Tips To Make Breastfeeding Work

Although breastfeeding is among the most natural acts in the world, it will still take practice. There is still a need for new mums to learn how to hold as well as support their baby in a very comfortable position.

Finding the right position that will work both for you and your infant is indeed well worth the effort. Besides, both of you will spend hours each day breastfeeding.

Time-Tested Breastfeeding Positions To Try

Cradle – This will require you to cradle the head of your baby with the crook of your arm. You have to sit in a chair with supportive armrests or perhaps on a bed with plenty of pillows. After that, rest your feet on a stool or other raised surface in order to avoid leaning down toward your baby. Hold her in a way that his face, stomach, and knees are directly facing you. As for his lower arm, place it under your own. To support his spine, neck, and bottom, you have to extend your hand and forearm down her back. Also, secure his knees against your body. This is considered the best position for babies who were delivered normally.

Cross-over or Cross-cradle – The difference of this position with cradle hold is that your arms will switch roles. When you are nursing from your right breast, you have to use your left hand and arm to hold your baby. His chest and tummy must face you directly by rotating his body. Guide his mouth to your breast by placing your thumb and fingers behind his head and ears. This hold will work well for infants or small babies who have trouble latching on.

Football or Clutch – In this position, you have to tuck your baby under your arm like a handbag or a football. First, position your baby at your side and under your arm. He must be facing you with her nose level and his feet pointing to your back. With your hand, support your baby’s neck, head and shoulders. And with a C-hold, guide him to your nipple, chin first. Be reminded though not to push him toward your breast so much so he won’t resist and arch his body against your hand. Support his upper back with your forearm. This position is best for mums who underwent a Cesarian section or if your baby has trouble latching.

Reclining – To feed your baby while lying on your side in bed, you have to ask help from someone to place some pillows behind your back for support. Also, put a pillow under your head and shoulders. Place another pillow in between your bent knees. Your main goal is to keep your hips and back straight. Let your baby face you, draw him close, and cradle his head using the hand of your bottom arm. In case your baby needs to be closer to your breast, you must place a pillow under his head. You might need to lift your breast so he can reach it comfortably. This position is best if you are recovering from a Cesarian or if sitting up is uncomfortable for you.

How To Helping Graduates Start On Solid Financial Ground

With graduation season drawing to a close, many recent graduates are making their first major decisions about the future – where to live, which job to take and how to spend their non-working hours. Stepping out on their own often comes with another big first – being financially independent. While this newfound control can be enjoyable, the added responsibilities may also be overwhelming. If your child is a new graduate, help him or her start off on solid financial ground with the following advice.

Study your employee benefits. For many recent grads, this is the first time they’ve been offered a 401(k), health insurance or the chance to purchase additional time off. Before enrolling in benefits, graduates need to research and understand their options. Graduates should remember that it’s okay to have questions, such as whether they should consider disability insurance or if a plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA) is the right fit. A good place to find information is through the human resources department or benefits provider. They will likely have the resources and staff available to help.

If graduates have questions specific to their financial situation, consider meeting with a financial professional. A financial advisor can provide objective advice and answers to more technical questions. Ultimately, graduates should have enough information and guidance to feel confident making their benefits selections.

Walk away from marketing pitches. One of the greatest financial risks for young adults is falling prey to special deals that sound too good to be true such as “zero-down,” “no payments until 2018,” and “buy one, get one free.” New graduates are prime targets for deals on everything from cell phone plans and furniture, to cars and houses. Graduates who are considering a purchase with a snazzy offer should ask the tough questions, “Am I ready for a new car, or am I considering a car because of this offer?” Those who decide to make a purchase should research the offer and compare it to competitors’ offers to make sure it’s a fair deal. In many cases the added interest and possible fees could make the price tag more than they “bargained” for.

Have a plan for your debt and credit. Graduates today have more student loan debt than previous generations, which means balancing their post-grad lifestyle with student loan payments is a top priority. Consider the value of consistently paying above the minimum amount due. Establishing this responsible habit can help avoid costly interest rate charges and late fees.

The same thinking should be applied to credit. It’s important for young adults to establish a good credit history, so opening a credit card can be a wise financial move. However, graduates should stick to one or two credit cards to avoid overextending their credit.

Develop a budget. New grads quickly learn that living on their own comes with a long list of expenses. And, that without careful planning it’s easy for their hard-earned paychecks to trickle away. Creating a budget can help young adults feel in control and accountable for their cash flow. Budgeting, while often a mundane task, allows graduates to ensure their money is being spent – or saved – on the items that are most important to them.

