Early development and Baby Sign Language- 7 Positives

Baby Sign Language – 7 Positive Reasons to Teach Sign

Baby sign language

Six months has just gone by and baby’s understanding of spoken language along with her motor skills  develop much faster than talking and speaking words.

Baby is waving and pointing around 9 months to 1 year. So it seems to be the optimum time to teach signing to baby as a way for him to express herself. It may actually cutdown on TANTRUMS from frustration.

If anything can minimize frustration both yours and baby’s, to me, it is worth it. Hungry (putting your fingers to your lips) is a great first word to begin teaching. Full is another word that is helpful rather than little one throwing her bottle or dish to the floor. Cleaning up the floor is no fun!

Baby Sign Language to the rescue!

Source: Your 6-month-old’s development: Week 2 |

BabyCenter

 

  • Early Communication– signing can begin as early and 9 months and first words at 12 months. (Sara Bingham of WeeHands and “The Baby Signing Book”)
  • Larger vocabularies
  • Few tantrums- because now your little one can make some of his needs and wants known, less crying and less whining.
  • Increased confidence – watch his facial expressions when he makes himself known.
  • Greater interest in books-reading and signing simple books makes it a more enjoyable experience for your child. Think “Itsy Bitsy, Spider”.
  • They are smarter – “According to research at UC Davis, babies who sign have a 12-point higher IQ than those who don’t. Experts surmise that signing stimulates the language centers in the brain”.
  • Better mom baby bonding with baby sign language – this is my favorite, what could be more motivating? “In one study by the University of Hertfordshire, mothers who signed with their babies were more tuned into all of their baby’s nonverbal cues — signed or not — and also more likely to see their baby as having a mind of their own rather than just a lump of Silly Putty for a brain. All of which is bound to bring you and baby even closer and make your already-solid-as-oak relationship ever stronger”.

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More from The Stir: 5 Baby Sign Language Basics You Should Learn

 

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

The holiday season throws me off schedule as it does for many others. I publish my blog pretty much without any help. My daughter does write for me when she has time but I am usually the one who actually edits and clicks “publish”. So hence the lapse in postings. My schedule is God, family and then all other things.

Here is my delayed weekend picks.

Phones for Kids:

A lot of us have kids that are becoming ready for their own mobile phones. Maybe they are just for checking in or for safety of knowing that they can get in touch with a parent if necessary ICE (In Case of Emergency).

What do you do to prepare them for having a cellphone at their fingertips? Here are some tips.

Weekend PicksShe’s going to be a few minutes late.” “I told her we’re almost there.” “Her train is being held at the station.” “I told her we’re here.” “I’m asking her where she is.” “The train is moving again.” “She’s almost here.”

Social Media and Kids:

being-13-motherlode-tmagArticle

Along with cellphones comes social media for kids. A perplexing time for young adolescents. Parents need to stay savvy and ahead of their kids if that is possible. Social media is here and before you know it your kids will be exposed to it. What is your child’s “Peer Culture”. Check out this piece and keep on the look out for more social media influences in your child’s environment.

Thirteen-year-olds who are already on social media spend a lot of time there, living their social lives both online and off. CNN’s new documentary, “Being 13,” and an accompanying report, “Being Thirteen: Social Media and the Hidden World of Young Adolescents’ Peer Culture”, reveal an entire world of just barely teenage posting, commenting, jockeying and, most of all, lurking on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Porn and Children:

motherlode-teen-porn-tmagArticle

Pornography exists so how do we protect our children? How do we talk to them about pornography? Here is an article that discusses this uncomfortable topic. In the end it does suggest that parents should be talking about this topic and sexuality with their teenagers.

 

In Does Porn Hurt Children in the Sunday Review, David Segal pointed to the absence of definitive research linking pornography exposure during adolescence to negative outcomes for teenagers and noted the ethical impossibility of conducting the kinds of studies that might prove, or disprove, such links. In spite of the lack of evidence of harm, every researcher he interviewed felt uneasy about the messages teenagers might take from pornography and suggested that “at a minimum” parents should be talking with their teenagers about sexuality in general and porn in particular.

 

Weekend time is my favorite. A time to switch gears and slow down for some moments of reading and just kind of catching up on some stuff that gets lost during the hectic weekdays. I find that it takes a time to unwind which is usually Friday night dinner out with friends and on Saturday a slower pace is enjoyed with sometimes a lunchtime meal at a favorite spot. Sunday usually I start to gear up again to prep for the week ahead.

What do you do on your weekend?

TGIF-Weekend Reading….

Weekend Reading!

My picks for weekend reading

After an arctic cold week here in Chicago, I am really glad to see Friday and the weekend roll around, with the sun shining outside my window as I write this post. I am not letting the sun fool me – it is only 7 degrees outside with a below zero windchill of minus 11 degrees! Yikes!

