Awesome Parents Blogs

How to Deal with Sore Throats in Children

August 13th, 2011

Sore throats can be caused by inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis), the larynx (laryngitis) or the pharynx (pharyngitis). The tonsils are the spongy looking areas on either side of the arch as you look at the back of the throat, the pharynx is the bit beyond the arch – the back of the throat – and the larynx you can’t see because it is too far down but you know you have laryngitis if you are hoarse. Younger children may develop croup if their larynx is affected.

All sore throats may be accompanied by a fever, nasal congestion and a cough. There will also be swollen glands. Tonsillitis will generally be the worst of the three and causes a child to be generally unwell.

image 53 How to Deal with Sore Throats in ChildrenWhat you can do…

o First of all treat as for a fever. If the child is otherwise OK she may not need to see a doctor and you will be able to treat her yourself.

o The vast majority of sore throats are caused by viruses. Antibiotics make absolutely no difference to the progress of the disease. Doctors may decide to treat tonsillitis with antibiotics but pharyngitis does not respond to antibiotics. Thankfully it only lasts a few days.

o In older children painkilling lozenges may help – ask your pharmacist.

o All sore throats cause pain on swallowing but if the child has difficulty in swallowing contact your doctor.

This article is a guide only – please seek advice from your medical advisor in all cases.

Five Indicators Your Child Is Being Bullied

March 19th, 2011

Just as an animal is protective of his young so are parents equally protective of their children. However, parents are not able to supervise their children every minute of the day. There are many things that can happen to your child while he or she is out of your sight. Bullying is one of the things that may occur and your child may be scared to let you this is happening. This usually occurs when your child has been intimidated into silence. Knowing this, we have prepared this article to help you identify the 5 indicators your child is being bullied. This will help you to handle your child’s self-imposed silence and decisively address the problem.

1. Unexplainable fear of going to school
A child who is being bullied may be afraid of going to school because he wants to avoid the trauma that will be experienced at the hand of a bully or several bullies. Your child may express a reluctance to participate in extracurricular activities available at his school. He or she may claim a disinterest in becoming involved and prefers to get home immediately after school.

2. Unexplained cuts and bruises
A child who is being bullied may return home with frequent cuts and bruises which cannot be explained. On the other hand, the explanation provided for the cuts may not seem logical and the story may have several gaps. Frequent cuts and scratches is an indicator that something is wrong and should be investigated with the school’s administration.

image 51 Five Indicators Your Child Is Being Bullied

3. Unkempt appearance and missing school items
A child who arrives home with torn clothing or missing belongings may be suffering the effects of bullying. Bullies tend to physically harass their victims and forcefully take away items which belong to the victim. This is a way to reinforce the victim’s helplessness and cause the child to be in a constant state of fear.

4. Nightmares or sleeping problems
The trauma that a child experiences when he or she is being bullied may manifest itself in irregular sleep patterns and even nightmares. Some children may be so affected that they start to wet their beds during sleep. While the child is sleeping, he may be reliving the bullying experience and become even more disturbed.

5. Developing strange habits
Since the child who is being bullied wants to avoid confrontation, he or she may seem hesitant or afraid to walk to and from school and take longer routes to get from home to school. Additionally, he or she may not want to take the school bus and find every excuse to use another form of transportation.

Bullying is real and its effects can be detrimental to your child’s physical and mental well-being. Therefore, knowing the signs of bullying is critical for every parent. The 5 indicators your child is being
bullied should help to open your eyes to this challenge of childhood. There are other indicators but the 5 indicators your child is being bullied found in this article will help you on your way to further research.

5 Challenges of the Secondary School Parent

March 16th, 2011

Oh the teenage years!! This is a time of trepidation and anxiety for many parents. As children move from primary to secondary school, they begin to experience physical and emotional changes. This can become a time of great turbulence for both the teenager and their parents as they try to maintain a middle ground. Teenagers are trying to understand and deal with this new phase of life while parents are simply trying to understand what is happening with their child. This article was written to communicate the 5 challenges of the secondary school parent as listed below.

1. Helping the child to manage peer pressure
This is probably one of the biggest challenges that most parents will face at this stage of their child’s development. The secondary school student places a lot of emphasis on belonging and wanting to be ‘a part of the crowd’. The pressure and the need to belong can become so strong that the child engages in behavior that the parents find unacceptable. These could include skipping classes, substance abuse, missing curfews and getting involved in illegal activities.

