5 Bonding Activities at Home with Kids

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Moms and dads, it’s time to put down the gadgets and have some quality time with your kiddos. Here’s a few suggestions for activities and games that you and your little one will surely enjoy. All set for no-gadget day?

1. Indoor Picnic
Half the fun is in the preparation stage, so let your kids join you while you’re prepping up for the picnic. The night before, have your kids help you to create a list of the food you will ‘bring’ to your picnic and pack essentials like a blanket (to spread on the floor and sit on), colorful plates, utensils, etc. into your picnic basket. You can go to the market the next morning and you’re your indoor picnic in the afternoon, so your kids will have something to look forward to.

2. Board Games
Not only does board games sharpen the mind, it also helps everyone ‘unplug’ from the digital world and just reconnect with each other. They are super fun for the kids, too. Have a fun game night—wear costumes, treats and snacks. Make it a memorable experience and a weekly habit with the kids.

3. Baking
Whenever possible, include your kids in the cooking process. It may require a little bit of extra work, but the it is all worth it. The kitchen is the heart of the house, and spending time together as a family in the kitchen makes it easier to create a bond and wonderful memories that your kids will always remember. Start out with easy-to-make baking recipes and guide them in executing the steps they may find difficult. You can even do a cookie design contest to make the activity even more fun.

4. Blanket and Pillow Fort
If you do not have a backyard or a garden, use pillows and blankets to build your own fort. Add some fairy lights for a cozier look and feel. Huddle under a big blanket and read a storybook together.

5. Family Garden
Whether a backyard or just a window sill of plants, you can make use of these spaces to plant and groom a family garden together. It is a great way to bond a to teach kids a little bit of biology lessons. Plus, the time you spend together, growing your own fruits and veggies for dinner and hundreds of photo ops are just some of the nicest things you get out from these bonding moments.

Take one or two of any of these activities to try with your family. Over the course of the next few weeks, try another one that you haven’t had before. You’ll see, your kids will look forward to every weekend to be with the family to have some quality and fun time together.

Ways to Teach Your Child How to Save or Spend Responsibly

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Wherever you are or whatever your job can be in Singapore, you must already know the value of saving money. Most of us already have bank accounts and retirement plans because of that. But it isn’t necessarily a welcoming idea to kids. Though teaching them the value of saving is essential, they might not easily commit to it given their young age and understanding of money. Even so, there can be some ways for you to teach your child how to save.

Communicate
Initially, you would have to teach them the difference between wants and needs. Because it can be hard to make younger children understand this, try to use the most basic examples, like food and clothing. This will help them realize the things that they need and the things that are sometimes unnecessary. When they begin saving, communication is still very important. Praising them can be a great way to keep them motivated. If they start getting tempted to spend on smaller things, rarely allow them to do so and tell them why.

Be a Role Model
It won’t necessarily be easy to teach children something if they don’t see you actually doing it as well. It is important to lead by example because simply because your children look up to you especially at a younger age. If possible, you can also put your own jar of money next to theirs so they see that you’re putting in some savings. This will usually make them do the same.

Let Them Make Mistakes
In saving, and in other aspects of life, a great deal of learning can come from mistakes. For the children to know what to do and what not to do with their money, they need to make errors along the way. Parents usually think of intervening and keep their kids from making mistakes. But because we are always bound to make mistakes, in reality, it would definitely be better to teach them about it at an early age.

Let Them Earn on Their Own
Having them earn money on their own can be a great practice and opportunity for them to see the value of saving. It also serves as practice for the real world, showing them how hard work can bring them money. Pay them even just a small amount at first if they finish their chores, for example. They might also eventually learn how to spend that money wisely since it’s the fruit of their own labor.

Help Them Create Goals
As mentioned earlier, it will be hard for children to grasp the idea of saving. But, if you give them a goal or something they should save for, that can be a way to motivate and teach them. If they want to buy a toy, tell them that they should save a certain amount of money so they are able to buy that toy. That, then, becomes their goal.

5 Major Factors That Influence Your Child’s Intelligence

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As a parent, you want nothing else but to raise successful adults out of your beloved children. While the IQ only makes up half of the equation, it’s nevertheless critical in raising well-rounded kids. Here are five of the most important things that will make an impact on your child’s IQ development.

1. Parents
Nature versus nurture. The brain development is not dependent only on genetics. Although growth of brain cells start even before birth, first-hand learning and life experiences are much more important for your little one’s intelligence development.

There’s no need to flood your kid’s room with educational toys. Read books, talk and watch educational TV shows with your children. You can also bring to places that can serve as brain stimuli, like zoos, museums and libraries. Being their number one teacher is the most important factor in ensuring an enriched intelligence.

2. Playtime
Kids should be given plenty of time to enjoy playing, too. This is an opportunity for them to hone their imagination by creating stories, solving problems and completing puzzles independently. Remember that playtime for children is “me-time.” If they feel bored, let them be. The boredom will serve as an opportunity for new discoveries, such as your child’s hobbies and passion.

