helping kids learn to read

Helping kids is not an easy topic no matter how you look at it. When a parent takes on the responsibility of having a child, the responsibilities never seem to end, even in times when they are grown up and moved out of the house years ago. So how can we as parents help our children to reach a stage where they can start taking care of themselves? At what age should a child start learning responsibilities and that there is consequences to their actions? Most importantly, how do you teach your child these things without alienating them or cause them to rebel against your teachings.

Before you as a parent start to teach your children discipline and principles, stop and think what you want to teach your child. How do you want your child to help you, what do you expect from them? Make a list of things that you can start with when they reach an age where they understand the words yes and no. We live in a world where you as a person have to live by a certain code, although this code is not written down for some odd reason it is unmistakably clear. Let us start from the beginning, from the age of a toddler.

Once your infant reaches the stage where he or she can understand the two most important words being yes and no, you as parents can teach your child the first important task. You start to teach your little one on how to help mommy or daddy pick up all the toys that you played with. This does not necessarily have to be a straight. Since your toddler is at a stage where helping a parent to please them make them smile but does not enjoy cleaning up, can become a game by itself. You as parent can turn this situation into a positive learning experience and get the job done. You can either start teaching your child colours, shapes or textures during this activity by sorting the toys as you put them away. At a later stage, you can even start by teaching your little one how to count.

The next stage in your life with your child would be between the ages of 4 to 9. This is a stage in your child’s life were they start to develop their own personalities. Getting your child to help you out or even excepting help from a parent is not easy. They are at a stage where they want to do things for themselves. Now the question is how you can get your child to except help or get them to help without having to turn the situation into a screaming match. There is two ways to go about this. Before we get to the solution, we have to look at the problem. As a parent, you know that since your little one was borne they have been in a routine. Children do well with routines; once the routine is disrupted, you have chaos on your hands. Keep to this principle, think about what you want from your child, put it down on paper and do not vary. For example if you want your child to help you out by picking up the toys, putting their dirty laundry in the wash, put the plates and cups in the sink etc. it has to stay consistent.

Once you have established what you want your little one to do, the best way to help your child would be to praise good behaviour and condemn bad behaviour. Now we said there is to ways to go about this, let us have a look at what can help both the child and parent. The most common way is to set up a chart. Giving your little one a star for every task completed which can be exchanged for a reward. The second choice would be to give into any child’s heart desire a pet. By now most parents are cringing with a definite no, having in mind a dog, cat or even a bird. Although it does not have to be any of these, the perfect pet choice would be a fish. By taking your child out window-shopping for bowls, decoration and lastly the fish, you help your child to strive towards these goals.

They learn the responsibility by taking care of a pet; help you as parent out by completing their tasks, looking forward to the end of the week where they can add a new attribute to their collection and both parent and child can enjoy this hobby. Turning it into a family bonding time.