2. Maintaining harmonious relations
Since teenagers will experience a wide spectrum of emotions, parents will have to know how to effectively manage these roller coaster emotions. Some parents may find that their secondary school child may become very argumentative or even withdrawn. These kinds of behaviors may lead to tension between parent and child which could escalate leaving a gulf between the two. However, this can be overcome if a healthy relationship has already been established.image 50 5 Challenges of the Secondary School Parent

3. Maintaining Discipline
The secondary school child will tend to display feelings of independence and the desire to have autonomy over decisions that affect his or her life. Maintaining discipline is a huge challenge as parents attempt to balance restriction with freedom. Some children may view the parents attempt at discipline as unnecessary and unmerited and react in a negative manner. The challenge for parents is to find the mode of discipline that best reinforces positive behavior.

4. Helping the child to develop good time management skills
Your average teenager has school work, chores and social life. As such, they have to seek to balance all three so that the most important things are done first. Undoubtedly, school work is high on the list of priorities followed by completing assigned chores. The challenge that many secondary school parents face is that children tend to spend more time on social and recreational activities as opposed to school work or chores.

5. Choosing the right career path
At this stage, the child is being prepared to move into a career path of choice. However, sometimes conflicts arise with what the child desires and what the parents deem is best. The challenge which exists is the ability of the parents to realistically match their child’s natural abilities with the appropriate career choice. At this juncture, emotions sometimes override reason and logic.

The 5 challenges of the secondary school parent are real and true to life. The truth is many parents have successfully surmounted these challenges and have great testimonials. Learning from the experiences of others can help to empower you as you parent your secondary school child.

5 Challenges of brand new parents

March 12th, 2011

The anticipation of a new addition to the family is usually filled with great expectations. Every parent relishes the thought of seeing a new life and knowing they played a part in this miracle. Much preparation is put in place to welcome the new prince or princess to the family. However, the birth of a child brings both joy and challenges. This article was written to help prepare expecting or new parents understand the 5 challenges of brand new parents.

1. Change in daily routine
The newborn baby requires much care and attention. Your life may become an endless cycle of feeding, changing diapers, soothing your crying baby and putting him to sleep. Then there is the additional work of washing baby clothes, keeping bottles sterilized, making baby feed and image 49 5 Challenges of brand new parentspurchasing baby supplies. Before you know it, time swiftly passes by without the achievement of other family goals.

2. New parents emotion
The daily demands of the newborn may leave some mothers feeling a bit overwhelmed. They may feel that they cannot cope with the additional responsibilities and may even begin to resent the baby. Instead of being a bundle of joy, the newborn is now viewed as an unwanted intrusion. Some mothers experience a sense of guilt that they could feel indifferent towards their child.

3. Having little or no support from family or friends
The birth of a child will impact all your relationships including your friendships. Some friends may slowly drift away as your hectic schedule is no longer able to facilitate the friendship. Additionally, family members may not live in the same vicinity and therefore cannot offer the assistance new parents may require. Having a family member with you for the first couple weeks can be a source of great relief.

4. Changes in sleeping patterns
The truth is your newborn will not understand your sleeping needs. He will cry when he wants your attention even if it is just to hold him close. Therefore, brand new parents may find themselves deprived of sleep as they are sometimes awake at night with the little one. Sleep deprivation can leave persons feeling irritable and hard to get along with.

5. Partner Conflicts
The demands of the new addition to the family can negatively impact on the relationship between mother and father. If there is no agreement as to how the workload will be shared, one partner may start feeling that he or she is carrying the weight of taking care of the baby. This can sometimes lead to arguments and tension in the parental relationship.

The creation of a life is one of the biggest miracles in the world. While it is a great honor, it is also a big responsibility. Therefore, parents should be armed with information on how to manage the early days and weeks of a child’s life. The 5 challenges brand new parents face may be overcome with ample preparation. Understanding your needs and that of your newborn will help new parents to maintain that delicate family balance.









5 challenges of the primary school parent

March 9th, 2011

Parenting at every stage of a child’s development is no easy task as each phase comes with its own challenges. The child grows from infant to toddler and before you know it they are off to school. They move from kindergarten to primary school and then to secondary school. Some children move on to college or university while others opt to take a different path. Whatever the stage of development, each presents its own unique sets of obstacles which must be overcome. This article presents the 5 challenges of the primary school parent. This information will be useful to current and future parents of children at the primary level of education. See the 5 challenges below:

1. Helping your child to develop a good work/play balance
At this stage of the child’s development, he or she will place more emphasis on play rather than school work. Getting your child to settle down in school and consistently doing homework can sometimes become a great challenge. While it is important for your child to play, it is even more important for him or her to understand the value of work. Therefore, working to help your child understand this balance is vital at this stage.