3. Learning Style
Your child can learn many things in several ways. how does your child solve his math problems? Does he listen to work problems, or does he prefer to solve it with physical games? Find out whether he is an auditory, kinesthetic or visual learner to help study more effectively.

4. Emotional Intelligence
According to child experts, parents should focus on both EQ and IQ for kids to become successful individuals, not only in school but in life in general as well. Ensure that your kid’s mental, physical and emotional needs are taken care of, so they are always in their best condition to learn new things and be able to reach their full potential.

5. Nutrition
Nourish your child with proper nutrition. Give your little one foods rich in good fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that good fats play a vital role in a child’s brain development. Along with veggies, fruits and whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids such as ARA and DHA are considered as brain food for children. Salmon and egg are excellent sources of this essential nutrients, so make sure to include these in your kid’s diet.
Children learn new things rapidly, especially in ages from birth to three, producing over 700 neural connections every second! Help your child reach his full potential by considering these influential factors. Boost your child’s brain power as early as now to ensure they turn into smart and successful adults in the future.

How to Cultivate Our Child’s Self-esteem  

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When a grown-up loses self-esteem, the foundation is not that strong. It is therefore important that we cultivate our children’s self-esteem so they can go placidly amidst the chaos and the trouble. When we hear of self-esteem, it refers to a person’s respect for his/her self and their abilities. Other people also understand self-esteem as a satisfaction and confidence in oneself.

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It is safe to say that self-esteem is the armour that can shield our children against the world. If our children know their weaknesses and strengths, they can handle conflicts at the same time shunning negative pressures. For children with low self-esteem, they will find it difficult to avoid anxiety and frustration. As parents, we just want to make sure that our children grow happy, worthy and unafraid.

It is important that we help cultivate self-esteem early on so there can be changes. Once our children reach adulthood with self-esteem issues, it is difficult to help them. Maintaining balanced self-esteem is effective if we start early. Our goal here is to make our children realize their capabilities and maintain a positive perception about their selves.

So, how do we know if our child has low or healthy self-esteem? Well, a person with low self-esteem often speaks about “I’m stupid” or “What’s the point?” A person with healthy self-esteem often speaks of “I do not understand” because only a person who knows their capabilities can say this without belittling others and themselves. They just accept them and move forward.

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If we think our kids have low self-esteem, it is time that we act. Here are some ways to cultivate their self-esteem:

  • Let us be careful of what we say: Children tend to be overly sensitive. With this, we have to be careful of what we say because it might create a lasting effect on them. Let us always remember to give praise instead of constantly pushing them to do even better.
  • Let us be a positive role model: We cannot talk about self-esteem if we are harsh about ourselves. Our children will eventually take after us so it is crucial that we become a positive role model by boosting our self-esteem.
  • Let us be affectionate: Not all parents realize that affection can create a lasting impact. The love that we show to our kids can boost their self-esteem. We should continually give hugs and tell them that we are proud of them no matter what. It is our responsibility to create a loving and safe home environment.

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Ways to Promote Sibling Harmony

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Have you watched the recent movie “Exodus: God’s and King’s”? In the beginning of the film, you will see the two tons of the Pharaoh – Moses and Ramses. Everyone knows that Moses is adopted and that the rightful heir is Ramses. The brothers did not end up loving each other. Their complicated relationship led to plagues, revolts and mass revolt.

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What was their problem? One of their problems is sibling rivalry since the Pharaoh favours Moses more than his real son. Children with brothers and sisters know sibling rivalry. According to a 1979 study by Brian Sutton-Smith and B.G Rosenberg, sibling rivalry is specifically strong between brothers who are close in age. However, a psychologist from Purdue University Victor Cicirelli said that sibling rivalry is not given. There are those brothers or sisters who transcend to the feeling and let it go.

There are parents here in Singapore that sees the rivalry normal and usual. They should be taught otherwise. Rivalry is serious, damaging, unhealthy and brutal. Parents should nip up the rivalry before it escalates. Here are some ways to promote sibling harmony:

  • Make the older sibling feel important: Older brother or sister tend to feel less important especially if a new baby is coming. If this feeling is not resolved, it will lead to a more serious and harmful sibling rivalry. It is crucial that you let your older child feel important despite the new addition.

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  • Make siblings friends before birth: Even if the baby is still in your womb, you have to acquaint the older one and the baby. You can let the older one see the pictures of the baby in your womb and let him/her touch your womb. You can also sit down with the older child and browse through his/her pictures when he/she was a baby.
  • Share your time with your eldest: Though new born babies require a lot of time and energy, it is still not an excuse for you to let your eldest down. It is hard but if you can just share your time with your eldest, things will be better. For example, if you are feeding the youngest, you can cuddle the eldest and read stories.
  • Do things together: Promoting sibling harmony takes a lot of parental guidance. Eldest children are not so keen on sharing their toys and possessions. They consider their parents their important possession and sharing is not a good idea. You can turn it around. Let your eldest have you whenever he/she needs you.

Siblings are not born adversaries. Parents have the power to stop the rivalry before it blots the relationship of the children. For more help, there are many professionals here in Singapore that you can go to.

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