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Learning to Share

Hand holding a stone heart on the beach. Symbol of life.

Sharing is very hard. Even as an adult. There are sometimes its hard to share, like sharing a dessert with my husband. ūüôā ¬†We need to help teach our children how to share at a young age so your child isn’t the one throwing tantrum when they are forced to share at daycare or at a friends or even with a sibling.

Learning how to share is a big challenge for all children because¬†it often means putting aside one‚Äôs own needs in order to make¬†someone else happy. Sharing is not a skill children have when¬†they are born‚ÄĒthey need to be taught how to share and how¬†to see that their efforts have helped someone else feel happy or¬†solve a problem. In order to learn this skill, children need adults¬†to provide them with many different opportunities where they can practice how to share¬†with others and see other children in the act of sharing. When a child learns how to¬†share with others she feels more confident and is better able to play with other children¬†independently. Additionally, learning how to share gives a child a very important and solid¬†foundation of successful friendship skills she can continue to build on as she grows.

  • Read books about sharing with your child.¬†Talk about how the characters might¬†feel as the story unfolds. All feelings are¬†healthy and normal. A character might¬†be feeling a variety of emotions‚ÄĒfrom¬†frustrated and sad to happy and joyful. A¬†good example is the CSEFEL Book Nook¬†based upon the book I Can Share by Karen¬†Katz. This resource has many activities¬†that go along with the book to teach¬†about sharing.
  • ¬Ą¬ĄNotice and point out when otherchildren are sharing. ‚ÄúI see that those¬†girls are sharing their snack.‚Ä̬†¬Ą¬ĄNotice and let your child know that you¬†see the many moments in the day when¬†he is sharing. ‚ÄúThank you for sharing¬†your crayons with me. I feel happy when¬†you share.‚ÄĚ Or ‚ÄúWhen I came to pick you¬†up from school, I noticed that you were¬†sharing the toys with Sophie. What a¬†good friend.”
  • Plan ahead if sharing might be a¬†concern. ‚ÄúAvery is coming over to our¬†house today for a play date. I know how¬†special your blankie is to you. We can¬†put your blankie in a special place that isjust for you and all the other toys will be¬†shared with Avery.‚ÄĚ

The Bottom Line
Sharing is a skill that your child will use throughout her life to get along with others during activities and build friendships. Children who learn how to share are better able to understand other’s feelings, negotiate difficult situations with confidence and feel secure in their ability to solve problems by themselves.

This information came from Backpack Connection Series

Visit the Ridge Point Parents Page

http://www.ridgepoint.org/parents/

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Investing for Babies Future

Etrade-pile-of-cashYou’re doing everything you can to make sure that your baby has a strong foundation for a happy and healthy life. You’re feeding his body and brain and making plans for his early years, his education, even his college years. You might consider making one more investment in your baby’s future:Take a brown bag lunch to work every day. If you save $10 a week by skipping those lunches out and invest it for your child, your little one will have a little fortune awaiting him when he turns 18: almost $50,000 if you’re getting a 15 percent return on your money. If your child keeps up the monthly contributions once he’s gainfully employed, he’ll have in excess of five million dollars in time for an early retirement at the age of 50. Not a bad return on the price of lunches out, is it?

To make this scenario work out, there are a few decisions you need to make:

  • What kind of account will you set up? An IRA is one option. The IRA provides you with a tax deduction in its traditional form, but a Roth IRA, which is taxed at the time of deposit rather than withdrawal, allows your child to withdraw money without penalties for any reason, unlike the traditional IRA.
  • What are you going to put in the account? A mutual fund? CDs? Stocks? An index fund? An interest bearing checking or savings account? Remember that you’re making a long-term investment, so you have time to weather the ups and downs of the market, and the stock market has proven to be the most profitable place to park your money, so long as you’re not risk averse. An index fund allows you to follow the market without making any bets on a particular stock. A mutual fund can diversify your portfolio without much time or trouble spent on your part.
  • Who will own the account, you or your child? Are you the owner, the guardian? Or are you the custodian, holding the money for your child? If you own the account, you also pay taxes on it. If your child does, you still control the account until your child is 18 or 21, but dividends and withdrawals are charged at your child’s rate, which can be a great savings for you. If you are interested in being a custodian, look into the Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA), which allows you to give gifts of money, stocks, life insurance, and annuities to your child while you are alive, and the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA), which allows you to control the money until your child is as old as 25 and to give your child other assets as well, including real estate, paintings, jewelry, and patents. Remember when selecting a UGMA or UTMA that neither can be used to pay for the support of your child as they grow up.

