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Parenting & Family

7 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Financial Goals

It doesn’t matter where you are in your financial journey, it is always wise to evaluate your spending habits on a regular basis. If you’ve just moved out of your family home and are experiencing life on the outside for the first time, or if you are coming up to retirement – there is always a good reason to get a handle on your income and outgoings.

You need to set a personal financial plan. How can you measure your success if you have nothing to aim for? Your first step should be to set a budget. List your income, and your expenditure. Make sure you use your after tax net income for your figures as you want to be as accurate as possible. Set yourself some time aside each week for four weeks to categorize your spending, for example, housing, transport, grocery shopping and entertainment. By analyzing your findings over a month, you will be able to see where you are leaking cash. Identify achievable financial goals to work towards.

To help you reach your goals, here are some sure ways to save some money – you will not be saving mega bucks, but every cent helps.

1.Check your bank account

Are you paying a monthly fee for your banking? Go online and check out new banking deals that may offer a better deal. Banks often provide new accounts with sign-up offers that should be taken advantage of.

2.Turn off your television

Did you know that the average American spends 5 hours a day watching TV? Whilst you will save money from your electricity bill immediately, you will also stop being influenced by continuous exposure to advertising. Use your time more productively – you may even start a business to supplement your income in all of your free time!

3.Sign up for free customer rewards programs

It doesn’t matter where you live, there are retailers that want to reward you for shopping with them. These loyalty schemes can provide you with great discounts and vouchers to spend in store.

4.Start selling

Have a good look through your cupboards and drawers as you may just have untold treasures in them. Make a pile of any unused and unwanted items and get them listed. Check those drawers for unused gift cards that have value on them. Use the internet to sell your treasure trove and sell gift cards online. You will be surprised at the unclaimed money that you have lying in your drawers.

5.30 day-rule

For purchases that are not necessary, implement the 30-day rule. If your heart is set on buying something, wait for 30 days before you reconsider the item. Any impulsive purchases will be prevented by following this simple method.

6.Plan your meals

Plan your meals with what is on offer at the supermarket. Look at what is on sale and use those items to dictate what you are going to eat. By planning, you can batch cook meals and freeze the remaining food. You will find that after a few months you have not only saved money, but have a freezer full of prepared food that will save you time too.

7.Holiday shop after the holiday

People think about this after Christmas, but there is no reason not to do this for all holidays. For example, wait until a couple of days after the holiday to get your themed bargains, whether it be for Mother’s Day, Halloween or Thanksgiving, the discounts are great, and you can store the items away until next year.

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Parenting & Family

How Families Can Save On the Cost of Healthcare

There’s no doubt about it that healthcare costs are rising all the time, and it concerns for most families in the U.S. The high cost of health care is troubling enough if you’re on your own, but if you’re a family, it can become even more burdensome. Even when you have insurance, you might find that you’re paying a lot of money out-of-pocket for things like prescriptions, all while your premiums continue to rise.

A lot of people tend to feel like healthcare costs just are what they are, and there’s nothing they can do about them, but there are ways that you can cut down on these expenses if you’re a mom with a family.

The following are some ways moms can help cut down on healthcare costs for their family.

If You Have Insurance Make Sure You Have the Right Policy

One of the best ways you can save the most substantial amounts of money for your family’s healthcare costs is to ensure you have the right plan for your needs. You want to make sure that you’re not paying for what you don’t need, but that you are paying enough for a policy that lowers your out-of-pocket costs.

It can be a good idea to review your health insurance policy on a regular basis to make sure it’s still meeting your needs and that it’s the right choice for your family.

Membership Programs

There are some excellent healthcare and prescription discount  programs that are becoming increasingly popular with families. These are non-insurance membership programs that sometimes offer significant discounts on the cost of a range of services that aren’t covered by most health insurance plans. This can include prescriptions as well as dental, vision, and chiropractic services.

