Could children from the UK learn from Japan to reduce obesity


British kids are the most overweight in Western Europe, but in Japan, childhood obesity is rare.

Dr C says in the current issue of Closer that we can learn a lesson on keeping our children healthy.

British kids are the most overweight in Western Europe, but in Japan, childhood obesity is rare.

Dr C says we can learn a lesson from them.

Obesity rates here have doubled in 20 years, while in Japan only four percent of people are overweight.

So, what can we learn from them?

Japanese school lunches are planned by nutritionists, made from scratch, and include lots of rice, vegetables, soup, and fish.

Everyone gets identical meals, and if they don’t like it, it’s tough luck!

That’s a nanny state for you, but it can be a good thing.

Schools have no vending machines and children can’t take in their own food until high school.

In the US, obesity hits at age four, but in Japan, rates are very low until kids reach 15 – just as they start choosing their own food.

It sounds harsh, but we didn’t have any choice at my school either, so we just got on with it.

Japanese boards of education also tend to make walking to school compulsory if their school is close enough.


That isn’t always possible over here, but it’s a clever system if you can do it, because it’s automatic daily activity.

When they brought in the smoking ban here, people complained it was an

infringement on their freedom, but now we’ve all adapted.

I suspect it would be the same with these types of policies.

They’d soon feel normal.

It’s not just kids, either.

Japanese businesses get fined if their staff are obese.

I don’t think that’s right, but it does mean that everyone is encouraged to take an interest in health.

Here, we’re overweight, but ignoring it.

Japanese life expectancy is the best in the world, yet they work hard and have high levels of stress, which shows the impact a proper diet has, with lots of fresh fish and vegetables.

Family dinners are another part of Japanese culture.

Everyone sits around the table and children are encouraged to try everything, but not finish if they’re full.

That means kids take their time and don’t eat while distracted.


There’s a Japanese saying, which goes,

“He who has his stomach full 80 per cent will not need a doctor.”

An easier way to think of it is to eat until you’re no longer hungry, rather than until you’re full.


It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you’re full, but we keep eating, then feel stuffed.

The lessons?

Healthy lunches, daily activity, no room for fussiness and taking it slow all help to keep you slim.

Try it!

Reference: Closer Magazine 20 – 26 Jan 2018

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Pregnancy Complications

Sexually transmitted infection in babies

STD Babies – Who Is at Risk?


For most women, expecting a baby is a joyous occasion but in some cases, it can also be a time of nervousness when sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are part of the equation.

Read on to learn more about how STDs affect babies and who is at the greatest risk.

Relationship Status

One of the greatest predictors of sexual health is the status a woman has with her male partner according to the CDC.

Maintaining a long-term relationship can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted disease transmission.

But even if a woman has only one partner, she may still be at risk if her male partner has risk factors such as multiple partners and unprotected sexual activity.

This makes it important for women to understand her partner’s activities and to protect herself.

Social Factors

While relationship status is the greatest predictor, there are other factors that increase one’s risk of becoming infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

For example, there is a direct link between living in poverty and STD infection.

Lack of access to medical services and homelessness are also big factors when it comes to STDs.

Women who don’t have adequate resources are more at risk for this type of infection and less likely to get treated.

Getting Tested

Women who are pregnant and at risk for sexually transmitted diseases should be tested for them.

This allows health providers to treat some infections during the pregnancy and in other cases be prepared to deliver the baby in such a way that the risk of transmission to the baby during delivery is low.

While it would be best to be tested before becoming pregnant, testing as soon as possible during pregnancy will be beneficial for both you and the baby.

The CDC recommends that all women who are pregnant are tested for STDs.

Treatment During Pregnancy

If you have an STD, your doctor may be able to treat it during pregnancy.

For example, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis can all be treated with antibiotics and cured while you are pregnant.

However, viral illnesses such as herpes, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV cannot be cured.

Some treatment can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and transmitting the diseases to the baby during delivery.

Babies can also be treated and vaccinated right after birth for some viral illnesses.

In the case of hepatitis C, there is no vaccine but babies can be monitored to determine if further treatment is needed.

Reducing Your Risk

The best thing you can do is prevent sexually transmitted infections so that you don’t develop an STD or have pregnancy complications.

There are a few things you can do.  The only 100% way to avoid STDs is to abstain from sexual activity.

However, for most people sexual activity is part of typical relationships.

But being with a partner long-term in a mutually monogamous relationship can reduce your risk if that partner has been tested and is negative for STDs.

