Three Parenting Pitfalls That Can Impact Mental Health

Creating an open, healthy relationship between children and caregivers is vital, and there are some things that may get in the way of well intentioned parents.No parent can claim to have cracked the code on how to raise children. We are all trying to do what is best for our young ones. Yet, mental and behavioral health challenges are at an all time high in America. Understanding a few of the pitfalls parents may fall into can help you guide your children while maintaining a positive relationship. Watch Your Parenting StyleYou can sometimes differentiate between democratic and dictatorial home settings by observing how the kids behave around the parents.Unfortunately, most caregivers don’t know the difference between authoritative parents and authoritarian parents. They want to be authoritative, but they end up being authoritarian. The latter method can lead to relationship challenges.Experts say that authoritarian parents leave no room for failure. They give

5 Safety Considerations for Parents on Halloween

Ensure the physical and mental well-being of  your children on Halloween by keeping these things in mind.Erntedankfest – not HalloweenAll Hallow’s Eve has become a tradition for many American families, where children have the chance to express creativity and imagination through costumes, as well as enjoy the process of collecting free candy. While it may seem like a light-hearted evening of sweets for the young ones, parents need to have a broader view of the evening. Here are some things to keep in mind for a safe, fun, and inclusive holiday. 1. Costume SafetyWhile it’s important for children to be happy with their costume, their well being and comfort throughout the night should be top priority. Ensuring a proper fit is crucial, as costumes that are too long, or have flowing components, such as capes, can cause a tripping hazard. Masks can restrict vision, so consider an alternative such as face paint.

Debunking Adoption Myths

Society’s portrayal of adoption often does not match the reality. Adoption is a lifelong process that creates families with unique stories. Yet, there is a lot of misinformation about this process and the impact it has on those involved. Here are three myths about adoption often harbored both by adoptive parents and the people around them.Adoptees are LuckyAdoption stories are often written by the adoptive parents and they are focused on the process of finding and bringing a longed-for child home. These stories have a happy ending.Yet by calling adopted kids “lucky,” we dismiss challenges they keep facing after the adoption. We miss the chance to acknowledge the trauma these children experience. Changing homes and guardians is difficult, especially for young children who do not fully understand why all this is happening.While adoption can be a very positive thing for many kids, it’s still complicated. Some adoptees might feel quite

Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits in Children

Working toward positive eating habits as a family can set children up for a healthier future.Children between the ages of 2 and 18 years should consume less than six teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the American Heart Association. That’s about 25 grams. Yet children in the US consume roughly 16% of their daily caloric intake from added sugars alone, while missing out on the vitamin-packed foods they need in order to support their growing bodies. The abundance of added sugar coupled with foods that are low in nutrition and additional complications with less-than-ideal eating habits can make for a real challenge. It can be difficult to guide your child to healthy habits to begin with, and even more so if you’re welcoming an older child, who may already have developed certain food preferences or dislikes, into your family. Thankfully, with some know-how, enthusiasm and patience, you can help instill

Keeping Kids Connected to Nature

Encouraging your children to connect with nature has many benefits for children’s health and development.Connecting kids to nature is a great way to disconnect them from their cell phones, TVs, and other electronic devices. Most kids love to get down and dirty in the great outdoors. If you’re a parent to a foster or adopted child, exploring nature can help you bond and provide a smoother transition for both of you.Physical and Mental HealthInstead of raising a couch potato, take your kids out to plant potatoes. It’s the best way to keep them healthy, both physically and mentally. Being outdoors helps them build a stronger immune system and relieves stress. The sun provides vitamin D, a necessity for keeping your mind and spirit at its best. You’ll notice a child who is cooped up indoors will often seem listless and grumpy. They may simply lack vitamin D and sunshine.Nature also

Signs of Insomnia and How to Help Your New Child Sleep Well

Understanding the causes and potential treatment of insomnia can help parents ensure their children get enough rest. Most children have no problem falling asleep after a day of learning and playing. However, some may have more difficulty getting into dreamland than others.  Recent studies indicate that more than 30% of children are sleep deprived. Apart from having trouble falling asleep, some children also deal with sleep disorders, the most common of which is insomnia. Insomnia varies in severity, and while in some cases it can be corrected at home with a few hacks for better sleep, some forms may require a professional’s help for proper treatment. Here’s how to know if your new child has insomnia and how you can help them cope. Always Cranky, Forgetful, and Tired?Most people associate insomnia with constantly stressed and busy adults, but even children can have difficulties sleeping or staying asleep. If your new

7 Tips to Help Build Your Child’s Writing Skills

Helping foster and adoptive children develop reading skills as young as possible will set them up for future success.For every child, adolescence is marked by constant growth and changes. Personality, emotions, mental aptitude, and interests all emerge and fluctuate. But even in the most favorable conditions, these changes can be challenging for the little ones.  Now imagine adding one other aspect to these changes by being placed under foster care.In the US alone, nearly half a million children enter foster care every year. Various studies have shown that foster children face a unique set of challenges in the learning environment. As a teacher or foster parent, it’s important to understand and learn the best practices and strategies to help these children achieve academic success and ease the stress that comes with the changes they’re going through. One important skill a child needs to build up on, is writing. It takes time

Self-Advocacy in the Adoption Process

Hopeful adoptive parents can take action to increase their chances of getting matched. Tanya F., her husband, and their 8-year-old son began their adoption process of two years in June 2017 by attending a meeting/matching event to gather information about the process and available local children. “We’d been talking about adopting an older child from foster care for several years, and it finally felt like the right time in our lives to jump all in,” she said. “Little did we know what a long journey it would be.”That journey was one, like so many others, spotted with waiting, hoping, and disappointments. Above those things, though, it was one of self-advocacy and action. The adoption world is filled with many interests: the state, the birth family, foster parents, the children themselves, and the professionals trying to assist each of these groups. The more proactive hopeful parents can be, the higher the chances of

How to Help Your Adopted Child Acclimate to Your Family

Adoptive parents can take steps to help their children adjust to a new familyThere’s no better feeling than welcoming a new member to the family. Weddings, births, adoptions: it doesn’t matter. Having a new child enter your life is a special kind of joy. Sweet, right? That doesn’t mean these joyous changes are going to come without their fair share of challenges. If you’ve just adopted a child, you’re probably starting to figure that out. It’s a brave new world, and you want to make sure everything is perfect for the new little miracle in your life.  Here are a few tips to help your child adapt to your home.Chef it Up Meals are one of the best ways to build community in a household. They are a time for everyone to come together and just be around each other (and complain about their days). Making your child healthy meals

The Importance of Dental Care for Foster Children

Help your foster children develop positive oral hygiene habits now for a healthier future  About 20% of children aged 5-11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. While it might seem difficult to get the children in your care to brush, it doesn’t have to be. Supporting and encouraging your foster child to have healthy dental habits can make a positive difference in their lives and establish healthy habits down the road.Why it Matters To some parents, skipping a brushing or flossing here and there might not seem like such a big deal. After all, their baby teeth will fall out, right? While that might be true. Implementing proper dental habits into your foster child’s routine while they’re young can lead to healthy dental habits in their future, preventing heavy dental bills due to rotten teeth, gingivitis, and many other conditions associated with poor oral health.Make it Fun Regular tooth