Monthly Archives: May 2016

Best Health Tips for Your Kids

Healthy habits are always instilled in a person during his/her childhood days. The importance of a healthy diet is one of the first things parents should always strive to explain to their children. A healthy habit, when infused in a child from the early years, only helps in the overall child development and turns him/her into a responsible individual. With time and care from your side, children are bound to understand the importance of healthy habits. Here is a basic compilation of tips related to kids’ health, with which kids can learn to look after themselves during their growing years.

Tips to Keep Children Healthy

  • Teach your child the importance of a healthy routine. The day should always begin with a healthy breakfast. Help the child to understand why breakfast times are important for the day. You can make a chart of different breakfast recipes and tell him/her the importance of the many vital nutrients for one’s body.
  • Fruits and green vegetables are important for a healthy diet. Your child should know why fruits score over packaged foods. You need to include fresh fruits during breakfast times or slip one in the lunchbox. Make it interesting by having fresh fruit juices or salads to break the monotony.
  • Children are not aware about many things that are very important for their growth. As parents, you must ensure that your child has plenty of water and fluids during the day. Fluids should include fresh juices. Make sure your child carries a bottle of fresh juices to school.
  • Kids should know the importance of exercise at an early age itself. Teach kids a few basic exercises that can be done at home. An exercise routine that incorporates walking or swimming can help children to manage these activities on a daily basis. As they grow up, these routines will naturally form a part of their life.
  • Children should also be aware of hygiene-related issues. Youngsters should learn things such as the need to wash hands before and after meals. For young kids, you can simply use a singsong routine to get them into the process. Children will then surely make this a part of their routine once they understand the importance of personal hygiene.
  • Dental care should begin at an early age. Brushing teeth twice daily is needed to keep them looking healthy and clean. You can promise to read a bedtime story for a kid that does not really enjoy a brushing routine. Make it seem enjoyable rather than making the child feel punished.
  • As your child grows older, you can help him/her maintain a chart on foods to be avoided on a regular basis. It is important that the child knows that indulgence in foods high in sugar is fine once in a while, but should not be done on a regular basis. Avoid being too stern if your kid wants to enjoy foods such as french fries and ice cream, simply teach him/her how to be smart and consume such foods only occasionally.
  • Your child may require a daily dose of vitamins if the diet does not include the required amount. Make sure you check with your doctor about the vitamin intake to give the right amount of doses. There are many vitamin tablets packed in attractive containers. Generally, kids believe they eat candy instead of medicines due to the innovatively packed products that are available these days. There can also be alternative ways to include food items rich in vitamins in your kid’s diet. Your doctor would be the best judge to decide upon the diet plan.

Parents also need to make sure their children get the appropriate amount of sleep. The child needs a healthy balance of activities and play. Sometimes, children take a long time to fall asleep. You can read a bedtime story or simply speak to the child softly, which will help him/her fall asleep naturally. This will help children to stay in good health and remain active during the day.

Children need plenty of love and care right from their early years. Along with loads of love, these health tips will help to keep your kid fit and smiling throughout the day.

Tips to Identify a Child Prodigy

A child prodigy is defined as a child, who at a very early age, demonstrates exceptional ability and skills in a particular field that is beyond their level of maturity. If a child displays extraordinary skills and shows a deep understanding in a particular subject by the age of 10, then that child is termed as a prodigy. Innate talent and a lot of hard work goes into making a prodigy. Here are ways on how you can distinguish whether a child is a prodigy or not.
Identifying a Child Prodigy
✿ Child prodigies have a superior memory as compared to other kids of their age. They have the ability to recall even the most trivial things.

✿ Such children have a very vivid imagination. They learn and pick up new things at a very young age, and at a pace much faster than other kids. They display very good reasoning ability and have a much better understanding of their environment and situations around them because of a heightened sense of perception and observing everyday things.
✿ An unusual knack for solving problems makes these children stand out among their peers. They have a unique fascination for numbers and can do complex math calculations mentally and very quickly.

✿ They achieve significant milestones much earlier than other children. They can even exhibit highly refined motor development skills from the start, which a normal child is not expected to perform.
✿ Unlike normal children, who do not have a long attention span, child prodigies show a lengthy attention span and remain alert for long durations of time. In some cases, such kids sleep for shorter durations than other kids.

✿ They learn words at a very young age, and are talking fluently even before other kids have started forming small sentences. They usually have an impressive vocabulary and pick up linguistic skills quite fast.
✿ You may find that such children get easily bored with playing everyday games, which other children seem to enjoy. They prefer to engage themselves in more complex and challenging games, like chess. They love to solve crosswords and jigsaw puzzles, or play games which are more demanding and challenge their creativity.
✿ Extremely curious, they have a lot of questions about everything, even things that other kids cannot yet comprehend. Even as toddlers, they are motivated to explore their surroundings, and learn new things.

