Tips for Parents with Children Suffering from Addiction

Parenting is usually an uphill task, but no one said it was going to be easy. No parents wish for their child to become a drug addict. Drug addiction is a nightmare for American society. More than 24 million Americans use drugs and it shatters their lives completely.

Parents may be confused when they have to deal with a child who is a drug addict, but feeling sad and sorry will not help solve the problem. The best course of action is to help your child overcome this habit. Here are a few tips to handle the situation.

Revitalize the Relationship You Have with Your Child

Children who are addicted to drugs can be rude and unruly. This might damage the relationship you have with your child. You are also likely to blame your child for failing to listen to your counsel. Conflicts develop between you and your child and this is likely to worsen the already precarious situation.

The best thing to do is to express your love and support for your child. Make your child feel that it is not their fault and you are not angry with them even though you don’t approve of their habit. By being their friend at a time when they need you most, you make them build trust in you.

Communicate Openly and Firmly with Your Child and Make Them Understand the Risks Involved

Ensure that your tone is nonjudgmental as you talk to them about their addiction. Encourage them that they can overcome their addiction and be clear that they have no other option. Try to listen to them and understand their opinion about their addiction. In these talk sessions, focus on the positive. Tell them what they stand to gain by quitting their addiction.

Reinforce Positive Behavior

Never highlight the negative behavior of your children. Don’t blame them for their poor decision-making or be sarcastic while dealing with a drug addict. This will further lower their self-esteem and make it more difficult to end the addiction.

You could, for instance, highlight something good they did in the past or what they are currently doing right. Give examples of other successful people who overcame addiction. If there is some hobby they like doing like playing the piano, join them in their practice and genuinely compliment them when they perform well. This will help build their confidence and make them willing to beat their addiction.

Seek Professional Help

Taking your child to a rehabilitation center is an option, but not necessarily the best one. If you take your child to rehab, he or she is likely to feel abandoned and unloved. Seeking professional help, however, is the right move to make. Find a counselor who you can have sessions with together with your child.

There are many professionals with certified degrees in substance abuse counseling who can help you with your child. Counseling for substance abuse will help your child realize their bad decisions and make an effort to correct them with your help.

Overcoming an addiction is not easy. Ask anyone who was struggling with addiction and quit. Whatever you do, make sure that you remain patient with your child and stay committed.

 

 

Simple Secrets To Ensure That Your Kids Stay Healthy And Happy

Being a mom, a lot of your time can be taken up with worry about how your kids are doing. Are they healthy enough? Are they happy? But so much of life is not in our control, despite our instinct to protect and provide. But something that we can do is give them the best foundation on which to build their lives. Which in turn, gives them the best chance of growing up both healthy and happy. Read on to find out more.

 

Model their diet now

 

Something that can be helpful when you’re trying to raise healthy kids is to model their diet now. It’s no good letting them eat what they want for the first few years of their lives. Then expecting them to switch to a super healthy diet without a fight later on!

 

The best way a parent can do this, aside from providing healthy food in the home, is to eat a similar diet themselves. Kids are sharp, and they will pick up on any inconsistencies between what you eat, and what you are feeding them very quickly. They also model a lot of behavior from their parents and siblings as they grow up, so make sure that there are plenty of good role models around for them.

 

Another important aspect of their diet is to include whole foods that can help boost things like their immune system. But be careful here, as there is a lot of unscientific advice out there about this sort of thing. Meaning it can be from very confusing as to what is truly healthy and what isn’t.

 

To assist you in making that choice you can use sites like HealthyButSmart.com. Which provide the low down, and evidence on the latest food fads and trends, so you can be sure that they are worth the time and effort.

Healthy relationships are important

 

Something else that is essential for your child’s happiness is for them to form healthy relationships, both with you,their parent and with their friends, and siblings. Remember so much of how they feel about themselves is based on their early experiences. So it’s important to make these as healthy as possible.

