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Creating Calm: Practical Strategies for Parenting Highly Sensitive Children Through Emotional Storms

Parenting can be overwhelming, especially when you have a highly sensitive child. These

children are more affected by their surroundings and react strongly to emotional stimuli. This

sensitivity can lead to frequent emotional storms that leave the child and parent exhausted and

frustrated. As a parent, it is important to understand the unique needs of your highly sensitive

child and develop practical strategies to create a calm environment for them. Megghan

Thompson Coaching expert, explores effective techniques to help you navigate the challenges

of raising a highly sensitive child and provide a safe space for them to thrive. 

Understanding Highly Sensitive Children

Highly sensitive children experience the world more intensely and deeply than others. They

possess traits that make them stand out from their peers. These children are often more aware

of their surroundings, have a strong sense of empathy and intuition, and are highly perceptive.

However, these traits can also make them easily overwhelmed in certain situations.

As a parent, it is important to understand that being highly sensitive is not a flaw or weakness.

Instead, it is a personality trait that should be celebrated and embraced. Megghan Thompson

Coaching says that highly sensitive children may require extra support and understanding from

their caregivers, but they also have many strengths and gifts to offer. By understanding the

unique qualities of highly sensitive children, parents can better support and nurture their child's

emotional well-being.

Nurturing a Safe and Supportive Environment

Highly sensitive children thrive in safe and supportive environments. Creating a calm and

predictable atmosphere for your child is important as a parent. This can include setting clear

boundaries, providing routines and structure, and creating opportunities for open

communication. For example, you can establish regular check-ins with your child to discuss

their feelings and concerns. This allows your child to feel heard and understood, which can help

them manage their emotions more effectively.

Another important aspect of creating a safe and supportive environment is being mindful of your

responses as a parent. Highly sensitive children are highly attuned to the emotions of others. It

is important to copy healthy coping mechanisms and practice self-care as a parent. This can

help create a calm and positive atmosphere for your child to thrive in.

Coping with Emotional Overload

Highly sensitive children may experience emotional overload more frequently than their peers.

This can manifest in intense reactions to sensory stimuli. As a parent, you must equip your child

with coping strategies to manage these emotional storms.

One effective strategy is teaching your child deep breathing exercises. This simple technique

can help your child calm down and regulate their emotions. Another helpful tool is creating a

calm-down corner or safe space for your child to retreat to when they feel overwhelmed. This

designated area can be filled with comfort and relaxation items, such as soft blankets, sensory

toys, or calming music.

Dealing with Sensory Overload

Highly sensitive children may have difficulty processing and regulating their sensory

experiences, which can lead to anxiety and physical discomfort. As a parent, it is important to be

aware of your child's sensitivities and accommodate them as much as possible.

One way to support your child with sensory overload is by creating a sensory-friendly

environment at home. This can include using soft lighting, eliminating strong scents, and

minimizing excessive noise. You can also help your child with sensory tools like noise-canceling

headphones or weighted blankets. These tools can help your child feel more in control of their

environment and alleviate overwhelming feelings.

Encouraging Resilience and Confidence

Parents must understand that highly sensitive children are not fragile. These children exhibit

emotions and perceptions that can be powerful assets. Their empathy, creativity, and intuition

can contribute greatly to their personal growth and relationships. As a parent, nurturing

resilience and fostering self-assurance in your child is vital to guiding them toward a balanced

and fulfilling life journey.

One way to do this is by highlighting your child's unique qualities and talents. Let them know

that being highly sensitive is a special trait that can bring many positive opportunities and

experiences. Encourage your child to embrace their sensitivity and use it as a strength rather

than a weakness. Additionally, provide opportunities for your child to engage in activities or

hobbies they are passionate about. This can help boost their confidence and give them a sense

of purpose. By nurturing resilience and confidence in your highly sensitive child, you are setting

them up for success in their personal and professional lives.

Parental Self-Care

Parenting a highly sensitive child can be emotionally draining at times. To support their children

effectively, parents must prioritize their self-care. This includes taking breaks when needed,

seeking support from friends and family, and practicing mindfulness techniques.

Self-care involves setting boundaries. As a parent of a highly sensitive child, it can be tempting

to prioritize your child's needs over your own. However, this can negatively affect your ability to

care for your child. Prioritizing your well-being is important to being the best caregiver for your


Final Thoughts

Highly sensitive children possess unique qualities that make them perceptive and empathetic.

As parents, it is essential to understand and celebrate these traits while providing a safe and

supportive environment for our children to thrive in. By practicing effective coping strategies,

accommodating their sensory needs, nurturing resilience and confidence, and prioritizing self-

care as caregivers, we can help our highly sensitive children navigate the world with confidence

and embrace their sensitivity as a strength. Remember, your child's sensitivity is not a

weakness but a beautiful gift that should be valued and cherished.


The Jonas Brothers + The Children’s Place Launch Best School Day Ever Campaign

In the face of recent budget cuts affecting school districts nationwide, the global music superstars The Jonas Brothers, and the largest pure-play children’s specialty retailer in North America, The Children’s Place, are teaming up to help a school near you. This transformative campaign which starts today and ends July 30th, is not only about monetary support; it’s about igniting change. The Jonas Brothers and The Children’s Place will be hosting their Best School Day Ever campaign, which will gift one lucky school a $100,000 grant to be used for the betterment of their school. Moreover, the chosen school will have the exclusive opportunity to attend a private Jonas Brothers concert at a secret location in August in New Jersey.  

This campaign will not only bring a smile to your face but will make a significant difference to a deserving school. As fathers themselves, The Jonas Brothers are committed to enriching children’s educational journeys and fostering a community spirit. Along with the dedication of the ultimate #gilrdads, The Jonas Brothers and The Children’s Place are also firmly committed to the betterment of children everywhere. This sentiment is echoed by the brand’s initiative last year by opening three research-based learning centers across the country, an incredible stride in tackling the current state of underfunded public schools. 

