Books are not just meant for children to learn about academic concepts, but also for them to develop character. One of the ways to do this is to educate them early on about the negative effects of substance abuse through reading and other means.
If you are a parent, it may be quite a temptation to go through an easy route–to shelter your children from the realities of this world, crossing your fingers that they won’t encounter negative influences in their lives. However, this approach can be like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Although they can be safe as long as you keep your eye on them, children also have their environments that are outside the home. This is why educating your children about “the real world” is so crucial as they grow up.
One of the most dangerous things that children may encounter once they reach pre-teen or teenage years are drugs. According to recent statistics, even children as young as 8th, 10th or 12th graders are experimenting on different substances that may develop further into substance abuse and addiction. The problem seems so difficult to resolve, rather than creating preventative measures to avoid it altogether.
As a parent, what can you do to help your children become aware of the dangers of drugs? What are effective ways, through education and other means, can you help them steer clear of this influence?
Effective ways to teach your children to say no to drugs
1. Read them interesting books about saying no to substance abuse.
Although it is difficult to make young children understand, there are actual story books that discuss the sensitive topic of substance abuse. Perhaps you have a family member suffering from substance addiction that you want to explain to your child. There are an ample amount of books for such situations.
There are also general books that discuss substance use to children in a language that’s safe for certain ages. They also help explain terms in a simple manner that may be comprehensible depending on the age group provided. These educational materials are vital for children to get an idea of what the problem is, to increase their awareness, and find ways to rise above related situations that they may encounter in the future.
2. Give them “The Talk”.
It is important to have open communication when it comes to educating children about drugs and other harmful substances. When these things are not discussed at home, children tend to find information through other sources such as their friends or the internet. Although this topic may be uncomfortable for your child or even yourself, you have to take responsibility as a parent to tell them about how people can get lured into experimentation and eventually, abuse.
If you are familiar with a story of someone who has been through substance abuse, how they suffered, and had a hard time recovering, it can be helpful. Some children will tend to ignore facts, but they won’t pass up on actual experiences that happen to others. If you personally have gone through a period of substance abuse, you may, at the right age and discretion, share the information with your child. This type of sharing can foster a culture of openness and vulnerability between your relationship.
3. Give some guided exposure for others to share their experiences.
If you feel like you need to take things a notch further, or if you have noticed that your child has a predisposition to substance use and abuse, you may, at the right age, be able to bring them in places where they can listen to other people’s experiences with substance abuse.
Around the ages of 13-17, children are less likely to share their experiences and feel more uncomfortable talking about touchy subjects. This is why as mentioned earlier, you have to open up the conversation as early as you think is wise about the topic of drugs, especially if this is something that affects your family. Around the teenage years, a great way for them to understand what others go through in a deeper level is by going to events held by drug rehab centers, or accompanying them in share-a-story encounters with people who want to educate against drugs.
4. Be an example.
Lastly and most importantly, it is best to set an example towards your children about drugs. Do not mock, ridicule, or take substance abuse subjects as a topic of light jokes in front of your children. If you have suffered from substance abuse in the past, staying sober for yourself and your kids are the best ways to help them avoid falling on the same path. If children come to know you as someone to be respected, they will more than likely follow your example.
As you ponder on these strategies to guide your children against drugs, remember than education and experience go hand-in-hand. Do your best in situations you can control, and give enough trust to your kids that they will make wise decisions in life.
We Spin and Sparkle into Place and Do it with Style and Grace… The Gu-Glee-Goos Of Christmas. Help Others!
The Gu-Glee-Goos of Christmas https://www.amazon.com/dp/0997487526/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_igcfCbQTT12DQ
Teaching children about money is one of the most important lessons a parent can give. But what most parents haven’t prepared for is their eight year-old asking: “Mommy, what’s bitcoin?”
This question is likely to send most parents into an internet search frenzy, but unfortunately it’s one area Google can’t help you with.