No matter which answers you give, a bank, mutual fund company or brokerage discount or other institution will be able to help you set up the account of your choice. To make sure that you get the advice and the account you need, do your homework and shop around. Not all financial institutions and their representatives know how to meet the special needs of parents looking to secure the financial futures of their children.

While you’re underwriting your child’s future dreams and ambitions, make sure that you take the time to educate him or her about saving, investing, financial responsibility, and the beauties and potential of compound interest. Let him witness, or even participate in, the decision making process as soon as he is able to. Obviously, your child is now many years away from caring about or understanding wise investments, but by planning ahead for his dreams and by sharing your plans with him, you’re not only giving your child security, you’re also giving him the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge that will serve him, and his own children, well.

This came from

http://www.parentingweekly.com/baby/baby_information/investing_baby_2.htm

Check our of website at http://www.ridgepoint.org/parents/

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The Joys of Baby Proofing Your Home

climbingWell the past few weeks in our church nursery we have had some amazing children decide its fun to open the doors in their classrooms, ( its only boys so far). ūüôā We can’t lock the doors from the inside of the rooms so I just bought baby gates to put in front of the doors in the rooms when we have our escape artists in the rooms. It was fun last weekend to watch them open the door but couldn’t run out. That got me thinking about other ways to baby proofing. If you are getting to that stage with your infant, here are some ways and tips of baby proofing your place.

The best way to baby-proof your home is to spend some quality time on your hands and knees, or to ask someone who’s not pregnant to do it for you. Crawl around your house and determine which locations and objects might be dangerous to your baby. What will your baby be able to reach as he grows? What will she be able to get into, pull down, put in her mouth, and climb into and onto?

Each home is unique, so there is no standard baby-proofing list, but the following are some general guidelines for making your home safe:

  • Apply plugs or safety covers in all electrical outlets.
  • Install latches on all cabinets and drawers within baby’s reach and make sure that all knobs, pulls, and knockers are secure and can’t be pulled off.
  • Wind up all dangling cords, wiring, and tassels. Move electrical cords and wiring behind furniture where they cannot be reached.
  • Install stove knob covers, stove top protectors, and oven locks if necessary.
  • Remove all heavy, small, breakable, or valuable objects that may be toppled off tabletops; and any space heaters, fans, or other hazards that can be reached.
  • Move houseplants out of reach.
  • Anchor all bookcases, shelves, dressers, and floor lamps to walls.
  • Use corner covers to pad sharp edges on furniture, railings, etc.
  • Use door stops to prevent open doors from slamming shut on your baby.
  • Install and use locks or hook-and-eye sets onto doors so your baby can’t get into the pantry, bathroom, basement, or other rooms. Sliding door locks are also available.
  • Install gates to block access to stairways, fireplaces, and all other hazards. Some gates can be installed without drilling holes in walls or door jams.
  • Dump out any buckets containing water and remove or block access to any other standing water such as toilets and fish tanks. Infants can drown in as little as two inches of water, and according to the CPSC, fifty young children drown every year in buckets containing water used for mopping floors and other household chores. Install a banister guard or safety net to a balcony or railing that is not child-saStock your house with first aid supplies. Ask your doctor what he or she recommends you include for your baby.
  • Install smoke detectors in the hallway near every bedroom and one near the kitchen. Check them monthly to be sure they’re working properly and change the batteries every six months. A working smoke detector cuts the chances of dying in a fire in half.
  • Install window guards, which will prevent low windows from opening more than six inches.
  • Have your home checked for lead and asbestos.
  • Test your water. Depending on the results, consider installing a purifier or talk to your doctor about sterilizing your baby’s bottles and pacifier