You can also reduce the risk of transmission by using condoms correctly every time you have sex.

Before seeking to become pregnant, make sure that both of you are tested and are free from STDs.

STDs and Pregnancy Complications

If you are a pregnant woman and also have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), you may feel very concerned about your health and the health of your baby.

It’s important to know the facts and to work with your healthcare provider to have the best possible outcome.

First, make sure you have the proper diagnosis.  According to the CDC, it’s important for women who are pregnant to be tested for STDs as soon as possible.


This will help your healthcare provider to have all the information.

It’s also important to realize that you can become infected with a sexually transmitted disease during pregnancy.

So if you’re having unprotected sex and feel you may be at risk you can test any time throughout your pregnancy.

Each type of STD can have a different effect on pregnancy and your baby. 

For example, herpes doesn’t usually cause problems during pregnancy, but can be transmitted to the baby during delivery and can affect her eyes, skin, mouth, and nervous system.

To prevent this, women who are known to have herpes typically undergo a C-section delivery.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can actually cause problems during pregnancy and even lead to increased risk of miscarriage or premature delivery.

Both can lead to eye infections in newborn babies.  The good news is that both can be treated with antibiotics during pregnancy to reduce the risk of these problems.

Syphilis is another infection that can lead to problems for babies.  In fact, it can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.

It can be transmitted to your baby in the birth canal or even before birth it can be transmitted through the placenta.

But like chlamydia and gonorrhea, syphilis can be treated during pregnancy to stop the infection from spreading to the baby and to stop it in the mother.

HIV is a virus that causes AIDS.

It can be transmitted to a developing fetus during pregnancy.

However, if the mother is treated with medication during pregnancy the risk is as low as 2 percent of transmitting it to the baby.

Once babies are born they continue treatment for a time to reduce the risk of the disease developing.

One of the most common STDs in the world is human papillomavirus (HPV).  This is the virus that causes genital warts and leads to cervical cancer in women.

It’s rare for a baby to be exposed to HPV during childbirth, but it is possible.

If the baby does become exposed, he can develop recurrent respiratory papillamatosis – a condition that causes tumors to grow in the throat.

Warts can also make vaginal delivery difficult or impossible.  A C-section delivery eliminates the risk of disease transmission.

Hepatitis B and C are also infections that can be transmitted to your baby during pregnancy.  They can both lead to liver disease in the baby.

For hepatitis B, babies with positive mothers will be vaccinated at birth to prevent problems.  In the case of hepatitis C, children will have to be monitored as there is no vaccine.

It’s important to be screened for STDs before and during pregnancy to get the best possible care and prevent complications.

STDs during pregnancy By Amber Ainsworth

According to MDHSS, women should be tested during their first prenatal visit and again at 26-28 weeks.

If a woman injects or uses drugs, has an STD or has more than one sex partner, she should be tested again at 36 weeks or delivery, even if the other tests were negative.

With testing, women can begin necessary treatment if they are found to have an STD.

Babies may also need treatment at birth, according to MDHSS.

Early treatment can help prevent the baby from being born with the infection or facing serious health issues.

“If a physician is aware of the woman’s infection before the baby is born, they can provide treatment to ensure the baby doesn’t become infected,” says Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS.

According to MDHSS, in the past five years there have been three preventable cases of perinatal Hepatitis B, three cases of congenital syphilis and three babies born with HIV infection in Michigan.

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Past STDs Linked to Pregnancy Complications

A new study in 2018, suggests women with chlamydia or gonorrhea infections before or during pregnancy have an increased risk for complications.

“Women who had chlamydia were not only more likely to have a premature birth, but 40 percent more likely to deliver a stillborn baby.

Those with gonorrhea more more than twice as likely to deliver their babies too soon as well.” (Via WUSA) The study was led by Bette Liu of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Her focus — to see how pregnant women fared when they previously had chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Her team observed more than 350,000 women who had given birth to a single child in New South Wales between 1999 and 2008.

Of those women, 3,658 previously had chlamydia, and 196 women previously had gonorrhea.

Nearly 85% of those women had been diagnosed with the sexually transmitted infections before becoming pregnant.

Among all the women in the study:

  • 4% had an unplanned premature birth
  • 12% had babies who were small for their gestational age,
  • 0.6% had stillborn babies.

