Handling Disciplinary Issues at School

The first eighteen years of your child’s life can be some of the hardest, though we are mostly referring to the school days ahead. Almost every child will experience disciplinary problems at school whether they have started the problem, or are simply the innocent victim. Getting to the bottom of these disciplinary problems is very important, especially if you want them to succeed in life. That said, let’s talk a bit about potential problems and how you can address them both at home, and at school.

Getting to the Bottom of It

Something very important for you to understand is that children do not often cause problems at school simply for the sake of it. Normally there is an underlying problem, something that needs to be addressed, and eventually be sorted out. If your child is having disciplinary problems, sit down with them, talk to them, and try to get their side of the story. As they say, in any situation there are three sides to the story: yours, theirs, and the truth. The same applies to your child. The last thing you want, is for your child to believe you are not on their side, making an enemy of them is never advised.

Handling Disciplinary Issues at School

Speak with the Teachers

There is nothing worse than being absent from your child’s education, and to avoid this it is strongly recommended that you touch based with their teachers regularly. Find out how your child is doing, what can be improved upon, and most importantly, what you can do at home.

Reinforce Punishments at Home

This might seem harsh, and it can be exhausting, but one of the best things you can do for your child is implement a ‘trouble at school, trouble at home’ policy. With this policy you will enforce the idea that school is something to be taken seriously, and that you fully support the actions of those placed in authority.


Finally, make sure that you DO in fact support the disciplinary action being handed down by the school. Talk to your child, investigate the actions, and of course make sure that it is something you can live with. If it is not, you need to say something, speak with other parents, and try to make improvements. You do have power as a parent – never forget that.

Schooling is an important part of a child’s life, and disciplinary actions are something that will help to shape their behavior in the future. Keep a close eye on the situation at all times, and make sure that you have a decent grasp on what is happening in their day to day life, even if they don’t always realize you’re looking quite that closely.

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Why a Sleep Away Camp Is So Beneficial—for Parents

There is a tag word trending around in parent psychology circles right now and take it from me it's not cool to be catching that label as a parent. “Helicopter parenting” is when you go a bit overboard with your adoration and smother the kids. Your child can certainly do without an extra serving of a super-sized cup of love,  but as a parent you may not realize how over parenting is having a negative impact on YOUR OWN life.

The problem

When walking the apple of your eye to the bus stop every day, turns into hour long drives to camp, just to deliver a bag of cookies, please know that you have messed up. But relax and continue reading, we are going to fix this.

Kids grow up fast and yes they do need your constant love and attention during toddlerdom but if you're not careful you will not see it coming when it actually does. A couple of years in and suddenly your whole life are planned around the kid’s soccer schedule, their homework routines and their timetables. You spend less and less time with your own friends and your kid’s friends parents turn into your friends. Everything is a fast-paced race on the clock where you are fixing three breakfasts in fifteen minutes or running more laps in a car than Schumacher. Dropping them 5 minutes before class or picking them up from soccer practice or driving them to the mall and then coming home collapsing on the couch, spaced out on the TV making  a mental list of chores that need to be done at home. Now is the time to let your child experience life in a much more realistic way by letting them go to a sleep away camp for kids.

camp for kids

It's a fix, did not see that one coming

If you were going sick from missing your kids when they were away at camp and are shocked to find out they did not miss you that much, maybe it's time to realize that you cannot depend just on the kids as your only source of happiness and joy.

Seven weeks away at a sleep away camp is somewhat a standard period of planned separation between parents and their children as part of a sleep-away camp experience.

Take this time to reconnect with yourself and your significant other and slow things down to a nice focused and enjoyable pace. Take a romantic weekend out together yourselves to rekindle the romance and spice back into your lives. Get your social circle back in order and invite some long lost friends to a great evening back at your place and catch up on old times.

Sleep Away Camp for Kids is Ideal

Wow, you can already feel that the stress levels are so much lower. Maybe you have also started to take note of the relationship between you and your child.  You are reevaluating things much more positively now, yes you do love your kids so very much, but there are something’s you can now let go off. Maybe now when they are back from camp, they can wake up a few minutes earlier to fix the bed sheets. They certainly will be in great practice after seven weeks away from home making their own bed every morning!

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5 Great Reasons to Read to Your Kids

The skill of reading cannot be overestimated for success in life.  But what is really the difference between teaching your kids to read all by themselves and reading to your kids yourself?  Well, we think both things are very important, yet in different ways.  Let us tell you more along with these five reasons why we believe it is a good thing to keep reading to your kids even as they grow older.

