130 articles Tag kids

Top Kids Gadgets on Very

Kids gadgets are constantly evolving and revolutionising the way our kids are being brought up. Back in the day, children would be happy with the latest Action Man figure or the new Polly Pocket series. Now, they are wanting iPad’s, drones and robotic walking, talking dogs. So, suppliers are having to keep up with the demand, and keep improving technology to get ahead of their competitors.

We are going to take a look at some of the top kid’s gadgets that you can buy from Very, showing you just how far the technology has come.

Power-Man Robot

Walking and talking toy robots are all the rage, and none more so than the Power-Man Robot. This toy has the ability to move backwards, forwards, left and right, and can even shoot foam disks!

It also has the ability to play music and pull out its best dance moves upon request. Power-Man can answer your kids’ questions, and he has the ability to record their voice and play it back to them. He also has educational content hidden away and can quiz your kids on trivia and present them with brain teasers.

Amazon Fire Tablet

Youngsters can use the Amazon Fire Tablet to learn and to play. They can use it to read their favourite books, as well as play some games featuring their favourite characters from Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame Street to name but a few.

You can create up to 4 individual child profiles, and you can cater the content for each child, whether that be books, videos, games and apps. It features either a 7-inch/8 inch/10.1 inch touch screen and has a 1024 x 600 resolution which is perfect for playing games and watching videos.

The Amazon Fire Tablet keeps you in total control setting bedtime curfews and controlling the content they can view and screen time.

Guitar with Built-in Speaker

Do you have a budding Rockstar in your home? Then this may be perfect for them. If they’re a fan of playing the air guitar, then they’ll far prefer playing the real thing!

This guitar comes with a hardwearing maple neck, a hardwood body and rosewood fingerboard. It also comes with a built-in speaker so you won’t need to buy an external one, and your kids can put on their rock show wherever they like!

As you can see there are some great gadgets out there for kids. Technology is ever advancing, so keep your eyes peeled on Very for more in the future.

Five Ways to Get Your Kids Interested in Reading

Southend on Sea’s award-winning Children’s Library © Andy Spain www.asvisual.com

With World Book Day on the horizon and parents around the country scrambling to put together costumes for the kids, we’re all thinking about the books that we love. It’s a great way to get kids to be creative and learn about new books from their friends, but what do we do for the rest of the year when books just aren’t as engaging to kids as gadgets or screens? Although the girls both love a bit of screen time, they’re also complete bookworms and love reading, so I thought I’d share with you five tips on how to get kids interested in reading:

Give Them Freedom

There’s a tendency with a lot of parents to try to get their kids to focus on “real” books, steering them towards novels which they feel their kids should be reading. However, we’ve found that giving kids freedom over what they read is a much better way to get them to read. Whether it’s a comic, magazine, joke book, even a recipe book – if they find it engaging, it’s ALL reading! Their tastes will likely change over time, but removing the pressure can have a profound effect. Happy Beds have released a new World Book Day campaign, which looks at the UK’s best bedtime books. This is a great list and hopefully your children will love the thought of reading some of these!

Read With Them

While some kids find snuggling down in a corner with a book a pleasant experience, some kids find it isolating, which in turn discourages them. Ask if you can read to them, or let them read to you, and make it something fun that you can do together. You can even sit together and read your own books to yourselves, but a sense of closeness and companionship can really help.

Make it Fun

There’s are SO many ways to make reading fun. Pick a corner of the room and make it your reading nook, get some blankets and torches and make yourselves a reading den, pick a character each and do your own voices for them! Kids will engage with a book in a much bigger way if they feel that what they’re reading is fun and exciting.

Visit a Library

Library use is way down in recent years and far fewer parents take their kids to the library than ever before, which is such a shame. Check your library for fun events, as they often have things running in the holidays. Also, when you go to the library, don’t just check your books out and leave – many libraries have comfy little spots where you can sit and read while you’re there, which will maximise the value of your visit and give your kids a sense that going to the library is an event in itself.

Be Topical

Kids often like books when they have context to their lives. If they’ve watched a film about space, find a book on the same subject so they can learn more. If they’re currently mad about dinosaurs or cooking or a sport, encourage them to read about the subject as this will help improve their knowledge and vocabulary.

Do you have any tips for getting kids to become book-lovers or fun ideas for how to celebrate World Book Day? I’d love to hear them, so please do leave me a comment below.