Sides Of Leaving And Cleaving

Very early in the Bible we find the Creator’s plan for humanity includes children eventually separating from parents and bonding with a life mate. We are to leave our original family and create a new family. This involves work by two generations, and it can be difficult work for both.

My mother liked to tell about me running away from home when I was only three years old. Mom had a season of panic while everyone frantically looked for me. Finally they found me several blocks away, visiting some nice people. This was the late 1940’s in a small Indiana town, so not quite the kind of horror it would be in Tulsa today. Still, Mom was far from ready for me to leave home.

When I did leave home about 15 years later to begin a four-year tour in the Navy, Mom was still not ready for me to leave. As she held on to me and cried uncontrollably at the bus station, I thought, “Surely boot camp can’t be that bad.” I later learned two things: first, Mom wasn’t crying about boot camp, and second, boot camp was that bad. Mom was having a very typically hard time letting go of her boy. In fact, as is often the case, she was having a harder time letting me go than I had leaving.

When my youngest child was just five or six years old he reasoned out the following rudiments of a life plan: when he became an adult, he would live in the house right next door to ours; his older brother and sister would live in the two houses across the street. He expected all the children would leave, but not very far. He is now in his mid 30’s; and he and all of his siblings live in different states. We have close relationships with our adult children, although not geographically close.

If our children are to leave us, they must be willing to leave, and we must let them leave. Clearly, there are two sides to this task, one for each generation. And this leaving is not purely geographical. It involves a radical transformation of the parent-child relationship.

The failure to accomplish this basic task is behind much family dysfunction. When we do not leave, we cannot cleave. That is, when we do not effectively transform the parent-child relationship (leave), we cannot effectively bond with a life mate (cleave). When children are inappropriately held on to by parents, their maturity may be impeded and generational resentments escalate.

The years of parenting our children are really to be years of preparation to release them. It is not a task to be initiated in their senior year of high school. We need years to practice letting go of them. We also need years to encourage their assumption of personal responsibilities.

We need to prepare our children with the life skills needed to live independent of us. Helping our children is good, but it is possible to help too much. If we do, we can inadvertently, yet effectively, teach helplessness. To exempt our children from natural challenges of life or the consequences of their irresponsibility, thwarts some of the character-building opportunities life naturally offers.

These tasks vary in their difficulty from person to person. Some parents can release their children fairly easily; others do it with great agony. Some children will separate from parents and assume responsibility for their lives easily and enthusiastically; others will need much encouragement to launch out on their own; and some even need nudged out of the nest. We can accomplish these tasks and so can our children. It is God’s will. Plan to do it, seeking God’s help.

God’s help comes in many ways. It comes directly as He leads our hearts in thought and action – this in response to our earnest pleas for His guidance. His help also comes through resources He has inspired, like books containing godly counsel, healthy support groups, and other supportive relationships. Seek the help He provides. He does provide.

Step on Being a Reliable Babysitter

Before deciding on a babysitting as a job, ask yourself if you enjoy spending time with kids, do you have an awareness of young children’s needs or do you want to babysit occasionally or find a regular babysitting position? With a bit of planning and coordination, babysitting can be fun and lucrative. Start from home – look after your siblings, pets, be a mother’s helper, begin babysitting from home. This way, your parents can watch how you care for the child, help you if you need it, and let you know when you’re ready to do it on your own.

1. Get educated: The first important step is to be educated thoroughly on childcare. Enroll for a babysitting class where they teach you everything from first aid to diaper changing and handling bad behavior.

2. Get organised and set up a schedule: Take a calendar and mark your free days and times, so you know when exactly you are available.

3. Select a rate: Plan on the options either flat rate hourly wages or per child wage, per hour. Get a feel of the competition, see what is suitable and quote accordingly.

4. Set up a get-to-know-parents meeting: Get all the information about the parents, their names and contact numbers, emergency addresses and contact. Fill out a health form about the kids. Chart out the child/children’s schedule meal times, homework and bedtime. Take a tour of the house to know where the different safety equipment, first aid kit and fire extinguisher are kept.

5. Spend time knowing the kids: Talk to them, ask questions the kid should warm up to you. Try developing a rapport and think up some strategies to make your time smooth.

6. Create an activity bag or box that you bring along to every job: A major part of babysitting involves playing with kids and keeping them entertained. Parents love babysitters who help kids have fun, at the same time reinforcing rules and keeping discipline.

7. Keep the kids entertained and engaged in fun projects: Tell stories because Kids love stories. Make fun snacks or simple dinners together. Before that check for any food allergies or any food limits the children may have.

