The things that parents wish to tend to change almost every year, especially when the children are still young. As soon as the baby’s born, you may say, “Oh, I can’t wait to nurture this child and give him or her the best stuff in the world.” Once they start climbing, cluttering, and possibly breaking items around the house, however, you may instantly hope for them to be old enough to enter school so that you’ll get some peace at home.
Once you become a mother, you are open to the idea of endless exhausting yet fulfilling tasks. You’ll have to accomplish at least ten to fifteen things in a day, and that includes cleaning the house, taking care of the kids, cooking meals, doing the laundry, and the list goes on. In fact, you’ll pretty much have small complaints about almost everything in the house, especially if things aren’t in the place that they are supposed to be.
More than Christmases and birthdays, our family started looking forward to summer the most since the first-born entered school. Since the kids typically have their schedules now, that’s the period when we can go anywhere without thinking of classes the next day. It’s also OK for everyone to sleep in or plan exciting activities out of town.
The only thing I dread during such a long vacation is the time when it’ll end. It isn’t difficult to get used to lazy days that summertime brings, and so going back to the routine after that is like torture for all, especially for kids.
That’s the reason why I tried doing something different last summer to remedy that problem. Keep on reading to work out how to get your family back on the schedule as well.
- Be Clear About The Situation
Melanie Greenberg, PhD, wrote about the adverse effects of nagging your children. “Most parents are familiar with the early morning rush to get everybody out the door on time—along with their lunches, gym clothes, musical instruments, signed homework, and so on. The child who gets distracted and seems unmotivated to get ready on time is the greatest challenge to a busy parent.” She said, “The problem with nagging, however, is that you are actually training kids to ignore you—they know there will always be more reminders down the road.”
From my experience, talking to the children regarding the impending conclusion of their break at least two weeks before it happens is necessary. It gives them the chance to dive into the old routine slowly, so there will no longer be whining once the academic year begins.
You may do it even when your kid is just about to enter 1st grade. Though they are young, they still need to prepare their minds for school beforehand.
- Choose Sleeping Times
I came to understand as well that you can only tell your children when to sleep and not hear any complaint while they’re still below the age of seven. As soon as it goes beyond that, they may start asking for extensions and whatnot.
What you can do in case you see yourself in this circumstance is a call for a quick family meeting concerning the best time for everybody to go to bed. That includes the mom and the dad because some kids think it’s unfair that adults can stay up later than them. There may be free nights, of course, but sleeping as much as the kids may prove to be great for you too. Not to mention, that’ll coax them to rest along with the other family members without a fuss.
According to Michael J. Breus, PhD, “Developing consistent evening routines and regular bedtimes generally works best when parents start this practice early, giving children the chance to accept the nighttime schedule as a non-negotiable part of everyday life.
- Reiterate The Rules
Children can be like senior citizens, in the sense that they fail to immediately recall stuff that they used to do after weeks of not doing it. Thus, your priorities should comprise helping them remember the do’s and don’ts when they have to follow a specific schedule.
The list can consist of what they need to accomplish before you pick them up from school, e.g., packing their bags and staying near the entrance. Then, you may remind them once more of their homework, relaxation, and eating times.
- Eat Together
Speaking of foods, the entire family should eat together regardless of your busy calendars. You can’t all be in sync if the parent always has to stay out late or one of the kids has extracurricular activities during mealtime.
An ideal scenario is that you consume breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. “Shared meals provide an excellent opportunity for good parenting—i.e., spending quality time and quantity time with one’s children,” wrote Christopher Peterson, PhD. “In families that frequently eat together, the children benefit in innumerable ways. They are happier and healthier, perhaps because they eat more nutritious meals. They get better grades. They are less likely to smoke, drink, or use other drugs. They have better relationships with their parents and with their siblings.”
However, considering it may not occur due to various commitments outside the household, you can pick a single time that’s favorable for everyone. Even for just an hour or two, you will be able to bond as a family and remain on the same page.
Children nowadays are bombarded with information from television, movies, and the internet, especially from social media. It is not surprising that they are exposed to the topic of sexuality. And the children exposed to this subject are getting younger. Some are even as young as 9 to 12 years old; an age commonly called the tween age. Unfortunately, the information they get on this topic might not be the correct one.
Note: For those who haven’t read Part 1, please do so before jumping to this article. Thank you!
