Tag Archives: children

Parenting – 5 Reasons Why Children Misbehave

Children misbehave for a reason and once we understand what that reason is, we’re that much closer to finding a solution to deal with it. Here is a list of some of the most common reasons children misbehave:


Everyone has a basic need to be noticed. If children feel they’re not being noticed they’ll find a way to get our attention and usually acting out is the easiest way. Negative attention is better than nothing. If we’re going about our day, doing our own thing and suddenly we notice our child is off limits in some way, we stop what we’re doing and try and get them to stop. It worked. They got our attention.


Apart from attention, we also have a basic need to feel we have power and control in our lives. If we don’t feel we have it, we find ways to get it. Children will say “no” just to gain control or they’ll do the opposite of what we’ve asked them to do, for the same reason. They’ll argue with us. They’ll get into a power struggle. If they sense their day is being completely orchestrated by someone else, they’ll find a way to gain back some control.


If children don’t know how far they can go or if rules are vague and inconsistent, many will test to find out exactly where the boundaries are. There is a conversation in their head that goes something like this: “I wonder if I do this, I’ll get into trouble” or “The last time I did this, no one said anything. I think I’ll try it again and see what happens” or “I’m not sure what’s right and what’s wrong. I’m going to find out for myself.”


Children are extremely sensitive to everything going on around them. If parents are continually fighting in front of their kids or the tension is so intense it can be felt by everyone, all those feelings are picked up. They will also pick up if we’re distracted by something that is bothering us. It makes children feel insecure and fearful. Those feelings translate into anger. Their hostile behaviour may be a direct reflection of what they’re picking up at home.


Young children will act out when they’re tired or hungry. Many older children will as well but they’re better able to recognize the signs. It’s very easy to over-stimulate a young child by doing too many activities in one day. They can get into a state of stimulation overload which makes most people, including children, irritable. Some can handle more activities than others so it’s important to know your child’s threshold.

Helping Children Develop an Intelligent Relationship With Food

A few weeks ago, as I was leaving my local Post Office, I passed a young mom and her little girl. The little girl, who looked to be about five, was whining about something. The mother said to her, “If you’ll stop crying, I’ll give you a cupcake when we get home.”

On the surface of it, the mother’s remark seemed innocuous enough. And maybe the remark had no connection at all to the fact that both the mom and the little girl were overweight. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder: What was that mom inadvertently teaching her daughter?

Was she teaching her that sweets are a reward for good behavior? Was she teaching her that sweets are a way to assuage difficult emotions? If the child was learning either or both of these messages, she could be in for a lifetime struggle with issues around weight based on a dysfunctional relationship with food.

A new client recently came to my counseling practice about her compulsive overeating. She said she knew exactly how she acquired this behavior (and the girth that went with it). “When my brother and I were children, our parents told us that whoever cleaned their plate first could also eat from the sibling’s plate.” What message did she get about food? Maybe it was, “Eat all you can, as fast as you can, so you can eat some more.”

How many children have been coaxed or coerced to eat more than they want, for reasons that have nothing to do with actually feeling hungry or feeling full? “You can’t leave the table until you’ve eaten everything on your plate.” “You have to eat because somewhere other children are starving.” “Here, have some cookies and you’ll feel better.” “If you don’t eat that, Aunt Jane will think you don’t like her cooking.” Messages like these endow food with illogical meanings.

I’m a life coach and counselor specializing in solution-oriented therapies for habits and stress management. I help clients contending with many types of habits, both behavioral and emotional, and, as you can probably surmise, I have an ample share of clients who struggle with overeating and obesity on a daily basis.

My work has afforded me the opportunity to interview hundreds of clients concerning their eating habits and thoughts about food. It comes as no surprise to me that many overweight individuals maintain a dysfunctional relationship with food, often due to beliefs about food that they developed in childhood.

To have an intelligent relationship with food is to regard food as a source of nutrition and energy. Therefore, hunger or a let down in energy or concentration are signals to eat. People who eat in response to such signals are attuned to their body’s nutritional needs. They select their foods and size their portions accordingly and without much conscious effort. They eat when they feel hungry and stop when they feel full. They automatically balance their calorie intake and energy output to maintain a healthy weight. People who succeed at this are clearly in the minority in America.