Top Toys That Develop Creativity in Children

Toys should not just be entertaining. For children, playing is life. Why not take this chance to help them develop their cognitive or problem-solving skills? A creative play toy box is not limited to just arts and crafts. Toys that spark their imagination or promote role-playing are just as good. The best creativity toys are those that kids want to keep on playing with rather than those they easily get tired of.

Puzzles

Puzzles allow kids to problem solve at their own pace. You might be tempted to help them, but step back and let them come up with their own strategies. Puzzles exercise the mind and challenge the way of thinking. Playing puzzles develops their cognitive and problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination and fine motor development. Accomplishing a puzzle can bring satisfaction to them, boosting their social skills.

Building toys

Building blocks are great open-ended toys for children. Since they are open-ended, they promote open-ended play. They spark their imagination, develop their fine motor skills and allow them to solve problems. It is better to have them play with open-ended building blocks rather than those they will assemble to form a specific figure. Watch them create structures or combine blocks with other toys.

Artists tools

Kids love to write or draw whatever they like, so give them writing instruments to let them express creativity through art. Larger crayons or markers are great for smaller kids. Choose washable variants to minimize mess. Craft sets can be easily bought, and they are worth the investment.

Moulding dough and clay

Play-dough is another open-ended toy that encourages children to think while enjoying. The advantage of using this toy is that they can easily mash it together if they do not like what they created. It develops not just creativity but also fine motor skills, social skills when played with other kids, and even their sensory and language skills.

Dress up toys 

Dressing up offers benefits that you might never have thought about. It fosters imagination, allows children to explore themselves, helps establish their identity and improve their communication. Help them enjoy role-playing by gathering materials and accessories that reinforce the experience. They can put together a show and play with other kids, which also develops their social skills.

Pretend play toys

Toys such as food sets, kitchen items and the like all encourage imaginative play. Children love playing with food toys because they are exposed to food every day. This also allows them to imagine and combine things. This is best done with other kids to enhance their social skills. Dollhouses and dolls are girls toys that also foster creativity.

You should enhance their creativity first, before teaching kids to be innovative. Toys that foster this are certainly worth the investment. They teach children to be creative, to think flexibly and solve problems. As parents, it also pays to play with your children. Creativity always starts at home and is not only limited to arts and crafts; anything that exercises their minds and sparks their imagination helps kids become creative thinkers.

Image: Pixabay.com

The Next Big Thing in Parenting – Sleep Education

There is a lot of information out there that teaches you how to be a good parent. It talks about how to deal with tantrums, stubbornness, how to improve cognitive development, how to feed your child well and so on. There are so many issues you have to begin addressing as parents and the first thing to do is find the root of these issues. As with all roots, it lies in the dark.

Sleep, or the lack of it, is one of the biggest issues that need to be addressed by parents. It is a behaviour that is to be observed from infancy to the later years of the child’s life. It is one of the biggest contributing factors to the cognitive and physical development of the child. Here’s why all parents need to take a good hard look into the sleeping behaviours of their children.

Sleep and Cognitive Development

The cognitive development of a child begins in its infancy. It is observed that infants who slept less than 12 hours a day experienced poorer cognitive and language skill at two years. This is because there is a lot of activity in the brain during sleep and therefore, resulting in cognitive and memory consolidation. REM sleep is important as it is during this stage that the brain is active.

As they grow up, children who struggle to sleep have trouble paying attention in school. They have behavioural issues and are mostly irritable. During sleep, memories are reactivated and transferred from short term to long term. Sleep deprivation can make them forgetful, impacting their academic performance. Therefore, it is imperative for parents to provide a good sleeping environment for their child. Clinically proven products are available in the market to foster good sleep at any age.

Sleep and Physical Development

80% of the growth hormone ‘somatotropin’ is released during the Non-REM stage of sleep. Lack of sleep can create a deficiency in the production of the growth hormone. The growth of a child can be slowed down or stunned by sleep deprivation. It not only affects the child’s height but also the weight, lung strength and immune system.

It is important for parents to ensure that children sleep well throughout the night. If they have trouble sleeping, encourage naps during the day. However, the body functions much better while sleeping at night. It is critical for parents to check for good quality mattresses in the UK and compare features and reviews.

