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Author Archive: Ian Caldwell

How To Give Clear And Positive Direction

Which one would you use when giving your child directions,

That room is a mess, clean it up!


Your room needs cleaning, please do that now.

Stop the yelling!


Use inside voices or go outside and play.

Look at what your muddy shoes did to my floor!


Your shoes are muddy, please take them off and clean up the mess.

After reading each sample above, which one sounds better,

In each example they both basically imply the same message but the first is more accusatory. The second is clear and concise on the issue and directive. The first displays anger, the second message speaks directly to the problem as well as the solution.

It is important to send a message to your children that you are correcting a situation not criticizing the child. Children hear demands and negatives as threatening. Children need to hear what they are doing wrong and how to correct the situation.

Children internalize messages similar to us adults. They feel hurt when they are chastised and although our job, as parents, is to teach our children, we need to be careful the message they are receiving.

Most of us get tired of repeating ourselves. When we feel we have said it enough times, whether it be that particular day or this is the same song we have sang too many times, we get frustrated and our tempers can begin to flare. Sending the wrong message can do more damage. Children will shrink from harsh words rather than resolve the situation.

Before you are frustrated and tired of repeating yourself, take a stand. Tell the child, in a loving but firm tone, that they must follow your directions before they can do anything else. If their room needs cleaned, shut off their t.v. and all other entertainment devices, take them to their room and either help them get started or leave them in there until the job is done (depending on their age, ability and task.) The first few times may be a battle and it may exhaust you but children learn quickly. If they figure out you mean business they will lose their desire to be obstinate and complete the task. The next time you direct them they will take you more seriously and the frustration level will decrease.

Remember, keep your messages loving but firm, clear and concise and specifically about the problem, not the child. Make sure your message states the problem as well as a solution.

Winter Skiing- Learning the Basics

Winter skiing is a very adventurous sport filled with lots of excitement & scenic views. To enjoy it fully you should be able to master it. If you just keep on falling here & there it will cut down the enjoyment part. For a beginner it is must to be prepared for a ski trip, otherwise it can be disastrous experience. Read on to learn few things you must keep in your mind when planning a ski trip.

Getting a good skiing gear is foremost thing to do. You should not aim to but the best & most expensive stuff from the market, rather keep your focus on some essential things. A helmet is vital for your safety as you are more prone to fall. Next come goggles which give you clear vision & protect your eyes from chilly weather. Dress yourself in layers instead of wearing a thick garment, this provides better insulation even in the extreme weather. Don’t forget to buy a good waterproof jacket & windproof pants, without which your gear won’t be complete. After this you are all set for winter skiing.

Find a good skiing resort & make sure you know the route well otherwise you may get lost. Parking may cause trouble, take help of guides to park your car safely. Do not carry too many things with you which may get lost, keep such things locked in the car for safety. Most skiing resort offer skiing lessons for amateurs. It is always preferable to take such lessons because it is difficult to figure out skiing by yourself. You will learn how to balance your body, how to lower the speed on a downhill & other important skills. Even if you fail to move forwards after trying few times, don’t break your heart you will learn it surely.

So you have learnt the basics, now you are all set to try your skills & master new ones. But keep in mind that every trail is different in difficulty. Therefore they are rated accordingly. The ratings may even differ from one mountain to other. Your first choice should be the easy one, to warm up the body. The easy ones are rated as green circles & most difficult ones are called black diamonds.

Even after taking all necessary precaution there are chances that you may get injuries. It may range from minor abrasions to a fracture also. One unique thing is frost bite, which occur due to low temperatures & can be very painful. By wearing good quality gear you can avoid it. Mountain sickness can also trouble you. It occurs due to lower oxygen pressure at high altitudes, presents with breathlessness & headache. Whenever you have any such problem do not hesitate to seek medical help.

To sum up, winter skiing is a unique adventure sport. Learn some basics & then set yourself up for a wonderful experience. Be informed & safe, happy skiing!

