Archive of ‘Parent Advice’ category
There are many ways parents can find a physics and maths tutor. With the number of agencies providing tutoring services in the country growing, some people find tutors through personal ads while a greater number rely on recommendations. Tutorfair is one of the first websites that allow people to book a tutor online, and since the site funds charity work it addresses different educational disadvantages. I strongly suggest that you look there first.
Before settling for a physics and maths tutor, it’s advisable that you meet several first. Since tutors are people just like you and me, each has their own style of tutoring. It is, therefore, vital that you first take the time to consider each to see who will best fit the student’s potential. It can be quite tempting to make a decision based on your liking for a person, or on the fact that the tutor seems to have a unique tutoring style that you liked as a child. However, it’s not you that will be working with them. It’s, therefore, important that you listen to your child and see who they’d like to work with and who they think they could learn best from. If your kid likes a tutor, then half of the problem is solved as they’ll often work harder to impress their mentor.
If your kid does not like any of the tutors available, then this could make finding one a bit harder, and the problem might not be about the tutors but more about the student – he or she probably has a problem with tutoring. I have heard parents say to their children ‘okay, you are going to have to work with a tutor, so find one who you hate least’. This isn’t to say that you should not trust your own instincts, just remember that it is your child that will be working with the tutor.
During the decision-making process, there are some very important questions that I believe are worth asking the new potential tutor. If asked early in the selection process, these questions could save you a lot of time later. Here are some:
– What kind of learner are you? As a student, were you more kinesthetic, auditory, visual, or did you learn best by rote?
– If a student does not feel like studying that day, how would you handle the situation?
– Ever had any difficult students, and if you did, how did you deal with them?
While this might sound like an interview, in part it is. I’d advise you not to give potential tutors a hard time during your initial meet up, but make sure that you voice your concerns or questions. Part of the tutor’s work is to act as a link between the kid and the parents academically. However, I’d be wary of a tutor who can’t explain their working method and ethics. Nowadays, I use my gut feelings a lot. Nevertheless, I still have some things that I like to do first. if the tutor cannot explain some things during the initial meet up, then I would be very concerned about their aptitude to explain challenging things to a student who’s really stuck.
Something else to consider is how qualified the tutor is. Most tutoring agencies have stipulations that their tutors should possess specific qualifications at least a level above those they are teaching. For instance, a GCSE History tutor should have an A-level on the subject, with some even stipulating that they should hold degrees in the area. This does make a lot of sense, however, it is still worth noting that just because one holds a PhD or a degree in a subject, that does not necessarily mean that they can teach it.
Some of the best tutors I have ever met were once people who struggled at school themselves. Most maths teachers back in my school days never really had a problem with maths. However, it’s clear to me now that this made it harder for them to empathise with students who were not ‘getting it’. I only got to really understand maths later on in time, which is something, in some ways, that led me to be more patient with struggling students, since I went through the same struggle.
Apart from being great teachers, the most successful tutors are the ones who are halfway between a best friend and a teacher. Such tutors inspire students to want to learn, and kids often like them a lot they’ll work even harder, sometimes just to impress them. This is amongst the most powerful tools that a tutor has and therefore their success will mostly depend on the chemistry between the tutor and his or her students. I am not saying that all students will love and connect with every tutor they get, but if they really aren’t getting it on, this could be really bad news for both the student and tutor.
The tutor could risk negative reviews from the student’s parents (and this does count in the playgrounds outside of school) while the students could risk wasting a lot of valuable time. It is, therefore, vital that you see how a tutor you are considering interacts with your kid, and although I recommend giving them time alone to work together, do not be afraid to ask your child about how he or she felt after the lesson.
They do not have to be super excited about their tutor, but it is a good idea to check and see if they feel like they learned something and that they do not feel lacking in confidence and completely overwhelmed.
Once you’ve settled for a tutor, the next thing to consider is how you are going to get the most out of the tutor. To find out more about my thoughts on this subject matter, see my next blog post coming soon “Parents: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Kid’s Tutor”
Sometimes marriages and partnerships break down; this can be a difficult time for both of you and your children as well. You can both get so engrossed in the problems you are having that it can be easy to ignore and forget about how your children are feeling. If you are in a similar situation, here are a few tips for dealing with your children’s feelings during the tricky time of a separation or divorce.
