Adjusting to Having a Child with Food Allergies in Your Home

Understanding the causes, signs, and emergency recommendations for children with food allergies can help caregivers provide a safe environment. 

For those who have kids with food allergies, food is a risky experience. Their immune system labels a particular substance as dangerous and releases inordinate amounts of histamine. It can put children in danger, so they have to be careful with everything they serve on the table or keep in their home. It’s not just about avoiding peanuts or any other allergen. It’s about making the home a safe place for the kid, who can’t fully control their food choices without help from grownups.

What Is a Food Allergy?

An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly sees a harmless substance as dangerous. Even the smallest traces of the allergen can trigger an immune reaction. 

These foods cause some of the most common food allergies in children:

  • Milk (lactose
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soy

These foods are all high in protein.

How to Find Out If Your Child Has a Food Allergy

To be sure that your kid has a food allergy, they will have to taste the food that causes a reaction. However, you should know that during the first exposure to allergens, the immune system may not react. Allergies can be developed. With nuts, for example, the second exposure may be more serious than the first one. 

You’ll know that your child has an allergy when you notice the symptoms. You have to be attentive when introducing new foods, so you’ll know what caused the reaction. You must also know how to react in case of serious symptoms.

Be Aware of Food Allergy Symptoms

These are the common symptoms that you’ll recognize if your child is allergic to any food:

  • Trouble breathing is a very serious symptom. It occurs as a result of spasm and swelling in the airways. 
  • Swelling of the tongue and/or face (mouth, eyelids, throat, and lips). Sometimes the hands and feet may also swell. 
  • Hives, which you’ll notice by the itchy, red bumps on different areas of the skin. They may be visible on the neck, the face, or all over the body. 
  • Itchy throat and mouth may also occur as an allergic reaction. 
  • Stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea usually happen when the child is allergic to gluten or lactose. 
  • Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that leads to shock. It can happen immediately after consuming the allergen, but it may also take up to two hours to develop. The condition involves several symptoms, including throat tightness, hives, swelling of the tongue and face, difficulty breathing, dizziness, lightheadedness, and unconsciousness. It’s a scary situation, but you have to stay level-headed and react ASAP!

Steps to Avoid Allergic Reactions

 1. Always read the label
If you know that your child has a food allergy, read all labels carefully. Even traces of the allergen can be dangerous.

2. Know the ingredients
When you go to a restaurant, always ask about the ingredients in the meal you plan to order. Inform the waiter that your kid has an allergy, so they will be careful. 

 3. Educate the entire family
Keep your home free of allergens and educate everyone who spends time with your kid. The kid’s teacher and friends should know about the allergy, too.  

4. Focus on safe foods
Prepare fun meals, so your kid won’t feel like they are missing out on something. 

5. Stay updated to new research findings
Kids with Food Allergies is a great source of information. You’ll find safe recipes, but you can also get informed about the latest research findings.  

6. Look for treatment
Antihistamines, decongestants, and corticosteroids are the most commonly used allergy treatments once the allergic reaction occurs. However, they are used only when allergens are ingested by mistake. The only long-term treatment is to avoid the foods that trigger reactions.

It’s Not Easy, But You Can Do This!

If your child has any kind of food allergy, you’ll have to be careful with the foods you prepare for them. You’ll patiently educate them about the foods they can eat and the ones that cause them harm. You’ll keep your home free of allergens that they can reach. If your child is allergic to peanuts, your entire family can live without them. Traces are more problematic; they can be found in common foods that we buy from the supermarket. 

You’ll have to read labels and be prepared for action if anything unexpected occurs, but you can keep your child safe. 


Author Bio

Robert Everett is a writer for EduBirdie.com. He loves researching topics related to childcare, family values, and social studies. Robert is an activist for several causes, hoping to make small contributions towards great improvements.   

The Importance of Sibling Relationships in Foster Care

Keeping siblings in care together is not always possible, but studies show the importance of maintaining these relationships. 