You can also plan on a few games that are easy and ready to play. Craft activities are a good way to keep the kids busy and happy. Take them to the playground if the parents are OK with it.

8. Follow a schedule: It is best to stick to the rules and routine of the house.

9. Keep safe: The best way to keep the children safe is to keep an eye on them at all times while they are awake. After you put them to bed, check on them every 15 to 30 minutes to ensure everything is okay and that they are sleeping.

10. Tidy up the place before you leave: You are not a housekeeper, but make sure to tidy up any messes before leaving. The parents will appreciate returning home to a clean house.

Making Summer Camp Fires Up With Your Child

Sleepaway summer camp is packed with long, sunny days perfect for lively outdoor activities from swimming and boating to hiking, tennis and horseback riding. It’s also a great place for kids to let their creative spirits soar, whether it’s writing a script for a camp skit, daring to sing a solo at campfire time, creating a cool nature collage or whipping up a dazzling picture frame in wood shop. Kids at camp play instruments, sing, paint, experiment with the potter’s wheel and learn the basics of wood working. Whether your little camper is trying a new skill or perfecting an old one, summer camp provides a fun, supportive atmosphere for all sorts of creative endeavors.

Theater

Theatrical experiences are a huge hit with summer campers. From funny little campfire skits to exciting musical extravaganzas complete with singing and dancing, kids at camp have lots of opportunities to dabble in the performing arts. Whether acting the lead in a skit, figuring out choreography for a little dance number, writing a script or learning how to build and light the set, summer camp is a great place to try out new endeavors both on stage and behind the scenes. Many camps have a lively end-of-camp performance for family and friends where campers get to showcase their talents.

Arts and Crafts

Kids just love arts and crafts at summer camp. Hanging out in the shade or the art studio surrounded by enthusiastic pals and instructors, campers can whip up colorful collages, braid intricate friendship bracelets or construct unique wind chimes that can summon summer camp memories from decks and porches at home for years to come. Depending on the camp, arts and crafts may be anything from a casual hour or so in the afternoon spent with paints, spangles and papers to full-fledged painting classes in a professionally equipped art studio.

Pottery

Many sleepaway camps feature a fully equipped pottery studio with potters’ wheels and kilns where campers can learn all the steps of creating a ceramic masterpiece, from shaping to baking and glazing. Campers come home with all sorts of beautiful creations from graceful vases to funky ceramic fish and brightly hued jewelry.

Music

Music makes camp fun. Every camp has its own favorite songs, whether traditional tunes or songs that are specific to each camp. Learning and singing these songs is not only a blast but evokes a special camaraderie among campers. Campers with a special interest in music can often join acapella groups, take musical instrument lessons or participate in a camp band. Kids who come to camp wishing to keep playing their favorite instrument can often continue lessons, offer their services for camp skits or just hang out and jam with friends in their cabin.

Wood Shop

Woodworking shop is both fun and practical. Campers learn to use all sorts of tools from the basics of measuring to wielding a hammer and cutting with a table saw. Lessons learned in woodworking shops can come in handy for a lifetime and kids have a blast designing and building cool items from mini ping-pong tables to chess sets and stools.

Summer camp can keep the arts alive for your kids all summer long!

Build Life Long Advocacy At Your Home

Parents of autistic children are entering a new phase along the continuum as the transition to adulthood is omnipresent. We have experienced the highs and lows of observing autism play out during the developmental years, only to be surpassed by the challenges of adolescence. Now comes adulthood and the myriad questions and uncertainties that accompany this stage of life. Maintaining the delicate balancing act of being supportive, yet providing enough space for a young adult to grow and thrive is tough. Things can really get complicated when matters of finances, living independently, and romantic feelings enter the picture. Despite the countless changes we go through as parents, our role as advocates remains active – growing stronger in some cases as the years go by.

Being the parent of an autistic adult has all the universal parameters as parenting a typical child. However, upon the arrival of adulthood, there is a stark difference in one area that marks a distinct contrast. Judgment and sound decision making, or lack thereof, makes adulthood such an unpredictable venture for adults on the spectrum. Subsequently, parents must advocate for appropriate housing options, educational accommodations, health care interventions, and money management issues. At the risk of appearing overprotective, parents of adults on the spectrum must keep their battle axes sharp for potential situations involving exploitation or harm. Trusting the wrong people in precarious situations is a constant worry for us as parents because our adult children lack the social skills to discern evil intent. There was a time early in the process of child rearing when confronting educators or medical personnel regarding a certain procedure seemed incredibly daunting. However, advocating for adults is an entirely different ball game as matters often involve money, emotions – or frequently both.

