Kids speak out: My favorite thing about my dad is…

Editor’s note: Attachment Parenting International (API) continues with APtly Said’s celebration of fathers through the theme of “Fathers are special.” Dads, we recognize and honor your involvement and presence in your children’s lives. Together, hand-in-hand we are mightier, nurturing children for a compassionate world.

Fathers are different than mothers — and that’s a good thing!

Generally speaking, fathers play a different role as the caregiver in the family: They are more playful and risk-oriented, whereas mothers are more nurturing and are more concerned with the safety and security of their child. The difference in parenting styles stems from different life experiences as well as distinct traits. Children greatly benefit from their father’s participating in their care — more prominent in recent decades — as they get to experience a more balanced view of the world and various ways to interact in the world.  A lot of medical practitioners have committed medical malpractices in one way or the other on patients for treatments. For instance, a medical doctor might recommend an unnecessary surgery to a patient for injury sustained, but instead of the operation to heal the injury, you were able to discover through many medical checkups done with another doctor that the surgery did worsened it. The patient that this has happened to will file a lawsuit because he/she understands the medical malpractice guide well. But this is quite unfortunate these days that many individuals that have similar or related medical malpractice have happened to not know their rights. Some set of individuals are affected by cases like this, and they did not do anything because they don’t know it is something they can fight against. We cannot continue to let people suffer in the hands of medical practitioners that fail to do the right things in treating a patient. Our team has shown concern by trying to treat the issue so everyone can act when necessary to correct the wrongdoings in our society in these modern days. We have included the necessary things to be done and when to carry out the lawsuit if you have been subjected to medical malpractice by medical personnel before. We all can define medical malpractice to mean the deviation of medical doctors from the recognized “standard of care” during the process of giving treatments to patients. What we mean by “standard of care” is when a reasonable prudent medical practitioner performs the right and perfect treatment on a patient. On the norm, medical malpractice when a doctor performs negligently to giving treatment to the patient in need of it.Understanding the elements of a successful malpractice claim is key in an attempt to win your lawsuit. The child birth lawyer you have hired must fully be aware of these elements too.

 

But truly, each dad is as unique as his personality, and who would be more qualified to express how special they are, than their own children? To that end, we invited a diverse group of children to share with us their inspiring thoughts of what makes their dad special in their lives.

My favorite thing about my dad is… 

Noemi, 9: “…that he plays with me.”

Liliana, 8: “…he is funny, loving, caring, and cool. He plays with me when I have no one to play with. Also, he got me ready for stuff like when grandpa died. When I need help, he will help me, like with math. Also, he supports our family.”

Oliver, 10: “…that he is nice.”

Emily, 9: “…that he loves me.”

Adam, 9: “…that he pushes me harder when I feel I will give up and now I can do things I never thought I would be able to do.”

Connor, 7: “…that he is silly and makes up funny navy jokes.”

Nathaniel, 11: “…his drawing skills.”

Ella, 8: “…when he turns me upside down and tickles me.”

Mia, 6: “…the way he makes us laugh and he tells funny jokes.”

Rachel, 11: “…that he loves me and he doesn’t grow a big beard.”

Ethan, 13: “…that he never gives up on things that he starts. He always makes sure to finish work in time to be with us. He never lets us down. Another part of him that I favor is the respect and kindness that he shows to everyone.”

Nathan, 5: “…that he fixes things.”

Ethan, 9: “…that he helps me with everything.”

Gabriel, 20: “…his artistic and compassionate view of reality.”

John, 10: “…he is fun.”

Julian, 18: “…his knowledge of painting and music and his willingness to share it with me.”

Alexia, 11: “…he loves music and so do I. He supported my in home guitar lessons since I was 5.”

Thomas, 9: “…that he is very nice and forgiving, in that he gives us second chances.”

Shelly, 12: “…that he buys me all those expensive art supplies that I need.”

Daniel, 10: “…he always makes time to play with me and he supports our family. Also, he provides everything for my mom, sister and me. He also loves soccer as much as I do.”

Andreas, 13: “…how forgiving and loving he is. He is just an overall unbelievably amazing father.”

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Inspired to read more about fatherhood?