Keep Them Entertained This Summer Outdoor Games For Kids

Studies have shown that the recent trend of indoor entertainment can have a negative impact on children’s health. The plethora of new children-orientated television channels, the multitude of gaming consoles available on the market and the emphasis on technology directly correlate with overall poor health in the nation’s next generation. Childhood obesity is at an all-time high and more children are developing diabetes as a result of lack of exercise and frequent snacking. The rise of diagnosed ADHD has also been linked to the frantic over-stimulation of media-based entertainment. This is why outdoor games for kids are rising in popularity among health-savvy families.

Outdoor games for kids are often far cheaper than their indoor equivalents. There can be hours of fun derived from a single soccer ball, which often costs under ten dollars for a cheap plastic model. Compare this to the cost of a Playstation or Xbox game, which can cost nearly sixty dollars and are quickly discarded after one or two play-throughs. A soccer ball can provide entertainment for one child by himself, as he practices his dribbling skills or kicks the ball against a wall. Likewise, it can provide bonding and socialization opportunities as the child participates in a game of soccer with other kids from the neighborhood. The benefits from this are immediate and obvious: the child learns teamwork, co-operation with others, gets some exercise and has fun while doing it. What exercise is the child who sits indoors playing a soccer simulation game on a console getting, apart from occasionally moving his fingers,

There are also many cheap toys (under ten dollars) that can be used in outdoor play. A skipping rope can be used alone, which is an excellent form of exercise; or three people can take part in a complex skipping game with one child hopping up and down in the middle. A hula hoop is great for exercising belly muscles, and a favorite summer pastime for kids is seeing who can keep the hula-hoop in the air for longest while music plays. Another cheap outdoors toy is a skittles set – the game can be easily set up on a sidewalk or a quiet cul-de-sac, and several kids from the neighborhood can get involved in a skittles championship league. All of the above games are cheap and durable, and when taken care of properly will last your child for years.

Slightly more expensive, but equally as fun, are the more sports-orientated games. A baseball ball and mitt can provide hours of entertainment, as well as bonding time between family members. An additional bonus is that this hobby can become a lifetime one. The child could join a local Little League team, and continue the sport throughout high school and college. The child ends up having so much fun bowling and catching that they don’t realize that they are actually getting some exercise! Street hockey, with a junior-sized stick, is also a great way of incorporating actual sport into kid’s play.

The health benefits of outdoors play are undeniable, and the additional socialization that accompanies it is invaluable for a child’s development. The number of obese and unfit children is on the rise in America, and it’s time to buck the trend.

Serious Birth Disorders And Baby Issues

When you’re pregnant, you worry about every little thing that could go wrong. Thankfully, most babies are born healthy. There are, however, some serious birth disorders that you should be aware of, in the unlikely event that your baby is affected.

, Spina Bifida , This is a condition where the backbone, which protects the spinal cord, does not close properly during prenatal development. This condition can range from being a minor problem, if the opening is tiny, or can cause paralysis and other serious medical issues if the opening is large, or if the spinal cord itself is protruding. The exact cause is not known, though heredity does seem to play a role. So does nutrition, particularly when the mother does not have enough folic acid in her diet. Obstetricians have begun recommending folic acid supplements for women who are pregnant or who could become pregnant, and this has lowered the rate of this disease. You will probably be tested for spina bifida during your pregnancy. Many times it can be diagnosed in utero using ultra sound. Sometimes, surgery can even be performed on the baby in utero to correct the problem.

, Tay Sachs Disease , This disease is caused by an enzyme deficiency. Simply put, these babies do not break down fatty deposits in the brain and nerve cells. Unfortunately, it is not usually diagnosed at birth. When the child is several months old, this buildup of fatty deposits will clog cells, causing the baby’s nervous system to stop working. The child will begin to regress developmentally, always resulting in death. Tay Sachs is very rare, less than one hundred cases are reported in the US each year. It is caused by genetics. Both parents must have the gene for the disease to occur. It is most common in Jewish families of Central and Eastern European descent. If your ethnic background makes this disease a risk for your child, you and your partner can be tested for the gene before you become pregnant. In addition, the disease can be diagnosed in utero via amniocentesis.