Try Not to Put Them Between You
Many parents use their children as a messenger, especially if they are living apart. Although you might think there is no problem doing so, in fact, this type of communication via your children can have an impact on their feelings. They might have to say things to their parents that make them upset or anxious, and it also places a burden on them that they shouldn’t have to deal with at any age. To minimise any problems, you need to discuss things in private or via email. Things that involve the children can be discussed as a group with all of the family members there because this then gives them the opportunity to ask questions.
Understand Their Feelings About Both of You
Even though the two of you can no longer live together, your children will still love you equally. For that reason, you should try to understand that they might not share the feelings you might have for your partner. It can be easy to talk to your children about the separation and perhaps say negative things about your partner, but this can make your kids feel awkward and upset. You should also avoid taking your kids to the family solicitor London, so they don’t have to hear negative things about their parents. If you have feelings that you want to share, try talking to a therapist or someone you trust rather than talking to your children.
Take Time to Listen to Your Kids
A period like this in your children’s lives can cause a great amount of turmoil. They won’t always understand what’s happening, and they might form ideas that aren’t true. That is why it is vital that you are there for them and that they can ask you about what’s happening. Allow them to talk and to express how they feel, try not to dismiss their feelings, but also try to let them know that things will be ok. Both parents should do this in case one of your children want to confide on one of you and not the other.
Avoid Asking Too Many Questions
When your children spend time with the other parent, you should think of this time as visiting an aunt or uncle. You should ask them fun questions about their stay but try not to grill them or ask about what your partner did. It will make them feel uneasy and in an impossible position.
Separation is never easy, but if you can all try to be as open and approachable as possible, it will make it a lot easier for your kids.
Being a Mum is already a difficult job. You are no longer the only person you need to take care of, and you have someone else who you are 100% responsible for. That alone can bring in its own stresses and strains, never mind add in other life tasks such as paying bills, or any work pressures. All of this can get on top of you, so we have put together some handy bits of advice as to how you can deal with this.
Get a Life Coach
This is something that’s often regarded as self-indulgent, but that’s not really the case. If you are having difficulty de-stressing, then AskaCoach can offer coaching solutions that will fit into your lifestyle. Everything can be done online these days, which means you don’t need to go and visit someone at their office – you can chat things through at your convenience. Discussing things with them, should allow you to uncover what may be stressing you, and to give you tools as to how to combat this.
Chat to a Friend
There are several reasons why chatting to a friend can reduce your stress and anxiety levels. First of all, it can be a distraction from what is getting you down or worrying you. There is nothing better than having a laugh to get away from the everyday stresses and strains. It can also be helpful for you if you find out that someone else has similar concerns. Don’t be afraid to let them know what’s on your mind – it can end up a cathartic experience.
Take Some Me Time
It’s important to get some time for yourself even if you aren’t stressed or anxious. Is there a hobby or interest that you like to spend some time on? Make sure you schedule time in your calendar to do what you really like to do. Even if there isn’t anything specific – you can still take time to relax. It could be that you just have a bath, or that you treat yourself to a spa day. It doesn’t need to cost a lot of money or take up too much time – but having some “me time” is essential for keeping you stress-free.
Exercise on the face of it may seem like a bit of a pain, but actually it can have great mental health benefits as well as physical. Research shows that it can be a mood elevator and help people who have depression, stress and anxiety. It also releases endorphins which allows you to have more positive feelings, and to also make the pain less. It doesn’t need to be a workout that’s too strenuous to achieve these results.
If you are feeling a little stressed out with the everyday pressures of life – then try some of the above, and hopefully you should feel less stressed and anxious.
Babies are born with the innate skill to put anything they come across into their mouths. Some have even been seen on ultrasound sucking their thumbs while still in the womb. It is a reflex action. Sucking brings them comfort and doesn’t necessarily mean they want food. A pacifier may come in handy in comforting and calming down your baby. Some babies can’t get enough of suckling and cuddling or rocking them won’t be soothing enough. It is better to get them a pacifier (which you can get rid of) than to let them get used to sucking their thumbs.
Here are five tips to get the best out of your baby’s pacifier;
Don’t force your decision on the baby
Yes, you need something to distract your baby as you struggle to meet some tight deadline. A pacifier might just be the answer. Do not however force it on your baby. If they are receptive to it, go along. If they are not, try again some other time or just let them be. You’ll have more on your hands than you can handle.