Adapting to life in foster care is not easy for children. They have to adjust to the new environments, caretakers and schedules. They face limited contact with their biological families and may need to work to keep their sibling connection intact. Fear of losing siblings can lead to feelings of insecurity, depression, loneliness and anxiety. They may not openly express their feelings, so establishing trust and communication with foster parents and the family unit as early as possible is vital in a foster care setting.

Family System Theory

Family Systems Theory, also known as Bowen Theory (1999) describes patterns and relationships that are created within a family system. Foster siblings that are involved in experiencing intense emotional traumas will have different needs and expectations of their caregivers.

The theory explains the triangle of relationships among families. When children experience trauma, siblings may experience anxiety and trust issues with adults outside of their bond. Also, if they came from dysfunctional relationships in foster care, it impacts their  behavior in a new family unit. Children replicate triangular patterns of Bowen’s theory (1985) in sibling relationshiops. These may lead to less positive and more harmful impacts that may ultimately affect the role of sibling bonds in the family unit and foster care. 

Impacts Of Keeping Siblings Together

The current literature states that mental and emotional wellbeing, linked to  the positive implications of sibling’s relationships is the most critical benefit to foster siblings. According to Hegar & Rosenthal, 2011, children were reported to feel closer and more comfortable when living with their siblings at their foster parent’s home. Being close to a sibling improves the sense of belonging. Siblings living in different foster care units were reported to have more unstable lives.

Moreover, children that were kept with their siblings had a more positive and long-lasting relationship compared to those who were separated. Thus, placing siblings together positively impacts their relationship with each other by acting as emotional support after times of trauma and abuse.

Biological siblings who are in touch or raised together have higher self-esteem, social support, and stronger relationships and are more successful professionally as adults. Along with noted behavioral benefits, studies prove the profoundly positive impact of keeping foster kids together on academic performances along with overall behavioral and social dealing of routine issues. 

 

Impacts Of Separating Siblings

As mentioned above, there appear to be many behavioral and psychological benefits and issues associated with separating foster siblings. Children entering foster care due to abuse and behavioral issues may display fewer behavioral problems compared to those who are separated from their siblings.  

When children are placed in foster care systems, initial bonding with their new home and feel family is invaluable. In some cases, a strong sibling bond may actually hinder the process of adaptation. In these situations, a child may like to interact more with the sibling instead of interacting with the foster family. 

Unhealthy relationship patterns may also carry over into care. An adoptive family may be unable to protect a child from its sibling, and these are cases where separate placement may be in the best interest of both children.

“It is more likely to be tough to find the perfect family and accommodate siblings together every time,” Rosella Thomas (Foster Parent of 3 children); Management Services, Crowd Writer, said. 

Creating a stable environment for a child, even if it means placing them in separate homes, can lead to lasting benefits. Placing them as a group with accommodating and equipped family should be the first choice, though. 

Although there are multiple studies to claim that adolescent siblings act as emotional and moral support to each other while, younger siblings are unable to support each other as they need to get stable under guidance themselves. These siblings may not have a secure attachment with each other. 

Attempts To Improve Mental And Emotional Support In Foster Care

Despite individual circumstances and characteristics, the amount of access children have with their siblings plays a significant role in adjusting to the separation associated with foster care. Being attached to a foster family along with a sibling is extremely important to develop and improve their individual mental health and overall emotional support. There is no measure to check for the impact of these relationships. However, a positive approach towards patience and stability can lead to better success in an entirely new environment.


Author Bio

Stella Lincoln is a qualified child psychologist and therapist. She has worked with a number of NGO’s and specialized in foster care writing. Currently, she is working as a Psychological Counselor and Educational Guide at Academist Help.

Keeping A Family Journal

Journaling as a family can be a therapuetic bonding experience and create a record of memories. 