Father’s and AP

I am a present father

Dads, talk about being a father

Fathers, enjoy the now

Reflections of AP fatherhood

Being a daddy

Transformation of being a father

How has being a dad changed me?

An adoptive father’s epiphany

Daddy and me

Kids speak out: I admire my dad because…

Editor’s note: The essence of Attachment Parenting is about forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. This Father’s Day,  Attachment Parenting International (API) is celebrating fathers with the theme, “Dads are special.” Dads, we recognize and appreciate the importance of your involvement in your children’s lives — when our children flourish, our society thrives.   

Today, more than ever, fathers are taking an active role in all aspects of raising and nurturing their children. Children, families, and society benefit from fathers’ care-giving and parenting contributions.

The importance of early positive father involvement is highlighted in the article, “10 facts about father engagement,” by The Fatherhood Project. According to research, father involvement has lifelong impact on children such as:

  • Spending time together leads to greater academic success;
  • Lending emotional support leads to more positive social behavior;
  • Giving everyday assistance leads to fewer conduct problems; and
  • Using non-coercive discipline leads to lower levels of depression.

But well beyond research, children themselves feel and know the positive impact their daddy’s involvement makes in their lives. As such, we invited a diverse group of children to share with us their inspiring thoughts about what they admire most about their dad.

I admire my dad because… 

Oliver, 10: “…he is lovable.”

Connor, 7: “…he is very smart with electronics and fiber optics.”

Rachel, 11:  “…that he hard-working at things, like building the brick sidewalk.”

Adam, 9: “…he is an amazing contractor and he builds everything for me. One day I hope to be just like him.”

Ella, 8: “…he is a really good fisher.”

Daniel, 10: “…he is funny, fair, and kind to my family, and he is a very hard worker so we get the things we need.”

Emily, 9: “…he can build chicken houses.”

Alexia, 11: “…he is always caring and respectful.”

Sofia, 6: “…he works hard and loves us so much.”

Noemi, 9: “…he is good at soccer.”

Nathaniel, 11: “…he is creative and has passed that onto me.”

Ethan, 13: “…he never lets us down. He always has enough energy to cheer us up and make us food when we’re hungry. I think that my dad really has confidence in his children including me. He’s a really lovable guy, always cracking jokes and playing around. I understand that there could be some hard times in life, but we must live to the fullest. That’s what he teaches me.”

Julian, 18: “…he has a very subtle, yet profound, appreciation for art.”

Shelly, 12: “…even though it may not be easy for him, he still works and takes care of his family every day.”

Andreas, 13: “…he is so hard working and determined, it inspires me through my daily life.”

Ethan, 9: “…he teaches me how to do stuff, and he always helps me.”

Liliana, 8: “…he is always kind to us, and he makes money for all of us. He shows us the right things to do, and he makes sure we’re safe and we’re happy.”

Thomas, 9: “…he teaches me many things that helped me greatly through my life.”

John, 10: “…he takes great care of me!”

Nathan, 5: “…he learns stuff.”

Gabriel, 20: “…he has a very good set of morals.”

—————

Inspired to read more about fatherhood?

Being a daddy

Transformation of being a father

How has being a dad changed me?

I am a present father

Dads, talk about being a father

Fathers, enjoy the now

Reflections of AP fatherhood

An adoptive father’s epiphany

Father’s and AP

Daddy and me

 

This is how my son started to enjoy reading

Editor’s note: May is Get Caught Reading Month. Founded in 1999, this campaign was launched to remind people about the joys and fun of reading. Reading can be informative for parents as they navigate through the challenges of parenting and the various stages of their child’s development. Reading can also serve as a supportive way to deepen attachment and nurture relationships:

When my son was 6 and recently started reading on his own, he didn’t enjoy reading as much as I’d hoped he would.

I was a little discouraged, because I know how important reading is for children and because I felt that I’d done everything I was supposed to do in order to instill a love of reading in my child. I’d read to him since birth, had plenty of books around the house, made sure he saw me reading frequently, and provided opportunities to go to the library since he was a baby. I also took him to this Early Learning Centre (upcoming openings for slp jobs in california)so he could learn even more while me and my husband work.  It seemed that he should like to read.

