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Chiropractic Care for Ear Infections
By: Erin Chapman
At twenty months old, my son was diagnosed with his first of many ear infections. In the next two years he was on antibiotics to treat an ear or sinus infection following every cold he had. By the time he was four and one-half he was getting ear infections without any apparent cause. I remember talking with the pediatrician at his office while he prescribed my son’s second course of antibiotics in one month. I asked him how my son could have another ear infection when he hadn’t even had a cold. The doctor’s response was that maybe it was time to consider putting tubes in his ears. The thought of having tubes inserted in his ears was worrisome. Then, through chance, I discovered a more effective treatment that has left my son free from chronic ear infections. Happily with this treatment, no medications and surgery are involved. This treatment involves chiropractic manipulation.
According to government statistics, in 1996, the number of acute ear infections in children under age five was eleven million. As parents, we don’t need statistics to tell us what a common condition ear infections are. If your child hasn’t had such an infection, you know someone who’s child has. The standard protocol used by pediatricians for treatment of otitis media is antibiotics. However, there is now an increasing concern that such antibiotic use may promote the spread of more dangerous antibiotic resistant bacteria. In a statement, Jeffrey P. Koplan, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, said “Although antibiotics work for bacterial infections, we now know that they are not effective for many conditions for which they have been prescribed including fluid accumulation in the middle ear, colds, and bronchitis.”
The next step in treating repeated ear infections, commonly recommended by pediatricians is an operation in which tubes are inserted through the eardrums. In this procedure, a small cut is made in the child's eardrum and fluid in the middle ear is drained out. Then a tiny plastic tube is fit into the slit. The tube acts as a ventilator, allowing air to get into the middle ear. Ear tubes are not a cure for ear infections. Some children continue to get ear infections, even with the tubes. It may be advised that children with ear tubes who continue to get recurrent ear infections have an adenoidectomy, which is surgery to remove the adenoids.
Another option some parents consider is the use of Prevnar, or heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), a new immunization developed to treat children who have a high risk of bacterial infection such as a child with an immune deficiency. It was found that Prevnar may also reduce the number of ear infections in children with a history of recurrent ear infections. Although, dubbed by some parents as “the ear infection vaccine”, it is not yet approved by the FDA for this indication. It is estimated that children with recurrent ear infections who are vaccinated will have only about a 10-20% lower chance of having recurrent ear infections.
I had never considered exploring anything but the conventional treatment for my son’s chronic ear infections until I happened to be visiting a chiropractor for the first time to treat my hip pain. The chiropractor encouraged me to bring my whole family into chiropractic treatment. Despite the thought that the chiropractor may just be trying to boost his income, I was swayed by his genuine belief that regular chiropractic care was necessary to the general health of the human body for people off all ages.
Bradford T. Butler, Doctor of Chiropractic, who’s practice is in Oakland, New Jersey, explains “Chiropractic is the philosophy, art and science for the detection and removal of vertebral subluxations. In plain English, that means when the bones, which make up your back get stuck out of normal position, they press on the nerves. This pressure chokes off the messages the nerves are carrying. The nerves carry these messages to keep the body balanced and well. Chiropractic care removes the interference that prevents optimum body function.”
Before I allowed my son to visit the chiropractor, I took time to observed other children receiving chiropractic treatments and asked my pediatrician if there was any reason not to have my son receive chiropractic treatments. The pediatrician had no objections.
According to Dr. Butler, “ Studies have shown that chiropractic care is superior to medicine in caring for children with ear infections. That being said, it must be stated that chiropractors do not directly treat any medical problems (medically diagnosed conditions). However, there is a most significant relationship with the functioning of the child’s ears and the nerves which run through the upper neck. By adjusting the child’s spine we remove the blockages in and to the ear, allowing the ear to heal. If the child’s spine is kept clear of subluxations this prevents ear infections from returning”.
My son began his chiropractic treatments two years ago, and he continues to this day with a weekly visit. Since then he has only been on antibiotics once. The need for us to consider ear tubes is now nonexistent. Why didn’t my pediatrician suggest chiropractic treatment as an option for the treatment of chronic ear infections? Perhaps it is that medical doctors are indeed trained in the use of medicines to treat the symptoms of disease. Thankfully, we are seeing a general shift in the conventual wisdom that allows alternatives to medicines to be tried and found effective. At my son’s six year well care check up, my pediatrician did comment that chiropractic care does seem to work in the case of chronic ear infections. As a parent, I am happy to have found a way to improve my child’s health without the use of medication and surgery.
If you would like more information on Chiropractic care for kids contact the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association at 1-800-670-5437 or log on at www.4icpa.org.
By: Christine L. Pollock
Did you guess who the artist of the week was before you saw the title? He is French and like the composer, Ravel, his works portray a kinship with children. Edmund Dulac was an illustrator who was born in Toulouse, France on October 22, 1882.
This birth year is actually extremely important . If he had been born just a bit earlier, we might never have heard of him. The technology of his day helped make him famous. In the 1890’s a printing method was used that made it possible to print color reproductions over and over economically. It was called “color separation”. This process was exactly what Dulac needed for his illustrations.