A journal captures the memories that could easily escape your mind. These memories are usually raw and can be passed down for generations through the family tree. The benefits of keeping a journal cannot be overemphasized, but they get more pronounced when it becomes a family project.

Each member of the family has a unique perspective on life. A similar event will be recorded in multiple unique ways by each member of the family. The family journal will, therefore, cease to be a monotonous narrative through a single eye and become the combined efforts of all persons in the home. This adds beauty and multiple voices to the project.

The Beauty of Family Life

A family is like an orchard made of beautiful fruits. Each member of the family has a different flavor that makes moments beautiful to share. This uniqueness and beauty can be seen in a family journal. The journal provides a chance for each member to express the moment in his or her voice. Whether the journal is read at the moment or later, the beauty and voice of every member will be heard in writing.

Keeping the Family Together

Families grow old, and members go in different directions. It becomes difficult to meet regularly and share beautiful moments together. The family will be kept together by the memories that are stored in the journal. Everyone will look forward to sharing moments similar to those recorded in the journal. The need to create similar moments pulls family members together. Children will carry forth the dream of their parents as they were captured in the journal. They will also be compelled to create similar memories for their families.

Time to Reminisce

Families enjoy the similarities between parents and their children, grandparents, and grandchildren, cousins, and other family members even without direct blood relationship. A journal will help you identify character traits that are similar and events that might repeat themselves in the course of life. It is interesting to spot similarities or even appreciate that one character is totally different from the others. These similarities and differences can only be spotted through journaling.

Therapuetic Angle of Journaling

Journaling has been cited as one of the ways to maintain emotional stability. Recording experiences is similar to sharing it with third parties. It also helps you to offload the nasty experiences without throwing them away since they remain a part of your life.

Journaling is not just for nasty experiences. It helps you to keep the good memories alive. Writing a family journal means that good memories will not be lost. In case a conflict arises, you have a reference point that your brother, sister, parent, or any other member of the family once gave you a reason to smile. If the person has made you angry today, the anger will be diffused and transformed into beautiful memories.

Making a Family Journal Fun

Not every family member is born a writer. Proposing that everyone participates in the writing process, therefore, becomes a tough job. How do you make everyone buy into the idea of writing a journal or participating in one? 

  • Review the entries together- indicate the memories and entries that should go into each episode. You might assign the duty to everyone so that one is writing about foods while the other captures the trips, evening activities, new babies into the family, and such elements. Everyone will find something interesting to say about a particular area. 
  • Do not criticize entries made- let each writer capture the events from his or her perspective. Agree that each perspective is accurate since it is personal. 
  • Use technology in journaling- create a website or social media page where family members can make their comments and entries. The page should remain strictly about the family. 
  • Include pictures and videos- a picture can capture a thousand words. Reviewing a video makes family memories even more interesting. Capture the memories using all devices possible and freeze them for future reference. 

It is impossible to predict the direction a family takes over the years. Journaling helps you freeze your most beautiful, as well as trying moments as a family. These memories can be passed down through generations and play a huge part in keeping the family together.


Author Bio

Bronwyn is passionate about education and had been working for several years as a teacher. Now she is working as a writer for ibuyessay.com. She believes everyone needs a helping hand sometimes and tries to turn her writing into real assistance. 

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 Style

You 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 orders without explanation, and failure to obey or produce the results the parent wants results in yelling, criticism, and punishment. This can result in a fear of making mistakes and a lack of trust. Authoritative parents, on the other hand, can end up with respectful, but trusting, children.

Be There When You Can

If your kids keep complaining that you are never available for them, don’t dismiss them. Instead, promise to share your free time with them. 

Counselors argue that children with absentee parents are at a higher risk of developing mental, emotional, and social instability. If you are not physically present, you can choose to call them at least once a day.

Build Trust

Recently, one of my friends shared that her daughter had depression.