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This means teaching them fair but consistent discipline. As well as how to communicate effectively, sharing, and turn taking.

 

It is also important to set aside some time in which you and you kids can bond. Use this time to demonstrate an interest in what is important to them.

Make Activity Fun

 

Something else that you can do for your kids, from when they are very young is introduced them to fun exercise activities. It is better to put the emphasis on fun and participation, rather than just the exercise. As this can help them build a healthy relationship with exercise that will stand them in good stead for a lifetime.

 

Remember adults that exercise 5 times a week as less of a change of contacting many major diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Help them to be ahead of the curve later in life by getting them interested and engaged in exercise now.

 

 

Teach Your Kids To Be More Mindful Of The Environment

As parents, it’s our job to teach our children the skills that they will need to grow into successful adults. We make time to help our kids with their homework, to teach them to cook and clean, and show them how to tell time and tie their shoelaces, but what about teaching them about the environment? Far too many of us are failing our children when it comes to teaching them about the importance of looking after the environment. They are the future of the planet, so we need to teach them how to look after it and preserve the earth for future generations. The question is, what are the best ways to go about doing that?

Watch documentaries with them

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There are hundreds of fantastic documentaries about the impact that we have on the environment, many of which are aimed at children. Find a couple of documentaries that you think would interest your child and watch them together. Answer any questions that they have and help them to understand how they, as an individual, impact the environment. Use easy examples, such as how when we use too much energy we melt the ice caps, meaning that the penguins and polar bears have nowhere to live. If there’s anything that your child asks you that you don’t know, research it together.

 

Lead by example

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Studies have shown that children tend to pick up their parents’ habits and copy what they do, so one of the best ways to encourage your kids to be mindful of the environment is to lead by example. This means making green choices yourself and ensuring that your home is as eco-friendly as possible. The key to this is using eco-friendly appliances, researching how having solar panels fitted by a solar company could help you to be greener, and only using environmentally-friendly products, such as soaps and washing detergent. Little changes like buying meat locally and growing your own fruits and vegetables are also great, as these teach kids about the importance of buying local and using less chemicals. Your children will always want to do what you do, so leading by example is a must when it comes to encouraging your kids to be more mindful of the environment.

 

Encourage them to make greener choices

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It’s all well and good telling your kids how to be greener, but if you want them to get into the habit of doing so, it’s best to gently encourage them not tell them to do things. For instance, if you notice that your child has finished playing on their games console and has left it turned on, you might be tempted to say ‘please can you turn your games console off.’ Instead, it’s best to give them some gentle encouragement, such as by saying ‘is there anything that you’ve forgotten to do now that you’ve finished with your games console?’. This will give them time to think about what they have forgotten to do and will help to encourage them to get into good habits when it comes to leading a greener life.

 

Believe it or not, teaching your little ones to be more mindful of the environment doesn’t have to be difficult. Take note of the tips and ideas above, and you can make it a relatively painless process.

 

Let’s Colour! These Bright, Bold Styles Will Look Gorgeous On Any Child

Flickr Photo: Walter
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As the days gradually lengthen, sunny spells grow longer and there’s a little less bite in the morning air.  Our thoughts then turn towards spring. What’s amazing is that kid’s fashion can be classic yet innovative at the same time. Lightweight jumpers, trousers, and t-shirts remain structurally similar, but the fabrics, materials, and colors are completely different to winter. No matter where you live, when spring arrives it brings sunshine, laughter, and lots of outdoor playtime.

Bold Prints

We’re seeing a definite re-emergence of Native American, and Navajo-style prints, geometrics and even bead and feather trims. Kids love the laid back, happy hippie throwback look and will be clamouring to wear cotton tees, bright shorts and bohemian colors like canary yellow, jungle green and sky blue. Tassels, fringing, and embroidery, will also be big on shoes, sandals and even jackets. Think festival fun for little ones but don’t overdo it, a little coat embellishment or a pair of cute feather print shorts is fine but nothing too in your face or messy.