Sleep and Mental Illness

A lot of people are suffering from mental illnesses and many teenagers now fall under the category. Sleep deprivation has been perceived to be a consequence of mental illnesses like depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder and anxiety. However, it is also noticed that sleep problems can, in fact, be a contributing factor to mental illness.

Sleep deprivation can affect levels of neurotransmitters and stress hormones causing the brain to go into chaos. It impairs thinking, emotional regulation and leads to psychiatric illnesses. The treatment of mental illness is also affected if the patient continues to lose sleep. Participants in a study with a history of insomnia were more likely to develop depression. It is important for parents to keep a watchful eye out for behavioural changes in their children. CDB oil for sleep is a revolutionary product to reduce anxiety, combat insomnia and help improve sleeping patterns. The product has no side effects and is approved by doctors.

Sleep and Obesity

Sleep deprivation is directly linked to weight gain and obesity. The hormones leptin and ghrelin become irregular with lack of sleep, leading to increased BMI. Ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates appetite and increases with one night of sleep deprivation. Leptin is the hormone that regulates appetite, metabolism and calorie burning. It essentially sends signals to the brain that you are full. Sleep increases the level of leptin, telling your brain that you have enough energy. Lack of sleep reduces the levels of leptin and motivates you to eat more than you need.

Parents need to notice unusual appetite changes and regulate sleep cycles. Uncomfortable mattresses can often lead to sleep deprivation. Before purchasing popular brands like Kluft mattresses, it is imperative to first compare brands by features and quality of materials.

Sleep and Immune System

Sleep is essentially important for the body to rest, repair and heal. The relationship between sleep and the effective functioning of the immune system is quite complex. Sleep deprivation fundamentally suppresses the immune system. With increasing sleepless nights, the body’s ability to fight germs and illnesses decreases, making your child more susceptible to ailments.

With each phase of sleep, our body builds the ability to function efficiently. In a completely relaxed state, our body takes the initiative to repair damaged tissue and regrow new tissue. It is not through sleeping more but with sleeping efficiently does the body function the way it needs to. Parents can visit mattress brands, carpets and rug stores and do sufficient research to create a relaxing, nurturing sleeping environment for their child.

Sleep and Risk of Injury

Children who don’t get sufficient sleep are groggy, clumsy and tired. They may not be able to react to emergencies at the same speed. This can lead to children getting frequently injured and requiring medical attention. It can also slow down the process of healing from an injury. A research conducted among student athletes found that sleep hours was the strongest predictor of injuries.

It is a vital part of parenting to take on an active role in determining the sleeping behaviour of the child. In case symptoms of sleep deprivation are noticed, parents need to immediately encourage the child to use relaxation techniques like meditation and breathing exercises to help them sleep faster. The best way to combat insomnia is to create rigid sleep schedules from a very young age.

Healthy Sleeping Rituals

It is never too late to start healthy sleeping rituals. It can be beneficial for both, the parent and the child. Some healthy sleep rituals include relaxing music, warm chamomile tea, avoiding caffeine and sugary treats, a warm bath and an active life. It is a lifestyle change and would require you to take a closer look at how you treat your body. Physical exercise during the day can also help you fall asleep faster.

Reading stories in a tranquil voice to your child is not only a relaxation exercise but also a bonding opportunity. It is imperative to take time out to ensure that the child feels safe, comfortable and protected during the night. Anxieties during the day can often keep the child up at night if they are unable to process their emotions thoroughly. Therefore, it is important to spend time with your child every day, asking about their day and consciously creating a safe space for them to disclose information.

5 Great Benefits of Skiing for Children

If you are undecided on whether taking your children skiing is a good idea, you may be pleasantly surprised by all the benefits it can have for them. The benefits for their physical and mental health are endless, not mention the amount of fun they’ll have. So, if you need an extra push to get you on the slopes, read on.

Pixabay

Boosts Positivity

If you’re currently dealing with a stroppy teen, a trip to a ski resort could be just what you all need for a bit of sanity. Sports like skiing and snowboarding have been proven to improve your mood and increase positivity. The bottom line is – children who are active are generally happier. So, if you’re looking for a family holiday where everyone will leave happy, skiing is a great choice.

