Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Apps for All Your Mothering Needs

It's an age of technology. I am convinced that my 4 year old nephew knows how to work an iPhone or iPad, better than I do. Not surprisingly, there seems to be an app for everything! I made it my personal mission to find some of the best apps that would be most useful for parents and children.

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For babies:
1. White Noise Baby: This app plays looped sounds, such as a car ride, to help your baby relax, stop crying, and sleep better.
2. Best Baby Monitor: With this app, you can use any two devices to create a baby monitor. It will allow you to hear every noise, see live video, or pictures, and uses an alarm to let you know when baby is awake. It also allows you to soothe your child remotely through the "Parent Station".

For Toddlers and Growing Kids:
1.  Huggies Pull-Ups Big Kid app: The ultimate potty training app! Your child can unlock fun games featuring their favorite Disney characters as they collect stars for their progress. It also includes a customizable potty timer, and articles to help mom and dad understand the ins and outs of potty training. For more info about this app, go here.
2. PBS Parents Play and Learn: Play is a child's work. As they play, they learn and grow. This app has over a dozen games that mom and dad can play with their little one whether it be at the grocery store, doctor's office, or at home.

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For Mamas (or Dads!):
7. Intuition+: Mom's Personal Assistant: This app is ideal for the super busy mom who can't keep her head on straight. It allows you to have color coded lists for each child, plus a grocery list, to-do list and calendar.
8. Parenting Ages and Stages: Your parenting guide for child development and parenting milestones for newborn to school-age children.
9. Parenting Reminder- A day, a tip: Sends daily tips to help support your infant and toddlers development.
10. LoveYouDo: Parenting Tips: Sends daily tips on how to have a special moment and strengthen your relationship with your child, every day.

For a list of even more apps for infants, toddlers, and kids check out the Parents website. What other apps have you found useful as a parent? Comment below!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Preparing Your Child for a Doctor's Visit

When a child is told he or she is “going to the doctor” there may be fears and apprehension about what exactly is going to take place. As parents we can help relieve and, or prevent some of these fears by talking honestly with children before a doctor’s visit or procedure.
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Common Fears
  • Separation: Kids may fear that their parents may leave them alone with the doctor while they wait in another room. 
  • Pain: Kids are often fearful that the procedure or exam may hurt; they especially fear they may need an injection.
  • The doctor: Some children may be concerned by the doctor’s manner, and may even misinterpret his efficiency, speed, or detachment as dislike or rejection.
  • The unknown: Children may also fear that their parents are keeping information from them and that the situation is worse than they may let on. Additionally, some kids who have simple problems may be worried about having surgery or even death.
  • Punishment: Oftentimes children worry that their illness or condition is a punishment for something they have or haven’t done, and they may harbor feelings of guilt about this.

How to Help
  • Assure your child that you will be sure to stay with them if they want you to and if it is possible.
  • Explain the purpose of the visit in terms that your child can understand, and that won’t cause more fear or confusion.
  • Prepare your child in advance for the visit, and be sure to reinforce that the doctors and other medical professionals are there to help.
  • Be supportive and reassure your child that his or her condition was not caused by something he or she did, nor is it a punishment.
    • However, if your child is injured as a result of disregarding safety rules, explain the cause-and-effect relationship matter-of-factly, but continue to try and relieve guilt.
  • If possible, role-play with your child what they may experience during their visit. For example,
    • Look at eyes and ears
    • Tap on the knees
    • Look in the mouth (and explain the need to hold their tongue down with a special stick)
    • Press on tummy to feel what is inside
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Overall, communicate honestly with your child, in age appropriate terms that they can understand; but do your best to avoid causing them more fear and anxiety. Being honest with them will help them build trust in you and your relationship with them.

For more information see Kid's Health  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Aspire to Inspire

In this month’s Aspire Parent Group discussion we asked some great questions and got even better answers from our superstar parents!

