Tag: eco parenting

Attachment Parenting Month 1st – 30th October. Can you take the challenge? – Ten Main Principles of Attachment Parenting.

Babies and children require empathy and respect for their feelings to help them learn to feel safe and secure. Attachment Parenting is all about forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. Attachment Parenting challenges us as parents to treat our children with respect and kindness, and to develop our relationship with them the way we’d like them to relate to others.

According to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with parents during childhood with lifelong consequences. Sensitive and emotionally available parenting helps the child to form a secure attachment style. Less sensitive and emotionally available parenting or neglect of the child’s needs may result in insecure forms of attachment style, which is a risk factor for many mental health problems.

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Starting from the very beginning, you can build the foundation of trust and empathy by understanding and responding appropriately to the needs of your newborn baby. Babies communicate their needs in many ways including body movements, facial expressions, and crying. Building a strong attachment with a baby involves not only responding consistently to his physical needs, but spending enjoyable time interacting with him and thus meeting his emotional needs as well. So in these early days it is very important to respond to your child with sensitivity.

Attachment Parenting Principles

1. Attachment Parenting starts from the birth. So try forming an early connection to your child, using the first hours after birth to bond with your newborn, having your baby “room in” with you after a hospital birth, and enjoying the skin-to-skin contact – the most gentle and memorable first mother-and-baby hug.

2. Respond quickly to your baby’s cries and know that you can’t “spoil” her by feeding, kissing and holding her whenever she needs you to. This is biological and emotional need for the baby to get your attention and be soothed. What is more natural that following your mother instincts?

3. Breastfeed exclusively and on baby’s demand for at least 6 months followed by the weaning of solids when your child is ready combined with continued nursing. Be aware that it is natural and normal for children to be breastfed for well over one year.

4. Promote closeness and physical connection by wearing your baby in a sling.

5. Separation fears? – Intense fears of separation will naturally subside as the child matures. It may take considerably longer for more sensitive children to be comfortable in the care of non-parental adults. Follow the child’s cues and do not force children to accept strangers or expect them to overcome stranger/separation anxiety before they’re ready.

6. Use gentle discipline techniques. You need to make clear difference between discipline and punishment and to avoid physical or shame-inducing punishment.

7. Try to be flexible when it comes to parenting techniques – we are all human beings, learning every day. You should know that what worked last week might not work this week, and that your child is different from the others. Putting some extra effort to understand and educate yourself about parenting and a battle half-won.

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8. Understand that real “quality time” with your kid is every second spent in cuddling, reading, playing, learning or just being together, and not short frantic bursts of “fun” activities.

9. Nurturing is of vast importance in your child! Those early years at the day care might be a necessity for some families or single parents, but if you can afford it, spent at least the first two years raising your child at home. Be a proud to be “stay-at-home-mother” and consider it the most important thing you could possibly do right now. You want to raise your children yourself, not hand them over to someone else to do the job. Your career will be still there for you in a couple of year’s time.

10. Go out of the timed regime and leave your baby to lead you in his own routine. Understand, following and meet your child’s needs. Know that your child has his own schedule for physical, emotional and social development, toilet learning and independence issues rather than trying to force him into an “expected” time frame. Understand that by meeting your child’s needs during infancy and toddlerhood you are encouraging the development of a healthy, happy, independent person.

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2 Comments October 14, 2009

Halloween Craft Ideas for Toddlers

Toddlers love to do crafts, and this is great for their development! Besides, crafting with your kids can be fun for the whole family! With Halloween coming up, get inspired and try some easy Hallowing craft ideas.

PUMPKIN ON A STICK

What You Need
Large White Paper Plate
Orange Paint
Black Construction Paper
Glue
Crayons
Scissors

How to Make It

  1. Paint the Paper Plate Orange and let dry.
  2. Cut out a mouth, nose and eyes from Black Construction Paper.
  3. Once Orange paint has dried, glue the mouth, nose and eyes on to pumpkin plate face.
  4. Fold one tab forward and one tab back and attach it to the bag.

