If they are curious about cigarettes or alcohol- discuss it with them. If you try to avoid these topics then they will get more curious and might be tempted to even try it before they are 16 years of age. Even if you are a non-smoker or a non-alcoholic – always discuss this topic with them rather than forcing them to change their mind. Correct them if you feel they are wrong but don’t tell them off.

Do not say things like “this topic is not up for discussion” – if it is something you do not agree with tell them the reasons as to why you are saying what you are saying .

Try to understand their perspective

If you want your children to communicate with you and keep you involved in their life, it is very important that you try to understand their perspective at least sometimes. If you refuse to understand their point of view every single time, they may stop communicating with you just to avoid an argument !

If you are wrong admit it

If you are wrong or you have made a mistake, you should admit to your children that you have made a mistake. Think of all the times when you pointed out their mistakes. Let go of your ego !

Conclusion

Remember, the goal of every parent is to be best friends with their children ! This can be achieved only if you treat them as an individual and with respect – just like you would treat your friends!

Are you your child’s best friend? Have you got any tips or tricks on how to communicate effectively with children? Please share via comment box below.

Happy New Year !

Regards

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas and Gratitude – Feeling Grateful is The Real Meaning of Christmas!

Parents and Grandparents are always eager to shower children and grandchildren with tons of Christmas presents. It is perfectly natural for them to feel the need to give the children whatever they didn’t get in their childhood like toys, games,books ,clothes, electronic games etc. By doing so they forget to explain to the children the real and true meaning of Christmas and that Christmas and gratitude go hand in hand.

Christmas cards

There are a lot of people who think, “he gave me a Christmas card this year but last year he didn’t, I gave him a Christmas card last year, so this year I won’t! Then we are equal! ” or “she never gives me a Christmas card, why should I ?” Unfortunately this kind of feeling catches up with the children when they listen to the parents’ or Grandparents’ dilemma about whom to give cards and who not to!

It is forgotten that giving is the true spirit of Christmas. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people saved money by not buying Christmas cards and using that money to feed the homeless or giving toys to the poor children. After all, we have now got so many fantastic communication methods in the form of email, social media or good old texting(sms) !

If children want to give Christmas cards to their friends, they should be encouraged to make their own cards! If parents can help younger children make the cards, it will create a good bonding time with the kids as well!

Are our children becoming too greedy at Christmas time?

All children are busy counting how many chocolates, how many presents they received at Christmas time. Children are innocent but in their innocence, they start believing or thinking that this is what Christmas is about.

How many toys can a child play with or how many chocolates can he eat? There has to be some limit. There has to be some appreciation … and lots of gratitude.

Charity

Children should be encouraged to give their toys to charity – to the less privileged kids. This will develop gratitude in them. Before Christmas kids can be asked to choose some of their toys to give for charity and in return they will get Christmas presents. This will teach them to give before receiving.

Why am I going on and on about gratitude?

I understand that children have the right to enjoy their childhood and childhood is the golden period of life. But it is equally important to teach children gratitude. This will help them get through difficult times in life when they become adults. Gratitude will teach them to be happy at all times, no matter what their circumstances are.

Please refer to my previous post on Teaching Children To Be Grateful – A Way To Happiness .

If it is not presents and food and drink, then what is Christmas about? My thoughts are :

Christmas is family time

Children should be taught that Christmas is about spending time with family. It isn’t about who has given what present. It isn’t about who has got the most decoration or lights outside their house! It is the time to be grateful that you have got a family ! Christmas is the time to appreciate each other and not fight with each other!

Read my post on Top 10 Family Board Games- Which One is Your Favourite?

Christmas is a time for believing in God

Christmas is the time to believe in God, being thankful for giving us a beautiful life. Christmas is about having faith that everything will be ok. Christmas is about believing that God is always looking after you! Christmas is about believing that God has got your back!

so,

How Do You Become Grateful during Christmas

Children always “copy” their parents. Parents are the role models of their children. Be Always what you want your kids to be especially when they come adults. Cut down on your Christmas expenditures like Christmas presents, Christmas cards, Christmas decorations,Christmas day food and drinks! Any money you save should be used for charity. It is better to light somebody’s life during Christmas then lighting up your already lit up house ! 