These young mothers are full of words of wisdom! Here are the questions we asked them and some of their answers:

 “What do you teach your children about making friends and being a good friend?”
o   Modeling- Be an example.  If you are a good friend then your children will be good friends too.
o   Treat others the way you would want to be treated

“Who do you have the most fun with and how does that impact your parenting?”
o   Anyone easy going who understands that kids will be kids.  They don’t judge you or your kids
o   Anyone in the same boat as you are
o   Parents and in-laws are a the best because you can ask them questions and get advice
o   Other moms, they are really fun to talk to while the kids are playing. We form our own community within a community

“What role does the internet play in your social connections?”
o   Helps you keep in touch with family and friends who do not live close.  This way everyone can see your baby’s first steps. It keeps them updated
o   Good for organizing groups for parents and kids!
o   Good way to share and keep memories

This monthly group is a great way for parents to learn and grow from each other. It is also a great way to get free babysitting for an hour, plus free children’s books! We know you can’t resist, so please come join us next month for our Aspire Parent Group and Ready to Learn Workshop! http://www.helpmegrowutah.org/rsvp-aspire-parent-group

Please comment below if you have additional answers to these questions. We love hearing from our wonderful followers!

Photos taken and provided by our lovely intern Erica J

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Finding your Partner in Parenting: Six Tips for Picking the Perfect Caretaker for your Child

            Putting your child in the care of another can cause some anxiety. It's natural to feel some apprehension since you will not be there for every moment. Each parent at one point in their child's life will need to find a caretaker. Whether that means a babysitter for an evening, a part or full time nanny or a daycare provider, but the search can be quite similar. Here are a few tips in seeking out your partner in parenting: 

  • Decide before starting your search what is most important to you. Obviously, the safety of your child is priority, but aside from that, what do you want your child to gain from their interaction with the care provider. Do you want someone who can teach them another language? Someone to take them outside as much as possible? Or who is an avid reader that can set the example and engage your child in reading? 
  • Ask people you know for referrals. People tend to only suggest products, services and people they trust. If they can put their confidence in the person, then chances are you can rely on thier recommendations as well.
  • Seek someone who has similar values and parenting style as you and your family. Ask them their view and technique with discipline, health, play, rules, schedules and teaching. This way there is consistency for your child between his parents and care provider. This person does not need to be your replica. In fact, you may want someone whose interests are completely opposite of yours, but having similar values and standards in still possible and important. Remember that you can also set standards of how you want things done with your child. 
  • Choose someone you feel with whom you are comfortable communicating. Language barriers can make relaying information difficult. Comfortable communication can also be difficult if you feel the other person is not open to suggestions or correction. Do your best to be approachable as well, it encourages people to be completely honest with you.   
  • When looking for a live-in nanny ask questions not only about their child care skills and experience, but ask their expectations as well. Feel free to ask if they keep a clean room (if that is important to you) or similar questions. 
  • After the first time or two your child is with them, ask how it was (if they are old enough to give feedback). Listen to your child's concerns, if they have any, they may tell you more than you might think. 

Above all, remember that this is your child that you are leaving in the hands of someone else. You are entitled to change your mind, ask as many questions as you like and set expectations. Be realistic and understand that there will inevitably be differences between you and them, but diversity in a child's life can be very beneficial.   

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Journey of Milestones: Be There.

Children seem to just grow so fast! Don't you think? Sometimes you blink, and they've already gone from crawling, to running all over the house as you try to keep up! As your precious children develop, they embark on a journey of milestones.

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Though there are many milestones children go through, here are some milestones you can look out for so you don't miss a beat! As you check off these milestones, it will help you see how your child is progressing.

6 Months
  • Copies sounds
  • Begins to sit without support
  • Likes to play with others, especially parents
  • Responds to own name
  • Strings vowels together when babbling ("ah," "eh," "oh")
12 Months
  • Uses simple gestures such as shaking head for "no" or waving "bye bye"
  • Copies gestures
  • Responds to simple spoken requests
  • Says "mama" and "dada"
  • Pulls up to stand
18 Months
  • Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll
  • Points to show others something interesting
  • Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon
  • Says several single words
  • Walks alone
2 Years
  • Says sentences with 2 to 4 words
  • Gets excited when with other children
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Kicks a ball
  • Points to things or pictures when they're named
3 Years
  • Copies adults and friends (like running when other children run)
  • Carried on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences
  • Climbs well
  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals and people
  • Shows affection for friends without prompting
4 Years
  • Hops and stands on one foot for up to 2 seconds
  • Would rather play with other children than alone
  • Tells stories
  • Draws a person with 2 to 4 body parts
  • Plays cooperatively
(Source for milestones)

As a parent you may question whether or not your child is on track developmentally. Help Me Grow Utah is a free information line that helps families connect with resources. So, put your mind at ease and check out the resources, information, screening questionnaires, and developmental activities we offer!

We know how important your children are to you. BE with your child as they are on this journey, and don't forget to take lots of pictures for memories!

"Together, we focus on your child's development so you can focus on your child's future."