Nanny to the Rescue
America's nanny offers a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced babies and toddlers.
Babies don't come with instructions. And since today's parents are so overwhelmed with schedules and demands, they have little time to bone up on their parenting skills. Often removed from grandparents and relatives who in times past lived next door or just down the street, they have no one to guide them through the disorienting world of raising children. Enter Nanny to the Rescue! Michelle LaRowe, 2004 International Nanny Association "Nanny of the Year," gives her tried and true solutions to childcare. Her expertise with chapters titled "Who's the boss?" and "Discipline is not a four letter word" gives confidence to parents who need specific ideas for real day-to-day problems. A proud member of Christian Nannies, Michelle offers foundational truths sure to help encourage moms and dads.
Nanny To the Rescue Again
Faced with multiple choices regarding school, friends, and activities coupled with the ever-widening influence of the outside world, parents of 6-12 year olds need help. America's nanny is back to offer a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced children.
|Parenting Books That Work! By Sharon Scott |
The Reticular Activating System, and its Role in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
In our last article about the neurology of ADHD we began to introduce the reader to the system in the brain known as the Reticular Activating System. The Reticular Activating System is the "attention center" in the brain. It is the key to "turning on your brain," and seems to be the center of motivation.
The Reticular Activating System is connected at its base to the spinal cord where it receives information projected directly from the ascending sensory tracts. The brainstem reticular formation runs all the way up to the mid-brain. As a result, the Reticular Activating System is a very complex collection of neurons that serve as a point of convergence for signals from the external world and from interior environment.
In other words, it is the part of your brain where the world outside of you, and your thoughts and feelings from "inside" of you, meet.
This Reticular Activating System is very capable of generating dynamic effects on the activity of the cortex, including the frontal lobes, and the motor activity centers of the brain. It plays a significant role in determining whether a person can learn and remember things well or not, on whether or not a person is impulsive or self-controlled, on whether or not a person has high or low motor activity levels, and on whether or not a person is highly motivated or bored easily. The Reticular Activating System is the center of balance for the other systems involved in learning, self-control or inhibition, and motivation.
When functioning normally, it provides the neural connections that are needed for the processing and learning of information, and the ability to pay attention to the correct task. But if the Reticular Activating System doesn't excite the neurons of the cortex as much as it ought to, then we see the results of an under-aroused cortex, such as difficulty learning, poor memory, little self-control, and so on. In fact, if the Reticular Activating System failed to activate the cortex at all one would see a lack of consciousness or even coma.
What would happen if the Reticular Activating System was too excited, and aroused the cortex or other systems of the brain too much? Then we would see individuals with excessive startle responses, hyper-vigilance, touching everything, talking too much, restless, and hyperactive. So the Reticular Activating System must be activated to normal levels for the rest of the brain to function as it should.
What factors could cause the Reticular Activating System to be either over-activated or under-activated?
According to Harvard Medical School, current research strongly suggests that Attention Deficit Disorder is caused in part by a deficiency of Norepinephrine in the ascending reticular activating system, and it is thought that the stimulant medications, such as Ritalin, increase the levels of Norepinephrine in that part of the brain, as well as probably increasing dopamine levels in the frontal lobes. This treatment strategy works well for the inattentive under-aroused ADD kids, and somewhat well for the over-aroused impulsive-hyperactive ADHD kids.
However, for the kids who have an over-aroused Reticular Activating System to begin with, the use of stimulants will often exacerbate the problems with temper, sleep, and hyper-vigilance or anxiety. For these individuals their physicians will often prescribe a Norepinepherine antagonist such as Clonadine, or an antidepressant such as Prozac, which works to enhance the Serotonin driven inhibitory mechanisms of the brain.
However, it is not just activation levels of the Reticular Activating System that are a problem with Attention Deficit Disordered individuals.
It seems that the same problems that cause the Reticular Activating System to be under or over aroused also restricts the development of neural connections and the required neural density needed to process incoming information. In other words, these are issues with the number of brain cells, the size of the brain cells, and the number of connections between brain cells. It is not uncommon for one brain cell to have as many as 5,000 connections with other brain cells.
