Category: Parenting

How To Help Kids Handle Transitions

Transitions can be tough for human beings, especially young children who struggle to control their emotions. Humans are creatures of habit, inclined to develop routines. This is especially true for kids. With kids, however, it can be difficult to break them out of a routine and move on to another phase of their life.

To put it quite simply, transitions occur when children have to stop one activity and move away from a routine to proceed to other activities or through life changes. One of the most prominent transitions kids go through is when they graduate from preschool and transition to big school. In the latter, they’ll face more challenges, like gaining independence, lessening their tendency to hover by their parents, and getting used to many more classmates, to name a few.

Dealing with this can be challenging for a parent, too, but you both can work through this as a team. Here are ways to help children cope better with transitions and routine changes.

Communicate With Your Child

Communicating with your child is the only way for you to be aware of their feelings. Children go through transitions differently; some have it easy, while others find it a bit more challenging. Talk to your child as they go through this significant change in their life so you know what they’re feeling and what you can do to help them.

In most instances, transitions are hard for kids because of their fears. If you can help calm down their fears by assuring them that they don’t have to go through this change alone, they won’t have to dread the transition so much.

With your narrative, you can change the scenario from negative to positive, where this time around, your child will be looking forward to this new phase in their life.

Make Goodbyes Easier

Goodbyes are always the hardest for children, mainly because they find comfort in being with their parents. If this transition is going to be their first time away from you, you can expect the situation to be even more challenging.

Make goodbyes easier by helping them understand that you’re not going away. It’s just a temporary goodbye for at least a few hours. When they’re done with school, you’ll be there outside the school gate, for instance, waiting for them.

That being said, it’s essential to be consistent and punctual. Remember dismissal time, and be sure to wait before that time. If you’re late, you’re only making the transition harder for your kid because they’ll have added fears that no one’s coming to pick them up.

How To Help Kids Handle Transitions

Allow Them To Join In The Preparation

If the transition is due to moving to another state (or home), as stressful as it might be, let the kids join in every decision-making whenever possible. The same holds for big schools. Take them with you as you do school supplies shopping, where you also give them a chance to choose their school supplies.

The more involved the children are, the less foreign this change will feel to them. They can be more attuned to enjoying the whole process because they know what to expect. They’d likely be excited to move into their new home to enjoy their new room or look forward to a new school so they can use the supplies they’ve just bought.

These are only little things that go a long way in helping ease the negative emotions a kid feels about any major life transitions.

Validate Your Kid’s Feelings

Parents often worry that their kid’s big feelings get amplified if they validate them. However, the opposite is true. Having someone genuinely understand their feelings allows children to process their emotions better and eventually let go.

This suggestion, therefore, goes hand in hand with communicating with your child. When you do so, you’re not just talking to them and getting a grasp of what they feel but also validating how they feel: ‘It’s okay, sweetie. Mom’s been there too. I understand you. I’ve also had to move from kindergarten to first grade in a new school.’

Sometimes, kids need to feel understood. And when you give them that, you’re also enabling a newfound sense of confidence they may have never even thought they’d be able to gather.

Smoother Transition To Help Your Child

True enough, change is the only constant thing in this world. It’s often labeled as inevitable, which children and adults will eventually face at certain points in their lives. This is where transitions come in. For children, transitions can be a stressful time, where they’ll find it hard to navigate through their emotions and adjust to what is the new norm in life. Try out the strategies above so that, hopefully, you can foster a smoother transition for your kid and the whole family going through the same.

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Here Are 6 Changes Your Car Needs When You Have A Child

When you and your partner are expecting a baby, numerous changes will take place in your life. You’ll need to baby-proof your house, buy new clothes and items for the incoming infant, as well as the need to make significant adjustments to your daily routine.

But these changes don’t end inside the home. Having a child also means making changes to your car to make travelling easy with a baby in tow.

You don’t necessarily need to buy a new car. You just have to make installations and improvements to accommodate the needs and safety of your child. This ensures your child is comfortable when you take them on a quick drive or road trip.

Have Car Seat

The car seat is the first item you need to install in your car. Choosing from numerous types, designs, and colours can be endless and overwhelming, especially for first-time parents.

You must remember that when choosing a car seat, you must consider what is appropriate for your child. Consider your child’s weight, height, and age. If you’re looking for a car seat 0 to 8 years old appropriate, a convertible car seat, a convertible booster seat, or unharnessed booster seat are the best options.

