I remember a conversation I had from years ago in a moms group when my kids were much smaller. They were discussing the concept of “chipping”children like you do pets. I was firmly in the camp of heck yes, as long as it was safe. Even though I am very far removed from the role of helicopter parent I won the autism lottery and was blessed with not one, but two autistic children. The challenges are numerous but two challenge in our case at least, are that they wander and they are quick to forget safety rules.
My youngest in particular has always wandered. He has no concept of danger, not from walking out in traffic and not from taking off in a crowded place. He has the impulse and he just goes with it. Whenever we go anywhere as a family I am constantly looking over my shoulder to look for him every minute or two and it is not uncommon to utter the phrase “Where’s Parker?” 20 times in day during a family outing. Luckily he hasn’t realized that holding his mom’s hand is uncool yet or it would be much worse.
Having a child who simply does not comprehend that he could get lost or separated from me if he wanders off is HUGE. This is one reason why it is in his IEP that he is picked up and dropped off at his front door instead of left at a bus stop. Supervision with him is critical and yet we can’t watch every second of every day. I recall that on the first day of his bus transit the driver forgot about his IEP requirement and dropped him at a bus stop about 2 houses down from ours. I heard the bus from inside the house and stood at the open door waiting for him. What I saw was him streaking past our home and towards a busy cross street. Had I not run out and started screaming his name I am not sure how that one would have ended.
Another issue with this child in particular is that I believe firmly he would go anywhere, with anyone, if they lured him. We have discussed safety and strangers but you are talking about a child with no concept of what is socially acceptable behavior himself so you cannot expect him to recognize suspicious behavior in others. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
I am often worried about my own child putting himself in harm’s way.
It was of great interest to me to see that a company called Not Your Child was running with the concept of wearable GPS trackers. Not so scary as an implant but still accomplishing the same thing. The tech provides a safe way to know where your child is, and how to find him or her if they have wandered away and are lost. Not Your Child™ will also help authorities to track missing children more effectively. It’s all about keeping our kids safe. The device is comfortable, it’s accurate, and it can be tracked online.
It works in 104 countries so it can be used while traveling. It is both web and app based, so data is accessible anywhere and notifications can be received via email, SMS, or push notifications on iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices. It is available for purchase on their web site.
Is this the future of child safety?
Enter the Giveaway!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post was written in partnership with Not Your Child Corp. but as always the opinions I share here are my own and based on my own world view.
Of the many reasons to get a pet for your household, perhaps one of the biggest and most influential ones is that it’s great for your kids. Having a pet has many benefits for your children, and not just with social aspects or self esteem—pets can actually help your children develop great immunity. So whether you’d like a pooch or a kitty for your home, check out these reasons why pets are great for your kids!
1. They Teach Responsibility
Having a pet in your home helps to teach your children responsibility. Even if you have a six-month-old or a toddler, they can help in small ways to take care of the animal. This helps to instill in children that animals need care and they need to be treated kindly. As your child gets older, you can teach him or her how to feed Fido and take Fido outside to play.
Pets also help your children to realize that creatures need gentle handling. Their care and nurturing of a pet can teach them empathy and compassion for creatures, but also with people too. Having a pet can teach your kids some valuable life lessons!
2. They Increase Self-Esteem
Nothing boosts your self-esteem like having an animal who adores you. Kids who have pets tend to have higher self-esteem and even perform better in school. It can also help kids to feel important and needed when taking care of a pet. Pets also function as many children’s first best friend. Kids share a unique relationship with their pet and love to play with pets, spend time with them, and even read to them.
Having a dog, cat, rabbit, or bird in the house can make your child feel great about him or herself in addition to teaching them responsibility and empathy for others.
3. Your Children Are Less Likely to Get Allergies
Research shows that having a pet in the house when your child is a newborn or before your child is six months old shows that your child is less likely to get allergies later in life. The research also shows that your child is less likely to suffer from skin problems such as eczema and respiratory problems with a dog in the house at birth.
Your child’s immune system could benefit from having a pet in the house—pets may play an important role in building up your child’s immunity to different allergens. What more of a reason could you want to get a dog?
4. They Reduce Stress
Reducing stress may be even more important for parents than it is for kids, but regardless, having a pet can help you reduce stress and maintain a healthy balance in your life. Some people may think the contrary—that having the extra responsibility of caring for a pet can be more stressful. However, having a pet to care for has many health benefits.
Having a pet encourages you to get outside and exercise, socialize with other pet owners, and be affectionate. Getting exercise, talking with others, and snuggling with your pet can all help reduce your stress. These are big benefits compared to the extra expense and care a pet will require!
Dr. Mike Maddux of Nippers Corner Pet Medical Center shares that “for a very small time commitment, a pet can greatly improve the quality of life for you and your family.”
Getting a pet for your household is a big decision. Consider adopting a dog that’s already been trained and outgrown that puppy stage from a shelter. There are plenty of dogs and cats out there that need homes. If your schedule doesn’t allot for regular walks, consider getting a bunny.
Having a pet can help build your child’s immunity, reduce stress, build self-esteem, and teach responsibility. What are you waiting for? Adopt a pet today!
