Dealing with Autistic Teenagers

For most parents, one of the most trying times in their lives is during their child’s teenage years. When puberty hits, young adults go through serious changes in their bodies and minds, and parents have little or no control over many situations. In an autistic child, puberty is no different. Although your autistic child is not experiencing puberty in quite the same ways as others his or her age, major hormonal changes still occur in the body. This can lead to extreme results, and this can be either good or bad depending on how your child reacts to the new hormone levels.

One of the scariest side effects of changes in an autistic person’s body is the onset of seizures. Many autistic individuals experience seizures from birth to adulthood, but even if your child does not suffer from these episodes, he or she may begin to experience seizures during puberty and afterwards, due to the new levels of hormones in the body. Strange as it may sound, violent shaking seizures are not necessarily a bad thing. Almost a quarter of autistic children experience seizures, but many go undetected because they are not textbook versions of seizures. If you recognize that your child is experiencing a seizure, you can do something about it, and doctors will be able to better treat your child. However, if the seizures are subconsciously happening, you and your child may not realize it. The result of these small hidden seizures can be a loss in function, which can be devastating, especially if you child was improving before puberty. Regular check-ups during puberty, therefore, are extremely important.

The changes might not necessarily be a bad thing. New hormone levels in the body and the other changes associated with puberty might help your autistic child grow and succeed in areas in which he or she normally had no skill or interest. Many parents report that their child’s behavior improved, and that learning in social settings was easier.

 

The important thing about puberty is to learn to monitor the changes in your child very carefully and to ask your doctor lots of questions. Remember that puberty is a difficult experience for any young adult, and so it will be even more difficult for someone with autism. Try to practice patience and understanding with your teen, and be careful to regulate his or her autism so that the transition from child to adult will go more smoothly.  

Child Care For WAHM’s

Many potential Wahms think that starting an at home daycare business will be an easy way to make extra money and stay at home with their children. Owning a childcare business can be rewarding and does have many perks. However, the realities of this type of business are far from the ideal expectations of most people considering childcare.

If you have experience in child care or a degree related to the child care field, then opening your own daycare as a Wahm is a natural extension of your our of the home job. However, there are a few important distinctions between working for someone else taking care of children and running your own in-home facility.

The first is money. At home childcare businesses can be profitable, but it normally takes six to eighteen months for Wahms to see any substantial income coming in. This may not be a problem for you, and if you are committed to building the quality and size of your business, the start of your profitability can be on the low end of that scale.

It takes several months to a year to turn a daycare into a profitable daycare for many reasons. First of all, each state has its own licensed childcare requirements. Getting licensed to have a home daycare means attending classes, passing certification and having your home inspected. While you are going through this process, you can look into doing some unlicensed childcare for a few children to start building your business. Each state has its own rules for unlicensed childcare. You should take the steps, however, to get licensed because it will increase your clout in the eyes of parents and make it easier to get funding for your daycare.

It can also take a while to become a profitable daycare because of the start up costs involved. While you do have some baby and child items from your own children, there are many things that you’ll need to buy in order to make your home functional as a daycare. You’ll want to buy tables and chairs, art supplies, music CDs, games and other activities that the children can use while they are in your home.

Finally, it takes time to build up a list of children who attend your daycare. There are many home daycare centers to choose from in every town, and once parents find a good center they normally stay there long term. Finding new clients can be difficult, especially if you don’t take care of infants or babies. Getting clients can be easier when you are licensed, but to begin with you need to rely on networking with parenting groups, people at your church, people in your community and friends in order to build your business.

Despite the long start up time, many Wahms find that owning their own in home childcare center is a great solution to their work at home problem. There are many benefits to taking care of other people’s children. Your children will never be without playmates to entertain them. You’ll have access to many fun and exciting programs made especially for daycare business owners, including discounts on supplies. You may even be eligible for federal subsidies for food and diapers for your cares.

 

To find out if owning a home daycare is right for you, read up on the subject. Visit other home daycares and ask how those Wahms are enjoying their business. Find out what your state and local regulations are regarding licensed and unlicensed daycare. Once you’ve done your homework, you’ll know if owning a childcare is right for you.

Day Care Issues: Separation Anxiety

Day care issues of facility policy, additional charges and late fees, and visitation rules are important issues but none seem as pertinent as the problem of separation anxiety. Few parents enjoy leaving their child with a stranger for hours at a time, and though there are benefits to child care it is hardly on your mind when faced with a child having a temper tantrum as you are trying to leave the daycare facility to head to work. So how can you ease this often temporary situation The solution lies within yourself to come up with creative and personalized ways to ease your child through one of the most difficult day care issues separation anxiety.

