Kindness Matters: How to Talk to Your Kids About Being a Good Friend 

It’s important to remember that your children learn their most valuable skills from you. Here’s how to teach your child about being a good friend.

Friends are the family we choose. They help enrich our lives and support us through the trials and tribulations of daily life. However, being a good friend is something we need to learn.

So, how do you teach your kids about how to be a great friend? Here are some hints and activities to help you teach this valuable lesson.

Lead By Example

Kids are natural-born mimickers. Think about how many times you have heard them copy something you have said or done. So, why not use this to help you teach valuable lessons on friendships to your toddler.

Let them play nearby when you are having a friend over for a cup of coffee. Praise your friends in front of your children. Make sure they see you doing kind things for your friends.

This will set the stage for any little ones in your life to see the positive ways friends interact.

Read Books About Friendship

Not only is reading a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your child, but it can also help you teach them about being a good friend. Plus, there’s an almost never-ending supply of children’s books on friendship.

Here are some great choices:

1: Frog and Toad
These books show how friends who have very different personalities can work together and build each up other in positive ways. It also demonstrates the importance of sharing, listening, and being supportive.

2: George and Martha
A favorite of parents and youngsters alike, this book teaches kids about the importance of boundaries, why practical jokes aren’t always funny, and how sometimes the best times you can have with a friend is simply sitting around doing nothing.

3: Sparky
This charming story is about accepting friends for who they are and not trying to change them. It is about celebrating differences and loving your friends for who they are and not what you want them to be.

Talk To Them About What Makes A Good Friend

Having frank conversations with your preschooler about what makes a great friend is one way to make sure they really understand what that means. By highlighting that good friends share, listen to each other, use kind language, and remember important details about each other, you are explaining the traits your child can strive to develop.

Having clear examples like “doesn’t it feel nice when someone tells you ‘good job’?” or “thank you for sharing your toy with me. It makes me happy when you do that” can help children grasp these concepts.

You can also use holidays like the international day of friendship and even Valentine’s Day to teach them about celebrating friendship. This is a great chance to show them how days like this can remind us to let the people in our lives know how much they mean to us.

How To Make Friends

Making friends when you’re young can be easy for some children. They simply approach a peer and ask to be their friend. Other children may find it a bit more difficult.

One way to help timid kids is to role play meeting new people. By having it be part of make-believe time and turning it into a game, you are taking the pressure off your child and turning the idea of making friends into a fun activity.

Or get them to practice saying “hello” to other children. Then move on to asking them if they want to play. Once children start talking and play with each other, friendship grows quickly.

Demonstrate Kindness

We all know it is easier to be friends with someone who is kind. So, by teaching your children how to be kind and compassionate people you will help them to create lasting bonds with friends.

Get in the habit of saying please and thank you when you ask your child to do something for you. This will give them positive behaviors to model and help reinforce how to talk to people in a kind way.

Also, be sure to praise them when they remember their good manners. It is amazing how a simple “I really like it when you say (insert kind word here)” or “Thank you for remembering to (a kind word here)”. It makes me happy when you do that” can help to solidify how important kindness is to young children.

Talk About Emotions, Even the Negative Ones

Talking about different emotions, especially negative ones, can actually help kids create meaningful relationships. By acknowledging that everyone feels sad, angry, hurt, or frustrated helps to ensure your child understands this is a normal part of life.

Plus, when they are able to discuss these feelings in a positive and productive way, instead of acting out, they are learning how to be more empathetic and loving toward others. It turns out having emotional self-control helps us to identify emotions in others and put ourselves in their shoes, an important skill when it comes to forming friendships.

It also helps with problem-solving skills. When children are able to identify negative emotions, they are able to narrow down why they are feeling that way and figure out how to overcome it.

This is useful when it comes to conflict resolution in relationships. They are able to speak up for themselves when something goes wrong or they are hurt instead of lashing out and making the situation worse.