The Best Encouragement May Not Be Any at All

I was somewhat torn about what to do. I wanted to encourage him, because I believe that reading is important and beneficial to children. But I didn’t want to push him too much to the point where reading became something that was a chore rather than a fun hobby. If you want to get the best education for your child then check out this 2nd Grade Reading Curriculum.

I knew I didn’t want to make a reading log, because I knew the research showed that they actually backfire and make kids less inclined to read on their own. If he was going to read, I wanted it to be because of an intrinsic desire to do so, and I didn’t want my efforts to backfire.

So, I backed off a little bit and accepted that maybe he just wasn’t going to love reading.

Like all things with parenting, even when do we everything “right” to encourage the best habits out of our children, we also know that they are their own person with their own desires, interests, and personalities. I’d done my best to encourage an interest in reading and continued to do so, but I also accepted that even if he wasn’t a book lover like me, perhaps he would instead find other ways to learn and spend his time productively.

After I saw that my kid enjoyed reading and writing I took him to Art School, so he can develop his creativity as a little boy.You can also download the e-book in the PDF format. If you are unable to open that e-book or want to read that e-book in another platform, then I will suggest you to convert PDF to Word to read the e-book.

Shortly after this shift in my mindset, he had a sudden desire to start reading more. Part of it was returning to school for the start of first grade and having a friend who enjoyed reading the Magic Tree House book series. Soon, my son was interested in these books, too, and couldn’t get enough of them.

Now, he reads most days on the way to and from school and also at bedtime, though I don’t force it and I’m fine if he wants to take a day off.

An Unexpected Connection Point

Many nights, as he’s reading, I’ll sit beside him reading my own book — he really enjoys this. Even though we’re not talking, we’re sharing this activity that we both love. Just like when I read aloud to him when he was a newborn so that he could hear my voice, it’s a great way for us to connect.

4 tips to help children grieve the loss of a pet

Until 5 a.m. this Valentine’s Day, we shared our home with a sweet ginger kitty named Sophie, These ear infection home remedy tips helped my puppy get back to normal but She was our special friend and bed warmer for 14 years. Her presence was an orange-colored angora thread woven through the fabric of our family’s life. Now we find ourselves confronted with having no choice but to traverse the rugged road toward accepting that our kitty is gone. We regret we could not spend more time with her due to our travelling all the time for work. This is one of of the primary reasons why we just found information on service animal registration and are going to get our dog “Bruno” registered on it as soon as possible so that we can take him along where ever we go. Dog Walking Insurance UK : Business Insurance for Dog Walkers : DogWalkerInsurance

At first, when a pet dies there is the shock of things being all wrong. The atmosphere changes in your house. Now we wake up and there is no sleeping kitty among the covers. That spot on the couch will never again be occupied by our fluff baby who smelled like sandalwood and cardamom. The void left by the death of our beloved cat makes us feel as if our house is not completely a home anymore, we are thinking about adopting one again, it just feels right, my cat sneeze so much back when we he used to be with us, that’s one of the sounds we miss the most. To learn more about preventing spread of infection Control Results can help your healthcare facility keep your patients protected from HAIs.

If you have pets, you know what they add to your family’s life. My daughter Nicole laughed for the first time when she noticed Sophie’s face looking down at her, one paw gingerly touching her baby belly. When Niki was 4, she told me that she was lucky to have 3 Mommies: me, Mother Earth, and Sophie whose nickname was in fact Mama Kitty as per an article we found in teacupdogdaily.com.

It has not been easy to say goodbye and let her cross over the Rainbow Bridge.

If you are interested there are Cat Boarding Melbourne services you can hire, they welcome pets boarding in all types of facilities (private rooms, boarding houses, hospitals, retirement homes, etc.) with the following conditions:

  • Cat must be allowed to have contact with children under the age of six
  • Cat must be kept in a clean environment free from contamination or hazardous substances
  • We do not allow cats with visible injuries such as bites, claws, or broken nails
  • In all facilities we provide a safe, secure environment for cats to stay, be greeted and loved.
  • The cost for boarding is paid monthly and the amount varies depending on the type of facility and the individual cat.