PUMPKIN FACES

What You Need
orange and black (or yellow) construction paper
small scraps of green paper
scissors
glue sticks

How to Make It

  1. Simply cut pumpkin shapes from the orange paper, and black triangles, circles and semi-circles or smiling mouth shapes from the black construction paper. Cut stem shapes and leaf shapes from the green paper.
  2. If your children are old enough to use safety scissors, encourage them to cut their own shapes.
  3. Sit with the children and show them how the different shapes can be used to make different faces on the pumpkins.
  4. Hand over the glue sticks and let your kids make you some bright Halloween decorations for your fridge or windows.

GLUE GHOSTS

What You Need
White school glue
Waxed paper
Wiggle eyes
Felt, buttons, pom-poms, etc (all optional)

How to Make it

  1. Place a piece of waxed paper on a flat surface.
  2. Squeeze glue from the bottle into the shape of a ghost.
  3. Place wiggle eyes into the glue.
  4. If you would like to decorate your ghost, use felt, buttons, pom-poms or whatever you like to add character. We made a simple bow tie from green felt and added mini pom-poms for buttons.
  5. Set aside in an out-of-reach area to dry overnight. Note: Expect for them to take all night – and possibly a few hours more – to dry completely.
  6. Once dry the ghosts will look like they blend into the waxed paper. Carefully peel them paper and use them as decorations around the house.

2 Comments October 1, 2009

Top 12 Super Foods for Strong Immunity

Apples: Apples have long been thought to be a healthy food, indeed many of us grew up hearing that they kept the doctor away! It is now known that apples contain the phytonutrient quercitin, which prevents the oxidation (damage) of LDL cholesterol thus lowering the risk of damage to our arteries and in turn, the risk of heart disease. They also contain pectin, a soluble fibre that seems to be very effective in lowering levels of blood cholesterol. Pectin also binds to heavy metals in our body, such as lead, and removes them from the gut. Ideal baby first food when cooked and pureed.

Avocados: Pound for pound avocados provide more heart healthy monounsaturated fat, fibre, vitamin E, folic acid and potassium than any other fruits. As if this was not enough, they are also the number one fruit source of beta-sitosterol, a substance that can reduce total cholesterol. They also supersede other fruits in the antioxidant lutein, which, in studies has shown to protect people from cataracts. Lutein has also been linked with protecting your cardiovascular system and preventing prostate cancer. Avocados are very easily digested, which makes them ideal for people that have problems digesting fatty foods.

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Bananas: Bananas are slightly higher in energy than other fruits but the calories come mainly from carbohydrate; excellent for refuelling before, during or after exercise. Great first baby food, too; just mashed them well and add some of the baby milk to get the right consistence.
Bananas contain phytochemicals known as antioxidants. These antioxidants protect cells in the body against damage from free radicals that can cause heart disease and cancer.
Bananas are also jam-packed with potassium that helps lower blood pressure, and vitamin B6 for healthy skin and hair.

Blueberries, Cranberries and Blackcurrants: They not only look and taste great but blueberries contain antioxidants known as anthocyanidins, some of the strongest antidotes to oxidative stress, which many scientists believe to be the cause of aging in humans. They are great immune-stimulants. Also they are not real berries, so you can introduce them in your baby’s diet as soon as 8-9 months.

Broccoli: If the other foods here are “super” foods then broccoli should be a “mega-super” food. Researchers are finding a wealth of healthy compounds in this vegetable, which include two power anti-cancer substances, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. Sulforaphane destroys any carcinogenic compounds that you have ingested and then it creates enzymes that eat up any carcinogens left over from that reaction. Broccoli is also a good source of beta-carotene and potassium, which helps lower your risk of heart disease. Many therapists suggest eating broccoli at least three times a week and now we know why.

Garlic: Numerous clinical trials have shown garlic to be an excellent cancer fighter – studies suggest that it has the ability to prevent development of cancers of the breast, colon, skin, prostate, stomach and oesophagus. Garlic also helps stimulate the immune system by encouraging the growth of natural killer cells, which directly attack cancer cells. It also has the ability to kill the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, a major cause of ulcers and stomach cancer. Introduce garlic to baby’s diet slowly and wait until he/she is at least 12 months old.