The deadline to submit applications for this impactful grant ends on July 30. We're calling all parents with children in grades K-8. If your child is enrolled in a non-tuition-based school for the 2023-2024 academic year, we encourage you to nominate their school. To do so, simply visit The Children’s Place mobile app, where official contest rules and the brands’ newest back-to-school product collections, including expressive and empowering t-shirts, fun backpacks, colorful polos, on-trend denim, footwear, and more, can be purchased. 

This campaign features the three brothers giving a first-day-of-school pep talk to Kevin’s oldest daughter, Alena. The video includes the brand’s newest Back-to-School collection and is designed to inspire kids to look and feel their best for their first day of school and beyond. The upbeat video features daydream sequences of Alena’s ‘Best School Day Ever,’ which concludes with a musical performance of the Jonas Brothers’ latest single, “Celebrate!”

“Providing for a better tomorrow for children is what it’s all about. Kids can change the world, and being able to support them and their school communities with this $100,000 prize… we feel a lot of gratitude to join The Children’s Place on their mission to give back and inspire the next generation of learners to chase their dreams,” said Joe Jonas. 

Contest Details:

In addition to the 2023 Best School Day Ever Contest, The Children’s Place will continue to scale its national program of revitalizing public spaces in local communities as Learning Centers by launching three additional learning center locations throughout 2023. Working collaboratively with local libraries and community centers, The Children’s Place Learning Centers will each feature thousands of books, school supplies, and educational toys. Each space will feature comfortable seating arrangements, interactive chalkboard walls, and empowering wall murals and artwork. It will serve as a safe haven where children in each community can access reading materials and learning supplies while allowing themselves to thrive in imagining.


How to Co-Parent with an Ex: 3 Tips

Choosing to bring children into the world relies on a certain level of selflessness on your part. You need to be willing and able to put your own needs, desires and feelings aside for the good of the child. Not every couple will be able to make it work, and sometimes the best thing for them to do is to be apart; however, you will always be connected by that child, and so you need to be prepared to co-parent peacefully with your ex. This won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it. Let’s get into it.

Putting Aside Emotion

If the split was acrimonious or you don’t really get along with your ex, then there is likely to be a lot of residual emotion like anger, hurt or even just lingering resentment, and this needs to be put aside for the good of the children. It can be hard to cooperate when you are feeling a lot of negative emotions toward the other person, but it will not benefit your children. 

This isn’t to say that your feelings aren’t valid – of course, they are, but they shouldn’t impact your behavior. Avoid venting to or in front of the children. Coming up with practical solutions can help; if your ex throws out accusations like accusing you of infidelity or questioning paternity, then instead of engaging in an argument, you could simply get a paternity test. Post and prenatal paternity testing by AlphaBiolabs is really easy and accessible, and it immediately puts a stop to these types of questions and conflicts.  

Prioritize Healthy Communication

You cannot expect to co-parent well if you aren’t communicating with each other. However, not all communication is healthy. So, before you reach out to your ex, think about what you want to say and why you want to say it. Does it serve a purpose for your child’s well-being or not? The ultimate goal should be conflict-free, healthy communication, and this might mean texts, emails, phone calls or face-to-face communication. It can look different for different people. 

Try to avoid putting the kids in the middle and resolve issues privately, away from little ears. You should also make sure that you aren’t using the children as messengers; communicate directly whenever possible. Communicating with your ex can be hard, but it can be improved with a number of tactics. You could try to keep a neutral tone, make requests as opposed to demands, listen well and show restraint. 

Everyone disagrees from time to time, it is to be expected, and while you should be prepared for this, you will also need to think about how you can resolve these. What do they say? Manners cost nothing? Well, it’s true. A little bit of respect can go a long way. Even if you do disagree, you will still need to communicate with each other and if you simply can’t, then use a mediator – not your child. 

There are issues that are worth the debate and others that aren’t. Save your energy for those big discussions and try to let the other smaller things go. Lastly, you might think that you are right, but so will your ex! It is unlikely that one of you is going to yield completely; instead, it is far more likely that you are going to need to be able to compromise and look for solutions that make you both happy. 

Remember That You are a Team

 Even if you aren’t together, parenting still should be done as a team; it doesn’t matter if you like each other or if you can’t stand each other anymore. Cooperation and communication are the cornerstones of co-parenting. If you work hard to achieve this, then more often than not, making the childcare decisions together tends to be a lot easier. Whilst you might not always agree on everything, and exposing your kids to differing perspectives is healthy, establishing a base level of consistency is important. 

Work with your co-parent to come up with some basic rules that will be the same across households. It is also worth considering your approach to discipline and thinking about consequences that can be kept the same across households too. If the length of punishment crosses over between households, you should expect your co-parent to follow through as you should too. Lastly, there should also be a certain level of consistency in their schedules too because this can help to make the adjustment easier on the kids. 

When it comes to child-rearing, there are decisions that need to be made, and they should be done so with input from both parents. Decisions such as medical needs, education and financial issues. In some instances, it might be worth designating one parent as the default for contact, although, in those cases, it is then the responsibility of that parent to pass everything along to the other and open up the floor for discussion. 

The Bottom Line

Truthfully, when there are kids involved, you do not have the luxury of animosity. Children pick up on everything, and they will know which parent made the effort and which didn’t. By doing your best to work with your co-parent, you are making life much easier for your children, and one day, they will thank you for it. 


