How To Prepare for Your Child’s First Day of Kindergarten

How To Prepare for Your Child’s First Day of Kindergarten

Kids are attached to their parents. They spend every waking moment with a caregiver nearby, often at their home, and their world is small and secure, just as they like it. Then comes school—it’s exciting for many kids, but it also invokes a lot of dread. Spending that much time away from their parents and house seems inconceivable. For tips on how to prepare for your child’s first day of kindergarten, continue reading.

Walk Through the School, Meet Their Teacher

One of the scariest parts about school is that it happens in a place other than home. While kids with older siblings may have some exposure to school, only children and first-born kids may each benefit from visiting their school before they begin the year, perhaps during an orientation. Walking the hallways and having their parent nearby to reassure them will help them feel more comfortable with the whole process.

An even better tip is to meet their teacher. These introductions stave off any of your child’s worries that their teacher is some larger-than-life, scary person. Though tours and teacher meetings may not be possible due to the current pandemic, if they are available, make sure to take full advantage. If they aren’t available, try to arrange a video meeting instead.

Talk About What It’ll Be Like

You should also engage in conversations before and after this in-person walkthrough. Kids need to process through their emotions, and they need a trusted guardian to help them do so. Be sensitive about questions and prepare to listen to their concerns, even if they seem insignificant. If your child feels in control of the conversation, they’ll likely start to grow more comfortable with the thought of heading off to school.

Given the unique circumstances this year, make sure to leave extra space for conversation about Coronavirus. These conversations allow you to calm your child’s fears a bit while also reinforcing the need for them to take preventative measures such as wearing their mask and staying six feet away from other students.

Buy and Organize Their School Supplies Together

Our last piece of advice on preparing for your child’s first day of kindergarten is to buy and assemble their school supplies together. This step also affords your child control over the process. If they get a few school items they enjoy, such as a Star Wars-themed lunch box, they’ll be more likely to look forward to starting school.

As you shop, create a plan for color-coding the folders, art supplies, and other items they’ll use every day. This is wise because color has huge benefits on learning, memory, and organization. There’s no greater feeling for them than using a unique, colorful system to keep their things in order so they can focus more on learning.

How To Tell If Your Skin Is Sun Damaged

How To Tell If Your Skin Is Sun Damaged

While summer has come to an end, the long-term damage of bright, sunny days may still linger. If you spent most of your summer days out in the sun without proper protection, you may have sun-damaged skin.

The sun’s heat dries out areas of unprotected skin and depletes the skin’s supply of natural lubricating oils. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can also cause burning and long-term changes in the skin’s structure. Here’s how to tell if your skin is sun damaged.

Symptoms of Skin Damage

While signs and severity may differ for everyone, these symptoms are the most common ways to tell if your skin is sun damaged.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is one of the most common symptoms of mild sun damage. The skin appears dry, flaky, and slightly more wrinkled than skin that has not been exposed to the sun. Dry skin usually means the skin has lost its natural moisture and essential oils.

Sunburn

Mild sunburn causes pain and redness on sun-exposed skin and can usually be identified by dividing lines of pigmentation between exposed and unexposed skin. However, more severe cases of sunburn produce painful blisters and sometimes even nausea and dizziness.

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis appears as a small bump that feels like sandpaper or a persistent patch of scaly and peeling skin that may have a jagged or even sharp surface and that has a pink, yellow, red, or brownish tint.

Long-Term Changes

Symptoms of long-term changes in the skin’s collagen include fine lines, deeper wrinkles, thickened skin texture, and easy bruising on sun-exposed areas.

Diagnosis and Treatment

A doctor or dermatologist can determine if you have sun-damaged skin. In most cases, they will simply examine the skin. In more severe cases, a biopsy is done to rule out any bigger issues such as skin cancer.

Sun-damaged skin can be treated in several ways, from additional moisturizing to laser treatment and prescribed medications.

What To Expect at Your First Ultrasound Appointment

What To Expect at Your First Ultrasound Appointment

As an expectant mother, heading to your first ultrasound can be exciting—but also nerve-wracking. You might have a lot of questions. What is the procedure like? Is it painful? What exactly are the doctors looking for? If you’re wondering what to expect at your first ultrasound appointment, continue reading below for a simple outline of the process.