Prescriptions

Along with looking for membership programs that offer discounts on prescriptions, there are other ways you can save on medicine as well. First, don’t always assume that using insurance is the best option when you’re filling a prescription. Sometimes pharmacies will give you a lower price if you’re paying out-of-pocket.

Also, make sure you check your insurance plan formulary if you are using it, so you know if a medicine is covered.

Many local pharmacies will also negotiate with you on the cost of generic drugs.

Review Your Medical Bills

A big mistake that a lot of us make when it comes to healthcare costs is not thoroughly reviewing our medical bills.

So many medical bills end up having mistakes that can cost a lot of money. If something as simple as a billing code is incorrect, your insurance company may reject the claim, so go through every bill with a fine-tooth comb to make sure it’s all correct. If there is an error, you need to send a certified letter to your insurance company and follow up to see if it was fixed.

These are just a few simple ways we moms can work toward lowering health care costs for our entire family and stretching our budget further.

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Parenting & Family

School’s Out: Planning Your Child’s Summer Vacation

Summer is a fun time of year the whole family looks forward to. To help ensure you have a wonderful time, think about what you will do for the season early. As sdsi.org says, “One of the keys to having a successful, stress-free summer is to plan ahead.” Take care of the details now, so your family can fully enjoy yourselves later.

Start early.

“Begin planning early,” says sdsi.org. “Daycare programs fill up quickly.” Many families will be looking for summer activities just as you are, so commence your search long before spring is over. Besides, the sooner you start planning for your family’s summer vacation, the more time you will have to get organized.

Get your child involved.

After all, this is for your kid, right? Let your child help choose activities, mark the calendar, and pack bags. Make planning a fun activity in itself that you do together.

Gather what you need.

No matter how you want to spend the summer, you will need some equipment or materials. Start gathering them early. Do not forget emergency supplies like a first aid kit, flashlight, bottled water, spare batteries, emergency contact list, etc. Install apps you may need on your smartphone, say weather and travel apps.

Seek inspiration from others.

Not sure what to do? Refer to your local community’s summer activity guide for ideas. Look for programs or events that fit your child’s age and areas of interest. You could also ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations.

Keep an eye on the weather.

No plan for outdoor fun will work unless the elements cooperate. Look for a good weather app to download on Google Play (if you use an Android). Check the weather forecast often so you can cancel or postpone a trip if necessary.

Put safety first.

Obviously, it is important to select the right activities for your child. But it is vital that you research your options thoroughly if your child will be in the care of others, like in a summer camp. Brandpoint.com says, “Learn about the staff and camp directors to be assured that the camp screens, carefully selects and trains their leaders.” The site also advises parents to consider things such as camp size, types of programs offered, and the camp’s policy toward diet and exercise.

Plan for indoors.

Summer activities do not always have to involve the outdoors. Sometimes it may be too hot to play outside or your kids just feel like staying at home. Or the weather may bring some rain. Plan for craft activities, indoor games or kid-friendly cooking.

Teach your kids about safety and emergency situations.

Anytime is a good time for your kids to learn about safety. But it is especially important if you plan to take them on vacation, to summer camp or any outdoor adventure. Make sure they know what to do in case of an emergency, accident, etc.

See also summer safety tips from the CDC.

Don’t be afraid to keep it simple.

Your summer itinerary does not have to be extravagant or complicated to be special. Nor do you have to do what everyone else is doing. Baking a cake or tending the garden can be as much as fun as anything else if that is something your family enjoys.

Have a backup plan.

What would you do if things did not work out as thought? A change of weather, an event cancellation, or a breakdown of the family vehicle could ruin your plans. Make sure you have other ways to fill up the summer calendar.

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Parenting & Family

A Caring Connection: Activities to Help Parents Bond with Their Kids

Parents will always want to think that there is a natural bond that exists between themselves and their children, but it doesn’t always come naturally and you have to work at the relationship to make that strong connection.

