Monday, June 10, 2013

Tips for Practical Praising of Your Kids

Praising your kids is an important part of building their self-esteem and confidence. But before you break out in applause, there are some important dos and don't's to keep in mind that will help your child find value in your words of encouragement - from WebMD.

Be specific. Instead of saying, "you're such a good baseball player," say, "you hit the ball really hard and you are an excellent first baseman." Being specific is much better and helps kids identify with their special skill.

Be genuine. Praise should always be genuine. Kids have a way of knowing when your praise is insincere, and when it is, you lose trust. Worse yet, they become insecure because they don't believe your positive words, and they find difficulty in telling the difference between when you really mean it and when you don't.

Encourage new activities. Praise kids for trying new things, like learning to ride a bike or tie their shoelaces, and for not being afraid to make mistakes.

Don't praise the obvious. Try not to overdo praise about a child's attributes: "You're so smart, handsome, pretty, bright, talented, gifted..." Parents and grandparents are, of course, going to indulge in some of this, and that is OK. But if your kids hear a constant litany of praise, it will begin to sound empty to them and have little meaning.

Say it when you mean it. Saying, "good job," when you mean it or, "boy, you really worked hard on that paper," tells children that, as parents, you recognize the value of their hard work and efforts. It also tells them that you know the difference between when they work hard at something and when it comes easy.

Focus on the process. Praise children for their effort and hard work, not for their inherent talents. Remember, it's the process not the product that matters. Not all kids will be fantastic athletes or brilliant students or accomplished musicians. But children who learn to work hard and persevere have a special talent.

Visit WebMD.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Nutella Popsicles!

Image by Kidspot.
These Nutella popsicles from Kidspot are made with just two ingredients. They taste a bit like a chocolate Paddle Pop but you can make them at home and the kids will love them.

This amount will make around six serves but this will depend on the size of your popsicle moulds.

  • 1 cup full cream milk
  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  1. Gather all ingredients and popsicle moulds.
  2. Place the milk and Nutella in a blender and blend until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour into a popsicle moulds.
  4. Freeze and serve
Try a Zoku pop maker - it will make you six popsicles in fourteen minutes. You could use a milk shaker canister and shake this mixture by hand if you don't have a blender or stick mixer.

Please ensure that you do not serve these around or directly to anyone with a nut allergy. You can use almond milk in place of the full cream milk in this recipe.

This recipe was created by Jennifer Cheung for
Kidspot, Australia’s best recipe finder. 

Visit Kidspot.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Top 10 Tips for Reducing Toddler and Parental Tantrums

We often think of tantrums as an inevitable consequence of having a toddler, but you can reduce the tears and over-the-top reactions with consistent and creative parenting. Read on with these top ten tips from Bub Hub.

Even with your best parenting, all kids will have the odd tantrum. They are a natural reaction to a world built for big people, with boundaries in place that little people don’t understand, and especially to not having the words and skills to express their desires. If you can’t say, “but Mum, I want to play a while longer” the reaction is likely to be, “WAAAAHHHHH!”

10 ways to prevent and reduce tantrums
  • Model the behaviour you want. Mainly, don’t have tantrums yourself in front of the child. If you need to go outside to kick a brick wall or scream, do it. If you lose your cool, your kid will think that’s a great new game – getting Mum/Dad to lose their cool. It also shows the child you think this is acceptable behaviour. Show your children you are open to new ideas and events, not easily disappointed, and flexible – for the most part, they will follow suit. If you have calm, rational reactions to challenging situations and persevere in the face of difficulty, your child will learn to be calm and persevering, too.
  • Don’t give in once you’ve said “enough” or “don’t touch.” And think very carefully before you say anything, so you NEVER go back on your word. Once you have allowed something, even once, your toddler will think it is now and always an allowable activity. If your child knows you will change your mind easily, they will push for this. Stick to your own rules without making a big fuss over it.
  • Give incentives. When you have to leave a place or finish an activity, give the incentive of a next thing to look forward to. “We have to leave now” is nowhere near as enticing as “we have to leave now so we can do some finger-painting at home!” Keep your eye on the prize – reiterate the incentive often (elaborate if you need to, but don’t change it) until you achieve it.
  • Give them warning. Give a ‘five-minute warning’ before nappy changes, activity changes and leaving a place your child is enjoying. Say WHY these things are necessary (“We need to change your nappy so you don’t have a wet bum, we need to go so we can get to Grandma’s”).
  • Carefully choose your response to tantrums. Save your ‘big reactions’ to good behaviour; kids love to please us, and consistent praise of good deeds, words and actions brings more of them. Some small transgressions are best ignored, others with a gentle reprimand. Tantrums tend to ensue when toddlers are hungry, tired or over/under-stimulated, and can be avoided by paying close attention to your child’s needs and providing snacks, quiet time or a nap before they realise they even need these things, and not overloading toddlers with choices and activities at these times.
  • Keep it simple. When giving directions to your toddler, use simple language you know they understand. Repeat your directions a few times or change the words you use if they don’t get it. Touch your child on the shoulder and say their name before you give directions so you know you have their attention. Rather than expecting them to pick up the blocks on the floor or put away their shoes when they are engrossed in an activity, choose transitional times between activities for these kind of tasks.
  • Set important boundaries. Some things are annoying for toddlers as they are objects their parents often touch, like hot mugs of coffee, and which are totally out-of-bounds. Make your life easier by ALWAYS watching where you put your coffee, not ever letting young children play with cups and mugs (it’s much harder to go back if you allow it even once), and teaching WHY it is important not to touch …"the mug is HOT." Cultivate in-built instant reactions to “Hot!” and “Stop!” Hot means keep your hands away. Stop means go no further, or freeze where you are.
  • Use positive directions/redirection. Take the focus AWAY from the object/activity you want to dissuade, and focus on something new that is allowed. Don’t harp on about the disallowed activity (this brings the focus back to it), make the allowed activity/object seem new and exciting. Get down to their level and look them in the eyes when you speak. If you are showing them something and want their attention, tap, scratch or use noise to show them where you want their attention.
  • Teach them the right words. If your child wants a drink or is hungry and is using crying, whining noises or anything other than words to tell you, explain the way to ask for what you think the child wants – “yes, I want juice” or “no, I don’t want it” etc. My toddler thinks this is a great game, watching Mum talk to herself like this, and he finds it so funny that is defuses most whinge-attacks.
  • Tell the child how to, rather than NOT to, do something. Say “pat the dog gently” or “glass can break – touch it like this”. Toddlers need experience of how to do things and if told constantly NOT to do things, their frustration levels rise and tantrums ensue. Be patient when instructing your child – then count to five and be patient again!
We hope these tips can go some way towards helping communication between you and your toddler, and keep tantrums to a minimum. Keep on parenting with love, gentleness, compassion and consistency and you will bring positive change to the life of your family.