On enquiring further, we learned that the young girl was in a toxic relationship, and each time she tried to leave, the man threatened to hurt her. The shocking thing is when the counselor asked the girl why she didn’t confide in her mother; she said that she didn’t trust her.

When a child does not show trust, don’t dismiss yourself as a bad parent. Most parents assume that trust between parent and child comes automatically. That’s not true. But do your best to keep the door for conversation open.


Author Bio

Heman Thuranira is a competent SEO content writer who specializes in offering blog writing, ghostwriting, and copywriting services. He takes pride in providing SEO optimized, engaging, and high-quality digital marketing content to both B2B and B2C businesses. His content will increase your business, blog, or website social media attention and search engine ranking. For any SEO content writing service assistance; he is your go-to Guru.

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 Halloween

All 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 Safety

While 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. Children walking around in the dark can be a frightening though. Try to find costumes with a glow in the dark aspect, or fine a way to add reflective tape in a way that your child is happy with. Taking as many precautions as possible can help the night stay focused on what the goblins really care about: candy. 

2. Candy Bucket Colors

We all know pumpkins are orange, so it's no surprise to see that many of the pumpkin candy buckets children carry with them are in that color as well, but if you see a child with another color, don't always assume they just prefer that or wanted to stand out. The color may mean something. For example, a dark blue bucket can indicate an individual with autism is on your doorstep, so they may struggle to communicate in the way other children do. A non-verbal child may just hold out their bucket without a "Trick or Treat." Eye contact is often extremely difficult for children on the spectrum, so having an understanding of this could be helpful. A teal bucket can mean the child has food allergies, so having an alternative to candy such as trinket toys would allow those children to enjoy the experience as well without posing a health risk. 

3. Trauma Triggers

Halloween can be fun, but it can also be very scary and stressful for some children. Children who have experienced trauma, like many foster and adopted children have, may view certain costumes or the experience of going door to door in the dark differently than their guardians would anticipate. It's important to be aware of this for children in your care and, if necessary, seek alternatives such as community events during the day time which could allow them to trick or treat without the potentially triggering elements. Emotional health is more important than one evening of candy. 

4. Trick or Treating Location

When choosing where, and when, to take children trick or treating, there are a few things to consider. If you live in a large neighborhood where you trust those around you, it may be best to stay on your own stomping grounds. If not, you can google safe places to trick or treat in your area. You will likely find several lists and suggestions. Look for well lit neighborhoods and consider calling local nursing homes to see if they like community children to come through, as this is often a very fun experience for the residents as well. 

5. Treat Safety

Unfortunately, concern about the safety of candy passed out to children has been an issue in recent years. Do you research and have a conversation with your children about what they are and are not allowed to consume. Teach them to check to see if candy is open, and you may want to tell them they can only accept home-made goods from people they know. If you plan to hand out home-made treats, be aware that other parents might have concerns. 

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 Lucky

Adoption 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 a pressure to appear happy and grateful, to avoid hurting their adoptive families or giving adoption as a whole bad name. After all, in popular culture adoption is often shown as a reward for hardships, both for the child and for the adoptive parents who waited for this for so long.

Adoptive parents aren’t saviors and adoption isn’t a triumph over adversity.  Adoptive parents are just that – parents, as loving, as wonderful, and as flawed as any parent can be. Adoption is just the beginning of a unique story with its own ups and downs, challenges and rewards, sadness and joy.

For many adopted children, being an adoptee becomes a part of their identity, just like race or gender. Not because adoptive parents were, in any way, not enough – of course not – but because that permeates many things and experiences in their life.

Race Doesn't Matter

What do differences matter when you have so much love to give? Loving care helps to create strong bonds within the most diverse families. However, that also means you have a responsibility to keep difficult ongoing conversations about race and ethnicity with your beloved children and be their closest allies in a world that might point out the differences that don’t matter to you in a straightforward way.

Consider your extended family, social circle, and neighborhood to make everything you can so that the child of different ethnicity can feel comfortable and accepted. Be realistic and do this work because it is important for the wellbeing of your child. Instead of simply shielding him or her, prepare and empower.