Edmund showed a talent for art when he was very young. As he worked on his art, a favorite medium was watercolors. This was a medium that he continued to have a preference for throughout his life. Although he enjoyed his artwork, Dulac ended out going to school to study to be a lawyer. While he attended the law school, he also took classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts where he won a prize. Soon, he discovered that art was a much greater passion for him than law and he stopped going to the law school and went to art school full time. In 1901 and 1903, he won the Grand Prix for paintings he entered into annual competitions.
As he started his career in London, a new method of printing was becoming very popular. The “color separation” that was mentioned previously helped color illustrations to be mass-produced. Back in earlier years, pictures that were to be copied were made into blocks of each color in the picture. The colors would have to be aligned correctly and this took a great deal of time. For many pictures, it also took a large number of blocks.
Color separation used the theory that all colors basically came from three subtractive primary colors (a deep reddish color called Magenta, a bluish color called Cyan and Yellow). The color black was used to define details. First, an artist would do an original piece of art which would be photographed four times with filters of each of the three subtractive primary colors. It would also be photographed with a black plate. The negatives were used for printing plates. The paper goes through the printing press and each plate picks up its own color onto a roller and then the color is put onto the paper. The colors will mix on the paper, and the color illustration will appear.
This type of printing was especially useful for an artist like Dulac, who worked so much with water colors and did not depend much on heavy black lines for shape definition. A publisher named J. M. Dent assigned Dulac to illustrate a book of works for the Bronte sisters. He ended out illustrating many books in his career. One of his most famous works was “The Arabian Nights” http://dulac.artpassions.net/.
In 1913, Dulac’s work began to change. He started working with brighter colors and developed an oriental style. It is interesting that he was inspired by the Orient just as the composer we looked at last week was. Maurice Ravel used the Oriental story of The Ugly Little Girl in his Mother Goose Suite.
Dulac was also supportive of the war effort. In WWI, he started working on relief effort books. In fact, his book. Edmund Dulac’s Picture Book for the French Red Cross was the only book done by a single artist.
After 1916, Edmund Dulac did caricatures for a weekly newspaper entitled The Outlook. He also painted portraits and designed costumes and sets for theatre productions. In addition to this, he designed stamps for Britain and designed the backs of playing cards, chocolate boxes, bookplates and medals.
He continued book illustrations right up until his death in 1953. His last book was published after his death. I know that his paintings lit a spark in my imagination when I was younger. I had prints of his works in my home day care ten years ago because they brought so much delight to children. One of my favorites is Sleeping Beauty at http://surlalune.tripod.com/illustrations/sleeping/dulacsleep8.html. I especially love the hovering cherubs in the picture.
As I researched Dulac this week, I think the ideas of the printing press interested me the most. What fun we could have with the children in experimenting with colors and imprints! It leads us right in to analyzing Dulac’s paintings and discussing why his works were so perfect for this new discovery of color light separation.
Get craft foam and make a picture with pieces of it. Dip in paint and try to line up the pieces on a paper to make a picture. Talk about the old style of printing with “blocks”. Was it easy or difficult?
Put a glob of think blue paint on a paper and use a 3x5 card to spread it around. Do the same with red paint and yellow. Use the cards and scrape the colors into each other to make other colors. Try to make a picture with these colors.
Paint a picture with watercolors. Paint another picture as similar to the first picture as possible. When they are both dry, take a black marker or black paint and outline the figures in the painting. Compare and contrast the pictures. Which do you like better? (There is no wrong answer here). Do you like the outlines? Does the painting without lines look softer?
Illustrate a cover for your favorite story. Better yet, make up your own story then illustrate it.
For a fun snack, disinfect the paint brushes (or use brand new clean ones). Fill some cups with water and drop in food coloring with the basic colors. Have the children “paint” white bread. Encourage mixing colors to make new colors. Toast the bread and eat it!
A good book to read with the children over the week is Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. It is a cute story that talks about colors.
At this point I am not sure what composer I am going to write about next week. It is going to be either a musician from the Orient or a musician inspired by the Orient. The fact that Debussy, Ravel and Dulac found so much inspiration there makes me want to learn more. Please e-mail me at Music.CCMag@Eudoramail.com if you have any great suggestions! Have a great week.
Question & Answer Weekly Column,
By: Ed Kemper
Welcome readers. As August continues to drudge on and the temperature soars,
don’t forget the dangers of overheating. Be sure to keep a good supply of
suntan lotion and a steady flow of water. This taken care of, you can sit
down and e-mail me those nagging questions at:
Q. I’ve given birth to twins. Yet I have such a difficult time trying to
breastfeed both of the babies. I’m so worried about having to turn to
formula because I’ll stop producing. Do you have any tips on breastfeeding
to make this stressful time any easier?
A. Don’t worry. Here at Child Care Magazine, we have answers and tips for
just about anything. Nutrition, health, rest, and relaxation are four key
elements. Nutrition involves eating the proper foods and listening to what
the doctor tells you your body needs. Nodding your head at the doctor but
ignoring their advice is definitely not the key here. Yes, I’ve seen this
many times. This also ties in closely with health. Don’t forget any of your
follow up appointments for yourself. Keeping your baby healthy is very
important, but if you don’t watch your own health you won’t be able to
properly care for your babies. Rest, a parent’s fondest wish, can be yours.