Overall Health

When you go on a skiing holiday, you’re not only spending a lot of time in the great outdoors but you’re also exercising your body fairly rigorously. Your children will benefit from the fresh air, vitamin D and skiing is ideal for keeping the heart and lungs healthy. The great thing about this for kids is that they won’t even notice how well they’re looking after their bodies because they’ll be having too much fun.

Pixabay

Balance

Taking part in skiing requires a lot of balance. It’s very physically demanding to keep your balance on skis for hours on end but it does the body good. Similarly, it isn’t just adults that need to unwind and relax at this time of year. Kids need a break too and spending time in a place like Chalet Iona can help to destress their minds and bodies. There’s nothing quite as easy as a relaxed child.

Get Back to Nature

Children spend more time than ever indoors thanks to technology. So, if you have a gaming enthusiastic or a child who likes to spend a lot of time on their phones or tablets, going on a skiing break could open their eyes. The breath-taking views, snowy mountains and beaming sunshine are just some of the perks to being on the slopes. You may even bump into some wildlife while you’re there.

Pixabay

Confidence

Every child needs a confidence boost every now and again. Whether it’s because of a failed test, a friendship gone wrong or a broken heart, it’s always nice to be reminded of your worth. Skiing is a great way to boost self-esteem and confidence. It can instill a sense of achievement when you master something new and children will develop a new found pride in themselves. When a child gets a confidence boost it can change their whole perspective on life, and parents may just get a well-deserved break.

There are so many benefits to skiing, including everyone getting a good night’s sleep and muscle toning for the whole family. But the main reason to go skiing is the pure enjoyment each and every family member will get from it.

Five life skills your kids don’t learn at school

Five life skills your kids don’t learn at schoolThere is no “right” way to bring up children, and sometimes the more advice and opinions you hear, the tougher it can seem. Even the views of the greatest teachers and psychologists always differ to a certain extent.

Still, there is one thing on which everyone is in broad agreement: if you give your children freedom and value their individuality, they will grow up confident and happy. Another basic truth is that parents have as important a role in educating their kids as schoolteachers. With that in mind, here are five lessons that will be of value to every child, which you can help them to learn:

Independence

Before doing something for your children, step back and ask yourself whether they can do it themselves. Everyone needs freedom, but keep in mind that freedom and permissiveness are not the same thing. Let them try to do their own shoelaces, for example. Encourage, guide and most of all be patient. They will get there in the end.

Housework 

Here’s a secret: Kids love to help out with things. The only reason they get lazy and reluctant is through habit if you don’t let them get in on the act from a young age. The sooner children learn to perform ordinary household chores, the more confident and self-sufficient they will be in future. Aside from that, it’s always nice to have an additional pair of hands to help with cleaning or washing up, and it’s a great time to chat without the intrusion of a TV screen or games console.

Of course, kids don’t become skilled in domestic chores overnight, and role play games are highly valuable here. Those toy kitchens and toolkits are the perfect start, and you will see how much they love preparing pretend meals or repairing their toy cars.

Choosing and analysing

Your children will ultimately live their own lives, not the ones that you or the teachers in school have in mind. Where you can make a difference is to coach them on how to make wise decisions. Provide your child with the opportunity to choose as often as possible. For example, what to wear or what colour backpack to buy.

Beyond that, get the kids involved in broader family decisions, so that they can see how to research options and make the right choice. Whether it’s booking a family holiday or choosing the right printer cartridge, there is research to be done. Using the latter example as a case in point, show them the price of cartridges on the high street, then search online for Canon MG5750 and decide which is better!

Outdoor activities

Children need to spend time in the wide world. This is where they learn to observe, see the beauty of nature and live in harmony with the world. That doesn’t mean throwing them out in the morning and hoping they come back in the evening, as some generations maintain they spent their childhoods. In truth, it’s a great opportunity for us, as parents to spend more time outside too, not to interfere, but just to be around.

What Was Your Favourite Part of the Playground Growing Up?

Remember running out to the playground at break time after lessons, or a walk down the park, as a youngster and getting all excited because your favourite spot was free? For some, it is the slide, while others immediately run over to the bars.

Not all playgrounds are created equally, with some encouraging more play than others. Yes, you may have loved playing hopscotch, but did anything really capture the imagination like an all-singing-all-dancing structure filled with endless possibilities?

It probably depends on what type of child you were. Here, we take a look at some of our favourite parts of any playground.