I am going to post a picture that you can use for some meditation or as just a reminder of a more comfortable summer day on the water-my personal happy place!

Weekend

A Day at the Beach…Martha’s Vineyard

 

Seeking women over 50! Do you want to make a big change in 2015? Read this, it might help you with your resolution.

 

Dear Readers,

We’re seeking 15 women age 50 and older who plan to make a radical change in their lives in 2015. Whether your New Year’s resolution is to strike out on your own, reinvigorate your marriage, get healthy — through diet, exercise or something else — start a business, adopt a child, overcome a fear or learn a new skill in 2015, we want to hear from you. The aim is to create an inspiring initiative that reminds us it’s never too late to change your life, pursue your passion, or prioritize personal happiness and wellbeing over traditional definitions

 

How do kids organize and control their world. There is no gray for them, knowing this just might help you understand their behavior.

 

In fact, black-or-white thinking helps kids organize and control their world. As they put things into one of two categories – like or dislike, fun or boring – they make predictions about behaviors and situations. Being able to do this shows they can understand two very different ideas at the same time.

 

How are you going to find social connections as you get older? Do you respect the Virtual Village concept?

 

Then he ran across the idea of virtual retirement villages, whose members pay a yearly fee to gain access to resources and social connections that help them age in place. Sold on the concept, Mr. Cloud joined with some friends to start Capital City Village four years ago.

I hope you all have a warm and wonderful weekend!

Hello and Goodbye…Why This is Unpleasant for Kids! | Today’s Grandmum

I have a new post “Hello and Goodbye” on my blog “Today’s Grandmum” at Chicago Now.

hello and goodbye

Now that the summer is here many families will be traveling to visit relatives and family friends that they only see once a year or at holiday time.

via Hello and Goodbye…Why This is Unpleasant for Kids! | Today’s Grandmum.

 

Go click over and see many other great topics and blogs at Chicago Now.

For now ….Hello and Goodbye!

Just Say No is Not Always Enough!

When “Just Say No” is not enough.

just say no

I have a book on my nightstand written by Betsy Brown Braun, “Just Tell Me What to Say”. It is a guide book of answers to our kids’ questions.

This morning, I read this great post by a mom, who wrote about how teenagers may need a guide with the same title.

Our teens are in dire need of our assistance in forming the words to respond to their peers, who have already or are inevitably going to introduce them to drugs and alcohol along with other “bad” behaviors.

Let’s help them develop a script of answers and sayings when they want to “Just say NO” with an explanation that saves their friendships and perhaps even dissuades their friends from making “bad” choices.

Here are some we decided upon together:

When you notice a lonely kid: Hey! Here’s a seat for you. Come join us.

When someone offers you a beer: No thanks. My family’s genes and alcohol don’t mix well. Can’t risk it. (This was how he felt comfortable explaining that alcoholism runs rampant in our family and makes drinking even riskier for Chase than for the average bear.)

When someone offers you weed: My mom used to smoke pot when she was younger and now she can smell it from a mile away. She checks my clothes every night. Can’t do it, man. (That’s the one that won, but I liked: HEY! How about we put down these joints and go volunteer at the dog shelter! He liked the first one. Whatever, his show.)

When someone starts texting while driving: Hey, I just saw a movie about a kid who got killed because he was texting and driving. I don’t want you to get killed because I plan to ask you for many, many rides in the future. Pull over if you need to text — I’m not in a hurry.

You find yourself in a sexual situation you’d prefer not to be in: Hey, I like you too much for this to go down this way.

A kid is being teased by another kid in the hallway: Hey. I don’t want anybody to get in trouble here. Why don’t you follow me out of here? I’ll walk you to class.

Someone is about to drink and drive: Don’t risk it, man. My dad’ll get us home — no questions asked. He’d rather pick us up here than in jail.

I don’t know if my ‘tween will use these life preservers we made together. But when that moment comes he will know that they’re available if he wants to save himself. And when he leaves the house in the evening and I say to him, just like when he was two, Use your words tonight — I know he’ll have words to use.

via The One Conversation That Could Save Your Teen’s Life (And Your Own) | Glennon Melton.

 

Thank you to Glennon Melton for this insightful article about how to “Just Say No” in a way that will not cost a teenager too much angst.

We all know, saying “NO” is only part of the conversation.

Let’s move forward as parents and grandparents and give out kids the words and explanations to go along with the  “Just Say No” advice. It could make a huge difference in how they travel through the challenging world of adolescence.

Listening to your Children

listening“Are you listening to me”?

