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How to Cope with Moody Children

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Family , Tags: angry, anxiety, children, happy, moody, stress

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Dealing with a 'moody' child can be very exhausting, especially if you are sensitive to the psychological repercussions that might develop and you are worried about where the moodiness will lead.  Be assured that it's very rare to have clinically depressed children under preschool age, unless there is a serious issue. What you are probably dealing with is a child who slips into a bad mood and has trouble getting out of it. It's perfectly normal. How you deal with the mood, however, is important.

Here are a few pointers.

  1. Time: Take some time out to spend with your child.  Children who are a bit bit moody, are easily labeled as moody and left to fend for themselves, when in fact a bit of attention (one to one attentio)- would do them them a great amount of good.  Ideally, spend half an hour of 100% quality time together alone with no interruptions from other people.
  2. Happy thoughts: Focus on the happy experiences during the day and the fun things you've done.  Build positive memories which will help them to soothe themselves if anxious.  Have a chat before bed and go over all the good things that happened: nice food, play in the park, happy visit to a friend's house etc.
  3. Childcare: Avoid lots of childcare if you can, or leaving your children with lots of different carers.  Try to look after the child yourself if you can.
  4. Clubs and activities: Keep out of school activities to a sensible level so as to avoid tiredness and over stimulation.  Yes, subscribe to some fun activities, but keep it to an acceptable level.
  5. Angry: Keep your own temper, no matter how annoying a situation might be.  Stressed parents can effect and upset children.  This includes fighting between parents but also getting angry in other situations (while driving for example).
  6. Food: Try and keep sweet cereals and lots of sugary spreads and jams to a minimum at breakfast and throughout the day.  Opt for protein rich foods and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

So, keep it in perspective, keep your cool and keep positive.  Good luck!

How to Keep Kids Cool in the Summer!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Kids Activities , Tags: children, hot, hydrate, ice lollies, keep cool, snacks, summer, water

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Now summer is here, the children can't wait to get outside in the warm sunshine, but what can you do to keep them as cool as possible on the hottest days?  Here are a few ideas!

  1. Squirt - find some water guns and have a water fight!  Or, use an old washing-up liquid bottle which are possibly easier for little ones to use... just squeeze rather than pulling a trigger.  Or, if you have any water sprays for plants, fill these with water and have fun!
  2. Set some ice to freeze in the freezer the night before.  Colour the ice cubes with food colouring and watch them melt in the paddling pool.  Or, use larger containers: ice-cream tubs make huge blocks, or fill sandwich bags with water to make funny shapes.  You could float plastic mini beasts in the tubs before freezing so the children can watch the creatures appear as the ice melts!  To make clear ice, boil the water in a kettle first to remove the air.
  3. Fill the paddling pool and have story time with your feet in the cool water!   A great idea for calming the children down before nap time and nice and cool for you too!
  4. Put cartons of juice in the freezer and use them for drinks.  If you defrost for a while, before you need them they will be icy cold.  Or freeze tubes of yoghurt so they make a creamy icy snack.
  5. Eating ice lollies can be expensive, so make your own!  Make lolly pops by freezing juice in paper cups and pop a lolly pop stick inside.
  6. Making a crushed ice drink is a fun way of keeping the children hydrated.  Make up a juice in a plastic cup and pop in the freezer.  Keep stirring to break up the ice crystals as they form and when half way between drink and ice, serve with a straw.
  7. Cool snacks such as strawberries, watermelon, grapes and cucumber taste refreshing straight from the fridge, so keep some prepared ready for a quick fruit feast.
  8. Make a den using old sheets and frames such as an ironing board, clothes airer, chairs etc.  It will be cooler inside and keep the kids occupied for ages.

Have fun, and keep yourselves as cool as cucumbers!

Does Marriage Produce More Successful Children?

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Child Development, Family , Tags: children, co-habit, marriage, tax

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A new report published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies has stated that children of married couples progressed further but that this was a reflection of the social and economic breakdown of those people who choose to marry rather than live together.

It says that married parents tend to be higher earning and more stable in their relationships but when these elements were removed, the marital status itself had little bearing on the emotional or sociological development of children. Married parents were twice as likely to have gone to university and more likely to own their own home.

The research was carried out on 10,000 children.  The findings are not necessarily surprising.  Some of the statistics it quotes are of interest however as a reflection of our changing society.

Over the last 25 years the number of children born to unmarried parents has increased significantly to 30%.  Of the married mothers questioned 75% of them said their pregnancy was planned.  This was the case for only half of the un-married mothers.

The study concluded that while children of married parents do better socially and emotionally, that this benefit is not directly related to having married parents.  Once the ethnic status, educational differences and economic status has been removed there are no longer any statistical differences in the children's standards.  This raises the question of whether being married does influence children or whether co-habiting is just as good.

Of course, without getting political, this research could just be a timely response to the suggestion that a marriage tax break would be introduced by parties fighting to win their way into government!

Parents are spending more time with children!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Learning Play, ToucanLearn, Child Development, Family , Tags: children, parenting, parents, time, toucanlearn

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It's official - parents are spending three times as much time with their children as they did a generation ago.  Some of the findings concluded by Dr Sullivan and his team at Oxford University inlude:

  • Working mothers spend more (and not as previously thought less) time with their children.
  • Mothers are still the main carer (which is not surprising) but fathers are doing more childcare than before.
  • Fathers spend up to half an hour a day more with their children than in 1975 and do more of the household chores!

The research was carried out by analyzing diaries kept by parents between 1975 and 2000.  The people were then divided into three separate groups: those with no O Levels or GCSEs, those with one or more and those with a higher education qualification, such as a Degree.

When it comes to domestic chores, men do more now than they did and despite the advent of domestic appliances with  "time-saving" claims, both men and women spend more time on domestic activities today than 25 years ago.

The results showed that in 1975 fathers spent a matter of minutes each day with their children on average.  By 2000, this figure is more like 35 minutes.  When it came to mums, in 1975 they spent about 20 minutes with their children and by 2000 it was over an hour.

This goes against the common opinion that suggests because more women are working they actually spend less time with their chidlren.  This could be explained by the fact that parents are more aware of the need and benefits of spending time with their offspring.

This is where ToucanLearn comes in - we wish actively to encourage parents to spend more time with their children; with hundreds of ideas, games and crafts to do with your children, there's no excuse not to play together!   Tell a friend about ToucanLearn and share the fun!

The Surprising thing about Children...

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Child Development, Family , Tags: children, growing up, surprise, uniqeness, wonder

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Children are a source of wonder - they constantly surprise!  Your first child amazes you at every turn, you don't know what to expect, but suddenly you have this bundle that's doing the most amazing things!  You never cease to be astounded at the achievements that you're baby manages, the things he or she does, and the things they do and later say!

Just when you think you have seen it all, your second child arrives.  Well, you know now, you've been a parent for a bit and you know what to expect.  ...but that's the weird thing!  Baby number 2 doesn't do things in exactly the same way as their older sibling!  That's odd - it's almost as if your second baby has a mind of their own!  Well, you know what?!  They do!  You might expect your second child to behave identically to how your first did, but you're in for a surprise...a whole lot of surprises!  You'll constantly be amazed at how this one grows up differently, unique in their own way!

Well, your third and subsequent children can't surprise you any more!  You're wise now, you know they're going to be different, and you know they'll surprise and amaze you in a whole lot of new ways that you weren't expecting!

This is just the first of many wonders of having a family!  There's so much more that you'll experience along the way...

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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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