“It’s not that teenagers suddenly discovered the joy of sex. Sexual activity among teens remained stable. What changed was the use of contraception,” Joni E Johnston, PsyD, wrote. That said, teenage males fathering a child also need the involvement of their family. Some may welcome the chance of being a father who has hands-on involvement with their children, while others may feel afraid and guilty, and may need encouragement to face his responsibilities, as, for every state, a father is legally responsible for child support.
A quite controversial topic among families all over the country is the issue of teenage pregnancy. So much taboo and dogmas surround the problem, coming from various sectors and backgrounds, the subject can and will be easily overwhelmed by such. Parents definitely would not expect to be grandparents at such an early stage, and such, may not know how to deal with such a fact.
How To Deal Upon Discovering That Your Child Is Sexually Active
First of all, do not panic when you find out that your teen is having sex. You must not allow any feelings of worry or even anger control your reactions. Your child must feel safe talking to you and come to you for advice and support.
According to Sam Louie, MA, LMHC, “What parents need to remember is that, first, it is normal for children to have sexual behaviors and related questions, as sexual development begins in infancy. As toddlers, they begin to articulate their curiosity with questions and behaviors related to their bodies, gender differences, and sexual functioning.”
When parents are asked before getting an ultrasound about what gender they wish their baby has, many people hope that their first baby is a girl. In the fathers’ minds, it means having a little princess at home to cherish. For the mothers, it gives them a cute little thing to put on different dresses. Nevertheless, when they get what they wish for, the typical source of stress for the entire family that makes them want to see a therapist sometimes (true story) is the hair.
You see, some kids are born with super fine hair that looks perfect even when you only place a little bow or headband on it. Other girls, however, come with a shock of hair that is a struggle to style, comb, or wash. The dads do not usually have to deal with such an issue, but most mothers do. So, here are seven hair hacks for every practical mom out there.
Sanitize The Hairbrush
The first thing to do before your morning starts is to make sure that you have a clean hairbrush. Meaning to say, there are no strands or grime stuck in between the bristles that can get in the way or ruin the newly washed hair of your daughter while brushing their hair. If you find any, you can easily remove the fallen hair with toothpicks or Q-tips and wash it thoroughly with soap and warm water so that the grime sticking to it can go down the drain.
Get A Shirt Instead Of A Towel To Dry The Hair
When drying off the hair after a shower, it is better to use a shirt than a towel. The reason is that the latter has more defined threads than the former; that’s why it can have harsher effects on the hair. Hence, you should utilize a shirt or any fabric that’s similar to it when squeezing excess water out of your locks.
Apply Coconut Oil As A Hair Mask
Coconut oil is such a good natural product, in the sense that you and your child can both use it as a hair mask. This substance can moisturize your mane and protect it from damages. It can also soften your daughter’s thick mane, which may be prone to tangles all the time. Feel free to apply the oil before shampooing and leave it on for 20 minutes for best results.
Snip Damaged Ends At Home
Seeing damaged ends is inevitable, primarily if you are always under the sun. Little girls tend to deal with this hair problem as well since they tend to play a lot outdoors during the daytime. To make sure that the damage will not move up the affected strands, though, you can snip them off on your own. Just twist chunks of the hair vertically so that it will be easier for you to see the ones with the split ends.
Make Hairbands Out Of Old Stockings
Since stockings are semi-elastic, they are safer to use than the typical hairbands that generate much friction to the hair. All you need to do is cut an old pair in bits to produce many hair ties. You can use them on your kids, too, and no one will be able to tell the difference.
Use Wet Wipes To Tame Hair
It cannot be helped if there are pieces of hair sticking out of your daughter’s head. That is especially true if she is still quite young and has baby hairs in place. In case that bothers you when you are trying to braid her locks or put it in a tight bun for ballet practice, you may place a wet wipe over the hairbrush and run through the hair. It allows you to tame the unruly strands as you work.
Add Hairspray Indirectly
Considering you are not a fan of hairspray but your daughter’s hair needs to be extremely neat for her dance recital, you should know that you do not have to spray it directly all over her head. Such a process entails that a lot of products will touch her hair, which can damage it later. What you can do instead is spritz the hairspray on the hairpins that you will use. For the rest of the hair, you may spray it on a toothbrush or makeup brush and smooth it over the strands. This way, the harsh chemicals will not touch her scalp.
Fixing your daughter’s hair is one of your duties as a parent. It may not always be easy – sometimes you may wish of chopping everything and turning it into a short bob to solve your dilemma – but I know that you know how cute little girls are with their long locks. So, try to follow the hacks mentioned above instead in hopes of easing your issues every morning.
