Sunday, July 20, 2014

Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten



Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten

If your child will be starting kindergarten this year he/she (and you too!) may feel a bit apprehensive. Although starting school is fun and exciting, it can also be a bit scary. As a parent, you worry that your child will be comfortable and confident without you, and your child may have similar fears.
With that in mind we have pulled together a few things that will help make this important time easier for both of you. We have broken the content up into areas of development and offer some ways you can help your child feel more accomplished.

Language Skills and Development

Work with your child to develop his/her language skills. Take the time to play games related to ‘point and name’ when going through magazines or books. Read to your child on a daily basis and teach him that you read words from left to right. After reading to him ask your child some questions about the story. For instance, you can simply ask him what happened in the beginning of the story and how it ended.

The idea is to help your child develop helpful skills that will assist in learning.

Cognitive Skills and Development

Make learning fun. Practice counting – for example, count the number of books on a shelf, the items in a toy box or the shirts hanging in a closet. When you’re in the car you can count houses you pass by, cars, trucks, bill boards, etc. 

Take time to ensure your child knows colors. You can play games based on colors – such as, ask her to find two items in the room that are blue or three toys that have the color red on them. To help her learn about colors you can review a box of crayons or even let your child help you sort laundry according to colors.

Kids also need to learn things like up and down, high and low, on and off, and shapes. So take the time to point out circles, squares, rectangles and triangles. You can help him cut out shapes using kid-safety scissors.

Arts & Crafts Skills and Development

Let your kids spend time working on various craft projects. This helps them develop skills in everything from drawing to using glue, and all the while, these projects help your kids get in touch with their creative side.


Social Skills and Development

Sometimes it can be the little things that seem to be problematic. Be sure your kid understands how to treat other people with respect. Play dates with other kids can be especially helpful with this. For instance, he should know that it is important to take turns when playing games and after play time everyone needs to pitch in with the clean-up.
Working with your child will help make it easier for him as he starts school. Your child will feel more comfortable and confident and you will be more at ease while he is away at school.
Keep visiting this Package From Santa blog for more great tips and ideas about a variety of topics.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Understanding Issues Related to Bullies



Understanding Issues Related to Bullies

Whether your child is five or fifteen, bullies can be a real concern. Unfortunately, bullies are a part of life that many kids deal with on a regular basis. As a parent, you have questions. You want to protect your kids from acts of bullying that can hurt your child emotionally and/or physically. So what do you say to them – how can you protect them from this danger?

Here are seven things to keep in mind.

1)      Understand the problem. Bullying is not something that you can totally protect your children from. It is something that happens with kids and even with adults. But after we become adults we have better coping mechanisms and dealing with bullies becomes easier. Even so, it is important to remember how hurtful a bullying instance can be. Kids that are bullied may feel everything from fear to shame and anger.
2)      Talk with your kids. Sharing your own experiences with being bullied or even reading a book or watching a movie that includes this behavior can be a great way to educate children about ways to handle these situations. Kids are very uncomfortable with feeling shameful, which is how being bullied can make them feel. Talking about this feeling can help your kids feel more comfortable in sharing their experiences with you.
3)      Teach your kids that bullies are wrong. As talked about above, bullies can make their victims feel shameful, when in fact, it is the bully that is in the wrong. Bullies use taunts and tactics that cause emotional distress. Teach your kids that they have nothing to feel shameful about.

4)      Listen and empathize with your kids. It can be easy to minimize a bullying problem. After all, as an adult you have learned how to let negative comments roll-off your back. In fact, you may have learned to look for ways to use negative comments to make positive changes. But a child that is teased feels real emotional pain. Let your child know you understand that the pain is real. This will help keep the doors of communication open.
5)      Develop a plan. Offer your ideas and suggestions – and incorporate your child’s idea into a plan for dealing with bullies. One idea is to help your child feel more confident about standing up for others. For instance, you can talk about how an older sibling should always stand up for a younger brother or sister. Similarly, your child can stand up for smaller kids on the bus or at the playground. The idea is to help him or her build confidence and to understand that the victim is a victim and therefore, should not feel shame in being bullied. Conversations about this perspective of bullying can help your child better understand the concept and in the end, he/she may feel less trauma and emotional distress about these situations.
6)      Walking tall without violence. While it can be easy to say that standing up to a bully is the best way to get them to back down, it can also lead to violence and there may be a good chance that your child will get hurt. Rather than trying to defeat bullies with insults or physical harm, teach your child to rise above the feelings of shame; that is how to be brave.
7)      Talk to others. The more aware everyone is of a bully or bullying situation, the more likely it is that the behavior will be modified. Talk to other parents and teachers about bullying problems and concerns. Everyone’s child is at risk for becoming a victim of bullying and every parent has an interest in preventing this behavior.


Bullying may not be something that you can totally stop, but you can educate yourself and your children about the behavior. This helps give you and your kids more control in these unfortunate situations.

Keep reading this Package From Santa blog for tips and ideas about everything from kid’s health to home d├ęcor, money management and more.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Make Your Summmer Party Special



Make Your Summer Party Special

Have you ever wondered how you can turn a typical backyard party into something memorable – a party that will stand out as being unique and one-of-a-kind? We have you covered! Consider the idea described below.

Many retailers look for unique ways to get customers in their doors – especially during ‘off seasons’. During the summer months most families are focused on things like vacations and on getting ready for the next school year. Sales can be down for things like furniture and appliances. With that in mind some merchants offer sales – some even have “Christmas In July” sales. 

You can probably see where this is going; why not have a Christmas In July party? The kids will love it! 

 Give Some Gifts

You can ask each parent to bring a kid’s gift to be exchanged or they can bring gifts for their own kids. The important thing is to have at least one gift for each kid. Of course, if the budget allows, you can purchase gifts for each child that will be attending. To make this option affordable you may want to consider some of the items available at your local dollar store. 

Since the weather is warm, it is likely that you will have the party outdoors. This makes gifts for the outdoors a perfect solution. Look for items that will give the kids something to do. For instance, you could buy bottles of bubbles, water guns, jump ropes, inflatable pool toys, and other inexpensive outdoor items for the kids.

Let’s face it – everyone likes gifts, no matter how old they may be. You can also give gifts to the adults at your party. Keep it simple. Consider things like homemade salsa or fudge. If you’re not into the homemade thing you could give candles, key rings, or other inexpensive items.

Decorations

It just wouldn’t be a Christmas party without some decorations. Of course, you probably don’t want to drag out all your Christmas stuff, but you could add a few strands of lights around your outdoor trees, shrubs and deck railings. You can find strands of solar lights that can be used year-round to add ambiance to your outdoor living space.

Simple wreaths can be hung and decorated. And if you’re lucky enough to have an evergreen tree in your yard you can make simple decorations from construction, artificial flowers, and other items.

Food

Every party needs to include some food. While you might opt to go with a traditional backyard barbeque meal that includes items cooked on the grill, you could also add a great dessert that adds a look of Christmas. For example, you could have Red Velvet cake or a cake with white frosting that is topped off with fresh strawberries.

The idea is to have a party that is lots of fun for everyone. Use your imagination and get creative. And please, share your ideas with everyone here at Package From Santa!

Merry Christmas!!!