Visit Bub Hub.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A DIY Project for You and the Kids - A Home-Made Magnifying Glass

These would be perfect for party favors or a birthday craft or to simply make at home. It is a little science experiment and a very cool looking toy when you are through, from Just Mommies.

The materials:
  • A plastic bag
  • Water
  • A small embroidery hoop
  • A wooden dowel (if you'd like to make it easy to transport)
  • Hot glue and scissors.

The process: 
  1. Spray paint the embroidery hoop and the dowel whichever color your'd like to coordinate, or leave them plain for an at home project. Black would be perfect for a spy or treasure hunt party! 
  2. Fill your plastic bag about 10% with water and make sure to seal fully. 
  3. Hold each of the four corners of your water bag together to center the water.
  4. Lay the bag center down inside the bottom embroidery hoop circle.
  5. Top with the outer circle and tighten the hoop together for security.
  6. Turn your hoop over and cut around the bag along the hoop back. Make sure the bag being left behind is pulled tight before cutting.
  7.  Seal off the bag and hoop closer with a string of hot glue (careful with this step if kids are helping). 
  8. Glue on dowel to make the hand hold. Use your magnifying glass to peer into small words, or to explore outside and see ants in a whole new light! 

Visit Just Mommies.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

All Things Hanging from Moo Said the Cow

Magical mobiles, friendly balloons, hooks and tree stands – all things beautiful for the bedroom from online children's store Moo Said the Cow.

Visit Moo Said the Cow.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Smooze Fruit Ice – the Healthier Alternative
to Lunchbox Treats

Forget the days of feeling guilty every time you reach for an icy treat in summer. Now you can have a healthy, natural, delicious snack as often as you like because Smooze Fruit Ice has only 66 calories per serve!

Responsible serving sizes of 65mL encourage healthy eating habits for the whole family, while adults are able to use Smooze Fruit Ice in cocktails, smoothies, or even curries. Being 100 per cent natural, Smooze Fruit Ice is the perfect summer snack for Australians with gluten, dairy and preservative intolerances. 

With 64 per cent of Australians considering themselves overweight and 82 per cent of people actively trying to lose weight by changing their diet, the need for a healthier way to cool down as the weather heats up is greater than ever. Smooze Fruit Ice is worth 2 Weight Watcher’s Pro Points.

Smooze Fruit Ice is made with a base of coconut milk, with real fruit added to create four delicious flavours – Pineapple + Coconut, Pink Guava + Coconut, Mango + Coconut and Simply Coconut. Available in boxes of 10, Smooze Fruit Ice doesn’t need to be frozen all the time, making it a convenient addition to the pantry all-year around. For this reason, Smooze Fruit Ice can be found not in the frozen section, but in the dessert aisle of supermarkets, near ice-cream cones and jellies.

Smooze Fruit Ice is also free from cholesterol, trans-fats, artificial colours and flavours, preservatives and genetic modification. Halal & Kosher certified, Smooze Fruit Ices are so healthy there’s no need to call them a ‘treat’ – the entire family can enjoy them every day!

Smooze Fruit Ice is distributed in Australia by Health Attack.

Visit Smooze.