Picture the incoming information to be processed and learned as the volume of water coming out of your shower head. And picture the brain's ability to process this information as the drain and the drain pipe in the shower floor. If the pipe is clogged up, your shower will have problems draining. If the contractor originally installed a drain pipe that is too small, again your shower will have problems draining. In either case, you will either have to reduce the amount of water coming out of the shower head, or you will have to let the shower back up and wait a while for the water to finally drain out. Here's the connection?
If the brain does not have enough neural connections, or lacks the neural density, to process the incoming information, then it will be like a pipe that is too small to handle a large volume of water. It will take in some, but the rest will be stopped and won't go down the pipe rapidly. Learning will take place, but the time that it takes to process the information will be slowed significantly.
The impact of this with an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder child is best seen when the child is given a timed test, even with material that the child understands pretty well.
The "timed" aspect of the test requires that the child have a "larger drain pipe," as it were, to quickly process the problems on the test and recall the answer. However, with Attention Deficit Disorder - ADHD - the "pipe" is often too small, and the results of the timed test will probably be very poor. However, take away the timed element on the same test, and "allow the water to drain a the slower rate," and the child will often do well on the test.
So the ADHD child, or adult, needs to develop a greater degree of neural density, and a larger number of neural connections to process information faster and more efficiently.
Now, please do not think that this information to be processed is only what takes place in the classroom. The information to be processed includes information from the outside world, including the touch of the clothes on his skin, the buzz of the lights overhead, the sound of the kids playing outside, and the new information that the teacher is lecturing on at the front of the classroom. It also includes the information from inside the head, the thoughts and feelings of the ADHD person.
All of that must be sorted out and filtered, so that only the important information is paid attention to, and the unimportant information is ignored. Without proper filtering by the Reticular Activating System, the individual will be distracted by "noise," both from outside of him as well as from inside of him. You can learn more about the neurlogy of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by reading through the ADHD Information Library.
Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.
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Send the Kids Outside!
Think back to your own childhood. Chances are, some of your fondest memories are of outdoor activities and places. Perhaps you had a favorite climbing tree or secret hiding place. Maybe you remember jumping rope or learning to turn cartwheels with your best friend or playing fetch with the family dog. Do you recall the smell of lilacs, the feel of the sun on the first day warm enough to take off your jacket, or the taste of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich eaten on a blanket in the park? Did you enjoy lying on your back and finding creatures in the clouds?
Mommie Moments ? Taking Time For Yourself
Being a parent is a role that requires a large majority of our attention and time. Whether you have one child or fourteen children, you are more than likely aware that personal time is at a minimal. As a mother your attention is always on demand. There are meals to be made, clothes to be washed, and rooms to be cleaned. Not to mention other responsibilities like entertaining hungry little minds.
Using Pocket-money To Promote Independence In Kids
In seminars I am often asked about pocket-money and whether it should be earned or only given when children behave well.
You Dont Need a Supernanny to Be an Active Parent
The hot new reality TV show "Nanny 911" has been joined by a similar nanny-to-the-rescue show called "Supernanny." These shows depict families in which the children are extremely out of control, rebellious, spoiled or otherwise quite a handful. The nannies come in for a week (from sunrise to bedtime each day), helping the family get back on track by teaching the parents effective parenting skills and modeling these skills firsthand with the children.
Economist John Kenneth Galbraith has said that more people die in this country of too much food than of too little. It's an appalling notion - but an accurate one. As of 1999 more than 60 percent of American adults were overweight or obese - and obesity among children was increasing faster than among adults. In 2000, 22 percent of U.S. preschoolers were overweight and 10 percent clinically obese.
The Most Powerful Question a Parent Can Ask?
The question I have for you drives right to the heart of the matter. It could alter that tired, haggard feeling you have at the end of a day or weekend. It could alter the life of your children for the better and the life of their future partner. More than that, it could even alter your community, because once I've told you the question and you've seen how powerful it is you'll want to share it with your brother, sister, neighbours and friends.
