5 Ways Practicing Yoga Can Help Your Child

Practicing yoga is a fantastic way for anyone to find balance emotionally, mentally and physically. If it can do these things for anyone, think of how beneficial it can be in the life of your kids. Practicing yoga can be particularly helpful for kids who have lots of extra energy or intense emotional fluctuations.

Yoga can be used in the rehabilitation process, as a form of therapy or simply to help a person relax. Consider these 5 ways that practicing yoga can be beneficial to your child.

It’s a Great Way for Them to Exert Extra Energy

Can your kids be on the wild side at times? Maybe they have a lot of extra energy that they just can’t seem to get out during the school day. It’s important that kids get the physical activity that their bodies need, and practicing yoga can be an awesome way for them to achieve that.

Enhances Strength, Flexibility and Balance

One of the great things about yoga is that even if your child is already pretty active, it can help them learn to use their muscles in new ways. The constant focus on balance helps create strength in muscles that your kids may not usually use, all the while increasing their flexibility as well.

The balance and coordination found through yoga can also help improve their skills with other sports as well. The action of falling then calmly getting up and trying again can be useful in more than one area of life.

Helps Develop Focus and Concentration

Practicing yoga is beneficial for improving concentration and mental focus. In many situations, kids diagnosed with ADD and ADHD benefit greatly from daily yoga. It allows them to exert pent up energy while also practicing quieting their mind.

It’s a Fantastic Calming Technique and Stress Reliever

Kids who experience different levels of anxiety can often times benefit from practicing yoga. The physical postures allow those practicing to focus on the body as opposed to the chatter of the mind. The breathing techniques are also incredible methods for overall calming and stress relief.

Some schools are even beginning to offer after-school yoga programs that help kids with aggressive tendencies or behaviors. This can also lead to a better understanding of what mindfulness and compassion really mean.

Boosts Confidence and Self-Esteem

Perseverance and patience are among some of the incredible lessons practicing yoga can teach. As your kids begin to reach certain goals in their yoga practice, their confidence and self-esteem are boosted.

 

ADHD, Medication or Mediation

A diagnosis of ADD or ADHD by a medical professional, usually results in a child or adolescent getting a hefty dose of medication.

According to the United Mission Coalition for Children and Family, or UMUCCF, that could be the worst thing to happen.

What is ADD/ADHD

The terms ADD and ADHD refer to Attention Deficit Disorder, or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – both defined as brain disorders marked by “an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development”.

This pattern, defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), describes a fairly recognizable set of sometimes escalating behaviors which may alternate between lack of attention, or seeming indifference, and periods of manic activity during which victims are unable to control their impulses.

How Common Is It?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, 5 percent of America’s children have ADHD. This figure can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, which defines and calibrates every mental aberration from toxoplasmosis/schizophrenia to Alzheimer’s.

Other studies put the rate even higher, and indicate that it might also be increasing. For example, a 1997-2006 study from the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, put the rate at 3 percent, as opposed to the above 5 percent, measured from 2003 to 2011.

The rate also varies widely from state to state, suggesting an underlying diagnostic/reporting or environmental impetus. For example, the all-time rate for ADHD diagnosis during 2011-2012 was more than 13 percent in a swath from the Gulf States to North and South Virginia, and including Iowa.

The same states recur on a map of recently diagnosed cases of ADHD, reinforcing the idea that the cause may be environmental, but data is lacking for a definitive conclusion.

Is It ADHD or Just Immaturity

Kids will be kids. Since time immemorial, these youngest members of the human species have shared several traits, usually outgrown by the age of 25 or perhaps 30.

These include an inability to sit still when bored –which may persist into old age; a tendency to forget coats, books, appointments and chores (another potential post-65 habit); and an inability to resist the temptation to pet someone else’s dog (or cat, or rabbit, or lizard, or even tarantula). This can also persist past 65, but none of these behaviors is an indication of a brain disorder.

When children consistently forget, can’t focus on the task at hand, or fidget even during interesting moments in life, the problem may be ADHD.

Mediation or Medication

Doctors are busy people, and a fidgety 7-year-old may prompt a hasty (and sometimes inaccurate) diagnosis of attention deficit.

The next step, in the minds of many pharmaceutically-focused doctors, is to prescribe a pill. This runs contrary to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines, which suggest behavior therapy first. But there is a certain intuitive logic in prescribing a pill for a pill, and the medications currently available work well.

