LET SLEEPING BABIES LIE
Help Baby Go to Sleep
By Sharon Penchina C.Ht. and Dr. Stuart
As any new parent
knows, infants do not sleep like babies. Neither do mothers and
fathers. Lack of sleep is one of the hardest adjustments new parents
have to make. In a recent poll of parents with children six months old
and younger, one-third of the respondents reported waking up from one
to eight times a night. Often interrupted sleep can be as exhausting
as no sleep at all. No wonder getting babies to sleep through the
night is considered such a challenge. While there is no one size fits
all approach to this age old problem, there are some methods parents
can use to lull their babies into a peaceful sleep.
Bedtime Tips for Parents
Same Time Same Place.
Establishing a nighttime routine is one of the most
important steps parents can take towards developing healthy sleep
habits for their baby. Many pediatricians and experts believe most
sleep problems children experience are the result of not learning how
to fall asleep on their own. Having a consistent nighttime routine can
help babies learn this process and develop regular sleep patterns. A
sample routine may include feeding, bathing, dressing, reading or
singing, and then settling her into bed. This routine should be
repeated in the same place at around the same time every night. The
consistent repetition ensures that the child associates the actions,
patterns, and place with sleep. Another cue parents can give their
babies is a bedtime message. This message can be anything from a
favorite lullaby to a simple “I love you. Sweet dreams.” Hearing the
song or the words every night will let the child know it is time to
Sound of Silence. Many parents suffer
the misconception that babies need a quiet environment in order to
sleep. Children only require complete silence if that is what they
become accustomed to. While in the womb, babies experience anything
but silence. They hear the hum of their mother’s voice, the swish of
body fluids, and muffled sounds from the outside world. To a baby
submerged in amniotic fluid, all of these sounds have a soft edge to
them. These soft white noises are often replicated in the sounds of a
vacuum cleaner, air conditioner or dishwasher; all of which have a
calming effect on babies. Another thing that relaxes babies is the
sound of a heartbeat. For nine months, every sound a baby hears is set
against the backdrop of her mother’s heartbeat. Therefore, it makes
sense that this sound is a comforting one. Many lullaby CD’s
incorporate the sound of a heartbeat into the music, which has been
proven to soothe and lull babies to sleep.
Talk the Talk.
Crying is how babies communicate. Cries
and screams, like words, differ from situation to situation. Babies
have different cries for hunger, pain, sleepiness, boredom, and
attention. When parents learn to distinguish their baby’s cries, they
are less likely to jump at every whimper that comes over the baby
monitor. If a baby wakes in the night and recognizes that her body is
still tired, she will out of habit let out an “I am sleepy cry.” Then,
it is quite possible that she will roll over and return to sleep. On
the other hand, if a parent rushes to the crib before deciphering the
cry, she may become stimulated and too alert to lull herself back to
sleep. Parents should give it minute and listen to what their babies
are trying to tell them, and then respond.
Respond in Kind.
Even though babies have different cries
for different needs, it is important to point out that during the
first three months of life, children are survival based. Therefore,
during this time you can in no way be too attentive or spoil a child.
In these first precious months children establish a foundation for
future security and emotional health. Parents should listen for cues,
but never let a baby cry it out. When attending to a baby at night,
avoid stimulation by keeping the lights low, speaking softly if
necessary, and assuring her with a gentle touch. This will help the
child return to sleep more easily and on her own.
C.Ht. and Dr. Stuart Hoffman are the creators of the award winning I
Am A Lovable Me! series of empowerment books and audio CDs for
children. The series includes Mom’s Choice Award winner I AM a Lovable
Me! Affirmations for Children book as well as Sleepy Time Messages for
Children CD. Sleepy Time Messages for Children features unique
soothing music and positive affirmations set to a scientifically
mastered soundtrack that integrates the comforting sounds of a human
Sleepytime Messages for Children
A Bedtime story to dispel nighttime fears
"The Thump in the Attic"
BACK TO SCHOOL:
Get Organized in a
by Sally D. Ketchum
Author of Super Student/Happy
Use timely tools to get children
organized for school. Four tools that can work especially well are: a
watch; a stopwatch, an alarm clock and a kitchen timer.