2. Keeping up with homework and assignmentsimage 48 5 challenges of the primary school parent
Most parents tend to be involved in helping their primary school aged children with their assignments. Usually, these tasks require some amount of parental involvement or direction for successful completion. This may pose a severe challenge for some parents who are juggling work and home life especially with multiple children. Some parents tend to be overwhelmed by all their responsibilities and sometimes cannot find adequate time to supervise homework and assignments.

3. Keeping your child safe
Children at the primary school level tend to be very active and engage in many different games and physical recreational activities. As a result, the likelihood of injuries such as cuts and bruises tend to increase. Some parents may even find themselves in a constant round of cleaning and dressing cuts and wounds. Additionally, there is the ever-present danger of dealing with broken arms and legs.

4. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet
Young children tend to enjoy snacks, drinks and sweets. They sometimes do not want to eat fruits and vegetables as well as meals prepared at home. Parents sometimes are so pressed for time that they tend to pack lunch kits with what is easily accessible. Therefore, parents find themselves unable to dedicate enough time to their child develop good eating habits.

5. Finding the right school
Sometimes parents struggle with finding a school that best fits their needs as well as those of their child. Sometimes the school which is closest to home may not be the ideal choice for the parent. Additionally, finding a school that caters to the holistic development of the child may prove to be unaffordable for the family.

Your primary school child is at a fragile stage of development and parents should take great care to lay a solid foundation. This includes helping the child to develop good life skills such as decision-making. Unfortunately, some parents find it extremely taxing to dedicate the time which is required for this endeavor. The 5 challenges of the primary school parent presented in this article are not insurmountable but can be overcome with adequate planning and support.

Five Things To Know From Your Child’s Teacher

March 6th, 2011

‘It takes a community to raise a child’. The truth is your child spends a great deal of his time at school where the teacher is his unofficial guardian. Therefore, it is important for parents and teachers to develop a solid relationship so that parents are aware of what is happening to their child outside of the home. It is true that children may display one behavior at home and a completely opposite behavior at school. At this point, hearing from your child’s teacher becomes vital. This article presents 5 things to know from your child’s teacher.

1. Problems in attendance or tardiness
This is important information for parents. The child may leave for school but may not get to school or get there very late. There is no way to image 47 Five Things To Know From Your Childs Teacherknow this is happening unless the teacher brings it to your attention. Once you are aware, then you can engage the child in a conversation to ascertain the reason(s) for inconsistent attendance or habitual tardiness.

2. Any unusual or uncharacteristic behavior
This could take the form of withdrawal from class mates, lack of interest in activities and poor concentration. These may be symptoms of a deeper problem such as depression. Knowing that your child may be displaying these kinds of behavior may prompt you to seek the help of a counselor if you are not able to handle the situation. You want to be in a position to deal with the matter early instead of waiting until it escalates into a bigger issue.

3. Your child’s performance
As a parent, it is important to monitor your child’s academic progress and growth. If the child is not doing well, it is important to get this feedback from the teacher. You may need to ask the teacher some probing questions in an attempt to ascertain the possible reasons for the child’s underperformance. While the teacher cannot advise you that your child may have a learning disorder, the responses may prompt you to seek professional advice.

4. Conformance to rules
Knowing if your child is getting in trouble at school is helpful information. The child may be suffering from pent up anger or frustration and releases these emotions at school. The anger may be a result of things which are happening at home that is adversely affecting the child. He may feel unable or unwilling to express these feelings at home but does so freely at school. If you become aware of this problem then counseling could be sought for the entire family unit.
5. Health and safety incidences
As a parent, you will to need to know from your child’s teacher if there have been any incidences of frequent headaches, stomach aches or any health-related concerns. Was there any incidence when you child fainted, got a fall or had to see the school nurse? This information is critical as some incidences may be symptoms of deeper problems which you want to address quickly.

Your child’s well-being at home and school is important. Therefore, parents and teachers will need to band together to achieve this goal. One of the ways to keep this relationship alive is through active Parent-Teachers associations. This provides an avenue for parents and teachers to share in the responsibility of raising healthy human beings.