Loss of a Pet Could Be a Child’s First Experience with the Permanence of Death

Losing a beloved pet engenders a special kind of sorrow. It is grief that does not go away quickly, because it is not an event of sadness but, instead, is a process of readjusting to a new reality without someone who was loved.

Children need the freedom to feel all that they do for as long as it takes. When they are allowed to be present with their feelings in an authentic way and, even better, when they know we accompany them as they move at their own pace through the process of grieving, they learn that a painful loss will gradually become more tolerable.

In our culture, we don’t do grief very well. We are often at a loss when in the presence of someone in deep emotional pain. As parents, we might have to run interference when well-meaning friends, grandpas, or aunts try to help erase the child’s sadness without realizing that there is no way to rush the grieving process.

When someone suggests to a bereaved child that a new cat or dog or hamster will fix everything, it can make them feel worse. How can you replace the one you loved so much? You cannot, he is gone. Forever. And while, yes, it is good that the kitty’s suffering is over, that does not make it any less painful that she had to die to be free.

Tears and sobs are going to come in waves so we may have to ask our extended family, or a Papa who gets nervous when there are tears, to just hang onto the boat while it takes its course. It will not hurt this bad forever, but it will hurt for as long as it does.

That said, there are things that can help during the grieving process. When our beloved dog died, as I fumbled with red eyes to find my way through the terrible feelings of loss, I discovered some practices that helped us to lessen the overwhelming quality of our sorrow. But all the accessories that you might have brought for your dog would make it harder for you to move on, despite inculcating such practices.

4 Tips to Help Children with the Bereavement Process of a Cherished Pet:  

1) The Necessary Rite of Passage of a Proper Burial

The mind and heart need a rite of passage to help us comprehend that things are no longer the same. Years ago, when the vet put down another cat, he had the wise insight to ask me if I wanted to take his body in order to give him a proper burial.

When my stepchildren’s tiny turtle died, it was very important for them at ages 10 and 11 to give him a funeral. They made a little mausoleum out of marble tiles in the corner of our yard and ceremoniously laid him to rest with a heartfelt tribute. I found his food canister there once, and on the Day of the Dead, they put flowers on his tomb.   

2) A Traditional Funeral

It is tradition in Mexico — where we live — to keep the body of a deceased family member laid in state in the family living room for 24 hours after death. Relatives, friends, and neighbors come to pay their last respects. This allows the mind to comprehend that the person has transitioned out of their body. It is sad, but it helps since it gives everyone the opportunity to let reality set in.

After she released her last breath, we laid Sophie on her cat bed and arranged flowers in a vase next to her. We lit a candle that burned while Niki was in school. The fact of her death was undeniable, but we could stroke her fur and talk to her while having the benefit of still being able to see her body, the one we had hugged and loved so many years.

Once a proper grave was dug, we put on our prettiest dresses and prepared for the burial ceremony. Niki filled up a little basket with magenta bougainvillea flowers. We gathered up Sophie’s toys. Also a model train set is a very good gift for your kid, so he can distract himself by having fun. It made us laugh when we remembered to get some yarn for her to play with,because she never accepted that knitting was not a game. Niki said that it was too bad we could not send her off with the couch she had destroyed. The couch damage aside, recalling good memories helped…then hurt…then made us laugh…then cry and hug. That is how grief goes. That’s how it is shared.

We carried Sophie to the place under the trees overlooking the valley. We laid her down into the grave, head facing east to the rising sun. We arranged the toys and Nicole’s drawing that had been made to encourage our kitty when she got sick. We thanked our beautiful friend for being our lovie. We said everything we needed to. Then we covered her in flowers, sang a eulogy song, and finally let the dirt cover her. And when that was done, we placed a flower arrangement on her grave, a pretty one, because that was how much we love her.

3) A Candle Ceremony

Creating ceremonial space in this way connects children to a sense of reverence for the love shared with their pet while also teaching them to take care of their own sad heart.

Petloss.com is a sweet website that offers a loving space where bereaved humans can register the name of the deceased family pet and upload a tribute. It feels important to do that, like you are declaring that the life, now gone, mattered — a lot. We added Sophie’s name this morning. Our dog is listed there, too. There also is a link on the site to online pet loss counseling.

