Parenting Information

Nail Biting Basics


Nail biting in all its various forms is problematic behavior beset by peculiarity and contradiction. Technically speaking, the correct word for nail biting is ANONYCHOPHAGIA.   Nail biting typically begins between the ages of five and 10 and is common among children as well as adults. As many as one in three Americans bite their nails.   One of the more noteworthy and generally surprising things about nail biting is its high instance. It crosses every social and economic barrier. Prevalence figures for children are much higher than for adults.   Results of nail biting can result in short, ragged nails. It may also lead to damaged cuticles as well as bleeding around the edges of the nails. Infections can also develop if nails are not properly attended to.   Most relevant studies have found that nail biting tends to peak out around puberty.   A study by Malon and Massmer studied the behavior in the Chicago school systems and reported that nail biting is prevalent in about 60 percent of children age eight to eleven. Most people agree it is a learned habit, perhaps picked up by watching a parent or someone else biting their nails. Nail biting is an extremely tough habit to break and treatment for it varies. One possible solution is identifying the reason for nail biting. Avoidance or modification of these situations can be beneficial to the eventual elimination of the habit.   Improving self-esteem is also helpful when attempting to break the habit. Products such as CONTROL-IT are available on the market and are designed to aid nail biters in breaking their habit. According to www.stopbitingnails.com , CONTROL-IT is a gentle and natural alternative to help prevent biting. A mild unpleasant taste helps to remind users to stop biting their nails.   A host of research efforts both in America and Europe sought to ascertain if in fact nail biting was linked to mental illness in one form or another. Most people would have anticipated they found a high prevalence of nail biting among the mentally disordered; however, they found that nail biting, in and of itself, is not systematic of any form of mental disorder or maladjustment.   Nail biting crosses all national borders, genders, and both social and economic lines and may also originate from a primal need for self-grooming. It affects both the nails and the cuticles; with greater potential harm caused via infection to the cuticle and nail biting tends to be a private affair, and is a relatively isolated form of self-indulgence.   Nail biting may be treated addressing symptom rather than cause; it is a habit, not a disease.

For School Success, Dont Coddle Your Kids


Parents want their children to succeed in school. However, sometimes their best intentions are misguided. Attempts to provide children with a wonderful life can, in fact, increase the stress of the entire family.

Vision: 20/20 Is Not Enough!


Now is an excellent time to have your child's vision checked. Don't be too quick to say, "My child's vision is fine: 20/20!" In many cases that is not enough.

Book Review: How to Get Your Child to Love Reading


How to Get Your Child to Love Reading was conceived when author Esmé Raji Codell was staring at a shriveled potato that was sprouting eyes. She wondered, " . . . if I had a potato, nothing but a potato, how could I teach a classroom full of children? Well, I could cut a potato in half. (I can use the paring knife from my own kitchen, right?) We could review fractions. With one half, I could cut a design and do potato prints. We could plant the eyes from the other half of the potato (it can have eyes, right?) and grow more potatoes, charting their growth." The ideas cascade: writing a story about a potato, making a book of potato recipes or potato poems, making potato stamps of all the letters, teaching reading, getting books from the library about potatoes, talking about the Irish potato famine, writing letters to executives about potato chips or Mr. Potato Head.

