Summer time: it’s “book time”! or 7 tips to convince your children to read books!

read,books
Time to read books!

Summer vacation gives an excellent opportunity for everyone to read a book. How can we persuade kids who just finished school to pick up a book and read?

There are,of course,kids who love to read. They are easy to convince and will happily join the neighborhood library. On the other side, there are also many kids who do not like to read. They use the excuse of having studied all year long;now is the time to play.Usually play means watching tv and playing games at the PC or tablet. What can a parent do?

1.Do Audiobooks count for book reading? It is not the same, but it is a solution for children who resist the idea of actually reading themselves. There are many audiobooks, which you can download and carry with you all the time and choosing together with the child makes it easier to accept

2.Another idea is to read books that later on transformed into movies.I am not sure though if it is better to watch the movie first or read the book, because transition could leave a bittersweet taste.”Harry Potter” is a very famous example and I can assure you that both of my children have seen the movie and try to read the book.

3. A visit at the local library can give the trigger for a child to explore the bookshelves, touch the books and feel free to choose from the variety of books.

4.Make book inspired activities;draw what the story is about, print out printables of the characters of the book and play with them, or even dress-up

5.One good way to make the children want to read the books is to go together at the bookshop and  buy books together. Unfortunately, the child will not want to buy the books you may prefer. I remember once my 10 years old daughter chose a book of 20 pages written for 5-year-old children,and another time chose a book for teeanagers. At least, she has read them many times!

6.Bring a book in the waiting line. Whether it is waiting for the train, airplane or even waiting at the doctor’s queue, it is nice to set the example by NOT texting and scrolling your mobile, but having a book to read, even if it is not your favourite.

7.No matter what book you pick up, reading together can help you raise kids with resilient minds and connected brains. Just the act of physical closeness that occurs when we pull our children close and join together to share the moments that unfold as we read together — laughing, looking at the same pictures, talking about what we wonder about, and sharing the joy that comes from wonderful books

As you read stories together, ask your child  questions to explore and develop their emotional intelligence,such as:

-How well do you think the character handled his feelings?

-What could the character have done differently?

-What do you do when you have  feelings like that?

-What calms you down the most when you have that  feelings?

-Did you see how even though things were difficult/sad, it didn’t stay that way and things got better?

They are given language that helps express what they, themselves, experience and they gain insight into their own behaviors and emotions

There are many more ideas as long as we are open to think and talk with the children, because they may also have suggestions to make for themselves.

How do you convnce your kids to read? Share your experience and ideas in the comment section!

 

 

Easter is here!

greek orthodox easter
Greek orthodox easter

Easter is here and we are celebrating for 15 days (if you have children who don’t go to school because it is closed)

This year it is somehow different, because there are a lot going on in my life . I will tell you all about it in my next post,as soon as things settle a bit down.

There are many things to do in order to have a good and creative time with your children.The Greek Orthodox Church has many services which you can attend with your children;this way you can explain to them what we are really celebrating.

For the days you will be staying home check out my previous post about Easter  and try to have some fun and as rest as you can afford in order to charge up your batteries!

And don’t forget; summer is near!

How will you spend your Easter vacations? Share your ideas and motivate us!

 

Which food do your kids eat?10 tips to help picky eaters

“Mary what is your favorite meal?” “Noodles and chicken nuggets,mommy”. “Johnny,what is your favorite meal?” “Macaroni and cheesse!“said little Johnny.

sweet,kids,helathy
Sweets and more…

Sometimes a child isn’t hungry, should we  force a meal or snack? Likewise, should we  bribe or force our child to eat certain foods or clean his or her plate? This might only ignite — or reinforce — a power struggle over food. In addition, our child might come to associate mealtime with anxiety and frustration or become less sensitive to his or her own hunger and fullness cues. What can we do?

Here are some tips :

1.Serve small portions to avoid overwhelming your child and give him or her the opportunity to independently ask for more

2. Stick to the routine. Serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day. You can provide milk or 100 percent juice with the food, but offer water between meals and snacks. Allowing your child to fill up on juice, milk or snacks throughout the day might decrease his or her appetite for meals.

3.Don’t prepare individual meal for each child.Preparing a separate meal for your child after he or she rejects the original meal might promote picky eating. Encourage your child to stay at the table for the designated mealtime — even if he or she doesn’t eat

4.Promote co-operation.At the grocery store, ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. Don’t buy anything that you don’t want your child to eat. At home, encourage your child to help you rinse veggies, stir batter or set the table. Little Johnny is my big helper in the kitchen, and of course I let him experiment with the ingredients. The other day he told me to put ketchup in the fish, and in the beginning I told him that it is not usual to do so, but then I thought “how bad can it be?maybe I should try it!” And it was just fine.