, Down Syndrome- Down Syndrome is the term given to a set of symptoms that indicate some degree of mental retardation. Children with Down syndrome have a distinct set of facial features, a large tongue and a short neck. Down Syndrome varies widely in the degree of mental retardation that it causes. Some children are highly functional; others will require constant care. Down syndrome affects about one in 1300 babies in the US. It is most often caused by an extra chromosome coming from the mother or father. Down syndrome is more likely to occur when parents have already had a child with the birth disorder, and when the mother is over 35 years in age. Down syndrome can be detected via amniocentesis, which is why this test is common protocol for most pregnant women over the age of 35.

These are three of the most common birth disorders. To find out about more birth disorders, see my article in ,Mommy to Mommy , The Truth about Taking Care of Baby,, which can be found at .

Concerns And Expectations During Pregnancy

A woman’s life would not be complete if she would not have the experience of conceiving a child. Although there are some women who, under certain health circumstances, cannot bear one, there are now new ways of becoming pregnant. Artificial insemination, for example, is an artificial process of giving fertilization which is done by placing the sperm of the man into the female’s cervix or uterus rather than by natural copulation. Other women prefer adoption, but this kind of process usually takes time and money.

Being pregnant at the right time could be beneficial for the couple in many ways. Pregnancy often makes them even closer together, and this would be the turning point where they would feel and begin their own family. It also connects the couple in a very special way, and through getting pregnant they may develop more values regarding life and marriage.

Pregnancy is especially hard on the part of the woman. This is the time where they have to be extra health conscious by eating the right food, having proper exercise, ample rest, and sometimes getting what they want. Think of eating strawberry shortcake at 3 a.m., These requests can be a bit unreasonable, but to make the pregnant woman feel better, her husband would have to give make a way.

During the course of pregnancy, the woman might feel various complications that are considered normal when pregnant. Cramps during pregnancy can be mild to severe, depending on the mother’s health status. During the first trimester, women can experience cramps during implantation, which usually happens from eight to ten days after the ovulation period. Another cause for cramps would be the stretching of the uterus. The woman’s body will prepare for the baby by expanding and stretching the uterus, therefore causing mild cramps. Unfortunately, cramps can be accompanied by bleeding or spotting when there is a possibility of a miscarriage. Other causes of cramping during the first trimester would be due to gas pains and constipation, often leading to feelings of discomfort. In the course of the second and third trimester of pregnancy, cramps can also occur during pre-term labor and during early labor. These cramps are often accompanied by back pain.

Another common complication among pregnant women would be to experience nausea and vomiting. It occurs when a combination of physical changes and hormone levels take place during early pregnancy. This condition usually begins around the sixth week of pregnancy, and can happen at any time of the day. Although most women experience nausea and vomiting until the twelfth week of pregnancy, queasiness can also come and go during the nine month period. In most pregnant women, such feelings of nausea and vomiting affect their health, especially when it comes to eating. It is important not to skip meals even if one feels sick and queasy, so that the right amount of nutrients are given to the unborn child.

In controlling nausea and vomiting, keeping track of the woman’s diet is crucial. When waking up, try to eat a few crackers and rest for fifteen minutes before getting out of bed. Eating small meals can help in avoiding an empty stomach, and cold meals are recommended, since food odor can sometimes be annoying for pregnant women. Eating pickles, pretzels, bread, cake, watermelon, nuts, or mushroom soup can help in relieving the feelings of nausea. Getting plenty of rest, taking time off from work, fresh air, and even acupuncture can also relieve a pregnant woman from nausea and vomiting. By having regular check ups with the OB Gynecologist, pregnancy can be fairly easy for both husband and wife.