Being A Good Friend

These are just a few tips on how to teach your child about being a good friend. There are plenty of other great resources from books to websites to television shows available to help you.

For more great parenting guides, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.

Various Ways to Take Special Care of Your Special Child

Children are an important part of any family and thus their proper care plays a crucial role in the prosperity of any family. For better health of children, it is very important that the family ensure that the children get an adequate sleep and that too without any problem and discomfort. This is only possible when the mattresses that are being used for the child is comfortable and cozy. Proper and adequate sleep for the child ensures that the whole family gets a proper rest because if the child does not sleep properly at night, he can put the whole family in discomfort. 

The things and the way remain the same, but we need to use the stuff effectively and in a proper manner. There are certain ways through which the children at home can be given special care, and their health can be ensured, these are discussed as follows:  

  1. GIVE A HEALTHY SLEEP TO YOUR CHILD

In order to make sure that all the members of your family derive the right kind of sleep, it is quite essential that quality products are being used. It ensures that sleeping off the whole family becomes a good experience. This contributes to a healthy family over the longer run. There are various types of mattresses, that are available in the market but there are specific companies, which do have expertise in making an efficient and comfortable bed and mattresses for babies.  One of the companies is Nectar, which is specialized in Sleep Products like Pillows, Mattresses, Bed sheets etc. The company is well known for its sleep products, which offer a great deal of comfort and coziness to every respective customer who purchases its products. The products of the company are designed in a way that your children will get the best of comfort in the house. This will mean healthiest of sleep for them. This can lead to better health and overall prosperity among the family in general.  

  1. THE EFFECTIVE AND QUALITATIVE PRODUCTS

The quality of the Nectar products is quite premium. It is a leader in the mattress and bed sheet industry. It is on the top in the market for its qualitative raw materials used by the company for the manufacturing of these products. The mattress provided by the company consists of cotton and jute, which helps, in providing the best of the sleep to both children and parents. The mattresses of the company are made up of high-density memory foam, which is available at affordable prices in comparison to another mattress. The products of the company are recognized widely for sleep due to its quality. The company has tested its mattresses through 365-night trial and it is the only company to do so in the industry to gain a widespread confidence of the consumer in the longer run. It also offers a lifetime warranty. 

  1. BENEFITS OF PROPER SLEEP ON HEALTH

Your family members can achieve various benefits easily. In terms of health, take adequate sleep on a regular basis. The various advantages of efficient sleep are right kind of health for you and your children. They will feel more energetic and enthusiast throughout the day. The individuals who take an adequate amount of sleep are active, as compared to people who do not take an adequate amount of sleep. 

Various studies have shown that effective as well as adequate sleep at night improves brain functioning by 15% and thus the importance of proper sleep cannot be ignored. Therefore, right sleep has various health benefits as well and thus it shall be kept at the priority of every family head while framing the day-to-day schedule of the family. 

  1. DISADVANTAGES OF INADEQUATE SLEEP

If the person does not take proper sleep, one can have serious health issues. It is essential to avoid the different types of health issues like possible chronic sleep loss, also called an insomniac, mood swings, and irritations. These can cause various kinds of issues in the personal and professional life of an individual in the longer run. Thus, it is far better to avoid all these issues by spending a fair amount on the qualitative sleep products that will benefit not only your family’s health but their future as well over a period. These disadvantages can be overcome by effectively through using right sleeping products within the home. 

Kids’ Christmas 2018 Wish List: Calico Critters Town Grand Department Store Gift Set, Plus Designer Studio

If you’re currently looking for a very special gift for a child this upcoming Christmas season, take a look at the Calico Critters Town Grand Department Store Gift Set.

The folks at Calico Critters sent my family one, along with the Designer Studio.

I made an unboxing video, which you can watch above, as I show the set in action.

The Grand Department Store Gift Set consists of an elevator, a revolving door, a Chocolate Lounge, a Boutique Fashion Set, a Fashion Showcase Set, and a Cosmetic Beauty Set.

