Thursday, July 30, 2015

Kids Issues Are Family Issues: How Parents Can Tackle Kids’ Problems as a Family

All families are different. Parenting tactics have changed over the years to meet changing ideals and what may work for one family may not work for another. It is important to keep these differences in mind and it is imperative as a parent to figure out how your children (and how every member of your family, for that matter) work on an individual level in order to deal with issues.

There are several trends in children’s issues these days. Some may not sound new, but the way in which these issues are dealt with may require individual care and attention. Many parents dealt with the issues and problems that their children had when they were growing up, but it helps to remember that there is no one way to parent. Each child is different and will respond differently to situations. Remembering to listen to your children and to work with them to solve some of these issues can help make your own job easier and much more rewarding. Parenting may feel like a job that you alone are burdened with, but your children can actually help you figure out how best to parent them if you know how to listen and how to navigate certain situations.

What is Bullying?
ISSUE #1: One of the biggest issues that kids face these days is bullying. It’s one of those things that everyone has dealt with at some point or another. The difference with bullying now versus the bullying in the past is that parents now have to deal with cyber bullying. The truth is, however, that cyber bullying is not limited to children alone. You may be familiar with just how vitriolic comments and conversations can be online. Adults may be able to better ignore or avoid such confrontations, but since online media is so present in children’s lives they may not yet understand how they can navigate these sorts of situations. Cyber bullying is harder to identify, sometimes, especially since online conversations and comments can be hidden or deleted. What makes cyber bullying so dangerous is the fact that rumors can be spread faster than ever and certain things can be immortalized on the Internet. What is perhaps the scariest part of this trend is the fact that online anonymity and distance makes it easier for kids to become bullies. The distance associated with this kind of communication can be used for ill, and it may seem easier and less consequential for kids to say mean things or spread false rumors when they can use the internet as a shield.

Teaching kids how to properly use the internet, how they should conduct themselves while using it, and advising them about the dangers involved is important. Many parents today introduce their children to the web at an early age, especially now that there are so many apps and games for small children. As a parent, you may not even realize when your child transitions from using the family computer or iPad for educational letter games to talking with friends and others online, so it is important that you watch what they do and remember to teach them how to be responsible no matter what they are doing online.

ISSUE #2: Another major issue facing kids today is depression. The statistics can scare anyone, showing that kids as young as those in preschool are being diagnosed with clinical depression. As a parent, you may initially want to dismiss certain behaviors and you may even mistake behaviors associated with the condition as being lazy or over dramatic – but this can be dangerous. Pay special attention to your child’s behavior and be sure to ask them questions. Knowing how to read their behavior can help you identify when they may be feeling sad due to a particular event that may resolve naturally or whether there is something more serious at hand, like clinical depression. Remember, it helps not to dismiss everything your child says, listening to their problems is extremely crucial.

ISSUE #3: Obesity is another major issue facing the children of this country at large. Many parents may live a busy and hectic lifestyle, meaning that fast food and other options filled with preservatives feel like your only options when it comes to feeding your family. Studies have shown that scheduling family meals ahead of time, making some snack alternatives, and even swapping out soda for water, can make a huge difference in the overall health of your children as well as your entire family. The way that children eat while growing up will influence how they make food choices when they are older. Even making some small changes to the foods that your family eats and what you do for meals as a family will have a huge impact on your child’s health. However, obesity is not just a side effect of a poor diet. Children need to stay active, and as educational as apps and games can be, it is important that kids do not spend all of their time in front of a screen as it can really deter them from moving around and getting exercise.

ISSUE #4: Self-image is an interesting problem these days, since it goes both ways. Self-esteem is always a matter of concern for kids and parents alike, but recent studies have shown that some parents may overdo it. Parents know what it is like to get bullied and to feel as if they are not special or important – but telling your child that they are perfect and infallible can be detrimental. It is vital that you give your child a healthy self-image that allows them to navigate the world with confidence but not arrogance.

Build Self-Esteem
There are plenty of other issues that face children today, but what is important to keep in mind, is that each child is different and that every family is different. As a parent, it is imperative that you get to know your children as individuals and that you learn how to read their behavior to know when something is wrong and understand their personalities when trying to resolve problems.

When it comes to families, it helps to realize that your family is unique as well and that what may work for one family will not work for all. You can look to others for advice and ideas, but don’t judge yourself or others based on what works. It also helps to treat your children as individuals who have a say in the family, and not just kids. Treating them as individuals versus children that need to listen and behave can make a huge difference. While it is important to enforce rules and to teach kids how they should conduct themselves, treating each child as an individual will help them develop a healthy form of self-confidence and assurance that can further aid them when dealing with the major issues that face kids today.