Here is a look at some ways to nurture and strengthen that bond, including some modern ways to share some activities using your phone, plus a suggestion to get the old family photos out, and a tip to head for the kitchen for a great bonding experience.

Setting the tone

It can’t be stressed enough just how important those early months in your child’s life are even though your baby can’t yet communicate effectively with you.

Those first couple of years are all about making that emotional investment and building trust with your child, but even if you struggle to bond as well as you might have hoped during that period, the good news is that you can often catch up at any age later on in their development.

Make the most of technology to bond

It is hard to get your kids to look up from their smartphone screen when they are in their teens but before that period or when you want to try and create a happy memory that you will both remember, there are some opportunities to use that tech to your advantage.

Suggest taking a zany selfie with your child and even have a silly pic contest to see who can come up with the wackiest image on their phone. Your kids will love the fact that you are taking the time to have some foolish fun and it is such a simple and effective way to bond.

Another activity that you can get involved with together is when you download the mandala coloring pages app. Coloring books have an enduring quality and help to create an air of relaxation and collaboration if you are working with your kids to complete a design.

Share some of your childhood memories

Kids are often fascinated to hear about your own childhood memories and see how they compare to their own current experiences.

It is also a great way to spend some quality time with your kids as share stories and show them some old photographs of things that you did when you were their age.

Talking about your own favorite memories with them and even opening up about a time when you got into trouble with your parents, will be an excellent way of making a meaningful connection.

Cooking up a great relationship with your children

Bonding experiences often involve a few happy hours spent in the kitchen giving your kids some life skills that will give them confidence in the kitchen.

Depending on how old your children are, get them involved with some baking and cooking activities, and for the older ones, encourage them to follow your lead and try to recreate your favorite recipe once you have shown them how to do it.

Most of these activities and others like them are often simple things to do with your kids, but investing your time and love into spending quality time with them should help to create that special bond that all parents want to feel and enjoy.

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Parenting & Family

Sport’s Most Successful Father and Son Combos

Imagine if you were the son of a world-famous and highly successful athlete or sports star, would you enjoy your luxury life, traveling the World in style, using the fame that you have to make life easier, or would you strive to go bigger and better in your career than your daddy did?

Living in the shadow of a great sports star must no doubt be difficult and there will be incredible pressure on you to achieve in order to get anywhere close to the success of your father. There are however some truly special sons who decided to do exactly that and here is our top list of amazing, sporting father and son combos.

Jack and John Elway

Jack Elway was a good footballer and a successful college quarterback who had his career cut short through injury, unperturbed, he would go on to become one of the top college coaches around. Working with California University and Stanford as well as reaching out to help promote the european league with Frankfurt, Jack was truly a well-respected and great coach. Jack’s son John would go on to emulate his father’s success and then some, one of the NFL’s most famous quarterbacks, John was a 1st round draft pick for the Denver Broncos where he would spend his entire career, winning back-to-back Superbowls and gaining MVP. Elway Jnr. has been inducted into the hall of fame and after retiring he went on to coach the Broncos to two more Superbowl championships.

Ken and Ken Norton

Ken Norton was an absolute beast in the boxing ring, he was known for his brutal knockouts and his brawler style and he became the heavyweight world champion. Norton racked up an impressive 42 wins in his career including one against a certain Muhammed Ali. Norton’s son, also called Ken decided to steer his career down a slightly different path and decided that the world of football was for him. At college level, the young Norton blew scouts away as a linebacker and once he hit the big leagues he took it to the next level. Norton was the first NFL player to win 3 back-to-back Superbowls having played for both Dallas and San Francisco. Not bad for the son of a star.

