Archive for the 'Child Education' Category

The Royal Flush of Potty Training

We have mastered potty training, finally. Three-feet-of-fun is three and a half years old and is now a champion underoo wearer. He didn’t have much of a choice, he’d outgrown public changing tables and I was tired of changing diapers. It had nothing to do with the baleful stares I used to get from the parents of potty trained angels. You know, the perfect little darlings that have been potty trained since birth with no trouble whatsoever. Okay, so I’m being sarcastic, they were more like 3 months old. Nonetheless, it was really tiring to have, “He’s how old?” asked of me again and again when I would need to change his diaper like I was some horrible mother that was too lazy to teach him the ins and outs of the joys of using the toilet.

When Three-feet was 18 months old, my husband and I couldn’t go to the bathroom without him following us in and wanting to flush the toilet. So being the avid baby advice reader, and having read when a child shows interest in bathroom pastimes, go out and get a potty chair to start acclimating them to the idea, I ran out and got him a potty chair. I’d done my homework and had made sure it had a splash guard (you mom’s of boys out there know what I’m talking about) and that it had a comfy seat.

Three-feet was overjoyed at the prospect of having his own big boy potty. He would sit on it for hours, fully dressed of course, and read books, sing songs, and keep us company while we were using the facilities. I thought well he’s going to be a dream. I’d read that boys were harder to train and I thought well obviously not my little overachiever. Then, when I was going to start trying to get him to use it, he suddenly hated it. Looking at the seat, made him cry, let alone trying to sit him on it. I didn’t even bother. He wasn’t even two yet and I figured it was a phase.

That phase lasted a year and a half. When he passed two I tried every trick in the book to convince him to do it. I’d try to bribe him with: stickers, M&M’s, inexpensive dollar store toys — nothing worked. I didn’t want potty training to be a battle and everything I read said it was better to wait for the child to be ready. If some expert said it, then following it doesn’t make me a bad parent, just saying.

When he turned three, was too long for the changing tables, and still refused to go in anything but a diaper, I was at my wits end. I tried switching to pull-ups because then he could actually feel that he was wet, more so than in diapers anyway. He still didn’t care. Then one day, we were at the library for story time, I was complaining to a friend whose daughter is five months younger than Three-feet who had been potty trained forever about how Three-feet refuses to even participate. She told me how she did it. The answer was so wickedly simple that I can’t even believe it’s not written in any expert book I’ve ever read.

So now, in the spirit of a Pay It Forward, I’m going to share this knowledge with you for no charge whatsoever. Isn’t that nice of me?

It’s mind blowing. Are you ready for it?

Just put your child in regular underwear and let them go potty in it.
Yes, that’s it. It’s as simple as that and it totally works.

Obviously, you have to be prepared for messes and all the laundry that’ll entail. You’ll also need to buy several pairs of “big boy or girl” underwear because in the beginning you’re going to go through them. I recommend letting the child pick out which kind they want so they’ll have more reason to want to wear them.

Here’s why I think it works. Diapers and Pull-ups are designed to pull the moisture away from the child’s skin to help avoid diaper rash and other uncomfortable ailments. Even the so-called training pants that turn cold or the ones that the pictures disappear when they’ve gone still doesn’t let the kid “enjoy” the full pleasure of being soaked through when they’ve gone to the bathroom. Three-feet absolutely hated being wet. Hated it.

The first day I put him in underwear, I didn’t bug him about going at all. He picked out which pair of “big boy” underwear he wanted to wear. I explained to him that he was a big boy now and that he wasn’t going to wear diapers anymore. I told him he needed to tell Mommy when he had to go potty and we’d go. Three-feet is a strong-willed child and I knew the more I harassed him about going the more he was going to dig in his feet about not going. I didn’t want the war. I figured he’d learn soon enough. When he did potty in his underwear I would calmly explain to him that he should tell me he has to go, this method can’t use yelling — you’re basically setting them up to learn by error and it isn’t fair to punish for that.

In less than a week, he’d figured out he didn’t like to go potty in his underwear. Being the precocious kid he is, he begged and cried for his diapers back. So that’s when I instituted the potty awards system. We went out and bought a bunch of stickers. I let him pick out all sorts of different kinds and then every time we had a successful potty trip he’d get to pick out a sticker and put it on his shirt. He’d be so proud of everyone he’d received that he’d count them and tell anyone who would listen why he had them. (Just remember to peel them off the clothes before you wash and dry. I learned that the hard way.)

I’m not saying we don’t have an occasional accident, he’s three and a half so, naturally, he gets so involved in playing he tries to hold it as long as possible and sometimes he doesn’t make it to the toilet but all in all the whole process worked like a dream.

Posted in Uncategorized, Potty Training, Child Education | No Comments »

Educational Market Trips

Every trip the the market can be fun and educational for the little ones. Even tiny babies (assuming they are awake) can benefit from the learning possibilities while you get your grocery shopping done. Here are some tips for making your next trip to the market (or any store for that matter) fun and educational.

