Archive | May 23rd, 2013

Tips For Grocery Shopping With Children

Holding a grocery list, pushing a cart and toting a toddler with you is like being in a horror movie especially if your toddler is acting up and shoppers are staring at the two of you. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid this scenario. Below are some very useful tips for grocery shopping with children.

Shop With A List

Before you head to the grocery store, make sure you have made a list the night or day before. Having a list will help ensure that you do not forget anything and it makes grocery shopping faster and hassle-free. Ask your toddler’s input as you make the list. Make it clear that you are not going to buy anything that is not on the list. Make sure you stick to that plan.

Go When Your Toddler Is In A Good Mood

Make sure the two of you grab a light snack and that he has taken a nap before heading to the grocery store. Drowsiness and an empty stomach can cause meltdowns and tempts you to buy food you do not really want to eat. Shopping with a toddler who is well-fed and well-rested will make things smoother.

Visit The Bathroom First

A bathroom request when you are in the very back of a grocery store or waiting in line can be really annoying and toddlers are guilty of this. Talk to your toddler and ask him to visit the bathroom before you enter the store. If he insists he does not have to go, pull out the “Sit and Count to 10” rule. Have him sit in the toilet and count to ten and see what happens. More often than not, your little one will end up going.

Give Your Toddler Some Power

Watching you go around the grocery aisles can be very boring for your little one. To avoid boredom and to keep his eyes away from that candy bar, request your toddler to help you push the cart, give him the list and ask him to relate them to you, assign him to check off items from the list, have him get something you need or ask him to choose what brand of cereal he wants or the prettiest pumpkin so you can make squash soup for dinner.

Play Games

Grocery stores provide a fun and educational experience for toddlers. Play the I Spy game. Start by looking for something in the grocery store and then say something about it to help your little one identify it. For instance you can say, “I spy something that is red with a white sticker.”. Ask your toddler to find it and when he does, let him have his turn. Or, you can also ask your toddler to name as many fruits and vegetables as he can when you are in the produce section. Talking about why you need to buy ketchup or zucchini is also an ideal way to quench your toddler’s curious mind.

Never Give

No matter how much complaining, arm flailing, shrieking or whatever tricks your toddler does when he is having a meltdown, do not give in, ever. When you give in to your toddler’s whims (even just once) it gives your toddler the idea that he can do it again which will make the fit worse every time you say no. But if you stay firm and ignore your toddler’s whims and tantrums, it will make your toddler realize that no matter what he does, you will never give in.

Establish Consequences

See to it your toddler knows what to expect when he misbehaves or starts throwing a fit in the grocery store. Inform him before leaving the house and remind your toddler about the consequences once again before stepping foot in the store.

Offer Positive Reinforcement

If your toddler was so behaved while you were at the grocery store, praise him for a job well done. Say something like, “You were so patient. Thank you, honey.” or “I am so proud you did not cry when I said no about buying chocolates.” Follow it up with a hug and a kiss. Giving a little treat occasionally also helps. Doing this helps your toddler know that you appreciate his good behaviour which will encourage him to do it again and again.

Grocery shopping with children can be so much fun, yet at the same time, it can be a terrifying experience as well. But with the help of these tips, you and your toddler can survive grocery shopping beaming and relaxed.

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How To Make A Chore List For Kids

Knowing how to take care of one’s self, home and surrounding is important in raising children. Household chores are very effective in teaching a toddler responsibility. At an early age, toddlers should be encouraged to partake in this activity. Here are some tips on how to painlessly make a chore list for kids.

Tip # 1: Consider Your Toddler’s Age and Capability

The first tip on how to make a chore list for kids is to recognize what your little one can and cannot do. Since he is still a toddler, he will be limited to very simple chores. Below are some age-appropriate household chores:

•    For a 2 year old
o    Put dirty clothes in the hamper
o    Put toys and books away after playing with them
o    Dusting

•    For a 3 year old
o    Help set the table
o    Feed a pet
o    Water a plant
o    Clear own dish from the table

•    For a 4 year old
o    Set the table
o    Fold towels
o    Help make his bed
o    Wipe up spills
o    Clear the table
o    Help put away groceries

In addition to choosing age-appropriate chores, be sure to consider your toddler’s abilities to perform certain tasks as well. Thus, it is ideal to start small so you can check if your little one can manage before giving him another task.

Tip # 2: Make Joint Decisions

When making a chore list, see to it you involve your toddler. Ask for your toddler’s opinion. Listen to what he has to say. For instance, if your toddler volunteers to walk the dog, let him do it. Or, if you he likes to talk, ask him if he can keep his younger sister company in the playpen while you cook dinner. Letting your toddler make decisions makes him more likely to actually follow through.

Tip # 3: Post It In Plain View

Post the list on the fridge, in his bedroom or in another central spot in your home so your toddler can see it right away. In addition, instead of using plain sheets of paper to write his chores down – get creative! Use markers and pictures (that demonstrate what needs to be done) to get your little one excited in doing his chores. Or, why not make your own silly tune about sorting dirty clothes or putting toys away.