Understand that even if you have done everything to celebrate their birth culture, to make them keep in touch with their community, and provide role models in whom they can see their reflection, it will still be hard for them. Racial and cultural connectedness is a complicated thing. Some of their peers will still drop phrases like “You aren’t really black/Asian/brown”, while some people will keep complimenting them on their English and ask “Yes, but where are you really from?” Don’t leave them alone in their quest for identity; be ready to support them.

A Fresh Start Means a Clean Slate

Even adopted as babies, adoptees may challenge the narrative of their origin. As much as you want to give your little one a story that will comfort or empower them, if it isn’t the whole truth, they could start to search for the rest when they are old enough.

They may ask about their birth parents, why they were given up, to meet their biological siblings and to know their roots. This journey is likely to happen even in the case of closed adoption with no information exchanged and no further contact planned between adopted and birth parents. 

While growing up, adopted kids can have a lot of questions about their identity, about how they think of themselves. Children are more sensitive to nuances and detail than many adults give them credit for. They pick up the cues and hang on to accidentally slipped words. They wonder whom they have inherited their eyes from, why no one in the family seems to like the poetry they are obsessed with, and why online homework help with math is their guilty secret when it was their parents’ favorite subject in high school. 

Try not to let it hurt you. That doesn’t temper their love for you in any way, but even if not being vocal about it, they will have a special place in their heart with all the thoughts about their birth family and the feeling of loss. Part of them may wish that things could have been different and that their birth parents could have raised them together with their brothers and sisters. Being in the company of people who share their features can give a strange sense of belonging.

Try to support this search for identity with a positive outlook. They may feel guilty for these thoughts because they do love you and are endlessly grateful for everything you gave. Your being upset or feeling jealous will only make things tougher for them.

The best you can do is to make your child feel safe, cared for, accepted, and loved no matter what. Remember, you are a family – nothing can cancel that.

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 healthy eating habits in children of all ages.

Opt for Healthy Sugar

Everyone knows that kids love sweets. This is thought to be a trait of evolution that causes children to seek out sources of food high in sugar to fuel their rapid growth, as well as sustain the body during times of famine. Excess sugar, however, can lead to a number of health issues.

It’s true that sugar is sugar, but the source of that sugar is what really makes a difference. Healthy fruit and veggie smoothies, for example, have natural sugars, but they also contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals and fiber - while still being low in calories. A serving of cookies, on the other hand, will have just as much (if not more) sugar, while offering little to no nutrition.

To encourage your kids to eat more nutrient-dense sweets, let them choose their own fruits to try, and spend some time looking around the produce section - it’s a great learning opportunity. Swap out traditional store-bought sweets with healthier, homemade varieties. You can bake a variety of cakes, cookies and other treats using healthier ingredients, like applesauce instead of table sugar.

Science Develop Natural Portion Control

Excess sugar isn’t the only issue when it comes to dietary concerns. Overeating has become an increasing problem among Americans, children included. While there are a number of contributors, often overeating is the result of eating too quickly. The stomach needs time to process and send information to the brain to let it know that it’s full.

The hustle of modern life can lead to rushed mealtimes, which can mean eating more food than necessary because the body hasn’t had time to communicate that it doesn’t need any more. For this reason, it’s important to help children develop natural portion control by eating slowly. Make a point of having relaxed, no-rush meals together as a family.

Not only does this help digestion and allow for the natural ‘full’ mechanism of the stomach to work, but it’s a great way to spend time together and actively communicate with your children.

Don't "Diet"

Though it’s important to encourage healthy eating choices, it’s equally important not to implement a strict, rigid diet for children. Children need to develop both healthy bodies and healthy minds, and an over-concentration on a specific diet or weight/size goal can negatively impact a child’s self-esteem. When healthy eating meets moderation, there’s no need for restriction. It’s best to guide your children rather than dictate their food choices.