Autism in Children

Autism occurs when the brain develops differently. The brains function is to interpret and understand the things we experience like sight, touch, sight, smell etc. Once the brain can’t interpret these things it makes it difficult to learn and understand clear tasks like talking, learning, playing etc. These symptoms can vary from mild to severe or in between. Most children suffering from this autism disease finds it difficult to distinguish and understand emotions, like happiness, anger etc.
Kids with autism might have trouble with learning, repetitive behavior, move ligaments and body parts in a certain way, adjustment to changes like new types of food, new teacher, moving of toys etc. It is frustrating not knowing the meaning of the words that a person is saying, or to use the correct words to express your thoughts or needs. The symptoms become apparent before they reach the age of 3.
Children with autism face many challenges and there are many things a parent can do to assist their children suffering from this disease. It is also important to remember that you as a parent need a support system; you need to take care of yourself, to be the best parent, you must be emotionally strong. Once a child has been diagnosed with autism the parents start worrying and asking what now and what is next? It is very difficult to prepare parents and to explain that there child is not healthy. Autism can be a very frightening experience to new parents. Parents find this situation very confusing and conflicting when it comes to medical treatment or advise, because they can face the problem of an incurable, lifelong conditions. This can give a parent the feeling of despair, because nothing you do can make a difference. This is not true, although a child cannot out grow autism there are various treatments available that can help.
Children learn new skills and overcome many development challenges. There are government services available for behavior therapy, school programs, assistance for their special needs etc. With the right treatment plan your child can learn, thrive and grow like any normal child. Once your child has been diagnosed with autism the best thing you as a parent can do would be to start treatment immediately. It is important to know even though your child is suffering from autism, he is still a child. You as parent must make time for fun. It is important to schedule playtime with your child and not just be facing life with therapy. The perfect time to schedule playtime with your autistic child would be at a time when they are alert and awake. Playtime is also a time of learning but it is important that the child must not feel pressured, and enjoy the time with you as parent. Once you have established a play or work schedule, pay attention to your child’s sensory sensitivities. You might be facing a child that is hypersensitive to sensory stimuli or under sensitive to sensory stimuli like light, smell, touch, sound, taste etc.
Once a parent understand what effects their child, preventing situations that cause stress and difficulty becomes a lot easier. There are so many treatments available for autistic children that you as a parent have to choose the plan that is right for your child. Each child whether healthy or facing a challenging illness like autism is unique, with their own strengths and weaknesses. The person who best knows your child and his individual needs, is you the parent. You can make the choice that best suits your child by looking at the following things: your child’s strengths, weakness, behavior causing problems, skills your child can improve on or that he is lacking in, the best learning process through methods of sight, hearing etc. Activities that your child enjoys should be implemented into the child’s treatment plan. These are the things you as parent can help your child progress in when looking at a learning program for him or her. These steps are also important for self growth, stability and most importantly self esteem.
Caring for a child with autism can be demanding, take up a lot of time and energy. There will be days when you feel discouraged, over whelmed and stressed. This is not easy for newly introduced parents to autism disease. When you have a support system on your side, you do not have to go through this challenge alone. Parent counseling and assistance especially during the difficult days are very important.

six month feeding

Once your baby has reached the age of 6 months, you as parent are facing the challenge of introducing solid foods to your baby. This can be a fun bonding time between you and your little one. Many parents ask the question of, how does one go about this task? Which foods do I start with and how much? What do I do if my baby does not like the food I as parent introduce? There are so many questions and so many advices available, which one would be the best choice for my baby? Before making this choice let us have a look at what you need to know.
At the age of 6 months, babies are normally introduced to solid foods. The medical professionals recommend that parents gradually introduce solid foods to a baby between the ages of four to six months old depending whether your baby is ready or not. Be sure to go and see your baby’s pediatrician before you as parent start to introduce solid food to your infant. Once your baby’s tongue thrust reflex is gone or diminished this is one of the indications that your baby is ready for solid foods. The tongue thrust reflex prevents the infant from choking from foreign objects and when an infant is not ready for solid foods, they will push the food out of their mouth. Another indication that a parent can look at is, when a child can support his own head. Before an infant starts eating solid food, they need good neck and head control.
Once your baby starts showing interest in food, you as parent can take this as another sign that your infant is ready for solid foods. Should the doctor have given you the parent the go ahead to start feeding solids to your baby and the infant is finding it frustrating or shows no interest in the food that you are presenting to your baby do not worry. Wait a few days and try to introduce the food to your infant again. The infant’s milk at this stage still fulfills the baby’s nutritional needs, and the solid food serves as a mere supplement. There for it is not a big concern at this stage if your baby does not want any solid foods yet. Once you have seen your pediatrician and you decide on the type of solid food you want to start introduce to your baby, pick a time of day that your infant is awake and full of energy.
You want your baby to be a little hungry but not all out starving. You as parent might want to consider giving the infant hid bottle before introducing the solid foods. The perfect position for your infant to be in before introducing solid food would be in a upright position, either on a parents lap which can be a bit messy or in a baby seat which would be easier to clean. Most of the time the first spoon of solid food is rejected by the infant, with the second attempt things should go a lot better. Even if the food ends up more on the things around your infant than in the mouth, remember that this is only the introduction process to solid foods. It is not advisable to add cereal to your baby’s bottle due to the fact that the infant is prone to easily pick up weight and become over weight. This does not help the baby in the eating process. Once the infant gets the hang of eating solid foods like cereals, it would be the perfect time to start introducing different types of solid foods like fruit and that you the parent can follow up with vegetables.
Remember it is important to start introducing the solid foods one at a time, to give your infant the chance to enjoy the experience. Keep in mind that it is important to remember that you as parent know your baby the best. You need to trust your instincts and decide whether your baby is ready for the next step, which would be introducing solid foods at this stage. The best choice of food to start your infant on would be better discussed with your doctor. From there you will be able to see how much your little one consumes. It is also important to keep in mind that no schedule for each child is the same. Your infant might be eating more or sometimes less than what the eating guide suggests.