South Carolina Aquarium and Aflac to Give Pediatric Hospital Patients a Virtual Aquarium Experience

Roving Robot Brings Aquarium to Patient Rooms Across South Carolina, Thanks to Support From Aflac 

Thanks to a new partnership with Aflac, patients at children’s hospitals across the state will be able to sign up for self-guided virtual tours of the South Carolina Aquarium, with the help of roving robot technology. Controlled directly from the patient’s in-room tablet, the robot will allow the patient to create their own path through the exhibits and enjoy an immersive experience from afar.

This program, piloted at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, is expanding to work with Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in the Midlands and Upstate. Educators at the Aquarium are working with hospital staff to arrange these robot tours during patients’ free time, long stays or even during their treatments. 

"It has been truly amazing to facilitate this experience. The kids are able to take control and drive through the Aquarium on their own exploration, when in many other aspects of their lives, they may lack that sense of being the one ‘at the wheel,” said virtual programs coordinator, Alayna Robertson.

Nature has an enormous impact on well-being, and the telepresence robot offers a bridge to connect patients with water and wildlife. Patients have full control of the robot, letting curiosity guide them as they move forward to visit a sea turtle at its tank window, look up to see a shark swim by or zoom in to get a closer look at the iridescent scales on a fish. They are able to speak and engage with the Aquarium educator teaching them along their adventure. They can even talk to Aquarium guests or wave to fellow kids on a field trip.

Betsy McMillan, child life manager at MUSC Children’s Health shared, “We were thrilled when the Aquarium team approached us about this program. The Lowcountry views from our hospital rooms offer the perfect background to this unique and educational escape for our inpatients. We are grateful for this amazing opportunity. What child doesn’t want to steer a robot and tour the wonderful South Carolina Aquarium at the same time!”

A generous gift from Aflac has made this program possible for patients at these hospitals.

“We’re pleased to help children in hospitals across the state experience the wonder of the South Carolina Aquarium without ever leaving their rooms,” said Bob Ruff, senior vice president, Group Voluntary Benefits. “Whether it is through our award-winning My Special Aflac Duck® program for children with cancer and sickle cell disease or initiatives like this, providing comfort and joy to kids who are going through medical challenges represents our commitment to be there for families in their times of need.”

Check out this video of the robot program in action. 

About the South Carolina Aquarium: 

The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston's No.1 family attraction, is home to more than 5,000 animals, from river otters and sharks to sea turtles and shorebirds, and represents the rich biodiversity of our state — from the mountains to the sea. Visitors can also get an inside look at the Sea Turtle Care Center™, a working hospital dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick and injured sea turtles. While fulfilling its mission to promote education, conservation, and an exceptional visitor experience, the Aquarium also presents sweeping views of the Charleston Harbor along with interactive exhibits and programs for visitors of all ages.

The South Carolina Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., with the last entry at 3:30 p.m. The Aquarium is open seven days a week with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, December 25 and a half day on December 24 (open 9 a.m.–noon). Tickets must be purchased online for a selected date and entry time. General admission prices are $34.95 for adults (age 13+) and $27.95 for children (age 3–12). Toddlers (age 0–2) receive free admission. Annual Aquarium membership with unlimited visits starts at $99. For more information, call (843) 577-FISH (3474) or visit


7 Ways to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

Your child’s gums and teeth need special attention and care. Establishing a good dental care routine in the early developmental years is vital because you’ll set up dental habits that your child will remember for life. 

An Anchorage pediatric dentist recommends giving your child the best start to minimize the chances of serious dental issues down the road. 

Why it’s Important to Take Care of Your Child’s Teeth

The most significant risk of improper dental care is tooth decay. This applies to baby teeth and adult teeth. 

Although baby teeth don’t seem as important as adult teeth because they are going to fall out anyway, decaying baby teeth can cause many problems – in the short term and the long term.  

Prematurely losing a baby tooth impedes the adult tooth from aligning correctly, puts the adult tooth at greater risk of infection and decay, and can even cause a speech impediment.

Here are seven ways you can help your child avoid tooth decay and all the other problems that come with it. 

1. Care for Gums Early On

Believe it or not, your child’s dental care routine should start before your baby even has the first tooth. Make a habit of cleaning her gums after every meal. 

You can use a damp cloth or soft-bristled baby toothbrush to rub gently along your baby’s gums. 

2. Begin a Brushing and Flossing Routine

Continue to wipe your baby’s gums after every meal.  When teeth begin to appear, wait until they have grown in fully before starting to brush them. 

Once your baby’s teeth have settled, use a soft-bristled baby toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush them twice a day.

When your baby gets a little older, you can begin to encourage them to hold the toothbrush by themselves. Teach them the correct way to hold it, how to brush their teeth, and how to spit out the toothpaste.

When your child’s teeth begin to touch (this usually happens between 2-6 years old), start flossing between them. 

3. Avoid Pacifiers and Try to Deter Thumb-Sucking

Using pacifiers and thumb-sucking are habits that most young children develop, but if you let them go on for too long, they can affect the alignment of their teeth when they start to come in. 

Dentists recommend putting a stop to these habits when your baby is three years old and advise against coating the pacifier with honey or any other sugary substance. 

4. Schedule Your Baby’s First Dentist Appointment Between 6-12 Months

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking your child to the dentist at around six months old. However, babies get their baby teeth at different rates, so between 6 months and one year is perfectly fine. 

Taking your child to the dentist early on will ensure that any dental issues are detected and treated as soon as possible. Starting dentist visits early will also help your child feel more comfortable with the process. 

5. Limit Sugary Drinks and Treats

More than 40% of children will get cavities at some point in their childhood, but limiting the sugar in a child’s diet is the best thing a parent can do to prevent them. 

Limit soda, fruit juice, chocolate, and candy as these sugary foods and drinks cause bacterial imbalances in the mouth, which encourages plaque buildup on teeth. 