People who maintain a dysfunctional relationship with food do not eat according to their body needs or in response to body signals. Instead, they turn to food to soothe troubling emotions- especially foods high in fat, sugar, and starch. They eat for comfort; not for nutritional value. They regard food as a reward for an accomplishment or for getting through a difficulty. Having lost touch with physical feelings that communicate hunger, they eat according to external cues – the time of day, seeing other people eat, the smell of food, an advertisement for food, or a magazine cover picturing a luscious dessert.

Because they are no longer in touch with body feelings that indicate satiety, they have no intuitive gauge as to appropriate portion size. They don’t know when to stop eating, so they overeat, consuming excess calories that get stored as fat.

Such eating habits lead to obesity. These habits are resistant to change because they are associated with comfort, convenience, and relief from stress. They substitute for the hard work of self-awareness and self-discipline, confronting difficult emotions, and developing effective coping skills – the things many people go to therapy to learn.

Granted, there are other factors that contribute to obesity. One factor is a ready abundance of cheap, processed foods high in sugars, starches, and fillers, low in nutritional value. A sedentary lifestyle, genetic issues, certain medications, some illnesses, and poor sleep habits round out the list.

Nevertheless, with childhood obesity more prevalent than at any time in history, parents might consider the messages they give their children about food. Here are three things they would do well to teach, by word, deed, and example:

• Food is for nutrition and energy. Some foods are more nutritious than others.

Parents who teach this will make sure they provide an ample supply of nutritious foods for snacks and meals, exposing their children’s palates to the tastes of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein when their children are young. Sugary and starchy foods should be a rare, special-occasion treat; not a daily staple.

• Eat when you feel hungry. Stop eating when you feel full.

Parents who teach this will give their children child-sized portions and avoid battles over food. If Suzy doesn’t eat, she can leave the table. If she is hungry later, offer a nutritious snack.

• If you feel stressed, let’s talk it over, consider some options, and find a viable solution.

It takes more time and effort to talk things over with an unhappy child than to appease him or her with a treat or a toy. Yet, age-appropriate problem-solving is a skill worth teaching.

Finally, if you have a tendency to overeat, because you eat according to external cues in your immediate environment, or to soothe difficult emotions, or to reward yourself, or because you don’t know when to stop eating, then perhaps it’s time to examine your own beliefs about food and its meanings. You might want to rethink and replace any unintended messages you received about food when you were young. You might then cultivate an intelligent relationship with food.

Have We Become Too Concerned With The Safety Of Children?

I sometimes think that many parents, especially mothers, would like to, unwittingly “wrap their children in cotton wool” while most fathers tend to prefer a bit of rough and tumble.

I am not for one moment minimising the dangers out there, they’re very real for sure. I’m referring to a much different kind of danger.

But has this protection gone too far? I feel that in many ways there is too much focus on the safety of children and not enough on just letting them be children, and act naturally, doing what kids have always done, and survived.

Here’s a quite funny tongue in cheek article by a writer who quotes from a newspaper article about the safety of children.

“In our National newspaper I recently read that a Public School had effectively banned cartwheels, hand-stands and somersaults.

Students at the school may still perform these life-threatening acts of reckless acrobatics, but they must do so only in the immediate presence of a trained gymnastics teacher.

Here’s a quite funny tongue in cheek article by the same writer:

AS I was carefully sitting at my desk, avoiding paper-cuts and saturated fats, I read the news that Drummoyne Public School had effectively banned cartwheels, hand-stands and somersaults.

Students at the school may still perform these life-threatening acts of reckless acrobatics, but they must do so only in the immediate presence of a trained gymnastics teacher.

Or a practising chiropractic specialist. Or someone who has recently worked as a circus clown or movie stunt-person. I don’t remember, I wasn’t concentrating.

A quick Google search told me that other things that have been either “banned or suggested for banning in NSW public schools include energy drinks, mayonnaise, kiwi fruit, hugging and the word, Easter”.

Some reckless people might think that these bans or almost-bans are akin to packing children in cotton wool and not letting them just be children, but I disagree.

Public schools are terrifying places filled with perils such as food, drink, and wide open spaces. We must protect future generations from things such as scraped knees, questionable self-esteem, fun and anything else that might help form dangerously well-rounded adults.

In order to ensure that our diminutive darlings are safe when they venture out into the government-sanctioned big wide world for book-learning, I suggest that we also ban, hard crusts.

