Friday, April 30, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The strategy involves returning your kid to bed without looking at him or talking to him every time he gets out of bed, no matter how many times it takes. You let him know you’re going to do this ahead of time, but it’s a psychologically brutal parental experience on the first couple nights.
We started by making a sign with Owen’s sleep rules: “At bedtime we: 1. Stay in bed; 2. Close our eyes; 3. Stay very quiet; 4. Go to sleep
We’d resorted to the jack-in-the-box strategy with Will a few years back, and we put him back to bed something like 75 times the first night, 130 times the second night and then Presto, the magic kicked in and there were only a few return trips to bed or maybe none on night three. With Will it worked like magic for a couple weeks, then things quickly fell apart again as soon as we spent a weekend away from home and we’d have to do it over again.
We had to remove Will again on night two, and after about 20 return trips to bed Owen got quiet and we moved Will back. By night three, Owen got with the program, followed his sleep rules and Will got to stay. Since then bedtime has gone relatively smoothly. But I’m sure we’ll regress.
Naptime in the bigger "big boy bed."
**On a side note, Will appears to be fever-free for the first time in six days and we are grateful for that. This was a rough round of Strep to say the least. He's still a little red under the nose, dark under the eyes, thinned out all over -- but at least he's up and playing and eating again.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
In the meantime, I’ve finally found some natural kid-friendly methods for fighting congestion that seem to be helping my kids cope with some of the sinus issues and perhaps prevent some of the ear infections that have plagued us in the past. For stuffy noses, we use Little Noses saline spray as well as an Xlear Kid’s nasal spray, a spray that contains the natural sweetener xylitol and grapefruit seed along with the saline and water. Both Will and Owen think the Xlear is more effective at clearing their noses, and there seems to be some research to back it up. I also let the kids chew xylitol-based gum to stave off ear infections. Both the act of chewing and the xylitol are supposed to be good for preventing ear infections (and preventing tooth decay as well).
I’ll also boil some water, pour it in a mug and let Will breathe the steam in through his nose to loosen all that gunk.
These are the things you have to do when your kids are too young for Buteyko breathing method exercises or a neti pot (both of which have been helping me with my sinus issues).
For nighttime coughs, we’re still using honey -- another simple technique that research has shown to be more effective than any children's cough medicines.
What natural remedies have you found effective for coping with and/or preventing children’s congestion, coughs and ear infections?
Thursday, April 15, 2010
A recent Tulane University study of almost 2,500 children, found that even when controlling for children’s level of aggression at age 3 and other confounding factors, those who were spanked more frequently (more than twice in the previous month) were more likely to be aggressive by age 5. Go here for an abstract of the study, which was published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics.
I wish we could all find ways to share this information with other parents in our life. Disciplining without spanking can feel like a long, frustrating process sometimes – but the payoffs are big.
Here are a few excerpts from a Time article reviewing the Tulane research:
“Now researchers at Tulane University provide the strongest evidence yet against the use of spanking: of the nearly 2,500 youngsters in the study, those who were spanked more frequently at age 3 were more likely to be aggressive by age 5. The research supports earlier work on the pitfalls of corporal punishment, including a study by Duke University researchers that revealed that infants who were spanked at 12 months scored lower on cognitive tests at age 3.”
“ ‘The odds of a child being more aggressive at age 5 if he had been spanked more than twice in the month before the study began increased by 50%,' says Taylor. And because her group also accounted for varying levels of natural aggression in children, the researchers are confident that 'it's not just that children who are more aggressive are more likely to be spanked.’ ”
“Compared with children who were not hit, those who were spanked were more likely to be defiant, demand immediate satisfaction of their wants and needs, get frustrated easily, have temper tantrums and lash out physically against others.
The reason for that, says Singer, may be that spanking instills fear rather than understanding. Even if a child were to stop his screaming tantrum when spanked, that doesn't mean he understands why he shouldn't be acting out in the first place. What's more, spanking models aggressive behavior as a solution to problems.”
“Spanking may stop a child from misbehaving in the short term, but it becomes less and less effective with repeated use, according to the AAP; it also makes discipline more difficult as the child gets older and outgrows spanking. As the latest study shows, investing the time early on to teach a child why his behavior is wrong may translate to a more self-aware and in-control youngster in the long run.”
Any thoughts from you seasoned parents out there?
Monday, April 12, 2010
Owen still hasn’t learned how to sleep well in his own sleeping bag, but in spite of the sleep that both he and I lose in a tent, spending a weekend under the stars and in the woods with my boys is more than worth it.
A few photos:
Hot dog (and marshmallow) roasting and consuming. (We also roasted vegetables in our newly acquired dutch oven.)
Ravine climbing (we are getting excited about an upcoming camping trip with grandma and grandpa to Arches National Park in Utah, where we’ll get to climb on real rock)
Friday, April 9, 2010
If we don't go camping, we will at least go hang out with some reptiles at Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center's annual Reptile Fest . It makes a nice little adventure to bike down the River Walk to Oxbow and mingle with the reptiles before biking home.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
W: "I don’t think there’s really a tooth fairy because fairies aren’t real, right mom?"
M: "Usually I think of fairies just being in stories but a lot of people say there’s a tooth fairy."
W: "Who says it? Do the scientists say it?"
M: "No, I don’t think the scientists do. But lots of parents and story books say there are tooth fairies."
W: "Do you think there’s a tooth fairy?"
M: "I’ve never actually seen a tooth fairy. But when I was a kid and I lost a tooth I’d put it in a little pillow with a special tooth fairy pocket and in the morning my tooth would be gone and there would be a quarter there."
W: “All you got was a quarter?!!?”
And so we left behind those tricky tooth fairy questions and launched into a more innocent discussion about inflation.