6. Catch Dental Issues Early

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises taking your child to the dentist every six months so that cavities and other dental problems can be treated early. But there are also a few things you can watch out for at home.

Look out for tooth grinding and clamping at night, a lisp or other speech impediment, or excessive mouth breathing. All these signs may indicate a dental issue.

7. Make Trips to the Dentist Enjoyable

Many children feel anxious about going to the dentist, but there are a few ways you can help your child see it as an adventure. 

You can prepare your child for their first trip by reading them dental-themed books and watching dental-themed kid’s shows – YouTube is an excellent resource for these. 

Remain positive and try not to project your personal feelings about the dentist onto your child – your child will look for cues from you, so try to lead by example. 

Choose a good pediatric dentist who is good with children and schedule an office tour so your child can familiarize themselves with the staff and practice. This will also let your child know what to expect. 


Tips for Traveling with Children

Family vacations are an important part of everyone’s childhood, so you’ll want to make sure your kids have as much fun as possible. But this is easier said than done. As a busy mom, you always have so many things to think about, but planning your upcoming getaway doesn’t have to be as stressful as you might think. Take a look at these top tips for going abroad with your children:

Family Travel Insurance
You don’t want to think about it, but accidents do happen. In the event that you or your child becomes ill or injured while on vacation, you’ll want to know that all costs are being taken care of. It might be tempting to skip the insurance, especially if all your other trips have gone off without a hitch, but it’s just not worth the risk. Take a look at insurance plans (see safetrip for example) before taking off.

Depending on where you’re going on holiday, there might be a long flight or car ride involved. Even if your travel time is only a couple of hours, don’t assume your kids will sleep all the way there. If anything, they’re likely to be wide awake and buzzing with excitement. So, if you want to avoid questions of “are we there yet?” five minutes into your journey, you’d best bring along some games. These don’t have to take up a lot of space, but an activity book, handheld console, or travel-friendly board game can keep kids occupied for at least a little while.

Bring Snacks
You and your partner might be looking forward to trying the local cuisine, but your kids might not share your views. If your little ones are picky eaters, make sure to bring along a couple of their favorite snacks to keep them going in between meals. While it’s important to encourage them to try new things, if they really don’t take to any new dishes, you may have to hunt down a few child-friendly restaurants that cater to tourists.

Stay Close
Kids love a bit of independence while on holiday and often strike up friendships with other families staying in the same resort. But don’t let your little ones stray too far or go off with strangers – even if they are the family staying next door. Sit by the side of the communal pool to keep an eye on them playing or try to have a group meal with the other guests your child has befriended. You don’t want your children getting lost in unfamiliar places, so offer to go with them to explore play areas.

Leave Extra Time
Whenever you’re going somewhere with kids, you have to factor in time for inevitable moods, tantrums, or lost socks. If you’re often rushing to get out of the house in the morning, leave even more time before your flight. The last thing you want is to miss the plane because your kids couldn’t find their favorite stuffed animal and refused to leave the house. 

4 Reasons Parents Choose to Adopt

There are many reasons why a person or couple would decide that adopting a child is the best choice. Pregnancy may be difficult or impossible due to medical conditions or the age of the child could be a big concern. Potential adoptive parents may also consider the impact of adding to the existing population or be ready to start a non-traditional family. 

1. Medical Conditions

Infertility issues range in severity and cause, which can render some people unable to conceive a child naturally while others experience great difficulties. Other people may be able to have natural children but may hesitate due to the risk of passing on certain inherited disorders. In those cases, it is natural for people who still want to raise a family to look for birth parents who are placing a child for adoption.

2. Prefers Older Children

While babies and toddlers are the most popular among prospective adoptive parents, not everyone wants to experience the early years of development. Some prospective parents may not have the resources to care for an infant and would like to care for a child that is more self-sufficient, or they may enjoy helping teenagers navigate life challenges as they prepare for adulthood.

3. Population Concerns

Environmental issues are incredibly important to many people, and those who are considering becoming parents may feel that the expanding population is a concern. As a result, they may decide that adopting a child who is already in the world is a better choice than conceiving a new baby. This allows them to have a family with the added bonus of giving an existing child or children a loving home. 

4. Desires Non-Traditional Family

A traditional family is usually thought to consist of a married man and a woman and their child or children. However, there are many other ways to have a family that can be explored by people who wish to raise children. In many areas, single men and women are allowed to adopt without any restrictions, allowing them to fulfill their desire to raise children without the need of a partner. Same-sex couples can also adopt in many regions in order to create a loving, non-traditional family.

Deciding to start a family, whether through pregnancy or adoption, should be done after careful consideration. Raising a child involves dedication and at times it can be stressful. However, it can be very rewarding to watch a child flourish and grow into a healthy, happy adult.


3 Tips When Reading To Children

Most parents know the value of reading to children. It helps them to gain a larger vocabulary, and it helps to learn and retain information. However, for some people, reading to children can be a little difficult, so here are a few tips to help you when reading to children.
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Read Books With Chapters

Reading a book with chapters has many benefits. One of them is that is takes a bit longer to get through the story which can help make a book last longer at bed time reading. The chapter breaks also create a natural time to discuss with your child about what is happening in the story and what they predict to happen next. This can help to spark a child's imagination, while also helping you understand if they are comprehending what you are reading.

Daniel Handler has created many children's books with chapters that help parents and children brush up on these skills.

Take Turns Reading

Much like anything else in life, you never get better at something unless you practice. Picking up a best author Daniel Handler book is an easy way to find an interesting story that both you and your child can take turns reading. By allowing your child to have a turn reading, you can be there to help them from getting discouraged by correcting mispronounced words, as well as being there to provide context or explanation for words they may not understand the meaning to.
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Life Lessons

In almost any story, characters make choices and decisions. By reading together, you can have a platform in which to help you child gain a greater understanding about the motivations one might have to make a certain decision. This can be very beneficial to help them gain empathy and compassion for others.

