Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Our hearts go out to everyone in Oklahoma affected by the tornadoes. As always, our thoughts go to the children and helping them cope in the aftermath of this natural disaster. Far more often than we have liked, we have had to share the following information. We share it again, now, to help the children of Oklahoma:
Whether it is a fire, earthquake, flood, torando or another natural disaster, the reactions that children will experience are similar. Helping them maintain some semblance of normalcy in an abnormal situation will be helpful. There is MUCH more that parents and caregivers can do to support kids through a disaster.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
For an excellent, in-depth, printable workbook, I highly recommend you check out FEMA's resource here. This workbook proivdes you with age-specific information about a child's reaction to a disaster and meaningful ways in which you can respond.
The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers invaluable tips to parents on helping children after a disaster.
Most Importantly: Tell the Truth
The truth is always the best approach.
"I we can mention it, we can manage it."
"If we can talk about it, we can tame it."
When children overhear conversations and are given only partial information, they are left to their own devices to fill in the blanks. Often, they become more fearful by the things they imagine, than the reality at hand. It is best to be direct, open and honest. Help them see the "helpers" and all of the good work that is going on to make things better.
Godspeed to Oklahoma,
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Get your printable here!
They're Just Words
Words are just words, and they stay in your child's heart forever. Choose them wisely, they become part of your child's internal dialogue, laying the foundation of what he/she thinks about him/herself for all of his/her days to come. Be kind. Be kind some more. Parent and teach from a place of benevolence. Look at his/her transgressions as errors in thinking and deficits in skills.
Figure out what your child needs to be successful and find out how to help him/her fill the gaps. It really is simple...and difficult all at the same time. The biggest trick is managing your own emotions during times of difficulty and upset. You can, without doubt, do this. It is within reach of every single parent in the world.
That's good news for all our kids.
Don't you think so, too?
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Look What We've Been Up To
Guess what we've been up to? A whole lot! We have several new resources in the hopper, ready to release over the coming months. First up, our most sought after set of tools to help kids "chill" their anger. It's creative. It's memorable. It's fun. It works! With summer right around the corner and the kiddos out for break, you might want to make sure you are prepared for pesky tempers and "heated" feelings. We've got you covered!
Ice Cream Cones and Frozen Pops!
Don't miss out on our unbelievable resource to help kids deal with anger. Close to 60 pages of therapeutic-grade interventions that you can use at home, school, childcare settings and counseling offices is what you'll find inside. It's our premiere and exclusive resource that really helps kids. With printables, posters, activities, anger techniques and tips, you'll be well on your way to helping your youngsters keep as "chill" as possible.
It's What I've Used in My Own Home and Office
I developed and started using these techniques at home with my own kids and in my office with thousands of kids. These interventions have also been used in preschools and early childhood classrooms in several locations. Don't miss out on an exclusive offer that will be available when this resource is released. It will be the lowest price at which you can EVER purchase this product. The price will never be offered again. Want to make sure you're in on the bargain? Simply sign-up for our email newsletter on the right hand side of this page. You can sign-up for the Kidlution Revolution Newsletter or the Anger Toolbox for Kids. Either way, you'll get a special notification when "Ice-Cream Cones and Frozen Pops" is hot off the press, along with the special introductory rate that will never be seen again!
Friday, May 3, 2013
You are going to love our guest post by Angelle Batten today! I've known Angelle for several years and she is a fellow Michigander. She is also a ROCKSTAR when it comes to helping you feed your family whole foods. The health benefits are undeniable, and I am also sure you will be over-the-moon with behavioral benefits. Without further ado, here is Angelle:
Rude? Bad Mood? It could be the food!
Maybe you’ve experienced this as a parent.
Your normally kind preschooler morphs into a whiny, grumpy kid a little too frequently.
Or, your tween is pretty consistently belligerent and you sometimes wonder who signed you up for this parenting gig in the first place.
Or, maybe your daughter is sullen all the time, seems depressed and has you losing sleep at night worrying about her.
What if the solution to these mood & behavior issues is no further than your kitchen? That’s right. It could be the food.