To minimise bleeding gums which can become dangerously infected leading to death, sandwiches that have crusts any more robust than a wet piece of paper will be banned.

Indeed, let’s just eliminate crusts altogether to be on the safe side. The bonus here is a reduction in curly-haired children, who can make a playground look untidy.

Laughing itself is not particularly dangerous. However, the sharp intake of breath immediately after a typical laugh represents a choking risk, particularly if there are any hard crusts or insects within inhalation range.

It is acknowledged that laughter is a natural, automatic response in some situations and cannot be helped. So students are advised to avoid any situations which may be regarded as “funny”. Anyone attempting to be comical will be suspended immediately.

It’s a scientific fact that people who walk are at a far higher risk of tripping over, walking into walls and going to the shops to buy cigarettes than people who do not walk.

Walking may be permitted in the immediate presence of a suitably qualified doctor or cautious athlete – where it is absolutely necessary.

There’s a saying that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” – it follows, then, that a lot of knowledge would be even more dangerous and therefore by far the safest thing would be to have no knowledge at all.

Not a single war has ever been waged without knowledge (although some boxing matches have) and nobody was ever shot without at least learning where to get their hands on a gun.

One hundred per cent of people who suffocate are known to have been breathing immediately beforehand. The correlation between breathing and suffocation cannot be denied: BANNED.”

I found the article hilarious and while the writer makes it all a bit fanciful, I believe she’s not too far off the mark. Children are much more resilient and intelligent than we give them credit for, including babies.

I decided when I had children that I would not be putting protective pieces of plastic around the corners of tables. Nor safety locks on cupboards. And also teach them how to eat and drink from non plastic food dishes and cups.

My fear for them was plastic. As for those cot bumper pads they were eventually reported to be a most dangerous so-called safety item for babies.

Babies and very young children use their eyes and legs and have enough intelligence to manoeuvre themselves around all these obstacles they find as they delightedly creep and crawl around their homes.

We should not spoil it for them but keep watch while allowing them the pure enjoyment of exploring their home environment.

Despite not having all of these safety measures in place for my babies, they happily explored the rooms of our home without any injuries. None of them opened cupboards and drank poisonous kitchen stuff.

And they also slept perfectly well without safety bumpers surrounding their cots. The world is scary enough as they will learn as they get older. We should not make them scared of table corners and such.

Stop Trying To Force Feed Our Children!

It’s no surprise that the American Advertising Federation (AAF) rapidly contested findings from a December 2005 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study that found food marketing to be detrimental to our nation’s youth. Exactly how such marketing influences children and youth was the focus of the IOM report entitled Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity?, which was the most comprehensive review to date of the scientific evidence on the influence of food marketing on diets and diet-related health of children and youth.

Among other results, the report found that “current food and beverage marketing practices puts children’s long-term health at risk. If America’s children and youth are to develop eating habits that help them avoid early onset of diet-related chronic diseases, they have to reduce their intake of high-calorie, low-nutrient snacks, fast foods, and sweetened drinks, which make up a high proportion of the products marketed to them.”

Considering the negative light this IOM study casts on the billion-dollar food marketing industry, AAF President & CEO Wally Snyder immediately challenged these findings, stating, “The advertising industry is keenly aware of the dangers of childhood obesity and has been engaged in finding genuine solutions to this problem for some time…food manufacturers are now promoting healthier products and active lifestyles for children.”

So, who should we believe: A respected medical research organization entering into studies with a presumably objective position, or an industry association with a vested interest in results of relevant studies?

BlueSuitMom.com (www.blusuitmom.com) set out to answer this burning question, having recently released results from a survey revealing how moms feel about food marketing to children, the new healthier choice foods offered by fast food restaurants, and childhood obesity in general. Conducted with over 2,000 mothers, the survey found that the majority – a full 67% – of moms say that “although ads have some influence on their children, they ultimately make the buying decisions for the family.”

Primary findings from the BlueSuitMom.com survey include:

o 86% of moms feel that teaching good eating habits to their children is one of the top lessons they can teach

o 95% of moms believe there is an obesity epidemic

o 54% of mothers want companies to help them teach their children good eating habits

o 88% do not want companies marketing unhealthy foods to their children

o 58% of moms say they are going to feed their family what they want regardless of marketing messages

o 40% of moms get nutritional information from product packaging and labels

“Marketers need to recognize that although they target children, it’s moms who control the household purse,” says Maria Bailey, Founder of BlueSuitMom.com and author of “Marketing to Moms: Getting Your Share of the Trillion Dollar Market” and “Trillion Dollar Moms: Marketing to a New Generation of Mothers.” “It’s time to shift that billions spent on marketing foods to children and focus on the gatekeeper.”