Yannick and Joakim Noah

Another father and son combo who found success in different disciplines are the Noah family. Father Yannick was a formidable tennis player, the first Frenchman to win the French Open at Roland Garros and an exciting and entertaining player who picked up 73 titles throughout his career and 3 Grand Slams. Yannick’s son Joakim decided that he wouldn’t follow in the footsteps of his dad and that instead, he would take up basketball. In 2007 Joakim’s decision paid off and he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls. During his time playing for the Bulls, Noah has regularly achieved many plaudits for his style of play and he is regularly features in the All-Star game and has won Defensive player of the year on 2 occasions.

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Parenting & Family

How to Get Through Life With An Autistic Child

Parenting can be tough at the best of times, once you have that first child then your life will never be the same again. From living a life of relative freedom, hitting the gym, going out with friends, taking vacations whenever you want, your life will plunge into a world of diapers, crying, fear, laughter, school runs, late nights of worry and everything else that goes with having a child.

Parenting is very demanding and even more so if you have a child with autism. Parents of autistic children are demanded upon a great deal more than other parents and rely heavily on the support of organizations, charities and people like Chris Manente to teach them on coping with a child with autism. We all want to give our children the best possible lives and there is no reason that an autistic child can not live a long, healthy and happy life. After speaking to several organizations, we have put together some top tips for you on getting through life if you have an autistic child.

Consistency

Having a daily routine for your child is incredibly important, autistic children need routine in order to compartmentalize their life and a break in this routine will leave it difficult for them to compute information. From the moment that they wake up to the moment that they go to bed, you should be aiming to keep their daily routine the same each day. Order in a world that your child perceives to be chaotic is one of the best ways that you can help your child.

Lighting

Many autistic people are able to see the strobing in fluorescent lighting which non-sufferers cannot see, for this reason it will be important that around the home, you are helping your child by letting in as much natural light as possible and using full spectrum lighting.

Minimize Noise

Autistic kids are much more sensitive to noise and you can help to minimize this around the home with a few smart design ideas. Try your best to buffer noise with wall fabrics and rugs. Competing sounds need to be kept to a minimum as well, often people will adjust the volume on the television if people are talking, for most of us this is fine but a child with autism will be able to hear each sound clearly and this can cause confusion in their heads, try to stay aware of competition sounds in the home.

Create a Safe Zone

When your child begins to feel overwhelmed by what is happening, a great way to help them out is to create a safe zone in the house, a place that is quiet and tranquil where they can retreat to and gather their thoughts. This is a very important step to take as there will be times when things get a little bit too much. Give your child a few options for where they would like their safe zone and then add some small decorations to really make it their own.

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Parenting & Family

How Dementia Care In Toronto Can Help

Seniors want to stay in their own home as they age, but your older parent or loved one has been diagnosed with a dementia-related illness, and you’re unsure if you can manage their care needs at home. Fortunately, at home dementia care is a growing industry in Toronto and the GTA as more families than ever before are turning to healthcare professionals who come to your or your loved one’s home. They can provide a number of valuable services that will help contribute to a better quality of life for your loved one and even help delay some of the symptoms of dementia.

Companionship

Companionship is a frequently-overlooked but important part of eldercare, especially if dementia is involved, as socializing, playing games, and telling stories are all effective ways to delay cognitive decline. While it’s well known that higher education and regularly engaging in intellectually stimulating hobbies, socialization and mentally engaging activities like games and conversations post-diagnosis can also help slow down the pace of cognitive decline. A good caregiver knows how to hold a conversation with an Alzheimer’s patient that engages their long-term memory (the last to be affected by the disease), stimulating the mind without causing them any frustration. Story-telling can be an important cognitive activity, as can puzzles, video games, chess, and a number of other games that engage the mind.

If your loved one already experiences advanced symptoms of dementia, you may want to consider finding a caregiver who can use Montessori Methods for Dementia, which care agency Mavencare explains in greater detail. According to their blog, the purpose of applying Montessori Methods for people with Alzheimer’s is to connect with the individual “behind the memory problems” and to create feelings of accomplishment and success in the individual. By using mnemonic objects, a caregiver applies an intervention called “space retrieval” that helps the patient’s long-term memory achievement, all with the goal of boosting overall satisfaction and self-esteem.