Finger foods for babies

When looking for finger foods for babies please remember that each baby is different, although babies normally start self feeding between the ages of 6 to 9 months not all babies may show interested at this stage. When starting finger foods it is important to apply the 4-day rule.
What is this 4-day rule? The 4-day rule is a simple way to check if your baby has any sensitive or allergic reaction to new or different food types. Except for food allergies when introducing new foods to your baby you as parent might also be facing digestive problems like stomach pains, gas etc. When choosing to introduce your baby to new foods, choose to do so wisely. Take one food type at a time and space it over a 4-day period before introducing the next food type to your infant. By introducing food like a banana in the beginning of the week for example Monday, one should wait until at least Thursday before introducing another food type. By applying this rule, a parent can better determine what reaction the baby has to that specific type of food. It is also advised to try and introduce new types of food early in the morning, should your baby experience any negative side effects, so that you as a parent can still have the option of contacting the pediatrician during office hours. This also prevents any major disruption during your baby’s routine. A parent can start disregarding the 4-day rule, when your baby has been introduced to several new food types without any negative side effects. Should you have a family with a history of food allergies, it would be advised to continue the 4-day rule until your baby has reached 12 months of age.

Now that we looked at what to do when we start giving finger foods to babies, let us have a look at how do you know when your baby is ready for finger foods. Babies normally start self-feeding between the ages of 6 to 9 months. This is the stage were parents start to experiment with new tastes, textures etc.
When an infant reaches 9 months, they have already started to develop a fine motor skill, called the pincher grasp. This action takes place when your baby starts to pick up small objects and hold them between the thumb and fore finger. In the beginning, they are clumsy, but with practice, they improve this skill to perfection. Finger food is not just fun but also have a very important lesson that is taught to your baby. Finger food gives your baby more control over what they eat and how much they consume. This is a self-regulating process, which in turn will tell you as parent when your baby is hungry or full. By allowing your baby to establish and self regulate their eating habits teaches your baby how to recognize and respond according to feeling of hunger or being full.

We have established that a normal time for a baby to show interest in self-feeding would be between the ages of 6 to 9 months, but trust your instincts and spot the readiness signs as a parent. Finger food also has another advantage for your baby, called hand to mouth coordination. When choosing finger food make sure it is the healthy option. It is also important to take into consideration that the food you choose is soft and easily breakable, easy to swallow or melt in the mouth option. Introduce finger food one at a time starting with colours, textures and taste. As this is an experimental stage for your baby. Should your baby show initial dislike in certain types of food, give it a break for 3 weeks and then try it again, because baby’s taste changes frequently. By starting your baby on finger food also allows you as parent to create the perfect snack between meal times. This allows you as parent to manage portion control for when normal meal times arrive. This also prevents you the parent from facing the problem of baby not being hungry at meal times and disrupting his routine.

