January 2010 - Posts

Babytalk: When does it go away?
28 January 10 07:35 PM | RebeccaL | with no comments
The other day I was talking with my friend when she asked me "when is the 'L' sound going to come? Are my kids ever going to be able to say Lion?". This was a very good question. Different sounds come in or develop at different ages. 'L' is one of the latest sounds to develop and can come as late as 6 years old. Some children are able to say their 'L's and even 'R's at a very young age, but other children take longer to develop these sounds so it is o.k. if a 4 year old still calls a lake the "Yake" for example.

Even though it's natural for children who are 4 and 5 to have some articulation errors, it is essential for them to hear the correct way that they should be pronouncing words. The important thing to keep in mind is NOT to imitate your child or speak the way s/he speaks...as tempting as it is to do. For example if your child wants his/her "Wed" ball, you say ok here is your "Red ball" and if you're going to see the "Yions" at the zoo please tell your child the "Lions" will be there. Otherwise your child may actually think s/he is saying the word correctly because that's how mommy or daddy say it and then continue to say the word wrong. By hearing the correct way to say words, as sounds develop at a natural rate, your child will begin to say words correctly.

If by about 6 years old you are still noticing many errors, and/or have difficulty understanding your child you may want to consult with the school's Speech Therapist to see if there is an articulation delay.

In the meantime if your 3 year old asks for a wed yayipop, don't stress over the fact s/he's not saying it right and enjoy a lollipop with your child while s/he is still talking to you because the terrible teens years will come along before you know it!
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I Love Green Eggs and Ham...
25 January 10 04:02 PM | RebeccaL | with no comments

Oobleck, Grinches and fish red and blue...and how to get to Solla Sollew. Dr. Suess is more than an author. With his vast assortment of books that fit the need of almost any child, whether it is a child with articulation difficulties that needs to practice the /s/ sound, or children learning opposites, basic concepts, or about troubles that life brings, the collection of Dr. Suess books is what you need to teach your children while keeping them (and you) entertained.
Have some fun in Seussville at: seussville.com

Hungry caterpillars, busy spiders and brown bears are just some of the exciting characters that Eric Carle brings to life in his books which do more than just entertain. They are amazing for language development offering children the opportunity to learn sequencing, counting, colors, animal sounds, etc. In addition, the repetition of sentences provides the necessary reinforcement needed when young children are learning new things and allows them the opportunity to join in the story. You can find a list of his books and more at Eric Carle's website.

With a big push on literacy... even in young ones, you can help prepare your child at home by reading to your child every day and exposing them to books, starting at a young age. Children as early as 18 months have the ability to point to pictures of objects you name in books. From 2 1/2 to 3 years old, your child can talk about the pictures s/he sees, remember some of the story and retell it while looking at the pages and learn so much about so many different things thanks to their interest in books at this age.

So whether it's with a fox, or in a box, with a mouse, or in the house, on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, grab a book and read with your child! You may have more fun than you thought you would.

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Important Information To Leave or the Babysitter
19 January 10 05:48 PM | RebeccaL | with no comments

The weekend is finally here and you've called your babysitter and are looking forwards to a night out without the kids. Sure you have your cellphone with you in case the sitter needs to get in touch with you and you've written down some other information, but did you leave enough info for the person you have entrusted to care for your babies? Some things may be obvious to you but depending on the age of your sitter, these things may not be so obvious to them. And since most likely the person watching your children is on the younger side, the more information you give and have written down the better. Also, if there is any sort of emergency, you want to make sure your babysitter is fully equipped to answer any questions that may come her way because no matter how old you are, it's easy to forget information during a crisis. As you prepare for your sitter to arrive, here are some things to keep in mind...

Things to have written down in a place that is easy to find:

* Your address. Don't assume they know it. Even though your babysitter knows how to get to your house, and may know the name of the street, she may not remember the number of your house. Also, if there was an emergency, it's very easy to forget information like that.

*All current phone numbers: fire, police, doctor,family or friend's to call if you can't be reached or are far away, your cell phone numbers and home phone number.

*Your children's information. Make sure your children's birthdays and ages are written down, as well as any known allergies they have. If there was a medical emergency with your child, one of the questions asked would be the age of the child.

*The number of where you will be. Just because you have a cellphone doesn't mean that your babysitter will be able to contact you. There are still many places with poor or no cell service. Leave the name and number of where you'll be so that the babysitter will be able to get through no matter what.

Tell the babysitter you are not expecting anyone and ask them not to open the door for anyone, even if it's the ConEd or UPS guy. Let them know it's ok to call you if there is a question about someone who has shown up at the house.

Things you should leave out (for day and/or night):

-Full bottles and enough of them. Or make sure to leave formula, empty bottles with tops and clear instructions out on the counter if it needs to be mixed.
-Snacks for the kids and sippy cups (if they are of that age).
-Diapers out or in an easily accessible place.
-Pajamas for each child, out on their beds so the babysitter knows whose is whose. If you are leaving your kids during the day, leave out at least 1 extra change of clothes, so the sitter doesn't have to bother with finding them.
-Some food for the babysitter. And have some designated food in the fridge/freezer that she can have as well. Be sure to explain what is ok to eat.
-Movies that your children like to watch and that they have permission to watch that day/night
-A list of t.v. channels your kids watch along with programs names. If possible, put the times of those programs too. If you have shows on the DVR, leave that list then.