Babies

  • Show them their world
  • Introduce them to different shapes and colors: Red apples, round oranges, square boxes for example.
  • Keep wipes/hand sanitizer on you or within easy reach, and if your baby is old enough, let him touch different things and feel the different textures: smooth cucumbers, bumpy squash. (Make sure baby keeps things out of her mouth.)
  • Toddlers

  • Have them him and count.
  • Let her count the pears as you put them in the bag for example.
  • Continue talking with him about colors, shapes and sizes. Ask: which is bigger: a grape or a grapefruit?
  • Have her find letters on signs, boxes and wrappings.
  • Play the “I Spy” game, with older toddlers.
  • If your toddler is a walker, opposed to one who sits in the cart, let them pick some things out themselves (or go with an older sibling to do so.)
  • Now is a good time too (for older toddlers), to introduce the concept of money and that you have to pay for the things in the store before you leave with them.
  • School-aged

  • Combine what she’s learning in school with the trip to the market. If she’s studying geography for example, talk about where some things come from…bananas from Chile, oranges from Florida for example.
  • Talk about cooking with him and what the ingredients are for a ________.
  • Have her try to figure out how much the groceries will cost.
  • Have him pay, accept and count the change. (This means of course, that you’re using cash instead of a credit/debit card.)
  • Use coupons/store bonus card and have her figure out what the savings will be.
  • If he’s taking a foreign language (or you speak one at home) practice vocabulary in the foreign language about things in the store.
  • Have her guess how many bags it will take to pack all of the groceries (for a large shopping trip).
  • Discuss with him why you’re making the choices that you do as a shopper. (For example: Less expensive? Brand loyalty? Eco-friendly? You have a coupon for it?
  • Talk about why some things are taxed and others are not?
  • These are just some ways that you can turn a trip to the market into an engaging, fun and educational experience, foster communication and teach your child about their world. Come up with your own to add that work for your family.

    Posted in Parenting, Lifestyles, Activities, School and Learning, Smart Buying, Child Education, Guest Blogger | No Comments »

    Reader Letter, Special Needs

    Just today I received my first reader letter with a question. I’m thrilled to publish it here along with my answer. If you have a question about family life you’d like to ask, just email me at familyresourceblogger@gmail.com . Be sure to include if you would like for the email to be published on the blog.

    Dear Julie,
    I read your blog often and I have a question, if you have time to answer. You wrote about special needs and school systems in September. My daughter is learning disabled and I am not happy with the class she is in. How can I go about having her moved to a different classroom? I hope you can help me.

    Thanks,
    Amy in New York

    Amy,
    I always have time! You’re in luck because I live in New York, too. Not NYC, though the same rules apply throughout the state.

    What you need to do is contact your daughter’s school and ask to speak with their Special Education Teacher. Once you are in contact with her, ask where you should send a letter requesting a re-evaluation of your daughter and her skills. Write a detailed letter that addresses your concerns and request the evaluations. Your school system cannot rightfully deny this. The evaluations will be performed and a meeting will be scheduled for you and if this applies, her father, to meet with your child’s teacher, a psychologist, special ed teacher, and social worker. You will discuss options and hopefully come to a resolution that works for your daughter.

    I hope this helps! If you need more information, write me again. Good luck, keep me updated!

    -Julie

    Posted in Child Education | No Comments »

    The Special Needs Child: Be The Wheel

    Yesterday was going to be themed for nutrition, but due to circumstances, I missed posting. I apologize for that and today I’m going to focus on something totally different from what I originally meant to use.

    Education and Special Needs will be the theme for today.

    There are many, many children in public schools today who are specials needs. Each one of these children have a specialized educational program that should be followed by their school. Even if they do not have an Individualized Education Program or IEP in place, they should. The sad fact is, even though schools are required by law to provide special services for children who need them, a large percentage never receive the services that are their right.

    Why is this? Low funding is one problem, lack of communication is another, and in some cases plain neglect. As a parent it is our right to know and understand the IEP and services our children are given or have been recommended to receive. It is also our right to have phone numbers, addresses, and names of the people who we need to speak with in case an IEP is not working for our child.

    As a parent you are your child’s most powerful tool in life. You are their advocate. Keep a list of phone numbers, have their IEP handy, and if possible, get to know as many of staff members in your childs’ school. Be as friendly as possible with these people, because as biased and sad as this sounds, children of parents who are friendly and involved in their school as they are able are treated much better. If you notice problems, complain. Try politeness first, if that fails, then make sure the system knows you are displeased. Make as many calls as you can, let the school system know you are not going to back down until the problem you are having is solved.

    As my child’s liasion told me…the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Be your childs’ wheel and squeak until they have what they deserve and need.

    Posted in Parenting, Child Development, School and Learning, Child Education | No Comments »

    Great Back to School Clothing!

    We don’t do enough plain old fun posts around here. Safety, breastfeeding, parenting; all very important topics. But you know, shopping can be fun too!

    And it is back to school time for most of you. I found one great and unique shop where you can find items that’ll send your kids back to school in style. None of this (yawn) clothing. That ends now.

    ismodern is a newer shop with truly unique and fun clothing finds. The company was started by a mama Tami, who was tired of seeing the same old furniture, clothing, and toys everywhere she looked. Her goals are to create amazing and yet, simple items that are well-made and make a statement.

    I think she did it, take a look at some of these pieces:

    This Orange Jonquille Dress is one of my favorites (and it’s on sale, so hurry over).

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    Next up is a beautiful Aqua Knit Dress. Your little will look adorable in this.

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    Ok, I’ll admit, that as a girl, I am partial to girl clothing (I can’t help it) but some of us, me included, do have little men to think about.

    Now as the mama of said boy, my idea of a good tee-shirt design logo would be like this one from focoloco:

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    Focoloco has literally dozens of great tees with funky and hip designs for your boy (or girl). Including their newest neat creation, the color your own shirt! What kid wouldn’t love one of these? Check out their ad…

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    If it’s packing supplies you need check out Monkeemoos selection of cute lunch boxes and backpacks, like this monkey lunch box

    monkey lunch box .jpg
    That was fun. But if you insist on reading today instead of shopping, I’ve got some great Family Resource back to school need-to-know articles for you. Take a look at:
    All of these articles are packed with great schooling tips for your family.

    Posted in Clothing, Child Education | No Comments »

                



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