Exercise and Recreation

Physical activity is just as important as mental activity, which is why a caregiver with Mavencare will make sure your loved gets outside to do the things they love, whether that means taking a walk through their community or doing some light gardening in their yard. Recreation and physical activity are important parts of combating the likelihood of senior depression and maintaining a healthy, enjoyable life. Many seniors want to remain in their homes because they want to remain active in their community, and it’s important that they be able to get out and enjoy it as much as possible. When you enlist the help of agencies like Mavencare Toronto, you can also find a caregiver who will help with transportation, whether it’s to get to the grocery store or to a doctor’s appointment. They don’t just drop-off and pick-up, either; their caregivers help your loved one all the way through the appointment and back, so that you have nothing to worry about.

Activities of Daily Living

These refer to basic care practices such as dressing, grooming, eating, toileting, and transferring, which are all things someone suffering from advanced dementia may need assistance with. In addition to “brain maintenance,” your loved one may need help with the basics, especially in later stages, and you need a caregiver who can provide help compassionately. Find a home caregiver with an agency that delivers great care from trained professionals who love what they do.

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Parenting & Family

The Key Elements of Good Baby Shower Invitations

Throwing a baby shower is a great option for parents that are going to have children soon. Whether it’s your first child or another baby to the family, you’ll find that a baby shower is a great event to throw. One of the things that you will no doubt want to work on is the invitations, as you can be creative, save money, and work with a lot of options today. Assuming you’re going to go digital, you’ll find that the world opens up with immense creativity. As you start to explore  baby shower invitations, you’ll want to remember to keep several key elements in mind. The following will help you have the right components, so that people know and confirm that they are coming to your event.

Use The Right Design Platform

The first thing that you should consider is in regards to the platform that you’re going to use. Today, there’s a lot of sites and options that you can utilize. For instance, look online for baby shower invitations, and you’ll run into several solutions. Digital platforms online will help you put together the following elements so that you are getting your message, theme, and information across with relative ease.

A Great Theme

One of the most important things that you should look into is that of a good theme. Themes can go through a lot of different solutions. You can choose something whimsical, serious, or elegant. Look for something that represents you and your family. If you’re not really sure what to go with, don’t panic, there’s a lot of examples that you can draw from to pick a theme from. One such example you may want to explore is found through social media like Pinterest. While many options may seem to be “print” heavy, you can still take ideas from them and make them all your own. A great theme will definitely help you get your own style across.

A Unique Message

Aside from the theme, you’ll want to focus on building an invitation with a poem, or message. Having a child is a great joy, and your baby shower should reflect that. With that in mind, make sure that you have a poem in mind or a saying. If you’re religious, then use a verse from the Holy Bible or something religious that will showcase your faith in the invitation. This is a great thing. A unique message will not only tie together your theme, it will send people a message of hope, brightness, and will be well received, no doubt.

Easy To Read Type Faces

As you build your baby shower invitations make sure that you pick a good font. When you look at the invitation examples online, you’ll find that there are a lot of font types to use. You can go with something simple, or you could go with something a bit more complex. You can go bold, you can go with cursive, or bold cartoon fonts. Whatever it is that you choose, make sure that it’s easy to read on any digital screen, and if you’re going to have print and digital versions, make sure that they look good on each option. You don’t want something that is going to be hard to read, or difficult to manage overall. Easy to read fonts are the key here, especially if you’re going to send out a lot of invitations.

A Unique Photo or Image

Baby shower invitations should have a nice photo or a small image that ties everything together. Obviously, you don’t have to use a photo outright, but if you want to have all of the key elements of good design, why not go with a solid image? When you utilize digital platforms, you’ll find that they have a library of thousands of royalty free images that can convey a great message outright. Whether you want to have something that is tied together to your theme, or you want something that sends a different message, look for images that can help you get the right message across to the people you’re going to invite. A good photo can definitely build up your site.