5 Great Reasons to Read to Your Kids

To Teach or To Read?

A Goal vs. A Habit

Every parent is thrilled when their preschoolers start to recognize words and begin reading on their own.  But is that all there is to it?  What are the benefits of reading to our kids and why does it matter after they learn to read themselves?  Basically, teaching your kids to read is essentially a limited goal whereas reading to your kids is developing a habit.  When you continue to read to your kids even after they have learned to read for themselves, you are not only reinforcing the value of reading, but you are ultimately creating a love for reading.


The Top Five Reasons

Why You Should Read to Your Kids

  1.  Time Together.  This will benefit you and you kids in so many ways that it’s difficult to count them all.  Just being with your kids is important, but reading books together helps to create conversation, discuss emotional or social problems, or just expand their imagination and sense of the world!
  2. Develops Thinking Skills.  This is extremely important, especially in an age of numerous gadgets and technology that are cleverly programmed to do most of your thinking for you.  While the convenience is appreciated, the ability to think objectively, deductively, theoretically and so on, simply cannot be forgotten!  When you read to your kids – and particularly as you begin to read more advanced books without pictures – you help your kids begin to develop these critical thinking skills by simply imagining details and following plot descriptions with their own imaginations!
  3. Academic Excellence.  Reading to your kids not only improves their thinking skills, but also quietly builds a solid foundation of communication skills, progression of logic, spelling, vocabulary, grammar and more that will positively impact your kid’s overall academic abilities!
  4. Concentration and Discipline.  Much of technology has been detrimental to our ability to concentrate due to rapid visual and audio overload.  However, reading a book will teach your kids to slow down, to develop their focus and to delay their gratification for the time that it takes to hear all of the details or follow the story.
  5. A Love For Reading.  Most of all, we want to pass on the love for reading to our kids so that they will always continue to grow and learn and expose themselves to the many ideas of the world.  Read your kid a book and you entertain him for a day, but give him the love for reading and he will have the world at his fingertips.








Teaching Your Child Self-Respect

Teaching Your Child Self-Respect

Teaching your child self-respect will help them strive to be successful. Their self-respect will determine many things as their personality, character and how they will interact with others. Your children won’t know self-respect unless it is taught by someone they trust.

For you to begin to teach your children self-respect you need to have self-respect of your own. You ultimately have to practice what you teach. Having a strong sense of self will give you and your children the healthy mind set to make responsible decisions and be respectful to others.

Tip #1

The first step is to love your child no matter what. Even if you don’t particularly like a certain thing you need to love them unconditionally. It doesn’t matter how old they are either they will understand feel the love and acceptance. You must always treat your children with respect. This shows them early on how to respect and love others too.

Tip #2

Have interest in your child’s life. Ask questions, get involved and most importantly play with them. Keeping eye contact with your child when they speak will show them how much you and how they can trust you. You want that with your child, you want them to trust you with everything because this shape their self-respect. It may not seem like a lot but to a child it means everything.

Tip #3

Expressing your pride to your children often, encourage them. Tell them how much you appreciate the chores they did for you or how proud you are of the B+ they got on their last math test. Look for small things to boost their self-esteem. Try leaving notes in their lunch box with words of encouragement. Small things like this will add up and show how much you care for your child and this will also shape their self-esteem and self-respect they have for themselves.

Tip #4

Teach your child that failing is okay. Show them how you fail, give them examples how you tried but still failed. Mistakes are part of life and you must instill this into your children. It’s not a good idea to give your child the fantasy that life is always full of good. Once your children know that the world is full of opportunities to make mistakes. This gives them the chance to learn and grow from their failures and get back up and try again.

This will create your children to become resilient. This will give your children the inner power to want to keep trying and achieving their goals no matter what. They will start to enjoy overcoming challenges and everyday struggles they might face. This will create a strong self-respect they will take with them into adulthood and their career.

Teaching your child self-respect is a simple as practicing what you preach. Give them love and acceptance and they will grow a strong sense of self. Treat yourself with respect and your children will lead by example.