Since I returned to Chicago two weeks ago it has been frigid, with a mixture of snow and ice…

I cannot remember when the cold has been this bad for so long…it seems like many years since I made sure I had a blanket and supplies in my car just in case it was needed!

At least, I no longer have a diesel engine car which would freeze and just refuse to go anywhere in the cold.

During the past few weeks, I have taken a hiatus. With all the cold I was beginning to think my brain has frozen along with my keyboard…

A few days ago, I came across an important piece about active listening

There just doesn’t seem to be anything more important than actually listening to our children and grandchildren to help them develop empathy, feel validated and remain willing to talk to us.

As a social worker and nurse, listening skills were paramount while caring for others… listening both with my ears and my eyes. Body language can also tell you how a person really feels and whether their words are contradicted by their bodies.

When I was growing up in the 50’s…there was a mantra…”children should be seen and not heard”.

I was never quite sure what was actually meant by this statement. What I do know, is that as the youngest member of my family, I always made myself known.

Over the years, it seems this saying has disappeared and to that I would say, “good riddance”!

Children speak to us in so many ways…through solo play with their toys, through our interactions with them, through body language and through behavior such as crying and tantrums.

Listening to your child with your undivided attention can derail a tantrum…really!

Making sure you understand what he is trying to tell you with his actions and his words is a very powerful tool…it actually shows your child that you care about how he is feeling.

I know, I feel so appreciative of someone, who really listens to me and is not trying to formulate a response while I am talking.

Children appreciate real listening as well and will continue to seek you out as they get older if you are a good listener when they are young.

So…try active listening…it is not easy. Beforehand, you may have to step back and center yourself rather than scream out loud as you step forward with open ears, eyes and arms.

listening with hugs

Related article:

Active listening improves communication in the parent child relationship.

 

Fostering Emotional Health In Our Children

Children and Emotional Health…how to foster emotional health in our children is, to me, one of the most misunderstood areas of child development.

children

I am the first to say, I wish I knew or I wish we knew more about child development while raising our own daughters.

While we are raising our children it is sometimes difficult to put aside the “ways” of  own parents. They sneak into our relationships with our kids, especially when the going gets rough and we are tired.

Crying craziness…

When children are crying and their emotions are running high it has a tendency to push our buttons… at that moment it is so hard to step back and gain control of ourselves much less our little one.

children

But that is just what is needed in order to recognize our children‘s emotions as valid and acceptable. Now, I am not talking about “no discipline”.

It is really all about discipline.

Parental or adult discipline of children should be designed to help children engage better with others and to modify or control their behavior. Providing appropriate discipline to children is one of the most essential responsibilities of a parent. And providing consistent and positive discipline helps children grow into responsible adults.

According to the Committee for Children (2004), the purpose of discipline is “to encourage moral, physical, and intellectual development and a sense of responsibility in children.

Ultimately, older children will do the right thing, not because they fear external reprisal, but because they have internalized a standard initially presented by parents and other caretakers. In learning to rely on their own resources rather than their parents, children gain self-confidence and a positive self-image.”

via Child Discipline.

Discipline is really about “teaching” and modeling behavior…in order to teach as a parent you have to be in control of yourself and your own emotions…this is not easy when our child is having “a moment”.

Allowing your child to express his feelings and accepting his feelings is a time for us as parents and grandparents to teach them that their feelings are real and acceptable unless they are behaving destructively or in an unsafe way.

Tantrums can be unsafe…first control the environment and then deal with the tantrum itself. It is sort of like a panic attack…until the panic subsides there can be no teaching.

In the beginning, fostering healthy emotional development for our children means listening and trying to decipher our babies’ cries rather than immediately suppressing or ignoring them.  It means that throughout childhood, anger, grief and sadness are acceptable feelings for our children to express anytime anywhere (although never in a destructive or unsafe manner).  Granting our children this freedom to be their whole selves — unconditional acceptance — will lead to far fewer enraged or depressed adults in the future.

via No Angry Kids – Fostering Emotional Literacy In Our Children | Janet Lansbury.

 

Fostering emotional health in your child and unconditionally accepting a child’s emotions within a healthy framework is essential to growth and development.

In order to accomplish this, a parent or caregiver has to first, recognize their own emotions and be able to model acceptable behavior for their children.

child

Learning Consequences in Childhood


happy consequences happy child

“Like many parents, ‘consequences’ is one of my buzzwords.

via Truths About Consequences | Janet Lansbury.

How does a child learn about consequences?

In some instances, it is literally a painful learning experience. For example, when a child accidentally touches something hot he will feel the pain or consequence of being burned.

Sometimes it seems, we as parents and grandparents  try to teach consequences by punishment.

Is this a good way for a child to learn consequences? I am thinking, not so much.