Distressed Denim

The ripped, faded and acid washed look has even filtered down into children’s clothing so your kids will be begging you for cutoff shorts come summer. Double denim also looks awesome on children, think jeans with patches on, checked shirts and sun hats plus child size leather jackets, made from softer tans and with minimal buttons and zips. Look out for a rise in kids boots too in materials like velvet, suede, leather and lace as well as smaller kids versions of the infamous Doc Marten shoe.

Ladylike Lace

Prepare for girly glam to truly take off this year with layers of lace, ribbons and even tulle on girls dresses. Think ballet dancer, movie star and even fairy princess and you’ll be along the right lines. Florals, including leaf, petal and 3D flower patterns are going to be massive all year long, so these beautiful giggle moon dresses are all bang on trend. Cream, white and even blue lace is going to be everywhere, with delicate trousers, dresses and even tops featuring lace, pearl and flower motifs. By summer, color popping maxi dresses, multi layered skirts, and even rainbow sandals are going be on every little girl’s wish list.

Prep School

Most schools in America don’t require students to wear a uniform but thanks to the rising popularity of England’s young royals, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte, the demand for posh, private school style play clothes has become huge. Look out for tailored boys blazers, smart shirts, and Oxford loafers as well as adorable pinafores, cashmere cardigans, and fancy top/skirt combos. While your kids may happily carry satchels, or want to wear tights we think they’ll probably draw the line at ties!

Casual Athletic

Again, thanks to the growing demand for tailored adult sportswear that can be worn to work, dinner and even the gym athletic kids wear is very in vogue right now. While t-shirts, shorts, and tennis dresses are all classic styles, designers are now mixing up modern twists using color blocking, stripes and squares, sequins and bold shades to add flair. Expect to see the shops packed with kids hoodies, basketball shoes and soccer jackets come April.

 

 

Flickr Photo: THOR

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Golden Years: Five Things That Every Single Child Should Do Before They Grow Up

When you look back at being a kid, you probably have a few select memories that are really precious to you. And there’s a pretty good chance that those memories usually involve something special that you did or some wonderful time spent with your family. When you have kids of your own, it’s totally natural to want them to be able to create their own memories just like that. But all of the distractions around for kids today, it can seem like they could easily just spend their time online, never really enjoying what it’s like to be a kid. With that in mind, here are a few things that every kid should do before they grow up!

 

Go exploring

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There really is nothing like the thrill of getting lost in the wilderness. Even if that wilderness is just the woods near your house, it’s still a fantastic experience. Your kids should take themselves out into nature without any distraction so that they can really discover the amazing world around them. It’s also a great way for them to learn some independence as they navigate their way home. Of course, you’ll always be pretty close by! You want them to be safe after all. But that way they stay safe without feeling like you’re constantly hovering over them.

 

Go to a summer camp

 

Just about everyone has those memories of a fantastic summer spent at camp! Learning all sorts of new skills, making friends and just getting to enjoy the thrill of being young. A summer camp is a really wonderful way to help a child build character in a safe, supportive environment. And the counselors at summer camps are incredibly passionate people who will really help bring out the best in your kids.

 

Camp out in a tent

 

This can be as simple as setting up a tent in the yard and sleeping there overnight. Kids love being able to get out and find adventure and camping is a wonderful way to help them get that feeling while still keeping them safe.

 

Build something from scratch

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You could buy your kids all the toys in the world, and it’s never going to be quite as satisfying for them as building something with their own two hands. The fantastic thing is that it can be made out of anything. Wood, metal, even cardboard! Whatever you have lying around can be turned into something magical that your kids can be proud of. It’s also a fantastic bonding opportunity for both of you. You can guide them and offer helpful advice to help them figure out what it is that they want to create.