Try to get as much quality rest as possible. This includes during
breastfeeding. Sit down in a quiet, restful place to feed your children.
Relaxation often is not in a parent’s vocabulary, but it’s still needed.
Stress can be the worst element you face in breastfeeding. It is a proven
fact that stress can keep a woman from producing milk. So watch these four
elements and check out the following links for help.
Q. I was just diagnosed as being pregnant. But the doctor tells me I’m
high-risk. Where can I find information about high-risk pregnancy?
A. Diagnosed? Being pregnant is not actually an illness. At least, not until
they are teenagers. Seriously though, here are some excellent resources on
Q. I believe my child is hyperactive. How old do they have to be to be
A. The best answer to that is to call your doctor to find his policies. I
know one doctor who won’t test them before the age of five and another
doctor who won’t test before the age of six. Your doctor can tell you what
his policy is. However, here is a link with ten good indicators.
Several other “top tens” for this subject can be found at: http://topten.org
Here are a few other links to help you if your child is diagnosed.
Q. My 12-year-old son just told me he was “gaming.” I asked him what this
was and he tried to explain to me what role-playing was. A friend of mine
told me it was demonic? How do I know if it is?
A. Very interesting question. RPGs are not demonic. You’ll find that
soothsayers of this subject don’t know what they are talking about. Has you
friend ever “gamed?” I doubt it. So therefore she knows squat about this
subject. This is the same ignorance as is shown in racism and sexism.
Ignorance is ignorance, regardless of what subject it targets. Role playing
games are about as evil as reading or make believe. Telling a boy he is bad
for participating in an RPG is about the same as telling a little girl that
she is bad for having her little “tea party.” Relax, mom, his soul is fine.
Well, that’s this week’s questions. Be sure to stay tuned for next week’s Q
and A. Until then, have a great week and be sure to keep the e-mails coming
Q and A Columnist
Work At Home? Part 3
By: Jenifer B. McCrea
Last week we ran down some of the websites that advertise work-at-home opportunities. So for this week’s column, I pulled out a copy of American Baby magazine. In addition to their classified listings for adoption services, birth announcements and financial planning, they have business opportunity and work-at-home classified sections. I followed up on four of the ads, and here is what I found.
Assemble Products at Home!
I chose to call the 1-800 number and I listened to an associate Tina. I say listened because although Tina was live, she asked me for only yes or no answers until she got to the part where she wanted my credit card number.
Basically, the schpiel goes like this; The company name is NFP and they have been in business for 22 years. They work with 70 research companies and have legitimate jobs for at-home telemarketing, home assembly, arts and crafts. Beaded accessory assembly pays up to $350.00 a week, wood product assembly pays up to $220.00 a week, and all jobs can be done at home, and do not require you to do direct sales. For a mere $44.95 they will send a booklet and you can then look through the descriptions of the jobs available and contact the company of choice, although some companies will require a deposit. NFP services don’t stop with the booklet, though, oh no! You can access trained agents to help you on a special 1-800 number, and can call another 1-800 number to get new company listings weekly. You can choose instead to receive 400 company listings via email, still $44.95, because that buys you a lifetime membership. They will refund your money if any company rejects you – but you have to send them a copy of the rejection letter, so if a company just doesn’t respond to you, you are out of luck.
Remember what I said- if they want money up front they are probably a scam. There is a lot of money to be made out there, but I somehow doubt that you can make $350.00 a week for stringing beads.
All I could get here was a recorded message that wanted me to leave my name and number and they would get back to me. According to the recording, you can make up to $529.00 a week with no experience working from your home. It is a limited opportunity so don’t wait! I pulled out back copies of American Baby and in the previous four copies I found the same ad ran with the same telephone number. Limited huh?
One of the scams out there, and I can’t be sure that this is one of them, is to place ads in various publications and have a recording on a 1-800 number to leave a message for a free booklet. Once you get the brief booklet they ask you for a deposit of anywhere from $30-$100 to get started, or to show you are serious. The frauds range from import/export to type at home businesses.
I called and after an extended period of time on hold I finally got a live operator. She knew absolutely nothing about what was in the “information packet,” and told me that she had been told that the packet would answer all my questions. That was two weeks ago, and I still have not received any kind of information packet.
If you read last weeks column you read quite a bit about a company called NIC, National Information Corporation. This website leads you into NIC and their scam. Here is some of what I wrote about them last week.
The gist of it is they say they researched companies in the US or Canada that have “little or no” start up costs. They cover themselves by not guaranteeing any specific income. They also want to send you either a database (only good for six months, then presumably you have to fork over another $40.00) or a set of books (no expiration date) with said companies listed and then you can spend your time and money trying to contact them. NIC has a whole list of prices with various packages, starting at $36.99 for a database, $39.99 for a set of books.
The Price for the Mystery Shopper database is only $28.99 and it includes a “freebie.” Access to www.freebiesgalore.com is included. They list it as a $19.95 value, but I checked the price of access to freebiesgalore.com, and it’s purchase price was only $9.95. And the price list looked strangely similar to NIC’s pricelist and checkout system.