More relevant, busy parents may not always have the option of delivering their child for behavioral therapy weekly, or participating in some portion of that therapy to reinforce behavior-response recommendations.

Finally, therapy is expensive – certainly more expensive than even the priciest pharmaceutical. Also, therapists may vary in their ability to change ADHD behaviors for the better.

Medications may also vary in their effectiveness, of course, but it’s easier to change a prescription than it is a therapist, and this is no doubt one of the best reasons why behavioral therapy runs a distant second to chemically mediated behavioral modification.

The Best ADHD Medications

One of the most reputable online medical resources recommends starting youngsters on a regimen of lowdose of stimulants like Concerta, Metadate, or Ritalin.

Here again, a stimulant may seem counter-intuitive, but in fact stimulants act like “brakes” in the ADHD brain. Parents who allow their children to sip coffee have often noticed this unexpected effect.

For youngsters who don’t react well to stimulants, doctors may prescribe such “second generation” behavioral modification drugs as Atomoxetine (a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, or SNRI), Kapvay, or Intuniv, both alpha-2A-adrenoceptor agonists.

Finally, antidepressants may help children who have ADHD and symptoms like anxiety or insomnia, though caution is urged.

How To Help Your Child Deal With Bullying At School

Being a parent comes with many adventures and responsibilities. Raising children is the toughest job in the world. You as a parent know it well. Aside from sickness, our kids can experience challenges along the way. A health issue, a broken bone, and physical or emotional disabilities.It is important that you carve time out of your schedule for open dialogue with your children. Creating an environment of safety and respect is important for the development of your children. Helping them deal with challenges like bullying at school in a healthy manner is important.

You can’t always control what happens outside your home, and for parents that can be difficult, especially when your child is being bullied. What do you do then if your child is being bullied at school? Where do you turn? Let’s explore some healthy ways to approach the situation.

Some practical and healthy ways to cope

Reach out for help. If your child is dealing with a bully at school, it is imperative that you reach out to their teacher or another authority figure at school to have them know the situation. Your child needs to know that they are safe and taken care of. You may want to set up a meeting with the family of the bully to speak openly about the situation and seek problem-solving methods.

Family counseling. If your child is experiencing a bullying situation at school, they need the space to talk about their feelings. Being picked on can be harmful to young children. Some have hurt themselves, taken other’s lives, or their own because of the trauma of incessant bullying. Having someone abuse them verbally and even physically can be traumatic. Allow your child to express himself in his own way and time. Children need to know that they are heard and that their feelings are valued and matter.

Invite healthy and open dialogue Never underestimate the importance of conversation. Your children aren’t born knowing what they should or shouldn’t do during conflict, it’s your job as a parent to create a safe environment that leaves room for healthy dialogue. If your child is the bully at school, help them understand the importance of respect every day. Children learn by example so set a good one. Speak to them at their level and explain the consequences of negative behavior.

Find a mentor. Kids need positive role models that they can look up to. They sometimes find it easier to open up with a stranger than their parents. You may want to consider signing your child up for music lessons or even karate. Children need space and activities to explore, learn the importance of discipline, and extracurricular activities open the doorway to socialization. It’s also a confidence booster!

Take it seriously

Bullying is no laughing matter, and children are scarred when told hurtful words. Help build their self-esteem by validating them in positive ways at home. You may even want to find a peer group and support system that assists bullied children and parents. The worst thing to ever do is ignore the situation or dismiss it as something small. Bullying can be detrimental to a child’s self-esteem and sense of safety. Be sensitive to your children’s emotional responses and needs. Become involved!

Benefits of Summer Sports

summer sports

Now that summer break is officially underway, you may already hear the complaints from your children, saying, “We’re bored!” or you’ve started to struggle with a chore chart or have become tired of arguing with your child about how much screen time he or she is having. Summer can be a wonderful change of pace from a busy schedule, it can be a difficult and often times frustrating season. If your child is not already enrolled in a summer sport, here are a few reasons you may want to encourage him or her to participate in a sport:

Exercise

During the school year, your child may be active during the day thanks to physical education classes and time on the playground, however, when summer rolls around it may be more difficult to keep the momentum going when it comes to getting exercise. During the first few weeks of summer, it may be easy to get your kid to the local pool or to take a bike ride, but after awhile he or she may grow bored. If you child is enrolled in a summer sport that he or she enjoys, he or she will get exercise on a regular basis and may be more eager to do more activities outside of practice and games.