As you can see, reading a book to a child has many benefits, so pick up a great book and start reading together!

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3 Situations in Which You Need a Family Lawyer

There are so many branches of law, and it can be confusing to know when you need a certain type of attorney. There are family attorneys that deal with legal situations related to divorce, custody arrangements, child support and alimony payments and even adoption. There may be times in your life that you find you need these services, and it is important that you know when it is recommended to seek out the expertise of a family lawyer.
Photo by Emma Bauso from Pexels

1. Making Child Custody Arrangements

Family lawyers like Cordell & Cordell law professionals can help you finalize child custody arrangements after a divorce. Divorce can be a messy process, and it is important to have a third-party who can help determine what is best in regard to the child's living arrangements. When you have these matters settled by a legal professional, there are clear guidelines for you and your co-parent to follow. This can help ensure that everyone is putting the child's needs first instead of their own.

2. Adopting a Child

Adopting a child can be a wonderful way to grow your family, but it does take a lengthy legal process to see this through. Family lawyers can make sure that you are doing the adoption process properly so that everything is legal and final.

3. Receiving Due Child Support

If you are divorced from your spouse and have children by them, you may be entitled to child support payments. However, if your ex-partner is not keeping up with the payments, you can contact a family lawyer to help you fight the case. Your legal team can help you receive back payments in some cases, which are often needed to properly care for your child.

If you find yourself in any of these situations, contacting a group of family attorneys like Cordell & Cordell can help you make the right move in your journey.

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Ways To Get Your Child Interested in Reading

When you were a kid, if you loved reading you probably don't remember how you discovered it. All you knew is you lost yourself in books for hours at a time. Now that you're a parent, you'd like your kids to develop good reading habits, too. Here are four different ways you can pique their interest starting now.

Read With Them

If you're not spending time actually reading with your child, they might not pick it up on their own. Set up a time each day for reading a good book together. Storytime is usually before bed, so make it a nightly routine. Your child will be excited about continuing the tale or starting a new one. Kids love to use their imagination when it comes to stories, so ask them plenty of questions.

Get Them a Personalized Book

One way to really get your little one's attention for reading is by giving them their very own adventure such as a personalized birthday book for child reading levels. In this story, they star as the main character and family members have roles, too. Not only is their very own storybook fun to receive, they'll ask to read it over and over. Remember to let a child read aloud as they're learning. It can help them to expand their vocabulary quickly.

Use Reading As a Reward

Reading is one activity that you can safely use as a reward for a job well done. Remember, reading is knowledge so more storytime is never a bad thing. If your child sees reading as a reward, the more they'll look forward to it. Reading in exchange for good behavior, or doing a chore, is much more beneficial than buying them another toy or handing out a sugary treat.

Set an Example

If you want your kids to be truly interested in the world of books, make sure you set a good example. Kids follow their parent's leads and by reading yourself, you'll demonstrate that reading is a lifelong love. Visit book stores often and keep plenty of books at home with your favorite ones in an important place where they can be treasured and admired.

Start Them Early

Reading can benefit your child in many ways, including expanding their vocabulary and letting them use their imagination. By starting as early as possible, you'll be setting them up for an activity they'll enjoy for the rest of their lives.
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How To Ease Anxiety In Children

If you’re in the trenches, trying to figure out how to handle anxiety in your child, you may come across a lot of information that can simply overwhelm and exhaust you.

The thing is, you won’t be able to ‘fix” your child because there isn’t a magic spray to help with the situation.

What you need are some tools to help attend to your child’s needs during their anxiety episodes, and luckily, I’ve got some for you today.

In this article I’ll go over some of the basic ways you can help your child manage anxiety, what anxiety looks like in children and healthy ways to tolerate anxiety with children.

Anxiety In Kids

Children can experience anxiety even if the parents have done everything right in the parenting process.

Anxiety can stem from things that happen at school or other activities where the parents are not around, and it's almost impossible to shield them from it.

Did you know that anxiety is actually a survival instinct reaction when our bodies or minds are faced with a threatening situation? That definition can be a little bit confusing because it sounds like fear more than anxiety doesn’t it?

Our adrenaline starts pumping, and our bodies and minds are getting ready to escape danger, even if the danger is not visible, like walking through a dark tunnel and getting butterflies because you feel like you’re not alone. This is how anxiety is triggered.

It's a really tough thing to go through for both the child and the parent. After all, no parent wants their child to suffer with anxiety.

The great thing is, not all hope is lost. There are things we can do as parents to help guide our children through these difficult moments of life.
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What Does Anxiety Look Like

Anxiety can pop up in children as young as 3 years old.

Physical anxiety can show up in the form of young kids who cannot explain their true feelings can complain of tummy aches or headaches, even if they appear to be physically alright.

If your child who loves to eat suddenly stops eating his lunch at preschool or daycare, then there might be some anxiety popping up.

Other times, it could show up in the form of restless, fidgety, hyperactive, or distracted behavior in an otherwise calm child.

Emotional anxiety is a little more tough to recognize, but not impossible. Children who normally do not cry a lot can start to cry and appear to be very sensitive.

Children can also start to be afraid of future events such as starting second grade while they are in kindergarten.

To really find out if your child is experiencing anxiety and find out what is causing it, you’re going to want to take notes and track your child’s behavior.

If you have access to a school counselor, it might be wise to share these notes with them so you can work together with your school to solve the situation.

Your school counselor will be able to let you know if this is something you should look into deeper at this time, or hold off and keep watching the behavior and see what happens.