Please note that the keyword here is cut down . You don’t need to stop celebrating Christmas just to teach gratitude to your children.

If everybody cuts down their Christmas expense even by a tiny amount, not only will their children learn to be more grateful but also it will benefit all poor and underprivileged adults and children. The fun is in the giving not in the receiving!

Next steps

I know most of us would have already made all arrangements for Christmas by now, but we can always start next year. This year I have saved tiny amount of money by making this Christmas tree decoration with my children! It was great fun!

What are your plans for Christmas this year? Do you agree that Christmas is the time to express your gratitude to God? Please put your thoughts and plans in the comment box below!

Merry Christmas to all of you!

 

 

 

 

Playpens For Toddlers – My Recommendation

As soon as a baby starts crawling, parents have a tough time ensuring the baby’s safety on one hand and finishing household chores on the other hand. One way around it is to get playpens for toddlers. Another benefit of a playpen is it helps keeps the room tidy as all the toys of the baby are inside the playpen. It becomes even more necessary to get a playpen, to keep your toddler safe from an older sibling playing or if you have got any pets in the house.

 


There are a lot of playpens available but I would like to recommend to you a playpen which can be folded and put away, can be easily wiped and is affordable and of a good quality as well.


The Venture All Star JOY Portable Playpen

Product name: All Star Joy Playpen

Dimensions: 136x 136 x 75 /1.4 sq. metres

For Ages: 6-24 months

My rating: 5/5

Warranty: 90 days manufacturer’s warranty

 

Other Features

  • Easy to set up and fold down. Comes in a carry bag for easy transportation.
  • New patented folding mechanism, eliminates steel cross sections as seen in older versions.
  • Made with an all steel frame and reinforced stitching and a double locking system for extra safety.
  • Padded nylon water resistant floor mat which enables indoor and outdoor use of the playpen. Easy to wipe clean as well.
  • Sides are equipped with ventilating mesh walls for easy visibility.
  • Zip-opening panel for easy access(see pictures).
  • Lightweight frame which comes fully assembled.
  • This playpen meets British Safety Standards BS EN 12227:2010.

= = > > Click here to buy Venture All Star Joy Portable Playpen > > = =

Pros

  • It is very sturdy and therefore hard for the toddler to topple it over. When my children were small we had a gym nest, which my daughter was very easily able to topple it over and this was a safety concern for me ! No worries about that with this playpen!
  • Great quality.
  • Easy to put it up and fold it down on a daily basis. It can be done single handedly by Mums!
  • No cross bars and therefore prevents little ones from climbing out of the playpen.
  • This can be used indoors as well as outdoors. For example it can be used in the house or used in your back garden, in the park or on the beach! Easy to clean – just clean it with a damp cloth. You can also take it to grandparents’s home !
  • Playpen comes with a storage bag so easy to carry it around.
  • You can keep the side panel “open” so that your child doesn’t feel he/she is in a cage. They can move in and out of the playpen if they want. Some children might feel scared of sitting inside the playpen so if they have got the option of moving in and out of the playpen, they will settle in the playpen faster. The side panel also enables parents to sit in the playpen.
  • You can see the child through the breathable sides without having to look over the top of the playpen.

  • Very spacious inside the playpen – enabling the parent or sibling to play with the child . Your child can crawl as well as play with his toys.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • In case, you don’t have much room in your home you can fold and put the playpen away when your child is sleeping unlike other playpens which are not practical as they cannot be folded and put away.

= = > > Click here to buy Venture All Star Joy Portable Playpen > > = =

Cons

  • Padding of the mat might be thin for harder floors.
  • The metallic bars are hard so you might need to baby proof them .
  • It will take a bit of space and so if you are short of space you will have to fold down the playpen every evening when your child goes to sleep.
  • The sides are high so you might struggle to put the child from the top into the playpen. But you can put them easily from the side panel.

Conclusion

One of things which I (and I am sure other mothers ) struggled with was how to go to the toilet or the bathroom by leaving a crawling toddler unsupervised. This seems to be a good enough solution for this! Apart from that it is a good quality, safe product as well as reasonably priced. The negative points of this product are not important enough to avoid buying this product. Just make sure you have got enough space to place it as per the dimensions above. Therefore I would buy this product if I were looking for a playpen.