These three types of car seats are the most popular among parents:

  • A convertible car seat is suitable for newborns up to 4 years old. It is used in a rear-facing position for infants and a forward-facing position for children.
  • A convertible booster seat is suitable for a six-month-old baby up to eight years old child. It can be used forward-facing with a five-point harness or as a booster seat.
  • Unharnessed booster seat children are used by 4 to 8 years old children. It is suitable for children who have outgrown the convertible booster seat.

A safe car seat is one of the things every parent needs to have when preparing for children

Place Cargo Carrier

Adding a cargo carrier to your car’s roof is a smart decision when you become a parent. Travelling with a child means bringing multiple things. These include a bag containing nappies, milk bottles, clothes, toys, and a baby stroller.

Most baby strollers usually do not fit inside the car or the trunk. Some even consume a lot of space, even when folded, have wheels, and have quite a wide dimension. Having a cargo carrier on the car’s roof means you can tie the baby stroller and bring it where you’ll be going.

Install Dash and Backup Camera

Installing a dash and backup camera records the activities happening outside your car. Backup cameras are beneficial when you’re parking. It helps you see animals or obstacles that your blind spot obstructs. This ensures a smooth parking experience for your child, free from bumps and unending car rotations.

A dash camera also ensures your and your child’s safety on the road. When driving, you can only control your speed and driving skills. You can’t control and don’t know how people around you will drive.

The dash camera records the roads where you’re cruising along, your car’s movements, as well as the cars in front of you, and could come in handy for security purposes in case you’re involved in an accident.

Change Car Bulbs 

It’s also time to change the bulbs not only in the car lights outside but also the lights inside the car. Installing new bulbs for the car lights lets you see the road clearly. You’ll be able to spot incoming vehicles on the other side and the people or bicycles you’ll pass by. This helps ensure you and your child come home in one piece.

Chasing the light inside the car is also beneficial. It would be easier to locate nappies, milk bottles, or toys inside your baby bag when the light inside that car is bright. You’ll be able to easily spot things since you can clearly see where they’re located.

Add Window Deflectors

Using window deflectors lets you and your child feel and enjoy fresh air regardless of the weather. It keeps the windows cracked when it’s raining and deflects the sun away from your and your child’s eyes on a scorching day. Window deflectors also reduce interior wind noise, heat, and fog.

GPS Tracker

A GPS tracker in the car helps you track where you have been. This is a precaution in case you leave something important like a document or the baby stroller somewhere. Tracing your steps with a GPS tracker and retrieving the lost item would be easier.

It also helps in theft and robbery protection. When you have this installed in your car, you can connect it to your phone and check if your car is still where you parked it. You can easily report to the police authorities the location of your stolen car as manifested in your phone.

Final Thoughts

For parents, updating car features is a must for child safety. This means installing a car seat, changing the car bulbs, and placing a cargo carrier. It also means adding the window deflectors, installing the dash and backup camera, and getting the GPS tracker for easier and safer driving. These are made to ensure your child’s well-being is taken care of. This is your reality, and your child’s comfort is now your top priority.

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Ways That Team Sports Promote Positive Mental Health

Ways That Team Sports Promote Positive Mental Health

Mental health is a vital aspect of overall well-being, and team sports have proven to be a powerful catalyst for promoting positive mental health in adults. Engaging in team sports offers numerous benefits that can lead to positive changes in mental well-being and overall quality of life.

Boosting Self-Esteem and Confidence

Team sports create an environment where individuals feel a sense of belonging and inclusion. Being part of a team fosters a supportive community where individuals can form deep connections with their teammates. This sense of belonging provides a powerful boost to self-esteem as individuals feel valued and appreciated for their contributions to the team’s collective effort.

When teammates acknowledge and recognize each other’s efforts, it reinforces a positive self-image and a belief in one’s abilities. This validation from peers and coaches helps individuals develop a stronger sense of self-worth, leading to increased self-esteem and confidence.

Setting and achieving goals and milestones in team sports play a significant role in enhancing self-confidence. As individuals work towards common objectives, they experience personal growth and witness their progress firsthand. Each small accomplishment contributes to a larger sense of achievement, building confidence in one’s abilities.

Moreover, the support and encouragement received from teammates and coaches during the journey towards these goals reinforce a belief in oneself. This positive reinforcement serves as a powerful motivator and further solidifies an individual’s self-confidence, empowering them to push their limits and strive for continued success both on and off the field.

