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Happy Family Tips

Toys As Instruments for Intellectual and Motor Skills Development

Parents normally love to spend money on children’s toys, particularly those that stimulate the brain and promote intellectual development. Eight out of ten mothers would prefer to buy an educational book or toy for her child than anything that will hone a child’s motor skills. This phenomenon can be attributed to the numerous marketing strategies of infant formula and children’s toys focusing on brain development. Little do parents know that a child’s impressive growth in his motor skills also equates to good brain development.
Preschool and school-age children are at innately curious and tends to explore almost everything they can lay their hands on. This is but a normal characteristic of a growing child. At this age, they already have a considerable amount of vocabulary and have knowledge of quite a number of places, people and objects. For example, a simple stapler to an adult is a tool for keeping a number of paper together. To a child within the mentioned age group, he or she would need to use it first on a couple of pages of paper to appreciate its function. It helps them to understand that a stapler is attributed to a paper.
The same principle should be applied in choosing appropriate toys with this age group. Toys were not invented to develop only one aspect of human growth. In fact, toys that can be disassembled and then put together are the best for developing a child’s brain while giving due consideration for his motor skills. The process of disassembling and putting together a puzzle toy is undertaken by the brain, while the hand-eye-finger coordination represents the motor skills.
Child psychologists and pediatricians agree that any toy manufactured for the purpose of intellectual stimulation and development of a child’s motor skills will prove useless without putting input for the affective aspect. The term affective refers to the emotional facet of a human being’s maturation.
Have you tried taking note of the developmental tasks of children? Children who spend more time alone with toys and minimal human interaction will either grow to be too talkative in the desire for human contact or less interactive as a result of spending more time playing alone.
Whether toys were labeled as top of the line, or built with the most advanced technology or the simple yet highly beneficial washer toss game, all of these will not generate the expected results without human interaction. A simple washer game board is no fun without a person to play with. The same with dolls, interactive video games and other toys. Interactive video games are better appreciated when explained by another person.
Learning and development goes hand in hand and is better facilitated when children derives enjoyment from the activity. This principle is called thematic approach and is being utilized by a number of schools and learning center for young children. As such, toys should be chosen based on the functions they serve: promote knowledge, skills and values through the facilitation of parents, mentors and caregivers, taking note of the degree of fun they will derive from it. Remember, more fun with you equates to a child’s faster learning and development.…

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Family Tips

Single Parents And New Relationships

One of the things that are often overlooked in a single parent situation is the child’s role. We all understand our position in the family. The child of a single parent is no different. Attempting to introduce a new partner for yourself can be a bit of a challenge and may be met with resistance.
As the parent, you may see a relationship not only as a partner for yourself, but also as a way to bring a mother or father figure into the family for the child’s sake. The child will always view it as someone taking your attention from them.
The strength of the relationship that they may form with this new family member will not change this. In fact, this is usually the basis for a poor relationship with anyone that is “intruding” on his or her family.
Unfortunately, the older the child is, the harder this transition will become. Talking to the child will not help ease this transition. Only time and attention may help the child to accept the addition of the family member.
As a single parent, there are always feelings of guilt. Usually this stems from not having another parent available for the child. In the case of bringing another parent figure into the home, this guilt may be from not spending as much time with the child, or from not having the energy to do the usual things any more, or even because of changing the routine that was previously followed.
It is important to keep in mind that the child feels these changes as well. If you expect the child of a single parent to adapt to the new family structure, it must be done gently. The child is used to having the parent to their self. The intrusion that they feel cannot be ignored.
Introducing someone else into your family should be done slowly, preferably before they move into the home. It is for the sake of a calm family life that any relationship with a single parent should move especially slowly.
It is best to plan outings that include the other person and allow the child or children time to adjust to having this person sharing your family time. If there is a special activity that has been a part of the routine of your lives, include this new person and see how the child(ren) react. If things go smoothly, you may plan to include them the next time as well.
Have them come over after work and spend the evening, creating the family environment without the threat of permanence. Have them stay until the children are asleep if possible. Spend several months doing this at least a few times a week.
As long as things have gone well, you can increase their involvement with the kids and start having them stay over on occasion. Don’t announce when this will be (except maybe the first time to get a feel for what the reaction will be).
By moving slowly, the relationship will have time to build between each member of the family. You will be giving the child(ren) the opportunity to adjust to the change, and you will get a real feel for how things may go once the other person moves in.
It is important to remember that the child should be as excited to have this new person in their lives as you, the parent, are. Once you move someone into your home, it’s too late to take things slowly. Move too quickly and you could have a fight on your hands for years to come.…