Creating a Routine

Although you may want to slow things down in the summer and be a little more spontaneous, creating some kind of a routine is good and will lessen the likelihood of hearing, “What should I do now?” Not only will it provide some structure for your child, but it will make the transition back to the school year much easier.

Socialization and Healthy Competition

Getting involved in any activity provides the perfect opportunity for your child to socialize with peers and extend his or her social circle. During summer break, many children end of spending their free time with the same kids, creating potential boredom and drama, but interacting with new kids is always good for developing and improving social skills.

In addition to socializing, becoming involved in a sport can allow your child to experience healthy competition. Competition, in general, has a bad reputation and many parents are hesitant to place their child in a competitive situation, but when done right it can be beneficial. When a child is engaged in healthy competition, he or she learns how to make a decision quickly, have self-control, maturity and discipline. Additionally, he or she will learn his or her limits, set goals, learn how to handle loss and how to work with others (even during conflict).

A Few Tips for Parents

While there are many benefits to participating in a summer sport, don’t pressure or force your child to join a sport he or she has no interest in. As a parent, it’s important to be involved and present at your child’s sporting event (you can help coach, volunteer, etc.), but be a good role model and be a “good sport”. Far too many parents get too into the game, exhibit a poor attitude, and forget that “it’s just a game”.

Two’s Company: Preparing Your Preschooler For A Baby Brother Or Sister

baby sister

When you have your first baby, you’re completely wrapped up in protecting and caring for them. All eyes are on them – 100% focus on making sure they have exactly what they need at all times. The second time around can be a little bit different. You still have this new, tiny child to care for, and you’re so excited for everything that’s in store with this new chapter of your life. But it might have a slightly different feeling than that to your firstborn.

Your now preschooler has spent almost five years getting all of the attention – having everything revolve around them. This definitely doesn’t mean your preschooler is spoiled – it just means things are about to change for them, when they’ve never known any different. So what can you do to prepare them for this next step? How can you make sure both children’s needs are being met?

Talk To Your Older Child

First and foremost, talk to your child before they hear other family members discussing the news in front of them. You might want to show your firstborn your growing stomach to help explain what’s happening.

This is also a great time to go ahead and provide them with a role in the process. Ask them to help you decorate the nursery in preparation for the baby. Explain to your child that the baby will be eating, sleeping and crying, and that they won’t be able to play right away.

Answer Questions

Get ready to answer any questions your child might throw your way. They might ask where the baby comes from – don’t be afraid to explain, but keep the conversation at a level they can understand. Explain when the baby will finally come by using a frame of a reference they’ll be familiar with, like in the summer when it’s hot out or near Christmastime or another holiday they recognize.

Bring them to doctor’s appointments, let them feel your belly when the baby kicks, read books to them about childbirth and being a big brother or sister.

Your child will also be aware of any changes you may be going through physically, emotionally and energetically. Sometimes a child can start to resent the baby for “making you” feel this way, so take care of yourself. It’s much more difficult to properly care for others when you’re not feeling great yourself!

Stick To Their Routine

Try to stick with their usual routine as much as possible, and try to make few drastic changes. If they’ll be moving into a new room, try to do that as quickly as possible so they have lots of time to get used to it before the new baby comes.

Help them understand the things that won’t change after the baby is born – they’ll still go to school, they’ll still have the same toys, and you’ll still read their favorite books with them.

Encourage Involvement

This is crucial. Most of the issues will arise in the fact that your firstborn might feel ignored or as though they aren’t receiving as much attention as they once were. Let them be involved in the preparation of the baby as much as possible; and after the baby is born, keep them involved.

Make sure they know how important their role is as a big sibling, and remind them of the benefits of being the older child, like staying up later, reading books and playing fun games. Though there may be a period of adjustment, ultimately as long as you explain to your child how important their role is and reassure them of how much you love them, they’ll get excited to be an older brother or sister.

 

Books for New Parents

Trusting in your parental instincts is the best thing that you can do when it comes to your child. However, it never hurts to learn from other people’s experience. Especially when it can save you from learning the hard way. When you become a parent for the first time, reading complicated literature can be quite daunting. Finding the time to read can be even more complicated. To help reduce the time spent searching for proper information here is a list of the 5 best books for any new parent.