Pumpkin: Pumpkins and squash are packed full of beta carotene (only carrots and sweet potatoes have more) and are the number one source of alpha carotene, a cancer inhibitor potentially more powerful than beta-carotene. They also provide vitamins B5, C, E, potassium, calcium and fibre. And don’t throw out the seeds, as they are an excellent source of zinc, essential fatty acids, and are a great source of plant protein. Cooked and mashed pumpkins are great first food for babies! And they love them because of their natural sweet taste.

Salmon: One of the best oily fish providing an excellent source of Omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids have been linked with protecting against breast and other cancers and relieving autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Omega 3 is also essential for a brain as well as heart health, and has been linked with accelerated learning and attention span in children and helping mental functions in the elderly. Other oily fish include herring, tuna and mackerel.

Whole Grains: Several epidemiological studies show that people who consume large amounts of whole grains every day have a lower risk of heart disease. Whole grains include brown rice, millet, oats and wholegrain bread. Population research also suggests that whole grains help prevent colon, breast and prostate cancer. The complex carbohydrates and fibre slow the release of blood sugar providing a great slow energy source. Fibre can also help to prevent constipation, encourages the growth of “friendly “bacteria in the gut, and aids the removal of toxins from the body.

Yogurt: Yogurt is an easily absorbed source of calcium. It’s also a useful milk substitute for people who can’t digest large amounts of the milk sugar, lactose.
Yogurt has long been credited with a range of therapeutic benefits, many of which involve the health of the large intestine and the relief of gastrointestinal upsets.
The bacteria Lactobacillus GG, added to some yoghurt, are not digested, and reach the large intestine intact where they top up the other friendly bacteria living there.

Read more about how to fight Swine Flu naturally and what to include in Natural First Aid Kit.

3 Comments September 25, 2009

How Children Learn Through Play. The Importance of Imaginative Play for Toddlers

Through play, children learn the skills and knowledge needed for life; imaginative play encourages the toddler to use their mind and creative potential.
Children can be taught to have the skills and knowledge to deal with life’s challenges and to solve problems creatively through being encouraged to be active in play that involves creativity, learning, investigation and discovery.
There’s a saying “Give a person a fish and they eat for a day. Teach a person to fish and they eat for a lifetime.”

Imaginative Play
Play that is imaginative and creative will help the toddler to use their mind to find solutions to problems. One of the most important parts of imaginative play is for the child to pretend to be someone else or in different situations.
This type of play helps promote a toddler’s learning through using role play to develop their imagination. They will also be developing their emotional and social skills, sharing skills, manipulative skills, language and communication skills through this type of play. Not only this but it helps a child build on his or her self confidence and feelings of security.

Kids Play and Imagination
Through imaginative play, a child might run around, pretending he or she is a horse or a dog, an aeroplane or a train. At 3-4 years, they often do this on their own. At other times, an adult could encourage imaginative play so the child might explore new situations and fantasy worlds. This will help the child to explore their feelings and the world around them in a safe, supervised environment.
Children at this age are at Piaget’s preoperational stage. During the years from 2 to 6 Piaget saw the evidence of symbol use in many aspects of child’s behaviour. Children this age beginning to pretend in their play for example at age 2 or 3 or 4 a broom may become a horse, or a block may become a train.
Imaginative play, through building towers out of bocks, talking to and feeding their dolls, making tea with the tea set and dressing in grown-up clothes is important and should never be classed as trivial… Neither should soft toys or dolls be rejected as inappropriate for any age of either sex.

Examples of Imaginative Play Activities
Ask the children to make a pirate ship out of large cardboard boxes. They might make telescopes or binoculars out of kitchen tubes and a flag for their boat out of newspaper. Hats could be made and painted for them to wear while they’re at sea in their imaginary boat. How does this kind of play help in a child’s learning? As the children play with each other, they will be using their communication and language skills.