Some final warnings. Just in case you don’t believe me that you should never pay for a job here is a little fact for you. In my research I found that businesses are allowed to write off money they pay for training, startup materials, any costs associated with a new hire. However, if they pass that cost on to you, they have to list that as income and be taxed on it. Why would any legitimate business want to pay taxes when they could get a write off instead? Simple – they wouldn’t.
There are companies out there who want you to work from home. Unfortunately, they usually require you to have some sort of experience with something, and don’t pay nearly as much as you see advertised on telephone poles and in ads in the back of magazines. It will take you some time to find them, but consider it an investment, and it will be worth it. Just because a business is legal doesn’t make it legitimate, so do your research, check with your local Better Business Bureau, and ask for references. A legal and legitimate business won’t mind providing you with documentation of their legitimacy.
Short-Term Day Care Contractual Agreement, Form
By: Victoria L. Pietz
I/we __________________________________________________have read the Policy Handbook and will comply to all the provisions contained herein, and shall at this time enter into agreement with _____________________________________for care of my/our child ______________________, with the understanding that we shall work together on behalf of the child.
Starting on __________________.
Length of enrollment from _____________ until _________________.
Days and times of enrollment:
Monday __________Time: From____________ To _______________
Tuesday __________Time: From ____________To _______________
Wednesday ________Time: From ____________To _______________
Thursday _________Time: From _____________To _______________
Friday ___________ Time: From ____________ To ______________
Prearranged overtime is $5.00 per 15 minutes increment or any portion thereof. When not prearranged, there will be a $1.00 fee per child every minute starting after 15 minutes when not prearranged plus the original $5.00 fee for the first 15 minutes. ALL overtime fees will be collected on Friday of that week.
The agreed upon rate for this service is ______________________and will be paid on
M T W TH F weekly/biweekly beginning on _________________________. Late payment is $3.00 per day until full payment of fees are collected. Any payments will be taken off of the late fee first. There will be a $30.00 charge for checks returned for any reason. Two returned checks due to insufficient funds will require you to pay in cash. If supplies are requested and parents fail to bring them, we will purchase them and add them to your bill.
If child is not in day care for any day/week, the agreed upon rate will still be in effect unless other terms are prearranged with provider.
Changes made by the provider, parent(s) or guardian(s) to the terms of the agreement must be mutually agreed to beforehand by the provider and parent(s) or guardian(s) who are parties to this agreement. Otherwise this agreement will remain in effect until termination of care as set forth herein.
SIGNED _______________________________DATE ____________________
Parent(s) or Guardian(s)
SIGNED ______________________________DATE _____________________
Parent(s) or Guardian(s)
I have discussed and reviewed this contract with
And agree to provide childcare for ___________________________________. To be placed in my home as long as the terms of the contract are upheld.
Legal Address ________________________________________________________
Failure to comply with policies and procedures may result in termination of all services. This agreement is in effect until ______________. Flexibility of the provider about policies does not void his/her rights to uphold the policies at a later date and does not make the contract invalid.
Termination of Contract
This contract shall be terminated if any one or more of the following occur.
Serious illness of a child preventing attendance.
The account becomes delinquent.
Child Care determines it is unable to meet the needs of the child.
Child Care determines it is not in the best interest of Child Care or the Child(ren) enrolled to have the child in attendance.
Failure of the parents to cooperate with Child Care, which Child Care determines is serious enough to warrant termination.
Parental Termination-required to give a written two-week notice for which you will be charged your normal child care rates. Advanced payment is required for the entire two-week period and is due upon Child Care receipt of written notice.
In the event that Child Care becomes full and we have a need for a full time opening, we reserve the right to either ask for full time care pay, full time care or termination. So we can fill the spot with a full time care child.
The length of enrollment agreed upon has been fulfilled.
DATE OF TERMINATION OF CONTRACT _______________________________
Short-term Day Care Contractual Agreement, Article
By: Victoria L. Pietz
In order to meet the needs of your clients, you may have to provide part-time, short-term or before and after school child care. Just as you should have a signed contract for a child you plan to take care of for the entire year, you should also have a signed contract for each child you temporarily watch.
A contract will help everyone understand exactly what is expected. Communication is very important. A contract does not have to be difficult to go over with your client. I have prepared a sample Short-term Day Care Contractual Agreement. You can change the contract to fit your needs. It will help you run your childcare facility the way you think it should be run. There are areas in the contract where you may need to put your business name in. For sure you will want to insert your business name where I have capitalized Child Care.
People change jobs and work different hours more than they ever did. Sometimes a past client will need you to fill a void for a few short weeks. You may have been taking care of a child for a few years and it is time for them to go off to school; the parents may still need your services before and after school. Some parents may need your services in the summer when school is out. Make a new contract each time your clients needs change. This way, there are no questions for either party as to what to expect. Due to the varying needs of your clients, you need to make sure you have the enough room and supervision available. Make sure you know your limits as well.