Assertiveness: Key to Better Parenting


Summer Survival


If your child is being bullied - 20 top tips for parents


Keith is now in the fourth grade and he dislikes school.  For a fourthgrader, this does not sound right.  The reason Keith dislikes school thoughdoes not have anything to do with academics.  Keith is being bullied beforeschool, at school, and on the school bus. Who can blame him for not wantingto go into that environment? The basic definition of bullying is when someone keeps doing or sayingthings to have power over another person. Bullying involves crossing intoone's space without permission. Isn't bullying just something that happens to all children and we're justmaking a fuss over this? The children will get over it, right?  Shouldn't wetell Keith to grow up and handle it? Wrong. Bullying happens to far too many children and adults shouldn't be ignoring it.  WHAT CAN A PARENT DO? If Keith is being bullied and he is not reporting it to his parents thenthere are some very important questions to address.·     Why wouldn't he tell his parents?·     What message have Keith's parents sent to him about bullies?·     Does Keith's parents have a history of dismissing what he says?·     Possibly Keith's parents have had a habit of getting too involved insolving his problems. Tips for parents:·     Encourage your child to report any bullying incidents to you.·     Validate your child's feelings. It is normal for your child to feelhurt, sad, and angry.·     Ask your child how he/she has tried to stop the bullying. Askingquestions is a wonderful way to have your child do the thinking.·     Ask how is he/she going to solve this. We want the child to do thethinking before we jump in.  See how many options he can come up with.·     Coach your child in alternatives. Ideally the best solution is having your child solve this without anyone interfering. Most of the time unfortunately, this isn't possible. Share these strategies: avoidance is often an excellentstrategy, playing in a different place, play a different game, stay near asupervisor, look for new friends, join social activities outside of school.·     Talk with your child's teacher.  Make sure they are aware of what isgoing on.·     Encourage your child to seek help from other school personnel.·     Volunteer to help supervise activities at school.·     Do not ignore your child's reports. Ignoring them sends the wrongmessage.·     Do not confront the bully or the bullies' family.·     Teach your child how to defend him or herself.·     Teach self-respect.·     Give numerous positive comments to your child.·     Avoid labeling or name-calling.·     Let your child know it is okay to express their anger. There arepositive and negative ways to express anger, we want to teach and model thepositive ways.·     Let your children stand up to you now and then. It makes it morelikely they will stand up to a bully.·     Stress the importance of body language.·     Teach your child to use 'I' statements.·     Teach positive self-talk.·     Teach how to use humor, 'out crazy' them. For example, if the bullysays to Keith, "Hey, boy you're ugly." Keith can respond in a coupledifferent ways:"Thanks for sharing""Yes, I know, I always have been""Yes, today's lunch was disgusting" then walk away. There is many other aspects of bullying to look at: Why your child is the victim, whypeople bully, what you child can do if he/she is bullied, signs your child is beingbullied, what the schools should be doing, handling the school bus issues.  Allof these are addressed in The Shameful Epidemic, ­ How to protect your child from bullies and school violence.Visit www.stoppingschoolviolence.com to learn what is possible. There are solutions.  

Boundaries - Why Theyre Needed


Imagine a child who lacks ownership of his own life, has noself-control, and lacks respect for others.  If these were the qualities ofyour son, how would you feel for his future wives?    Yes, wives is plural, this is one major reason we need to set boundariesfor our children ­ their future.  One study showed that children bornrecently on average will have more spouses than kids.  Here are a fewexamples of children who lack boundaries: 1. Little Johnny  walks right into his parent's bedroom whenever he wants.It does not matter if the door was open or closed.2. Twelve year-old Steve frequently changes the channel on the television.It does not matter if anyone was watching a show or not.3. Susie blames others for her mistakes.  It always seems to be herteacher's fault, brother's fault, or a friend's fault when something doesnot go right.4. Marie is uncomfortable with how her boyfriend treats her and pressuresher for sex.  She keeps dating him because she questions who else would wantto date her.Without boundaries children will have problems in relationships, school, andlife.  Many times addictive behavior can be traced to lack of boundaries.Here are a few results that can occur:1. Children can have controlling behavior2. Children can be motivated by guilt or anger.3. Without firm boundaries children are more likely to follow their peergroup.  For example, making unwise choices on sex, drinking, or driving.4. Children do not own their own behavior or consequences, which can lead toa life of turmoil.5. Children may allow others to think for them.6. They may allow someone else to define what his or her abilities will be.This denies their maximum potential.7. When someone has weak boundaries they pick up other's feelings.8. Weak boundaries may make it hard to tell where we end and another personbegins.    What is a parent to do?  Many times we hinder our children from developingboundaries.   Realize we must teach our children boundaries; they are notborn with them.  Here are a few suggestions to help develop boundaries.1. Recognize and respect the child's boundaries.  For example, knock ontheir closed bedroom door instead of just walking in.2. Set our own boundaries and have consequences for crossing them.3. Avoid controlling the child.4. Give two choices; this helps our children learn decision-making skills.5. When you recognize that boundaries need to be set.  Do it clearly, do itwithout anger, and use as few words as possible.6. We need to say what hurts us and what feels good.7. It may be difficult to set a boundary.  You may feel afraid, ashamed, ornervous, that's okay, do it any ways.Another way to work with boundaries and children is to model these for ourchildren.1. Recognize your physical boundaries.2. You have the right to request proper treatment, for example, poorlyprepared meals in a restaurant should be sent back, ask others to smoke awayfrom your space, and ask that loud music be turned down.3. Share your opinions with your children. Allow your children theiropinions.  Opinions are not right or wrong.  This will help them think forthemselves.  4. Teach them how you decide on the choices you make.5. Lets own what we do and what we don't do.  Take responsibility for whenthings go wrong.6. Accept your thoughts, it is who you are.7. Discover what your limits are, emotional and physical.Setting boundaries is all about taking care of ourselves.  This is the firstguideline we teach in our workshops.  Other benefits include:1. We will learn to value, trust, and listen to ourselves.2. Boundaries are also the key to having a loving relationship.3. Boundaries will help us with our personal growth.4. We will learn to listen to ourselves (trusting our intuition). We    also will learn to respect and care for others and ourselves.5. Boundaries will aid us in the workplace.Boundaries are all about freedom and recognizing when these freedoms have been crossed.  Boundaries give us a framework in which to negotiate life events.  Recognizing and acting when our boundaries have been crossed will protect our freedom.  Boundaries lead to winning relationships for bothparties.  By building foundations based on mutual trust, love, and respect we can expect our children to grow up more tolerant and with a mature character. Simply put, boundaries simplify life.