We had a look at everything regarding finger food. Now the question remains what type of finger food can one start to give to baby? In the fruit department, we can look at the following: Bananas, cooked apples and pear cubes, melon cubes, kiwi and avocados. Bananas and avocado’s are quite slippery food type, to make it easier on your baby, roll the banana or avocado in crushed baby cereal powder. This makes this type of food easier to hold and eat. The perfect veggie foods would be: sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, beetroot, broccoli, asparagus and peas.

When to start feeding solids

When to start feeding solids

Most of the decisions you make with your infant is based on the information you obtain through pre- natal classes, health care professionals, and internet and loved ones that have been through this process. It is important to remember when you start reading books, articles etc. regarding your baby, keep in mind that not one baby is the same. You as a parent, especially with your first-born are swamped with dos and don’ts. Most of the time, a parent is confused about all the advice available to them, due to all the contradictions. So what advice do you take and which ones does a parent discard? By the time you finished reading this article, you will have more insight and trust within yourself as a parent and well as in the decisions you will make regarding your baby.

Most of the products on the market as well as your health care professionals advise to start introducing solids to a baby at the age of six months. Now the question remains, why? Let us have a look at your babies digestive system. A baby cannot digest certain types of food at a certain stages in his life, for example starch, carbohydrates and fats. This is because of the pancreas. A baby‘s pancreas is not fully developed when he is born, and because the pancreas produce enzymes which in turn helps with the digestion of food. This in turns explain why health care professional’s advice solid food from the age of 4 to 6 months onward. If the pancreas has not yet fully developed and only starts to produce enzymes from the age of 4 to 6 months, how does the baby digest his milk?

We have established that a baby‘s pancreas is not fully developed which is the cause of low enzyme production, that is why the baby’s milk and saliva helps with the short comings by producing enzymes the selves. Even though the pancreas only starts to produce enzymes 4 months after birth, which effects food digestion, there are other factors to take into consideration before making the choice of introducing solids to your baby. Except for the pancreas, some of the other factors to take into consideration would be tongue- thrust and your baby’s gastro intestinal track. Let us have a look at what is happening inside your baby’s gastro intestinal track. An infant’s milk and saliva has been found to produce enzymes, but what about the gastro intestinal track? Older babies’ have a fully developed mucous layer in the gastro intestinal track unlike new a born, and this can lead to infection if care is not taken. An infant’s milk does not just produce enzymes but also anti-bodies, which help, protect the infant’s gastro intestinal tract until the mucous lining, is fully developed and produces anti – bodies on its own.

The third reason why early solid food feeding is not recommended is because of the baby’s tongue thrust reflex. Although the previous generations have started solid food feeding when the baby was a mere month or 2 old, researchers found due to this action there was a higher mortality rate amongst babies in that time. Research shows that there were mineral and vitamin deficiencies reported amongst babies, which was the cause of higher rates of illness and deaths. Research shows that since medical science progressed in the field regarding infants and their feeding habits, infants are now receiving the proper nutrients for their bodies. I can understand a parent asking, what does this have to do with my baby or me? There is a simple answer. A baby’s intestines are only closed between the ages of 4 to 6 months. Before this age, they have what medical professionals call an “open gut”. By feeding a baby before the mucous lining in the gastro intestinal tract has formed and closed. When feeding baby solids during this time, whole pieces of food may end up in the blood stream and that can cause your baby to have food allergies or gastro intestinal problems like colic, gas etc.

The perfect time to introduce solid foods would be between the ages of 4 to 6 months. This is the time to enjoy watching your baby smearing his face and everything around him in an attempt to stuff his mouth full of food. To let your baby discover how much fun food can be, is not necessarily the parent’s point of view since they have to do the cleaning, but trust your own instincts when it comes to your baby. No one knows him or her better that you.