Even most young children are fascinated by watches and clocks. Help
them to master the concept of time by giving them reference points
such as, "Half an hour is the length of time it takes to watch that
cartoon or go to grandma's house, or something else that makes sense
to them. When they can tell time, a watch is a good item to own. It
can make a child feel more grown-up and important. Show a child how to
use it to schedule his or her day. For example: "You can play with
your friend until 4:00 p.m. and then it will be time to do your
homework." Bedtime is a certain consistent time. On school days you
need to wake up at a specific time and leave for school at another
time. Even young children can be taught to pay attention to at least a
couple of times that matter and be responsible for following a watch.
Stopwatch: A stopwatch is a novelty and quite fun for children.
They like to have someone time them at various tasks such as running a
distance, coloring a page, or jogging in place. How long can I do
that? Can I do it faster the next time? Can I do it faster than my
friend or my brother? Some children even like to compete with
themselves and become faster at various tasks using a stopwatch. It is
a way of learning to meet a simple goal and overcome the obstacles
Clock: Young children can use an alarm clock to get
themselves up and ready for school in the morning. It works if you let
them know that it is their responsibility and that you believe they
can do it. Once this habit is established, the child can begin to
develop an attitude that they are capable of doing important things on
their own. It's a step toward self-reliance and self-esteem. Depending
on the age and ability of the child, give them a chance to develop
their morning routine that begins with their own alarm clock.
Timer: Kids usually love these! They like to play with
them. Set a timer for different tasks. For example, "Practice your
spelling until the timer goes off and then you can play with your
friend." "You have 30 minutes to work on cleaning up your room. See
how much progress you can make before the timer goes off." "How many
toys can you pick up in 5 minutes? Let's set the timer and see." Use
it for contests. Use it as a reminder. " When the timer goes off, we
will leave for your gymnastics class."
They are simple tools, but if you
begin to gradually introduce them to children, or even use them
yourself, they can simplify some of the chaos that comes with
raising children. It will also give a child some tools to use as he or
she grows; tools that will give them so control over their own time.
Sally D. Ketchum's Book,
Super Student/Happy Kid
Over 5,000 Ideas
for Tots through Teens
Ultimate Collection of Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy
by Kas Winters
MAKE THE MOST OF SUMMER VACATION:
Parents–Teach Your Kids
by Minister Phil Waring
bell may have rung for the last time until fall, but it doesn’t necessarily
mean that leaning stops for our children. It does depend if parents are
going to baby sit their kids this summer or become proactive and plan for
summer of learning.
If you child needs academic help that you cannot facilitate,
by all means, consider summer school or a tutor. Kids that could use some
physical activity can be enrolled in exercise classes, dance, swimming
lessons or take-in one of our wonderful mountain camping programs.
Some parents will stock up on snacks & cold drinks and put their children in
front of video games and television for the summer. Others will expect their
kids to be at a friend’s house swimming or playing games. Wise parents will
give their kids time to decompress after a good school year, but will still
want their kids to learn more.
”Disneyland Dads” should start thinking now. Absent or
part-time parents that finally find themselves spending some extended time
with the children should especially concentrate on what their kids will
learn from them.
A lot of
teaching by parents comes about due to circumstances. Some parents don’t say
much about telling the truth until one of the kids tells a lie. Many parents
don’t say much about alcohol until one of the kids asks or experiments. As
the school year ends and there is still some time to plan, we can ask:
what can we teach our kids that teachers can’t?
I’m not suggesting that anyone develop an extension of classroom
instruction. However, some important learning can take place if a few goals
Depending upon the age of your child, you’ll want to decide what they can
handle. Your five-year-old will not appreciate a lesson on how compound
interest nearly made you bankrupt, but he or she might learn a little about
you and life if you looked together at the web sites that you visit.
Some children could spend ten minutes looking at your checkbook and
bill statements as you explain how bills get paid. Pointing out where your
money goes does teach your children much about your values.