Babysitter Checklist, Form
By: Annie Arriaga
While I am out, I will be at (location and phone number): _________________________________________________________________________
Medications, Allergies, etc.:_________________________________________________
My child/children special likes and dislikes:_____________________________________
Family Doctor:____________________________ Phone Number:___________________
Neighbor’s Name, Address and Phone Number:__________________________________
Parents Night Out:
What to Do when the Babysitter Arrives
By: Annie Arriaga
Okay, you have found the "perfect" babysitter for your children. The references from previous employers were favorable, their fees were reasonable and your children just adore them. You’re ready to "take on the town!" Before you walk out the door, here are a few things to consider when the babysitter arrives:
Ask the babysitter to arrive at least 15-20 minutes before you leave. Let the sitter know exactly where you will be and how you can be reached. Be sure to leave your telephone number (cell phone and/or beeper) near the phone. For the first night out, try to be at a location that is close to home and keep the evening at two to three hours.
Take the sitter on a tour through the house and make sure they know where the exits, fire extinguisher, smoke detectors and first-aid kit in your home are located. Provide an emergency lists with the names and telephone numbers of close friends or relatives in case you can not be reached. Also, list information for the nearest hospital, children’s family doctor and the poison control center. Geoparent.com has a neat interactive Babysitter Information Sheet where you add your pertinent information, press the "create" button and a personalized checklist is created for you. Their website address is http://geoparent.com/home/childcare/babysitterlist.htm or you can use the babysitter’s checklist form included with this article (see checklist).
Leave the babysitter a list of any current health problems that your child may have and explain to the sitter what the treatment or medication prescribed for them will be. If the sitter is required to give them medication while you are out, have the medicine pre-measured in advance or have the babysitter practice measuring out the correct dosage until you are comfortable that they can do it properly. For more information on children's health see www.kidshealth.org.
Go over any "house rules" and make sure that your children are aware that the babysitter is in charge while you are away. Discuss what is permitted for both the sitter and the children. For example, no visitors or guests are allowed television and telephone usage, snacks and acceptable bedtime rules.
Personally make sure that all door and windows are locked. Should the telephone ring, while you are out, advise the babysitter-do not tell the caller that they are alone with the children. Have the sitter take a message. The babysitter should stay awake during their stay in the house. Children should be watched carefully while they are awake and protected from any household accidents. At bedtime, the children should be looked in on and check regularly when they are asleep.
Your child may become apprehensive and cry when you try to leave. This is a normal reaction and should not deter you from going out. Reassure your child that you will return and try and call home fifteen minutes after you have left to check-in on them. Most likely, your child will be all right and their feelings of separation anxiety will have disappeared.
Upon your return home, ask the babysitter if everything went well and if anything unusual happened (i.e. telephone calls, any visitors, etc.). Unless they have transportation provided, make sure that the babysitter arrives home safely. Once the sitter has left, ask your child whether or not they enjoyed the being with the babysitter. Remember the most important thing is that your child feels safe and secure in the capable hands of the babysitter while you are away – have a great time!
Happy Birthday Tips
By: Sharon Wren
It’s the day of your child’s birthday party. You got the perfect
decorations, the cutest cake and the best goodie bags. You feel pretty good
about the whole day. Then one of the mothers informs you that there’s no
toilet paper in the bathroom and you suddenly remember you forgot to buy
more. We parents try so hard to make our children’s birthdays memorable;
don’t let your child’s be the one where Mama had to do damage control. Here
are 10 tips to help make the whole event run smoother.
Make sure you have plenty of napkins. When you have kids and
refreshments, somebody’s bound to spill something. Don’t hope that what you
already have in the cupboard will suffice; play it safe and buy one of those
large packages of plain napkins. The cutesy ones are fine for wiping little
faces but when the lemonade is flowing all over the table, you’ll want lots
Have extra toilet paper, soap and towels in the bathroom. Not in the
linen closet, but in the bathroom, in plain sight. It’s not much fun to be
stuck in the bathroom and no one is around to hand you another roll of
Just because most of the children invited to the party are the same age
as your child doesn’t mean that older and/or younger children won’t come
too, so have activities in mind for them. Crayons can keep toddlers amused
and if you don’t have enough coloring books, visit Crayola’s website at
http://www.crayola.com and print up a few blank pictures for them. Older
children can always make do with a movie; if you don’t have a tape or DVD
that’s suitable, consider renting something in advance, just in case.
Have basic first aid supplies on hand. In addition to the usual
bandages and antibiotic cream, have antacids and aspirin for the parents and
acetaminophen, Emetrol (for upset tummies) and syrup of ipecac on hand for
the kids. No one likes to feel miserable at a birthday party.
Check with parents to see if any of your guests have allergies and have
them bring antihistamines. Peanuts, eggs and bee stings can be dangerous to
a child with allergies. Even if you take precautions, the worst can always happen
and it’s much better to be prepared.
If you have a swimming pool, enlist several adults to help you keep an
eye on the kids. You may have only indoor activities in mind for the party,
but you never know when a child will sneak out to the pool. Make sure at
least a couple of the adults know CPR.
If the party is to be held outdoors, have backup activities planned in
case of rain. You don’t want to be frantically looking for games with a
room full of surly third graders who were ready to play in the sprinkler all
afternoon. Don’t count on running the bunch to the local pizza place
because it may already be booked for a party. Besides, you run the risk of
somebody’s mom showing up early to pick up her child and finding no one at
Lock up anything that could even remotely be embarrassing. You may
think the party will be confined to the backyard or the living room, but
kids tend to wander. Now is not the time for a controversial book or adult
“toy” to be making an appearance.