Perhaps the best bit of advice when it comes to instilling healthy habits in children is to lead by example. Show your kids it’s important to eat healthily by doing so yourself, and make it a family affair.

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 Health

Instead 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 provides kids plenty of opportunities to stay physically active and use their imagination. Kids can play tag in an open field, play hide-and-seek in a pocket of woods, or start a baseball game using rocks or sticks as bases.

Science

Think of the outdoors as a giant science classroom. When taking them to the lake to skip rocks, point out how aerodynamics and physics work in nature. Geology (rock shape), throwing strategy, and distance all factor into the basics of good rock-skipping.

Fishing teaches you about the circle of life, as well as the difference between water and land creatures. They also learn patience. Learning to be patient most definitely affects behavior at home, as well as at school.

Digging in the dirt gives exposes kiddos to geology and the layering concept of the Earth and its creatures. Encourage them to get dirty!

Hiking allows parents the opportunity to teach kids about the dangers of poison ivy and poison oak. They also know or will learn which bugs to stay away from, and which bugs they can pick up or watch closely. This teaches them how to differentiate and categorize plants and insects based on safety.

Planning, Responsibility and Patience

Your kids can also help you maintain your yard and grow your garden. Not only does this teach kids about planning, measuring, and project management, it allows them to see how plants and flowers grow over time.  Give them a few basic hand tools and teach them how to use tools safely.  Growing a vegetable garden is also a great way to get them to eat their veggies!

Gardeningcan be especially beneficial to foster and adopted children. It helps them create their own routines and responsibilities, and offers them control over a project. It gives kids a chance to take pride in something they helped create. It also teaches them about climate patterns and to check the weather before embarking on outdoor tasks.

Creativity and Imagination

Star-filled skies awe children. Lightning bugs caught on a warm August evening are like catching little miracles. Stars and lightning bugs, to kids and adults alike, are magical.

The sense of wonder you gain from these activities can help you open up your imagination. So go ahead: Grab a dandelion, make a wish, and blow. With the creativity nature inspires, some of those wishes may just come true.

Special Considerations

For families with foster children or adopted children, spending time with nature can be especially important. Sometimes being alone and listening to birds chirp, water flow, or feeling grass between your toes helps heal a mind.

While all kids need boundaries, it's sometimes tough to explain those boundaries to foster children. You can start by teaching your children how to respect nature and all it offers. Yes, bees sting, but if you respect their space, they'll leave you alone.

Nature can help your child to grow,  thrive, and stay healthy. The best part? It's right outside your front door. Happy exploring!


Author Bio

Mary Lewis is a busy (is there any other kind?) mother of three. When she’s not helping with homework, she’s working on her next crafts or DIY project or tending to her vegetable garden.

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 child is always sleepy during the day, has difficulty focusing, or is constantly tired and cranky, then it’s possible that they have this condition.

Stress, changes in their regular routines, caffeinated drinks, and even certain medications can also cause this sleep disorder. Being in a new environment such as a new home and school can also cause your new child to have sleepless nights.

Can Very Young Children Have Insomnia?

Even children ages one to three can have short-term insomnia, but one way to alleviate the problem is to ensure that their bedding is comfortable and safe. Make sure that crib or toddler bed mattresses are soft and supportive enough and that there’s plenty of space for them to move around. Placing a cute night light on their nightstand can also help to comfort them. Enforcing a strict bedtime is key to an improved sleep pattern, so if you say that they should be in bed by 8 p.m., make sure that this becomes the rule every night.

How Can You Help an Older Child Sleep Better?

To help older children sleep well, you need to find out which factors are contributing to their lack of sleep. If it’s their medication, then you’ll need to consult a pediatrician to see if you can change it. Monitoring their caffeine intake can also benefit them in the long run. If you suspect that your new child is drinking too much soda or energy drinks, then remove these from the house. Encourage them to drink smoothies and juices instead.