Five Ways To Keep Your Child Safe Online

March 3rd, 2011

Parenting can be challenging in this technological age. With the introduction of the Internet, people and knowledge have become far more accessible. The world has become much smaller and people are able to communicate with each other across many miles. With this being the case, you will want to take steps to protect your child from getting hurt in cyberspace. This article contains 5 ways to keep your child safe online.

1. Place the computer in a central location in the house
By doing this, you can randomly scrutinize what you child is doing while he is ‘surfing the net’. A child is less likely to visit certain sites when there is constant traffic moving in and out of the room. Periodically, you can glance on the screen or stop to ask your child questions about the site he is visiting. The danger lies in placing computers in their rooms where they can visit any site at will without supervision.

2. Periodically check the browser history
The browser history contains all the sites your child has visited. Therefore, you are able to know if your child has been visiting any undesirable sites by checking the browser. If you realize that information has been deleted from the browser history then this may be an indication that your child has been visiting sites that he does not want you to know about. This is a good time to speak with your child heart to heart.

3. Install Software
There are programs available which can regulate the length of time your child spends on the Internet and when and where they can visit. There are other programs which can block sites and disable pop ups designed to direct people to certain sites. Purchasing software that can remove cookies which have attached themselves to your hard drive is also a good idea.

4. Monitor chat room and social networking activities
It is important for you to know who your child is interacting with when he or she is in a chat room. You can do this by keeping an eye on the line image 46 Five Ways To Keep Your Child Safe Onlineof conversation. If your child wants to use social networking sites, you can use it as an opportunity to help him or her create the social network page. In this way, you will access to your child’s log in information and can monitor their activity.

5. Talk to your child about the dangers of Internet use
While you may try to protect the child at home, it is highly possible that he or she may opt to use computers elsewhere. Therefore, it is vital to speak frankly with your child about responsible Internet use. You will need to reiterate the importance of privacy (not giving out personal details) and adding only friends they know to their social network page. Above all, they should not respond to requests from strangers.

Keeping your child safe is one of the top priorities of parenting. With the advancement of technology, children have become at risk while on the Internet. Therefore, parents will have to become proactive in protecting their children from undesirable material or unwanted advances from strangers online. This article has provided 5 ways to keep your child safe online which should help you to start the process.

Five Ways To Get Your Child To Do Their Chores

February 28th, 2011

Have you ever struggled with getting your children to do the simplest chore? Do you find it frustrating running behind them to ensure the task is done? If you have answered yes to these questions then this article was written just for you. In this article, you will find 5 ways to get your child to do their chores. It is important to know that assigning chores to your child is a way of helping them to assume responsibility. Therefore, getting your child to do chores is important to his development as a person.

1. Help your child to understand the purpose of doing chores

Spending time to talk with your child on the value of chores to his life will change his or her view of the task. Instead of seeing doing chores as unwanted work, your child will understand the life skills which can be developed from doing assigned tasks. These skills include responsibility, contribution and competence among others.

2. Create a chart or checklist image 45 Five Ways To Get Your Child To Do Their Chores

This will include the days of the week and the chores assigned to each day. You can get your child’s involvement in making the checklist creative. To make it fun, they can place colorful stickers on the tasks which they have completed. They can choose the stickers they want purchased or they can create their own. This exercise will create a feeling of ownership in your child.

3. Design a reward system

Even though you may not want the child to feel that he is being paid to do his chores, you certainly want to create a sense of reward for a job well done. Giving your child a weekly allowance will stimulate motivation. Additionally, your child will have some spending money to buy small items. This gives you a great opportunity to teach your child how to manage money.

4. Make chores a family and fun event

There are some chores which can be done as a family unit. This brings a sense of oneness as the family works together to achieve the same goal. It also provides an atmosphere of bonding and interaction between family members. Making the experience fun is one way of creating good and lasting memories. It will also help to reinforce the belief that work can be fun.

5. Let your child know the consequences of not completing chores

Helping your child to understand the consequences of his action is an important lesson. Your child needs to know that if the chores are not done, then he will be restricted from his recreational activities and lose his allowance. If he is unable to complete a task, he needs to let you know or make other arrangements to have the task completed.

Getting your child to chores does not have to be a fighting match or a frustrating experience. You can use a combination of the 5 ways to get your child to do their chores as a starting point. There are other resources available which can offer more information and guide you in this area. You can incorporate the 5 ways to get your child to do their chores with other information for a full program.