Not all children have day care issues such as separation anxiety. Some babies and children enjoy being around other children in a new environment, and take to daycare right away. Those parents are the lucky ones. But if you are experiencing any of the following situations at drop off time, there are changes you can make to get through this time of transition (because it will pass). Don’t mistake separation anxiety for misbehaving. Understanding your child’s fears is the first step.

Your child knows you as the source of comfort in his life and even the smallest of children will experience fear when seeing their mommy leave their surroundings and go away. What you say and how you say it can be understood by your child. If you have a baby you are nursing, try to schedule time to nurse your baby right before you leave. Holding and comforting your baby this way is a great way to make a connection, and talking to your baby helps to relax him. If you are feeling anxious about leaving your baby, he will most definitely sense this. If you have done your homework, and are confident in the environment in which you are leaving him, let this come through in your voice. Your tone of voice will reassure him you’ll be back soon and that you love him.

Your toddler invariably starts his tantrum early, before you even leave the house for the daycare center. Day care issues can impact the home environment as well but there are ways to get around this too. Start by being consistent. You have made up your mind to put your child in daycare, stick to the routine. Don’t look for ways to skip days; it won’t get your child through this transition period any smoother. Before bedtime, read storybooks that talk about daycare. Go to the library; the librarian can help you choose books geared to your child’s age. At the very least, talk to your child during story time; explain to him where you will be going and that you will be back for him when you are done working.

 

Day care issues such as separation anxiety can last for up to two weeks or longer depending on your child. If you feel he is he exhibiting more serious reactions at drop off time than previously or if he seems to be more upset or generally not your happy child, maybe an unannounced visit to the facility is called for. If you drop in and look around, you can help yourself get a better picture of how your child’s day is going. Maybe he is unhappy because the environment is unhealthy for him, and this is the only way he can tell you. Then it would be time to change day care facilities.

How to Manage Stress and Single Parenting

Being a single parent is not easy. It is like doing two jobs in one sitting. Single parenting requires you to be an understanding mother or a tough and a providing father all at the same time. Stress and single parenting, therefore, works together, giving single mom and dad a terrible headache every single day.

Stress and single parenting are the usual topics in self-help books in parenting. Psychologists believe that raising children and even just a child is a very stressful task that requires ample management of emotional, behavioral and spiritual aspect of a single parent. Without the proper guide from self-help books, counsellors, group therapy, a single parent will deteriorate emotionally due to stress.

So how could you manage stress and single parenting? Psychologists say that in order for a parent to manage both stress and single parenting, he or she should enumerate things that brings him or her the stressors.

The universal stressors in single parenting for a female parent is how she could manage her household while she works her way to earn a living for 8 to 9 hours during the day. Self-help books on how to manage stress and single parenting gives single moms a good advice.

Firstly, if their job requires them to be out of the house in the usual office hours, she could hire a nanny during those times that she is away. But if she wants to have a quality time with her child or children, it would be for the best if she would leave her day job and establish a work from home business or job.

The internet isn’t there to merely entertain us. In fact, billions of dollars worth of business deals have been transacted through the internet. Of course, this isn’t just on sales transactions — sales on goods sold such as in Amazon or Ebay — but also those transactions that pay off a service using Paypal or other online payment mode.

Yes, believe it or don’t, many people, single parent or not, who earn a living through the internet not for selling goods but for offering and selling a service.

If you are a fast typist, you can offer typing services through ‘telecommuting.’ It is a secretarial job that doesn’t require a single parent to be ‘on-site’ or at the place where the office is located.

Some employers, especially those who are always on the go, hire ‘virtual assistant’ to help them with clerical or typing or secretarial jobs. Employers simply email the typing or research job to their virtual assistant with the instructions on how to do it and when to submit it, and the virtual assistant shall submit to the employer the typing and research job at the time the employer has specified.

The virtual assistant will be paid online via Paypal or Online Checks, every 15th and 30th of the month, or as agreed by both parties.

This way you can manage both stress and single parenting. Even if your two children are howling at each other, you can pacify them while you are waiting for the next job that your virtual boss will give you. Working online or telecommuting is one of the best ways that you can manage stress and single parenting.

As for single dads, the problem that they usually face is how to keep in-tune with his child or children’s feelings and emotional needs. This is the most usual cause of stress with a male doing the single parenting.

Of course, unlike a single mom, not all single dads want to work at home. They feel that this is not a very manly job. To psychologists, however, single dads doesn’t have that much liberty to think this way.