After maintaining the high wire act of parenting an autistic adult, we actually become very adept at being assertive when necessary and taking a more reticent approach when called for. At some point there is a moment of clarity when parents realize advocacy will continue, in some way or form, for the rest of your life. This may even involve a touch of humor as normal mild-mannered moms and dads can become quite animated when standing up for their autistic son or daughter. The parental instinct remains strong regardless of age and the desire to protect knows no boundaries; for children ages 14 or 47. There are benefits in serving as an advocate for both your own child, or in a more formal capacity. First, the need to stay informed is an absolute must as it requires knowledge of the latest trends and changes taking place in our fast paced society. In addition, advocacy provides a platform upon which parents and adult children can build strong lasting bonds. In too many circumstances, relationships between adult children and parents are strained, with common ground being virtually non-existent. Fighting for the same causes gives many families a rallying point to share ideas, passions, and perspectives.

Serving in an advocacy role doesn’t erase the hurt we feel for our autistic adult children, but it strengthens our resolve to continue the fight. Moreover, as we become more seasoned, there is a state of calmness that comes with acceptance of life as it is. We can’t dictate all the terms of our lives, but we have the opportunity to share our experiences with others. Experiencing autism as adults is indeed a different journey for both parents and adults. At the end of the day, we are glad we have our children in our lives and appreciate the meaning they provide even more. For parents with adults on the spectrum, the feelings are intensified as we learn to let go, but not allow them to stray. In the meantime, keep those battle axes sharp.

Step To Helping a Child To Do Well

Well, it’s time for a new school term. Most parents and grandparents think that it is up to a child to do well in class and on their report cards. They often don’t recognize, however, how their own actions contribute to the child’s progress.

Here are some things that you can do to help your child succeed:

1. Encourage and praise effort – I remember hearing about a research project where children were given puzzles beyond their abilities. Some of the children were excited and asked if the researchers would give their mothers the name of the manufacturer so that they could keep trying to solve them at home. The other children gave up and refused to try because the puzzles were too difficult. Upon further examination it was found that the first group had always been encouraged to try and so they were not afraid of failure. In fact, the more that they tried to solve problems, the more they succeeded and the better they felt about themselves. The second group, however, had been told that they were smart, attractive and “special”. They gave up easily thinking that they didn’t want to fail and damage the image that others had of them.

2. Promote accountability and communication – When you are aware of the expectations of the teachers and school staff, you are able to help your child to complete their work and tasks on time. It is not acceptable to say “I didn’t know they were supposed to do that”. On the other hand, it is important that you don’t do the work for the child. Show an interest in the child’s academics and keep in touch with the teachers. Make sure that you attend the Parent-Teacher interviews or set up an alternate time so that you are aware of the progress that is or isn’t being made. If there is a specific weakness, arrange to have regular communication with the teacher so that you understand what is required and when it is due. Teach your child the importance of meeting deadlines and submitting work that shows good effort.

3. Provide a safe, clean and peaceful environment – It is difficult for anyone to do well if they are living in chaos. Make sure that the child has nutritious meals and a regular routine that they can depend upon. A bedtime (without computer distractions) will provide their brain with the best chance to do well in class the following day. Have them prepare their clothing and books the night before so that they have everything ready and don’t have to rush. The most important thing is that they are able to experience a stress-free and peaceful environment. Children who live with conflict are never able to relax and think about positive things. Keep things calm!

4. Be a good example – “Do as I say and not as I do” is not a credible stance to take. If you want your child to be responsible and respectful then you will need to model this for them. When I worked in the school system it was always interesting to meet the parents of children who performed or acted inappropriately. Sometimes you could pick the parents out of the crowd as they looked and acted exactly like the child (or the other way around). Your child loves you, needs you and emulates you. The most powerful way to change their behaviour is therefore to correct your own flaws and weaknesses. Set a good example.

Teens Still Need Their Parents

Times have surely changed. Throughout the world, parents have promoted the development of uncontrolled and disrespectful children. Parents have very little time to bond with their children. They are either too busy trying to make an impression in a materialistic, overachieving society or, they have given up on life. Children are thus left with large amounts of unsupervised time and little parental love and attention.

Within every child there is a developing moral sense. In fact, children crave moral order. Parents have little desire or time to help their children, and turn to the churches and schools to take over the responsibility for giving moral guidance and discipline. Spiritual leaders and teachers can do only so much. A firm foundation for everything must be provided at home.

Unfortunately, most children are subjected to parents who set bad examples. Many parents refuse to sacrifice their time, pleasures and personal conveniences for the needs of their children. Aggressive parents yell and scream at their children, swear and treat other people with indifference and disrespect. Children learn through example and become the mirrored reflection of their parents. When parents are absent, children reflect the examples set by their peers.