I need to note, though, these toys contain small parts; which are not intended for use by children under the age of 3. So adult supervision is required for children that young.

The Grand Department Store Gift Set is designed as a base for other attachable sets, to further build your town square. We have the Designer Studio, for example.

There is also the Creamy Gelato Shop, the Delicious Restaurant, and the Ride Along Train.

My guess is by now, you are already familiar Calico Critters, and have at least half a dozen of the characters in your children’s playroom.

That definitely is the case at our house.

The Grand Department Store Gift Set will help bring all of your existing Calico Critters to life in an exciting new meeting place.

Hopefully you’ve watched my video at this point. Now, it’s time to click on this click to be magically transported to Amazon, where you can find this gift set for a great price, and even rack up some points well you’re at it.

And here’s a link specifically for the Designer Studio, as well.

The Calico Critters Town Grand Department Store Gift Set just might be that perfect special big gift that you’re looking for, as you are currently planning which gifts to buy your children for the 2018 Christmas season.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

3 Experiences to Share With Your Kids in Syracuse 

By guest blogger Eathen Smith, as part of the sponsored Hotel Planner campaign.

Syracuse is a well-known family-friendly destination located in Upstate New York. There is so much to discover here. The accessibility of the city is perfect for families with young kids seeking conveniently located hotels near attractions and places to visit. Syracuse has a diverse cultural mix, and families describe the mix of people and general atmosphere as warm and welcoming.

Green spaces and historic architecture complement the people. Children can experience wonder, creativity, learning, and just plain fun in a hassle-free and convenient environment. Experience a taste of what Syracuse has to offer by choosing some family-friendly ways to see the city.

Something Unique for Everyone at Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Children have many opportunities to be connected to the wildlife and educational experiences offered by the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. Elephants, penguins, tigers, and all kinds of marine life will delight kids of all ages. The zoo offers birthday parties with catering, crafts, games, and admission all included.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo also features many upcoming events such as Under the Sea Day. Ocean themed games and fun activities like a bouncing castle are all part of the fun. Conservation themed events are also held regularly during the year. Members are also offered a number of free or discounted events.

Family Friendly Festival and Events.

There are also many different festivals and events to put on the kid’s to-do list during the calendar year. Syracuse is named the City of Festivals for good reason. Family-friendly events such and the Great New York State Fair include rides, music, livestock competitions, and animals for all ages. The festival runs from the second last week of August through to early September. There are also Greek, Italian, Irish, and Scottish Festivals held yearly. A range of different kid-friendly activities and delicious foods for the whole family can be found at all the festivals mentioned.

Walking With Kid Convenience

Sensational Syracuse is responsible for the maintenance of over 1000 acres of open space including parks, swimming pools, and, ice rinks. For visitors on a tight schedule or budget, it is highly recommended to check out some of the convenient walking tours offered throughout the city.

The Onondaga Historical Association offers a map of the Syracuse Historic Walking Tour. Over 70 historical attractions are shown on the map and tours can be started or finished at any point. This is perfect for just choosing a few sights that are of interest to the children. There are plenty of hotels in Syracuse located in close proximity to the tour. Public transport or a taxi can do the rest.

Why choose Syracuse? It is easy, fun and perfect for all ages. Hotels are plentiful and can be found for every budget making it a convenient destination. It has the perfect mix of free and paid events sure to pique the interest of children of all ages. Festivals, attractions, history, green space, architecture, education, and lots of fun are all a possibility in Syracuse. 

Image via Flickr by vastateparkstaff

Guide to Choosing Age Appropriate Toys for Babies to 9 Year-Olds (By Guest Blogger, Katie Santos)

In addition to getting safe toys for kids, it’s also important that kids have toys that can help with their developmental and motor skills as well. Whether they are a few months old, or a few years old, children’s brains are constantly progressing and we must recognize which toys fit which stage of growth.