“Factors such as age, social disadvantage, smoking, and underlying conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can all increase the risk of birth complications, and this was evident among the women studied.” (Via Science Codex)

But the researchers took even all that into account, and say the women with chlamydia or gonorrhoea infections were at greater risk.

Chlamydia or gonorrhea are two common sexually transmitted infections and are already known to cause complications during pregnancy.

However, the research suggests the effects of these infections last well after they are treated — which means a lot in countries where the rates of these STIs continue to rise — like the U.S. and U.K. (Via Daily Mail)

But researchers believe they still have a long way to go in terms of proving a direct cause between infections and pregnancy complications,

Conclusion: “Our results suggest that sexually transmissible infections in pregnancy and the preconception period may be important in predicting adverse obstetric outcomes.” (Via Sexually Transmitted Infections)

The study was published September 4 in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections..

As found on Youtube

Potty Training

Potty Training A Toddler

Must Ask Questions For Anyone Potty Training A Toddler

If you are thinking about starting to potty train your toddler, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you begin potty training.

Being well prepared for this challenging transition from diapers to potty is one of the best things you can do to make this as easy as possible on your child.

1. Is My Child Ready?
You want to start potty training at just the right time.

You will know that your child is ready when he or she gets more interested in you going to the potty, tells you right away when the diaper is wet or pulls on it and seems uncomfortable with it.

Give potty training a try, if your child doesn’t seem ready despite the signs, wait a few weeks and try again.

2. Am I Ready?
Just as important as your child being ready is that you are ready.

Prepare yourself mentally for the transition from diaper to potty for your child. You will need a lot of patience and understanding.

There are going to be resentment, tears and the occasional accident.

Make sure you are prepared for this so you can stay calm and supportive for your child.

3. Do We Need A Potty Chair?
A regular toilet is very intimidating for a child. The seat is rather large and your child will have to hold on to avoid falling in.

In addition “things” vanish in there when you flash – which can be a pretty scary thought for your child.

Many kids are more comfortable with a potty chair at first.

After a few weeks you should be able to move on to a potty seat insert that fits on your regular toilet eliminating the potty cleanup.

4. Should We Use A Potty Doll?
A potty doll is not a necessity when it comes to potty training, but can be a great tool.

A potty doll will pee like an actual child and usually comes with diapers, panties and a potty chair.

The doll can help tremendously during the pre-potty training phase when you are getting your child used to the idea of going in the potty instead of the diaper.

You can illustrate what’s supposed to happen on the doll and let your child warm up to the idea by playing with the doll in the same fashion.

When you are ready to potty train, put the doll on the potty right next to your child.

5. Should We Use Potty Training Rewards?
Before you start potty training, you should decide if you are going to use some sort of rewards as encouragement for your child, or if you will simply make your child feel great about his successes by being his cheer leader.

Simple potty training rewards can include stickers, candy like a few jellybeans or M&M’s, or you can use some sort of tracking chart for bigger rewards (i.e. If you use the potty for an entire week without accident, you get a small toy).

Using simple rewards can be a great potty training tool, but it isn’t by any means necessary as long as you get the message across to your child that you are proud of him.

Take a few minutes to answer these potty training questions for yourself and go over them with your spouse as well to ensure you are on the same page before you start potty training your child.

It will help you give your child a clear picture of what you are both trying to accomplish and will cut down on any confusion.

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Ways To Enrich Your Children’s Conscience

Children are living with curiosity.

They learn lots of things in life, gifted naturally with intuition, and open toward everything they find.

Everything seems to be interesting to them.

That’s why they want to know about many things.

It’s indeed a sign of good development.

Parents need to help children develop their conscience, which will be a great means of getting spiritual experiences.

Through these, they’ll learn about self-esteem and moral values.

Of course parents want children have and familiar with good values in life.

As parents, what can you do then?

Here are 5 ways you can do to enrich their conscience:

• Give good examples.

What you say and do everyday reflect what you think about the world.

If you say good stuff, your children will do the same.

Children are great imitators. It’s important for you to say and do nice things anytime anywhere.

• Listen when they talk.

Sometimes your children ask questions that sound silly to adults, like “Mom, where does the sun sleep when the night comes?”

Listen to them and answer seriously, “The sun doesn’t sleep.

It shines in other places in the world.”

By listening, children will feel that they get respect from their parents.

• Show happiness.

Show and share all the happiness and positive energy and thoughts with the children.

If you’re happy, they’re happy too. By doing this, the children will learn that life is enjoyable.

• Introduce them to nature.