Most explanations of cryptocurrency are far too complicated for children (and parents!) to grasp. In a lot of cases, you need to be a total tech geek to understand what on earth bitcoin is.
There’s a great YouTube video where a child explains: “Bitcoin is to cash what email is to paper mail.”
Also, Square, a financial services, merchant services aggregator, and mobile payment company, made an illustrated children’s story to explain bitcoin.
We also spoke to some of the industry experts to ask how they’d approach the question.
“Mommy, What is bitcoin?”
Garrick Hileman, co-founder of asset-backed digital currency ARC, suggested describing cryptocurrency as “invisible money”.
He pointed out that the vast majority of money today is invisible to children because it’s in our bank accounts and we predominantly buy things online. Cryptocurrency is essentially the same – it’s digital cash.
You have your own digital wallet on your smartphone, and with the help of a wallet you can send cryptocurrency to another person.
“Daddy, how is it different to ‘normal’ money?”
The key difference is that cryptocurrency is not legally recognised or controlled by the government. You can’t pay taxes with it and you can’t settle any debts in court with it. At least now.
Clem Chambers, chief executive of ADVFN, a financial market website, and author of Trading Cryptocurrencies: A Beginner’s Guide – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, said: “Cryptocurrency is just a different kind of money that’s not made by the government. You can transfer it backwards and forwards, and you can buy stuff immediately. It’s no more different than when you buy and sell virtual objects in video games.”
David Prais, chairman of blockchain platform Cofound.it, added that parents might want to explain that crypto is a global currency: “When we go to America we have to change our pounds to dollars. But in time we won’t need to do that. We’ll be using the same currency all around the world.”
Tennis & Children
Increasing numbers of children are becoming involved in competitive and recreational tennis at an earlier age Children as young as four or five years of age participate, with some taking part in year-round practice and competition.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) organises tournaments and competitions for juniors ranging from 12 to 18 years of age, and many countries organise national championships for the 10s and under.
Growth and Maturation
Childhood is a period of relatively steady progress in growth and maturation and rapid progress in motor development. With the onset of puberty, differences between boys and girls start to increase.
The main events of puberty are the growth spurt and sexual maturation. Most girls start puberty between nine and thirteen years, whereas boys have a later puberty, mostly starting between eleven and fourteen years.
Regular, intense physical activity has no effect on growth stature.
Physical and Psychological Development
Tennis is, without doubt, good for the mind and body. Playing tennis regularly has many physical and psychological health benefits associated with it.
These health benefits are particularly important for a child’s physical, emotional and mental development. However, the human system can be trained and improved at any stage of life, so these health benefits apply to adults and seniors too!
Listed below are 33 specific reasons why you should consider playing tennis regularly.
Tennis is a sport for kids to learn early in life, and there are numerous physical benefits from playing tennis regularly. Regular tennis play has been demonstrated to improve:
1 aerobic and cardiovascular fitness while maintaining higher energy levels
2. anaerobic fitness through short, intense bursts of activity during a point, followed by rest, which helps muscles use oxygen efficiently
3. acceleration by practicing sprinting, jumping and lunging in order to move quickly
4. powerful first steps, by requiring anticipation, quick reaction time and explosion into action
5. speed through a series of side-to-side and up and back sprints to chase the ball
6. leg strength, through hundreds of starts and stops which build stronger leg muscles
7. general body coordination since you have to move into position and then adjust your upper body to hit the ball successfully
8. gross motor control, through court movement and ball-striking skills, which require control of your large muscle groups
9. fine motor control by the use of touch shots like angled volleys, drop shots and lobs
10. agility by forcing you to change direction as many as 5 times in 10 seconds during a typical tennis point
11. dynamic balance through hundreds of starts, stops, changes of direction and hitting on the run
12. cross-training by offering a physically demanding sport that’s fun to play for athletes who also participate in other sports
13. bone strength and density by strengthening bones of young players and helping prevent osteoporosis in older ones
14. immune system through its conditioning effects that promote overall health, fitness and resistance to disease