Although kids develop at different stages, it’s essential to help them stimulate their mind as they continue to grow. To help you find the perfect gift for a child, Gifts.com put together a comprehensive list of toys and activities for babies and kids up to nine years old. In order to provide children with the proper gift, it’s essential to learn the developmental stages.

From birth to five months old, babies are beginning to grasp objects and show emotion. Everything is new to them, so soft toys and textures are ideal.  

By six to eleven months, babies can now use their fingers and hands at the same time. They enjoy banging things together and throwing objects, and also need to be introduced to constructive play.

A one-year-old can stand by themselves and might be able to eat on their own. They are at the point where they want to investigate everything, and imitate sounds you create. Any toys that can stimulate motor skills and memorization skills are great for this age, such as non-toxic markers or shape sorters. 

Two-year-olds grow quickly! They want to run away, play hide and seek and enjoy interacting with others. Focus on toys that require physical strength for your two-year-old, to give them both language and social skills.

When it comes to a three to six year old, they have more strength and coordination skills. Since they have control over movements, get toys that strengthen muscles and stimulate their brains.

By seven to eight years old, your child knows the concept of cause and effect, and can write full sentences. Since they are willing to learn, introduce science toys and educational board games for this age range.

For nine years and older kids, they are becoming more independent than ever, and are beginning to face academic hurdles. Encourage your child to read, as it stimulates imagination, communication skills and vocabulary.

7 Unusual Gift Ideas for Children (By Guest Blogger, Luke Douglas of Ripped.me)

Are both you and your kids bored of the same old gifts, such as teddy bears, plastic robots or car models? If the answer is yes, then this year get them something a little bit more unique and creative. There are so many different things in toy stores and it can be quite hard to make a choice, so we made a little guide to make your decision easier. Take a look.  

Cool night lights

No matter how old your kid is, a cool night light will always come in handy, whether it’s used to scare away the monsters or simply to provide them with some soft light to show them the way to the bathroom. Your kid will sleep safely knowing that the force from a lightsaber night light is there to protect them or illuminate their way through the house.

Memberships

If your kid loves going to the zoo, aquarium, museum, theatre or music concerts in your city, why not give them a membership card as a present so they can visit it as much as they like. This gift will not only give you something you can regularly do together, but it will also allow them to get interested in something more serious. Do you have a big family? Not a problem!  These places usually offer a “family rate” with a discount.

A piggy bank

If you want to teach your kid a valuable lesson in life, but want to do it discretely, you can use a gift such as a piggy bank to help them learn how to manage their finances. Help your kids learn budgeting and saving skills and teach them about responsibility and ownership. There are piggy banks in all shapes and sizes, but the ones that stand out are those with separate compartments. One can be reserved for spending, one for saving and one for pocket money. You can even put some money in the bank just for starters.

Musical instruments

Music has such an important role in every human’s life. Even though listening to music is essential, creating and reproducing sounds, melodies and rhythms is even more important. You can go as little or big as you like, from some small maracas and recorders to a larger guitar or keyboards. Playing an instrument is not only super fun, but it also inspires creativity and shapes both mind and spirit.  

Something to track time

Not only does wearing a watch make your kid look super stylish, it also helps them develop their sense of time and gives them more independence. Knowing when something will happen or knowing what it means to have an hour to complete a task can be quite an empowering and encouraging feeling. Another great time-tracking gift is a calendar. No matter the design or print, it will help them keep track of birthdays and important events. It’s a great gift for kids in the 6-9-year-old range who are still developing a sense of longer time periods and who want to know exactly how many days there are until the end of school, when someone’s birthday is or how long it is until that family trip.

A skateboard

Kids love skateboards. They do not only provide them with some physical activity while spending time in the sun and fresh air, but also have other health benefits. They will keep your kids fit and strong; help them build confidence and new friendships. Get your kid a board like this fun Bart Simpson skateboard that’s light and perfect for their little feet. They’ll love to show it off to their friends and cruise through the neighbourhood and around the skate parks. Get them some protective gear to match and let them sk8 on.