Single parenting is totally different to regular parenting (a household with a mother and a father). A single parent must adjust to the usual activities expected of a ‘regular’ parent. So, a single dad must accept the fact that he can’t be just like ‘any other dad’ and work his bottom from sunrise till night.

 

A single dad needs to be at the side of his children, like a mother. If he can’t accept this fact, he cannot possibly manage stress and single parenting.

Good Parenting Can Involve Making Chocolate

As a parent, you always try and think of ways to entertain your kids while keeping them close to you. Making chocolate can be a real bonding moment that you can share with your off springs.

Children love the mess. And parents like to keep things tidy and clean. For this activity, you can all make an agreement to treat the process as messy as it can be. But all of you should also contribute to the cleaning part after the activity is done.

If you are a parent who is running out of creative juices on how to stop your toddler from running all over the house, then you must try this with the kid. Enjoy such moment while educating your kid that value of hard work and having rewards after.

If you don’t know anything about the methods, do not be sad. It will be more fun to be at the same level where your kids are when it comes to such activity. They will see you their equals and all of you can start the learning venture.

The most important part here is that you get to spend quality time with your kids. Actually, this activity can be done by the whole family. Allocate a budget to buy the ingredients and simple equipments for you to be able to head on with the process.

Your kids will definitely love you for it. While doing the task, you can explain to them some trivia, some facts and a lot about the processes of making chocolates. You can even inspire them to hone such talent to be able to profit from it when the right time comes. Through this, you will be able to instill to them proper values while they are enjoying themselves and learning from what you are all doing.

As a parent, it is also your duty to control your kids’ intake of the finished products. This will not be too hard especially that you have gained your kids’ trust when you have taught them about chocolate making. After the process, you must explain to them very clear that they should take chocolates at a minimum numbers.

You must take the extra effort of researching about the good and bad effects of chocolates to their bodies. This way, the craft is really becoming more of a learning process that your kids will surely thank you for when the right time comes.

Do not mind the mess as this can get really messy. Just ask your kids to promise that they will help out cleaning after the mess to be able to get to eat some of what you all have done.

Good parenting can be achieved in so many ways that you can think of. Sometimes, it takes extra effort to enjoy a fun-filled day with your kids. Do not mind the money for this activity. Seeing the happy faces of your kids will definitely erase all those doubts on you.

So head on to the grocery store. You can even ask your kids to come with you. You can start the process from there. You can remind them of tips and tricks in making chocolate. And as you all trail home, for sure, everybody will be looking forward into making their own treats while all is having a good time.

 

This will be a fun-filled bonding time that you will be able to feed the childhood memories of your children, just one step into good parenting. 

8 Fun Ideas to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

Do you have trouble getting your kids to eat their veggies? I sure do.

My daughter used to be great about trying and eating just about anything…and then she turned 2 ½. Now it is pretty much impossible to get her to eat anything other than corn when it comes to vegetables. So I had to come up with some fun and sometimes sneaky ways to get some veggies in her. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Make big pot of vegetable soup, and then add some fun noodle shapes. You can use alphabet noodles or look for some fun novelty shapes. You may be able to find some cartoon characters, toy and sports shapes etc. I have even seen pumpkin and Christmas tree shapes. With a little luck your kids will be too busy spelling words, or identifying the shape to notice all the veggies they are eating in the soup.

2. If you can’t make them eat it, make them drink it. Pour some vegetable juice over ice and add a straw, a cocktail umbrella or a stick of celery and watch them drink it up. Your kids may not get as much fiber as eating the entire vegetable, but getting them to drink their vegetables is better than not getting any vegetables in their system.

3. Have you tried offering them some raw vegetables with some ranch dressing to dip them in? Many kids who don’t care much for cooked vegetables will eat them up if they can dip them. Just grab a bag of baby carrots and cut up some red and yellow peppers and some cucumber. Arrange them on a plate with a little bit of ranch dressing or your favorite vegetable dip on the side.

4. Take it even a step further and let them create artwork out of their vegetables. Offer raw vegetables in different colors and shapes and encourage them to make a vegetable collage on their plate. You can easily make a face using slices of cucumber as eyes, a baby carrot as nose and a slice of red pepper as a mouth. You can use watercress or shredded carrots or even some cheese as hair. Before you know it, you’ll find them sampling their “art supplies”.