3 Comments August 31, 2009

Colour Therapy

Most of us know that psychologically we are very much affected by colour. And it’s not only complementary therapists who use colour therapy. Indeed, colour therapy is regularly used in hospitals to treat jaundiced babies. Most jaundiced newborns’ livers don’t work well, giving them a yellow colour. To treat the condition, hospitals often now bathe the child in bright blue light or blue-green light, which helps clear the jaundice by breaking down the chemical which makes them yellow. Eye pads, an eye shield or an orange head-shield are used to protect the baby’s eyes.

Red
Red is the element of fire. It stimulates and excites the nerves and blood, releases adrenalin, activates the circulation of the blood and vitalizes the physical body. Red helps overcome tiredness and inertia, as well as chronic chills or colds. It stimulates will-power and courage. Wounds can heal faster if you surround yourself with red while healing. It can help get rid of headaches (try putting a red towel over your eyes).
Too much red can raise blood pressure, however, so everything in moderation.

Eat Red Foods: Beets, black cherries, red berries, damsons, plums, radishes, red peppers, etc.

Orange
Orange strengthens the lungs, pancreas and spleen. It warms the emotions and creates a feeling of well-being. Orange is a stimulating, warming colour and can be used for lack of vitality, as well as muscle spasms or cramps. Use it for asthma and bronchitis, as well as during colon cleansing. Orange can also help boost the appetite.

Eat Orange Foods:
Orange vegetables and fruits, such as apricots, mangoes, peaches, cantaloupe melons, carrots, swedes, butternut squash, pumpkin, oranges, tangerines, orange peppers, etc.

Pink
Pink soothes violent or anxious adults for a few hours and is sometimes used on walls in prisons or hospitals for mental illness. In children it stimulates creativity and strength. It could help with insomnia if you sleep between pink sheets.

Eat Pink Foods: pomegranates, strawberries, water melon.

Yellow
Yellow is a positive colour which acts on the nervous system. It stimulates the intellect and so is good for school rooms, studies and anywhere where good conversation is desirable. Our spirits are raised by looking at yellow and orange, as they most resemble golden sunshine which our bodies crave. Yellow helps the liver with elimination and purifies the intestines. It’s good for skin too. Yellow can be used for nervous exhaustion, for depression, indigestion, skin problems, liver problems and constipation.

Eat Yellow Foods:
Yellow skinned fruits and vegetables, such as lemons, bananas, grapefruit, pineapples and sweetcorn.

Green
Instinctively we know that the green we find in nature will calm us and leave us feeling peaceful and harmonious. Green in springtime brings a feeling of renewal, of new life, freshness and brightness. It has a calming effect on blood pressure and the heart, and can also alleviate headaches and flu. Too much green can leave you too relaxed, however.

Eat Green Foods:
Eat your greens! In the form of cabbage, spring greens, spinach, broccoli, brussels, etc.

Blue
The opposite of red. Whilst red expands and stimulates, blue contracts and restricts. It slows things down so that it can combat infectious diseases where there is a rise in temperature. Blue is antiseptic, cooling and astringent. Psychologically, blue can bring peace of mind, particularly after excessive mental stress. Too much blue, however, can give you ‘the blues’, in which case it needs to be balanced with some red. Blue can be helpful with throat troubles, fevers and children’s ailments such as mumps and measles, inflammation, spasms, stings, itching and headaches. Also use it for shock and insomnia.

Eat Blue Foods:
Blueberries, bilberries, blue plums, blackberries, grapes etc.

Violet
Violet has a soothing and tranquillizing effect on frayed nerves and so is especially useful for those who are nervous and highly-strung by nature. Violet can also be used to help develop the spiritual, intuitive faculty and can be used before and during meditation, perhaps by visualising or concentrating on a violet colour cloth. Violet can be used for all mental and nervous disease, as well as for rheumatism, concussion and kidney and bladder diseases.

Eat Violet Foods:
Aubergines, purple grapes, blackberries, purple broccoli.

2 Comments August 31, 2009

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