Does it sometimes seem as if your kids are constantly fighting over everything? If sibling conflict and rivalry is driving you crazy, try these tips for preventing and solving sibling fights. And to encourage a good relationship between your children, try my tips for how to nurture a good sibling bond.
Now that June is almost here, many families are turning their thoughts to the approaching long, hot days of summer. Here's a fun summer craft to do with kids now--pretty paper fans. These cute fans will not only make pretty decorations, but they'll come in handy when the temperature rises!
A new study has shown that cutting down screen time can have a positive effect on kids' physical, social, and behavioral well-being, and can even improve their academic performance. This, paired with previous studies that have shown that too much screen time can interfere with sleep, cut down family time, negatively affect schoolwork and attention spans, and put a child at increased risk for obesity, and you have a lot of reasons to limit screen time (and not a lot of reasons to allow hours of TV and texting).
Read about how "Cutting Down Kids' Screen Time Means Better Health, Grades for Kids" and take steps to get your child to step away from screens. Sit down and read a book, play games together, and head outside to play together as a family. Over time, you're likely to see a difference in your child's health, happiness, and even grades.
Is your child getting enough sleep at night? According to a new study by doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, chronic lack of sleep may be linked to obesity and accumulation of body fat (such as around the abdomen) that may lead to illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
If your child seems tired during the day, has trouble focusing or concentrating in school or is moody or irritable, she may need need more sleep. (Doctors recommend at least 10 to 11 hours of sleep daily for school-age kids, and even more for younger children.) Watch for signs that your child is sleep-deprived, and make sure you instill good bedtime routines and sleep habits to help your child get the rest she needs.
A new film called Fed Up, produced by Katie Couric and Laurie David (who produced An Inconvenient Truth), is taking on big sugar--that is, food companies that are loading up seemingly healthy foods like corn flakes with sugar.
The film points out that as much as 80 percent of food items in America contain added sugar, which is highly addictive. What that means for consumers is rising rates of obesity and illnesses like diabetes, even in children.
I haven't seen the film yet but I definitely plan to. This is an important issue for all parents since our children are the ones whose eating habits and palates have become modified to want sugar in increasing amounts. As experts in the film's trailer point out, getting kids to exercise is not enough. We need to really look at what they are eating, and what ingredients are on those labels when we pick up something that looks innocent like a box of whole-grain, low-fat crackers. (Yep, chances are it will be loaded with sugar.)
To help you spot hidden sugar in foods and cut down the sugar in your family's diet, read my article, "Sugar and Kids: How to Cut Down on How Much They Eat."
What annoys Americans the most? One of the top items on the list has to do with out-of-control kids, according to a new Harris Poll. The poll, which surveyed over 2,200 adults, found that as many as 87 percent people said they can't stand it when parents let their kids run amok or be disruptive in public places.
To put it in perspective, that's even more than the number of people who are irked by fellow airplane passengers who misuse overhead bins by, say, taking up all the storage space or using bins that aren't near where they're sitting (65 percent) or the number of people who are irritated by those who talk loudly on their cellphones in public places (65 percent).
I gotta admit that I find it appalling when parents don't discipline their kids. Sure, every child has a tantrum now and then, and even the nicest kids can have an off day or cranky moments. (Hey, kids, like adults, are only human.) But when parents don't discipline at all, and don't even make a move to calm or quiet a child who's having a full-blown meltdown that is loud enough to set off car alarms, then it's just downright inconsiderate. Just another reminder why we should discipline kids---not only for the sake of anyone nearby but for the good of your own child as well. Disciplining kids not only makes other people around you happier, but research shows that it can make kids happier, too.
After a very long and cold winter, forecasts are calling for a particularly fierce allergy season this spring as many plants and trees begin to bloom at the same time.
If you and your family are allergy sufferers like my family and me, try some of these tips for treating kids' allergies. And here's to hoping we all feel better soon!
Spring means lots of showers, and that means parents who are desperately seeking ideas for fun indoor activities for kids. From Lego building contests to ideas for creative fun, here are some ideas for fun indoor kids' activities to do on a rainy day when you're stuck inside.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released their annual list of "dirty dozen" fruits and vegetables to help consumers educate themselves about pesticide-laden produce. Read my article on the new dirty dozen list to see what you should be buying organic for your family. And check out what's on the "clean fifteen" list of produce you can buy non-organic, should you choose to go for conventionally-grown fruits and veggies.
Earth Day is a great reminder to take stock of what you and your family are doing to help protect our natural resources. Today more than ever, each and every person who lives on this planet has a responsibility to recycle, reuse, conserve, and do whatever else we can to help minimize the damage humans have done to the environment.
Take steps to save gas and make your home more energy-efficient this spring and summer. Find ways to volunteer and help clean up your neighborhood park. And teach your kids about what's happening to our natural resources and what they can do every day to make a difference.