Sharing For All Formats

Lastly, you want to make sure that you can share your option across different platforms, including print. In regards to invitations, you will be able to share your invitation across Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media outlets. That’s a great thing, make sure that your invitation is easy to move through social circles, and if you’d like, print as well. With the number of people using social media today, you’ll find that sharing digital invitations will trump using physical options. Many people today don’t even open their mail often, but they will respond to a social media message and invite. With that in mind, take the ideas mentioned above and see how the elements all work together to have great baby shower invitations.

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Parenting & Family

Bringing God and Faith Back into Your Family

Spirituabridge.org is a website focused on bringing Christ back in to the family. Their goal is to bring God into all aspects of family and the community, leading to a godly nation and, eventually, world. They have a vision statement which says, “Using our hearts, mind, and gifts to increase world faith.” While they are starting with the family, their goal is to make the earth a place filled with God’s love. They want to bring Christians of our society closer by giving them an online hub to come together.

Spiritual Bridge’s Partnerships

They have partnered with large retailers such as Macy’s, Jos. A. Bank, and Nordstrom to help spread the word about the company to others. This is a way for Spiritual Bridge to grow as a company and build a bigger viewership, and reach more Christians to expand in their faith, or non-Christians to bring them to the Christian faith.

While Spiritual Bridge would like to spread their message of Christ to everyone, it starts at the family level. Much of their content focuses on expanding the family in Christ. They post daily articles and devotions that focus on both marriage and parenting to help strengthen families everywhere.

Marriage is the foundation

The start of the family is marriage. Spiritual Bridge believes that marriage is one of the most important parts of the family. Because of this belief, Spiritual Bridge creates content to help couples thrive in their marriage. They post daily content, so there is always something new for Christians to learn and educate themselves from on Spiritual Bridge’s website. They give advice on how to live a biblical marriage through their daily articles that speak on different issues that may come up in a Christian marriage, or bible verses that can help any couple mature.

Communication is the key

They talk a lot about improving communication inside your relationships as well. They focus on the verse, 1 Peter 4:11, which states, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” This verse is essentially saying any conversations that are had between people should glorify God. Basically, everything that you talk about in your marriage should be good and should please God.

If conversations are pleasing God, they should not be critical or mean. Spouses should speak to each other in a kind and respectful tone. They should not say rude things to one another, but instead, they should praise each other for the good that they are doing and the person that they are inside.

Communication through prayer

Another way couples can improve their relationship through communication is through prayer. Praying together can give the couple a better understanding of the concerns their partner may have, and how their partner is doing emotionally. This is a way for couples to express their issues and the things that they are worried about in a more constructive way. It will not come across as complaining or demoralizing during prayer, and it can make the partner more receptive to change. They will be able to understand better what their partner is struggling with, and how it can be improved. If a couple understands their partner better, they can communicate with them in a more efficient and godly way.

Couples can also mature spiritually by reading the Bible together. Daily devotions give the couple an opportunity to discuss their relationships with God together in an intimate fashion. When couples read Bible verses about marriage, they are learning how to be a godlier spouse, to make a more godly marriage. They will be more united, and on the same page on the principles to follow in their marriage.

Get closer to God with Spiritual Bridge

Spiritual Bridge gives Christians a place to go to learn about a biblical marriage to help their family develop to their fullest potential with Christ. Christians can find inspiration through the articles and devotions posted daily on Spiritual Bridge’s website.

Spiritual Bridge creates content that will not only advise couples how to thrive as a couple, but also as individuals, plus as a family. There is content on Spiritual Bridge for Christians in every part of their walk through faith. New couples can learn how to become all that they want to be in their Christian marriage, and parents can learn how to lead their children in their Christian lives. Spiritual Bridge’s online presence is there to help Christians achieve their goals and dreams and to lead their community in a godly way to make for a godly earth.