The website also offers a gentle opportunity to join with others in the solidarity of grieving every Monday at 10 pm EST, when bereaved humans from all over the world light a candle at the same time for their lost pet. People are encouraged to do this every week for as long as they feel moved.

This Monday, we lit a candle and felt the comfort of knowing that others are also celebrating their friendship with one who had brought them so much joy. This will help.

4) Honoring the Fond Memories and the Friendship

The love does not go away because our pet left her body. We now have to dispose of things like her medicine that are painful reminders that she suffered illness that led to her death. We remove them, because seeing them makes us sad. At the same time, even though it is painful with her passing so recent, it would be a mistake to avoid thinking about the good times or to try to forget everything we shared. We want to celebrate and hold on to good memories. They are what give sacred meaning to the tears. Our kids can learn to hold the joy close in their hearts even while the grief looks on.

One way to help them navigate the complexity of feelings is to give them a symbol of the friendship that encourages them to anchor their remembrance in the safe harbor of happy memories. It can be a framed photo of them with their pet on the nightstand or a symbolic object that reminds them of the special friendship for the treasure that it was.

 

Our kitty was a real hugger. Fortunately, among the odd fabrics in my stash, I had an old angora sweater with a hole in the sleeve that miraculously was the same color as Niki’s Sophie. I sewed it up into a soft, huggable pillow in the shape of a full heart and put it in Sophie’s spot on the bed. This morning, I found Nicole hugging it and saying, “I hope you are happy where you are now.” She told me that I can use it when I start to miss Mama Kitty. I know I will.

Building a strong parent-child bond through Playful Parenting

father-1633655_1280One of the most important and challenging undertakings of parenting is to build strong, close bonds between children and their parents. A strong parent-child connection enables children to become confident, independent, develop healthy relationships, and become a peaceful adult.

In his book Playful Parenting, Dr. Lawrence Cohen points out that through play, children explore the world, work through challenging situations and get connected with the people they are close with.

I have found that approaching common parenting struggles with Playful Parenting techniques to be very effective, and it helps to make things easier and more fun for everyone in our family.

Through play, we get to join our children’s world — promoting mutual respect, exploration, and cooperation while enjoying each other’s company.

Using Play to Manage Parenting Struggles

Parents of young children experience many situations where the child resists when they’re asked to do something: They don’t want to pick up their toys or get dressed to go out; they don’t want their hair washed or their nails cut. The list goes on. Making a game out of these tasks can help. It instantly makes the activity more fun and enjoyable for the child and makes it something they’re much less likely to resist.

When my toddler son was into recycling and trash trucks, we made a game of cleaning up his blocks by saying, “Let’s put all the trash in the trash truck.” The blocks were the trash, and the container was the trash truck. When he was 3 and very much into firefighters, we made a game of getting dressed to leave the house by saying, “There’s a fire! It’s time to get in the fire truck. Let’s get on our fire coats and boots!” He’d then be quick to get on his shoes and coat to get in the car.

Many times, parents think they don’t have time for such games. You’re in a hurry to get out the door, so why add in a game and waste more time? But I find that when we play our way through it like this, it actually takes less time for my children to get ready.

Some critics say that parents shouldn’t have to do this and that a child shouldn’t need a game to make them listen. While it’s true that they don’t need it, and there are many other ways to help children cooperate, it does make it more enjoyable. Just like, as an adult, I find it’s more enjoyable to clean while listening to music, or to fold laundry while watching TV. It’s the same concept.

Playing Your Way Through Fears

Play can help release tension and can make what seems scary into something silly. In this way, it can be used to help children work through their fears.

When my son was 4, he was scared during thunderstorms. The sudden sound of thunder was too startling for him, and it kept him tense at bedtime. One night during a storm, I said to him, “What do you think that thunder sounds like? I think it sounds like a train rumbling down the track.” He loved Thomas the Train, so I suggested, “Maybe it’s Thomas!” He started to laugh, and I kept going: “That was really loud. It must’ve been Gordon, because he’s so big!” This turned it into a fun game and made the experience less scary.