 

Cook their very own meal

 

There’s really nothing like the look on a child’s face when they first taste some food that they cooked themselves. The sense of pride and achievement is something that can stay with them for years. Not only that but it starts them on the road to knowing one of the most important skills that a person can have.

 

Divorce and Your Child: A Developmental Mini-Guide to Understanding Their Feelings

Divorce is, for children, a devastating experience. Most parents, fortunately, are more than ready to take time out from their own personal tensions to prioritize the task of guiding their kids through the trauma. It is important at these times to think clearly and to see things from the child’s point of view, but that point of view changes rapidly in the child’s developing mind.

It’s About Feelings

In times of extreme stress, emotions are never far from the surface. Remember that the relationship between feelings and facts is an unpredictable one, especially in a child.

Because divorce affects feelings in so many different ways, it will help if you can find an attorney who has an understanding of the way divorce affects those around, whether you are approaching an online practitioner such as www.divorceguru.com or using a family attorney.

Early Months

Up to about 18 months, a baby has very little conceptual framework to guide her. Everything is centered on the security represented by the primary care-giver, usually the mother. She responds quickly to unspoken tension and may become clingy and tearful.

Toddlers

As the toddler begins to master language, he gets a better sense of the world, but it is a world that is all about him. His parents are the two closest and largest planets in this little solar system so any disruption is going to throw him out of balance. He may retreat to a former secure existence by temper displays and regression to baby behavior.

Early Junior

The child’s imagination is growing, which means she can extend the present distress into the future and conceive of more and worse things happening. So her life can be taken up with fear. Will she ever see the absent parent again? Will both parents disappear from her life? She does not have much concept of time or distance, so separation may seem more absolute and final than it actually is. She needs her parents to be predictable and reliable.

Older Junior

As the child grows, his center of life is beginning to move outwards, but only from a secure base. If that base is challenged by parents separating, he may use his growing mental abilities to protect himself. He may retreat into a fantasy world and deny the reality of what is happening around him, or construct scenarios where he is to blame.

Pre-Adolescent

The child is on the verge of big changes, and taking tentative steps to discover her place in the world. The last thing she needs is for her parents’ problems to take center stage in her life. So she is likely to display intense anger which can reveal itself in many ways, but at the same time she is learning to empathize and understand their pain.

Crucial Moments

The effects of a divorce can reverberate for a lifetime, and nobody handles it perfectly. For parents, an effort to understand how their children are perceiving the situation can help to ease the pain and give them the resources to move forward.

 

Joanne Morrison shares her tips and support regarding divorce and stepfamilies. She uses her own life experiences to write informative articles which appear online at family and parenting blogs as well as relationship and divorce focused blogs.

The Day My Daughter Taught Me What Real Beauty Means

As preparations are underway for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant, so is my 10-year old daughter busy primping her hair, as if she were a contestant on the show. Lately, she has been busy preening in front of the mirror, and practising her beauty queen walk down her makeshift ramp inside our cramped condo unit.

I’m pretty certain that every mom like me dreams of having their daughter win a beauty contest. Who wouldn’t want to see their girl, all dolled up and admired by a cheering crowd?

For some mothers, they feel it’s important for their daughter to have perfect doe-like eyes, or skin like Snow White’s. Others make a huge deal out of their daughter’s innocent smile or angelic voice. So many factors work together to make a beautiful girl, but what really matters to me when it comes to prettifying my daughter is hair! In my opinion, one’s hairstyle can make or break the entire look.

I can still vividly remember that horrific day when my daughter trusted her hair to the hands of the hairdresser from hell. I brought her to this salon to have her hair cut in preparation for her fifth birthday. Because I was mindlessly wrapped up in a phone conversation with a friend, I didn’t notice that the hairdresser was snipping away at my daughter’s tresses like he was Edward Scissorhands on Prozac. He cut her hair way too short.

I was about to throw a hissy fit and lash out at the hairdresser when my little girl calmly said to me, “It’s Okay, Mama. I’ll just wear a lace front wig that will make me pretty. It’ll go nicely with my birthday dress, and my friends will not laugh at me.”  And then I remembered that wig I bought just a month ago from the veryhair online store.