You have a really good friend, right? Spend some time this summer talking
with your child about friends and why someone is your friend. Talk
about boundaries between friends and how friends influence you, and let your
child build expectations for his or her future friendships.
As soon as you can, teach your child the value of trust and
what’s really important in life. You’ll have to decide how you will present
the value of relationships and the value of possessions and how you balance
them in your life. To assume they are learning isn’t enough. Ask enough
questions so that you are satisfied they are leaning.
Find some way of explaining why you are proud to be a family. Children who
know a lot about their family history are sometimes conscious of the history
they are making in their family today.
Isn’t it time to start equipping our children with ways of handling
difficulties? If we can find a way to explain how we get through tough
times, perhaps our children will be better equipped for struggles.
And what about this “religion?” Will we allow an institution like a church
or Sunday school take the entire responsibility for teaching our children
about prayer, faith, life purpose and destiny? Those are some “far out”
concepts that mature adults can accept. However, those concepts might be
better learned if experienced and reinforced in every day life at home.
Can we set goals of teaching our children some things they won’t learn in
school? We can become better parents this summer! Here are a few
• Be grateful
and thankful for your child.
• Take a short
class on parenting.
• Work on a strategic sense of humor.
• Hang out with
some good parents that you admire.
• Set goals for
your own improvement …do you need to spend more time, supervise homework, or
prepare meals in advance? Pick a goal and be a winner!
• Make sure you are mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally happy.
It’s been said, “When you teach a child, you teach the child’s child.”
Here’s a final question before that school bell rings. Ask, “What if every
parent was just like me?”
Gwen & Phil Waring
TOLL FREE OUTSIDE THE VALLEY OF THE SUN
by Elissa Thompson, MSW, LCSW
Author of Tryin' Ryan
CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE
A dangerous antibiotic-resistant staph infection
that is occurring with increasing regularity.
For Elissa Thompson's Book
Publish Your Child's Book
by Kas Winters
There are some children who show a special
interest in writing and/or drawing. I come across these children
frequently when I give talks in classrooms about writing books. Do you
have a child who loves to write?
It is possible to publish just a few
copies and give that child a real boost in self-esteem. You can do it
on your own by typing their manuscript into a computer and scanning
their drawings. If you use "landscape" you can create pages for a 5
1/2" x 8 1/2" book (folded sheets of 8 1/2" x 11" paper). To figure
out where the pages go, make up a "dummy" by folding pieces of paper
and writing the page numbers on each page. When you disassemble the
book, you will have, for example page 8 and page 1 on the same sheet,
page 2 and 7 on the back of that sheet etc.
By setting up pages according to your
"dummy" you can create the entire book. Insert artwork or photographs
in appropriate places. Make it look like a book.
Print out the cover on heavier paper than
the inside text pages and staple it together on the fold. (If you
don't have a long enough stapler, a copy shop will probably let you
borrow one to put a couple of staples in your book.)
This is a great way to show that you are
proud of the work your child has done. It gives recognition to their
writing and/or drawing abilities, and encourages them to pursue
something that they enjoy doing.
Cleaning a Closet
is almost never on the "Want-to-do List" but occasionally reaches the
"Must-Do List". So how do you motivate yourself to get it done? How do
you enlist the help of your family to make a positive difference in the
project rather than get in your way or distract you from the job at
Decide that this is a job that definitely needs to be done. Open the
door to the closet or open the drawer(s) that need cleaning so that
you can see the task at hand and leave them open for a day or so. This
can be a great motivator. (As long as it's hidden, it "doesn't exist",
or so we tell ourselves.)
Write it on the calendar. Schedule a day and time to tackle the cleaning
project. Recruit family members to help you and put it on their calendar
too. You might choose those who have "stuff" in the closet or drawer,
those who will want a say in what happens to it; or those might be the
ones you don't want to have around when you decide what to keep and what
■ Pull everything
out of the closet or drawer. (Do drawers one at a time or they can be
overwhelming.) This is where children can find things that have been
among the missing for a long time. Sometimes they will stop to play.