You can also try talking to them to see if anything’s bothering them-- sometimes, all it takes is a good conversation to allay any worries and fears that can prevent them from dozing off at night.

If you think that your child has insomnia, try these tips and see what works. If the problem persists, see your pediatrician and ask to be referred to doctors who specialize in treating sleep disorders.

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 to develop strong writing skills, so it can be a pretty tough task to accomplish. Luckily, there are many things educators can do to help improve a child’s writing skills. 

From daily reading to fun activities, here are 7 tips that will help your child build their skills and become a strong writer in no time.

Tip #1: Make Reading a Regular Habit

Reading on a regular basis is a stepping stone to better writing. It also strengthens a child’s written and verbal communication skills and helps expand their vocabulary. 

For younger children, it’s best to read together every day and encourage them to love reading as they grow. Start reading together as early and as frequently as possible. Doing so builds an important foundation that helps the young one become a better reader and writer.

Tip #2: Be a Role Model

Let the child observe you as you write. 

As much as possible, spend some time to share your writing with the child and talk to them about how you use writing in your daily life. Show them a wide variety of written works like poems, written letters, business applications, or even a page in your journal.

Tip #3: Encourage the Child to  Journal

Keeping a journal or diary is a great way for children to express their own thoughts and ideas, while at the same time working on improving their skills in writing. 

As a foster parent or teacher, make plans for an activity or outing where the child can be encouraged to write in their journals. Better yet, make journaling a fun part of their daily routine.

Tip #4: Connect Writing with their Interests

Think about the child’s favorite storybook or novel series. Perhaps they’re obsessed with Harry Potter or Nancy Drew. Or maybe they love to talk about dinosaurs or the solar system. Whatever their passion or interests, connect them to writing. 

Encourage the child to write an essay about their favorite characters in a book, or let them create their own short story about dinosaurs or the solar system.

Tip #5: Take Advantage of Technology

There’s no getting around it: technology plays a major role in daily life. So why not use it to your advantage to help improve a child’s writing skills? 

Have the child create their own blog, or encourage them to communicate to a friend via email. You can also get them to publish them own story online, with programs like the Little Bird Tales. Not only does this help improve a child’s writing skills, it also encourages frequent writing habits.

Tip #6: Respond to and Praise the Child’s Writing

Respond to the child’s ideas, whether they express it verbally or in writing. Show them that you’re interested in what their work conveys. This means focusing on what they’re writing, instead of how they’re writing it. If the child is still at a stage where they’re still trying to get their ideas together, it’s best to not pay too much attention to minor errors.

Don’t forget to praise the child for their work. Ask questions and celebrate when they present you a quality writing piece or when they show an improvement in their writing.

Tip #7: Make Writing Fun!

Play games and other fun activities that encourage writing. For example, you can introduce age-appropriate crossword puzzles and word games like Scrabble, which is great for everyone. 

Little ones will especially love the write-the-word game, where they can search for items and write down the word when they find them.

Writing is a vital life skill. While developing strong writing skills requires a lot of time and patience, you can help a child in foster care with these simple yet practical writing strategies. 

It’s important to understand that, despite the many challenges along the way, you must put your best efforts into working with these children. Regular reading, lots of writing time, and incorporating fun games and activities will go a long way to boosting their writing skills. By doing so, you’re contributing to their future success as a person, while teaching them how to express themselves.


Author Bio
Carol Duke is very keen on teaching students new, effective ways of learning. When not freelancing and blogging on education-related matters, Carol enjoys traveling, taking immense pleasure from visiting new countries.

She is also a writer for the IHateWritingEssays blog. If a child needs more helping hand in improving his or her skills, particularly with writing essays, a professional writer or tutor can help. Check out the best essay services and see how they can help develop a child’s writing skills, from word recognition to sentence structuring. 

You can follow her on Twitter.