Photo by Hunter Johnson on Unsplash
Managing Anxiety

Luckily there are things you can do to help manage anxiety in children. It’s a bit of a tricky situation because it’s very difficult, impossible really, to completely eliminate anxiety, but management is a great option.

None of us want to see our children face sadness, but the best way to relieve anxiety in children is not to eliminate the trigger, but to know how to handle it when it comes into their path.

Over time, the anxiety will decrease and fall away. Yay! Here are some things you can do to manage the anxiety:

Respect The Feelings They Feel

When your child is going through an anxious moment, you must respect that their feelings
are real and very upsetting. Trying to diminish feelings and even brushing them off is not going to help your child not feel those feelings.

Let your kids go through those feelings of fear, sadness, anxiety and more, even if it’s difficult for you to see as a parent.

The good thing is, you can talk to your child about those feelings and create some pretty deep connections just by validating those fears.

Talk Things Out With Your Child 

When you let your child feel their feelings, and talk it out after the trigger wears off and the child calms down, you should discuss what happened. Being able to create these conversations is going to help you understand your child, which will help you help them with their behavior problems.

Avoid Asking If They Are Anxious

Sometimes, anxiety can be triggered if we ask our children if they are anxious about an event. For example “Are you anxious about your first day of school?” can trigger the anxiety that your child was not feeling before the question was asked.

Healthy Ways To Tolerate Anxiety

You can help your children handle their anxiety by letting them see how you cope with anxiety yourself.

Because children are perceptive, they will see when you cannot handle stress and anxiety in difficult situations and will start to behave the same way you do. It’s kind of like a monkey see, monkey do moment.

Children are like sponges aren’t they? 
I’m definitely not saying you need to pretend that you don’t feel anxious or stressed.
I am saying, you should be careful how you handle your anxiety because your children are watching. Practice calm, and celebrate any moments that you “get through”, especially when they were difficult.

Final Thoughts

Anxiety doesn’t have to be a scary thing. All of us experience anxiety at many different points in our life.

The difference is, how we handle the anxiety that our children are facing.
In young children, the anxiety may be more difficult to spot, but when you do figure out that the child is facing anxiety, you can manage the situation right away.

When anxiety is present in teens, the behavior management is more difficult to handle, but not impossible. Keep track of the behavior and involve the school if you must. The important thing is to pay attention and keep trying to have a conversation with your child.

Remember to allow children to feel their feelings, and comfort them when they are feeling anxious.

Many thanks to Elizabeth for this guest article.

Author bio: Elizabeth is a mom of 2 and has a passion for helping children reach their human potential. She enjoys helping parents raise confident and healthy kids by explaining how to handle situations using positive parenting. Check out the blog 

How to Handle a Child Custody Agreement After a Divorce

Thank you so much Joseph Freeman for this guest post

If you are going through a divorce right now then I know just what you are going through and although this is a really tough time for you, things will get better. This time 4 years ago I was sat with a Sydney family lawyer talking through my options, as my wife and I were getting divorced. Even if things are amiable now, if there are kids involved then it is going to get worse before it gets better. As I thought would happen, my wife got custody of our two girls, which wasn’t very easy. Life goes on however, and here is how this situation is best handled.

Accept It

There are some legal grounds to appeal decisions in these situations but there really is little point, the decision very rarely gets reversed and things being dragged on for longer is not going to be good for anyone. In order to come to terms with this and for everyone’s sanity, the best thing to do is learn to accept the decision as quickly as possible.

Live by the Rules

It is very tempting to try and make tweaks and changes to what happens with the kids but I have always found it best to just stay within the rules that have been laid out by the authorities. I had a friend who kept their kid an extra day after verbally agreeing it with his ex-wife, she later denied it and they got into all sorts of trouble, so I’ve learned that this is not worth doing at all, stick to the rules and you’ll be just fine.

Keep Everyone Involved 

If any changes are made, mutually or otherwise, then it always makes sense to keep a written record of what has happened and keep the authorities involved. What I have found to be the best practice here is overdoing it when it comes to offering up information, every day change, every vacation, whatever it is, let it be heard. In doing this you can be sure to protect yourself, as you never know what the future may hold.

Children Aren’t Pawns

No matter what your feelings are towards your ex-partner, you should never air them in front of you kids. Something else which you should never do is use your kids as pawns in the battle of chess that you may be having with your ex. Children never want their parents to split up and you have to remember that they are the victims in all of this. Children need as much normality as possible, you shouldn’t try to win them over with treats and money, nor should you try to compete with your ex when it comes to spending quality time with the kids. Be a good parent and treat your kids just as you would if they were still at home with both parents.

Trust me that things will get better, you just need to stay strong.

Joseph Freeman

The Internet's Impact on Homeschooling

Just like the Internet has changed the way we shop, communicate, and conduct business, it has also revolutionized the world of education. Now more than ever, it is easier to learn outside a traditional classroom setting. Many college students take at least one online course to earn either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Online education has extended past college students and now includes K-12 students, as well.

Homeschooling families have more freedom and flexibility when it comes to education options. The Internet has significantly increased education options, homeschooling resources, online forums, and curriculum programs. The following are ways that the Internet has completely changed homeschooling.

Allows for More Student Independence and Less Parent Involvement

The Internet has brought about more and more at-home education methods. Accredited virtual schools and online homeschooling curriculums don’t require as much parent involvement as other at-home education methods.

Many parents assume that homeschooling will be time-consuming because it requires a lot of hand holding. Although this may be true for young learners, high school level students develop more independence around their education, especially if they are taking online courses. For most homeschool curriculums, parents or hired tutors must grade and review work to ensure the student is making progress.

Online schools require even less parent involvement because online teachers do the grading. This structure is especially helpful for parents who don’t have formal teacher training or work full- or part-time jobs.