Tell them that all things happen in the world are connected to each other and that there’s a reason for it.

For example, water is needed to irrigate plants and plants are food source for other living creatures.

• Be flexible with your rules.

Children should be informed about what they should do.

However, always take notice on their development. There will be time when they can decide what they want to do.

By being flexible with your rules, children will stay cheerful and expressive.

Those 5 tips are actually easy to carry out.

Just place yourself as your children’s parents and friends as well.

Again, remember that children are good imitators.

Once you do or say something bad, there’s a great chance that they will do or say the same.


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Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in New York.

She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University, New York.

She is the author of the multi-award-winning,

The Conscious Parent.

Heralded as a game-changer in the parenting genre, this book turns the traditional parenting paradigms on its head and revolutionizes how we raise our families.

She has been exposed to Eastern mindfulness at an early age and integrates its teachings with Western psychology.

This blend of East and West allows her to reach a global audience.

Her ability to appeal to both a psychologically astute and consciousness-driven audience establishes her as one of a kind in the parenting field.

She lectures extensively on mindful living and conscious parenting around the world and is in private practice.

She resides with her husband and daughter in New York.


Parenting Styles

Every grandmother and grandfather will tell you hilarious stories of their children when they were first born.

For every funny and touching story they have, they will be able to tell you another for every hardship they encountered.

Parenting styles is something that is done in many different ways by each parent.

The following are four general styles employed by parents.


Authoritarian parents rule on just that: authority.

Commands are given to children that they must follow regardless of the circumstances.

If these commands are not followed, harsh punishment will ensue.

These parents do not welcome feedback from their children.

In fact, it is met with severe punishment.

The children tend to be quiet and unhappy.

They have more of a fear than a love for their parents.

Male children have trouble dealing with anger and female children have trouble facing adversity due to their heavily structured life where nothing ever changes.


Indulgent parents tend to be described as lenient.

They allow immature and childish behavior.

These parents expect the children to learn from their mistakes and to fend for themselves in most times of need.

These parents tend to be democratic and allow for feedback from there children on issues.

They will hear both sides of an argument and usually make a compromise.

Indulgent parents usually avoid confrontation with their children by all means, but do tend to be more involved and emotionally closer to their children.


Authoritative parents are a combination of the two styles previously mentioned.

They are the happy medium.

While expecting proper behavior from their children, they welcome feedback and questioning on certain issues.

They’re able to demand things of their children but are also able to respond to what they’re child says, questions and requests.

These children tend to be the happiest, most confident and self assured of all the mentioned parenting styles.

It is very difficult to be a purely authoritative parent.

Young father with his cute little daughter


Passive parenting is being completely not involved.

These parents may never be home due to immaturity, work or the like.

These children are usually raised by grandparents, older siblings, babysitters or themselves.

There is no parental involvement at all.

We wish you many happy stories!


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Parenting or child rearing is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood.

Parenting refers to the aspects of raising a child aside from the biological relationship.

[1] The most common caretaker in parenting is the biological parent(s) of the child in question, although others may be an older sibling, a grandparent, a legal guardian, aunt, uncle or other family member, or a family friend.[2]Governments and society may have a role in child-rearing as well. In many cases, orphaned or abandoned children receive parental care from non-parent blood relations.

Others may be adopted, raised in foster care, or placed in an orphanage.

Parenting skills vary, and a parent with good parenting skills may be referred to as a good parent.

A parenting style is the overall emotional climate in the home.

[12] Developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind identified three main parenting styles in early child development: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive.

[13][14][15][16] These parenting styles were later expanded to four, including an uninvolved style.

These four styles of parenting involve combinations of acceptance and responsiveness on the one hand and demand and control on the other.

[17] Recent research has found that parenting style is significantly related to children’s subsequent mental health and well-being.

In particular, authoritative parenting is positively related to mental health and satisfaction with life, and authoritarian parenting is negatively related to these variables.



Building a Lifelong Relationship with Your Daughter

 Relationship with Your Daughter

As with every generation, mothers and daughters share a special bond.

Though one is not quite a woman and one, in many ways, is still no longer a girl – they each bear the qualities of each other.

Little girls want to grow up fast, and dear sweet moms want to regain their youth.

Mothers also know how important it is to be a good role model for their daughters.

So, with only the best of intentions, moms and daughters travel their journeys through life.

It is every mother’s hope that their daughter grow to be strong, independent, caring, and giving.