Mood & behavior are directly impacted by what your child is eating and drinking each day. In fact your child’s tummy and brain are more closely related than you might realize.
The Gut: Our Second Brain
Our second brain, or the gut, literally contains its own nervous system. In fact, the ‘brain’ in our gut contains more neurotransmitters than the brain in our head!
This means that what your child is eating, drinking and how well she’s digesting it impacts her mood and her behavior.
I found this out early on with my oldest. She’d be going along fine – pleasant, happy and fun to be with – and then suddenly she’d be crabby, overwhelmed and lashing out – not as fun to be with. (Maybe you can relate?) One time when this happened I remembered something I had learned in my classes and I asked her to drink a full glass of water. She actually gulped it down and within minutes she had calmed down. A light bulb went off for me. And for her. She was dehydrated. This impacted her brain and whole nervous system. Once she was hydrated again things were running smoothly for her. I later researched this and found that what seemed too simple is actually true. Once I made this connection with water and behavior I began testing out the food and behavior connection, learning just how powerful that is too.
Food and water are our body’s fuel for running smoothly. What if you decided that you were too tired to take your car up to the gas station to fill up the tank? Instead you pulled the hose around from the side of the house to fill the gas tank. It’s liquid just like gasoline, right? I love asking kids this question. The littlest ones get wide-eyed and tell me the car is going to blow up. Older kids often look at me suspiciously and tell me the car will probably start spurting and sputtering – duh!
The thing is our kids are spurting and sputtering every day. Not only with health issues but with bad behavior. The first thing to ask ourselves is, “What’s fueling this?”
Fake Foods and Drinks
If your child is being fueled by fake foods & drinks – filled with artificial colors, sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, too much sugar, enriched flours and other chemicals – her brain is not getting the fuel it needs to be at its best. Instead it’s spurting and sputtering…and indeed sometimes it may seem like it is ‘blowing up’!
In the book Bad Attitude: Reverse Your Child’s Rudeness in 1 Week – with Food!, authors Audrey Ricker, Ph.D. and Brian Cabin, M.D. describe these behavioral symptoms as ones often related to food:
Fixation with Snack Food
Rudeness when Eating
We know that every time our child talks back it’s not related to food. But, kids aren’t supposed to be unhappy, grumpy and rude all the time. Healthy kids are happy, resilient and collaborative more often than not. If your child experiences the above symptoms too frequently or you notice a pattern of any of those behaviors, there’s a good chance his diet is playing a role.
Behind the Scenes
At least 4 of your child’s major body systems are directly related to food: digestive, endocrine, nervous and respiratory systems. If your child’s not getting the right fuel then these systems are sure to spurt and sputter with health, learning and/or behavior issues.
The good news is kids are resilient. When we start feeding them more of the right fuel - what I call REAL food - and crowd out the fake food – their body will often respond very quickly. Just like my daughter’s does when she drinks water and eats protein.
Bump & Balance:A Step-Wise Approach to Change
If you suspect (or are even a bit curious) that what your child is eating and drinking is impacting her behavior I want you to start to do the ‘Bump & Balance’. And, no this isn’t some old 80’s dance craze. Here’s what I mean:
One: BUMP up the quality of your child’s food and drinks. Eat more fresh foods that don’t come in packages with long ingredient lists. And when you do serve packaged foods, read the label and ask yourself if you could actually go to the grocery store and buy those exact ingredients and make that product. If not, put it back on the shelf and find an alternative to crowd out the fake option. For instance, if plain noodles are a favorite meal and they are made from enriched flour and some synthetic vitamins, you could go for a whole grain gluten-free noodle with no additives. You’re just bumping up the quality of the ingredients to be a better fuel.
Two: BALANCE your child’s meals and snacks with Powerful Protein, Friendly Fat & Colorful Carbs. There’s a good chance your child is eating lots of grain & sugar-based meals and snacks. This is a recipe for disaster as far as digestion and blood sugar, which means disaster for mood and behavior. Think about a favorite meal or snack. Ask yourself if it includes protein and healthy fat. If not, consider what you could add to make it more balanced. Using noodles as an example again, think about adding real butter or olive oil for some Friendly Fat or better yet, a tomato based meat sauce and a side of steamed broccoli and real butter. Now you have Powerful Protein, Friendly Fat and Colorful Carbs. (Here are 15 balanced meal & snack ideas for you!)