Public School Sex-Education Classes --- Bad News For Parents and Children
One of parents' most important duties is to protect their children from harmful sexual values and behaviors. Yet many public schools force potentially harmful, sometimes shockingly explicit sex education on their students.
Defrazzle with Hug Therapy
"Hugging is healthy: it helps the body's immunity system, it keeps you healthier, it cures depression, it reduces stress, it induces sleep, it's invigorating, it's rejuvenating, it has no unpleasant side effects, and hugging is nothing less than a miracle drug"
Homework Doesn?t Have to Be a Battle of Wills
Homework. It doesn't have to be a daily battle of wills between child and parent. There are several strategies and elements that a parent can use to maximize an opportunity to support a child's education and to massage the parent/child bond. For the parent, it is a way to understand what is going on at school and an opportunity for communication. Simply put, a parent has the ability to guide a child to positive feelings about education and to the rewards of good efforts.
Top Seven Tips for Back-to-School Success
Parents play a critical role in their child's success. These seven tips from http://www.goalsettingforstudents.com explain how to help your child set and achieve goals for the new school year.
Two Means Trouble
You have two kids who are 14 months apart. How cute, they look alot alike...are they twins? One is taller and more mature than the other, so that can't be.
5 Great Tips For Choosing Safe Toys For Your Children
Every children in the world whishes to have toys and every parent trys to give them what they want. So until they grow-up children spend most of their time playing with different toys. If you are careful when you choose toys for your kids you can even consider that you are making an investment. But you have to know if you are making a good investment or not. There are many educative and safe toys. but you can also find many dangerous toys on the market this days. In this article you will find five tips for choosing safe toys for your children. After all every parent is concerned about their children safety.
Lets Protect Our Children
There are software programs that you can purchase to keep your children from accessing undesirable websites. There are two good ones, Cyber Patrol and Net Nanny.
How Illiteracy Can Ruin Your Childs Life
It may seem obvious to many people why literacy is so important in our technologically advanced society. However, many parents may not fully realize the emotional pain and life-long damage illiteracy can cause their children. Literacy, the ability to read well, is the foundation of children's education.
Because Every Child Is A Born Genuis
Graphology for Child development.:- Graphology is the science of understanding the human mind through person's handwriting. When a person writes, the signal in the form of letters get decoded / printed on the paper by the fingers. Graphology aims at understanding & interpreting these signals through the writing. Using this we can know a persons mind so the thoughts, character and behavior.
Things To Teach Your Teenage Driver
Is it hard to communicate with your teenager about issues in his or her life? Regardless of the communication problems, there are two issues you need to discuss with them: driving and insurance. The following are four things to teach your teenage driver.
Selecting A Quality Day Care Center
Many working families choose a commercial or individual day care center to care for their child during the workday. We've listed important aspects of a daycare center's environment to evaluate when making your choice:
Staff to Child Ratio. This is the number of children each staff member is responsible for. Most states regulate the minimum number of staff to child ratio. This will vary based on your state and the ages of the children. An average guideline follows, but check with your state department for what to expect in your area.
An infant room will have one to four or six staff to child ratio
A young toddler room will have a one to six or eight staff to child ratio
For 2s and 3s room, an eight to ten staff to child ratio is average
Children 4 and 5 years old average a one to ten staff to child ratio
Diaper Changing. There should be a dedicated area for diaper changing, equipped with sanitary diaper pad covering, disposable gloves, wipes and diapers and a dedicated waste receptacle for waste that is emptied on a regular schedule.
Sick Policy. Most daycare centers will require that a child sent home with a fever or after a bout of nausea or diarrhea be kept home for 24 hours. While it inconvenient for working parents, it is the safest practice to prevent contagious illnesses from spreading within a classroom. Some centers may have a separate infirmary and onsite nurse or share the operating costs with other centers in the area.
Discipline, Biting and Dismissal Policies. Find out how the center handles discipline and what the process is for misbehavior that affects other children, such as biting or hitting. As if there is an escalation process, what the coaching and dismissal policies are. You will want to know both sides in the event your child is the aggressor or the victim.
