9 ways to raise resilient kids

As parents, we are constantly trying to minimize fear and uncertainty for our kids, but are we doing the right thing? How can we manage to provide affection and understanding instead of transmitting anxiety and fear? We need to understand that is not possible for us to protect our children from all the dangers and disappointments in this world. However, this is not to say that they should go figure everything out on their own – parents do play an important role in providing children with the tools to navigate life successfully and raising them to be resilient adults.

What exactly does it mean to be resilient? According to the American Psychological Association (APA), resilience is “the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress”. Unlike what most people may think when talking about resilience, these people are not unaffected by adversity, but are instead able to cope and overcome challenges effectively, even coming out strengthened by the events!

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Health Corner: 10 ways to reduce the risk of SIDS

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) – a parent’s worst nightmare- is the leading cause of death for babies 1 to 12 months old in the United States. SIDS is not a disease or a virus, but a diagnosis given when there is no apparent cause for the sudden death of a child under one. SIDS generally strikes during a baby’s sleep, between 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m., while babies are on their cribs. As the name implies, it is sudden and comes without warning. A seemingly healthy baby can suddenly succumb to SIDS. Even with years of research, it still remains unpredictable. It is the uncertainty and the lack of answers what makes it so scary to parents.Before the nighttime worry keeps you from sleeping, know that there are things you can do to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS. Below are 10 recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). These have been tied to a 50% decrease of SIDS cases in the United States:

Reading to your baby – Why the American Academy of Pediatrics urges it!

In June, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement asking pediatricians to talk to parents about the numerous benefits of reading aloud with their children, and how critical it is for children’s brain development, language skills and social skills. Dr. Pamela High, a pediatrician and professor at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School was the lead author on the new statement. She has stated that reading to your child everyday helps build a healthy parent-child relationship because it’s an opportunity for one-on-one interaction. Kids who are read to everyday have stronger language skills when they reach kindergarten, and are therefore more prepared to learn to read. That then predicts that those kids are more likely to graduate from high school.

So, reading to your child is extremely important! If you are not already doing it, start forming the habit today! You might wonder what babies think when they look at books. Although a baby doesn’t understand what the pictures or words mean, at around four months he or she is able to focus on them. Staring at pictures is one of the initial steps in picture recognition, a key skill that leads to comprehending the meaning of pictures and words. Babies will gaze at a picture for several moments and show clear interest in its colors and shapes, drawn to brightly colored pages. It is very common for babies to show preference for a particular page of a book by staring at it longer than other pages. Early experiences with books will familiarize your child with them and create interest in reading, so it’s never too early to start.veryhungrycaterpillar

A book that is sure to get your baby’s attention, and one of my personal favorites, is The Very Hungry Caterpillar a classic written and illustrated by Eric Carle.  Its bright colors and interactive format will invite your child to participate in a counting game and even expose him or her to the days of the week. This is definitely a great book to add to your child’s bookshelf!

Have book recommendations of your own? Please feel free to share them by writing a comment below! Keep coming back for more information about the perks of reading to your child and suitable book suggestions!

Tech meets parenthood: Smart gadgets for parents

Parenting these days can be fun with all of the new smart gadgets available! Here are some of the most innovative and fun gadgets we’ve found:

 

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Origami stroller

This super stroller folds and opens it self with the touch of a button! How easy does that sound? Well, apparently it is. The super stroller also has some unique features. In the front, you have your own LED headlights to illuminate the path at night or early morning. With its own LCD dashboard, you’ll be able to track speed, distance travelled, battery charge and even the current temperature. The Origami even includes a charging port for your smartphones and other smart gadgets.

However, this high-end stroller may have some downsides. Coming in at 16 kg (35 lb), it can be a real challenge to lift in and out of your car. And making it your perfect stroller may cost you some serious money! The bassinet is $150, the handle bar bag and cell phone charger are $40, and car seat adapter is $60! The Origami stroller is already $900, making the premium version a total of $1150.

Check out the origami video.

 

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MamaRoo

Your baby sure seems to notice that bouncers and swings never move like you do! The MamaRoo by 4moms is trying to replicate parents’ actual movements to soothe their babies. You can choose from five different movements, and even adjust their speed. Although high-tech, it is very easy to operate. The controls on the front are simple enough so that you can even use your feet if your hands are full! Busy moms will also like that the MamaRoo doesn’t require batteries – just plug it into the wall and you’re ready to go.

Now, for the possible cons. According to some customers, the maximum speed still seems a little too slow. And although the bouncer has a plug-in for your Mp3 player or cellphone, the sound quality is not the best. This high-tech bouncer can also be a bit pricey: you can find a regular bouncer for 80 dollars, but the MamaRoo will set you back around $250. But if you are willing to pay for it, it can be an instant success to soothe your little one!

Check out the MamaRoo video

 

Lobster with baby Will (side)

Lobster

If you’re looking for an alternative to not-so-great restaurant highchairs, but don’t always want to lug around a big, bulky booster seat, the Lobster from Phil and Teds can be the perfect chair for you. This lightweight, flat-packing, portable clip-on chair can be clapped to tables from .8 to 3.75 inches thick in seconds! This high chair will make your dining out experience less stressful – and it’s safer than traditional dining-out-seating options. It’s also a great option for using as a high chair regularly, especially if you live in a smaller space.

The high Lobster High Chair is $80. Although not a necessity, it can be a great gadget to have.

Check out the Lobster video

 

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Smart baby monitor

Today’s technology has evolved baby monitors – and it’s never been easier to track your baby’s sleep or movement. However, the Withings Smart Baby Monitor offers you the next level of tracking. There are several unique things about this baby monitor. You can measure temperature and humidity, and it includes a dual input microphone and speaker that you can use to send preset or customized lullabies, or to talk directly to your baby. There’s also a customized night light (you can change the color!), separate from the infrared night-vision lamp. This unique monitor works with all of your iOS devices. Through Withings’ own app, you can customize your push notifications for noise, temperature, movement and humidity. The app even supports multiple accounts, so another caregiver can monitor your little one at the same time.

But this powerful smart monitor is not without its flaws. It comes with a price tag of $220, making it one of the most expensive baby monitors on the market!

Check out the Smart baby monitor  video

 

Have your tried any of these smart gadgets? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Cristy

=D

Developmental Edge: Self-control, the key to success and health

The development of self-control should be a critical goal for children’s development – we now know how important it is for positively impacting life outcomes.

Health and wealth

According to a new study, self-control may be the secret ingredient to future health and wealth. In a long-term study led by psychologist Terrie Moffit from Duke University, 1,000 New Zealanders were followed for 32 years – starting at birth. Surprisingly, when you fast-forward to adulthood, the children who scored lower on measures of self-control when they were 3 years old were more likely to have health problems, financial difficulties, substance addictions, academic issues, aggressive behavior, and a criminal record at age 32.

These findings shed light on the importance of self-control. Focusing efforts on properly strengthening self-control skills during the early years can have long lasting benefits for the children, their families, and society.

As parents, one of our main responsibilities is to teach our children how to regulate their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. It has been well established that self-control is critical for a child to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. However, it is important to note that babies’ and toddlers’ prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain associated with self-regulation and control) is not fully developed; therefore, we cannot expect a kid that age to display the self-control of an adult. Your approach to setting limits should be according to your baby’s developmental stage. If your child is very young, he or she will have trouble effectively controlling emotions, thoughts, and actions.

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