Teaching Your Child How to Deal with Strangers

Teaching Your Child How to Deal with StrangersRaising a child today is nothing like it used to be. Doors are locked, everyone has a cell phone, and there aren’t any more pen pals. But there’s also more crime, more strange people taking children away and disappearing, and more concerns for your child. The old adage we all grew up on “never talk to strangers” means even more today than it did when we were kids. We could simply tell our parents that we were going to a friend’s house, and be gone for the rest of the day with no worries. Our parents could forget us at a store and still expect to see us when they come back, sheepish and blaming us for being left behind. Nowadays, people can’t even risk their kids walking to the neighborhood park by themselves. All for this fear of strangers. So how do you teach your child to deal with strangers? “Never talk to strangers” doesn’t really work anymore… after all; sometimes talking to a stranger is necessary.


Tell Your Child the Truth

It’ll be easier if you sit your child down and explain the truth to him or her as best as you can. Tell the child that there are bad people out there that would not hesitate to hurt him or her, and would lie to do so. Tell your little one that while there are many bad people out there, there are also good people, such as police officers and shopkeepers, so that he or she will not be afraid to turn to a person of authority if he or she needs help. If you are calm and matter of fact, your child will not panic or be overly worried. You are their parent, made to protect them, and they’ll trust and believe you when you say that while there is bad, there is also good.


Keep it Simple

A child can’t always understand the finer points of reading a human being. It’s difficult to understand who might be good and who might be bad. So don’t try to explain why a “creepy man” would be bad, but a police officer standing in the middle of a well-lit store would be good. Keep it simple so that he or she can understand who is worth speaking to or turning to in an emergency.


Have a Plan

To keep a child from worrying unnecessarily, set up a plan. If you’re ever not around, or if he or she gets lost, you might have to rely upon a stranger’s help, or a friend that your child has never met. Now, just anyone can walk up to your child and say “Hey, your mom told me to come and get you, she’s waiting for you over there.” And being a child, he or she won’t be able to tell whether it’s a truth or a lie. So set up a plan with them where if you are ever in the situation where you do need to have her picked up or found by a stranger, that there is a question that your child can ask them. For instance, a nonsensical question such as “Where is the bluebird?” As long as it is a question both you and your child know the answer to, and no one else, it will provide your child with a sense of confidence. If the stranger can’t answer the question properly, then your child will know that it is a “bad” person, and will head for a person of authority.



Dos and Don’ts When Talking to Your Kids About Puberty

Talking to Your Kids About Puberty

Eww!  That dreaded word: puberty!  We shudder because we remember how awkward it was to be on the receiving end of “the talk” and we shudder because now we’re the parents trying to prepare our kids for the same rite of passage!  Well, if you have kids, no matter what are their ages, you will want to read through these dos and don’ts for when you talk to your kids about puberty.


Baby Steps

Do Start When They Are Young

No, we don’t mean that you should have the sex talk with your kids when they are three years old, but there are plenty of questions to answer about bodies from the time they start talking.  You can start teaching them about their body parts, what makes a boy a boy, a girl a girl and most importantly, about respecting privacy.  Especially when talking about privacy, you should talk to your kids about who is allowed to see or touch their bodies and who is not!  However, we would encourage you to not give your kids more information than they are able to process for their age and their maturity.


Know Your Kids

Do Trust Your Parenting Instincts

It can be tough knowing how much to say and when.  If you tell too much too soon, a five year old girl may only be frightened about any talk of blood and unnecessarily worried before she needs to comprehend how her body will change in the future.  On the other hand, there are some kids who seem to have a calm acceptance and keen understanding of the physical changes and may plague you with harder questions much earlier than you expected.  Whatever the case, try to remain open and flexible and remember it is a conversation!  Let your kids’ participation in the conversation guide you and trust your own instincts for when to give an in-depth answer versus a more basic reply.


The 8-Year-Old Deadline

Don’t Procrastinate!

Ok, we get it.  Maybe your child is hesitant to ask you these questions and you are hesitant to launch into the conversation.  But you should know that with all of the information coming from television, radio, and the Internet, along with your kids’ classmates, most kids know more than you realize by the time they are eight years old.  What is more, puberty is no longer that far off, especially for some girls, and it is imperative that you initiate the conversation with you kid by the time they are eight years old, if you haven’t done so already.  While your kids may pick up quite a bit of information from other sources, it is important to make sure that they have correct information and that they experience puberty with confidence as well as understanding.  However, the thing that will help you most as your kids go through the tough emotional and physical changes of the teenage years is letting them know that it is not only okay to talk to you, but that you want them to!