Feeding. Some centers serve prepared food and some have families bring lunches and provide morning and afternoon snacks. Find out if the daycare providers will heat up food in your child's lunches, if there is a refrigerator available, if they provide milk and filtered water for drinking and what kinds of snacks are served.
Supervised Lunch and Snacktime. The center you choose should support your nutrition preferences and provide healthy options served in a clean, supervised environment. Staff should use the opportunity to teach manners and model good eating habits. Ask about the center's policy on sharing food at the lunch table if your child has allergies.
Toilet Training. Some centers will help potty train your child, others require that the child be fully potty trained by a specific age. Your center should reinforce good bathroom habits, including wiping, flushing and thoroughly washing hands. Some centers also add brushing teeth to the regular routine.
Napping. Most young children benefit from regularly scheduled nap times during the day. Most centers will have young toddlers take a nap in the morning and one in the afternoon. Older toddlers and preschool age children may have one name in the afternoon after lunch. Ask whether you are responsible for bringing bedding or if it is provided. In the latter case, your child should have his own dedicated linens that are laundered each week.
Parent Visits. Parent visits should be welcomed throughout the day, whether announced or unannounced. There should be observation windows available for you to observe your child's day or you should be welcomed into your child's classroom.
Schedule. Hours of operation often play a key role in whether a center is acceptable simply by default of being available when you need them to be. Some centers have two tuition schedules, one for standard daycare (i.e. 9am ? 4pm) and extended daycare (i.e. 7am ? 6pm). Ask what the late policy is, whether you will have to pay on pick-up, if that payment must be in cash, etc.
Safety and Peace of Mind. Does the center have controlled access, with locked doors after the usual drop-off times? There should be a sign-in/sign-out process to account for each child. When you register, you should be asked to supply emergency contact information for yourself and partner, two people who can be contacted and take your child if either of you are not available. Some centers will also ask for an out-of-state emergency contact in the event of a regional emergency, like an earthquake.
Emergency Plan. If your area is prone to natural disasters like flooding or earthquakes, ask about your center's emergency plan ? how they will notify parents, where their evacuation location is, if there is a lockdown procedure.
Daily Status Reports. A daily status report will give you detailed information about your child's day, including feeding times, diaper changing information and activities during the day. This is especially important for infants and young toddlers.
Classrooms. Children love rooms that are bright, cheerful and full of visual stimulation created by creative artwork, children's projects and family pictures.
Classroom curriculum. Each classroom should be equipped with age appropriate activities, equipment and toys to stimulate your child's development in fine/gross motor activities, sensory and cognitive skills, language development, number concepts, music and art.
Bonuses and Special Touches
Emailed Progress Reports and Photos. Many daycare centers are now emailing daily progress reports with information about activities and care routines like eating, napping and diapering to parents. Some centers also take photos of your child during the day and post them to an intranet you can access securely with a username and password.
Extra Curricular Activities. On-site enrichment classes are usually an additional charge to the monthly tuition and can take place during regular school time or after school so parents can partake in the experiences with the child. Activities can include dance, gymnastics, martial arts, Spanish, basketball and computers.
Classic Parenting: Encouragement, Praise, Acceptance, and Responsibility
Encouragement comes when you focus on your child's assets and strengths in order to build his/her self-confidence. It comes from seeing the positive. Even failures can be outstanding learning experiences. Encouragement sounds like this, "I like the way that you did that," or "I know that you can do it," or, "It looks like you worked very hard at that."
My Sons Deployment
One of the most difficult struggles in life for a parent is the struggle that occurs when the parent is attempting to keep their child safe and the child is attempting to explore the world and find their place in it, often times not in the safest manner.
Lets Not Hurry Children Through Childhood
Have you ever experienced one of those days when you wanted to return to the carefree days of childhood when your biggest worry was how you could con your parents into staying up a little longer at night. Have you ever thought that you would like to be a child once more when the biggest decision for the day was choosing which topping put on your ice cream?