Try not to leave all the cleaning and decorating for the day of the
party. Do as much as possible early in the week. Shopping for supplies can
be done a few days ahead of time and decorating can be done the night
before. Save mopping and vacuuming for the morning of the party, unless you
can manage to keep your family off the floors – if you clean the floors
early, somebody’s bound to spill or track something.
Get a good night’s sleep the night before! After all your hard work
and planning, you want to be cheerful and bright eyed, or at least look that
Your goal for the party should be to make it fun and memorable, in a good
way, for your child and the guests. Careful planning will ensure a good
time for everyone – including Mama.
By: Bernie Knox
The Americans with Disabilities Act is bringing more and more people with disabilities into the mainstream, to mix with the general public. A wonderful thing all around, but everything good comes with baggage. I have heard people in wheelchairs, and those who attend them, complain that others talk to the attendant about the person in the wheelchair, when it would be appropriate to converse with the person in the wheelchair. That is not likely to be a problem for you as a parent. But a letter to Miss Manners has me thinking about a problem that will come up often, both now and in future years, no matter what the disability.
The specific complaint that Miss Manners chose to print was about total strangers reciting lists of people they know who use wheelchairs, along with the reasons in each case, followed by an inquiry like this; "so, what happened to you?"
"I don’t want to relate my medical history to total strangers," the writer said, "how can I respond to this rudeness?"
Miss Manners advised a frosty response that would make me leave in a hurry, if it was delivered to me. That brings me to the matter I mean to discuss today. People with disabilities, and those who attend them, are going to meet up with a lot of clumsy approaches from people who really are trying to find some common ground, but just have no idea how to go about it. Nice people, who would know just what to do if they encountered someone who seemed to need a hand getting into an elevator or crossing the street, now find themselves frequently face-to-face with people who are clearly less fortunate than themselves, and expect them to carry on casual conversations anywhere and everywhere. These people try to oblige. They really do. I beg you to try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Today’s children are mixing more than ever before, but there are good reasons to think that able-bodied people are always going to have a tough time striking up conversations with new acquaintances who are handicapped in various ways. One reason for that is that there are so many different kinds of disabilities. It makes it very, very difficult for people to read each other’s body language. One person has full mobility, except for the legs. Another has no neck movement, maybe no facial mobility to speak of. One person has supple hands, another has not. A whole lot of signals are built around subtle movements of the body. The burden cannot help but fall to those with disabilities, to make statements about what they can and cannot do physically, in order to help others read their body language.
Suppose, for instance, you tell me a joke. As soon as the punch line is delivered, you expect a response of some kind. Did I find it funny? Am I offended? Will I make a polite response, trying to cover up the fact that I didn’t find the joke funny?
Translated to body language, will I throw my head back and laugh? Will I give you a stony stare? Will I fidget a moment, hoping the humor will reveal itself, and when it doesn’t, laugh as heartily as I am able without any feeling?
It might seem like a joke is not the first thing one person would say to another, but it is. Well, not always, of course, but often enough.
Suppose we are waiting at a bus stop. I am in a wheelchair, and you are standing next to me. Across the street, a couple is arguing, and you notice that there is something funny in what they have just said. You also notice that I seem to be watching, too. So you lean toward me and relate what you found funny. Maybe you even laughed in advance. In fact, your attempt to share the joke may be to let me know that the joke is not on me.
Now, maybe I heard what you said. Maybe not. Perhaps I missed most of it because I had not been expecting it and was thinking about something else. I should turn my face toward you and blink a lot, opening my eyes wide between blinks. I should hold my eyes open wide while I apologize and ask you to repeat whatever it was you seem to have said to me.
But what if I am unable to perform all that? I can turn my head, but my face is very stiff. What you will see, then, is a stony stare. You will think that you have offended me, unless I explain to you immediately why I am looking at you like that. Next time, you will be afraid to speak to me.
So practice with your child and a mirror. Play roles. You be the one who has the disabilities your child has. Let her see how her body language looks to someone else in different situations. Let him pretend to be the able-bodied person making the first move. Of course, you will have to explain the expected body language, and help her figure out how to handle her lack of access to it. You will have to try to think like a person who seldom sees anyone like your child, so that you can give pointers that will work. If you expect him to be out in public alone in a few years, you better start practicing right now.
The person who wrote to Miss Manners apparently has quite enough friends already, thank you. Not everybody does.
I have been thinking, also, about the conversational difficulties that lead to people focusing on the disability for a conversation-starter, and how to handle it gracefully. I like to keep these articles brief, though, so I will get to that next week.
Stretch Your Defenses with Yoga
By: Heather Haapoja
Take a moment from your busy, stress-filled life to find peace and relaxation through yoga. If you’re unfamiliar with yoga, you may imagine turbaned, pretzel-like contortionists chanting “ohm…ohm” but the reality is that anyone can do yoga. Even better, one of the main rules of yoga is if something hurts, don’t do it. No, none of that “feel the burn” stuff in yoga class. Yoga is all about achieving harmony between mind and body. What could be more calming?