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Parenting & Family

Stuttering Child? What You Can Do To Give Them Support

A stutter is most commonly observed in children around toddler age, between 2-5 and this interruption to their speech flow is a result of them learning how to process language and use it to communicate at a compromised rate. Some ways in which the stutter may manifest itself is through the repetition of certain syllables, words or phrases – prolonging certain ones, while finding they’re unable to access others. Talking, like walking, being toilet-trained, learning to run without falling, learning to ride a bike, takes all children practice before mastery occurs. However, there are many children whose stutter follows them into grade school, high school, and even adulthood. If you notice your child having difficulties overcoming their stutter, consider seeing a speech-language therapist for an assessment.

Clinical experts know that for children speech therapy Toronto experts can offer is vital to their overcoming their stutter or other fluency issue, and treating your child based on their specific strengths and weaknesses should be at the top of their priority list. If you live in the GTA, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the number of options both private and public at your disposal. Look for a clinic (such as Toronto’s Simone Friedman SLS) that has been in the business of treating speech language issues — such as a stutter — for decades.

When one talks about a stutter, they are, of course, referring to it under the umbrella of fluency; the feature of speech that describes the continuity, smoothness, and rate of speech.  Often disfluencies occur along with physical tension, negative emotions, and even avoidance of words or speaking altogether. In unfortunate cases, stuttering will hold a stigma, causing children to be bullied at school – creating negative self esteem. In these cases, children may train themselves to resent their stutter rather than work through it.

While stuttering is often genetic, a child may develop a stutter, and hold on to it after toddlerhood for other reasons. It is important to ensure the stutter isn’t a sign of other speech and language problems, or developmental delays – at Simone Friedman SLS, highly trained and knowledgeable speech-language pathologists can offer your child personalized support while catering to their specific needs. Many people who stutter process language in a different part of their brain than people who don’t, and helping them access it will allow them to overcome blockages.Look for programs that focus on eliminating or significantly reducing stuttering in everyday speech situations.

At times, a previous stutter pops up when a person’s secure environment is compromised such as during times of fear, distress, confusion, over-stimulation, or exhaustion. The right speech-language pathologists can assist individuals who stutter to work through the negative emotions that surround the condition, reducing speaker fear and improving fluency overall with a set of tools and encouragement – making them more conscious about their stutter and better able to develop self-managed procedures so that they may be able to address increases as time progresses.

The right clinic will also encourage parents to participate in the therapy process. Do not insist your child always speak correctly; instead allow the act of talking to be fun, and an opportunity to test drive their vehicle of speech in a safe environment. Let your child speak for themselves, allowing them to finish their thoughts and sentences, and then pause before responding to them. Have conversations with your child when possible without interrupting, and avoiding criticism. If you see your child is stressed or uncomfortable, do not force talking upon them – encourage quiet play or other activities to soothe the mind and slow down the pace of their day. Speak slowly and clearly when talking to your child or others in their presence, keeping eye contact. Most importantly, talk slowly – it will encourage them to do the same, improving their fluency and consistency in their speech over time.

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Parenting & Family

Boosting your Childs Reading Ability

There is a lot for our children to learn. Watching them acquire new skills and become well-rounded adults is a real joy. Raising children requires a lot of work, but it is all worth it.

Some skills are acquired easily, while others take years of concerted effort. Reading definitely falls into the latter category. It takes all children many years before they are able to read and write with ease, but as a parent, you can speed up the process by following the tips outlined below.

Start early

Starting to read to your children at an early stage helps a lot. Giving a baby a cloth book may seem like a waste of time, but it is actually a really good way to introduce your child to the idea that books are fun.

Babies like the brightness of these books, and enjoy the fact they can safely be put in their mouths. As they get older, you can introduce them to cardboard books with words that they can learn to read.