Pacifier isn’t a substitute for your attention
Read that slowly and let it sink in. While pacifiers can come in handy when the baby has to wait, for example if you are in a check out queue, it should not be a substitute from you giving the baby attention. It is your parental duty to spend as much time as possible with them.
Taking care of the pacifier
Tying the pacifier around their neck or the crib to avoid it getting misplaced is a bad idea as the cord can strangle them. Instead, pin it to the baby’s clothes using a clip. Keep the pacifier clean by frequently detaching it and rinsing it with warm clean water. Do not clean the pacifier by sucking on it, neither should you dip it in sugary drinks. Replace it once it starts cracking up or wearing out. A silicone nipple-shaped pacifier is the Best Pacifier For Breastfed Baby since they are much easier to clean.
When not to use a pacifier
Pacifiers aren’t recommended for babies who have a problem breastfeeding. Suckling on the pacifier and breastfeeding require two different techniques and combining them at the same time might cause ‘nipple confusion.’ It can lead to them having weight problems from poor feeding. Keep the baby off pacifiers too if they have ear infections. Extended periods of use has also been known to cause dental problems to the baby, so get them off a pacifier as soon as you can.
Cleaning the pacifier
Before you get your baby on a pacifier, clean and sterilize it first. You have no idea the amount of germs you’ll find on things that otherwise look clean. You can use hot soapy water and a clean dish rag. You can also boil the pacifier for about five minutes then let it cool totally before letting the baby use it. If you are willing to dig deeper into your pockets, you can purchase an electronic sterilizer.
As we head into the remaining months of the school year, it’s normal to start thinking ahead to summer vacation and plans you may have. Before getting too wrapped up in the summer though, it may be nice to give a little thought as to how you plan to celebrate all the success your child has had during their school year. For elementary school aged children in particular, it’s always nice to give them that recognition and show them how proud you are of their hard work. This can also help to motivate them as they head into a new school year in the fall.
So, if you’re looking for some fun ways to celebrate another successful year for your child in school, here are some ideas you may want to use.
Hold a Backyard Party with Friends
What better way to celebrate the end of the school year than a party with friends. As long as the weather allows, a backyard party can be the perfect plan. If you happen to have a pool, then obviously you can turn it into a pool party. If not, you can create your own fun and entertainment instead. There are all kinds of fun outdoor games that you can post around the backyard, creating stations if you will, so kids can mingle, socialize, and enjoy the activities.
The party can be made even better with a casual barbecue complete with hamburgers, hot dogs, and lots of snacks. Top off the party with a customized cake, which you can access pricing information for at Allcakeprices.com and the party will be a hit.
An Afternoon at the Spa
If you happen to have a daughter who loves being pampered, then a mommy and daughter afternoon at the spa can be a wonderful option. You can book services such as a manicure and pedicure, and even a facial. It’s a special treat the two of you can enjoy together, which means it’s also a chance to bond.
The Summer Vacation Basket of Essentials
While summer is something everyone looks forward to, unfortunately most parents can attest to the fact that it doesn’t take long before they start to hear the kids complain that they are “bored”. Rather than listen to the complaints all summer, you can think pre-emptively and gift them with the summer vacation basket of essentials on the last day of school.
This basket can contain all kinds of board games, indoor and outdoor activities, craft supplies, snacks, and treats that will keep them busy throughout the summer. Fun items to include are skipping ropes, sidewalk chalk, water guns, bubbles, a soccer ball, kite, water toys, kid-sized gardening tools and gardening gloves, coloring books and markers, a variety of crafting supplies, and anything else that catches your eye.
Make It Special for Them
Whether you go all out with a big party, or opt for something a little more low-key, recognizing their school achievements is something kids will greatly appreciate and remember as they grow older.
Language, speech and communication skills are of key importance in a child’s formative education and success. Humans use a variety of ways to communicate, but arguably none are as important to a child’s academic success as language and speech skills – their ability to express themselves through spoken and written language. A child’s brain is a flexible, curious and bottomless object, and as a parent it is your job to help them wrap that brain around speech and language conventions, exposing them to new and different ways to communicate. Whether your child is a language whiz or having difficulties with expression, here are four ways you can help their speech development.
