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Friday, August 25, 2017

Get Ready for School--Start your Bedtime Routine now! by Trisha Roberts

If your child has not already started the school year, they will be shortly! It is extremely helpful to get them into a Bedtime Routine now--ideally a week or two before school starts. Much of this information was presented in my post last year, "Beat the Bedtime Battles", but it bears repeating.

One frustration I hear expressed repeatedly by parents is, “I have such a hard time getting my kids to go to sleep—it is a Battle!” From my own experience I have found that having a nighttime routine is very helpful.  Children learn the routine and are much more likely to fall asleep when they know what to anticipate. A scheduled bedtime also ensures that your child is getting the necessary hours of sleep required for good health.

 Your routine can be anything you want depending on the age of your child and the amount of time you feel that you can spend each evening.  The goal is to be CONSISTENT. When each activity has been completed, they know that sleep time has arrived!  It is like reading a book:  there is a beginning, a middle and an end.  When the routine ends, it is time to sleep! This was my Bedtime Routine:

·         BATHTIME:  Taking an evening bath is a great way to let a child relax and unwind.  They have a final time to play in a restricted environment (as opposed to running all over the house!).  For me, evening baths were always easier than morning baths when everyone is on a tight schedule for getting out the door to work, school, or appointments.

·         PREPARATION FOR TOMMOROW: After bath, while kids are putting on their PJ’s, I found it helpful to plan my child’s outfit for the next day.  I would offer 2 options (which were perfectly acceptable to me), and then let my child choose which outfit they wanted.  This allowed them an opportunity to learn decision making and also eliminated a fight in the morning!

·         SNUGGLE TIME: I loved having a large rocking chair in my children’s room when they were young.  It was a great place to curl up together, to experience cuddles, kisses and connection.  People need touch.  Children need touch—recent studies have shown that it is critical to a child’s development.  (See our blog post from last week regarding the importance of touch!)  Gently rubbing or massaging your child’s back, arm or legs can help them relax as well as feel loved and cared for.

·        SHARING:  Talk about their day.  Ask open-ended questions like, “What was the best thing that happened today?”  “What did you see today that made you happy/sad?” “What did you learn today?”

·         READ: Let your child pick 2 or 3 books to read. Many studies have shown the correlation of early exposure to books and stories with earlier and higher levels of literacy and success in school.  Children who love reading tend to learn to read earlier.  Children who read well usually do better in school. (See our blog post, "The Importance of Reading to Your Children," by Guest Blogger Meghan Ames).

·         SING: Sing 1-2 songs together.  Children’s songs, hymns, pop music, whatever you and your child like.  We have several great products at our retail site: 

·         PRAY:  Give your child an opportunity to express thankfulness. Let your child think about others and their needs. Help them recognize that God created them, cares about them and wants to be their Forever Friend.

·         KISSES AND LIGHTS OUT:  A final kiss and hug and then “lights out”.  Make it clear that this is the end.  Walk out of the door and don’t return.  There may be crying at first, but your child will learn that whining and crying can’t manipulate their parents into returning!  You don’t need to feel guilty and “cave in”!  You have just spent quality one-on-one time with your child.  You are now helping them meet a very important need in their life—sleep!

Start now to prepare your child for their school schedule--don't wait until the night before! Bedtimes don’t need to be a Battle!  They can be a wonderful time to develop a strong parent-child relationship.  As you talk, laugh, share, sing, read, and pray you will create cherished memories. It is a golden opportunity to bond and connect! 

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

Copyright © 2017 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Importance of Touch By Trisha Roberts

The sense of touch is important and conveys information to our brain and body that is used in a myriad of different ways.  Skin is the largest organ of the body.  It serves many functions, but a primary one is to sense and convey the sense of touch to our brain. Touch can express care, affection, and love.  Touch can also be noxious or warn us of danger.

Touch is defined by Webster as, “to handle or feel gently usually with the intent to understand or appreciate.”

Children are equipped at birth to feel; they learn to interpret and discriminate touch as they grow and develop. Infants have poor motor control, so they are unable to initiate touching contact—it needs to be the adult care provider that instigates or makes the first move.