Baby Love: This has been regarded as the number one baby book in Australia. This book gives you the insight into the practical approaches that you need to take when you are caring for your little one during the initial years of his or her life. These are the days when you may be extremely confused. Baby Love will break down all the most important details of this phase. The author of the book, Robin Barker, is a registered nurse, midwife and an early childhood specialist.

The Gift of Sleep: The Title of the book will instantly ring true with any new parent and can easily lead to an impulse purchase. The unique value proposition for this book is based around tips and tricks that can help turn your night owl baby into a normal evening sleeper within 3 days. This book is by Elizabeth Sloane who is also known as the baby whisperer of Australia. It is absolutely a must read.

The Five Love languages of Children: This book talks about the parent’s relationship with their child. It primarily focuses on how they adapt to words and actions and how these can impact their development. The book gets into granular detail on how micro expressions are interpreted and gives recommendations on how you should behave with your child during each stage of their development.

Breast, Bottle, Bowl: The Best Fed Baby Book: This book has been recommended by the Australian Ministry of Health and can help new mothers develop proper nutritional awareness. The primary focus is on helping the new mother understand the effect of food on child development. It is a great educational resource and can help parents learn how to ensure proper nutrient intake for their child.

What to Expect When You Are Expecting: This is a famous pregnancy book that has received rave reviews for years. There are multiple reasons why this has been a worldwide bestseller for years and has been referred to as the pregnancy bible. It uses an easy step by step method that covers every stage of the pregnancy cycle. It even has sections that are dedicated to the father of the child. This book comes highly recommended by many health care professionals and should be in every mother’s library.

Is there a book that you think should have made our top 5 list? Have you read one of your top 5 books? Please leave us a comment below.

How to Deal With Behavior Disorder in Children?

Most children are impulsive and mischievous at times. However, there are some who showcase extreme challenging and difficult behaviors, which are generally outside the norm of their age. It is those children who are suffering from disruptive behavior disorder. There are different forms of it, such as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Not just one, sometimes children can have two types of behavior disorder at the same time, and diagnosis can be difficult. As a result of behavior disorders, there can be emotional problems, substance abuse or family difficulties.

How to deal

There are different special behavioral techniques that can be implemented to deal with behavior disorders. These techniques can be applied at home and at school. There are different types of approaches to train the child to be aware of their own anger. A child who is suffering from any behavior disorder can be taught various coping strategies. They can also be provided with positive reinforcement and appraisals, which will help in better self-control.

Parents

As a parent, it is important that you are open to compromising, negotiating, talking, problem-solving, and anticipating difficult situations and working accordingly. You should make efforts at home to avoid potentially explosive situations. You need to prioritize goals, so that the most important problems are dealt with at first and the least important ones are kept for later.  

Medication

Stimulants or other forms of drug therapy can be introduced in treatment as necessary. If the child is left untreated, he will start to identify with other children of his age who are also having behavior problems. As the child ages, it will become increasingly difficult to manage them. The behavior of the child may even make them unpopular among their friends and peer group. This can also adversely affect their mental state. By treating behavior problems at an early age, you will be able to prevent your child from creating a negative self-identity as they ages, and the setting the tone for more positive behaviors. There are also new medications that are very effective in treating many of these disorders.

What is there is no effect?

If the ongoing treatment is not effective enough for the child to recover from behavioral problems, their clinician should think upon the treatment provided. Revaluation of the treatment may be required. Therapy and medications may be changed or altered until the right combination is achieved.

2 Most Common Behavioral Disorders:

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): This is a behavioral problem that affects more boys than girls. Children who suffer from ADHD are incapable of sitting still, plan ahead, finish allotted tasks, or be conscious of the things happening around them. A child with ADHD will not show strange behavior constantly. However, there will be noticeable bouts of disorganized and frenzied activities. If not treated on time, this disorder can continue until adolescence and into adulthood.

Autism: Children in the autism spectrum can display behavioral disorder symptoms. They may seem to be lost, indifferent, and isolated in their own world. These children are often unable to form any kind of emotional attachment with anyone. This problem can result in language delays, mental retardation, and abnormal behavior. It is important to be patient while dealing with an autistic child.

Likewise, there are other behavioral problems such as bi-polar disorder, depression and anxiety disorders. There are different methods of dealing with different behavioral problems in children. If your child has been diagnosed with behavioral disorder, know that everything will be fine. There many great therapies, medications, and resources available to help your child. It is important to address the situation one day at a time.