Additional findings from the BlueSuitMom.com survey include:

o 88% of mothers want restaurants to offer healthy choices for their family

o 62% of moms admit that they don’t always have time to feed their families healthy foods

o 77% of mothers are more likely to choose a restaurant that offers healthy foods on the menu

o 67% of moms say that adding more fruits and vegetables to their families diet is extremely important

o Moms consider popcorn and nuts to be the healthiest snack foods for their children other than fruits and vegetables

o 81% of moms will spend more for healthy food choices

While this debate, and others, related to childhood obesity will surely ensue, the upside is that we are all TALKING about this uber-important issue. Such awareness and dialogue will surely affect positive change.

Common Speech Disorders in Children

As children begin to speak and learn language, there may be a variety of disorders or conditions which could hinder them along the way. It’s important to become familiar with some of the most common, so that you know what you may expect, or what type of action should be taken. Here’s a guide to some of the most common speech disorders in children.

  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech: This is motor speech disorder in which the brain has difficulty planning and sequencing movement of the articulators, and can result in difficulty producing sounds, syllables and words. The child may be able to internally process what he or she wanted to say, but may struggle to physically coordinate the movements to produce speech.
  • Stuttering: Stuttering is quite common, but can range greatly in terms of severity. An evaluation of an individual’s stuttering pattern would take into account family history, concomitant speech or language disorders, the presence of avoidance behaviors or secondary behaviors (e.g., grimacing, blinking), evaluation of the nature of the speaker’s disfluencies, and the speaker’s own views of his or her stuttering and how it affects his or her life.
  • Receptive-Expressive Language Impairment: An expressive language disorder relates to problems with a child getting his or her message across to others, while a receptive disorder relates to issues understanding an incoming message. Jointly a mixed receptive-expressive language disorder would have symptoms of both conditions.
  • Language-Based Learning Disabilities: This refers to a potentially wide range of different conditions, which hinder a child’s ability with age-appropriate reading, spelling and writing. Due to the relationship between spoken and written language, children with language-based learning disabilities may present with challenges with spoken language as well.
  • Phonological Disorder: A phonological disorder is a condition which affects a person’s ability to discriminate among and produce patterns of sounds. That means entire types of sounds may be omitted, or replaced with other entire types of sounds, i.e., replacing hard /k/ sounds with /t/ sounds, even though the child may be able to physically produce the /k/ and /t/ sounds in isolation.
  • Articulation Disorder: An articulation disorder is a type of speech-sound disorder, which relates to problems producing speech sounds. As such, certain sounds may be incorrectly substituted or omitted, or even added, to words.

By no means is this a comprehensive collection of speech disorders in children, but it does include a number of common conditions. Hopefully you’ve been able to gain new insight into terminology you may have previously heard of, but were unaware about what the real implications were.

If your child has been diagnosed with a speech disorder, or you believe he or she may have one, it’s important to receive an evaluation from a certified pediatric speech pathologist.

Laws for Juvenile Delinquents and Children in Need of Care and Protection

A child is regarded as a delinquent when he/she commits an act which is against the law for the time being in force and at the same time also not accepted by the society at large. The prime law for juvenile delinquency in India for the time being in force is the Juvenile Justice (Care And Protection Of Children) Act 2015.

Earlier various laws were enacted to deal with the menace of juvenile delinquency which includes:

1. Apprentices Act,1850

This was the very first legislation which brought children on a different footing from that of adult criminals and offenders. This Act provided that children who belong to an age group of 10-18 years convicted of any offence by the Court of Law are to be given such vocational training which will help in their rehabilitation process.

2. Reformatory School Act, 1897

Under this Act, the Court was empowered to detain the juvenile delinquents in reformatory schools for a time span of 2-7 years and also mentioned that the same could not be continued after such a juvenile has attained the age of 18years.

3. Madras Children Act, 1920

This was the very first Act which brought forth the concept of juvenile courts and the same was later on followed in legislation regarding juveniles by Bengal legislature in Bengal Children Act, 1922 followed by Bombay Children Act, 1924.