Play can also help with minor stresses. A child may come home upset after a hard day at school but then may get to work out some of those emotions by playing school where he is the teacher and in charge.

Dr. Cohen talks more about the idea of using play to handle childhood anxiety in his book The Opposite of Worry.

Connecting with Children Through Play

One part of Playful Parenting is about strengthening connection between parent and child. Children who feel connected and attached to their parents feel closer to them and thus want to cooperate with them. One simple and effective way to connect with our children is to sit and play with them.

Playing can be hard for adults: We’re out of practice, or have low patience, we may have forgotten how to play, or simply feel like we don’t have the time for it. Some people may feel awkward or embarrassed about being silly and goofy if they participate in children’s imaginative play, like a dad who may not want to sit and play with dolls with his young daughter.

However, when we make the effort to be involved in our children’s interests and carve out even as little as 10 minutes a day for one-on-one child-led playtime, our children notice it and respond positively. Deepening our connection with our children makes them more likely to respect us and to want to do what we ask of them. It helps them feel secure and loved, and makes us all happier.

3 tips for connection in the summertime

DSC02151Summertime can bring a variety of opportunities to connect with our children and enjoy new experiences together. It especially can be a time to reconnect with a child who has been at school all day throughout the year and is now home each day.

Here are 3 suggestions for deepening the family connection during the summertime:

1) Start a family tradition or ritual

Creating traditions and rituals each summer, just as during other seasons and holiday times, can help children experience predictability and be a source of family bonding. In our family, summer traditions include minor league baseball games, going to a carnival, visiting all the libraries in the county, and eating dinner outside.

We didn’t consciously set out to create these traditions: They just happened as we found things that our family enjoyed together and things that to us say, “summer.”

You may also want to bring some traditions from your own childhood into your families now.

IMAG007922) Get outside

Research has shown a correlation between time outside and reduced stress levels. Being outside in nature also helps keep kids calmer. Consider a trip to the best points for Apple picking in NJ, they will love it and learn a lot from a nutritive fruit

There are so many opportunities to get outside throughout the day. It can be staying near home and playing in the yard, or venturing out further for a hike or nature walk. Try to visit different playgrounds and climb the playground equipment along with your children.

Or, when you’re in a need of an opportunity for self-care and craving some balance, sit and enjoy a book in the fresh air while they play.

Some of the fun activities my children like to do outside our house include getting a bucket full of shaving cream and some paintbrushes and “painting” the deck using longest lasting deck stain, filling a squirt bottle with water, searching for bugs and pretending to be bugs, doing messy art projects outdoors, and setting up an outdoor movie night. If you are not having a redwood decking but wanna build one for your kids, so that they can do outdoor activities, then contact Outside Entertainment Area Specialists for the deck building.

3) Find fun activities, but don’t force them

A few years ago, I created a “summer wish list” of about 15 places to go or things to do during the summer. We didn’t end up doing all of them, but it was helpful to have some plans and suggestions. Some of those activities became our traditions, while others were one-time only outings.

While these can be great, it’s also important to remember that some may not work out as you planned. Sometimes, what seems like a great idea to us sounds boring to our children. I’ve been trying to take my oldest son strawberry-picking since he loves strawberries and since it was something I loved as a child, but he’s simply not interested. Rather than forcing it, I work on finding other activities he is interested in and focus on being present with him in whatever it is we end up doing. Sometimes that means just playing board games inside.

It’s important to remember that these activities are about strengthening our family connection. If the activity is stressful to you, not enjoyed by the kids, and not creating a good bonding experience, don’t feel bad about scrapping it for something else!

I hope you enjoy exploring, experiencing and connecting with your kids this summer!

Screens are powerful — but dangerous — attachment tools

Shoshana-150x150It used to be the television.

Back in the 1980s, Neil Postman, professor of communication arts and sciences from New York University, said that television is a disastrous influence on children because it shortens their attention span, erodes their linguistic powers and causes them to become increasingly impatient. Perhaps even more serious, it opens up all of society’s taboos and secrets, thus erasing the boundaries between childhood and adulthood, creating a homogenized culture rather than a hierarchical one.

Today it’s the smartphone, computer and iPad.

