Parenting

  • 5 Steps to Helping Your Unhappy Child

     

    As parents,  we innately want to make our children happy.  We constantly walk a fine line between enabling and empowering, discipling and disregarding, etc. However, any parent will tell you that all of this easier said than done.  Thoughtful and intentional parenting is work, really hard work.  It takes another level of connectedness that can barely be explained.  Have you ever “felt” the pain of your child? When they hurt, you hurt. You’re elated when they are successful and beyond words when you feel like you’re unable to help them. That’s the level of connectedness that I refer to when I speak of thoughtful parenting.

     

    Temporary  Sadness vs. Unhappiness

    I’m not talking about my team just lost the game unhappy.  I’m referring to the type of unhappiness a child experiences when they feel as if they don’t ever fit in with peers or when they feel like they can never earn good grades regardless of how hard they’ve tried.  Watching our child feel lost, empty and downright unhappy, can feel like a punch in the gut. (more…)

    CONTINUE READING

  • Sun Safety Tips

    Summer is all about spending as much time soaking up as many rays as you can before the cold winter arrives. The best way to do that safely is by slathering yourself in the best sunscreen you can find. But there are so many options, it’s hard to know which kind is the best for you and your family.

     

     

    The Facts:

    Let’s start with UV Rays: what exactly are they? UV stands for Ultraviolet radiation, and it’s a part of the “electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. It has wavelengths shorter than visible light, making it invisible to the naked eye” (Skin Cancer Foundation). There are two types of UV rays: A and B. UVA rays are slightly more harmful and can cause skin damage, aging, and cancer. UVB is the shorter wave of the two that also causes skin damage and some skin cancers. Most importantly, UVB is the reason why you get sunburnt. The best way to protect yourself against these rays is by using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing.

     

    It’s important to choose a sunscreen that has a high SPF and broad-spectrum levels. SPF stands for sun protection factor. The higher the SPF on the bottle sunscreen, the longer the sunscreen blocks the UVB rays and protects your skin from the sun. Broad-spectrum protects from UVA and UVB rays, which helps prevent against sun damage.

     

     

    My Recommendations:

    When choosing a sunscreen, it’s best to check in with yourself first. What is your skin type? What kind of protection do you need? I have sensitive skin and like to use Neutrogena brand sunscreens. Their body sprays have a sheer formula that leaves my skin feeling fresh and not at all greasy. Some of their sunscreens are also waterproof, which makes it perfect for beach days. For the face, I usually stick with them, or I use Aveeno. I like both brands because they are primarily skin care companies, and make sure that their formulas are breathable and healthy.

     

    If you are more athletic (which I am not), I recommend Coppertone sunscreens.  Their SPORT brand is water resistant and stays on through sweat, making it perfect for any heavy-duty athletic activities. It also, like Neutrogena, has a breathable formula that won’t cause breakouts or clog pores.

     

    For kids, I recommend Kiss My Face brands. I used it as a kid and found no issues with it. Their formula is organic, vegan, and cruelty-free, and is safe for all skin types.

     

    Hope these tips suit you well and let you have lots of safe fun in the sun!

    CONTINUE READING

  • Easy Camp Lunches for Picky Eaters

    Parents, you know the drill:

    “That looks gross!”

    “That smells gross!”

    “I’m not eating that!”

    Being a picky eater is a natural part of childhood; most people outgrow it, but at this moment in your kid’s life, it’s the most important thing in the world. You’ve learned to control it – at home, at school, at a restaurant; but now – it’s the summer, which means one thing: camps are starting.

    Summer camps are a blessing, it lets kids be active, and you finally have time to get what you need to get done. But when dealing with a picky eater, you’ve entered a whole other world. During the school months, it’s easier. You’re dealing with a climate controlled atmosphere, and you have more leeway to pack foods that need to withstand the cold. But at a camp, you don’t know what you’re getting. It’s very likely that the only temperature controlled unit your child is getting is the tiny ice pack that you placed in the lunch box.

    So here you are,  panicking about what to feed your picky eater in a climate you can’t control.

    Here are some tips that will help you and your child have a happy and productive summer:

    1) Set up a no-no list:

    Sit down with your kid and together, the two of you can plan out lunches that they will enjoy, and that their friends will be envious of.

    2) Contact the camp:

    By doing this, you’ll be able to find out what foods aren’t allowed due to allergy restrictions, and what the camp does with the lunches (I went to a summer camp that would collect the lunch bags at the beginning of the day, and store them in a giant refrigerator until lunchtime).

    3). Try to change it up:

    Sure, peanut butter and jelly every day would be super easy. Unfortunately, pallets change, and sometimes eating the same thing for lunch every day can become routine and a chore. Try to come up with a lunch of the week. Each week of the camp there’s something different to eat. This will keep your child’s interest and enthusiasm up, and it won’t add any additional pressure on you to keep buying new lunch ingredients every day.

    4) Follow the camp’s policies:

    If there’s a no nut rule, stick with it; you don’t want to put the other campers in danger or get your kid in trouble for breaking the rule. If climate control is an issue, try adapting the lunches to stick with it. Pasta salads with oil-based dressings are a great solution, they can easily adapt to any type of temperature. Same with bean salads, hummus, veggies, and some deli meats and cheeses (from Stretcher.com). Always make sure to throw an ice pack inside the bag for extra coldness.

    5) Involve your camper:

    Have them make the lunches with you! It’s a great bonding activity, it will save time, and it will show your picky eater exactly what is going into their food (from Stretcher.com).

    Summer should be a low-stress time in you and your child’s life. Camps are great fun, and a great way to make sure that your kids are being active during the summer. You want your child to have the best time, don’t let their pickiness get in the way of the best summer ever!

     

    CONTINUE READING

  • My Baby Has Eczema: Now What?

    It happens suddenly one day when you’re playing with your baby; you notice the red rash and bumps on their cheeks or scalp. Eczema. Don’t panic. A few things you should know is that about 20% of babies have this condition, it’s more likely to show up if another family member has it, it isn’t contagious and there’s a good chance your child will outgrow it by age 2. Breathing easier yet? No? No need to worry, I’ve got a few tips to help calm both your baby’s skin and your mind. (more…)

    CONTINUE READING