Friday, July 24, 2015


In one of our Father’s Day posts, we mentioned the awesome site The Daily Dad. We wanted to feature them a little more, because we love their site so much! On their site they have a great section called "Dadvice" with great advice for real dads. One of my favorite sections on there is about making the most of your time. I’d like to share the tips they offer to help dads spend more time with their kids, even when there isn’t any extra time.

#1 Don’t over do it: Kids don’t need extravagant vacations  to have the best time with dad. Studies show that kids enjoy doing normal everyday things with their dad, like talking, throwing catch, and eating dinner together. I love to watch our old family videos of my dad pushing us in the swings or coming home from work and singing silly songs for us to dance to.

#2 Mash-ups: Just because you have a list of to-do’s doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with your children. Have them help with the yard or fix the broken toilet. They may not enjoy it as much in the moment, but trust me they’ll enjoy the time they spent with you and will be happy of the skills they learned when the toilet in their apartment breaks. And you can make it more fun by letting them choose out a candy in the check-out line when you go to buy supplies, or stopping for ice cream on your way home.

#3 Focus on your kid: Do what they want to do, even if it means you have to get dressed up for a tea-party. And make sure that your focus is on them, not on a glowing screen. My dad has four daughters, so he has had his fair share of playing dress-ups. 

#4 Talk: This one is simple enough. Talk to your kids about their day, their classes, their friends, and their feelings. This will open up the communication for those later years where it may be even harder to talk to them. Even now as an adult in college, my dad still makes it a point to talk to me at least once a week to get filled in on my life. We have grown so much closer over the years as he’s listened to my drama and laughed at my jokes.

Hopefully this dadvice will help you dads (and moms) to find more time to spend with your children. 

(The information in this blog post was found on The Daily Dad)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Yoga with Baby

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Daily yoga practice is a great way for moms to gain flexibility and escape the stresses of life. Your baby can also become stressed and this can affect the baby in many ways. One way to deal with this would be to practice yoga with your baby. “Practicing yoga with your baby isn't just an adorable good time—as the two of you bond, you’re toning your entire body as she develops motor skills. While you challenge your core, thighs, arms and shoulders during this gentle yoga practice, your baby benefits, too. It will help her/him sleep longer and help stimulate her/his mental and physical development" (Bump Baby and Beyond).

"Yoga movements can mimic the soothing rocking motion your baby felt while in the womb," Garabedian says. "This stimulates the relaxation response in both of you, helping you and your baby fall asleep easier and sleep longer." The National Association of Sports and Physical Education  (NASPE) recommends that infants get daily physical activity, and yoga is a great, gentle place to start—and the perfect way to ease your baby into a lifelong appreciation for exercise” (Fit Pregnancy: Yoga Buddies).

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Mini Cobra:

Lie your baby on their tummy. Sit tall and straight to protect your back and help your posture. Begin by stroking from the shoulders to the hands; the baby should raise their head. Mini cobra is a great position to give your baby a gentle massage. From 12 weeks your baby will begin to lift their head by themselves whenever they are on their tummy.

Roller Coaster:

Sit with baby face down across your lap and cushion the floor under their head. Support with one hand on their back. Gently bend your leg under their chest to raise baby up, then lower. Bend your other leg under their hips to raise them so hips are slightly higher than head. Repeat a few times. Make sure you're sitting up straight. Good for babies older than at least 12 weeks old.
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Knees to Chest:

Lie baby on their back. Hold your baby's legs around the calves and bend them open slightly wider than hips. Press baby's knees up to sides of abdomen under rib cage. Release pressure and relax completely. Repeat a few times. If baby resists or seems uncomfortable, try wiggling the leg gently to ease resistance or wait until later. Suitable for newborns.

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Leg Lifts:

Lie on your back with baby face-down on your chest. Bring your knees toward your chest and place baby tummy-down on your shins. Provide support by holding baby's torso at all times and support baby's head with your hands or knees. Lift your head and shoulders toward baby to tighten your abdominal muscles and play peek-a-boo with baby.

Lower your head and bring your knees closer to your chest. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Gently raise your shins up and lower them down to soothe baby and tighten your leg muscles. Repeat. Maintain eye contact and sing to your baby!

2 simple Baby Yoga moves for Tummy Time
Colic? Try Baby Yoga
Yoga Buddies Workout Moves

Friday, July 17, 2015

Working With Your Child's Temperament

Every child is born with a temperament that is the building blocks of their adult personality and emotionality. In a previous post, we discussed different types of temperament, the importance of goodness of fit, and things parents should keep in mind. Now we want to provide some tips for helping children with different temperaments, but first it's important to know the 9 characteristics of temperament.
  1. Activity Level: physical activity and motion
  2. Approach and withdrawal: how your child responds to a new thing (bold vs. hesitant)
  3. Adaptability: to what degree of ease your child adjusts to change or new situations
  4. Intensity: positive or negative response levels to a situation
  5. Mood: your child’s tendency to respond in a negative or positive way
  6. Distractibility: How easily your child can be distracted from a task due to environmental stimulus
  7. Sensory Threshold: The amount of stimulation in order to elicit a response in the child
  8. Regularity: The predictability of your child’s biological functions including sleep and eating 
  9. Persistence: How long a child spends on one activity, even when it becomes difficult
Now that we know the 9 characteristics, here are some tips for specific temperaments.