4. The Children Act, 1960

This Act was a development over the previous legislation as it was passed to set a basic model which was to be followed. It provided for very elaborate and technical provisions coverings various aspects. It provided for the establishment of Special Child Welfare Boards which was specially designed to handle the cases of the neglected children. The Act also went on to create a special post for the position of a probationary officer whose function was to advise and assist the delinquent juveniles. Furthermore, it established special courts for children which dealt with the cases regarding the juvenile delinquents. This Act was the first detailed legislation discussing all the aspects regarding the juvenile delinquency

5. National Policy for The Welfare of Children, 1974

The policy was a very welcoming step towards the development of children of the nation as it laid stress on making such policies which would help in grooming and development of children and also stressed on providing equal opportunity to all children during their phase of development which would end up reducing the rate of juvenile delinquency and would increase the human resource of the nation at large. This policy along with previous legislation helped in the formulation of a uniform code for delivery of juvenile justice system in India.

6. Juvenile Justice Act, 1986

India was the first country to enumerate the principles of United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration Of Justice by enacting the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986. This Act laid the basic framework of the juvenile justice system in India. The Act provided for a special approach which was required to be followed for the prevention and control of the juvenile delinquency, it has set norms and standards for the administration of juvenile justice. The Act gave an inclusive definition of juvenile. According to the Act, the juvenile is a boy who has not attained 16 years of age and a girl who has not attained 18 years of age. It also provided for the formation of special homes for the juvenile delinquents and handling of the cases of juveniles by special juvenile courts. This Act by and large provided for an approach which provided for the care, protection, rehabilitation, and treatment of the delinquent juveniles. This Act repealed all previous legislation and formed the first uniform code of juvenile justice system in India.

7. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000

This Act was a modification of the Juvenile Justice Act of 1986. This Act was enforced in April 2001. This Act ensured that the children who are in need of care and protection are provided with all the necessary facilities despite their religion.

8. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act,2014

This Act replaces the previously mentioned Acts. It lays down a provision whereby juveniles between the age group of 16-18 years may be tried as adults with regards to serious and heinous crimes. The Act allowed the juvenile justice board to decide whether a juvenile should be treated as an adult in a particular case or not. The juvenile justice board constitutes a psychologist and a sociologist as well. This Act introduced the provision of Hauge Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, 1993 which were not included in the previously mentioned legislation. The Act also provides for the adoption of the orphan, abandoned and surrendered children.

9. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015

This Act is presently in force and followed throughout India. The Act divides juveniles into two sets;

a. The child in conflict with law

b. Child in need of care and protection

The Act provides for a uniform rule for all children below the age of 18 years and also provides an exception for children belonging to the age group of 16-18years specifying that they may be tried as adults with regards to the serious and heinous offence if any committed by them. Under the said Act an imprisonment varying from 3-7 years is provided for various offences varying from serious, heinous to petty offences. It strictly laid down that no child could be awarded a sentence of death despite the offence committed by them. It also provided for a mandatory establishment of a juvenile justice board in every district which would be presided by a metropolitan magistrate and also two social workers, including a woman. The board is required to conduct a primary investigation regarding the crime committed within a particular time span and decide thereupon whether a particular child ought to be sent to a rehabilitation center or not. Lastly, a special court is also established under the Act which is empowered to try cases against the juveniles and also provided that in case such court is not established the sessions court has the jurisdiction to try the juvenile under this Act. The act also requires the establishment of a Child Welfare Committee.

Besides these legislations, various provisions are made for children in the Constitution of India under article 15(3) which enables the state to make special provisions for the development of children followed by Article 23 which prohibits human trafficking forced labour and beggar this was a practice which had exploited children badly. Also, Article 24 of the provided for the prohibition on employment of children under 14 years of age. These provisions were enacted in the Constitution to ensure that the development of the children is not hindered and that they do not tend to develop delinquent traits.

Not only limited to the constitution the India Penal Code as well and the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for special provisions for children which are as follows:

1. Section 82 of the IPC

It provides for an absolute immunity to a child below 7 years of age stating that nothing is an offence which is done by a child below 7 years of age.

2. Section 83 of the IPC

This section again provides that an offence committed by a child above 7 years of age and below 12 years is not an offence if such a child does not have sufficient maturity to understand the judge the consequences of his act.