5. Set a good example. If you eat a variety of healthy foods, your child is more likely to follow suit. I can’t convince Mary to eat fruits when I am having a big chocolate for afternoon snack

6.Cut back on junk. Remember, you—not your kids—are in charge of the foods that enter the house. By having fewer junk foods around, you’ll force your children to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products. If you don’t have a nutella jar in the house, they will not be able to eat some!

7.Forget the food fights. “It’s a parent’s job to regularly offer nutritious meals and snacks. It’s up to the child to decide whether to eat,” says Angela Lemond, R.D.N., a registered dietitian in Plano, Texas. Some kids have a tedency to overeat, while other don’t ever want to  eat.

8.Don’t ban sweets entirely. Having a no sweets rule is an invitation for cravings and overindulging when given the chance.The American Heart Association recommends that sugar intake for children is limited to 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day. A  soda like cola contains up to 10 teaspoons or 40g of added sugar, shakes and sweetened coffee drinks even more. Large amounts of added sugar can also be hidden in foods such as bread, canned soups and vegetables, frozen dinners, and fast food. Instead, try adding a splash of fruit juice to sparkling water or blending whole milk with a banana or berries for a delicious smoothie. Another idea is to freeze 100% fruit juice in an ice-cube tray with plastic spoons as popsicle handles. Or make frozen fruit kabobs using bananas, grapes, and berries.

9.Check your child’s BMI. There are many sites who help you calculate your child’s Body Mass Index (BMI) according to his/hers age. Here is one I found very easy and useful: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/bmi/calculator.html

Also another link for calculator from NHS(UK)

10.Consult your pediatrician or a dietician, if you think you have more questions or dilemmas about your child’s growth. It’s not necessarily “good” to be thin or “bad” to weigh more, just like it’s not “good” to be taller or “bad” to be shorter.Instead, work on the right weight for your child.

How do you cope with your kids’ needs to eat? Share your stories in the comment section!

 

 

content provided by NHS Choices

Have a merry jolly 2018!

Happy New Year!

2018
Happy New Year!

I want to you wish you all the best for you and your families for this new year!

I hope this year will bring to all of us everything that the previous years couldn’t give!

Have you made your resolutions for 2018? The beginning of each year gives us the chance to reflect upon all the things that we did. What did go well? What did we do wrong ? Whom have we misjudged and what should we do about it?

Moreover, the holidays means time with the family. It’s time to talk with our children and help them also realize what does it mean to turn over a new leaf, a new year

It is a time to reconcile and make peace with what bothered us this past year and try to make it right.

How easy can it be? Do you have a method to plan and organize the new year? I would like to hear all about it!

 

Feelings..nothing more than feelings…

Imagine…

…that it is another day in work. Your programme is full and suddenly your boss assigns you yet another task, to finish by the end of the day. You try to do so, but due to your very busy day, you have totally forgotten it. The minute your shift is over, the boss comes over to you,furious because you haven’t finished the task and shouts to you without letting you explain yourself.

How do you feel?

Hurt?Upset? Overstressed? Confused?

angry child
Someone’s angry!

What do we need in such cases?

Someone to listen to us, sympathize us, comfort us or someone to scold us?

I think the same things apply for children and their feelings.

When something goes wrong, they would want us :

1.To listen to them

2.Recognise their feelings

3.Understand thier feelings

4.Help them realise how to cope with their feelings and find solutions for their problems.

It goes without saying that our behaviour should be true, as the children will understand if we are actually Listening to what they say. If we fake it, they will be only disappointed and feel worse. It takes some practice to be ready to listen and focus to what the children say and why they say it. And it takes some time to convince the children that we are ther for them and they can trust us with their thoughts and feelings.

You can try a role playing game with your spouse or a friend in order to practice recognising the feelings in each situations, as well as how to convince the other part that you understand them. First you should try to name their feelings instead of giving advice.

eg.”You must feel very embarassed that everyone laughed at you”

or “You must be disappointed that Mary didn’t invite you to her party”

Here is a list of feelings to help them choose what they feel

 

feelings
List of feelings

(https://www.thinglink.com/scene/584048659344130051)

 

You should play both roles-the parent’s and the child’s, in order to see the other’s side point of view.

When you give attention to the child’s needs, you will help him rationalize it and figure out what’s to be done. After all, we don’t need someone to fight our fights, we need someone to boost our morale and help us find our way.

All feelings our accepted, but of course some reactions should be controlled. Eg.being jealous or disappointed with the little brother is ok, but hitting him should not be accepted.

We can make the rules depending on the situations and the conditions, but it is nice to have a steady policy that will help the child feel safe and confide in us.

What do you think? Have you faced any challenge lately? I had in the beginning of the  previous school year,as I mentioned in a previous post, that I couldn’t recognise my daughter’s feelngs, and thus could not help her with her problem in school( Ready for school ,  )

Share with me, ideas and thoughts that will help us with our children and their feelings!