Tip # 4: Keep It Fun

Chores can be boring, especially for children. Blast the music while you and your toddler are cleaning the living room, sing fun songs such as Snow White’s “Whistle Whistle While You Work” or Barney’s “Clean Up”. Talk about anything while cleaning. Do not ask your little one to finish 3 or 4 chores at once. Take it one chore at a time. After your toddler is done, head to the kitchen and whip up a yummy snack or go out and have ice cream.

Tip # 5: Switch Them Up

Another way how to make an effective chore list for kids is to rotate chores or assign new tasks every so often. Give your little one different set of household chores every month or two so he will not get bored doing the same thing over and over. Ask your toddler to do something more difficult to give him an opportunity to learn something new and to test his progress.

Tip # 6: Do Not Redo The Chore

Your toddler will probably have trouble arranging the pillows or set the napkins crooked on the table, but there is nothing wrong with that, right? Show your toddler how it is done and then let him finish it on his own. Redoing the task your toddler worked so hard to finish will only hurt his ego and discourages him to follow his chore list.

Tip # 7: Pile On The Praise

Toddlers thrive on positive reinforcement. Whenever your toddler finishes a chore, praise him for a job well done. Let your toddler know that you are thankful and happy for helping you out. Give him extra playtime or allow him to eat chocolate for dessert. Knowing his efforts are appreciated not only boosts his self-esteem but also motivates your toddler to continue with his good work.

Making a chore list for your toddler is actually pretty simple. With a little planning, patience and teamwork, you will be able to come up with a chore list that can train and equip your precious one for growth and maturity.

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Understanding Pet Allergies In Children

Allergies in children are widespread. In fact, it is one of the most common childhood diseases. Household pets are considered a common source of allergies in children. Here is a guide to help parents become more informed of the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of pet allergies in children.

What causes pet allergies in children?

Pet allergies in children are an immune reaction to the pet’s dander – a gooey substance made up of saliva and very small skin flakes. Toddlers may also be allergic to the animal’s saliva, urine or feces. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, heredity can also make an individual more susceptible to allergies. If one or both the parents of a toddler have allergies, then there is a big probability that the toddler will also be allergic to something.

What are the signs and symptoms?

It is very important for parents of young children who have pets at home to be aware of the potential symptoms of an allergy to a pet. Here are the indicators that a toddler is allergic to an animal:

•    Stuffy nose
•    Itchy, red or watery eyes
•    Sneezing
•    Coughing
•    Wheezing
•    Rashes, hives and the development of a full-blown asthma (for severe cases of pet allergy)

Symptoms of pet allergy may even transpire even when a toddler is not in close proximity with the animal since the allergen can be found all over the indoor environment. Hence, it will take some work to figure out whether it is your pet or something else that is causing the problem.

Diagnosing The Problem

If you are not sure your household pet is causing the problem, you may want to take your little one to an allergist to help identify the source of irritant. An allergist will perform a thorough evaluation of your toddler’s medical record and complete a physical examination. A skin or blood test is also good for assessing your toddler’s level of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies as it relates to particular allergens. Skin testing is better as it delivers quicker and more precise results than blood tests. After 15 to 20 minutes, the allergist searches for bumps or marks like small mosquito bites that show an allergy.

Treating Pet Allergies In Children

Unfortunately, there is no specific cure for pet allergies in children. But, there are some things you can do to minimize the symptoms. Removing the pet from your home is the most common solution. Your allergy doctor may recommend a saline nasal rinse that contains antihistamine if it is a mild respiratory infection. Allergy shots can also be used if the symptoms persist even after getting rid of the pet and taking medications. Allergy shots can help reduce the symptoms and desensitize the immune system.

Preventing Pet Allergies In Children

Minimize Contact

You might have to give your pet up if your toddler is suffering from pet allergy. But if this is not possible, you can keep your pet outdoors. Make sure your pet does not come into your toddler’s bedroom. Another idea is to find a pet that is more allergy-friendly such as a fish, turtle or cats and dogs that shed less frequently to minimize pet dander.

Change Your Toddler’s Clothes

Change your toddler’s clothes after he plays with your pet. Wash his hands immediately. Make sure he takes a bath every night before going to bed so as to keep allergens from tracking into his room.

Install A Filtration System

Install a filtration system around your house to remove the pet allergens circulating in the air. Get one with a MERV rating of 12 in the heater and air-conditioning unit. See to it you change the filter every 3 months to keep the air in your home clean throughout the year. In addition, it is also a good idea to leave the fan on to create a whole-house air filter to remove the particles that may trigger pet allergy.

Clean Your Home Regularly

Another way to prevent pet allergies in children is to clean your house frequently. Invest in a vacuum cleaner with advanced filtration system to remove dander as well as dust mites, molds and other allergens in the air. Dust appliances and furnitures. Remove your carpets as they can trap pet dander and replace them with smooth flooring such as vinyl, linoleum or hardwood.

Pet allergies in children are very common and it can make a toddler’s life difficult. But, with the help of this information, parents now know how to manage them and make life easier for their toddler and the entire family.

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