5. To get them to eat more vegetables at dinnertime try a little salad bar. Put out some lettuce, some sliced or chopped tomato, slices of cucumber, shredded carrot, slices of red and yellow peppers, small broccoli flowerets and anything else you can think of. You may also want to offer them some choices when it comes to salad dressing. Favorites in our house are Ranch, Italian, Catalina, and French. To top it all of set out some croutons and shredded cheese.

6. Get the kids together and make a cold vegetable pizza. Start out with a can of crescent rolls. Unroll the dough, but don’t pull the triangle shapes apart. Instead push the seams together and bake on a baking sheet according to the package directions. Let the sheet of dough cool completely, then spread with some crème cheese (we like a vegetable or herb flavored one) and top with some thinly sliced raw veggies. Cut into squares and serve.

7. Get them involved in the kitchen especially when it comes to cooking. Ask them to wash the vegetables, if they are old enough let them cut veggies (under your supervision of course), let them help you stir, or anything else you can think of that would be age appropriate. You’ll be amazed at how proud they will be of their finished product. Believe me, they’ll try just about anything if they made it.

8. If everything else fails, hide the vegetables in other food. My mom used to make us some special orange mashed potatoes. We thought it was very fancy, but all she did was to cook some carrots with the potatoes and mashed them right in there. You can also cover broccoli with tomato sauce or cheese. Think of a dish your child really enjoys and sneak a little bit of vegetable in there.

 

Give a few of these ideas a try and see which ones work best for your children. Keep at it and sooner or later they will start to develop a taste for vegetables.

7 Safety Tips for School Kids

Travelling to and from school is often not very safe. However, there are some simple rules that can help to make the school journeys safer, ensuring peace of mind for both children and parents.

1. Waiting for the school bus in the mornings, while traffic is at it busiest, requires a degree of commonsense. Try to have a safe place for children to wait at away from the street and heavy traffic.

2. Don’t let children move close to the school bus until it has come to a complete stop and the driver has signalled that it is safe to board.

3. At the end of the school day when children leave the bus, instruct your child to move away from the vehicle at least a dozen large strides to a point where the driver can clearly see them. This helps the driver and keeps the child safe as well.

4. Instruct your child to keep a close eye on all traffic near to the school bus. The law has some special protection measures for school buses, but car drivers are only human, and they can and often do make mistakes.

5. If your child walks to school, make sure he or she wears reflective material. Aim to make them as visible to as possible to all drivers. This will help to avoid accidents.

6. If a child rides a bike to school, instruct them to walk the bike through intersections, observe all traffic light signals, and be wearing reflective material. They should also be with a friend if possible as one can help to look out for the other.

 

7. If you take your own child to school in your car, always have older children in a seat with a safety belt on, younger children in a booster seat with a safety belt on, and very small children in special safety seats, all seated in the back with only you, the driver, in the front.

10 Reasons to Read to Your Child

We all know that learning to read is important, but as parents what do we do to facilitate this milestone?

Reading to your child has many benefits one of which is simply having time to snuggle together.
Here are 10 reasons to read to your child.

1. When you read to your child, he/she will learn that reading is important to you, therefore reading will become important to him/her.

2. The more your child hears sounds, the better he/she will process these sounds into words. When a child is preschool/kindergarten age the listening word starts to become the written word.

3. Reading has a calming effect on a restless or fussy baby. Who doesn’t want an easy way to calm a fussy baby?

4. Reading is a wonderful before bed routine. Studies have shown that a child will thrive in an atmosphere in which routines are present.

5. Reading will help to develop your child’s imagination. Have you ever gotten lost in a good book? Your child can do the same while you are reading to him/her.

6. Reading will foster your child’s ability to listen and pay attention. With all the problems we here about concerning attention spans this is a great way to avoid that.

7. Reading to a young child will teach him/her the correct way to hold a book and turn the pages.

8. Reading to your child will develop in him/her the desire to become a reader.

9. Teachers will thank you

10. When a child is read a personalized story book, he/she will be able to recognize his/her name in print at an early age.

 

Isn’t it exciting to think that you can have such an effect on your child’s ability to read just by reading to him/her? You have the power to develop a life long joy of reading and learning in your child. WOW! Just read.

Avoid Using Your Children as Pawns in Your Divorce

Too many adults divorce because they fail to effectively communicate with each other. They still have to remain in contact with each other though due to the children they have results from that marriage. It is very important to avoid using your children as pawns in your divorce though. Too many people do it, and the children are the ones that suffer for it.

Keeping the children from seeing their other parent as a way to get back at them for the hurt they have put you through is common. That is a way that many divorced couples punish each other. Yet the children are the ones who suffer from it because they are missing out on that relationship. Unless the other parent isn’t fit to have the children alone then you need to let them go at the set visitation times.