That can be good if it keeps them busy and not so good if you need their
■ Sort items into
stacks. Trash goes into a large plastic garbage bag. Items that can be
donated to others or put in a garage sale go in an area away from where
you are working. Things that are being kept can be sorted into
categories, with like items being grouped together. Kids can help sort
things into stacks.
■ Take out the
trash. Move items for donation or future garage sale to a garage or
other out-of-the-way location. Choose one where they will not annoy you
until they are donated or sold.
■ Clean the
closet or drawer thoroughly. Vacuum the floor, wash or dust the shelves
or drawer bottom, clean any messes that may be there. If it's a drawer,
line it with clean paper if you choose.
■ Place items
back into the closet or drawer(s) in an orderly and organized manner. If
you need containers or dividers to simplify things, add them to the
■ Choose a reward
for your good work and share it with those who helped accomplish the
task. You might call for pizza delivery, so you don't have to cook or
clean up to go out for dinner after working so hard. Or, going out for
dinner might just be the reward you want. You can also decide to take
some time off and watch a movie, play a game, take a walk or work a
puzzle as a family. Congratulate yourself in some way.
on this page:
Let Sleeping Babies Lie/Help
Baby Go to Sleep;
Tackle Closet Cleaning;
Back to School: Get Organized in a Timely Manner; Publish
Your Child's Book; Parents--Teach Your Kids; Fears and Phobias: Some tips for Coping; Your Family's Health: MRSA Bacteria;
How to Help Children, Who Have Hereditary Disorders, Thrive;
A Note About Safety
How to Help
Children, Who Have Hereditary Disorders, Thrive
Karl Mendel was
a genius in his study of inheritance. Through his work many predictions
are possible about the offspring of plants, animals and humans.
Sometimes something goes astray and that is called a mutation. When this
occurs in humans the results can be very difficult to accept and it
presents many problems.
parents who have an extremely small child, a children with white hair, a
deformed foot or no fingers, to name a few, the results of mutations are
very painful for the parents, and, of course, to the child. The results
are usually rejection and ridicule, since seeing things are are
different can cause uneasiness or even fear in others. As parents, we
have all experienced a child being made fun of for the way he talks, for
the clothes he wears, or for not being invited to a party. Imagine the
magnitude of having a child with severe deformities...a special child.
What can we, as parents, do to soften the pain that is due to come?
First, and foremost, we must not indulge in pity. It is perfectly
acceptable to cry or hit the walls in frustration privately, but the
child must see a smiling face, full of acceptance and love as much as
possible. Encourage the child to use and develop the talents he or she
has whether they are in art, music, sports, woodworking or writing.
Doing one thing well can develop self-confidence to a large degree!
Teach the child
to accept limitations and not live on false hopes. The operative word
here is "realistically". A positive , optimistic view is needed and be
balanced to accept what is possible and what is not. This is not an easy
task, since all of us can be more than we are and we certainly don't
want to discourage a children from being the best that they can be.
However, setting unrealistic goals is not in anyone's best interest.
This, of course, is a daunting task, since we have all witnessed success
that was far beyond any expectations.
The other thing
that needs to be taught and encouraged, is independence. We do this by
allowing a child to fail by encouraging him to try new things and to use
his imagination. Entertaining oneself is an important things for all
children to learn, and especially important for a child with special
challenges since he will undoubtedly be more isolated than other
children. Above all, parents of special children need to be there to
express encouragement and acceptance, and, of course, love, love, love.
This is true for all children, but these very special children often
need more patience, more attentions and, yes, even more love. This is a
daunting challenge for parents whose lives have already been turned
must take time each day to distance themselves from the constant
preoccupation of raising a special needs child. It does not help the
child or others in the family if parents offer themselves as
sacrificial lambs on the altar of total dedication. Take time to laugh,
to dance, to sing, to love and to pursue other interests and not feel
guilty in the process. Your child will benefit, as will those around
you. There are rainbows to see, music to hear and new experiences to be
enjoyed. Embrace them.
which is the
story of a character who is "different' saving the day
Don Grothe has
other books with a message for children. These are currently being added
to this website. Watch for links coming soon.