Setting Boundaries for your Children

Boundaries for your Children

The unofficial title of this article could be “preventing your kids from taking over your life,” but we think the term, “setting boundaries” is a little closer to the goal. That is, having kids is a big enough change itself; here are some tips to prevent you from losing yourself completely in the beautiful chaos that we call parenting.

Embrace Your New Normal

Here’s the truth: you’re going to miss some aspects of your life before kids. Not in a regretful way, but maybe in a wistful one. The extra sleep, the spontaneity, disposable income and  complete privacy are just a few things you’re going to miss. When you become a mother, you are responsible for another human being. As beautiful and extraordinary as this is, it comes with sacrifice. So, embrace your new normal and, instead of lamenting these things, start getting creative to bring back a little of the “old you” to the extent that you can.

Kids Need Structure

Whether your kids are sippy cup carriers or they’re on the high school cheer squad, it’s true: kids need structure. One of the best ways to set boundaries for your children is to establish and maintain structure. In the early years, it’s about set bedtime routines; later on, it’s curfews, expectations on checking in, and no cell phones after 10pm. Whatever it is, establish structure for your kids. It’s builds responsibility and respect for your time, too.

Be Persistent and Consistent

Setting boundaries for your children requires two main elements: you must be persistent and consistent in how to communicate rules, expectations and, as necessary, punishment. The worst think you can do is making your expectations a moving target: your kids will not know how they should behave if your expectations are constantly changing. You will be tired of arguing, tired of repeating yourself, and tired to working on this, but take heart: staying the course now will save you a lot of effort in the future.

Extend Respect to Get It

Even at an early age, kids can discern and understand the concept of fairness and equality. If you smoke, but tell them not to, they see the inconsistency. Likewise, if you demand respect and privacy, but don’t extend the same to your kids, they will be less likely to extend it to you. That’s not to say that you have to be your child’s best friend, but the Golden Rule about treating others the way you want to be treated hold some great advice for parents and kids alike.

Tell Them You Love Them

Parenting is tough work. There’s no denying it, but setting boundaries for your children will prepare them for real life while, at the same time, improving your relationship. Above all, make sure your kids know how much they are loved – if your words, your actions, your example and your intentions. Plus, when they get older, you just might see a glimpse of your “pre-child self” popping in now and then.



Dealing with Your Teenage Children

Dealing with Your Teenage Children

Teenagers are both a mystery and confusing. They’re not quite children anymore, but they’re also not adults. This transition from childhood to adulthood is a difficult and confusing time for them. Add this to all the raging hormones they have, and you have a recipe for disaster on your hands. Teenagers are not bad through and through, but they can be hard to deal with. So here are a few ways to deal with your teenage children.

Allow them to Pursue Outside Interests

Teenagers like to go off by themselves a lot. They do this because they’re not only trying to find themselves, but establish their own identity. One of the ways to help them through this is to encourage their outside interests. For example, maybe they have a passion for art, science, or maybe even writing. Find ways to get them more involved in these passions. Not only will this help them to focus more, but it will probably go towards helping them to deal with the stress of being a teenager. It’s not lie that teenagers go through a wide range of emotions during this time in their lives. So if they have an outlet for what they feel inside, let them pursue it.

Be up Front, But Firm

One of the things you’re going to start doing is to be up front with your teenager. They’re at the age now where they can easily tell if they’re being lied to. If you have something to tell them, just be direct about it. You also want to be firm when it comes to setting the ground rules with your teen. Also be sure why the rules are in place. Going with, “I’m your parent, I’m in charge,” bit isn’t going to work at this point. At least if you’re up front about why you’re doing what you do, and explain it, your teen has a better chance of understanding.

Be Reasonable, and Allow them to Give Input

At this point in your teen’s life they’re going to start questioning everything that’s around them. Of course, as the parent you are in charge. Your teen however will want to know how everything works in the household. Instead of shutting them down when they speak up, at least allow them to give their input on a situation. Give them the chance to be reasonable with you and offer alternatives. While you may not agree in the end, it at least shows your teen you’re listening to them and taking their thoughts into consideration.

Dealing with your teenage children can be difficult. They’ll have their times when they’re moody, friendly, or just downright don’t want to talk. At this stage in their life it helps to give them their space. Teens want to find themselves during this time, so allow them to do that. Encourage good behaviors and interests to help keep them occupied. It will also serve to give them a good push in the right direction.



How to Tame Your Wild Teenager: 4 Rules to Survive Raising Teenagers


Tame Your Wild Teenager

The teenage years are a difficult period of time for both teens and their parents. The four rules found below will help you manage and guide your teen through these rough years.