The Benefits of Music Education


Despite serious reductions in funding for arts programs in public schools, there is a great need for studying music.  Band, orchestra, and choir all offer students a chance to work together in a social and intellectual group setting and excel at complex tasks.   The trick for parents is to enroll their children in high quality programs and assist them in purchasing high quality instruments.  There are indeed many benefits to be realized from a musical education and a quick reference guide is listed below.   Playing a Musical Instrument Can Help your child develop a commitment to excellence Help your child develop self-esteem Provide an opportunity for your child to experience self-expression, creativity, and heightened achievement Engage the imagination Contribute to a balanced, positive, challenging, and stimulating education Prepare your child for other stages of development and participation in society by fostering dedication and sensitivity Increase your child?s brain development, math abilities, and higher thinking skills Help your child develop perseverance when things are looking bleak and hopeless Raise your child?s awareness Expand your child?s knowledge Help your child develop mind and body coordination Contribute to your child?s spiritual growth Help your child develop teamwork skills Be a source of great fun!

New Mom...New Baby...New Debt?


Ah, there is nothing like being an expectant mom. Along with your expanding waistline comes the ever growing list of products for you and your new bundle of joy. Preparing for a new baby can be a costly experience, especially in the areas of clothing and nursery furniture. The good news is that it does not have to be!

Identifying Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the Classroom: Eight Things Teachers Should


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the phrase that is used to describe children who have significant problems with high levels of distractibility or inattention, impulsiveness, and often with excessive motor activity levels. There may be deficits in attention and impulse control without hyperactivity being present. In fact, recent studies indicate that as many as 40% of the ADD kids may not be hyperactive. 

Will My Child Ever Out-grow His Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?


If your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder then at some point you will be asking the question, "Will my child ever outgrow it?"

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What Do We Mean by Attention Anyway?


When we talk about attention, we are talking about two different kinds of abilities: The ability to focus on a specific task put in front of us to do, such as school work, and the ability to pay attention in a more global sense to the world around us, to be able to pay attention to the buzz of the lights overhead, and the touch of the clothes on your skin, and the children playing outside of the classroom. These are two different kinds of attention.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What is Impulsivity?


Impulsivity is one of the hallmarks of people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This impulsivity is the result of the brain's decreased ability to inhibit. There is a lack of self-control even at the neurological level. Impulsivity is found in two areas. There is behavioral impulsivity, and there is cognitive impulsivity.

What is Hyperactivity in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?


Most of the ADHD kids that are seen in a private practice setting are hyperactive kids simply because they get into the most trouble. Their parents are usually pulling their hair out and saying, "We've got to get this child some help." The sad truth is that if a parent is going to spend money to get treatment for his kid, that kid's usually got to get into trouble first. So that's why hyperactive kids are seen the most in treatment.

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