The world was a lot simpler BC – Before Children. Remember when you could leave things around the house without worrying little people would eat it or injure themselves or others with it. Once the kids come along suddenly everything becomes a consideration for their safety, and seen in a different light. Of course, we wouldn’t give them up for the world so we create spaces in our homes and lives where we can be sure they are safe. One of the most important areas has to be a safe, fun and spacious play area. Pergolas or other shaded areas are perfect. Being close to the house you can keep an eye on the kids and this also provides shelter from the elements.
Designate a Kids Area
One of the issues with regards to kids playing is a play area, if it isn’t given a specific defined area can quickly take over the whole house. While you may start off with a kids only area soon you find toys, bikes, lego pieces and discarded cups everywhere! It is important for the back garden to be a space the entire family can enjoy, which is why designating a kid’s area is essential. Make sure the kids understand that in their designated area they can play to their hearts content and leave things lying around, but any toys taken outside the area must be put back in their place as soon as they’ve finished.
Visibility and Safety
Another benefit of having a kid’s play area is you can control the environment. Make sure the area is visible from the house without too much effort, and easily accessible if you need to step in. It’s also a good idea to make sure pavers or grass are kept neat and maintained to prevent too many accidents. Perhaps try and have the area with a soft surface, as you won’t be able to convince the kids to slow down!
In our harsh New Zealand sun, it’s vitally important to make sure kids are protected from sunburn. As little as ten minutes in direct sunlight during a hot day can cause damage to delicate child skin, and with studies showing links between childhood sun burn and adult skin cancer, you can never be too careful. Creating a shaded space is one of the best ways to ensure that your children stay safe and cool.
Pergolas, louvres and shade sails are available from Auckland Pergolas Patios and Carports. Ph 09 281 4623 – www.appcltd.co.nz
Firstly there is a deep misunderstanding regarding the art of talking. Whether children or adults we shouldn’t talk “to” people, we should talk “with” people and it should always be a two way communication.
Here are a few tips on ways you can talk with your children to ensure that they listen to you and you can ensure you have a clear understanding of each other.
When … Then, not if – When you clear your plate then we can watch TV. This implies that it is not an option. If you use the word “if” you are suggesting there is a choice in the matter.
Be Brief – If you ramble on you’ll find your children switch off. Don’t try and justify what you are saying, often the child isn’t interested. Put your main directive in your opening sentence and make it clear
Give Notice – We’re heading out soon, please put your toys away or say goodbye to Grandma
If the Answer is negative try to offer preferred alterntives – Don’t start with “No” – say “You can’t eat chocolate now but how about a yummy banana”
Get on your Child’s level – When offering specific directions get to your child’s level and have eye to eye contact. Make this authoritative but not commanding
Don’t forget your please and thank you – It doesn’t matter how old your child is, they will learn by example and you need to remember your mannersso they become an automatic response for your child also
You’d better – Is not a good option. Even if the action is imperative to be done drive your message from you’re point of view, eg “I’d like you to please …” or “I need you to …”
Overcoming difficulties – When you know there is going to be some form of defence or negative response to your request try offering something your child can’t refuse. “Clear the table so you can go back on your computer”
Getting your child to talk – Sometimes all you seem to get is yes and no answers. Don’t make these an option. Instead of “Did you have fun at Molly’s house today?” try asking “What did you and Molly do today?”
Positive directions – If offering directions don’t use short sharp commands, use “I want” or if a little less authority is required use “I would like”, eg “I want you to give that to your sister now” as opposed to “Give that to your sister now”
Brushing teeth is a necessity for life and so it is important to teach your child good brushing habits from the start to ensure good oral health.
By making brushing fun you can ensure your child will develop these habits which they will remember for a lifetime.
These days you can download videos for your kids to brush along to showing valuable brushing techniques and keeping them brushing for the most appropriate timing of 2 minutes.
Alternatively there are also lots of songs you can brush to, catchy tunes with instructions and good for timing as they need to brush until the end.
Using your imagination is a good way to instill good habits, get your child to pretend they are a hippo or tiger to open their mouth wide. As they begin to lose teeth pretend the gap is a little doorway for the tooth fairy to visit them or for any other imaginary friends they might have. Perhaps pretend your child is a super hero who will defeat the evil germs.
If your child is a reluctant brusher try letting them brush your teeth and make it a game, show you enjoy being pampered and being clean.
Let them be part of the process by putting the toothpaste on the brush. When at the supermarket let them choose which child brush they want to us – many of these are characters and so you could start a series of stories based around the character brush, tell your child how sad the character is if they don’t brush properly.
When learning brushing techniques play follow the leader. You show them a brushing technique and get them to copy. As they get better swap roles and get them to take the lead, if they aren’t using the correct technique this is when you can correct them (subtly).
Use rewards as incentives. When your child reaches a milestone give them a sticker to go towards a prize (try not to make the ultimate prize lollies, however at least if they are brushing correctly they are counteracting the lolly hit)!
Children respond well to positive encouragement so do remember to continuously reinforce how well they are doing and soon you will have instilled habits that will help ensure good oral health for a lifetime!
We love to Linku2 childcare options, information and advice for those little treasures in your life!