Teenagers, especially, need their parents. During puberty, they experience new feelings and emotions. They face daily pressures from teachers and peers. They are exposed to the influence of television, music, and the Internet. Teenagers suffer stress and anxiety, and they are too inexperienced to handle it in a positive way. Busy parents should never assume their children are fine because they have provided them with money, Sunday school and an opportunity for education. Today’s children and teenagers are exposed to pressures and problems unknown to past generations. Spending quality time with them will help parents establish this.

Parents who feel that they have lost touch with their children need to take serious steps to build bridges, one conversation at a time. Children may not always appreciate the sudden parental attention and protection. They may well show resentment at times, especially when they insist on having things done their way and the parents answer is suddenly ‘no’. We live in a degraded world and therefore we need to do what is necessary to raise our children well. Good parents know the balance and are neither too lenient nor harsh.

Parents who are striving hard to be a positive force and a real presence in the lives of their children are blessed. They know that raising children is hard work, but the rewards are priceless.

The time and energy parents invest in the lives of their children cannot be replaced. To be a positive force in their children’s life requires effort, but it is very rewarding.

Tips Back To School Planning

The back to school preparation is never easy. It is a welcome task since after two months of having the children at home parents are quite welling to rush them back off to school. The process of purchasing school uniforms and supplies can be tedious because of the crowds of parents in major department and grocery stories moving quickly up and down isles. With the eagerness to send children back to school parents overlook some important preparations that can help cement a good school year.

At the beginning of the school year parents, students, and teachers are settling in and the focus for most is getting all the applicable school supplies. Many nonprofit organizations work with big businesses and community members to provide the much needed and at times very expensive school supplies to many students.

Back to school the first week before and the month after school is all about having the appropriate tools for each grade level. Principals and staff organize and categorize text books based on grade levels and demands. Auxiliary teachers bring in supplies for the first few months of classroom projects and assignments. Classrooms contain wall displays outlining class expectations, and basic information reflective of the academic subject.

First time college students attend orientation and learn about campus living, the rules of the Bursar’s office and their area of the dorm living. These students and their parents finalize college cost and expenses with numerous trips to department stores. Everyone is aware of the importance of getting dorm room furniture, bed linens, personal products and the like, setup in time for the first day of class.

Parents work at getting their children’s appearance presentable for school. New clothes are purchased with appropriate shoes. They take their children to the barber or beauty salon to get properly groomed for school. Parents of elementary, high school and college students focus on the first day of school. They rush around doing whatever it takes for the initial school week.

The school year lengthy and at time unpredictable and yet most of the focus gets placed on the first day of school. Within the school year, students struggle with completing homework assignments and getting good grades. Why then do parents spend so much time and energy on the first day of school? There are some basic but important preparations that parents should take to help their students succeed from the first to the last day of school.

Laws of Potty Training in a Weekend

Potty training in a weekend means you have to be your child’s coach, it’s your job to guide them through the potty training process. To accomplish your goal you need to be in the right state of mind, parents who have the fastest results are all aware of the 3 laws of potty training in a weekend.

Following these laws to the “T” will make potty training in a weekend a piece of cake. Skip one of these laws and you are sure to have toilet training problems.

Law #1 – Be Positive

Potty training can be one of the most frustrating times for a parent. They find themselves wanting to pull their hair out and quit when the process starts to get tough. Toilet training is all about keeping your child motivated and having them enjoy what they’re accomplishing. Accidents will happen and it is extremely important to remain calm and act positive. Instead of showing your child your frustration with negative reinforcement and yelling, be positive by saying phrases like “don’t worry, we’ll make it to the potty next time.” This makes the situation less stressful for both you and the child.

Law #2 – Be Persistent

Being persistent is about putting your foot down even when things get tough. If you let your child get away with a single accident while potty training, your child will think they can get away with accidents all the time. If you never let your child get away with an accident they will quickly figure out that there is no other option but to use their potty. The goal is to have your child running to the potty on their own.

Law #3 – Be Consistent

Being consistent is about simple repetition, you need to consistently ask your child the same question every 15 minutes… “Do you have to go potty?”… At first it is more than likely your child will answer “no” when you ask. By remaining consistent with the question and persistent at carrying the child to the potty when they have an accident, they will start answering yes. Shortly after you will see your child running to the potty on their own without you having to ask them if they need to go.

These laws are based on very simple psychological principles and when used together, creates one amazingly easy potty training experience for both you and your child.