15. nutritional habits , by eating appropriately before competition to enhance energy production, and after competition to practice proper recovery methods
16. eye-hand coordination, because you constantly judge the timing between the on-coming ball and the proper contact point
17. flexibility due to the constant stretching and manoeuvring to return the ball toward your opponent
The psychological benefits from regular tennis play may help children to learn and develop positive personality characteristics which are useful on the tennis court, but more importantly, are essential for many everyday situations through life. Regular tennis play has been demonstrated to improve:
18. work ethic because improvement through lessons or practice reinforces the value of hard work
19. discipline since you learn to work on your skills in practice and control the pace of play in competition
20. mistake management by learning to play within your abilities and realising that managing and minimising mistakes in tennis or life is critical
21. one-on-one competition because the ability to compete and fight trains you in the ups and downs of a competitive world
22. accept responsibility because only you can prepare to compete by practicing skills, checking your equipment and during match play by making line calls
23. management of adversity, by learning to adjust to the elements (e.g. wind, sun) and still be able to compete
24. effective accommodation of stress because the physical, mental and emotional stress of tennis will force you to increase you capacity for dealing with stress
25. learning how to recover by adapting to the stress of a point and the recovery period between points, which is similar to the stress and recovery cycles in life
26. planning and implementation of strategies since you naturally learn how to anticipate an opponent’s moves and plan your countermoves
27. learning to solve problems since tennis is a sport based on angles, geometry and physics
28. performance rituals before serving or returning which help control your rhythm of play and dealing with pressure. These skills can transfer to taking exams, conducting a meeting or making an important sales presentation
29. learning sportsmanship since tennis teaches you to compete fairly with opponents
30. learning to win graciously while losing with honour. Gloating after a win or making excuses after a loss doesn’t work in tennis or in life
31. learning teamwork since successful doubles play depends on you and your partner’s ability to communicate and play as a cohesive unit
32. developing social skills through interaction and communication before a match, while changing sides of the court and after play
33. having FUN… because the healthy feelings of enjoyment, competitiveness and physical challenge are inherent in the sport
How does the development of the various physical capacities in juniors and, more specifically, junior tennis players, progress, and at what age should physical training be started?
- Strength and Power – Up to approximately age fourteen, boys and girls can perform conditioning exercises together. After age fourteen, the training groups should be split up, or tasks should be individualised due to physiological differences in strength, power, and growth.
There is no consensus at what age tennis players should commence strength training. Historically, resistance training for the development of strength was not recommended for prepubertal children. It was believed that injury risk was too high, and that any strength improvement was negligible.
However, it has been shown that closely supervised, primarily concentric strength training programmes in prepubertal children may lead to significant increases in strength and to small increases in body mass, with low injury risk.
- Anaerobic Performance – The anaerobic lactic system is less developed in children compared to adults. Children are not able to attain and sustain as high blood and muscle lactate concentrations during high-intensity exercises as adults, even relative to body size.
- This should be taken into consideration when young tennis players have to perform high intensity exercise (beyond their anaerobic threshold). Thus, the duration of high intensity (anaerobic) exercise should be shorter in children than in adults, and the rest periods between high intensity exercises should be longer than in adults.
- Co-ordination – Middle childhood (age six to adolescence) is an important time period for the acquisition of co-ordination and complex technical skills.
- Children who start playing tennis around this age and experience a wide variety of games and sports will have a distinct advantage over children who do not have these experiences until a much later age.
- Flexibility – Girls are more flexible than boys at all ages, and gender differences are greatest during the adolescent growth spurt and sexual maturation. It is important to put emphasis on the flexibility component, but the above mentioned aspect should be kept in mind.
- Stretching should be done gently. Also, stretching should be avoided after intense training programmes with a lot of eccentric exercises or when the player is very sore.