 Mother-child attachment is extremely important and is developed through touch, vision, and hearing.  Many pre-mature babies are kept in the NICU for weeks and months, limiting the amount of nurturing contact they experience with their mothers.  

They are subject to harsh lights and noxious stimulation (intravenous feedings, intubation, and other vital medical procedures).  One can easily understand how some of these children develop an eversion to touch.

Studies have shown that when we are deprived of touch, severe and significant problems can result.  Harry Harlow was a famous research psychologist who used monkeys in the 1950’s and 1960’s to study the effects of touch and development. 

 Baby monkeys were raised in isolation and were deprived of their mother’s touch and other social interaction, resulting in atypical development.  Anti-social and even psychotic behavior resulted as well as poor development of interpersonal relationships throughout life.

Touch deprivation can produce developmental delays and deficiencies in children and in extreme cases lead to death.

Elderly who live alone without social or physical contact do not live as long or healthy as their peers who have more social interaction.

Babies need to be cuddled.  Children need to be snuggled.  Teens may enjoy a hug/back rub/wrestling match. Find a way to connect and affirm your child.

Physical touch strengthens emotional bonds; those bonds shapes us for the rest of our lives. 

Look for ways to convey your love, affection, concern, and care to your family members.

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

Copyright © 2017 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Featured Products: Velcro Mitt and Ball By Trisha Roberts

Velcro ball throw and catch

Teaching children to throw and catch a ball is an important skill.  Young children are able to perform a “forward fling” at 1 year of age and a true overhand throw between 1 ½ year to 2 years old with accuracy and distance increasing with age. (See our 3-Part article on the Development of Ball Skills in Children)

A great activity to improve and augment children’s throwing and catching abilities is a Velcro Mitt and Ball.  

Children can use the velcro ball and mitt to catch and toss indoors or outdoors. It is very portable and can be taken to the backyard, porch, beach, camping trip or park.  The velcro surfaces of the ball and mitt make catching easy for the beginning catcher and still very enjoyable for more advanced ball players.  Practice throwing and catching improves Gross Motor Skills and Eye-Hand Coordination; the resistance of the velcro can strengthen the small muscles in the hand which can lead to better fine motor skills like writing and cutting with scissors. 

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

Copyright © 2017 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Physical Therapist’s Top 3 Baby Safety Tips For New Mothers By Trisha Roberts

The first year of life is so exciting for baby and parents alike! Each day you will watch your baby explore their world--discovering different ways to move, new sights, unique tastes, and exciting textures. As babies start to move they are exposed to more risk of falls and injury.  My three pieces of advice are:

 1.  Keep your infant on the floor!  Put them on their tummy on a blanket or rug from early on.  This not only works on improving the crucial skills learned in Tummy Time (see my blog about the Importance of Tummy Time) but keeps them safe from rolling off beds, chairs, or couches.  You think, “They can’t roll off of this,” but you turn your back and SMACK, they have landed on the floor.

Tummy Time on the floor

Strap babies onto the changing table to avoid falls.

2.  Babies usually start to crawl between 8-10 months of age.  When they crawl they are constantly looking for something with which to pull themselves up to standing.  All bookshelves, entertainment centers or any unstable furniture needs to be secured to the wall.  All dangling cords need to be wrapped and/or tucked out of reach or your baby will pull the cord and the attached lamp, clock, or appliance could fall on their head.  Make sure that dresser drawers can’t be opened and used for climbing, as the weight of your child could topple the entire dresser.

Dangling cords pose a safety risk to young children

Cords on any appliances should be securedKeep kids safe by securing furniture so that it can't tip over

 3.  Gate the top and bottom of your staircases.  Babies learn to crawl up stairs 1-2 months before they learn to turn backward and crawl down the stairs.  Many Emergency Room visits are due to children tumbling down stairs. Make sure to accomany your toddler as they learn to navigate the stairs; don't let them "go solo" until you are sure that they are safe.

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

Copyright © 2017 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.