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Educational computer games and young children

by Maxine
Posted August 8 2011 02:17pm
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Research shows that educational computer games can help your child learn certain skills, like recognizing the letters of the alphabet or learning to read aloud. But finding high-quality educational software can be tricky.

New games are coming out all the time and there are no universal standards to ensure quality. Many of these games can help encourage your child's reading or language development. But not all of them will provide your child with the educational benefits they claim.

A good place to start when you're looking for appropriate games is a store that sells high-quality educational supplies. To find a store near you, ask a local teacher. Librarians, especially school librarians, can also help guide you in the right direction. They may even be able to provide you with a list of recommended titles.

Here are some tips to help you and your child make the most of educational computer games:

  • Many software packages allow you to set the game's level of difficulty. You can get a sense of what level your child is ready for if you play the game together the first few times.
  • Encourage your child to work through the game at his own pace.
  • Be there to help your child with some of the game's more challenging features and give her encouragement when needed.
  • Be available to help your child navigate through the game and answer any questions he may have.

Remember, it's important to be aware of what your child is doing on the computer. It's also a good idea to set time limits on game-playing (10 to 30 minutes at a time) so your child gets the chance to enjoy a variety of other fun and educational activities as well.

 

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What are your thoughts on educational computer games? Share your thoughts with other parents below.

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Childcare Anxiety

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 03:42pm
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You know exactly how your child likes to be lulled to sleep, how to comfort her when she falls down, what her favourite songs and games are. Let’s be completely honest, can anyone do it at well as you? Deep down, most parents feel like this. That is, they feel that no one can care for their baby as well as they can. 

“Making childcare arrangements can leave parents feeling a range of emotions,” says Palmina Ioannone, a Parenting Expert. “You might feel anxiety, guilt and even resentment, but having the right information can help ease some of your anxiety about leaving your child with a babysitter or in a daycare setting.”

Some Comforting Thoughts

Study after study shows that babies flourish when people with whom they have mutual loving relationships care for them. 

Babies can have several loving relationships. No matter what kind of care you choose, or how old your child is, you don’t give up your role as a parent when you put your baby in someone else’s care. You’re actually allowing other loving people to share in the honour of caring for your baby. Keep in mind that others are only sharing your child’s love; you’re still your baby’s mother or father.

Your baby will love you best and will be thrilled to see you when you return, even if he spends long days with someone else who has loved him dearly since day one. 

Some parents mistakenly think it’s okay to leave their child in a loveless childcare situation to ensure their baby loves them best. Your child’s love is not easily controlled or channelled; she will become attached to the people who care for her—whether she’s receiving lots of love or not. 

Keep in mind that to thrive, your child needs lots of affection. When your child has plenty of people in her life that make her feel loved, she will love them right back. In fact, your baby needs love more than ever when you’re gone. Don’t be leery of bringing a loving person into your baby’s life; it’s good for your baby, and good for you, too!

Did you have any of these worries when you first put your child into childcare? How did you cope? Share your strategies with parents just like you by leaving a comment below!

 

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Your 12-Month-Old

by Maxine
Posted November 6 2011 09:51pm
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But for all the adventurous spirit that children show around this age, they really need the security of a parent or other loving caregiver to rely on. They want to keep you in sight and show off for you. And the more you are available and reliable when your child needs you, the more your child will learn to function independently.

At this age, children love repetition, and will learn by doing things over and over. They will begin asking you to read the same story over and over, and may point to familiar things as you read along. Children at this age are also great imitators of adults - they love performing, and the more everyone reacts and exclaims, the more they'll do it.

Because 12-month olds are more mobile, be sure that your home is properly childproofed. It's also time to start setting some limits, especially to protect your child from dangerous things - he will understand what "no" means, although it will be a while before he actually accepts what it means.

It's a good idea at this stage for both you and your child to spend time with other children and parents, such as at library story times, coffee groups or playgroups formed with your friends or through drop-in centres. Don't fall into the trap of comparing your child with others, though.

Remember, each child is unique. Not all children develop at the same rate in each area, such as movement, communication and relating to others, so the information on this website is meant only as a general guide. If you have concerns about your child's development, you should consult your child's doctor.

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Helping your toddler sleep through the night

by Maxine
Posted January 4 2012 01:07pm
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Sleeping problems are very common between the ages of two and four, even in children who slept well before then. Teething, mild infections and bad dreams can also cause sleeping problems. Many parents are concerned about their children's sleeping habits, especially problems around getting to sleep or staying asleep. Sleeping problems are troublesome because lack of sleep, by either children or adults, can lead to difficulties in functioning well during the day.

Here are some suggestions that may help you deal with sleeping problems:

Make sure you have a consistent bedtime routine. This means carrying out bathtime, storytime and any other bedtime rituals at the same time and in a calm way. Avoid exciting games, such as running or rough play before bedtime. Calm music and a warm bath can also be relaxing.

Encourage your child to sleep with a special toy or blanket. This can help your child feel more comforted about being separated from you at bedtime.

Leave a light on in your child's room or the hallway. This can comfort a child who seems to be genuinely scared of the dark. If your child is afraid, do not minimize these feelings. Listen to his concerns, but let him know that you believe that he can cope.

Sometimes a child who has overcome sleeping problems may have them re-appear because of illness, bad dreams or a change in the family situation (such as moving house, her parents' separation or a new sibling). This is to be expected, and you will need to re-establish the sleep routine and coping strategies. Gradually, when your child feels safe, secure and able to cope, she will learn to fall asleep and stay asleep on her own.

Video Alert!
For more on bedtime with your toddler and Comfort, Play & Teach, watch this short video.

 

Does you toddler have trouble sleeping thought the night? What methods do you use to have her get to sleep and stay asleep? Share you experiences by making a comment below.

 

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