Although children haven’t had as much time to age or have the stress on the body that adults have had, children are still susceptible to the stress and physical ailments that plague many of us in our daily lives. In fact, this is a good reason why we should invest time in teaching our children healthy living practices and preventing many of the ailments and diseases that can occur later in life.
As most disease is related to diet and lifestyle, this is where it’s most important that our children are healthy and taught to take care of their health. So how does chiropractic fit into all of that?
Ensure Spinal Health
Taking care of your spine is more than just having good posture or not sleeping on your stomach. Many children have subluxations (minor dislocations in the spine) even before they have the chance to really do anything to get them. Subluxations can be caused by many things including exposure to stress, toxins, physical injuries or just bad posture, poor diet, not getting enough water, etc. However, even in the womb children can experience these things.
The health of the spine is so important. The spine is essentially a bunch of nerves in a column that connect to our brains and basically controls everything that goes on in our bodies. Your child’s nervous system is part of the system of things that ensures that your child is emotionally healthy, physically healthy, has optimal nerve communications, and good posture. The healthy nerve communication is key for the body to be able to successfully regulate everything from digestion to behavior to energy to sleeping well.
Encourage Proper Alignment and Healing
Our bodies have these amazing abilities to heal themselves. However, when the body doesn’t have the proper resources to take care of itself (such as good nutrition, essential accurate nerve communication, and enough sleep), it can’t properly do its job. This is why regardless of whether or not your child has had an injury or has developmental delays or even poor posture, it may be a good idea to take your child to a chiropractor.
Dr. Gil Kentof of Dr. Gil Center for Back, Neck, and Pain Relief in Franklin, Tennessee shares his experiences with children in chiropractic.
“Treating children with chiropractic care has many advantages: chiropractic adjustments insure a properly functioning nervous system. This helps the entire body function at an optimal level. Children respond very quickly to gentle chiropractic care, and adjustments can help prevent a lifetime of pain and suffering. I have personally seen improvement with neck and back pain in children suffering from sports injuries and falls. Babies with colic, torticollis (a painful condition in which the neck is locked to the side), and even chronic ear infections have shown improvement from chiropractic adjustments as well.”
What Does the Chiropractor Do?
Chiropractors are doctors that are trained for years to understand the spine and all its workings. An experienced chiropractor knows how to handle children’s spines as well as adult’s. In fact, some chiropractors are even able to adjust babies shortly after birth to ensure that their spines are healthy and working properly. This can also help with babies who are very irritable. The chiropractor will examine your child, with or without x-rays (your choice), and should be able to tell if certain areas are tight, if subluxations are present, and will most likely examine your child’s posture.
Getting adjusted may seem strange to your child at first, but it is generally painless and your child will probably feel better after getting adjusted. Chiropractors do not use pharmaceuticals or any other medications in their practice. The word chiropractic has roots in the Greek words “hands” and “practice”. So these procedures are very minimally invasive and are done through your clothes and only involve adjustments done with the chiropractor’s hands. An experienced chiropractor will be able to feel if the spine is out of alignment and should be gentle yet thorough with your child’s treatment.
If your child is experiencing any adverse health symptoms, it may be a good idea to take him or her to a chiropractor. Be sure to find one who is experienced in children. Chiropractic adjustments can help everything from the immune system to the respiratory system to proper development. Chiropractic adjustments can ensure your child’s development is healthy and create good postural practices for the future!
Guest post by Jenn Ryan
Society today is becoming apathetic to the world around us. Many children in particular are more concerned with playing the latest video game and don’t really pay much attention to the environment around them. They have nature deficit disorder and it can be hard to get them to show an interest in the natural world, but you can get them to care if you start early and take small steps. You may not make a difference overnight, but you may just make a difference in the future of the planet. Don’t let your kids become adults who care more about making money, acquiring “things”, entertaining themselves, and in general keeping up with the Jones’s. Raise kids who care about this planet we share.
The first step in raising your children to be eco friendly is to be eco friendly yourself. You need to walk the walk. You can tell your children to respect the environment all you want, but you’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t practice what you preach. Follow the practices of refusing, reducing, reusing, and recycling. Use natural and environmentally friendly products, especially reusables. Get involved with local organizations that help protect the environment and preserve patches of nature in your neck of the woods.
Once you’re involved in eco friendly practices, start getting your kids to help as soon as you can. You can start out with easy steps like having them put their own recyclables into the bin, or even have them ride along with you when you take your bin to the recycling center. You can have them help you fill your glass mason jars at the bulk bin station of the grocery store. You can have them help you build a compost pile and be responsible for taking out kitchen scraps every day. Encourage them to watch movies with environmental themes:
Ice Age – The Meltdown
Read them books that have these themes as well.
The people who do the most to help the environment are the ones who know the most about it. That’s why it’s important to start your child learning about the world around them early. While you should do your best to teach them on your own, you can also get some help from the experts. Many zoos, science museums, and nature centers offer educational classes for children as young as three years old. These can be a valuable resource in helping small children start to learn about the environment and to expand their knowledge as they get older. Take them to a class about local herbs, beekeeping, gardening, and organic cooking.