In the middle of that hair crisis, my daughter thought of a solution to the problem. Instead of being overcome by fury- like I was- she came up with the idea of the wig.

I felt as if a shower of fragrant petals descended upon me, washing away all my anger. I couldn’t have been prouder of my daughter at that moment. A five-year old girl just taught me the true meaning of beauty. I put priority on hair, when what really counts when it comes to beauty is the ability to handle unforeseen circumstances.

What my daughter displayed was grace under pressure. And that, my friends, is the true mark of a beauty queen.

 

Introducing Health Informatics for Kids – Wearables You Should Know About

Within the past several years, wearables have become all the rage for adults seeking more control over their health care and those who are fitness buffs looking for a way to track their progress. However, many of these very same people are parents and what they probably haven’t come to realize just yet is that there are wearables for kids too! Introducing health informatics for kids.

What’s All the Excitement over Health Informatics and Wearables?

If you look at why healthcare providers around the country are so enthused about wearables for adults, you will understand what all the excitement is at major schools like the University of Illinois that offers a masters degree in computer science health care. That is to say, health care informatics. By using technology as a means to follow patients at home, this information can be transmitted to their provider who will collect, analyze and store the data that has been transmitted. If there are any red flags the patient will be called in to be seen. Now then, just think what this means for use in children with any number of childhood diseases and conditions?

Why Health Informatics for Kids Is an Important Industry

Take, for example, juvenile diabetes. Parents always fear that their child, when not at home and under close supervision, could go into insulin shock if not watched closely. Is the teacher at school really paying attention to what that primary student is eating or drinking? Does the babysitter administer insulin in time and at the right dosages? With wearables such as DIDGET, a gadget that monitors blood glucose, parents can be assured that if levels reach warning zones, an alarm will be sounded.

Kids earn reward points for testing their levels and to date, DIDGET is getting amazing reviews. As the combined efforts of Bayer (best known as the aspirin / pharmaceutical giant) and Nintendo, kids can either use points earned to receive new gifts or new levels on games they are playing. DIDGET is every parent’s dream when their child has diabetes and they can’t be with them at all hours of the day.

Obesity in Children on the Rise

Childhood obesity is a very real concern and since there are so many overweight children, with activity trackers and wearables that encourage them to exercise more, it is hoped that some of the problem can be alleviated. Two wearables of note are I Heart Jellyfish           and Power Key by IBitz that help track a child’s activity. The first is triggered by the child’s heart rate and the second uses vitals to encourage kids to walk, run and play more. The wearable does track vital signs to show how much activity a child is engaged it but also presents the child (and the entire family!) the opportunity to play games more – games that are part of the system.

While health informatics made possible by wearables is all the rage in adults, it is a growing market for parents of school age children. Some devices can even be used on much younger kids but the bottom line is that technology is increasingly able to warn of danger zones so as to prevent catastrophic episodes in children. Imagine the potential to eliminate SIDS by using a wearable that sounds an alarm the moment a child’s respirations slow or cease? There isn’t just one wearable you should know about but many, many if you are a parent. Thankfully experts like those produced by UIC in the masters program are helping keep our kids safe with health informatics. Kudos to the pros!

How to Teach Your Toddler to Talk

Nothing can be more satisfying to a mother’s ears than hearing her baby say his or her first words. Though oftentimes unintelligible at first, those few words mark a very important milestone in a kid’s life. They signify that transition from being a baby to toddlerhood.

In some cases where 2 or even 3-year olds can still barely say their first real word, all hope is not lost. You can do some speech therapy at home to help develop your little one’s talking skills. Here are some simple tips on how to do that:

As you bathe, dress and feed your baby, talk to him. Describe what you are doing. Use sentences such as, “I am now soaping your tummy.” “We are going to the zoo.”