✿ They are very focused, driven to achieve better results, and strive to attain perfectionism in whatever they do.
If you think your child meets any of the above criterion, you may have a super-smart kid! In such circumstances, get your child’s IQ level tested. Let your kid undergo the Stanford-Binet IQ testing. An individual with an IQ score of 140 or above is classified as a genius. You can visit a child specialist who can aid you in understanding your child’s gifted abilities.

Some Famous Child Prodigies

Mozart

Arguably the world’s most famous child prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musical genius. Born in Salzburg, he began composing his own music at the age of five, and performed in various cities in Europe even before he had reached his teens.

Srinivasa Ramanujan
Born in Tamil Nadu, India, Ramanujan was a math genius, and exhibited an inborn talent in solving advanced trigonometric problems at the tender age of ten. Even before he had turned eighteen, he had deeply studied and researched ‘Euler-Mascheroni constant’ and ‘Bernoulli numbers’. His major contributions to the field of mathematics include the ‘Ramanujan prime’ and ‘Ramanujan theta function’.
Pablo Picasso

Co-founder of the Cubist movement, Picasso was a world-renowned painter, who demonstrated remarkable talent as an artist even in his childhood years. An exponent of neoclassicism and surrealism, Picasso can be said to be one of the world’s most prolific painters.

Judit Polgár
Having achieved the title of Grandmaster at fifteen years, Judit Polgár was an unusually talented chess player even at the tender age of five. She was competing in tournaments by the age of six, and even played blindfold chess when she was just seven.

Bobby Fischer
Considered by many to be the greatest player that chess has ever seen, Bobby Fischer was also an author and wrote about the game of chess. He was a proficient chess player by six, and even dropped out of high school and dedicated himself completely to the game.

Remember, a child prodigy needs the same kind of love, patience, and support a normal child requires. In certain cases, gifted children realize that they are different and that they stand out from among their peers, and this may lead to isolation and decreased social development. Motivating your child to excel is good, but never pressurize your child to perform exceptionally well, or it may backfire and prove detrimental to the child’s progress.

Tips to Deal with Kids

Starting a family and raising children, is something that every couple dreams of. However, parenthood is one of the most challenging tasks in the world. Kids are innocent, have a mind of their own, and readily mold the way we want them to. Their tremendous observation skills and a tendency to imitate our behavior, requires us to be extremely careful while they are around. Patience is the most important quality that a parent must possess. Proper child care is a must, if you want to inculcate good values in your kid. Incidences of child abuse can have devastating effects in the adult life of your child.

Explanation

Kids with a Temper
Just like adults, children have their own reasons that infuriate them. Getting angry is fine; just make sure your child vents out his anger in a proper way. Most importantly, be careful while expressing your own anger in front of your kids. Avoid any kind of abusive language or loud swearing in front of your kids. Kids have this tendency to pick up slang language really quickly. If your child throws a tantrum at the drop of a hat, then beware, as it could be his own way to get things done. Learn to ignore his tantrums, and tell him that he will only get what he wants, if he asks politely. Teach them the use of ‘please’ and ‘sorry’.

Kids That Do Not Listen
Such children are indeed very difficult to deal with. A kid, who does not listen to your sweet talks, nor responds to any kind of punishment, can be a cause of major frustration in your life. If you have such a kid, then you’ll have to adopt some novel ways to deal with this situation. Rewards work best for such kids. Tell your child that if he finishes his homework, or behaves like a good boy in front of the guests, then you’ll let him watch his favorite cartoon, or give him his favorite sweet. Keep your promise every time your kid behaves nicely. However, make sure that you are not making it a habit, otherwise your kid will expect rewards every time he does something good.

Kids Who Get Bored Easily
If you have kids who cannot focus on one thing for a long time and get bored easily, then engaging them in a new activity can be quite challenging. This is the right time to teach them the importance of ‘accomplishment’ in life. Tell them the importance of completing the task till its end. The reward tricks also work in this case. Offer your child something he loves, every time he finishes a task. Find out the activities that he loves to do, and engage him in them for a long time. This will enable him to concentrate on his work for longer durations. If your kid gets bored whenever you have visitors, or if you are visiting someone, make sure that you have something to engage him so that you can relax and have a good time.

Kids with Autism
Such children can put all your parenting skills to a test. However, if you learn the tact, then dealing with autistic kids may not be as challenging. Find some autistic children activities for your child, if he/she has this disorder. You can also approach the self-help groups found by parents of autistic children for child support.

Kids on Drugs
If you find your teenager lurking in dark alleys with a bunch of hooligans, then it is definitely time for you to ring an alarm. Getting concerned about kids over drugs is alright, but make sure you express your concern in the right manner. Yelling at them, threatening them, or asking them to leave the home is definitely not appreciated. It will make the matters worse, and disturb your child’s future. Instead, make them understand the hazards of drugs in life, in the most loving manner. Tell him/her that making mistakes in life is acceptable, but repeating them is not.