Get your child involved in volunteering. If you work or volunteer for an environmental activist group, get your children involved as soon as they are old enough. Many areas offer volunteer organizations for teens and young adults. The first place to look is with the places where you found classes for young children. The most important part is that your child gets involved on a larger scale than just within your family. This also helps them meet other people their age and make friends with those who also care about environmental issues. It helps them to see you aren’t some crazy person…others care about these issues too!
While children will inevitably be resistant to volunteering and doing extra work or chores at some point or another, they will still gain an appreciation for their environment that will last their whole lives. Who knows….they may be the solution and the change we are all looking for.
One of the easiest ways to teach kids about being good stewards of the earth is to teach them not to be consumers!!! Don’t buy new whenever you can avoid it, buy what is already out there in use. Buying used clothing and toys is one of the best ways to buy recycled materials as second hand items have just been recycled by their previous owners so that someone else can use them and give them a new life. Instead of buying new clothes and toys why not save money and planetary resources by shopping for previously loved items. If your kids ask why you don’t buy new just tell them that you are all doing your part to help reduce stress on Mother Earth.
Teach kids from an early age that conserving resources such as energy and water is important. Have them help you build a cistern or a rain water collection system so that you can capture rainfall and to use during droughts or for watering the garden and indoor plants. It can be game for them to monitor how fast the water accumulates.
Stress the importance of turning off all lights and electrical appliances when not in use. Plug TVs, DVD units, CD players, video game systems, etc into one power strip and have them turn it off after each use. Small reminder signs can be made and placed near exit ways or on remote controls to help them remember to do this.
When the weather is permitting have your children help you hang clothes outside on a clothes line to dry. You use sun power and conserve energy in the process. Think about other ways that you can use alternative energy in your home.
All of these small steps can make a big impact. Of course the biggest impact might be on our children as we teach them that living in harmony with our planet and keeping it beautiful is important.
I recently shared this chore chart image on my Facebook page because I thought it was clever and cute.
In response though I got a few unfavorable comments regarding paying children to do chores. These were some of the responses…
“Um, NO. Kids don’t get paid for being a contributing member of the family pulling their own weight.”
“This is a bad idea. Cleaning and picking up after ones self is just part of being alive and part of a family or community. This sets up an unrealistic expectation.”
“And who will pay them to do all this when they have their own home?”
“My kids do their chores because they have to…… what is wrong with today’s society?”
I completely disagree with them.
I shared this photo because I actually plan to copy it in my own home because I do pay my kids to do chores…sort of. I expect my kids to maintain their own bedrooms and in general pick up after themselves without pay. They don’t get paid to vacuum their rooms, bring their dirty clothes to the laundry room, or sweep up the cereal they spilled all over the kitchen floor. Things like those are expected and required but not paid for. There is no allowance.
On the weekend, we also have a family cleanup. Parents and kids alike all start cleaning the house from top to bottom. Either Mom or Dad is captain and we give out the orders. Carpets are vacuumed, loose toys are put away, dishes are brought to the kitchen, countertops are cleaned off, shelves are dusted, library books are re-stacked, etc. During garden season someone is required to go water. No one is paid for this group cleaning. This is part of the responsibility we have as a family and a team to take care of our home. The great thing about it though it that is takes 10-15 minutes we because we are working as a team.
Okay so maybe it sounds like I don’t agree with pay for chores huh?
No, no. I do. The kids can all do extra work if they so choose, to earn money. My 15 year old actually earns a nice chunk of money weekly. He fully cleans the kitchen and does all the dishes daily. He takes out the garbage and the compost. He mops the hardwood floors. He cleans all three bathrooms and scrubs the toilets and showers. For this and more he earns money to pay for the extras he has in his life that mom and dad will not pay for…like an iPhone. He also saves up money for larger ticket items he wants, like his crossbow and all the fishing gear he has. At the moment he is saving for his first car.
My middle child will do all the laundry for pay, though right now she is not consistent about it. When she too is old enough in mom’s estimation to have a smartphone she too will be required to earn the money for it. For her and for my youngest I think this chore chart would be a great way for them to earn some money and to get a few extras around the house taken care of.
It teaches them responsibility either way in my opinion. They are learning just by living in our household that cleaning and maintaining the house has to be done. They are also learning work ethic by working for pay. They are learning that they can work hard and earn money. They are learning that their work has to meet certain standards. They are learning to pay for their own wants because someday they WILL have to pay for their own wants and their own needs.
We really only gift them with things for birthdays and holidays. Other wants can be had if they work for them. They have a source of income if they want it and therefore a method to pay for the things they want. That is responsibility. This chart I think will be good for my two youngest who don’t have the desire to do regular weekly work like their older brother. It would give them the opportunity to earn a little bit here and there when they want to.
I think I have found a good balance in our family. After all, their main job right now is to go to school and give me a good solid effort there. Then they have some responsibilities at home that need to be met without pay and whenever they want to do them, as long as they get done. Then we have some overtime work-for-pay available and it works well in our house if my oldest is any indication. That kid has hustle and some serious work ethic. That is the goal right?