Stress Relief and Emotional Well-being

Participating in team sports not only provides physical benefits but also serves as a powerful outlet for stress relief and improved emotional well-being. The physical activity involved in team sports triggers the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters in the brain that act as natural mood enhancers.

These endorphins help to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being. Engaging in team sports allows individuals to channel their energy and emotions into the game, providing a healthy release and an opportunity to escape from the pressures and challenges of daily life.

The intense focus required during team sports activities offers a valuable mental break from work-related or personal stressors. In the midst of a game or practice session, individuals can temporarily disconnect from their worries and concerns, allowing their minds to reset and recharge. This respite from daily pressures contributes to stress reduction and aids in achieving a more balanced state of mind. Additionally, participating in team sports helps individuals develop better emotional regulation skills.

By engaging in physical activity and being part of a team, individuals learn to manage their emotions more effectively, cope with stressors, and maintain a healthier perspective when faced with challenges. The camaraderie and support from teammates also provide an avenue for emotional expression, creating a safe and supportive environment to share experiences and seek guidance.

Social Support and Connection

Team sports create a supportive and encouraging social environment, fostering social support and connection among teammates. The camaraderie built through shared experiences and common goals strengthens relationships, fosters a sense of belonging, and enhanves team building skills in other areas of life as well.

Teammates often become friends who provide emotional support, understanding, and motivation both on and off the field. This social interaction reduces feelings of isolation and enhances mental well-being through a robust support network.,

Building Resilience and Coping Skills

Participating in team sports offers a powerful outlet for stress relief and improved emotional well-being. The physical activity involved in team sports triggers the release of endorphins, which act as natural mood enhancers and reduce stress and anxiety. Whether it’s the pressures of work, personal challenges, or being part of a drug rehab program, team sports provide a healthy and constructive means of managing stress and promoting overall mental well-being.

The intense focus required during games allows individuals to temporarily disconnect from the stressors of daily life. Engaging in team sports provides a much-needed mental break, allowing individuals to shift their attention and energy toward the game at hand. This diversion from stress can be particularly helpful for individuals who may be facing various challenges. who may experience heightened stress due to the process of recovery and the adjustments it entails.

In addition to serving as a stress reliever, participating in team sports promotes emotional well-being by facilitating the development of effective coping mechanisms. Engaging in physical activity within a team setting offers a supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences, seek guidance, and find encouragement from teammates. This social support contributes to emotional resilience, helping individuals better navigate through stressful situations and build a stronger sense of emotional stability.

Improved Cognitive Function and Mental Sharpness

Engaging in team sports positively impacts cognitive function and mental sharpness. Physical exercise involved in team sports enhances blood flow to the brain, improving brain function and cognitive abilities. Team sports require strategic thinking, decision-making, and quick reflexes, stimulating mental agility and problem-solving skills. The constant engagement and focus demanded during games sharpen concentration and attention skills, leading to improved mental acuity both on and off the field.

Developing Healthy Habits and Discipline

Participating in team sports not only promotes physical fitness but also instills a range of healthy habits and discipline in adults, contributing to their overall well-being. Regular practice sessions and training routines in team sports cultivate discipline and time management skills. Athletes learn to prioritize their commitments, balance their schedules, and make the most efficient use of their time. This discipline extends beyond the field and permeates other areas of their lives, allowing them to effectively manage work, personal relationships, and other responsibilities.

Furthermore, engaging in team sports encourages individuals to adopt healthy lifestyle choices. Athletes recognize the importance of fueling their bodies with nutritious foods to optimize performance. They understand that proper nutrition is essential for sustained energy levels, muscle recovery, and overall well-being. As a result, participants in team sports tend to make conscious choices about their diet, incorporating wholesome and balanced meals into their daily routines.

Enhancing Overall Well-being

Engaging in team sports has a profound impact on overall well-being. The physical activity and social interaction inherent in team sports contribute to improved mood and overall happiness. By promoting a holistic approach to well-being, team sports enable individuals to address both their physical and mental health needs, leading to a higher quality of life. The long-term benefits of participating in team sports extend far beyond the playing field, impacting various aspects of an individual’s well-being positively.

Jennifer Bell is a mother of two, a wellness coach, and a writer for addiction clinics in the Philadelphia area. She enjoys helping others find physical wellness.