When Should You Get Your First Ultrasound?

The first ultrasound is generally a component of your first prenatal visit, which occurs between six and eight weeks of pregnancy. Some healthcare providers will reserve this type of ultrasound—an early pregnancy ultrasound—for women presenting symptoms of a high-risk pregnancy.

If you don’t get an ultrasound within the first two months of pregnancy, then the next type of ultrasound occurs between weeks 10 and 13. Dating ultrasounds provide a better look at your developing child than early pregnancy ultrasounds do.

What’s the Procedure Like?

Once you make your appointment, your doctor will give you a general list of pre-ultrasound instructions. To make the process simpler, you’ll likely need to arrive with a full bladder. The sound waves used in ultrasound penetrate better through liquid. Since fetuses are hard to detect in the early stages of pregnancy, a higher-quality scan is necessary.

Wearing a two-piece outfit, preferably with a skirt, is the best option, as it will allow the ultrasound probe or transducer better access to the places it needs to reach. It also means you’re less likely to need to change or strip.

There are two traditional types of ultrasounds designed for pregnancy.

Transvaginal Ultrasound

For your first appointment, you’re probably going to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound. Examining the uterus through the cervix is far easier than attempting to find the pea-sized fetus through bone, skin, and muscle. The procedure isn’t painful, but like with any pelvic exam, you might find it uncomfortable.

Transabdominal Ultrasound

If you’re further along, you’ll have a transabdominal ultrasound instead. This procedure is when your care provider smears cool, clear jelly across your stomach and uses a transducer to form images of your child. Like the transvaginal ultrasound, the procedure is painless—but for some, it’s ticklish.

What Will You Learn About Your Baby?

Ultrasounds can reveal a great deal of information about your unborn baby. If your first ultrasound is an early pregnancy ultrasound, your care provider will be able to determine a due date and whether you’re carrying multiples.

At a dating ultrasound, doctors reveal the same. They’ll also check the fetal heartbeat, determine your baby’s crown-rump length (which helps to identify possible developmental issues), and evaluate the likelihood of birth abnormalities like Down syndrome.

If you’re wondering what else your appointment has the potential to reveal, read up on the accuracy of ultrasound at predicting things like your child’s gender, size, and health.

Knowing what to expect at your first ultrasound appointment can make the experience easier, so head in prepared. If you have questions about your pregnancy, ask your doctor before, during, or upon the conclusion of your exam.

Therapeutic Benefits of Horseback Riding

Therapeutic Benefits of Horseback Riding

Therapeutic horseback riding has numerous benefits for individuals with disabilities. Horseback riding is a great physical and mental stimulant, and it’s a fun and unique form of therapy.

Physical Therapeutic Benefits of Horseback Riding

Improving Motor Skills

The small muscle movements required in horseback riding improve the rider’s fine motor skills and manual dexterity. For example, handling essential horseback riding equipment such as the reins or even using a horse grooming brush can help improve the rider’s hand movements.

While riding a horse, the rider also uses large muscle groups. The act of riding itself helps improve gross motor skills as the rider rises and sits to accommodate the horse’s rhythm and uses the saddle and stirrups to mount and dismount the horse.

Improving Coordination and Balance

Horseback riding requires coordination and balance. For this reason, therapeutic horseback riding typically improves poor balance, which may be a symptom of certain disabilities. As the rider learns to stay on the horse and maintain proper posture, their muscles work together to help them maintain their balance. With time and practice, the rider’s ability to balance will increase during various horseback riding movements.

Social Therapeutic Benefits of Horseback Riding

Improving or Developing Social Skills

For individuals with disabilities that make social interaction difficult, building a bond with a horse during lessons can help them build social skills. A relationship with instructors further improves social skills over time due to the constant communication and trust needed in the learning process.

Psychological Therapeutic Benefits of Horseback riding

Improving Self Confidence

Some people with disabilities gain confidence by mastering a skill that may come more easily to other people. Controlling an animal such as a horse and developing the athletic ability to ride can be a great confidence builder. There are also plenty of opportunities to participate in shows and competitions, which can provide an even greater sense of achievement.

Improving Emotional Control

Horses have a mind of their own, and this free spirit forces riders to practice patience as they attempt to perform skills with their horse. The repetition of basic riding principles also helps an individual develop patience.