3. section 317 of the IPC

Whoever being the father or mother of a child under the age of twelve years, having the care of such child, shall expose or leave such child in any place with the intention of wholly abandoning such child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years; or with fine, or with both.

4. section 361of the IPC

Whoever takes or entices any minor under sixteen years of age if a male, or under eighteen years of age if a female, or any person of unsound mind, out of the keeping of the lawful guardian of such minor or person of unsound mind, without the consent of such guardian, is said to kidnap such minor or person from lawful guardianship.

5. Section 27 of The Code of Criminal Procedure

Any offence not punishable with death or imprisonment for life, committed by any person who at the date when he appears or is brought before the court is under the age of sixteen years, may be tried by the court of’ a Chief- Judicial Magistrate, or by any court specially empowered under the Children Act, 1960 (60 of 1960), or any other law for the time being in force providing for the treatment, training and rehabilitation of youthful offenders.

Children’s Health – How to Help Kids Get Active

I saw an interesting post on Facebook from a relative. Her children had been given iPads at school… to be brought home. They were to use them for homework assignments. The parents had to pay a fee in case the child lost or damaged the computer. The parents also weren’t given a choice.

You would think that we have enough problems getting our children active after classtime is over without demanding the use of a piece of equipment. You know it’s not going to be used by one teacher. All of them will do it. All of my teachers did it back in the old days when we had to go to the library.

Talk to the teachers: This is not the time to be a helicopter parent, but it is something that should be discussed between the parents and the teachers. There are many issues that need to be addressed including the problem of too much homework. Even with the internet writing six papers would be hard for any child and depending on the age and type of class it is a possibility.

Limits: These teaching devices are not going to just be used for homework. The world is available and once they are done with the classroom assignments the internet beckons. This is where we have to step in and get our children up and moving. Set a limit as to how long they can play so they have time to be active.

Example: We need to lead by example. After going over the program with the teachers and setting limits for our children we need to set limits for ourselves and get active. Spend a half an hour playing catch (girls like it, too). Go for a family walk. Let the kids see that this is how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Once we have the internet in our lives it’s very easy to get into bad habits. Not being active is one of them.

Why Taboo Can Be A Great Game For Young Children

Taboo is a very popular game among adults as it is often played at parties and other social functions. Taboo requires the player to use clues to get his or her partner to be able to say a specified word. However, the player cannot use the word itself or any of the five other words listed on the card. The player is also not allowed to use their hands or other body parts to act out the word. This sounds like a hard game for younger children, but it is actually very helpful to them for their future.

#1: It Teaches Children To Be Innovative

Taboo is unique in that it forces the player to give out clues to a certain word that aren’t obvious clues that would directly lead the player’s partner to the word. For example, if the word were basketball, and the taboo words were “rim”, “backboard”, “sport”, “free throw”, and “court”, the player would have to think of another way to get his or her partner to say basketball without saying any of those taboo words.

One of the concepts of Taboo is finding another way in when the most common way is not an option (the most common way being analogous to the taboo words in the game). Often in life, one must learn to find detours or find another way when the obvious road is blocked. Examples of this include: 1) finding a different material to build something if the material you are looking for isn’t available or 2) thinking of another way to fix something when one way doesn’t work. Playing Taboo gives young children the chance to build the innovative skills that they will need later in life.

#2: Taboo Also Teaches Young Children How To Thrive Under Time Pressure

Even if the player is able to come up with words that are on the taboo list, he or she must get his/her partner to guess as many words as possible within one minute. This kind of time pressure can force the player to make mistakes under pressure such as accidentally giving an illegal clue. In real life, pressure to perform under tight deadlines are always present. Taboo helps young children understand what time pressure is about and helps get the children on their way to thriving in that environment.

Love Your Children – Validation

There are many ways to show that you love your children. In a previous article, I discussed the importance of loving your kids unconditionally–nothing they can say or do could ever diminish your love for them. This helps them feel lovable.

Another important way to show you love your children is through validation. To validate something, or in this case someone, means to bestow value upon it. Children need unconditional validation, as much as they need unconditional love. That means, letting your children know that not only are they always loved, but they are always valued as individuals, no matter what. Just as your love helps them learn to love themselves and feel secure and worthwhile, your validation helps them feel recognized for who they are and begin to feel confident, competent, capable, and appreciated for their own specialness.