Have you ever used a playpen for your children? What has been your experience? If you have used this particular product please share your experiences for the benefit of other readers via comment box below.

Regards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Remedies for Common Ailments – Handy Tips When your Child is Unwell

When the child is sick most parents just go rushing to the Doctor even for the smallest ailment. Most of the common ailments get cured on their own but there are ways where you can provide relief to your child. Home remedies for common ailments also prevent consuming unnecessary medicines like paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Common cold

Steam

Inhaling steam clears blocked noses and clears the airway. Safer options to do steam are using an electric steam inhaler or fill the bath tub with hot water and then let your child inhale the steam from the hot water.

However, be very careful of the hot water. If your child is hyper then be very careful with the hot water. A lot of kids have had burns while trying to inhale steam.

Also when they have bath , put warm water on their ribs, this will release the phelgm stuck in the ribs.

Decongestants

You can also use decongestants like Olbas oil or Vicks Vaporub on your child. I apply a tiny amount of Vicks Vaporub on the soles of my children’s feet and put socks on their feet. Do this before they go to bed at night. Leave the socks on for the whole night. This will create warmth in their body and help to cure the cold.

Cough

Usually cough and cold come together. You can use this recipe of honey, turmeric powder and ginger which will cure not only the cough but also the cold. It is recommended that babies under the age of 1 year shouldn’t have honey as they are unable to digest it. Here is the recipe:

2 TBSP of Rowse Honey (brown) honey

1/4 tsp ginger juice

1/4 turmeric powder

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and give 1-2 tbsp of this mixture at least 3 times a day. If your child finds the ginger juice too spicy reduce it a little or increase the proportion of honey.

For those who are not sure of how to make ginger juice, wash and peel the skin of the ginger. Grate the ginger with a small grater or grate very finely, then squeeze the grated ginger with your finger to get the juice. Alternatively put the grated ginger in a soft thin cloth and twist the cloth to extract the juice. Make sure the juice doesn’t hav any pieces of ginger.  

You can either use normal honey or Manuka honey. Manuka honey is said to have anti bacterial properties. I just use normal honey as turmeric powder has natural antibacterial and healing properties.

If their cough has got phelgm , advise them to spit it out (in the sink) whenever they can.

Turmeric powder and warm milk

If your child is coughing constantly like mine does, give them a quarter cup of warm milk and stir some turmeric powder in it.  Turmeric powder will settle down at the bottom of the cup quickly so keep stirring it . At the same time make sure the milk doesn’t get cold. I know it is not very tasty for children but it is better to have this then cough syrups which do nothing for your child. Turmeric powder has great healing properties too so it will not only provide relief but also stop or reduce constant coughing or tickly cough.

Warm salt water Gargle

If your child is older and is able to gargle then make them gargle warm water with salt. This is very good for constant coughing or tickly cough and also for sore throat .

All the above remedies are effective both for adults and children.

Stomache

Stomache is a common complaint among children. If their bowels are not clear. Add few drops of water (or warm water, if weather is cold) to Asafoetida(known as Hing in Indian languages) and apply it around the belly button in circular motions. Cover the area below the stomach, which would get everything moving in the intestines! Do this before meals ! Make sure you put very few drops of water in the asafoetida otherwise it will become very watery.

Diarrhea

For diarrhea , make fresh apple and pomogenrate juice and give your child at least once a day. Once the diarrhea stops, give banana. Banana helps the stomach make solid stools. If you are concerned in any way about your child or your child has a high temperature or a bloody diarrhea , take them to the Doctor.

Chicken Pox

Soak some neem leaves in the bath water. This will soothe the skin. You still need to put lotion to stop the itching.

Headaches

I do acupressure points for headache. Press the both thumbs of your hand as shown in the picture below. Do each one 50 times,3 times a day.

Make your child drink water as dehydration also causes headaches. I always try these remedies before I give paracetamol.

Whenever your child is sick, always make sure your child is hydrated, otherwise they will feel worse.

Please bear in mind that I am not a medical professional. If your child is allergic to any of the above ingredients above do not give them to your child.

Do you believe in home remedies? Do you have any home remedies or recipes to share? Please share via comment box below.

Regards