1. How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry

    Sibling RivalryParenting tips for families on how to deal with sibling rivalry have made significant advances since the recommended action was to smack the closest — or slowest — child while loudly demanding that they all “Cut It Out!” The term sibling rivalry refers to brothers and or sisters, or both, competing for parental attention and affection. This competition is acted out between the children as fighting and arguments or teasing. At one time, a sibling’s fight with his or her rival was seen as an unsophisticated means of expressing jealousy over their incorrect assumptions regarding the parental attention their sibling rival received. However, English sibling expert, Judy Dunn, has demonstrated that babies as young as one year of age are acutely aware of parental attention given to — or withheld from — another sibling. Not surprisingly, the more parental attention and affection are unequally distributed among siblings, the more sibling rivalry, fighting and turmoil are reported.

  2. Can Sign Language Improve Your Baby’s Communication Skills?

    Baby Learning Sign LanguageYou’re sitting with your baby, and out of the blue your child starts crying. Even though your child can’t talk yet, you start asking questions, as if your son or daughter can give you an answer. “Are you hungry?” “Did you hurt yourself?” “Does your tummy bother you?”

    Imagine how surprised you’d be if your baby actually answered. For many parents, it’s not surprising at all. It’s just baby sign language in action. With programs like Baby Signs®, more and more parents are using sign language as a tool to help toddlers and young children express themselves and communicate with others before they can speak clearly.

  3. Useful Single Parenting Tips

    Single Parent and Son Riding BikesSingle parenting would never be confused with a night on the town or a relaxing picnic, but it need not be overly stressful and/or frustrating. New single parents are most at risk for becoming overwhelmed.

    However, remember, even in two parent households, babies and young children come with a strong “overwhelming quotient.”

    Almost all newer single parents experience feelings of isolation and/or inadequacy. This is normal and this, too, shall pass, if you get yourself organized and committed to excellence. Here are some basic single parenting tips to become more self-confident, under control and comfortable.

  4. Your Children Know You Love Them, Right?

    Ideas to Show You Care About Your Child

    Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for love, but the other 364 days are great for that, too. As a parent, you have the double-duty of wanting to make your spouse and your kids feel special – and all the more so on Valentine’s Day.

    To embrace your kids with Valentine’s love, try these three powerful ideas that will leave no doubt they’re the apple of your eye.

    • The power of kind words
    Despite what’s said about “sticks and stones”, words can have a huge impact on how children see themselves. Think about the potentially negative impact of a phrase such as, “You are always doing stupid things!” Or, “You act more like a baby than your little sister.” We all know that raising a child can be frustrating (our words sometimes reflect that frustration), but let this Valentine’s Day serve as a reminder of the positive power of our words. Make a commitment to use your words to develop your children’s self-esteem. Praise their accomplishments, no matter how small. Let them know you’re proud, for example, of the A+ they got on their spelling test or the improvement they’re making in whichever subject. Talk about the beautiful colors they used in their drawings. Tell them how excited you are to see them when they arrive home from school.

  5. Five Simple Steps to Raising Money Smart Kids

    If you’ve been a parent for even a short amount of time, you’ve probably had someone say your son or daughter has the same smile as you. Or maybe your kids walk or talk like you, or have the same eyes. And doesn’t that make you feel good?

    But parents know that their children are taking in so much more than just the way they smile, walk or talk. The fact is your kids are watching everything you do—including the way you handle money. So, if you’re not 100% sure your children are learning the right lessons about saving and spending money, don’t worry. These 5 simple steps will help them make sense of their cents…and their dollars too.

    1. Going to the bank? Bring your deposit slip and the kids. Depositing money into an actual bank gives your kids a real-life example of mom and dad saving for the future. To make the trip even more meaningful, tell them how good it makes you feel to know there’s money for “a rainy day”.
    2. I really want it, so I’m going to wait. The next time you’re ready to make an impulse buy, tell your kids something like this, “Even though I really want this, I’m going to wait a day or two and then see if I still feel the same way.” Then wait. This simple step shows that you don’t buy things based on how you’re feeling. And if you don’t buy the item, let your kids know that, too. This teaches another powerful lesson about wanting something vs. needing something.
    3. Spend less to teach more. Comparing prices is a great way to show kids that you can spend less money and still get a great item. If you’re going to buy a new cell phone, for example, have your kids help with the research. They can look through store circulars and go online to find the lowest price. When you’re ready to make the purchase, bring them with you to the store or have them help with the online order. Coupons and discount codes are other easy ways to save money. Before making your next online purchase, have your son or daughter search the term “discount code” alongside the name of store. For instance, “discount code Toys R Us”. It’s not uncommon to receive free shipping, a percent off your total, or both.
    4. Encourage your kids to save. Have your child draw a picture of something they want, then help them calculate how much they’ll need to save each week to buy it. Every time they set aside money for that purchase, have them color in a portion of the picture and write down how much they saved that day. These visual reminders show what they’re accomplishing. For older kids, develop a more complex budget, including income from allowance and odd jobs, expenses, and savings. To encourage them to save for the item, tell them you’ll give them one dollar for every dollar they save.
    5. Give an allowance to teach money management. Most experts agree that an allowance is probably the single best tool for helping kids learn money management. It shifts some spending decisions from you to your child; it reduces the need for the child to have to ask for money; and it provides a way for kids to learn about saving money and spending it wisely.

    So the next time someone says your child has your spouse’s laugh and not yours, you can still be happy knowing you’re helping your kids become smart spenders and super savers. That’s something everyone can smile about.