When your babysitter arrives, if it's their first time, show them around the house, how to use the remotes and where everything they need is. If it's not the first time, you should still remind the sitter of some things, like to lock up after you leave and to call if there is any problem, etc.
Don't be afraid to ask the sitter to clean up after herself... and your child. Remind her to change your babies diaper before s/he sleeps...even if it is only a little bit dirty. It's helpful for younger babysitters to understand that you change a diaper often.

Once you leave, make sure you have fun and enjoy being out. Don't call every second. There is nothing wrong with calling once to see how things are going, but it is unnecessary to call over and over to 'check in'. Your babysitter knows to call if there is a problem, and you wouldn't have left such a precious package in their hands if you didn't think they could handle it, so go and enjoy yourself.
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Puppies Behind Bars
12 January 10 05:55 PM | RebeccaL | with no comments

Has your child ever asked you for a puppy? They are so cute and cuddly that we all can understand why a child would want one. Having a dog can bring so much fun and joy into our lives but they also require a lot of time and patience amongst other things. Kids usually do not think about or may not understand just how much work it takes to own a dog, which can be just one of the many reasons why a parent says 'no' when a child asks to get a puppy. But what if you want to say 'yes', but circumstances are such that you are not able to? Well...being a volunteer with the program Puppies Behind Bars may just be a solution to your problem.

Puppies Behind Bars is an amazing program in which inmates in correctional facilities in the New York Tri State Area raise and train puppies. These puppies live in the cell with their raisers who are responsible for caring for and training them. The puppies then go out 2-3 weekends a month with volunteers referred to as "puppy sitters" who as the website describes:
"take the dogs into their homes in order to expose them to things they won't experience in prison. These can be as simple as hearing doorbells or the sounds of a coffee grinder, and as complex as learning how to ride in a car and walk down a crowded sidewalk."

The dogs are golden retrievers and labs whose ages range about 5 or 6 months to about 10 months old. The goal is to have them graduate and move on to further training as bomb sniffing dogs or service dogs. Since these dogs are on such a strict regime, they are house trained and are much better behaved than most puppies. They are not allowed to sit on furniture, eat 'human' food, or bark.

Since my roommate was a volunteer for this program, I was able to see first hand how the program works and enjoy spending time with the wonderful dogs. As someone who has never had a dog before, it was a great way not only to learn what it would be like to own a dog, but to get out of the house and do something different. I will admit it was hard at times to say goodbye, but it was fun being with so many different dogs of all sizes and personalities.

Here is how it works if you are a volunteer: You must commit for one year to the program. After a few days of training, the volunteers then begin taking the puppies for either an overnight stay once a month or 2 weekend days a month. You only need to take the dog for a few hours during the day. The program allows you to request specific dogs but there are times you may not be given that dog. The volunteer is responsible for picking up and dropping off the dog and the correctional facilities.

Depending on if you think your child would be able to deal with saying good-bye to the dogs after a few hours or even an overnight stay with them, this program is a great way to have all the excitement that comes with having a dog without having to own one, and at the same time your child will be learning things like responsibility for caring for another living being. And you will be giving back to an important program.

Learn more about the program by clicking here. Even if you don't think the program is for you, check out the site anyway and pass on the info.

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Daddy's Little Girl
03 January 10 03:48 PM | RebeccaL | with no comments

It is in most women's nature to nurture; however for men this nurturing side may not come as easily. Sometimes fathers are not sure what to do with their children, especially when they have a daughter. Sure with a son it's different because boys will be boys no matter what age, so it may be easier for a father to relate to a son. But what do you do with a daughter? Play toy soldiers? Maybe. Play with cars? Eh.. not so much. Chances are she's more interested in her dolls and girlie things. You don't have to play Barbies with your little girl, but it's important to engage in some sort of play with her.

Fathers play a very valuable and significant role in the lives of their children. Remember that sometimes it doesn't matter what you are doing with your daughter; she is simply happy to get attention from you and spend time with you. I used to play catch with my father and although he used to tell me I threw like a girl (and yes I happen to be a girl) I loved every minute of my time spent with him. He balanced out the things I learned from my mother. My father taught me how to measure twice and cut once when we built shelves together, how to spackle, use a power drill, and how to catch a grounder and fly ball. These activities were so enjoyable for me, because I was spending time with my father & getting to do things he does.

If you are not quite sure what to do with your daughter, here are some suggestions: You can go to the park, look at books, dance to music, cut & glue, have her help with dinner, watch a movie she likes, or even play toy soldiers. Chances are, because she's your little princess, she'll be perfectly happy just to be doing something...anything with you as long as she's getting your attention, love and affection. Remember, the relationship between a father and a daughter is very special! That's why she's "daddy's little girl".

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