The intrusion of even more kinds of screens in our lives is having an overwhelming effect on our families. Dr. Gordon Neufeld cautions that before we put these devices into the hands of our children and adolescents, we need to put rules and restrictions in place for their use. These screens are so addictive by their very nature that even we adults have a hard time turning them off and disconnecting from them. All the more so, we need to guard our children from becoming too attached to them.

My son and daughter-in-law recently noticed that their two daughters, ages 10 and 8, were spending too much time in front of the television and the iPad. They thought the girls would react strongly to the new rules they were about to begin enforcing, but were pleasantly surprised that the girls seemed to appreciate Mom and Dad taking charge of the screens.

After a few “screen-less” weeks, I asked how their new lifestyle was holding up and the results were exciting: The girls began asking their parents to take them to the library on a regular basis, and they are spending much more time reading. They are also playing outside more. The house is calmer and quieter without the background noise from the screens. The parents themselves feel calmer and have even looked for ways to restrict their own use of their smartphones. There is more space for real human connection and also for more creativity.

Child TVFreedom from screens provides psychological rest for the brain. When we are connected to screens, we are — in essence — seeking attachment, the default setting of our brains. Screens are powerful attachment tools, but the attachment they provide is merely a “fix” — it is superficial and fleeting, and this pursuit becomes addictive. It does not satisfy the real need for human contact and closeness, so both child and adult are driven to come back again and again for another fix — another attempt to fill this attachment hunger.

When parents restrict screen use for their children, they are helping their children come to rest from this futile pursuit. The brain shifts gears and can now rest from this futile pursuit. Only parents and other caring adults can give children fulfilling experiences of attachment and bring their brains to rest. This rest from the work of seeking attachment frees the child’s mind to explore and create like downloading a book and reading it thanks to sodapdf converter.

I like to write to my granddaughters by e-mail. Once a week, they can use their iPads to write to me and to other relatives. It’s just one example of how parents can show their children how to safely use screens without becoming addicted or controlled by them.

And as for the TV at my granddaughters’ house — it was relegated to a corner bedroom upstairs where it’s no fun at all to sit and watch!

Hygge

cason zarroWhat an exciting time of the year! The days are getting shorter, and the wish lists are getting longer. My evening walks have been so pleasant as neighbors are putting up twinkling lights that add such cheer to an otherwise gloomy night.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want my children’s experience to be of this season. What do I want them to remember, and what do I hope they are looking forward to?

No matter what your spiritual beliefs, I think it’s safe to say we all want the hearts of our children to be filled with joy and thankfulness, excitement and wonder.

Beautiful, soft candle light, delicious food, a crackling fire, laughter, togetherness and happiness are what the winter holidays are about to me.  This is the time we pull out board games and laugh until our sides hurt with cousins from afar.

I haven’t been to Denmark, but apparently this warm feeling of connection has a word in Danish. They call it “hygge,” pronounced hi-ga with a short i.

My New Year’s resolution last year was to bring more hygge into our lives.

I enlisted the help of a friend, rearranged the living room, added warm lighting, added more pillows and created a welcoming, cozy room that practically begged my family to relax into it at the end of the day. As if by magic, the whole family naturally gravitated to the living room, a room that was previously used mainly for walking through. Sometimes we read, sometimes we snuggle, and many times we talk and recant our days.

These simple changes have brought our family closer and changed our whole feeling about our home. The spirit of the holidays can indeed live throughout the year!

In consciously trying to draw my children’s focus away from gifts, gifts, gifts during this time of the year, I encourage my children to talk excitedly about who we are going to see, what family members will be present, the fun games we will play and the predictable traditions we look forward to at our celebration. This is the time of year I bring out our special German candle holders with miniature people who dance by the power of the heat of the flames.

My family draws names for gift giving, and I love the opportunity to take each child shopping for a special gift for the family member whose name they drew. It gives us a chance to think in depth about that person and what they might like.

In remembering holidays past, we often remember the overall feeling, or a special event or tradition. The specific gifts are mostly lost in the mists of time.

I hope we can all give our children what they really want: our time and our love. They likely won’t remember the details, but they will remember the feelings and the connection.

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