See A Speech Therapist
If you have any concerns about your child’s speech development, it’s a good idea to start looking for a childrens therapist that specializes in speech therapy – they’re often known as speech-language pathologists, or SLPs for short. SLPs focus first on assessing and evaluating the speech issues, and then on creating a treatment plan, which can help children express themselves better and, in turn, see greater academic and social success. This is the first and best line of defense if you are concerned about your child’s speech development – language acquisition and usage is a vast and complex subject, so it’s best to get help from the experts.
Hearing you read to them, seeing the words go by on the page, and then taking a turn themselves trying to read – these three steps, as part of an evening family ritual, can be extraordinarily effective in helping speech development. Don’t be afraid to start your kids early. Even if they just sit there and absorb themselves in the narrative of the story, they are learning valuable things about language and speech operate. Choose books that are appropriate for their age group, but don’t be afraid to give them something complex – children listen on a higher language level than they are able to read, so this is a great way to expose them to complicated ideas.
Chat About Everything
Chat about the book you just read together. Chat about the things you see out the car window. Chat about their day at school, their friends, their teacher, their lunch, their hobbies, their hair… anything! The more you engage with your child, the better their speech development will be. And don’t be passive in the conversation – get in there and talk about yourself, your day and your interests, because receiving information is just as important a language skill as being able to dispense with it. Try to vary up your vocabulary as well; whereas yesterday you asked them about their favourite “sports”, today ask them about “athletic activities”.
Be Supportive, Not Critical
Finally, it’s important to always be supportive of your child’s attempts, and refrain from being critical if they make mistakes. The last thing you want is to stifle your child’s desire to express themselves, but the fear of failure can be a strong deterrent to a child. Helpful, happy corrections are welcome, of course.
Language and speech skills are the foundation upon which much of your child’s academic, social and (later) work life will be built, so it’s important to help their development any way you can. Visit a Speech-Language Pathologist if you are concerned about your child’s speech development, and remember to read and talk with them often.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – known better by its acronym, ADHD – affects an estimate of over 50 million people, and is common in children. Characterized by impulsivity, difficulty paying attention, and excessive restless activity, ADHD can be difficult on children and parents. But the good news is that, through therapy, diet and medicine, it can be managed.
But many parents here in Ajax are sceptical of medicine prescribed for ADHD, either of its side effects or its overall efficacy, and that’s why they look to natural medicine as either a replacement or supplement to their child’s traditional ADHD medicine. Using non-invasive, non-toxic treatments natural medicine helps a child with ADHD gain better focus, control impulsivity and become calmer.
The first step, as with anything, is to do some research, and learn about the benefits of seeing a naturopath for your child’s ADHD. Finding a Naturopath here in Ajax will take some looking, but the ones that are here are wonderfully helpful, offering an array of naturopathic services, like botanical medicine, vitamin supplements, homeopathy and acupuncture. A Naturopathic Doctor will treat your child personally – that is, they will resist an easy, catch-all approach and instead delve into the specifics of what might be underlying your child’s ADHD.
This focus on the big picture belies a more preventative approach, one that seeks not just to remedy symptoms, but get to the root of what’s causing those symptoms. It’s the kind of personal approach that, unfortunately, is missing in much of mainstream medicine, which is another reason parents should consider supplementing their child’s traditional medicine with naturopathic treatment as well.
There is solid evidence that diet plays a major role in ADHD symptoms, so one of the first things that a Naturopathic Doctor is likely to do is create a diet for your child. This might include a focus on overall nutrition, or supplemental vitamins and minerals, or it might entail eliminating certain things from your child’s diet. There have studies done that indicate rolling back simple carbs and introducing more omega-3 fatty acids – found in nuts and olive oil, and also in fish and fish oil supplements – help treat ADHD symptoms. There is also good evidence that food additives (such as these nine) and artificial colour are linked with hyperactivity, so a Naturopathic Doctor might suggest eliminating those from your child’s diet.
Of course, ADHD symptoms can vary greatly between people, and you shouldn’t take as gospel anything you read on the internet; you need to look into seeing a naturopath about your child’s specific form of ADHD to properly treat it with natural medicine. According to this study, from BMC psychiatry, a significant number of children overcome or partially overcome symptoms of ADHD as they grow older, and it’s with the help of a number of approaches. If you are treating your child’s ADHD with conventional medicine, it might be time to think about supplementing those efforts with naturopathic medicine. Visit a Naturopathic Doctor here in Ajax to learn more.