Don’t assume your child won’t go along with the changes. He might resist at first but with a little education and consistency you’ll be surprised how quickly he will get on board with changes in his diet. (Here’s a series of blog posts to help you make changes in your family’s diet when they are resisting.)
And, when he does, you will also be surprised by some of the changes in behavior you just might see. That whiney, snarky, complaining behavior may just start to fade away. And you’ll get that sweet collaborative kiddo back in your life more often, and that’s sweeter than sugar!
Angelle Batten, MEd is a Family Wellness Coach and a mom to 3 Adventurous Eaters. You can join her mailing list at www.AngelleBatten.com to get one of her favorite (5 ingredient) recipes along with a list of 5 ‘good news’ ingredients to easily add into your family’s diet. She’ll show you how to feed your family healthier. One. Manageable. Step. At. A. Time.
See? I knew you would be swooning! Doesn't this just make you want to go through your cupboards and fridge and eradicate the (ahem!) foods that are less than whole? Thanks for being such an inspiration, Angelle!
Note: I just got word from Angelle that some of the links on her site may not be fully functional, as her site is undergoing some updates currently. Be sure to check back after Monday, when everything will be accessible. You won't want to miss a thing!
Thursday, April 25, 2013
How to Raise a Kind Child
How you speak of others sets the stage for how your children will. Are you respectful, kind and do you hold out the best for everyone whose name passes your lips? If you wish to raise children who are kind, demonstrate it yourself on a regular basis. SHOW, don't TELL! I just posted that on my facebook page, but thought it might be important to add here, too!
Have you been less than kind in some of the things you have said about others? Leave that in the past and join up with those of us who believe in the power of LOVE. I have often tweeted "Love, it turns out, is really all you need!" Now, there is a graphic to keep that foremost in your mind!
Happy Parenting, as always....from Kidlutions!
Monday, April 15, 2013
My heart sank as I heard the news of the bombing at the Boston Marathon today. I kept repeating in my head, "No, no, no!" It is so difficult for adults to wrap their brain around it. It's even more difficult for kids.
The information below may be of help to young children who may hear of the bombing on the news, on the radio, from peers or elsewhere. (For kids who may have directly witnessed the bombing, it would be prudent to see if the child would benefit from professional support. A therapist trained in trauma reactions in children can make a big difference.)
Here are some general tips when talking to young children about the tragedy:
1. Don't Assume the Child Knows Nothing
Although you may not have told the child about the tragedy, he may have overheard adult conversations or TV News Bulletins. He may also hear the news from other children at school or daycare.
What do you know? What did you hear? Listen for the child to make mention of the bombing and gently probe to learn what they know.
3. Be Honest
Share that a bad thing did happen, but that it is being taken care of. "The police are working really hard to solve this and to make sure the person who did this cannot do it again." We do not need to share all of the details with young children.
4. Focus on the Positives
Focus on the "helper" people. When bad things happen, helper people come to help. Police and ambulance workers were there to help the people they could.
5. Let Them Know They are Safe
Young children may think that their own personal safety is at risk. Let them know that they are safe and that things will remain the same in your community and household. Acknowledge that it is a scary thing that happened, but that it is over. What happened in Boston almost never, ever, ever happens.
6. Limit Media Exposure
With cable and satellite TV, news outlets are available 24/7. Be careful to ensure that your child is not exposed to ongoing stories about the bombing. Young children may believe the bombing is happening over and over again, or that it is still going on. Best to find the news you are looking for after they are in bed, or on your computer or mobile device.
7. Give Plenty of Hugs
Children always need physical affection, but they may need even more during times of stress or anxiety.
All of us at Kidlutions are sending prayers and healing vibes to Boston and all who were affected by this senseless tragedy.
Thank you for caring for the youngest among us~