A mother’s dream is to enjoy the fruits of her labor (no pun intended) …to know that her daughter is happy, confident, and kind to all.

There are many detours and roadblocks along the way, but you can overcome them using these four building blocks to obtain and maintain a relationship with your daughter that will last a lifetime!

Because of your efforts in developing this relationship now, not only will you enjoy a close unique friendship with your daughter,

you will also pass on to her the wonderful gift of future strong relationships with her own children.

Really, what can be more important and rewarding than that?

Not much, it ranks right up there at the top!

Life is based on building blocks.

Relationships, too, are based on the same.

Given the tools, you can build yours strong…strong to last the bumps in the road and the trials of life.

A strong foundation provides the anchors to weather any storm.

It’s never too late to begin. With each new day comes renewal, forgiveness, and a positive step towards building once again.

BLOCK #1…TRUST. Without trust, any relationship doesn’t stand a chance!

Trust often is confused as a “given”.

A God given right! As a loving mother, your daughter has grown to trust you.

She knows you will pick her up when you say you will.

She knows that she is cared for and provided for by you.

Your daughter also knows your love is unconditional and that regardless of her doings, you’ll be there.

She might get yelled at, but she trust you above all.

Realize that YOU have earned her trust through word, credibility, and actions.

How about her perception of earning trust? Each young lady must understand that TRUST is earned.

The same way YOU earned her trust in YOU!

Ask yourself: Why is it that sometimes we feel the need to accredit our children with attributes that should be earned?

Our daughters need to understand that trust is patient.

The small steps/small rewards process is a journey to gaining their independence.

They need to take responsibility for earning the trust, and guarding it dearly, as one of the most valuable aspects of your shared relationship.

When you, as her mother, make this important, it becomes important.

There are five steps to establishing trust between a mother and a daughter. Each important and well guarded.

They include:


Knowing each of them and how to apply these steps to a working relationship is key in maintaining a loving relationship.

Relationship with Your Daughter

BLOCK #2…COMMUNICATION. Funny when our children are born, we seem so in tuned to their needs.

We know the difference between a hungry cry and a mad cry. We can sense the slight mood change and worry for hours that there is a cold coming on.

As our little girls grow, we teach them to talk.

We repeat sounds and clap for joy when they say “ball” and “Mama”.

We are elated to know that our little girls are on their way.

We pay close attention to all of their needs and kiss them softly and quietly goodnight.

Just because we teach language, an ensemble of “sounds” does not mean we teach communication.

Communication as defined by Webster is: an act of transmitting or an exchange of information or opinions.

Think about this, “an act of transmitting” which can mean giving orders, commands, and/or instructions.

This of course is necessary at times. It means we mean what we say – and do it! No questions, no discussion.

This form of communication is certainly acceptable and appropriate at times.

Taking the other side of the definition, “an exchange of information” we understand this to be a form of exploring another’s opinion, thoughts, and logic.

This too is very important. As a matter of fact, this is the foundation of effective communication involving two people.

When does it start? As our girls learn their words at the age of 2, they also begin to learn communication skills.

These skills are mostly taught by our physical reactions and not our verbal capabilities.

Physical reactions involve the delivery of our words, the tone of our voices, and the actions of our body.

It is not about getting through – it’s about logical reasoning and openness to understanding another human being.

Since your daughter has already achieved a level of trust in you, she will embrace your skills of communication if delivered in a manner that support her best interests without threatening her own desires.

You, as the parent, are in control at all times. YOU just need the tools to help educate your daughter on the ways of the world.

With these tools and exercises, you are able to begin to lay the strong foundation of open-minded, free exchange of information without losing your position of authority.

Remember communication can be a “two way street” or a single command. Your choice, your control.

Smiling mother and her cute little daughter

BLOCK #3…EFFECTIVE LISTENING. Now that we have defined communication, I urge you…don’t spend too much time talking.

Teach by actions as well! How? It’s easy…(once you understand how).

Spend a lot of time listening!!! Effective listening provides an avenue showing insight into your daughter’s life.

There is so much you can learn by listening and observing. Listening not only involves what your daughter says, it involves what others say too.

This includes her friends, teachers, enemies and anyone she has contact with.

I’m not suggesting you spy or have “reports back”.

Just listen – you’ll learn more than you can imagine.

Listening is a skill.

Creating environments of opportunity is what you want to do.

For example…Car pools are painful to be sure, but when you pick up a bunch of her friends, keep the music to a soft level – don’t talk – just listen!

The girls will be open with their chatter and you’ll be able to interpret not only the quality of her friendships, but the collective views of the group.

This can be very valuable in future conversations you may have with your daughter.

It’s also a great way to get to know her friends!

Subtle suggestions from your side will have a better impact if you are more informed…

Remember what you learned regarding communication…

Since your daughter has already achieved a level of trust in you, she will embrace your skills of communication if delivered in a manner that support her best interests without threatening her own desires.

You, as the parent, are in control at all times.

Mother and teenage daughter hugging and smiling together in summer garden.

BLOCK #4…LETTING GO. Letting go is the ongoing process we all deal with.

When, how, just enough, not too much. Knowing when to allow your daughter to find her way and knowing when to hold her hand and guide her.

There will be times when your heart breaks for her, when you want to take her pain, her place, her path – but the same lessons we’ve learned, so too shall they.

We realize we can’t (and should not) always shield her from everything.

If you think about it, looking back on our own life – some of the most painful situations taught us the most powerful life lessons.

Whether that was empathy and compassion for others, or our ability to forgive and move on; whatever crisis we face we have a choice –

We can choose to be “bitter or better”. It’s a choice.

In being there for your daughter, while letting go you provide the strength she’ll need to stand on her own.

Through pain we grow and through growth we become whole. Sometimes there are no words, sometimes silence and solidarity speak louder than any great speech.

If you have built upon the three previous blocks, letting go will be a natural process of love.

There is no fear where love dwells.

Your goal is accomplished – you have the strong foundation for a lifelong, healthy relationship with your daughter.

Being there involves just that…being there as a friend, a parent, a role model, a mother.

Learning today how to build and enjoy a mother/daughter relationship is the best gift you will ever give to both yourself and your daughter.

This is a gift that can be passed down from generation to generation, building stronger and deeper each time.

Learning about enriching your relationship with your daughter is one of the most valuable educations you will ever do for yourself.

Relationship with Your Daughter: Little girl reading eye-chart at pediatrician office

The building blocks can show you the way.

From beautiful baby girl in your arms, through the turbulent teens, the age of independence and self discovery, to watching her gain total confident independence.

Your reward is knowing that your job of parenting has now become your fruit of friendship.


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Love Of Reading In Your Children

Ways To Inspire A Love Of Reading In Your Children

If your child is showing little interest in reading, there is hope.

Sometimes moms and dads have to get sneaky, but you can still turn your child into a reader, even if he is reluctant about it.

1. The Early Bedtime trick.
One of my favorite ways to get my kids to read is something they hopefully will not figure out until they have kids of their own.

Two words “Early Bedtime”.

You might be wondering how an increase in sleep can help your child to spend more time reading.

Well, here’s the trick. Set their bedtime for 45 minutes to an hour before they need their lights out.

Here’s how our bedtime routine goes.

The kids brush teeth and use the bathroom.

Then I read them their stories.

This is all done before their official bedtime.

Then, I simply give them an option. I say “It’s time for bed, now.

Would you like lights out or would you like to stay up and read for a bit?”

Unless they are really tired, they’ll always choose to read awhile. I do not have to beg nor manipulate them into reading.

In fact, they think it’s their idea and they have grown to love their chance for a ‘late’ bedtime.

Then, I back off. I don’t try to instruct them in any way, nor help them choose books. This is their time.

They can choose whichever book they like and look at it however they like until I come in to kiss them goodnight and turn their lights out.

Of course, if they want me to stay and listen to them read, I’m more than happy to comply.

Try it. It works.

2. Summer reading incentives.
You can sign up for a summer reading program at pretty much any library in the country.

If your local library does not have a summer reading program, then create one at home, with rewards for reading books.

You can use a Monopoly (or Life) board and allow your child to move one space for each book he reads.

Or if you want to have more fun, let him roll the dice each time he reads a book and have prizes available for passing certain points.

Make sure the rewards are something very desirable.

If your child values time with you more than toys, then set a date together doing his favorite thing.

If he values a certain toy, let him earn it. Or let him earn a chance to get out of his regular chores.

Take him to his favorite restaurant. Just have fun with it and he will, too.

3. Read the book before you can see the movie.
This is a standard in our home.

We won’t go see any movie until we’ve read the book.

Whether my husband and I read the book to the kids or they read it alone, each member of the family can go see the movie after the book is read.

So, if your child is looking forward to seeing the next Chronicles of Narnia movie, the next Harry Potter movie or the next Lemony Snicket movie, they’ll have to read the book first.

That’s it.

Three easy ways to turn your child into a reader for life.


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Mom Should Have A Hobby

Moms these days are so very busy, but we’re more stressed than ever before and in need of lifestyle choices that help us be happier.

Pursuing a hobby may be just the ticket.

Here are a few reasons why a hobby is a great idea, even for a busy Mom.

– handcraft, hobby concept

Having a hobby relieves stress and tension

Spending time with a hobby replaces negative thoughts and replaces them with positive thoughts and feelings.

Having a hobby or creative outlet can lift your spirits and help with depression.

Unlike passive activities like television viewing, a hobby provides intellectual stimulation while simultaneously relaxing you.

Repetitive actions like those used in knitting are especially calming.

Hobbies help you parent better

We are so good at signing our children up for lessons and classes and encouraging them to have hobbies, even paying for these classes and driving them to and fro!

But we forget that we also need to learn new things and grow as people.

Hobbies also connect you with other people who share your interests.

A hobby can help you maintain your separate identity as a real person and not just as Mom.

This models healthy habits and boundaries for our kids.

Hobbies provide a refreshing change from your daily routine

If you’re a stay at home Mom, you may be frustrated because at the end of the day you can hardly point to anything you’ve “done”.

Hobby: painter in her studio

This is because of the repetitive nature of housework and childcare.

In generations past, women pursued hobbies like:

  • quilting
  • sewing
  • knitting
  • crochet
  • embroidery

Not only because they were enjoyable but because they provided tangible value to the family, either providing clothing for their backs or much needed income.

Some hobbies like tennis, gardening or belly dancing can even provide great exercise with all of its accompanying benefits.

The best exercise activity is one that combines mind and body and is enjoyable to pursue.

Why not carve out some time to pursue your hobby Mom?

Don’t let a shortage of time stop you.

Rearrange your schedule and put YOU back in it, and start carving out time for your favorite pastime.

Hobby: Sewing needle with bobbins of cotton thread and needlework


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Having 3 children under the age of 3 can be very challenging and take so much energy and time.

But there can be room for enjoying hobbies and having “me” time.

In this video I will share 3 tips on how to make this happen so that the entire family benefits.


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Homework time and stress

Parents have asked us why homework takes their child 2, 3 and even 4 times longer than their peers and what they can do about it.

This article defines the 3 key issues and what parents can do about it.

Student’s key issues often include:

  • Attention is a major problem, both in class and while doing homework
  • They often have one or more vision issues – too often these student’s eyes are either: not working together; skipping words or lines when reading; or they have difficulty copying off the board
  • They become tense when doing homework and often lose it

When a student has trouble paying attention in class, they often must be re-taught the information at home.

What makes matters worse is that the students homework time which should have taken 45 minutes gets stretched to 1 and ½ hours due to re-teaching, and then to over 2 hours because they cannot stay focused.

happy school girl on math classes finding solution and solving problems

Vision issues impact their homework in several ways:

  • They have trouble copying the notes off the board correctly and you spend time trying to understand the assignment
  • They skip words or lines when reading, further complicating life
  • When they do math problems they do not often align their work correctly, they miss minus and division signs so they make careless errors

Students often get tense when doing homework and battles often follow.

What often happens is:

  • Students are too intimidated to ask questions in class and they simply get stuck
  • The student or parent gets angry and then …
  •  An argument starts which often escalates into a battle royale

What we recommend is that parents:

  • Stay clam when doing homework with your child
  • If your child gets stressed, give them a 1 or 3 minute break
  • Hydrate them before doing homework and while doing homework
  • When reading, use an index card or their finger to keep them on the right line
  •  If the attention is a significant issue, consider getting an ADHD diagnosis
  • if they have a learning disability or attention issues significantly impact their academic performance, the student could qualify for an Individualized


Education Plan and they could get accommodations for homework which might include:

  • Getting copies of notes – either provided by the teacher or by another student
  • Seating by the teacher to improve attention
  • Having the teacher check to make sure the student has written the assignment correctly
  • Having you sign that they completed the assignment and putting it in a place they can find it
  • An early warning system, where the teacher alerts you to issues early on
  • If vision is a major issue see an optometrist – even if your child has 20/20 vision.
  • homework


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The simple question, ‘Have you done your homework?’

can lead to tears, tantrums and tirades.

But homework time doesn’t have to turn your home into a battlefield.