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5 Reasons to Encourage Sensory Play Over Screen Time

5 Reasons to Encourage Sensory Play Over Screen Time

People might live in the technological age, but human hardware hasn’t changed. For your child to develop physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, they need sensory play to engage with the world around them. The young serve as a valuable reminder to us all to step away from our phones and iPads and embrace real life, not a virtual one.

Children have managed just fine without screens since the dawn of humankind and continue to do so in some cultures today. Depriving this population of their need for sensory play stunts their growth, prompting mom and dad to step away from the computer and go outside.

Why is limiting the hours your child spends on a tablet crucial to their development? Here are five reasons you should encourage sensory play over screen time.

1. It Encourages Oral Language and Communication Skills

You communicate as much by how you say something — your tone of voice, attitude and inflection — as you do by the words you choose. Interacting on a screen helps children build written communication skills but can leave them woefully behind in speaking with others. This inability will plague them through life, as research shows that relationships play a far more vital role in getting ahead than talent. Your kids need to know how to speak with other people.

How do children develop this skill? They do so in large part by engaging in sensory play with their peers. In such relationships, there’s no power differential — kids don’t have to defer to authority as they do when speaking with adults. Nature and science guide them.

How? Sensory play encourages new neural connections in the brain. This helps your child see the world differently, including through others’ eyes. They also develop mindfulness, learning how they should express things to others and assert their needs while remaining respectful of other people’s desires.

2. It Keeps Kids More Physically Active

The obesity epidemic continues among America’s children. Childhood obesity has tripled in the past several decades, and one in three qualifies as overweight or obese today. Part of the problem is too much sedentary time spent on screens.

Sensory play gets young bodies off couches and moving. Even children who don’t enjoy competitive sports get into activities like kiddie yoga and dance. What child hasn’t spontaneously jumped on a bed? While you might want to take your kids to the park for a safer environment for rough and tumble play, most youngsters love to move, given the opportunity.

3. It Engages Children With the Wider World Around Them

Some psychologists consider children “blank slates,” but this innocence extends beyond not knowing how to read or write. It encompasses everything — from how they relate emotionally to other living things to looking at a pile of sticks and realizing they could build a miniature log cabin.

Everything is new to a child, not only their minds. They need to use their bodies, senses and emotions, developing and honing those, too. They do so by engaging with the wider world around them, getting dirty, making mud pies, climbing trees and occasionally scraping knees.

4. It Encourages Creativity and Problem-Solving

Even the best educational tablet game can only present so many possible answers to multiple-choice questions. However, life isn’t as neatly defined as an academic test. There are often dozens of ways to get to the “right” answer — and there may be five or six correct solutions to boot.

Sensory play encourages creativity and problem-solving. For example, a child playing with homemade play-dough has to figure out for themselves how to change the consistency if it won’t mold into the shapes they want. Adding a little extra water might not be a huge thing for an adult, but it represents a significant problem-solving step among tiny tots.

5. It Builds Resilience and Emotional Regulation

Resilience is your ability to bounce back from difficult situations. Emotional regulation refers to being able to recognize and effect change in how you feel by choosing behaviors that improve your outlook. Both skills are important to making it in a highly competitive world where your kids will eventually meet with challenges and uncomfortable situations.

You can’t learn to regulate emotions that you haven’t first experienced. Sensory play allows children to encounter these feelings in a safe arena first, so they can develop the skills to manage them when the stakes are higher. For example, losing a little league game teaches kids how to handle disappointment while remaining a good sport.

How do you develop resiliency? It’s very similar — you have to first undergo adversity. Sensory play allows children to encounter this in a safe, natural way.

For example, a child who is building a sandcastle might try several different techniques until they create a recognizable structure, but there are no harsh penalties for all the “buildings” that collapse while they hone the process. Your child’s only hurdle to overcome is their frustration — but that’s a crucial lesson to learn.

Encourage Sensory Play Over Screen Time

Today’s children spend too much time on screens, affecting their physical, mental and emotional health and development. Why should parents and schools encourage more sensory play?

The five above reasons justify encouraging sensory play over screen time. Doing so fosters healthy development and emotionally resilient children.

About the Author
Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of Revivalist, a women’s lifestyle magazine that empowers women to live their most authentic life. When Ava is not writing you’ll find her in a yoga class, advocating for her children or whipping up something delicious in the kitchen!

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