5 ways to motivate your child to get out of bed on time

February 23rd, 2011

Getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle for many people, particularly children or teenagers. Teenagers have their body clocks working against them. During the teen years the natural habit is to stay up later and sleep later into the morning. Unfortunately, many high schools start very early in the morning which works against the natural rhythms of the teenager’s body clock. Because of this, it often takes some doing to motivate your child or teenager to get out of bed on time on a school morning.

image 43 5 ways to motivate your child to get out of bed on time

If your child or teenager is having trouble getting out of bed in the morning, try to offer a tangible incentive to being up and out of bed on time. This could be a chance for you and your child to sit down together for a few minutes at the beginning of the day. It could even be having time for a hot breakfast in the morning instead of having to eat cold cereal on the way out the door. These sorts of natural benefits to being up on time will help motivate your child to change his or her morning habits.

With many children or teenagers the logical approach can help them to understand why it is important to be up and out of bed on time. Explain that when they sleep in or hit the snooze button it adds to the morning stress for them and for everyone else in the house. On the other hand, when they are up on time there is more time in the morning for breakfast, checking homework, and other things without having to rush out the door at the last minute. Helping your child to understand how his actions in the morning affect the rest of the family can help him to change his ways.

For many children, the thought of getting up and going to school is simply not enough motivation to get out of bed. Instead, try waking your child up with something special. It could be a good morning kiss or song that you sing to them every morning. It could be sending a sibling into their room with a special treat. Whatever it is, waking your child up with something special is likely to help her to wake up in a more pleasant mood in the morning.

If your child doesn’t go for the sweet and special approach, try doing something funny to wake your child up in the morning. Send the dog in to lick her face. Have the cat walk on the bed and meow in his face. Have a younger sibling come into the room and sing a funny song. Whatever you do, make sure it is more fun to get up in the morning than it is to stay in bed.

If all else fails, try sending your child to bed earlier. Some children have trouble waking up in the morning because they are not getting enough sleep at night. If this is the case, then it is time to lay down the law and change your child’s bedtime habits. If your child complains that she is not tired at bedtime then tell her she can read or listen to music quietly but that she must be in bed. Getting more sleep at night may make it easier for your child to get out of bed on time in the morning.

5 Challenges of a Parent Who Works Away From Home A lot

February 22nd, 2011

It is a reality that some fathers are not fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with their kids. In a time of globalization, it is becoming more and more common for parents to travel overseas often. Even if the job only requires travelling across country, the distance is still substantial enough to take a toll on the family. It leaves the children with an unstable household and causes the parents to have to solve the problem of who will take care of the child. This is particularly important for the initial two years of the child’s life as this forms the base for the child’s future relationships. If the parent has to be absent during this time due to work restrictions, then the parent will face some challenges.

Financial concerns: These involve the cost of child care, issues with the permanence of health insurance coverage and loss of income image 44 5 Challenges of a Parent Who Works Away From Home A lot

associated with missed work days. Missed worked days can be as a result of the child’s health care needs.

Children’s interests: A big issue is the impact of work commitments on the children’s future academic success, mental health and ability to form relationships. If not handled correctly, an absent parent can be a traumatic experience for a child. It is possible for them to develop insecurities and anger issues. They may also experience depression and remove themselves from social activities. Also possible, is the experience of learning disabilities. They can also be more likely to become sexually active at a young age (this most likely happens to girls without a father).

Household safety and security: Household safety is most likely to become a concern when the “protector” of the house is absent for long periods of time. Especially in cases where the mother has to work too and the kids are deemed as too old to be babysat, they must stay in a house without parental supervision. It is recommended that parents limit the amount of time that kids are left at home alone due to the associated risks. These risks involve physical dangers and medical emergencies. There is help available from schools, churches, synagogues and community centers that offer after-school programs for children who spend several hours at home alone.

Logistical issues: These problems are concerned with organizing the details of home life such as arranging for child care, handling a sick child, etc.

Stability of the marital relationship: When a spouse is absent frequently for work purposes, this can negatively impact the marital relationship. The added stress that the home-based parent may have with juggling house responsibilities, the kids and in some cases, their own job priorities, can cause resentment.

The challenges of being away from home because of work are many. However, as an involved parent, it is key to help your kids understand why it is you are not around all the time. No matter the age of your kids, it will affect them if not carefully handled. When you are at home, ensure to spend as much time as possible with your kids and when you are at work, let them know you are thinking about them by sending them an e-mail, text or give them a quick call. Just because your job requires you to be absent from home, doesn’t mean you have to be an absent parent.

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