Visiting the dentist can be a daunting experience, especially for children. Here are a few ways on how to make your kids feel more comfortable when visiting the dentist.
What to Expect
If your child has never been to the dentist, they will have no idea on what to expect for their appointment. Taking the time to explain to your child where they are going, why they are going and what time the appointment is can help your child feel more in control and get a better understanding and what is going to happen. The more information your child has, the more confident they will feel when going for their dental appointment.
If your child needs dental work, it is important to be honest and explain to your child the type of treatment they will need. Choosing the right words can have a significant impact on how your child reacts, so make sure you describe the process in an easy to digest and non-threatening manner, so your child can feel at ease and fully understand why they must get treatment.
The Good Points
For your child to place trust in the dentist, make sure that you speak positively about them. Projecting dentists in a positive light can help your child do the same and help eliminate any fears or worries that they might have. Letting your child know the importance of dentists and how they are the good guys in maintaining healthy teeth can be incredibly beneficial and ensure that the experience runs as smoothly as possible. If you are interested in going into the dental profession, websites like best-dentalassistantschools.com can give you more clarification on the skills and requirements needed to join.
Make It Fun
Going into an unfamiliar environment can cause distress to your child, so make sure to describe all the good points of the dentist. Some dental practices have children’s toys and games in the waiting room so make sure to let your child know so they can have something to look forward to. Also, having a fun dentist can help your child enjoy the overall experience.
The most important way on helping your child feel safe and secure in the dental room is by being with them. Your presence can have a massive difference in how your child reacts at the dentist so make sure to be on hand and stay calm to help your child feel more relaxed. The experience can be incredibly stressful so being there to help reassure and give your child the guidance they need can help improve the overall experience.
If you would like more information on how to make you kids feel more comfortable when visiting the dentist, it can be beneficial to ring up your dental practice and let them know your worries and concerns, so they are able to act in the right manner when your child has their appointment. There are also online forums where parents can engage with one another to get a better understanding and to ensure your child has a pleasant dental experience.
7 Steps to Potty Training Success
Potty training your toddler can seem like a daunting task, but with patience and perseverance you can help your child reach this key milestone.
Learning how to use the potty is a key milestone in your child’s life, but starting potty training can seem a little bit daunting. We’ve put together some tips to help guide you through the process, and with some perseverance and patience, you’ll soon have your child leaving nappies behind.
Know the signs
There are no hard and fast rules about when you should begin potty training. The majority of parents start between the ages of two and two and a half, but some children are ready much earlier while others may take a little longer to get to this stage.
There are however some key signs to watch out for. These include your child:
- recognising when they’re passing urine and possibly telling you that they’re doing it;
- knowing when they have a wet or dirty nappy;
- showing signs that they need to pee, such as going to a quiet corner or fidgeting;
- going to the toilet only once an hour or less frequently;
- knowing that they need to pee and telling you in advance;
- being able to follow instructions and sit on the potty or toilet.
The more of these signs your child displays, the quicker and easier potty training is likely to be. You should also try to avoid potty training during times of disruption or changes to routine, as consistency is the key to success.
Before beginning potty training it’s important to be prepared, and there are a number of key tools that will help to make the process easier.
A potty is of course essential – it helps to have one in your main room and in your bathroom, as well as a portable one for when you’re out and about. Purchasing a step stool to help your child reach the sink and, eventually, the toilet, is also a useful purchase.
Disposable ‘pull-up’ potty training nappies can come in really handy, particularly in the early days of potty training. However, these should just be a transitionary step, so also involve your child in buying some ‘big girl ‘or ‘big boy’ pants to help the potty training process seem special and exciting.
Do the groundwork
It’s important to lay the groundwork and get your child used to the idea before you begin potty training. In the run up to potty training, start changing your child’s nappy in the bathroom so that they get used to it as a place where people go to the toilet. As you change their nappy, explain what you’re doing and why so that they start to understand the meaning of a wet or dirty nappy.
