Tips and Advice

Family Resources
  • Tips and Advice for Families

    We are always looking for the best ideas to nurture healthy, happy children! Here are a few items we have found recently.

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  • Health + Wellness Tips

    Tips from the Center’s Child & Family Therapist and Registered Nurse

    Liz Davis, Child & Family Therapist | Mary Ann Fischer, Registered Nurse

  • Read Our Health & Wellness Tips

    “I Want It Now” – Dealing with Children’s Wants and Needs – Liz Davis

    Often when I talk with a parent or caregiver and ask “How are you doing?” they will reply, “Fine but I am so tired.” Being a parent is a busy, sometimes exhausting job. Recently I read an article from Hand in Hand Parenting a website about children’s wants and needs that I found had great insight and tools, so I wanted to share it with you.

    Children’s wants and needs begin from their earliest moments and continue into adulthood. These needs and wants may be for tangible items such as a bottle or toy, but they can also be intangible things such as comfort, love and attention. As parents and caregivers, we must figure out the real needs and help them know what to do when they “want something now” but it’s something they don’t need or can’t have now. This can be difficult at times, therefore we, as caregivers, may also need to deal with our own feelings of sadness, anger or frustration about how much our children need and want.

    Why do feelings of need develop and persist? Feelings of neediness – for attention, food, or reassurance that everything is all right – develop especially during moments when children are frightened or sad. These moments occur in every child’s life, no matter how attentive parents may be and sometimes during seemly uneventful or routine times like waiting for a bottle, daddy going to work, or mommy leaving to answer the phone.

    Little experiences of need can leave feelings that a child must deal with. Sometimes a child experiences BIG needs as well. For example, a baby who is being medically treated – separated from their parents’ arms – develops the need to feel safe and nurtured. Children instinctively know their needs should be addressed, but sometimes feelings of need can persist even after the moment of need has passed. In these instances, they may cry or tantrum so that they can feel the need fully, show you how they hurt, and thus eliminate the hold the feeling has on them. Then they can function more logically and boldly, and feel much better about themselves.

    How can I support my child when they feel needy and want it now? Your attention is powerful. For example, if a child is frustrated but has to wait, move in and offer gentle touch. Stay, listen to and acknowledge your child’s feelings. For example, “You are sad; you want to go outside now.” Let him/her know they will get a turn or the need met eventually. At The Childhood League Center, staff may remind a child of the classroom schedule by using picture cues or give the child a “WAIT” card that can support delayed gratification. Also, frequent usage of When…Then statements helps a child know what to expect. For example, “When we finish lunch… then we can go outside.” If your child has a meltdown, “I’ll help you wait” is a good, reassuring comment and can help pour love into the needy feelings your child is experiencing. Wait quietly while he/she is upset and remember that sometimes a good cry or tantrum can be a great release of “leftover” feelings of wanting.

    Above all, we know that children need to be treated with respect. They need play, lots of room to experiment, and lots of positive response to who they are and what interesting experiments they do. Their minds work beautifully, and from birth they fully understand the emotional impact of every interaction with us. They also understand far more language than we realize. Your responses matter!

    If you have questions or would like to talk about ways to help support your child, contact Liz Davis, Child and Family Therapist, at The Childhood League Center at Elizabethd@ChildhoodLeague.org or (614) 253-6933 x215.

    *Adapted from an article from Hand in Hand Parenting. Copies of the complete article are also available in Library Square.

    Protecting Your Baby – Mary Ann Fischer

    Every day I work with children who have or had significant health challenges. As their caretaker, or one of the people who interacts with them on a regular basis, I feel responsible to help ensure a safe environment for them while they are in my care. Our staff participates in medical training useful to classroom and home settings, and they are also required to be current on their vaccinations. We care about your family and the well-being of your children!

    Did you know that it is important to implement this idea with newborns as well? It’s called cocooning, and it simply means surrounding children under 6 months old only with people who have received their vaccines. Children under 6 months old are too small to receive vaccinations, and therefore are at high risk for catching contagious diseases. This easy idea is effective and creates a safe cocoon for your child to healthily develop!

    For more information and details on cocooning, check out this great resource from the Immunization Action Coalition

    Successful Ways To Start School Days – Liz Davis

    The first few weeks of school involve change – new faces, new schedules and new transitions.

    They are often exciting but also confusing for families, especially families with young children. It is common for young children to be upset and experience anxiety with separating from family and experiencing new environments. That’s probably not any comfort when you have a clinging, crying, screaming little ones with arms wrapped around your neck!

    Our Center has been focused on supporting your child (and hopefully you!) with adjusting to back to school routines and expectations. Many of the children have been introduced to “Buddy Bee”, our school friend who helps us learn school expectations which results in the child being more secure and confident. School flyers have been sent home to families about our Center Rules and how to help your child “BEE” ready for school. The flyers and other back to school resources are also available in Library Square.

    Your child may need time to adjust to school and transitions may not be their thing. Not to worry! With some patience and a few ideas, your little one will get into the swing of school. Until then, a few helpful ideas:

    Start the day with special time! This suggestion was recently discussed on the website, Handinhandparenting.org. You can set the alarm clock 10-15 minutes early. Use the 10 minutes for pajama-clad special time with your child before the rush begins.