Many children do miss the other parent when they are staying with one. This can hurt the parent they are with. Yet it is important to understand that children have unconditional love for both of their parents all the time. Allowing the children to call the other parent when they miss them or even as a standard ritual before bed can help to relieve their anxiety. It will also allow them to enjoy their time with each parent more.

While children do need to know what is going on as far as the divorce is concerned, they don’t need to know all of the details. Important issues that have to be discussed between the parents should be done privately. Remember that little ears can hear a great deal so make sure they aren’t even around when you are talking about sensitive issues.

When issues arise that involve your children you will need to work together to resolve them. When the parents are offering the opposite solution just to be difficult it only hurts the child more. For example if you have a high school student that has been cutting school you need to come up with a course of action to make them responsible. If one parent thinks it is a big deal and the other parent doesn’t mind then it become an ongoing issue.

Children of divorced parents are going to follow the guidelines of the parent that is in their favor on set issues. I guess you could say it is one of the few perks that children of divorces couples are able to exercise. Yet this can lead to many more issues down the road. So instead of using the children to drive your ex spouse crazy find ways to work as a team to do what is in the best interest of your children.

Never under any circumstances should you be passing messages to your ex spouse through your children. That isn’t their responsibility and too often these children are being told to say things they don’t want to repeat. You also don’t want to be asking your children for information when they return from a visit.

It is fine to ask them what they did and if they had a good time. However, you will be overstepping the boundaries if you are asking specific questions. They shouldn’t have to tell you what was said, who was around, and other details of their time together with the other parent.

 

If you are having a hard time coming to terms with your divorce, seek professional counseling. You will be able to work through your emotions and set goals for your future. You don’t want to dwell on what has taken place or suppress your feelings. You want to be able to have a good life and to be there for your children in a positive way. Make sure you always stop t consider how our actions are going to affect your children before you engage in them. 

Children of Various Ages Will Deal With Divorce Differently

Some children are so young when their parents divorce that they don’t ever remember them being together. Others are old enough to always remember what took place. They will recall what they were doing when they found out about it and how it affected them. It is important for parents to understand that children of various ages will deal with divorce differently.

This means you are going to need to prepare yourself for what each of your children will understand about the process. For some children it is nothing more than knowing that their dad won’t be living in the same house with them. For others it is a complete change of life from the way they have always known it. On top of all of that, children of the same age group will also look at the divorce process differently.

Understanding the feelings of your children and how they relate to a divorce is extremely important. Very young children, even those that aren’t old enough to talk yet can understand the emotions of people. They can often identify issues such as stress, tension, and they definitely know when their parents are upset.

As a result of this their own behaviors may change. They may cling to one or both of their parents. They may not want to go to strangers. Temper tantrums as well as crying are common. A young child may exhibit changes in their eating and sleeping patterns as well.

Children from about three years of age to around five will be able to verbalize some questions about the divorce. They will often notice that the other person isn’t around like they used to be. They may pose questions such as why the other parent doesn’t go to the park with them or whey they live someplace else.

Children that are from the age of six to about eleven will likely know someone who has divorced parents. They will likely know what the term means. However, that doesn’t mean they are going to readily accept it. Be ready for some changes in behavior as well as some very tough questions.

Displays of anger are very common with this age group as the children are simply overwhelmed by their emotions. They may lack the skills to effectively be able to handle what has been taking place. Do your best to get them to talk about it even if they aren’t sure what they are feeling or why.

Older children who are from twelve and up often understand more about divorce than any other age group. They may blame themselves or attempt to find more detailed answers as to what was taking place. Chances are that this older age group was well aware of some issues in the marriage before the announcement of the divorce entered the picture.

It is very common for children in this age group to be angry at one parent and to want to be a caregiver for the other. Do your best to get your child to see both parents as equals. If you can offer a united front as far as the divorce and caring for the children though it will be easier for them to do so. Children don’t need to be your confidante when it comes to the divorce. Turn to another adult for someone to listen or to a professional counselor.

Children of various ages will deal with divorce differently and parents need to be aware of it. This is going to be a huge change for each person involved. Adults need to get a handle on their own emotions though so that they can focus their energy on meeting the needs of their children.

 

How you approach things with your children during the divorce process is going to affect them for the rest of their lives. With that in mind work hard to have a relationship with your ex on some level. Even if it is nothing more than a hello and goodbye when you exchange the children, the kids will notice it.