Fears and Phobias: Some tips for Coping
A phobia is defined as an abnormal fear. That is, a fear that is not
consistent with the situation. You can mention any object and any
situation and there are people who have a phobia about it. There is even
a phobia about having a phobia. How do these abnormal fears begin and
what can be done to correct or overcome them?
The answers to these questions are not simple, but usually quite
complex. The origins of phobias are often not known or understood. There
are some obvious ones such as the person who almost drowns and becomes
afraid of water or the person who is trapped in an elevator and become
afraid of close places. Sometimes these fears act as a life saving
device that keeps a person from dangerous situations. Often, however,
since the fear is irrational in that it is our of proportion to the real
life situation, it can become debilitating and keep the person from
performing routine living tasks.
One can live with the fear of penguins by avoiding any place penguins
may be, including the zoo. It is, however, more difficult to avoid a
fear of dogs or cats because they are everywhere. To live any kind of a
normal life, the phobia must be addressed if it is of the latter type.
How does one do this? Basically, there are two ways. One is called
conditioning, in which the person exposes himself to the situation
consciously, in greater situations of intensity and for longer and
longer periods of time. The person who is suffering from agoraphobia (a
fear of leaving his home) may start by holding on to a loved one or a
therapist, taking three steps outside and remaining there for as little
as 10 seconds, and the returning to the sanctity of his home. By
gradually increasing the distance and the time, he may become quite
comfortable in going as far as around the block by himself and then is
gradually able to increase the time and the distance. The time and
distance can only be determined by the individual.
One person I knew who was a college student spent as much time as
possible in his closet with the door closed. This is where he preferred
to study. He was able to go to classes as long as someone would go along
with him and allow him to keep in physical contact in some way. This
problem is the opposite of claustrophobia or fear of close places. The
cause of these abnormal fears is often not known. Either the situation
that triggered the fear was so long ago or the person was so young he
doesn't remember it; or it was so painful he blotted it out and
repressed it into the unconscious. So it is that the phobia may be
treated by addressing the symptoms and trying to condition the person to
address the fear and not worry about the cause.
The other method of treatment is to try and get at the cause by
psychotherapy. This involves getting the person to relax to the point
where the unconscious thoughts that have been repressed are allowed to
come into the conscious where they can be addressed and dealt with. This
is usually a fairly long period of treatments (weekly sessions for a
year) depending on the severity of the phobia and thus the degree of
repression. The person's willingness to cooperate and ability to
completely relax are also major factors in the treatments. One of the
clues to the phobia content and origin often appears in the form of
dreams or nightmares and also thoughts and actions that occur when a
person is inebriated or under the influence of drugs. This is due to the
fact that the unconscious is relaxed during these times and releases the
thoughts and feelings that are generally kept under control.
We all have fears of some things to some degree, but the decision to
treat them or live with them is usually a factor of how much they
interfere with our normal day-to-day functioning. If the decision is
made to seek treatment, a careful selection of a therapist in essential
and only qualified persons should be considered. The person's physician
is usually a good source of referral as is the American Psychological
and Psychiatric Association. It is also essential to find a match
between the person and the therapist regarding feelings of comfort and
confidence resulting in trust. Sometimes it is necessary to try several
therapists until a person feels a rapport with the therapist.
BOOKS FOR PARENTS
GIFTS FOR CHILDREN
RELIGIOUS GIFTS FOR
Discover parenting pathways that work for
Raising A Happy Spirit
by Julianna Lyddon
A note about SAFETY
children are playing, working or doing anything at all, they need to be
supervised. Adjust any activities to the age and abilities of the child.
Pay attention to the materials, tools and location of the activity. Put
thought into safety before the fun begins. If there's one thing I've
learned from years of overseeing children's activities, it's that
there's always something that a child will think to try that never
occurred to me. So the key is to make things as safe as possible and
then watch them the entire time.