Point out colors. “This ball is blue. That chair is red.”

Never underestimate the power of counting. You can sing to him as you count from one to ten. Don’t worry; your toddler won’t judge you for your singing prowess.

The key is to talk to your little one as frequently as you can. Always use speech that is clear and easy for your little one to model. He will then learn to associate words with meaning. Before you know it, he’ll be talking up a storm!

Why Is It Important for Your Child to Grow Up with a Pet?

Pets are magical creatures that bring joy. You can create great memories and have a best friend that will never leave your side. Aside from having someone that’s always happy to see you, pets serve different benefits of being in the home. Here are different reasons your child should grow up with a pet.

Strong Immune System

According to a study conducted by the Journal of Pediatrics, children who have a pet in the home have 31 percent fewer respiratory problems than children who do not have a pet in their home. Children with pets in the home have a higher immune response that makes it difficult for them to contract certain diseases.

Awesome Playmate

Pets make the best playmates. You can play indoors or outdoors and explore new things with a pet. Children who enjoy playing dress up will always have someone who’s willing to dress up and participate. This playmate is special because they can always spend the night!

Cuddle Buddy

On stormy, rainy days or when you’re ready to take a nap, you and your child have a designated pillow that also keeps you warm and cozy. If you don’t mind a little bit of drool, you and your little one can sleep the day away with your pet. Puppies are great for cuddling because they enjoy receiving attention and affection.

Self-Esteem

Children with pets have higher self-esteem than children without pets. Pets, especially dogs, give children courage and boost their self-esteem by being around. Pets are loyal and will do anything to make their family members happy. A child with a pet feels invincible.

Feelings

Pets can teach children many things, including feelings, such as empathy and compassion. Children can’t wait to hug and kiss their pet and take them everywhere they go. Pets teach children how to love and care for someone other than themselves.

Responsibility

Pets can help children understand responsibility. By giving children pet duty, such as changing newspaper or litter or giving the pet food and water on a daily basis will help children gain a sense of responsibility. It’s never too early to teach your child about responsibility.

Children with Special Needs

Children who have ADHD, Autism, and other disorders benefit greatly from being around pets. Children with special needs experience reduced blood pressure and enhanced communication skills. Pets give children with special needs a sense of belonging. There are different therapy programs that benefit both children and pets.

Being Active

Children who have pets in their home are more likely to go outside and play or exercise than children who do not have pets in their home. Having a buddy to play catch and fetch with makes things ten times more fun outside. Two is better than one sometimes.

Protection and Safety

Pets make children feel safe. Pets, especially dogs, protect their owner and their home. Whether you have an infant, teen, or everything in between, children are protected by their pets. Some dog breeds are more protective than others.

Reading Success

Children are more comfortable reading aloud to their pets than their parents. While reading to pets, children are relaxed and calm. When some children read to their parents, they are easily distracted and become frustrated. Children do not feel the need to perform to the high standards their parents set while reading to their pet. Children can take their time and sound out words until they get them right.

Less Stress

Pets have the ability to reduce stress levels of everyone in the home. Pets keep everyone calm and happy. When you’re happy, endorphins are released, making you feel even happier longer. Playing with your pet for as little as 30 minutes each day can relieve tons of stress and help household members get a good night’s rest.

Improved Social Life

Pets can improve your social life by helping you make new friends. While you’re walking your dog, you and your child can make new friends. You never know who has some of the same interests and hobbies as you and your family until you begin taking trips to dog parks and other public places pets are welcome.

Less Prone to Allergies

Aside from the benefit of an improved immune system, children who are raised in a home with pets are less likely to suffer from allergies. No allergies mean less health risks and trips to the hospital.

About the Author

Mary Nielsen is a passionate dog lover, blogger and part-time music teacher. She founded MySweetPuppy.net to share her ups and downs of being a pet parent to a bunch of adorable mutts. When she is not playing with them or teaching, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen.