Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Is Your Child Ready to Play Team Sports?

Team sports are a classic way to get children active socially and physically with their peers. Not all children are ready or willing to engage in a team sport and would rather choose a solitary activity.

As the school year progresses there are several team activities that are available to your child. Here are a few questions to consider to assess whether your child is ready to engage in a team sport.
  • Does he/she display an interest in organized sports?
  • Is her/his emotional maturity similar to that of their peers?
  • How well does your child accept defeat?
  • How well does your child take directions from other adults?
  • Is your child large enough and coordinated enough to minimize injury?

For children under six years of age a team activity where no score is kept and everyone is a winner is a great way to learn the skills. As children grow and mature they will become ready for the more competitive edge that is required. Up until the age of eleven years of age children are still learning how to build friendships, just as they are learning about teamwork.

Try to guide your child toward their interests and strengths. Make sure it is their desire to play a team sport and not an extension of a parent's ego. Sports can be another wonderful learning experience for participants and players alike.

Good luck!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New School Year, New Friends

One thing is for sure, friendships matter to your children. It doesn't seem to make a difference if your child has one special friend or a dozen casual acquaintences. Studies repeatedly state that it takes the relationship of a friend to build a child's self-esteem. It gives a child feedback on feeling well liked, their strengths and areas of concern. Friendship gives a child a safe reflection of themself.

For some children making friends comes very easily to their personality and nature. Children with a more introverted or shy personality find making friends is a very difficult task. Helping your child build social skills can be as easy as coaching them on conversation starters on school projects. You can suggest meeting places for your child to participate in school activities, volunteer together at a local shelter that your child shows interest in or make a play date to have a friend over at your home. This allows your child the safety of their own environment while they explore the development of making friends.

If children develope close connections with their peers when they are young, they're likely to have strong friendships as they get older. These relationships can provide support in times of stress during those important years of childhood and adolescent development.

Good luck!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Developmental Milestones

There are developmental milestones that every child makes at his or her own progress. These have most likely been monitored by your child's pediatrician. As your child enters the school system you will see a large range of social and academic needs among the children there. If you see that your child is delayed in any area, speak to your child's teacher to get specific ideas on how to assist and support your child in the classroom. At times you may begin to see specific behaviors from your child that may concern you. Most likely it is your child's way of communicating his or her feelings of unhappiness. Even though the behaviors are inappropriate you will need to determine what your child is trying to express and help them resolve the concerns appropriately. This is when you will most likely need professional help. As a parent you will need to identify the following information.
  • Was your child exposed to any harmful substances during the pregnancy?
  • Is your child demonstrating any developmental delays?
  • Does your family have a history of divorce, domestic violence, depression, anxiety or learning disorders?
  • Is your child sleeping through the night?
  • Does your child cry and refuse to get ready for school?
  • Is your child hitting, biting, or breaking his or her belongings on purpose?
  • Are you seeing extreme mood swings or social isolation with your child?
  • Does your child have difficulty completing tasks or sitting still?

Make sure your child is eating healthy foods and getting ten to twelve hours of sleep. Sit and play with your child and model appropriate social skills. If you continue seeing the negative behaviors escalate over the span of 90 days please seek a professional opinion. I would be glad to come to your home and assess your child in his/her own environment or observe their behaviors at school. You can contact me by email at ginalcmft@hotmail.com or call 316-253-4084.

Have a great school year!


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Understanding Enuresis

Bed wetting is a problem that affects nearly 20 million Americans. This problem effects one of every 4 years olds and one of every 6 years olds. If your child is over seven years old you are probably questioning whether your child is going to grow out of this problem.

Enuresis is more prevalent among boys than it is girls. Most children do outgrow this problem by the age of five. Over 90% of bed wetting is a genetic sleep disorder. This causes a state of sleep that is so deep that the signal to the brain that the bladder is full doesn't arouse the child. Therefore, they wet they bed.

The older the child the less chance you have of your child outgrowing the bed wetting. This problem causes embarrassment and restrictions for the child. Obviously the on going cleaning of laundry and bedclothes can become expensive also.

There are several solutions that you can try to help support your child during this difficult time. You can set an alarm for the child to wake up after approximately four to five hours of sleep. This will work sometimes as an intervention for the child to release their bladder appropriately. The child can also sleep through the alarm since the child is such a deep sleeper. Your family physician is also another solution source. Drug therapy can be very helpful if the problem is oraganic. You could also restrict beverages before your child's bedtime. This is helpful at times, but your body continues to create urine without water intake so make sure your child releases their bladder before bed. Other times the parents will try and wake the child before they retire for bed. This method can be exhausting for both child and parents.

Seeking professional help and support may be necessary to determine how to help your child. There is a strong correlation to child abuse and bed wetting. Please understand that your child needs help and not discipline in this area. Explore this options and then seek professional help so your child feels supported during this difficult time.

Best wishes,


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Creative Summer Memories

Needing ideas for these hot summer days? There are several things you can play with your children that cost only your time and imagination. Have your children put on their suits and make water balloons together. Once you have made several turn off the hose and the fun begins. Divide up into teams and start the water balloon fight. You could also play catch with them and the person that drops it, gets wet. What could feel better when it is 100 degrees outside!

This is also great weather to teach your children how to wash your car. They won't even notice that they are working and learning while they are having fun. Your children will also be proud that they have helped you with a chore that needed to be done.

How about washing the family pet outside? Buy the flea shampoo and teach your children how to bath the dog and they won't even make a mess in the bathroom. Your dog will also enjoy the cool water and all of the attention.

Once everyone is tired, go inside and dig out the old sheets or blankets. It's time to build a fort to play in. Watch you children let their imaginations go as they create the fort and what to put in it. This can get a little messy but the fun is memorable. Your children will want to camp out in it over night. The fun will continue as long as you allow it.

Allowing your children to create and use their imagination will benefit them through out their lifetime. The childhood memories will keep you close as a family and they will carry on the memories with their children summer after summer.

Have fun!