Read stories with your kids

Reading to your baby every night, for a few minutes, will help them to settle. Your child will see reading and books as part of a pleasurable experience, which will make it more likely that they will want to read as they get earlier.

Encourage your child to read everything

Studies show that the more often a child reads during the day the easier it is for them to learn. Getting your child to read anything that they see while they are out and about is a great way to get them reading more often. For example, reading safety signs aloud, or posters is a quick and easy way to get your children to read more. It requires very little effort on your part, and is a good way of helping your kids to understand why they need to be able to read well. Using the skill in everyday life helps them to see understand just how important it is to be able to read.

Expand your vocabulary

Research shows that the children of parents who use an extensive vocabulary when speaking to them read better. You can read more about this study here.

Taking the time to explain things in different ways is really worth doing, because it gives your child a bigger vocabulary too. The more words they know the easier it is for them to understand what they are reading, which, in turn, encourages them to read more.

Get your child to read aloud

It is good to see your children sitting there reading quietly, but it is also important for them to read aloud as well. Doing so, significantly improves how well they read.

You do not have to necessarily be the one to sit down and listen to your child reading. Kids love reading to their grandparents over Skype or on the phone. Studies also show that children who read to their pets improved just as fast as those that regularly read with their parents.

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Parenting & Family

Books that Use Psychological Techniques to Help Children Fall Asleep

Being a parent is nice and challenging at the same time. Your first and foremost purpose as a parent is to find the perfect way in which to ensure that your children get the proper education and grow up in a healthy, loving environment. If you are searching for new ways in which to help your children get a good night sleep you should discover all about the bedtime phenomenon. If you have not heard about it yet, you should know that scientists have developed great books to send your children to bed and falling asleep in just a few minutes. What do these books have to offer? They include the use of psychological techniques that have proven to be very effective for children and the quality of their sleep at night. Let’s discover below some of the best books that use psychological techniques to help children fall asleep.

Books to Put Your Children to Sleep            

story for kidsEven if for certain authors the idea of writing a book that might put their readers to sleep in a couple of minutes might not see like the greatest idea, it actually is. When you consider the benefits of psychological techniques for a good night sleep you will understand why. This is what the authors who have managed to write such amazing books have also understood and why they decided to put into these books their knowledge and skills related to this phenomenon.

The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep

This is a book created by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, a Swedish behavioral psychologist. It is a 26 page paperback that focuses on positive reinforcement type of techniques to enable proper relaxation, focus and a good night sleep for children. As a parent using this book with this main purpose, you are instructed to achieve great results by speaking in a slow voice that might calm your child or emphasize on certain words that have relaxing effects. The book also includes pictures to attract attention but the main purpose is to read the book to your child while he easily feels calm, relaxed and falls asleep.

A Terrible Thing Happened

This book is recommended especially for children who have experienced some sort of trauma or have suffered for physical abuse earlier in their life. The main character of the book is Raccoon Sherman Smith who also experiences a trauma one day and suffers from constant nightmares that do not allow him to rest properly. His school counselor enables him to open up about these issues and let go of negative energy by drawing pictures and openly taking about the issues. This is a great book for parents to use when their children have experienced such issues to help them feel more relaxed in the evening and easily fall asleep without any fear of nightmares.

Calm Down Time

This book was written by Elizabeth Verdick. It is actually a picture book that uses evidence-based exercises created for diffusing tantrums. These exercises ensure deep breathing, calming phrases that help your child feel relaxed as well as counting numbers out loud type of exercised to train your child’s brain before falling asleep at night. Your children will certainly enjoy these exercises and learn to use self-control techniques when they feel like their emotions are no longer under control. They easily fall asleep feeling calm and peaceful.

Psychological techniques have proven to be highly effective for parents who want to help their children fall asleep easily every night. Check out the wide variety of books based on these techniques and use the ones you consider mostly appropriate for the needs of your own child.

By Alfred Stallion and LoveReading.co.uk!