- Heat StressChildren are at an increased risk during tennis in the heat. Children have a lessened ability to dissipate heat and are more susceptible to heat injury. Thus, young players should carefully observe the guidelines for extreme heat conditions and even more conservative measures may be applied.
This information is reproduced with permission from the USTA. For further information on the USTA Player Development programme visit their website at www.Playerdevelopment.usta.com
From GADGETS to GAMES: How to TRANSITION Kids AWAY from TV & Technology… By: ThinkBaby.org/Zoe Withers.
We live in a time where our everyday life is based around gadgets. Think about it…
We set our alarms on our phones for the morning…
We read the news on our phones…
Read ebooks (or podcasts!)..
Scroll social media…
and catch up on all the latest celebrity gossip all on gadgets.
Heck, I’m writing this blog on a gadget right now!
It’s like our world is being taken over by robots that want to rule our life, and it’s happening so easily to us everyday (whoa, hello conspiracies!).
It’s honestly rare to ever catch someone reading a book, or writing something that’s not on the computer! This is the world we live in, for all ages, and that unfortunately includes the next generation, aka our babies.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a really old-fashioned kind of momma that prefers to have my kids to do puzzles, crosswords, and learn new things rather than play on apps or watch TV all day. I think it’s a pretty relatable topic for most parents to want their kids to be active with there mind and their body, not just sitting around distracted by gadgets all day (even for busy parents that look forward to keeping their kids distracted).
Because of this,
I want to talk about a few of my go-to ways that helped me keep my kids away from technology, and helped give them time to really grow up and live life the way they should. Believe me, I struggled with this with my crazy little beans, but my hubby and I made it through (just barely), and want to share with you the most efficient methods on how we did it!
Just like in our blog post on how to encourage curiosity in children, Angel, a children’s book author from ADKStoryBooks is also an advocate against technology and electronics for kids. As she says in her blog post about ways to inspire your kids’ imagination, that with the abundance and reliance that our kids have, our children start losing their imagination. I mean, there is nothing better than a child’s imagination!
Trust me, if your children are already addicted to technology, this isn’t easy (and there’s going to be a lot of tantrums. Like, a lot) So strap on your mom suit, and let’s get started!
From Gadgets to Games
1 ♥ Make A Schedule
If you need a little extra help with easing your child (also known as ‘Godzilla’ during tantrum time, right ladies?) off of technology, don’t panic!
There is another way!
You can start by allowing them only certain times of the day, or certain days of the week that they can use these gadgets. This may not be ideal, but this has been proven to be one of the best methods for kids that are already addicted to technology!
With my first born, we created a schedule that said she could only watch half an hour of TV per day, which allowed her the time to watch her favorite ‘Barbie’ show, and still left plenty of time for her to do other things.
Then, shorten the time…
After that, we slowly began to shorten the time to half hour every few days, then per week, and to zero per week.
And guess what happened?
She just stopped asking. This was a process that took a couple months to do, but was definitely worthwhile in the long run. And another way you can help them to get over it quicker is by showing them all the fun things around them they can do, or by simply just spending time with them.
Like TV, it’s all a distraction for them until it turns into a habit, which is why it’s important to prevent gadget addiction before it turns into just that!
And it might not just be an addiction to TV, it’s recommended to enforce this ‘scheduling’ for any gadget (Ipad, telephone, xBox/Playstation) that your children might be addicted to. For example, MomClone has another great alternative in her blog post, Setting Screen Limits, where she talks about how she sets the following for her children:
- One hour of reading /academic activity.
- One household chore.
- One hour of (preferable) outdoor activity.
2 ♥ Get Active With Them
As I was just talking about above, getting fresh air for any age is an excellent way to relax, recharge, and have fun! For your kids, it’s important to get them involved in outside activities to help keep them away from turning to technology when they get bored. This doesn’t just mean playing outside, this can also be fun activities for them to participate in with you or with friends.