If you want your child to be in bed at a certain time and they enjoy story time before bed then they must learn to get ready for bed leaving enough time for a story or face the consequence of having no story.

Child  and his dad

It takes time to set up a ritual and a proper time frame…young children must learn the steps to get ready for bed within defined time frames. This takes effort, for me the “stick-to-it-ive-ness”  of this effort is the most difficult part.

I know that young children are comforted and feel secure with rituals, even if they balk at them. They actually want us, as parents and grandparents, to take charge, just as we want help when we are tired and feeling overwhelmed.

So, why not step up and help them? It will pay off with happiness on both sides of the equation.

happy child

If your little one does not stick to the bedtime ritual time frames then the outcome will be “lights out” and no story time . This is a consequence of the child’s own behavior. Your child can learn can learn that it is not a punishment yet it is a consequence of not getting ready for bed in a timely manner.

Of course,the time frames must be monitored by the grown-up and the child must be given enough guidance about how he is doing in achieving his goal of getting to bed with enough time for a story. Perhaps, you have to set an alarm on your phone to keep you and your child on the schedule.

It will be rewarding in the longterm to have a child that understands that a negative consequence is not a punishment for his “bad” behavior. However, it is a result of  not following directions and doing what he needs to do to get the things that he wants to have…like story-time before going to sleep.

 

NICU: Then & Now, Children & Intense Emotions

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“Tree of Life”

NICU: Then & Now.

The March of Dimes Facebook page catches up with NICU babies in “Then and Now”. This past week, we celebrated National Prematurity Day…not too many years ago these fragile premature babies would not have survived. Here’s to all those that have made these miracle possible!

Helping children when they bite, hit and push – Genevieve Simperingham.

Biting and hitting can really pose a parenting challenge. There are so many reasons that a child resorts to this unpleasant behavior. For me, the most important way to manage behavior problems is through empathy. Empathy for your child and empathy for the victim of your child’s biting and hitting will guide your responses and help make them appropriate. Take a deep cleansing breath to retrieve your empathy and then respond quickly by removing your child from the situation and making sure the other child is okay. Show your child understanding with a sense of calmness, while he is acting this way… and then help him to express his anger and frustration in a more acceptable manner. Gradually, he will find other ways to express his frustrations and anger that do not involve lashing out and biting.

I Have a Daughter With Intense Emotions | Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids.

Keeping with the theme of children and their emotions…here is another post about how to “deal’ with children, who have intense feelings. It is a personal story, to which many of us can relate. Again, “empathy” plays a key role, I hope you visit this story…it is a sweet and endearing one.

Once again…have a wonderful weekend.

 

Toddler’s Tantrums, Creative Children, Smarter than Adults

Parenting in the Loop Facebook

Janet Lansbury offers many insights into how to take care of your babies and children. She    is a follower of Magda Gerber and her RIE philosophy.

Here are some of my favorite posts from Janet, that recently came across my feed. I hope you enjoy them and realize that as a parent and grandparent you have an awesome responsibility and a wonderful one as you involve yourself in caring for your babies.

“Take the mobile off the bed, take care of their needs, and leave them alone.” This odd sentence was my introduction to Magda Gerberand the child care philosophy that would become my passion. I had given birth a few months before reading this quotation, the only one by Gerber, in an article in L.A. Parent magazine about raising a creative child.

via Magda Gerber and the Creative Child | Janet Lansbury.

Babies and children are always fascinating and sometimes frustrating to me. As a former maternal child nurse, I feel privileged to have been one of the first people to have held some newborns. I always felt that the birth of another little being was a blessing and a miracle. I think I always knew that something special had just happened when a baby was delivered.

GENERATIONS of psychologists and philosophers have believed that babies and young children were basically defective adults — irrational, egocentric and unable to think logically. The philosopher John Locke saw a baby’s mind as a blank slate, and the psychologist William James thought they lived in a “blooming, buzzing confusion.” Even today, a cursory look at babies and young children leads many to conclude that there is not much going on.

New studies, however, demonstrate that babies and very young children know, observe, explore, imagine and learn more than we would ever have thought possible. In some ways, they are smarter than adults.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Your Baby Is Smarter Than You Think – NYTimes.com.

 

Temper tantrums can be very perplexing to parents. This anecdote might help explain how RIE understands the mechanisms of toddler tantrums.

Young children are self-healing geniuses, have you noticed? Sometimes their tantrums are an expression of immediate discomforts like fatigue or hunger. Other times, however, they have a backlog of internalized feelings and will seem to deliberately and (seemingly) unreasonably push our limits so that we will hold steady and resist, which then opens up the escape valve they need to release these emotions. But this process can only work for them when we are able to set and hold limits and bravely accept their feelings.

via The Healing Power of a Toddler’s Tantrum | Janet Lansbury.