Increases Education and Learning Options

Before the Internet, homeschooling families relied on textbooks and workbooks for their curriculum or created their own. Parents had to take charge of the entire learning process to either select or create a curriculum and teach their students the necessary subjects. The Internet, however, has made way for more and more education and learning methods. It really is impressive. So with so many dependent on the Internet and the knowledge that it brings, it's no wonder that many look to see how satellite internet works.

The Internet provides endless resources to help your student learn at home. Many different online curriculum programs and virtual schools are available to homeschooling families. Online homeschool curriculum provides Internet-based courses and resources for parents and students to be successful.

Online or virtual schools for K-12 students are also increasingly popular among families seeking alternative education methods. Online schools allow students to learn from teachers who are states away while attending classes from their home.

Many of these online schooling options are self-paced, so students can work through lessons as they master individual concepts. At the same time, if a student is struggling with a particular topic, they can receive extra help in this area. This is very beneficial for students with chronic illnesses or learning disabilities who may need frequent breaks.

Provides Online Resources and Technologies

The Internet gives homeschool students access to countless resources at home that helps them learn. Homeschool resources and learning technologies were limited before the Internet age. However, continuous advancements are being made in learning technologies.

Today, students can learn via e-readers, tablets, apps, digital coursework, and virtual schools. Parents also have access to a variety of resources to help them and their students get started with at-home education.

The Internet offers a plethora of information and resources. No longer are the days of students needing to spend hours sifting through textbooks or encyclopedias to write research papers. With the help of Google, information and multimedia resources are at students’ fingertips.

Makes Learning Fun with Gamification 

Games are a new way of learning. Gamification has helped create educational video games for students to learn about numerous subjects, such as coding, spelling, and foreign languages. These games allow students of all ages to learn about different topics and practice different skills in a fun and exciting way. The gamification of learning has also allowed students to study while riding in the car, traveling for the holidays, or waiting for appointments. Learning has become much more fun with the availability of learning with games on their phones, tablets, or computers.

Helps Students with At-Home Education 

Online schools and homeschool curriculums allow students to complete school and progress through grades from the comfort of their home or wherever they have Internet access. Students with disabilities, anxiety or depression, or chronic illnesses don’t have to worry about falling behind. Many students struggle to keep up in a classroom setting, so online education methods allow them to work at their own pace without falling behind in a traditional classroom setting. Likewise, students who are receiving treatment and recovering from an illness can make feeling better their number one priority.

Offers a Space for Online Homeschool Communities

Fostering a successful at-home education requires a support system. The Internet has made it easier for homeschooling families to connect with others who chose non-traditional schooling methods. Online forums and Facebook offer spaces for parents to discuss curriculums, education options, and homeschooling tips. Families can even connect with others in their area, which lets children make friends who are homeschooled, as well.

The Internet has affected almost every area of our lives, both positively and negatively. However, the impact that the digital age has had on education continues to benefit homeschooling families.



Tips When Shopping Around for Childcare

Working outside the home is common in many parts of the country yet doing so may not necessarily be easy for many households. With many single parents, dual-income households, and other circumstances to work around, accommodating the needs of young children can pose a challenge. However, by finding quality childcare to help fill scheduling gaps, these types of families can have more peace of mind knowing that their little ones are taken care of while they are away for work or simply in need of an extra hand. By understanding the type of factors to consider when on the search for childcare options, it can be easier to get a good fit for your lifestyle and budget.
Photo by Gautam Arora on Unsplash

Child’s Age

First and foremost, a child’s age will quickly rule out some options you have available in your community. Many facilities separate children by age to make group activities that are developmentally appropriate and easy to administer and allows children to interact with their peers during instruction and play. This being the case, it’s recommended that you ensure that the facility you choose caters to children that are your child’s age.

The Ratio of Caregivers to Children

While licensed facilities will need to abide by both federal and state laws, it is good to be aware of the ratio of caregivers to children that a childcare facility has to ensure that your child will get adequate attention for both educational and safety reasons. Additionally, this can give you a good idea of whether or not your prospective caregivers will make the effort to keep current with recommendations set by childcare experts and legislators.

Parent Participation

As the old adage goes, it often takes an entire village to raise children. In a childcare setting, this often means having open communication between educators and parents. This can make it easier to create an optimal environment and consistency for a child that can benefit from learning and overall well-being. It can be helpful to ask about volunteer opportunities, communication methods, and drop-in schedules available for parents who would like to participate more actively.

Waiting List and Enrollment Requirements

Before you allow your heart to get set on a specific childcare option, it’s practical to keep in mind that Little Sunshine's Playhouse and other high-quality facilities may very well have waiting lists of other families who would also like to enroll their children. Before filling out paperwork or researching hours on one childcare option, asking about the waiting list ahead of time can save you time, especially if you have a need for immediate enrollment for a more specific timeline of when you need to have your child start. In addition, it may be recommended that you check any requirements your child must fulfill before even being accepted. For example, immunizations, minimum hours of care that must be paid for are just two common considerations that need to be made as soon as possible.

Photo by Erika Fletcher on Unsplash

Special Needs

If your child has special needs, it is important to check that the childcare options you are considering can provide all the necessary accommodations. For example, children who use wheelchairs or other assistive equipment should be able to easily maneuver around with pathways that are wide enough and ramps that allow access to any elevated areas when necessary. Finding a caregiver that is ADA compliant can be a great start for families with children with special needs. Even something as simple as potty training may be something that families will want to research to ensure that their prospective choices can support whichever stage their child may be in.


One of the biggest barriers to childcare accessibility is pricing. Some plans for registration fees and other expenses may be easier on the pocketbook for budget-conscious families. For example, some private facilities may be more costly but may also have better features and services that make them worth the investment. In contrast, government programs may be less expensive, but it’s possible that lower rates may result in more crowded spaces or longer waitlists. Some places may require all families to pay the same rate while others may offer special discounts. These discounts can be based on factors such as household income, the number of siblings enrolled in the same program, military status, or memberships.

