Monthly Archives: July 2015

Sunday Morning Shout Out

Ah summer! -The sights and sounds of happy children and their families laughing, playing, and enjoying one another’s company, a virtual Rockwell picture is conjured up in your mind.  Ugh, summer! –Whining, fighting, bickering, too much together time.  While we all want a Norman Rockwell summer, perhaps the reality is somewhere in the middle.

Just in time to save the sanity of parents everywhere, but perhaps more importantly help us connect with and understand our children’s needs more, may I offer you a great article that is insightful and a good reminder to all of us parents.  In her article, “The Cure for Whining,” Dr. Laura Markham discusses why children whine and what can be done to stop it or even prevent it in its tracks.  She discusses how whining often occurs because children do not have the internal resources to cope with that is being asked of them.  Often, especially for younger children, this boils down to the fact that basic needs aren’t being met, such as: food, rest, down time, run-around time, and connection with a parent.  If you think of the typical situation where a child is whining while you are errand running, these contextual reasons make a whole lot of sense!

In fact, she stresses that “preemptive” connecting can do a great, great deal to ward off whining and other behavior issues in general.  Children need attention, connection, and support!  As the saying or experience goes, any attention good or bad is better than none at all.  If we meet our children’s connection, support, and attention needs positively, we will prevent or offset the “naughties” later.

She also underlines the power of empathizing to get to the bottom of whininess.  Children often whine because they feel powerless and do not know how to get their needs met. If we start with empathy and kind of deescalate the situation, that can also work to unplug whininess’ cord.  For example, if two siblings are bickering over a toy and your youngest comes in whining, complaining about his older brother.  Some sincere empathy and understanding over how unfair it can feel when someone has something we want, can dispel the whining.  It can also lead the child to the pathway of appropriately stating their feelings and needs , rather than whining about it.

Back to the example, whining for a turn can be replaced by a child identifying they would like a turn to play with the superhero figure ,and that they need to ask nicely , or that they need their parent to help them negotiate proper turn taking for their child.  So perhaps Joey gets the toy for five minutes and then he switched with Scottie.  That is a fair scenario for both parties. It is all modeling that starts with true empathizing.  Markham discusses how it is just counterintuitive to scold them for whining or refuse to listen to them, as it just makes them feel more powerless.  Read more about this at the website and try the other techniques instead.

Markham goes on to discuss how excessive whining may also indicate the need for a good cry.  Life is full of hurts for young and old. Having a good cry can release these feelings and help us move on.  She suggests gently offering you’re the child the chance, support, and time for a good cry ,to allow them to move onward.  Lastly, she describes how whining triggers instinctual feelings of rushing in and responding for parents.  She reminds us all to pause, take a step back, and calmly assess the situation for what it is.  Instead of rushing in to scold our children, she encourages parents to rush in to hug them instead.  This may just nip it then!



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Sunday Morning Shout Out

Happy Summer!  As summer starts, my children and I are looking forward to an incredible adventure.  This adventure is courtesy of some great reads at our local library.  The New York State Summer Reading Program, “Every Hero Has a Story” is underway. Truly a fantastic theme, both the Erie County library system and the Nioga County Library System, which encompasses Niagara, Orleans, and Genesee Counties, are all offering a myriad of special events this summer.  This is in addition to their fine collection of books, blockbuster DVD’s, periodicals, lectures, and story hours that are offered.  Each of these sites will give you a further breakdown of what is happening at individual locations, within the system

But what do you look for when you are there?  I do believe it is important to allow a young person to get out books of their personal persuasion (of course within reason) – But what about the reluctant reader?  Fortunately there are some great on line sites that suggest some pretty wonderful reads for young people.  The “Huffington Post” article, “32 Enthralling Summer Reading Books for Kids of All Ages,” has some wonderful and unique finds for the most hesitant or uncertain young person.  The website lists their top books for young people for this summer in an article titled “2015 Reading Lists for Kids and Teens“.  From individual picks to great series oriented books, there are some wonderful choices for young people here, too.

Summer is fleeting, but just the right time to embark on an adventure.  The sky is the limit when it comes to literary ones…..

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Sunday Morning Shout Out

We may have milk, but apparently we do not have water.  According to a recent study discussed on NPR that was done by Harvard scientists and recently published in the “American Journal of Public Health” most kids and teenagers do not drink enough water.  In fact, the study titled ‘Prevalence of Inadequate Hydration Among US Children and Disparities by Gender and Race/Ethnicity: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2012‘ found that one-quarter of children in the study, age 6-19 did not report to drink any water at all as part of their fluid intake.  In essence, those who reported some water consumption, were also found to be drinking very inadequate amounts.

Initially, the researchers were looking at sugary drink consumption and found these dramatic, paltry water consumption findings.  However, after further review of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the researchers found that more than half of the several thousand students studied between 2009 and 2012 were at least slightly dehydrated.

Is this a big deal?  The study discussed how even mild dehydration can affect children’s fatigue levels, mood, and possibly their ability to learn.  After all, water and not purple energy drinks, keep us best hydrated.  It regulates the body’s temperature; fights toxins; keeps are joints and muscles lubricated; helps build muscles, burn fat, keep us energized; and can aid in weight loss.  It also keeps skin hydrated and supple.  The Institute of Medicine states that children and teenager should consume about two to three quarts of water a day, depending on age, size, and sex. To meet our daily intake needs, it can come from the tap, but also soups, fruits, and vegetables. Basil and cucumber can flavor it nicely. –So can lemon.  As parents, we can do more to make it the choice, over other choices, by making it a prominent choice of drink for our families.  That Brita pitcher in the fridge can overtake soda’s place.  Or, how about some “juicy water,” where juice is diluted by water?  While we may have every other drinks it is important that we have the most important one:

W A T E R and make it easily available at school and home It really is that important!!

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