Here’s excellent advice from family and lifestyle correspondent Ylonda Caviness.

Kid reading book, light in darkness

Children and water

“Safety First” Tips For Water Fun

There may be few better ways to spend a hot day than at the beach, lake, water park or swimming pool but amid all the fun and games it is important to put safety first.

Learning to swim and be safe in and around the water are important survival skills.

Accidents only take a few seconds to occur, but they can often be prevented by ensuring your loved ones follow simple water safety guidelines.

Pioneers in swimming instruction and water safety, the nation’s YMCAs are celebrating 100 years of group swimming instruction to children and adults.

happy kids have fun on outdoor swimming pool at beautiful aquapark

The YMCA offers these tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe in and around the water during the summer and at any time of year:

  • Make sure children are supervised by an adult at all times.
  •  No one, not even adults, should ever swim alone.
  • Be prepared in an emergency by learning lifesaving, first aid and CPR techniques.
  •  Always have a stocked first aid kit, phone, emergency numbers and sunscreen close at hand.
  •  Follow the posted rules in any water environment.
  • Backyard pools should have posted rules, ring buoy and security fences with self-closing gates and childproof locks.
  •  If you have an above-ground pool, secure and lock the steps or remove them completely when not in use.
  •  Be aware of water depth, incline and any underwater obstructions before diving. Never dive in water less than nine feet deep.
  •  Children should use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
  • Avoid inflatable toys including armbands or “swimming”-they can be dangerous, giving a false sense of confidence.

And finally, everyone should learn swimming and basic water safety skills.

The YMCA offers swimming classes for all ages and levels.

water fun
  • Approximately 830 children ages 14 and under drown every year. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1 to 4 years and ages 10 to 14 years. For those less than 1 year old, drowning is the third leading cause of death
  • An average of about 3,600 injuries a year occur to children due to a near-drowning incident.
  • More than half of drownings among infants occur in bathtubs.

Where and when:

  • Most infants under the age of 1 drown in bathtubs. Other drownings in this age group tend to occur in toilets and buckets.
  • Most childhood drownings in pools occur in the child’s home pool. About one-third of these drownings occur in pools at the homes of friends, neighbors, or relatives.
  • Most drownings and near-drownings occur during late spring and summer (May through August).
  • More fatal drownings occur in the South and West.
  • More fatal drownings occur in rural areas than suburban or urban areas.


  • The majority of children who drown in swimming pools are between the ages of 1 to 4.
  • Children ages 4 and under are more likely to drown than other age groups and account for most home drownings.
  • Boys are two times more likely to drown than girls.
  • African-American children ages 5 to 14 are three times more likely to drown than white children.
  • Non swimming pool drownings are more common among low-income children.–injury-statistics-and-incidence-rates-90-P03004

A MAN and a woman have been arrested after a five-year-old boy drowned in a water park.

Charlie Dunn, from Tamworth, Staffordshire, died following an incident at Bosworth Water Park, near Hinckley, Leics., on July 23.

A man and a woman have been arrested over the death of Charlie Dunn, who died at a water park last year

A man in his 30s and a woman in her 20s have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence.

They have also been arrested on suspicion of child neglect.

Mum Lynsey Dunn, 28, and stepdad Paul Smith, 35, were taken into custody on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence at the time.

They were initially released on bail before charges against them were dropped in December.

A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “A man and woman have this morning (Monday 13 March) been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence.

“It follows an incident at Bosworth Water Park, near Hinckley, on 23 July 2016, in which five-year-old Charlie Dunn, who came from Tamworth, drowned.

“They have also been arrested on suspicion of child neglect.

“The man, who is in his 30’s, and the woman, who is in her 20’s, were arrested in Staffordshire this morning.”


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Footage posted to Imgur shows five-year-old Finnish boy struggling in pool Poster claims he was left alone while mother went to the sauna Struggled underwater and desperately tries to get to the side to pull himself out People around the boy are seemingly oblivious to his plight
Horrifying footage shows a five-year-old boy seemingly start to drown at a crowded pool in Helsinki, while other swimmers carry on oblivious to his plight.
Footage posted to Imgur shows the youngster struggling in the water for several minutes before losing consciousness.
User Irongross who posted the video, claims the boy was left unsupervised while his mother spent time in the sauna, although this statement has not as yet been verified.
Thankfully the child was resuscitated after a woman finally noticed his body floating on the surface, and has not suffered any permanent harm.
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