Type of Facility

It can be very useful to know the different types of childcare facilities that exist so you are aware of all your potential options. Some families may opt to have a private nanny who can supervise children in the family home, provide one-on-one attention to children, and tend to light housekeeping. In contrast, others may prefer the peer socialization opportunities that a larger childcare facility may be able to provide in addition to the convenience of knowing that a team of professionals can tend to children. Additionally, some schools in the community may even offer pre-kindergarten programs that can give young children an earlier start. Although this is a great option, especially for families with an older sibling attending the same school, enrollment opportunities, as well as the length of the school day, may be limited so it’s best to check directly with the schools in your community.
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Choosing Children’s Shoes: Mechanical Considerations

If you let a child choose their own shoes you’ll probably be surprised by their choice, it will certainly look good, but it may not be the most practical option.

Of course, you may want to get your child shoes that look like yours, but this is also not necessarily the best option.

In fact, despite many children’s shoes looking very similar to adults, children do not have the same movements as adults. As children grow they need different shoes to ensure that their feet are properly supported; giving them the right footwear can help to avoid them having issues later in life.

It’s a lot of responsibility for any parent and the reason specialist shops like Garvalin, Australia exist.
Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash
The first thing to understand is that a shoe serves several roles:


A long time ago humans didn’t wear shoes, but shoes are seen as an essential means of protecting feet from scrapes and other abrasions.

It’s worth noting that adult footwear is trending towards a more minimalistic look which has helped shoe manufacturers to re-evaluate what is important in a shoe.


The secondary role of any shoe is to provide support. This is especially important in children. A shoe should support the arch of the foot, but, this is only actually necessary in older children. Children under 4 aren’t active enough for the arch support to matter. Select shoes with arch support at this age can actually hinder the proper development of the foot.

However, plantar support is important from a very young age.  The loading pattern of a foot is relevant from when a child is as young as 2 ½ years old, which means a shoe should have cushioning under the heel.

It is also important for shoes to offer forefoot flexibility, the range of movement can be significantly different in children to adults, it’s essential to choose shoes that allow the forefront of their feet to move in all directions.

Once children hit 14-15 years old their feet will stop growing and their needs are effectively very similar to adults, allowing you to comfortably purchase adult shoes for them. At this stage, the important factors are motion control and support at the rear of the foot.
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels


Although it can be argued that style is not very important in the correct development of feet. Style is an important consideration when you choose shoes and when your children are old enough to appreciate what they are wearing.

This is actually the reason that so many children’s shoes look similar to adult ones.

Additional Factors

By understanding the role of the shoe and how it supports your child’s foot and ongoing development, you can choose the right shoe for your child. But, you should also consider
these additional factors:

       Minimalistic Shoes

The current movement towards minimalistic shoes is actually a good one and worth considering for your child. Minimalistic shoes allow your child’s foot to develop more naturally, they are worth considering.

       Know Your Child

Your child may have a weak front foot, back foot, or a weak arch. You need to have a good look at their foot and even consult a pediatrician to ensure you identify weak areas and choose the shoes that give the right support.

We hope these tips will help you with your shoe buying process for your child.

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Birthday Gift Ideas For Kids 10 And Under That Aren't Toys

Struggling with birthday gift ideas for kids under 10? We’ve got you covered!

You’d think with having the whole world at our fingertips that finding the perfect birthday gift for our little ones would be a piece of cake. With so many user-friendly apps and online stores with an abundance of toys and gifts to choose from, it’s almost as if you don’t have to put any thought into your shopping at all.

But isn’t that the problem? For consumers, everything is always well within reach or suggested to us via clever marketing. But what about a gift that really means something? A gift that won’t end up at the bottom of the toy box with all the other plastic toys that they own but don’t even play with…? Well, here you’ll find 5 of the most popular gifts for children under 10 years old and none of them are toys.

An Investment In Their Future

Sure, your kids can’t play with a savings accounts – not until they’re older anyway – but investing in their futures and putting something away for them to utilize when they’re older is a wonderful commitment and gesture of love. Check out Golden Eagle Coin for investment pieces as well as somewhere to buy silver bars, gold coins and other items, you can also get the latest information on items that will increase in value over time. Alternatively, speak to your local bank about an IRA or a savings account.


Do you have a budding Picasso at home? Or even a mini Serena Williams? If your child has a passion or a hobby, why not help them take it a step further with some lessons in their favorite interest? Not only will it give them more confidence, but it could even take them down a career path when they’re older. In addition, joining things like dance schools, theatre groups or sports teams allows them to experience things like competitions or exhibitions, the value of teamwork, or focusing on tapping into their own creativity. It’s character-building, to say the least.

A Dress-up Box

All children enjoy dressing up as their favorite princess or superhero, but what about something more realistic? Simply go through your wardrobe at home and see if you have any items you can donate. Hats, scarves, trousers, shoes, bags, costume jewelry, dresses, gloves, etc. Or visit your local thrift shop and see what you can find. Let their imagination run wild!

A Charitable Donation

The gift of giving is a wonderful thing, especially to those less fortunate than ourselves. So, incorporating a donation as a gift will teach your children about charity, kindness and it will make them feel good. This could be sponsoring a child in a foreign country, helping to plant more trees, sponsoring an endangered animal or even adopting an animal at a local rescue center.


They say the greatest gift you can give any child is your time. So, take a weekend and dedicate it to some quality time. Let your child decide where they want to go, what they want to do, and make sure you take plenty of photographs to document that time spent together. You can have a photo book made so your child can look back on those fun memories.

Do you have any other gift ideas to add to this list?
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