In the Nursery: Position the crib away from curtains and window blind cords, and make sure the space between the bars of the crib rail are no greater than 2-3/8 inches (this is especially important if you are using an older or borrowed crib). The crib rails should be at their highest position and the mattress should fit the crib frame securely and should be positioned at the lowest level to keep your baby from crawling out. Remove the bumper pad when your baby is six months old and remove any mobiles once he or she is old enough to grab them. Do not allow extra blankets, pillows, or large plush toys in the crib while your baby is sleeping. Keep all diaper changing essentials and medicines out of your baby’s reach.

In the Kitchen: Keep hot containers and drinks out of your baby’s reach and unplug countertop appliances after use. Install locks on all low cabinets and drawers, as well as on the refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, and trash compactor. When cooking always turn pot handles towards the back of the stove, and keep knives, sharp utensils, and cleaning products out of your baby’s reach. Make sure your baby’s high chair safety belt and tray are in working condition and you secure your baby in the chair at every meal and snack.

In the Bathroom: Store cosmetics, perfumes, hair care products, vitamins, and medicines in locked cabinets and drawers. Install toilet latches so your baby cannot lift the lid and do not use or store any electrical appliance near the bathtub or sink. In the bathtub, install childproof knob covers, non-skid appliqués or a rubber bath mat, and a soft spout cover on the spigot. Turn your hot water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid scalds and burns. Once your baby can sit up, use a bathtub safety seat to help keep him secure and free your hands for bathing.

Outside and in the Garage: Playground equipment should be sturdy and free of sharp corners and edges. Swings and climbing toys should be set at least six feet away from fences and walls and anchored securely in the ground. Keep fence gates closed and check that the locks work properly. Store hazardous lawn equipment, sharp gardening tools, barbeque utensils, and lighter fluid in locked cabinets. If you use a gas grill, make sure to turn the knob on the propane tank to the closed position after grilling. Test automatic garage door openers to ensure the anti-entrapment sensors are working properly.

Remember that baby-proofing is an ongoing process; the gate put at the top of the stairs for your 8-month-old today may become a favorite climbing structure as he or she gets older. Baby-proofing is an important part of caring for your little one and with a little effort and diligence you can keep your baby healthy, happy, and safe.

http://www.ridgepoint.org/parents/

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Benefits of Music

baby with headphones

Singing and music play an important role in our culture. You’ll find music present in many aspects of our lives: theater, television, movies, worship, holidays, celebrations, and government and military ceremonies. But none is as important as how we use music with our children.

From birth, parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy, and to engage and interact. Parents can build on these natural instincts by learning how music can impact child development, improve social skills, and benefit kids of all ages.

The Benefits of Music

Music ignites all areas of child development: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills.

In addition to the other benefits of music, it also provides us with joy. Just think about listening to a good song on the car radio with the window down on a beautiful day. That’s joy. For me, I just love Christmas music. I listen to is year round and it makes me happy.

Infants and Music. Infants recognize the melody of a song long before they understand the words. They often try to mimic sounds and start moving to the music as soon as they are physically able. Quiet, background music can be soothing for infants, especially at sleep time. Loud background music may overstimulate an infant by raising the noise level of the room. Sing simple, short songs to infants in a high, soft voice. Try making up one or two lines about bathing, dressing, or eating to sing to them while you do these activities. Find musical learning activities for infants.

To read more go to: http://www.peps.org/ParentResources/by-topic/development/physical/language-dev/benefits-of-music-in-child-development

http://www.newkidscenter.com/Best-Music-For-Infants.html

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Importance of reading to your infant

baby with book

Reading to you child even as an infant has benefits.