Raising children is indeed challenging, but at the end, you’ll be overjoyed to see your kid grown up into a loving and caring adult, just the way you wanted him/her to be.

How to Find the Right Therapist for Kids

There are many events in a child’s life, such as death of a loved one, a divorce, abuse, or some other traumatic event, that can lead to a number of emotional and behavioral issues. In certain cases, the child may be battling emotional or behavioral problems. This can have a major impact on the child’s mood, behavior, appetite, and social and academic life. A potent way to resolve these issues for your child is by hiring a therapist.

Therapists can help the child deal with physiological and emotional problems. From alleviating many emotional and behavioral problems for children to helping them adjust to losses and traumas and resolving anxiety and depression, a good therapist can do a whole lot of good. Finding a therapist is not something that a parent can take lightly. Here are some useful tips with regard to the same.

How to Find the Right Therapist for Your Child

Expected Traits of a Therapist

What are the traits that you want your child’s therapist to have? What degrees and credentials should he or she hold? You need to make a list of these traits that you want to see in your child’s therapist. One of the first things that confuse a layman are the various labels assigned to mental health professionals. Psychologist, family counselor, marriage and family therapist, and social worker―there are so many professionals that provide mental health services. So, how do you ensure that you choose the right person?

Understanding the training, treatment tool, and experience of each individual can help make the right decision. If you are choosing a psychiatrist, you need to know that they are doctors who are medically trained for diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They have the license to prescribe drugs. Their main treatment tool is talk therapy or psychotherapy.

Psychologists, on the other hand, are trained to study the mind and human behavior. They have a doctorate and advanced training in psychology. Many child psychologists are especially trained to help children and teenagers. There are also licensed counselors who have a degree in counseling and are certified to treat emotional and mental disorders. Social workers also help in enhancing and maintaining a person’s life by dealing with and solving problems.

Find a Therapist

One of the best ways to find a therapist is through the references provided by friends and family who have worked with the therapist. You can also ask your child’s doctor, the school counselor, or a large clinic to provide some good references. If you are moving to some other city, ask your current therapist for some references there.

If you are looking for a therapist in a specific city, you can check sites such as www.goodtherapy.org, etc. You can enter the city or zip code and find a list of the therapists residing in your area. You can also check the websites of professional organizations, such as The American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association, that provide lists of therapists.

Check the Therapist’s Orientation

Each therapist has an individual orientation, and you need to find a therapist with an orientation that fits your child’s needs. For example, a therapist who believes in cognitive behavioral therapy might believe that the thoughts and behavior are linked to the problems and may work towards restructuring negatives thought to positive ways of thinking. On the other hand, a family therapist may link the symptoms with the family dynamics, and the treatment may involve counseling with family members.

Consider Credentials and Experience

It is very important to check the therapist’s degree and qualifications. For example, check whether they have a Master’s or doctoral degree (a Ph.D. or Psy.D are both doctoral degrees) in the subject. Also, look for therapists who are board-certified. For example, a clinical psychologist can be certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), while a specialist child psychologist can be certified by the American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (ABCCAP), which is ABPP’s Specialty Board for assessing competency in child psychology.

It is a good idea to look for a therapist who has some experience working with children. An experienced therapist with the right approach and training will be able to address the child’s problems in a better way.

Approach to Treatment

It is important to consider a therapist’s approach to treatment. For example, does he/she take time out to listen to your concerns, or is he/she more mechanical with regard to work? Is the therapist going to focus more on the child’s thoughts, behavior, and feelings, or would he/she involve family members as well? These are some of the questions that you need to clarify when choosing a therapist.

Find the Cost of Therapy

You need to know about the cost of the therapy including the fee schedule, which can be for each session, or paid monthly. Some therapists also have a sliding scale fee where the fee is established based on your income. You also need to clarify about missed sessions. If you have a health insurance plan, check if the therapist you choose is on the plan. Also, find out the details of the insurance coverage, whether you are getting full or partial reimbursement, and the documents you need for the coverage.

Schedule an Introductory Therapy Session

Once you have chosen a particular therapist, schedule an introductory session. You can introduce the therapist to the child and check whether he/she is comfortable with the therapist. This session will also allow you to ask questions and figure out whether the therapist is best for the child or not. If the therapist does not have time for a face-to-face meeting, schedule a phone interview before you commit.

You also need to check the location and availability of the therapist. Do not fall for false claims like “perfect cure.” If someone promises such things, do check their treatment measures. If your child and you are not comfortable with the therapist, consider switching to someone with whom the child can develop a trustworthy relationship with.