Showing your children that they are valued occurs in a variety of ways, and in a variety of situations. Valuing your children for simply existing in your life can be conveyed through love and affirmations. Your children need to know that they don’t have to do a thing for you to love and value them.

Your child also needs to know that he is valued for the person he is, for the qualities and traits that he has. It is important to recognize who your child is, then show him how you value him for the person he is. For instance, if your child is ‘silly,’ then, be sure that he knows that you enjoy this characteristic, and validate this special quality. Now, certainly you may need to help him learn when it’s appropriate to demonstrate a particular characteristic and when it is not, but enjoying that quality can help validate this aspect of your child so that he can fully blossom.

I worked with a child whose father took things very seriously. When he threw a ball with his son, he expected his son to throw it back the ‘right’ way. When he took him bowling, the boy had to follow all instructions. Sure, we want to teach our children the proper way to do things. But, there needs to be a time to allow the child to be silly, especially if that’s a part of who he is. So, when he giggled and started throwing the baseball between his legs, or tried to see how many gutter balls he could get, this father had a choice. He could enjoy the moment and validate his son by laughing and joining in, or storm off and call it quits, which is what he chose to do. The boy’s comment to me? “I don’t think my daddy likes me very much.”

So, how about you? How do you allow your children to be themselves? How do you validate and appreciate their uniqueness and special qualities? Validation is a very important part of feeling loved, valued and positive about themselves.

The Hazards of Feeding Soy to Children

Do you feed your baby something besides breast milk? Does it contain soy or Soy Protein Isolate (SPI)? Isoflavones in these soy milk replacers are a serious reason for concern. Approximately 25% of bottle-fed children in the United States receive soy-based formula.

Feeding soy milk replacer began in the 1970’s. By 1998, investigators reported that the daily exposure of infants to isoflavones in soy infant formula is six to eleven times higher on a body-weight basis than the dose that has hormonal effects in adults consuming soy foods. Circulating concentrations of isoflavones in infants fed soy-based formula were 13,000 to 22,000 times higher than plasma estradiol concentrations than infants fed cow’s milk formula.

Would you feed your baby birth control pills? One researcher estimated that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of at least five birth control pills per day. Almost no phytoestrogens have been detected in dairy-based infant formula or in human milk, even when the mother consumes soy products. So, what does this do to our children? Read the list below and be concerned if your child is showing any of these signs and symptoms.

In children, soy anecdotes have included:

o Asthma

o Changed patterns of sexual orientation (influenced by the early hormonal environment)

o Extreme emotional behavior

o Immune system problems

o Impairment of spatial perception

o Infantile leukemia

o Irritable bowel

o Learning disabilities–especially in male children

o Pituitary insufficiency

o Precociousness–Male infants undergo a “testosterone surge” during the first few months of life, where testosterone levels may be as high as those of an adult male.

o Thyroid disorders

o Visual discrimination tasks required for reading

Can’t have dairy? There are options. Other combinations of formulas that may take a bit more time to make for your baby include mixtures of carrot juice, oat milk, almond milk, goat and rice milk.

If the mother is large-breasted, it also helps to use a breast pump, complete the milking process and combine all three fractions of milk. If the baby only gets the first fraction, which is more watery and has less protein, it makes the baby gassy. Also, if the mother eats lots of raw fruits and vegetables, she will have lots of milk and the milk will be healthier for the baby. I’ve personally seen a midwife adopt a newborn baby, take milk-producing herbs, and nurse the baby herself for a year using her own breasts! Herbs can be very powerful when you know which ones to use.

Other purists recommend raw, unpasteurized milk, saying that the baby will not be allergic to this since the proteins within the milk have not been modified from the pasteurizing process or from using microwave ovens. You will have to make your own decisions and choices with this (know your source!) as this type of milk is hard to obtain and can be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria if not handled and processed properly. There is nothing wrong with visiting the farm and taking a look at their cleanliness habits and the rooms they process the milk in.

The new Ultra Pasteurized Milks and products that have been microwaved are another issue totally. Ultra Pasteurized milk has been implicated in Crohn’s disease and the body cannot process some or most protein that has been microwaved. Heat any milk replacer over a burner to be safe. I do not advocate either of these options either. But, that’s for another day.