Slide

What young child didn’t love the slide? Of course, some slides were better than others – there was nothing worse than getting stuck halfway down the slide, only for the next child to dislodge you on their way down. The best slides were, of course, the slides that had a spiralled design, rather than a straight slope down.

You might also remember the unfortunate discovery of a landing pad that wasn’t quite padded enough in parks that hadn’t been maintained as well as they should be. It was all good fun, though, wasn’t it?

Seesaw

The seesaw could be a lot of fun, as long as you had someone to actually go on it with. If you were something of a loner, the seesaw only served to compound your loneliness. But it was okay, because you could make friends on the playground and jump on the seesaw with them – after all, you are in a social setting.

This was a very simple piece of equipment that would keep us entertained for a long time. Of course, if you would get a little overzealous, your parents would get a little twitchy, but that was what the rubber matting was for.

Field

Is the surrounding field technically part of the playground? At school, everyone would be excited when they could play football on the grass, so for that reason we are saying yes. When we were at school, the grass field was used almost exclusively for sport, especially football.

Do you remember sliding around in your new school trousers and seeing your mum’s face drop when you returned home? Now we know how mum felt because, as any parent will tell you, grass stains aren’t fun to get out of clothes. Especially whites…

Rocker

Going back to those that loved to play on the seesaw, anyone that couldn’t find a friend to participate with them could jump on the rocker. This is a one-man seesaw, if you will, where the child can swing backwards and forwards or side to side to their heart’s content.

The best part of the rocker was that you were not reliant on another’s momentum (or lack thereof) and could go as fast or as slow as you wanted. The simple things always made for the best park equipment when we were young.

Swing

A staple of the playground, the swing was the reason for many a bump and graze when you fell off. You would always hear fables of how one kid managed to swing all the way over the bar (almost always when no one else was present, funnily enough) and foolishly try to replicate the feat yourself. It would never end well, or you would chicken out at the point your body would become inverted.

Looking back with an adult’s perspective, playground’s seem such a simple concept but, through the eyes of a child, they really do represent a world of opportunity.

Practical ways to help make school transferring easier

Changing schools is occasionally required for children who will benefit from it. It does present a difficult situation both for parents and students. This makes your child a “new kid” amid a classroom of strangers and he’ll need to navigate a new building, catch up on new lessons, as well as make new friends.

Regardless, changing school mid-year doesn’t need to be a bad experience for kids. Oftentimes they can be simply happier in their new school environment. What you need is a little preparation and thought. Here are a couple of practical ways to help make school transferring easier.

Check out the school 

Take your child to visit the school before school starts by arranging a private tour. This will allow the both of you to have a sense of what it will be like walking into the first day of class. Knowing in advance where everything is, including the library, classroom, cafeteria, and lockers are located can reduce first-day anxieties.

Young children may also benefit from visiting his class for just a bit while you stay with him, so when he attends on his own, the experience will be easier. You may also try having a meeting with your child’s teacher to make sure that a desk and any necessary supplies are already prepared before the first day. You may also inquire about any paperwork on policies or homework guidelines.

Assess the included advantages 

There are always some things that could be better even though your child might love his previous school so much. Talk to your child about the advantages of going to the new school. Maybe your child has been labelled by the other kids and find it hard to break away from that. Perhaps the coursework isn’t at the right level or the teacher isn’t spending enough time explaining the homework. A new school means a new start, making those negatives a problem of the past. It’s quick for kids to just see the negatives of a situation and forget that there can be benefits as well.

Get yourself involved

See what organizations or groups exist in the neighbourhood as well as your child’s school. Connect with the school’s local Parent Teacher Association. These organisations have great resources and can inform you about the issues and events that happen at school. You may also meet other members who have kids in your child’s class, which can help them make friends faster

Seek out extracurricular activities

Joining outside programs is a fantastic way for new students to easily make new friends as well as feel accepted by their new school. It also gives students the chance to learn new skills and it is helpful for college admission as well. Local clubs outside of the school also be a nice place to make new friends.

Considering a new school for your child

If your child needs to change schools, you need to weigh your school choices. Choosing One World International School (OWIS), one of the top international schools in Singapore, is an excellent way to start off your kid’s new educational journey.

The OWIS campus is filled with adaptable learning environments that allow students to work together and to think creatively. They provide the latest technology that improves the learning process for students they encourage outdoor learning prospects that invite students to connect with the world around them.