Rooted in 5000-year-old Hindu religious practices, the yoga breathing techniques and poses that are used today for their health benefits are known as Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is used in the treatment of many types of ailments because it is known to improve the muscular and circulatory systems and aid in cleansing and relaxing the mind and body. Essentially, yoga improves health conditions by minimizing stress.
In a study done by scientists at City University in New York City, 63 students volunteered to take a beginning yoga class. After only one class, the students reported feeling less anxious, tense, depressed, angry and fatigued immediately following the class. *
So, what does yoga really involve? Put simply, it involves three basic disciplines, which are breathing, postures and meditation.
Breathing – In an earlier column (see O2 for Stress Relief) we discussed the importance of proper breathing from the diaphragm. In yoga, this slow, deep breathing technique is an essential part of the relaxation, cleansing and energizing process. As you move into more advanced yoga classes, you will also learn more advanced breathing techniques.
Postures – There are many yoga postures and each has it’s own purpose. Some stretch and strengthen muscles, some improve posture and skeletal alignment, some help to relax the nerves and internal organs. All work in combination to unify the body. Links are provided at the end of this article that will take you to see many of the basic yoga postures.
Meditation – Silently repeating a mantra (such as “ohm”) forces your mind to focus on the mantra and relax. The mantra is repeated for about a minute, followed by a period of quiet, where the objective is to let thought drift away and find “stillness” in the mind, generally for a period of ten minutes or so. The mantra is then repeated for another minute as you come back to a more relaxed state of mind.
While there are many ways to learn about yoga, the best way is to sign up for a yoga class. Finding the right class may involve some trial and error, as different instructors have different goals with their students. The following are some tips on yoga instruction:
Ask to first observe a class before signing up. By watching the class, you should be able to tell if the instructor is focused more on relaxation or on difficult postures.
Be sure that the instructor also takes regular classes. You want a teacher that continues to learn and grow.
Yoga should never hurt. Your instructor should not push you to do a more difficult pose than you can handle, nor should you feel like you are competing with the other students.
The lesson should leave you feeling good, hopeful and upbeat, not shaky.
If you have any health concerns, be sure to let the instructor know. In some cases, such as back injury or pregnancy, certain postures should be avoided.
Now, if you just can’t wait to give yoga a try, head over to http://www.yogaclass.com for an online yoga class enhanced with real player audio.
Two more great sites for yoga information and postures are http://www.yogabasics.com and http://www.santosha.com/asanas/asana.html.
Oh, and one more, for those who just can’t leave their computer desk, try Keyboard Yoga at http://www.ivillage.com/diet/tools/yoga/index.html.
Until next time, breathe, stretch, relax and enjoy!
*References from New Choices in Natural Healing by Doug Dollemore, Mark Giuliucci, Jennifer Haigh, Sid Kirchheimer, and Jean Callahan, edited by Bill Gottlieb, Editor-in-Chief, Prevention Magazine Health Books, copyright 1995.
By: Noreen Wyper
Height and time,
Use a tape, a clock,
Watch a thermometer climb.
Standard Measurement: Tutorial # 11
- to use some standard measuring devices appropriately.
Estimate: Once again have the child estimate first using comparison terminology such as taller/shorter, bigger/smaller, heavier/lighter, hotter/colder, earlier/later.
Ruler/ Tape measure: Using a 12 inch ruler mark off all the inch lines with a magic marker. Discuss what one inch is on the ruler. Search for items in the kitchen that might be approximately one inch long. Always measure from the edge ( zero) of the ruler. Now, touch and count how many inches make up a whole ruler. Estimate how many kitchen objects might be close to 12 inches in length or height. This would be another excellent opportunity to sort the objects into three sets; less than the ruler, more than the ruler or the same length as the ruler.
Introduce the tape measure counting up from the edge ( zero) as far as the child can count. Have the child compare his/her height to the cupboards, stove, refrigerator, window frame, doorway, etc.. Is the child taller, shorter or about the same height? Measure each object with the tape measure and mark the height on the tape. This way your child can see how tall each one is on the tape in comparison to the others. Tell your child the number.
Have the child stand in sock feet and record his/her height on the door frame wall or refrigerator. You can buy measuring charts that you can tape up on the wall. Measure your child every couple of months. Relating your child’s activities to his natural environment enhances his/her meaning. Therefore, recording the measurements on traditional holidays or to the seasons would also be a good idea. Mark the date.
Scales: Repeat this procedure with the bathroom scales. Estimate which is heavier, a jug of juice or a carton of milk? A cantaloupe or a can of soup? Weigh each one. The child will probably be able to recognize these numerals by now. This is a great time to reinforce the concept that 5 is greater than 4, etc.. Now, weigh the child and mark it beside the height. Watch the development as the year progresses.
Thermometer: If you have a thermometer, show the child that zero is the freezing point. When the colour ( little red worm) inside the glass tube rises above the zero it is getting warmer ( hotter) outside. When it falls below zero, it is getting cooler ( colder ) outside. As the day progresses ask your child if it feels warmer or cooler outside. Will the little red worm be higher or lower in the tube? Keep it simple!