 Get Involved

It is common knowledge that some teens act out in order to gain attention from their parents. Sometimes, if a teen is “good, ” the parents trust the adolescent and give them more freedom and, possibly, less attention.  Teens who want more attention, then, learn that bad behavior will grant them more parental attention. While this attention is negative attention, they believe that negative attention is better than no attention. Along with giving your teen more attention, getting more involved in your teen’s life will also allow you to better monitor your teen and his/her behavior.

Structure is Key

In order to create structure and stability in your teen’s life, you should promote routines and make rules/expectations clear and explicit. Creating a routine, such as waking up at 7 A.M. Monday-Friday to ensure that your teen can get on the bus or drive and make it to school on time, or a 6 P.M. dinner time every night: whatever meets your family’s schedule, create a routine. It is okay to break away from this routine for special occasions or exceptional situation. However, having a regular schedule creates stability in your teen’s life. Another way to promote structure and stability is by making all expectations and consequences cl explicit to your teen. Maybe you need to sit down and have a conversation with your teen and state your rules clearly. Reminding your teen about your expectations is also important. For example, remind your teen about his/her curfew before they leave the house. By creating a structured and stable environment, you are creating an environment where he/she knows what is expected of him/her.

Enforce Your Rules

While you are creating a stable environment, by telling your teen about your expectations and rules for them, you also need to make sure you state a consequence for not following the rules. If you state that their curfew is 11 P.M., you also need to state a reasonable consequence as punishment for not abiding by this rule. What is most important is that you enforce these consequences when your teen doesn’t follow your rules. If you state that he/she will be grounded for 1 week for missing curfew—Follow Through! If you don’t enforce these rules, your teen will soon realize that you do not mean what you say and not take your rules seriously. This will enable them to continue their poor behavior and leave you powerless.

 Reward Good Behavior

Just as you discipline your teen for bad behavior, you need to reward him/her for good behavior.  If your teenager is consistently respecting the curfew you have set for them, consider rewarding your teen by extending it 15 or 30 minutes or getting him/her tickets to their favorite musician—you know how to reward your teen more than anyone else. It is important for your teen to understand that you notice both their good and bad behavior.



Throwing the Perfect Baby Shower

Perfect Baby Shower

Throwing the perfect baby shower has everything to do with planning.  We’ve all been to last minute, throw together baby showers that, while they were fun, would have been even better if there had been some planning.

Here are some tips for planning a shower that will make you look like a rock star.

What to Do First

Give yourself plenty of time when planning to do something like this.  Starting eight weeks in advance is not too soon.

Talk to the mom-to-be and find out what her schedule is.  Set a date and time that works perfectly for her.  While you’re talking with her, get the names, mailing addresses and e-mail addresses of the guests she would like to have at the shower.

Next, choose a location and decide whether or not it’s going to be in someone’s residence or at a restaurant.  If it’s going to be a restaurant or party room, make sure to call that location right away to book the date and time.

Is this going to be catered or will it be the type of party where everyone brings a dish?  If you’re using a caterer, you need to book that person well in advance.

Six Weeks Out

At about six weeks before the party, make sure to mail any physical invitations and also set up your electronic invitations.  If your guest of honor has registered for baby gifts, let the attendees know where that is.

Menu Planning

This part of the baby shower can be done at the time you first talked to your mom-to-be or it can be done about five weeks in advance.

Check and see if any of the attendees have food allergies and keep that in mind when putting a menu together.  If this is at a restaurant, you’ll need to meet with the catering manager.

Check your list of tableware and chairs to make sure you have enough as well as any decorations or flowers you might want to have.

And don’t forget the present you would like to give the guest of honor.

Leading Up to the Party

Two to three weeks in advance, you will want to have a list with all of the food and beverages you’ll need as well as any shower favors or gifts.  This is also a good time to designate one person to pick up the guest of honor.

If you’re using a restaurant or other rented space, confirm the reservation as well as any other items you have discussed with the manager.

Make sure the flowers are ordered two weeks in advance and that you double or triple check the date and time of delivery.

Two Days Before

If the party is being given in someone’s home, this is the time you’re going to a shop for the perishable items, ice and any other remaining supplies.  Check with your mom-to-be to see how she’s feeling and make sure there’s a comfortable chair with a pillow especially if she’s in her third trimester.

On the date of the event, remember to have a great time and take a lots of pictures for memory books.

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