 Very Active Child: provide quieter activities, ask teachers to provide special jobs when the child is restless so she can move around, teach her how to calm down when she is overactive (breathing, rubbing back, etc.).
Less Active Child: Play quieter activities, introduce more active activities, limit television time.
The Sensitive Child: Lower lights and sounds in your home, allow him to help with cooking so that they can smell and taste food during preparation, speak quietly when he is upset.
The Less Sensitive Child: provide activities and toys that provide light and sound, have him stop to look around to notice messes or beautiful things he may not initially notice.
The Expressive (Intense) Child: Encourage turn taking, provide dramatic games, stay calm when she has strong emotions, remind her to stop, think, and act.
The Less Expressive (Intense) Child: Make sure he is getting enough attention, listen to him, ask teachers to encourage him to express himself, appreciate him for who he is.
The Very Persistent Child: Encourage flexibility with activities, don’t give in all the way, read longer stories to her, let teachers know she can need notice before switching activities.
The Less Persistent Child: Help the child complete tasks, keep games and stories shorter, offer small rewards for completing jobs, break larger projects down.

The Distracted Child: provide step-by-step instructions rather than a general task, encourage activities away from the TV and other distractions, keep activities short.
The Less Distracted Child: encourage activities that take greater focus, allow extra time to think about things before giving an answer, understand it may take more to get her attention.
The Adaptable Child: encourage to make new friends, provide field trips to new places, change chores and rewards often.
The Less Adaptable Child: Help the child make new friends, discuss big changes like moves or the death of a pet, warn her about upcoming changes, keep a routine as much as possible.

The Routine Child: Keep routines as much as possible and provide warning for changes, choose a more structured childcare program, bring snacks if his familiar meal routine will be disrupted, take familiar objects on trips to keep routines similar to home.
The No Routine Child: make routines a game or add songs, encourage some activities that require routines, occasionally switch up family routines.
The Happy Child: introduce him to friends who may be more serious, encourage sensitivity, let him know that everyone feels unhappy sometimes, encourage service.
The Less Happy Child: plan fun family outings, provide games that fit his interests, let him know you appreciate him, help label feelings, read funny books and talk about laughter.

Hopefully these tips will give you ideas on how you can help your child with their unique temperament. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Summer is a great time to read! Here is some ideas on how to aquire


It's great to go to the public library for books, but you may ask yourself, how can I increase my home library?  Here are a few ideas to consider:

Yard Sales:  This is a great way to get gently used books for a bargain price.  I'm a big yard-saler, and I see books at almost every one I go to.  For kids books, make sure you flip through the pages and check for torn, missing or colored-on pages (it happens!).

Thrift Stores:  Most thrift stores, such as Desert Industries and Savers, have a good supply of books for sale.  So many that you can even be choosy!  For kids, I would suggest getting hardback or board books, they just hold up a lot better.

Public Libraries:  Your local library probably has a book cart/shelf with books for sale.  These are usually discarded items that may have issues, so check carefully.  The Provo City Library will have their next Book Sale on Sept. 2, 2015.

School Libraries:  Periodically the school libraries will "clean out" their inventory and give away or sell their excess books.  Ask your school librarian when the next time is they will do this.

Birthday Gifts:  Books make a great gift for anyone at any age!  Start giving your child a book each birthday to help build their own collection.  Also, when grandparents or relatives are asking for gift ideas, simply say, "Books!"

BYU Bookstore:  The BYU Bookstore has several sections of books on clearance.  On top of that, if you go from late November to late December, you can get 20% off your total purchase.  Just in time for Christmas!

Seagull Book:  The Seagull Bookstores found throughout Utah County have a bargain book table somewhere in the store (usually in the back) with great deals on books for all ages.

With just a little bit of effort and not a lot of money, you can increase the books available in your home, and hopefully the amount of reading in your home.  Good luck and happy reading!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Preventing Dog Bites

As the weather heats up for summer and your family is spending more time outside, it's important to teach kids about how to stay safe around dogs. Dog bites are a serious health issue, especially for children. Dog bite injuries were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injury in children ages 0-14 in America during the last five years.

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"Even the friendliest dog may bite when startled or surprised. Be cautious: once a child is scarred, they are scarred for life," said Dr. Gregory R.D. Evans. "Most children love dogs and like to put their faces up close to the dog's face. Parents should never permit this. Injuries to the face and hands can be disfiguring or disabling and require prompt, expert medical attention."

If you are thinking about getting a dog, choose one that will fit in well with your family. Wait until your child is mature enough to care for the animal (usually age five or six). Children need to be able to distinguish an animal from a toy so the child doesn't provoke a bite through teasing or mistreatment. A pet with a gentle disposition is best.

Teach your child to not put her face close to the dog, not to tease the dog, not to run past a dog, and not to disturb the dog while it's sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies. Also teach your child how to greet a dog: stand still while the dog sniffs her, then slowly extend her hand to pet the dog. Never leave a child alone with a dog. For more tips to keep in mind when getting a pet, click here.
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If you or your child is bitten by a dog, follow these steps:

  • Rinse the area with soapy water.
  • Elevate the affected limb(s).
  • Apply pressure to deeper wounds. Then wash, dry, and cover with a sterile dressing.
  • Call your child's physician to see if antibiotics or a tetanus shot is needed and also to help you report the incident.
  • If the bite is severe, go to the emergency room.
There are many benefits that can result from children being raised with pets, but it is important to pay appropriate attention to safety and education to help keep both child and pet safe! For more info, check out this brochure: American Academy of Pediatrics "What You Should Know About Dog Bite Prevention"