For example with our son:
- My husband has recently started getting our son involved in his outdoor fitness regime.
- Our son goes outdoors with my husband and watches him start his new fitness journey.
- That way our son is out in the fresh air and playing with nature whilst my husband is also able to do his exercise.
- My husband has also bought some baby pretend weights as our son is starting to copy daddy now (so cute!).
- So not only is this healthy for my husband, it’s healthy for our son aswell which in-turn is healthy for our entire family.
For example with our daughter:
- We enrolled my second child in daily dance classes to help get her moving and help keep her busy!
- She actually really adores dancing now, and comes home in her tutu everyday and just wants to keep on dancing!
- By distracting her with fun activities, she has shown absolutely zero interest in watching TV or playing on the tablet, and has now developed a beautiful new passion, learned how to socialize with others (which she won’t learn properly online), and has also made friends along the way, which is something that you can’t do through TV!
- This not only makes us happy, but it also brings a huge smile to her face, which absolutely warms my heart!
For all children:
- Like we mentioned above, we are starting to research ways that they can get involved in ‘big people duties’ and start helping us around the house. We came across this chore chart for swapping chores for screen time on ryeandryebrookmoms.com. This means, that they can start getting involved in house-hold chores, in-turn for watching their favorite TV show or playing on the tablet. Plus, this instills responsibility and maturity in them aswell.
But more so, if you can get involved in your children outdoors, not only will you will learn more about them to be able to guide them more in life as they grow, they will also learn a ton from you, your interactions with others and what to do in certain situations. It’s actually interesting when you start reading what other parents do and interact with their children outdoors, and the topic of whether you are a helicopter parent is an interesting one. For what I mean, you can read Andrea’s blog, but in particular her awesome blog post hereabout giving your children freedom outdoors which is important for their independence and learning.
3 ♥ Distraction is Key
The easy (and oh so frustrating) thing about kids is that they get distracted very easily, and you can trick them into getting distracted with things that will help them to learn and exercise their brains, and they don’t even know (Muhahaha!). You can do this by
- Giving them a book
- Paper and pens
- Puzzle or
Simply, just buy them a new toy that involves hours of playtime and ways to encourage their curiosity and imagination.
I’m not just talking a fluffy animal or a toy shark, I’m taking toys like play kitchens, doll houses or train set.
I know what your thinking.
“But, Zoe, these are expensive?!” …But seriously they aren’t.
If you are a bargain shopper like me, you can pick these types of interactive toys for less than $40!
These types of toys will enable them to play for hours, but more so, it will enable them to role-play and ignite their imagination. Just like Amber over at nobreaksmama, I could literally watch my children play for hours. But I can’t watch them play with a tablet or watch TV for hours! Check out her blog post here for what I mean.
Honestly, any of these are better than them sitting in front of the TV all day! My first child used to love to watch TV all day (we never started enforcing the ‘no gadgets’ rule until child #2, which was a huge mistake!), so believe me when I say, it was definitely a work in progress to make the switch.
You know how I always talk about diapers on the walls? Well, during this switch, just imagine spaghetti. On the walls. And on the roof, too. Don’t ask…
But we successfully did this by incorporating ‘fun’ activities for her to do away from TV. For example, we’d go outside with her, and give her a picture book to look at, or a toy to play with. This way, she was not only distant from the gadgets in the house, but she was also getting fresh air while learning to have fun in healthy ways (and what’s better than that?).
Overall, making sure your kids don’t get addicted to technology at a young age is one of your jobs as a parent. You want to be able to make memories with your babies, especially when they are younger, and let them learn their passions, hobbies, and joys in the real world, not the virtual.
After all, in our society today, they are bound to be social media fanatics when they grow up, but let’s save that for just that: growing up. Right now, teach your babies to have fun, laugh, and bond with you in ways that technology can never do. You will not believe that amount of happiness that will come from you both when you do!