Riders quickly learn that emotions play a large role in safe horseback riding. Shouting, crying, and other loud displays of emotion can upset the horse, which may be scary for the rider. These experiences help the rider understand the importance of controlling their emotions.

How To Encourage Children To Give Back

How To Encourage Children To Give Back

Parents want a lot of things for their children. We want them to be healthy, happy, and fulfilled in life. In everything we try to teach to our children, we hope that we are helping them to grow into kind, responsible adults. One of the key traits we would like for our children to have is a generous spirit. As children grow, they realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and it’s up to their parents to teach them about how other people matter just as much. Here we will look at how to encourage children to give back.

Lead by Example

When it comes down to it, children often simply mimic what they see their parents doing. One of the easiest ways to foster generosity in your child is to be generous yourself. When you show your child how important giving back is to you, it impresses the idea that giving back is the right thing to do. Remember to explain the reasons behind your generosity and how it makes you feel.

Let Them Choose What To Give

Forcing a task like giving away old things to charity onto children is a quick way to make them resent the idea of doing it. Ask them what they are ready to give up before donating anything. Letting them choose what to give is empowering and makes them more independent, reinforcing the idea that giving back is good.

Start Early

You probably want to wait until they’re at least out of toddlerhood, but starting as early as possible can be a great way to instill generosity in your growing child. Since it is difficult for a very young child to help out at something like a charity event, you’ll want to keep these activities in your home. Have them choose old clothes and toys they no longer like or want, and then arrange for a charitable pickup so that you don’t even have to leave home.

Make It a Game

Nothing gets a kid excited like a fun game. By turning your regular donation gathering into a game, you add a layer of interactivity to the process. You can make it a competition between everyone in your family to see who adds the most things into the donation pile. Try to have a good incentive to participate, but make sure your child knows that the real benefit is that you are helping other people.

Now that you have a few ways to encourage your child to give back, you can rest easy knowing that they will be able to turn your generosity to them back onto the world at large. The world needs givers now more than ever; the more we can help along that path, the better.

Positive Ways To Encourage Your Child’s Good Behavior

Positive Ways To Encourage Your Child’s Good Behavior

Sick of the temper tantrums or attitude that your child is giving you? I completely understand! As a parent, you can be proactive and do what you can to change the environment. Here are a few positive ways to encourage your child’s good behavior.

Be a Positive Role Model

Whether you believe it or not, your child idolizes you. They watch your every move and emotion and they learn from it. If you aren’t actively aware of that, you are going to find yourself not being a positive role model. Being actively aware of the fact that you are a role model and doing your best to stay positive will have a positive influence on your child.

If you are happy and have a smile on your face, it is going to be difficult for your child to not have a smile on their face too!

Pick Your Battles

Not everything has to be a fight or even a learning moment. Pick and choose what scenarios and situations warrant a lesson or a teaching moment, but also pick the moments that could be ignored or passed. By doing this you open the floor for finding more moments to be positive and share encouraging thoughts.

I mean, who likes to yell and punish all the time anyway? Not me, and I’m sure you don’t either. Instead, congratulate your child for doing something well or boost their confidence by telling them they are good at something. Also, consider how exactly you punish your children. Maybe time out isn’t the best way to reinforce good behavior. Trust me, this consideration makes all the difference.

Share and Show Your Emotions

If you share your emotions, your child is going to be more likely to do so as well. If for whatever reason your child is acting out and their behavior is not good – communicate with them. Share your feelings of frustration about how they are acting and see what information they can give back to you. The hope behind this is that you can combat the negative feelings and find ways to focus on the positives to encourage good behavior.

You never want your child to feel like they are not heard. By actively listening to your child and being apparent and present in the conversation, you are creating a positive place for encouragement.

Did You Pinky Promise?

Keep your promises. Breaking these no matter what age can be hurtful and can result in negative or bad behavior. Not only does keeping promises show that your word is good for something, but it also serves as an incentive that can be used to encourage good behavior. Want your child to keep their room clean? Promise them that they will get ice cream over the weekend if they do so.

Not everything has to be a fight when you are a parent. Follow a few of these positive ways to encourage your child’s good behavior to lighten up the mood for everybody!