It’s also a good idea to leave a potty where your child can see it and, if they’re happy to, encouraging them to sit on it for a minute or two when you change their nappy. Make sure you explain what the potty is for so they don’t just think it’s a fun new toy!
The best way to start potty training is to make sitting on the potty a natural part of everyday life for your little one, so it’s important to keep a potty within easy reach. When your child shows signs of needing to wee, encourage them to use the potty, as well as encouraging them to sit on the potty after meals. If you know your child regularly goes to the toilet at the same time each day, try leaving their nappy off and suggesting they go on the potty – but don’t push it if they seem upset by the idea.
One useful tip is to dress your toddler in clothes that are quick and easy to change, avoiding items such as tights or clothes with lots of fiddly buttons. Some parents prefer to start potty training in the summer when children naturally wear fewer clothes.
Make it fun
A lot of children need some encouragement to start using the potty, so making the process fun can help to give them that extra incentive. For example, you could stack a few toys or books next to the potty so that they have something to occupy them while they sit on it. Some parents even make up a special potty song that they sing each time their child sits on the potty or toilet.
It’s also important to reward success. You could buy your little one a small toy when they hit certain milestones, but making a chart and awarding them stickers, or even just showering them with plenty of praise, can be equally effective. On the flip side, try not to act negatively if your little one has an accident. Just remain calm and let them know that accidents happen.
Unless you are your child’s only caregiver, it is important to involve others in your potty training journey. As we’ve mentioned, consistency of routine is vital when it comes to potty training, so be sure to keep grandparents and other family members in the loop, along with your childminder or nursery if applicable. An outstanding nursery should be happy to encourage and support your child’s potty training routine in your absence, so don’t be afraid to let them know how they can help.
Last but certainly not least, you need to be patient. Potty training can be a stressful process for children and parents alike, and it’s easy to lose your cool when your little one has his fifth accident of the day. But by remaining calm and positive, and praising progress, you can help guide your little one to potty training success.
Designing your baby’s nursery is really exciting, especially when it comes to choosing all of the gorgeous furniture pieces that you’re going to include, and you want to make sure you do it right. It can be so easy to go crazy when it comes to the designing stages, buying every cute furniture item you see without really thinking about how practical or necessary it may be. The best thing to do is focus on the essential furniture pieces, and then you can add a few decorative touches to enhance the décor and create the perfect space for your little one.
Investing your money in the right places is important with your child’s nursery, as you want to know that the products you are purchasing are safe, reliable and durable. Starting with your baby’s cot, you need to find a design and style that works for you. There are lots of different cots available, from chic wooden designs with a slide down side, to chunkier designs that have a half-side to prevent your little one from escaping at any time. Look for your favourite design, with the right colour and style to suit the nursery décor to ensure you’re keeping to the décor style you want to achieve. Once you’ve decided on your cot, you can start to look at other items including a wardrobe to keep all of the little clothing hanging ready for use. Wardrobes are great for adding character to the room and maintaining the style that your cot has introduced. Try to keep the furniture pieces similar, whether that’s from the same range or using the same material to keep the décor within the nursery flowing smoothly.
Even though your baby is only going to have small clothes, you’d be surprised just how much room they take up. Investing in some simple storage items such as a chest of drawers and an oak blanket box will help you to keep the nursery clean and tidy, with everything stored away safely. Whether you decide to stock the chest of drawers up with essential nappy changing products, or your blanket box is actually used to keep the teddy bears neat and out of the way, these stylish furniture pieces will help to keep the nursery organised and fresh with no clutter.
Whilst these features may not necessarily be furniture pieces, they work hand in hand with furniture pieces to keep your little ones safe and content. One of the most important things to include in your baby’s nursery is a set of blinds or curtains. Once you put your little one down for a nap mid-afternoon, you want to know they have a dark space to snuggle down and sleep, and blinds or curtains are ideal for this. The last thing you want is the sunshine shining through and interrupting your little one’s nap. Similarly, you may want to look at including a colourful lightshade, a soft rug and a calming mobile to help them drift off to sleep peacefully.
Once you’ve chosen all of your essential furniture pieces, you can look at the traditional touches that most nurseries have today. From a talk oak bookcase with a selection of classic nursery rhymes and stories, to a delicate trinket box on the windowsill and some cute teddy bears sat in the corner, you can create a special space for your baby to grow up and enjoy.