Opening up to your loved ones can be scary, especially when it comes to a serious topic like mental health. According to psychology, most kids are afraid to even acknowledge it in themselves because of the stigma in their own home; that feeling sad or anxious is a “common thing” and that you should ignore it. It’s important to let them feel comfortable in telling you exactly how they think, that what they’re feeling is valid and you are the right person to talk to. Psychology suggests that many children or teens are afraid of telling their parents, in fear of upsetting them or being shut down completely.
“Stigma manifests as misguided stereotypes and negative attitudes or beliefs towards those with mental illness,” says Richa Bhatia, MD, FAPA. “Research shows that stigma and embarrassment were the top reasons why people with mental illness did not engage in medication adherence, such as self-care, therapy and medication compliance.”
It’s essential to make your child feel that rather than you being upset, you are happy they chose to confide in you. Making them feel like you are always ready to help them in every way possible is the key to getting them to tell you how they’re feeling. To be prepared if ever you think your child is struggling with something, here are some instances or thoughts that may be going through your child’s head.
“My family won’t believe me or take me seriously.”
Never dismiss or invalidate how your child is feeling, especially when they do choose to tell you when something is wrong. It’s fundamental to know that if your child is already hurting; dismissing their issues may make the experience more painful. Always let your children explain everything thoroughly for you to understand what they need fully. Also, letting go of any negative preconceived notions about getting professional help will be a good idea, because if your child says they want to seek advice, it’s best to assume they need it.
“I don’t want my family to worry about me.”
Though all families may go through different problems that occur in and out of the home, make sure to prioritize the issues of your children still, may it be big or small. If it is troubling them or if they open up to you about it, it must be worth listening to. It always should be.
“I don’t know or I’m afraid of how my family will react.”
Our children may still be hesitant to talk to you, but once you notice that something is troubling them, you must open up the topic to them, or at least make them feel that they can address things; the sooner, the better. If they’re hesitant, you can opt for them to talk to one person/parent at a time. Make your children feel like they can reach out to you may it be through letters, text messages, or subtle conversations from time to time.
To be more prepared in case you feel like your children suffer from mental health issues, the following are signs and symptoms of common mental health illnesses in children:
Depression In Children
- Continuous feelings of sadness
- Sudden changes in appetite (increase or decrease)
- Changes in sleeping pattern
- Fatigue and low energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Thoughts of Death
- Feeling angry or irritable
- Isolating one’s self from social circles/family
Depression in children often isn’t treated because it’s brushed off or seen as regular emotional and mental changes. Earlier medical studies showed children could also show sign of depression by acting out through angry behavior. Depression is relatively rare under the age of 12 and more frequent from ages 12 and above. It is more common in boys under the age of 10, and for girls, it’s more common around the age of 16.
According to Ajay K Thapar, PhD and co-authors, “much research has been done into the association between depression and environmental factors such as exposures to acute stressful events (e.g., personal injury, bereavement) and chronic adversity (eg, maltreatment, family discord, bullying by peers, poverty, physical illness).” They also added that “stressful life events seem more strongly associated with first onset rather than recurrence of depression, and risk is considerably greater in girls, and in adolescents who have multiple negative life events than those exposed to one event.”
Anxiety In Children
- Improper eating patterns
- Becoming immediately angry
- Uncontrollable outbursts
- Constant worry and negative thoughts
- Feeling tense or using the toilet frequently
- Frequently sobbing/crying
- Clinging to loved ones all of a sudden
- Stomach aches/ nausea
There are different types of anxiety; separation anxiety is common in young children, while older children and teenagers usually have social anxiety.
According to Jeanne Segal, Ph.D And c-author, “even if [isolation is] the last thing you want to do, try to force yourself to stay social. As you get out into the world and connect with others, you’ll likely find yourself starting to feel better.
Though it really may be difficult to get your children to open up to you about such things, it’s best to let them come to you. When you think something is troubling them, but you don’t want to pry immediately, try to do smaller things and gestures that show them you’re always there when they’re ready. It’s good to let them know that you’ll believe them, you want to know more, and you will do everything to help them. Mental health shouldn’t be a myth or joke in any household; many parents realize this too late in their children’s lives because they never acknowledged or thought of the possibility. Your children’s emotions are always valid.
One of the most difficult challenges that moms undergo is keeping up with their children’s overall well-being. More often than not, it is the mother’s traditional role to physically look after her children even if she is a working mom. Nowadays, the physical aspect of a child’s well-being is not the only thing parents, especially the moms, should be worried about. Behavioral health’s challenges are now a big thing. (more…)