Time: Use a clock with numerals on it. Count the numbers on it. Notice that when the big hand moves around from the 12 back to the 12 you have experienced one whole hour. The small hand points to the hour. Take notice of the times during the day that you do certain things. You may get up at 7:00 am, eat your lunch at 12:00 pm, eat supper at 5:00 pm, go to bed at 8:00 pm., etc.. Discuss whether these events are in the morning, afternoon or evening. Tape small pictures that depict these activities beside the wall clock.
The Egg Timer: Challenge your child to do the following activities using a one-minute egg timer.
How many times can you touch your toes?
How many times can you cross the kitchen floor ?
How many times do you have to turn the timer while you help set the table ?
Beat the egg timer and find two green cans.
Next week: Measurement: The calendar.
Learning to the Beat
By: Emily R. Bridges
Ah-ah-ah! Don’t tell me that you don’t know about those new-fangled curriculums. You’ve been doing it since you were a preschooler! Why do you think that one of the first songs a child learns is the ABC song? It’s easy – it’s catchy – and it’s fun (and heck, everybody else knows it)!
In its truest form, music therapy is provided by a college-educated Music Therapist who has extensive training and a unique understanding of how music affects behavior, especially how it relates to the child’s specific goals.
Though music therapists are employed by schools and child care facilities, especially for early intervention and neurological disorders; they are just as likely to be employed by a hospital, psychotherapy group, or nursing home to help clients enjoy the healing properties of music.
Some of the finest information about Music Therapy can be found online at Music Therapy Connections, at: http://www.musictherapyconnections.com/.
Amy Mordaunt, M.Ed., MT-BC Board-Certified Music Therapist offers inspiration, examples, and activities on her website. While the activities are not performed by a music therapy and therefore are not “music therapy” per se, they clearly demonstrate the adaptive power of music and how it can be modified to enhance the learning experience well beyond reciting words to a song. Comparatively, few teaching tactics have the strategic ability of music to encompass and encourage gross motor (dancing), fine motor (finger counting/imaginary drawing with fingers), self-concept (pride in participation/accommodating outcomes, perfection not required), socialization (group/partners; wordless communication), visual (imitation, mirroring), tactile (vibrations and human touch), and boundless other advantages.
It’s easy to see why music works so well with children. Here are some ideas that she gave me permission to share:
The Leaky Umbrella:
A Sensory Water Activity
The "Leaky Umbrella" activity is well-known among music therapists working with young children. The artist who sings the song "Leaky Umbrella" is Jim Gill, but you can use any song that you like that is about rain. Take an old umbrella and cut large holes in it. I actually found small umbrellas at the local dollar store, along with disposable hair caps. Cut holes in the caps as well, if desired. If you want to be even more elaborate, find a plastic poncho. For galoshes, use Ziploc bags and rubber bands or scrunchies (to secure to feet). Now fill a mister with water. Play your chosen song and have fun misting with water. Please remember, though, that some children will be frightened at first. With repeated exposure, however, most children grow to love this activity.
Use an old, fitted sheet as a parachute. Place small stuffed animals (beanie babies work) in the sheet and make the animals "dance" by moving the sheet up and down. Put your child in the middle. Shake the parachute around him or her. Use recorded music that is fast or slow and move the parachute according to the tempo. For this activity, try to enlist the help of other relatives.
Remember, I told you that her site was inspiring! I realized that we had been doing this all along. Pull out the Raffi CDs – here we go!
“Willaby-Wallaby-Woo an Elephant sat on you. Willaby-Wallaby-Wee and elephant sat on me!” This is a crazy song that allows you to add different children’s names in the song and goes farther to explore rhymes with each name – encouraging beginning phonemic sounds, and there isn’t a teacher in the world that can resist the urge to dance to this song!
If, by chance, you are the last teacher on the earth that hasn’t heard this song – follow this link to bn.com where you can scroll down to click on #10 to listen to it.
I’ll Bet Shakespeare Had Kids!
By: Deb Di Sandro
Wasn't it Shakespeare who once said, "All the world’s a stage and for parents, tis merely one darn stage after another!" Or maybe it was Shakespeare's mother.
The little thespians first enter stage right, "mewling and puking" (if you threw out your high school cliff notes, mewling means bawling like a baby and if you don’t know what puking is, you're not a parent.
Yes, it’s the "Infant" stage. When all we yearn for is yearn for is to sleep, and wake up when our kids can pay for their own Nikes -
Then it's onto the "Biting" stage, which unfortunately some sportscasters and boxers never OUTGROW .
At about three, "I’ll Do It Myself" takes center stage which comes at a time when they can’t do anything themselves, so that by the time they finally get dressed in the morning, it’s time for them to put on their pajamas.
Then at six or seven, they enter the "You do it for me" stage which, lasts until oh, about 42.
When your child’s chief advisor sports an earring through his tongue, and pants the size of France, you know you’ve arrived at the "And If Your Friend Jumped Off a Bridge would you Jump too?" stage.
But the most dazzling is when your talented little actor throws a temper tantrum in the middle of K-mart. No, this is not the Terrible Twos, but an upgrade, called the Terrible Two’s For Teenagers stage.
Woe is We! Our children strut and fret each hour of every stage until, alas, we the weary parents, have had it up to our Elizabethean eyebrows. But alas, are these stages merely much ado about nothing?
It will take some time before we can tell, pray tell, if "All’s Well That Ends Well."