P.S. For more parenting tips check back often here or subscribe to our KD Novelties Blog. For self-esteem books for kids check out our website at http://www.KDNovelties where our goal is to make children the stars of their very own stories.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How to Teach Your Kids to Read and Love It!

Reading Stages for Kids
Reading is a skill that comes with age and practice. Typically, most children learn to read on their own in some capacity sometime between kindergarten and second grade. Some kids do take longer than others, and some children may have learning disabilities that can affect when and how well they read, but no matter what, there are several things that you can do to get kids jumpstarted when it comes to reading.

Just because babies and toddlers cannot read yet does not mean that you shouldn’t buy them books! Buying books can be incredibly beneficial to children and will help acquaint them with the book itself as an object with some importance in the world around them. This is why it is important to have books around from the time that children are first born. Baby books are designed to entice children with bright, colorful and engaging pictures and consist of pages constructed of thick cardboard materials that are meant to be played around with and explored. Having your baby look at the images in these books, flip through and even chew on the pages will do a lot for your child when it comes to getting them familiar with books in the first place.

Reading to your child helps, too. You can even start doing so when they are still in the womb. The act of looking through a book, reading aloud and relaying a story will help familiarize children with storytelling and can help bolster their communication skills, too. Kids learn by example and will not only develop an interest in books when you read to them but they can develop key speaking and enunciation skills from hearing you read aloud as well.

Playing games helps too! Kids love learning games and teaching children their letters can help acquaint them with the very letters that they will later see form words. Sound out letters and have your children repeat after you. Ask them to point out letters everywhere, whether it is in a book you are reading or on the box of their breakfast cereal. Once they get their letters down, you can begin playing and quizzing them by sounding out sequential letters and even words!

Familiarizing your children with letters, words and books is a great way to get them ready for school. Once they are in a place where learning is their goal, they will be able to learn to read and grasp concepts much more easily, especially since they are already familiar with the building blocks that they need.

KD Novelties provides personalized kids books for all agesGet your little one their very own special book made just for them, either as an infant, pre-reader through intermediate reading level. Each book is sure to bring memories to last a lifetime.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Teaching Kids Manners

There are many things that a child will only really learn from their parents or guardians. While it helps to get kids started on math, reading and other basic academic schools at home, teaching kids these subjects from the ground up is not always the sole task of the parent. With school, kids can benefit from a head start, but will learn most of what they need to know from their teachers and aides. But there are some basic life skills that parents and guardians do need to teach their children, because no one else, especially not strangers, will step up to the plate. One of these things happens to be good manners.

Parents play an integral role in implementing a child’s many habits, from healthy eating to teeth brushing, but manners should also be considered important. As a parent or a guardian, it is your job to teach kids how to be people, how to be adults, how to interact with others, and how to be a valuable member of society. In order for that to happen, kids need to learn how to behave and how to act in a way that is conducive to building strong relationships with others and the world around them.

When it comes to teaching kids anything, it helps not to enforce it too much. As important as some things are, asserting too much aggression when trying to teach them something new can be damaging, especially when it is a habit that you would like for them to adopt and adapt to. Some children might be resistant to such tactics, but there are other ways to instill good core values in your children that will carry over into how they carry themselves.
Lead by example. Many experts agree that leading by example is one of the better ways to teach a child a new skill, a new habit, or to even instill their interest in something. Similar studies show that children are more likely to pick up a book or develop an interest in reading if they see that their parents read often when they are around. Kids like to be just like their parents, so setting a good example is a great way to start.

Be positive! Even when you are simply having a conversation, whether around your child or whether you are speaking to them directly, try to be positive. This applies to both tone of voice and vocabulary. Sharing things that are inherently positive is good too! Negativity or gossiping can affect children and the way they behave. If they see you swapping stories over coffee with another parent about other parents or their children, or even anything else in general, they may adopt that same behavior, tone of voice and generalized topic discussion with their friends or when speaking with others. If kids are used to talking positively at home, they will most likely carry these traits over to when they are at school or socializing with friends.

Use positive reinforcement. Taking note of when your child uses good manners on their own can help, too. Note when they say “please” and “thank you” and compliment them genuinely when you see them do something nice of their own volition. It’s one thing to “make” your children be polite, but if you see them act accordingly on their own, they are more likely to continue doing so.

Being polite and minding manners is more than just a social show-off. It can actually help kids’ academic success and will help strengthen their social skills. Minding manners is a big part of being a student in a classroom, and if kids know how they should be acting and do so, they will sit quietly throughout their lessons and pay attention. It is not the teacher’s job, necessarily, to tell kids how to behave but it is part of their job to enforce good behavior. Acting politely also helps kids thrive in social situations as well. As early as their days at playing in the park, a polite child will find more playmates willing to interact with them and may be better equipped to handle rude or difficult children, too.

Your Child is the Star of Each Story!