A digital camera

This amazing gift will give you a chance to see the world through your child’s eyes and give them one of the greatest gifts in the world: the gift of discovery. If you’re worried about the price, you’ll be happy to hear that there are brand new digital cameras for as little as $60, but you can also look for some used ones for an even lower price. There are also cameras specially designed for kids, but if you get them a “regular” model, you’ll actually get a better and longer-lasting product. You can maybe even throw in some photography classes as well.

As you can see, there is more to gifts than simple toys and money. Get your kids one of these unique presents and watch their faces light up while they unwrap their surprise.

Author: Luke Douglas of Ripped.me.

Images are taken from pexels.com and pixabay.com.

Why You Should Put an Air Purifier in the Kids’ Room (By Guest Blogger, Angela Berry)

You may have lived without one (or several), your entire life, so chances are you don’t even know what you’re missing. Nonetheless, the quality of the air we breathe is, we must face it, not the best, and you are definitely all in dire need of a great air purifier. Now, while a grown-up’s body may be more resilient, children are more fragile little humans and for their sake, you need to protect and make your home the best it can be, so without further ado, let’s see how every kids’ room can benefit from an air purifier, and perhaps along the way you’ll realize you need one for your room as well.

The beloved pets

For most people, the thought of abandoning a pet once the babies come is virtually inconceivable, as it should be. Babies and pets can certainly coexist in the same space happily and actually be very beneficial for each other. Still, our beloved pets can bring about a certain number of issues. When you welcome an animal into your home, you also leave the door open for pet odors, urine stains, and skin dander. These odors can be upsetting and cause respiratory distress in those prone to allergies, and since you never know when a child can develop an allergy to something, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Of course, although an air purifier alone can’t fix everything, and keeping a clean home is paramount to your health, great air purifiers can do plenty to add to the state of your home and the air you breathe as well as eliminate these allergens from your home. Vacuum regularly, keep your home clean and call an air purifier for extra backup.

They serve as helpers with asthma

Your child’s developing body doesn’t work like yours does. Their metabolisms are immature and can’t always excrete chemicals as efficiently as an adult, which in turn makes them more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. Many children who suffer from asthma can be further aggravated by airborne particles and chemicals, and that’s where a great air purifier steps in. They clean the air, remove dust, destroy or prevent the formation of mold and certain kinds of bacteria. Therefore, they reduce allergen levels in your home, and help fight allergies and asthma.

A purifier a day keeps the illness away

As a parent, your number one priority is your kids’ health. Well, there are times when grown-ups, whether it’s you, or a friend or a relative who visits your home that brings the flu into your home. Airborne flu virus particles move from person to person through sneezing and coughing and failure to wash hands afterward. Bacteria thrive in warm, humid areas of the home and can cause serious illness to the young ones. So, even if the people carrying the virus are nowhere near the kids, it’s not guaranteed that the germs won’t find their way into their room. So, when there’s an air purifier present in your child’s room, the risk of these germs and subsequent illness will be significantly lowered and that will help keep your kids healthy.

You live in a less than perfect neighborhood

If you live in an urban area, that’s either close to the freeway or generally gets a lot of car traffic, you most definitely need to pollute-proof your kids’ room. As their main task is providing clean, safe air, that’s exactly what they’ll do. You can’t afford to keep your windows closed at all times, and a certain amount of polluted air is bound to creep from the street and into your home, so make sure you nip it in the bud.

You just moved to a brand new home

Buying a new place where you will form new and happy memories is a wonderful thing. However, there is a little-known fact that that ‘new house’ smell usually comes from pollutants such as formaldehyde which is a dangerous toxin that has been shown to cause health problems. An air purifier can help filter this toxic air and give everyone in the home a bit more confidence that they are breathing healthier air, and as much as it’s important for your health, it’s crucial for your children’s.