There you have it. Make use of these practical ways to help make school transferring painless for you and your child. Best of luck!

It’s Okay to Be Sad: 10 Simple Points That Outline How to Explain Divorce to a Kid

Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

Kids are more resilient than they get credit for. Many of them survive their parents’ divorce with some ease. But, many children are pressed by the incidents leading to the divorce. The divorce finalizes an emotional crisis that children may be less able to manage psychologically.

It’s tough on them. It’s simply confusing, frustrating, and scary for their developing minds. For instance, children need security and being self-concerned as they are, they cannot see what’s in it for them. They may worry about the security of home and hearth or about which parent will have custody.

Children of divorce need to know it’s okay to be sad, but there are ways to help them through the stress.

10 simple points that outline how to explain divorce to a kid:

Psychology Today notes, “Sadness is valid and useful and alerts us to how we need to treat ourselves.” And, that’s an adult understanding, but children don’t have this perspective. The experience of divorce lawyers and counselors has developed some simple points that outline how to explain divorce to a kid.

These strategies would vary with the age of the child, but for our purposes here, we are talking about young children:

  1. Be age-appropriate. Parents must understand to whom they are talking. They should meet with the child personally rather than offloading the conversation to a grandparent or lawyer. They should collaborate on a script and keep it short and direct.
  2. List the child’s needs. The divorce conversation is not about the parents. It is about how the change will affect the kid’s needs. Every child is different and values somethings more than others. Kids might worry about the future of their pet. They may worry about where they will live or what school they will attend. These concerns are selfish on the surface, but they also reflect their fears and insecurities. The kids aren’t after sophisticated answers. They want assurances.
  3. Listen actively. Young children have difficulty expressing their feelings in words. They are more likely to show anger, confusion, and/or tears. So, attentive parents will listen proactively. That means nodding in agreement, summarizing what they say, and reiterating their word choice. Active listening shows respect, leads to better understanding on both parts and clarifies future relationships.
  4. Prepare with patience. The older the child, the more drama surrounds the conversation. The child’s confusion creates many “why” questions. A series of why questions if the child’s way of focusing. They are trying to discover a sensible solution by funneling the responses into an explanation they can appreciate and accept. They are trying to build context once parents have told them their existing context will end.
  5. Keep it pointed. Divorce is not the time to overshare. The child who asks “why” is just as likely to ask why the sky is blue. The child is not looking for a legal or psychological explanation. They do have parents at a slight disadvantage because the parents don’t know what direction the conversation will take, what needs are priorities for the child, or how the child will express their confusion. So, parents are advised to answer accurately, simply, and responsively.
  6. Aggressively avoid blame. The child must not feel fault in the divorce, and parents only confuse the child more by blaming their spouse. Blaming diminishes the kids’ values and perceptions. It makes more sense to help the child cope by allowing their responses. It’s okay to be sad, so parents should make room for their emotions and behaviors.
  7. Promise futures. In the first conversation and in talks thereafter, parents should stress what will stay the same. Assurances of the things that will stay the same will reduce fears and build confidence in going forward. It should also reduce the questions asked.
  8. Make the child part of the process. The first conversation does not solve the child’s problems. Without overwhelming or burdening the child, parents should keep the child informed on the process. With as much prior notice as possible, parents should explain where the spouses will be living, what the custodial process and decision means to them, or how the divorce court process works. Keeping them informed about the process respects their role and answers their questions.
  9. Look at other divorces. Chances are good that there are divorced families in the immediate family and among the parents social circle. Hopefully, those families model good resolutions to divorce. If they have handled their divorce well, parents can refer their children to observe what does and doesn’t work.
  10. Listen to the divorce lawyer. Experienced divorce lawyers have observed the best and worst divorce events. While it’s not their job to assume parental responsibilities, they can be a knowledgeable and compassionate voice. At KM Family Law, LLC, for example, they opt for an approach that frames divorce as a collaborative transition and resolution rather than a devastating split.

It’s okay to be sad!

Huffington Post says, “We are a culture of doing and fixing. We want to make it all o.k., and we want to do so as quickly as possible.” So, sadness becomes a weakness. As sadness is stifled and suppressed, it turns to anger. Then, anger is restrained and punished.