Reading to infants contributes to the development of their growing brains and gives them a good start towards a lifelong love of reading and good literature. When you read to babies, it can also help speech development as they are taking in information and beginning to learn about speech patterns. In addition, synapses connect between your infant’s neurons as you read aloud, positively affecting child development in many areas.

Infants tune in to the rhythm and cadence of our voices, especially the familiar voices of their parents and caregivers. While initially the rhythmic phrase, “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?”, for example, may not hold meaning, your baby is taking in the sounds of language and how they fit together. As babies see a picture of a red bird in the book and you name the bird, they begin to make the connection between what you say and the picture of the red bird. The more you read that book, the stronger the connection. The repetitive storyline makes the book fun, engaging, and easier to remember. Reading to babies is not only a way to inspire a love of books from infancy, but also an important way to grow a baby’s vocabulary – first his understanding vocabulary and later her speaking vocabulary.

Best Way to Read to Your Baby

Of course reading aloud to an infant is different than reading aloud to a preschooler. With a baby, you may not get through the whole book. Your baby may want to hold the book and chew on it or try turning pages. All of these actions are appropriate and help your child become familiar with books and how to handle them.

  • Make reading together a close cuddly time. Reading before bed may be the perfect time to hold your baby on your lap and cuddle together while you read.
  • Don’t worry about reading a book start to finish. It is great if you can, but if your child wants to stop and hold or chew on the book, that is okay. That is another way infants take in information about their world.
  • Point out and name pictures. Later ask your baby to find the “cow”, “horse”, etc., when you point to it.
  • Increase the length and complexity of books as your child shows interest. By about one year of age, some babies will enjoy hearing a short book with a storyline.

– See more at: http://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2014-the-importance-of-reading-to-babies-and-infants/#sthash.1aAGBsas.dpuf

Some of the top books are at the following websites:

http://www.carnegielibrary.org/kids/books/showbooklist.cfm?list=BestBooksforBabies

https://list.ly/list/EW2-best-baby-books-2015-top-rated-infant-and-toddler-books

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Summers Here

Summer-Banner

My sister and her boys are up visiting for a bit and she has a 8 month old and a 4 year old. I am trying to come up with fun things we can do that the little ones can do. Summer is the time to take full advantage of nature, and all the outdoor play spaces.

Playing outside with your baby offers many learning opportunities and it’s just plain fun. So many options are available that finding one your baby enjoys is easy. Don’t worry when the weather is cold — just dress extra warmly. Mix and match your favorite outdoor activities all year long for the most benefit.

Here is some info about playing outdoors.

How Much Outdoor Time

You don’t have to spend all day outside for your infant to benefit, though you might want to during warmer months. Watch your baby for cues that he is done or is game to keep going. If he turns his head away or gets fussy, he might be overwhelmed and want to be done or move to another outdoor activity. If it’s really cold outside, limit your time to five to 10 minutes. If your baby looks tired or is falling asleep or seems hungry, call it quits and head indoors for a snack or a nap.

Benefits

Going outside to engage your infant offers plenty of benefits. Touching and seeing nature helps build fine motor development and the differences between objects, including texture, weight, size, color and dimensions. For older babies who move around a bit more, playing outside can help build muscle strength as they crawl through the grass or kick their legs in the wading pool. Being outdoors also builds creativity and imagination as your infant gets older.

Activities

For younger babies, blow bubbles and let them watch as the bubbles float by. Let older babies reach out and pop the bubbles. Take a touching tour. Carry your baby around the yard, neighborhood or park and let him touch grass, sand, leaves, tree bark, fences, flowers, snow, icicles and rain puddles. Set up a small wading pool and sit in it with your baby. Let a younger baby splash around and show an older one how to dump and scoop the water with small plastic containers. Lie on a blanket and watch clouds go by or leaves move in the wind. Go to a pond and watch the ducks swim or sit in the backyard and watch the squirrels or birds move. Talk about what you are seeing and doing while you’re outside.