    Fill your child up with warm, playful attention before worrying about the day. This undivided attention and caring can bolster a young child who is anxious about what this new day will bring.

    Remind your child about school. Talk about the upcoming school day so it does not come as a surprise. Talk about what they may like to do and how the teachers will take care of them.

    Be positive and listen calmly! Your child may tell you non verbally or verbally what they are feeling. Say “You seem a little worried. Sometimes I get a little worried, too. I feel better when I try it for a while.” or just a calm “You are upset.”

    Give your child something to hold. If needed, let your child bring a security object (a small stuffed animal or blanket) they can carry into the building and keep in their cubby.

    Be sure to say goodbye! Appear confident that your child will separate and be okay. Say a cheerful “Bye bye… love you” and walk out without a backward glance. Sometimes our Center’s drop-off option at the back gate is a helpful solution.

    Check in with the teacher. Your child may cry at separation or drop-off but the tears may turn off a few minutes after you are gone. If extra support is needed, teachers or therapists are a great resource and will want to work with you to come up with a plan.

    Fun In The Sun (Safety Tips) – Mary Ann Fischer

    Most kids get much of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18, so it is important to teach them how to enjoy fun in the sun safely. Taking the right precautions can greatly reduce your child’s risk of developing skin cancer.

    Sunburn can happen within 15 minutes of being in the sun, but the redness and discomfort may not be noticed for a few hours. Repeated sunburns can lead to skin cancer.

    Minimize kids’ summer sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    Have kids wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and a hat.

    Apply sunscreen that provides UVB and UVA protection with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.

    Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure and 30 minutes after exposure begins, then reapply after kids have been swimming or sweating.

    Although the best way to protect babies 6 months of age or younger is to keep them shaded, you can use minimal amounts of sunscreen (with an SPF of at least 15) on small exposed areas, like the face.

    All children at The Center will be bringing home a letter regarding application of sunscreen at school. Please fill out the attached medication administration sheet and send in sunscreen for your child clearly labeled with their name. Thank you for helping us keep your children safe!

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  • Recipes From Our Kitchen

    Recipes from the Center’s Chef

    Jennifer, Childhood League Chef

  • Read Our Receipes From Our Kitchen

    Awesome Strawberries & Cream Banana Ice Cream – Chef Jennifer

    A nice, easy & healthy version of ice cream that only takes a few minutes!

    INGREDIENTS:

    1 1/2 peeled medium bananas, sliced into coins and frozen until solid
    1/3 cup roughly chopped frozen strawberries
    2 Tablespoons cream
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract *Optional*

    DIRECTIONS:

    Blend bananas in food processor until they are the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Blend in strawberries and cream until smooth, and transfer to a freezer container and freeze until solid. Makes 2 servings.

    Whole Grain Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – Chef Jennifer

    An easy way to get some whole grains into your diet! These soft cookies are delicious and can be adapted to all sort of add-ins like dried cranberries, nuts or sunflower seeds.

    INGREDIENTS:

    3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon table salt
    8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
    6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
    6 Tablespoons light brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon water
    1 cup rolled oats (old fashioned)
    6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

    DIRECTIONS:

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F). Butter or line baking sheets. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and water. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoons onto the baking sheets, spacing the dough 1” apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove to cooling racks.

    Healthy Snack-time Ideas – Chef Jennifer

    Kids are going to snack; there is no doubt about that. However, snacking doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Here are some fun and healthy options to try at home from the academy of nutrition and dietetics:

    – Rocky Road – Break a graham cracker into bite-size pieces. Add to low-fat chocolate pudding along with a few miniature marshmallows.

    – Parfait – Layer vanilla yogurt + mandarin oranges or blueberries in a tall glass. Top with a sprinkle of granola.

    – Mini Pizza – Toast an English muffin, drizzle with pizza sauce and sprinkle with low-fat mozzarella cheese.

    – Snack Kabobs – Put cubes of low-fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.

    – Banana Split – Top a banana with low-fat vanilla and strawberry frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with your favorite whole-grain cereal.

    – Inside-out Sandwich – Spread mustard on a slice of deli turkey. Wrap around a sesame bread stick.

    – Apples & Peanut Butter – Spread peanut butter on apple slices

    – Baked Potato – Microwave a small baked potato. Top with reduced-fat cheddar cheese and salsa.

    – Parmesan Popcorn – Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on hot popcorn

    – DIPS – Dip baby carrots and cherry tomatoes in low-fat ranch dressing,
    Dip strawberries or apple slices in low-fat yogurt and Dip pretzels in mustard

    Simple Chili – Chef Jennifer

    As the days get colder, what better way to warm up than with a great bowl of chili!

    INGREDIENTS:

    1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
    ½ pound ground sausage – pork, chicken, or turkey sausage
    1 onion, chopped
    1 small green bell pepper, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    1 (16 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 (16 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    2 (14½ oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
    1 cup ketchup
    1 cup pureed pumpkin or butternut squash
    2 Tbsp Tabasco hot sauce (optional)
    2–3 Tbsp chili powder
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    Salt and pepper to taste

    DIRECTIONS:

    Cook first 4 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Place mixture in 5-quart slow cooker; stir in beans and remaining ingredients. Cook at HIGH 3 to 4 hours or at LOW 5 to 6 hours. Alternately after browning the beef this can be cooked in a large pot with a lid for about an hour on low simmer.

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