Conscientious parents want their kids to avoid this black hole. The should want their children to handle the stress and change, and they should want their children to grow and mature through the otherwise unavoidable divorce.

Conscientious parents, emotionally involved in the drama of their own divorce, must understand their children are part of the divorce. The kids’ problems are not after effects; they are current with the divorce process and must be addressed and managed with a shared plan and strategy for reducing the kids’ sense of threat and loss.

It’s okay for the children to be sad. They deserve genuine and clear explanations. And, they need confidence in their voice and the strength to handle the process.

No Time to Make Meals

Guest Post

One of my biggest struggles as a mum is trying to find time to cook decent meals for my kids that they will eat and that I feel good about them eating. I know they will always eat all the mac and cheese and chicken nuggets I make for them, but what about their broccoli, fruits and other foods that their little bodies need?

There will be many times where I will work extra hard to make something for my kids that I think they will like and that I feel good about, but then they refuse to eat it. We can sit together at the table and have a battle of wills over who will hold out the longest, but nobody wins there. Honestly, I don’t have time for that kind of struggle. I need to find foods that they will eat without a problem and that I don’t have to feel guilty about.

The Extra Effort

I found that if I make the food fun, then that can help my kids to eat it. I cut the fruits into shapes like stars and dinosaurs, and the kids love them. Some of my kids are so picky about the kids of foods that most kids will eat without a problem. Bananas, strawberries and apples are all tough foods to get my kids to eat, but once I make it fun for them, then they will tend to eat it without an issue. Making the extra time to make food interesting and exciting to them is tough to do sometimes, but it is worth it. I find that if I prepare things the night before, then I have the extra time I need throughout the day to get other stuff done. If we spend an hour and half on lunch, then I feel like my entire afternoon is shot, so I try not to put elaborate meals on my schedule for noontime.

The Sneaky Meal

Another way I manage to get my kids to eat food without spending a lot of time making something is to take foods that they like and add a bit of nutrition to it. So, I make the aforementioned mac and cheese and add just a hint of broccoli to it. Other veggies can go in there as well. I have added cooked carrots to great effect as well, and I know there are some kids that will pick through their food and pick out the pieces they don’t like. If you make the pieces of veggies or whatever else small enough, though, then your kids might be less inclined to take them out. It’s hard for them to complain about something so small, especially if you cover everything in cheese so that they can’t tell what is good for them from what is creamy pasta. This works pretty well, and it doesn’t take a lot of extra time.

I am constantly trying to find ways to give my kids the food they need to have without spending a long time in the kitchen, and this is a doable solution. I do the same thing with pizza, adding some pineapple or whole tomato pieces onto it, but I run into the pickiness problem there sometimes. Kids are likely to pick things off their pizza that they don’t like, so I have to encourage them to eat all their food if they want dessert or something like that to get them to overlook the healthy stuff on their pizza. There are ways to deal with even picky kids when you want to incorporate some healthy food into their regular diet, and every kid is different. There are a few tricks that work for me, but I can’t promise they will work for you.

Make Lots of Food

Probably the biggest time saver I ever use in the kitchen is just mass producing whatever I am cooking. If I am making a casserole, I make two dishes of it. If I’m making a soup, I use my largest pot. That way, there are plenty of leftovers, and I can just heat them up later in the week to feed myself and the kids. If I did a good job on the food and the kids like it the first time, then they have no problem eating it again. They despise eating leftovers that they were not too crazy about in the first place, though.  

I try to only make large portions of those foods that I know my kids will love. Otherwise, I can be stuck eating it all by myself over the next week. Sometimes, when I mass produce the food, I end up neglecting my chores around the house, so I like to hire a cleaning company, for example Diamond Clean Calgary to take care of things for me for that day or just ask my husband to pick up some of the slack. One way or the other, I make some concessions and do things a bit differently so that I have time to make the food I need to make.

There is a chance that when you make foods in large quantities like this that something will go wrong. The more you make at once, the more likely it is to all just burn or fall flat or something. So, I take my time and try not to multitask too much. And when I do that, it usually turns out okay.

I know some kids are really difficult when it comes to finding foods for them to eat. It can also be time consuming to try to cook different things throughout the week to see what your kids will eat. I say just stick to the things they like and spice them up in some different ways or give them something tangentially related to what they like. Hopefully, my methods will work for you, but you may have to come up with some of your own for dealing with your kids.